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ACT IV, SCENE i
Angelus and Adrastus urge Sebastus to remove himself from public life in order to calm this popular revolt. But he rejects this advice. Therefore he is seized and thrown in chains.
SEBASTUS, ANGELUS, ADRASTUS
SEB. Adrastus, the matter has become known and our efforts have come into the daylight. That man [Henry], whose first duty was to care for the empire’s happy state, has now employed his hands in crushing the public welfare. O barbarous wickedness of a bestial heart! Does his sinfulness now attack an innocent Caesar? But time knows no stay and flies onward, and the passing breezes snatch away our useless grumblings. We must take this at the flood, lest we tarry and be drowned. You have soldiers ready at hand, eager for battle, prodigal of their lives, ready to obey your commands. We must seize the palace. Take a crowd of soldiers here and defend the gates. Then surround yourself with a picked group of armed men and lead them to Henry’s doorstep. Ask for an audience. Calm his savagery. In the names of Alexius and the empire say that all is forgiven and promise pardon. Add this: Whoever is hidden in the dungeon's gloom will be returned to the daylight, if only Henry place his savage weapons at Augustus' feet. If his obstinate heart resists you, and the icy hardness of his heart does not incline to any agreement, then besiege the church with your band of chosen soldiers. Inspire in him real fear of final doom by fire and sword. If his terror does not make him accept the offered pact, then cut down young and old in promiscuous slaughter. Let sex or age exempt no one from the sword’s blow. When one has committed a crime on behalf of all, then all will suffer the same penalty.
ANG. Look how Fortune has overturned the empire’s condition! We have collapsed and there is no place left for hope. One thing helps those in misery: As we can expect nothing, we can in equal measure hope for nothing.
SEB. What are you saying? Does the flood of a new wave of sedition now wash over my head?
ANG. As you fear, prince, this tempest aims at your person. Stephen and Isaac, those champions of great Caesar’s disgrace, have gone over to the fierce Andronicus, whose arrival in the city will occur in a short time. In a passion the people are raving and pledging an unwelcoming welcome for the uncle.
ADR. The waves of an evil Fortune forbid us from hoping for a better situation. No hope is left for the ship whose sails, rudder, and anchor have been carried off by the South Wind's blast. Sebastus, look at the disastrous state of the commonwealth, the raging mobs of crazy plebs, the danger to Caesar, the countrymen who are threatening you personally, the heaps of dead slain by the wicked fury of this military mob — and you think you can calm this tempest with a small band? That the empire should collapse so that one man may survive? That this city, the gods’ delight, divinity’s home, the palace of the Graces, should be suddenly overpowered and become a theater of death and the final tomb for her people? As long as you hold this powerful court’s rudder and closely accompany Augustus as his prime minister, tempest will follow tempest and one tidal wave will sweep away another. Our shame is that streets will run with blood. The main point is this: Are you willing to see so many innocents perish as victims of your pride? No, turn your thoughts, aim at the public weal. If you are sensible, remove yourself from this storm and hide in some remote area of the world. Then a kinder day will give our troubles the relief which we long for. Sebastus, take this advice from one who loves you and look to your situation. If you refuse, you must pardon me if no argument will allow me to support your position. Be assured that I would be willing to put my own body between you and danger, but to collect an armed band to assault our own native homes and to savagely and bloodily slaughter the people — this pity forbids, nature prohibits, heaven rejects, and every law condemns. Therefore, run to the embrace of holy peace, as the situation now demands. Yield to Andronicus, yield to the violent blasts of popular fury. It is better to voluntarily leave our country’s embrace so that she may stand strong, rather than be buried under the rubble of our collapsing state or be shamed and expelled by the raging plebs.
SEB. My dear man, what are you telling me? To leave the field before I take my weapon in hand and face the enemy with fire and sword? This is the sign of a base nature. I will not, repeat not, withdraw. “But by my departure I can save the people’s lives. So then let us turn our feet to flight.” You are mad. By saying this, you condemn yourself, for flight shows an innocent heart to be guilty. Sebastus, in what way can you be called guilty? Either trust your safety to a just heaven, or succumb to a dishonorable death. “Leave. Heaven is wrinkling its brow in menace and looks on you harshly with its eyes. So flee, look for a zone where a clearer light makes the land golden.” How base is this! My dear man, you are feeling the way the base plebs feel. Take a firm stand; resist the enemy. Let Augustus see and honor your loyalty. Whatever tempest is heading for Caesar, it will go through this body first. I will bear with steadfast heart whatever cares of state that Caesar has laid on my shoulders. I will declare that man who refuses to obey my orders to lift his sword against the wicked enemy a rebel to his Caesar, a traitor to his country’s welfare, a foe of the gods, and doomed to Orcus. Men, rise up with your swords and come with me.
