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Act 11Sc. 4.

London Published by FC&J Rivington, and venee. Feb 1823

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 out 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 t; 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 ring3, 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.

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Quin. Reach me thy hand, that I may help thee out; Or, wanting strength to do thee so much good,

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3 A precious ring,] There is supposed to be a gem called a car. buncle, which emits not reflected but native light. Mr. Boyle believes the reality of its existence. JOHNSON.

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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.

Mart. Nor I no strength to climb without thy help. 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.


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 grief. Tam. Where is thy brother Bassianus ?

Sat. Now to the bottom dost thou search my wound; Poor Bassianus here lies murdered.

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

The complot of this timeless1 tragedy;

[Giving a Letter.

And wonder greatly, that man's face can fold

In pleasing smiles such murderous tyranny.

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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 knowest 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 TrT.] fell curs of bloody


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 wond'rous thing! How easily murder is discover'd!

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 proved in them,

Sat. If it be proved! 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,
To answer their suspicion with their lives.

Sat. 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.

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