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Mar. O, thus I found her, straying in the park,
Tit. It was my deer; and he that wounded her,
husband; Perchance, because she knows them innocent.
Tit. If they did kill thy husband, then be joyful, Because the law hath ta'en revenge on them.No, no, they would not do so foul a deed; Witness the sorrow that their sister makes.Gentle Lavinia, let me kiss thy lips; Or make some sign how I may do thee ease. Shall thy good uncle, and thy brother Lucius, And thou, and I, sit round about some fountain Looking all downwards, to behold our cheeks How they are stained, like meadows, yet not dry With miry slime left on them by a flood ?
And in the fountain shall we gaze so long,
grief, See, how my wretched sister sobs and weeps. Mar. Patience, dear niece ;-good Titus, dry thine
eyes. Tit. Ah Marcus, Marcus ! brother, well I wot, Thy napkin cannot drink a tear of mine, For thou, poor man, hast drowned it with thine own.
Luc. Ah, my Lavinia, I will wipe thy cheeks.
Tit. Mark, Marcus, mark! I understand her signs. Had she a tongue to speak, now would she say That to her brother which I said to thee; His napkin, with his true tears all bewet, Can do no service on her sorrowful cheeks. 0, what a sympathy of woe is this ! As far from help as limbo is from bliss !
Enter AARON. Aar. Titus Andronicus, my lord the emperor Sends thee this word,—That, if thou love thy sons, Let Marcus, Lucius, or thyself, old Titus, Or any one of you, chop off your hand, And send it to the king. He, for the same, Will send thee hither both thy sons alive; And that shall be the ransom for their fault.
Tit. O gracious emperor! O gentle Aaron ! Did ever raven sing so like a lark,
1 The Limbus patrum, as it was called, is a place that the schoolmen supposed to be in the neighborhood of hell, where the souls of the patriarchs were detained, and those good men who died before our Savior's resurrection. Milton gives the name of Limbo to his Paradise of Fools.
That gives sweet tidings of the sun's uprise ?
Luc. Stay, father ; for that noble hand of thine,
go along, For fear they die before their pardon come.
Mar. My hand shall go. .
By Heaven, it shall not go. Tit. Sirs, strive no more; such withered herbs as
these Are meet for plucking up, and therefore mine.
Luc. Sweet father, if I shall be thought thy son, Let me redeem my brothers both from death.
Mar. And, for our father's sake, and mother's,
Tit. Agree between you ; I will spare my hand.
But I will use the axe.
[Exeunt Lucius and MARCUS. Tit. Come hither, Aaron ; I'll deceive them both. Lend me thy hand, and I will give thee mine.
Aar. If that be called deceit, I will be honest, And never, whilst I live, deceive men so;
1 It appears from Grose on Antient Armour, that a castle was a kind of close helmet, probably so named from casquetel (old French.)
But I'll deceive you in another sort,
[Aside. And that you'll say, ere half an hour can pass.
[He cuts off Titus's hand.
Enter Lucius and MARCUS.
Aar. I go, Andronicus; and for thy hand,
Tit. O, here I lift this one hand up to heaven,
Mar. Ó! brother, speak with possibilities, And do not break into these deep extremes.
Tit. Is not my sorrow deep, having no bottom ? Then be my passions bottomless with them.
Mar. But yet let reason govern thy lament.
Tit. If there were reason for these miseries, Then into limits could I bind my woes. When heaven doth weep, doth not the earth o’erflow? If the winds rage, doth not the sea wax mad, Threatening the welkin with his big-swollen face?
And wilt thou have a reason for this coil ?
Enter a Messenger, with two heads and a hand. Mess. Worthy Andronicus, ill art thou repaid For that good hand thou sent'st the emperor. Here are the heads of thy two noble sons ; And here's thy hand, in scorn to thee sent back; Thy griefs their sports, thy resolution mocked ; That woe is me to think upon thy woes, More than remembrance of my father's death. [Exit.
Mar. Now let hot Ætna cool in Sicily, And be my heart an ever-burning hell! These miseries are more than may be borne! To weep with them that weep doth ease some deal, But sorrow flouted at, is double death.
Luc. Ah, that this sight should make so deep a wound, And yet detested life not shrink thereat! That ever death should let life bear his name, Where life hath no more interest but to breathe !
[LAVINIA kisses him. Mar. Alas, poor heart, that kiss is comfortless, As frozen water to a starved snake.
Tit. When will this fearful slumber have an end ? Mar. Now, farewell
, flattery. Die, Andronicus ; Thou dost not slumber: see, thy two sons' heads; Thy warlike hand, thy mangled daughter here ; Thy other banished son, with this dear sight Struck pale and bloodless ; and thy brother, 1, Even like a stony image, cold and numb. Ah! now no more will I control thy griefs;