Titus Andronicus - Act 1, scene 1
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Act 1, scene 1
Saturninus and Bassianus, sons of the deceased Emperor of Rome, challenge each other for the title of emperor. Titus Andronicus, general of the Roman forces, enters with captives from the recent war, along with his remaining sons, some living, some dead. Titus allows the eldest son of the captive Queen of the Goths to be slain in retribution for his own sons’ deaths. Titus is then asked by his brother, the tribune Marcus, to stand as a candidate for Emperor of Rome. Instead, Titus names Saturninus as emperor.
Saturninus’s first act as emperor is to choose Titus’s daughter Lavinia as his bride. Titus willingly agrees. Bassianus claims that she is his own betrothed, and Titus’s sons and his brother Marcus help Bassianus carry her away. Titus is enraged and kills his son Mutius, who is abetting their escape. Saturninus turns against Titus because of his family’s actions and replaces Lavinia with Tamora, Queen of the Goths, as his bride, exiting to marry her immediately.
Titus is persuaded by his family to allow the body of Mutius to be placed in the family tomb. Saturninus returns with his new empress, Tamora, and Bassianus and Lavinia, now married, enter with Titus’s family. Tamora publicly urges Saturninus to forgive Bassianus, Titus, and his family. Speaking privately to Saturninus, she explains that this forgiveness is only for show: soon she will destroy all of them in revenge for the ritual sacrifice of her own son. Titus and the others believe they are forgiven, and Titus invites the Emperor and Empress to a hunt.⟨Flourish.⟩ Enter the Tribunes (⌜including Marcus
Andronicus⌝) and Senators aloft. And then enter, ⌜below,⌝
Saturninus and his followers at one door, and
Bassianus and his followers ⌜at another door,⌝ with
⌜other Romans,⌝ Drums, and Trumpets.
0001 Noble patricians, patrons of my right,
0002 Defend the justice of my cause with arms.
0003 And countrymen, my loving followers,
0004 Plead my successive title with your swords.
0005 5 I am his firstborn son that was the last
0006 That wore the imperial diadem of Rome.
0007 Then let my father’s honors live in me,
0008 Nor wrong mine age with this indignity.
0009 Romans, friends, followers, favorers of my right,
0010 10 If ever Bassianus, Caesar’s son,
0011 Were gracious in the eyes of royal Rome,
0012 Keep, then, this passage to the Capitol,
0013 And suffer not dishonor to approach
0014 The imperial seat, to virtue consecrate,
0015 15 To justice, continence, and nobility;
0016 But let desert in pure election shine,
0017 And, Romans, fight for freedom in your choice.
0018 Princes that strive by factions and by friends
0019 Ambitiously for rule and empery,
0020 20 Know that the people of Rome, for whom we stand
0021 A special party, have by common voice,
0022 In election for the Roman empery,
0023 Chosen Andronicus, surnamèd Pius
0024 For many good and great deserts to Rome.
0025 25 A nobler man, a braver warrior,
0026 Lives not this day within the city walls.
0027 He by the Senate is accited home
0028 From weary wars against the barbarous Goths,
0029 That with his sons, a terror to our foes,
0030 30 Hath yoked a nation strong, trained up in arms.
0031 Ten years are spent since first he undertook
0032 This cause of Rome, and chastisèd with arms
0033 Our enemies’ pride. Five times he hath returned
0034 Bleeding to Rome, bearing his valiant sons
0035 35 In coffins from the field.
0036 And now at last, laden with honor’s spoils,
0037 Returns the good Andronicus to Rome,
0038 Renownèd Titus flourishing in arms.
0039 Let us entreat, by honor of his name
0040 40 Whom worthily you would have now succeed,
0041 And in the Capitol and Senate’s right,
0042 Whom you pretend to honor and adore,
0043 That you withdraw you and abate your strength,
0044 Dismiss your followers and, as suitors should,
0045 45 Plead your deserts in peace and humbleness.
0046 How fair the tribune speaks to calm my thoughts!
0047 Marcus Andronicus, so I do affy
0048 In thy uprightness and integrity,
0050 50 Thy noble brother Titus and his sons,
0051 And her to whom my thoughts are humbled all,
0052 Gracious Lavinia, Rome’s rich ornament,
0053 That I will here dismiss my loving friends,
0054 And to my fortunes and the people’s favor
0055 55 Commit my cause in balance to be weighed.
⌜Bassianus’⌝ Soldiers exit.
0056 Friends that have been thus forward in my right,
0057 I thank you all and here dismiss you all,
0058 And to the love and favor of my country
0059 Commit myself, my person, and the cause.
⌜Saturninus’ Soldiers exit.⌝
0060 60 Rome, be as just and gracious unto me
0061 As I am confident and kind to thee.
0062 Open the gates and let me in.
0063 Tribunes, and me, a poor competitor.
⟨Flourish.⟩ They ⌜exit to⌝ go up into the Senate House.
⌜The Tribunes and Senators exit from the upper stage.⌝
Enter a Captain.
0064 Romans, make way! The good Andronicus,
0065 65 Patron of virtue, Rome’s best champion,
0066 Successful in the battles that he fights,
0067 With honor and with fortune is returned
0068 From where he circumscribèd with his sword
0069 And brought to yoke the enemies of Rome.
Sound drums and trumpets, and then enter two of Titus’
sons (⌜Lucius and Mutius⌝) and then two men bearing a
coffin covered with black, then two other sons (⌜Martius
and Quintus⌝), then Titus Andronicus, and then Tamora
the Queen of Goths and her sons ⌜Alarbus,⌝ Chiron and
can be, then set down the coffin, and Titus speaks.
0070 70 Hail Rome, victorious in thy mourning weeds!
0071 Lo, as the bark that hath discharged his fraught
0072 Returns with precious lading to the bay
0073 From whence at first she weighed her anchorage,
0074 Cometh Andronicus, bound with laurel boughs,
0075 75 To resalute his country with his tears,
0076 Tears of true joy for his return to Rome.
0077 Thou great defender of this Capitol,
0078 Stand gracious to the rites that we intend.
0079 Romans, of five-and-twenty valiant sons,
0080 80 Half of the number that King Priam had,
0081 Behold the poor remains alive and dead.
0082 These that survive let Rome reward with love;
0083 These that I bring unto their latest home,
0084 With burial amongst their ancestors.
0085 85 Here Goths have given me leave to sheathe my sword.
0086 Titus, unkind and careless of thine own,
0087 Why suffer’st thou thy sons unburied yet
0088 To hover on the dreadful shore of Styx?
0089 Make way to lay them by their brethren.
They open the tomb.
0090 90 There greet in silence, as the dead are wont,
0091 And sleep in peace, slain in your country’s wars.
0092 O sacred receptacle of my joys,
0093 Sweet cell of virtue and nobility,
0094 How many sons hast thou of mine in store
0095 95 That thou wilt never render to me more?
0096 Give us the proudest prisoner of the Goths,
0097 That we may hew his limbs and on a pile,
0098 Ad manes fratrum, sacrifice his flesh
0099 Before this earthy prison of their bones,
0100 100 That so the shadows be not unappeased,
0101 Nor we disturbed with prodigies on Earth.
0102 I give him you, the noblest that survives,
0103 The eldest son of this distressèd queen.
0104 Stay, Roman brethren!—Gracious conqueror,
0105 105 Victorious Titus, rue the tears I shed,
0106 A mother’s tears in passion for her son.
0107 And if thy sons were ever dear to thee,
0108 O think my son to be as dear to me.
0109 Sufficeth not that we are brought to Rome
0110 110 To beautify thy triumphs and return
0111 Captive to thee and to thy Roman yoke,
0112 But must my sons be slaughtered in the streets
0113 For valiant doings in their country’s cause?
0114 O, if to fight for king and commonweal
0115 115 Were piety in thine, it is in these!
0116 Andronicus, stain not thy tomb with blood.
0117 Wilt thou draw near the nature of the gods?
0118 Draw near them then in being merciful.
0119 Sweet mercy is nobility’s true badge.
0120 120 Thrice-noble Titus, spare my first-born son.
0121 Patient yourself, madam, and pardon me.
0122 These are their brethren whom your Goths beheld
0123 Alive and dead, and for their brethren slain
0124 Religiously they ask a sacrifice.
0125 125 To this your son is marked, and die he must,
0126 T’ appease their groaning shadows that are gone.
0127 Away with him, and make a fire straight,
0128 And with our swords upon a pile of wood
0129 Let’s hew his limbs till they be clean consumed.
Exit Titus’ sons with Alarbus.
0130 130 O cruel, irreligious piety!
CHIRON, ⌜aside to Tamora and Demetrius⌝
0131 Was never Scythia half so barbarous!
DEMETRIUS, ⌜aside to Tamora and Chiron⌝
0132 Oppose not Scythia to ambitious Rome!
0133 Alarbus goes to rest and we survive
0134 To tremble under Titus’ threat’ning look.
0135 135 Then, madam, stand resolved, but hope withal
0136 The selfsame gods that armed the Queen of Troy
0137 With opportunity of sharp revenge
0138 Upon the Thracian tyrant in his tent
0139 May favor Tamora the Queen of Goths
0140 140 (When Goths were Goths, and Tamora was queen)
0141 To quit the bloody wrongs upon her foes.
Enter the sons of Andronicus again ⌜with bloody swords.⌝
0142 See, lord and father, how we have performed
0143 Our Roman rites. Alarbus’ limbs are lopped,
0144 And entrails feed the sacrificing fire,
0145 145 Whose smoke like incense doth perfume the sky.
0146 Remaineth naught but to inter our brethren,
0147 And with loud larums welcome them to Rome.
0148 Let it be so. And let Andronicus
0149 Make this his latest farewell to their souls.
Sound trumpets, and lay the coffin in the tomb.
0150 150 In peace and honor rest you here, my sons,
0151 Rome’s readiest champions, repose you here in rest,
0152 Secure from worldly chances and mishaps.
0153 Here lurks no treason, here no envy swells,
0154 Here grow no damnèd drugs; here are no storms,
0155 155 No noise, but silence and eternal sleep.
0156 In peace and honor rest you here, my sons.
0157 In peace and honor live Lord Titus long;
0158 My noble lord and father, live in fame.
0159 Lo, at this tomb my tributary tears
0160 160 I render for my brethren’s obsequies,
0161 And at thy feet I kneel, with tears of joy
0162 Shed on this earth for thy return to Rome.
0163 O bless me here with thy victorious hand,
0164 Whose fortunes Rome’s best citizens applaud.
0165 165 Kind Rome, that hast thus lovingly reserved
0166 The cordial of mine age to glad my heart!—
0167 Lavinia, live, outlive thy father’s days
0168 And fame’s eternal date, for virtue’s praise.
⌜Enter Marcus Andronicus, carrying a white robe.
Enter aloft Saturninus, Bassianus, Tribunes, Senators,
0169 Long live Lord Titus, my belovèd brother,
0170 170 Gracious triumpher in the eyes of Rome.
0171 Thanks, gentle tribune, noble brother Marcus.
0172 And welcome, nephews, from successful wars—
0173 You that survive, and you that sleep in fame.
0174 Fair lords, your fortunes are alike in all,
0175 175 That in your country’s service drew your swords;
0176 But safer triumph is this funeral pomp,
0177 That hath aspired to Solon’s happiness,
0178 And triumphs over chance in honor’s bed.—
0179 Titus Andronicus, the people of Rome,
0180 180 Whose friend in justice thou hast ever been,
0181 Send thee by me, their tribune and their trust,
0182 This palliament of white and spotless hue,
0184 With these our late deceasèd emperor’s sons.
0185 185 Be candidatus, then, and put it on
0186 And help to set a head on headless Rome.
0187 A better head her glorious body fits
0188 Than his that shakes for age and feebleness.
0189 ⌜To Tribunes and Senators aloft.⌝ What, should I don
0190 190 this robe and trouble you?
0191 Be chosen with proclamations today,
0192 Tomorrow yield up rule, resign my life,
0193 And set abroad new business for you all?
0194 Rome, I have been thy soldier forty years,
0195 195 And led my country’s strength successfully,
0196 And buried one and twenty valiant sons,
0197 Knighted in field, slain manfully in arms,
0198 In right and service of their noble country.
0199 Give me a staff of honor for mine age,
0200 200 But not a scepter to control the world.
