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And climb the highest promontory top.
Tit. And I have horse will follow where the
Makes way, and run like swallows o'er the plain.
Dem. Chiron, we hunt not, we, with horse nor 5
But hope to pluck a dainty doe to ground.[Exeunt.
A desert part of the Forest.
Enter Aaron alone.
Aar. He, that had wit, would think, that I
To bury so much gold under a tree,
And never after to inherit it.
Let him, that thinks of me so abjectly,
Know, that this gold must coin a stratagem;
Which, cunningly effected, will beget
A very excellent piece of villainy:
And so repose, sweet gold, for their unrest',
That have their alms out of the empress' chest.
Tam. My lovely Aaron, wherefore look'st thou sad,
Here comes a parcel of our hopeful booty,
Which dreads not yet their lives' destruction.
Tum. Ah, my sweet Moor, sweeter to me than
When every thing doth make a gleeful boast?
The birds chaunt melody on every bush;
The snake lies rolled in the chearful sun;
The green leaves quiver with the cooling wind,
And make a chequer'd shadow on the ground:
Under their sweet shade, Aaron, let us sit,
And whilst the babbling echo mocks the hounds,
Replying shrilly to the well-tun'd horns,
As if a double hunt were heard at once,-
Let us sit down, and mark their yelling noise:
And-after conflict, such as was suppos'd
The wand'ring prince and Dido once enjoy'd,
When with a happy storm they were surpriz'd,
And curtain'd with a counsel-keeping cave,-
We may, each wreathed in the other's arms,
Our pastimes done, possess a golden slumber;
Whilst hounds, and horns, and sweet melodious
Be unto us, as is a nurse's song
Of lullaby, to bring her babe asleep,
Aur. Madam,thoughVenus govern your desires,
Saturn is dominator over mine:
What signifies my deadly-standing eye,
My silence, and my cloudy melancholy?
My fleece of woolly hair, that now uncurls,
Even as an adder, when she doth unroll
To do some fatal execution?
Thy sons make pillage of her chastity,
And wash their hands in Bassianus' blood.
Seest thou this letter?-take it up, I pray thee,
And give the king this fatal plotted scroll:-
Now question me no more, we are espied;
Aar. No more,great empress, Bassianus comes:
Be cross with him; and I'll go fetch thy sons
To back thy quarrels, whatsoe'er they be. [Exit.
Enter Bassianus, and Lavinia.
Bas. Whom have we here? Rome's royal em-
Unfurnish'd of her well-beseeming troop?
Or is it Dian, habited like her;
Who hath abandoned her holy groves,
To see the general hunting in this forest?
Tam. Saucy controller of our private steps!
Had I the power that, some say, Dian had,
Thy temples should be planted presently
With horns, as was Acteon's; and the hounds
Should drive upon thy new-transformed limbs,
Unmannerly intruder as thou art!
No, madam, these are no venereal signs:
V Vengeance is in my heart, death in my hand,
Blood and revenge are hammering in my
Hark, Tamora,-the empress of my soul,
Which never hopes more heaven than rests in thee, 55 Here never shines the sun; here nothing breeds,
This is the day of doom for Bassianus:
His Philomel must lose her tongue to-day;
Unless the nightly owl, or fatal raven.
And when they shew'd me this abhorred pit, They told me, here, at dead time of the night, A thousand fiends, a thousand hissing snakes, 60 Ten thousand swelling toads, as many urchins, Would make such fearful and confused cries, As any mortal body, hearing it,
3 Swarth is black.-The Moor
Why does your highness look so pale and wan?
50 Tam.Have I not reason, think you,to look pale?
These two have 'tic'd me hither to this place.
A barren and detested vale, you see, it is:
The trees, though summer, yet forlorn and lean,
O'ercome with moss, and baleful misletoe.
Unrest, for disquiet. 2i. e. fly with impetuosity at him.
is called Cimmerian, from the affinity of blackness to darkness.
Should straight fall mad, or else die suddenly.
No sooner had they told this hellish tale,
But straight they told me, they would bind me here
Unto the body of a dismal yew;
And leave me to this miserable death.
And then they call'd me, foul adulteress,
Lascivious Goth, and all the bitterest terms
That ever ear did hear to such effect.
And, had you not by wondrous fortune come,
This vengeance on me had they executed:
Revenge it, as you love your mother's life,
Or be ye not from henceforth call'd my children.
Dem. This is a witness that I am thy son.
Chi. And this for me, struck home to shew my
strength. [Stabbing him likewise.
Lav. Ay come, Semiramis,-nay, barbarous
That gave thee life, when well he might have slain thee,
Be not obdurate, open thy deaf
Tam, Hadst thou in person ne'er offended me, 5 Even for his sake am I now 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, use her as you will; 10 The worse to her, the better lov'd of me.
For no name fits thy nature but thy own!