ADR. Stop. You are summoning a cure for this evil, but it is too late. Sebastus, furl up the sails of your influence. You have had enough governing. Now stop seeking to be in control, and put out your hands to be bound in chains.
SEB. Is this my Adrastus? Sebastus’ Adrastus? I swear by the starry heavens.
ADR. Seize his sword, soldiers!
SEB. O the wickedness of fate!
ADR. You brought this righteous fate on your own head, as does everyone who refuses to follow sensible advice and detours off the well-worn path of a favorable destiny to take a crooked one. Sebastus, You deserve the trouble you suffer. If you had been willing to take my warnings, you could have enjoyed a better outcome.
SEB. O hostile Fate!
ADR. The righteous path of the Fates.
ACT IV, SCENE ii
The realm’s chief men rejoice at Sebastus’ imprisonment. They decide to hand him over in chains to Andronicus to cut off any reason for further upheavals.
HENRY, STEPHEN. ISAAC, ANGELUS
HEN. Some radiance of the peace we long for now breathes on us. Again our nation’s lovely liberty has raised her head above the black mist. That man who brutally forged chains for the state has now found his own. Sebastus, that primary cause of our suffering, now groans under the weight of his chains. Let that man be happy with his chains who was not happy for the realm to be free.
STEPH. But the chains have not fallen off our fears. My mind is picturing to me some cloud of evils and is adding new fears to old terrors. The result is that we cannot unfurl the sails of positive hope. Andronicus rages outside the walls, he marshals his forces, he aims threats at the city. There is no ray of hope for peace in the future.
ISA. There is no path to joy, but many to terror. The mob, ignorant of all good, is avid for its own ruin. It raves, roars, and prepares to base its collapse on ours. Let’s forestall these attacks whose very shadow brings terror with it.
ANG. It is not yet clear what future Andronicus is imagining for himself, and so we must take great care in every respect. We must not omit any precaution, since everything suspicious is rightly to be feared. Whether he is concealing his true friendship when he helps us, or is bringing hostile feelings with the army he has here, it is wise to keep him entirely away from the city. The prudent man is cautious and wary of a powerful friend, who can become an enemy at a later date. No one allows his fortune to wobble when it can be made steady.
ISA. It’s enough for a prudent man to keep out of the city whatever can be harmful. The danger is often small when it is far off; it grows as it approaches and brings more serious trouble by its propinquity.
STEPH. No one safely keeps a serpent in his bosom. The more it soothingly slithers in, the more surely it puts its venom into the innermost parts of one’s heart.
HEN. But now some ray of peace is shining on me, if in your opinion my counsel is good. We may send Sebastus weighed down with iron, with ropes, bonds, and chains, to Andronicus. Assuaged by this, he will vomit his fury against unworthy blood and spare the city. Previously he swore that he would not free this city from the fear of his soldiers until he saw Sebastus cast down from the pinnacle of his rank. When he sees that his wishes have reached their goal, he will unload the weight of his wrath on Sebastus and let us enjoy tranquillity and peace.
ISA. I agree with your respectable advice.
ANG. But tell me what Caesar’s opinion will be. How much fury will he vomit on us?
HEN. Go quickly to Caesar. Reveal to him what has been done. I hope he will believe that we have sweated in our concern for his welfare; that we were driven by the sacred laws of justice, so that this dire flood, which was aimed at great Caesar’s person, might not drag to ruin the empire's stature; that now there is nothing which should afflict Caesar’s noble mind with fear; that we are laying our weapons at his sacred feet and are ready to march through fire and sword, if some assault should be made on Augustus from any direction. In short, show him the ultimate necessity which has driven us to such a daring deed. Make him happy about these actions, which have brought about safety for him, nurturing peace for the realm, and tranquillity to the people.
ANG. I am hurrying to put your honored counsel into effect. If heaven turns its stars favorably, I think Caesar must approve whatever has been done.
ISA. Now look, this guilty man Sebastus is coming on scene. Stop here and be silent.
