Page images

Re-enter Titus, with Lavinia; he bearing a knife,

and she a basin.
Tit. Come, come, Lavinia ; look, thy foes are bound.

Sirs, stop their mouths, let them not speak to me;
But let them hear what fearful words I utter.
O villains, Chiron and Demetrius !

170 Here stands the spring whom you have stain'd with

This goodly summer with your winter mix’d.
You kill'd her husband, and for that vile fault
Two of her brothers were condemn'd to death,
My hand cut off and made a merry jest;
Both her sweet hands, her tongue, and that more dear
Than hands or tongue, her spotless chastity,
Inhuman traitors, you constrain'd and forced.
What would you say, if I should let you speak ?
Villains, for shame you could not beg for grace, 180
Hark, wretches ! how I mean to martyr you.
This one hand yet is left to cut your throats,
Whilst that Lavinia 'tween her stumps doth hold
The basin that receives your guilty blood.
You know your mother means to feast with me,
And calls herself Revenge, and thinks me mad :
Hark, villains ! I will grind your bones to dust,
And with your blood and it I'll make a paste ;
And of the paste a coffin I will rear,
And make two pasties of your shameful heads; 190
And bid that strumpet, your unhallow'd dam,
Like to the earth, swallow her own increase.
This is the feast that I have bid her to,
And this the banquet she shall surfeit on;

For worse than Philomel you used my daughter,
And worse than Progne I will be revenged :
And now prepare your throats. Lavinia, come,

[He cuts their throats.
Receive the blood : and when that they are dead,
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 baked.
Come, come, be every one officious
To make this banquet; which I wish may prove
More stern and bloody than the Centaurs' feast.
So, now bring them in, for I'll play the cook,
And see them ready against their mother comes.

[Exeunt, bearing the dead bodies.

Scene III.

Court of Titus's house. A banquet set out. Enter Lucius, Marcus, and Goths, with Aaron, prisoner. Luc. Uncle Marcus, since it is my father's mind

That I repair to Rome, I am content.
First 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.

IO 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 within. The trumpets show the emperor is at hand.

Enter Saturninus and Tamora, with Æmilius, Tribunes,

Senators, and others.
Sat. What, hath the firmament moe suns than one ?
Luc. What boots it thee to call thyself a sun ?
Marc. Rome's emperor, and nephew, break 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.

(Hautboys sound. The Company sit down at table.

Enter Titus, like a Cook, placing the meat on the table, and

Lavinia with a veil over her face, young Lucius, and

others. 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 attired, Andronicus ?

30 Tit. Because I would be sure to have all well,

To entertain your highness and your empress.
Tam. We are beholding to you, good Andronicus.
Tit. An if your highness knew my heart, you were.

My lord the emperor, resolve me this :
Was it well done of rash Virginius

To slay his daughter with his own right hand,

Because she was enforced, stain'd, and deflower'd ? Sat. It was, Andronicus. Tit. Your reason, mighty lord ?

40 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,
And with thy shame thy father's sorrow die !

[Kills Lavinia.
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,

50 And have a thousand times more cause than he

To do this outrage, and it now is done. Sat. What, was she ravish'd ? tell who did the deed. Tit. Will’t please you eat? will’t please your highness feed ? Tam. Why hast thou slain thine only daughter thus ? Tit. Not I; '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 pie; 60

Whereof their mother daintily hath fed,
Eating the flesh that she herself hath bred.
'Tis true, 'tis true; witness my knife's sharp point.

[Kills Tamora. Sat. Die, frantic wretch, for this accursed deed!

[Kills Titus. 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. Lucius,

Marcus, and others go up into the balcony. Marc. You sad-faced men, people and sons of Rome,

By uproars sever'd, as 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;
Lest Rome herself be bane unto herself,
And she whom mighty kingdoms court'sy to,
Like a forlorn and desperate castaway,
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,-
[TO Lucius] Speak, Rome's dear friend: as erst our

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 surprised 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.
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, 90
And break my utterance, even in the time
When it should move you to attend me most,
Lending your kind commiseration.
Here is a captain, let him tell the tale ;

« PreviousContinue »