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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,
Hesterna Mopsum scena ridiculum dedit;
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
Dido, ÆNEAS, ASCANIUS FALSUS.
Dido. Quin, hospes, ista missa faciamus magis:
Olim juvabit quod fuit durum pati
Magnanime princeps, si foret suasum tibi
Sedesque patriæ, lætior certe fores.
Non lingua nostri pectoris sensum explicet,
Luxusque tantos ? ista meditantem tua
Promerita si me cogites, lætum putes.
Equidem esse cupio, fateor, et spero assequi
Sed cur lulus tristior spectat dapes?
Animumque misero subiit aspectu dolor:
Hic breviter oculis subjici videas tuis.
Hac Simois ibat fluvius; hic densis sita est
Incensa, sic est in leves cineres data.
O te beatum prole generosa patrem,
Et te parente filium tali editum !
Et hoc amoris osculum pignus cape.
Dicere fas est ;
Sive digneris titulo minore,
Sis licet tantus, superesque nostri