Tam. Give me thy poniard; you shall know, 20
Your mother's hand shall right your mother's
Dem. Stay, madam, here is more belongs to her;
First, thresh the corn, then after burn the straw:
This minion stood upon her chastity,
Upon her nuptial vow, her loyalty,
And with that painted hope she braves your
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 dy'd.
Lav. 'Tis true the raven doth not hatch a lark:
Yet have I heard, (O, could I find it now !)
The lion, moy'd with pity, did endure
To have his princely paws par'd 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 her.
Lav. O,let me teach thee: for my father's sake,!
Tam. What begg'st thou then? "fond woman,
let me go.
Lax. '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.
Tam. Soshould 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!
And shall she carry this unto her grave?
Chi. And if she do, I would I were an eunuch. 30 Chi. Nay, then I'll stop your mouth,--Bring thou Drag hence her husband to some secret hole, her husband; [Dragging off Lavinia. And make his dead trunk pillow to our lust. This is the hole where Aaron bid us hide him. [Exeunt. Tam, Farewell, my sons: see, that you make her sure:
Tum. But when you have the honey you desire, Let not this wasp out-live, us both to sting.
Chi. I warrant you, madam; we will make 35
Come, mistress, now perforce we will enjoy
That nice-preserved honesty of yours.
Ne'er let my heart know merry cheer indeed,
'Till all th' Andronici be made away.
Now will I hence to seek my lovely Moor,
And let my spleenful sons this trull deflow'r.
Lav. OTamora! thou bear'st a woman's face,-
Tam. I will not hear her speak; away with her. 40
Lav.Sweetlords, intreat 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 tyger's young ones teach the 45
O, do not teach her wrath; she taught it thee:
The milk,thou suck'dst from her, didturntomarble;
Even at thy teat thou hadst thy tyranny.-
Yet every mother breeds not sons alike;
Do thou intreat her shew awomanpity.[To Chiron. 50
Chi. What! would'st thou have me prove my-
self a bastard?
Enter Aaron, with Quintus and Marcus.
Aar. Come on, my lords; the better foot before:
Straight will I bring you to the loathsome pit,
Where I espied the panther fast asleep.
Quint, My sight is very dull, whate❜er it bodes.
Marc. And mine, I promise you; were 't not for
Well could I leave our sport to sleep awhile.
[Marcus falls into the pit.
Quint. What, art thou fallen? What subtle hole
Whose mouth is cover'd with rude-growing briars;
55 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?
Marc. O brother, with the dismallest object
That ever eye, with sight, made heart lament.
Aar. [Aside.] Now will I fetch the king to
find them here;
'Painted hope means specious hope, or ground of confidence more plausible than solid.
3 H 4
That he thereby may have a likely guess,
How these were they, that made away his brother.
Marc. Why dost not comfort me and help me
Tam. Where is thy brother Bassianus ?
Sat. Now to the bottom dost thou search my
Poor Bassianus here lies murdered.
Tum. Then all too late I bring this fatal writ,
5 The complot of this timeless tragedy;
And wonder greatly, that man's face can fold
In pleasing smiles such murderous tyranny.
[She giveth Saturninus à letter-
Saturninus reads the letter.
"An if we miss to meet him handsomely,—
"Sweet huntsman-Bassianus'tis, we mean,-
"Do thou so much as dig the grave for him
know'st our meaning: Look for thy
"Among the nettles at the elder-tree, "Which over-shades themouthof that same pit, "Where we decreed to bury Bassianus. "Do this, and purchase us thy lasting friends." O Tamora! was ever heard the like? 20 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. Aar. My gracious lord, here is the bag of gold. [Shewing it. Sat. Two of thy whelps, fell curs of bloody kind, Have here bereft my brother of his life
From this unhallow'd and blood-stained hole?
Quint. I am surprized with an uncouth fear:
A chilling sweat o'er-runs my trembling joints;
Mine herat suspects more than mine eye can see.
Marc. To prove thou hast a true-divining heart, 10
Aaron and thou look down into this den,
And see a fearful sight of blood and death.
Quint. Aaron is gone; and my compassionate heart
Will not permit my 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.
Marc. Lord Bassianus lies embrewed here,
All on a heap, like to a slaughter'd lamb,
In this detested, dark, blood-drinking pit.
Quint. If it be dark,how dost thow know 'tis he?
Marc. 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 shews the ragged entrails of this pit:
So pale did shine the moon on Pyramus,
When he by night lay bath'd 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.
Quint. Reach me thy hand, that I may help thee
Or, wanting strength to do thee so much good,
be pluck'd into the swallowing womb
Of this deep pit, poor Bassianus' grave.
I have no strength to pluck thee to the brink,
Marc. And I no strength to climb without thy
Quint. Thy hand once more; I will not lose
'Till thou art here aloft, or I below:
Thou canst not come to me, I come to thee.
[To Titus. Sirs, drag them from the pit unto the prison; 30 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 wond'rous thing!
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 mine 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,
45 To answer their suspicion with their lives.
Sat. Thou shalt not bail them; see, thou fol [ers. low me. Some bring the murder'd body,some the murderLet them not speak a word, the guilt is plain; 50 For, by my soul, were there worse end than death, That end upon them should be executed.
