The Tragedie of Titus Andronicus by William Shakespeare

*** Scanner’s Notes: What this is and isn’t. This was taken from a copy of Shakespeare’s first folio and it is as close as I can come in ASCII to the printed text. The elongated S’s have been changed to small s’s and the conjoined ae have been changed to ae. I have left the
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Scanner’s Notes: What this is and isn’t. This was taken from a copy of Shakespeare’s first folio and it is as close as I can come in ASCII to the printed text.

The elongated S’s have been changed to small s’s and the conjoined ae have been changed to ae. I have left the spelling, punctuation, capitalization as close as possible to the printed text. I have corrected some spelling mistakes (I have put together a spelling dictionary devised from the spellings of the Geneva Bible and Shakespeare’s First Folio and have unified spellings according to this template), typo’s and expanded abbreviations as I have come across them. Everything within brackets [] is what I have added. So if you don’t like that you can delete everything within the brackets if you want a purer Shakespeare.

Another thing that you should be aware of is that there are textual differences between various copies of the first folio. So there may be differences (other than what I have mentioned above) between this and other first folio editions. This is due to the printer’s habit of setting the type and running off a number of copies and then proofing the printed copy and correcting the type and then continuing the printing run. The proof run wasn’t thrown away but incorporated into the printed copies. This is just the way it is. The text I have used was a composite of more than 30 different First Folio editions’ best pages.

If you find any scanning errors, out and out typos, punctuation errors, or if you disagree with my spelling choices please feel free to email me those errors. I wish to make this the best etext possible. My email address for right now are and I hope that you enjoy this.

David Reed

The Tragedie of Titus Andronicus

Actus Primus. Scoena Prima.

Flourish. Enter the Tribunes and Senators aloft And then enter Saturninus
and his Followers at one doore, and Bassianus and his Followers at the
other, with Drum & Colours.

Saturninus. Noble Patricians, Patrons of my right, Defend the iustice of my Cause with Armes. And Countrey-men, my louing Followers,
Pleade my Successiue Title with your Swords. I was the first borne Sonne, that was the last That wore the Imperiall Diadem of Rome:
Then let my Fathers Honours liue in me, Nor wrong mine Age with this indignitie

Bassianus. Romaines, Friends, Followers, Fauourers of my Right:
If euer Bassianus, Cæsars Sonne,
Were gracious in the eyes of Royall Rome, Keepe then this passage to the Capitoll: And suffer not Dishonour to approach
Th’ Imperiall Seate to Vertue: consecrate To Iustice, Continence, and Nobility:
But let Desert in pure Election shine; And Romanes, fight for Freedome in your Choice. Enter Marcus Andronicus aloft with the Crowne.

Princes, that striue by Factions, and by Friends, Ambitiously for Rule and Empery:
Know, that the people of Rome for whom we stand A speciall Party, haue by Common voyce
In Election for the Romane Emperie, Chosen Andronicus, Sur-named Pious,
For many good and great deserts to Rome. A Nobler man, a brauer Warriour,
Liues not this day within the City Walles. He by the Senate is accited home
From weary Warres against the barbarous Gothes, That with his Sonnes (a terror to our Foes) Hath yoak’d a Nation strong, train’d vp in Armes. Ten yeares are spent, since first he vndertooke This Cause of Rome, and chasticed with Armes Our Enemies pride. Fiue times he hath return’d Bleeding to Rome, bearing his Valiant Sonnes In Coffins from the Field.
And now at last, laden with Honours Spoyles, Returnes the good Andronicus to Rome,
Renowned Titus, flourishing in Armes. Let vs intreat, by Honour of his Name,
Whom (worthily) you would haue now succeede, And in the Capitoll and Senates right,
Whom you pretend to Honour and Adore, That you withdraw you, and abate your Strength, Dismisse your Followers, and as Suters should, Pleade your Deserts in Peace and Humblenesse

Saturnine. How fayre the Tribune speakes, To calme my thoughts

Bassia. Marcus Andronicus, so I do affie In thy vprightnesse and Integrity:
And so I Loue and Honor thee, and thine, Thy Noble Brother Titus, and his Sonnes, And Her (to whom my thoughts are humbled all) Gracious Lauinia, Romes rich Ornament,
That I will heere dismisse my louing Friends: And to my Fortunes, and the Peoples Fauour, Commit my Cause in ballance to be weigh’d.

Exit Souldiours.

Saturnine. Friends, that haue beene
Thus forward in my Right,
I thanke you all, and heere Dismisse you all, And to the Loue and Fauour of my Countrey, Commit my Selfe, my Person, and the Cause: Rome, be as iust and gracious vnto me,
As I am confident and kinde to thee. Open the Gates, and let me in

Bassia. Tribunes, and me, a poore Competitor.

Flourish. They go vp into the Senat house.

Enter a Captaine.

Cap. Romanes make way: the good Andronicus, Patron of Vertue, Romes best Champion,
Successefull in the Battailes that he fights, With Honour and with Fortune is return’d, From whence he circumscribed with his Sword, And brought to yoke the Enemies of Rome.

Sound Drummes and Trumpets. And then enter two of Titus Sonnes; After
them, two men bearing a Coffin couered with blacke, then two other Sonnes.
After them, Titus Andronicus, and then Tamora the Queene of Gothes, & her
two Sonnes Chiron and Demetrius, with Aaron the Moore, and others, as many
as can bee: They set downe the Coffin, and Titus speakes.

Andronicus. Haile Rome:
Victorious in thy Mourning Weedes:
Loe as the Barke that hath discharg’d his fraught, Returnes with precious lading to the Bay, From whence at first she weigh’d her Anchorage: Commeth Andronicus bound with Lawrell bowes, To resalute his Country with his teares, Teares of true ioy for his returne to Rome, Thou great defender of this Capitoll,
Stand gracious to the Rites that we intend. Romaines, of fiue and twenty Valiant Sonnes, Halfe of the number that King Priam had, Behold the poore remaines aliue and dead! These that Suruiue, let Rome reward with Loue: These that I bring vnto their latest home, With buriall amongst their Auncestors.
Heere Gothes haue giuen me leaue to sheath my Sword: Titus vnkinde, and carelesse of thine owne, Why suffer’st thou thy Sonnes vnburied yet, To houer on the dreadfull shore of Stix? Make way to lay them by their Bretheren.

They open the Tombe.

There greete in silence as the dead are wont, And sleepe in peace, slaine in your Countries warres: O sacred receptacle of my ioyes,
Sweet Cell of vertue and Nobilitie, How many Sonnes of mine hast thou in store, That thou wilt neuer render to me more?
Luc. Giue vs the proudest prisoner of the Gothes, That we may hew his limbes, and on a pile Ad manus fratrum, sacrifice his flesh:
Before this earthly prison of their bones, That so the shadowes be not vnappeas’d,
Nor we disturb’d with prodigies on earth

Tit. I giue him you, the Noblest that Suruiues, The eldest Son of this distressed Queene

Tam. Stay Romaine Bretheren, gracious Conqueror, Victorious Titus, rue the teares I shed, A Mothers teares in passion for her sonne: And if thy Sonnes were euer deere to thee, Oh thinke my sonnes to be as deere to mee. Sufficeth not, that we are brought to Rome To beautifie thy Triumphs, and returne
Captiue to thee, and to thy Romaine yoake, But must my Sonnes be slaughtred in the streetes, For Valiant doings in their Countries cause? O! If to fight for King and Common-weale, Were piety in thine, it is in these:
Andronicus, staine not thy Tombe with blood. Wilt thou draw neere the nature of the Gods? Draw neere them then in being mercifull. Sweet mercy is Nobilities true badge,
Thrice Noble Titus, spare my first borne sonne

Tit. Patient your selfe Madam, and pardon me. These are the Brethren, whom you Gothes beheld Aliue and dead, and for their Bretheren slaine, Religiously they aske a sacrifice:
To this your sonne is markt, and die he must, T’ appease their groaning shadowes that are gone

Luc. Away with him, and make a fire straight, And with our Swords vpon a pile of wood, Let’s hew his limbes till they be cleane consum’d.

Exit Sonnes with Alarbus.

Tamo. O cruell irreligious piety

Chi. Was euer Scythia halfe so barbarous? Dem. Oppose me Scythia to ambitious Rome, Alarbus goes to rest, and we suruiue,
To tremble vnder Titus threatning lookes. Then Madam stand resolu’d, but hope withall, The selfe same Gods that arm’d the Queene of Troy With opportunitie of sharpe reuenge
Vpon the Thracian Tyrant in his Tent, May fauour Tamora the Queene of Gothes,
(When Gothes were Gothes, and Tamora was Queene) To quit the bloody wrongs vpon her foes. Enter the Sonnes of Andronicus againe.

Luci. See Lord and Father, how we haue perform’d Our Romaine rightes, Alarbus limbs are lopt, And intrals feede the sacrifising fire,
Whole smoke like incense doth perfume the skie. Remaineth nought but to interre our Brethren, And with low’d Larums welcome them to Rome

Tit. Let it be so, and let Andronicus Make this his latest farewell to their Soules.


Then Sound Trumpets, and lay the Coffins in the Tombe.

In peace and Honour rest you heere my Sonnes, Romes readiest Champions, repose you heere in rest, Secure from worldly chaunces and mishaps: Heere lurks no Treason, heere no enuie swels, Heere grow no damned grudges, heere are no stormes, No noyse, but silence and Eternall sleepe, In peace and Honour rest you heere my Sonnes. Enter Lauinia.

Laui. In peace and Honour, liue Lord Titus long, My Noble Lord and Father, liue in Fame:
Loe at this Tombe my tributarie teares, I render for my Bretherens Obsequies:
And at thy feete I kneele, with teares of ioy Shed on the earth for thy returne to Rome. O blesse me heere with thy victorious hand, Whose Fortune Romes best Citizens applau’d

Ti. Kind Rome,
That hast thus louingly reseru’d
The Cordiall of mine age to glad my hart, Lauinia liue, out-liue thy Fathers dayes: And Fames eternall date for vertues praise

Marc. Long liue Lord Titus, my beloued brother, Gracious Triumpher in the eyes of Rome

Tit. Thankes Gentle Tribune,
Noble brother Marcus

Mar. And welcome Nephews from succesfull wars, You that suruiue and you that sleepe in Fame: Faire Lords your Fortunes are all alike in all, That in your Countries seruice drew your Swords. But safer Triumph is this Funerall Pompe, That hath aspir’d to Solons Happines,
And Triumphs ouer chaunce in honours bed. Titus Andronicus, the people of Rome,
Whose friend in iustice thou hast euer bene, Send thee by me their Tribune and their trust, This Palliament of white and spotlesse Hue, And name thee in Election for the Empire, With these our late deceased Emperours Sonnes: Be Candidatus then, and put it on,
And helpe to set a head on headlesse Rome

Tit. A better head her Glorious body fits, Then his that shakes for age and feeblenesse: What should I don this Robe and trouble you, Be chosen with proclamations to day,
To morrow yeeld vp rule, resigne my life, And set abroad new businesse for you all. Rome I haue bene thy Souldier forty yeares, And led my Countries strength successefully, And buried one and twenty Valiant Sonnes, Knighted in Field, slaine manfully in Armes, In right and Seruice of their Noble Countrie: Giue me a staffe of Honour for mine age, But not a Scepter to controule the world, Vpright he held it Lords, that held it last

Mar. Titus, thou shalt obtaine and aske the Emperie

Sat. Proud and ambitious Tribune can’st thou tell? Titus. Patience Prince Saturninus

Sat. Romaines do me right.
Patricians draw your Swords, and sheath them not Till Saturninus be Romes Emperour:
Andronicus would thou wert shipt to hell, Rather then rob me of the peoples harts

Luc. Proud Saturnine, interrupter of the good That Noble minded Titus meanes to thee

Tit. Content thee Prince, I will restore to thee The peoples harts, and weane them from themselues

Bass. Andronicus, I do not flatter thee But Honour thee, and will doe till I die: My Faction if thou strengthen with thy Friend? I will most thankefull be, and thankes to men Of Noble mindes, is Honourable Meede

Tit. People of Rome, and Noble Tribunes heere, I aske your voyces and your Suffrages,
Will you bestow them friendly on Andronicus? Tribunes. To gratifie the good Andronicus, And Gratulate his safe returne to Rome,
The people will accept whom he admits

Tit. Tribunes I thanke you, and this sure I make, That you Create your Emperours eldest sonne, Lord Saturnine, whose Vertues will I hope, Reflect on Rome as Tytans Rayes on earth, And ripen Iustice in this Common-weale:
Then if you will elect by my aduise, Crowne him, and say: Long liue our Emperour

Mar. An. With Voyces and applause of euery sort, Patricians and Plebeans we Create
Lord Saturninus Romes Great Emperour. And say, Long liue our Emperour Saturnine.

A long Flourish till they come downe.

Satu. Titus Andronicus, for thy Fauours done, To vs in our Election this day,
I giue thee thankes in part of thy Deserts, And will with Deeds requite thy gentlenesse: And for an Onset Titus to aduance
Thy Name, and Honorable Familie,
Lauinia will I make my Empresse,
Romes Royall Mistris, Mistris of my hart And in the Sacred Pathan her espouse:
Tell me Andronicus doth this motion please thee? Tit. It doth my worthy Lord, and in this match, I hold me Highly Honoured of your Grace, And heere in sight of Rome, to Saturnine, King and Commander of our Common-weale,
The Wide-worlds Emperour, do I Consecrate, My Sword, my Chariot, and my Prisoners,
Presents well Worthy Romes Imperiall Lord: Receiue them then, the Tribute that I owe, Mine Honours Ensignes humbled at my feete

Satu. Thankes 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 vnspeakable Deserts, Romans forget your Fealtie to me

Tit. Now Madam are you prisoner to an Emperour, To him that for your Honour and your State, Will vse you Nobly and your followers

Satu. A goodly Lady, trust me of the Hue That I would choose, were I to choose a new: Cleere vp Faire Queene that cloudy countenance, Though chance of warre
Hath wrought this change of cheere, Thou com’st not to be made a scorne in Rome: Princely shall be thy vsage euery way.
Rest on my word, and let not discontent Daunt all your hopes: Madam he comforts you, Can make you Greater then the Queene of Gothes? Lauinia you are not displeas’d with this? Lau. Not I my Lord, sith true Nobilitie, Warrants these words in Princely curtesie

Sat. Thankes sweete Lauinia, Romans let vs goe: Ransomlesse heere we set our Prisoners free, Proclaime our Honors Lords with Trumpe and Drum

Bass. Lord Titus by your leaue, this Maid is mine

Tit. How sir? Are you in earnest then my Lord? Bass. I Noble Titus, and resolu’d withall, To doe my selfe this reason, and this right

Marc. Suum cuiquam, is our Romane Iustice, This Prince in Iustice ceazeth but his owne

Luc. And that he will and shall, if Lucius liue

Tit. Traytors auant, where is the Emperours Guarde? Treason my Lord, Lauinia is surpris’d

Sat. Surpris’d, by whom?
Bass. By him that iustly may
Beare his Betroth’d, from all the world away

Muti. Brothers helpe to conuey her hence away, And with my Sword Ile keepe this doore safe

Tit. Follow my Lord, and Ile soone bring her backe

Mut. My Lord you passe not heere

Tit. What villaine Boy, bar’st me my way in Rome? Mut. Helpe Lucius helpe. He kils him

Luc. My Lord you are vniust, and more then so, In wrongfull quarrell, you haue slaine your son

Tit. Nor thou, nor he are any sonnes of mine, My sonnes would neuer so dishonour me.
Traytor restore Lauinia to the Emperour

Luc. Dead if you will, but not to be his wife, That is anothers lawfull promist Loue.
Enter aloft the Emperour with Tamora and her two sonnes, and Aaron the

Empe. No Titus, no, the Emperour needs her not, Nor her, nor thee, nor any of thy stocke: Ile trust by Leisure him that mocks me once. Thee neuer: nor thy Trayterous haughty sonnes, Confederates all, thus to dishonour me.
Was none in Rome to make a stale
But Saturnine? Full well Andronicus Agree these Deeds, with that proud bragge of thine, That said’st, I beg’d the Empire at thy hands

Tit. O monstrous, what reproachfull words are these? Sat. But goe thy wayes, goe giue that changing peece, To him that flourisht for her with his Sword: A Valliant sonne in-law thou shalt enioy: One, fit to bandy with thy lawlesse Sonnes, To ruffle in the Common-wealth of Rome

Tit. These words are Razors to my wounded hart

Sat. And therefore louely Tamora Queene of Gothes, That like the stately Thebe mong’st her Nimphs Dost ouer-shine the Gallant’st Dames of Rome, If thou be pleas’d with this my sodaine choyse, Behold I choose thee Tamora for my Bride, And will Create thee Empresse of Rome.
Speake Queene of Goths dost thou applau’d my choyse? And heere I sweare by all the Romaine Gods, Sith Priest and Holy-water are so neere, And Tapers burne so bright, and euery thing In readines for Hymeneus stand,
I will not resalute the streets of Rome, Or clime my Pallace, till from forth this place, I leade espous’d my Bride along with me

Tamo. And heere in sight of heauen to Rome I sweare, If Saturnine aduance the Queen of Gothes, Shee will a Hand-maid be to his desires, A louing Nurse, a Mother to his youth

Satur. Ascend Faire Queene,
Panthean Lords, accompany
Your Noble Emperour and his louely Bride, Sent by the heauens for Prince Saturnine, Whose wisedome hath her Fortune Conquered, There shall we Consummate our Spousall rites.

Exeunt. omnes.

Tit. I am not bid to waite vpon this Bride: Titus when wer’t thou wont to walke alone, Dishonoured thus and Challenged of wrongs? Enter Marcus and Titus Sonnes.

Mar. O Titus see! O see what thou hast done! In a bad quarrell, slaine a Vertuous sonne

Tit. No foolish Tribune, no: No sonne of mine, Nor thou, nor these Confedrates in the deed, That hath dishonoured all our Family,
Vnworthy brother, and vnworthy Sonnes

Luci. But let vs giue him buriall as becomes: Giue Mutius buriall with our Bretheren

Tit. Traytors away, he rest’s not in this Tombe: This Monument fiue hundreth yeares hath stood, Which I haue Sumptuously re-edified.
Heere none but Souldiers, and Romes Seruitors, Repose in Fame: None basely slaine in braules, Bury him where you can, he comes not heere

Mar. My Lord this is impiety in you, My Nephew Mutius deeds do plead for him, He must be buried with his bretheren

Titus two Sonnes speakes. And shall, or him we will accompany

Ti. And shall! What villaine was it spake that word? Titus sonne speakes. He that would vouch’d it in any place but heere

Tit. What would you bury him in my despight? Mar. No Noble Titus, but intreat of thee, To pardon Mutius, and to bury him

Tit. Marcus, Euen thou hast stroke vpon my Crest, And with these Boyes mine Honour thou hast wounded, My foes I doe repute you euery one.
So trouble me no more, but get you gone

1.Sonne. He is not himselfe, let vs withdraw

2.Sonne. Not I tell Mutius bones be buried.

The Brother and the sonnes kneele.

Mar. Brother, for in that name doth nature plea’d

2.Sonne. Father, and in that name doth nature speake

Tit. Speake thou no more if all the rest will speede

Mar. Renowned Titus more then halfe my soule

Luc. Deare Father, soule and substance of vs all

Mar. Suffer thy brother Marcus to interre His Noble Nephew heere in vertues nest,
That died in Honour and Lauinia’s cause. Thou art a Romaine, be not barbarous:
The Greekes vpon aduise did bury Aiax That slew himselfe: And Laertes sonne,
Did graciously plead for his Funerals: Let not young Mutius then that was thy ioy, Be bar’d his entrance heere

Tit. Rise Marcus, rise,
The dismall’st day is this that ere I saw, To be dishonored by my Sonnes in Rome:
Well, bury him, and bury me the next. They put him in the Tombe.

Luc. There lie thy bones sweet Mutius with thy friends. Till we with Trophees do adorne thy Tombe.

They all kneele and say.

No man shed teares for Noble Mutius,
He liues in Fame, that di’d in vertues cause. Enter.

Mar. My Lord to step out of these sudden dumps, How comes it that the subtile Queene of Gothes, Is of a sodaine thus aduanc’d in Rome?
Ti. I know not Marcus: but I know it is, (Whether by deuise or no) the heauens can tell, Is she not then beholding to the man,
That brought her for this high good turne so farre? Yes, and will Nobly him remunerate.


Enter the Emperor, Tamora, and her two sons, with the Moore at one doore.
Enter at the other doore Bassianus and Lauinia with others.

Sat. So Bassianus, you haue plaid your prize, God giue you ioy sir of your Gallant Bride

Bass. And you of yours my Lord: I say no more, Nor wish no lesse, and so I take my leaue

Sat. Traytor, if Rome haue law, or we haue power, Thou and thy Faction shall repent this Rape

Bass. Rape call you it my Lord, to cease my owne, My true betrothed Loue, and now my wife? But let the lawes of Rome determine all, Meane while I am possest of that is mine

Sat. ‘Tis good sir: you are very short with vs, But if we liue, weele be as sharpe with you

Bass. My Lord, what I haue done as best I may, Answere I must, and shall do with my life, Onely thus much I giue your Grace to know, By all the duties that I owe to Rome,
This Noble Gentleman Lord Titus heere, Is in opinion and in honour wrong’d,
That in the rescue of Lauinia,
With his owne hand did slay his youngest Son, In zeale to you, and highly mou’d to wrath. To be controul’d in that he frankly gaue: Receiue him then to fauour Saturnine,
That hath expre’st himselfe in all his deeds, A Father and a friend to thee, and Rome

Tit. Prince Bassianus leaue to plead my Deeds, ‘Tis thou, and those, that haue dishonoured me, Rome and the righteous heauens be my iudge, How I haue lou’d and Honour’d Saturnine

Tam. My worthy Lord if euer Tamora, Were gracious in those Princely eyes of thine, Then heare me speake indifferently for all: And at my sute (sweet) pardon what is past

Satu. What Madam, be dishonoured openly, And basely put it vp without reuenge?
Tam. Not so my Lord,
The Gods of Rome fore-fend,
I should be Authour to dishonour you. But on mine honour dare, I vndertake
For good Lord Titus innocence in all: Whose fury not dissembled speakes his griefes: Then at my sute looke graciously on him, Loose not so noble a friend on vaine suppose, Nor with sowre lookes afflict his gentle heart. My Lord, be rul’d by me, be wonne at last, Dissemble all your griefes and discontents, You are but newly planted in your Throne, Least then the people, and Patricians too, Vpon a iust suruey take Titus part,
And so supplant vs for ingratitude, Which Rome reputes to be a hainous sinne. Yeeld at intreats, and then let me alone: Ile finde a day to massacre them all,
And race their faction, and their familie, The cruell Father, and his trayt’rous sonnes, To whom I sued for my deare sonnes life. And make them know what ’tis to let a Queene. Kneele in the streetes, and beg for grace in vaine. Come, come, sweet Emperour, (come Andronicus) Take vp this good old man, and cheere the heart, That dies in tempest of thy angry frowne

King. Rise Titus, rise,
My Empresse hath preuail’d

Titus. I thanke your Maiestie,
And her my Lord.
These words, these lookes,
Infuse new life in me

Tamo. Titus, I am incorparate in Rome, A Roman now adopted happily.
And must aduise the Emperour for his good, This day all quarrels die Andronicus.
And let it be mine honour good my Lord, That I haue reconcil’d your friends and you. For you Prince Bassianus, I haue past
My word and promise to the Emperour, That you will be more milde and tractable. And feare not Lords:
And you Lauinia,
By my aduise all humbled on your knees, You shall aske pardon of his Maiestie

Son. We doe,
And vow to heauen, and to his Highnes, That what we did, was mildly, as we might, Tendring our sisters honour and our owne

Mar. That on mine honour heere I do protest

King. Away and talke not, trouble vs no more

Tamora. Nay, nay,
Sweet Emperour, we must all be friends, The Tribune and his Nephews kneele for grace, I will not be denied, sweet hart looke back

King. Marcus,
For thy sake and thy brothers heere, And at my louely Tamora’s intreats,
I doe remit these young mens haynous faults. Stand vp: Lauinia, though you left me like a churle, I found a friend, and sure as death I sware, I would not part a Batchellour from the Priest. Come, if the Emperours Court can feast two Brides, You are my guest Lauinia, and your friends: This day shall be a Loue-day Tamora

Tit. To morrow and it please your Maiestie, To hunt the Panther and the Hart with me, With horne and Hound,
Weele giue your Grace Bon iour

Satur. Be it so Titus, and Gramercy to.


Actus Secunda.

Flourish. Enter Aaron alone.

Aron. Now climbeth Tamora Olympus toppe, Safe out of Fortunes shot, and sits aloft, Secure of Thunders cracke or lightning flash, Aduanc’d about pale enuies threatning reach: As when the golden Sunne salutes the morne, And hauing gilt the Ocean with his beames, Gallops the Zodiacke in his glistering Coach, And ouer-lookes the highest piering hills: So Tamora
Vpon her wit doth earthly honour waite, And vertue stoopes and trembles at her frowne. Then Aaron arme thy hart, and fit thy thoughts, To mount aloft with thy Emperiall Mistris, And mount her pitch, whom thou in triumph long Hast prisoner held, fettred in amorous chaines, And faster bound to Aarons charming eyes, Then is Prometheus ti’de to Caucasus.
Away with slauish weedes, and idle thoughts, I will be bright and shine in Pearle and Gold, To waite vpon this new made Empresse.
To waite said I? To wanton with this Queene, This Goddesse, this Semirimis, this Queene. This Syren, that will charme Romes Saturnine, And see his shipwracke, and his Common weales. Hollo, what storme is this?
Enter Chiron and Demetrius brauing.

Dem. Chiron thy yeres wants wit, thy wit wants edge And manners to intru’d where I am grac’d, And may for ought thou know’st affected be

Chi. Demetrius, thou doo’st ouer-weene in all, And so in this, to beare me downe with braues, ‘Tis not the difference of a yeere or two Makes me lesse gracious, or thee more fortunate: I am as able, and as fit, as thou,
To serue, and to deserue my Mistris grace, And that my sword vpon thee shall approue, And plead my passions for Lauinia’s loue

Aron. Clubs, clubs, these louers will not keep the peace

Dem. Why Boy, although our mother (vnaduised) Gaue you a daunsing Rapier by your side, Are you so desperate growne to threat your friends? Goe too: haue your Lath glued within your sheath, Till you know better how to handle it

Chi. Meane while sir, with the little skill I haue, Full well shalt thou perceiue how much I dare

Deme. I Boy, grow ye so braue?

They drawe.

Aron. Why how now Lords?
So nere the Emperours Pallace dare you draw, And maintaine such a quarrell openly?
Full well I wote, the ground of all this grudge. I would not for a million of Gold,
The cause were knowne to them it most concernes. Nor would your noble mother for much more Be so dishonored in the Court of Rome:
For shame put vp

Deme. Not I, till I haue sheath’d
My rapier in his bosome, and withall Thrust these reprochfull speeches downe his throat, That he hath breath’d in my dishonour heere

Chi. For that I am prepar’d, and full resolu’d, Foule spoken Coward,
That thundrest with thy tongue,
And with thy weapon nothing dar’st performe

Aron. A way I say.
Now by the Gods that warlike Gothes adore, This pretty brabble will vndoo vs all:
Why Lords, and thinke you not how dangerous It is to set vpon a Princes right?
What is Lauinia then become so loose, Or Bassianus so degenerate,
That for her loue such quarrels may be broacht, Without controulement, Iustice, or reuenge? Young Lords beware, and should the Empresse know, This discord ground, the musicke would not please

Chi. I care not I, knew she and all the world, I loue Lauinia more then all the world

Demet. Youngling,
Learne thou to make some meaner choise, Lauinia is thine elder brothers hope

Aron. Why are ye mad? Or know ye not in Rome, How furious and impatient they be,
And cannot brooke Competitors in loue? I tell you Lords, you doe but plot your deaths, By this deuise

Chi. Aaron, a thousand deaths would I propose, To atchieue her whom I do loue

Aron. To atcheiue her, how?
Deme. Why, mak’st thou it so strange? Shee is a woman, therefore may be woo’d, Shee is a woman, therfore may be wonne,
Shee is Lauinia therefore must be lou’d. What man, more water glideth by the Mill Then wots the Miller of, and easie it is Of a cut loafe to steale a shiue we know: Though Bassianus be the Emperours brother, Better then he haue worne Vulcans badge

Aron. I, and as good as Saturninus may

Deme. Then why should he dispaire that knowes to court it With words, faire lookes, and liberality: What hast not thou full often strucke a Doe, And borne her cleanly by the Keepers nose? Aron. Why then it seemes some certaine snatch or so Would serue your turnes

Chi. I so the turne were serued

Deme. Aaron thou hast hit it

Aron. Would you had hit it too,
Then should not we be tir’d with this adoo: Why harke yee, harke yee, and are you such fooles, To square for this? Would it offend you then? Chi. Faith not me

Deme. Nor me, so I were one

Aron. For shame be friends, & ioyne for that you iar: ‘Tis pollicie, and stratageme must doe
That you affect, and so must you resolue, That what you cannot as you would atcheiue, You must perforce accomplish as you may: Take this of me, Lucrece was not more chast Then this Lauinia, Bassianus loue,
A speedier course this lingring languishment Must we pursue, and I haue found the path: My Lords, a solemne hunting is in hand.
There will the louely Roman Ladies troope: The Forrest walkes are wide and spacious, And many vnfrequented plots there are,
Fitted by kinde for rape and villanie: 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 Empresse with her sacred wit To villainie and vengance consecrate,
Will we acquaint with all that we intend, And she shall file our engines with aduise, That will not suffer you to square your selues, But to your wishes height aduance you both. The Emperours Court is like the house of Fame, The pallace full of tongues, of eyes, of eares: The Woods are ruthlesse, dreadfull, deafe, and dull: There speake, and strike braue Boyes, & take your turnes. There serue your lusts, shadow’d from heauens eye, And reuell in Lauinia’s Treasurie

Chi. Thy counsell Lad smells of no cowardise

Deme. Sit fas aut nefas, till I finde the streames, To coole this heat, a Charme to calme their fits, Per Stigia per manes Vehor.


Enter Titus Andronicus and his three sonnes, making a noyse with hounds
and hornes, and Marcus.

Tit. The hunt is vp, the morne is bright and gray, The fields are fragrant, and the Woods are greene, Vncouple heere, and let vs make a bay,
And wake the Emperour, and his louely Bride, And rouze the Prince, and ring a hunters peale, That all the Court may eccho with the noyse. Sonnes let it be your charge, as it is ours, To attend the Emperours person carefully: I haue bene troubled in my sleepe this night, But dawning day new comfort hath inspir’d.

Winde Hornes.

Heere a cry of houndes, and winde hornes in a peale, then Enter Saturninus, Tamora, Bassianus, Lauinia, Chiron, Demetrius, and their

Ti. Many good morrowes to your Maiestie, Madam to you as many and as good.
I promised your Grace, a Hunters peale

Satur. And you haue rung it lustily my Lords, Somewhat to earely for new married Ladies

Bass. Lauinia, how say you?
Laui. I say no:
I haue bene awake two houres and more

Satur. Come on then, horse and Chariots let vs haue, And to our sport: Madam, now shall ye see, Our Romaine hunting

Mar. I haue dogges my Lord,
Will rouze the proudest Panther in the Chase, And clime the highest Promontary top

Tit. And I haue horse will follow where the game Makes way, and runnes likes Swallowes ore the plaine Deme. Chiron we hunt not we, with Horse nor Hound But hope to plucke a dainty Doe to ground.


Enter Aaron alone.

Aron. He that had wit, would thinke that I had none, To bury so much Gold vnder a Tree,
And neuer after to inherit it.
Let him that thinks of me so abiectly, Know that this Gold must coine a Stratageme, Which cunningly effected, will beget
A very excellent peece of villany;
And so repose sweet Gold for their vnrest, That haue their Almes out of the Empresse Chest. Enter Tamora to the Moore.

Tamo. My louely Aaron,
Wherefore look’st thou sad,
When euery thing doth make a Gleefull boast? The Birds chaunt melody on euery bush,
The Snake lies rolled in the chearefull Sunne, The greene leaues quiuer, with the cooling winde, And make a cheker’d shadow on the ground: Vnder their sweete shade, Aaron let vs sit, And whil’st the babling Eccho mock’s the Hounds, Replying shrilly to the well tun’d-Hornes, As if a double hunt were heard at once,
Let vs sit downe, and marke their yelping noyse: And after conflict, such as was suppos’d. The wandring Prince and Dido once enioy’d, When with a happy storme they were surpris’d, And Curtain’d with a Counsaile-keeping Caue, We may each wreathed in the others armes, (Our pastimes done) possesse a Golden slumber, Whiles Hounds and Hornes, and sweet Melodious Birds Be vnto vs, as is a Nurses Song
Of Lullabie, to bring her Babe asleepe

Aron. Madame,
Though Venus gouerne your desires,
Saturne is Dominator ouer mine:
What signifies my deadly standing eye, My silence, and my Cloudy Melancholie,
My fleece of Woolly haire, that now vncurles, Euen as an Adder when she doth vnrowle
To do some fatall execution?
No Madam, these are no Veneriall signes, Vengeance is in my heart, death in my hand, Blood, and reuenge, are Hammering in my head. Harke Tamora, the Empresse of my Soule,
Which neuer hopes more heauen, then rests in thee, This is the day of Doome for Bassianus;
His Philomel must loose her tongue to day, Thy Sonnes make Pillage of her Chastity, And wash their hands in Bassianus blood. Seest thou this Letter, take it vp I pray thee, And giue the King this fatall plotted Scrowle, Now question me no more, we are espied,
Heere comes a parcell of our hopefull Booty, Which dreads not yet their liues destruction. Enter Bassianus and Lauinia.

Tamo. Ah my sweet Moore:
Sweeter to me then life

Aron. No more great Empresse, Bassianus comes, Be crosse with him, and Ile goe fetch thy Sonnes To backe thy quarrell what so ere they be

Bassi. Whom haue we heere?
Romes Royall Empresse,
Vnfurnisht of our well beseeming troope? Or is it Dian habited like her,
Who hath abandoned her holy Groues, To see the generall Hunting in this Forrest? Tamo. Sawcie controuler of our priuate steps: Had I the power, that some say Dian had, Thy Temples should be planted presently. With Hornes, as was Acteons, and the Hounds Should driue vpon his new transformed limbes, Vnmannerly Intruder as thou art

Laui. Vnder your patience gentle Empresse, ‘Tis thought you haue a goodly gift in Horning, And to be doubted, that your Moore and you Are singled forth to try experiments:
Ioue sheild your husband from his Hounds to day, ‘Tis pitty they should take him for a Stag

Bassi. Beleeue me Queene, your swarth Cymerion, Doth make your Honour of his bodies Hue, Spotted, detested, and abhominable.
Why are you sequestred from all your traine? Dismounted from your Snow-white goodly Steed, And wandred hither to an obscure plot,
Accompanied with a barbarous Moore, If foule desire had not conducted you?
Laui. And being intercepted in your sport, Great reason that my Noble Lord, be rated For Saucinesse, I pray you let vs hence, And let her ioy her Rauen coloured loue, This valley fits the purpose passing well

Bassi. The King my Brother shall haue notice of this

Laui. I, for these slips haue made him noted long, Good King, to be so mightily abused

Tamora. Why I haue patience to endure all this? Enter Chiron and Demetrius.

Dem. How now deere Soueraigne
And our gracious Mother,
Why doth your Highnes looke so pale and wan? Tamo. Haue I not reason thinke you to looke pale. These two haue tic’d me hither to this place, A barren, detested vale you see it is.
The Trees though Sommer, yet forlorne and leane, Ore-come with Mosse, and balefull Misselto. Heere neuer shines the Sunne, heere nothing breeds, Vnlesse the nightly Owle, or fatall Rauen: And when they shew’d me this abhorred pit, They told me heere at dead time of the night, A thousand Fiends, a thousand hissing Snakes, Ten thousand swelling Toades, as many Vrchins, Would make such fearefull and confused cries, As any mortall body hearing it,
Should straite fall mad, or else die suddenly. No sooner had they told this hellish tale, But strait they told me they would binde me heere, Vnto the body of a dismall yew,
And leaue me to this miserable death. And then they call’d me foule Adulteresse, Lasciuious Goth, and all the bitterest tearmes That euer eare did heare to such effect. And had you not by wondrous fortune come, This vengeance on me had they executed:
Reuenge it, as you loue your Mothers life, Or be ye not henceforth cal’d my Children

Dem. This is a witnesse that I am thy Sonne.

stab him.

Chi. And this for me,
Strook home to shew my strength

Laui. I come Semeramis, nay Barbarous Tamora. For no name fits thy nature but thy owne

Tam. Giue me thy poyniard, you shal know my boyes Your Mothers hand shall right your Mothers wrong

Deme. Stay Madam heere is more belongs to her, First thrash the Corne, then after burne the straw: This Minion stood vpon her chastity,
Vpon her Nuptiall vow, her loyaltie. And with that painted hope, braues your Mightinesse, And shall she carry this vnto her graue? Chi. And if she doe,
I would I were an Eunuch,
Drag hence her husband to some secret hole, And make his dead Trunke-Pillow to our lust

Tamo. But when ye haue the hony we desire, Let not this Waspe out-liue vs both to sting

Chir. I warrant you Madam we will make that sure: Come Mistris, now perforce we will enioy, That nice-preserued honesty of yours

Laui. Oh Tamora, thou bear’st a woman face

Tamo. I will not heare her speake, away with her

Laui. Sweet Lords intreat her heare me but a word

Demet. Listen faire Madam, let it be your glory To see her teares, but be your hart to them, As vnrelenting flint to drops of raine

Laui. When did the Tigers young-ones teach the dam? O doe not learne her wrath, she taught it thee, The milke thou suck’st from her did turne to Marble, Euen at thy Teat thou had’st thy Tyranny, Yet euery Mother breeds not Sonnes alike, Do thou intreat her shew a woman pitty

Chiro. What,
Would’st thou haue me proue my selfe a bastard? Laui. ‘Tis true,
The Rauen doth not hatch a Larke,
Yet haue I heard, Oh could I finde it now, The Lion mou’d with pitty, did indure
To haue his Princely pawes par’d all away. Some say, that Rauens foster forlorne children, The whil’st their owne birds famish in their nests: Oh be to me though thy hard hart say no, Nothing so kind but something pittifull

Tamo. I know not what it meanes, away with her

Lauin. Oh let me teach thee for my Fathers sake, That gaue thee life when well he might haue slaine thee: Be not obdurate, open thy deafe eares

Tamo. Had’st thou in person nere offended me. Euen for his sake am I pittilesse:
Remember Boyes I powr’d forth teares in vaine, To saue your brother from the sacrifice, But fierce Andronicus would not relent,
Therefore away with her, and vse her as you will, The worse to her, the better lou’d of me

Laui. Oh Tamora,
Be call’d a gentle Queene,
And with thine owne hands kill me in this place, For ’tis not life that I haue beg’d so long, Poore I was slaine, when Bassianus dy’d

Tam. What beg’st thou then? fond woman let me go? Laui. ‘Tis present death I beg, and one thing more, That womanhood denies my tongue to tell: Oh keepe me from their worse then killing lust, And tumble me into some loathsome pit,
Where neuer mans eye may behold my body, Doe this, and be a charitable murderer

Tam. So should I rob my sweet Sonnes of their fee, No let them satisfie their lust on thee

Deme. Away,
For thou hast staid vs heere too long

Lauinia. No Grace,
No womanhood? Ah beastly creature,
The blot and enemy to our generall name, Confusion fall-
Chi. Nay then Ile stop your mouth
Bring thou her husband,
This is the Hole where Aaron bid vs hide him

Tam. Farewell my Sonnes, see that you make her sure, Nere let my heart know merry cheere indeed, Till all the Andronici be made away:
Now will I hence to seeke my louely Moore, And let my spleenefull Sonnes this Trull defloure. Enter.

Enter Aaron with two of Titus Sonnes.

Aron. Come on my Lords, the better foote before, Straight will I bring you to the lothsome pit, Where I espied the Panther fast asleepe

Quin. My sight is very dull what ere it bodes

Marti. And mine I promise you, were it not for shame, Well could I leaue our sport to sleepe a while

Quin. What art thou fallen?
What subtile Hole is this,
Whose mouth is couered with Rude growing Briers, Vpon whose leaues are drops of new-shed-blood, As fresh as mornings dew distil’d on flowers, A very fatall place it seemes to me:
Speake Brother hast thou hurt thee with the fall? Martius. Oh Brother,
With the dismal’st obiect
That euer eye with sight made heart lament

Aron. Now will I fetch the King to finde them heere, That he thereby may haue a likely gesse, How these were they that made away his Brother.

Exit Aaron.

Marti. Why dost not comfort me and helpe me out, From this vnhallow’d and blood-stained Hole? Quintus. I am surprised with an vncouth feare, A chilling sweat ore-runs my trembling ioynts, My heart suspects more then mine eie can see

Marti. To proue thou hast a true diuining heart, Aaron and thou looke downe into this den, And see a fearefull sight of blood and death

Quintus. Aaron is gone,
And my compassionate heart
Will not permit mine eyes once to behold The thing whereat it trembles by surmise: Oh tell me how it is, for nere till now
Was I a child to feare I know not what

Marti. Lord Bassianus lies embrewed heere, All on a heape like to the slaughtred Lambe, In this detested, darke, blood-drinking pit

Quin. If it be darke, how doost thou know ’tis he? Mart. Vpon his bloody finger he doth weare A precious Ring, that lightens all the Hole: Which like a Taper in some Monument,
Doth shine vpon the dead mans earthly cheekes, And shewes the ragged intrailes of the pit: So pale did shine the Moone on Piramus,
When he by night lay bath’d in Maiden blood: O Brother helpe me with thy fainting hand. If feare hath made thee faint, as mee it hath, Out of this fell deuouring receptacle,
As hatefull as Ocitus mistie mouth

Quint. Reach me thy hand, that I may helpe thee out, Or wanting strength to doe thee so much good, I may be pluckt into the swallowing wombe, Of this deepe pit, poore Bassianus graue: I haue no strength to plucke thee to the brinke

Martius. Nor I no strength to clime without thy help

Quin. Thy hand once more, I will not loose againe, Till thou art heere aloft, or I below,
Thou can’st not come to me, I come to thee.

Both fall in.

Enter the Emperour, Aaron the Moore.

Satur. Along with me, Ile see what hole is heere, And what he is that now is leapt into it. Say, who art thou that lately did’st descend, Into this gaping hollow of the earth?
Marti. The vnhappie sonne of old Andronicus, Brought hither in a most vnluckie houre, To finde thy brother Bassianus dead

Satur. My brother dead? I know thou dost but iest, He and his Lady both are at the Lodge,
Vpon the North-side of this pleasant Chase, ‘Tis not an houre since I left him there

Marti. We know not where you left him all aliue, But out alas, heere haue we found him dead. Enter Tamora, Andronicus, and Lucius.

Tamo. Where is my Lord the King?
King. Heere Tamora, though grieu’d with killing griefe

Tam. Where is thy brother Bassianus? King. Now to the bottome dost thou search my wound, Poore Bassianus heere lies murthered

Tam. Then all too late I bring this fatall writ, The complot of this timelesse Tragedie,
And wonder greatly that mans face can fold, In pleasing smiles such murderous Tyrannie.

She giueth Saturnine a Letter.

Saturninus reads the Letter. And if we misse to meete him hansomely,
Sweet huntsman, Bassianus ’tis we meane, Doe thou so much as dig the graue for him, Thou know’st our meaning, looke for thy reward Among the Nettles at the Elder tree:
Which ouer-shades the mouth of that same pit: Where we decreed to bury Bassianuss
Doe this and purchase vs thy lasting friends

King. Oh Tamora, was euer heard the like? This is the pit, and this the Elder tree, Looke sirs, if you can finde the huntsman out, That should haue murthered Bassianus heere

Aron. My gracious Lord heere is the bag of Gold

King. Two of thy whelpes, fell Curs of bloody kind Haue heere bereft my brother of his life: Sirs drag them from the pit vnto the prison, There let them bide vntill we haue deuis’d Some neuer heard-of tortering paine for them

Tamo. What are they in this pit,
Oh wondrous thing!
How easily murder is discouered?
Tit. High Emperour, vpon my feeble knee, I beg this boone, with teares, not lightly shed, That this fell fault of my accursed Sonnes, Accursed, if the faults be prou’d in them

King. If it be prou’d? you see it is apparant, Who found this Letter, Tamora was it you? Tamora. Andronicus himselfe did take it vp

Tit. I did my Lord,
Yet let me be their baile,
For by my Fathers reuerent Tombe I vow They shall be ready at your Highnes will, To answere their suspition with their liues

King. Thou shalt not baile them, see thou follow me: Some bring the murthered body, some the murtherers, Let them not speake a word, the guilt is plaine, For by my soule, were there worse end then death, That end vpon them should be executed

Tamo. Andronicus I will entreat the King, Feare not thy Sonnes, they shall do well enough

Tit. Come Lucius come,
Stay not to talke with them.


Enter the Empresse Sonnes, with Lauinia, her hands cut off and her tongue
cut out, and rauisht.

Deme. So now goe tell and if thy tongue can speake, Who t’was that cut thy tongue and rauisht thee

Chi. Write downe thy mind, bewray thy meaning so, And if thy stumpes will let thee play the Scribe

Dem. See how with signes and tokens she can scowle

Chi. Goe home,
Call for sweet water, wash thy hands

Dem. She hath no tongue to call, nor hands to wash. And so let’s leaue her to her silent walkes

Chi. And t’were my cause, I should goe hang my selfe

Dem. If thou had’st hands to helpe thee knit the cord.


Winde Hornes.

Enter Marcus from hunting, to Lauinia.

Who is this, my Neece that flies away so fast? Cosen a word, where is your husband?
If I do dreame, would all my wealth would wake me; If I doe wake, some Planet strike me downe, That I may slumber in eternall sleepe.
Speake gentle Neece, what sterne vngentle hands Hath lopt, and hew’d, and made thy body bare Of her two branches, those sweet Ornaments Whose circkling shadowes, Kings haue sought to sleep in And might not gaine so great a happines
As halfe thy Loue: Why doost not speake to me? Alas, a Crimson riuer of warme blood,
Like to a bubling fountaine stir’d with winde, Doth rise and fall betweene thy Rosed lips, Comming and going with thy hony breath.
But sure some Tereus hath defloured thee, And least thou should’st detect them, cut thy tongue. Ah, now thou turn’st away thy face for shame: And notwithstanding all this losse of blood, As from a Conduit with their issuing Spouts, Yet doe thy cheekes looke red as Titans face, Blushing to be encountred with a Cloud,
Shall I speake for thee? shall I say ’tis so? Oh that I knew thy hart, and knew the beast That I might raile at him to ease my mind. Sorrow concealed, like an Ouen stopt.
Doth burne the hart to Cinders where it is. Faire Philomela she but lost her tongue, And in a tedious Sampler sowed her minde. But louely Neece, that meane is cut from thee, A craftier Tereus hast thou met withall, And he hath cut those pretty fingers off, That could haue better sowed then Philomel. Oh had the monster seene those Lilly hands, Tremble like Aspen leaues vpon a Lute,
And make the silken strings delight to kisse them, He would not then haue toucht them for his life. Or had he heard the heauenly Harmony,
Which that sweet tongue hath made:
He would haue dropt his knife and fell asleepe, As Cerberus at the Thracian Poets feete. Come, let vs goe, and make thy father blinde, For such a sight will blinde a fathers eye. One houres storme will drowne the fragrant meades, What, will whole months of teares thy Fathers eyes? Doe not draw backe, for we will mourne with thee: Oh could our mourning ease thy misery.


Actus Tertius.

Enter the Iudges and Senatours with Titus two sonnes bound, passing on
the Stage to the place of execution, and Titus going before pleading.

Ti. Heare me graue fathers, noble Tribunes stay, For pitty of mine age, whose youth was spent In dangerous warres, whilst you securely slept: For all my blood in Romes great quarrell shed, For all the frosty nights that I haue watcht, And for these bitter teares, which now you see, Filling the aged wrinkles in my cheekes, Be pittifull to my condemned Sonnes,
Whose soules is not corrupted as ’tis thought: For two and twenty sonnes I neuer wept,
Because they died in honours lofty bed. Andronicus lyeth downe, and the Iudges passe by him. For these, Tribunes, in the dust I write My harts deepe languor, and my soules sad teares: Let my teares stanch the earths drie appetite. My sonnes sweet blood, will make it shame and blush: O earth! I will be friend thee more with raine


That shall distill from these two ancient ruines, Then youthfull Aprill shall with all his showres In summers drought: Ile drop vpon thee still, In Winter with warme teares Ile melt the snow, And keepe eternall spring time on thy face, So thou refuse to drinke my deare sonnes blood. Enter Lucius, with his weapon drawne.

Oh reuerent Tribunes, oh gentle aged men, Vnbinde my sonnes, reuerse the doome of death, And let me say (that neuer wept before)
My teares are now preualing Oratours

Lu. Oh noble father, you lament in vaine, The Tribunes heare not, no man is by,
And you recount your sorrowes to a stone

Ti. Ah Lucius for thy brothers let me plead, Graue Tribunes, once more I intreat of you

Lu. My gracious Lord, no Tribune heares you speake

Ti. Why ’tis no matter man, if they did heare They would not marke me: oh if they did heare They would not pitty me.
Therefore I tell my sorrowes bootles to the stones. Who though they cannot answere my distresse, Yet in some sort they are better then the Tribunes, For that they will not intercept my tale; When I doe weepe, they humbly at my feete Receiue my teares, and seeme to weepe with me, And were they but attired in graue weedes, Rome could afford no Tribune like to these. A stone is as soft waxe,
Tribunes more hard then stones:
A stone is silent, and offendeth not, And Tribunes with their tongues doome men to death. But wherefore stand’st thou with thy weapon drawne? Lu. To rescue my two brothers from their death, For which attempt the Iudges haue pronounc’st My euerlasting doome of banishment

Ti. O happy man, they haue befriended thee: Why foolish Lucius, dost thou not perceiue That Rome is but a wildernes of Tigers?
Tigers must pray, and Rome affords no prey But me and mine: how happy art thou then, From these deuourers to be banished?
But who comes with our brother Marcus heere? Enter Marcus and Lauinia.

Mar. Titus, prepare thy noble eyes to weepe, Or if not so, thy noble heart to breake: I bring consuming sorrow to thine age

Ti. Will it consume me? Let me see it then

Mar. This was thy daughter

Ti. Why Marcus so she is

Luc. Aye me this obiect kils me

Ti. Faint-harted boy, arise and looke vpon her, Speake Lauinia, what accursed hand
Hath made thee handlesse in thy Fathers sight? What foole hath added water to the Sea?
Or brought a faggot to bright burning Troy? My griefe was at the height before thou cam’st, And now like Nylus it disdaineth bounds: Giue me a sword, Ile chop off my hands too, For they haue fought for Rome, and all in vaine: And they haue nur’st this woe,
In feeding life:
In bootelesse prayer haue they bene held vp, And they haue seru’d me to effectlesse vse. Now all the seruice I require of them,
Is that the one will helpe to cut the other: ‘Tis well Lauinia, that thou hast no hands, For hands to do Rome seruice, is but vaine

Luci. Speake gentle sister, who hath martyr’d thee? Mar. O that delightfull engine of her thoughts, That blab’d them with such pleasing eloquence, Is torne from forth that pretty hollow cage, Where like a sweet mellodius bird it sung, Sweet varied notes inchanting euery eare

Luci. Oh say thou for her,
Who hath done this deed?
Marc. Oh thus I found her straying in the Parke, Seeking to hide herselfe as doth the Deare That hath receiude some vnrecuring wound

Tit. It was my Deare,
And he that wounded her,
Hath hurt me more, then had he kild me dead: For now I stand as one vpon a Rocke,
Inuiron’d with a wildernesse of Sea. Who markes the waxing tide,
Grow waue by waue,
Expecting euer when some enuious surge, Will in his brinish bowels swallow him.
This way to death my wretched sonnes are gone: Heere stands my other sonne, a banisht man, And heere my brother weeping at my woes. But that which giues my soule the greatest spurne, Is deere Lauinia, deerer then my soule.
Had I but seene thy picture in this plight, It would haue madded me. What shall I doe? Now I behold thy liuely body so?
Thou hast no hands to wipe away thy teares, Nor tongue to tell me who hath martyr’d thee: Thy husband he is dead, and for his death Thy brothers are condemn’d, and dead by this. Looke Marcus, ah sonne Lucius looke on her: When I did name her brothers, then fresh teares Stood on her cheekes, as doth the hony dew, Vpon a gathred Lillie almost withered

Mar. Perchance she weepes because they kil’d her husband,
Perchance because she knowes him innocent

Ti. If they did kill thy husband then be ioyfull, Because the law hath tane reuenge on them. No, no, they would not doe so foule a deede, Witnes the sorrow that their sister makes. Gentle Lauinia let me kisse thy lips,
Or make some signes how I may do thee ease: Shall thy good Vncle, and thy brother Lucius, And thou and I sit round about some Fountaine, Looking all downewards to behold our cheekes How they are stain’d in meadowes, yet not dry With miery slime left on them by a flood: And in the Fountaine shall we gaze so long, Till the fresh taste be taken from that cleerenes, And made a brine pit with our bitter teares? Or shall we cut away our hands like thine? Or shall we bite our tongues, and in dumbe shewes Passe the remainder of our hatefull dayes? What shall we doe? Let vs that haue our tongues Plot some deuise of further miseries
To make vs wondred at in time to come

Lu. Sweet Father cease your teares, for at your griefe See how my wretched sister sobs and weeps

Mar. Patience deere Neece, good Titus drie thine eyes

Ti. Ah Marcus, Marcus, Brother well I wot, Thy napkin cannot drinke a teare of mine, For thou poore man hast drown’d it with thine owne

Lu. Ah my Lauinia I will wipe thy cheekes

Ti. Marke Marcus marke, I vnderstand her signes, Had she a tongue to speake, now would she say That to her brother which I said to thee. His Napkin with her true teares all bewet, Can do no seruice on her sorrowfull cheekes. Oh what a simpathy of woe is this!
As farre from helpe as Limbo is from blisse, Enter Aron the Moore alone.

Moore. Titus Andronicus, my Lord the Emperour, Sends thee this word, that if thou loue thy sonnes, Let Marcus, Lucius, or thy selfe old Titus, Or any one of you, chop off your hand,
And send it to the King: he for the same, Will send thee hither both thy sonnes aliue, And that shall be the ransome for their fault

Ti. Oh gracious Emperour, oh gentle Aaron. Did euer Rauen sing so like a Larke,
That giues sweet tydings of the Sunnes vprise? With all my heart, Ile send the Emperour my hand, Good Aron wilt thou help to chop it off? Lu. Stay Father, for that noble hand of thine, That hath throwne downe so many enemies, Shall not be sent: my hand will serue the turne, My youth can better spare my blood then you, And therfore mine shall saue my brothers liues

Mar. Which of your hands hath not defended Rome, And rear’d aloft the bloody Battleaxe,
Writing destruction on the enemies Castle? Oh none of both but are of high desert:
My hand hath bin but idle, let it serue To ransome my two nephewes from their death, Then haue I kept it to a worthy end

Moore. Nay come agree, whose hand shall goe along For feare they die before their pardon come

Mar. My hand shall goe

Lu. By heauen it shall not goe

Ti. Sirs striue no more, such withered hearbs as these Are meete for plucking vp, and therefore mine

Lu. Sweet Father, if I shall be thought thy sonne, Let me redeeme my brothers both from death

Mar. And for our fathers sake, and mothers care, Now let me shew a brothers loue to thee

Ti. Agree betweene you, I will spare my hand

Lu. Then Ile goe fetch an Axe

Mar. But I will vse the Axe.


Ti. Come hither Aaron, Ile deceiue them both, Lend me thy hand, and I will giue thee mine, Moore. If that be cal’d deceit, I will be honest, And neuer whil’st I liue deceiue men so: But Ile deceiue you in another sort,
And that you’l say ere halfe an houre passe.

He cuts off Titus hand.

Enter Lucius and Marcus againe.

Ti. Now stay your strife, what shall be, is dispatcht: Good Aron giue his Maiestie 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 haue. As for my sonnes, say I account of them, As iewels purchast at an easie price,
And yet deere too, because I bought mine owne

Aron. I goe Andronicus, and for thy hand, Looke by and by to haue thy sonnes with thee: Their heads I meane: Oh how this villany Doth fat me with the very thoughts of it. Let fooles doe good, and faire men call for grace, Aron will haue his soule blacke like his face. Enter.

Ti. O heere I lift this one hand vp to heauen, And bow this feeble ruine to the earth,
If any power pitties wretched teares, To that I call: what wilt thou kneele with me? Doe then deare heart, for heauen shall heare our prayers, Or with our sighs weele breath the welkin dimme, And staine the Sun with fogge as somtime cloudes, When they do hug him in their melting bosomes

Mar. Oh brother speake with possibilities, And do not breake into these deepe extreames

Ti. Is not my sorrow deepe, hauing no bottome? Then be my passions bottomlesse with them

Mar. But yet let reason gouerne thy lament

Titus. If there were reason for these miseries, Then into limits could I binde my woes:
When heauen doth weepe, doth not the earth oreflow? If the windes rage, doth not the Sea wax mad, Threatning the welkin with his big-swolne face? And wilt thou haue a reason for this coile? I am the Sea. Harke how her sighes doe flow: Shee is the weeping welkin, I the earth: Then must my Sea be moued with her sighes, Then must my earth with her continuall teares, Become a deluge: ouerflow’d and drown’d: For why, my bowels cannot hide her woes, But like a drunkard must I vomit them:
Then giue me leaue, for loosers will haue leaue, To ease their stomackes with their bitter tongues, Enter a messenger with two heads and a hand.

Mess. Worthy Andronicus, ill art thou repaid, For that good hand thou sentst the Emperour: Heere are the heads of thy two noble sonnes. And heeres thy hand in scorne to thee sent backe: Thy griefes, their sports: Thy resolution mockt, That woe is me to thinke vpon thy woes,
More then remembrance of my fathers death. Enter.

Marc. Now let hot aetna coole in Cicilie, And be my heart an euer-burning hell:
These miseries are more then may be borne. To weepe with them that weepe, doth ease some deale, But sorrow flouted at, is double death

Luci. Ah that this sight should make so deep a wound, And yet detested life not shrinke thereat: That euer death should let life beare his name, Where life hath no more interest but to breath

Mar. Alas poore hart that kisse is comfortlesse, As frozen water to a starued snake

Titus. When will this fearefull slumber haue an end? Mar. Now farwell flatterie, die Andronicus, Thou dost not slumber, see thy two sons heads, Thy warlike hands, thy mangled daughter here: Thy other banisht sonnes with this deere sight Strucke pale and bloodlesse, and thy brother I, Euen like a stony Image, cold and numme. Ah now no more will I controule my griefes, Rent off thy siluer haire, thy other hand Gnawing with thy teeth, and be this dismall sight The closing vp of our most wretched eyes: Now is a time to storme, why art thou still? Titus. Ha, ha, ha,
Mar. Why dost thou laugh? it fits not with this houre

Ti. Why I haue not another teare to shed: Besides, this sorrow is an enemy,
And would vsurpe vpon my watry eyes, And make them blinde with tributarie teares. Then which way shall I finde Reuenges Caue? For these two heads doe seeme to speake to me, And threat me, I shall neuer come to blisse, Till all these mischiefes be returned againe, Euen in their throats that haue committed them. Come let me see what taske I haue to doe, You heauie people, circle me about,
That I may turne me to each one of you, And sweare vnto my soule to right your wrongs. The vow is made, come Brother take a head, And in this hand the other will I beare. And Lauinia thou shalt be employd in these things: Beare thou my hand sweet wench betweene thy teeth: As for thee boy, goe get thee from my sight, Thou art an Exile, and thou must not stay, Hie to the Gothes, and raise an army there, And if you loue me, as I thinke you doe, Let’s kisse and part, for we haue much to doe.


Manet Lucius.

Luci. Farewell Andronicus my noble Father: The woful’st man that euer liu’d in Rome: Farewell proud Rome, til Lucius come againe, He loues his pledges dearer then his life: Farewell Lauinia my noble sister,
O would thou wert as thou to fore hast beene, But now, nor Lucius nor Lauinia liues
But in obliuion and hateful griefes: If Lucius liue, he will requit your wrongs, And make proud Saturnine and his Empresse Beg at the gates like Tarquin and his Queene. Now will I to the Gothes and raise a power, To be reueng’d on Rome and Saturnine.

Exit Lucius

A Banket.

Enter Andronicus, Marcus, Lauinia, and the Boy.

An. So, so, now sit, and looke you eate no more Then will preserue iust so much strength in vs As will reuenge these bitter woes of ours. Marcus vnknit that sorrow-wreathen knot: Thy Neece and I (poore Creatures) want our hands And cannot passionate our tenfold griefe, With foulded Armes. This poore right hand of mine, Is left to tirranize vppon my breast.
Who when my hart all mad with misery, Beats in this hollow prison of my flesh, Then thus I thumpe it downe.
Thou Map of woe, that thus dost talk in signes, When thy poore hart beates without ragious beating, Thou canst not strike it thus to make it still? Wound it with sighing girle, kil it with grones: Or get some little knife betweene thy teeth, And iust against thy hart make thou a hole, That all the teares that thy poore eyes let fall May run into that sinke, and soaking in, Drowne the lamenting foole, in Sea salt teares

Mar. Fy brother fy, teach her not thus to lay Such violent hands vppon her tender life

An. How now! Has sorrow made thee doate already? Why Marcus, no man should be mad but I:
What violent hands can she lay on her life: Ah, wherefore dost thou vrge the name of hands, To bid Aeneas tell the tale twice ore
How Troy was burnt, and he made miserable? O handle not the theame, to talke of hands, Least we remember still that we haue none, Fie, fie, how Frantiquely I square my talke As if we should forget we had no hands:
If Marcus did not name the word of hands. Come, lets fall too, and gentle girle eate this, Heere is no drinke? Harke Marcus what she saies, I can interpret all her martir’d signes, She saies, she drinkes no other drinke but teares Breu’d with her sorrow: mesh’d vppon her cheekes, Speechlesse complayner, I will learne thy thought: In thy dumb action, will I be as perfect As begging Hermits in their holy prayers. Thou shalt not sighe nor hold thy stumps to heauen, Nor winke, nor nod, nor kneele, nor make a signe; But I (of these) will wrest an Alphabet,

And by still practice, learne to know thy meaning

Boy. Good grandsire leaue these bitter deepe laments, Make my Aunt merry, with some pleasing tale

Mar. Alas, the tender boy in passion mou’d, Doth weepe to see his grandsires heauinesse

An. Peace tender Sapling, thou art made of teares, And teares will quickly melt thy life away.

Marcus strikes the dish with a knife.

What doest thou strike at Marcus with knife

Mar. At that that I haue kil’d my Lord, a Fly An. Out on the murderour: thou kil’st my hart, Mine eyes cloi’d with view of Tirranie:
A deed of death done on the Innocent Becoms not Titus brother: get thee gone, I see thou art not for my company

Mar. Alas (my Lord) I haue but kild a flie

An. But? How: if that Flie had a father and mother? How would he hang his slender gilded wings And buz lamenting doings in the ayer,
Poore harmelesse Fly,
That with his pretty buzing melody, Came heere to make vs merry,
And thou hast kil’d him

Mar. Pardon me sir,
It was a blacke illfauour’d Fly,
Like to the Empresse Moore, therefore I kild him

An. O, o, o,
Then pardon me for reprehending thee, For thou hast done a Charitable deed:
Giue me thy knife, I will insult on him, Flattering my selfe, as if it were the Moore, Come hither purposely to poyson me.
There’s for thy selfe, and thats for Tamora: Ah sirra, Yet I thinke we are not brought so low,
But that betweene vs, we can kill a Fly, That comes in likenesse of a Cole-blacke Moore

Mar. Alas poore man, griefe ha’s so wrought on him, He takes false shadowes, for true substances

An. Come, take away: Lauinia, goe with me, Ile to thy closset, and goe read with thee Sad stories, chanced in the times of old. Come boy, and goe with me, thy sight is young, And thou shalt read, when mine begin to dazell.


Actus Quartus.

Enter young Lucius and Lauinia running after him, and the Boy flies from
her with his bookes vnder his arme. Enter Titus and Marcus.

Boy. Helpe Gransier helpe, my Aunt Lauinia, Followes me euery where I know not why.
Good Vncle Marcus see how swift she comes, Alas sweet Aunt, I know not what you meane

Mar. Stand by me Lucius, doe not feare thy Aunt

Titus. She loues thee boy too well to doe thee harme Boy. I when my father was in Rome she did

Mar. What meanes my Neece Lauinia by these signes? Ti. Feare not Lucius, somewhat doth she meane: See Lucius see, how much she makes of thee: Some whether would she haue thee goe with her. Ah boy, Cornelia neuer with more care
Read to her sonnes, then she hath read to thee, Sweet Poetry, and Tullies Oratour:
Canst thou not gesse wherefore she plies thee thus? Boy. My Lord I know not I, nor can I gesse, Vnlesse some fit or frenzie do possesse her: For I haue heard my Gransier say full oft, Extremitie of griefes would make men mad. And I haue read that Hecuba of Troy,
Ran mad through sorrow, that made me to feare, Although my Lord, I know my noble Aunt,
Loues me as deare as ere my mother did, And would not but in fury fright my youth, Which made me downe to throw my bookes, and flie Causles perhaps, but pardon me sweet Aunt, And Madam, if my Vncle Marcus goe,
I will most willingly attend your Ladyship

Mar. Lucius I will

Ti. How now Lauinia, Marcus what meanes this? Some booke there is that she desires to see, Which is it girle of these? Open them boy, But thou art deeper read and better skild, Come and take choyse of all my Library,
And so beguile thy sorrow, till the heauens Reueale the damn’d contriuer of this deed. What booke?
Why lifts she vp her armes in sequence thus? Mar. I thinke she meanes that ther was more then one Confederate in the fact, I more there was: Or else to heauen she heaues them to reuenge

Ti. Lucius what booke is that she tosseth so? Boy. Grandsier ’tis Ouids Metamorphosis, My mother gaue it me

Mar. For loue of her that’s gone,
Perhaps she culd it from among the rest

Ti. Soft, so busily she turnes the leaues, Helpe her, what would she finde? Lauinia shall I read? This is the tragicke tale of Philomel?
And treates of Tereus treason and his rape, And rape I feare was roote of thine annoy

Mar. See brother see, note how she quotes the leaues Ti. Lauinia, wert thou thus surpriz’d sweet girle, Rauisht and wrong’d as Philomela was?
Forc’d in the ruthlesse, vast, and gloomy woods? See, see, I such a place there is where we did hunt, (O had we neuer, neuer hunted there)
Patern’d by that the Poet heere describes, By nature made for murthers and for rapes