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Titus Andronicus overflows with death and violence. Twenty-one sons of the Roman general Titus Andronicus have died in battle, leaving four alive. After defeating the Goths, Titus permits the sacrifice of the oldest son of their queen, Tamora.
Titus helps Saturninus become emperor. Saturninus plans to marry Titus’s daughter, Lavinia. Instead, she marries Bassianus, aided by Titus’s sons, one of whom Titus kills. Saturninus then marries Tamora. The stage is set for multiple revenge plots.
Tamora’s lover, Aaron the Moor, instructs her two sons to kill Bassianus, then falsely implicates two of Titus’s sons. Tamora’s sons also rape Lavinia, cutting off her tongue and hands. To save his sons from execution, Titus cuts off his own hand, but Aaron sends him their heads.
Lucius, Titus’s last son, leads an army of Goths against Rome. Titus kills Tamora’s sons and serves them to her in a pie. In the ensuing events, Lavinia, Tamora, Titus, and Saturninus all die. Lucius becomes emperor and sentences Aaron to death.
Andronicus⌝) and Senators aloft. And then enter, ⌜below,⌝
Saturninus and his followers at one door, and
Bassianus and his followers ⌜at another door,⌝ with
⌜other Romans,⌝ Drums, and Trumpets.
0001 Noble patricians, patrons of my right,
0002 Defend the justice of my cause with arms.
0003 And countrymen, my loving followers,
0004 Plead my successive title with your swords.
0005 5 I am his firstborn son that was the last
0006 That wore the imperial diadem of Rome.
0007 Then let my father’s honors live in me,
0008 Nor wrong mine age with this indignity.
0009 Romans, friends, followers, favorers of my right,
0010 10 If ever Bassianus, Caesar’s son,
0011 Were gracious in the eyes of royal Rome,
0012 Keep, then, this passage to the Capitol,
0013 And suffer not dishonor to approach
0014 The imperial seat, to virtue consecrate,
0015 15 To justice, continence, and nobility;
0016 But let desert in pure election shine,
0017 And, Romans, fight for freedom in your choice.
0018 Princes that strive by factions and by friends
0019 Ambitiously for rule and empery,
0020 20 Know that the people of Rome, for whom we stand
0021 A special party, have by common voice,
0022 In election for the Roman empery,
0023 Chosen Andronicus, surnamèd Pius
0024 For many good and great deserts to Rome.
0025 25 A nobler man, a braver warrior,
0026 Lives not this day within the city walls.
0027 He by the Senate is accited home
0028 From weary wars against the barbarous Goths,
0029 That with his sons, a terror to our foes,
0030 30 Hath yoked a nation strong, trained up in arms.
0031 Ten years are spent since first he undertook
0032 This cause of Rome, and chastisèd with arms
0033 Our enemies’ pride. Five times he hath returned
0034 Bleeding to Rome, bearing his valiant sons
0035 35 In coffins from the field.
0036 And now at last, laden with honor’s spoils,
0037 Returns the good Andronicus to Rome,
0038 Renownèd Titus flourishing in arms.
0039 Let us entreat, by honor of his name
0040 40 Whom worthily you would have now succeed,
0041 And in the Capitol and Senate’s right,
0042 Whom you pretend to honor and adore,
0043 That you withdraw you and abate your strength,
0044 Dismiss your followers and, as suitors should,
0045 45 Plead your deserts in peace and humbleness.
0046 How fair the tribune speaks to calm my thoughts!
0047 Marcus Andronicus, so I do affy
0048 In thy uprightness and integrity,
0050 50 Thy noble brother Titus and his sons,
0051 And her to whom my thoughts are humbled all,
0052 Gracious Lavinia, Rome’s rich ornament,
0053 That I will here dismiss my loving friends,
0054 And to my fortunes and the people’s favor
0055 55 Commit my cause in balance to be weighed.
⌜Bassianus’⌝ Soldiers exit.
0056 Friends that have been thus forward in my right,
0057 I thank you all and here dismiss you all,
0058 And to the love and favor of my country
0059 Commit myself, my person, and the cause.
⌜Saturninus’ Soldiers exit.⌝
0060 60 Rome, be as just and gracious unto me
0061 As I am confident and kind to thee.
0062 Open the gates and let me in.
0063 Tribunes, and me, a poor competitor.
⟨Flourish.⟩ They ⌜exit to⌝ go up into the Senate House.
⌜The Tribunes and Senators exit from the upper stage.⌝
Enter a Captain.
0064 Romans, make way! The good Andronicus,
0065 65 Patron of virtue, Rome’s best champion,
0066 Successful in the battles that he fights,
0067 With honor and with fortune is returned
0068 From where he circumscribèd with his sword
0069 And brought to yoke the enemies of Rome.
Sound drums and trumpets, and then enter two of Titus’
sons (⌜Lucius and Mutius⌝) and then two men bearing a
coffin covered with black, then two other sons (⌜Martius
and Quintus⌝), then Titus Andronicus, and then Tamora
the Queen of Goths and her sons ⌜Alarbus,⌝ Chiron and
can be, then set down the coffin, and Titus speaks.
0070 70 Hail Rome, victorious in thy mourning weeds!
0071 Lo, as the bark that hath discharged his fraught
0072 Returns with precious lading to the bay
0073 From whence at first she weighed her anchorage,
0074 Cometh Andronicus, bound with laurel boughs,
0075 75 To resalute his country with his tears,
0076 Tears of true joy for his return to Rome.
0077 Thou great defender of this Capitol,
0078 Stand gracious to the rites that we intend.
0079 Romans, of five-and-twenty valiant sons,
0080 80 Half of the number that King Priam had,
0081 Behold the poor remains alive and dead.
0082 These that survive let Rome reward with love;
0083 These that I bring unto their latest home,
0084 With burial amongst their ancestors.
0085 85 Here Goths have given me leave to sheathe my sword.
0086 Titus, unkind and careless of thine own,
0087 Why suffer’st thou thy sons unburied yet
0088 To hover on the dreadful shore of Styx?
0089 Make way to lay them by their brethren.
They open the tomb.
0090 90 There greet in silence, as the dead are wont,
0091 And sleep in peace, slain in your country’s wars.
0092 O sacred receptacle of my joys,
0093 Sweet cell of virtue and nobility,
0094 How many sons hast thou of mine in store
0095 95 That thou wilt never render to me more?
0096 Give us the proudest prisoner of the Goths,
0097 That we may hew his limbs and on a pile,
0098 Ad manes fratrum, sacrifice his flesh
0099 Before this earthy prison of their bones,
0100 100 That so the shadows be not unappeased,
0101 Nor we disturbed with prodigies on Earth.
0102 I give him you, the noblest that survives,
0103 The eldest son of this distressèd queen.
0104 Stay, Roman brethren!—Gracious conqueror,
0105 105 Victorious Titus, rue the tears I shed,
0106 A mother’s tears in passion for her son.
0107 And if thy sons were ever dear to thee,
0108 O think my son to be as dear to me.
0109 Sufficeth not that we are brought to Rome
0110 110 To beautify thy triumphs and return
0111 Captive to thee and to thy Roman yoke,
0112 But must my sons be slaughtered in the streets
0113 For valiant doings in their country’s cause?
0114 O, if to fight for king and commonweal
0115 115 Were piety in thine, it is in these!
0116 Andronicus, stain not thy tomb with blood.
0117 Wilt thou draw near the nature of the gods?
0118 Draw near them then in being merciful.
0119 Sweet mercy is nobility’s true badge.
0120 120 Thrice-noble Titus, spare my first-born son.
0121 Patient yourself, madam, and pardon me.
0122 These are their brethren whom your Goths beheld
0123 Alive and dead, and for their brethren slain
0124 Religiously they ask a sacrifice.
0125 125 To this your son is marked, and die he must,
0126 T’ appease their groaning shadows that are gone.
0127 Away with him, and make a fire straight,
0128 And with our swords upon a pile of wood
0129 Let’s hew his limbs till they be clean consumed.
Exit Titus’ sons with Alarbus.
0130 130 O cruel, irreligious piety!
CHIRON, ⌜aside to Tamora and Demetrius⌝
0131 Was never Scythia half so barbarous!
DEMETRIUS, ⌜aside to Tamora and Chiron⌝
0132 Oppose not Scythia to ambitious Rome!
0133 Alarbus goes to rest and we survive
0134 To tremble under Titus’ threat’ning look.
0135 135 Then, madam, stand resolved, but hope withal
0136 The selfsame gods that armed the Queen of Troy
0137 With opportunity of sharp revenge
0138 Upon the Thracian tyrant in his tent
0139 May favor Tamora the Queen of Goths
0140 140 (When Goths were Goths, and Tamora was queen)
0141 To quit the bloody wrongs upon her foes.
Enter the sons of Andronicus again ⌜with bloody swords.⌝
0142 See, lord and father, how we have performed
0143 Our Roman rites. Alarbus’ limbs are lopped,
0144 And entrails feed the sacrificing fire,
0145 145 Whose smoke like incense doth perfume the sky.
0146 Remaineth naught but to inter our brethren,
0147 And with loud larums welcome them to Rome.
0148 Let it be so. And let Andronicus
0149 Make this his latest farewell to their souls.
Sound trumpets, and lay the coffin in the tomb.
0150 150 In peace and honor rest you here, my sons,
0151 Rome’s readiest champions, repose you here in rest,
0152 Secure from worldly chances and mishaps.
0153 Here lurks no treason, here no envy swells,
0154 Here grow no damnèd drugs; here are no storms,
0155 155 No noise, but silence and eternal sleep.
0156 In peace and honor rest you here, my sons.
0157 In peace and honor live Lord Titus long;
0158 My noble lord and father, live in fame.
0159 Lo, at this tomb my tributary tears
0160 160 I render for my brethren’s obsequies,
0161 And at thy feet I kneel, with tears of joy
0162 Shed on this earth for thy return to Rome.
0163 O bless me here with thy victorious hand,
0164 Whose fortunes Rome’s best citizens applaud.
0165 165 Kind Rome, that hast thus lovingly reserved
0166 The cordial of mine age to glad my heart!—
0167 Lavinia, live, outlive thy father’s days
0168 And fame’s eternal date, for virtue’s praise.
⌜Enter Marcus Andronicus, carrying a white robe.
Enter aloft Saturninus, Bassianus, Tribunes, Senators,
0169 Long live Lord Titus, my belovèd brother,
0170 170 Gracious triumpher in the eyes of Rome.
0171 Thanks, gentle tribune, noble brother Marcus.
0172 And welcome, nephews, from successful wars—
0173 You that survive, and you that sleep in fame.
0174 Fair lords, your fortunes are alike in all,
0175 175 That in your country’s service drew your swords;
0176 But safer triumph is this funeral pomp,
0177 That hath aspired to Solon’s happiness,
0178 And triumphs over chance in honor’s bed.—
0179 Titus Andronicus, the people of Rome,
0180 180 Whose friend in justice thou hast ever been,
0181 Send thee by me, their tribune and their trust,
0182 This palliament of white and spotless hue,
0184 With these our late deceasèd emperor’s sons.
0185 185 Be candidatus, then, and put it on
0186 And help to set a head on headless Rome.
0187 A better head her glorious body fits
0188 Than his that shakes for age and feebleness.
0189 ⌜To Tribunes and Senators aloft.⌝ What, should I don
0190 190 this robe and trouble you?
0191 Be chosen with proclamations today,
0192 Tomorrow yield up rule, resign my life,
0193 And set abroad new business for you all?
0194 Rome, I have been thy soldier forty years,
0195 195 And led my country’s strength successfully,
0196 And buried one and twenty valiant sons,
0197 Knighted in field, slain manfully in arms,
0198 In right and service of their noble country.
0199 Give me a staff of honor for mine age,
0200 200 But not a scepter to control the world.
0201 Upright he held it, lords, that held it last.
0202 Titus, thou shalt obtain and ask the empery.
0203 Proud and ambitious tribune, canst thou tell?
TITUS 0204 Patience, Prince Saturninus.
SATURNINUS 0205 205Romans, do me right.
0206 Patricians, draw your swords and sheathe them not
0207 Till Saturninus be Rome’s emperor.—
0208 Andronicus, would thou were shipped to hell
0209 Rather than rob me of the people’s hearts.
0210 210 Proud Saturnine, interrupter of the good
0211 That noble-minded Titus means to thee.
0212 Content thee, prince. I will restore to thee
0213 The people’s hearts and wean them from themselves.
0214 Andronicus, I do not flatter thee,
0215 215 But honor thee, and will do till I die.
0216 My faction if thou strengthen with thy friends,
0217 I will most thankful be, and thanks, to men
0218 Of noble minds, is honorable meed.
0219 People of Rome, and people’s tribunes here,
0220 220 I ask your voices and your suffrages.
0221 Will you bestow them friendly on Andronicus?
0222 To gratify the good Andronicus
0223 And gratulate his safe return to Rome,
0224 The people will accept whom he admits.
0225 225 Tribunes, I thank you, and this suit I make:
0226 That you create our emperor’s eldest son,
0227 Lord Saturnine, whose virtues will, I hope,
0228 Reflect on Rome as ⌜Titan’s⌝ rays on Earth
0229 And ripen justice in this commonweal.
0230 230 Then, if you will elect by my advice,
0231 Crown him and say “Long live our emperor.”
0232 With voices and applause of every sort,
0233 Patricians and plebeians, we create
0234 Lord Saturninus Rome’s great emperor,
0235 235 And say “Long live our Emperor Saturnine.”
⟨A long flourish till ⌜Saturninus, Bassianus,
and Guards⌝ come down.⟩
0236 Titus Andronicus, for thy favors done
0237 To us in our election this day,
0238 I give thee thanks in part of thy deserts,
0239 And will with deeds requite thy gentleness.
0240 240 And for an onset, Titus, to advance
0242 Lavinia will I make my empress,
0243 Rome’s royal mistress, mistress of my heart,
0244 And in the sacred ⌜Pantheon⌝ her espouse.
0245 245 Tell me, Andronicus, doth this motion please thee?
0246 It doth, my worthy lord, and in this match
0247 I hold me highly honored of your Grace;
0248 And here in sight of Rome to Saturnine,
0249 King and commander of our commonweal,
0250 250 The wide world’s emperor, do I consecrate
0251 My sword, my chariot, and my prisoners,
0252 Presents well worthy Rome’s imperious lord.
0253 Receive them, then, the tribute that I owe,
0254 Mine honor’s ensigns humbled at thy feet.
0255 255 Thanks, noble Titus, father of my life.
0256 How proud I am of thee and of thy gifts
0257 Rome shall record.—And when I do forget
0258 The least of these unspeakable deserts,
0259 Romans, forget your fealty to me.
TITUS, ⌜to Tamora⌝
0260 260 Now, madam, are you prisoner to an emperor,
0261 To him that for your honor and your state
0262 Will use you nobly, and your followers.
0263 A goodly lady, trust me, of the hue
0264 That I would choose, were I to choose anew.—
0265 265 Clear up, fair queen, that cloudy countenance.
0266 Though ⌜chance⌝ of war hath wrought this change
0267 of cheer,
0268 Thou com’st not to be made a scorn in Rome.
0269 Princely shall be thy usage every way.
0270 270 Rest on my word, and let not discontent
0271 Daunt all your hopes. Madam, he comforts you
0272 Can make you greater than the Queen of Goths.—
0273 Lavinia, you are not displeased with this?
0274 Not I, my lord, sith true nobility
0275 275 Warrants these words in princely courtesy.
0276 Thanks, sweet Lavinia.—Romans, let us go.
0277 Ransomless here we set our prisoners free.
0278 Proclaim our honors, lords, with trump and drum.
⌜Flourish. Saturninus and his Guards exit, with Drums
and Trumpets. Tribunes and Senators exit aloft.⌝
0279 Lord Titus, by your leave, this maid is mine.
0280 280 How, sir? Are you in earnest then, my lord?
0281 Ay, noble Titus, and resolved withal
0282 To do myself this reason and this right.
⌜Bassianus takes Lavinia by the arm.⌝
0283 Suum ⌜cuique⌝ is our Roman justice.
0284 This prince in justice seizeth but his own.
0285 285 And that he will and shall, if Lucius live!
0286 Traitors, avaunt! Where is the Emperor’s guard?
⌜Enter Saturninus and his Guards.⌝
0287 Treason, my lord. Lavinia is surprised.
0288 Surprised? By whom?
BASSIANUS 0289 By him that justly may
0290 290 Bear his betrothed from all the world away.
