Act 3 - Scene 1
Rome. A street.
Enter Judges, Senators and Tribunes, with MARTIUS and QUINTUS, bound, passing on to the place of
execution; TITUS going before, pleading
Hear me, grave fathers! noble tribunes, stay!
For pity of mine age, whose youth was spent
wars, whilst you securely slept;
For all my blood in Rome's great quarrel shed;
For all the frosty nights
that I have watch'd;
And for these bitter tears, which now you see
Filling the aged wrinkles in my cheeks;
pitiful to my condemned sons,
Whose souls are not corrupted as 'tis thought.
For two and twenty sons I
Because they died in honour's lofty bed.
Lieth down; the Judges, &c., pass by him, and Exeunt
For these, these, tribunes, in the dust I write
My heart's deep languor and my soul's sad tears:
tears stanch the earth's dry appetite;
My sons' sweet blood will make it shame and blush.
O earth, I will
befriend thee more with rain,
That shall distil from these two ancient urns,
Than youthful April shall with
all his showers:
In summer's drought I'll drop upon thee still;
In winter with warm tears I'll melt the snow
keep eternal spring-time on thy face,
So thou refuse to drink my dear sons' blood.
Enter LUCIUS, with his sword drawn
O reverend tribunes! O gentle, aged men!
Unbind my sons, reverse the doom of death;
And let me say,
that never wept before,
My tears are now prevailing orators.
O noble father, you lament in vain:
The tribunes hear you not; no man is by;
And you recount your sorrows
to a stone.
Ah, Lucius, for thy brothers let me plead.
Grave tribunes, once more I entreat of you,
My gracious lord, no tribune hears you speak.
Why, tis no matter, man; if they did hear,
They would not mark me, or if they did mark,
They would not pity
me, yet plead I must;
And bootless unto them [
Therefore I tell my sorrows to the stones;
they cannot answer my distress,
Yet in some sort they are better than the tribunes,
For that they will not
intercept my tale:
When I do weep, they humbly at my feet
Receive my tears and seem to weep with
And, were they but attired in grave weeds,
Rome could afford no tribune like to these.
A stone is soft
as wax, tribunes more hard than stones;
A stone is silent, and offendeth not,
And tribunes with their tongues
doom men to death.
But wherefore stand'st thou with thy weapon drawn?
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