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Home > Titus Andronicus > ACT IV - SCENE IV. The same. Before the palace.

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ACT IV - SCENE IV. The same. Before the palace.
SATURNINUS
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 egal justice, used in such contempt?
5    My lords, you know, as know the mightful gods,
6    However these disturbers of our peace
7    Buz 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 an 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 injustice every where?
19   A goodly humour, 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 she sleep,
25   He'll so awake as she in fury shall
26   Cut off the proud'st conspirator that lives.
TAMORA
27   My gracious lord, my lovely Saturnine,
28   Lord of my life, commander of my thoughts,
29   Calm thee, and bear the faults of Titus' age,
30   The effects of sorrow for his valiant sons,
31   Whose loss hath pierced him deep and scarr'd his heart;
32   And rather comfort his distressed plight
33   Than prosecute the meanest or the best
34   For these contempts.
Aside
35   Why, thus it shall become
36   High-witted Tamora to gloze with all:
37   But, Titus, I have touched thee to the quick,
38   Thy life-blood out: if Aaron now be wise,
39   Then is all safe, the anchor's in the port.
Enter Clown
40   How now, good fellow! wouldst thou speak with us?
Clown
41   Yea, forsooth, an your mistership be emperial.
TAMORA
42   Empress I am, but yonder sits the emperor.
Clown
43   'Tis he. God and Saint Stephen give you good den:
44   I have brought you a letter and a couple of pigeons here.
SATURNINUS reads the letter

SATURNINUS
45   Go, take him away, and hang him presently.
Clown
46   How much money must I have?
TAMORA
47   Come, sirrah, you must be hanged.
Clown
48   Hanged! by'r lady, then I have brought up a neck to
49   a fair end.
Exit, guarded

SATURNINUS
50   Despiteful and intolerable wrongs!
51   Shall I endure this monstrous villany?
52   I know from whence this same device proceeds:
53   May this be borne?--as if his traitorous sons,
54   That died by law for murder of our brother,
55   Have by my means been butcher'd wrongfully!
56   Go, drag the villain hither by the hair;
57   Nor age nor honour shall shape privilege:
58   For this proud mock I'll be thy slaughterman;
59   Sly frantic wretch, that holp'st to make me great,
60   In hope thyself should govern Rome and me.
Enter AEMILIUS
61   What news with thee, AEmilius?
AEMILIUS
62   Arm, arm, my lord;--Rome never had more cause.
63   The Goths have gather'd head; and with a power
64   high-resolved men, bent to the spoil,
65   They hither march amain, under conduct
66   Of Lucius, son to old Andronicus;
67   Who threats, in course of this revenge, to do
68   As much as ever Coriolanus did.
SATURNINUS
69   Is warlike Lucius general of the Goths?
70   These tidings nip me, and I hang the head
71   As flowers with frost or grass beat down with storms:
72   Ay, now begin our sorrows to approach:
73   'Tis he the common people love so much;
74   Myself hath often over-heard them say,
75   When I have walked like a private man,
76   That Lucius' banishment was wrongfully,
77   And they have wish'd that Lucius were their emperor.
TAMORA
78   Why should you fear? is not your city strong?
SATURNINUS
79   Ay, but the citizens favor Lucius,
80   And will revolt from me to succor him.
TAMORA
81   King, be thy thoughts imperious, like thy name.
82   Is the sun dimm'd, that gnats do fly in it?
83   The eagle suffers little birds to sing,
84   And is not careful what they mean thereby,
85   Knowing that with the shadow of his wings
86   He can at pleasure stint their melody:
87   Even so mayst thou the giddy men of Rome.
88   Then cheer thy spirit : for know, thou emperor,
89   I will enchant the old Andronicus
90   With words more sweet, and yet more dangerous,
91   Than baits to fish, or honey-stalks to sheep,
92   When as the one is wounded with the bait,
93   The other rotted with delicious feed.
SATURNINUS
94   But he will not entreat his son for us.
TAMORA
95   If Tamora entreat him, then he will:
96   For I can smooth and fill his aged ear
97   With golden promises; that, were his heart
98   Almost impregnable, his old ears deaf,
99   Yet should both ear and heart obey my tongue.
To AEmilius
100  Go thou before, be our ambassador:
101  Say that the emperor requests a parley
102  Of warlike Lucius, and appoint the meeting
103  Even at his father's house, the old Andronicus.
SATURNINUS
104  AEmilius, do this message honourably:
105  And if he stand on hostage for his safety,
106  Bid him demand what pledge will please him best.
AEMILIUS
107  Your bidding shall I do effectually.
Exit

TAMORA
108  Now will I to that old Andronicus;
109  And temper him with all the art I have,
110  To pluck proud Lucius from the warlike Goths.
111  And now, sweet emperor, be blithe again,
112  And bury all thy fear in my devices.
SATURNINUS
113  Then go successantly, and plead to him.
Exeunt

< (Previous) ACT IV, SCENE IIIACT V, SCENE I (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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