0291 Brothers, help to convey her hence away,
0292 And with my sword I’ll keep this door safe.
⌜Bassianus, Lavinia, Marcus, Lucius,
Quintus, and Martius exit.⌝
0293 Follow, my lord, and I’ll soon bring her back.
⌜Saturninus, Tamora, Demetrius, Chiron,
Aaron, and Guards exit.⌝
0294 My lord, you pass not here.
TITUS 0295 295 What, villain boy,
0296 Barr’st me my way in Rome?
⌜He stabs Mutius.⌝
MUTIUS 0297 Help, Lucius, help!
0298 My lord, you are unjust, and more than so!
0299 In wrongful quarrel you have slain your son.
0300 300 Nor thou nor he are any sons of mine.
0301 My sons would never so dishonor me.
0302 Traitor, restore Lavinia to the Emperor.
Enter aloft the Emperor ⌜Saturninus⌝ with Tamora
and her two sons and Aaron the Moor.
0303 Dead if you will, but not to be his wife
0304 That is another’s lawful promised love.⌜He exits.⌝
0305 305 No, Titus, no, the Emperor needs her not,
0306 Nor her, nor thee, nor any of thy stock.
0307 I’ll trust by leisure him that mocks me once,
0308 Thee never, nor thy traitorous haughty sons,
0309 Confederates all thus to dishonor me.
0310 310 Was none in Rome to make a stale
0311 But Saturnine? Full well, Andronicus,
0312 Agree these deeds with that proud brag of thine
0313 That said’st I begged the empire at thy hands.
0314 O monstrous! What reproachful words are these?
0315 315 But go thy ways. Go give that changing piece
0316 To him that flourished for her with his sword.
0317 A valiant son-in-law thou shalt enjoy,
0318 One fit to bandy with thy lawless sons,
0319 To ruffle in the commonwealth of Rome.
0320 320 These words are razors to my wounded heart.
0321 And therefore, lovely Tamora, Queen of Goths,
0322 That like the stately ⌜Phoebe⌝ ’mongst her nymphs
0323 Dost overshine the gallant’st dames of Rome,
0324 If thou be pleased with this my sudden choice,
0325 325 Behold, I choose thee, Tamora, for my bride,
0326 And will create thee Emperess of Rome.
0327 Speak, Queen of Goths, dost thou applaud my
0329 And here I swear by all the Roman gods,
0330 330 Sith priest and holy water are so near,
0331 And tapers burn so bright, and everything
0332 In readiness for Hymenaeus stand,
0333 I will not resalute the streets of Rome
0334 Or climb my palace till from forth this place
0335 335 I lead espoused my bride along with me.
0336 And here in sight of heaven to Rome I swear,
0337 If Saturnine advance the Queen of Goths,
0338 She will a handmaid be to his desires,
0339 A loving nurse, a mother to his youth.
0340 340 Ascend, fair queen, ⌜to Pantheon.⌝—Lords, accompany
0341 Your noble emperor and his lovely bride,
0342 Sent by the heavens for Prince Saturnine,
0344 There shall we consummate our spousal rites.
All ⌜but Titus⌝ exit.
0345 345 I am not bid to wait upon this bride.
0346 Titus, when wert thou wont to walk alone,
0347 Dishonored thus and challengèd of wrongs?
Enter Marcus and Titus’ sons ⌜Lucius, Martius,
0348 O Titus, see! O, see what thou hast done!
0349 In a bad quarrel slain a virtuous son.
0350 350 No, foolish tribune, no; no son of mine,
0351 Nor thou, nor these confederates in the deed
0352 That hath dishonored all our family.
0353 Unworthy brother and unworthy sons!
0354 But let us give him burial as becomes,
0355 355 Give Mutius burial with our brethren.
0356 Traitors, away! He rests not in this tomb.
0357 This monument five hundred years hath stood,
0358 Which I have sumptuously reedified.
0359 Here none but soldiers and Rome’s servitors
0360 360 Repose in fame, none basely slain in brawls.
0361 Bury him where you can. He comes not here.
0362 My lord, this is impiety in you.
0363 My nephew Mutius’ deeds do plead for him.
0364 He must be buried with his brethren.
0365 365 And shall, or him we will accompany.
0366 “And shall”? What villain was it spake that word?
0367 He that would vouch it in any place but here.
0368 What, would you bury him in my despite?
0369 No, noble Titus, but entreat of thee
0370 370 To pardon Mutius and to bury him.
0371 Marcus, even thou hast struck upon my crest,
0372 And with these boys mine honor thou hast wounded.
0373 My foes I do repute you every one.
0374 So trouble me no more, but get you gone.
0375 375 He is not with himself; let us withdraw.
0376 Not I, till Mutius’ bones be burièd.
The brother (⌜Marcus⌝) and the sons
(⌜Lucius, Martius, and Quintus⌝) kneel.
0377 Brother, for in that name doth nature plead—
0378 Father, and in that name doth nature speak—
0379 Speak thou no more, if all the rest will speed.
0380 380 Renownèd Titus, more than half my soul—
0381 Dear father, soul and substance of us all—
0382 Suffer thy brother Marcus to inter
0383 His noble nephew here in virtue’s nest,
0384 That died in honor and Lavinia’s cause.
0385 385 Thou art a Roman; be not barbarous.
0386 The Greeks upon advice did bury Ajax,
0387 That slew himself, and wise Laertes’ son
0388 Did graciously plead for his funerals.
0390 390 Be barred his entrance here.
TITUS 0391 Rise, Marcus, rise.
0392 The dismall’st day is this that e’er I saw,
0393 To be dishonored by my sons in Rome.
0394 Well, bury him, and bury me the next.
They put ⌜Mutius⌝ in the tomb.
0395 395 There lie thy bones, sweet Mutius, with thy friends’,
0396 Till we with trophies do adorn thy tomb.
They all ⌜except Titus⌝ kneel and say:
0397 No man shed tears for noble Mutius.
0398 He lives in fame, that died in virtue’s cause.
All but Marcus and Titus exit.
0399 My lord, to step out of these dreary dumps,
0400 400 How comes it that the subtle Queen of Goths
0401 Is of a sudden thus advanced in Rome?
0402 I know not, Marcus, but I know it is.
0403 Whether by device or no, the heavens can tell.
0404 Is she not then beholding to the man
0405 405 That brought her for this high good turn so far?
0406 ⟨Yes, and will nobly him remunerate.⟩
⟨Flourish.⟩ Enter the Emperor ⌜Saturninus,⌝ Tamora
and her two sons, with ⌜Aaron⌝ the Moor, ⌜Drums and
Trumpets,⌝ at one door. Enter at the other door
Bassianus and Lavinia, with ⌜Lucius, Martius, and
Quintus, and⌝ others.
0407 So, Bassianus, you have played your prize.
0408 God give you joy, sir, of your gallant bride.
0409 And you of yours, my lord. I say no more,
0410 410 Nor wish no less, and so I take my leave.
0411 Traitor, if Rome have law or we have power,
0412 Thou and thy faction shall repent this rape.
0413 “Rape” call you it, my lord, to seize my own,
0414 My true betrothèd love and now my wife?
0415 415 But let the laws of Rome determine all.
0416 Meanwhile am I possessed of that is mine.
0417 ’Tis good, sir, you are very short with us.
0418 But if we live, we’ll be as sharp with you.
0419 My lord, what I have done, as best I may,
0420 420 Answer I must, and shall do with my life.
0421 Only thus much I give your Grace to know:
0422 By all the duties that I owe to Rome,
0423 This noble gentleman, Lord Titus here,
0424 Is in opinion and in honor wronged,
0425 425 That in the rescue of Lavinia
0426 With his own hand did slay his youngest son,
0427 In zeal to you, and highly moved to wrath
0428 To be controlled in that he frankly gave.
0429 Receive him then to favor, Saturnine,
0430 430 That hath expressed himself in all his deeds
0431 A father and a friend to thee and Rome.
0432 Prince Bassianus, leave to plead my deeds.
0433 ’Tis thou, and those, that have dishonored me.
0434 Rome and the righteous heavens be my judge
0435 435 How I have loved and honored Saturnine.⌜He kneels.⌝
TAMORA, ⌜to Saturninus⌝
0436 My worthy lord, if ever Tamora
0437 Were gracious in those princely eyes of thine,
0438 Then hear me speak indifferently for all,
0439 And at my suit, sweet, pardon what is past.
0440 440 What, madam, be dishonored openly,
0441 And basely put it up without revenge?
0442 Not so, my lord; the gods of Rome forfend
0443 I should be author to dishonor you.
0444 But on mine honor dare I undertake
0445 445 For good Lord Titus’ innocence in all,
0446 Whose fury not dissembled speaks his griefs.
0447 Then at my suit look graciously on him.
0448 Lose not so noble a friend on vain suppose,
0449 Nor with sour looks afflict his gentle heart.
0450 450 ⌜Aside to Saturninus.⌝ My lord, be ruled by me; be
0451 won at last.
0452 Dissemble all your griefs and discontents.
0453 You are but newly planted in your throne.
0454 Lest, then, the people, and patricians too,
0455 455 Upon a just survey take Titus’ part
0456 And so supplant you for ingratitude,
0457 Which Rome reputes to be a heinous sin.
0458 Yield at entreats, and then let me alone.
0459 I’ll find a day to massacre them all
0460 460 And raze their faction and their family,
0461 The cruel father and his traitorous sons,
0462 To whom I sued for my dear son’s life,
0463 And make them know what ’tis to let a queen
0464 Kneel in the streets and beg for grace in vain.
0465 465 ⌜Aloud.⌝ Come, come, sweet emperor.—Come,
0467 Take up this good old man, and cheer the heart
0468 That dies in tempest of thy angry frown.
0469 Rise, Titus, rise. My empress hath prevailed.
0470 470 I thank your Majesty and her, my lord.
0471 These words, these looks, infuse new life in me.
0472 Titus, I am incorporate in Rome,
0473 A Roman now adopted happily,
0474 And must advise the Emperor for his good.
0475 475 This day all quarrels die, Andronicus.—
0476 And let it be mine honor, good my lord,
0477 That I have reconciled your friends and you.—
0478 For you, Prince Bassianus, I have passed
0479 My word and promise to the Emperor
0480 480 That you will be more mild and tractable.—
0481 And fear not, lords—and you, Lavinia.
0482 By my advice, all humbled on your knees,
0483 You shall ask pardon of his Majesty.
⌜Marcus, Lavinia, Lucius, Martius, and Quintus kneel.⌝
0484 We do, and vow to heaven and to his Highness
0485 485 That what we did was mildly as we might,
0486 Tend’ring our sister’s honor and our own.
0487 That on mine honor here do I protest.
0488 Away, and talk not; trouble us no more.
0489 Nay, nay, sweet emperor, we must all be friends.
0490 490 The tribune and his nephews kneel for grace.
0491 I will not be denied. Sweetheart, look back.
0492 Marcus, for thy sake, and thy brother’s here,
0493 And at my lovely Tamora’s entreats,
0494 I do remit these young men’s heinous faults.
0495 495 Stand up.⌜They rise.⌝
0496 Lavinia, though you left me like a churl,
0497 I found a friend, and sure as death I swore
0498 I would not part a bachelor from the priest.
0499 Come, if the Emperor’s court can feast two brides,
0501 This day shall be a love-day, Tamora.
0502 Tomorrow, an it please your Majesty
0503 To hunt the panther and the hart with me,
0504 With horn and hound we’ll give your Grace bonjour.
0505 505 Be it so, Titus, and gramercy too.
Sound trumpets. All but Aaron exit.
0506 Now climbeth Tamora Olympus’ top,
0507 Safe out of Fortune’s shot, and sits aloft,
0508 Secure of thunder’s crack or lightning flash,
0509 Advanced above pale Envy’s threat’ning reach.
0510 5 As when the golden sun salutes the morn
0511 And, having gilt the ocean with his beams,
0512 Gallops the zodiac in his glistering coach
0513 And overlooks the highest-peering hills,
0514 So Tamora.
0515 10 Upon her wit doth earthly honor wait,
0516 And virtue stoops and trembles at her frown.
0517 Then, Aaron, arm thy heart and fit thy thoughts
0518 To mount aloft with thy imperial mistress,
0519 And mount her pitch whom thou in triumph long
0520 15 Hast prisoner held, fettered in amorous chains
0521 And faster bound to Aaron’s charming eyes
0522 Than is Prometheus tied to Caucasus.
0523 Away with slavish weeds and servile thoughts!
0524 I will be bright, and shine in pearl and gold
0525 20 To wait upon this new-made emperess.
0526 To wait, said I? To wanton with this queen,
0527 This goddess, this Semiramis, this nymph,
0528 This siren that will charm Rome’s Saturnine
0530 25 Holla! What storm is this?
Enter Chiron and Demetrius, braving.
0531 Chiron, thy years wants wit, thy wits wants edge
0532 And manners, to intrude where I am graced,
0533 And may, for aught thou knowest, affected be.
0534 Demetrius, thou dost overween in all,
0535 30 And so in this, to bear me down with braves.
0536 ’Tis not the difference of a year or two
0537 Makes me less gracious or thee more fortunate.
0538 I am as able and as fit as thou
0539 To serve and to deserve my mistress’ grace,
0540 35 And that my sword upon thee shall approve
0541 And plead my passions for Lavinia’s love.
0542 Clubs, clubs! These lovers will not keep the peace.
DEMETRIUS, ⌜to Chiron⌝
0543 Why, boy, although our mother, unadvised,
0544 Gave you a dancing rapier by your side,
0545 40 Are you so desperate grown to threat your friends?
0546 Go to. Have your lath glued within your sheath
0547 Till you know better how to handle it.
0548 Meanwhile, sir, with the little skill I have,
0549 Full well shalt thou perceive how much I dare.
0550 45 Ay, boy, grow you so brave?They draw.
AARON 0551 Why, how now, lords?
0552 So near the Emperor’s palace dare you draw
0553 And maintain such a quarrel openly?
0554 Full well I wot the ground of all this grudge.
0555 50 I would not for a million of gold
0556 The cause were known to them it most concerns,
0558 Be so dishonored in the court of Rome.
0559 For shame, put up.
DEMETRIUS 0560 55 Not I, till I have sheathed
0561 My rapier in his bosom, and withal
0562 Thrust those reproachful speeches down his throat
0563 That he hath breathed in my dishonor here.
0564 For that I am prepared and full resolved,
0565 60 Foul-spoken coward, that thund’rest with thy tongue
0566 And with thy weapon nothing dar’st perform.
AARON 0567 Away, I say!
0568 Now by the gods that warlike Goths adore,
0569 This petty brabble will undo us all.
0570 65 Why, lords, and think you not how dangerous
0571 It is to jet upon a prince’s right?
0572 What, is Lavinia then become so loose
0573 Or Bassianus so degenerate
0574 That for her love such quarrels may be broached
0575 70 Without controlment, justice, or revenge?
0576 Young lords, beware! And should the Empress know
0577 This discord’s ground, the music would not please.
0578 I care not, I, knew she and all the world.
0579 I love Lavinia more than all the world.
0580 75 Youngling, learn thou to make some meaner choice.
0581 Lavinia is thine elder brother’s hope.
0582 Why, are you mad? Or know you not in Rome
0583 How furious and impatient they be,
0584 And cannot brook competitors in love?
0585 80 I tell you, lords, you do but plot your deaths
0586 By this device.
CHIRON 0587 Aaron, a thousand deaths
0588 Would I propose to achieve her whom I love.
0589 To achieve her how?
DEMETRIUS 0590 85 Why makes thou it so strange?
0591 She is a woman, therefore may be wooed;
0592 She is a woman, therefore may be won;
0593 She is Lavinia, therefore must be loved.
0594 What, man, more water glideth by the mill
0595 90 Than wots the miller of, and easy it is
0596 Of a cut loaf to steal a shive, we know.
0597 Though Bassianus be the Emperor’s brother,
0598 Better than he have worn Vulcan’s badge.
0599 Ay, and as good as Saturninus may.
0600 95 Then why should he despair that knows to court it
0601 With words, fair looks, and liberality?
0602 What, hast not thou full often struck a doe
0603 And borne her cleanly by the keeper’s nose?
0604 Why, then, it seems some certain snatch or so
0605 100 Would serve your turns.
CHIRON 0606 Ay, so the turn were served.
DEMETRIUS 0607 Aaron, thou hast hit it.
AARON 0608 Would you had hit it too!
0609 Then should not we be tired with this ado.
0610 105 Why, hark you, hark you! And are you such fools
0611 To square for this? Would it offend you then
0612 That both should speed?
0613 Faith, not me.
DEMETRIUS 0614 Nor me, so I were one.
