Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

Dol. Cesar, thy thoughts

Touch their effects in this: Thyself art coming
To see perform'd the dreaded act, which thou
So sought'st to hinder.

Within. A way there, way for Cesar!

Enter CESAR, and Attendants.

Dol. O Sir, you are too sure an augurer; That you did fear, is done.

Ces. Bravest at the last :

She levell'd at our purposes, and, being royal,
Took her own way.-The manner of their deaths?

I do not see them bleed.

Dol. Who was last with them?

[blocks in formation]

Ces. Most probable,

That so she died; for her physician tells me,
She had pursu'd conclusions + infinite

Of easy ways to die.-Take up her bed;
And bear her women from the monument :-

1 Guard. A simple countryman, that brought She shall be buried by her Antony :

her figs :

This was his basket.

Ces. Poison'd then.

1 Guard. O Cesar,

No grave upon the earth shall clip in it
A pair so famous. High events as these
Strike those that make them, and their story is
No less in pity, than his glory, which

This Charmian lived but now; she stood, and Brought them to be lamented. Our army shall,

[blocks in formation]

TITUS ANDRONICUS.

LITERARY AND HISTORICAL NOTICE.

AS it is intended, in the present collection of Shakspeare's Dramatic Works, to present in regular succession all such as have the scenery, characters, or manners, drawn from the same country, the sanguinary and disgusting Tragedy of Titus Andronicus is placed in immediate sequence to those that are essentially of Roman origin. The events, however, are not of historical occurrence, but were probably borrowed from an old ballad entered on the books of the Stationers' Company in the year 1593, about which period it may also have been written. Its identity, however, as one of Shakspeare's productions, rests on a very doubtful foundation. Dr. Percy supposes it only to have been corrected and re-touched by aim; but, says Dr. Johnson, “I do not find his touches very discernible." It is devoid of any striking sentiment--- it has none of the philosophic stateliness which generally distinguishes his plays---the anachronisms are gross---the language throughout is as tumid and laboured as the plot is horrid and unnatural ;---and the only approach to energy discernible in the play, occurs in the scene between Aaron, the nurse, and Demetrius. Indeed, there is internal evidence enough (in the versification, the character of the composition, the total difference of conduct, language, and sentiment, and also in its resemblance to several dramas of much more ancient date) to prove, with irresistible force, that it has been erroneously ascribed to Shakspeare. Dr. Johnson says, "All the editors and critics agree with Mr. Theobald in supposing this play spurious. I see no reason for differing from them; for the colour of the style is wholly different from that of the other play, and there is an attempt at regular versification and artificial closes, not always inelegant, yet seldom pleasing. The barbarity of the spectacle, 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 applauded. That Shakspeare wrote any part, though Theobald declares it incontestible, I see no reason for believing."

DRAMATIS PERSONE.

SATURNINUS, Son to the late Emperor of Rome, | EMILIUS, a noble Roman.

and afterwards declared Emperor ALARBUS,

himself.

[ocr errors]

with Lavinia.

CHIRON,

Sons to Tamora.

AARON, a Moor, beloved by Tumora.

TITUS ANDRONICUS, a noble Roman, General | A CAPTAIN,TRIBUNE, MESSENGER, and CLOWN; against the Goths.

MARCUS ANDRONICUS, Tribune of the People;

LUCIUS,

and Brother to Titus.

[blocks in formation]

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 Attendants.

SCENE: Rome, and the Country near it.

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,
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.

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.

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 their common voice,
In election for the Roman empery,

Chosen Andronicus, surnamed Pius

For many good and great deserts to Rome;

Bas. Romans, friends, followers, favourers of A nobler man, a braver warrior,

of my right,

If ever Bassianus, Cesar's son,

Were gracious in the eyes of royal Rome,

My title to the succession.

Lives not this day within the city walls:
He by the senate is accited home,
From weary wars against the barbarous Goths,

• Summoned.

[graphic][graphic][merged small][merged small][subsumed][merged small][graphic][graphic][merged small][subsumed][merged small][merged small][graphic][graphic][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

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 returu'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 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.
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 honour thee and thine,
Thy nobler brother Titus, and his sons,

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 prison of their bones:
That so the shadows be not unappeas'd,
Nor we disturb'd 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 con-
queror.

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,

And her, to whom my thoughts are humbled all, Oh! think my son to be as dear to me.

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.
[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 favour of my country
Commit myself, my person, and my 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 ex-
eunt with SENATORS, MARCUS, &c.

SCENE II.-The same.

Enter a CAPTAIN, and others.
Cap. Romans, make way-The good And:o-
nicus,

Patron of virtue, Rome's best champion,
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.
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 ANDRONI-
CUS; and then TAMORA, with ALARBUS, CHI-
RON, 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 weigh'd 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:

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?
Oh! 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:
Sweet mercy is nobility's true badge--
Thrice-noble Titus, spare my first-born son.

Tit. Patient yourself, madam, and pardon me. These are their brethren, whom you Goths beheld

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:

And with your swords, upon a pile of wood,
Let's hew his limbs, till they be clean consum'd
Exeunt LUCIUS, QUINTUS, MARTIUS, and
MUTIUS, with ALARBUS.

Tam. O cruel, irreligious piety!
Chi. Was ever Scythia half so barbarons ?
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 Goth,
(When Goths were Goths, and Tamora was
queen,)

To quit the bloody wrongs upon her foes.
Re-enter LUCIUS, QUINTUS, MARTIUS, and
MUTIUS, with their Swords bloody.
Luc. See, lord and father, how we have per-
form'd

Our Roman rites: Alarbus' limbs are lopp'd
And entrails feed the sacrificing fire,
Whose smoke, like incense, dotli 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,

[Trumpets sounded, and the Coffins laid
in the Tomb.

In peace and honour rest you here, my sous.
Rome's readiest champions, repose you here,

Here Goths have given me leave to sheath my Secure from worldly chances and mishaps!

sword.

[blocks in formation]

Here lurks no treason, here no envy swells,
Here grow no damned grudges, here are no

storms.

• It was supposed that the ghosts of unburied people appeared to solicit the rights of funeral.

M

« ForrigeFortsett »