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Be candidatus, then, and put it on,
And help to set a head on headless Rome.
Tit. A better head her glorious body fits,
Than his that shakes for age and feebleness:
What! should I don this robe, and trouble you?
Be chosen with proclamations to-day;
To-morrow, yield up rule, resign my life,
And set abroad new business for you all?
Rome, I have been thy soldier forty years,
And led my country's strength successfully;
And buried one and twenty valiant sons,
Knighted in field, slain manfully in arms,
In right and service of their noble country:
Give me a staff of honour for mine age,
But not a sceptre to control the world:
Upright he held it, lords, that held it last.
Mar. Titus, thou shalt obtain and ask the empery.
Sat. Proud and ambitious tribune, canst thou
Tit. Patience, prince Saturnine.
Sat. Romans, do me right; Patriciaus, draw your swords, and sheath them not Till Saturninus be Rome's emperor :Andronicus, 'would thou were shipp'd to hell, Rather than rob me of the people's hearts.
Luc. Proud Saturnine, interrupter of the good That noble-minded Titus means to thee!
Tit. Content thee, prince; I will restore to thee The people's hearts, and wean them from themselves. Bas. Andronicus, I do not flatter thee, But honour thee, and will do, till I die; My faction, if thou strengthen with thy friends, I will most thankful be; and thanks, to men Of noble minds, is honourable meed.
Tit. People of Rome, and people's tribunes here, I ask your voices, and your suffrages; Will you bestow them friendly on Andronicus? Trib. To gratify the good Andronicus, And gratulate his safe return to Rome, The people will accept whom he admits.
Tit. Tribunes, I thank you: and this suit I make,
That you create your emperor's eldest son,
Lord Saturnine; whose virtues will, I hope.
Reflect on Rome, as Titan's rays on earth,
And ripen justice in this common-weal:
Then if you will elect by my advice,
Crown him, and say,-Long live our emperor!
Mar. With voices and applause of every sort,
Patricians, and plebeians, we create
Lord Saturninus, Rome's great emperor;
And say,-Long live our emperor Saturnine!
(A long flourish.)
Sat. Titus Andronicus, for thy favours done
To us in our election this day,
I give thee thanks in part of thy deserts,
And will with deeds requite thy gentleness:
And, for an onset, Titus, to advance
Thy name, and honourable family,
Lavinia will I make my emperess,
Rome's royal mistress, mistress of my heart,
And in the sacred Pantheon her espouse:
Tell me, Andronicus, doth this motion please thee?
Tit. It doth, my worthy lord; and, in this match,
I hold me highly honour'd of your grace:
And here, in sight of Rome, to Saturnine,-
King and commander of our common-weal,
The wide world's emperor,-do I consecrate
My sword, my chariot, and my prisoners;
Presents well worthy Rome's imperial lord:
Receive them then, the tribute that I owe,
Mine honour's ensigns humbled at thy feet.
Sat. Thanks, noble Titus, father of my life!
How proud I am of thee, and of thy gifts,
Rome shall record; and when I do forget
The least of these unspeakable deserts,
Romans, forget your fealty to me.
Tit. Now, madam, are you prisoner to an emperor: (To Tamora.) To him, that for your honour and your state, Will use you nobly, and your followers.
Sat. A goodly lady, trust me; of the hue
That I would choose, were I to choose anew.-
Clear up, fair queen, that cloudy countenance;
Though chance of war bath wrought this change
Thou com'st not to be made a scorn in Rome :
Princely shall be thy usage every way.
Rest on my word, and let not discontent
Daunt all your hopes; Madam, he comforts you,
Can make you greater than the queen of Goths.—
Lavinia, you are not displeas'd with this?
Lav. Not I, my lord; sith true nobility
Warrants these words in princely courtesy.
Sat. Thanks, sweet Lavinia.-Romans, let us go; Ransomless here, we set our prisoners free: Proclaim our honours, lords, with trump and drum. Bas. Lord Titus, by your leave, this maid is mine. (Seizing Lavinia.) Tit. How, sir? Are you in earnest then, my lord? Bas. Ay, noble Titus; and resolv'd withal, To do myself this reason and this right.
(The Emperor courts Tamora in dumb shew.) Mar. 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 guard?
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.
[Exeunt Marcus and Bassianus, with Lavinia. Mut. Brothers, help to convey her hence away, And with my sword I'll keep this door safe.
[Exeunt Lucius, Quintus, and Martius. Tia Follow, my lord, and I'll soon bring her back. Mut. My lord, you pass not here.