0615 110 For shame, be friends, and join for that you jar.
0616 ’Tis policy and stratagem must do
0617 That you affect, and so must you resolve
0619 You must perforce accomplish as you may.
0620 115 Take this of me: Lucrece was not more chaste
0621 Than this Lavinia, Bassianus’ love.
0622 A speedier course ⌜than⌝ ling’ring languishment
0623 Must we pursue, and I have found the path.
0624 My lords, a solemn hunting is in hand;
0625 120 There will the lovely Roman ladies troop.
0626 The forest walks are wide and spacious,
0627 And many unfrequented plots there are,
0628 Fitted by kind for rape and villainy.
0629 Single you thither then this dainty doe,
0630 125 And strike her home by force, if not by words.
0631 This way, or not at all, stand you in hope.
0632 Come, come, our empress, with her sacred wit
0633 To villainy and vengeance consecrate,
0634 Will we acquaint withal what we intend,
0635 130 And she shall file our engines with advice
0636 That will not suffer you to square yourselves,
0637 But to your wishes’ height advance you both.
0638 The Emperor’s court is like the house of Fame,
0639 The palace full of tongues, of eyes, and ears;
0640 135 The woods are ruthless, dreadful, deaf, and dull.
0641 There speak and strike, brave boys, and take your
0643 There serve your lust, shadowed from heaven’s eye,
0644 And revel in Lavinia’s treasury.
0645 140 Thy counsel, lad, smells of no cowardice.
0646 Sit fas aut nefas, till I find the stream
0647 To cool this heat, a charm to calm these fits,
0648 Per Stygia, per manes vehor.
Marcus,⌝ making a noise with hounds and horns.
0649 The hunt is up, the moon is bright and gray,
0650 The fields are fragrant, and the woods are green.
0651 Uncouple here, and let us make a bay
0652 And wake the Emperor and his lovely bride,
0653 5 And rouse the Prince, and ring a hunter’s peal,
0654 That all the court may echo with the noise.
0655 Sons, let it be your charge, as it is ours,
0656 To attend the Emperor’s person carefully.
0657 I have been troubled in my sleep this night,
0658 10 But dawning day new comfort hath inspired.
Here a cry of hounds, and wind horns in a peal. Then
enter Saturninus, Tamora, Bassianus, Lavinia, Chiron,
Demetrius, and their Attendants.
0659 Many good morrows to your Majesty;—
0660 Madam, to you as many, and as good.—
0661 I promisèd your Grace a hunter’s peal.
0662 And you have rung it lustily, my lords—
0663 15 Somewhat too early for new-married ladies.
0664 Lavinia, how say you?
LAVINIA 0665 I say no.
0666 I have been broad awake two hours and more.
0667 Come on, then. Horse and chariots let us have,
0668 20 And to our sport. (⌜To Tamora⌝) Madam, now shall
0669 you see
0670 Our Roman hunting.
MARCUS 0671 I have dogs, my lord,
0673 25 And climb the highest promontory top.
0674 And I have horse will follow where the game
0675 Makes way and runs like swallows o’er the plain.
DEMETRIUS, ⌜aside to Chiron⌝
0676 Chiron, we hunt not, we, with horse nor hound,
0677 But hope to pluck a dainty doe to ground.
0678 He that had wit would think that I had none,
0679 To bury so much gold under a tree
0680 And never after to inherit it.
0681 Let him that thinks of me so abjectly
0682 5 Know that this gold must coin a stratagem
0683 Which, cunningly effected, will beget
0684 A very excellent piece of villainy.⌜He hides the bag.⌝
0685 And so repose, sweet gold, for their unrest
0686 That have their alms out of the Empress’ chest.
Enter Tamora alone to ⌜Aaron⌝ the Moor.
0687 10 My lovely Aaron, wherefore look’st thou sad,
0688 When everything doth make a gleeful boast?
0689 The birds chant melody on every bush,
0690 The snakes lies rollèd in the cheerful sun,
0691 The green leaves quiver with the cooling wind
0692 15 And make a checkered shadow on the ground.
0693 Under their sweet shade, Aaron, let us sit,
0694 And whilst the babbling echo mocks the hounds,
0696 As if a double hunt were heard at once,
0697 20 Let us sit down and mark their yellowing noise.
0698 And after conflict such as was supposed
0699 The wand’ring prince and Dido once enjoyed
0700 When with a happy storm they were surprised,
0701 And curtained with a counsel-keeping cave,
0702 25 We may, each wreathèd in the other’s arms,
0703 Our pastimes done, possess a golden slumber,
0704 Whiles hounds and horns and sweet melodious birds
0705 Be unto us as is a nurse’s song
0706 Of lullaby to bring her babe asleep.
0707 30 Madam, though Venus govern your desires,
0708 Saturn is dominator over mine.
0709 What signifies my deadly standing eye,
0710 My silence, and my cloudy melancholy,
0711 My fleece of woolly hair that now uncurls
0712 35 Even as an adder when she doth unroll
0713 To do some fatal execution?
0714 No, madam, these are no venereal signs.
0715 Vengeance is in my heart, death in my hand,
0716 Blood and revenge are hammering in my head.
0717 40 Hark, Tamora, the empress of my soul,
0718 Which never hopes more heaven than rests in thee,
0719 This is the day of doom for Bassianus.
0720 His Philomel must lose her tongue today,
0721 Thy sons make pillage of her chastity
0722 45 And wash their hands in Bassianus’ blood.
⌜He takes out a paper.⌝
0723 Seest thou this letter? Take it up, I pray thee,
0724 And give the King this fatal-plotted scroll.
⌜He hands her the paper.⌝
0725 Now, question me no more. We are espied.
0726 Here comes a parcel of our hopeful booty,
0727 50 Which dreads not yet their lives’ destruction.
0728 Ah, my sweet Moor, sweeter to me than life!
0729 No more, great empress. Bassianus comes.
0730 Be cross with him, and I’ll go fetch thy sons
0731 To back thy quarrels, whatsoe’er they be.
0732 55 Who have we here? Rome’s royal empress,
0733 Unfurnished of her well-beseeming troop?
0734 Or is it Dian, habited like her,
0735 Who hath abandonèd her holy groves
0736 To see the general hunting in this forest?
0737 60 Saucy controller of my private steps,
0738 Had I the power that some say Dian had,
0739 Thy temples should be planted presently
0740 With horns, as was Acteon’s, and the hounds
0741 Should drive upon thy new-transformèd limbs,
0742 65 Unmannerly intruder as thou art.
0743 Under your patience, gentle empress,
0744 ’Tis thought you have a goodly gift in horning,
0745 And to be doubted that your Moor and you
0746 Are singled forth to try experiments.
0747 70 Jove shield your husband from his hounds today!
0748 ’Tis pity they should take him for a stag.
0749 Believe me, queen, your swarthy Cimmerian
0750 Doth make your honor of his body’s hue,
0751 Spotted, detested, and abominable.
0752 75 Why are you sequestered from all your train,
0753 Dismounted from your snow-white goodly steed,
0754 And wandered hither to an obscure plot,
0756 If foul desire had not conducted you?
0757 80 And being intercepted in your sport,
0758 Great reason that my noble lord be rated
0759 For sauciness.—I pray you, let us hence,
0760 And let her joy her raven-colored love.
0761 This valley fits the purpose passing well.
0762 85 The King my brother shall have notice of this.
0763 Ay, for these slips have made him noted long.
0764 Good king to be so mightily abused!
0765 Why, I have patience to endure all this.
Enter Chiron and Demetrius.
0766 How now, dear sovereign and our gracious mother,
0767 90 Why doth your Highness look so pale and wan?
0768 Have I not reason, think you, to look pale?
0769 These two have ticed me hither to this place,
0770 A barren, detested vale you see it is;
0771 The trees, though summer, yet forlorn and lean,
0772 95 Overcome with moss and baleful mistletoe.
0773 Here never shines the sun, here nothing breeds,
0774 Unless the nightly owl or fatal raven.
0775 And when they showed me this abhorrèd pit,
0776 They told me, here at dead time of the night
0777 100 A thousand fiends, a thousand hissing snakes,
0778 Ten thousand swelling toads, as many urchins,
0779 Would make such fearful and confusèd cries
0780 As any mortal body hearing it
0781 Should straight fall mad, or else die suddenly.
0782 105 No sooner had they told this hellish tale
0784 Unto the body of a dismal yew
0785 And leave me to this miserable death.
0786 And then they called me foul adulteress,
0787 110 Lascivious Goth, and all the bitterest terms
0788 That ever ear did hear to such effect.
0789 And had you not by wondrous fortune come,
0790 This vengeance on me had they executed.
0791 Revenge it as you love your mother’s life,
0792 115 Or be you not henceforth called my children.
DEMETRIUS, ⌜drawing his dagger⌝
0793 This is a witness that I am thy son.
CHIRON, ⌜drawing his dagger⌝
0794 And this for me, struck home to show my strength.
⌜They⌝ stab ⌜Bassianus.⌝
0795 Ay, come, Semiramis, nay, barbarous Tamora,
0796 For no name fits thy nature but thy own!
0797 120 Give me the poniard! You shall know, my boys,
0798 Your mother’s hand shall right your mother’s wrong.
0799 Stay, madam, here is more belongs to her.
0800 First thrash the corn, then after burn the straw.
0801 This minion stood upon her chastity,
0802 125 Upon her nuptial vow, her loyalty,
0803 And with that painted hope braves your mightiness;
0804 And shall she carry this unto her grave?
0805 And if she do, I would I were an eunuch!
0806 Drag hence her husband to some secret hole,
0807 130 And make his dead trunk pillow to our lust.
0808 But when you have the honey ⌜you⌝ desire,
0809 Let not this wasp outlive, us both to sting.
0810 I warrant you, madam, we will make that sure.—
0812 135 That nice-preservèd honesty of yours.
0813 O Tamora, thou bearest a woman’s face—
0814 I will not hear her speak. Away with her.
0815 Sweet lords, entreat her hear me but a word.
DEMETRIUS, ⌜to Tamora⌝
0816 Listen, fair madam. Let it be your glory
0817 140 To see her tears, but be your heart to them
0818 As unrelenting flint to drops of rain.
0819 When did the tiger’s young ones teach the dam?
0820 O, do not learn her wrath; she taught it thee.
0821 The milk thou suck’st from her did turn to marble.
0822 145 Even at thy teat thou hadst thy tyranny.
0823 Yet every mother breeds not sons alike.
0824 ⌜To Chiron.⌝ Do thou entreat her show a woman’s pity.
0825 What, wouldst thou have me prove myself a bastard?
0826 ’Tis true; the raven doth not hatch a lark.
0827 150 Yet have I heard—O, could I find it now!—
0828 The lion, moved with pity, did endure
0829 To have his princely paws pared all away.
0830 Some say that ravens foster forlorn children,
0831 The whilst their own birds famish in their nests.
0832 155 O, be to me, though thy hard heart say no,
0833 Nothing so kind, but something pitiful.
0834 I know not what it means.—Away with her.
0835 O, let me teach thee! For my father’s sake,
0836 That gave thee life when well he might have slain thee,
0837 160 Be not obdurate; open thy deaf ⌜ears.⌝
0838 Hadst thou in person ne’er offended me,
0839 Even for his sake am I pitiless.—
0840 Remember, boys, I poured forth tears in vain
0841 To save your brother from the sacrifice,
0842 165 But fierce Andronicus would not relent.
0843 Therefore away with her, and use her as you will;
0844 The worse to her, the better loved of me.
0845 O Tamora, be called a gentle queen,
0846 And with thine own hands kill me in this place!
0847 170 For ’tis not life that I have begged so long;
0848 Poor I was slain when Bassianus died.
0849 What begg’st thou, then? Fond woman, let me go!
0850 ’Tis present death I beg, and one thing more
0851 That womanhood denies my tongue to tell.
0852 175 O, keep me from their worse-than-killing lust,
0853 And tumble me into some loathsome pit
0854 Where never man’s eye may behold my body.
0855 Do this, and be a charitable murderer.
0856 So should I rob my sweet sons of their fee.
0857 180 No, let them satisfy their lust on thee.
DEMETRIUS, ⌜to Lavinia⌝
0858 Away, for thou hast stayed us here too long!
LAVINIA, ⌜to Tamora⌝
0859 No grace, no womanhood? Ah, beastly creature,
0860 The blot and enemy to our general name,
0861 Confusion fall—
0862 185 Nay, then, I’ll stop your mouth.—Bring thou her
0864 This is the hole where Aaron bid us hide him.
⌜They put Bassianus’ body in the pit and
exit, carrying off Lavinia.⌝
0865 Farewell, my sons. See that you make her sure.
0866 Ne’er let my heart know merry cheer indeed
0867 190 Till all the Andronici be made away.
0868 Now will I hence to seek my lovely Moor,
0869 And let my spleenful sons this trull deflower.
Enter Aaron with two of Titus’ sons,
⌜Quintus and Martius.⌝
0870 Come on, my lords, the better foot before.
0871 Straight will I bring you to the loathsome pit
0872 195 Where I espied the panther fast asleep.
0873 My sight is very dull, whate’er it bodes.
0874 And mine, I promise you. Were it not for shame,
0875 Well could I leave our sport to sleep awhile.
⌜He falls into the pit.⌝
0876 What, art thou fallen? What subtle hole is this,
0877 200 Whose mouth is covered with rude-growing briers
0878 Upon whose leaves are drops of new-shed blood
0879 As fresh as morning dew distilled on flowers?
0880 A very fatal place it seems to me.
0881 Speak, brother! Hast thou hurt thee with the fall?
0882 205 O, brother, with the dismal’st object hurt
0883 That ever eye with sight made heart lament!
0884 Now will I fetch the King to find them here,
0885 That he thereby may have a likely guess
0886 How these were they that made away his brother.
0887 210 Why dost not comfort me and help me out
0888 From this ⌜unhallowed⌝ and bloodstainèd hole?
0889 I am surprisèd with an uncouth fear.
0890 A chilling sweat o’erruns my trembling joints.
0891 My heart suspects more than mine eye can see.
0892 215 To prove thou hast a true-divining heart,
0893 Aaron and thou look down into this den
0894 And see a fearful sight of blood and death.
0895 Aaron is gone, and my compassionate heart
0896 Will not permit mine eyes once to behold
0897 220 The thing whereat it trembles by surmise.
0898 O, tell me who it is, for ne’er till now
0899 Was I a child to fear I know not what.
0900 Lord Bassianus lies ⌜berayed⌝ in blood,
0901 All on a heap, like to a slaughtered lamb,
0902 225 In this detested, dark, blood-drinking pit.
0903 If it be dark, how dost thou know ’tis he?
0904 Upon his bloody finger he doth wear
0905 A precious ring that lightens all this hole,
0906 Which like a taper in some monument
0907 230 Doth shine upon the dead man’s earthy cheeks
0908 And shows the ragged entrails of this pit.
0909 So pale did shine the moon on Pyramus
0910 When he by night lay bathed in maiden blood.
0911 O, brother, help me with thy fainting hand—
0912 235 If fear hath made thee faint as me it hath—
0913 Out of this fell devouring receptacle,
0914 As hateful as ⌜Cocytus’⌝ misty mouth.
0915 Reach me thy hand, that I may help thee out,
0916 Or, wanting strength to do thee so much good,
0917 240 I may be plucked into the swallowing womb
0918 Of this deep pit, poor Bassianus’ grave.
⌜He pulls Martius’ hand.⌝
0919 I have no strength to pluck thee to the brink.
0920 Nor I no strength to climb without thy help.
0921 Thy hand once more. I will not loose again
0922 245 Till thou art here aloft or I below.
0923 Thou canst not come to me. I come to thee.
⌜He falls in.⌝
Enter the Emperor ⌜Saturninus, with Attendants,⌝
and Aaron the Moor.
0924 Along with me! I’ll see what hole is here
0925 And what he is that now is leapt into it.—
0926 Say, who art thou that lately didst descend
0927 250 Into this gaping hollow of the earth?
0928 The unhappy sons of old Andronicus,
0929 Brought hither in a most unlucky hour
0930 To find thy brother Bassianus dead.
0931 My brother dead! I know thou dost but jest.
0932 255 He and his lady both are at the lodge
0933 Upon the north side of this pleasant chase.
0934 ’Tis not an hour since I left them there.
0935 We know not where you left them all alive,
0936 But, out alas, here have we found him dead.
Enter Tamora, ⌜Titus⌝ Andronicus, and Lucius.
