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my choice?

And here I swear by all the Roman gods,
Sith priest and holy water are so near
And tapers burn so bright and every thing
In readiness for Hymenæus stand,

I will not re-salute the streets of Rome,
Or climb my palace, till from forth this place
I lead espoused my bride along with me.

Tam. And here, in sight of heaven, to
Rome I swear,

If Saturnine advance the Queen of Goths, 330
She will a handmaid be to his desires,
A loving nurse, a mother to his youth.

Sat. Ascend, fair queen, Pantheon. Lords, accompany

Your noble emperor and his lovely bride,
Sent by the heavens for Prince Saturnine,
Whose wisdom hath her fortune conquered:
There shall we consummate our spousal rites.
[Exeunt all but Titus.
Tit. I am not bid to wait upon this bride.

Titus, when wert thou wont to walk alone, 339 Dishonor'd thus, and challenged of wrongs? Re-enter MARCUS, LUCIUS, QUINTUS, and MARTIUS.

Marc. O Titus, see, O, see what thou hast done!

In a bad quarrel slain a virtuous son.

Tit. No, foolish tribune, no; no son of mine, Nor thou, nor these, confederates in the deed That hath dishonor'd all our family; Unworthy brother, and unworthy sons!

Luc. But let us give him burial, as be


Give Mutius burial with our brethren.

Tit. Traitors, away! he rests not in this tomb:

This monument five hundred years hath stood,
Which I have sumptuously re-edified:
Here none but soldiers and Rome's servitors
Repose in fame; none basely slain in brawls:
Bury him where you can; he comes not here.
Marc. My lord, this is impiety in you:
My nephew Mutius' deeds do plead for him;
He must be buried with his brethren.

Quin. And shall, or him we will accom-
Tit. 'And shall !' what villain was it
spake that word?

Quin. He that would vouch it in any place

but here.


Tit. What, would you bury him in my despite ?

Marc. No, noble Titus, but entreat of thee To pardon Mutius and to bury him.

Tit. Marcus, even thou hast struck upon

my crest,

And, with these boys, mine honor thou hast wounded:

My foes I do repute you every one;

So, trouble me no more, but get you gone. Mart. He is not with himself; let us withdraw.

Quin. Not I, till Mutius' bones be buried. [Marcus and the Sons of Titus kneel, Marc. Brother, for in that name doth nature plead,370

Quin. Father, and in that name doth nature speak,

Tit. Speak thou no more, if all the rest will speed.

Marc. Renowned Titus, more than half my soul,

Luc. Dear father, soul and substance of us all,

Marc. Suffer thy brother Marcus to inter His noble nephew here in virtue's nest, That died in honor and Lavinia's cause. Thou art a Roman; be not barbarous : The Greeks upon advice did bury Ajax That slew himself; and wise Laertes' son 380 Did graciously plead for his funerals : Let not young Mutius, then, that was thy joy, Be barr'd his entrance here.


Rise, Marcus, rise. The dismall'st day is this that e'er I saw,

To be dishonor'd by my sons in Rome! Well, bury him, and bury me the next. [Mutius is put into the tomb. Luc. There lie thy bones, sweet Mutius, with thy friends,

Till we with trophies do adorn thy tomb. All. [Kneeling] No man shed tears for noble Mutius;

He lives in fame that died in virtue's cause. Marc. My lord, to step out of these dreary dumps, 391

How comes it that the subtle Queen of Goths Is of a sudden thus advanced in Rome ?

Tit. I know not, Marcus; but I know it is : Whether by device or no, the heavens can tell:

Is she not then beholding to the man

That brought her for this high good turn so far?

Yes, and will nobly him remunerate.

