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The Tragedie of Titus Andronicus by William Shakespeare

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Mar. O why should nature build so foule a den,
Vnlesse the Gods delight in tragedies?
Ti. Giue signes sweet girle, for heere are none but friends
What Romaine Lord it was durst do the deed?
Or slunke not Saturnine, as Tarquin erst,
That left the Campe to sinne in Lucrece bed

Mar. Sit downe sweet Neece, brother sit downe by me,
Appollo, Pallas, Ioue, or Mercury,
Inspire me that I may this treason finde.
My Lord looke heere, looke heere Lauinia.

He writes his Name with his staffe, and guides it with feete and

This sandie plot is plaine, guide if thou canst
This after me, I haue writ my name,
Without the helpe of any hand at all.
Curst be that hart that forc'st vs to that shift:
Write thou good Neece, and heere display at last,
What God will haue discouered for reuenge,
Heauen guide thy pen to print thy sorrowes plaine,
That we may know the Traytors and the truth.

She takes the staffe in her mouth, and guides it with her stumps

Ti. Oh doe ye read my Lord what she hath writ?
Stuprum, Chiron, Demetrius

Mar. What, what, the lustfull sonnes of Tamora,
Performers of this hainous bloody deed?
Ti. Magni Dominator poli,
Tam lentus audis scelera, tam lentus vides?
Mar. Oh calme thee gentle Lord: Although I know
There is enough written vpon this earth,
To stirre a mutinie in the mildest thoughts,
And arme the mindes of infants to exclaimes.
My Lord kneele downe with me: Lauinia kneele,
And kneele sweet boy, the Romaine Hectors hope,
And sweare with me, as with the wofull Feere
And father of that chast dishonoured Dame,
Lord Iunius Brutus sweare for Lucrece rape,
That we will prosecute (by good aduise)
Mortall reuenge vpon these traytorous Gothes,
And see their blood, or die with this reproach

Ti. Tis sure enough, and you knew how.
But if you hunt these Beare-whelpes, then beware
The Dam will wake, and if she winde you once,
Shee's with the Lyon deepely still in league.
And lulls him whilst she playeth on her backe,
And when he sleepes will she do what she list.
You are a young huntsman Marcus, let it alone:
And come, I will goe get a leafe of brasse,
And with a Gad of steele will write these words,
And lay it by: the angry Northerne winde
Will blow these sands like Sibels leaues abroad,
And wheres your lesson then. Boy what say you?
Boy. I say my Lord, that if I were a man,
Their mothers bed-chamber should not be safe,
For these bad bond-men to the yoake of Rome

Mar. I that's my boy, thy father hath full oft,
For his vngratefull country done the like

Boy. And Vncle so will I, and if I liue

Ti. Come goe with me into mine Armorie,
Lucius Ile fit thee, and withall, my boy
Shall carry from me to the Empresse sonnes,
Presents that I intend to send them both,
Come, come, thou'lt do thy message, wilt thou not?
Boy. I with my dagger in their bosomes Grandsire:
Ti. No boy not so, Ile teach thee another course,
Lauinia come, Marcus looke to my house,
Lucius and Ile goe braue it at the Court,
I marry will we sir, and weele be waited on.


Mar. O heauens! Can you heare a good man grone
And not relent, or not compassion him?
Marcus attend him in his extasie,
That hath more scars of sorrow in his heart,
Then foe-mens markes vpon his batter'd shield,
But yet so iust, that he will not reuenge,
Reuenge the heauens for old Andronicus.


Enter Aron, Chiron and Demetrius at one dore: and at another dore
Lucius and another, with a bundle of weapons, and verses writ
vpon them.

Chi. Demetrius heeres the sonne of Lucius,
He hath some message to deliuer vs

Aron. I some mad message from his mad Grandfather

Boy. My Lords, with all the humblenesse I may,
I greete your honours from Andronicus,
And pray the Romane Gods confound you both

Deme. Gramercie louely Lucius, what's the newes?
For villanie's markt with rape. May it please you,
My Grandsire well aduis'd hath sent by me,
The goodliest weapons of his Armorie,
To gratifie your honourable youth,
The hope of Rome, for so he bad me say:
And so I do and with his gifts present
Your Lordships, when euer you haue need,
You may be armed and appointed well,
And so I leaue you both: like bloody villaines.


Deme. What's heere? a scrole, & written round about?
Let's see.
Integer vit scelerisque purus, non egit maury iaculis nec arcus

Chi. O 'tis a verse in Horace, I know it well.
I read it in the Grammer long agoe

Moore. I iust, a verse in Horace: right, you haue it,
Now what a thing it is to be an Asse?
Heer's no sound iest, the old man hath found their guilt,
And sends the weapons wrapt about with lines,
That wound (beyond their feeling) to the quick:
But were our witty Empresse well a foot,
She would applaud Andronicus conceit:
But let her rest, in her vnrest a while.
And now young Lords, was't not a happy starre
Led vs to Rome strangers, and more then so;
Captiues, to be aduanced to this height?
It did me good before the Pallace gate,
To braue the Tribune in his brothers hearing

Deme. But me more good, to see so great a Lord
Basely insinuate, and send vs gifts

Moore. Had he not reason Lord Demetrius?
Did you not vse his daughter very friendly?
Deme. I would we had a thousand Romane Dames
At such a bay, by turne to serue our lust

Chi. A charitable wish, and full of loue

Moore. Heere lack's but your mother for to say, Amen

Chi. And that would she for twenty thousand more

Deme. Come, let vs go, and pray to all the Gods
For our beloued mother in her paines

Moore. Pray to the deuils, the gods haue giuen vs ouer.


Dem. Why do the Emperors trumpets flourish thus?
Chi. Belike for ioy the Emperour hath a sonne

Deme. Soft, who comes heere?
Enter Nurse with a blacke a Moore childe.

