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First, thrash the corn, then after burn the straw:
This minion stood upon her chastity,
Upon her nuptial vow, her loyalty,
And with that painted hope braves your mightiness:
And shall she carry this unto her grave!
Chi. An if she do, I would I were an eunuch.
Drag hence her husband to some secret hole,
And make his dead trunk pillow to our lust.
Tam. But when you have the honey you desire, Let not this wasp outlive, us both to sting.
Chi. I warrant you, madam; we will make that
Come, mistress, now perforce we will enjoy
That nice-preserved honesty of yours.
Lar. O Tamora! Thou bear'st a woman's face,-
Tam. I will not hear her speak; away with her.
Lav. Sweet lords, entreat her hear me but a word.
Dem. Listen, fair madam: Let it be your glory
To see her tears: but be your heart to them,
As unrelenting flint to drops of rain.
Lav. When did the tiger's young ones teach the
O, do not learn her wrath; she taught it thee:
The milk thou suck'dst from her, did turn to
Even at thy teat thou hadst thy tyranny.-
Yet every mother breeds not sons alike;
Do thou entreat her show a woman pity.
[To CHIRON. Chi. What! wouldst thou have me prove myself a bastard?
Lav. Tis true; the raven doth not hatch a lark;
Yet I have heard, (O could I find it now!)
The lion, mov'd 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:
O, be to me, though thy hard heart say no,
Nothing so kind, but something pitiful!
Tam. I know not what it means; away with
Lav. O, let me teach thee: for my father's sake, That gave thee life, when well he might have slain thee,
Be not obdurate, open thy deaf ears.
Tam. Hadst thou in person ne'er offended me,
Even for his sake am I pitiless:-
Remember, boys, I pour'd forth tears in vain,
To 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 lov'd of me.
Lav. O Tamora, be call'd a gentle queen,
And 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.
Tam. What begg'st thou then? fond woman, let
Lav. 'Tis present death I beg: and one thing
That 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.
Tum. So should I rob my sweet sons of their fee:
No, let them satisfy their lust on thee.
Dem. Away, for thou hast staid us here too long.
Lav. No grace? No womanhood? Ah, beastly
The blot and enemy to our general name!
Chi. Nay, then, I'll stop your mouth:-Bring
thou her husband;
[Dragging off LAVINIA.
This is the hole where Aaron bid us hide him.
Tam. Farewell, my sons: see that you make
Ne'er let my heart know merry cheer indeed,
Till all the Andronici be made away.-
Now will I hence to seek my lovely Moor,
Quin. My sight is very dull, whate'er it bodes.
Mart. And mine, I promise you: were't not for
Well could I leave our sport to sleep awhile.
[MARTIUS falls into the Pit.
Quin. What, art thou fallen? What subtle hole
Whose mouth is cover'd with rude-growing briers
Upon whose leaves are drops of new-shed blood,
As fresh as morning's dew distill'd on flowers?
A very fatal place it seems to me:-
Speak, brother, hast thou hurt thee with the fall?
Mart. O, brother, with the dismallest object
That ever eye, with sight, made heart lament.
Aar. [Asite.] Now will I fetch the king to find
That he thereby may give a likely guess,
How these were they that made away his brother
Mart. Why dost not comfort me, and help me out
From this unhallow'd and blood-stained hole?
Quin. I am surprised with an uncouth fear:
A chilling sweat o'er-runs my trembling joints;
My heart suspects more than mine eye can see.
Mart. To prove thou hast a true-divining heart,
Aaron and thou look down into this den,
And see a fearful sight of blood and death.
Quin. Aaron is gone; and my compassionate heart
Will not permit mine eyes once to behold
The 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.
Mart. Lord Bassianus lies embrued here,
All on a heap, like to a slaughter'd lamb,
In this detested, dark, blood-drinking pit.
Quin. If it be dark, how dost thou know 'tis he?
Mart. Upon his bloody finger he doth wear
A precious ring, that lightens all the hole,
Which, like a taper in some monument,
Doth shine upon the dead man's earthy cheeks,
And shows the ragged entrails of this 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-
If fear hath made thee faint, as me it hath-
Out of this fell devouring receptacle,
As hateful as Cocytus' misty mouth.
Quin. Reach me thy hand, that I may help thee
Enter SATURNINUS and AARON.
Sat. Along 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
Into this gaping hollow of the earth?
Mart. The unhappy son of old Andronicus;
Brought hither in a most unlucky hour,
To find thy brother Bassianus dead.
Sat. My brother dead? I know thou dost but je st
He 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.