Flourish. Re-enter, from one side, SATURNINUS attended, TAMORA, DEMETRIUS, CHIRON, and AARON; from the other, BASSIANUS, LAVINIA, and others,

Sat. So, Bassianus, you have play'd your prize :

God give you joy, sir, of your gallant bride! Bas. And you of yours, my lord! I say

no more,

401 Nor wish no less; and so, I take my leave. Sat. Traitor, if Rome have law or we have power,

Thou and thy faction shall repent this rape. Bas. Rape, call you it, my lord, to seize my


My truth-betrothed love and now my wife?
But let the laws of Rome determine all;
Meanwhile I am possess'd of that is mine.
Sat. 'Tis good, sir: you are very short with

But, if we live, we'll be as sharp with you. 410 Bas. My lord, what I have done, as best I may,

Answer I must and shall do with my life.
Only thus much I give your grace to know:
By all the duties that I owe to Rome,
This noble gentleman, Lord Titus here,
Is in opinion and in honor wrong'd;
That in the rescue of Lavinia

With his own hand did slay his youngest son,
In zeal to you and highly moved to wrath
To be controll'd in that he frankly gave: 420
Receive him, then, to favor, Saturnine,
That hath express'd himself in all his deeds
A father and a friend to thee and Rome.

Tit. Prince Bassianus, leave to plead my deeds:

'Tis thou and those that have-dishonor'd me. Rome and the righteous heavens be my judge, How I have loved and honor'd Saturnine!

Tam. My worthy lord, if ever Tamora Were gracious in those princely eyes of thine, Then hear me speak indifferently for all; 430 And at my suit, sweet, pardon what is past.

Sat. What, madam! be dishonor'd openly,

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Dissemble all your griefs and discontents:
You are but newly planted in your throne:
Lest, then, the people, and patricians too,
Upon a just survey, take Titus' part,
And so supplant you for ingratitude,
Which Rome reputes to be a heinous sin,
Yield at entreats; and then let me alone :
I'll find a day to massacre them all
And raze their faction and their family,
The cruel father and his traitorous sons,
To whom I sued for my dear son's life,
And make them know what 'tis to let a queen
Kneel in the streets and beg for grace in vain.
[Aloud.] Come, come, sweet emperor; come,

Take up this good old man, and cheer the heart

That dies in tempest of thy angry frown. Sat. Rise, Titus, rise; my empress hath prevail'd.

Tit. I thank your majesty, and her, my lord:


These words, these looks, infuse new life in


Tam. Titus, I am incorporate in Rome, A Roman now adopted happily, And must advise the emperor for his good. This day all quarrels die, Andronicus; And let it be mine honor, good my lord, That I have reconciled your friends and you. For you, Prince Bassianus, I have pass'd My word and promise to the emperor, That you will be more mild and tractable. 470 And fear not, lords, and you, Lavinia ; By my advice, all humbled on your knees, You shall ask pardon of his majesty.

Luc. We do, and vow to heaven and to his highness,

That what we did was mildly as we might, Tendering our sister's honor and our own.

Marc. That, on mine honor, here I do pro

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Aar. Now climbeth Tamora Olympus' top, Safe out of fortune's shot; and sits aloft, Secure of thunder's crack or lightning flash; Advanced above pale envy's threatening reach. As when the golden sun salutes the morn, And, having gilt the ocean with his beams, Gallops the zodiac in his glistering coach, And overlooks the highest-peering hills; So Tamora:


Upon her wit doth earthly honor wait,
And virtue stoops and trembles at her frown.
Then, Aaron, arm thy heart, and fit thy

To mount aloft with thy imperial mistress, And mount her pitch, whom thou in. triumph long

Hast prisoner held, fetter'd in amorous chains
And faster bound to Aaron's charming eyes
Than is Prometheus tied to Caucasus.
Away with slavish weeds and servile thoughts!
I will be bright, and shine in pearl and gold,
To wait upon this new-made empress.
To wait, said I? to wanton with this queen,
This goddess, this Semiramis, this nymph,
This siren, that will charm Rome's Saturnine,
And see his shipwreck and his commonweal's.
Holloa! what storm is this?


Enter DEMETRIUS and CHIRON, braving. Dem. Chiron, thy years want wit, thy wit wants edge,

And manners, to intrude where I am graced; And may, for aught thou know'st, affected be.

Chi. Demetrius, thou dost over-ween in all; And so in this, to bear me down with braves.30 'Tis not the difference of a year or two Makes me less gracious or thee more fortunate : I am as able and as fit as thou

To serve, and to deserve my mistress' grace; And that my sword upon thee shall approve, And plead my passions for Lavinia's love.

Aar. [Aside] Clubs, clubs! these lovers will not keep the peace.

Dem. Why, boy, although our mother, unadvised,

Gave you a dancing-rapier by your side,

Are you so desperate grown, to threat your friends?

40 Go to; have your lath glued within your sheath Till you know better how to handle it.

Chi. Meanwhile, sir, with the little skill I have,

Full well shalt thou perceive how much I dare
Dem. Ay, boy, grow ye so brave?
[They draw.
Aar. [Coming forward] Why, how now,

So near the emperor's palace dare you draw,
And maintain such a quarrel openly?
Full well I wot the ground of all this grudge:
I would not for a million of gold

The cause were known to them it most con50


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That he hath breathed in my dishonor here. Chi. For that I am prepared and full resolved.

Foul-spoken coward, that thunder'st with thy tongue,

And with thy weapon nothing darest perform! 60 Aar. Away, I say!

Now, by the gods that warlike Goths adore,
This petty brabble will undo us all.
Why, lords, and think you not how dangerous
It is to jet upon a prince's right?
What, is Lavinia then become so loose,
Or Bassianus so degenerate,

That for her love such quarrels may be broach'd
Without controlment, justice, or revenge?
Young lords, beware! and should the em-
press know

This discord's ground, the music would not



Chi. I care not, I, knew she and all the


I love Lavinia more than all the world. Dem. Youngling, learn thou to make some meaner choice:

Lavinia is thine elder brother's hope.

Aar. Why, are ye mad? or know ye not in Rome

How furious and impatient they be,
And cannot brook competitors in love?
I tell you, lords, you do but plot your deaths
By this device.

Aaron, a thousand deaths
Would I propose to achieve her whom I love.80
Aar. To achieve her! how?

Dem. Why makest thou it so strange ? She is a woman, therefore may be woo'd; She is a woman, therefore may be won; She is Lavinia, therefore must be loved. What, man! more water glideth by the mill Than wots the miller of; and easy it is Of a cut loaf to steal a shive, we know: Though Bassianus be the emperor's brother,

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Dem. Then why should he despair that knows to court it

With words, fair looks and liberality?
What, hast not thou full often struck a doe,
And borne her cleanly by the keeper's nose?
Aar. Why, then, it seems, some certain
snatch or so

Would serve your turns.

Chi. Ay, so the turn were served. Dem. Aaron, thou hast hit it. Aar. Would you had hit it too! Then should not we be tired with this ado.

Why, hark ye, hark ye! and are you such fools

To square for this? would it offend you, then,

That both should speed?

Chi. Faith, not me.


Nor me, so I were one. Aur. For shame, be friends, and join for

that you jar:

'Tis policy and stratagem must do

That you affect; and so must you resolve,
That what you cannot as you would achieve,
You must perforce accomplish as you may.
Take this of me: Lucrece was not more chaste
Than this Lavinia, Bassianus' love.

A speedier course than lingering languishment
Must we pursue, and I have found the path.
My lords, a solemn hunting is in hand;
There will the lovely Roman ladies troop:
The forest walks are wide and spacious;
And many unfrequented plots there are
Fitted by kind for rape and villany:
Single you thither then this dainty doe,
And strike her home by force, if not by words:
This way, or not at all, stand you in hope.
Come, come, our empress, with her sacred wit
To villany and vengeance consecrate,
Will we acquaint with all that we intend;
And she shall file our engines with advice,
That will not suffer you to square yourselves,
But to your wishes' height advance you both.
The emperor's court is like the house of


The palace full of tongues, of eyes, and ears: The woods are ruthless, dreadful, deaf, and dull;

There speak, and strike, brave boys, and take your turns;

There serve your lusts, shadow'd from heaven's eye,

And revel in Lavinia's treasury.


