Page images
PDF
EPUB

And with our swords, upon a pile of wood,
Let's hew his limbs till they be clean consumed.

[Exeunt the sons of Andronicus with Alarbus. Tam. O cruel, irreligious piety!

130 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 resolved; 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. 141

Re-enter the sons of Andronicus, with their swords bloody. Luc. See, lord and father, how we have perform’d

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 coffin laid in the tomb. In peace and honour rest you here, my sons ; 150 Rome's readiest champions, repose you here in

rest,
Secure from worldly chances and mishaps !
Here lurks no treason, here no envy swells,
Here grow no damned drugs; here are no storms,

No noise, but silence and eternal sleep:
In peace and honour rest you here, my sons !

Enter Lavinia.

160

Lav. In peace and honour live Lord Titus long;

My noble lord and father, live in fame!
Lo, at this tomb my tributary tears
I render, for my brethren's obsequies ;
And at thy feet I kneel, with tears of joy
Shed on the earth, for thy return to Rome:
O, bless me here with thy victorious hand,

Whose fortunes Rome's best citizens applaud !
Tit. Kind Rome, that hast thus lovingly reserved

The cordial of mine age to glad my heart !
Lavinia, live; outlive thy father's days,
And fame's eternal date, for virtue's praise !

Enter, below, Marcus Andronicus and Tribunes;

re-enter Saturninus and Bassianus attended. Marc. Long live Lord Titus, my beloved brother,

Gracious triumpher in the eyes of Rome! 170
Tit. Thanks, gentle tribune, noble brother Marcus.
Marc. And welcome, nephews, from successful wars,

You that survive, and you that sleep in fame !
Fair lords, your fortunes are alike in all,
That in your country's service drew your swords :
But safer triumph is this funeral pomp,
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,

180 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,

190
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.

200
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.
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,

220

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, 230

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,
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,

240
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 imperious lord : 250
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. [T. 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.

260 Sat. A goodly lady, trust me; of the hue That I would choose, were I to choose anew.

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
Can make you greater than the Queen of Goths.
Lavinia, you are not displeased with this ?

270 Lav. Not I, my lord; sith true nobility

Warrants these words in princely courtesy. Sat. Thanks, sweet Lavinia. Romans, let us go:

Clear up,

« PreviousContinue »