Act IV, Scene 1
Rome. Titus’ garden.
- Enter Lucius’ Son, and Lavinia running after him, and the
- boy flies from her, with his books under his arm. Enter
- Titus and Marcus.
Young Lucius1 - 4
- 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.
- Stand by me, Lucius, do not fear thine aunt.
- She loves thee, boy, too well to do thee harm.
- Ay, when my father was in Rome she did.
- What means my niece Lavinia by these signs?
- Fear her not, Lucius, somewhat doth she mean.
Marcus10 - 15
- 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.
- Canst thou not guess wherefore she plies thee thus?
Young Lucius16 - 28
- 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 for 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.
- Lucius, I will.
- Lavinia turns over with her stumps the books which Lucius
- has let fall.
Titus30 - 37
- 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 skill’d;
- Come and take choice of all my library,
- And so beguile thy sorrow, till the heavens
- Reveal the damn’d contriver of this deed.
- Why lifts she up her arms in sequence thus?
Marcus38 - 40
- I think she means that there were more than one
- Confederate in the fact; ay, more there was;
- Or else to heaven she heaves them for revenge.
- Lucius, what book is that she tosseth so?
Young Lucius42 - 43
- Grandsire, ’tis Ovid’s Metamorphosis,
- My mother gave it me.
Marcus44 - 45
- For love of her that’s gone,
- Perhaps, she cull’d it from among the rest.
Titus46 - 50
- Soft, so 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 thy annoy.
- See, brother, see, note how she cotes the leaves.
Titus52 - 59
- Lavinia, wert thou thus surpris’d, sweet girl?
- Ravish’d and wrong’d as Philomela was,
- Forc’d 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!),
- Pattern’d by that the poet here describes,
- By nature made for murders and for rapes.
Marcus60 - 61
- O why should nature build so foul a den,
- Unless the gods delight in tragedies?
Titus62 - 65
- Give signs, sweet girl, for here are none but friends,
- What Roman lord it was durst do the deed;
- Or slunk not Saturnine, as Tarquin erst,
- That left the camp to sin in Lucrece’ bed?
Marcus66 - 78
- Sit down, sweet niece; brother, sit down by me.
- Apollo, Pallas, Jove, or Mercury,
- Inspire me, that I may this treason find!
- My lord, look here; look here, Lavinia.
- He writes his name with his staff, and guides it with feet
- and mouth.
- This sandy plot is plain; guide, if thou canst,
- This after me. I have writ my name,
- Without the help of any hand at all.
- Curs’d be that heart that forc’d us to this shift!
- Write thou, good niece, and here display at last
- What God will have discovered for revenge.
- Heaven guide thy pen to print thy sorrows plain,
- That we may know the traitors and the truth!
- She takes the staff in her mouth, and guides it with her
- stumps, and writes.
- O, do ye read, my lord, what she hath writ?
Marcus80 - 81
- What, what, the lustful sons of Tamora
- Performers of this heinous, bloody deed?
Titus82 - 83
- Magni Dominator poli,
- Tam lentus audis scelera? Tam lentus vides?
Marcus84 - 95
- O, calm thee, gentle lord, although I know
- There is enough written upon this earth
- To stir a mutiny in the mildest thoughts,
- And arm the minds of infants to exclaims.
- My lord, kneel down with me, Lavinia, kneel,
- And kneel, sweet boy, the Roman Hector’s hope,
- And swear with me, as with the woeful fere
- And father of that chaste dishonored dame,
- Lord Junius Brutus sware for Lucrece’ rape,
- That we will prosecute by good advice
- Mortal revenge upon these traitorous Goths,
- And see their blood or die with this reproach.
Titus96 - 107
- ’Tis sure enough, and you knew how,
- But if you hunt these bear-whelps, then beware,
- The dam will wake and if she wind ye once,
- She’s with the lion deeply still in league,
- And lulls him whilst she playeth on her back,
- And when he sleeps will she do what she list.
- You are a young huntsman, Marcus, let alone;
- And come, I will go get a leaf of brass,
- And with a gad of steel will write these words,
- And lay it by. The angry northen wind
- Will blow these sands like Sibyl’s leaves abroad,
- And where’s our lesson then? Boy, what say you?
Young Lucius108 - 110
- I say, my lord, that if I were a man,
- Their mother’s bedchamber should not be safe
- For these base bondmen to the yoke of Rome.
Marcus111 - 112
- Ay, that’s my boy! Thy father hath full oft
- For his ungrateful country done the like.
- And, uncle, so will I, and if I live.
Titus114 - 118
- Come go with me into mine armory;
- Lucius, I’ll fit thee, and withal my boy
- Shall carry from me to the Empress’ sons
- Presents that I intend to send them both.
- Come, come, thou’lt do my message, wilt thou not?
- Ay, with my dagger in their bosoms, grandsire.
Titus120 - 123
- No, boy, not so, I’ll teach thee another course.
- Lavinia, come. Marcus, look to my house,
- Lucius and I’ll go brave it at the court.
- Ay, marry, will we, sir, and we’ll be waited on.
- Exeunt Titus, Lavinia, and Boy.
Marcus124 - 130
- O heavens, can you hear a good man groan
- And not relent, or not compassion him?
- Marcus, attend him in his ecstasy,
- That hath more scars of sorrow in his heart
- Than foemen’s marks upon his batt’red shield,
- But yet so just that he will not revenge.
- Revenge the heavens for old Andronicus!