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Titus Andronicus: Act IV, Scene 4

Titus Andronicus
Act IV, Scene 4

Rome. Before the Palace.

  1. Enter Emperor and Empress and her two sons (Demetrius and
  2. Chiron), Lords, and others; the Emperor brings the arrow in
  3. his hand that Titus shot at him.

Saturninus

1 - 26
  1. Why, lords, what wrongs are these! Was ever seen
  2. An emperor in Rome thus overborne,
  3. Troubled, confronted thus, and, for the extent
  4. Of equal justice, us’d in such contempt?
  5. My lords, you know, as know the mightful gods,
  6. However these disturbers of our peace
  7. Buzz in the people’s ears, there nought hath pass’d,
  8. But even with law, against the willful sons
  9. Of old Andronicus. And what and if
  10. His sorrows have so overwhelm’d his wits?
  11. Shall we be thus afflicted in his wreaks,
  12. His fits, his frenzy, and his bitterness?
  13. And now he writes to heaven for his redress.
  14. See, here’s to Jove, and this to Mercury,
  15. This to Apollo, this to the god of war:
  16. Sweet scrolls to fly about the streets of Rome!
  17. What’s this but libelling against the Senate,
  18. And blazoning our unjustice every where?
  19. A goodly humor, is it not, my lords?
  20. As who would say, in Rome no justice were.
  21. But if I live, his feigned ecstasies
  22. Shall be no shelter to these outrages,
  23. But he and his shall know that justice lives
  24. In Saturninus’ health, whom, if he sleep,
  25. He’ll so awake as he in fury shall
  26. Cut off the proud’st conspirator that lives.

Tamora

27 - 40
  1. My gracious lord, my lovely Saturnine,
  2. Lord of my life, commander of my thoughts,
  3. Calm thee, and bear the faults of Titus’ age,
  4. Th’ effects of sorrow for his valiant sons,
  5. Whose loss hath pierc’d him deep and scarr’d his heart,
  6. And rather comfort his distressed plight
  7. Than prosecute the meanest or the best
  8. For these contempts.
  9. Aside.
  10.                      Why, thus it shall become
  11. High-witted Tamora to gloze with all;
  12. But, Titus, I have touch’d thee to the quick;
  13. Thy life-blood out, if Aaron now be wise,
  14. Then is all safe, the anchor in the port.
  15. Enter Clown.
  16. How now, good fellow, wouldst thou speak with us?

Clown

41
  1. Yea forsooth, and your mistriship be emperial.

Tamora

42
  1. Empress I am, but yonder sits the Emperor.

Clown

43 - 44
  1. ’Tis he. God and Saint Steven give you godde. I have brought
  2. you a letter and a couple of pigeons here.
  1. Saturninus reads the letter.

Saturninus

45
  1. Go take him away and hang him presently.

Clown

46
  1. How much money must I have?

Tamora

47
  1. Come, sirrah, you must be hang’d.

Clown

48 - 49
  1. Hang’d! By’ lady, then I have brought up a neck to a fair
  2. end.
  1. Exit guarded.

Saturninus

50 - 61
  1. Despiteful and intolerable wrongs!
  2. Shall I endure this monstrous villainy?
  3. I know from whence this same device proceeds.
  4. May this be borne as if his traitorous sons,
  5. That died by law for murder of our brother,
  6. Have by my means been butchered wrongfully?
  7. Go drag the villain hither by the hair,
  8. Nor age nor honor shall shape privilege;
  9. For this proud mock I’ll be thy slaughter-man,
  10. Sly frantic wretch, that holp’st to make me great,
  11. In hope thyself should govern Rome and me.
  12. Enter Nuntius Aemilius.
  13. What news with thee, Aemilius?

Aemilius

62 - 68
  1. Arm, my lords! Rome never had more cause.
  2. The Goths have gathered head, and with a power
  3. Of high-resolved men, bent to the spoil,
  4. They hither march amain, under conduct
  5. Of Lucius, son to old Andronicus,
  6. Who threats, in course of this revenge, to do
  7. As much as ever Coriolanus did.

Saturninus

69 - 77
  1. Is warlike Lucius general of the Goths?
  2. These tidings nip me, and I hang the head
  3. As flowers with frost, or grass beat down with storms.
  4. Ay, now begins our sorrows to approach.
  5. ’Tis he the common people love so much;
  6. Myself hath often heard them say,
  7. When I have walked like a private man,
  8. That Lucius’ banishment was wrongfully,
  9. And they have wish’d that Lucius were their emperor.

Tamora

78
  1. Why should you fear? Is not your city strong?

Saturninus

79 - 80
  1. Ay, but the citizens favor Lucius,
  2. And will revolt from me to succor him.

Tamora

81 - 93
  1. King, be thy thoughts imperious, like thy name.
  2. Is the sun dimm’d, that gnats do fly in it?
  3. The eagle suffers little birds to sing,
  4. And is not careful what they mean thereby,
  5. Knowing that with the shadow of his wings
  6. He can at pleasure stint their melody;
  7. Even so mayest thou the giddy men of Rome.
  8. Then cheer thy spirit, for know thou, Emperor,
  9. I will enchant the old Andronicus
  10. With words more sweet, and yet more dangerous,
  11. Than baits to fish, or honey-stalks to sheep,
  12. When as the one is wounded with the bait,
  13. The other rotted with delicious feed.

Saturninus

94
  1. But he will not entreat his son for us.

Tamora

95 - 103
  1. If Tamora entreat him, then he will,
  2. For I can smooth and fill his aged ears
  3. With golden promises, that, were his heart
  4. Almost impregnable, his old years deaf,
  5. Yet should both ear and heart obey my tongue.
  6. To Aemilius.
  7. Go thou before, to be our ambassador.
  8. Say that the Emperor requests a parley
  9. Of warlike Lucius, and appoint the meeting
  10. Even at his father’s house, the old Andronicus.

Saturninus

104 - 106
  1. Aemilius, do this message honorably,
  2. And if he stand on hostage for his safety,
  3. Bid him demand what pledge will please him best.

Aemilius

107
  1. Your bidding shall I do effectually.
  1. Exit.

Tamora

108 - 112
  1. Now will I to that old Andronicus,
  2. And temper him with all the art I have,
  3. To pluck proud Lucius from the warlike Goths,
  4. And now, sweet emperor, be blithe again,
  5. And bury all thy fear in my devices.

Saturninus

113
  1. Then go successantly, and plead to him.
  1. Exeunt.
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