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Æmil. Arm, arm, my lords; Rome never had
more cause ! The Goths have gather'd head; and, with a power Of high-resolved men, bent to the spoil, They hither march amain, under conduct Of Lucius, son to old Andronicus ; Who threats, in course of this revenge, to do As much as ever Coriolanus did.
Sat. Is warlike Lucius general of the Goths ? . These tidings nip me; and I hang the head . As flowers with frost, or grass beat down with
storms. Ay, now begin our sorrows to approach: 'Tis he the common people love so much; Myself hath often overheard them say (When I have walked like a private man,) That Lucius' banishment was wrongfully, And they have wish'd that Lucius were their em
peror. Tam. Why should you fear? is not your city
strong? Sat. Ay, but the citizens favour Lucius; And will revolt from me, to succour him. Tam. King, be thy thoughts imperious *, like
thy name. Is the sun dimm’d, that gnats do fly in it? The eagle suffers little birds to sing, And is not careful what they mean thereby ; Knowing that, with the shadow of his wings, He can at pleasure stint t their melody: Even so may'st thou the giddy men of Rome. Then cheer thy spirit : for know, thou emperor, I will enchant the old Andronicus, With words more sweet, and yet more dangerous, Than baits to fish, or honey-stalks to sheep; When as the one is wounded with the bait, The other rotted with delicious feed.
Sat. But he will not entreat his son for us. Tam. If Tamora entreat him, then he will: * Imperial.
For I can smooth, and fill his aged ear
Sat. Æmilius, do this message honourably:
[Exit Æmilius. Tam. Now will I to that old Andronicus; And temper him, with all the art I have, To pluck proud Lucius from the warlike Goths, And now, sweet emperor, be blithe again, And bury all thy fear in ny devices. Sat. Then go successfully, and plead to him.
Enter Lucius, and Goths, with drum and colours.
Luc. Approved warriors, and my faithful friends, I have received letters from great Rome, Which signify, what hate they bear their emperor, And how desirous of our sight they are. Therefore, great lords, be, as your titles witness, Imperious, and impatient of your wrongs : And, wherein Rome hath done you any scath*, Let him make treble satisfaction. I Goth. Brave slip, sprung from the great An
dronicus, Whose name was once our terror, now our comfort;
Whose high exploits, and honourable deeds,
Goths. And, as he saith, so say we all with him.
Luc. I humbly thank him, and I thank you all. But who comes here, led by a lusty Goth? Enter a Goth, leading Aaron, with his child in his arms. 2 Goth. Renowned Lucius, from our troops I
stray'd, To gaze upon a ruinous monastery; And as I earnestly did fix mine eye Upon the wasted building, suddenly I heard a child cry underneath a wall: I made unto the noise; when soon I heard The crying babe controll’d with this discourse : Peace, tau'ny slave; half me, and half thy dam! Did not thy hue bewray whose brat thou art, Had nature lent thee but thy mother's look, Villain, thou might'st have been an emperor: But where the bull and cow are both milk-white, They never do beget a coal-black calf. Peace, villain, peace!'-even thus he rates the babe,For I must bear thee to a trusty Goth; Who, when he knows thou art the empress' babe, Will hold thee dearly for thy mother's sake. With this, my weapon drawn, I rush'd upon him, Surpris’d him suddenly; and brought him hither, To use as you think needful of the man.
Luc. O worthy Goth! this is the incarnate devil, That robb’d Andronicus of his good hand : This is the pearl that pleas’d your empress' eye*; And here's the base fruit of his burning lust. Say, wall-ey'd slave, whether would'st thou convey This growing image of thy fiend-like face?
* Alluding to the proverb, 'A black man is a pearl in a fair woman's eye.