Scene II. Home. A Room in ike Palace.
Enter, from one side, Aaron, Demetrius and
Chiron ; from the other side, young Lucius,
and an Attendant, with a bundle of weapons,
and verses writ upon them.
Chi. Demetrius, here 's the son of Lucius ;
He hath some message to deliver us.
Aar. Ay, some mad message from his mad
Boy. My lords, with all the humbleness I may,
I greet your honours from Andronicus.
[Aside.] And pray the Roman gods confound
you both !
Dem. Gramercy, lovely Lucius : what 's the
Boy. \_Axide.~] That you are both decipher'd,
that 's tbe news,
For villains mark'd with rape. May it please you,
ACT IV., Sc. 2.
My grandsire, well advised, hath sent "by me
The goodliest weapons of his armoury
To gratify your honourable youth,
The hope of Rome ; for so he bade me say ;
And so I do, and with his gifts present
Your lordships, that, whenever you have need,
You may be armed and appointed well :
And so I leave you both : [Aside.'] like bloody
Exeunt young Lucius and Attendant.
Dem. What's here? A scroll; and written
' round about ?
Let 's see :
'[Reads.] ' Integer vitse, scelerisque purus,
Non eget Mauri jaculis, nee arcu.'
Chi. O, 'tis a verse in Horace ; I know it well :
I read it in the grammar long ago.
Aar. Ay, just ; a verse in Horace ; right, you
[Aside.] Now, what a thing it is to be an ass !
Here 's no sound jest ! the old man hath found
their guilt ;
And sends them weapons wrapp'd about with lines,
That wound, beyond their feeling, to the quick.
But were our witty empress well afoot,
She would applaud Andronicus' conceit :
But let her rest in her unrest awhile.
And now, young lords, was 't not a happy star
Led us to Rome, strangers, and more than so,
Captives, to be advanced to this height ?
It did me good, before the palace gate
To brave the tribune in his brother's hearing.
Dem. But me more good, to see so great a lord
Basely insinuate and send us gifts.
Aar. Had he not reason, Lord Demetrius ?
Did you not use his daughter very friendly ?
Dem. I would we had a thousand Roman dames
At such a bay, by turn to serve our lust.
Chi. A charitable wish and full of love.
Aar. Here lacks but your mother for to say
Chi. And that would she for twenty thousand
Dem. Come, let us go ; and pray to all the gods
For our beloved mother in her pains.
Aar. [Aside.] Pray to the devils; the gods
have given us over.
Trumpets sound within.
Dem. Why do the emperor's trumpets nourish
Chi. Belike, for joy the emperor hath a son.
Dem. Soft ! who comes here ?
Enter a Nurse, with a 'blackamoor Child in her
Nur. Good morrow, lords :
O, tell me, did you see Aaron the Moor ?
Aar. Well, more or less, or ne'er a whit at all,
Here Aaron is ; and what with Aaron now?
Nur. O gentle Aaron, we are all undone !
Now help, or woe betide thee evermore !
Aar. Why, what a caterwauling dost thou keep !
What dost thou wrap and fumble in thine arms ?
Nur. 0,thatwhicla I would hide from heaven's
Our empress' shame, and stately Rome's disgrace !
She is deliver'd, lords ; she is deliver'd.
Aar. To whom ?
Nur. I mean, she is brought a-bed.
Aar. Well, God give her good rest! What
hath he sent her ?
Nur. A devil.
Aar. Why, then she is the devil's dam ; a
Nur. A joyless, dismal, black, and sorrowful
Here is the babe, as loathsome as a toad
Amongst the fairest breeders of our clime :
The empress sends it thee, thy stamp, thy seal,
And bids thee christen it with thy dagger's point.
Aar. 'Zounds, ye whore ! is black so base a hue ?
Sweet blowse, you are a beauteous blossom, sure.
Dem. Villain, what hast thou done ?
Aar. That which thou canst not undo.
Chi. Thou hast undone our mother.
Aar. Villain, I have done thy mother.
Dem. And therein, hellish dog, thou hast un-
Woe to her chance, and damn' d her loathed choice!
Accursed the offspring of so foul a fiend !
Chi. It shall not live.
Aar. It shall not die.
Nur. Aaron, it must ; the mother wills it so.
Aar. What, must it, nurse? then let no man but I
Do execution on my flesh and blood.
Dem. I '11 broach the tadpole on my rapier's
Nurse, give it me ; my sword shall soon dispatch it.
