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Surprised him suddenly; and brought him hither,
To use as you think needful of the man.
Luc. O worthy Goth! this is the incarnate devil, That robbed Andronicus of his good hand. This is the pearl that pleased your empress' eye; And here's the base fruit of his burning lust.Say, wall-eyed slave, whither wouldst thou convey 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.
Aar. 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 is brought, which AARON is obliged to ascend.
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 nourished.
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 massacres, Acts of black night, abominable deeds, Complots of mischief, treason; villanies Ruthful to hear, yet piteously performed. And this shall all be buried by my death, Unless thou swear to me my child shall live.
Luc. Tell on thy mind; I say thy child shall live.
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,
And hast a thing within thee called conscience;
With 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,
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!
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 pried 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.
Aar. Tut, Lucius! this was but a deed of charity, To that which thou shalt hear of me anon. 'Twas 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 'twas Trim sport for them that had the doing of it.
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 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 haystacks 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.
Enter a Goth.
Goth. My lord, there is a messenger from Rome Desires to be admitted to your presence.
Luc. Let him come near.—
Welcome, Æmilius; what's the news from Rome ?
Emil. 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, Willing you to demand your hostages, And they shall be immediately delivered.
1 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.
SCENE II. Rome. Before Titus's House.
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 his enemies.
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, witness 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, 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 me. To be a torment to mine enemies?
Tam. I am; therefore come down and welcome me.
Tit. Do me some service, ere I come to thee.
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 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,
Until his very downfall in the sea.
And day by day I'll do this heavy task,
So thou destroy Rapine and Murder there.
Tam. These are my ministers, and come with me.
Tit. Are them 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 above. Tam. This closing with him fits his lunacy; Whate'er I forge, to feed his brainsick 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 thee.
Welcome, dread fury, to my woful house;
Rapine, and Murder, you are welcome too;-