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Marc. That on mine honour here I do protest.
Sat. Away, and talk not; trouble us no more.
Tam. Nay, nay, sweet emperor, we must all be friends:
The tribune and his nephews kneel for grace;


I will not be denied: sweet heart, look back. Sat. Marcus, for thy sake, and thy brother's here,

And at my lovely Tamora's entreats,

I do remit these young men's heinous faults:
Stand up.


Lavinia, though you left me like a churl,

I found a friend, and sure as death I swore

I would not part a bachelor from the priest.

Come; if the emperor's court can feast two brides,
You are my guest, Lavinia, and your friends.
This day shall be a love-day, Tamora.

Tit. To-morrow, an it please your majesty


To hunt the panther and the hart with me, With horn and hound we'll give your grace bon jour. Sat. Be it so, Titus, and gramercy too.

478. Away, and talk not, etc.] Saturninus is as poor a dissembler beside Tamora as Macbeth beside Lady Macbeth.

486. churl] a mean, common person. O.E. ceorl, a peasant or villain.

491. love-day] a day appointed by the Church for the amicable settlement of differences. "In love-dayes ther coude he muchel helpe," Chaucer's Prologue, 258.

493. To hunt the panther and the hart] This seems a curious combination




of quarries, like hunting the hunted. It may have a symbolic meaning,-the panther signifying Tamora and the hart Lavinia, -as the latter is clearly spoken of as a doe by Chiron and Demetrius. The panther is not mentioned in any other play attributed to Shakespeare. Is it possible that here Dryden got the suggestion for his Hind and the Panther?

495. gramercy] from "grand merci," like the modern" many thanks."


SCENE I.-Rome. Before the Palace.

Enter AARON.

Aar. Now climbeth Tamora Olympus' top,
Safe out of fortune's shot; and sits aloft,
Secure of thunder's crack or lightning flash,
Advanc'd above pale envy's threat'ning reach.
As when the golden sun salutes the morn,
And, having gilt the ocean with his beams,
Gallops the zodiac in his glistering coach,
And overlooks the highest-peering hills;
So Tamora.

1. Now climbeth Tamora, etc.] It is
highly characteristic of Shakespeare's
irony to put his fine speeches into the
mouths of his bad or inferior characters.
So, in this play, Tamora and Aaron
have all the best of the poetic rhetoric.
The versification is good, especially in
its subtle and effective use of allitera-
tion, and the broken lines are char-
acteristic of Shakespeare. The use of
the homely word "coach" where a
modern would say 66
car" or "chariot,"
if not confined to Shakespeare, is paral-
leled in him by a kindred use of waggon
and cart in a similar sense, as "Phoebus'
cart" in Hamlet, 111. ii. 165, and
"Queen Mab's waggon" in Romeo
and Juliet, 1. iv. 59.

3. Secure of] safe from.

3. crack] explosion, loud noise (cf. modern "cracker "), Tempest, 1. ii. 203; "crack of doom," Antony, v. i. 15. A form of "crash," and probably an onomatopoeic word; also in the sense of a "charge" of powder, Macbeth, 1. ii. 37. 4. Advanc'd] raised. Tempest, I. ii. 408; of standards, Merry Wives, III. iv. 85.


4. envy's] Here rather in the sense of hate or malice. Tempest, 1. ii. 259, etc.; cf. Bible (1611), Mark xv. 10 (New Eng. Dict.). See Introduction, P. xiv.


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7. Gallops] gallop over. Nashe, 1590, in title of First Parte of Pasquil's Apologie, gallops the field New Eng. Dict. This seems a reminiscence of an expression of George Peele's (Anglorum Feria, Bullen, vol. ii. p. 344), gallops the zodiac in his fiery wain." This proves nothing, of course, against Shakespeare's authorship, as he never seems to have hesitated in appropriating what he considered suitable from his predecessors or contemporaries. But I greatly doubt whether these appropriations were so deliberate and intentional as some commentators seem to think, and I believe they were frequently unconscious in the first instance. See Introduction, p. xiv. I am indebted to Mr. Craig for this reference.

8. overlook] to look down on. Venus, 178; King John, 11. 344.

Upon her wit doth earthly honour wait,

And virtue stoops and trembles at her frown.
Then, Aaron, arm thy heart, and fit thy thoughts
To mount aloft with thy imperial mistress,
And mount her pitch, whom thou in triumph long
Hast prisoner held, fetter'd in amorous chains,
And faster bound to Aaron's charming eyes
Than is Prometheus tied to Caucasus.
Away with slavish weeds and servile thoughts!
I will be bright, and shine in pearl and gold,
To wait upon this new-made empress.
To wait, said I? to wanton with this queen,
This goddess, this Semiramis, this nymph,
This siren, that will charm Rome's Saturnine,
And see his shipwreck and his commonweal's.
Holla! what storm is this?

