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Tit. 'Tis sure enough, and you knew how, But if you hurt these bear-whelps, then beware: The damn will wake; and, if she wind you once, She's with the lion deeply still in league, And lulls him while she playeth on her back, And, when he sleeps, will she do what she list. You're 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, And lay it by: the angry northern wind Will blow these sinds, like Sibyl's leaves, abroad, And where's your lesson then?-Boy, what say you? Boy. I say, my lord, that if I were a man, Their mother's bed-chamber should not be safe For these bad bondmen to the yoke of Rome.
Marc. Ay, that's my boy! thy father hath full oft For this ungrateful country done the like.
Boy. And uncle, so will I, an if I live. Til. Come, go with me into mine armory; 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 thy message, wilt thou not? Boy. Ay, with my dagger in their bosoms, grand
Tit. 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 Boy. Marc. 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 the heavens for old Andronicus! [Exit.
SCENE II-A Room in the Palace. Enter AARON, CHIRON, and DEMETRIUS, at one Door; at another Door, young LUCIUS and an Attendant, with a bundle of Weapons, and Verses writ upon them.
Chi. Demetrius, here's the son of Lucius; He hath some message to deliver us.
Aar. Ay, some mad message from his mad grandfather.
Boy. My lords, with all the humbleness I may, I greet your honors from Andronicus;-And pray the Roman gods confound you both.
[Aside. Dem. Gramercy,5 lovely Lucius: What's the news? Boy. That you are both decipher'd, that's the news, For villains mark'd with rape. [Aside.] May it
My grandsire, well advis'd, hath sent by me
To gratify your honorable youth,
The hope of Rome: for so he bade 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 Boy and Attendant. Dem. What's here? A scroll; and written round about?
Dem. But me more good, to see so great a lord Basely insinuate, and send us gifs.
Aar. Had he not reason, lord Demetrius? Did you not use his daughter very friendly? Dem. I would we had a thousand Roman dames At such a bay, by turn to serve our lust. Chi. A charitable wish, and full of love.
Aar. Here lacks but your mother for to say amen Chi. And that would she for twenty thousand
Dem. Come, let us go; and pray to all the gods For our beloved mother in her pains.
Aar. Pray to the devils; the gods have given ns
Chi. Belike, for joy the emperor hath a son.
Enter a Nurse, with a Black-a-moor Chill in her
Our empress' shame, and stately Rome's disgrace;
Nur. Aaron, it must: the mother wills it so. Aar. What, must it, nurse? then let no man but I Do execution on my flesh and blood.
Dem. I'll broach the tadpole on my rapier's point; Nurse, give it me; my sword shall soon despatch it. Aar. Sooner this sword shall plough thy bowels up.
[Takes the Child from the Nurse, and draws.
I tell you, younglings, not Enceladus,
In that it scorns to bear another hue:
Can never turn a swan's black legs to white,
Dem. By this our mother is for ever shamed. Chi. Rome will despise her for this foul escape. Nur.The emperor, in his rage,will doom her death. Chi. I blush to think upon this ignomy.8 Aar. Why, there's the privilege your beauty bears: Fye, treacherous hue! that will betray with blushing The close enacts and counsels of the heart! Here's a young lad framed of another leer:9 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 that womb, where you imprison'd were, He is enfranchised and come to light: Nay, he's your brother by the surer side, Although my seal be stamped in his face.
Nur. Aaron, what shall I say unto the empress? Dem. 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.
Aar. 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. [They sit on the Ground. Dem. How many women saw this child of his? Aar. Why, so, brave lords! when we all join in league,
I am a lamb: but if you brave the Moor,
Aar. The emperess, the midwife, and yourself: Two may keep counsel when the third's away: Go, to the empress; tell her, this I said :
[Stabbing her. Weke, weke!-so cries a pig prepared to the spit. Dem. What mean'st thou, Aaron? Wherefore didst thou this?
Aar. O, lord, sir, 'tis a deed of policy:
Be you remember'd, Marcus, she's gone, she's fled.
To see thy noble uncle thus distract?
Marc. Kinsmen, his sorrows are past remedy.
Tit. Publius, how now? how now, my masters?
Have you met with her?
