« PreviousContinue »
Tit. Content thee, prince; I will restore to thee The people's hearts, and wean them from themselves.
Bas. Andronicus, I do not flatter thee,
But honour thee, and will do 'till I die :
My faction, if thou strengthen with thy friends,
I will most thankful be: and thanks, to men
Of noble minds, is honourable meed.
Tit. People of Rome, and people's tribunes here,
I ask your voices, and your suffrages;
Will you bestow them friendly on Andronicus ?
Mar. To gratify the good Andronicus, And gratulate his safe return to Rome, The people will accept who 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 common-weal :
Then if you will elect by my advice,
Crown him, and say,-- Long live our emperor ! 230
Mar. 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, till they come down.
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 emperess,
Rome's royal mistress, mistress of my heart,
And in the sacred Pantheon her espouse:
Tell me, Andronicus, doth this motion, please thee?
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 common-weal,
The wide world's emperor,—do I consecrate
My sword, my chariot, and my prisoners; 250
Presents: well worthy Rome's imperial lord :
Receive them then, the tribute that I owe,
Mine honour's ensigns humbled at thy feet.
Sat. Thanks, noble Titus, father of my life!
How proud į 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. Now, madam, are you prisoner 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;
Though chance of war hath wrought this change of
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 ?
27! Lav. Not I, my lord; sith true nobility Warrants these words in princely courtesy.
Sat. Thanks, sweet Lavinia.—Romans, let us go: Ransomless here we set our prisoners free ; Proclaim our honours, lords, with trump and drum. Bas. Lord Titus, by your leave, this maid is mine.
[Seizing LAVINIA. Tit. How, sir? Are you in earnest then, my lord ?
Bas. Ay, noble Titus; and resolv'd withal, To do myself this reason and this right.
280 [The Emperor courts Tamora in dumb shew. Mar. Suum cuique is our Roman justice : This prince in justice seizeth but his own.
Luc. And that he will, and shall, if Lucius live. Tit. Traitors, avaunt! Where is the emperor's
guard ? Treason, my lord ; Lavinia is surpris'd.
Sat. Surpris’d! By whom?
Bas. By him that justly may
Bear his betroth'd from all the world away.
[Exit BASSIANUS with LAVINIA. Mut. Brothers, help to convey her hence away, And with my sword I'll keep this door safe. 290 Tit. Follow, my lord, and I'll soon bring her
back. Mut. My lord, you pass not here.
Tit. What! villain boy,
Barr'st me my way in Rome? [Titus kills Mur,
Mut. Help, Lucius, help!
Luc. My lord, you are unjust, and more than so;
In wrongful quarrel you have slain your son.
Tit. Not thou, nor he, are any sons of mine;
My sons would never so dishonour me :
Traitor, restore Lavinia to the emperor. 300
Luc. Dead, if you will ; but not to be his wife,
That is another's lawful promis'd love.
Sat. No, Titus, no; the emperor needs her not,
Nor her, nor thee, nor any of thy stock :
I'll trust by leisure, him that mocks me once ;
Thee never, nor thy traiterous haughty sons,
Confederates all thus to dishonour me,
Was there none else in Rome to make a stale of,
But Saturnine: Full well, Andronicus,
Agree these deeds with that proud brag of thine, 310
That said'st, I begg'd the empire at thy hands.
Tit. O monstrous ! what reproachful words are
Sat. But go thy ways ; go, give that changing
piece, To him that flourish'd for her with his sword : A valiant son-in-law thou shalt enjoy ; One fit to bandy with thy lawless sons, To ruffle in the commonwealth of Rome. Tit. These words are razors to my wounded heart.
Sat. And therefore, lovely Tamora, queen of
That, like the stately Phæbe 'mong her nymphs,
Dost over-shine the gallant'st dames of Rome,
If thou be pleas’d with this my sudden choice,
Behold, I choose thee, Tamora, for my bride,
And will create thee emperess of Rome.
Speak, queen of Goths, dost thou applaud my
And here I swear by all the Romans Gods,
Sith priest and holy water are so near,
And tapers burn so bright, and every thing
In readiness for Hymeneus stands,
I will not re-salute the streets of Rome,
Or climb my palace, 'till from forth this place
I lead espous'd my bride along with me. ..
Tam. And here, in sight of heaven to Rome I
swear, If Saturnine advance the queen of Goths, She will a handmaid be to his desires, A loving nurse, a mother to his youth. Sat. Ascend, fair queen, Pantheon : Lords, ac
company Your noble emperor, and his lovely bride, Sent by the heavens for prince Saturnine, Whose wisdom hath her fortune conquered: 340 There shall we consummate our spousal rites.