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Change the bad that you’ve become

So that only the good is known once you’ve gone

Felina Silver Robinson


Small Great Things: A Novel

By Jodi Picoult

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Jodi Picoult

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Lang Leav

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Romeo and Juliet, ACT I
PROLOGUE

Two households, both alike in dignity,
In fair Verona, where we lay our scene,
From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,
Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.
From forth the fatal loins of these two foes
A pair of star-cross’d lovers take their life;
Whole misadventured piteous overthrows
Do with their death bury their parents’ strife.
The fearful passage of their death-mark’d love,
And the continuance of their parents’ rage,
Which, but their children’s end, nought could remove,
Is now the two hours’ traffic of our stage;
The which if you with patient ears attend,
What here shall miss, our toil shall strive to mend.

SCENE I. Verona. A public place.

Enter SAMPSON and GREGORY, of the house of Capulet, armed with swords and bucklers
SAMPSON
Gregory, o’ my word, we’ll not carry coals.

GREGORY
No, for then we should be colliers.

SAMPSON
I mean, an we be in choler, we’ll draw.

GREGORY
Ay, while you live, draw your neck out o’ the collar.

SAMPSON
I strike quickly, being moved.

GREGORY
But thou art not quickly moved to strike.

SAMPSON
A dog of the house of Montague moves me.

GREGORY
To move is to stir; and to be valiant is to stand:
therefore, if thou art moved, thou runn’st away.

SAMPSON
A dog of that house shall move me to stand: I will
take the wall of any man or maid of Montague’s.

GREGORY
That shows thee a weak slave; for the weakest goes
to the wall.

SAMPSON
True; and therefore women, being the weaker vessels,
are ever thrust to the wall: therefore I will push
Montague’s men from the wall, and thrust his maids
to the wall.

GREGORY
The quarrel is between our masters and us their men.

SAMPSON
‘Tis all one, I will show myself a tyrant: when I
have fought with the men, I will be cruel with the
maids, and cut off their heads.

GREGORY
The heads of the maids?

SAMPSON
Ay, the heads of the maids, or their maidenheads;
take it in what sense thou wilt.

GREGORY
They must take it in sense that feel it.

SAMPSON
Me they shall feel while I am able to stand: and
’tis known I am a pretty piece of flesh.

GREGORY
‘Tis well thou art not fish; if thou hadst, thou
hadst been poor John. Draw thy tool! here comes
two of the house of the Montagues.

SAMPSON
My naked weapon is out: quarrel, I will back thee.

GREGORY
How! turn thy back and run?

SAMPSON
Fear me not.

GREGORY
No, marry; I fear thee!

SAMPSON
Let us take the law of our sides; let them begin.

GREGORY
I will frown as I pass by, and let them take it as
they list.

SAMPSON
Nay, as they dare. I will bite my thumb at them;
which is a disgrace to them, if they bear it.

Enter ABRAHAM and BALTHASAR

ABRAHAM
Do you bite your thumb at us, sir?

SAMPSON
I do bite my thumb, sir.

ABRAHAM
Do you bite your thumb at us, sir?

SAMPSON
[Aside to GREGORY] Is the law of our side, if I say
ay?

GREGORY
No.

SAMPSON
No, sir, I do not bite my thumb at you, sir, but I
bite my thumb, sir.

GREGORY
Do you quarrel, sir?

ABRAHAM
Quarrel sir! no, sir.

SAMPSON
If you do, sir, I am for you: I serve as good a man as you.

ABRAHAM
No better.

SAMPSON
Well, sir.

GREGORY
Say ‘better:’ here comes one of my master’s kinsmen.

SAMPSON
Yes, better, sir.

ABRAHAM
You lie.

SAMPSON
Draw, if you be men. Gregory, remember thy swashing blow.

They fight

Enter BENVOLIO

BENVOLIO
Part, fools!
Put up your swords; you know not what you do.

Beats down their swords

Enter TYBALT

TYBALT
What, art thou drawn among these heartless hinds?
Turn thee, Benvolio, look upon thy death.

BENVOLIO
I do but keep the peace: put up thy sword,
Or manage it to part these men with me.

TYBALT
What, drawn, and talk of peace! I hate the word,
As I hate hell, all Montagues, and thee:
Have at thee, coward!

They fight

Enter, several of both houses, who join the fray; then enter Citizens, with clubs

First Citizen
Clubs, bills, and partisans! strike! beat them down!
Down with the Capulets! down with the Montagues!

Enter CAPULET in his gown, and LADY CAPULET

CAPULET
What noise is this? Give me my long sword, ho!

LADY CAPULET
A crutch, a crutch! why call you for a sword?

CAPULET
My sword, I say! Old Montague is come,
And flourishes his blade in spite of me.

Enter MONTAGUE and LADY MONTAGUE

MONTAGUE
Thou villain Capulet,–Hold me not, let me go.

LADY MONTAGUE
Thou shalt not stir a foot to seek a foe.

Enter PRINCE, with Attendants

PRINCE
Rebellious subjects, enemies to peace,
Profaners of this neighbour-stained steel,–
Will they not hear? What, ho! you men, you beasts,
That quench the fire of your pernicious rage
With purple fountains issuing from your veins,
On pain of torture, from those bloody hands
Throw your mistemper’d weapons to the ground,
And hear the sentence of your moved prince.
Three civil brawls, bred of an airy word,
By thee, old Capulet, and Montague,
Have thrice disturb’d the quiet of our streets,
And made Verona’s ancient citizens
Cast by their grave beseeming ornaments,
To wield old partisans, in hands as old,
Canker’d with peace, to part your canker’d hate:
If ever you disturb our streets again,
Your lives shall pay the forfeit of the peace.
For this time, all the rest depart away:
You Capulet; shall go along with me:
And, Montague, come you this afternoon,
To know our further pleasure in this case,
To old Free-town, our common judgment-place.
Once more, on pain of death, all men depart.

Exeunt all but MONTAGUE, LADY MONTAGUE, and BENVOLIO

MONTAGUE
Who set this ancient quarrel new abroach?
Speak, nephew, were you by when it began?

BENVOLIO
Here were the servants of your adversary,
And yours, close fighting ere I did approach:
I drew to part them: in the instant came
The fiery Tybalt, with his sword prepared,
Which, as he breathed defiance to my ears,
He swung about his head and cut the winds,
Who nothing hurt withal hiss’d him in scorn:
While we were interchanging thrusts and blows,
Came more and more and fought on part and part,
Till the prince came, who parted either part.

LADY MONTAGUE
O, where is Romeo? saw you him to-day?
Right glad I am he was not at this fray.

BENVOLIO
Madam, an hour before the worshipp’d sun
Peer’d forth the golden window of the east,
A troubled mind drave me to walk abroad;
Where, underneath the grove of sycamore
That westward rooteth from the city’s side,
So early walking did I see your son:
Towards him I made, but he was ware of me
And stole into the covert of the wood:
I, measuring his affections by my own,
That most are busied when they’re most alone,
Pursued my humour not pursuing his,
And gladly shunn’d who gladly fled from me.

MONTAGUE
Many a morning hath he there been seen,
With tears augmenting the fresh morning dew.
Adding to clouds more clouds with his deep sighs;
But all so soon as the all-cheering sun
Should in the furthest east begin to draw
The shady curtains from Aurora’s bed,
Away from the light steals home my heavy son,
And private in his chamber pens himself,
Shuts up his windows, locks far daylight out
And makes himself an artificial night:
Black and portentous must this humour prove,
Unless good counsel may the cause remove.

BENVOLIO
My noble uncle, do you know the cause?

MONTAGUE
I neither know it nor can learn of him.

BENVOLIO
Have you importuned him by any means?

MONTAGUE
Both by myself and many other friends:
But he, his own affections’ counsellor,
Is to himself–I will not say how true–
But to himself so secret and so close,
So far from sounding and discovery,
As is the bud bit with an envious worm,
Ere he can spread his sweet leaves to the air,
Or dedicate his beauty to the sun.
Could we but learn from whence his sorrows grow.
We would as willingly give cure as know.

Enter ROMEO

BENVOLIO
See, where he comes: so please you, step aside;
I’ll know his grievance, or be much denied.

MONTAGUE
I would thou wert so happy by thy stay,
To hear true shrift. Come, madam, let’s away.

Exeunt MONTAGUE and LADY MONTAGUE

BENVOLIO
Good-morrow, cousin.

ROMEO
Is the day so young?

BENVOLIO
But new struck nine.

ROMEO
Ay me! sad hours seem long.
Was that my father that went hence so fast?

BENVOLIO
It was. What sadness lengthens Romeo’s hours?

ROMEO
Not having that, which, having, makes them short.

BENVOLIO
In love?

ROMEO
Out–

BENVOLIO
Of love?

ROMEO
Out of her favour, where I am in love.

BENVOLIO
Alas, that love, so gentle in his view,
Should be so tyrannous and rough in proof!

ROMEO
Alas, that love, whose view is muffled still,
Should, without eyes, see pathways to his will!
Where shall we dine? O me! What fray was here?
Yet tell me not, for I have heard it all.
Here’s much to do with hate, but more with love.
Why, then, O brawling love! O loving hate!
O any thing, of nothing first create!
O heavy lightness! serious vanity!
Mis-shapen chaos of well-seeming forms!
Feather of lead, bright smoke, cold fire,
sick health!
Still-waking sleep, that is not what it is!
This love feel I, that feel no love in this.
Dost thou not laugh?

BENVOLIO
No, coz, I rather weep.

ROMEO
Good heart, at what?

BENVOLIO
At thy good heart’s oppression.

ROMEO
Why, such is love’s transgression.
Griefs of mine own lie heavy in my breast,
Which thou wilt propagate, to have it prest
With more of thine: this love that thou hast shown
Doth add more grief to too much of mine own.
Love is a smoke raised with the fume of sighs;
Being purged, a fire sparkling in lovers’ eyes;
Being vex’d a sea nourish’d with lovers’ tears:
What is it else? a madness most discreet,
A choking gall and a preserving sweet.
Farewell, my coz.

BENVOLIO
Soft! I will go along;
An if you leave me so, you do me wrong.

ROMEO
Tut, I have lost myself; I am not here;
This is not Romeo, he’s some other where.

BENVOLIO
Tell me in sadness, who is that you love.

ROMEO
What, shall I groan and tell thee?

BENVOLIO
Groan! why, no.
But sadly tell me who.

ROMEO
Bid a sick man in sadness make his will:
Ah, word ill urged to one that is so ill!
In sadness, cousin, I do love a woman.

BENVOLIO
I aim’d so near, when I supposed you loved.

ROMEO
A right good mark-man! And she’s fair I love.

BENVOLIO
A right fair mark, fair coz, is soonest hit.

ROMEO
Well, in that hit you miss: she’ll not be hit
With Cupid’s arrow; she hath Dian’s wit;
And, in strong proof of chastity well arm’d,
From love’s weak childish bow she lives unharm’d.
She will not stay the siege of loving terms,
Nor bide the encounter of assailing eyes,
Nor ope her lap to saint-seducing gold:
O, she is rich in beauty, only poor,
That when she dies with beauty dies her store.

BENVOLIO
Then she hath sworn that she will still live chaste?

ROMEO
She hath, and in that sparing makes huge waste,
For beauty starved with her severity
Cuts beauty off from all posterity.
She is too fair, too wise, wisely too fair,
To merit bliss by making me despair:
She hath forsworn to love, and in that vow
Do I live dead that live to tell it now.

BENVOLIO
Be ruled by me, forget to think of her.

ROMEO
O, teach me how I should forget to think.

BENVOLIO
By giving liberty unto thine eyes;
Examine other beauties.

ROMEO
‘Tis the way
To call hers exquisite, in question more:
These happy masks that kiss fair ladies’ brows
Being black put us in mind they hide the fair;
He that is strucken blind cannot forget
The precious treasure of his eyesight lost:
Show me a mistress that is passing fair,
What doth her beauty serve, but as a note
Where I may read who pass’d that passing fair?
Farewell: thou canst not teach me to forget.

BENVOLIO
I’ll pay that doctrine, or else die in debt.

Exeunt

SCENE II. A street.

Enter CAPULET, PARIS, and Servant
CAPULET
But Montague is bound as well as I,
In penalty alike; and ’tis not hard, I think,
For men so old as we to keep the peace.

PARIS
Of honourable reckoning are you both;
And pity ’tis you lived at odds so long.
But now, my lord, what say you to my suit?

CAPULET
But saying o’er what I have said before:
My child is yet a stranger in the world;
She hath not seen the change of fourteen years,
Let two more summers wither in their pride,
Ere we may think her ripe to be a bride.

PARIS
Younger than she are happy mothers made.

CAPULET
And too soon marr’d are those so early made.
The earth hath swallow’d all my hopes but she,
She is the hopeful lady of my earth:
But woo her, gentle Paris, get her heart,
My will to her consent is but a part;
An she agree, within her scope of choice
Lies my consent and fair according voice.
This night I hold an old accustom’d feast,
Whereto I have invited many a guest,
Such as I love; and you, among the store,
One more, most welcome, makes my number more.
At my poor house look to behold this night
Earth-treading stars that make dark heaven light:
Such comfort as do lusty young men feel
When well-apparell’d April on the heel
Of limping winter treads, even such delight
Among fresh female buds shall you this night
Inherit at my house; hear all, all see,
And like her most whose merit most shall be:
Which on more view, of many mine being one
May stand in number, though in reckoning none,
Come, go with me.

To Servant, giving a paper

Go, sirrah, trudge about
Through fair Verona; find those persons out
Whose names are written there, and to them say,
My house and welcome on their pleasure stay.

