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That gives sweet tidings of the sun's uprise?
With all my heart, I'll send the emperor my hand;
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, [Rome, 10
Writing destruction on the enemies' 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. [along,
Aar. Nay, come, agree, whose hand shall go
For fear they die before their pardon come.
Marc. My hand shall go.
Luc. By heaven, it shall not go. [these
Tit. Sirs, strive no more; such wither'd herbs as 20
Are meet for plucking up, and therefore mine.
Luc. Sweet father, if I shall be thought thy son,
Let me redeem my brothers both from death.
Marc. And, for our father's sake, and mother's
Now let me shew a brother's love to thee. [care, 25
Tit. Agree between you; I will spare my hand.
Luc. Then I'll go fetch an axe.
Marc. But I will use the axe.
And do not break into these deep extremes.
Tit. Is not my sorrow deep, having no bottom?
Then be my passions bottomless with them.
Mar. 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
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?
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,
Entera Messenger,bringing in two heads and ahand,
Mess. Worthy Andronicus, ill art thou repay'd
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.
[Exeunt Lucius and Marcus. Tit. Come hither, Aaron; I'll deceive them both; 30 Lend me thy hand, and I will give thee mine.
Tit. Now, stay your strife; what shall be, is
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 pass. [Aside. 35
[He cuts off Titus's hand.
Enter Lucius and Marcus again.
Marc. Now let hot Ætna 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. [wound,
Luc. Ah, that this sight should make so deep a
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. [end?
Tit. When will this fearful slumber have an
Marc. Now, farewell, flattery: Die, Andronicus;.
Thou dost not slumber: see, thy two sons' heads;
45 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 controul thy griefs:
50 Rent off thy silver hair, thy other hand
Gnawing with thy teeth; and be this dismal sight
The closing up of your most wretched eyes!
Now is a time to storm, why art thou still?
Tit. Ha, ha, ha!
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. O, how this villainy [Aside.
Doth fat me with the very thought of it!
Let fools do good, and fair men call for grace,
Aaron will have his soul black like his face. [Exit.
Tit. O hear!-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 welkin 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,
Marc. Why dost thou laugh? it fits not with this
Tit. Why I have not another tear to shed:
Besides, this sorrow is an enemy,
And would usurp upon my watry 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,
! Castle in this place signifies a close helmet.
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.-
5 Fye, fye, how frantickly I square my talk!
As if we should forget we had no hands,
If Marcus did not name the word of hands !-
Come, let's fall to; and, gentle girl, eat this :-
Here is no drink! Hark, Marcus, what she says;--
10I can interpret all her martyr'd signs;-
She says, she drinks no other drink but tears,
Brew'd with her sorrows, mesh'd upon hercheeks:→
Speechless complainer, I will learn thy thought;
In thy dumb action will I be as perfect,
15 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 the meaning.
Boy. Good grandsire, leave these bitter deep
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.
25 Tit. Peace, tender sapling; thou art made of
And tears will quickly melt thy life away. [tears,
[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.
[Exit Lucius. 30 Tit.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?
Poor harmless fly!
That with his pretty buzzing melody, [him.
Came here to make us merry; and thou hast kill'd
Marc. Pardon me, sir; it was a black ill-fa-
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
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;
Bearthou myhand,sweetwench,between thyteeth.
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.
Luc. Farewell, Andronicus, my noble father;
The woful'st man that ever liv'd in Rome!
Farewell, proud Rome! 'till Lucius comes again,
He leaves his pledges dearer than his life.
Farewell, Lavinia, my noble sister;
9, 'would thou wert as thou 'tofore hast been!
But now nor Lucius, nor Lavinia lives,
But in oblivion, and hateful griefs.
If Lucius Hive, he will requite your wrongs;
And make proud Saturninus and his emperess
Beg at the gates, like Tarquin and his queen.
Now will I to the Goths, and raise a power,
To be reveng'd on Rome and Saturnine.
An Apartment in Titus's house.
