Page images

This way, or not at all, stand


in hope. Come, come, our empress, with her sacred' wit, To villainy and vengeance consecrate, Will we acquaint with all that we intend ; And she shall file our engines with advice, That will not suffer you to square yourselves, But to your wishes' height advance you both. The emperor's court is like the house of fame, The palace full of tongues, of eyes, of ears : The woods are ruthless, dreadful, deaf, and dull; There speak, and strike, shadow'd from heaven's

eye, And revel with Lavinia.

Chi. Thy counsel, lad, smells of no cowardice.

Dem. Sit fas aut nefas, till I find a charm To calm these fits, per Styga, per manes vehor.



A Forest near Rome. A Lodge seen at a distance.

Horns, and cry of Hounds heard.

Enter Titus ANDRONICUS, with Hunters, &c.

Tit. The hunt is up, the morn is bright and

The fields are fragrant, and the woods are green:
Uncouple here, and let us make a bay,
And wake the emperor and his lovely bride,
And rouse the prince; and ring a hunter's peal,
That all the court may echo with the noise.
Sons, let it be your charge, as it is ours,
To tend the emperor's person carefully:

* Sacred here signifies accursed; a Latinisın.

I have been troubled in my sleep this night,
But dawning day new comfort hath inspir’d.
Horns wind a Peal. Enter SATURNINUS, TAMORA,

and Attendants.
Tit. Many good morrows to your majesty ;-
Madam, to you as many and as good!
I promised your grace a hunter's peal.

Sat. And you have rung it lustily, my lords,
Somewhat too early for new-married ladies.
Bas. Lavinia, how say you?


say, no; I have been broad awake two hours and more. Sat. Come on then, horse and chariots let us

have, And to our sport:- Madam, now shall ye see Our Roman hunting.

[To TamoRA. Marc.

I have dogs, my lord, Will rouse the proudest panther in the chase, And climb the highest promontory top. Tit. And I have horse will follow where the

game Makes way, and run like swallows o'er the plain. Dem. Chiron, we hunt not, we, with horse nor

hound, But hope to pluck a dainty doe to ground. [Exeunt.


A desert Part of the Forest.

Enter Aaron, with a Bag of Gold. Aar. He, that had wit, would think that I had

none, To bury so much gold under a tree,

And never after to inherit’ it.
Let him, that thinks of me so abjectly,
Know, that this gold must coin a stratagem;
Which, cunningly effected, will beget
A very excellent piece of villainy;
And so repose, sweet gold, for their unrest 3,

[Hides the Gold. That have their alms out of the empress' chest.

Enter TAMORA. Tam. My lovely Aaron, wherefore look'st thou

sad, When every thing doth make a gleeful boast? The birds chaunt melody on every bush ; The snake lies rolled in the cheerful sun; The green leaves quiver with the cooling wind, And make a checquer'd shadow on the ground: Under their sweet shade, Aaron, let us sit, And whilst the babbling echo mocks the hounds, Replying shrilly to the well-tun'd horns, As if a double hunt were heard at once, Let us sit down, and mark their yelling noise : Whiles hounds, and horns, and sweet melodious

Be unto us, as is a nurse's song
Of lullaby, to bring her babe asleep.
Aar. Madam, though Venus govern your de-

Saturn is dominator over mine :
What signifies my deadly-standing eye,
My silence, and my cloudy melancholy?
My fleece of woolly hair that now uncurls,
Even as an adder, when she doth unroll
To do some fatal execution ?
Vengeance is in my heart, death in my hand,
Blood and revenge are hammering in my head.

2 Possess.

3 Disquiet.

[ocr errors]

my soul,

Hark, Tamora, - the


of Which never hopes more heaven than rests in

thee, This is the day of doom for Bassianus ; His Philomel must lose her tongue to-day : Thy sons make pillage of her chastity, And wash their hands in Bassianus' blood. Seest thou this letter? take it up I pray thee, And give the king this fatal-plotted scroll : Now question me no more, we are espied ; Here comes a parcels of our hopeful booty, Which dreads not yet their lives' destruction. Tan. Ah, my sweet Moor, sweeter to me than

life! Aar. No more, great empress, Bassianus comes : Be cross with him; and I'll go fetch thy sons To back thy quarrels, whatso'er they be.



Bas. Who have we here ? Rome's royal em

Unfurnish'd of her well-beseeming troop?
Or is it Dian, habited like her ;
Who hath abandoned her holy groves,
To see the general hunting in this forest?

Tam. Saucy controller of our private steps !
Had I the power, that, some say, Dian had,
Thy temples should be planted presently
With horns, as was Actæon's; and the hounds
Should drive upon thy new transformed limbs,
Unmannerly intruder as thou art !

Lav. Under your patience, gentle emperess, 'Tis to be doubted, that

Moor and you Are singled forth to try experiments : Jove shield your husband from his hounds to-day! 'Tis pity, they should take him for a stag.


4 See Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Book VI,


Bas. Believe me, quèen, your swarth Cimmerian Doth make your honour of his body's hue. Why are you sequester'd from all your train ? Dismounted from your snow-white goodly steed, And wander'd hither to an obscure plot, Accompanied with a barbarous Moor?

Lav. My noble lord, I pray you let us hence, And let her 'joy her raven-colour'd love. Bas. The king, my brother, shall have note of

this. Lav. Ay, for these slips have made him noted

long : Good king ! to be so mightily abus'd!

Tam. Why have I patience to endure all this?

Enter CHIRON and DEMETRIUS. Dem. How now, dear sovereign, and our gracious

mother, Why doth your highness look so pale and wan?

Tam. Have I not reason, think you, to look pale? These two have ʼtic'd me hither to this place, A barren detested vale, you see, it is : The trees, though summer, yet forlorn and lean, O'ercome with moss, and baneful misletoe. Here never shines the sun; here nothing breeds, Unless the nightly owl, or fatal raven. And, when they show'd me this abhorred pit, They told me, here, at dead time of the night, A thousand fiends, a thousand hissing snakes, Ten thousand swelling toads, as many urchins.", Would make such fearful and confused cries, As

any mortal body, hearing it, Should straight fall mad, or else die suddenly.. No sooner had they told this hellish tale, But straight they told me, they would bind me here Unto the body of a dismal yew ;

• Hedge-hogs.

« PreviousContinue »