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Mar. And welcome, nephews, from successful
swords: But safer triumph is this funeral pomp, That hath aspir'd to Solon's happiness 8, 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 palliamento 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
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 10 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 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. Mar. Titus, thou shalt obtain and ask the empery "1 Sat. Proud and ambitious tribune, canst thou
tell ?8 The maxim alluded to is, that no man can be pronounced happy before his death. 9 A robe.
10 i. e. do on, put it on. 11 Steevens remarks that here is rather too much of the ύστερον πρότερον. .'
Tit. Patience, Prince Saturnine.
Roma'ns, do me right ;-
Lúc. 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,
Tit. People of Rome, and people's tribunes here,
you bestow them friendly on Andronicus?
Tit. Tribunes, I thank you: and this suit I make,
Mar. 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:
Tit. It doth, my worthy lord; and, in this match,
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
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 12 ; sith true nobility Warrants these words in princely courtesy.
Sat. Thanks, sweet Lavinia.—Romans, let us go: Ransomeless here we set our prisoners free: Proclaim our honours, lords, with trump and drum. 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.
[The Emperor courts TAMORA in dumb show. Mar. Suum cuique is our Roman justice: This prince in justice seizeth but his own.
Luc. And that he will, and shall, if Lucius live. T'it. Traitors, avaunt! Where is the emperor's
Sat. Surpris'd! By whom?
By him that justly may Bear his betroth'd from all the world away. [Exeunt MARCUS and BASSIANUS, 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.
12 • It was a pity to part a couple who seem to have corresponded in disposition so exactly as Saturninus and Lavinia. Saturninus, who has just promised to espouse her, already wishes he were to choose again; and she who was engaged to Bassianus (whom she afterward marries) expresses no reluctance when her father gives her to Saturninus. Her subsequent raillery to Tamora is of so coarse a nature, that if her tongue had been all she was condemned to lose, perhaps the author (whoever he was) might have escaped censure on the score of poetic justice.'
What, villain boy! Barr’st me my way in Rome? [Tit. kills Mut. Mut.
Help, Lucius, help.
Tit. Nor thou, nor he, are any sons of mine:
Luc. Dead, if you will: but not to be his wife, That is another's lawful promis'd love. [Ecit.
Sat. No, Titus, no; the emperor needs her not, Nor her, nor thee, nor any of the 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 of, 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
Tit. These words are razors to my wounded heart. 13 A stale here signifies a stalking-horse. To make a stale of any one seems to have meant'to make them an object of mockery. This is the meaning of Katharine in The Taming of the Shrew, when she says to her father, is it your will to make a stale of me amongst these mates?' I will request the reader to correct my note on that passage, vol. iii. p. 356, accordingly.
14 To rusle was to be tumultuous and turbulent. Thus Baret:A trouble or ruffling in the common-weale: procella.'