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/a 98 

The present volume is based on a critical edition of TJU 
Spamsh Tragedy which I am preparing for the collection 
of Litterarhisiorische Forschungen^ edited by Professor 
Freiherr von Waldberg and myself. The liberality and 
kindness of public authorities and private owners have 
afforded m« access to the scattered material contained in 
numerous libraries in England and abroad, namely, the 
British Museum, the Bodleian, South Kensington, Sion 
College, Lambeth Palace, the libraries of the Hague, 
Leyden, Copenhagen, G5ttingen, Danrig, Bonn, Munich, 
and Berlin, and the private libraries of Alfred Huth, Esq., 
the Earl of EUesmere, and the Duke of Devcmshire. 

Small though this work be, I feel that it has laid 
upon me a heavy debt of gratitude to the many friends 

who have taken a kind interest in its preparation, 

and to those who have intrusted to me their 

rare and unique treasures. 

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r- ^ ^^^> re- ) 


Thomas Kyd a tatellite of Shaktpere A few yean 
ago the world was startled by the splendid discovery that the 
mightiest of the planets had a fifth satellite. Four of them 
had been well known for centuries and had had a glorious 
place in the history of the stars and light ; but the one vassal 
nearest to his king had been so outshone by the grand luminary 
that, down to our own day, it had been ^psed to the eyes of 

Very similar is the case of the nearest vassal of another 
Jupiter, the Jupiter Tonitruans of the world's drama. Of his 
satellites, too, some four had been well known for as many 
centuries : one especially had, by his own brilliancy and fiery 
iqypearance, attracted the general eye ; but in this case, too, 
the satellite nearest to the great luminary had hardly been 
taken notice of. And if we knew of his bare exbtence, we knew 
little or nothing of his orbit, of his history, of his magnitude, 
of the quality of his light — ^in short, nothing of all the details 
we care to know of poet or brilliant star. 

It is only of late years that a vigorous and searching investi- 
gation has been started with the object of determining the 
unknown elements of Shakspere's fifth satellite, Thomas Kyd, 
the author of The Spanish Thigedy^ and, as some will have 
it— and with great show of probability— the man who first put 
the immortal story of Hamlet on the stage. 

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Unfortunately, this investigation is beset with great difficulties ; 
and thus considerable discrepancy of opinion prevails even on 
some of the most important points. 

All detailed criticism, as well as a full statement of authorities 
— I have only room here to mention my especial indebtedness 
to Sarrazin*8 book, Thomas Kyd und sein Kreis^ and Mr. 
Sidney Lee's article in the Diciiondry of NaHonal Biography — 
must be reserved for my forthcoming larger edition, of which 
the pre£fu:e and notes in this little volume form merely a 
short extract. 

Known facts of Kyd's life. Materials for a biography of 
Thomas Kyd are still but scanty. Yet we are now fortunate 
enough to possess as a starting-point the fact that Thomas 
Kyd was baptized Nov. 6, 1558, in the Church of St Mary 
Woolnoth, in the City— a discovery which we owe to Mr. 
Gordon Goodwin ; see Notes and Quories, 8th series, vol. v. 
pp. 305-6 (21st April 1894). 

Thus we know now for certain that Kyd was older by 
a good lustrum than Marlowe or Shakspere. This seems 
to me a very important consideration, in view of the 
astounding youthfuhiess of the creators of the English drama 
—some, after a glorious record, being carried off in early 
youth, and the greatest of them storming the very heights of 
Parnassus before he could be called a man. In such circum- 
stances, five or six years more or less means much; and in 
the scarcity of known dates we may emphasise that it is thus 
^ priori very probable that Kyd bqgan his work before Mar- 
lowe or Shakspere, that his earliest works, among them pro- 
bably Hamlit and Thi Spanish Tragedy^ weie written befote 

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Tamburlaine. All other evidence tends to corroborate this 
conclusion ; and should it really be correct, we see at once what 
an important historical place Kyd holds in the English drama : 
he then, not Marlowe, is the man who wrote the first great 
popular English tragedy ; he then, not Marlowe, must have 
given to the popular drama the most thundering of all metres 
for its garb. 

Besides knowing, as in Shakspere's case, the date of Kyd's 
baptism, if not of his birth, we also know now something 
about his parentage. His father was Francis Kyd, scrivener, 
writer of the Court Letter of London, several times church- 
warden of St. Mary Woolnoth, Lombard Street, in the City, 
in which church the boy Thomas was baptized. We see 
that the dramatist was indeed a regular Cockney, as had been 
surmised before. His mother was, almost to a certainty, 
Agnes Kyd: we know at least that Francis Kyd*s wife 
was called Agnes — exactly Chaucer's case, where the circum- 
stances (even to the very name of the mother, Agnes) are the 

The dramatist had a sister Ann, three years his junior, who 
was baptized on Sept. 24, 1561 ; John Kyd, the stationer, was 
probably his brother. We now even hear of Prudence Cook, 
'servant with Francis Kyd, scrivener,' who was buried on 
2nd Sept. 1563, which is more of domestic detail than we had 
bargained for knowing with regard to the once proverbial 
* unpersonlichste aller Dichter.' More interesting is the fajci 
that Francis Kyd's family seems to have had intimate con- 
nection with Francis Coldocke (the printer of Wotton*s Courtly 
Controversy) and his son-in-law, William Ponsonby, tbe 
publisher of the Arcadia and the Faerie Qtieene, as also of the 

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Countess of Pembroke's Momay and Aniome (cp. Hunter in 
MS. Add. 24,488, foL 381a, and Coldocke's will at Somerset 

Some time before the discovery of the date of Kyd's baptism, 
an item concerning his education had been known. Through 
Ch. J. Robinson — see his Register of . , , Merchant Taylor^ 
School^ i. (1882) p. 9, and his notice in the Academy^ vol. zzxL 
(1887), p. 346— we know that ' Thomas Kydd, son of Francis, 
scrivener,' entered Merchant Taylors' School on Oct. 26, 
1565. This, too, had been a very important discovery ; it 
was, we may almost say, the first personal date about Kyd 
brought to light ; the ' scrivener ' appeared here for the first 
time; and we shall presently see the import of this one 
detail : it will almost prove Kyd to be the author of the Ur* 

Besides, we see now at which particular school Kyd acquired 
lie classical erudition which shows itself on every page of his 
Spanish Tragedy; it is the same school at which Edmund 
Spenser had acquired his. Merchant Taylors' was then under 
the direction of its famous first headmaster, Dr. Mulcaster, 
who, it befits here to note, was a great advocate of the per- 
formance of plays: his boys performed before the Queen; 
and it is interesting to find that, in 1582, a play taken from 
Ariosto, Ariodante and Ginezfra, was performed at Court by 
his boys. We do not wonder therefore that Kyd knew 
Italian, as he, no doubt, had acquired a more than ordinary 
knowledge of French — witness his translation of Gamier's 
Com^lie, and, we may probably add, the composition of 
his Hamlet from a novel by Belleforest To complete the 
list of his linguistic attainments, it may be added that of 

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Spanish he knew 'pocas palabras' (Spamsk Thigiufyt in. 

XV. 79)» 

After 1565, we hear nothing further of Kyd for a long space 
of years— not until 1589, when he had written some of his 
greatest works and, lUce Shakspere, excited the enrioos 
derision of some of his rivals. Bat between 1565 and 15S9 
history is entirely silent about him : we know not where he 
continued his studies — whether he went to a University or to 
the Inns of Court, — when he first devoted himself to dramatic 
writing, nor what his earliest works were. It is only very clear 
to us, from his own words in the dedication of his Cornelia, 
that he himself must have drunk deep from the bitter cup of 
woe whilst he wrote of the woes of young Hamlet and old 

Nash's invectiye in Preface to Greene's Menaphon. 
We now come to the discussion of the 15S9 passage just alluded 
to— by far the most important contemporary passage with 
r^ard to Kyd,— oft-quoted words, much discussed and com- 
mented upon. At the same time, I am bound to add that it is 
not absolutely certain that the passage refers to Kyd ; indeed, 
it would not have been quoted so often had it not, for a time, 
been held to refer, not to the satellite, but to the King himself. 
The passage occurs in Nash's preface to Greene's Mmaphon 
(15^)9 <u^^ begins: 'I will turn back to my first text, of 
studies of delight, and talk a little in friendship with a few of 
our trivial translators. It is a common practice now-a-days, 
amongst a sort of shifting companions, that run through every 
art and thrive by none, to leave the trade of noverint, whereto 
they were bom^ and busy themselves with the endeavours of 

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art, tbftt could scarodj latinice their neck-verse, if they should 
have need,' 

The tradex>f * noverint ' is the trade of a scrivener, who has 
to write out documents beginning, * Noverint universi per 
pnesentes,' etc. : Thomas Kyd's father being a scrivener, the 
son was indeed literally * bom to the trade of noverint.' In 
the latter part Nash seems to sneer at the defective education 
of Kyd, who, like Shakspere, may have been taken away 
from school early and not have gone to a University ; it was 
only a short time afterwards that Greene, Nash's special ally, 
spoke in an equally disparaging way of Shakspere. The 
'neck-verse,' in special, has been held to refer to the Miserere^ 
Domine in the old German J?am/^ (Widgery, First Quarto 
Edition of Hamlet ^ p. 102). 

Nash then continues : * Yet English Seneca, read by candle- 
light, yields many good sentences, as '' Blood is a b^;gar," and 
so forth : and if you entreat him fedr in a frosty morning, he 
will afford you whole Hamlets, I should say handfiils of tragical 

Hardly anybody now doubts that this means : this man has 
copied Seneca wholesale ; the play on Hamlet especially, which 
he has written, is full of lines and * sentences ' from Seneca. 
Now Kyd, in his Spanish Tragedy^ follows most decidedly in 
the wake of Seneaa's tragedies: three Latin quotations are 
directly taken from the Roman dramatist; and in the Hamlet 
Kyd's dependence on Seneca may have been even greater. It 
may be that Hamlet's speeches on that ' frx>sty morning ' after 
the appearance of his father's ghost were especially ' tragical,' 
and that the phrase * Blood is a be^ar,' threatening revenge, 
oocurred in one of them. The nearest approach to this phrase 


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of which I am at present aware is, * Blond is an inceassant 
crier in the eares of the Lord ' (ycAn Bremen, ed. Collier, p. 15) ; 
and ' Blood is a threatener and will have revenge/ in the old 
Richard IIL^ ed. Barron Field, p. 31. 

Nash's passage goes on : ' But o grief: tempos edax rerumt 
what's that will last always ? The sea exhaled by drops will 
in continuance be dry, and Seneca let blood line by line, and 
page by page, at length must needs die for our stage, which 
makes his &mished followers to imitate the Kidde in .£sop, 
who enamoured with the Fox's newfangles, forsook all hopes 
of life to leap into a new occupation ; and these men, re- 
nouncing all possibilities of credit or estimation, to inter- 
meddle with Italian translations : wherein how poorly they 
have plodded (as those that are neither provincial men, nor 
able to distinguish of articles) let all indifferent gentlemen 
that have travailed in that tongue, discern by their twopenny 
pamphlets. • . .' 

The ' Kidde in <£sop ' — ^this is indeed, I think, calling things 
by their names ; surely Nash points here with his very finger to 
the person of Kyd. The satirist may have had iEsop's fable of 
the fox and goat in his mind (see Caxton's Msop, ed. Jacobs, 
II. 195 sqq.\ or Phadrus, IV. 9 ( Vulpes et Aircus): his words 
are certsdnly not without reference to Spenser's May-Eclogue 
in the Shephercts Calendar, 

Further, we seem actually to possess one of Kyd's * Italian 
translations.' In 1588, a year before Nash's invective was 
written, a little book appeared, *The Housholdfirs Phihso- 
phie, . . . First written in Italian by that excellent orator 
and poet, Signor Torquato Tasso, and now translated by 
T. K,' 


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• This is a translation of Tasso's Padrt difamigka^ and has a 
Latin motto at the end : 

Mt mea sic tua U cetera mortis erunt, 

signed by the initials T. K. The verses, at all events, which 
are interspersed throughout the volume would certainly deserve 
Nash's adverse criticism ; they stand far below those of Tki 
Spanish Tragedy. We are, of course, by no means absolutely 
certain that T. K. means Thomas Kyd. 