A banquet. Enter Titus, Marcus, Lucinia, and
young Lucius, 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, 40
And cannot passionate our ten-fold grief
With folded arms. This poor right hand of mine
Is left to tyrannize upon my breast;
And when my heart, all mad with misery,
Beats in this hollow prison of my flesh,
Then thus I thump it down.
Thou map of woe, that thus dost talk in signs!
When thypoor 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 knite 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 tool 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 doat
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;-
Like to the emperess' 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,
50 Come hither purposely to poison me.-
There's for thyself, and that's for Tamora.
Ah, sirrah!-yet I 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
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 60 Sad stories, chanced in the times of old.— Come, boy, and go with me; thy sight is young, And thou shalt read, when mine begins to dazzle. [Exeunt.
Enter young Lucius, and Lavinia running after him; and the boy flies from her, with his books under his arm. Enter Titus and Marcus.
Boy. HELP, grandsire, help! my aunt La
Follows me every where, I know not why:
Good uncle Marcus, see how swift she comes!
Alas! sweet aunt, I know not what you mean.
arc. Stand by me, Lucius; do not fear thine
Tit. She loves thee, boy, too well to do thee 15
Boy. Ay, when my father was in Rome, she did.
Marc. What means my niece Lavinia by these
Tit. Fear her not, Lucius:-Somewhat doth she
See, Lucius, see, how much she makes of thee:
Some whither 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 oratory.
Canst thou not guess wherefore she plies thee thus: 25
Boy. My lord, I know not, I, nor can I guess,
Unless some fit of phrenzy do possess her:
For I have heard my grandsire say full oft,
Extremity of griefs would make men mad;
And I have read, that Hecuba of Troy
Ran mad through sorrow; That made me to fear;
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: 35
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.
Tit. How now, Lavinia?-Marcus, what means 40
Some book there is that she desires to see:-
Which is it, girl, of these? Open them, boy.-
But thou art decper 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
Confederate in the fact;-Ay, more there was:-50
Or else to heaven she heaves them for revenge.
Tit. Lucius, what book is that she tosseth so?
Boy. Grandsire, 'tis Ovid's Metamorphosis;
My mother gave it me.
Marc. For love of her that's gone,
Perhaps she cull'd it from among the rest.
Tit. Soft! soft! how busily she turns the leaves!
Help her: What would she find? Lavinia, shall
This is the tragic tale of Philomel,
And treats of Tereus' treason, and his rape;
And rape, I fear, was root of thine annoy.
Marc. See, brother, see; note, how she quotes
Tit: Lavinia, wer't thou thus surpriz'd, sweet
Ravish'd, and wrong'd, as Philomela was,
10 Forc'd in the ruthless, 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 à den,
Unless the gods delight in tragedies!
Tit. Give signs, sweet girl,-for here are none
20 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:
[He writes his name with his staff, and guides it with his feet and mouth.
This sandy plot is plain; guide, if thou canst,
This after me, when I have writ my name
Without the help of any hand at all.
Curs'd be that heart, that forc'd 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 stumps, and writes.
Tit. O, do you read, my lord, what she hath writ? StuprumChiron Demetrius.
Marc. What, what!-the lustful sons of Tamora Performers of this hateful bloody deed?
Tit. Magne Dominator Poli,
Tam lentus audis scelera? tam lentus vides?
Marc. O, calm thee, gentle lord! although, I
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 feere',
55 And father, of that chaste dishonour'd dame,
Lord Junius Brutus sware for Lucrece' rape,-
That we will prosecute, by good advice,
To quote is to observe. 2 Feere signifies a companion, and here metaphorically a husband.
Mortal revenge upon these traiterous Goths,
And see their blood, or die with this reproach.
Tim. 'Tis sure enough, an you knew how.
But if you hurt these bear-whelps, then beware:
The dam 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 sands, like Sybil's leaves, abroad,
And where's your lesson then?-Boy, what say
Boy. I say, my lord, that if I were a man, [you? 15
Their mother's bed-chamber should not be safe
For these bad bond-men to the yoke of Rome.
10 Let's see;
Integer vita, scelerisque purus,
Non eget Mauri juculis nec arcu.
Chi. O, 'tis a verse in Horace;
read it in the grammar long ago.
