Page images

Bass. Ay, noble Titus; and resolv'd withal
To do myself this reason and this right.

She will a handmaid be to his desires,
A loving nurse, a mother to his youth.
Sat. Ascend, fair queen, Pantheon. Lords,


Marc. Suum cuique is our Roman justice:
This prince in justice seizeth but his own.
Luc. And that he will, and shall, if Lucius live.
Tit. Traitors, avaunt! Where is the emperor's

Treason, my lord! Lavinia is surpris'd.
Sat. Surpris'd! by whom?
By him that justly may
Bear his betroth'd from all the world away.
Mut. Brothers, help to convey her hence away,
And with my sword I'll keep this door safe.

Exeunt LUCIUS, QUINTUS, and MARTIUS. Tit. Follow, my lord. and I'll soon bring her back.

Mut. My lord, you pass not here.
What! villain boy; 290
Barr'st me my way in Rome ? Stabs MUTIUS.
Help, Lucius, help!

Re-enter LUCIUS.

Luc. My lord, you are unjust, and more than so;
In wrongful quarrel you have slain your son.

Tit. Nor thon, nor he, are any sons of mine;
My sons would never so dishonour me.
Traitor, restore Lavinia to the emperor.

Luc. Dead, if you will; but not to be his wife
That is another's lawful promis'd love. Exit.


Sat. No, Titus, no; the emperor needs her not.
Nor her, nor thee, nor any of thy stock:
I'll trust, by leisure, him that mocks me once;
Thee never, nor thy traitorous haughty sons,
Confederates all thus to dishonour me.

Was there none else in Rome to make a stale
But Saturnine? Full well, Andronicus,
Agree these deeds with that proud brag of thine,
That said'st I begg'd the empire at thy hands.
Tit. O monstrous! what reproachful words
are these?

Sat. But go thy ways; go, give that changing

To him that flourish'd for her with his sword.
A valiant son-in-law thou shalt enjoy;
One fit to bandy with thy lawless sons,
To ruffle in the commonwealth of Rome.
Tit. These words are razors to my wounded


Sat. And therefore, lovely Tamora, Queen of

That like the stately Phoebe 'mongst her nymphs
Dost overshine the gallant'st dames of Rome,
If thou be pleas'd with this my sudden choice,
Behold, I choose thee, Tamora, for my bride,
And will create thee Empress of Rome.
Speak, Queen of Goths, dost thou applaud my


And here I swear by all the Roman gods,
Sith priest and holy water are so near,
And tapers burn so bright, and every thing
In readiness for Hymenæus stand,

I will not re-salute the streets of Rome,
Or climb my palace, till from forth this place
I lead espous'd my bride along with me.

Tam. And here, in sight of heaven, to Rome
I swear,

If Saturnine advance the Queen of Goths,


Your noble emperor, and his lovely bride,
Sent by the heavens for Prince Saturnine,
Whose wisdom hath her fortune conquered.
There shall we consummate our spousal rites.
Exeunt all but TITUS.
Tit. I am not bid to wait upon this bride.
Titus, when wert thou wont to walk alone,
Dishonour'd thus, and challenged of wrongs?


Mare. O Titus, see; O! see what thou hast done;


In a bad quarrel slain a virtuous son.

Tit. No, foolish tribune, no; no son of mine, Nor thou, nor these, confederates in the deed That hath dishonour'd all our family: Unworthy brother, and unworthy sons!

Luc. But let us give him burial, as becomes; Give Mutins burial with our brethren.

Tit. Traitors, away! he rests not in this tomb.
This monument five hundred years hath stood,
Which I have sumptuously re-edified:
Here none but soldiers and Rome's servitors
Repose in fame; none basely slain in brawls.
Bury him where you can; he comes not here.
Marc. My lord, this is impiety in you.
My nephew Mutius' deeds do plead for him;
He must be buried with his brethren.

Quint., Mart. And shall, or him we will ac-
Tit. And shall!' What villain was it spake
that word?

Quint. He that would vouch it in any place
but here.



Tit. What! would you bury him in my despite? Marc. No, noble Titus; but entreat of thee To pardon Mutius, and to bury him.

