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And I am the turn'd-forth, be it known to you,
[Pointing to the Child in the arms of an Attendant.
Æmil. Come, come, thou reverend man of Rome,
Lucius, fc. descend.
[To an Attendant.
cious governor !
[Kisses Titus. These sorrowful drops upon thy blood-stain'd face, The last true duties of thy noble son !
Mar. Tear for tear, and loving kiss for kiss,
Luc. Come hither, boy; come, come, and learn of us
Boy. O grandsire, grandsire ! even with all my heart Would I were dead, so you did live again!
O lord, I cannot speak to him for weeping;
Enter Attendants, with AARON. 1 Rom. You sad Andronici, have done with woes; Give sentence on this execrable wretch, That hath been breeder of these dire events.
Luc. Set him breast-deep in earth, and famish 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 fasten’d 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 evils I have done; Ten thousand, worse than ever yet I did, Would I perform, if I might have my will ; 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 household's monument. As for that heinous tiger, Tamora, No funeral rite, nor man in mournful weeds, No mournful bell shall ring her burial; But throw her forth to beasts, 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 to Aaron, that damn'd Moor, By whom our heavy haps had their beginning: Then, afterwards, to order well the state; That like events may ne'er it ruinate.
- to see him fasten'd in the earth.] That justice and cookery may go hand in hand to the conclusion of this play, in Ravenscroft's alteration of it, Aaron is at once racked and roasted on the stage.
: All the editors and criticks agree with Mr. Theobald in supposing this play spurious I see no reason for differing from them; for the colour of the style 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 exhibited, can scarcely be conceived tolerable to any audience; yet we are told by Jonson, that they were not only borne but praised. That Shakspeare wrote any part, though Theobald declares it incontestible, I see no reason for believing.
The testimony produced at the beginning of this play, by which it is ascribed to Shakspeare, 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. Meres had probably no other evidence than that of a titlepage, 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 Shakspeare's works, and admitted in later editions, and again rejected by the critical editors, had Shakspeare'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 Shakspeare any interest in detecting the imposture, as none of his fame or profit was produced by
The chronology of this play does not prove it not to be Shakspeare's. If it had been written twenty-five years, in 1614, it might have been written when Shakspeare was twenty-five years old. When he left Warwickshire I know not, but at the age of twenty-five it was rather too late to fly for deer-stealing.
Ravenscroft, who in the reign of James II. revised this play, and restored it to the stage, tells us, in his preface, from a theatrical tradition, I suppose, which in his time might be of sufficient authority, that this play was touched in different parts by Shakspeare, but written by some other poet. I do not find Shakspeare's touches very discernible. Johnson.