Chi. Thy counsel, lad, smells of no cowardice,

Dem. Sit fas aut nefas, till I find the stream To cool this heat, a charm to calm these fits, Per Styga, per manes vehor. [Exeunt.

SCENE II. A forest near Rome. Horns and cry of hounds heard.


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Uncouple here and let us make a bay
And wake the emperor and his lovely bride
And rouse the prince and ring a hunter's peal,
That all the court may echo with the noise.
Sons, let it be your charge, as it is ours,
To attend the emperor's person carefully:
I have been troubled in my sleep this night,
But dawning day new comfort hath inspired. 10
A cry of hounds and horns, winded in a peal.

Many good morrows to your majesty ;
Madam, to you as many and as good:
I promised your grace a hunter's peal.
Sat. And you have rung it lustily, my lord;
Somewhat too early for new-married ladies.
Bas. Lavinia, how say you?


I say, no;

I have been broad awake two hours and more. Sat. Come on, then; horse and chariots let

us have,

And to our sport. [To Tamora] Madam, now shall ye see Our Roman hunting.

Marc. I have dogs, my lord, 20 Will rouse the proudest panther in the chase, And climb the highest promontory top.

Tit. And I have horse will follow where the game

Makes way, and run like swallows o'er the plain.

Dem. Chiron, we hunt not, we, with horse

nor hound,

But hope to pluck a dainty doe to ground.


SCENE III. A lonely part of the forest.
Enter AARON, with a bag of gold.
Aar. He that had wit would think that I
had none,

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 villany:
And so repose, sweet gold, for their unrest
[Hides the gold.
That have their alms out of the empress' chest.

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Replying shrilly to the well-tuned horns,
As if a double hunt were heard at once,
Let us sit down and mark their yelping noise;
And, after conflict such as was supposed
The wandering prince and Dido once enjoy'd,
When with a happy storm they were surprised
And curtain'd with a counsel-keeping cave,
We may, each wreathed in the other's arms,
Our pastimes done, possess a golden slumber;
Whiles hounds and horns and sweet melo-
dious birds

Be unto us as is a nurse's song

Of Inllaby to bring her babe asleep.

Aar. Madam, though Venus 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?


No, madam, these are no venereal signs: Vengeance is in my heart, death in my hand, Blood and revenge are hammering in my head. Hark, Tamora, the empress of my soul, Which never hopes more heaven than rests in thee,

This is the day of doom for Bassianus:


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Enter BASSIANUS and LAVINIA. Bas. Who have we here? Rome's royal empress,

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, 61
Thy temples should be planted presently
With horns, as was Actaeon's; and the hounds
Should drive upon thy new-transformed limbs,
Unmannerly intruder as thou art!

Lav. Under your patience, gentle empress, 'Tis thought you have a goodly gift in horning;

And to be doubted that your Moor and you
Are singled forth to try experiments:
Jove shield your husband from his hounds



"Tis pity they should take him for a stag. Bas. Believe me, queen, your swarth Cimmerian

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These two have 'ticed me hither to this place :
A barren detested vale, you see it is;
The trees, though summer, yet forlorn and

O'ercome with moss and baleful mistletoe : Here never shines the sun; here nothing breeds,

Unless the nightly owl or fatal raven :

And when they show'd me this abhorred pit,
They told me, here, at dead time of the night,
A thousand fiends, a thousand hissing snakes,
Ten thousand swelling toads, as many urchins,
Would make such fearful and confused cries
As any mortal body hearing it

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 henceforth call'd my children.
Dem. This is a witness that I am thy son.
[Stabs Bassianus.
Chi. And this for me, struck home to show
my strength.
[Also stabs Bassianus, who dies.
Lav. Ay, come, Semiramis, nay, barbarous

For no name fits thy nature but thy own!
Tam. Give me thy poniard; you shall
know, my boys,
Your mother's hand shall right your mother's



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