Pub. No, my good lord; but Pluto sends you word,
If you will have Revenge from hell, you shall:
He thinks, with Jove in heaven, or somewhere else,
Tit. 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, framed of the Cyclops' size: But, metal, Marcus, steel to the very back;
Yet wrung with wrongs, more than our backs can bear:
And sith3 there is no justice in earth nor hell,
You were as good to shoot against the wind.-
O' my word, I have written to effect;
Hark ye, lords; ye see, that I have given her phy-To Saturn, Caius, not to Saturnine,-
Enter TITUS, bearing Arrows, with Letters at the Ends of them; with him MARCUS, young LUCIUS, and other Gentlemen, with Bows.
Tit. Come, Marcus, come;-Kinsman, this is the
Sir boy, now let me see your archery;
Marc. Kinsmen, shoot all your shafts into the court;
We will afflict the emperor in his pride. Tit. Now, masters, draw. [They shoot.] 0, well said, Lucius!
Good boy, in Virgo's lap; give it Pallas.
Your letter is with Jupiter by this.
Tit. Ha! Publius, Publius, what hast thou done? See, see, thou hast shot off one of Taurus' horns. Marc. This was the sport, my lord: when Pub
The bull, being gall'd, gave Aries such a knock,
Enter a Clown, with a Basket and two Pigeons.
Sirrah, what tidings? have you any letters? Shall I have justice? what says Jupiter? Clo. Ho! the gibbet-maker? he says, that he Look ye draw home enough, and 'tis there straight: hath taken them down again, for the inan must not Terras Astræa reliquit: be hanged till the next week. 3 Since.
Ignominy. Complexion. 1 Contrive, bargain with.
Tit. But what says Jupiter, I ask thee? Clo. Alas, sir, I know not Jupiter. I never drank with him in all my life.
Tit. Why, villain, art not thou the carrier? Clo. Ay, of my pigeons, sir; nothing else. Tit. Why, didst thou not come from heaven? Clo. 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 emperial's men.
Marc. Why, sir, that is as fit as can be, to serve for your oration; and let him deliver the pigeons to the emperor from you.
Tit. Tell me, can you deliver an oration to the emperor with a grace?
Clo. Nay, truly, sir, I could never say grace in all my life.
Tit. Sirrah, come hither, make no more ado, But give your pigeons to the emperor:
By me thou shalt have justice at his hands.
How now, good fellow would'st thou speak with us?
Clo. Yes, forsooth, an your mistership be imperial.
Tam. Empress I am, but yonder sits the emperor. Clo. '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.
I know from whence this same device proceeds;
Hold, hold; meanwhile, here's money for thy Nor age, nor honor, shall shape privilege:
Give me a pen and ink.
Sirrah, can you with a grace deliver a supplication?
Clo. Ay, sir.
Tit. 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.
Clo. I warrant you, sir; let me alone.
For this proud mock, I'll be thy slaughter-man;
What news with thee, Emilius?
Emil. Arm, arm. my lords; Rome never had
The Goths have gather'd head; and with a power.
Tit. Sirrah, hast thou a knife? Come, let me They hither march amain, under conduct
Here, Marcus, fold it in the oration;
For thou hast made it like an humble suppliant:
Tit. Come, Marcus, let's go:-Publius, follow
SCENE IV. Before the Palace.
Sat. Why, lords, what wrongs are these? Was
An emperor of Rome thus overborne,
Troubled, confronted thus: and, for the extent
Buz in the people's ears, there naught hath pass'd,
As who would say, in Rome no justice were.
But he and his shall know, that justice lives
Cut off the proud'st conspirator that lives.
Tam. My gracious lord, my lovely Saturnine,
Of Lucius, son to old Andronicus;
Who threats, in course of this revenge, to do
As much as ever Coriolanus did.
Sat. Is warlike Lucius general of the Goths?
Ay, now begin our sorrows to approach:
Is the sun dimm'd, that gnats do fly in it?
With words more sweet, and yet more dangerous,
Sat. But he will not entreat his son for us.
Yet should both ear and heart obey my tongue.-
Of warlike Lucius, and appoint the meeting,
Tam. Now will I to that old Andronicus;
Sat. Then go successfully, and plead to him.
SCENE I-Plains near Rome.
Enter LUCIUS and Goths, with Drum and Colors.
Luc. Approved 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. Therefore, great lords, be, as your titles witness, Imperious, and impatient of your wrongs; And, wherein Rome hath done you any scath,9 Let him make treble satisfaction.
1 Goth. Brave slip, sprung from the great Andronicus,
And this shall all be buried by my death,
Whose name was once our terror, now our comfort;
Goths. And, as he saith, so say we all with him.
Aar. Swear, that he shall, and then I will begin. Luc. Who should I swear by thou believ'st no
That granted, how canst thou believe an oath?
2 Goth. Renowned Lucius, from our troops I stray'd,
To gaze upon a ruinous monastery;
I heard a child cry underneath a wall:
I made unto the noise; when soon I heard
And keeps the oath, which by that god he swears;
Luc. Even by my god, I swear to thee, I will. Aar. First, know thou, I begot him on the empress.
Luc. O most insatiate, luxurious woman! Aar. 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.
Luc. O, détestable villain! call'st thou that trimming?
Aar. Why, she was wash'd, and cut, and trimm'd;
Trim sport for them that had the doing of it.
The crying babe controll'd with this discourse:
A halter, soldiers; hang him on this tree,
Aur. Touch not the boy, he is of royal blood.
Luc. O, barbarous, beastly villains, like thyself! Aar. 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: As true a dog as ever fought at head.That bloody mind, I think, they learn'd of me, Well, let my deeds be witness of my worth. I train'd thy brethren to that guileful hoie, Where the dead corpse of Bassianus lay: I wrote the letter that thy father found, And hid the gold within the 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 it? 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 swounded almost at my pleasing tale, And, for my tidings, gave me twenty kisses. Goth. What! canst thou say all this, and never blush!
[A ladder brought, which AARON is obliged to ascent.
Lucius, save the child;
And bear it from me to the emperess.
Thy child shall live, and I will see it nourish'd.
"Twill vex thy soul to hear what I shall speak;
Aar. Ay, like a black dog, as the saying is. Luc. Art thou not sorry for these heinous deeds?
Aar. 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 il: As kill a man, or else devise his death; Accuse some innocent, and forswear myself; Ravish a maid, or plot the way to do it; Set deadly enmity between two friends; Set fire on barns and hay-stacks in the night, Make poor men's cattle break their necks; 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.
As willingly as one would kill a fly:
Alluding to the proverb, "A black man is a pearl in a Tut, I have done a thousand dreadful things, fair woman's eye."
SCENE II.-Rome. Before Titus's House.
Enter TAMORA, CHIRON, and DEMETRIUS,
Tam. Thus, in this strange and sad habiliment, I will encounter with Andronicus;
And say, I am Revenge, sent from below,
Tit. Who doth molest my contemplation?
Tam. Titus, I am come to talk with thee.
Thou hast the odds of me, therefore no more. Tam. If thou didst know me, thou wouldst talk with me.
Tit. I am not mad; I know thee well enough: Witness this wretched stump, 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?
Tam. Know thou, sad man, I am not Tamora; She is thy enemy, and I thy friend:
I am Revenge; sent from the infernal kingdom,
Tam. I am; therefore come down and welcome
Tit. Do me some service, ere I come to thee. Lo, by thy side, where Rape and Murder stand; 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 globes. Provide thee proper palfries, black as jet, To hale thy vengeful waggon swift away, And find out murderers in their guilty cave: 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;
And you, the empress! But we worldly men
O sweet Revenge, now do I come to thee;
[Exit Tirus, from above.
Tit. 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? Tam.What wouldst thou have us do, Andronicus? Dem. Show me a murderer, I'll deal with him. Chi. Show me a villain, that hath done a rape, And I am sent to be reveng'd on him.
Tam. Show me a thousand, that hath done thee wrong,
And I will be revenged on them all.
Tit. Look round about the wicked streets of
And when thou find'st a man that's like thyself,
Tam. Well hast thou lesson'd us; this shall we do.
Go, gentle Marcus, to thy nephew Lucius;
Tam. Now will I hence about thy business, And take my ministers along with me. Tit. Nay, nay, let Rape and Murder stay with