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Qu. Weepe not sweete sonne.
King. Forbid not me to weepe, he was my father, And had you lou'de him halfe so well as I,
You could not beare his death thus patiently,
But you I feare, conspirde with Mortimer.
Lords. Why speake you not vnto my lord the king? Mor. iu. Because I thinke scorne to be accusde, Who is the man dare say I murderedd him?
King. Traitor, in me my louing father speakes, And plainely saith, twas thou that murdredst him.
Mort. iu. But hath your grace no other proofe then this ? King. Yes, if this be the hand of Mortimer. Mortim. iu. False Gurney hath betraide me and himselfe. Queen. I feard as much, murther cannot be hid. Mort. iu. Tis my hand, what gather you by this. 2615 King. That thither thou didst send a murtherer. Mort. iu. What murtherer ? bring foorth the man I sent. King. A Mortimer, thou knowest that he is slaine, And so shalt thou be too: why staies he heere? Bring him vnto a hurdle, drag him foorth, Hang him I say, and set his quarters vp, But bring his head back presently to me.
Queen. For my sake sweete sonne pittie Mortimer. Mort. iu. Madam, intreat not, I will rather die, Then sue for life vnto a paltrie boye.
King. Hence with the traitor, with the murderer.
Why should I greeue at my declining fall?
Farewell faire Queene, weepe not for Mortimer,
That scornes the world, and as a traueller,
Goes to discouer countries yet vnknowne.
King. What, suffer you the traitor to delay ?
Spill not the bloud of gentle Mortimer.
King. This argues, that you spilt my fathers bloud, Els would you not intreate for Mortimer. Queen. I spill his bloud? no.
2607 thinke] think it conj. Dyce2
2608 dare 1594: dares
1598-1622 etc. 2612+S.D. Shewing letter add. Dyce
S.D. Aside to Queen Isabella add. Dyce is taken away add. Cunn.
2640 no om. 1612, 1622
King. I, madam, you, for so the rumor runnes.
King. I doe not thinke her so vnnaturall.
Lords. My lord, I feare me it will prooue too true. 2645 King. Mother, you are suspected for his death, And therefore we commit you to the Tower,
Till further triall may be made thereof.
If you be guiltie, though I be your sonne,
Qu. Nay, to my death, for too long haue I liued, When as my sonne thinkes to abridge my daies.
King. Awaye with her, her wordes inforce these teares, And I shall pitie her if she speake againe.
Queen. Shall I not moorne for my beloued lord, And with the rest accompanie him to his graue? Lords. Thus madam, tis the kings will you shall hence. Quee. He hath forgotten me, stay, I am his mother. Lords. That bootes not, therefore gentle madam goe. Queen. Then come sweete death, and rid me of this greefe.
Lords. My lord, here is the head of Mortimer. King. Goe fetche my fathers hearse, where it shall lie, And bring my funerall robes: accursed head, Could I haue rulde thee then, as I do now,
Thou hadst not hatcht this monstrous treacherie ?
Heere comes the hearse, helpe me to moorne my lords: Sweete father heere, vnto thy murdered ghost,
I offer vp this wicked traitors head,
And let these teares distilling from mine eyes,
Imprinted at London for William
2648 may om. 1612, 1622
2656 his] the 1612, 1622
Date and authorship. No question in Marlowe criticism offers greater difficulties than those which concern the date and authorship of the Tragedy of Dido. Our only source of information is the title-page of the single early edition, where we learn that the piece had been Played by the Children of her Maiesties Chappell ', and that the authors were Christopher Marlowe and Thomas Nash, Gent.' Nearly all recent critics are agreed in the opinion that the tragedy was probably sketched in its earliest form before Marlowe left Cambridge (1587). After Tamburlaine, Marlowe's dramatic career follows a pretty definite line of development, into which it is difficult to fit either the subject-matter or the general structure of Dido. On the other hand, the classical story and close dependence on Vergil would naturally point back to the academic period, which seems certainly to have produced the Ovid translations, and which probably inspired the version of Lucan as well. Again, the dramatic looseness of the play would mark it as immature work, while it is significant that a number of lines stand in the apparent relation of earlier and somewhat unfinished drafts of famous passages in Tamburlaine or Doctor Faustus.2 Yet it seems pretty clear that the extant text of Dido dates from a later period than that of Marlowe's and Nash's residence at Cambridge, for much of the blank verse shows very considerable finish and fluency. Verbal similarities have been pointed out also between this play and Edward II, which, though less numerous than those connecting Dido with Tamburlaine and Faustus, are yet so significant as to make it very likely that Marlowe subjected his old Cambridge play to
1 Knutowski, Das Dido-Drama von Marlowe und Nash, Breslau, 1905; Ward, Eng. Dram. Lit.; Fleay, Biog. Chron. Eng. Dr.; Ingram, Christopher Marlowe and his Associates.
Cp. for example Dido, 478-82, and Doctor Faustus, 1328 ff.; Dido,
a complete revision at about the period when he was writing Edward II and the not dissimilar Hero and Leander.1
The connexion of Thomas Nash with our play is very uncertain, and on the evidence of style would seem to be slight. There is no discernible resemblance between Nash's only other extant dramatic work, Summer's Last Will and Testament, and any part of Dido, whereas the peculiar style of Marlowe can be recognized in almost every scene. Lines 1549-1600, which occur within a couple of pages of the end of the drama, are in themselves almost sufficient disproof of the theory that Nash found the tragedy a torso and added the conclusion. Marlowe perhaps never wrote more characteristic verses than these:
So thou wouldst proue as true as Paris did,
Would, as faire Troy was, Carthage might be sackt,
Thy mother was no Goddesse periurd man,
In no other case can Marlowe be shown to have collaborated with a fellow dramatist during his London career, unless with Shakespeare in the Henry VI plays, and the conclusion would at first seem almost unavoidable that Dido is the product of an old college partnership between two Cambridge contemporaries. There is much which is attractive in this view, and I should be reluctant to abandon it entirely; yet reasons exist which make it probable, if not certain, that Nash was in some way connected with the play at a period subsequent to 1587. In the first place Marlowe's name on the title-page of a tragedy was certainly of much more value in 1594 than Nash's, and it is unlikely that the publisher of the quarto, even if he had been himself aware of the fact, would have called the reader's attention to the minor dramatist's ancient concern in a work which had been recently revised and renovated by the more celebrated author. The fact may be added, for what it is worth, that Nash's introductory epistle to Menaphon in 1589 suggests a dislike for Marlowe's dramatic
1 Cf. Knutowski, op. cit.
2 11. 1554-6, 1564-7.