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Dido, Queen of Carthage

by Christopher Marlowe and Thomas Nashe

Dramatis Personae

Act 1

Here the Curtains draw, there is discovered Jupiter dandling Ganymede upon his knee, and Mercury lying asleep.

Jupiter:COme gentle Ganymede and play with me, I love thee well, say Juno what she will.

Ganymede:I am much better for your worthless love, That will not shield me from her shrewish blows: Today whenas I filled into your cups, And held the cloth of pleasance whiles you drank, She reached me such a rap for that I spilled, As made the blood run down about mine ears.

Jupiter:What? dares she strike the darling of my thoughts? By Saturn’s soul, and this earth threatening air, That shaken thrice, makes Nature’s buildings quake, I vow, if she but once frown on thee more, To hang her meteor like twixt heaven and earth, And bind her hand and foot with golden cords, As once I did for harming Hercules.

Ganymede:Might I but see that pretty sport a foot, O how would I with Helen’s brother laugh, And bring the Gods to wonder at the game: Sweet Jupiter, if e’er I pleased thine eye, Or seemed fair walled in with Eagle’s wings, Grace my immortal beauty with this boon, And I will spend my time in thy bright arms.

Jupiter:What is ’t sweet wag I should deny thy youth? Whose face reflects such pleasure to mine eyes, As I exhaled with thy fire darting beams, Have oft driven back the horses of the night, When as they would have haled thee from my sight: Sit on my knee, and call for thy content, Control proud Fate, and cut the thread of time, Why are not all the Gods at thy command, And heaven and earth the bounds of thy delight? Vulcan shall dance to make thee laughing sport, And my nine Daughters sing when thou art sad, From Juno’s bird I’ll pluck her spotted pride, To make thee fans wherewith to cool thy face, And Venus’ Swans shall shed their silver down, To sweeten out the slumbers of thy bed: Hermes no more shall show the world his wings, If that thy fancy in his feathers dwell, But as this one I’ll tear them all from him, Do thou but say their color pleaseth me: Hold here my little love these linked gems, My Juno wore upon her marriage day, Put thou about thy neck my own sweet heart, And trick thy arms and shoulders with my theft.

Ganymede:I would have a jewel for mine ear, And a fine brooch to put in my hat, And then I’ll hug with you an hundred times.

Jupiter:And shall have Ganymede, if thou wilt be my love.

Enter Venus.

Venus:Ay this is it, you can sit toying there, And playing with that female wanton boy, Whiles my Aeneas wanders on the Seas, And rests a prey to every billow’s pride. Juno, false Juno in her Chariot’s pomp, Drawn through the heavens by Steeds of Boreas’ brood, Made Hebe to direct her airy wheels Into the windy country of the clouds, Where finding Aeolus entrenched with storms, And guarded with a thousand grisly ghosts, She humbly did beseech him for our bane, And charged him drown my son with all his train. Then ’gan the winds break ope their brazen doors, And all Aeolia to be up in arms: Poor Troy must now be sacked upon the Sea, And Neptune’s waves be envious men of war, Epeus’ horse to Etna’s hill transformed, Prepared stands to wrack their wooden walls, And Aeolus like Agamemnon sounds The surges, his fierce soldiers to the spoil: See how the night Ulysses-like comes forth, And intercepts the day as Dolon erst: Ay me! the Stars surprised like Rhesus’ Steeds, Are drawn by darkness forth Astraeus’ tents. What shall I do to save thee my sweet boy? When as the waves do threat our Crystal world, And Proteus raising hills of floods on high, Intends ere long to sport him in the sky. False Jupiter, rewardst thou virtue so? What? is not piety exempt from woe? Then die Aeneas in thine innocence, Since that religion hath no recompense.

Jupiter:Content thee Cytherea in thy care, Since thy Aeneas wand’ring fate is firm, Whose weary limbs shall shortly make repose, In those fair walls I promised him of yore: But first in blood must his good fortune bud, Before he be the Lord of Turnus’ town, Or force her smile that hitherto hath frowned: Three winters shall he with the Rutiles war, And in the end subdue them with his sword, And full three Summers likewise shall he waste, In managing those fierce barbarian minds: Which once performed, poor Troy so long suppressed, From forth her ashes shall advance her head, And flourish once again that erst was dead: But bright Ascanius’ beauties better work, Who with the Sun divides one radiant shape, Shall build his throne amidst those starry towers, That earth-born Atlas groaning underprops: No bounds but heaven shall bound his Empery, Whose azured gates enchased with his name, Shall make the morning haste her gray uprise, To feed her eyes with his engraven fame. Thus in stout Hector’s race three hundred years, The Roman Sceptre royal shall remain, Till that a Princess priest conceived by Mars, Shall yield to dignity a double birth, Who will eternize Troy in their attempts.

Venus:How may I credit these thy flattering terms, When yet both sea and sands beset their ships, And Phoebus as in stygian pools, refrains To taint his tresses in the Tyrrhene main?

Jupiter:I will take order for that presently: Hermes awake, and haste to Neptune’s realm, Whereas the Wind-god warring now with Fate, Besiege the offspring of our kingly loins, Charge him from me to turn his stormy powers, And fetter them in Vulcan’s sturdy brass, That durst thus proudly wrong our kinsman’s peace. Venus farewell, thy son shall be our care: Come Ganymede, we must about this gear.

Exeunt Jupiter cum Ganymede.

Venus:Disquiet Seas lay down your swelling looks, And court Aeneas with your calmy cheer, Whose beauteous burden well might make you proud, Had not the heavens conceived with hellborn clouds. Veiled his resplendent glory from your view, For my sake pity him Oceanus, That erstwhile issued from thy wat’ry loins, And had my being from thy bubbling froth: Triton I know hath filled his trump with Troy, And therefore will take pity on his toil, And call both Thetis and Cimodea, To succor him in this extremity. [Enter Aeneas with Ascanius, with one or two more.] What? do I see my son now come on shore: Venus, how art thou compassed with content, The while thine eyes attract their sought for joys: Great Jupiter, still honored mayst thou be, For this so friendly aid in time of need. Here in this bush disguised will I stand, Whiles my Aeneas spends himself in plaints, And heaven and earth with his unrest acquaints.

Aeneas:You sons of care, companions of my course, Priam’s misfortune follows us by sea, And Helen’s rape doth haunt thee at the heels. How many dangers have we overpassed ? Both barking Scylla and the sounding Rocks, The Cyclops shelves, and grim Ceraunia’s seat Have you o’ergone, and yet remain alive? Pluck up your hearts, since fate still rests our friend, And changing heavens may those good days return, Which Pergama did vaunt in all her pride.

Achates:Brave Prince of Troy, thou only art our God, That by thy virtues freest us from annoy, And makes our hopes survive to cunning joys: Do thou but smile, and cloudy heaven will clear, Whose night and day descendeth from thy brows: Though we be now in extreme misery, And rest the map of weatherbeaten woe: Yet shall the aged Sun shed forth his air, To make us live unto our former heat, And every beast the forest doth send forth, Bequeath her young ones to our scanted food.

Ascanius:Father I faint, good father give me meat.

Aeneas:Alas sweet boy, thou must be still a while, Till we have fire to dress the meat we killed: Gentle Achates, reach the Tinder box, That we may make a fire to warm us with, And roast our new found victuals on this shore.

Venus:See what strange arts necessity finds out, How near my sweet Aeneas art thou driven?

Aeneas:Hold, take this candle and go light a fire, You shall have leaves and windfall boughs Near to these woods, to roast your meat withal: Ascanius, go and dry thy drenched limbs, Whiles I with my Achates rove abroad, To know what coast the wind hath driven us on, Or whether men or beasts inhabit it.

Achates:The air is pleasant, and the soil most fit For Cities, and society’s supports: Yet much I marvel that I cannot find, No steps of men imprinted in the earth.

Venus:Now is the time for me to play my part: Ho young men, saw you as you came Any of all my Sisters wand’ring here? Having a quiver girded to her side, And clothèd in a spotted Leopard’s skin.

Aeneas:I neither saw nor heard of any such: But what may I fair Virgin call your name? Whose looks set forth no mortal form to view, Nor speech bewrays aught human in thy birth, Thou art a Goddess that delud’st our eyes, And shrouds thy beauty in this borrowed shape: But whether thou the Sun’s bright Sister be, Or one of chaste Diana’s fellow Nymphs, Live happy in the height of all content, And lighten our extremes with this one boon, As to instruct us under what good heaven We breathe as now, and what this world is called, On which by tempests’ fury we are cast, Tell us, O tell us that are ignorant, And this right hand shall make thy Altars crack With mountain heaps of milk white Sacrifice.

Venus:Such honor, stranger, do I not affect: It is the use for Tyrian maids to wear Their bow and quiver in this modest sort, And suit themselves in purple for the nonce, That they may trip more lightly o’er the lawns, And overtake the tusked Boar in chase. But for the land whereof thou dost inquire, It is the punic kingdom rich and strong, Adjoining on Agenor’s stately town, The kingly seat of Southern Libya, Whereas Sidonian Dido rules as Queen. But what are you that ask of me these things? Whence may you come, or whither will you go?

