The Tragedy of Titus Andronicus
William Shakespeare [Collins edition]
Part 2 out of 3
Come hither, Aaron; I'll deceive them both:
Lend me thy hand, and I will give thee mine.
[Aside.] 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.
[He cuts off TITUS'S hand.]
[Re-enter LUCIUS and MARCUS.]
Now stay your strife: what shall be is despatch'd.--
Good 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
As jewels purchas'd at an easy price;
And yet dear too, because I bought mine own.
I go, Andronicus: and for thy hand
Look by and by to have thy sons with thee:--
[Aside] Their heads I mean. O, how this villainy
Doth 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.
O, here I lift this one hand up to heaven,
And bow this feeble ruin to the earth:
If any power pities wretched tears,
To that I call!--[To LAVINIA.] 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,
And stain the sun with fog, as sometime clouds
When they do hug him in their melting bosoms.
O brother, speak with possibilities,
And do not break into these deep extremes.
Is not my sorrow deep, having no bottom?
Then be my passions bottomless with them.
But yet let reason govern thy lament.
If there were reason for these miseries,
Then into limits could I bind my woes:
When heaven doth weep, doth not the earth o'erflow?
If the winds rage, doth not the sea wax mad,
Threatening the welkin with his big-swol'n face?
And wilt thou have a reason for this coil?
I am the sea; hark, how her sighs do flow!
She is the weeping welkin, I the earth:
Then 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.
Then give me leave; for losers will have leave
To ease their stomachs with their bitter tongues.
[Enter a Messenger, with two heads and a hand.]
Worthy Andronicus, ill art thou repaid
For that good hand thou sent'st the emperor.
Here are the heads of thy two noble sons;
And here's thy hand, in scorn to thee sent back,--
Thy grief their sports, thy resolution mock'd:
That woe is me to think upon thy woes,
More than remembrance of my father's death.
Now let hot Aetna cool in Sicily,
And 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.
Ah, that this sight should make so deep a wound,
And yet detested life not shrink thereat!
That ever death should let life bear his name,
Where life hath no more interest but to breathe!
[LAVINIA kisses him.]
Alas, poor heart, that kiss is comfortless
As frozen water to a starved snake.
When will this fearful slumber have an end?
Now 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
Struck pale and bloodless; and thy brother, I,
Even like a stony image, cold and numb.
Ah! now no more will I control thy griefs:
Rent off thy silver hair, thy other hand
Gnawing with thy teeth; and be this dismal sight
The closing up of our most wretched eyes:
Now is a time to storm; why art thou still?
Ha, ha, ha!
Why dost thou laugh? it fits not with this hour.
Why, I have not another tear to shed:
Besides, 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,
And 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,
That 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 will I bear.
And, Lavinia, thou shalt be employ'd in these things;
Bear 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,
Let's kiss and part, for we have much to do.
[Exeunt TITUS, MARCUS, and LAVINIA.]
Farewell, Andronicus, my noble father,--
The woefull'st man that ever liv'd in Rome:
Farewell, proud Rome; till Lucius come again,
He leaves his pledges dearer than his life:
Farewell, 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,
And 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 reveng'd on Rome and Saturnine.
SCENE II. Rome. A Room in TITUS'S House. A banquet set out.
[Enter TITUS, MARCUS, LAVINIA, and YOUNG LUCIUS, a boy.]
So 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:
Thy 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;
And, when my heart, all mad with misery,
Beats in this hollow prison of my flesh,
Then thus I thump it down.--
[To LAVINIA] 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.
Wound 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,
Drown the lamenting fool in sea-salt tears.
Fie, brother, fie! teach her not thus to lay
Such violent hands upon her tender life.
How now! has sorrow made thee dote already?
Why, Marcus, no man should be mad but I.
What 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,
Lest we remember still that we have none.--
Fie, fie, how frantically 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.--
Here 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;
In 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,
And by still practice learn to know thy meaning.
Good grandsire, leave these bitter deep laments:
Make my aunt merry with some pleasing tale.
Alas, the tender boy, in passion mov'd,
Doth weep to see his grandsire's heaviness.
Peace, tender sapling; thou art made of tears,
And tears will quickly melt thy life away.--
[MARCUS strikes the dish with a knife.]
What dost thou strike at, Marcus, with thy knife?
At that that I have kill'd, my lord,--a fly.
Out on thee, murderer! thou kill'st my heart;
Mine 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.
Alas, my lord, I have but kill'd a fly.
But 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
Came here to make us merry! and thou hast kill'd him.
Pardon me, sir; 'twas a black ill-favour'd fly,
Like to the empress' Moor; therefore I kill'd him.
O, O, O!
Then 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.--
There's for thyself, and that's for Tamora.--
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.
Alas, poor man! grief has so wrought on him,
He takes false shadows for true substances.
Come, take away.--Lavinia, go with me;
I'll to thy closet; and go read with thee
Sad stories chanced in the times of old.--
Come, boy, and go with me: thy sight is young,
And thou shalt read when mine begin to dazzle.
SCENE I. Rome. Before TITUS'S House.
[Enter TITUS and MARCUS. Then enter YOUNG LUCIUS running, with
books under his arm, and LAVINIA running after him.]
Help, grandsire, help! my aunt Lavinia
Follows me everywhere, I know not why.--
Good uncle Marcus, see how swift she comes!
Alas, sweet aunt, I know not what you mean.
Stand by me, Lucius: do not fear thine aunt.
She loves thee, boy, too well to do thee harm.
Ay, when my father was in Rome she did.
What means my niece Lavinia by these signs?
Fear her not, Lucius: somewhat doth she mean:--
See, 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.
Canst thou not guess wherefore she plies thee thus?
My 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;
And I have read that Hecuba of Troy
Ran mad for 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:
Which 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.
Lucius, I will.
[LAVINIA turns over with her stumps the books which Lucius has
How 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,
And so beguile thy sorrow, till the heavens
Reveal the damn'd contriver of this deed.--
Why lifts she up her arms in sequence thus?
I think she means that there were more than one
Confederate in the fact;--ay, more there was,
Or else to heaven she heaves them for revenge.
Lucius, what book is that she tosseth so?
Grandsire, 'tis Ovid's Metamorphosis;
My mother gave it me.
For love of her that's gone,
Perhaps she cull'd it from among the rest.
Soft! So busily she turns the leaves! Help her:
What would she find?--Lavinia, shall I read?
This is the tragic tale of Philomel,
And treats of Tereus' treason and his rape;
And rape, I fear, was root of thy annoy.
See, brother, see; note how she quotes the leaves.
Lavinia, wert thou thus surpris'd, sweet girl,
Ravish'd, and wrong'd, as Philomela was,
Forc'd in the ruthless, vast, and gloomy woods?--
Ay, 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.
O, why should nature build so foul a den,
Unless the gods delight in tragedies?
Give 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,
That left the camp to sin in Lucrece' bed?
Sit 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:
This 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.
[He writes his name with his staff, guiding it with feet and
Curs'd be that heart that forc'd us to this shift!--
Write thou, good niece; and here display at last
What 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!
[She takes the staff in her mouth, guides it with her stumps, and
O, do ye read, my lord, what she hath writ?
What, what!--the lustful sons of Tamora
Performers of this heinous bloody deed?
Magni Dominator poli,
Tam lentus audis scelera? tam lentus vides?
O, calm thee, gentle lord; although I know
There 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;
And swear with me,--as, with the woeful 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,
And see their blood, or die with this reproach.
'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,
And 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 alone;
And, come, I will go get a leaf of brass,
And with a gad of steel will write these words,
And lay it by: the angry northern wind
Will blow these sands like Sibyl's leaves, abroad,
And where's our lesson, then?--Boy, what say you?
I say, my lord, that if I were a man,
Their mother's bedchamber should not be safe
For these bad-bondmen to the yoke of Rome.
Ay, that's my boy! thy father hath full oft
For his ungrateful country done the like.
And, uncle, so will I, an if I live.
Come, go with me into mine armoury;
Lucius, I'll fit thee; and withal, my boy,
Shall carry from me to the empress' sons
Presents that I intend to send them both:
Come, come; thou'lt do my message, wilt thou not?
Ay, with my dagger in their bosoms, grandsire.
No, 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.
