David Fuller and Edward J. Esche (eds), The Complete Works of Christopher Marlowe, Vol. 5: Tamburlaine the Great, Parts 1 and 2, and The Massacre at Paris with the Death of the Duke of Guise

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Actus. 4. Critical ApparatusScæna. 2.

Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus[Enter] olympia alone.

olympia. Distrest Olympia, whose weeping eies

2Since thy arrivall here beheld no Sun,

3But closde within the compasse of a tent,

Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus4Hath stain'd thy cheekes, and made thee look like death,

Critical Apparatus5Devise some meanes to rid thee of thy life,

6Rather than yeeld to his detested suit,

Editor’s Note7Whose drift is onely to dishonor thee.

8And since this earth, dew'd with thy brinish teares,

9Affoords no hearbs, whose taste may poison thee,

10Nor yet this aier, beat often with thy sighes,

11Contagious smels, and vapors to infect thee,

Editor’s Note12Nor thy close Cave a sword to murther thee,

Editor’s Note13Let this invention be the instrument.

pg 132 Critical Apparatus14

theridamas. Wel met Olympia, I sought thee in my tent,

15But when I saw the place obscure and darke,

16Which with thy beauty thou wast woont to light,

17Enrag'd, I ran about the fields for thee,

Critical Apparatus18Supposing amorous Jove had sent his sonne,

19The winged Hermes, to convay thee hence:

20But now I finde thee, and that feare is past.

21Tell me Olympia, wilt thou graunt my suit?


olympia. My Lord and husbandes death, with my sweete sons,

Editor’s Note23With whom I buried al affections,

24Save griefe and sorrow which torment my heart,

25Forbids my mind to entertaine a thought

26That tends to love, but meditate on death,

27A fitter subject for a pensive soule.


theridamas. Olympia, pitie him, in whom thy looks

Editor’s Note29Have greater operation and more force

Editor’s Note30Than Cynthias in the watery wildernes,

Editor’s Note31For with thy view my joyes are at the full,

32And eb againe, as thou departst from me.


olympia. Ah, pity me my Lord, and draw your sword,

34Making a passage for my troubled soule,

35Which beates against this prison to get out,

36And meet my husband and my loving sonne.


theridamas. Nothing, but stil thy husband and thy sonne?

Critical Apparatus38Leave this my Love, and listen more to me.

39Thou shalt be stately Queene of faire Argier,

40And cloth'd in costly cloath of massy gold,

Editor’s Note41Upon the marble turrets of my Court

Editor’s Note42Sit like to Venus in her chaire of state,

43Commanding all thy princely eie desires,

44And I will cast off armes and sit with thee,

45Spending my life in sweet discourse of love.


olympia. No such discourse is pleasant in mine eares,

Editor’s Note47But that where every period ends with death,

48And every line begins with death againe:

Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus49I cannot love, to be an Emperesse.

pg 133 50

theridamas. Nay Lady, then if nothing wil prevaile,

51Ile use some other means to make you yeeld,

52Such is the sodaine fury of my love,

Editor’s Note53I must and wil be pleasde, and you shall yeeld:

54Come to the tent againe.

Editor’s Note55

olympia. Stay good my Lord, and wil you save my honor,

56Ile give your Grace a present of such price,

57As all the world cannot affoord the like.

Critical Apparatus58

theridamas. What is it?


olympia. An ointment which a cunning Alcumist

Editor’s Note60Distilled from the purest Balsamum,

Editor’s Note61And simplest extracts of all Minerals,

Editor’s Note62In which the essentiall fourme of Marble stone,

Editor’s Note63Tempered by science metaphisicall,

64And Spels of magicke from the mouthes of spirits,

65With which if you but noint your tender Skin,

66Nor Pistol, Sword, nor Lance can pierce your flesh.


theridamas. Why Madam, thinke ye to mocke me thus

Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus68palpably?


olympia. To proove it, I wil noint my naked throat,

70Which when you stab, looke on your weapons point,

Editor’s Note71And you shall se't rebated with the blow.

Critical Apparatus72

theridamas. Why gave you not your husband some of it,

Editor’s Note73If you loved him, and it so precious?


olympia. My purpose was (my Lord) to spend it so,

75But was prevented by his sodaine end.

76And for a present easie proofe hereof,

77That I dissemble not, trie it on me.


theridamas. I wil Olympia, and will keep it for

79The richest present of this Easterne world.

She noints her throat.

olympia. Now stab my Lord, and mark your weapons point

81That wil be blunted if the blow be great.

Critical Apparatus82

theridamas. Here then Olympia.

[He stabs her.]

83What, have I slaine her? Villaine, stab thy selfe:

84Cut off this arme that murthered my Love:

pg 134

Editor’s Note85In whom the learned Rabies of this age,

86Might find as many woondrous myracles,

Editor’s Note87As in the Theoria of the world.

Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus88Now Hell is fairer than Elisian.

Editor’s Note89A greater Lamp than that bright eie of heaven,

Editor’s Note90From whence the starres doo borrow all their light,

91Wanders about the black circumference,

92And now the damned soules are free from paine,

Editor’s Note93For every Fury gazeth on her lookes:

94Infernall Dis is courting of my Love,

Editor’s Note95Inventing maskes and stately showes for her,

96Opening the doores of his rich treasurie,

Editor’s Note97To entertaine this Queene of chastitie,

98Whose body shall be tomb'd with all the pompe

99The treasure of my kingdome may affoord.

