THE SECONDE TRAGEDIE OF Seneca entituled Thy­estes faithfully Engli­shed by Iasper Hey­wood fellowe of Alsolne Col­lege in Oxforde.

IMPRINTED AT London in Fletestrete in the hous late Thomas Ber­thelettes.

Anno. 1560. 26. die Martii.


To the right honorable syr Iohn Mason knight one of the Queenes Maiestie [...] pr [...]uie couns [...]ile, his daily ora­tor Iasper Heywood [...] health with encrease o [...] honour and vertue.

AS bounden brest dothe beare the poorest wygh [...], that dutie dothe in tryflyng token sende,
As he that dothe with plenteous present quyght, Of prouder pryce, and glyttryng golde his fr [...]de.
Who so repaythe with moneys mightie masse, the good that he at others hands hath founde,
Remembraunce of the benefyte dothe passe, he thynks him selfe to hym no longer bounde.
The poore, whose powre may not with pryce repay [...], the great good gy [...] that he receyude before,
With thankfull thought yet gogyn gyfte dothe swaye, aboue the payse of pearle and golde great store.
If puisaunt prynce at poore mans hande onse tooke I radi [...]e roote, and was therwith content,
Your honor then I pray, this little booke to take in woorthe, that I to you present.
[Page] Whiche though it selfe a volume be but small, yet greater gyft it geues then weene ye myght,
Though it a barrayne booke be throughout all full fruteles, yet not faythles sygne in syght
It showes of him that for your honour prayes, (as deedes of yours of him deserued haue,)
That god aboue prolong your happie dayes, and make the shyes your seate soone af [...]er graue.

¶ The translatour to the booke.

THou lytle booke my messenger must be, That must from me to wight of honour go [...],
Behaue thee humbly, bende to him thy knee, and thee to hym in lowly maner showe.
But dooe thou not thy selfe to him present, When with affayres thou shalt him troubled see,
Thou shalt perhapps, so woor [...]hely be shent, and with reproofe he thus will say to thee.
So prowdly thus presume how darest thou, at suche a tyme so rashely to appeare?
With thyngꝭ of waight thou seest me burdned nowe, I maie not yet to tryfles geue myne care.
Spie well thy tyme, when thou him seest alone, an ydle houre for the shalbe moste meete,
Then steppe thou foorth, in sight of him anone, and as behoues, his honor humbly greete.
But now take heede what I to the shall tell, and all by roate this lesson take with thee,
In euery thyng thy selfe to order well in syght of hym, geeue eate and learne of mee.
Fyrst, what or whence thou art if he woulde wyt, then see that thou thy tytle to him showe,
Tell hym thy name is in thy forhed wr [...]t, by whiche he shall bothe thee and me well knowe.
[Page] [...]hen when he hath once lookte vpon thy name, yf yet he shall neglect to reade the re [...]t,
Or if he [...]hyde and say thou arte to blame, with [...] suche to haue him so opprest:
[...]eseche him yet the [...]of to pardon th [...]e, syns thou [...] vut thy masters messenge [...]e.
Excuse thy selfe and [...] the faute in mee, at whose commaundment thus thou romste in [...].
If my presump [...]ion then accuse he do, if deede so [...]asshe of myne he do reproue,
That I thee dare attempt to send him to, beware thou speake nothyng for my behoue.
Nor do thou not excuse my [...] in ought, but [...]ather yet confesse to him the same,
And [...] there maie a fawte in me be thought, whiche to excuse it doubleth but the blame.
Yet with my boldenes him beseche to beare, and pardon geue to this my enterpryse,
[...] woorthy thyng in wight of honour w [...]are, [...] present poore to take in thankfull wyse.
For tell him though thou slender volume be, [...] for state of honour guest,
Yet dooste thou signe of dutie bringe with the, and pledge thou arte of truly bounden bre [...]t,
[...]nd thou for him [...] come for to confesse, his beadman bounde to be for his desart,
[...]nd how to him he graunt [...] he owthe no lesse, nor geeue [...] no more, but note of thankfull har [...].
[Page]In all the rest that he to thee shall say, thy wyt shall serue an answere well to make,
Thou hast thyne errande, get thee hens away, the gods thee speede, to them I thee betake.

The preface.

IT was the fowre and twentith date of latest monthe saue one
Of all the yere. when flowre and frute from fielde and tree were gone,
And sadder season suche ensewde as dulls the dolefull sprightꝭ
And Muse of men that woonted were to wander in delightꝭ:
And weather suche there was, as well became the pe [...]ue pen
With sory style of woes to wryte and eke of mischiefe, when
Aurora blusht with ruddie cheekes, to waile the death agayne
Of Phoebus soon: whom thunderbolt of mightie Ioue had slayne:
And cloudes from highe began to throwe their dreary teares adowne,
And Uenus from the skyes aboue on fryday fowle to frowne:
W [...]en (as at booke with mased Muse I satte and pensiue thought
Deepe drownde in dumps of drousines [...] chaunge of weather wrought,)
[Page]I felt howe Morpheus bound my browes and eke my Temples strooke,
That downe I soonke my heauy head and sleapt vppon my booke.
Then dreamde I thus, that by my syde me thought I sawe one stande
That downe to grounde in scarlet gowne was dight, and in his hande
A booke he bare: and on his head of Bayes a Gatland greene:
Full graue he was, well stept in yeres and comly to be seene.
His eyes like Christ [...]ll shiende: his breathe full sweete, his face full fyne,
It seemde he had byn lodged long, among the Muses nyne.
Good syr ( (quam) I) I you beseche (since that ye seeme to me
By your attyre some worthie wight) it may your pleasure be,
To tell me what and when [...] [...]. wherat a whyle he stayde
Beholdyng me: an one he spake, and thus (me thought) he sayde.
Spayne was ( (quam) he) my natiue soyle: a man of woorthie fame
Sometime I was in former age, and Sene [...] my name.
[Page]The name of Sen [...] when I hearde then scantly could I speake:
I was so gladde that from mine eyes the teares began to breake
For ioy: and with what wordes I shoulde sa [...] him, I ne wyst.
I him enbrast: his handes, his feete, and fa [...]e full ofte I kyst.
And as at lengthe my trickiyng teares me thought I might [...],
O blisfull daye ( (quam) I,) wherin returned is agayne
So worthie wight: O happie houre, that liefer [...] to me
Then life: wherin [...] happ [...] me so, that I should Sen [...] see.
Arte thou the same, that whilom dydst thy Tragedies endight
With woondrous wit and regall stile? O long desyred sight.
And lyuste thou yet ( (quam) I) in d [...]ede? and arte thou come agayne
To talke and dwell as thou wert won [...] with men? and to remayne
In this ou [...] age? I lyue ( (quam) he) and neuer shall I die:
The woorks I wrote shall still preser [...] my name in memorie
[Page]From age to age: and nowe agayne I will reuiue the same,
And here I come to seeke some one that might renewe my name,
And make me speake in straunger speeche and sette my woorks to sight,
And skanne my verse in other tongue then I was woont to wright.
A young man well I wotte there is in thyle of Brytannie,
(That from the rest of all the world [...] aloofe in seas doth lie)
That once this labour tooke in hande: him wolde I meete full sayne,
To c [...]ue that in the rest of all my woorkꝭ he wolde take payne
To toyle, as he in [...] did. is that your wyll (quoth I?)
I blusht, and sayd the same you seeke, loe, here I stande you by.
If thou ( (quam) he) be whome I seeke, if glorie ought thee moue
Of myne to come in after age, if Senc [...]s name thou loue
Aliue to keepe, I thee beseech [...] agayne to take thy pen,
In miter of thy mother tongu [...] to geue to sight of men
[Page]My other [...]: wherby thou [...] deserue of them and [...],
No litle thancks: When they them selues my Tragedies shall see
In Englishe verse, that neuer yet coulde latine vnderstande.
With my renowne perhapps thy name shall flie throughout this lande,
And those that yet [...] neuer knew [...] shall thee bothe loue and prayse,
And say God graunt this yong man well to lyue full many dayes,
And many happy houres to see in life: and after graue,
Rest, ioy, and blisse eternally aboue the skies to haue,
That so translated hath these bookes. to him (quoth I) agayne
(If any be that so with thanks accepts a yong mans payne)
I wishe great good: but well I [...] the hatefull cursed broode
F [...]rre greater is, that are long syns sproong vp of Zoylus bloode.
That Red heard, black mouthd, squint eyed wretche hath cow [...]hed euery wheare,
In corner close some Impe of his that si [...] to see and he [...]
[Page]What eche man dothe, and eche man blames. nor on [...]e we may him s [...]
Come face to face, but we once gone then stoutly stepps out hee:
And all he carpe [...] that there he fyndes [...]re halfe he reade to ende,
And what he vnderstandes not, [...], though nought he can amende.
But were it so that such [...] were none, how may these youthfull dayes
Of mine, in thyng so hard as this de [...]rue of other prayse?
A labour long (quoth I) it is that riper age doothe [...]aue:
And who shall trauaile in thy bookes, more iudgement ought to h [...]
Then I: whose greener yeares therby no thanks may hope to wynne.
Thou seest dame Nature yet hath sette No heares vppon my chynne.
Craue[?] this therfore of grauer age, and men of greater skill.
Full many be that better can, and come perhapps that will.
But yf thy will be rather ben [...], a yong mans [...] to proue,
And thinkst that elder lerned men perhaps it shall behoue,
[Page]In woorks of waight to spende theyr tyme, goe where Minervaes men,
And finest witts doe swarme: whome she hath taught to passe with pen.
In Lyncolnes Inne and Temples twayne, Grayes Inne and othe mo,
Thou shalt them fynde whose paynfull pen thy verse shall florishe so,
That Melpomen thou wouldst well weene had taught them for to wright,
And all their woorks with stately style, and goodly grace t'endight.
There shalt thou se the selfe same Northe, whose woorke his witte displayes,
And Dyall dothe of Princes paynte, and preache abroade his prayse.
There Sackuyldes Sonettꝭ sweetely [...], and featly fyned bee,
There Nortons ditties do delight, there Yeluertons doo flee
Well pewrde[?] with pen: suche yong men three, as weene thou mightst agayne,
To be begotte as Pallas was, of myghtie Ioue his brayne.
There heare thou shalt a great reporte, of Baldwyns worthie name,
Whose Myrrour dothe of Magistrates, proclayme eternall fame.
[Page]And there the gentle Blunduille is by name and eke by kynde,
Of whome we learne by Plutarches lore, what frute by Foes to fynde.
There Bauande bydes, that turnde his toyle a Common welthe to frame,
And greater grace in Englyshe geues, to woorthy authors name.
There Gouge a gratefull gaynes hath gotte, reporte that runneth ryfe,
Who crooked Compasse dothe describe, and Zodiake of lyfe.
And yet great nombre more, whose names yf I shoulde now resight,
A ten tymes greater woorke then thine, I should be forste to wright.
A pryncely place in Parnasse hill, for these there is preparde,
Where crowne of glittryng glorie hangs, for them a ryght rewarde.
Wheras the lappes of Ladies nyne. shall dewly them defende,
That haue preparde the Lawrell leafe, about theyr heddꝭ to bende.
And where theyr Pennꝭ shall hang full hie, and fame that erst was hyd,
Abrode in Brutus realme shall flie, as late theyr volumes dyd.
[Page]These are the wi [...] that can display thy Tragedies all ten,
[...] with sug [...]d sentence sweete, and practise of the pen.
My selfe, I must confesse, I haue to muche alreadie doon
[...]boue my [...]che, when [...]shly once with [...] I begoon:
And more presumde to take in h [...]nd: then well I brought to ende,
And litle volume with mo fautes, then lynes abrode to sende.
And of that woorke what men reporte, In faythe I neuer wist.
But well I wotte, it may be thought so yll, that litle lyst
I haue to dooe the like: Wherof though myne be all the blame,
And all to me imputed is, that passeth in my name:
Yet as of some I will confesse that I the author was,
And fawt [...] to many made my sel [...] when I that booke let [...]e pas
Out of my handes: so must I me excuse, of other some.
For when to sygne of Hande and Sta [...] I ch [...]ced [...]yrst to come,
[Page]To Printers hands I gaue the worke: by whome I had suche wrong,
That though my selfe perusde their prooue [...] the fyrst tyme, yet ere long
When I was gone, they wolde agay [...] the print therof renewe,
Corrupted all: in suche a sorte, that scant a sentence [...]rewe
Now flythe abroade as I it wrote. which thyng when I had tryde,
And fowrescore greater fautes then myn [...] in fortie leaues espyde,
Small thanks ( (quam) I) for suche a woorke wolde Senec geue to me,
If he were yet a lyue, and shoulde perhapps it chaunce to see.
And to the printer thus I sayde: within these doores of thyne,
I make a vowe shall neuer more come any worke of myne.
My frende ( (quam) Senec therwithall) no meruayle therof [...]:
They haue my selfe so wronged ofte, And many things amys
Are doon by them in all my woork [...], suche fautes in euery booke
Of myne they make, (as well he ma [...] it fynde that lyst to looke,)
[Page]That sense and latin, verse and all they violate and breake,
And ofte what I yet neuer ment they me enforce to speake.
It is the negligence of them, and partly lacke of skill
That dooth the woorks with paynes well pend full ofte disgrace and spill.
But as for that be nought abasht: the wise will well it waye,
And learned men shall soone discerne thy fautes from his, and saye,
Loe here the Printer dooth him wrong, as easy is to trye:
And slaunder dooth the authors name, and lewdly him belye.
But where thy yeares thou sayst lacke skyll, my [...]doute thou not (quo [...]h he.)
I wil my selfe in these affayres, a helper be to thee.
[...]he [...] tale I will expounde and other places harde.
Thou shalt (nodoubte) fynde some, that will thy labour well regarde.
And therwithall, oh lorde he sayde, now him I thinke vppone,
That here but late to litle liude, and now from hens is gone.
[Page]Whose vertues rare in age so green [...] bewrayde a worthy wight,
And towardnesse tryde of tender tyme, how louely lampe of light
He woulde haue byn, i [...] God had spaerd [...] his dayes, tyll suche tyme, whan
That elder age had abled him, by grouthe to grauer man.
How thankfull thyng thinkst thou (quoth he) woulde this to him haue beene,
If geuen to his name he might a woorke of thine haue seene,
Whome duryng life he fauourde so? but that may be:
For gone he is, (alas the while) thou shalt him neuer see,
Where breathyng bodyes dwell agayne: nor neuer shalt thou more,
Eftsones with him of learnyng talke, as thou werte woont before.
Yet wayle no more for him (he sayde) for he farre better is.
His seate he hath obtayned nowe, among the starrꝭ in blis.
And castyng brighter beames about, then Phoebus golden glede,
[...]boue the skies he lyues with Ioue, an other Ganymede:
[Page]In better place then Aquarie. suche grace did God him gyue.
But though the sonne be gone, yet her [...] dothe yet the father lyue.
And long might he this lyfe enioye in helthe, and great encrease
Of honour and of vertue bothe, Tyll God his soule release
From corps to skyes: with right rewarde to recompense him there,
For truthe and trusty seruice doon, to prince and contrey here.
His goodnes loe thy selfe hast felte ( [...]) and that of late,
When he t [...]e fayled not to helpe, and su [...]our thyne estate.
To him it shall besceme thee well some token for to showe,
That of thy dutie whiche thou dooste for his de [...]rts him owe
Thou myndfull arte, and how thou dooste thy diligence applie,
To thanke as powre may serue, and wit [...] thy pen to sygnifie,
A gratefull mynde. And though to light so litle trifle bee,
To geue to him that hath so much [...] [...]die doone for thee,
[Page]Yet syns thou canst none otherwyse his honour yet requight,
Nor yet thy yeares doe thee permit more waightie woorkes to wright,
This Christmas tyme thou mayste doe well a peece therof to ende,
And many thanks in volume small, as thee becomes to sende.
And tell him how for his estate, thou dooste thy praiers make:
And him in dayly vowes of thine, to God aboue betake.
But for because the Prynters all haue greatly wronged mee,
To ease thee of thy paynes therin, see what I bryng to thee.
He sayde: and therwithall, began to ope the gylded booke
Whiche erst I tolde he bare in hand and thervpon to looke.
The leaues within were fyne to feele, and fayre to looke vppone,
As they with syluer had byn fleakte, full cleare to see they shone.
Yet farre the letters did eche one exceede the leaues in sight,
More glorious then the glittryng golde, and in the Iye more bright.
[Page]The featly framed lynes throughou [...] in meetest maner stande,
More worthy worke it was, then might be made by mortall hande.
Therwith me thought a sauour sweete I felt, so fresshe that was,
That bedds of purple vyolettꝭ, and Roses farre did pas.
No princes perfume like to it, in chamber of estate:
I wiste it was some thyng diuine, did me so [...].
I fe [...] my selfe refresshed mucke, well quickned were my wit [...]ꝭ,
[...]d often tymes of pleasure great I had so ioyfull f [...]ꝭ,
That wakyng now I will [...], you may beleeue me well,
Great hoorde of golde I wolde refuse in suche delights to dwell,
As in that dreame I had. anone, me thought I asked him,
What booke it was he bare in hand, that showde and smelde so [...]im.
These are ( (quam) he) the Tragedics in deede of Seneca,
The Muse her selfe them truly writ, that hight Melp [...]mena.
[Page]In Parnase printely palaice highe, she garnisshed this booke,
The Ladies haue of Helicon great [...]oy theron to looke:
When walkyng in theyr aleys sweet [...] the flowres so fresshe they treade,
And in the midst of them me place, my Tragedie [...] to treade.
These leaues that fyne as veluet feele, and parchement like in sight,
Of feate fyne Fawnes they are the skyns, suche as no mortall wight
May come vnto: but with the which the muses woont to playe,
In gardens still with grasse full greene, that [...] are full gaye.
There fostred are these litle beasts, and fed with Muses mylke,
Their whitest hands and feete they lycke, with tongue as softe as sylke.
Theyr heare not suche as haue the hearde, of other common Deare,
But silken skyns of purple hewe, lyke veluet fyne they weare.
With proper featly framed feete, about the arbours green [...]
They trippe and daunce before these dames, full seemely to be seene:
[Page]And then theyr golden hornes adow [...] in Ladies lappes they lay,
A greate delight those systers nyne, haue with these Fawnes to play.
Oꝭ skyns of them this par [...]hment loe that shynes so fayre they make,
When ought they woulde with hande of theyr [...], to written booke betake.
This gorgeous glyttryng golden Inke, so precious thyng to see,
Geue eare and wherof made it is, I shall declare to thee.
Fayre trees amyd theyr Paradise, there are of euery kynde,
Where euery frute that boughe bryngs foorthe, a man may euer fynde.
And deynties suche as princes wont, with proudest price to bie,
Great plentic therof may be seene, hang there on branches hie.
The Plumme, the Peare, the Fygge, the Date, Powngarnet wants not theare,
The Orynge and the Olyue tree, full plenteously doe beare.
Ye there the golden Apples hang, whiche once a thyng muche worth [...]
To ioye the weddyng day of Ioue, the soyle it selfe brought forthe.
[Page]There Daphne stands transformde to [...]ret, that greene is styll to sight,
That was sometyme the loued Nymphe so fayre, of Phoebus bright.
Not farre from frute so rytche, that once did wakyng drago [...] keepe
Do the Myrtha stande, with wofull teare [...] that yet dothe wayle and weepe.
Her teares [...]ongealed hard to gumme, that sauour sweete dothe cast,
It is that makes to leafe so fyne, this Inke to cleaue so fast.
But with what water is this Inke thus made, now learne (quoth hee)
The secrets of the sacred mounte, I wyll declare to thee.
Aboue the rest a Cedre hyghe, of haughtie toppe there growes
With bendyng braunches farre abrod [...], on soyle that shadowe showes.
In toppe wherof do hang full hie, the pennes of poetts olde,
And posyes purtred for theyr prayse, in letters all of golde.
In shade wherof a banquet house there stands of great delight,
For Muses ioyes, the walls are made of marble [...]yre in sight
[Page]Fowre square: an Iuery turret stands at euery corner hye,
The nookes and toppes doth beaten golde, and amell ouerlye.
In fulgent seate dothe [...]leeyng fame, there syt full hyghe from grounde,
And prayse of Pallas poets sends to starres with trumpetts sounde.
The gate therof so strong and sure, it neede no watche nor warde
A woondrous woorke it is to see, of Adamant full harde.
With nyne sure locks wherof of one eche ladye kepes the kaye,
That none of them may come therin when other are awaye.
The floore within with emrawds green [...], ys paued [...]ayre and feate,
The boorde and benches rownde about, are made of pure blacke geate.
The lute, the harpe, the [...]ytheron, the shaulme, the shagbut [...],
The vyall and the vyrginall, no musyke there to seeke.
About the walls more woorthy woorke then made by mortall hande,
The poetts paynted pyctures all in seemely order stande:
[Page]With colours suche so lyuely layd [...], that at that sight I weene,
Apelles pensyle woulde beare backe, abashed to be seene.
There Homere, Ouide, Horace [...] full featlye purtred bee,
And there not in the lowest place, they haue described mee.
There Uirgyle, Lucane, Palingene, and rest of poetts all
Do stande, and there from this daie foorthe. full many other shall.
For now that house by manye yardes, enlarged out they haue,
Wherby they myght in wyder wall the Images engraue,
And paynte the pyctures more at large, of hundreds, englysshe men,
That geeue theyr tongue a greatter [...]race, by pure and paynfull pen.
In mydst of all this woorthy woorke, there runn [...] a pleasant spryng,
That is of all the paradyse, the most delycious thyng.
That rounde about encloased is, with wall of Iasp [...]r stone:
The ladies let no wight therin, but euen them selues [...]lone.
[Page]The water shynes lyke golde in syght, and swetest is to smell,
Full often tymes they bathe them selues, within that blysfull well.
With water thereof they this In [...] haue made that wryt this booke,
And lycenst me to bryng it downe, for thee theron to looke.
Thou maist beleeue it trewly wrote, and trust in euery whit
For here hathe neuer prynters pre [...] made faute, nor neuer yet,
Came errour here by [...] of man. in sacred seate on hye,
They haue it wryt, in all whose woorkꝭ, theyr pen can make no lye.
This booke shall greatly thee [...], to see how Prynters mys,
In all my woorkes, and all theyr [...], thou mayste correcte by thys.
And more then that, this golden spryng, with whiche I haue the tolde
This ynke so bryght thus made to bee, suche propertee dothe holde,
That who therof the sauou [...] feeles, his wyttꝭ shall quickned bee,
And spryghts reu [...]ude in woondrous wyse, as now it happs to thee.
[Page]Come on therfore whyle helpe thou [...] he sayde, and therwithall
Euen at Thy [...]stes chaunced fyrst, the leaues abrode to fall.
Euen here ( (quam) he) yf it the please begyn, now take thy pen
Moste dyre debates descrybe, of all that eu [...] chaunst to men.
And whiche t [...]e goddꝭ abhorde to see. The summe of all the stryfe
Now harken to. Thyestes [...] his brother [...] wyfe,
And ramme with golden fl [...]ece: but y [...] do [...]e Atreus frendship fayne
With him, t [...]ll tyme for fathers foode he hathe his children slayne,
[...]nd dishes drest. he sayde, and then begun to reade the booke:
I satte attent, and therupon I fyxed fast my looke.
Fyrst how the furye draue the spryght of Tantalus from hell
To styrre the stryfe, I harde hym reade, and all expounde full well.
Full many pleasant poetts tales that dyd me please I harde,
[...]nd euermore to booke so [...], I had [...] great regarde.
[Page]Wherby I sawe how often tymes the Printers dyd him wrong.
Now Gryphyus, Colineus now, and now and then among
He Aldus blamde, with ali the rest that in his woor [...]s do mys
Ofsence or verse: and styll my booke, I did cort [...] by hys.
The god of sleepe had harde all this, when tyme for him it was,
To denns of slumber whence he came, agayne awaie to pas.
The kercher bounde about my browes, dypt all in Lymbo lake,
He strayght vnknyt, away he fleeth, and I begoon to wake.
When rownde I rollde mine eyes about, and sawe my selfe alone,
In vayne I Senec Senec cryde, the Poete now was gone.
For woe wherof I [...]n to weepe, O godds (quoth I) vnkynde,
Ye are to blame with shapes so vayne our mortall eyes to blynde.
What goodly gayne get you therby, ye shoulde vs so beguyle,
[...]nd [...] with [...], that [...] to lyttle whyle?
[Page]I Morpheus curst a thousande tymes, that he had made me sleepe
At all, or ells that he me wolde, in dreame no longer keepe.
And neuer were my [...]oyes so greate, in sleepe so sweete before,
But now as greeuous was my [...], alas and ten tymes more,
My selfe without the poete there, thus lefte alone to see,
And all delights of former dreame, thus vanysshed to bee.
Somtyme I curst, somtyme I cryde, lyke wight that waxed woode,
Or Panther of hir pray depryude, or [...] of her broode.
A thousande tymes my colour goes, and comes as ofte agayne,
About I walkte, I might no where, in quyet rest remayne.
In woondrous wyse I vered was, that neuer man I weene
So soone, might after late delights, in suche a pangue be seene.
O thou Megaera then I sayde, if might or thyne it bee,
Wherwith thou Tantall droauste from hell, that thus dysturbeth mce,
[Page] [...] my pen: with [...] this [...] t'endyght,
And as so dredfull thyng beseemes, with dolefull style to wryght.
This sayde, I felte the furies force enflame me more and more,
And [...] tymes more now chafte I was, then euer yet before.
My he are stoode vp, I waxed woode, my [...] all dyd shake,
And as the furye had me vext, my teethe began to ake.
And thus enflamde with force of hir, I sayde it shoulde be doon,
And downe I sate with pen in hande, and thus my verse [...].

The speakers.

  • Tantalus.
  • Atreus.
  • Thyestes.
  • Messenger.
  • Megaera.
  • Seruant.
  • Philistenes,
  • Chorus.


The fyrst Acte.

  • Tantalus.
  • Megaera.
WHat furye fell enforceth me to flee thunhappie seate,
That gape and gaspe wt greedy iawe, the fleeyng foode to eate?
What god to Tantalus the bowres where breathyng bodies dwell
Doth showe agayne? is ought found worse then burning thurst of hell
In lakes alowe? or yet worse plague then hunger is there one,
In vayne that euer gapes for foode? shall Sisyphus his stone,
That slypper restles rollyng payse vpon my backe be borne?
Or shall my lymmꝭ with swy [...]er swynge of whirlyng wheele be torne?
Or shall my paynes be Tityus pangꝭ thencreasyng lyuer styll,
Whose growyng guttꝭ the gnawyng grypes and fylthie foules doe fyll?
[Page]That sryll by night repayres the panche that was deuowrde by daie,
And wondrows wombe vnwasted lythe a new prepared praie.
What yll am I appoynted for? O cruell iudge of syrights,
Who so thou be that torments newe among the soules delights
Styll to dyspose, adde what thou canst to all my deadly woe,
That keper euen of dungeon darke wolde sore abhorre to knot,
Or hell it selfe it quake to see: for dreade wheroflykewyse
I tremble woulde, that plague seeke out: Loe nowe there dothe aryse
My broode, that shall in mischiefe farre the grandsiers gylt out goe,
And gyltles make: that fyrst shall dare vnuentred ylls to doe.
What euer place remaineth yet of all this wycked lande,
I will fyll vp: and neuer once while Pelops house dothe stande
Shall Minos idle be.
goe foorth thou de [...]estable spright,
And vexe the goddꝭ of wycked house with rage of furies might.
[Page]Let them contende with all o [...]fence, by turnes and one by one
Let swoordes be drawen: and meane of ire procure there maie be none,
Nor shame: let furie blynde enflame their myndes and wrathfull wyll,
Let yet the parentꝭ rage endure, and longer lastyng yll,
Through childerns childern spreade: nor ye [...] let any leysure be
The former fawte to hate, but styll more mischiefe newe to see,
Nor one in one: but ere the gylt with vengeante be acquyt,
Encrease the cryme: from brethern proude let rule of hyngdome flyt,
To runagat [...]s: and swaruyng state of all vnstable things,
Let it by doubtfull dome be toste, betwene thuncertayne kyngs.
Let mightie fall to miserie, and myser clyme to myght,
Let chaunce turne thempyre vp so downe both geue and take the ryght.
The banyshed for gylt, wh [...]n god restore theyr countrey shall,
Let them to mischiefe fall a freshe: as hatefull then to all,
[Page]As to them selues: let Ire thinke nought vnlawfull to be doon.
Let brother dreade the brothers wrathe, and father feare the soon,
And eke the soon his parentꝭ powre. let babes be murdered yll,
But woorse begotte: her spouse betrapt in treasons trayne to kyll,
Let hatefull wyfe awayte. and let them beare through seas their warre,
Let blood shed lye the landꝭ about and euery feelde afarre:
And ouer conqueryng captaynes greate, of countreys farre to see,
Let luste tryumphe: in wycked house let whoordome coun [...]d be
The lightst offense: let trust that in the breastꝭ of bre [...]hern breedes,
And truthe be gone: let not from sight of your so heynous deedes
The heauens be hyd, about the poale when shyne the startes on hye,
And flames with woonted beames oflight doe decke the paynted skye.
Let darkest night be made, and let the daye the heauens forsake.
Dysturbe the goddꝭ of wycked house, hate, slaughter, murder make.
[Page]Fyll vp the house of Tantalus with mischieues and debates.
Idorned be the pyllers hyghe, with baye and let the gates
Be garnysht greene: and woorthie there for thy returne to syght,
Be kyndled fyre: let myschiefe doone in Thracia onse, there lyght
More manyfolde. wherfore dothe yet the vncles hande delaie?
Dothe yet Tyestes not be wayle his childerns fatall daye?
Shall he not fynde them where with heate of fyres that vnder glowe
The cawdern boyles? their lymmꝭ eche one a peeces let them goe
Dysperste: let fathers fires, with blood of childern fyled bee:
Let deynties suche be dreste: it is no myschiefe newe to thee,
To banquet so: beholde, this daie we haue to the releaste,
And hunger starued wombe of thyne we sende to suche a feaste.
With fowlest foode thy famyne fyll, let bloode in wyne be drownde,
And droonke in syght of thee: loe nowe suche dyshes haue I founde,
[Page] [...]s thou wou [...]st shonne. staie whither doste thou [...]dlong waie nowe take?
To pooles and floodꝭ of hell agayne, and styll declynyng lake,
And flight of [...]ree full fraight with fruite that from the lyppes dothe flee,
To dungeon darke of hatefull hell Let leefull be for mee
To g [...]: or if to light be thought the paynes that there I haue,
Remoue me from those lakes agayne: in mydst of worser waue
Of Phleghethon to stande, in seas of fyre besette to be.
Who so beneath thy poynted paynes by destenies decree
Dooste styll endure, who so thou be that vnderliest alowe
The hollowe denne, or ruyne who that feares and ouerthrowe
Of fallyng hyll, or cruell cryes that sounde in caues of hell
Of greedy roaryng lyons throates, or flocke of furies fell
Who quakes to knowe, or who the brandꝭ of fyre, in dyrest payne
Halfe burnte throwes of, harke to the voice of Tantalus: agayne
[Page]That hastes to hell. and (whom the truthe hath taught) bel [...]ue well mee
Loue well your paynes, they are but small. when shall my happe so bee
To flee the lyght?
disturbe thou fyrst this house with dyre discorde:
Debates and battels bryng with thee, and of th' unhappie swoorde
Ill loue to kynges: the cruell brest stryke through and hatefull harte,
With tumulte madde.
To suffre payne [...] it seemeth well my parte,
Not woes to woorke: I am sent foorth lyke vapour dyre to ryse,
That breakes the ground, or poyson lyke the plague, in wondrowse wyse
That slaughter makes. shall I to suche detested [...]rymes, applye
My nephewes hartes? o parentꝭ greate of goddꝭ aboue the skye,
And myne, (though shamde I be to graunte,) although with greatter payne
My tounge be vexte, yet this to speake I maie no whit refrayne,
Nor holde my peace: I warne you this, leaste sacred hand with bloode
Of slaughter dyre, or fransie fell of [...] furie woode
[Page]The aulters stayne, I will resyste: And garde suche gylt awaye.
With strypes why dooste thou me affryght? why threaist thou me to fraye
Those crallyng [...]uakes? or famyne fyxt in emptie wombe, wherfore
Dooste thou reuyue? nowe fryes within with thyrst enkyndled sore
My hart: and in the bowels burnte, the boylyng flames doe glowe.
I followe thee: through all this house nowe rage and furie throwe.
Let them be dryuen so, and so let eyther thyrst to see
Eche others blood. full well hathe [...]elte the cummyng in of thee
This house: and all with wycked touche of the begun to quake.
Enough it is. repayre agayne to denns and lothsome lake,
Of floode well knowne. the sadde [...] soyle with heauy foote of thyne
Agreeued is. seeste thou from spryngs howe waters doe decline
And inwarde synke? or howe the bankes lye voyde by droughtie heate?
And whotter blast of fyrie wynde the fewer cloudes dothe beate?
[Page]The treese be spoyllde, and naked stande to sight in withred woodds,
The barayne bowes whose frutes are fled: the lande betweene the floodds,
With surge of seas on either syd [...] that woonted to resounde,
And neerer foordes to separate somtime with lesser grounde,
Nowe broader spredde, it heareth howe aloofe the waters ryse.
Now Lerna turnes agaynst the streame, Phoronides lykewyse,
His poares be stopp [...]e. with customde course Alphéus driues not still,
His hollie wau [...]s. the tremblyng topps of highe Cithaeron hill,
They stande not sure: from height adowne they shake theyr syluer snowe,
And noble feeldes of Argos feare, theyr former drought to knowe.
Yea Titan doubtes him selfe, to rolle the worlde his woonted waye,
And driue by force to former course The backwarde drawyng daye.


THis Argos towne if any God be founde, and Pisey bowres that famous yet remaine,
Or kyngdomes els to loue of Corinthꝭ grounde, the double hauens, or soondred seas in twayne,
If any loue Taygetus his snowes, (by winter whiche when they on hillꝭ be cast,
By Boreas blasts that from Sarmatia blowes, with yerely breathe the sommer melts as fast,)
Where cleere Alphéus roons, with floude so colde, By plaies well knowne that there olimpikꝭ hight:
Let pleasant powre of his from hense withholde suche turnes of strife, that here they may not light:
Nor nephew woorse then grandsier spryng from vs, or dyrer deedes delight the yonger age.
Let wicked stocke of thyrstie Tantalus, at lengthe leaue of, and wery be of rage.
Enoughe is doone, and nought preuailde the iust, or wrong: b [...]trayde is Myrtilus and drownde,
That did betray his dame: and with lyke trust borne as he bare, himselfe hath made renounde
With changed name the sea: and better knowne to mariners therof no fable is.
On wicked swoorde the litle infant throwne, as ran the childe to take his fathers his,
[Page] [...]nripe for thaulters offryng fell downe deade: and with thy hand (o Tantalus) was rent,
With suche a meate for gods thy boordes to spreade. eternall famine for suche foode is sent,
And thyrst: nor for those deyntie meates vnmilde, might meeter p [...]ne apoynted euer bee.
With emptie throate stands Tantalus beguilde, aboue thy wicked hed there leanes to thee,
Then Phineys fowles in flight a swifter praie. with burdned bowes declinde on euery syde,
And of his fruites all bent to beare the swaie, the tree deludes the gapes of hunger wyde.
Though he full greedie, feede theron woulde faine, so ofte disceyude neglects to touche them yet:
He turn [...]s his eyes, his iawes he doth refrayne, and famine fi [...] in closed gumms doth shet.
But then eche branche his plenteous ritches all, letts lower downe: and apples from on hie
With lyther leaues they flatter like to fall, and famine styrre: in vayne that bidds to trie
His hands: whiche when he hathe rought foorthe anone to be beguilde, in higher ayre agayne
The haruest hangs, and fickle fruite is gone. then thirst him greeues no lesse then hungers payne:
Wherwith when kindled is his boylyng blood lyke fyre, the wretche the waues to him dothe call,
That meete his mouthe: whiche straight the fleeyng flood withdrawes, and from the dried foorde doth fall:
[Page]And him forsakes that followes them. He drinkes the duste so deepe of gulphe that from him shrinkes.

The seconde Acte.

  • Atreus.
  • Seruant.
O Dastarde, cowrde, o wretche, and (whiche the greatest yet of all
To tyrants checke, I counte that maye in waightie thyngs befall,)
O vnreuenged: after gilts so greate, and brothers guyle,
And truthe tr [...]de downe, dooste thou prouoke with vayne complaynts the whyle
Thy wrathe? alredie nowe to rage all Argos towne through out
In armour ought of thine, and all the double seas about
Thy fleete to ryde: nowe all the feeldes with feruent flames of thyne,
And townes to flasshe it well beseemde: and euery where to shyne,
The bright drawne sworde: all vnder foote of horse let euerie syde
Of Argos land [...] resounde: and let the woods not serue to hyde
[Page]Our foes, nor yet in haughtie toppe of hills and mountaynes hie,
The builded towres. The people all let them to battayle crie,
And cleere forsake Mycenas towne. who so his hatefull hed
Hydes and defends, with slaughter dyre let bloud of him be shed.
This pryncely Pelops palaice proude and bowres of highe renowne,
On me so on my brother too, let them be beaten downe.
Goe to, do that whiche neuer shall no after age allowe,
Nor none it whisht: some mischefe greate there must be ventred nowe,
Bothe fierce and bloudie: suche as wolde my brother rather long
To haue byn his. Thou neuer dooste enoughe reuenge the wrong,
Except thou passe. And feercer facte what may be doone so dyre,
That his exceedes? doothe euer he lay downe his hatefull yre?
Doothe euer he the modest meane in tyme of welthe regarde?
Or quiet in aduersitee? I knowe his nature harde
[Page] [...]ntractable, that [...]roke may be, but neuer will it bende.
For whiche ere he prepare him selfe, or force to fight entende,
Se [...] fyrst on him: least while I rest he should on me arise.
He will destroy or be destroyde, in midst the mischiefe lies,
Preparde to him that takes it first.
Doothe fame of people nought
Aduerse thee feare?
The greatest good of kyngdome may be thought,
That stil [...] the people are constraynde theyr princes deedes as well
To praise, as them to suffer all.
Whome feat [...] dothe so compell
To prayse, the same his foes to be, doothe feare enforce agayne:
But who in deede the glory seekes of fauour true tobtayne,
He rather wolde with harts of [...]che be praysde, then tongues of all.
The tr [...] prayse full ofte hathe hapt [...] to meaner men to fall:
The false but vnto mightie man. what [...]ill they, let them wyll.
Let first the kyng will honest thyngs, and no [...] the same dare nyll.
Where leefull are to him that rules but honest thyngs [...]lone,
There raygnes the kyng by others leaue.
And where that shame is none,
Nor care of right, faythe, [...], nor holines none staythe,
That kyngdome swarues.
Suche holines, suche p [...]tie, and fay the,
Are priuate goods: let kyngs run on in that that likes their will.
The brothers hurt a myschiefe counte, though he be neare so ill.
It is but right to doe to him, that wrong to brother were.
What heynous hurt hathe his offense let passe to proue? or where
Refraynde the gilt? my spouse he stale away for [...]echerie,
And raygne by stelthe: the auncient note and sygne of impetie,
By fraude he gotte: my house by fraude to vexe he neuer ceaste.
In Pelops house there fostred is a noble worthy beaste,
The close kept R [...]mme: the goodly guide of r [...]tche and fayrest flockes.
By whome through out on euery syde depend a downe the lockes
[Page]Of glittryng golde, with fleece of whiche the new kyngs woonted weare
Of Tantalls [...]locke their sceptors guil [...] and mace of might to beare.
Of this the owner raigneth he: with him of house so gret
The fortune fleethe: this sacred Rā [...] a loofe in saftie shet,
In secret meade is wonte to grase, whiche stone on euery syde
With rockie wall encloseth rounde the fatall beast to hyde.
This beast (aduentryng mischi [...]fe great) adioynyng yet for praie
My spoused mate, the traytour false hathe hens conuayde awa [...]e.
From hens the wrongs of mutuall hate, and mischefe all vp sprong:
In exile wandred he, through out my kyngdomes all a long:
No parte of myne remayneth safe to me, from traynes of [...]is.
My feerce deflourde, and loyaltie of empyre broken is:
My house all vext, my bloud in doubte, and nought that trust is in,
But brother foe. What staiest thou yet? at lengthe l [...] now begin,
[Page]Take hart of Tantalus to th [...], to Pelops ca [...]t thine eye:
To suche examples well beseemes, I should my hands applye.
Tell thou whiche way were best to [...] that cruell hed to deathe.
Through perste with swoorde let him be [...] and yelde his hatefull breathe.
Thou speakst of thende: but I him wolde oppresse with greter payne.
Let tyrantꝭ vexe with torment more: shoulde euer in my rayne
Be gentle deathe?
Dothe [...] in thee preua [...] no whit?
Departe thou hens all pietie, if in this house as yet
Thou euer werie: and now let all the flocke of furies dyre,
And full of strife Erinnys come, and double brandꝭ of fyre
Megaeta shakyng: for not yet enough with furie greate
And rage dothe burne my boylyng brest: it ought to be repleate,
With monster more.
What mischefe new
[...] thou in [...]age prouide?
Not suche a one as may the meane of woonted gree [...] abide.
[Page]No gilt will I forbeare, nor none may be enoughe despight.
What sworde?
To litle that.
what fire?
And that is yet to light.
What weapon then shall sorow suche fynde fit to woorke thy wyll?
Thyestes selfe.
Then yre it self yet thats a greater yll.
I graunte: a tomblyng tumulte quakes, within my bosomes loe,
And rounde it rolles: I moued am and wote not whervnto.
But drawen I am: from botome deepe the roryng soyle dothe [...]rie
The day so fayre with thounder soundes, and house as all from hie
Were rent, from roofe, and rafters craks: and lares turnde abought
Haue wryde theyr syght: so beete, so beete, let mischiefe suche be sought,
As ye O gods wolde feare.
What thyng see [...]e thou to bryng to pas?
I note what greater thyng my mynde, and more then woont it was
Aboue the reatche that men are woont to woorke, begyns to swell:
And staythe with slouthfull hands. What thyng it is I can not tell:
[Page]But great it is. Beete so, my mynde now in this feate proceede,
For Atreus and Thyestes bothe, it were a worthy deede.
Let eche of vs the crime commit. The Thracian house did se
Suche wicked tables once: I graunt [...] the mischiefe great to be,
But done ere this: some greater gilt and mischiefe more, let yre
Fynde out. The stomak of thy sonne o father thou e [...]spyre,
And syster e [...]e, lyke is the cause: assist me with your powre,
And dryue my hande: let gredy pa­rents all his babes deuowre,
And glad to rent his children be: and on their lyms to feede.
Enough, and well it is deuysde: this pleaseth me in deede.
In meane time where is he? so long and innocent wherfore
Dooth Atreus walke? before myne eyes alredie more and more
The shade of suche a slaughter walkes: the want of children cast,
In fathers iawes. But why my mynde, [...]et dreadst thou so at last,
[Page]And fayn [...]st before thou enterprise? it must be doone, let be.
That whiche in all this mischefe is the greatest gilt to se,
Let him commit.
but what disceyte may we for him prepare,
Wherby be [...]rapt he may be drawen, to fall into the snare?
He wotes f [...]ll well we are his foes.
He coulde not taken be,
Except him selfe woulde take: but now my kyngdomes hopeth he.
For hope of this he wolde not feare to meete the mightie Ioue,
Though him he thretned to destroy, with lightnyng from aboue.
For hope of this to passe the threatꝭ of waues he will not fayle,
Nor dread no whit by doubteull shelues, of Lybike seas to sayle.
For hope of this (whiche thyng he dothe the woorst of all beleeue,)
He will his brother see.
Who shall of peace the promise geeue?
Whome wyll he trust?
His euill hop [...] will soone beleue it well.
Yet to my sons the charge which they shall to theyr vnkle tell,
[Page]We will commit: that home he woulde from exple come againe,
And miseries for kyngdome chaunge, and o [...]er Argos raygne
A kyng of halfe: and though to harde of hart our prayers all
Him self despise, his children yet nought w [...]tyng what may fall,
With trauels [...]ierde, and apte to be e [...]tysde from miserie,
Requestꝭ will moue: on thone syde his desyre of Imperie,
On [...]hother syde his pouertie, and labour harde to see,
Wyll him subdue and make to yelde, although full stoute he bee.
His trauells now the time hath made to seeme to him but small.
Not so: for day by day the greefe of yll encreaseth all.
Tys light to suffer miseries, but [...]euy them t'endure.
Yet other messengers to s [...]nde, in suche affayres procure.
The yonger sorte the worse preceptꝭ do easelie harken to.
What thyng against their vnkle now, you them enstru [...]te to do,
[Page]Perhaps with you to worke the like, they will not be a dred.
Suche mischie [...]e wrought hath of [...]e returnde vpon the workers hed.
Though neu [...]r man to them the wayes of guil [...] and gil [...] haue taught,
Yet kyngdome will. Fearst thou they shoulde be made by counsell [...]aught?
They are so borne. That whiche thou [...] a cruell en [...]erpryse,
And dyrely deemest do [...]ne to be, and wickedly likewyse,
Pe [...]haps is wrought against me there.
And shall your soons of this
[...] be ware that worke you will? no secretnes there is
In theyr so g [...]eene and tender ye [...]es: they will your traynes disclose.
A priuie counsell cloase to keepe, is lea [...]nde with many woes.
And will ye them, by whome ye woulde he shoulde beguiled bee,
Them selues beguilde?
Nay let thē bothe from faute and blame be free.
For what shall neede in mischiefes suche as I to woorke entende,
To myngle them? let all my hat [...] by me alone take ende.
[Page]Thou leauste thy purpose yll my minde: yf thou thine owne forbeare,
Thou sparest him. Wherfore of this let Agamemnon heare
Be minister: and client eke of mine for suche a deede,
Let Menelâu [...] present be: truthe of [...] seede,
By suche a pracktise may be tride: if it refuse they shall,
Nor of debate will bearers be, if they him vnkle call,
He is their father: let them goe. but muche the fearfull face
Bewrayes it selfe: euen him that faynes the secret wayghtie case,
Dothe ofte betray: let them therfore not know, how greate a guyl [...]
They goe about. And thou these thy [...]gs in secret keepe the whyle.
I neede not warned be, for these within my bosome deepe,
Bothe faythe, and feare, but chiefely [...]aythe, dothe shet and closely keepe.


THe noble house at lengthe of highe renowne, the famous stocke of auncient Inathus,
Appeasoe and layde the threats of brethern downe. but now what furie [...] and [...] you thus,
Eche one to thyrst the o [...]hers bloud agayne, or get by gyl [...] the golden ma [...] in hande?
Ye litle wo [...]e that so desyre to [...]ne, in what estate or place dothe kyngdome stande.
Not [...] make a kyng or highe renowne, not [...] weede with purple [...]an [...]ie,
Not [...] lookes, or head [...] with crowne, not g [...]yng [...] with golde and [...].
[...] kyng he is, that feare hath layde asyde, and all [...] that in the brest are bred:
[...]home impotent ambition dothe not guyde, nor fickle fauour [...]he of people led.
Nor all that west in metalls mynes hath founde, or [...]hanell [...] of golden Tagus showes,
Nor all the grayne that [...] is on grounde, that with the heate of [...] [...]uest glowes.
Nor whome the [...] of lightnyng flame shall beate, nor eastern wynde that [...] vppon the seas,
Nor swellyng surge with rage of wynde repleate, or gr [...]edie [...] of [...] displease.
[Page]Whome not the pricke of souldiers sharpest speare, or poynted pyke in hand hath made to [...]ue,
Nor whome the glympse of swoorde myght cause to feare, or bright drawen blade of glyttryng steele subdue.
Who in the seate of [...] his feete, beholdes all happs how vnder him they lye,
And gladlie runs his fatall daie to meete, nor ought complaynes or grudgeth for to dye.
Though present were the prynces euery chone, the scattered Dakes to chase that woonted be,
That shynyng seas beset with precious stone, and red sea coastes doe holde, lyke bloude to see:
Or they which els the [...]an mountaynes hye, from Sarmats strong with all theyr power withholde:
Or he that on the floude of Danubye. in frost a foote to trauayle dare be bolde:
Or Seres in what euer place they lye, renounde with fleece that there of sylke dothe spryng,
They neuer myght the truthe hereof denye, it is the mynde that onely makes a kyng.
There is no neede of sturdie steedes in warre, no neede with armes or arrowes els to fyght,
That Parthus woontꝭ with bowe to fling from farre, while from the feelde he falsely fayneth flight.
Nor yet to siege no neede it is to brynge, great goons in cartꝭ to ouer [...] we the wall,
That from far of the yr battryng pellettes [...]. a kyng he is that feareth nought at all.
[Page] [...] man him selfe this kyngdome geeues at hande. let who so lyst with myghtie mace to [...]ygne,
In [...]yckle toppe of court delyght to stande. let me the sweete and quiet rest obtayne.
So sette in place obscure and lowe degree, of pleasaunt rest I shall the sweetnes kno [...].
My lyfe vnknowne to them that noble be, shall in the steppe of secret sylence goe.
Thus when my da [...]es at length are [...], and tyme without all troublous tumulte spent,
An aged man I shall departe at l [...], In meane estate, to dye [...]ull well content.
But greuous is to him the deathe, that when so farr [...] abrode the [...]ruyte of him is blowne,
That knowne he is to muche to other men: departeth yet vnt [...] him selfe vnknowne.

The thyrde Acte.

  • Thyestes.
  • Phylisthenes.
MY countrey bowres so long wysht for, and Argos rytches all,
Cheefe good that vnto banysh [...] me [...], and mysers maie b [...]ll,
The touche of soyle where borne I was, and goddꝭ of natyu [...] lande,
(If goddꝭ they be,) and sacred towr [...] I see of [...] h [...]nde:
[Page]That represent then all mans woorke, a greater maiestie.
Renowned stadies to my youth, where noble sometyme I
Haue not so seelde as onse, the palm [...] in fathers charyot woon.
All Argos now to meete with me, and people fast will roon:
But A [...]eus to. yet rather leade in woods agayne thy flight,
And bushes thicke, and hyd among the brutyshe beastes from sight,
Lyke lyfe to theyrs: where splendent pompe of court and princely pryde,
May not with flattryng fulgent face, allure thine eyes asyde.
With whom the kyngdome geuen is, beholde, and well regarde,
Bese [...] but late with suche mishaps, as all men counte full harde,
I stoute and ioyfull was: but now agayne thus into feare
I am returnde. my mynde mysdontes, and backeward seekes to beare
My bodye hens: and forthe I drawe my pase agaynst my wyll.
With slouthfull steppe (what [...] this?) my father standeth still,
[Page]And turnes his face and holdes him selfe, in doute what thyng to do.
What thyng (my mynde) consyderst thou? or els so long whert [...]
Dooste thou so easy counsayle wrest? wylt thou to thynges vnsure
Thy brother and the kyngdome trust? fearst thou those ils tendure
Now ouercome, and mield [...] made? and trauayls dooste thou flee
That well were plaste? it the [...]yles, a myser now to bee.
Turne hens thy pace while leefull is, and keepe thee from his hande.
What cause the dryues (o father deere) thus from thy natiue lande,
Now seene to shrynke? what makes thee thu [...] from thyngs so good at last
Withdrawe thy selfe? thy brother comes whose [...]res be ouerpast,
And halfe the kyngdome geues, and of the house [...]ylacerate,
Repayres the partes: and thee restores agayne to former state.
The cause of feare that I know not, thou dooste requyre to heare.
I see nothyng that makes me dread, and yet I greatly feare.
[Page]I woulde goe on, but yet my lymmꝭ with we [...]y leggꝭ doe slacke:
And other waie then I woulde passe, I am withholden backe.
So ofte the shippe that driuen is with winde and eke with ore,
The swellyng surge resistyng bothe, beates backe vpon the shore.
Yet ouercome what euer stayes, and thus doth let your mynde,
And see what are at your returne, preparde for you to fynde.
You may o father raigne.
I maie but then when die I mought.
[...]heefe thing is powre.
nought worth at all, if thou desyre it nought.
You shall it to your children leaue.
the kyngdome takes not twayne.
Who maie be happie, rather wolde he myser yet remayne?
Beleue me well, with titles false the greate thyngꝭ v [...] delight:
And heuye happꝭ in vayne are fearde, while high I stoode in sight,
I neuer styn [...]ed then to quake, and selfe same swoorde to fe [...]re,
That hanged by myne owne syde wa [...], Oh how great good it were,
[Page]With none to striue, but careles foode to e [...]te and rest to knowe?
The greater gylts they enter not in cotage sette alowe:
And safer [...]oode is fed vpon, at narrowe boorde alwaye,
While droonke in golde the poyson is: by proofe well taught I saye,
That euyll happs before the good to loue it lykes my wyll.
Of haughtie house that stands alofte in tickle toppe of hyll,
And swayes asyde, the citee lowe neede neuer be affryght:
Nor in the toppe of roofe aboue, there shynes no Iuery bright,
Nor watcheman none defendes my sleepes by night, or gardes my rest:
With fle [...]te I fyshe not, nor the se [...] I haue not backwarde prest,
Nor turnde to flight with builded wall: nor wicked belly I
With taxes of the people fedde: nor parcell none doth ly,
Of grounde of mine beyonde the Getes: and Parthians fa [...] about:
Nor worshiped with francausence I am, nor (Ioue she [...] out)
[Page]My Aulters decked are: nor none in toppe of house doth stande
In garden treese, nor kyndled yet with helpe of eche mans hande,
The bathes dooe smoke: nor yet are dayes in slouthfull slumbers led,
Nor nightes paste foorth in watche and wine, without the rest of bed.
We nothyng feare, the house is safe without the hydden knyfe,
And poore estate the sweetenes feeles, of rest and quyet lyfe.
Greate kyngdome is to be content, without the same to lyue.
Yet shoulde it not refused be, if god the kyngdome gyue.
Not yet desyerd it ought to be.
your brother byddꝭ you rayne.
Bydds he? the more is to be fearde: there lurketh there some trayne.
From whens it fell, yet pietie is woonte to turne at lengthe:
And loue vnfaynde, repayres agayn [...] his erste omitted strengthe.
Dothe Atreus then his brother loue? eche Ursa fyrst on hye,
The seas shall washe, and swellyng surge of seas of S [...]ylye
[Page]Shall rest and all asswaged be, and corne to rypenes growe
In botome of Ionian seas, and darkest night shall showe
And spreade the light about the soyle: the waters with the fyre,
The lyfe with death, the wynde with seas, shall frendshyp fyrst requyre,
And be at league.
of what deceite are you so dreadfull here?
Of euery chone: what ende at length myght I prouide of feare?
In all he can he hateth me.
to you what hurt can he?
As for my selfe I nothyng dread: you lyttle babes make me
Afrayde of him.
dreade ye to be beguylde when caught ye are?
To late it is to shoon the trayne in myddle of the snare.
But goe we on, this (father) is to you my last request.
I followe you. I leade you not.
god turne it to the best,
That well deuysed is for good, passe foorth with cherefull pace.

The seconde Sceane.

  • Atreus.
  • Thyestes.
ENtrapt in trayne the beast is taught and in the snare dothe fall:
Bothe him, and eke of ha [...]d sto [...] with him the ofspryng all,
About the fathers syde I [...]e: and now in safetie stands
And surest ground my wrathfull hate: nowe comes into my han [...]
At length Thyestes: ye he comes and all at ones to me.
I scant refrayne my selfe, and scant may anger brydled be.
So when the bloodhounde seekes the beast, by steppe and quycke of sent
Drawes in the leame, and pace by pace to wynde the wayes he went,
With nose to soyle dothe hunt, while he the boare aloofe hath founde
Farre of by sent, he yet refraynes and wanders through the grounds
[Page]With sylent mouth: but when at hand he once perceiues the praye,
With al the strength he hath he striues, with voyce and calls awaye
His lyng [...]ing maister, and from him by force out breaketh he.
When Ire dothe hope the present blood, it may not hydden be.
Yet let it hydden be. beholde, with vglye heare to syght
How yrkesomely defourmde with fylthe his fowlest face is dyght,
How lothsome lyes his bearde vnkempt: but let vs frendship fayne.
To see my brother me delightꝭ: geue now to me agayne
Embrasyng long desyred for: what euer stryfe there was
Before this time betwene vs twayne, forget and let it pas:
Fro this daie foorth let brothers loue, let blood, and lawe of kynde
Regarded be, let all debate be slakte in eythers mynde.
I coulde excuse my selfe, except thou werte as now thou arte.
But Atreus) now I graunte, the faute [...] myne in [...]uery parte:
[Page]And I offended haue in all. my cause the worse to bee,
Your this daies kindnes makes: in deede a gyltie wight [...] hee,
That wolde so good a brother hurt as you, in any whyt.
But nowe with teares I must entreate, and fyrst I me submit.
These hands that at thy feete doe lye, doe thee beseeche and praye,
That yre an [...] hate be layde asyde, and from thy bosome maye
Be scraped out: and cleere forgot. for pledges take thou theese
O brother deere, these gyltles babes.
thy hands yet from my kneese
Remoue, and rather me to take in armes, vppon me fall.
And ye o aydes of elders age, ye lyttle infantꝭ all.
Me clyppe and colle [...]bout the necke: this fowle [...]yre forsake,
And spare myne eyes that pitie it, and fresher vesture take
Lyke myne to see. and you with ioye, the halfe of emperie
Deere brother take: the greater prayse shall come to me therby,
[Page]Our fathers seate to yelde to you, and brother to releeue.
To haue a kyngdome is but chaunce, but vertue it to geeue.
A lust rewarde for suche desertꝭ, the goddꝭ (o brother deare)
Repaye to the: but on my hed a regall crowne to weare,
My lothsome lyfe denyes: and farre dothe from the sceptor flee
My hande vnhappie: in the mydst let leefull be for mee
Of men to lurke [...]
this kindome can with [...]wayne full well agree.
What euer is (o brother) yours,
I count it myne to bee.
Who wolde dame fortunes gyfiꝭ refuse, if she him rayse to raygne?
The gyfts of hir eche man it wotes, how soone they passe agayne.
ye me depry [...] of glory greate, except ye th [...] [...]mpyre take.
You haue your prayse in offryng [...], and I it to forsake.
And full perswaded to refuse the kyngdome, am I still.
Except your part ye will susteine myne owne forsake I will.
I take it then. and beare I will the name thereof alone:
The ryghts and armes, as well as myne they shall be yours eche one.
The regall crowne as you besemes vppon your hed then take:
And I thappointed sacrifice for godds, will now goe make.


WOlde any man it weene? that cruell wyght Atreus, of mynde so impotent to see
Was soone astonied with his brothers syght. no greater force then pietee may be:
Where kynred is not, lasteth euery threate, whom true loue holdes, it holdes eternallye.
The wrathe but late with causes kyndled greate all fauour brake, and dyd to battayle crye,
Whan horsemen did resounde on euery syde, the swoordes eche where, then glystred more and more:
Which ragyng Mars with often stroke dyd guyde the fresher bloud to shedde yet thyrstyng sore.
But loue the sworde agaynst theyr wills doth swage, and them to peace perswades with hand in hand.
So sodeyn [...] rest, amyd so grea [...]e a rage what god hath made? throughout Mycenas lande
[Page]The harnes clynkt, but late of cyuill stryfe: and for theyr babes dyd fearefull mothers quake,
Her armed spou [...]e to leese muche fearde the wyfe. when swoorde was made the scabberd [...] to forsake,
That now by [...]est with rust was ouergrowne. come to re [...]ayre the walles that dyd decaye,
And some to strength the [...]owres halfe ouerthrowne, and some the gates wyth gyns of yrne to staye
Full busie were, and dreadfull watche by nyght from turret highe dyd ouerlooke the towne.
Woorse is then warte it selfe the feare of fyght. now are the threats of cruell swoorde layde downe,
And now the rumor [...] of battayles sowne, the noyse of crooked trumpet sylent lyes,
And quiete peace returnes to loyfull towne. so when the waues of swelling surge aryse,
While Corus wynde the Brutian seas doth smight, and Scylla soundes from hollowe caues within,
And shipmen are with waftyng waues affryght, Charybdis casts that erst it had droonke in:
And Cyclops fierce his father yet dothe dred, in Actna banke that feruent is with heates,
Leste quenched be with waues that ouershed the fyre that from eternall fornace beates:
And poore Laërtes thinkes his kyngdomes all may drowned be, and Ithaca doth quake:
If once the force of wyndes begyn to fall, the sea lythe downe more myide then standyng lake.
[Page]The deepe, where shipps so wyde full dreadfull were to passe, with sayles on eyther syde out spred
Now fallne adowne, the lesser boate dothe beare: and leysure is to vewe the fyshes ded
Euen there, where late with tempest bette vppone the shaken Cyclades were with seas agast.
No state endures, the payne and pleasure, one to other yeldes, and ioyes be sonest past.
One howre settꝭ vp the thynges that lowest bee. he that the crownes to prynces dothe deuyde,
Whom people please with bendyng of the knee, and at whose becke theyr battayles laye asyde
The Meades, and Indians eke to Phebus nye, and Dakes that Parthians doe with horsemen threate,
Hym selfe yet holdes his sceptors doutfullye, and men of myght he feares and chaunces greate
(That eche estate may turne) and doutfull howre. o ye, whom lorde of lande and waters wyde,
Of lyfe and death grauntꝭ here to haue the powre, laye ye your proude and lofty lookes asyde:
What your inferiour feares of you amys, that your superiour threats to you agayne.
To greater kyng, eche kyng a subiect is. whom dawne of day hath scene in pryde to raygne,
Hym ouer throwne hath seene the euenyng late. let none reioyce to muche that good hath got,
Let none dispaire of best in worst estate. for Clothos myngles all, and suffreth not
[Page]Fortune to stande: but fates about dothe dryue. suche friendship fynde with goddꝭ yet no man might,
That he the morowe might be sure to lyue. the god our thingꝭ all tost and turned quight
Rolles with a whirle wynde.

The fourth Acte.

  • Messenger.
  • Chorus.
WHat whirlwinde mai me hedlong driue and vp in ayre me flyng,
And wrappe in darkest cloude, wherby it might so heynous thyng,
Take from mine eyes? ô wicked house that euen of Pelops ought
And Tantalus abhor [...]ed be.
what new thing hast thou brought?
What lande is this? lythe Sparta here, and Arges, that hath bred
So wycked brethern? and the grounde of Corinth liyng spred
Betwene the seas? or Ister ells where woont to take their flight,
Are people wylde? or that whiche woontꝭ with snowe to shyne so bright
[Page]Hircana laude? or els do here the wandryng Srythians dwell?
What monstrous mischefe is this place then giltie of? that tell,
And this declare to vs at large what euer be the ill.
If once my minde may stay itself, and quakyng limmꝭ I will.
But yet of suche a cruell deede before mine eyes the feare
And Image walkes: ye ragyng stormes now far from hens me [...]eare
And to that place me driue, to whiche now driuen is the day
Thus drawen from hens.
Our mindes ye holde yet still in doubtfull stay.
Tell what it is ye so abhorte. The author therof showe.
I acke not who, but which of them: that quickly let vs knowe.
In Peloppꝭ Turret highe, a parte there is of palaice wyde
That to warde the southe erected leanes, of whiche the vtter syde
With equall toppe to mountayne stands, and on the citie [...]es,
And people proude agaynst theyr prince yf once the traytours rise
[Page]Hath vnderneathe his battryng stroke: there shines the place in sight
Where woont the people to frequent, whose golden beames so bright
The noble spotted pillers graye, of marble dooe supporte.
Within this place well knowen to men, where they so ofte resorte,
To many other roomes about the noble courte dothe goe.
The priuie Palaice vnderlieth in secret place aloe,
With ditche full deepe that dothe [...] the woode of priuetee,
And hidden partes of kyngdome olde: where neuer grew no tree
That cherefull bowes is woont to beare, with knife or lopped be,
But Taxe, and Cypresse, and with tree of holm [...] full blacke to se
Dothe becke and bende the woode so [...] alofte aboue all theese
The higher oke dothe ouerlooke, surmountyng all the treese.
From hens with lucke the [...]ne to take, accustomde are the kyngs,
From hens in danger ayde to aske, and doome in doubtfull thyngs.
[Page]To this affixed are the gifts, the soundyng [...] bright,
The Chariots broke, and spoyles of sea that now Myrtoon hight,
There hang the wheeles once won by crafte of falset axell tree,
And euery other conquests note: here leefull is to see
The [...] tyre of Pelops hed: the spoyle of enmies heere,
And of Barbarian triumphe lefte, the paynted gorgeous geere.
A lothesome spryng stands vnder shade, and slouthfull course dothe take,
With water blacke: euen such as is, of [...]some Stygian lake
The vgly waue, wherby are wo [...], to sweare the goddes on hie.
Here all the night the grisly ghosts and gods of death to crie
The fame reportes: with clinkyng chaynes resoundes the woode eche where,
The sprights [...] out: and euery thyng that dredfull is to heare,
May there be seene: of vgly shapes from olde Sepulchres sent
A fearfull flocke dothe wander there, and in that place frequen [...]
[Page]Woorse thyngs then euer yet were knowne: ye all the wood full ofte
With flame is woont to flas [...]e, and all the higher trees alofte
Without a fyre dooe burne: and ofte the wood besyde all this
With triple barkyng roares at once: full ofte the palaice is
Affright with shapes, nor light of day may once the terrour quell.
Eternall night dothe holde the place, and darknes there of hell
In mid day raignes: from hens to them that pray, out of the grounde
The certayne answers geuen are, what time with dredfull sounde
From secret place the fates be tolde, and dongeon roares within
While of the God breakes out the voice: wherto when entred in
Fierce Atreus was, that did with him his brothers children trayle,
Dekt are the [...]ultets: who (alas) may it enoughe bewayle?
Behynde the infants backꝭ anone he knyt their noble hands,
And eke their heauie heds about he bounde with purple bands:
[Page]There wanted there no Frankensence, nor yet the holy wine,
Nor knife to cut the sacrifice, besprinkt with leuens fine.
Kept is in all the order due, least suche a mischiefe grette
Should not be ordred well.
who dothe his hande on swoorde then sette?
He is him selfe the preest, and he him selfe the dedly verse
With praier dyre from feruent mouthe dothe syng and ofte reherse.
And he at thaulters standꝭ him selfe, he them assygnde to die
Dothe handle, and in order set, and to the knife applie,
He lightꝭ the fyres, no rights were lefts of sacryfice vndone.
The woode tken quakte, and all at ones from tremblyng grounde anone
The Palaice beckte, in doubte whiche way the payse therof woulde fall,
And shakyng as in waues it stoode: from thayre and therwithall
A blasyng starre that foulest trayne drewe after him dothe goe:
The wynes that in the fyres were cast, with changed licourfloe,
[Page]And turne to bloud: and twyse or thryse that tyre fell from his hed,
The Iucrie bright in Temples seemde to weepe and teares to shed.
The sights amasde all other men, but stedfast yet alway
Of mynde, vnmoued Atreus stands, and euen the godds dothe fray
That threaten him, and all delay forsaken by and bye
To thaulters turnes, and therwithall a syde he lookes awrye.
As hungrie tygre woonts that dothe in gangey woods remayne
With doubtfull pace to range and roame betweene the bullocks twayne,
Of eyther praye full couetous, and yet vncertayne where
She fyrst may bite, and roryng throate now turnes the tone to teare
And then to [...]hother straight returnes, and doubtfull famine holdes:
So Atreus dire, betwene the babes dothe stand and them beholdes
On whome he poyntes to slake his yre: fyrst slaughter where to make,
He doubtes: or whome he shoulde agayne for seconde offryng take,
[Page]Yet skylls it nought, but yet he doubtes, and suche a crueltie
It him deligths to order well.
Whome take he fyrst to die?
First place, least in him thinke ye might no piete to remayne
To grandsier dedicated is, fyrst Tantalus is slayne.
With what a minde and countnaunce, coulde the boye his death sustayne?
All careles of him selfe he stoode, nor once he woulde in vayne
His prayers leese. But Atreus fierce the swoorde in him at last
In deepe and deadly wounde dothe hide to hilts, and gripyng fast
His throate in hand, he thrust him throughe. The swoorde then drawne awaye
When long the body had vphelde it selfe in doubtfull staye,
Whiche way to fall, at lengthe vppon the vnkle downe it falles.
And then to thaulters cruellie Philisthenes he tralles,
And on his brother throwes: and straygh [...] his necke of cutteth hee.
The carcase hedlong falles to grounde: apite [...]us thyng to see,
[Page]The mournyng hed, with murmure yet vncertayne dothe complayne.
What after double deathe dothe h [...] and slaughter then of twayne?
Spares he the childe? or gilt on gilt agayne yet heapeth he?
As long maend Lyon feerce amid the wood of Armenie,
The droue pursues and conquest makes of slaughter many one,
Though now defiled be his iawes with bloude, and hunger gone
Yet slaketh not his Irefull rage, with bloud of bulles so greate,
But slouthfull now, with weery toothe the lesser calues dothe threate:
None other wyse dothe Atreus rage, and swels with anger straynde,
And holdyng now the sworde in hand [...] with double slaughter staynde,
Regardyng not where fell his rage, with cursed hand vnmilde
He strake it through his body quight: at bosome of the childe
The blade gothe in, and at the backe agayne out went the same.
He falles, and quenchyng with his bloud the aulters sacred flame,
[Page]Of eyther wounde at lengthe he dieth.
O heynous hatefull acte.
Abhorre ye this? ye heare not yet the ende of all the facte,
There followes more.
A fiercer thyng, or worse then this to see
[...]ould nature beare?
why thinke ye thi [...] of gilt the ende to bee?
It is but parte.
what coulde he more? to cruell beast [...] he cast
Perhapps their bodies to be torne, and kept from tyres at last.
Woulde god he had: that neuer tomb [...] the deade might ouer hyde,
Nor flames dissolue, though them for foode to fowles in pastures wyde
He had out throwen, or them for pray to cruell beasts woulde flyng.
That whiche the worste was wont to be, were heere a wisshed thyng,
That them theyr father sawe [...]utombde, but oh more cursed crime
Uncredible, the whiche denie wyll men of after time:
From bosomes yet alyue out drawne the tremblyng [...]owells shake,
The vaynes yet breathe, the fearefull harte dothe yet bothe pante and quake:
[Page]But he the stryngs dothe turne in h [...]nde, and destenies beholde,
And of the gutts the sygnes eche one dothe vewe no [...] fully colde.
When h [...] the sacrifice had pleasde, his diligence he putts
To dresse his brothers banquet now: and streyght a s [...]onder cutts
The bodies into quarters all, and by the stoompes anone
The shoulders wide, and brawnes of armes, he strikes of euery [...]hone.
He la [...]es abrode theyr naked lymms, and cutts away the bones:
The only heds he keepes, and hands to him comitted ones.
Some of the gutt [...] are broachte, and in the fyres that burne ful sloe
They droppe: the boylyng liccout some dothe tomble to and f [...]oe
In moornyng cawdern: from the fless [...] that ouer stands [...]
The fyre dothe f [...]. and scatter out, and into chimney of [...]e
Up heapt agayne, and there [...] by force to [...]ary yet
Unwillyng burnes: the lyuet makes grea [...] noyse vppon the spit,
[Page]Nor easely wote I, if the fless [...], or flames they be that cry,
But crie they doe: the fyre like pitc [...] it fumeth by and by:
Nor yet the smoke it selfe so sadde, like [...] miste in sight
Ascendeth vp as woont it is, nor takes his way vpright,
But euen the Goddes and house it dothe with filthie fume defyle.
O pacient Phoebus though from henc [...] thou backward flee the whyle,
And in the midst of heauen aboue dooste drowne the broken day,
Thou fleeste to la [...]: the father eates his children well away,
And lymmꝭ to whiche he onse gaue lyfe, with cursed iawe do [...]he tear [...].
He shynes with oyntment shed full sweete all rounde aboute his heate,
Replete with wyne: and often times so cursed [...]ynde of food
His mouth hath helde that would not down [...] but yet this one thyng good
In all thy ylls (Thyestes) is, that them thou dooste not [...].
And yet shall that not long endure, though Titan backward goe
[Page] [...]nd chariots turne against him selfe, to meete the waies he went,
And heauie night so heynous deede to keepe from sight be sent,
And out of time from east arise, so foule a facte to hide,
Yet shall the whole at lengthe be seene: thy ills shall all be spide.


WHiche way O prince of lands and godds on hie, at whose vprise eftsones of shadowde night
All bewtie fleethe, which way turnst thou awrie? and drawste y day in midst of heauen to flight?
Why dooste thou (Phebus) hide from vs thy sight? not yet the watche that later howre bryng [...] in,
Dothe [...]esper warne the starrs to kindle light. not yet dothe turne of Hespers wheele begin
To loase thy chare his well deserued way. the Trumpet thirde not yet hath blowen his blaste
While towarde the night begins to [...]elde the day. great woonder hath of sodayne suppers haste
The Ploweman, yet whose oxen are vntierde. from woonted course of heauen what drawes thee backe?
What causes haue from certaine race conspi [...]de to turne thy horse? do yet from dongeon blacke
[Page]Of hollowe Hell, the conquerde Gyants proue a [...] assaute? dothe Tityus yet assay
With trenched hart and wounded wombe to moue the former yres? or from the hill away
Hath now Typhoeus wounde his syde by might? is vp to heauen the way [...]rected hie
Of phlegrey [...]oes by mountaynes set vpright? and now dothe Ossa Pelion ouerlie?
The woonted turnes are gone of day and night. the rise of sun, nor fall shalbe no more.
Aurora dewysh mother of the light that woonts to sende the horses out before,
Dothe wonder muche agayne returnde to see her dawnyng light: she wottꝭ not how to ease
The wery wheeles, nor manes that smokyng bee of horse with sweate, to bathe amyd the seas.
Him selfe vnwoonted there to lodge lykewyse, dothe settyng Sun againe the mornyng see,
And now commaundes the darknes vp to ryse, before the night to come prepared bee.
About the poale yet glowthe no fyre in sight: nor light of Moone the shades dothe comfort yet.
What so it be, God graunt it be the night. our hartꝭ dooe quake with feare oppressed gret,
And dredfull are least heauen and erthe and all with [...]atall ruine shaken shall decay:
And least on gods agayne, and men shall fall disfigurde [...]: and the land away
[Page]The [...]eas, and [...]yres, and of the glorious [...] the wandryng lampes, least nature yet shall hide.
Now shall no more with blase of his vprise, the lorde of starres that leades the worlde so wide,
Of Sommer bothe and winter gyue the markes. nor yet the Moone with [...] [...]ames that burnes,
Shall take from vs by night the dredfull carkes, with swyfter course or passe her brothers turnes,
While compasse lesse she fetts in crooked race: the Gods on heapes shall out of order fall
And eche with other myngled be in place. the wr [...]ed way of holly planetts all,
With pathe a sloape that dothe deuide the Zones, that beares the sygnes and yeares in course dothe bryns,
Shall see the starres with him fall downe at ones. and he that fyrst not yet with gentle spryng,
The temper [...]te gale dothe geue to sayles, the Ramme shall he [...]long fall a downe to seas agayne,
Through whiche he once with [...]atfull hellen swamme. next him the Bulle that dothe with horne sustayne
The systers seuen, with him shall ou [...]rturne the [...], and armes of crooked cancer all.
The Lyon whot, (that woonts the soyle to burne) of Hercul [...]s, agayne from heauen shall fall.
To lands once lefte the virgin shalbe throwne, and leuelde payse of balance sway alowe,
And drowe with them the styngyng Scorpion downe. so likewyse he that holdes in Thassale bowe
[Page]His swifte well fethred arrowes Chiron olde, shall breake the same and eke shall leess his shotte.
And Capricorne that brynges the winter colde shall ouerturne, and breake thy water potte
Who so thou be: and downe with thee to grounde, the last of all the signes shall Pisces fall.
And monsters eke in seas yet neuer drounde, the water gulphe shall ouer whelme them all.
And he whiche dothe betwene eche Ursa glyde, lyke croaked floode, the slipper serpent twynde:
And lesser Beate by greater Dragons syde, full colde with frost congealed harde by kynde,
And carter dulle that slowlie guides his wayne, vnstable shall boôtes fall from hie,
We are thought meete of all men whom agayne, should hugy heape of Chaos ouer lie,
And worlde oppresse with ouer turned mas. the latest age now falleth vs vppon.
With euill happe we are begotte alas, if wretches we haue lost the sight of son,
Or him by faught enforced haue to flie. let our complaynts yet goe, and feare be past:
He greedy is of lyfe, that will not die when all the worlde shall ende with him at last.

The fifth Acte.

  • Atreus alone.
NOwe equall with the starr [...] I goe, beyonde eche other wight, with haugh [...]ie h [...]d the heauens about, and highest Poa [...] I smight.
The kyngdome now & [...]eate I helde, where once my father raynde.
I now let goe the godds: for all my will I haue obtaynde.
Enoughe and well, ye euen enoughe for me I am a [...]quit.
But whie enoughe? I will proceede, and fyll the father yet
With bloud of his: least any shame should me restrayne at all,
The day is gone: goe to therfore, wh [...]e thee the heauen dothe call.
[...]o [...] god I coulde agaynst their wills [...] holde the gods that flee,
[...]nd of reuengyng disshe, constrayne them witnesses to be:
But yet (whiche well enoughe is wrought,) let it the father see.
In spight of all the drowned day, I wyll remoue from thee
[Page]The darkenes all, in shade whereof doe luck [...] thy myseries.
And guest at suche a banquet now to long he careles lies,
With mery face: now eate and dronke enough he hath: at laste
Tys best him selfe shoulde know his ylls. ye seruaunts all, in haste
Und [...] the temple doores: and let the house be open all:
[...]ayne wolde I see, when looke vppon his childrens heds he shall
What countenance he then wolde make: or in what woordes breake out
Wolde fyrst his greefe, or how wolde quake his bodie rounde about
With spright amased sore: of all my woorke the fruite were this.
I wolde him not a myser see, but whyle so made he is.
Beholde the temple opened now, dothe shyne with many a lyght:
In gly [...]ryng gold and purple seats he sytt [...] him selfe vpryght,
And staiyng vp his heauy head with wine, vpon his hande,
He belcheth out. now cheefe of goddꝭ, in highest place I stande,
[Page] [...]nd kyng of kyngs: I haue my [...] and more then I coulde thynke:
He tylled is, he nowe the wyne in syluer bull doche drynke.
And spare [...] not, th [...] ye [...] [...], [...] woorser draught for [...]
That sproong out of the bodyes late of sacrifyces [...]ee,
Whiche wyne shall hyde: [...] therwithall the boordes be [...]aken vp.
The father (myngled with the wyne) his childrens blood shall sup,
That woulde haue droonke of [...]. beholde, he now begyns to [...]
His voyce and syngs, nor yet for [...]oye his mynde he may refrayne.

The seconde Sceane.

  • Thyestes alone
Obeaten bosomes dullde so longe with wo [...], [...] downe you [...] [...], at l [...]gth your greues relēt:
Let sorowe passe, and all your dreade let goe, and fellowe eke of fearefull banyshment,
Sad pou [...] and yll in myserye the shame of cares. more whense thy [...]ll thou haste,
Then whether, skylls. [...] to him, from hye that falles, it is in [...] be [...]
[Page]Beneth. and great it is to him agayne that prest with storme, of [...] feeles the smart,
Of kyngdome loste the payses to sustayne with necke vnbowde: nor yet deiect of harte
Nor ouercome, his heauy happs alwayes to beare vpryght. but now of carefull carkes
Shake of the showres, and of thy wretched dayes awaye with all the myserable markes.
To ioyfull state returne thy cheerefull face. put fro thy my [...]de the olde [...] hence.
It is the woo [...] of wight in wofull case, in state of ioy to haue no confydence.
Though better [...] to them returned be, thafflicted yet to ioy it yrketh sore.
Why calste thou me [...]backe, and hyndrest me this happie daie to celebrate? wherfore
Bydst thou me (sorowe) weepe without a cause? who doth me let with flowers so freshe and gay [...]
To decke my heares? it lettꝭ, and me withdrawes. downe from my head the roses fall away [...]:
My moysted [...] with oyntment ouer all, with sodeyne mase stands vp in woondrows wyse.
From face that wolde not weepe the streames [...] fall. and howlyng cryes amyd my woordes aryse.
My sorowe yet tha [...]omde teares dothe loue. and wretches styll delight to weepe and crye.
Unpleasant playntes it pleaseth them to moue: and florysht faire it lykes with [...] dy [...]
[Page]Theyr robes to rent: to w [...]yle it lykes them styll. for sorowe, sends (in sygne that woes drawe nye)
The minde, that wottꝭ before of after yll. the sturdye stormes the shipmen ouerlye,
When voyde of wynde thasswaged se [...]s doe rest. what tumult yet or countenaunce to see
Makste thou mad man? at lengthe a trustfull bre [...]t to brother ge [...]ue, what euer now it bee,
[...], or ells to late thou arte a dred. I wretche woulde not so feare, but yet me drawes
A tremblynge terrour: downe myne eyes do shed theyr sodeyne teares, and yet I know no cawse.
Is it a greefe, or feare? or ells hath [...] great [...]oy it selfe?

The thyrde Sceane.

  • Atreus.
  • Thyestes.
LEt vs this daie with one consen [...] (o brother) celebrate.
This day my steptor [...] may confyrme and stablyshe my estate,
And faythf [...]ll bonde of peace and lo [...]e betwene vs [...].
Enough with meate and eke with wyne, now satysfyde am I.
[Page]But yet of all my ioyes it were [...] greate encrease to mee,
If now abou [...] my syde I might my little children see.
Beleue that here euen in thyne arme [...] thy children present bee.
For here they are, and shalbe here, no parte of them fro thee
Shall be withhelde: theyr loued looke [...] now geue to the I wyll,
And with the heape of all his babes, the father fully fyll.
Thou shalt be glutted, feare thou not: they with my boyes as yet
The ioyful sacrifyces make at boorde where children sit.
They shalbe callde: the frendly cuppe nowe take of curtesy
With wyne vpfylde.
of brothers feast I take full wyllyngly
The fynall gyfte, shed some to godꝭ of this our fathers lande,
Then let the rest be droonke. whatꝭ thi [...]? in no wyse wyll my hande
Obeye: the payse incre [...]seth sore, and downe myne arme dothe swaye.
And from my lypps the waftyng wynt it selfe dothe fi [...]e awaie,
[Page]And in deceiued mouthe, about my iawes it runneth rounde:
The table to, it selfe dothe shake, and leape from tremblyng grounde.
Scant burnes the fyre: the ayre it selfe with heauy [...]here to sight
Forsooke of sunne amased is betwene the daye and night.
What meaneth this? yet more and more of backewarde beaten skye
The compasse falles: and thicker myst the worlde doth ouerlye
Then blackest darkenes, and the night in night it selfe dothe hyde.
[...]ll starrs be fledde: what so it bee, my brother god prouyde
And soons to spare: the godꝭ so graunte that all this tempest fall
On this vyle head. but now restore to me my children all.
I will, and neuer daye agayne shall them from the withdrawe.
What tu [...]ulte tumbleth so my guttꝭ, and dothe my bowells gnawe?
What quakes within? with heauy payse I feele my selfe opprest,
And with an other voyce then myne [...]wayles my dole [...]ull brest.
[Page]Come neere my soons, for you now dooth th'unhappie father call:
Come neere, for you once seene, this greefe wolde soone asswage and fall.
Whence murmure they?
with fathers [...]rmes embrace them quickely nowe,
For here they are loe come to thee: dooste thou thy children knowe?
I know my brother: suche a gylt yet canst thou suffre well
ô earth to beare? nor yet from hens to Stygian lake of hell
Dooste thou bothe drowne thy selfe and vs? nor yet with broken grounde
Dooste thou these kyngdomes and theyr kyng with Chaos rude confounde?
Nor yet vprentyng from the soyle the bowres of wicked lande
Dooste thou Mycenas ouerturne? with Tantalus to stande,
And auncyters[?] of ours, if there in hell be any one,
Now ought we bothe. now from the frames on eyther syde anone
Of grounde, all here and there rent vp, out of thy bosome deepe
Thy dens and dungeons set abrode, and vs enclosed keepe,
[Page]In botome lowe of Acheront: aboue our heddꝭ alofte
Let wander all the gyltie ghosts, with burnyng frete full ofte
Let fyry Phlegethon that dryues his sands bothe to and froe,
To our confusion ouetroon, and vyolently floe.
O slouthfull soyle vnshaken payse, vnmoued yet arte thou?
The godꝭ are fled.
but take to thee with ioy thy chyldren now,
And rather them embrace: at length thy chyldren all, of thee
So long wy [...] for, (for no delaye there standeth now in mee,)
Enioye and kysse, embracyng armes deuyde thou vnto three.
Is this thy league? may this thy lous and fayth of brother bee?
And dooste thou so repose thy hate? the father dothe not craue
His soons aliue (whiche might haue bene without the gylt,) to haue:
And eke without thy hate, but this dothe brother brother pray:
That them he may ent [...]mbe, restore, whom see thou shalt straight way
[Page]Be burnt: the father nought requyres, of the that haue he shall,
But soone forgoe.
what euer parte yet of thy children all
Remaynes, he [...]e shalt thou haue: and what remayneth not, thou haste.
Lye they in feeldes, a foode out floong for fleeyng foules to waste?
Or are they kept a praye, for wylde and brutyshe beasts to eate?
Thou hast deuou [...]de thy soons, and fyld [...] thy selfe with wick [...]d meate.
Oh this is it that shamde the goddꝭ: and day from hens dyd dryue
Turnde backe to easte. alas I wretch what waylynges may I gyue?
Or what complayntes? what wofull woordes may be enough for mee?
The [...]r heades cu [...]e of, and hands of torne, I from the [...]r bodies see,
And wrenched fe [...]te from broken thyghe [...], I here beholde agayne.
[...]ys this that greedy father coulde not suffre to sustayne.
In belly rolle my [...]owels rounde, and closed cryme so gret
Without a passage stryues within, and seekes awaye to get.
[Page]Thy swoorde (o brother) lende to me: muche of my blood alas
It hathe: let vs therwith make way for all my soons to pas.
Is yet the swoorde fro me withhelde? thy selfe thy bosomes teare.
And let thy brests resounde with strokes: yet wretche thy hand forbeare,
And spare the deade. who euer sawe suche mischiefe put in proofe?
What rude Heniochus, that dwells by ragged coaste aloofe,
Of Caucasus vnapt for men? or frare[?] to Athens, who
Procustes wylde[?]? the father I oppresse my children do
And am opprest, is any means of gylt or mischiefe yet?
A meane in myschiefe ought to be, when gylt thou dooste commyt,
Not when thou quytst: for yet euen this, to lytle seemes to me.
The blood yet warme euen from the wounde I shoulde in sight of thee
Euen in thy sawes haue shed, that thou the bloud of them mightst drynke
That lyued yet: but whyle to muche to haste my hate I thynke,
[Page]My wrathe beguyled is. my selfe with swoorde the woundes them gaue,
I strake them downe, the sacred fyres with slaugh [...]er vowde I haue
Well pleasde, the carcase cuttyng th [...] and lyutles lymms on grounde
I haue in little parcelles chopt, and some of them I drownde
In boylyng cawderns, some to [...]yres that burnte full slowe I putte,
And made to droppe: their synewes all and lymms atoo I cutte
Euen yet alyue, and on the spytte that thrust was through the same
I harde the lyuer wayle and cr [...]e, and with my hand the flame
I ofte kept in: but euery wh [...] the father might of this
Haue better doone, but now my wrathe to lyghtly ended is.
He rent his soons with wycked gumme, him selfe yet wotyng nought,
Nor they therof.
ó ye, encloa [...] with bendyng banks abought
All seas me heare, and to this [...] ye godds now harken well
What euer pla [...] ye fl [...]dde are to: [...]eare all ye sprights of hell,
[Page] [...]nd here ye lands, and night so [...], that them dooste ouerlye
With clowde so blacke, to my complaynts do thou thy selfe applye.
To thee now lefte I am, thou dooste alone me myser see,
And thou arte lefte without thy startes: I wyll nut make for mee
P [...]ions yet. nor ought for me r [...]quyre, may ought yet bee
That me shoulde vayle? for you shall all my wyshes now fo [...]esee.
Thou guyder great of skies aboue, and prynce of hyghest myght,
Of he [...] place, now all with cloudes full hortible to syght,
Enwrappe the worlde, and let the wyndes on euery syd [...] breake out,
And sende the dredfull thunder clappe, through all the worlde about.
Not with what hand thou gyltles hous [...] and vndeserued wall
With lesser volte arte wonte to beate, but with the whiche did fall
The three vpheaped mountaynes once, and [...] to hylls in height
Stoode equall vp, the [...]yantꝭ huge: throweout suche weapons streight,
[Page] [...]nd flyng thy [...]yres, and therwithall reuenge the drowned daye.
[...]et flee thy flames, the lyght thus lost and hyd from heauen awaye,
With flashes fyll: the cause, (least long thou shouldst douts whom to hit,)
Of eche of vs is yll: if not at least let myne be it,
Mee stryke: with tryple edged soole thy brande of flamyng fyre
Beate through this brest: if father I my children do desyre
To lay in tombe, or corpses cast to fyre as dothe be houe,
I must be burnt: i [...] nothyng now the gods to wrath [...] moue,
Nor powre from skyes with thunder bolte none strykes the wyched men.
Let yet eternall night remayne, and hyde with darkenes then
The worlde about: I (Titan) nought complayne, as now it stands,
If still thou hyde thee thus awaye.
now prayse I well my handes,
Now gotte I haue the palme: I had bene ouercome of thee,
Except thou sorowdst so: but now euen children borne to me
[Page]I counte, and now of brydebed cha [...]e the fayth I do repeate.
In what offended haue my soons?
In that, that thyne they weare.
Setst thou the soons for fathers foode?
I doe, and (whiche is best)
The certayne soons.
the gods that guyde a [...]infantes, I protest.
what wedlocke godꝭ?
who wolde the gylt with gylt so [...]yght agayne?
I knowe thy greefe preuented now with wrong, thou dooste complayne:
Nor this thee yrkes, that fedde thou arte with foode of cursed kynde,
But that thou hadst not it preparde: for so it was thy mynde,
Suche meates as these to [...]ette before thy brother wo [...]yng naught,
And by the mothers helpe, to haue lykewyse my children caught,
And them with suche lyke deathe to slaye: this one thing l [...]tted thee,
Thou thoughtst them thyne.
the gods shall all of this reuenge [...]s bee:
[...]nd vnto them for vengeance due, my vowes thee render shall.
But vext to be I thee the whyle, [...]eeue to thy children all.

The fourth Sceane, Added to the Tragedy by the Translatour.

  • Thyestes alone.
O Kyng of Dytis dungeon darke, and grysly ghosts of hell,
That in the deepe and dredfull denns[?], of blackest Tartare dwell,
Where leane and pale diseases lye where feare and famyne are,
Where discorde stands with bleedyng browes, where euery kynde of care,
Where furies fight in bedds of steele, and heares of crallyng snakes,
Where Gorgon grymme, where Harpies are, and lothsome Lymbo lakes,
Where most prodigious vglye thynges, the hollowe hell dothe hyde,
If yet a monster more myschapte then all that there doe byde,
That makes his broode his cursed foode, ye all abhorre to see,
Nor yet the deepe Auerne it selfe, may byde to couer me,
[Page]Nor grysly gates of Plutoes place, yet dare them selues to spredde,
Nor gapyng grounde to swallowe him, whome godds and day haue fledde:
Yet breake ye out from cursed seates, and here remayne with me,
Ye neede not now to be affrayde, the ayre and heauen to se.
Nor tryple headid Cerberus, thou needst not be affright,
The day vnknowne to thee to see, or els the lothsome light.
They bothe be fledde: and now dothe dwell none oth [...]r countnaunce heere,
Then dothe beneathe the fowlest face, of hatefull hell appeere.
Come see a meetest matche for thee, a more then monstrous wombe,
That is of his vnhappie broode, become a cursed tombe.
Flocke here ye fowlest feendes of hell, and thou O grandsier greate,
Come see the glutted gutts of mine, with suche a kynde of meate,
As thou didst once for godds prepare let torments all of hell
Now fall vppon this hatefull hed, that hathe deserude them well.
[Page]Ye all be plagued wrongfully, your gylts be small, in sight
Of myne, and meete it were your pangs on me alone should light.
Now thou O grandsier giltles arte, and meeter were for me,
With fleeyng floud to be beguilde, and frute of fickle tree.
Thou slewst thy son, but I my sons, alas haue made my meate.
I coulde thy famyne better beare, my panche is now repleate
With foode: and with my children three, my belly is extent.
O filthy fowles and gnawyng gripes, that Tityus bosome reut
Beholde a fitter pray for you, to fill your selues vppone
Then are the growyng gutts of him: foure wombes enwrapt in one.
This panche at ones shall fill you all: yfye abhorre the foode,
Nor may your selues abide to bathe, in suche a cursed bloode:
Yet lend to me your clinchyng clawes, your pray a while forbeare,
And with your tallons suffer me, this monstrous mawe to teare.
[Page]Or whirlyng wheeles, with swynge of whiche
Ixion still is rolde, Your hookes vppon this glutted gorge, woulde catche a surer holde.
Thou filthy floud of Lymb [...] lake, and Stygian poole so dyre,
From choaked chanell belche abrode. thou ferfull freate of fyre,
Spue out thy flames O Phlegethon: and ouer shed the grounde.
With vomite of thy fyrye streame, let me and earth be drownde.
Breake vp thou soyle from botome deepe, and geue thou roome to hell,
That night, where day, that ghosts, were gods were woont to raigne, may dwell.
Why gapste thou not? Why do you not O gates of hell vnfolde?
Why do ye thus thynfernall feendes, so long from hens withholde?
Are you likewyse affrayde to see, and knowe so wretched wight,
From whome the godds haue wryde theyr lookes, and turned are to flight?
O hatefull hed, whom heauen and hell, haue shoonde and lefte alone,
The Sun, the Starts, the light, the day, the Godds, the ghosts be gone.
[Page]Yet turne agayne ye Skyes a whyle, ere quight ye goe fro me,
Take vengeance fyrst on him, whose faulte enforceth you to f [...].
If needes ye must yo [...] flight prepare, and may no lenget byde,
But rolle ye must with you foorth with, the Goddes and Sun a syde,
Yet slowly flee: that I at lengthe, may you yet ouertake,
While wandryng wayes I after you, and speedy iorney make.
By seas, by lands, by woods, by rockꝭ, in darke I wander shall:
And on your wrathe, for right reward [...] to due deserts, wyll call. ye scape not fro me so ye Godds, still after you I goe,
And vengeance aske on wicked wight, your thunder bolte to throe.

IMPRINTED AT London in Fletestrete, in the house late Thomas Berthelettes.

Cum priuilegio adimpri­mendum solum.

ANNO. M. D. LX.[Page]

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