[Exeunt TITUS, LAVINIA, and YOUNG LUCIUS.]
O heavens, can you hear a good man groan,
And 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:--
Revenge, ye heavens, for old Andronicus!
SCENE II. Rome. A Room in the Palace.
[Enter AARON, DEMETRIUS and CHIRON, at one door; at another
door, YOUNG LUCIUS and an Attendant, with a bundle of weapons,
and verses writ upon them.]
Demetrius, here's the son of Lucius;
He hath some message to deliver us.
Ay, some mad message from his mad grandfather.
My lords, with all the humbleness I may,
I greet your honours from Andronicus,--
[Aside.] And pray the Roman gods confound you both!
Gramercy, lovely Lucius: what's the news?
[Aside] That you are both decipher'd, that's the news,
For villains mark'd with rape.--May it please you,
My grandsire, well advis'd, hath sent by me
The goodliest weapons of his armoury
To gratify your honourable youth,
The hope of Rome; for so he bid me say;
And so I do, and with his gifts present
Your lordships, that, whenever you have need,
You may be armed and appointed well:
And so I leave you both--[aside] like bloody villains.
[Exeunt YOUNG LUCIUS and Attendant.]
What's here? A scroll; and written round about?
[Reads.] 'Integer vitae, scelerisque purus,
Non eget Mauri jaculis, nec arcu.'
O, 'tis a verse in Horace, I know it well:
I read it in the grammar long ago.
Ay, just,--a verse in Horace;--right, you have it.--
[Aside] 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 wrapp'd about with lines,
That wound, beyond their feeling, to the quick.
But 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,
Captives, to be advanced to this height?
It did me good before the palace gate
To brave the tribune in his brother's hearing.
But me more good to see so great a lord
Basely insinuate and send us gifts.
Had he not reason, Lord Demetrius?
Did you not use his daughter very friendly?
I would we had a thousand Roman dames
At such a bay, by turn to serve our lust.
A charitable wish, and full of love.
Here lacks but your mother for to say amen.
And that would she for twenty thousand more.
Come, let us go; and pray to all the gods
For our beloved mother in her pains.
[Aside.] Pray to the devils; the gods have given us over.
Why do the emperor's trumpets flourish thus?
Belike, for joy the emperor hath a son.
Soft! who comes here?
[Enter a NURSE, with a blackamoor CHILD in her arms.]
Good morrow, lords:
O, tell me, did you see Aaron the Moor?
Well, more or less, or ne'er a whit at all,
Here Aaron is; and what with Aaron now?
O gentle Aaron, we are all undone!
Now help, or woe betide thee evermore!
Why, what a caterwauling dost thou keep!
What dost thou wrap and fumble in thy arms?
O, 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.
I mean, she's brought a-bed.
Well, God give her good rest! What hath he sent her?
Why, then she is the devil's dam; a joyful issue.
A joyless, dismal, black, and sorrowful issue:
Here 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.
Zounds, ye whore! is black so base a hue?--
Sweet blowse, you are a beauteous blossom sure.
Villain, what hast thou done?
That which thou canst not undo.
Thou hast undone our mother.
Villain, I have done thy mother.
And therein, hellish dog, thou hast undone.
Woe to her chance, and damn'd her loathed choice!
Accurs'd the offspring of so foul a fiend!
It shall not live.
It shall not die.
Aaron, it must; the mother wills it so.
What, must it, nurse? then let no man but I
Do execution on my flesh and blood.
I'll broach the tadpole on my rapier's point:--
Nurse, give it me; my sword shall soon despatch it.
Sooner this sword shall plough thy bowels up.
[Takes the CHILD from the NURSE, and draws.]
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
That 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.
What, what, ye sanguine, shallow-hearted boys!
Ye white-lim'd 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
Can 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.
Wilt thou betray thy noble mistress thus?
My mistress is my mistress: this my self,--
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.
By this our mother is for ever sham'd.
Rome will despise her for this foul escape.
The emperor, in his rage, will doom her death.
I blush to think upon this ignomy.
Why, there's the privilege your beauty bears:
Fie, treacherous hue, that will betray with blushing
The close enacts and counsels of thy heart!
Here's a young lad fram'd of another leer:
Look how the black slave smiles upon the father,
As who should say 'Old lad, I am thine own.'
He is your brother, lords; sensibly fed
Of that self-blood that first gave life to you;
And from your womb where you imprison'd were
He is enfranchised and come to light:
Nay, he is your brother by the surer side,
Although my seal be stamped in his face.
Aaron, what shall I say unto the empress?
Advise 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.
Then 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.
How many women saw this child of his?
Why, so, brave lords! when we join in league
I 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?
Cornelia the midwife and myself;
And no one else but the deliver'd empress.
The empress, the midwife, and yourself:
Two may keep counsel when the third's away:
Go to the empress, tell her this I said:--
[Stabs her, and she dies.]
Weke, weke!--so cries a pig prepar'd to the spit.
What mean'st thou, Aaron? Wherefore didst thou this?
O Lord, sir, 'tis a deed of policy:
Shall she live to betray this guilt of ours,--
A long-tongu'd babbling gossip? no, lords, no:
And now be it known to you my full intent.
Not far, one Muliteus 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;
And how by this their child shall be advanc'd,
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.
Hark ye, lords; ye see I have given her physic.
[Pointing to the NURSE.]
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.
The midwife and the nurse well made away,
Then let the ladies tattle what they please.
Aaron, I see thou wilt not trust the air
For this care of Tamora,
Herself and hers are highly bound to thee.
[Exeunt DEMETRIUS and CHIRON, bearing off the dead NURSE.]
Now 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;
For 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. Rome. A public Place.
[Enter TITUS, bearing arrows with letters at the ends of them;
with him MARCUS, YOUNG LUCIUS, and other gentlemen, with bows.]
Come, Marcus, come:--kinsmen, this is the way.--
Sir boy, let me see your archery;
Look ye draw home enough, and 'tis there straight.--
Terras Astrea reliquit:
Be 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.--
No; 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;
Tell 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
On 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.
O Publius, is not this a heavy case,
To see thy noble uncle thus distract?
Therefore, my lords, it highly us concerns
By day and night to attend him carefully,
And feed his humour kindly as we may,
Till time beget some careful remedy.
Kinsmen, 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.
Publius, how now! how now, my masters!
What, have you met with her?
No, 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,
He thinks, with Jove in heaven, or somewhere else,
So that perforce you must needs stay a time.
He 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.--
Marcus, we are but shrubs, no cedars we,
No big-bon'd men, fram'd 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,
We 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.
[He gives them the arrows.]
'Ad Jovem' that's for you; here, 'Ad Apollinem':--
'Ad Martem' that's for myself:--
Here, boy, to Pallas:--here, tTo 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;
There's not a god left unsolicited.
Kinsmen, shoot all your shafts into the court:
We will afflict the emperor in his pride.
Now, masters, draw. [They shoot.] O, well said, Lucius!
Good boy, in Virgo's lap; give it Pallas.
My lord, I aim a mile beyond the moon:
Your letter is with Jupiter by this.
Publius, Publius, hast thou done?
See, see, thou hast shot off one of Taurus' horns.
This 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?
She laugh'd, and told the Moor he should not choose
But give them to his master for a present.
Why, there it goes: God give his lordship joy!
[Enter a CLOWN, with a basket and two pigeons in it.]
News, news from heaven! Marcus, the post is come.
Sirrah, what tidings? have you any letters?
Shall I have justice? what says Jupiter?
Ho, the gibbet-maker? he says that he hath taken them
down again, for the man must not be hanged till the next week.
But what says Jupiter, I ask thee?
Alas, sir, I know not Jupiter; I never drank with him in all my
Why, villain, art not thou the carrier?
Ay, of my pigeons, sir; nothing else.
Why, didst thou not come from heaven?
From 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 imperial's men.
Why, sir, that is as fit as can be to serve for your
oration; and let him deliver the pigeons to the emperor from
Tell me, can you deliver an oration to the emperor with a grace?
Nay, truly, sir, I could never say grace in all my life.
Sirrah, 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.--
Give me pen and ink.--
Sirrah, can you with a grace deliver up a supplication?
Then here is a supplication for you. And when you come to
him, at the first approach you must kneel; then 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.
I warrant you, sir; let me alone.
Sirrah, hast thou a knife? Come let me see it.
Here, Marcus, fold it in the oration;
For thou hast made it like a humble suppliant.:--
And when thou hast given it to the emperor,
Knock at my door, and tell me what he says.
God be with you, sir; I will.
Come, Marcus, let us go.--Publius, follow me.
SCENE IV. Rome. Before the Palace.
[Enter SATURNINUS, TAMORA, DEMETRIUS, CHIRON; Lords, and others;
SATURNINUS with the arrows in his hand that TITUS shot.]
Why, lords, what wrongs are these! was ever seen
An emperor in Rome thus overborne,
Troubled, confronted thus; and, for the extent
Of legal justice, us'd in such contempt?
My lords, you know, as know the mightful gods,
However these disturbers of our peace
Buzz in the people's ears, there naught hath pass'd
But even with law, against the wilful sons
Of old Andronicus. And what an if
His sorrows have so overwhelm'd his wits,
Shall we be thus afflicted in his freaks,
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;
This 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 everywhere?
A goodly humour, is it not, my lords?
As 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,
He'll so awake as he in fury shall
Cut off the proud'st conspirator that lives.
My gracious lord, my lovely Saturnine,
Lord of my life, commander of my thoughts,
Calm thee, and bear the faults of Titus' age,
The effects of sorrow for his valiant sons,
Whose loss hath pierc'd him deep, and scarr'd his heart;
And rather comfort his distressed plight
Than prosecute the meanest or the best
For these contempts.--[Aside] Why, thus it shall become
High-witted Tamora to gloze with all:
But, Titus, I have touch'd thee to the quick,
Thy life-blood on't; if Aaron now be wise,
Then is all safe, the anchor in the port.--
How now, good fellow! wouldst thou speak with us?
Yes, forsooth, an your mistership be imperial.
Empress I am, but yonder sits the emperor.
'Tis he.--God and Saint Stephen give you good-den; I have
brought you a letter and a couple of pigeons here.
[SATURNINUS reads the letter.]
Go take him away, and hang him presently.
How much money must I have?
Come, sirrah, you must be hang'd.
Hang'd! by'r lady, then I have brought up a neck to a fair end.
Despiteful and intolerable wrongs!
Shall I endure this monstrous villainy?
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,
Have by my means been butchered wrongfully?--
Go, drag the villain hither by the hair;
Nor age nor honour shall shape privilege.--
For this proud mock I'll be thy slaughter-man;
Sly frantic wretch, that holp'st to make me great,
In hope thyself should govern Rome and me.
What news with thee, Aemilius?
Arm, my lord! Rome never had more cause!
The Goths have gather'd head; and with a power
Of high resolved men, bent to the spoil,
They 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.
Is warlike Lucius general of the Goths?
These tidings nip me; and I hang the head
As flowers with frost, or grass beat down with storms:
Ay, now begins our sorrows to approach:
'Tis he the common people love so much;
Myself hath often overheard them say,--
When I have walked like a private man,--
That Lucius' banishment was wrongfully,
And they have wish'd that Lucius were their emperor.
Why should you fear? is not your city strong?
Ay, but the citizens favour Lucius,
And will revolt from me to succour him.
King, 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,
Knowing that with the shadow of his wing
He can at pleasure stint their melody;
Even so mayest thou the giddy men of Rome.
Then cheer thy spirit: for know, thou emperor,
I will enchant the old Andronicus
With words more sweet, and yet more dangerous,
Than baits to fish or honey-stalks to sheep,
Whenas the one is wounded with the bait,
The other rotted with delicious feed.
But he will not entreat his son for us.
If 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.--
Go thou before [to AEMILIUS]; 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.
Aemilius, do this message honourably:
And if he stand on hostage for his safety,
Bid him demand what pledge will please him best.
Your bidding shall I do effectually.
Now will I to that old Andronicus,
And temper him with all the art I have,
To pluck proud Lucius from the warlike Goths.
And now, sweet emperor, be blithe again,
And bury all thy fear in my devices.
Then go successantly, and plead to him.
SCENE I. Plains near Rome.
