Act II, Scene 4
Another part of the forest.
- Enter the Empress’ sons (Demetrius and Chiron) with Lavinia,
- her hands cut off, and her tongue cut out, and ravished.
Demetrius1 - 2
- So now go tell, and if thy tongue can speak,
- Who ’twas that cut thy tongue and ravish’d thee.
Chiron3 - 4
- Write down thy mind, bewray thy meaning so,
- And if thy stumps will let thee play the scribe.
- See how with signs and tokens she can scrowl.
- Go home, call for sweet water, wash thy hands.
Demetrius7 - 8
- She hath no tongue to call, nor hands to wash,
- And so let’s leave her to her silent walks.
- And ’twere my cause, I should go hang myself.
- If thou hadst hands to help thee knit the cord.
- Exeunt Demetrius and Chiron.
- Wind horns. Enter Marcus from hunting.
Marcus11 - 57
- Who is this? My niece, that flies away so fast?
- Cousin, a word; where is your husband?
- If I do dream, would all my wealth would wake me!
- If I do wake, some planet strike me down,
- That I may slumber an eternal sleep!
- Speak, gentle niece: what stern ungentle hands
- Hath lopp’d and hew’d, and made thy body bare
- Of her two branches, those sweet ornaments
- Whose circling shadows kings have sought to sleep in,
- And might not gain so great a happiness
- As half thy love? Why dost not speak to me?
- Alas, a crimson river of warm blood,
- Like to a bubbling fountain stirr’d with wind,
- Doth rise and fall between thy rosed lips,
- Coming and going with thy honey breath.
- But sure some Tereus hath deflow’red thee,
- And lest thou shouldst detect him, cut thy tongue.
- Ah, now thou turn’st away thy face for shame!
- And notwithstanding all this loss of blood,
- As from a conduit with three issuing spouts,
- Yet do thy cheeks look red as Titan’s face
- Blushing to be encount’red with a cloud.
- Shall I speak for thee? Shall I say ’tis so?
- O that I knew thy heart, and knew the beast,
- That I might rail at him to ease my mind!
- Sorrow concealed, like an oven stopp’d,
- Doth burn the heart to cinders where it is.
- Fair Philomela, why, she but lost her tongue,
- And in a tedious sampler sew’d her mind;
- But, lovely niece, that mean is cut from thee.
- A craftier Tereus, cousin, hast thou met,
- And he hath cut those pretty fingers off
- That could have better sew’d than Philomel.
- O, had the monster seen those lily hands
- Tremble like aspen leaves upon a lute,
- And make the silken strings delight to kiss them,
- He would not then have touch’d them for his life!
- Or had he heard the heavenly harmony
- Which that sweet tongue hath made,
- He would have dropp’d his knife, and fell asleep,
- As Cerberus at the Thracian poet’s feet.
- Come let us go, and make thy father blind,
- For such a sight will blind a father’s eye.
- One hour’s storm will drown the fragrant meads,
- What will whole months of tears thy father’s eyes?
- Do not draw back, for we will mourn with thee.
- O, could our mourning ease thy misery!