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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 (28) upon thy new-transformed limbs,
Unmannerly intruder as thou art !
Lav. Under your patience, gentle empress,
'Tis thought you have a goodly gift in horning;
And to be doubted that your 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.
Bas. Believe me, queen, your swarth Cimmerian
Doth make your honour of his body's hue,
Spotted, detested, and abominable.
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 but with a barbarous Moor,
If foul desire had not conducted you?
Lav. And, being intercepted in your sport,
Great reason that my noble lord be rated
For sauciness.-I pray you, let us hence,
And let her joy her raven-colour'd love;
This valley fits the purpose passing well.
Bas. The king my brother shall have note (29) of this.
Lav. Ay, for these slips have made him noted long : Good king, to be so mightily abus'd !
Tam. Why have I (30) patience to endure all this?
Enter DEMETRIUS and Chiron.
Dem. How now, dear sovereign, and our gracious mo-
Why doth your highness look so pale and wan?
Tam. Have I not reason, think you, to look pale ?
These two have tic'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 baleful mistletoe:
Here never shines the sun; here nothing breeds,
Unless the nightly owl or fatal raven :-
And when they show'd me this abhorrèd 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 confusèd 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,
And leave me to this miserable death :
And then they call'd me foul adulteress,
Lascivious Goth, and all the bitterest terms
That ever ear did hear to such effect:
And, had you not by wondrous fortune come,
This vengeance on me had they executed.
Revenge it, as you love your mother's life,
Or be ye not henceforth callid my children.
Dem. This is a witness that I am thy son.
[Stabs Bassianus. Chi. And this for me, struck home to show my strength.
[Also stabs Bassianus, who dies. Lav. Ay, come, Semiramis,-nay, barbarous Tamora, For no name fits thy nature but thy own!
Tam. Give me thy poniard ;-you shall know, my boys, Your mother's hand shall right your mother's wrong.
Dem. Stay, madam; here is more belongs to her ;
First thrash the corn, then after burn the straw:
This minion stood upon her chastity,
Upon her nuptial vow, her loyalty,
And with that painted hope braves your mightiness :(31)
And shall she carry this unto her grave ?
Chi. An if she do, I would I were an eunuch.
Drag hence her husband to some secret hole,
And make his dead trunk pillow to our lust.
Tam. But when ye have the honey ye (32) desire,
Let not this wasp outlive, us both to sting.
Chi. I warrant you, madam, we will make that sure.-
Come, mistress, now perforce we will enjoy
That nice-preserved honesty of yours.
Lav. 0 Tamora! thou bear'st a woman's face,-
Tam. I will not hear her speak; away with her!
Lav. Sweet lords, entreat her hear me but a word.
Dem. Listen, fair madam : let it be your glory
To see her tears; but be your heart to them
As unrelenting flint to drops of rain. .
Lav. When did the tiger's young ones teach the dam ?
O, do not learn her wrath,—she taught it thee;
The milk thou suck’dst from her did turn to marble;
Even at thy teat thou hadst thy tyranny.-
Yet every mother breeds not sons alike:
Do thou entreat her show a woman pity. [To Chiron.
Chi. What, wouldst thou have me prove myself a bas-
Lav. 'Tis true,—the raven doth not hatch a lark:
Yet have I heard,-0, could I find it now!-
The lion, mov'd with pity, did endure
To have his princely paws par'd all away:
Some say that ravens foster forlorn children,
The whilst their own birds famish in their nests :
O, be to me, though thy hard heart say no,
Nothing so kind, but something pitiful!
Tam. I know not what it means :-away with her!
Lav. O, let me teach thee! for my father's sake,
That gave thee life, when well he might have slain thee,
Be not obdurate, open thy deaf ears.
Tam. Hadst thou in person ne'er offended me,
Even for his sake am I pitiless.-
Remember, boys, I pour'd forth tears in vain,
To save your brother from the sacrifice;
But fierce Andronicus would not relent:
Therefore, away with her, and use her as you will;
The worse to her, the better lov'd of me.
Lav. 0 Tamora, be call’d a gentle queen,
And with thine own hands kill me in this place !
For 'tis not life that I have begg'd so long;
Poor I was slain when Bassianus died.
Tam. What begg'st thou, then? fond woman, let me go.
Lav. 'Tis present death I beg; and one thing more
That womanhood denies my tongue to tell:
O, keep me from their worse than killing lust,
And tumble me into some loathsome pit,
Where never man's eye may behold my body:
Do this, and be a charitable murderer.
Tam. So should I rob my sweet sons of their fee:
No, let them satisfy their lust on thee.
Dem. Away! for thou hast stay'd us here too long.
Lav. No grace? no womanhood ? Ah, beastly creature! The blot and enemy to our general name! Confusion fallChi. Nay, then I'll stop your mouth. — Bring thou her
husband: This is the hole where Aaron bid us hide him.
[Demetrius throws the body of Bassianus into the
pit; then exeunt Demetrius and Chiron, drag
ging off Lavinia.
Tam. Farewell, my sons : see that you make her sure:-
Ne’er let my heart know merry cheer indeed,
Till all the Andronici be niade away.
Now will I hence to seek my lovely Moor,
And let my spleenful sons this trull deflour.
Re-enter Aaron, with Quintus and MARTIUS. Aar. Come on, my lords, the better foot before: Straight will I bring you to the loathsome pit Where I espied the panther fast asleep.
Quin. My sight is very dull, whate'er it bodes.
Mart. And mine, I promise you; were't not for shame, Well could I leave our sport to sleep awhile.
[Falls into the pit. Quin. What, art thou fall'n?—What subtle hole is this, Whose mouth is cover'd with rude-growing briers, Upon whose leaves are drops of new-shed blood As fresh as morning's dew distillid on flowers ? A very fatal place it seems to me.
Speak, brother, hast thou hurt thee with the fall ?
Mart. O brother, with the dismall'st object hurt That ever eye with sight made heart lament!
Aar. [aside] Now will I fetch the king to find them here, That he thereby may give a likely guess How these were they that made away his brother. [Exit.
Mart. Why dost not comfort me, and help me out From this unhallow'd and blood-stainèd hole ?
Quin. I am surprised with an uncouth fear;
A chilling sweat o'er-runs my trembling joints ;
My heart suspects more than mine eye can see.
Mart. To prove thou hast a true-divining heart,
Aaron and thou look down into this den,
And see a fearful sight of blood and death.
Quin. Aaron is gone ; and my compassionate heart
Will not permit mine eyes once to behold
The thing whereat it trembles by surmise :
O, tell me how(33) it is; for ne'er till now
Was I a child to fear I know not what.
Mart. Lord Bassianus lies embrewed here,
All on a heap, like to a slaughter'd lamb,
In this detested, dark, blood-drinking pit.
Quin. If it be dark, how dost thou know 'tis he?
Mart. Upon his bloody finger he doth wear
A precious ring, that lightens all the hole,
Which, like a taper in some monument,
Doth shine upon the dead man's earthy cheeks,
And shows the raggèd entrails of the pit:
So pale did shine the moon on Pyramus
When he by night lay bath'd in maiden blood.
O brother, help me with thy fainting hand,-
If fear hath made thee faint, as me it hath,
Out of this fell devouring receptacle, .
As hateful as Cocytus' misty mouth.
Quin. Reach me thy hand, that I may help thee out;
Or, wanting strength to do thee so much good,
I may be pluck'd into the swallowing womb
Of this deep pit, poor Bassianus' grave.
I have no strength to pluck thee to the brink.