Aar. Ay, just a verse in Horace ;-right, you
Now, what a thing it is to be an ass!
Here's no fond jest: the old man hath
found their guilt;
I know it well:
Marc. Ay, that's my boy! thy father hath full For this ungrateful country done the like.
Boy. And, uncle, so will I, an if I live.
Tit. Come, go with me into my armoury;
Lucius, I'll fit thee; and withal, my boy
Shall carry from me to the emperess' sons
Presents, that I intend to send them both:
Come, come; thou 'lt do my message, wilt thou 25
Boy. Ay, with my dagger in their bosom, grand-
Tit. No, no, boy, not so; I'll teach thee ano-
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.
Chi. Demetrius, here's the son of Lucius; He hath some message to deliver to us.
Your lordships, that whenever you have need,
You may be armed and appointed well:
And so I leave you both, [Aside] like bloody
[Exit. Dem. What's here? A scroll; and written round about?
Marc. O heavens, can you hear a good man
And not relent, or not compassionate him? [groan, 35
Marcus, attend him in his ecstacy;
That hath more scars of sorrow in his heart,
Than foe-men's marks upon his batter'd shield:
But yet so just, that he will not revenge :-
Revenge the heavens for old Andronicus! [Exit. 40
Changes to the Palace.
And sends the weapons wrapp'd about
That wound, beyond their feeling, to [Aside.
But were our witty emperess well a-foot,
She would applaud Andronicus' conceit.
But let her rest in her untest a-while.—
And now, young lords, was 't not a happy star
Led us to Rome, strangers, and, more than so,
Captives, to be advanced to this height?
it did me good, before the palace gate
36 To brave the tribune in his brother's hearing.
Enter Aaron, Chiron, and Demetrius, at one door; and at another door, young Lucius and another, 45 with a bundle of weapons, and verses writ upon them.
To gratify your honourable youth,
The hope of Rome; for so he bade me say;
And so I do, and with his gifts present
Aar. Ay, some mad message from his mad 50 grandfather.
Boy. My lords, with all the humbleness I may, I greet your honours from Andronicus ;And pray the Roman gods, confound you both. [Aside. 55 Dem. Gramercy', lovely Lucius; What's the news? [news, Boy. That you are both decypher'd, that's the For villains mark'd with rape. [Aside.] May] it please you, My grandsire, well-advis'd, hath sent by me The goodliest weapons of his armoury,
Dem. But me more good, to see so great a lord
Basely insinuate, and send us gifts.
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 lacketh but your mother 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
Dem. Why do the emperor's trumpets flourish
Chi. Belike, for joy the emperor hath a son.
Dem. Soft; who comes here?
Enter Nurse, with a Black-a-moor Child.
Nurse. Good-morrow, lords:
O tell me, did you see Aaron the Moor?
Aar. Well, more or less, or ne'er a whit at all.
Here Aaron is; and what with Aaron now?
Nurse. O gentle Aaron, we are all undone ! Now help, or woe betide thee evermore!
Aar. Why, what a caterwauling dost thou keep? What dost thou wrap and fumble in thine arms? Nurse. O, that which I would hide from heaven's eye, [grace ;60 Our emperess' shame, and stately Rome's dis She is deliver'd, lords, she is deliver'd. Aar. To whom?
Nurse. I mean, she is brought to bed.
Aar. Well, God
Give her good rest! What hath he sent her?
Nurse. A devil.
(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 infranchised and come to light:
Nay, he's your brother by the surer side,
Although my seal is stamped in his face.
Nurse Aaron,what shall I say unto the emperess?
Dem. Advise thee, Aaron, what is to be done,
And we will all subscribe to thy advice;
Save you the child, so we may all be safe.
Sweet blowse, you are a beauteous blossom, sure.
Dem. Villain, what hast thou done?
Aar. That which thou
Canst not undo.
Aar. Then sit we down, and let us all consult. My son and I will have the wind of you: 15 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,
Chi. Thou hast undone our mother.
Aar. Villain, I have done thy mother.
Dem. And therein, hellish dog, thou hast undone.
