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And threat me, I shall never come to bliss,
Till all these mischiefs be return'd again,
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 you,
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;
Bear thou my hand, sweet wench, between thy teeth.
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.
[Exeunt TIT. MAR. and LAV.
Luc. Farewel, Andronicus, my noble father;
The woful'st man that ever liv'd in Rome!
Farewel, proud Rome! till Lucius come again,
He leaves his pledges dearer than his life.
Farewel, Lavinia, my noble sister;
O, 'would thou wert as thou 'tofore hast been!
But now nor Lucius, nor Lavinia lives,
But in oblivion, and hateful griefs.
If Lucius live, he will requite your wrongs;
And make proud Saturninus and his empress
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.
A Room in Titus's House. A Banquet set out. Enter TITUS, MARCUS, LAVINIA, 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
And cannot passionate our tenfold 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! [To Lav.
When thy poor 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 knife 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 fool in sea-salt tears.
Mar. Fy, brother, fy! teach her not thus to lay
Such violent hands upon her tender life.
Tit. How now! has sorrow made thee dote already? 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 ;—
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.-
Fy, fy, 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;-
I can interpret all her martyr'd signs;-
She says, she drinks no other drink but tears,
Brew'd with her sorrows, mesh'd upon her cheeks :—
Speechless complainer, I will learn thy thought;
In thy dumb action will I be as perfect,
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 thy meaning.
Boy. Good grandsire, leave these bitter deep laments: Make my aunt merry with some pleasing tale.
Mar. Alas, the tender boy, in passion mov'd, Doth weep to see his grandsire's heaviness.
Tit. Peace, tender sapling; thou art made of tears, And tears will quickly melt thy life away.
[MAR. strikes the Dish with a Knife. What dost thou strike at, Marcus, with thy knife? Mar. At that that I have kill'd, my lord; a fly. 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.
Mar. 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,
Came here to make us merry; and thou hast kill'd him.
Mar. Pardon me, sir; 'twas a black ill-favour'd fly,
Like to the empress' 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,
Come hither purposely to poison me.-
There's for thyself, and that 's for Tamora.-
Yet I do 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.
Mar. Alas, poor man! grief has so wrought on him, 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
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.
Enter TITUS and MARCUS. Then enter young Lucius, LAVINIA running after him.
Boy. Help, grandsire, help! my aunt Lavinia
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.
Mar. Stand by me, Lucius; do not fear thine aunt.
Tit. She loves thee, boy, too well to do thee harm.
Boy. Ay, when my father was in Rome, she did.
Mar. What means my niece Lavinia by these signs?
Tit. Fear her not, Lucius :-Somewhat doth she mean:
See, Lucius, see, how much she makes of thee:
Somewhither 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 Orator.
Canst thou not guess wherefore she plies thee thus?
Boy. My lord, I know not, I, nor can I guess,
Unless some fit or 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;
Causeless,-perhaps: But pardon me, sweet aunt:
And, madam, if my uncle Marcus go,
I will most willingly attend your ladyship.
Mar. Lucius, I will.
[Lav. turns over the Books which Luc. has let fall.
Tit. How now, Lavinia?-Marcus, what means this?
Some book there is that she desires to see :-
Which is it, girl, of these?-Open them, boy.--
But thou art deeper read, and better skill'd;
Come, and take choice of all my library,
And so beguile thy sorrow, till the heavens
Reveal'd the damn'd contriver of this deed.-
Why lifts she up her arms in sequence thus?
Mar. I think, she means, that there was more than one Confederate in the fact;-Ay, more there was :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 't me.
Mar. For love of her that 's gone, Perhaps she cull'd it from among the rest.
Tit. Soft! see, how busily she turns the leaves ! Help her :
What would she find?-Lavinia, shall I read?
This is the tragick tale of Philomel,
And treats of Tereus' treason, and his rape;
And rape, I fear, was root of thine annoy.
Mar. See, brother, see; note, how she quotes the leaves.
Tit. Lavinia, wert thou thus surpriz'd, sweet girl,
Ravish'd, and wrong'd, as Philomela was,
Forc'd in the ruthless, vast, and gloomy woods?-
Ay, such a place there is, where we did hunt,
(O, had we never, never, hunted there!)
Pattern'd by that the poet here describes,
By nature made for murders, and for rapes.
Mar. O, why should nature build so foul a den,
Unless the gods delight in tragedies!
Tit. Give signs, sweet girl,-for here are none but friends,
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?
Mar. Sit down, sweet niece;-brother, sit down by
Apollo, Pallas, Jove, or Mercury,
Inspire me, that I may this treason find!-
My lord, look here;-Look here, Lavinia :