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Of a cut loaf to steal a shive, we know :
Though Bassianus be the emperor's brother,
Better than he have yet worn Vulcan's badge.

Aar. Ay, and as good as Saturninus may. [Aside.
Dem. Then why should he despair, that knows to

court it
With words, fair looks, and liberality?
What, hast thou not full often struck a doe,
And borne her cleanly by the keeper's nose ?

Aar. Why then, it seems, some certain snatch, or


Would serve your turns.

Ay, so the turn were sery'd.
Dem. Aaron, thou hast hit it.



had hit it too ; Then should not we be tir'd with this ado. Why, hark ye, hark ye.—And are you such fools, To square 4 4 for this? Would it offend


then That both should speed ? Chi.

l'faith, not me. Dem. So I were one. Aar. For shame, be friends; and join for that you

jar. 'Tis policy and stratagem must do That

you affect; and so must you resolve ; That what you cannot, as you would, achieve, You must perforce accomplish as you may: Take this of me, Lucrece was not more chaste Than this Lavinia, Bassianus' love.

Nor me,

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A speedier course than lingering languishment
Must we pursue, and I have found the path.
My lords, a solemn hunting is in hand;
There will the lovely Roman ladies troop:
The forest walks are wide and spacious ;
And many unfrequented plots there are,
Fitted by kinds for rape and villainy :
Single you thither then this dainty doe,
And strike her home by force, if not by words:
This way, or not at all, stand you in hope.
Come, come, our empress, with her sacred wit,
To villainy and vengeance consecrate,
Will we acquaint with all that we intend;
And she shall file our engines with advice,
That will not suffer you to square yourselves,
But to your wishes' height advance you both.
The emperor's court is like the house of fame,
The palace full of tongues, of eyes, of ears :
The woods are ruthless, dreadful, deaf, and dull;
There speak, and strike, brave boys, and take your

turns : There serve your lust, shadow'd from heaven's eye, And revel in Lavinia's treasury.

Chi. Thy counsel, lad, smells of no cowardice.

Dem. Sit fas aut nefas, till I find the stream To cool this heat, a charm to calm these fits, Per Styga, per manes vehor..


5 By nature.

6 Sacred here signifies accursed; a Latinism.


A Forest near Rome. A Lodge seen at a distance.

Horns, and cry of Hounds heard.

Enter Titus ANDRONICUS, with Hunters, 8c:


Tit. The hunt is up, the morn is bright and grey, The fields are fragrant, and the woods are green: Uncouple here, and let us make a bay, And wake the emperor and his lovely bride, And rouse the prince; and ring a hunter's peal, That all the court may echo with the noise. Sons, let it be your charge, as it is ours, To tend the emperor's person carefully : I have been troubled in my sleep this night, But dawning day new comfort hath inspir'd.

Horns wind a Peal. Enter SATURNINUS, TAMORA,


Tit. Many good morrows to your majesty ;-
Madam, to you as many and as good !-
I promised your grace a hunter's peal.

Sat. And you have rung it lustily, my lords,
Somewhat too early for new-married ladies.

Bas. Lavinia, how say you?

I say, no;
I have been broad awake two hours and more.

Sat. Come on then, horse and chariots let us have, And to our sport :-Madam, now shall ye see

Our Roman hunting.

[To Tamora. Mar.

I have dogs, my lord, Will rouse the proudest panther in the chase, And climb the highest promontory top.

Tit. And I have horse will follow where the game Makes way, and run like swallows o'er the plain. Dem. Chiron, we hunt not, we, with horse nor

hound, But hope to pluck a dainty doe to ground. [Ereunt.


A desert Part of the Forest.

Enter AARON, with a Bag of Gold. Aar. He, that had wit, would think that I had none, To bury so much gold under a tree, And never after to inherit? it. Let him, that thinks of me so abjectly, Know, that this gold must coin a stratagem ; Which, cunningly effected, will beget A very excellent piece of villainy; And so repose, sweet gold, for their unrest, 8

[Hides the Gold. That have their alms out of the empress' chest.

Enter TAMORA. Tam. My lovely Aaron, wherefore look'st thou sad, When every thing doth make a gleeful boast? The birds chaunt melody on every bush ;' The snake lies rolled in the cheerful sun; The green leaves quiver with the cooling wind,

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And make a checquer'd shadow on the ground:
Under their sweet shade, Aaron, let us sit,
And—whilst the babbling echo mocks the hounds,
Replying shrilly to the well-tun'd horns,
As if a double hunt were heard at once,
Let us sit down, and mark their yelling noise :
And after conflict, such as was suppos'd
The wandering prince of Dido once enjoy'd,
When with a happy storm they were surpriz'd,
And curtain'd with a counsel-keeping cave,
We may, each wreathed in the other's arms,
Our pastimes done, possess a golden slumber ;
Whiles hounds, and horns, and sweet melodious birds,
Be unto us, as is a nurse's song
Of lullaby, to bring her babe asleep.

Aar. Madam, though Venus govern your desires,
Saturn is dominator over mine :
What signifies my deadly-standing eye,
My silence, and my cloudy melancholy?
My fleece of woolly hair that now uncurls,
Even as an adder, when she doth unroll
To do some fatal execution ?
No, madam, these are no venereal signs ;
Vengeance is in my heart, death in my band,
Blood and revenge are hammering in my head.
Hark, Tamora,--the empress of my soul,
Which never hopes more heaven than rests in thee,--
This is the day of doom for Bassianus ;
His Philomel, must lose her tongue to-day :
Thy sons make pillage of her chastity,
And wash their hands in Bassianus' blood.

· See Ovid's Metamorphoses, Book VI.

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