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SCENE V.-Antium. A public Place.
Enter TULLUS AUFIDIUS, with Attendants.
Auf. Go tells the lords o' the city I am here:
Deliver them this paper: having read it,
Bid them repair to the market-place; where I,
Even in theirs and in the commons' ears,
Will vouch the truth of it. Him I accuse
The city ports by this hath enter'd, and
Intends to appear before the people, hoping
To purge himself with words: dispatch.
Enter three or four Conspirators of AUFIDIUS'S
If you do hold the same intent wherein
You wish'd us parties, we 'll deliver you
Of your great danger.
Sir, I cannot tell :
We must proceed as we do find the people.
Third Con. The people will remain uncertain
'Twixt you there's difference; but the fall of either
Makes the survivor heir of all.
I know it;
And my pretext to strike at him admits
A good construction. I rais'd him, and I pawn'd
Mine honour for his truth: who being so
He water'd his new plants with dews of flattery,
Seducing so my friends; and, to this end,
He bow'd his nature, never known before
But to be rough, unswayable, and free.
Third Con. Sir, his stoutness
When he did stand for consul, which he lost
By lack of stooping,-
That I would have spoke of:
Being banish'd for 't, he came unto my hearth;
Presented to my knife his throat: I took him;
Made him joint-servant with me; gave him way
In all his own desires; nay, let him choose
Out of my files, his projects to accomplish.
My best and freshest men; serv'd his design-
In mine own person; holp to reap the fame
Which he did end all his; and took some pride
To do myself this wrong: till, at the last,
I seem'd his follower, not partner, and
He wag'd me with his countenance, as if
I had been mercenary. First Con.
The army marvell'd at it; and, in the last,
When he had carried Rome, and that we look'd
For no less spoil than glory,-
There was it;
For which my sinews shall be stretch'd upon him.
At a few drops of women's rheum, which are
As cheap as lies, he sold the blood and labour
Of our great action: therefore shall he die,
And I'll renew me in his fall. But, hark!
Drums and trumpets sound, with great
shouts of the People.
First Con. Your native town you enter'd like
And had no welcomes home; but he returns, 50
Splitting the air with noise.
And patient fools, Whose children he hath slain, their base throats tear
Enter the Lords of the city.
Lords. You are most welcome home.
But, worthy lords, have you with heed perus'd
What I have written to you?
We have. And grieve to hear 't. What faults he made before the last, I think Might have found easy fines; but there to end Where he was to begin, and give away The benefit of our levies, answering us With our own charge, making a treaty where There was a yielding, this admits no excuse. Auf. He approaches: you shall hear him. Enter CORIOLANUS, with drum and colours ; a crowd of Citizens with him.
Cor. Hail, lords! I am return'd your soldier:
No more infected with my country's love
Than when I parted hence, but still subsisting
Under your great command. You are to know
That prosperously I have attempted and
With bloody passage led your wars even to
The gates of Rome. Our spoils we have brought
Do more than counterpoise a full third part
The charges of the action. We have made peace,
With no less honour to the Antiates
Than shame to the Romans; and we here
Subscribed by the consuls and patricians,
Together with the seal o' the senate, what
We have compounded on.
Marcius! Auf. Ay, Marcius, Caius Marcius. Dost thou think
I'll grace thee with that robbery, thy stol'n name
Coriolanus in Corioli ?
You lords and heads o' the state, perfidiously 90
He has betray'd your business, and given up,
For certain drops of salt, your city Rome,
I say 'your city,' to his wife and mother;
Breaking his oath and resolution like
A twist of rotten silk, never admitting
Counsel o' the war, but at his nurse's tears
He whin'd and roar'd away your victory,
That pages blush'd at him, and men of heart
Look'd wondering each at other.
Hear'st thou, Mars? Auj. Name not the god, thou boy of tears. Cor.
Cor. Measureless liar, thou hast made my heart
Too great for what contains it. Boy! O slave!
Pardon me, lords, 'tis the first time that ever
I was forc'd to scold. Your judgments, my
Must give this cur the lie: and his own notion,
Who wears my stripes impress'd upon him; that
Must bear my beating to his grave, shall join
To thrust the lie unto him.
First Lord. Peace, both, and hear me speak. Cor. Cut me to pieces, Volsces; men and lads, Stain all your edges on me. Boy! False hound! If you have writ your annals true, 'tis there, 112 That, like an eagle in a dove-cote, I Flutter'd your Volscians in Corioli: Alone I did it. Boy!
Auf. Will you be put in mind of his blind fortune, Which was your shame, by this unholy braggart, 'Fore your own eyes and ears? Let him die for 't. All Con. All the People. Tear him to pieces.-Do it presently. He killed my son.-My daughter.He killed my cousin Marcus.-He killed my father.
Second Lord. Peace, ho! no outrage: peace!
The man is noble and his fame folds in
This orb o' the earth. His last offences to us
Shall have judicious hearing. Stand, Aufidius,
And trouble not the peace.
O! that I had him,
With six Aufidiuses, or more, his tribe,
To use my lawful sword.
All Con. Kill, kill, kill, kill, kill him! AUFIDIUS and the Conspirators draw, and kill CORIOLANUS, who falls: AUFIDIUS stands on his body.
Hold, hold, hold, hold! 130 Auf. My noble masters, hear me speak. First Lord.
O Tullus! Second Lord. Thou hast done a deed whereat valour will weep.
Third Lord. Tread not upon him.
all, be quiet.
Put up your swords.
Auf. My lords, when you shall know, as in
Provok'd by him, you cannot, the great danger
Which this man's life did owe you, you 'll rejoice
Please it your honours
That he is thus cut off.
To call me to your senate, I'll deliver
Myself your loyal servant, or endure
Your heaviest censure.
Bear from hence his body; And mourn you for him. Let him be regarded As the most noble corse that ever herald Did follow to his urn.
His own impatience Second Lord. Takes from Aufidius a great part of blame. Let's make the best of it. My rage is gone, Auf Take him up: And I am struck with sorrow. Help, three o' the chiefest soldiers; I'll be one. Beat thou the drum, that it speak mournfully; Hath widow'd and unchilded many a one, Trail your steel pikes. Though in this city he Which to this hour bewail the injury, Yet he shall have a noble memory. Assist.
Exeunt, bearing the body of CORIOLANUS. A dead march sounded.
The Tomb of the Andronici appearing. The Tribunes
and Senators aloft; and then enter SATURNI-
NUS and his Followers at one door, and BAS-
SIANUS and his Followers at 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 wore the imperial diadem of Rome;
Then let my father's honours live in me,
Nor wrong mine age with this indignity.
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,
For many good and great deserts to Rome :
A nobler man, a braver warrior,
Lives not this day within the city walls:
He by the senate is accited home
From weary wars against the barbarous Goths;
That, with his sons, a terror to our foes,
Hath yok'd a nation strong, train'd up in arms.
Ten years are spent since first he undertook s
This cause of Rome, and chastised with arms
Our enemies' pride: five times he hath return'd
Bleeding to Rome, bearing his valiant sons
In coffins from the field;
Bass. Romans, friends, followers, favourers of And now at last, laden with honour's spoils, my right,
If ever Bassianus, Cæsar's son,
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
Returns the good Andronicus to Rome,
Renowned Titus, flourishing in arms.
Let us entreat, by honour of his name,
Whom worthily you would have now succeed, »
And in the Capitol and senate's right,
Whom you pretend to honour and adore,
That you withdraw you and abate your strength;
Dismiss your followers, and, as suitors should,
Plead your deserts in peace and humbleness.
Sat. How fair the tribune speaks to calm my
Bass. Marcus Andronicus, so I do affy
Marc. Princes, that strive by factions and by In thy uprightness and integrity, friends
Ambitiously for rule and empery,
And so I love and honour thee and thine,
Thy noble brother Titus and his sons,
And her to whom my thoughts are humbled all,
Gracious Lavinia, Rome's rich ornament,
That I will here dismiss my loving friends,
And to my fortunes and the people's favour
Commit my cause in balance to be weigh'd.
Exeunt the Followers of BASSIANUS. 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 SATURNINUS.
Rome, be as just and gracious unto me
As I am confident and kind to thee.
Open the gates, and let me in.
Bass. Tribunes, and me, a poor competitor. Flourish. They go up into the Senate-house.