Woe to her chance, and damn'd her loathed choice! 20I am a lamb: but if you brave the Moor,
Accurs'd the offspring of so foul a fiend!
Chi. It shall not live.
The chafed boar, the mountain lioness,
The ocean swells not so as Aaron storms.-
But, say again, how many saw the child?
Aar. It shall not die.
Nurse. Cornelia the midwife, and myself,
And no one else, but the deliver'd emperess.
Aar.The emperess, the midwife, and yourself:-
Two may keep counsel, when the third's away:
Go to the emperess; tell her this I said :—
[He kills her.
Weke, weke!-so cries a pig, prepar'd to the spit.
Dem. What mean'st thou, Aaron? Wherefore
didst thou this?
Aar. Why, then she is the devil's dam; a joyful
Nurse. A joyless, dismal, black, and sorrowful
Here is the babe, as loathsome as a toad [issue:
Amongst the fairest breeders of our clime."
The emperess sends it thee, thy stamp, thy seal,
And bids thee christen it with thy dagger's point.
Aar. Out, out, you whore! is black so base a
Nurse. Aaron, it must; the mother wills it so.
Aar. What, must it, nurse? then let no man but I, 25
Dó execution on my flesh and blood. [point:
Dem. I'll broach the tadpole on my rapier's
Nurse, give it me; my sword shall soon dispatch it.
Aar.Sooner this sword shall plough thy bowels up.
Stay, murd'rous villains! will you kill your bro-30
Now, by the burning tapers of the sky,
That shone so brightly when this boy was got,
He dies upon my scymitar's sharp point,
That touches this my first-born son and heir!
I tell you, younglings, not Enceladus,
With all his threat'ning band of Typhon's brood,
Nor great Alcides, nor the god of war,
Shall seize this prey out of his father's hands.
What, what, ye sanguine, shallow-hearted boys!
Ye white-lim'd walls! ye alehouse painted signs
Coal-black is better than another hue,
In that it scorns to bear another hue:
For all the water in the ocean
Can never turn the swan's black legs to white,
Although she lave them hourly in the flood.-
Tell the emperess from me, I am of age
To keep mine own; excuse it how she can.
Aar. O lord, sir, 'tis a deed of policy:
Shall she live to betray this guilt of ours?
35 A long-tongu'd babbling gossip! no, lords, no.
And now be it known to you my full intent.
Not far, one Muliteus lives, my countryman;
His wife but yesternight was brought to-bed;
His child is like to her, fair as you are:
40 Go pack with him, and give the mother gold,
And tell them both the circumstance of all;
And how by this their child shall be advanc'd,
And be received for the emperor's heir,
And substituted in the place of mine,
45 To calm this tempest whirling in the court;
And let the emperor dandle him for his own.
Hark ye,my lords; yesee, I have given her physick,
[Pointing to the Nurse.
And you must needs bestow her funeral;
50The fields are near, and you are gallant grooms:
This done, see that you take no longer days,
But send the midwife presently to me.
The midwife, and the nurse, well made away,
Then let the ladies tattie what they please.
Chi. Aaron, I see, thou wilt not trust the air
Dem. For this care of Tamora,
Herself, and hers, are highly bound to thee.
Dem. Wilt thou betray thy noble mistress thus
Aar. My mistress is my mistress; this, myself;
The vigour, and the picture of iny youth:
This, before all the world, do I prefer;
This, maugre all the world, will I keep safe,
Or some of you shall smoke for it in Rome.
Dem. By this, our mother is for ever sham'd.
Chi. Rome will despise her for this foul escape. 55
Nurse. The emperor, in his rage, will doom
Chi. I blush to think upon this ignomy. [bears:
Aar. Why there's the privilege your beauty
Fye,treacherous hue! that will betraywith blushing 6
The close enacts and counsels of the heart!
Here is a young lad fram'd of another leer':
Aar. Now to the Goths, as swift as swallow flies;
There to dispose this treasure in my arms,
And secretly to greet the emperess' friends.—
To do is here used obscenely. 2 A broach is a spit.-I'll spit the tadpole. › Leer is comTo pack is to contrive insidiously.
plexion or hue.