Gary Taylor, John Jowett, Terri Bourus, and Gabriel Egan (eds), The New Oxford Shakespeare: Modern Critical Edition
Enter Lucius' son, and Lavinia running after him, and the boy flies from Editor’s Noteher with his books under his arm. Enter Titus and Marcus [with a staff].Editor’s Note1
puer Help, grandsire, help! My aunt Lavinia
2Follows me everywhere, I know not why.
3Good uncle Marcus, see how swift she comes.
Editor’s Note4Alas, sweet aunt, I know not what you mean.5
marcus Stand by me, Lucius. Do not fear thine aunt.6
titus She loves thee, boy, too well to do thee harm.7
puer Ay, when my father was in Rome she did.8
marcus What means my niece Lavinia by these signs?9
titus Fear her not, Lucius, somewhat doth she mean.Link 10
[marcus] See, Lucius, see, how much she makes of thee:
11Somewhither would she have thee go with her.
Editor’s Note12Ah, boy, Cornelia never with more care
Editor’s Note13Read to her sons than she hath read to thee
Editor’s Note14Sweet poetry and Tully's Orator.
Editor’s Note15Canst thou not guess wherefore she plies thee thus?pg 223 16
puer My lord, I know not, I, nor can I guess,
17Unless some fit or frenzy do possess her;
18For I have heard my grandsire say full oft
19Extremity of griefs would make men mad,
Editor’s Note20And I have read that Hecuba of Troy
21Ran mad for sorrow. That made me to fear,
22Although, my lord, I know my noble aunt
23Loves me as dear as e'er my mother did,
Editor’s Note24And would not but in fury fright my youth,
25Which made me down to throw my books and fly,
26Causeless, perhaps. But pardon me, sweet aunt,
Editor’s Note27And, madam, if my uncle Marcus go,
28I will most willingly attend your ladyship.29
marcus Lucius, I will.[Lavinia turns over the books with her stumps]30
titus How now, Lavinia? Marcus, what means this?
31Some book there is that she desires to see.
32Which is it, girl, of these? Open them, boy.[To Lavinia]
Editor’s Note33But thou art deeper read and better skilled.
34Come and take choice of all my library,
35And so beguile thy sorrow till the heavens
36Reveal the damned contriver of this deed.
Editor’s NoteWhat book?—
37Why lifts she up her arms in sequence thus?38
marcus I think she means that there were more than one
Editor’s Note39Confederate in the fact. Ay, more there was,
40Or else to heaven she heaves them for revenge.41
titus Lucius, what book is that she tosseth so?Editor’s Note42
puer Grandsire, 'tis Ovid's Metamorphoses.
43My mother gave it me.
marcus For love of her that's gone,
Link 44Perhaps she culled it from among the rest.45
titus Soft, so busily she turns the leaves.
46Help her. What would she find? Lavinia, shall I read?
Editor’s Note47This is the tragic tale of Philomel,
48And treats of Tereus' treason and his rape,
Editor’s Note49And rape, I fear, was root of thy annoy.Editor’s Note50
marcus See, brother, see. Note how she quotes the leaves.[Titus reads]Editor’s Note51
titus Lavinia, wert thou thus surprised, sweet girl?
52Ravished and wronged as Philomela was?
Editor’s Note53Forced in the ruthless, vast, and gloomy woods?
Editor’s Note54See, see! Ay, such a place there is where we did hunt—
55O, had we never, never hunted there!—
Editor’s Note56Patterned by that the poet here describes,
57By nature made for murders and for rapes.pg 224 58
marcus O, why should nature build so foul a den,
59Unless the gods delight in tragedies?60
titus Give signs, sweet girl, for here are none but friends,
61What Roman lord it was durst do the deed?
Editor’s Note62Or slunk not Saturnine, as Tarquin erst,
63That left the camp to sin in Lucrece' bed?64
marcus Sit down, sweet niece. Brother, sit down by me.Editor’s NoteThey sit.
65Apollo, Pallas, Jove, or Mercury
Editor’s Note66Inspire me that I may this treason find.
67My lord, look here. Look here, Lavinia.Editor’s NoteHe writes his name with his staff and guides it with feet and mouth
Editor’s Note68This sandy plot is plain. Guide, if thou canst,
69This after me. I here haue writ my name
70Without the help of any hand at all.
Editor’s Note71Cursed be that heart that forced us to this shift!
72Write thou, good niece, and here display at last
Editor’s Note73What God will have discovered for revenge.
74Heaven guide thy pen to print thy sorrows plain,
Link 75That we may know the traitors and the truth.She takes the staff in her mouth, and guides it with her stumps, and writes
Editor’s Note76O, do ye read, my lord, what she hath writ?Editor’s Note77
marcus What, what!—The lustful sons of Tamora
79Performers of this heinous bloody deed?Editor’s Note80
titus Magni Dominator poli,
81Tam lentus audis scelera, tam lentus vides?82
marcus O, calm thee, gentle lord, although I know
83There is enough written upon this earth
84To stir a mutiny in the mildest thoughts,
Editor’s Note85And arm the minds of infants to exclaims.
86My lord, kneel down with me; Lavinia, kneel;
Editor’s Note87And kneel, sweet boy, the Roman Hector's hope,All kneel
Editor’s Note88And swear with me—, as with the woeful fere
89And father of that chaste dishonoured dame
Editor’s Note90Lord Junius Brutus swore for Lucrece' rape—
Editor’s Note91That we will prosecute by good advice
92Mortal revenge upon these traitorous Goths,
Editor’s Note93And see their blood or die with this reproach.They rise94
titus 'Tis sure enough, an you knew how,
95But if you hunt these bear-whelps, then beware.
pg 225Editor’s Note96The dam will wake, and if she wind ye once
97She's with the lion deeply still in league,
98And lulls him whilst she playeth on her back,
Editor’s Note99And when he sleeps will she do what she list.
Editor’s Note100You are a young huntsman, Marcus. Let alone,
Editor’s Note101And come, I will go get a leaf of brass
Editor’s Note102And with a gad of steel will write these words,
103And lay it by. The angry northern wind
Editor’s Note104Will blow these sands like Sibyl's leaves abroad,
105And where's our lesson then? Boy, what say you?Editor’s Note106
puer I say, my lord, that if I were a man
Link 107Their mother's bed-chamber should not be safe
Editor’s Note108For these base bondmen to the yoke of Rome.109
marcus Ay, that's my boy! Thy father hath full oft
110For his ungrateful country done the like.111
puer And, uncle, so will I, an if I live.112
titus Come, go with me into mine armoury.
Editor’s Note113Lucius, I'll fit thee; and withal, my boy
114Shall carry from me to the Empress' sons
115Presents that I intend to send them both.
116Come, come, thou'lt do my message, wilt thou not?117
puer Ay, with my dagger in their bosoms, grandsire.118
titus No, boy, not so, I'll teach thee another course.
Editor’s Note119Lavinia, come. Marcus, look to my house.
Editor’s Note120Lucius and I'll go brave it at the court,
121Ay, marry, will we, sir, and we'll be waited on.Exeunt [all but Marcus]122
marcus O heavens, can you hear a good man groan
Editor’s Note123And not relent, or not compassion him?
Editor’s Note124Marcus, attend him in his ecstasy,
125That hath more scars of sorrow in his heart
126Than foemen's marks upon his battered shield,
127But yet so just that he will not revenge.
Editor’s Note128Revenge the heavens for old Andronicus!Exit.