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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.
Tit. 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 to-day,
To-morrow 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.

Marc. Titus, thou shalt obtain and ask the

empery.

Sat. Proud and ambitious tribune, canst thou

tell?

Tit. Patience, Prince Saturninus.

Sat.

Romans, do me right:

Patricians, draw your swords, and sheathe them not Till Saturninus be Rome's emperor.

177. Solon's happiness; happiness as conceived by Solon, who declared that no man was to be called happy before he died.

182. palliament, Roman mantle (a coinage from 'pallium ').

201. obtain and ask, obtain merely by asking.

:

1

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 210 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,
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 till they come down.

Sat. Titus Andronicus, for thy favours done
To us in our election this day,

I give thee thanks in part of thy deserts,

221. gratulate, mark Our 224. create, elect.

satisfaction at.

220

230

230. sort, class (of citizens).

[graphic]

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?
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. [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.

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 comest 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

238. onset, first step (Ger. 'Ansatz').

1

Can make you greater than the Queen of Goths.
Lavinia, you are not displeased 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.
Saturninus courts Tamora

[Flourish.

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 resolved withal

To do myself this reason and this right.

270

Marc. 'Suum cuique' is our Roman justice: 280 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 surprised!

Sat. Surprised! by whom?

Bas.

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.

Tit.

Barr'st me my way in Rome?

Mut.

What, villain boy! 290 [Stabbing Mutius.

Help, Lucius, help! [Dies.

[During the fray, Saturninus, Tamora, Demetrius, Chiron and Aaron go out and re-enter, above.

288. door (disyllabic).

[graphic]

Re-enter LUCIUS.

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 promised love. [Exit.
Sat. 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 there none else in Rome to make a stale,
But Saturnine? Full well, Andronicus,
Agree these deeds with that proud brag of thine,
That said'st 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 Phoebe 'mongst her nymphs
Dost overshine the gallant'st dames of Rome,

298. That, i. e. Lavinia.
301. I'll trust, by leisure, I

shall be in no hurry to trust.

304. stale, laughing-stock,

dupe.

300

[graphic]

309. piece, creature.
313. ruffle, riot, be turbu-

lent.

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