Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Not Peer Reviewed

Titus Andronicus (Quarto 1, 1594)


The most lamentable Tragedie
Perhaps shee culd it from among the rest.
1590Titus. Soft so busilie she turnes the leaues,
Help her, what would she finde? Lauinia shal I read?
This is the tragicke tale of Philomel,
And treats of Tereus treason and his rape,
And rape I feare, was roote of thy annoie,
1595Marcus. See brother see, note how she coats the leaues,
Titus. Lauinia wert thou thus surpriz'd sweet gyrle?
Rauisht and wrongd as Phlomela was,
Frocd in the ruthlesse Vast and gloomie woods;
See, see, I such a place there is where we did hunt,
1600(O had we neuer, neuer hunted there,)
Patternd by that the Poet here describes,
By nature made for murthers and for rapes,
Mar. O why should nature build so fowle a den.
Vnlesse the Gods delight in Tragedies,
1605Titus. Giue signes sweet gyrle, for here are none but
VVhat Romaine Lord it was durst doe the deed?
Or slonke not Saturnine as Tarquin erst,
That left the Campe to sinne in Lucrece bed
Marc. Sit downe sweet Neece, brother sit downe by
1610Appollo, Pallas, Ioue or Mercurie,
Inspire me that I may this treason finde,
My Lord looke here, looke here Lauinia,

He writes his name with his staffe and guides it
with feete and mouth.

1615This sandie plot is plaine, guide if thou canst
This after me, I haue writ my name,
Without the help of any hand at all.
Curst be that hart that forcd vs to this shift:
VVrite thou good Neece, and here display at last,
1620VVhat God will haue discouered for reuenge,
Heauen guide thy pen to print thy sorrowes plaine,
That