Hampshire Collection

Pelopidarum Secunda: A Play from Winchester College

The play’s connection with Winchester College is based on the epilogue’s reference to the college’s founder, William Wykeham (c 1324–1404). William also founded New College, Oxford, but it is more likely that the play was performed at Winchester, where the records attest to unnamed performances by the scholars from the 1560s to the 1590s. Plays appear to have been comparatively rare at New College, and no records of performance there exist for the period 1553 to 1603, when Pelopidarum secunda must have been performed, as the epilogue also mentions the queen (for the records of New College, see John R. Elliott, Jr, et al, Oxford, vol 1, REED (Toronto and Buffalo, 2004). The play is also linked to Winchester by the fact that other compositions in verse in Harley MS 5110 have been attributed to Christopher Johnson, who was headmaster of Winchester College from 1560 to 1571. We know from his ‘Dictates,’ recorded by student William Badger, that Johnson promoted play performances by the scholars during his tenure.

The epilogue suggests that the play was not originally written to be performed: it was ‘Somwhat thought on for private exercise/ But never thought for your eares fitt enough.’ That the play was performed at least once is clear, though, from the beginning of the epilogue, which addresses ‘noble sirs & most kind audience,’ and the ending that asks for their approbation. The closing lines mention William Wykeham and twice refer to the audience as ‘founders’ — ‘founders of our credit’ and ‘founders of a colledge praise’ — suggesting that the play was performed as part of the college’s annual Founder’s Day celebration on 21 December (for the date of Founder’s Day, see Kirby, Annals of Winchester College, pp 155, 310).


Date and Authorship

Neither the performance mentioned in the epilogue nor the play text itself can be dated very precisely. At top of the first leaf of the MS (f 1) and the first leaf of the play (f 27) is the date ‘16 October, 1725’ in a hand much later than those of the texts in the MS. This is the date the MS was acquired for the Harley library. The two speeches by the queen contained in the MS were delivered in 1592 and 1597, and the copies are in secretary hand and made in the 1590s or early 17th century. Of the performances mentioned in the college bursars’ accounts, only those for the Christmas season of 1573/4 mention tragedy —‘ludis comediarum et tragediarum’ — while comedy is mentioned several times, but performances that do not appear in the accounts were given in other years. (If the killing of Aerope is a veiled reference to the killing of Mary, queen of Scots, the play as we now have it must date after February 1587, but the first two scenes could have been added after that date to a play written earlier.) The mention of the queen in the play’s epilogue appears to limit the date of the performance to 1553—1603. The several hands of the play text (including that of the epilogue) are also mainly secretary, though with some italic forms, and thus also suggest a date of the late-sixteenth to early-seventeenth century.

Although the manuscript does not carry the name of an author, the epilogue gives the impression that it was written by someone connected with the college. The several hands of the manuscript may have been those of Winchester scholars, but the text itself does not vary so much in style and quality as to suggest that the play was a collaborative composition by the boys. It is tempting to attribute the play to Christopher Johnson (c 1536—97), given his promotion of drama during his tenure as headmaster at Winchester College from 1560 to 1571, and the fact that the MS (Harley 5110) contains other works attributed to him. Johnson was a gifted Latinist, who wrote poetry about the school and its founder. His rendering of the pseudo-Homeric Batrachomyomachia ('Battle of the Frogs and Mice') into Latin verse was much admired on its publication in 1580. The Latin dialogue between Nero and Poppea that appears in his ‘Dictates' may also be Johnson’s own work. On the other hand, the only playwrights mentioned in Johnson’s ‘Dictates’ are the Roman comic playwrights Terence and Plautus, and nothing resembling the Pelopidarum is mentioned there, nor is there evidence of Johnson producing original works in English.

The Play

Pelopidarum secunda is a verse tragedy in English that tells the familiar story of Agamemnon’s murder by his wife, Clytemnestra, and her lover Aegisthus, who are in turn killed in revenge by Orestes and his sister Electra. The Latin title is ambiguous. Martin Wiggins suggests the name might mean that there was a Pelopidarum prima, ‘presumably centring on Thyestes and perhaps taking the story as far as Iphigenia? The Atreus/Aeropa sequence in the early scenes certainly appears extraneous to this play’s main focus, and could be a hangover from a lost first part. However, “secunda” might alternatively refer to the second generation of Pelopidae’ (British Drama, vol 3: 1590–1597, p 1).

The play has a total of 3,465 lines, including the fifty-line epilogue (but excluding stage directions). The dialogue scenes are in iambic pentameter, mostly blank verse, while the choruses use lines varying from as few as two stresses to as many as six, some of which rhyme in couplets. The choruses occasionally use unison speaking, but more often are composed of a series of individual speeches by four or five characters who play no other part in the action.

The play has the large cast typical of academic drama: thirty-six speaking parts, as well as a number of non-speaking attendants. The two main women have the longest parts in the play: Clytemnestra has 476 lines, Electra 436. Orestes has the longest part of the men at 354 lines, followed distantly by Eurysthenes with 225 lines and Aegisthus with 190. (The idea that the title, Pelopidarum secunda, refers to the second generation of Pelops’ descendants is undercut by the fact that the second generation is represented by Aegisthus (Thyestes’ son) and Agamemnon (Atreus’ son), and Aegisthus’ part is only the fifth largest and Agamemon’s the tenth largest, at only ninety lines.)


Pelopidarum is based on two classical sources, Seneca’s Agamemnon and SophoclesElectra, but it adapts rather than merely translating those works. Some scenes follow the sources closely, while others are much expanded or condensed. Atreus’ trick to get Clytemnestra and Agathia to strangle Aerope in the second scene appears to be invented by the author and if partly in the spirit of Seneca is closer to the horrific violence of The Spanish Tragedy or The Revenger’s Tragedy.

Another brief section that does not occur in either source does appear in other classical sources and has been considerably displaced chronologically from its ancient place in the story. The Pelopidarum places the killing of Atreus by Aegisthus between Agamemnon’s return from Troy and his murder by Aegisthus and Clytemnestra. The ancient sources say that Aegisthus killed Atreus much earlier, before Aegisthus and his father Thyestes expelled Agamemnon and Menelaus from Mycenae and ruled there as joint kings. Only later did Agamemnon recover the throne of Mycenae, lead the Greek expedition to Troy, and return after ten more years to be murdered. The killing of Atreus is dramatically ineffective when placed where it is, since it intrudes on the audience’s anticipation of the killing of Agamemnon. Perhaps the author meant to emphasize the theme of the inevitable punishment of evil actions, by having Aegisthus take revenge on both father (Atreus) and son (Agamemnon) in successive scenes.


The play’s first two scenes have no counterpart in Seneca’s Agamemnon. 1.1 is a soliloquy by Hipparchus, who explains that Atreus is haunted by the ghost of his brother Thyestes, and furious over the unfaithfulness of his wife, Aerope, with his brother. Atreus aims to get revenge on Aerope by means of the trick that forms the following scene. In 1.2 Atreus tells Clytemnestra and her maid Agathia that a witch named Dipsas is keeping Thyestes’ ghost from rest, and asks their help in interrogating her. When he brings the witch in it is actually Aerope with her face covered. Atreus ties a cord around Aerope’s forehead and gives the two ends to Clytemnestra and Agathia to pull on, in order to torture the witch into confessing. Before they pull, however, Atreus suggests the women avert their eyes. He then pulls the cord down to Aerope’s neck, and when the two women pull, they strangle Aerope. Atreus exults, the women wail, and Agathia suicides. Clytemnestra grabs the knife to kill herself, but drops it when the ghost of Thyestes appears. (Classicist David Lupher, University of Puget Sound, has confirmed to the editors in an email that there is no classical source for this episode. In fact, no ancient source tells how Aerope died.)

1.3 involves Thyestes’ ghost giving what is the prologue of Seneca’s Agamemnon, and his speech sticks fairly closely to Seneca, though it explicitly names figures (Ixion, Sisyphus, etc) that in Seneca are identified only by their well-known punishments. Seneca’s chorus at this point is left out, but the next scene (1.4) follows the source, as Clytemnestra tells her women of her love of Aegisthus and hatred of Agamemnon, and Aegisthus enters to argue with her over the plot to murder Agamemnon. The chorus that closes Act 1 has no counterpart in Seneca. The Pelopidarum chorus recalls the murder of Aerope, linking it to Clytemnestra’s intent to kill Agamemnon.

The first part of Act 2 is based on Seneca’s Act 3, and begins with Clytemnestra solo, before Eurybates arrives to announce Agamemnon’s imminent arrival and relate the travails the returning Greeks have suffered on the seas. Eurybates is followed by captive Trojan women, who tell of their suffering. Agamemnon arrives home in a scene misnumbered as Act 4 (probably because the play has reached Act 4 of its source). He exults, gives brief thanks to the gods at altar, is warned by Cassandra, and goes into the palace. Then comes a short scene with no analogue in Seneca, in which Atreus enters to pray at the altar, but is killed by Aegisthus, who has sneaked in behind him. Cassandra has a long solo speech describing Agamemnon’s going to bed, and the scene then shifts to his bedroom, with a brief dialogue about putting on a shirt given him by Clytemnestra. Clytemnestra and Aegisthus enter and kill Agamemnon with a single stab by Aegisthus. The murder is handled very differently from Seneca, where Aegisthus is portrayed as weak, and Clytemnestra has to take the axe from him to hew off Agamemnon’s head. The chorus that ends Act 2 retells the action, including the killing of Atreus, but adds no particular commentary on the events.

The story of spiriting Orestes away, from the end of the Seneca, is left out, and Act 3 begins with the first episode of Sophocles’ Electra, as Electra complains of her fate to a group of women supporters (named individuals taking the place of Sophocles’ chorus). Chrysothenis enters to debate the situation with Electra, the dialogue closely paralleling the one in Sophocles. Then comes a short scene not in Sophocles, in which Strophius reassures Electra that he has kept Orestes safe. Electra and Clytemnesta argue about the killing of Agamemnon in a condensed version of the Sophocles scene. Clytemnestra wants to kill Electra but Aegisthus (who is not an onstage character in Sophocles) says that since Electra desires death, it will punish her more severely to imprison her instead. Then Cassandra (likewise not in Sophocles) is condemned by Clytemnestra and Aegisthus, and they kill her offstage. (This scenelet lessens the impact of the punishment of Electra). A chorus of the captive women laments Cassandra’s death. A chorus (labelled Act 4 but in fact the end of Act 3) does not follow Sophocles’ chorus at all, but does generalize in suggesting that the events are all the gods’ will.

Act 4 (mislabelled Act 5, Scene 1) begins with Euristhenes (called Pedagogus in Sophocles) reminding Orestes how Euristhenes saved him and brought him up. Orestes tells Euristhenes to go to Electra and say Orestes is dead, while he deals with Clytemnestra and Aegisthus. However, in a scene not in the source, Orestes hesitates and engages in dialogue with Pilades about their mutual support and love. A new scene finds Clytemnestra expressing her fears of her children, while Aegisthus tries to comfort her. He leaves and she has a brief outburst of passion but soothes herself by calling for a song, the only music indicated in the play. The rest of the act follows Sophocles, as Euristhenes tells Clytemnestra and Electra a story about Orestes’ death in a chariot race at the Pythian Games. Electra remains and is joined by Chrysothenis, who believes the offerings at their father’s tomb indicate that Orestes is alive and has returned. Electra responds with Euristhenes’ news of Orestes’ death and urges Chrysothenis to join her in killing Aegisthus and Clytemnestra, but Chrysothenis refuses. The chorus that ends Act 4 basically recaps the action of the act, but is distinctive in form, with stage directions that indicate that the chorus first speaks at the east, then the west, and finally in the midst, apparently imitating the classical choral structure of strophe, antistrophe, and epode.

Act 5 begins with a scene not in Sophocles, in which Euristhenes urges Orestes not to spare his mother. Pilades agrees, reminding Orestes of Apollo’s oracles that commanded he kill both his father’s murderers. Orestes still resists killing his mother, and feels either course will be impiety, but eventually the other two convince him. When Electra enters Orestes pretends to be a stranger bringing Orestes’s ashes, then reveals himself by showing her Agamemnon’s ring.

The next section follows Sophocles fairly closely. The two siblings then work each other up to the killing of their mother in a lengthy exchange of single lines. Clytemnestra enters and pleads for her life, but Orestes is now determined and kills her. Aegisthus is then tricked by Orestes’ bringing out Clytemnestra’s body and saying it is Orestes’s, making Aegisthus look beneath the cover. Orestes reveals his true identity and kills Aegisthus. (The killing takes place on stage, unlike in its Greek source.) Sophocles’ Electra then ends rapidly with short speeches by Orestes and the chorus that claim justice has been done. But in Pelopidarum Orestes is immediately wracked by guilt and beset by ghosts — of Clytemnestra and Aegisthus, but also of Tesiphone and Cerberus. Although Orestes is tormented by ghosts rather than the Furies, the playwright here seems to be paralleling Aeschylus’ version of the story.

The final chorus is the only one to really comment on the events, recapping the events and characters of the play, as the earlier choruses do, but also repeating the lines ‘Earthe vnawares consenteth to the skyes’ and ‘godes will have offenders blinde.’ The ending thus emphasizes the human inability to foresee the future or grasp the big picture. Orestes’ matricide is not called justice, as it is in Sophocles, but misguided, and the chorus argues that all Greece

may iustly repent thy iust revenginge.
Thus we wishe for a thinge, to loath it after:
first we slaughter a kinge, then hate the slaughter:
pull Authoritie downe to gayne a madd man,
better twere for a crowne retayne a badd man.
Doe not move a disease the force alayed,
And disturbe not a peace the cyttie stayed.
Crownes are frayle, nor a bide the safe removinge

This chorus thus moves the play from academic classicism to commentary on English politics. Like Gorboduc, Pelopidarum secunda shows the explosion of violence and bloodshed that killing the king sets in motion. It could be applicable to almost any time during Elizabeth’s reign, but if it were associated with Christopher Johnson’s mastership in the 1560s, it would speak to those upset with the recently crowned Elizabeth, especially in the area around Winchester, where resistance to Protestantism was strong.

Another intriguing possibility is that the invented scene of the killing of Aerope might be a veiled reference to Elizabeth’s part in the killing of Mary, queen of Scots. Though suggesting a parallel between Elizabeth and Clytemnestra might seem a dangerous move by the playwright, he depicts Clytemnestra as distressed at her part in killing a kinswoman, and absolves her of guilt by showing that she was tricked into complicity by the deceitful Atreus.

Whether or not the play intended to comment on recent events, it appears to belong to the fashion for revenge tragedy, which would date it closer to the end of Elizabeth’s reign than the beginning. Though the author can hardly match Marlowe or Shakespeare as a poet, one may hear faint echoes or anticipations in lines like Storge’s ‘Bringinge the Captiue dames of Phrygia,' which suggests Tamburlaine’s ‘Holla, ye pamper’d Jades of Asia’ (Tamburlaine the Great, Part 2, The Complete Works of Christopher Marlowe, David Fuller and Edward J. Esche (eds), vol 5 (Oxford, 1998), 4.3.1). The play’s reflections on the cost, both social and personal, of pursuing revenge serve to emphasize Shakespeare’s much greater achievement in Hamlet.

The Manuscript

In addition to the play, the volume contains two Latin speeches by Queen Elizabeth, one to the heads of Oxford University and another rebuking the Polish Ambassador, as well as copies of Donne’s Satires I — III, the arguments of the Psalms in verse, and a paraphrase of the Proverbs of Solomon in couplets.

The hands of different copyists divide the play text into seventeen sections. The speech headings and stage directions appear to have been added by two different hands (I and II), in either black (B) or red (R) ink, and generally in an italic script intended to contrast with the secretary used for the spoken parts. The modern pencil foliation is continuous through the manuscript, while the original ink foliation is intermittent. Some folios also carry cancelled ink foliation (in parentheses below).

Section Stage Dir pencil fol ink fol Act and scene
1 I B 27-29v none 1.1, 1.2
2 I & II B 30-35v 4-10 (43-45) 1.3, 1.4
3 I (or 3) B 36-36v 11 1.4 (cont.)
4 none 37-37v 12 Chorus for Act 1
5 I B & R 38-41v 13-16 (48-49) Act 2
6 I & II, B & R 42-47v 17-22 (53-54) Act 2 (cont.)
7 I B 48-49v 23-24 Act 2 (cont.)
8 II B 50-50v 25 Chorus for Act 2
9 II B 51-52v 24-25 Act 3 (not designated in MS)
10 I B 53-55 26-27* Act 3 (cont.)
11 I B 56-57v none Act 3 (cont.), 3.3, 3.4
12 I B 58-58v none 3.4 (cont.)
13 I R, II B 59-68v 63-72 Chorus Act 3, Act 4
13a 68v lt margin Act 4 (cont.—7 line insertion)
14 II B 69-69v none Chorus for Act 4
15 II B 70-71v none Act 5
16 I R 72-81 (4 lns) 75-83 Act 5 (cont.)
17 none 81-81v none Epilogue

*The ink foliation skips over pencil f 54.

The two longest sections (13 and 16) appear to be by the same hand, and are written neatly with few corrections. Section 13a may have been added by the same writer as the stage directions designated by ‘I,’ but all the other sections seem to be by different hands. This large number of different hands, many of them copying only one or two folios, suggests that the scholars were employed as copyists, with a supervising master or two organizing the project and providing the stage directions. Why this was done — whether as a classroom exercise or in order to create additional copies of the play — cannot be discerned.

The manuscript has been repaired so that each leaf is glued to a modern stub leaf attached to the binding, which prevents us from learning anything from how the leaves were gathered. The uncancelled ink foliation of sections 13 and 16 accurately continues the cancelled ink foliation of sections 2, 5, and 6, suggesting that other copies of the intervening sections existed at some time. The uncancelled ink foliation of sections 2—10 indicate an attempt to foliate the play by itself (apart from any texts on preceding leaves) and probably represent a somewhat later stage of the manuscript, with the current sections 3, 4, and 7 to 10 replacing earlier copies of those parts of the play. Whether sections 11 to 17 were all included in an earlier stage of the manuscript cannot be determined, since the ink foliation was abandoned after section 10. The epilogue seems to have been added at the end of section 16 after the rest was complete, though not much later, as the hand is similar in date to those in the rest of the manuscript.

One can only conjecture how the manuscript may have come to take its present form. One possibility is that sections 13 and 16 are the oldest, the work either of the playwright himself or a professional copyist. Then a number of the Winchester College scholars may have been given the task of copying parts of the play, and their work substituted for the original folios containing those sections. A second possibility is that two or more complete copies of the play existed around 1600, and someone later created the current composite manuscript, perhaps choosing the sections that were in the best condition.

This Edition

This manuscript play has been lightly edited in accordance with REED’s conventions for transcription (see ‘Series Methodology,’) and preserves the spelling and punctuation of the original, both of which vary a great deal amongst the many different hands of the manuscript. The act and scene divisions are only those present in the original. Most of the annotation concerns features of the manuscript rather than the content of the play.