Tit. Marcus, even thou hast struck upon my crest,

And, with these boys, mine honour thou hast

My foes I do repute you every one;
So, trouble me no more, but get you gone.
Mart. He is not with himself; let us withdraw.
Quint. Not I, till Mutius' bones be buried.
MARCUS and the Sons of TITUS kneel.
Marc. Brother, for in that name doth nature
Quint. Father, and in that name doth nature


Tit. Speak thou no more, if all the rest will speed.

Marc. Renowned Titus, more than half my soul,

[blocks in formation]



[ocr errors]

The dismall'st day is this that e'er I saw, Dissemble all your griefs and discontents:
To be dishonour'd by my sons in Rome! You are but newly planted in your throne ;
Well, bury him, and bury me the next.

Lest then the people, and patricians too,
MUTIUS is put into the tomb. Upon a just survey, take Titus' part,
Luc. There lie thy bones, sweet Mutius, with And so supplant you for ingratitude,
thy friends,

Which Rome reputes to be a heinous sin, Till we with trophies do adorn thy tomb.

Yield at entreats, and then let me alone. All. K'neeling. No man shed tears for noble i'll find a day to massacre them all, Mutius ;

And raze their faction and their family, He lives in fame that died in virtue's cause. The cruel father, and his traitorous sons, Mare. My lord, to step out of these dreary To whom I sued for my dear son's life; dumps,

And make them know what 'tis to let a queen How comes it that the subtle Queen of Goths Kneel in the streets and beg for grace in vain. Is of a sudden thus advanc'd in Rome?

Aloud. Come, come, Sweet emperor; come, Tit. I know not, Marcus ; but I know it is : Andronicus; Whether by device or no, the heavens can tell. Take up this good old man, and cheer the heart Is she not then beholding to the man

That dies in tempest of thy angry frown. That brought her for this high good turn so far? Sat. Rise, Titus, rise; my empress hath Yes, and will nobly him remunerate.

prevail’d. Flourish. Re-enter, from one side, SATURNINUS, These words, these looks, infuse new life in me.

Tit. I thank your majesty, and her, my lord. attended; TAMORA, DEMETRIUS, CHiron, and AARON from the other, BASSIANUS, LAVINIA, A Roman now adopted happily,

Tam. Titus, I am incorporate in Rome, and Others.

And must advise the emperor for his good.
Sat. So, Bassianus, you have play'd your prize : This day all quarrels die, Andronicus ;
God give you joy, sir, of your gallant bride! 400 And let it be mine honour, good my lord,

Bass. And you of yours, my lord! I say no more, That I have reconcil'd your friends and you, Nor wish no less ; and so I take my leave. For you, Prince Bassianus, I have pass'à Sat. Traitor, if Rome have law or we have | My word and promise to the emperor, power,

That you will be more mild and tractable,
Thou and thy faction shall repent this rape. And fear not, lords, and you, Lavinia ;

Bass. Rape call you it, my lord, to seize myown, By my advice, all humbled on your knees,
My true-betrothed love and now my wife? You shall ask pardon of his majesty.
But let the laws of Rome determine all ;

Luc. We do; and vow to heaven and to his Meanwhile I am possess'd of that is mine.

highness, Sa 'Tis good, sir : you are very short with us; That what we did was mildly, as we might, But, if we live, we'll be as sharp with you. 410 Tendering our sister's honour and our own.

Bass. My lord, what I have done, as best I may, Marc. That on mine honour here I do protest. Answer I must and shall do with my life.

Sat. Away, and talk not; trouble us no more. Only thus much I give your grace to know: Tam. Nay, nay, sweet emperor, we must all By all the duties that I owe to Rome,

be friends : This noble gentleman, Lord Titus here,

The tribune and his nephews kneel for grace; Is in opinion and in honour wrong'd;

I will not be denied : sweet heart, look back. That, in the rescue of Lavinia,

Sat. Marcus, for thy sake, and thy brother's With his own hand did slay his youngest son, here, In zeal to you and highly mov'd to wrath And at my lovely Tamora's entreats, To be controll'd in that he frankly gave : I do remit these young men's heinous faults: Receive him then to favour, Saturnine, That hath express'd himself in all his deeds Lavinia, though you left me like a churl, A father and a friend to thee and Rome.

I found a friend, and sure as death I swore Tit. Prince Bassianus, leave to plead my deeds: I would not part a bachelor from the priest. 'Tis thou and those that have dishonour'd me. Come; if the emperor's court can feast two hrides. Rome and the righteous heavens be my judge, You are my guest, Lavinia, and your friends, How I have lov'd and honour'd Saturnine ! This day shall be a love-day, Tamora. Tam. My worthy lord, if ever Tamora

Tit. To-morrow, an it please your majesty Were gracious in those princely eyes of thine, To hunt the panther and the hart with me, Then hear me speak indifferently for all ; With horn and hound we'll give your grace And at my suit, sweet, pardon what is past.

bon jour. Sat. What, madam ! be dishonour'd openly, Sat. Be it so, Titus, and gramercy too. And basely put it up without revenge ?

Trumpets. Exeunt. Tam. Not so, my lord; the gods of Rome forfend I should be author to dishonour you ! But on mine honour dare I undertake

ACT II. For good Lord Titus' innocence in all,

SCENE 1.Rome. Before the Palace. Whose fury not dissembled speaks his griefs.

Enter AARON.
Then, at my suit, look graciously on him ;
Lose not so noble a friend on vain suppose,

Aar. Now climbeth Tamora Olympus' top, Nor with sour looks afflict his gentle heart. Safe out of fortune's shot ; and sits aloft, Aside to SATURNINUS. My lord, be rul'd by me, Secure of thunder's crack or lightning flash, be won at last ;

Advanc'd above pale envy's threat'ning reach.


Stand up.






As when the golden sun salutes the morn, Or Bassianus so degenerate,
And, having gilt the ocean with his beams, That for her love such quarrels may be broach'd
Gallops the zodiac in his glistering coach, Without controlment, justice, or revenge?
And overlooks the highest-peering hills ; Young lords, bewarel an should the empress
So Tamora.

Upon her wit doth earthly honour wait, 10 This discord's ground, the music would not
And virtue stoops and trembles at her frown. please.
Then, Aaron, arm thy heart, and fit thy thoughts Chi. I care not, I, knew she and all the world :
To mount aloft with thy imperial mistress, I love Lavinia more than all the world.
And mount her pitch, whom thou in triumph long Dem. Youngling, learn thou to make some
Hast prisoner held, fetter'd in amorous chains, meaner choice:
And faster bound to Aaron's charming eyes Lavinia is thine elder brother's hope.
Than is Prometheus tied to Caucasus.

Aar. Why, are ye mad ? or know ye not in Away with slavish weeds and servile thoughts ! Rome I will be bright, and shine in pearl and gold, How furious and impatient they be, To wait upon this new-made empress.

And cannot brook competitors in love ? To wait, said I ? to wanton with this queen, I tell you, lords, you do but plot your deaths This goddess, this Semiramis, this nymph, By this device. This siren, that will charm Rome's Saturnine, Chi.

Aaron, a thousand deaths And see his shipwreck and his commonweal's. Would I propose, to achieve her whom I love, 80 Holla! what storm is this?

Aar. To achieve her ! how ?

Dem. Enter DEMETRIUS and CHIRON, braving.

Why mak'st thou it so strange ?

She is a woman, therefore may be woo'd ; Dem. Chiron, thy years want wit, thy wit She is a woman, therefore may be won; wants edge,

She is Lavinia, therefore must be lov'd. And manners, to intrude where I am gracid, What, man ! more water glideth by the mill And may, for aught thou know'st, affected be. Than wots the miller of ; and easy it is

Chi. Demetrius, thou dost overween in all, Of a cut loaf to steal a shive, we know : And so in this, to bear me down with braves. 30 Though Bassianus be the emperor's brother, 'Tis not the difference of a year or two

Better than he have worn Vulcan's badge. Makes me less gracious or thee more fortunate : Aar. Aside. Ay, and as good as Saturninus I am as able and as fit as thou

may. To serve, and to deserve my mistress' grace ; Dem. Then why should he despair that knows And that my sword upon thee shall approve,

to court it And plead my passions for Lavinia's love. With words, fair looks, and liberality? Aar. Clubs, clubs! these lovers will not keep What ! hast thou not full often struck a doe,

And borne her cleanly by the keeper's nose ? Dem. Why, boy, although our mother, un- Aar. Why, then, it seems, some certain snatch

advis d, Gave you a dancing-rapier by your side,

Would serve your turns. Are you so desperategrown, tothreatyourfriends? Chi.

Ay, so the turn were serv’d. Go to; have your lath glued within your sheath Dem. Aaron, thou hast hit it. Till you know better how to handle it.


Would you had hit it too! Chi. Meanwhile, sir, with the little skill I have, Then should not we be tir’d with this ado. Full well shalt thou perceive how much I dare. Why, hark ye, hark yel and are you such fools

Dem. Ay, boy, grow ye so brave? They draw. To square for this ? would it offend you then 100 Aar.

Why, how now, lords! That both should speed ? So near the emperor's palace dare you draw, Chi.

Faith, not me. And maintain such a quarrel openly ?

Dem. Nor me, so I were one. Full well I wot the ground of all this grudge: Aar. For shame, be friends, and join for that I would not for a million of gold The cause were known to them it most concerns; 'Tis policy and stratagem must do Nor would your noble mother for much more That


and so must you resolve, Be so dishonour'd in the court of Rome. 52 That what you cannot as you would achieve, For shame, put up.

You must perforce accomplish as you may. Dem.

Not I, till I have sheath'd Take this of me: Lucrece was not more chaste My rapier in his bosom, and withal

Than this Lavinia, Bassianus' love. Thrust those reproachful speeches down his A speedier course than lingering langnishment throat

Must we pursue, and I have found the path. That he hath breath'd in my dishonour here. My lords, a solemn hunting is in hand;

Chi. For that I am prepar'd and full resolv'd, There will the lovely Roman ladies troop: Foul-spoken coward, that thunder'st with thy The forest walks are wide and spacious, tongue,

And many unfrequented plots there are And with thy weapon nothing dar'st perform! Fitted by kind for rape and villany: Aar, Away, I say !

60 Single you thither then this dainty doe, Now, by the gods that war-like Goths adore, And strike her home by force, if not by words: This petty brabble will undo us all.

This way, or not at all, stand you in hope. Why, lords, and think you not how dangerous Come, come; our empress, with her sacred wit It is to jet upon a prince's right?

To villany and vengeance consecrate, What! is Lavinia then become so loose,

Will we acquaint with all that we intend ;

the peace.

or so

you jar:



[ocr errors]



[ACT 11. And she shall file our engines with advice, Which, cunningly effected, will beget That will not suffer you to square yourselves, A very excellent piece of villany : But to your wishes' height advance you both. And so repose, sweet gold, for their unrest The emperor's court is like the house of Fame,

Hides the gold. The palace full of tongues, of eyes, of ears : That have their alms out of the empress' chest. The woods are ruthless, dreadful, deaf, and dull;

Enter TAMORA. There speak, and strike, brave boys, and take your turns ;

Tam. My lovely Aaron, wherefore look'st thou There serve your lusts, shadow'd from heaven's sad eye,

130 When every thing doth make a gleeful boast ! And revel in Lavinia's treasury.

The birds chant melody on every bush, Chi. Thy counsel, lad, smells of no cowardice. The snake lies rolled in the cheerful sun, Dem. Sit fas aut nefas, till I find the stream

The green leaves quiver with the cooling wind, To cool this heat, a charm to calm these fits, And make a chequer'd shadow on the ground. Per Styga, per manes vehor.

Exeunt. Under their sweet shade. Aaron, let us sit,

And, whilst the babbling echo mocks the hounds, SCENE II.-A Porest.

Replying shrilly to the well-tun'd horns,

As if a double hunt were heard at once,
Horns and cry of hounds heard.

Let us sit down and mark their yelping noise ; Enter Titus ANDRONICUS, with Ilunters, etc., The wandering prince and Dido once enjord,

And after conflict, such as was suppos'd

When with a happy storm they were surpris d, T'it. The hunt is up, the morn is bright and And curtain'd with a counsel-keeping cave, grey,

We may, each wreathed in the other's arms, The fields are fragrant and the woods are green. Our pastimes done, possess a golden slumber; Uncouple here and let us make a bay,

Whiles hounds and horns and sweet melodious And wake the emperor and his lovely bride,

And rouse the prince and ring a hunter's peal, Be unto us as is a nurse's song
That all the court may echo with the noise. Of lullaby to bring her babe asleep.
Sons, let it be your charge, as it is ours,

Aar. Madam, though Venus govern your To attend the emperor's person carefully;

desires, I have been troubled in my sleep this night, Saturn is dominator over mine : But dawning day new comfort bath inspir'd. 10 What signifies my deadly-standing eye,

A cry of hounds, and horns winded in a peal. My silence and my cloudy melancholy, Enter SATURNINUS, TAMORA, BASSIANUS, LA My fleece of woolly hair that now uncurls VINIA, DEMETRIUS, CHIRON, and Attendants. Even as an adder when she doth unroll

To do some fatal execution ! Many good morrows to your majesty;

No, madam, these are no venereal signs : Madam, to you as many and as good :

Vengeance is in my heart, death in my hand, I promised your grace a hunter's peal.

Blood and revenge are hammering in my head. Sat. And you have rung it lustily, my lords;

Hark, Tamora, the empress of my soul, Somewhat too early for new-married ladies.

Which never hopes more heaven than rests in Bass. Lavinia, how say you ?

thee, Lav.

I say, no; This is the day of doom for Bassianus; I have been broad awake two hours and more. His Philomel must lose her tongue to-day, Sat. Come on then; horse and chariots let us Thy sons make pillage of her chastity, have,

And wash their hands in Bassianus' blood. And to our sport. To TAMORA. Madam, now Seest thou this letter ? take it up, I pray thee, shall ye see

And give the king this fatal-plotted scroll. Our Roman hunting.

Now question me no more ; we are espied; Marc.

I have dogs, my lord, Here comes a parcel of our hopeful booty, Will rouse the proudest panther in the chase, Which dreads not yet their lives' destruction. And climb the highest promontory top.

Tam. Ah! my sweet Moor, sweeter to me than Tit. And I have horse will follow where the

life. game

Aar. No more, great empress; Bassianus Makes way, and run like swallows o'er the plain. Dem. Chiron, we hunt not, we, with horse nor

Be cross with him; and I'll go fetch thy sons hound,

To back thy quarrels, whatsoe'er they be. But hope to pluck a dainty doe to ground.

Erit. Exeunt.

Enter BASSIANUS and LAVINIA, SCENE III.- A lonely Part of the Forest. Bass. Whom have we here? Rome's royal Enter AARON, with a bag of gold.


Unfurnish'd of her well-beseeming troop! Aar. He that had wit would think that I had Or is it Dian, habited like her,

Who hath abandoned her holy groves, To bury so much gold under a tree,

To see the general hunting in this forest ! And never after to inherit it.

Tam. Saucy controller of our private steps! Let him that thinks of me so abjectly

Had I the power that some say Dian had, Know that this gold must coin a stratagem, Thy temples should be planted presently

[ocr errors]

comes :


With horns, as was Actæon's; and the hounds
Should drive upon thy new-transformed limbs,
Unmannerly intruder as thou art!

Lav. Under your patience, gentle empress,
'Tis thought you have a goodly gift in horning;
And to be doubted that your Moor and you
Are singled forth to try experiments.
Jove shield your husband from his hounds


to-day! "Tis pity ey should take him for a stag. Bass. Believe me, queen, your swarth Cim


Doth make your honour of his body's hue,
Spotted, detested, and abominable.

Why are you sequester'd from all your train,
Dismounted from your snow
now white goodly steed,
And wander'd hither to an obscure plot,
Accompanied but with a barbarous Moor,
If foul desire had not conducted you?