[Enter LUCIUS with GOTHS, with drum and colours.]
Approved warriors and my faithful friends,
I have received letters from great Rome,
Which signifies what hate they bear their emperor,
And how desirous of our sight they are.
Therefore, 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.
Brave slip, sprung from the great Andronicus,
Whose 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,
Led by their master to the flowered fields,--
And be aveng'd on cursed Tamora.
And as he saith, so say we all with him.
I humbly thank him, and I thank you all.
But who comes here, led by a lusty Goth?
[Enter a GOTH, leading AARON with his CHILD in his arms.]
Renowned 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.
I 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,
Villain, 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,--
'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,
Surpris'd him suddenly, and brought him hither,
To use as you think needful of the man.
O worthy Goth, this is the incarnate devil
That robb'd Andronicus of his good hand;
This is the pearl that pleas'd your empress' eye;
And here's the base fruit of his burning lust.--
Say, wall-ey'd slave, whither wouldst thou convey
This growing image of thy fiend-like face?
Why dost not speak? what, deaf? No; not a word?--
A halter, soldiers; hang him on this tree,
And by his side his fruit of bastardy.
Touch not the boy,--he is of royal blood.
Too 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.
[A ladder brought, which AARON is obliged to ascend.]
Lucius, 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,
I'll speak no more,--but vengeance rot you all!
Say on: an if it please me which thou speak'st,
Thy child shall live, and I will see it nourish'd.
An if it please thee! why, assure thee, Lucius,
'Twill vex thy soul to hear what I shall speak;
For I must talk of murders, rapes, and massacres,
Acts of black night, abominable deeds,
Complots of mischief, treason, villainies,
Ruthful to hear, yet piteously perform'd:
And this shall all be buried in my death,
Unless thou swear to me my child shall live.
Tell on thy mind; I say thy child shall live.
Swear that he shall, and then I will begin.
Who should I swear by? thou believ'st no god;:
That granted, how canst thou believe an oath?
What 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,
Therefore 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
That thou ador'st and hast in reverence,--
To save my boy, to nourish and bring him up;
Or else I will discover naught to thee.
Even by my god I swear to thee I will.
First know thou, I begot him on the empress.
O most insatiate and luxurious woman!
Tut, 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,
And cut her hands, and trimm'd her as thou saw'st.
O detestable villain! call'st thou that trimming?
Why, she was wash'd, and cut, and trimm'd; and 'twas
Trim sport for them which had the doing of it.
O barbarous, beastly villains, like thyself!
Indeed, 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.
Well, 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 that letter mention'd,
Confederate 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't?
I play'd the cheater for thy father's hand;
And, when I had it, drew myself apart,
And 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:
And when I told the empress of this sport,
She swooned almost at my pleasing tale,
And for my tidings gave me twenty kisses.
What, canst thou say all this and never blush?
Ay, like a black dog, as the saying is.
Art thou not sorry for these heinous deeds?
Ay, 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:
As, 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 stray and break their necks;
Set 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;
And 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;
And nothing grieves me heartily indeed
But that I cannot do ten thousand more.
Bring down the devil; for he must not die
So sweet a death as hanging presently.
If there be devils, would I were a devil,
To live and burn in everlasting fire,
So I might have your company in hell
But to torment you with my bitter tongue!
Sirs, stop his mouth, and let him speak no more.
[Enter a GOTH.}
My lord, there is a messenger from Rome
Desires to be admitted to your presence.
Let him come near.
Welcome, Aemilius. What's the news from Rome?
Lord Lucius, and you princes of the Goths,
The Roman emperor greets you all by me;
And, 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.
What says our general?
Aemilius, 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.]
[Enter TAMORA, DEMETRIUS and CHIRON, disguised.]
Thus, 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.
Knock 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.
[Enter TITUS, above.]
Who doth molest my contemplation?
Is 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 deceiv'd: for what I mean to do
See here in bloody lines I have set down;
And what is written shall be executed.
Titus, I am come to talk with thee.
No, 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.
If thou didst know me, thou wouldst talk with me.
I 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;
Witness all sorrow, that I know thee well
For our proud empress, mighty Tamora:
Is not thy coming for my other hand?
