Page images

That gives sweet tidings of the fun's uprife?
With all my heart, I'll fend the emperor my hand;
Good Aaron, wilt thou help to chop it off?

Luc. Stay, father; for that noble hand of thine,
That hath thrown down so many enemies,
Shall not be fent: my hand will ferve the turn:
My youth can better spare my blood than you;
And therefore mine fhall fave my brothers' lives.
Mar. Which of your hands hath not defended
And rear'd aloft the bloody battle-ax,
Writing destruction on the enemies' castle?
D, none of both but are of high defert:
My hand hath been but idle; let it ferve
To ransom my two nephews from their death;
Then have I kept it to a worthy end.
Aar. Nay, come, agree, whofe hand fhall go
For fear they die before their pardon come.
Mar. My hand shall go.

Lac. By heaven, it shall not go.

[ocr errors]

[along, 15

And do not break into thefe deep extremes.
Tit. Is not my forrow deep, having no bottom?
Then be my paffions bottomless with them.
Mar. But yet let reafon govern thy lament.
Tit. If there were reason for thefe miferies,
Then into limits could I bind my woes :
When heaven doth weep, doth not the earth

If the winds rage, doth not the fea wax mad,
[Rome, 10 Threat'ning the welkin with his big-fwoln face?
And wilt thou have a reafon for this coil?
I am the fea; hark, how her fighs do blow!
She is the weeping welkin, I the earth:
Then muft my fea be moved with her fighs;
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 muft I vomit them.
Then give me leave; for lofers will have leave
To ease their stomachs with their bitter tongues.
Enter a Mejenger, bringing in two heads and a band.
Me: Worthy Andronicus, ill art thou repay'd
For that good hand, thou fent'ft the emperor.
Here are the heads of thy two noble fons;
25 And here's thy hand, in fcorn to thee fent back;
Thy griefs their sports, thy refolution mock'd:
That woe is me to think upon thy woes,
More than remembrance of my father's death.


Tit. Sirs, ftrive no more; fuch wither'd herbs as 20 Are meet for plucking up, and therefore mine.

Luc. Sweet father, if I fhall be thought thy fon,
Let me redeem my brothers both from death.
Mar. And, for our father's fake,and mother's care,
Now let me fhew a brother's love to thee.

Tit. Agree between you; I will spare my hand.
Luc. Then I'll go fetch an axe.
Mar. But I will ufe the axe.

[Exeunt Lucius and Marcus.

Tit. Come hither, Aaron; I'll deceive them both; 30
Lend me thy hand, and I will give thee mine.

Aar. If that be call'd deceit, I will be honest,
And never, whilft I live, deceive men fo:-
But I'll deceive you in another fort,

And that you'll fay, ere half an hour pafs. [Afide. 35
[He cuts off Titus's band.

Enter Lucius and Marcus again.
Tit. Now, ftay your ftrife; what shall be, is

Good Aaron, give his majefty my hand :
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 fons, fay, 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 fons with thee:--
Their heads, I mean.-O, how this villainy [Afide.
Doth fat me with the very thought of it!
Let fools do good, and fair men call for grace,
Aaron will have his foul black like his face. [Exit.
Tit. O hear! 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 Lavinia

Do then, dear heart; for heaven fhall hear our

[blocks in formation]



Mar. Now let hot Ætna cool in Sicily,
And be my heart an ever-burning hell!
Thefe miferies are more than may be borne!
To weep with the n that weep doth eafe fome deal,
But forrow flouted at is double death. [wound,
Luc. Ah, that this fight should make fo deep a
And yet detefted life not shrink thereat!
That ever death fhould let life bear his name,
Where life hath no more intereft but to breathe!
[Lavinia kiffes bim.
Mar. Alas, poor heart, that kifs is comfortlets,
As frozen water to a starved snake.

Tit. When will this fearful flumber have an
Mar. Now, farewel, flattery: Die, Andronicus;
Thou doft not flumber : fee, thy two fons' heads;
45 Thy warlike hand; thy mangled daughter here;
Thy other banifh'd fon, with this dear fight
Struck pale and bloodlefs; and thy brother, I,
Even like a ftony image, cold and numb.
Ah! now no more will I controul thy griefs:
50 Rent off thy filver hair, thy other hand
Gnawing with thy teeth; and be this dismal fight
The clofing up of your most wretched eyes!
Now is a time to ftorm, why art thou ftill?
Tit. Ha, ha, ha!



