Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
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Titus Andronicus (Quarto 1, 1594)


Enter Tamora and her two sonnes disguised.
Tamora. Thus in this strange and sad habilliament,
2285I will encounter with Andronicus,
And say I am reuenge sent from belowe,
To ioyne with him and right his hainous wrongs,
Knocke at his studie where they say he keepes,
To ruminate strange plots of diere reuenge,
2290Tell him reuenge is come to ioyne with him,
And worke confusion on his enemies.
They knocke and Titus opens his studie doore.
Titus. VVho doth molest my contemplation?
Is it your tricke to make me ope the dore,
2295That so my saddecrees may flie away,
And all my studie be to no effect.
You are deceiude, for what I meane to doe,
See here in bloodie lines I haue set downe.
And what is written shall be executed.
2300Tamora. Titus, I am come to talke with thee.
Titus. No not a word, how can I grace my talke,
VVanting a hand to giue that accord,
Thou hast the odds of me therefore no more.
Tamora. If thou didst know me thou wouldst talk with
Titus. I am not mad, I know thee well enough,
VVitnes this wretched stump, witnes these crimson lines,
witnes these trenches made by greefe and care,
2310witnes the tiring day and heauie night,
witnes all sorrow that I know thee well
For our proud Empresse, mighty Tamora:
Is not thy comming for my other hand.
Tamora. Know thou sad man, I am not Tamora,
2315Shee is thy enemie, and I thy friend,
I am Reuenge sent from th'infernall Kingdome,
To ease the gnawing vulture of thy minde,
By working wreakfull vengeance on thy 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 obscuritie or mistie vale,
VVhere bloodie murther or detested rape,
Can couch for feare but I will finde the mout,
2325And in their eares tell them my dreadfull name,
Reuenge which makes the foule offender quake.
Titus. Art thou Reuenge? and art thou sent to mee,
To be a torment to mine enemies.
Tamora. I am, therefore come downe and welcome mee
2330Titus. Doe me some seruice ere I come to thee,
Lo 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 wagoner,
2335And wherle along with thee about the Globes.
Prouide thee two proper palfrays, black as iet,
To hale thy vengefull waggon swift away,
And finde out murder in their guiltie cares.
And when thy Car is loaden with their heads,
2340I will dismount and by thy waggon wheele,
Trotte like a seruile footeman all day long,
Euen from Epeons rising in the East,
Vntill his verie downefall in the Sea.
And day by day Ile do this heauie taske,
2345So thou destroy Rapine and Murderthere.
Tamora. These are my ministers and come with me.
Titus. Are them thy ministers, what are they calld?
Tamora. Rape and Murder, therefore called so.
Cause they take vengeance of such kinde of men.
2350Tit. Good Lord how like the Empresse sonnes they are,
And you the Empresse, but we wordlie men
Haue miserable mad mistaking eies:
Oh sweete Reuenge, now doe I come to thee,
And if one armes imbracement will content thee,
2355I will imbrace thee in it by and by.
Tamora. This closing with him fits his Lunacie,
VVhat ere I forge to feede his braine-sicke humors,
Doe you vphold and maintaine in your speeches,
For now he firmelie takes me for Reuenge,
2360And being credulous in this mad thought,
Ile make him send for Lucius his sonne,
And whilst I at a banket hold him sure,
Ile finde some cunning practise out of hand,
To scatter and disperse the giddie Gothes,
2365Or at the least make them his enemies:
See here he comes, and I must plie my theame.
Titus. Long haue I bin forlorne and all for thee,
welcome dread Furie 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 Diuell?
For well I wot the Empresse neuer wags,
But in her companie there is a Moore.
2375And would you represent our Queene a right,
It were conuenient you had such a Diuell:
But welcome as you are, what shall wee doe?
Tamora. what wouldst thou haue vs doe Andronicus?
Demet. Show me a murtherer Ile deale with him.
2380Chi. Show me a villaine that hath done a rape,
And I am sent to be reuengde on him.
Tamora. Show me a thousand that hath done thee wrong,
And I will be reuenged on them all.
Titus. Looke round about the wicked streets of Rome,
2385And when thou findst a man that's like thy selfe,
Good murther 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.