Exeunt CAPULET and PARIS

Servant
Find them out whose names are written here! It is
written, that the shoemaker should meddle with his
yard, and the tailor with his last, the fisher with
his pencil, and the painter with his nets; but I am
sent to find those persons whose names are here
writ, and can never find what names the writing
person hath here writ. I must to the learned.–In good time.

Enter BENVOLIO and ROMEO

BENVOLIO
Tut, man, one fire burns out another’s burning,
One pain is lessen’d by another’s anguish;
Turn giddy, and be holp by backward turning;
One desperate grief cures with another’s languish:
Take thou some new infection to thy eye,
And the rank poison of the old will die.

ROMEO
Your plaintain-leaf is excellent for that.

BENVOLIO
For what, I pray thee?

ROMEO
For your broken shin.

BENVOLIO
Why, Romeo, art thou mad?

ROMEO
Not mad, but bound more than a mad-man is;
Shut up in prison, kept without my food,
Whipp’d and tormented and–God-den, good fellow.

Servant
God gi’ god-den. I pray, sir, can you read?

ROMEO
Ay, mine own fortune in my misery.

Servant
Perhaps you have learned it without book: but, I
pray, can you read any thing you see?

ROMEO
Ay, if I know the letters and the language.

Servant
Ye say honestly: rest you merry!

ROMEO
Stay, fellow; I can read.

Reads

‘Signior Martino and his wife and daughters;
County Anselme and his beauteous sisters; the lady
widow of Vitravio; Signior Placentio and his lovely
nieces; Mercutio and his brother Valentine; mine
uncle Capulet, his wife and daughters; my fair niece
Rosaline; Livia; Signior Valentio and his cousin
Tybalt, Lucio and the lively Helena.’ A fair
assembly: whither should they come?

Servant
Up.

ROMEO
Whither?

Servant
To supper; to our house.

ROMEO
Whose house?

Servant
My master’s.

ROMEO
Indeed, I should have ask’d you that before.

Servant
Now I’ll tell you without asking: my master is the
great rich Capulet; and if you be not of the house
of Montagues, I pray, come and crush a cup of wine.
Rest you merry!

Exit

BENVOLIO
At this same ancient feast of Capulet’s
Sups the fair Rosaline whom thou so lovest,
With all the admired beauties of Verona:
Go thither; and, with unattainted eye,
Compare her face with some that I shall show,
And I will make thee think thy swan a crow.

ROMEO
When the devout religion of mine eye
Maintains such falsehood, then turn tears to fires;
And these, who often drown’d could never die,
Transparent heretics, be burnt for liars!
One fairer than my love! the all-seeing sun
Ne’er saw her match since first the world begun.

BENVOLIO
Tut, you saw her fair, none else being by,
Herself poised with herself in either eye:
But in that crystal scales let there be weigh’d
Your lady’s love against some other maid
That I will show you shining at this feast,
And she shall scant show well that now shows best.

ROMEO
I’ll go along, no such sight to be shown,
But to rejoice in splendor of mine own.

Exeunt

SCENE III. A room in Capulet’s house.

Enter LADY CAPULET and Nurse
LADY CAPULET
Nurse, where’s my daughter? call her forth to me.

Nurse
Now, by my maidenhead, at twelve year old,
I bade her come. What, lamb! what, ladybird!
God forbid! Where’s this girl? What, Juliet!

Enter JULIET

JULIET
How now! who calls?

Nurse
Your mother.

JULIET
Madam, I am here.
What is your will?

LADY CAPULET
This is the matter:–Nurse, give leave awhile,
We must talk in secret:–nurse, come back again;
I have remember’d me, thou’s hear our counsel.
Thou know’st my daughter’s of a pretty age.

Nurse
Faith, I can tell her age unto an hour.

LADY CAPULET
She’s not fourteen.

Nurse
I’ll lay fourteen of my teeth,–
And yet, to my teeth be it spoken, I have but four–
She is not fourteen. How long is it now
To Lammas-tide?

LADY CAPULET
A fortnight and odd days.

Nurse
Even or odd, of all days in the year,
Come Lammas-eve at night shall she be fourteen.
Susan and she–God rest all Christian souls!–
Were of an age: well, Susan is with God;
She was too good for me: but, as I said,
On Lammas-eve at night shall she be fourteen;
That shall she, marry; I remember it well.
‘Tis since the earthquake now eleven years;
And she was wean’d,–I never shall forget it,–
Of all the days of the year, upon that day:
For I had then laid wormwood to my dug,
Sitting in the sun under the dove-house wall;
My lord and you were then at Mantua:–
Nay, I do bear a brain:–but, as I said,
When it did taste the wormwood on the nipple
Of my dug and felt it bitter, pretty fool,
To see it tetchy and fall out with the dug!
Shake quoth the dove-house: ’twas no need, I trow,
To bid me trudge:
And since that time it is eleven years;
For then she could stand alone; nay, by the rood,
She could have run and waddled all about;
For even the day before, she broke her brow:
And then my husband–God be with his soul!
A’ was a merry man–took up the child:
‘Yea,’ quoth he, ‘dost thou fall upon thy face?
Thou wilt fall backward when thou hast more wit;
Wilt thou not, Jule?’ and, by my holidame,
The pretty wretch left crying and said ‘Ay.’
To see, now, how a jest shall come about!
I warrant, an I should live a thousand years,
I never should forget it: ‘Wilt thou not, Jule?’ quoth he;
And, pretty fool, it stinted and said ‘Ay.’

LADY CAPULET
Enough of this; I pray thee, hold thy peace.

Nurse
Yes, madam: yet I cannot choose but laugh,
To think it should leave crying and say ‘Ay.’
And yet, I warrant, it had upon its brow
A bump as big as a young cockerel’s stone;
A parlous knock; and it cried bitterly:
‘Yea,’ quoth my husband,’fall’st upon thy face?
Thou wilt fall backward when thou comest to age;
Wilt thou not, Jule?’ it stinted and said ‘Ay.’

JULIET
And stint thou too, I pray thee, nurse, say I.

Nurse
Peace, I have done. God mark thee to his grace!
Thou wast the prettiest babe that e’er I nursed:
An I might live to see thee married once,
I have my wish.

LADY CAPULET
Marry, that ‘marry’ is the very theme
I came to talk of. Tell me, daughter Juliet,
How stands your disposition to be married?

JULIET
It is an honour that I dream not of.

Nurse
An honour! were not I thine only nurse,
I would say thou hadst suck’d wisdom from thy teat.

LADY CAPULET
Well, think of marriage now; younger than you,
Here in Verona, ladies of esteem,
Are made already mothers: by my count,
I was your mother much upon these years
That you are now a maid. Thus then in brief:
The valiant Paris seeks you for his love.

Nurse
A man, young lady! lady, such a man
As all the world–why, he’s a man of wax.

LADY CAPULET
Verona’s summer hath not such a flower.

Nurse
Nay, he’s a flower; in faith, a very flower.

LADY CAPULET
What say you? can you love the gentleman?
This night you shall behold him at our feast;
Read o’er the volume of young Paris’ face,
And find delight writ there with beauty’s pen;
Examine every married lineament,
And see how one another lends content
And what obscured in this fair volume lies
Find written in the margent of his eyes.
This precious book of love, this unbound lover,
To beautify him, only lacks a cover:
The fish lives in the sea, and ’tis much pride
For fair without the fair within to hide:
That book in many’s eyes doth share the glory,
That in gold clasps locks in the golden story;
So shall you share all that he doth possess,
By having him, making yourself no less.

Nurse
No less! nay, bigger; women grow by men.

LADY CAPULET
Speak briefly, can you like of Paris’ love?

JULIET
I’ll look to like, if looking liking move:
But no more deep will I endart mine eye
Than your consent gives strength to make it fly.

Enter a Servant

Servant
Madam, the guests are come, supper served up, you
called, my young lady asked for, the nurse cursed in
the pantry, and every thing in extremity. I must
hence to wait; I beseech you, follow straight.

LADY CAPULET
We follow thee.

Exit Servant

Juliet, the county stays.

Nurse
Go, girl, seek happy nights to happy days.

Exeunt

SCENE IV. A street.

Enter ROMEO, MERCUTIO, BENVOLIO, with five or six Maskers, Torch-bearers, and others
ROMEO
What, shall this speech be spoke for our excuse?
Or shall we on without a apology?

BENVOLIO
The date is out of such prolixity:
We’ll have no Cupid hoodwink’d with a scarf,
Bearing a Tartar’s painted bow of lath,
Scaring the ladies like a crow-keeper;
Nor no without-book prologue, faintly spoke
After the prompter, for our entrance:
But let them measure us by what they will;
We’ll measure them a measure, and be gone.

ROMEO
Give me a torch: I am not for this ambling;
Being but heavy, I will bear the light.

MERCUTIO
Nay, gentle Romeo, we must have you dance.

ROMEO
Not I, believe me: you have dancing shoes
With nimble soles: I have a soul of lead
So stakes me to the ground I cannot move.

MERCUTIO
You are a lover; borrow Cupid’s wings,
And soar with them above a common bound.

ROMEO
I am too sore enpierced with his shaft
To soar with his light feathers, and so bound,
I cannot bound a pitch above dull woe:
Under love’s heavy burden do I sink.

MERCUTIO
And, to sink in it, should you burden love;
Too great oppression for a tender thing.

ROMEO
Is love a tender thing? it is too rough,
Too rude, too boisterous, and it pricks like thorn.

MERCUTIO
If love be rough with you, be rough with love;
Prick love for pricking, and you beat love down.
Give me a case to put my visage in:
A visor for a visor! what care I
What curious eye doth quote deformities?
Here are the beetle brows shall blush for me.

BENVOLIO
Come, knock and enter; and no sooner in,
But every man betake him to his legs.

ROMEO
A torch for me: let wantons light of heart
Tickle the senseless rushes with their heels,
For I am proverb’d with a grandsire phrase;
I’ll be a candle-holder, and look on.
The game was ne’er so fair, and I am done.

MERCUTIO
Tut, dun’s the mouse, the constable’s own word:
If thou art dun, we’ll draw thee from the mire
Of this sir-reverence love, wherein thou stick’st
Up to the ears. Come, we burn daylight, ho!

ROMEO
Nay, that’s not so.

MERCUTIO
I mean, sir, in delay
We waste our lights in vain, like lamps by day.
Take our good meaning, for our judgment sits
Five times in that ere once in our five wits.

ROMEO
And we mean well in going to this mask;
But ’tis no wit to go.

MERCUTIO
Why, may one ask?

ROMEO
I dream’d a dream to-night.

MERCUTIO
And so did I.

ROMEO
Well, what was yours?

MERCUTIO
That dreamers often lie.

ROMEO
In bed asleep, while they do dream things true.

MERCUTIO
O, then, I see Queen Mab hath been with you.
She is the fairies’ midwife, and she comes
In shape no bigger than an agate-stone
On the fore-finger of an alderman,
Drawn with a team of little atomies
Athwart men’s noses as they lie asleep;
Her wagon-spokes made of long spiders’ legs,
The cover of the wings of grasshoppers,
The traces of the smallest spider’s web,
The collars of the moonshine’s watery beams,
Her whip of cricket’s bone, the lash of film,
Her wagoner a small grey-coated gnat,
Not so big as a round little worm
Prick’d from the lazy finger of a maid;
Her chariot is an empty hazel-nut
Made by the joiner squirrel or old grub,
Time out o’ mind the fairies’ coachmakers.
And in this state she gallops night by night
Through lovers’ brains, and then they dream of love;
O’er courtiers’ knees, that dream on court’sies straight,
O’er lawyers’ fingers, who straight dream on fees,
O’er ladies ‘ lips, who straight on kisses dream,
Which oft the angry Mab with blisters plagues,
Because their breaths with sweetmeats tainted are:
Sometime she gallops o’er a courtier’s nose,
And then dreams he of smelling out a suit;
And sometime comes she with a tithe-pig’s tail
Tickling a parson’s nose as a’ lies asleep,
Then dreams, he of another benefice:
Sometime she driveth o’er a soldier’s neck,
And then dreams he of cutting foreign throats,
Of breaches, ambuscadoes, Spanish blades,
Of healths five-fathom deep; and then anon
Drums in his ear, at which he starts and wakes,
And being thus frighted swears a prayer or two
And sleeps again. This is that very Mab
That plats the manes of horses in the night,
And bakes the elflocks in foul sluttish hairs,
Which once untangled, much misfortune bodes:
This is the hag, when maids lie on their backs,
That presses them and learns them first to bear,
Making them women of good carriage:
This is she–

ROMEO
Peace, peace, Mercutio, peace!
Thou talk’st of nothing.

MERCUTIO
True, I talk of dreams,
Which are the children of an idle brain,
Begot of nothing but vain fantasy,
Which is as thin of substance as the air
And more inconstant than the wind, who wooes
Even now the frozen bosom of the north,
And, being anger’d, puffs away from thence,
Turning his face to the dew-dropping south.

BENVOLIO
This wind, you talk of, blows us from ourselves;
Supper is done, and we shall come too late.

ROMEO
I fear, too early: for my mind misgives
Some consequence yet hanging in the stars
Shall bitterly begin his fearful date
With this night’s revels and expire the term
Of a despised life closed in my breast
By some vile forfeit of untimely death.
But He, that hath the steerage of my course,
Direct my sail! On, lusty gentlemen.

BENVOLIO
Strike, drum.

Exeunt

SCENE V. A hall in Capulet’s house.

Musicians waiting. Enter Servingmen with napkins
First Servant
Where’s Potpan, that he helps not to take away? He
shift a trencher? he scrape a trencher!

Second Servant
When good manners shall lie all in one or two men’s
hands and they unwashed too, ’tis a foul thing.

First Servant
Away with the joint-stools, remove the
court-cupboard, look to the plate. Good thou, save
me a piece of marchpane; and, as thou lovest me, let
the porter let in Susan Grindstone and Nell.
Antony, and Potpan!

Second Servant
Ay, boy, ready.

First Servant
You are looked for and called for, asked for and
sought for, in the great chamber.

Second Servant
We cannot be here and there too. Cheerly, boys; be
brisk awhile, and the longer liver take all.

Enter CAPULET, with JULIET and others of his house, meeting the Guests and Maskers

CAPULET
Welcome, gentlemen! ladies that have their toes
Unplagued with corns will have a bout with you.
Ah ha, my mistresses! which of you all
Will now deny to dance? she that makes dainty,
She, I’ll swear, hath corns; am I come near ye now?
Welcome, gentlemen! I have seen the day
That I have worn a visor and could tell
A whispering tale in a fair lady’s ear,
Such as would please: ’tis gone, ’tis gone, ’tis gone:
You are welcome, gentlemen! come, musicians, play.
A hall, a hall! give room! and foot it, girls.

Music plays, and they dance

More light, you knaves; and turn the tables up,
And quench the fire, the room is grown too hot.
Ah, sirrah, this unlook’d-for sport comes well.
Nay, sit, nay, sit, good cousin Capulet;
For you and I are past our dancing days:
How long is’t now since last yourself and I
Were in a mask?

Second Capulet
By’r lady, thirty years.

CAPULET
What, man! ’tis not so much, ’tis not so much:
‘Tis since the nuptials of Lucentio,
Come pentecost as quickly as it will,
Some five and twenty years; and then we mask’d.

Second Capulet
‘Tis more, ’tis more, his son is elder, sir;
His son is thirty.

CAPULET
Will you tell me that?
His son was but a ward two years ago.

ROMEO
[To a Servingman] What lady is that, which doth
enrich the hand
Of yonder knight?

Servant
I know not, sir.

ROMEO
O, she doth teach the torches to burn bright!
It seems she hangs upon the cheek of night
Like a rich jewel in an Ethiope’s ear;
Beauty too rich for use, for earth too dear!
So shows a snowy dove trooping with crows,
As yonder lady o’er her fellows shows.
The measure done, I’ll watch her place of stand,
And, touching hers, make blessed my rude hand.
Did my heart love till now? forswear it, sight!
For I ne’er saw true beauty till this night.

TYBALT
This, by his voice, should be a Montague.
Fetch me my rapier, boy. What dares the slave
Come hither, cover’d with an antic face,
To fleer and scorn at our solemnity?
Now, by the stock and honour of my kin,
To strike him dead, I hold it not a sin.

CAPULET
Why, how now, kinsman! wherefore storm you so?

TYBALT
Uncle, this is a Montague, our foe,
A villain that is hither come in spite,
To scorn at our solemnity this night.

CAPULET
Young Romeo is it?

TYBALT
‘Tis he, that villain Romeo.

CAPULET
Content thee, gentle coz, let him alone;
He bears him like a portly gentleman;
And, to say truth, Verona brags of him
To be a virtuous and well-govern’d youth:
I would not for the wealth of all the town
Here in my house do him disparagement:
Therefore be patient, take no note of him:
It is my will, the which if thou respect,
Show a fair presence and put off these frowns,
And ill-beseeming semblance for a feast.

TYBALT
It fits, when such a villain is a guest:
I’ll not endure him.

CAPULET
He shall be endured:
What, goodman boy! I say, he shall: go to;
Am I the master here, or you? go to.
You’ll not endure him! God shall mend my soul!
You’ll make a mutiny among my guests!
You will set cock-a-hoop! you’ll be the man!

TYBALT
Why, uncle, ’tis a shame.

CAPULET
Go to, go to;
You are a saucy boy: is’t so, indeed?
This trick may chance to scathe you, I know what:
You must contrary me! marry, ’tis time.
Well said, my hearts! You are a princox; go:
Be quiet, or–More light, more light! For shame!
I’ll make you quiet. What, cheerly, my hearts!

TYBALT
Patience perforce with wilful choler meeting
Makes my flesh tremble in their different greeting.
I will withdraw: but this intrusion shall
Now seeming sweet convert to bitter gall.

Exit

ROMEO
[To JULIET] If I profane with my unworthiest hand
This holy shrine, the gentle fine is this:
My lips, two blushing pilgrims, ready stand
To smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss.

JULIET
Good pilgrim, you do wrong your hand too much,
Which mannerly devotion shows in this;
For saints have hands that pilgrims’ hands do touch,
And palm to palm is holy palmers’ kiss.

ROMEO
Have not saints lips, and holy palmers too?

JULIET
Ay, pilgrim, lips that they must use in prayer.

ROMEO
O, then, dear saint, let lips do what hands do;
They pray, grant thou, lest faith turn to despair.

JULIET
Saints do not move, though grant for prayers’ sake.

ROMEO
Then move not, while my prayer’s effect I take.
Thus from my lips, by yours, my sin is purged.

JULIET
Then have my lips the sin that they have took.

ROMEO
Sin from thy lips? O trespass sweetly urged!
Give me my sin again.

JULIET
You kiss by the book.

Nurse
Madam, your mother craves a word with you.

ROMEO
What is her mother?

Nurse
Marry, bachelor,
Her mother is the lady of the house,
And a good lady, and a wise and virtuous
I nursed her daughter, that you talk’d withal;
I tell you, he that can lay hold of her
Shall have the chinks.

ROMEO
Is she a Capulet?
O dear account! my life is my foe’s debt.

BENVOLIO
Away, begone; the sport is at the best.

ROMEO
Ay, so I fear; the more is my unrest.

CAPULET
Nay, gentlemen, prepare not to be gone;
We have a trifling foolish banquet towards.
Is it e’en so? why, then, I thank you all
I thank you, honest gentlemen; good night.
More torches here! Come on then, let’s to bed.
Ah, sirrah, by my fay, it waxes late:
I’ll to my rest.

Exeunt all but JULIET and Nurse

JULIET
Come hither, nurse. What is yond gentleman?

Nurse
The son and heir of old Tiberio.

JULIET
What’s he that now is going out of door?

Nurse
Marry, that, I think, be young Petrucio.

JULIET
What’s he that follows there, that would not dance?

Nurse
I know not.

JULIET
Go ask his name: if he be married.
My grave is like to be my wedding bed.

Nurse
His name is Romeo, and a Montague;
The only son of your great enemy.

JULIET
My only love sprung from my only hate!
Too early seen unknown, and known too late!
Prodigious birth of love it is to me,
That I must love a loathed enemy.

Nurse
What’s this? what’s this?

JULIET
A rhyme I learn’d even now
Of one I danced withal.

One calls within ‘Juliet.’

Nurse
Anon, anon!
Come, let’s away; the strangers all are gone.

Exeuntsonae


Timon of Athens, ACT III
SCENE I. A room in Lucullus’ house.

FLAMINIUS waiting. Enter a Servant to him

Servant
I have told my lord of you; he is coming down to you.

FLAMINIUS
I thank you, sir.

Enter LUCULLUS

Servant
Here’s my lord.

LUCULLUS
[Aside] One of Lord Timon’s men? a gift, I
warrant. Why, this hits right; I dreamt of a silver
basin and ewer to-night. Flaminius, honest
Flaminius; you are very respectively welcome, sir.
Fill me some wine.

Exit Servants

And how does that honourable, complete, free-hearted
gentleman of Athens, thy very bountiful good lord
and master?

FLAMINIUS
His health is well sir.

LUCULLUS
I am right glad that his health is well, sir: and
what hast thou there under thy cloak, pretty Flaminius?

FLAMINIUS
‘Faith, nothing but an empty box, sir; which, in my
lord’s behalf, I come to entreat your honour to
supply; who, having great and instant occasion to
use fifty talents, hath sent to your lordship to
furnish him, nothing doubting your present
assistance therein.

LUCULLUS
La, la, la, la! ‘nothing doubting,’ says he? Alas,
good lord! a noble gentleman ’tis, if he would not
keep so good a house. Many a time and often I ha’
dined with him, and told him on’t, and come again to
supper to him, of purpose to have him spend less,
and yet he would embrace no counsel, take no warning
by my coming. Every man has his fault, and honesty
is his: I ha’ told him on’t, but I could ne’er get
him from’t.

Re-enter Servant, with wine

Servant
Please your lordship, here is the wine.

LUCULLUS
Flaminius, I have noted thee always wise. Here’s to thee.

FLAMINIUS
Your lordship speaks your pleasure.

LUCULLUS
I have observed thee always for a towardly prompt
spirit–give thee thy due–and one that knows what
belongs to reason; and canst use the time well, if
the time use thee well: good parts in thee.

To Servant

Get you gone, sirrah.

Exit Servant

Draw nearer, honest Flaminius. Thy lord’s a
bountiful gentleman: but thou art wise; and thou
knowest well enough, although thou comest to me,
that this is no time to lend money, especially upon
bare friendship, without security. Here’s three
solidares for thee: good boy, wink at me, and say
thou sawest me not. Fare thee well.

FLAMINIUS
Is’t possible the world should so much differ,
And we alive that lived? Fly, damned baseness,
To him that worships thee!

Throwing the money back

LUCULLUS
Ha! now I see thou art a fool, and fit for thy master.

Exit

FLAMINIUS
May these add to the number that may scald thee!
Let moulten coin be thy damnation,
Thou disease of a friend, and not himself!
Has friendship such a faint and milky heart,
It turns in less than two nights? O you gods,
I feel master’s passion! this slave,
Unto his honour, has my lord’s meat in him:
Why should it thrive and turn to nutriment,
When he is turn’d to poison?
O, may diseases only work upon’t!
And, when he’s sick to death, let not that part of nature
Which my lord paid for, be of any power
To expel sickness, but prolong his hour!

Exit

SCENE II. A public place.

Enter LUCILIUS, with three Strangers
LUCILIUS
Who, the Lord Timon? he is my very good friend, and
an honourable gentleman.

First Stranger
We know him for no less, though we are but strangers
to him. But I can tell you one thing, my lord, and
which I hear from common rumours: now Lord Timon’s
happy hours are done and past, and his estate
shrinks from him.

LUCILIUS
Fie, no, do not believe it; he cannot want for money.

Second Stranger
But believe you this, my lord, that, not long ago,
one of his men was with the Lord Lucullus to borrow
so many talents, nay, urged extremely for’t and
showed what necessity belonged to’t, and yet was denied.

LUCILIUS
How!

Second Stranger
I tell you, denied, my lord.

LUCILIUS
What a strange case was that! now, before the gods,
I am ashamed on’t. Denied that honourable man!
there was very little honour showed in’t. For my own
part, I must needs confess, I have received some
small kindnesses from him, as money, plate, jewels
and such-like trifles, nothing comparing to his;
yet, had he mistook him and sent to me, I should
ne’er have denied his occasion so many talents.

Enter SERVILIUS

SERVILIUS
See, by good hap, yonder’s my lord;
I have sweat to see his honour. My honoured lord,–

To LUCIUS

LUCILIUS
Servilius! you are kindly met, sir. Fare thee well:
commend me to thy honourable virtuous lord, my very
exquisite friend.

SERVILIUS
May it please your honour, my lord hath sent–

LUCILIUS
Ha! what has he sent? I am so much endeared to
that lord; he’s ever sending: how shall I thank
him, thinkest thou? And what has he sent now?

SERVILIUS
Has only sent his present occasion now, my lord;
requesting your lordship to supply his instant use
with so many talents.

LUCILIUS
I know his lordship is but merry with me;
He cannot want fifty five hundred talents.

SERVILIUS
But in the mean time he wants less, my lord.
If his occasion were not virtuous,
I should not urge it half so faithfully.

LUCILIUS
Dost thou speak seriously, Servilius?

SERVILIUS
Upon my soul,’tis true, sir.

LUCILIUS
What a wicked beast was I to disfurnish myself
against such a good time, when I might ha’ shown
myself honourable! how unluckily it happened, that I
should purchase the day before for a little part,
and undo a great deal of honoured! Servilius, now,
before the gods, I am not able to do,–the more
beast, I say:–I was sending to use Lord Timon
myself, these gentlemen can witness! but I would
not, for the wealth of Athens, I had done’t now.
Commend me bountifully to his good lordship; and I
hope his honour will conceive the fairest of me,
because I have no power to be kind: and tell him
this from me, I count it one of my greatest
afflictions, say, that I cannot pleasure such an
honourable gentleman. Good Servilius, will you
befriend me so far, as to use mine own words to him?

SERVILIUS
Yes, sir, I shall.

LUCILIUS
I’ll look you out a good turn, Servilius.

Exit SERVILIUS

True as you said, Timon is shrunk indeed;
And he that’s once denied will hardly speed.

Exit

First Stranger
Do you observe this, Hostilius?

Second Stranger
Ay, too well.

First Stranger
Why, this is the world’s soul; and just of the
same piece
Is every flatterer’s spirit. Who can call him
His friend that dips in the same dish? for, in
My knowing, Timon has been this lord’s father,
And kept his credit with his purse,
Supported his estate; nay, Timon’s money
Has paid his men their wages: he ne’er drinks,
But Timon’s silver treads upon his lip;
And yet–O, see the monstrousness of man
When he looks out in an ungrateful shape!–
He does deny him, in respect of his,
What charitable men afford to beggars.

Third Stranger
Religion groans at it.

First Stranger
For mine own part,
I never tasted Timon in my life,
Nor came any of his bounties over me,
To mark me for his friend; yet, I protest,
For his right noble mind, illustrious virtue
And honourable carriage,
Had his necessity made use of me,
I would have put my wealth into donation,
And the best half should have return’d to him,
So much I love his heart: but, I perceive,
Men must learn now with pity to dispense;
For policy sits above conscience.

Exeunt

SCENE III. A room in Sempronius’ house.

