Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Not Peer Reviewed

Titus Andronicus (Folio, 1623)


The Tragedie of Titus Andronicus.
51
2520Hath ordained to an Honourable end,
For Peace, for Loue, for League, and good to Rome:
Please you therfore draw nie and take your places.
Satur. Marcus we will.
Hoboyes.
A Table brought in.
2525
Enter Titus like a Cooke, placing the meat on
the Table, and Lauinia with a vale ouer her face.
Titus. Welcome my gracious Lord,
Welcome Dread Queene,
Welcome ye Warlike Gothes, welcome Lucius,
2530And welcome all: although the cheere be poore,
'Twill fill your stomacks, please you eat of it.
Sat. Why art thou thus attir'd Andronicus?
Tit. Because I would be sure to haue all well,
To entertaine your Highnesse, and your Empresse.
2535Tam. We are beholding to you good Andronicus?
Tit. And if your Highnesse knew my heart, you were:
My Lord the Emperour resolue me this,
Was it well done of rash Virginius,
To slay his daughter with his owne right hand,
2540Because she was enfor'st, stain'd, and deflowr'd?
Satur. It was Andronicus.
Tit. Your reason, Mighty Lord?
Sat. Because the Girle, should not suruine her shame,
And by her presence still renew his sorrowes.
2545Tit. A reason mighty, strong, and effectuall,
A patterne, president, and liuely warrant,
For me (most wretched) to performe the like:
Die, die, Lauinia, and thy shame with thee,
And with thy shame, thy Fathers sorrow die.
2550
He kils her.
Sat. What hast done, vnnaturall and vnkinde?
Tit. Kil'd her for whom my teares haue made me blind.
I am as wofull as Virginius was,
And haue a thousand times more cause then he.
2555Sat. What was she rauisht? tell who did the deed,
Tit. Wilt please you eat,
Wilt please your Highnesse feed?
Tam. Why hast thou slaine thine onely Daughter?
Titus. Not I, 'twas Chiron and Demetrius,
2560They rauisht her, and cut away her tongue,
And they, 'twas they, that did her all this wrong.
Satu. Go fetch them hither to vs presently.
Tit. Why there they are both, baked in that Pie,
Whereof their Mother dantily hath fed,
2565Eating the flesh that she herselfe hath bred.
'Tis true, 'tis true, witnesse my kniues sharpe point.
He stabs the Empresse.
Satu. Die franticke wretch, for this accursed deed.
Luc. Can the Sonnes eye, behold his Father bleed?
2570There's meede for meede, death for a deadly deed.
Mar. You sad fac'd men, people and Sonnes of Rome,
By vprores seuer'd like a flight of Fowle,
Scattred by windes and high tempestuous gusts:
Oh let me teach you how, to knit againe
2575This scattred Corne, into one mutuall sheafe,
These broken limbs againe into one body.
Goth. Let Rome herselfe be bane vnto herselfe,
And shee whom mightie kingdomes cursie too,
Like a forlorne and desperate castaway,
2580Doe shamefull execution on her selfe.
But if my frostie signes and chaps of age,
Graue witnesses of true experience,
Cannot induce you to attend my words,
Speake Romes deere friend, as 'erst our Auncestor,
2585When with his solemne tongue he did discourse
To loue-sicke Didoes sad attending eare,
The story of that balefull burning night,
When subtil Greekes surpriz'd King Priams Troy:
Tell vs what Sinon hath bewicht our eares,
2590Or who hath brought the fatall engine in,
That giues our Troy, our Rome the ciuill wound.
My heart is not compact of flint nor steele,
Nor can I vtter all our bitter griefe,
But floods of teares will drowne my Oratorie,
2595And breake my very vttrance, euen in the time
When it should moue you to attend me most,
Lending your kind hand Commiseration.
Heere is a Captaine, let him tell the tale,
Your hearts will throb and weepe to heare him speake.
2600Luc. This Noble Auditory, be it knowne to you,
That cursed Chiron and Demetrius
Were they that murdred our Emperours Brother,
And they it were that rauished our Sister,
For their fell faults our Brothers were beheaded,
2605Our Fathers teares despis'd, and basely cousen'd,
Of that true hand that fought Romes quarrell out,
And sent her enemies vnto the graue.
Lastly, my selfe vnkindly banished,
The gates shut on me, and turn'd weeping out,
2610To beg reliefe among Romes Enemies,
Who drown'd their enmity in my true teares,
And op'd their armes to imbrace me as a Friend:
And I am turned forth, be it knowne to you,
That haue preseru'd her welfare in my blood,
2615And from her bosome tooke the Enemies point,
Sheathing the steele in my aduentrous body.
Alas you know, I am no Vaunter I,
My scars can witnesse, dumbe although they are,
That my report is iust and full of truth:
2620But soft, me thinkes I do digresse too much,
Cyting my worthlesse praise: Oh pardon me,
For when no Friends are by, men praise themselues,
Marc. Now is my turne to speake: Behold this Child,
Of this was Tamora deliuered,
2625The issue of an Irreligious Moore,
Chiefe Architect and plotter of these woes,
The Villaine is aliue in Titus house,
And as he is, to witnesse this is true.
Now iudge what course had Titus to reuenge
2630These wrongs, vnspeakeable past patience,
Or more then any liuing man could beare.
Now you haue heard the truth, what say you Romaines?
Haue we done ought amisse? shew vs wherein,
And from the place where you behold vs now,
2635The poore remainder of Andronici,
Will hand in hand all headlong cast vs downe,
And on the ragged stones beat forth our braines,
And make a mutuall closure of our house:
Speake Romaines speake, and if you say we shall,
2640Loe hand in hand, Lucius and I will fall.
Emilli. Come come, thou reuerent man of Rome,
And bring our Emperour gently in thy hand,
Lucius our Emperour: for well I know,
The common voyce do cry it shall be so.
2645Mar. Lucius, all haile Romes Royall Emperour,
Goe, goe into old Titus sorrowfull house,
And hither hale that misbelieuing Moore,
To be adiudg'd some direfull slaughtering death,
As punishment for his most wicked life.
2650Lucius all haile to Romes gracious Gouernour.
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Lucius