Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Not Peer Reviewed

Titus Andronicus (Folio, 1623)


A Bnaket.
Enter Andronicus, Marcus, Lauinia, and the Boy.
An. So, so, now sit, and looke you eate no more
Then will preserue iust so much strength in vs
1455As will reuenge these bitter woes of ours.
Marcus vnknit that sorrow-wreathen knot:
Thy Neece and I (poore Creatures) want our hands
And cannot passionate our tenfold griefe,
With foulded Armes. This poore right hand of mine,
1460Is left to tirranize vppon my breast.
Who when my hart all mad with misery,
Beats in this hollow prison of my flesh,
Then thus I thumpe it downe.
Thou Map of woe, that thus dost talk in signes,
1465When thy poore hart beates without ragious beating,
Thou canst not strike it thus to make it still?
Wound it with sighing girle, kil it with grones:
Or get some little knife betweene thy teeth,
And iust against thy hart make thou a hole,
1470That all the teares that thy poore eyes let fall
May run into that sinke, and soaking in,
Drowne the lamenting foole, in Sea salt teares.
Mar. Fy brother fy, teach her not thus to lay
Such violent hands vppon her tender life.
1475An. How now! Has sorrow made thee doate already?
Why Marcus, no man should be mad but I:
What violent hands can she lay on her life:
Ah, wherefore dost thou vrge the name of hands,
To bid Æneas tell the tale twice ore
1480How Troy was burnt, and he made miserable?
O handle not the theame, to talke of hands,
Least we remember still that we haue none,
Fie, fie, how Frantiquely I square my talke
As if we should forget we had no hands:
1485If Marcus did not name the word of hands.
Come, lets fall too, and gentle girle eate this,
Heere is no drinke? Harke Marcus what she saies,
I can interpret all her martir'd signes,
She saies, she drinkes no other drinke but teares
1490Breu'd with her sorrow: mesh'd vppon her cheekes,
Speechlesse complaynet, I will learne thy thought:
In thy dumb action, will I be as perfect
As begging Hermits in their holy prayers.
Thou shalt not sighe nor hold thy stumps to heauen,
1495Nor winke, nor nod, nor kneele, nor make a signe,
But I (of these) will wrest an Alphabet,
And by still practice, learne to know thy meaning.
Boy. Good grandsire leaue these bitter deepe laments,
Make my Aunt merry, with some pleasing tale.
1500Mar. Alas, the tender boy in passion mou'd,
Doth weepe to see his grandsires heauinesse.
An. Peace tender Sapling, thou art made of teares,
And teares will quickly melt thy life away.
Marcus strikes the dish with a knife.
1505What doest thou strike at Marcus with knife.
Mar. At that that I haue kil'd my Lord, a Flys
An. Out on the murderour: thou kil'st my hart,
Mine eyes cloi'd with view of Tirranie:
A deed of death done on the Innocent
1510Becoms not Titus brother: get thee gone,
I see thou art not for my company.
Mar. Alas (my Lord) I haue but kild a flie.
An. But? How: if that Flie had a father and mother?
How would he hang his slender gilded wings
1515And buz lamenting doings in the ayer,
Poore harmelesse Fly,
That with his pretty buzing melody,
Came heere to make vs merry,
And thou hast kil'd him.
1520Mar. Pardon me sir,
It was a blacke illfauour'd Fly,
Like to the Empresse Moore, therefore I kild him.
An. O, o, o,
Then pardon me for reprehending thee,
1525For thou hast done a Charitable deed:
Giue me thy knife, I will insult on him,
Flattering my selfes, as if it were the Moore,
Come hither purposely to poyson me.
There's for thy selfe, and thats for Tamira: Ah sirra,
1530Yet I thinke we are not brought so low,
But that betweene vs, we can kill a Fly,
That comes in likenesse of a Cole-blacke Moore.
Mar. Alas poore man, griefe ha's so wrought on him,
He takes false shadowes, for true substances.
1535An. Come, take away: Lauinia, goe with me,
Ile to thy closset, and goe read with thee
Sad stories, chanced in the times of old.
Come boy, and goe with me, thy sight is young,
And thou shalt read, when mine begin to dazell.
Exeunt