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SCENE I. Rome. A street.
Enter Senators, Tribunes, and Officers of Justice,
with Martius and Quintus, bound, passing on to the place of eiecution: Titus going before plcading.
Tit. Hear me, grave fathers ! noble tribunes, stay! For pity of mine age, whose youth was spent In dangerous wars, whilst you securely slept; For all my blood in Rome's great quarrel shed; For all the frosty nights that I have watch’d; And for these bitter tears, which now you see Filling the aged wrinkles in my cheeks; Be pitiful to my condemned sons, Whose souls are not corrupted as 'tis thought ! For two and twenty sons I never wept, Because they died in honour's lofty bed, For these, these tribunes, in the dust I write
[Throwing himself on the ground. My heart's deep languor, and my soul's sad tears. Let my tears stanch the earth's dry appetite; My sons' sweet blood will make it shane and blush.
[Ereunt Senators, Tribunes, fc. with
Enter Lucius, with his sword drawn.
O, reverend tribunes ! gentle aged men!
Unbind my sons, reverse the doom of death;
Luc. O, noble father, you lament in vain;
Tit. Ah, Lucius, for thy brothers let me plead: Grave tribunes, once more I entreat of you.
Luc. My gracious lord, no tribunehears you speak.
Tit. Why, 'tis no matter, man: if they did hear, They would not mark me; or, if they did mark, All bootless to them, they'd not pity me. Therefore I tell my sorrows to the stones; Who, though they cannot answer my distress, Yet in some sort they're better than the tribunes, For that they will not intercept my tale : When I do weep, they humbly at my feet Receive my tears, and seem to weep with me; And, were they but attired in grave weeds, Rome could afford no tribune like to these. A stone is soft as wax, tribuues more hard than
stones : A stone is silent, and offendeth not; And tribunes with their tongues doom men to death. But wherefore stand'st thou with thy weapon drawn?
Luc. To rescue my two brothers from their death: For which attempt, the judges have pronounc'd My everlasting doom of banishment.
Tit. O happy man! they have befriended thee. Why, foolish Lucius, dost thou not perceive, That Rome is but a wilderness of tigers ? Tigers must prey; and kome affords no prey, But me and mine: How happy art thou then, From these devourers to be banished? But who comes with our brother Marcus here?
Enter Marcus and Lavinia,
Mur. Titus, prepare thy noble eyes to weep; Or, if not so, thy noble heart to break; I bring consuming sorrow to thine age.
Tit. Will it consume me? let me see it then.
thee? Mar. O, that delightful engive of her thoughts, That blab'd them with such pleasing eloquence, Is torn from forth that pretty hollow cage: Where, like a sweet melodious bird, it sung Sweet varied notes, enchanting every car! Luc. O, say thou for her, who hath done this
deed? Mur. O, thus I found her, straying in the park, Seeking to hide herself, as doth the deer, That háih received some unrecuring wound.
Tit. It was my deer; and he, that wounded her, Hath hurt me more, than had he kill'd me dead: l'or now I stand as one upon a rock, Environ'd with a wilderness of sea;
• The river Nile.
Who marks the waxing tide grow wave by wave,
But that, which gives my soul the greatest spurn, 1. Is dear Lavinia, dearer than my soul.
Had I but seen thy picture in this plight,
Tit. If they did kill thy husband, then be joyful,
What shall we do? let us, that have our tongues,
Mar. Patience, dear niece:- good Titus, dry
Tit. Ah, Marcus, Marcus! brother, well I wot*, Thy napkint cannot drink a tear of mine, For thou, poor man, hast drown'd it with thine own. Luc.
my Lavinia, I will wipe thy cheeks. Tit. Mark, Marcus, mark! I understand her
signs : Had she a tongue to speak, now would she say That to her brother which I said to thee; His napkin, with his true tears all bewet, Can do vo service on her sorrowful cheeks. 0, what a sympathy of woe is this? As far from help as limbo is from bliss !
Aar. Titus Andronicus, my lord the emperor
Tit. O, gracious emperor! O, gentle Aaron!
Luc. Stay, father; for that noble hand of thine, That hath tlırown down so many enemies,