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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 séquester'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,1
If foul desire had not conducted you?
Lav. And, being intercepted in your sport,
Great reason that my noble lord be rated
For sauciness.-I pray you, let us hence,
And let her 'joy her raven-colour'd love;
This valley fits the purpose passing well.

Bas. The king, my brother, shall have note of this. Lav. Ay, for these slips have made him noted long : 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:

9

swarth Cimmerian -] Swarth is black. The Moor is called Cimmerian, from the affinity of blackness to darkness.

1

2

Johnson.

swarth Cimmerian-] Edition 1600:-swartie Cymerion.

Todd.

Accompanied with a barbarous Moor,] Edition 1600 reads: Accompanied but with a barbarous Moore. Todd.

have note of this,] Old copies-notice. Steevens. Thus also the 4to. 1600. Todd.

3

made him noted long:] He had yet been married but one night. Johnson.

The true reading may be-made her, i. e. Tamora. Steevens..

4

A barren detested vale,] As the versification of this play is

[blocks in formation]

The trees, though summer, yet forlorn and lean,
O'ercome with moss, and baleful misletoe.
Here never shines the sun;5 here nothing breeds,
Unless the nightly owl, or fatal raven.

And, when they show'd me this abhorred pit,]
They told me, here, at dead time of the night,
A thousand fiends, a thousand hissing snakes,
Ten thousand swelling toads, as many urchins,
Would make such fearful and confused cries,
As any mortal body, hearing it,

Should straight fall mad, or else die suddenly.7
No sooner had they told this hellish tale,

But straight they told me, they would bind me here
Unto the body of a dismal yew;

And leave me to this miserable death.

And then they call'd me, foul adulteress,
Lascivious Goth, and all the bitterest terms
That ever ear did hear to such effect.
And, had you not by wondrous fortune come,
This vengeance on me had they executed:
Revenge it, as you love your mother's life,
Or be ye not henceforth call'd my children.
Dem. This is a witness that I am thy son. [Stabs BAS.
Chi. And this for me, struck home to show my
[Stabbing him likewise.
Lav. Ay come, Semiramis,s-nay, barbarous Tamora!

strength.

by no means inharmonious, I am willing to suppose the author

wrote:

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:

6

"This is the house where the sun never dawns,
"The bird of night sits screaming o'er it's roof,
"Grim spectres sweep along the horrid gloom,
"And nought is heard but wailings and lamentings."
urchins,] i. e. hedgehogs. See Vol. II, p. 35, n. 1.

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.

8

Ay come, Semiramis,] The propriety of this address will be best understood from the following passage in P. Holland's

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 wrong. 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 mightiness :9
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,1
Let not this wasp outlive, us both to sting.

Chi. I warrant you madam; we will make that sure.-
Come, mistress, now perforce we will enjoy
That nice-preserved honesty of yours.

Lav. O Tamora! thou bear'st a woman's face,Tam. I will not hear her speak; away with her. 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.—

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.

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.

1

you desire,] Old copies-we desire. Corrected in the second folio. Malone.

The edit. 1600, reads, with the other old copies-we desire.

Todd.

Yet every mother breeds not sons alike;
Do thou entreat her show a woman pity.

[To CHI. 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 three,
Be not obdurate, open thy deaf ears.

Tam. Hadst thou in person ne'er offended me,

Even for his sake am I pitiless :—

Remember, boys, I pour'd forth tears in vain,
To save your brother from the sacrifice;
But fierce Andronicus would not relent.
Therefore away with her, and use her as you will;
The worse to her, the better lov'd of me.

Lav. O Tamora, be call'd a gentle queen,
And with thine own hands kill me in this place:
For 'tis not life, that I have begg'd so long;

Poor I was slain, when Bassianus died.

Tam. What begg'st thou then; fond woman, let me go. Lav. 'Tis present death I beg; and one thing more, That womanhood denies my tongue to tell :

O, keep me from their worse than killing lust,
And tumble me into some loathsome pit;
Where never man's eye may behold my body:
Do this, and be a charitable murderer.

Tam. So should I rob my sweet sons of their fee:

No, let them satisfy their lust on thee.

Dem. Away; for thou hast staid us here too long. Lav. No grace? no womanhood? Ah beastly creature!

The blot and enemy to our general name!

2

with her,] These useless syllables, which hurt the metre, might well be omitted. Steevens.

Confusion fall

her husband;

Chi. Nay, then I'll stop your mouth:-Bring thou [Dragging off Lav. This is the hole where Aaron bid us hide him. [Exeunt. Tam. Farewel, my sons: see, that you make her sure: Ne'er let my heart know merry cheer indeed, Till all the Andronici be made away. Now will I hence to seek my lovely Moor, And let my spleenful sons this trull deflour.

SCENE IV.

The same.

Enter AARON, with QUINTUS and MARTIUS. Aar. Come on, my lords; the better foot before : Straight will I bring you to the loathsome pit, Where I espy'd the panther fast asleep.

[Exit.

Quin. My sight is very dull, whate'er it bodes. Mart. And mine, I promise you; wer't not for shame, Well could I leave our sport to sleep awhile.

[MART. falls into the Pit. Quin. What, art thou fallen? What subtle hole is this, Whose mouth is cover'd with rude-growing briars; Upon whose leaves are drops of new-shed blood, As fresh as morning's dew distill'd on flowers?

A

very fatal place it seems to me :

Speak, brother, hast thou hurt thee with the fall?

Mart. O, brother, with the dismallest object That ever eye, with sight, made heart lament.

Aar. [aside] Now will I fetch the king to find them

here;

That he thereby may give a likely guess,

How these were they that made away his brother.

[Exit AAR

Mart. Why dost not comfort me, and help me out From this unhallow'd and blood-stained hole? Quin. I am surprized with an uncouth fear: A chilling sweat o'er-runs my trembling joints; My heart suspects more than mine eye can see. Mart. To prove thou hast a true-divining heart, Aaron and thou look down into this den,

And see a fearful sight of blood and death.

E 2

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