Nur. Good morrow Lords:
O tell me, did you see Aaron the Moore?
Aron. Well, more or lesse, or nere a whit at all,
Heere Aaron is, and what with Aaron now?
Nurse. Oh gentle Aaron, we are all vndone.
Now helpe, or woe betide thee euermore

Aron. Why, what a catterwalling dost thou keepe?
What dost thou wrap and fumble in thine armes?
Nurse. O that which I would hide from heauens eye,
Our Empresse shame, and stately Romes disgrace,
She is deliuered Lords, she is deliuered

Aron. To whom?
Nurse. I meane she is brought a bed?
Aron. Wel God giue her good rest,
What hath he sent her?
Nurse. A deuill

Aron. Why then she is the Deuils Dam: a ioyfull issue

Nurse. A ioylesse, dismall, blacke &, sorrowfull issue,
Heere is the babe as loathsome as a toad,
Among'st the fairest breeders of our clime,
The Empresse sends it thee, thy stampe, thy seale,
And bids thee christen it with thy daggers point

Aron. Out you whore, is black so base a hue?
Sweet blowse, you are a beautious blossome sure

Deme. Villaine what hast thou done?
Aron. That which thou canst not vndoe

Chi. Thou hast vndone our mother

Deme. And therein hellish dog, thou hast vndone,
Woe to her chance, and damn'd her loathed choyce,
Accur'st the off-spring of so foule a fiend

Chi. It shall not liue

Aron. It shall not die

Nurse. Aaron it must, the mother wils it so

Aron. What, must it Nurse? Then let no man but I
Doe execution on my flesh and blood

Deme. Ile broach the Tadpole on my Rapiers point:
Nurse giue it me, my sword shall soone dispatch it

Aron. Sooner this sword shall plough thy bowels vp.
Stay murtherous villaines, will you kill your brother?
Now by the burning Tapers of the skie,
That shone so brightly when this Boy was got,
He dies vpon my Semitars sharpe point,
That touches this my first borne sonne and heire.
I tell you younglings, not Enceladus
With all his threatning band of Typhons broode,
Nor great Alcides, nor the God of warre,
Shall ceaze this prey out of his fathers hands:
What, what, ye sanguine shallow harted Boyes,
Ye white-limb'd walls, ye Ale-house painted signes,
Cole-blacke is better then another hue,
In that it scornes to beare another hue:
For all the water in the Ocean,
Can neuer turne the Swans blacke legs to white,
Although she laue them hourely in the flood:
Tell the Empresse from me, I am of age
To keepe mine owne, excuse it how she can
Deme. Wilt thou betray thy noble mistris thus?
Aron. My mistris is my mistris: this my selfe,
The vigour, and the picture of my youth:
This, before all the world do I preferre,
This mauger all the world will I keepe safe,
Or some of you shall smoake for it in Rome

Deme. By this our mother is for euer sham'd

Chi. Rome will despise her for this foule escape

Nur. The Emperour in his rage will doome her death

Chi. I blush to thinke vpon this ignominie

Aron. Why ther's the priuiledge your beauty beares:
Fie trecherous hue, that will betray with blushing
The close enacts and counsels of the hart:
Heer's a young Lad fram'd of another leere,
Looke how the blacke slaue smiles vpon the father;
As who should say, old Lad I am thine owne.
He is your brother Lords, sensibly fed
Of that selfe blood that first gaue life to you,
And from that wombe where you imprisoned were
He is infranchised and come to light:
Nay he is your brother by the surer side,
Although my seale be stamped in his face

Nurse. Aaron what shall I say vnto the Empresse?
Dem. Aduise thee Aaron, what is to be done,
And we will all subscribe to thy aduise:
Saue thou the child, so we may all be safe

Aron. Then sit we downe and let vs all consult.
My sonne and I will haue the winde of you:
Keepe there, now talke at pleasure of your safety

Deme. How many women saw this childe of his?
Aron. Why so braue Lords, when we ioyne in league
I am a Lambe: but if you braue the Moore,
The chafed Bore, the mountaine Lyonesse,
The Ocean swells not so as Aaron stormes:
But say againe, how many saw the childe?
Nurse. Cornelia, the midwife, and my selfe,
And none else but the deliuered Empresse

Aron. The Empresse, the Midwife, and your selfe,
Two may keepe counsell, when the third's away:
Goe to the Empresse, tell her this I said,

He kils her

Weeke, weeke, so cries a Pigge prepared to th' spit

Deme. What mean'st thou Aron?
Wherefore did'st thou this?
Aron. O Lord sir, 'tis a deed of pollicie?
Shall she liue to betray this guilt of our's:
A long tongu'd babling Gossip? No Lords no:
And now be it knowne to you my full intent.
Not farre, one Muliteus my Country-man
His wife but yesternight was brought to bed,
His childe is like to her, faire as you are:
Goe packe with them, and giue the mother gold,
And tell them both the circumstance of all,
And how by this their Childe shall be aduaunc'd,
And be receiued for the Emperours heyre,
And substituted in the place of mine,
To calme this tempest whirling in the Court,
And let the Emperour dandle him for his owne,
Harke ye Lords, ye see I haue giuen her physicke,
And you must needs bestow her funerall,
The fields are neere, and you are gallant Groomes:
This done, see that you take no longer daies
But send the Midwife presently to me.
The Midwife and the Nurse well made away,
Then let the Ladies tattle what they please

Chi. Aaron I see thou wilt not trust the ayre with secrets

Deme. For this care of Tamora,
Her selfe, and hers are highly bound to thee.


Aron. Now to the Gothes, as swift as Swallow flies,
There to dispose this treasure in mine armes,
And secretly to greete the Empresse friends:
Come on you thick-lipt-slaue, Ile beare you hence,
For it is you that puts vs to our shifts:
Ile make you feed on berries, and on rootes,
And feed on curds and whay, and sucke the Goate,
And cabbin in a Caue, and bring you vp
To be a warriour, and command a Campe.


Enter Titus, old Marcus, young Lucius, and other gentlemen with
bowes, and
Titus beares the arrowes with Letters on the end of them.