Nash goes on: 'And no marvel though their home-bom 
mediocrity be such in this matter ; for what can be hoped of 
those that thrust Elysium into hell, and have not learned so 
long as they have lived in the spheres, the just measure of the 
Horixon without an hexameter. Sufficeth them to bodge up a 
blank verse with ift and ands. . . .' 

The beginning of this bit is difficult to explain. Virgil, 
jEneid, vL 540 sgg., speaks of two ways in the nether world : 

' Hie locus est, partes ubi se via findit in ambas/ etc. 

Kyd, Spanish Tragedy^ i. L 59, says: * Three ways there 
were,' and, after describing the first two of them, goes on 

' 'Twixt these two ways I trod the middle path, 
Which brought me to the fair Elysian green.' 

Can this be what Nash calls * thrusting Elysium into hell'? 
It is very probable that the * ift and ands ' refers to Spanish 
Tragedy^ II. i. 79 (Koppd, Englisch$ StmUen, xviiL 131) — 
the phrase is not over-firequent in Elizabethan literature ; * home* 
bom mediocrity': how dared the stay-at-home scrivener's son 

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'intermeddle with Italian translations' when Thomas Nash, 
gent, of Lowestoft, and (nearly) MA. of Cambridge, had in 
person been to Italy? 

A splendid vista of literary connecticm is opened to our 
imagination by the end of the passage : ' and otherwhile, for 
recreation after their candle-stuff, having starched their beards 
most curiously, to make a peripatetical path into the inner parts 
of the City, and spend two or three hours in turning over French 
Doudie, where they attract more infection in one minute than 
they can do eloquence all days of their life, by conversing with 
any authors of like argument.' 

This means, I think, that the derided author, got up and 
attired in his best, goes to the City, to one of its noble houses, 
where French pla]rs are translated ; the ' Dowdy may refer to 
a play with the title ' Didon '— Jodelle's, for instance {cf, * Dido 
a dowdy,' J^omeo and Juliet^ ii. iv. 43)— or, in Nash's jocose 
language at least, to Gamier-Kyd's Comilie or Parcie, or the 
Cleopatra of Lady Pembroke's Ant^nU. The starched beard 
may be, in Nash's malicious mouth, a further allusion to the 
hireus barbaius in Phsedrus' f&ble, iv. 9, or to the current 
proverb, *Plus barbit quam ingenii.* 

But whatever the precise meaning or intended sting of cer- 
tain details in this last sentence may be, there is hardly any 
doubt that the passage in the main refers to the translation of 
certain plays in French by the head of the French Senecans, 
Robert Gamier. It is well known, first, that Lady Pembroke 
translated his Marc Antnne ; her work was finished, it would 
seem, oa November 26, 1590, at Ramsbury, and printed for 
the fiirst time in 159a. 

Secondly, we also have a similar translation by Kyd of the 

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ComelU of Gamier. It is, indeed, asually ascribed to the 
year 1594, bat it is not impossible that it was produced about 
1 588- 1 589. The play was licensed 26th January I594» and 
printed in the same year. Kyd dedicates it to the Countess of 
Sussex in one of the most beautiful dedications of the time. In 
it he says that he has no leisure but such as evermore is 
travailed with the afflictions of the mind, than which the world 
affords no greater misery. It may be wondered at by some 
how he durst undertake a matter which both requireth cunning, 
rest, and opportunity. He only attempts the dedication of so 
rough, unpolished a work to the Countess, because he is well 
instructed in her noble and heroic dispositions, and perfectly 
assured of her honourable favours past. ' A fitter present for a 
patroness so well-accomplished I could not find than this fedr 
precedent of hcmour, magnanimity, and love. Wherein what 
grace that excellent Gamier hath lost by my fault, I shall 
beseech your honour to repair with the r^ard of those so bitter 
times and privy broken passions that I endured in the writing 
it And so vouchsafing but the passing of a winter's week 
with desolate Cornelia^ I will assure your ladyship my next 
summer's better travel with the tragedy of Portia^ and ever 
spend one hour of the day in some kind service to your honour 
and another of the night in wishing you all happiness. Per- 
petually thus devoting my poor sel^ Your honour's in all 
humbleness, T. K.' 

In these lines to Lady Sussex, which afford us a deep insight 
into the troubles and sorrows of the man, and yet offer a most 
pleasant contrast to the abject flattery and cringing eulogies of 
the humdrum dedication of the time, we get nearer Kyd's 
heart and character than anywhere else. 

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Who was this Countess of Sussex? Hunter, in his Chorus 
Vatumy Add. MS. 24,4^, fol. 380^, has left a blank for the 
name — evidently because he too was doubtfiiL All depends 
upon the date of the Cornelia^ or at least of its preface. If it 
is 1594, then the Countess of Sussex would be Bridget, Lady 
Fitzwalter, wife of the fifth Earl of Sussex, to whom Greene 
dedicated his Philomela, If Cornelia^ and its pre&ce, was 
written about 1588 or 1589, it is Sir Philip Sidney's aunt, 
Frances, daughter of Sir William Sidney, to whom the words 
refer, and Kyd's ' peripatetical path into the inner parts of the 
City ' would have been towards a house of the Sidne3rs or their 
relations. The latter interpretation su^;ests itself as very 
plausible, because Sidney's sister, later Countess of Pembroke, 
was ' turning over ' her French play about this time. Her sumt, 
Frances Sidney, was the wife of Thomas Radcliffe, the third 
Earl of Sussex (died 1583), who had first married Elizabeth 
Wriothesley, daughter of Thomas, Earl of Southampton. 
Frances, Countess of Sussex, was the foundress of Sidney- 
Sussex Coll^;e at Cambridge ; she died on March 9, 1588-89. 
'The next summer's better travel,' the translation of Gamier's 
PorcUf which Kyd had promised, may have remained undone, 
not on account of Kyd's death, as is generally supposed, but 
because Lady Sussex, in the summer of 1589, was no longer 
living. The Gamier-play of Lady Pembroke proved to be far 
more successfiil than Kyd's own translation ; the first was 
printed not less than three times, Kyd's only once; and 
although the publisher thought to enhance its attractiveness by 
prefixing a new and more pompous title-page (in 1595), we 
hear that ' poor Cornelia stood naked on every post' 

Thus much by way of commentary to Nash's invective. 

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I have said above that we have no absolute proof that it 
refers to Kyd and no one else ; but unless as much light can 
be thrown on the passage^ and unless as many items can be 
made to fit in, by substituting any other than Kyd's name, 
I think we may be allowed to interpret it in some such way 
as indicated above. 

Thus, by 1589, the author of HamUt and The Spanish 
Tragedy had become a man of some note, and hence, from that 
time onwards, we hear at least a good deal of his works, if 
little of personal history. In 1592 a small tract appeared, 
relating the murder of John Brewen or Bruen, goldsmith, by 
his own wife, who had an amour with a fellow called John 
Parker, and who was burned for her crime in Smithfield on 
28th June 1592. On this very day the tract was licensed for 
John Kid, the presumable brother of Thomas ( Arber, ii. 289^). 
A copy of the little pamphlet is preserved in the Lambeth 
Library, and has been reprinted by Collier in Illustraticns 
of Early English Popular Literature^ vol. L, 1863. The 
Lambeth copy has, at the end, the name of 'Thomas Kydde ' 
added in handwriting, as &r as I can judge, contemporary and 
genuine ; and thus, I suppose, we must accept the tract as a 
work of Kyd's, although there is, indeed, a great gulf between 
The Spanish Tragedy and this little Morithat, Th%t, in 1592, 
Kyd was reduced to writing, in all haste it would seem, a com- 
position of this sort, throws all the more light on Nash's ' shift- 
ing companions,' with their twopenny pamphlets, who 'run 
through every art and thrive by none.' 

The Spanish Tragedy and The First Part of Jeronimo, 
But from the same year 1592 onwards, we have also distinct 

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The Spanish Tragedy preface 

and indisputable evidence that Kyd*s most famous play had 
entered upon its career of almost unrivalled success in Eliza- 
bethan literature. Early in 1592 it was put upon the stage by 
Henslowe and Lord Strangers men ; on October 6, 1592, it was 
entered on the Stationers' Registers for Abel Jeffes, and shortly 
afterwards a pirated edition, by White, must have come out, 
which was confiscated (Ames-Herbert, ii. 1 160), and no copy 
of which has come down to us. 

Nay, owing to the popularity of the play, even as early as 
February 1592, a very inferior introduction to The Spanish 
Tragedy was brought out by Henslowe along with the great 
play itself. Whether this First Part of Jeronimo—Jeronimo 
was the usual contemporary name for The Spanish Tragedy, from 
its principal hero— was done by Kyd himself, or by a rival, 
whether it preceded The Spanish Tragedy, or followed it, has 
been a matter of much dispute, and is difficult to decide. 
Certain it is that it is quite unnecessary for the understanding 
of The Spanish Tragedy ; the latter can be understood, and was 
therefore also probably devised, without any reference to this 
First Part; further, it is certain that this introduction presents, 
in nearly everything that is vital to the making up of a play, a 
great contrast to The Spanish Tragedy (see R. Fischer, Zur 
Kunstentwicklungder en^ischen Tragoedie,^i^, 100-112). The 
dramatic structure and economy, the treatment of the char- 
acters, the diction, the versification, are all very different in the 
two pla]rs ; in the First Part we note, further, its independence 
of any Senecan model, the great number of slangy phrases, its 
fsiK^caX humour, and its crude jokes about the littleness of 
Jeronimo's stature ; and if we grant that the latter are probably 
late interpolations, its far lower intellectual level is apparent on 

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PREFACE The Spanish Tragedy 

every page. The contemporary public must have been of the 
same opinion ; it brought Henslowe in but poor profits, and 
in its own day it was only once printed (in 1605) — a very 
diflferent case from that of The Spanish Tragedy, 

Can Kyd have written it, nevertheless? Could this Wars 
of Portugal, as we might conveniently name the play, be an 
early, cruder work of his? The many rhymes might be in 
favour of this ; but the great number of feminine endings is 
strongly against it. Could Kyd have written the Wars of 
Portugal zh^T the great play, pressed by sore need and enticing 
promises of Henslowe's ? The hurried production of the play 
under such circumstances might account for its inferiority, but, 
if writing in haste, would Kyd have introdtited so much rhyme, 
much more than in The Spanish Tragedy ? 

It has been pointed out that, besides the same subject, the same 
motifs y and the same situations, a great many other resemblances 
may after all be found in the two plays ; namely, stylistic resem- 
blances in tropes and figures, parallel passages, ridiculous puns, 
common geographical mistakes, etc., so that several of our fore- 
most connoisseurs of Kyd are convinced of his authorship of 
the play. One wonders, too, that in 1592 — in Kyd's own life- 
time — two rival plays, on the same subject, should have been 
performed together on the same stage by the same company — 
for I think the nature of Henslowe's entries absolutely forces 
this interpretation upon us (Herrig, xa 185). Were it not for 
the last-named weighty considerations, or did I feel sure that 
the two Jeronimo-plays belonged originally to different com- 
pames (Fleay, Biographical Chronicle^ iL 30), I should have 
little hesitation in entirely disclaiming the Wars of Portugal 
as Kyd*8. 