0201 Upright he held it, lords, that held it last.
0202 Titus, thou shalt obtain and ask the empery.
0203 Proud and ambitious tribune, canst thou tell?
TITUS 0204 Patience, Prince Saturninus.
SATURNINUS 0205 205Romans, do me right.
0206 Patricians, draw your swords and sheathe them not
0207 Till Saturninus be Rome’s emperor.—
0208 Andronicus, would thou were shipped to hell
0209 Rather than rob me of the people’s hearts.
0210 210 Proud Saturnine, interrupter of the good
0211 That noble-minded Titus means to thee.
0212 Content thee, prince. I will restore to thee
0213 The people’s hearts and wean them from themselves.
0214 Andronicus, I do not flatter thee,
0215 215 But honor thee, and will do till I die.
0216 My faction if thou strengthen with thy friends,
0217 I will most thankful be, and thanks, to men
0218 Of noble minds, is honorable meed.
0219 People of Rome, and people’s tribunes here,
0220 220 I ask your voices and your suffrages.
0221 Will you bestow them friendly on Andronicus?
0222 To gratify the good Andronicus
0223 And gratulate his safe return to Rome,
0224 The people will accept whom he admits.
0225 225 Tribunes, I thank you, and this suit I make:
0226 That you create our emperor’s eldest son,
0227 Lord Saturnine, whose virtues will, I hope,
0228 Reflect on Rome as ⌜Titan’s⌝ rays on Earth
0229 And ripen justice in this commonweal.
0230 230 Then, if you will elect by my advice,
0231 Crown him and say “Long live our emperor.”
0232 With voices and applause of every sort,
0233 Patricians and plebeians, we create
0234 Lord Saturninus Rome’s great emperor,
0235 235 And say “Long live our Emperor Saturnine.”
⟨A long flourish till ⌜Saturninus, Bassianus,
and Guards⌝ come down.⟩
0236 Titus Andronicus, for thy favors done
0237 To us in our election this day,
0238 I give thee thanks in part of thy deserts,
0239 And will with deeds requite thy gentleness.
0240 240 And for an onset, Titus, to advance
0242 Lavinia will I make my empress,
0243 Rome’s royal mistress, mistress of my heart,
0244 And in the sacred ⌜Pantheon⌝ her espouse.
0245 245 Tell me, Andronicus, doth this motion please thee?
0246 It doth, my worthy lord, and in this match
0247 I hold me highly honored of your Grace;
0248 And here in sight of Rome to Saturnine,
0249 King and commander of our commonweal,
0250 250 The wide world’s emperor, do I consecrate
0251 My sword, my chariot, and my prisoners,
0252 Presents well worthy Rome’s imperious lord.
0253 Receive them, then, the tribute that I owe,
0254 Mine honor’s ensigns humbled at thy feet.
0255 255 Thanks, noble Titus, father of my life.
0256 How proud I am of thee and of thy gifts
0257 Rome shall record.—And when I do forget
0258 The least of these unspeakable deserts,
0259 Romans, forget your fealty to me.
TITUS, ⌜to Tamora⌝
0260 260 Now, madam, are you prisoner to an emperor,
0261 To him that for your honor and your state
0262 Will use you nobly, and your followers.
0263 A goodly lady, trust me, of the hue
0264 That I would choose, were I to choose anew.—
0265 265 Clear up, fair queen, that cloudy countenance.
0266 Though ⌜chance⌝ of war hath wrought this change
0267 of cheer,
0268 Thou com’st not to be made a scorn in Rome.
0269 Princely shall be thy usage every way.
0270 270 Rest on my word, and let not discontent
0271 Daunt all your hopes. Madam, he comforts you
0272 Can make you greater than the Queen of Goths.—
0273 Lavinia, you are not displeased with this?
0274 Not I, my lord, sith true nobility
0275 275 Warrants these words in princely courtesy.
0276 Thanks, sweet Lavinia.—Romans, let us go.
0277 Ransomless here we set our prisoners free.
0278 Proclaim our honors, lords, with trump and drum.
⌜Flourish. Saturninus and his Guards exit, with Drums
and Trumpets. Tribunes and Senators exit aloft.⌝
0279 Lord Titus, by your leave, this maid is mine.
0280 280 How, sir? Are you in earnest then, my lord?
