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Home > Titus Andronicus > ACT IV - SCENE I. Rome. Titus's garden.

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ACT IV - SCENE I. Rome. Titus's garden.
Young LUCIUS
1    Help, grandsire, help! my aunt Lavinia
2    Follows me every where, I know not why:
3    Good uncle Marcus, see how swift she comes.
4    Alas, sweet aunt, I know not what you mean.
MARCUS ANDRONICUS
5    Stand by me, Lucius; do not fear thine aunt.
TITUS ANDRONICUS
6    She loves thee, boy, too well to do thee harm.
Young LUCIUS
7    Ay, when my father was in Rome she did.
MARCUS ANDRONICUS
8    What means my niece Lavinia by these signs?
TITUS ANDRONICUS
9    Fear her not, Lucius: somewhat doth she mean:
10   See, Lucius, see how much she makes of thee:
11   Somewhither would she have thee go with her.
12   Ah, boy, Cornelia never with more care
13   Read to her sons than she hath read to thee
14   Sweet poetry and Tully's Orator.
MARCUS ANDRONICUS
15   Canst thou not guess wherefore she plies thee thus?
Young LUCIUS
16   My lord, I know not, I, nor can I guess,
17   Unless some fit or frenzy do possess her:
18   For I have heard my grandsire say full oft,
19   Extremity of griefs would make men mad;
20   And I have read that Hecuba of Troy
21   Ran mad through sorrow: that made me to fear;
22   Although, my lord, I know my noble aunt
23   Loves me as dear as e'er my mother did,
24   And would not, but in fury, fright my youth:
25   Which made me down to throw my books, and fly--
26   Causeless, perhaps. But pardon me, sweet aunt:
27   And, madam, if my uncle Marcus go,
28   I will most willingly attend your ladyship.
MARCUS ANDRONICUS
29   Lucius, I will.
TITUS ANDRONICUS
30   How now, Lavinia! Marcus, what means this?
31   Some book there is that she desires to see.
32   Which is it, girl, of these? Open them, boy.
33   But thou art deeper read, and better skill'd
34   Come, and take choice of all my library,
35   And so beguile thy sorrow, till the heavens
36   Reveal the damn'd contriver of this deed.
37   Why lifts she up her arms in sequence thus?
MARCUS ANDRONICUS
38   I think she means that there was more than one
39   Confederate in the fact: ay, more there was;
40   Or else to heaven she heaves them for revenge.
TITUS ANDRONICUS
41   Lucius, what book is that she tosseth so?
Young LUCIUS
42   Grandsire, 'tis Ovid's Metamorphoses;
43   My mother gave it me.
MARCUS ANDRONICUS
44   For love of her that's gone,
45   Perhaps she cull'd it from among the rest.
TITUS ANDRONICUS
46   Soft! see how busily she turns the leaves!
Helping her
47   What would she find? Lavinia, shall I read?
48   This is the tragic tale of Philomel,
49   And treats of Tereus' treason and his rape:
50   And rape, I fear, was root of thine annoy.
MARCUS ANDRONICUS
51   See, brother, see; note how she quotes the leaves.
TITUS ANDRONICUS
52   Lavinia, wert thou thus surprised, sweet girl,
53   Ravish'd and wrong'd, as Philomela was,
54   Forced in the ruthless, vast, and gloomy woods? See, see!
55   Ay, such a place there is, where we did hunt--
56   O, had we never, never hunted there!--
57   Pattern'd by that the poet here describes,
58   By nature made for murders and for rapes.
MARCUS ANDRONICUS
59   O, why should nature build so foul a den,
60   Unless the gods delight in tragedies?
TITUS ANDRONICUS
61   Give signs, sweet girl, for here are none
62   but friends,
63   What Roman lord it was durst do the deed:
64   Or slunk not Saturnine, as Tarquin erst,
65   That left the camp to sin in Lucrece' bed?
MARCUS ANDRONICUS
66   Sit down, sweet niece: brother, sit down by me.
67   Apollo, Pallas, Jove, or Mercury,
68   Inspire me, that I may this treason find!
69   My lord, look here: look here, Lavinia:
70   This sandy plot is plain; guide, if thou canst
71   This after me, when I have writ my name
72   Without the help of any hand at all.
73   Cursed be that heart that forced us to this shift!
74   Write thou good niece; and here display, at last,
75   What God will have discover'd for revenge;
76   Heaven guide thy pen to print thy sorrows plain,
77   That we may know the traitors and the truth!
TITUS ANDRONICUS
78   O, do ye read, my lord, what she hath writ?
79   'Stuprum. Chiron. Demetrius.'
MARCUS ANDRONICUS
80   What, what! the lustful sons of Tamora
81   Performers of this heinous, bloody deed?
TITUS ANDRONICUS
82   Magni Dominator poli,
83   Tam lentus audis scelera? tam lentus vides?
MARCUS ANDRONICUS
84   O, calm thee, gentle lord; although I know
85   There is enough written upon this earth
86   To stir a mutiny in the mildest thoughts
87   And arm the minds of infants to exclaims.
88   My lord, kneel down with me; Lavinia, kneel;
89   And kneel, sweet boy, the Roman Hector's hope;
90   And swear with me, as, with the woful fere
91   And father of that chaste dishonour'd dame,
92   Lord Junius Brutus sware for Lucrece' rape,
93   That we will prosecute by good advice
94   Mortal revenge upon these traitorous Goths,
95   And see their blood, or die with this reproach.
TITUS ANDRONICUS
96   'Tis sure enough, an you knew how.
97   But if you hunt these bear-whelps, then beware:
98   The dam will wake; and, if she wind you once,
99   She's with the lion deeply still in league,
100  And lulls him whilst she playeth on her back,
101  And when he sleeps will she do what she list.
102  You are a young huntsman, Marcus; let it alone;
103  And, come, I will go get a leaf of brass,
104  And with a gad of steel will write these words,
105  And lay it by: the angry northern wind
106  Will blow these sands, like Sibyl's leaves, abroad,
107  And where's your lesson, then? Boy, what say you?
Young LUCIUS
108  I say, my lord, that if I were a man,
109  Their mother's bed-chamber should not be safe
110  For these bad bondmen to the yoke of Rome.
MARCUS ANDRONICUS
111  Ay, that's my boy! thy father hath full oft
112  For his ungrateful country done the like.
Young LUCIUS
113  And, uncle, so will I, an if I live.
TITUS ANDRONICUS
114  Come, go with me into mine armoury;
115  Lucius, I'll fit thee; and withal, my boy,
116  Shalt carry from me to the empress' sons
117  Presents that I intend to send them both:
118  Come, come; thou'lt do thy message, wilt thou not?
Young LUCIUS
119  Ay, with my dagger in their bosoms, grandsire.
TITUS ANDRONICUS
120  No, boy, not so; I'll teach thee another course.
121  Lavinia, come. Marcus, look to my house:
122  Lucius and I'll go brave it at the court:
123  Ay, marry, will we, sir; and we'll be waited on.
Exeunt TITUS, LAVINIA, and Young LUCIUS

MARCUS ANDRONICUS
124  O heavens, can you hear a good man groan,
125  And not relent, or not compassion him?
126  Marcus, attend him in his ecstasy,
127  That hath more scars of sorrow in his heart
128  Than foemen's marks upon his batter'd shield;
129  But yet so just that he will not revenge.
130  Revenge, ye heavens, for old Andronicus!
Exit

< (Previous) ACT III, SCENE IIACT IV, SCENE II (Next) >
Scene Index
ACT I
  • SCENE I


  • ACT II
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III
  • SCENE IV


  • ACT III
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II


  • ACT IV
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III
  • SCENE IV


  • ACT V
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III

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