BL: Harley MS 5110

ff 27-81

Pelopidarum Secunda
°16 October, 1725.°
Actus 1 Scena 1 Hipparchus
See here revenge devours invention
and will that doth forsake drye aged braynes
stayes onely there to plott more wickednes.
as Tygers whome the desart els wold serve
stay onely there wayting for weary blood
of some poore straying helples travelllers.
Old Atreus haunted by his brothers Ghost
nowe devisd to send Æropa to him
thinking hee comes but for Æropaes love
whome though hee long time hath imprisoned
warned by many her conspiracies
which hee hath sought to learne out of her greefe
yet neither hee nor greife nor time can tame her
but as payne growes she overgroweth payne
and tormentes come so short of having power
to search her obstinacye to the bottome
that she confutes this crueltye with silence
and scornes to cast away a word on greefe
Thus standing mute she more inflames ye rage
of Atreus: whose Whole life is nothing els
but a contriving of his kinredes deaths,
And where Æropa lyes imprisoned,
there lyes one Dipsas an old sorceresse
to have exciled dead Thyestes ghost
and vnder shewe to have her tortured
By Clytemnestra and her maydes intentes
To bring Æropa to bee strangled
Silence hee sayth and cunning of her eyes
and Clytemnestras fond credulitie
ioynd with desire of hearing witches newes
Shall be his meanes; but howe and what hee meane<.>
I feare my wofull eyes to soone will see.
But to obey him thats enough for mee
nowe must I fetch the most vnhappye queene
to whome such torments are familliar
that shee doth scarce salute them with a sigh
This silence is but preamble to death
as though she should have none yat spendes no breath
could none but Clytemnestra serve the turne
a Queene vpon a Queene to execute
soe blind a death and such a stealing end
that closeth vp the passage of the thoughtes|
And stiffleth vp the last of sorrowes panges,
a cosin and a Queene to kill in iest
most cruell iest: a cosin and a Queene
Triumph not Atreus nor deride thou heaven
grafting vnkindnes vpon natures stocke,
nature and heaven ill can brooke a mocke.
hee stayeth
well: Ile fetch her, Servantes must not bee disputers,
thus honest mindes sinn vnder wicked tutors.
The ghost appeareth sayeth nothing,
and vanisheth away./
Intrant –––|
Actus 1 Scæna 2da
Atreus, Clytemnestra, Agathia
Clytem: And thinke you Dipsas is the cause
Our vncles goast can finde noe rest in death
The rest of all thinges, that he hauntes the courte,
And bringes the terrours of that lower world
to trouble lyfe, for hate of which he saught
a refuge in the mouth of hell yt selfe?
Can Dipsas make him maugere his owne minde,
And maugre lawes of that inferior realme
returne vnwelcome to himselfe & vs?
Atre: Why thinke you Dipsas is noe sorseress?
Clyt: yes father, Dipsas is a sorceresse.
Atre: And cannot wiches terrifie the meane,
And make her paler for feare, that from her globe
desendeth downe nore other influence
to them that doe beholde her fate, but feare?
Cannot they turne the rivers course with charmes,
And make the springes to wounder at returne
of those theyre drops, that never were expected
To come agayne & choke theyre mothers throate?
Cannot they sprinklenge poyson on the grounde,
That by theyre wordes is duble incontagion
wither whole countryes, schorching ffloraes face,
sheweinge dame Tellus naked to the sonne,
that in compasses shines to keepe her warme?
Cannot they rayse vp wherlewindes in the ayre,
Earthe quakes on lande, strayn'd tempestes on the sea,
And teare vp graves & ioyne halfe rottene bones,
And make those legges, whose sinewes ar consum'd
Carry abroade olde carcases, & tredd the measure,
The measure of the worldes astonishment?
Is Thessaly soe neere, & are the workes
But ordinary workes in Thessalye,
And doubt you toe, but Dipsas brought from thence
Twise as much malice, as the skill shee brought,
And both toe much to rayse Thyestes vpp,
breathinge the brimstone of darke Acharon,
blastinge the walles throughout our pallaces?
Clyt: I hardly coulde beleve, that woman kinde
could hardned be to such prodigiousnes.
A woman which deathes terrors not dismay'd?
The lese feare a lyfe makes vs afrayde.
Agat: ffye on that woman, for shee is a monster,
noe woman, that attempt such wickednes
no torture coulde suffice to recompense
The boulde adventure of soe greate offence.
She spites|
ffye, fye I coulde be executioner
my selfe, to make an ende of such an hagge:
whose lyfe is nothinge but a shame compacte
of such a body ioynd to such a soule.
Atr: Why, mayde, yf your courage be soe good,
And Clytemestraes hearte can serve her to yt
smale torture shall make Dipsas tell you all,
though shee stounde mute a while for stuberennesse.
but yf the rumor shoulde be spred abroade
then might it chaunce to breede some innovation:
the people have her skill in admiration.
wee three may sifte out all & shortley thus
shee shall be sente for hether out of pryson,
And I will tye a coarde aboute her browes,
you towe shall pull each ende vntill yt smarte,
And smarting wringe out all her secret harte.
Perhaps at first shee persist a while,
But payne increasinge will enforce concession
Clyt: Alas, howe shall my pittyinge eyes endure
To see her browes swell pinched with the coard?
Atr: Ile hide her face. Clyt: & yet the sight is cruel
Atr: Then winke the while.
Agat: your maiesty may winke,
& soe will I: tis but a little time:
And though fewe Queenes have entered to such action,
yet is it worth the paynes to satisfye,
your royall minde, that longe time hath desired
to knowe the truth of these Enchauntementes force
besides your selfe, & all the courte ar free
from dreadfull haunte of this vnquiet goast,
yf Dipsas be constrayned to desist
her pacteses & wicked coniurations.
Clyt: I have a stone, that Zoroaster gave
vnto a comminge queene of Syria,
Put in a ringe, that Jason brought from Greece,
the deerest of the wise Medeaes Iewells,
a stone of strange effect: a moungst the rest,
to keep the bearer free from all inchantments
from any hurtt that Dipsas skill can doe
Agat: I have a coard tha Calchas leaft behinde him,
hasteninge vnto the Troyan expedition,
with which he vse to binde his sacrifices.
This coard shall serve to torture Dipsaes head|
And this is all, that shall, preserve me safe
from any hurt, that Dipsaes skill can doe
Atre: Gra mercy wench; nowe theres a womans heart:
I doubt not but that thou will doe thy parte
Exeunt Clytemnestra Agatia
Atre: Ah; this is gallante; here is <..>ch revenge
on Clytemnestra, & Æropa both
for Clytemnestra pytied her durance,
And fed her spightfull obsteynacye
with secret comfort that els had relented.
But see, nowe Clytemnestraes fingers itch
to torture her mistaken for a wiche.
yf they dare pull, & that the corde holde faste
then once a kinge may shewe a ri<.>gglinge cast.
Enter Hipparchus, leading Æropa
alonge in witches weedes her face covered.
Hipp: Pardon deere Soveraingne me poore instrument,
that am disloyall in obedyence.
the kinge commaundes me thus to bringe you cloth'd,
thus masked, as I thinke, to move with shame
your tounge at lest to vtter discontente
but nowe youre ‸⸢are⸣ vnto his presence come.
Shee makes singes
Atre: why, howe now mynion; what noe wordes but mume?
tis you, that make Thyestes trouble vs.
She makes signes.
hipparchus, set her heere, & binde her fast.
he bindes her in a cheyne
She makes signes with her head
Soe, soe, this silence must come to an ende.
Enter Clytemenestra, Agathia,
with a cord tugginge
Agat: Beshrewe me but this cord will pinch her shrewdly;
but whoe can pittey one that lives soe lewedly?
Clyt: younder she setes, tyed redy for the purpose.
Atre: Come my swete beutyes, we will make shorte worke.
oh what a rable of vile exorcismes
vexinge the deade, & prysoninge the live
Shee makes signes|
will that shorte cord ringe out of this lewed brayne?
these antickes all will be forgot with payne.
Clyt: Good father, yf shee will without all payne,
let her make answere vnto my demaundes:
Say woman, howe raysd you Thyestes ghost?
shee makes signes
Atrevs takes the cord; & knites yt aboute
her head
O stay good father she provides to speake
Vncover her face. Atr: noe daughter noe take heede
knowe you not, witches eyes ar venemous?
Agat: yf she were angred throughly, shee woulde finde
easy meanes through a maske to scolde her minde.
Clyt: nay then in trueth, you put vs to some paynes.
Agat: nay let her; shortly shee shall finde her haynes,
Atre: Take you this ende, & mayde take you this other
Clyt: I would not spare her if shee were my mother.
Atr: but turne away your faces, whilst you pull,
for women's hartes ar stouter then theyre eyes.
They turne. he slips the cord
dowe to her throate
The corde is slac pull hard, nowe harke, shee cryes
ffy, fy, you touch her not, pull harder yett
Clit Speakes shee not, yet? Atr: not yet she iestes at it
nay bot agayne & pull one lusty fitt
Clit: Bshrewe me, then yf I pull any more
for this hard tugginge makes my fingers sore.
He vncovers her face
Atre: Then see howe shee doeth laugh you both to scorne,
Agat: nowe out alas, that ever I was borne.
the Queene Æropas strangled, wretched I,
that kild my queene, why stay I for to dy?
and is shee dead, I will nott soe forsake her.
this knife shall make my way to overtake her.
She kills her selfe
Clyt: But vile wretch, live I to crave pardon,
of her that nowe is in another world?
Shee drawes her knife
mother, deere mother, stay, I com I come,
to crave forgivenes in Elisium.
Atr: Soe, soe, these matters fall out wounderous well
Thyestes shall have company to hell
The ghost ariseth, Clyt: lets fall her
knife. All flye in|
Scæna 3a:
Enter Thyestes ghoste
Leavinge the kingdome of infernall Iove
Loos'd from the deepe darke cave of Tartarus
Loe here Thyestes is a damned ghoste
Hated on earth and hatinge Plutoes court
The one I fly for tormentes great excesse
The other with my sight I terrifie
Loe here the house wherin my father dwelt
Nay where my brother dwells loe here he house
Ah ah this sight affrightes my troubled minde

