Before the Palace.

Enter AARON.
Aar. Now climbeth Tamora Olympus' top,
Safe out of fortune's shot; and sits aloft,
Secure of thunder's crack, or lightning's flash;
Advanced above pale envy's threatening reach.
As when the golden sun salutes the morn,
And, having gilt the ocean with his beams,
Gallops the zodiac in his glistering coach,
And overlooks the highest-peering hills ;
So Tamora.
Upon her wit doth earthly honor wait,
And virtue stoops and trembles at her frown.
Then, Aaron, arm thy heart, and fit thy thoughts
To mount aloft with thy imperial mistress,
And mount her pitch; whom thou in triumph long
Hast prisoner held, fettered in amorous chains ;
And faster bound to Aaron's charming eyes,
Than is Prometheus tied to Caucasus.
Away with slavish weeds, and idlethoughts!
I will be bright, and shine in pearl and gold,
To wait upon this new-made emperess.
To wait, said I ? to wanton with this queen,
This goddess, this Semiramis ;—this nymph,
This siren, that will charm Rome's Saturnine,
And see his shipwreck, and his commonweal's.
Holloa ! what storm is this?

Enter Chiron and DEMETRIUS, braving. Dem. Chiron, thy years want wit, thy wit wants


1 In the quarto of 1600, the stage direction is, “ Sound trumpets, manet Moore.” In the quarto of 1611, the direction is, “ Manet Aaron," and he is before made to enter with Tamora, though he says nothing. This scene ought to continue the first act.

2 Ed. 1600, servile thoughts.

And manners, to intrude where I am graced;
And may, for aught thou know'st, affected be.

Chi. Demetrius, thou dost overween in all;
And so in this, to bear me down with braves.
'Tis not the difference of a year or two,
Makes me less gracious, thee more fortunate.
I am as able, and as fit, as thou,
To serve, and to deserve my mistress' grace;
And that my sword upon thee shall approve,
And plead my passions for Lavinia's love.
Aar. Clubs, clubs !! These lovers will not keep the

Dem. Why, boy, although our mother, unadvised,
Gave you a dancing-rapier" by your side,
Are you so desperate grown, to threat your friends ?
Go to; have your lath glued within your sheath,
Till you know better how to handle it.

Chi. Meanwhile, sir, with the little skill I have,
Full well shalt thou perceive how much I dare.
Dem. Ay, boy, grow ye so brave?

[They draw. Aar.

Why, how now, lords?
So near the emperor's palace dare you draw,
And maintain such a quarrel openly ?
Full well I wot the ground of all this grudge.
I would not for a million of gold,
The cause were known to them it most concerns;
Nor would your noble mother, for much more,
Be so dishonored in the court of Rome.
For shame, put up.

Not I ; till I have sheathed
My rapier in his bosom, and, withal,
Thrust these reproachful speeches down his throat,
That he hath breathed in my dishonor here.

Chi. For that I am prepared and full resolved, Foul-spoken coward! that thunder’st with thy tongue, And with thy weapon nothing darst perform.

1 This was the usual outcry for assistance, when any riot in the street happened.

2 A light sword, more for show than use, was worn by gentlemen, even when dancing, in the reign of Elizabeth.

Aar. Away, I say.Now, by the gods that warlike Goths adore, This petty brabble will undo us all.Why, lords,—and think you not how dangerous It is to jut upon a prince's right? What, is Lavinia then become so loose, Or Bassianus so degenerate, That for her love such quarrels may be broached, Without controlment, justice, or revenge? Young lords, beware !-an should the empress know This discord's ground, the music would not please.

Chi. I care not, I, knew she and all the world ; I love Lavinia more than all the world. Dem. Youngling, learn thou to make some meaner

choice : Lavinia is thine elder brother's hope.

Aar. Why, are ye mad ? or know ye not, in Rome How furious and impatient they be, And cannot brook competitors in love? I tell you, lords, you do but plot your deaths By this device. Chi.

Aaron, a thousand deaths
Would I propose, to achieve her whom I love.

Aar. To achieve her!-How ?
Why mak'st thou it so strange

She is a woman, therefore may be woo'd ;
She is a woman, therefore may be won ;
She is Lavinia, therefore must be loved.
What, man! more water glideth by the mill ?


1 These two lines occur, with very little variation, in the First Part of King Henry VI:

“ She's beautiful, and therefore to be woo'd ;

She is a woman, therefore to be won." This circumstance has given rise to a conjecture that the author of the present play was also the writer of the original King Henry VI. Ritson says, that he should take Kyd to have been the author of 'Í'itus Andronicus, because he seems to delight in murders and scraps of Latin, though, in the first of those good qualities, Marlowe's Jew of Malta may fairly dispute precedence with the Spanish Tragedy."

There is a Scottish proverb, “ Mickle water goes by the miller when he sleeps.” Non omnem molitor quæ fuit unda videt. The subsequent line is also a northern proverb, “ It is safe taking a shive of a cut loaf.”

Than wots the miller of; and easy it is
Of a cut loaf to steal a shive, we know.
Though Bassianus be the emperor's brother,
Better than he have yet worn Vulcan's badge.

Aar. Ay, and as good as Saturninus may. [Aside.
Dem. Then why should he despair, that knows to

court it With words, fair looks, and liberality ? What, hast thou not full often struck a doe, And borne her cleanly by the keeper's nose ? Aar. Why, then, it seems, some certain snatch,

or so, Would serve your turns. Chi.

Ay, so the turn were served. Dem. Aaron, thou hast hit it. Aar.

'Would you had hit it too; Then should not we be tired with this ado. Why, hark ye, hark ye,-and are you such fools, To square for this ? Would it offend


then That both should speed ? Chi.

I'faith, not me.
So I were one.
Aar. For shame, be friends; and join for that you

'Tis policy and stratagem must do
That you affect; and so must you resolve ;
That what you cannot, as you would, achieve,
You must perforce accomplish as you may,
Take this of me, Lucrece was not more chaste
Than this Lavinia, Bassianus' love.
A speedier course than lingering languishment
Must 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 there are,
Fitted by kind for rape and villany.

Nor me,

1 Quarrel.

2 By nature.


Single you thither then this dainty doe,
And strike her home by force, if not by words;
This way, or not at all, stand you in hope.
Come, come, our empress, with her sacred ? wit,
To villany and vengeance consecrate,
Will we 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 ruthless, dreadful, deaf, and dull;
There speak, and strike, brave boys, and take your

turns ; There serve your lust, shadowed from heaven's eye, And revel in Lavinia's treasury.

Chi. Thy counsel, 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.3


SCENE II.4 A Forest near Rome.

at a distance.

A Lodge seen

Horns, and cry of hounds heard. Enter Titus An

DRONICUS, with Hunters, &c., MARCUS, Lucius, QUINTUS, and Martius.

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 rouse the prince; and ring a hunter's peal,

1 Sacred here signifies accursed ; a Latinism.

2 The allusion is to the operation of the file, which, by giving smoothness, facilitates the motion of the parts of an engine or piece of machinery.

3 These scraps of Latin are taken, though not exactly, from some of Seneca's tragedies.

4 “ The division of this play into acts, which was first made in the folio of 1623, is improper. There is here an interval of action, and here the second act ought to have begun.” VOL. VI.


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