Enter TAMORA, DEMETRIUS, and CHIRON, disguisedTAMORA
Thus, in this strange and sad habiliment,TITUS ANDRONICUS
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.
Enter TITUS, above
Who doth molest my contemplation?TAMORA
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 deceived: 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.TITUS ANDRONICUS
No, not a word; how can I grace my talk,TAMORA
Wanting a hand to give it action?
Thou hast the odds of me; therefore no more.
If thou didst know me, thou wouldest talk with me.TITUS ANDRONICUS
I am not mad; I know thee well enough:TAMORA
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?
Know, thou sad man, I am not Tamora;TITUS ANDRONICUS
She is thy enemy, and I thy friend:
I am Revenge: sent from the 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.
Art thou Revenge? and art thou sent to me,TAMORA
To be a torment to mine enemies?
I am; therefore come down, and welcome me.TITUS ANDRONICUS
Do me some service, ere I come to thee.TAMORA
Lo, by thy side where Rape and Murder stands;
Now give me some surance that thou art Revenge,
Stab them, or tear them on thy chariot-wheels;
And then I′ll come and be thy waggoner,
And whirl along with thee about the globe.
Provide thee two proper palfreys, black as jet,
To hale thy vengeful waggon swift away,
And find out murderers in their guilty caves:
And when thy car is loaden with their heads,
I will dismount, and by the waggon-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.TITUS ANDRONICUS
Are these thy ministers? what are they call′d?TAMORA
Rapine and Murder; therefore called so,TITUS ANDRONICUS
Cause they take vengeance of such kind of men.
Good Lord, how like the empress′ sons they are!TAMORA
And you, the empress! but we worldly 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.
This closing with him fits his lunacyTITUS ANDRONICUS
Whate′er I forge to feed his brain-sick fits,
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 practise 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
Long have I been forlorn, and all for thee:TAMORA
Welcome, dread Fury, to my woful 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?DEMETRIUS
Show me a murderer, I′ll deal with him.CHIRON
Show me a villain that hath done a rape,TAMORA
And I am sent to be revenged on him.
Show me a thousand that have done thee wrong,TITUS ANDRONICUS
And I will be revenged on them all.
Look round about the wicked streets of Rome;TAMORA
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′s a ravisher.
Go thou with them; and in the emperor′s court
There is a queen, attended by a Moor;
Well mayst thou know her by thy 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.
Well hast thou lesson′d us; this shall we do.TITUS ANDRONICUS
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 shalt they stoop and kneel,
And on them shalt thou ease thy angry heart.
What says Andronicus to this device?
Marcus, my brother! ′tis sad Titus calls.MARCUS ANDRONICUS
Enter MARCUSGo, 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.TAMORA
Now will I hence about thy business,TITUS ANDRONICUS
And take my ministers along with me.
Nay, nay, let Rape and Murder stay with me;TAMORA
Or else I′ll call my brother back again,
And cleave to no revenge but Lucius.
[Aside to her sons] What say you, boys? will youTITUS ANDRONICUS
bide with him,
Whiles I go tell my lord the emperor
How I have govern′d our determined jest?
Yield to his humour, smooth and speak him fair,
And tarry with him till I turn again.
[Aside] I know them all, though they suppose me mad,DEMETRIUS
And will o′erreach them in their own devices:
A pair of cursed hell-hounds and their dam!
Madam, depart at pleasure; leave us here.TAMORA
Farewell, Andronicus: Revenge now goesTITUS ANDRONICUS
To lay a complot to betray thy foes.
I know thou dost; and, sweet Revenge, farewell.CHIRON
Tell us, old man, how shall we be employ′d?TITUS ANDRONICUS
Tut, I have work enough for you to do.PUBLIUS
Publius, come hither, Caius, and Valentine!
Enter PUBLIUS and others
What is your will?TITUS ANDRONICUS
Know you these two?PUBLIUS
The empress′ sons, I take them, Chiron and Demetrius.TITUS ANDRONICUS
Fie, Publius, fie! thou art too much deceived;CHIRON
The one is Murder, 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.
PUBLIUS, & c. lay hold on CHIRON and DEMETRIUS
Villains, forbear! we are the empress′ sons.PUBLIUS
And therefore do we what we are commanded.TITUS ANDRONICUS
Stop close their mouths, let them not speak a word.
Is he sure bound? look that you bind them fast.
Re-enter TITUS, with LAVINIA; he bearing a knife, and she a basin
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 vile 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 forced.
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,
Whilst 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 unhallow′d 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 used my daughter,
And worse than Progne I will be revenged:
And now prepare your throats. Lavinia, come,
He cuts their throatsReceive 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 baked.
Come, come, be every one officious
To make this banquet; which I wish may prove
More stern and bloody than the Centaurs′ feast.
So, now bring them in, for I′ll play the cook,
And see them ready ′gainst their mother comes.
Exeunt, bearing the dead bodies
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