Tam. Andronicus, I will entreat the king; Fear not thy sons, they shall do well enough. Tit. Come, Lucius, come; stay not to talk [Exeunt severally. with them.
Enter the Emperor, and Aaron.
-I'll see what hole is
Sat. Along with me:-
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?
Marc. 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
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.
Marc. We know not where you left him all
But, out, alas! here have we found him dead.
Enter Tamora, with Attendants; Andronicus and 60
Tam. Where is my lord, the king?
Sat. Here,Tamora; though griev'd with killing
Enter Demetrius and Chiron, with Lacinia, ravisk'd; her hands cut off, and her tongue cut out. Dem. So, now go tell, an if thy tongue can
Who'twas that cut thy tongue, and ravish'd thee.
There is supposed to be a gem called a carbuncle, which emits not reflected but native light.
Chi. Write down thy mind, bewray thy meaning so; And, if thy stumps will let thee, play the scribe. Dem. See how with signs and tokens she can scowl. [hands. 5 Chi. Go home, call for sweet water, wash thy Dem. She has no tongue to call, nor hands to wash; And so let's leave her to her silent walks. [self. Chi. An 'twere my case, I should go hang my-10 Dem. If thou hadst hands to help thee knit the cord. [Exeunt Demetrius and Chiron. Enter Marcus to Lavinia.
JAh, now thou turn'st away thy face for shame!
And, notwithstanding all this loss of blood,—
As from a conduit with their 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,
15 And he hath cut those pretty fingers off,
That better could have 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;
20 He would not then have touch'd them for his life.
Or, had he heard the heavenly harmony,
Which that sweet tongue hath made;
Mar. Who's this, my niece, that flies away
Cousin, a word; Where is your husband?
If I do dream, 'would all my wealth would wake
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 deflower'd thee;
And, lest thou should'st detect him, cut thy tongue.
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 eyes?
Do not draw back, for we will mourn with thee;
300, could our mourning ease thy misery!
A Street in Rome.
Enter the Judges and Senators, with Marcus and
Quintus bound, passing on the stage to the place
of execution, and Titus going before, pleading.
HEAR me, grave fathers! noble tribunes,
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 you now 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 honour's lofty bed.
[Andronicus lieth down, and the Judges pass by him. 60
For these, these tribunes, in the dust I write
My heart's deep languor, and my soul's sad tears.
Let my tears stanch the earth's dry appetite;
Mysons' sweet blood will make it shanie and blush.
O earth! I will befriend thee more with rain,
That shall distil from these two ancient urns,
Than youthful April shall with all his showers:
In summer's drought, I'll drop upon thee still;
In winter with warm tears I'll melt the snow,
And keep eternal spring-time on thy face,
So thou refuse to drink my dear sons' blood.
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
Tit. Why, 'tis no matter, man: if they did hear, They would not mark me; or, if they did mark, All bootless unto them, they would not pity me. Therefore
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.
A stone is soft as wax, tribunes more hard than
A stone is silent, and offendeth not;
And tribuneswith theirtonguesdoom men to death.
Butwherefore stand'st thouwith thyweapon drawn?
Luc. Torescue my two brothers from their death:
For which attempt, the judges have pronounc'd
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 tygers?
Tygers 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?
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.-
5 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:
10 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 her husband:
Perchance, because she knows them innocent.
Tit. If they did kill thy husband, then be joyful,
20 Because the law hath ta'en revenge on them.→
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 signs how I may do thee ease.
Enter Marcus and Lacinia.
Marc. Titus, prepare thy noble eyes to weep; 25 Shall thy good uncle, and thy brother Lucius,
Or, if not so, thy noble heart to break;
I bring consuming sorrow to thine age.
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
With miry slime left on them by a flood?
30 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
35 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.
Tit. Will it consume me? let me see it then.
Marc. This was thy daughter.
Tüt. Why, Marcus, so she is.
Luc. Ah me! this object kills me!
Tit.Faint-hearted boy,arise,and look upon her:-
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 Kome, 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, 50
Is torn from forth that pretty hollow cage;
Where like a sweet melodious bird it sang
Sweet vary'd notes, enchanting every ear!
Luc. O, saythou for her,who hath done this deed:
Marc. O, thus I found her, straying in the park, 55
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 kill'd 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;
Luc. Sweet father, cease your tears; for, at your grief,
Sce, how my wretched sister sobs and weeps. Marc. Patience, dear niece:—good Titus, dry thine eyes.
Tit. Ah, Marcus, Marcus! brother, well I wot, 45 Thy napkin cannot drink a tear of mine, [own. 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 signs:
Had she a tongue to speak, now she would say
That to her brother which I said to thee;
His napkin, with his true tears all bewet,
Can do no service on her sorrowful cheeks.
O, what a sympathy of woe is this!
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,
50 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! 6|Did ever raven sing so like a lark,