Act III, Scene 2
A room in Titus’ house.
- A banquet set out.
- Enter Titus Andronicus, Marcus, Lavinia, and the boy, young
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- 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 our tenfold grief
- With folded arms. This poor right hand of mine
- Is left to tyrannize upon my breast,
- Who, when my heart, all mad with misery,
- Beats in this hollow prison of my flesh,
- Then thus I thump it down.
- To Lavinia.
- Thou map of woe, that thus dost talk in signs!
- 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.
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- Fie, brother, fie, teach her not thus to lay
- Such violent hands upon her tender life.
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- How now! Has sorrow made thee dote already?
- Why, Marcus, no man should be mad but I.
- What violent hands can she lay on her life?
- Ah, wherefore dost thou urge the name of hands,
- To bid Aeneas 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 martyr’d signs:
- She says, she drinks no other drink but tears,
- Brew’d with her sorrow, mesh’d upon her cheeks.
- Speechless complainant, 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.
Young Lucius46 - 47
- Good grandsire, leave these bitter deep laments,
- Make my aunt merry with some pleasing talc.
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- Alas, the tender boy, in passion mov’d,
- Doth weep to see his grandsire’s heaviness.
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- 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?
- At that that I have kill’d, my lord—a fly.
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- Out on thee, murderer! Thou kill’st my heart!
- Mine eyes are cloy’d 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.
- Alas, my lord, I have but kill’d a fly.
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- “But”? How if that fly had a father and mother?
- 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 kill’d him.
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- Pardon me, sir, it was a black ill-favor’d fly,
- Like to the Empress’ Moor, therefore I kill’d him.
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- O, O, O,
- 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 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.
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- Alas, poor man, grief has so wrought on him,
- He takes false shadows for true substances.
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- 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 begin to dazzle.