Mar. Why doft thou laugh? it fits not with this
Tit. Why I have not another tear to fhed:
Befides, this forrow is an enemy,

And would ufurp upon my watry eyes,
And make them blind with tributary tears;
Then which way fhall I find revenge's cave?
For thefe two heads do seem to speak to me;
And threat me, I fhall never come to blifs,
Till all thefe mifchiefs be return'd again,

Caftle in this place fignifies a clefs belmet,


Even in their throats that have committed them. Come, let me fee what task I have to do.

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;
Left we remember still, that we have none.-
Fye, fye, how frantickly I square my talk!
As if we fhould 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 ;-
Io I can interpret all her martyr'd figns;————
She fays, the drinks no other drink but tears,
Brew'd with her forrows, mesh'd upon her cheeks:--
Speechlefs complainer, I will learn thy thought;
In thy dumb action will I be as perfect,
[Excunt. 15 As begging hermits in their holy prayers:

You heavy people, circle me about;
That I may turn me to each one of you,
And fwear unto my foul 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,fweet wench,between thy teeth.
As for thee, boy, go get thee from my fight;
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 kifs and part, for we have much to do.

Manet Lucius.

Luc. Farewel, Andronicus, my noble father; The woful'ft man that ever liv'd in Rome! Farewel, proud Rome! 'till Lucius comes again, He leaves his pledges dearer than his life. Farewel, Lavinia, my noble fifter;

O, 'would thou wert as thou 'tofore haft 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 emperefs
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.


An Apartment in Titus's boufe.



[Exit Lucius. 30

A banquet. Enter Titus, Marcus, Lavinia, and young Lucius, a boy.

Tit. So, fo; now fit: and look, you eat no more
Than will preferve just so much frength in us
As will revenge these bitter woes of ours.
Marcus, unknit that forrow-wreathen knot;
Thy niece and I, poor creatures, want our hands,
And cannot paffionate our ten-fold 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 doft talk in figns!

[To Lavinia. When thy poor heart beats with outrageous beating, Thou canst not ftrike it thus to make it ftill. Wound it with fighing, girl, kill it with groans; Or get fome 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 fink, and, foaking in, Drown the lamenting fool in fea-falt tears.

Mar. Fye, brother, fye! teach her not thus to lay Such violent hands upon her tender life.

Tit. How now! has forrow made thee doat

Why, Marcus, no man should be mad but I.
What violent hands can fhe lay on her life?
Ah, wherefore doft thou urge the name of hands ;-


Thou shalt not figh, nor hold thy stumps to heaven,
Nor wink, nor nod, nor kneel, nor make a fign,
But I, of thefe, will wrest an alphabet,
And, by still practice', learn to know the meaning.
Boy. Good grandfire, leave these bitter deep la-


Make my aunt merry with fome pleafing tale. Mar. Alas, the tender boy, in paffion mov'd, Doth weep to fee his grandfire's heaviness.

Tit. Peace, tender fapling; thou art made of tears, And tears will quickly melt thy life away. [Marcus ftrikes the dish with a knife. What doft thou ftrike 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 fee, 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 flender gilded wings, And buz lamenting doings in the air? Poor harmless fly!


40 That with his pretty buzzing melody,
Came here to make us merry; and thou haft kill'd
Mar. Pardon me, fir; it was a black ill-fa-




vour'd fly,

Like to the emperefs' Moor; therefore I kill'd him.
Tit. 0, 0, 0,

Then pardon me for reprehending thee,
For thou haft done a charitable deed.
Give me thy knife, I will infult on him;
Flattering myself, as if it were the Moor,
Come hither purposely to poison me.-
There's for thyfelf, and that's for Tamora.

Ah, firrah!-yet I think we are not brought fo 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 fo wrought
on him,

He takes falfe fhadows for true substances.
Tit. Come, take away.-Lavinia, go with me:
I'll to thy clofet; and go read with thee
60 Sad ftories, chanced in the times of old.-
Come, boy, and go with me; thy fight is young,
And thou shalt read, when mine begins to dazzle.

By confiant or continual practice.



[blocks in formation]

Brg. HELP, grandfire, help! my aunt La


[blocks in formation]


Help her: What would the find? Lavinia, shal
I read ?