Tit. Come Marcus, come, kinsmen this is the way.
Sir Boy let me see your Archerie,
Looke yee draw home enough, and 'tis there straight:
Terras Astrea reliquit, be you remembred Marcus.
She's gone, she's fled, sirs take you to your tooles,
You Cosens shall goe sound the Ocean:
And cast your nets, haply you may find her in the Sea,
Yet ther's as little iustice as at Land:
No Publius and Sempronius, you must doe it,
'Tis you must dig with Mattocke, and with Spade,
And pierce the inmost Center of the earth:
Then when you come to Plutoes Region,
I pray you deliuer him this petition,
Tell him it is for iustice, and for aide,
And that it comes from old Andronicus,
Shaken with sorrowes in vngratefull Rome.
Ah Rome! Well, well, I made thee miserable,
What time I threw the peoples suffrages
On him that thus doth tyrannize ore me.
Goe get you gone, and pray be carefull all,
And leaue you not a man of warre vnsearcht,
This wicked Emperour may haue shipt her hence,
And kinsmen then we may goe pipe for iustice

Marc. O Publius is not this a heauie case
To see thy Noble Vnckle thus distract?
Publ. Therefore my Lords it highly vs concernes,
By day and night t' attend him carefully:
And feede his humour kindely as we may,
Till time beget some carefull remedie

Marc. Kinsmen, his sorrowes are past remedie.
Ioyne with the Gothes, and with reuengefull warre,
Take wreake on Rome for this ingratitude,
And vengeance on the Traytor Saturnine

Tit. Publius how now? how now my Maisters?
What haue you met with her?
Publ. No my good Lord, but Pluto sends you word,
If you will haue reuenge from hell you shall,
Marrie for iustice she is so imploy'd,
He thinkes with Ioue in heauen, or some where else:
So that perforce you must needs stay a time

Tit. He doth me wrong to feed me with delayes,
Ile diue into the burning Lake below,
And pull her out of Acaron by the heeles.
Marcus we are but shrubs, no Cedars we,
No big-bon'd-men, fram'd of the Cyclops size,
But mettall Marcus steele to the very backe,
Yet wrung with wrongs more then our backe can beare:
And sith there's no iustice in earth nor hell,
We will sollicite heauen, and moue the Gods
To send downe Iustice for to wreake our wrongs:
Come to this geare, you are a good Archer Marcus.

He giues them the Arrowes.

Ad Iouem, that's for you: here ad Appollonem,
Ad Martem, that's for my selfe,
Heere Boy to Pallas, heere to Mercury,
To Saturnine, to Caius, not to Saturnine,
You were as good to shoote against the winde.
Too it Boy, Marcus loose when I bid:
Of my word, I haue written to effect,
Ther's not a God left vnsollicited

Marc. Kinsmen, shoot all your shafts into the Court,
We will afflict the Emperour in his pride

Tit. Now Maisters draw, Oh well said Lucius:
Good Boy in Virgoes lap, giue it Pallas

Marc. My Lord, I aime a Mile beyond the Moone,
Your letter is with Iupiter by this

Tit. Ha, ha, Publius, Publius, what hast thou done?
See, see, thou hast shot off one of Taurus hornes

Mar. This was the sport my Lord, when Publius shot,
The Bull being gal'd, gaue Aries such a knocke,
That downe fell both the Rams hornes in the Court,
And who should finde them but the Empresse villaine:
She laught, and told the Moore he should not choose
But giue them to his Maister for a present

Tit. Why there it goes, God giue your Lordship ioy.
Enter the Clowne with a basket and two Pigeons in it.

Titus. Newes, newes, from heauen,
Marcus the poast is come.
Sirrah, what tydings? haue you any letters?
Shall I haue Iustice, what sayes Iupiter?
Clowne. Ho the Iibbetmaker, he sayes that he hath taken
them downe againe, for the man must not be hang'd
till the next weeke

Tit. But what sayes Iupiter I aske thee?
Clowne. Alas sir I know not Iupiter:
I neuer dranke with him in all my life

Tit. Why villaine art not thou the Carrier?
Clowne. I of my Pigions sir, nothing else

Tit. Why, did'st thou not come from heauen?
Clowne. From heauen? Alas sir, I neuer came there,
God forbid I should be so bold, to presse to heauen in my
young dayes. Why I am going with my pigeons to the
Tribunall Plebs, to take vp a matter of brawle, betwixt
my Vncle, and one of the Emperialls men

Mar. Why sir, that is as fit as can be to serue for your
Oration, and let him deliuer the Pigions to the Emperour
from you

Tit. Tell mee, can you deliuer an Oration to the Emperour
with a Grace?
Clowne. Nay truely sir, I could neuer say grace in all
my life

Tit. Sirrah come hither, make no more adoe,
But giue your Pigeons to the Emperour,
By me thou shalt haue Iustice at his hands.
Hold, hold, meane while her's money for thy charges.
Giue me pen and inke.
Sirrah, can you with a Grace deliuer a Supplication?
Clowne. I sir
Titus. Then here is a Supplication for you, and when
you come to him, at the first approach you must kneele,
then kisse his foote, then deliuer vp your Pigeons, and
then looke for your reward. Ile be at hand sir, see you do
it brauely

Clowne. I warrant you sir, let me alone

Tit. Sirrha hast thou a knife? Come let me see it.
Heere Marcus, fold it in the Oration,
For thou hast made it like an humble Suppliant:
And when thou hast giuen it the Emperour,
Knocke at my dore, and tell me what he sayes

Clowne. God be with you sir, I will.

Tit. Come Marcus let vs goe, Publius follow me.


Enter Emperour and Empresse, and her two sonnes, the Emperour
brings the
Arrowes in his hand that Titus shot at him.

Satur. Why Lords,
What wrongs are these? was euer seene
An Emperour in Rome thus ouerborne,
Troubled, Confronted thus, and for the extent
Of egall iustice, vs'd in such contempt?
My Lords, you know the mightfull Gods,
(How euer these disturbers of our peace
Buz in the peoples eares) there nought hath past,
But euen with law against the willfull Sonnes
Of old Andronicus. And what and if
His sorrowes haue so ouerwhelm'd his wits,
Shall we be thus afflicted in his wreakes,
His fits, his frenzie, and his bitternesse?
And now he writes to heauen for his redresse.
See, heeres to Ioue, and this to Mercury,
This to Apollo, this to the God of warre:
Sweet scrowles to flie about the streets of Rome:
What's this but Libelling against the Senate,
And blazoning our Iniustice euery where?
A goodly humour, is it not my Lords?
As who would say, in Rome no Iustice were.
But if I liue, his fained extasies
Shall be no shelter to these outrages:
But he and his shall know, that Iustice liues
In Saturninus health; whom if he sleepe,
Hee'l so awake, as he in fury shall
Cut off the proud'st Conspirator that liues

Tamo. My gracious Lord, my louely Saturnine,
Lord of my life, Commander of my thoughts,
Calme thee, and beare the faults of Titus age,
Th' effects of sorrow for his valiant Sonnes,
Whose losse hath pier'st him deepe, and scar'd his heart;
And rather comfort his distressed plight,
Then prosecute the meanest or the best
For these contempts. Why thus it shall become
High witted Tamora to glose with all:


But Titus, I haue touch'd thee to the quicke,
Thy life blood out: If Aaron now be wise,
Then is all safe, the Anchor's in the Port.
Enter Clowne.