Aar. Sooner this sword shall plough thy bowels
up. Takes the Child from the Nurse,
Stay, murderous villains ! will you kill your
Now, by the burning tapers of the sky,
That shone so brightly when this boy was got,
He dies upon my scimitar's sharp point
That touches this my first-born son and heir !
I tell you, younglings, not Enceladus,
With all his threatening band of Typhon's brood,
Nor great Alcides, nor the god of war,
Shall seize this prey out of his father's hands.
What, what, ye sanguine, shallow-hearted boys !
Ye white-limed walls ! ye alehouse painted signs !
Coal-black is better than another hue,
In that it scorns to bear another hue ;
For all the water in the ocean
Can never turn the swan's black legs to white,
Although she lave them hourly in the flood.
Tell the empress from me, I am of age
To keep mine own, excuse it how she can.
Dem. Wilt thou betray thy noble mistress thus ?
Aar. My mistress is my mistress ; this myself,
The vigour and the picture of my youth :
This before all the world do I prefer ;
This maugre all the world will I keep safe,
Or some of you shall smoke for it in Rome.
Dem. By this our mother is for ever shamed.
Chi. Rome will despise her for this foul escape.
Nur. The emperor, in his rage, will doom her
Chi. I blush to think upon this ignomy.
Aar. Why, there 's the privilege your beauty
Fie, treacherous hue, that will betray with
The close enacts and counsels of the heart !
Here 's a young lad framed of another leer :
Look, how the black slave smiles upon the father,
ACT IV., Sc. 3.
As who should say, Old lad, I am thine own.
He is your brother, lords, sensibly fed
Of that self -blood that first gave life to you,
And from that womb where you imprison' d were
He is enfranchised and come to light :
Nay, he is your brother by the surer side,
Although my seal be stamped in his face.
Nur. Aaron, what shall I say unto the empress ?
Dem. Advise thee, Aaron, what is to be done,
And we will all subscribe to thy advice :
Save thou the child, so we may all be safe.
Aar. Then sit we down, and let us all consult.
My son and I will have the wind of you :
Keep there : now talk at pleasure of your safety.
_ They sit.
Dem. How many women saw this child of his ?
Aar. Why, so, brave lords ! when we join in
I am a lamb : but if you brave the Moor,
The chafed boar, the mountain lioness,
The ocean swells not so as Aaron storms.
But say, again, how many saw the child ?
Nur. Cornelia the midwife and myself ;
And no one else but the deliver'd empress.
Aar. The empress, the midwife, and yourself :
Two may keep counsel when the third 's away :
Go to the empress, tell her this I said.
He kills the Nurse.
Weke, weke ! so cries a pig prepared to the spit.
Dem. What mean'st thou, Aaron? wherefore
didst thou this ?
Aar. O Lord, sir, 'tis a deed of policy :
Shall she live to betray this guilt of ours,
A long-tongued babbling gossip ? no, lords, no :
And now be it known to you my full intent.
Not far, one Muli lives, my countryman ;
His wife but yesternight was brought to bed ;
His child is like to her, fair as you are :
Go pack with him, and give the mother gold,
And tell them both the circumstance of all ;
And how by this their child shall be advanced,
And be received for the emperor's heir,
And substituted in the place of mine,
To calm this tempest whirling in the court ;
And let the emperor dandle him for his own.
Hark ye, lords ; ye see I have given her physic,
Pointing to the Nurse.
And you must needs bestow her funeral ;
The fields are near, and you are gallant grooms :
This done, see that you take no longer days,
But send the midwife presently to me.
The midwife and the nurse well made away,
Then let the ladies tattle what they please.
Chi. Aaron, I see thou wilt not trust the air
Dem. For this care of Tamora,
Herself and hers are highly bound to thee.
Exeunt Dem. and Chi. hearing off the
Aar. Now to the Goths, as swift as swallow flies ;
There to dispose this treasure in mine arms,
And secretly to greet the empress' friends.
Come on, you thick-lipp'd slave, I '11 bear you
For it is you that puts us to our shifts :
I '11 make you feed on berries and on roots,
And feed on curds and whey, and suck the goat,
And cabin in a cave, and bring you up
To be a warrior, and command a camp. Exit.
Scene III. Pome. A Public Place.
Enter Titus, bearing arrows with letters at the
ends of them; ivith him, Marcus, young Lucius,
Publius, Sempronius, Gains and other Gentle-
men, with boivs.
Tit. Come, Marcus ; come, kinsmen ; this is
Sir boy, now let me see your archery ;
Look ye draw home enough, and 'tis there straight.