Know thou, sad man, I am not Tamora;
She is thy enemy and I thy friend:
I 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:
There'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,--
Revenge, which makes the foul offender quake.
Art thou Revenge? and art thou sent to me
To be a torment to mine enemies?
I am; therefore come down and welcome me.
Do me some service ere I come to thee.
Lo, by thy side where Rape and Murder stands;
Now give 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.
Provide 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
Trot, 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.
These are my ministers, and come with me.
Are they thy ministers? what are they call'd?
Rapine and Murder; therefore called so
'Cause they take vengeance of such kind of men.
Good Lord, how like the empress' sons they are!
And 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.
[Exit from above.]
This closing with him fits his lunacy:
Whate'er I forge to feed his brain-sick fiits,
Do you uphold and maintain in your speeches,
For now he firmly takes me for Revenge;
And, being credulous in this mad thought,
I'll make him send for Lucius his son;
And whilst I at a banquet hold him sure,
I'll find some cunning practice out of hand
To scatter and disperse the giddy Goths,
Or, at the least, make them his enemies.
See, here he comes, and I must ply my theme.
Long have I been forlorn, and all for thee:
Welcome, dread fury, to my woeful house;--
Rapine and Murder, you are welcome too:--
How like the empress and her sons you are!
Well 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,
It were convenient you had such a devil:
But welcome as you are. What shall we do?
What wouldst thou have us do, Andronicus?
Show me a murderer, I'll deal with him.
Show me a villain that hath done a rape,
And I am sent to be reveng'd on him.
Show me a thousand that hath done thee wrong,
And I will be revenged on them all.
Look round about the wicked streets of Rome,
And when thou find'st a man that's like thyself,
Good 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 is a ravisher.--
Go thou with them; and in the emperor's court
There is a queen, attended by a Moor;
Well mayst thou know her by thine 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.
Well 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;
When 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 shall they stoop and kneel,
And on them shalt thou ease thy angry heart.
What says Andronicus to this device?
Marcus, 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
Some 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,
As he regards his aged father's life.
This will I do, and soon return again.
Now will I hence about thy business,
And take my ministers along with me.
Nay, nay, let Rape and Murder stay with me,
Or else I'll call my brother back again,
And cleave to no revenge but Lucius.
[Aside to them.] What say you, boys? will you abide with him,
Whiles I go tell my lord the emperor
How I have govern'd our determin'd jest?
Yield to his humour, smooth and speak him fair,
And tarry with him till I come again.
[Aside.] I knew them all, though they suppose me mad,
And will o'er reach them in their own devices,--
A pair of cursed hell-hounds and their dam.
Madam, depart at pleasure; leave us here.
Farewell, Andronicus: Revenge now goes
To lay a complot to betray thy foes.
I know thou dost; and, sweet Revenge, farewell!
Tell us, old man, how shall we be employ'd?
Tut, I have work enough for you to do.--
Publius, come hither, Caius, and Valentine.
[Enter PUBLIUS and others.]
What is your will?
Know you these two?
The empress' sons, I take them: Chiron, Demetrius.
Fie, Publius, fie! thou art too much deceiv'd,--
The one is Murder, Rape is the other's name;
And therefore bind them, gentle Publius:--
Caius and Valentine, lay hands on them:--
Oft 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.
[Exit. PUBLIUS &c., lay hands on CHIRON and DEMETRIUS.]
Villains, forbear! we are the empress' sons.
And therefore do we what we are commanded.--
Stop close their mouths, let them not speak a word.
Is he sure bound? look that you bind them fast.
[Re-enter TITUS ANDRONICUS, with LAVINIA; he bearing a knife and
she a basin.]
Come, 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.--
O 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,
My 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 forc'd.
What would you say, if I should let you speak?
Villains, 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,
Whiles that Lavinia 'tween her stumps doth hold
The basin that receives your guilty blood.
You 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,
And 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;
For worse than Philomel you us'd my daughter,
And worse than Progne I will be reveng'd:
And now prepare your throats. Lavinia, come
[He cuts their throats.]
Receive the blood: and when that they are dead,
Let me go grind their bones to powder small,
And with this hateful liquor temper it;
And in that paste let their vile heads be bak'd.
