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S C E N E II.
Enter Marcus and Lavinia.
Mar. Titus, prepare thy noble eyes to weep,
Or if not so, thy noble heart to break :
I bring consuming sorrow to thine age.
Tit. Will it consume me? let me fee it then.
Mar. This was thy daughter.
Tit. Why, Marcus, so she is.
Luc. Ah me, this object kills me.
Tit. Faint-hearted boy, arise and look upon her ;
Speak, my Lavinia, what accursed hand
Hath made thee handless, in thy father's 4 spight:'
What fool hath added water to the sea ?
Or brought a faggot to bright-burning Troy?
My griet was at the height before thou cam’st,
And now like Nilus it dildaineth bounds:
Give me a sword, l'll chop off my hands too,
For they have fought for Rome, and all in vain :
And they have nurs'd this woe, in feeding life:
In bootless prayer have they been held up,
And they have serv'd me to effectless use.
Now all the service I require of them,
Is that the one will help to cut the other :
'Tis well, Lavinia, that thou hast no hands,
For hands to do Rome service are but vain.
Luc. Speak, gentle sister, who hath martyr'd thee?
Mar. Ó that delightful engine of her thoughts,
That blab'd them with such pleasing eloquence,
Is torn from forth that pretty hollow cage,
Where like a sweet melodious bird it sung
Sweet various notes, inchanting every ear.
Luc. Oh say thou for her, who hath done this deed ?
Mar. Oh thus I found her straying in the park,
Seeking to hide her self, as doth the deer
That hath receiv'd lome unrecuring wound.
4 right: ...old odit, W'arb.emend.
Tit. It was my deer, and he that wounded her
Hath hurt me more than had he kill'd me dead :
For now I stand, as one upon a rock,
Environ’d with a wilderness of sea,
Who marks the waxing tide grow wave by wave,
Expecting ever when some envious surge
Will in his brinish bowels swallow hini.
This way to death my wretched fons are gone :
Here stands my other son, a banish'd man,
And here my brother weeping at my woes.
But that which gives my soul the greatest spurn,
Is dear Lavinia, dearer than my soul
Had I but seen thy picture in this plight,
It would have madded me. What shall I do,
Now I behold thy lively body so?
Thou haft no hands to wipe away thy tears,
Nor tongue to tell me who hath martyr'd thee;
Thy husband he is dead, and for his death
Thy brothers are condemn'd, and dead by this,
Look, Marcus, ah, fon Lucius, look on her:
When I did name her brothers, then fresh tears
Stood on her cheeks, as doth the honey dew,
Upon a gather'd lilly almost wither'd.
[band. Mar. Perchance she weeps because they kill'd her husPerchance because she knows them innocent.
Tit. If they did kill thy husband, then be joyful,
Because the law hath ta'en revenge on them.
No, no, they would not do so foul a deed,
Witness the forrow that their sifter makes.
Gentle Lavinia, let me kiss thy lips,
Or make forne signs how I may do thee ease :
Shall thy good uncle, and thy brother Lucius,
And thou and I fit round about some fountain,
Looking all downwards to behold our cheeks,
How they are stain'd like meadows yet not dry
With miry lime left on them by a flood ?
And in the fountain shall we gaze fo long,
Till the fresh taste be taken from that clearness
And made a brine-pit with our bitter tears?
Or shall we cut away our hands like thine?
Or shall we bite our tongues, and in dumb shews
Pass the remainder of our hateful days ?
What shall we do? let us that have our tongues
Plot some device of further misery,
To make us wondred at in time to come.
Luc. Sweet father, cease your tears, for at your grief See how my wretched sister sobs and weeps.
Mar. Patience, dear niece; good Titus, dry thine eyes.
Tit. Ah Marcus, Marcus, brother, well I wot
Thy napkin cannot drink a tear of mine,
For thou, poor man, hast drown'd it with thine own.
Luc. Ah, my Lavinia, I will wipe thy checks.
Tit. Mark, Marcus, mark; I understand her signs ;
Had she a tongue to speak, now would she say
That to her brother which I said to thee.