But, out alas! here have we found him dead.
Mart. We know not where you left him all aliwe,
Enter TAMORA, with Attendants; TITUS ANDRO
NICUS, and LUCIUS.
Tam. Where is my lord the king?
Sat. Here, Tamora; though griev'd with killing grief.
Tam. Where is thy brother Bassianus?
Sat. Now to the bottom dost thou search my wound;
And let my spleenful sons this trull deflour. [Exit. Poor Bassianus here lies murdered.
Enter AARON, with QUINTUS and MARTIUS.
Aar. Come on, my lords; the better foot before:
Straight will I bring you to the loathsome pit,
Where I espy'd the panther fast asleep.
Tam. Then all too late I bring this fatal writ,
[Giving a letter.
The complot of this timeless" tragedy;
And wonder greatly, that man's face can fold
In pleasing smiles such murderous tyranny.
Sat. [Reads.] An if we miss to meet him hand
Sweet 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,
Where 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,
That should have murder'd Bassianus here.
Aur. My gracious lord, here is the bag of gold.
Sat. Two of thy whelps, [To TIT.] fell curs of
Have here bereft my brother of his life :-
Sirs, drag them from the pit unto the prison;
There let them bide, until we have devis'd
Some never-heard-of torturing pain for them.
Tam. What, are they in this pit? O wondrous
How easily murder is discovered!
Tit. High 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 prov'd in them,-
Sat. If it be prov'd! you see it is apparent,-
Who found this letter? Tamora, was it you?
Tam. Andronicus himself did take it up.
Tit. I 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,
To answer their suspicion with their lives.
Sat. Thou shalt not bail them: see, thou follow
If I do wake, some planet strike me down,
That 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
And might not gain so great a happiness,
As half 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,
Coming and going with thy honey breath.
But, sure, some Tereus hath defloured 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,-
As from a conduit with three issuing spouts,-
Yet do thy cheeks look red as Titan's face,
Blushing to be encounter'd with a cloud.
Shall I speak for thee? shall I say, 'tis so?
O, that I knew thy heart; and knew the beast,
That 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:
But, lovely niece, that mean is cut from thee;
A craftier Tereus hast thou met withal,
And he hath cut those pretty fingers off,
That could have better sew'd than Philomel.
O, had the monster seen those lily hands
Tremble, 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,
He 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;
What will whole months of tears thy father's
Do not draw back, for we will mourn with thee;
O, could our mourning ease thy misery!
Enter Senators, Tribunes, and Officers of Justice, with MARTIUS and QUINTUS, bound, passing on to the Place of Execution: TITUS going before, pleading.
Tit. Hear 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; For 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! For two and twenty sons I never wept, Because they died in honor's lofty bed. For these, these, tribunes, in the dust I write
[Throwing himself on the Ground. My heart's deep languor, and my soul's sad tears. Let my tears stanch the earth's dry appetite; My sons' sweet blood will make it shame and blush. [Exeunt Senators, Tribunes, &c. with the Prisoners.
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 winter, with warm tears I'll melt the snow,
In summer's drought I'll drop upon thee still;
And keep eternal spring-time on thy face,
So thou refuse to drink my dear sons' blood.
Enter LUCIUS, with his Sword drawn.
O, reverend tribunes! gentle aged men!
Unbind my sons, reverse the doom of death;
And let me say, that never wept before,
My tears are now prevailing orators.
Luc. O, noble father, you lament in vain;
The tribunes hear you not, no man is by,
And you recount your sorrows to a stone.
Tit. Ah, Lucius, for thy brothers let me plead: Grave tribunes, once more I entreat of you. Luc. My gracious lord, no tribune hears you speak.
Tit. Why, 'tis no matter, man: if they did hear They would not mark me; or, if they did mark, All bootless to them, they'd not pity me.
Therefore I tell my sorrows to the stones;
Who, though they cannot answer my distress,
Yet in some sort they're better than the tribunes,
For 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.
No, no, they would not do so foul a deed;
Witness 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;
Looking all downwards, to behold our cheeks
How they are stain'd? like meadows, yet not dry
A stone is soft as wax, tribunes more hard than With miry slime left on them by a flood?
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?
Luc. To rescue my two brothers from their death:
For which attempt, the judges have pronounced
My everlasting doom of banishment.
Tit. O happy man! they have befriended thee.
Why, foolish Lucius, dost thou not perceive
That Rome is but a wilderness of tigers?
Tigers 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?
Enter MARCUS and LAVINIA.
Marc. Titus, prepare thy noble eyes to weep;
Or, if not so, thy noble heart to break;
I bring consuming sorrow to thine age.
Tit. Will it consume me? let me see it then.
Marc. This was thy daughter.
Tit. Why, Marcus, so she is.
Luc. Ah me! this object kills me!
And in the fountain shall we gaze so long,
Till the fresh taste be taken from that clearness,
And 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,
Plot some device of further misery,
To make us wonder'd at in time to come.
Luc. Sweet father, cease your tears; for at your grief,
See how my wretched sister sobs and weeps.
Marc. Patience, dear niece:-good Titus, dry
Tit. Ah, Marcus, Marcus! brother, well I wot,!
Thy napkin2 cannot drink a tear of mine,
For thou, poor man, hast drown'd it with thine
Luc. Ah, my Lavinia, I will wipe thy cheeks.
Tit. Mark, Marcus, mark! I understand her
Had 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,
Tit. Faint-hearted boy, arise, and look upon Can do no service on her sorrowful cheeks:
Speak, my Lavinia, what accursed hand
Hath made thee handless in thy father's sight?
What fool hath added water to the sea?
Or brought a faggot to bright-burning Troy?
My grief was at the height before thou cam'st,
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;
And they have nurs'd this woe, in feeding life;
In bootless prayer have they been held up,
And they have serv'd me to effectless use:
Now, all the service I require of them
Is that the one will help to cut the other.-
"Tis well, Lavinia, that thou hast no hands;
For hands, to do Rome service, are but vain.
Luc. Speak, gentle sister, who hath martyr'd thee?
Marc. O, that delightful engine of her thoughts,
That blabb'd them with such pleasing eloquence,
Is torn from forth that pretty hollow cage;
Where, like a sweet melodious bird, it sung
Sweet varied notes, enchanting every ear!
Luc. O, say thou for her, who hath done this
Marc. O, thus I found her, straying in the park,
Seeking to hide herself, as doth the deer,
That hath receiv'd some unrecuring wound.
Tit. It 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,
Environ'd 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;
Here stands my other son, a banish'd 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,
It would have madded me; What shall I do
Now I behold thy lovely 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,
Thy 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.
Marc. Perchance, she weeps because they kill'd
Perchance, because she knows them innocent.
Tit. If they did kill thy husband, then be joyful, Because the law hath ta'en revenge on them.The river Nile.
O, what a sympathy of woe is this?
As far from help as limbo is from bliss!
Aar. Titus 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,
And 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.
Tit. O, gracious emperor! O, gentle Aaron!
Did ever raven sing so like a lark,
That gives sweet tidings of the sun's uprise?
With all my heart, I'll send the emperor
Good Aaron, wilt thou help to chop it off!
Luc. Stay, father; for that noble hand of thine,
That hath thrown down so many enemies,
Shall 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.
Marc. Which of your hands hath not defended
And rear'd aloft the bloody battle-axe,
Writing 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.
Aar. Nay, come, agree whose hand shall go along,
For fear they die before their pardon come.
Marc. My hand shall go.
By heaven, it shall not go
Tit. Sirs, strive no more: such wither'd herbs as
Now let me show a brother's love to thee.
Tit. Agree between you; I will spare my hand.
Luc. Then I'll go fetch an axe.
But I will use the axe.
[Exeunt LUCIUS and MARCUS.
Tit. Come hither, Aaron; I'll deceive them both.
Lend me thy hand, and I will give thee mine.
Aar. 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 can pass. [Aside. [He cuts off TITUS's Hand,
Enter LUCIUS and MARCUS. Tit. 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.
Aar. I go, Andronicus: and for thy hand,
Look by and by to have thy sons with thee:-
Their heads, I mean.-0, how this villany
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. [Exit.
Tit. 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:-What, wilt thou kneel with me?
Do then, dear heart; for heaven shall hear our
Or with our sighs we'll breathe the welkin3 dim,
And stain the sun with fog, as sometime clouds,
When they do hug him in their melting bosoms.
Marc. O brother, speak with possibilities,
And do not break into these deep extremes.
Tit. Is not my sorrow deep, having no bottom?
Then be my passions bottomless with them.
Marc. But yet let reason govern thy lament.
Tit. If there were reason for these miseries,
Then into limits could I bind my woes:
When heaven doth weep, doth not the earth o'er-
If the winds rage, doth not the sea wax mad,
Threat'ning the welkin with his big-swoln face?
And wilt thou have a reason for this coil?5
I am the sea; hark, how her sighs do blow!
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.
