Page images
[ocr errors]

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.-0, how this villainy [Aside.
Doth fat me with the very thoughts of it!
Let fools do good, and fair men call for grace,
Aaron will have his soul black like his face. [Erit.

Tit. O, here 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? [To Lar. Do then, dear heart; for heaven shall hear our prayers ; 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.

Mar. 0! brother, speak with possibilities, 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 o’erflow? If the winds rage, doth not the sea wax mad, Threat'ning the welkin with his big-swoln face? And wilt thou have a rcason 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.



Enter a Messenger, with Two Heads and a Hand.

Mess. Worthy Andronicus, ill art thou repaid
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,
Viore than remembrance of my father's death. [Exit.

Mar. Now let hot Ætna cool in Sicily,
And be my heart an ever-burning hell!
These miseries are more than may be borne !

weep with them that weep doth ease some deal, But sorrow flouted at is double death.

Luc. Ah, that this sight should make so deep a wound, 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!

CLAV. kisses him. Mar. Alas, poor heart, that kiss is comfortless, As frozen water to a starved snake.

Tit. When will this fearful slumber have an end?

Mar. Now, farewel, flattery: Die, Andronicus;
Thou dost not slumber : see, thy two sons' heads;
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 control thy griefs ;
Rent off thy silver hair, thy other hand
Gnawing with thy teeth ; and be this dismal sight

The closing up of our most wretched eyes!
Now is a time to storm; why art thou still?

Tit. Ha, ha, ha!
Mar. Why dost thou laugh? it fits not with this hour.

Tit. Why, I have not another tear to shed:
Besides, this sorrow is an enemy,
And would usurp upon my wat’ry 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;

[ocr errors]

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

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. [Exit

A Room in Titus's House. A Banquet set out.
Enter Titus, MARCUS, LAVINIA, and young LUCIUS,

à 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 doac 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

'twas a black ill-favour'd fly, Like to the empress' Moor; therefore I kill'd him.

Tit. O, O, O,
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.-
Ah, sirrah!
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,

me, sir;

« PreviousContinue »