Titus Andronicus

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Act I, Scene I
Flourish. Enter the Tribunes and Senators aloft And
then enter Saturninus and his Followers at one
doore, and Bassianus and his Followers at the other,
with Drum & Colours.

Saturninus.
NOble Patricians, Patrons of my right,
Defend the iustice of my Cause with Armes.
And Countrey-men, my louing Followers,
Pleade my Successiue Title with your Swords.
I was the first borne Sonne, that was the last
That wore the Imperiall Diadem of Rome:
Then let my Fathers Honours liue in me,
Nor wrong mine Age with this indignitie.

Bassianus.
Romaines, Friends, Followers, / Fauourers of my Right:
If euer Bassianus, Casars Sonne,
Were gracious in the eyes of Royall Rome,
Keepe then this passage to the Capitoll:
And suffer not Dishonour to approach
Th'Imperiall Seate to Vertue: consecrate
To Iustice, Continence, and Nobility:
But let Desert in pure Election shine;
And Romanes, fight for Freedome in your Choice.
Enter Marcus Andronicus aloft with the Crowne.



Princes, that striue by Factions, and by Friends,
Ambitiously for Rule and Empery:
Know, that the people of Rome for whom we stand
A speciall Party, haue by Common voyce
In Election for the Romane Emperie,
Chosen Andronicus, Sur-named Pious,
For many good and great deserts to Rome.
A Nobler man, a brauer Warriour,
Liues not this day within the City Walles.
He by the Senate is accited home
From weary Warres against the barbarous Gothes,
That with his Sonnes (a terror to our Foes)
Hath yoak'd a Nation strong, train'd vp in Armes.
Ten yeares are spent, since first he vndertooke
This Cause of Rome, and chasticed with Armes
Our Enemies pride. Fiue times he hath return'd
Bleeding to Rome, bearing his Valiant Sonnes
In Coffins from the Field.
And now at last, laden with Honours Spoyles,
Returnes the good Andronicus to Rome,
Renowned Titus, flourishing in Armes.
Let vs intreat, by Honour of his Name,
Whom (worthily) you would haue now succeede,
And in the Capitoll and Senates right,
Whom you pretend to Honour and Adore,
That you withdraw you, and abate your Strength,
Dismisse your Followers, and as Suters should,
Pleade your Deserts in Peace and Humblenesse.

Saturnine.
How fayre the Tribune speakes, / To calme my thoughts.

Bassia.
Marcus Andronicus, so I do affie
In thy vprightnesse and Integrity:
And so I Loue and Honor thee, and thine,
Thy Noble Brother Titus, and his Sonnes,
And Her (to whom my thoughts are humbled all)
Gracious Lauinia, Romes rich Ornament,
That I will heere dismisse my louing Friends:
And to my Fortunes, and the Peoples Fauour,
Commit my Cause in ballance to be weigh'd.
Exit Souldiours.

Saturnine.
Friends, that haue beene / Thus forward in my Right,
I thanke you all, and heere Dismisse you all,
And to the Loue and Fauour of my Countrey,
Commit my Selfe, my Person, and the Cause:
Rome, be as iust and gracious vnto me,
As I am confident and kinde to thee.
Open the Gates, and let me in.

Bassia.
Tribunes, and me, a poore Competitor.
Flourish. They go vp into the Senat house.
Enter a Captaine.

Cap.
Romanes make way: the good Andronicus,
Patron of Vertue, Romes best Champion,
Successefull in the Battailes that he fights,
With Honour and with Fortune is return'd,
From whence he circumscribed with his Sword,
And brought to yoke the Enemies of Rome.
Sound Drummes and Trumpets. And then enter two of Titus
Sonnes; After them, two men bearing a
Coffin couered with blacke, then two other Sonnes.
After them, Titus Andronicus, and then
Tamora the Queene of Gothes, & her two Sonnes
Chiron and Demetrius, with Aaron the Moore,
and others, as many as can bee: They set downe the Coffin,
and Titus speakes.

Andronicus.
Haile Rome: / Victorious in thy Mourning Weedes:
Loe as the Barke that hath discharg'd his fraught,
Returnes with precious lading to the Bay,
From whence at first she wegih'd her Anchorage:
Commeth Andronicus bound with Lawrell bowes,
To resalute his Country with his teares,
Teares of true ioy for his returne to Rome,
Thou great defender of this Capitoll,
Stand gracious to the Rites that we intend.
Romaines, of fiue and twenty Valiant Sonnes,
Halfe of the number that King Priam had,
Behold the poore remaines aliue and dead!
These that Suruiue, let Rome reward with Loue:
These that I bring vnto their latest home,
With buriall amongst their Auncestors.
Heere Gothes haue giuen me leaue to sheath my Sword:
Titus vnkinde, and carelesse of thine owne,
Why suffer'st thou thy Sonnes vnburied yet,
To houer on the dreadfull shore of Stix?
Make way to lay them by their Bretheren.
They open the Tombe.
There greete in silence as the dead are wont,
And sleepe in peace, slaine in your Countries warres:
O sacred receptacle of my ioyes,
Sweet Cell of vertue and Noblitie,
How many Sonnes of mine hast thou in store,
That thou wilt neuer render to me more?