Come, come, be every one officious
To make this banquet; which I wish may prove
More stern and bloody than the Centaurs' feast.
So, now bring them in, for I will play the cook,
And see them ready against their mother comes.
[Exeunt, bearing the dead bodies.]
SCENE III. Rome. A Pavilion in TITUS'S Gardens, with tables, &c.
[Enter LUCIUS, MARCUS, and GOTHS, with AARON prisoner.]
Uncle Marcus, since 'tis my father's mind
That I repair to Rome, I am content.
And ours with thine, befall what fortune will.
Good uncle, take you in this barbarous Moor,
This 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;
I fear the emperor means no good to us.
Some devil whisper curses in my ear,
And prompt me that my tongue may utter forth
The venomous malice of my swelling heart!
Away, inhuman dog, unhallowed slave!--
Sirs, help our uncle to convey him in.--
[Exeunt GOTHS with AARON. Flourish within. The trumpets show the
emperor is at hand.]
[Enter SATURNINUS and TAMORA, with AEMILIUS, Tribunes, Senators,
What, hath the firmament more suns than one?
What boots it thee to call thyself the sun?
Rome's emperor, and nephew, break the parle;
These 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.
Marcus, we will.
[Hautboys sound. The company sit at table.]
[Enter TITUS, dressed like a cook,LAVINIA, valed,YOUNG LUCIUS,
and others. TITUS places the dishes on the table.]
Welcome, my 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.
Why art thou thus attir'd, Andronicus?
Because I would be sure to have all well
To entertain your highness and your empress.
We are beholden to you, good Andronicus.
An if your highness knew my heart, you were.
My 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 enforc'd, stain'd, and deflower'd?
It was, Andronicus.
Your reason, mighty lord.
Because the girl should not survive her shame,
And by her presence still renew his sorrows.
A reason mighty, strong, and effectual;
A pattern, precedent, and lively warrant
For me, most wretched, to perform the like:--
Die, die, Lavinia, and thy shame with thee;
And with thy shame thy father's sorrow die!
What hast thou done, unnatural and unkind?
Kill'd her for whom my tears have made me blind.
I am as woeful as Virginius was,
And have a thousand times more cause than he
To do this outrage;--and it now is done.
What, was she ravish'd? tell who did the deed.
Will't please you eat? will't please your highness feed?
Why hast thou slain thine only daughter thus?
Not I; 'twas Chiron and Demetrius:
They ravish'd her, and cut away her tongue;
And they, 'twas they, that did her all this wrong.
Go, fetch them hither to us presently.
Why, 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.
Die, frantic wretch, for this accursed deed!
Can the son's eye behold his father bleed?
There's meed for meed, death for a deadly deed.
[Kills SATURNINUS. A great tumult. LUCIUS, MARCUS, and their
partisans, ascend the steps before TITUS'S house.]
You sad-fac'd men, people and sons of Rome,
By uproar sever'd, as a flight of fowl
Scatter'd by winds and high tempestuous gusts,
O, let me teach you how to knit again
This scattered corn into one mutual sheaf,
These broken limbs again into one body:
Lest Rome herself be bane unto herself,
And 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,
Cannot induce you to attend my words,--
Speak, Rome's dear friend,[ to Lucius]: 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,
When subtle Greeks surpris'd 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;
Nor can I utter all our bitter grief,
But floods of tears will drown my oratory
And break my very utterance, even in the time
When it should move you to attend me most,
Lending your kind commiseration.
Here is a captain, let him tell the tale;
Your hearts will throb and weep to hear him speak.
Then, noble auditory, be it known to you
That cursed Chiron and Demetrius
Were they that murdered our emperor's brother;
And they it were that ravished our sister:
For their fell faults our brothers were beheaded;
Our father's tears despis'd, and basely cozen'd
Of that true hand that fought Rome's quarrel out
And sent her enemies unto the grave.
Lastly, 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 op'd their arms to embrace me as a friend:
I am the turned-forth, be it known to you,
That have preserv'd 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;
My 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.
Now is my turn to speak. Behold the child.
[Pointing to the CHILD in an Attendant's arms.]
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,
Damn'd 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 have you heard the truth, what say you, Romans?
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