And makes me all to quake with tremblinge feare
this is that auncient house of Pelopes stocke
Here the Pelasgian kinges with glorie crown'd
beginne their raigne here sitt the stately troopes
Of purple cloathed rulers in their pride
Here are the courtes here are the banquetes kept
Retourne Theyestes from this hatefull place
more hatefull then the cursed lake of Stix
where as the triple headed mastive lyes
with watchfull eyes to keepe the gates of hell
where foule Ixion Iunoes infamie
Is rackt in tormentes on a restlesse wheele
where Sisiphus with never ceasinge payne
doth roule an heavie stone which beinge rould
from foote toe topp from topp to foote returnes
where Titius his unconsumed heart
Is torne by greedie vultures bloodie beake
where Tantalus our grandsire punnished
with fierie thirst in midst of waters standes
And yet his thirst with waters cannot quench
this dolefull payne in hell he suffereth
for entertayning in that bloddie feast|
The sinne revenginge powers of the heavens
But o that aged miserable man
How litle is his sinne compard to ours
If his and others faultes were with mine tride
both his and theirs and hell were iustified
Consider all that for their wickednesse
have beene condemned to eternall payne
By minos Aeacus and Rhadamant
I shall them all in wickednesse surpasse
And yet surpassed am by brothers guilte
The sinne came back from such a cruell fact
what paynes may make the world a recompence
for alteringe of their light by my offence
Yet was not spitefull fortune satisfied
But me commaunded yet a greater guilt
moste basely to defile my daughters bedd
Hence hath she now by me a childe conceav'd
A wicked childe a childe that must be like
his guiltie father in his guiltines
Nature is turned backe for soe the fates
Decree and stubburne nature must obey
O monstrous villanie the nephew calls
His grandsire father, and his grandsire holdes
His nephew for his sonne the daughter tearmes
Her father spouse and countes the night as day
Thus fortune hath me vs'd yet now at lenght
Shee smiles on me with favorable eyes lookes
wearied with sorrowes and tormentinge paynes
that kinge of kinges and cheifest lord of Greece
Brave Agamemnon vnder whose conduct
Soe many thousande men to Troy repayrd|
Is now returninge to his destinie
to end his dayes by falsehoode of his wife
And damn'd Aegysthus foule adulterer
Now now this wicked house with bloud shall swimme
I see I see the naked glitteringe swordes
the shirte the fatall sworde of his fast sight
keene hatchetes poynant speares and bloodie bills
prepared readie for Atrides death
now at this dore all villaines doe wayle
false trecherie and bloodie butcheringes
Prepare thy feast Aegysthus now he comes
from whence thy birth was by the fates decreed
why shouldst thou be asham'd of villanies
Thy very birthe all shamefastnesse defies
why doth empious counsayle stay thy handes
why doest thou aske advise and vex thy minde
tis but to put thee farther from excuse
It must be done and since the fates decree it
thy fault's the greatr that thou doest foresee it
why wouldst thou knowe if that beseemeth thee
thy mother it beseemeth looke on her
Doubt'st thou of Clytemnestra's willingnesse
think'st thou the service of Aeropa's death
will make her dulled heart vncapable
Of loves secure and wanton motions
thou know'st she eyes thee and she laughes on thee
yea thou knowst more that hell and I and thou|
may Ioye of but the earth for shame not speake of
I sprinkled her with Lethes dropps longe since
And lefte her noe remembraunce but they love
But what she mindes she mindes all sutable
To Lethe and to hell all damnable
But why doe not the starrs depart from heaven
but stay the chariot of the brightest sonne
Depart Thyestes give the earth her light
was never wretch brought sinne to hell before
Vnburdeninge earth and loadinge hell with more
Scaena 4a
Enter Clytemnestra Storge Philopatris
Chariessa Glaucopis ancillulæ.
Clyt: What heart could hate soe sweete a gentleman
And what is Agamemnon vnto him
He loves me as if noe suche husband were
He loves me yea he loves I dare sweare
Sweete sweete Aegysthus shall I leave thy love
To mende the tales of bablinge multitude
that never knew what faythfull love did meane
I must I will embrace thy conversation
thy lookes thy smiles thy speache thy gate thy fashion
of courtinge and thy truest secresie
And what besides noe woman knowes but I
Aegysthus is a morsell worth the catchinge
he is vnmaried but I marde in matchinge
can any woman thinke her not beholdinge
to him that loves her maried or vnmaried
for all is one soe it be closely caryed|
And yet what neede I smother so cleare a fyer?
Onely that husband prouides our desire,
To let my love have vncontrolld resorte,
To shutt out all suspicion from our sport.
To live with him, to bee Ægisthus wife,
Is ten times worth an Agamemnons life
Why then dispatch it Clytemnestra.
Here stay.
Soe steppinge farther a little and pawsinge
begineth as after.
What Clytemnestra wilt thou nowe repent
And seeke good counsell when tis all to late?
dost thou desire to live in vertues court?
Behold her gates with barrs of gould are shutt
To enter in it is impossible.
whilom they opened were when as thou mightst
In glory shine of matrones chastitye.
A loyall queene vnto a loving King.
Now hast thou lost thy vndefiled prayse,
Of vertue and vnspotted honestye.
which beeing gone will not returne agayne.
Then let the bridle lose, and carelesse runn.
The steepe downe hill to sinfull wickednes.
By many sinns the way of sinn is safe.
Trye Clytemnenstra what thou canst performe
By sly deceipts of womans trechery.
Let none bee more perfideous then thy self,
none more vnpatient in vnlawfull love.
Let not a stepdame brag of crueltye,
nor let the Phrasian mayde her travayles tell
when shee with Jason fledd to Sicilie
doe then in poyson and in blood delight.
fly with Ægisthus from thy country soyle
and leave thy hatefull husband desolate.
But why doe I these lesser thinges recount
a close conveyance of my secret love
a willfull exile and a privye flight
Those things beseeme my sister Helena,
a fouler vice must bee my victorye
Storge: O gentle queene of Greece and Ledaes child,
what secret fyer is kindled in your breast
why doth thy minde thus voyde of rasons rule|
Swell with the raginge of thy passions?
Speake gentle queene let reason bee thy guide
If not let time bee thy phisition
who often cures what reson cannot heale.
Cly: My greefes are greater then thy skill may ease
Greate flames of fyer do scorch my pensive hart
greefe mixt with feare doth pricke mee vnto rage
Envye my heart tormentes and burning love
makes mee to yeeld to her infamous yoake
all these and more have long beseiged shame
and conquered it yet doth it still rebell.|
I doubtinge which of them I should obey
Am daily tossed in vncertainty
And looke as when the waues & windes doe fight
The pilate letts his shipp at randome ride
Soe reason of my minde hath lost the sterne
And wheather greife or anger shall me drive
Thither blind chaunce shall bend my wandringe course
The wandringe minde doth best on chaunce depend
Storge: Blind is the beyard that hath chaunce for guide
Cly: But chaunce at worst cannot far farther slide
Storge: Thy chaunce is good none shall thy fault descrie
Clytem: Is by the light of mine nobility
Stor: Why doest thou then repent & sinne againe
Cly: To limmatt sinn is labour spent in vaine
Stor: Encrease of sinne more torment doeth procure
Cly: But fier & sworde haue often done a cure
Stor: Nowe at the first doeth trie extremities
Cly: The steepest way is best in miseries
Stor: yet call to minde thy lovinge husbands name
Cly: Ten yeares a widowe & respect the same
Stor: yet call to minde thou hath â child by him
Cly: you meane the child he did in marriage giue
To Peleus sonne ô faithfull husbands loue
Stor: This did thy noble Lord for countries sake
And with her bloud a thousand shipps did saue
Cly: ffie fie I am asham'd to thinke of it
Shall Clytemnestra daughter vnto Jove
Bringe forth for Greece a purginge sacrifice
I never shall forgett that marriage day
A marriage fitt for on of Pelops race
when as the father by the altars stoode
As if he had perform'd the nuptiall rightes
Then Calchas trembled at his proper wordes
And saw & was affrighted at the sight
The sodaine motion of the senslesse stones
Stor: Soe many shipps should not haue perished
Cly: Therfore a thousand shipps from Aulis loos'd
with heauie wroth of the revendginge gods|
Such wickednes ye port could not abide
But belch'd them forth into the raginge seas
Thus did he first beginn the vnwaged warr
Thus did he wage it thus he did it end
ffor first when he should Troy with sulphur burne
Taken by her whom he in warr did take
He burnt himself in scorchinge flames of loue
Then were Achilles threates of little force
And Calchas's oracles wear all contemn'd
Which he to doe me harme so much esteem'd
Noe pitty if soe many dreadfull deathes
Of valiaunt men could move his hard'ned hart
Not he his loue for twenty thousand liues
Husbandes can loue abroad & cannot wiues
Egistus is noe captiue but is free
Descended of as good a house as hee
Or once perswade him leaue his captiue loue
Conquer'd without a foe he liues in sloath
In venus court & not in Marce his campe
And least he should not haue a concubine
To dally with he tooke away by wronge
The captiue Briseis from the lawfull Lord
Cassandra doe I feare with him shall come
O infamie that never shall decay
The conqueror himself is conquered
Goe to them Clytemnestra now prepare
Thy self the warr thou vndertak'st is great
Bloud & revenge must be thy souldiers
How longe how longe wilt thou deferr thy wroth
Till Phrigian dames haue gott thy emperie
I serue those queanes & silent stand and mute
Whilst they embracinge kissinge dallinge sitt
yea Clytemnestra if tho can'st tis fitt
Nay I will rather then take yat disgrace
Teare out his eyes & flinge them in her face
And why doeth pitty of thy daughters bidd
Or of thy sonnes soe like his hatefull sine|
Ah noe their miseries ar yet to come
Then hast thee Clytemnestra loe she comes
Who shall a stepdame to thy daughter be
Ah lett thy sword through thyn owne bowells glide
If otherwise thou can'st not haue thy will
Mingle his bloud ‸⸢with thine⸣ & by thy death
Make passage for his soule & end his life
Noe paine it is to die when thou shalt soe
Whose death thou did'st desire shall die with thee
Stor: Bridle ô queene thy stubburne passions
And quench the flames of this thy kindled rage
Consider well & looke before thou leape
Europs revenged & the conquerour
Of fruitfull Asia is returninge home
Bringinge the Captiue dames of Phrygia
And all the riches of proud Pergamus
And thoughe yat he soe well deserved hath
yet foolishly thou seek'st to spoile his bloud
Whome neither sword of Tethis charmed sonne
Nor bloudy Aiax speare could ever hurt
Nor Hector only stay of Troyian warr
Nor never missinge shaftes of Paris wound
Nor Xanthus fild with murdered carkasies
Nor purple Simois with the Troian bloud
Nor Cygnus Neptunes sonne nor Rhesus force
Nor yet the warrlike troup of Thermadon
Could with his bloud glutt their victorious handes
Him would'st thou foolish Clytemnestra slay
And fill the altars with thy villanie
Lett not the Phrigian captiues see that ioy
A greater harme in Greece to Greece then Troy
And think'st thou Greece yat hath revendge on wronge
will suffer this ô call to minde their rage
They vs'd at Troy & learn'd to feare their wroth
Restraine with reason thy affections
And rule the thoughtes of thy vnbrideled mind|
Enter Ægistus./.
Ægist: The time is come my mind did alwais feare
The vtter ruine of my happinesse
fflie not Ægistus cast not downe the sheild
Before thou know'st the forces of thy foe
Suppose the godes haue sworen to thy death
And daily seeke for thy distruction
Why yeald thy head vnto their cruelty
And thinke their cannot be soe great a paine
Which thou with willinge courage should'st not beare
Clyt: To die Ægistus tis noe paine for thee
Whose wicked life bids thee expect noe lesse
Ægi: But gentle queene partaker of my feare
If thou will healp thy husbande shall restore
The bloud he causelesse of thy daughter spilt
Here stay.
Why doeth my Clytemnestra looke soe pale
Here stay./.
Speake gentle loue what meanes this sodaine fear
Cly: Thy wordes Ægistus make me looke soe pale
And strike great horror in my troubled minde
Loue of my husband hath the victory
And bids me turne away from wickednesse
O lett vs both returne to vertues courte
A court which we till death should never leaue
Lett me repaire againe my broken faith
And repossesse a loyal matrones praise
Tis ne'ere to late to tread on vertues paths
And who repentes is all most innocent
Ægist: ffrom whence proceedes these foolish passions
How can'st thou hope thy husband can thee loue
Whome thoughe their wear noe other cause to feare
yet prosperous fortune maketh arrogant
In hawty pride & proud disdainfullnes
He went to Troy how will he then returne
Puft up with glory of a victory|
Noe doubt, he thinkes the name of kinge to base,
And soares aloft in cruell tyrannie.
Behold how many concubines ar brought,
Whome he with pretious iewells will adorne,
To feede his wanton eye & please his lust,
In foule disgrace of loathed Tyndaris?
Cassandra shall haue all thinges at her will,
And be commaundresse of the Mycene dames:
Such grace she findeth in his lustfull eyes,
In fowle disgrace of loathed Tyndaris.
And shall a straunger then possesse the crowne,
And shall the daughter of the highest Iove,
Be soe contemn'd by her disloyall kinge?
And can'st thou then putt vp this iniurie,
And not revenge soe great disloyalty?
Or can their be a greater losse then this,
To be disgraced by a concubine?
Thou art a queene, I know can'st not brooke
To haue a fellowe of thy diademe:
Much lesse to haue a fellowe of thy bedd.
Cly: Alas why should'st thou haue thus me headlong driue,
Why should'st thou kindle those same flames of rage,
Which longe agoe I haue extinguished?
What if my husband being conquerour,
Doeth somewhat fansie Phrygias louely dames?
I never should as wife be discontent,
Nor yet as mistresse burne in wrathfull ire.
for these who sitt vppon a royal throane,
Must not be vsed as the baser sort.
Great places such small faults doe mitigate,
Their pleasure is but complement of state,
Besides I call to minde mine owne offence,
And then I cannot chuse but pardon him.
Ægist ffor he must pardon, who will pardon haue.|
Ægist: Tis true indeed.
But as it seemes you know not tyrantes vse,
Vpright in vs, but partiall in them selues.
Who thinke their power is never at the full,
Till they may doe, what other may not thinke.
They sway vs with oppression still encreasinge,
Least we should deeme their power by their seasinge.
And will you then trust to his clemencie?
Cly: I must Ægistus, duty bids me soe.
My guilty conscience dayly threatens me:
And in my nightly rest vnquiett dreames
Of my offence torment my troubled minde.
Ægist: Tush followe my advise, & make away:
The author of thy feare: & then noe doubt
Thou never shall be vex'd with foolish dreames.
Cly: Ah, ah, Ægistus: sunne hath made thee blind:
Thou can'st not see the sword that threatens thee
Ægist: Will Agamemnon, fight when he is dead?
Cly: Noe but his sonne.
Ægist: His sonne shall die with him.
Cly: If he be dead his daughter will revenge.
Ægist: She shalbe kept in prison close enoughe.
Cly: What then?
Ægist: Then will we revell in our iolity
And feast & banquett without controule.
And you, sweet queene, & I, sweet queen secure
And you, & I sweete queen, shall liue in loue,
Embrace her.
Clyt: Soe may we two if Agamemnon liue.
Ægist: But still his life now cause of feare doeth giue.
Clyt: But none but trustie servantes shall I spie it.
Ægist: Trust in a court: I vtterly deny it.
Cly: But I will buy their secrecie with gowld.
Ægist: That's worst of all, such faith soe bought soe sould.
Come, come my deare, this is but womans vse,
To feare, whear is noe cause to feare at all.|
Let it suffise Aegistus loveth thee,
when Agamemnon hath disloyall bin
If he be dead, then shalt thou happie be,
And I enioy what I soe longe desir'd. Aegist. Cume not away sweet love but looke on him
who loveth thee more dearely then his life
Beauteous queene, beauties whole commendation;
Trust your experience, and mistrust your passion
You know Aegistus worships and admires
That heaven of your face, those starry fires.
ffrom thence one favour of your lookes impart,
Be it but to your image in my parte,
Not to my selfe alas vnworthie eye
Although my former favour in your sight
Saies you must love me, if you iudge arright
Cly: The moderation of my former minde
is now return'd your talke is all in vaine
your filed speeches and flatteringe eloquence,
shall not perswade mee chaunge my mind againe
for why should I that am the princely wife
Of faire Micenes noble emperour <.>
favour see base exild adulterers
Ægis: And why should I Thyestes noble sonne
More baser then the sonne of Atreus seeme?
Cly: Tweare best your say you are his nephew to.
Ægis: I am and of my birth will never be asham'd
for by the will of Phæbus I was borne.
Cly: And calst thou Phæbus author of thy birth
who when he saw thy fathers villanie
vailed his shining face with duskie cloudes?
why wouldes thou have the gods partake thy shame
Base borne Ægistus by vnlawfull lust
Begon I say this is noe place for thee
But for my loving husband and my kinge
Ægis: I goe for exile is not straunge to me
And if thou bid o queene and dearest deare,
I will not only ‸⸤in to exile goe⸥ He drawes his dagger.
But send this soule of mine to banishment
That hath procur'd my deare queenes discontent.
Cly: Nay I delight not in Ægistus bloud
But come with me and let vs counsaile take
what meanes is best to prosper our successe|
Both speakes secretly in one an others eare.
Doe soe: keepe counsaile, leave me to my selfe
Ægis: The dearest dropp of bloud within my hart
I vow to keepe noe saffer I depart|
Chor: 1 ffor want of contradiction
guiltlesse Aeropa dyes
for silence may be taken for conviction,
when accusation eloquently lyes,
nor guiltlesnes denyes
yet are the heavens iust
That punished her thus
she dyes a death deserved of her lust,
the end is iust, and of the meanes to vs
belonges not to discusse
The baudnes and the treason
Her practises and vse,
makes vs to fly to heaven for a reason,
when earth cannot soe bad a life excuse,
wheron this death ensues.
ffor causes soe may runne
Linckt in a secret chaine,
that iustice may be most iniustly donne
and soe wee need not Atreus deedes maintayne,
though she were iustly slaine.
Though heaven worketh all
yett is it soe forgott,
that we regard it, when effects soe fall,
that will noe other reason can allott,
else we regard it not.
Chor: 2 The maid that tooke her crime to be soe haynous
for strangling of Aeropa though vnwilling,
did kill her self to cleare her conscience,
and soe repenting dubled her offence.
As though when faults by ignorance doe staine vs,
nothing could wash our hartes but bloud and killing.
But Clytemnestra makes her fault soe light,
that she forgetts it entring to a greater
as greater fires doe compasse in a lesser;
Aegisthus loue soe whoely doth possesse her.
though she denyes him faintly at first sight,
yet ther by she intreates him to intreate her
Though Clytemnestra mentioneth the perills
And shame that by this love may well ensue;
yet all that to Aegisthus she imputed
are doubts that she doth put to have refuted.
This is but childish play, young Cupids quarrells,
Hoping to have the game begunne a newe.
Cho: 3 If you would soundly of a thing devise,
Seeke not there counsaile, whome to much beholding
necessitie to fitt your humour tyes.
for with them to discourse
make you resolve the worse.
ffor Clytemnestra can be nothing bettred,
Her purposes vnto her nurse vnfoulding
whose tongue with flattery benefitts have fettred.
for erring she may curse
conferring with her nurse.|
Cho. 4. nay that old cunning dance
beares her in hand it may be hidden
Hope of escape from shame
the open way to things forbidden
And her encouragement
encreceseth Clytemnestraes passion;
A sceme that doth consent
passeth all devills in temptation
Those speeches of the nurse
ten thousand ‸⸢tymes⸣ the more provoke her;
whoe could desire a worse
if hell it self would have a broker!
He that would make a whole
forrest of greenest timber burne,
lest him but take one roade
that hath binne fyrd, twill serue the turne.
Soe these old scorched queanes
that ar dead coales of Cupids fire,
Onely do serve for meanes,
in youth to kindle hott desire.
Cho: 5 And soe Aegisthus tricke
vs'd to procure his
his mistres love
to dy, or to be sicke
ar wayes most sure
soft harts to move.
They that noe kindnes have,
but can for sake
a loving freind
from dying will him save
pittie will make
proud love descend
Yett this odd iest, to dye,
that every lover
⸢°learnes°⸣ loves to faine
is but a way to trie
there power over
minds where they d<.>e raigne.
He kill himself, base coward!
each blast of wind
will make him tremble:
he findes by being froward
the Queene her mind
cannot dissemble
Though Clytemnestra care not
for feare beseeme
to him vnkinde:
yet he should dye and spare not,
were but the Queene
half of my mind.
What is this loving life
and what else are
dayes spent in passion,
but an agreeing strife?
negligent care
blind observation.|
Actus 2dus: Scena 1a
Enter Clytemnestra with a wrought shirt
Clyt: I long to end this overtedious worke
wherin my nedle like Achilles speare
serves out the time of Troyes prolonged wares
All this for Agamemnon, all for him
that scorneth me & every messenger
brings noe newes else but some new love of his
Briseis or Chryseis, such varietie
that he can change his love with every letter
and for his change hazard ten thousand lives
Advantage Troy & disadvantage Greece
wrong mightye captaynes & defame his crowne
All this for others but for Clytemnestra
He doeth disdayne to hasten his returne
O that this shirt with Hydraes venome were
besprinckled, or with Nessus fatall bloud
but Agamemnons bloud may prove as good
And if Ægisthus keepe his word, it may
but whoe comes heere! ist not Euribates?
Scena 2<.>a
Enter Euribates he kneleth
Yee mightie gods controulers of this place
whoe have me safelye brought agayne to Greece
after soe many labours of the warre
and passed dangers of the swelling seas
wherin soe many Greekish shipps distrest
are either dasht agaynst ye craggy rocks
or scattered & drove an other way
toe see my long expected country soyle
your sacred & eternall deities
with prayse & thanks Euribates adores
Men of Mycenae pay the gods your vowes
and one their altars burne your sacrifice
your soveraigne lord returnes with victorye
Turning aside & speaking to hir selfe
Cly: Vnhappy news that makes my hart to tremble
O lives he then it behoveth me to dissemble
She commeth towards him
What happy news is this mine eares doe heare||
Eurybates the messinger of ioy,
And only comfort of my carfull minde?
Wher is that longe expected conquerour
My lovinge husband & my Soveraigne?
Eury: Safely return'd with glory & renowne,
He hither marcheth with his followers.
Clytem: Then lett vs sacrifice vnto the godes,
And giue them thankes for this his safe returne.
But where is Menelaus, is he come?
Whear is my lovinge sister Hellena?
Eury: The mighty godes I hope will favour vs
As for to tell you any certainty
The doubtfull perills of the daungerous sea
Are such, as I cannot assure them life.
ffor when we first had lantch'd into the deepe,
One shipp could not behold the other sailes,
yea Agamemnon to in mid'st of seas,
Tossed by stormes of the tempestuous windes,
Was more afflicted, then he was at Troy:
And now returnes as he wear conquered,
Bringinge a few sea beaten ships with him
To her self
Clytem: As he wear conquered? ô that he truly weare
Conquered & dead! then I wear freed of feare.
O that my self an amazon had him,
Troy in his death my valure should haue seene.
Then turninge to Eurybates
Tell me the meanes by which you lost the rest.
Eury: Why should I tell you such a dismall tale,
Spillinge your mirth with this vnhappy newse?
My minde, alas, opprest with sodaine greife,
Will not permitt me <.> tell what you require.
Cly: Nay tell: my minde to miserie prepar'd
Cares not heare the vtmost of your harmes.
Eury: When Greekes had burnt the statly towne of Troy.|
And all our forces were returning home,
They loaded all the ships with Troian spoiles,
And layinge by ther weapons, tooke their oares,
And still they thought their labours were but small
ffor when they heard the brasen trumpetes sound,
One ship amounge the rest with guilded beacke,
Doeth leade the way, the rest doe after ride,
A thousand shipps repleat with gladsome ioy:
The sailes with prosperous gales of wind doe strout,
And mileder Zephirus begins to blowe,
And on the quiett seas doeth saftly play
Then might you soe with ioy & merry cheare,
Each one to looke vppon the shoares of Troy,
Remembringe not the greifes & sorrowes past
This while the marriners the oares doe plie,
But when a stronger wind began to rise,
Their ores they lay a side, & take their rest
Some lyinge downe vpon the deckes, doe marke
How swifte their shipps doe glide from of the Land
Others begin <.> recount their finish warr,
Tellinge of noble Hectors valiauntnes,
And of his shamfull death, & Priams Pr fall,
Whose gory bloud the sacred altars died
Then round about the ships the Dolphins play
And tread Lavolto in delightsome sort.
By this the land was taken out of sight,
And naught was seene but Neptunes raging seas
Vnlesse it weare the smoke of burninge Troy;
Now Titan had vnlos'd his wearie steedes,
And glorious Phebe in her pride appear'd
Amidst the glitteringe troupe of twinklinge starrs
When as we see a little cloud arise,
That dim'd the light of the departinge sunne,
The windes are hush, & leaue to fill our sailes|
And then againe to murmur doe beginn;
Amoungst the craggy rockes & desert hills:
And straite the quiett seas begin to swell,
And lowest seas with highest heavens doe meete
Clyt: Alas my mind presageth some mishapp.
Eury: The waters roare, the skie with thunder crackes
The windes doe fight the waues ar tost on highe,
Soe who soe should in yat great storme have bin,
He would haue thought the verie heavens haue fallen,
And mighty godes descended to the earth,
And all thinges should againe a Chaos be.
Cly: Now out alas, in what did Greekes offend?
That they should leave soe soone to favor them?
Eury: The tide withstandes the wind, the winde the tide
Repells, the sea it self scarce can conteine,
The raine & waues a mixture make & meete
No yet, alas, may they this vengance soe:
ffor darksome night doth blind their watery eyes.
yet light they haue & lightninge is that light,
Such light, as tis, tis wish'd for by yat crewe,
What lightninge had wee there distressed wights,
Wher lightninge was our day tempestes our nights?
Clyt: Now out alas.
Eury: One shipp the other, ones, <.>ribbs an others ribbs,
One beake an others dasht, & of this fleete
This shipp the seas most greedily devoures,
And cast it vp: yat sinkes an other spoil'd
Of sailes, of oares, & other instrumentes,
Hither & thither is droven vp & downe,
Tilted & tossed through the Ionian sea
Then counsell of the wise could not prevaile
But every good advise by feare was hind'red.
The only healp yat to vs did remaine,
Was for to pray ye godes to pitty vs.|
Then both the Troians & the Grecians
were ioyn'd in prayer & all with one consent
Made supplications for their safe returne
Poore Troians that in this necessity
Beg'd for themselues a safe captivitie.
Clyt: And were the seas more calme then before?
Eury: Ah no: their prayers nothinge could prevaile,
ffor still the rage of tempest did encrease,
Then who did not the dead as blessed court,
Who did their life in actes & honour end
We shall quoth they vnknowne in seas be drown'd
And then againe with handes lift vp an highe
Each one began to say ô mighty godes
If any pittie or calamitie,
Lett vs not perish in our miserie.
If you the Grecians hate yet haue respect
Vnto the Troians our companions.
Both we are they together are distrest
Noe more they say, the waters flowe soe fast.
Cly: Did not the tempest then begin to cease?
Eury: Noe, noe: they nothinge could at all prevaile,
Soe great a tempest yet was never seene.
Cly: What god was angry with the Græcians?
Eury: We saw whear angry Pallace threatninge stoode,
Arm'd with the lightninge of her father Iove,
And what with speare, or sheild, or Gorgons head,
Or fathers thunderboltes she could performe,
She did performe it to her vttermost power.
Here Aiax with great magnanimity
Not caringe how the tempest could him hurt,
With all his power sought to saue his shipp,
And as he would haue pulled downe his sailes,
Pallas at him a thunderbolt did throwe
Which beinge scap'd she did an other take,|
And threwe at him with thrise redoubled force,
which both throughe him & throughe the shipp did glide.
Cly: What then became of this renowned knight?
