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His WIFE is brought in.

Gent. See, here she comes of herself.

Wife. O my sweet husband, my dear distressed husband, Now in the hands of unrelenting laws,

My greatest sorrow, my extremest bleeding;

Now my soul bleeds.

Hus. How now? Kind to me? Did I not wound thee?
Left thee for dead?

Wife. Tut, far, far greater wounds did my breast feel;
Unkindness strikes a deeper wound than steel.
You have been still unkind to me.

Hus. 'Faith, and so I think I have;
I did my murders roughly out of hand,
Desperate and sudden; but thou hast devised

A fine way now to kill me: thou hast given mine eyes
Seven wounds apiece. Now glides the devil from me,
Departs at every joint; heaves up my nails.

O catch him torments that were ne'er invented!
Bind him one thousand more,* you blessed angels,
In that pit bottomless! Let him not rise
To make men act unnatural tragedies;
To spread into a father, and in fury

Make him his children's executioner;

Murder his wife, his servants, and who not ?

For that man's dark, where heaven is quite forgot.

Wife. O my repentant husband!

Hus. O my dear soul, whom I too much have wrong'd: For death I die, and for this have I long'd.

Wife. Thou shouldst not, be assured, for these faults die.
If the law could forgive as soon as I.

Hus. What sight is yonder?
Wife. O, our two bleeding boys,

Laid forth upon the threshold.

[The two children laid out.

Hus. Here's weight enough to make a heart-string crack.

O were it lawful that your pretty souls

Might look from heaven into your father's eyes,

Then should you see the penitent glasses melt,

And both your murders shoot upon my cheeks!†
But you are playing in the angels' laps,
And will not look on me, who, void of grace,
Kill'd you in beggary.

O that I might my wishes now attain,

I should then wish you living were again,

Though I did beg with you, which thing I fear'd:

O, 'twas the enemy my eyes so blear❜d!

O, would you could pray heaven me to forgive,

That will unto my end repentant live!

I. e. years.

† I. e. blushes or tears for your murders dart along my cheeks.
I. e. the devil, who so deceived me.

Wife. It makes me e'en forget all other sorrows, And live apart with this.

Offi. Come, will you go?

Hus. I'll kiss the blood I spilt, and then I'll go :
My soul is bloodied, well may my lips be so.
Farewell, dear wife; now thou and I must part;
I of thy wrongs repent me with my heart.
Wife. O stay; thou shalt not go.

Hus. That's but in vain; you see it must be so.
Farewell ye bloody ashes of my boys!
My punishments are their eternal joys.*
Let every father look into my deeds,

And then their heirs may prosper, while mine bleeds.

[Exeunt HUSBAND and OFFICERS.

Wife. More wretched am I now in this distress, Than former sorrows made me.

Mast. O kind wife,

Be comforted; one joy is yet unmurder'd;
You have a boy at nurse; your joy's in him.

Wife. Dearer than all is my poor husband's life.
Heaven give my body strength, which is yet faint
With much expense of blood, and I will kneel,
Sue for his life, number up all my friends

To plead for pardon for my dear husband's life.

Mast. Was it in man to wound so kind a creature ?

I'll ever praise a woman for thy sake.

I must return with grief; my answer's set;†

I shall bring news weighs heavier than the debt.

Two brothers, one in bond lies overthrown,

This on a deadlier execution.

[Exeunt omnes.

I. e. that for which I shall be punished, has proved their introduction

to everlasting happiness.

† I. e. fixed, settled.

TITUS ANDRONICUS.

TITUS ANDRONICUS.

THE preponderance of criticism is altogether opposed to the admission of this play among the undoubted works of Shakspeare. The most probable statement connecting our author with the play is that made by Ravenscroft, who, in the preface to an alteration of the tragedy, published in 1687, says that he had been "told by some anciently conversant with the stage, that it was not originally Shakspeare's, but brought by a private author to be acted; he only gave some master touches to one or two of the principal parts or characters."

"Titus Andronicus," observes Hazlitt, "is certainly as unlike Shakspeare's usual style as it is possible. It is an accumulation of vulgar physical horrors, in which the power exercised by the poet bears no proportion to the repugnance excited by the subject."

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