Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Not Peer Reviewed

Titus Andronicus (Folio, 1623)


38
The Tragedie of Titus Andronicus.
For no name fits thy nature but thy owne.
Tam. Giue me thy poyniard, you shal know my boyes
Your Mothers hand shall right your Mothers wrong.
Deme. Stay Madam heere is more belongs to her,
865First thrash the Corne, then after burne the straw:
This Minion stood vpon her chastity,
Vpon her Nuptiall vow, her loyaltie.
And with that painted hope, braues your Mightinesse,
And shall she carry this vnto her graue?
870Chi. And if she doe,
I would I were an Eunuch,
Drag hence her husband to some secret hole,
And make his dead Trunke-Pillow to our lust.
Tamo. But when ye haue the hony we desire,
875Let not this Waspe out-liue vs both to sting.
Chir. I warrant you Madam we will make that sure:
Come Mistris, now perforce we will enioy,
That nice-preserued honesty of yours.
Laui. Oh Tamora, thou bear'st a woman face.
880Tamo. I will not heare her speake, away with her.
Laui. Sweet Lords intreat her heare me but a word.
Demet. Listen faire Madam, let it be your glory
To see her teares, but be your hart to them,
As vnrelenting flint to drops of raine.
885Laui. When did the Tigers young-ones teach the dam?
O doe not learne her wrath, she taught it thee,
The milke thou suck'st from her did turne to Marble,
Euen at thy Teat thou had'st thy Tyranny,
Yet euery Mother breeds not Sonnes alike,
890Do thou intreat her shew a woman pitty.
Chiro. What,
Would'st thou haue me proue my selfe a bastard?
Laui. 'Tis true,
The Rauen doth not hatch a Larke,
895Yet haue I heard, Oh could I finde it now,
The Lion mou'd with pitty, did indure
To haue his Princely pawes par'd all away.
Some say, that Rauens foster forlorne children,
The whil'st their owne birds famish in their nests:
900Oh be to me though thy hard hart say no,
Nothing so kind but something pittifull.
Tamo. I know not what it meanes, away with her.
Lauin. Oh let me teach thee for my Fathers sake,
That gaue thee life when well he might haue slaine thee:
905Be not obdurate, open thy deafe eares.
Tamo. Had'st thou in person nere offended me.
Euen for his sake am I pittilesse:
Remember Boyes I powr'd forth teares in vaine,
To saue your brother from the sacrifice,
910But fierce Andronicus would not relent,
Therefore away with her, and vse her as you will,
The worse to her, the better lou'd of me.
Laui. Oh Tamora,
Be call'd a gentle Queene,
915And with thine owne hands kill me in this place,
For 'tis not life that I haue beg'd so long,
Poore I was slaine, when Bassianus dy'd.
Tam. What beg'st thou then? fond woman let me go?
Laui. 'Tis present death I beg, and one thing more,
920That womanhood denies my tongue to tell:
Oh keepe me from their worse then killing lust,
And tumble me into some loathsome pit,
Where neuer mans eye may behold my body,
Doe this, and be a charitable murderer.
925Tam. So should I rob my sweet Sonnes of their fee,
No let them satisfie their lust on thee.
Deme. Away,
For thou hast staid vs heere too long.
Lauinia. No Garace,
930No womanhood? Ah beastly creature,
The blot and enemy to our generall name,
Confusion fall---
Chi. Nay then Ile stop your mouth
Bring thou her husband,
935This is the Hole where Aaron bid vs hide him.
Tam. Farewell my Sonnes, see that you make her sure,
Nere let my heart know merry cheere indeed,
Till all the Andronici be made away:
Now will I hence to seeke my louely Moore,
940And let my spleenefull Sonnes this Trull defloure.
Exit.
Enter Aaron with two of Titus Sonnes.
Aron. Come on my Lords, the better foote before,
Straight will I bring you to the lothsome pit,
Where I espied the Panther fast asleepe.
945Quin. My sight is very dull what ere it bodes.
Marti. And mine I promise you, were it not for shame,
Well could I leaue our sport to sleepe a while.
Quin. What art thou fallen?
What subtile Hole is this,
950Whose mouth is couered with Rude growing Briers,
Vpon whose leaues are drops of new-shed-blood,
As fresh as mornings dew distil'd on flowers,
A very fatall place it seemes to me:
Speake Brother hast thou hurt thee with the fall?
955Martius. Oh Brother,
With the dismal'st obiect
That euer eye with sight made heart lament.
Aron. Now will I fetch the King to finde them heere,
That he thereby may haue a likely gesse,
960How these were they that made away his Brother.
Exit Aaron.
Marti. Why dost not comfort me and helpe me out,
From this vnhallow'd and blood-stained Hole?
Quintus. I am surprised with an vncouth feare,
965A chilling sweat ore-runs my trembling ioynts,
My heart suspects more then mine eie can see.
Marti. To proue thou hast a true diuining heart,
Aaron and thou looke downe into this den,
And see a fearefull sight of blood and death.
970Quintus. Aaron is gone,
And my compassionate heart
Will not permit mine eyes once to behold
The thing where at it trembles by surmise:
Oh tell me how it is, for nere till now
975Was I a child, to feare I know not what.
Marti. Lord Bassianus lies embrewed heere,
All on a heape like to the slaughtred Lambe,
In this detested, darke, blood-drinking pit.
Quin. If it be darke, how doost thou know 'tis he?
980Mart. Vpon his bloody finger he doth weare
A precious Ring, that lightens all the Hole:
Which like a Taper in some Monument,
Doth shine vpon the dead mans earthly cheekes,
And shewes the ragged intrailes of the pit:
985So pale did shine the Moone on Piramus,
When he by night lay bath'd in Maiden blood:
O Brother helpe me with thy fainting hand.
If feare hath made thee faint, as mee it hath,
Out of this fell deuouring receptacle,
990As hatefull as Ocitus mistie mouth.
Quint. Reach me thy hand, that I may helpe thee out,
Or