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ANNOTATIONS

U PON

TITUS ANDRONICUS.

ACT 1,

Line 70. Hall, Rome, vitlorious in thy mourning

weeds !] We may suppose the Romans in a grateful ceremony, meeting the dead sons of Andro. nicus with mournful habits.

JOHNSON. Or that they were in mourning for their emperor, who was just dead.

STEEVENS. 77. Thou great defender of this Capitol,] Jupiter, to whom the Capitol was sacred.

JOHNSON Nor we disturb'd by prodigies on earth.] It was supposed by the ancients, that the ghosts of unburied A ij

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101.

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people appeared to their friends and relations, to solicit the rites of funeral.

STEEN ENS. 117. Wilt thou draw near the nature of the gods?

Draw near them then in being merciful:] Homi. nes enim ad deos nulla re propius accedunt, quam salutem hominibus dando." Cicero pro Ligario.

From this passage Mr. Whalley infers the learning of Shakspere, but our author might have found a translation of it in England's Parnassus. STEEVENS.

121. Patient yourself, &c.] This verb is used by other dramatick writers. So, in Arden of Feversham, 1592 :

" Patient yourself, we cannot help it now." Again, in K. Edward I. 1599 : Patient your highness, 'tis but mother's love."

STEEVENS. 136. The self same gods, that arm'd the queen of Troy

With opportunity of sharp revenge

Upon the Thracian tyrant in his tent, &c.] -I read, against the authority of all the copies :

-in her tent. i, e, in the tent where she and the other Trojan captive women were kept; for thither Hecuba by a wile had decoyed Polymnestor, in order to perpetrate her revenge. This we may learn from Euripides' Hecuba ; the only author, that I can at present remem. ber, from whom our writer must have gleaned this circumstance.

THEOBALD. The writer of the play, whoever he was,i might have been misled by the passage in Ovid: Metam. xiii.

"_yadit

6 vadit ad artificem," and therefore took it for granted that she found him in his tent. STEEVENS.

168. And fame's eternal date, for virtue's praise ! ] To outlive an eternal date, is, though not philosophical, yet poetical sense, He wishes that her life may be Jonger than his, and her praise longer than fame.

JOHNSON. 189. don this robe, &c.] i. e. do on this robe, put it on

STEEVENS. 272. Lav. Not I, my lord;] It was pity to part a couple who seem to have corresponded in disposition so exactly as Saturninus and Lavinia. Saturninus, who has just promised to espouse her, already wishes he were to choose again; and she who was engaged to Bassianus (whom she afterwards mar

sies) expresses no reluctance when her father gives her to Saturninus. Her subsequent raillery to Tamora is of so coarse a nature, that if her tongue had been all she was condemned to lose, perhaps the author (whoever he was) might have escaped censure on the score of poetick justice.

STEE VENS, - 313. changing-piece,] Spoken of Lavinia. 9. Piece was then, as it is now, used personally as a word of contempt.

JOHNSON. So in Britania's Pastorals by Brown, 1613 : 1975 her husband, weaken'd piece, : ; 5 Must have his cullis mix'd with ambergrease : 1 sd Phesant and partridge into jelly turn'd, * Grated with gold.”:

STEEVENS,

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317. To ruffle in the commonwealth of Rome.] Á
ruffler was a kind of cheating bully; and is so called
in a statute made for the punishment of vagabonds in
the 27th year of K. Henry VIII. See Greene's Ground.
work of Coney-catching, 1592. Hence, I suppose, this
sense of the verb, to ruffle. Rufflers are likewise enu.
merated among other vagabonds, by Holinshed,
Vol. I. p. 113.

STEEVENS.
383. - The Greeks, upon advice, did bury Ajax

That slew himself; and wise Laertes' son

Did graciously plead for his funerals:) This
passage alone would sufficiently convince me, that the
play before us was the work of one who was conver-
sant with the Greek tragedies in their original lan-
guage. We have here a plain allusion to the Ajax of
Sophocles, of which no translation was extant in the
time of Shakspere. In thar piece, Agameninon con
sents at last to allow Ajax the rites of sepulture, and
Ulysses is the pleader, whose arguments prevail in
favour of his rernains.

STEEVENS.
394: No man shed tears, &c ] This is evidently a
translation of the distich of Ennius :

Nemo me lacrumeis decoret : nec funera fletu
Facsit. quuri volito vivu' per ora virûm.

STEEVENS.

ACT

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Line 1. In the quarto, the direction is, Manet Aaron, and he is before made to enter with Tamora, though he says nothing. This scene ought to continue the first act.

JOHNSON 55. Not l; till I have sheath'd, &c.} This speech, which has been all along given to Demetrius, as the next to Chiron, were both given to the wrong speaker; for it was Demetrius that had thrown out the reproachful speeches on the other.

WARBURTON: 82. a thousand deaths would I propose,] Whes ther Chiron means he would contrive a thousand deaths for others, or imagine as many cruel ones for himself, I am unable to determine.'

3 STEEV ENS. 86. - She is a woman, therefore may be woo'd ;

She is a woman, therefore may be won; ] Sufs folk, in the First Part of King Henry VI. makes use of almost the same words:

“ She's beautiful, and therefore to be wbo'd : " She is a woman ; therefore to be won.”

REMARKS. 89. more water glideth by the mill, &c.] A Scottish proverb : “ Mickle water goes by the miller when he sleeps."

STEEVENS.

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