Ti. Oh gracious Emperour, oh gentle Aaron. Did euer Rauen sing so like a Larke, That giues sweet tydings of the Sunnes vprise? With all my heart, Ile send the Emperour my hand, Good Aron wilt thou help to chop it off? Lu. Stay Father, for that noble hand of thine, That hath throwne downe so many enemies, Shall not be sent: my hand will serue the turne, My youth can better spare my blood then you, And therfore mine shall saue my brothers liues

Mar. Which of your hands hath not defended Rome, And rear'd aloft the bloody Battleaxe, Writing destruction on the enemies Castle? Oh none of both but are of high desert: My hand hath bin but idle, let it serue To ransome my two nephewes from their death, Then haue I kept it to a worthy end

Moore. Nay come agree, whose hand shall goe along For feare they die before their pardon come

Mar. My hand shall goe

Lu. By heauen it shall not goe

Ti. Sirs striue no more, such withered hearbs as these Are meete for plucking vp, and therefore mine

Lu. Sweet Father, if I shall be thought thy sonne, Let me redeeme my brothers both from death

Mar. And for our fathers sake, and mothers care, Now let me shew a brothers loue to thee

Ti. Agree betweene you, I will spare my hand

Lu. Then Ile goe fetch an Axe

Mar. But I will vse the Axe.


Ti. Come hither Aaron, Ile deceiue them both, Lend me thy hand, and I will giue thee mine, Moore. If that be cal'd deceit, I will be honest, And neuer whil'st I liue deceiue men so: But Ile deceiue you in another sort, And that you'l say ere halfe an houre passe.

He cuts off Titus hand.

Enter Lucius and Marcus againe.

Ti. Now stay your strife, what shall be, is dispatcht: Good Aron giue his Maiestie my hand, Tell him, it was a hand that warded him From thousand dangers: bid him bury it: More hath it merited: That let it haue. As for my sonnes, say I account of them, As iewels purchast at an easie price, And yet deere too, because I bought mine owne

Aron. I goe Andronicus, and for thy hand, Looke by and by to haue thy sonnes with thee: Their heads I meane: Oh how this villany Doth fat me with the very thoughts of it. Let fooles doe good, and faire men call for grace, Aron will haue his soule blacke like his face. Enter.

Ti. O heere I lift this one hand vp to heauen, And bow this feeble ruine to the earth, If any power pitties wretched teares, To that I call: what wilt thou kneele with me? Doe then deare heart, for heauen shall heare our prayers, Or with our sighs weele breath the welkin dimme, And staine the Sun with fogge as somtime cloudes, When they do hug him in their melting bosomes

Mar. Oh brother speake with possibilities, And do not breake into these deepe extreames

Ti. Is not my sorrow deepe, hauing no bottome? Then be my passions bottomlesse with them

Mar. But yet let reason gouerne thy lament

Titus. If there were reason for these miseries, Then into limits could I binde my woes: When heauen doth weepe, doth not the earth oreflow? If the windes rage, doth not the Sea wax mad, Threatning the welkin with his big-swolne face? And wilt thou haue a reason for this coile? I am the Sea. Harke how her sighes doe flow: Shee is the weeping welkin, I the earth: Then must my Sea be moued with her sighes, Then must my earth with her continuall teares, Become a deluge: ouerflow'd and drown'd: For why, my bowels cannot hide her woes, But like a drunkard must I vomit them: Then giue me leaue, for loosers will haue leaue, To ease their stomackes with their bitter tongues, Enter a messenger with two heads and a hand.

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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