0281 Ay, noble Titus, and resolved withal
0282 To do myself this reason and this right.
⌜Bassianus takes Lavinia by the arm.⌝
0283 Suum ⌜cuique⌝ is our Roman justice.
0284 This prince in justice seizeth but his own.
0285 285 And that he will and shall, if Lucius live!
0286 Traitors, avaunt! Where is the Emperor’s guard?
⌜Enter Saturninus and his Guards.⌝
0287 Treason, my lord. Lavinia is surprised.
0288 Surprised? By whom?
BASSIANUS 0289 By him that justly may
0290 290 Bear his betrothed from all the world away.
0291 Brothers, help to convey her hence away,
0292 And with my sword I’ll keep this door safe.
⌜Bassianus, Lavinia, Marcus, Lucius,
Quintus, and Martius exit.⌝
0293 Follow, my lord, and I’ll soon bring her back.
⌜Saturninus, Tamora, Demetrius, Chiron,
Aaron, and Guards exit.⌝
0294 My lord, you pass not here.
TITUS 0295 295 What, villain boy,
0296 Barr’st me my way in Rome?
⌜He stabs Mutius.⌝
MUTIUS 0297 Help, Lucius, help!
0298 My lord, you are unjust, and more than so!
0299 In wrongful quarrel you have slain your son.
0300 300 Nor thou nor he are any sons of mine.
0301 My sons would never so dishonor me.
0302 Traitor, restore Lavinia to the Emperor.
Enter aloft the Emperor ⌜Saturninus⌝ with Tamora
and her two sons and Aaron the Moor.
0303 Dead if you will, but not to be his wife
0304 That is another’s lawful promised love.⌜He exits.⌝
0305 305 No, Titus, no, the Emperor needs her not,
0306 Nor her, nor thee, nor any of thy stock.
0307 I’ll trust by leisure him that mocks me once,
0308 Thee never, nor thy traitorous haughty sons,
0309 Confederates all thus to dishonor me.
0310 310 Was none in Rome to make a stale
0311 But Saturnine? Full well, Andronicus,
0312 Agree these deeds with that proud brag of thine
0313 That said’st I begged the empire at thy hands.
0314 O monstrous! What reproachful words are these?
0315 315 But go thy ways. Go give that changing piece
0316 To him that flourished for her with his sword.
0317 A valiant son-in-law thou shalt enjoy,
0318 One fit to bandy with thy lawless sons,
0319 To ruffle in the commonwealth of Rome.
0320 320 These words are razors to my wounded heart.
0321 And therefore, lovely Tamora, Queen of Goths,
0322 That like the stately ⌜Phoebe⌝ ’mongst her nymphs
0323 Dost overshine the gallant’st dames of Rome,
0324 If thou be pleased with this my sudden choice,
0325 325 Behold, I choose thee, Tamora, for my bride,
0326 And will create thee Emperess of Rome.
0327 Speak, Queen of Goths, dost thou applaud my
0329 And here I swear by all the Roman gods,
0330 330 Sith priest and holy water are so near,
0331 And tapers burn so bright, and everything
0332 In readiness for Hymenaeus stand,
0333 I will not resalute the streets of Rome
0334 Or climb my palace till from forth this place
0335 335 I lead espoused my bride along with me.
0336 And here in sight of heaven to Rome I swear,
0337 If Saturnine advance the Queen of Goths,
0338 She will a handmaid be to his desires,
0339 A loving nurse, a mother to his youth.
0340 340 Ascend, fair queen, ⌜to Pantheon.⌝—Lords, accompany
0341 Your noble emperor and his lovely bride,
0342 Sent by the heavens for Prince Saturnine,
0344 There shall we consummate our spousal rites.
All ⌜but Titus⌝ exit.
0345 345 I am not bid to wait upon this bride.
0346 Titus, when wert thou wont to walk alone,
0347 Dishonored thus and challengèd of wrongs?
Enter Marcus and Titus’ sons ⌜Lucius, Martius,
0348 O Titus, see! O, see what thou hast done!
0349 In a bad quarrel slain a virtuous son.
0350 350 No, foolish tribune, no; no son of mine,
0351 Nor thou, nor these confederates in the deed
0352 That hath dishonored all our family.
0353 Unworthy brother and unworthy sons!
0354 But let us give him burial as becomes,
0355 355 Give Mutius burial with our brethren.
