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In this detefted, dark, blood-drinking pit.
Quin. If it be dark, how dost thou know 'tis he?
Mar. 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 shews the ragged entrails of this 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 Basianus' grave.
I have no strength to pluck thee to the brink.
Mar. And 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,
Enter the Emperor, and Aaron.
Sat. Along, with me; - I'll see what hole is here,
And what he is, that now is leap'd into't.
Say, who art thou, that lately didît descend
Into this gaping hollow of the earth ?
Mar. Th' unhappy fon of old Andronicus,
Brought hither in a most unlucky hour,
To find thy brother Basianus dead.
Sat. My brother dead ? I know, thou doft but jest :
He and his lady both are at the Lodge,
Upon the north-fide of this pleasant chafe;
'Tis not an hour since I left him there.
Mar. We know not where you left him all alive, But out, alas ! here have we found him dead.
Exter Tamora with Attendants ; Andronicus, and
Tam. Where is my lord, the King ?
Sat. Here, Tamora ; though griev'd with killing
Tam. Where is thy brother Baffianus ?
Sat. Now to the bottom dost thou search my wound ;
Poor Bafanus here lies murthered.
Tam. Then all too late I bring this fatal Writ,
The complot of this timeless tragedy ;
And wonder greatly, that man's face can fold
In pleasing smiles such murderous tyranny:
[She giveth Saturninus a letter,
Saturninus reads the letter.
And if we miss to meet him handsomly,
Sweet huntsman, Baffianus 'tis we mean ;
Do thou so much as dig the grave for him,
Thou know's our meaning : look for thy reward
Among the nettles at the elder-tree,
Which over-shades the mouth of that same pit,
Where we decreed to bury Bassianus.
Do this, and purchase us thy lasting friends.
Oh, 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 murther'd Bassianus here.
Aar. My gracious lord, here is the bag of gold.
Sat. Two of thy whelps, fell curs of bloody kind,
Have here bereft my brother of his life. [T. Titus.
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 ? oh wondrous thing!
How easily murder is discovered ?
Tit. High Emperor, upon my feeble knee
I beg this
boon, with tears not lightly thed,
That this fell fault of my accursed fons,
(Accursed, if the fault 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, fome the murtherers.
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 severally. Enter Demetrius and Chiron, with Lavinia, ravilid;
her kunds 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 ; And (if thy stumps will let thee) play the scribe.
Dem. See, how with signs and tokens she can scrowle. Chi. Go home, call for. sweet water, wash thy hands.
Dem. She has no tongue to call, or hands to wash; And so let's leave her to her filent walks.
Chi. If’twere my case, I should go hang my self. Dem. If thou hadft hands to help thee knit the cord.
[Exeunt Dem. and Chiron. Enter Marcus to Lavinia. Mar. Who's 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 flumber 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, (8)
Whose circling shadows Kings have fought to sleep in ?
And might not gain so great a happiness,
As have thy love! why doit not speak to me?
Alas, a crimson river of warm blood,
Like to a bubbling fountain itirr’d with wind,
Doth rise and fall between thy rosie lips,
Coming and going with thy honey breath.
But, sure, fome Tereus hath defloured thee;
And, left thou should'st detect him, cut thy tongue.
Ah, now thou turn's away thy face for shame!
And, notwithstanding all this loss of blood,
(As from a conduit with their issuing spouts,)
Yet do thy cheeks look red as Titan's face,
Blushing to be encountred 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 stopt,
Doth burn the heart to-.cinders where it is.
Fair Philomela, she but lost her tongue,
And in a tedious sampler sew'd her mind.
But, lovely Niece, that Mean is cut from thee ;
A craftier Tereus halt thou met withal,
And he hath cut those pretty fingers off,
That could have better few'd than Philomel.
Oh, had the monster seen those lilly hands
Tremble, like aspen leaves, upon a lute,
And make the filken strings delight to kiss them
He would not then have touch'd them for his life.
Or had he heard the heav'nly harmony,
those sweet Ornaments, Whose circling Shadows Kings have fought to sleep in, And might not gain so great an Happiness,
As half thy Love! ] As half her Love? But might they gain any part of her Love? Or would she not consent to embrace 'em so much as with one Arm ? The Poet had no such Stuff in his Thoughts. My Correction restores the true Meaning; that, tho' Princes languish'd to sleep in her Arms, they could not obtain theis Suit, or have her Love,
Which that sweet tongue hath made ;
He would have dropt 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 fight 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 :
Oh, could our mourning ease thy misery ! [Exeunt.
SCENE, a Street in Rome.
Enter the Judges and Senators, with Marcus and
Quintus bound, paling on the stage to the place of
execution, and Titus going before, pleading.
EAR me, grave fathers ; noble Tribunes, stay,
For pity of mine age, whose youth was spent
In dangerous wars, whilft you securely slept :
For all my blood in Rome's great quarrel shed,
For all the frosty nights that I have watcht,
And for these bitter tears, which you now fee
Filling the aged wrinkles in my cheeks,
Be pitiful to my condemned fons,
Whose souls are not corrupted, as 'tis thought.
For two and twenty fons I never wept,
Because they died in Honour's lofry bed.
[Andronicus lieth down, and the judges pass by him.
For these, these, Tribunes, in the dust I write
My heart's deep languor, and my fouls fad tears :
Let my tears ftanch the earth's dry appetite,
My sons' sweet blood will make it shame and blush:
O earth! I will befriend thee more with rain, [Exe.
That shall distil from these two antient ruins,