Titus Andronicus (1926) Yale/Text/Act I
[Rome. Before the Capitol. The Tomb of the Andronici appearing]
Sat. Noble patricians, patrons of my right,
Defend the justice of my cause with arms;
And, countrymen, my loving followers,
Plead my with your swords: 4
I am his first-born son that was the last
That wore the imperial diadem of Rome;
Then let my father's honours live in me,
Nor wrong mine with this indignity. 8
If ever Bassianus, Cæsar's son,
Were gracious in the eyes of royal Rome,
Keep then this passage to the Capitol, 12
And suffer not dishonour to approach
The imperial seat, to virtue consecrate,
To justice, continence, and nobility;
But let desert in shine, 16
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 ,
Know that the people of Rome, for whom we stand 20
A special party, have, by common voice,
In for the Roman empery,
Chosen Andronicus, surnamed Pius,
For many good and great deserts to Rome; 24
A nobler man, a braver warrior,
Lives not this day within the city walls;
He by the senate is home
From weary wars against the barbarous Goths; 28
That, with his sons, a terror to our foes,
Hath yok'd a nation, strong, train'd up in arms.
Ten years are spent since first he undertook
This cause of Rome, and chastised with arms 32
Our enemies' pride: five times he hath return'd
Bleeding to Rome, bearing his valiant sons
And now at last, laden with honour's spoils, 36
Returns the good Andronicus to Rome,
Renowned Titus, flourishing in arms.
Let us entreat, by honour of his name,
Whom worthily you would have now succeed, 40
And in the Capitol and senate's right,
Whom you to honour and adore,
That you withdraw you and abate your strength;
Dismiss your followers, and, as suitors should, 44
Plead your deserts in peace and humbleness.
Sat. How fair the tribune speaks to calm my thoughts!
Bas. Marcus Andronicus, so I do
In thy uprightness and integrity, 48
And so I love and honour thee and thine,
Thy noble brother Titus and his sons,
And her to whom my thoughts are humbled all,
Gracious Lavinia, Rome's rich ornament, 52
That I will here dismiss my loving friends,
And to my fortunes and the people's favour
Commit my cause in balance to be weigh'd.
Exeunt Soldiers [of Bassianus].
Sat. Friends, that have been thus forward in my right, 56
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.
[Exeunt Soldiers of Saturninus.]
Rome, be as just and gracious unto me 60
As I am confident and kind to thee.
Open the gates, and let me in.
Bas. Tribunes, and me, a poor competitor.
Flourish. They go up into the Senate-house.
Enter a Captain.
Patron of virtue, Rome's best champion,
Successful in the battles that he fights,
With honour and with fortune is return'd
From where he with his sword, 68
And brought to yoke, the enemies of Rome.
Tit. Hail, Rome, victorious in thy mourning
Lo! as the bark, that hath discharg'd her ,
Returns with precious lading to the bay 72
From whence at first she weigh'd her ,
Cometh Andronicus, bound with laurel boughs,
To re-salute his country with his tears,
Tears of true joy for his return to Rome. 76
Thou of this Capitol,
Stand gracious to the rites that we intend!
Romans, of five-and-twenty valiant sons,
Half of the number that King Priam had, 80
Behold the poor remains, alive, and dead!
These that survive, let Rome reward with love;
These that I bring unto their latest home,
With burial among their ancestors. 84
Here Goths have given me leave to sheathe my sword.
Titus, unkind and careless of thine own,
Why suffer'st thou thy sons, unburied yet,
To hover on the dreadful shore of Styx? 88
Make way to lay them by their brethren.
They open the tomb.
There greet in silence, as the dead are wont,
And sleep in peace, slain in your country's wars!
O sacred receptacle of my joys, 92
Sweet cell of virtue and nobility,
How many sons of mine hast thou in store,
That thou wilt never render to me more!