Eury: Burnt with the fier of those flaminge dartes,
He like a rocke in midst of seas did stand,
And cutt the waues, & overcame the seas,
Vntill vnto a rocke he did approche
Where takinge hold, he lowdly gan to crie,
And thought the seas, & fier, & Pallas wroth
Could not prevaile to doe him any hurt
Shall I quoth he whome netheir Hectors force
Nor Mars, nor Phebus, ever yet could quell,
Now feare the threatninge of a womans hand?
With yat did Neptune overthrowe the rocke,
And Aiax fell againe into the deepe
And conquered by sea & fier did dye.
Cly: What their betided to the other shipps?
Eury: Over against the straites of Hellespont,
Ther standes on highe highe hill, Caphareus highe,
Environed with many craggy rockes,
To this the sire of Palamedes came,
And on the top of burninge fier did make,
And brought our shipps vnto that hatfull place,
Whear all of them almost are perished
And wheather Menelaus & his Helena
Be safely scaped from these daungerous stormes,
I may not tell you of a certainty
Cly: Shall I with greife this lucklesse losse bewaile,
Or shall I ioy my husband is return'd?
I doe reioyce, yet doe I greatly greiue,
ffor this my lovinge countries bad successe.
She kneeleth
Now highest Iove vouchsafe to heare my plaintes.|
Lett not the powers of heaven in wrothfull ire
Worke the destruction of the Grecians.
ffor this an hundred oxen shalbe slaine,
And all with prayses shall adorne thy name,
But here behold the captiue Ladies come,
Which Agamemnon brought from Phrigia.
Enter the captiue Ladies of Troy:
Cassandra, Iphionysa, Melissa,
Cariclia, Niobea, Artemesia,
Iphio: Crost from aboue, out cast of destinies,
Borne to some state, yat I might be deiected,
Wearied with numbringe of my miseries,
I sue to death & am of death neglected
Shall I not thinke this yat I am vnbless'd,
Cursed, vnworthy, & vnfortunate,
When life & death denies me my request?
I hate my self, whom life & death doeth hate
O that my bloud weare turned all to teares,
That outwardly I might consume with weeping
Sorrowe vnseene vnpittied inward teares,
And strangleth vp my soule with narrowe keepinge
Husband & children, frindes & country lost:
I must serue straungers lust yat greiues me most
yea Ladies, yee that sleeepe secure in ioy,
Weepe, but to thinke, yat once ther was a Troy
Melissa. Good godes how sweete a thing it is to liue,
And yet in life how many miseries?
Which better wear't to die, & end our paines:
Death is the haven of our security,
Where from the stormes of life we safely rest,
And neede not feare for fortunes cruell spight|
Nor cruell rage nor victors haughtie pride
Happie toe happie they that in Troy died
O foolish life that loves to be soe longe
To have more roome and tyme to suffer wronge
Caricli: Though seas and angrie windes and stormes are past
And clattering armes doe make a dreadfull sound
And dreadfull fire doth burne the cittie walles
Death only feares death only is secure
who then to dye and end his wreched life
desires with courage and securitie
He only lives like the immortall gods
O wreched he that knowes not how to dye
Conquest is ill tis ill to be a thrall
Or of to know how to dye is worse then all
Phlop And was it enought that fame should spread
And noise through all the world our wrechednes
And fill the penns and bookes of future tymes
with longe recitall of our overthrowes
But must we thus poore captives seely soules
serve to make vp a triumphes furniture
And be reserv'd as pleasant spectacles
To glut the eyes of these Mycene dames
O greife of greifes greater then to beholde
The smoakinge towers of Troy in cinders rowld
Come Agamemnon with thy cruell troupe
Come Græcians all, & let this my bloud seale
The fearefull ruine of Troyes common weale
Read in my face whole volumes of dispaires,
And perfet Illiades of our endlesse cares
See how the frost of woe congeales my teares
And winter snowes vppon my goulden heires
Come see the picture which your selves have trimbd
it may be in my face your owne is lim'd
Niobæ: Most wreched we and most vnhappie troupe
who livd soe longe to these calamities
shall any tyme deminish these our woes
Or shall wee never thee o Troy forget
O, noe though lethe were our vsuall drinke
And nothing els but lotes were our foode
Nature did wronge to give vs memorie
A nest wher in buildes naught but miserie
Tell Nurce tell that sad and dismall tale|
Semeleia: Shall ne'ere this Ocean of our cares find shoare?
must still new stormes rowle on vs more and more?
shall ne'er these dayly accentes make an end,
which from our hartes such woefull times doe send?
Did ever any seay attend more duly
vppon the course of his pale soveraigne
Or pay the impost of his floudes more truly
Then you vnto calamitie have done?
The smoake yat doth from our affection rise,
How cannot it not dissolve even flinty eyes
Arteme: wee saw o Troy o wreched wee that saw
And could not helpe of most vnfortunate
The towers builded by the gods them selves
In burninge flames o Troy for this thy hap
wee never shall restraine our mournefull teares
But allwayes weepe aie me, ah wreched I
my hart doth breake to tell our miserie
And why should I recount their trecherie
Those walles which all the proudest of all our foes
Could never conquer by ther mightie force
And by the treason of one balefull night
Brought vnto ruin and destruction
who can for greife there trecheries recite
Alas my speech with suddaine feare is stopt
And trembling horrour of that dolefull night
forbids me to expresse my former greife
Iphiass: But I who in my plaintes doe take delight
And love to thinke vppon my miseries
will straight vnfold an Illias of woes
I will not tell how many men are slaine
How many widdowes for ther husband weepe
how many parentes for there children mourne
Noe Hectors death noe slaughtered Troylus
But I that night that thrise vnhappie night
will heer descyfer in my mournefull plaintes
when we beleeving Sinons fained wordes
receavd the engine of calamitie
That fatall horse the ruin of our walles
Wherin soe many armed men inclose
Brought vs that night vnto these miseries
Ah miserable and vnhappie wightes||
Philop: yea heaven hath sworne we must be miserable
heaven O heavens what could you indure
so long so pitteous lamentations
could you withhold whole showers of streaminge teares
sweet sisters, sisters now in miserie
who lately reveled in iolitie
Alas alas that we should liue to bee
δ.δ.δ. else but scraps of a proude victorie
Damal: Is this their laurell and their triumphs prise
to treade vs downe with foot of high disdaine
can nothing but the teares of withered eyes
their scepter & their glorious pompe maintaine
come death my last resort my last desire
my author & the haven of my retire
when miserie hath done her vtmost spight
yet thou quit'st all with love peace & delight
Ô Troy (yet not nowe Troy) let me forget
φ.φ.φ. that e're there was an Ilium in Troy sett
Semel: ffarwell farwell thou Aprill of my youth
whose fewe & short showers on my tender green
makes me nowe plung'd in miserie & ruthe
lament the time that thou hast ever been
alas that this December I should see
& in this winters could thus frozen bee
time nowe for me surcharg'd with yrksome yeares
to bend these wrinckles to my longest home
& beg of death a pasport for my feares
& never thincke of Troy or Troians doome
O that I might steale somway from my greife
& to mine owne distresse become a theefe|
Alas, for greife I fainte to thinke of it.
When spitefull fortune doeth intend by treason
To conquor vs, she conquours first our reason.
Caci: O how Astyanax with all his feares
About this horse did play as does ‸⸢the⸣ gnattes
About the brightnes of a flaminge torche;
How did each age & each degree reioyce
yet, out alas, they were in midst of woes:
O woes vnseene & harmes inevitable:
But heaven had sworne we must be miserable.
Nio: The matrons pay their vowes vnto the godes
And aged men vnto the altars goe,
With sacrifice, & what was never seene
But then, since noble Hectors death
Old Heccuba did much ther at reioyce:
All ioy'd, all laugh'd, & all were blith & iolly:
X.X.X. ffortune look'd on & laugh'd to at her folly δ.δ.δ.
Arte: But why should we lament our countryes losse.
By burninge of her temples or her townes?
A greater cause of lamentation
Bids vs to weepe & waile our miseries.
We sawe we saw the aged Priam slaine,
Who dy'd the altars with his purple bloud.
φ.φ.φ. O mourne wee Troians this calamitie.
Cassan Restraine from teares you mournefull dames of Troy,
And if you mourne, mourne for your proper harmes:
Iphio: Tis our delight to mourne with those yat mourne,
And greater will these sorrowes seeme to be,
Which we with secret mourninge celebrate.
Therfore we weepe, & never make an end
Because our sorrowes are indurable.
The hart the lesser part within vs beares,
When part breakes foorth in word & part in teares|
Melissa And thoughe, good Lady, you dissolue in teares
As Cyone was once a fountaine made,
yet could you not sufficiently bewaile
So great an heape of our calamities.
Not Philomela with her mournefull notes
When she the cruell death of Iphis tells:
Nor Progne when she tells her husbandes lustes,
And wailes her healplesse lott in mariage
May with ther plaintes sufficiently bewaile
The thrise vnhappy Troians miseries
Thoughe that the swan should tune her dyinge voice
And warble forth a lay of wretchednes,
Or sad Altione ‸⸢should morne⸣ her Ceyx death,
yet could not all their lamentations
Conteine ô queene, our great vnhappines,
Had I a new hart every day to break
yet all these hartes all new ar ⸢were⸣‸ all to orvreache
Cari: But why doeth my good Lady, teare her haire,
Rather then call vppon the immortall godes
To healp vs in this our calamity?
Cassan: Our miseries ar such we neede not feare:
Nor haue a care for to appease the godes:
ffor they would I know they cannot hurt.
The cheifest comfortes of my life ar gon,:
My dearest country spoil'd by enimies,
My father & my sisters all ar slain'd,
My brothers all by warr are perished.
Cosens I had, but most vnhappie I
who had & haue not, aye me out alas
Vnhappy mother who thy childrenn sau'd
And husband slain'd; but most vnhappy I
Who liu'd to see both their vnhappy deaths,
And thee ô wretched mother & vnfortunate|
Turn'd to the hatefull shape of howlinge dog.
Only Cassandra shape to her remaines,
A shape most fitt for wretchednes & paines
Now but alas, aye me, ay me,:
And cruell fortune now hath done her worst.
Nio: See how her countenance begins to chaunge.
See how her goulden haire begins to stand,
These vncoothe passions surely signifie
Shee with some heavenly furie is enrag'd.
Cassan: Wheather am I carried whether shall I goe?
Phebus depart the Troians all ar slain'd.
Where am I wher's the light the skie is darke
Two sunnes appeare I see the Phrigian woodes.
I heare them call Cassandra wher ar you.?
ffather I come I come ô Hector peace,
Peace Troyilus, I come, I come, I come;
She falls downe.
Arte: Behold the furie of it self is gon,
And she is fallen as doeth a sacrifice;
Before the altars of the victours handes.
But here comes Agamemnon with his traine
Actus 4 Scæna:
Enter Agamemnon, Euribates, Megasthines,
Tolttribus & the rest of his traine in
triumphant Solemnity the trumpettes
soundinge the drumme & flute &
the peeces discharged./
Agam: Throughe many daungers both on sea & land, And all the stormes, that windes and foes could raise
ffrom tenn yeares erksome expectation,
And valiant Hectors oft prevention,
At lenght I safely to my country saile|
Returne a conquerour victorious.
O happy day thrise happy eyes, yat soe
This longe expected, publique iollity
This was I borne to Troyes great seige to raise,
And ioyne my country service with my praise
Megasthenes, thou often by the way
Did'st call to mind thy former services.
What solemne triumphes now will thou prepare?
Art thou not glad yat thou art fre'd from feare?
Meg: What feare a passion that my soule doeth scorne,
A passion that yet never durst approche,
The world subduinge spirit of Megasthene
Witnes those Troians squadrons yat retierd
Polron to polron troupinge vp in bloud:
Witnes those chariotes & Capharisons,
That fled the sight of this sword brandished:
Raysinge vp foggy cloudes of dust to heaven
Threatninge now Chaos vnto natures frame,
Or dreadfull darknes to the amazed skies,
And made the sunne, but not my self to feare.
I that ran forc'd those proud Battallians
Advauncinge me against their counterscalps
And daringe Troy to feede my hand with deathes,
Or stand my Martiall lookes: what need I feare
You wronge my prowesse, & great pusissantes
Eury: Pardon, deare soveraigne; for Megasthenes
Speakes nothinge, but Eurybates will proue it
I saw him havinge Troilus in chase,
Whome them by chaunce great Hector seconded;
Peirc'd thirty armors with his lance at once:|
And on that lance hang'd thirty carkasies:
And still he charged this lance & regarded
Their hunge a chariott wheele vppon the point,
And like a button dul'd it from transpersinge,
Which when he saw, he stuckt it in the ground:
Ther stoode it like a shipmast turrited:
Or like some stately (spitt well fraught with larkes)
Then drewe he forth his sword, & then he slew
Some with the lightninge, & somme with the winde,
That issued from it, as he brandisht it,
ffew with the blowes, till following Hector close,
Sterching his arme in heat of exequution,
This blow fell short, & gaue the earth a wound
That made her to the verie centur groane
But afterward this scarr soe festered
And grew soe large that simois breakinge in
ffor sooke his channell ioyned it to the sea,
And now it makes a bay soe deepe & wide,
ffiftie great shipps may ther at anchor ride:
And after this he tooke his battell axe,
And layinge load like Brontes on their helmes,
He mald them downe with supervacuous force,
And made one hellmat dash an others braynes.
All places are wher once Megasthenes stoode
Nothinge but bogges of braines, & seas of bloud.
Your maiestie remembers what was said:
you wronge him much to say, he was afraide
Talthi: Belieue it kinge, vewe but that personage,
That iustifies farr greater likely hoodes.
He is as talle a captaine of his handes,
As are the Cedar trees in Lybanus:
And as couragious as the sturdy oake:|
As skillfull as the ramme that batters walls,
And levells mighty rampeirs with the ground:
As wise, as is Ioves murd'ringe thunder bolte
ffor you Euribates are envious,
And speake with to much reservation.
Then good Megasthenes doe thy self advaunce
And verifie all with thy countenance.
Megast. Iest on my Lordes: your cedars, oakes, & rammes
And bogges, & seas, & speares, & thunder boltes,
They cannot daunt my magmanimitie:
I that haue walk'd with presence vndismaid,
In face of Troy before their catapults,
And rescued kinges, & mighty governours,
And scorned life, as life doeth scorne this dust,
And never was soe thick environed;
But wisht for more, that throughe more carkasies.
My horse might learne to take the deeper trott,
Dyinge his pasternes with vermillion,
And move my spirites with a proud careere:
I in the tenth yeare when that Troy was sackt,
When bullwarckes fell to ground before my face,
And towers did obeysians to my lookes,
Base slaues like you intended ..pilages,
I par'd the streetes with complett armed men
But that the rest might bare some part with me,
And military discipline might learne
These ten yeares warrs had bene a dayes dispach
My wrath & vallor not yet full allaid,
Incens'd by sight of those base scrapps of Troy,
These captiues, as you terme them, creatures
Mine eyes could not conteine their/threatninge wayste,
But with their beames did sett the sailes on fier|
My feete earth quakes, my breath did tempestes move,
And when I did encounter Boreas blast,
Then did the starbord & the larbord drinke
Thir full carouse of Neptunes troubled floudes,
And whirlewindes carried some vnto the skies:
The sayles were louward & the rudder fast,
In fludes of my disdaine the shipp did hull
These daungers were my courage minstrallcye
Then I fear'd none, all fear'd Megasthenes.
And askes the kinge whither I doe reioyce,
ffor peevish pulinge feares deliverance?
Agam: Noe good Megasthene, I am satisfied
Only lett vs be thus beholdinge vnto you,
That with your wroth you cunjur not this ayer,
And with your speeches rais'd not Troy in Greece,
That makes these captiue dames a fresh to mourne,
Thinkinge they see that fier, those streames of bloud,
Those heapes of courses, that you mention.
But you faire Ladies, be you not dismaid,
I'le vndertake to please Megasthenes.
Leaue of to mourne, this day is festifall.
Cassan: Soe were the dayes of Troy before her fall.
Soe were the dayes of Troys prosperity.
Agam: Lett vs vnto the sacred altars goe.
Cassan: My father was before the altars slaine.
Agam: Lett vs togither pray to Iupiter.
Cassan: Shall I to Iupiter her Hirceus pray?
Agam: Thinkst then, thou doest thy country Troy beholde?
Cassan: yea good sirr, & that Priamus the old.
Agam: Here is noe Troy Cassandra thou art madd.
Cassan: Wher Hellen is, their Troy will soone behadd
Agam: Be not afraide thoughe thou a servant be|
Cassan: I neede not feare I am neare liberty
Agam: Liue thou secure. Cass: death is security
Agam: Thou needst not feare. Cass: but Agamemnon must
Agam: What neede he feare who is a conquerour?
Cassan: The thinge he thinkes he little needes to feare
Agam: Well, well, Cassandra now I doe perceaue
Thou with thy wonted furie art enrag'd
I must goe on & pay the godes my vowes
I promis'd if I ever should returne
He kneeles at the altar.
you mighty power great patrons of the Greekes
Who safely haue me to my country brought
ffrom ten yeares warr with happy victorie
And fre'd from daungers of tempestuous stormes.
All praise be yealded to your maiestie.
An hundred oxen, as you I promised,
Shall straight be <..> on your sacred altars slaine,
And all your temples small with frankencense.
Graunt ô ye powers soe to defend vs still,
As you from daungers of this war preseru'd,
That Græcians may your hallowed names adore
Agamemnon riseth from the altar
Now haue I done our duty to the godes:
What doeth Megasthenes of our triumphe thinke.
ffor I referr me much to your advise.
Megast: Then lett the king triumphing marche before,
Mounted on shoulders of the captiue men,
ffower rankes of them built like Pyramides:
Each Pyramis must thus of men berear'd
ffower at the foote & two vppon their neck
And one vppon the shoulders of those too
Each Pyramis of men must thus be rear'd
fower at the foote & two vpon the necke
& one vpon the shoulders of these two
then let those fower that be vppermost
in every rancke their shoulders ioind together
& on those foure mens neckes his grace shall ride
I'le followe after in a coach most riche.
these Troian Iennetes they shall drawe my coach
such Ladyes will make coach mares for the turne
Blush not sweet beauties I shall honer you
to ioyne in triumphe with Megasthenes.
Then marching forward with most royall port
through Chrysopagus, & the market place
the sides of howses being beaten downe
that all Mycenaes dames may see our pompe
& cry with sweete confused voyces
Braue Agamemnon braue Megasthenes.
the rest shall followe with their pillages
such as their base mindes stoop'd to take at Troy
Then let vs be received solemnly
at Pritaneum & Delphinium
with entertainment of orations
& by our sides shall goe °Xανηφροι°
& ° ορζεωνες ° & °Pylagoræ°
for they make vp a triumphs furniture
thus marching through Mycenæs cheifest streetes
to Callipirgus tower we will repaire
where are the kinges of greece enthronized
Erecting there our Tropheis to the godes
Concludinge all with vowes & sacrifice
we will proclaime a feast for seaven dayes
and make a generall iayle deliverie
and making all the conduites streame with wine
these seven dayes mycenæ shall reioyce
and swallowe nothing vp but pleasantnes
Agamem: Bravely resolved brave Megasthenes
Assure your selfe that I will thincke of it.
Exit Agamemnon cum satellitibus
Cassandra stayeth but speaketh not till
Atreus be slaine|
Enter Atreus Ægysthus secretly following behind
him with a naked sword.
Atreus: I that did never thancke a greater power
for benefites received then mine owne
will nowe for fashions sake goe thancke the godes
that Agamemnon is as good as they
& Agamemnons father best of all
Ægyst: well I must moderate your superlatiues
Atr: I that haue lin'd to chaung the course of heaven
to play with nature in Thyestes feast
to breake vp hell raising Thyestes ghost
will giue some thanckes to nature heaven & hell
& wish them to continue their obedience
Ægyst: And I wish you continuance of that minde
Shaking his sword.
ffor her's Thyestes vengeance comes behinde
Atr: what shall I offer?
Ægyst: The bloud you least suspect
Atr: These flowers?
Ægyst: Those altars must be better deck'd
that withered head becomes those altars better
He kneeles.
Atr: I'le pay my vowes.
Ægyst: you are an heavie debter
Atr: Gods if you be.
Ægyst: That quicklie you shall see
Atr: I must be breife.
Ægyst: Ile make vp your beliefe He stabs him.
Goe; such another tricke were worth a crowne
the roote is dead the branches must goe downe
Well, lye you there your sonne shall after
or else I am deceived by your daughter.
He tumbles him behinde the altar|
Cassan: nowe will the gods revenge the Troian blood
& he that conquered Troy shall nowe be slaine
for of his life this is the period
amidst the ioye of solemne banquettinge
when all, their mindes by wine from care are freede
& sorrowes of the warr are quite forgott
the mycene Lord adorn'd with captiue spoiles
lyenge secure vpon a purple bed
shall by the hands of his disloyall spouse
& by Thyestes wicked sonne be slaine
Then stately Troy againe thy turretes raise
& shine in glory as thou did'st before
& though all consolation many daies
hath been a stranger to Cassandraes hart
admit it yet Cassandra for this once
first veiwing Agamemnon & his death
& then the life of all his auncestours
downward from Iove (whom reverence exceptes)
a whole inheritance of villaines
who knows Tantalus that heares of hell
for hell it selfe is knowne by Tantalus
Of Pelops he made a conceited dish
to entertaine the godes with mockerie
Pelops restor'd to life had been noe sonne
had he not profeited what they begunne
besides conspiring Oenomaus death
by help of his false servant Myrtylus
he takes this fellowe in this tretcherie
& drowneth him for aggratuitie
the best is this if this his rate denie it
yet the myrtoan sea, will testifie it
besides all this two sonnes he left behinde him
wherof the one the others bed defiled
the other feasted him with his two sonnes
Thyestes to receave his monstrous feast
lyes with his daughter as Apollo badd him
& of his daughter is Ægysthus sprunge
that must mak Troy amendes for all their wrongs
& least he should come rawly to the act
he lately learn'd a prettie introduction
for he hath cut Atreus his vncles throate,
whereof small speach is made & fewe offended
his fathers iust revenge being pretended
the gods that love not Troy doe love them lesse
since greece is plagued with this wickednes.|
A curtaine opened by Euribates whence Agamemnon
lyes and rubs his eyes.
Agam: Euribates what time of day is it?
Eurib: ffar in the day my leige
Agam: An heavie dreame
hath held me long in darke perplexitie
me thought my body vaulted round about
neither mine armes had strength nor eyes had light
but as I look'd to smother vp my breath
in step'd two draggons female & a male
& stunge me to the hart but light of day
death & his brother sleepe hath chas'd away
ffetch me my shirt my queene prepar'd for me
that shirt the worke of my beloved queene
Eurib: She charg'd me to giue notice of the time
when it should please your maiestie to rise
she meant to come her self & bring that shirt
Agam: will her to come, & leave the chamber goe
perhapes she hath some secret speach with me.
Exit Euribates.
Agam: She fancies some of those faire captiue ladies
and means to haue them to attend on her.
Enter Clytemnestra and Ægysthus
Clyt: Stand there Ægystus when you heare me saie
I feare it is too straight then straite come you
Agam: Deare Clytemnestra sleepe I not too longe
but warres are past, & wearines breedes sleepe
Clyt: no, good my lord sleepe still if soe you please
you wrong your selfe thus to abridge your ease
Agam: Is that my shirt?
Clyt: yes, will you put it on?
Agam: yea. He takes it
Clyt: Giue me leave to help you in these camps
let Clytemnestra be your armoroure
I feare me tis too straight
In steps Ægysthus and stabs him
Ægyst: Tis wide enoughe: you need not mend it more
nowe ther's an hole there wanted one before
Clyt: Possesse your selfe Ægysthus of the crowne
Ile goe & cause this carcasse be conveid
to some odde place for anie's good inough|
Pelopidarum 2: Actus 2: scæna .8.
Chorus. 2 She blames her husbandees love of ⸢at⸣ Troye, & seemeth to be wronged
he blames his slowe returne which she did wish to be prolonged
This shewes yat causelesse iniurye is in it selfe ashamede
Some allegation must bee and somewhat must be blamed
but this dissemblinge ielosie preventinge iust complaintes
dothe hide the daylye luxurye of manye seeminge Saintes
3 Bravelye resolu'd Ægysthus yat thou hidest
his for whoes looks thou fearefullye abidest
least if those statelye eyes had thee espiede
thou which didst come toe kill him might have died
Butcherlye cowarde yat durst not beholde him
but first within thye shirt thou must enfolde him
& sca.se to touch him could thye hande endure
but that thye fearfull hart badd it worke sure
Mercye is founde in me of resolution
Cowards are bloodye in an execution
.1. Thinke you the Queene the lesse of shipps lamented
that was so discon‸⸢ten⸣ted vnderstandinge
of Agamemnons landinge yat prevented
Her meetings & her loves most free commaundinge
noe love regards her owne best contentation
A lover is vnto him selfe a nation
Alas the end hath toe toe well disclosede
How then she was disposed though constrayninge
a shewe of greife with faineinge words she glosed
Euribates with questions detayninge
Askinge good newes willinge to heare ye worst
That through her verye eyes her meaninge burst
And thus you see what statesmenn louers are
The least partakers of the common care
4 Megasthenes hadd much toe doe triumphes to bee preparede
Now all is dasht our kinge is kild provision ill spared
now now prowes wilbe light esteem'd men skilfull in ye warrs
that came from Troye finde noe rewarde but heavines ⸢Wearines⸣ & skarrs
The fruite of conquest all enioye but none rewardes ye paine
Of welldeservinge men at Arms when generalls arre slaine
Vnluckye warrs vnthankefull peace what quietness remains
when wares doth wast both wealth & strenght & peace doth yealde no gaines
Ægysthus spopt ⸢stopt⸣ the blasphemes
of Atreus floutinge at the skies
as in the rounde lists men delight
to looke on savage beastes that fight|
And that which first is torne asunder
Is but a beast and none doth wonder
to see a cruell death inflicted
on beastes to crueltye addicted
Soe none doth pittye Ætreus ende
Or this Ægysthus deede commende
these actions are noe miracles
both men and beastes are spectacles
both sport & this is all the odds
beasts vnto men men to the godds,
But as amonge those beastes the stronger
Liues but some fewe momentes the longer
out steps an armed Champion
yf in the meane space looked on
and he triumphes to kill the killer
Soe death the destinies fulfiller
beholder of mans wickednes
whilst one the other doth oppresse
Takes ayme vppon the longest strive.
and maks him but a short surviver
Ægysthus if this be thye lott
Tis hevens sport mislike it nott|
Enter lauclo Electra
Laucothea Electra Heliodor
Me yet a little to expresse my greife.
Now out alas, aye me, ô wretched F:
Laucho: Cease, cease thie teares, & leave thie bootles plaintes
those teares, those plaintes cannot recall againe
thie father, once beinge past the stigian lake:
Now with oute ceasinge thou consumst thie selfe,
with daylye weepinge; and vnfruitfull teares.
whye dost thou thus desire soe hard athinge
which by thye teares thou never canst obtane?
the dead arr not helpd by the livings paine
Elect: He is foolish, which forgettes his parentes deathe,
when they by treacherie are slaughtered.
the swallow doth accompanie my greife,
& toe my plaintes doth tune a dolefull note,
while she lamentes her tender Itis deathe.
Ô Niobe thought great afflictions
Opprest the minde by suddaine funeralles
yet will I allwayes count thou fortunate,
which still bewaylst thie childrens destinies.
⸢when nothinge else our sorrowes canne release,⸣
tis happines, toe weepe and never cease.
Heliod: This harme redownes not to your selfe alone:
yet your complaintes doe farre surpasse the rest
Iphionassa and Chrysosthenis
Ar not thus vexed with continuall greife:
yet Ægamemnon their father is slaine.
Elect: Theire patience is noe discharge toe mee;
Nor cannot stopp my lamentations:
I take not greife by immitation.
Heliod: Cheare vp selfe, Electra, courage take;
& thinke their is an heavenly power above,
