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Enter BASSIANUS and LAVINIA.
Bas. Who have we here? Rome's royal emperess
Unfurnish'd of her well-beseeming troop?
Or is it Dian, habited like her,
Who hath abandoned her holy groves,
To see the general hunting in this forest ?

Tam. Saucy controller of our private steps !
Had I the power, that, some say, Dian had,
Thy temples should be planted presently
With horns, as was Actæon's; and the hounds
Should drive upon thy new-transformed limbs,
Unmannerly intruder as thou art !

Lav. Under your patience, gentle emperess,
'Tis thought you have a goodly gift in horning;
And to be doubted, that your

Moor and

you Are singled forth to try experiments. Jove shield your husband from his hounds to-day! 'Tis pity, they should take him for a stag.

Bas. Believe me, queen, your swarth Cimmerian Doth make

your

honor of his body's hue, Spotted, detested, and abominable. Why are you sequester'd from all your train, Dismounted from your snow-white goodly steed, And wander'd hither to an obscure plot, Accompanied but with a barbarous Moor, If foul desire had not conducted you?

Lav. And, being intercepted in your sport, Great reason that

my

noble lord be rated For sauciness! I pray you, let us hence, And let her 'joy her raven-color'd love :

This valley fits the purpose passing well.
Bas. The king my brother shall have note of

this. Lav. Ay, for these slips have made him noted

long. Good king, to be so mightily abused !

Tam. Why have I patience to endure all this?

Enter CHIRON and DEMETRIUS.

Dem. How now, dear sovereign, and our gracious

mother, Why doth your highness look so pale and wan? “ Tam. Have I not re son, think you, to look

pale? · These two have 'ticed me hither to this place ;

A barren, detested vale, you see, it is : “ The trees, though summer, yet forlorn and lean, " O'ercome with moss and baleful mistletoe.

Here never shines the sun; here nothing breeds, Unless the nightly owl or fatal raven:

And, when they show'd me this abhorred pit,

They told me, here, at dead time of the night, A thousand fiends, a thousand hissing snakes, “ Ten thousand swelling toads, as many urchins, “ Would make such fearful and confused cries, As any mortal body, hearing it, “ Should straight fall mad, or else die suddenly. No sooner had they told this hellish tale,

Hedgehogs.

“ But straight they told me, they would bind me

here “ Unto the body of a dismal yew; “ And leave me to this miserable death. “ And then they call’d me, foul adulteress, “ Lascivious Goth, and all the bitterest terms “ That ever ear did hear to such effect:

And, had you not by wondrous fortune come, “ This vengeance on me had they executed. Revenge it, as you

love
your

mother's life, Or be ye not henceforth call’d my children. Dem. This is a witness that I am thy son.

[stabs Bassianus. Chi. And this for me, struck home to show my strength.

[stabbing him likewise. Lav. Ay, come, Semiramis !--nay, barbarous Ta

mora ! For no name fits thy nature but thy own! Tam. Give me thy poniard : you shall know, my

boys, Your mother's hand shall right your mother's

wrong Dem. Stay, madam, here is more belongs to her ; First, thrash the corn, then after burn the straw. This minion stood upon her chastity, Upon her nuptial vow, her loyalty, And with that painted hope braves your mightiness: And shall she carry this unto her grave ?

Chi. An if she do, I would I were an eunuch. Drag hence her husband to some secret hole, And make his dead trunk pillow to our lust.

Tam. But when you

have the honey you desire, Let not this wasp outlive, us both to sting.

Chi. I warrant you, madam, we will make that

sure.

Come, mistress, now perforce we will enjoy
That nice-preserved honesty of yours.

Lav. 0 Tamora! thou bear'st a woman's face ;-
Tam. I will not hear her speak; away with her.
Lav. Sweet lords, entreat her hear me but a

word. Dem. Listen, fair madam : let it be your glory To see her tears; but be your heart to them, As unrelenting flint to drops of rain. Lav. When did the tiger's young ones teach the

dam ? 0, do not learn her wrath ; she taught it thee. The milk, thou suck’dst from her, did turn to

marble ; Even at thy teat thou hadst thy tyranny: Yet every

mother breeds not sons alike. Do thou entreat her show a woman pity.

[to Chiron. Chi. What! wouldst thou have me prove myself

a bastard ? Lav. 'Tis true; the raven doth not hatch a lark : Yet I have heard, (0, could I find it now!) The lion, moved with pity, did endure To have his princely paws pared all away. Some say, that ravens foster forlorn children, The whilst their own birds famish in their nests. O, be to me, though thy hard heart say no,

Nothing so kind, but something pitiful !

Tam. I know not what it means : away with her.

Lav. 0, let me teach thee: for my father's sake, That gave thee life, when well he might have slain

thee, Be not obdurate; open thy deaf ears.

Tam. Hadst thou in person ne'er offended me,
Even for his sake am I pitiless.
Remember, boys, I pour'd forth tears in vain,
To save your brother from the sacrifice;
But fierce Andronicus would not relent:
Therefore away with her, and use her as you will ;
The worse to, her, the better loved of me.

Lav. 0 Tamora, be call’d a gentle queen,
And with thine own hands kill me in this place :
For 'tis not life that I have begg'd so long;
Poor I was slain when Bassianus died.

Tam. What begg'st thou then? fond 1 woman, let

me go.

Lav. 'Tis present death I beg; and one thing

more, That womanhood denies my tongue to tell. 0, keep me from their worse than killing lust, And tumble me into some loathsome pit, Where never man's eye may behold my body: Do this, and be a charitable murderer.

Tam. So should I rob my sweet sons of their fee: No, let them satisfy their lust on thee.

i Foolish,

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