Luc. Give us the proudest prisoner of the Goths, 96
That we may hew his limbs, and on a pile
sacrifice his flesh,
Before this earthy prison of their bones;
That so the shadows be not unappeas'd, 100
Nor we disturb'd with prodigies on earth.
Tit. I give him you, the noblest that survives,
The eldest son of this distressed queen.
Tam. Stay, Roman brethren! Gracious conqueror, 104
Victorious Titus, rue the tears I shed,
A mother's tears in for her son:
And if thy sons were ever dear to thee,
O! think my sons to be as dear to me. 108
Sufficeth not that we are brought to Rome,
To beautify thy triumphs and return,
Captive to thee and to thy Roman yoke,
But must my sons be slaughter'd in the streets, 112
For valiant doings in their country's cause?
O! if to fight for king and commonweal
Were piety in thine, it is in these.
Andronicus, stain not thy tomb with blood! 116
Thrice-noble Titus, spare my first-born son! 120
These are their brethren, whom your Goths beheld
Alive and dead, and for their brethren slain
Religiously they ask a sacrifice: 124
To this your son is mark'd, and die he must,
T'appease their groaning shadows that are gone.
Luc. Away with him! and make a fire straight;
And with our swords, upon a pile of wood, 128
Let's hew his limbs till they be clean consum'd.
Exeunt [Titus's] Sons with Alarbus.
Tam. O cruel, irreligious piety!
Chi. Was everhalf so barbarous?
Alarbus goes to rest, and we survive
To tremble under Titus' threatening look.
Then, madam, stand resolv'd; but hope withal
The self-same gods, that arm'd the 136
With opportunity of sharp revenge
Upon the in his tent,
May favour Tamora, the Queen of Goths—
When Goths were Goths, and Tamora was queen— 140
To the bloody wrongs upon her foes.
Enter the Sons of Andronicus again.
Luc. See, lord and father, how we have perform'd
Our Roman rites. Alarbus' limbs are lopp'd,
And entrails feed the sacrificing fire, 144
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 148
Make this his latest farewell to their souls.
Flourish. Then sound trumpets, and lay
the coffin in the tomb.
In peace and honour rest you here, my sons;
Rome's readiest champions, repose you here in rest,
Secure from worldly chances and mishaps! 152
Here lurks no treason, here no envy swells,
Here grow no damned , here are no storms,
No noise, but silence and eternal sleep:
In peace and honour rest you here, my sons! 156
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; 160
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. 164
Tit. Kind Rome, that hast thus lovingly
The cordial of mine age to glad my heart!
Lavinia, live; outlive thy father's days,
And fame's eternal , for virtue's praise! 168
[Enter, below, Marcus Andronicus and Tribuines; re-enter Saturninus, Bassianus, and Others.]
Mar. Long live Lord Titus, my beloved brother,
Gracious triumpher in the eyes of Rome!
Tit. Thanks, gentle Tribune, noble brother Marcus.
Mar. And welcome, nephews, from successful wars, 172
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, 176
That hath aspir'd to ,
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 of white and spotless hue;
And for the empire,
With these our late-deceased emperor's sons: 184
Be 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. 188
should I don 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? 192
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, 196
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
Mar. Titus, thou shaltthe 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 204
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 208
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, 212
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. 316
Tit. People of Rome, and
I ask your voices and your suffrages:
Will you bestow them friendly on Andronicus?
Tribunes. To gratify the good Andronicus, 220
And his safe return to Rome,
The people will accept whom he admits.
Tit. Tribunes, I thank you; and this suit I make,
That you your emperor's eldest son, 224
Lord Saturnine; whose virtues will, I hope,
Reflect on Rome as rays on earth,
And ripen justice in this commonweal:
Then, if you will elect by my advice, 228
Crown him, and say, 'Long live our emperor!'
