The Tragedie of Titus Andronicus


William Shakespeare

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The Tragedie of Titus Andronicus Page 01

Actus Primus. Scoena Prima.

Flourish. Enter the Tribunes and Senators aloft And then enter Saturninus and his Followers at one doore, and Bassianus and his Followers at the other, with Drum & Colours.

Saturninus. Noble Patricians, Patrons of my right, Defend the iustice of my Cause with Armes. And Countrey-men, my louing Followers, Pleade my Successiue Title with your Swords. I was the first borne Sonne, that was the last That wore the Imperiall Diadem of Rome: Then let my Fathers Honours liue in me, Nor wrong mine Age with this indignitie

Bassianus. Romaines, Friends, Followers, Fauourers of my Right: If euer Bassianus, Cęsars Sonne, Were gracious in the eyes of Royall Rome, Keepe then this passage to the Capitoll: And suffer not Dishonour to approach Th' Imperiall Seate to Vertue: consecrate To Iustice, Continence, and Nobility: But let Desert in pure Election shine; And Romanes, fight for Freedome in your Choice. Enter Marcus Andronicus aloft with the Crowne.

Princes, that striue by Factions, and by Friends, Ambitiously for Rule and Empery: Know, that the people of Rome for whom we stand A speciall Party, haue by Common voyce In Election for the Romane Emperie, Chosen Andronicus, Sur-named Pious, For many good and great deserts to Rome. A Nobler man, a brauer Warriour, Liues not this day within the City Walles. He by the Senate is accited home From weary Warres against the barbarous Gothes, That with his Sonnes (a terror to our Foes) Hath yoak'd a Nation strong, train'd vp in Armes. Ten yeares are spent, since first he vndertooke This Cause of Rome, and chasticed with Armes Our Enemies pride. Fiue times he hath return'd Bleeding to Rome, bearing his Valiant Sonnes In Coffins from the Field. And now at last, laden with Honours Spoyles, Returnes the good Andronicus to Rome, Renowned Titus, flourishing in Armes. Let vs intreat, by Honour of his Name, Whom (worthily) you would haue now succeede, And in the Capitoll and Senates right, Whom you pretend to Honour and Adore, That you withdraw you, and abate your Strength, Dismisse your Followers, and as Suters should, Pleade your Deserts in Peace and Humblenesse

Saturnine. How fayre the Tribune speakes, To calme my thoughts

Bassia. Marcus Andronicus, so I do affie In thy vprightnesse and Integrity: And so I Loue and Honor thee, and thine, Thy Noble Brother Titus, and his Sonnes, And Her (to whom my thoughts are humbled all) Gracious Lauinia, Romes rich Ornament, That I will heere dismisse my louing Friends: And to my Fortunes, and the Peoples Fauour, Commit my Cause in ballance to be weigh'd.

Exit Souldiours.

Saturnine. Friends, that haue beene Thus forward in my Right, I thanke you all, and heere Dismisse you all, And to the Loue and Fauour of my Countrey, Commit my Selfe, my Person, and the Cause: Rome, be as iust and gracious vnto me, As I am confident and kinde to thee. Open the Gates, and let me in

Bassia. Tribunes, and me, a poore Competitor.

Flourish. They go vp into the Senat house.

Enter a Captaine.

Cap. Romanes make way: the good Andronicus, Patron of Vertue, Romes best Champion, Successefull in the Battailes that he fights, With Honour and with Fortune is return'd, From whence he circumscribed with his Sword, And brought to yoke the Enemies of Rome.

Sound Drummes and Trumpets. And then enter two of Titus Sonnes; After them, two men bearing a Coffin couered with blacke, then two other Sonnes. After them, Titus Andronicus, and then Tamora the Queene of Gothes, & her two Sonnes Chiron and Demetrius, with Aaron the Moore, and others, as many as can bee: They set downe the Coffin, and Titus speakes.

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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