« PreviousContinue »
For hands, to do Rome service, are but vain.
Luc. Speak, gentle sister, who hath martyr'd thee?
Mar. O, that delightful engine of her thoughts,
Luc. O, say thou for her, who hath done this deed ?
Mar. O, thus I found her, straying in the park, Seeking to hide herself, as doth the deer, That hath receiv'd some unrecuring wound.
Tit. It was my deer ; and he, that wounded her, Hath hurt me more, than had he kill'd me dead : For now I stand as one upon a rock, Environ'd with a wilderness of sea; Who marks the waxing tide grow wave by wave, Expecting ever when some envious surge Will in his brinish bowels swallow him. This way
to death my wretched 'sons are gone; Here stands my other son, a banish'd man ; And here, my brother, weeping at my woes; But that, which gives my soul the greatest spurn, Is dear Lavinia, dearer than
soul. Had I but seen thy picture in this plight, It would have madded me; What shall I do Now I behold thy lively body so? Thou hast no hands, to wipe away thy tears ; Nor tongue, to tell me who hath martyr'd thee : Thy husband he is dead; and, for his death, Thy brothers are condemn'd, and dead by this :Look, Marcus ! ah, son Lucius, look on her! When I did name her brothers, then fresh tears
Stood on her cheeks ; as doth the honey dew
Tit. If they did kill thy husband, then be joyful, Because the law hath ta’en revenge on them.No, no, they would not do so foul a deed ; Witness the sorrow that their sister makes.Gentle Lavinia, let me kiss thy lips; Or make some sign how I may do thee ease: Shall thy good uncle, and thy brother Lucius, And thou, and I, sit round about some fountain ; Looking all downwards, to behold our cheeks How they are stain'd? like meadows, yet not dry With miry slime left on them by a flood ? And in the fountain shall we gaze so long, Till the fresh taste be taken from that clearness, And made a brine-pit with our bitter tears ? Or shall we cut away our hands, like thine? Or shall we bite our tongues, and in dumb shows Pass the remainder of our hateful days ? What shall we do? let us, that have our tongues, Plot some device of further misery, To make us wonder'd at in time to come. Luc. Sweet father, cease your tears; for, at your
grief, See, how my wretched sister sobs and weeps. Mar. Patience, dear niece :-good Titus, dry thine
eyes. Tit. Ah, Marcus, Marcus! brother, well I wot,
Thy napkin) cannot drink a tear of mine,
Luc. Ah, my Lavinia, I will wipe thy cheeks.
Tit. Mark, Marcus, mark! I understand her signs : Had she a tongue to speak, now would she say That to her brother which I said to thee; His napkin, with his true tears all bewet, Can do no service on her sorrowful cheeks, O, what a sympathy of woe is this? As far from help as limbo is from bliss !
Tit. O, gracious emperor! O, gentle Aaron !
Luc. Stay, father ; for that noble hand of thine,
Mar. Which of your hands hath not defended Rome,
And rear'd aloft the bloody battle-axe,
Aar. Nay, come agree, whose hand shall go along, For fear they die before their pardon come.
Mar. My hand shall go.
By heaven, it shall not go. Tit, Sirs, strive no more; such wither'd herbs as
these Are meet for plucking up, and therefore mine.
Luc. Sweet father, if I shall be thought thy son, Let me redeem my brothers both from death.
Mar. And, for our father's sake, and mother's care, Now let me show a brother's love to thee. Tit. Agree between you ; I will
spare my hand. Luc. Then I'll go fetch an axe. Mar.
But I will use the axe.
[Exeunt Lucius and MARCUS. Tit. Come hither, Aaron; I'll deceive them both; Lend me thy hand, and I will give thee mine.
Aar. If that be call’d deceit, I will be honest, And never, whilst I live, deceive men so:But I'll deceive you in another sort, And that you'll say, ere half an hour can pass. [Aside.
[He cuts off Titus's Hand.
Enter Lucius and MARCUS.
Tit. Now, stay your strife; what shall be, is de
Good Aaron, give his majesty my hand :
Aar. I go, Andronicus : and for thy hand,
Tit. O, here I lift this one hand up to heaven,
[To LAVINIA. Do then, dear heart; for heaven shall hear our
Mar. O! brother, speak with possibilities,
Tit. Is not my sorrow deep, having no bottom?
Mar. But yet let reason govern thy lament.
Tit. If there were reason for these miseries,