Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Not Peer Reviewed

Titus Andronicus (Quarto 1, 1594)

The most Lamentable Tragedie
Or any one of you, chop off your hand
And send it to the King, he for the same,
1300will send thee hither both thy sonnes aliue,
And that shall be the raunsome for their fault.
Titus. Oh gratious Emperour, Oh gentle Aron,
Did euer Rauen sing so like a Larke,
That giues sweete tidings of the Sunnes vprise?
1305With all my hart, Ile send the Emperour my hand,
Good Aron wilt thou helpe to chop it off?
Lucius. Stay father, for that Noble hand of thine,
That hath throwne downe so many enemies,
Shall not be sent: my hand will serue the turne,
1310My youth can better spare my bloud than you,
And therefore mine shall saue my brothers liues.
Marcus. which of your hands hath not defended Rome,
And reard aloft the bloudie Battleaxe,
wrighting destruction on the enemies Castle?
1315Oh none of both, but are of high desert:
My hand hath beene but idle, let it serue
To raunsome my two Nephews from their death,
Then haue I kept it to a worthie ende.
Moore. Nay come agree whose hand shall goe along,
1320For feare they die before their pardon come.
Marcus. My hand shall goe.
Lucius. By heauen it shall not goe.
Titus. Sirs striue no more, such withred hearbs as these
Are meete for plucking vp, and therefore mine.
1325Lucius. Sweete father, if I shall be thought thy sonne,
Let me redeeme my brothers both from death.
Marcus. And for our fathers sake, and mothers care,
Now let me show a brothers loue to thee.
Titus. Agree betweene you, I will spare my hand.
1330Lucius. Then Ile goe fetch an Axe.
Marcus. But I will vse the Axe. Exeunt.
Titus. Come hither Aron, Ile deceiue them both,