Titus Andronicus


Text
Act I
Act II
Act III
Act IV
Act V
Enter Titus, old Marcus, his son Publius, young

Lucius, and other gentlemen (Caius, Sempronius)

with bows, and Titus bears the arrows with letters on

the ends of them


TITUS

Come, Marcus, come; kinsmen, this is the way.

Sir boy, now let me see your archery.

Look ye draw home enough, and 'tis there straight.
draw (v.) 11 [archery] draw back a bow-string
home (adv.) 1 fully, thoroughly, unsparingly
straight (adv.) straightaway, immediately, at once See Topics: Frequency count

Terras Astraea reliquit: be you remembered, Marcus,
Astraea... Astrea has left the earth
terras... Astraea has left the earth See Topics: Latin

She's gone, she's fled. Sirs, take you to your tools.

You, cousins, shall go sound the ocean,

And cast your nets:

Happily you may catch her in the sea,

Yet there's as little justice as at land.

No, Publius and Sempronius, you must do it.

'Tis you must dig with mattock and with spade,
mattock (n.) tool for loosening hard ground

And pierce the inmost centre of the earth.

Then, when you come to Pluto's region,

I pray you deliver him this petition.

Tell him it is for justice and for aid,

And that it comes from old Andronicus,

Shaken with sorrows in ungrateful Rome.

Ah, Rome! Well, well, I made thee miserable

What time I threw the people's suffrages
suffrage (n.) vote, approval, consent

On him that thus doth tyrannize o'er me.

Go, get you gone, and pray be careful all,

And leave you not a man-of-war unsearched.

This wicked Emperor may have shipped her hence,

And, kinsmen, then we may go pipe for justice.
pipe (v.) whistle, look in vain


MARCUS

O Publius, is not this a heavy case,
heavy (adj.) 1 sorrowful, sad, gloomy See Topics: Frequency count

To see thy noble uncle thus distract?
distract (adj.) 1 deranged, mad, mentally disturbed


PUBLIUS

Therefore, my lords, it highly us concerns

By day and night t' attend him carefully
attend (v.) 4 accompany, follow closely, go with
carefully (adv.) considerately, attentively
highly (adv.) 1 greatly, crucially, in an important way

And feed his humour kindly as we may,
beget (v.), past form begot 2 produce, engender, give rise to

Till time beget some careful remedy.
humour (n.) 2 fancy, whim, inclination, caprice


MARCUS

Kinsmen, his sorrows are past remedy.

But [text missing in Quarto]

Join with the Goths, and with revengeful war

Take wreak on Rome for this ingratitude,
wreak (n.) revenge, vengeance, retribution

And vengeance on the traitor Saturnine.


TITUS

Publius, how now? How now, my masters?

What, have you met with her?


PUBLIUS

No, my good lord, but Pluto sends you word

If you will have Revenge from hell, you shall.

Marry, for Justice, she is so employed,

He thinks with Jove in heaven, or somewhere else,

So that perforce you must needs stay a time.
perforce (adv.) 2 of necessity, with no choice in the matter See Topics: Frequency count
stay (v.) 1 wait (for), await
time (n.) 14 passing of time, while


TITUS

He doth me wrong to feed me with delays.

I'll dive into the burning lake below

And pull her out of Acheron by the heels.

Marcus, we are but shrubs, no cedars we,

No big-boned men framed of the Cyclops' size,

But metal, Marcus, steel to the very back,
back, to the through and through

Yet wrung with wrongs more than our backs can bear.
wring (v.) 2 wrack, rack, press down

And sith there's no justice in earth nor hell,

We will solicit heaven and move the gods

To send down Justice for to wreak our wrongs.

Come, to this gear. You are a good archer, Marcus.
gear (n.) 1 business, affair, matter

He gives them the arrows

Ad Jovem ’, that's for you. Here, ‘ Ad Apollinem ’;
ad Apollinem to Apollo See Topics: Latin
ad Jovem to Jove See Topics: Latin

Ad Martem,’ that's for myself.
ad Martem to Mars See Topics: Latin

Here, boy, ‘ To Pallas.’ Here, ‘ To Mercury.’

‘ To Saturn,’ Caius, not to Saturnine!

You were as good to shoot against the wind.

