Marti. Lord Bassianus lies embrewed heere, All on a heape like to the slaughtred Lambe, In this detested, darke, blood-drinking pit

Quin. If it be darke, how doost thou know 'tis he? Mart. Vpon his bloody finger he doth weare A precious Ring, that lightens all the Hole: Which like a Taper in some Monument, Doth shine vpon the dead mans earthly cheekes, And shewes the ragged intrailes of the pit: So pale did shine the Moone on Piramus, When he by night lay bath'd in Maiden blood: O Brother helpe me with thy fainting hand. If feare hath made thee faint, as mee it hath, Out of this fell deuouring receptacle, As hatefull as Ocitus mistie mouth

Quint. Reach me thy hand, that I may helpe thee out, Or wanting strength to doe thee so much good, I may be pluckt into the swallowing wombe, Of this deepe pit, poore Bassianus graue: I haue no strength to plucke thee to the brinke

Martius. Nor I no strength to clime without thy help

Quin. Thy hand once more, I will not loose againe, Till thou art heere aloft, or I below, Thou can'st not come to me, I come to thee.

Both fall in.

Enter the Emperour, Aaron the Moore.

Satur. Along with me, Ile see what hole is heere, And what he is that now is leapt into it. Say, who art thou that lately did'st descend, Into this gaping hollow of the earth? Marti. The vnhappie sonne of old Andronicus, Brought hither in a most vnluckie houre, To finde thy brother Bassianus dead

Satur. My brother dead? I know thou dost but iest, He and his Lady both are at the Lodge, Vpon the North-side of this pleasant Chase, 'Tis not an houre since I left him there

Marti. We know not where you left him all aliue, But out alas, heere haue we found him dead. Enter Tamora, Andronicus, and Lucius.

Tamo. Where is my Lord the King? King. Heere Tamora, though grieu'd with killing griefe

Tam. Where is thy brother Bassianus? King. Now to the bottome dost thou search my wound, Poore Bassianus heere lies murthered

Tam. Then all too late I bring this fatall writ, The complot of this timelesse Tragedie, And wonder greatly that mans face can fold, In pleasing smiles such murderous Tyrannie.

She giueth Saturnine a Letter.

Saturninus reads the Letter. And if we misse to meete him hansomely, Sweet huntsman, Bassianus 'tis we meane, Doe thou so much as dig the graue for him, Thou know'st our meaning, looke for thy reward Among the Nettles at the Elder tree: Which ouer-shades the mouth of that same pit: Where we decreed to bury Bassianuss Doe this and purchase vs thy lasting friends

King. Oh Tamora, was euer heard the like? This is the pit, and this the Elder tree, Looke sirs, if you can finde the huntsman out, That should haue murthered Bassianus heere

Aron. My gracious Lord heere is the bag of Gold

King. Two of thy whelpes, fell Curs of bloody kind Haue heere bereft my brother of his life: Sirs drag them from the pit vnto the prison, There let them bide vntill we haue deuis'd Some neuer heard-of tortering paine for them

Tamo. What are they in this pit, Oh wondrous thing! How easily murder is discouered? Tit. High Emperour, vpon my feeble knee, I beg this boone, with teares, not lightly shed, That this fell fault of my accursed Sonnes, Accursed, if the faults be prou'd in them

King. If it be prou'd? you see it is apparant, Who found this Letter, Tamora was it you? Tamora. Andronicus himselfe did take it vp

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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