Imagens das páginas
PDF

Nor doth he of himself know them for aught
Till he behold them form'd in the applause
Where they are extended; which, like an arch,
reverberates
The voice again; or, like a gate of steel
Fronting the sun, receives and renders back
His figure and his heat. I was much rapt in this;
And apprehended here immediately
The unknown Ajax.
Heavens, what a man is there! a very horse:
That has he knows not what. Nature, what things
there are,
Most abject in regard, and dear in use!
What things again most dear in the esteem,
And poor in worth ! Now shall we see to-morrow,
An act that very chance doth throw upon him,
Ajax renown'd. O heavens, what some men do,
While some men leave to do!
How some men creep in skittish fortune's hall,
Whiles others play the idiots in her eyes!
How one man eats into another's pride,
While pride is feasting in his wantonness!
To see these Grecian lords!—why, even already
They clap the lubber Ajax on the shoulder;
As if his foot were on brave Hector's breast,
And great Troy shrieking.
Achil. I do believe it: for they pass'd by me
As misers do by beggars; neither gave to me
Good word, nor look: What, are my deeds forgot?
Ulyss. Time hath, my lord, a wallet at his back,
Wherein he puts alms for oblivion,
A great-sized monster of ingratitudes:
Those scraps are good deeds past: wheh are
devour'd
As fast as they are made, forgot as soon
As done: Perseverance, dear my lord,
Keeps honour bright: To have done, is to hang
Quite out of fashion, like a rusty mail
In monumental mockery. Take the instant way;
For honour travels in a strait so narrow,
Where one but goes abreast: keep then the path;
For emulation hath a thousand sons,
That one by one pursue: If you give way,
Or hedge aside from the direct forthright,
Like to an enter'd tide, they all rush by,
And leave you hindmost:-
Or, like a gallant horse fallen in first rank,
Lie there for pavement to the abject rear,
O'errun and trampled on: Then what they do in
present,

Though less than yours in past, must o'ertop yours:

For time is like a fashionable host,
That slightly shakes his parting guest by the hand;
And with his arms outstretch'd, as he would fly,
Grasps-in the comer: Welcome ever smiles,
And farewell goes out sighing. O, let not virtue

seek -
Remuneration for the thing it was;
For beauty, wit,
High birth, vigour of bone, desert in service,
Love, friendship, charity, are subjects all
To envious and calumniating time.
One touch of nature makes the whole world kin,
That all, with one consent, praise new-born gawds,
Though they are made and moulded of things past;
And give to dust, that is a little gilt,
More laud than gilt o'er-dusted.
The present eye praises the present object:
Then marvel not, thou great and complete man,
That all the Greeks begin to worship'Ajax:
Since things in motion sooner catch the eye,

Than what not stirs. The cry went once on the
And still it might; and yet it may again,
If thou wouldst not entomb thyself alive,
And case thy reputation in thy tent;
Whose glorious deeds, but in these fields of late.
Made emulous missions 'mongst the gods them
selves, -
And drave great Mars to faction.
Achil. Of this my privar.
I have strong reasons.
Ulyss. But 'gainst your privacy
The reasons are more potent and heroical:
'Tis known, Achilles, that you are in love
With one of Priam's daughters.
Achil.
Ulyss. Is that a wonder?
The providence that's in a watchful state
Knows almost every grain of Plutus' gold :
Finds bottom in the uncomprehensive deeps:
Keeps place with thought, and almost, like the
gods,
Does thoughts unveil in their dumb cradles.
There is a mystery (with whom relation
Durst never meddle) in the soul of state;
Which hath an operation more divine
Than breath, or pen, can give expressure to :
All the commerce that you have had with Troy,
As perfectly is ours, as yours, my lord;
And better would it fit Achilles much,
To throw down Hector, than Polyxena:
But it must grieve young Pyrrhus now at home.
When fame shall in our islands sound her trump;
And all the Greekish girls shall tripping sing,
“Great Hector's sister did Achilles win;
But our great Ajax bravely beat down him.”
Farewell, my lord: I as your lover speak;
The fool slides o'er the ice that you should break.
Eri',
Patr. To this effect, Achilles, have I w you:
A woman impudent and mannish grown
Is not more loath'd than an effeminate man
In time of action. I stand condemn'd for this:
They think, my little stomach to the war,
And your great love to me, restrains you thus:
Sweet, rouse yourself; and the weak wanton Cupid
Shall from your neck unloose his amorous fold,
And, like a dew-drop from the lion's mane,
Be shook to airy air.
Achil. Shall Ajax fight with Hector
Patr. Ay; and, perhaps, receive much houour
by him.
Achil. I see, my reputation is at stake;
My fame is shrewdly gor'd.
Patr. O, then beware:
Those wounds heal ill that men do give themselves:
Omission to do what is necessary
Seals a commission to a blank of danger;
And danger, like an ague, subtly taints
Even then when we sit idly in the sun.
Achil. Go call Thersites hither, sweet Patroclus:
I'll send the fool to Ajax, and desire him
To invite the Trojan lords after the combat,
To see us here unarm'd: I have a woman's longing,
An appetite that I am sick withal,
To see great Hector in his weeds of peace;
To talk with him, and to behold his visage,
Even to my full of view. A labour sav'd :

[ocr errors]

Enter Thensites.

Ther. A wonder! Achil. What?

hen cheer thy spirit: for know, thou emperor, will enchant the old Andronicus, With words more sweet, and yet more dangerous han baits to fish, or honey-stalks to sheep; When as the one is wounded with the bait, he other rotted with delicious feed. Sat. But he will not entreat his son for us. Tam. If Tamora entreat him, then he will; or I can smooth and fill his aged ear With golden promises, that, were his heart Amost impregnable, his old ears deaf, et should both ear and heart obey my tongue. to thou before to be our embassador;

[ocr errors]

Say that the emperor requests a parley .
Of warlike Lucius, and appoint the meeting.
Sat. AEmilius, do this message honourably:
And if he stand on hostage for his safety,
Bid him demand what pledge will please him best
AEmil. Your bidding shall I do effectually.
[Erit AEMILIUs.
Tam. 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.
Sat. o, go successantly, and plead to him.
[Ereunt.
33

[ocr errors][graphic]

Scene I.-Troy. A Street.

Enter, at one side, ÆNEAs, and Servant with a torch ; at the other, PARIs, DeiphobUs, ANTENor, Diomed Es, and others, with torches.

Par. See, ho! who's that there?

Dei. 'Tis the lord AEneas.

AEne. Is the prince there in person?— Had I so good occasion to lie long, As you, prince Paris, nothing but heavenly business Should rob my bed-mate of my company.

Dio. That's my mind too.—Good morrow, lord

AEneas.

Par. A valiant Greek, AEneas; take his hand: Witness the process of your speech, wherein You told how Diomed, in a whole week by days, Did haunt you in the field.

Lone. Health to you, valiant sir, During all question of the gentle truce: But when I meet you arm’d, as black defiance, As heart can think or courage execute.

Dio. The one and other Diomed embraces. Our bloods are now in calm; and, so long, health: But, when contention and occasion meet, By Jove, I'll play the hunter for thy life, With all my force, pursuit, and policy.

2.Éne. And thou shalt hunt a lion, that will fly With his face backward.—In humane gentleness, Welcome to Troy: now, by Anchises' life, Welcome, indeed! By Venus' hand I swear, No man alive can love, in such a sort,

The thing he means to kill, more excellently. :
Dio. We sympathize:—Jove, let Eneas live,
If to my sword his fate be not the glory, il
A thousand complete courses of the sun'
But, in mine emulous honour, let him die, -
With every joint a wound; and that to-morrow !
-Ene. We know each other well. -
Dio. We do; and long to know each other worse.
Par. This is the most despitefull'st gentle greet-
ing,
The noblest hateful love, that ever I heard of.-
What business, lord, so early 1
-Ene. I was sent for to the king; but why, I
know not.
Par. His purpose meets you: ‘Twas to bring
this Greek
To Calchas' house; and there to render him,
For the enfreed Antenor, the fair Cressid:
Izet's have your company; or, if you please,
Haste there before us: I constantly do think.
(or, rather, call my thought a certain knowledge.)
My brother Troilus lodges there to-night; -

She hath not given so many good

Rouse him, and give him note of our approach.
With the whole quality whereof; I fear,
We shall be much unwelcome.
AEne. That I assure you:
Troilus had rather Troy were borne to Greece,
Than Cressid borne from Troy.
Par.
The bitter disposition of the time
Will have it so. On, lord; we'll follow you.
AEne. Good morrow, all. [Eri.
Par. And tell me, noble Diomed; faith, tell me
true,
Even in the soul of sound good-fellowship,
Who, in your thoughts, merits fair Helen most,
Myself, or Menelaus !
Dio. Both alike:
He merits well to have her that doth seek her
(Not making any scruple of her soilure)
With such a hell of pain, and world of charge;
And you as well to keep her, that defend her
(Not palating the taste of her dishonour)
With such a costly loss of wealth and friends:
He, like a puling cuckold, would drink up
The lees and dregs of a flat tamed piece;
You, like a lecher, out of whorish loins
Are pleas'd to breed out your inheritors: |
Both merits pois'd, each weighs no less nor more:
But he as he, the heavier for a whore?
Par. You are too bitter to your countrywoman.
Dio. She's bitter to her country: Hear me,
Paris.-
For every false drop in her bawdy veins
A Grecian's life hath sunk; for every scruple
Of her contaminated carrion weight,
A Trojan hath been slain; since she could speak,
words breath.
As for her Greeks and Trojans suffer'd death.
Par. Fair Diomed, you do as chapmen do,

There is no hel

Dispraise the thing that you desire to buy:

But we in silence hold this virtue well.—
We'll not commend what we intend to sell.
Here lies our way. [Errant.

