Page images


Saturninus, Son to the late Emperor of Rome, and

afterwards declared Emperor himself. Bassianus, Brother to Saturninus; in love with La

Titus Andronicus, a noble Roman, General against the

Marcus Andronicus, Tribune of the People; and Bro-

ther to Titus.

Sons to Titus Andronicus. Martius, Mutius, Young Lucius, a Boy, Son to Lucius. Publius, Son to Marcus the Tribune. Æmilius, a noble Roman. Alarbus, Chiron, Sons to Tamora. Demetrius, Aaron, a Moor, beloved by Tamora. A Captain, Tribune, Messenger, and Clown; Romans. Goths, and Romans.

Tumora, Queen of the Goths.
Lavinia, Daughter to Titus Andronicus.
A Nurse, and a black Child.

Kinsmen of Titus, Senators, Tribunes, Officers, Soldiers,

and Attendants.

Scene, Rome; and the country near it.






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 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 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 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 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; And now at last, laden with honour's spoils, 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


and abate your strength; Dismiss your followers, and, as suitors should,

deserts in


and humbleness. Sat. How fair the tribune speaks to calm my

thoughts! Bas. Marcus Andronicus, so I do affy In thy uprightness and integrity, 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.

[E.reunt 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.
Bas. Tribunes! and me, a poor competitor.
Sat. and Bas. go into the Capitol, and exeunt

with Senators, Marcus, &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 figh 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, fc. enter Mutius, and Mar

tius : after them, two men bearing a coffin cover'd 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 rites that we intend !Romans, of five and twenty valiant sons, Half of the number that king Priam had,

« PreviousContinue »