which sees, & governes all thinges on the earthe.
cast all your care on that revenginge power,
Neither let sorrow breed impertience
Nor yet forgett these hatefull iniuries.
for tyme will easely chaunge vnto the best,
revenge doth come and growes vp with your brother.
And Pluto shall giue eare vnto your voyce,
and haue respect vnto your mournfull cries.|
Electr: Yea, but my life dothe hopeles passe awaye;
my strenght dothe faile, and I am spent with greife
Bereft of father and my dearest freindes.
I am a straunger in my fathers house:
a greater greife cannot be reckoned,
then for toe liue at home as banished.
Leucoth: Vnhappie was the newes of his returne,
But more vnhappie of his cruell deathe,
when in his chamber he was murdered.
love and deceyte were authors of this deed:
deceyte gaue counsell, love did execute,
And bothe concuringe made a dolefull ende.
Elec: O, that same daye beginner of my <.> woe!
O daye most hatefull toe Electraes hart!
O cruell night and dolefull banquettinge,
when he was slaine by those same bloody handes,
which traitorouslye haue overthrowen my state!
Then let somme god send grevious punishment
with speed vppon those cruell traitours heades,
Nor let them riott in securitye,
whose handes haue wrought such monstrous villanie
Heliod: Take heede, Electra, of these daungerous termes.
See how you haue encombored your selfe
and brought great mischeife on your propper heade
whilst in your wrath you breed such discontent,
and raisd these tumultes in your angrie minde:
their is noe strivinge with superiours.
Elec: I know yet well, but I am driven by wrathe;
And this exceedinge mischeife forcethe mee
yet shall noe feare of daunger staie my course
Till <..>wished death doth end my wretched life.
Of whome here after shall I counsell aske?
Who shall provide for my necessities?
Then you my freindes and my companions
Cease, cease to comfort me your wretched ladie
your comfortes cannot heale my maladie.
I cannot cease to shed these drierie teares.|
Heliod: Now I will leaue toe comfort your distresse,
and counsell you for love inforceth mee
Not toe add greif toe greife, and woe toe woe.
Electra: Cane there be anie meane in these complaintes?
Is any hart soe hard as adamant,
which can haue noe respect vnto the dead?
Lett such men keepe their honour for themselues,
I care not for their comendation:
Nor will I leaue toe wayle my fathers deathe;
though I might therby gaine a world of ioye;
for if his bodie be consumed toe dust
and naught remaine of that most royall prince
if that this deathe be vnreveng'd on them,
whose blood should paie iust vengeaunce for his deathe:
who will not saie that pietie is loste?
and shame is bannish'd quite out of the earthe?
Leuco: I came ô ladie hether for your sake,
as love and dutie bind my affections
but if my wordes doe seeme vniust toe you,
pardon, dear ladie Ile obey your will;
Elect: I am ashamde yoo lovelye dames of Greece,
Toe see my selfe soe farr opprest with greife,
As in your iudgment seemeth too too muche:
yet pardon me who am constraind toe mourne
for what honest maiden carefull of her name
would not lament to see her father slaine?
which greife, I see encreaseth daye by daie
for first my mother is mine enimie;
then in that house where I should bare the swaye
I see the traytours rulinge at their will
⸢and I myself am subiecte to theire will⸣
How doe you thinke I am tormented ther
when that I see Egisthus in the throwne
Cladd in the vestures of my roiall sire
bearinge yat scepter which my father held
and offer incense toe our countrie godes
before whoes sight my father he hathe slaine?|
And when he dothe defile my fathers bedd
with her, whome I canne scarse my mother call?
For she is ioyn'd with him in marriage
whose handes are guiltie of my fathers blood
And feareth not the furies angrie threates
But as triumphinge in her wickednes
Riottes that daye wherin he perished
with ioy and mirth and offeringe sacrifice
Then toe my secret chamber I make haste
where spent with greife and almost drowned with teares
I all alone forsake of the rest
(Much like the turtle which hath lost her mate)
Bewayle <.> yat feast wherin my father died
Yet dare I not with loud lamentinge voyce
Vtter my greife as wreches want toe doe
for she reviles me with reproachfull wordes
what minion thou whome godes and men doe hate
Ar you alone hurt by your fathers deathe
Weepe still and never finde and end of griefe
Thus she insults on my calamitye
But when she heares orestes is alive
Then she cries out like one of Bacchus preist
this thie <.> devise hath sent Orestes s hence
And secretly convayed him from my sight
But then shall feele deserved punishment
While she thus backs Eogisthus cometh in
Coward Eogisthus sinne of our house
who stiers her hate aginst my wretched head
But I which still expect Orestes helpe
Toe make an end of these my miseries
am spent almost with greife and miseries
ffor whiles Orestes growes my hope decays
Soe lovinge matrons I haue lost my selfe
and cleane forgott the worshipp of the godes|
Both which have happened by my daylye greife.
Leucothea: Peace saye no more I see Chrysothenis
your sister comminge hetherward apace
bringinge a gift to ofer to the dead
Enter Chryssothenis.//.
Chry: Sister, why wayle you thus in open sight?
what meane these ruefull outcryes, dayly mornings
these never ceasinge lamentations?
alas; I pittye these your passions:
I greeve to see your humorus affections:
nature that taught your eyes depression,
did never teach your hart deiection.
twas my sire that is slayne, as well as yours,
& in my vaines of Agamemnons blood,
Noe fewer dropps doe runne then doe in yours.
What must Electra onely, only shee
faythfull & deare vnto Orestes bee?
are your eyes only holye? what doe you
alone in perfect singularitie,
detest that bedd staynd with adulterye?
Noe, noe, I am as mindfull of his death,
I am as nearly to Orestes ioynd,
with faythfull bands of love & amitie,
as is Electra: & I hate that bedd,
defild with incest & adulterie
yet is it bootles to remember him
vnlesse by blood I could revenge his blood,
bootelesse it is to love Orestes dearly,
vnlesse I could recall him home agayne
and all in vayne that bedd I doe deteste,
vnlesse I could revenge the adulterers.
Oh had I power to execute in deede
but halfe that anger which mine heart conteynes?
(yet is not able to contayne it longe)
soone would I comfort Agamemnons ghost
soone would I bringe Orestes home againe
soone should they feele the rigour of my hate.
but since I cannot execute my wrath,
I must with patience still conceale my greife.|
Tis foolishnes to strive agaynst a streame,
for soe you may bee quickly overwhelmed:
& if you strive with your superiours,
your folly only shall be knowe to all,
but you oppressed suddaynly with thrale
then sister lett vs yeeld vnwillingly,
till good occasion bring deliverye.
Electra Tis wickednes toe doe that mothers will
and toe forgett your loving fathers care
these admonitions ar not of your owne
but such as you have learn'd of Tindaris
then choose you whether of the twoe to bee
either of wicked disposition
or els forgetfull of your dearest freinds.
you blam'd of late your smale abilitie
not able to performe what you intende
agaynst those filthy foule adulterers
yet will not you assist mee with your ayde
Nor helpe revenge my fathers cruelle deathe
thus fearfulnesse is ioyned to the rest
of all your faults & imperfections.
Then either teache me or else learne of mee
what I shall gaine by ceasinge my complaints
my life is poore but yet devoid of want
And by my care of Agamemnon dead
I stricke a terror toe ther tremblinge harts.
I will not leave my purposed intent
for all those benefits which you enioye
Take you your table fraught with daintie meats
A little with content shall me suffice.
I wlittle will not wishe my selfe soe fortunate
neither would you delight in this estate
if as a daughter you your father lov'd
now when you should desire to be cald
the loving daughter of a noble father
you shall be cald a wicked mothers child
doe, doe, & men will give you this renowne
you are your mothers daughter vp & downe
And soe your self seeme wicked to the worlde
while you betraie your father & your freinds./.|
Leucotho: Sweete ladie be not toe impatiente
your counsels both ar worthie to be kept
If each would harken vnto others words
Chryso: Thus shee requites my counsell & good will
with bitter hatred & reprochfull woords:
but tis not love of brawlinge makes speake,
but love of here for dangers eminent
are fallinge downe vpon Electraes head,
vnlesse shee soone leave to bewaile the dead.
Electra: Good sister tell me what that mischeife is
I willingly will beare what ere it bee
Chryso: I will not hide one iote in secresye
then thus it is: vnlesse you ende your plaints
& speedely forgett your fathers death
your whole abode shall be in dungeons darke
wher Phœbus shall not shine to ease your greife,
nor any man shall healpe you with releife
advise your selfe howe to escape ther hate
bee wise in time, least you repent to late
Electra: And have they thus decreed to punish mee?
Chryso: yea when Ægisthus is return'd againe.
Electra Then him come with speed. Chryss. what sayth Electra?
Electra: Why lett Ægisthus speedily returne
if they determine thus to handle mee.
Chryso: Why doe you wish your self such miserie?
Electra: that I may live farr from this companie.
Chrysso: Is then this life vnpleasant to your hart?
Elect an happie life noe doubt which here I lead
Chrysso: It might be happy if you wold be wise.
Electra: Move me not farther toe disloyaltie,
Chrysso: Naye I wold move you to obedience
Electra: Doe you obey my minde is other wise.
Chrysso: yet fall not headlonge through foolishnes
Electra: If need I must I willingly will fall
soe that my father be revendge with all.
Chrysso: I knowe my father will this sinne forgeve
Electra: yea soe say they that care not how they live
Chrys: you will not then consent herin with mee
Electra: Noe veryly it weare scarce honestie
Chryss Then leavinge you Ile doe my businesse|
Electra: But whether goe, whether beare you this?
Chrys: My mother sendeth me away in hast
to ofer this to Amagmemnons ghoahst.
Electra: What that? doth shee sende incense to his tombe
whome shee did hate above all mortall wights?
Chrys: I know your meaninge whome shee murdered.
Electra: who hath perswaded her toe doe this thinge?
Chrys: I thinke shee sawe some dreadfull visione.
Electra: Ô yea the gods of Agamemnons stocke
Heare, heare & healp vs & succeed our hope.
Chrys: What is the hope you ground vppon her feare?
Electra: first tell mee what her dreame & vision was
And after I will you what I hope.
Chrys: I know not well but somethinge I did heare
Electra: Tell me that some thinge for is often seene
fewe words have hurt & helped manie men
Chrys: Soe when by sleepe shee wold her cares expele,
great Agamemnon came to her by night
as when from Troy he earst return'd to Greece,
who took that scepter which he once possest,
but now Ægisthus the vsurper holds,
which when he fixed in the fertile earth,
it budded forth as trees in sommer time
from whence a shipp spronge forth so larg & wide,
that all Mycene with his bowes were hide
and Argos overshadowed with his leaves
when shee awaked from her trobled sleepe
shee told her dreame vnto the morninge sunne,
which beinge heard by one her waitinge maides
shee did acquainte me with this secresie
nowe Clytemnestra striken with this feare,
sends me to ofer at my fathers tombe.
Electra: Then good Chrysothenis be ruld by mee
ofer not these things at my fathers tombe
Soe shall you cleane your selfe of wickednes
for tis not meet that shee that hated him
should ofer incense toe his sacred ghost.
But eyther lett the winde disperse thes gifts
or hide them in the bowels of the earth
that none come neere our fathers sepulchre.|
for weare shee not blinded with wickednes
shee wold not ofer such an offeringe
toe him whome shee before had murdered.
an handsome gift a very goodly wife
this gift noe doubt will countervayle his life
thinke you he will be pacified with this
or shee made guiltlesse of her treacherie?
Noe noe she cannot. then lett thes thinges passe
And take these hayres these misdesordred hayres
& this my girdle not imbrodered
with gold & sett with perle as erst it was
poore gifts in deed but such as I cane give
ioyninge to these some of your golden tresses
goe offer these at Agamemnons tombe
then fallinge flat pray to his sacred ghoast
to help revenge our cruell enemies
that younge Orestes may with greater force
Beat downe his foes then in more aple sort
Weele doe him honor as beseemeth vs
And truth if my minde deceave mee not
twas for our sake that he appeared thus
But howe soever doe as I require ||
Even for his sake yat loved vs tenderly
who now remayneth in the Elisian feildes
Leu her talke deare lady seemeth iust & right
and you may well performe what she requires
Chris I willingly do grante her iust requestes
then ladyes lett me crave your secresy
for if my mother vnderstand this deed
vndoubtedly I shall be punished
Heli my minde presageth som revenge at hand
when they shall feele deserved punishment
and this her dreame doth playnly signifie
for our renowned noble emperer
and that same axe imbrued in his blood
still cryes revenge vpon these murderers
Tesiphone yat blood revenging power
lieth hid as it but commeth forth at lengh
powring iust vengance on ther wicked heades
for if we may coniecture of our dreames
surly I thinke this dreame is ominous
Pelops by thy bloudy victory
how many cares hast thou procured thy stocke
for since thou overthewest Mirtilus
and madst the sea be caled by his name
thyne house was never voyd of miseryes
of dolfull playntes of hatfull iniuries
Electra but who is he that hether coms so fast
tis Stropheus yat sav'd my brothers life
he hath the theed of all my dayes of hope
to cut or lenghthen as his pleasure is
he hath Orestes salfty hence conveied
salfly & hence longe may he be defended
Scæna 3tia
Stropheus Stropheus renownd through all the world
for noble conquestes at Olimphia|
taking my ioyrny to fayre Micænas walls
to gratifie great Atreus royall sonne
by whose wictorious host & mighty armes
the loughty castles of renowned Troy
which ten hole winters did vndaunted stand
proudly contemning the Argosian force
ar brought to ruine and destruction
and with suphurious flames ar quite consumed
I finding this most honorable freinde
murdred by handes of Traytors cowardly
prevented of all better meanes of service
have vndertaken safegard of his sonne
which on the fayth of an vnconquered valure
I will prefer as deare as Stropheus
and in him nurse his fathers iust revenge
but is not this his sister who delivered
her brother to me with so greate affection
yat she seem'd sencelesse when she parted from him
Elect O say good Stropheus is my brother safe
Stro: I have no safer place to place my soule
(if soules can be conteined in a place
then wher Orestes is seet to be put.
It greeves me when occasions makes me thinke
on yours & his renowned fathers death
how shall the actes of meaner men succeed
when as so hight desertes so ill do speede
Elect if any pleges of vnfeined love
have passed betwene my late deceased sire
and you his only dearest Stropheus
if any pity of your wrechednesse
may moved be with in thy princly brest
if doubtfull fortune & vncertayne chaunce
may stir with in thy minde compassion
good Stropheus kepe him gentle Stropheus
keepe him as safe as heaven keepes the earth|
which lookes vpon it with a thousand eyes
so mayst thy selfe live in prosperity
and no such happes touch thy posterity
Stro: though Agamemnons miseryes be such
that none should dare to medle in his state
yet I Orestes willingly will seeke
and shroud from danger of this adulteresse
trust still is good prosperity doth crave it
adversity doth exacte it and must have it
and heare Electra daughter to my freinde
receave this garlande of wictorius palme
by me in the Piceans playes achiv'd
and this in hope of better fortune weare
Ile keepe Orestes salfly never feare
except Stropheus Exit
Elect having procured my brothers salfty thus
and Stropeus departed out of my sight
secure I rest of yat my foes can dare
now he is safe I care not how I fare
now willingly I could with naked brest
receave this adulterer Ægisthus sword
lowe where the cruell murderers do com
havinge with guiltlesse blood ther handes defild
her face bewayes her inward wickednes
Actus 3 scæna 4
Enter Clitemnestra Ægisthus Storge Ancillæ Satellates
Cli: then saucy girle yat seekes thy mothers wracke
how darest thou gad in open companyes
Elect: I being a mayden, felde the adulterers
lest the like vices should polute my minde
Cli: ar thou a mayden and so malapart
Elect will you disprove your daughters honesty
Cli: thou shouldst not so controle thy mothers wordes
Elect what will you teach me dewty to my parentes
Clit: Go to you ar a mankinde minion
but I will make thee learne obedience
Elect belike a sword becoms a womans hand
Clit thinkst thou thy self coequall coequall with vs girle
Elect with vs why who is your Agamemnon now
Clit hence forward Ile keepe downe thy saucines|
and tame thy courage with authority
Elect: meane space you ar a widdow ar you not
Clit tell wher is thy brother and my sonne Orestes
Elect he is gon from hence Clit deliver me my sonne
Elect: and you my father whome you murdered
Clit tell me what place thy brothers hidden in
Elect: hes safe enough & feare no vpstart kinge
this is sufficient to a loving mother
Clit but not enought to serve thy angry minde
thou shalt not live aboue this present day
Elect: content let that hand wracke overthrow
then will I leave the altars of the godes
com cut my throte I willingly will yeald
or if thou will bereafe ⸢me⸣ of my heade
behold my necke is ready for the strocke
and wash thy handes in thy daughters blood
which in thy husbandes death were exercised
you know how easy a thin it is to kill a kinge
my father knowes it but you have the skill
Clit smilst thou Ægisthus at her saucines
and wilt not rather strickly punish her
seest thou this minion how she bridle bites
and hides her brother from her mother sight
Ægist: what mayden vse your tounge so lavishly
speake to your mother as beseemeth you
Elect art thou com forth thy boody murderer
and worker of this cruell trechery
thou misbegotten of a cruell stocke
borne of thy sister and thy gransires sonne
Æ I smile Electra at thy foolishnes
thus to provoke vs into cruelty
Clit Ægisthus ⸢strayght⸣ bereave her of her heade
or lett her live in prison all her dayes.|
And alwayes suffer cruell punishment
Perhaps shee may by longe oppression
& povertie & wante of necesaries
descrie her brothers secret lurkinge place
shee shall be banisht from all companie
att last shee'le yeald beinge tam'd with miserie
Electra: Nay lett mee dye Ægysthus lett mee dye
Ægyst: He is noe tyrant which his enemies
by death doth cause to ende ther miseries
Electra: And cane ther any thinge be worse then death?
Ægyst: yea life if death be that which thou desir'st
Then take her hence into the dongeons darke
& bi‸⸢n⸣dd her fast till prison tameth her
begon, her sight is loathsome vnto vs
Clytem: But lett Casandra Atrides concubine
with Agamemnon ende her wretched dayes
Cassan: Nay drawe mee not I follow readilye
I longe to pearce Avernons loathsome lake
& bringe thes tidings to my country men
that all the seas are fild with Grecian ships
& drown'd in the ⸢°Agean°⸣ Ocean as came from Troye
& that a stranger in Mycene rauinges
when Agamemnon generall of the greekes
Like to our Troianes latt besett with greifs
is perisht by a womans treacherye
the news from hence brought of this heavy chance
will make them in Elisian feilds to daunce
I linger not to save my wreached life
This is a comfort to my wounded harte
greived before by Troians miseries
to see thes mischiefs fall on Grecia
Clytem: Dy raginge woman dye Cassandra dye
Cassan: The time shall shortly come thou tyrante fele
when some of you shall rage as well as I
scorne not made folkes if all were vnderstoode
madnes in Greece may chance to doe some good
Come forth come forth my lovinge country men
And lett Cassandra take her last adewe
Leve of to morne you captive men of Troy
Vengeance is come vppon your enemies|
farewell, farewell, this is my last farewell
Noe more the fleetinge breath will lett me speake
But see my body straight be buried ./.
Exeunt. |
°Captives.° O Cassandra, Cassandra, heare vs Cassandra.
Noe healp alas for, she, ô she is dead.
Come let vs take her hence to burie her.
And beare with worthie patience our losse.
The time may come, we may agayne retourne,
And builde those walls agayne which now are burnte.
In vayne we weepe, since weepinge naught prevayles.
And with our teares the grasse is withered.
In vayne we mourne, since mourning cannot healp.
And everie birde within these micen woodes,
Lamentes to heare our lamentation.
Exeunt bearing out the dead Corps
Actus 4. Chorus
theo: Everie race,
of noble place,
dothe incline
farther to runne,
In sinne begunne,
Throughale the line.
As a disease
that happs to feyse
and touche in one
the rest inheritt
a kinde of spirit
that way proue.
Thyestes deede,
and that his seede,
did show it moste,
that made pretence
for his offence,
his fathers ghoste.
And thoughe to kill,
these two from hell
he were incited
his guiltinesse
is not the lesse,
nor he acquited.
He hathe the crowne
And beareth downe,
The rightfull haire.
A kinge and maried,
and faultes are caried,
with lifes fayre|
Electra waylinge,
her mother raylinge
dothe teares forbidd.
Orestes sought
nere takinge ofte
yet safe and hidd
well all muste prove
the godes above
are true and iust;
This kinge in vayne
hathe two kinges slayne,
for die he must.
Euthy: Shall never mischeifes end
in Pelops progenie?
Or shall it comprehende
all true iniquitie?
Ægisthus that controules
our realme with proud direction,
And holdes the sillie soales,
kinges children in subiection.
He kild his cosin last
but first his fathers brother
And made one murder past
A stepp vnto another,
Althoughe he these to kill
be ordered from on highe,
Yet heavens sacred will
In him his villanie.
Tymar: See kingdomes instabilities:
an easie thinge to slay one
That bringes home forraigne victories
for trecherie to praye on.
A wretche that with a queene
Lookes babyes in her eyes,
Is often happier seene
then suche great victories.
A courte in idlenesse,
Absence of husbandes eye|
And womans wantonnesse,
what sinne can all these sey?
The conquerour of Troye
Brave Agamemnon dead;
his murderour doth enioye
the crowne made for his head.
Rebellion hathe reason
to putt some princes downe,
when the rewarde of trason
Is noe lesse then a crowne.
Adulterers have cause,
But weake cause to excuse it,
When without feare of lawes
noe lesse then princes vse it.
But to the godes that spare
None for their loughtie lookes,
To them all scepters are
As are poore sheapardes crookes.
Then he that fears noe waye,
Bodie and soule to sever,
And feares noe reckoninge day,
let that man sinne for ever.
Pytha: Cassandra I must not forgett:
She died for her prophesies.
Soe wisedome wrongfully besett
fore sees, and suffers, speakes and dies.
Poore Troian ladies captiue ledd
Even my selfe a Greeke lament you
Our kinge that brought you, you, see dead:
let this one losse at lest content you.
The godes have sent their boundes to warre,
to triumphe over enemies.
noe conquest that can reache soe farre,
to triumphe over destinies.|
Lysan: Chrisothemis you see,
how kindenesse did her move,
not twentie suche as she
worthe one Electra's love.
There nature was not cleane
put out of her possession:
yet she not worthe a beane
In healpe or in discretion
A frend that nether can
Nor dareth me defend,
That is a loveinge man,
As good a foe, as frend.
If godes him courage give,
And fortune doe not frowne
Orestes yet may live
To purge and weare our crowne.
Come sweete Orestes, come,
And expedition make,
the time is longe to some
Afflicted for thy sake.
thy sister that did venture
At freedome thee to sett
from handes that doe torment her,
to free her is thy debt.
°Exit Chorus°
Actus 5. scæna 1.
Enter Euristhenes Orestes Pilades.
Eurist: Noble Orestes borne, of princely bloude,
whose worthie father Atreus royall sonne
renownd at Troy leadinge the powers of Greece
was by the vile Attempt of traytours slayne
Now are you come vnto that wished place,
where you soe longe time have desir'd to be
Here is Micene, and those pallaces,
That with thy fathers guiltlesse bloude were stayn'd
from hence I tooke thee beinge then a childe
And let my cariage past protest for me,|
I lov'd the e're Orestes tenderlie
Vertue distrest when fortune most dothe scorne it,
I love in spite of fortune to adorne it
vnable to defend thy selfe from wronge
I carefullie have brought the vp till now,
That thou mayst prove a stout and wise revenger
Stoutnesse scornes feare, but wisedome scapes ye danger.
Now noble prince the time requires that you,
And this your dearest frend some counsell take.
°They ioyne heads°
Counsell is it with all thinges sure must make.
Two younge heads ioynd with an olde head to direct:
Suche knottes and plottes doe seldome want effect.
°Here stay.°
doe't quickly unconfounded with temeritie,
Swifte in advise, advised with celeritie.
Orest: O thou the faythfullst of Orestes trayne,
well doe I now perceive thy loyaltie.
Even like a gentle steede in wearied age
thoughe litle can his wearied ioyntes perfourme:
yet feareth not in midst of bloudie warre:
Soe thou thoughe weakned now by elder age,
yet still retaynest that thy formar minde,
And with like courage readie art to healp,
what daungers shall at any time betide.
Heare then my minde and if ought be amisse,
thou mayst amend it by thy riper witt.
When I repayrd to Delphos to enquire
how best I might reveng my fathers deathe
the oracle was given forthe, that I
In secret wise should to Micene come,
And sett vppon Ægisthus vnprovided.
You therfore shall vnto the pallace goe,
And see how all thinges there are ordered.
doubtlesse ther's none, that will remember you,
because that withered age hath chaungd your fate/.|
And all the feature of your personage.
Say that a straunger you from Phocis came
Out of Phanoteus court, whoe since the warre
hathe entertayn'd you as his guest and frend,
To bringe them tydinges of Orestes deathe,
Sayinge he headlonge from his chariot fell.
I as the Oracle commaunded me,
will sacrifice vnto my fathers ghoste,
powringe large streames of milke vppon his grave
And lay there on sweete flowers and these my lockes
In signe I come for to revenge his deathe
And then retourne with that same fayned hearse,
we have amongst the bushes younder hidde
This may you thither carrie toe with you.
°He kneels.°
Great gods the gratious guiders of my youthe,
whoe soe beyounde all expectation
have me preserv'd, and out of daungers mouthe.
Soe ofte (I hope to some good action)
me rescu'de: you whose reachinge providence
foreseeth longe before with sharpest eye
Even all those sinners which after evidence
Longe smoothered to the world dothe descrie:
you whoe detest the man of bloud and guilt,
And cannot see that innocently spilte,
Vouchsafe to looke vppon this wretched place,
distressed in soe lamentable case
And shall prodigious tyrantes still expresse
By trecherous and damned practises
This noble countrie without all redresse
Shall Agamemnon vnrevenged be?
my deare my noble father? ô shall he?
And shall she glutt her selfe in villanie?
O let some dreadfull spectacle affright
their verie soules! let heavens and hells despite
Conspire in one to heape whole seas of woe|
Vppon their sinfull wicked carcases!
O let me now nature it selfe forgoe
Let dutie, love, and all what ere respects
Cease towardes her, whoe thus them all neglectes!
Add double strenght vnto these armes of mine
that when I strike I may strike with suche mighte
As fittes your service and my fathers righte
O healpe revenge me, and your selves: soe I
Shall evermore your altars glorifie
And slay whole Heccatombes of goodlie beastes
Attendinge ‸⸢duelye⸣ rightlie on your sacred feastes.
°Here rise.°
Soe now tis well: me thinkes I courage take,
And laughe to see how they alreadie quake
It's your olde lesson I remember it:
The godes will sinne with double vengaunce quite
Sir you have toulde me ofte it's verie true.
godes graunte the truthe of it may now ensue
Eurist: doubt not tis you that are reserv'd to this
to bringe the earthe from tyrantes racke to blisse
This honour to Orestes dothe belonge
To right their causes whoe have suffered wronge
°Electra within°
Elect: Ay me, out alas.
Eurist: me thinkes I heare one mourne and weepe within.
Orest: Tis my vnhappie sister Electra.
but shall we stay and harken to her playntes?
Eurist: Noe noble prince, noe not at any hande,
we have noe leasure harkeninge here to stande.
goe noble prince, and execute with speede
The dread commaundes of Phebus oracles.
Orestes museth.
muse you? that's well, my braynes must hammar toe.
Alls litle enoughe for we have muche to doe.