Mar. With voices and applause of every sort,
Patricians and plebeians, we create
Lord Saturninus Rome's great emperor, 232
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, 236
And will with deeds requite thy :
And, for an , 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 244
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 248
My sword, my chariot, and my prisoners;
Presents well worthy Rome's imperious lord:
Receive them then, the tribute that I owe,
Mine honour's ensigns humbled at thy feet. 252
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, 256
Romans, forget your fealty to me.
Tit. [To 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. [Aside.] A goodly lady, trust me; of the hue
That I would choose, were I to choose anew.
[To Tamora.] Clear up, fair queen, that cloudy countenance:
Though chance of war hath wrought this change of , 264
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 268
make you greater than the Queen of Goths.
Lavinia, you are not displeas'd with this
Lav. Not I, my lord;
Warrants these words in princely courtesy. 272
Sat. Thanks, sweet Lavinia. Romans, let us go;
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. 276
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.
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 surpris'd. 284
Sat. Surpris'd! By whom?
Bas. 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. 288
[Exeunt Lucius, Quintus, and Martius.]
Tit. Follow, my lord, and I'll soon bring her back.
Mut. My lord, you pass not here.
Tit. What! villain boy;
Barr'st me my way in Rome? He kills him.
Mut. Help, Lucius, help!
[Exeunt, during the fray, Saturninus, Tamora, Demetrius, Chiron, and Aaron. Re-enter Lucius.]
Luc. My lord, you are unjust; and, more than so, 292
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. 296
Luc. Dead, if you will; but not to be his wife
That is another's lawful promis'd love. [Exit.]
Enter, aloft, the Emperor with Tamora and her two Sons, and Aaron the Moor.
Sat. No, Titus, no; the emperor needs her not,
Nor her, nor thee, nor any of thy stock: 300
, 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 304
But Saturnine? Full well, Andronicus,
Agreed 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! 308
Sat. But go thy ways; go, give that changing
To him that flourish'd for her with his sword.
A valiant son-in-law thou shalt enjoy;
One fit to with thy lawless sons, 312
To 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 Phœbe 'mongst her nymphs, 316
Dost overshine the gallant'st dames of Rome,
If thou be pleas'd with this my sudden choice,
Behold, I choose thee, Tamora, for my bride,
And will create thee Empress of Rome. 320
Speak, Queen of Goths, dost thou applaud my choice?
And here I swear by all the Roman gods,
Sith are so near,
And tapers burn so bright, and everything 324
In readiness for stand,
I will not re-salute the streets of Rome,
Or climb my palace, till from forth this place
I lead espous'd my bride along with me. 328
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. 332
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: 336
There shall we consummate our spousal rights.
Exeunt omnes [but Titus].
Tit. I am not
Titus, when wert thou wont to walk alone,
Dishonour'd thus, and of wrongs? 340
Enter Marcus and Titus's Sons.
Mar. 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 344
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. 348
Tit. Traitors, away! he rests not in this tomb.
This monument five hundred years hath stood,
Which I have sumptuously :
Here none but soldiers and Rome's servitors 352
Repose in fame; none basely slain in brawls.
Bury him where you can; he comes not here.
Mar. My lord, this is impiety in you.
My nephew Mutius' deeds do plead for him; 356
He must be buried with his brethren.
Titus's two Sons speak.
|[Quin.]||And shall, or him we will accompany.|
Tit. And shall! What villain was it spake that word?
Titus's Son [Quintus] speaks.
[Quin.] He that would vouch it in any place but here. 360
Tit. What! would you bury him in my despite?
Mar. No, noble Titus; but entreat of thee
To pardon Mutius, and to bury him.
Tit. Marcus, even thou hast struck upon my crest; 364
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.
1. Son [Mart.] He is ; let us withdraw. 368
2. Son [Quin.] Not I, till Mutius' bones be buried.
The Brother and the Sons kneel.
Mar. Brother, for in that name doth nature plead,—
2. Son. Father, and in that name doth nature speak,—
Tit. Speak thou no more, if all the rest 372.
