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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 banish'd 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 I control thy griefs : 260
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 this hour.
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 : 270
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 in these things :
Bear thou my hand, sweet wench, between thy teeth.
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 all but Lucius, 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;
O, would thou wert as thou tofore hast been
But now nor Lucius nor Lavinia 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 his queen.
Now will I to the Goths and raise a power, 300
To be revenged on Rome and Saturnine. [Exit.
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,
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 beating,
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.
20 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 already?
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 Æneas 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!
Come, let's fall to; and, gentle girl, eat this:
Here is no drink. Hark, Marcus, what she says ;
I can interpret all her martyr'd signs;
She says she drinks no other drink but tears,
Brew'd with her sorrow,
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 heaven,
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 laments :
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 tears, 50 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 heart;
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 mother?
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 kill'd
Marc. Pardon me, sir; it was a black ill-favour'd fly,
Like to the empress' Moor; therefore I kill'd him.
Tit. 0, 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 on him,
He takes false shadows for true substances. 80 Tit. Come, take away. Lavinia, go with me:
I'll 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.
Rome. Titus's garden. Enter young Lucius and Lavinia running after him, and the boy
flies from her, with his 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 aunt. Tit. She loves thee, boy, too well to do thee harm.