Page images
PDF
EPUB

Ravished 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

tears. Oft have I digged up dead men from their graves, 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 I 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 not die 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

no more.

Therefore I urge thy oath. For that I know
An idiot holds his bauble for a god,
And keeps the oath which by that god he swears,
To that I'll urge him.—Therefore, thou shalt vow
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 will.
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 To that which thou shalt hear of me anon. 'T was her two sons that murdered Bassianus : They cut thy sister's tongue, and ravished her, And cut her hands, and trimmed her as thou

saw'st. Luc. O detestable villain ! call'st thou that

trimming ? Aar. Why, she was washed, and cut, and

trimmed ; and 't was 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 them; That codding spirit had they from their mother, As sure a card as ever won the set: That bloody mind, I think they learned of me, As true a dog as ever fought at head. Well, let my deeds be witness of my worth.I trained 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 mentioned, Confederate with the queen and her two sons : And what not done, that thou hast cause to rue, Wherein I had no stroke of mischief in it? I played the cheater for thy father's hand; And when I had it drew myself apart, And almost broke my heart with extreme laughter. I pryed me through the crevice of a wall, When, for his hand, he had his two sons' heads; Beheld his tears, and laughed 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 never

blush ? Aar. Ay, like a black dog, as the saying is. Luc. Art thou not sorry for these heinous deeds?

Aar. Ay, that I had not done a thousand more. Even

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;

Enter a Goth. Goth. My lord, there is a messenger from Rome Desires to be admitted to your presence.

Luc. Let him come near.

Enter Æmilius.
Welcome Æmilius, what's the news from Rome?
Æmil. Lord Lucius, and you princes of the

Goths,
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,

a
Willing you to demand your hostages,
And they shall be immediately delivered.

1st Goth. What says our general ? Luc. Æmilius, let the emperor give his

pledges Unto my father and my uncle Marcus, And we will come.—March away. [Ereunt.

Scene II.—Rome. Before Titus's House.

now

Enter Tamora, Chiron, and DEMETRIUS,

disguised. Tam. Thus in this strange and sad habiliment I will encounter with Andronicus, And say I am Revenge, sent 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 bis enemies.

[They knock

Until his very downfall in the sea.
And day by day I 'll do this beavy task,
So thou destroy Rapine and Murder there.

Tam. These are my ministers, and come with me.
Tit. Are they thy ministers? what are they

called ? Tam. Rapine and Murder ; therefore called so, 'Cause they take vengeance of such kind of men. Tit. Good lord, how like the empress' sons

they are ! And you

the empress! But we worldly men Have miserable, mad, mistaking eyes. O sweet Revenge, now do I come to thee: And if one arm's embracement will content thee: I will embrace thee in it by and by.

[Exit Titus from abore. 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

Enter Titus above.
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 deceived: for what I mean to do,
See here in bloody lines I have set down;
And what is written shall be executed.

Tam. Titus, I am come to talk with thee.

Tit. No, not a word. How can I grace my talk, Wanting a hand to give it action? Thou hast the odds of me, therefore no more. Tam. If thou didst know me, thou wouldst

talk with me. Tit. I am not mad; I know thee well enough: Witness this wretched stump, these crimson lines; Witness these trenches, made by grief and care ; 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 Tamora : She is thy enemy, and I thy friend. I am Revenge; sent from the infernal kingdom To ease the gnawing vulture of thy mind, By working wreakful vengeance on thy foes. Come down and welcome me to this world's light; Confer with me of murder and of death. There 's not a hollow cave nor 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 me, To be a torment to mine enemies? Tam. I am; therefore come down and wel

come me. Tit. Do me some service ere I come to thee. Lo, by thy side where Rape and Murder stand; Now give some 'surance that thou art Revenge, Stab them, or tear them on thy chariot wheels; And then I 'll come and be thy wagoner, And whirl along with thee about the globes ; Provide thee proper palfreys, black as jet, To hale thy vengeful wagon swift away, And find out murderers in their guilty caves; And when thy car is loaden with their heads I will dismount, and by the wagon wheel Trot, like a servile footman, all day long; Even from Hyperion's rising in the east,

а

a

Enter Titus. Tit. Long have I been forlorn, an all for thee. 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 wouldst thou have us do, Andro

nicus? Dem. Shew me a murderer, I 'll deal with him.

Chi. Shew me a villain that hath done a rape, And I am sent to be revenged on him. Tam. Shew me a thousand that have done thee

wrong, And I will be revenged on them all. Tit. Look round about the wicked streets of i

Rome, 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;

а

Tit. Tut, I have work enough for you to do. Publius, come hither, Caius and Valentine !

I pray

Well mayst thou know her by thy own proportion, For up and down she doth resemble thee;

thee do on them some violent death, They have been violent to me and mine. Tam. Well hast thou lessoned us; this shall we

do. But would it please thee, good Andronicus, To send for Lucius, thy thrice valiant son, Who leads towards Rome a band of warlike

Goths, 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! 'T is sad Titus calls.