This is the tragic tale of Philomel,

And treats of Tereus' treason, and his rape;
And rape, I fear, was root of thine annoy.

Mar. See, brother, fee; note, how the quotes

the leaves.

Tit. Lavinia, wer't thou thus furpriz'd, fweet girl, Ravifh'd, and wrong`d, as Philomela was,

10 Forc'd in the ruthless, vaft, and gloomy woods?
See, fee!-

Ay, fuch 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 figns, fweet girl,-for here are none
but friends,

20 What Roman lord it was durft do the deed:
Or flunk not Saturnine, as Tarquin erst,
That left the camp to fin in Lucrece' bed?
Mar. Sit down, fweet niece ;-brother, fit down
by me.

25 Apollo, Pallas, Jove, or Mercury,
Infpire me, that I may this treafon find !--
My lord, look here;-look here, Lavinia :

Tit. She loves thee, boy, too well to do thee harm.
Bog. Ay, when my father was in Rome, the did. 15
Mar. What means my niece Lavinia by thefe
[mean :-
Tit. Fear her not, Lucius:-Somewhat doth she
See, Lucius, fee, how much the makes of thee:
Somewhither would she have thee go with her.
Ah, boy, Cornelia never with more care
Read to her fons, than the hath read to thee,
Sweet poetry, and Tully's oratory.
Canft thou not guefs wherefore the plies thee thus
Boy. My lord, I know not, I, nor can I guess,
Unless fome fit of phrenzy do possess her:
For I have heard my grandfire say full oft,
Extremity of griefs would make men mad;
And I have read, that Hecuba of Troy
Ran mad through forrow; 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;
Caufelefs, perhaps : But pardon me, sweet aunt:
And, madam, if my uncle Marcus go,
I will moft willingly attend your ladyship.
Mar. Lucius, I will.


Tit. How now, Lavinia ?-Marcus, what means
Some book there is that the defires to fee:—
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 fo beguile thy forrow, 'till the heavens
Reveal the damn'd contriver of this deed.→→
Why lifts the up her arms in fequence thus ?
Mar. I think, the 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 the toffeth fo?
Boy. Grandfire, 'tis Ovid's Metamorphofis;
My mother gave it me.


Mar. For love of her that's gone,
Perhaps the cull'd it from among the reft.
Tit. Soft! foft, how busily the turns the leaves!

[blocks in formation]

[He writes bis name with bis fiaff, and guides it with bis feet and mouth. ;|30|This sandy plot is plain; guide, if thou can'’ft, This after me, when I have writ my name Without the help of any hand at all.

Curs'd be that heart, that forc'd us to this fhift!Write thou, good niece; and here display at last, 35 What God will have discover'd for revenge: Heaven guide thy pen to print thy forrows plain, That we may know the traitors, and the truth! [She takes the faff in ber mouth, and guides it with ber ftumps, and writes. Tit. O, do you read, my lord, what the hath writ? Stuprum-Chiren-Demetrius.


Mar. What, what!-the luftful fons of Tamora Performers of this hateful bloody deed?

Tit. -Magne Dominator Poli,

45 Tam lentus audis fcelera ? tam lentus vides ?
Mar. O, calm thee, gentle lord! although, I

There is enough written upon this earth,
To ftir a mutiny in the mildest thoughts,
50 And arm the minds of infants to exclaims.
My lord, kneel down with me; Lavinia, kneel;
And kneel, fweet boy, the Roman Hector's hope;
And fwear with me,-as with the woeful feere 2,
55 And father, of that chaste dishonour'd dame,
Lord Junius Brutus fware for Lucrece' rape,➡➡
That we will prosecute, by good advice,

Feere fignifies a companion, and here metaphorically a bufband.


