Too like the sire for ever being good.
First hang the child, that he may see it sprawl;
A sight to vex the
father's soul withal.
Get me a ladder.
A ladder brought, which AARON is made to ascend
Lucius, save the child,
And bear it from me to the empress.
If thou do this, I'll show thee wondrous things,
highly may advantage thee to hear:
If thou wilt not, befall what may befall,
I'll speak no more but 'Vengeance
rot you all!'
Say on: an if it please me which thou speak'st
Thy child shall live, and I will see it nourish'd.
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,
Ruthful to hear, yet piteously perform'd:
And this shall all be buried by my death,
swear to me my child shall live.
Tell on thy mind; I say thy child shall live.
Swear that he shall, and then I will begin.
Who should I swear by? thou believest no god:
That granted, how canst thou believe an oath?
What if I do not? as, indeed, I do not;
Yet, for I know thou art religious
And hast a thing within thee called
With twenty popish tricks and ceremonies,
Which I have seen thee careful to observe,
I urge thy oath; for that I know
An idiot holds his bauble for a god
And keeps the oath which by that god
To that I'll urge him: therefore thou shalt vow
By that same god, what god soe'er it be,
thou adorest and hast in reverence,
To save my boy, to nourish and bring him up;
Or else I will discover
nought to thee.
Even by my god I swear to thee I will.
First know thou, I begot him on the empress.
O most insatiate and luxurious woman!
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