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LAP. Under your patience, gentle emperess, 'Tis thought you have a goodly gift in horning; And to be doubted, that your Moor and you Are singled forth to try experiments: Jove shield your husband from his hounds to-day! 'Tis pity, they should take him for a stag.
BAS. Believe me, queen, your swarth Cimmerian Doth make your honour of his body's hue, Spotted, detested, and abominable. Why are you sequester'd from all your train? Dismounted from your snow-white goodly steed, And wander'd hither to an obscure plot, Accompanied with a barbarous Moor,' If foul desire had not conducted you?
LAV. And, being intercepted in your sport,
BAS. The king, my brother, shall have note of this.2
The old copies have-upon his new-transformed limbs. The emendation was made by Mr. Rowe. MALONE.
It is said in a note by Mr. Malone, that the old copies read, "upon his new-transformed limbs," and that Mr. Rowe made the emendation-thy. The edition of 1600 reads precisely thus: Should drive vpon thy new transformed limbes. TODD.
swarth Cimmerian -] Swarth is black. The Moor is called Cimmerian, from the affinity of blackness to darkness.
swarth Cimmerian-] Edition 1600:-swartie Cymerion. TODD.
Accompanied with a barbarous Moor,] Edition 1600 reads:
have note of this.] Old copies-notice. STEEVENS. Thus also the 4to. 1600.
LAV. Ay, for these slips have made him noted long:3
Good king! to be so mightily abus'd!
TAM. Why have I patience to endure all this?
Enter CHIRON and DEMETrius.
DEM. How now, dear sovereign, and our gracious mother, Why doth your highness look so pale and wan?
TAM. Have I not reason, think you, to look pale? These two have 'tic'd me hither to this place, A barren detested vale, you see, it is :
The trees, though summer, yet forlorn and lean,
·made him noted long:] He had yet been married but one night. JOHNSON.
The true reading may be-made her, i. e. Tamora.
A barren detested vale,] As the versification of this play is by no means inharmonious, I am willing to suppose the author
A bare detested vale,. STEEVENS.
5 Here never shines the sun; &c.] Mr. Rowe seems to have thought on this passage in his Jane Shore:
"This is the house where the sun never dawns,
Ten thousand swelling toads, as many urchins,"
Should straight fall mad, or else die suddenly."
But straight they told me, they would bind me here
Unto the body of a dismal yew;
And leave me to this miserable death.
DEM. This is a witness that I am thy son. [Stabs BASSIANUS. CHI. And this for me, struck home to show my strength. [Stabbing him likewise. LAV. Ay come, Semiramis,-nay, barbarous Tamora!
urchins,] i. e. hedgehogs. See Vol. IV. p. 38, n. 3. STEEVENS.
"Should straight fall mad, or else die suddenly.] This is said in fabulous physiology, of those that hear the groan of the mandrake torn up. JOHNSON.
The same thought and almost the same expressions occur in Romeo and Juliet. STEEVENS.
Ay come, Semiramis,] The propriety of this address will be best understood from the following passage in P. Holland's translation of the 8th Book of Pliny's Nat. Hist. ch. 42: "Queen Semiramis loved a great horse that she had, so farre forth, that she was content he should doe his kind with her." The incontinence of this lady has been already alluded to in the Induction to the Taming of a Shrew, scene the second. STEEVENS.
For no name fits thy nature but thy own! TAM. Give me thy poniard; you shall know, my boys,
Your mother's hand shall right your mother's
DEM. Stay, madam, here is more belongs to her; First, thrash the corn, then after burn the straw: This minion stood upon her chastity, Upon her nuptial vow, her loyalty, And with that painted hope braves your mighti
And shall she carry this unto her grave?
CHI. An if she do, I would I were an eunuch. Drag hence her husband to some secret hole, And make his dead trunk pillow to our lust.
TAM. But when you have the honey you desire,' Let not this wasp outlive, us both to sting.
CHI. I warrant you, madam; we will make that
Come, mistress, now perforce we will enjoy
LAV. O Tamora! thou bear'st a woman's face,TAM. I will not hear her speak; away with her.
9 And with that painted hope braves your mightiness:] Painted hope is only specious hope, or ground of confidence more plausible than solid. JOHNSON.
The ruggedness of this line persuades me that the word-hope is an interpolation, the sense being complete without it: And with that painted, braves your mightiness. So, in King Richard III: "Poor painted queen," &c. Painted with is, speciously coloured with. STEEVENS.
-you desire,] Old copies-we desire. Corrected in the second folio. MALONE.
The edit. 1600, reads, with the other old copies-we desire.
LAV. Sweet lords, entreat her hear me but a word.
DEM. Listen, fair madam: Let it be your glory To see her tears; but be your heart to them, As unrelenting flint to drops of rain.
LAV. When did the tiger's young ones teach the dam?
O, do not learn her wrath; she taught it thee: The milk, thou suck'dst from her, did turn to marble;
Even at thy teat thou hadst thy tyranny.-
[TO CHIRON. CHI. What! would'st thou have me prove myself a bastard?
LAV. 'Tis true; the raven doth not hatch a lark: Yet I have heard, (O could I find it now!) The lion mov'd with pity, did endure To have his princely paws par'd all away. Some say that ravens foster forlorn children, The whilst their own birds famish in their nests: O, be to me, though thy hard heart say no, Nothing so kind, but something pitiful!
TAM. I know not what it means; away with her.
LAV. O, let me teach thee: for my father's sake, That gave thee life, when well he might have slain thee,
Be not obdurate, open thy deaf ears.
TAM. Had thou in person ne'er offended me,