Commonplace Book: The Art of Seduction and the Joy of Cooking from Titus Andronicus
The Art of Seduction
Act II, Scene I
Aaron, a thousand deaths
Would I propose to achieve her whom I love.
To achieve her! How?
Why makest thou it so strange?
She is a woman, there may be woo’d;
She is a woman, therefore may be won;
She is Lavinia, therefore must be loved.
What, man! more water glideth by the mill
Than wots the miller of; and easy it is
Of a cut loaf to steal a shive, we know;
Though Bassianus be the emperor’s brother,
Better than he have worn Vulcan’s badge.
[Aside] Ay, and as good as Saturninus may.
Then why should he despair that knows to court it
With words, fair looks, and liberality?
What, hast not thou often struck a doe,
And borne her cleanly by the keeper’s nose?
Why, then, it seems, some certain snatch or so
Would serve your turns.
Ay, so the turn were served.
Aaron, thou hast hit it.
Would you had hit it too!
Then should not we be tired with this ado.
Why, hark ye, hark ye! and are you such fools
To square for this? would it offend you, then,
That both should speed?
Faith, not me.
Nor me, so I were one.
The Joy of Cooking
Act V, Scene II
Come, come, Lavinia; look thy foes are bound.
Sirs, stops their mouths, let them not speak to me;
But let them hear what fearful words I utter.
O villains, Chiron and Demetrius!
Here stands the spring whom you have stain’d with mud,
This goodly summer with your winter mix’d.
You kill’d her husband, and for that vile fault
Two of her brothers were condemn’d to death,
My hand cut off and made a merry jest;
Both her sweet hands, her tongue, and that more dear
Than hands or tongue, her spotless chastity,
Inhuman traitors, you constrain’d and forced.
What would you say, if I should let you speak?
This one hand yet is left to cut your throats,
Whilst that Lavinia ‘tween her stumps doth hold
The basin that receives your guilty blood.
You know your mother means to feast with me,
And calls herself Revenge, and thinks me mad:
Hark, villains! I will grind your bones into dust,
And with your blood and it I’ll make a paste;
And of the paste a coffin I will rear,
And make two pasties of your shameful heads;
Amd bid that strumpet, your unhallow’d dam,
Like to the earth, swallow her own increase.
This is the feast that I have bid her to,
And this the banquet shall surfeit on;
For worse than Philomel you used my daughter,
And worse than Progne I will be revenged:
And now prepare your throats. Lavinia, come,
[He cuts their throats
Receive the blood: and when that they are dead,
Let me go grind their bones to powder small,
And with this hateful liquor temper it;
And in that paste let their vile heads be baked/
Come, come, be every one officious
To make this banquet; which I wish to prove
More stern and bloody than the Centaurs’ feast.
So, now bring them in, for I’ll play the cook,
And see them ready against their mother comes.
[Exeunt, bearing the dead bodies
Titus Andronicus, by William Shakespeare (circa 1593)