Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Not Peer Reviewed

Titus Andronicus (Folio, 1623)

The Tragedie of Titus Andronicus. 43
Speechlesse complaynet, I will learne thy thought:
In thy dumb action, will I be as perfect
As begging Hermits in their holy prayers.
Thou shalt not sighe nor hold thy stumps to heauen,
1495Nor winke, nor nod, nor kneele, nor make a signe,
But I (of these) will wrest an Alphabet,
And by still practice, learne to know thy meaning.
Boy. Good grandsire leaue these bitter deepe laments,
Make my Aunt merry, with some pleasing tale.
1500Mar. Alas, the tender boy in passion mou'd,
Doth weepe to see his grandsires heauinesse.
An. Peace tender Sapling, thou art made of teares,
And teares will quickly melt thy life away.
Marcus strikes the dish with a knife.
1505What doest thou strike at Marcus with knife.
Mar. At that that I haue kil'd my Lord, a Flys
An. Out on the murderour: thou kil'st my hart,
Mine eyes cloi'd with view of Tirranie:
A deed of death done on the Innocent
1510Becoms not Titus broher: get thee gone,
I see thou art not for my company.
Mar. Alas (my Lord) I haue but kild a flie.
An. But? How: if that Flie had a father and mother?
How would he hang his slender gilded wings
1515And buz lamenting doings in the ayer,
Poore harmelesse Fly,
That with his pretty buzing melody,
Came heere to make vs merry,
And thou hast kil'd him.
1520Mar. Pardon me sir,
It was a blacke illfauour'd Fly,
Like to the Empresse Moore, therefore I kild him.
An. O, o, o,
Then pardon me for reprehending thee,
1525For thou hast done a Charitable deed:
Giue me thy knife, I will insult on him,
Flattering myselfes, as if it were the Moore,
Come hither purposely to poyson me.
There's for thyselfe, and thats for Tamira: Ah sirra,
1530Yet I thinke we are not brought so low,
But that betweene vs, we can kill a Fly,
That comes in likenesse of a Cole-blacke Moore.
Mar. Alas poore man, griefe ha's so wrought on him,
He takes false shadowes, for true substances.
1535An. Come, take away: Lauinia, goe with me,
Ile to thy closset, and goe read with thee
Sad stories, chanced in the times of old.
Come boy, and goe with me, thy sight is young,
And thou shalt read, when mine begin to dazell. Exeunt

1540Actus Quartus.

Enter young Lucius and Lauinia running after him, and
the Boy flies from her with his bookes vnder his arme.
Enter Titus and Marcus.
Boy. Helpe Grandsier helpe, my Aunt Lauinia,
1545Followes me euerywhere I know not why.
Good Vncle Marcus see how swift she comes,
Alas sweet Aunt, I know not what you meane.
Mar. Stand by me Lucius, doe not feare thy Aunt.
Titus. She loues thee boy too well to doe thee harme
1550Boy. I when my father was in Rome she did.
Mar. What meanes my Neece Lauinia by these signes?
Ti. Feare not Lucius, somewhat doth she meane:
See Lucius see, how much she makes of thee:
Some whether would she haue thee goe with her.
1555Ah boy, Cornelia neuer with more care
Read to her sonnes, then she hath read to thee,
Sweet Poetry, and Tullies Oratour:
Canst thou not gesse wherefore she plies thee thus?
Boy. My Lord I know not I, nor can I gesse,
1560Vnlesse some fit or frenzie do possesse her:
For I haue heard my Grandsier say full oft,
Extremitie of griefes would make men mad.
And I haue read that Hecubae of Troy,
Ran mad through sorrow, that made me to feare,
1565Although my Lord, I know my noble Aunt,
Loues me as deare as ere my mother did,
And would not but in fury fright my youth,
Which made me downe to throw my bookes, and flie
Causles perhaps, but pardon me sweet Aunt,
1570And Madam, if my Vncle Marcus goe,
I will most willingly attend your Ladyship.
Mar. Lucius I will.
Ti. How now Lauinia, Marcus what meanes this?
Some booke there is that she desires to see,
1575Which is it girle of these? Open them boy,
But thou art deeper read and better skild,
Come and take choyse of all my Library,
And so beguile thy sorrow, till the heauens
Reueale the damn'd contriuer of this deed.
1580What booke?
Why lifts she vp her armes in sequence thus?
Mar. I thinke she meanes that ther was more then one
Confederate in the fact, I more there was:
Or else to heauen she heaues them to reuenge.
1585Ti. Lucius what booke is that she tosseth so?
Boy. Grandsier 'tis Ouids Metamorphosis,
My mother gaue it me.
Mar. For loue of her that's gone,
Perhahs she culd it from among the rest.
1590Ti. Soft, so busily she turnes the leaues,
Helpe her, what would she finde? Lauinia shall I read?
This is the tragicke tale of Philomel?
And treates of Tereus treason and his rape,
And rape I feare was roote of thine annoy.
1595Mar. See brother see, note how she quotes the leaues
Ti. Lauinia, wert thou thus surpriz'd sweet girle,
Rauisht and wrong'd as Philomela was?
Forc'd in the ruthlesse, vast, and gloomy woods?
See, see, I such a place there is where we did hunt,
1600(O had we neuer, neuer hunted there)
Patern'd by that the Poet heere describes,
By nature made for murthers and for rapes.
Mar. O why should nature build so foule a den,
Vnlesse the Gods delight in tragedies?
1605 Ti. Giue signes sweet girle, for heere are none but friends
What Romaine Lord it was durst do the deed?
Or slunke not Saturnine, as Tarquin ersts,
That left the Campe to sinne in Lucrece bed.
Mar. Sit downe sweet Neece, brother sit downe by me,
1610Appollo, Pallas, Ioue, or Mercury,
Inspire me that I may this treason finde.
My Lord looke heere, looke heere Lauinia.

He writes his Name with his staffe, and guides it
with feete and mouth.
1615This sandie plot is plaine, guide if thou canst