Mortal revenge upon these traiterous Goths,
And fee their blood, or die with this reproach.
Tim. 'Tis fure enough, an you knew how.
But if you hurt these bear-whelps, then beware:
The dam will wake; and, if she wind you once,
She's with the lion deeply still in league,
And lulls him while the playeth on her back,
And, when he fleeps, will the do what the lift.
You're a young huntsman, Marcus; let it alone;
And, come, I will go get a leaf of brafs,

And with a gad of steel will write these words,
And lay it by: the angry northern wind
Will blow these sands, like Sybil's leaves, abroad,
And where's your lesson then?-Boy, what say you?
Boy. I say, my lord, that if I were a man,
Their mother's bed-chamber should not be safe
For these bad bond-men to the yoke of Rome.
Mar. Ay, that's my boy! thy father hath full oft
For this ungrateful country done the like.
Boy. And, uncle, fo will I, an if I live.
Tit. Come, go with me into my armoury;

Lucius, I'll fit thee; and withal, my boy
Shall carry from me to the emperefs' fons
Prefents, that I intend to fend them both:

[blocks in formation]

Come, come; thou'lt do my message, wilt thou 25 But let her reft in her unrest a-while.— J

[blocks in formation]


And now, young lords, was 't not a happy star
Led us to Rome, ftrangers, and, more than fo,
Captives, to be advanced to this height?

It did me good, before the palace gate
30 To brave the tribune in his brother's hearing.
Dem. But me more good, to fee fo great a lord
Bafely infinuate, and send us gifts.


[blocks in formation]

Enter Aaron, Chiron, and Demetrius, at one door.
and at another door, young Lucius and another, 45
with a bundle of sweapons, and verfes surit upon

Chi. Demetrius, here's the fon of Lucius;
He hath fome message to deliver to us.

Aar. Ay, fome mad meffage from his mad 50 grandfather.

Boy. My lords, with all the humbleness I may, I greet your honours from Andronicus ;→→→→ And pray the Roman gods, confound you both.

[Afide. 55 Dem. Gramercy, lovely Lucius; What's the news? [news,

Boy. That you are both decypher'd, that's the For villains mark'd with rape. [Afide.] May please you,

My grandfire, well-advis'd, hath sent by me
The goodliest weapons of his armoury,


Aar. Had he not reafon, lord Demetrius?
Did you not ufe his daughter very friendly?
Dem. I would, we had a thousand Roman dames
At fuch a bay, by turn to ferve our luft.

Chi. A charitable with, and full of love.
Aar. Here lacketh but your mother to say Amen.
Chi. And that would the for twenty thoufand


Dem. Come, let us go; and pray to all the gods For our beloved mother in her pains.

Aar. Pray to the devils; the gods have given us [Afide. Flourish.


Dem. Why do the emperor's trumpets flourish
thus ?

Chi. Belike, for joy the emperor hath a fon.
Dem. Soft; who comes here?

Enter Nurfe, with a Black-a-moor Child.
Nurfe. Good-morrow, lords:

O tell me, did you fee Aaron the Moor?
Aar. Well, more or less, or ne'er a whit at all.
Here Aaron is; and what with Aaron now?
Nur. O gentle Aaron, we are all undone!
Now help, or woe betide thee evermore!

Aar. Why, what a caterwauling dost thou keep?
What doft thou wrap and fumble in thine arms?
Nur. O, that which I would hide from heaven's

60 Our emperefs'fhame, and statelyRome's difgrace;She is deliver'd, lords, she is deliver'd.

Aar. To whom?

[merged small][ocr errors]

Nur. I mean, the is brought to bed.
Aar. Well, God

Give her good reft! What hath he fent her?

Nur. A devil.

Aar. Why, then he is the devil's dam; a joyful
Nar. A joylefs, difmal, black, and forrowful iffue:
Here is the babe, as loathfome as a toad
Amongst the fairest breeders of our clime.
The empereís' fends it thee, thy stamp, thy seal,
And bids thee chriften it with thy dagger's point.
Aar. Out, out, you whore! is black fo bafe a

Sweet blowse, you are a beauteous blossom, sure.
Dem. Villain, what haft thou done?
Aar. That which thou

Can'ft not undo.

Chi. Thou haft undone our mother.

Aar. Villain, I have done thy mother.

Dem. And therein, hellish dog, thou haft undone.



Look, how the black flave fmiles upon the father; As who fhould say, Old lad, I am thine otun.

He is your brother, lords; fenfibly fed

Of that felf-blood that first gave life to you;

And, from that womb, where you imprison'd were
He is infranchifed and come to light:

Nay, he's your brother by the furer fide,
Although my feal is ftamped in his face.

Nur. Aaron, what fhall I fay unto the emperefs?
Dem. Advife thee, Aaron, what is to be done,
And we will all fubfcribe to thy advice;
Save you the child, fo we may all be safe.

