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SATURNINUS, Son to the late Emperor of Rome, and afterwards declared Emperor himself.
BASSIANUS, Brother to Saturninus, in love with Lavinia. TITUS ANDRONICUS, a Noble Roman, General against
MARCUS ANDRONICUS, Tribune of the People, and Boother to Titus.
QUINTUS, Sons to Titus Andronicus.
Young LUCIUS, a Boy, Sen to Lucius.
PUBLIUS, Son to Marcus Andronicus the Tribune.
Sons to Tamora.
AARON, a Moor, below'd by Tamora.
TAMORA, Queen of the Goths, and afterwards married to Saturninus.
LAVINIA, Daughter to Titus Andronicus.
Nurfe with a black-a-moor Child.
Senators, Judges, Officers, Soldiers, and other Attendants.
SCENE, Rome, and the Country near it.
ACTI. SCENE I.
Enter the Tribunes and Senators aloft, as in the Senate.
Baf. Romans, friends, foll'wers, favourers of my right; If ever Baffianus, Cæfar's fon, 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 ;
Enter Marcus Andronicus aloft with the crown,
And now at laft, laden with honour's spoils,
Sot.How fair the Tribune fpeaks, to calm my thoughts!
In thy uprightness and integrity,
Commit my cause in balance to be weigh'd. [Exe, Soldiers.
Baf. Tribunes, and me, a poor competitor.
Cap. Romans, make way: the good Andronicus. Patron of virtue, Rome's beft champion, Successful in the battels that he fights, With honour and with fortune is return'd From whence he circumfcribed with his sword, And brought to yoak the enemies of Rome. Sound drums and trumpets, and then enter Mutius and Marcus: after them, two men bearing a coffin cover'd with black; then Quintus and Lucius. After them Titus Andronicus; and then Tamora, the Queen of Goths, Alarbus, Chiron and Demetrius, with Aaron the Moor, prifoners; Soldiers, and other Attendants. They fet down the coffin, and Titus fpeaks.
Tit. Hail, Rome, victorious in thy mourning weeds! Lo, as the bark, that hath discharg'd her freight, Returns with precious lading to the bay, From whence at firft the weigh'd her anchorage, Cometh Andronicus with laurel boughs, To re-falute his country with his tears; Tears of true joy, for his return to Rome. The great defender of this Capitol, Stand gracious to the rites that we intend ! Romans, of five and twenty valiant fons, Half of the number that King Priam had, Behold the poor remains alive and dead! Thefe that furvive, let Rome reward with love; Thefe that I bring unto their latest home, With burial among their ancestors.