Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

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 ? 0, 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.

[T. CHIRON. Chi. What! wouldst thou have me prove myself a

bastard ?
Lav. 'Tis true the raven doth not hatch a lark:
Yet I have heard, (0, could I find it now!)
The lion, moved with pity, did endure
To have his princely paws pared all away.
Some say that ravens foster forlorn children,
The whilst their own birds famish in their nests.
0, 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. 0, 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. Had thou in person ne'er offended me,
Even for his sake am I pitiless.-
Remember, boys, I poured 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 loved of me.

Lav. 0 Tamora, be called a gentle queen,

me go

And with thine own hands kill me in this place.
For 'tis not life, that I have begged so long;
Poor I was slain, when Bassianus died.

Tam. What begg'st thou, then? Fond woman, let
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 staid 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;

[Dragging off Lavinia. This is the hole where Aaron bid us hide him.

[Exeunt. Tam. Farewell, my sons; see that you make her

sure.

Ne'er let my heart know merry cheer indeed,
Till all the Andronici be made away.
Now will I hence to seek my lovely Moor,
And let my spleenful sons this trull deflour.

[Exit.

SCENE IV. The same.

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.

[Martius falls into the pit. Quin. What, art thou fallen ? What subtle hole is

this,
Whose mouth is covered with rude-growing briers ;
Upon whose leaves are drops of new-shed blood,
As fresh as morning's dew distilled 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
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 AARON. Mart. Why dost not comfort me, and help me out From this unhallowed and blood-stained hole?

Quin. I am surprised with an uncouth fear ;
A chilling sweat o'erruns 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 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 slaughtered 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,

1

1 Old naturalists assert that there is a gem called a carbuncle, which emits not reflected but native light. Boyle believed in the reality of its existence. It is often alluded to in ancient fable.

47

VOL. VI.

Which, like a taper in some monument,
Doth shine upon the dead man's earthy cheeks,
And shows the ragged entrails of this pit;
So pale did shine the moon on Pyramus,
When he by night lay bathed 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 plucked into the swallowing womb Of this deep pit, poor Bassianus' grave. I have no strength to pluck thee to the brink.

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.

Enter SATURNINUS and AARON.
Sat. Along with me.--I'll see what hole is here,
And what he is, that now is leaped 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. Enter TAMORA, with Attendants ; Titus ANDRONICUS

and Lucius. Tam. Where is my lord, the king ? Sat. Here, Tamora ; though grieved 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 hand-

somely,
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 murdered Bassianus here.
Aar. My gracious lord, here is the bag of gold.

[Showing it. Sat. Two of thy whelps, [To Tit.) 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 devised Some never heard-of torturing pain for them. Tam. What, are they in this pit? 0 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 accursed sons,Accursed, if the fault be proved in them,

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

1 i. e. untimely.

« VorigeDoorgaan »