Obrázky na stránke

Omn. And, as he saith, so say we all with him.
Luc. I humbly thank him, and I thank you

all, But who comes here, led by a lusty Goth ?

Enter a Goth, leading AARON, with his Child in his

Arms Goth. Renowned Lucius, from our troops I stray'd, To gaze upon a ruinous monastery; And as I earnestly did fix mine eye Upon the wasted building, suddenly I heard a child cry underneath a wall : I made unto the noise ; when soon I heard The crying babe control'd with this discourse : Peace, tawny slave; half me, and half thy dam! Did not thy hué bewray whose brat thou art, Had nature lent thee but thy mother's look, Villain thou might'st have been an emperor:

But where the bull and cow are both milk-white,
They never do beget a coal-black calf.
Peace, villain, peace l-even thus he rates the babe,-.
For I must bear thee to a trusty Goth;
Who, when he knows thou art the emperess' babe,
Will hold thee dearly for thy mother's sake.
With this, my weapon drawn, I rush'd upon him,
Surpris'd' him suddenly; and brought him hither,
To use as you think needful of the man.

Luc. O worthy Goth! this is the incarnate devil,
That robb'd Andronicus of his good hand :
This is the pearl that pleas'd your emperess' eye ;
And here's the base fruit of his burning lust.-

Say, wall-ey'd slave, whither would'st thou convey
This growing image of thy fiend-like face?
Why dost not speak ? What! deaf? No! not a

word ?
A halter, soldiers ; hang him on this tree,
And by his side his fruit of bastardy.

Aar. Touch not the boy, he is of royal blood.

Luc. Too like the sire for ever being good. 50
First hang the child, that he may see it sprawl;
A sight to vex the father's soul withal.
Get me a ladder.

Aar. Lucius, save the child;
And bear it from me to the emperess.
If thou do this, I'll show thee wondrous things,
That highly may advantage thee to hear :
If thou wilt not, befall what may befall,
I'll speak no more ;

vengeance rot


all! Luc. Say on ; and, if it please me which thou speak'st,

Co Thy child shall live, and I will see it nourish'd. Aar. An if it please thee ? why, assure thee,

Lucius, "Twill vex thy soul to hear what I shall speak; For I must talk of murders, rapes, and massacres, Acts of black night, abominable deeds, Complots of mischief, treason; villanies Ruthful to hear, yet piteously perform'd: And this shall all be buried by my death, Unless thou swear to me, my child shall live. 69 Luc. Tell on thy mind; I say, thy child shall live.



Aar. Swear, that he shall, and then I will begin. Luc. Who should I swear by thou believ'st no

That granted, how can'st thou believe an oath?

Aar. What if I do not ; as, indeed, I do not;
Yet,-for I know thou art religious,
And hast a thing within thee, called conscience ;
With twenty popish tricks and ceremonies,
Which I have seen thee careful to observe,-
Therefore I urge thy oath ;-For that, I know,
An ideot holds his bauble for a god,

And keeps the oath, which by that god he swears ;
To that I'll urge him :-Therefore, thou shalt vow
By that same god, what god soe'er it be,
That thou ador'st and hast in reverence,
To save my boy, nourish, and bring him up ;
Or else I will discover nought to thee.

Luc. Even by my god, I swear to thee, I will.
Aar. First, know thou, I begot him on the em-

Luc. O most insatiate, luxurious woman!

Aar. Tut, Lucius! this was but a deed of charity, To that which thou shalt hear of me anon. 91 'Twas her two sons, that murder'd Bassianus: They cut thy sister's tongue, and ravish'd her, And cut her hands off ; and trimm'd her as thou

saw'st. .Luc. O, detestable villain ! call'st thou that trimming ?


Aar. Why, she was wash'd, and out, and trimm'd;

and 'twas
Trim sport for them that had the doing of it.

Luc. O, barbarous beastly villains, like thyself!

Aar. Indeed, I was the tutor to instruct them :
That codding spirit had they from their mother, 100
As sure a card as ever won the set;
That bloody mind, I think, they learn'd of me,
As true a dog as ever fought at head.-
Well, let my deeds be witness of my worth.
I train'd thy brethren to that guileful hole,
Where the dead corps of Bassianus lay:
I wrote the letter that thy father found,
And hid the gold within the letter mention'd,
Confederate with the queen, and her two sons :
And what not done, that thou hast cause to rue, 110
Wherein I had no stroke of mischief in it?
I play'd the cheater for thy father's hand;
And, when I had it, drew myself apart,
And almost broke my heart with extreme laughter
I pry'd me through the crevice of a wall,
When, for his hạnd, he had his two son's heads ;
Beheld his tears, and laugh'd so heartily,
That both mine eyes were rainy like to his;
And when I told the emperess of this sport,
She swooned almost at my pleasing tale,
And, for my tidings, gave me twenty kisses.
Goth. What! canst thou say all this, and never

blush ?
Aar. Ay, like a black dog, as the saying is.


[ocr errors]

I 20

Luc. Art thou not sorry for these heinous deeds ?

Aar. Ay, that I had not done a thousand more.
Even now I curse the day (and yet, I think,
Few come within the compass of my curse),
Wherein I did not some notorious ill :
As kill a man, or else devise his death;
Ravish a maid, or plot the way to do it;

Accuse sonie innocent, and forswear myself:
Set deadly enmity between two friends;
Make poor men's cattle break their necks;
Set fire on barns and hay-stacks in the night,
And bid the owners quench them with their tears.
Oft have I digg'd up dead men from their graves,
And set them upright at their dear friends' doors
Even when the sorrow almost was forgot;
And on their skins, as on the bark of trees,
Have with my knife carved in Roman letters, 140
Let not your sorrow die, though I am dead.
Tut, I have done a thousand dreadful things,
As-willingly as one would kill a fly ;
And nothing grieves me heartily indeed,
But that I cannot do ten thousand more.

Luc. Bring down the devil ; for he must not die So sweet a death, as hanging presently.

Aar. If there be devils, 'would I were a devil,
To live and burn in everlasting fire ;
So I might have your company in hell,

150 But to torment you with my bitter tongue !

Luc. Sirs, stop his mouth, and let him speak no



« PredošláPokračovať »