What, villain boy! Barr'st me my way in Rome? (Titus kills Mutius.) Mut. Help, Lucius, help!
Luc. My lord, you are unjust; and, more than so, In wrongful quarrel you have slain your son. Tit. Nor thou, 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 promised love.
Sat. No, Titus, no; the emperor needs her not,
Not 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 of,
But Saturnine? Full well, Andronicus,
Agree these deeds with that proud brag of thine,
That said'st, I begg'd the empire at thy hand.
Tit. O monstrous! what reproachful words are
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 heart. [Goths,
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 emperess 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 Hymeueus stands,-
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." [swear,
Tam. And here, in sight of heaven, to Rome I
If Saturnine advance the queen of Goths,
She will a hand-maid be to his desires,
A loving nurse, a mother to his youth.
Sat. Ascend, fair queen, Pantheon:-Lords,
Your noble emperor, and his lovely bride,
Sent by the heavens for prince Saturnine,
Whose wisdom hath her fortune conquer'd:
There shall we consummate our spousal rites.
[Exeunt Saturninus, and his Followers; Tamora,
and her sons; Aaron, and Goths.
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?
Re-enter MARCUS, LUCIUS, QUINTUS, and MARTIUS.
Mar. 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 Mutius 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.
Mar. My lord, this is impiety in you:
My nephew Mutius' deeds do plead for him;
He must be buried with his brethren. [pany.
Quin. & Mar. And shall, or him we will accom-
Tit. And shall? What villain was it spoke that
Quin. He that would vouch't in any place but
Tit. What, would you bury him in my despite?
Mar. 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 wounded:
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.
Quin. Not I, till Mutius' bones be buried.
(Marcus and the sons of Titus kneel.)
Mar. Brother, for in that name doth nature plead.
Quin. Father, and in that name doth nature speak.
Tit. Speak thou no more, if all the rest will speed.
Mar. Renowned Titus, more than half my soul,-
Luc. Dear father, soul and substance of us all,-
Mar. Suffer thy brother Marcus to inter
His noble nephew here in virtue's nest,
That died in honour and Lavinia's cause.
Thou art a Roman, be not barbarous.
The Greeks, upon advice, did bury Ajax
That slew himself; and wise Laertes' son
Did graciously plead for his funerals.
Let not young Mutius then, that was thy joy,
Be barr'd his entrance here.
Rise, Marcus, rise:-
The dismall'st day is this, that e'er I saw,
To be dishonour'd by my sons in Rome!--
Well, bury him, and bury me the next.
(Mutius is put into the tomb.) Luc. There lie thy bones, sweet Mutius, with thy friends,
Till we with trophies do adorn thy tomb!-
All. No man shed tears for noble Mutius;
He lives in fame, that died in virtue's cause.
Mar. My lord,-to step out of these dreary
How comes it, that the subtle queen of Goths
Is of a sudden thus advanc'd in Rome?
Tit. I know not, Marcus; but, I know, it is
Whether by device, or no, the heavens can tell:
Is she not then beholden to the man
That brought her for this high good turn so far?
Yes, and will nobly him remunerate.
Flourish. Re-enter at one side, SATURNINUS, dttended; TAMORA, CHIRON, DEMETRIUS, and AARON: At the other, BASSIANUS, LAVINIA, and others.
Sat. So Bassianus, you have play'd your prize; God give you joy, sir, of your gallant bride. Bas. And you of yours, my lord: I say no more, Nor wish no less; and so I take my leave. Sat. Traitor, if Rome have law, or we have power, Thou and thy faction shall repent this rape. Bas. Rape, call you it, my lord, to seize my own, My true-betrothed love, and now my wife? But let the laws of Rome determine all: Mean while I am possess'd of that is mine. Sat. 'Tis good, sir: You are very short with us; But, if we live, we'll be as sharp with you.
Bas. My lord, what I have done, as best I may,
Answer I must, and shall do with my life.
Only this much I give your grace to know,-
By all the duties which I owe to Rome,
This noble gentleman, lord Titus here,
Is in opinion, and in honour, wrong'd;
That, in the rescue of Lavinia,
With his own hand did slay his youngest son,
In zeal to you, and highly mov'd to wrath
To be controll'd in that he frankly gave:
Receive him then to favour, Saturnine;
That hath express'd himself, in all his deeds,
A father, and a friend, to thee, and Rome.
Tit. Prince Bassianus, leave to plead my deeds; 'Tis thou, and those, that have dishonour'd me: Rome and the righteous heavens be my judge, How I have lov'd and honour'd Saturnine!
Tam. My worthy lord, if ever Tamora
Were gracious in those princely eyes of thine,
Then hear me speak indifferently for all;
And at my suit, sweet, pardon what is past.
Sat. What! madam! be dishonour'd openly,
And basely put it up without revenge?
Tam. Not so, my lord; The gods of Rome foreI should be author to dishonour you! But, on mine honour, dare I undertake For good lord Titus' innocence in all, Whose fury, not dissembled, speaks his griefs: Then, at my suit, look graciously on him; Lose not so noble a friend on vain suppose, Nor with sour looks afflict his gentle heart.My lord, be rul'd by me, be won at last, Dissemble all your griefs and discontents: You are but newly planted in your throne; Lest then the people, and patricians too, Upon a just survey, take Titus' part, And so supplant us for ingratitude, (Which Rome reputes to be a heinous sin,) Yield at entreats, and then let me alone:" I'll find a day to massacre them all, And raze their faction, and their family, The cruel father, and his traitorous sons, To whom I sued for my dear son's life; And make them know, what 'tis to let a queen [vain.Kneel in the streets, and beg for grace in Come, come, sweet emperor, come, Andronicus,— Take up this good old man, and cheer the heart That dies in tempest of thy angry frown.
Sat. Rise, Titus, rise; my empress hath prevail'd Tit. I thank your majesty, and her, my lord: These words, these looks, infuse new life in me. Tam. Titus, I am incorporate in Rome, A Roman now adopted happily, And must advise the emperor for his good. This day all quarrels die, Andronicus;And let it be mine honour, good my lord, That I have reconcil'd your friends and you.For you, prince Bassianus, I have pass'd
My word and promise to the emperor,
That you will be more mild and tractable.-
And fear not, lords,-and you, Lavinia;—
By my advice, all humbled on your knees,
You shall ask pardon of his majesty.
Luc. We do; and vow to heaven, and to his
That, what we did, was mildly as we might,
Tend'ring our sister's honour, and our own.
Mar. That, on mine honour, here I do protest.
Sat. Away, and talk not; trouble us no more.—
Tam. Nay, nay, sweet emperor, we must all be
The tribune and his nephews kneel for grace;
I will not be denied. Sweet heart, look back.
Sat. Marcus, for thy sake, and thy brother's here,
And at my lovely Tamora's entreats,
I do remit these young men's heinous faults.
Lavinia, though you left me like a churl,
I found a friend; and sure as death I swore,
I would not part a bachelor from the priest.
Come, if the emperor's court can feast two brides,
You are my guest, Lavinia, and your friends:
This day shall be a love-day, Tamora.
Tit. To-morrow, an it please your majesty,
To hunt the panther, and the hart with me,
With horn and hound, we'll give your grace bon-jour.
Sat. Be it so, Titus, and gramercy too. [Exeunt.
SCENE I.-The same. Before the Palace.
Aar. Now climbeth Tamora Olympus' top,
Safe out of fortune's shot; and sits aloft,
Secure of thunder's crack, or lightning's flash;
Advanc'd above pale envy's threat'ning reach.
As when the golden sun salutes the morn,
And, having gilt the ocean with his beams,
Gallops the zodiac in his glistering coach,
And overlooks the highest-peering bills;
Upon her wit doth earthly honour wait,
And virtue stoops and trembles at her frown.
Then, Aaron, arm thy heart, and fit thy thoughts,
To mount aloft with thy imperial mistress,
And mount her pitch; whom thou in triumph long
Hast prisoner held, fetter'd in amorous chains;
And faster bound to Aaron's charming eyes,
Than is Prometheus tied to Caucausus.
Away with slavish weeds, and idle thoughts!
I will be bright, and shine in pearl and gold,
To wait upon this new-made emperess.
To wait, said I? to wanton with this queen,
This goddess, this Semiramis;-this queen,
This syren, that will charm Rome's Saturnine,
And see his shipwreck, and his commonweal's.
Holla! what storm is this?
Enter CHIRON and DEMETRIUS, braving. Dem. Chiron, thy years want wit, thy wit wants edge,
And manners, to intrude where I am grac'd;
And may, for aught thou know'st, affected be.
Chi. Demetrius, thou dost over-ween in all;
And so in this to bear me down with braves.
'Tis not the difference of a year, or two,
Makes me less gracious, thee more fortunate:
I am as able, and as fit, as thou,
To serve, and to deserve my mistress' grace;
And that my sword upon thee shall approve,
And plead my passions for Lavinia's love.
Aar. Clubs, clubs! these lovers will not keep
Dem. Why, boy, although our mother, unadvis'd,
Gave you a dancing-rapier by your side,
Are you so desperate grown, to threat your friends?
Go to; have your lath glued within your sheath,
Till you know better how to handle it.
Chi. Mean while, sir, with the little skill I have, Full well shalt thou perceive how much I dare.
Dem. Ay, boy, grow ye so brave? (They draw.)
Why, how now, lords?
So near the emperor's palace dare you draw,
And maintain such a quarrel openly?
Full well I wot the ground of all this grudge;
would not for a million of gold,
The cause were known to them it most concerns :
Nor would your noble mother, for much more,
Be so dishonour'd in the court of Rome.
For shame, put up.
Not I; till I have sheath'd
My rapier in his bosom, and, withal,
Thrust these reproachful speeches down his throat,
That he hath breath'd in my dishonour here.
Chi. For that I am prepar'd and full resolv'd,— Foul-spoken coward! that thunder'st with thy tongue,
And with thy weapon nothing dar'st perform.
Aar. Away, I say.-
Now, by the gods that warlike Goths adore,
This petty brabble will undo us all.-
Why, lords,—and think you not how dangerous
It is to jut upon a prince's right?
What, is Lavinia then become so loose,
Or Bassianus so degenerate,
That for her love such quarrels may be broach'd,
Without controlment, justice, or revenge?
Young lords, beware!-an should the empress know
This discord's ground, the music would not please.
Chi. I care not, I, knew she and all the world;
I love Lavinia more than all the world. [choice:
Dem. Youngling, learn thou to make some meaner
Lavinia is thine elder brother's hope.
Aar. Why, are ye mad? or know ye not, in Rome How furious and impatient they be,
And cannot brook competitors in love?
I tell you, lords, you do but plot your deaths
By this device.
[propose, Aaron, a thousand deaths would I To achieve her whom I love. Aar. To achieve her!-How? Dem.
Why mak'st thou it so strange?
She is a woman, therefore may be woo'd;
She is a woman, therefore may be won;
She is Lavinia, therefore must be lov'd.
Than wots the miller of; and easy it is
What, man! more water glideth by the mill
Of a cut loaf to steal a shive, we know:
Though Bassianus be the emperor's brother,
Better than he have yet worn Vulcan's badge.
Aar. Ay, and as good as Saturninus may. (Aside.)
Dem. Then why should he despair, that knows
to court it
With words, fair looks, and liberality?
What, hast thou not full often struck a doe,
And borne her cleanly by the keeper's nose?
Aar. Why, then, it seems, some certain snatch or
Would serve your turns.
Ay, so the turn were serv'd. Dem. Aaron, thou hast hit it. Aar.
'Would you had hit it too; Then should not we be tir'd with this ado. Why, hark ye, hark ye,-And are you such fools, To square for this? Would it offend you then That both should speed?
Aar. For shame, be friends; and join for that 'Tis policy and stratagem must do That you affect; and so must you resolve: That what you cannot, as you would, achieve, You must perforce accomplish as you may. Take this of me, Lucrece was not more chaste Than this Lavinia, Bassianus' love. A speedier course than lingering languishment Must we pursue, and I have found the path. My lords, a solemn hunting is in hand; There will the lovely Roman ladies troop: The forest walks are wide and spacious;
And many unfrequented plots there are,
Fitted by kind for rape and villany:
Single you thither then this dainty doe,
And strike her home by force, if not by words:
This way, or not at all, stand you in hope.
Come, come, our empress, with her sacred wit,
To villany and vengeance consecrate,
Will we acquaint with all that we intend;
And she shall file our engines with advice,
That will not suffer you to square yourselves,
But to your wishes' height advance you both.
The emperor's court is like the house of fame,
The palace full of tongues, of eyes, of ears:
The woods are ruthless, dreadful, deaf, and dull;
There speak, and strike, brave boys, and take your
SCENE II-A Forest near Rome. A Lodge seen
at a distance. Horns, and cry of hounds heard.
Enter TITUS ANDRONICUS, with Hunters, &c.
MARCUS, LUCIUS, QUINTUS, and MARTIUS.
Tit. The hunt is up, the morn is bright and grey,
The fields are fragrant, and the woods are green:
Uncouple here, and let us make a bay,
And wake the emperor and his lovely bride,
And rouse the prince; and ring a hunter's peal,
That all the court may echo with the noise.
Sons, let it be your charge, as it is ours,
To tend the emperor's person carefully:
I have been troubled in my sleep this night,
But dawning day new comfort hath inspir'd.
Horns wind a peal. Enter SATURNINUS, TAMORA,
BASSIANUS, LAVINIA, CHIRON, DEMETRIUS,
Tit. Many good-morrows to your majesty ;-
Madam, to you as many and as good.
I promised your grace a hunter's peal.
Sat. And you have rung it lustily, my lords,
Somewhat too early for new-married ladies.
Bas. Lavinia, how say you?
I have been broad awake two hours and more.
Sat. Come on then; horse and chariots let us
And to our sport :- Madam, now shall ye see
Our Roman hunting.
I have dogs, my lord,
Will rouse the proudest panther in the chase,
And climb the highest promontory top.
Tit. And I have horse will follow where the game
Makes way, and run like swallows o'er the plain.
Dem. (Aside.) Chiron, we hunt not, we, with
horse nor hound,
But hope to pluck a dainty doe to ground. [Exeunt.
SCENE III. A desert Part of the Forest.
Enter AARON, with a bag of gold.
The snake lies rolled in the cheerful sun;
The green leaves quiver with the cooling wind,
And make a checquer'd shadow on the ground:
Under their sweet shade, Aaron, let us sit,
And whilst the babbling echo mocks the hounds,
Replying shrilly to the well-tan'd horns,
As if a double hunt were heard at once,-
Let us sit down, and mark their yelling noise:
And-after conflict, such as was suppos'd
The wandering prince and Dido once enjoy'd,
When with a happy storm they were surpris'd,
And curtain'd with a counsel-keeping cave,-
We may, each wreathed in the other's arms,
Our pastimes done, possess a golden slumber;
Whilst hounds, and horns, and sweet melodions
Be unto us, as is a nurse's song
Of lullaby, to bring her babe asleep.
Aar. Madam, though Venus govern your desires,
Saturn is dominator over mine:
What signifies my deadly-standing eye,
My silence, and my cloudy melancholy?
My fleece of woolly hair that now uncurls,
Even as an adder, when she doth unroll
To do some fatal execution?
No, madam, these are no venereal signs;
Vengeance is in my heart, death in my hand,
Blood and revenge are hammering in my head.
Hark, Tamora, the empress of my soul,
Which never hopes more heaven than rests in
This is the day of doom for Bassianus ;
His Philomel must lose her tongue to-day:
Thy sons make pillage of her chastity,
And wash their hands in Bassianus' blood.
Seest thou this letter? take it up, I pray thee,
And give the king this fatal-plotted scroll:
Here comes a parcel of our hopeful booty,
Now question me no more, we are espied;
Which dreads not yet their lives' destruction.
Tam. Ah, my sweet Moor, sweeter to me than
Aar. No more, great empress, Bassianus comes:
Be cross with him; and I'll go fetch thy sons
To back thy quarrels, whatsoe'er they be.
Enter BASSIANUS and LAVINIA.
Bas, Whom have we here? Rome's royal emp
Unfurnish'd of her well-beseeming troop?
Or is it Dian, habited like her,
Who hath abandoned her holy groves,
To see the general hunting in this forest?
Tam. Saucy controller of our private steps!
Had I the power, that, some say, Dian had,
Thy temples should be planted presently
With horns, as was Acteon's; and the hounds
Should drive upon thy new-transformed limbs,
Unmannerly intruder as thou art!
Lav. Under your patience, gentle emperess,
'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 !
Aar. He that had wit, would think that I had 'Tis pity, they should take him for a stag.
To bury so much gold under a tree,
And never after to inherit it.
Let him, that thinks of me so abjectly,
Know, that this gold must coin a stratagem;
Which, cunningly effected, will beget
A very excellent piece of villany:
And so repose, sweet gold, for their unrest,
That have their alms out of the empress' chest.
(Hides the gold.)
Tam. My lovely Aaron, wherefore look'st thou
When every thing doth make a gleeful boast?
The birds chaunt melody on every bush ;
Bas. Believe me, queen, your swarth Cimmerian
Doth make your honour of his body's hue,
Spotted, detested, and abominable.
Why are you séquester'd from all your train?
Dismounted from your snow-white goodly steed,
And wander'd hither to an obscure plot,
Accompanied 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 sanciness. I pray you, let us hence,
And let her 'joy her raven-colour'd love;
This valley fits the purpose passing well.
Bas. The king, my brother, shall have note of
Lav. Ay, for these slips have made him noted | To have his princely paws par'd all away. long:
Good king! to be so mightily abus'd!
Tam. Why have I patience to endure all this?
Enter CHIRON and DEMETRIUS.
Dem, How now, dear sovereign, and our gracious mother,
Why does 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 misletoe.
Here never shines the sun; here nothing breeds,
Unless the nightly owl, or fatal raven.
And, when they shew'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 tearful and confused cries,
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 here
Unto the body of a dismal yew;
Aud leave me to this miserable death,
And then they call'd me, foul adulteress,
Lascivious Goth, and all the bitterest terms
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 from henceforth call'd my children.
Dem. This is a witness that I am thy son.
Chi. And this for me, struck home to shew my
strength. (Stabbing him likewise.)
Lav. Ay come, Semiramis,-nay, barbarous Ta-
For no name fits thy nature but thy own!
Tam. Give me thy poinard; you shall know, my boys,
Your mother's hand shall right your mother's wrong.
Dem. Stay, madam, here is more belongs to her;
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 braves your mighti
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.
Tam. But when you have the honey you desire, Let not this wasp out-live, us both to sting.
Chi. I warrant you, madam; we will make that
Come mistress, now perforce we will enjoy
That nice-preserved honesty of yours.
Lav. O Tamora! thou bear'st a woman's face,-
Tam. I will not hear her speak; away with her.
Lav. Sweet lords, entreat her hear me but a
Dem. Listen, fair madam: Let it be your glory To see her tears; but be your heart to them, As unrelenting flint to drops of rain.
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 had'st thy tyranny.-
Yet every mother breeds not sons alike;
Do thou entreat her shew a woman pity.
(To Chiron.) Chi. What! would'st thou have me prove myself a bastard?
Lav. 'Tis true; the raven doth not hatch a lark: Yet I have heard, (O could I find it now!) The lion, mov'd with pity, did endure
Some say, that ravens foster forlorn children, The whilst their own birds famish in their nests: 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 her. 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. Had'st 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 will;
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;
Poor I was slain, when Bassianus died.
Tam. What begg'st thou then? fond woman, let me go.
[more, Lav. 'Tis present death I beg; and one thing That womanhood denies my tongue to tell: O, keep me from their worst than killing lust, And tumble me into some loathsome pit; Where never man's eye may behold my body: Do this, and be a charitable murderer.
Tam. So should I rob my sweet sons of their fee: No, let them satisfy their lust on thee.
Dem. Away, for thou hast staid us here too long. Lav. No grace? no womanhood? Ah, beastly creature!
The blot and enemy to our general name!
Chi. Nay, then I'll stop your mouth :--Bring thou her husband; (Dragging off Lavinia.) This is the hole where Aaron bid us hide him.
[Exeunt. Tam. Farewell, my sons: see, that you make her sure:
Ne'er let my heart know merry cheer indeed,
Till all the Andronici be made away.
Now will I hence to seek my lovely Moor,
And let my spleenful sons this trull deflour. [Exit.
SCENE IV. The same.
Enter AARON, with QUINTUS and MARTIUS. Aar. Come on, my lords; the better foot before : Straight will I bring you to the loathsome pit, Where I espied the panther fast asleep.
Quin. My sight is very dull, whate'er it bodes. Mart. And mine, I promise you; wer't not for shame,
Well could I leave our sport to sleep awhile. (Martius falls into the pit.) Quin. What, art thou fallen? What subtle hole
is this, Whose mouth is cover'd with rude-growing briars; Upon whose leaves are drops of new-shed blood, As fresh as morning's dew distill'd on flowers? A very fatal place it seems to me :Speak, brother, hast thou hurt thee with the fall? Mart. O brother, with the dismallest object That ever eye, with sight, made heart lament.
Aar. (Aside.) Now will I fetch the king to find
That he thereby may give a likely guess, How these were they that made away his brother. [Exit.
Mart. Why dost not comfort me, and help me
From this unhallow'd and blood-stained hole?
Quin. I am surprised with an uncouth fear:
A chilling sweat o'er-runs my trembling joints;
My heart suspects more than mine eye can see.
Mart. To prove thou hast a true-divining heart,
Aaron and thou look down into this den,
And see a fearful sight of blood and death,