Imagini ale paginilor

Into this gaping hollow of the earth ?

Mart. The unhappy son of old Andronicus; Brought hither in a most unlucky hour, To find thy brother Bassianus dead. Sat. My brother dead? I know, thou dost but

jest: He and his lady both are at the lodge, Upon the north side of this pleasant chase : 'Tis not an hour since I left him there.

Mart. We know not where you left him all alive, But, out alas! here have we found him dead.


with Attendants; TITUS ANDRONICUS,


Tam. Where is my lord, the king?
Sat. Here, Tamora; though grieved with killing

grief. Tam. Where is thy brother Bassianus ? Sat. Now to the bottom dost thou search my

wound: Poor Bassianus here lies murdered. Tam. Then all too late I bring this fatal writ,

[giving a letter. The complot of this timeless 1 tragedy; And wonder greatly, that man's face can fold In pleasing smiles such murderous tyranny. Sat. [reads.] • An if we miss to meet him hand


1 Untimely.

Sweet huntsman, Bassianus 'tis, we mean,-
Do thou so much as dig the grave for him ;
Thou know'st our meaning: look for thy reward
Among the nettles at the elder-tree,
Which overshades the mouth of that same pit,
Where we decreed to bury Bassianus.
Do this, and purchase us thy lasting friends.'

O Tamora! was ever heard the like?
This is the pit, and this the elder-tree.
Look, sirs, if you can find the huntsman out,
That should have murder'd Bassianus here.
Aaron. My gracious lord, here is the bag of gold.

[showing it. Sat. Two of thy whelpe, sto Titus.] fell curs of

bloody kind, Have here bereft my brother of his life. Sirs, drag them from the pit unto the prison ; There let them bide, until we have devised Some never heard-of torturing pain for them. Tam. What, are they in this pit? O wondrous

How easily murder is discovered !

Tit. High emperor, upon my feeble knee
I beg this boon, with tears not lightly shed ;
That this fell fault of my accursed sons,
Accursed, if the fault be proved in them,

Sat. If it be proved ? you see, it is apparent. Who found this letter? Tamora, was it you?

Tam. Andronicus himself did take it up.
Tit. I did, my lord : yet let me be their bail;

For by my father's reverend tomb, I vow,
They shall be ready at your highness' will,
To answer their suspicion with their lives.

Sat. Thou shalt not bail them ; see, thou follow


Some bring the murder'd body, some the mur

derers : Let them not speak a word; the guilt is plain ; For, by my soul, were there worse end than death, That end upon them should be executed.

Tam. Andronicus, I will entreat the king : Fear not thy sons; they shall do well enough. Tit. Come, Lucius, come; stay not to talk with them,

[Exeunt severally.


The same,



and CHIRON, with LAVINIA, ravished; her hands cut off, and her tongue cut out.

Dem. So, now go tell, an if thy tongue can

speak, Who 'twas that cut thy tongue, and ravish'd thee.

Chi. Write down thy mind, bewray 1 thy meaning


And, if thy stumps will let thee, play the scribe.

1 Discover.

Dem. See, how with signs and tokens she can

scowl! Chi. Go home, call for sweet water, wash thy

hands. Dem. She hath no tongue to call, nor hands to

wash; And so let's leave her to her silent walks.

Chi. An 'twere my case, I should go hang myself. Dem. If thou hadst hands to help thee knit the

cord. [Exeunt Demetrius and Chiron.


Mar. Who's this,—my niece, that flies away so

fast? Cousin, a word. Where is


husband ? If I do dream, would all my wealth would wake

me !

If I do wake, some planet strike me down, That I may slumber in eternal sleep!

Speak, gentle niece, what stern ungentle hands Have lopp’d, and hew'd, and made thy body bare “ Of her two branches ? those sweet ornaments, Whose circling shadows kings have sought to

sleep in; And might not gain so great a happiness, As half thy love? Why dost not speak to me?

Alas, a crimson river of warm blood, “ Like to a bubbling fountain stirr'd with wind, “ Doth rise and fall between thy rosed lips, " Coming and going with thy honey breath.

[ocr errors]

“ But, sure, some Tereus hath defloured thee; “ And, lest thou shouldst detect him, cut thy

tongue. Ah, now thou turn’st away thy face for shame! And, notwithstanding all this loss of blood, As from a conduit with three issuing spouts, Yet do thy cheeks look red as Titan's face, Blushing to be encounter'd with a cloud. Shall I speak for thee? shall I say, 'tis so? O, that I knew thy heart; and knew the beast, That I might rail at him to ease my mind ! Sorrow concealed, like an oven stopp’d, Doth burn the heart to cinders where it is. Fair Philomela, she but lost her tongue, And in a tedious sampler sew'd her mind : But, lovely niece, that mean is cut from thee; A craftier Tereus, cousin, hast thou met, And he hath cut those pretty fingers off, That could have better sew'd than Philomel. O, had the monster seen those lily hands Tremble, like aspen leaves, upon a lute, And make the silken strings delight to kiss them; He would not then have touch'd thein for his life Or, had he heard the heavenly harmony, Which that sweet tongue hath made, He would have dropp'd his knife, and fell asleep, As Cerberus at the Thracian poet's 1 feet. Come, let us go, and make thy father blind;

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]
« ÎnapoiContinuați »