Luc.
Giue vs the proudest prisoner of the Gothes,
That we may hew his limbes, and on a pile
Ad manus fratrum, sacrifice his flesh:
Before this earthly prison of their bones,
That so the shadowes be not vnappeas'd,
Nor we disturb'd with prodigies on earth.

Tit.
I giue him you, the Noblest that Suruiues,
The eldest Son of this distressed Queene.

Tam.
Stay Romaine Bretheren, gracious Conqueror,
Victorious Titus, rue the teares I shed,
A Mothers teares in passion for her sonne:
And if thy Sonnes were euer deere to thee,
Oh thinke my sonnes to be as deere to mee.
Sufficeth not, that we are brought to Rome
To beautifie thy Triumphs, and returne
Captiue to thee, and to thy Romaine yoake,
But must my Sonnes be slaughtred in the streetes,
For Valiant doings in their Countries cause?
O! If to fight for King and Common-weale,
Were piety in thine, it is in these:
Andronicus, staine not thy Tombe with blood.
Wilt thou draw neere the nature of the Gods?
Draw neere them then in being mercifull.
Sweet mercy is Nobilities true badge,
Thrice Noble Titus, spare my first borne sonne.

Tit.
Patient your selfe Madam, and pardon me.
These are the Brethren, whom you Gothes beheld
Aliue and dead, and for their Bretheren slaine,
Religiously they aske a sacrifice:
To this your sonne is markt, and die he must,
T'appease their groaning shadowes that are gone.

Luc.
Away with him, and make a fire straight,
And with our Swords vpon a pile of wood,
Let's hew his limbes till they be cleane consum'd.
Exit Sonnes with Alarbus.

Tamo.
O cruell irreligious piety.

Chi.
Was euer Scythia halfe so barbarous?

Dem.
Oppose me Scythia to ambitious Rome,
Alarbus goes to rest, and we suruiue,
To tremble vnder Titus threatning lookes,
Then Madam stand resolu'd, but hope withall,
The selfe same Gods that arm'd the Queene of Troy
With opportunitie of sharpe reuenge
Vpon the Thracian Tyrant in his Tent,
May fauour Tamora the Queene of Gothes,
(When Gothes were Gothes, and Tamora was Queene)
To quit the bloody wrongs vpon her foes.
Enter the Sonnes of Andronicus againe.

Luci.
See Lord and Father, how we haue perform'd
Our Romaine rightes, Alarbus limbs are lopt,
And intrals feede the sacrifising fire,
Whose smoke like incense doth perfume the skie.
Remaineth nought but to interre our Brethren,
And with low'd Larums welcome them to Rome.

Tit.
Let it be so, and let Andronicus
Make this his latest farewell to their soules.
Flourish. Then Sound Trumpets, and lay the Coffins in the Tombe.
In peace and Honour rest you heere my Sonnes,
Romes readiest Champions, repose you heere in rest,
Secure from worldly chaunces and mishaps:
Heere lurks no Treason, heere no enuie swels,
Heere grow no damned grudges, heere are no stormes,
No noyse, but silence and Eternall sleepe,
Enter Lauinia.
In peace and Honour rest you heere my Sonnes.

Laui.
In peace and Honour, liue Lord Titus long,
My Noble Lord and Father, liue in Fame:
Loe at this Tombe my tributarie teares,
I render for my Bretherens Obsequies:
And at thy feete I kneele, with teares of ioy
Shed on the earth for thy returne to Rome.
O blesse me heere with thy victorious hand,
Whose Fortune Romes best Citizens applau'd.

Ti.
Kind Rome, / That hast thus louingly reseru'd
The Cordiall of mine age to glad my hart,
Lauinia liue, out-liue thy Fathers dayes:
And Fames eternall date for vertues praise.

Marc.
Long liue Lord Titus, my beloued brother,
Gracious Triumpher in the eyes of Rome.

Tit.
Thankes Gentle Tribune, / Noble brother Marcus.

Mar.
And welcome Nephews from succesfull wars,
You that suruiue and you that sleepe in Fame:
Faire Lords your Fortunes are all alike in all,
That in your Countries seruice drew your Swords.
But safer Triumph is this Funerall Pompe,
That hath aspir'd to Solons Happines,
And Triumphs ouer chaunce in honours bed.
Titus Andronicus,, thepeopleof Rome,
Whose friend in iustice thou hast euer bene,
Send thee by me their Tribune and their trust,
This Palliament of white and spotlesse Hue,
And name thee in Election for the Empire,
With these our late deceased Emperours Sonnes:
Be Candidatus then, and put it on,
And helpe to set a head on headlesse Rome.

Tit.
A better head her Glorious body fits,
Then his that shakes for age and feeblenesse:
What should I d'on this Robe and trouble you,
Be chosen with proclamations to day,
To morrow yeeld vp rule, resigne my life,
And set abroad new businesse for you all.
Rome I haue bene thy Souldier forty yeares,
And led my Countries strength successefully,
And buried one and twenty Valiant Sonnes,
Knighted in Field, slaine manfully in Armes,
In right and Seruice of their Noble Countrie:
Giue me a staffe of Honour for mine age.
But not a Scepter to controule the world,
Vpright he held it Lords, that held it last.

Mar.
Titus, thou shalt obtaine and aske the Emperie.

Sat.
Proud and ambitious Tribune can'st thou tell?

