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They hither march amain, under conduct
Sat. Is warlike Lucius general of the Goths ?
Tam . Why should you fear? is not your city strong ?
Sat. Ay, but the citizens favour Lucius; And will revolt from me, to succour him. Tam. King, be thy thoughts imperious,8 like thy
name, Is the sun dimm'd, that gnats do fly in it? The eagle suffers little birds to sing, And is not careful what they mean thereby; Knowing that with the shadow of his wings, He can at pleasure stinto their melody : Even so may'st thou the giddy men of Rome. Then cheer thy spirit: for know, thou emperor, I will enchant the old Andronicus, With words more sweet, and yet more dangerous, Than baits to fish, or honey-stalks to sheep; When as the one is wounded with the bait, The other rotted with delicious feed.
Sat. But he will not entreat his son for us.
Tam. If Tamora entreat him, then he will : For I can smooth, and fill his aged ear With golden promises; that were his heart Almost impregnable, his old ears deaf, Yet should both ear and heart obey my tongue.Go thou before, be our embassador ; [TO ÆMILIUS. Say, that the emperor requests a parley Of warlike Lucius, and appoint the meeting, Even at his father's house, the old Andronicus.
Sat. Æmilius, do this message honourably: And if he stand on hostage for his safety, Bid him demand what pledge will please him best. Æmil. Your bidding shall I do effectually.
[Exit ÆMILIUS. Tam. Now will I to that old Andronicus ; And temper him, with all the art I have, To pluck proud Lucius from the warlike Goths. And now, sweet emperor, be blithe again, And bury all thy fear in my devices. Sat. Then go successfully, and plead to him.
SCENE I. Plains near Rome.
Enter LUCIUS, and Goths, with Drum and Colours.
Luc. Approved warriors, and my faithful friends, I have received letters from great Rome, Which signify, what hate they bear their emperor, A nd how desirous of our sight they are, Therefore, great lords, be as your titles witness,
Imperious, and impatient of your wrongs ;
Luc. I humbly thank him, and I thank you all. But who comes here, led by a lusty Goth?
Enter a Goth, leading AARON, with his Child in his
Arms. 2Goth. Renowned Lucius, from our troops Istray'd, To gaze upon a ruinous monastery; And as I earnestly did fix mine eye Upon the wasted building, suddenly I heard a child
underneath a wall :
They never do beget a coal-black calf.
Luc. O worthy Goth! this is the incarnate devil
Aar. Touch not the boy, he is of royal blood.
Luc. Too like the sire for ever being good. First, hang the child, that he may see it sprawl; A sight to vex the father's soul withal. Get me a ladder., [A Ladder brought, which Aaron is obliged to
Lucius, save the child;
2 Alluding to the proverb, “ a black man is a pearl in a fait
Luc. Say on; and, if it please me which thou
speak'st, Thy child shall live, and I will see it nourish'd. Aar. An if it please thee? why, assure thee,
Luc. Tell on thy mind; I say, thy child shall live.
god; That granted, how canst thou believe an oath ?
Aar. What if I do not ? as, indeed, I do not: Yet,-for I know thou art religious, And hast a thing within thee, called conscience ; With twenty popish tricks and ceremonies, Which I have seen thee careful to observe, Therefore I urge thy oath ;-For that, I know, An idiot holds his bauble for a god, And keeps the oath, which by that god he swears; To that I'll urge him :-Therefore, thou shalt yow By that same god, what god soe'er it be, . That thou ador’st and hast in reverence, To save my boy, to nourish, and bring him up; Or else I will discover nought to thee.
Luc. Even by my god, I swear to thee, I will. Aar. First, know thou, I begot him on the empress.