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The Spanish Tragedy preface 

The Spanish Tragedy and Soliman and Peraeda, 
Another difficult problem forces itself on our attention in this 
very same year 1592. The hero of Tkd Spanish Tragtdy^ 
Jeronimo, to bring about his revenge, has a play on the story 
of Soliman and Perseda performed, and the subject of this play 
within the play had, by 1592, been worked out into a separate, 
and most interesting, drama. On Nov. 20, 1592, this drama 
Soliman and Perseda was entered on the Stationers' R^;isters, 
and it was twice printed, sine an$to and 1599. The question 
is, who is the author of this play — the man who had already 
made use of its story as an ^isode in The Spanish Tragedy^ or 
some one else ? and when was it written — ^before or after The 
SpatUsh Tragedy ? A similar divergence of opinion prevails 
here as in the case of the First Pari of Jeronimo ; but with one 
great difference : this play would be anything but unworthy of * 
the author of The Spanish Tragedy \ indeed, it is one of the 
most interesting and entertaining plays of the period, per- 
vaded with excellent humour, which would justify the epithet 
' sporting given to Kyd by Ben Jonson. Shakspere alludes 
to its principal hero—or rather non-hero — Basilisco, in King 
John^ and this descendant of Pyrgopolinices is certainly by 
far the most remarkable Elizabethan precursor of the immortal 

Kyd's later life. To continue the chronicle of Kyd's life. 
The dramatist became, somewhat later on, entangled in the 
dangerous accusations made against the 'atheistic academy* 
of Sir Walter Raleigh and Marlowe. MS. HarL 7042, foL 
401, shows that, in May 1593, Marlowe, Royden, Warner, 
and Heriots — ( Thomas Harriott, the faamous mathematician, 

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who forms with Napier and Gilbert the great triad of Eliza- 
bethan discoverers in the reakns of science — worthy prede- 
cessors of a Newton)— were dangerously implicated in a 
judicial investigation, in which they had to answer a charge of 
blasphemy. Kyd too was accused, but 'he seemes to have 
been innocent, and writes a Letter to the Ld : Keeper Pucker- 
ing to purge himself from these aspersions.' 

In 1594 we hear from Henslowe that a Hamlet — I think we 
may say KycCs — ^was performed. Early in the same year (26th 
Jan.) his Cornelia was licensed and printed ; and if it met with 
scant general success, yet scholars did it sufficient justice. 
W. C[lerke?], in his Polimanteia^ I595> thinks it was 'ex- 
cellently well ' done ; and the last allusion to our dramatist as 
still living, an allusion doubly interesting because it couples 
him in a remarkable way with Shakspere, is due to his 
Cornelia, On loth April 1594, Lady Helen Branch, wife of 
Sir John Branch, Lord Mayor, had died ; and to her memory 
an epicedium was composed by W. Har[bert ?], which contains 
the following lines : — 

' You that have writ <f chaste Lucretia, 
Whose death zoos witness of her spotless life, 
Orpenn'd the praise of sad Cornelia, 
Whose blameless name hath made her fame so rife 
As noble Pompefs most renowned wife : 
Hither unto your home direct your eyes. 
Whereas, unthought on, much more matter lies? 

Henceforth we lose all trace of Kyd's person. It is, as a 
rule, supposed that he died in 1594 or 1595. If this is true, 
he died before his parents; Francis Coldocke, the printer, 
bequeathed, m 1602-1603, to Francis Kyd, scrivener (and 


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overseer of his testament), and to Agnes Kyd, ' now his wife,' 
the sum of 20s. each. Meres mentions the poet in his 
Palladis Tamia (1598), as it were as a parallel to Tasso — after 
all, not such a ridiculously ill-matched couple as Royden and 
Dante ! In another place he names him, quite calmly and 
without the slightest misgiving, next to Shakspere among 
'our best for Tragedie.' Bodenham, in the preface to his 
Belvedere, quotes him in 1600 among 'the modem and extant 
poets*; Dekker, in A Knighfs Conjuring^ 1607, puts him 
into the Elysian grove of bay- trees to which 'none resort but 
the children of Phoebus': we find there 'learned Watson, 
industrious Kyd, ingenious Atchlow and . . . inimitable 
Bentley,* then 'Marlowe, Greene, and Peele . . . laughing 
to see Nash (that was but newly come to their College).' Kyd 
had therefore died before Nash, ia, some time before c, 1601. 

With this apotheosis, generously extended to Kyd by not 
the least of his fellow-dramatists, let us close his scanty bio- 
graphy. After all the ' afflictions of the mind, than which the 
world affords no greater misery,* and all the * privy, broken 
passions ' he endured in this life, we can wish him no better 
than to dwell peaceably in the Elysian laurel-grove amongst 
the children of Phoebus. 

Date of compositioii of The Spanish Tragedy, When- 
ever he died, one at least of his works far outlived him, TAs 
Spanish Tragedy, Nay, it may fairly be maintained that in 
its own time, before the paramount greatness of Shakspere 
had become a dogma for the whole civilised world, Kyd's 
Spanish Tragedy was the most popular of all English plajrs. 

We approach a very difficult question when we ask when 

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this play was written and what materials entered into its com- 
position. To get a terminus a quo, we must first consider 
that Wotton's Courtly Controversy, a source of the play, had 
come out in 1578. Further, although it is difficult to recognise 
Philip II. of Spain in the Spanish King of Kyd's play, whilst 
the Portuguese ' Vice-roy ' altogether presents the appearance 
of a myth, yet the play can only have reference to the Portu- 
guese war of independence in 1580 and the following years. 
Moreover, lines ii. i. 3-6 and 9-10 of The Spanish Tragedy are 
a friendly loan from Watson's ^'^Korofi'radla (about 1581 or 
1582). Lastly, such a detail from Portuguese history as that 
there was a special Capit&o Donatario of Terceira (see Spanish 
Tragedy, I. iii. 82 and note) could hardly have been generally 
known in England before Terceira had come into prominent 
notice in the course of the Hispano-Portuguese war. It is 
well-known that, in 1582, the island distinguished itself by its 
stubborn resistance to the Spaniards. The Spanish leader, 
Alvaro de Ba9an, Marquis de Santa Cruz, one of the greatest 
naval officers of the time, wrote accounts of his expeditions to 
the Azores, which were translated into English about 1582 and 
1584 (copies in the British Museum). About the same time, 
Drake had formed a great plan to crush the King of Spain's 
power, with the Azores as a centre of operations. 

As to a terminus ad quern, we know that the play was 
performed and licensed in 1592. Further, we have seen that 
Nash seems to allude to some phrases from the play in 1589 ; 
we might even get as far back as the banning of 1588, if the 
ingenious conjecture by Fleay {^Biographical Chronicle, ii. 31) 
is correct, that * the mad priest of the sonne,* coupled with Tam- 
burlaine in Greene's Perimedes the Blacksmith, is Hieronimo. 

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Further, Ben Jonson says in the Induction to his Bartholomew 
Fair in 1614 : * He that will swear, Jeronimo or Andronicus are 
the best plays yet, shall pass unexcepted at here, as a man whose 
ludgment shews it is constant, and hath stood still these five 
and twenty or thirty years.' This takes us back to 1584- 1589, 
which date would harmonise well with the decidedly archaic 
atmosphere of the drama, widi its dumb-shows, ghosts, its 
pretentious clas^cism, the wooden stifihess which appears in 
many parts, and last, not least, its archaic metre, which presents 
very few double endings, tolerably much rhyme (even stanzas), 
and an unusual amount of alliteration (perhaps in imitation of 
•English Seneca'). 

To get still nearer the date, it has been emphasised — and 
rightly, I believe — ^that the play must have been written before 
the year of the Armada. Iliere is not the slightest reference 
to the great event, much less any attempt at derision or insult 
with regard to Spain, where the opportunity offered itself so 
readily — an opportunity which other authors were not slack to 
avail themselves of. There seems to me an especially pre- 
Armadan ring in the dose of the first act, where Jeronimo 
directs a dumb-show, in which some ancient victories of the 
English in Spain and Portugal are represented. It is difficult 
to believe that these half-apocryphal stories should have been 
brought forward as a matter of satisfaction, in face of the real 
and tangible glories of the Armada. The enumeration of these 
old victories, and the whole tone of The Spanish Tragedy^ was 
certainly more in place about 1585-87, when the great contest 
with Spain was only just brewing. Nay, as fiar as history is 
concerned, the years 1583- 1585 would perhaps fit still better. 
Our * Vice-roy ' can only be the Duke of Braganza, with whom 

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Philip II. wished to come to terms after the death of King 
Henry of Portugal. ' The King of Spain solemnly promised 
the duke that he should have Brazil in full sovereignty with the 
title of king, and that a marriage should be arranged between 
his daughter and the Prince of the Asturias, heir to the con- 
joined thrones ; and the duke, who hated war and loved peace, 
accepted these terms, in spite of his wife's opposition. But to 
the surprise of Philip, another competitor for the crown, to 
whom he had paid no attention — Don Antonio, the Prior of 
Crato — declared himself king at Santarem, and, entering 
Lisbon without opposition, struck money and began to raise 
soldiers' (II. M. Stephens, Portugal^ p. 280). The battle 
described in our play would, nevertheless, seem to be the 
battle of Alcantara, in which Don Antonio da Crato was 
beaten by the Duke of Alva on August 26, 1580. 

We should think that such a perversion of Spanish and 
Portuguese history could only have been possible while Spain 
still loomed far in the distance, and before the second * Vice- 
roy,' Don Antonio da Crato, had become a tangible reality 
to every pawnbroker in London. From an historical stand- 
point, 1585, the year in which *£1 Draque' was loose in the 
Spanish Main, would certainly do as well as any. In 1587, 
after Drake had stormed the harbour of Cadiz and singed the 
King of Spain's beard, it could no longer be literally said that 
John of Gaunt performed the last victorious exploit in Spain. 
The unlikeliest years of all would seem to be 1588 — the year 
of the Armada — and 1589, which saw the least successful 
expedition of the last of the Vikings. 

Still, all these arguments are very uncertain, and, to get a 
firm basis for the chronology of Kyd's works, it is perhaps 

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safest to turn once more to Nash's allusions, and not only 
boldly claim them for Kyd's person, but, still more boldly, to 
extract from them whatever chronological conclusions they may 
possibly 3deld. Nash's words imply that his victim first went 
through a period of plays in the style of Seneca, and then, 
'renouncing all possibilities of credit or estimation,' turned to 
Italian translations and to the peripatetical path into the City. 
Let us therefore say that the first period lasts down to about 
1587, and includes Hamlet and The Spanish Tragedy ; that the 
second comprises the years 1587 and certainly 1588— <T. K.'s 
translation from Tasso appears 1588) — and that the Cornelia^ 
and the plan to translate Porcte^ date from about 1588 and 
1589, and everything seems to harmonise perfectly. I may 
add that metrical tests — for instance, such an important one 
as the feminine-ending test — are decidedly in favour of the 
sequence Spanish Tragedy^ Cornelia^ Soliman and Perseda, 

Source of the Plot It would presumably be a great 
help in determining the date of The Spanish Tragedy more 
accurately, if we knew the source of the main story of the play 
(if, indeed, such existed outside the brain of YiyA) — ^the story 
of the love of Don Horatio for the Spanish Princess Bell* 
imperia ; his murder by Bellimperia's brother, Don Lorenzo, 
and his own rival in his love, the captive Prince of Portugal, 
Don Balthazar ; and the dreadful revenge of Horatio's father, 
Jeronimo, the Marshal of Spain, by means of a play, where 
the murders supposed to be acted are carried out in reality. 
But nothing is known of any play or novel containing such 
A story. 

