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High-witted Tamora to gloze with all:
[Aside. But, Titus, I have touch'd thee to the quick, Thy life-blood out: if Aaron now be wise, Then is all safe, the anchor's in the port.Enter CLOWN.
How now, good fellow? would'st thou speak
Clo. Yes, forsooth, an your mistership be perial.
Tam. Empress I am, but yonder sits the em
im-Say, that the emperor requests a parley
Even at his father's house, the old Andronicus.
Of warlike Lucius, and appoint the meeting,
And if he stand on hostage for his safety,
Sat. Emilius, do this message honourably:
Bid him demand what pledge will please him
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. Sat. Go, take him away, and hang him presently.
Clo. How much money must I have?
Tam. Come, Sirrah, you must be hang'd.
Clo. Hang'd! By'r lady, then I have brought
up a neck to a fair end. [Exit, guarded.
Sat. Despiteful and intolerable wrongs!
Shall I endure this monstrous villany?
I know from whence this same device proceeds;
May this be borne?-as if his traitorous sons,
That died by law for murder of our brother,
Have by my means been butcher'd wrong-
Go, drag the villain hither by the hair;
Nor age, nor honour, shall shape privilege:-
For this proud mock, I'll be thy slaughter-
Sly frantic wretch, that holp'st to make me
In hope thyself should govern Rome and me.
What news with thee, Æmilius?
Emil. Arm, arm, my lords; Rome never had
The Goths have gather'd head; and with a
Of high-resolved men, bent to the spoil,
They hither march amain, under the conduct
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?
These tidings nip me; and I hang the head
As flowers with frost, or grass beat down with
Ay, now begin our sorrows to approach: "Tis he the common people love so much; Myself hath often over-heard them say, (When I have walked like a private man,) That Lucius' banishment was wrongfully, And they have wish'd that Lucius were their
Tum. Why should you fear? is not your city strong?
Sat. Ay, but the citizens favour Lucius;
And will revolt from me, to succour him.
Tam. King, be thy thoughts imperious, like
Is the sun dimm'd, that gnats do fly in it?
The eagle suffers little birds to sing,
And is not careful what they mean thereby;
Knowing that with the shadow of his wings,
He can at pleasure stint; their melody:
Even so may'st thou the giddy men of Rome.
Then cheer thy spirit: for know thou, emperor,
I will enchant the old Andronicus, [ous,
With words more sweet, and yet more danger.
Than baits to fish, or honey-stalks to sheep;
When as the one is wounded with the bait,
The other rotted with delicious feed.
Emil. Your bidding shall I do effectually. [Exit EMILIUS. Tum. Now will I to that old Andronicus; And temper him, with all the art I have, And now, sweet emperor, be blithe again, To pluck proud Lucius from the warlike Goths. And bury all thy fear in my devices.
Sat. Then go successfully, and plead to him. [Exeunt.
SCENE I.-Plains near Rome.
Enter LUCIUS, and GOTHS, with Drum and Colours.
Luc. Approved warriors, and my faithful friends,
I have received letters from great Rome, Which signify, what hate they bear their em
And how desirous of our sight they are. [ness,
Therefore, great lords, be, as your titles wit-
And, wherein Rome hath done you any scath,*
Imperious, and impatient of your wrongs;
Let him make treble satisfaction.
1 Goth. Brave slip, sprung from the great Andronicus, [comfort; Whose name was once our terror, now our Whose high exploits, and honourable deeds, Ingrateful Rome requites with foul contempt, Be bold in us: we'll follow where thou lead'st,
Led by their master to the flower'd fields,—
Like stinging bees in hottest summer's day,
And be aveng'd on cursed Tamora.
Goths. And, as he saith, so say we all with him.
Luc. I humbly thank him, and I thank you
But who comes here, led by a lusty Goth? Enter a GOTH, leading AARON, with his Child in his Arms.
2 Goth. Renowned Lucius, from your troops I stray'd,
To gaze upon a ruinous monastery;
And as I earnestly did fix mine eye
Upon the wasted building, suddenly
I heard a child cry underneath a wall:
I made unto the noise; when soon I heard
The crying babe controll'd with this discourse:
Peace, tawny slave; half me, and half thy dam!
Did not thy hue bewray whose brat thou art,
Villain, thou might'st have been an emperor:
Had nature lent thee but thy mother's look,
But where the bull and cow are both milk-white,
They never do beget a coal-black calf.
Peace, villain, peace!-even thus he rates the
This growing image of thy fiend-like face? Why dost not speak? What! deaf? No; not a word?
A halter, soldiers; hang him on this tree,
And by his side his fruit of bastardy.
Aur. Touch not the boy, he is of royal blood.
Luc. Too like the sire for ever being good.
First, hang the child, that he may see it sprawl;
A sight to vex the father's soul withal.
Get me a ladder.
[A Ladder brought, which AARON is obliged to ascend.
Aar. Lucius, save the child; And bear it from me to the emperess. If thou do this, I'll show thee wondrous things, That highly may advantage thee to hear: If thou wilt not, befall what may befall, I'll speak no more; But vengeance rot you all! Luc. Say on; and, if it please me which thou speak'st,
Thy child shall live, and I will see it nourish'd. Aar. An if it please thee? why, assure thee, Lucius,
Twill vex thy soul to hear what I shall speak; For I must talk of murders, rapes, and mas
Aar. Swear, that he shall, and then I will begin.
Luc. Who should I swear by? thou believ'st no god;
That granted, how canst thou believe an oath? Aar. What if I do not? as indeed, I do not: Yet, for I know thou art religious, [science, And hast a thing within thee, called conWith 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, [swears; And keeps the oath, which by that god he To that I'll urge him:-Therefore, thou shalt
By 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
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,
Alluding to the proverb, "A black man is a pearl in fair woman's eye.'
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
Luc. O, détestable villain! call'st thou that trimming?
Aar. Why, she was wash'd, and cut, and trimm'd; and 'twas
Trim sport for them that had the doing of it. Luc. O barbarous, beastly villains, like thyself!
Aar. Indeed, I was their tutor to instruct
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
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
I pry'd me through the crevice of a wall,
When, for his hand, he had his two sons'
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
Aar. Ay, like a black dog, as the saying is. Luc. Art thou not sorry for these heinous
Aar. Ay, that I had not done a thousand
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 hay-stacks in the night,
And bid the owners quench them with their
Oft have I digg'd up dead men from their 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 1 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
So sweet a death, as hanging presently.
Aar. 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
Æmil. Lord Lucius, and you princes of the
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.
1 Goth. What says our general?
Luc. Æmilius, let the emperor give his
Unto my father and my uncle Marcus,
And we will come.-March away.* [Exeunt.
SCENE II.-Rome.-Before TITUS' House.
Enter TAMORA, CHIRON, and DEMETRIUS,
Tum. Thus, in this strange and sad habili-
I will encounter with Andronicus; [ment,
And say, I am Revenge, come 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.
Tit. Who doth molest my contemplation?
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?
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.
Tum. Titus, I am come to talk with thee.
Tit. No; not a word: How can I grace my
Wanting a hand to give it action? [talk,
Thou hast the odds of me, therefore no more.
Tam. If thou didst know me, thou would'st
talk with me.
Tit. I am not mad; I know thee well enough: [lines; Witness this wretched stump, these crimson Witness these trenches, made by grief and
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 Ta-
She is thy enemy, and I thy friend: [mora;
I am Revenge; sent from the infernal kingdom,
To ease the knawing vulture of thy mind,
By working wreakful vengeance on thy foes.
Come down, and welcome me to this world's
Confer with me of murder and of death:
There's not a hollow cave, or lurking-place,
No vast obscurity, or misty vale,
Where bloody murder, 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 offender quake.
Tit. Art thou Revenge? and art thou sent
To be a torment to mine enemies? [to me,
* Perhaps this is a stage direction, crept into the text.
Tit. Do me some service, ere I come to thec. Lo, by thy side where Rape, and Murder, stands;
Now give some 'surance that thou art Revenge,
Stab them, or tear them on thy chariot wheels;
And whirl along with thee about the globes.
And then I'll come, and be thy waggoner,
To hale thy vengeful waggon swift away,
Provide thee proper palfries, black as jet,
And find out murderers 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 downfal in the sea.
So thou destroy Rapine and Murder there.
And day by day I'll do this heavy task,
Tum. These are my ministers, and come with
And you the empress! But we worldly men
O sweet Revenge, now do I come to thee:
Have miserable, mad, mistaking eyes.
And, if one arm's embracement will content
I will embrace thee in it by and by. [thee,
[Exit TITUS, from above.
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.
Tit. Long have I been forlorn, and all for
Welcome, dread fury, to my woful 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 would'st thou have us do, An-
Dem. Show me a murderer, I'll deal with
Chi. Show me a villain, that hath done a
And I am sent to be reveng'd on him. [rape.
Tam. Show me a thousand, that hath done
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,
Good Murder, stab him; he's a murderer.-
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 may'st thou know her by thy own pro- | And stop their mouths, if they begin to cry.
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.
Tum. Well hast thou lesson'd us; this shall
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 kneel,
And on them shalt thou ease thy angry heart.
What says Andronicus to this device?
