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Young Luctus, a Boy, Son to Lucius.
AARON, a Moor, belov'd by Tamora.
Captain, from Titus's Camp.
EMILIUS, a Messenger.
Goths, and Romans.
TAMORA, Queen of the Goths, and afterwards
married to Saturninus.
LAVINIA, Daughter to Titus Andronicus.
PUBLIUS, Son to Marcus the Tribune, and Ne- Nurse, with a Black-a-moor Child.
'Mr. Theobald says, This is one of those plays which he always thought, with the better judges, ought not to be acknowledged in the list of Shakspeare's genuine pieces. Dr. Johnson observes, That all the editors and critics agree with Mr. Theobald in supposing this play spurious, and that he sees "no reason for differing from them: for the colour of the style is wholly different from that of the other plays, and there is an attempt at regular versification, and artificial closes, not always inelegant, yet seldom pleasing. The barbarity of the spectacles, and the general massacre, which are here exhibited, can scarcely be conceived tolerable to any audience; yet we are told by Jonson, that they were not only borne, but praised." Mr. Farmer and Mr. Steevens are also of the same opinion with Dr. Johnson.
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 intreat,-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
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 our 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.
Sat. Friends, that have been thus forward in
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:
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.
[They go up into the senate-house.
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, 5 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, 10 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 among their ancestors: [sword. 15 Here Goths have given me leave to sheath my Titus, unkind, and careless of thine own, Why suffer'st thou thy sons, unbury'd yet, To hover on the dreadful shore of Styx?Make way to lay them by their brethren.
[They open the tomb.
There greet in silence, as the dead were wont,
And sleep in peace, slain in your country's wars!
O sacred receptacle of my joys,
Sweet cell of virtue and nobility,
25 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 Goths,
That we may hew his limbs, and, on a pile,
Ad manes fratrum sacrifice his flesh,
30 Before this earthly prison of their bones;
That so their shadows be not unappeas'd,
Nor we disturb'd with prodigies on earth 2.
Tit. I give him you; the noblest that survives,
The eldest son of this distressed queen. [queror,
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.
40 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!
450! if to fight for king and common weal
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:
50 Sweet mercy is nobility's true badge;
Thrice-noble Titus, spare my first-born son.
SCENE II. Enter a Captain. Capt. Romans, make way; The good AndroPatron of virtue, Rome's best champion, [nicus, 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 Mutius and Marcus; after them, two men bearing a coffin covered with black; then Quintus and Lucius. After them, Titus Andronicus; and then Tamora, the queen of the Goths, Alarbus, Chiron, and Demetrius, with Aaron the Moor, prisoners; Soldiers, and other Attendants. They 60 set down the coffin, and Titus speaks.
7it. Hail! Rome, victoriousinthymourningweeds.l
Jupiter, to whom the Capitol was sacred.
Tit. Patient yourself, madam, and pardon me. These are their brethren, whom you Goths behold Alive, and dead; and for their brethren slain, Religiously they ask a sacrifice:
To this, your son is mark'd: and die he must,
To appease their groaning shadows that are gone.
Luc. Away with him! and make a fire straight;
Let's hew his limbs, 'till they be clean consum'd.
And with our swords, upon a pile of wood,
[Exeunt Mutius, Marcus, Quintus, and
Lucius, with Alarbus.
It was supposed by the ancients, that the ghosts of unburied people appeared to their friends and relations, to solicit the rites of funeral. verb is used by other dramatic writers.
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.
Enter Mutius, Marcus, Quintus, and Lucius.
Luc. See, lord and father, how we have per-
Our Roman rites: Alarbus' limbs are lopp'd,
And entrails feed the sacrificing fire,
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.
[Then soundtrumpets, and lay the coffins in the tomb.
In peace and honour rest you here, my sons;
Rome's readiest champions, repose you here,
Secure from worldly chances and mishaps!
Here lurks no treason, here no envy swells,
Here grow no damned grudges; here no storm,
No noise, but silence and eternal sleep:
and honour rest you here, my sons!
Lav. In peace and honour live lord Titus long;
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 reserv'd
The cordial of mine age, to glad my heart!—
Lavinia, live; out-live thy father's days,
And fame's eternal date, for virtue's praise!