0938 Here, Tamora, though grieved with killing grief.
0939 Where is thy brother Bassianus?
0940 Now to the bottom dost thou search my wound.
0941 Poor Bassianus here lies murderèd.
0942 265 Then all too late I bring this fatal writ,
0943 The complot of this timeless tragedy,
0944 And wonder greatly that man’s face can fold
0945 In pleasing smiles such murderous tyranny.
She giveth Saturnine a letter.
SATURNINUS (reads the letter):
0946 An if we miss to meet him handsomely,
0947 270 Sweet huntsman—Bassianus ’tis we mean—
0948 Do thou so much as dig the grave for him;
0949 Thou know’st our meaning. Look for thy reward
0950 Among the nettles at the elder tree
0951 Which overshades the mouth of that same pit
0952 275 Where we decreed to bury Bassianus.
0953 Do this, and purchase us thy lasting friends.
0954 O Tamora, was ever heard the like?
0955 This is the pit, and this the elder tree.—
0956 Look, sirs, if you can find the huntsman out
0957 280 That should have murdered Bassianus here.
0958 My gracious lord, here is the bag of gold.
SATURNINUS, ⌜to Titus⌝
0959 Two of thy whelps, fell curs of bloody kind,
0960 Have here bereft my brother of his life.—
0961 Sirs, drag them from the pit unto the prison.
0962 285 There let them bide until we have devised
0963 Some never-heard-of torturing pain for them.
0964 What, are they in this pit? O wondrous thing!
0965 How easily murder is discoverèd.
⌜Attendants pull Quintus, Martius, and
the body of Bassianus from the pit.⌝
0966 High Emperor, upon my feeble knee
0967 290 I beg this boon with tears not lightly shed,
0968 That this fell fault of my accursèd sons—
0969 Accursèd if the faults be proved in them—
0970 If it be proved! You see it is apparent.
0971 Who found this letter? Tamora, was it you?
0972 295 Andronicus himself did take it up.
0973 I did, my lord, yet let me be their bail,
0974 For by my father’s reverend tomb I vow
0975 They shall be ready at your Highness’ will
0976 To answer their suspicion with their lives.
0977 300 Thou shalt not bail them. See thou follow me.—
0978 Some bring the murdered body, some the murderers.
0979 Let them not speak a word. The guilt is plain.
0980 For, by my soul, were there worse end than death,
0981 That end upon them should be executed.
0982 305 Andronicus, I will entreat the King.
0983 Fear not thy sons; they shall do well enough.
0984 Come, Lucius, come. Stay not to talk with them.
⟨They exit,⟩ ⌜with Attendants leading Martius and
Quintus and bearing the body of Bassianus.⌝
with Lavinia, her hands cut off, and her tongue cut out,
0985 So, now go tell, an if thy tongue can speak,
0986 Who ’twas that cut thy tongue and ravished thee.
0987 Write down thy mind; bewray thy meaning so,
0988 An if thy stumps will let thee play the scribe.
0989 5 See how with signs and tokens she can scrowl.
CHIRON, ⌜to Lavinia⌝
0990 Go home. Call for sweet water; wash thy hands.
0991 She hath no tongue to call, nor hands to wash;
0992 And so let’s leave her to her silent walks.
0993 An ’twere my cause, I should go hang myself.
0994 10 If thou hadst hands to help thee knit the cord.
⌜Chiron and Demetrius⌝ exit.
Enter Marcus from hunting.
0995 Who is this? My niece, that flies away so fast?—
0996 Cousin, a word. Where is your husband?
0997 If I do dream, would all my wealth would wake me.
0998 If I do wake, some planet strike me down
0999 15 That I may slumber an eternal sleep.
1000 Speak, gentle niece. What stern ungentle hands
1001 Hath lopped and hewed and made thy body bare
1002 Of her two branches, those sweet ornaments
1003 Whose circling shadows kings have sought to sleep in,
1004 20 And might not gain so great a happiness
1005 As half thy love? Why dost not speak to me?
1007 Like to a bubbling fountain stirred with wind,
1008 Doth rise and fall between thy rosèd lips,
1009 25 Coming and going with thy honey breath.
1010 But sure some Tereus hath deflowered thee,
1011 And lest thou shouldst detect ⌜him⌝ cut thy tongue.
1012 Ah, now thou turn’st away thy face for shame,
1013 And notwithstanding all this loss of blood,
1014 30 As from a conduit with ⌜three⌝ issuing spouts,
1015 Yet do thy cheeks look red as Titan’s face,
1016 Blushing to be encountered with a cloud.
1017 Shall I speak for thee, shall I say ’tis so?
1018 O, that I knew thy heart, and knew the beast,
1019 35 That I might rail at him to ease my mind.
1020 Sorrow concealèd, like an oven stopped,
1021 Doth burn the heart to cinders where it is.
1022 Fair Philomela, why she but lost her tongue,
1023 And in a tedious sampler sewed her mind;
1024 40 But, lovely niece, that mean is cut from thee.
1025 A craftier Tereus, cousin, hast thou met,
1026 And he hath cut those pretty fingers off
1027 That could have better sewed than Philomel.
1028 O, had the monster seen those lily hands
1029 45 Tremble like aspen leaves upon a lute
1030 And make the silken strings delight to kiss them,
1031 He would not then have touched them for his life.
1032 Or had he heard the heavenly harmony
1033 Which that sweet tongue hath made,
1034 50 He would have dropped his knife and fell asleep,
1035 As Cerberus at the Thracian poet’s feet.
1036 Come, let us go and make thy father blind,
1037 For such a sight will blind a father’s eye.
1038 One hour’s storm will drown the fragrant meads;
1039 55 What will whole months of tears thy father’s eyes?
1040 Do not draw back, for we will mourn with thee.
1041 O, could our mourning ease thy misery!
(⌜Quintus and Martius⌝) bound, passing on the stage to
the place of execution, and Titus going before, pleading.
1042 Hear me, grave fathers; noble tribunes, stay.
1043 For pity of mine age, whose youth was spent
1044 In dangerous wars whilst you securely slept;
1045 For all my blood in Rome’s great quarrel shed,
1046 5 For all the frosty nights that I have watched,
1047 And for these bitter tears which now you see,
1048 Filling the agèd wrinkles in my cheeks,
1049 Be pitiful to my condemnèd sons,
1050 Whose souls is not corrupted as ’tis thought.
1051 10 For two-and-twenty sons I never wept
1052 Because they died in honor’s lofty bed.
Andronicus lieth down, and the Judges pass by him.
⌜They exit with the prisoners as Titus continues speaking.⌝
1053 For these, tribunes, in the dust I write
1054 My heart’s deep languor and my soul’s sad tears.
1055 Let my tears stanch the earth’s dry appetite.
1056 15 My sons’ sweet blood will make it shame and blush.
1057 O Earth, I will befriend thee more with rain
1058 That shall distil from these two ancient ruins
1059 Than youthful April shall with all his showers.
1061 20 In winter with warm tears I’ll melt the snow
1062 And keep eternal springtime on thy face,
1063 So thou refuse to drink my dear sons’ blood.
Enter Lucius with his weapon drawn.
1064 O reverend tribunes, O gentle agèd men,
1065 Unbind my sons, reverse the doom of death,
1066 25 And let me say, that never wept before,
1067 My tears are now prevailing orators.
1068 O noble father, you lament in vain.
1069 The Tribunes hear you not; no man is by,
1070 And you recount your sorrows to a stone.
1071 30 Ah, Lucius, for thy brothers let me plead.—
1072 Grave tribunes, once more I entreat of you—
1073 My gracious lord, no tribune hears you speak.
1074 Why, ’tis no matter, man. If they did hear,
1075 They would not mark me; if they did mark,
1076 35 They would not pity me. Yet plead I must,
1077 And bootless unto them.
1078 Therefore I tell my sorrows to the stones,
1079 Who, though they cannot answer my distress,
1080 Yet in some sort they are better than the Tribunes,
1081 40 For that they will not intercept my tale.
1082 When I do weep, they humbly at my feet
1083 Receive my tears and seem to weep with me,
1084 And were they but attirèd in grave weeds,
1085 Rome could afford no tribunes like to these.
1086 45 A stone is soft as wax, tribunes more hard than
1088 A stone is silent and offendeth not,
1089 And tribunes with their tongues doom men to death.
1090 But wherefore stand’st thou with thy weapon drawn?
1091 50 To rescue my two brothers from their death,
1092 For which attempt the Judges have pronounced
1093 My everlasting doom of banishment.
1094 O happy man, they have befriended thee!
1095 Why, foolish Lucius, dost thou not perceive
1096 55 That Rome is but a wilderness of tigers?
1097 Tigers must prey, and Rome affords no prey
1098 But me and mine. How happy art thou then
1099 From these devourers to be banishèd.
1100 But who comes with our brother Marcus here?
Enter Marcus with Lavinia.
1101 60 Titus, prepare thy agèd eyes to weep,
1102 Or, if not so, thy noble heart to break.
1103 I bring consuming sorrow to thine age.
1104 Will it consume me? Let me see it, then.
1105 This was thy daughter.
TITUS 1106 65 Why, Marcus, so she is.
LUCIUS 1107 Ay me, this object kills me!
1108 Faint-hearted boy, arise and look upon her.—
1109 Speak, Lavinia. What accursèd hand
1110 Hath made thee handless in thy father’s sight?
1111 70 What fool hath added water to the sea
1112 Or brought a faggot to bright-burning Troy?
1113 My grief was at the height before thou cam’st,
1114 And now like Nilus it disdaineth bounds.—
1115 Give me a sword. I’ll chop off my hands too,
1116 75 For they have fought for Rome and all in vain;
1117 And they have nursed this woe in feeding life;
1119 And they have served me to effectless use.
1120 Now all the service I require of them
1121 80 Is that the one will help to cut the other.—
1122 ’Tis well, Lavinia, that thou hast no hands,
1123 For hands to do Rome service is but vain.
1124 Speak, gentle sister. Who hath martyred thee?
1125 O, that delightful engine of her thoughts,
1126 85 That blabbed them with such pleasing eloquence,
1127 Is torn from forth that pretty hollow cage
1128 Where, like a sweet melodious bird, it sung
1129 Sweet varied notes, enchanting every ear.
1130 O, say thou for her who hath done this deed!
1131 90 O, thus I found her straying in the park,
1132 Seeking to hide herself as doth the deer
1133 That hath received some unrecuring wound.
1134 It was my dear, and he that wounded her
1135 Hath hurt me more than had he killed me dead.
1136 95 For now I stand as one upon a rock,
1137 Environed with a wilderness of sea,
1138 Who marks the waxing tide grow wave by wave,
1139 Expecting ever when some envious surge
1140 Will in his brinish bowels swallow him.
1141 100 This way to death my wretched sons are gone;
1142 Here stands my other son a banished man,
1143 And here my brother, weeping at my woes.
1144 But that which gives my soul the greatest spurn
1145 Is dear Lavinia, dearer than my soul.
1146 105 Had I but seen thy picture in this plight
1147 It would have madded me. What shall I do,
1148 Now I behold thy lively body so?
1150 Nor tongue to tell me who hath martyred thee.
1151 110 Thy husband he is dead, and for his death
1152 Thy brothers are condemned, and dead by this.—
1153 Look, Marcus!—Ah, son Lucius, look on her!
1154 When I did name her brothers, then fresh tears
1155 Stood on her cheeks as doth the honeydew
1156 115 Upon a gathered lily almost withered.
1157 Perchance she weeps because they killed her husband,
1158 Perchance because she knows them innocent.
1159 If they did kill thy husband, then be joyful,
1160 Because the law hath ta’en revenge on them.—
1161 120 No, no, they would not do so foul a deed.
1162 Witness the sorrow that their sister makes.—
1163 Gentle Lavinia, let me kiss thy lips,
1164 Or make some sign how I may do thee ease.
1165 Shall thy good uncle and thy brother Lucius
1166 125 And thou and I sit round about some fountain,
1167 Looking all downwards to behold our cheeks,
1168 How they are stained like meadows yet not dry
1169 With miry slime left on them by a flood?
1170 And in the fountain shall we gaze so long
1171 130 Till the fresh taste be taken from that clearness
1172 And made a brine pit with our bitter tears?
1173 Or shall we cut away our hands like thine?
1174 Or shall we bite our tongues and in dumb shows
1175 Pass the remainder of our hateful days?
1176 135 What shall we do? Let us that have our tongues
1177 Plot some device of further misery
1178 To make us wondered at in time to come.
1179 Sweet father, cease your tears, for at your grief
1180 See how my wretched sister sobs and weeps.
1181 140 Patience, dear niece.—Good Titus, dry thine eyes.
1182 Ah, Marcus, Marcus! Brother, well I wot
1183 Thy napkin cannot drink a tear of mine,
1184 For thou, poor man, hast drowned it with thine own.
1185 Ah, my Lavinia, I will wipe thy cheeks.
1186 145 Mark, Marcus, mark. I understand her signs.
1187 Had she a tongue to speak, now would she say
1188 That to her brother which I said to thee.
1189 His napkin, with ⌜his⌝ true tears all bewet,
1190 Can do no service on her sorrowful cheeks.
1191 150 O, what a sympathy of woe is this,
1192 As far from help as limbo is from bliss.
Enter Aaron the Moor alone.
1193 Titus Andronicus, my lord the Emperor
1194 Sends thee this word, that if thou love thy sons,
1195 Let Marcus, Lucius, or thyself, old Titus,
1196 155 Or any one of you, chop off your hand
1197 And send it to the King; he for the same
1198 Will send thee hither both thy sons alive,
1199 And that shall be the ransom for their fault.
1200 O gracious emperor! O gentle Aaron!
1201 160 Did ever raven sing so like a lark,
1202 That gives sweet tidings of the sun’s uprise?
1203 With all my heart I’ll send the Emperor my hand.
1204 Good Aaron, wilt thou help to chop it off?
1205 Stay, father, for that noble hand of thine,
1206 165 That hath thrown down so many enemies,
1207 Shall not be sent. My hand will serve the turn.
1209 And therefore mine shall save my brothers’ lives.
1210 Which of your hands hath not defended Rome
1211 170 And reared aloft the bloody battleax,
1212 Writing destruction on the enemy’s castle?
1213 O, none of both but are of high desert.
1214 My hand hath been but idle; let it serve
1215 To ransom my two nephews from their death.
1216 175 Then have I kept it to a worthy end.
1217 Nay, come, agree whose hand shall go along,
1218 For fear they die before their pardon come.
1219 My hand shall go.
LUCIUS 1220 By heaven, it shall not go!
1221 180 Sirs, strive no more. Such withered herbs as these
1222 Are meet for plucking up, and therefore mine.
1223 Sweet father, if I shall be thought thy son,
1224 Let me redeem my brothers both from death.
1225 And for our father’s sake and mother’s care,
1226 185 Now let me show a brother’s love to thee.
1227 Agree between you. I will spare my hand.
LUCIUS 1228 Then I’ll go fetch an ax.
MARCUS 1229 But I will use the ax.⌜Lucius and Marcus⌝ exit.
1230 Come hither, Aaron. I’ll deceive them both.
1231 190 Lend me thy hand, and I will give thee mine.
1232 If that be called deceit, I will be honest
1233 And never whilst I live deceive men so.
1235 And that you’ll say ere half an hour pass.
He cuts off Titus’ hand.
Enter Lucius and Marcus again.
1236 195 Now stay your strife. What shall be is dispatched.—
1237 Good Aaron, give his Majesty my hand.
1238 Tell him it was a hand that warded him
1239 From thousand dangers. Bid him bury it.
1240 More hath it merited; that let it have.
1241 200 As for my sons, say I account of them
1242 As jewels purchased at an easy price,
1243 And yet dear, too, because I bought mine own.
1244 I go, Andronicus, and for thy hand
1245 Look by and by to have thy sons with thee.
1246 205 ⌜Aside.⌝ Their heads, I mean. O, how this villainy
1247 Doth fat me with the very thoughts of it!
1248 Let fools do good and fair men call for grace;
1249 Aaron will have his soul black like his face.
1250 O, here I lift this one hand up to heaven,
1251 210 And bow this feeble ruin to the earth.⌜He kneels.⌝
1252 If any power pities wretched tears,
1253 To that I call. (⌜Lavinia kneels.⌝) What, wouldst thou
1254 kneel with me?
1255 Do, then, dear heart, for heaven shall hear our
1256 215 prayers,
1257 Or with our sighs we’ll breathe the welkin dim
1258 And stain the sun with fog, as sometime clouds
1259 When they do hug him in their melting bosoms.
1260 O brother, speak with possibility,
1261 220 And do not break into these deep extremes.
1262 Is not my sorrow deep, having no bottom?
1263 Then be my passions bottomless with them.
1264 But yet let reason govern thy lament.
1265 If there were reason for these miseries,
1266 225 Then into limits could I bind my woes.
1267 When heaven doth weep, doth not the Earth o’erflow?
1268 If the winds rage, doth not the sea wax mad,
1269 Threat’ning the welkin with his big-swoll’n face?
1270 And wilt thou have a reason for this coil?
1271 230 I am the sea. Hark how her sighs doth flow!
1272 She is the weeping welkin, I the Earth.
1273 Then must my sea be movèd with her sighs;
1274 Then must my Earth with her continual tears
1275 Become a deluge, overflowed and drowned,
1276 235 Forwhy my bowels cannot hide her woes
1277 But like a drunkard must I vomit them.
1278 Then give me leave, for losers will have leave
1279 To ease their stomachs with their bitter tongues.
Enter a Messenger with two heads and a hand.
1280 Worthy Andronicus, ill art thou repaid
1281 240 For that good hand thou sent’st the Emperor.
1282 Here are the heads of thy two noble sons,
1283 And here’s thy hand in scorn to thee sent back.
1284 Thy grief their sports, thy resolution mocked,
1285 That woe is me to think upon thy woes
1286 245 More than remembrance of my father’s death.
1287 Now let hot Etna cool in Sicily,
1288 And be my heart an everburning hell!
1290 To weep with them that weep doth ease some deal,
1291 250 But sorrow flouted at is double death.
1292 Ah, that this sight should make so deep a wound
1293 And yet detested life not shrink thereat!
1294 That ever death should let life bear his name,
1295 Where life hath no more interest but to breathe.
⌜Lavinia kisses Titus.⌝
1296 255 Alas, poor heart, that kiss is comfortless
1297 As frozen water to a starvèd snake.
1298 When will this fearful slumber have an end?
1299 Now farewell, flatt’ry; die, Andronicus.
1300 Thou dost not slumber. See thy two sons’ heads,
1301 260 Thy warlike hand, thy mangled daughter here,
1302 Thy other banished son with this dear sight
1303 Struck pale and bloodless; and thy brother, I,
1304 Even like a stony image cold and numb.
1305 Ah, now no more will I control thy griefs.
1306 265 Rent off thy silver hair, thy other hand,
1307 Gnawing with thy teeth, and be this dismal sight
1308 The closing up of our most wretched eyes.
1309 Now is a time to storm. Why art thou still?
TITUS 1310 Ha, ha, ha!
1311 270 Why dost thou laugh? It fits not with this hour.
⌜Titus and Lavinia rise.⌝
1312 Why, I have not another tear to shed.
1313 Besides, this sorrow is an enemy
1314 And would usurp upon my wat’ry eyes
1315 And make them blind with tributary tears.
1317 For these two heads do seem to speak to me
1318 And threat me I shall never come to bliss
1319 Till all these mischiefs be returned again
1320 Even in their throats that hath committed them.
1321 280 Come, let me see what task I have to do.
1322 You heavy people, circle me about
1323 That I may turn me to each one of you
1324 And swear unto my soul to right your wrongs.
1325 The vow is made. Come, brother, take a head,
1326 285 And in this hand the other will I bear.—
1327 And, Lavinia, thou shalt be employed in these arms.
1328 Bear thou my hand, sweet wench, between thy
1330 As for thee, boy, go get thee from my sight.
1331 290 Thou art an exile, and thou must not stay.
1332 Hie to the Goths and raise an army there.
1333 And if you love me, as I think you do,
1334 Let’s kiss and part, for we have much to do.
All ⟨but Lucius⟩ exit.
1335 Farewell, Andronicus, my noble father,
1336 295 The woefull’st man that ever lived in Rome.
1337 Farewell, proud Rome, till Lucius come again.
1338 He loves his pledges dearer than his life.
1339 Farewell, Lavinia, my noble sister.
1340 O, would thou wert as thou tofore hast been!
1341 300 But now nor Lucius nor Lavinia lives
1342 But in oblivion and hateful griefs.
1343 If Lucius live he will requite your wrongs
1344 And make proud Saturnine and his empress
1345 Beg at the gates like Tarquin and his queen.
1346 305 Now will I to the Goths and raise a power
1347 To be revenged on Rome and Saturnine.
and the boy ⌜Young Lucius, with Servants.⌝
1348 So, so. Now sit, and look you eat no more
1349 Than will preserve just so much strength in us
1350 As will revenge these bitter woes of ours.
1351 Marcus, unknit that sorrow-wreathen knot.
1352 5 Thy niece and I, poor creatures, want our hands
1353 And cannot passionate our tenfold grief
1354 With folded arms. This poor right hand of mine
1355 Is left to tyrannize upon my breast,
1356 Who, when my heart, all mad with misery,
1357 10 Beats in this hollow prison of my flesh,
1358 Then thus I thump it down.—
1359 Thou map of woe, that thus dost talk in signs,
1360 When thy poor heart beats with outrageous beating,
1361 Thou canst not strike it thus to make it still.
1362 15 Wound it with sighing, girl, kill it with groans;
1363 Or get some little knife between thy teeth
1364 And just against thy heart make thou a hole,
1365 That all the tears that thy poor eyes let fall
1366 May run into that sink and, soaking in,
1367 20 Drown the lamenting fool in sea-salt tears.
1368 Fie, brother, fie! Teach her not thus to lay
1369 Such violent hands upon her tender life.
1370 How now! Has sorrow made thee dote already?
1371 Why, Marcus, no man should be mad but I.
1372 25 What violent hands can she lay on her life?
1373 Ah, wherefore dost thou urge the name of hands,
1374 To bid Aeneas tell the tale twice o’er
1375 How Troy was burnt and he made miserable?
1376 O, handle not the theme, to talk of hands,
1378 Fie, fie, how franticly I square my talk,
1379 As if we should forget we had no hands
1380 If Marcus did not name the word of hands!
1381 Come, let’s fall to, and, gentle girl, eat this.
1382 35 Here is no drink!—Hark, Marcus, what she says.
1383 I can interpret all her martyred signs.
1384 She says she drinks no other drink but tears
1385 Brewed with her sorrow, mashed upon her cheeks.—
1386 Speechless complainer, I will learn thy thought.
1387 40 In thy dumb action will I be as perfect
1388 As begging hermits in their holy prayers.
1389 Thou shalt not sigh, nor hold thy stumps to heaven,
1390 Nor wink, nor nod, nor kneel, nor make a sign,
1391 But I of these will wrest an alphabet
1392 45 And by still practice learn to know thy meaning.
YOUNG LUCIUS, ⌜weeping⌝
1393 Good grandsire, leave these bitter deep laments.
1394 Make my aunt merry with some pleasing tale.
1395 Alas, the tender boy, in passion moved,
1396 Doth weep to see his grandsire’s heaviness.
1397 50 Peace, tender sapling. Thou art made of tears,
1398 And tears will quickly melt thy life away.
Marcus strikes the dish with a knife.
1399 What dost thou strike at, Marcus, with ⌜thy⌝ knife?
1400 At that that I have killed, my lord, a fly.
1401 Out on thee, murderer! Thou kill’st my heart.
1402 55 Mine eyes ⌜are⌝ cloyed with view of tyranny;
1403 A deed of death done on the innocent
1404 Becomes not Titus’ brother. Get thee gone.
1405 I see thou art not for my company.
1406 Alas, my lord, I have but killed a fly.
1407 60 “But”? How if that fly had a father and mother?
1408 How would he hang his slender gilded wings
1409 And buzz lamenting doings in the air!
1410 Poor harmless fly,
1411 That, with his pretty buzzing melody,
1412 65 Came here to make us merry! And thou hast killed
1414 Pardon me, sir. It was a black, ill-favored fly,
1415 Like to the Empress’ Moor. Therefore I killed him.
TITUS 1416 O, O, O!
1417 70 Then pardon me for reprehending thee,
1418 For thou hast done a charitable deed.
1419 Give me thy knife. I will insult on him,
1420 Flattering myself as if it were the Moor
1421 Come hither purposely to poison me.
1422 75 There’s for thyself, and that’s for Tamora.
1423 Ah, sirrah!
1424 Yet I think we are not brought so low
1425 But that between us we can kill a fly
1426 That comes in likeness of a coal-black Moor.
1427 80 Alas, poor man, grief has so wrought on him
1428 He takes false shadows for true substances.
1429 Come, take away.—Lavinia, go with me.
1430 I’ll to thy closet and go read with thee
1431 Sad stories chancèd in the times of old.—
1432 85 Come, boy, and go with me. Thy sight is young,
1433 And thou shalt read when mine begin to dazzle.
the boy flies from her with his books under his arm.
Enter Titus and Marcus.
1434 Help, grandsire, help! My aunt Lavinia
1435 Follows me everywhere, I know not why.—
1436 Good uncle Marcus, see how swift she comes!—
1437 Alas, sweet aunt, I know not what you mean.
1438 5 Stand by me, Lucius. Do not fear thine aunt.
1439 She loves thee, boy, too well to do thee harm.
1440 Ay, when my father was in Rome she did.
1441 What means my niece Lavinia by these signs?
1442 Fear her not, Lucius. Somewhat doth she mean.
1443 10 See, Lucius, see, how much she makes of thee.
1444 Somewhither would she have thee go with her.
1445 ⌜Ah,⌝ boy, Cornelia never with more care
1446 Read to her sons than she hath read to thee
1447 Sweet poetry and Tully’s Orator.
1448 15 Canst thou not guess wherefore she plies thee thus?
1449 My lord, I know not, I, nor can I guess,
1450 Unless some fit or frenzy do possess her;
1451 For I have heard my grandsire say full oft,
1452 Extremity of griefs would make men mad,
1453 20 And I have read that Hecuba of Troy
1454 Ran mad for sorrow. That made me to fear,
1455 Although, my lord, I know my noble aunt
1456 Loves me as dear as e’er my mother did,
1457 And would not but in fury fright my youth,
1458 25 Which made me down to throw my books and fly,
1459 Causeless, perhaps.—But pardon me, sweet aunt.
1460 And, madam, if my uncle Marcus go,
1461 I will most willingly attend your Ladyship.
MARCUS 1462 Lucius, I will.
1463 30 How now, Lavinia?—Marcus, what means this?
1464 Some book there is that she desires to see.—
1465 Which is it, girl, of these?—Open them, boy.—
1466 ⌜To Lavinia.⌝ But thou art deeper read and better
1468 35 Come and take choice of all my library,
1469 And so beguile thy sorrow till the heavens
1470 Reveal the damned contriver of this deed.—
1471 Why lifts she up her arms in sequence thus?
1472 I think she means that there were more than one
1473 40 Confederate in the fact. Ay, more there was,
1474 Or else to heaven she heaves them for revenge.
1475 Lucius, what book is that she tosseth so?
1476 Grandsire, ’tis Ovid’s Metamorphosis.
1477 My mother gave it me.
1479 Perhaps, she culled it from among the rest.
1480 Soft! So busily she turns the leaves.
1481 Help her! What would she find?—Lavinia, shall I read?
1482 This is the tragic tale of Philomel,
1483 50 And treats of Tereus’ treason and his rape.
1484 And rape, I fear, was root of thy annoy.
1485 See, brother, see! Note how she quotes the leaves.
1486 Lavinia, wert thou thus surprised, sweet girl,
1487 Ravished and wronged as Philomela was,
1488 55 Forced in the ruthless, vast, and gloomy woods?
1489 See, see! Ay, such a place there is where we did hunt—
1490 O, had we never, never hunted there!—
1491 Patterned by that the poet here describes,
1492 By nature made for murders and for rapes.
1493 60 O, why should nature build so foul a den,
1494 Unless the gods delight in tragedies?
1495 Give signs, sweet girl, for here are none but friends,
1496 What Roman lord it was durst do the deed.
1497 Or slunk not Saturnine, as Tarquin erst,
1498 65 That left the camp to sin in Lucrece’ bed?
1499 Sit down, sweet niece.—Brother, sit down by me.
1500 Apollo, Pallas, Jove, or Mercury
1501 Inspire me, that I may this treason find.—
1502 My lord, look here.—Look here, Lavinia.
He writes his name with his staff and guides it
with feet and mouth.
1503 70 This sandy plot is plain; guide, if thou canst,
1504 This after me. I have writ my name
1506 Cursed be that heart that forced us to this shift!
1507 Write thou, good niece, and here display at last
1508 75 What God will have discovered for revenge.
1509 Heaven guide thy pen to print thy sorrows plain,
1510 That we may know the traitors and the truth.
She takes the staff in her mouth, and guides it
with her stumps and writes.
1511 O, do you read, my lord, what she hath writ?
1512 “Stuprum. Chiron, Demetrius.”
1513 80 What, what! The lustful sons of Tamora
1514 Performers of this heinous, bloody deed?
TITUS 1515 Magni Dominator poli,
1516 Tam lentus audis scelera, tam lentus vides?
1517 O, calm thee, gentle lord, although I know
1518 85 There is enough written upon this earth
1519 To stir a mutiny in the mildest thoughts
1520 And arm the minds of infants to exclaims.
1521 My lord, kneel down with me.—Lavinia, kneel.—
1522 And kneel, sweet boy, the Roman Hector’s hope,
⌜They all kneel.⌝
1523 90 And swear with me—as, with the woeful fere
1524 And father of that chaste dishonored dame,
1525 Lord Junius Brutus swore for Lucrece’ rape—
1526 That we will prosecute by good advice
1527 Mortal revenge upon these traitorous Goths,
1528 95 And see their blood or die with this reproach.
1529 ’Tis sure enough, an you knew how.
1530 But if you hunt these bearwhelps, then beware;
1531 The dam will wake an if she wind you once.
1532 She’s with the lion deeply still in league,
1534 And when he sleeps will she do what she list.
1535 You are a young huntsman, Marcus; let alone.
1536 And come, I will go get a leaf of brass,
1537 And with a gad of steel will write these words,
1538 105 And lay it by. The angry northern wind
1539 Will blow these sands like Sibyl’s leaves abroad,
1540 And where’s our lesson then?—Boy, what say you?
1541 I say, my lord, that if I were a man,
1542 Their mother’s bedchamber should not be safe
1543 110 For these base bondmen to the yoke of Rome.
1544 Ay, that’s my boy! Thy father hath full oft
1545 For his ungrateful country done the like.
1546 And, uncle, so will I, an if I live.
1547 Come, go with me into mine armory.
1548 115 Lucius, I’ll fit thee, and withal my boy
1549 Shall carry from me to the Empress’ sons
1550 Presents that I intend to send them both.
1551 Come, come. Thou ’lt do my message, wilt thou not?
1552 Ay, with my dagger in their bosoms, grandsire.
1553 120 No, boy, not so. I’ll teach thee another course.—
1554 Lavinia, come.—Marcus, look to my house.
1555 Lucius and I’ll go brave it at the court;
1556 Ay, marry, will we, sir, and we’ll be waited on.
All ⌜but Marcus⌝ exit.
1557 O heavens, can you hear a good man groan
1558 125 And not relent, or not compassion him?
1559 Marcus, attend him in his ecstasy,
1560 That hath more scars of sorrow in his heart
1562 But yet so just that he will not revenge.
1563 130 Revenge the heavens for old Andronicus!
the other door young Lucius and another, with a bundle
of weapons and verses writ upon them.
1564 Demetrius, here’s the son of Lucius.
1565 He hath some message to deliver us.
1566 Ay, some mad message from his mad grandfather.
1567 My lords, with all the humbleness I may,
1568 5 I greet your Honors from Andronicus—
1569 ⌜Aside.⌝ And pray the Roman gods confound you both.
1570 Gramercy, lovely Lucius. What’s the news?
YOUNG LUCIUS, ⌜aside⌝
1571 That you are both deciphered, that’s the news,
1572 For villains marked with rape.—May it please you,
1573 10 My grandsire, well advised, hath sent by me
1574 The goodliest weapons of his armory
1575 To gratify your honorable youth,
1576 The hope of Rome; for so he bid me say,
1577 And so I do, and with his gifts present
1578 15 Your Lordships, ⌜that,⌝ whenever you have need,
1579 You may be armèd and appointed well,
1580 And so I leave you both—(⌜aside⌝) like bloody villains.
He exits, ⌜with Attendant.⌝
1581 What’s here? A scroll, and written round about.
⌜He reads:⌝ 1583 20 “Integer vitae, scelerisque purus,
1584 Non eget Mauri iaculis, nec arcu.”
1585 O, ’tis a verse in Horace; I know it well.
1586 I read it in the grammar long ago.
1587 Ay, just; a verse in Horace; right, you have it.
1588 25 ⌜Aside.⌝ Now, what a thing it is to be an ass!