Orestes. Goe reverend sir; and suche be thy successe,
As may them force their damned factes confesse.
meane time my selfe, and my companion.
my only cheifest consolation,
my Pilades will to my father's toombe,
And pay our rites there in some secret roome|
How say you Pilades shall it be soe?
Pila: what ere vnto Oretes seemeth good,
cannot but like his Pilades he must
And will Orestes still accompanie
O how it gladdeth my ofte pensive heart!
⸢how doe my spirites leape and sympathize,⸣
To thinke, how we have past our formar smarte
And are retourned to our iolities.
To see thy countrie and these stately towers,
To view Micenes stronge and fensed walls,
To me as pleasant, is as were they ours.
Orest: I know it Pilades, this but thy selfe:
thou never yet wert other vnto me.
O that I might them all bestow on thee.
Pila: On me? noe, noe; Orestes fitter is
To sway mycenes crowne, then Pilades.
A straunger I: Ile ever honour thee,
And doe thee service as beseemethe me.
Orest: service: ô yat I had a thousand suche,
One worthe farre more then thousand mines of gould.
yet let me tell my Pilades this thinge,
If that the gods with favouringe aspect
vouchsafe to graunt vs prosperous successe,
And all these monsterous villanies redresse,
then know, thy parte cannot then mine be lesse.
I cannot raigne without my Pilades;
Pila: And I will not to wronge Orestes.
Shall I with him devide his fathers crowne?
And robb him haulfe of his felicitie?
Whoe of himselfe for me would lay all downe,
And even relinquishe his whole emperie?
Noe Pilades. thy thoughtes are not soe base,
with thee Orestes must have cheifest place.
Orest: Then Ile leave all it never shall be sayd,
Orestes in his kingdome one might stayde,
When Pylades a subiect still remaynd.
O Pylades, what now iniurious?
And wilt thou now beginne discourtesies?|
we that soe many yeares so frendlie have
A never-broken leauge of frendship helde,
must we now square, and in one all deprave
by one act eache from other be repelled?
Then better had I beene an exile still,
And liv'd abroade, thoughe muche agaynst my will.
fye Pilades shall we two now contend?
A scepter's but a rushe to suche a frend.
Pylad: ffor love Orestes thou doest offer me,
for love Orestes I refuse of thee.
O would to god thy chaunce, and happ were suche
As I could wishe thou shouldst not then neede strive,
Thy state a daylie difference would revive.
meane time thinke rather how thou mayst surprise:
before thou hast it what good to devise?
The thinge thou seest, what ist but revenge?
The thinge thou dalyest with, and thus put'st of,
what is it els but gratefull sweete revenge?
The thinge thou punnishest, what but revenge:?
All is revenge, and if revenge be all,
whoe can escape, when she beginns to call.
Indeede, Indeede thou art to patient:
how can thy handes be soe longe abstinent?
A greater checke then father vnrevengde
Can never fall to sonne: why then letes on,
Letes to thy fathers toombe and sacrifice
In our last service our iust obsequies.
Then may we to our waightie worke: and take
Suche stronge revenge as shall his kingdome shake.
Orest: Content deare Pylades: thy councell's good:
great Agamemnon now we're come to thee,
And sacrifice vnto thy blessed ghoste.
O that thou hadst prevented by thy life,
These after quarrells and this deadly strife. O that those eyes had seene but ‸⸢these⸣ of mine, And marck'd thine owne in this my face to shine.
Enter Ægisthus & Clytemnestra
Ægisth: Soe lookes diana, when her silver shine
Is vayled with a mistie cloude of rayne:
Sweete Clytemnestra, let the gladsome rayes
Of Ioy and pleasure pearce these cloudes of greife,
And shine vppon Ægisthus as before.
Let not thy weepinge eyes thus daylie rayne
vppon thy cheekes, lest at the laste dissolv'd
like Cyane thou be consum'de to naught.
cleare vp sweete love and with a bright aspect
Reioyce Ægisthus heart. see how he droupes
to see thy beautie soe eclips'd with greife.
What not a worde, ah my deare, dearest love,
What meanes this woe this sorry pensivenesse?
speak gratious queene, & let Ægisthus heare
If any thinge, ther be, you yet doe feare?
Clytem: Ah my Ægysthus in this wounded breast,
muche festeringe sorrow daylie doth arise,
And auncient soares begine anew to smarte.
Deathe of my husband moves me vnto hate,
but love of thee sweete love withdrawes me backe
I feare my sonnes and daughters trecherie,
Yet not dispayringe I doe live in hope:
Dutie commaundes me wayle my husbandes deathe,
Imperious love biddes me reioyce in thee:
for thee my deare these adverse passions
Love, hate, hope, feare, ioy, sorrow, dayly fighte,
Love, hate, hope, feare, ioy, sorrow all in one
Continually soe racke my troubled minde,
As never yet I did suche tormentes finde.
Ægist: Tushe, tushe, this malencholie, nurse of greife,
This darke, blacke, mistie, foggie, peevishe humor,
breeder of doubtes, and chearfullnesse consumer,
Once havinge gott possession of thy heart,
Sittes still inventinge of new-fangled feare,
And puttes suche visards on thy passions,
That as it seemes, they soe thy thoughtes distruct|
As if the staringe of some hellishe hagge
had mou'de a frenzie in thy vexed minde:
but leave my dearest Clytemnestra, leave to feare,
Thy daungers shaddowe; for naught else I see,
why thou in minde should'st thus tormented be.
Clytem: Ah, ah, this closet of my conscience
Is filld with woefull care & heavinesse.
Noe ease, noe pleasure, noe reliefe I finde:
Eache fancie doth dismay a guiltie minde.
Ægist: Now droupe Ægysthus,vayle thy plume of ioy,
pull downe the crest now of thy proude successe.
Love hathe betray'de the, ô loves treason flye,
fly, fly, awaye vppon the winged windes,
And in the farthest wildernesse thee hide,
where thou mayst live thy heavinesse vnspied.
Clyt: Ah stay Ægysthus, staye ah staye my deare
Let not the rashnesse of my greived minde
make the forsake me in thy wretchednesse;
Remember, ô remember those same playntes
thou powred'st forthe and I did pittie thee.
Ah ah my deare like pittie take on me,
I have deserved it: yet when love dothe leade,
the goverment, desert dothe ydly pleade.
Ægist: O how this sworde of sorrow cutts my heart,
Sweete Clytemnestra, now I doe perceive
thou lov'st me. but for that love, my deare,
At my request leave of this causlesse feare.
Clytem: Yea, now Ægisthus, now I doe it leave
my husbandes deathe is quite forgott and all
my pensive woe is turnd to suddayne ioye.
what I did feare before was but a toye.
Ægist: o how these wordes doe please Ægisthus hearte!
now will I goe into the pleasante groves,
And heare the chirpinge birds sweet harmonie,
forgetfull of my greife and formar payne
farewell sweete, love till we shall meete agayne.
Clytem: farewell sweete foe, and lovinge enimie.
now Clytemnestra beinge all alone,
thy stubberne passions will beginne to rage.
O that thou hadst that same delightsome tower
Of Scylla ringinge with melodious ioye;
To lenifie the tormentes of thy heart
O that Don Orpheus with his silver lute
were present here! or whoe with musicke built
the walls of Thebs! or he whoe by his skill
moved the senclesse dolphins vnto ruthe!
Aimelida goe cause the musicke playe.
Musick Songe
Noe greife soe great, noe woe soe watchfull is,
but musickes sounde can cast it fast a sleepe.
noe ioy soe sweete, nor yet soe happie blisse,
may sooner make poore wretches leave to weepe.
musicke doth please, when all thinges else doe greive
musicke our cares and sorrow dothe relive:
musicke dothe move the senclesse stones with ioye,
musicke dothe cause the verie trees admire.
where musicke is, there nothinge doth anoy,
thoughe Tygres feirce stoud by we neede not feare
musicke dothe ofte restrayne a bloudie fight,
musicke the nurse of everie sweete delight.
Clytem: Soe now my greived minde hathe rac'd her payne,
the tumultes of my passions are alyade.
noe more I meane to bathe my cheekes in teares,
but glutt my selfe with pleasure of my love.
Sweete love of my Ægysthus ô my deare:
her after now I neede not ought to feare.
Enter Euristhenes
Eurist: Tell me I pray is this Ægisthus house?
Philopa: It is.
Eurist: Is this the queene? for soe she seemes to be.
Chariess: yea sur.
Eurist: All hayle vnto your princly maiestie
I come to greet it with some happie newes.|
Clytem: godes graunt it true: but say whoe did you send?
Eurist: Phanoteus kinge of Phocis your good frend.
Clytem: he is in deed, but whates the happie newes.
Eurist: to speake in breife, it is Orestes deathe.
Electra Ay me, out alas, ô balefull daye
Clytem: messinger listen not to her, but tell,
tell me what didst thou saye even now to me?
Eurist: you neede not feare, Orestes now is dead.
Electra: Ay me, out alas, I am vndone
Clytem: what will you still thus interrupt our speache?
messenger say, how did Orestes die?
Eurist: Illustrious queene the thinge which you require,
Is bothe my charge, and dutie and desire.
Ledd by the love of honour and renowne
he came to Delphos, and those solemne games,
Ordayn'd in memorie of Pythons death,
to win him credit for his knightly deeds:
where he behav'd himselfe as well, as all,
whoe saw him woundred at his worthinesse,
soe well proportioned was his personage.
for hande, for legge, for bodie, face, and feature,
he might had beene a paterne kept of nature
And for to say the truthe, there never was
Soe brave a man seene at those games before him.
happie that man, that nearest might adore him.
Now when he had five games with honour wonne,
The iudges made it openly be cried,
that he had gott the honour of the daye
which beinge done, inviron'd with a troupe,
of bravest knightes was to his lodg in brought.
And when the second morninge now was come,
he risethe vp in haste, and with those knightes
repayrd agayne vnto the formar place
wher with th'applauses of the standers by,
he was received with excedinge ioye.
had he stayed there, how happie had he bene?|
But stay in glories toppe is seldome seene:
deathe comes to glorious men, when godes decree it
glorie soe blindes them they cannot foresee it!
the lottes were given forthe, and as they fell
Eache in his place doe wayte with in the liste:
ten of the bravest and the worthiest knightes
mounted in chariotes vppon Ivorie seates,
vntill the trumpetes summonde them to runne.
there everie one begane to doe his best,
And whipp their milkewhite steedes, whose thunderinge hoofes
Seemed to make the earthe to quake for feare,
raysinge thicke cloudes of dust into the ayer,
which all the place with darknesse covered.
Longe time they striv'd, yet none the other past,
which made the people greatly to admire,
And shoute with ioy, that all the place did ringe.
At last a worthie knight of Ænia
had soe encouraged his winged steedes
that like to Pegasus they swiftely fly,
And all the companie behinde them leave
Droupinge and droppinge one behinde another
whoe when he had six pillars safely past,
In turninge at the seventh he chaunc'd, to meete
the chariot of a knight of Affrica,
whose fomie steedes soe swiftly ranne theyr course
that they might not by any meanes be stayde.
So bothe their chariotes broke, and over them
the praunsinge horses of the thirde did runne
And soe the fourth and fifthe, till of those ten
there were but two to strive for victorie
the formoste was a lorde of Athens, whome
when your Orestes saw and none besides,
he soe inflames his steedes, till at the last
he getteth grounde, and lefte the lorde behinde|
which whiles he feares to loose he mendes his pace,
And ever runnethe swifter then before,
with sighte of which the people shoutes for ioye
but suddaynly his furious steedes doe runne vppon a pillar which his chariot broke
And downe he falls, and his amazed steedes.
drew him about the race in pitteous sorte.
And soe disfigured his comely face,
that when we tooke him vp, we scarsely knew,
whether it were Orestes yea, or noe.
the people wept and mourn'd for his mishapp,
And when they had with great solemnitie,
his bodie burnt, his ashes they preserv'd,
And them into a brasen pitcher put;
which certayne lordes of Phocis hither bringe,
to be interred in his fathers toombe.
Glauco: Ay me, then all the royall bloud is gone.
Clytem: what shall I say? shall I me happie counte,
or rather wretched, for my sonnes mischaunce?
And suerly I am greatly greived, thus
daylie to live in these calamities.
Eurist: And greives your maiestie to heare this newes?
then I am sorrie of myne ill imployment
pardon sweete queene, I thought you would reioyce.
Soe sayde my kinge: and I am but his voice,
thoughe thunderclapps give with their noyse a wounde,
blame not the ayer, that reportes the sounde.
Clytem: O messenger, a mother cannot chuse,
but weepe to heare her sonnes mischaunce, thoughe she
Doe love him never a whitt at all: Eurist: In vayne
I then have brought his happie newes to you.
Alas that I should greive a princes harte,
I humblye crave your licence to depart.
Clytem: Noe messinger not soe for litle cause have I,
thoughe nature bidds me to lament his deathe.|
Since he whome I did love soe tenderlie
hathe moste vngratefully forsaken me,
to live with straungers in a forraigne lande.
And never could vouchsafe to see agayne
his lovinge mother, whoe lov'd him soe deare,
but castinge in my teethe his fathers deathe,
And threatninge dire revenge dismayde my minde,
And spilde the sweetnesse of my nightlie rest
Now free from feare I shall in safetie live,
And cannot chuse but blesse this happie daye
thoughe I lament him in a mothers minde,
The losse is small I founde him to vnkinde
Elect: Ay me, ay me, now, now I must bewayle
thy deathe, ô deare Orestes, out alas
why did my mother make thy deathe soe light?
Clytem: well now Electra he is gone, now you
remayne alone, Ægisthus shall you tame.
Elect: harken ô Nemesis, and revenge this wronge.
Clytem: The wronge you meane your disobedience.
Elect: See, see, th'exactions of insolence.
Clytem: why doe not you and your Orestes then
Seeke to restrayne this insolence. Elect: noe, noe
Our selves are soe constrayn'd, we cannot if
we would. Clytem: now willingly I would
make the my frende some worthie recompence
If thou couldst bridle this her lavishe tounge.
Euryist: Beautie and honour, healthe, and felicitie,
wayte ever on your royall maiestie.
pleaseth it you your servaunte to dismisse?
Clytem: Noe messenger, not soe.
for 'twere dishonour bothe to me and him,
that sent you if I lett you goe awaye,
And not condignly make you recompence
but come you in with me, and leave her here,
to wayle and mourne her sorrowes at her will.
Exeunt Clytem: & Eurist:|
Elect: And is she gone: ô cruell, cruell dame,
O my deare Orestes ô the only hope
Of this my life, and art then dead? ay me,
And shall my father then be vnrevengd?
Out alas why shall Electra doe? ô wretche
O wretched woman borne to miserie.
forsaken I, o I, ay me, ay me, berefte
Of father, brother, all my ioyes at once
must basely serve myne enimies, o deathe,
O life, farr worse then deathe, shall I endure
to live in thraledome: noe noe, haste thee deathe,
And lett thy sharpest arrowe pearce my soule.
Leuco: O godes and see you this, and you endure
Soe great calamitie t'afflicte her heart?
Elect: Ay me, ay me, out alas
Heliod: why weeps my ladie thus soe bitterlie?
Elect: Ay me. Leuco: Deare ladie cease these teares.
Elect: Leave of, leave of, you kill my heart with greife.
Leuco: why sayes my ladie soe. Elect: Ah if you dare
To make me hope now he is dead, you will
Increase my greife. Leuco: o bannishe all suche thoughtes
was not the Argive prophet alsoe slayne?
By trecherous wife? Elect: now out alas, ay me,
Leuco: yet after deathe he happie is, Elect: I, I
But he had one, whoe did revenge his deathe,
but I alas forsaken am alone.
Leuco: Deare ladie hard hathe beene thy chaunce. Elect: I. I.
I know in this same goulfe of miseries,
Heliod: we know you daylie will in sorrowe be.
Elect: Then leave to comforte, me when nothing's lefte.
Leuco: what sayes my ladie. Elect: Since that he is dead:
Leuco: All men must die. Electr: what die soe cruellie?
Leuco harme is not seene before it comes. Elect: 'tis true,
Since he by straungers hande and not by mine,
Leuco: Good godes. Elect: was burnte with out his sisters teares.
Enter Chrysothemis hastelie.
Chryso: O sister happie newes hath made runne,
like regardinge modestie to tell|
these ioyfull tydinges of thy happinesse.
Elect: And is there any remedie yet lefte,
to cure my payned and distressed hearte?
Chryso: He's come, now is Orestes come, ⸢o⸣ now
let vs reioyce, now is our brother come.
Elect: Ah Chrisothemis extremitie of greife
hathe made thee quite forgett thy selfe, and me.
Chryso: Noe noe, Electra I am not deceiv'd
for he is come, now is Orestes come.
Elect: O wretched I, Chrisothemis whoe tould
that he is come, how may we credit him?
Chryso: Even now by many tokens manifest
I well perceived it none hathe me toulde.
Elect: what are the signes by which thou know'st it, then?
what flatteringe hathe thee franticke made?
Chryso: good sister leave your greife a while, and heare
the cause of this my ioyfull happinesse.
Elect: Speake if you will, if that be your delight.
Chry: Then heare ile tell you all when as I came
vnto my fathers sepulchre, I saw
It all with streames of milke distill and flowers,
Of sweetest savour rounde aboute it strew'd,
which when I founde, I greatly did admire:
And look'd aboute least some shoul'd treason worke:
but when I saw that all thinges quiet were,
I nearer went and there by chaunce I finde,
A younge man's hayre, but newly shorne of;
then presently I cald to minde my deare
brother Orestes, into exile gone.
Therefore I looke vp, and never would
prophane them with my greife, yet suddayne ioye
Did make the teares to tricle downe my cheekes
And now I hope this hayre was his, for whoe
should honour soe my fathers sepulchre?
Then leave deare sister now at laste to mourne
And know that fortune dothe not allway frowne.|
This day beginns our happinesse agayne.
Elect: what frantike thoughts are these? I pittie thee,
I pittie sister this thy wretchednesse.
Chry: And doe my wordes then nothinge ease thy greife?
Elect: Noe not a whitt for they on<.> passion
Are founded not on any ground that's sure.
Chry: Is not that sure which is soe manifest?
Elect: vnhappie sister, whome thou thinkst alive
Is dead, alas my fancies all are vayne.
Chry: now, out alas, whoe tould, the he was dead?
Elect: he that did see him bothe alive and dead.
Chry: where is the bringer of this sorrie newes?
Elect: he merrilie is with my mother gone.
Chry: whoe was it then alas did sacrifice,
vppon my fathers toombe, them doe you knowe?
Elect: Noe sister, but I thinke some one did leave
them as monumentes of Orestes deathe.
Chry: Ay me, I thought my comminge should have brought
A comforte to thy pensive heart: but now
I here have founde myne owne redoubled greife.
Elect: but follow me, and I this greife will ease.
Chry: Can I him rayse agayne from death? Elect: not soe
for I were madd were I conceited thus.
Chry: what is it then you would have me perfourme?
Elect: to putt in action what I thoughte vppon.
Chry: If it be good, I doe it willinglie.
Elect: then be attentive while I tell it you.
you know ‸⸢how⸣ comfortlesse we now doe live,
depriv'd of frendes, and hope of all releife.
And trulie whil'st my brother liv'de, I ioy'de,
And hop'de he would revenge my fathers deathe
but since I only put my trust in you;
feare not, good sister, this mine enterprise
but with a princely courage follow me;
whoe will conducte thee to Ægisthus bedd.
where bothe we will our weapons die with bloude,|
And murder him, who hathe my father, slayne
how likes Chrisothemis of this advise?
why shouldst thou longer tarrie to consulte
And fead thy selfe with vayne conceites of hope?
thrust from possession of our fathers goods,
we wretchedlie shall live vnmaried,
And wante the cheifest comfortes of our life,
for suer Ægisthus feareth nothinge more,
then that our stocke should any thinge encrease,
to pay him vengaunce for his foule desertes
let me perswade thee sister, to this facte.
It will be pleasinge to our fathers ghoste,
And greatly ease our brothers pensive soule.
then shall we ‸⸢honor⸣ gett of valient mindes,
And be conioynde in worthie mariage.
honour by nature is desir'd of all,
And whoe will not vs worthie thinke of it,
If we with honorable mindes shall seeke
for to revenge our fathers cruell deathe.
then leave thy doubtes, and follow mine advise,
Set all thy thoughtes on this, there is noe shame
more greater then to live a shamefull life:
Heliod: These thinges crave wisedomes ayde. Chry: I soe she should
have done indeede, before she spake one worde.
for why should she soe desperately conclude
thus to endaunger bothe her selfe and me?
Doe weapons ought beeseme a womans hande?
Or have we force for to compare with them?
Noe sister, noe, they are to stronge for vs.
And daylie dothe their power encrease, when ours
Is everie day more weakned, then before
how can we hope to scape with out revenge;
whoe seekes to overthrow suche mightie foes?
take heede good sister, lest you add ought els
vnto this burden of our miseries.
tis litle credit shamefullie to die,
And end our life in thraldome and in greife.
Pelopidarum 2 actus 4.
At the Este:
Theo: fortune a nurse for eve<..>' orphans age provides
Euthy: Chaunce natures outcastes for her dearlinges takes
Tym: The pilgrimage of orphans heaven guides
Pytho: Great Ioue makes muche of them whome man forsakes
Lysan: What earthlie wisdome vndertakes, that
That for ye moste parte worse beetides
Theo: Orestes now to mans estate ⸢Againe⸣ is growne
Euthy: Orestes hath a tutor and a frende
Tym: Orestes is come home safe and vnknowne
Pytho: Orestes may Electra now defende
Lysan: Ægistus may bee overthrowne
and Clytemnestras pride may ende
Chaunging ther places to ye Weste.
Theop: Eurysthenies his tale is well receaud,
Euthy: The queene these smothed news doth not mistrust
Tym: With pleasing news small care is soone deceiud.
Pytho: Cam can not bee in mindes possest with luste
Lysan: All circumstances well discust
Some of there liues must bee beereavde
Theop: Thee queene would seeme her sons death to lamente
Euthy: The quene continues her hypocrisie
Tym: The queene in musicke seekes <...> hartes contente
Pytho: Ægysthus calls her feare but melancholye
Lysani: Comforte and musicke both but follie.
nether can ill abodes prevente
Chaunging there places to ye midst
Theop: Electras courage serues her had shee might
Euthy: Electra maye bee glad and saue her pains
Tym: But thay will giue Electra no suche lighte
Pytho: ffor secresie beste, greate, exploites maintains
Lysani: Woe to him that in others right
not knowinge this securelye reignes.
Theop: As ‸⸢<...>⸣ me thinkes Orestes harte doth fainte
Euthy: Hee will bee strengthned by frendes admonition
Tym: nature against revenge a greate restrainte
Pytho: A token of the kinder dispotion
Lysan: But who can pittie there condition
of miesre and of bloud attaynte|
Theop. Lust
Euthy: Murder
Tym: Greife
Pyth: Revenge
Lysani: The gods permission. |
Actus 5tus Scena: (blank)
Enter Orestes, & Pilades./.
Orest: Nowe Pillades I haue perfourmede those rites
Those ceremonyes at my fathers toumbe
Offringe my hayres a present of small worth
powringe twoe bowles of sweet & pleasant wine
two boules of luke warme milke for sacrifice
I powred then two boules of sacred bloode
the bloode of oxen slaine in sacrifice,
which I powr'de out in token of revenge,
Vppon Ægisthus & the adulteresse
Nowe lett the sacred toumb wherin he lyes,
preserve his body from all violence,
Lett it be light vppon his sacred bones
Let not base earth oppresse his royall corpes
Let it be cover'd still with fragrant flowers
for in the flower of glory he was loste,
Stand Hermes, & with thy slauteringe sworde
destroy all those that would it violence
as for his ghost his sacred hallowed ghoste
which walkes about the sweet Elisian feeldes
enioyinge blisse & perfect happines
The great rewarde only of ve‸⸢r⸣teouse men
I trust vppon this favourable aide,
while I revenge his cruell bloody death
then naught remaines myne only trusty freinde,
but that we straite perfourme what wee intende./.
Enter Euristhenes
Eurist: Saftye to my goode lordes, & goode successe
May I begg one worde of lorde Pilades.
Pilad: Grave sir you may, ./.
Eurist: My dearest lordes deare frende
O that you knew a howe farr I doe depende
on your assistance holy in this plotte
Courage to kill Ægistus needeth not
a straunger, & a bloody tyraunt hated
with common hate whoe is not animated!
a coward Ninny and effeminate
supported by the maiestye of state
should but the queene frowe⸢wne⸣ on him he were deade
for you might save the cuttinge of his heade|
twenty to one his heade lyes in her lapp,
the fittest blocke may for beheadinge happ
there cut it of & with the more disgrace
his staringe eyes may stare vp in her face,
but heeres the poynt that I feare most of all
Orestes feares to be vnnaturall
To be the shedder of his mothers bloode,
and I feare nothinge but this motherhoode,
Nature that movs him while we time protracte,
will move him more in sight, & in the acte,
but if shee live, & though Ægistus dye,
Then looke for worse, then worst extremitye
for shee that kiled her husband conqueroure
for to enioy that vilde adulterer
bought with one death will keepe it with an other,
and will forgett the argument of a mother
Well let Orestes looke to it I advise him
To late to helpe if one the gard suppriz him
Nowe good my lord I trust on your directione,
To make him shake for all his childes affectione,
Kindnes I in any thinge besides it,
but in revenge I noewayes cann abid it
Shee is noe mother nature doth him beguilde
Shee takes him to be deade, & not her childe
I promise you shee should be a deade mother weare it to
me as it is to him.
Put him on fire my lord make him forgett nature
this inward fawninge faintinge lett./.
Orest. How longe my lordes can ther be secrecye,
that should exclude any one of vs three
Eurist: Noe good my Lorde I tell Lord Pilades
that our ould speeches now will lacke successe,
for in your childhoode oft I doe remember,
you tould me how it was a goodly thinge
to haue a father valiant, & a kinge,
and that a manchild was for to inherite
his fathers wisdome, vallour, praise, & spiritt|
your father was yours, & eke your Mothers guide,
& for you educatione to provide,
The mother, but soe, if shee weare goode,
Noe monster worse, then vnkinde motherhoode,
I was your father there then my wife your mother
vntill of late your selfe did knowe none other
you swore if I should be kilde by my wife,
shee should pay dearly for it life for life
Now ar your father, & your Mother knowen
To you my lorde, the cause is nowe your owne./.
Orest: Indeede soe thought I then soe thought I nowe,
and alter not my resolutione,
Eurist: My Lord why then these groundes you stande vppon
your cause is iust, you must revenge, or dye,
take courage then even from necessitye,
& yet of safty neede you not despaire
all will revolt vnto the righfull cheyre
& this vsurper hath not raigned longe,
Nor is by many favorites made stronge,
Ile seach the mindes of some even whilst you doe it
& make vnawares incline vnto it
straight in the deede Ile offer faire conditiones
release of tax, & impositiones
preferment vnto divers malcontentes
& revocationes from banishmentes
trafficke to marchauntes freedom to great townes
and will corrupt the garrisones with crownes. /My lord Orestes ./
Here stay/
My lord Orestes me thinkes out of your eyes
some cloude of doubt & question doth arise
Why are you not resolv'd I know you are
Why then be secrett take noe fonder care
Discourse it not but goe & execut it
kill them both first, & then dispute it
Orest: Doubt not at all, I will then good sir cease,
but let me heare what sayde lord Pilades
Exit Euristhenes./.
Pila Lovly Orestes dearer then my life,|
or ought that can be preciouse in myne eyes
whose minde, whose mouth, whose tounge & all is myne
because myne hart agreeth all with thine,
I cannot chuse but like what he hath sayd
& to perfourme it promise all myne ayde
you haue perfourmed those funerall obsequies,
you haue perfourmed the dutye of a sonn
In offringe at your royall fathers toumbe
Whoe since he was by traitoures murdered,
pursue the autoures of this traiterouse deede
Add this a wetnes of your leader came
amoungest of all your pietye,
& as Apolloes oracles commaunde,
& dutye bindeth you to execute,
soe doe, & make it knowen to all the wordle,
that Agamemnon in Orestes lives,
goe with good speede godes send thee good successe
& prosper thee in all thy buisinesse./|
O that these thinges were fullie brought to end
And they repay'd iust vengaunce for their deede
That I might see the rule this happie towne
This fayre Micene mirrour of our Grecia
that I might see Orestes crowned kinge
my deare Orestes that were an happie thinge
Orest: Thankes Pylades for this thy gentle wishe
See how our mindes are allwayes linck'd in one,
what thou hast sayde that I would fayne have done.
but yet me thinkes the oracle's to sharpe,
