Page images

Ransomless here we set our prisoners free:

Proclaim our honours, lords, with trump and drum.

[Flourish. Saturninus courts Tamora in dumb show. Bas. [Seizing Lavinia] Lord Titus, by your leave, this maid is mine.

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.
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 surprised!

Sat. Surprised! 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.



Barr'st me my way in Rome?

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.

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.

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 none in Rome to make a stale

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 Phoebe 'mongst her nymphs,
Dost overshine the gallant'st dames of Rome,
If thou be pleased with this my sudden choice,
Behold, I choose thee, Tamora, for my bride,
And will create thee empress 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 espoused 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, accompany
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 all but Titus.

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.

[blocks in formation]

Tit. And shall! what villain was it spake that word:

Quin. He that would vouch it in any place but here. 360
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. Marc. Brother, for in that name doth nature plead Quin. Father, and in that name doth nature speak, Tit. Speak thou no more, if all the rest will speed. Marc. Renowned Titus, more than half my soul,-Luc. Dear father, soul and substance of us all,— Marc. Suffer thy brother Marcus to inter


His noble nephew here in virtue's nest,
That died in honour and Lavinia's cause.
Thou art a Roman; be not barbarous :
The Greeks upon advice did bury Ajax
That slew himself; and wise Laertes' son
Did graciously plead for his funerals :
Let not young Mutius then, that was thy joy,
Be barr'd his entrance here.

Rise, Marcus, rise:
The dismall'st day is this that ere I saw,


To be dishonour'd by my sons in Rome!
Well, bury him, and bury me the next.

[Mutius is put into the tomb.
Luc. There lie thy bones, sweet Mutius, with thy friends,
Till we with trophies do adorn thy tomb.
All. [Kneeling] No man shed tears for noble Mutius;

He lives in fame that died in virtue's cause.
Marc. My lord, to step out of these dreary dumps,
How comes it that the subtle Queen of Goths
Is of a sudden thus advanced in Rome?
Tit. I know not, Marcus; but I know it is,

Whether by device or no, the heavens can tell :
Is she not then beholding to the man

That brought her for this high good turn so far?
Yes, and will nobly him remunerate.


Flourish. Re-enter, from one side, Saturninus attended, Tamora, Demetrius, Chiron, and Aaron; from the other, Bassianus, Lavinia, with others.

Sat. So Bassianus, you have play'd your prize:

God give you joy, sir, of your gallant bride!
Bas. And you of yours, my lord! I say no more,
Nor wish no less; and so I take my leave.
Sat. Traitor, if Rome have law, or we have power,
Thou and thy faction shall repent this rape.
Bas. Rape, call you it, my lord, to seize my own,
My true-betrothed love, and now my wife?
But let the laws of Rome determine all;
Meanwhile I am possess'd of that is mine.
Sat. 'Tis good, sir: you are very short with us;
But if we live, we'll be as sharp with you.

Bas. My lord, what I have done, as best I may,



« PreviousContinue »