2390Goe thou with them, and in the Emperours Court,
There is a Queene attended by a Moore,
VVell shalt thou know her by thine owne proportion,
For vp and downe she doth resemble thee,
I pray thee doe on them some violent death,
2395They haue bin violent to me and mine.
Tamora. VVell hast thou lessond vs, this shall we doe,
But would it please thee good Andronicus,
To send for Lucius thy thrice valiant sonne,
VVho leades towards Rome a band of warlike Gothes,
2400And bid him come and banquet at thy house,
VVhen he is here euen at thy solemne feast,
I will bring in the Empresse and hir sonnes,
The Emperour him selfe and all thy foes,
And at thy mercie shall they stoope and kneele,
2405And on them shalt thou ease thy angry hart:
VVhat sayes Andronicus to this deuise.
Enter Marcus.
Titus. Marcus my brother, tis sad Titus calles,
Goe 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
2415Feast at my house, and he shall feast with them,
This doe thou for my loue, and so let him,
As he regards his aged Fathers life.
Marcus. This will I doe, and soone returne againe.
Tamora. Now will I hence about thy busines,
2420And take my ministers a long with me.
Titus. Nay, nay, let rape and murder stay with me,
Or els Ile call my brother backe againe,
And cleaue to no reuenge but Lucius.
Tamora. VVhat say you boyes will you abide with
2425VVhiles I goe tell my Lord the Emperour,
How I haue gouernd our determind iest,
Yeeld to his humor, smooth and speake him faire,
And tarrie with him till I turne againe.
Titus. I knew them all though they supposd me mad,
2430And will ore reach them in their owne deuises,
A paire of cursed hell hounds and their Dame.
Deme. Maddam depart at pleasure, leaue vs here.
Tamora. Farewell Andronicus, Reuenge now goes,
To lay a complot to betray thy foes.
2435Titus. I know thou dost and sweet Reuenge farewell.
Chiron. Tell vs old man how shall we be imploid,
Titus. Tut I haue worke enough for you to doe
Publius, come hither, Caius, and Valentine.
Publius. VVhat is your will?
2440Titus. Know you these two.
Pub. The Empresse sonnes I take them, Chiron, Deme-
Titus. Fie, Publius fie, thou art too much deceaude,
The one is Murder and Rape is the others name,
2445And therefore binde them gentle Publius,
Caius and Valentine, lay hands on them,
Oft haue you heard me wish for such an houre,
And now I finde it therefore binde them sure,
2448.1And stop their mouthes if they begin to crie.
Chiron. Villaines forbeare we are the Empresse sons.
2450Pub. And therefore doe we what we are commanded,
Stop close their mouthes let them not speak a word,
Is he sure bound, looke that you bind them fast.
Enter Titus Andronicus, with a knife, and Lauinia, with
a Bason.
2455Titus. 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 whome you haue staind with mud,
2460This goodly sommer with your winter mixt,
You kild her husband, and for that vild fault,
Two of her brothers were condemnd to death,
My hand cut off and made a merrie iest,
Both her sweete hands, hir tongue, and that more deare
2465Than hands or tongue, her spotlesse chastitie,
Inhumane traitors you constraind and forst.
VVhat would you say if I should let you speake?
Villaines for shame you could not beg for grace.
Harke wretches how I meane to marter you,
2470This one hand yet is left to cut your throats,
VVhiles that Lauinia tweene her stumps doth hold,
The bason that receaues your guiltie blood.
You know your Mother meanes to feast with me,
And calles herselfe Reuenge and thinks me mad.
2475Harke villaines I will grinde 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 heades,
And bid that strumpet your vnhallowed Dam,
2480Like to the earth swallow her owne increase.
This is the feast that I haue bid her too,
And this the banket she shall surfet on,
For worse than Philomell you vsde my daughter,
And worse than Progne I will be reuengd.
2485And now prepare your throats, Lauinia come,
Receaue the blood, and when that they are dead,
Let me goe grinde their bones to powder small,
And with this hatefull liquour temper it,
And in that paste let their vile heades be bakt,
2490Come, come, be euerie one officius,
To make this banket which I wish may proue
More sterne and bloodie than the Centaurs feast,
He cuts their throats.
So now bring them in for Ile play the Cooke,
2495And see them readie against their Mother comes,
Exeunt.