Enter SEMPRONIUS, and a Servant of TIMON’s
SEMPRONIUS
Must he needs trouble me in ‘t,–hum!–‘bove
all others?
He might have tried Lord Lucius or Lucullus;
And now Ventidius is wealthy too,
Whom he redeem’d from prison: all these
Owe their estates unto him.

Servant
My lord,
They have all been touch’d and found base metal, for
They have au denied him.

SEMPRONIUS
How! have they denied him?
Has Ventidius and Lucullus denied him?
And does he send to me? Three? hum!
It shows but little love or judgment in him:
Must I be his last refuge! His friends, like
physicians,
Thrive, give him over: must I take the cure upon me?
Has much disgraced me in’t; I’m angry at him,
That might have known my place: I see no sense for’t,
But his occasion might have woo’d me first;
For, in my conscience, I was the first man
That e’er received gift from him:
And does he think so backwardly of me now,
That I’ll requite its last? No:
So it may prove an argument of laughter
To the rest, and ‘mongst lords I be thought a fool.
I’ld rather than the worth of thrice the sum,
Had sent to me first, but for my mind’s sake;
I’d such a courage to do him good. But now return,
And with their faint reply this answer join;
Who bates mine honour shall not know my coin.

Exit

Servant
Excellent! Your lordship’s a goodly villain. The
devil knew not what he did when he made man
politic; he crossed himself by ‘t: and I cannot
think but, in the end, the villainies of man will
set him clear. How fairly this lord strives to
appear foul! takes virtuous copies to be wicked,
like those that under hot ardent zeal would set
whole realms on fire: Of such a nature is his
politic love.
This was my lord’s best hope; now all are fled,
Save only the gods: now his friends are dead,
Doors, that were ne’er acquainted with their wards
Many a bounteous year must be employ’d
Now to guard sure their master.
And this is all a liberal course allows;
Who cannot keep his wealth must keep his house.

Exit

SCENE IV. The same. A hall in Timon’s house.

Enter two Servants of Varro, and the Servant of LUCIUS, meeting TITUS, HORTENSIUS, and other Servants of TIMON’s creditors, waiting his coming out
Varro’s

First Servant
Well met; good morrow, Titus and Hortensius.

TITUS
The like to you kind Varro.

HORTENSIUS
Lucius!
What, do we meet together?
Lucilius’ Servant Ay, and I think
One business does command us all; for mine Is money.

TITUS
So is theirs and ours.

Enter PHILOTUS

Lucilius’ Servant And Sir Philotus too!

PHILOTUS
Good day at once.
Lucilius’ Servant Welcome, good brother.
What do you think the hour?

PHILOTUS
Labouring for nine.
Lucilius’ Servant So much?

PHILOTUS
Is not my lord seen yet?
Lucilius’ Servant Not yet.

PHILOTUS
I wonder on’t; he was wont to shine at seven.
Lucilius’ Servant Ay, but the days are wax’d shorter with him:
You must consider that a prodigal course
Is like the sun’s; but not, like his, recoverable.
I fear ’tis deepest winter in Lord Timon’s purse;
That is one may reach deep enough, and yet
Find little.

PHILOTUS
I am of your fear for that.

TITUS
I’ll show you how to observe a strange event.
Your lord sends now for money.

HORTENSIUS
Most true, he does.

TITUS
And he wears jewels now of Timon’s gift,
For which I wait for money.

HORTENSIUS
It is against my heart.
Lucilius’ Servant Mark, how strange it shows,
Timon in this should pay more than he owes:
And e’en as if your lord should wear rich jewels,
And send for money for ’em.

HORTENSIUS
I’m weary of this charge, the gods can witness:
I know my lord hath spent of Timon’s wealth,
And now ingratitude makes it worse than stealth.
Varro’s

First Servant
Yes, mine’s three thousand crowns: what’s yours?
Lucilius’ Servant Five thousand mine.
Varro’s

First Servant
‘Tis much deep: and it should seem by the sun,
Your master’s confidence was above mine;
Else, surely, his had equall’d.
Enter FLAMINIUS.

TITUS
One of Lord Timon’s men.
Lucilius’ Servant Flaminius! Sir, a word: pray, is my lord ready to
come forth?

FLAMINIUS
No, indeed, he is not.

TITUS
We attend his lordship; pray, signify so much.

FLAMINIUS
I need not tell him that; he knows you are too diligent.

Exit

Enter FLAVIUS in a cloak, muffled

Lucilius’ Servant Ha! is not that his steward muffled so?
He goes away in a cloud: call him, call him.

TITUS
Do you hear, sir?
Varro’s

Second Servant
By your leave, sir,–

FLAVIUS
What do ye ask of me, my friend?

TITUS
We wait for certain money here, sir.

FLAVIUS
Ay,
If money were as certain as your waiting,
‘Twere sure enough.
Why then preferr’d you not your sums and bills,
When your false masters eat of my lord’s meat?
Then they could smile and fawn upon his debts
And take down the interest into their
gluttonous maws.
You do yourselves but wrong to stir me up;
Let me pass quietly:
Believe ‘t, my lord and I have made an end;
I have no more to reckon, he to spend.
Lucilius’ Servant Ay, but this answer will not serve.

FLAVIUS
If ’twill not serve,’tis not so base as you;
For you serve knaves.

Exit

Varro’s

First Servant
How! what does his cashiered worship mutter?
Varro’s

Second Servant
No matter what; he’s poor, and that’s revenge
enough. Who can speak broader than he that has no
house to put his head in? such may rail against
great buildings.

Enter SERVILIUS

TITUS
O, here’s Servilius; now we shall know some answer.

SERVILIUS
If I might beseech you, gentlemen, to repair some
other hour, I should derive much from’t; for,
take’t of my soul, my lord leans wondrously to
discontent: his comfortable temper has forsook him;
he’s much out of health, and keeps his chamber.
Lucilius’ Servant: Many do keep their chambers are not sick:
And, if it be so far beyond his health,
Methinks he should the sooner pay his debts,
And make a clear way to the gods.

SERVILIUS
Good gods!

TITUS
We cannot take this for answer, sir.

FLAMINIUS
[Within] Servilius, help! My lord! my lord!

Enter TIMON, in a rage, FLAMINIUS following

TIMON
What, are my doors opposed against my passage?
Have I been ever free, and must my house
Be my retentive enemy, my gaol?
The place which I have feasted, does it now,
Like all mankind, show me an iron heart?
Lucilius’ Servant Put in now, Titus.

TITUS
My lord, here is my bill.
Lucilius’ Servant Here’s mine.

HORTENSIUS
And mine, my lord.
Both
Varro’s Servants And ours, my lord.

PHILOTUS
All our bills.

TIMON
Knock me down with ’em: cleave me to the girdle.
Lucilius’ Servant Alas, my lord,-

TIMON
Cut my heart in sums.

TITUS
Mine, fifty talents.

TIMON
Tell out my blood.
Lucilius’ Servant Five thousand crowns, my lord.

TIMON
Five thousand drops pays that.
What yours?–and yours?
Varro’s

First Servant
My lord,–
Varro’s

Second Servant
My lord,–

TIMON
Tear me, take me, and the gods fall upon you!

Exit

HORTENSIUS
‘Faith, I perceive our masters may throw their caps
at their money: these debts may well be called
desperate ones, for a madman owes ’em.

Exeunt

Re-enter TIMON and FLAVIUS

TIMON
They have e’en put my breath from me, the slaves.
Creditors? devils!

FLAVIUS
My dear lord,–

TIMON
What if it should be so?

FLAVIUS
My lord,–

TIMON
I’ll have it so. My steward!

FLAVIUS
Here, my lord.

TIMON
So fitly? Go, bid all my friends again,
Lucius, Lucullus, and Sempronius:
All, sirrah, all:
I’ll once more feast the rascals.

FLAVIUS
O my lord,
You only speak from your distracted soul;
There is not so much left, to furnish out
A moderate table.

TIMON
Be’t not in thy care; go,
I charge thee, invite them all: let in the tide
Of knaves once more; my cook and I’ll provide.

Exeunt

SCENE V. The same. The senate-house. The Senate sitting.
First Senator
My lord, you have my voice to it; the fault’s
Bloody; ’tis necessary he should die:
Nothing emboldens sin so much as mercy.

Second Senator
Most true; the law shall bruise him.

Enter ALCIBIADES, with Attendants

ALCIBIADES
Honour, health, and compassion to the senate!

First Senator
Now, captain?

ALCIBIADES
I am an humble suitor to your virtues;
For pity is the virtue of the law,
And none but tyrants use it cruelly.
It pleases time and fortune to lie heavy
Upon a friend of mine, who, in hot blood,
Hath stepp’d into the law, which is past depth
To those that, without heed, do plunge into ‘t.
He is a man, setting his fate aside,
Of comely virtues:
Nor did he soil the fact with cowardice–
An honour in him which buys out his fault–
But with a noble fury and fair spirit,
Seeing his reputation touch’d to death,
He did oppose his foe:
And with such sober and unnoted passion
He did behave his anger, ere ’twas spent,
As if he had but proved an argument.

First Senator
You undergo too strict a paradox,
Striving to make an ugly deed look fair:
Your words have took such pains as if they labour’d
To bring manslaughter into form and set quarrelling
Upon the head of valour; which indeed
Is valour misbegot and came into the world
When sects and factions were newly born:
He’s truly valiant that can wisely suffer
The worst that man can breathe, and make his wrongs
His outsides, to wear them like his raiment,
carelessly,
And ne’er prefer his injuries to his heart,
To bring it into danger.
If wrongs be evils and enforce us kill,
What folly ’tis to hazard life for ill!

ALCIBIADES
My lord,–

First Senator
You cannot make gross sins look clear:
To revenge is no valour, but to bear.

ALCIBIADES
My lords, then, under favour, pardon me,
If I speak like a captain.
Why do fond men expose themselves to battle,
And not endure all threats? sleep upon’t,
And let the foes quietly cut their throats,
Without repugnancy? If there be
Such valour in the bearing, what make we
Abroad? why then, women are more valiant
That stay at home, if bearing carry it,
And the ass more captain than the lion, the felon
Loaden with irons wiser than the judge,
If wisdom be in suffering. O my lords,
As you are great, be pitifully good:
Who cannot condemn rashness in cold blood?
To kill, I grant, is sin’s extremest gust;
But, in defence, by mercy, ’tis most just.
To be in anger is impiety;
But who is man that is not angry?
Weigh but the crime with this.

Second Senator
You breathe in vain.

ALCIBIADES
In vain! his service done
At Lacedaemon and Byzantium
Were a sufficient briber for his life.

First Senator
What’s that?

ALCIBIADES
I say, my lords, he has done fair service,
And slain in fight many of your enemies:
How full of valour did he bear himself
In the last conflict, and made plenteous wounds!

Second Senator
He has made too much plenty with ’em;
He’s a sworn rioter: he has a sin that often
Drowns him, and takes his valour prisoner:
If there were no foes, that were enough
To overcome him: in that beastly fury
He has been known to commit outrages,
And cherish factions: ’tis inferr’d to us,
His days are foul and his drink dangerous.

First Senator
He dies.

ALCIBIADES
Hard fate! he might have died in war.
My lords, if not for any parts in him–
Though his right arm might purchase his own time
And be in debt to none–yet, more to move you,
Take my deserts to his, and join ’em both:
And, for I know your reverend ages love
Security, I’ll pawn my victories, all
My honours to you, upon his good returns.
If by this crime he owes the law his life,
Why, let the war receive ‘t in valiant gore
For law is strict, and war is nothing more.

First Senator
We are for law: he dies; urge it no more,
On height of our displeasure: friend or brother,
He forfeits his own blood that spills another.

ALCIBIADES
Must it be so? it must not be. My lords,
I do beseech you, know me.

Second Senator
How!

ALCIBIADES
Call me to your remembrances.

Third Senator
What!

ALCIBIADES
I cannot think but your age has forgot me;
It could not else be, I should prove so base,
To sue, and be denied such common grace:
My wounds ache at you.

First Senator
Do you dare our anger?
‘Tis in few words, but spacious in effect;
We banish thee for ever.

ALCIBIADES
Banish me!
Banish your dotage; banish usury,
That makes the senate ugly.

First Senator
If, after two days’ shine, Athens contain thee,
Attend our weightier judgment. And, not to swell
our spirit,
He shall be executed presently.

Exeunt Senators

ALCIBIADES
Now the gods keep you old enough; that you may live
Only in bone, that none may look on you!
I’m worse than mad: I have kept back their foes,
While they have told their money and let out
Their coin upon large interest, I myself
Rich only in large hurts. All those for this?
Is this the balsam that the usuring senate
Pours into captains’ wounds? Banishment!
It comes not ill; I hate not to be banish’d;
It is a cause worthy my spleen and fury,
That I may strike at Athens. I’ll cheer up
My discontented troops, and lay for hearts.
‘Tis honour with most lands to be at odds;
Soldiers should brook as little wrongs as gods.

Exit

SCENE VI. The same. A banqueting-room in Timon’s house.

Music. Tables set out: Servants attending. Enter divers Lords, Senators and others, at several doors
First Lord
The good time of day to you, sir.

Second Lord
I also wish it to you. I think this honourable lord
did but try us this other day.

First Lord
Upon that were my thoughts tiring, when we
encountered: I hope it is not so low with him as
he made it seem in the trial of his several friends.

Second Lord
It should not be, by the persuasion of his new feasting.

First Lord
I should think so: he hath sent me an earnest
inviting, which many my near occasions did urge me
to put off; but he hath conjured me beyond them, and
I must needs appear.

Second Lord
In like manner was I in debt to my importunate
business, but he would not hear my excuse. I am
sorry, when he sent to borrow of me, that my
provision was out.

First Lord
I am sick of that grief too, as I understand how all
things go.

