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Lav. 'Tis present death I beg; and one thing


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.

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

Dem. Away; for thou hast staid us here too long. Lav. No grace? no womanhood? Ah beastly creature!

The blot and enemy to our general name!

Confusion fall

Chi. Nay, then I'll stop your mouth:-Bring thou

her husband;

[Dragging off Lavinia.

This is the hole where Aaron bid us hide him.

[Exeunt. Tam. Farewel, my sons: see, that you make her


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 deflour. [Exit.



Enter Aaron, with Quintus and Martius.

Aar. Come on, my lords; the better foot be


Straight will I bring you to the loathsome pit,
Where I espy'd the panther fast asleep.

Quin. My sight is very dull, whate'er it bodes. Mart. And mine, I promise you; wer't not for


Well could I leave our sport to sleep a-while.

[Martius falls into the pit. Quin. What, art thou fallen? What subtle hole

is this,

Whose mouth is cover'd with rude-growing briars;
Upon whose leaves are drops of new-shed blood,
As fresh as morning's dew distill'd on flowers?
A very fatal place it seems to me:-

Speak, brother, hast thou hurt thee with the fall?
Mart. O, brother, with the dismallest object
That ever eye, with sight, made heart lament.
Aar. [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 Aaron. Mart Why dost not comfort me, and help me


From this unhallow'd and blood-stained hole?
Quin. I am surprized with an uncouth fear:
A chilling sweat o'er-runs my trembling joints;
My heart suspects more than mine eye can see.
Mart. 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.

Quin. 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.

Mart. Lord Bassianus lies embrewed here,
All on a heap, like to a slaughter'd lamb,
In this detested, dark, blood-drinking pit.
Quin. If it be dark, how dost thou know 'tis he?
Mart. 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 this pit:
So pale did shine the moon on Pyramus,
When he by night lay bath'd 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.

Quin. Reach me thy hand, that I may help thee


Or, wanting strength to do thee so much good,


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. Mart. Nor I no strength to climb without thy


Quin. 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 and Aaron.

Sat. 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?

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

Sat. 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.

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

Enter Tamora, with Attendants; Titus Andronicus, and Lucius.

Tam. Where is my lord, the king?

Sat. Here, Tamora; though griev'd with killing


Tam. Where is thy brother Bassianus?

Sat. Now to the bottom dost thou search my


Poor Bassianus here lies murdered.

Tam. Then all too late I bring this fatal writ,

[Giving a letter.

The complot of this timeless tragedy;

And wonder greatly, that man's face can fold

In pleasing smiles such murderous tyranny.

Sat. [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 murder'd Bassianus here.
Aar. My gracious lord, here is the bag of gold.
[Showing it.
Sat. Two of thy whelps, [To Tit.] 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 devis'd
Some never-heard-of torturing pain for them.
Tam. What, are they in this pit? O wondrous

How easily murder is discovered!

Tit. 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 prov'd in them,

Sat. If it be prov'd! you see, it is apparent. Who found this letter? Tamora, was it you? Tam. Andronicus himself did take it up. Tit. 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,

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