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And the whom mighty kingdoms curtsy to,
Mar. But if my frosty signs and chaps of
Luc. Then, noble auditory, be it known to you, That cursed Chiron and Demetrius Were they that murdered our emperor's brother, And they it were that ravished our sister ; For their fell faults our brothers were beheaded, Our father's tears despis'd, and basely cozen'd Of that true hand, that fought Rome's quarrel out, And sent her enemies into the grave. Lastly myself unkindly banished, The gates shut on me, and turn'd weeping out, To beg relief among Rome's enemies; Who drown'd their enmity in my true tears, And op'd their arms to embrace me as a friend; And I am turn’d forth, be it known to you,
That have preserv'd her welfare in my blood,
Æm. Come, come, thou reverend man of Rome,
Mar. Lucius, all hail, Rome's royai emperor !
As punishment for his most wicked life,
Luc. Thanks, gentle Romans : may I govern fo,
[Kisses Titus. These sorrowful drops upon thy blood-stain’d face; The last true duties of thy noble fon.
Mar. Ay, tear for tear, and loving kiss for kiss,
pay Countless and infinite, yet would I pay them!
Luc. Come hither, boy; come, come, and learn
To melt in showers; thy grandfire lov'd thee well ;
Boy. O grandfire, grandsire! even with all my heart,
Enter Romans with Aaron.
That hath been breeder of these dire events.
Luc. Set him breast deep in earth, and familh him, There let him stand and rave and cry for food; If any one relieves or pities him, For the offence he dies. This is our doom. Some stay to see him fastned in the earth.
Aar. O, why should wrath be mute, and fury dumb! I am no baby, I, that with base prayers I should repent the evil I have done : Ten thousand worse than ever yet I did, Would I perform, if I might have my If one good deed in all my life I did, I do repent it from my very soul.
Luc. Some loving friends convey the emperor hence, And give him burial in his father's grave. My father and Lavinia shall forthwith Be closed in our houshold's monument : As for that heinous tygress Tamora, No funeral rites, nor man in mournful weeds, No mournful bell shall ring her burial; But throw her forth to bearts and birds of prey; Her life was beast-like, and devoid of pity ; And, being so, shall have like want of pity. See justice done on Aaron, that damn'd Moor, From whom our heavy haps had their beginning; Then, afterwards, we'll order well the state ; That like events may ne'er it ruinate. [Exeunt omnes.
TITUS ANDRONICUS.] This is one of those plays which I have always thought, with the better judges, ought not to be acknowleged in the liit of Shakespeare's genuine pieces. And, perhaps, I may give a proof to strengthen this opinion, that may put the matter out of question. Ben Jonson, in the introduction to his Bartholomew-Fair, which made its first appearance in the year 1614, couples Jeronymo and Andronicus together in reputation, and speaks of them as plays then of twenty-five or thirty years standing. Confequently An ironicus muft have becn on the ftage before Shakespeare left Warwickshire, to come and reside in London : and I never heard it so much as intimated, that he had
turned his genius to stage-writing before he affociated with the players, and became one of their body. However, that he afterwards introduced it a-new on the stage, with the addition of his own masterly touches, is incontestible, and thenice, I presume; grew his title to it. The di&tion iu general, where he has not taken the pains to raise it, is even beneath that of the Three Parts of Henry VI. The story we are to suppose merely fi&titious. Ano dronicus is a sus-name of pure Greek derivation. Tamora is neither mentioned by Ammianus Marcellinus, nor any body else that I
Nor had Rome, in the time of her emperors, any wars with the Goths that I know of, not till after the translation of the empire, I mean to Byzantium, and yet the scene of our play is laid at Rome, and Saturninus is elected to the empire at the capitol.
THEOBALD. All the editors and critics agree with Mr. Theobald in suppofing this play spurious. I see no reason for differing from them; for the colour of the file is wholly different from that of the other plays, and there is an attempt at regular versification, and artificial closes, not always inelegant, yet seldom pleasing. The barbarity of the spectacles, and the general massacre, which are here exhi. bited, can scarcely be conceived tolerable to any audience; yet we are told by Jonson, that they were not only borne, but praised. That Shakespeare wrote any part, though sheobald declares it inconteftible, I see no reason for believing.
The testimony produced at the beginning of this play, by which it is ascribed to Shakespeare, is by no means equal to the argument against its authenticity, arising from the total difference of conduct, language, and sentiments, by which it stands apart from all the rest. Meeres had probably no other evidence than that of a title-page, which, though in our time it be sufficient, was then of no great authority ; for all the plays which were rejected by the first collectors of Shakespeare's works, and admitted in later editions, and again rejected by the critical editors, had Shakespeare's name on the title, as we must suppose, by the fraudulence of the printers, who, while there were yet no gazettes, nor advertisements, nor any means of circulating literary intelligence, could usurp at pleasure any celebrated name. Nor had Shakespeare any interest in detecting the imposture, as none of his fame or profit was produced by the press.
The chronology of this play does not prove it not to be Shakespeare's. If it had been written twenty-five years, in 1614, it might have been written when Shakespeare was twentyfive years old. When he left Warwickshire I know not, but ac the age of twenty-five it was rather too late to Ay for deer-stealing.
Ravenscroft, who in the reign of Charles II. revised this play, and restored it to the stage, tells us, in his preface, from a thea. trical tradition, I suppose, which in his time might be of sufficient