Act IV, Scene 4

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Act IV, Scene 4 The same. Before the palace.

Enter SATURNINUS, TAMORA, DEMETRIUS, CHIRON, Lords, and others; SATURNINUS with the arrows in his hand that TITUS shot

 

SATURNINUS Why, lords, what wrongs are these! was ever seen
An emperor in Rome thus overborne,
Troubled, confronted thus; and, for the extent
Of egal justice, used in such contempt?
My lords, you know, as know the mightful gods,
However these disturbers of our peace
Buz in the people's ears, there nought hath pass'd,
But even with law, against the willful sons
Of old Andronicus. And what an if
His sorrows have so overwhelm'd his wits,
Shall we be thus afflicted in his wreaks,
His fits, his frenzy, and his bitterness?
And now he writes to heaven for his redress:
See, here's to Jove, and this to Mercury;
This to Apollo; this to the god of war;
Sweet scrolls to fly about the streets of Rome!
What's this but libelling against the senate,
And blazoning our injustice every where?
A goodly humour, is it not, my lords?
As who would say, in Rome no justice were.
But if I live, his feigned ecstasies
Shall be no shelter to these outrages:
But he and his shall know that justice lives
In Saturninus' health, whom, if she sleep,
He'll so awake as she in fury shall
Cut off the proud'st conspirator that lives.
TAMORA My gracious lord, my lovely Saturnine,
Lord of my life, commander of my thoughts,
Calm thee, and bear the faults of Titus' age,
The effects of sorrow for his valiant sons,
Whose loss hath pierced him deep and scarr'd his heart;
And rather comfort his distressed plight
Than prosecute the meanest or the best
For these contempts.
  [Aside]
  Why, thus it shall become
High-witted Tamora to gloze with all:
But, Titus, I have touched thee to the quick,
Thy life-blood out: if Aaron now be wise,
Then is all safe, the anchor's in the port.
  [Enter Clown]
  How now, good fellow! wouldst thou speak with us?
Clown Yea, forsooth, an your mistership be emperial.
TAMORA Empress I am, but yonder sits the emperor.
Clown 'Tis he. God and Saint Stephen give you good den:
I have brought you a letter and a couple of pigeons here.
  [SATURNINUS reads the letter]
SATURNINUS Go, take him away, and hang him presently.
Clown How much money must I have?
TAMORA Come, sirrah, you must be hanged.
Clown Hanged! by'r lady, then I have brought up a neck to
a fair end.
  [Exit, guarded]
SATURNINUS Despiteful and intolerable wrongs!
Shall I endure this monstrous villany?
I know from whence this same device proceeds:
May this be borne?--as if his traitorous sons,
That died by law for murder of our brother,
Have by my means been butcher'd wrongfully!
Go, drag the villain hither by the hair;
Nor age nor honour shall shape privilege:
For this proud mock I'll be thy slaughterman;
Sly frantic wretch, that holp'st to make me great,
In hope thyself should govern Rome and me.
  [Enter AEMILIUS]
  What news with thee, AEmilius?
AEMILIUS Arm, arm, my lord;--Rome never had more cause.
The Goths have gather'd head; and with a power
high-resolved men, bent to the spoil,
They hither march amain, under conduct
Of Lucius, son to old Andronicus;
Who threats, in course of this revenge, to do
As much as ever Coriolanus did.
SATURNINUS Is warlike Lucius general of the Goths?
These tidings nip me, and I hang the head
As flowers with frost or grass beat down with storms:
Ay, now begin our sorrows to approach:
'Tis he the common people love so much;
Myself hath often over-heard them say,
When I have walked like a private man,
That Lucius' banishment was wrongfully,
And they have wish'd that Lucius were their emperor.
TAMORA Why should you fear? is not your city strong?
SATURNINUS Ay, but the citizens favor Lucius,
And will revolt from me to succor him.
TAMORA King, be thy thoughts imperious, like thy name.
Is the sun dimm'd, that gnats do fly in it?
The eagle suffers little birds to sing,
And is not careful what they mean thereby,
Knowing that with the shadow of his wings
He can at pleasure stint their melody:
Even so mayst thou the giddy men of Rome.
Then cheer thy spirit : for know, thou emperor,
I will enchant the old Andronicus
With words more sweet, and yet more dangerous,
Than baits to fish, or honey-stalks to sheep,
When as the one is wounded with the bait,
The other rotted with delicious feed.
SATURNINUS But he will not entreat his son for us.
TAMORA If Tamora entreat him, then he will:
For I can smooth and fill his aged ear
With golden promises; that, were his heart
Almost impregnable, his old ears deaf,
Yet should both ear and heart obey my tongue.
  [To AEmilius]
  Go thou before, be our ambassador:
Say that the emperor requests a parley
Of warlike Lucius, and appoint the meeting
Even at his father's house, the old Andronicus.
SATURNINUS AEmilius, do this message honourably:
And if he stand on hostage for his safety,
Bid him demand what pledge will please him best.
AEMILIUS Your bidding shall I do effectually.
  [Exit]
TAMORA Now will I to that old Andronicus;
And temper him with all the art I have,
To pluck proud Lucius from the warlike Goths.
And now, sweet emperor, be blithe again,
And bury all thy fear in my devices.
SATURNINUS Then go successantly, and plead to him.
  [Exeunt]

 

To view other scenes from the show:

Full Text Act IV, Scene 1 Titus' garden.
Act 1, Scene 1 Rome. Before the capitol. Act IV, Scene 2 A room in the palace.
Act II, Scene 1 Rome. Before the palace./Act II, Scene 2 A forest near Rome. Act IV, Scene 3 A public place.
Act II, Scene 3 A lonely part of the forest. Act IV, Scene 4 Before the palace.
Act II, Scene 4 Another part of the forest. Act V, Scene 1 Plains near Rome.
Act III, Scene 1 Rome. A street. Act V, Scene 2 Before Titus' house
Act III, Scene 2 A room in Titus' house. Act V, Scene 3 Court of Titus house.

 

To view other Titus Andronicus sections:

Main Play Page     Play Text     Scene by Scene Synopsis      Character Directory     Commentary  

 

To view the other Plays click below:

By  Comedies    Histories    Romances    Tragedies

All's Well the Ends Well Antony & Cleopatra As You Like It Cardenio Comedy of Errors Coriolanus
Cymbeline Edward III Hamlet Henry IV, Part 1 Henry IV, Part 2 Henry V
Henry VI, Part 1 Henry VI, Part 2 Henry VI, Part 3 Henry VIII Julius Caesar King John
King Lear Love's Labours Lost Love's Labours Wonne Macbeth Measure for Measure Merchant of Venice
The Merry Wives of Windsor A Mid Summer Night's Dream  Much Ado About Nothing Othello Pericles Richard II
Richard III Romeo & Juliet Sir Thomas More Taming of the Shrew The Tempest Timon of Athens
Titus Andronicus Troilus & Cressida Twelfth Night Two Gentlemen of Verona The Two Noble Kinsman The Winter's Tale

 

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