Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
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Titus Andronicus (Folio, 1623)

32The Tragedie of Titus Andronicus.
Loe as the Barke that hath discharg'd his fraught,
Returnes with precious lading to the Bay,
From whence at first she wegih'd her Anchorage:
95Commeth Andronicus bound with Lawrell bowes,
To resalute his Country with his teares,
Teares of true ioy for his returne to Rome,
Thou great defender of this Capitoll,
Stand gracious to the Rites that we intend.
100Romaines, of fiue and twenty Valiant Sonnes,
Halfe of the number that King Priam had,
Behold the poore remaines aliue and dead!
These that Suruiue, let Rome reward with Loue:
These that I bring vnto their latest home,
105With buriall amongst their Auncestors.
Heere Gothes haue giuen me leaue to sheath my Sword:
Titus vnkinde, and carelesse of thine owne,
Why suffer'st thou thy Sonnes vnburied yet,
To houer on the dreadfull shore of Stix?
110Make way to lay them by their Bretheren.

They open the Tombe.
There greete in silence as the dead are wont,
And sleepe in peace, slaine in your Countries warres:
O sacred receptacle of my ioyes,
115Sweet Cell of vertue and Noblitie,
How many Sonnes of mine hast thou in store,
That thou wilt neuer render to me more?
Luc. Giue vs the proudest prisoner of the Gothes,
That we may hew his limbes, and on a pile
120Ad manus fratrum, sacrifice his flesh:
Before this earthly prison of their bones,
That so the shadowes be not vnappeas'd,
Nor we disturb'd with prodigies on earth.
Tit. I giue him you, the Noblest that Suruiues,
125The eldest Son of this distressed Queene.
Tam. Stay Romaine Bretheren, gracious Conqueror,
Victorious Titus, rue the teares I shed,
A Mothers teares in passion for her sonne:
And if thy Sonnes were euer deere to thee,
130Oh thinke my sonnes to be as deere to mee.
Sufficeth not, that we are brought to Rome
To beautifie thy Triumphs, and returne
Captiue to thee, and to thy Romaine yoake,
But must my Sonnes be slaughtred in the streetes,
135For Valiant doings in their Countries cause?
O! If to fight for King and Common-weale,
Were piety in thine, it is in these:
Andronicus, staine not thy Tombe with blood.
Wilt thou draw neere the nature of the Gods?
140Draw neere them then in being mercifull.
Sweet mercy is Nobilities true badge,
Thrice Noble Titus, spare my first borne sonne.
Tit. Patient your selfe Madam, and pardon me.
These are the Brethren, whom you Gothes beheld
145Aliue and dead, and for their Bretheren slaine,
Religiously they aske a sacrifice:
To this your sonne is markt, and die he must,
T'appease their groaning shadowes that are gone.
Luc. Away with him, and make a fire straight,
150And with our Swords vpon a pile of wood,
Let's hew his limbes till they be cleane consum'd.

Exit Sonnes with Alarbus.
Tamo. O cruell irreligious piety.
Chi. Was euer Scythia halfe so barbarous?
155Dem. Oppose me Scythia to ambitious Rome,
Alarbus goes to rest, and we suruiue,
To tremble vnder Titus threatning lookes,
Then Madam stand resolu'd, but hope withall,
The selfe same Gods that arm'd the Queene of Troy
160With opportunitie of sharpe reuenge
Vpon the Thracian Tyrant in his Tent,
May fauour Tamora the Queene of Gothes,
(When Gothes were Gothes, and Tamora was Queene)
To quit the bloody wrongs vpon her foes.

165Enter the Sonnes of Andronicus againe.

Luci. See Lord and Father, how we haue perform'd
Our Romaine rightes, Alarbus limbs are lopt,
And intrals feede the sacrifising fire,
Whose smoke like incense doth perfume the skie.
170Remaineth nought but to interre our Brethren,
And with low'd Larums welcome them to Rome.
Tit. Let it be so, and let Andronicus
Make this his latest farewell to their soules.
175Then Sound Trumpets, and lay the Coffins in the Tombe.
In peace and Honour rest you heere my Sonnes,
Romes readiest Champions, repose you heere in rest,
Secure from worldly chaunces and mishaps:
Heere lurks no Treason, heere no enuie swels,
180Heere grow no damned grudges, heere are no stormes,
No noyse, but silence and Eternall sleepe,
In peace and Honour rest you heere my Sonnes.

Enter Lauinia.

Laui. In peace and Honour, liue Lord Titus long,
185My Noble Lord and Father, liue in Fame:
Loe at this Tombe my tributarie teares,
I render for my Bretherens Obsequies:
And at thy feete I kneele, with teares of ioy
Shed on the earth for thy returne to Rome.
190O blesse me heere with thy victorious hand,
Whose Fortune Romes best Citizens applau'd.
Ti. Kind Rome,
That hast thus louingly reseru'd
The Cordiall of mine age to glad my hart,
195Lauinia liue, out-liue thy Fathers dayes:
And Fames eternall date for vertues praise.
Marc. Long liue Lord Titus, my beloued brother,
Gracious Triumpher in the eyes of Rome.
Tit. Thankes Gentle Tribune,
200Noble brother Marcus.
Mar. And welcome Nephews from succesfull wars,
You that suruiue and you that sleepe in Fame:
Faire Lords your Fortunes are all alike in all,
That in your Countries seruice drew your Swords.
205But safer Triumph is this Funerall Pompe,
That hath aspir'd to Solons Happines,
And Triumphs ouer chaunce in honours bed.
Titus Andronicus,, the people of Rome,
Whose friend in iustice thou hast euer bene,
210Send thee by me their Tribune and their trust,
This Palliament of white and spotlesse Hue,
And name thee in Election for the Empire,
With these our late deceased Emperours Sonnes:
Be Candidatus then, and put it on,
215And helpe to set a head on headlesse Rome.
Tit. A better head her Glorious body fits,
Then his that shakes for age and feeblenesse: