Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Not Peer Reviewed

Titus Andronicus (Folio, 1623)


The Tragedie of Titus Andronicus.
41
Expecting euer when some enuious surge,
Will in his brinish bowels swallow him.
1240This 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.
1245Had 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:
1250Thy 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,
1255Vpon 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,
1260Because 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:
1265Shall 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:
1270And 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
1275Passe 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
1280See 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,
1285For 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.
1290His Napkin with hertrue 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.
1295Moore. 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,
1300Will 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?
1305With 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,
1310My 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?
1315Oh 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
1320For 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.
1325Lu. 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.
1330Lu. Then Ile goe fetch an Axe.
Mar. But I will vse the Axe.
Exeunt
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,
1335And 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.
1340Ti. Now stay you strife, what shall be, is dispatcht:
Good Aron giue his Maiestie me 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.
1345As for 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:
1350Their 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.
Exit.
Ti. O heere I lift this one hand vp to heauen,
1355And 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,
1360And 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?
dd3
Then