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And suffer not dishonour to approach
The imperial seat, to virtue consecrate,
To justice, continence, and nobility:
But let desert in
election shine; And, Romans, fight for freedom in your choice.
Enter MARCUS ANDRONICUS aloft, with the crown. Marc. Princes that strive by factions, and by
friends, Ambitiously for rule and empery, Know, that the people of Rome, for whom we
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;
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
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 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
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,
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 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 And to the love and favour 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.
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 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 MAR
TIUS : 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
Tit. Hail, Rome, victorious in thy mourning
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,
To re-salute his country with his tears ;
Tears of true joy for his return to Rome.
Thou great defender of this Capitol 3,
Stand gracious to the rights that we intend !
Romans, of five and twenty
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 sheath 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 !
Jupiter, to whom the Capitol was sacred.
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,
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-
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 slaughter'd in the streets,
For valiant doings in their country's cause ?
O! 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.
* It was supposed that the ghosts of unburied people appeared to solicit the rites of funeral. Suffering
Luc. 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 consum'd.
[Exeunt LUCIUS, QUINTUS, MARTIUS, and
Mutius, with ALARBUS.
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.
Re-enter LUCIUS, QUINTUS, MARTIUS, and Mu
TIUS, with their Swords bloody.
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. [Trumpets sounded, and the Coffins laid in the
Tomb. 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 inward grudges; here are no storms, No noise, but silence and eternal sleep: