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O, handle not the theme, to talk of hands ;
Lest we remember still, that we have none.
Fye, fye, how frantickly I square my talk! !
As if we should forget we had no hands,
If Marcus did not name the word of hands!
Come, let's fall to; and, gentle girl, eat this :-
Here is no drink! Hark, Marcus, what she

says ;
I can interpret all her martyr'd signs ;
She says, she drinks no other drink but tears,
Brew'd with her sorrows, mesh'd upon her cheeks ®
Speechless complainer, I will learn thy thought;
In thy dumb action will I be as perfect,
As begging hermits in their holy prayers :
Thou shalt not sigh, nor hold thy stumps to heaven,
Nor wink, nor nod, nor kneel, nor make a sign,
But I, of these, will wrest an alphabet,
And, by still? practice, learn to know thy meaning.
Boy. Good grandsire, leave these bitter deep la-

ments : Make my aunt merry with some pleasing tale.

Marc. Alas, the tender boy, in passion mov'd, Doth weep to see his grandsire's heaviness. Tit. Peace, tender sapling; thou art made of

tears, And tears will quickly melt thy life away,

(MARCUS strikes the Dish with a knife. What dost thou strike at, Marcus, with thy knife ?

Marc. At that that I have kill'd, my lord; a fly.

Tit. Out on thee, murderer ! thou kill’st my heart; Mine eyes are cloy'd with view of tyranny: A deed of death, done on the innocent, Becomes not Titus' brother: Get thee gone; I see, thou art not for my company.

Marc. Alas, my lord, I have but kill'd a fly.

Tit. But how, if that fly had a father and mother? How would he hang his slender gilded wings,

6 An allusion to brewing.
7 Constant or continual practice.

And buz lamenting doings in the air ?
Poor harmless fly!
That with his pretty buzzing melody,
Came here to make us merry; and thou hast killd

him. Marc. Pardon me, sir; 'twas a black ill-favour'd

fly, Like to the empress' Moor; therefore I kill'd him.

Tit. 0, 0, 0, Then pardon me for reprehending thee, For thou hast done a charitable deed. Give me thy knife, I will insult on him; Flattering myself, as if it were the Moor, Come hither purposely to poison me.There's for thyself, and that's for Tamora. Ah, sirrah ! Yet I do think we are not brought so low, But that, between us, we can kill a fy, That comes in likeness of a coal-black Moor. Marc. Alas, poor man! grief has so wrought on

him, He takes false shadows for true substances.

Tit. Come, take away.- Lavinia, go with me: I'll to thy closet ; and go read with thee Sad stories, chanced in the times of old. Come, boy, and go with me; thy sight is young, And thou shalt read, when mine begins to dazzle.


8 This was formerly not a disrespectful expression.



Before Titus's House.

Enter Titus and MARCUS. Then enter Young

Lucius, LAVINIA running after him. Boy. Help, grandsire, help! my aunt Lavinia Follows me every where, I know not why :Good uncle Marcus, see how swift she comes ! Alas, sweet aunt, I know not what you mean. Marc. Stand by me, Lucius; do not fear thine

aunt. Tit. She loves thee, boy, too well to do thee

harm. Boy. Ay, when my father was in Rome, she did. Marc. What means my niece Lavinia by these

signs ? Tit. Fear her not, Lucius : Somewhat doth she

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See, Lucius, see, how much she makes of thee:
Somewhither would she have thee go

with her.
Ah, boy, Cornelia never with more care
Read to her sons, than she hath read to thee,
Sweet poetry, and Tully's Orator."
Canst thou not guess wherefore she plies thee

thus ? Boy. My lord, I know not, I, nor can I

guess, Unless some fit or frenzy do possess For I have heard my grandsire say full oft, Extremity of griefs would make men mad And I have read that Hecuba of Troy

her :

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Ran mad through sorrow : That made me to fear

; Although, my lord, I know, my noble aunt Loves me as dear as e'er my mother did, "And would not, but in fury, fright my youth: Which made me down to throw my books, and fly; Causeless, perhaps : But pardon me, sweet aunt: And, madam, if my uncle Marcus go, I will most willingly attend your ladyship. Marc. Lucius, I will. [LAVINIA turns over the Books which Lucius has

let fall.
Tit. How now, Lavinia ? Marcus, what means

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 vile contriver of this deed.
Why lifts she

her arms in sequence

thus ?
Marc. 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.

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 ! 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. Marc. See, brother, see; note, how she quotes'

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the leaves.

1 Observes.

Tit. Lavinia, wert thou thus surpriz'd, sweet

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,
(O, had we never, never, hunted there !)
Pattern'd by that the poet here describes,
By nature made for murders, and for rapes,

Marc. 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?
Marc. 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, What Heaven 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.

2 Pitiless.

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