SATURNINUS, Son to the late Emperor of Rome, and afterwards declared Emperor himself.

BASSIANUS, Brother to Saturninus; in love with Lavinia.

TITUS ANDRONICUS, a noble Roman, General against the Goths. MARCUS ANDRONICUS, Tribune of the People; and Brother to Titus.

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Sons to Tamora.

AARON, a Moor, beloved by Tamora.

A Captain, Tribune, Messenger, and Clown; Romans.

Goths and Romans.

TAMORA, Queen of the Goths.

LAVINIA, Daughter to Titus Andronicus.

A Nurse, and a Black Child.

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


SCENE, Rome; and the Country near it



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 colors.

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 ware the imperial diadem of Rome; Then let my father's honors live in me, Nor wrong mine age? with this indignity.

Bas. Romans,-friends, followers, favorers 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 dishonor to approach
The imperial seat, to virtue consecrate,
To justice, continence, and nobility:

1 i. e. my title to the succession. "The empire being elective, and not successive, the emperors in being made profit of their own times."-Raleigh. 2 Saturninus means his seniority in point of age. In a subsequent passage, Tamora speaks of him as a very young man.

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 accited1 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 now at last, laden with honor's spoils,
Returns the good Andronicus to Rome,
Renowned Titus, flourishing in arms.
Let us entreat,—by honor of his name,
Whom, worthily, you would have now succeed,
And in the Capitol and senate's right,

Whom you pretend to honor and adore,—
That 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 thoughts!

Bas. Marcus Andronicus, so I do affy
In thy uprightness and integrity,
And so I love and honor thee and thine,
Thy nobler brother Titus, and his sons,

1 Summered.

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 favor,
Commit my cause in balance to be weighed.

[Exeunt 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 favor 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.

SCENE II. The same.

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 fights, With honor and with fortune is returned, From where he circumscribed with his sword, And brought to yoke the enemies of Rome.

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! Lo, as the bark that hath discharged her fraught,

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 rights 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.

[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,

Sweet cell of virtue and nobility,

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,
Before this earthly 2 prison of their bones;
That so the shadows be not unappeased,
Nor we disturbed with prodigies on earth.

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

Tam. 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,

1 Jupiter, to whom the Capitol was sacred.

2 Earthy. Ed. 1600.

3 i. e. in grief.

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