William Michael Rossetti William Shakespeare.

The complete works of Shakespeare: With a critical biography online

. (page 171 of 224)
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Writing destruction on the enemy's castle?
Oh, none oc' both but are of high desert:
My hand hath been but idle; let it serve
To ransom my two nephews from theur deatli ;
Then have 1 kept it to a worthy end.

Aaron, Nay, come, agree whose hand shall go
Por fear they die before their pardon come.

Mure, My hand shall go.

Lue, By heaven, it shall not go!

lU, Sirs, strive no more ; such withered herbs
as these
Are meet for plucxing np, and therefore mine.

Lue, Sweet father, if 1 shall be thought thy son,
Let me redeem my brothers both from death.



Marc And for our father's sake, and mother^ care
Now let me show a brother*s love to thee.

Tit, Agree between you ; I will spare my hand.

Luc Then lUl go fetch an axe.

Marc But I will use the axe.

[Exeunt Lucius and Mabgus.

Tit Come hither, Aaron; nideceiv^hemboth:
Lend me thy hand, and I will give thee mine.

Aaron, If that be call'd deceit, I will be honest,
And never, whilst I live, deceive men so *
But ni deceive you in another sort.
And that youll say, ere half an hour pass. [Aside,
[He cuts of Titus's hand.

Enter Lucius and Marcus.

Tit, Now, stay your strife : what shall be is
despatched :
Good Aaron, give his miyesty my hand,
Tell him, it was a hand that warded him
From thousand *dangers: bid hiin bury it:
More hath it merited, that let it have.
As for my sons, say I account of them
As jewels purcnaa d at an easy price;
And yet dear too, because I bought mine own.

Aaron, I go, Andronicus ; and, for thy4iand.
Look by-and-by to have thy sons with thee.
Their heads I mean : oh, how this villanj|^ [Aside
Doth fat me with the ver^ thoughts of it !
Let fools do good, and fair men call for grace,
Aaron will have his soul black like his face. [Exit,

lit* Oh, here I lift thb one hand up to heaven.
And bow this feeble ruin to the earth :
If any power pities wretched tears.
To that I call : What, wilt thou kneel with me?

[Td Lavinia.
Do, then, dear heart, for heaven shall hear our

Or with our sighs well breathe the welkin dim,
And stain the sun with fog, as sometime clouds.
When they do hug him in their melting bosoms.

Marc Oh brother, speak with possibilities.
And do not break into these deep extremes.

TiL Is not my sorrow deep, having no bottom ?
Then be my passions lK>ttomless with them.

ifarc But yet, let reason govern thy lament.

Tit, If there were reason tor these miseries,
Then into limits could I bind my woes :
When heaven doth weep, doth not the earth o*er-

If the winds rage, doth not the sea wax mad,
Threat*ning the welkin with his big-swoll'n 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, overflowed 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, wiih two heads and a hmd,

Messen, 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 thv woes.
More than remembrance of my father's death

Marc Now let hot ^tna cool in Sicily, ^~^
And lyi my heart an eyer-boming hel|QQ[^


Thesv miseries are more than may be borne.
To weep with them that weep doth ease some deal;
Bat sorrow flouted at is double death.

Luc* Ah, that this sight should make so deep a
And yet detested life not shrink thereat I
That ever death should let life bear his name,
Where life hath no more interest but to breathe I
[Lavinia Id&seB Titus,

Mare, Alas, poor heart, that kiss is comfortless,
As frozen water to a starved snake*

Tit, When will this fearful slumber hayean 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 wi.l I control thy griefs :
Rend oflf thy silver hair, thy other hand
Gnawing with thy teeth; and be this dismal sight
The closing up of our most wretched eyes :
Now b a time to storm ; why art thou still ?

Tii. Ha, ha, ha I

Marc Why dost thoa laugh? it fits not with
this hour.

TU, Wh^, 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,
rill 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.
FoQ heavy people, circle me about,
fhat I may turn me to each one of yon,
And swear onto my soul to right your Mrrongs.
The vow is made. Come, brother, take a h^.
And in this hand the other will I bear.
And, Lav in la, thou shalt be employed in these things.
Bear thou my hand, sweet wench, between thy teeth:
As for thee, boy, go get thee from my sight ;
fhou art an exile, and thou must not stay :
Hie to the Goths, and raise an army there ;
And if you love me, as 1 think you do.
Let's kiss and part, for we have much to do.