Enter Marcus. 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 them. 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.

(Exit. Tam. Now will I hence about thy business, And take my ministers along with me. Tit. Nay, nay, let Rape and Murder stay with

me, Or else I 'll call my brother back again, And cleave to no revenge but Lucius. Tam. [To her Sons.] What say you, boys !

will you abide with him, Whiles I go tell my lord the emperor How I have governed our determined jest? Yield to his humour, smooth and speak him fair, And tarry with him till I come again. [Aside. Tit. I know them all though they suppose me

mad, And will o'er-reach them in their own devices ; A pair of cursed hell-hounds and their dam.

[ Aside. Dem. Madam, depart at pleasure, leave us

here. Tam. Farewell, Andronicus. Revenge now

goes To lay a complot to betray thy foes. [Exit. Tit. I know thou dost; and, sweet Revenge,

farewell. Chi. Tell us, old man, how shall we be em

ployed ?

Enter PUBLIUS and others.
Pub. What 's your will ?
Tit. Know you these two?
Pub. The empress' sons, I take them, Chiron

and Demetrius.
Tit. Fie, Publius, fie! thou art too much de-

ceived ; 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, And stop their mouths if they begin to cry.

[Exit Titus. Publius, &c., lay hold on

CHIRON and DEMETRIUS.
Chi. Villains, forbear; we are the empress' sons.
Pub. And therefore do we what we are com-

manded. Stop close their mouths, let them not speak a

word. Is he sure bound ? look that you bind them fast. Re-enter Titus ANDRONICUS, with Lavinia; she

bearing a basin, and he a knife. Til. Come, come, Lavinia, ; louk, thy foes are

bound.Sirs, stop their mouths, let them not speak to me; But let them hear what fearful words I utter. O villains, Chiron and Demetrius ! Here stands the spring whom you have stained

with mud; This goodly summer with your winter mixed: You killed her husband; and for that vile fault Two of her brothers were condemned to death ; My hand cut off, and made a merry jest; Both her sweet hands, her tongue, and that more

dear Than hands or tongue, her spotless chastity, Inhuman traitors, you constrained and forced. 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 hold The basin that receives your guilty blood. You know your mother means to feast with me, And calls herself Revenge, and thinks me mad, 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 unhallowed dam, Like to the earth, swallow her own increase : This is the feast that I have bid her to,

[blocks in formation]

And this the banquet she shall surfeit on;
For worse than Philomel you used my daughter,
And worse than Progne I will be revenged :
And now prepare your throats.—Lavinia, come,

(He cuts their throats.
Receive the blood; and, when that they are dead,
Let me go grind their bones to powder small,
And with this hateful liquor temper it;
And in that paste let their vile heads be baked.
Come, come, be every one officious
To make this banquet; which I wish may prove
More stern and bloody than the centaurs' feast.
So, now bring them in, for I will play the cook,
And see them ready 'gainst their mother comes.

(Exeunt, bearing the dead bodies.

Welcome, ye warlike Goths; welcome, Lucius; And welcome, all: although the cheer be poor, "T will fill your stomachs; please you, eat of it.

Sat. Why art thou thus attired, Andronicus?

Tit. Because I would be sure to have all well To entertain your highness and your empress. Tam. We are beholden to you, good Andro

nicus. Tit. An if your highness knew my heart, you

were.

Scene III.-The same. A pavilion with tables, &c. Enter Lucius, Marcus, and Goths, with Aaron,

prisoner. Luc. Uncle Marcus, since 't is my father's mind That I repair to Rome, I am content. Ist. Goth. And ours with thine, befal what for

tune will, Luc. Good uncle, take you in this barbarous

Moor, This ravenous tiger, this accurséd 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; I fear the emperor means no good to us.

Aar. Some devil whisper curses in my ear, And prompt me, that my tongue may utter forth The venomous malice of my swelling heart !

Luc. Away, inhuman dog! unhallowed slave ! Sirs, help our uncle to convey him in.

(Exeunt Goths, with Aaron. Flourish. The trumpets shew 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 sun? Mar. Rome's emperor, and nephew, break the

parle; Chese quarrels must be quietly debated, The feast is ready which the careful Titus Hath ordained to an honourable end, For peace, for love, for league, and good to Rome. Please you, therefore, draw nigh and take your

places. Sat. Marcus, we will. (Hautboys sound. The company sit down at

My lord the emperor résolve me this ;
Was it well done of rash Virginius
To slay his daughter with his own right hand,
Because she was enforced, stained, and de-

flowered ?
Sat. It was, Andronicus.
Tit. Your reason, mighty lord ?
Sat. Because the girl should not survive her

shame, 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 sorrows. Sat. What hast thou done, unnatural and

unkind? Tit. Killed her for whom my tears have made

me blind. I am as woful as Virginius was; And have a thousand times more cause than he To do this outrage; and it is now done. Sat. What, was she ravished ? tell who did the

deed: Tit. Will 't please you eat? will 't please your

highness feed ? Tam. Why hast thou slain thine only daughter

thus ? Tit. Not I; 't was Chiron, and Demetrius : They ravished her and cut away her tongue, And they, 't was they, that did her all this

wrong. Sat. Go fetch them hither to us presently. Tit. Why, there they are both, baked in that

pie; Whereof their mother daintily hath fed, Eating the flesh she herself hath bred. "T is true, 't is true; witness my knife's sharp

point. Sat. Die, frantic wretch, for this accursed

table.

deed.

