The Tragedy of Dido Queene of Carthage, by Christopher Marlowe

The Tragedie of Dido Queene of Carthage.

Here the Curtaines draw, there is discovered Iupiter dandling Ganimed upon his knee, and Mercury lying asleepe.

Iup. Come gentle Ganimed and play with me,
I loue thee well, say Iuno what she will.

Gan. I am much better for your worthles loue,
That will not shield me from her shrewith blowes:
To day when as I fild into your cups,
And held the cloath of pleasance whiles you dranke,
She reacht me such a rap for that I spilde,
As made the bloud run downe about mine eares.

Iup. What? dares she strike the darling of my thoughts?
By Saturnes soule, and this earth threatning aire,
That shaken thrise, makes Natures buildings quake,
I vow, if she but once frowne on thee more,
To hang her meteor like twixt heauen and earth,
And bind her hand and foote with golden cordes,
As once I did for harming Hercules.

Gan. Might I but see that pretie sport a foote,
O how would I with Helens brother laugh,
And bring the Gods to wonder at the game:
Sweet Iupiter, if ere I pleasde thine eye,
Or seemed faire walde in with Egles wings,
Grace my immortall beautie with this boone,
And I will spend my time in thy bright armes.

Iup. What ist sweet wagge I should deny thy youth?
Whose face reflects such pleasure to mine eyes,
As I exhal’d with thy fire darting beames,
Haue oft driuen backe the horses of the night.
When as they would haue hal’d thee from my sight:
Sit on my knee, and call for thy content,
Controule proud Fate, and cut the thred of time,
Why are not all the Gods at thy commaund,
And heauen and earth the bounds of thy delight?
Vulcan shall daunce to make thee laughing sport,
And my nine Daughters sing when thou art sad,
From Iunos bird Ile pluck her spotted pride,
To make thee fannes wherewith to coole thy face,
And Venus Swannes shall shed their siluer downe,
To sweeten out the slumbers of thy bed:
Hermes no more shall shew the world his wings,
If that thy fancie in his feathers dwell,
But as this one Ile teare them all from him,
Doe thou but say their colour pleaseth me:
Hold here my little loue these linked gems,
My Iuno ware vpon her marriage day,
Put thou about thy necke my owne sweet heart,
And tricke thy armes and shoulders with my theft.

Gan. I would haue a iewell for mine eare,
And a fine brouch to put in my hat,
And then Ile hugge with you an hundred times.

Iup. And shall haue Ganimed, if thou wilt be my loue.

Enter Venus.

Venus. I this is it, you can sit toying there,
And playing with that female wanton boy,
Whiles my Æneas wanders on the Seas,
And rests a pray to euery billowes pride.
Iuno, false Iuno in her Chariots pompe,
Drawne through the heauens by Steedes of Boreas brood,
Made Hebe to direct her ayrie wheeles
Into the windie countrie of the clowdes,
Where finding Æolus intrencht with stormes,
And guarded with a thousand grislie ghosts,
She humbly did beseech him for our bane,
And charg’d him drowne my sonne with all his traine.
Then gan the windes breake ope their brazen doores,
And all Æolia to be vp in armes:
Poore Troy must now be sackt vpon the Sea,
And Neptunes waues be enuious men of warre,
Epeus horse to Ætnas hill transformd,
Prepared stands to wracke their woodden walles,
And Æolus like Agamemnon sounds
The surges, his fierce souldiers to the spoyle:
See how the night Ulysses-like comes forth,
And intercepts the day as Dolon erst:
Ay me! the Starres supprisde like Rhesus Steedes,
Are drawne by darknes forth Astræus tents.
What shall I doe to saue thee my sweet boy?
When as the waues doe threat our Chrystall world,
And Proteus raising hils of flouds on high,
Entends ere long to sport him in the skie.
False Iupiter, rewardst thou vertue so?
What? is not pietie exempt from woe?
Then dye Æneas in thine innocence,
Since that religion hath no recompence.

Iup. Content thee Cytherea in thy care,
Since thy Æneas wandring fate is firme,
Whose wearie lims shall shortly make repose,
In those faire walles I promist him of yore:
But first in bloud must his good fortune bud,
Before he be the Lord of Turnus towne,
Or force her smile that hetherto hath frownd:
Three winters shall he with the Rutiles warre,
And in the end subdue them with his sword,
And full three Sommers likewise shall he waste,
In mannaging those fierce barbarian mindes:
Which once performd, poore Troy so long supprest,
From forth her ashes shall aduance her head,
And flourish once againe that erst was dead:
But bright Ascanius beauties better worke,
Who with the Sunne deuides one radiant shape,
Shall build his throne amidst those starrie towers,
That earth-borne Atlas groning vnderprops:
No bounds but heauen shall bound his Emperie,
Whose azured gates enchased with his name,
Shall make the morning halt her gray vprise,
To feede her eyes with his engrauen fame.
Thus in stoute Hectors race three hundred yeares,
The Romane Scepter royall shall remaine,
Till that a Princesse priest conceau’d by Mars,
Shall yeeld to dignitie a dubble birth,
Who will eternish Troy in their attempts.

