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

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Act IV. Scene III.

Scene III.—The Same. A Public Place.

Enter TITUS, bearing arrows, with letters on
the ends of them; with him MARCUS, young
CAIUS, and other Gentlemen, with bow's.

Tit. Come, Marcus, come; kinsmen, this is
the way.
Sir boy, now let me see your archery:
Look ye draw home enough, and 'tis there
Terras Astrœa reliquit:
Be you remember'd, Marcus, she's gone, she's
Sirs, take you to your tools. You, cousins, shall
Go sound the ocean, and cast your nets;
Happily you may find her in the sea;
Yet there's as little justice as at land.
No; Publius and Sempronius, you must do it;
'Tis you must dig with mattock and with spade,
And pierce the inmost centre of the earth:
Then, when you come to Pluto's region,
I pray you, deliver him this petition;
Tell him, it is for justice and for aid,
And that it comes from old Andronicus,
Shaken with sorrows in ungrateful Rome.
Ah! Rome. Well, well; I made thee miserable
What time I threw the people's suffrages
On him that thus doth tyrannize o'er me.
Go, get you gone; and pray be careful all,
And leave you not a man-of-war unsearch'd:
This wicked emperor may have shipp'd her
And, kinsmen, then we may go pipe for justice.
Mar. O Publius! is not this a heavy case,
To see thy noble uncle thus distract?
Pub. Therefore, my lord, it highly us con-
By day and night to attend him carefully,
And feed his humour kindly as we may,
Till time beget some careful remedy.
Mar. Kinsmen, his sorrows are past remedy.
Join with the Goths, and with revengeful war
Take wreak on Rome for this ingratitude,
And vengeance on the traitor Saturnine.
Tit. Publius, how now! how now, my masters!
What! have you met with her?
Pub. No, my good lord; but Pluto sends you
If you will have Revenge from hell, you shall:
Marry, for Justice, she is so employ'd,
He thinks, with Jove in heaven, or somewhere
So that perforce you must needs stay a time.
Tit. He doth me wrong to feed me with
I'll dive into the burning lake below,
And pull her out of Acheron by the heels.
Marcus, we are but shrubs, no cedars we;
No big-bon'd men fram'd of the Cyclops' size;
But metal, Marcus, steel to the very back,
Yet wrung with wrongs more than our backs
can bear:
And sith there's no justice in earth nor hell,
We will solicit heaven and move the gods
To send down Justice for to wreak our wrongs.
Come, to this gear. You are a good archer,
Marcus. [He gives them the arrows.
Ad Jovem, that's for you: here, ad Apollinem:
Ad Martem, that's for myself:
Here, boy, to Pallas: here, to Mercury:
To Saturn, Caius, not to Saturnine;
You were as good to shoot against the wind.
To it, boy! Marcus, loose when I bid.
Of my word, I have written to effect;
There's not a god left unsolicited.
Mar. Kinsmen, shoot all your shafts into the
We will afflict the emperor in his pride.
Tit. Now, masters, draw. [They shoot.] O!
well said, Lucius!
Good boy, in Virgo's lap: give it Pallas.
Mar. My lord, I aim a mile beyond the moon;
Your letter is with Jupiter by this.
Tit. Ha! Publius, Publius, what hast thou
See, see! thou hast shot off one of Taurus' horns.
Mar. This was the sport, my lord: when
Publius shot,
The Bull, being gall'd, gave Aries such a knock
That down fell both the Ram's horns in the
And who should find them but the empress'
She laugh'd, and told the Moor, he should not
But give them to his master for a present.
Tit. Why, there it goes: God give his lord-
ship joy!

Enter a Clown, with a basket, and two pigeons
in it.
News! news from heaven! Marcus, the post is
Sirrah, what tidings? have you any letters?
Shall I have justice? what says Jupiter?
Clo. O! the gibbet-maker? He says that he
hath taken them down again, for the man must
not be hanged till the next week.
Tit. But what says Jupiter, I ask thee?
Clo. Alas! sir, I know not Jupiter; I never
drank with him in all my life.
Tit. Why, villain, art not thou the carrier?
Clo. Ay, of my pigeons, sir; nothing else.
Tit. Why, didst thou not come from heaven?
Clo. From heaven! alas! sir, I never came
there. God forbid I should be so bold to press
to heaven in my young days. Why, I am going
with my pigeons to the tribunal plebs, to take up
a matter of brawl betwixt my uncle and one of
the emperial's men.
Mar. Why, sir, that is as fit as can be to serve
for your oration; and let him deliver the pigeons
to the emperor from you.
Tit. Tell me, can you deliver an oration to the
emperor with a grace?
Clo. Nay, truly, sir, I could never say grace in
all my life.
Tit. Sirrah, come hither: make no more ado,
But give your pigeons to the emperor:
By me thou shalt have justice at his hands.
Hold, hold; meanwhile, here's money for thy
Give me pen and ink.
Sirrah, can you with a grace deliver a suppli-
Clo. Ay, sir.
Tit. Then here is a supplication for you.
And when you come to him, at the first ap-
proach you must kneel; then kiss his foot; then
deliver up your pigeons; and then look for your
reward. I'll be at hand, sir; see you do it bravely.
Clo. I warrant you, sir; let me alone.
Tit. Sirrah, hast thou a knife? Come, let me
see it.
Here, Marcus, fold it in the oration;
For thou hast made it like a humble suppliant:
And when thou hast given it to the emperor,
Knock at my door, and tell me what he says.
Clo. God be with you, sir; I will.
Tit. Come, Marcus, let us go. Publius, follow
me. [Exeunt.
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