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And faster bound to Aaron's charming eyes,
Than is Prometheus tied to Caucasus.
Away with slavish weeds, and idle thoughts!"
I will be bright, and shine in pearl and gold,
To wait upon this new-made emperess.
To wait, said I? to wanton with this
This goddess, this Semiramis;-this queen,'
This syren, that will charm Rome's Saturnine,
And see his shipwreck, and his commonweal's.
Holla! what storm is this?


Enter CHIRON and DEMETRIUS, braving.

DEM. Chiron, thy years want wit, thy wit wants edge,

And manners, to intrude where I am grac'd;
may, for aught thou know'st, affected be.
CHI. Demetrius, thou dost over-ween 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, 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.

idle thoughts!] Edit. 1600:-servile thoughts, the better reading, I think. TODD.

9 this queen,] The compositor probably repeated the word queen inadvertently; [see the preceding line:] what was the poet's word, it is hardly worth while to conjecture.


This goddess, this Semiramis;-this queen,] Mr. Malone notices the inadvertent repetition of queen, but thinks the poet's word not worth a conjecture. The edition 1600 saves the trouble, as it reads:

This goddesse, this Semerimis, this nymph. TODD.

AAR. Clubs, clubs!' these lovers will not keep the peace.

DEM. Why, boy, although our mother, unad


Gave you a dancing-rapier by your side,


Are you so desperate grown, to threat your friends? Go to; have your lath glued within your sheath, Till you know better how to handle it.

CHI. Mean while, 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. AAR. Why, how now, lords? 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.


Not I; till I have sheath'd3

' Clubs, clubs!] So, in King Henry VIII: "and hit that woman, who cried out, clubs!"

This was the usual outcry for assistance, when any riot in the street happened. STEEVENS.

See Vol. VIII. p. 166, n. 3; and Vol. XIII. p. 35, n. 6.

REED. 2a dancing-rapier by your side,] So, in Greene's Quip for an Upstart Courtier: "one of them carrying his cuttingsword of choller, the other his dancing-rapier of delight. Again, in All's well that ends well:

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no sword worn,

"But one to dance with."


See Vol. VIII. p. 257, n. 2. MALONE.

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Not, 1; till I have sheath'd &c.] This speech, which has been all along given to Demetrius, as the next to Chiron, were

My rapier in his bosom, and, withal,

Thrust these reproachful speeches down his throat, 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 5 tongue,

And with thy weapon nothing dar'st perform.
AAR. Away, I say.-

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

Why, lords, and think you not how dangerous
It is to jut upon a prince's right?

What, is Lavinia then become so loose,

Or Bassianus so degenerate,

That for her love such quarrels may be broach'd, Without controlment, justice, or revenge?

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

AAR. Why, are ye mad? or know ye not, in Rome

How furious and impatient they be,

And cannot brook competitors in love?

both given to the wrong speaker; for it was Demetrius that had thrown out the reproachful speeches on the other.


these reproachful-] Edition 1600:-those reproach

ful. TODD.

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thunder'st with thy tongue,] This phrase appears to

have been adopted from Virgil, Æneid XI. 383: "Proinde tona eloquio solitum tibi;

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I tell you, lords, you do but plot your deaths
By this device.


Aaron, a thousand deaths


Would I propose, to achieve her whom I love. AAR. To achieve her!-How?


Why mak'st thou it so strange?

She is a woman, therefore may be woo'd;
She is a woman, therefore may be won;"

a thousand deaths

Would I propose,] Whether Chiron means he would contrive a thousand deaths for others, or imagine as many cruel ones for himself, I am unable to determine. STEEVENS.

Aaron's words, to which these are an answer, seem to lead to the latter interpretation. MALOne.

7 She is a woman, therefore may be woo'd;

She is a woman, therefore may be won;] These two lines occur, with very little variation, in the First Part of King Henry VI:

"She's beautiful, and therefore to be woo'd;

"She is a woman, therefore to be won."

This coincidence may lead one to suspect that the author of the present play was also author of the original Henry VI. I do not, indeed, conceive either to be the production of Shakspeare; for, though his hand is sufficiently visible in some parts of the other play, particularly in the second scene of the fourth Act, there does not appear a single line in this, which can have any pretensions to that honour: and therefore the testimony of Meres and the publication of the players must necessarily yield to the force of intrinsick and circumstantial evidence. It is much to be regretted that the dramatick works of our earliest tragick writers, as Greene and Peele, for instance, and "sporting Kyd," and "Marlowe's mighty line," are not collected and published together, if it were only to enable the readers of Shakspeare to discriminate between his style and that of which he found the stage, and has left some of his dramas, in possession; and of which I consider this play, and at least four fifths of the First Part of King Henry VI. (including the whole of the first Act) the performances, no doubt, of one or other of the writers al ready named, as a genuine and not unfavourable specimen. Indeed, I should take Kyd to have been the author of Titus

She is Lavinia, therefore must be lov'd.
What, man! more water glideth by the mills
Than wots the miller of; and easy it is
Of a cut loaf to steal a shive,9 we know:
Though Bassianus be the emperor's brother,
Better than he have yet worn1 Vulcan's badge.

AAR. Ay, and as good as Saturninus may.

[Aside. DEM. Then why should he despair, that knows to court it

With words, fair looks, and liberality?
What, hast thou not full often struck a doe,2
And borne her cleanly by the keeper's nose?

Andronicus, because he seems to delight in murders and scraps of Latin; though I must confess that, in the first of those good qualities, Marlowe's Jew of Malta may fairly dispute precedence with the Spanish Tragedy. Some few of the obsolete dramas I allude to, are, it is true, to be found in the collections of Dodsley and Hawkins: though I could wish that each of those gentlemen had confined his researches to the further side of the year 1600. Future editors will, doubtless, agree in ejecting a performance by which their author's name is dishonoured, and his works are disgraced. RITSON.


more water glideth by the mill &c.] A Scots proverb: "Mickle water goes by the miller when he sleeps." "Non omnem molitor quæ fluit unda videt."



to steal a shive,] A shive is a slice. So, in the tale of Argentile and Curan, in Warner's Albion's England, 1602: "A sheeve of bread as browne as nut.'

Demetrius is again indebted to a Scots proverb:


"It is safe taking a shive of a cut loaf." STEEvens.

have yet worn-] Worn is here used as a dissyllable. The modern editors, however, after the second folio, read-have yet worn. MALONE.

Let him who can read worn as a dissyllable, read it so. As I am not of that description, I must continue to follow the second folio. STEEvens.

-struck a doe,] Mr. Holt is willing to infer from this

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