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Dramatis Per fonae.
SATURNINUS, Son to the late Emperor of Rome, and after
wards declared Emperor himself. Bassianus, Brother to Saturninus, in love with Lavinia. Titus Andronicus, a noble Roman, General against the Goths. Marcus Andronicus, Trilune of the people, and Brother to Titus. Marcus, Quintus,
Sons to Titus Andronicus.
Tamora. Queen of the Goths, and afterwards married to Sature
ninus. Lavinia, Daughter 10 Titus Andronicus. Nurfe, with a Black-a-moor Child.
Serators, Judges, Officers, Soldiers, and other Attendants.
SCENE, Rome; and the Country near it.
TITUS ANDRONICUS. (1)
SCENI, before the Capitol in Rome.
Enter the Tribunes and Senators aloft, as in the Sea
nute. Enter SATURNINUS and his Followers, at one Door; BASSANIUS and his Followers, ab the other, with Druin and Colours.
And countrymen, my loving followers,
(1) Titus Andronicus.] This is one of those plays which I have always thought, with the better judges, ought not to be acknowledged in the list of Shakespeare's genuine pieces. And, perhaps, I may give a proof to strengthen this opi nion, that may put the matter out of question. Ben Johnfon, in the induction to his Bartholomew-fair, (which made its first appearance in the year 1614) couples Jeronymo and Andronicus together in reputation, and speaks of them as plays then of twenty five or thirty years standing. Consequently, Andronicus must have been on the itage before Shakespeare left Warwickshire to come and refide in London : and I never heard it so much as intimated, that he had turned his genius to stage-writing before he associated with the players, and became one of their body. However, that he afterwards introduced it anew on the scene, with the addition of his own masterly touches, is incontestable : and thence, I presume, grew his title to it. The diction, in general, where he has not taken the pains to raise it, is
Wore the imperial diadem of Rome :
Baf. Romans, friends, followers, favourers of my If ever Baslianus, Cæsar's son,
[right, Were. gracious in the eyes of Royal Rome, Keep then this paffage to the Capitol, And suffer not dishonour to approach Th'imperial feat, to virtue confecrate, To juitice, continence, and nobility: But let desert in pure election shine; And, Romans, fight for freedom in your choice. Enter MARCUS ANDRONICUS aloft, with the Crown.
Mar. Princes, that lirive by factions, and by Ambitiously for rule and empery!
[friends, Know, that the people of Rome, for whom we stand A special party, have by common voice In election for the Roman empery, Chofen Andronicus, firnamed 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 yoked a nation strong, trained up in arms. Ten years are spent since first he undertook
even beneath that of the Three Parts of Henry VI. The story, we are to suppose, 'is merely fictitious. Andronicus is a furname of pure Greck derivation : Tamora is neither mentioned by Ammianus Marcellinus, nor any body else that I can find. Nor had Rome, in the time of her Emperors, any wars with the Goths that I know of: not till after ihe translation of the empire, I mean, to Byzantium. And yet the scene of our play is laid at Rome, ard Saturniaus' is elected to the empire at the Capitol.
The cause of Rome, and chastised with arms
[Exeunt Soldiers Sat. Friends, that have been thus forward in my
[They go up into the Senate-house
Enter a Captain. Cap. Romans, make way: the good Andronicus, Patron of virtue, Rome's best champion, Successful in the battles that he fights, With honour and with fortune is returned, From whence he circumscribed with his sword, And brought to yoke the enemies of Rome. Sound Drums and Trumpets, and then enter MUTIUS
and MARCUS: after them, two Men bearing a Coffin covered with black; then QUINTUS and Lu.
After them, TITUS ANDRONICUS; and then TAMORA, the Queen of Goths, ALARBUS, CHIRON and DEMETRIUS, with AARON the Moor, Prisoners; Soldiers and other Attendants. They set down the Coffin, and Titus speaks. Tit. (2) Hail, Rome, victorious in thy mourning
weeds! Lo, as the bark, that hath discharged her freight, Returns with precious lading to the bay From whence at firit the weighed her anchorage; Cometh Andronicus with laurel boughs, To re-falute his country with his tears; Tears of true joy for his return to Rome. Thou great defender of this Capitol,
(2) Hail, Rome, villorious in thy mourning weeds !] Me Warburton and I concurred to suspect that the Poet wrote;
-in my mourning weeds. i. e. Titus would say; Thou, Rome, art victorious, “ though I am a mourner for those fons which I have “ lost in obtaining that victory.” But I have not ventured to disturb the text; because, on a second reflection, mourning weeds may relate to Rome for this reason; the scene opens with Saturninus and Ballianus canvafling to be elected to the Empire: and consequently the state might be in grief for their last Emperor just deceased.