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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.
Marc. Titus, thou shalt obtain and ask the empery.
Sat. Proud and ambitious tribune, canst thou tell ?
Tit. Patience, Prince Saturninus.(9)
Romans, do me right;-
Patricians, draw your swords, and sheathe them not
Till Saturninus be Rome's emperor.-
Andronicus, would thou wert shipp'd to hell,
Rather than rob me of the people's hearts !
Luc. Proud Saturnine, interrupter of the good That noble-minded Titus means to thee!
Tit. Content thee, prince; I will restore to thee
The people's hearts, and wean them from themselves.
Bas. Andronicus, I do not flatter thee,
But honour thee, and will do till I die:
My faction if thou strengthen with thy friends,(10)
I will most thankful be; and thanks to men
Of noble minds is honourable meed.
Tit. People of Rome, and people's tribunes here,
I ask your voices and your suffrages :
Will you bestow them friendly on Andronicus ?
Tribunes. To gratify the good Andronicus,
And gratulate his safe return to Rome,
The people will accept whom he admits.
Tit. 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 !"
Marc. 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.
Sat. 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,(-1)
Rome's royal mistress, mistress of my heart,
And in the sacred Pantheon (12) her espouse:
Tell me, Andronicus, doth this motion please thee?
Tit. It doth, my worthy lord; and in this match
I hold me highly honour'd 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 imperial lord :
Receive them, then, the tribute that I owe,
Mine honour's ensigns humbled at thy feet.
Sat. 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.
Tit. Now, madam, are you prisoner to an emperor;
[To Tamora. To him that, for your honour and your state, Will use you nobly and your followers.
Sat. A goodly lady, trust me; of the hue That I would choose, were I to choose anew.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 displeas'd with this?
Lav. Not I, my lord; sith true nobility
Warrants these words in princely courtesy.
Sat. Thanks, sweet Lavinia.—Romans, let us go :
Ransomless here we set our prisoners free:
Proclaim our honours, lords, with trump and drum.
[Flourish. Saturninus courts Tamora in dumb show. Bas. Lord Titus, by your leave, this maid is mine.
. [Seizing Lavinia. Tit. How, sir! are you in earnest, then, my lord ?
Bas. Ay, noble Titus; and resolv'd withal To do myself this reason and this right.
Marc. Suum cuique is our Roman justice : This prince in justice seizeth but his own.
Luc. And that he will, and shall, if Lucius live.
Tit. Traitors, avaunt!—Where is the emperor's guard ?Treason, my lord,-Lavinia is surpris'd!
Sat. Surpris'd! by whom?
By him that justly may
Bear his betroth'd from all the world away.
[Exeunt Bassianus and Marcus with Lavinia. Mut. Brothers, help to convey her hence away, And with my sword I'll keep this door safe.
[Exeunt Lucius, Quintus, and Martius.
Tit. Follow, my lord, and I'll soon bring her back.
Mut. My lord, you pass not here.
What, villain boy!
Barr'st me my way in Rome?
[Stabbing Mutius. Mut.
Help, Lucius, help! [Dies.
Luc. My lord, you are unjust; and, more than so,
In wrongful quarrel you have slain your son.
Tit. Nor thou, nor he, are any sons of mine;
My sons would never so dishonour me:
Traitor, restore Lavinia to the emperor.
Luc. Dead, if you will; but not to be his wife,
That is another's lawful promis'd love. .
[Exit. Sat. No, Titus, no; the emperor needs her not,(13) 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,(14) But Saturnine ? Full well, Andronicus, Agree these deeds with that proud brag of thine, That saidst, I begg’d the empire at thy hands.
Tit. O monstrous! what reproachful words are these?
Sat. But go thy ways; go, give that changing piece
To him that flourish'd 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.
Tit. These words are razors to my wounded heart.
Sat. And therefore, lovely Tamora, queen of Goths,-
That, like the stately Phæbe 'mongst her nymphs,
Dost overshine the gallant'st dames of Rome,-
If thou be pleas'd with this my sudden choice,
Behold, I choose thee, Tamora, for my bride,
And will create thee empress(15) 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 every thing
In readiness for Hymenæus stand, -
I will not re-salute the streets of Rome,
Or climb my palace, till from forth this place
I lead espous'd my bride along with me.
Tam. 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.
Sat. Ascend, fair queen, Pantheon. - Lords, accom-
pany 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 Saturninus attended, Tamora, Demetrius,
Chiron, Aaron, and Goths.
Tit. I am not bid to wait upon this bride :-
Titus, when wert thou wont to walk alone,
Dishonour'd thus, and challenged of wrongs?
Re-enter MARCUS, LUCIUS, QUINTUS, and MARTIUS.
Marc. O Titus, see, O, see what thou hast done!
In a bad quarrel slain a virtuous son.
Tit. No, foolish tribune, no; no son of mine,-
Nor thou, nor these, confederates in the deed
That hath dishonour'd all our family;
Unworthy brother, and unworthy sons !
Luc. But let us give him burial, as becomes;
Give Mutius burial with our brethren.
Tit. 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.
Marc. My lord, this is impiety in you:
My nephew Mutius' deeds do plead for him ;
He must be buried with his brethren.
Quin. Mart. And shall, or him we will accompany.
Tit. And shall! what villain was it spake that word ?
Quin. He that would vouch it in any place but here.
Tit. What, would you bury him in my despite ?
Marc. No, noble Titus; but entreat of thee
To pardon Mutius, and to bury him.
Tit. 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.
Mart. He is not with himself; let us withdraw.
Quin. Not I, till Mutius' bones be buried.
[Marcus and the Sons of Titus kneel.