How now good fellow, would'st thou speake with vs?
Clow. Yea forsooth, and your Mistership be Emperiall

Tam. Empresse I am, but yonder sits the Emperour

Clo. 'Tis he; God & Saint Stephen giue you good den;
I haue brought you a Letter, & a couple of Pigions heere.

He reads the Letter.

Satu. Goe take him away, and hang him presently

Clowne. How much money must I haue?
Tam. Come sirrah you must be hang'd

Clow. Hang'd? ber Lady, then I haue brought vp a neck
to a faire end.

Satu. Despightfull and intollerable wrongs,
Shall I endure this monstrous villany?
I know from whence this same deuise proceedes:
May this be borne? As if his traytrous Sonnes,
That dy'd by law for murther of our Brother,
Haue by my meanes beene butcher'd wrongfully?
Goe dragge the villaine hither by the haire,
Nor Age, nor Honour, shall shape priuiledge:
For this proud mocke, Ile be thy slaughter man:
Sly franticke wretch, that holp'st to make me great,
In hope thy selfe should gouerne Rome and me.
Enter Nuntius Emillius.

Satur. What newes with thee Emillius?
Emil. Arme my Lords, Rome neuer had more cause,
The Gothes haue gather'd head, and with a power
Of high resolued men, bent to the spoyle
They hither march amaine, vnder conduct
Of Lucius, Sonne to old Andronicus:
Who threats in course of this reuenge to do
As much as euer Coriolanus did

King. Is warlike Lucius Generall of the Gothes?
These tydings nip me, and I hang the head
As flowers with frost, or grasse beat downe with stormes:
I, now begins our sorrowes to approach,
'Tis he the common people loue so much,
My selfe hath often heard them say,
(When I haue walked like a priuate man)
That Lucius banishment was wrongfully,
And they haue wisht that Lucius were their Emperour

Tam. Why should you feare? Is not our City strong?
King. I, but the Cittizens fauour Lucius,
And will reuolt from me, to succour him

Tam. King, be thy thoughts Imperious like thy name.
Is the Sunne dim'd, that Gnats do flie in it?
The Eagle suffers little Birds to sing,
And is not carefull what they meane thereby,
Knowing that with the shadow of his wings,
He can at pleasure stint their melodie.
Euen so mayest thou, the giddy men of Rome,
Then cheare thy spirit, for know thou Emperour,
I will enchaunt the old Andronicus,
With words more sweet, and yet more dangerous
Then baites to fish, or hony stalkes to sheepe,
When as the one is wounded with the baite,
The other rotted with delicious foode

King. But he will not entreat his Sonne for vs

Tam. If Tamora entreat him, then he will,
For I can smooth and fill his aged eare,
With golden promises, that were his heart
Almost Impregnable, his old eares deafe,
Yet should both eare and heart, obey my tongue.
Goe thou before to our Embassadour,
Say, that the Emperour requests a parly
Of warlike Lucius, and appoint the meeting

King. Emillius do this message Honourably,
And if he stand in Hostage for his safety,
Bid him demaund what pledge will please him best

Emill. Your bidding shall I do effectually.

Tam. Now will I to that old Andronicus,
And temper him with all the Art I haue,
To plucke proud Lucius from the warlike Gothes.
And now sweet Emperour be blithe againe,
And bury all thy feare in my deuises

Satu. Then goe successantly and plead for him.

Actus Quintus.

Flourish. Enter Lucius with an Army of Gothes, with Drum and

Luci. Approued warriours, and my faithfull Friends,
I haue receiued Letters from great Rome,
Which signifies what hate they beare their Emperour,
And how desirous of our sight they are.
Therefore great Lords, be as your Titles witnesse,
Imperious and impatient of your wrongs,
And wherein Rome hath done you any scathe,
Let him make treble satisfaction

Goth. Braue slip, sprung from the Great Andronicus,
Whose name was once our terrour, now our comfort,
Whose high exploits, and honourable Deeds,
Ingratefull Rome requites with foule contempt:
Behold in vs, weele follow where thou lead'st,
Like stinging Bees in hottest Sommers day,
Led by their Maister to the flowred fields,
And be aueng'd on cursed Tamora:
And as he saith, so say we all with him

Luci. I humbly thanke him, and I thanke you all.
But who comes heere, led by a lusty Goth?
Enter a Goth leading of Aaron with his child in his armes.

Goth. Renowned Lucius, from our troups I straid,
To gaze vpon a ruinous Monasterie,
And as I earnestly did fixe mine eye
Vpon the wasted building, suddainely
I heard a childe cry vnderneath a wall:
I made vnto the noyse, when soone I heard,
The crying babe control'd with this discourse:
Peace Tawny slaue, halfe me, and halfe thy Dam,
Did not thy Hue bewray whose brat thou art?
Had nature lent thee, but thy Mothers looke,
Villaine thou might'st haue bene an Emperour.
But where the Bull and Cow are both milk-white,
They neuer do beget a cole-blacke-Calfe:
Peace, villaine peace, euen thus he rates the babe,
For I must beare thee to a trusty Goth,
Who when he knowes thou art the Empresse babe,
Will hold thee dearely for thy Mothers sake.
With this, my weapon drawne I rusht vpon him,
Surpriz'd him suddainely, and brought him hither
To vse, as you thinke needefull of the man

Luci. Oh worthy Goth, this is the incarnate deuill,
That rob'd Andronicus of his good hand:
This is the Pearle that pleas'd your Empresse eye,
And heere's the Base Fruit of his burning lust.
Say wall-ey'd slaue, whether would'st thou conuay
This growing Image of thy fiend-like face?
Why dost not speake? what deafe? Not a word?
A halter Souldiers, hang him on this Tree,
And by his side his Fruite of Bastardie

Aron. Touch not the Boy, he is of Royall blood

Luci. Too like the Syre for euer being good.
First hang the Child that he may see it sprall,
A sight to vexe the Fathers soule withall

Aron. Get me a Ladder Lucius, saue the Childe,
And beare it from me to the Empresse:
If thou do this, Ile shew thee wondrous things,
That highly may aduantage thee to heare;
If thou wilt not, befall what may befall,
Ile speake no more: but vengeance rot you all

Luci. Say on, and if it please me which thou speak'st,
Thy child shall liue, and I will see it Nourisht

Aron. And if it please thee? why assure thee Lucius,
'Twill vexe thy soule to heare what I shall speake:
For I must talke of Murthers, Rapes, and Massacres,
Acts of Blacke-night, abhominable Deeds,
Complots of Mischiefe, Treason, Villanies
Ruthfull to heare, yet pittiously perform'd,
And this shall all be buried by my death,
Vnlesse thou sweare to me my Childe shall liue

Luci. Tell on thy minde,
I say thy Childe shall liue

Aron. Sweare that he shall, and then I will begin

Luci. Who should I sweare by,
Thou beleeuest no God,
That graunted, how can'st thou beleeue an oath?
Aron. 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 trickes and Ceremonies,
Which I haue seene thee carefull to obserue:
Therefore I vrge thy oath, for that I know
An Ideot holds his Bauble for a God,
And keepes the oath which by that God he sweares,
To that Ile vrge him: therefore thou shalt vow
By that same God, what God so ere it be
That thou adorest, and hast in reuerence,
To saue my Boy, to nourish and bring him vp,
Ore else I will discouer nought to thee

Luci. Euen by my God I sweare to thee I will

Aron. First know thou,
I begot him on the Empresse

Luci. Oh most Insatiate luxurious woman!
Aron. Tut Lucius, this was but a deed of Charitie,
To that which thou shalt heare of me anon,
'Twas her two Sonnes that murdered Bassianus,
They cut thy Sisters tongue, and rauisht her,
And cut her hands off, and trim'd her as thou saw'st

Lucius. Oh detestable villaine!
Call'st thou that Trimming?
Aron. Why she was washt, and cut, and trim'd,
And 'twas trim sport for them that had the doing of it

Luci. Oh barbarous beastly villaines like thy selfe!
Aron. Indeede, I was their Tutor to instruct them
That Codding spirit had they from their Mother,
As sure a Card as euer wonne the Set:
That bloody minde I thinke they learn'd of me,
As true a Dog as euer fought at head.
Well, let my Deeds be witnesse of my worth:
I trayn'd thy Bretheren to that guilefull Hole,
Where the dead Corps of Bassianus lay:
I wrote the Letter, that thy Father found,
And hid the Gold within the Letter mention'd.
Confederate with the Queene, and her two Sonnes,
And what not done, that thou hast cause to rue,
Wherein I had no stroke of Mischeife in it.
I play'd the Cheater for thy Fathers hand,
And when I had it, drew my selfe apart,
And almost broke my heart with extreame laughter.
I pried me through the Creuice of a Wall,
When for his hand, he had his two Sonnes heads,
Beheld his teares, and laught so hartily,
That both mine eyes were rainie like to his:
And when I told the Empresse of this sport,
She sounded almost at my pleasing tale,
And for my tydings, gaue me twenty kisses

Goth. What canst thou say all this, and neuer blush?
Aron. I, like a blacke Dogge, as the saying is

Luci. Art thou not sorry for these hainous deedes?
Aron. I, that I had not done a thousand more:
Euen now I curse the day, and yet I thinke
Few come within few compasse of my curse,
Wherein I did not some Notorious ill,
As kill a man, or else deuise his death,
Rauish a Maid, or plot the way to do it,
Accuse some Innocent, and forsweare my selfe,
Set deadly Enmity betweene two Friends,
Make poore mens Cattell breake their neckes,
Set fire on Barnes and Haystackes in the night,
And bid the Owners quench them with the teares:
Oft haue I dig'd vp dead men from their graues,
And set them vpright at their deere Friends doore,
Euen when their sorrowes almost was forgot,
And on their skinnes, as on the Barke of Trees,
Haue with my knife carued in Romaine Letters,
Let not your sorrow die, though I am dead.
Tut, I haue done a thousand dreadfull things
As willingly, as one would kill a Fly,
And nothing greeues me hartily indeede,
But that I cannot doe ten thousand more

Luci. Bring downe the diuell, for he must not die
So sweet a death as hanging presently

Aron. If there be diuels, would I were a deuill,
To liue and burne in euerlasting fire,
So I might haue your company in hell,
But to torment you with my bitter tongue

Luci. Sirs stop his mouth, & let him speake no more.
Enter Emillius.

Goth. My Lord, there is a Messenger from Rome
Desires to be admitted to your presence

Luc. Let him come neere.
Welcome Emillius, what the newes from Rome?
Emi. Lord Lucius, and you Princes of the Gothes,
The Romaine Emperour greetes you all by me,
And for he vnderstands you are in Armes,
He craues a parly at your Fathers house
Willing you to demand your Hostages,
And they shall be immediately deliuered

Goth. What saies our Generall?
Luc. Emillius, let the Emperour giue his pledges
Vnto my Father, and my Vncle Marcus,


And we will come: march away.


Enter Tamora, and her two Sonnes disguised.

Tam. Thus in this strange and sad Habilliament,
I will encounter with Andronicus,
And say, I am Reuenge sent from below,
To ioyne with him and right his hainous wrongs:
Knocke at his study where they say he keepes,
To ruminate strange plots of dire Reuenge,
Tell him Reuenge is come to ioyne with him,
And worke confusion on his Enemies.

They knocke and Titus opens his study dore.

