Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Not Peer Reviewed

Titus Andronicus (Quarto 1, 1594)


sound trumpets, manet Moore.
555Aron. Now climeth Tamora Olympus toppe,
Safe out of fortunes shot, and sits aloft,
Secure of thunders cracke or lightning flash,
Aduaunc'd aboue pale enuies threatning reach,
As when the golden suune salutes the morne,
560And hauing gilt the Ocean with his beames,
Gallops the Zodiacke in his glistering Coach,
And ouer-looks the highest piering hills.
So Tamora.
Vpon her wit doth earthly honour wait,
565And vertue stoops and trembles at her frowne,
Then Aron arme thy hart, and fit thy thoughts,
To mount aloft with thy Emperiall Mistris,
And mount her pitch, whom thou in triumph long
Hast prisoner held, fettred in amourous chaines,
570And faster bound to Arons charming eies,
Than is Prometheus tide to Caucasus.
Away with slauish weedes and seruile thoughts,
I will be bright and shine in pearle and golde,
To wait vpon this new made Emperesse.
575To wait said I? to wanton with this Queene,
This Goddesse, this Semerimis, this Nymph,
This Syren that will charme Romes Saturnine,
And see his shipwracke, and his Common-weales.
Hollo, what storme is this?
580
Enter Chiron and Demetrius brauing.
Demetrius. Chiron thy yeares wants wit, thy wits wants
And manners to intrude where I am grac'd,
And may for ought thou knowest affected bee.
Chiron. Demetrius, thou dost ouerweene in all,
585And so in this, to beare me downe with braues,
Tis not the difference of a yeare or two
Makes me lesse gratious, or thee more fortunate:
I am as able and as fit as thou,
To serue, and to deserue my Mistris grace,
590And that my sword vpon thee shall approue,
And plead my passions for Lauinias loue.
Moore. Clubs, Clubs, these louers will not keepe the
Demetrius. Why boy, although our mother (vnaduizd)
Gaue you a daunsing Rapier by your side,
595Are you so desperate growne to threat your friends:
Goe too: haue your lath glued within your sheath,
Till you know better how to handle it.
Chiron. Meane while sir, with the little skill I haue,
Full well shalt thou perceiue how much I dare.
600Demetrius. I boy, grow yee so braue?
they drawe.
Moore. VVhy how now Lords?
So neere the Emperours Pallace dare yee drawe,
And maintaine such a quarrell openlie?
Full well I wote the ground of all this grudge,
605I would not for a million of gold,
The cause were knowne to them it most concernes,
Nor would your Noble Mother for much more,
Be so dishonoured in the Court of Rome.
For shame put vp.
610Demetrius. Not I till I haue sheathd,
My Rapier in his bosome, and withall
Thrust those reprochfull speeches downe his throat,
That he hath breathd in my dishonour here.
Chiron. For that I am prepard, and full resolude,
615Fowle spoken Coward, that thundrest with thy tongue,
And with thy weapon nothing darst performe.
Moore. Away I say.
Now by the Gods that warlike Gothes adore,
620This pettie brabble will vndoo vs all:
VVhy Lords, and thinke you not how dangerous
It is to iet vpon a Princes right?
VVhat is Lauinia then become so loose,
Or Bascianus so degenerate,
625That for her loue such quarrels may be brocht,
VVithout controulement, iustice, or reuenge.
Young Lords beware, and should the Empresse know,
This discords ground, the musicke would not please.
Chiron. I care not I, knew shee and all the world,
630I loue Lauinia more than all the world.
Demetrius. Yongling learne thou to make some meaner
Lauinia is thine elder brothers hope.
Moore. VVhy are ye mad? or know yee not in Rome,
635How furious and impatient they bee,
And cannot brooke competitors in loue?
I tell you Lords, you doo but plot your deaths,
By this deuise.
Chiron. Aron, A thousand deaths would I propose,
640To atchiue her whom I loue.
Aron. To atchiue her how?
Demetrius. VVhy makes thou it so strange?
Shee is a woman, therefore may be woode,
Shee is a woman, therefore may be woonne,
645Shee is Lauinia, therefore must be loude.
VVhat man, more water glideth by the mill
Than wots the Miller of, and easie it is,
Of a cut loafe to steale a shiue we know:
Though Bascianus be the Emperours brother,
650Better than he haue worne Vulcans badge.
Moore. I and as good as S aturninus may.
Demetrius. Then why should he dispaire that knows to
VVith words, faire looks, and liberalitie.
VVhat hast not thou full often stroke a Doe,
655And borne her cleanlie by the Keepers nose?
Moore. VVhy then it seemes some certaine snatch, or so
VVould serue your turnes.
Chiron. I so the turne were serued.
Demetrius. Aron thou hast hit it.
660Moore. VVould you had hit it too,
Then should not we be tirde with this adoo.
VVhy harke ye, harke ye, and are you such fooles
To square for this: would it offend you then
663.1That both should speede.
Chiron. Faith not me.
665Demetrius. Nor me so I were one.
Aron. For shame be friends, and ioine for that you iar,
Tis pollicie and stratageme must doo
That you affect, and so must you resolue,
That what you cannot as you would atchiue,
670You must perforce accomplish as you may:
Take this of mee, Lucrece was not more chast
Than this Lauinia, Bascianus loue.
A speedier course this lingring languishment
Must we pursue, and I haue found the path:
675My Lords a solemne hunting is in hand,
There will the louelie Romane Ladies troope:
The forrest walks are wide and spatious,
And many vnfrequented plots there are,
Fitted by kinde for rape and villanie:
680Single you thither then this daintie Doe,
And strike her home by force, if not by words,
This waie or not at all, stand you in hope.
Come, come, our Empresse with her sacred wit
To villanie and vengeance consecrate,
685VVill we acquaint withall what we intend,
And shee shall file our engines with aduise,
That will not suffer you to square your selues,
But to your wishes hight aduaunce you both.
The Emperours Court is like the house of fame,
690The Pallace full of tongues, of eies, and eares:
The woods are ruthles, dreadfull, deafe, and dull:
There speake, and strike braue boies, and take your turns,
There serue your lust, shadowed from heauens eie,
And reuell in Lauinias treasurie.
695Chiron. Thy counsell Lad smels of no cowardize.
Demetrius. Sit fas aut nefas, till I finde the streame,
To coole this heate, a charme to calme these fits,
Per Stigia, per manes Vehor.
Exeunt.