And were it not from wise Apolloes mouthe,
me thinkes it would be verie impious.
Pyla: my deare Orestes are you daunted now,
what causeth this soe suddayne alteration?
Cheare vp your heart, whilst Pylades remaynes
Orestes shall not want a follower.
how can this deede seeme wicked in your sight
which punnisheth your fathers murtherers?
can ought be better or more iustly done?
Orest O Pylades I know the cause is good;
And Clytemnestra hathe deserv'd to die;
but by some other she deserves to die:
Pyla: But by some other? Say not soe my deare,
whoe should revenge the father but the sonne?
Orest: And whoe should spare the mother but the sonne?
Pyla: Nay scorne to call her by a mothers name,
which is vnnaturall and barbarous.
Orest Shall I bereave of her life, and light?
Of whome I did receive bothe life, and light?
Pyla: Noe but this monster not of woman kinde,
which would be worker of her husbandes death:
whoe ‸⸢iustlie⸣ should with Danaus wicked broode
Endure those tormentes fitt for murtherers.
Orest: Noe Pylades, Ægisthus counsell'd her,
Ægisthus did it, and Ægisthus handes
slew Agamemnon let Ægisthus die.|
Pyla: for shame, Orestes: let Ægisthus die?
why let him die, but with th'adulteresse
he counselled; she did consent with him,
He gave the stroake, she hidde thy fathers face:
And shall he die and she vnpunnished?
what he hathe done was for Thyestes sake,
And in revenge of Atreus butcherie:
But causlesse she consented to his lust,
And causlesse wrought her husbandes overthrow.
And shall he die and she vnpunnished?
Yet marke how she proceeded in this acte:
Did she repent her of her wickednesse?
Noe not a whitt, she made thee fly thy realme
Or else with him thou had'st beene murdered:
when thou were gone, Electra still was plaug'd,
She vs'd her like some bond slave basely borne,
Not like the daughter of an emperour:
Soe with her father she berefte of ioy,
was vexed still with heart consuminge care:
now when this message of thy death was brought,
whoe was soe happie, as proude Tyndaris?
whoe soe triumphed as proude Tyndaris?
And shall he die and she vnpunnished?
noe, noe: for bothe were Authors of his deede,
Let bothe togeather then receive their meede.
Orest: Let them togeather bothe receive their meede
vnfortunate Orestes, impious in this acte,
whether thou doest it or thou doest it not.
And shall I not revenge my fathers deathe?
then will the worlde blame my impietie:
If I doe soe, my mother must be slayne,
A fact as wicked, as the other was.
but Pylades my trustie frend perswades
rather that she should perishe vtterly,
then that my father should be vnreveng'de.|
O Pylades thy wordes are forcible,
As are the wordes of learned Mercurie.
Our mindes in all thinges heretofore agreed,
And soe they shall continue evermore.
I will not breake soe sure a bonde of love:
Appollo bidds me to revenge his death,
Soe dothe my frend my dearest Pylades,
whose wordes to me are more then oracles.
Then let her die with her adulterer.
Let her not live since Agamemnon's dead:
And since they bothe have hurte vs many wayes,
Let them togeather end their wretched dayes
Enter Euristhines.
Eurist: what meane you lorde by this soe longe delaye?
time and occasion quickly passe away.
Orest: we still expect some good occasion,
that we may worke without suspition.
Pyla: Soe did Apollo bidd him covertly
that he should take them by some trecherie:
Eurist: yea but take heede, for by longe taryinge
you may be knowen before you can beginne.
worke closely toe that none your purpose see,
for soe you may be taken suddaynly.
Orest. I warrant you none knowes our beinge heere,
for all perswades them selves that I am dead.
yet shortely they shall finde it to their payne,
That I Orestes ame retournd agayne.
Eurist: And be it soe for time makes all thinges knowen,
And if by time your fact shall be reveald,
And be layd open to your enemies,
great daungers then shall fall vppon your heades.
for as you thought to catche them in your snare,
Soe other slighetes will they for you prepare.
time is a blabbe, make hast then and beware.
Pyla: now but our selves doe know what we intend,
Nor shall they know till these thinges have an end.|
Eurist. But in a moment divers thinges doe fall,
And in a moment they may know it all.
Orest: well then since time an enimie to some
A frend to others offereth good occasion:
why should we linger this our enterprise,
to slay my fathers trayterous enemies
Eurist: Then forwarde straight, the sooner you have done,
the sooner shall you free your selfe from care:
the sooner shall you set at libertie
your countrie men from tyrantes crueltie
there is noe dalyinge in soe ‸⸢highe⸣ a thinge,
I longe to see Orestes made a kinge.
Orest: And free Electra from a worlde of woe;
Come Pylades, I will noe longer stay,
Since many evills happen by delaye:
Pyla And know, that all wayes Pylades is prest,
To doe what ever likes Orestes best.
Ingressuri Orestes & Pylades Electre
cum ancillis aggredienti ad fores
obviam dant.
Orest: Vouchsafe sweete ladies greetinge from a straunger,
whoe standes in doubt, that he hath lost his waye.
Helio: why whether wende you? Orest: To Ægisthus house.
Heliod: Then surely sir you are the right way come.
Orest. Thankes vertuous ladie, may we crave your healp
To make our comminge knowen vnto the kinge.
Leuco: This ladie will, for she may have accesse
Orest: Say gentle ladye we of Phocis are
And pray to be admitted. Elect: Out alas:
They bringe the reliques of my brothers deathe.
Orest: Ladie, I know not what reporte hath tould,
but for my selfe I have a message here,
from Strophius about Orestes. Elect: what
I pray is yat? my heart misgeiveth me.
Orest: Ladie we have Orestes ashes brought.
Elect: Ay me, now I am sure that he is dead
Orest: mourne you for him? then loe we bringe his hearse|
Elect: Ô give it me, and let me weepe on it,
Ô let me mourne, ô let me ever mourne
Orest. Come give it her, for whoe soever she be,
She lov'd him well and was his dearest frend.
Elect: O deare Orestes vayne hath beene my hope:
Did I thee send into a forraigne lande,
That thus thou should'st retourne? now out alas,
would god I had beene dead, before I was
Constraynd to sende thee soe from out my sight,
To die vnhappilye; O wretched I,
whoe neither could thy corpes with water washe,
nor in my armes thee from the fier take.
but straungers did a sisters function,
And here enclose thee in this like hearse;
Ay me, why did I love thee deare? ay me
why did I as a mother tender thee?
I was thy only nurse, I lov'd thee deare,
I was thy lovinge sister, now alas
the cheifest comfortes of my life are gone,
my father slayne, and thou ô brother dead,
And in these greifes my enimies triumphe,
And this my mother (whome I know noe cause
why by the name of mother I her call)
Accountes thy deathe as blissfull happinesse.
Ay me, o dolefull spectacle, ay me,
Ah thou with greife hast kill'd me, o my deare
brother, o brother thou has kill'd my heart.
Now sweete Orestes whil'st thou lived'st, we
were bothe compannions, o let me die
And converse with thee in Elisian
Leuco: Thy father o Electra, mortall was,
Soe alsoe was thy brother, leave to weepe,
Leave of to mourne, the thinge must needs be soe.
Orest: Noe longer can I now contayne my greife.
O what Melpomene will tune my voyce,
to tell the woes of this my greived heart?
Elect: I pray what sorrow makes you thus to greive?|
Orest: Are you the noble ladie Electra?
Elect: Yea that distressed ladie, out alas.
Orest: What meane I pray these sad and doefull playntes
Elect: why weepe you sir for me. o wretched I
Orest: O beautie cleane defac'd with miserie.
Elect: You still my sorrowes and my greife recounte.
Orest: would none her marry? o vnfortunate.
Elect: why weepe you sir to looke on my distresse?
Orest: because I never felt mine owne before.
Elect: And how I pray doe you your greife now feele?
Orest: Because I see you thus opprest with greife.
Elect: You see not halfe of my calamitie.
Orest: And is it possible there can be more?
Elect: yea, that I heere doe live with murderours.
Orest: Of whome I pray? whoe doe you meane is slayne?
Elect: my father sir, and now I serve my foes.
Orest: whoe dothe constrayne you to this servitude?
Elect: my mother some her call but she a monster is.
Orest: Dothe she by force or hunger thee compell?
Elect: by force and hunger and all miseries.
Orest: And is there none defendes thee from her wronge?
Elect: Ah, noe, whoe should you toulde, me he is dead.
Orest: Poore ladie, see how I doe pittie thee?
Elect: And know that thou art only pittiefull.
Orest: Because ther's none that sees your greife but I?
Elect: Yet are you not of any kin to me.
Orest: If you be trustie, I will tell you playne.
Elect: I promise you I nothinge will reveale.
Orest: Then lay a side a while this dolefull hearse!
Elect: O noe not soe, good sir, let me this keepe.
Orest: At my request deare ladie lay it downe.
Elect: pardon me, if you love, me gentle sir.
Orest: Nay, nay, sweete ladie it must needs be soe?
Elect: Deare Orestes shall I not burie thee?|
Orest: O say not soe thou mournest without a cause.
Elect: Without a cause mourne I my brothers death?
Orest: There is noe neede for to complayne for hime.
Elect: Why did he at his deathe contemne me then?
Orest: Nor he nor any els contemnethe thee.
Elect: And doe I then in vayne lament his hearse?
Orest: you are deceiv'd, this is noe hearse of his.
Elect: And where is then my brothers sepulchre?
Orest: There is noe sepulchre of him that lives.
Elect: And dothe Orestes live? Orest: I, if I live.
Elect: And are you he. Orest. See this my fathers ringe.
Elect: O happie day. Orest: Ô Ioyfull happinesse!
Elect: O pleasant worde, and are you he indeede?
Orest: I am. o my deare sister Electra.
Elect: have I my sweete Orestes by the hande?
Orest: you have, god graunt that you may have him still
Elect: Dames of Micene dearest dames beholde
my sweete Orestes is a live agayne
Heliod: yea, yea we see him o thrise happie sight.
the teares for ioy doe from our cheekes distill.
Elect: god lorde and is it possible
I ever should my deare Orestes see?
Orest: Let not your ioy be soe immoderate,
Lest that to greife it suddaynlie be turn'd.
Elect. whoe when she sees this ioyfull happinesse
vnlooked for, would not with me reioyce?
Orest: I came Electra by the godes commaunde?
Elect: for that I doe a great deale more reioyce.
Orest: I feare this ioy of yours will vs betray.
Elect: Sweete brother, I have mourned long enoughe.
And fortune now begins to smile agayne,
O let me ioy, good brother, let me ioy.
Orest: when time dothe serve you may reioyce at will
but now leave of and tell me where I may
be best reveng'd on these adulterers?
Elect: Deare brother hardlie can I leave, but yet
because you bidd, whoe first did make me ioy.|
I will represse it to my vtmost power.
And feare you not, soe deadly doe I hate
my mother, and the foule adulterer.
As I could well endure ten thousande paynes
to smother vp my ioy, nay even my breathe,
Soe that I may revenge my fathers deathe,
well, forward then Ægysthus is a broade.
my mother is with in now courage take
And make the famous to posteritie.
Orest peace peace Electra, some are comminge forth.
Elect: yea men of Phocis goe into the house
And doe the message of your soveraigne lorde.
Enter Euristhenes.
Eurist: my lord Orestes you forgett your selfe:
I kept this doore else you had beene betrayde.
the house might heare what ever you have sayde
Now I beseeche you be more circumspect,
And make more hast, delay may all detect.
Orest: Are all thinges quiet then within? Euryst: they are,
I warrant now ther's none will you mistrust.
Orest: What did you tell them I was dead? Euryst: I did.
Orest: Did they reioyce? Euryst:that I will tell anone:
now goe you in and iustlie be reveng'd.
Elect: Brother, whoe's this? Orest: reverende Eurysthenes,
my nurse, my father, and good counsellour,
Committed vnto him by Strophius:
from him I have receiv'd my education:
that I am now Orestes is his guifte.
Elect: Kinde sire: receive all thankes and reverence,
And humble service, of a mayden poore;
by whome I doe enioy my dearest brother
In you as in my father I reioyce.
Eurist: Thankes noble ladie. farther complementes
I must intreat you, pardon me a while.
Orest: But whoe is this? the queene that wicked dame?|
Enter Clytemnestra
Elect: It is. Orest: Then stay Orestes here,
And be revenged on her crueltie.
He commeth to her and doth obeysance.
And please your grace we come as messingers
from Strophius to tell you happie newes.
Clytem: welcome good frends, what is the newes you bringe?
Orest: Your sonne whome you did all wayes feare, is dead.
Clytem: Alas how chaunc'd he soe vntimely died?
Orest: Now give me leave to speake of other thinges,
That are concerninge bothe your state and ours.
here after I will shew you all the summe,
let it suffice that he is dead and here
behold with vs we have his ashes brought.
Clytem: O let me weepe and wayle vppon his hearse,
See, see, how pittie woundes a mothers heart
whome I most bitterlie alive did hate,
Now beeinge dead I cannot chuse but wayle.
Ah my Orestes, sweete Orestes, now
I doe repent I ever was soe cruell.
but let these teares appease thy angrie ghoste,
Nor let that direfull vengaunce fall on me,
which now my guiltie conscience dothe fore see.
Orest: Leave of thy fayned teares, Orestes is not dead.
I am Orestes mother, I am he.
mother? ah false, disloyall, trecherous,
Cruell, vnnaturall, foule, adulteresee,
To call thee mother, tis to kinde a worde?
Why couldst thou monster soe thy husbande slaye?
my father, and not soe with that content.
Seeke to kill me thy sonne, thy only sonne,
parte of thy fleshe? o most vnnaturall!
Elect: Remember brother what shee did to me.
Orest: I I ô cruell dame, o beastly wretche,
why didst thou rage soe tygerlike on her,
woundinge her greived heart with cruelties|
fye on the fie my soule abhorres thy lookes.
Clytem: Ay me, ay me, alas I doe confesse
I was to cruell: now I pardon crave,
good sonne for once let me his pardon have.
Orest: Noe monster, noe, I will not pardon thee.
Clytem: Yet let these teares move thee to pittie me.
Orest: Crocodiles teares, teares of hyprocrisie;/
Clytem: O by those paynes. Orest: you meane my fathers death.
noe, noe, not any thinge shall pittie move,
Thou hast deserv'd to die, then Clytemnestra die,
And end thy life and this thy crueltie.
He drawes his sword and offers
to strike.
But what shall I kill her that gave me life,
And for my sake endur'd soe many paynes?
Ah noe Orestes sheath thy sworde agyne.
Elect: What brother heare you not my father call
Revenge? and doubt you then? o call to minde
she would not pittie him. Pyla: strike, strike dear frend,
Els we and all are overthrowen in th'end.
Orest: well then goe sister now and stande at dore.
Elect: kill her brother, kill her.
Orest: And give vs warninge whe<.> Ægysthus comes:
And you deare frend be readie with your sworde,
And when he comes see that you succour me.
Clytem: Ay me, ay me, ay me.
Orestes: See Clytemnestra this revenginge sworde.
Clytem: Ay me, ay me, ay me.
Orest: Thus did'st thou kill my father. Clyt: out alas,
wilt strike this bodie where in thou didst lie.
Orest. This receptacle of adulterie.
Clyt: these paps that gave the sucke, for pittie cry.
Orest Those handes that kill'd my father doe deme.
He kills her
Now I Electra have perfourm'de the deede.
Shee whoe soe longe hath iniur'de thee is gone.|
Reioyce, reioyce, now is the happie time,
Now doe the Kalendes of our blisse beginne,
goe bidd some come, and take her bodie in.
Elect: Goe goe good dames, stand not amazed here,
Now iust revenge hathe lighted on her heade.
Sweete brother, how doe I reioyce to see
Revenge vppon soe cruell trecherie?
She lookes in.
But here Ægystus comes, now courage take.
Orest: What is Ægysthus come? then Pylades
And you my mates put vp your swordes agayne.
We must a while our greedie rage restrayne.
⸢enter Ægysthus.
Ægyst: where are those happie messengers of ioy?
Orest: Loe here we are, Ægysthus here we are,
that bringe the tydinges of Orestes deathe.
°Egistus° Are you the men? now welcome vnto mee.
but is Orestes dead? O happie newes.
Orest: he is and his dead bodie lyes with in.
Will your grace see it, we will follow you
Ægyst: Noe, noe, Electra open wide the dores,
And let the carcase straighte be hither brought.
They bringe in Clytemnestra
Is this Orestes? o how nature strives
And forceth teares without my heartes consent?
Come take away this coveringe a while,
And let me weepe vppon my cosins corse.
Orest: You beeinge the next of kin must doe't your selfe.
Ægyst. yea, yea it dothe belonge to me indeede.
He vncovers her
what doe I see? o dolefull spectacle,
O cruell murderer of my deare Queene:
vile cative, hath trayterous Strophius
thee sent to kill my Queene? well Ile goe
And be reveng'd on this your trecherie.
He offers to goe out. |
Orest: Nay stay Ægysthus, we must take with thee
first thou didst cruelly my grandsire slaye.
Ægyst: O godes is this Orestes? Orest: yea it is.
thou fouly hast defil'd my fathers bedd,
And then most trecherously didst murder him.
And afterwardes did'st seeke to slaughter me,
And vext my sister with thy crueltie.
Ægyst: I did Orestes nor I it denie
Orest: vile cative for thy wicked surquedy
thou on the poynte of this my sworde shalt die.
Ægyst: yea let the highest Iove rayne downe from heaven
fier and brimstone on my wretched head;
let hellishe hagges come from the lake of Styx,
And teare this heart, let all the tormentes there
be layde on me. let Sisyphus now rest,
Let Tantalus be eased of his payne.
Let poore Ixion leave his restlesse wheele.
Let Belides their frustrate laboure cease,
Let vultures gnawe vppon my guiltie minde
All these and other tormentes me befall,
for I Ægysthus have deserv'd them all.
Orest: There lackes but deathe, all this comes by and by
He stabs him.
Then die Ægysthus, now Ægysthus die.
goe damned soule vnto the burninge lake,
And there in everlastinge tormentes lie.
Ægyst: I die Orestes, now I needs must die.
Elect: O hapie time, and is Ægysthus dead?
Now will I bathe my selfe agayne in blisse,
And live in pleasure as I did before.
I will goe sacrifice vnto the godes.
And give them thankes for this my happinesse.
O my deare brother sweete Orestes now
I thee request, within Micenes walls
let not this hatefull corpes be buried.|
Orest: yea, goe Electra, bidde some take him hence,
And vse him at thy will.
Elect: I goe, I goe.
Some come in and take him away.
Orestes walkes vp and downe sadly.
Pyla: What meanes my frend to walke so heavilie,
What vncouth passions doe afflict thy minde?
Orest: Ah, ah, that Eagle of a guiltie minde
soe gnawes my heart with care, and gripinge greife,
that noe Prometheus ty'de to Caucasus,
did ever feele suche dire tormentinge payne
Did I my mother slay? ô wretched I!
O wickednesse, o beastly cruelltie!
was it these eyes, that saw soe many teares?
was it these eares, that heard soe many prayers?
was it this heart, that would soe cruell be?
was it these handes, that wrought this trecherie?
O eyes gushe forthe into a streame of teares,
teares never cease! ô eares for ever heare
the howlinge cries of my lamentigne heart!
harte still lament and damne these cruell handes
handes rippe the bowells of a murderer.
Eyes, eares, heart, handes and all in one agree,
to be revenged on my cruelltie.
Pyla: My deare Orestes causlesse is your greife,
what you have done, the godes commaunded me.
You have reveng'd your fathers guiltie death,
And sav'd your selfe from harme soe greater cause,
Is to reioyce then greive your foes are dead.
then sweete Orestes be not thus dismayde,
It troubles me you are so ill a payde.
Orest: O Pylades, Pylades, o my deare frende,
how shall I scape the vengaunce for this deede!
O cruell deede! ô thrise accursed I!
Accursed wretche that did'st thy mother slay,|
mother that gave thee life, vnworthie now
to live for this, now shall the angrie godes
send threefolde vengaunce on thy villanie,
And all thy fathers sorrowes multiplie.
In silent night amid'st thy quiet rest,
The hellishe fendes that marche invisible,
meetinge thy guiltie minde with threatninge looke,
Shall strike a terrour to thy pantinge heart:
And in the day when all thinges else reioyce,
And laste the sweetnesse of the gladsome light
Thou shalt in darkenesse sett thy whole delight
And that same tender nurse of man and beast
The sunne, whose movinge and whose influence
causeth a life in everie livinge thinge.
thou like the people scorched with his beames
vngratefully and causlessly shalt curse,
sayinge its he, that soe dothe burne thy heart
when only sunne is causer of thy smarte.
Pyla: Alas, and well away, how shall it be
that causlessly the godes should punnishe thee?
Orest: See Pylades where iustice comes from heaven,
bringinge with her a bande of threatninge powers
to be reveng'de on bloudie trecherie.
O sacred Queene and thou all-seeinge eye
Spare me spare Pylades, my Pylades
Let not him be pertaker of my payne,
Noe Pylades, live thou, but let me die
I have deserved deathe most worthilie.
Pyla: Ay me, my dearest frend.
Orest: noe, noe I will not now forsake, thee; peace
I heare them, come be readie with thy sworde
there there, strike, strike, we are vndone.
I see the hellishe hagge Tesiphone|
In gastly direfull manner hither pace.
tush I am sure tis she, I heard her cry.
The earthe gap'de wide, ô fly, fly, fly, she comes,
Away, away, what shall I stay and fighte?
She burnes me with her torche. O my Pylades,
O mother, mother slay, thy bloudie hande.
I, I, tis true I doe confesse the deede.
here take them all myne eyes, myne eares, my heart,
myne handes, but leave my Pyllades, I, I
And take her loe, looke where Ægysthus is
Leagions of divells follow him behinde.
what shall I doe? which way shall I escape?
They compasse me about, I cannot fly,
There standes Ægysthus with a threatninge sworde,
there standes the furie with an iron whippe,
there standes my mother with a fierbrande,
there standes the triple headed dogge of hell,
Loe where Ægysthus comes to strike at me?
Revenge Pylades, revenge, beholde they come,
they come, they come, Orestes make thy waye,
hew them a sunder, let not one escape,
breake ope the gates of hell, come Pylades
I will goe conquer Pluto, come away
Come Pylades I can noe longer staye.
Pyla: As highest Iove, how is it possible,
that fortune thus should suddaynly be chaung'de?
O my deare Orestes what hast thou done
That soe thou should'st the godes to anger move
Sweete frend even now thou greatly did'st reioyce,
And now with greife art suddaynlie opprest.
how hast thou wrapp'd thy Pylades in woe?
O that myne eyes were now two springinge wells,
that never might be dried, but allwayes weepe.
but why stay I here to lament in vayne?|
Teares cannot bringe him to his wittes agayne. Exit.
Actus 5 Chorus
Alas, prince in a moste disordered humor,
All Greece since is amazed at the rumor,
Greece that lately cryed retourne Orestes,
Greece that lately cryed, revenge Orestes,
now may quickly repent thy quicke retourninge
And may iustly repent thy iust revenginge.
Thus we wishe for a thinge, to loath it after:
first we slaughter a kinge, then hate the slaughter:
pull Authoritie downe to gayne a madd man,
better twere for a crowne retayne a badd man.
Doe not move a disease the force alayed,
And disturbe not a peace the cyttie stayed.
Crownes are frayle, nor a bide the safe removinge
mettle's not to be tryed to deare the provinge
when for worldes regiment the princly wittes loste
Tis deare experiment that hardly quites coste
well in these furious mishape the best is
that godes send Pylades, to guide Orestes
Euth: when they wronged innocent
hath recourse to pollicie
To fly daunger imminent
Crafte avoydeth infamie.
Vse not in thy countenance
playnly to protest thy cheare,
But be sure of hinderance,
If thy whole intent appeare
Had the kinge Orestes knowen
And Orestes companie,
Safely mighte he kept his owne
person in securitie |
But the straunger and the frend
weare the names ‸⸢he⸣ left regarded:
And this errour hath his end:
iustly murder is rewarded.
Tymar: Whil'st that Orestes goes to bannishment,
And his proude will Ægysthus satisfies,
time workes the while vppon the heavens intent:
Earthe vnawares consenteth to the skyes.
whilst Strophius admireth in the youthe,
thinges worthe the admiration of mans eyes,
more then he sees, vppon his love ensueth.
Earthe vnawares consenteth to the skyes.
Euristhenes doth plott to make him kinge
thinkinge by this advauncment for to rise;
the heavens doe respect another thinge.
Earthe vnawares consenteth to the skyes.
Orestes for revenge and for the crowne:
Electra for some private iniuries:
heavens revenge to throw some simply downe:
Earthe vnawares consenteth to the skyes.
And Pylades findinge Orestes kinde,
meanes not to leave him in his miseries:
but that shall fall with higher powers minde:
Earthe vnawares consenteth to the skyes.
Atreus, thyestes, Agamemnons sunne,
Ægysthus, Clytemnestra's, villanies,
Orestes, all to this worde credit winne.
Earthe vnawares consenteth to the skyes.
Pythi: It was Ægisthus surest way
to roote out Agamemnons kinde;
And yet he let Electra stay,
But godes will have offenders blinde.|
he might Orestes done away,
Or to some desert Ile confinde
but see she lives to see this day.
for godes will have offenders blinde.
Vppon Orestes deathe reporte
how quicke beleife their wishe did finde?
he walkes abroad to take his sporte:
for godes will have offenders blinde.
he might have kept in policie
the messengers with garde a sign'd
but see his loose supinitie:
for godes will have offenders blinde.
they wicked worke their punnishment:
concurringe there to with their minde,
In willinge ignorante consent
for godes will have offenders blinde.
Lysa: Hath Pelopes house in spite of nature sworne,
by their example cleane to bannishe love
Out of those heartes which vnto concorde borne?
Eache day doth farther from their deathe remove
Then Pelopes house, if vnitie thou scorne,
whoe can lament thee by thy selfe soe lorne?
A teare were ill spent on that mother slayne
by feirce Orestes that revenge pretendes:
If she her husbandes love did first disdayne:
but ill example worse a fault defends.
men have their passions, godes appoyntes their endes
they vse eache minde to good, how er'e it bendes.
Thoughe head longe Zeale caried with blinde fervour
Some what, that may be iust, doth apprehende,
Yet zeale may not be suffer'd his owne carver,
for imperfection they may best amend.
vppon whome dothe all perfectnesse depend.
They on Orestes did this furie sende.
They show by this Orestes did a misse,
And by this deede their godhead is displeas'd: |
we that see what, and not wherfore it is,
Lest that our countries sorrowe be increased,
Letes goe, and seeke their wrathe to be apeased,
that soe our princes minde may be released.
Epilogue of all.
Now noble sirs & most kind audience
we end the troble of your eyes & eares
O what greate boldnes twer't in vs to wish
that heere remembraunce of our faltes might end;
But since they cannot, yet good gentlme
knowe this that for your sakes we are content
Even thus far to be iudged negligent
As we come short of your good expectation
That very expectation deserves
soe well of vs that that's our greatest griefe
that you should thinke soe well we doe soe ill
We might alleadge our youth and discipline
the want of imitation of lives
of famous me in this retired place
But we should slaunder place and discipline
And many helps that god our Queene and ffounder
yeald if our selves take not the blame of all.
And we should wronge the right of your good nature
to rob it of the pardoninge of all
our countenances whose best action
is through the course of this our education
milde observation and reverence
our armes and legges that doe but once a yeare
act freede from a goune and libertie
shewe soe great deadnes and vndecentnes
that we have left noe other hope but this
that none will obiect to vs the number
Nowe for som speaches and theire tediousnes
have but Sophocles and Seneca
Sel<...> to beare the burthe of that falt|
To whom we bound for our instruction
durst not presume rashly to cut them of
if any thinge de<..>rveth praise tis theirs
if they have any falt we beare a part
nowe for the time and common penurie
that acts a tragedie throughout the land
our Chorus knows we ment not to abuse it.
Somwhat thought on for private exercise
But never thought for your eares fitt enough
could nowe endure noe longer d<..>b<....> meninge
But we must nowe deliver vs a<.....>n
of that wherin fame els h<.>d mo<..> <...> bo<..>
we cannot thinke yat we deserve your liking
yeat if your error be so bountifull
as to bestowe a signe of a<....>bation
Knowe this that our most thankfull recompence
can but account you founders of our credit
and ioine you with good William of Wickam
Thincke this <...> is noe small magnificence
to be the founders of a colledge praise
  • Marginalia
    • Clyt: makes swnes of lamentation

