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Enter BASSIANUS and LAVINIA.
Tam. Saucy controller of our private steps !
Lav. Under your patience, gentle emperess,
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
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
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.
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,
“ 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
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
Come, mistress, now perforce we will enjoy
Lav. 0 Tamora! thou bear'st a woman's face ;-
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,
Lav. 0 Tamora, be call’d a gentle queen,
Tam. What begg'st thou then? fond 1 woman, let
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.