ACT IV, SCENE iii
Sebastus deplores his unhappy situation. When Henry notices that Andronicus is approaching, he runs forward with his men to hand Sebastus over to Andronicus.
SEBASTUS AND THOSE ABOVE
SEB. Is there anything left for the savage hand of Fate to snatch from Sebastus? The glory of my reputation has perished, as well as my honored rank. The life I have left is a mere shadow. If you want that, cruel Fate, go ahead and take it. In the same tomb let my naked corpse, my deluded hopes, my wealth, my flattery and favor, royal support, the people’s allegiance, all my honors be buried. Fate, you lifted me up to an unsteady level, so that I might stand on a slippery place and thus fall even more heavily. Treacherous one! A fickle, greedy, goddess always hostile to brave men! In the end I am ashamed to remember my former glories. My nimble barque was pushed by a favoring wind, and wafted along by the breath of the zephyrs which served me. My barque was just at the entrance to the long-awaited harbor, when you convulsed the sea with sudden blasts, drove my barque out of the harbor, and shipwrecked it on the rocks of grievous pain. Foolish is that man who spreads his sails to your winds. You siren, you lure us with delights, then destroy us. You evil Circe, you offer us poison in golden cups. You mock us, and murder us while mocking. You lure us, then plant your dart. You sow pleasantries, then strike. You smile, then bring tears from the smiles. Your eyes appear as spotless suns, but your bosom fosters the dire whirlwinds of dark storms. The Graces shine from your face, but a grim monster is hidden inside. You inspire fleeting joy, but you interrupt that joy with eternal retribution. Pleasure is fleeting, grief knows no respite; sweetness is bitter, bitterness is sweet. The charms of Paradise are brief, while the fumes of Hades last long. Here, you traitor, you have Sebastus. He has lost everything, is unhappy, in pain, doomed. Satiate your hunger with my pain. My heart lies in a breast which is equal to my miseries. However much you may rage, I am able to bear it. I have learned, even if late, not to believe anyone on earth is blessed, even if a generous destiny and many favors flow into his bosom.
HEN. Too late you lament the elusive favors of Fate. Lead this criminal Sebastus to Andronicus.
ISA. But what sudden blare of Mars’ trumpets now strikes my ear?
STEPH. The unfurled banners display marks of royalty. Unless I’m mistaken, Andronicus himself is hastening this way.
HEN. Unlucky day! What will we do? The moment demands steadfast spirits. Still, we may hand the prisoner Sebastus to Andronicus.
ACT IV, SCENE iv
Henry and his men present Sebastus to Andronicus. He orders him to be blinded.
ANDRONICUS AND HIS ARMY, THE SAME MEN AS ABOVE
HEN. O guardian of our Mars, glorious hero, a man famed in war and peace, we lay our obedient hearts at your feet. As well-deserved tribute to your honor, we give you Sebastus, laden with iron chains. This man is a brand from Avernus’ realm, a tyrant over the nation’s rights, a tiger towards his nation. He is solely responsible for crushing the empire’s glories. Let these chains which bind this wicked man also constrain the rage in your heart. To be sure, the wrath which you feel is righteous, but your scales of justice can still discriminate between those you consider as guilty, and those whose uprightness makes them innocent.
AND. Your gift delights my eyes. My heart welcomes your loyalty. The stars will not allow the empire to suffer any upset because of my arrival. I have been summoned here by the trampling of the nation’s rights, the crushing of the laws’ strength, and the tyranny which was creeping in on wicked feet. I plan to permanently establish the health of our wounded country and to remove that very heavy yoke which has lain on the necks of decent people. So that the empire may see my mercy and the moderation of my heart, I hereby grant Sebastus his life, even though this man is guilty of a thousand crimes and deserves death. Let him live. Mercy demands this, but let him live deprived of his eyes, and let him endure a two-fold darkness buried in the black cavern of the dungeon. Sacred justice demands this, so that crime not go unpunished and punishment not be excessive.
SEB. This is brutal piety, barbarous mercy. You cruel monster, you infamous beast, satiate your frenzy, slake your vile thirst with Sebastus’ innocent blood. I will endure whatever the brutal frenzy of your barbarous mind can devise. My heart is capable of facing death and of living my life amid misery. If my eyes are plucked out, I will be even happier for this reason, that I may not see the collapse of our failing empire and the ruin which you are bringing with your sword. You savage! Why not cut off my ears as well, that I may not be forced to hear the fierce beast’s thundering voice, his unholy weapons, the pitiable cries of mothers, fathers, and children as they fall. But learn this final lesson from your enemy: have little trust in the favors of the rotating wheel. Like others, Fortune elevated me to heaven’s zenith. I believed I had planted my feet on solid ground, but the road to ruin was steep and slippery. I fell, and my hopes fell with me.
AND. Go and do what I ordered.
ACT IV, SCENE v
His sons Manuel and John meet Andronicus and are received with paternal affection. But because his father looks askance at Manuel’s ferocity, he secretly promises the kingship to John, although he is the younger son. John declines and argues for Manuel and Alexius.
ANDRONICUS, MANUEL, JOHN
MAN. Beloved father, may the stars long preserve you. Now after so many long months, so many long years, I am finally welcoming you. You son clasps you to his bosom.
JOHN. At last that Cynthius now shines when I may kiss the long-desired hands of my father. May the kindly stars in heaven abundantly rain clouds of benefits on you, so that your sons may long enjoy their father and learn from their father’s example how to take a similar path to glory.
AND. O tokens so dear to a father! O best joys of my heart, my sons, when I clasp you to my bosom, I open the path to joy and I let myself go. I see you liberated from a black dungeon and your hands and feet freed from those iron chains, which held you bound, subject to another's mad cruelty.
MAN. Chains and solid iron held our bodies, but our souls were always free and flew with love to our father. Father, pardon your son, if he is curious. What made you come into the territory of such a powerful enemy?
AND. Aside to audience. The aggressive nature of my curious son makes me mistrust his prudence in many matters. A future hour will soon show you what you ask your father. [To Manuel] Son, go a little ways apart. John, stand here with me. With a few words I want to give you a great gift. To John. Son, O son more dear to me than my vitals within. The course of Fate views you with kind eyes, and is readying you for lofty titles of honor, for the purple, for the scepter. I am entrusting the utmost secrets of my heart to your fidelity; you, in turn, conceal in the secret shadows of your breast what I am imparting. Son, it is for your future that I am bringing this fierce Mars from a distant shore. You well know how the hatred of a malignant destiny has spun my years around, what sort of tidal wave has insanely swept its wrath over my head and yours, and — what is painful to remember — how ruthless towards me and cruel towards you my own nephew, your own uncle, has been. Now the hour for exacting my revenge and for gaining you the throne has struck. The entire plebs in its fury is obedient to my wishes and is calling for our hands to take the scepter. No one but a madman would want to remove himself voluntarily from an inevitable destiny. Today I will be emperor, and today you will see your father sitting high on a royal throne. This same destiny is ready for you, son, the hope of my race, the one support of his country and his exhausted father.
JOHN Father, that your talents should be placed on a royal seat has been long overdue. But who would boldly go where you are calling me? Manuel demands this elevation by rights, by his greater years, and by his capacity for good sense.
AND. Your fidelity is open and clear, your brother’s is dubious. My decision is just. The lofty radiance on the royal brow and the imperial throne are yours. You, as my son, should want what you see your father wants.
JOHN I revere my father’s favor towards me, but what a storm of reproach will rain down on your head! They will argue that my hand snatched the scepter which was owed to another. You will be called the kingdom's tyrant.
AND. Where are you hearing this song?
JOHN Alexius still has the right to rule.
AND. But this worthless Caesar, the mere shadow of an emperor, will not have it long.
JOHN . Being willing to stain the royal hands by spilling the blood of a nephew smacks of a wicked mind.
AND. Not if good reasons support my coup. I have stretched out the nets. Now we must drive the prey. No path is left for him on which he can seek safety or escape in flight.
JOHN Aside to audience. I must pretend to have a different attitude. Father, you find your son is obedient. Give your command as you wish.
AND. Now this is the role of a sensible son. Your inner nature and character promised this to me long ago.
ACT IV, SCENE vi
John consults with the envoy from Aquitania about how Alexius may be freed from Andronicus’ cruelty.
JOHN,. ENVOY OF AQUITANIA
ENV. I was traveling to you, dear prince; this meeting is opportune. Where are your steps hastening so alone? Are you, as it seems from your pensive face, pondering deep concerns in your mind?
JOHN.I have an inward pain, a serious storm in my heart, a storm raised not by my Fortune, but by danger to others.
ENV. It is unworthy of a man to feel the troubles of another's fate so strongly that it can overshadow the clear daylight of his mind.
JOHN But pity elicited in one’s heart by another's trouble is praiseworthy.
