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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,
BAS. Romans,--friends, followers, favourers of my right,—
If ever Bassianus, Cæsar's son,
my successive title-] i. e. my title to the succession.
Thus also Raleigh: "The empire being elective, and not successive, the emperors, in being, made profit of their own times." STEEVENS.
Keep then this passage to the Capitol;
Enter MARCUS ANDRONICUS, aloft, with the
MAR. Princes-that strive by factions, and by friends,
Ambitiously for rule and empery,-
A special party, have, by common voice,
Lives not this day within the city walls:
From weary wars against the barbarous Goths;
And now at last, laden with honour's spoils,
And in the Capitol and senate's right,
SAT. How fair the tribune speaks to calm my thoughts!
BAS. Marcus Andronicus, so I do affy
I thank you all, and here dismiss you all;
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 Androni
Patron of virtue, Rome's best champion,
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!2
Hail, Rome, victorious in thy mourning weeds!] I suspect that the poet wrote:
in my mourning weeds!
i. e. Titus would say: Thou, Rome, art victorious, though I am a mourner for those sons which I have lost in obtaining that victory. WARburton.
Thy is as well as my. We may suppose the Romans in a grateful ceremony, meeting the dead sons of Andronicus with mournful habits. JOHNSON.
Lo, as the bark, that hath discharg'd her fraught,
Titus, unkind, and careless of thine own,
[The Tomb is opened. There greet in silence, as the dead are wont, And sleep in peace, slain in your country's wars! O sacred receptacle of my joys,
Or that they were in mourning for their emperor who was just dead. STEEVENS.
— her fraught,] Old copies his fraught. Corrected in the fourth folio. MALOne.
his fraught,] As in the other old copies noted by Mr. Malone. It will be proper here to observe, that the edition of 1600 is not paged. TODD.
• Thou great defender of this Capitol,] Jupiter, to whom the Capitol was sacred. JOHNSON.
To hover on the dreadful shore of Styx?] Here we have one of the numerous classical notions that are scattered with a pedantick profusion through this piece. MALONE.