Act V, Scene 2
Rome. Before Titus’ house.
- Enter Tamora and her two sons, Demetrius and Chiron,
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- Thus, in this strange and sad habiliment,
- I will encounter with Andronicus,
- And say I am Revenge, sent from below
- To join with him and right his heinous wrongs.
- Knock at his study, where they say he keeps
- To ruminate strange plots of dire revenge;
- Tell him Revenge is come to join with him,
- And work confusion on his enemies.
- They knock, and Titus above opens his study door.
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- Who doth molest my contemplation?
- Is it your trick to make me ope the door
- That so my sad decrees may fly away,
- And all my study be to no effect?
- You are deceiv’d, for what I mean to do
- See here in bloody lines I have set down:
- And what is written shall be executed.
- Titus, I am come to talk with thee.
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- No, not a word, how can I grace my talk,
- Wanting a hand to give’t that accord?
- Thou hast the odds of me, therefore no more.
- If thou didst know me, thou wouldst talk with me.
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- I am not mad, I know thee well enough.
- Witness this wretched stump, witness these crimson lines.
- Witness these trenches made by grief and care,
- Witness the tiring day and heavy night,
- Witness all sorrow, that I know thee well
- For our proud Empress, mighty Tamora.
- Is not thy coming for my other hand?
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- Know, thou sad man, I am not Tamora;
- She is thy enemy, and I thy friend.
- I am Revenge, sent from th’ infernal kingdom
- To ease the gnawing vulture of thy mind,
- By working wreakful vengeance on thy foes.
- Come down and welcome me to this world’s light;
- Confer with me of murder and of death.
- There’s not a hollow cave or lurking-place,
- No vast obscurity or misty vale,
- Where bloody murder or detested rape
- Can couch for fear, but I will find them out,
- And in their ears tell them my dreadful name,
- Revenge, which makes the foul offender quake.
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- Art thou Revenge? And art thou sent to me,
- To be a torment to mine enemies?
- I am, therefore come down and welcome me.
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- Do me some service ere I come to thee.
- Lo by thy side where Rape and Murder stands;
- Now give some surance that thou art Revenge—
- Stab them, or tear them on thy chariot-wheels,
- And then I’ll come and be thy wagoner,
- And whirl along with thee about the globes.
- Provide thee two proper palfreys, black as jet,
- To hale thy vengeful wagon swift away,
- And find out murderers in their guilty caves;
- And when thy car is loaden with their heads,
- I will dismount, and by thy wagon-wheel
- Trot like a servile footman all day long,
- Even from Hyperion’s rising in the east,
- Until his very downfall in the sea;
- And day by day I’ll do this heavy task,
- So thou destroy Rapine and Murder there.
- These are my ministers, and come with me.
- Are they thy ministers? What are they call’d?
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- Rape and Murder, therefore called so
- ’Cause they take vengeance of such kind of men.
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- Good Lord, how like the Empress’ sons they are!
- And you, the Empress! But we wordly men
- Have miserable, mad, mistaking eyes.
- O sweet Revenge, now do I come to thee,
- And if one arm’s embracement will content thee,
- I will embrace thee in it by and by.
- Exit above.
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- This closing with him fits his lunacy.
- What e’er I forge to feed his brain-sick humors,
- Do you uphold and maintain in your speeches,
- For now he firmly takes me for Revenge,
- And being credulous in this mad thought,
- I’ll make him send for Lucius his son;
- And whilst I at a banquet hold him sure,
- I’ll find some cunning practice out of hand,
- To scatter and disperse the giddy Goths,
- Or at the least make them his enemies.
- See here he comes, and I must ply my theme.
- Enter Titus below.
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- Long have I been forlorn, and all for thee.
- Welcome, dread Fury, to my woeful house;
- Rapine and Murder, you are welcome too.
- How like the Empress and her sons you are!
- Well are you fitted, had you but a Moor.
- Could not all hell afford you such a devil?
- For well I wot the Empress never wags
- But in her company there is a Moor;
- And would you represent our queen aright,
- It were convenient you had such a devil.
- But welcome as you are: what shall we do?
- What wouldst thou have us do, Andronicus?
- Show me a murderer, I’ll deal with him.
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- Show me a villain that hath done a rape,
- And I am sent to be reveng’d on him.
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- Show me a thousand that hath done thee wrong,
- And I will be revenged on them all.
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- Look round about the wicked streets of Rome,
- And when thou find’st a man that’s like thyself,
- Good Murder, stab him, he’s a murderer.
- Go thou with him, and when it is thy hap
- To find another that is like to thee,
- Good Rapine, stab him, he is a ravisher.
- Go thou with them, and in the Emperor’s court
- There is a queen, attended by a Moor;
- Well shalt thou know her by thine own proportion,
- For up and down she doth resemble thee.
- I pray thee do on them some violent death,
- They have been violent to me and mine.
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- Well hast thou lesson’d us, this shall we do.
- But would it please thee, good Andronicus,
- To send for Lucius, thy thrice-valiant son,
- Who leads towards Rome a band of warlike Goths,
- And bid him come and banquet at thy house,
- When he is here, even at thy solemn feast,
- I will bring in the Empress and her sons,
- The Emperor himself and all thy foes,
- And at thy mercy shall they stoop and kneel,
- And on them shalt thou ease thy angry heart.
- What says Andronicus to this device?
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- Marcus, my brother! ’Tis sad Titus calls.
- Enter Marcus.
- Go, gentle Marcus, to thy nephew Lucius;
- Thou shalt inquire him out among the Goths:
- Bid him repair to me, and bring with him
- Some of the chiefest princes of the Goths.
- Bid him encamp his soldiers where they are.
- Tell him the Emperor and the Empress too
- Feast at my house, and he shall feast with them.
- This do thou for my love, and so let him,
- As he regards his aged father’s life.
- This will I do, and soon return again.
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- Now will I hence about thy business,
- And take my ministers along with me.
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- Nay, nay, let Rape and Murder stay with me,
- Or else I’ll call my brother back again,
- And cleave to no revenge but Lucius.
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- Aside to her sons
- What say you, boys, will you abide with him,
- Whiles I go tell my lord the Emperor
- How I have govern’d our determin’d jest?
- Yield to his humor, smooth and speak him fair,
- And tarry with him till I turn again.
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- I knew them all though they suppos’d me mad,
- And will o’erreach them in their own devices,
- A pair of cursed hell-hounds and their dame.
- Madam, depart at pleasure, leave us here.
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- Farewell, Andronicus, Revenge now goes
- To lay a complot to betray thy foes.
- I know thou dost, and, sweet Revenge, farewell.
- Exit Tamora.
- Tell us, old man, how shall we be employ’d?
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- Tut, I have work enough for you to do.
- Publius, come hither! Caius and Valentine!
- Enter Publius, Caius, and Valentine.
- What is your will?
- Know you these two?
- The Empress’ sons I take them, Chiron, Demetrius.
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- Fie, Publius, fie, thou art too much deceiv’d.
- The one is Murder, and Rape is the other’s name,
- And therefore bind them, gentle Publius.
- Caius and Valentine, lay hands on them.
- Oft have you heard me wish for such an hour,
- And now I find it, therefore bind them sure,
- And stop their mouths if they begin to cry.
- Exit Titus.
- Publius, etc., lay hold on Chiron and Demetrius.
- Villains, forbear, we are the Empress’ sons.
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- And therefore do we what we are commanded.
- Stop close their mouths, let them not speak a word.
- Is he sure bound? Look that you bind them fast.
- Enter Titus Andronicus with a knife and Lavinia with a
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- Come, come, Lavinia, look, thy foes are bound.
- Sirs, stop their mouths, let them not speak to me,
- But let them hear what fearful words I utter.
- O villains, Chiron and Demetrius!
- Here stands the spring whom you have stain’d with mud,
- This goodly summer with your winter mix’d.
- You kill’d her husband, and for that vild fault
- Two of her brothers were condemn’d to death,
- My hand cut off and made a merry jest;
- Both her sweet hands, her tongue, and that more dear
- Than hands or tongue, her spotless chastity,
- Inhuman traitors, you constrain’d and forc’d.
- What would you say if I should let you speak?
- Villains, for shame you could not beg for grace.
- Hark, wretches, how I mean to martyr you.
- This one hand yet is left to cut your throats,
- Whiles that Lavinia ’tween her stumps doth hold
- The basin that receives your guilty blood.
- You know your mother means to feast with me,
- And calls herself Revenge, and thinks me mad.
- Hark, villains, I will grind your bones to dust,
- And with your blood and it I’ll make a paste,
- And of the paste a coffin I will rear,
- And make two pasties of your shameful heads,
- And bid that strumpet, your unhallowed dam,
- Like to the earth swallow her own increase.
- This is the feast that I have bid her to,
- And this the banquet she shall surfeit on,
- For worse than Philomel you us’d my daughter,
- And worse than Progne I will be reveng’d.
- And now prepare your throats. Lavinia, come,
- Receive the blood, and when that they are dead,
- Let me go grind their bones to powder small,
- And with this hateful liquor temper it,
- And in that paste let their vile heads be bak’d.
- Come, come, be every one officious
- To make this banquet, which I wish may prove
- More stern and bloody than the Centaurs’ feast.
- He cuts their throats.
- So now bring them in, for I’ll play the cook,
- And see them ready against their mother comes.
- Exeunt bearing the dead bodies.