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The Tragedy of Titus Andronicus


SCENE I. Rome. Before the Capitol.

SATURNINUSNoble patricians, patrons of my right,
Defend the justice of my cause with arms,
And, countrymen, my loving followers,
Plead my successive title with your swords:
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 5I am his first-born son, that was the last
That wore the imperial diadem of Rome;
Then let my father's honours live in me,
Nor wrong mine age with this indignity.
BASSIANUSRomans, friends, followers, favorers of my right,
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 10If ever Bassianus, Caesar's son,
Were gracious in the eyes of royal Rome,
Keep then this passage to the Capitol
And suffer not dishonour to approach
The imperial seat, to virtue consecrate,
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 15To justice, continence and nobility;
But let desert in pure election shine,
And, Romans, fight for freedom in your choice.
MARCUS ANDRONICUSPrinces, that strive by factions and by friends
Ambitiously for rule and empery,
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 20Know that the people of Rome, for whom we stand
A special party, have, by common voice,
In election for the Roman empery,
Chosen Andronicus, surnamed Pius
For many good and great deserts to Rome:
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 25A nobler man, a braver warrior,
Lives not this day within the city walls:
He by the senate is accit'd home
From weary wars against the barbarous Goths;
That, with his sons, a terror to our foes,
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 30Hath yoked a nation strong, train'd up in arms.
Ten years are spent since first he undertook
This cause of Rome and chastised with arms
Our enemies' pride: five times he hath return'd
Bleeding to Rome, bearing his valiant sons
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 35In coffins from the field;
And now at last, laden with horror's spoils,
Returns the good Andronicus to Rome,
Renowned Titus, flourishing in arms.
Let us entreat, by honour of his name,
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 40Whom worthily you would have now succeed.
And in the Capitol and senate's right,
Whom you pretend to honour and adore,
That you withdraw you and abate your strength;
Dismiss your followers and, as suitors should,
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 45Plead your deserts in peace and humbleness.
SATURNINUSHow fair the tribune speaks to calm my thoughts!
BASSIANUSMarcus Andronicus, so I do ally
In thy uprightness and integrity,
And so I love and honour thee and thine,
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 50Thy noble brother Titus and his sons,
And her to whom my thoughts are humbled all,
Gracious Lavinia, Rome's rich ornament,
That I will here dismiss my loving friends,
And to my fortunes and the people's favor
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 55Commit my cause in balance to be weigh'd.
SATURNINUSFriends, that have been thus forward in my right,
I thank you all and here dismiss you all,
And to the love and favor of my country
Commit myself, my person and the cause.
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 60Rome, be as just and gracious unto me
As I am confident and kind to thee.
Open the gates, and let me in.
BASSIANUSTribunes, and me, a poor competitor.
CaptainRomans, make way: the good Andronicus.
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 65Patron of virtue, Rome's best champion,
Successful in the battles that he fights,
With honour and with fortune is return'd
From where he circumscribed with his sword,
And brought to yoke, the enemies of Rome.
TITUS ANDRONICUSAct 1 Sc 1 Ln 70Hail, Rome, victorious in thy mourning weeds!
Lo, as the bark, that hath discharged her fraught,
Returns with precious jading to the bay
From whence at first she weigh'd her anchorage,
Cometh Andronicus, bound with laurel boughs,
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 75To re-salute his country with his tears,
Tears of true joy for his return to Rome.
Thou great defender of this Capitol,
Stand gracious to the rites that we intend!
Romans, of five and twenty valiant sons,
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 80Half of the number that King Priam had,
Behold the poor remains, alive and dead!
These that survive let Rome reward with love;
These that I bring unto their latest home,
With burial amongst their ancestors:
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 85Here Goths have given me leave to sheathe my sword.
Titus, unkind and careless of thine own,
Why suffer'st thou thy sons, unburied yet,
To hover on the dreadful shore of Styx?
Make way to lay them by their brethren.
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 90There greet in silence, as the dead are wont,
And sleep in peace, slain in your country's wars!
O sacred receptacle of my joys,
Sweet cell of virtue and nobility,
How many sons of mine hast thou in store,
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 95That thou wilt never render to me more!
LUCIUSGive us the proudest prisoner of the Goths,
That we may hew his limbs, and on a pile
Ad manes fratrum sacrifice his flesh,
Before this earthy prison of their bones;
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 100That so the shadows be not unappeased,
Nor we disturb'd with prodigies on earth.
TITUS ANDRONICUSI give him you, the noblest that survives,
The eldest son of this distressed queen.
TAMORAStay, Roman brethren! Gracious conqueror,
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 105Victorious Titus, rue the tears I shed,
A mother's tears in passion for her son:
And if thy sons were ever dear to thee,
O, think my son to be as dear to me!
Sufficeth not that we are brought to Rome,
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 110To beautify thy triumphs and return,
Captive to thee and to thy Roman yoke,
But must my sons be slaughter'd in the streets,
For valiant doings in their country's cause?
O, if to fight for king and commonweal
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 115Were piety in thine, it is in these.
Andronicus, stain not thy tomb with blood:
Wilt thou draw near the nature of the gods?
Draw near them then in being merciful:
Sweet mercy is nobility's true badge:
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 120Thrice noble Titus, spare my first-born son.
TITUS ANDRONICUSPatient yourself, madam, and pardon me.
These are their brethren, whom you Goths beheld
Alive and dead, and for their brethren slain
Religiously they ask a sacrifice:
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 125To this your son is mark'd, and die he must,
To appease their groaning shadows that are gone.
LUCIUSAway with him! and make a fire straight;
And with our swords, upon a pile of wood,
Let's hew his limbs till they be clean consumed.
TAMORAAct 1 Sc 1 Ln 130O cruel, irreligious piety!
CHIRONWas ever Scythia half so barbarous?
DEMETRIUSOppose not Scythia to ambitious Rome.
Alarbus goes to rest; and we survive
To tremble under Titus' threatening looks.
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 135Then, madam, stand resolved, but hope withal
The self-same gods that arm'd the Queen of Troy
With opportunity of sharp revenge
Upon the Thracian tyrant in his tent,
May favor Tamora, the Queen of Goths —
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 140When Goths were Goths and Tamora was queen —
To quit the bloody wrongs upon her foes.
LUCIUSSee, lord and father, how we have perform'd
Our Roman rites: Alarbus' limbs are lopp'd,
And entrails feed the sacrificing fire,
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 145Whose smoke, like incense, doth perfume the sky.
Remaineth nought, but to inter our brethren,
And with loud 'larums welcome them to Rome.
TITUS ANDRONICUSLet it be so; and let Andronicus
Make this his latest farewell to their souls.
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 150In peace and honour rest you here, my sons;
Rome's readiest champions, repose you here in rest,
Secure from worldly chances and mishaps!
Here lurks no treason, here no envy swells,
Here grow no damned grudges; here are no storms,
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 155No noise, but silence and eternal sleep:
In peace and honour rest you here, my sons!
LAVINIAIn peace and honour live Lord Titus long;
My noble lord and father, live in fame!
Lo, at this tomb my tributary tears
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 160I render, for my brethren's obsequies;
And at thy feet I kneel, with tears of joy,
Shed on the earth, for thy return to Rome:
O, bless me here with thy victorious hand,
Whose fortunes Rome's best citizens applaud!
TITUS ANDRONICUSAct 1 Sc 1 Ln 165Kind Rome, that hast thus lovingly reserved
The cordial of mine age to glad my heart!
Lavinia, live; outlive thy father's days,
And fame's eternal date, for virtue's praise!
MARCUS ANDRONICUSLong live Lord Titus, my beloved brother,
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 170Gracious triumpher in the eyes of Rome!
TITUS ANDRONICUSThanks, gentle tribune, noble brother Marcus.
MARCUS ANDRONICUSAnd welcome, nephews, from successful wars,
You that survive, and you that sleep in fame!
Fair lords, your fortunes are alike in all,
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 175That in your country's service drew your swords:
But safer triumph is this funeral pomp,
That hath aspired to Solon's happiness
And triumphs over chance in honour's bed.
Titus Andronicus, the people of Rome,
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 180Whose friend in justice thou hast ever been,
Send thee by me, their tribune and their trust,
This palliament of white and spotless hue;
And name thee in election for the empire,
With these our late-deceased emperor's sons:
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 185Be candidatus then, and put it on,
And help to set a head on headless Rome.
TITUS ANDRONICUSA better head her glorious body fits
Than his that shakes for age and feebleness:
What should I don this robe, and trouble you?
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 190Be chosen with proclamations to-day,
To-morrow yield up rule, resign my life,
And set abroad new business for you all?
Rome, I have been thy soldier forty years,
And led my country's strength successfully,
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 195And buried one and twenty valiant sons,
Knighted in field, slain manfully in arms,
In right and service of their noble country
Give me a staff of honour for mine age,
But not a sceptre to control the world:
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 200Upright he held it, lords, that held it last.
MARCUS ANDRONICUSTitus, thou shalt obtain and ask the empery.
SATURNINUSProud and ambitious tribune, canst thou tell?
TITUS ANDRONICUSPatience, Prince Saturninus.
SATURNINUSRomans, do me right:
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 205Patricians, draw your swords: and sheathe them not
Till Saturninus be Rome's emperor.
Andronicus, would thou wert shipp'd to hell,
Rather than rob me of the people's hearts!
LUCIUSProud Saturnine, interrupter of the good
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 210That noble-minded Titus means to thee!
TITUS ANDRONICUSContent thee, prince; I will restore to thee
The people's hearts, and wean them from themselves.
BASSIANUSAndronicus, I do not flatter thee,
But honour thee, and will do till I die:
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 215My faction if thou strengthen with thy friends,
I will most thankful be; and thanks to men
Of noble minds is honourable meed.
TITUS ANDRONICUSPeople of Rome, and people's tribunes here,
I ask your voices and your suffrages:
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 220Will you bestow them friendly on Andronicus?
TribunesTo gratify the good Andronicus,
And gratulate his safe return to Rome,
The people will accept whom he admits.
TITUS ANDRONICUSTribunes, I thank you: and this suit I make,
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 225That you create your emperor's eldest son,
Lord Saturnine; whose virtues will, I hope,
Reflect on Rome as Titan's rays on earth,
And ripen justice in this commonweal:
Then, if you will elect by my advice,
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 230Crown him and say 'Long live our emperor!'
MARCUS ANDRONICUSWith voices and applause of every sort,
Patricians and plebeians, we create
Lord Saturninus Rome's great emperor,
And say 'Long live our Emperor Saturnine!'
SATURNINUSAct 1 Sc 1 Ln 235Titus Andronicus, for thy favors done
To us in our election this day,
I give thee thanks in part of thy deserts,
And will with deeds requite thy gentleness:
And, for an onset, Titus, to advance
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 240Thy name and honourable family,
Lavinia will I make my empress,
Rome's royal mistress, mistress of my heart,
And in the sacred Pantheon her espouse:
Tell me, Andronicus, doth this motion please thee?
TITUS ANDRONICUSAct 1 Sc 1 Ln 245It doth, my worthy lord; and in this match
I hold me highly honour'd of your grace:
And here in sight of Rome to Saturnine,
King and commander of our commonweal,
The wide world's emperor, do I consecrate
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 250My sword, my chariot and my prisoners;
Presents well worthy Rome's imperial lord:
Receive them then, the tribute that I owe,
Mine honour's ensigns humbled at thy feet.
SATURNINUSThanks, noble Titus, father of my life!
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 255How proud I am of thee and of thy gifts
Rome shall record, and when I do forget
The least of these unspeakable deserts,
Romans, forget your fealty to me.
TITUS ANDRONICUS Now, madam, are you prisoner to
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 260an emperor;
To him that, for your honour and your state,
Will use you nobly and your followers.
SATURNINUSA goodly lady, trust me; of the hue
That I would choose, were I to choose anew.
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 265Clear up, fair queen, that cloudy countenance:
Though chance of war hath wrought this change of cheer,
Thou comest not to be made a scorn in Rome:
Princely shall be thy usage every way.
Rest on my word, and let not discontent
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 270Daunt all your hopes: madam, he comforts you
Can make you greater than the Queen of Goths.
Lavinia, you are not displeased with this?
LAVINIANot I, my lord; sith true nobility
Warrants these words in princely courtesy.
SATURNINUSAct 1 Sc 1 Ln 275Thanks, sweet Lavinia. Romans, let us go;
Ransomless here we set our prisoners free:
Proclaim our honours, lords, with trump and drum.
BASSIANUSLord Titus, by your leave, this maid is mine.
TITUS ANDRONICUSHow, sir! are you in earnest then, my lord?
BASSIANUSAct 1 Sc 1 Ln 280Ay, noble Titus; and resolved withal
To do myself this reason and this right.
MARCUS ANDRONICUS'Suum cuique' is our Roman justice:
This prince in justice seizeth but his own.
LUCIUSAnd that he will, and shall, if Lucius live.
TITUS ANDRONICUSAct 1 Sc 1 Ln 285Traitors, avaunt! Where is the emperor's guard?
Treason, my lord! Lavinia is surprised!
SATURNINUSSurprised! by whom?
BASSIANUSBy him that justly may
Bear his betroth'd from all the world away.
MUTIUSAct 1 Sc 1 Ln 290Brothers, help to convey her hence away,
And with my sword I'll keep this door safe.
TITUS ANDRONICUSFollow, my lord, and I'll soon bring her back.
MUTIUSMy lord, you pass not here.
TITUS ANDRONICUSWhat, villain boy!
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 295Barr'st me my way in Rome?
MUTIUSHelp, Lucius, help!
LUCIUSMy lord, you are unjust, and, more than so,
In wrongful quarrel you have slain your son.
TITUS ANDRONICUSNor thou, nor he, are any sons of mine;
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 300My sons would never so dishonour me:
Traitor, restore Lavinia to the emperor.
LUCIUSDead, if you will; but not to be his wife,
That is another's lawful promised love.
SATURNINUSNo, Titus, no; the emperor needs her not,
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 305Nor her, nor thee, nor any of thy stock:
I'll trust, by leisure, him that mocks me once;
Thee never, nor thy traitorous haughty sons,
Confederates all thus to dishonour me.
Was there none else in Rome to make a stale,
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 310But Saturnine? Full well, Andronicus,
Agree these deeds with that proud brag of thine,
That said'st I begg'd the empire at thy hands.
TITUS ANDRONICUSO monstrous! what reproachful words are these?
SATURNINUSBut go thy ways; go, give that changing piece
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 315To him that flourish'd for her with his sword
A valiant son-in-law thou shalt enjoy;
One fit to bandy with thy lawless sons,
To ruffle in the commonwealth of Rome.
TITUS ANDRONICUSThese words are razors to my wounded heart.
SATURNINUSAct 1 Sc 1 Ln 320And therefore, lovely Tamora, queen of Goths,
That like the stately Phoebe 'mongst her nymphs
Dost overshine the gallant'st dames of Rome,
If thou be pleased with this my sudden choice,
Behold, I choose thee, Tamora, for my bride,
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 325And will create thee empress of Rome,
Speak, Queen of Goths, dost thou applaud my choice?
And here I swear by all the Roman gods,
Sith priest and holy water are so near
And tapers burn so bright and every thing
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 330In readiness for Hymenaeus stand,
I will not re-salute the streets of Rome,
Or climb my palace, till from forth this place
I lead espoused my bride along with me.
TAMORAAnd here, in sight of heaven, to Rome I swear,
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 335If Saturnine advance the Queen of Goths,
She will a handmaid be to his desires,
A loving nurse, a mother to his youth.
SATURNINUSAscend, fair queen, Pantheon. Lords, accompany
Your noble emperor and his lovely bride,
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 340Sent by the heavens for Prince Saturnine,
Whose wisdom hath her fortune conquered:
There shall we consummate our spousal rites.
TITUS ANDRONICUSI am not bid to wait upon this bride.
Titus, when wert thou wont to walk alone,
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 345Dishonour'd thus, and challenged of wrongs?
MARCUS ANDRONICUSO Titus, see, O, see what thou hast done!
In a bad quarrel slain a virtuous son.
TITUS ANDRONICUSNo, foolish tribune, no; no son of mine,
Nor thou, nor these, confederates in the deed
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 350That hath dishonour'd all our family;
Unworthy brother, and unworthy sons!
LUCIUSBut let us give him burial, as becomes;
Give Mutius burial with our brethren.
TITUS ANDRONICUSTraitors, away! he rests not in this tomb:
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 355This monument five hundred years hath stood,
Which I have sumptuously re-edified:
Here none but soldiers and Rome's servitors
Repose in fame; none basely slain in brawls:
Bury him where you can; he comes not here.
MARCUS ANDRONICUSAct 1 Sc 1 Ln 360My lord, this is impiety in you:
My nephew Mutius' deeds do plead for him
He must be buried with his brethren.
QUINTUSAnd shall, or him we will accompany.
TITUS ANDRONICUS'And shall!' what villain was it that spake
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 365that word?
QUINTUSHe that would vouch it in any place but here.
TITUS ANDRONICUSWhat, would you bury him in my despite?
MARCUS ANDRONICUSNo, noble Titus, but entreat of thee
To pardon Mutius and to bury him.
TITUS ANDRONICUSAct 1 Sc 1 Ln 370Marcus, even thou hast struck upon my crest,
And, with these boys, mine honour thou hast wounded:
My foes I do repute you every one;
So, trouble me no more, but get you gone.
MARTIUSHe is not with himself; let us withdraw.
QUINTUSAct 1 Sc 1 Ln 375Not I, till Mutius' bones be buried.
MARCUS ANDRONICUSBrother, for in that name doth nature plead, —
QUINTUSFather, and in that name doth nature speak, —
TITUS ANDRONICUSSpeak thou no more, if all the rest will speed.
MARCUS ANDRONICUSRenowned Titus, more than half my soul, —
LUCIUSAct 1 Sc 1 Ln 380Dear father, soul and substance of us all, —
MARCUS ANDRONICUSSuffer thy brother Marcus to inter
His noble nephew here in virtue's nest,
That died in honour and Lavinia's cause.
Thou art a Roman; be not barbarous:
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 385The Greeks upon advice did bury Ajax
That slew himself; and wise Laertes' son
Did graciously plead for his funerals:
Let not young Mutius, then, that was thy joy
Be barr'd his entrance here.
TITUS ANDRONICUSAct 1 Sc 1 Ln 390Rise, Marcus, rise.
The dismall'st day is this that e'er I saw,
To be dishonour'd by my sons in Rome!
Well, bury him, and bury me the next.
LUCIUSThere lie thy bones, sweet Mutius, with thy friends,
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 395Till we with trophies do adorn thy tomb.
All No man shed tears for noble Mutius;
He lives in fame that died in virtue's cause.
MARCUS ANDRONICUSMy lord, to step out of these dreary dumps,
How comes it that the subtle Queen of Goths
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 400Is of a sudden thus advanced in Rome?
TITUS ANDRONICUSI know not, Marcus; but I know it is,
Whether by device or no, the heavens can tell:
Is she not then beholding to the man
That brought her for this high good turn so far?
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 405Yes, and will nobly him remunerate.
SATURNINUSSo, Bassianus, you have play'd your prize:
God give you joy, sir, of your gallant bride!
BASSIANUSAnd you of yours, my lord! I say no more,
Nor wish no less; and so, I take my leave.
SATURNINUSAct 1 Sc 1 Ln 410Traitor, if Rome have law or we have power,
Thou and thy faction shall repent this rape.
BASSIANUSRape, call you it, my lord, to seize my own,
My truth-betrothed love and now my wife?
But let the laws of Rome determine all;
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 415Meanwhile I am possess'd of that is mine.
SATURNINUS'Tis good, sir: you are very short with us;
But, if we live, we'll be as sharp with you.
BASSIANUSMy lord, what I have done, as best I may,
Answer I must and shall do with my life.
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 420Only thus much I give your grace to know:
By all the duties that I owe to Rome,
This noble gentleman, Lord Titus here,
Is in opinion and in honour wrong'd;
That in the rescue of Lavinia
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 425With his own hand did slay his youngest son,
In zeal to you and highly moved to wrath
To be controll'd in that he frankly gave:
Receive him, then, to favor, Saturnine,
That hath express'd himself in all his deeds
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 430A father and a friend to thee and Rome.
TITUS ANDRONICUSPrince Bassianus, leave to plead my deeds:
'Tis thou and those that have dishonour'd me.
Rome and the righteous heavens be my judge,
How I have loved and honour'd Saturnine!
TAMORAAct 1 Sc 1 Ln 435My worthy lord, if ever Tamora
Were gracious in those princely eyes of thine,
Then hear me speak in indifferently for all;
And at my suit, sweet, pardon what is past.
SATURNINUSWhat, madam! be dishonour'd openly,
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 440And basely put it up without revenge?
TAMORANot so, my lord; the gods of Rome forfend
I should be author to dishonour you!
But on mine honour dare I undertake
For good Lord Titus' innocence in all;
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 445Whose fury not dissembled speaks his griefs:
Then, at my suit, look graciously on him;
Lose not so noble a friend on vain suppose,
Nor with sour looks afflict his gentle heart.
My lord, be ruled by me,
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 450be won at last;
Dissemble all your griefs and discontents:
You are but newly planted in your throne;
Lest, then, the people, and patricians too,
Upon a just survey, take Titus' part,
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 455And so supplant you for ingratitude,
Which Rome reputes to be a heinous sin,
Yield at entreats; and then let me alone:
I'll find a day to massacre them all
And raze their faction and their family,
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 460The cruel father and his traitorous sons,
To whom I sued for my dear son's life,
And make them know what 'tis to let a queen
Kneel in the streets and beg for grace in vain.
Come, come, sweet emperor; come, Andronicus;
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 465Take up this good old man, and cheer the heart
That dies in tempest of thy angry frown.
SATURNINUSRise, Titus, rise; my empress hath prevail'd.
TITUS ANDRONICUSI thank your majesty, and her, my lord:
These words, these looks, infuse new life in me.
TAMORAAct 1 Sc 1 Ln 470Titus, I am incorporate in Rome,
A Roman now adopted happily,
And must advise the emperor for his good.
This day all quarrels die, Andronicus;
And let it be mine honour, good my lord,
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 475That I have reconciled your friends and you.
For you, Prince Bassianus, I have pass'd
My word and promise to the emperor,
That you will be more mild and tractable.
And fear not lords, and you, Lavinia;
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 480By my advice, all humbled on your knees,
You shall ask pardon of his majesty.
LUCIUSWe do, and vow to heaven and to his highness,
That what we did was mildly as we might,
Tendering our sister's honour and our own.
MARCUS ANDRONICUSAct 1 Sc 1 Ln 485That, on mine honour, here I do protest.
SATURNINUSAway, and talk not; trouble us no more.
TAMORANay, nay, sweet emperor, we must all be friends:
The tribune and his nephews kneel for grace;
I will not be denied: sweet heart, look back.
SATURNINUSAct 1 Sc 1 Ln 490Marcus, for thy sake and thy brother's here,
And at my lovely Tamora's entreats,
I do remit these young men's heinous faults: Stand up.
Lavinia, though you left me like a churl,
I found a friend, and sure as death I swore
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 495I would not part a bachelor from the priest.
Come, if the emperor's court can feast two brides,
You are my guest, Lavinia, and your friends.
This day shall be a love-day, Tamora.
TITUS ANDRONICUSTo-morrow, an it please your majesty
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 500To hunt the panther and the hart with me,
With horn and hound we'll give your grace bonjour.
SATURNINUSBe it so, Titus, and gramercy too.


SCENE I. Rome. Before the Palace.

AARONNow climbeth Tamora Olympus' top,
Safe out of fortune's shot; and sits aloft,
Secure of thunder's crack or lightning flash;
Advanced above pale envy's threatening reach.
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 5As when the golden sun salutes the morn,
And, having gilt the ocean with his beams,
Gallops the zodiac in his glistering coach,
And overlooks the highest-peering hills;
So Tamora:
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 10Upon her wit doth earthly honour wait,
And virtue stoops and trembles at her frown.
Then, Aaron, arm thy heart, and fit thy thoughts,
To mount aloft with thy imperial mistress,
And mount her pitch, whom thou in triumph long
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 15Hast prisoner held, fetter'd in amorous chains
And faster bound to Aaron's charming eyes
Than is Prometheus tied to Caucasus.
Away with slavish weeds and servile thoughts!
I will be bright, and shine in pearl and gold,
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 20To wait upon this new-made empress.
To wait, said I? to wanton with this queen,
This goddess, this Semiramis, this nymph,
This siren, that will charm Rome's Saturnine,
And see his shipwreck and his commonweal's.
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 25Holloa! what storm is this?
DEMETRIUSChiron, thy years want wit, thy wit wants edge,
And manners, to intrude where I am graced;
And may, for aught thou know'st, affected be.
CHIRONDemetrius, thou dost over-ween in all;
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 30And so in this, to bear me down with braves.
'Tis not the difference of a year or two
Makes me less gracious or thee more fortunate:
I am as able and as fit as thou
To serve, and to deserve my mistress' grace;
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 35And that my sword upon thee shall approve,
And plead my passions for Lavinia's love.
AARON Clubs, clubs! these lovers will not keep
the peace.
DEMETRIUSWhy, boy, although our mother, unadvised,
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 40Gave you a dancing-rapier by your side,
Are you so desperate grown, to threat your friends?
Go to; have your lath glued within your sheath
Till you know better how to handle it.
CHIRONMeanwhile, sir, with the little skill I have,
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 45Full well shalt thou perceive how much I dare.
DEMETRIUSAy, boy, grow ye so brave?
AARON Why, how now, lords!
So near the emperor's palace dare you draw,
And maintain such a quarrel openly?
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 50Full well I wot the ground of all this grudge:
I would not for a million of gold
The cause were known to them it most concerns;
Nor would your noble mother for much more
Be so dishonour'd in the court of Rome.
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 55For shame, put up.
DEMETRIUSNot I, till I have sheathed
My rapier in his bosom and withal
Thrust these reproachful speeches down his throat
That he hath breathed in my dishonour here.
CHIRONAct 2 Sc 1 Ln 60For that I am prepared and full resolved.
Foul-spoken coward, that thunder'st with thy tongue,
And with thy weapon nothing darest perform!
AARONAway, I say!
Now, by the gods that warlike Goths adore,
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 65This petty brabble will undo us all.
Why, lords, and think you not how dangerous
It is to jet upon a prince's right?
What, is Lavinia then become so loose,
Or Bassianus so degenerate,
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 70That for her love such quarrels may be broach'd
Without controlment, justice, or revenge?
Young lords, beware! and should the empress know
This discord's ground, the music would not please.
CHIRONI care not, I, knew she and all the world:
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 75I love Lavinia more than all the world.
DEMETRIUSYoungling, learn thou to make some meaner choice:
Lavinia is thine elder brother's hope.
AARONWhy, are ye mad? or know ye not, in Rome
How furious and impatient they be,
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 80And cannot brook competitors in love?
I tell you, lords, you do but plot your deaths
By this device.
CHIRONAaron, a thousand deaths
Would I propose to achieve her whom I love.
AARONAct 2 Sc 1 Ln 85To achieve her! how?
DEMETRIUSWhy makest thou it so strange?
She is a woman, therefore may be woo'd;
She is a woman, therefore may be won;
She is Lavinia, therefore must be loved.
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 90What, man! more water glideth by the mill
Than wots the miller of; and easy it is
Of a cut loaf to steal a shive, we know:
Though Bassianus be the emperor's brother.
Better than he have worn Vulcan's badge.
AARONAct 2 Sc 1 Ln 95 Ay, and as good as Saturninus may.
DEMETRIUSThen why should he despair that knows to court it
With words, fair looks and liberality?
What, hast not thou full often struck a doe,
And borne her cleanly by the keeper's nose?
AARONAct 2 Sc 1 Ln 100Why, then, it seems, some certain snatch or so
Would serve your turns.
CHIRONAy, so the turn were served.
DEMETRIUSAaron, thou hast hit it.
AARONWould you had hit it too!
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 105Then should not we be tired with this ado.
Why, hark ye, hark ye! and are you such fools
To square for this? would it offend you, then
That both should speed?
CHIRONFaith, not me.
DEMETRIUSAct 2 Sc 1 Ln 110Nor me, so I were one.
AARONFor shame, be friends, and join for that you jar:
'Tis policy and stratagem must do
That you affect; and so must you resolve,
That what you cannot as you would achieve,
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 115You must perforce accomplish as you may.
Take this of me: Lucrece was not more chaste
Than this Lavinia, Bassianus' love.
A speedier course than lingering languishment
Must we pursue, and I have found the path.
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 120My lords, a solemn hunting is in hand;
There will the lovely Roman ladies troop:
The forest walks are wide and spacious;
And many unfrequented plots there are
Fitted by kind for rape and villany:
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 125Single you thither then this dainty doe,
And strike her home by force, if not by words:
This way, or not at all, stand you in hope.
Come, come, our empress, with her sacred wit
To villany and vengeance consecrate,
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 130Will we acquaint with all that we intend;
And she shall file our engines with advice,
That will not suffer you to square yourselves,
But to your wishes' height advance you both.
The emperor's court is like the house of Fame,
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 135The palace full of tongues, of eyes, and ears:
The woods are ruthless, dreadful, deaf, and dull;
There speak, and strike, brave boys, and take
your turns;
There serve your lusts, shadow'd from heaven's eye,
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 140And revel in Lavinia's treasury.
CHIRONThy counsel, lad, smells of no cowardice,
DEMETRIUSSit fas aut nefas, till I find the stream
To cool this heat, a charm to calm these fits.
Per Styga, per manes vehor.


SCENE II. A forest near Rome. Horns and cry of hounds heard.

TITUS ANDRONICUSThe hunt is up, the morn is bright and grey,
The fields are fragrant and the woods are green:
Uncouple here and let us make a bay
And wake the emperor and his lovely bride
Act 2 Sc 2 Ln 5And rouse the prince and ring a hunter's peal,
That all the court may echo with the noise.
Sons, let it be your charge, as it is ours,
To attend the emperor's person carefully:
I have been troubled in my sleep this night,
Act 2 Sc 2 Ln 10But dawning day new comfort hath inspired.
Many good morrows to your majesty;
Madam, to you as many and as good:
I promised your grace a hunter's peal.
SATURNINUSAnd you have rung it lustily, my lord;
Act 2 Sc 2 Ln 15Somewhat too early for new-married ladies.
BASSIANUSLavinia, how say you?
LAVINIAI say, no;
I have been broad awake two hours and more.
SATURNINUSCome on, then; horse and chariots let us have,
Act 2 Sc 2 Ln 20And to our sport.
Madam, now shall ye see
Our Roman hunting.
MARCUS ANDRONICUSI have dogs, my lord,
Will rouse the proudest panther in the chase,
Act 2 Sc 2 Ln 25And climb the highest promontory top.
TITUS ANDRONICUSAnd I have horse will follow where the game
Makes way, and run like swallows o'er the plain.
DEMETRIUSChiron, we hunt not, we, with horse nor hound,
But hope to pluck a dainty doe to ground.


SCENE III. A lonely part of the forest.