Aeneas:Of Troy am I, Aeneas is my name, Who driven by war from forth my native world, Put sails to sea to seek out Italy: And my divine descent from sceptred Jove, With twice twelve Phrygian ships I plowed the deep, And made that way my mother Venus led: But of them all scarce seven do anchor safe, And they so wracked and weltered by the waves, As every tide tilts twixt their oaken sides: And all of them unburdened of their load, Are ballast with billows’ watery weight. But hapless I, God wot, poor and unknown, Do trace these Libyan deserts all despised, Exiled forth Europe and wide Asia both, And have not any coverture but heaven.

Venus:Fortune hath favored thee whate’er thou be, In sending thee unto this courteous Coast: A God’s name on and haste thee to the Court, Where Dido will receive ye with her smiles: And for thy ships which thou supposest lost, Not one of them hath perished in the storm, But are arrived safe not far from hence: And so I leave thee to thy fortune’s lot, Wishing good luck unto thy wand’ring steps.


Aeneas:Achates, ’tis my mother that is fled, I know her by the movings of her feet: Stay gentle Venus, fly not from thy son, Too cruel, why wilt thou forsake me thus? Or in these shades deceiv’st mine eye so oft? Why talk we not together hand in hand? And tell our griefs in more familiar terms: But thou art gone and leavest me here alone, To dull the air with my discursive moan.


Enter Illioneus, and Cloanthus.

Illioneus:Follow ye Trojans, follow this brave Lord, And plain to him the sum of your distress.

Iarbas:Why, what are you, or wherefore do you sue?

Illioneus:Wretches of Troy, envied of the winds, That crave such favor at your honor’s feet, As poor distressed misery may plead: Save, save, O save our ships from cruel fire, That do complain the wounds of thousand waves, And spare our lives whom every spite pursues. We come not we to wrong your Libyan Gods, Or steal your household lares from their shrines: Our hands are not prepared to lawless spoil, Nor armed to offend in any kind: Such force is far from our unweaponed thoughts, Whose fading weal of victory forsook, Forbids all hope to harbor near our hearts.

Iarbas:But tell me Trojans, Trojans if you be, Unto what fruitful quarters were ye bound, Before that Boreas buckled with your sails?

Cloanthus:There is a place Hesperia termed by us, An ancient Empire, famoused for arms, And fertile in fair 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 gloomy Orion rose, And led our ships into the shallow sands, Whereas the Southern wind with brackish breath, Dispersed them all amongst the wrackful Rocks: From thence a few of us escaped to land, The rest we fear are folded in the floods.

Iarbas:Brave men at arms, abandon fruitless fears, Since Carthage knows to entertain distress.

Sergestus:Ay but the barbarous sort do threat our ships, And will not let us lodge upon the sands: In multitudes they swarm unto the shore, And from the first earth interdict our feet.

Iarbas:Myself will see they shall not trouble ye, Your men and you shall banquet in our Court, And every Trojan be as welcome here, As Jupiter to silly Baucis’ house: Come in with me, I’ll bring you to my Queen, Who shall confirm my words with further deeds.

Sergestus:Thanks gentle Lord for such unlooked for grace, Might we but once more see Aeneas’ face, Then would we hope to quite such friendly turns, As shall surpass the wonder of our speech.

Act 2

Actus 2.

Enter Aeneas, Achates, and Ascanius.

Aeneas:Where am I now? these should be Carthage walls.

Achates:Why stands my sweet Aeneas thus amazed?

Aeneas:O my Achates, Theban Niobe, Who for her son’s death wept out life and breath, And dry with grief was turned into a stone, Had not such passions in her head as I. Methinks that town there should be Troy, Ida’s hill, There Xanthus’ stream, because here’s Priamus, And when I know it is not, then I die.

Achates:And in this humor is Achates too, I cannot choose but fall upon my knees, And kiss his hand: O where is Hecuba, Here she was wont to sit, but saving air Is nothing here, and what is this but stone?

Aeneas:O yet this stone doth make Aeneas weep, And would my prayers (as Pygmalion’s did) Could give it life, that under his conduct We might sail back to Troy, and be revenged On these hard-hearted Grecians, which rejoice That nothing now is left of Priamus: O Priamus is left and this is he, Come, come aboard, pursue the hateful Greeks.

Achates:What means Aeneas?

Aeneas:Achates though mine eyes say this is stone, Yet thinks my mind that this is Priamus: And when my grieved heart sighs and says no, Then would it leap out to give Priam life: O were I not at all so thou might’st be. Achates, see King Priam wags his hand, He is alive, Troy is not overcome.

Achates:Thy mind Aeneas that would have it so Deludes thy eyesight, Priamus is dead.

Aeneas:Ah Troy is sacked, and Priamus is dead, And why should poor Aeneas be alive?

Ascanius:Sweet father leave to weep, this is not he: For were it Priam he would smile on me.

Achates:Aeneas see here come the Citizens, Leave to lament lest they laugh at our fears.

Enter Cloanthus, Sergestus, Illioneus.

Aeneas:Lords of this town, or whatsoever style Belongs unto your name, vouchsafe of ruth To tell us who inhabits this fair town, What kind of people, and who governs them: For we are strangers driven on this shore, And scarcely know within what Clime we are.

Illioneus:I hear Aeneas’ voice, but see him not, For none of these can be our General.

Achates:Like Illioneus speaks this Noble man, But Illioneus goes not in such robes.

Sergestus:You are Achates, or I deceived.

Achates:Aeneas see Sergestus or his ghost.

Illioneus:He means Aeneas, let us kiss his feet.

Cloanthus:It is our Captain, see Ascanius.

Sergestus:Live long Aeneas and Ascanius.

Aeneas:Achates, speak, for I am overjoyed.

Achates:O Illioneus, art thou yet alive?

Illioneus:Blessed be the time I see Achates’ face.

Cloanthus:Why turns Aeneas from his trusty friends?

Aeneas:Sergestus, Illioneus and the rest, Your sight amazed me, O what destinies Have brought my sweet companions in such plight? O tell me, for I long to be resolved.

Illioneus:Lovely Aeneas, these are Carthage walls, And here Queen Dido wears th’ imperial Crown, Who for Troy’s sake hath entertained us all, And clad us in these wealthy robes we wear. Oft hath she asked us under whom we served, And when we told her she would weep for grief, Thinking the sea had swallowed up thy ships, And now she sees thee how will she rejoice?

Sergestus:See where her servitors pass through the hall Bearing a banquet, Dido is not far.

Illioneus:Look where she comes: Aeneas viewed her well.

Aeneas:Well may I view her, but she sees not me.

Enter Dido and her train.

Dido:What stranger art thou that dost eye me thus?

Aeneas:Sometime I was a Trojan mighty Queen: But Troy is not, what shall I say I am?

Illioneus:Renowned Dido, ’tis our General: warlike Aeneas.

Dido:Warlike Aeneas, and in these base robes? Go fetch the garment which Sychaeus wore: Brave Prince, welcome to Carthage and to me, Both happy that Aeneas is our guest: Sit in this chair and banquet with a Queen, Aeneas is Aeneas, were he clad In weeds as bad as ever Irus wore.

Aeneas:This is no seat for one that’s comfortless, May it please your grace to let Aeneas wait: For though my birth be great, my fortunes mean, Too mean to be companion to a Queen.

Dido:Thy fortune may be greater than thy birth, Sit down Aeneas, sit in Dido’s place, And if this be thy son as I suppose, Here let him sit, be merry lovely child.

Aeneas:This place beseems me not, O pardon me.

Dido:I’ll have it so, Aeneas be content.

Ascanius:Madam, you shall be my mother.

Dido:And so I will sweet child: be merry man, Here’s to thy better fortune and good stars.

Aeneas:In all humility I thank your grace.

Dido:Remember who thou art, speak like thyself, Humility belongs to common grooms.

Aeneas:And who so miserable as Aeneas is?

Dido:Lies it in Dido’s hands to make thee blessed, Then be assured thou art not miserable.

Aeneas:O Priamus, O Troy, Oh Hecuba!

Dido:May I entreat thee to discourse at large, And truly to how Troy was overcome: For many tales go of that City’s fall, And scarcely do agree upon one point: Some say Antenor did betray the town, Others report ’twas Sinon’s perjury: But all in this that Troy is overcome, And Priam dead, yet how we hear no news.

Aeneas:A woeful tale bids Dido to unfold, Whose memory like pale death’s stony mace, Beats forth my senses from this troubled soul, And makes Aeneas sink at Dido’s feet.

Dido:What faints Aeneas to remember Troy? In whose defense he fought so valiantly: Look up and speak.