Second Lord
Every man here’s so. What would he have borrowed of
you?

First Lord
A thousand pieces.

Second Lord
A thousand pieces!

First Lord
What of you?

Second Lord
He sent to me, sir,–Here he comes.

Enter TIMON and Attendants

TIMON
With all my heart, gentlemen both; and how fare you?

First Lord
Ever at the best, hearing well of your lordship.

Second Lord
The swallow follows not summer more willing than we
your lordship.

TIMON
[Aside] Nor more willingly leaves winter; such
summer-birds are men. Gentlemen, our dinner will not
recompense this long stay: feast your ears with the
music awhile, if they will fare so harshly o’ the
trumpet’s sound; we shall to ‘t presently.

First Lord
I hope it remains not unkindly with your lordship
that I returned you an empty messenger.

TIMON
O, sir, let it not trouble you.

Second Lord
My noble lord,–

TIMON
Ah, my good friend, what cheer?

Second Lord
My most honourable lord, I am e’en sick of shame,
that, when your lordship this other day sent to me,
I was so unfortunate a beggar.

TIMON
Think not on ‘t, sir.

Second Lord
If you had sent but two hours before,–

TIMON
Let it not cumber your better remembrance.

The banquet brought in

Come, bring in all together.

Second Lord
All covered dishes!

First Lord
Royal cheer, I warrant you.

Third Lord
Doubt not that, if money and the season can yield
it.

First Lord
How do you? What’s the news?

Third Lord
Alcibiades is banished: hear you of it?

First Lord Second Lord
Alcibiades banished!

Third Lord
‘Tis so, be sure of it.

First Lord
How! how!

Second Lord
I pray you, upon what?

TIMON
My worthy friends, will you draw near?

Third Lord
I’ll tell you more anon. Here’s a noble feast toward.

Second Lord
This is the old man still.

Third Lord
Will ‘t hold? will ‘t hold?

Second Lord
It does: but time will–and so–

Third Lord
I do conceive.

TIMON
Each man to his stool, with that spur as he would to
the lip of his mistress: your diet shall be in all
places alike. Make not a city feast of it, to let
the meat cool ere we can agree upon the first place:
sit, sit. The gods require our thanks.
You great benefactors, sprinkle our society with
thankfulness. For your own gifts, make yourselves
praised: but reserve still to give, lest your
deities be despised. Lend to each man enough, that
one need not lend to another; for, were your
godheads to borrow of men, men would forsake the
gods. Make the meat be beloved more than the man
that gives it. Let no assembly of twenty be without
a score of villains: if there sit twelve women at
the table, let a dozen of them be–as they are. The
rest of your fees, O gods–the senators of Athens,
together with the common lag of people–what is
amiss in them, you gods, make suitable for
destruction. For these my present friends, as they
are to me nothing, so in nothing bless them, and to
nothing are they welcome.
Uncover, dogs, and lap.

The dishes are uncovered and seen to be full of warm water

Some Speak
What does his lordship mean?

Some Others
I know not.

TIMON
May you a better feast never behold,
You knot of mouth-friends I smoke and lukewarm water
Is your perfection. This is Timon’s last;
Who, stuck and spangled with your flatteries,
Washes it off, and sprinkles in your faces
Your reeking villany.

Throwing the water in their faces

Live loathed and long,
Most smiling, smooth, detested parasites,
Courteous destroyers, affable wolves, meek bears,
You fools of fortune, trencher-friends, time’s flies,
Cap and knee slaves, vapours, and minute-jacks!
Of man and beast the infinite malady
Crust you quite o’er! What, dost thou go?
Soft! take thy physic first–thou too–and thou;–
Stay, I will lend thee money, borrow none.

Throws the dishes at them, and drives them out

What, all in motion? Henceforth be no feast,
Whereat a villain’s not a welcome guest.
Burn, house! sink, Athens! henceforth hated be
Of Timon man and all humanity!

Exit

Re-enter the Lords, Senators, & c

First Lord
How now, my lords!

Second Lord
Know you the quality of Lord Timon’s fury?

Third Lord
Push! did you see my cap?

Fourth Lord
I have lost my gown.

First Lord
He’s but a mad lord, and nought but humour sways him.
He gave me a jewel th’ other day, and now he has
beat it out of my hat: did you see my jewel?

Third Lord
Did you see my cap?

Second Lord
Here ’tis.

Fourth Lord
Here lies my gown.

First Lord
Let’s make no stay.

Second Lord
Lord Timon’s mad.

Third Lord
I feel ‘t upon my bones.

Fourth Lord
One day he gives us diamonds, next day stones.

Exeunt


Timon of Athens, ACT I
SCENE I. Athens. A hall in Timon’s house.

Enter Poet, Painter, Jeweller, Merchant, and others, at several doors

Poet
Good day, sir.

Painter
I am glad you’re well.

Poet
I have not seen you long: how goes the world?

Painter
It wears, sir, as it grows.

Poet
Ay, that’s well known:
But what particular rarity? what strange,
Which manifold record not matches? See,
Magic of bounty! all these spirits thy power
Hath conjured to attend. I know the merchant.

Painter
I know them both; th’ other’s a jeweller.

Merchant
O, ’tis a worthy lord.

Jeweller
Nay, that’s most fix’d.

Merchant
A most incomparable man, breathed, as it were,
To an untirable and continuate goodness:
He passes.
Jeweller: I have a jewel here–

Merchant
O, pray, let’s see’t: for the Lord Timon, sir?
Jeweller: If he will touch the estimate: but, for that–

Poet
[Reciting to himself] ‘When we for recompense have
praised the vile,
It stains the glory in that happy verse
Which aptly sings the good.’

Merchant
‘Tis a good form.

Looking at the jewel

Jeweller
And rich: here is a water, look ye.

Painter
You are rapt, sir, in some work, some dedication
To the great lord.

Poet
A thing slipp’d idly from me.
Our poesy is as a gum, which oozes
From whence ’tis nourish’d: the fire i’ the flint
Shows not till it be struck; our gentle flame
Provokes itself and like the current flies
Each bound it chafes. What have you there?

Painter
A picture, sir. When comes your book forth?

Poet
Upon the heels of my presentment, sir.
Let’s see your piece.

Painter
‘Tis a good piece.

Poet
So ’tis: this comes off well and excellent.

Painter
Indifferent.

Poet
Admirable: how this grace
Speaks his own standing! what a mental power
This eye shoots forth! how big imagination
Moves in this lip! to the dumbness of the gesture
One might interpret.

Painter
It is a pretty mocking of the life.
Here is a touch; is’t good?

Poet
I will say of it,
It tutors nature: artificial strife
Lives in these touches, livelier than life.

Enter certain Senators, and pass over

Painter
How this lord is follow’d!

Poet
The senators of Athens: happy man!

Painter
Look, more!

Poet
You see this confluence, this great flood
of visitors.
I have, in this rough work, shaped out a man,
Whom this beneath world doth embrace and hug
With amplest entertainment: my free drift
Halts not particularly, but moves itself
In a wide sea of wax: no levell’d malice
Infects one comma in the course I hold;
But flies an eagle flight, bold and forth on,
Leaving no tract behind.

Painter
How shall I understand you?

Poet
I will unbolt to you.
You see how all conditions, how all minds,
As well of glib and slippery creatures as
Of grave and austere quality, tender down
Their services to Lord Timon: his large fortune
Upon his good and gracious nature hanging
Subdues and properties to his love and tendance
All sorts of hearts; yea, from the glass-faced flatterer
To Apemantus, that few things loves better
Than to abhor himself: even he drops down
The knee before him, and returns in peace
Most rich in Timon’s nod.

Painter
I saw them speak together.

Poet
Sir, I have upon a high and pleasant hill
Feign’d Fortune to be throned: the base o’ the mount
Is rank’d with all deserts, all kind of natures,
That labour on the bosom of this sphere
To propagate their states: amongst them all,
Whose eyes are on this sovereign lady fix’d,
One do I personate of Lord Timon’s frame,
Whom Fortune with her ivory hand wafts to her;
Whose present grace to present slaves and servants
Translates his rivals.

Painter
‘Tis conceived to scope.
This throne, this Fortune, and this hill, methinks,
With one man beckon’d from the rest below,
Bowing his head against the sleepy mount
To climb his happiness, would be well express’d
In our condition.

Poet
Nay, sir, but hear me on.
All those which were his fellows but of late,
Some better than his value, on the moment
Follow his strides, his lobbies fill with tendance,
Rain sacrificial whisperings in his ear,
Make sacred even his stirrup, and through him
Drink the free air.

Painter
Ay, marry, what of these?

Poet
When Fortune in her shift and change of mood
Spurns down her late beloved, all his dependants
Which labour’d after him to the mountain’s top
Even on their knees and hands, let him slip down,
Not one accompanying his declining foot.

Painter
‘Tis common:
A thousand moral paintings I can show
That shall demonstrate these quick blows of Fortune’s
More pregnantly than words. Yet you do well
To show Lord Timon that mean eyes have seen
The foot above the head.

Trumpets sound. Enter TIMON, addressing himself courteously to every suitor; a Messenger from VENTIDIUS talking with him; LUCILIUS and other servants following

TIMON
Imprison’d is he, say you?

Messenger
Ay, my good lord: five talents is his debt,
His means most short, his creditors most strait:
Your honourable letter he desires
To those have shut him up; which failing,
Periods his comfort.

TIMON
Noble Ventidius! Well;
I am not of that feather to shake off
My friend when he must need me. I do know him
A gentleman that well deserves a help:
Which he shall have: I’ll pay the debt,
and free him.

Messenger
Your lordship ever binds him.

TIMON
Commend me to him: I will send his ransom;
And being enfranchised, bid him come to me.
‘Tis not enough to help the feeble up,
But to support him after. Fare you well.

Messenger
All happiness to your honour!

Exit

Enter an old Athenian

Old Athenian
Lord Timon, hear me speak.

TIMON
Freely, good father.

Old Athenian
Thou hast a servant named Lucilius.

TIMON
I have so: what of him?

Old Athenian
Most noble Timon, call the man before thee.

TIMON
Attends he here, or no? Lucilius!

LUCILIUS
Here, at your lordship’s service.

Old Athenian
This fellow here, Lord Timon, this thy creature,
By night frequents my house. I am a man
That from my first have been inclined to thrift;
And my estate deserves an heir more raised
Than one which holds a trencher.

TIMON
Well; what further?

Old Athenian
One only daughter have I, no kin else,
On whom I may confer what I have got:
The maid is fair, o’ the youngest for a bride,
And I have bred her at my dearest cost
In qualities of the best. This man of thine
Attempts her love: I prithee, noble lord,
Join with me to forbid him her resort;
Myself have spoke in vain.

TIMON
The man is honest.

Old Athenian
Therefore he will be, Timon:
His honesty rewards him in itself;
It must not bear my daughter.

TIMON
Does she love him?

Old Athenian
She is young and apt:
Our own precedent passions do instruct us
What levity’s in youth.

TIMON
[To LUCILIUS] Love you the maid?

LUCILIUS
Ay, my good lord, and she accepts of it.

Old Athenian
If in her marriage my consent be missing,
I call the gods to witness, I will choose
Mine heir from forth the beggars of the world,
And dispossess her all.

TIMON
How shall she be endow’d,
if she be mated with an equal husband?

Old Athenian
Three talents on the present; in future, all.

TIMON
This gentleman of mine hath served me long:
To build his fortune I will strain a little,
For ’tis a bond in men. Give him thy daughter:
What you bestow, in him I’ll counterpoise,
And make him weigh with her.

Old Athenian
Most noble lord,
Pawn me to this your honour, she is his.

TIMON
My hand to thee; mine honour on my promise.

LUCILIUS
Humbly I thank your lordship: never may
The state or fortune fall into my keeping,
Which is not owed to you!

Exeunt LUCILIUS and Old Athenian

Poet
Vouchsafe my labour, and long live your lordship!

TIMON
I thank you; you shall hear from me anon:
Go not away. What have you there, my friend?

Painter
A piece of painting, which I do beseech
Your lordship to accept.

TIMON
Painting is welcome.
The painting is almost the natural man;
or since dishonour traffics with man’s nature,
He is but outside: these pencill’d figures are
Even such as they give out. I like your work;
And you shall find I like it: wait attendance
Till you hear further from me.

Painter
The gods preserve ye!

TIMON
Well fare you, gentleman: give me your hand;
We must needs dine together. Sir, your jewel
Hath suffer’d under praise.

Jeweller
What, my lord! dispraise?

TIMON
A more satiety of commendations.
If I should pay you for’t as ’tis extoll’d,
It would unclew me quite.

Jeweller
My lord, ’tis rated
As those which sell would give: but you well know,
Things of like value differing in the owners
Are prized by their masters: believe’t, dear lord,
You mend the jewel by the wearing it.

TIMON
Well mock’d.

Merchant
No, my good lord; he speaks the common tongue,
Which all men speak with him.

TIMON
Look, who comes here: will you be chid?

Enter APEMANTUS

Jeweller: We’ll bear, with your lordship.

Merchant
He’ll spare none.

TIMON
Good morrow to thee, gentle Apemantus!

APEMANTUS
Till I be gentle, stay thou for thy good morrow;
When thou art Timon’s dog, and these knaves honest.

TIMON
Why dost thou call them knaves? thou know’st them not.

APEMANTUS
Are they not Athenians?

TIMON
Yes.

APEMANTUS
Then I repent not.
Jeweller: You know me, Apemantus?

APEMANTUS
Thou know’st I do: I call’d thee by thy name.

TIMON
Thou art proud, Apemantus.

APEMANTUS
Of nothing so much as that I am not like Timon.

TIMON
Whither art going?

APEMANTUS
To knock out an honest Athenian’s brains.

