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William Shakespeare (1564–1616).  The Oxford Shakespeare.  1914.
 
Titus Andronicus
 
Act V. Scene III.
Re-enter Attendants, with AARON.
 
The Same.  Court of Titus’ 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.        5
  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:        10
And see the ambush of our friends be strong;
I fear the emperor means no good to us.
  Aar.  Some devil whisper curses in mine ear,
And prompt me, that my tongue may utter forth
The venomous malice of my swelling heart!        15
  Luc.  Away, inhuman dog! unhallow’d slave!
Sirs, help our uncle to convey him in.  [Exeunt Goths, with AARON.  Trumpets sound.
The trumpets show the emperor is at hand.
 
Enter SATURNINUS and TAMORA, with ÆMILIUS, Senators, Tribunes, and Others.
  Sat.  What! hath the firmament more suns than one?        20
  Luc.  What boots it thee, to call thyself a sun?
  Mar.  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,        25
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.
 
Enter TITUS, dressed like a cook, LAVINIA, veiled, young LUCIUS, and Others.  TITUS places the dishes on the table.
  Tit.  Welcome, my gracious lord; welcome, dread queen;        30
Welcome, ye war-like 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 attir’d, Andronicus?
  Tit.  Because I would be sure to have all well        35
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        40
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?
  Sat.  Because the girl should not survive her shame,        45
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;        50
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 woeful as Virginius was,
And have a thousand times more cause than he        55
To do this outrage: and it is now 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:        60
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;
Whereof their mother daintily hath fed,        65
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.  The people in confusion disperse.  MARCUS, LUCIUS, and their partisans, go up into the balcony.        70
  Mar.  You sad-fac’d men, people and sons of Rome,
By uproar sever’d, like 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,        75
These broken limbs again into one body;
Lest Rome herself be bane unto herself,
And she whom mighty kingdoms curtsy to,
Like a forlorn and desperate castaway,
Do shameful execution on herself.        80
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 ancestor,
When with his solemn tongue he did discourse        85
To love-sick Dido’s sad attending ear
The story of that baleful burning night
When subtle Greeks surpris’d King Priam’s Troy;
Tell us what Sinon hath bewitch’d our ears,
Or who hath brought the fatal engine in        90
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,
And break my very utterance, even in the time        95
When it should move you to attend me most,
Lending your kind commiseration.
Here is a captain, let him tell the tale;
Your hearts will throb and weep to hear him speak.
  Luc.  Then, noble auditory, be it known to you,        100
That cursed Chiron and Demetrius
Were they that murdered our emperor’s brother;
And they it was that ravished our sister.
For their fell faults our brothers were beheaded,
Our father’s tears despis’d, and basely cozen’d        105
Of that true hand that fought Rome’s quarrel out,
And sent her enemies unto the grave:
Lastly, myself unkindly banished,
The gates shut on me, and turn’d weeping out,
To beg relief among Rome’s enemies;        110
Who drown’d their enmity in my true tears,
And op’d their arms to embrace me as a friend:
And I am the turn’d forth, be it known to you,
That have preserv’d her welfare in my blood,
And from her bosom took the enemy’s point,        115
Sheathing the steel in my adventurous body.
Alas! you know I am no vaunter, I;
My scars can witness, dumb although they are,
That my report is just and full of truth.
But, soft! methinks I do digress too much,        120
Citing my worthless praise: O! pardon me;
For when no friends are by, men praise themselves.
  Mar.  Now is my turn to speak. Behold this child;
Of this was Tamora delivered,
The issue of an irreligious Moor,        125
Chief architect and plotter of these woes.
The villain is alive in Titus’ house,
Damn’d as he is, to witness this is true.
Now judge what cause had Titus to revenge
These wrongs, unspeakable, past patience,        130
Or more than any living man could bear.
Now you have heard the truth, what say you Romans?
Have we done aught amiss, show us wherein,
And, from the place where you behold us now,
The poor remainder of Andronici        135
Will, hand in hand, all headlong cast us down,
And on the ragged stones beat forth our brains,
And make a mutual closure of our house.
Speak, Romans, speak! and if you say we shall,
Lo! hand in hand, Lucius and I will fall.        140
  Æmil.  Come, come, thou reverend man of Rome,
And bring our emperor gently in thy hand,
Lucius, our emperor; for well I know
The common voice do cry it shall be so.
  Romans.  Lucius, all hail! Rome’s royal emperor!        145
  Mar.  [To Attendants.]  Go, go into old Titus’ sorrowful house,
And hither hale that misbelieving Moor,
To be adjudg’d some direful slaughtering death,
As punishment for his most wicked life.  [Exeunt Attendants.
 
LUCIUS, MARCUS, and the Others descend.
        150
  Romans.  Lucius, all hail! Rome’s gracious governor!
  Luc.  Thanks, gentle Romans: may I govern so,
To heal Rome’s harms, and wipe away her woe!
But, gentle people, give me aim awhile,
For nature puts me to a heavy task.        155
Stand all aloof; but, uncle, draw you near,
To shed obsequious tears upon this trunk.
O! take this warm kiss on thy pale cold lips,  [Kisses TITUS.
These sorrowful drops upon thy blood-stain’d face,
The last true duties of thy noble son!        160
  Mar.  Tear for tear, and loving kiss for kiss,
Thy brother Marcus tenders on thy lips:
O! were the sum of these that I should pay
Countless and infinite, yet would I pay them.
  Luc.  Come hither, boy; come, come, and learn of us        165
To melt in showers: thy grandsire lov’d thee well:
Many a time he danc’d thee on his knee,
Sung thee asleep, his loving breast thy pillow;
Many a matter hath he told to thee,
Meet and agreeing with thine infancy;        170
In that respect, then, like a loving child,
Shed yet some small drops from thy tender spring,
Because kind nature doth require it so:
Friends should associate friends in grief and woe.
Bid him farewell; commit him to the grave;        175
Do him that kindness, and take leave of him.
  Boy.  O grandsire, grandsire! even with all my heart
Would I were dead, so you did live again.
O Lord! I cannot speak to him for weeping;
My tears will choke me if I ope my mouth.        180
 
 
  First Rom.  You sad Andronici, have done with woes:
Give sentence on this execrable wretch,
That hath been breeder of these dire events.
  Luc.  Set him breast-deep in earth, and famish him;        185
There let him stand, and rave, and cry for food:
If any one relieves or pities him,
For the offence he dies. This is our doom:
Some stay to see him fasten’d in the earth.
  Aar.  O! why should wrath be mute, and fury dumb?        190
I am no baby, I, that with base prayers
I should repent the evils I have done.
Ten thousand worse than ever yet I did
Would I perform, if I might have my will:
If one good deed in all my life I did,        195
I do repent it from my very soul.
  Luc.  Some loving friends convey the emperor hence,
And give him burial in his father’s grave.
My father and Lavinia shall forthwith
Be closed in our household’s monument.        200
As for that heinous tiger, Tamora,
No funeral rite, nor man in mournful weeds,
No mournful bell shall ring her burial;
But throw her forth to beasts and birds of prey.
Her life was beast-like, and devoid of pity;        205
And, being so, shall have like want of pity.
See justice done on Aaron, that damn’d Moor,
By whom our heavy haps had their beginning:
Then, afterwards, to order well the state,
That like events may ne’er it ruinate.  [Exeunt.        210
 
 
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