Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Not Peer Reviewed

Titus Andronicus (Quarto 1, 1594)


Enter L ucius, M arcus, and the Gothes.
Lucius. Vnckle Marcus, since tis my Fathers minde,
That I repaire to Rome I am content.
Got. And ours with thine, befall what Fortune will.
2500Luci. Good Vnckle take you in this barberous Moore,
This rauenous tiger, this accursed diuell,
Let him receaue no sustnance, fetter him,
Till he be brought vnto the Empresse face,
For testemonie of her foule proceedings,
2505And see the Ambush of our friends be strong,
I feare the Emperour meanes no good to vs.
Moore. Some diuell whisper curses in my eare,
And prompt me that my tongue may vtter forth,
The venemous mallice of my swelling hart.
2510Lucius. Away inhumane dogge vnhallowed slaue.
Sirs help our vnckle to conuay him in,
The trumpets shewe the Emperour is at hand.
Sound Trumpets. Enter Emperour and Empresse with Tri-
bunes and others.
2515King. VVhat hath the firmament mo sunnes than one?
Lucius. VVhat boots it thee to call thy selfe a sunne?
Mar. Romes Emperour and Nephew break the Parle,
These quarrels must be quietly debated,
The feast is ready which the carefull Titus,
2520Hath ordainde to an honorable end,
For peace, for loue, for league and good to Rome,
Please you therefore, draw nie and take your places.
King. Marcus we will.
2525
Trumpets sounding, Enter Titus like a Cooke, placing the
dishes, and Lauinia with a vaile ouer her face.
Titus. VVelcome my Lord, welcome dread Queene,
VVelcome yee warlike Gothes, welcome Lucius,
2530And welcome all although the cheare be poore,
Twill fill your stomacks, please you eate of it.
King. VVhy art thou thus attired Andronicus?
Titus. Because I would be sure to haue all well,
To entertaine your highnes and your Empresse.
2535Tamora. VVe are beholding to you good Andronicus,
Titus. And if your highnes knew my hart you were,
My Lord the Emperour resolue me this,
VVas it well done of rash Virginius
To slay his daughter with his owne right hand
2540Because she was enforst, stainde, and deflowrde?
King. It was Andronicus.
Titus. Your reason mighty Lord.
King. Because the girle should not suruiue her shame,
And by her presence still renewe his sorrowes.
2545Titus. A reason mighty, strong, and effectuall,
A patterne president, and liuelie warrant,
For me most wretched to performe the like,
Die, die, Lauinia and thy shame with thee,
And with thy shame thy Fathers sorrow die.
King. VVhat hast thou done, vnnaturall and vnkinde.
Tit. Kild her for whom my teares haue made me blind.
I am as woefull as Virginius was,
And haue a thousand times more cause than he,
2555To doe this outrage, and it now is done.
King. VVhat was she rauisht, tell who did the deede.
T. VVilt please you eate, wilt please your highnes feed.
Tam. VVhy hast thou slaine thine only Daughter thus?
Titus. Not I, twas Chiron, and Demetrius,
2560They Rauisht her and cut away her tongue,
And they, twas they, that did her all this wrong.
King, Goe fetch them hither to vs presently.
Titus. VVhy there they are both baked in this Pie.
VVhereof their Mother daintilie hath fed,
2565Eating the flesh that shee her selfe hath bred,
Tis true, tis true, witnes my kniues sharpe point.
He stabs the Empresse.
Emperour. Die franticke wretch for this accursed deede,
Lucius. Can the sonnes eie behold his father bleede?
2570Ther's meede for meede, death for a deadly deede.
Marcus. You sad facde men, people and sons of Rome
By vprores seuerd as a flight of fowle,
Scatterd by winds and high tempestuous gusts,
Oh let me teach you how to knit againe,
2575This scattered corne into one mutuall sheaffe,
These broken limbs againe into one bodie.
Romane Lord. Let Rome her selfe bee bane vnto her
And shee whome mightie kingdomes cursie too,
Like a forlorne and desperate cast away,
2580Doe shamefull execution on her selfe.
But if my frostie signes and chappes of age,
Graue witnesses of true experience,
Cannot induce you to attend my words,
Speake Roomes deare friend as erst our Ancestor,
2585when with his solemne tongue he did discourse
To loue sicke Didoes sad attending eare,
The storie of that balefull burning night,
VVhen subtile Greekes surprizd King Priams Troy.
Tell vs what Sinon hath bewicht our eares,
2590Or who hath brought the fatall engine in
That giues our Troy, our Rome the ciuill wound.
My hart is not compact of flint nor steele,
Nor can I vtter all our bitter greefe,
But flouds of teares will drowne my Oratorie,
2595And breake my vttrance euen in the time,
VVhen it should moue yee to attend me most,
And force you to commiseration,
Her's Romes young Captaine let him tell the tale,
VVhile I stand by and weepe to heare him speake.