Aeneas:Then speak Aeneas with Achilles’ tongue, And Dido and you Carthaginian Peers Hear me, but yet with Myrmidons’ harsh ears, Daily inured to broils and Massacres, Lest you be moved too much with my sad tale. The Grecian soldiers tired with ten years’ war, Began to cry, let us unto our ships, Troy is invincible, why stay we here? With whose outcries Atrides being appalled, Summoned the Captains to his princely tent, Who looking on the scars we Trojans gave, Seeing the number of their men decreased, And the remainder weak and out of heart, Gave up their voices to dislodge the Camp, And so in troops all marched to Tenedos: Where when they came, Ulysses on the sand Assayed with honey words to turn them back: And as he spoke to further his intent, The winds did drive huge billows to the shore, And heaven was darkened with tempestuous clouds: Then he alleged the Gods would have them stay, And prophesied Troy should be overcome: And therewithal he called false Sinon forth, A man compact of craft and perjury, Whose tongue was made of Hermes’ pipe, To force an hundred watchful eyes to sleep: And him Epeus having made the horse, With sacrificing wreathes upon his head, Ulysses sent to our unhappy town: Who grovelling in the mire of Xanthus’ banks, His hands bound at his back, and both his eyes Turned up to heaven as one resolved to die, Our Phrygian shepherd haled within the gates, And brought unto the Court of Priamus: To whom he used action so pitiful, Looks so remorseful, vows so forcible, As there withal the old man overcome, Kissed him, embraced him, and unloosed his bands, And then, O Dido, pardon me.

Dido:Nay leave not here, resolve me of the rest

Aeneas:O th’ enchanting words of that base slave, Made him to think Epeus’ pine-tree Horse A sacrifice t’ appease Minerva’s wrath: The rather for that one Laocoon Breaking a spear upon his hollow breast, Was with two winged Serpents stung to death. Whereat aghast, we were commanded straight With reverence to draw it into Troy. In which unhappy work was I employed, These hands did help to hale it to the gates, Through which it could not enter ’twas so huge. O had it never entered, Troy had stood. But Priamus impatient of delay, Enforced a wide breach in that rampired wall, Which thousand battering Rams could never pierce, And so came in this fatal instrument: At whose accursed feet as overjoyed, We banqueted till overcome with wine, Some surfeited and others soundly slept. Which Sinon viewing, caused the Greekish spies To haste to Tenedos and tell the Camp: Then he unlocked the Horse, and suddenly From out his entrails, Neoptolemus Setting his spear upon the ground, leapt forth, And after him a thousand Grecians more, In whose stern faces shined the quenchless fire, That after the pride of Asia. By this the Camp was come unto the walls, And through the breach did march into the streets, Where meeting with the rest, kill kill they cried. Frighted with this confused noise, I rose, And looking from a turret, might behold Young infants swimming in their parents’ blood, Headless carcases piled up in heaps, Virgins half dead dragged by their golden hair, And with main force flung on a ring of pikes, Old men with swords thrust through their aged sides, Kneeling for mercy to a Greekish lad, Who with steel Pole-axes dashed out their brains. Then buckled I mine armor, drew my sword, And thinking to go down, came Hector’s ghost With ashy visage, bluish sulphur eyes, His arms torn from his shoulders, and his breast Furrowed with wounds, and that which made me weep, Thongs at his heels, by which Achilles’ horse Drew him in triumph through the Greekish Camp, Burst from the earth, crying, Aeneas fly, Troy is a-fire, the Grecians have the town,

Dido:O Hector who weeps not to hear thy name?

Aeneas:Yet flung I forth, and desperate of my life, Ran in the thickest throngs, and with this sword Sent many of their savage ghosts to hell. At last came Pyrrhus fell and full of ire, His harness dropping blood, and on his spear The mangled head of Priam’s youngest son, And after him his band of Myrmidons, With balls of wild fire in their murdering paws, Which made the funeral flame that fair Troy: All which hemmed me about, crying, this is he.

Dido:Ah, how could poor Aeneas scape their hands?

Aeneas:My mother Venus jealous of my health, Conveyed me from their crooked nets and bands: So I escaped the furious Pyrrhus’ wrath: Who then ran to the palace of the King, And at Jove’s Altar finding Priamus, About whose withered neck hung Hecuba, Folding his hand in hers, and jointly both Beating their breasts and falling on the ground, He with his falchion’s point raised up at once, And with Megaera’s eyes stared in their face, Threat’ning a thousand deaths at every glance. To whom the aged King thus trembling spoke: Achilles’ son, remember what I was, Father of fifty sons, but they are slain, Lord of my fortune, but my fortunes turned, King of this City, but my Troy is fired, And now am neither father, Lord, nor King: Yet who so wretched but desires to live? O let me live, great Neoptolemus, Not moved at all, but smiling at his tears, This butcher whilst his hands were yet held up, Treading upon his breast, struck off his hands.

Dido:O end Aeneas, I can hear no more.

Aeneas:At which the frantic Queen leapt on his face, And in his eyelids hanging by the nails, A little while prolonged her husband’s life: At last the soldiers pulled her by the heels, And swung her howling in the empty air, Which sent an echo to the wounded King: Whereat he lifted up his bedrid limbs, And would have grappled with Achilles’ son, Forgetting both his want of strength and hands, Which he disdaining whisked his sword about, And with the wound thereof the King fell down: Then from the navel to the throat at once, He ripped old Priam: at whose latter gasp Jove’s marble statue ’gan to bend the brow, As loathing Pyrrhus for this wicked act: Yet he undaunted took his father’s flag, And dipped it in the old King’s chill cold blood, And then in triumph ran into the streets, Through which he could not pass for slaughtered men: So leaning on his sword he stood stone still, Viewing the fire wherewith rich Ilion burned. By this I got my father on my back, This young boy in mine arms, and by the hand Led fair Creusa my beloved wife, When thou Achates with thy sword mad’st way, And we were round environed with the Greeks: O there I lost my wife: and had not we Fought manfully, I had not told this tale: Yet manhood would not serve, of force we fled, And as we went unto our ships, thou knowest We saw Cassandra sprawling in the streets, Whom Ajax ravished in Diana’s Fawn, Her cheeks swollen with sighs, her hair all rent, Whom I took up to bear unto our ships: But suddenly the Grecians followed us, And I alas, was forced to let her lie. Then got we to our ships, and being aboard, Polixena cried out, Aeneas stay, The Greeks pursue me, stay and take me in. Moved with her voice, I leapt into the sea, Thinking to bear her on my back aboard: For all our ships were launched into the deep, And as I swum, she standing on the shore, Was by the cruel Myrmidons surprised, And after by that Pyrrhus sacrificed.

Dido:I die with melting ruth, Aeneas leave.

Anna:O what became of aged Hecuba?

Iarbas:How got Aeneas to the fleet again?

Dido:But how ’scaped Helen, she that caused this war?

Aeneas:Achates speak, sorrow hath tired me quite.

Achates:What happened to the Queen we cannot show We hear they led her captive into Greece, As for Aeneas he swum quickly back, And Helena betrayed Deiphobus Her Lover, after Alexander died, And so was reconciled to Menelaus.

Dido:O had that ticing strumpet ne’er been born: Trojan, thy ruthful tale hath made me sad: Come let us think upon some pleasing sport, To rid me from these melancholy thoughts.

Exeunt omnes.

Enter Venus at another door, and takes Ascanius by the sleeve.

Venus:Fair child stay thou with Dido’s waiting maid, I’ll give thee Sugar-almonds, sweet Conserves, A silver girdle, and a golden purse, And this young Prince shall be thy playfellow.

Ascanius:Are you Queen Dido’s son?

Cupid:Ay, and my mother gave me this fine bow.

Ascanius:Shall I have such a quiver and a bow?

Venus:Such bow, such quiver, and such golden shafts, Will Dido give to sweet Ascanius: For Dido’s sake I take thee in my arms, And stick these spangled feathers in thy hat, Eat Comfits in mine arms, and I will sing. Now is he fast asleep, and in this grove Amongst green brakes I’ll lay Ascanius, And strew him with sweet smelling Violets, Blushing Roses, purple Hyacinth: These milk white Doves shall be his Sentinels: Who if that any seek to do him hurt, Will quickly fly to Citheida’s fist. Now Cupid turn thee to Ascanius’ shape, And go to Dido, who in stead of him Will set thee on her lap and play with thee: Then touch her white breast with this arrow head, That she may dote upon Aeneas’ love: And by that means repair his broken ships, Victual his Soldiers, give him wealthy gifts, And he at last depart to Italy, Or else in Carthage make his kingly throne.

Cupid:I will fair mother, and so play my part, As every touch shall wound Queen Dido’s heart.

Venus:Sleep my sweet nephew in these cooling shades, Free from the murmur of these running streams, The cry of beasts, the rattling of the winds, Or whisking of these leaves, all shall be still, And nothing interrupt thy quiet sleep, Till I return and take thee hence again.


Act 3

Actus 3. Scaena I.

Enter Cupid solus.

Cupid:Now Cupid cause the Carthaginian Queen, To be enamored of thy brother’s looks, Convey this golden arrow in thy sleeve, Lest she imagine thou art Venus’ son: And when she strokes thee softly on the head, Then shall I touch her breast and conquer her.

Enter Iarbas, Anna, and Dido.

Iarbas:How long fair Dido shall I pine for thee? ’Tis not enough that thou dost grant me love, But that I may enjoy what I desire: That love is childish which consists in words.

Dido:Iarbas, know that thou of all my wooers (And yet have I had many mightier Kings) Hast had the greatest favors I could give: I fear me Dido hath been counted light, In being too familiar with Iarbas: Albeit the Gods do know no wanton thought Had ever residence in Dido’s breast.

Iarbas:But Dido is the favor I request.

Dido:Fear not Iarbas, Dido may be thine.

