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[Drums and trumpets sound, and then enter MARTIUS and MUTIUS. After them two Men bearing a coffin covered with black: then LUCIUS and QUINTUS. After them TITUS ANDRONICUS; and then TAMORA, the Queen of Goths, with ALARBUS, DEMETRIUS, CHIRON, AARON the Moor, and other Goths, prisoners, Soldiers and People following. The Bearers set down the coffin, and TITUS speaks.
TIT. Hail, Rome, victorious in thy mourning weeds!
From whence at first she weigh'd her anchorage,
Stand gracious to the rights that we intend!-
These that survive, let Rome reward with love;
With burial amongst their ancestors:
Here Goths have given me leave to sheathe my sword.
Sweet cell of virtue and nobility,
How many sons of mine hast thou in store,
That thou wilt never render to me more!
[They open the tomb.
Luc. Give us the proudest prisoner of the Goths,
Ad manes fratrum, sacrifice his flesh,
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, Victorious Titus, rue the tears I shed,
A mother's tears in passion for her son:
(*) First folio, earthly.
his fraught." His" is here used for the impersonal pronoun, its.
b — brethren.] To be pronounced as a trisyllable.
c Nor we disturb'd with prodigies on earth.] The ancients, it need hardly be observed held belief that the spirits of the unburied dead importuned their relatives and friends to obtain funereal rites.
And if thy sons were ever dear to thee,
Andronicus, stain not thy tomb with blood:
Thrice-noble Titus, spare my first-born son.
TIT. Patient yourself, madam, and pardon me.
To this your son is mark'd; and die he must,
And with our swords, upon a pile of wood,
Let's hew his limbs till they be clean consum'd.
[Exeunt LUCIUS, QUINTUS, MARTIUS, and MUTIUS, with ALARBUS. TAM. O cruel, irreligious piety!
CHI. Was ever Scythia half so barbarous ?
DEMET. Oppose not † Scythia to ambitious Rome.
Alarbus goes to rest; and we survive
To tremble under Titus' threatening looks.
Then, madam, stand resolv'd; but hope withal,
The self-same gods, that arm'd the queen of Troy
With opportunity of sharp revenge
Upon the Thracian tyrant in his tent,
May favour Tamora, the queen of Goths,
(When Goths were Goths, and Tamora was queen)
To quit the bloody wrongs upon her foes.
Re-enter LUCIUS, QUINTUS, MARTIUS, and MUTIUS, with their swords
LUC. See, lord and father, how we have perform'd
Our Roman rites: Alarbus' limbs are lopp'd,
And entrails feed the sacrificing fire,
Whose smoke, like incense, doth perfume the sky.
(*) First folio, the.
(†) First folio, me.
Patient yourself,-] Steevens, among other examples of this verb, cites the following from King Edward I. 1599,—
"Patient your highness, 't is but mother's love."
bin his tent,-] Conceiving this to be an allusion to Polymnestor's death, as related in the Hecuba of Euripides, Theobald reads, "in her tent."
Remaineth nought, but to inter our brethren,
TIT. Let it be so; and let Andronicus
[Flourish of trumpets, and they lay the coffin in the tomb.
In peace and honour rest you here, my sons;
Rome's readiest champions, repose you here in rest,
Here lurks no treason, here no envy swells,
Here grow no damned grudges; here are no storms,
In peace and honour rest you here, my sons!
LAV. In peace and honour live lord Titus long;
Lo, at this tomb my tributary tears
TIT. Kind Rome, that hast thus lovingly reserv'd
Lavinia, live; outlive thy father's days,
And fame's eternal date, for virtue's praise!
Enter, below, MARCUS ANDRONICUS and Tribunes; re-enter SATURNINUS and BASSIANUS, attended.
MARC. Long live lord Titus, my beloved brother,
TIT. Thanks, gentle tribune, noble brother Marcus.
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;
That hath aspir'd to Solon's happiness,
And triumphs over chance in honour's bed.-
the coffin-] So the quartos. The folio, 1623, has, "the coffins," but compare the stage direction on the entrance of Titus Andronicus.
grudges;] Murmurs of discontent.
And triumphs over chance in honour's bed.-]
With these our late deceased emperor's sons:
TIT. A better head her glorious body fits
MARC. Titus, thou shalt obtain and ask the empery.
LUC. 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. BASS. Andronicus, I do not flatter thee,
But honour thee, and will do till I die:
My faction if thou strengthen with thy friends,d
I will most thankful be; and thanks to men
Of noble minds is honourable meed.
TIT. People of Rome, and noble tribunes here,
I ask your voices and your suffrages:
Will you bestow them friendly on Andronicus?
And gratulate his safe return to Rome,
The people will accept whom he admits.
TIT. Tribunes, I thank you: and this suit I make,
• What should I don, &c.] It is customary in cases like the present to print "What" as an exclamation, “What! should I don-" &c. though it is often only equivalent to, For What; or to, Why.
And set abroad-] The folio of 1664 has, "set abroach," &.. and the substitution is adopted by Mr. Collier's annotator.
thou shalt obtain and ask-] There is here, as Steevens remarks, somewhat too much of the hysteron proteron. We might, without much violence, read,—
"Ask, Titus, and thou shalt obtain the empery."
thy friends,-] A correction from the folio of 1664; the prior copies having
That you create your emperor's eldest son,
To us in our election this day,
I give thee thanks in part of thy deserts,
Rome's royal mistress, mistress of my heart,
Tell me, Andronicus, doth this motion please thee?
Romans, forget your fealty to me.
[A long flourish.
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 followers.
SAT. [Aside.] A goodly lady, trust me; of the hue
That I would choose, were I to choose anew.
Clear up, fair 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
(*) First folio, my.
empress,-] To be read as a trisyllable.
Pantheon-] From the second folio; the earlier editions printing, Pathan.