ENV. Praiseworthy, if good sense and the laws of moderation control one’s feelings.
JOHN Good sense is applied in vain when every remedy for the evil is futile.
ENV. Useless are your efforts to make your unhappy self a victim of a pain which will not benefit you.
JOHN What love commands is not at one’s own will.
ENV. The strength of an uplifted mind is the shield against love.
JOHN But all prudence collapses when one is at war with his own blood.
ENV. You seem to be touching on Caesar with your words.
JOHN He is the one who has darkened Cynthius’ serene daylight. The trouble that I see hanging over Augustus’ head is the wolfhound in my breast, who has fixed his teeth in my heart and is steadily rending my vitals with his jaws. So with pitying tears I bewail (even if vainly) the troubles falling on him. No, I’m wrong. I should have said that I attend my own miseries with tears, because an evil fate has made affairs so perverse that the more the warmth of love grows in my vitals, the heavier Caesar’s great wrath hangs over my head. What’s the reason for such trouble? I wish the best for Caesar, but instead of the good, I bring the worst. I esteem him, but he repays my love with hatred. I am concerned to save Caesar from assassination, but he in concerned to put me to death. These are the decrees of the Fates: They want Alexius to perish by his own fault. They permit the light of his reason to be darkened by hatred, so that he fails to learn from my trustworthy reports about the doom coming on him.
ENV. What are these dangers which you are telling me about? From what direction is Fortune hurling threats at Caesar?
JOHN Love has an insightful nature. In extremities it is easy for me to find a way, even a violent one, to alleviate his fate.
ENV. You should reveal this to Caesar, if he is in danger.
JOHN I certainly should do so, and I did try, but any opportunity for fidelity was refused. Indeed, what good is wholesome advice, if the loyalty of the advisor is distrusted? As a result, will I deserve anything other than to be viewed with suspicious eyes and to be sunk in the deep dungeon of the prison?
ENV. So, since I know your fidelity is bright and clear, reveal your thoughts to me with an open heart.
JOHN I will disclose the secrets of my heart. Would that the unwary Caesar might hear this! Any hopes that Alexius might rule have perished. Uncontrolled ambition will seize the throne and will leap on the purple, after first trampling on Caesar’s head. This one remedy is left: to flee the onrushing whirlwind and to fix his safety in a secure place. Now any delay is nigh unto death. What forbids him from turning his attention to your king? Positive rays of hope shine from your king. He was the first to desire this treaty of precious peace; he concluded the agreement; he pledged his sacred word; he chose to join his daughter, the foundation of his Augustan house, to Caesar in the bonds of matrimony and the marriage bed. Your king, with his kindly nature, will give our unhappy Caesar whatever he can hope for to relieve his miseries. Caesar will abandon this realm, which has been seized by a wicked enemy, but his hopes for reclaiming it will not be completely lost. That day, illuminated with gleaming gold, will come, and at its rising he will be able to recover his lost scepter. What can the hand of Aquitanian Mars not accomplish, when it rages in arms with righteous fire? The wait would not be long until the tyrant groans, expelled from his royal state, deprived of the purple robes and symbols of rule, and Alexius again governs the empire from this throne with a calming hand. This is the only path to alleviating our misery.
ENV. These are the thoughts of a sensible mind. But Caesar is coming.
JOHN I am leaving. O gentle heavens, give your favors to Caesar!
ACT IV, SCENE vii
Alexius is persuaded to dissemble for a time with Andronicus, lest he provide an opportunity for more serious attempts, and in the meantime he should secretly summon auxiliary troops from the West.
ALEXIUS, ANGELUS, OTHER NOTABLES
AL. Is our powerful empire’s august glory such a joke to the tyrant? And does this empire bewail itself as crushed under a barbarous yoke, while still remembering its glory and ancient state, when it was fortunate, golden, prominent, and happy? Am I taking on the dullness of marble or stone? To be sure, my heart shudders, freezing cold runs through my bones, and terror makes its way through my fearful vitals. Nor do we lack a reason for the fear which this metropolis of evils is exciting. Andronicus’ mind is enthusiastic, and his ambition is uncontrolled. The haughty nature of his spirit and his fierce character have blocked any path to the hope that sensible plans can come to us.
ANG. You are wise to fear this, but if Caesar allows me to reveal the thoughts of my heart... Phoebus will come one day on golden wheels, and at that time the haughty enemy will be struck to the ground, his head will be crushed, and the nation's tranquillity will be restored.