To it, boy! Marcus, loose when I bid.
loose (v.) 1 [archery] shoot an arrow

Of my word, I have written to effect:
effect (n.) 2 purpose, end, intended deed

There's not a god left unsolicited.


MARCUS

(aside)

Kinsmen, shoot all your shafts into the court;

We will afflict the Emperor in his pride.


TITUS

Now, masters, draw. (They shoot)

                         O, well said, Lucius!

Good boy, in Virgo's lap! Give it Pallas!


MARCUS

My lord, I aimed a mile beyond the moon:

Your letter is with Jupiter by this.


TITUS

Ha, ha! Publius, Publius, what hast thou done?

See, see, thou hast shot off one of Taurus' horns.


MARCUS

This was the sport, my lord! When Publius shot,
sport (n.) 1 recreation, amusement, entertainment See Topics: Frequency count

The Bull, being galled, gave Aries such a knock
gall (v.) 4 graze, scratch

That down fell both the Ram's horns in the court,

And who should find them but the Empress' villain!
villain (n.) 1 serf, servant, bondman

She laughed, and told the Moor he should not choose

But give them to his master for a present.


TITUS

Why, there it goes. God give his lordship joy.

Enter the Clown with a basket and two pigeons in it
clown (n.) yokel, rustic, country bumpkin; also: low comic character [in a play]
post (n.) 1 express messenger, courier See Topics: Frequency count

News, news from heaven! Marcus, the post is come.

Sirrah, what tidings? Have you any letters?

Shall I have justice? What says Jupiter?


CLOWN

Ho, the gibbet-maker? He says that he hath taken
gibbet-maker (n.) person who constructs gibbets

them down again, for the man must not be hanged till

the next week.


TITUS

But what says Jupiter, I ask thee?


CLOWN

Alas, sir, I know not Jubiter. I never drank with

him in all my life.


TITUS

Why, villain, art not thou the carrier?
carrier (n.) messenger, courier, go-between


CLOWN

Ay, of my pigeons, sir, nothing else.


TITUS

Why, didst thou not come from heaven?


CLOWN

From heaven? Alas, sir, I never came there. God

forbid I should be so bold to press to heaven in my
press (v.) 2 push forward, thrust, come / go boldly

young days. Why, I am going with my pigeons to the

tribunal plebs to take up a matter of brawl betwixt my
take up (v.) 1 settle, make up, resolve
tribunal plebs malapropism for ‘tribuni plebis’ [= ‘tribunes of the people’]

uncle and one of the Emperal's men.
emperal (n.) malapropism for ‘emperor’


MARCUS

(to Titus)

Why, sir, that is as fit as can be to serve

for your oration, and let him deliver the pigeons to the

Emperor from you.


TITUS

Tell me, can you deliver an oration to the Emperor

with a grace?
grace (n.) 4 gracefulness, charm, elegance


CLOWN

Nay, truly sir, I could never say grace in all my
grace (n.) 9 grace before meals, prayer of thanksgiving

life.


TITUS

Sirrah, come hither; make no more ado,
ado (n.) fuss, business, to-do

But give your pigeons to the Emperor.

By me thou shalt have justice at his hands.

Hold, hold. (Gives him money)

                         Meanwhile, here's money for thy charges.

Give me pen and ink. (Writes)

Sirrah, can you with a grace deliver up a supplication?
supplication (n.) petition, written request


CLOWN

Ay, sir.


TITUS

(gives letter)

Then here is a supplication for you,

and when you come to him, at the first approach you

must kneel, then kiss his foot, then deliver up your

pigeons, and then look for your reward. I'll be at hand,

sir; see you do it bravely.
bravely (adv.) 2 showily, with great display, with a fine flourish


CLOWN

I warrant you, sir. Let me alone.
alone, let [one] 1 leave it to [one], you can rely on [one]
warrant (v.) 1 assure, promise, guarantee, confirm See Topics: Frequency count


TITUS

Sirrah, hast thou a knife? Come, let me see it.

Takes a knife and gives it to Marcus
oration (n.) petition, supplication

Here, Marcus, fold it in the oration;

(To the Clown)

For thou must hold it like an humble suppliant,

And when thou hast given it to the Emperor,

Knock at my door, and tell me what he says.


CLOWN

God be with you sir. I will.


TITUS

Come, Marcus, let us go. Publius, follow me.

Exeunt

 
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