0356 Traitors, away! He rests not in this tomb.
0357 This monument five hundred years hath stood,
0358 Which I have sumptuously reedified.
0359 Here none but soldiers and Rome’s servitors
0360 360 Repose in fame, none basely slain in brawls.
0361 Bury him where you can. He comes not here.
0362 My lord, this is impiety in you.
0363 My nephew Mutius’ deeds do plead for him.
0364 He must be buried with his brethren.
0365 365 And shall, or him we will accompany.
0366 “And shall”? What villain was it spake that word?
0367 He that would vouch it in any place but here.
0368 What, would you bury him in my despite?
0369 No, noble Titus, but entreat of thee
0370 370 To pardon Mutius and to bury him.
0371 Marcus, even thou hast struck upon my crest,
0372 And with these boys mine honor thou hast wounded.
0373 My foes I do repute you every one.
0374 So trouble me no more, but get you gone.
0375 375 He is not with himself; let us withdraw.
0376 Not I, till Mutius’ bones be burièd.
The brother (⌜Marcus⌝) and the sons
(⌜Lucius, Martius, and Quintus⌝) kneel.
0377 Brother, for in that name doth nature plead—
0378 Father, and in that name doth nature speak—
0379 Speak thou no more, if all the rest will speed.
0380 380 Renownèd Titus, more than half my soul—
0381 Dear father, soul and substance of us all—
0382 Suffer thy brother Marcus to inter
0383 His noble nephew here in virtue’s nest,
0384 That died in honor and Lavinia’s cause.
0385 385 Thou art a Roman; be not barbarous.
0386 The Greeks upon advice did bury Ajax,
0387 That slew himself, and wise Laertes’ son
0388 Did graciously plead for his funerals.
0390 390 Be barred his entrance here.
TITUS 0391 Rise, Marcus, rise.
0392 The dismall’st day is this that e’er I saw,
0393 To be dishonored by my sons in Rome.
0394 Well, bury him, and bury me the next.
They put ⌜Mutius⌝ in the tomb.
0395 395 There lie thy bones, sweet Mutius, with thy friends’,
0396 Till we with trophies do adorn thy tomb.
They all ⌜except Titus⌝ kneel and say:
0397 No man shed tears for noble Mutius.
0398 He lives in fame, that died in virtue’s cause.
All but Marcus and Titus exit.
0399 My lord, to step out of these dreary dumps,
0400 400 How comes it that the subtle Queen of Goths
0401 Is of a sudden thus advanced in Rome?
0402 I know not, Marcus, but I know it is.
0403 Whether by device or no, the heavens can tell.
0404 Is she not then beholding to the man
0405 405 That brought her for this high good turn so far?
0406 ⟨Yes, and will nobly him remunerate.⟩
⟨Flourish.⟩ Enter the Emperor ⌜Saturninus,⌝ Tamora
and her two sons, with ⌜Aaron⌝ the Moor, ⌜Drums and
Trumpets,⌝ at one door. Enter at the other door
Bassianus and Lavinia, with ⌜Lucius, Martius, and
Quintus, and⌝ others.
0407 So, Bassianus, you have played your prize.
0408 God give you joy, sir, of your gallant bride.
0409 And you of yours, my lord. I say no more,
0410 410 Nor wish no less, and so I take my leave.
0411 Traitor, if Rome have law or we have power,
0412 Thou and thy faction shall repent this rape.
0413 “Rape” call you it, my lord, to seize my own,
0414 My true betrothèd love and now my wife?
0415 415 But let the laws of Rome determine all.
0416 Meanwhile am I possessed of that is mine.
0417 ’Tis good, sir, you are very short with us.
0418 But if we live, we’ll be as sharp with you.
0419 My lord, what I have done, as best I may,
0420 420 Answer I must, and shall do with my life.
0421 Only thus much I give your Grace to know:
0422 By all the duties that I owe to Rome,
0423 This noble gentleman, Lord Titus here,
0424 Is in opinion and in honor wronged,
0425 425 That in the rescue of Lavinia
0426 With his own hand did slay his youngest son,
0427 In zeal to you, and highly moved to wrath
0428 To be controlled in that he frankly gave.
0429 Receive him then to favor, Saturnine,
0430 430 That hath expressed himself in all his deeds
0431 A father and a friend to thee and Rome.
0432 Prince Bassianus, leave to plead my deeds.
0433 ’Tis thou, and those, that have dishonored me.
0434 Rome and the righteous heavens be my judge
0435 435 How I have loved and honored Saturnine.⌜He kneels.⌝
TAMORA, ⌜to Saturninus⌝
0436 My worthy lord, if ever Tamora
0437 Were gracious in those princely eyes of thine,
0438 Then hear me speak indifferently for all,
0439 And at my suit, sweet, pardon what is past.
0440 440 What, madam, be dishonored openly,
0441 And basely put it up without revenge?
0442 Not so, my lord; the gods of Rome forfend
0443 I should be author to dishonor you.
0444 But on mine honor dare I undertake
0445 445 For good Lord Titus’ innocence in all,
0446 Whose fury not dissembled speaks his griefs.
0447 Then at my suit look graciously on him.
0448 Lose not so noble a friend on vain suppose,
0449 Nor with sour looks afflict his gentle heart.
0450 450 ⌜Aside to Saturninus.⌝ My lord, be ruled by me; be
0451 won at last.
0452 Dissemble all your griefs and discontents.
0453 You are but newly planted in your throne.
0454 Lest, then, the people, and patricians too,
0455 455 Upon a just survey take Titus’ part
0456 And so supplant you for ingratitude,
0457 Which Rome reputes to be a heinous sin.
0458 Yield at entreats, and then let me alone.
0459 I’ll find a day to massacre them all
0460 460 And raze their faction and their family,
0461 The cruel father and his traitorous sons,
0462 To whom I sued for my dear son’s life,
0463 And make them know what ’tis to let a queen
0464 Kneel in the streets and beg for grace in vain.
0465 465 ⌜Aloud.⌝ Come, come, sweet emperor.—Come,
0467 Take up this good old man, and cheer the heart
0468 That dies in tempest of thy angry frown.
0469 Rise, Titus, rise. My empress hath prevailed.
0470 470 I thank your Majesty and her, my lord.
0471 These words, these looks, infuse new life in me.
0472 Titus, I am incorporate in Rome,
0473 A Roman now adopted happily,
0474 And must advise the Emperor for his good.
0475 475 This day all quarrels die, Andronicus.—
0476 And let it be mine honor, good my lord,
0477 That I have reconciled your friends and you.—
0478 For you, Prince Bassianus, I have passed
0479 My word and promise to the Emperor
0480 480 That you will be more mild and tractable.—
0481 And fear not, lords—and you, Lavinia.
0482 By my advice, all humbled on your knees,
0483 You shall ask pardon of his Majesty.
⌜Marcus, Lavinia, Lucius, Martius, and Quintus kneel.⌝
0484 We do, and vow to heaven and to his Highness
0485 485 That what we did was mildly as we might,
0486 Tend’ring our sister’s honor and our own.
0487 That on mine honor here do I protest.
0488 Away, and talk not; trouble us no more.
0489 Nay, nay, sweet emperor, we must all be friends.
0490 490 The tribune and his nephews kneel for grace.
0491 I will not be denied. Sweetheart, look back.
0492 Marcus, for thy sake, and thy brother’s here,
0493 And at my lovely Tamora’s entreats,
0494 I do remit these young men’s heinous faults.
0495 495 Stand up.⌜They rise.⌝
0496 Lavinia, though you left me like a churl,
0497 I found a friend, and sure as death I swore
0498 I would not part a bachelor from the priest.
0499 Come, if the Emperor’s court can feast two brides,
0501 This day shall be a love-day, Tamora.
0502 Tomorrow, an it please your Majesty
0503 To hunt the panther and the hart with me,
0504 With horn and hound we’ll give your Grace bonjour.
0505 505 Be it so, Titus, and gramercy too.
Sound trumpets. All but Aaron exit.