〈Titus Andronicus〉 Act 5 Scene 3
ACT V. SCENE III. The court of TITUS' house Enter Lucius, MARCUS, and the GOTHS, with AARON prisoner, and his CHILD in the arms of an attendant
LUCIUS Uncle Marcus, since 'tis my father's mind That I repair to Rome, I am content.
FIRST GOTH And ours with thine, befall what fortune will.
LUCIUS Good uncle, take you in this barbarous Moor, This ravenous tiger, this accursed devil; Let him receive no sust'nance, fetter him, Till he be brought unto the Empress' face For testimony of her foul proceedings. And see the ambush of our friends be strong; I fear the Emperor means no good to us.
AARON Some devil whisper curses in my ear, And prompt me that my tongue may utter forth The venomous malice of my swelling heart!
LUCIUS Away, inhuman dog, unhallowed slave! Sirs, help our uncle to convey him in.
Exeunt GOTHS with AARON. Flourish within The trumpets show the Emperor is at hand. Sound trumpets. Enter SATURNINUS and TAMORA, with AEMILIUS, TRIBUNES, SENATORS, and others
SATURNINUS What, hath the firmament more suns than one?
boots To be of help or advantage; avail. (AHD)
LUCIUS What boots it thee to call thyself a sun?
parle to talk, to converse, to parley (obsolete) (AHD)
MARCUS Rome's Emperor, and nephew, break the parle; These quarrels must be quietly debated. The feast is ready which the careful Titus Hath ordain'd to an honourable end, For peace, for love, for league, and good to Rome. Please you, therefore, draw nigh and take your places.
SATURNINUS Marcus, we will. [A table brought in. The company sit down] Trumpets sounding, enter TITUS like a cook, placing the dishes, and LAVINIA with a veil over her face; also YOUNG LUCIUS, and others
TITUS Welcome, my lord; welcome, dread Queen; Welcome, ye warlike Goths; welcome, Lucius; And welcome all. Although the cheer be poor, 'Twill fill your stomachs; please you eat of it.
SATURNINUS Why art thou thus attir'd, Andronicus?
TITUS Because I would be sure to have all well To entertain your Highness and your Empress.
TAMORA We are beholding to you, good Andronicus.
Virginius Virginius is the father of Verginia. They are figures in a story of ancient Rome. See: Verginia
TITUS An if your Highness knew my heart, you were. My lord the Emperor, resolve me this: Was it well done of rash Virginius To slay his daughter with his own right hand, Because she was enforc'd, stain'd, and deflower'd?
SATURNINUS It was, Andronicus.
TITUS Your reason, mighty lord.
SATURNINUS Because the girl should not survive her shame, And by her presence still renew his sorrows.
TITUS A reason mighty, strong, and effectual; A pattern, precedent, and lively warrant For me, most wretched, to perform the like. Die, die, Lavinia, and thy shame with thee; [He kills her] And with thy shame thy father's sorrow die!
SATURNINUS What hast thou done, unnatural and unkind?
TITUS Kill'd her for whom my tears have made me blind. I am as woeful as Virginius was, And have a thousand times more cause than he To do this outrage; and it now is done.
SATURNINUS What, was she ravish'd? Tell who did the deed.
TITUS Will't please you eat? Will't please your Highness feed?
TAMORA Why hast thou slain thine only daughter thus?
TITUS Not I; 'twas Chiron and Demetrius. They ravish'd her, and cut away her tongue; And they, 'twas they, that did her all this wrong.
SATURNINUS Go, fetch them hither to us presently.
TITUS Why, there they are, both baked in this pie, Whereof their mother daintily hath fed, Eating the flesh that she herself hath bred. 'Tis true, 'tis true: witness my knife's sharp point. [He stabs the EMPRESS]
SATURNINUS Die, frantic wretch, for this accursed deed! [He stabs TITUS]
meed A fitting recompense. (AHD)
LUCIUS Can the son's eye behold his father bleed? There's meed for meed, death for a deadly deed. [He stabs SATURNINUS. A great tumult. LUCIUS, MARCUS, and their friends go up into the balcony]
castaway 1. Cast adrift or ashore; shipwrecked. 2. Discarded; thrown away. n. 1. A shipwrecked person. 2. A rejected or discarded person or thing. (AHD)
Priam king of Troy, father of Hector. See Priam
Sinon a double spy for the Greeks in Trojan war. It is he, who told the Trojans that the Trojan Horse is a gift. See Sinon
MARCUS You sad-fac'd men, people and sons of Rome, By uproars sever'd, as a flight of fowl Scatter'd by winds and high tempestuous gusts? O, let me teach you how to knit again This scattered corn into one mutual sheaf, These broken limbs again into one body; Lest Rome herself be bane unto herself, And she whom mighty kingdoms curtsy to, Like a forlorn and desperate castaway, Do shameful execution on herself. But if my frosty signs and chaps of age, Grave witnesses of true experience, Cannot induce you to attend my words, [To Lucius] Speak, Rome's dear friend, as erst our ancestor, When with his solemn tongue he did discourse To love-sick Dido's sad attending ear The story of that baleful burning night, When subtle Greeks surpris'd King Priam's Troy. Tell us what Sinon hath bewitch'd our ears, Or who hath brought the fatal engine in That gives our Troy, our Rome, the civil wound. My heart is not compact of flint nor steel; Nor can I utter all our bitter grief, But floods of tears will drown my oratory And break my utt'rance, even in the time When it should move ye to attend me most, And force you to commiseration. Here's Rome's young Captain, let him tell the tale; While I stand by and weep to hear him speak.
LUCIUS Then, gracious auditory, be it known to you That Chiron and the damn'd Demetrius Were they that murd'red our Emperor's brother; And they it were that ravished our sister. For their fell faults our brothers were beheaded, Our father's tears despis'd, and basely cozen'd Of that true hand that fought Rome's quarrel out And sent her enemies unto the grave. Lastly, myself unkindly banished, The gates shut on me, and turn'd weeping out, To beg relief among Rome's enemies; Who drown'd their enmity in my true tears, And op'd their arms to embrace me as a friend. I am the turned forth, be it known to you, That have preserv'd her welfare in my blood And from her bosom took the enemy's point, Sheathing the steel in my advent'rous body. Alas! you know I am no vaunter, I; My scars can witness, dumb although they are, That my report is just and full of truth. But, soft! methinks I do digress too much, Citing my worthless praise. O, pardon me! For when no friends are by, men praise themselves.
MARCUS Now is my turn to speak. Behold the child. [Pointing to the CHILD in an attendant's arms] Of this was Tamora delivered, The issue of an irreligious Moor, Chief architect and plotter of these woes. The villain is alive in Titus' house, Damn'd as he is, to witness this is true. Now judge what cause had Titus to revenge These wrongs unspeakable, past patience, Or more than any living man could bear. Now have you heard the truth: what say you, Romans? Have we done aught amiss, show us wherein, And, from the place where you behold us pleading, The poor remainder of Andronici Will, hand in hand, all headlong hurl ourselves, And on the ragged stones beat forth our souls, And make a mutual closure of our house. Speak, Romans, speak; and if you say we shall, Lo, hand in hand, Lucius and I will fall.
AEMILIUS Come, come, thou reverend man of Rome, And bring our Emperor gently in thy hand, Lucius our Emperor; for well I know The common voice do cry it shall be so.
ALL Lucius, all hail, Rome's royal Emperor!
MARCUS Go, go into old Titus' sorrowful house, And hither hale that misbelieving Moor To be adjudg'd some direful slaught'ring death, As punishment for his most wicked life.
Exeunt some attendants. LUCIUS, MARCUS, and the others descend
ALL Lucius, all hail, Rome's gracious governor!
LUCIUS Thanks, gentle Romans! May I govern so To heal Rome's harms and wipe away her woe! But, gentle people, give me aim awhile, For nature puts me to a heavy task. Stand all aloof; but, uncle, draw you near To shed obsequious tears upon this trunk. O, take this warm kiss on thy pale cold lips. [Kisses TITUS] These sorrowful drops upon thy blood-stain'd face, The last true duties of thy noble son!
MARCUS Tear for tear and loving kiss for kiss Thy brother Marcus tenders on thy lips. O, were the sum of these that I should pay Countless and infinite, yet would I pay them!
LUCIUS Come hither, boy; come, come, come, and learn of us To melt in showers. Thy grandsire lov'd thee well; Many a time he danc'd thee on his knee, Sung thee asleep, his loving breast thy pillow; Many a story hath he told to thee, And bid thee bear his pretty tales in mind And talk of them when he was dead and gone.
MARCUS How many thousand times hath these poor lips, When they were living, warm'd themselves on thine! O, now, sweet boy, give them their latest kiss! Bid him farewell; commit him to the grave; Do them that kindness, and take leave of them.
BOY O grandsire, grandsire! ev'n with all my heart Would I were dead, so you did live again! O Lord, I cannot speak to him for weeping; My tears will choke me, if I ope my mouth. Re-enter attendants with AARON
A ROMAN You sad Andronici, have done with woes; Give sentence on the execrable wretch That hath been breeder of these dire events.
LUCIUS Set him breast-deep in earth, and famish him; There let him stand and rave and cry for food. If any one relieves or pities him, For the offence he dies. This is our doom. Some stay to see him fast'ned in the earth.
AARON Ah, why should wrath be mute and fury dumb? I am no baby, I, that with base prayers I should repent the evils I have done; Ten thousand worse than ever yet I did Would I perform, if I might have my will. If one good deed in all my life I did, I do repent it from my very soul.
LUCIUS Some loving friends convey the Emperor hence, And give him burial in his father's grave. My father and Lavinia shall forthwith Be closed in our household's monument. As for that ravenous tiger, Tamora, No funeral rite, nor man in mourning weed, No mournful bell shall ring her burial; But throw her forth to beasts and birds to prey. Her life was beastly and devoid of pity, And being dead, let birds on her take pity.
Exeunt THE END