Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Not Peer Reviewed

Titus Andronicus (Folio, 1623)


1990
Enter Emperour and Empresse, and her two sonnes, the
Emperour brings the Arrowes in his hand
that Titus shot at him.
Satur. Why Lords,
What wrongs are these? was euer seene
1995An Emperour in Rome thus ouerborne,
Troubled, Confronted thus, and for the extent
Of eg all iustice, vs'd in such contempt?
My Lords, you know the mightfull Gods,
(How euer these disturbers of our peace
2000Buz in the peoples eares) there nought hath past,
But euen with law against the willfull Sonnes
Of old Andronicus. And what and if
His sorrowes haue so ouerwhelm'd his wits,
Shall we be thus afflicted in his wreakes,
2005His fits, his frenzie, and his bitternesse?
And now he writes to heauen for his redresse.
See, heeres to Ioue, and this to Mercury,
This to Apollo, this to the God of warre:
Sweet scrowles to flie about the streets of Rome:
2010What's this but Libelling against the Senate,
And blazoning our Iniustice euery where?
A goodly humour, is it not my Lords?
As who would say, in Rome no Iustice were.
But if I liue, his fained extasies
2015Shall be no shelter to these outrages:
But he and his shall know, that Iustice liues
In Saturninus health; whom if he sleepe,
Hee'l so awake, as he in fury shall
Cut off the proud'st Conspirator that liues.
2020Tamo. My gracious Lord, my louely Saturnine,
Lord of my life, Commander of my thoughts,
Calme thee, and beare the faults of Titus age,
Th' effects of sorrow for his valiant Sonnes,
Whose losse hath pier'st him deepe, and scar'd his heart;
2025And rather comfort his distressed plight,
Then prosecute the meanest or the best
For these contempts. Why thus it shall become
High witted Tamora to glose with all:
Aside.
But Titus, I haue touch'd thee to the quicke,
2030Thy life blood out: If Aaron now be wise,
Then is all safe, the Anchor's in the Port.
Enter Clowne.
How now good fellow, would'st thou speake with vs?
Clow. Yea forsooth, and your Mistership be Emperiall.
2035Tam. Empresse I am, but yonder sits the Emperour.
Clo. 'Tis he; God & Saint Stephen giue you good den;
I haue brought you a Letter, & a couple of Pigions heere.
He reads the Letter.
Satu. Goe take him away, and hang him presently.
2040Clowne. How much money must I haue?
Tam. Come sirrah you must be hang'd.
Clow. Hang'd? ber Lady, then I haue brought vp a neck
to a faire end.
Exit.
Satu. Despightfull and intollerable wrongs,
2045Shall I endure this monstrous villany?
I know from whence this same deuise proceedes:
May this be borne? As if his traytrous Sonnes,
That dy'd by law for murther of our Brother,
Haue by my meanes beene butcher'd wrongfully?
2050Goe dragge the villaine hither by the haire,
Nor Age, nor Honour, shall shape priuiledge:
For this proud mocke, Ile be thy slaughter man:
Sly franticke wretch, that holp'st to make me great,
In hope thy selfe should gouerne Rome and me.
2055
Enter Nuntius Emillius.
Satur. What newes with thee Emillius?
Emil. Arme my Lords, Rome neuer had more cause,
The Gothes haue gather'd head, and with a power
Of high resolued men, bent to the spoyle
2060They hither march amaine, vnder conduct
Of Lucius, Sonne to old Andronicus:
Who threats in course of this reuenge to do
As much as euer Coriolanus did.
King. Is warlike Lucius Generall of the Gothes?
2065These tydings nip me, and I hang the head
As flowers with frost, or grasse beat downe with stormes:
I, now begins our sorrowes to approach,
'Tis he the common people loue so much,
My selfe hath often heard them say,
2070(When I haue walked like a priuate man)
That Lucius banishment was wrongfully,
And they haue wisht that Lucius were their Emperour.
Tam. Why should you feare? Is not our City strong?
King. I, but the Cittizens fauour Lucius,
2075And will reuolt from me, to succour him.
Tam. King, be thy thoughts Imperious like thy name.
Is the Sunne dim'd, that Gnats do flie in it?
The Eagle suffers little Birds to sing,
And is not carefull what they meane thereby,
2080Knowing that with the shadow of his wings,
He can at pleasure stint their melodie.
Euen so mayest thou, the giddy men of Rome,
Then cheare thy spirit, for know thou Emperour,
I will enchaunt the old Andronicus,
2085With words more sweet, and yet more dangerous
Then baites to fish, or hony stalkes to sheepe,
When as the one is wounded with the baite,
The other rotted with delicious foode.
King. But he will not entreat his Sonne for vs.
2090Tam. If Tamora entreat him, then he will,
For I can smooth and fill his aged eare,
With golden promises, that were his heart
Almost Impregnable, his old eares deafe,
Yet should both eare and heart obey my tongue.
2095Goe thou before to our Embassadour,
Say, that the Emperour requests a parly
Of warlike Lucius, and appoint the meeting.
King. Emillius do this message Honourably,
And if he stand in Hostage for his safety,
2100Bid him demaund what pledge will please him best.
Emill. Your bidding shall I do effectually.
Exit.
Tam. Now will I to that old Andronicus,
And temper him with all the Art I haue,
To plucke proud Lucius from the warlike Gothes.
2105And now sweet Emperour be blithe againe,
And bury all thy feare in my deuises.
Satu. Then goe successantly and plead for him.
Exit.