ACT THREE, SCENE THREE
Enter Dido, Aeneas, Anna, Iarbas, Achates,
Cupid (as Ascanius) and followers.
DIDO. Aeneas, think not but I honour thee
That thus in person go with thee to hunt.
My princely robes, thou seest, are laid aside,
Whose glittering pomp Diana's shroud 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.
IARBUS. 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.
IARBUS. 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.
IARBUS. 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 lightfoot deer from forth their lair?
ANNA. Sister, see. See Ascanius in his pomp,
Bearing his hunt-spear bravely in his hand.
DIDO. Yea, little son, are you so forward now?
CUPID. Ay, mother, I shall one day be a man,
And better able unto other arms;
Meantime these wanton weapons serve my war,
Which I will break betwixt a lion's jaws.
DIDO. What! Dar'st 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 might 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 honour that hath brought me up.
IARBUS. 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 labours 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 (to Iarbus) unto the house.
Exeunt all except Iarbus.
IARBUS. Ay, this it is which wounds me to the death,
To see a Phrygian, far-fet o'er 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 mould her mind unto new fancy's 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.