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 murdered 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 severally.

SCENE V. The same.

Enter DEMETRIUS and Chiron, with LAVINIA, ravished;

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

scowl. 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, I should go hang myself. Dem. If thou hadst hands to help thee knit the cord.


Enter MARCUS. 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 slumber in eternal sleep!-
Speak, gentle niece, what stern, ungentle hands
Have lopped, and hewed, 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 half thy love! Why dost not speak to me ?-
Alas, a crimson river of warm blood,
Like to a bubbling fountain stirred with wind,
Doth rise and fall between thy rosed lips,
Coming and going with thy honey breath.
But, sure, some Tereus hath defloured thee;
And, lest thou shouldst detect him, 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 issuing spouts,-
Yet do thy cheeks look red as Titan's face,
Blushing to be encountered 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 stopped,
Doth burn the heart to cinders where it is.
Fair Philomela, she but lost her tongue,
And in a tedious sampler sewed her mind;
But, lovely niece, that mean is cut from thée ;
A craftier Tereus, hast thou met withal,
And he hath cut those pretty fingers off,
That could have better sewed 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 touched them for his life;
Or, had he heard the heavenly harmony,
Which that sweet tongue hath made,

1 “If this be a dream, I would give all my possessions to be delivered from it by waking.”

He would have dropped 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.

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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 watched; 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 honor's lofty bed. For these, good tribunes, in the dust I write

[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, &c., with the

O earth, I will befriend thee more with rain,


That shall distil, from these two ancient urns,
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.

Enter Lucius, with his sword drawn.
O reverend tribunes! 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 ;

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. Why, 'tis no matter, man; if they did hear, They would not mark me; oh, if they did hear, They would not pity me. Therefore I tell my sorrows bootless to the stones ; Who, though they cannot answer my distress, Yet in some sort they're better than the tribunes, For that they will not intercept my tale. When I do weep, they humbly at my feet Receive my tears, and seem to weep with me; And, were they but attired in grave weeds, Rome could afford no tribune like to these. A stone is soft as wax, tribunes more hard than stones; A stone is silent, and offendeth not ; And tribunes with their tongues doom men to death. But wherefore stand'st thou with thy weapon drawn?

Luc. To rescue my two brothers from their death; For which attempt, the judges have pronounced My everlasting doom of banishment.

1 The old copies read, “two ancient rimes.” The emendation is by sir T. Hanmer.

Tit. O happy man! they have befriended thee.
Why, foolish Lucius, dost thou not perceive,
That Rome is but a wilderness of tigers ?
Tigers must prey; and Rome affords no prey,
But me and mine. How happy art thou, then,
From these devourers to be banished !
But who comes with our brother Marcus here?

Mar. Titus, prepare thy noble eyes to weep;
Or, if not so, thy noble heart to break !
I bring consuming sorrow to thine age.

Tit. Will it consume me? let me see it, then.
Mar. This was thy daughter.
Tit. Why, Marcus, so she is.
Luc. Ah me! this object kills me !

Tit. Faint-hearted boy, arise, and look upon her.-
Speak, my Lavinia, what accursed hand
Hath made thee handless in thy father's sight?
What fool hath added water to the sea ?
Or brought a fagot to bright-burning Troy?
My grief was at the height before thou cam’st,
And now, like Nilus, it disdaineth bounds.
Give me a sword, I'll chop off my hands too;
For they have fought for Rome, and all in vain.
And they have nursed this woe, in feeding life ;
In bootless prayer have they been held up,
And they have served me to effectless use;
Now, all the service I require of them
Is, that the one will help to cut the other.-
'Tis well, Lavinia, that thou hast no hands;
For hands, to do Rome service, are but vain.

Luc. Speak, gentle sister, who hath martyred thee?

Mar. O, that delightful engine of her thoughts,
That blabbed them with such pleasing eloquence,
Is torn from forth that pretty hollow cage;
Where, like a sweet, melodious bird, it sung
Sweet, varied notes, enchanting every ear!

Luc. 0, say thou for her, who hath done this deed ?

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