Exit, taking her away.

Notes Settings


Critical Apparatus
Scæna.2.] Dyce 1; Scæna.3, O1.
Critical Apparatus
0sd Enter] Dyce 1; not in O1; olympia discovered alone Oxberry.
Editor’s Note
0sd Enter] Oxberry has Olympia 'discovered, implying that (like 2.4) the scene begins with a curtain being drawn to reveal Olympia on the inner stage. Her situation, however, as one just escaped from confinement, is better expressed by Dyce's 'Enter'.
Critical Apparatus
4 and] &
death,] ~‸
Editor’s Note
4 Hath] Cf. One, 1.1.117n.
Critical Apparatus
5 life,] ~.
Editor’s Note
7 drift] purpose, intention (OED sb. 4.a).
Editor’s Note
12 close] concealed, secluded (OED a. 4.a).
cave] i.e. place of confinement (Theridamas's tent).
Editor’s Note
13 this invention] i.e. a flask or jar containing the ointment described at ll. 59 ff.
Critical Apparatus
14 tent,] ~‸
Critical Apparatus
18 Supposing‸ ] ~,
Editor’s Note
23 affections] Cf. 4.1.178n.; here pronounced as four syllables.
Editor’s Note
29 operation] influence, capacity to produce a given effect (OED 3.a).
Editor’s Note
30 Than … wildernes ] Than the moon has power to control the tides; the image is continued in the following lines ('at the full … eb'). For Cynthia cf. One, 4.2.35n.
Editor’s Note
31 thy view] the sight of you.
Critical Apparatus
38 me.] ~,
Editor’s Note
41 turrets] i.e. raised platforms (Bevington–Rasmussen); OED offers no precise parallel, but see sb.1 3.
Editor’s Note
42 Venus] The Roman goddess of beauty and love.
Editor’s Note
47 period] sentence (OED sb. 10.a).
Critical Apparatus
49 love, to] Oxberry; love to O1.
Editor’s Note
49 love … be ] Oxberry's emendation of O1's punctuation gives, in place of a weak circumlocution, the sense 'fall in love in order to become'.
Editor’s Note
53 I … wil ] A set phrase, D1330.1.
Editor’s Note
55-82 Stay … Olympia ] For the principal source of this episode in Ariosto's story of Isabella and Rodomonte (Orlando Furioso, Cantos 38 and 39) see Thomas–Tydeman, 159–64. A. B. Taylor, n&q,, n.s., 34 (1987), 191–2, cites verbal echoes which suggest Marlowe also had in mind Golding's translation of Ovid's tale of Caenis/Caeneus, whose flesh was made invulnerable by Neptune (Metamorphoses, XII. 168 ff. and 459 ff.; Golding's translation, XII. 506–49).
Editor’s Note
55 honor] chastity (OED sb. 3.a).
Critical Apparatus
58 it?] ~.
Editor’s Note
60 Balsamum] aromatic resinous vegetable juice (OED 1, citing this example).
Editor’s Note
61 simplest] purest (OED a. 13).
extracts] OED sb.1 2.a, first cited use. Ellis-Fermor plausibly refers the phrase 'simplest extracts' to an alchemical context (cf. OED, simple, a. 13).
Editor’s Note
62 which the] With ellipsis of 'is' understood.
fourme] Cf. 4.1.112n.
Editor’s Note
63 Tempered] brought to a proper consistency (OED v. 10).
science metaphisicall] supernatural knowledge (OED, metaphysical, 3.b, first cited use).
Critical Apparatus
68 wil] mil
Editor’s Note
68 noint] Aphetic form of 'anoint' (similarly at l. 79sd).
Editor’s Note
71 rebated] blunted (OED v.1 4.a).
Critical Apparatus
72–3 it, / If] Oxberry; it, if O1.
Editor’s Note
73 precious] Pronounced as three syllables.
Critical Apparatus
82sd He stabs her] Oxberry; not in O1.
Editor’s Note
85 Rabies] Rabbis, learned authorities (OED sb.1 2.b).
Editor’s Note
87 Theoria]? contemplation, survey (OED 1, citing only this instance). Under theory1 2 OED also cites Florio (1598, 1611), 'Theoría, contemplation, speculation, deepe study, insight or beholding'.
Critical Apparatus
88 Elisian.] ‸,
Editor’s Note
88 Elisian] Cf. One, 5.1.247n.
Editor’s Note
89 eie … heaven ] i.e. the sun.
Editor’s Note
90 From … light ] That the stars received their light from the sun was an accepted view of the period. Kocher (224) cites, amongst others, Robert Recordé, The Castle of Knowledge (1556), 148. Greg notes that periods for the revolutions of the planets given in Faustus (A-text, II.iii.53-5) are closely similar to Recorde's (Castle, 272-9): W. W. Greg, Marlowe's 'Doctor Faustus', 1604-1616 (Oxford, 1950), 337.
Editor’s Note
93 Fury] Cf. One, 2.7.53n.
Editor’s Note
95 maskes] lavish courtly entertainments combining music, dancing, drama, and spectacular elements (OED 2).
Editor’s Note
97 entertaine] Cf. 2.4.17n.
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