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Titus Andronicus

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Act V, Scene 3

Court of TITUS’s house. A banquet set out.


[Enter LUCIUS, MARCUS, and Goths, with AARON prisoner]

  • Lucius. Uncle Marcus, since it is my father's mind
    That I repair to Rome, I am content.
  • First Goth. And ours with thine, befall what fortune will.
  • Lucius. Good uncle, take you in this barbarous Moor,
    This ravenous tiger, this accursed devil; 2530
    Let him receive no sustenance, fetter him
    Till he be brought unto the empress' face,
    For testimony of her foul proceedings:
    And see the ambush of our friends be strong;
    I fear the emperor means no good to us. 2535
  • Aaron. Some devil whisper curses in mine ear,
    And prompt me, that my tongue may utter forth
    The venomous malice of my swelling heart!
  • Lucius. Away, inhuman dog! unhallow'd slave!
    Sirs, help our uncle to convey him in. 2540
    [Exeunt Goths, with AARON. Flourish within]
    The trumpets show the emperor is at hand.
    Tribunes, Senators, and others]
  • Saturninus. What, hath the firmament more suns than one? 2545
  • Lucius. What boots it thee to call thyself a sun?
  • Marcus Andronicus. Rome's emperor, and nephew, break the parle;
    These quarrels must be quietly debated.
    The feast is ready, which the careful Titus
    Hath ordain'd to an honourable end, 2550
    For peace, for love, for league, and good to Rome:
    Please you, therefore, draw nigh, and take your places.
  • Saturninus. Marcus, we will.
    [Hautboys sound. The Company sit down at table]
    [Enter TITUS dressed like a Cook, LAVINIA veiled,] 2555
    Young LUCIUS, and others. TITUS places the dishes
    on the table]
  • Titus Andronicus. Welcome, my gracious lord; welcome, dread queen;
    Welcome, ye warlike Goths; welcome, Lucius;
    And welcome, all: although the cheer be poor, 2560
    'Twill fill your stomachs; please you eat of it.
  • Saturninus. Why art thou thus attired, Andronicus?
  • Titus Andronicus. Because I would be sure to have all well,
    To entertain your highness and your empress.
  • Tamora. We are beholding to you, good Andronicus. 2565
  • Titus Andronicus. An if your highness knew my heart, you were.
    My lord the emperor, resolve me this:
    Was it well done of rash Virginius
    To slay his daughter with his own right hand,
    Because she was enforced, stain'd, and deflower'd? 2570
  • Saturninus. Because the girl should not survive her shame,
    And by her presence still renew his sorrows.
  • Titus Andronicus. A reason mighty, strong, and effectual; 2575
    A pattern, precedent, and lively warrant,
    For me, most wretched, to perform the like.
    Die, die, Lavinia, and thy shame with thee;
    [Kills LAVINIA]
    And, with thy shame, thy father's sorrow die! 2580
  • Saturninus. What hast thou done, unnatural and unkind?
  • Titus Andronicus. Kill'd her, for whom my tears have made me blind.
    I am as woful as Virginius was,
    And have a thousand times more cause than he
    To do this outrage: and it now is done. 2585
  • Saturninus. What, was she ravish'd? tell who did the deed.
  • Tamora. Why hast thou slain thine only daughter thus?
  • Titus Andronicus. Not I; 'twas Chiron and Demetrius: 2590
    They ravish'd her, and cut away her tongue;
    And they, 'twas they, that did her all this wrong.
  • Saturninus. Go fetch them hither to us presently.
  • Titus Andronicus. Why, there they are both, baked in that pie;
    Whereof their mother daintily hath fed, 2595
    Eating the flesh that she herself hath bred.
    'Tis true, 'tis true; witness my knife's sharp point.

[Kills TAMORA]

  • Saturninus. Die, frantic wretch, for this accursed deed!

[Kills TITUS]

  • Lucius. Can the son's eye behold his father bleed?
    There's meed for meed, death for a deadly deed!
    [Kills SATURNINUS. A great tumult. LUCIUS, MARCUS,]
    and others go up into the balcony]
  • Marcus Andronicus. You sad-faced men, people and sons of Rome, 2605
    By uproar sever'd, like a flight of fowl
    Scatter'd by winds and high tempestuous gusts,
    O, let me teach you how to knit again
    This scatter'd corn into one mutual sheaf,
    These broken limbs again into one body; 2610
    Lest Rome herself be bane unto herself,
    And she whom mighty kingdoms court'sy to,
    Like a forlorn and desperate castaway,
    Do shameful execution on herself.
    But if my frosty signs and chaps of age, 2615
    Grave witnesses of true experience,
    Cannot induce you to attend my words,
    [To LUCIUS]
    Speak, Rome's dear friend, as erst our ancestor,
    When with his solemn tongue he did discourse 2620
    To love-sick Dido's sad attending ear
    The story of that baleful burning night
    When subtle Greeks surprised King Priam's Troy,
    Tell us what Sinon hath bewitch'd our ears,
    Or who hath brought the fatal engine in 2625
    That gives our Troy, our Rome, the civil wound.
    My heart is not compact of flint nor steel;
    Nor can I utter all our bitter grief,
    But floods of tears will drown my oratory,
    And break my utterance, even in the time 2630
    When it should move you to attend me most,
    Lending your kind commiseration.
    Here is a captain, let him tell the tale;
    Your hearts will throb and weep to hear him speak.
  • Lucius. Then, noble auditory, be it known to you, 2635
    That cursed Chiron and Demetrius
    Were they that murdered our emperor's brother;
    And they it were that ravished our sister:
    For their fell faults our brothers were beheaded;
    Our father's tears despised, and basely cozen'd 2640
    Of that true hand that fought Rome's quarrel out,
    And sent her enemies unto the grave.
    Lastly, myself unkindly banished,
    The gates shut on me, and turn'd weeping out,
    To beg relief among Rome's enemies: 2645
    Who drown'd their enmity in my true tears.
    And oped their arms to embrace me as a friend.
    I am the turned forth, be it known to you,
    That have preserved her welfare in my blood;
    And from her bosom took the enemy's point, 2650
    Sheathing the steel in my adventurous body.
    Alas, you know I am no vaunter, I;
    My scars can witness, dumb although they are,
    That my report is just and full of truth.
    But, soft! methinks I do digress too much, 2655
    Citing my worthless praise: O, pardon me;
    For when no friends are by, men praise themselves.
  • Marcus Andronicus. Now is my turn to speak. Behold this child:
    [Pointing to the Child in the arms of an Attendant]
    Of this was Tamora delivered; 2660
    The issue of an irreligious Moor,
    Chief architect and plotter of these woes:
    The villain is alive in Titus' house,
    And as he is, to witness this is true.
    Now judge what cause had Titus to revenge 2665
    These wrongs, unspeakable, past patience,
    Or more than any living man could bear.
    Now you have heard the truth, what say you, Romans?
    Have we done aught amiss,—show us wherein,
    And, from the place where you behold us now, 2670
    The poor remainder of Andronici
    Will, hand in hand, all headlong cast us down.
    And on the ragged stones beat forth our brains,
    And make a mutual closure of our house.
    Speak, Romans, speak; and if you say we shall, 2675
    Lo, hand in hand, Lucius and I will fall.
  • Aemilius. Come, come, thou reverend man of Rome,
    And bring our emperor gently in thy hand,
    Lucius our emperor; for well I know
    The common voice do cry it shall be so. 2680
  • All. Lucius, all hail, Rome's royal emperor!
  • Marcus Andronicus. Go, go into old Titus' sorrowful house,
    [To Attendants]
    And hither hale that misbelieving Moor,
    To be adjudged some direful slaughtering death, 2685
    As punishment for his most wicked life.

[Exeunt Attendants]

[LUCIUS, MARCUS, and the others descend]

  • All. Lucius, all hail, Rome's gracious governor!
  • Lucius. Thanks, gentle Romans: may I govern so, 2690
    To heal Rome's harms, and wipe away her woe!
    But, gentle people, give me aim awhile,
    For nature puts me to a heavy task:
    Stand all aloof: but, uncle, draw you near,
    To shed obsequious tears upon this trunk. 2695
    O, take this warm kiss on thy pale cold lips,
    [Kissing TITUS]
    These sorrowful drops upon thy blood-stain'd face,
    The last true duties of thy noble son!
  • Marcus Andronicus. Tear for tear, and loving kiss for kiss, 2700
    Thy brother Marcus tenders on thy lips:
    O were the sum of these that I should pay
    Countless and infinite, yet would I pay them!
  • Lucius. Come hither, boy; come, come, and learn of us
    To melt in showers: thy grandsire loved thee well: 2705
    Many a time he danced thee on his knee,
    Sung thee asleep, his loving breast thy pillow:
    Many a matter hath he told to thee,
    Meet and agreeing with thine infancy;
    In that respect, then, like a loving child, 2710
    Shed yet some small drops from thy tender spring,
    Because kind nature doth require it so:
    Friends should associate friends in grief and woe:
    Bid him farewell; commit him to the grave;
    Do him that kindness, and take leave of him. 2715
  • Young Lucius. O grandsire, grandsire! even with all my heart
    Would I were dead, so you did live again!
    O Lord, I cannot speak to him for weeping;
    My tears will choke me, if I ope my mouth.

[Re-enter Attendants with AARON]

  • Aemilius. You sad Andronici, have done with woes:
    Give sentence on this execrable wretch,
    That hath been breeder of these dire events.
  • Lucius. Set him breast-deep in earth, and famish him;
    There let him stand, and rave, and cry for food; 2725
    If any one relieves or pities him,
    For the offence he dies. This is our doom:
    Some stay to see him fasten'd in the earth.
  • Aaron. O, why should wrath be mute, and fury dumb?
    I am no baby, I, that with base prayers 2730
    I should repent the evils I have done:
    Ten thousand worse than ever yet I did
    Would I perform, if I might have my will;
    If one good deed in all my life I did,
    I do repent it from my very soul. 2735
  • Lucius. Some loving friends convey the emperor hence,
    And give him burial in his father's grave:
    My father and Lavinia shall forthwith
    Be closed in our household's monument.
    As for that heinous tiger, Tamora, 2740
    No funeral rite, nor man m mourning weeds,
    No mournful bell shall ring her burial;
    But throw her forth to beasts and birds of prey:
    Her life was beast-like, and devoid of pity;
    And, being so, shall have like want of pity. 2745
    See justice done on Aaron, that damn'd Moor,
    By whom our heavy haps had their beginning:
    Then, afterwards, to order well the state,
    That like events may ne'er it ruinate.