1589 Here’s no sound jest. The old man hath found their
1591 And sends them weapons wrapped about with lines
1592 That wound, beyond their feeling, to the quick.
1593 30 But were our witty empress well afoot,
1594 She would applaud Andronicus’ conceit.
1595 But let her rest in her unrest awhile.—
1596 And now, young lords, was ’t not a happy star
1597 Led us to Rome, strangers, and, more than so,
1598 35 Captives, to be advancèd to this height?
1599 It did me good before the palace gate
1600 To brave the tribune in his brother’s hearing.
1601 But me more good to see so great a lord
1602 Basely insinuate and send us gifts.
1603 40 Had he not reason, Lord Demetrius?
1604 Did you not use his daughter very friendly?
1605 I would we had a thousand Roman dames
1606 At such a bay, by turn to serve our lust.
1607 A charitable wish, and full of love!
1608 45 Here lacks but your mother for to say amen.
1609 And that would she, for twenty thousand more.
1610 Come, let us go and pray to all the gods
1611 For our belovèd mother in her pains.
1612 Pray to the devils; the gods have given us over.
Trumpets sound ⌜offstage.⌝
1613 50 Why do the Emperor’s trumpets flourish thus?
1614 Belike for joy the Emperor hath a son.
DEMETRIUS 1615 Soft, who comes here?
Enter Nurse, with a blackamoor child ⌜in her arms.⌝
NURSE 1616 Good morrow, lords.
1617 O, tell me, did you see Aaron the Moor?
1618 55 Well, more or less, or ne’er a whit at all,
1619 Here Aaron is. And what with Aaron now?
1620 O, gentle Aaron, we are all undone!
1621 Now help, or woe betide thee evermore.
1622 Why, what a caterwauling dost thou keep!
1623 60 What dost thou wrap and fumble in thy arms?
1624 O, that which I would hide from heaven’s eye,
1625 Our empress’ shame and stately Rome’s disgrace.
1626 She is delivered, lords, she is delivered.
AARON 1627 To whom?
NURSE 1628 65I mean, she is brought abed.
1629 Well, God give her good rest. What hath he sent her?
NURSE 1630 A devil.
1631 Why, then she is the devil’s dam. A joyful issue!
1632 A joyless, dismal, black, and sorrowful issue!
1633 70 Here is the babe, as loathsome as a toad
1634 Amongst the fair-faced breeders of our clime.
1635 The Empress sends it thee, thy stamp, thy seal,
1636 And bids thee christen it with thy dagger’s point.
1637 Zounds, you whore, is black so base a hue?
1638 75 ⌜To the baby.⌝ Sweet blowse, you are a beauteous
1639 blossom, sure.
DEMETRIUS 1640 Villain, what hast thou done?
AARON 1641 That which thou canst not undo.
CHIRON 1642 Thou hast undone our mother.
AARON 1643 80Villain, I have done thy mother.
1644 And therein, hellish dog, thou hast undone her.
1645 Woe to her chance, and damned her loathèd choice!
1646 Accursed the offspring of so foul a fiend!
CHIRON 1647 It shall not live.
AARON 1648 85It shall not die.
1649 Aaron, it must. The mother wills it so.
1650 What, must it, nurse? Then let no man but I
1651 Do execution on my flesh and blood.
1652 I’ll broach the tadpole on my rapier’s point.
1653 90 Nurse, give it me. My sword shall soon dispatch it.
AARON, ⌜taking the baby⌝
1654 Sooner this sword shall plow thy bowels up!
1655 Stay, murderous villains, will you kill your brother?
1656 Now, by the burning tapers of the sky
1657 That shone so brightly when this boy was got,
1658 95 He dies upon my scimitar’s sharp point
1659 That touches this my firstborn son and heir.
1660 I tell you, younglings, not Enceladus
1662 Nor great Alcides, nor the god of war
1663 100 Shall seize this prey out of his father’s hands.
1664 What, what, you sanguine, shallow-hearted boys,
1665 You white-limed walls, you alehouse painted signs!
1666 Coal-black is better than another hue
1667 In that it scorns to bear another hue;
1668 105 For all the water in the ocean
1669 Can never turn the swan’s black legs to white,
1670 Although she lave them hourly in the flood.
1671 Tell the Empress from me, I am of age
1672 To keep mine own, excuse it how she can.
1673 110 Wilt thou betray thy noble mistress thus?
1674 My mistress is my mistress, this myself,
1675 The vigor and the picture of my youth.
1676 This before all the world do I prefer;
1677 This maugre all the world will I keep safe,
1678 115 Or some of you shall smoke for it in Rome.
1679 By this our mother is forever shamed.
1680 Rome will despise her for this foul escape.
1681 The Emperor in his rage will doom her death.
1682 I blush to think upon this ignomy.
1683 120 Why, there’s the privilege your beauty bears.
1684 Fie, treacherous hue, that will betray with blushing
1685 The close enacts and counsels of thy heart.
1686 Here’s a young lad framed of another leer.
1687 Look how the black slave smiles upon the father,
1688 125 As who should say “Old lad, I am thine own.”
1690 Of that self blood that first gave life to you,
1691 And from ⌜that⌝ womb where you imprisoned were
1692 He is enfranchisèd and come to light.
1693 130 Nay, he is your brother by the surer side,
1694 Although my seal be stampèd in his face.
1695 Aaron, what shall I say unto the Empress?
1696 Advise thee, Aaron, what is to be done,
1697 And we will all subscribe to thy advice.
1698 135 Save thou the child, so we may all be safe.
1699 Then sit we down, and let us all consult.
1700 My son and I will have the wind of you.
1701 Keep there. Now talk at pleasure of your safety.
DEMETRIUS, ⌜to the Nurse⌝
1702 How many women saw this child of his?
1703 140 Why, so, brave lords! When we join in league,
1704 I am a lamb; but if you brave the Moor,
1705 The chafèd boar, the mountain lioness,
1706 The ocean swells not so as Aaron storms.
1707 ⌜To the Nurse.⌝ But say again, how many saw the
1708 145 child?
1709 Cornelia the midwife and myself,
1710 And no one else but the delivered Empress.
1711 The Empress, the midwife, and yourself.
1712 Two may keep counsel when the third’s away.
1713 150 Go to the Empress; tell her this I said.
He kills her.
1714 “Wheak, wheak”! So cries a pig preparèd to the spit.
1715 What mean’st thou, Aaron? Wherefore didst thou this?
1716 O Lord, sir, ’tis a deed of policy.
1717 Shall she live to betray this guilt of ours,
1718 155 A long-tongued babbling gossip? No, lords, no.
1719 And now be it known to you my full intent:
1720 Not far one Muliteus my countryman
1721 His wife but yesternight was brought to bed.
1722 His child is like to her, fair as you are.
1723 160 Go pack with him, and give the mother gold,
1724 And tell them both the circumstance of all,
1725 And how by this their child shall be advanced
1726 And be receivèd for the Emperor’s heir,
1727 And substituted in the place of mine,
1728 165 To calm this tempest whirling in the court;
1729 And let the Emperor dandle him for his own.
1730 Hark you, lords, you see I have given her physic,
⌜indicating the Nurse⌝
1731 And you must needs bestow her funeral.
1732 The fields are near, and you are gallant grooms.
1733 170 This done, see that you take no longer days,
1734 But send the midwife presently to me.
1735 The midwife and the nurse well made away,
1736 Then let the ladies tattle what they please.
1737 Aaron, I see thou wilt not trust the air
1738 175 With secrets.
DEMETRIUS 1739 For this care of Tamora,
1740 Herself and hers are highly bound to thee.
⌜Demetrius and Chiron⌝ exit,
⌜carrying the Nurse’s body.⌝
1741 Now to the Goths, as swift as swallow flies,
1742 There to dispose this treasure in mine arms
1743 180 And secretly to greet the Empress’ friends.—
1744 Come on, you thick-lipped slave, I’ll bear you hence,
1746 I’ll make you feed on berries and on roots,
1747 And feed on curds and whey, and suck the goat,
1748 185 And cabin in a cave, and bring you up
1749 To be a warrior and command a camp.
He exits ⌜with the baby.⌝
Lucius, and other gentlemen (⌜Caius and Sempronius⌝)
with bows, and Titus bears the arrows with letters on
the ends of them.
1750 Come, Marcus, come. Kinsmen, this is the way.—
1751 Sir boy, let me see your archery.
1752 Look you draw home enough and ’tis there straight.—
1753 Terras Astraea reliquit.
1754 5 Be you remembered, Marcus, she’s gone, she’s fled.—
1755 Sirs, take you to your tools. You, cousins, shall
1756 Go sound the ocean and cast your nets;
1757 Happily you may catch her in the sea;
1758 Yet there’s as little justice as at land.
1759 10 No; Publius and Sempronius, you must do it.
1760 ’Tis you must dig with mattock and with spade,
1761 And pierce the inmost center of the Earth.
1762 Then, when you come to Pluto’s region,
1763 I pray you, deliver him this petition.
1764 15 Tell him it is for justice and for aid,
1765 And that it comes from old Andronicus,
1766 Shaken with sorrows in ungrateful Rome.
1767 Ah, Rome! Well, well, I made thee miserable
1768 What time I threw the people’s suffrages
1769 20 On him that thus doth tyrannize o’er me.
1771 And leave you not a man-of-war unsearched.
1772 This wicked emperor may have shipped her hence,
1773 And, kinsmen, then we may go pipe for justice.
1774 25 O Publius, is not this a heavy case
1775 To see thy noble uncle thus distract?
1776 Therefore, my lords, it highly us concerns
1777 By day and night t’ attend him carefully,
1778 And feed his humor kindly as we may,
1779 30 Till time beget some careful remedy.
1780 Kinsmen, his sorrows are past remedy
1781 ⌜But …⌝
1782 Join with the Goths, and with revengeful war
1783 Take wreak on Rome for this ingratitude,
1784 35 And vengeance on the traitor Saturnine.
1785 Publius, how now? How now, my masters?
1786 What, have you met with her?
1787 No, my good lord, but Pluto sends you word,
1788 If you will have Revenge from hell, you shall.
1789 40 Marry, for Justice, she is so employed,
1790 He thinks, with Jove in heaven, or somewhere else,
1791 So that perforce you must needs stay a time.
1792 He doth me wrong to feed me with delays.
1793 I’ll dive into the burning lake below
1794 45 And pull her out of Acheron by the heels.
1795 Marcus, we are but shrubs, no cedars we,
1796 No big-boned men framed of the Cyclops’ size,
1797 But metal, Marcus, steel to the very back,
1798 Yet wrung with wrongs more than our backs can
1799 50 bear;
1801 We will solicit heaven and move the gods
1802 To send down Justice for to wreak our wrongs.
1803 Come, to this gear. You are a good archer, Marcus.
He gives them the arrows.
1804 55 “Ad Jovem,” that’s for you;—here, “Ad Apollinem”;—
1805 “Ad Martem,” that’s for myself;—
1806 Here, boy, “to Pallas”;—here, “to Mercury”;—
1807 “To ⌜Saturn,⌝” Caius—not to Saturnine!
1808 You were as good to shoot against the wind.
1809 60 To it, boy!—Marcus, loose when I bid.
1810 Of my word, I have written to effect;
1811 There’s not a god left unsolicited.
1812 Kinsmen, shoot all your shafts into the court.
1813 We will afflict the Emperor in his pride.
1814 65 Now, masters, draw. (⌜They shoot.⌝) O, well said,
1816 Good boy, in Virgo’s lap! Give it Pallas.
1817 My lord, I aim a mile beyond the moon.
1818 Your letter is with Jupiter by this.
1819 70 Ha, ha! Publius, Publius, what hast thou done?
1820 See, see, thou hast shot off one of Taurus’ horns!
1821 This was the sport, my lord; when Publius shot,
1822 The Bull, being galled, gave Aries such a knock
1823 That down fell both the Ram’s horns in the court,
1824 75 And who should find them but the Empress’ villain?
1825 She laughed and told the Moor he should not choose
1826 But give them to his master for a present.
1827 Why, there it goes. God give his Lordship joy!
pigeons in it.
1828 News, news from heaven! Marcus, the post is
1829 80 come.—
1830 Sirrah, what tidings? Have you any letters?
1831 Shall I have Justice? What says Jupiter?
⌜COUNTRY FELLOW⌝ 1832 Ho, the gibbet-maker? He says that
1833 he hath taken them down again, for the man must
1834 85 not be hanged till the next week.
TITUS 1835 But what says Jupiter, I ask thee?
⌜COUNTRY FELLOW⌝ 1836 Alas, sir, I know not Jubiter; I never
1837 drank with him in all my life.
TITUS 1838 Why, villain, art not thou the carrier?
⌜COUNTRY FELLOW⌝ 1839 90Ay, of my pigeons, sir; nothing else.
TITUS 1840 Why, didst thou not come from heaven?
⌜COUNTRY FELLOW⌝ 1841 From heaven? Alas, sir, I never
1842 came there. God forbid I should be so bold to press
1843 to heaven in my young days. Why, I am going with
1844 95 my pigeons to the tribunal plebs, to take up a matter
1845 of brawl betwixt my uncle and one of the Emperal’s
MARCUS, ⌜to Titus⌝ 1847 Why, sir, that is as fit as can be to
1848 serve for your oration; and let him deliver the pigeons
1849 100 to the Emperor from you.
TITUS 1850 Tell me, can you deliver an oration to the Emperor
1851 with a grace?
⌜COUNTRY FELLOW⌝ 1852 Nay, truly, sir, I could never say
1853 grace in all my life.
1854 105 Sirrah, come hither. Make no more ado,
1855 But give your pigeons to the Emperor.
1856 By me thou shalt have justice at his hands.
1857 Hold, hold; meanwhile here’s money for thy
1859 110 with a grace deliver up a supplication?
⌜COUNTRY FELLOW⌝ 1860 Ay, sir.
TITUS 1861 Then here is a supplication for you, and when
1862 you come to him, at the first approach you must
1863 kneel, then kiss his foot, then deliver up your pigeons,
1864 115 and then look for your reward. I’ll be at
1865 hand, sir. See you do it bravely.
⌜He hands him a paper.⌝
⌜COUNTRY FELLOW⌝ 1866 I warrant you, sir. Let me alone.
1867 Sirrah, hast thou a knife? Come, let me see it.—
⌜He takes the knife and gives it to Marcus.⌝
1868 Here, Marcus, fold it in the oration,
1869 120 For thou hast made it like an humble suppliant.—
1870 And when thou hast given it to the Emperor,
1871 Knock at my door and tell me what he says.
⌜COUNTRY FELLOW⌝ 1872 God be with you, sir. I will.
TITUS 1873 Come, Marcus, let us go.—Publius, follow me.
and her two sons ⌜Chiron and Demetrius, with
Attendants.⌝ The Emperor brings the arrows in his
hand that Titus shot at him.
1874 Why, lords, what wrongs are these! Was ever seen
1875 An emperor in Rome thus overborne,
1876 Troubled, confronted thus, and for the extent
1877 Of equal justice, used in such contempt?
1879 However these disturbers of our peace
1880 Buzz in the people’s ears, there naught hath passed
1881 But even with law against the willful sons
1882 Of old Andronicus. And what an if
1883 10 His sorrows have so overwhelmed his wits?
1884 Shall we be thus afflicted in his wreaks,
1885 His fits, his frenzy, and his bitterness?
1886 And now he writes to heaven for his redress!
1887 See, here’s “to Jove,” and this “to Mercury,”
1888 15 This “to Apollo,” this to the god of war.
1889 Sweet scrolls to fly about the streets of Rome!
1890 What’s this but libeling against the Senate
1891 And blazoning our unjustice everywhere?
1892 A goodly humor is it not, my lords?
1893 20 As who would say, in Rome no justice were.
1894 But if I live, his feignèd ecstasies
1895 Shall be no shelter to these outrages,
1896 But he and his shall know that justice lives
1897 In Saturninus’ health, whom, if he sleep,
1898 25 He’ll so awake as he in fury shall
1899 Cut off the proud’st conspirator that lives.
1900 My gracious lord, my lovely Saturnine,
1901 Lord of my life, commander of my thoughts,
1902 Calm thee, and bear the faults of Titus’ age,
1903 30 Th’ effects of sorrow for his valiant sons,
1904 Whose loss hath pierced him deep and scarred his
1906 And rather comfort his distressèd plight
1907 Than prosecute the meanest or the best
1908 35 For these contempts. (⌜Aside.⌝) Why, thus it shall
1910 High-witted Tamora to gloze with all.
1911 But, Titus, I have touched thee to the quick.
1912 Thy lifeblood out, if Aaron now be wise,
1913 40 Then is all safe, the anchor in the port.