Marc. Long live lord Titus,my beloved brother,
Gracious triumpher in the eyes of Rome!
Tit. Thanks, gentle tribune, noble brother
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,
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 chose 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 controll the world:
Upright he held it, lords, that held it last.
Marc. Titus, thou shalt obtain and ask the
Sat. Proud and ambitious tribune, canst thou
Tit. Patience, prince Saturninus.—
Sat. Romans, do me right;
Patricians, draw your swords, and sheath them not
'Till Saturninus be Rome's emperor :--
Andronicus, 'would thou were shipp'd to hell,
Rather than rob me of the people's hearts.
Luc. Proud Saturninus! interrupter of the good 25 That noble-minded Titus means to thee!
Tit. Content thee, prince; I will restore to thee
The people's hearts, and wean them from them-
Bas. Andronicus, I do not flatter thee, [selves,
But honour thee, and will do 'till I die;
30 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;
35 Will you bestow them friendly on Andronicus?
Marc. To gratify the good Andronicus,
And gratulate his safe return to Rome,
The people will accept whom he admits. [make,
Tit. Tribunes, I thank you: and this suit I
40 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-wcal:
Then if you will elect by my advice,
Crown him, and say,-Long live our emperor!
Marc. 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;
55 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:
60 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:
i. e. do on this robe, put it on.
And here, in sight of Rome, to Saturniné,-
King and commander of the common-weal,
The wide world's emperor,-do I consecrate
My sword, my chariot, and my prisoners;
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 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. Now, madam, are you prisoner to an emperor; [To Tamora. To him, that for your honour and your state, Will use you nobly, and your followers.
My sons would never só dishonour me:
Traitor, restore Lavinia to the emperor.
Luc. Dead, if you will; but not to be his
5 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 traitorous haughty sons,
10 Confederates all thus to dishonour me.
Sat. A goodly lady, trust ine; 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 20
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, 25|
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.
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,
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
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
Sat. And therefore, lovely Tamora, queen of
That like the stately Phoebe 'mong her nymphs,
Dost over-shine the gallant'st dames of Rome,-
If thou be pleas'd with this my sadden choice,
Behold, I choose thee, Tamora, for my bride,
Sat. Thanks, sweet Lavinia. - Romans, let 30 And will create thee emperess of Rome.
Ransomless here we set our prisoners free:
Proclaim our honours,lords, with trump and drum.
Bas. Lord Titus, by your leave, this maid is
[Seizing Lavinia. 35 Tit. How, sir? Are you in earnest then, my
Bas. Ay, noble Titus; and resolv'd withal, To do myself this reason and this right.
[The emperor courts Tamorain dumb shew.40 Marc. Suum cuique is our Roman justice: This prince in justice seizeth but his own.
Lac. And that he will, and shall, if Lucius live.
Tit. Traitors, avaunt! Where is the emperor's
Treason, my lord; Lavinia is surpriz'd.
Sat. Surpriz'd by whom?
Bas. By him that justly may
Bear his betroth'd from all the world away.
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
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,
Your noble emperor, and his lovely bride,
Sent by the heavens for prince Saturnine,
Whose wisdom hath her fortune conquered:
[Exit Bassianus with Lavinia. 50 There shall we consummate our spousal rites.
Mut. Brothers, help to convey her hence away,
And with my sword I'll keep this door safe.
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 Mutius.
Mut. Help, Lucius, help!
Luc. My lord, you are unjust, and more than so;
In wrongful quarrel you have slain your son.
Tit. Nor thou, nor he, are any sons of mine;
Spoken of Lavinia.-Piece was then, as it
Tit. I'am not bid to wait upon this bride;— Titus, when wert thou wont to walk alone, 55 Dishonour'd thus, and challenged of wrongs? Enter Marcus Andronicus, Lucius, Quinius, and Marcus.
Marc. O, Titus, see, O see, what thou hast done!
60 In a bad quarrel, slain a virtuous son.
Tit. No, foolish tribune, no; no son of mine,
is now, used personally as a word of contempt.
2 A Ruffler was a kind of cheating bully; and is so called in a statute made for the punishment of vagabonds in the 27th year of K. Henry VIII. Hence, probably, this sense of the verb, to ruffle.