Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
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Titus Andronicus (Folio, 1623)


36
The Tragedie of Titus Andronicus.
And maintaine such a quarrell openly?
Full well I wote, the ground of all this grudge.
605I would not for a million of Gold,
The cause were knowne to them it most concernes.
Nor would your noble mother for much more
Be so dishonored in the Court of Rome:
For shame put vp.
610Deme. Not I, till I haue sheath'd
My rapier in his bosome, and withall
Thrust these reprochfull speeches downe his throat,
That he hath breath'd in my dishonour heere.
Chi. For that I am prepar'd, and full resolu'd,
615Foule spoken Coward,
That thundrest with thy tongue,
And with thy weapon nothing dar'st performe.
Aron. A way I say.
Now by the Gods that warlike Gothes adore,
620This pretty brabble will vndoo vs all:
Why Lords, and thinke you not how dangerous
It is to set vpon a Princes right?
What is Lauinia then become so loose,
Or Bassianus so degenerate,
625That for her loue such quarrels may be broacht,
Without controulement, Iustice, or reuenge?
Young Lords beware, and should the Empresse know,
This discord ground, the musicke would not please.
Chi. I care not I, knew she and all the world,
630I loue Lauinia more then all the world.
Demet. Youngling,
Learne thou to make some meaner choise,
Lauinia is thine elder brothers hope.
Aron. Why are ye mad? Or know ye not in Rome,
635How furious and impatient they be,
And cannot brooke Competitors in loue?
I tell you Lords, you doe but plot your deaths,
By this deuise.
Chi. Aaron, a thousand deaths would I propose,
640To atchieue her whom I do loue.
Aron. To atcheiue her, how?
Deme. Why, mak'st thou it so strange?
Shee is a woman, therefore may be woo'd,
Shee is a woman, therfore may be wonne,
645Shee is Lauinia therefore must be lou'd.
What man, more water glideth by the Mill
Then wots the Miller of, and easie it is
Of a cut loafe to steale a shiue we know:
Though Bassianus be the Emperours brother,
650Better then he haue worne Vulcans badge.
Aron. I, and as good as Saturnius may.
Deme. Then why should he dispaire that knowes to
With words, faire lookes, and liberality:
What hast not thou full often strucke a Doe,
655And borne her cleanly by the Keepers nose?
Aron. Why then it seemes some certaine snatch or so
Would serue your turnes.
Chi. I so the turne were serued.
Deme. Aaron thou hast hit it.
660Aron. Would you had hit it too,
Then should not we be tir'd with this adoo:
Why harke yee, harke yee, aud are you such fooles,
To square for this? Would it offend you then?
Chi. Faith not me.
665Deme. Nor me, so I were one.
Aron. For shame be friends, & ioyne for that you iar:
'Tis pollicie, and stratageme must doe
That you affect, and so must you resolue,
That what you cannot as you would atcheiue,
670You must perforce accomplish as you may:
Take this of me, Lucrece was not more chast
Then this Lauinia, Bassianus loue,
A speedier course this lingring languishment
Must we pursue, and I haue found the path:
675My Lords, a solemne hunting is in hand.
There will the louely Roman Ladies troope:
The Forrest walkes are wide and spacious,
And many vnfrequented plots there are,
Fitted by kinde for rape and villanie:
680Single you thither then this dainty Doe,
And strike her home by force, if not by words:
This way or not at all, stand you in hope.
Come, come, our Empresse with her sacred wit
To villainie and vengance consecrate,
685Will we acquaint with all that we intend,
And she shall file our engines with aduise,
That will not suffer you to square your selues,
But to your wishes height aduance you both.
The Emperours Court is like the house of Fame,
690The pallace full of tongues, of eyes, of eares:
The Woods are ruthlesse, dreadfull, deafe, and dull:
There speake, and strike braue Boyes, & take your turnes.
There serue your lusts, shadow'd from heauens eye,
And reuell in Lauinia's Treasurie.
695Chi. Thy counsell Lad smells of no cowardise.
Deme. Sit fas aut nefas, till I finde the streames,
To coole this heat, a Charme to calme their fits,
Per Stigia per manes Vehor.
Exeunt.
Enter Titus Andronicus and his three sonnes, making a noyse
700
with hounds and hornes, and Marcus.
Tit. The hunt is vp, the morne is bright and gray,
The fields are fragrant, and the Woods are greene,
Vncouple heere, and let vs make a bay,
And wake the Emperour, and his louely Bride,
705And rouze the Prince, and ring a hunters peale,
That all the Court may eccho with the noyse.
Sonnes let it be your charge, as it is ours,
To attend the Emperours person carefully:
I haue bene troubled in my sleepe this night,
710But dawning day new comfort hath inspir'd.
Winde Hornes.
Heere a cry of houndes, and winde hornes in a peale, then
Enter Saturninus, Tamora, Bassianus, Lauinia, Chiron, De-
metrius, and their Attendants.
715Ti. Many good morrowes to your Maiestie,
Madam to you as many and as good.
I promised your Grace, a Hunters peale.
Satur. And you haue rung it lustily my Lords,
Somewhat to earely for new married Ladies.
720Bass. Lauinia, how say you?
Laui. I say no:
I haue bene awake two houres and more.
Satur. Come on then, horse and Chariots let vs haue,
And to our sport: Madam, now shall ye see,
725Our Romaine hunting.
Mar. I haue dogges my Lord,
Will rouze the proudest Panther in the Chase,
And clime the highest Pomontary top.
Tit. And I haue horse will follow where the game
730Makes way, and runnes likes Swallowes ore the plaine
Deme. Chiron