\Exewni TiTUS, Marcus, and Laytkia.

Imc Farewell, Andronicus, mj noble father;
Phe wofull'st man that ever livM in Rome:
Farewell, proud Rome, till Lucius come again:
He leaves his pledges, dearer than hb life.
Farewell, L«avinia, my noble sister :
O, would thou wert as thou tofore hast been I
But now, nor Lucius, nor I ovinia, lives
But In oblivion and hateful griefs :
If Lucius live, he will requite your wrongs,
And make proud Saturnine and his empress
Beg at the gates like Tarquin and hb queen.
Now will I to the Goths, and raise a power,
fo be reveng'd on Borne and Saturnine.

[£cijf Lucius.

SCENE 11^-^ Boom in Titns^s Hinm, A banquet

Enter Titub, Marcus, Lavih ia, and Young
Lucius, a boy.

TiL So, so; now sit: and look yon eat no more
Than will preserve just so inuUi strength in us
As will revenue these bitter woes of ours.
Marcus, unkmt that sorrow-wreathen knot *


Thy niece and I^ poor creatures, want onr hands,

And cannot passionate our tenfold grief

With folded anns. Thb poor right hand of mine

Is left to tyrannize upon my breast ;

And when my heart, all mad with misery,

Beats m this hollow prison of my flesh,

Then thus I thump it down.^

Thon map of woe, that thus dost talk in sfgnst

[To Layinia.
When thy j^oot heart beats with ontrageon^

Thon 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 tlion a hole*
That all the tears tliat thy poor eyes let fall
May run into that sink, and, soaking in,
Drown the lamenting fool in sea-salt tears.

Mare. Fie, brother, fie I teach her not thnt to
Such violent hands upon her tender life.

Tit, Uow now I has sorrow made thee dote
Why, Marcus, no man should be mad bnt I.
What violent hands can she lay on her life?
Ah, wherefore dost thou urge the name of I
To bid iEneas 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* —
Fiej fie, how franticly I square my talk 1
As if we should forget we had no hands,
if Marcus did not name the word of hands I —
Come, let's fall to; and, gentle girl, eat this: —
Here b no drink I Hark, Marcus, what she says ;
I can interpret all her martyred signs; —
She says she drinks no otiier drink but tears,
Brew'd with her sorrows, mesh'd upon her cheeks:
Speechless complainer, I will learn thy thought;
In thy dumb action will I be as perfect
As bagging 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 the^^e, 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 moy*d,
Doth weep to see hb grandBire*^ heaviness.

lit. Peace, tender sapling; thou art made of tears,
And tears will quickly melt thy life away. —

[Marcus ttrikea the tUsh with a hnifk.
What dost thou strike at, Marcus, with thy knife?

Marc At that that I have kill'd, my lord ; a fly.

TiL Out on thee, murthererl thou kill%t my
Mine eyes are doy^ 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 mother ?
How would he hang his slender gilded wings.
And buzz lamenting doings in the air
Poor harmless fly !

That, with hb pretty buzzing melody,
Came here to make us merry; and tnon hast kill^

Marc Pardon me, sir ; twas a black Ul-fiyoar^

Like to the empress' Moor ; tberefora I killed him.

7». 0,0,0,

Tlien pardon me for reprehending thee,
For thou hast done a charitable deed.
Give me thy knife, I will insult on him;
Platrerin? myself, as if it were the Moor,
Come hither purposely to poison me. —
There^ for thyself, and that's for Tamorm.—
Ah, sirrah I

Yet I think we are not brought so low,
B' t that, between us, we can kill a fly,
THat comes in likeness of a ooal-blaok Moor.




SCENE h—Brfifn Tltos^ Enm.

Enter Titus and Marcus ; Ihm Toang Lnoius,

and Lavinia, running qfter Aim, the boy flying

fioM ker with hi$ books wuier kii arm.

Boy, Help, grandsire, help! my aunt Lavinia
Follows me everywhere. 1 Know not why.
Good ancle Marcos, see how swift she comes !
Alas, sweet aunt, 1 know not what you mean.

Mare. Stand by me, Lucius; do not fear thy aunt

TU. She loves thee, boy, too well to do thee

Boy. A V, when my fiather was in Rome she did.

Marc what means my niece Lavmia by these

2HL Fear her not, Lndiia: somewhat dolh she
See, Lucius, see, how much she makes of thee:
Somewhither would she have thee go with her.
Ay, boy, Cornelia never with more care
Read to her son than she hath read to thee.
Sweet poetry, and Tally's Orator :
Canst thou not goess wherefore she plies thee

Boy. My lord, I know not, I, nor can I goess,
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 1 have read that Hecuba of Troy
Ran mad through 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 ftiry, fright my youth :
Which made me down to throw my books, and fly,
Oause'ess, perhaps : but pardon me, sweet aunt:
And, madam, if my uncle Marcus go,
I will modt willingly attend year Iwlyihip.

Maro. Lacius, Iwill.

[Lavinia turns over the boots which
Lucius has let fiU.

TU, How now, Lavinia? Marcus, what means
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 thv sorrow, till the heavens
Reveal the damn'd contriver of this deed.
What book?
Whv lifts she up her arms in sequence thus?

Mare, I think she means that then was more
than one
Confederate in the fact ;— ay, more there was:
Or else to beavdh she heaves them for revenge.

J\L Lucius, what book is that she tosseth so?

Soy, Grandsire. *tis Ovid's Metamorphoses;
My mother gave it me.

Mare, For love of her that*s gone,
*erhapa, she called it from among th


I among the rest

Marc. Alas, poor man I grief has so wrought
on him,
He takes false shadows for true substanoes.
Tit. Come, take away. -Lavinia, go with
111 to thy closet ; and ^ read with thee
Sad stories, chanced m the times of old.
Come, boy, and go with me; thy sight is

And thou sludt read, when mine b^^s to



TiL Soft ! How busily she turns the leaves I
Help her: what would she find ? Lavinia, shall 1

This is the tragic tale of Philomel,
And treats of Tereus' treason and his rape;
And rape, I fear, was root of thine annoy.

Mare, See, brother, see; note how she quotes
the leaves.

Tit. Lavinia, wertthou thus surprised, sweet girl,
Ravish'd and wrong*d as Philomela was,
Foro'd in the ruthless, vast, and gloomy woods?
See, see ! Ay, such a place there is where we did

(0 had we never, never hunted there n
Pattern *d by that the poet here descrioes.
By nature made for murthers and for rapes.

Mare. 0, why should nature build so tool a den.
Unless the gods delight in tragedies ?

lit Give si^, sweet girl,— for here are none
but friends, —
What Roman lord it was durst do the deed?
Or slunk not Saturnine, as Tarquin erst,
That left the camp to sin in Lucreoe' bed.

Mare, Sit down, sweet niece; brother, sit down
by me.
Apollo, Palhis, Jove, or Mercury,
Inspire me that I mar this treason find.
My lord, look here ; look here^ Lavinia.

[He writes his name with his staff, andgtddesit
with/eet and mouth.
This sandy plot is plain; guide, if thoa canst,
This, after me. I have writ my name,
Without the help of any hand at all.
Curs'd be that heart tliat forc'd us to this shift I
Write thou, good niece, and here display at last.
What God will have discovered 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 mouthy andguidesit
with her stun^, and writes,

TU. Oh, do ve read, my lord, what ahe bath writ?
** Stuprom, Chiron, Demetrius.**

Mare, What, what I the lustful sons of Tamora,
Performers of this heinous bloody deed ?

Tit. Magni DominatorpoUj
Tam lentus audissoderaf tarn lentus vides f

Mare. Oh, calm thee, gentle lord; although 1
There is enough written upon this earth
To stir a mutiny in the mi dest 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 woeful fere,
And father of that chaste dishonour'd dame,
Lord Junius Brutus sware for Lucrece' rape,—
That we will prosecutft, by good advice,
Mortal revenge upon these traitorous Gotha» p
And see their blood, or die with this reproaqiLS


TU, 'Tis sure enoagti, an yoa knew how;
But if 70U hunt these bear-whelps, then beware:
The dam will wake, and if she wind 70U onoe,
She's with the lion deeply still in lea^e,
And lulls him whilst she playeth on her back,
And when he sleeps will she do what she list.
You are a youn|^ huntsman. Marcus; let it alone ;
And, cotne, I wUl 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 Sibyls' leaves abroad,
And Where's your lesson then? Boy, what say you?

Boy, I say, my lord, that if I were a man.
Their mother's bedchamber should not be safe.
For these bad bondmen to the yoke of Rome.

Marc Ay, that's my boy; thy fether hath full oft
For his ungrateful country done the like.

Boy. And, uncle, so will I, an if 1 live.

TU, Come, go with me into mine armoury ;
Lucius, 111 fit thee ; and withal my boy
Shall carry from me to the empress* sons
Presents that I intend to send them both :
Gome, como, thou'it do thy message, wilt thou not?

Boy, Ay, with my (Ugger in their bosoms,

TU, No, boy, not so; 111 teach thee another
Lavinia, come; Marcus, look to my house;
Lucius and 111 go brave it at the court:
Ay, marry, will we, sir ; and well be waited on.
[Exeunt Titus, Lavinia, and Boy.

Mare, heavens! can you hearagood man groan,
And not relent, or not compassion him?
Mnrcus, attend him in his ecstasy,
That hath more scars of sorrow m his heart,
Than foeman's marks upon his batter'd shield ;
But yet so just, that he will not revenge:
Revenge the heavens for old Andronicus. [Exit.

SCENE IL~^ Room in the Palaoa,

Eater Aaron, Chiron, and Dembtrius o/ one door;
at another door^ young Lucius and Attendant,
wUh a bundle of toeaponSf and verses wrUten upon

ChL Demetrius, here*s the son of Lucius ;
He hath some message to deliver us.
Aaron, Ay, some mad message from his mad

Boy, My lords, with all the humbleness I may,
I greet your honours from Andronicus ;
And pray theKonum gods confound ^ou both. [Aside,
DemeL Qramercy, lovely Lucius, what^s the

Boy. That you are both decipher 'd, that's the news,
For villains mark'd with rape. [Aside.] May it

please you.
My grano^ire, well advia^d, hath sent by me
The goodliest weapons of his armoury,
To gratify your honourable youth.
The hope of Rome ; for so he bad me say,
And so I do, and with his gifls present
Your lordships, that, whenever you have need,
Yon may be armed and appointed well,
And 80 I leave you both: [Aside.] like bloody
villains. [Exeunt Boy and Attendant
DemeL What's here? a scroll ; and written round
Let's see :

** Integer vita soderisque purus,
Non epet Mauri jaculusy nee arcu,^

Oht. O 'tis a verse in Horace ; I know it well :
I read it in the grammar long ago.


Aaron, Ay, just a verse in Horace ; right,
have it.
Now, what a thing it is to be an ass
Here's no sound jest! the old man hath foond theii

And sends the weapons wrapp'd about with lines,
That wound, beyond their feelins^, to the quick:
But were our witty empress well a-foot,
She would applaud Andronicus' conceit.
But let her rest in her unrest awhile.

[The preceding seven lines are spoken aside.
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.

Demet. But me more good, to see so great a lord
Basely insinuate, and send us gifts.

Axuron, Had he not reason, lord Demetnus?
Did you not use his daughter very friendly?

Demet, I would we had a thousand Roman dames
At such a bay by turn to serve our lusL
CM, A charitable vrish, and full of love.
Aaron, Here lacks but your mother for to say

OH, And that would she for twenty thousand


Demet, Come, let as go, and pray to all the gods.

For our beloved mother in her pains.

Aaron, Pray to the devils ; the gods have given

us over. [Aside, Trumpets sound,

Demet, Why do the emperor's trumpets flourish

ChL Belike, for joy the emperor hath a son.
Demet, Soi't ; who comes here.

Enter Nurse, toUh a Uackamoor ddUL

Nurse, Good morrow, lords ;
O, tell me, did you see Aaron the Moor?

Aaron. Well, more, or less, or ne'er a whit at all.
Here Aaron is; and what with Aaron now?

Nurse, O gentle Aaron, we are all undone I
Now help, or woe betide thee evermore I

Aaron. Why, what a catterwauling dost thoa

What dost thou rap and fumble in thine arms?

Nurse. 0, that which I would hide from heaven's
Our empress's shame, and stately Rome's disgrace;
She is delivered, lords, she is deliver'd.

Aaron. To whom ?

Nurse. I mean she is brought •>bed.

Aaron. Well, God give her good rest! What
hath he sent her?

Nurse, A devil.

Aaron. Why, then, she is the devils dam; a
joyful issue.

Nurse. A joyless, dismal, black, and sprrowful
Here is the babe, as loathsome as a toad.
Amongst the fairest breeders of our c ime.
The empress sends it thee, thy stamp, tliy seal.
And bios thee christen it with thy daggerls point

Aaron. Out, you whore I is black so base a hue?
Sweet blowse, ^on are a beauteous blossom sore.

Demet, Villain, what hast thou done?

Aaron, That which thou canst not undo.

Chu Thou hast undone our mother.

Aaron, Villain, I have done thy mother.

Demet. And therein, hellish dog, thou hast undone.
Woe to her chance, and damn'd her loathed ohoieel
Accnrs'd the ofispring of so fouW-fiend. 1

ChL It shaU not Uve. ed by VjOOQ IC

AanfiL It shall not die.

Nwm, Aaron, it most ; the mother wills it so.

JdraM. WhatI most it, nurse? Then let no man
but I
Do execution on my flesh and blood.

DtmeJL I'll broach the tadpoieonmjrapier^ point:
Norse, give it me; my sword shall soon despatch it.

AarOH, Sooner this sword shall plough thj bowels

up. [ TakeB the Child from the N nrse.

Stay, murtheroos villains, will you kill your

Now, by the burning tapers of the sky,
That shone so brightly when this bo^ was got.
He dies upon m^ scimitar's sharp pomt
That touches this my first-bom son and heir.
I tell you, younglings, not Enceladns,
With aU his threatening band of Typhon's brood.
Nor great Aleides, nor the god of war,
Bbali seize this prey out of bis father's hands.
What, wliati ve sanguine, shallow-hearted boys I
Ye white-lim'd walls ! ye ale-hou-e painted signs!
Coal-black is better than another hue,
In that it sooma to bear another hue:
For all the water in the ocean
Can never turn the swan's b'ack legs to white,
Although she lave tliem hourly in the flood ;
Tell the empress from me, I am of age
To keep mine own, excuse it how she can.

Demet, Wilt thou betray thy noble mistress thus?

Aaron My mistress is my mistress ; this, myself;
The vigour, and the picture of my youth :
This before all the world do I prefer;
This, uuiusre all tbe world, will I keep safe,
Or some of you shall smoke for it in Home.

Jkmet. By this our mother is for ever sham'd.

Chi, fiome will despise her for this Toul escape.

Nwree, The emperor, in his rage, will doom her

Chi, I blush to think upon this ignominy.

Aarom, Why, there's the privilege your beauty
Fie, treacherous hue, that will betray with blushing
The close enacts and counsels of the heart:
Here*s a young lad fram'd of another leer.
Look, how the black slave smiles upon the father,
As who should say, ** Old lad, I am thine own."
He is yuur brother, lords, sensibly fed
Of that sell-blood that first gave life to you ;
And Irom tliat womb, where you imprisona were,
He is enfranchised and come to light:
Nay, he is your brother by the surer side.
Although my seal be stamped in his fnce.

Nuree, Aaron, what phall I say unto the empress?

Ikntet. Advise thee, Aaron, what is to be done.
And we will all subscribe to thy advice :
Save thou the child, to we may all be safe.

AamL Then sit we down, and let us ail consult,
My ton and 1 will have the wind of yon :
Keep there; now talk at pleasure of your safety.

Ltmet. How manr women saw this child of his?

Aaron, 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 man^ saw the child?

Nuree, Cornelia the midwife and myself.
And no one else but the delivered empress.

Aaron, The empress, the midwife, and yourself:
Two may keep counsel when the third's away :
lio to the emuresa, tell her this 1 said :

Wek •• wt k » ^ viaa a pig pr^Nur'd to the spit



Jkmet, What meanest thoo, Aaron, wherefore
didst thou this?

Aaron. Oh lord, sir, tis a deed of policy ;
Shall she live to betray this guilt of ours ?
A long-tongued babbling gossip I No, lords, no :
And now be it known to you my full intent.
Not far, one Muliteos lives, my countryman ;
His wife but yesternight was brought to bed ;
His child is like to her, fair as you are:
Go oack with him, and give the mother gold,
And tell them both the circumstance of all.
And how by this their child shall be advauo'd,
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 empctf'or dandle him for his own.
Hark ye, lords; ye see 1 have given her physic,
[Printing to the Nurse.
And YOU must needs bestow her funeral ;
The fields are near, and you are gallant grooms :
This done, see tiiatprou take no longer dajrsy.
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
with secrets.

Ikmet For this care of Tamora,
Herself and hers are highly bound to thee.

Online LibraryWilliam Michael Rossetti William ShakespeareThe complete works of Shakespeare: With a critical biography → online text (page 171 of 224)