TIMON
That’s a deed thou’lt die for.

APEMANTUS
Right, if doing nothing be death by the law.

TIMON
How likest thou this picture, Apemantus?

APEMANTUS
The best, for the innocence.

TIMON
Wrought he not well that painted it?

APEMANTUS
He wrought better that made the painter; and yet
he’s but a filthy piece of work.

Painter
You’re a dog.

APEMANTUS
Thy mother’s of my generation: what’s she, if I be a dog?

TIMON
Wilt dine with me, Apemantus?

APEMANTUS
No; I eat not lords.

TIMON
An thou shouldst, thou ‘ldst anger ladies.

APEMANTUS
O, they eat lords; so they come by great bellies.

TIMON
That’s a lascivious apprehension.

APEMANTUS
So thou apprehendest it: take it for thy labour.

TIMON
How dost thou like this jewel, Apemantus?

APEMANTUS
Not so well as plain-dealing, which will not cost a
man a doit.

TIMON
What dost thou think ’tis worth?

APEMANTUS
Not worth my thinking. How now, poet!

Poet
How now, philosopher!

APEMANTUS
Thou liest.

Poet
Art not one?

APEMANTUS
Yes.

Poet
Then I lie not.

APEMANTUS
Art not a poet?

Poet
Yes.

APEMANTUS
Then thou liest: look in thy last work, where thou
hast feigned him a worthy fellow.

Poet
That’s not feigned; he is so.

APEMANTUS
Yes, he is worthy of thee, and to pay thee for thy
labour: he that loves to be flattered is worthy o’
the flatterer. Heavens, that I were a lord!

TIMON
What wouldst do then, Apemantus?

APEMANTUS
E’en as Apemantus does now; hate a lord with my heart.

TIMON
What, thyself?

APEMANTUS
Ay.

TIMON
Wherefore?

APEMANTUS
That I had no angry wit to be a lord.
Art not thou a merchant?

Merchant
Ay, Apemantus.

APEMANTUS
Traffic confound thee, if the gods will not!

Merchant
If traffic do it, the gods do it.

APEMANTUS
Traffic’s thy god; and thy god confound thee!

Trumpet sounds. Enter a Messenger

TIMON
What trumpet’s that?

Messenger
‘Tis Alcibiades, and some twenty horse,
All of companionship.

TIMON
Pray, entertain them; give them guide to us.

Exeunt some Attendants

You must needs dine with me: go not you hence
Till I have thank’d you: when dinner’s done,
Show me this piece. I am joyful of your sights.

Enter ALCIBIADES, with the rest

Most welcome, sir!

APEMANTUS
So, so, there!
Aches contract and starve your supple joints!
That there should be small love ‘mongst these
sweet knaves,
And all this courtesy! The strain of man’s bred out
Into baboon and monkey.

ALCIBIADES
Sir, you have saved my longing, and I feed
Most hungerly on your sight.

TIMON
Right welcome, sir!
Ere we depart, we’ll share a bounteous time
In different pleasures. Pray you, let us in.

Exeunt all except APEMANTUS

Enter two Lords

First Lord
What time o’ day is’t, Apemantus?

APEMANTUS
Time to be honest.

First Lord
That time serves still.

APEMANTUS
The more accursed thou, that still omitt’st it.

Second Lord
Thou art going to Lord Timon’s feast?

APEMANTUS
Ay, to see meat fill knaves and wine heat fools.

Second Lord
Fare thee well, fare thee well.

APEMANTUS
Thou art a fool to bid me farewell twice.

Second Lord
Why, Apemantus?

APEMANTUS
Shouldst have kept one to thyself, for I mean to
give thee none.

First Lord
Hang thyself!

APEMANTUS
No, I will do nothing at thy bidding: make thy
requests to thy friend.

Second Lord
Away, unpeaceable dog, or I’ll spurn thee hence!

APEMANTUS
I will fly, like a dog, the heels o’ the ass.

Exit

First Lord
He’s opposite to humanity. Come, shall we in,
And taste Lord Timon’s bounty? he outgoes
The very heart of kindness.

Second Lord
He pours it out; Plutus, the god of gold,
Is but his steward: no meed, but he repays
Sevenfold above itself; no gift to him,
But breeds the giver a return exceeding
All use of quittance.

First Lord
The noblest mind he carries
That ever govern’d man.

Second Lord
Long may he live in fortunes! Shall we in?

First Lord
I’ll keep you company.

Exeunt

SCENE II. A banqueting-room in Timon’s house.

Hautboys playing loud music. A great banquet served in; FLAVIUS and others attending; then enter TIMON, ALCIBIADES, Lords, Senators, and VENTIDIUS. Then comes, dropping, after all, APEMANTUS, discontentedly, like himself
VENTIDIUS
Most honour’d Timon,
It hath pleased the gods to remember my father’s age,
And call him to long peace.
He is gone happy, and has left me rich:
Then, as in grateful virtue I am bound
To your free heart, I do return those talents,
Doubled with thanks and service, from whose help
I derived liberty.

TIMON
O, by no means,
Honest Ventidius; you mistake my love:
I gave it freely ever; and there’s none
Can truly say he gives, if he receives:
If our betters play at that game, we must not dare
To imitate them; faults that are rich are fair.

VENTIDIUS
A noble spirit!

TIMON
Nay, my lords,

They all stand ceremoniously looking on TIMON

Ceremony was but devised at first
To set a gloss on faint deeds, hollow welcomes,
Recanting goodness, sorry ere ’tis shown;
But where there is true friendship, there needs none.
Pray, sit; more welcome are ye to my fortunes
Than my fortunes to me.

They sit

First Lord
My lord, we always have confess’d it.

APEMANTUS
Ho, ho, confess’d it! hang’d it, have you not?

TIMON
O, Apemantus, you are welcome.

APEMANTUS
No;
You shall not make me welcome:
I come to have thee thrust me out of doors.

TIMON
Fie, thou’rt a churl; ye’ve got a humour there
Does not become a man: ’tis much to blame.
They say, my lords, ‘ira furor brevis est;’ but yond
man is ever angry. Go, let him have a table by
himself, for he does neither affect company, nor is
he fit for’t, indeed.

APEMANTUS
Let me stay at thine apperil, Timon: I come to
observe; I give thee warning on’t.

TIMON
I take no heed of thee; thou’rt an Athenian,
therefore welcome: I myself would have no power;
prithee, let my meat make thee silent.

APEMANTUS
I scorn thy meat; ‘twould choke me, for I should
ne’er flatter thee. O you gods, what a number of
men eat Timon, and he sees ’em not! It grieves me
to see so many dip their meat in one man’s blood;
and all the madness is, he cheers them up too.
I wonder men dare trust themselves with men:
Methinks they should invite them without knives;
Good for their meat, and safer for their lives.
There’s much example for’t; the fellow that sits
next him now, parts bread with him, pledges the
breath of him in a divided draught, is the readiest
man to kill him: ‘t has been proved. If I were a
huge man, I should fear to drink at meals;
Lest they should spy my windpipe’s dangerous notes:
Great men should drink with harness on their throats.

TIMON
My lord, in heart; and let the health go round.

Second Lord
Let it flow this way, my good lord.

APEMANTUS
Flow this way! A brave fellow! he keeps his tides
well. Those healths will make thee and thy state
look ill, Timon. Here’s that which is too weak to
be a sinner, honest water, which ne’er left man i’ the mire:
This and my food are equals; there’s no odds:
Feasts are too proud to give thanks to the gods.
Apemantus’ grace.
Immortal gods, I crave no pelf;
I pray for no man but myself:
Grant I may never prove so fond,
To trust man on his oath or bond;
Or a harlot, for her weeping;
Or a dog, that seems a-sleeping:
Or a keeper with my freedom;
Or my friends, if I should need ’em.
Amen. So fall to’t:
Rich men sin, and I eat root.

Eats and drinks

Much good dich thy good heart, Apemantus!

TIMON
Captain Alcibiades, your heart’s in the field now.

ALCIBIADES
My heart is ever at your service, my lord.

TIMON
You had rather be at a breakfast of enemies than a
dinner of friends.

ALCIBIADES
So the were bleeding-new, my lord, there’s no meat
like ’em: I could wish my best friend at such a feast.

APEMANTUS
Would all those fatterers were thine enemies then,
that then thou mightst kill ’em and bid me to ’em!

First Lord
Might we but have that happiness, my lord, that you
would once use our hearts, whereby we might express
some part of our zeals, we should think ourselves
for ever perfect.

TIMON
O, no doubt, my good friends, but the gods
themselves have provided that I shall have much help
from you: how had you been my friends else? why
have you that charitable title from thousands, did
not you chiefly belong to my heart? I have told
more of you to myself than you can with modesty
speak in your own behalf; and thus far I confirm
you. O you gods, think I, what need we have any
friends, if we should ne’er have need of ’em? they
were the most needless creatures living, should we
ne’er have use for ’em, and would most resemble
sweet instruments hung up in cases that keep their
sounds to themselves. Why, I have often wished
myself poorer, that I might come nearer to you. We
are born to do benefits: and what better or
properer can we can our own than the riches of our
friends? O, what a precious comfort ’tis, to have
so many, like brothers, commanding one another’s
fortunes! O joy, e’en made away ere ‘t can be born!
Mine eyes cannot hold out water, methinks: to
forget their faults, I drink to you.

APEMANTUS
Thou weepest to make them drink, Timon.

Second Lord
Joy had the like conception in our eyes
And at that instant like a babe sprung up.

APEMANTUS
Ho, ho! I laugh to think that babe a bastard.

Third Lord
I promise you, my lord, you moved me much.

APEMANTUS
Much!

Tucket, within

TIMON
What means that trump?

Enter a Servant

How now?

Servant
Please you, my lord, there are certain
ladies most desirous of admittance.

TIMON
Ladies! what are their wills?

Servant
There comes with them a forerunner, my lord, which
bears that office, to signify their pleasures.

TIMON
I pray, let them be admitted.

Enter Cupid

Cupid
Hail to thee, worthy Timon, and to all
That of his bounties taste! The five best senses
Acknowledge thee their patron; and come freely
To gratulate thy plenteous bosom: th’ ear,
Taste, touch and smell, pleased from thy tale rise;
They only now come but to feast thine eyes.

TIMON
They’re welcome all; let ’em have kind admittance:
Music, make their welcome!

Exit Cupid

First Lord
You see, my lord, how ample you’re beloved.

Music. Re-enter Cupid with a mask of Ladies as Amazons, with lutes in their hands, dancing and playing

APEMANTUS
Hoy-day, what a sweep of vanity comes this way!
They dance! they are mad women.
Like madness is the glory of this life.
As this pomp shows to a little oil and root.
We make ourselves fools, to disport ourselves;
And spend our flatteries, to drink those men
Upon whose age we void it up again,
With poisonous spite and envy.
Who lives that’s not depraved or depraves?
Who dies, that bears not one spurn to their graves
Of their friends’ gift?
I should fear those that dance before me now
Would one day stamp upon me: ‘t has been done;
Men shut their doors against a setting sun.

The Lords rise from table, with much adoring of TIMON; and to show their loves, each singles out an Amazon, and all dance, men with women, a lofty strain or two to the hautboys, and cease

TIMON
You have done our pleasures much grace, fair ladies,
Set a fair fashion on our entertainment,
Which was not half so beautiful and kind;
You have added worth unto ‘t and lustre,
And entertain’d me with mine own device;
I am to thank you for ‘t.

First Lady
My lord, you take us even at the best.

APEMANTUS
‘Faith, for the worst is filthy; and would not hold
taking, I doubt me.

TIMON
Ladies, there is an idle banquet attends you:
Please you to dispose yourselves.

All Ladies
Most thankfully, my lord.

Exeunt Cupid and Ladies

TIMON
Flavius.

FLAVIUS
My lord?

TIMON
The little casket bring me hither.

FLAVIUS
Yes, my lord. More jewels yet!
There is no crossing him in ‘s humour;

Aside

Else I should tell him,–well, i’ faith I should,
When all’s spent, he ‘ld be cross’d then, an he could.
‘Tis pity bounty had not eyes behind,
That man might ne’er be wretched for his mind.

Exit

First Lord
Where be our men?

Servant
Here, my lord, in readiness.

Second Lord
Our horses!

Re-enter FLAVIUS, with the casket

TIMON
O my friends,
I have one word to say to you: look you, my good lord,
I must entreat you, honour me so much
As to advance this jewel; accept it and wear it,
Kind my lord.

First Lord
I am so far already in your gifts,–

All
So are we all.

Enter a Servant

Servant
My lord, there are certain nobles of the senate
Newly alighted, and come to visit you.

TIMON
They are fairly welcome.

FLAVIUS
I beseech your honour,
Vouchsafe me a word; it does concern you near.

TIMON
Near! why then, another time I’ll hear thee:
I prithee, let’s be provided to show them
entertainment.

FLAVIUS
[Aside] I scarce know how.

Enter a Second Servant

Second Servant
May it please your honour, Lord Lucius,
Out of his free love, hath presented to you
Four milk-white horses, trapp’d in silver.

TIMON
I shall accept them fairly; let the presents
Be worthily entertain’d.

Enter a third Servant

How now! what news?

Third Servant
Please you, my lord, that honourable
gentleman, Lord Lucullus, entreats your company
to-morrow to hunt with him, and has sent your honour
two brace of greyhounds.

TIMON
I’ll hunt with him; and let them be received,
Not without fair reward.

FLAVIUS
[Aside] What will this come to?
He commands us to provide, and give great gifts,
And all out of an empty coffer:
Nor will he know his purse, or yield me this,
To show him what a beggar his heart is,
Being of no power to make his wishes good:
His promises fly so beyond his state
That what he speaks is all in debt; he owes
For every word: he is so kind that he now
Pays interest for ‘t; his land’s put to their books.
Well, would I were gently put out of office
Before I were forced out!
Happier is he that has no friend to feed
Than such that do e’en enemies exceed.
I bleed inwardly for my lord.