Tit. Marcus, my brother!-'tis sad Titus
Go, gentle Marcus, to thy nephew Lucius;
Thou shalt inquire him out among the Goths;
Bid him repair to me, and bring with him
Some of the chiefest princes of the Goths:
Bid him encamp his soldiers where they are:
Tell him, the emperor and the empress too
Feast at my house: and he shall feast with
This do thou for my love; and so let him,
As he regards his aged father's life.
Mar. This will I do, and soon return again.
Tam. Now will I hence about thy business,
And take my ministers along with me.
Tit. Nay, nay, let Rape and Murder stay
Or else I'll call my brother back again,
And cleave to no revenge but Lucius.
Tam. What say you, boys? will you abide
Whiles I go tell my lord the emperor,
How I have govern'd our determin'd jest?
Yield to his humour, smooth and speak him
And tarry with him, till I come again.
Tit. I know them all, though they suppose
And will o'er-reach them in their own devices,
A pair of cursed hell-hounds, and their dam.
Dem. Madam, depart at pleasure, leave us
Tam. Farewell, Andronicus: Revenge now To lay a complot to betray thy foes. [goes [Exit TAMORA. Tit. I know thou dost; and, sweet Revenge, farewell.
Exit TITUS.-PUBLIUS, &c. lay hold on
CHIRON and DEMETRIUS.
Chi. Villains, forbear: we are the empress'
Pub. And therefore do we what we are com-
Stop close their mouths, let them not speak a
Is he sure bound? look, that you bind them
Re-enter TITUS ANDRONICUS, with LAVINIA;
she bearing a Basin, and he a Knife.
Tit. Come, come, Lavinia; look, thy foes are
Sirs, stop their mouths, let them not speak to
But let them hear what fearful words I utter.-
O villains, Chiron and Demetrius!
Here stands the spring whom you have stain'd
This goodly summer with your winter mix'd.
You kill'd her husband; and, for that vile fault,
Two of her brothers were condemn'd to death:
Both her sweet hands, her tongue, and that,
My hand cut off, and made a merry jest:
Than hands or tongue, her spotless chastity,
Inhuman traitors, you constrain'd and forc'd.
What would you say, if I should let you speak?
Villains, for shame you could not beg for grace.
Hark, wretches, how I mean to martyr you.
This one hand yet is left to cut your throats;
Whilst that Lavinia 'tween her stumps doth
You know, your mother means to feast with me,
The basin, that receives your guilty blood.
And calls herself, Revenge, and thinks me
Hark, villains; I will grind your bones to dust,
And with your blood and it, I'll make a paste;
And of the paste a coffin* I will rear,
And make two pasties of your shameful heads;
And bid that strumpet, your unhallow'd dam,
Like to the earth, swallow her own increase.
This is the feast that I have bid her to,
And this the banquet she shall surfeit on;
For worse than Philomel you us'd my daughter,
And now prepare your throats,-Lavinia,
And worse than Progne I will be reveng'd:
Receive the blood: and, when that they are
[He cuts their Threats.
And with this hateful liquor temper it;
Let me go grind their bones to powder small,
And in that paste let their vile heads be bak'd.
Come, come, be every one officious
To make this banquet; which I wish may
More stern and bloody than the Centaur's
Chi. Tell us, old man, how shall we be em-So, now bring them in, for I will play the cook,
And see them ready 'gainst their mother comes.
[Exeunt, bearing the dead Bodies.
SCENE III.-The same.-A Pavilion, with
Tit. Tut, I have work enough for you to do.Publius, come hither, Caius, and Valentine!
Enter PUBLIUS, and others.
Pub. What's your will?
Tit. Know you these two?
Pub. Th' empress' sons,
I take them, Chiron and Demetrius.
Tit. Fie, Publius, fie! thou art too much de
The one is Murder, Rape is the other's name:
And therefore bind them, gentle Publius;
Caius, and Valentine, lay hands on them:
Oft have you heard me wish for such an hour,
And now I find it; therefore bind them sure;
Enter LUCIUS, MARCUS, and GOTHS, with
Luc. Uncle Marcus, since 'tis my father's That I repair to Rome, I am content. [mind, 1 Goth. And ours, with thine, befall what
Luc. Good uncle, take you in this barbarous
This ravenous tiger, this accursed devil;
Let him receive no sustenance, fetter him,
Till he be brought unto the empress' face,
For testimony of her foul proceedings:
And see the ambush of our friends be strong:
1 fear, the emperor means no good to us.
Aar. Some devil whisper curses in mine ear, And prompt me, that my tongue may utter forth
The venomous malice of my swelling heart! Luc. Away, inhuman dog! unhallow'd slave!
Sirs, help our uncle to convey him in.—
[Exeunt GOTHS, with AARON. Flourish. The trumpets show, the emperor is at hand. Enter SATURNINUS and TAMORA, with Tribunes, Senators, and others.
Sat. What, hath the firmament more suns than one?
Luc. What boots* it thee, to call thyself a
Mar. Rome's emperor, and nephew, breakt
These quarrels must be quietly debated.
The feast is ready, which the careful Titus
Hath ordain'd to an honourable end, [Rome:
For peace, for love, for league, and good to
Please you, therefore, draw nigh, and take
Sat. Marcus, we will.
[Hautboys sound. The Company sit down
Enter TITUS, dressed like a Cook, LAVINIA,
veiled, young LUCIUS, and others. TITUS places
the Dishes on the Table.
Tit. Welcome, my gracious lord: welcome, dread queen;
Welcome, ye warlike Goths; welcome, Lucius;
And welcome, all: although the cheer be poor,
"Twill fill your stomachs; please you eat of it.
Sat. Why art thou thus attir'd, Andronicus?
Tit. Because I would be sure to have all
To entertain your highness, and your empress.
Tum. We are beholden to you, good An-
Tit. An if your highness knew my heart,
My lord the emperor, resolve me this;
Was it well done of rash Virginius,
To slay his daughter with his own right hand,
Because she was enforc'd, stain'd, and de-
Sat. It was, Andronicus.
Tit. Your reason, mighty lord!
Sat. Because the girl should not survive her
And by her presence still renew his sorrows.
Tit. A reason mighty, strong, and effectual;
A pattern, precedent, and lively warrant,
For me, most wretched to perform the like:-
Die, die, Lavinia, and thy shame with thee;
[He kills LAVINIA.
And, with thy shame, thy father's sorrow die!
Sat. What hast thou done, unnatural, and
Tit. Kill'd her, for whom my tears have
I am as woful as Virginius was:
And have a thousand times more cause than
To do this outrage; and it is now done.
Sat. What, was she ravished? tell, who did
Tit. Will't please you eat? will't please your highness feed?
Tam. Why hast thou slain thine only daugh ter thus?
Tit. Not I; 'twas Chiron, and Demetrius: They ravish'd her, and cut away her tongue, And they, 'twas they, that did her all this
Sat. Go, fetch them hither to us presently.
Tit. Why, there they are both, baked in
Whereof their mother daintily hath fed,
Eating the flesh that she herself hath bred.
'Tis true, 'tis true; witness my knife's sharp
Sat. Die, frantic wretch, for this accursed
Luc. Can the son's eye behold his father
There's meed for meed, death for a deadly
[Kills SATURNINUS. A great Tumult. The
People in confusion disperse. MARCUS,
LUCIUS, and their Partisans ascend the
Steps before TITUS' House.
Mar. You sad-fac❜d men, people and sons of
Scatter'd by winds and high tempestuous gusts,
By uproar sever'd, like a flight of fowl
O, let me teach you how to knit again
This scatter'd corn into one mutual sheaf,
These broken limbs again into one body.
Sen. Lest Rome herself be bane unto her-
And she, whom mighty kingdoms court'sy to,
Like a forlorn and desperate cast-away,
Do shameful execution on herself.
But if my frosty signs and chaps of age,
Cannot induce you to attend my words,-
Grave witnesses of true experience,
Speak, Rome's dear friend; [To LUCIUS.] as
erst our ancestor,
To love-sick Dido's sad attending ear,
When with his solemn tongue he did discourse,
The story of that baleful burning night,
When subtle Greeks surpris'd king Priam's
Tell us, what Sinon hath bewitch'd our ears,
Or who hath brought the fatal engine in,
That gives our Troy, our Rome, the civil
My heart is not compact of flint, nor steel;
Nor can I utter all our bitter grief,
And break my very utterance; even i'the time
But floods of tears will drown my oratory,
When it should move you to attend me most,
Lending your kind commiseration:
Here is a captain, let him tell the tale;
Your hearts will throb and weep to hear him
Luc. Then, noble auditory, be it known to
Were they that murdered our emperor's bro-
That cursed Chiron and Demetrius [you,
And they it were that ravished our sister:
For their fell faults our brothers were be-
Of that true hand, that fought Rome's quarrel
Our father's tears despis'd; and basely cozen'd
And sent her enemies unto the grave. [out,
Lastly, myself unkindly banished, [out,
Who drown'd their enmity in my true tears,
The gates shut on me, and turn'd weeping
To beg relief among Rome's enemies;
And op'd their arms to embrace me as a friend:
And I am the turn'd-forth, be it known to you,
And from her bosom took the enemy's point,
That have preserv'd her welfare in my blood;
Sheathing the steel in my advent'rous body.
Alas! you know, I am no vaunter, I;