« AnteriorContinuar »
Than this Lavinia, Baffianus' love;
A speedier course than lingring languishment
Muft we pursue, and I have found the path.
My lords. a solemn hunting is in hand,
There will the lovely Roman ladies troop:
The forest-walks are wide and spacious,
And many unfrequented Plots i here are,
Fitted by kind for rape and villany:
Single you thither then this dainty doe,
And strike her home by force, if not by words:
This way, or not at all, ftand you in hope.
Come, come, our Empress with her sacred wit
To Villany and vengeance consecrate.
We will acquaint with all that we intend;
And she shall file our engines with advice,
That will not suffer you to square yourselves,
But to your wishes' height advance you both.
The Emperor's Court is like the House of Fame,
The Palace full of tongues, of eyes, of ears:
The woods are ruthlets, dreadful, deaf and dull :
There speak, and strike, brave boys, and take your
There serve your lufts, shadow'd from heaven's eye;
And revel in Lavinia's Treasury.
Chi. Thy counfel, lad, smells of no cowardice.
Dem. Sit fas aut nefas, 'till I find the stream To cool this heat, a charm to calm these fits, Per Styga, per Manes vehor.
[Exeunt. S C Ε Ν Ε III.
Changes to a Forest. Enter Titus Andronicus and his three Sons, with hounds
and horns, and Marcus. Tit. THE Hunt is up, the morn is bright and
gray ; The fields are fragrant, and the woods are green: Uncouple here, and let us make a Bay :
And wake the Emperor and his lovely Bride,
And rouze the Prince, and ring a hunter's peal,
That all the Court may echo-with the noise.
Sons, let it be your charge, as it is ours,
To tend the Eniperor's person carefully:
I have been troubled in my sleep this night,
But dawning day new comfort hath inspir'd.
Here a cry of hounds, and wind horns in a peal: then en-
ter Saturninus, Tamora, Ballianus, Lavinia, Chiron, Demetrius and their Attendants.
Tit. Many good-morrows to your Majesty :
Madam, to you as many and as good.
I promised your Grace a hunter's peal.
Sat. And you have rung it luftily, my lords,
Somewhat too early for new-married ladies.
Bas. Lavinia, how say you ?
Lam. I say, no:
I have been broad awake two hours and more.
Sat. Come on then, horse and chariots let us have,
And to our sport: Madam, now ye shall see
Our Roman Hunting.
Mar. I have dogs, my lord,
Will rouse the proudeft Panther in the chafe,
And climb the highest promontory-top.
Tit. And I have horse will follow, where the game Makes way, and run like swallows o'er the plain. Dem. Chiron, we hunt not, we, with horse nor
hound; But hope to pluck a dainty Doe to ground. [Exeunt.
S CE N E IV.
Changes to a desart part of the Forest.
Enter Aaron alone.
Aar. E, that had wit, would think, that I had
none, To bury so much gold under a tree;
And never after to inherit it.
Let him, that thinks of me so abje&tly,
Know, that this gold must coin a stratagem;
Which, cunningly effecied, will beget
A very excellent piece of villany;
And lo repose, sweet gold, for their unrest,
That have their alms out of the Empress' cheft.
Tam. My lovely Aaron, wherefore look'st thou sad,
When every thing doth make a gleeful boast ?
The birds chaunt melody on every bush,
The snake lies rolled in the chearful sun,
The green leaves quiver with the cooling wind,
And make a chequer'd shadow on the ground:
Under their sweet shade, Aaron, let us lit,
And whilst the babling Echo mocks the hounds,
Replying frilly to the well tun'd horns,
As if a double Hunt were heard at once,
Let us sit down and mark their yelling noise :
And after conflia, such as was suppos'd
The wandring Prince and Dido once enjoy’d,
When with a happy storm they were surpriz’d,
And curtain'd with a counsel-keeping cave ;
may, each wreathed in the other's arms, (Our pastimes done) poffefs a golden flumber; Whilft hounds and horns, and sweet melodious birds Be unto us, as is a nurse's song Of lullaby, to bring her babe asleep.
Aar. Madam, though Venus govern your desires,
Saturn is dominator over mine :
What fignifies my deadly-standing eye,
My filence, and my cloudy melancholy,
My fleece of woolly hair, that now'uncurls,
Even as an adder, when she doth unrowl
To do some fatal execution ?
No, Madam, there are no venereal signs ;
Vengeance is in my heart, death in my hands
Blood and revenge are hammering in my head.
Hark, Tamora, (the Empress of my soul,
Which never hopes more heaven than rests in thec)
This is the day of doom for Baffianus;
His Philomel must lose her tongue to day;
Thy fons make pillage of her chastity,
And wash their hands in Bassianus' blood.
Seeft thou this letter, take it up, I pray thee,
And give the King this fatal-plotted scroll;
Now question me no more, we are espied ;
Here comes a parcel of our hopeful booty,
Which dread not yet their lives' destruction.
Tam. Ah, my sweet Moor, sweeter to me than life.
Aar. No more, great Empress, Baffianus comes ; Be cross with him, and I'll go fetch thy fons To back thy quarrels, whatsoe'er they be. [Exit.
Enter Baflianus and Lavinia. Baf. WHOM THOM have we here? Rome's royal Em
peress? Unfurnish'd of her well-beseeming troops ? Or is it Dinn, habited like her,
Who hath abandoned her holy groves,
[ To see the general Hunting in this forest ?
Tam. Saucy controuller of our private steps:
Had I the power, that, some say, Dian had,
Thy temples should be planted presently
With horns, as was Acteon's; and the hounds
Should drive upon thy new-transformed limbs,
Unmannerly Intruder as thou art !
Lav. Under your patience, gentle Emperess,
'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 shields your husband from his hounds to day!
'Tis pity they should take him for a ftag.
Baf. Believe me, Queen, your swarth Cimmerian
Doth make your honour of his body's hue,
Spotted, deiested, and abominable.
Why are you fequeftred from all your train ?
Dismounted from your snow-white goodly steed,
And wandred hither to an obscure plot,
Accompanied with a barbarous Moor,
If foul desire had not conducted you u ?
Lav. And being intercepted in your sport,
Great reason, that my noble lord be rated
For fauciness.I pray you, let us hence.
And let her joy her raven-colour'd love ;
This valley fits the purpose passing well.
Baf. The King my brother shall have note of this.
Lav. Ay, for these flips have made him noted long. Good King, to be so mightily abused. Tam. Why have I patience to endure all this?
Enter Chiron and Demetrius.
Dem. How now, dear Sovereign and our gracious
Why does 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 and detested vale, you see, it is.
The trecs, tho' summer, yet forlorn and lean,
O'ercome with moss, and baleful misselto.
Here never shines the sun ; here nothing breeds,
Unless the nightly owl, or fatal raven,
And when they shew'd me this abhorred 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 confused cries,
As any montal body, hearing it,
Should straight fall mad, or else die suddenly,
No sooner had they told this hellish tale,