Tit. Who doth mollest my Contemplation?
Is it your tricke to make me ope the dore,
That so my sad decrees may flie away,
And all my studie be to no effect?
You are deceiu'd, for what I meane to do,
See heere in bloody lines I haue set downe:
And what is written shall be executed

Tam. Titus, I am come to talke with thee,
Tit. No not a word: how can I grace my talke,
Wanting a hand to giue it action,
Thou hast the ods of me, therefore no more

Tam. If thou did'st know me,
Thou would'st talke with me

Tit. I am not mad, I know thee well enough,
Witnesse this wretched stump,
Witnesse these crimson lines,
Witnesse these Trenches made by griefe and care,
Witnesse the tyring day, and heauie night,
Witnesse all sorrow, that I know thee well
For our proud Empresse, Mighty Tamora:
Is not thy comming for my other hand?
Tamo. Know thou sad man, I am not Tamora,
She is thy Enemie, and I thy Friend,
I am Reuenge sent from th' infernall Kingdome,
To ease the gnawing Vulture of the mind,
By working wreakefull vengeance on my Foes:
Come downe and welcome me to this worlds light,
Conferre with me of Murder and of Death,
Ther's not a hollow Caue or lurking place,
No Vast obscurity, or Misty vale,
Where bloody Murther or detested Rape,
Can couch for feare, but I will finde them out,
And in their eares tell them my dreadfull name,
Reuenge, which makes the foule offenders quake

Tit. Art thou Reuenge? and art thou sent to me,
To be a torment to mine Enemies?
Tam. I am, therefore come downe and welcome me

Tit. Doe me some seruice ere I come to thee:
Loe by thy side where Rape and Murder stands,
Now giue some surance that thou art Reuenge,
Stab them, or teare them on thy Chariot wheeles,
And then Ile come and be thy Waggoner,
And whirle along with thee about the Globes.
Prouide thee two proper Palfries, as blacke as Iet,
To hale thy vengefull Waggon swift away,
And finde out Murder in their guilty cares.
And when thy Car is loaden with their heads,
I will dismount, and by the Waggon wheele,
Trot like a Seruile footeman all day long,
Euen from Eptons rising in the East,
Vntill his very downefall in the Sea.
And day by day Ile do this heauy taske,
So thou destroy Rapine and Murder there

Tam. These are my Ministers, and come with me

Tit. Are them thy Ministers, what are they call'd?
Tam. Rape and Murder, therefore called so,
Cause they take vengeance of such kind of men

Tit. Good Lord how like the Empresse Sons they are,
And you the Empresse: But we worldly men,
Haue miserable mad mistaking eyes:
Oh sweet Reuenge, now do I come to thee,
And if one armes imbracement will content thee,
I will imbrace thee in it by and by

Tam. This closing with him, fits his Lunacie,
What ere I forge to feede his braine-sicke fits,
Do you vphold, and maintaine in your speeches,
For now he firmely takes me for Reuenge,
And being Credulous in this mad thought,
Ile make him send for Lucius his Sonne,
And whil'st I at a Banquet hold him sure,
Ile find some cunning practise out of hand
To scatter and disperse the giddie Gothes,
Or at the least make them his Enemies:
See heere he comes, and I must play my theame

Tit. Long haue I bene forlorne, and all for thee,
Welcome dread Fury to my woefull house,
Rapine and Murther, you are welcome too,
How like the Empresse and her Sonnes you are.
Well are you fitted, had you but a Moore,
Could not all hell afford you such a deuill?
For well I wote the Empresse neuer wags;
But in her company there is a Moore,
And would you represent our Queene aright
It were conuenient you had such a deuill:
But welcome as you are, what shall we doe?
Tam. What would'st thou haue vs doe Andronicus?
Dem. Shew me a Murtherer, Ile deale with him

Chi. Shew me a Villaine that hath done a Rape,
And I am sent to be reueng'd on him

Tam. Shew me a thousand that haue done thee wrong,
And Ile be reuenged on them all

Tit. Looke round about the wicked streets of Rome,
And when thou find'st a man that's like thy selfe,
Good Murder stab him, hee's a Murtherer.
Goe thou with him, and when it is thy hap
To finde another that is like to thee,
Good Rapine stab him, he is a Rauisher.
Go thou with them, and in the Emperours Court,
There is a Queene attended by a Moore,
Well maist thou know her by thy owne proportion,
For vp and downe she doth resemble thee.
I pray thee doe on them some violent death,
They haue bene violent to me and mine

Tam. Well hast thou lesson'd vs, this shall we do.
But would it please thee good Andronicus,
To send for Lucius thy thrice Valiant Sonne,
Who leades towards Rome a Band of Warlike Gothes,
And bid him come and Banquet at thy house.
When he is heere, euen at thy Solemne Feast,
I will bring in the Empresse and her Sonnes,
The Emperour himselfe, and all thy Foes,
And at thy mercy shall they stoop, and kneele,
And on them shalt thou ease, thy angry heart:
What saies Andronicus to this deuise?
Enter Marcus.

Tit. Marcus my Brother, 'tis sad Titus calls,
Go gentle Marcus to thy Nephew Lucius,
Thou shalt enquire him out among the Gothes,
Bid him repaire to me, and bring with him
Some of the chiefest Princes of the Gothes,
Bid him encampe his Souldiers where they are,
Tell him the Emperour, and the Empresse too,
Feasts at my house, and he shall Feast with them,
This do thou for my loue, and so let him,
As he regards his aged Fathers life

Mar. This will I do, and soone returne againe

Tam. Now will I hence about thy businesse,
And take my Ministers along with me

Tit. Nay, nay, let Rape and Murder stay with me,
Or els Ile call my Brother backe againe,
And cleaue to no reuenge but Lucius

Tam. What say you Boyes, will you bide with him,
Whiles I goe tell my Lord the Emperour,
How I haue gouern'd our determined iest?
Yeeld to his Humour, smooth and speake him faire,
And tarry with him till I turne againe

Tit. I know them all, though they suppose me mad,
And will ore-reach them in their owne deuises,
A payre of cursed hell-hounds and their Dam

Dem. Madam depart at pleasure, leaue vs heere

Tam. Farewell Andronicus, reuenge now goes
To lay a complot to betray thy Foes

Tit. I know thou doo'st, and sweet reuenge farewell

Chi. Tell vs old man, how shall we be imploy'd?
Tit. Tut, I haue worke enough for you to doe,
Publius come hither, Caius, and Valentine

Pub. What is your will?
Tit. Know you these two?
Pub. The Empresse Sonnes
I take them, Chiron, Demetrius

Titus. Fie Publius, fie, thou art too much deceau'd,
The one is Murder, Rape is the others name,
And therefore bind them gentle Publius,
Caius, and Valentine, lay hands on them,
Oft haue you heard me wish for such an houre,
And now I find it, therefore binde them sure,
Chi. Villaines forbeare, we are the Empresse Sonnes

Pub. And therefore do we, what we are commanded.
Stop close their mouthes, let them not speake a word,
Is he sure bound, looke that you binde them fast.