Titus.
Patience Prince Saturninus.

Sat.
Romaines do me right.
Patricians draw your Swords, and sheath them not
Till Saturninus be Romes Emperour:
Andronicus would thou wert shipt to hell,
Rather then rob me of the peoples harts.

Luc.
Proud Saturnine, interrupter of the good
That Noble minded Titus meanes to thee.

Tit.
Content thee Prince, I will restore to thee
The peoples harts, and weane them from themselues.

Bass.
Andronicus, I do not flatter thee
But Honour thee, and will doe till I die:
My Faction if thou strengthen with thy Friend?
I will most thankefull be, and thankes to men
Of Noble mindes, is Honourable Meede.

Tit.
People of Rome, and Noble Tribunes heere,
I aske your voyces and your Suffrages,
Will you bestow them friendly on Andronicus?

Tribunes.
To gratifie the good Andronicus,
And Gratulate his safe returne to Rome,
The people will accept whom he admits.

Tit.
Tribunes I thanke you, and this sure I make,
That you Create your Emperours eldest sonne,
Lord Saturnine, whose Vertues will I hope,
Reflect on Rome as Tytans Rayes on earth,
And ripen Iustice in this Common-weale:
Then if you will elect by my aduise,
Crowne him, and say: Long liue our Emperour.

Mar. An.
With Voyces and applause of euery sort,
Patricians and Plebeans we Create
Lord Saturninus Romes Great Emperour.
And say, Long liue our Emperour Saturnine.
A long Flourish till they come downe.

Satu.
Titus Andronicus, for thy Fauours done,
To vs in our Election this day,
I giue thee thankes in part of thy Deserts,
And will with Deeds requite thy gentlenesse:
And for an Onset Titus to aduance
Thy Name, and Honorable Familie,
Lauinia will I make my Empresse,
Romes Royall Mistris, Mistris of my hart
And in the Sacred Pathan her espouse:
Tell me Andronicus doth this motion please thee?

Tit.
It doth my worthy Lord, and in this match,
I hold me Highly Honoured of your Grace,
And heere in sight of Rome, to Saturnine,
King and Commander of our Common-weale,
The Wide-worlds Emperour, do I Consecrate,
My Sword, my Chariot, and my Prisonerss,
Presents well Worthy Romes Imperiall Lord:
Receiue them then, the Tribute that I owe,
Mine Honours Ensignes humbled at my feete.

Satu.
Thankes 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 vnspeakable Deserts,
Romans forget your Fealtie to me.

Tit.


Now Madam are your prisoner to an Emperour,
To him that for you Honour and your State,
Will vse you Nobly and your followers.

Satu.

A goodly Lady, trust me of the Hue
That I would choose, were I to choose a new:

Cleere vp Faire Queene that cloudy countenance,
Though chance of warre / Hath wrought this change of cheere,
Thou com'st not to be made a scorne in Rome:
Princely shall be thy vsage euery way.
Rest on my word, and let not discontent
Daunt all your hopes: Madam he comforts you,
Can make your Greater then the Queene of Gothes?
Lauinia you are not displeas'd with this?

Lau.
Not I my Lord, sith true Nobilitie,
Warrants these words in Princely curtesie.

Sat.
Thankes sweete Lauinia, Romans let vs goe:
Ransomlesse heere we set our Prisoners free,
Proclaime our Honors Lords with Trumpe and Drum.

Bass.
Lord Titus by your leaue, this Maid is mine.

Tit.
How sir? Are you in earnest then my Lord?

Bass.
I Noble Titus, and resolu'd withall,
To doe my selfe this reason, and this right.

Marc.
Suum cuiquam, is our Romane Iustice,
This Prince in Iustice ceazeth but his owne.

Luc.
And that he will and shall, if Lucius liue.

Tit.
Traytors auant, where is the Emperours Guarde?
Treason my Lord, Lauinia is surpris'd.

Sat.
Surpris'd, by whom?

Bass.
By him that iustly may
Beare his Betroth'd, from all the world away.

Muti.
Brothers helpe to conuey her hence away,
And with my Sword Ile keepe this doore safe.

Tit.
Follow my Lord, and Ile soone bring her backe.

Mut.
My Lord you passe not heere.

Tit.
What villaine Boy,
bar'st me my way in Rome?

Mut.
Helpe Lucius helpe.
He kils him.

Luc.
My Lord you are vniust, and more then so,
In wrongfull quarrell, you haue slaine your son.

Tit.
Nor thou, nor he are any sonnes of mine,
My sonnes would neuer so dishonour me.
Traytor restore Lauinia to the Emperour.

Luc.
Dead if you will, but not to be his wife,
That is anothers lawfull promist Loue.
Enter aloft the Emperour with Tamora and her
two sonnes, and Aaron the Moore.

Empe.
No Titus, no, the Emperour needs her not,
Nor her, nor thee, nor any of thy stocke:
Ile trust by Leisure him that mocks me once.
Thee neuer: nor thy Trayterous haughty sonnes,
Confederates all, thus to dishonour me.
Was none in Rome to make a stale
But Saturnine? Full well Andronicus
Agree these Deeds, with that proud bragge of thine,
That said'st, I beg'd the Empire at thy hands.

Tit.
O monstrous, what reproachfull words are these?

Sat.
But goe thy wayes, goe giue that changing peece,
To him that flourisht for her with his Sword:
A Valliant sonne in-law thou shalt enioy:
One, fit to bandy with thy lawlesse Sonnes,
To ruffle in the Common-wealth of Rome.

Tit.
These words are Razors to my wounded hart.

Sat.
And therefore louely Tamora Queene of Gothes,
That like the stately Thebe mong'st her Nimphs
Dost ouer-shine the Gallant'st Dames of Rome,
If thou be pleas'd with this my sodaine choyse,
Behold I choose thee Tamora for my Bride,
And will Create thee Empresse of Rome.
Speake Queene of Goths dost thou applau'd my choyse?
And heere I sweare by all the Romaine Gods,
Sith Priest and Holy-water are so neere,
And Tapers burne so bright, and euery thing
In readines for Hymeneus stand,
I will not resalute the streets of Rome,
Or clime my Pallace, till from forth this place,
I leade espous'd my Bride along with me,

Tamo.
And heere in sight of heauen to Rome I sweare,
If Saturnine aduance the Queen of Gothes,
Shee will a Hand-maid be to his desires,
A louing Nurse, a Mother to his youth.

Satur.
Ascend Faire Qeene, / Panthean Lords, accompany
Your Noble Emperour and his louely Bride,
Sent by the heauens for Prince Saturnine,
Whose wisedome hath her Fortune Conquered,
There shall we Consummate our Spousall rites.
Exeunt omnes.

Tit.
I am not bid to waite vpon this Bride:
Titus when wer't thou wont to walke alone,
Dishonoured thus and Challenged of wrongs?
Enter Marcus and Titus Sonnes.

Mar
O Titus see! O see what thou hast done!
In a bad quarrell, slaine a Vertuous sonne.

Tit.
No foolish Tribune, no: No sonne of mine,
Nor thou, nor these Confedrates in the deed,
That hath dishonoured all our Family,
Vnworthy brother, and vnworthy Sonnes.

Luci.
But let vs giue him buriall as becomes:
Giue Mutius buriall with our Bretheren.

Tit.
Traytors away, he rest's not in this Tombe:
This Monument fiue hundreth yeares hath stood,
Which I haue Sumptuously re-edified:
Heere none but Souldiers, and Romes Seruitors,
Repose in Fame: None basely slaine in braules,
Bury him where you can, he comes not heere.

Mar.
My Lord this is impiety in you,
My Nephew Mutius deeds do plead for him,
He must be buried with his bretheren.

Titus two Sonnes speakes.
And shall, or him we will accompany.

Ti.
And shall! What villaine was it spake that word?

Titus sonne speakes.
He that would vouch'd it in any place but heere.

Tit.
What would you bury him in my despight?

Mar.
No Noble Titus, but intreat of thee,
To pardon Mutius, and to bury him.

Tit.
Marcus, Euen thou hast stroke vpon my Crest,
And with these Boyes mine Honour thou hast wounded,
My foes I doe repute you euery one.
So trouble me no more, but get you gone.

1.Sonne.
He is not himselfe, let vs withdraw.

2.Sonne.
Not I tell Mutius bones be buried.
The Brother and the sonnes kneele.

Mar.
Brother, for in that name doth nature plea'd.

2.Sonne.
Father, and in that name doth nature speake.

Tit.
Speake thou no more if all the rest will speede.

Mar.
Renowned Titus more then halfe my soule.

Luc.
Deare Father, soule and substance of vs all.

Mar.
Suffer thy brother Marcus to interre
His Noble Nephew heere in vertues nest,
That died in Honour and Lauinia's cause.
Thou art a Romaine, be not barbarous:
The Greekes vpon aduise did bury Aiax
That slew himselfe: And Laertes sonne,
Did graciously plead for his Funerals:
Let not young Mutius then that was thy ioy,
Be bar'd his entrance heere.

Tit.
Rise Marcus, rise,
The dismall'st day is this that ere I saw,
To be dishonored by my Sonnes in Rome:
Well, bury him, and bury me the next.
They put him in the Tombe.

Luc.
There lie thy bones sweet Mutius with thy friends
Till we with Trophees do adorne thy Tombe.
They all kneele and say.
No man shed teares for Noble Mutius,
He liues in Fame, that di'd in vertues cause.
Exit.

Mar.
My Lord to step out of these sudden dumps,
How comes it that the subtile Queene of Gothes,
Is of a sodaine thus aduanc'd in Rome?

Ti.
I know not Marcus: but I know it is,
(Whether by deuise or no) the heauens can tell,
Is she not then beholding to the man,
That brought her for this high good turne so farre?
Yes, and will Nobly him remunerate.
Flourish.
Enter the Emperor, Tamora, and her two sons, with the
Moore at one doore. Enter at the other doore Bassianus
and Lauinia with others.

Sat.
So Bassianus, you haue plaid your prize,
God giue you ioy sir of your Gallant Bride.

Bass.
And you of yours my Lord: I say no more,
Nor wish no lesse, and so I take my leaue.

Sat.
Traytor, if Rome haue law, or we haue power,
Thou and thy Faction shall repent this Rape.

Bass.
Rape call you it my Lord, to cease my owne,
My true betrothed Loue, and now my wife?
But let the lawes of Rome determine all,
Meanewhile I am possest of that is mine.

Sat.
'Tis good sir: you are very short with vs,
But if we liue, weele be as sharpe with you.

Bass.
My Lord, what I haue done as best I may,
Answere I must, and shall do with my life,
Onely thus much I giue your Grace to know,
By all the duties that I owe to Rome,
This Noble Gentleman Lord Titus heere,
Is in opinion and in honour wrong'd,
That in the rescue of Lauinia,
With his owne hand did slay his youngest Son,
In zeale to you, and highly mou'd to wrath.
To be controul'd in that he frankly gaue:
Receiue him then to fauour Saturnine,
That hath expre'st himselfe in all his deeds,
A Father and a friend to thee, and Rome.

Tit.
Prince Bassianus leaue to plead my Deeds,
'Tis thou, and those, that haue dishonoured me,
Rome and the righteous heauens be my iudge,
How I haue lou'd and Honour'd Saturnine.

Tam.
My worthy Lord if euer Tamora,
Were gracious in those Princely eyes of thine,
Then heare me speake indifferently for all:
And at my sute (sweet) pardon what is past.

Satu.
What Madam, be dishonoured openly,
And basely put it vp without reuenge?

Tam.
Not so my Lord, / The Gods of Rome for-fend,
I should be Authour to dishonour you.
But on mine honour dare, I vndertake
For good Lord Titus innocence in all:
Whose fury not dissembled speakes his griefes:
Then at my sute looke graciously on him,
Loose not so noble a friend on vaine suppose,
Nor with sowre lookes afflict his gentle heart.
My Lord, be rul'd by me, be wonne at last,
Dissemble all your griefes and discontents,
You are but newly planted in your Throne,
Least then the people, and Patricians too,
Vpon a iust suruey take Titus part,
And so supplant vs for ingratitude,
Which Rome reputes to be a hainous sinne.
Yeeld at intreats, and then let me alone:
Ile finde a day to massacre them all,
And race their faction, and their familie,
The cruell Father, and his trayt'rous sonnes,
To whom I sued for my deare sonnes life.
And make them know what 'tis to let a Queene.
Kneele in the streetes, and beg for grace in vaine.
Come, come, sweet Emperour, (come Andronicus)
Take vp this good old man, and cheere the heart,
That dies in tempest of thy angry frowne.

King.
Rise Titus, rise, / My Empresse hath preuail'd.

Titus.
I thanke your Maiestie, / And her my Lord.
These words, these lookes, / Infuse new life in me.

Tamo.
Titus, I am incorparate in Rome,
A Roman now adopted happily.
And must aduise the Emperour for his good,
This day all quarrels die Andronicus.
And let it be mine honour good my Lord,
That I haue reconcil'd your friends and you.
For you Prince Bassianus, I haue past
My word and promise to the Emperour,
That you will be more milde and tractable.
And feare not Lords: / And you Lauinia,
By my aduise all humbled on your knees,
You shall aske pardon of his Maiestie.

Son.
We doe, And vow to heauen, and to his Highnes,
That what we did, was mildly, as we might,
Tendring our sisters honour and our owne.

Mar.
That on mine honour heere I do protest.

King.
Away and talke not, trouble vs no more.

Tamora.
Nay, nay, / Sweet Emperour, we must all be friends,
The Tribune and his Nephews kneele for grace,
I will not be denied, sweethart looke back.

King.
Marcus, / For thy sake and thy brothers heere,
And at my louely Tamora's intreats,
I doe remit these young mens haynous faults.
Stand vp:
Lauinia, though you left me like a churle,
I found a friend, and sure as death I sware,
I would not part a Batchellour from the Priest.
Come, if the Emperours Court can feast two Brides,
You are my guest Lauinia, and your friends:
This day shall be a Loue-day Tamora.

Tit.
To morrow and it please your Maiestie,
To hunt the Panther and the Hart with me,
With horne and Hound, Weele giue your Grace Bon iour.

Satur.
Be it so Titus, and Gramercy to.
Exeunt.
Modern text
Act I, Scene I
Flourish. Enter the tribunes and senators aloft; and
then enter below Saturninus and his followers at one
door, and Bassianus and his followers at the other,
with drums and colours

SATURNINUS
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.

BASSIANUS
Romans, friends, followers, favourers of my right,
If ever Bassianus, Caesar'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

MARCUS
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 yoked a nation strong, trained 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 returned
Bleeding to Rome, bearing his valiant sons
In coffins from the field, and at this day
To the monument of the Andronici
Done sacrifice of expiation,
And slain the noblest prisoner of the Goths.
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 you and abate your strength,
Dismiss your followers, and, as suitors should,
Plead your deserts in peace and humbleness.

SATURNINUS
How fair the tribune speaks to calm my thoughts.

BASSIANUS
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 fortune's and the people's favour
Commit my cause in balance to be weighed.
Exeunt his soldiers; his other followers remain

SATURNINUS
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 his soldiers; his other followers remain
(To the tribunes and senators above)
Rome, be as just and gracious unto me
As I am confident and kind to thee.
Open the gates and let me in.

BASSIANUS
Tribunes, and me, a poor competitor.
Flourish. They go up into the senate house.
Enter a Captain

CAPTAIN
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 returned
From where he circumscribed with his sword
And brought to yoke the enemies of Rome.
Sound drums and trumpets. Then enter two of Titus's
sons, Martius and Mutius, then two men bearing a
Coffin covered with black, then two other sons, Lucius
and Quintus, then Titus Andronicus, and then
Tamora, the Queen of Goths, and her three sons,
Alarbus, Chiron and Demetrius, with Aaron the Moor,
and others as many as can be. Then set down the coffin,
and Titus speaks

TITUS
Hail, Rome, victorious in thy mourning weeds!
Lo, as the bark that hath discharged his freight
Returns with precious lading to the bay
From whence at first she weighed 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.
Here Goths have given me leave to sheathe my sword.
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.
They open the tomb
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,
Sweet cell of virtue and nobility,
How many sons hast thou of mine in store
That thou wilt never render to me more!

LUCIUS
Give us the proudest prisoner of the Goths,
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 unappeased,
Nor we disturbed with prodigies on earth.

TITUS
I give him you, the noblest that survives,
The eldest son of this distressed queen.

TAMORA
(kneeling)
Stay, Roman brethren! Gracious conqueror,
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 slaughtered 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.

TITUS
Patient yourself, madam, and pardon me.
These are their brethren whom your Goths beheld
Alive and dead, and for their brethren slain
Religiously they ask a sacrifice.
To this your son is marked, and die he must
T' appease their groaning shadows that are gone.

LUCIUS
Away with him, and make a fire straight,
And with our swords upon a pile of wood
Let's hew his limbs till they be clean consumed.
Exeunt Titus's sons with Alarbus

TAMORA
(rising)
O cruel, irreligious piety.

CHIRON
Was never Scythia half so barbarous.

DEMETRIUS
Oppose not Scythia to ambitious Rome.
Alarbus goes to rest and we survive
To tremble under Titus' threat'ning look.
Then, madam, stand resolved; but hope withal
The selfsame gods that armed 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 these bloody wrongs upon her foes.
Enter the sons of Andronicus, with their swords bloody

LUCIUS
See, lord and father, how we have performed
Our Roman rites. Alarbus' limbs are lopped,
And entrails feed the sacrificing fire,
Whose smoke like incense doth perfume the sky.
Remaineth naught but to inter our brethren,
And with loud 'larums welcome them to Rome.

TITUS
Let it be so, and let Andronicus
Make this his latest farewell to their souls.
Sound trumpets, and lay the coffin in the tomb
In peace and honour rest you here, my sons;
Rome's readiest champions, repose you here in rest,
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.
Enter Lavinia
In peace and honour rest you here, my sons.

LAVINIA
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,
(Kneeling) And at thy feet I kneel with tears of joy
Shed on this earth for thy return to Rome.
O bless me here with thy victorious hand,
Whose fortunes Rome's best citizens applaud.

TITUS
Kind Rome, that hast thus lovingly reserved
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.
Lavinia rises

MARCUS
(above)
Long live Lord Titus, my beloved brother,
Gracious triumpher in the eyes of Rome!

TITUS
Thanks, gentle tribune, noble brother Marcus.

MARCUS
And welcome, nephews, from successful wars,
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 aspired 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.

TITUS
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 today,
Tomorrow 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.

MARCUS
Titus, thou shalt obtain and ask the empery.

SATURNINUS
(above)
Proud and ambitious tribune, canst thou tell?

TITUS
Patience, Prince Saturninus.

SATURNINUS
Romans, do me right!
Patricians, draw your swords and sheathe them not
Till Saturninus be Rome's emperor.
Andronicus, would thou wert shipped to hell
Rather than rob me of the people's hearts.

LUCIUS
Proud Saturnine, interrupter of the good
That noble-minded Titus means to thee.

TITUS
Content thee, prince; I will restore to thee
The people's hearts, and wean them from themselves.

BASSIANUS
(above)
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.

TITUS
People of Rome and people's tribunes here,
I ask your voices and your suffrages.
Will ye bestow them friendly on Andronicus?

TRIBUNES
(above)
To gratify the good Andronicus
And gratulate his safe return to Rome,
The people will accept whom he admits.

TITUS
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!’

MARCUS
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 Marcus, Saturninus, Bassianus,
tribunes and senators come down.
Marcus crowns Saturninus

SATURNINUS
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 thee?

TITUS
It doth, my worthy lord, and in this match
I hold me highly honoured 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.

SATURNINUS
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.

TITUS
(to Tamora)
Now, madam, are you prisoner to an emperor,
To him that for your honour and your state
Will use you nobly and your followers.

SATURNINUS
(aside)
A goodly lady, trust me, of the hue
That I would choose were I to choose anew.
(To Tamora)
Clear up, fair queen, that cloudy countenance;
Though chance of war hath wrought this change of cheer,
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 displeased with this?

LAVINIA
Not I, my lord, sith true nobility
Warrants these words in princely courtesy.

SATURNINUS
Thanks, sweet Lavinia. Romans, let us go.
Ransomless here we set our prisoners free;
Proclaim our honours, lords, with trump and drum.
Flourish

BASSIANUS
(seizing Lavinia)
Lord Titus, by your leave, this maid is mine.

TITUS
How, sir? Are you in earnest then, my lord?

BASSIANUS
Ay, noble Titus, and resolved withal
To do myself this reason and this right.

