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Titus Andronicus

Titus Andronicus Translation Act 5, Scene 2

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Enter TAMORA, DEMETRIUS, and CHIRON, disguised

TAMORA

Thus, in this strange and sad habiliment, I will encounter with Andronicus, And say I am Revenge, sent from below To join with him and right his heinous wrongs. Knock at his study, where, they say, he keeps, To ruminate strange plots of dire revenge; Tell him Revenge is come to join with him, And work confusion on his enemies.

TAMORA

So, I’ll go to Titus dressed in this strange costume, and tell him I am Revenge, sent from below to help him right his terrible wrongs. I’ll knock at the door to his study—which is where he spends most of his time, they say, plotting ways to take revenge—and tell him Revenge has come to help him destroy his enemies.

They knock

Enter TITUS, above

TITUS ANDRONICUS

Who doth molest my contemplation? Is it your trick to make me ope the door, That so my sad decrees may fly away, And all my study be to no effect? You are deceived: for what I mean to do See here in bloody lines I have set down; And what is written shall be executed.

TITUS ANDRONICUS

Who’s bothering me? Are you trying to make me open the door, so that I’ll lose my resolve and all my work will come to nothing? You’re wrong if you think that will happen—for I’ve written my plan on this paper in blood, and what is written will be done.

TAMORA

Titus, I am come to talk with thee.

TAMORA

Titus, I've come to talk with you.

TITUS ANDRONICUS

No, not a word; how can I grace my talk,Wanting a hand to give it action?Thou hast the odds of me; therefore no more.

TITUS ANDRONICUS

No, I won’t hear it. How can I talk, since I lack a hand to accompany my words with appropriate gestures? You’ve gotten the better of me, so don’t say anything else.

TAMORA

If thou didst know me, thou wouldest talk with me.

TAMORA

If you knew who I was, you'd talk to me. 

TITUS ANDRONICUS

I am not mad; I know thee well enough: Witness this wretched stump, witness these crimson lines; Witness these trenches made by grief and care, Witness the tiring day and heavy night; Witness all sorrow, that I know thee well For our proud empress, mighty Tamora: Is not thy coming for my other hand?

TITUS ANDRONICUS

I’m not crazy; I know who you are. By my poor stump, these lines of blood, these lines of grief on my face, my exhausted days and heavy nights, and all my suffering, I know that you’re our proud empress, mighty Tamora. Have you come for my other hand?

TAMORA

Know, thou sad man, I am not Tamora; She is thy enemy, and I thy friend: I am Revenge: sent from the infernal kingdom, To ease the gnawing vulture of thy mind, By working wreakful vengeance on thy foes. Come down, and welcome me to this world's light; Confer with me of murder and of death: There's not a hollow cave or lurking-place, No vast obscurity or misty vale, Where bloody murder or detested rape Can couch for fear, but I will find them out; And in their ears tell them my dreadful name, Revenge, which makes the foul offender quake.

TAMORA

You sad man, I’m not Tamora. She’s your enemy, and I’m your friend. I am Revenge, sent from hell to ease your mind, vulture-like in the way it gnaws at you, by taking bloody vengeance on your enemies. Come down, and welcome me to this world; talk to me about murder and death. There isn’t a hollow cave, secret hideaway, obscure place, or misty valley where they can hide that I won’t find them. I’ll whisper  “Revenge" in their ears, and the criminals will quake with fear.

TITUS ANDRONICUS

Art thou Revenge? and art thou sent to me,To be a torment to mine enemies?

TITUS ANDRONICUS

Are you Revenge? And have you been sent to me to torture my enemies?

TAMORA

I am; therefore come down, and welcome me.

TAMORA

I am; so come down and welcome me.

TITUS ANDRONICUS

Do me some service, ere I come to thee. Lo, by thy side where Rape and Murder stands; Now give me some surance that thou art Revenge, Stab them, or tear them on thy chariot-wheels; And then I'll come and be thy waggoner, And whirl along with thee about the globe. Provide thee two proper palfreys, black as jet, To hale thy vengeful waggon swift away, And find out murderers in their guilty caves: And when thy car is loaden with their heads, I will dismount, and by the waggon-wheel Trot, like a servile footman, all day long, Even from Hyperion's rising in the east Until his very downfall in the sea: And day by day I'll do this heavy task, So thou destroy Rapine and Murder there.

TITUS ANDRONICUS

Do something for me before I come to you. I see that Rape and Murder stand by your side; to prove that you really are Revenge, stab them or crush them under the wheels of your chariot. Then I’ll come and be your charioteer, and travel with you around the globe. I’ll give you two black horses to pull your wagon of revenge as you find the murderers in their guilty caves; and when the cart is loaded with their heads, I’ll dismount and trot alongside your wheel like a slavish footman all day long, from when the sun rises in the east until it falls into the sea. And I’ll do this hard task every day, if you destroy Rape and Murder there.

TAMORA

These are my ministers, and come with me.

TAMORA

These are my agents, and come with me wherever I go.

TITUS ANDRONICUS

Are these thy ministers? what are they call'd?

TITUS ANDRONICUS

Are these your agents? What are their names? 

TAMORA

Rapine and Murder; therefore called so,Cause they take vengeance of such kind of men.

TAMORA

They’re called Rape and Murder because they take revenge on rapists and murderers.

TITUS ANDRONICUS

Good Lord, how like the empress' sons they are! And you, the empress! but we worldly men Have miserable, mad, mistaking eyes. O sweet Revenge, now do I come to thee; And, if one arm's embracement will content thee, I will embrace thee in it by and by.

TITUS ANDRONICUS

Good Lord, they look a lot like the empress’s sons! And you look like the empress! But we mortal men have miserable, mad eyes that are easy to deceive. Oh, sweet Revenge, now I’ll come to you; and, if you can be happy with a one-armed embrace, I’ll embrace you soon.

Exit above

TAMORA

This closing with him fits his lunacy Whate'er I forge to feed his brain-sick fits, Do you uphold and maintain in your speeches, For now he firmly takes me for Revenge; And, being credulous in this mad thought, I'll make him send for Lucius his son; And, whilst I at a banquet hold him sure, I'll find some cunning practise out of hand, To scatter and disperse the giddy Goths, Or, at the least, make them his enemies. See, here he comes, and I must ply my theme.

TAMORA

[To CHIRON and DEMETRIUS] Since he’s crazy, I’ll just keep agreeing with him. Whatever I come up with, just support my story in whatever you say—for now he thinks I’m Revenge. And, since he’ll be easy to deceive now, I’ll make him bring his son Lucius to his house. And during the banquet, I’ll find some cunning way to destroy the Goth army, or at least to make them turn against him. Look, here he comes; I have to keep this up.

Enter TITUS below

TITUS ANDRONICUS

Long have I been forlorn, and all for thee: Welcome, dread Fury, to my woful house: Rapine and Murder, you are welcome too. How like the empress and her sons you are! Well are you fitted, had you but a Moor: Could not all hell afford you such a devil? For well I wot the empress never wags But in her company there is a Moor; And, would you represent our queen aright, It were convenient you had such a devil: But welcome, as you are. What shall we do?

TITUS ANDRONICUS

I’ve been waiting for you for a long time. Welcome to my sad house, dreaded Fury; Rape and Murder, you’re welcome here, too. You look so much like the empress and her sons! You would look even more like them if you had a Moor with you—couldn’t you find such a devil in hell? For I know that the empress doesn’t go anywhere without a Moor, and if you’re trying to look like her, it would be convenient to have a devil like that. But you’re welcome just as you are. What should we do?

TAMORA

What wouldst thou have us do, Andronicus?

TAMORA

What do you want us to do, Andronicus?

DEMETRIUS

Show me a murderer, I'll deal with him.

DEMETRIUS

Show me a murderer, I'll deal with him.

CHIRON

Show me a villain that hath done a rape,And I am sent to be revenged on him.

CHIRON

Show me a villain that's raped someone, and I'm here to take revenge on him.

TAMORA

Show me a thousand that have done thee wrong,And I will be revenged on them all.

TAMORA

If you show me a thousand people who have wronged you, I'll take revenge on all of them. 

TITUS ANDRONICUS

Look round about the wicked streets of Rome; And when thou find'st a man that's like thyself. Good Murder, stab him; he's a murderer. Go thou with him; and when it is thy hap To find another that is like to thee, Good Rapine, stab him; he's a ravisher. Go thou with them; and in the emperor's court There is a queen, attended by a Moor; Well mayst thou know her by thy own proportion, for up and down she doth resemble thee: I pray thee, do on them some violent death; They have been violent to me and mine.

TITUS ANDRONICUS

Look around the wicked streets of Rome, and when you find a man that looks like you, good Murder, stab him, for he’s a murderer. Go with him, good Rape, and when you find someone who looks like you, stab him, for he’s a rapist.

[To TAMORA] Go with them, and in the emperor’s court there’s a queen served by a Moor—you’ll recognize her, since she looks exactly like you. I beg you, give them both a violent death, for they’ve been violent to me and my family.

TAMORA

Well hast thou lesson'd us; this shall we do. But would it please thee, good Andronicus, To send for Lucius, thy thrice-valiant son, Who leads towards Rome a band of warlike Goths, And bid him come and banquet at thy house; When he is here, even at thy solemn feast, I will bring in the empress and her sons, The emperor himself and all thy foes; And at thy mercy shalt they stoop and kneel, And on them shalt thou ease thy angry heart. What says Andronicus to this device?

TAMORA

You’ve told us well; we’ll do it. But wouldn’t it be nice, good Andronicus, to send a message to your brave son Lucius—who is coming towards Rome with an army of Goths—and invite him to come for a banquet at your house? And when he’s here at this feast, I’ll bring the empress and her sons, the emperor himself, and all your enemies. They’ll kneel before you and beg for mercy, and you can do what you want with them. What do you think of this plan?

TITUS ANDRONICUS

Marcus, my brother! 'tis sad Titus calls.

TITUS ANDRONICUS

Marcus, my brother! Sad Titus is calling for you.

Enter MARCUS

TITUS ANDRONICUS

Go, gentle Marcus, to thy nephew Lucius; Thou shalt inquire him out among the Goths: Bid him repair to me, and bring with him Some of the chiefest princes of the Goths; Bid him encamp his soldiers where they are: Tell him the emperor and the empress too Feast at my house, and he shall feast with them. This do thou for my love; and so let him, As he regards his aged father's life.

TITUS ANDRONICUS

Go to your nephew Lucius, gentle Marcus, and tell him to come to my house, bringing some of the Goth princes with him. Ask him to leave his army where they are; tell him the emperor and the empress are also coming for a banquet at my house, and he’ll feast with them. Do this out of love for me, and tell him to come out of love and respect for his old father.

MARCUS ANDRONICUS

This will I do, and soon return again.

MARCUS ANDRONICUS

I'll do it, and return soon.

Exit

TAMORA

Now will I hence about thy business,And take my ministers along with me.

TAMORA

Now I’ll go and take revenge for you, bringing my agents with me.

TITUS ANDRONICUS

Nay, nay, let Rape and Murder stay with me;Or else I'll call my brother back again,And cleave to no revenge but Lucius.

TITUS ANDRONICUS

No, no, let Rape and Murder stay with me. Or else I’ll call my brother back again, and I’ll count on Lucius to take revenge for me.

TAMORA

[Aside to her sons] What say you, boys? will you bide with him, Whiles I go tell my lord the emperor How I have govern'd our determined jest? Yield to his humour, smooth and speak him fair, And tarry with him till I turn again.

TAMORA

[To her sons, so that only they can hear] What do you think, boys? Will you stay with him while I go tell my husband the emperor how I’ve handled this new joke? Play along, be nice, and stay with him until I return again.

TITUS ANDRONICUS

[Aside] I know them all, though they suppose me mad,And will o'erreach them in their own devices:A pair of cursed hell-hounds and their dam!

TITUS ANDRONICUS

[To himself] I know who they are, although they think I’m crazy. I’ll beat them at their own game, this pair of cursed hell-dogs and their mother!

DEMETRIUS

Madam, depart at pleasure; leave us here.

DEMETRIUS

Madam, go whenever you want; leave us here.

TAMORA

Farewell, Andronicus: Revenge now goesTo lay a complot to betray thy foes.

TAMORA

Goodbye, Andronicus; Revenge is going now to lay a plot against your enemies.

TITUS ANDRONICUS

I know thou dost; and, sweet Revenge, farewell.

TITUS ANDRONICUS

I know you are. Sweet Revenge, goodbye. 

Exit TAMORA

CHIRON

Tell us, old man, how shall we be employ'd?

CHIRON

Tell us, old man, what should we do?

TITUS ANDRONICUS

Tut, I have work enough for you to do.Publius, come hither, Caius, and Valentine!

TITUS ANDRONICUS

Oh, I have enough work for you to do. Publius, Caius, and Valentine, come here!

Enter PUBLIUS and others

PUBLIUS

What is your will?

PUBLIUS

What do you want us to do?

TITUS ANDRONICUS

Know you these two?

TITUS ANDRONICUS

Do you know these two?

PUBLIUS

The empress' sons, I take them, Chiron and Demetrius.

PUBLIUS

They're the empress's sons, Chiron and Demetrius.

TITUS ANDRONICUS

Fie, Publius, fie! thou art too much deceived; The one is Murder, Rape is the other's name; And therefore bind them, gentle Publius. Caius and Valentine, lay hands on them. Oft have you heard me wish for such an hour, And now I find it; therefore bind them sure, And stop their mouths, if they begin to cry.

