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Causeless, perhaps: But pardon me, sweet aunt:
And, madam, if my uncle Marcus go,

I will most willingly attend your ladyship.
MAR. Lucius, I will.

[LAVINIA turns over the Books which LUCIUS
has let fall.

TIT. How now, Lavinia?-Marcus, what means

this?

Some book there is that she desires to see:-
Which is it, girl, of these?-Open them, boy.-
But thou art deeper read, and better skill'd;
Come, and take choice of all my library,
And so beguile thy sorrow, till the heavens
Reveal the damn'd contriver of this deed.-
Why lifts she up her arms in sequence thus?

MAR. I think, she means, that there was more than one

Confederate in the fact ;-Ay, more there was :Or else to heaven she heaves them for revenge.

TIT. Lucius, what book is that she tosseth so? Boy. Grandsire, 'tis Ovid's Metamorphosis; My mother gave't me.

MAR.

For love of her that's gone, Perhaps she cull'd it from among the rest.

TIT. Soft! see, how busily she turns the leaves !7 Help her :

What would she find?-Lavinia, shall I read?
This is the tragick tale of Philomel,

And treats of Tereus' treason, and his rape;
And rape, I fear, was root of thine annoy.

7 Soft! see, how busily &c.] Old copies-Soft, so busily, &c. Corrected by Mr. Rowe. MALONE.

The edition 1600 also reads-soft, so busilie. TODD.

MAR. See, brother, see; note, how she quotes the leaves.8

TIT. Lavinia, wert thou thus surpriz'd, sweet girl,

Ravish'd, and wrong'd, as Philomela was,

Forc'd in the ruthless, vast, and gloomy woods?—
See, see!

Ay, such a place there is, where we did hunt,
(0, had we never, never, hunted there!)
Pattern'd by that the poet here describes,
By nature made for murders, and for rapes.
MAR. O, why should nature build so foul a den,
Unless the gods delight in tragedies!

TIT. Give signs, sweet girl,-for here are none but friends,

What Roman lord it was durst do the deed:
Or slunk not Saturnine, as Tarquin erst,
That left the camp to sin in Lucrece' bed?
MAR. Sit down, sweet niece ;-brother, sit down
by me.-

Apollo, Pallas, Jove, or Mercury,

Inspire me, that I may this treason find!-
My lord, look here;-Look here, Lavinia :
This sandy plot is plain; guide, if thou canst,
This after me, when I have writ my name
Without the help of any hand at all.

[He writes his Name with his Staff, and guides
it with his Feet and Mouth.

Curs'd be that heart, that forc'd us to this shift!— Write thou, good niece; and here display, at last,

how she quotes the leaves.] See a note on Hamlet, Act II. sc. ii.

To quote is to observe. STEEVENS.

See Vol. VII. p. 107, n. 8; and Vol. VIII. p. 400, n. 2.

MALONE.

What God will have discover'd for revenge: Heaven guide thy pen to print thy sorrows plain, That we may know the traitors, and the truth!

[She takes the Staff in her Mouth, and guides it with her Stumps, and writes.

TIT. O, do you read, my lord, what she hath writ?

Stuprum-Chiron-Demetrius.

MAR. What, what!-the lustful sons of Tamora Performers of this heinous, bloody deed?

TIT. Magne Dominator poli,

Tam lentus audis scelera? tam lentus vides?
MAR. O, calm thee, gentle lord! although, I
know,

There is enough written upon this earth,
To stir a mutiny in the mildest thoughts,
And arm the minds of infants to exclaims.
My lord, kneel down with me; Lavinia, kneel;
And kneel, sweet boy, the Roman Hector's hope;
And swear with me,-as with the woful feere,'

9 Magne Dominator poli, &c.] Magne Regnator Deum, &c. is the exclamation of Hippolytus when Phædra discovers the secret of her incestuous passion in Seneca's tragedy. STEEVENS.

Magne Dominator poli.] The edition 1600 reads—Magni Dominator poli. TODD.

And swear with me,-as with the woful feere,] The old copies do not only assist us to find the true reading by conjecture. I will give an instance, from the first folio, of a reading (incontestably the true one) which has escaped the laborious researches of the many most diligent criticks, who have favoured the world with editions of Shakspeare:

My lord, kneel down with me; Lavinia, kneel;
And kneel, sweet boy, the Roman Hector's hope;
And swear with me, as with the woeful peer,
And father of that chaste dishonour'd dame,
Lord Junius Brutus sware for Lucrece' rape-

And father, of that chaste dishonour'd dame, Lord Junius Brutus sware for Lucrece' rape,That we will prosecute, by good advice,

Mortal revenge upon these traitorous Goths, And see their blood, or die with this reproach.

TIT. 'Tis sure enough, an you knew how, But if you hurt these bear-whelps, then beware: The dam will wake; and, if she wind you once, She's with the lion deeply still in league,

And lulls him while she playeth on her back,
And, when he sleeps, will she do what she list.
You're a young huntsman, Marcus; let it alone;"
And, come, I will go get a leaf of brass,
And with a gad of steel3 will write these words,

in

What meaning has hitherto been annexed to the word peer, this passage, I know not. The reading of the first folio is feere, which signifies a companion, and here metaphorically a husband. The proceeding of Brutus, which is alluded to, is described at length in our author's Rape of Lucrece, as putting an end to the lamentations of Collatinus and Lucretius, the husband and father of Lucretia. So, in Sir Eglamour of Artoys, sig. A 4: "Christabell, your daughter free,

"When shall she have a fere?" i. e. husband.

Sir Thomas More's Lamentation on the Death of Queen Elizabeth, Wife of Henry VII:

"Was I not a king's fere in marriage?"

And again:

"Farewell my daughter Katharine, late the fere
"To prince Arthur." TYRWHITT.

The word feere or pheere very frequently occurs among the old dramatick writers and others. So, in Ben Jonson's Silent Woman, Morose says:

66

her that I mean to chuse for my bed-pheere." And many other places. STEEVENS.

2

-let it alone] In edit. 1600, it is wanting. TODD.

i. e.

And with a gad of steel-] A gad, from the Saxon gad, the point of a spear, is used here for some similar pointed instrument. MALONE.

And lay it by: the angry northern wind
Will blow these sands, like Sybil's leaves, abroad,*
And where's your lesson then?-Boy, what say you?

Bor. I say, my lord, that if I were a man, Their mother's bed-chamber should not be safe For these bad-bondmen to the yoke of Rome. MAR. Ay, that's my boy! thy father hath full oft

For this ungrateful country done the like.
Bor. And, uncle, so will I, an if I live.
TIT. Come, go with me into mine armoury;
Lucius, I'll fit thee; and withal, my boy
Shall carry from me to the empress' sons
Presents, that I intend to send them both:
Come, come; thou'lt do thy message, wilt thou
not?

Bor. Ay, with my dagger in their bosoms, grandsire.

TIT. No, boy, not so; I'll teach thee another

course.

Lavinia, come:-Marcus, look to my house;
Lucius and I'll go brave it at the court;
Ay, marry, will we, sir; and we'll be waited on.
[Exeunt TITUS, LAVINIA, and Boy.
MAR. O heavens, can you hear a good man

groan,

And not relent, or not compassion him?
Marcus, attend him in his ecstasy;

That hath more scars of sorrow in his heart,

the

angry northern wind

Will blow these sands, like Sybil's leaves, abroad,]

66 Foliis tantum ne carmina manda,

"Ne turbata volent rapidis ludibria ventis." Æn. VI. 75.

STEEVENS.

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