Page images

Let me go grind their bones to powder small,
And with this hateful liquor temper it;
And in that paste let their vile heads be bak’d.
Come, come, be every one officious
To make this banquet; which I wish may prove
More stern and bloody than the Centaur's feast.
So, now bring them in, for I will play the cook,
And see them ready 'gainst their mother comes.

[Exeunt, bearing the dead Bodies


The same.

A Pavilion, with Tables, &c. Enter Lucius, MARCUS, and Goths, with AARON,

Prisoner. Luc. Uncle Marcus, since 'tis my father's mind, That I repair to Rome, I am content. 1 Goth. And ours, with thine, befall what fortune

will. Luc. Good uncle, take you in this barbarous Moor, This ravenous tiger, this accursed devil ; Let him receive no sustenance, fetter him, Till he be brought unto the empress' face, For testimony of her foul proceedings : And see the ambush of our friends be strong : I fear, the emperor means no good to us.

Aar. Some devil whisper curses in mine ear, And prompt me, that my tongue may utter forth The venomous malice of my swelling heart!

Luc. Away, inhuman dog! unhallow'd slave!Sirs, help our uncle to convey him in.

[Exeunt Goths, with AARON. Flourish. The trumpets show, the emperor is at hand.

Enter SATURNINUS and TAMORA, with Tribunes,

Senators, and Others. Sat. What, hath the firmament more suns than

one ?

Luc. What boots 4 it thee, to call thyself a sun? Mar. Rome's emperor, and nephew, breaks the

parle ; These quarrels must be quietly debated. The feast is ready, which the careful Titus Hath ordain'd to an honourable end, For peace, for love, for league, and good to Rome : Please you, therefore, draw nigh, and take your places. Sat. Marcus, we will.

[Huutboys sound. The Company sit down at Table.

Enter Titus, dressed like a Cook, LAVINIA, veiled, young LUCIUS, and Others.

Titus places the Dishes on the Table. Tit. Welcome, my gracious lord: welcome, dread

queen; Welcome, ye warlike Goths; welcome, Lucius; And welcome, all : although the cheer be poor, "Twill fill your stomachs ; please you eat of it.

Sat. Why art thou thus attir'd, Andronicus ?

Tit. Because I would be sure to have all well, To entertain your highness, and your empress.

Tam. We are beholden to you, good Andronicus,

Tit. An if your highness knew my heart, you were. My lord the emperor, resolve me this;

4 Advantage, benefit. si,c. Begin the parley.

Was it well done of rash Virginius,
To slay his daughter with his own right hand,
Because she was enforc'd, stain’d, and deflour'd?

Sat. It was, Andronicus.
Tit. Your reason, mighty lord !

Sat. Because the girl should not survive her shame, And by her presence still renew his sorrows.

Tit. A reason mighty, strong, and effectual;
A pattern, precedent, and lively warrant,
For me, most wretched to perform the like :-
Die, die, Lavinia, and thy shame with thee;

[He kills LAVINIA. And, with thy shame, thy father's sorrow die !

Sat. What hast thou done, unnatural, and unkind? Tit. Kill’d her, for whom my tears have made me

blind. I am as woful as Virginius was : And have a thousand times more cause than he To do this outrage ;-and it is now done. Sat. What, was she ravish'd ? tell, who did the

deed. Tit. Will’t please you eat? will’t please your high

ness feed ?
Tam. Why hast thou slain thine only daughter

thus ?
Tit. Not l; 'twas Chiron, and Demetrius :
They ravish’d her, and cut away her tongue,
And they, 'twas they, that did her all this wrong.

Sat. Go, fetch them hither to us presently.

Tit. Why, there they are both, baked in that pye ; Whereof their mother daintily hath fed, Eating the flesh that she herself bath bred.

Tis true, 'tis true; witness my knife's sharp point.

[Killing Tamora. Sat. Die, frantick wretch, for this accursed deed.

[Killing Tirus. Luc. Can the son's eye behold his father bleed ? There's meed for meed, death for a deadly deed. [Kills SATURNINUS. A great Tumult. · The

People in confusion disperse. MARCUS,
LUCIUS, and their Partisans ascend the

Steps before Titus's House.
Mar. You sad-fac'd men, people and sons of

By uproar sever'd, like a flight of fowl
Scatter'd by winds, and high tempestuous gusts,
O, let me teach you how to knit again
This scatter'd corn into one mutual sheaf,
These broken limbs again into one body.

Sen. Lest Rome herself be bane unto herself ;
And she, whom mighty kingdoms court'sy to,
Like a forlorn and desperate cast-away,
Do shameful execution on herself.
But if my frosty signs and chaps of age,
Grave witnesses of true experience,
Cannot induce you to attend my

words, Speak, Rome's dear friend ; [To Lucius.] as erst

our ancestor, When with his solemn tongue he did discourse, To love-sick Dido's sad attending ear, The story of that baleful burning night, When subtle Greeks surpriz'd king Priam's Troy; Tell us, what Sinon hath bewitch'd our ears, Or who hath brought the fatal engine in,

That gives our Troy, our Rome, the civil wound.. i
My heart is not compact of flint, nor steel ;
Nor can I utter all our bitter grief,
But floods of tears will drown my oratory,
And break my very utterance ; even i'the time
When it should move you to attend me most,
Lending your kind commiseration :
Here is a captain, let him tell the tale ;
Your hearts will throb and weep to hear him speak.

Luc. Then, noble auditory, be it known to you,
That cursed Chiron and Demetrius,
Were they that murdered our emperor's brother ;
And they it were that ravished our sister :
For their fell faults our brothers were beheaded;
Our father's tears despis'd ; and basely cozen'd
Of that true hand, that fought Rome's quarrel out,
And sent her enemies unto the grave.
Lastly, myself unkindly banished,
The gates shut on me, and turn'd weeping out,
To beg relief among Rome's enemies ;
Who drown'd their enmity in my true tears,
And op'd their arms to embrace me as a friend :
And I am the turn’d-forth, be it known to you,
That have preserv'd her welfare in my blood;
And from her bosom took the enemy's point,
Sheathing the steel in my advent'rous body.
Alas ! you know, I am no vaunter, I;
My scars can witness, dumb although they are,
That my report is just, and full of truth.
But, soft; methinks, I do digress too much,
Citing my worthless praise : 0, pardon me;
For when no friends are by, men praise themselves.

« PreviousContinue »