Actus Quintus.

Flourish. Enter Lucius with an Army of Gothes, with Drum and Souldiers.

Luci. Approued warriours, and my faithfull Friends, I haue receiued Letters from great Rome, Which signifies what hate they beare their Emperour, And how desirous of our sight they are. Therefore great Lords, be as your Titles witnesse, Imperious and impatient of your wrongs, And wherein Rome hath done you any scathe, Let him make treble satisfaction

Goth. Braue slip, sprung from the Great Andronicus, Whose name was once our terrour, now our comfort, Whose high exploits, and honourable Deeds, Ingratefull Rome requites with foule contempt: Behold in vs, weele follow where thou lead'st, Like stinging Bees in hottest Sommers day, Led by their Maister to the flowred fields, And be aueng'd on cursed Tamora: And as he saith, so say we all with him

Luci. I humbly thanke him, and I thanke you all. But who comes heere, led by a lusty Goth? Enter a Goth leading of Aaron with his child in his armes.

Goth. Renowned Lucius, from our troups I straid, To gaze vpon a ruinous Monasterie, And as I earnestly did fixe mine eye Vpon the wasted building, suddainely I heard a childe cry vnderneath a wall: I made vnto the noyse, when soone I heard, The crying babe control'd with this discourse: Peace Tawny slaue, halfe me, and halfe thy Dam, Did not thy Hue bewray whose brat thou art? Had nature lent thee, but thy Mothers looke, Villaine thou might'st haue bene an Emperour. But where the Bull and Cow are both milk-white, They neuer do beget a cole-blacke-Calfe: Peace, villaine peace, euen thus he rates the babe, For I must beare thee to a trusty Goth, Who when he knowes thou art the Empresse babe, Will hold thee dearely for thy Mothers sake. With this, my weapon drawne I rusht vpon him, Surpriz'd him suddainely, and brought him hither To vse, as you thinke needefull of the man

Luci. Oh worthy Goth, this is the incarnate deuill, That rob'd Andronicus of his good hand: This is the Pearle that pleas'd your Empresse eye, And heere's the Base Fruit of his burning lust. Say wall-ey'd slaue, whether would'st thou conuay This growing Image of thy fiend-like face? Why dost not speake? what deafe? Not a word? A halter Souldiers, hang him on this Tree, And by his side his Fruite of Bastardie

Aron. Touch not the Boy, he is of Royall blood

Luci. Too like the Syre for euer being good. First hang the Child that he may see it sprall, A sight to vexe the Fathers soule withall

Aron. Get me a Ladder Lucius, saue the Childe, And beare it from me to the Empresse: If thou do this, Ile shew thee wondrous things, That highly may aduantage thee to heare; If thou wilt not, befall what may befall, Ile speake no more: but vengeance rot you all

Luci. Say on, and if it please me which thou speak'st, Thy child shall liue, and I will see it Nourisht

Aron. And if it please thee? why assure thee Lucius, 'Twill vexe thy soule to heare what I shall speake: For I must talke of Murthers, Rapes, and Massacres, Acts of Blacke-night, abhominable Deeds, Complots of Mischiefe, Treason, Villanies Ruthfull to heare, yet pittiously perform'd, And this shall all be buried by my death, Vnlesse thou sweare to me my Childe shall liue

Luci. Tell on thy minde, I say thy Childe shall liue

Aron. Sweare that he shall, and then I will begin

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

All Pages of This Book