Mess. 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 griefs their sports, thy resolution'mock'd:
That woe is me to think upon thy woes,
More than remembrance of my father's death.
Marc. Now let hot Etna 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.
Luc. 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. Marc. Alas, poor heart, that kiss is comfortless, As frozen water to a starved snake.
Tit. When will this fearful slumber have an end? Marc. 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: Rend 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? Tit. Ha ha, ha!
Marc. Why dost thou laugh? it fits not with this hour.
Tit. Why, I have not another tear to shed: Besides, this sorrow is an enemy,
And would usurp upon my wat'ry 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:
Lavinia, thou shalt be employed in these things;
Bear thou my hand, sweet wench, between thy
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.
Luc. Farewell, Andronicus, my noble father;
The woeful'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 Saturninus 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.
Enter TITUS, MARCUS, LAVINIA, and young Lu-
CIUS, a Boy.
Tit. 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;
Beats in this hollow prison of my flesh,
And when my heart, all mad with misery,
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.
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.
Marc. Fye, brother, fye! teach her not thus to lay
Such violent hands upon her tender life.
Tit. 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 Æneas 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.-
Fye, fye, how franticly I square my talk!
As if we should forget we had no hands,
If Marcus did not name the word of hards!
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 sorrows, 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.
An allusion to brewing. Constant or continual practice.
Boy. Good grandsire, leave these bitter deep laments:
Make my aunt merry with some pleasing tale.
Marc. Alas, the tender boy, in passion mov'd,
Doth weep to see his grandsire's heaviness.
Tit. 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?
Marc. At that that I have kill'd, my lord; a fly.
Tu. 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.
Marc. Alas, my lord. I have but kill'd a fly. Tit But how, if that fly had a father and mother? How would he hang his slender gilded wings, And buz lamenting doings in the air?
That with his pretty buzzing melody,
Marc. Pardon me, sir; 'twas a black ill-favor'd fly.
Like to the empress' Moor; therefore I kill'd him.
Tit. 0, 0, 0,
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.-
Ah, sirrah !9—
Yet I do 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.
Marc. Alas, poor man! grief has so wrought on him,
He takes false shadows for true substances.
Tit. 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,
Came here to make us merry; and thou hast kill'd And thou shalt read, when mine begins to dazzle. him.
SCENE I-Before Titus's House.
Enter TITUS and MARCUS. Then enter young LUCIUS, LAVINIA running after him. Boy. 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. Marc. Stand by me, Lucius; do not fear thine
Tit. She loves thee, boy, too well to do thee harm. Boy. Ay. when my father was in Rome, she did. Mare. What means my niece Lavinia by these signs?
Tit. Fear her not, Lucius :-Somewhat doth she
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.8
Canst thou not guess wherefore she plies thee thus?
Boy. 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;
Tit. Lavinia, wert thou thus surpris'd, sweet girl,
Ravish'd and wrong'd, as Philomela was,
Forced in the ruthless,2 vast, and gloomy woods!-
Ay, such a place there is, where we did hunt,
(0, had we never, never, hunted there!)
Pattern'd by that the poet here describes,
By nature made for murders, and for rapes.
Marc. O why should nature build so foul a den,
Unless the gods delight in tragedies!
Tit. Give signs, sweet girl,-for here are none
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?
Marc. 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,
Ran mad through sorrow: That made me to fear: This after me, when I have writ my name
And I have read that Hecuba of Troy
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.
Marc. Lucius, I will.
[LAVINIA turns over the Books which
LUCIUS has let fall.
Tit. 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?
Marc. I think, she means, that there was more
Without the help of any hand at all.
[He writes his Name with his Staff, and guides it with his Feet and Mouth. Curs'd be that heart, that forced 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, and guides it with her Stämps, and writes. Tit. O, do you read, my lord, what she hath writ? Stuprum-Chiron--Demetrius.
Confederate in the fact:-Ay, more there was:--
Or else to heaven she heaves them for revenge.
Tit. Lucius, what book is that she tosseth so?
Boy. Grandsire, 'tis Ovid's Metamorphoses;
My mother gave't me.
For love of her that's gone,
Perhaps she cull'd it from among the rest.
T. Son! see, how busily she turns the leaves!
Marc. What, what!--the lustful sons of Tamora Performers of this heinous, bloody deed? Tit. Magne Dominator poli,
Tum lentus au tis scelera? tam lentus viles ? Marc. 0, calin thee, gentle lord! although 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 teere,3
And father, of that chaste dishonor'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.
This was formerly not a disrespectful expression