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Saturninus, son to the late emperor of Rome, and after
wards declared emperor himself. Bassianus, brother to Saturninus; in love with Lavinia. Titus Andronicus, a noble Roman, general against the
sons to Titus Andronicus.
sons to Tamora.
Tamora, queen of the Goths.
Kinsmen of Titus, senators, tribunes, officers, soldiers,
ACT I....,SCENE I.
Rome. Before the Capitol.
The Tomb of the Andronici appearing ; the Tribunes and
Senators aloft, as in the Senate. Enter, below, SATURNINUS and his Followers, on one side ; and BASSIANUS and his Followers, on the other ; with Drum and Colours.
Sat. Noble patricians, patrons of my right, Defend the justice of my cause with arms; And, countrymen, my loving followers, Plead my successive title with your swords: I am his first-born son, that was the last That ware the imperial diadem of Rome; Then let my father's honours live in me, Nor wrong mine age with this indignity. Bas. Romans,-friends, followers, favourers of my
rightIf ever Bassianus, Cæsar's song Were gracious in the eyes of royal Rome, Keep then this passage to the Capitol; And suffer not dishonour to approach The imperial seat, to virtue consecrate, To justice, continence, and nobility : But let desert in pure election shine ; And, Romans, fight for freedom in your choice. Enter MARCUS ANDRONICUS, aloft, with the Crown.
Mar. Princes that strive by factions, and by friends, Ambitiously for rule and empery, Know, that the people of Rome, for whom we stand A special party, have, by common voice, In election for the Roman empery,
Chosen Andronicus, surnamed Pius
Sat. How fair the tribune speaks to calm my thoughts!
Bas. Marcus Andronicus, so I do affy
[Exeunt the followers of Bas. Sat. Friends, that have been thus forward in
my right, I thank you all, and here dismiss you all; And to the love and favour of my country Commit myself, my person, and the cause.
[Exeunt the followers of Sat. Rome, be as just and gracious unto me,
As I am confident and kind to thee.-
with Senators, MAR. &C.
Enter a Captain, and Others. Cap. Romans, make way; The good Andronicus, Patron of virtue, Rome's best champion, Successful in the battles that he fights, With honour and with fortune is return'd, From where he circumscribed with his sword, And brought to yoke, the enemies of Rome. Flourish of Trumpets, &c. enter Mutius and MARTIUS: * after them, two Men bearing a Coffin covered with black ;
then QUINTUS and Lucius. After them, Titus AnDRONICUS ; and then TAMORA, with ALARBUS, CHIRON, DEMETRIUS, AARON, and other Goths, prisoners; Soldiers and People, following. The Bearers set down the Coffin, and TITUS speaks.
Tit. Hail, Rome, victorious in thy mourning weeds! Lo, as the bark, that hath discharg'd her fraught, Returns with precious lading to the bay, From whence at first she weigh'd her anchorage, Cometh Andronicus, bound with laurel boughs, To re-salute his country with his tears; Tears of true joy for his return to Rome.. Thou great defender of this Capitol, Stand gracious to the rights that we intend !Romans, of five and twenty valiant sons, Half of the number that king Priam had, Behold the poor remains, alive, and dead! These, that survive, let Rome reward with love ; These, that I bring unto their latest home, With burial amongst their ancestors : Here Goths have given me leave to sheathe my sword. Titus, unkind, and careless of thine own,
Why suffer`st thou thy sons, unburied yet,
[The Tomb is opened.
Luc. Give us the proudest prisoner of the Goths,
Tit. I give him you ; the noblest that survives,
Tam. Stay, Roman brethren ;-Gracious conqueror,
Tit. Patient yourself, madam, and pardon me.