[Killing Tamora.

[Killing Titus. Luc. Can the son's eye behold his father bleed! There's meed for meed, death for a deadly deed.

[Kills SATURNINUS. A great tumult. The people in confusion disperse. Marcus, Lucius, and their partisans,

ascend the steps before Titus's house. Mar. You sad-faced men, people and sons of

Rome, By uproar severed, like a flight of fowl Scattered by winds and high tempestuous gusts, O let me teach you how to knit again This scattered corn into one mutual sheaf, These broken limbs again into one body.

Sen, Lest Rome herself be bane unto herself; And she whom mighty kingdoms courtesy to, Like a forlorn and desperate cast-away, Do shameful execution on herself. But if my frosty signs and chaps of age, Grave witnesses of true experience, Cannot induce you to attend my words, Speak, Rome's dear friend (to Lucius), as erst

our ancestor, When with his solemn tongue he did discourse To love-sick Dido's sad attending ear, The story of that baleful burning night, When subtle Greeks surprised King Priam's Troy; Tell us what Sinon hath bewitched our ears, Or who hath brought the fatal engine in, That gives our Troy, our Rome, the civil wound. My heart is not compact of flint, nor steel ; Nor can I utter all our bitter grief, But floods of tears will drown my oratory And break my very utterance, even i' the time 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 speak.

Luc. Then, noble auditory, be it known to you, That cursed Chiron and Demetrius Were they that murdered our emperor's brother; And they it were that ravished our sister: For their fell faults our brothers were beheaded; Our father's tears despised; and basely cozened Of that true hand that fought Rome's quarrel out, And sent her enemies unto the grave, Lastly, myself unkindly banished, The gates shut on me, and turned weeping out, To beg relief among Rome's enemies; Who drowned their enmity in my true tears, And oped their arms to embrace me as a friend : And I am the turned-forth, be it known to you, That have preserved her welfare in my blood; And from her bosom took the enemy's point, Sheathing the steel in my adventurous body. Alas! you know I am no vaunter, I ; My scars can witness, dumb although they are, That my report is just and full of truth.

But, soft; methinks I do digress too much,
Citing my worthless praise. O pardon me:
For when no friends are by men praise themselves.
Mar. Now is my turn to speak. Behold this

child,
[Pointing to the child in the arms of an

Attendant,
Of this was Tamora delivered;
The issue of an irreligious Moor,
Chief architect and plotter of these woes ;
The villain is alive in Titus' house,
Damned as he is, to witness this is true,
Now judge what cause had Titus to revenge
These wrongs, unspeakable, past patience,
Or more than any living man could bear.
Now you have heard the truth, what say you,

Romans :
Have we done ought amiss ? Shew us wherein,
And from the place where you behold us now,
The poor remainder of Andronici
Will, hand in hand, all headlong cast us down,
And on the ragged stones beat forth our brains,
And make a mutual closure of our house.
Speak, Romans, speak; and if you say we shall,
Lo, hand in hand, Lucius and I will fall.
Æmil. Come, come, thou reverend man of

Rome,
And bring our emperor gently in thy hand,
Lucius our emperor; for well I know
The common voice do cry it shall be so.

Rom. (several speak.) Lucius, all hail; Rome's royal emperor!

[Lucius, &c., descend. Mar. Go, go into old Titus' sorrowful house ;

[To an ATTENDANT. And hither hale that misbelieving Moor, To be adjudged some direful slaughtering death, As punishment for his most wicked life.

Rom. [Several speak.] Lucius, all hail ; Rome's gracious governor ! Luc. Thanks, gentle Romans; may I govern

so, To heal Rome's harms, and wipe away her woe! But, gentle people, give me aim awhile, For nature puts me to a heavy task. Stand all aloof; but uncle, draw you near, To shed obseqious tears upon this trunk.O take this warm kiss on thy pale cold lips,

[Kisses Titus These sorrowful drops upon thy blood-stained

face The last true duties of thy noble son.

Mar. Tear for tear, and loving kiss for kiss, Thy brother Marcus tenders on thy lips : O were the sum of these that I should pay Countless and infinite, yet would I pay them ! Luc. Come hither, boy; come, come and

learn of us

« PreviousContinue »