Fortunately, we know at least the source of the inserted play 


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which Jeronimo and Bellimperia perform together with dieir 
opponents Don Lorenzo and Don Balthazar. It is contained 
in Henry Wotton's Courtlie Conirouersie of Cupids Caniils, a 
collection of five stories related to a company of ladies and 
gentlemen. This book appeared in 1578, printed by Francis 
Coldocke and Henry Binneman ; it is now rather rare, bat cc^ies 
are in the British Museum, the Bodleian, and Sion College. 
Wotton himself says that he translated the work * so near unto 
the French as our English tongue will tolerate' ; he does not 
give the slightest clue, though, as to his original. His reference 
to a French source is, however, correct ; the Courtfy Contro^ 
versy is a translation of Jacques Yver*s Printemps cPIver^ of 
which no less than seven editions are in the British Museum : 
1572 (tierce ^tion), 1575, 1588, 1589, 1598, 1600, 1618 (sec 
farther Brunet). It may be added that this book and its trans- 
lation form also a main source of another well-known Eliza- 
bethan drama, the pseudo-Shaksperean play. Fair Em, 

The story of Soliman and Perseda stands first in this collec- 
tion, and relates how Soliman, the great Emperor of the Turks, 
fell overwhelmingly in love with the fair Perseda, a beautiful 
Greek taken prisoner at the capture of Rhodes. But he finds 
out that his valiant firiend Erastus, who had had to leave 
Rhodes in consequence of a duel, and had fled to Constantin* 
opie, was the beloved of Perseda, and thus he magnanimously 
withdraws his suit and gives her up to his friend. However, 
through the insinuations of his cousin Brusor, * Bellerbeck * of 
Servia, Soliman does not adhere to his resolution, and even 
causes Erastus to be treacherously murdered. This step, how- 
ever, does but remove him further from his goal ; for Perseda 
defiantly puts herself and Rhodes in a state of defence, and 

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prefiers death to a union with Soliman. In Yver-Wotton she it 
killed by a shot on the walls of Rhodes, whilst Soliman has the 
traitor Brusor hanged ; in the separate play Perseda manages to 
kill Soliman by a kiss with poisoned lips, when Rhodes is on 
the point of feilling and she herself is already in the arms of 
death; in The Spanish Tragedy ^ Bellimperia— personating 
Perseda — kills Soliman-Baltharar by the more simple and 
straightforward way of stabbing him. 

This story of Yver's has been widespread in literature. In 
Herrig's Archivy vol. xc p. 183, I have mentioned a consider- 
able number of novelistic and dramatic treatments — ^by Main- 
fray, Mile, de Scud^ry and Georges de Scud4ry, Desfontaines, 
Zesen, Lohenstein, Settle, Haugwitz — and Dr. E. Sieper, in a 
Heidelberg dissertation, has given a detailed account of the 
whole question. Since that time, I have noted for further in- 
vestigation the titles of several other works likely to contain, or 
to refer to, the story ; one of them, Davenant's Siege ofRhodeSy is 
DOW, indeed, held to be another treatment (by Killis Campbell, 
in Modem Language Notes^ xiii. 354, number for June 1898). 

Popularity of the Play ; 'additions ' ; actors. If we are 

insufficiently informed as to the genesis and exact date of The 
Spanish Tragedy, yet we know a great deal of its further his- 
tory, its performances, its editions, its offspring, its translations, 
or adaptations, in Dutch and German. 

As early as 1592 we have seen how popular the piece was ; 
it was frequently played in that year, and brought in great 
profits, often £'i and more, especially on high holidays or on 
the re-opening of the theatre. In 1597 we again hear of 
performances, but the piece must have had an especially 

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popular run about i6oi-i6oa. For we hear that Ben Jonson 
received, on 25th Sept 1601, the sum of 40s. from Henslowe, 
for additions in ' Geronymo/ and on 24th June 1602 ;^io, ' in 
earnest of . . . Richard crockbacke, and for new adicyons for 
Jeronymo. ' We shall presently see that in 1602 these additions, 
which were a fresh source of attraction to the piece, were 
printed along with the original play. 

In 1604, the two companies of the King and the Children 
of the Chapel had a dispute about the piece ; the Children's 
Company at the Blackfriars had misappropriated the play, and 
the King's men revenged themselves by performing Marston's 
Malcontent^ which belonged to their rivals. ' Why not Male- 
vole in folio with us, as Jeronimo in decimo sexto with them ? ' 
asks Condell, in the interest of the King's men (BuUen's Mar^ 
stony i. 203). The fact that the play was acted by children 
accounts for the interpolated jokes about Jeronimo's stature in 
the First Part, which was printed the first and only time in the 
following year, 1605. The allusion to the jubilee in Rome can 
only refer to the year 1600, and is thus, no doubt, also an 

At an unknown date, though certainly after 161 5, a ballad 
on the story of The Spanish Tragedy was printed for H. Gosson 
(copies in Roxburghe Ballads, i. 364-365 and i. 390) The 
ballad has been reprinted by Chappell in The Roxburghe 
Ballads, ii. 453-459 ; a slightly different version is printed in 
the second and third editions of Dodsley, and in The Ancient 
British Drama, 1810, i. 515-517. 

As to the play itself, we have even in 1620 distinct evidence, 
from Thomas May's play. The Heir (Dodsley-Hazlitt, xi. 514), 
that ' ladies in the boxes shed bitter tears over the fate of Jero- 

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nimo'; and as late as 1633 Prynne, in his Histriomastixj foL 
556^, dishes up a terrible story that a woman, immediately 
before her end, deaf to all ghostly advice, cried out : * Hiero- 
nimo, Hieronimo, O let me see Hieronimo ! ' The anecdote, 
as in Prynne, and Brathwaite's English Gentlewoman Drawn 
out to the Full Body (1631) — Prynne retails it from the latter — 
is probably apocryphal; but it shows what a powerful hold 
'Jeronimo' still had on the popular imagination nearly fifty 
years after its first appearance. 

Allusions to The Spanish Tragedy. We have no space left 
to quote the innumerable allusions to, and skits on. The Spanish 
Tragedy^ which accompanied the popular play during its long 
literary career. Certain expressions and situations furnished 
matter for laughter until the theatres were closed, and many of 
the phrases oijeronimo became stock quotations in Elizabethan 
slang ; for instance, the opening lines of the play, Balthazar's 
cuphuistic speech at the beginning of the Second Act, Jeronimo's 
• O eyes, no eyes ! * in the Third Act (Scene ii. ), his 'pocas pala- 
bras * and * Jeronimo, go by ' ; last, not least, his appearance on 
the stage 'in his shirt,' etc., coming straight from his 'naked 
bed' (11. V.) — an especially famous scene, a picture of which 
formed the frontispiece of the old quartos from 16 15 onwards 
(reproduced at the beginning of the present volume). It may 
suffice to give as an example an excellent parody of Lorenzo's 
speech (^. TV., ii. i. 10 sqq.) taken from Field's A Woman is 
a Weathercock^ i, iL : — 

Sir Abraham Ninny. no, she laughs at me and scorns my suit: 
For she is wilder and more hard withal. 
Than deast or bird, or tree, or stony wall, 

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Kate. Ha / God-a-merey, old Hieronimo. 

Abr. Yet she might love me for my lovely eyes. 

Count Frederick. Ay, but perhaps your nose she doth despise. 

Abr. Yet might she love me for my dimpled chtH, 

Pendant. Ay, but she sees your beard is very thin, 

Abr. Yet might she love me for my proper body. 

Strange. Ay, but she thinks you are an arrant noddy, . . . 

Abr. Yet might she love me in despite of all, 

LuciDA. Ay» but indeed I cannot love at all, 

(Dodsley-Hazlitt, zL 28 seq,) 

Shakspere joins the general chorus with Sl/s patteas paUabris 
and ' Go by, Jeronimy, go to thy cold bed and warm thee ' 
(Taming of the Shrew ^ Induction ; cp, also Lear^ in. ir. 48), 
as also with the taunt of Benedick 1^ Don Pedro : ' In time the 
savi^e bull sustains the yoke ' (Much Ado^ i. i. 263). 

Early editions: the discrepancies. Parallel with the 
performances, we can adduce the still more tangible evidence 
of its numerous prints as to the popularity of the play. I 
know at present of as many as twelve early editions, in 
altogether twenty-four extant copies, and it is quite likely 
that there are still more copies or even editions. They are as 
follows : — 

I. We know that the play was licensed on October 6, 1592, 
but the history of the earliest prints is not absolutely 
clear. Unfortunately the first impression, which 
seems to have been a pirated edition and abounded 
in < gross faults,' yns confiscated, and no copy 
seems to have come down to us. 


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2. The oldest copy of the play now extant, or at least 
known, b thus the undated Quarto from the Garrick 
Collection in the British Museum. Its title runs : 
THE I SPANISH TRACE- | die, Containing the 
lamentable | end of Don HoraHot and Bel-imperia : | 
with the pittifull death of | olde HUrommo. \ Newly 
corrected and amended of such grosse faults as | 
passed in the first impression. | [Woodcut with 
harvest emblems] AT LONDON | VvuXt^hy Edward 
Allde, for | Edward White. 

This copy, being the oldest and best, has been made 
the basis of the present edition. I denote it by Q. 

3« The third print is the earliest with a date, 1594 ; it is 
also unique, and preserved in the University Library 
at Gottingen. 

4. The next copy, also unique, and beautifully preserved, 

of the year 1599, is at Bridgewater House, in the 
possession of the Earl of Ellesmere. The copy is im- 
portant as being the last (Nrint without the additions. 

5. We have seen above that in 1601 and 1602 Ben Jonson 

was paid a large sum for additions in 'Jeronimo.* 
We consequently find six interpolations in all the 
later editions from 1602 onwards, namely, 11. v. 46- 
98; III. ii. 65, etc. ; III. xi. 2-48; IIL Scene xiiA. ; 
IV. iv. 167-181 ; IV. iv. 193, etc. I think there is 
hardly any reasonable doubt Uut they are, in the main 
at least, identical with the work done by Ben Jonson 
for Henslowe. Of them, the so-called ' Painter's part ' 
(in Scene xiiA. of the Third Act) attained marked 
success ; it figures prominently on the title-pages of 

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all the later editions ('enlarged with new additions 
of the Painter's part and others ')« and it is indeed, 
with its high-strung passion and weird madness, one 
of the greatest scenes, if not the greatest, in the play. 
Coleridge thought it was done by Shakspere. 

The oldest copy with these additions is in the Bod- 
leian, and unique ; unfortunately the last leaves are 
wanting, IV. iv. 192 being its last line. It dates from 

6. Thus the oldest copy extant with all the additions com- 
plete is one in the library of the Duke of Devonshire, 
which, like the British Museum, is especially rich in 
copies of Kyd plays. The imprint of this oldest copy 
at Chatsworth is dated 1602, the colophon 1603. 

I have not been able to find out the whereabouts of 
another copy of this edition, once in the possession of 
Heber, ' wanting the title-page, and sheet F torn, 
with the autograph of Owen Feltham.' 

7* A similar discrepancy in the year is shown in the im- 
print and colophon of the next edition, 1610-1611. 
I have come across three copies: in the British 
Museum, the Bodleian, and the Duke of Devonshire's 
library. A fourth copy must be extant, with the 
imprint cut off (see Hazlitt's Bibl. CoUeetiom and 
Notes i 3rd Series, p. 134). 

S. Edition of 1615. British Museum and Duke of Devon- 
shire. This starts another addition on the title- 
page: The Spanish Tragedy: or Hieronifno is mad 
againe ; and has also the well-known woodcut for the 
first time. 


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9. Edition of i6iS. Bodleian, Duke of Devonshire, 
Dyce Collection, Town Library at Danzig. 

10 and II. Editions of 1623, with different imprints ; British 
Museum, Duke of Devonshire, Alfred Huth, Esq. 

12. Edition of 1633. British Museum (two copies), 
Bodleian, Duke of Devonshire, Dyce Collection, 
Advocates' Library, Sion College (date torn off). 

In modem times. The Spanish Tragedy has been reprinted 
in the four editions of Dodsley's Collection^ in Hawkins's Origin 
of tie English Drama^ 1773, and in The Ancient British 
Drama^ i8ia 

The present edition follows throughout the oldest copies now 
extant, namely, the oldest Quarto in the British Museum for 
Kyd's part of the play, the Quarto of 1602 in the Bodleian, 
and the Duke of Devonshire's oldest Quarto for the additions. 
These latter, as well as the play within the play, have been 
printed in italics* 

The Spanish Tragedy and Shakspere. To describe the 
influence of The Spanish Tragedy on the contemporary drama 
would be an involved task. Owing to the scarcity and uncer- 
tainty of dates, the very opening would present formidable 
difficulties. Fortunately, we are on relatively firm ground 
with regard to the most important point, its influence on 
Shakspere. That The Spanish Tragedy bears a great like- 
ness both to Shakspere's earliest work, Titus Andronicus^ 
and to his deepest and greatest, Hamlet^ has often been pointed 
out. In the case of Hamlet^ these similarities, together with 
Nash's significant allusion, have led to the conclusion that Kyd 

c xxxiii 

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himself was the author of the earlier, now lost, play on the 
Danish Prince. It may be that he also wrote the Titus and 
Vespasian^ which may have formed the basis of Shakspere's 
earUest play, unless, indeed, Shakspere here outbraved the 
pens of the hostile camp of Greene and his companions. At 
any rate, T^ Spanish Tragedy and Titus Andronicus are cer- 
tainly birds of a feather, according to the verdict not only of 
our modern criticism, but of their own contemporaries. Note 
particularly the exceptional good-fortune of both plays on the 
Continent, in Germany and Holland ; in the latter country, a 
rifacimento of both of them was even made by one and the 
same man, Adriaen van den Bergh. 