Terras Astrsea reliquit :
Be you remember 'd, Marcus, she 's gone, she 's fled.
Sirs, take you to your tools. You, cousins, shall
Go sound the ocean, and cast your nets ;
Happily you may catch her in the sea ;
Yet there 's as little justice as at land :
No ; Publius and Sempronius, you must do it ;
'Tis you must dig with mattock and with spade,
And pierce the inmost centre of the earth :
Then, when you come to Pluto's region,
I pray you, deliver him this petition ;
Tell him, it is for justice and for aid,
And that it comes from old Andronicus,
Shaken with sorrows in ungrateful Rome.
Ah, Kome ! Well, well ; I made thee miserable
What time I threw the people's suffrages
On him that thus doth tyrannize o'er me.
Go, get you gone ; and pray be careful all,
And leave you not a man-of-war unsearch'd :
This wicked emperor may have shipp'd her hence ;
And, kinsmen, then we may go pipe for justice.
Marc. O Publius, is not this a heavy case,
To see thy noble uncle thus distract ?
Pub. Therefore, my lord, it highly us concerns
By day and night to attend him carefully,
And feed his humour kindly as we may,
Till time beget some careful remedy.
Marc. Kinsmen, his sorrows are past remedy.
Join with the Goths ; and with revengeful war
Take wreak on Rome for this ingratitude,
And vengeance on the traitor Saturnine.
Tit. Publius, how now ! how now, my masters !
What, have you met with her ?
Pub. No, my good lord; but Pluto sends you
If you Avill have Revenge from hell, you shall :
Marry, for Justice, she is so employ'd,
He thinks, with Jove in heaven, or somewhere
So that perforce you must needs stay a time.
Tit. He doth me wrong to feed me with delays.
I '11 dive into the burning lake below,
And pull her out of Acheron by the heels.
Marcus, we are but shrubs, no cedars we,
No big-boned men framed of the Cyclops' size ;
But metal, Marcus, steel to the very back,
Yet wrung with -wrongs more than our backs can
And, sith there 's no justice in earth nor hell,
We will solicit heaven arid move the gods
To send down Justice for to wreak our wrongs.
Come, to this gear. You are a good archer,
Marcus ; He gives them the arroivs.
Ad Jovem, that 's for you : here, Ad Apoliinem :
Ad Mart em, that 's for myself :
Here, boy, to Pallas : here, to Mercury :
To Saturn, Caius, not to Saturnine ;
You were as good to shoot against the wind.
To it, boy ! Marcus, loose when I bid.
ACT IV., Sc. 4.
Of my word, I have written to effect;
There 's not a god left unsolicited.
Marc. Kinsmen, shoot all your shafts into the
We will afflict the emperor in his pride.
Tit. Now, masters, draw. [They shoot.] 0,
well said, Lucius !
Good boy, in Virgo's lap ; give it Pallas.
Marc. My lord, I aim a mile beyond the moon ;
Your letter is with Jupiter by this.
Tit. Ha, ha !
Publius, Publius, what hast thou done ?
See, see, thou hast shot off one of Taurus' horns.
Marc. This was the sport, my lord : when
The Bull, being gall'd, gave Aries such a knock
That down fell both the Ram's horns in the court ;
And who should find them but the empress' villain?
She laugh' d, and told the Moor he should not
But give them to his master for a present.
Tit. Why, there it goes : God give his lordship
Enter the Clown, with a basket, and two pigeons
News, news from heaven ! Marcus, the post is
Sirrah, what tidings ? have you any letters ?
Shall I have justice ? what says Jupiter ?
Clo. 0, the gibbet-maker ! he says that he hath
taken them down again, for the man must not be
hanged till the next week.
Tit . But what says Jupiter, I ask thee ?
Clo. Alas, sir, I know not Jupiter; I never
drank with him in all my life.
Tit. Why, villain, art not thou the carrier?
Clo. Ay, of my pigeons, sir ; nothing else.
Tit. Why, didst thou not come from heaven ?
Clo. From heaven ! alas, sir, I never came
there : God forbid I should be so bold to press to
heaven in my young days. Why, I am going with
my pigeons to the tribunal plebs, to take up a
matter of brawl betwixt my uncle and one of the
Marc. Why, sir, that is as fit as can be to serve
for your oration ; and let him deliver the pigeons
to the emperor from you.
Tit. Tell me, can you deliver an oration to the
emperor with a grace ?
Clo. Nay, truly, sir, I could never say grace in
all my life.