Aar. Then fit we down, and let us all confult. My fon and I will have the wind of you: 15Keep there: now talk at pleasure of your fafety. [They fit on the ground.

Dem. How many women faw this child of his? Aar. Why, fo, brave lords; When we all join in league,

Woe to her chance, and damn'd her loathed choice !20I am a lamb: but if you brave the Moor,
Accurs'd the offspring of fo foul a fiend!

Chi. It fhall not live.

Aar. It fhall not die.

Nur. Aaron, it must; the mother wills it fo.
Aar. What, muft it, nurfe? then let no man but 1,25
Do execution on my flesh and blood. [point:
Dem. I'll broach the tadpole on my rapier's
Nurse, give it me; my fword fhall foon difpatch it.
Aar. Sooner this fword fhall plough thy bowels up.

The chafed boar, the mountain lioness,
The ocean fwells not fo as Aaron ftorms.-
But, fay again, how many faw the child?
Nur. Cornelia the midwife, and myself,
And no one else, but the deliver'd emperefs.

Aar. The emperefs, the midwife, and yourself:-Two may keep counfel, when the third's away: Go to the emperefs; tell her this 1 faid :

[He kills her.

Stay, murd'rous villains! will you kill your brother? 30 Weke, weke !-fo cries a pig, prepar'd to the fpit. Now, by the burning tapers of the sky,

That fhone fo brightly when this boy was got,

He dies upon my scymitar's fharp point,

That touches this my first-born fon and heir!

I tell you, younglings, not Enceladus,

With all his threat'ning band of Typhon's brood,
Nor great Alcides, nor the god of war,
Shall feize this prey out of his father's hands.
What, what, ye fanguine, fhallow-hearted boys!
Ye white-lim'd walls! ye alehoufe painted figns!
Coal-black is better than another hue,

In that it scorns to bear another hue:
For all the water in the ocean

Can never turn the fwan's black legs to white,
Although the lave them hourly in the flood.-
Tell the emperefs from me, I am of age
To keep mine own; excufe it how she can.
Dem. Wilt thou betray thy noble miftrefs thus?
Aar. My miftrefs is my miftrefs; this, myfelf;
The vigour, and the picture of my youth:
This, before all the world, do I prefer;
This, maugre all the world, will I keep fafe,
Or fome of you fhall fmoke for it in Rome.
Dem. By this our mother is for ever fham'd.
Chi. Rome will defpife her for this foul efcape.
Nur. The emperor, in his rage, will doom her

Dem. What mean'ft thou, Aaron? Wherefore

didft thou this?

Aar. O lord, fir, 'tis a deed of policy:
Shall the live to betray this guilt of ours?

35 A long-tongu'd babbling goffip! no, lords, no.
And now be it known to you my full intent.
Not far, one Muliteus lives, my countryman,
His wife but yefternight was brought to-bed;
His child is like to her, fair as you are:

40 Go pack 4 with him, and give the mother gold,
And tell them both the circumftance of all;
And how by this their child fhall be advanc'd,
And be received for the emperor's heir,
And fubftituted in the place of mine,

45 To calm this tempeft whirling in the court;
And let the emperor dandle him for his own.
Hark ye, my lords; ye fee, I have given her phyfick,
[Pointing to the nurse.

And you muft needs beftow her funeral; 50The fields are near, and you are gallant grooms: This done, fee that you take no longer days, But fend the midwife prefently to me. The midwife, and the nurfe, well made away, Then let the ladies tattle what they please.


Chi. I blush to think upon this ignomy.
Aar. Why there's the privilege your beauty bears:
Fye, treacherous hue! that will betray with blushing 60
The close enacts and counfels of the heart!
Here is a young lad fram'd of another leer 3:

Chi. Aaron, I fee, thou wilt not trust the air With fecrets.

Dem. For this care of Tamora, Herfelf, and hers, are highly bound to thee. [Exeunt.

Aar. Now to the Goths, as fwift as fwallow flies; There to difpofe this treafure in my arms, And fecretly to greet the emperefs' friends,--

To do is here used obfcenely. 2 A broach is a spit. 4 To peck is to contrive infidiously.

or hue.

I'll fpit the tadpole, 3 Leer is complexion


« PreviousContinue »