Christopher Marlowe
Dido Queen of Carthage

by

Christopher Marlowe

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Dido Queen of Carthage Page 01

DIDO QUEEN OF CARTHAGE

by Christopher Marlowe (and Thomas Nashe?)

DRAMATIS PERSONAE

Gods:
Jupiter
Mercury (Hermes)
Ganymede
Cupid

Goddesses:
Venus
Juno

Trojans:
Aeneas
Ascanius, his son
Achates
Ilioneus
Cloanthus
Sergestus

Iarbus, King of Gaetulia

Dido, Queen of Carthage
Anna, her sister
Nurse

Trojan soldiers, Carthaginian Lords, Attendants ACT ONE, SCENE ONE

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 while 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 threat'ning hair,
That, shaken thrice, makes nature's buildings quake,
I vow, if she but once frown on thee more,
To hang her, meteorlike, '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 afoot,
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,
Whenas 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
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 colour pleaseth me."
Hold here, my little love. These linked gems
My Juno ware 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,
While 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 Aetna'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,
Whenas 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, reward'st thou virtue so?
What? Is not piety exempt from woe?
Then die, Aeneas, in thine innocence,
Since that religion hath no recompense.
JUPITER.

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Christopher Marlowe

16th Century Literature

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From the Union of Italy to the Subjugation of Carthage and the Greek States