What will whole months of tears thy father's eyes ?
Do not draw back, for we will mourn with thee :
0, could our mourning ease thy misery ! Exeunt.
Scene I. Home. A Street.
Enter Judges, Senators and Tribunes, with Mar-
tius and Quintiis, bound, passing on to the place
of execution ; Titus going before, pleading.
Tit. Hear me, grave fathers ! noble tribunes,
For pity of mine age, whose youth was spent
In dangerous wars, whilst you securely slept ;
For all my blood in Rome's great quarrel shed;
For all the frosty nights that I have watch' d;
And for these bitter tears, which now you see
Filling the aged wrinkles in my cheeks. ;
Be pitiful to my condemned sons,
Whose souls are not corrupted as 'tis thought.
For two and twenty sons I never wept,
Because they died in honour's lofty bed.
Lieth down; the Judges, J^c. pass him by,
For these, these, tribunes, in the dust I write
My heart's deep languor and my soul's sad tears :
Let my tears stanch the earth's dry appetite ;
My sons' sweet blood will make it shame and blush.
O earth, I will befriend thee more with rain,
That shall distil from these two ancient urns,
Than youthful April shall with all his showers :
In summer's drought I '11 drop upon thee still ;
In winter with warm tears I '11 melt the snow,
And keep eternal spring-time on thy face,
So thou refuse to drink my dear sons' blood.
Enter Lucius, ivith his sword drawn.
reverend tribunes ! gentle, aged men !
Unbind my sons, reverse the doom of death ;
And let me say, that never wept before,
My tears are now prevailing orators.
Luc. O noble father, you lament in vain :
The tribunes hear you not ; no man is by ;
And you recount your sorrows to a stone.
Tit. Ah, Lucius, for thy brothers let me plead.
Grave tribunes, once more I entreat of you,
Luc. My gracious lord, no tribune hears you
Tit. Why, 'tis no matter, man : if they did hear,
They would not mark me, or if they did mark,
They would not pity me, yet plead I must ;
And bootless unto them
Therefore I tell my sorrows to the stones ;
Who, though they cannot answer my distress,
Yet in some sort they are better than the tribunes,
For that they will not intercept my tale :
When I do weep, they humbly at my feet
Keceive my tears and seem to weep with me ;
And, were they but attired in grave weeds,
Eome could afford no tribune like to these.
A stone is soft as wax, tribunes more hard than
A stone is silent, and offendeth not,
And tribunes with their tongues doom men to
But wherefore stand'st thou with thy weapon
Luc. To rescue my two brothers from their
For which attempt the judges have pronounced
My everlasting doom of banishment.
Tit. O happy man ! they have befriended thee.
Why, foolish Lucius, dost thou not perceive
That Rome is but a wilderness of tigers ?
Tigers must prey, and Rome affords no prey
But me and mine : how happy art thou, ther,
From these devourers to be banished !
But who comes with our brother Marcus here ?
Enter Marcus and Lavinia.
Marc. Titus, prepare thy aged eyes to weep ;
Or, if not so, thy noble heart to break :
1 bring consuming sorrow to thine age.
Tit. Will it consume me ? let me see it, then.
Marc. This was thy daughter.
Tit. Why, Marcus, so she is.
Luc. Ay me, this object kills me !
Tit. Faint-hearted boy, arise, and look upon her.
Speak, Larinia, what accursed hand
Hath made thee handless in thy father's sight ?
What fool hath added water to the sea,
Or brought a faggot to bright-burning Troy ?
My grief was at the height before thou earnest,
And now, like Nilus, it disdaineth bounds.
Give me a sword, I '11 chop off my hands too ;
For they have fought for Rome, and all in vaiu ;
ACT III., Sc. 1.
And they have nursed this woe, in feeding life ;
In bootless prayer have they been held up,
And they have served me to effectless use :
Now all the service I require of them
F.s that the one will help to cut the other.
Tis well, Larinia, that thou hast no hand's ;
For hands, to do Rome service, are but vain.
Luc. Speak, gentle sister, who hath martyr'd
Marc. O, that delightful engine of her thoughts,
That blabb'd them with such pleasing eloquence,
I -! torn from forth that pretty hollow cage,
\Vhere, like a sweet melodious bird, it sung
oweet varied notes, enchanting every ear \
Luc. O, say thou for her, who hath done this
Marc. O, thus I found her, straying in the park,
Seeking to hide herself, as doth the deer
That hath received 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 my 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 OH her cheeks, as doth the honey-dew
Upon a gather'd lily almost wither'd.