Anna:Look sister how Aeneas’ little son Plays with your garments and embraceth you.

Cupid:No Dido will not take me in her arms, I shall not be her son, she loves me not.

Dido:Weep not sweet boy, thou shalt be Dido’s son, Sit in my lap and let me hear thee sing. No more my child, now talk another while, And tell me where thou this pretty song?

Cupid:My cousin Helen taught it me in Troy.

Dido:How lovely is Ascanius when he smiles?

Cupid:Will Dido let me hang about her neck?

Dido:Ay wag, and give thee leave to kiss her too.

Cupid:What will you give me? now I’ll have this Fan.

Dido:Take it Ascanius, for thy father’s sake.

Iarbas:Come Dido, leave Ascanius, let us walk.

Dido:Go thou away, Ascanius shall stay.

Iarbas:Ungentle Queen, is this thy love to me?

Dido:O stay Iarbas, and I’ll go with thee.

Cupid:And if my mother go, I’ll follow her.

Dido:Why stayest thou here? thou art no love of mine?

Iarbas:Iarbas die, seeing she abandons thee.

Dido:No, live Iarbas, what hast thou deserved, That I should say thou art no love of mine? Something thou hast deserved, away I say, Depart from Carthage, come not in my sight.

Iarbas:Am I not King of rich Gaetulia?

Dido:Iarbas pardon me, and stay a while.

Cupid:Mother, look here.

Dido:What tell’st thou me of rich Gaetulia? Am not I Queen of Libya? then depart.

Iarbas:I go to feed the humor of my Love, Yet not from Carthage for a thousand worlds.


Iarbas:Doth Dido call me back?

Dido:No, but I charge thee never look on me.

Iarbas:Then pull out both mine eyes, or let me die.

Exit Iarbas

Anna:Wherefore doth Dido bid Iarbas go?

Dido:Because his loathsome sight offends mine eye, And in my thoughts is shrined another Jove: O Anna, didst thou know how sweet love were, Full soon wouldst thou abjure this single life.

Anna:Poor soul I know too well the sour of love, O that Iarbas could but fancy me.

Dido:Is not Aeneas fair and beautiful?

Anna:Yes, and Iarbas foul and favorless.

Dido:Is he not eloquent in all his speech?

Anna:Yes, and Iarbas rude and rustical.

Dido:Name not Iarbas, but sweet Anna say, Is not Aeneas worthy Dido’s love?

Anna:O sister, were you Empress of the world, Aeneas well deserves to be your love, So lovely is he that where’er he goes, The people swarm to gaze him in the face.

Dido:But tell them none shall gaze on him but I, Lest their gross eye-beams taint my lover’s cheeks: Anna, good sister Anna go for him, Lest with these sweet thoughts I melt clean away.

Anna:Then sister you’ll abjure Iarbas’ love?

Dido:Yet must I hear that loathsome name again? Run for Aeneas, or I’ll fly to him.

Exit Anna.

Cupid:You shall not hurt my father when he comes.

Dido:No, for thy sake I’ll love thy father well. O dull conceited Dido, that till now Didst never think Aeneas beautiful: But now for quittance of this oversight, I’ll make me bracelets of his golden hair, His glistering eyes shall be my looking glass, His lips an altar, where I’ll offer up As many kisses as the Sea hath sands, Instead of music I will hear him speak, His looks shall be my only Library, And thou Aeneas, Dido’s treasury, In whose fair bosom I will lock more wealth, Than twenty thousand Indias can afford: O here he comes, love, love, give Dido leave To be more modest than her thoughts admit, Lest I be made a wonder to the world. Achates, how doth Carthage please your Lord?

Achates:That will Aeneas show your majesty.

Dido:Aeneas, art thou there?

Aeneas:I understand your highness sent for me.

Dido:No, but now thou art here, tell me in sooth In what might Dido highly pleasure thee.

Aeneas:So much have I received at Dido’s hands, As without blushing I can ask no more: Yet Queen of Afric are my ships unrigged, My Sails all rent in sunder with the wind, My Oars broken, and my Tackling lost, Yea all my Navy split with Rocks and Shelves: Nor Stern nor Anchor have our maimed Fleet, Our Masts the furious winds struck overboard: Which piteous wants if Dido will supply, We will account her author of our lives.

Dido:Aeneas, I’ll repair thy Trojan ships, Conditionally that thou wilt stay with me, And let Achates sail to Italy: I’ll give thee tackling made of riveled gold, Wound on the barks of odoriferous trees, Oars of massy Ivory full of holes, Through which the water shall delight to play: Thy Anchors shall be hewed from Crystal Rocks, Which if thou lose shall shine above the waves: The Masts whereon thy swelling sails shall hang, Hollow Pyramids of silver plate: The sails of folded Lawn, where shall be wrought The wars of Troy, but not Troy’s overthrow: For ballast, empty Dido’s treasury, Take what ye will, but leave Aeneas here. Achates, thou shalt be so meanly clad, As Sea-born Nymphs shall swarm about thy ships, And wanton Mermaids court thee with sweet songs, Flinging in favors of more sovereign worth, Than Thetis hangs about Apollo’s neck, So that Aeneas may but stay with me.

Aeneas:Wherefore would Dido have Aeneas stay?

Dido:To war against my bordering enemies: Aeneas, think not Dido is in love: For if that any man could conquer me, I had been wedded ere Aeneas came: See where the pictures of my suitors hang, And are not these as fair as fair may be?

Achates:I saw this man at Troy ere Troy was sacked.

Aeneas:I this in Greece when Paris stole fair Helen.

Illioneus:This man and I were at Olympus’ games.

Sergestus:I know this face, he is a Persian born, I traveled with him to Aetolia.

Cloanthus:And I in Athens with this gentleman, Unless I be deceived disputed once.

Dido:But speak Aeneas, know you none of these?

Aeneas:No Madam, but it seems that these are Kings.

Dido:All these and others which I never saw, Have been most urgent suitors for my love, Some came in person, others sent their Legates: Yet none obtained me, I am free from all, And yet God knows entangled unto one. This was an Orator, and thought by words To compass me, but yet he was deceived: And this a Spartan Courtier vain and wild, But his fantastic humors pleased not me: This was Alcion, a Musician, But played he ne’er so sweet, I let him go: This was the wealthy King of Thessaly, But I had gold enough and cast him off: This Meleager’s son, a warlike Prince, But weapons ’gree not with my tender years: The rest are such as all the world well knows, Yet how I swear by heaven and him I love, I was as far from love, as they from hate.

Aeneas:O happy shall he be whom Dido loves.

Dido:Then never say that thou art miserable, Because it may be thou shalt be my love: Yet boast not of it, for I love thee not, And yet I hate thee not: O if I speak I shall betray myself: Aeneas speak, We two will go a hunting in the woods, But not so much for thee, thou art but one, As for Achates, and his followers.


Enter Juno to Ascanius asleep.

Juno:Here lies my hate, Aeneas cursed brat, The boy wherein false destiny delights, The heir of fury, the favorite of the face, That ugly imp that shall outwear my wrath, And wrong my deity with high disgrace: But I will take another order now, And race th’ eternal Register of time: Troy shall no more call him her second hope, Nor Venus triumph in his tender youth: For here in spite of heaven I’ll murder him, And feed infection with his left out life: Say Paris, now shall Venus have the ball? Say vengeance, now shall her Ascanius die. O no God wot, I cannot watch my time, Nor quit good turns with double fee down told: Tut, I am simple without made to hurt, And have no gall at all to grieve my foes: But lustful Jove and his adulterous child, Shall find it written on confusion’s front, That only Juno rules in Rhamnus town.

Enter Venus.

Venus:What should this mean? my Doves are back returned, Who warn me of such danger prest at hand, To harm my sweet Ascanius’ lovely life. Juno, my mortal foe, what make you here? Avaunt old witch and trouble not my wits.

Juno:Fie Venus, that such causeless words of wrath, Should e’er defile so fair a mouth as thine: Are not we both sprung of celestial race, And banquet as two Sisters with the Gods? Why is it then displeasure should disjoin, Whom kindred and acquaintance co-unites.

Venus:Out hateful hag, thou wouldst have slain my son, Had not my Doves discovered thy intent: But I will tear thy eyes fro forth thy head, And feast the birds with their blood-shotten balls, If thou but lay thy fingers on my boy.

Juno:Is this then all the thanks that I shall have, For saving him from Snakes’ and Serpents’ stings, That would have killed him sleeping as he lay? What though I was offended with thy son, And wrought him mickle woe on sea and land, When for the hate of Trojan Ganymede, That was advanced by my Hebe’s shame, And Paris judgement of the heavenly ball, I mustered all the winds unto his wrack, And urged each Element to his annoy: Yet now I do repent me of his ruth, And wish that I had never wronged him so: Bootless I saw it was to war with fate, That hath so many unresisted friends: Wherefore I change my counsel with the time, And planted love where envy erst had sprung.

Venus:Sister of Jove, if that thy love be such, As these thy protestations do paint forth, We two as friends one fortune will divide: Cupid shall lay his arrows in thy lap, And to a Sceptre change his golden shafts, Fancy and modesty shall live as mates, And thy fair peacocks by my pigeons perch: Love my Aeneas, and desire is thine, The day, the night, my Swans, my sweets are thine.

Juno:More than melodious are these words to me, That overcloy my soul with their content: Venus, sweet Venus, how may I deserve Such amorous favors at thy beauteous hand? But that thou may’st more easily perceive, How highly I do prize this amity, Hark to a motion of eternal league, Which I will make in quittance of thy love: Thy son thou knowest with Dido now remains, And feeds his eyes with favors of her Court, She likewise in admiring spends her time, And cannot talk nor think of aught but him: Why should not they then join in marriage, And bring forth mighty Kings to Carthage town, Whom casualty of sea hath made such friends? And Venus, let there be a match confirmed Betwixt these two, whose loves are so alike, And both our Deities conjoined in one, Shall chain felicity unto their throne.

Venus:Well could I like this reconcilement’s means, But much I fear my son will ne’er consent, Whose armed soul already on the sea, Darts forth her light to Lavinia’s shore.

Juno:Fair Queen of love, I will divorce these doubts, And find the way to weary such fond thoughts: This day they both a-hunting forth will ride Into these woods, adjoining to these walls, When in the midst of all their gamesome sports, I’ll make the Clouds dissolve their wat’ry works, And drench Silvanus’ dwellings with their showers, Then in one Cave the Queen and he shall meet, And interchangeably discourse their thoughts, Whose short conclusion will seal up their hearts, Unto the purpose which we now propound.

Venus:Sister, I see you savor of my wiles, Be it as you will have for this once, Mean time, Ascanius shall be my charge, Whom I will bear to Ida in mine arms, And couch him in Adonis’ purple down.


Enter Dido, Aeneas, Anna, Iarbas, Achates, and followers.

Dido:Aeneas, think not but I honor thee, That thus in person go with thee to hunt: My princely robes thou seest are laid aside, Whose glittering pomp Diana’s shrouds supplies, All fellows now disposed alike to sport, The woods are wide, and we have store of game: Fair Trojan, hold my golden bow a while, Until I gird my quiver to my side: Lords go before, we two must talk alone.

Iarbas:Ungentle, can she wrong Iarbas so? I’ll die before a stranger have that grace: We two will talk alone, what words be these?

Dido:What makes Iarbas here of all the rest? We could have gone without your company.

Aeneas:But love and duty led him on perhaps, To press beyond acceptance to your sight.

Iarbas:Why man of Troy, do I offend thine eyes? Or art thou grieved thy betters press so nigh?

Dido:How now Gaetulian, are ye grown so brave, To challenge us with your comparisons? Peasant, go seek companions like thyself, And meddle not with any that I love: Aeneas, be not moved at what he says, For otherwhile he will be out of joint.

Iarbas:Women may wrong by privilege of love: But should that man of men (Dido except) Have taunted me in these opprobrious terms, I would have either drunk his dying blood, Or else I would have given my life in gage?

Dido:Huntsmen, why pitch you not your toils apace, And rouse the light-foot Deer from forth their lair.

Anna:Sister, see see Ascanius in his pomp, Bearing his huntspear bravely in his hand.

Dido:Yea little son, are you so forward now?

Ascanius:Ay mother I shall one day be a man, And better able unto other arms, Mean time these wanton weapons serve my war, Which I will break betwixt a Lion’s jaws.

Dido:What, darest thou look a Lion in the face?

Ascanius:Ay, and outface him too, do what he can.

Anna:How like his father speaketh he in all?

Aeneas:And I live to see him sack rich Thebes, And load his spear with Grecian Princes’ heads, Then would I wish me with Anchises’ Tomb, And dead to honor that hath brought me up.

Iarbas:And might I live to see thee shipped away, And hoist aloft on Neptune’s hideous hills, Then would I wish me in fair Dido’s arms, And dead to scorn that hath pursued me so.

Aeneas:Stout friend Achates, dost thou know this wood?

Achates:As I remember, here you shot the Deer, That saved your famished soldiers lives from death, When first you set your foot upon the shore, And here we met fair Venus virgin like, Bearing her bow and quiver at her back.

Aeneas:O how these irksome labors now delight, And overjoy my thoughts with their escape: Who would not undergo all kind of toil, To be well stored with such a winter’s tale?

Dido:Aeneas, leave these dumps and let’s away, Some to the mountains some unto the soil, You to the valleys, thou unto the house.

Exeunt omnes manet.

Iarbas:Ay, this it is which wounds me to the death, To see a Phrygian forfeit to the sea, Preferred before a man of majesty O love, O hate, O cruel women’s hearts, That imitate the Moon in every change. And like the Planets ever love to range: What shall I do thus wronged with disdain? Revenge me on Aeneas or on her: On her? fond man, that were to war ’gainst heaven, And with one shaft provoke ten thousand darts: This Trojan’s end will be thy envy’s aim, Whose blood will reconcile thee to content, And make love drunken with thy sweet desire: But Dido that now holdeth him so dear, Will die with very tidings of his death: But time will discontinue her content, And mold her mind unto new fancies shapes: O God of heaven, turn the hand of fate Unto that happy day of my delight, And then, what then? Iarbas shall but love: So doth he now, though not with equal gain, That resteth in the rival of thy pain, Who ne’er will cease to soar till he be slain.


The storm. Enter Aeneas and Dido in the Cave at several times.



Dido:Tell me dear love, how found you out this Cave?

Aeneas:By chance sweet Queen, as Mars and Venus met.

Dido:Why, that was in a net, where we are loose, And yet I am not free, o would I were.

Aeneas:Why, what is it that Dido may desire And not obtain, be it in human power?

Dido:The thing that I will die before I ask, And yet desire to have before I die.

Aeneas:It is not aught Aeneas may achieve?

Dido:Aeneas no although his eyes do pierce.

Aeneas:What, hath Iarbas angered her in aught? And will she be avenged on his life?

Dido:Not angered me, except in ang’ring thee.

Aeneas:Who then of all so cruel may he be, That should detain thy eye in his defects?

Dido:The man that I do eye where’er I am, Whose amorous face like Paean sparkles fire, When as he butts his beams on Flora’s bed, Prometheus hath put on Cupid’s shape, And I must perish in his burning arms: Aeneas, O Aeneas, quench these flames.

Aeneas:What ails my Queen, is she fall’n sick of late?

Dido:Not sick my love, but sick, I must conceal The torment, that it boots me not reveal, And yet I’ll speak, and yet I’ll hold my peace, Do shame her worst, I will disclose my grief: Aeneas, thou art he, what did I say? Something it was that now I have forgot.

Aeneas:What means fair Dido by this doubtful speech?

Dido:Nay, nothing, but Aeneas loves me not.

Aeneas:Aeneas’ thoughts dare not ascend so high As Dido’s heart, which Monarchs might not scale.

Dido:It was because I saw no King like thee, Whose golden Crown might balance my content: But now that I have found what to effect, I follow one that loveth fame for me, And rather had seem fair Sirens’ eyes, Than to the Carthage Queen that dies for him.

Aeneas:If that your majesty can look so low, As my despised worths, that shun all praise, With this my hand I give to you my heart, And vow by all the Gods of Hospitality, By heaven and earth, and my fair brother’s bow, By Paphos, Capys, and the purple Sea, From whence my radiant mother did descend, And by this Sword that saved me from the Greeks, Never to leave these new upreared walls, Whiles Dido lives and rules in Juno’s town, Never to like or love any but her.

Dido:What more than delian music do I hear, That calls my soul from forth his living seat, To move unto the measures of delight: Kind clouds that sent forth such a courteous storm, As made disdain to fly to fancy’s lap: Stout love in mine arms make thy Italy, Whose Crown and kingdom rests at thy command: Sychaeus, not Aeneas be thou called: The King of Carthage, not Anchises’ son: Hold, take these Jewels at thy Lover’s hand, These golden bracelets, and this wedding ring, Wherewith my husband wooed me yet a maid, And be thou king of Libya, by my gift.

Exeunt to the Cave

Act 4

Actus 4. Scena I.

Enter Achates, Ascanius, Iarbas, and Anna.

Achates:Did ever men see such a sudden storm? Or day so clear so suddenly o’ercast?

Iarbas:I think some fell Enchantress dwelleth here, That can call them forth whenas she please, And dive into black tempest’s treasury, whenas she means to mask the world with clouds.

Anna:In all my life I never knew the like, It hailed, it snowed, it lightened all at once.

Achates:I think it was the devil’s revelling night, There was such hurly-burly in the heavens: Doubtless Apollo’s Axletree is cracked, Or aged Atlas’ shoulder out of joint, The motion was so over violent.

Iarbas:In all this coil, where have ye left the Queen?

Ascanius:Nay, where is my warlike father, can you tell?

Anna:Behold where both of them come forth the Cave.

Iarbas:Come forth the Cave: can heaven endure this sight? Iarbas, curse that unrevenging Jove, Whose flinty darts slept in Typhoeus’ den, Whiles these adulterers surfeited with sin: Nature, why mad’st me not some poisonous beast, That with the sharpness of my edged sting, I might have staked them both unto the earth, Whilst they were sporting in this darksome Cave?

Aeneas:The air is clear, and Southern winds are whist, Come Dido, let us hasten to the town, Since gloomy Aeolus doth cease to frown.

Dido:Achates and Ascanius, well met.

Aeneas:Fair Anna, how escaped you from the shower?

Anna:As others did, by running to the wood.

Dido:But where were you Iarbas all this while?

Iarbas:Not with Aeneas in the ugly Cave.

Dido:I see Aeneas sticketh in your mind, But I will soon put by that stumbling block, And quell those hopes that thus employ your ears.


Enters Iarbas to Sacrifice.

Iarbas:Come servants, come bring forth the Sacrifice, That I may pacify that gloomy Jove, Whose empty Altars have enlarged our ills. Eternal Jove, great master of the Clouds, Father of gladness, and all frolic thoughts, That with thy gloomy hand corrects the heaven, When airy creatures war amongst themselves: Hear, hear, O hear Iarbas plaining prayers, Whose hideous echoes make the welkin howl, And all the woods Eliza to resound: The woman that thou willed us entertain, Where straying in our borders up and down, She craved a hide of ground to build a town, With whom we did divide both laws and land, And all the fruits that plenty else sends forth, Scorning our loves and royal marriage rites, Yields up her beauty to a stranger’s bed, Who having wrought her shame, is straight way fled: Now if thou beest a pitying God of power, On whom ruth and compassion ever waits, Redress these wrongs, and warn him to his ships, That now afflicts me with his flattering eyes.

Enter Anna.

Anna:How now Iarbas, at your prayers so hard?

Iarbas:Ay Anna, is there aught you would with me?

Anna:Nay, no such weighty business of import, But may be slacked until another time: Yet if you would partake with me the cause Of this devotion that detaineth you, I would be thankful for such courtesy.

Iarbas:Anna, against this Trojan do I pray, Who seeks to rob me of thy Sister’s love, And dive into her heart by colored looks.

Anna:Alas poor King that labors so in vain, For her that so delighteth in thy pain: Be ruled by me, and seek some other love, Whose yielding heart may yield thee more relief.

Iarbas:Mine eye is fixed where fancy cannot start, O leave me, leave me to my silent thoughts, That register the numbers of my ruth, And I will either move the thoughtless flint, Or drop out both mine eyes in drizzling tears, Before my sorrow’s tide have any stint.

Anna:I will not leave Iarbas whom I love, In this delight of dying pensiveness: Away with Dido, Anna be thy song, Anna that doth admire thee more than heaven.

Iarbas:I may nor will list to such loathsome change, That intercepts the course of my desire: Servants, come fetch these empty vessels here, For I will fly from these alluring eyes, That do pursue my peace where’er it goes.


Anna:Iarbas stay, loving Iarbas stay, For I have honey to present thee with: Hard-hearted, wilt not deign to hear me speak, I’ll follow thee with outcries ne’er the less, And strew thy walks with my disheveled hair.


Enter Aeneas alone.

Aeneas:Carthage, my friendly host adieu, Since destiny doth call me from the shore: Hermes this night descending in a dream, Hath summoned me to fruitful Italy: Jove wills it so, my mother wills it so: Let my Phoenissa grant, and then I go: Grant she or no, Aeneas must away, Whose golden fortunes clogged with courtly ease, Cannot ascend to Fame’s immortal house, Or banquet in bright honor’s burnished hall, Till he hath furrowed Neptune’s glassy fields, And cut a passage through his topless hills: Achates come forth, Sergestus, Illioneus, Cloanthus, haste away, Aeneas calls.

Enter Achates, Cloanthus, Sergestus, and Illioneus.

Achates:What wills our Lord, or wherefore did he call?

Aeneas:The dreams (brave mates) that did beset my bed, When sleep but newly had embraced the night, Commands me leave these unrenowned beams, Whereas Nobility abhors to stay, And none but base Aeneas will abide: Aboard, aboard, since Fates do bid aboard, And slice the Sea with sable-colored ships, On whom the nimble winds may all day wait, And follow them as footmen through the deep: Yet Dido casts her eyes like anchors out, To stay my Fleet from forth the Bay Come back, come back, I hear her cry afar, And let me link my body to my lips, That tied together by the striving tongues, We may as one sail into Italy.

Achates:Banish that dame from forth your mouth, And follow your foreseeing stars in all; This is no life for men at arms to live, Where dalliance doth consume a Soldier’s strength, And wanton motions of alluring eyes, Effeminate our minds inured to war.

Illioneus:Why, let us build a City of our own, And not stand lingering here for amorous looks: Will Dido raise old Priam forth his grave, And build the town again the Greeks did burn? No no, she cares not how we sink or swim, So she may have Aeneas in her arms.

Cloanthus:To Italy, sweet friends to Italy, We will not stay a minute longer here.

Aeneas:Trojans aboard, and I will follow you, I fain would go, yet beauty calls me back: To leave her so and not once say farewell, Were to transgress against all laws of love: But if I use such ceremonious thanks, As parting friends accustom on the shore, Her silver arms will coll me round about, And tears of pearl, cry stay, Aeneas, stay: Each word she says will then contain a Crown, And every speech be ended with a kiss: I may not dure this female drudgery, To sea Aeneas, find out Italy.


Enter Dido and Anna.

Dido:O Anna, run unto the water side, They say Aeneas’ men are going aboard, It may be he will steal away with them: Stay not to answer me, run Anna run. O foolish Trojans that would steal from hence, And not let Dido understand their drift: I would have given Achates store of gold, And Illioneus gum and Libyan spice, The common soldiers rich embroidered coats, And silver whistles to control the winds, Which Circes sent Sychaeus when he lived: Unworthy are they of a Queen’s reward: See where they come, how might I do to chide?

Enter Anna, with Aeneas, Achates, Illioneus, and Sergestus.

Anna:’Twas time to run, Aeneas had been gone, The sails were hoising up, and he aboard.

Dido:Is this thy love to me?

Aeneas:O princely Dido, give me leave to speak, I went to take my farewell of Achates.

Dido:How haps Achates bid me not farewell?

Achates:Because I feared your grace would keep me here

Dido:To rid thee of that doubt, aboard again, I charge thee put to sea and stay not here.

Achates:Then let Aeneas go aboard with us.

Dido:Get you aboard, Aeneas means to stay.

Aeneas:The sea is rough, the winds blow to the shore.

Dido:O false Aeneas, now the sea is rough, But when you were aboard ’twas calm enough, Thou and Achates meant to sail away.

Aeneas:Hath not the Carthage Queen mine only son? Thinks Dido I will go and leave him here?

Dido:Aeneas pardon me, for I forgot That young Ascanius lay with me this night: Love made me jealous, but to make amends, Wear the imperial Crown of Libya, Sway thou the Punic Sceptre in my stead, And punish me Aeneas for this crime.

Aeneas:This kiss shall be fair Dido’s punishment.

Dido:O how a Crown becomes Aeneas’ head! Stay here Aeneas, and command as King.

Aeneas:How vain am I to wear this Diadem, And bear this golden Sceptre in my hand? A Burgonet of steel, and not a Crown, A Sword, and not a Sceptre fits Aeneas.

Dido:O keep them still, and let me gaze my fill: Now looks Aeneas like immortal Jove, O where is Ganymede to hold his cup, And Mercury to fly for what he calls, Ten thousand Cupids hover in the air, And fan it in Aeneas’ lovely face, O that the Clouds were here wherein thou fleest, That thou and I unseen might sport ourselves: Heavens envious of our joys is waxen pale, And when we whisper, then the stars fall down, To be partakers of our honey talk.

Aeneas:O Dido, patroness of all our lives, When I leave thee, death be my punishment, Swell raging seas, frown wayward destinies, Blow winds, threaten ye Rocks and sandy shelves, This is the harbor that Aeneas seeks, Let’s see what tempests can annoy me now.

Dido:Not all the world can take thee from mine arms, Aeneas may command as many Moors, As in the Sea are little water drops: And now to make experience of my love, Fair sister Anna lead my lover forth, And seated on my Jennet, let him ride As Dido’s husband through the punic streets, And will my guard with Mauritanian darts, To wait upon him as their sovereign Lord.

Anna:What if the Citizens repine thereat?

Dido:Those that dislike what Dido gives in charge, Command my guard to slay for their offense: Shall vulgar peasants storm at what I do? The ground is mine that gives them sustenance, The air wherein they breathe, the water, fire, All that they have their lands, their goods, their lives, And I the Goddess of all these, command Aeneas ride as Carthaginian King.

Achates:Aeneas for his parentage deserves As large a kingdom as is Libya.

Aeneas:Ay, and unless the destinies be false, I shall be planted in as rich a land.

Dido:Speak of no other land, this land is thine, Dido is thine, henceforth I’ll call thee Lord: Do as I bid thee, sister lead the way, And from a turret I’ll behold my love.

Aeneas:Then here in me shall flourish Priam’s race, And thou and I Achates, for revenge, For Troy, for Priam, for his fifty sons, Our kinsmen’s loves, and thousand guiltless souls, Will lead an host against the hateful Greeks, And fire proud Lacedaemon o’er their heads.


Dido:Speaks not Aeneas like a Conqueror? O blessed tempests that did drive him in, O happy sand that made him run aground: Henceforth you shall be our Carthage Gods: ay, but it may be he will leave my love, And seek a foreign land called Italy: O that I had a charm to keep the winds Within the closure of a golden ball, Or that the Tyrrhen sea were in mine arms, That he might suffer shipwreck on my breast, As oft as he attempts to hoist up sail: I must prevent him, wishing will not serve: Go, bid my Nurse take young Ascanius, And bear him in the country to her house, Aeneas will not go without his son: Yet lest he should, for I am full of fear, Bring me his oars, his tackling, and his sails: What if I sink his ships? O he’ll frown: Better he frown, than I should die for grief: I cannot see him frown, it may not be: Armies of foes resolved to win this town, Or impious traitors vowed to have my life, Affright me not, only Aeneas’ frown Is that which terrifies poor Dido’s heart: Not bloody spears appearing in the air, Presage the downfall of my Empery, Nor blazing Comets threatens Dido’s death, It is Aeneas’ frown that ends my days: If he forsake me not, I never die, For in his looks I see eternity, And he’ll make me immortal with a kiss.

Enter a Lord.

Lord:Your Nurse is gone with young Ascanius, And here’s Aeneas’ tackling, oars and sails.

Dido:Are these the sails that in despite of me, Packed with the winds to bear Aeneas hence? I’ll hang ye in the chamber where I lie, Drive if you can my house to Italy: I’ll set the casement open that the winds May enter in, and once again conspire Against the life of me poor Carthage Queen: But though he go, he stays in Carthage still, And let rich Carthage fleet upon the seas, So I may have Aeneas in mine arms. Is this the wood that grew in Carthage plains, And would be toiling in the wat’ry billows, To rob their mistress of her Trojan guest? O cursed tree, hadst thou but wit or sense, To measure how I prize Aeneas’ love, Thou wouldst have leapt from out the Sailors’ hands, And told me that Aeneas meant to go: And yet I blame thee not, thou art but wood. The water which our Poets term a Nymph, Why did it suffer thee to touch her breast, And shrunk not back, knowing my love was there? The water is an Element, no Nymph, Why should I blame Aeneas for his flight? O Dido, blame not him, but break his oars, These were the instruments that launched him forth, There’s not so much as this base tackling too, But dares to heap up sorrow to my heart: Was it not you that hoised up these sails? Why burst you not, and they fell in the seas? For this will Dido tie ye full of knots, And shear ye all asunder with her hands: Now serve to chastise ship-boys for their faults, Ye shall no more offend the Carthage Queen. Now let him hang my favors on his masts, And see if those will serve instead of sails: For tackling, let him take the chains of gold, Which I bestowed upon his followers: Instead of oars, let him use his hands, And swim to Italy, I’ll keep these sure: Come bear them in.


Enter the Nurse with Cupid for Ascanius.

Nurse:My Lord Ascanius, ye must go with me.

Cupid:Whither must I go? I’ll stay with my mother.

Nurse:No, thou shalt go with me unto my house, I have an Orchard that hath store of plums, Brown Almonds, Services, ripe Figs and Dates, Dew-berries, Apples, yellow Oranges, A garden where are Beehives full of honey, Musk-roses, and a thousand sort of flowers, And in the midst doth run a silver stream, Where thou shalt see the red gilled fishes leap, White Swans, and many lovely water-fowls: Now speak Ascanius, will ye go or no?

Cupid:Come come I’ll go, how far hence is your house?

Nurse:But hereby child, we shall get thither straight.

Cupid:Nurse I am weary, will you carry me?

Nurse:Ay, so you’ll dwell with me and call me mother.

Cupid:So you’ll love me, I care not if I do.

Nurse:That I might live to see this boy a man, How prettily he laughs, go ye wag, You’ll be a twigger when you come to age. Say Dido what she will I am not old, I’ll be no more a widow, I am young, I’ll have a husband, or else a lover.

Cupid:A husband and no teeth!

Nurse:O what mean I to have such foolish thoughts! Foolish is love, a toy, O sacred love, If there be any heaven in earth, ’tis love: Especially in women of your years. Blush blush for shame, why shouldst thou think of love? A grave, and not a lover fits thy age: A grave, why? I may live a hundred years, Fourscore is but a girl’s age, love is sweet: My veins are withered, and my sinews dry, Why do I think of love now I should die?

Cupid:Come Nurse.

Nurse:Well, if he come a-wooing he shall speed, O how unwise was I to say him nay!


Act 5

Actus 5.

Enter Aeneas with a paper in his hand, drawing the platform of the city, with him Achates, Cloanthus, and Illioneus.

Aeneas:Triumph my mates, our travels are at end. Here will Aeneas build a statelier Troy, Than that which grim Atrides overthrew: Carthage shall vaunt her petty walls no more, For I will grace them with a fairer frame, And clad her in a Crystal livery, Wherein the day may evermore delight: From golden India Ganges will I fetch, Whose wealthy streams may wait upon her towers, And triple-wise entrench her round about: The Sun from Egypt shall rich odors bring, Wherewith his burning beams like laboring Bees, That load their thighs with Hybla’s honey’s spoils, Shall here unburden their exhaled sweets, And plant our pleasant suburbs with her fumes.

Achates:What length or breadth shall this brave town contain?

Aeneas:Not past four thousand paces at the most.

Illioneus:But what shall it be called, Troy as before?

Aeneas:That have I not determined with my self.

Cloanthus:Let it be termed Aenea by your name.

Sergestus:Rather Ascania by your little son.

Aeneas:Nay, I will have it called Anchisaon, Of my old father’s name.

Enter Hermes with Ascanius.

Hermes:Aeneas stay, Jove’s Herald bids thee stay.

Aeneas:Whom do I see, Jove’s winged messenger? Welcome to Carthage new erected town.

Hermes:Why cousin stand you building Cities here, And beautifying the Empire of this Queen, While Italy is clean out of thy mind? Too too forgetful of thine own affairs, Why wilt thou so betray thy son’s good hap? The king of Gods sent me from highest heaven, To sound this angry message in thine ears. Vain man, what Monarchy expect’st thou here? Or with what thought sleep’st thou in Libya shore? If that all glory hath forsaken thee, And thou despise the praise of such attempts: Yet think upon Ascanius’ prophecy, And young Iulus’ more than thousand years, Whom I have brought from Ida where he slept, And bore young Cupid unto Cypress Isle.

Aeneas:This was my mother that beguiled the Queen, And made me take my brother for my son: No marvel Dido though thou be in love, That daily danglest Cupid in thy arms: Welcome sweet child, where hast thou been this long?

Ascanius:Eating sweet Comfits with Queen Dido’s maid, Who eversince hath lulled me in her arms.

Aeneas:Sergestus, bear him hence unto our ships, Lest Dido spying him keep him for a pledge.

Hermes:Spend’st thou thy time about this little boy, And givest not ear unto the charge I bring? I tell thee thou must straight to Italy, Or else abide the wrath of frowning Jove.

Aeneas:How should I put into the raging deep, Who have no sails nor tackling for my ships? What would the Gods have me Deucalion like, Float up and down where’er the billows drive? Though she repaired my fleet and gave me ships, Yet hath she ta’en away my oars and masts, And left me neither sail nor stern aboard.

Enter to them Iarbas.

Iarbas:How now Aeneas, sad, what means these dumps?

Aeneas:Iarbas, I am clean besides myself, Jove hath heaped on me such a desperate charge, Which neither art nor reason may achieve, Nor I devise by what means to contrive.

Iarbas:As how I pray, may I entreat you tell.

Aeneas:With speed he bids me sail to Italy, Whenas I want both rigging for my fleet, And also furniture for these my men.

Iarbas:If that be all, then cheer thy drooping looks, For I will furnish thee with such supplies: Let some of those thy followers go with me, And they shall have what thing soe’er thou needst.

Aeneas:Thanks good Iarbas for thy friendly aid, Achates and the rest shall wait on thee, Whilst I rest thankful for this courtesy. [Exit Iarbas and Aeneas’ train.] Now will I haste unto Lavinian shore, And raise a new foundation to old Troy, Witness the Gods, and witness heaven and earth, How loath I am to leave these Libyan bounds, But that eternal Jupiter commands.

Enter Dido and Aeneas.

Dido:I fear I saw Aeneas’ little son, Led by Achates to the Trojan fleet: If it be so, his father means to fly: But here he is, now Dido try thy wit. Aeneas, wherefore go thy men aboard? Why are thy ships new rigged? or to what end Launched from the haven, lie they in the Rhode? Pardon me though I ask, love makes me ask.

Aeneas:O pardon me, if I resolve thee why: Aeneas will not feign with his dear love, I must from hence: this day swift Mercury When I was laying a platform for these walls, Sent from his father Jove, appeared to me, And in his name rebuked me bitterly, For lingering here, neglecting Italy.

Dido:But yet Aeneas will not leave his love.

Aeneas:I am commanded by immortal Jove, To leave this town and pass to Italy, And therefore must of force.

Dido:These words proceed not from Aeneas’ heart.

Aeneas:Not from my heart, for I can hardly go, And yet I may not stay, Dido farewell.

Dido:Farewell: is this the mends for Dido’s love? Do Trojans use to quit their Lovers thus? Fare well may Dido, so Aeneas stay, I die, if my Aeneas say farewell.

Aeneas:Then let me go and never say farewell, Let me go, farewell, I must from hence.

Dido:These words are poison to poor Dido’s soul, O speak like my Aeneas, like my love: Why look’st thou towards the sea? the time hath been When Dido’s beauty changed thine eyes to her: Am I less fair than when thou sawest me first? O then Aeneas, ’tis for grief of thee: Say thou wilt stay in Carthage with my Queen, And Dido’s beauty will return again: Aeneas, say, how canst thou take thy leave? Wilt thou kiss Dido? O thy lips have sworn To stay with Dido: canst thou take her hand? Thy hand and mine have plighted mutual faith, Therefore unkind Aeneas, must thou say, Then let me go, and never say farewell.

Aeneas:O Queen of Carthage, wert thou ugly black, Aeneas could not choose but hold thee dear, Yet must he not gainsay the Gods’ behest.

Dido:The Gods, what Gods be those that seek my death? Wherein have I offended Jupiter, That he should take Aeneas from mine arms? O no, the Gods weigh not what Lovers do, It is Aeneas calls Aeneas hence, And woeful Dido by these blubbered cheeks, By this right hand, and by our spousal rites, Desires Aeneas to remain with her: Si bene quid de te merui, fuit aut tibi quidquam Dulce meum, miserere domus labentis: et istam Oro, si quis ad haec precibus locus, exue mentem.

Aeneas:Desine meque tuis incendere teque querelis, Italiam non sponte sequor.

Dido:Hast thou forgot how many neighbor kings Were up in arms, for making thee my love? How Carthage did rebel, Iarbas storm, And all the world calls me a second Helen, For being entangled by a stranger’s looks: So thou wouldst prove as true as Paris did, Would, as fair Troy was, Carthage might be sacked, And I be called a second Helena. Had I a son by thee, the grief were less, That I might see Aeneas in his face: Now if thou goest, what canst thou leave behind, But rather will augment than ease my woe?

Aeneas:In vain my love thou spend’st thy fainting breath, If words might move me I were overcome.

Dido:And wilt thou not be moved with Dido’s words? Thy mother was no Goddess perjured man, Nor Dardanus the author of thy stock: But thou art sprung from Scythian Caucasus, And Tigers of Hyrcania gave thee suck: Ah foolish Dido to forbear this long! Wast thou not wracked upon this Libyan shore, And cam’st to Dido like a Fisher swain? Repaired not I thy ships, made thee a King, And all thy needy followers Noblemen? O Serpent that came creeping from the shore, And I for pity harbored in my bosom, Wilt thou now flay me with thy venomed sting, And hiss at Dido for preserving thee? Go go and spare not, seek out Italy, I hope that that which love forbids me do, The Rocks and Sea-gulfs will perform at large, And thou shalt perish in the billows’ ways, To whom poor Dido doth bequeath revenge, Ay traitor, and the waves shall cast thee up, Where thou and false Achates first set foot: Which if it chance, I’ll give ye burial, And weep upon your lifeless carcases, Though thou nor he will pity me a whit. Why star’st thou in my face? if thou wilt stay, Leap in mine arms, mine arms are open wide: If not, turn from me, and I’ll turn from thee: For though thou hast the heart to say farewell, I have not power to stay thee: is he gone? Ay but he’ll come again, he cannot go, He loves me to too well to serve me so: Yet he that in my sight would not relent, Will, being absent, be obdurate still. By this is he got to the water side, And, see the Sailors take him by the hand, But he shrinks back, and now rememb’ring me, Returns amain: welcome, welcome my love: But where’s Aeneas? ah he’s gone he’s gone!

Anna:What means my sister thus to rave and cry?

Dido:O Anna, my Aeneas is aboard, And leaving me will sail to Italy. Once didst thou go, and he came back again, Now bring him back, and thou shalt be a Queen, And I will live a private life with him.

Anna:Wicked Aeneas.

Dido:Call him not wicked, sister speak him fair, And look upon him with a Mermaid’s eye, Tell him, I never vowed at Aulis gulf The desolation of his native Troy, Nor sent a thousand ships unto the walls, Nor ever violated faith to him: Request him gently (Anna) to return, I crave but this, he stay a tide or two, That I may learn to bear it patiently, If he depart thus suddenly, I die: Run Anna, run, stay not to answer me.

Anna:I go fair sister, heavens grant good success.

Exit Anna.

Enter the Nurse.

Nurse:O Dido, your little son Ascanius Is gone! he lay with me last night, And in the morning he was stol’n from me, I think some Fairies have beguiled me.

Dido:O cursed hag and false dissembling wretch! That slayest me with thy harsh and hellish tale, Thou for some petty gift hast let him go, And I am thus deluded of my boy: Away with her to prison presently, Traitoress too keened and cursed Sorceress.

Nurse:I know not what you mean by treason, I, I am as true as any one of yours.

Exeunt the Nurse.

Dido:Away with her, suffer her not to speak. My sister comes, I like not her sad looks.

Enter Anna.

Anna:Before I came, Aeneas was aboard, And spying me, hoist up the sails amain: But I cried out, Aeneas, false Aeneas stay. Then ’gan he wag his hand, which yet held up, Made me suppose he would have heard me speak: Then ’gan they drive into the Ocean, Which when I viewed, I cried, Aeneas stay, Dido, fair Dido wills Aeneas stay: Yet he whose heart of adamant or flint, My tears nor plaints could mollify a whit: Then carelessly I rent my hair for grief, Which seen to all, though he beheld me not, They ’gan to move him to redress my ruth, And stay a while to hear what I could say, But he clapped under hatches sailed away.

Dido:O Anna, Anna, I will follow him.

Anna:How can ye go when he hath all your fleet?

Dido:I’ll frame me wings of wax like Icarus, And o’er his ships will soar unto the Sun, That they may melt and I fall in his arms: Or else I’ll make a prayer unto the waves, That I may swim to him like Triton’s niece: O Anna, fetch Orion’s Harp, That I may a Dolphin to the shore, And ride upon his back unto my love: Look sister, look lovely Aeneas’ ships, See see, the billows heave him up to heaven, And now down falls the keels into the deep: O sister, sister, take away the Rocks, They’ll break his ships, O Proteus, Neptune, Jove, Save, save Aeneas, Dido’s liefest love! Now is he come on shore safe without hurt: But see, Achates wills him put to sea, And all the Sailors merry make for joy, But he rememb’ring me shrinks back again: See where he comes, welcome, welcome my love.

Anna:Ah sister, leave these idle fantasies, Sweet sister cease, remember who you are.

Dido:Dido I am, unless I be deceived, And must I rave thus for a runagate? Must I make ships for him to sail away? Nothing can bear me to him but a ship, And he hath all thy fleet, what shall I do But die in fury of this oversight? Ay, I must be the murderer of myself: No but I am not, yet I will be straight. Anna be glad, now have I found a mean To rid me from these thoughts of Lunacy: Not far from hence there is a woman famoused for arts, Daughter unto the Nymphs Hesperides, Who willed me sacrifice his ticing relics: Go Anna, bid my servants bring me fire.

Exit Anna.

Enter Iarbas.

Iarbas:How long will Dido mourn a stranger’s flight, That hath dishonored her and Carthage both? How long shall I with grief consume my days, And reap no guerdon for my truest love?

Dido:Iarbas, talk not of Aeneas, let him go, Lay to thy hands and help me make a fire, That shall consume all that this stranger left, For I intend a private Sacrifice, To cure my mind that melts for unkind love.

Iarbas:But afterwards will Dido grant me love?

Dido:Ay, ay, Iarbas, after this is done, None in the world shall have my love but thou: So, leave me now, let none approach this place. [Exit Iarbas.] Now Dido, with these relics burn thyself, And make Aeneas famous through the world, For perjury and slaughter of a Queen: Here lie the Sword that in the darksome Cave He drew, and swore by to be true to me, Thou shalt burn first, thy crime is worse than his: Here lie the garment which I clothed him in, When first he came on shore, perish thou too: These letters, lines, and perjured papers all, Shall burn to cinders in this precious flame. And now ye Gods that guide the starry frame, And order all things at your high dispose, Grant, though the traitors land in Italy, They may be still tormented with unrest, And from mine ashes let a Conqueror rise, That may revenge this treason to a Queen, By plowing up his Countries with the Sword: Betwixt this land and that be never league, Litora litoribus contraria, fluctibus undas Imprecor: arma armis: pugnent ipsique nepotes: Live false Aeneas, truest Dido dies, Sic sic juvat ire sub umbras.

Enter Anna.

Anna:O help Iarbas, Dido in these flames Hath burnt herself, ay me, unhappy me!

Enter Iarbas running.

Iarbas:Cursed Iarbas, die to expiate The grief that tires upon thine inward soul, Dido I come to thee, ay me Aeneas.

Anna:What can my tears or cries prevail me now? Dido is dead, Iarbas slain, Iarbas my dear love, O sweet Iarbas, Anna’s sole delight, What fatal destiny envies me thus, To see my sweet Iarbas slay himself? But Anna now shall honor thee in death, And mix her blood with thine, this shall I do, That Gods and men may pity this my death, And rue our ends senseless of life or breath: Now sweet Iarbas stay, I come to thee.