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. Sound drums and trumpets, and then enter MARTIUS and MUTIUS; after them two Men bearing a coffin covered with black; then LUCIUS and QUINTUS. After them TITUS ANDRONICUS; and then TAMORA, with ALARBUS, CHIRON, DEMETRIUS, AARON, and other Goths, prisoners; Soldiers and People following. They 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 rites 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 :
Nor we disturb'd with prodigies on earth.
Tit. I give him you, the noblest that survives
The eldest son of this distressed queen.
Tam. Stay, Roman brethren! Gracious con-
Victorious Titus, rue the tears I shed,
A mother's tears in passion for her son:
And if thy sons were ever dear to thee,
O think my son to be as dear to me.
Sufficeth not that we are brought to Rome,
To beautify thy triumphs and return,
Captive to thee and to thy Roman yoke;
But must my sons be slaughter'd in the streets
For valiant doings in their country's cause?
O if to fight for king and commonweal
Were piety in thine, it is in these.
Andronicus, stain not thy tomb with blood:
Wilt thou draw near the nature of the gods?
Draw near them then in being merciful;
Sweet mercy is nobility's true badge:
Thrice-noble Titus, spare my first-born son. 120
Tit. Patient yourself, madam, and pardon me. These are their brethren, whom you Goths beheld Alive and dead, and for their brethren slain Religiously they ask a sacrifice :
To appease their groaning shadows that are gone.
To this your son is mark'd, and die he must,
And with our swords, upon a pile of wood,
Luc. Away with him! and make a fire straight;
Let's hew his limbs till they be clean consum'd.
Exeunt LUCIUS, QUINTUS, MARTIUS, and
MUTIUS, with ALARBUS.
Tam. O cruel, irreligious piety! Chi. Was ever Scythia half so barbarous ? Dem. Oppose not Scythia to ambitious Rome. Alarbus goes to rest, and we survive To tremble under Titus' threatening look. Then, madam, stand resolv'd; but hope withal The self-same gods that arm'd the Queen of Troy With opportunity of sharp revenge Upon the Thracian tyrant in his tent, May favour Tamora, the Queen of Goths, When Goths were Goths, and Tamora was queen, To quit the bloody wrongs upon her foes. Re-enter LUCIUS, QUINTUS, MARTIUS, and MUTIUS, with their swords bloody.
Luc. See, lord and father, how we have perform'd
Our Roman rites. Alarbus' limbs are lopp'd,
Here Goths have given me leave to sheathe my And entrails feed the sacrificing fire,
Titus, unkind and careless of thine own,
Why suffer'st thou thy sons, unburied yet,
To hover on the dreadful shore of Styx?
Make way to lay them by their brethren.
The tomb is opened. There greet in silence, as the dead are wont, 90 And sleep in peace, slain in your country's wars!
O sacred receptacle of my joys,
Sweet cell of virtue and nobility,
How many sons of mine hast thou in store,
That thou wilt never render to me more!
Luc. Give us the proudest prisoner of the
That we may hew his limbs, and on a pile
Ad manes fratrum sacrifice his flesh,
Before this earthy prison of their bones;
That so the shadows be not unappeas'd,
Whose smoke, like incense, doth perfume the sky.
Remaineth nought but to inter our brethren,
And with loud 'larums welcome them to Rome.
Tit. Let it be so; and let Andronicus
Make this his latest farewell to their souls.
Trumpets sounded, and the coffin laid in
In peace and honour rest you here, my sons; 150
Rome's readiest champions, repose you here in
Secure from worldly chances and mishaps!
Here lurks no treason, here no envy swells,
Here grow no damned drugs, here are no storms,
No noise, but silence and eternal sleep.
In peace and honour rest you here, my sons!
Lav. In peace and honour live Lord Titus long; 100 My noble lord and father, live in fame!
Lo! at this tomb my tributary tears
I render for my brethren's obsequies;
And at thy feet I kneel, with tears of joy
Shed on the earth for thy return to Rome.
O! bless me here with thy victorious hand,
Whose fortune Rome's best citizens applaud.
Tit. Kind Rome, that hast thus lovingly
The cordial of mine age to glad my heart!
Lavinia, live; outlive thy father's days,
And fame's eternal date, for virtue's praise!
Enter MARCUS ANDRONICUS and Tribunes; re-
enter SATURNINUS, BASSIANUS, and Others.
Marc. Long live Lord Titus, my beloved
Gracious triumpher in the eyes of Rome !
Tit. Thanks, gentle tribune, noble brother Marcus.
Marc. And welcome, nephews, from successful
You that survive, and you that sleep in fame!
Fair lords, your fortunes are alike in all,
That in your country's service drew your swords;
But safer triumph is this funeral pomp,
That hath aspir'd to Solon's happiness,
And triumphs over chance in honour's bed.
Titus Andronicus, the people of Rome,
Whose friend in justice thou hast ever been, 180
Send thee by me, their tribune and their trust,
This palliament of white and spotless hue;
And name thee in election for the empire,
With these our late-deceased emperor's sons :
Be candidatus then, and put it on,
And help to set a head on headless Rome.
Tit. A better head her glorious body fits Than his that shakes for age and feebleness. What should I don this robe, and trouble you? Be chosen with proclamations to-day, To-morrow yield up rule, resign my life, And set abroad new business for you all? Rome, I have been thy soldier forty years, And led my country's strength successfully, And buried one-and-twenty valiant sons, Knighted in field, slain manfully in arms, In right and service of their noble country. Give me a staff of honour for mine age, But not a sceptre to control the world: Upright he held it, lords, that held it last.
Mare. Titus, thou shalt obtain and ask the empery.
Tit. People of Rome, and noble tribunes here, I ask your voices and your suffrages: Will you bestow them friendly on Andronicus? Tribunes. To gratify the good Andronicus, 229 And gratulate his safe return to Rome, The people will accept whom he admits.
Tit. Tribunes, I thank you; and this suit I make,
That you create your emperor's eldest son,
Lord Saturnine; whose virtues will, I hope,
Reflect on Rome as Titan's rays on earth,
And ripen justice in this commonweal:
Then, if you will elect by my advice,
Crown him, and say 'Long live our emperor !'
Mare. With voices and applause of every sort,
Patricians and plebeians, we create
Lord Saturninus Rome's great emperor,
And say · Long live our Emperor Saturnine!'
A long flourish.
Sat. Titus Andronicus, for thy favours done To us in our election this day,
I give thee thanks in part of thy deserts,
And will with deeds requite thy gentleness:
And for an onset, Titus, to advance
Thy name and honourable family,
Lavinia will I make my empress,
Rome's royal mistress, mistress of my heart,
And in the sacred Pantheon her espouse.
Tell me, Andronicus, doth this motion please
Tit. It doth, my worthy lord; and in this match
I hold me highly honour'd of your grace:
And here in sight of Rome to Saturnine,
King and commander of our commonweal,
The wide world's emperor, do I consecrate
My sword, my chariot, and my prisoners;
Presents well worthy Rome's imperious lord:
Receive them then, the tribute that I owe,
Mine honour's ensigns humbled at thy feet.
Sut. Thanks, noble Titus, father of my life!
How proud I am of thee and of thy gifts
Rome shall record, and when I do forget
The least of these unspeakable deserts,
Romans, forget your fealty to me.
Tit. To TAMORA. Now, madam, are you pri soner to an emperor;
To him that, for your honour and your state, Will use you nobly and your followers.
Sat. A goodly lady, trust me; of the hue That I would choose, were I to choose anew. Clear up, fair queen, that cloudy countenance; Sat. Proud and ambitious tribune, canst thou Though chance of war hath wrought this change tell?
Tit. Patience, Prince Saturninus.
Romans, do me right:
Patricians, draw your swords, and sheathe them
Thou com'st not to be made a scorn in Rome:
Princely shall be thy usage every way.
Rest on my word, and let not discontent
Daunt all your hopes: madam, he comforts you
Can make you greater than the Queen of Goths.
Lavinia, you are not displeas'd with this?
Lav. Not I, my lord; sith true nobility
Warrants these words in princely courtesy.
Sat. Thanks, sweet Lavinia. Romans, let
Ransomless here we set our prisoners free: Proclaim our honours, lords, with trump and drum.
Bass. Lord Titus, by your leave, this maid is mine. Seizing LAVINIA, Tit. How, sir! Are you in earnest then, my lord?