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Yet who so wretched but desires to live ?
O, let me live, great Neoptolemus !”
Not mov'd 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 Æneas ! I can hear no more.
Æn. At which the frantic queen leap'd on his face, And in his eyelids hanging by the nails, A little while prolong'd 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 bed-rid limbs, And would have grappled with Achilles' son, Forgetting both his want of strength and hands; Which he disdaining, whisk'd his sword about, And with the wind thereof the king fell down ; Then from the navel to the throat at once He ripp'd 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 dipp'd 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 burnt. 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 environ'd 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 know'st
We saw Cassandra sprawling in the streets,
Whom Ajax ravish'd in Diana's fane,
Her cheeks swollen with sighs, her hair all rent;
Whom I took up to bear unto our ships ;
But suddenly the Grecians follow'd us,
And I, alas, was forc'd to let her lie !
Than got we to our ships, and, being aboard,
Polyxena cried out, “ Æneas, stay !
The Greeks pursue me; stay, and take me in!”
Mov'd with her voice, I leap'd into the sea,
Thinking to bear her on my back aboard,
For all our ships were launched into the deep,
And, as I swom, she, standing on the shore,
Was by the cruel Myrmidons surpris'd,
And, after that, by Pyrrhus sacrific'd.
ACT III., SCENE 2.
Dido. O dull, conceited Dido, that till now
Didst never think Æneas 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, Æneas, 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.
Enter ÆNEAS, ACHATES, SERGESTUS, ILIONEUS, and
Achates, how doth Carthage please your lord ?
Ach. That will Æneas shew your majesty,
Dido. Æneas, art thou there?
Æn. I understand, your highness sent for me.
Dido. No; but, now thou art here, tell me, in
In what might Dido highly pleasure thee.
Æn. So much have I receiv'd at Dido's hands,
As, without blushing, I can ask no more :
Yet, queen of Afric, are my ships unrigg'd,
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. Æneas, 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 rivell'd 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 hew'd from crystal rocks,
Which, if thou lose, shall shine above the waves ;
The masts, whereon thy swelling sails shall hang,
Hollow pyramides of silver plate ;
The sails of folded lawn, where shall be wrought
The wars of Troy—but not Troy's overthrow;
For ballass, empty Dido's treasury:
Take what ye will, but leave Æneas here.
Achates, thou shalt be so seemly clad,
As sea-born nymphs shall swarm about thy ships,
And wanton mermaids court thee with sweet songs,
Flinging in favours of more sovereign worth
Than Thetis hangs about Apollo's neck,
So that Æneas may but stay with me.
DIDO DREADS HER LOVER'S DEPARTURE.
Dido. Speaks not Æneas like a conqueror ?
O blessèd 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 call’d Italy :
O, that I had a charm to keep the winds
Within the closure of a golden ball;
Or that the Tyrrhene 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 ;
Æneas 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.
[Exit First Lord.
What if I sink his ships ? O, he will frown !
Better he frown than I should die for grief.
I cannot see him frown; it may not be :
Armies of foes resolv'd to win this town,
Or impious traitors vow'd to have my life,
Affright me not ; only Æneas' frown
Is that which terrifies poor Dido's heart :