Mar. Renowned Titus, more than half my soul,—
Luc. Dear father, soul and substance of us all,—
Mar. Suffer thy brother Marcus to inter
His noble nephew here in virtue's nest, 376
That died in honour and Lavinia's cause.
Thou art a Roman; be not barbarous:
The Greeks did bury
That slew himself; and wise 380
Did graciously plead for his .
Let not young Mutius, then, that was thy joy,
Be barr'd his entrance here.
Tit. Rise Marcus, rise.
The dismal'st day is this that e'er I saw, 384
To be dishonour'd by my sons in Rome!
Well, bury him, and bury me the next.
They put him in the tomb.
Luc. There lie thy bones, sweet Mutius, with thy friends,
Till we with trophies do adorn thy tomb. 388
They all kneel and say,
[All.] No man shed tears for noble Mutius;
He lives in fame that died in virtue's cause.
[Exeunt all but Marcus and Titus.]
Mar. My lord,—to step out of these dreary ,—
How comes it that the subtle Queen of Goths 392
Is of a sudden thus advanc'd in Rome?
Tit. I know not, Marcus; but I know it is;
Whether by or no, the heavens can tell.
Is she not, then, to the man 396
That brought her for this high good turn so far?
[Mar.] Yes, and will nobly him remunerate.
Sat. So, Bassianus, you have
God give you joy, sir, of your gallant bride. 400
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. 404
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. 408
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,
Answer I must and shall do with my life. 412
Only thus much I give your Grace to know:
By all the duties that I owe to Rome,
This noble gentleman, Lord Titus here,
Is in and in honour wrong'd; 416
That, in the rescue of Lavinia,
With his own hand did slay his youngest son,
In zeal to you and highly mov'd to wrath
To be in that he gave: 420
Receive him, then, to favour, Saturnine,
That hath express'd himself in all his deeds
A father and a friend to thee and Rome.
Tit. Prince Bassianus, 424
'Tis thou and those that have dishonour'd me.
Rome and the righteous heavens be my judge,
How I have lov'd and honour'd Saturnine!
Tam. My worthy lord, if ever Tamora 428
Were gracious in those princely eyes of thine,
Then hear me speak for all;
And at my suit, sweet, pardon what is past.
Sat. What, madam! be dishonour'd openly, 432
And basely without revenge?
Tam. Not so, my lord; the gods of Rome
I should be !
But on mine honour dare I 436
For good Lord Titus' innocence in all,
Whose fury not dissembled speaks his griefs.
Then, at my suit, look graciously on him;
Lose not so noble a friend on vain , 440
Nor with sour looks afflict his gentle heart.
[Aside to Saturninus.] My lord, be rul'd by me, be won at last;
Dissemble all your griefs and discontents:
You are but newly planted in your throne; 444
Lest, then, the people, and patricians too,
Upon a just survey, take Titus' part,
And so supplant you for ingratitude,
Which Rome reputes to be a heinous sin, 448
Yield , and then .
I'll find a day to massacre them all,
And raze their faction and their family,
The cruel father, and his traitorous sons, 452
To whom I sued for my dear son's life;
And make them know what 'tis to let a queen
Kneel in the streets and beg for grace in vain.
[Aloud.] Come, come, sweet emperor—come, Andronicus— 456
Take up this good old man, and cheer the heart
That dies in tempest of thy angry frown.
Sat. Rise, Titus, rise; my empress hath prevail'd.
Tit. I thank your majesty, and her, my lord. 460
These words, these looks, infuse new life in me.
Tam. Titus, I am
A Roman now adopted happily,
And must advise the emperor for his good. 464
This day all quarrels die, Andronicus;
And let it be mine honour, good my lord,
That I have reconcil'd your friends and you.
For you, Prince Bassianus, I have pass'd 468
My word and promise to the emperor,
That you will be more mild and tractable.
