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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 a swan's black legs to white,
Although she lave them hourly in the flood.
Tell the emperess 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 sham'd.
Chi. Rome will despise her for this foul escape.
Nur. The emperor, in his rage, will doom her death.
Chi. I blush to think upon this ignomy.7

Aar. Why, there's the privilege your beauty bears ;
Fye, 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 :8 Look, how the black slave smiles upon the father ; 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's 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,

6 In spite of.

7 i. 6. Ignominy.

8 Complexion,

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 on the Ground, Dem. How many women saw this child of his ? Aar. Why, so, brave lords; When we all join in

league, 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 emperess, the midwife, and yourself: Two may keep counsel, when the third's away : Go to the empress; tell her, this I said :

[Stabbing her. Weke, wekę !-So cries a pig, prepar'd 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-tongu'd babbling gossip? no, lords, no.
And now be it known to you my full intent.
Not far, one Muliteus lives, my countryman,
His wife but yesternight was brought to bed;
His child is like to her, fair as you are:
Go pack9 with him, and give the mother gold,
And tell them both the circumstance of all;

9 Contrive, bargain with.

And how by this their child shall be advanc'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 emperor dandle him for his own.
Hark ye, lords, ye see, that I have given her physick,

[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
With secrets,

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

[Ereunt Dem, and Chi. bearing off the Nurse. 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'll bear you hence; For it is you that puts us to our shifts : I'll 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.

The same. A publick Place. Enter Tirus, bearing Arrows, with Letters at the ends

of them; with him MARCUS, young Lucius, and other Gentlemen, with Bows. Tit. Come, Marcus, come ;-Kinsmen, this is the

way :

Sir boy, now let me see your archery;
Look ye draw home enough, and 'tis there straight:
Terras Astræa reliquit:
Be you remember'd, Marcus, she's gone, she's fled.
Sir, take you to your tools. You, cousins, shall
Go sound the ocean, and cast your nets ;
Happily you may find 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 center 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, Rome !-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.

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Mar. 0, 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.

Mar. 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 Plutus sends you word If

you will have revenge from hell, you shall : Marry, for Justice, she is so employ'd, He thinks, with Jove in heaven, or somewhere else, So that perforce you must needs stay a time.

Tit. He doth me wrong, to feed me with delays. I'll 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-bond men, fram'd of the Cyclop's size: But metal, Marcus, steel to the very back; Yet wrung' with wrongs, more than our backs can

bear : And sith a there is no justice in earth nor hell, We will solicit heaven ; and move the gods, To send down justice for to wreak’ our wrongs : Come, to this gear 4 You are a good archer, Marcus.

[He gives them the Arrows.

è * Strained.

2 Since.

3 Revenge.

4 Dress, furniture.

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