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Mart. Nor I no strength to climb without thy help.

Quin. Thy hand once more; I will not loose again, Till thou art here aloft, or I below: Thou canst not come to me, I come to thee. [Falls in.

Sat. Along with me: I'll see what hole is here,
And what he is that now is leap'd into it.-
Say, who art thou that lately didst descend
Into this gaping hollow of the earth ?

Mart. The unhappy son of old Andronicus ;
Brought hither in a most unlucky hour,
To find thy brother Bassianus dead.

Sat. My brother dead! I know thou dost but jest:
He and his lady both are at the lodge
Upon the north side of this pleasant chase;
'Tis not an hour since I left him there.

Mart. We know not where you left him all alive;
But, out, alas ! here have we found him dead.

Re-enter TAMORA, with Attendants; Titus ANDRONICUS, and

Tam. Where is my lord the king ?
Sat. Here, Tamora; though griev'd with killing grief.
Tam. Where is thy brother Bassianus ?

Sat. Now to the bottom dost thou search my wound:
Poor Bassianus here lies murdered.
Tam. Then all too late I bring this fatal writ,

[Giving a letter.
The complot of this timeless tragedy;
And wonder greatly that man's face can fold
In pleasing smiles such murderous tyranny.

Sat. [reads] “An if we miss to meet him handsomely,
Sweet huntsman, Bassianus 'tis we mean,-
Do thou so much as dig the grave for him:
Thou know'st our meaning. Look for thy reward
Among the nettles at the elder-tree
Which overshades the mouth of that same pit
Where we decreed to bury Bassianus.

Do this, and purchase us thy lasting friends." —
O Tamora! was ever heard the like?-
This is the pit, and this the elder-tree:-
Look, sirs, if you can find the huntsman out
That should have murder'd Bassianus here.
Aar. My gracious lord, here is the bag of gold.

(Showing it. Sat. [to Titus) Two of thy whelps, fell curs of bloody

- kind,
Have here bereft my brother of his life.-
Sirs, drag them from the pit unto the prison :
There let them bide until we have devis’d
Some never-heard-of torturing pain for them.

Tam. What, are they in this pit? O wondrous thing ! How easily murder is discovered!

Tit. High emperor, upon my feeble knee I beg this boon, with tears not lightly shed, That this fell fault of my accursèd sons,Accursèd, if the fault(34) be prov'd in them,

Sat. If it be prov'd! you see it is apparent.Who found this letter? Tamora, was it you?

Tam. Andronicus himself did take it up.

Tit. I did, my lord : yet let me be their bail ;
For, by my father's reverend tomb, I vow
They shall be ready at your highness' will
To answer their suspicion with their lives.

Sat. Thou shalt not bail them: see thou follow me.-
Some bring the murder'd body, some the murderers :
Let them not speak a word,—the guilt is plain;
For, by my soul, were there worse end than death,
That end upon them should be executed.

Tam, Andronicus, I will entreat the king:
Fear not thy sons; they shall do well enough.
Tit. Come, Lucius, come; stay not to talk with them.

[Exeunt Saturninus, Tamora, Aaron, and Attend

ants, with Quintus, Martius, and the body of Bassianus; then Andronicus and Lucius.

Scene IV.

Another part of the forest.

Enter DEMETRIUS and CHIRON, with LAVINIA, ravished; her hands

cut off, and her tongue cut out. Dem. So, now go tell, an if thy tongue can speak, Who 'twas that cut thy tongue and ravish'd thee.

Chi. Write down thy mind, bewray thy meaning so,
An if thy stumps will let thee play the scribe.

Dem. See, how with signs and tokens she can scrowl.
Chi. Go home, call for sweet water, wash thy hands.

Dem. She hath no tongue to call, nor hands to wash;
And so let's leave her to her silent walks.

Chi. An 'twere my case,(35) I should go hang myself.
Dem. If thou hadst hands to help thee knit the cord.

[Exeunt Demetrius and Chiron.