Exit

TIMON
You do yourselves
Much wrong, you bate too much of your own merits:
Here, my lord, a trifle of our love.

Second Lord
With more than common thanks I will receive it.

Third Lord
O, he’s the very soul of bounty!

TIMON
And now I remember, my lord, you gave
Good words the other day of a bay courser
I rode on: it is yours, because you liked it.

Second Lord
O, I beseech you, pardon me, my lord, in that.

TIMON
You may take my word, my lord; I know, no man
Can justly praise but what he does affect:
I weigh my friend’s affection with mine own;
I’ll tell you true. I’ll call to you.

All Lords
O, none so welcome.

TIMON
I take all and your several visitations
So kind to heart, ’tis not enough to give;
Methinks, I could deal kingdoms to my friends,
And ne’er be weary. Alcibiades,
Thou art a soldier, therefore seldom rich;
It comes in charity to thee: for all thy living
Is ‘mongst the dead, and all the lands thou hast
Lie in a pitch’d field.

ALCIBIADES
Ay, defiled land, my lord.

First Lord
We are so virtuously bound–

TIMON
And so
Am I to you.

Second Lord
So infinitely endear’d–

TIMON
All to you. Lights, more lights!

First Lord
The best of happiness,
Honour and fortunes, keep with you, Lord Timon!

TIMON
Ready for his friends.

Exeunt all but APEMANTUS and TIMON

APEMANTUS
What a coil’s here!
Serving of becks and jutting-out of bums!
I doubt whether their legs be worth the sums
That are given for ’em. Friendship’s full of dregs:
Methinks, false hearts should never have sound legs,
Thus honest fools lay out their wealth on court’sies.

TIMON
Now, Apemantus, if thou wert not sullen, I would be
good to thee.

APEMANTUS
No, I’ll nothing: for if I should be bribed too,
there would be none left to rail upon thee, and then
thou wouldst sin the faster. Thou givest so long,
Timon, I fear me thou wilt give away thyself in
paper shortly: what need these feasts, pomps and
vain-glories?

TIMON
Nay, an you begin to rail on society once, I am
sworn not to give regard to you. Farewell; and come
with better music.

Exit

APEMANTUS
So:
Thou wilt not hear me now; thou shalt not then:
I’ll lock thy heaven from thee.
O, that men’s ears should be
To counsel deaf, but not to flattery!

Exit


Titus Andronicus, ACT II
SCENE I. Rome. Before the Palace.

Enter AARON

AARON
Now climbeth Tamora Olympus’ top,
Safe out of fortune’s shot; and sits aloft,
Secure of thunder’s crack or lightning flash;
Advanced above pale envy’s threatening reach.
As when the golden sun salutes the morn,
And, having gilt the ocean with his beams,
Gallops the zodiac in his glistering coach,
And overlooks the highest-peering hills;
So Tamora:
Upon her wit doth earthly honour wait,
And virtue stoops and trembles at her frown.
Then, Aaron, arm thy heart, and fit thy thoughts,
To mount aloft with thy imperial mistress,
And mount her pitch, whom thou in triumph long
Hast prisoner held, fetter’d in amorous chains
And faster bound to Aaron’s charming eyes
Than is Prometheus tied to Caucasus.
Away with slavish weeds and servile thoughts!
I will be bright, and shine in pearl and gold,
To wait upon this new-made empress.
To wait, said I? to wanton with this queen,
This goddess, this Semiramis, this nymph,
This siren, that will charm Rome’s Saturnine,
And see his shipwreck and his commonweal’s.
Holloa! what storm is this?

Enter DEMETRIUS and CHIRON, braving

DEMETRIUS
Chiron, thy years want wit, thy wit wants edge,
And manners, to intrude where I am graced;
And may, for aught thou know’st, affected be.

CHIRON
Demetrius, thou dost over-ween in all;
And so in this, to bear me down with braves.
‘Tis not the difference of a year or two
Makes me less gracious or thee more fortunate:
I am as able and as fit as thou
To serve, and to deserve my mistress’ grace;
And that my sword upon thee shall approve,
And plead my passions for Lavinia’s love.

AARON
[Aside] Clubs, clubs! these lovers will not keep
the peace.

DEMETRIUS
Why, boy, although our mother, unadvised,
Gave you a dancing-rapier by your side,
Are you so desperate grown, to threat your friends?
Go to; have your lath glued within your sheath
Till you know better how to handle it.

CHIRON
Meanwhile, sir, with the little skill I have,
Full well shalt thou perceive how much I dare.

DEMETRIUS
Ay, boy, grow ye so brave?

They draw

AARON
[Coming forward] Why, how now, lords!
So near the emperor’s palace dare you draw,
And maintain such a quarrel openly?
Full well I wot the ground of all this grudge:
I would not for a million of gold
The cause were known to them it most concerns;
Nor would your noble mother for much more
Be so dishonour’d in the court of Rome.
For shame, put up.

DEMETRIUS
Not I, till I have sheathed
My rapier in his bosom and withal
Thrust these reproachful speeches down his throat
That he hath breathed in my dishonour here.

CHIRON
For that I am prepared and full resolved.
Foul-spoken coward, that thunder’st with thy tongue,
And with thy weapon nothing darest perform!

AARON
Away, I say!
Now, by the gods that warlike Goths adore,
This petty brabble will undo us all.
Why, lords, and think you not how dangerous
It is to jet upon a prince’s right?
What, is Lavinia then become so loose,
Or Bassianus so degenerate,
That for her love such quarrels may be broach’d
Without controlment, justice, or revenge?
Young lords, beware! and should the empress know
This discord’s ground, the music would not please.

CHIRON
I care not, I, knew she and all the world:
I love Lavinia more than all the world.

DEMETRIUS
Youngling, learn thou to make some meaner choice:
Lavinia is thine elder brother’s hope.

AARON
Why, are ye mad? or know ye not, in Rome
How furious and impatient they be,
And cannot brook competitors in love?
I tell you, lords, you do but plot your deaths
By this device.

CHIRON
Aaron, a thousand deaths
Would I propose to achieve her whom I love.

AARON
To achieve her! how?

DEMETRIUS
Why makest thou it so strange?
She is a woman, therefore may be woo’d;
She is a woman, therefore may be won;
She is Lavinia, therefore must be loved.
What, man! more water glideth by the mill
Than wots the miller of; and easy it is
Of a cut loaf to steal a shive, we know:
Though Bassianus be the emperor’s brother.
Better than he have worn Vulcan’s badge.

AARON
[Aside] Ay, and as good as Saturninus may.

DEMETRIUS
Then why should he despair that knows to court it
With words, fair looks and liberality?
What, hast not thou full often struck a doe,
And borne her cleanly by the keeper’s nose?

AARON
Why, then, it seems, some certain snatch or so
Would serve your turns.

CHIRON
Ay, so the turn were served.

DEMETRIUS
Aaron, thou hast hit it.

AARON
Would you had hit it too!
Then should not we be tired with this ado.
Why, hark ye, hark ye! and are you such fools
To square for this? would it offend you, then
That both should speed?

CHIRON
Faith, not me.

DEMETRIUS
Nor me, so I were one.

AARON
For shame, be friends, and join for that you jar:
‘Tis policy and stratagem must do
That you affect; and so must you resolve,
That what you cannot as you would achieve,
You must perforce accomplish as you may.
Take this of me: Lucrece was not more chaste
Than this Lavinia, Bassianus’ love.
A speedier course than lingering languishment
Must we pursue, and I have found the path.
My lords, a solemn hunting is in hand;
There will the lovely Roman ladies troop:
The forest walks are wide and spacious;
And many unfrequented plots there are
Fitted by kind for rape and villany:
Single you thither then this dainty doe,
And strike her home by force, if not by words:
This way, or not at all, stand you in hope.
Come, come, our empress, with her sacred wit
To villany and vengeance consecrate,
Will we acquaint with all that we intend;
And she shall file our engines with advice,
That will not suffer you to square yourselves,
But to your wishes’ height advance you both.
The emperor’s court is like the house of Fame,
The palace full of tongues, of eyes, and ears:
The woods are ruthless, dreadful, deaf, and dull;
There speak, and strike, brave boys, and take
your turns;
There serve your lusts, shadow’d from heaven’s eye,
And revel in Lavinia’s treasury.

CHIRON
Thy counsel, lad, smells of no cowardice,

DEMETRIUS
Sit fas aut nefas, till I find the stream
To cool this heat, a charm to calm these fits.
Per Styga, per manes vehor.

Exeunt

SCENE II. A forest near Rome. Horns and cry of hounds heard.

Enter TITUS ANDRONICUS, with Hunters, & c., MARCUS, LUCIUS, QUINTUS, and MARTIUS
TITUS ANDRONICUS
The hunt is up, the morn is bright and grey,
The fields are fragrant and the woods are green:
Uncouple here and let us make a bay
And wake the emperor and his lovely bride
And rouse the prince and ring a hunter’s peal,
That all the court may echo with the noise.
Sons, let it be your charge, as it is ours,
To attend the emperor’s person carefully:
I have been troubled in my sleep this night,
But dawning day new comfort hath inspired.

A cry of hounds and horns, winded in a peal. Enter SATURNINUS, TAMORA, BASSIANUS, LAVINIA, DEMETRIUS, CHIRON, and Attendants

Many good morrows to your majesty;
Madam, to you as many and as good:
I promised your grace a hunter’s peal.

SATURNINUS
And you have rung it lustily, my lord;
Somewhat too early for new-married ladies.

BASSIANUS
Lavinia, how say you?

LAVINIA
I say, no;
I have been broad awake two hours and more.

SATURNINUS
Come on, then; horse and chariots let us have,
And to our sport.

To TAMORA

Madam, now shall ye see
Our Roman hunting.

MARCUS ANDRONICUS
I have dogs, my lord,
Will rouse the proudest panther in the chase,
And climb the highest promontory top.

TITUS ANDRONICUS
And I have horse will follow where the game
Makes way, and run like swallows o’er the plain.

DEMETRIUS
Chiron, we hunt not, we, with horse nor hound,
But hope to pluck a dainty doe to ground.

Exeunt

SCENE III. A lonely part of the forest.

Enter AARON, with a bag of gold
AARON
He that had wit would think that I had none,
To bury so much gold under a tree,
And never after to inherit it.
Let him that thinks of me so abjectly
Know that this gold must coin a stratagem,
Which, cunningly effected, will beget
A very excellent piece of villany:
And so repose, sweet gold, for their unrest

Hides the gold

That have their alms out of the empress’ chest.

Enter TAMORA

TAMORA
My lovely Aaron, wherefore look’st thou sad,
When every thing doth make a gleeful boast?
The birds chant melody on every bush,
The snake lies rolled in the cheerful sun,
The green leaves quiver with the cooling wind
And make a chequer’d shadow on the ground:
Under their sweet shade, Aaron, let us sit,
And, whilst the babbling echo mocks the hounds,
Replying shrilly to the well-tuned horns,
As if a double hunt were heard at once,
Let us sit down and mark their yelping noise;
And, after conflict such as was supposed
The wandering prince and Dido once enjoy’d,
When with a happy storm they were surprised
And curtain’d with a counsel-keeping cave,
We may, each wreathed in the other’s arms,
Our pastimes done, possess a golden slumber;
Whiles hounds and horns and sweet melodious birds
Be unto us as is a nurse’s song
Of lullaby to bring her babe asleep.

AARON
Madam, though Venus govern your desires,
Saturn is dominator over mine:
What signifies my deadly-standing eye,
My silence and my cloudy melancholy,
My fleece of woolly hair that now uncurls
Even as an adder when she doth unroll
To do some fatal execution?
No, madam, these are no venereal signs:
Vengeance is in my heart, death in my hand,
Blood and revenge are hammering in my head.
Hark Tamora, the empress of my soul,
Which never hopes more heaven than rests in thee,
This is the day of doom for Bassianus:
His Philomel must lose her tongue to-day,
Thy sons make pillage of her chastity
And wash their hands in Bassianus’ blood.
Seest thou this letter? take it up, I pray thee,
And give the king this fatal plotted scroll.
Now question me no more; we are espied;
Here comes a parcel of our hopeful booty,
Which dreads not yet their lives’ destruction.

TAMORA
Ah, my sweet Moor, sweeter to me than life!

AARON
No more, great empress; Bassianus comes:
Be cross with him; and I’ll go fetch thy sons
To back thy quarrels, whatsoe’er they be.

Exit

Enter BASSIANUS and LAVINIA

BASSIANUS
Who have we here? Rome’s royal empress,
Unfurnish’d of her well-beseeming troop?
Or is it Dian, habited like her,
Who hath abandoned her holy groves
To see the general hunting in this forest?

TAMORA
Saucy controller of our private steps!
Had I the power that some say Dian had,
Thy temples should be planted presently
With horns, as was Actaeon’s; and the hounds
Should drive upon thy new-transformed limbs,
Unmannerly intruder as thou art!

LAVINIA
Under your patience, gentle empress,
‘Tis thought you have a goodly gift in horning;
And to be doubted that your Moor and you
Are singled forth to try experiments:
Jove shield your husband from his hounds to-day!
‘Tis pity they should take him for a stag.

BASSIANUS
Believe me, queen, your swarth Cimmerian
Doth make your honour of his body’s hue,
Spotted, detested, and abominable.
Why are you sequester’d from all your train,
Dismounted from your snow-white goodly steed.
And wander’d hither to an obscure plot,
Accompanied but with a barbarous Moor,
If foul desire had not conducted you?

LAVINIA
And, being intercepted in your sport,
Great reason that my noble lord be rated
For sauciness. I pray you, let us hence,
And let her joy her raven-colour’d love;
This valley fits the purpose passing well.

BASSIANUS
The king my brother shall have note of this.

LAVINIA
Ay, for these slips have made him noted long:
Good king, to be so mightily abused!

TAMORA
Why have I patience to endure all this?

Enter DEMETRIUS and CHIRON

DEMETRIUS
How now, dear sovereign, and our gracious mother!
Why doth your highness look so pale and wan?

TAMORA
Have I not reason, think you, to look pale?
These two have ‘ticed me hither to this place:
A barren detested vale, you see it is;
The trees, though summer, yet forlorn and lean,
O’ercome with moss and baleful mistletoe:
Here never shines the sun; here nothing breeds,
Unless the nightly owl or fatal raven:
And when they show’d me this abhorred pit,
They told me, here, at dead time of the night,
A thousand fiends, a thousand hissing snakes,
Ten thousand swelling toads, as many urchins,
Would make such fearful and confused cries
As any mortal body hearing it
Should straight fall mad, or else die suddenly.
No sooner had they told this hellish tale,
But straight they told me they would bind me here
Unto the body of a dismal yew,
And leave me to this miserable death:
And then they call’d me foul adulteress,
Lascivious Goth, and all the bitterest terms
That ever ear did hear to such effect:
And, had you not by wondrous fortune come,
This vengeance on me had they executed.
Revenge it, as you love your mother’s life,
Or be ye not henceforth call’d my children.

DEMETRIUS
This is a witness that I am thy son.

Stabs BASSIANUS

CHIRON
And this for me, struck home to show my strength.

Also stabs BASSIANUS, who dies

LAVINIA
Ay, come, Semiramis, nay, barbarous Tamora,
For no name fits thy nature but thy own!

TAMORA
Give me thy poniard; you shall know, my boys
Your mother’s hand shall right your mother’s wrong.

DEMETRIUS
Stay, madam; here is more belongs to her;
First thrash the corn, then after burn the straw:
This minion stood upon her chastity,
Upon her nuptial vow, her loyalty,
And with that painted hope braves your mightiness:
And shall she carry this unto her grave?

CHIRON
An if she do, I would I were an eunuch.
Drag hence her husband to some secret hole,
And make his dead trunk pillow to our lust.

TAMORA
But when ye have the honey ye desire,
Let not this wasp outlive, us both to sting.

CHIRON
I warrant you, madam, we wil l make that sure.
Come, mistress, now perforce we will enjoy
That nice-preserved honesty of yours.

LAVINIA
O Tamora! thou bear’st a woman’s face,–

TAMORA
I will not hear her speak; away with her!

LAVINIA
Sweet lords, entreat her hear me but a word.

DEMETRIUS
Listen, fair madam: let it be your glory
To see her tears; but be your heart to them
As unrelenting flint to drops of rain.

LAVINIA
When did the tiger’s young ones teach the dam?
O, do not learn her wrath; she taught it thee;
The milk thou suck’dst from her did turn to marble;
Even at thy teat thou hadst thy tyranny.
Yet every mother breeds not sons alike:

To CHIRON

Do thou entreat her show a woman pity.

CHIRON
What, wouldst thou have me prove myself a bastard?

LAVINIA
‘Tis true; the raven doth not hatch a lark:
Yet have I heard,–O, could I find it now!–
The lion moved with pity did endure
To have his princely paws pared all away:
Some say that ravens foster forlorn children,
The whilst their own birds famish in their nests:
O, be to me, though thy hard heart say no,
Nothing so kind, but something pitiful!

TAMORA
I know not what it means; away with her!

LAVINIA
O, let me teach thee! for my father’s sake,
That gave thee life, when well he might have
slain thee,
Be not obdurate, open thy deaf ears.

TAMORA
Hadst thou in person ne’er offended me,
Even for his sake am I pitiless.
Remember, boys, I pour’d forth tears in vain,
To save your brother from the sacrifice;
But fierce Andronicus would not relent;
Therefore, away with her, and use her as you will,
The worse to her, the better loved of me.

LAVINIA
O Tamora, be call’d a gentle queen,
And with thine own hands kill me in this place!
For ’tis not life that I have begg’d so long;
Poor I was slain when Bassianus died.

TAMORA
What begg’st thou, then? fond woman, let me go.

LAVINIA
‘Tis present death I beg; and one thing more
That womanhood denies my tongue to tell:
O, keep me from their worse than killing lust,
And tumble me into some loathsome pit,
Where never man’s eye may behold my body:
Do this, and be a charitable murderer.

TAMORA
So should I rob my sweet sons of their fee:
No, let them satisfy their lust on thee.

DEMETRIUS
Away! for thou hast stay’d us here too long.

LAVINIA
No grace? no womanhood? Ah, beastly creature!
The blot and enemy to our general name!
Confusion fall–

CHIRON
Nay, then I’ll stop your mouth. Bring thou her husband:
This is the hole where Aaron bid us hide him.

DEMETRIUS throws the body of BASSIANUS into the pit; then exeunt DEMETRIUS and CHIRON, dragging off LAVINIA

TAMORA
Farewell, my sons: see that you make her sure.
Ne’er let my heart know merry cheer indeed,
Till all the Andronici be made away.
Now will I hence to seek my lovely Moor,
And let my spleenful sons this trull deflow’r.

Exit

Re-enter AARON, with QUINTUS and MARTIUS

AARON
Come on, my lords, the better foot before:
Straight will I bring you to the loathsome pit
Where I espied the panther fast asleep.

QUINTUS
My sight is very dull, whate’er it bodes.

MARTIUS
And mine, I promise you; were’t not for shame,
Well could I leave our sport to sleep awhile.

Falls into the pit

QUINTUS
What art thou fall’n? What subtle hole is this,
Whose mouth is cover’d with rude-growing briers,
Upon whose leaves are drops of new-shed blood
As fresh as morning dew distill’d on flowers?
A very fatal place it seems to me.
Speak, brother, hast thou hurt thee with the fall?

MARTIUS
O brother, with the dismall’st object hurt
That ever eye with sight made heart lament!

AARON
[Aside] Now will I fetch the king to find them here,
That he thereby may give a likely guess
How these were they that made away his brother.

Exit

MARTIUS
Why dost not comfort me, and help me out
From this unhallowed and blood-stained hole?

QUINTUS
I am surprised with an uncouth fear;
A chilling sweat o’er-runs my trembling joints:
My heart suspects more than mine eye can see.

MARTIUS
To prove thou hast a true-divining heart,
Aaron and thou look down into this den,
And see a fearful sight of blood and death.

QUINTUS
Aaron is gone; and my compassionate heart
Will not permit mine eyes once to behold
The thing whereat it trembles by surmise;
O, tell me how it is; for ne’er till now
Was I a child to fear I know not what.

MARTIUS
Lord Bassianus lies embrewed here,
All on a heap, like to a slaughter’d lamb,
In this detested, dark, blood-drinking pit.

QUINTUS
If it be dark, how dost thou know ’tis he?

MARTIUS
Upon his bloody finger he doth wear
A precious ring, that lightens all the hole,
Which, like a taper in some monument,
Doth shine upon the dead man’s earthy cheeks,
And shows the ragged entrails of the pit:
So pale did shine the moon on Pyramus
When he by night lay bathed in maiden blood.
O brother, help me with thy fainting hand–
If fear hath made thee faint, as me it hath–
Out of this fell devouring receptacle,
As hateful as Cocytus’ misty mouth.

QUINTUS
Reach me thy hand, that I may help thee out;
Or, wanting strength to do thee so much good,
I may be pluck’d into the swallowing womb
Of this deep pit, poor Bassianus’ grave.
I have no strength to pluck thee to the brink.

MARTIUS
Nor I no strength to climb without thy help.

QUINTUS
Thy hand once more; I will not loose again,
Till thou art here aloft, or I below:
Thou canst not come to me: I come to thee.

Falls in

Enter SATURNINUS with AARON

SATURNINUS
Along with me: I’ll see what hole is here,
And what he is that now is leap’d into it.
Say who art thou that lately didst descend
Into this gaping hollow of the earth?

MARTIUS
The unhappy son of old Andronicus:
Brought hither in a most unlucky hour,
To find thy brother Bassianus dead.

SATURNINUS
My brother dead! I know thou dost but jest:
He and his lady both are at the lodge
Upon the north side of this pleasant chase;
‘Tis not an hour since I left him there.

MARTIUS
We know not where you left him all alive;
But, out, alas! here have we found him dead.

Re-enter TAMORA, with Attendants; TITUS ANDRONICUS, and Lucius

TAMORA
Where is my lord the king?

SATURNINUS
Here, Tamora, though grieved with killing grief.

TAMORA
Where is thy brother Bassianus?

SATURNINUS
Now to the bottom dost thou search my wound:
Poor Bassianus here lies murdered.

TAMORA
Then all too late I bring this fatal writ,
The complot of this timeless tragedy;
And wonder greatly that man’s face can fold
In pleasing smiles such murderous tyranny.

She giveth SATURNINUS a letter

SATURNINUS
[Reads] ‘An if we miss to meet him handsomely–
Sweet huntsman, Bassianus ’tis we mean–
Do thou so much as dig the grave for him:
Thou know’st our meaning. Look for thy reward
Among the nettles at the elder-tree
Which overshades the mouth of that same pit
Where we decreed to bury Bassianus.
Do this, and purchase us thy lasting friends.’
O Tamora! was ever heard the like?
This is the pit, and this the elder-tree.
Look, sirs, if you can find the huntsman out
That should have murdered Bassianus here.

AARON
My gracious lord, here is the bag of gold.

SATURNINUS
[To TITUS] Two of thy whelps, fell curs of
bloody kind,
Have here bereft my brother of his life.
Sirs, drag them from the pit unto the prison:
There let them bide until we have devised
Some never-heard-of torturing pain for them.

TAMORA
What, are they in this pit? O wondrous thing!
How easily murder is discovered!

TITUS ANDRONICUS
High emperor, upon my feeble knee
I beg this boon, with tears not lightly shed,
That this fell fault of my accursed sons,
Accursed if the fault be proved in them,–

SATURNINUS
If it be proved! you see it is apparent.
Who found this letter? Tamora, was it you?

TAMORA
Andronicus himself did take it up.

TITUS ANDRONICUS
I did, my lord: yet let me be their bail;
For, by my father’s reverend tomb, I vow
They shall be ready at your highness’ will
To answer their suspicion with their lives.

SATURNINUS
Thou shalt not bail them: see thou follow me.
Some bring the murder’d body, some the murderers:
Let them not speak a word; the guilt is plain;
For, by my soul, were there worse end than death,
That end upon them should be executed.

TAMORA
Andronicus, I will entreat the king;
Fear not thy sons; they shall do well enough.

TITUS ANDRONICUS
Come, Lucius, come; stay not to talk with them.

Exeunt

SCENE IV. Another part of the forest.

Enter DEMETRIUS and CHIRON with LAVINIA, ravished; her hands cut off, and her tongue cut out
DEMETRIUS
So, now go tell, an if thy tongue can speak,
Who ’twas that cut thy tongue and ravish’d thee.

CHIRON
Write down thy mind, bewray thy meaning so,
An if thy stumps will let thee play the scribe.

DEMETRIUS
See, how with signs and tokens she can scrowl.

CHIRON
Go home, call for sweet water, wash thy hands.

DEMETRIUS
She hath no tongue to call, nor hands to wash;
And so let’s leave her to her silent walks.

CHIRON
An ’twere my case, I should go hang myself.

DEMETRIUS
If thou hadst hands to help thee knit the cord.

Exeunt DEMETRIUS and CHIRON

Enter MARCUS

MARCUS
Who is this? my niece, that flies away so fast!
Cousin, a word; where is your husband?
If I do dream, would all my wealth would wake me!
If I do wake, some planet strike me down,
That I may slumber in eternal sleep!
Speak, gentle niece, what stern ungentle hands
Have lopp’d and hew’d and made thy body bare
Of her two branches, those sweet ornaments,
Whose circling shadows kings have sought to sleep in,
And might not gain so great a happiness
As have thy love? Why dost not speak to me?
Alas, a crimson river of warm blood,
Like to a bubbling fountain stirr’d with wind,
Doth rise and fall between thy rosed lips,
Coming and going with thy honey breath.
But, sure, some Tereus hath deflowered thee,
And, lest thou shouldst detect him, cut thy tongue.
Ah, now thou turn’st away thy face for shame!
And, notwithstanding all this loss of blood,
As from a conduit with three issuing spouts,
Yet do thy cheeks look red as Titan’s face
Blushing to be encountered with a cloud.
Shall I speak for thee? shall I say ’tis so?
O, that I knew thy heart; and knew the beast,
That I might rail at him, to ease my mind!
Sorrow concealed, like an oven stopp’d,
Doth burn the heart to cinders where it is.
Fair Philomela, she but lost her tongue,
And in a tedious sampler sew’d her mind:
But, lovely niece, that mean is cut from thee;
A craftier Tereus, cousin, hast thou met,
And he hath cut those pretty fingers off,
That could have better sew’d than Philomel.
O, had the monster seen those lily hands
Tremble, like aspen-leaves, upon a lute,
And make the silken strings delight to kiss them,
He would not then have touch’d them for his life!
Or, had he heard the heavenly harmony
Which that sweet tongue hath made,
He would have dropp’d his knife, and fell asleep
As Cerberus at the Thracian poet’s feet.
Come, let us go, and make thy father blind;
For such a sight will blind a father’s eye:
One hour’s storm will drown the fragrant meads;
What will whole months of tears thy father’s eyes?
Do not draw back, for we will mourn with thee
O, could our mourning ease thy misery!

Exeunt