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SATURNINUS, Son to the late Emperor of Rome, and
afterwards declar'd Emperor himself. Bafianus, Brother to Saturninus, in love with Lavinia. Titus
Andronicus, a noble Roman, General against the
Goths. Marcus Andronicus, Tribune of the people, and brother to
Titus. Marcus, Quintus, Lucius,
Song to Titus Andronicus. Matius, Young Lucius, a Boy, Son to Lucius. Publius, Son to Marcus the Tribune, and Nephew to Titus
Chiron, Sons to Tamora.
Aaron, a Moor, belov’d. by Tamorą.
Captain, from Titus's Camp.
Æmilius, a Melenger.
Goths, and Romans.
Tamora, Queen of the Goths, and afterwards married to
Lavinia, Daughter to Titus Andronicus.
Nurse, with a Black-a-moor Child.
Senators, fudges, Oficers, Soldiers, and other Attendants.
SCENE, Rome; and the Country near it.
SCENE, before the Capitol in ROME
Enter the Tribunes and Senators aloft, as in the Senate.
Enter Saturninus and his followers, at one door ; and Baffianus and his followers, at the other, with Drum and Coloursa
Oble patricians, patrons of my right,
Defend the justice of my cause with arms:
And countrymen, my loving followers,
Plead my. fucceflive title with your Twords.
I, am (1) Titus Andronicus.] This is one of those plays, which I have always thought, with the better judges, ought not to be acknowledigd in the list of Shakespeare's genuine pieces. And, perhaps, P may give a proof to strengthen this opinion, that may put the matter out of question. Ben Johnson in the induction to his BartholomewuFair, (which made its first appearance in the year 1614) couples: Feronymo and Andronicus together in reputation, and speaks of them as plays then of twenty-five or thirty years standing. Consequently, Andronicus must have been on the stage, before Shakespeare left War. wickshire to come and reside in London : and I never heard it fo: much as intimated, that he had turned his genius to stage-writing, before he associated with the yers, and became one of their body. However, that he afterwards introduced it a-new on the scene, with
I am the first-born son of him, that last
Wore the imperial diadem of Rome :
Then let my father's honours live in me,
Nor wrong mine age with this indignity.
Baf. Romans, friends, foll’wers, favourers of my right,
If ever Baffianus, Cæfar's son,
Were gracious in the eyes of royal Rome,
Keep then this passage to the capitol;
And suffer not dishonour to approach
Th' imperial seat, to virtue confecrate,
To justice, continence, and nobility:
* But let desert in pure election Mhine ;
And, Romans, fight for freedom in your choice.
Enter Marcus Andronicus aloft, with the Crown.
Mar. Princes, that strive by factions, and by friends,
Ambitiously for rule and empery!
Know, that the people of Rome, for whom we stand
A special party, have by common voice,
In election for the Roman empery,
Chosen Andronicus, sur-named Pius,
For many good and great deserts to Rome.
A nobler man, a braver warrior,
Lives not this day within our 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 yoak'd a nation strong, train'd up in arms.
Ten years are spent, fince first he undertook
This cause of Rome, and chastifed with arms
the addition of his own masterly touches, is incontestable : and
thence, I presume, grew his title to it. The diction in general,
where he has not taken the pains to raise it, is even beneath that
of the Three Parts of Henry VI. The Atory, we are to suppose,
merely fictitious. Andronicus is a sur-name of pure Greek derivation :
Tomora is neither mentioned by Ammianus Marcellinus, nor any body
else that I can find. Nor had Rome, in the time of her Emperors,
any wars with the Gorbs, that I know of: not till after the transla-
tion of the empire, I mean, to Byzantium. And yet the scene of
our play is laid at Rome, and Saturninus is elected to the empire at
Our enemies pride. Five times he hath return'd
Bleeding to Rome, bearing his valiant fons
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 intreat, 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 fuitors should,
Plead your deserts in peace and humbleness.
Sat. How fair the tribune fpeaks, to calm my thoughts
Baf. Marcus Andronicus, fo I do affie
In thy uprightness and integrity,
And so I love and honour thee and thine;
Thy noble brother Titus, and his sons,
And her, to whom our 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 ballance to be weigh’d.
Sat. Friends, that have been thus forward in my right,
I thank you all, and here dismiss you all;
And to the love and favour of my country
Commit myself, my person and the cause:
Rome, be as just and gracious unto me,
As I am confident and kind to thee.
Open thy gates, and let me in.
Baf, Tribunes, and me, a poor competitor.
[They go up into the Senate-houfea
Enter a Captain.
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,