ページの画像
PDF
ePub

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 through 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.
Mar. Lucius, I will.
(Lavinia turns over the books which Lucius

has let full. Tit. 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 skilld;
Come, and take choice of all my library,
And so beguile thy sorrow, till the heavens,
Reveal the damn'd contriver of this deed. --
Wby lifts she up her arms in sequence thus?

Mar. I think, she means, that there was more than

one

Confederate in the fact :-Ay, more there was :-
Or else to heaven she heaves them for revenge.

Tit. Lucius, what book is that she tosseth so?

Boy. Grandsire, 'tis Ovid's Metamorphosis ; My mother gave't me.

Mar. For love of her that's gone, Perhaps she culld it from among the rest.

Tit. Soft! see, how busily she turns the leaves! Help her:What would she fiud --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 thine annoy.
Mar. See, brother, see! note, how she quotes the

leaves. Tit. 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, (0, had we never, never hunted there!) Pattern'd by that the poet here describes, By nature made for murders, and for rapes.

Mar. 0, why should nature build so foul a den,
Unless the gods delight in tragedies !
Tit. Give signs, sweet girl,--for here are none but

friends,
What Roman lord it was durst do the deed :
Or slunk pot Saturnine, as Tarquin erst,
That left the camp to sin in Lucrece' bed?

Mar. 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 :
This sandy plot is plain; guide, if thou canst,
This after me, when I have writ my name
Without the help of any hand at all.
[He writes his name with his staff, and guides

it with his feet and mouth. Curs'd be that heart, that forc'd us to this shift!Write thou, good niece; and here display, at last, What God will bave discover'd 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 writés.

Tit. O, do you read, my lord, what she hath writ? StuprumChiron- Demetrius.

Mar. What, what !—the lustful sons of Tamora Performers of this hateful, bloody deed?

Tit. Magne Dominator poli,
Tam lentus audis scelera ? tam lentus vides?
Mar. 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 woful feere,
And father, of that chaste dishonour'd 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.

Tit. 'Tis sure enough, an you knew how,
But if

you hurt these bear-whelps, then beware : The dame will wake; and, if she wind you 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're a young huntsman, Marcus; let it 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 northern wind Will blow these sands, like Sybil's leaves, abroad, And where's your lesson then?-Boy, what say you?

Boy. I say, my lord, that if I were a man, Their mother's bed-chamber should not be safe For these bad-bondmen to the yoke of Rome.

Mar. Ay, that's iny boy! thy father hath full oft For

this ungrateful country done the like.
Boy. And, uncle, will I, an if I live.

course.

Tit. Come, go with me into mine armoury; Lucius, I'll fit thee; and withal, my boy Shall carry from me to the empress' sons Presents, that I intend to send thein both: Come, come; thou'lt do thy message, wilt thou not? Boy. Ay, with my dagger in their bosoms, grand

sire. Tit. No, boy, not so; l'll teach thee another Lavinia, come :-Marcus, look to my house;. Lucius and I'll go brave it at the court; Ay, inarry, will we, sir; and we'll be waited on.

(Exeunt Titus, Lavinia, and Boy. Mar. 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 foe-men's marks upon his batter'd shield: But yet so just, that he will not revenge:Revenge the heavens for old Andronicus ! [Exit.

SCENE II.---The same. A room in the palace. Enter AARON, CHIRON, and DEMETRIUS, at one

door ; at another door, young Lucius, and an Attendant, with a bundle of weapons, and verses writ upon them.

Chi. Demetrius, here's the son of Lucius; He hath some message to deliver to us. Aar. Ay, some mad message from his mad grand

father. Boy. My lords, with all the humbleness I may, I

greet your honours from Andronicus ;And pray the Roman gods confound you

both!

[Aside. Dem. Gramercy, lovely Lucius : What's the news?

[ocr errors]

Boy. That you are both decypher'd, that's the

news,
For villains, mark'd with rape. (Aside.] May it

please you,
My grandsire, well-advis'd, hath sent by me
The goodliest weapons of his armoury,
To gratify your honourable youth,
The hope of Rome; for so he bade me say,
And so I do, and with his gifts present
Your lordships, that, whenever you have need,
You may be armed and appointed well:
And so I leave you both, [Aside.] like bloody vil-
lains.

[Exeunt Boy and Attendant. Dem. What's here? a scroll; and written round

about? Let's see :

Integer vitæ, scelerisque purus,

Non eget Mauri jaculis, nec arcu.
Chi. O, 'tis a verse in Horace; I know it well:
I read it in the grammar long ago.
Aar. Ay, just !-a verse in Horace ;-right, you

have it.
Now, what a thing it is to be an ass!
Here's no sound jest! the old man hath

found their guilt ; And sends the weapons wrapp'd about with lines,

Aside.
That wound, beyond their feeling, to the

quick.
But were our witty empress well a-foot,
She would applaud Andronicus' conceit.
But let her rest in her unrest a while.
And now, young lords, was't not a happy star
Led us to Rome, strangers, and, more than so,
Captives, to be advanced to this height?
It did me good, before the palace gate,
To brave the tribune in his brother's hearing.

« 前へ次へ »