Lav. And, being intercepted in your sport,
Great reason that my noble lord be rated
For sauciness. I pray you, let us hence,
And let her joy her raven-colour'd love;
This valley fits the purpose passing well.

First thrash the corn, then after burn the straw.
This minion stood upon her chastity,
Upon her nuptial vow, her loyalty,

And with that painted hope she braves your

And shall she carry this unto her grave?

Chi. An if she do, I would I were an eunuch. Drag hence her husband to some secret hole, And make his dead trunk pillow to our lust. 130

Tam. But when ye have the honey ye desire, Let not this wasp outlive, us both to sting.

Chi. I warrant you, madam, we will make that sure.

80 Come, mistress, now perforce we will enjoy That nice-preserved honesty of yours.

Lav. O Tamora! thou bear'st a woman's face,

T'am. I will not hear her speak; away with her!

Bass. The king my brother shall have note of this.

Lav. Ay, for these slips have made him noted

long :

Tam. Give me thy poniard; you shall know, my, boys,


Your mother's hand shall right your mother's
Dem. Stay, madam; here is more belongs to


Dem. How now, dear sovereign, and our gracious mother!

Why doth your highness look so pale and wan? Tam. Have I not reason, think you, to look pale?


These two have tic'd me hither to this place :
A barren detested vale, you see, it is ;

The trees, though summer, yet forlorn and lean,
O'ercome with moss and baleful mistletoe :
Here never shines the sun; here nothing breeds,
Unless the nightly owl or fatal raven :
And when they show'd me this abhorred pit,
They told me, here, at dead time of the night,
A thousand fiends, a thousand hissing snakes,
Ten thousand swelling toads, as many urchins,
Would make such fearful and confused cries, 102
As any mortal body hearing it
Should straight fall mad, or else die suddenly.
No sooner had they told this hellish tale,
But straight they told me they would bind me

Good king, to be so mightily abus'd!

Tam. Why have I patience to endure all this? As unrelenting flint to drops of rain.


Unto the body of a dismal yew,
And leave me to this miserable death:
And then they call'd me foul adulteress,
Lascivious Goth, and all the bitterest terms 110
That ever ear did hear to such effect;
And, had you not by wondrous fortune come,
This vengeance on me had they executed.
Revenge it, as you love your mother's life,
Or be ye not henceforth call'd my children.

Dem. This is a witness that I am thy son.
Chi. And this for me, struck home to show
my strength.
Also stabs BASSIANUS,
who dies.
Lav. Ay, come, Semiramis, nay, barbarous

For no name fits thy nature but thy own.

Lav. Sweet lords, entreat her hear me but a word.

Dem. Listen, fair madam: let it be your glory To see her tears; but be your heart to them 140

Lav. When did the tiger's young ones teach the dam ?

O! do not learn her wrath; she taught it thee; The milk thou suck'dst from her did turn to marble;

Even at thy teat thou hadst thy tyranny.
Yet every mother breeds not sons alike:

To CHIRON. Do thou entreat her show a
woman pity.

Chi. What would'st thou have me prove myself a bastard?

Lav. 'Tis true the raven doth not hatch a

Yet have I heard, O! could I find it now, 150
The lion mov'd with pity did endure
To have his princely paws par'd all away.
Some say that ravens foster forlorn children,
The whilst their own birds famish in their


O! be to me, though thy hard heart say no,
Nothing so kind, but something pitiful.

Tam. I know not what it means; away with

Lav. O let me teach thee: for my father's sake,

That gave thee life when well he might have slain thee,

Be not obdurate, open thy deaf ears.


Tam. Hadst thou in person ne'er offended me,
Even for his sake am I pitiless.
Remember, boys, I pour'd forth tears in vain
To save your brother from the sacrifice;
But fierce Andronicus would not relent:
Therefore, away with her, and use her as you

The worse to her, the better lov'd of me.
Lav. O Tamora! be call'd a gentle queen,
And with thine own hands kill me in this place;
For 'tis not life that I have begg'd so long; 170
Poor I was slain when Bassianus died.

« PreviousContinue »