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Mar. Stand by me, Lucius, do not fear thy aunt.
Tit. She loves thee, boy, too well to do thee harm.
Boy. Ay, when my father was in Rome she did.
Mar. What means my niece Lavinia by these signs?
Tit. Fear thou not, Lucius, fomewhat doth she mean:
See, Lucius, fee, how much she makes of thee:
Some whither 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 oratory:
Can'lt thou not guess wherefore she plies thee thus?
Bøy. My Lord, I know not, I, ror can I guess,
Unless some fit or frenzie do pofTess her:
For I have heard my grandfire fay full oft,
Extremity of grief would make men mad.
And I have read, that Hecuba of Troy
Ran mad through forrow; 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 fie,
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.
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 skill'd:
Come and make choice of all my library,
And so beguile thy forrow, 'till the heav'ns
Reveal the damnd contriver of this deed :
Why lifts she up her arms in sequence thus ?
Mar. I think the means that there was more than one
Confederate in the fact. Ay, more there was:
Or else to heav'n fhe heaves them, for revenge.
Tit. Lucius, what book is that she cofles fo?
Boy. Grandfire, 'tis Ovid's Metamorphoses ; My mother gave it me.
Mar. For love of her that's gone, Perhaps she cull'd it from among the rest.
Tit. Soft! see how busily she turns the leaves ! Help her: what would she find ? Lavinia, shall I read? This is the tragick tale of Philomel, And treats of Tercus' 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, were thou thus surpriz'd, sweet girl,
Ravish'd and wrong'd, as Philomela was,
Forc'd in the ruthless, vast, and gloomy woods ?
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.
Mar. O why should nature build so foul a den,
Unless the Gods delight in tragedies !
Tit. Give signs, tweet girl, for here are none but friends, What Roman Lord it was durst do the deed; Or Nunk not 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.
[He writes his name with his staff, and guides it with
bis feet and mouth.
This sandy plot is plain; guide, if thou can'lt,
This after me, when I have writ my name,
Without the help of any hand at all.
Curft be that heart that forc'd us to this shift!
Write thou, good niece, and here display at least,
What God will have discover'd for revenge;
Heav'n 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. Tit. Oh do you read, my Lord, what she hath writ? Stuprum, Chiron, Demetrius,
Mar. What, what!- the lustful fons of Tamora,
Performers of this hateful bloody deed?
Tit. 4' Magnels' Regnator Poli,
Tam lentus audis scelera! tam lentus vides!
Mar. Oh calm thee, gentle Lord; although I know
There is enough written upon this earth,
To stir a muciny 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 peer
And father of that chaste dishonoured dame,
Lord Junius Brutus sware for Lucrece' rape)
That we will prosecute (by good advice)
"Mortal revenge upon thele traiterous Goths,
And see their blood, 'ere die with this reproach.
Tit. 'Tis fure enough, if you knew how.
But if you hurt these bear-whelps, then beware,
The dam will wake, and if she wind you once,
She's with the lion deeply still in league,
And lulls him whilit the playech on her back,
And when he neeps 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 leffon 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 chese bad bond-men to the yoak of Rome.
Mar. 4 Magni ... old edit. Theob. emend. 5 Dominator
Mar. Ay, that's my boy! thy father hath full ofc For this ungrateful country done the like.
Boy. And, uncle, so will I, an if I live,
Tit. Come, go with me into my armory.
Lucius, I'll fit chee, and withal, my boy
Shall carry from me to the Empress' fons
Presents that I intend to send them both.
Come, come, thou'lc do my message, wilt thou not?
Boy. Ay, with my dagger in their bosom, grandfire.
Tit. No, boy, not so, I'll teach thee another course. Lavinia, come; Marcus, look to my houfe; Lucius and I'll go brave it at the Court, Ay, marry will we, Sir, and we'll be waited on. [Exeun.
Mar. Ó heavens, can you hear a good man groan And not relent, or not compassion him? Marcus, attend him in his ecftafie, Thac hath more scars of sorrow in his heart Than foe-mens marks upon his batter'd shield, But yet's so just, that he will not revenge ; Revenge, i'ch heav'ns, for old Andronicus! [Exit,
Enter Aaron, Chiron, and Demetrius at one door : and at
another door young Lucius and another, with a bundle
of weapons and verses writ upon them. Chi. DEm
Emetrius, here's the son of Lucius,
He hath some message to deliver us.
Aar. Ay, fome mad message from his mad grandfather.
Bay. My Lords, with all the humbleness I may,
I greet your Honours from Andronicus,
And pray the Roman Gods confound you both.
Dein. Gramercy, lovely Lucius, what's the news?
Boy. That you are both decypher'd (that's the news)
For villains mark'd with rape. May it please you,
My grandfire well advis'd hath sent by me
The goodliest weapons of his armory,
To gratifie your honourable youth,
The hope of Rome; for so he bad 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, like bloody villians. [Exit.
Dem. What's here, a fcrowl, and written round about?
Integer vite 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 juft, a verse in Horace-right, you have it -
Now what a thing it is to be an ais ?
Here's no sfond jest, th' old man hath found their guilt,
And sends the weapons wrap'd about with lines,
That wound, beyond their feeling, to the quick:
But were our witty Empress well a-foot,
She would applaud Andronicus' conceit:
But let her reit in her unreft a while.
And now, young Lords, was’t not a happy ftar
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.
Dem. But me more good, to fee fo great a Lord
Bafely insinuate, and send us gifts.
dar. Had he not reason, Lord Demetrius ?
Did you not use his daughter very friendly?
Dem. I would we had a thousand Roman dames
At such a bay, by turn to serve our luft.
Cbi. A charitable with, and full of love.
Aar. Here lacketh but your mother to say Amen.
Cbi. And that would she for twenty thousand more.