Tit.^ Sirrah, come hither : make no more ado,
But give your pigeons to the emperor :
By me thou shalt have justice at his hands.
Hold, hold ; meanwhile here 's money for thy
Give me pen and ink.
Sirrah, can you with a grace deliver a suppli-
Clo. Ay, sir.
Tit. Then here is a supplication for you. And
when you come to him, at the first approach you
must kneel, then kiss his foot, then deliver up
four pigeons, and then look for your reward.
'11 be at hand, sir ; see you do it bravely.
Clo. I warrant you, sir, let me alone.
Tit. Sirrah, hast thou a knife ? come, let me
Here, Marcus, fold it in the oration ;
For thou hast made it like an humble suppliant.
And when thou hast given it the emperor,
Knock at my door, and tell me what he says.
Clo. God be with you, sir ; I will.
Tit. Come, Marcus, let us go. Publius, follow
Scene IV. Rome. Before the Palace.
Enter Saturninus, Tamora, Demetrius, Chiron,
Lords, and others ; Saturninus brings the
arrows in his hand that Titus shot at him.
Sat. Why, lords, what wrongs are these ! was
An emperor in Rome thus overborne,
Troubled, confronted thus ; and, for the extent
Of egal justice, used in such contempt ?
My lords, you know, as know the mightful gods,
However these disturbers of our peace
Buzz in the people's ears, there nought hath pass'd,
But even with law, against the wilful sons
Of old Andronicus. And what an if
His sorrows have so overwhelm'd his wits,
Shall we be thus afflicted in his wreaks,
His fits, his frenzy, and his bitterness ?
And now he writes to heaven for his redress :
See, here's to Jove, and this to Mercury ;
This to Apollo ; this to the god of war ;
Sweet scrolls to fly about the streets of Rome !
What 's this but libelling against the senate,
And blazoning our injustice every where?
A goodly humour, is it not, my lords ?
As who would say, in Rome no justice were.
But if I live, his feigned ecstacies
Shall be no shelter to these outrages :
But he and his shall know that justice lives
In Saturninus' health, whom, if she sleep,
He '11 so awake as she in fury shall
Cut off the proud' st conspirator that lives.
Tarn. My gracious lord, my lovely Saturnine,
Lord of my life, commander of my thoughts,
Calm thee, and bear the faults of Titus' age,
The effects of sorrow for his valiant sons,
Whose loss hath pierced him deep and scarr'dhis
And rather comfort his distressed plight
Than prosecute the meanest or the best
For these contempts. [Aside.] Why, thus it
High-witted Tamora to gloze with all :
But, Titus, I have touch'd thee to the quick,
Thy life-blood out : if Aaron now be wise,
Then is all safe, the anchor 's in the port.
How now, good fellow ! wouldst thou speak with
Clo. Yea, forsooth, an your mistership be
Tarn. Empress I am, but yonder sits the em-
Clo. 'Tis he. God and Saint Stephen give you
good den : I have brought you a letter and a
couple of pigeons here.
Saturninus reads the letter.
Sat. Go, take him away, andhang him presently.
Clo. How much money must I have ?
Tarn. Come, sirrah, you must be hanged.
ACT V., Sc. 1.
Clo. Hanged ! by 'r lady, then I have brought
up a neck to a fair end. Exit, guarded.
Sat. Despiteful and intolerable wrongs !
Shall I endure this monstrous villainy ?
I know from, whence this same device proceeds :
May this be borne ? as if his traitorous sons,
That died by law for murder of our brother,
Have by my means been butcher' d wrongfully !
Go, drag the villain hither by the hair ;
Nor age nor honour shall shape privilege :
For this proud mock I '11 be thy slaughter-man ;
Sly frantic wretch, that holp'st to make me great,
In hope thyself should govern Rome and me.
What news with thee, JEmilius ?
JEmi. Arm, arm, my lord ; Rome never had
The Goths have gather' d head ; and with a power
Of high-resolved men, bent to the spoil,
They hither march amain, under conduct
Of Lucius, son to old Andronicus ;
Who threats, in course of this revenge, to do
As much as ever Coriolanus did.
Sat. Is warlike Lucius general of the Goths ?
These tidings nip me, and I hang the head
As flowers with frost or grass beat down with
Ay, now begin our sorrows to approach :
'Tis he the common people love so much ;
Myself hath often over-heard them say,
When I have walked like a private man,
That Lucius' banishment was wrongfully,
And they have wish'd that Lucius were their
Tarn. Why should you fear ? is not your city
Sat. Ay, but the citizens favour Lucius,
And will revolt from me to succour him.
Tarn. King, be thy thoughts imperious, like
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 stint their melody :
Even so mayst 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.
Tarn. 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.
[To ^Jmilius.] Go thou before, be our ambas-
Say that the emperor requests a parley
Of warlike Lucius, and appoint the meeting
Even at his father's house, the old Andronicus.
Sat. ^Bmilius, do this message honourably :
And if he stand on hostage for his safety,
Bid him demand what pledge will please him best.
Mmi. Your bidding shall I do effectually.
Tarn. 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 successantly, and plead to him.
Scene I. Plains near Some.
Enter Lucius with an army of Goths, with drum
Luc. Approved warriors, and my faithful
I have received letters from great Rome,
Which signify what hate they bear their emperor
And how desirous of our sight they are.
Therefore, great lords, be, as your titles witness,
Imperious and impatient of your wrongs,
And wherein Rome hath done you any scath,
Let him make treble satisfaction.
1 Goth. Brave slip, sprung from the great
Whose name was once our terror, now our com-
Whose high exploits and honourable deeds
Ingrateful Rome requites with foul contempt,
Be bold in us : we '11 follow where thou lead'st,
Like stinging bees in hottest summer's day
Led by their master to the flowered fields,
And be avenged on cursed Tamora.
All the Goths. And as he saith, so say we all
Luc. I humbly thank him, and I thank you all.
But who comes here, led by a lusty Goth?
Enter a Goth, leading of Aaron with his Child
in his arms.
2 Goth. Renowned Lucius, from our troops I
To gaze upon a ruinous monastery ;
And, as I earnestly did fix mine eye
Upon the wasted building, suddenly
I heard a child cry underneath a wall.
I made unto the noise ; when soon I heard
The crying babe controlled with this discourse :
Peace, taivny slave, half me and half thy dam !
Did not thy hue bewray ivhose brat thou art,
Had nature lent thee but thy mother's look,
Villain, thou mightst have been an emperor :
But -where the bull and coiv are both milk-white.
They never do beget a coal-black calf.
Peace, villain, peace ! even thus he rates the
For I must bear thee to a trusty Goth ;
Who, when he knows thou art the empress' babe,
Will hold thee dearly for thy mother's sake.
With this, my weapon drawn, I rush'dupon him,
Surprised him suddenly, and brought him hither,
To use as you think needful of the man.
Luc. O worthy Goth, this is the incarnate devil
That robb'd Andronicus of his good hand ;
This is the pearl that pleased your empress' eye,
And here 's the base fruit of his burning lust.
Say, wall-eyed slave, whither wouldst thou convey
ACT V., Sc. 1.
This growing image of thy fiend-like face ?
Why dost not speak ? what, deaf ? not a word ?
A halter, soldiers ! hang him on this tree,
And by his side his fruit of bastardy.
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 made
Aar. Lucius, save the child,
And bear it from me to the empress.
If thou do this, I '11 show thee wondrous things,
That highly may advantage thee to hear :
If thou wilt not, befall what may befall,
I '11 speak no more but Vengeance rot you all !
Luc. Say on : an if it please me which thou
Thy child shall live, and I will see it nourish'd.
Aar. An if it please thee ! why, assure thee,
'Twill vex thy soul to hear what I shall speak ;
For I must talk of murders, rapes and massacres,
Acts of black night, abominable deeds,
Complots of mischief, treason, villainies
Ruthful to hear, yet piteously perform'd :
And this shall all be buried by my death.
Unless thou swear to me my child shall live.
Luc. Tell on thy mind ; I say thy child shall live.
Aar. Swear that he shall, and then I will begin.
Luc. Who should I swear by? thou believest no
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 '11 urge him : therefore thou shalt vow
By that same god, what god soe'er it be,
That thou adorest 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 em-
Luc. O most insatiate and luxurious woman !
Aar. Tut, Lucius, this was but a deed of charity
To that which thou shalt hear of me anon.
'Twas her two sons that murder'd Bassianus ;
They cut thy sister's tongue and ravish'd her
And cut her hands and trimm'd her as thou saw'st.
Luc. O detestable villain ! call'st thou that
Aar. Why, she was wash'd and cut and trimm'd,
Trim sport for them that had the doing of it.
Luc. O barbarous, beastly villains, like thyself !
Aar. Indeed, I was their tutor to in struct them :
That codding spirit had they from their mother,
As sure a card as ever won the set ;