Enter Titus Andronicus with a knife, and Lauinia with a Bason.

Tit. Come, come Lauinia, looke, thy Foes are bound,
Sirs stop their mouthes, let them not speake to me,
But let them heare what fearefull words I vtter.
Oh Villaines, Chiron, and Demetrius,
Here stands the spring whom you haue stain'd with mud,
This goodly Sommer with your Winter mixt,
You kil'd her husband, and for that vil'd fault,
Two of her Brothers were condemn'd to death,
My hand cut off, and made a merry iest,
Both her sweet Hands, her Tongue, and that more deere
Then Hands or tongue, her spotlesse Chastity,
Inhumaine Traytors, you constrain'd and for'st.
What would you say, if I should let you speake?
Villaines for shame you could not beg for grace.
Harke Wretches, how I meane to martyr you,
This one Hand yet is left, to cut your throats,
Whil'st that Lauinia tweene her stumps doth hold:
The Bason that receiues your guilty blood.
You know your Mother meanes to feast with me,
And calls herselfe Reuenge, and thinkes me mad.
Harke Villaines, I will grin'd your bones to dust,
And with your blood and it, Ile make a Paste,
And of the Paste a Coffen I will reare,
And make two Pasties of your shamefull Heads,
And bid that strumpet your vnhallowed Dam,
Like to the earth swallow her increase.
This is the Feast, that I haue bid her to,
And this the Banquet she shall surfet on,
For worse then Philomel you vsd my Daughter,
And worse then Progne, I will be reueng'd,
And now prepare your throats: Lauinia come.
Receiue the blood, and when that they are dead,
Let me goe grin'd their Bones to powder small,
And with this hatefull Liquor temper it,
And in that Paste let their vil'd Heads be bakte,
Come, come, be euery one officious,
To make this Banket, which I wish might proue,
More sterne and bloody then the Centaures Feast.
He cuts their throats.

So now bring them in, for Ile play the Cooke,
And see them ready, gainst their Mother comes.


Enter Lucius, Marcus, and the Gothes.

Luc. Vnckle Marcus, since 'tis my Fathers minde
That I repair to Rome, I am content

Goth. And ours with thine befall, what Fortune will

Luc. Good Vnckle take you in this barbarous Moore,
This Rauenous Tiger, this accursed deuill,
Let him receiue no sustenance, fetter him,
Till he be brought vnto the Emperours face,
For testimony of her foule proceedings.
And see the Ambush of our Friends be strong,
If ere the Emperour meanes no good to vs

Aron. Some deuill whisper curses in my eare,
And prompt me that my tongue may vtter forth,
The Venemous Mallice of my swelling heart

Luc. Away Inhumaine Dogge, Vnhallowed Slaue,
Sirs, helpe our Vnckle, to conuey him in,


The Trumpets shew the Emperour is at hand.

Sound Trumpets. Enter Emperour and Empresse, with Tribunes
and others.

Sat. What, hath the Firemament more Suns then one?
Luc. What bootes it thee to call thy selfe a Sunne?
Mar. Romes Emperour & Nephewe breake the parle
These quarrels must be quietly debated,
The Feast is ready which the carefull Titus,
Hath ordained to an Honourable end,
For Peace, for Loue, for League, and good to Rome:
Please you therfore draw nie and take your places

Satur. Marcus we will.


A Table brought in. Enter Titus like a Cooke, placing the meat on
Table, and Lauinia with a vale ouer her face.

Titus. Welcome my gracious Lord,
Welcome Dread Queene,
Welcome ye Warlike Gothes, welcome Lucius,
And welcome all: although the cheere be poore,
'Twill fill your stomacks, please you eat of it

Sat. Why art thou thus attir'd Andronicus?
Tit. Because I would be sure to haue all well,
To entertaine your Highnesse, and your Empresse

Tam. We are beholding to you good Andronicus?
Tit. And if your Highnesse knew my heart, you were:
My Lord the Emperour resolue me this,
Was it well done of rash Virginius,
To slay his daughter with his owne right hand.
Because she was enfor'st, stain'd, and deflowr'd?
Satur. It was Andronicus

Tit. Your reason, Mighty Lord?
Sat. Because the Girle, should not suruiue her shame,
And by her presence still renew his sorrowes

Tit. A reason mighty, strong, and effectuall,
A patterne, president, and liuely warrant,
For me (most wretched) to performe the like:
Die, die, Lauinia, and thy shame with thee,
And with thy shame, thy Fathers sorrow die.

He kils her.

Sat. What hast done, vnnaturall and vnkinde?
Tit. Kil'd her for whom my teares haue made me blind.
I am as wofull as Virginius was,
And haue a thousand times more cause then he

Sat. What was she rauisht? tell who did the deed,
Tit. Wilt please you eat,
Wilt please your Highnesse feed?
Tam. Why hast thou slaine thine onely Daughter?
Titus. Not I, 'twas Chiron and Demetrius,
They rauisht her, and cut away her tongue,
And they, 'twas they, that did her all this wrong

Satu. Go fetch them hither to vs presently

Tit. Why there they are both, baked in that Pie,
Whereof their Mother daintily hath fed,
Eating the flesh that she herselfe hath bred.
'Tis true, 'tis true, witnesse my kniues sharpe point.

He stabs the Empresse.