2600Lucius. Then gratious auditorie be it knowne to you,
That Chiron and the damn'd Demetrius,
Were they that murdred our Emperours brother,
And they it were that rauished our sister,
For their fell faults our brothers were beheaded,
2605Our Fathers teares dispisde, and basely cousend,
Of that true hand that fought Romes quarrell out,
And sent her enemies vnto the graue.
Lastly my selfe vnkindely banished,
The gates shut on me and turnd weeping out,
2610To beg reliefe among Romes enemies,
VVho drownd their enmetie in my true teares,
And opt their armes to imbrace me as a friend,
I am the turned forth be it knowne to you,
That haue preserude her welfare in my blood,
2615And from her bosome tooke the enemies point,
Sheathing the steele in my aduentrous body.
Alas you know I am no vaunter I,
My scars can witnes dumb although they are,
That my report is iust and full of truth,
2620But soft, me thinkes I doe digresse too much,
Cyting my worthles praise, Oh pardon me
For when no friends are by, men praise themselues.
Marcus. Now is my turne to speake, behold the child,
Of this was Tamora deliuered,
2625The issue of an irreligious Moore,
Chiefe architect and plotter of these woes,
The villaine is aliue in Titus house,
And as he is to witnes this is true,
Now iudge what course had Titus to reuenge.
2630These wrongs vnspeakeable past patience,
Or more than any liuing man could beare,
Now haue you heard the truth, what say you Romaines?
Haue we done ought amisse, shew vs wherein,
And from the place where you behold vs pleading,
2635The poore remainder of Andronicie,
VVill hand in hand, all headlong hurle our selues,
And on the ragged stones beat forth our soules,
And make a mutuall closure of our house,
Speake Romans speake, and if you say wee Shall,
2640Lo hand in hand Lucius and I will fall.
Emillius. Come come thou reuerent man of Rome,
And bring our Emperour gently in thy hand,
Lucius our Emperour for well I know,
The common voice doe cry it shall be so.
2645Marcus. Lucius, all haile Romes royall Emperour.
Goe goe into old Titus sorrowfull house,
And hither hale that misbelieuing Moore,
To be adiudge some dyrefull slaughtring death,
As punishment for his most wicked life.
2650Lucius all haile Romes gratious gouernour.
Lucius. Thankes gentle Romanes may I gouerne so,
To heale Romes harmes, and wipe away her woe,
But gentle people giue me ayme a while,
For nature puts me to a heauie taske,
2655Stand all a loofe but vnckle draw you neare,
To shed obsequious teares vpon this trunke,
Oh take this warme kisse on thy pale cold lips,
These sorrowfull drops vpon thy blood slaine face,
The last true duties of thy noble sonne.
2660Marcus. Teare for teare, and louing kisse for kisse,
Thy brother Marcus tenders on thy lips,
Oh were the summe of these that I should pay,
Countlesse and infinite, yet would I pay them.
Lucius. Come hither boy come, come and learne of vs
2665To melt in showers, thy Grandsire lou'd thee well,
Many a time hee daunst thee on his knee,
Song thee a sleepe his louing brest thy pillow,
Many a storie hath he told to thee,
And bid thee bare his prettie tales in minde,
2670And talke of them when he was dead and gone.
Marcus. How manie thousand times hath these poore
VVhen they were liuing warmd themselues on thine,
Oh now sweete boy giue them their latest kisse,
Bid him farewell commit him to the graue,
2675Doe them that kindnes and take leaue of them.
Puer. Oh Grandsire, Grandsire, eu'n with all my hart,
VVould I were dead so you did liue againe,
O Lord I cannot speake to him for weeping,
My teares will choacke me if I ope my mouth.
2680Romane. You sad Andronicie haue done with woes,
Giue sentence on this execrable wretch,
That hath bin breeder of these dyre euents.
Lucius. Set him brest deepe in earth and famish him,
There let him stand and raue and crie for foode.
2685If any one releeues or pitties him,
For the offence he dies, this is our doome,
Some stay to see him fastned in the earth.
Aron. Ah why should wrath be mute and furie dumb,
I am no babie I, that with base prayers
2690I should repent the euils I haue done,
Ten thousand worse than euer yet I did
VVould I performe if I might haue my will,
If one good deed in all my life I did
I doe repent it from my verie soule.
2695Lu. Some louing friends conuay the Emperour hence,
And giue him buriall in his fathers graue,
My Father and Lauinia shall forthwith,
Be closed in our housholds monument,
As for that rauinous tiger Tamora,
2700No funerall right, nor man in mourning weede,
No mournefull bell shall ring her buriall
But throw her forth to beasts and birds to pray,
Her life was beastlie and deuoide of pittie,
And being dead let birds on her take pittie.
Exeunt.