Act 4, Scene 4
Rome. Before the Palace.
- Enter Emperor and Empress and her two sons (Demetrius and
- Chiron), Lords, and others; the Emperor brings the arrow in
- his hand that Titus shot at him.
Saturninus4 - 29
- Why, lords, what wrongs are these! Was ever seen
- An emperor in Rome thus overborne,
- Troubled, confronted thus, and, for the extent
- Of equal justice, us’d in such contempt?
- My lords, you know, as know the mightful gods,
- However these disturbers of our peace
- Buzz in the people’s ears, there nought hath pass’d,
- But even with law, against the willful sons
- Of old Andronicus. And what and if
- His sorrows have so overwhelm’d his wits?
- Shall we be thus afflicted in his wreaks,
- His fits, his frenzy, and his bitterness?
- And now he writes to heaven for his redress.
- See, here’s to Jove, and this to Mercury,
- This to Apollo, this to the god of war:
- Sweet scrolls to fly about the streets of Rome!
- What’s this but libelling against the Senate,
- And blazoning our unjustice every where?
- A goodly humor, is it not, my lords?
- As who would say, in Rome no justice were.
- But if I live, his feigned ecstasies
- Shall be no shelter to these outrages,
- But he and his shall know that justice lives
- In Saturninus’ health, whom, if he sleep,
- He’ll so awake as he in fury shall
- Cut off the proud’st conspirator that lives.
Tamora30 - 45
- My gracious lord, my lovely Saturnine,
- Lord of my life, commander of my thoughts,
- Calm thee, and bear the faults of Titus’ age,
- Th’ effects of sorrow for his valiant sons,
- Whose loss hath pierc’d him deep and scarr’d his heart,
- And rather comfort his distressed plight
- Than prosecute the meanest or the best
- For these contempts.
- Why, thus it shall become
- High-witted Tamora to gloze with all;
- But, Titus, I have touch’d thee to the quick;
- Thy life-blood out, if Aaron now be wise,
- Then is all safe, the anchor in the port.
- Enter Clown.
- How now, good fellow, wouldst thou speak with us?
- Yea forsooth, and your mistriship be emperial.
- Empress I am, but yonder sits the Emperor.
Clown48 - 49
- ’Tis he. God and Saint Steven give you godde. I have brought
- you a letter and a couple of pigeons here.
- Saturninus reads the letter.
- Go take him away and hang him presently.
- How much money must I have?
- Come, sirrah, you must be hang’d.
Clown54 - 55
- Hang’d! By’ lady, then I have brought up a neck to a fair
- Exit guarded.
Saturninus57 - 69
- Despiteful and intolerable wrongs!
- Shall I endure this monstrous villainy?
- I know from whence this same device proceeds.
- May this be borne as if his traitorous sons,
- That died by law for murder of our brother,
- Have by my means been butchered wrongfully?
- Go drag the villain hither by the hair,
- Nor age nor honor shall shape privilege;
- For this proud mock I’ll be thy slaughter-man,
- Sly frantic wretch, that holp’st to make me great,
- In hope thyself should govern Rome and me.
- Enter Nuntius Aemilius.
- What news with thee, Aemilius?
Aemilius70 - 76
- Arm, my lords! Rome never had more cause.
- The Goths have gathered head, and with a power
- Of high-resolved men, bent to the spoil,
- They hither march amain, under conduct
- Of Lucius, son to old Andronicus,
- Who threats, in course of this revenge, to do
- As much as ever Coriolanus did.
Saturninus77 - 85
- Is warlike Lucius general of the Goths?
- These tidings nip me, and I hang the head
- As flowers with frost, or grass beat down with storms.
- Ay, now begins our sorrows to approach.
- ’Tis he the common people love so much;
- Myself hath often heard them say,
- When I have walked like a private man,
- That Lucius’ banishment was wrongfully,
- And they have wish’d that Lucius were their emperor.
- Why should you fear? Is not your city strong?
Saturninus87 - 88
- Ay, but the citizens favor Lucius,
- And will revolt from me to succor him.
Tamora89 - 101
- King, be thy thoughts imperious, like thy name.
- Is the sun dimm’d, that gnats do fly in it?
- The eagle suffers little birds to sing,
- And is not careful what they mean thereby,
- Knowing that with the shadow of his wings
- He can at pleasure stint their melody;
- Even so mayest thou the giddy men of Rome.
- Then cheer thy spirit, for know thou, Emperor,
- I will enchant the old Andronicus
- With words more sweet, and yet more dangerous,
- Than baits to fish, or honey-stalks to sheep,
- When as the one is wounded with the bait,
- The other rotted with delicious feed.
- But he will not entreat his son for us.
Tamora103 - 112
- If Tamora entreat him, then he will,
- For I can smooth and fill his aged ears
- With golden promises, that, were his heart
- Almost impregnable, his old years deaf,
- Yet should both ear and heart obey my tongue.
- To Aemilius.
- Go thou before, to be our ambassador.
- Say that the Emperor requests a parley
- Of warlike Lucius, and appoint the meeting
- Even at his father’s house, the old Andronicus.
Saturninus113 - 115
- Aemilius, do this message honorably,
- And if he stand on hostage for his safety,
- Bid him demand what pledge will please him best.
- Your bidding shall I do effectually.
Tamora118 - 122
- Now will I to that old Andronicus,
- And temper him with all the art I have,
- To pluck proud Lucius from the warlike Goths,
- And now, sweet emperor, be blithe again,
- And bury all thy fear in my devices.
- Then go successantly, and plead to him.