AARONHe that had wit would think that I had none,
To bury so much gold under a tree,
And never after to inherit it.
Let him that thinks of me so abjectly
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 5Know that this gold must coin a stratagem,
Which, cunningly effected, will beget
A very excellent piece of villany:
And so repose, sweet gold, for their unrest
That have their alms out of the empress' chest.
TAMORAAct 2 Sc 3 Ln 10My lovely Aaron, wherefore look'st thou sad,
When every thing doth make a gleeful boast?
The birds chant melody on every bush,
The snake lies rolled in the cheerful sun,
The green leaves quiver with the cooling wind
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 15And make a chequer'd shadow on the ground:
Under their sweet shade, Aaron, let us sit,
And, whilst the babbling echo mocks the hounds,
Replying shrilly to the well-tuned horns,
As if a double hunt were heard at once,
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 20Let us sit down and mark their yelping noise;
And, after conflict such as was supposed
The wandering prince and Dido once enjoy'd,
When with a happy storm they were surprised
And curtain'd with a counsel-keeping cave,
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 25We may, each wreathed in the other's arms,
Our pastimes done, possess a golden slumber;
Whiles hounds and horns and sweet melodious birds
Be unto us as is a nurse's song
Of lullaby to bring her babe asleep.
AARONAct 2 Sc 3 Ln 30Madam, though Venus govern your desires,
Saturn is dominator over mine:
What signifies my deadly-standing eye,
My silence and my cloudy melancholy,
My fleece of woolly hair that now uncurls
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 35Even as an adder when she doth unroll
To do some fatal execution?
No, madam, these are no venereal signs:
Vengeance is in my heart, death in my hand,
Blood and revenge are hammering in my head.
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 40Hark Tamora, the empress of my soul,
Which never hopes more heaven than rests in thee,
This is the day of doom for Bassianus:
His Philomel must lose her tongue to-day,
Thy sons make pillage of her chastity
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 45And wash their hands in Bassianus' blood.
Seest thou this letter? take it up, I pray thee,
And give the king this fatal plotted scroll.
Now question me no more; we are espied;
Here comes a parcel of our hopeful booty,
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 50Which dreads not yet their lives' destruction.
TAMORAAh, my sweet Moor, sweeter to me than life!
AARONNo more, great empress; Bassianus comes:
Be cross with him; and I'll go fetch thy sons
To back thy quarrels, whatsoe'er they be.
BASSIANUSAct 2 Sc 3 Ln 55Who have we here? Rome's royal empress,
Unfurnish'd of her well-beseeming troop?
Or is it Dian, habited like her,
Who hath abandoned her holy groves
To see the general hunting in this forest?
TAMORAAct 2 Sc 3 Ln 60Saucy controller of our private steps!
Had I the power that some say Dian had,
Thy temples should be planted presently
With horns, as was Actaeon's; and the hounds
Should drive upon thy new-transformed limbs,
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 65Unmannerly intruder as thou art!
LAVINIAUnder your patience, gentle empress,
'Tis thought you have a goodly gift in horning;
And to be doubted that your Moor and you
Are singled forth to try experiments:
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 70Jove shield your husband from his hounds to-day!
'Tis pity they should take him for a stag.
BASSIANUSBelieve me, queen, your swarth Cimmerian
Doth make your honour of his body's hue,
Spotted, detested, and abominable.
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 75Why are you sequester'd from all your train,
Dismounted from your snow-white goodly steed.
And wander'd hither to an obscure plot,
Accompanied but with a barbarous Moor,
If foul desire had not conducted you?
LAVINIAAct 2 Sc 3 Ln 80And, being intercepted in your sport,
Great reason that my noble lord be rated
For sauciness. I pray you, let us hence,
And let her joy her raven-colour'd love;
This valley fits the purpose passing well.
BASSIANUSAct 2 Sc 3 Ln 85The king my brother shall have note of this.
LAVINIAAy, for these slips have made him noted long:
Good king, to be so mightily abused!
TAMORAWhy have I patience to endure all this?
DEMETRIUSHow now, dear sovereign, and our gracious mother!
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 90Why doth your highness look so pale and wan?
TAMORAHave I not reason, think you, to look pale?
These two have 'ticed me hither to this place:
A barren detested vale, you see it is;
The trees, though summer, yet forlorn and lean,
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 95O'ercome with moss and baleful mistletoe:
Here never shines the sun; here nothing breeds,
Unless the nightly owl or fatal raven:
And when they show'd me this abhorred pit,
They told me, here, at dead time of the night,
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 100A thousand fiends, a thousand hissing snakes,
Ten thousand swelling toads, as many urchins,
Would make such fearful and confused cries
As any mortal body hearing it
Should straight fall mad, or else die suddenly.
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 105No sooner had they told this hellish tale,
But straight they told me they would bind me here
Unto the body of a dismal yew,
And leave me to this miserable death:
And then they call'd me foul adulteress,
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 110Lascivious Goth, and all the bitterest terms
That ever ear did hear to such effect:
And, had you not by wondrous fortune come,
This vengeance on me had they executed.
Revenge it, as you love your mother's life,
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 115Or be ye not henceforth call'd my children.
DEMETRIUSThis is a witness that I am thy son.
CHIRONAnd this for me, struck home to show my strength.
LAVINIAAy, come, Semiramis, nay, barbarous Tamora,
For no name fits thy nature but thy own!
TAMORAAct 2 Sc 3 Ln 120Give me thy poniard; you shall know, my boys
Your mother's hand shall right your mother's wrong.
DEMETRIUSStay, madam; here is more belongs to her;
First thrash the corn, then after burn the straw:
This minion stood upon her chastity,
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 125Upon her nuptial vow, her loyalty,
And with that painted hope braves your mightiness:
And shall she carry this unto her grave?
CHIRONAn if she do, I would I were an eunuch.
Drag hence her husband to some secret hole,
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 130And make his dead trunk pillow to our lust.
TAMORABut when ye have the honey ye desire,
Let not this wasp outlive, us both to sting.
CHIRONI warrant you, madam, we will make that sure.
Come, mistress, now perforce we will enjoy
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 135That nice-preserved honesty of yours.
LAVINIAO Tamora! thou bear'st a woman's face, —
TAMORAI will not hear her speak; away with her!
LAVINIASweet lords, entreat her hear me but a word.
DEMETRIUSListen, fair madam: let it be your glory
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 140To see her tears; but be your heart to them
As unrelenting flint to drops of rain.
LAVINIAWhen did the tiger's young ones teach the dam?
O, do not learn her wrath; she taught it thee;
The milk thou suck'dst from her did turn to marble;
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 145Even at thy teat thou hadst thy tyranny.
Yet every mother breeds not sons alike:
Do thou entreat her show a woman pity.
CHIRONWhat, wouldst thou have me prove myself a bastard?
LAVINIA'Tis true; the raven doth not hatch a lark:
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 150Yet have I heard, — O, could I find it now! —
The lion moved with pity did endure
To have his princely paws pared all away:
Some say that ravens foster forlorn children,
The whilst their own birds famish in their nests:
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 155O, be to me, though thy hard heart say no,
Nothing so kind, but something pitiful!
TAMORAI know not what it means; away with her!
LAVINIAO, let me teach thee! for my father's sake,
That gave thee life, when well he might have
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 160slain thee,
Be not obdurate, open thy deaf ears.
TAMORAHadst thou in person ne'er offended me,
Even for his sake am I pitiless.
Remember, boys, I pour'd forth tears in vain,
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 165To save your brother from the sacrifice;
But fierce Andronicus would not relent;
Therefore, away with her, and use her as you will,
The worse to her, the better loved of me.
LAVINIAO Tamora, be call'd a gentle queen,
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 170And with thine own hands kill me in this place!
For 'tis not life that I have begg'd so long;
Poor I was slain when Bassianus died.
TAMORAWhat begg'st thou, then? fond woman, let me go.
LAVINIA'Tis present death I beg; and one thing more
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 175That womanhood denies my tongue to tell:
O, keep me from their worse than killing lust,
And tumble me into some loathsome pit,
Where never man's eye may behold my body:
Do this, and be a charitable murderer.
TAMORAAct 2 Sc 3 Ln 180So should I rob my sweet sons of their fee:
No, let them satisfy their lust on thee.
DEMETRIUSAway! for thou hast stay'd us here too long.
LAVINIANo grace? no womanhood? Ah, beastly creature!
The blot and enemy to our general name!
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 185Confusion fall —
CHIRONNay, then I'll stop your mouth. Bring thou her husband:
This is the hole where Aaron bid us hide him.
TAMORAFarewell, my sons: see that you make her sure.
Ne'er let my heart know merry cheer indeed,
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 190Till all the Andronici be made away.
Now will I hence to seek my lovely Moor,
And let my spleenful sons this trull deflow'r.
AARONCome on, my lords, the better foot before:
Straight will I bring you to the loathsome pit
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 195Where I espied the panther fast asleep.
QUINTUSMy sight is very dull, whate'er it bodes.
MARTIUSAnd mine, I promise you; were't not for shame,
Well could I leave our sport to sleep awhile.
QUINTUSWhat art thou fall'n? What subtle hole is this,
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 200Whose mouth is cover'd with rude-growing briers,
Upon whose leaves are drops of new-shed blood
As fresh as morning dew distill'd on flowers?
A very fatal place it seems to me.
Speak, brother, hast thou hurt thee with the fall?
MARTIUSAct 2 Sc 3 Ln 205O brother, with the dismall'st object hurt
That ever eye with sight made heart lament!
AARON Now will I fetch the king to find them here,
That he thereby may give a likely guess
How these were they that made away his brother.
MARTIUSAct 2 Sc 3 Ln 210Why dost not comfort me, and help me out
From this unhallowed and blood-stained hole?
QUINTUSI am surprised with an uncouth fear;
A chilling sweat o'er-runs my trembling joints:
My heart suspects more than mine eye can see.
MARTIUSAct 2 Sc 3 Ln 215To prove thou hast a true-divining heart,
Aaron and thou look down into this den,
And see a fearful sight of blood and death.
QUINTUSAaron is gone; and my compassionate heart
Will not permit mine eyes once to behold
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 220The thing whereat it trembles by surmise;
O, tell me how it is; for ne'er till now
Was I a child to fear I know not what.
MARTIUSLord Bassianus lies embrewed here,
All on a heap, like to a slaughter'd lamb,
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 225In this detested, dark, blood-drinking pit.
QUINTUSIf it be dark, how dost thou know 'tis he?
MARTIUSUpon his bloody finger he doth wear
A precious ring, that lightens all the hole,
Which, like a taper in some monument,
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 230Doth shine upon the dead man's earthy cheeks,
And shows the ragged entrails of the pit:
So pale did shine the moon on Pyramus
When he by night lay bathed in maiden blood.
O brother, help me with thy fainting hand —
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 235If fear hath made thee faint, as me it hath —
Out of this fell devouring receptacle,
As hateful as Cocytus' misty mouth.
QUINTUSReach me thy hand, that I may help thee out;
Or, wanting strength to do thee so much good,
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 240I may be pluck'd into the swallowing womb
Of this deep pit, poor Bassianus' grave.
I have no strength to pluck thee to the brink.
MARTIUSNor I no strength to climb without thy help.
QUINTUSThy hand once more; I will not loose again,
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 245Till thou art here aloft, or I below:
Thou canst not come to me: I come to thee.
SATURNINUSAlong with me: I'll see what hole is here,
And what he is that now is leap'd into it.
Say who art thou that lately didst descend
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 250Into this gaping hollow of the earth?
MARTIUSThe unhappy son of old Andronicus:
Brought hither in a most unlucky hour,
To find thy brother Bassianus dead.
SATURNINUSMy brother dead! I know thou dost but jest:
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 255He and his lady both are at the lodge
Upon the north side of this pleasant chase;
'Tis not an hour since I left him there.
MARTIUSWe know not where you left him all alive;
But, out, alas! here have we found him dead.
TAMORAAct 2 Sc 3 Ln 260Where is my lord the king?
SATURNINUSHere, Tamora, though grieved with killing grief.
TAMORAWhere is thy brother Bassianus?
SATURNINUSNow to the bottom dost thou search my wound:
Poor Bassianus here lies murdered.
TAMORAAct 2 Sc 3 Ln 265Then all too late I bring this fatal writ,
The complot of this timeless tragedy;
And wonder greatly that man's face can fold
In pleasing smiles such murderous tyranny.
SATURNINUS 'An if we miss to meet him handsomely —
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 270Sweet huntsman, Bassianus 'tis we mean —
Do thou so much as dig the grave for him:
Thou know'st our meaning. Look for thy reward
Among the nettles at the elder-tree
Which overshades the mouth of that same pit
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 275Where we decreed to bury Bassianus.
Do this, and purchase us thy lasting friends.'
O Tamora! was ever heard the like?
This is the pit, and this the elder-tree.
Look, sirs, if you can find the huntsman out
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 280That should have murdered Bassianus here.
AARONMy gracious lord, here is the bag of gold.
SATURNINUS Two of thy whelps, fell curs of
bloody kind,
Have here bereft my brother of his life.
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 285Sirs, drag them from the pit unto the prison:
There let them bide until we have devised
Some never-heard-of torturing pain for them.
TAMORAWhat, are they in this pit? O wondrous thing!
How easily murder is discovered!
TITUS ANDRONICUSAct 2 Sc 3 Ln 290High emperor, upon my feeble knee
I beg this boon, with tears not lightly shed,
That this fell fault of my accursed sons,
Accursed if the fault be proved in them, —
SATURNINUSIf it be proved! you see it is apparent.
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 295Who found this letter? Tamora, was it you?
TAMORAAndronicus himself did take it up.
TITUS ANDRONICUSI did, my lord: yet let me be their bail;
For, by my father's reverend tomb, I vow
They shall be ready at your highness' will
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 300To answer their suspicion with their lives.
SATURNINUSThou shalt not bail them: see thou follow me.
Some bring the murder'd body, some the murderers:
Let them not speak a word; the guilt is plain;
For, by my soul, were there worse end than death,
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 305That end upon them should be executed.
TAMORAAndronicus, I will entreat the king;
Fear not thy sons; they shall do well enough.
TITUS ANDRONICUSCome, Lucius, come; stay not to talk with them.


SCENE IV. Another part of the forest.

DEMETRIUSSo, now go tell, an if thy tongue can speak,
Who 'twas that cut thy tongue and ravish'd thee.
CHIRONWrite down thy mind, bewray thy meaning so,
An if thy stumps will let thee play the scribe.
DEMETRIUSAct 2 Sc 4 Ln 5See, how with signs and tokens she can scrowl.
CHIRONGo home, call for sweet water, wash thy hands.
DEMETRIUSShe hath no tongue to call, nor hands to wash;
And so let's leave her to her silent walks.
CHIRONAn 'twere my case, I should go hang myself.
DEMETRIUSAct 2 Sc 4 Ln 10If thou hadst hands to help thee knit the cord.
MARCUSWho is this? my niece, that flies away so fast!
Cousin, a word; where is your husband?
If I do dream, would all my wealth would wake me!
If I do wake, some planet strike me down,
Act 2 Sc 4 Ln 15That I may slumber in eternal sleep!
Speak, gentle niece, what stern ungentle hands
Have lopp'd and hew'd and made thy body bare
Of her two branches, those sweet ornaments,
Whose circling shadows kings have sought to sleep in,
Act 2 Sc 4 Ln 20And might not gain so great a happiness
As have thy love? Why dost not speak to me?
Alas, a crimson river of warm blood,
Like to a bubbling fountain stirr'd with wind,
Doth rise and fall between thy rosed lips,
Act 2 Sc 4 Ln 25Coming and going with thy honey breath.
But, sure, some Tereus hath deflowered thee,
And, lest thou shouldst detect him, cut thy tongue.
Ah, now thou turn'st away thy face for shame!
And, notwithstanding all this loss of blood,
Act 2 Sc 4 Ln 30As from a conduit with three issuing spouts,
Yet do thy cheeks look red as Titan's face
Blushing to be encountered with a cloud.
Shall I speak for thee? shall I say 'tis so?
O, that I knew thy heart; and knew the beast,
Act 2 Sc 4 Ln 35That I might rail at him, to ease my mind!
Sorrow concealed, like an oven stopp'd,
Doth burn the heart to cinders where it is.
Fair Philomela, she but lost her tongue,
And in a tedious sampler sew'd her mind:
Act 2 Sc 4 Ln 40But, lovely niece, that mean is cut from thee;
A craftier Tereus, cousin, hast thou met,
And he hath cut those pretty fingers off,
That could have better sew'd than Philomel.
O, had the monster seen those lily hands
Act 2 Sc 4 Ln 45Tremble, like aspen-leaves, upon a lute,
And make the silken strings delight to kiss them,
He would not then have touch'd them for his life!
Or, had he heard the heavenly harmony
Which that sweet tongue hath made,
Act 2 Sc 4 Ln 50He would have dropp'd his knife, and fell asleep
As Cerberus at the Thracian poet's feet.
Come, let us go, and make thy father blind;
For such a sight will blind a father's eye:
One hour's storm will drown the fragrant meads;
Act 2 Sc 4 Ln 55What will whole months of tears thy father's eyes?
Do not draw back, for we will mourn with thee
O, could our mourning ease thy misery!


SCENE I. Rome. A street.

TITUS ANDRONICUSHear me, grave fathers! noble tribunes, stay!
For pity of mine age, whose youth was spent
In dangerous wars, whilst you securely slept;
For all my blood in Rome's great quarrel shed;
Act 3 Sc 1 Ln 5For all the frosty nights that I have watch'd;
And for these bitter tears, which now you see
Filling the aged wrinkles in my cheeks;
Be pitiful to my condemned sons,
Whose souls are not corrupted as 'tis thought.
Act 3 Sc 1 Ln 10For two and twenty sons I never wept,
Because they died in honour's lofty bed.
For these, these, tribunes, in the dust I write
My heart's deep languor and my soul's sad tears:
Let my tears stanch the earth's dry appetite;
Act 3 Sc 1 Ln 15My sons' sweet blood will make it shame and blush.
O earth, I will befriend thee more with rain,
That shall distil from these two ancient urns,
Than youthful April shall with all his showers:
In summer's drought I'll drop upon thee still;
Act 3 Sc 1 Ln 20In winter with warm tears I'll melt the snow
And keep eternal spring-time on thy face,
So thou refuse to drink my dear sons' blood.
O reverend tribunes! O gentle, aged men!
Unbind my sons, reverse the doom of death;
Act 3 Sc 1 Ln 25And let me say, that never wept before,
My tears are now prevailing orators.
LUCIUSO noble father, you lament in vain:
The tribunes hear you not; no man is by;
And you recount your sorrows to a stone.
TITUS ANDRONICUSAct 3 Sc 1 Ln 30Ah, Lucius, for thy brothers let me plead.
Grave tribunes, once more I entreat of you, —
LUCIUSMy gracious lord, no tribune hears you speak.
TITUS ANDRONICUSWhy, tis no matter, man; if they did hear,
They would not mark me, or if they did mark,
Act 3 Sc 1 Ln 35They would not pity me, yet plead I must;
And bootless unto them.
Therefore I tell my sorrows to the stones;
Who, though they cannot answer my distress,
Yet in some sort they are better than the tribunes,
Act 3 Sc 1 Ln 40For that they will not intercept my tale:
When I do weep, they humbly at my feet
Receive my tears and seem to weep with me;
And, were they but attired in grave weeds,
Rome could afford no tribune like to these.
Act 3 Sc 1 Ln 45A stone is soft as wax, — tribunes more hard than stones;
A stone is silent, and offendeth not,
And tribunes with their tongues doom men to death.
But wherefore stand'st thou with thy weapon drawn?
LUCIUSTo rescue my two brothers from their death:
Act 3 Sc 1 Ln 50For which attempt the judges have pronounced
My everlasting doom of banishment.
TITUS ANDRONICUSO happy man! they have befriended thee.
Why, foolish Lucius, dost thou not perceive
That Rome is but a wilderness of tigers?
Act 3 Sc 1 Ln 55Tigers must prey, and Rome affords no prey
But me and mine: how happy art thou, then,
From these devourers to be banished!
But who comes with our brother Marcus here?
MARCUS ANDRONICUSTitus, prepare thy aged eyes to weep;
Act 3 Sc 1 Ln 60Or, if not so, thy noble heart to break:
I bring consuming sorrow to thine age.
TITUS ANDRONICUSWill it consume me? let me see it, then.
MARCUS ANDRONICUSThis was thy daughter.
TITUS ANDRONICUSWhy, Marcus, so she is.
LUCIUSAct 3 Sc 1 Ln 65Ay me, this object kills me!
TITUS ANDRONICUSFaint-hearted boy, arise, and look upon her.
Speak, Lavinia, what accursed hand
Hath made thee handless in thy father's sight?
What fool hath added water to the sea,
Act 3 Sc 1 Ln 70Or brought a faggot to bright-burning Troy?
My grief was at the height before thou camest,
And now like Nilus, it disdaineth bounds.
Give me a sword, I'll chop off my hands too;
For they have fought for Rome, and all in vain;
Act 3 Sc 1 Ln 75And they have nursed this woe, in feeding life;
In bootless prayer have they been held up,
And they have served me to effectless use:
Now all the service I require of them
Is that the one will help to cut the other.
Act 3 Sc 1 Ln 80'Tis well, Lavinia, that thou hast no hands;
For hands, to do Rome service, are but vain.
LUCIUSSpeak, gentle sister, who hath martyr'd thee?
MARCUS ANDRONICUSO, that delightful engine of her thoughts
That blabb'd them with such pleasing eloquence,
Act 3 Sc 1 Ln 85Is torn from forth that pretty hollow cage,
Where, like a sweet melodious bird, it sung
Sweet varied notes, enchanting every ear!
LUCIUSO, say thou for her, who hath done this deed?
MARCUS ANDRONICUSO, thus I found her, straying in the park,
Act 3 Sc 1 Ln 90Seeking to hide herself, as doth the deer
That hath received some unrecuring wound.
TITUS ANDRONICUSIt was my deer; and he that wounded her
Hath hurt me more than had he killed me dead:
For now I stand as one upon a rock
Act 3 Sc 1 Ln 95Environed with a wilderness of sea,
Who marks the waxing tide grow wave by wave,
Expecting ever when some envious surge
Will in his brinish bowels swallow him.
This way to death my wretched sons are gone;
Act 3 Sc 1 Ln 100Here stands my other son, a banished man,
And here my brother, weeping at my woes.
But that which gives my soul the greatest spurn,
Is dear Lavinia, dearer than my soul.
Had I but seen thy picture in this plight,
Act 3 Sc 1 Ln 105It would have madded me: what shall I do
Now I behold thy lively body so?
Thou hast no hands, to wipe away thy tears:
Nor tongue, to tell me who hath martyr'd thee:
Thy husband he is dead: and for his death
Act 3 Sc 1 Ln 110Thy brothers are condemn'd, and dead by this.
Look, Marcus! ah, son Lucius, look on her!
When I did name her brothers, then fresh tears
Stood on her cheeks, as doth the honey-dew
Upon a gather'd lily almost wither'd.
MARCUS ANDRONICUSAct 3 Sc 1 Ln 115Perchance she weeps because they kill'd her husband;
Perchance because she knows them innocent.
TITUS ANDRONICUSIf they did kill thy husband, then be joyful
Because the law hath ta'en revenge on them.
No, no, they would not do so foul a deed;
Act 3 Sc 1 Ln 120Witness the sorrow that their sister makes.
Gentle Lavinia, let me kiss thy lips.
Or make some sign how I may do thee ease:
Shall thy good uncle, and thy brother Lucius,
And thou, and I, sit round about some fountain,
Act 3 Sc 1 Ln 125Looking all downwards to behold our cheeks
How they are stain'd, as meadows, yet not dry,
With miry slime left on them by a flood?
And in the fountain shall we gaze so long
Till the fresh taste be taken from that clearness,
Act 3 Sc 1 Ln 130And made a brine-pit with our bitter tears?
Or shall we cut away our hands, like thine?
Or shall we bite our tongues, and in dumb shows
Pass the remainder of our hateful days?
What shall we do? let us, that have our tongues,
Act 3 Sc 1 Ln 135Plot some deuce of further misery,
To make us wonder'd at in time to come.
LUCIUSSweet father, cease your tears; for, at your grief,
See how my wretched sister sobs and weeps.
MARCUS ANDRONICUSPatience, dear niece. Good Titus, dry thine eyes.
TITUS ANDRONICUSAct 3 Sc 1 Ln 140Ah, Marcus, Marcus! brother, well I wot
Thy napkin cannot drink a tear of mine,
For thou, poor man, hast drown'd it with thine own.
LUCIUSAh, my Lavinia, I will wipe thy cheeks.
TITUS ANDRONICUSMark, Marcus, mark! I understand her signs:
Act 3 Sc 1 Ln 145Had she a tongue to speak, now would she say
That to her brother which I said to thee:
His napkin, with his true tears all bewet,
Can do no service on her sorrowful cheeks.
O, what a sympathy of woe is this,
Act 3 Sc 1 Ln 150As far from help as Limbo is from bliss!
AARONTitus Andronicus, my lord the emperor
Sends thee this word, — that, if thou love thy sons,
Let Marcus, Lucius, or thyself, old Titus,
Or any one of you, chop off your hand,
Act 3 Sc 1 Ln 155And send it to the king: he for the same
Will send thee hither both thy sons alive;
And that shall be the ransom for their fault.
TITUS ANDRONICUSO gracious emperor! O gentle Aaron!
Did ever raven sing so like a lark,
Act 3 Sc 1 Ln 160That gives sweet tidings of the sun's uprise?
With all my heart, I'll send the emperor My hand:
Good Aaron, wilt thou help to chop it off?
LUCIUSStay, father! for that noble hand of thine,
That hath thrown down so many enemies,
Act 3 Sc 1 Ln 165Shall not be sent: my hand will serve the turn:
My youth can better spare my blood than you;
And therefore mine shall save my brothers' lives.
MARCUS ANDRONICUSWhich of your hands hath not defended Rome,
And rear'd aloft the bloody battle-axe,
Act 3 Sc 1 Ln 170Writing destruction on the enemy's castle?
O, none of both but are of high desert:
My hand hath been but idle; let it serve
To ransom my two nephews from their death;
Then have I kept it to a worthy end.
AARONAct 3 Sc 1 Ln 175Nay, come, agree whose hand shall go along,
For fear they die before their pardon come.
MARCUS ANDRONICUSMy hand shall go.
LUCIUSBy heaven, it shall not go!
TITUS ANDRONICUSSirs, strive no more: such wither'd herbs as these
Act 3 Sc 1 Ln 180Are meet for plucking up, and therefore mine.
LUCIUSSweet father, if I shall be thought thy son,
Let me redeem my brothers both from death.
MARCUS ANDRONICUSAnd, for our father's sake and mother's care,
Now let me show a brother's love to thee.
TITUS ANDRONICUSAct 3 Sc 1 Ln 185Agree between you; I will spare my hand.
LUCIUSThen I'll go fetch an axe.
MARCUS ANDRONICUSBut I will use the axe.
TITUS ANDRONICUSCome hither, Aaron; I'll deceive them both:
Lend me thy hand, and I will give thee mine.
AARONAct 3 Sc 1 Ln 190 If that be call'd deceit, I will be honest,
And never, whilst I live, deceive men so:
But I'll deceive you in another sort,
And that you'll say, ere half an hour pass.
TITUS ANDRONICUSNow stay your strife: what shall be is dispatch'd.
Act 3 Sc 1 Ln 195Good Aaron, give his majesty my hand:
Tell him it was a hand that warded him
From thousand dangers; bid him bury it
More hath it merited; that let it have.
As for my sons, say I account of them
Act 3 Sc 1 Ln 200As jewels purchased at an easy price;
And yet dear too, because I bought mine own.
AARONI go, Andronicus: and for thy hand
Look by and by to have thy sons with thee.
Their heads, I mean. O, how this villany
Act 3 Sc 1 Ln 205Doth fat me with the very thoughts of it!
Let fools do good, and fair men call for grace.
Aaron will have his soul black like his face.
TITUS ANDRONICUSO, here I lift this one hand up to heaven,
And bow this feeble ruin to the earth:
Act 3 Sc 1 Ln 210If any power pities wretched tears,
To that I call!
What, wilt thou kneel with me?
Do, then, dear heart; for heaven shall hear our prayers;
Or with our sighs we'll breathe the welkin dim,
Act 3 Sc 1 Ln 215And stain the sun with fog, as sometime clouds
When they do hug him in their melting bosoms.
MARCUS ANDRONICUSO brother, speak with possibilities,
And do not break into these deep extremes.
TITUS ANDRONICUSIs not my sorrow deep, having no bottom?
Act 3 Sc 1 Ln 220Then be my passions bottomless with them.
MARCUS ANDRONICUSBut yet let reason govern thy lament.
TITUS ANDRONICUSIf there were reason for these miseries,
Then into limits could I bind my woes:
When heaven doth weep, doth not the earth o'erflow?
Act 3 Sc 1 Ln 225If the winds rage, doth not the sea wax mad,
Threatening the welkin with his big-swoln face?
And wilt thou have a reason for this coil?
I am the sea; hark, how her sighs do blow!
She is the weeping welkin, I the earth:
Act 3 Sc 1 Ln 230Then must my sea be moved with her sighs;
Then must my earth with her continual tears
Become a deluge, overflow'd and drown'd;
For why my bowels cannot hide her woes,
But like a drunkard must I vomit them.
Act 3 Sc 1 Ln 235Then give me leave, for losers will have leave
To ease their stomachs with their bitter tongues.
MessengerWorthy Andronicus, ill art thou repaid
For that good hand thou sent'st the emperor.
Here are the heads of thy two noble sons;
Act 3 Sc 1 Ln 240And here's thy hand, in scorn to thee sent back;
Thy griefs their sports, thy resolution mock'd;
That woe is me to think upon thy woes
More than remembrance of my father's death.
MARCUS ANDRONICUSNow let hot AEtna cool in Sicily,
Act 3 Sc 1 Ln 245And be my heart an ever-burning hell!
These miseries are more than may be borne.
To weep with them that weep doth ease some deal;
But sorrow flouted at is double death.
LUCIUSAh, that this sight should make so deep a wound,
Act 3 Sc 1 Ln 250And yet detested life not shrink thereat!
That ever death should let life bear his name,
Where life hath no more interest but to breathe!
MARCUS ANDRONICUSAlas, poor heart, that kiss is comfortless
As frozen water to a starved snake.
TITUS ANDRONICUSAct 3 Sc 1 Ln 255When will this fearful slumber have an end?
MARCUS ANDRONICUSNow, farewell, flattery: die, Andronicus;
Thou dost not slumber: see, thy two sons' heads,
Thy warlike hand, thy mangled daughter here:
Thy other banish'd son, with this dear sight
Act 3 Sc 1 Ln 260Struck pale and bloodless; and thy brother, I,
Even like a stony image, cold and numb.
Ah, now no more will I control thy griefs:
Rend off thy silver hair, thy other hand
Gnawing with thy teeth; and be this dismal sight
Act 3 Sc 1 Ln 265The closing up of our most wretched eyes;
Now is a time to storm; why art thou still?
MARCUS ANDRONICUSWhy dost thou laugh? it fits not with this hour.
TITUS ANDRONICUSWhy, I have not another tear to shed:
Act 3 Sc 1 Ln 270Besides, this sorrow is an enemy,
And would usurp upon my watery eyes
And make them blind with tributary tears:
Then which way shall I find Revenge's cave?
For these two heads do seem to speak to me,
Act 3 Sc 1 Ln 275And threat me I shall never come to bliss
Till all these mischiefs be return'd again
Even in their throats that have committed them.
Come, let me see what task I have to do.
You heavy people, circle me about,
Act 3 Sc 1 Ln 280That I may turn me to each one of you,
And swear unto my soul to right your wrongs.
The vow is made. Come, brother, take a head;
And in this hand the other I will bear.
Lavinia, thou shalt be employ'd: these arms!
Act 3 Sc 1 Ln 285Bear thou my hand, sweet wench, between thy teeth.
As for thee, boy, go get thee from my sight;
Thou art an exile, and thou must not stay:
Hie to the Goths, and raise an army there:
And, if you love me, as I think you do,
Act 3 Sc 1 Ln 290Let's kiss and part, for we have much to do.
LUCIUSFarewell Andronicus, my noble father,
The wofull'st man that ever lived in Rome:
Farewell, proud Rome; till Lucius come again,
He leaves his pledges dearer than his life:
Act 3 Sc 1 Ln 295Farewell, Lavinia, my noble sister;
O, would thou wert as thou tofore hast been!
But now nor Lucius nor Lavinia lives
But in oblivion and hateful griefs.
If Lucius live, he will requite your wrongs;
Act 3 Sc 1 Ln 300And make proud Saturnine and his empress
Beg at the gates, like Tarquin and his queen.
Now will I to the Goths, and raise a power,
To be revenged on Rome and Saturnine.


SCENE II. A room in Titus's house. A banquet set out.

TITUS ANDRONICUSSo, so; now sit: and look you eat no more
Than will preserve just so much strength in us
As will revenge these bitter woes of ours.
Marcus, unknit that sorrow-wreathen knot:
Act 3 Sc 2 Ln 5Thy niece and I, poor creatures, want our hands,
And cannot passionate our tenfold grief
With folded arms. This poor right hand of mine
Is left to tyrannize upon my breast;
Who, when my heart, all mad with misery,
Act 3 Sc 2 Ln 10Beats in this hollow prison of my flesh,
Then thus I thump it down.
Thou map of woe, that thus dost talk in signs!
When thy poor heart beats with outrageous beating,
Thou canst not strike it thus to make it still.
Act 3 Sc 2 Ln 15Wound it with sighing, girl, kill it with groans;
Or get some little knife between thy teeth,
And just against thy heart make thou a hole;
That all the tears that thy poor eyes let fall
May run into that sink, and soaking in
Act 3 Sc 2 Ln 20Drown the lamenting fool in sea-salt tears.
MARCUS ANDRONICUSFie, brother, fie! teach her not thus to lay
Such violent hands upon her tender life.
TITUS ANDRONICUSHow now! has sorrow made thee dote already?
Why, Marcus, no man should be mad but I.
Act 3 Sc 2 Ln 25What violent hands can she lay on her life?
Ah, wherefore dost thou urge the name of hands;
To bid AEneas tell the tale twice o'er,
How Troy was burnt and he made miserable?
O, handle not the theme, to talk of hands,
Act 3 Sc 2 Ln 30Lest we remember still that we have none.
Fie, fie, how franticly I square my talk,
As if we should forget we had no hands,
If Marcus did not name the word of hands!
Come, let's fall to; and, gentle girl, eat this:
Act 3 Sc 2 Ln 35Here is no drink! Hark, Marcus, what she says;
I can interpret all her martyr'd signs;
She says she drinks no other drink but tears,
Brew'd with her sorrow, mesh'd upon her cheeks:
Speechless complainer, I will learn thy thought;
Act 3 Sc 2 Ln 40In thy dumb action will I be as perfect
As begging hermits in their holy prayers:
Thou shalt not sigh, nor hold thy stumps to heaven,
Nor wink, nor nod, nor kneel, nor make a sign,
But I of these will wrest an alphabet
Act 3 Sc 2 Ln 45And by still practise learn to know thy meaning.
Young LUCIUSGood grandsire, leave these bitter deep laments:
Make my aunt merry with some pleasing tale.
MARCUS ANDRONICUSAlas, the tender boy, in passion moved,
Doth weep to see his grandsire's heaviness.
TITUS ANDRONICUSAct 3 Sc 2 Ln 50Peace, tender sapling; thou art made of tears,
And tears will quickly melt thy life away.
What dost thou strike at, Marcus, with thy knife?
MARCUS ANDRONICUSAt that that I have kill'd, my lord; a fly.
TITUS ANDRONICUSOut on thee, murderer! thou kill'st my heart;
Act 3 Sc 2 Ln 55Mine eyes are cloy'd with view of tyranny:
A deed of death done on the innocent
Becomes not Titus' brother: get thee gone:
I see thou art not for my company.
MARCUS ANDRONICUSAlas, my lord, I have but kill'd a fly.
TITUS ANDRONICUSAct 3 Sc 2 Ln 60But how, if that fly had a father and mother?
How would he hang his slender gilded wings,
And buzz lamenting doings in the air!
Poor harmless fly,
That, with his pretty buzzing melody,
Act 3 Sc 2 Ln 65Came here to make us merry! and thou hast
kill'd him.
MARCUS ANDRONICUSPardon me, sir; it was a black ill-favor'd fly,
Like to the empress' Moor; therefore I kill'd him.
Act 3 Sc 2 Ln 70Then pardon me for reprehending thee,
For thou hast done a charitable deed.
Give me thy knife, I will insult on him;
Flattering myself, as if it were the Moor
Come hither purposely to poison me. —
Act 3 Sc 2 Ln 75There's for thyself, and that's for Tamora.
Ah, sirrah!
Yet, I think, we are not brought so low,
But that between us we can kill a fly
That comes in likeness of a coal-black Moor.
MARCUS ANDRONICUSAct 3 Sc 2 Ln 80Alas, poor man! grief has so wrought on him,
He takes false shadows for true substances.
TITUS ANDRONICUSCome, take away. Lavinia, go with me:
I'll to thy closet; and go read with thee
Sad stories chanced in the times of old.
Act 3 Sc 2 Ln 85Come, boy, and go with me: thy sight is young,
And thou shalt read when mine begin to dazzle.


SCENE I. Rome. Titus's garden.

Young LUCIUSHelp, grandsire, help! my aunt Lavinia
Follows me every where, I know not why:
Good uncle Marcus, see how swift she comes.
Alas, sweet aunt, I know not what you mean.
MARCUS ANDRONICUSAct 4 Sc 1 Ln 5Stand by me, Lucius; do not fear thine aunt.
TITUS ANDRONICUSShe loves thee, boy, too well to do thee harm.
Young LUCIUSAy, when my father was in Rome she did.
MARCUS ANDRONICUSWhat means my niece Lavinia by these signs?
TITUS ANDRONICUSFear her not, Lucius: somewhat doth she mean:
Act 4 Sc 1 Ln 10See, Lucius, see how much she makes of thee:
Somewhither would she have thee go with her.
Ah, boy, Cornelia never with more care
Read to her sons than she hath read to thee
Sweet poetry and Tully's Orator.
MARCUS ANDRONICUSAct 4 Sc 1 Ln 15Canst thou not guess wherefore she plies thee thus?
Young LUCIUSMy lord, I know not, I, nor can I guess,
Unless some fit or frenzy do possess her:
For I have heard my grandsire say full oft,
Extremity of griefs would make men mad;
Act 4 Sc 1 Ln 20And I have read that Hecuba of Troy
Ran mad through sorrow: that made me to fear;
Although, my lord, I know my noble aunt
Loves me as dear as e'er my mother did,
And would not, but in fury, fright my youth:
Act 4 Sc 1 Ln 25Which made me down to throw my books, and fly —
Causeless, perhaps. But pardon me, sweet aunt:
And, madam, if my uncle Marcus go,
I will most willingly attend your ladyship.
TITUS ANDRONICUSAct 4 Sc 1 Ln 30How now, Lavinia! Marcus, what means this?
Some book there is that she desires to see.
Which is it, girl, of these? Open them, boy.
But thou art deeper read, and better skill'd
Come, and take choice of all my library,
Act 4 Sc 1 Ln 35And so beguile thy sorrow, till the heavens
Reveal the damn'd contriver of this deed.
Why lifts she up her arms in sequence thus?
MARCUS ANDRONICUSI think she means that there was more than one
Confederate in the fact: ay, more there was;
Act 4 Sc 1 Ln 40Or else to heaven she heaves them for revenge.
TITUS ANDRONICUSLucius, what book is that she tosseth so?
Young LUCIUSGrandsire, 'tis Ovid's Metamorphoses;
My mother gave it me.
MARCUS ANDRONICUSFor love of her that's gone,
Act 4 Sc 1 Ln 45Perhaps she cull'd it from among the rest.
TITUS ANDRONICUSSoft! see how busily she turns the leaves!
What would she find? Lavinia, shall I read?
This is the tragic tale of Philomel,
And treats of Tereus' treason and his rape:
Act 4 Sc 1 Ln 50And rape, I fear, was root of thine annoy.
MARCUS ANDRONICUSSee, brother, see; note how she quotes the leaves.
TITUS ANDRONICUSLavinia, wert thou thus surprised, sweet girl,
Ravish'd and wrong'd, as Philomela was,
Forced in the ruthless, vast, and gloomy woods? See, see!
Act 4 Sc 1 Ln 55Ay, such a place there is, where we did hunt —
O, had we never, never hunted there! —
Pattern'd by that the poet here describes,
By nature made for murders and for rapes.
MARCUS ANDRONICUSO, why should nature build so foul a den,
Act 4 Sc 1 Ln 60Unless the gods delight in tragedies?
TITUS ANDRONICUSGive signs, sweet girl, for here are none
but friends,
What Roman lord it was durst do the deed:
Or slunk not Saturnine, as Tarquin erst,
Act 4 Sc 1 Ln 65That left the camp to sin in Lucrece' bed?
MARCUS ANDRONICUSSit down, sweet niece: brother, sit down by me.
Apollo, Pallas, Jove, or Mercury,
Inspire me, that I may this treason find!
My lord, look here: look here, Lavinia:
Act 4 Sc 1 Ln 70This sandy plot is plain; guide, if thou canst
This after me, when I have writ my name
Without the help of any hand at all.
Cursed be that heart that forced us to this shift!
Write thou good niece; and here display, at last,
Act 4 Sc 1 Ln 75What God will have discover'd for revenge;
Heaven guide thy pen to print thy sorrows plain,
That we may know the traitors and the truth!
TITUS ANDRONICUSO, do ye read, my lord, what she hath writ?
'Stuprum. Chiron. Demetrius.'
MARCUS ANDRONICUSAct 4 Sc 1 Ln 80What, what! the lustful sons of Tamora
Performers of this heinous, bloody deed?
TITUS ANDRONICUSMagni Dominator poli,
Tam lentus audis scelera? tam lentus vides?
MARCUS ANDRONICUSO, calm thee, gentle lord; although I know
Act 4 Sc 1 Ln 85There is enough written upon this earth
To stir a mutiny in the mildest thoughts
And arm the minds of infants to exclaims.
My lord, kneel down with me; Lavinia, kneel;
And kneel, sweet boy, the Roman Hector's hope;
Act 4 Sc 1 Ln 90And swear with me, as, with the woful fere
And father of that chaste dishonour'd dame,
Lord Junius Brutus sware for Lucrece' rape,
That we will prosecute by good advice
Mortal revenge upon these traitorous Goths,
Act 4 Sc 1 Ln 95And see their blood, or die with this reproach.
TITUS ANDRONICUS'Tis sure enough, an you knew how.
But if you hunt these bear-whelps, then beware:
The dam will wake; and, if she wind you once,
She's with the lion deeply still in league,
Act 4 Sc 1 Ln 100And lulls him whilst she playeth on her back,
And when he sleeps will she do what she list.
You are a young huntsman, Marcus; let it alone;
And, come, I will go get a leaf of brass,
And with a gad of steel will write these words,
Act 4 Sc 1 Ln 105And lay it by: the angry northern wind
Will blow these sands, like Sibyl's leaves, abroad,
And where's your lesson, then? Boy, what say you?
Young LUCIUSI say, my lord, that if I were a man,
Their mother's bed-chamber should not be safe
Act 4 Sc 1 Ln 110For these bad bondmen to the yoke of Rome.
MARCUS ANDRONICUSAy, that's my boy! thy father hath full oft
For his ungrateful country done the like.
Young LUCIUSAnd, uncle, so will I, an if I live.
TITUS ANDRONICUSCome, go with me into mine armoury;
Act 4 Sc 1 Ln 115Lucius, I'll fit thee; and withal, my boy,
Shalt carry from me to the empress' sons
Presents that I intend to send them both:
Come, come; thou'lt do thy message, wilt thou not?
Young LUCIUSAy, with my dagger in their bosoms, grandsire.
TITUS ANDRONICUSAct 4 Sc 1 Ln 120No, boy, not so; I'll teach thee another course.
Lavinia, come. Marcus, look to my house:
Lucius and I'll go brave it at the court:
Ay, marry, will we, sir; and we'll be waited on.
MARCUS ANDRONICUSO heavens, can you hear a good man groan,
Act 4 Sc 1 Ln 125And not relent, or not compassion him?
Marcus, attend him in his ecstasy,
That hath more scars of sorrow in his heart
Than foemen's marks upon his batter'd shield;
But yet so just that he will not revenge.
Act 4 Sc 1 Ln 130Revenge, ye heavens, for old Andronicus!


SCENE II. The same. A room in the palace.

CHIRONDemetrius, here's the son of Lucius;
He hath some message to deliver us.
AARONAy, some mad message from his mad grandfather.
Young LUCIUSMy lords, with all the humbleness I may,
Act 4 Sc 2 Ln 5I greet your honours from Andronicus.
And pray the Roman gods confound you both!
DEMETRIUSGramercy, lovely Lucius: what's the news?
Young LUCIUS That you are both decipher'd, that's the news,
For villains mark'd with rape. — May it please you,
Act 4 Sc 2 Ln 10My grandsire, well advised, hath sent by me
The goodliest weapons of his armoury
To gratify your honourable youth,
The hope of Rome; for so he bade me say;
And so I do, and with his gifts present
Act 4 Sc 2 Ln 15Your lordships, that, whenever you have need,
You may be armed and appointed well:
And so I leave you both:
like bloody villains.
DEMETRIUSWhat's here? A scroll; and written round about?
Act 4 Sc 2 Ln 20Let's see;
'Integer vitae, scelerisque purus,
Non eget Mauri jaculis, nec arcu.'
CHIRONO, 'tis a verse in Horace; I know it well:
I read it in the grammar long ago.
AARONAct 4 Sc 2 Ln 25Ay, just; a verse in Horace; right, you have it.
Now, what a thing it is to be an ass!
Here's no sound jest! the old man hath found their guilt;
And sends them weapons wrapped about with lines,
That wound, beyond their feeling, to the quick.
Act 4 Sc 2 Ln 30But were our witty empress well afoot,
She would applaud Andronicus' conceit:
But let her rest in her unrest awhile.
And now, young lords, was't not a happy star
Led us to Rome, strangers, and more than so,
Act 4 Sc 2 Ln 35Captives, to be advanced to this height?
It did me good, before the palace gate
To brave the tribune in his brother's hearing.
DEMETRIUSBut me more good, to see so great a lord
Basely insinuate and send us gifts.
AARONAct 4 Sc 2 Ln 40Had he not reason, Lord Demetrius?
Did you not use his daughter very friendly?
DEMETRIUSI would we had a thousand Roman dames
At such a bay, by turn to serve our lust.
CHIRONA charitable wish and full of love.
AARONAct 4 Sc 2 Ln 45Here lacks but your mother for to say amen.
CHIRONAnd that would she for twenty thousand more.
DEMETRIUSCome, let us go; and pray to all the gods
For our beloved mother in her pains.
AARON Pray to the devils; the gods have given us over.
DEMETRIUSAct 4 Sc 2 Ln 50Why do the emperor's trumpets flourish thus?
CHIRONBelike, for joy the emperor hath a son.
DEMETRIUSSoft! who comes here?
NurseGood morrow, lords:
O, tell me, did you see Aaron the Moor?
AARONAct 4 Sc 2 Ln 55Well, more or less, or ne'er a whit at all,
Here Aaron is; and what with Aaron now?
NurseO gentle Aaron, we are all undone!
Now help, or woe betide thee evermore!
AARONWhy, what a caterwauling dost thou keep!
Act 4 Sc 2 Ln 60What dost thou wrap and fumble in thine arms?
NurseO, that which I would hide from heaven's eye,
Our empress' shame, and stately Rome's disgrace!
She is deliver'd, lords; she is deliver'd.
AARONTo whom?
NurseAct 4 Sc 2 Ln 65I mean, she is brought a-bed.
AARONWell, God give her good rest! What hath he sent her?
NurseA devil.
AARONWhy, then she is the devil's dam; a joyful issue.
NurseA joyless, dismal, black, and sorrowful issue:
Act 4 Sc 2 Ln 70Here is the babe, as loathsome as a toad
Amongst the fairest breeders of our clime:
The empress sends it thee, thy stamp, thy seal,
And bids thee christen it with thy dagger's point.
AARON'Zounds, ye whore! is black so base a hue?
Act 4 Sc 2 Ln 75Sweet blowse, you are a beauteous blossom, sure.
DEMETRIUSVillain, what hast thou done?
AARONThat which thou canst not undo.
CHIRONThou hast undone our mother.
AARONVillain, I have done thy mother.
DEMETRIUSAct 4 Sc 2 Ln 80And therein, hellish dog, thou hast undone.
Woe to her chance, and damn'd her loathed choice!
Accursed the offspring of so foul a fiend!
CHIRONIt shall not live.
AARONIt shall not die.
NurseAct 4 Sc 2 Ln 85Aaron, it must; the mother wills it so.
AARONWhat, must it, nurse? then let no man but I
Do execution on my flesh and blood.
DEMETRIUSI'll broach the tadpole on my rapier's point:
Nurse, give it me; my sword shall soon dispatch it.
AARONAct 4 Sc 2 Ln 90Sooner this sword shall plough thy bowels up.
Stay, murderous villains! will you kill your brother?
Now, by the burning tapers of the sky,
That shone so brightly when this boy was got,
He dies upon my scimitar's sharp point
Act 4 Sc 2 Ln 95That touches this my first-born son and heir!
I tell you, younglings, not Enceladus,
With all his threatening band of Typhon's brood,
Nor great Alcides, nor the god of war,
Shall seize this prey out of his father's hands.
Act 4 Sc 2 Ln 100What, what, ye sanguine, shallow-hearted boys!
Ye white-limed walls! ye alehouse painted signs!
Coal-black is better than another hue,
In that it scorns to bear another hue;
For all the water in the ocean
Act 4 Sc 2 Ln 105Can never turn the swan's black legs to white,
Although she lave them hourly in the flood.
Tell the empress from me, I am of age
To keep mine own, excuse it how she can.
DEMETRIUSWilt thou betray thy noble mistress thus?
AARONAct 4 Sc 2 Ln 110My mistress is my mistress; this myself,
The vigour and the picture of my youth:
This before all the world do I prefer;
This maugre all the world will I keep safe,
Or some of you shall smoke for it in Rome.
DEMETRIUSAct 4 Sc 2 Ln 115By this our mother is forever shamed.
CHIRONRome will despise her for this foul escape.
NurseThe emperor, in his rage, will doom her death.
CHIRONI blush to think upon this ignomy.
AARONWhy, there's the privilege your beauty bears:
Act 4 Sc 2 Ln 120Fie, treacherous hue, that will betray with blushing
The close enacts and counsels of the heart!
Here's a young lad framed of another leer:
Look, how the black slave smiles upon the father,
As who should say 'Old lad, I am thine own.'
Act 4 Sc 2 Ln 125He is your brother, lords, sensibly fed
Of that self-blood that first gave life to you,
And from that womb where you imprison'd were
He is enfranchised and come to light:
Nay, he is your brother by the surer side,
Act 4 Sc 2 Ln 130Although my seal be stamped in his face.
NurseAaron, what shall I say unto the empress?
DEMETRIUSAdvise thee, Aaron, what is to be done,
And we will all subscribe to thy advice:
Save thou the child, so we may all be safe.
AARONAct 4 Sc 2 Ln 135Then sit we down, and let us all consult.
My son and I will have the wind of you:
Keep there: now talk at pleasure of your safety.
DEMETRIUSHow many women saw this child of his?
AARONWhy, so, brave lords! when we join in league,
Act 4 Sc 2 Ln 140I am a lamb: but if you brave the Moor,
The chafed boar, the mountain lioness,
The ocean swells not so as Aaron storms.
But say, again; how many saw the child?
NurseCornelia the midwife and myself;
Act 4 Sc 2 Ln 145And no one else but the deliver'd empress.
AARONThe empress, the midwife, and yourself:
Two may keep counsel when the third's away:
Go to the empress, tell her this I said.
Weke, weke! so cries a pig prepared to the spit.
DEMETRIUSAct 4 Sc 2 Ln 150What mean'st thou, Aaron? wherefore didst thou this?
AARONO Lord, sir, 'tis a deed of policy:
Shall she live to betray this guilt of ours,
A long-tongued babbling gossip? no, lords, no:
And now be it known to you my full intent.
Act 4 Sc 2 Ln 155Not far, one Muli lives, my countryman;
His wife but yesternight was brought to bed;
His child is like to her, fair as you are:
Go pack with him, and give the mother gold,
And tell them both the circumstance of all;
Act 4 Sc 2 Ln 160And how by this their child shall be advanced,
And be received for the emperor's heir,
And substituted in the place of mine,
To calm this tempest whirling in the court;
And let the emperor dandle him for his own.
Act 4 Sc 2 Ln 165Hark ye, lords; ye see I have given her physic,
And you must needs bestow her funeral;
The fields are near, and you are gallant grooms:
This done, see that you take no longer days,
But send the midwife presently to me.
Act 4 Sc 2 Ln 170The midwife and the nurse well made away,
Then let the ladies tattle what they please.
CHIRONAaron, I see thou wilt not trust the air
With secrets.
DEMETRIUSFor this care of Tamora,
Act 4 Sc 2 Ln 175Herself and hers are highly bound to thee.
AARONNow to the Goths, as swift as swallow flies;
There to dispose this treasure in mine arms,
And secretly to greet the empress' friends.
Come on, you thick lipp'd slave, I'll bear you hence;
Act 4 Sc 2 Ln 180For it is you that puts us to our shifts:
I'll make you feed on berries and on roots,
And feed on curds and whey, and suck the goat,
And cabin in a cave, and bring you up
To be a warrior, and command a camp.


SCENE III. The same. A public place.

TITUS ANDRONICUSCome, Marcus; come, kinsmen; this is the way.
Sir boy, now let me see your archery;
Look ye draw home enough, and 'tis there straight.
Terras Astraea reliquit:
Act 4 Sc 3 Ln 5Be you remember'd, Marcus, she's gone, she's fled.
Sirs, take you to your tools. You, cousins, shall
Go sound the ocean, and cast your nets;
Happily you may catch her in the sea;
Yet there's as little justice as at land:
Act 4 Sc 3 Ln 10No; Publius and Sempronius, you must do it;
'Tis you must dig with mattock and with spade,
And pierce the inmost centre of the earth:
Then, when you come to Pluto's region,
I pray you, deliver him this petition;
Act 4 Sc 3 Ln 15Tell him, it is for justice and for aid,
And that it comes from old Andronicus,
Shaken with sorrows in ungrateful Rome.
Ah, Rome! Well, well; I made thee miserable
What time I threw the people's suffrages
Act 4 Sc 3 Ln 20On him that thus doth tyrannize o'er me.
Go, get you gone; and pray be careful all,
And leave you not a man-of-war unsearch'd:
This wicked emperor may have shipp'd her hence;
And, kinsmen, then we may go pipe for justice.
MARCUS ANDRONICUSAct 4 Sc 3 Ln 25O Publius, is not this a heavy case,
To see thy noble uncle thus distract?
PUBLIUSTherefore, my lord, it highly us concerns
By day and night to attend him carefully,
And feed his humour kindly as we may,
Act 4 Sc 3 Ln 30Till time beget some careful remedy.
MARCUS ANDRONICUSKinsmen, his sorrows are past remedy.
Join with the Goths; and with revengeful war
Take wreak on Rome for this ingratitude,
And vengeance on the traitor Saturnine.
TITUS ANDRONICUSAct 4 Sc 3 Ln 35Publius, how now! how now, my masters!
What, have you met with her?
PUBLIUSNo, my good lord; but Pluto sends you word,
If you will have Revenge from hell, you shall:
Marry, for Justice, she is so employ'd,
Act 4 Sc 3 Ln 40He thinks, with Jove in heaven, or somewhere else,
So that perforce you must needs stay a time.
TITUS ANDRONICUSHe doth me wrong to feed me with delays.
I'll dive into the burning lake below,
And pull her out of Acheron by the heels.
Act 4 Sc 3 Ln 45Marcus, we are but shrubs, no cedars we
No big-boned men framed of the Cyclops' size;
But metal, Marcus, steel to the very back,
Yet wrung with wrongs more than our backs can bear:
And, sith there's no justice in earth nor hell,
Act 4 Sc 3 Ln 50We will solicit heaven and move the gods
To send down Justice for to wreak our wrongs.
Come, to this gear. You are a good archer, Marcus;
'Ad Jovem,' that's for you: here, 'Ad Apollinem:'
'Ad Martem,' that's for myself:
Act 4 Sc 3 Ln 55Here, boy, to Pallas: here, to Mercury:
To Saturn, Caius, not to Saturnine;
You were as good to shoot against the wind.
To it, boy! Marcus, loose when I bid.
Of my word, I have written to effect;
Act 4 Sc 3 Ln 60There's not a god left unsolicited.
MARCUS ANDRONICUSKinsmen, shoot all your shafts into the court:
We will afflict the emperor in his pride.
TITUS ANDRONICUSNow, masters, draw.
O, well said, Lucius!
Act 4 Sc 3 Ln 65Good boy, in Virgo's lap; give it Pallas.
MARCUS ANDRONICUSMy lord, I aim a mile beyond the moon;
Your letter is with Jupiter by this.
Publius, Publius, what hast thou done?
Act 4 Sc 3 Ln 70See, see, thou hast shot off one of Taurus' horns.
MARCUS ANDRONICUSThis was the sport, my lord: when Publius shot,
The Bull, being gall'd, gave Aries such a knock
That down fell both the Ram's horns in the court;
And who should find them but the empress' villain?
Act 4 Sc 3 Ln 75She laugh'd, and told the Moor he should not choose
But give them to his master for a present.
TITUS ANDRONICUSWhy, there it goes: God give his lordship joy!
News, news from heaven! Marcus, the post is come.
Sirrah, what tidings? have you any letters?
Act 4 Sc 3 Ln 80Shall I have justice? what says Jupiter?
ClownO, the gibbet-maker! he says that he hath taken
them down again, for the man must not be hanged till
the next week.
TITUS ANDRONICUSBut what says Jupiter, I ask thee?
ClownAct 4 Sc 3 Ln 85Alas, sir, I know not Jupiter; I never drank with him
in all my life.
TITUS ANDRONICUSWhy, villain, art not thou the carrier?
ClownAy, of my pigeons, sir; nothing else.
TITUS ANDRONICUSWhy, didst thou not come from heaven?
ClownAct 4 Sc 3 Ln 90From heaven! alas, sir, I never came there God
forbid I should be so bold to press to heaven in my
young days. Why, I am going with my pigeons to the
tribunal plebs, to take up a matter of brawl
betwixt my uncle and one of the emperial's men.
MARCUS ANDRONICUSAct 4 Sc 3 Ln 95Why, sir, that is as fit as can be to serve for
your oration; and let him deliver the pigeons to
the emperor from you.
TITUS ANDRONICUSTell me, can you deliver an oration to the emperor
with a grace?
ClownAct 4 Sc 3 Ln 100Nay, truly, sir, I could never say grace in all my life.
TITUS ANDRONICUSSirrah, come hither: make no more ado,
But give your pigeons to the emperor:
By me thou shalt have justice at his hands.
Hold, hold; meanwhile here's money for thy charges.
Act 4 Sc 3 Ln 105Give me pen and ink. Sirrah, can you with a grace
deliver a supplication?
ClownAy, sir.
TITUS ANDRONICUSThen here is a supplication for you. And when you
come to him, at the first approach you must kneel,
Act 4 Sc 3 Ln 110then kiss his foot, then deliver up your pigeons, and
then look for your reward. I'll be at hand, sir; see
you do it bravely.
ClownI warrant you, sir, let me alone.
TITUS ANDRONICUSSirrah, hast thou a knife? come, let me see it.
Act 4 Sc 3 Ln 115Here, Marcus, fold it in the oration;
For thou hast made it like an humble suppliant.
And when thou hast given it the emperor,
Knock at my door, and tell me what he says.
ClownGod be with you, sir; I will.
TITUS ANDRONICUSAct 4 Sc 3 Ln 120Come, Marcus, let us go. Publius, follow me.


SCENE IV. The same. Before the palace.

SATURNINUSWhy, lords, what wrongs are these! was ever seen
An emperor in Rome thus overborne,
Troubled, confronted thus; and, for the extent
Of egal justice, used in such contempt?
Act 4 Sc 4 Ln 5My lords, you know, as know the mightful gods,
However these disturbers of our peace
Buz in the people's ears, there nought hath pass'd,
But even with law, against the willful sons
Of old Andronicus. And what an if
Act 4 Sc 4 Ln 10His sorrows have so overwhelm'd his wits,
Shall we be thus afflicted in his wreaks,
His fits, his frenzy, and his bitterness?
And now he writes to heaven for his redress:
See, here's to Jove, and this to Mercury;
Act 4 Sc 4 Ln 15This to Apollo; this to the god of war;
Sweet scrolls to fly about the streets of Rome!
What's this but libelling against the senate,
And blazoning our injustice every where?
A goodly humour, is it not, my lords?
Act 4 Sc 4 Ln 20As who would say, in Rome no justice were.
But if I live, his feigned ecstasies
Shall be no shelter to these outrages:
But he and his shall know that justice lives
In Saturninus' health, whom, if she sleep,
Act 4 Sc 4 Ln 25He'll so awake as she in fury shall
Cut off the proud'st conspirator that lives.
TAMORAMy gracious lord, my lovely Saturnine,
Lord of my life, commander of my thoughts,
Calm thee, and bear the faults of Titus' age,
Act 4 Sc 4 Ln 30The effects of sorrow for his valiant sons,
Whose loss hath pierced him deep and scarr'd his heart;
And rather comfort his distressed plight
Than prosecute the meanest or the best
For these contempts.
Act 4 Sc 4 Ln 35Why, thus it shall become
High-witted Tamora to gloze with all:
But, Titus, I have touched thee to the quick,
Thy life-blood out: if Aaron now be wise,
Then is all safe, the anchor's in the port.
Act 4 Sc 4 Ln 40How now, good fellow! wouldst thou speak with us?
ClownYea, forsooth, an your mistership be emperial.
TAMORAEmpress I am, but yonder sits the emperor.
Clown'Tis he. God and Saint Stephen give you good den:
I have brought you a letter and a couple of pigeons here.
SATURNINUSAct 4 Sc 4 Ln 45Go, take him away, and hang him presently.
ClownHow much money must I have?
TAMORACome, sirrah, you must be hanged.
ClownHanged! by'r lady, then I have brought up a neck to
a fair end.
SATURNINUSAct 4 Sc 4 Ln 50Despiteful and intolerable wrongs!
Shall I endure this monstrous villany?
I know from whence this same device proceeds:
May this be borne? — as if his traitorous sons,
That died by law for murder of our brother,
Act 4 Sc 4 Ln 55Have by my means been butcher'd wrongfully!
Go, drag the villain hither by the hair;
Nor age nor honour shall shape privilege:
For this proud mock I'll be thy slaughterman;
Sly frantic wretch, that holp'st to make me great,
Act 4 Sc 4 Ln 60In hope thyself should govern Rome and me.
What news with thee, AEmilius?
AEMILIUSArm, arm, my lord; — Rome never had more cause.
The Goths have gather'd head; and with a power
high-resolved men, bent to the spoil,
Act 4 Sc 4 Ln 65They hither march amain, under conduct
Of Lucius, son to old Andronicus;
Who threats, in course of this revenge, to do
As much as ever Coriolanus did.
SATURNINUSIs warlike Lucius general of the Goths?
Act 4 Sc 4 Ln 70These tidings nip me, and I hang the head
As flowers with frost or grass beat down with storms:
Ay, now begin our sorrows to approach:
'Tis he the common people love so much;
Myself hath often over-heard them say,
Act 4 Sc 4 Ln 75When I have walked like a private man,
That Lucius' banishment was wrongfully,
And they have wish'd that Lucius were their emperor.
TAMORAWhy should you fear? is not your city strong?
SATURNINUSAy, but the citizens favor Lucius,
Act 4 Sc 4 Ln 80And will revolt from me to succor him.
TAMORAKing, be thy thoughts imperious, like thy name.
Is the sun dimm'd, that gnats do fly in it?
The eagle suffers little birds to sing,
And is not careful what they mean thereby,
Act 4 Sc 4 Ln 85Knowing that with the shadow of his wings
He can at pleasure stint their melody:
Even so mayst thou the giddy men of Rome.
Then cheer thy spirit : for know, thou emperor,
I will enchant the old Andronicus
Act 4 Sc 4 Ln 90With words more sweet, and yet more dangerous,
Than baits to fish, or honey-stalks to sheep,
When as the one is wounded with the bait,
The other rotted with delicious feed.
SATURNINUSBut he will not entreat his son for us.
TAMORAAct 4 Sc 4 Ln 95If Tamora entreat him, then he will:
For I can smooth and fill his aged ear
With golden promises; that, were his heart
Almost impregnable, his old ears deaf,
Yet should both ear and heart obey my tongue.
Act 4 Sc 4 Ln 100Go thou before, be our ambassador:
Say that the emperor requests a parley
Of warlike Lucius, and appoint the meeting
Even at his father's house, the old Andronicus.
SATURNINUSAEmilius, do this message honourably:
Act 4 Sc 4 Ln 105And if he stand on hostage for his safety,
Bid him demand what pledge will please him best.
AEMILIUSYour bidding shall I do effectually.
TAMORANow will I to that old Andronicus;
And temper him with all the art I have,
Act 4 Sc 4 Ln 110To pluck proud Lucius from the warlike Goths.
And now, sweet emperor, be blithe again,
And bury all thy fear in my devices.
SATURNINUSThen go successantly, and plead to him.


SCENE I. Plains near Rome.

LUCIUSApproved warriors, and my faithful friends,
I have received letters from great Rome,
Which signify what hate they bear their emperor
And how desirous of our sight they are.
Act 5 Sc 1 Ln 5Therefore, great lords, be, as your titles witness,
Imperious and impatient of your wrongs,
And wherein Rome hath done you any scath,
Let him make treble satisfaction.
First GothBrave slip, sprung from the great Andronicus,
Act 5 Sc 1 Ln 10Whose name was once our terror, now our comfort;
Whose high exploits and honourable deeds
Ingrateful Rome requites with foul contempt,
Be bold in us: we'll follow where thou lead'st,
Like stinging bees in hottest summer's day
Act 5 Sc 1 Ln 15Led by their master to the flowered fields,
And be avenged on cursed Tamora.
All the GothsAnd as he saith, so say we all with him.
LUCIUSI humbly thank him, and I thank you all.
But who comes here, led by a lusty Goth?
Second GothAct 5 Sc 1 Ln 20Renowned Lucius, from our troops I stray'd
To gaze upon a ruinous monastery;
And, as I earnestly did fix mine eye
Upon the wasted building, suddenly
I heard a child cry underneath a wall.
Act 5 Sc 1 Ln 25I made unto the noise; when soon I heard
The crying babe controll'd with this discourse:
'Peace, tawny slave, half me and half thy dam!
Did not thy hue bewray whose brat thou art,
Had nature lent thee but thy mother's look,
Act 5 Sc 1 Ln 30Villain, thou mightst have been an emperor:
But where the bull and cow are both milk-white,
They never do beget a coal-black calf.
Peace, villain, peace!' — even thus he rates
the babe, —
Act 5 Sc 1 Ln 35'For I must bear thee to a trusty Goth;
Who, when he knows thou art the empress' babe,
Will hold thee dearly for thy mother's sake.'
With this, my weapon drawn, I rush'd upon him,
Surprised him suddenly, and brought him hither,
Act 5 Sc 1 Ln 40To use as you think needful of the man.
LUCIUSO worthy Goth, this is the incarnate devil
That robb'd Andronicus of his good hand;
This is the pearl that pleased your empress' eye,
And here's the base fruit of his burning lust.
Act 5 Sc 1 Ln 45Say, wall-eyed slave, whither wouldst thou convey
This growing image of thy fiend-like face?
Why dost not speak? what, deaf? not a word?
A halter, soldiers! hang him on this tree.
And by his side his fruit of bastardy.
AARONAct 5 Sc 1 Ln 50Touch not the boy; he is of royal blood.
LUCIUSToo like the sire for ever being good.
First hang the child, that he may see it sprawl;
A sight to vex the father's soul withal.
Get me a ladder.
AARONAct 5 Sc 1 Ln 55Lucius, save the child,
And bear it from me to the empress.
If thou do this, I'll show thee wondrous things,
That highly may advantage thee to hear:
If thou wilt not, befall what may befall,
Act 5 Sc 1 Ln 60I'll speak no more but 'Vengeance rot you all!'
LUCIUSSay on: an if it please me which thou speak'st
Thy child shall live, and I will see it nourish'd.
AARONAn if it please thee! why, assure thee, Lucius,
'Twill vex thy soul to hear what I shall speak;
Act 5 Sc 1 Ln 65For I must talk of murders, rapes and massacres,
Acts of black night, abominable deeds,
Complots of mischief, treason, villanies
Ruthful to hear, yet piteously perform'd:
And this shall all be buried by my death,
Act 5 Sc 1 Ln 70Unless thou swear to me my child shall live.
LUCIUSTell on thy mind; I say thy child shall live.
AARONSwear that he shall, and then I will begin.
LUCIUSWho should I swear by? thou believest no god:
That granted, how canst thou believe an oath?
AARONAct 5 Sc 1 Ln 75What if I do not? as, indeed, I do not;
Yet, for I know thou art religious
And hast a thing within thee called conscience,
With twenty popish tricks and ceremonies,
Which I have seen thee careful to observe,
Act 5 Sc 1 Ln 80Therefore I urge thy oath; for that I know
An idiot holds his bauble for a god
And keeps the oath which by that god he swears,
To that I'll urge him: therefore thou shalt vow
By that same god, what god soe'er it be,
Act 5 Sc 1 Ln 85That thou adorest and hast in reverence,
To save my boy, to nourish and bring him up;
Or else I will discover nought to thee.
LUCIUSEven by my god I swear to thee I will.
AARONFirst know thou, I begot him on the empress.
LUCIUSAct 5 Sc 1 Ln 90O most insatiate and luxurious woman!
AARONTut, Lucius, this was but a deed of charity
To that which thou shalt hear of me anon.
'Twas her two sons that murder'd Bassianus;
They cut thy sister's tongue and ravish'd her
Act 5 Sc 1 Ln 95And cut her hands and trimm'd her as thou saw'st.
LUCIUSO detestable villain! call'st thou that trimming?
AARONWhy, she was wash'd and cut and trimm'd, and 'twas
Trim sport for them that had the doing of it.
LUCIUSO barbarous, beastly villains, like thyself!
AARONAct 5 Sc 1 Ln 100Indeed, I was their tutor to instruct them:
That codding spirit had they from their mother,
As sure a card as ever won the set;
That bloody mind, I think, they learn'd of me,
As true a dog as ever fought at head.
Act 5 Sc 1 Ln 105Well, let my deeds be witness of my worth.
I train'd thy brethren to that guileful hole
Where the dead corpse of Bassianus lay:
I wrote the letter that thy father found
And hid the gold within the letter mention'd,
Act 5 Sc 1 Ln 110Confederate with the queen and her two sons:
And what not done, that thou hast cause to rue,
Wherein I had no stroke of mischief in it?
I play'd the cheater for thy father's hand,
And, when I had it, drew myself apart
Act 5 Sc 1 Ln 115And almost broke my heart with extreme laughter:
I pry'd me through the crevice of a wall
When, for his hand, he had his two sons' heads;
Beheld his tears, and laugh'd so heartily,
That both mine eyes were rainy like to his :
Act 5 Sc 1 Ln 120And when I told the empress of this sport,
She swooned almost at my pleasing tale,
And for my tidings gave me twenty kisses.
First GothWhat, canst thou say all this, and never blush?
AARONAy, like a black dog, as the saying is.
LUCIUSAct 5 Sc 1 Ln 125Art thou not sorry for these heinous deeds?
AARONAy, that I had not done a thousand more.
Even now I curse the day — and yet, I think,
Few come within the compass of my curse, —
Wherein I did not some notorious ill,
Act 5 Sc 1 Ln 130As kill a man, or else devise his death,
Ravish a maid, or plot the way to do it,
Accuse some innocent and forswear myself,
Set deadly enmity between two friends,
Make poor men's cattle break their necks;
Act 5 Sc 1 Ln 135Set fire on barns and hay-stacks in the night,
And bid the owners quench them with their tears.
Oft have I digg'd up dead men from their graves,
And set them upright at their dear friends' doors,
Even when their sorrows almost were forgot;
Act 5 Sc 1 Ln 140And on their skins, as on the bark of trees,
Have with my knife carved in Roman letters,
'Let not your sorrow die, though I am dead.'
Tut, I have done a thousand dreadful things
As willingly as one would kill a fly,
Act 5 Sc 1 Ln 145And nothing grieves me heartily indeed
But that I cannot do ten thousand more.
LUCIUSBring down the devil; for he must not die
So sweet a death as hanging presently.
AARONIf there be devils, would I were a devil,
Act 5 Sc 1 Ln 150To live and burn in everlasting fire,
So I might have your company in hell,
But to torment you with my bitter tongue!
LUCIUSSirs, stop his mouth, and let him speak no more.
Third GothMy lord, there is a messenger from Rome
Act 5 Sc 1 Ln 155Desires to be admitted to your presence.
LUCIUSLet him come near.
Welcome, AEmilius what's the news from Rome?
AEMILIUSLord Lucius, and you princes of the Goths,
The Roman emperor greets you all by me;
Act 5 Sc 1 Ln 160And, for he understands you are in arms,
He craves a parley at your father's house,
Willing you to demand your hostages,
And they shall be immediately deliver'd.
First GothWhat says our general?
LUCIUSAct 5 Sc 1 Ln 165AEmilius, let the emperor give his pledges
Unto my father and my uncle Marcus,
And we will come. March away.


SCENE II. Rome. Before TITUS's house.