1914 How now, good fellow, wouldst thou speak with us?
⌜COUNTRY FELLOW⌝ 1915 Yea, forsooth, an your Mistresship be
1917 Empress I am, but yonder sits the Emperor.
⌜COUNTRY FELLOW⌝ 1918 45’Tis he!—God and Saint Stephen
1919 give you good e’en. I have brought you a letter and
1920 a couple of pigeons here.
⌜Saturninus⌝ reads the letter.
1921 Go, take him away, and hang him presently.
⌜COUNTRY FELLOW⌝ 1922 How much money must I have?
TAMORA 1923 50Come, sirrah, you must be hanged.
⌜COUNTRY FELLOW⌝ 1924 Hanged! ⌜By ’r⌝ Lady, then I have
1925 brought up a neck to a fair end.
He exits ⌜with Attendants.⌝
1926 Despiteful and intolerable wrongs!
1927 Shall I endure this monstrous villainy?
1928 55 I know from whence this same device proceeds.
1929 May this be borne?—as if his traitorous sons,
1930 That died by law for murder of our brother,
1931 Have by my means been butchered wrongfully!
1932 Go, drag the villain hither by the hair.
1933 60 Nor age nor honor shall shape privilege.
1934 For this proud mock, I’ll be thy slaughterman,
1935 Sly, frantic wretch, that holp’st to make me great
1936 In hope thyself should govern Rome and me.
Enter nuntius, Aemilius.
SATURNINUS 1937 What news with thee, Aemilius?
1938 65 Arm, my lords! Rome never had more cause.
1939 The Goths have gathered head, and with a power
1941 They hither march amain under conduct
1942 Of Lucius, son to old Andronicus,
1943 70 Who threats, in course of this revenge, to do
1944 As much as ever Coriolanus did.
1945 Is warlike Lucius general of the Goths?
1946 These tidings nip me, and I hang the head
1947 As flowers with frost or grass beat down with storms.
1948 75 Ay, now begins our sorrows to approach.
1949 ’Tis he the common people love so much.
1950 Myself hath often heard them say,
1951 When I have walkèd like a private man,
1952 That Lucius’ banishment was wrongfully,
1953 80 And they have wished that Lucius were their emperor.
1954 Why should you fear? Is not your city strong?
1955 Ay, but the citizens favor Lucius
1956 And will revolt from me to succor him.
1957 King, be thy thoughts imperious like thy name.
1958 85 Is the sun dimmed that gnats do fly in it?
1959 The eagle suffers little birds to sing
1960 And is not careful what they mean thereby,
1961 Knowing that with the shadow of his wings
1962 He can at pleasure stint their melody.
1963 90 Even so mayst thou the giddy men of Rome.
1964 Then cheer thy spirit, for know, thou emperor,
1965 I will enchant the old Andronicus
1966 With words more sweet and yet more dangerous
1967 Than baits to fish or honey-stalks to sheep,
1968 95 Whenas the one is wounded with the bait,
1969 The other rotted with delicious ⌜feed.⌝
1970 But he will not entreat his son for us.
1971 If Tamora entreat him, then he will,
1972 For I can smooth and fill his agèd ears
1973 100 With golden promises, that were his heart
1974 Almost impregnable, his old ⌜ears⌝ deaf,
1975 Yet should both ear and heart obey my tongue.
1976 ⌜To Aemilius.⌝ Go thou before to be our ambassador.
1977 Say that the Emperor requests a parley
1978 105 Of warlike Lucius, and appoint the meeting
1979 Even at his father’s house, the old Andronicus.
1980 Aemilius, do this message honorably,
1981 And if he stand in hostage for his safety,
1982 Bid him demand what pledge will please him best.
1983 110 Your bidding shall I do effectually.
1984 Now will I to that old Andronicus
1985 And temper him with all the art I have
1986 To pluck proud Lucius from the warlike Goths.
1987 And now, sweet emperor, be blithe again,
1988 115 And bury all thy fear in my devices.
1989 Then go successantly, and plead to him.
Drums and Soldiers.
1990 Approvèd warriors and my faithful friends,
1991 I have receivèd letters from great Rome
1992 Which signifies what hate they bear their emperor
1993 And how desirous of our sight they are.
1994 5 Therefore, great lords, be as your titles witness,
1995 Imperious, and impatient of your wrongs,
1996 And wherein Rome hath done you any scathe,
1997 Let him make treble satisfaction.
1998 Brave slip sprung from the great Andronicus,
1999 10 Whose name was once our terror, now our comfort,
2000 Whose high exploits and honorable deeds
2001 Ingrateful Rome requites with foul contempt,
2002 Be bold in us. We’ll follow where thou lead’st,
2003 Like stinging bees in hottest summer’s day
2004 15 Led by their master to the flowered fields,
2005 And be avenged on cursèd Tamora.
2006 And as he saith, so say we all with him.
2007 I humbly thank him, and I thank you all.
2008 But who comes here, led by a lusty Goth?
2009 20 Renownèd Lucius, from our troops I strayed
2010 To gaze upon a ruinous monastery,
2011 And as I earnestly did fix mine eye
2012 Upon the wasted building, suddenly
2013 I heard a child cry underneath a wall.
2014 25 I made unto the noise, when soon I heard
2015 The crying babe controlled with this discourse:
2016 “Peace, tawny slave, half me and half thy dame!
2017 Did not thy hue bewray whose brat thou art,
2018 Had nature lent thee but thy mother’s look,
2019 30 Villain, thou mightst have been an emperor.
2020 But where the bull and cow are both milk white,
2021 They never do beget a coal-black calf.
2022 Peace, villain, peace!”—even thus he rates the babe—
2023 “For I must bear thee to a trusty Goth
2024 35 Who, when he knows thou art the Empress’ babe,
2025 Will hold thee dearly for thy mother’s sake.”
2026 With this, my weapon drawn, I rushed upon him,
2027 Surprised him suddenly, and brought him hither
2028 To use as you think needful of the man.
2029 40 O worthy Goth, this is the incarnate devil
2030 That robbed Andronicus of his good hand;
2031 This is the pearl that pleased your empress’ eye;
2032 And here’s the base fruit of her burning lust.—
2033 Say, wall-eyed slave, whither wouldst thou convey
2034 45 This growing image of thy fiendlike face?
2035 Why dost not speak? What, deaf? Not a word?—
2036 A halter, soldiers! Hang him on this tree,
2037 And by his side his fruit of bastardy.
2038 Touch not the boy. He is of royal blood.
2039 50 Too like the sire for ever being good.
2040 First hang the child, that he may see it sprawl,
2041 A sight to vex the father’s soul withal.
2042 Get me a ladder.
⌜A ladder is brought, which Aaron is made to climb.⌝
AARON 2043 Lucius, save the child
2044 55 And bear it from me to the Empress.
2045 If thou do this, I’ll show thee wondrous things
2046 That highly may advantage thee to hear.
2047 If thou wilt not, befall what may befall,
2048 I’ll speak no more but “Vengeance rot you all!”
2049 60 Say on, and if it please me which thou speak’st,
2050 Thy child shall live, and I will see it nourished.
2051 And if it please thee? Why, assure thee, Lucius,
2052 ’Twill vex thy soul to hear what I shall speak;
2053 For I must talk of murders, rapes, and massacres,
2054 65 Acts of black night, abominable deeds,
2055 Complots of mischief, treason, villainies,
2056 Ruthful to hear, yet piteously performed.
2057 And this shall all be buried in my death,
2058 Unless thou swear to me my child shall live.
2059 70 Tell on thy mind. I say thy child shall live.
2060 Swear that he shall, and then I will begin.
2061 Who should I swear by? Thou believest no god.
2062 That granted, how canst thou believe an oath?
2063 What if I do not? As indeed I do not.
2064 75 Yet, for I know thou art religious
2065 And hast a thing within thee callèd conscience,
2066 With twenty popish tricks and ceremonies
2068 Therefore I urge thy oath; for that I know
2069 80 An idiot holds his bauble for a god
2070 And keeps the oath which by that god he swears,
2071 To that I’ll urge him. Therefore thou shalt vow
2072 By that same god, what god soe’er it be
2073 That thou adorest and hast in reverence,
2074 85 To save my boy, to nourish and bring him up,
2075 Or else I will discover naught to thee.
2076 Even by my god I swear to thee I will.
2077 First know thou, I begot him on the Empress.
2078 O, most insatiate and luxurious woman!
2079 90 Tut, Lucius, this was but a deed of charity
2080 To that which thou shalt hear of me anon.
2081 ’Twas her two sons that murdered Bassianus.
2082 They cut thy sister’s tongue, and ravished her,
2083 And cut her hands, and trimmed her as thou sawest.
2084 95 O detestable villain, call’st thou that trimming?
2085 Why, she was washed, and cut, and trimmed; and
2087 Trim sport for them which had the doing of it.
2088 O, barbarous beastly villains, like thyself!
2089 100 Indeed, I was their tutor to instruct them.
2090 That codding spirit had they from their mother,
2091 As sure a card as ever won the set;
2092 That bloody mind I think they learned of me,
2093 As true a dog as ever fought at head.
2094 105 Well, let my deeds be witness of my worth.
2096 Where the dead corpse of Bassianus lay.
2097 I wrote the letter that thy father found,
2098 And hid the gold within that letter mentioned,
2099 110 Confederate with the Queen and her two sons.
2100 And what not done that thou hast cause to rue,
2101 Wherein I had no stroke of mischief in it?
2102 I played the cheater for thy father’s hand,
2103 And, when I had it, drew myself apart
2104 115 And almost broke my heart with extreme laughter.
2105 I pried me through the crevice of a wall
2106 When, for his hand, he had his two sons’ heads,
2107 Beheld his tears, and laughed so heartily
2108 That both mine eyes were rainy like to his.
2109 120 And when I told the Empress of this sport,
2110 She sounded almost at my pleasing tale,
2111 And for my tidings gave me twenty kisses.
2112 What, canst thou say all this and never blush?
2113 Ay, like a black dog, as the saying is.
2114 125 Art thou not sorry for these heinous deeds?
2115 Ay, that I had not done a thousand more.
2116 Even now I curse the day—and yet, I think,
2117 Few come within the compass of my curse—
2118 Wherein I did not some notorious ill,
2119 130 As kill a man, or else devise his death;
2120 Ravish a maid or plot the way to do it;
2121 Accuse some innocent and forswear myself;
2122 Set deadly enmity between two friends;
2123 Make poor men’s cattle break their necks;
2124 135 Set fire on barns and haystalks in the night,
2125 And bid the owners quench them with their tears.
2126 Oft have I digged up dead men from their graves
2127 And set them upright at their dear friends’ door,
2129 140 And on their skins, as on the bark of trees,
2130 Have with my knife carvèd in Roman letters
2131 “Let not your sorrow die, though I am dead.”
2132 But I have done a thousand dreadful things
2133 As willingly as one would kill a fly,
2134 145 And nothing grieves me heartily indeed
2135 But that I cannot do ten thousand more.
2136 Bring down the devil, for he must not die
2137 So sweet a death as hanging presently.
⌜Aaron is brought down from the ladder.⌝
2138 If there be devils, would I were a devil,
2139 150 To live and burn in everlasting fire,
2140 So I might have your company in hell
2141 But to torment you with my bitter tongue.
2142 Sirs, stop his mouth, and let him speak no more.
2143 My lord, there is a messenger from Rome
2144 155 Desires to be admitted to your presence.
LUCIUS 2145 Let him come near.⌜Aemilius comes forward.⌝
2146 Welcome, Aemilius. What’s the news from Rome?
2147 Lord Lucius, and you princes of the Goths,
2148 The Roman Emperor greets you all by me;
2149 160 And, for he understands you are in arms,
2150 He craves a parley at your father’s house,
2151 Willing you to demand your hostages,
2152 And they shall be immediately delivered.
GOTH 2153 What says our general?
2154 165 Aemilius, let the Emperor give his pledges
2156 And we will come. March away.
2157 Thus, in this strange and sad habiliment
2158 I will encounter with Andronicus
2159 And say I am Revenge, sent from below
2160 To join with him and right his heinous wrongs.
2161 5 Knock at his study, where they say he keeps
2162 To ruminate strange plots of dire revenge.
2163 Tell him Revenge is come to join with him
2164 And work confusion on his enemies.
They knock, and Titus (⌜above⌝) opens his study door.
2165 Who doth molest my contemplation?
2166 10 Is it your trick to make me ope the door,
2167 That so my sad decrees may fly away
2168 And all my study be to no effect?
2169 You are deceived, for what I mean to do,
2170 See here, in bloody lines I have set down,
2171 15 And what is written shall be executed.
2172 Titus, I am come to talk with thee.
2173 No, not a word. How can I grace my talk,
2174 Wanting a hand to give ⟨it action?⟩
2175 Thou hast the odds of me; therefore, no more.
2176 20 If thou didst know me, thou wouldst talk with me.
2177 I am not mad. I know thee well enough.
2178 Witness this wretched stump; witness these crimson
2180 Witness these trenches made by grief and care;
2181 25 Witness the tiring day and heavy night;
2182 Witness all sorrow that I know thee well
2183 For our proud empress, mighty Tamora.
2184 Is not thy coming for my other hand?
2185 Know, thou sad man, I am not Tamora.
2186 30 She is thy enemy, and I thy friend.
2187 I am Revenge, sent from th’ infernal kingdom
2188 To ease the gnawing vulture of thy mind
2189 By working wreakful vengeance on thy foes.
2190 Come down and welcome me to this world’s light.
2191 35 Confer with me of murder and of death.
2192 There’s not a hollow cave or lurking-place,
2193 No vast obscurity or misty vale
2194 Where bloody murder or detested rape
2195 Can couch for fear but I will find them out,
2196 40 And in their ears tell them my dreadful name,
2197 Revenge, which makes the foul offender quake.
2198 Art thou Revenge? And art thou sent to me
2199 To be a torment to mine enemies?
2200 I am. Therefore come down and welcome me.
2201 45 Do me some service ere I come to thee.
2202 Lo, by thy side, where Rape and Murder stands,
2203 Now give some surance that thou art Revenge:
2204 Stab them, or tear them on thy chariot wheels,
2205 And then I’ll come and be thy wagoner,
2206 50 And whirl along with thee about the ⌜globe,⌝
2207 Provide thee two proper palfreys, black as jet,
2208 To hale thy vengeful wagon swift away,
2210 And when thy car is loaden with their heads,
2211 55 I will dismount and by thy wagon wheel
2212 Trot like a servile footman all day long,
2213 Even from ⌜Hyperion’s⌝ rising in the east
2214 Until his very downfall in the sea.
2215 And day by day I’ll do this heavy task,
2216 60 So thou destroy Rapine and Murder there.
2217 These are my ministers and come with me.
2218 Are ⌜they⌝ thy ministers? What are they called?
2219 Rape and Murder; therefore callèd so
2220 ’Cause they take vengeance of such kind of men.
2221 65 Good Lord, how like the Empress’ sons they are,
2222 And you the Empress! But we ⌜worldly⌝ men
2223 Have miserable, mad, mistaking eyes.
2224 O sweet Revenge, now do I come to thee,
2225 And if one arm’s embracement will content thee,
2226 70 I will embrace thee in it by and by.
⌜He exits above.⌝
2227 This closing with him fits his lunacy.
2228 Whate’er I forge to feed his brainsick humors,
2229 Do you uphold and maintain in your speeches,
2230 For now he firmly takes me for Revenge;
2231 75 And, being credulous in this mad thought,
2232 I’ll make him send for Lucius his son;
2233 And whilst I at a banquet hold him sure,
2234 I’ll find some cunning practice out of hand
2235 To scatter and disperse the giddy Goths,
2236 80 Or, at the least, make them his enemies.
2237 See, here he comes, and I must ply my theme.
2238 Long have I been forlorn, and all for thee.
2239 Welcome, dread Fury, to my woeful house.—
2240 Rapine and Murder, you are welcome too.
2241 85 How like the Empress and her sons you are!