TITUS ANDRONICUS

Oh, Publius, you’re wrong. One is Murder, and the other’s name is Rape. So put them in chains, gentle Publius; restrain them, Caius and Valentine. You’ve often heard me wish for this moment, and now it’s here, so make sure they’re bound tightly. Gag them if they start to cry out.

Exit

PUBLIUS, & c. lay hold on CHIRON and DEMETRIUS

CHIRON

Villains, forbear! we are the empress' sons.

CHIRON

Stop, villains! We are the empress's sons.

PUBLIUS

And therefore do we what we are commanded.Stop close their mouths, let them not speak a word.Is he sure bound? look that you bind them fast.

PUBLIUS

And so we’ll do what we’re told. Gag them, don’t let them speak a word. Is he tightly bound? Make sure they can’t escape.

Re-enter TITUS, with LAVINIA; he bearing a knife, and she a basin

TITUS ANDRONICUS

Come, come, Lavinia; look, thy foes are bound. Sirs, stop their mouths, let them not speak to me; But let them hear what fearful words I utter. O villains, Chiron and Demetrius! Here stands the spring whom you have stain'd with mud, This goodly summer with your winter mix'd. You kill'd her husband, and for that vile fault Two of her brothers were condemn'd to death, My hand cut off and made a merry jest; Both her sweet hands, her tongue, and that more dear Than hands or tongue, her spotless chastity, Inhuman traitors, you constrain'd and forced. What would you say, if I should let you speak? Villains, for shame you could not beg for grace. Hark, wretches! how I mean to martyr you. This one hand yet is left to cut your throats, Whilst that Lavinia 'tween her stumps doth hold The basin that receives your guilty blood. You know your mother means to feast with me, And calls herself Revenge, and thinks me mad: Hark, villains! I will grind your bones to dust And with your blood and it I'll make a paste, And of the paste a coffin I will rear And make two pasties of your shameful heads, And bid that strumpet, your unhallow'd dam, Like to the earth swallow her own increase. This is the feast that I have bid her to, And this the banquet she shall surfeit on; For worse than Philomel you used my daughter, And worse than Progne I will be revenged: And now prepare your throats. Lavinia, come,

TITUS ANDRONICUS

Come, come, Lavinia; see, your enemies are in chains. Men, stop them from talking, I don’t want to hear it. But I want them to hear every word I say. Oh villains, Chiron and Demetrius! Here is the fountain you’ve stained with mud, the lovely summer you’ve mixed with your winter. You killed her husband, and for that vile crime two of her brothers were condemned to death, and my hand was cut off and made into a joke. You cut off her sweet hands and her tongue. And worse than that, inhuman traitors, you took something from her more precious than hands or tongue—you raped her. What would you say, if I let you speak? Villains, you’d be ashamed to beg for mercy. Listen, miserable criminals! This is how I mean to kill you. I still have one hand left to cut your throats, while Lavinia holds between her stumps the basin that will receive your guilty blood. You know that your mother means to dine with me, and calls herself Revenge, and thinks that I’m crazy. Listen, villains! I’ll grind your bones to dust, and with your blood and that dust I’ll make a paste, and of that paste I’ll make two pies out of your shameful heads. And then I’ll tell that whore, your unholy mother, to eat you and swallow her own children. This is the feast I’ve prepared for her, and this is the food she’ll eat. For you treated my daughter worse than Philomel, and I’ll be revenged worse than Progne. And now prepare your throats. Lavinia, come,

He cuts their throats

Receive the blood: and when that they are dead, Let me go grind their bones to powder small And with this hateful liquor temper it; And in that paste let their vile heads be baked. Come, come, be every one officious To make this banquet; which I wish may prove More stern and bloody than the Centaurs' feast. So, now bring them in, for I'll play the cook, And see them ready 'gainst their mother comes.

catch the blood. And when they’re dead, I’ll go grind their bones to a fine powder, and mix it with their hateful blood. And then their vile heads will be baked in that paste. Come, come, everyone do your part in preparing this banquet, which I hope will be more bloody and cruel than the Centaurs' feast. So, now bring them in, for I’ll be the cook, and make sure they’re ready for when their mother comes.

Exeunt, bearing the dead bodies

Titus andronicus
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Eve houghton
About the Translator: Eve Houghton

Eve Houghton graduated from Yale College in 2017 and is currently pursuing the MPhil in Renaissance Literature at the University of Cambridge. In 2018, she will return to Yale to begin her PhD in English. Her research interests include early modern commonplace books and note-taking practices, paratexts, reception studies, and the history of reading.