Enter DEMETRIUS and CHIRON, braving.
Dem. Chiron, thy years want wit, thy wit wants edge,
And manners, to intrude where I am grac'd,
And may, for aught thou know'st, affected be.

10. wit] Warburton suggests "will," but Johnson very properly defends "wit" as characteristic of Tamora.

14. pitch] A hawking phrase frequent in Shakespeare, meaning the height to which a hawk soars before striking down on her prey. 1 Henry VI. II. iv. 11; Julius Cæsar, 1. i. 78.

17. Prometheus] Another instance of the author's familiarity with classic myth and story; but no proof of familiarity at first hand with the Prometheus of Eschylus. But see Churton Collins, Fortnightly Review, 1903, April, May, July.

22. nymph] The 1611 Q and F 1 have "queen," an obvious error.





25. braving] defying each other. Lucrece, 40; Taming of the Shrew, IV.

iii. 126.

26. Chiron, thy years want wit, etc.] Demetrius, from the order in which the brothers' names stand among the list of Dramatis Persona, must have been the elder, so that the meaning is that he, Chiron, is immature both in age and wit, and that it is therefore presumptuous of him to enter into rivalry with his elder brother.

27. grac'd favoured. Two Gentlemen, 1. iii. 58; Spenser, Faerie Queene, I. x. 64.

28. affected] loved. Love's Labours' Lost, 1. ii. 92.

Chi. Demetrius, thou dost overween in all,

And so in this, to bear me down with braves.
'Tis not the difference of a year or two


Makes me less gracious or thee more fortunate:
I am as able and as fit as thou

To serve, and to deserve my mistress' grace;
And that my sword upon thee shall approve,
And plead my passions for Lavinia's love.
Aar. Clubs, clubs! these lovers will not keep the peace.
Dem. Why, boy, although our mother, unadvis'd,

Gave you a dancing-rapier by your side,


Are you so desperate grown, to threat your friends? 40 Go to; have your lath glued within your sheath Till you know better how to handle it. Chi. Meanwhile, sir, with the little skill I have,

Full well shalt thou perceive how much I dare. Dem. Ay, boy, grow ye so brave?


[They draw.

Why, how now, lords! 45
So near the emperor's palace dare you draw,
And maintain such a quarrel openly?
Full well I wot the ground of all this grudge:
I would not for a million of gold

The cause were known to them it most concerns;
Nor would your noble mother for much more
Be so dishonour'd in the court of Rome.

For shame, put up.

37. Clubs, clubs!] The cry raised when any brawl arose for the watchman and others to separate the combatants with clubs. It became the rallying cry of the London apprentices. Romeo, I. i. 80.

39. dancing- rapier] one worn for ornament rather than use. Cf. Scott's "carpet knight" in The Lady of the


Lake; also, "no sword worn but one
to dance with," All's Well, II. i. 33.
Steevens cites " dancing rapier" from
Greene's Quip for an Upstart Courtier.
See also Antony, 111. ii. 36.

49. million] a trisyllable.

53. put up] sheathe your weapon. Henry V. 11. i. 109. See above.


Not I, till I have sheath'd

My rapier in his bosom, and withal

Thrust those reproachful speeches down his throat 55
That he hath breath'd in my dishonour here.
Chi. For that I am prepar'd and full resolv'd,

Foul-spoken coward, that thunder'st with thy tongue,
And with thy weapon nothing dar'st perform!

Aar. Away, I say!


Now, by the gods that war-like Goths adore,
This petty brabble will undo us all.

Why, lords, and think you not how dangerous

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Young lords, beware! an should the empress know
This discord's ground, the music would not please. 70

Chi. I care not, I, knew she and all the world:

I love Lavinia more than all the world.

Dem. Youngling, learn thou to make some meaner choice: Lavinia is thine elder brother's hope.

53. Not I] It seems likely, as Warburton suggests, that this speech should be given to Chiron and the next to Demetrius. Aaron's speech being interjected, it is natural that Chiron should reply to his brother's taunt, Ay, boy, grow ye so brave?"

58. thunder'st] Steevens, who seems to think no Elizabethan can have a phrase or idea not borrowed from Latin or Greek, quotes from Virgil's Eneid, xi. 383. One would like to know whence comes the phrase "thunder'st in the index," Hamlet, III. iv. 52!

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62. brabble] wrangle, squabble. Cf. Merry Wives, 1. i. 56, and Henry V. IV. viii. 69, pribbles and prabbles, being the Welsh dialect for "bribbles and brabbles." Both these words seem formed by onomatopoea, though they may be connected with "babble' (Babel), "prattle," "brattle," and words of that class. Milton, Church Dis. ii., 1851, 54, "a surplicebrabble."

64. jet] to encroach on. Some editors gloss "jut," which is quite unnecessary. Richard III. 11. iv. 51.

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