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Feb. 6, 1593 and again entered to Tho. Pavyer, April 19, 1602. The reader will find it in Dr. Percy's Reliques of Ancient English Poetry, vol. i. Painter, in his Palace of Pleasure, tom. ii. speaks of the story of Titus as well known, and particularly mentions the cruelty of Tamora. And there is an allusion to it in A Knack to Know a Knave, 1594.

'I have given the reader a specimen (in the notes) of the changes made in this play by Ravenscroft; and may add, that when the Empress stabs her child, he has supplied the Moor with the following lines:

"She has outdone me, ev'n in mine own art,
Outdone me in murder, kill'd her own child;
Give it me, I'll eat it."

'It rarely happens that a dramatic piece is altered with the same spirit that it was written; but Titus Andronicus has undoubtedly fallen into the hands of one whose feelings and imagination were congenial with those of the author.

'It was evidently the work of one who was acquainted with Greek and Roman literature. It is likewise deficient in such internal marks as distinguish the tragedies of Shakspeare from those of other writers; I mean that it presents no struggles to introduce the vein of humour so constantly interwoven with the business of his serious dramas. It can neither boast of his striking excellencies, nor of his acknowledged defects; for it offers not a single interesting situation, a natural character, or a string of quibbles, from first to last. That Shakspeare should have written without commanding our attention, moving our passions, or sporting with words, appears to me as improbable as that he should have studiously avoided dissyllable and trisyllable terminations in this play and in no other.

'Let it be likewise remembered that this piece was not published with the name of Shakspeare till after his death. The quartos [of 1600] and 1611 are anonymous.

'Could the use of particular terms, employed in no other of his pieces, be admitted as an argument that he was not its author, more than one of these might be found; among which is palliament for robe, a Latinism, which I have not met with elsewhere in any English writer, whether ancient or modern;

though it must have originated from the mint of a scholar. I may add, that Titus Andronicus will be found on examination to contain a greater number of classical allusions, &c. than are scattered over all the rest of the performances on which the seal of Shakspeare is indubitably fixed.-Not to write any more about and about this suspected thing, let me observe that the glitter of a few passages in it has, perhaps, misled the judgment of those who ought to have known that both sentiment and description are more easily produced than the interesting fabrick of a tragedy. Without these advantages many plays have succeeded; and many have failed, in which they have been dealt about with lavish profusion. It does not follow that he who can carve a frieze with minuteness, elegance, and ease, has a conception equal to the extent, propriety, and grandeur of a temple.

'Whatever were the motives of Heming and Condell for admitting this tragedy among those of Shakspeare, all it has gained by their favour is, to be delivered down to posterity with repeated remarks of contempt-a Thersites babbling among heroes, and introduced only to be derided.'-STEEVENS.

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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 the Goths. MARCUS ANDRONICUS, Tribune of the People; and Brother to Titus.

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Sons to Tamora.

AARON, a Moor, beloved by Tamora.

A Captain, Tribune, Messenger, and Clown; Romans.
Goths, and Romans.

TAMORA, Queen of the Goths.

LAVINIA, Daughter to Titus Andronicus.

A Nurse, and a Black Child.

Kinsmen of Titus, Senators, Tribunes, Officers, Soldiers, and Attendants.

SCENE-Rome; and the Country near it.



SCENE I. Rome. Before the Capitol. The Tomb of the Andronici appearing; the Tribunes and Senators aloft, as in the Senate. Enter, below, SATURNINUS and his Followers, on one side; and BASSIANUS and his Followers on the other; with Drum and Colours.


NOBLE patricians, patrons of my right,
Defend the justice of my cause with arms;
And, countrymen, my loving followers,
Plead my successive title1 with your swords:
I am his first-born son, that was the last
That ware the imperial diadem of Rome;
Then let my father's honours live in me,
Nor wrong mine age with this indignity.


Bas. Romans, friends, followers, favourers of my right,

If ever Bassianus, Cæsar's son,

Were gracious in the eyes of royal Rome,
Keep then this passage to the Capitol ;

1 i. e. my title to the succession. 'The empire being elective and not successive, the emperors in being made profit of their own times.'-Raleigh.

2 Staturninus means his seniority in point of age. In a subsequent passage Tamora speaks of him as a very young man.

And suffer not dishonour to approach
The imperial seat, to virtue consecrate,
To justice, continence, and nobility:
But let desert in pure election shine;

And, Romans, fight for freedom in your choice.

Enter MARCUS ANDRONICUS aloft, with the

Mar. Princes that strive by factions, and by

Ambitiously for rule and empery,

Know, that the people of Rome, for whom we stand
A special party, have, by common voice,
In election for the Roman empery,

Chosen Andronicus, surnamed Pius,
For many good and great deserts to Rome;
A nobler man, a braver warrior,

Lives not this day within the city walls:
He by the senate is accited3 home,

From weary wars against the barbarous Goths;
That, with his sons, a terror to our foes,
Hath yok'd a nation strong, train'd up in arms.
Ten years are spent, since first he undertook
This cause of Rome, and chastised with arms
Our enemies' pride: Five times he hath return'd
Bleeding to Rome, bearing his valiant sons
In coffins from the field;

And now at last, laden with honour's spoils,
Returns the good Andronicus to Rome,
Renowned Titus, flourishing in arms.

Let us entreat,-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;

3 Summoned.

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