AL. Speak. I, Caesar, will give you a welcoming ear.
ANG. Caesar, whatever our plans can be, you see that they are considerably less than his power. As a result, every method of forestalling him is base and unworthy of royal grandeur, unless you stretch out your hand for the sword and beat off his fierce Mars with an equal Mars. But we lack both men and strength equal to our desires. Blot this base fear from your royal heart. Aquitania in arms will come to your side, as will the Hungarians famed in war; the Germans, noted for arms, will join their regiments to yours. From them will arise a stiff harvest of arms, which our vainglorious enemy will never dare to come face to face with. Driven off in fear, he will evacuate all our lands and his Mars will flee.
AL. You are urging distant possibilities, which can hardly be put in motion before Andronicus seizes the court with a rapid assault and crushes the beaten Alexius under his victorious heel.
ANG. We must conceal our plans deep within our breast. Hide your fears; feign support, thankfulness, and love; deny the proud man nothing. You should adapt yourself to the moment, lest the empire’s subverter take the opportunity for contriving some scheme and stirring up the plebs to crush you. But what crashing noise coming from the palace is striking my ears?
AL. This strange uproar is is the sound of new misery for me.
ACT IV, SCENE viii
The plebs acclaim Andronicus as emperor. He pretends that their allegiance is not welcome. Under compulsion Alexius commands Andronicus to sit with him on the throne and declares him his colleague in the government.
CHORUS OF PLEBEIANS. ANDRONICUS AND THOSE ABOVE
CHOR. I Hurrah! Long live Andronicus! Let him wear the symbols of power which he has long deserved by his merits!
CHOR. II Long live, Andronicus! Put yourself on the royal throne as emperor! Let the happy echo resound throughout the joyous palace! Long live! May envious heaven place no bounds on your destiny, Andronicus.
AND. Let this shouting stop. My ears are unwilling to hear it.
CHOR. Long live! Let Andronicus control the nation and bring justice from on his throne. Let him rule the empire with the scepter of beloved peace.
AND. I want none of these mad prayers. What wild madness is driving you to this? Stop. This day acclaim Alexius as Augustus. Long live Alexius through days of favor. Let him rule the East by himself, and by himself bear the burden of this noble realm! This is what Andronicus prays sincerely in his heart, and whoever is loyal to his nation will do the same. Lay aside the foolish prayer that you will see Andronicus wielding the scepter on the golden throne. This does not entertain my pedestrian heart, which aims only at a lowly position. It’s enough for me that I have brought you joy. Andronicus is eager only for your welfare. After he has brought you this and has kept all savagery away from your heads, he will be content with these praiseworthy acts, but will ask for no praise. It’s enough for a noble nature to have deserved praise.
CHOR. And so with joyous voices the people desire for you long life and the scepter.
AL. Aside to the audience. I must adjust to the flood. The fact that the people rejoice at your glory certainly accords with my heartfelt wishes. It is your role to do great things; it is my role to give rewards. So come near, and sit at my side as emperor. Ascend the throne, which is yours by merit. Take on the role of my father. With equal status undertake the burdens of rule that too often weary my shoulders, which are not accustomed to it. Whatever accrues to your glory will redound to mine as well. Come near, and begin to decree laws for the world.
AND. Your commands go beyond what I deserve. The temperate nature of my spirit and my usual way of life forbids me to accept this. Two Caesars on the same throne govern the people badly. Heaven does not allow two suns to have control.
CHOR. Andronicus, it is useless to prolong this hesitation. The more you avoid this honor, the more you deserve it. Do you continue to resist? You are doing more to inspire the enthusiasm with which the people long to honor Andronicus as Caesar. You are refusing? Join hands, my friends. Our power will carry to the throne that man whose modesty would stop us.
AND. Although unwilling, I will yield to this enthusiasm. Since force majeure has put me in this place, and since you, Caesar, command it, it would be criminal to refuse. Nevertheless I take this throne only on the condition that I not cease to be a servant, and always, Augustus, be prompt to obey your commands and your wishes for the public welfare. I will occupy this seat until your strength and your blossoming years attain the maturity which will make you equal to ruling an empire. Then like an Atlas you will be able to carry with your own strength the skies of this empire.
CHOR. Even though you would not wish for these glories, nevertheless live, Andronicus Caesar, for the welfare of us and the realm.
Go to Act V