      [Footnote: swnes: for sownes]

    • °+Exeunt°
    • °Exeunt°
    • °& ye rest.°
    • nor is it death which I so greatly feare,
      but still to liue a life farre worse then death,
      sweete sister, let this wrathfull furie passe
      before it vtterly deceiues vs both,
      bethinck your selfe, Electra, it is best
      with willingnesse to obey the mightier sorte.
      come lets be gone these places are too open.

      [Footnote: nor … open: These seven lines are written in left margin, at bottom of page, perpendicular to the rest of the page. The next page, f 69, is written in yet another hand and begins with the chorus that ends Act 4, so it seems likely that the copyist of f 68v failed to copy these final lines of the scene, which would have had to start a new page, and the lines were added later in the margin.]

    • 38:

      [Footnote: 38: number has short horizontal lines above and below it; this number might perhaps refer to a folio numbered 38, but none of the leaves with contemporary ink foliation is numbered 38]

  • Footnotes
    • his brothers: ie, Thyestes'
    • newes: approach stroke and first minim of n joined by smudge on the line
    • meane<.>: s likely lost to trimming at right edge of folio
    • |: beginning of f 27v
    • |: beginning of f 28
    • Atreus … Agathia: in italic script
    • to: o written over h
    • She spites: a third word has been blotted
    • |: beginning of f 28v
    • torture: initial t written over another letter
    • harte: smudge or erasure after h
    • pacteses: for practeses
    • Put: P written over another letter
    • hurtt: first t written over s
    • tha: for that
    • |: beginning of f 29
    • <..>ch: letters smudged; for rich (?)
    • shewe a ri<.>gglinge: written as a single word, but separated by vertical lines either side of a
    • singes: for signes
    • make: m written over t
    • |: beginning of f 29v
    • dowe: for downe; abbreviation mark missing
    • Bshrewe: for Beshrewe
    • swnes: for sownes
    • |: beginning of f 30
    • Nay … minde: there is a large 'X' in right margin beside these two lines
    • where as … feast: a vertical line extends down the left margin from line that starts where as to the last line, with a 'y,' crossed out, in the margin to the left of the line
    • |: beginning of f 30v
    • lenght: for length
    • |: beginning of f 31
    • Atrides: 'son of Atreus,' ie, Agamemnon
    • butcheringes: 'es' abbreviation written over h
    • |: beginning of f 31v
    • |: beginning of f 32
    • Clytemnenstra: for Clytemnestra
    • Phrasian: for Phasian, ie, Medea, from Phasis, a city in Colchis
    • |: beginning of f 32v
    • |: beginning of f 33
    • a: corrected from o(?)
    • |: beginning of f 33v
    • sulphur: l smudged, possibly written over another letter
    • deferr: f written over s
    • |: beginning of f 34
    • warrlike: rr written over ld
    • |: beginning of f 34v; stage directions and first 2 speech headings in red ink
    • Here stay.: in red ink except first stroke of H
    • courte: t corrected from s
    • |: beginning of f 35
    • fansie: s written over t
    • these: for those (?)
    • Ægist: the speech heading is rubbed out at the beginning of the final line. The copyist was likely confused by the similarity of the last two lines of this speech, and, having copied the penultimate line, wrote the speech heading for Aegisthus' next speech before realizing he needed to copy one more line of Clytemnestra's speech. He then rubbed out the speech heading, copied that final line and started Aegisthus' speech at the top of the verso.
    • |: beginning of f 35v
    • Embrace her: in red ink
    • |: beginning of f 36; hand changes
    • Aegist: speech heading redundant
    • He … dagger: stage direction in italics
    • |: beginning of f 36v
    • |: beginning of f 37
    • |: beginning of f 37v
    • Clytemestraes: second e written over a
    • |: beginning of f 38
    • 2dus: u written over a
    • wares: e written over r
    • ||: beginning of f 39; f 38v blank
    • lantch'd: t possibly cancelled
    • To her self: in red ink
    • amazon: z written over h
    • Then … Eurybates: in red ink
    • |: beginning of f 39v
    • saftly: for safely
    • the: written over D
    • |: beginning of f 40
    • |: beginning of f 40v
    • then before: copyist has left space approximately 5 characters in length between these two words
    • |: beginning of f 41
    • She kneeleth: in red ink
    • |: beginning of f 41v
    • adorne: e written over erasure
    • name: partially formed letter, perhaps 't' before n
    • Enter … Weepinge: in red ink
    • vnseene: v and eene written over other letters
    • teares: t written over c
    • strangleth … with: written over erasure
    • |: beginning of f 42
    • woe: w written over 2 other letters
    • |: beginning of f 42v
    • straight: 2 minims for i
    • ||: beginning of f 43v; f 43 blank
    • X.X.X.: The purpose of the Greek characters on ff 43v and 44 is unclear. They occur in sets of three, immediately above the speech headings, and only in this section of the manuscript. The Greek letters appear to be in the same hand as this section, though one cannot be certain without other examples of those letters, and the darkness of the ink and width of the strokes suggest that they were written at the same time as the rest of the leaf.
    • δ.δ.δ.: The purpose of the Greek characters on ff 43v and 44 is unclear. They occur in sets of three, immediately above the speech headings, and only in this section of the manuscript. The Greek letters appear to be in the same hand as this section, though one cannot be certain without other examples of those letters, and the darkness of the ink and width of the strokes suggest that they were written at the same time as the rest of the leaf.
    • φ.φ.φ.: The purpose of the Greek characters on ff 43v and 44 is unclear. They occur in sets of three, immediately above the speech headings, and only in this section of the manuscript. The Greek letters appear to be in the same hand as this section, though one cannot be certain without other examples of those letters, and the darkness of the ink and width of the strokes suggest that they were written at the same time as the rest of the leaf.
    • |: beginning of f 44
    • X.X.X.: The purpose of the Greek characters on ff 43v and 44 is unclear. They occur in sets of three, immediately above the speech headings, and only in this section of the manuscript. The Greek letters appear to be in the same hand as this section, though one cannot be certain without other examples of those letters, and the darkness of the ink and width of the strokes suggest that they were written at the same time as the rest of the leaf.
    • ffortune … folly: short horizontal lines under the beginning and end of this line
    • δ.δ.δ.: The purpose of the Greek characters on ff 43v and 44 is unclear. They occur in sets of three, immediately above the speech headings, and only in this section of the manuscript. The Greek letters appear to be in the same hand as this section, though one cannot be certain without other examples of those letters, and the darkness of the ink and width of the strokes suggest that they were written at the same time as the rest of the leaf.
    • φ.φ.φ.: The purpose of the Greek characters on ff 43v and 44 is unclear. They occur in sets of three, immediately above the speech headings, and only in this section of the manuscript. The Greek letters appear to be in the same hand as this section, though one cannot be certain without other examples of those letters, and the darkness of the ink and width of the strokes suggest that they were written at the same time as the rest of the leaf.
    • |: beginning of f 44v
    • Altione: ie, Alcyone, daughter of Aeolus and wife of Ceyx
    • orvreache: for overreach
    • And thoughe … orvreache: The allusion to Alcyone and Ceyx seems especially apt in this context. Ceyx was king of Trachis and the couple were both beautiful and very much in love. They took to referring to themselves as Zeus and Hera, which angered the gods. When Ceyx was traveling by ship to consult the oracle of Apollo, Zeus hit the ship with a thunderbolt and Ceyx was drowned. Alcyone threw herself into the sea in grief, but the gods were so impressed by the intensity of the couple's love that Zeus transformed them into kingfishers (halcyon birds). This allusion, and those to Procne and Philomela, are taken from Seneca.
    • |: beginning of f 45
    • She … downe: in red ink
    • Actus … discharged: in red ink. This is not the fourth act, but the error may be due to the fact that this scene is taken from the fourth act of Seneca's Agamemnon.
    • |: beginning of f 45v
    • |: beginning of f 46
    • it: t written over n
    • (spitt … larkes): bracketed in error (?)
    • Sterching: for streching (?)
    • simois: first s corrected from S; second s written over 'h', partly erased
    • Brontes: in Hesiod, a cyclops whose name means thunderer, associated with blacksmithing
    • |: beginning of f 46v
    • catapults: t written over another letter
    • pilages: g written over 'd,' partly erased
    • their/threatninge: ir of their squeezed in after threatninge was written, and the stroke was added to separate the two words
    • |: beginning of f 47
    • cunjur: j written over 'g'; second u written over another letter
    • Hirceus: ie, Herceus, epithet of Jupiter as defender of houses
    • |: beginning of f 47v
    • He … altar: in red ink
    • Agamemnon … altar: in red ink
    • Each … too: these three lines have been cancelled, presumably when different copyists put their sections together and discovered the overlap, as the lines also appear at the top of f 48
    • |: beginning of f 48. The lines and words on f 48 that are in a slightly different, more italic hand (similar to that of the stage directions) also have extra space around them, suggesting that blanks were left by the main copyist to be filled in later. Most include proper names, some of them rendered in their Latin or Greek forms, rather than the common English forms.
    • Xανηφροι: possibly 'bearers, carriers'
    • ορζεωνες: 'priests'
    • Exit … satellitibus: 'Agamemnon exits with attendants'
    • |: beginning of f 48v
    • behinde: d written over g
    • He … him: stage direction
    • |: beginning of f 49
    • Oenomaus: in italic script
    • Ægysthus: in italic script
    • |: beginning of f 49v
    • armes: r written over y
    • He … it: stage direction
    • |: beginning of f 50
    • sca.se: all except first s written over other letters
    • Chorus. 2 … fight: short horizontal lines at the left margin separate the numbered sections of this chorus.
    • |: beginning of f 50v
    • |: beginning of f 51
    • Me … greife: The first six words of this line have been lightly cancelled, and a similarly light line is drawn between this line and the following one. Some problem in copying seems to have occurred here, as there is no speech heading for the first two lines. If they are assumed to be Electra's, she begins in mid-sentence, yet these lines appear necessary to lead to Laucothea's following speech. The stage direction also suggests some confusion at this point, with the repetition of Electra's name.
    • F: ie, Fate (?)
    • great: g written over t
    • Iphionassa, Chrysosthenis: in italic script
    • impertience: for impertinence
    • |: beginning of f 51v
    • <..>wished: wi written over other letters
    • |: beginning of f 52
    • |: beginning of f 52v
    • and: for an
    • <.>: partial letter, possibly the upright of a 't' or the beginning of a long 's'; for deletion (?)
    • s: for deletion (?)
    • Eogisthus: Eo written over O
    • |: beginning of f 53
    • Both … have: also written as catchwords at the foot of f 52v
    • |: beginning of f 53v
    • yet: t written over another letter
    • wlittle: copyist attempted to write 'will' over 'little,' mistakenly copied from line above, and then cancelled the entire word
    • now when: the two words were written without a space between them and then a vertical line drawn to separate them
    • |: beginning of f 54
    • Is: s written over another letter
    • live: v written over f
    • |: beginning of f 54v
    • will you: the sense and metre would appear to require 'tell' between 'will' and 'you'
    • |: beginning of f 55
    • aple: for ample; abbreviation mark missing
    • ||: beginning of f 56; hand changes; f 55v blank
    • crave: r written over a
    • lengh: for length
    • overthewest: for overthrewest (?)
    • life: l written over p
    • theed: for threed ie, thread
    • salfty: for salfly
    • |: beginning of f 56v
    • gratifie: f written over p
    • if … place: closing parenthesis missing
    • occasions makes: for occasion makes or occasions make
    • |: beginning of f 57
    • must: m written over d
    • Piceans: for Pythians (?)
    • Ægisthus: in italic script
    • bewrayes: e written over another letter
    • 3: 3 is correct, but looks more like 5
    • |: beginning of f 57v
    • authority: u squeezed between a and t
    • boody: for bloody
    • |: beginning of f 58; hand changes
    • latt: for last (?)
    • |: beginning of f 58v
    • |: beginning of f 59; hand changes; speech headings in red ink
    • Ch: for Chorus? Large letters (three lines high)
    • Captives.: in red ink
    • withered: ither written over other letters
    • Exeunt … Corps: in black ink, but a different hand from either the main text of this leaf or the speech headings and act designation
    • |: beginning of f 59v; speech headings in red ink
    • realme: l written over 2 other letters
    • |: beginning of f 60; speech headings in red ink
    • |: beginning of f 60v; stage directions, speech and other headings in red ink
    • |: beginning of f 61; speech headings and stage directions in red ink
    • Here stay.: in red ink
    • fate: for face
    • |: beginning of f 61v; stage direction in red ink
    • He kneels.: in red ink
    • |: beginning of f 62; stage directions and speech headings in red ink
    • Here rise.: in red ink
    • Orestes museth: in red ink
    • litle: heavily overwritten and almost illegible
    • |: beginning of f 62v; speech headings in red ink
    • straunger: bisected between a and u by a vertical line partially erased
    • |: beginning of f 63; speech headings in red ink
    • vnto: v written over another letter, possibly o
    • |: beginning of f 63v; speech headings and stage directions in red ink
    • |: beginning of f 64; speech headings in red ink
    • Ægystys: y written over another letter
    • |: beginning of f 64v
    • Clyemnestra: Cl and first e written over other letters
    • |: beginning of f 65; speech headings in red ink
    • |: beginning of f 65v
    • |: beginning of f 66; speech headings in red ink
    • |: beginning of f 66v; speech headings and stage directions in red ink
    • remayne: 2 minims for m
    • |: beginning of f 67; speech headings and stage directions in red ink
    • |: beginning of f 67v; speech headings in red ink
    • shoul'd: apostrophe otiose
    • |: beginning of f 68; speech headings in red ink
    • alas: s written over erasure
    • that: second t written over d
    • |: beginning of f 68v; speech headings in red ink
    • nor … open: These seven lines are written in left margin, at bottom of page, perpendicular to the rest of the page. The next page, f 69, is written in yet another hand and begins with the chorus that ends Act 4, so it seems likely that the copyist of f 68v failed to copy these final lines of the scene, which would have had to start a new page, and the lines were added later in the margin.
    • |: beginning of f 69; same hand and ink for speech headings as for the rest of the text
    • worse: e written over another letter
    • Againe: Like the two other 'Againe's below on the page, this word may be a stage direction, in this case inserted between two lines after writing them, and not a part of this line.
    • can: c written over b
    • possest: a third 's' begun after the first two but abandoned without cancelling
    • beereavde: d written over g
    • Againe: possibly a stage direction
    • Againe: possibly a stage direction
    • dispotion: for disposition
    • |: beginning of f 69v
    • |: beginning of f 70
    • |: beginning of f 70v
    • trust: r written over 'h'
    • I … him: The copyist may have missed the correct line ending here, or the writer mistook the metre, as to create two ten-syllable lines would require the line break to come between the syllables of 'mother.' Similarly, the following line would need to break between 'forgett' and 'nature.'
    • |: beginning of f 71
    • Mothers: M written over another letter
    • righfull: for rightfull
    • seach: for search
    • My lord Orestes: This phrase may have been put down as a catchphrase, with the page originally ending at this point. The following lines are in a darker ink and the spaces between the lines are narrower than above. The hand, however, is very similar, though the capital M is different.
    • me: e written over y
    • my: m written over b
    • |: beginning of f 71v
    • wordle: for worlde
    • |: beginning of f 72; speech headings in red ink
    • |: beginning of f 72v; speech headings in red ink
    • |: beginning f of 73; same hand as previous; speech headings and stage directions in red ink
    • toe: for soe
    • |: beginning of f 73v; same hand; stage directions and speech headings in red
    • Ingressuri … dant: 'As they are about to set out, Orestes and Pylades encounter Electra approaching with (her) servants at the gate'
    • |: beginning of f 74; speech headings in red ink
    • Ô: circumflex accent added in red ink
    • Ô: circumflex accent added in red ink
    • vnhappilye: y written over another letter
    • thy: y written over another letter
    • |: beginning of f 74v; speech headings in red ink
    • |: beginning of f 75; speech headings in red ink
    • |: beginning of f 75v; speech headings and stage directions in red ink
    • Euryst: speech heading, in red ink; y written in black ink over i
    • |: beginning f of 76; speech headings and stage direction in red ink
    • |: beginning of f 76v; same hand; speech headings and stage directions in red ink
    • lookes.: written on slip of paper slightly larger than the word, which has been pasted onto the leaf, perhaps to permit a neat correction.
    • |: beginning of f 77; speech headings and stage directions in red ink
    • enter Ægysthus: squeezed in between spoken lines as the copyist left no space for the stage direction
    • Egistus: in black ink, unlike the rest of the speech headings, and a different hand from any other on this page
    • |: beginning of f 77v; same hand; speech headings and stage directions in red ink
    • take: fortalke
    • Oerst: speech heading, in red ink
    • |: beginning of f 78; same hand; speech headings and stage directions in red ink
    • |: beginning of f 78v; same hand; speech headings in red ink
    • |: beginning of f 79; same hand; speech headings in red
    • ?: for deletion (?)
    • That: T written over S
    • |: beginning of f 79v; same hand
    • Exit: stage direction in red ink
    • Actus … Chorus: in red ink
    • since: inc written over other letters
    • 38: number has short horizontal lines above and below it; this number might perhaps refer to a folio numbered 38, but none of the leaves with contemporary ink foliation is numbered 38
    • |: beginning of f 80; same hand; speech headings in red
    • |: beginning of f 80v; hand continues; speech headings in red
    • for godes: preceded by horizontal line presumably to indicate that the line is a refrain and should be exdented as it is below
    • a sign'd: for assigned?; g written over two other letters
    • Eache: preceded by a horizontal line perhaps to indicate that the line should be exdented
    • |: beginning of f 81; same hand continues for 5 lines
    • finis: written in larger script than lines above
    • gentlme: for gentlemen; no abbreviation mark in MS
    • me: for men; no abbreviation mark in MS
    • Sel<...>: for Seldom (?); line at the bottom of the leaf badly faded in places
    • burthe: for burthen; no abbreviation mark in MS
    • |: beginning of f 81v; same hand continues
    • de<..>veth: for deserveth
    • d<..>b<....>: for doubtful
    • a<....>bation: for approbation
    • <...>: faded, possibly cancelled
  • Glossed Terms
    • aggratuitie n a gratuity(?)
    • a moungst prep amongst
    • attaynte adj attainted, convicted, infected
    • baudnes n bawdiness
    • bereafe v pr bereave
    • beyard n bayard [OEDO bayard n 2.c]
    • bot adv but
    • cam n calm
    • carkasies n pl carcasses
    • dallinge v prp dallying
    • descyfer v inf decipher
    • drierie adj dreary
    • exequution n execution
    • feyse v inf, pr feeze, frighten [OEDO feeze v.1 2]
    • ghoahst n ghost
    • hatfull adj hateful
    • haynes n pl or adj mean wretches(?) [OEDO hayne n], or heinous(?)
    • haynous adj heinous
    • hellmat n helmet
    • iayle n in phr iayle deliverie jail delivery, the release of prisoners from jail
    • ielosie n jealousy
    • imbrodered adj embroidered
    • incontagion n contagion, possibly with a play on 'incantation'
    • lantch'd v pfp launched
    • lavolto n lavolta, a popular dance
    • letes v imp phr let's, let us
    • limmatt v inf, pr limit
    • loughty adj lofty
    • mald v inf mauled, knocked, struck (down)
    • marde v intr pa marred; erred
    • miesre n misery
    • obeysians n obeisance
    • obsteynacye n obstinacy
    • one prep on
    • pallace n Pallas, ie, Athena
    • par'd v pa paired, damaged [OEDO pair v.1]
    • pawsinge v prp pausing
    • peirc'd v pa pierced
    • polron n pauldren, shoulder armour
    • rac'd v pfp razed, erased
    • rampeirs n pl rampires, ie, ramparts
    • rasons n poss reason's
    • rigglinge adj wriggling
    • roule v pr, inf roll; rowle
    • salfly adv safely
    • saught pa sought
    • seasinge vb n ceasing
    • sownes n pl sounds
    • straight adj strait, tight
    • strickly adv strictly
    • strout v inf, pr strut OEDO strut v.1 2.a]
    • stuberennesse n stubbornness
    • suerly adv surely; surly
    • toe adv too
    • toe prep to
    • transpersinge vb n transpiercing
    • trimbd v pfp trimmed
    • weele contraction of we will, we'll
    • wetnes n witness
  • Document Description

    Record title: Pelopidarum Secunda
    Repository: BL
    Shelfmark: Harley MS 5110
    Repository location: London

    17th Century; English; paper; 300mm x 195mm; 66 leaves; modern pencil foliation 27-81 (used here); intermittent contemporary ink foliation 1-5, 7-17, 1 unnumbered (modern f 43), 19-25, 24 (repeated), 29, 26, 1 unnumbered (modern f 54), 27, 3 unnumbered (modern ff 56-8), 63-72, 3 unnumbered (modern ff 69-71), 75-83, 1 unnumbered (modern f 81); ff 38v, 43, 55v blank; good condition. Now bound into a volume (ii + 149 + iii) with miscellaneous verse, orations, and other texts; red leather-covered board binding, Harley crest on front: a shield flanked by angels, with a crown over it, and below the motto 'VIRTUTE ET FIDE,' title on spine: '33 //'.

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