Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Not Peer Reviewed

Titus Andronicus (Folio, 1623)


44
The Tragedie of Titus Andronicus.
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,
1620What 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 and writes.
1625Ti. Oh doe ye read my Lord what she hath writs?
Stuprum, Chiron, Demetrius.
Mar. What, what, the lustfull sonnes of Tamora,
Performers of this hainous bloody deed?
Ti. Magni Dominator poli,
1630Tam 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.
1635My 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,
1640That 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
1645The Dam will wake, and if she winde you once,
Shee's with the Lyon deepely still in league.
And lulls him whilst she palyeth on her backe,
And when he sleepes will she do what she list.
You are a young huntsman Marcus, let it alone:
1650And 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?
1655Boy. 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.
1660Boy. 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,
1665Come, 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,
1670I marry will we sir, and weele be waited on.
Exeunt.
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,
1675Then foe-mens markes vpon his batter'd shield,
But yet so iust, that he will not reuenge,
Reuenge the heauens for old Andronicus.
Exit
Enter Aron, Chiron and Demetrius at one dore: and at another
dore young Lucius and another, with a bundle of
1680
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,
1685I 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,
1690The 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,
1695You may be armed and appointed well,
And so I leaue you both: like bloody villaines.
Exit
Deme. What's heere? a scrole, & written round about?
Let's see.
Integer vitæ scelerisque purus, non egit maury iaculis nec ar-
1700cus.
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?
1705Heer'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:
1710But let her rest, in her vnrest a while.
And now young Lords, wa'stnot 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,
1715To 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?
1720Deme. 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 you mother for to say, Amen.
Chi. And that would she for twenty thousand more.
1725Deme. 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.
Flourish.
Dem. Why do the Emperors trumpets flourish thus?
1730Chi. 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?
1735Aron. 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?
1740What 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?
1745Nurse. I meane she is brought a bed?
Aron. Wel God giue her good rest,
What