William Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus in the complete original text.
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Titus Andronicus

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Act II. Scene IV.

Scene IV.—Another Part of the Forest.

Enter DEMETRIUS and CHIRON, with
LAVINIA, ravish'd; her hands cut off, and
her tongue cut out.

Dem. So, now go tell, an if thy tongue can
Who 'twas that cut thy tongue and ravisll'd
Chi. Write down thy mind, bewray thy mean
ing so;
An if thy stumps will let thee play the scribe.
Dem. See, how with signs and tokens she can
Chi. Go home, call for sweet water, wash thy
Dem. She hath no tongue to call, nor hands
to wash;
And so let's leave her to her silent walks.
Chi. An 'twere my case, I should go hang
Dem. If thou hadst hands to help thee knit
the cord.

Mar. Who's 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
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 deflower'd thee,
And, lest thou shouldst detect him, cut thy
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 encounter'd 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 to 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 hast thou met withal,
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
He would not, then, have touch'd them for his
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
Do not draw back, for we will mourn with thee:
O! could our mourning ease thy misery.
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