Venus. How may I credite these thy flattering termes,
When yet both sea and sands beset their ships,
And Ph[oe]bus as in stygian pooles, refraines
To taint his tresses in the Tyrrhen maine?

Iup. I will take order for that presently:
Hermes awake, and haste to Neptunes realme,
Whereas the Wind-god warring now with Fate,
Besiege the ofspring of our kingly loynes,
Charge him from me to turne his stormie powers,
And fetter them in Vulcans sturdie brasse,
That durst thus proudly wrong our kinsmans peace.
Venus farewell, thy sonne shall be our care:
Come Ganimed, we must about this geare.

Exeunt Iupiter cum Ganimed.

Venus. Disquiet Seas lay downe your swelling lookes,
And court Æneas with your calmie cheere,
Whose beautious burden well might make you proude,
Had not the heauens conceau’d with hel-borne clowdes,
Vaild his resplendant glorie from your view,
For my sake pitie him Oceanus,
That erst-while issued from thy watrie loynes,
And had my being from thy bubling froth:
Triton I know hath fild his trumpe with Troy,
And therefore will take pitie on his toyle,
And call both Thetis and Cimodoæ,
To succour him in this extremitie.

Enter Æneas with Ascanius, with one or two more.

What? doe I see my sonne now come on shoare:
Venus, how art thou compast with content,
The while thine eyes attract their sought for ioyes:
Great Iupiter, still honourd maist thou be,
For this so friendly ayde in time of neede.
Here in this bush disguised will I stand,
Whiles my Æneas spends himselfe in plaints,
And heauen and earth with his vnrest acquaints.

Æn. You sonnes of care, companions of my course,
Priams misfortune followes vs by sea,
And Helens rape doth haunt thee at the heeles.
How many dangers haue we ouer past?
Both barking Scilla, and the sounding Rocks,
The Cyclops shelues, and grim Ceranias seate
Haue you oregone, and yet remaine aliue!
Pluck vp your hearts, since fate still rests our friend,
And chaunging heauens may those good daies returne,
Which Pergama did vaunt in all her pride.

Acha. Braue Prince of Troy, thou onely art our God,
That by thy vertues freest vs from annoy,
And makes our hopes suruiue to cunning ioyes:
Doe thou but smile, and clowdie heauen will cleare,
Whose night and day descendeth from thy browes:
Though we be now in extreame miserie,
And rest the map of weatherbeaten woe:
Yet shall the aged Sunne shed forth his aire,
To make vs liue vnto our former heate,
And euery beast the forrest doth send forth,
Bequeath her young ones to our scanted foode.

Asca. Father I faint, good father giue me meate.

Æn. Alas sweet boy, thou must be still a while,
Till we haue fire to dresse the meate we kild:
Gentle Achates, reach the Tinder boxe,
That we may make a fire to warme vs with,
And rost our new found victuals on this shoare.

Venus. See what strange arts necessitie findes out,
How neere my sweet Æneas art thou driuen?

Æn. Hold, take this candle and goe light a fire,
You shall haue leaues and windfall bowes enow
Neere to these woods, to rost your meate withall:
Ascanius, goe and drie thy drenched lims,
Whiles I with my Achates roaue abroad,
To know what coast the winde hath driuen vs on,
Or whether men or beasts inhabite it.

Acha. The ayre is pleasant, and the soyle most fit
For Cities, and societies supports:
Yet much I maruell that I cannot finde,
No steps of men imprinted in the earth.

Venus. Now is the time for me to play my part:
Hoe yong men, saw you as you came
Any of all my Sisters wandring here?
Hauing a quiuer girded to her side,
And cloathed in a spotted Leopards skin.

Æn. I neither saw nor heard of any such:
But what may I faire Virgin call your name?
Whose lookes set forth no mortall forme to view,
Nor speech bewraies ought humaine in thy birth,
Thou art a Goddesse that delud’st our eyes,
And shrowdes thy beautie in this borrowd shape;
But whether thou the Sunnes bright Sister be,
Or one of chast Dianas fellow Nimphs,
Liue happie in the height of all content,
And lighten our extreames with this one boone,
As to instruct us vnder what good heauen
We breathe as now, and what this world is calde,
On which by tempests furie we are cast,
Tell vs, O tell vs that are ignorant,
And this right hand shall make thy Altars crack
With mountaine heapes of milke white Sacrifize.

Venus. Such honour, stranger, doe I not affect:
It is the vse for Turen maides to weare
Their bowe and quiuer in this modest sort,
And suite themselues in purple for the nonce,
That they may trip more lightly ore the lawndes,
And ouertake the tusked Bore in chase.
But for the land whereof thou doest enquire,
It is the punick kingdome rich and strong,
Adioyning on Agenors stately towne,
The kingly seate of Southerne Libia,
Whereas Sidonian Dido rules as Queene.
But what are you that aske of me these things?
Whence may you come, or whither will you goe?

Æn. Of Troy am I, Æneas is my name,
Who driuen by warre from forth my natiue world,
Put sailes to sea to seeke out Italy;
And my diuine descent from sceptred Iove,
With twise twelue Phrigian ships I plowed the deepe,
And made that way my mother Venus led:
But of them all scarce seuen doe anchor safe,
And they so wrackt and weltred by the waues,
As euery tide tilts twixt their oken sides:
And all of them vnburdened of their loade,
Are ballassed with billowes watrie weight.
But haples I, God wot, poore and vnknowne,
Doe trace these Libian deserts all despisde,
Exild forth Europe and wide Asia both,
And haue not any couerture but heauen.

Venus. Fortune hath fauord thee what ere thou be,
In sending thee vnto this curteous Coast:
A Gods name on and hast thee to the Court,
Where Dido will receiue ye with her smiles:
And for thy ships which thou supposest lost,
Not one of them hath perisht in the storme,
But are ariued safe not farre from hence:
And so I leaue thee to thy fortunes lot,
Wishing good lucke vnto thy wandring steps. Exit.

Æn. Achates, tis my mother that is fled,
I know her by the mouings of her feete:
Stay gentle Venus, flye not from thy sonne,
Too cruell, why wilt thou forsake me thus?
Or in these shades deceiu’st mine eye so oft?
Why talke we not together hand in hand?
And tell our griefes in more familiar termes:
But thou art gone and leau’st me here alone,
To dull the ayre with my discoursiue moane. Exit.

Enter Illioneus, and Cloanthes.

Illio. Follow ye Troians, follow this braue Lord,
And plaine to him the summe of your distresse.

Iar. Why, what are you, or wherefore doe you sewe?

Illio. Wretches of Troy, enuied of the windes,
That craue such fauour at your honors feete,
As poore distressed miserie may pleade:
Saue, saue, O saue our ships from cruell fire,
That doe complaine the wounds of thousand waues,
And spare our liues whom euery spite pursues.
We come not we to wrong your Libian Gods,
Or steale your houshold lares from their shrines:
Our hands are not prepar’d to lawles spoyle,
Nor armed to offend in any kind:
Such force is farre from our vnweaponed thoughts,
Whose fading weale of victorie forsooke,
Forbids all hope to harbour neere our hearts.

Iar. But tell me Troians, Troians if you be,
Vnto what fruitfull quarters were ye bound,
Before that Boreas buckled with your sailes?

Cloan. There is a place Hesperia term’d by vs,
An ancient Empire, famoused for armes,
And fertile in faire Ceres furrowed wealth,
Which now we call Italia of his name,
That in such peace long time did rule the same:
Thither made we,
When suddenly gloomie Orion rose,
And led our ships into the shallow sands,
Whereas the Southerne winde with brackish breath,
Disperst them all amongst the wrackfull Rockes:
From thence a fewe of vs escapt to land,
The rest we feare are foulded in the flouds.

Iar. Braue men at armes, abandon fruitles feares,
Since Carthage knowes to entertaine distresse.

Serg. I but the barbarous sort doe threat our ships,
And will not let vs lodge vpon the sands:
In multitudes they swarme vnto the shoare,
And from the first earth interdict our feete.

Iar. My selfe will see they shall not trouble ye,
Your men and you shall banquet in our Court,
And euery Troian be as welcome here,
As Iupiter to sillie Vausis house:
Come in with me, Ile bring you to my Queene,
Who shall confirme my words with further deedes.

Serg. Thankes gentle Lord for such vnlookt for grace,
Might we but once more see Æneas face,
Then would we hope to quite such friendly turnes,
As shall surpasse the wonder of our speech.

Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 11:58