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SATURNINUS, Son to the late Emperor of Rome, and afterwards declar'd Emperor himself.
BASSIANUS, Brother to Saturninus, in love with Lavinia. TITUS ANDRONICUS, a Noble Roman, General against the Goths.
MARCUS ANDRONICUS, Tribune of the People, and Bro ther to Titus.
Sons to Titus Andronicus.
Young LUCIUS, a Boy, Son to Lucius.
PUBLIUS, Son to Marcus Andronicus the Tribune,
Sons to Tamora.
AARON, a Moor, belov'd by Tamora.
EMILIUS, a Roman.
TAMORA, Queen of the Goths, and afterwards' married to
LAVINIA, Daughter to Titus Andronicus.
A Nurfe with a black-a-moor Child.
Senators, Judges, Officers, Soldiers, and other Attendants.
SCENE Rome, and the Country near it.
Enter the Tribunes and Senators aloft, as in the Senate,
Enter Saturninus and his followers at one door, and Baf-
fianus and bis followers at the other, with drum and colours.
OBLE Patricians, patrons of my right,
Defend the justice of my cause with arms:
And countrymen my loving followers,
Plead my fucceffive title with your fwords.
I am the first-born son of him that laft
Wore the imperial diadem of Rome;
Then let my father's honours live in me,
Nor wrong mine age with this indignity.
Baf. Romans, friends, foll'wers, favourers of my right If eyer Baffianus, Cæfar's son, Were gracious in the eyes of royal Rome, Keep then this paffage to the Capitol; And fuffer not difhonour to approach Th' imperial feat, to virtue confecrate, To juftice, continence, and nobility:
This is one of the Plays which ought not to be look'd upon to be of Shakespear's compofition. By giving it the credit of a few of his lines inferted here and there he got the difcredit of writing the whole.
But let defert in pure election fhine;
And, Romans, fight for freedom in your choice.
Enter Marcus Andronicus aloft with the crown.
Mar. Princes, that ftrive by factions and by friends,
Ambitiously for rule and empery!
Know that the people of Rome, for whom we ftand
A fpecial party, have by common voice,
In free election for the Roman empery,
Chofen Andronicus, fur-named Pius,
For many good and great deserts to Rome.
A nobler man, a braver warrior,
Lives not this day within our city walls.
He by the Senate is accited home,
From weary wars against the barbarous Goths,
That with his fons (a terror to our foes)
Hath yoak'd a nation ftrong, train'd up in arms,
Ten years are spent fince firft he undertook
This caufe of Rome, and chastifed with arms
Our enemies pride. Five times he hath return'd
Bleeding to Rome, bearing his valiant fons
In coffins from the field.
And now at laft, laden with honour's spoils,,
Returns the good Andronicus to Rome,
Renowned Titus, flourishing in arms.
Let us intreat, by honour of his name,
Whom (worthily) you would have now succeed,
And in the Capitol and Senate's right,
Whom you pretend to honour and adore,
That you withdraw you, and abate your strength;
Difmifs your followers, and as fuitors fhould,
Plead your deferts in peace and humbleness.
Sat. How fair the Tribune fpeaks, to calm my thoughts
Baf. Marcus Andronicus, fo I do affie
In thy uprightness and integrity,
And fo I love and honour thee and thine,
Thy noble brother Titus, and his fons,
And her to whom our thoughts are humbled all,
Gracious Lavinia, Rome's rich Ornament,
That I will here difmifs my loving friends;
And to my fortunes, and the people's favour,