Page images
PDF
EPUB

No. II.

PORTIONS OF GAGER'S DIDO.

(See Account of Marlowe and his Writings. - These portions of Gager's Dido, wbich was acted at Christ-Church, Oxford, before Prince Alasco in June, 1583, are given from a MS. volume in the author's hand-writing (which contains no more of the play).

This night,” says Holinshed," and the night insuing, after sumptuous suppers in his lodging, he [Prince Alasco) personaly was present with his traine in the hall [of Christ-Church?; first at the plaieng of a pleasant comedie intituled Riuales; then at the setting out of a verie statelie tragedie named Dido, wherein the queenes banket (with Eneas narration of the destruction of Troie) was liuelie described in a marchpaine patterne; there was also a goodlie sight of hunters with full crie of a kennell of hounds, Mercurie and Iris descending and ascending from and to an high place, the tempest, wherein it hailed small confects, rained rosewater, and snew an artificiall kind of snow, all strange, maruellous, and abundant. Most of the actors were of the same house [Christ-Church]; six or seauen of them were of saint Johns, and three or foure of other colleges and hals." Chron. iii. 1355, ed. 1587.

Among the Latin dramas of Frischlin is a tragedy called Dido, which, according to Niceron (Mem. xix. 206), was first printed in 1581. Frischlin puts into the mouth of the Chorus the very same parts of Virgil which Gager (p. p. 327, 335) has used for his Chorus: but it does not therefore necessarily follow that Frischlin's tragedy was known to Gager.]

PROLOGUS IN DIDONEM TRAGEDIAM.

Res quæque varias invicem patitur vices,
Et ipsa gratam varietas formam parit.
Quæ sæpe fiunt illa cui placeant diu ?
Vicissitudo semper oblectat magis.

Hesterna Mopsum scena ridiculum dedit;
Hodierna grandem scena materiam dabit ;
Levis in cothurnum vertitur soccus gravem :
Nec gratiora læta sunt mostis tamen,
Nec amara quovis melle delectant minus.
Tulit omne punctum tristia admiscens jocis :
Ridere forsan aliquis ad fletum potest,
Idemque magna flere lætitia potest;
Jucunditates lacrymæ summas habent,
Magna est voluptas flere ubi nihil est mali.
Tantum benignas quæso vos aures date,
Et argumentum, si placet, totum eloquar.

ARGUMENTUM. Huic Dido clarum fabulæ nomen facit; Hic ipsa ad horas regna moderatur dicas: Urbs ista Libyci est magna Carthago soli. Junonis odio per tot Æneas freta Jactatus, istis applicat terris ratem: Benigna tectis excipit Dido hospitem. Sed ante nato cara prospiciens Venus, Tyrios bilingues quippe et ambiguam domum Et adhuc furentis odia Junonis timet, Cupidinem sollicita lascivum rogat Ut ora pueri sumat Ascanii puer, Uratque tacita regium pectus face. Gerit ille morem: deperit Elisa hospitem; Instigat Anna: nemore venatur; dolo Junonis atrum nimbus involvit diem; Junguntur antro. Monitus Æneas parat

Abire Libya: rescit abituri fugam
Regina; queritur, obsecrat, sævit, furit :
Immotus ille navigat jussu Jovis.
Elisa magicos rite constructa pyra
Simulata cultus propria dextra occidit.

ACTUS SECUNDUS.

Dido, ÆNEAS, ASCANIUS FALSUS.

Dido. Quin, hospes, ista missa faciamus magis:

Olim juvabit quod fuit durum pati
Meminisse; curas interea mente excute.
Instructa dapibus mensa nos, eccum, manet:
Accumbe, quæso ; Bacchus ærumnas levet.

Magnanime princeps, si foret suasum tibi
Quam gratus aulam veneris nostram advena,
Nec non lülus pariter et comites viæ,
Non dico Troja penitus excideret tibi

Sedesque patriæ, lætior certe fores.
Æn. Regina, gentis candidum sidus tuæ,

Non lingua nostri pectoris sensum explicet,
Non vultus animum: lætitia gestit levis,
Ingens stupescit seque non capiens silet.
Quis tam benignæ verba reginæ satis
Vultusque placidos referat, et miseris fidem
Opemque nostris rebus ærumnis datam?
Quis apparatus regios digne efferat

Luxusque tantos ? ista meditantem tua

Promerita si me cogites, lætum putes.
Dido. Non ista tanti agnosco quæ memoras bona:

Equidem esse cupio, fateor, et spero assequi
Ut non Elise pigeat Æneam hospitis.

Sed cur lulus tristior spectat dapes?
Asc. Urbs ista Trojæ præbuit speciem mihi,

Animumque misero subiit aspectu dolor:
Quæ nocte genitor retulit hesterna altius

Hic breviter oculis subjici videas tuis.
Dido. Iüle, quæso, repete fortunam Ilij.
Asc. Hanc esse Trojam finge quam pateram vides :

Hac Simois ibat fluvius; hic densis sita est
Mons Ida silvis ; hac stetit Tenedos via;
Hac Cilla, Chryse, quæque circuitu undique
Urbes minores dirutæ bello jacent.
Hic mille ratibus hostium statio fuit;
Hic castra; campus inter hic pugnæ jacet;
Hos esse magnos Pergami muros puta;
Hæc porta Scæa est; Hector hac solitus ferox
Turmas in aciem ducere; hic Priami lares,
Hic patris; illic steterat Anchisæ domus;
Hic, parte muri diruta, insidiis equi
Ingens in urbem panditur mediam via;
Hic cæpta cædes. Plura quid fari queam?
Post multa tandem funera et strages ducum,
Sic est Sinonis fraude, sic Danaûm face

Incensa, sic est in leves cineres data.
Dido. O quam stupendi specimen ingenii datum!

O te beatum prole generosa patrem,

Et te parente filium tali editum !
Divinam, lüle, sequere naturæ indolem :
Laudes parentis bellicas opto tibi,
Senemque precor ætate transcendas avum :

Et hoc amoris osculum pignus cape.
Asc. Quin oscularis filium, genitor, tuum ?

HYMNUS löPÆ.
Quod tibi nomen tribuam deorum ?
Sive te Martem, Lyciumve Phoebum,
Herculem seu te Jove procreatum,

Dicere fas est ;

Sive digneris titulo minore,
Teque mortalem placeat vocari ;
At deùm certe poteris videri

Sanguine cretus.
Quas tibi dicam celebremve laudes ?
Quo mihi fas est resonare plectro?
Quod decet tanto memorare carmen

Principe dignum?
Splendor heroum, patriæque lumen
Inclytum, salve, generisque prisci !
Non tua nostras tetigit carina

Gratior oras.

Sis licet tantus, superesque nostri
Pectoris captum, tamen est Elisa
Major, O hospes, nimium beate

Hospite Elisa!

« PreviousContinue »