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]
[graphic]

hou do this, I'll show thee wondrous things, at highly may advantage thee to hear; hou wilt not, befall what may befall, speak no more, but vengeance rot you all. Luc- Say on, and if it please me which thou speak'st, ly child shall live, and I will see it nourish'd. Aaron. And if it please thee! why, assure thee, Lucius, will vex thy soul to hear what I shall speak: or I must talk of murthers, rapes, and massacres, its of black night, abominable deeds, »m plots of mischief, treason, villainies uthful to hear, yet piteously perform'd; ind this shall all be buried by my death, thless thou swear to me my child shall live. Luc. Tell on thy mind; I say thy child shall live. Aaron. Swear that he shall, and then I will begin. Luc. Who should I swear by ? thou believ'st no God: 'hat granted, how canst thou believe an oath 1 Aaron. What if I do not, as indeed I do not : Tet, for I know thou art religious, .nd 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, 3y 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 nought to thee. Luc. Even by my God I swear to thee I will. Aaron. First know thou, I begot him on the empress. Luc. Oh most insatiate, luxurious woman! Aaron. Tut, Lucius, this was but a deed of charity, To that which thou shalt hear of me anon. 'Twas her two sons that murther'd Bassianus; They cut thy sister's tongue, and ravish'd her, And cut her hands, and trimm'd her as thou sowest. Luc. Oh, detestable villain! call'st thou that trimming? Aaron. Why, she was wash'd, and cut, and trimm'd, And 'twas trim sport for them that had the doing of it. Luc. Oh, barbarous, beastly villains, like thyself! Aaron. 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, 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, | 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 r
Aaron. Ay, like a black dog, as the saying is.
Luc. Art thou not sorry for these heinous deeds
Aaron. 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 break their necks:
Set fire on barns and haystacks 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 there dear friends' door,
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.
Luc. Bring down the devil, for he must not die
So sweet a death as hanging presently.
Aaron. 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!
Luc. Sirs, stop his mouth, and let him speak no
in ore.

Enter a Goth.

Goth. My lord, there is a messenger from Rome Desires to be admitted to your presence. Luc. Let him come near.

Enter AEMilius.

Welcome, AEmilius: What's the news from Rome?
AEmil. 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
Goth. What says our general +
Luc. AEmilius, let the emperor give his pledges
Unto my father, and my uncle Marcus,
And we will come : march away.
[Flourish. Ereunt.

Scr:NE II.-Before Titus's House.

Enter TAMoRA, Chi Ron, and DEMETRIUs, disguised. Tam. 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.

[They knock, and Titus opens his study door. Tit. Who doth molest my contemplation 1 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 1 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. Tam. Titus, I am come to talk with thee. Tit. No, not a word: how can I grace my talk, Wanting a hand to give it action 1 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, 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 1 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, 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 murther and of death. There's not a hollow cave or lurking-place, No vast obscurity or misty vale, Where bloody Murther, 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 offenders quake. Tit. Art thou Revenge and art thou sent to me To be a torment to mine enemies? Tum. I am; therefore come down, and welcome ine. Tit. Do me some service, ere I come to thee. Lo, by thy side where Rape, and Murther, 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 globes. Provide thee two proper palfreys, as black as jet, To hale thy vengeful waggon swift away, And find out murtherers 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 Murther there. Tam. These are my ministers, and come with ine. Tit. Are they thy ministers? what are they call'd 1

Tam. Rape and Murther; therefore called so,

'Cause they take vengeance of such kind of men.
Tit. Good lord, how like the empress' sons they
are,
And you the empress! but we worldly men
Have miserable, mad, mistaking eyes.
Oh, 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.
[Titus closes his door.
Tam. This closing with him fits his lunacy.
Whate'er I forge to feed his brain-sick fits,
Do you uphold, and maintain in your speeches;

For now he firmly takes me for Revenge,
And, being credulous in this mad thought,
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.

Enter T1 rus.

Tit. Long have 1 been forlorn. and all for the Welcome, dread fury, to my woful house: Rapine, and Murther, 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, Androtro Demet. Show me a murtherer: I’ll deal within Chi. Show me a villain that hath done a rope And I am sent to be reveng'd on him. Tam. Show me a thousand, that have done to wrong, And I will be revenged on them all. Tit. Look round about the wicked streets" Rome, And when thou find'st a man that's like thyset Good Murther, stab him; he's a murtherer. 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 thy own proport”
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.
Tam. Well hast thou lesson'd us; this shall"
do.
But would it please thee, good Andronicus,
To send for Lucius, thy thrice-valiant son, , ,
Who leads towards Rome a band of warlike"
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 knee;
And on them shalt thou ease thy angry heart.
What says Andronicus to this device

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »