Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
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Titus Andronicus (Folio, 1623)


42
The Tragedie of Titus Andronicus.
1365Then 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?
1370If 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:
1375Then 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:
1380Then 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:
1385Heere 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.
Exit.
1390Marc. Now let hot Ætna 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.
1395Luci. 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,
1400As 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:
1405Thy 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
1410Gnawing 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.
1415Ti. 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?
1420For 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,
1425You 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.
1430And 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,
1435And if you loue me, as I thinke you doe,
Let's kisse and part, for we haue much to doe.
Exeunt.
Manet Lucius.
Luci. Farewell Andronicus my noble Father:
The woful'st man that euer liu'd in Rome:
1440Farewell 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
1445But 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,
1450To be reueng'd on Rome and Saturnine.
Exit Lucius
A Bnaket.
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
1455As 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,
1460Is 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,
1465When 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,
1470That 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.
1475An. 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 Æneas tell the tale twice ore
1480How 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:
1485If 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
1490Breu'd with her sorrow: mesh'd vppon her cheekes,
Speech.