Now will I to the Goths, and raise a power,
To be revenged on Rome and Saturnine.


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SCENE II. A Room in Titus's House. A banquet

set out.



Enter Titus, MARCUS, LAVINIA, and young Lucius,

a Boy. Tit. So, so; now sit; and look, you eat no more Than will preserve just so much strength in us As will revenge these bitter woes of ours. Marcus, unknit that sorrow-wreathen knot Thy niece and I, poor creatures, want our hands, And cannot passionate 3 our tenfold grief With folded arms. This poor right hand of mine Is left to tyrannize upon my breast; And when my heart, all mad with misery, Beats in this hollow prison of my flesh, Then thus I thump it down.Thou map of woe, that thus dost talk in signs!

[To LAVINIA. When thy poor heart beats with outrageous beating, Thou canst not strike it thus to make it still. Wound it with sighing, girl ; kill it with groans ; Or get some little knife between thy teeth, And just against thy heart make thou a hole; That all the tears that thy poor eyes let fall, May run into that sink, and, soaking in, Drown the lamenting fool in sea-salt tears.

Mar. Fie, brother, fie! teach her not thus to lay Such violent hands upon her tender life.

Tit. How now! has sorrow made thee dote already ?

1 This scene is wanting in the quarto copies of 1600 and 1611, but found in the folio of 1623. 2 So in The Tempest :

sitting, His arms in this sad knot." 3 This obsolete verb is likewise found in Spenser.

Why, Marcus, no man should be mad but 1.
What violent hands can she lay on her life?
Ah, wherefore dost thou urge the name of hands;
To bid Æneas tell the tale twice o’er,
How Troy was burnt, and he made miserable ?
O, handle not the theme, to talk of hands

Lest we remember still, that we have none.-
Fie, fie, how franticly I square my talk !
As if we should forget we had no hands,
If Marcus did not name the word of hands!
Come, let's fall to; and, gentle girl, eat this ;-
Here is no drink! Hark, Marcus, what she says;-
I can interpret all her martyred signs ;
She says she drinks no other drink but tears,
Brewed with her sorrows, meshed upon her cheeks.
Speechless complainer, I will learn thy thought;
In thy dumb action will I be as perfect
As begging hermits in their holy prayers ;
Thou shalt not sigh, nor hold thy stumps to heaven,
Nor wink, nor nod, nor kneel, nor make a sign,
But I, of these, will wrest an alphabet,
And, by still practice, learn to know thy meaning.
Boy. Good grandsire, leave these bitter, deep la-

ments; Make my aunt merry with some pleasing tale.

Mar. Alas, the tender boy, in passion moved, Doth weep to see his grandsire's heaviness.

Tit. Peace, tender sapling; thou art made of tears, And tears will quickly melt thy life away.

[Marcus Strikes the dish with a knife. What dost thou strike at, Marcus, with thy knife?

Mar. At that that I have killed, my lord; a fly.

Tit. Out on thee, murderer! thou kill'st my heart; Mine eyes are cloyed with view of tyranny. A deed of death, done on the innocent, Becomes not Titus' brother. Get thee gone ; I see, thou art not for my company.

Mar. Alas, my lord, I have but killed a fly.

1 A very coarse allusion to brewing.

Tit. But how, if that fly had a father and mother ? 1 How would he hang his slender, gilded wings, And buzz lamenting doings in the air ! Poor, harmless fly! That, with his pretty buzzing melody, Came here to make us merry; and thou hast killed him.

Mar. Pardon me, sir; 'twas a black, ill-favored fly, Like to the empress' Moor; therefore I killed him.

Tit. 0, 0, 0,
Then pardon me for reprehending thee,
For thou hast done a charitable deed.
Give me thy knife, I will insult on him ;
Flattering myself

, as if it were the Moor,
Come hither purposely to poison me.-
There's for thyself, and that's for Tamora.-
Ah, sirrah !
Yet I do think we are not brought so low,
But that, between us, we can kill a fly,
That comes in likeness of a coal-black Moor.

Mar. Alas, poor man! grief has so wrought on him, He takes false shadows for true substances.

Tit. Come, take away.--Lavinia, go with me.
I'll to thy closet; and go read with thee
Sad stories, chanced in the times of old.-
Come, boy, and go with me; thy sight is young,
And thou shalt read, when mine begins to dazzle.


i Steevens conjectures that the words and mother" should be omitted. Ritson proposes to read the line thus :

“ But! How if that fly had a father, brother ?2 This was formerly not a disrespectful expression.




SCENE I. The same. Before Titus's House. .

Enter Titus and Marcus. Then enter young Lucius,

Lavinia running after him.
Boy. Help, grandsire, help! my aunt Lavinia
Follows me every where, I know not why:-
Good uncle Marcus, see how swift she comes !
Alas, sweet aunt, I know not what you mean.

Mar. Stand by me, Lucius; do not fear thine aunt.
Tit. She loves thee, boy, too well to do thee harm.
Boy. Ay, when my father was in Rome, she did.
Mar. What means my niece Lavinia by these

signs ? Tit. Fear her not, Lucius ;--somewhat doth she

See, Lucius, see, how much she makes of thee;
Somewhither would she have thee go with her.
Ah, boy, Cornelia never with more care
Read to her sons, than she hath read to thee,
Sweet poetry, and Tully's Orator.1
Canst thou not guess wherefore she plies thee thus ?

Boy. My lord, I know not, I, nor can I guess,
Unless some fit or frenzy do possess her ;
For I have heard my grandsire say full oft,
Extremity of griefs would make men mad;
And I have read that Hecuba of Troy
Ran mad through sorrow.

That made me to fear,
Although, my lord, I know my noble aunt
Loves me as dear as e'er my mother did,
And would not, but in fury, fright my youth ;
Which made me down to throw my books, and fly;
Causeless, perhaps. But pardon me, sweet aunt;
And, madam, if my uncle Marcus go,
I will most willingly attend your ladyship.

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1 Tully's Treatise on Eloquence, entitled Orator.

Mar. Lucius, I will. [LAVINIA turns over the books which Lucius

has let fall. Tit. How now, Lavinia ?–Marcus, what means this? Some book there is that she desires to see.Which is it, girl, of these ?-Open them, boy.But thou art deeper read, and better skilled ; Come, and take choice of all my library, And so beguile thy sorrow, till the Heavens Reveal the damned contriver of this deed.Why lifts she up her arms in sequence? thus ?

Mar. I think she means that there was more than


Confederate in the fact. ---Ay, more there was.
Or else to Heaven she heaves them for revenge.

Tit. Lucius, what book is that she tosseth so?

Boy. Grandsire, 'tis Ovid's Metamorphosis;
My mother gave't me.

For love of her that's gone, Perhaps she culled it from among the rest.

Tit. Soft! see, how busily she turns the leaves ! Help her ;What would she find ?-Lavinia, shall I read ? This is the tragic tale of Philomel, And treats of Tereus treason, and his rape ; And rape, I fear, was root of thine annoy. Mar. See, brother, see; note how she quotes the

leaves. Tit. Lavinia, wert thou thus surprised, sweet girl, Ravished and wronged, as Philomela was, Forced in the ruthless, vast, and gloomy woods ?See, see! Ay, such a place there is, where we did hunt, (O, had we never, never hunted there !) Patterned by that the poet here describes, By nature made for murders, and for rapes.

Mar. O, why should nature build so foul a den, Unless the gods delight in tragedies !

1 Succession.

2 To quote is to observe.

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