Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
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Titus Andronicus (Folio, 1623)


Enter Tamora, and her two Sonnes disguised.
Tam. Thus in this strange and sad Habilliament,
2285I will encounter with Andronicus,
And say, I am Reuenge sent from below,
To ioyne with him and right his hainous wrongs:
Knocke at his study where they say he keepes,
To ruminate strange plots of dire Reuenge,
2290Tell him Reuenge is come to ioyne with him,
And worke confusion on his Enemies.
They knocke and Titus opens his study dore.
Tit. Who doth mollest my Contemplation?
Is it your tricke to make me ope the dore,
2295That so my sad decrees may flie away,
And all my studie be to no effect?
You are deceiu'd, for what I meane to do,
See heere in bloody lines I haue set downe:
And what is written shall be executed.
2300Tam. Titus, I am come to talke with thee,
Tit. No not a word: how can I grace my talke,
Wanting a hand to giue it action,
Thou hast the ods of me, therefore no more.
Tam. If thou did'st know me,
2305Thou would'st talke with me.
Tit. I am not mad, I know thee well enough,
Witnesse this wretched stump,
Witnesse these crimson lines,
Witnesse these Trenches made by griefe and care,
2310Witnesse the tyring day, and heauie night,
Witnesse all sorrow, that I know thee well
For our proud Empresse, Mighty Tamora:
Is not thy comming for my other hand?
Tamo. Know thou sad man, I am not Tamora,
2315She is thy Enemie, and I thy Friend,
I am Reuenge sent from th' infernall Kingdome,
To ease the gnawing Vulture of the mind,
By working wreakefull vengeance on my Foes:
Come downe and welcome me to this worlds light,
2320Conferre with me of Murder and of Death,
Ther's not a hollow Caue or lurking place,
No Vast obscurity, or Misty vale,
Where bloody Murther or detested Rape,
Can couch for feare, but I will finde them out,
2325And in their eares tell them my dreadfull name,
Reuenge, which makes the foule offenders quake.
Tit. Art thou Reuenge? and art thou sent to me,
To be a torment to mine Enemies?
Tam. I am, therefore come downe and welcome me.
2330Tit. Doe me some seruice ere I come to thee:
Loe by thy side where Rape and Murder stands,
Now giue some surance that thou art Reuenge,
Stab them, or teare them on thy Chariot wheeles,
And then Ile come and be thy Waggoner,
2335And whirle along with thee about the Globes.
Prouide thee two proper Palfries, as blacke as Iet,
To hale thy vengefull Waggon swift away,
And finde out Murder in their guilty cares.
And when thy Car is loaden with their heads,
2340I will dismount, and by the Waggon wheele,
Trot like a Seruile footeman all day long,
Euen from Eptons rising in the East,
Vntill his very downefall in the Sea.
And day by day Ile do this heauy taske,
2345So thou destroy Rapine and Murder there.
Tam. These are my Ministers, and come with me.
Tit. Are them thy Ministers, what are they call'd?
Tam. Rape and Murder, therefore called so,
Cause they take vengeance of such kind of men.
2350Tit. Good Lord how like the Empresse Sons they are,
And you the Empresse: But we worldly men,
Haue miserable mad mistaking eyes:
Oh sweet Reuenge, now do I come to thee,
And if one armes imbracement will content thee,
2355I will imbrace thee in it by and by.
Tam. This closing with him, fits his Lunacie,
What ere I forge to feede his braine-sicke fits,
Do you vphold, and maintaine in your speeches,
For now he firmely takes me for Reuenge,
2360And being Credulous in this mad thought,
Ile make him send for Lucius his Sonne,
And whil'st I at a Banquet hold him sure,
Ile find some cunning practise out of hand
To scatter and disperse the giddie Gothes,
2365Or at the least make them his Enemies:
See heere he comes, and I must play my theame.
Tit. Long haue I bene forlorne, and all for thee,
Welcome dread Fury to my woefull house,
Rapine and Murther, you are welcome too,
2370How like the Empresse and her Sonnes you are.
Well are you fitted, had you but a Moore,
Could not all hell afford you such a deuill?
For well I wote the Empresse neuer wags;
But in her company there is a Moore,
2375And would you represent our Queene aright
It were conuenient you had such a deuill:
But welcome as you are, what shall we doe?
Tam. What would'st thou haue vs doe Andronicus?
Dem. Shew me a Murtherer, Ile deale with him.
2380Chi. Shew me a Villaine that hath done a Rape,
And I am sent to be reueng'd on him.
Tam. Shew me a thousand that haue done thee wrong,
And Ile be reuenged on them all.
Tit. Looke round about the wicked streets of Rome,
2385And when thou find'st a man that's like thy selfe,
Good Murder stab him, hee's a Murtherer.
Goe thou with him, and when it is thy hap
To finde another that is like to thee,
Good Rapine stab him, he is a Rauisher.
2390Go thou with them, and in the Emperours Court,
There is a Queene attended by a Moore,
Well maist thou know her by thy owne proportion,
For vp and downe she doth resemble thee.
I pray thee doe on them some violent death,
2395They haue bene violent to me and mine.
Tam. Well hast thou lesson'd vs, this shall we do.
But would it please thee good Andronicus,
To send for Lucius thy thrice Valiant Sonne,
Who leades towards Rome a Band of Warlike Gothes,
2400And bid him come and Banquet at thy house.
When he is heere, euen at thy Solemne Feast,
I will bring in the Empresse and her Sonnes,
The Emperour himselfe, and all thy Foes,
And at thy mercy shall they stoop, and kneele,
2405And on them shalt thou ease, thy angry heart:
What saies Andronicus to this deuise?
Enter Marcus.
Tit. Marcus my Brother, 'tis sad Titus calls,
Go gentle Marcus to thy Nephew Lucius,
2410Thou shalt enquire him out among the Gothes,
Bid him repaire to me, and bring with him
Some of the chiefest Princes of the Gothes,
Bid him encampe his Souldiers where they are,
Tell him the Emperour, and the Empresse too,
2415Feasts at my house, and he shall Feast with them,
This do thou for my loue, and so let him,
As he regards his aged Fathers life.
Mar. This will I do, and soone returne againe.
Tam. Now will I hence about thy businesse,
2420And take my Ministers along with me.
Tit. Nay, nay, let Rape and Murder stay with me,
Or els Ile call my Brother backe againe,
And cleaue to no reuenge but Lucius.
Tam. What say you Boyes, will you bide with him,
2425Whiles I goe tell my Lord the Emperour,
How I haue gouern'd our determined iest?
Yeeld to his Humour, smooth and speake him faire,
And tarry with him till I turne againe.
Tit. I know them all, though they suppose me mad,
2430And will ore-reach them in their owne deuises,
A payre of cursed hell-hounds and their Dam.
Dem. Madam depart at pleasure, leaue vs heere.
Tam. Farewell Andronicus, reuenge now goes
To lay a complot to betray thy Foes.
2435Tit. I know thou doo'st, and sweet reuenge farewell.
Chi. Tell vs old man, how shall we be imploy'd?
Tit. Tut, I haue worke enough for you to doe,
Publius come hither, Caius, and Valentine.
Pub. What is your will?
2440Tit. Know you these two?
Pub. The Empresse Sonnes
I take them, Chiron, Demetrius.
Titus. Fie Publius, fie, thou art too much deceau'd,
The one is Murder, Rape is the others name,
2445And therefore bind them gentle Publius,
Caius, and Valentine, lay hands on them,
Oft haue you heard me wish for such an houre,
And now I find it, therefore binde them sure,
Chi. Villaines forbeare, we are the Empresse Sonnes.
2450Pub. And therefore do we, what we are commanded.
Stop close their mouthes, let them not speake a word,
Is he sure bound, looke that you binde them fast.
Exeunt.
Enter Titus Andronicus with a knife, and Lauinia
with a Bason.
2455Tit. Come, come Lauinia, looke, thy Foes are bound,
Sirs stop their mouthes, let them not speake to me,
But let them heare what fearefull words I vtter.
Oh Villaines, Chiron, and Demetrius,
Here stands the spring whom you haue stain'd with mud,
2460This goodly Sommer with your Winter mixt,
You kil'd her husband, and for that vil'd fault,
Two of her Brothers were condemn'd to death,
My hand cut off, and made a merry iest,
Both her sweet Hands, her Tongue, and that more deere
2465Then Hands or tongue, her spotlesse Chastity,
Inhumaine Traytors, you constrain'd and for'st.
What would you say, if I should let you speake?
Villaines for shame you could not beg for grace.
Harke Wretches, how I meane to martyr you,
2470This one Hand yet is left, to cut your throats,
Whil'st that Lauinia tweene her stumps doth hold:
The Bason that receiues your guilty blood.
You know your Mother meanes to feast with me,
And calls herselfe Reuenge, and thinkes me mad.
2475Harke Villaines, I will grin'd your bones to dust,
And with your blood and it, Ile make a Paste,
And of the Paste a Coffen I will reare,
And make two Pasties of your shamefull Heads,
And bid that strumpet your vnhallowed Dam,
2480Like to the earth swallow her increase.
This is the Feast, that I haue bid her to,
And this the Banquet she shall surfet on,
For worse then Philomel you vsd my Daughter,
And worse then Progne, I will be reueng'd,
2485And now prepare your throats: Lauinia come.
Receiue the blood, and when that they are dead,
Let me goe grin'd their Bones to powder small,
And with this hatefull Liquor temper it,
And in that Paste let their vil'd Heads be bakte,
2490Come, come, be euery one officious,
To make this Banket, which I wish might proue,
More sterne and bloody then the Centaures Feast.
He cuts their throats.
So now bring them in, for Ile play the Cooke,
2495And see them ready, gainst their Mother comes.
Exeunt.