2242 Well are you fitted, had you but a Moor.
2243 Could not all hell afford you such a devil?
2244 For well I wot the Empress never wags
2245 But in her company there is a Moor;
2246 90 And, would you represent our queen aright,
2247 It were convenient you had such a devil.
2248 But welcome as you are. What shall we do?
2249 What wouldst thou have us do, Andronicus?
2250 Show me a murderer; I’ll deal with him.
2251 95 Show me a villain that hath done a rape,
2252 And I am sent to be revenged on him.
2253 Show me a thousand that hath done thee wrong,
2254 And I will be revengèd on them all.
TITUS, ⌜to Demetrius⌝
2255 Look round about the wicked streets of Rome,
2256 100 And when thou findst a man that’s like thyself,
2257 Good Murder, stab him; he’s a murderer.
2258 ⌜To Chiron.⌝ Go thou with him, and when it is thy
2260 To find another that is like to thee,
2261 105 Good Rapine, stab him; he is a ravisher.
2262 ⌜To Tamora.⌝ Go thou with them; and in the
2263 Emperor’s court
2264 There is a queen attended by a Moor.
2265 Well shalt thou know her by thine own proportion,
2267 I pray thee, do on them some violent death.
2268 They have been violent to me and mine.
2269 Well hast thou lessoned us; this shall we do.
2270 But would it please thee, good Andronicus,
2271 115 To send for Lucius, thy thrice-valiant son,
2272 Who leads towards Rome a band of warlike Goths,
2273 And bid him come and banquet at thy house?
2274 When he is here, even at thy solemn feast,
2275 I will bring in the Empress and her sons,
2276 120 The Emperor himself, and all thy foes,
2277 And at thy mercy shall they stoop and kneel,
2278 And on them shalt thou ease thy angry heart.
2279 What says Andronicus to this device?
2280 Marcus, my brother, ’tis sad Titus calls.
2281 125 Go, gentle Marcus, to thy nephew Lucius.
2282 Thou shalt inquire him out among the Goths.
2283 Bid him repair to me and bring with him
2284 Some of the chiefest princes of the Goths.
2285 Bid him encamp his soldiers where they are.
2286 130 Tell him the Emperor and the Empress too
2287 Feast at my house, and he shall feast with them.
2288 This do thou for my love, and so let him,
2289 As he regards his agèd father’s life.
2290 This will I do, and soon return again.⌜Marcus exits.⌝
2291 135 Now will I hence about thy business
2292 And take my ministers along with me.
2293 Nay, nay, let Rape and Murder stay with me,
2294 Or else I’ll call my brother back again
2295 And cleave to no revenge but Lucius.
2296 140 What say you, boys? Will you abide with him
2297 Whiles I go tell my lord the Emperor
2298 How I have governed our determined jest?
2299 Yield to his humor, smooth and speak him fair,
2300 And tarry with him till I turn again.
2301 145 I knew them all, though they supposed me mad,
2302 And will o’erreach them in their own devices—
2303 A pair of cursèd hellhounds and their dam!
DEMETRIUS, ⌜aside to Tamora⌝
2304 Madam, depart at pleasure. Leave us here.
2305 Farewell, Andronicus. Revenge now goes
2306 150 To lay a complot to betray thy foes.
2307 I know thou dost; and, sweet Revenge, farewell.
2308 Tell us, old man, how shall we be employed?
2309 Tut, I have work enough for you to do.—
2310 Publius, come hither; Caius, and Valentine.
⌜Publius, Caius, and Valentine enter.⌝
PUBLIUS 2311 155What is your will?
TITUS 2312 Know you these two?
2313 The Empress’ sons, I take them—Chiron, Demetrius.
2314 Fie, Publius, fie, thou art too much deceived.
2315 The one is Murder, and Rape is the other’s name;
2316 160 And therefore bind them, gentle Publius.
2317 Caius and Valentine, lay hands on them.
2319 And now I find it. Therefore bind them sure,
2320 And stop their mouths if they begin to cry.
2321 165 Villains, forbear! We are the Empress’ sons.
2322 And therefore do we what we are commanded.—
2323 Stop close their mouths; let them not speak a word.
2324 Is he sure bound? Look that you bind them fast.
Enter Titus Andronicus with a knife, and Lavinia
with a basin.
2325 Come, come, Lavinia. Look, thy foes are bound.—
2326 170 Sirs, stop their mouths. Let them not speak to me,
2327 But let them hear what fearful words I utter.—
2328 O villains, Chiron and Demetrius!
2329 Here stands the spring whom you have stained with
2331 175 This goodly summer with your winter mixed.
2332 You killed her husband, and for that vile fault
2333 Two of her brothers were condemned to death,
2334 My hand cut off and made a merry jest,
2335 Both her sweet hands, her tongue, and that more dear
2336 180 Than hands or tongue, her spotless chastity,
2337 Inhuman traitors, you constrained and forced.
2338 What would you say if I should let you speak?
2339 Villains, for shame you could not beg for grace.
2340 Hark, wretches, how I mean to martyr you.
2341 185 This one hand yet is left to cut your throats,
2342 Whiles that Lavinia ’tween her stumps doth hold
2343 The basin that receives your guilty blood.
2344 You know your mother means to feast with me,
2345 And calls herself Revenge, and thinks me mad.
2346 190 Hark, villains, I will grind your bones to dust,
2348 And of the paste a coffin I will rear,
2349 And make two pasties of your shameful heads,
2350 And bid that strumpet, your unhallowed dam,
2351 195 Like to the earth swallow her own increase.
2352 This is the feast that I have bid her to,
2353 And this the banquet she shall surfeit on;
2354 For worse than Philomel you used my daughter,
2355 And worse than Procne I will be revenged.
2356 200 And now prepare your throats.—Lavinia, come,
2357 Receive the blood.He cuts their throats.
2358 And when that they are dead,
2359 Let me go grind their bones to powder small,
2360 And with this hateful liquor temper it,
2361 205 And in that paste let their vile heads be baked.
2362 Come, come, be everyone officious
2363 To make this banquet, which I wish may prove
2364 More stern and bloody than the Centaurs’ feast.
2365 So. Now bring them in, for I’ll play the cook
2366 210 And see them ready against their mother comes.
They exit, ⌜carrying the dead bodies.⌝
Guards, and an Attendant carrying the baby.⌝
2367 Uncle Marcus, since ’tis my father’s mind
2368 That I repair to Rome, I am content.
2369 And ours with thine, befall what fortune will.
2370 Good uncle, take you in this barbarous Moor,
2371 5 This ravenous tiger, this accursèd devil.
2372 Let him receive no sust’nance. Fetter him
2374 For testimony of her foul proceedings.
2375 And see the ambush of our friends be strong.
2376 10 I fear the Emperor means no good to us.
2377 Some devil whisper curses in my ear
2378 And prompt me that my tongue may utter forth
2379 The venomous malice of my swelling heart.
2380 Away, inhuman dog, unhallowed slave!—
2381 15 Sirs, help our uncle to convey him in.
2382 The trumpets show the Emperor is at hand.
⌜Guards and Aaron exit.⌝
Enter Emperor ⌜Saturninus⌝ and Empress ⌜Tamora⌝
with ⌜Aemilius,⌝ Tribunes, ⌜Attendants,⌝ and others.
2383 What, hath the firmament more suns than one?
2384 What boots it thee to call thyself a sun?
2385 Rome’s emperor, and nephew, break the parle.
2386 20 These quarrels must be quietly debated.
2387 The feast is ready which the careful Titus
2388 Hath ordained to an honorable end,
2389 For peace, for love, for league and good to Rome.
2390 Please you therefore draw nigh and take your places.
SATURNINUS 2391 25Marcus, we will.
Trumpets sounding, enter Titus like a cook, placing the
dishes, ⌜with young Lucius and others,⌝ and Lavinia
with a veil over her face.
2392 Welcome, my lord;—welcome, dread queen;—
2393 Welcome, you warlike Goths;—welcome, Lucius;—
2395 ’Twill fill your stomachs. Please you eat of it.
⌜They begin to eat.⌝
2396 30 Why art thou thus attired, Andronicus?
2397 Because I would be sure to have all well
2398 To entertain your Highness and your empress.
2399 We are beholding to you, good Andronicus.
2400 An if your Highness knew my heart, you were.—
2401 35 My lord the Emperor, resolve me this:
2402 Was it well done of rash Virginius
2403 To slay his daughter with his own right hand
2404 Because she was enforced, stained, and deflowered?
SATURNINUS 2405 It was, Andronicus.
TITUS 2406 40Your reason, mighty lord?
2407 Because the girl should not survive her shame,
2408 And by her presence still renew his sorrows.
2409 A reason mighty, strong, and effectual;
2410 A pattern, precedent, and lively warrant
2411 45 For me, most wretched, to perform the like.
2412 Die, die, Lavinia, and thy shame with thee,
2413 And with thy shame thy father’s sorrow die.
⌜He kills Lavinia.⌝
2414 What hast thou done, unnatural and unkind?
2415 Killed her for whom my tears have made me blind.
2416 50 I am as woeful as Virginius was,
2417 And have a thousand times more cause than he
2418 To do this outrage, and it now is done.
2419 What, was she ravished? Tell who did the deed.
2420 Will ’t please you eat?—Will ’t please your Highness
2421 55 feed?
2422 Why hast thou slain thine only daughter thus?
2423 Not I; ’twas Chiron and Demetrius.
2424 They ravished her and cut away her tongue,
2425 And they, ’twas they, that did her all this wrong.
2426 60 Go fetch them hither to us presently.
2427 Why, there they are, both bakèd in this pie,
2428 Whereof their mother daintily hath fed,
2429 Eating the flesh that she herself hath bred.
2430 ’Tis true, ’tis true! Witness my knife’s sharp point.
He stabs the Empress.
2431 65 Die, frantic wretch, for this accursèd deed.
⌜He kills Titus.⌝
2432 Can the son’s eye behold his father bleed?
⌜He kills Saturninus.⌝
2433 There’s meed for meed, death for a deadly deed.
⌜A great tumult. Lucius, Marcus, and
others go aloft to the upper stage.⌝
2434 You sad-faced men, people and sons of Rome,
2435 By uproars severed as a flight of fowl
2436 70 Scattered by winds and high tempestuous gusts,
2437 O, let me teach you how to knit again
2438 This scattered corn into one mutual sheaf,
2439 These broken limbs again into one body,
2440 ⌜Lest⌝ Rome herself be bane unto herself,
2441 75 And she whom mighty kingdoms curtsy to,
2443 Do shameful execution on herself.
2444 But if my frosty signs and chaps of age,
2445 Grave witnesses of true experience,
2446 80 Cannot induce you to attend my words,
⌜He turns to Lucius.⌝
2447 Speak, Rome’s dear friend, as erst our ancestor,
2448 When with his solemn tongue he did discourse
2449 To lovesick Dido’s sad-attending ear
2450 The story of that baleful burning night
2451 85 When subtle Greeks surprised King Priam’s Troy.
2452 Tell us what Sinon hath bewitched our ears,
2453 Or who hath brought the fatal engine in
2454 That gives our Troy, our Rome, the civil wound.—
2455 My heart is not compact of flint nor steel,
2456 90 Nor can I utter all our bitter grief,
2457 But floods of tears will drown my oratory
2458 And break my utterance even in the time
2459 When it should move you to attend me most
2460 And force you to commiseration.
2461 95 Here’s Rome’s young captain. Let him tell the tale,
2462 While I stand by and weep to hear him speak.
2463 Then, gracious auditory, be it known to you
2464 That Chiron and the damned Demetrius
2465 Were they that murderèd our emperor’s brother,
2466 100 And they it were that ravishèd our sister.
2467 For their fell faults our brothers were beheaded,
2468 Our father’s tears despised, and basely cozened
2469 Of that true hand that fought Rome’s quarrel out
2470 And sent her enemies unto the grave;
2471 105 Lastly, myself unkindly banishèd,
2472 The gates shut on me, and turned weeping out
2473 To beg relief among Rome’s enemies,
2474 Who drowned their enmity in my true tears
2475 And oped their arms to embrace me as a friend.
2477 That have preserved her welfare in my blood
2478 And from her bosom took the enemy’s point,
2479 Sheathing the steel in my advent’rous body.
2480 Alas, you know I am no vaunter, I;
2481 115 My scars can witness, dumb although they are,
2482 That my report is just and full of truth.
2483 But soft, methinks I do digress too much,
2484 Citing my worthless praise. O, pardon me,
2485 For when no friends are by, men praise themselves.
2486 120 Now is my turn to speak. Behold the child.
2487 Of this was Tamora deliverèd,
2488 The issue of an irreligious Moor,
2489 Chief architect and plotter of these woes.
2490 The villain is alive in Titus’ house,
2491 125 And as he is to witness, this is true.
2492 Now judge what ⌜cause⌝ had Titus to revenge
2493 These wrongs unspeakable, past patience,
2494 Or more than any living man could bear.
2495 Now have you heard the truth. What say you,
2496 130 Romans?
2497 Have we done aught amiss? Show us wherein,
2498 And from the place where you behold us pleading,
2499 The poor remainder of Andronici
2500 Will, hand in hand, all headlong hurl ourselves,
2501 135 And on the ragged stones beat forth our souls,
2502 And make a mutual closure of our house.
2503 Speak, Romans, speak, and if you say we shall,
2504 Lo, hand in hand, Lucius and I will fall.
2505 Come, come, thou reverend man of Rome,
2506 140 And bring our emperor gently in thy hand,
2507 Lucius our emperor, for well I know
2508 The common voice do cry it shall be so.
2509 Lucius, all hail, Rome’s royal emperor!
MARCUS, ⌜to Attendants⌝
2510 Go, go into old Titus’ sorrowful house,
2511 145 And hither hale that misbelieving Moor
2512 To be ⌜adjudged⌝ some direful slaught’ring death
2513 As punishment for his most wicked life.
⌜Attendants exit. Lucius and Marcus
come down from the upper stage.⌝
2514 Lucius, all hail, Rome’s gracious governor!
2515 Thanks, gentle Romans. May I govern so
2516 150 To heal Rome’s harms and wipe away her woe!
2517 But, gentle people, give me aim awhile,
2518 For nature puts me to a heavy task.
2519 Stand all aloof, but, uncle, draw you near
2520 To shed obsequious tears upon this trunk.
⌜He kisses Titus.⌝
2521 155 O, take this warm kiss on thy pale cold lips,
2522 These sorrowful drops upon thy ⌜bloodstained⌝ face,
2523 The last true duties of thy noble son.
2524 Tear for tear, and loving kiss for kiss,
2525 Thy brother Marcus tenders on thy lips.
⌜He kisses Titus.⌝
2526 160 O, were the sum of these that I should pay
2527 Countless and infinite, yet would I pay them.
LUCIUS, ⌜to Young Lucius⌝
2528 Come hither, boy. Come, come, and learn of us
2529 To melt in showers. Thy grandsire loved thee well.
2530 Many a time he danced thee on his knee,
2531 165 Sung thee asleep, his loving breast thy pillow;
2532 Many a story hath he told to thee,
2533 And bid thee bear his pretty tales in mind
2534 And talk of them when he was dead and gone.
2535 How many thousand times hath these poor lips,
2536 170 When they were living, warmed themselves on thine!
2537 O, now, sweet boy, give them their latest kiss.
2538 Bid him farewell; commit him to the grave.
2539 Do them that kindness, and take leave of them.
2540 O grandsire, grandsire, ev’n with all my heart
2541 175 Would I were dead so you did live again!
⌜He kisses Titus.⌝
2542 O Lord, I cannot speak to him for weeping.
2543 My tears will choke me if I ope my mouth.
⌜Enter Aaron with Guards.⌝
2544 You sad Andronici, have done with woes.
2545 Give sentence on this execrable wretch
2546 180 That hath been breeder of these dire events.
2547 Set him breast-deep in earth and famish him.
2548 There let him stand and rave and cry for food.
2549 If anyone relieves or pities him,
2550 For the offense he dies. This is our doom.
2551 185 Some stay to see him fastened in the earth.
2552 Ah, why should wrath be mute and fury dumb?
2553 I am no baby, I, that with base prayers
2554 I should repent the evils I have done.
2555 Ten thousand worse than ever yet I did
2556 190 Would I perform, if I might have my will.
2557 If one good deed in all my life I did,
2558 I do repent it from my very soul.
⌜Aaron is led off by Guards.⌝
2559 Some loving friends convey the Emperor hence,
2560 And give him burial in his fathers’ grave.
2562 Be closèd in our household’s monument.
2563 As for that ravenous tiger, Tamora,
2564 No funeral rite, nor man in mourning weed;
2565 No mournful bell shall ring her burial;
2566 200 But throw her forth to beasts and birds to prey.
2567 Her life was beastly and devoid of pity,
2568 And being dead, let birds on her take pity.
They exit, ⌜carrying the dead bodies.⌝