TAMORAThus, in this strange and sad habiliment,
I will encounter with Andronicus,
And say I am Revenge, sent from below
To join with him and right his heinous wrongs.
Act 5 Sc 2 Ln 5Knock at his study, where, they say, he keeps,
To ruminate strange plots of dire revenge;
Tell him Revenge is come to join with him,
And work confusion on his enemies.
TITUS ANDRONICUSWho doth molest my contemplation?
Act 5 Sc 2 Ln 10Is it your trick to make me ope the door,
That so my sad decrees may fly away,
And all my study be to no effect?
You are deceived: for what I mean to do
See here in bloody lines I have set down;
Act 5 Sc 2 Ln 15And what is written shall be executed.
TAMORATitus, I am come to talk with thee.
TITUS ANDRONICUSNo, not a word; how can I grace my talk,
Wanting a hand to give it action?
Thou hast the odds of me; therefore no more.
TAMORAAct 5 Sc 2 Ln 20If thou didst know me, thou wouldest talk with me.
TITUS ANDRONICUSI am not mad; I know thee well enough:
Witness this wretched stump, witness these crimson lines;
Witness these trenches made by grief and care,
Witness the tiring day and heavy night;
Act 5 Sc 2 Ln 25Witness all sorrow, that I know thee well
For our proud empress, mighty Tamora:
Is not thy coming for my other hand?
TAMORAKnow, thou sad man, I am not Tamora;
She is thy enemy, and I thy friend:
Act 5 Sc 2 Ln 30I am Revenge: sent from the infernal kingdom,
To ease the gnawing vulture of thy mind,
By working wreakful vengeance on thy foes.
Come down, and welcome me to this world's light;
Confer with me of murder and of death:
Act 5 Sc 2 Ln 35There's not a hollow cave or lurking-place,
No vast obscurity or misty vale,
Where bloody murder or detested rape
Can couch for fear, but I will find them out;
And in their ears tell them my dreadful name,
Act 5 Sc 2 Ln 40Revenge, which makes the foul offender quake.
TITUS ANDRONICUSArt thou Revenge? and art thou sent to me,
To be a torment to mine enemies?
TAMORAI am; therefore come down, and welcome me.
TITUS ANDRONICUSDo me some service, ere I come to thee.
Act 5 Sc 2 Ln 45Lo, by thy side where Rape and Murder stands;
Now give me some surance that thou art Revenge,
Stab them, or tear them on thy chariot-wheels;
And then I'll come and be thy waggoner,
And whirl along with thee about the globe.
Act 5 Sc 2 Ln 50Provide thee two proper palfreys, black as jet,
To hale thy vengeful waggon swift away,
And find out murderers in their guilty caves:
And when thy car is loaden with their heads,
I will dismount, and by the waggon-wheel
Act 5 Sc 2 Ln 55Trot, like a servile footman, all day long,
Even from Hyperion's rising in the east
Until his very downfall in the sea:
And day by day I'll do this heavy task,
So thou destroy Rapine and Murder there.
TAMORAAct 5 Sc 2 Ln 60These are my ministers, and come with me.
TITUS ANDRONICUSAre these thy ministers? what are they call'd?
TAMORARapine and Murder; therefore called so,
Cause they take vengeance of such kind of men.
TITUS ANDRONICUSGood Lord, how like the empress' sons they are!
Act 5 Sc 2 Ln 65And you, the empress! but we worldly men
Have miserable, mad, mistaking eyes.
O sweet Revenge, now do I come to thee;
And, if one arm's embracement will content thee,
I will embrace thee in it by and by.
TAMORAAct 5 Sc 2 Ln 70This closing with him fits his lunacy
Whate'er I forge to feed his brain-sick fits,
Do you uphold and maintain in your speeches,
For now he firmly takes me for Revenge;
And, being credulous in this mad thought,
Act 5 Sc 2 Ln 75I'll make him send for Lucius his son;
And, whilst I at a banquet hold him sure,
I'll find some cunning practise out of hand,
To scatter and disperse the giddy Goths,
Or, at the least, make them his enemies.
Act 5 Sc 2 Ln 80See, here he comes, and I must ply my theme.
TITUS ANDRONICUSLong have I been forlorn, and all for thee:
Welcome, dread Fury, to my woful house:
Rapine and Murder, you are welcome too.
How like the empress and her sons you are!
Act 5 Sc 2 Ln 85Well are you fitted, had you but a Moor:
Could not all hell afford you such a devil?
For well I wot the empress never wags
But in her company there is a Moor;
And, would you represent our queen aright,
Act 5 Sc 2 Ln 90It were convenient you had such a devil:
But welcome, as you are. What shall we do?
TAMORAWhat wouldst thou have us do, Andronicus?
DEMETRIUSShow me a murderer, I'll deal with him.
CHIRONShow me a villain that hath done a rape,
Act 5 Sc 2 Ln 95And I am sent to be revenged on him.
TAMORAShow me a thousand that have done thee wrong,
And I will be revenged on them all.
TITUS ANDRONICUSLook round about the wicked streets of Rome;
And when thou find'st a man that's like thyself.
Act 5 Sc 2 Ln 100Good Murder, stab him; he's a murderer.
Go thou with him; and when it is thy hap
To find another that is like to thee,
Good Rapine, stab him; he's a ravisher.
Go thou with them; and in the emperor's court
Act 5 Sc 2 Ln 105There is a queen, attended by a Moor;
Well mayst thou know her by thy own proportion,
for up and down she doth resemble thee:
I pray thee, do on them some violent death;
They have been violent to me and mine.
TAMORAAct 5 Sc 2 Ln 110Well hast thou lesson'd us; this shall we do.
But would it please thee, good Andronicus,
To send for Lucius, thy thrice-valiant son,
Who leads towards Rome a band of warlike Goths,
And bid him come and banquet at thy house;
Act 5 Sc 2 Ln 115When he is here, even at thy solemn feast,
I will bring in the empress and her sons,
The emperor himself and all thy foes;
And at thy mercy shalt they stoop and kneel,
And on them shalt thou ease thy angry heart.
Act 5 Sc 2 Ln 120What says Andronicus to this device?
TITUS ANDRONICUSMarcus, my brother! 'tis sad Titus calls.
Go, gentle Marcus, to thy nephew Lucius;
Thou shalt inquire him out among the Goths:
Bid him repair to me, and bring with him
Act 5 Sc 2 Ln 125Some of the chiefest princes of the Goths;
Bid him encamp his soldiers where they are:
Tell him the emperor and the empress too
Feast at my house, and he shall feast with them.
This do thou for my love; and so let him,
Act 5 Sc 2 Ln 130As he regards his aged father's life.
MARCUS ANDRONICUSThis will I do, and soon return again.
TAMORANow will I hence about thy business,
And take my ministers along with me.
TITUS ANDRONICUSNay, nay, let Rape and Murder stay with me;
Act 5 Sc 2 Ln 135Or else I'll call my brother back again,
And cleave to no revenge but Lucius.
TAMORA What say you, boys? will you
bide with him,
Whiles I go tell my lord the emperor
Act 5 Sc 2 Ln 140How I have govern'd our determined jest?
Yield to his humour, smooth and speak him fair,
And tarry with him till I turn again.
TITUS ANDRONICUS I know them all, though they suppose me mad,
And will o'erreach them in their own devices:
Act 5 Sc 2 Ln 145A pair of cursed hell-hounds and their dam!
DEMETRIUSMadam, depart at pleasure; leave us here.
TAMORAFarewell, Andronicus: Revenge now goes
To lay a complot to betray thy foes.
TITUS ANDRONICUSI know thou dost; and, sweet Revenge, farewell.
CHIRONAct 5 Sc 2 Ln 150Tell us, old man, how shall we be employ'd?
TITUS ANDRONICUSTut, I have work enough for you to do.
Publius, come hither, Caius, and Valentine!
PUBLIUSWhat is your will?
TITUS ANDRONICUSKnow you these two?
PUBLIUSAct 5 Sc 2 Ln 155The empress' sons, I take them, Chiron and Demetrius.
TITUS ANDRONICUSFie, Publius, fie! thou art too much deceived;
The one is Murder, Rape is the other's name;
And therefore bind them, gentle Publius.
Caius and Valentine, lay hands on them.
Act 5 Sc 2 Ln 160Oft have you heard me wish for such an hour,
And now I find it; therefore bind them sure,
And stop their mouths, if they begin to cry.
CHIRONVillains, forbear! we are the empress' sons.
PUBLIUSAnd therefore do we what we are commanded.
Act 5 Sc 2 Ln 165Stop close their mouths, let them not speak a word.
Is he sure bound? look that you bind them fast.
TITUS ANDRONICUSCome, come, Lavinia; look, thy foes are bound.
Sirs, stop their mouths, let them not speak to me;
But let them hear what fearful words I utter.
Act 5 Sc 2 Ln 170O villains, Chiron and Demetrius!
Here stands the spring whom you have stain'd with mud,
This goodly summer with your winter mix'd.
You kill'd her husband, and for that vile fault
Two of her brothers were condemn'd to death,
Act 5 Sc 2 Ln 175My hand cut off and made a merry jest;
Both her sweet hands, her tongue, and that more dear
Than hands or tongue, her spotless chastity,
Inhuman traitors, you constrain'd and forced.
What would you say, if I should let you speak?
Act 5 Sc 2 Ln 180Villains, for shame you could not beg for grace.
Hark, wretches! how I mean to martyr you.
This one hand yet is left to cut your throats,
Whilst that Lavinia 'tween her stumps doth hold
The basin that receives your guilty blood.
Act 5 Sc 2 Ln 185You know your mother means to feast with me,
And calls herself Revenge, and thinks me mad:
Hark, villains! I will grind your bones to dust
And with your blood and it I'll make a paste,
And of the paste a coffin I will rear
Act 5 Sc 2 Ln 190And make two pasties of your shameful heads,
And bid that strumpet, your unhallow'd dam,
Like to the earth swallow her own increase.
This is the feast that I have bid her to,
And this the banquet she shall surfeit on;
Act 5 Sc 2 Ln 195For worse than Philomel you used my daughter,
And worse than Progne I will be revenged:
And now prepare your throats. Lavinia, come,
Receive the blood: and when that they are dead,
Let me go grind their bones to powder small
Act 5 Sc 2 Ln 200And with this hateful liquor temper it;
And in that paste let their vile heads be baked.
Come, come, be every one officious
To make this banquet; which I wish may prove
More stern and bloody than the Centaurs' feast.
Act 5 Sc 2 Ln 205So, now bring them in, for I'll play the cook,
And see them ready 'gainst their mother comes.


SCENE III. Court of TITUS's house. A banquet set out.

LUCIUSUncle Marcus, since it is my father's mind
That I repair to Rome, I am content.
First GothAnd ours with thine, befall what fortune will.
LUCIUSGood uncle, take you in this barbarous Moor,
Act 5 Sc 3 Ln 5This ravenous tiger, this accursed devil;
Let him receive no sustenance, fetter him
Till he be brought unto the empress' face,
For testimony of her foul proceedings:
And see the ambush of our friends be strong;
Act 5 Sc 3 Ln 10I fear the emperor means no good to us.
AARONSome devil whisper curses in mine ear,
And prompt me, that my tongue may utter forth
The venomous malice of my swelling heart!
LUCIUSAway, inhuman dog! unhallow'd slave!
Act 5 Sc 3 Ln 15Sirs, help our uncle to convey him in.
The trumpets show the emperor is at hand.
SATURNINUSWhat, hath the firmament more suns than one?
LUCIUSWhat boots it thee to call thyself a sun?
MARCUS ANDRONICUSRome's emperor, and nephew, break the parle;
Act 5 Sc 3 Ln 20These quarrels must be quietly debated.
The feast is ready, which the careful Titus
Hath ordain'd to an honourable end,
For peace, for love, for league, and good to Rome:
Please you, therefore, draw nigh, and take your places.
SATURNINUSAct 5 Sc 3 Ln 25Marcus, we will.
TITUS ANDRONICUSWelcome, my gracious lord; welcome, dread queen;
Welcome, ye warlike Goths; welcome, Lucius;
And welcome, all: although the cheer be poor,
'Twill fill your stomachs; please you eat of it.
SATURNINUSAct 5 Sc 3 Ln 30Why art thou thus attired, Andronicus?
TITUS ANDRONICUSBecause I would be sure to have all well,
To entertain your highness and your empress.
TAMORAWe are beholding to you, good Andronicus.
TITUS ANDRONICUSAn if your highness knew my heart, you were.
Act 5 Sc 3 Ln 35My lord the emperor, resolve me this:
Was it well done of rash Virginius
To slay his daughter with his own right hand,
Because she was enforced, stain'd, and deflower'd?
SATURNINUSIt was, Andronicus.
TITUS ANDRONICUSAct 5 Sc 3 Ln 40Your reason, mighty lord?
SATURNINUSBecause the girl should not survive her shame,
And by her presence still renew his sorrows.
TITUS ANDRONICUSA reason mighty, strong, and effectual;
A pattern, precedent, and lively warrant,
Act 5 Sc 3 Ln 45For me, most wretched, to perform the like.
Die, die, Lavinia, and thy shame with thee;
And, with thy shame, thy father's sorrow die!
SATURNINUSWhat hast thou done, unnatural and unkind?
TITUS ANDRONICUSKill'd her, for whom my tears have made me blind.
Act 5 Sc 3 Ln 50I am as woful as Virginius was,
And have a thousand times more cause than he
To do this outrage: and it now is done.
SATURNINUSWhat, was she ravish'd? tell who did the deed.
TITUS ANDRONICUSWill't please you eat? will't please your
Act 5 Sc 3 Ln 55highness feed?
TAMORAWhy hast thou slain thine only daughter thus?
TITUS ANDRONICUSNot I; 'twas Chiron and Demetrius:
They ravish'd her, and cut away her tongue;
And they, 'twas they, that did her all this wrong.
SATURNINUSAct 5 Sc 3 Ln 60Go fetch them hither to us presently.
TITUS ANDRONICUSWhy, there they are both, baked in that pie;
Whereof their mother daintily hath fed,
Eating the flesh that she herself hath bred.
'Tis true, 'tis true; witness my knife's sharp point.
SATURNINUSAct 5 Sc 3 Ln 65Die, frantic wretch, for this accursed deed!
LUCIUSCan the son's eye behold his father bleed?
There's meed for meed, death for a deadly deed!
MARCUS ANDRONICUSYou sad-faced men, people and sons of Rome,
By uproar sever'd, like a flight of fowl
Act 5 Sc 3 Ln 70Scatter'd by winds and high tempestuous gusts,
O, let me teach you how to knit again
This scatter'd corn into one mutual sheaf,
These broken limbs again into one body;
Lest Rome herself be bane unto herself,
Act 5 Sc 3 Ln 75And she whom mighty kingdoms court'sy to,
Like a forlorn and desperate castaway,
Do shameful execution on herself.
But if my frosty signs and chaps of age,
Grave witnesses of true experience,
Act 5 Sc 3 Ln 80Cannot induce you to attend my words,
Speak, Rome's dear friend, as erst our ancestor,
When with his solemn tongue he did discourse
To love-sick Dido's sad attending ear
The story of that baleful burning night
Act 5 Sc 3 Ln 85When subtle Greeks surprised King Priam's Troy,
Tell us what Sinon hath bewitch'd our ears,
Or who hath brought the fatal engine in
That gives our Troy, our Rome, the civil wound.
My heart is not compact of flint nor steel;
Act 5 Sc 3 Ln 90Nor can I utter all our bitter grief,
But floods of tears will drown my oratory,
And break my utterance, even in the time
When it should move you to attend me most,
Lending your kind commiseration.
Act 5 Sc 3 Ln 95Here is a captain, let him tell the tale;
Your hearts will throb and weep to hear him speak.
LUCIUSThen, noble auditory, be it known to you,
That cursed Chiron and Demetrius
Were they that murdered our emperor's brother;
Act 5 Sc 3 Ln 100And they it were that ravished our sister:
For their fell faults our brothers were beheaded;
Our father's tears despised, and basely cozen'd
Of that true hand that fought Rome's quarrel out,
And sent her enemies unto the grave.
Act 5 Sc 3 Ln 105Lastly, myself unkindly banished,
The gates shut on me, and turn'd weeping out,
To beg relief among Rome's enemies:
Who drown'd their enmity in my true tears.
And oped their arms to embrace me as a friend.
Act 5 Sc 3 Ln 110I am the turned forth, be it known to you,
That have preserved her welfare in my blood;
And from her bosom took the enemy's point,
Sheathing the steel in my adventurous body.
Alas, you know I am no vaunter, I;
Act 5 Sc 3 Ln 115My scars can witness, dumb although they are,
That my report is just and full of truth.
But, soft! methinks I do digress too much,
Citing my worthless praise: O, pardon me;
For when no friends are by, men praise themselves.
MARCUS ANDRONICUSAct 5 Sc 3 Ln 120Now is my turn to speak. Behold this child:
Of this was Tamora delivered;
The issue of an irreligious Moor,
Chief architect and plotter of these woes:
The villain is alive in Titus' house,
Act 5 Sc 3 Ln 125And as he is, to witness this is true.
Now judge what cause had Titus to revenge
These wrongs, unspeakable, past patience,
Or more than any living man could bear.
Now you have heard the truth, what say you, Romans?
Act 5 Sc 3 Ln 130Have we done aught amiss, — show us wherein,
And, from the place where you behold us now,
The poor remainder of Andronici
Will, hand in hand, all headlong cast us down.
And on the ragged stones beat forth our brains,
Act 5 Sc 3 Ln 135And make a mutual closure of our house.
Speak, Romans, speak; and if you say we shall,
Lo, hand in hand, Lucius and I will fall.
AEMILIUSCome, come, thou reverend man of Rome,
And bring our emperor gently in thy hand,
Act 5 Sc 3 Ln 140Lucius our emperor; for well I know
The common voice do cry it shall be so.
AllLucius, all hail, Rome's royal emperor!
MARCUS ANDRONICUSGo, go into old Titus' sorrowful house,
And hither hale that misbelieving Moor,
Act 5 Sc 3 Ln 145To be adjudged some direful slaughtering death,
As punishment for his most wicked life.
AllLucius, all hail, Rome's gracious governor!
LUCIUSThanks, gentle Romans: may I govern so,
To heal Rome's harms, and wipe away her woe!
Act 5 Sc 3 Ln 150But, gentle people, give me aim awhile,
For nature puts me to a heavy task:
Stand all aloof: but, uncle, draw you near,
To shed obsequious tears upon this trunk.
O, take this warm kiss on thy pale cold lips,
Act 5 Sc 3 Ln 155These sorrowful drops upon thy blood-stain'd face,
The last true duties of thy noble son!
MARCUS ANDRONICUSTear for tear, and loving kiss for kiss,
Thy brother Marcus tenders on thy lips:
O were the sum of these that I should pay
Act 5 Sc 3 Ln 160Countless and infinite, yet would I pay them!
LUCIUSCome hither, boy; come, come, and learn of us
To melt in showers: thy grandsire loved thee well:
Many a time he danced thee on his knee,
Sung thee asleep, his loving breast thy pillow:
Act 5 Sc 3 Ln 165Many a matter hath he told to thee,
Meet and agreeing with thine infancy;
In that respect, then, like a loving child,
Shed yet some small drops from thy tender spring,
Because kind nature doth require it so:
Act 5 Sc 3 Ln 170Friends should associate friends in grief and woe:
Bid him farewell; commit him to the grave;
Do him that kindness, and take leave of him.
Young LUCIUSO grandsire, grandsire! even with all my heart
Would I were dead, so you did live again!
Act 5 Sc 3 Ln 175O Lord, I cannot speak to him for weeping;
My tears will choke me, if I ope my mouth.
AEMILIUSYou sad Andronici, have done with woes:
Give sentence on this execrable wretch,
That hath been breeder of these dire events.
LUCIUSAct 5 Sc 3 Ln 180Set him breast-deep in earth, and famish him;
There let him stand, and rave, and cry for food;
If any one relieves or pities him,
For the offence he dies. This is our doom:
Some stay to see him fasten'd in the earth.
AARONAct 5 Sc 3 Ln 185O, why should wrath be mute, and fury dumb?
I am no baby, I, that with base prayers
I should repent the evils I have done:
Ten thousand worse than ever yet I did
Would I perform, if I might have my will;
Act 5 Sc 3 Ln 190If one good deed in all my life I did,
I do repent it from my very soul.
LUCIUSSome loving friends convey the emperor hence,
And give him burial in his father's grave:
My father and Lavinia shall forthwith
Act 5 Sc 3 Ln 195Be closed in our household's monument.
As for that heinous tiger, Tamora,
No funeral rite, nor man m mourning weeds,
No mournful bell shall ring her burial;
But throw her forth to beasts and birds of prey:
Act 5 Sc 3 Ln 200Her life was beast-like, and devoid of pity;
And, being so, shall have like want of pity.
See justice done on Aaron, that damn'd Moor,
By whom our heavy haps had their beginning:
Then, afterwards, to order well the state,
Act 5 Sc 3 Ln 205That like events may ne'er it ruinate.