Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
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Titus Andronicus (Folio, 1623)


The Tragedie of Titus Andronicus.
37
Deme. Chiron we hunt not we, with Horse nor Hound
But hope to plucke a dainty Doe to ground.
Exeunt
Enter Aaron alone.
Aron. He that had wit, would thinke that I had none,
735To bury so much Gold vnder a Tree,
And neuer after to inherit it.
Let him that thinks of me so abiectly,
Know that this Gold must coine a stratageme,
Which cunningly effected, will beget
740A very excellent peece of villany:
And so repose sweet Gold for their vnrest,
That haue their Almes out of the Empresse Chest.
Enter Tamora to the Moore.
Tamo. My louely Aaron,
745Wherefore look'st thou sad,
When euery thing doth make a Gleefull boast?
The Birds chaunt melody on euery bush,
The Snake lies rolled in the chearefull Sunne,
The greene leaues quiuer, with the cooling winde,
750And make a cheker'd shadow on the ground:
Vnder their sweete shade, Aaron let vs sit,
And whil'st the babling Eccho mock's the Hounds,
Replying shrilly to the well tun'd-Hornes,
As if a double hunt were heard at once,
755Let vs sit downe, and marke their yelping noyse:
And after conflict, such as was suppos'd.
The wandring Prince and Dido once enioy'd,
When with a happy storme they were surpris'd,
And Curtain'd with a Counsaile-keeping Caue,
760We may each wreathed in the others armes,
(Our pastimes done) possesse a Golden slumber,
Whiles Hounds and Hornes, and sweet Melodious Birds
Be vnto vs, as is a Nurses Song
Of Lullabie, to bring her Babe asleepe.
765Aron. Madame,
Though Venus gouerne your desires,
Saturne is Dominator ouer mine:
What signifies my deadly standing eye,
My silence, and my Cloudy Melancholie,
770My fleece of Woolly haire, that now vncurles,
Euen as an Adder when she doth vnrowle
To do some fatall execution?
No Madam, these are no Veneriall signes,
Vengeance is in my heart, death in my hand,
775Blood, and reuenge, are Hammering in my head.
Harke Tamora, the Empresse of my Soule,
Which neuer hopes more heauen, then rests in thee,
This is the day of Doome for Bassianus;
His Philomel must loose her tongue to day,
780Thy Sonnes make Pillage of her Chastity,
And wash their hands in Bassianus blood.
Seest thou this Letter, take it vp I pray thee,
And giue the King this fatall plotted Scrowle,
Now question me no more, we are espied,
785Heere comes a parcell of our hopefull Booty,
Which dreads not yet their liues destruction.
Enter Bassianus and Lauinia.
Tamo. Ah my sweet Moore:
Sweeter to me then life.
790Aron. No more great Empresse, Bassianus comes,
Be crosse with him, and Ile goe fetch thy Sonnes
To backe thy quarrell what so ere they be.
Bassi. Whom haue we heere?
Romes Royall Empresse,
795Vnfurnisht of our well beseeming troope?
Or is it Dian habited like her,
Who hath abandoned her holy Groues,
To see the generall Hunting in this Forrest?
Tamo. Sawcie controuler of our priuate steps:
800Had I the power, that some say Dian had,
Thy Temples should be planted presently.
With Hornes, as was Acteons, and the Hounds
Should driue vpon his new transformed limbes,
Vnmannerly Intruder as thou art.
805Laui. Vnder your patience gentle Empresse,
'Tis thought you haue a goodly gift in Horning,
And to be doubted, that your Moore and you
Are singled forth to try experiments:
Ioue sheild your husband from his Hounds to day,
810'Tis pitty they should take him for a Stag.
Bassi. Beleeue me Queene, your swarth Cymerion,
Doth make your Honour of his bodies Hue,
Spotted, detested, and abhominable.
Why are you sequestred from all your traine?
815Dismounted from your Snow - white goodly Steed,
And wandred hither to an obscure plot,
Accompanied with a barbarous Moore,
If foule desire had not conducted you?
Laui. And being intercepted in your sport,
820Great reason that my Noble Lord, be rated
For Saucinesse, I pray you let vs hence,
And let her ioy her Rauen coloured loue,
This valley fits the purpose passing well.
Bassi. The King my Brother shall haue notice of this.
825Laui. I, for these slips haue made him noted long,
Good King, to be so mightily abused.
Tamora. Why I haue patience to endure all this?
Enter Chiron and Demetrius.
Dem. How now deere Soueraigne
830And our gracious Mother,
Why doth your Highnes looke so pale and wan?
Tamo. Haue I not reason thinke you to looke pale.
These two haue tic'd me hither to this place,
A barren, detested vale you see it is.
835The Trees though Sommer, yet forlorne and leane,
Ore-come with Mosse, and balefull Misselto.
Heere neuer shines the Sunne, heere nothing breeds,
Vnlesse the nightly Owle, or fatall Rauen:
And when they shew'd me this abhorred pit,
840They told me heere at dead time of the night,
A thousand Fiends, a thousand hissing Snakes,
Ten thousand swelling Toades, as many Vrchins,
Would make such fearefull and confused cries,
As any mortall body hearing it,
845Should straite fall mad, or else die suddenly.
No sooner had they told this hellish tale,
But strait they told me they would binde me heere,
Vnto the body of a dismall yew,
And leaue me to this miserable death.
850And then they call'd me foule Adulteresse,
Lasciuious Goth, and all the bitterest tearmes
That euer eare did heare to such effect.
And had you not by wondrous fortune come,
This vengeance on me had they executed:
855Reuenge it, as you loue your Mothers life,
Or be ye not henceforth cal'd my Children.
Dem. This is a witnesse that I am thy Sonne.
stab him.
Chi. And this for me,
Strook home to shew my strength.
860Laui. I come Semeramis, nay Barbarous Tamora.
dd
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