I refrain here from pointing out similarities in detail ; they 
are many and apparent, and have often been set forth. Gene- 
rally speaking, I think we may go the length of saying that the 
greatest elements of the Shaksperean drama, great action and 
great characters, great scenes and great play of the passions, 
a mighty language and a mighty metre, are foreshadowed 
together, one and all, in no earlier drama so well as in The 
Spanish Tragedy, 

If we further consider that The Spanish Tragedy belonged 
to Shakspere's company, we are tolerably certain that personal 
relations, probably near and friendly ones, must have existed 
between the two men. Thus the &ct gains significance that 
Shakspere and Kyd are constantly mentioned together: by 
Meres in the Falladis Tamia ; by GuUio in The Return from 
Parnassus, ed. Macray, p. 57 ; several times by Ben Jonson ; 
and especially in the epicedium on Lady Branch. The two 
men may have been drawn together by die similarity of their 
outward circumstances, as both probably had had much the 

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same sort of interrupted education, so that they stood together 
in contrast to the University men, and, in turn, were equally 
derided and scoffed at by Nash and Greene. Shakspere, no 
doubt, acted in The Spanish Tragedy — which part ? we wonder 
— as also Ben Jonson and Burbadge may have done. Shak- 
spere's quotations from The Spanish Tragedy I should interpret 
less as intentional making fiin of the author than as perfectly 
good-humoured chaff— with equal aptitude he joked at Mar- 
lowe's 'pampered jades of Asia.' It would be tempting to 
draw further conclusions from the connection of the names 
Kyd, Shakspere, Sidney, Sussex, Wriothesley, Pembroke ; but 
we must take care that we build up no ' baseless fabric of a 

The Spcmiah Tragedy abroad. So much for the history 
and influence of The Spanish Tragedy in England. I have 
now to add that it was quite as popular abroad as in its home. 
The English comedians took it to the Continent, and we hear 
of various performances in German towns {cp, W. Creizenach, 
JEngi, JComoedianten, p. xxxiiL seq, ). Besides, the Nuremberg 
dramatist Ayrer (died 1605), who has also treated the subject 
of Shakspere*s Much Ado and Tempest^ wrote a * Tragedia von 
dem Griegischen Keyser zu Constantinopel, und seiner Tochter 
Pelimperia, mit dem gehengten Horatio.' A later German 
version of Tlte Spanish Tragedy^ Klaspar Stieler*s Bellemperie^ 
Jena, 1680, is taken from an anonjrmous Dutch play ; and we 
must now turn to Holland, where the story of Jeronimo's 
revenge gained, if anything, a yet stronger hold on the public. 
We first come across it in a place where we certainly should 
not expect to meet it, namely, in a Dutch translation of Ariosto's 


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PREFACE The Spanish Tragedy 

Orlando Furioso^ by Everaert Siceram, 1615 ; see Worp in the 
German Shtikespeare-Jakrbuch, vol. xxix.-xxx. pp. 183-191. 
In 1 62 1, a dramatic treatment appeared by Adriaen van den 
Bergh, the same man who, later on, wrote also a Titus 
Andronicus (see the Nederlandsche Spectator^ i^TSi P* 95> uid 
1886, p. 342). 

This play was not reprinted ; but an astonishmg popularity 
was attained by a second anonymous play, Don yeronitno 
MarschcUk van Spanje, In Herrig's Archiv, xc. 193, I have 
given a survey of the copies of this play known to me at the 
time ; and I have now much pleasure in announcing that Herr 
Rudolph Schonwerth, of Munich, is bringing forth a critical 
edition of the Dutch versions of 77ie Spanish Tragedy* He 
has, for this purpose, made a systematic research, particularly 
in Dutch libraries ; and thus, with his help, I am now able 
to give the following more complete list of editions of thb 
anonymous play, fully one-third of which is due to the labours 
of Herr Schonwerth : — 

1. Edition of 1638: The Hague, Utrecht, Li^e, Haarlem, 


2. 1644 : The Hague, Haarlem, Paris. 

3. sine anno : Leyden. 

4. 1662 : Dresden. 

5. 1665 : Amsterdam. 

6. 1669 * Amsterdam, Leyden, Munich, Bonn. 

7. 1683 : Amsterdam, Leyden, British Museum (two 


8. sine anno (1698 ?) : Amsterdam, Leyden, British 


9. 1729 : The Hague, Amsterdam, Leyden, Berlin. 


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This makes twenty-six copies, and if we add the four copies 
of Beigh's play (The Hague, Haarlem, British Museum, Paris), 
we get altogether thirty Dutch * Jeronimos.' 

General Criticism of The Spanish Tragedy, We see 
plenty of popularity was to follow the privy, broken passions of 
the poor famish'd follower of Seneca. We ask the question, did 
he deserve it ? was it a sign of bad taste in our forefathers that 
they showed such partiality for this play? How shall we 
judge of it and of its author? 

The latter question, I am afraid, will always have to be 
guarded by *ifs and ands.' If the First Part of Jeronimo is 
by Kyd, we should think a good deal less of him ; but if the 
early Hamlet^ or Solitnan and Perseda were done by him, this 
would raise him vastly in importance. We may leave Cornelia 
entirely out of account, although ' excellently well done,' and 
although its best eighteen lines grew in Kyd's head, and weie 
not translated from Gamier. We should venture on too unsafe 
a footing were we to draw divers other plays into the discussion 
which have been guessed to be his, such as The Rare Triumphs 
of Love and FortufUy the pre-Shaksperean Taming of a Shrew^ 
Arden of Fevershamy the old King Leir — we might with equal 
show of probability add Locriney or the old Richard III,y or A 
Knack to know a Knavey and so on. As the case stands, we 
must principally judge Kyd by the merits of The Spanish 
Thtgedyy and these are, in my opinion, by no means con- 
temptible, especially in the light of historical, evolutionary 
criticism. We have here for the first time in the English 
language a living tragedy on a great scale, with a complicated 
plot developed with remarkable artistic insight Mysterious 

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PREFACE The Spanish Tragedy 

beings from the nether world strike the opening key upon 
which the play begins vigorous and imposing, emulating Seneca 
in massive rhetoric, and yet thoroughly English with its bustling 
life and the crowd of figures brought at once upon the stage. 
The action then swells on in bold outline, with risings and fall- 
ings, and a cleverly contrived retardation at the end of the 
third act. We have further a remarkable attempt at depicting 
character and the sway of the passions ; we can very well realise 
how a great actor in the character of Hieronimo moved his 
audience even to tears. 

y As regards the outward form and structural elements of JXtf 
^Spanish Tragedy^ we may point to the Induction, the choruses 
at the end of the acts, the play within the play, the interesting 
hints as to an upper stage, the division into four acts, the 
almost defiant disregard of the unity of time and place, the 
mixture of the tragic and comic, a fair sprinkling of atrocious 
puns, the Italianising nomenclature, and last, not least, the use 
of blank verse interspersed with rhyme and prose. We thus 
perceive in how many points The Spanish Tragedy has become 
a prototype and regulating standard for the Elizabethan drama. 
If we add that here, for the first time, a successful fusion of 
classic and national elements has been brought about on a 
great scale, we shall not hesitate to say that Kyd's play repre- 
sents a mighty intellectual and artistic effort for its time. 

No doubt it had its great shortcomings. The perfect 
Motivierung of such a complex dramatic fable was beyond 
Kyd's power ; we may even laugh at his childish makeshifts 
to get out of difficulties and to reach his end in spite of all 
obstacles. The characters are, of course, not yet free firom 
stiffiiess and woodenness; the Kings and Viceroys are more 

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like carved idols than living beings ; Lorenzo is an absolutely 
unmitigated villain ; even Bellimperia is occasionally most stiff 
and ludicrous, and not least when she spouts her Latin hexa- 
meters (which I, for one, do not understand). We may also 
easily make iun of the learned lady's-maid who talks of the 
£1 jsian fields (iii. viii. 9) ; of the wonderfully mild Cerberus, who 
contents himself with * honey'd speech * (i. i. 30) — less ferocious 
than his diminutive Cerberine ; and certainly of the uncanny 
figure of Revenge, who goes to sleep over the author's own 
play (III. xvL), with a delightful natveUi for if Revenge did 
not go to sleep, the Ghost of Andrea could not cry out his 
terrible * Awake, Revenge, awake ! ' 

Further, a good deal of depreciatory criticism has been 
evoked by the * horrors ' of The Spanish Tragedy, True, there 
are no less than two hanging-scenes in the play (11. iv. and ill. 
vL) ; and especially towards the end, madness, murders, suicides, 
and other horrors follow thick upon each other. But, neverthe- 
less, I would rather like to say a word here in excuse of Kyd. 
We must not forget that we are in the midst of the Renaissance- 
Drama, and theory and practice favoured the view, especially 
in the birthplace of the Renaissance, in Italy, that tragedy meant 
atrocity. The Spanish Tragedy stands just at the turning-point 
firom the horrible to the terrible : the terrible, as represented 
most sublimely in Hamlet^ Othello^ Lear ; and the horrible, as 
illustrated practically by a Titus Andronicus or an Orbecche^ 
and laid down theoretically as the fittest motive power for a 
tragedy by Scaliger: 'Res tragicae grandes, atroces, jussa 
r^;um, caedes, despeiationes, suspendia, exilia, orbitates, 
parriddia, incestus, incendia, pugnae, occaecationes, fletus» 
nlulatus, conquestiones, fimera, epitaphia, epicedia.' Th§ 

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Spanish Tragedy b merely a link in this development, and 
hardly goes beyond the average measure of horrors requisite 
for a * tragedy of blood.' 

Moreover, we must not overlook the fact that there are also 
a good many soft, tender, and insinuating passages in Kyd't 
play. Certainly such lines commend themselves to our ear as 
II. ii. 45, etc. : — 

' Our hour shall be, when Vesper 'gins to rise, 
That summons home distressful travellers : 
There none shall hear us but the harmless birds ; 
Haply the gentle nightingale 
Shsdl carol us asleep, ere we be ware. 
And, singing with the prickle at her breast. 
Tell our delight and mirthful dalliance.' 

So do the similar lines IX. iv. 24 sqq,; however, 

' Desinit in piscem mulierformosa supeme* 

and the amorous warfare at once falls into the ludicrous. But 
again, poor, hopeless, hapless, wicked Balthazar's despairing 
words are not without a certain pathos (iix. x. 106, etc.) :^ 

' Led by the loadstar of her heav'nly looks. 
Wends poor, oppressM Balthazar, 
As o'er the mountains walks the wanderer, 
Incertain to effect his pilgrimage.' 

And, in the last scenes, suggestions of Elysian life steal most 
pleasantly upon our ear (iv. v. 21 sqq,) : — 

' I 'U lead my Bellimperia to those joys. 
That vestal virgins and fair queens possess ; 
1 11 lead Hieronimo where Orpheus plays, 
Adding sweet pleasure to eternal days.' 

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Why did he not end here altogether and polish off the Tartarus 
folk first of all? We might then leave The Spanish Tragedy 
with something like the wave of music which Homer's descrip- 
tion of the 'HXi^u>y v-e^or leaves still ringing upon the ear and 
inward sense : — 

'AXXi 0-' ki "^WsAciov vedlop Kal welpara ycUi^r 
'ABdvaroi irifiypovffiy, 60i ^oaf06f*'Paddfiaif0vs. 
Tigirep j»jtffrti pior^ irAei dy0pi!)rouraf 
Od vi<p€r^f oliT* hp x^^f^^ ToKds oUre tot* Sfippos, 
'AW aiel Ze4>^poio XLyvTvelwras d-^rat 
^Qxeavbi dplijauff dpa^p^eiv dvBpdiirwu 

For the modem reader, however, it is probably less its own 
intrinsic worth at which he values the play, than its suggestive- 
ness and promise of greater things to come. The play is like 
an enchanted garden, where lifeless, wooden puppets seem to 
wait for the magician who is to wake them into life. We 
know that the magician did come, and of old Jeronimo he 
made Hamlet and Lear, out of the love-rhymes of Horatio and 
Bellimperia he made the loveliest of all wooing-scenes in 
Romeo and Juliet^ of the play within the play he made the 
most subtle awakener of conscience and the greatest glorification 
of the actor's art, and of the wooden and grotesque figure of 
Revenge he made the terrible goddess of his sublimest tragedies 
— ^Nemesis. Thus we have the great vista of another Classische 
Wdlpurgisnacht before us, and we cannot, I think, be accused 
of over-partiality, if we apply to The Spanish Tragedy Faust's 
words on the first uncouth creations of Greek genius : 

' Im Widerw^t'gen grosse, tUcht'ge Zttge.' 


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Condodingf remarks. To draw up a sketch of Kyd's life 
and works is a periculosa plenum opus aUa, In its execu- 
tion one cannot shake off the feeling that one is building, as it 
were, a house of cards. A few data with regard to his person, 
and a good many about his main work, enable us to build 
the central structure tolerably secure. But the nature of the 
task obliges us also to add wings and oiftbuildings, and they 
endanger the safety of the whole fabric to no small extent 
We feel that a gust of wind might work tremendous havoc in 
this part of the building, and so damage the cards that they 
would defy any attempt at reconstruction. 

Fortunately we need not give up all hope of strengthening 
our position, or even of enlarging our bi\mc on safe and firm 
ground. For instance, we have in a contemporary anthology, 
England s Pamassusy by Robert Allot, the following three 
quotations assigned to Thomas Kyd : 

I. ' Time is a bondslave to Eternity.' 
s. ' Honour, indeed, and all things yield to death, 
Vertue excepted, which alone survives, 
And living toileth in an earthly gaol. 
At last to be extoll'd in Heaven's high joys.' 
3. ' It is an hell, in hateful vassalage. 

Under a tjrrant, to consume one's age, 
A self-shav'n Dennis, or a Nero fell. 
Whose cursed courts with blood and incest swell, 
An owl, that flies the light of Parliaments 
And state assemblies, jealous of th' intents 
' Of private tongues, who for a pastime sets 
His peers at odds, and on their fury whets. 
Who neither faith, honour; nor right respects.* 

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Were any one so fortunate as to identify them in any anonymous 
play of ihe time, we should then have rescued another work 
of Kyd's, and gained a firmer basis for all further investigation. 
Of course, it is equally possible that one, or all, of these 
quotations may be merely stray wreckage from some hopelessly 
lost work. Thus, to indulge in a last flight of fancy, we might 
even suppose that thb third of the quotations may be taken 
from the Ur'HamUt^ say from a chorus towards the end of the 
play, denouncing the tyrant Claudius, whose 'cursed court 
swells with blood and incest,' and who, * for a pastime, whets 
on the ftiry of his peers ' — Laertes and Hamlet. We might go 
on to say that the lines are sufficiently wretched to accoimt for 
the ridicule cast upon this lost Hamlet^ which would probably 
have been doomed to oblivion even without being eclipsed by 
its grand descendant. We might look at the metre, and, finding 
the lines all rhymed, argue for a comparatively high age of the 
play — ^in one word, we might set the see-saw of argimient again 
in motion, and give it a good long swing too. But after all, 
is it not better to say : ' Claudite jam rivulos, puen, sat prata 
biberunt ' ? For notwithstanding all the ingenuity expended on 
Kyd of late years, the ground on which we can put our foot 
with any firmness is still very small, and with regard to the 
most interesting questions we are at present forced to say — 
exactly as we do concerning the incomparably greater problems 
raised anew by Jupiter's fifth satellite — 


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Ghost of Andrea, a Spanish nobleman, ) pl._- 

Revenge, ' 

King or Spain 

Cyprian Dukb op Castile, his brother 

Lorenzo, the Duke's son 

Bbllimpbria, Lorenzo's sister 

Viceroy of Portugal 

Balthazar, his son 

Don Pedro, the Viceroy's brother 

HiBRONiMO, Marshal of Spain 

Isabella, his wife 

Horatio, their son 

Spanish General 


Don Bazulto, an old man 

Three Citizens 

Portuguese Ambassador 

vI'lluT^^'}^*''*"*^*** Noblemen 
Two Portuguese 

Pbdringano, Bellimperia's servant 
Christophil, Bellimperia's custodian 
Lorenzo's Page 

Cbrbbrinb, Balthazar's servant 
Isabella's Mud 

Tliree Kings and three Knights in the first Dumb-show 
Hymen and two torch-bearers in the second 
Bazardo, a Painter 

Pedro and Jacques, Hieronimo's servants 
Army. Banquet. Royal suites. Noblemen. Halberdiers. 
Officers. Three Watchmen. Trumpets. Servants, etc. 

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Enter the Ghost of Andrea^ and with him Revenge* 

Ghost. When this eternal substance of my soul 

Did live imprisoned in my wanton flesh, — 
Each in their function serving other's need, 
I was a courtier in the Spanish court : 
My name was Don Andrea ; my descent, 
Though not ignoble, yet inferior far 
To gracious fortunes of my tender youth. 
For there in prime and pride of all my years, 
By duteous service and deserving love, 
In secret I possessed a worthy dame, lo 

Which hight sweet Bellimperia by name. 
But, in the harvest of my summer joys. 
Death's winter nipp'd the blossoms of my bliss, 
Forcing divorce betwixt my love and me. 

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ACT I. sc X. The Spanish Tragedy 

For in the late conflict with Portingal 
My valour drew me into danger's mouth, 
Till life to death made passage through my wounds. 
When I was slain, my soul descended straight 
To pass the flowing stream of Acheron ; 
y^But churlish Charon, only boatman there, 20 

y Said that, my rites of burial not performed, 
I might not sit amongst his passengers. 
Ere Sol had slept three nights in Thetis' lap, 
And slak'd his smoking chariot in her flood. 
By Don Horatio, our knight marshal's son, 
My funerals and obsequies were done. 
Then was the ferryman of hell content 
To pass me over to the slimy strand. 
That leads to fell Avemus' ugly waves. 
There, pleasing Cerberus with honejr'd speech, 30 
I passed the perils of the foremost porch. 
Not far from hence, amidst ten thousand souls, 
Sat Minos, Aeacus, and Rhadamanth ; 
To whom no sooner *gan I make approach. 
To crave a passport for my wandering ghosty 

^ But Minos, in graven leaves of lottery. 
Drew forth the manner of my life and death. 

* This knight,' quoth he, * both liv'd and died in love ; 
And for his love tried fortune of the wars ; 

And by war's fortune lost both love and life.' 40 

* Why then,' said Aeacus, ' convey him hence, 
To walk with lovers in our fields of love, 


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The Spanish Tragedy act i. sc. t. 

And spend the course of everlasting time 
Under green myrtle-trees and cypress shades.' 

* No, no,' said Rhadamanth, * it were not weiij 
With loving souls to place a martialist : 

He died in war, and must to martial fields, 
Where wounded Hector lives in lasting pain, 
And Achilles' Myrmidons do scour the plain.' 
Then Minos, mildest censor of the three, 50 

Made this device to end the difference : 

* Send him,' quoth he, * to our infernal king, 
To doom him as best seems his majesty.' 

To this effect my passport straight was drawn. 
In keeping on my way to Pluto 's court, '•- - " 

Through dreadful shades of ever-glooming night, 
I saw more sights than thousand tongues can 

Or pens can write, or mortal hearts can think. 
Three ways there were: that on the right-hand 

Was ready way unto the 'foresaid fields, 60 

Where lovers live and bloody martialists ; 
But either sort contain'd within his bounds. 
The left-hand path, declining fearfully, 
Was ready downfall to the deepest hell. 
Where bloody Furies shakes their whips of steel. 
And poor Ixion turns an endless wheel ; 
Where usurers are chok'd with melting gold. 
And wantons are embradd with ugly snakes, 

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ACT I. sc 1. The Spanish Tragedy 

And murd'rers groan with never>killing wounds, 
^ And perjur'd wights scalded in boiling le ad, 70 

And all foul sins with tonnents overwhelmed. 
Twixt these two ways I trod the middle path. 
Which brought me to the fair Elysian green, 
In midst whereof there stands a stately tower, 
The walls of brass, the gates of adamant : 
^ Here finding Pluto with his Proserpine, 
I showed my passport, humbled on my knee ; 
Whereat fair Proserpine began to smile. 
And begg*d that only she might give my doom : 
Pluto was pleas'd, and seal'd it with a kiss. 80 

Forthwith, Revenge, she rounded thee in th' ear, 
And bad thee lead me through the gates of horn, 
Where dreams have passage in the silent night. 
No sooner had she spoke, but we were here — 
I wot not how — in twinkling of an eye. 
Revenge, Then know, Andrea, that thou art arriv'd 
Where thou shalt see the author of thy death, 
Don Balthazar, the prince of Portingal, 
Deprived of life by Bellimperia. 
Here sit we down to see the mystery, 90 

' And serve for Chorus in this tragedy. 


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The Court of Spain. 

Enter Spanish King^ General^ Castile^ and Hieronimo, 

King. Now say, lord General, how fares our camp ? 
Gen, All well, my sovereign liege, except some few 

That are deceased by fortune of the war. 
King, But what portends thy cheerful countenance. 

And posting to our presence thus in haste ? 

Speak, man, hath fortune given us victory ? 
Gen, Victory, my liege, and that with little loss. 
King, Our Portingals will pay us tribute then ? 
Gen, Tribute and wonted homage therewithal. 
King, Then bless'd be heaven and guider of the 
heavens, lo 

From whose fair influence such justice flows. / • 
Cast. O multum dilecte DeOy Hbi militat aether^ 

Et conjuratae curvato popiite genies { 

Succumbunt: recti soror est victoria juris. 
King, Thanks to my loving brother of Castile. 

But, General, unfold in brief discourse 

Your form of battle and your war's success. 

That, adding all the pleasure of thy news 

Unto the height of former happiness, 
A 5 

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ACT I. sc >. The Spanish Tragedy 

With deeper wage and greater dignity 20 

We may reward thy blissful chivalry. 
Gen. Where Spain and Portingal do jointly knit 
Their frontiers, leaning on each other's bound, 
There met our armies in their proud array : 
Both fumish'd well, both full of hope and fear, 
Both menacing alike with daring shows, 
Both vaunting sundry colours of device, 
Both cheerly sounding trumpets, drums, and fifes. 
Both raising dreadful clamours to the sky. 
That valleys, hills, and rivers made rebound, 30 
And heav'n itself was frighted with the sound. 
Our battles both were pitch'd in squadron form, 
Each comer strongly fenced with wings of shot ; 
But ere we join'd and came to push of pike, 
I brought a squadron of our readiest shot 
From out our rearward, to begin the fight : 
They brought another wing t* encounter us. 
Meanwhile, our ordnance play'd on either side. 
And captains strove to have their valours tried. 
Don Pedro, their chief horsemen's colonel, 40 

Did with his comet bravely make attempt 
To break the order of our battle ranks : 
But Don Rogero, worthy man of war, ^ 
March'd forth against him with our musketeers. 
And stopped the malice of his fell approach. 
While they maintain hot skirmish to and fro. 
Both battles join, and fall to handy-blows, 

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Their violent shot resembling th* ocean's rage, 
When, roaring loud, and with a swelling tide, 
It beats upon the rampiers of huge rocks, 50 

And gapes to swallow neighbour-bounding lands. 
Now while Bellona rageth here and there. 
Thick storms of bullets ran like winter's hail, 
And shiver'd lances dark the troubled air. 

Pede pes et cuspide cuspis; I 
Arma sonant armiSy vir petiturque viro. 
On every side drop captains to the ground, 
And soldiers, some ill-maim'd, some slain outright : 
Here falls a body sunder'd from his head, 
There legs and arms lie bleeding on the grass, 60 
Mingled with weapons and unbowell'd steeds. 
That scattering overspread the purple plain. 
In all this turmoil, three long hours and mcnre, 
The victory to neither part inclined ; 
Till Don Andrea, with his brave lanciers, 
In their main battle made so great a breach. 
That, half disma/d, the multitude retired : 
But Balthazar, the Portingals' young prince. 
Brought rescue, and encouraged them to stay. 
Here-hence the fight was eagerly renewed, 70 

And in that conflict was Andrea slain : 
Brave man at arms, but weak to Balthazar. 
Yet while the prince, insulting over him, 
Breath'd out proud vaunts, sounding to our reproach, 
Friendship and 'hardy valour, joined in one, 

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ACT I. sc. •. The Spanish Tragedy 

Prick'd forth Horatio, our knight marshal's son, 
To challenge forth that prince in single fight. 
Not long between these twain the fight endur'd, 
But straight the prince was beaten from his horse, 
And forc'd to yield him prisoner to his foe. 80 

When he was taken, all the rest they fled. 
And our carbines pursued them to the death. 
Till, Phoebus waving to the western deep. 
Our trumpeters were charged to sound retreat. 

King. Thanks, good lord General, for these good news ; 
And for some argument of more to come. 
Take this and wear it for thy sovereign's sake. 

\Gives him his chain. 
But tell me now, hast thou confirmed a peace ? 

Gen. No peace, my liege, but peace conditional. 

That if with homage tribute be well paid, 90 

The fury of your forces will be stajr'd : 

And to this peace their viceroy hath subscribed, 

{Gives the King a paper. 
And made a solemn vow that, during life. 
His tribute shall be truly paid to Spain. 

King. These words, these deeds, become thy person welL 
But now, knight marshal, frolic with thy king, 
For 'tis thy son that wins this battle's prize. 

Hier. Long may he live to serve my sovereign liege, 
And soon decay, unless he serve my liege. 

King. Nor thou, nor he, shall die without reward, 100 

* [A tucket afar off, 

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What means the warning of this trumpet's sound? 
Gen, This tells me that your grace's men of war, 
Such as war's fortune hath reserv'd from death. 
Come marching on towards your royal seat, 
To show themselves before your majesty : 
For so I gave in charge at my depart 
Whereby by demonstration shall appear, 
That all, except three hundred or few more. 
Are safe retum'd, and by their foes enrich'd. 

The Army enters; Balthazar^ between Lorenzo and ^' 
Horatio^ captive. 

King, A gladsome sight I I long to see them here, no 

[They enter and pass by. 
Was that the warlike prince of Portingal, 
That by our nephew was in triumph led ? 

Gen, It was, my liege, the prince of Portingal. 

King, But what was he that on the other side 
Held him by th' arm, as partner of the prize ? 

ffier. That was my son, my gracious sovereign ; 
Of whom though from his tender infancy 
My loving thoughts did never hope but well. 
He never pleas'd his fsither's eyes till now, 
Nor fill'd my heart with over-cloying joys. i2o 

King, Go, let them march once more about these walls, 
That, staying them, we may confer and talk 
With our brave prisoner and his double guard. 

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ACT I. sc >. The Spanish Tragedy 

Hieronimo, it greatly pleaseth us 

That in our victory thou have a share, 

By virtue of thy worthy son's exploit. [Enter again. 

Bring hither the young prince of Portingal : 

The rest march on ; but, ere they be dismissed. 

We will bestow on every soldier 

Two ducats and on every leader ten, 130 

That they may know our largess welcomes them. 

[Exeunt all but Balthazar^ Lorenzo^ and Horatio. 
Welcome, Don Balthazar I welcome, nephew I 
And thou, Horatio, thou art welcome too. 
Young prince, although thy father's hard misdeeds. 
In keeping back the tribute that he owes. 
Deserve but evil measure at our hands, 
Yet shalt thou know that Spain is honourable. 

BaL The trespass that my father made in peace 
Is now controlled by fortune of the wars ; 
And cards once dealt, it boots not ask why so. 140 
His men are slain, a weakening to his realm ; 
His colours seized, a blot imto his name ; 
His son distressed, a cor'sive to his heart : 
These punishments may clear his late offence. 

King. Ply^ Balthazar, if he observe this truce. 

Our peace will grow the stronger for these wars. 
Meanwhile live thou, though not in liberty, 
Yet free from bearing any servile yoke ; 
For in our hearing thy deserts were great, 

j^ And in our sight thyself art gracious. 150 


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BaL And I shall study to deserve this grace. 

King, But tell me — for their holding makes me doubt — 
To which of these twain art thou prisoner ? 

Lor. To me, my liege. 

Hor. To me, my sovereign. 

Lor. This hand first took his courser by the reins. 

Hor. But first my lance did put him from his horse. 

Lor. I seiz'd his weapon, and enjo/d it first. 

Her. But first I forced him lay his weapons down. 

King. Let go his arm, upon our privilege. 

{They let him go. 
Say, worthy prince, to whether did*st thou yield? 

Bel. To him in courtesy, to this perforce : i6i 

He spake me fair, this other gave me strokes ; 
He promised life, this other threatened death ; 
He won my love, this other conquered me, 
And, truth to say, I yield myself to both. 

Hier. But that I know your grace for just and wise, 
And might seem partial in this difference. 
Enforced by nature and by law of arms 
My tongue should plead for young Horatio's 

He hunted well that was a lion's death, 170 

Not he that in a garment wore his skin ; 
So hares may pull dead lions by the beard. 

King. Content thee, marshal, thou shalt have no wrong ; 
And, for thy sake, thy son shall want no right 
Will both abide the censure of my doom ? 

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ACT I. sc «. The Spanish Tragedy 

Lor, I crave no better than your grace awards. 

Hor, Nor I, although I sit beside my right 

King, Then, by my judgment, thus your strife shall 
end : 
You both deserve, and both shall have reward. 
Nephew, thou took'st his weapon and his horse : 
His weapons and his horse are thy reward. iBi 

Horatio, thou did*st force him first to yield : 
His ransom therefore is thy valour's fee ; 
Appoint the sum, as you shall both agree. 
But, nephew, thou shalt have the prince in guard, 
For thine estate best fitteth such a guest : 
Horatio's house were small for all his train. 
Yet, in regard thy substance passeth his, 
And that just guerdon may befall desert, 
To him we yield the armour of the prince. 190 

How likes Don Balthazar of this device ? 

Bal, Right well, my liege, if this proviso were, 
That Don Horatio bear us company. 
Whom I admire and love for chivalry. 

King, Horatio, leave him not that loves thee so. — 
Now let us hence to see our soldiers paid, 
And feast our prisoner as our friendly guest 



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The Spanish Tragedy act l sc > 


The Court of Portugal. 

Enter Viceroy^ Alexandro^ Vtlluppo. 

Vic. Is our ambassador despatched for Spain ? 

Alex. Two days, my liege, are past since his depart 

Vic. And tribute-payment gone along with him? 

Alex. Ay, my good lord. 

Vic. Then rest we here awhile in our unrest, i/^ 
And feed our sorrows with some inward sighs ; 
For deepest cares break never into tears. 
But wherefore sit I in a regal throne ? 
This better fits a wretch's endless moan. 

[Falls to the ground. 
Yet this is higher than my fortunes reach, lo 

And therefore better than my state deserves. 
Ay, ay, this earth, image of melancholy, 
Seeks him whom fates adjudge to misery. 
Here let me lie ; now am I at the lowest 
Quijacet in terra^ non habet unde cadaL 
In me consumpsit vires fortuna nocendo: ^ ' 
Nil superest utjampossit obesse magis. 
Yes, Fortune may bereave me of my crown : 
Here, take it now ;— let Fortune do her worst, 
She will not rob me of this sable weed : 20 

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ACT h sc. 3. The Spanish Tragedy 

O no, she envies none but pleasant things. 

Such is the folly of despiteful chance ! 

Fortune is blind, and sees not my deserts ; i 

So is she deaf, and hears not my laments ; 

And could she hear, yet is she wilful-mad, 
1 And therefore will not pity my distress. 

(Suppose that she could pity me, what then ? 

[What help can be expected at her hands 

l^^ose foot is standing on a rolling stone, 

And mind more mutable than fickle winds ? 30 

Why wail I then, whereas hope of no redress ? 

O yes, complaining makes my grief seem less. 

My late ambition hath distain'd my faith ; 

My breach of faith occasion'd bloody wars ; 

Those bloody wars have spent my treasure ; 

And with my treasure my people's blood ; 

And with their blood, my joy and best belov'd. 

My best belov*d, my sweet and only son. 

O, wherefore went I not to war myself? 

The cause was mine ; 1 might have died for both : 

My years were mellow, his but young and green ; 

My death were natural, but his was forc'd. 42 

Alex. No doubt, my liege, but still the prince survives. 
Vtc, Survives 1 ay, where ? 1 

Alex. In Spain — a prisoner by mischance of war. 
Vtc. Then they have slain him for his father's fault 
Alex. That were a breach to common law of arms. 
Vtc. They reck no laws that meditate revenge. 

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The Spanish Tragedy act i. sc 3, 

Alex. His ransom's worth will stay from foul revenge. 

Vic. No ; if he liv'd, the news would soon be here. 50 

Alex. Nay, evil news fly faster still than good. 

Vic. Tell me no more of news ; for he is dead. 

ViL My sovereign, pardon the author of ill news, 
And I *11 bewray the fortune of thy son. 

Vic. Speak on, I '11 guerdon thee, whatever it be : 
Mine ear is ready to receive ill news ; 
My heart grown hard 'gainst mischiefs battery. 
Stand up, I say, and tell thy tale at large. 

Vil. Then hear that truth which these mine eyes have 
When both the armies were in battle join'd, 60 

Don Balthazar, amidst the thickest troops, 
To win renown did wondrous feats of arms : 
Amongst the rest I saw him, hand to hand, 
In single flght with their lord-general ; 
Till Alexandro, that here counterfeits, 
Under the colour of a duteous friend 
Discharged his pistol at the prince's back, 
As though he would have slain their general : 
But therewithal Don Balthazar fell down ; 
And when he fell, then we began to fly : 70 

But, had he liv^d, the day had sure been ours. 

Alex. O wicked forgery 1 O traitVous miscreant ! 

Vic. Hold thou thy peace I But now, Villuppo, say, 
Where then became the carcase of my son ? 

Vil. I saw them drag it to the Spanish tents. 

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ACT I. sc. 4. The Spanish Tragedy 

Vic, Ay, ay, my nightly dreams have told me this. — 
Thou false, unkind, unthankful, trait'rous beast, 
Wherein had Balthazar offended thee, 
That thou shouldst thus betray him to our foes ? 
Was't Spanish gold that bleared so thine eyes 80 
That thou couldst see no part of our deserts? 
Perchance, because thou art Terceira's lord, 
Thou hadst some hope to wear this diadem, 
If first my son and then myself were slain ; 
But thy ambitious thought shall break thy neck. 
Ay, this was it that made thee spill his blood : 

[Takes the crown and puts it on again. 
But 1 11 now wear it till thy blood be spilt. 

Alex> Vouchsafe, dread sovereign, to hear me speak. 

Vic. Away with him ; his sight is second hell. 

Keep him till we determine of his death : 90. 

If Balthazar be dead, he shall not live. 

Villuppo, follow us for thy reward. [Exit Viceroy, 

Vil, Thus have I with an envious, forged tale 
Deceiv'd the king, betra/d mine enemy, 
And hope for guerdon of my villany. [Exit. 


Enter Horatio and Bellimpericu 

Bel, Signior Horatio, this is the place and hour, 
Wherein I must entreat thee to relate 

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The Spanish Tragedy act i. sc. 4. 

