Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
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Titus Andronicus (Folio, 1623)


50
The Tragedie of Titus Andronicus.
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,
2400And 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,
2405And 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,
2410Thou 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,
2415Feasts 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,
2420And 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,
2425Whiles 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,
2430And 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.
2435Tit. 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?
2440Tit. 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,
2445And 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.
2450Pub. 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.
Exeunt.
Enter Titus Andronicus with a knife, and Lauinia
with a Bason.
2455Tit. 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,
2460This 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
2465Then 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,
2470This 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.
2475Harke 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,
2480Like 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,
2485And 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,
2490Come, 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,
2495And see them ready, gainst their Mother comes.
Exeunt.
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.
2500Luc. 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.
2505And 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.
2510Luc. Away Inhumaine Dogge, Vnhallowed Slaue,
Sirs, helpe our Vnckle, to conuey him in,
Flourish.
The Trumpets shew the Emperour is at hand.
Sound Trumpets. Enter Emperour and Empresse, with
Tribunes and others.
2515Sat. 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