My worthy lord, if ever Tamora
Were gracious in those princely eyes of thine,
Then hear me speak indifferently for all;
And at my suit, sweet, pardon what is past.
What, madam, be dishonoured openly
And basely put it up without revenge?
Not so, my lord; the gods of Rome forfend
I should be author to dishonour you.
But on mine honour dare I undertake
For good Lord Titus’ innocence in all,
Whose fury not dissembled speaks his griefs.
Then at my suit look graciously on him;
Lose not so noble a friend on vain suppose,
Nor with sour looks afflict his gentle heart.
[Aside to Saturninus] My lord, be ruled by me, be won at last.
Dissemble all your griefs and discontents;
You are but newly planted in your throne;
Lest then the people and patricians too,
Upon a just survey take Titus’ part
And so supplant you for ingratitude,
Which Rome reputes to be a heinous sin,
Yield at entreats, and then let me alone
I’ll find a day to massacre them all
And raze their faction and their family,
The cruel father and his traitorous sons,
To whom I sued for my dear son’s life;
And make them know what ’tis to let a queen
Kneel in the streets and beg for grace in vain.
Come, come, sweet emperor; come, Andronicus,
Take up this good old man, and cheer the heart
That dies in tempest of thy angry frown.
– Titus Andronicus (1.1.427)