Satu. Die franticke wretch, for this accursed deed

Luc. Can the Sonnes eye, behold his Father bleed?
There's meede for meede, death for a deadly deed

Mar. You sad fac'd men, people and Sonnes of Rome,
By vprores seuer'd like a flight of Fowle,
Scattred by windes and high tempestuous gusts:
Oh let me teach you how, to knit againe
This scattred Corne, into one mutuall sheafe,
These broken limbs againe into one body

Goth. Let Rome herselfe be bane vnto herselfe,
And shee whom mightie kingdomes cursie too,
Like a forlorne and desperate castaway,
Doe shamefull execution on her selfe.
But if my frostie signes and chaps of age,
Graue witnesses of true experience,
Cannot induce you to attend my words,
Speake Romes deere friend, as er'st our Auncestor,
When with his solemne tongue he did discourse
To loue-sicke Didoes sad attending eare,
The story of that balefull burning night,
When subtil Greekes surpriz'd King Priams Troy:
Tell vs what Sinon hath bewicht our eares,
Or who hath brought the fatall engine in,
That giues our Troy, our Rome the ciuill wound.
My heart is not compact of flint nor steele,
Nor can I vtter all our bitter griefe,
But floods of teares will drowne my Oratorie,
And breake my very vttrance, euen in the time
When it should moue you to attend me most,
Lending your kind hand Commiseration.
Heere is a Captaine, let him tell the tale,
Your hearts will throb and weepe to heare him speake

Luc. This Noble Auditory, be it knowne to you,
That cursed Chiron and Demetrius
Were they that murdred our Emperours Brother,
And they it were that rauished our Sister,
For their fell faults our Brothers were beheaded,
Our Fathers teares despis'd, and basely cousen'd,
Of that true hand that fought Romes quarrell out,
And sent her enemies vnto the graue.
Lastly, my selfe vnkindly banished,
The gates shut on me, and turn'd weeping out,
To beg reliefe among Romes Enemies,
Who drown'd their enmity in my true teares,
And op'd their armes to imbrace me as a Friend:
And I am turned forth, be it knowne to you,
That haue preseru'd her welfare in my blood,
And from her bosome tooke the Enemies point,
Sheathing the steele in my aduentrous body.
Alas you know, I am no Vaunter I,
My scars can witnesse, dumbe although they are,
That my report is iust and full of truth:
But soft, me thinkes I do digresse too much,
Cyting my worthlesse praise: Oh pardon me,
For when no Friends are by, men praise themselues,
Marc. Now is my turne to speake: Behold this Child,
Of this was Tamora deliuered,
The issue of an Irreligious Moore,
Chiefe Architect and plotter of these woes,
The Villaine is aliue in Titus house,
And as he is, to witnesse this is true.
Now iudge what course had Titus to reuenge
These wrongs, vnspeakeable past patience,
Or more then any liuing man could beare.
Now you haue heard the truth, what say you Romaines?
Haue we done ought amisse? shew vs wherein,
And from the place where you behold vs now,
The poore remainder of Andronici,
Will hand in hand all headlong cast vs downe,
And on the ragged stones beat forth our braines,
And make a mutuall closure of our house:
Speake Romaines speake, and if you say we shall,
Loe hand in hand, Lucius and I will fall

Emilli. Come come, thou reuerent man of Rome,
And bring our Emperour gently in thy hand,
Lucius our Emperour: for well I know,
The common voyce do cry it shall be so

Mar. Lucius, all haile Romes Royall Emperour,
Goe, goe into old Titus sorrowfull house,
And hither hale that misbelieuing Moore,
To be adiudg'd some direfull slaughtering death,
As punishment for his most wicked life.
Lucius all haile to Romes gracious Gouernour

Luc. Thankes gentle Romanes, may I gouerne so,
To heale Romes harmes, and wipe away her woe.
But gentle people, giue me ayme a-while,
For Nature puts me to a heauy taske:
Stand all aloofe, but Vnckle draw you neere,
To shed obsequious teares vpon this Trunke:
Oh take this warme kisse on thy pale cold lips,
These sorrowfull drops vpon thy bloud-slaine face,
The last true Duties of thy Noble Sonne

Mar. Teare for teare, and louing kisse for kisse,
Thy Brother Marcus tenders on thy Lips:
O were the summe of these that I should pay
Countlesse, and infinit, yet would I pay them

Luc. Come hither Boy, come, come, and learne of vs
To melt in showres: thy Grandsire lou'd thee well:
Many a time he danc'd thee on his knee:
Sung thee asleepe, his Louing Brest, thy Pillow:
Many a matter hath he told to thee,
Meete, and agreeing with thine Infancie:
In that respect then, like a louing Childe,
Shed yet some small drops from thy tender Spring,
Because kinde Nature doth require it so:
Friends, should associate Friends, in Greefe and Wo.
Bid him farwell, commit him to the Graue,
Do him that kindnesse, and take leaue of him

Boy. O Grandsire, Grandsire: euen with all my heart
Would I were Dead, so you did Liue againe.
O Lord, I cannot speake to him for weeping,
My teares will choake me, if I ope my mouth

Romans. You sad Andronici, haue done with woes,
Giue sentence on this execrable Wretch,
That hath beene breeder of these dire euents

Luc. Set him brest deepe in earth, and famish him:
There let him stand, and raue, and cry for foode:
If any one releeues, or pitties him,
For the offence, he dyes. This is our doome:
Some stay, to see him fast'ned in the earth

Aron. O why should wrath be mute, & Fury dumbe?
I am no Baby I, that with base Prayers
I should repent the Euils I haue done.
Ten thousand worse, then euer yet I did,
Would I performe if I might haue my will:
If one good Deed in all my life I did,
I do repent it from my very Soule

Lucius. Some louing Friends conuey the Emp[erour]. hence,
And giue him buriall in his Fathers graue.
My Father, and Lauinia, shall forthwith
Be closed in our Housholds Monument:
As for that heynous Tyger Tamora,
No Funerall Rite, nor man in mournfull Weeds:
No mournfull Bell shall ring her Buriall:
But throw her foorth to Beasts and Birds of prey:
Her life was Beast-like, and deuoid of pitty,
And being so, shall haue like want of pitty.
See Iustice done on Aaron that damn'd Moore,
From whom, our heauy happes had their beginning:
Then afterwards, to Order well the State,
That like Euents, may ne're it Ruinate.

Exeunt. omnes.

FINIS. The Lamentable Tragedy of Titus Andronicus.

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