MARCUS
Suum cuique is our Roman justice;
This prince in justice seizeth but his own.

LUCIUS
And that he will and shall, if Lucius live.
Exeunt Tamora, Demetrius, Chiron and attendants

TITUS
Traitors, avaunt! Where is the Emperor's guard?
Treason, my lord! Lavinia is surprised.

SATURNINUS
Surprised? By whom?

BASSIANUS
By him that justly may
Bear his betrothed from all the world away.
Exeunt Bassianus and Marcus with Lavinia

MUTIUS
Brothers, help to convey her hence away,
And with my sword I'll keep this door safe.
Exeunt Quintus and Martius at one door

TITUS
(to Saturninus)
Follow, my lord, and I'll soon bring her back.
Exit Saturninus at the other door

MUTIUS
My lord, you pass not here.

TITUS
What, villain boy,
Barr'st me my way in Rome?
He attacks Mutius

MUTIUS
Help, Lucius, help.
Titus kills him

LUCIUS
My lord, you are unjust, and more than so,
In wrongful quarrel you have slain your son.

TITUS
Nor thou, nor he, are any sons of mine;
My sons would never so dishonour me.
Traitor, restore Lavinia to the Emperor.

LUCIUS
Dead, if you will, but not to be his wife
That is another's lawful promised love.
Exit
Enter aloft the Emperor with Tamora and her two
sons, and Aaron the Moor

SATURNINUS
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,
Confederates all thus to dishonour me.
Was none in Rome to make a stale
But Saturnine? Full well, Andronicus,
Agree these deeds with that proud brag of thine,
That saidst I begged the empire at thy hands.

TITUS
O monstrous! What reproachful words are these?

SATURNINUS
But go thy ways, go give that changing piece
To him that flourished 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.

TITUS
These words are razors to my wounded heart.

SATURNINUS
And therefore, lovely Tamora, Queen of Goths,
That like the stately Phoebe 'mongst her nymphs
Dost overshine the gallant'st dames of Rome,
If thou be pleased with this my sudden choice,
Behold, I choose thee, Tamora, for my bride,
And will create thee Empress of Rome.
Speak, Queen of Goths, dost thou applaud my choice?
And here I swear by all the Roman gods,
Sith priest and holy water are so near,
And tapers burn so bright, and everything
In readiness for Hymenaeus stand,
I will not re-salute the streets of Rome
Or climb my palace, till from forth this place
I lead espoused my bride along with me.

TAMORA
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.

SATURNINUS
Ascend, fair queen, Pantheon. Lords, accompany
Your noble Emperor and his lovely bride,
Sent by the heavens for Prince Saturnine,
Whose wisdom hath her fortune conquered.
There shall we consummate our spousal rites.
Exeunt all but Titus

TITUS
I am not bid to wait upon this bride.
Titus, when wert thou wont to walk alone,
Dishonoured thus, and challenged of wrongs?
Enter Marcus and Titus's sons, Lucius, Quintus, and
Martius

MARCUS
O Titus, see! O see what thou hast done:
In a bad quarrel slain a virtuous son.

TITUS
No, foolish tribune, no. No son of mine,
Nor thou, nor these, confederates in the deed
That hath dishonoured all our family,
Unworthy brother, and unworthy sons.

LUCIUS
But let us give him burial as becomes;
Give Mutius burial with our brethren.

TITUS
Traitors, away! He rests not in this tomb.
This monument five hundred years hath stood,
Which I have sumptuously re-edified.
Here none but soldiers and Rome's servitors
Repose in fame; none basely slain in brawls.
Bury him where you can, he comes not here.

MARCUS
My lord, this is impiety in you.
My nephew Mutius' deeds do plead for him;
He must be buried with his brethren.

MARTIUS and QUINTUS
And shall, or him we will accompany.

TITUS
‘ And shall ’? What villain was it spake that word?

MARTIUS
He that would vouch it in any place but here.

TITUS
What, would you bury him in my despite?

MARCUS
No, noble Titus, but entreat of thee
To pardon Mutius and to bury him.

TITUS
Marcus, even thou hast struck upon my crest,
And with these boys mine honour thou hast wounded.
My foes I do repute you every one,
So trouble me no more, but get you gone.

QUINTUS
He is not with himself; let us withdraw.

MARTIUS
Not I, till Mutius' bones be buried.
The brother and the sons kneel

MARCUS
Brother, for in that name doth nature plead –

MARTIUS
Father, and in that name doth nature speak –

TITUS
Speak thou no more, if all the rest will speed.

MARCUS
Renowned Titus, more than half my soul –

LUCIUS
Dear father, soul and substance of us all –

MARCUS
Suffer thy brother Marcus to inter
His noble nephew here in virtue's nest,
That died in honour and Lavinia's cause.
Thou art a Roman, be not barbarous.
The Greeks upon advice did bury Ajax
That slew himself, and wise Laertes' son
Did graciously plead for his funerals.
Let not young Mutius then, that was thy joy,
Be barred his entrance here.

TITUS
Rise, Marcus, rise.
They rise
The dismall'st day is this that e'er I saw,
To be dishonoured by my sons in Rome.
Well, bury him, and bury me the next.
They put Mutius in the tomb

LUCIUS
There lie thy bones, sweet Mutius, with thy friends,
Till we with trophies do adorn thy tomb.

ALL
(kneeling)
No man shed tears for noble Mutius;
He lives in fame, that died in virtue's cause.
They rise
Exeunt all but Marcus and Titus

MARCUS
My lord, to step out of these dreary dumps,
How comes it that the subtle Queen of Goths
Is of a sudden thus advanced in Rome?

TITUS
I know not, Marcus, but I know it is.
Whether by device or no, the heavens can tell.
Is she not then beholden to the man
That brought her for this high good turn so far?

MARCUS
Yes, and will nobly him remunerate.
Flourish.
Enter the Emperor, Tamora and her two sons, with the
Moor, at one door. Enter at the other door Bassianus
and Lavinia, with Lucius, Quintus and Martius

SATURNINUS
So, Bassianus, you have played your prize.
God give you joy, sir, of your gallant bride.

BASSIANUS
And you of yours, my lord. I say no more,
Nor wish no less, and so I take my leave.

SATURNINUS
Traitor, if Rome have law or we have power,
Thou and thy faction shall repent this rape.

BASSIANUS
‘ Rape ’ call you it, my lord, to seize my own,
My true-betrothed love, and now my wife?
But let the laws of Rome determine all;
Meanwhile I am possessed of that is mine.

SATURNINUS
'Tis good, sir. You are very short with us,
But if we live, we'll be as sharp with you.

BASSIANUS
My lord, what I have done, as best I may
Answer I must, and shall do with my life.
Only thus much I give your grace to know:
By all the duties that I owe to Rome,
This noble gentleman, Lord Titus here,
Is in opinion and in honour wronged,
That in the rescue of Lavinia
With his own hand did slay his youngest son
In zeal to you, and highly moved to wrath
To be controlled in that he frankly gave.
Receive him then to favour, Saturnine,
That hath expressed himself in all his deeds
A father and a friend to thee and Rome.

TITUS
Prince Bassianus, leave to plead my deeds.
'Tis thou and those that have dishonoured me.
(Kneeling) Rome and the righteous heavens be my judge,
How I have loved and honoured Saturnine.

TAMORA
My worthy lord, if ever Tamora
Were gracious in those princely eyes of thine,
Then hear me speak indifferently for all,
And at my suit, sweet, pardon what is past.

SATURNINUS
What, madam, be dishonoured openly,
And basely put it up without revenge?

TAMORA
Not so, my lord. The gods of Rome forfend
I should be author to dishonour you.
But on mine honour dare I undertake
For good Lord Titus' innocence in all,
Whose fury not dissembled speaks his griefs.
Then at my suit look graciously on him;
Lose not so noble a friend on vain suppose,
Nor with sour looks afflict his gentle heart.
(Aside to Saturninus)
My lord, be ruled by me, be won at last,
Dissemble all your griefs and discontents.
You are but newly planted in your throne.
Lest then the people, and patricians too,
Upon a just survey take Titus' part
And so supplant you for ingratitude,
Which Rome reputes to be a heinous sin,
Yield at entreats, and then let me alone:
I'll find a day to massacre them all,
And raze their faction and their family,
The cruel father and his traitorous sons
To whom I sued for my dear son's life,
And make them know what 'tis to let a queen
Kneel in the streets and beg for grace in vain.
(To all) Come, come, sweet Emperor; come, Andronicus.
Take up this good old man, and cheer the heart
That dies in tempest of thy angry frown.

SATURNINUS
Rise, Titus, rise; my Empress hath prevailed.

TITUS
(rising)
I thank your majesty and her, my lord.
These words, these looks, infuse new life in me.

TAMORA
Titus, I am incorporate in Rome,
A Roman now adopted happily,
And must advise the Emperor for his good.
This day all quarrels die, Andronicus;
(To Saturnine) And let it be mine honour, good my lord,
That I have reconciled your friends and you.
For you, Prince Bassianus, I have passed
My word and promise to the Emperor
That you will be more mild and tractable.
And fear not, lords, and you, Lavinia:
By my advice, all humbled on your knees,
You shall ask pardon of his majesty.
Bassianus, Lavinia, Lucius, Quintus, and Martius
kneel

LUCIUS
We do, and vow to heaven and to his highness
That what we did was mildly as we might,
Tend'ring our sister's honour and our own.

MARCUS
(kneeling)
That on mine honour here I do protest.

SATURNINUS
Away, and talk not, trouble us no more.

TAMORA
Nay, nay, sweet Emperor, we must all be friends.
The tribune and his nephews kneel for grace;
I will not be denied; sweetheart, look back.

SATURNINUS
Marcus, for thy sake, and thy brother's here,
And at my lovely Tamora's entreats,
I do remit these young men's heinous faults.
Stand up. (They rise)
Lavinia, though you left me like a churl,
I found a friend, and sure as death I swore
I would not part a bachelor from the priest.
Come, if the Emperor's court can feast two brides,
You are my guest, Lavinia, and your friends.
This day shall be a love-day, Tamora.

TITUS
Tomorrow, an it please your majesty
To hunt the panther and the hart with me,
With horn and hound we'll give your grace bonjour.

SATURNINUS
Be it so, Titus, and gramercy too.
Sound trumpets
Exeunt all but Aaron
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