Marc. Perchance she weeps because they kill'd
her husband ;
Perchance because she knows them innocent.
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, as 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 clear-
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
See how my wretched sister sobs and weeps.
Marc. Patience, dear niece. Good Titus, dry
Tit. Ah, Marcus, Marcus \ brother, well I wot
Thy napkin cannot drink a tear of mine,
For thou, poor man, hast drown'd it with thine
Luc. Ah, my Lavinia, I will wipe thy cheeks.
Tit. MaA, Marcus, mark ! I understand her
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 !
Aar. Titus Andronicus, my lord the emperor
Sends thee this word, that, if thou love thy sons,
Let Marcus, Lucius, or thyself, old Titus,
Or any one of you, chop off your hand,
And send it to the king : he for the same
Will send thee hither both thy sons alive ;
And that shall be the ransom for their fault.
Tit. gracious emperor ! O gentle Aaron ! .
Did ever raven sing so like a lark,
That gives sweet tidings of the sun's uprise ?
With all my heart, I '11 send the emperor
My hand :
Good Aaron, wilt thou help to chop it off ?
Luc. Stay, father ! for that noble hand of thine,
That hath thrown down so many enemies,
Shall not be sent : my hand will serve the turn :
My youth can better spare my blood than you ;
And therefore mine shall save my brothers' lives.
Marc. Which of your hands hath not defended
And rear'd aloft the bloody battle-axe,
Writing destruction on the enemy's castle ?
O, none of both but are of high desert :
My hand hath been but idle ; let it serve
To ransom my two nephews from their death ;
Then have I kept it to a worthy end.
Aar. Nay, come, agree whose hand shall go
For fear they die before their pardon come.
Marc. My hand shall go.
Luc. By heaven, it shall not go I
Tit. Sirs, strive no more : such wither'd herbs
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.
Marc. And, for our father's sake and mother's
Now let me show a brother's love to thee.
Tit. Agree between you ; I will spare my hand.
Luc. Then I '11 go fetch an axe.
Marc. But I will use the axe.
Exeunt Lucius and Marcus.
Tit. Come hither, Aaron ; I '11 deceive them
Lend me thy hand, and I will give thee mine.
Aar. [Asi'de.] If that be call'd deceit, I will be
And never, whilst I live, deceire men so :
But I '11 deceive you in another sort,
And that you '11 say, ere half an hour pass.
Cuts off Titus' s hand.
ACT III., Sc. 2.
Re-enter Lucius and Marcus.
Tit. Now stay your strife : what shall be is
Good Aaron, give his majesty my hand :
Tell him it was a hand that warded him
From thousand dangers ; bid him bury it ;
More hath it merited ; that let it have.
As for my sons, say I account of them
As jewels purchased at an easy price ;
And yet dear too, because I bought mine own.
Aar. I go, Andronicus : and for thy hand
Look by and by to have thy sons with thee.
[Aside.'] Their heads, I mean. 0, how this villainy
Doth fat me with the very thoughts of it !
Let fools do good, and fair men call for grace,
Aaron will have his soul black like his face. Exit.
Tit. 0, here I lift this one hand up to heaven,
And bow this feeble ruin to the earth :
If any power pities wretched tears,
To that I call ! [To Lav.'} What, wilt thou kneel
with me ?
Do, then, dear heart ; for heaven shall hear our
Or with our sighs we '11 breathe the welkin dim,
And stain the sun with fog, as sometime clouds
When they do hug him in their melting bosoms.
Marc. O brother, speak with possibilities,
And do not break into these deep extremes.
Tit. Is not my sorrow deep, having no bottom ?
Then be my passions bottomless with them.
Marc. But yet let reason govern thy lament.
Tit. If there were reason for these miseries,
Then into limits could I bind my woes :
When heaven doth weep, doth not the earth
If the winds rage, doth not the sea Avax mad,
Threatening the welkin with his big-swoln face ?
And wilt thou have a reason for this coil ?
I am the sea ; hark, how her sighs do blow !
She is the weeping welkin, I the earth :
Then must my sea be moved with her sighs ;
Then must my earth with her continual tears
Become a deluge, overflow'd and drown'd;
For why my bowels cannot hide her woes,
But like a drunkard must I vomit them.
Then give me leave, for losers will have leave
To ease their stomachs with their bitter tongues.
Enter a Messenger, with hco heads and a hand.
Mes. Worthy Andronicus, ill art thou repaid
For that good hand thou sent'st the emperor.
Here are the heads of thy two noble sons ;
And here 's thy hand, in scorn to thee sent back ;
Thy griefs their sports, thy resolution mock'd ;
That woe is me to think upon thy woes
More than remembrance of my father's death.
Marc. Now let hot JEtna cool in Sicily,
And be my heart an ever-burning hell !
These miseries are more than may be borne.
To weep with them that weep doth ease some deal ;
But sorrow flouted at is double death.
Luc. Ah, that this sight should make so deep a
And yet detested life not shrink thereat !
That ever death should let life bear his name,
Where life hath no more interest but to breathe !
Lavinia Jcisses Titus.
Marc. Alas, poor heart, that kiss is comfortless
As frozen water to a starved snake.
Tit. When will this fearful slumber have an end?
Marc. Now, farewell, flattery : die, Andronicus ;
Thou dost not slumber : see, thy two sons' heads,
Thy warlike hand, thy mangled daughter here ;
Thy other banished son, with this dear sight
Struck pale and bloodless ; and thy brother, I,
Even like a stony image, cold and numb.
Ah, now no more will 1 control thy griefs :
Rend off thy silver hair, thy other hand
Gnawing with thy teeth ; and be this dismal sight
The closing up of our most wretched eyes :
Now is a time to storm ; why art thou still ?
Tit. Ha, ha, ha !
Marc. Why dost thou laugh ? it fits not with
Tit. Why, I have not another tear to shed :
Besides, this sorrow is an enemy,
And would usurp upon my watery eyes,
And make them blind with tributary tears :
Then which way shall I find Revenge's cave ?
For these two heads do seem to speak to me,
And threat me I shall never come to bliss
Till all these mischiefs be return' d again
Even in their throats that have committed them.
Come, let me see what task I have to do.
You heavy people, circle me about,
That I may turn me to each one of you,
And swear unto my soul to right your wrongs.
The vow is made. Come, brother, take a head ;
And in this hand the other will I bear.
Lavinia, thou shalt be employ 'd : these arms !
Bear thou my hand, sweet wench, between thy
As for thee, boy, go get thee from my sight ;
Thou art an exile, and thou must not stay :
Hie to the Goths, and raise an army there :
And, if you love me, as I think you do,
Let 's kiss and part, for we have much to do.
Exeunt Titus, Marcus and Lavinia.
Luc. Farewell, Andronicus, my noble father,
The wofull'st man that ever lived in Rome :
Farewell, proud Rome ; till Lucius come again,
He leaves his pledges dearer than his life :
Farewell, Lavinia, my noble sister ;
0, would thou wert as thou tofore hast been !
j But now nor Lucius nor Lavinia lives
! But in oblivion and hateful griefs.
If Lucius live, he will requite your wrongs ;
5 And make proud Saturnine and his empress
i Beg at the gates, like Tarquin and his queen.
Now will I to the Goths, and raise a power,
To be revenged on Rome and Saturnine. Exit.
Scene II. A Room in Titus' s House. A
banquet set out.
Enter Titus, Marcus, Lavinia and young
Lucius, a Boy.
Tit. So, so ; now sit : and look you eat no more
Than will preserve just so much strength in us
As will revenge these bitter woes of ours.
Marcus, unknit that sorrow-wreathen knot :
Thy niece and I, poor creatures, want our hands,
And cannot passionate our tenfold grief
With folded arms. This poor right hand of mine
Is left to tyrannize upon my breast ;
Who, when my heart, all mad with misery,
ACT IV., Sc. 1.
Beats in this hollow prison of my flesh,
Then thus I thump it down.
[To Lavinia.'] Thou map of woe, that thus dost
talk in signs !
When thy poor heart beats with outrageous
Thou canst not strike it thus to make it still.
Wound it with sighing, girl, kill it with groans ;
Or get some little knife between thy teeth,
And just against thy heart make thou a hole ;
That all the tears that thy poor eyes let fall
May run into that sink, and soaking in
Drown the lamenting fool in sea-salt tears.
Marc. Fie, brother, fie ! teach her not thus to lay
Such violent hands upon her tender life.
Tit. How now ! has sorrow made thee dote
Why, Marcus, no man should be mad but I.
What violent hands can she lay on her life ?
Ah, wherefore dost thou urge the name of hands;
To bid yfineas tell the tale twice o'er,
How Troy was burnt and he made miserable ?
O, handle not the theme, to talk of hands,
Lest we remember still that we have none.
Fie, fie, how franticly I square my talk,
As if we should forget we had no hands,
If Marcus did not name the word of hands !
She says she drinks no other drink but tears,
Brew'd with her sorrow, mesh'd upon her cheeks :
Speechless complainer, I will learn thy thought ;
In thy dumb action will I be as perfect
As begging hermits in their holy prayers :
Thou shalt not sigh, nor hold thy stumps to
Nor wink, nor nod, nor kneel, nor make a sign,
But I of these will wrest an alphabet
And by still practice learn to know thy meaning.
Boy. Good grandsire, leave these bitter deep
Make my aunt merry with some pleasing tale.
Marc. Alas, the tender boy, in passion moved,
Doth weep to see his grandsire's heaviness.
Tit. Peace, tender sapling ; thou art made of
And tears will quickly melt thy life away.
Marcus strikes the dish with a knife.
What dost thou strike at, Marcus, with thy knife ?
Marc. At that that I have kill'd, my lord ; a fly.
Tit. Out on thee, murderer ! thou kill'st my
Mine eyes are cloy'd with view of tyranny :
A deed of death done on the innocent
Becomes not Titus' brother : get thee gone ;
I see thou art not for my company.
Marc. Alas, my lord, I have but kill'd a fly.
Tit. But how, if that fly had a father and
How would he hang his slender gilded wings,
And buzz lamenting doings in the air !
Poor harmless fly,
That, with his pretty buzzing melody,
Came here to make us merry ! and thou hast
Marc. Pardon me, sir; it was a black ill-
favour 'd fly,
Like to the empress' Moor ; therefore I kill'd him.
Tit. O, 0, 0,
Then pardon me for reprehending thee,
For thou hast done a charitable deed.
Give me thy knife, I will insult on him ;
Flattering myself, as if it were the Moor
Come hither purposely to poison me.
There 's for thyself, and that 's for Tamora.
Ah, sirrah !
Yet, I think, we are not brought so low,
But that between us we can kill a fly
That comes in likeness of a coal-black Moor.
Marc. Alas, poor man ! grief has so wrought
He takes false shadows for true substances.
Tit. Come, take away. Lavinia, go with me :
I '11 to thy closet ; and go read with thee
Sad stories chanced in the times of old.
Come, boy, and go with me : thy sight is young,
And thou shalt read when mine begin to dazzle.
Scene /. Rome. Titus's Garden.
Enter young Lucius, and Lavinia running after
him, and the boy flies from her, with books
under his arm. Then enter Titus and Marcus.
Boy. Help, grandsire, help ! my aunt Lavinia
Follows me every where, I know not why :
Good uncle Marcus, see how swift she comes.
Alas, sweet aunt, I know not what you mean.
Marc. Stand by me, Lucius ; do not fear thine
Tit. She loves thee, boy, too well to do thee
Boy. Ay, when my father was in Rome she did.
Marc. What means my niece Lavinia by these
Tit. Fear her not, Lucius : somewhat doth she
See, Lucius, see how much she makes of thee :
Somewhither would she have thee go with her.
Ah, boy, Cornelia never with more care
Read to her sons than she hath read to thee
Sweet poetry and Tully's Orator.
Marc. Canst thou not guess wherefore she plies
thee thus ?
Boy. My lord, I know not, I, nor can I guess,
Unless some fit or frenzy do possess her :
For I have heard my grandsire say full oft,
Extremity of griefs would make men mad ;
And I have read that Hecuba of Troy
Ran mad for sorrow : that made me to fear ;
Although, my lord, I know my noble aunt
Loves me as dear as e'er my mother did,
And would not, but in fury, fright my youth :
Which made me down to throw my books, and
Causeless, perhaps. But pardon me, sweet aunt :
And, madam, if my uncle Marcus go,
I will most willingly attend your ladyship.
Marc. Lucius, I will.
Lavinia turns over with her stumps the
books which Lucius has let fall.
Tit. How now, Lavinia ! Marcus, what means
ACT IV., Sc. 2.
Some book there is that she desires to see.
Which is it, girl, of these ? Open them, boy.
But thou art deeper read, and better skill'd :
Come, and take choice of all my library,
And so beguile thy sorrow, till the heavens
Reveal the damn'd contriver of this deed.
Why lifts she up her arms in sequence thus ?
Marc. I think she means that there was more
Confederate in the fact : ay, more there was ;
Or else to heaven she heaves them for revenge.
Tit. Lucius, what book is that she tosseth so ?
Boy. Grandsire, 'tis Ovid's Metamorphoses ;
My mother gave it me.
Marc. For love of her that 's gone,
Perhaps she cull'd it from among the rest.
Tit. Soft ! see how busily she turns the leaves !
What would she find ? Lavinia, shall I read ?
This is the tragic tale of Philomel,
And treats of Tereus' treason and his rape ;
And rape, I fear, was root of thine annoy.
Marc. See, brother, see ; note how she quotes
Tit. Lavinia, wert thou thus surprised, sweet
Ravish'd and wrong'd, as Philomela was,
Forced in the ruthless, vast, and gloomy woods ?
See, see !
Ay, such a place there is, where we did hunt
O, had we never, never hunted there !
Pattern' d by that the poet here describes,
By nature made for murders and for rapes.
Marc. 0, why should nature build so foul a den,
Unless the gods delight in tragedies ?
Tit. Give signs, sweet girl, for here are none
What Roman lord it was durst do the deed :
Or slunk not Saturnine, as Tarquin erst,
That left the camp to sin in Lucrece' bed ?
Marc. Sit down, sweet niece : brother, sit
down by me.
Apollo, Pallas, Jove, or Mercury,
Inspire me, that I may this treason find !
My lord, look here : look here, Lavinia :
This sandy plot is plain ; guidfe, if thou canst,
This after me, when I have writ my name
Without the help of any hand at all.
He writes his name with his staff, and guides
it with feet and mouth.
Cursed be that heart that forced us to this shift !
Write thou, good niece ; and here display, at last,
What God will have discover'd for revenge :
Heaven guide thy pen to print thy sorrows plain,
That we may know the traitors and the truth !
She takes the staff in her mouth, and guides
it with her stumps, and writes.
Tit. 0, do ye read, my lord, what she hath writ ?
Stuprum. Chiron. Demetrius.
Marc. What, what ! the lustful sens of Tamora
Performers of this heinous, bloody deed ?
Tit. Magni Dominator poli,
Tarn lentus audis scelera ? tarn lentus vides ?
Marc. O, calm thee, gentle lord ; although I
There is enough written upon this earth
To stir a mutiny in the mildest thoughts
And arm the minds of infants to exclaims.
My lord, kneel down with me ; Lavinia, kneel ;
And kneel, sweet boy, the Roman Hector's hope ;
And swear with me, as, with the woful fere
And father of that chaste dishonour' d dame,
Lord Junius Brutus sware for Lucrece' rape,
That we will prosecute by good advice
Mortal revenge upon these traitorous Goths,
And see their blood, or die with this reproach.
Tit. 'Tis sure enough, an you knew how.
But if you hunt these bear-whelps, then beware :
The dam will wake ; and, if she wind you once,
She 's with the lion deeply still in league,
And lulls him whilst she playeth on her back,
And when he sleeps will she do what she list.
You are a young huntsman, Marcus ; let it alone ;
And, come, I will go get a leaf of brass,
And with a gad of steel will write these words,
And lay it by : the angry northern wind
Will blow these sands, like Sibyl's leaves, abroad,
And where 's your lesson, then ? Boy, what say
Boy. I say, my lord, that if I were a man,
Their mother's bed-chamber should not be safe
For these bad bondmen to the yoke of Rome.
Marc. Ay, that 's my boy ! thy father hath
For his ungrateful country done the like.
Boy. And, uncle, so will I, an if I live.
Tit. Come, go with me into mine armoury ;
Lucius, I '11 fit thee ; and withal, my boy,
Shalt carry from me to the empress' sons
Presents that I intend to send them both :
Come, come ; thou 'It do thy message, wilt thou
Boy. Ay, with my dagger in their bosoms,
Tit. No, boy, not so ; I '11 teach thee another
Lavinia, come. Marcus, look to my house :
Lucius and I '11 go brave it at the court :
Ay, marry, will we, sir ; and we '11 be waited on.
Exeunt Titus, Lavinia and young Lucius.
Marc. O heavens, can you hear a good man
And not relent, or not compassion him ?
Marcus, attend him in his ecstacy,
That hath more scars of sorrow in his heart
Than foemen's marks upon his batter'd shield;
But yet so just that he will not revenge.
Revenge, ye heavens, for old Andronicus ! Exit.