His napkin with his true tears all bewet,
Can do no service on her sorrowful cheeks.
Oh what a sympathy of woe is this!
As far from help as limbo is from bliss.
S C Ε Ν Ε III.
Aar. Titus Andronicus, my Lord the Emperor
Sends thee this word, that if thou love thy sons,
Let Marcus, Lucius, or thy self, old Titus,
Or any one of you chop off your hand,
And send it to the King; he for the same
Will send thee hither both thy fons alive,
And that shall be the ransom for their fault.
Tit. Oh gracious Emperor ! oh gentle Aaron!
Did ever raven sing fo like a lark,
That gives sweet tidings of the sun's uprise?
With all my heart, I'll send the Emperor
My hand; good Aaron, wilt s'thou chop it off?
Luc. 5 thou help to chop
Luc. Stay, father, for that noble hand of thine,
That hath thrown down so many enemies,
Shall not be sent; my hand will serve the turn.
My youth can better spare my blood than you,
And therefore mine shall save my brothers lives.
Mar. Which of your hands hath not defended Rome,
And rear'd aloft the bloody battel-ax,
Writing destruction on the enemies cask?"
Oh none of both but are of high desert:
My hand hath been but idle, let it serve
To ransom my two nephews from their death,
Then have I kept it to a worthy end.
Aar. Nay, come, agree whose hand shall go along, For fear they die before their pardon come.
Mar. My hand shall go.
Luc. By heav'n, it shall not go.
Tit, Sirs, strive no more, such wither'd herbs as these Are meet for plucking up, and therefore mine.
Luc. Sweet father, if I shall be thought thy fon, Let me redeem my brothers both from death.
Mar. And for our father's fake, and mother's care, Now let me shew a brother's love to thee.
Tit. Agree between you, I will spare my hand.
Luc. Then I'll go fetch an ax.
Mar. But I will use ''it.' (Exeunt Lucius and Marcus.
Tit. Come hither, Aaron, I'll deceive them both;
Lend me thy hand, and I will give thee mine.
Aar. If that be call'd deceit, I will be honest, And never whilft I live deceive men fo. But I'll deceive you in another fort, And that you'll say ere half an hour pass. [Afide.
[He cuts off Titus's band, Enter Lucius and Marcus again. Tit. Now stay your strife; what shall be, is dispatcht: Good Aaron, give his Majesty my hand : Tell him, it was a hand that warded him
From 9 castle ? ... old edit. Theob. emend. 7 the ax.
From thousand dangers, bid him bury it:
More hath it merited that let it have.
As for my fons, say, I account of them
As jewels purchas'd at an easie price,
And yet dear too, because I bought mine own.
Har. I go, Andronicus, and for thy hand
Look by and by to have thy fons with thee:
Their heads I mean. -Oh, how this villainy
Doth fat me with the very thought of it!
Let fools do good, and fair men call for grace,
Aaron will have his soul black like his face. [Exit.
S c с Е Ε Ν Ε IV.
Tit. O hear! I lift this one hand up to heav'n,
And bow this feeble ruin to the earth
If any Power pities wretched tears,
To that I call: What, wilt thou kneel with me?
Do then, dear heart, for heav'n shall hear our prayers,
Or with our sighs we'll breathe the welkin dim,
And stain the fun with fogs, as sometime clouds
When they do hug him in their melting bosoms.
Mar. Oh brother, speak with possibilities,
And do not break into these two extreams.
Tit. Is not my forrow deep, having no bottom?
Then be my passions bottomless with them.
Mar. But yet let reafon govern thy lament.
Tit. If there were reason for these miseries,
Then into limits could I bind my woes.
When heav'n doth weep, doth noe the earth o'erflow?
If the winds rage, doth not the sea wax mad,
Threatning the welkin with his big-swoln face?
And wilt thou have a reason for this coil ?
I am the sea, hark how her sighs do blow;
She is the weeping welkin, I the earth :
Then must my sea be moved with her fighs,
Then must my earth with her continual tears
Become a deluge, overflow'd and drown'd: