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Titus Andronicus: Act 2, Scene 1

Titus Andronicus
Act 2, Scene 1

Scene 1

Rome. Before the Palace.

  1. Aaron the Moor alone.

Aaron

2 - 26
  1. Now climbeth Tamora Olympus’ top,
  2. Safe out of fortune’s shot, and sits aloft,
  3. Secure of thunder’s crack or lightning flash,
  4. Advanc’d above pale envy’s threat’ning reach.
  5. As when the golden sun salutes the morn,
  6. And, having gilt the ocean with his beams,
  7. Gallops the zodiac in his glistering coach,
  8. And overlooks the highest-peering hills:
  9. So Tamora.
  10. Upon her wit doth earthly honor wait,
  11. And virtue stoops and trembles at her frown;
  12. Then, Aaron, arm thy heart, and fit thy thoughts,
  13. To mount aloft with thy imperial mistress,
  14. And mount her pitch, whom thou in triumph long
  15. Hast prisoner held, fett’red in amorous chains,
  16. And faster bound to Aaron’s charming eyes
  17. Than is Prometheus tied to Caucasus.
  18. Away with slavish weeds and servile thoughts!
  19. I will be bright, and shine in pearl and gold,
  20. To wait upon this new-made emperess.
  21. To wait, said I? To wanton with this queen,
  22. This goddess, this Semiramis, this nymph,
  23. This siren that will charm Rome’s Saturnine,
  24. And see his shipwrack and his commonweal’s.
  25. Hollo, what storm is this?
  1. Enter Chiron and Demetrius braving.

Demetrius

28 - 30
  1. Chiron, thy years wants wit, thy wits wants edge,
  2. And manners, to intrude where I am grac’d,
  3. And may, for aught thou knowest, affected be.

Chiron

31 - 38
  1. Demetrius, thou dost overween in all,
  2. And so in this, to bear me down with braves.
  3. ’Tis not the difference of a year or two
  4. Makes me less gracious, or thee more fortunate;
  5. I am as able and as fit as thou
  6. To serve, and to deserve my mistress’ grace,
  7. And that my sword upon thee shall approve,
  8. And plead my passions for Lavinia’s love.

Aaron

39 - 40
  1. Aside.
  2. Clubs, clubs! These lovers will not keep the peace.

Demetrius

41 - 45
  1. Why, boy, although our mother, unadvis’d,
  2. Gave you a dancing-rapier by your side,
  3. Are you so desperate grown to threat your friends?
  4. Go to; have your lath glued within your sheath,
  5. Till you know better how to handle it.

Chiron

46 - 47
  1. Mean while, sir, with the little skill I have,
  2. Full well shalt thou perceive how much I dare.

Demetrius

48
  1. Ay, boy, grow ye so brave?
  1. They draw.

Aaron

50 - 59
  1. Coming forward.
  2.                            Why, how now, lords?
  3. So near the Emperor’s palace dare ye draw,
  4. And maintain such a quarrel openly?
  5. Full well I wot the ground of all this grudge.
  6. I would not for a million of gold
  7. The cause were known to them it most concerns,
  8. Nor would your noble mother for much more
  9. Be so dishonored in the court of Rome.
  10. For shame, put up.

Demetrius

60 - 63
  1.                    Not I, till I have sheath’d
  2. My rapier in his bosom, and withal
  3. Thrust those reproachful speeches down his throat,
  4. That he hath breath’d in my dishonor here.

Chiron

64 - 66
  1. For that I am prepar’d and full resolv’d,
  2. Foul-spoken coward, that thund’rest with thy tongue,
  3. And with thy weapon nothing dar’st perform!

Aaron

67 - 77
  1. Away, I say!
  2. Now, by the gods that warlike Goths adore,
  3. This petty brabble will undo us all.
  4. Why, lords, and think you not how dangerous
  5. It is to jet upon a prince’s right?
  6. What, is Lavinia then become so loose,
  7. Or Bassianus so degenerate,
  8. That for her love such quarrels may be broach’d,
  9. Without controlment, justice, or revenge?
  10. Young lords, beware! And should the Empress know
  11. This discord’s ground, the music would not please.

Chiron

78 - 79
  1. I care not, I, knew she and all the world,
  2. I love Lavinia more than all the world.

Demetrius

80 - 81
  1. Youngling, learn thou to make some meaner choice,
  2. Lavinia is thine elder brother’s hope.

Aaron

82 - 86
  1. Why, are ye mad? Or know ye not, in Rome
  2. How furious and impatient they be,
  3. And cannot brook competitors in love?
  4. I tell you, lords, you do but plot your deaths
  5. By this device.

Chiron

87 - 88
  1.                 Aaron, a thousand deaths
  2. Would I propose to achieve her whom I love.

Aaron

89
  1. To achieve her how?

Demetrius

90 - 98
  1.                     Why makes thou it so strange?
  2. She is a woman, therefore may be woo’d,
  3. She is a woman, therefore may be won,
  4. She is Lavinia, therefore must be lov’d.
  5. What, man, more water glideth by the mill
  6. Than wots the miller of, and easy it is
  7. Of a cut loaf to steal a shive, we know.
  8. Though Bassianus be the Emperor’s brother,
  9. Better than he have worn Vulcan’s badge.

Aaron

99 - 100
  1. Aside.
  2. Ay, and as good as Saturninus may.

Demetrius

101 - 104
  1. Then why should he despair that knows to court it,
  2. With words, fair looks, and liberality?
  3. What, hast not thou full often struck a doe,
  4. And borne her cleanly by the keeper’s nose?

Aaron

105 - 106
  1. Why then it seems some certain snatch or so
  2. Would serve your turns.

Chiron

107
  1.                         Ay, so the turn were served.

Demetrius

108
  1. Aaron, thou hast hit it.

Aaron

109 - 113
  1. Would you had hit it too!
  2. Then should not we be tir’d with this ado.
  3. Why, hark ye, hark ye, and are you such fools
  4. To square for this? Would it offend you then
  5. That both should speed?

Chiron

114
  1. Faith, not me.

Demetrius

115
  1.                Nor me, so I were one.

Aaron

116 - 144
  1. For shame, be friends, and join for that you jar.
  2. ’Tis policy and stratagem must do
  3. That you affect, and so must you resolve,
  4. That what you cannot as you would achieve,
  5. You must perforce accomplish as you may.
  6. Take this of me: Lucrece was not more chaste
  7. Than this Lavinia, Bassianus’ love.
  8. A speedier course than ling’ring languishment
  9. Must we pursue, and I have found the path:
  10. My lords, a solemn hunting is in hand,
  11. There will the lovely Roman ladies troop;
  12. The forest walks are wide and spacious,
  13. And many unfrequented plots there are,
  14. Fitted by kind for rape and villainy.
  15. Single you thither then this dainty doe,
  16. And strike her home by force, if not by words;
  17. This way, or not at all, stand you in hope.
  18. Come, come, our empress, with her sacred wit
  19. To villainy and vengeance consecrate,
  20. Will we acquaint withal what we intend,
  21. And she shall file our engines with advice,
  22. That will not suffer you to square yourselves,
  23. But to your wishes’ height advance you both.
  24. The Emperor’s court is like the house of Fame,
  25. The palace full of tongues, of eyes, and ears;
  26. The woods are ruthless, dreadful, deaf, and dull.
  27. There speak, and strike, brave boys, and take your turns,
  28. There serve your lust, shadowed from heaven’s eye,
  29. And revel in Lavinia’s treasury.

Chiron

145
  1. Thy counsel, lad, smells of no cowardice.

Demetrius

146 - 148
  1. Sit fas aut nefas, till I find the stream
  2. To cool this heat, a charm to calm these fits,
  3. Per Stygia, per manes vehor.
  1. Exeunt.
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