Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Not Peer Reviewed

Titus Andronicus (Folio, 1623)


The Tragedie of Titus Andronicus.
39
Or wanting strength to doe thee so much good,
I may be pluckt into the swallowing wombe,
Of this deepe pit, poore Bassianus graue:
995I haue no strength to plucke thee to the brinke.
Martius. Nor I no strength to clime without thy help.
Quin. Thy hand once more, I will not loose againe,
Till thou art heere aloft, or I below,
Thou can'st not come to me, I come to thee.
Boths fall in.
1000
Enter the Emperour, Aaron the Moore.
Satur. Along with me, Ile see what hole is heere,
And what he is that now is leapt into it.
Say, who art thou that lately did'st descend,
Into this gaping hollow of the earth?
1005Marti. The vnhappie sonne of old Andronicus,
Brought hither in a most vnluckie houre,
To finde thy brother Bassianus dead.
Satur. My brother dead? I know thou dost but iest,
He and his Lady both are at the Lodge,
1010Vpon the North-side of this pleasant Chase,
'Tis not an houre since I left him there.
Marti. We know not where you left him all aliue,
But out alas, heere haue we found him dead.
Enter Tamora, Andronicus, and Lucius.
1015Tamo. Where is my Lord the King?
King. Heere Tamora, though grieu'd with killing griefe.
Tam. Where is thy brother Bassianus?
King. Now to the bottome dost thou search my wound,
Poore Bassianus heere lies murthered.
1020Tam. Then all too late I bring this fatall writ,
The complot of this timelesse Tragedie,
And wonder greatly that mans face can fold,
In pleasing smiles such murderous Tyrannie.
She giueth Saturnine a Letter.
1025
Saturninus reads the Letter.
And if we misse to meete him hansomely,
Sweet huntsman, Bassianus 'tis we meane,
Doe thou so much as dig the graue for him,
Thou know'st our meaning, looke for thy reward
1030Among the Nettles at the Elder tree:
Which ouer-shades the mouth of that same pit:
Where we decreed to bury Bassianuss
Doe this and purchase vs thy lasting friends.
King. Oh Tamora, was euer heard the like?
1035This is the pit, and this the Elder tree,
Looke sirs, if you can finde the huntsman out,
That should haue murthered Bassianus heere.
Aron. My gracious Lord heere is the bag of Gold.
King. Two of thy whelpes, fell Curs of bloody kind
1040Haue heere bereft my brother of his life:
Sirs drag them from the pit vnto the prison,
There let them bide vntill we haue deuis'd
Some neuer heard-of tortering paine for them.
Tamo. What are they in this pit,
1045Oh wondrous thing!
How easily murder is discouered?
Tit. High Emperour, vpon my feeble knee,
I beg this boone, with teares, not lightly shed,
That this fell fault of my accursed Sonnes,
1050Accursed, if the faults be prou'd in them.
King. If it be prou'd? you see it is apparant,
Who found this Letter, Tamora was it you?
Tamora. Andronicus himselfe did take it vp.
Tit. I did my Lord,
1055Yet let me be their baile,
For by my Fathers reuerent Tombe I vow
They shall be ready at your Highnes will,
To answere their suspition with their liues.
King. Thou shalt not baile them, see thou follow me:
1060Some bring the murthered body, some the murtherers,
Let them not speake a word, the guilt is plaine,
For by my soule, were there worse end then death,
That end vpon them should be executed.
Tamo. Andronicus I will entreat the King,
1065Feare not thy Sonnes, they shall do well enough.
Tit. Come Lucius come,
Stay not to talke with them.
Exeunt.
Enter the Empresse Sonnes, with Lauinia, her hands cut off and
her tongue cut out, and rauisht.
1070Deme. So now goe tell and if thy tongue can speake,
Who t'was that cut thy tongue and rauisht thee.
Chi. Write downe thy mind, bewray thy meaning so,
And if thy stumpes will let thee play the Scribe.
Dem. See how with signes and tokens she can scowle.
1075Chi. Goe home,
Call for sweet water, wash thy hands.
Dem. She hath no tongue to call, nor hands to wash.
And so let's leaue her to her silent walkes.
Chi. And t'were my cause, I should goe hang my selfe.
1080Dem. If thou had'st hands to helpe thee knit the cord.
Exeunt.
Winde Hornes.
Enter Marcus from hunting, to Lauinia.
Who is this, my Neece that flies away so fast?
1085Cosen a word, where is your husband?
If I do dreame, would all my wealth would wake me;
If I doe wake, some Planet strike me downe,
That I may slumber in eternall sleepe.
Speake gentle Neece, what sterne vngentle hands
1090Hath lopt, and hew'd, and made thy body bare
Of her two branches, those sweet Ornaments
Whose circkling shadowes, Kings haue sought to sleep in
And might not gaine so great a happines
As halfe thy Loue: Why doost not speake to me?
1095Alas, a Crimson riuer of warme blood,
Like to a bubling fountaine stir'd with winde,
Doth rise and fall betweene thy Rosed lips,
Comming and going with thy hony breath.
But sure some Tereus hath defloured thee,
1100And least thou should'st detect them, cut thy tongue.
Ah, now thou turn'st away thy face for shame:
And notwithstanding all this losse of blood,
As from a Conduit with their issuing Spouts,
Yet doe thy cheekes looke red as Titans face,
1105Blushing to be encountred with a Cloud,
Shall I speake for thee? shall I say 'tis so?
Oh that I knew thy hart, and knew the beast
That I might raile at him to ease my mind.
Sorrow concealed, like an Ouen stopt,
1110Doth burne the hart to Cinders where it is.
Faire Philomela she but lost her tongue,
And in a tedious Sampler sowed her minde.
But louely Neece, that meane is cut from thee,
A craftier Tereus hast thou met withall,
1115And he hath cut those pretty fingers off,
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