And fear not, lords, and you, Lavinia:
By my advice, all humbled on your knees, 472
You shall ask pardon of his majesty.
[Marcus, Lavinia, and the Sons of Titus kneel.]
Luc. We do; and vow to heaven and to his highness,
That what we did was ,
our sister's honour and our own. 476
Mar. That, on mine honour, here I do protest.
Sat. Away, and talk not; trouble us no more.
Tam. Nay, nay, sweet emperor, we must all be friends:
The tribune and his nephews kneel for grace; 480
I will not be denied: sweetheart, look back.
Sat. Marcus, for thy sake, and thy brother's here,
And at my lovely Tamora's entreats,
I do remit these young men's heinous faults: 484
[Marcus, Lavinia, and the Others rise.]
Lavinia, though you left me like a ,
I found a friend, and sure as death I sware
I would not a bachelor from the priest. 488
Come; if the emperor's court can feast two brides,
You are my guest, Lavinia, and your friends.
This day shall be a , Tamora.
Tit. To-morrow, an it please your majesty 492
and the hart with me,
With horn and hound we'll give your Grace .
Sat. Be it so, Titus, andtoo.
Footnotes to Act I
Scene One, S. d. aloft; cf. n.
4 successive title: title to the succession
8 age: seniority
9 Romans; cf. n.
16 pure election: free choice
19 empery: imperial power
22 election: nomination
27 accited: summoned
35 In coffins from the field; cf. n.
42 pretend: profess
47 affy: have faith
64 Cf. n.
68 circumscribed: restrained
70 weeds: garments
71 fraught: freight
73 anchorage: anchor
77 great defender: Jupiter Capitolinus, to whom the Capitol was sacred
98 Ad manes fratrum: to the shades of [our] brothers; cf. n.
106 passion: suffering
117–119 Cf. n.
121 Patient: quiet
131 Scythia; cf. n.
132 Oppose: compare
136 Queen of Troy: Hecuba
138 Thracian tyrant; cf. n.
141 quit: requite
154 grudges; cf. n.
165 reserv'd: preserved
168 date: duration; cf. n.
177 Solon's happiness; cf. n.
182 palliament: cloak (Lat. pallium), Roman robe of state
183 name thee in election: nominate thee
185 candidatus: a candidate
189 What: why
201 obtain and ask: obtain by merely asking
217 people's tribunes; cf. n.
221 gratulate: celebrate
224 create: elect
226 Titan's: the sun god's
237 gentleness: noble conduct
238 onset: beginning
264 cheer: countenance
269 Can: who can
271 sith: since
280 Suum cuique: to every man his due
301 I'll . . . leisure: I'll be in no hurry to trust
304 stale: laughing-stock
309 piece: wench
312 bandy: contend; cf. n.
313 ruffle: be disorderly
323 priest and holy water; cf. n.
325 Hymenæus: Hymen, the god of marriage
338 bid: invited
340 challenged: accused
351 re-edified: restored
368 not with himself: beside himself
372 will speed: wish to succeed
379 upon advice: after deliberation
Ajax; cf. n.
380 Laertes' son: Ulysses
381 funerals: obsequies
391 dumps: low spirits
395 device: scheming
396 beholding: beholden
399 play'd your prize; cf. n.
416 opinion: reputation
420 controll'd: restrained, hindered
424 leave: cease
430 indifferently: impartially
433 put it up: put up with it
434 forfend: forbid
435 author . . . you: author of your dishonor
436 undertake: vouch
440 suppose: supposition
449 at entreats: to entreaties
let me alone: leave everything to me
462 incorporate: incorporated, established
475 mildly as we might: as gently as possible
476 Tend'ring: having a tender regard for
485 Stand up; cf. n.
486 churl: a mean, worthless person
488 part: depart
491 love-day; cf. n.
493 To hunt the panther; cf. n.
494 bon jour: good morning
495 gramercy: many thanks (Fr. grand merci)