Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Not Peer Reviewed

Titus Andronicus (Quarto 1, 1594)


1990
Enter Emperour and Empresse and her two sonnes, the
Emperour brings the Arrowes in his hand
that Titus shot at him.
Saturnine. VVhy Lords what wrongs are these, was euer
1995An Emperour in Rome thus ouerborne,
Troubled, confronted thus, and for the extent
Of egall iustice, vsde 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 wilfull sonnes
Of old Andronicus. And what and if
His sorrowes haue so ouerwhelmde his witts?
Shall we be thus afflicted in his wreakes,
2005His fits, his frencie, and his bitternes?
And now he writes to heauen for his redresse,
See heres to Ioue, and this to Mercurie.
This to Apollo, this to the God of warre:
Sweete skrowles to flie about the streets of Rome,
2010Whats this but libelling against the Senate,
And blazoning our vniustice euerie where,
A goodly humor 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, whome if he sleepe,
Hele so a wake as he in furie shall,
Cut off the proud'st conspiratour that liues.
2020Tamora. My gratious Lord, my louely Saturnine,
Lord of my life, commander of my thoughts,
Calme thee and beare the faults of Titus age,
The'ffects of sorrow for his valiant sonnes,
VVhose losse hath pearst him deepe and skard his hart,
2025And rather comfort his distressed plight,
Than prosecute the meanest or the best
For these contempts: why thus it shall become
Hie witted Tamora to glose with all.
But Titus I haue touched thee to the quicke,
2030Thy life blood out: if Aron now be wise,
Then is all safe, the Anchor in the port.
Enter Clowne.
How now good fellow wouldst thou speake with vs?
Clowne. Yea forsooth & your Mistriship be Emperiall,
2035Tamora. Empresse I am, but yonder sits the Emperour.
Clow. Tis he, God and Saint Steuen giue you Godden,
I haue brought you a letter and a couple of pigeons here.
He reads the letter.
Satur. Goe take him away and hang him presently?
2040Clow. How much money must I haue.
Tamora. Come sirra you must be hanged.
Clowne. Hangd be Lady, then I haue brought vp a neck
to a faire end.
Exit.
Satur. Dispightfull and intollerable wrongs,
2045Shall I endure this monstrous villanie?
I know from whence this same deuise proceeds.
May this be borne as if his traitorous sonnes,
That dide by law for murther of our brother,
Haue by my meanes bin butchered wrongfully.
2050Goe dragge the villaine hither by the haire,
Nor age, nor honour, shall shape priueledge,
For this proud mocke, Ile be thy slaughter man,
Sly franticke wretch, that holpst to make me great,
In hope thy selfe should gouerne Rome and me.
2055
Enter Nutius Emillius.
Satur. VVhat newes with thee Emillius?
Emillius. Arme my Lords, Rome neuer had more cause,
The Gothes haue gathered head and with a power
Of high resolued men, bent to the spoile,
2060They hither march amaine, vnder conduct
Of Lucius, sonne to old Andronicus,
VVho threats in course of this reuenge, to doe
As much as euer Coriolanus did.
King. Is warlike Lucius Generall of the Gothes,
2065These tidings nip me, and I hang the head
As flowers with frost, or grasse beat downe with stormes.
I now begins our sorrowes to approch,
Tis he the common people loue so much,
My selfe hath often heard them say,
2070VVhen I haue walked like a priuate man,
That Lucius banishment was wrongfullie,
And they haue wisht that Lucius were their Emperour.
Tamora. why should you feare, is not your Citie strong?
King. I but the Citizens fauour Lucius,
2075And will reuolt from me to succour him.
Tamora. King Be thy thoughts imperious like thy name,
Is the sunne dimde, that Gnats doe 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 winges,
He can at pleasure slint their melodie.
Euen so maiest thou the giddie men of Rome,
Then cheare thy spirit for know thou Emperour,
I will inchaunt the old Andronicus,
2085With words more sweete and yet more dangerous
Then baites to fish, or honniestalkes to sheepe,
When as the one is wounded with the bait,
The other rotted with delicious seede.
King. But he will not intreat his sonne for vs.
2090Tamora. If Tamora intreat him than he will,
For I can smooth and fill his aged eares,
VVith golden promises, that were his hart
Almost impregnable, his old yeares deafe,
Yet should both eare and hart obay my tongue.
2095Goe thou before to be our Ambassador,
Say that the Emperour requests a parlie,
Of warIike Lucius, and appoint the meeting,
2097.1Euen at his Fathers house the old Andronicus.
King. Emillius doe this message honourably,
And if he stand in hostage for his saftie,
2100Bid him demaund what pledge will please him best.
Emillius. Your bidding shall I doe effectually.
Exit.
Tamora. Now will I to that old Andronicus,
And temper him with all the Art I haue,
To plucke proude Lucius from the warlike Gothes.
2105And now sweet Emperour be blith againe,
And burie all thy feare in my deuises,
Saturnine. Then goe sucessantly and plead to him.
Exeunt.