Enter MARCUS. Mar. Who is this,-my niece,—that flies away so fast ?— Cousin, a word; where is your husband ?If I do dream, would all my wealth would wake me! If I do wake, some planet strike me down, That I may slumber in eternal sleep!Speak, gentle niece,—what stern ungentle hands Have lopp'd and hew'd and made thy body bare Of her two branches,—those sweet ornaments, Whose circling shadows kings have sought to sleep in, And might not gain so great a happiness As have (36) thy love? Why dost not speak to me?Alas, a crimson river of warm blood, Like to a bubbling fountain stirr'd with wind, Doth rise and fall between thy rosèd lips, Coming and going with thy honey breath. But, sure, some Tereus hath deflourèd thee, And, lest thou shouldst detect him,(37) cut thy tongue. Ah, now thou turn'st away thy face for shame! And, notwithstanding all this loss of blood, As from a conduit with three (38) issuing spouts,Yet do thy cheeks look red as Titan's face

Blushing to be encounter'd with a cloud.
Shall I speak for thee? shall I say 'tis so?
O, that I knew thy heart; and knew the beast,
That I might rail at him, to ease my mind !
Sorrow concealed, like an oven stopp'd,
Doth burn the heart to cinders where it is.
Fair Philomela, she but lost ber tongue,
And in a tedious sampler sew'd her mind :
But, lovely niece, that mean is cut from thee;
A craftier Tereus, cousin, hast thou met,
And he hath cut those pretty fingers off,
That could have better sew'd than Philomel.
O, had the monster seen those lily hands
Tremble, like aspen-leaves, upon a lute,
And make the silken strings delight to kiss them,
He would not, then, have touch'd them for his life!
Or, had he heard the heavenly harmony
Which that sweet tongue hath made,(39)
He would have dropp'd his knife, and fell asleep
As Cerberus at the Thracian poet's feet.
Come, let us go, and make thy father blind;
For such a sight will blind a father's eye:
One hour's storm will drown the fragrant meads;
What will whole months of tears thy father's eyes?
Do not draw back, for we will mourn with thee:
O, could our mourning ease thy misery! . [Exeunt.


SCENE I. Rome. A street. Enter Senators, Tribunes, and Officers of Justice, with MARTIUS and

QUINTUS, bound, passing on to the place of execution; Titus
going before, pleading.

Tit. Hear me, grave fathers! noble tribunes, stay!
For pity of mine age, whose youth was spent
In dangerous wars, whilst you securely slept;
For all my blood in Rome's great quarrel shed;

For all the frosty nights that I have watch'd ;
And for these bitter tears, which now you see
Filling the aged wrinkles in my cheeks ;
Be pitiful to my condemned sons,
Whose souls are not corrupted as 'tis thought.
For two-and-twenty sons I never wept,
Because they died in honour's lofty bed.
For these, tribunes, in the dust I write (10)

[Throwing himself on the ground.
My heart's deep languor and my soul's sad tears :
Let my tears stanch the earth's dry appetite;
My sons' sweet blood will make it shame and blush.

[Exeunt Senators, Tribunes, 8c. with the Prisoners. O earth, I will befriend thee more with rain, That shall distil from these two ancient urns,(41) Than youthful April shall with all his showers : In summer's drought I'll drop upon thee still ; In winter with warm tears I'll melt the snow, And keep eternal spring-time on thy face, So thou refuse to drink my dear sons' blood.

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Enter Lucius, with his sword drawn.
O reverend tribunes! O gentle, aged men !
Unbind my sons, reverse the doom of death ;
And let me say, that never wept before,
My tears are now prevailing orators.

Luc. O noble father, you lament in vain :
The tribunes hear you not; no man is by;
And you recount your sorrows to a stone.

Tit. Ah, Lucius, for thy brothers let me plead. Grave tribunes, once more I entreat of you,

Luc. My gracious lord, no tribune hears you speak.

Tit.(42) Why, 'tis no matter, man: if they did hear,
They would not mark me; or if they did mark,
They would not pity me; yet plead I must,
And bootless unto them.
Therefore I tell my sorrows to the stones;
Who, though they cannot answer my distress,
Yet in some sort they are better than the tribunes,


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