The circumstance of Don Andrea's death, 
Who, living, was my garland's sweetest flower. 
And in his death hath buried my delights. 
Hor, For love of him and service to yourself, 
I nill refuse this heavy doleful charge ; 
Yet tears and sighs, I fear, will hinder me. 
When both our armies were enjoin'd in fight, 
Your worthy chevalier amidst the thickest, 10 

For glorious cause still aiming at the fisurest. 
Was at the last by young Don Balthazar 
Encountered hand to hand : their fight was long. 
Their hearts were great, their clamours menacing, 
Their strength alike, their strokes both dangerous. 
But wrathfiil Nemesis, that wicked power, \ ^^ 
Envying at Andrea's praise and worth, \ 

Cut short his life, to end his praise and worth. 
She, she herself, disguis'd in armour's mask — 
As Pallas was before proud Pergamus — 20 

Brought in a fresh supply of halberdiers. 
Which paunch'd his horse, and dinged him to the 

Then young Don Balthazar with ruthless rage, 
Taking advantage of his foe's distress, 
Did finish what his halberdiers begun. 
And left not, till Andrea's life was done. 
Then, though too late, incensed with just remorse, 
I with my band set forth against the prince, 
And brought him prisoner from his halberdiers. 

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ACT I. sc 4. The Spanish Tragedy 

Bel, Would thou hadst slain him that so slew my love ! 
But then was Don Andrea's carcase lost ? 31 

Hor. No, that was it for which I chiefly strove, 
Nor stepp'd I back till I recovered him : 
I took him up, and wound him in mine arms ; 
And wielding him unto my private tent. 
There laid him down, and dew'd him with my tears. 
And sighM and sorrowed as became a friend. 
But neither friendly sorrow, sighs, nor tears 
Could win pale Death from his usurpM right. 
Yet this I did, and less I could not do : 40 

I saw him honoured with due funeral 
This scarf I plucked from off his lifeless arm, 
And wear it in remembrance of my friend. 

BeL I know the scarf: would he had kept it still ; 
For had he liv'd, he would have kept it still, 
And worn it for his Bellimperia's sake : 
For 'twas my favour at his last depart. 
But now wear thou it both for him and me ; 
For after him thou hast deserved it best 
But for thy kindness in his life and death, 50 

Be sure, while Bellimperia's life endures. 
She will be Don Horatio's thankful friend. 

Hor, And, madam, Don Horatio will not slack 
Humbly to serve fair Bellimperia. 
But now, if your good liking stand thereto, 
I '11 crave your pardon to go seek the prince ; 
For so the duke, your father, gave me charge. 

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The Spanish Tragedy act i. sc 4. 

BeL Ay, go, Horatio, leave me here alone ; 

For solitude best fits my cheerless mood. \Exii Hor, 

Yet what avails to wail Andrea's death, 60 

From whence Horatio proves my second love? 

Had he not lov'd Andrea as he did, 

He could not sit in Bellimperia's thoughts. 

But how can love find harbour in my breast, 

Till I revenge the death of my belov'd ? 

Yes, second love shall further my revenge ! 

I 'U love Horatio, my Andrea's friend. 

The more to spite the prince that wrought his end. 

And where Don Balthazar, that slew my love. 

Himself now pleads for favour at my hands, 70 

He shall, in rigour of my just disdain. 

Reap long repentance for his murd'rous deed. 

For what was 't else but murd'rous cowardice. 

So many to oppress one valiant knight. 

Without respect of honour in the fight ? 

And here he comes that murder'd my delight 

Enter Lorenzo and Balthazar, 

Lor. Sister, what means this melancholy walk?, 
BeL That for a while I wish no company. 
Lor. But here the prince is come to visit you. 
BeL That argues that he lives in liberty. \ 80 

BaL No, madam, but in pleasing servitude. 
BeL Your prison then, belike, is your conceit 
Bal, Ay, by conceit my freedom is enthrall'd. 

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ACT I. sc 4. The Spanish Tragedy 

Bel, Then with conceit enlarge yourself again. 

Bal. What, if conceit have laid my heart to gage? 

BeL Pay that you borrowed, and recover it 

Bed, I die, if it return from whence it lies. 

BeL A heartless man, and live ? A miracle ! 

Bal, Ay, lady, love can work such miracles. 

Lor, Tush, tush, my lord 1 let go these ambages, 90 

And in plain terms acquaint her with your love. 
BeL What boots complaint, when there's no remedy ? 
Bal, Yes, to your gracious self must I complain. 

In whose fair answer lies my remedy ; 

On whose perfection all my thoughts attend ; 

On whose aspect muae eyes find beauty's bower ; 

In whose translucent breast my heart is lodg'd. 
BeL Alas, my lord, these are but words of course. 

And but device to drive me from this place. 

\She^ in going in^ lets fall her glove^ which 
Horatio^ coming outy takes up. 
Hot. Madam, your glove. 100 

BeL Thanks, good Horatio ; take it for thy pains. 
Bal, Signior Horatio stoop'd in happy time 1 
Hot, I reaped more grace than I deserv*a or hop'd. 
Lor, My lord, be not disma/d for what is past : 

You know that women oft are humorous ; 

These clouds will overblow with little wind : 

Let me alone, I '11 scatter them myself. 

Meanwhile, let us devise to spend the time 

In some delightful sports and revelling. 

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The Spanish Tragedy act i. sc $. 

Hot. The king, my lords, is coming hither straight, no 

To feast the Portingal ambassador ; 

Things were in readiness before I came. 
Bed. Then here it fits us to attend the king, 

To welcome hither our ambassador, 

And learn my ^Either and my country's health. 

Enter the Banquet^ Trumpets^ the King^ and Ambassador. 

King, See, lord Ambassador, how Spain entreats 
Their prisoner Balthazar, thy viceroy's son : 
We pleasure more in kindness than in wars. 

Amb, Sad is our king, and Portingal laments. 
Supposing that Don Balthazar is slain. 

Bal. So am I ! — slain by beauty's tyranny. 
You see, my lord, how Balthazar is slain : 
I frolic with the Duke of Castile's son, 
Wrapp'd every hour in pleasures of the court. 
And grac'd with favours of his majesty. lo 

King. Put off your greetings, till our feast be done ; 
Now come and sit with us, and taste our cheer. 

[Sit to the banquet. 
Sit down, young prince, you are our second guest ; 
Brother, sit down ; and, nephew, take your place. 
Signior Horatio, wait thou upon our cup ; 
For well thou hast deservM to be honour'd 

6 21 

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ACT I. sc s. The Spanish Tragedy 

Now, lordings, fall to ; Spain is Portugal, 

And Portugal is Spain : we both are friends ; 

Tribute is paid, and we enjoy our right 

But where is old Hieronimo, our marshal? 20 

He promised us, in honour of our guest. 

To grace our banquet with some pompous jest 

Enter Hieronimo with a drum, three knights^ each his 
scutcheon; then he fetches three kingSy they take their 
crowns and them captive. 

Hieronimo, this masque contents mine eye, 
Although I sound not well the mystery. 

Hier, The first arm'd knight, that hung his scutcheon up, 
\He takes the scutcheon and gives it to the King. 
Was English Robert, Earl of Gloucester, 
Who, when King Stephen bore sway in Albion, 
Arrived with five and twenty thousand men 
In Portingal, and by success of war 
Enforced the king, then but a Saracen, 30 

To bear the yoke of the English monarchy. 

King. My lord of Portingal, by this you see 

That which may comfort both your king and you, 
And make your late discomfort seem the less. 
But say, Hieronimo, what was the next ? 

Hier. The second knight, that hung his scutcheon up, 

[He doth as he did be/ore. 
Was Edmond, Earl of Kent in Albion, 
When English Richard wore the diadem. 

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The Spanish Tragedy act i. sc s 

He came likewise, and raz^d Lisbon walls, 

And took the King of Portingal in fight ; 40 

For which and other such-like service done 

He after was created Duke of York. 

King, This is another special argument, 

That Portingal may deign to bear our yoke, 
When it by little England hath been yokU 
But now, Hieronimo, what were the last ? 

Hier. The third and last, not least, in our account, 

\Poing as before. 
Was, as the rest, a valiant Englishman, 
Brave John of Gaunt, the Duke of Lancaster, 
As by his scutcheon plainly may appear. 50 

He with a puissant army came to Spain, 
And took our King of Castile prisoner. 

Amb, This is an argument for our viceroy 

That Spain may not insult for her success. 
Since English warriors likewise conquered Spain, 
And made them bow their knees to Albion. 

King, Hieronimo, I drink to thee for this device. 

Which hath pleas'd both the ambassador and me : 
Pledge me, Hieronimo, if thou love thy king. 

[Takes the cup o/HoratiOm 
My lord, I fear we sit but over-long, 60 

Unless our dainties were more delicate ; 
But welcome are you to the best we have. 
Now let us in, that you may be despatched : 
I think our council is already set. \Exeunt omnes, 

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ACT I. sc & The Spanish Tragedy 

Ghost of Andrea^ Revinge, 

Andrea, Come we for this from depth of underground. 
To see him feast that gave me my death's wound ? 
These pleasant sights are sorrow to my soul : 
Nothing but league, and love, and banqueting? 

Revenge, Be still, Andrea ; ere we go from hence, 
I '11 turn their friendship into fell despite, 
Their love to mortal hate, their day to night. 
Their hope into despair, their peace to war, 
Their joys to pain, their bliss to misery. 


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The Spanish Tragedy act ii. sc. i. 


Enter Lorenzo and Balthazar. 

Lor. My lord, though Bellimperia seem thus coy, 
Let reason hold you in your wonted joy : 
In time the savage bull sustains the yoke, 
In time all haggard hawks will stoop to lure, 
In time small wedges cleave the hardest oak, 
In time the flint is pierc'd with softest shower. 
And she in time will fall from her disdain, 
And rue the sufferance of your friendly pain. 

Bal* No, she is wilder, and more hard withal. 

Than beast, or bird, or tree, or stony wall. lo 

But wherefore blot I Bellimperia's name ? 
It is my fault, not she, that merits blame. 
My feature is not to content her sight. 
My words are rude, and work her no delight. 
The lines I send her are but harsh and ill. 
Such as do drop from Pan and Marsyas' quilL 
My presents are not of sufficient cost. 
And being worthless, all my labour's lost 
Yet might she love me for my valiancy : 

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ACT 11. sc. X. The Spanish Tragedy 

Ay, but that 's slander'd by captivity. 20 

Yet might she love me to content her sire : 

Ay, but her reason masters his desire. 

Yet might she love me as her brother's friend : 

Ay, but her hopes aim at some other end. 

Yet might she love me to uprear her state : 

Ay, but perhaps she hopes some nobler mate. 

Yet might she love me as her beauty's thrall : 

Ay, but I fear she cannot love at all. 
Lor, My lord, for my sake leave this ecstasy, 

And doubt not but we '11 find some remedy. 30 

Some cause there is that lets you not be loVd ; 

First that must needs be known, and then removed. 

What, if my sister love some other knight ? 
BaL My summer's day will turn to winter's night. 
Lor, I have already found a stratagem, 

To sound the bottom of this doubtful theme. 

My lord, for once you shall be rul'd by me ; 

Hinder me not, whate'er you hear or see. 

By force or fair means will I cast about 

To find the truth of all this question out 40 

Ho, Pedringano 1 
Ped. Signiorl 
Lor. Vien qui presto. 

Enter Pedringano, 

Ped, Hath your lordship any service to command me ? 
Lor, Ay, Pedringano, service of import ; 

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The Spanish Tragedy act ii. sc i. 

And — ^not to spend the time in trifling words — 

Thus stands the case : It is not long, thou know'st, 

Since I did shield thee from my father's wrath, 

For thy conveyance in Andrea's love, 

For which thou wert adjudg'd to punishment : 50 

I stood betwixt thee and thy punishment, 

And since, thou know'st how I have favoured thee. 

Now to these favours will I add reward, 

Not with fair words, but store of golden coin, 

And lands and living join'd with dignities. 

If thou but satisfy my just demand : 

Tell truth, and have me for thy lasting friend. 

Ped, Whatever it be your lordship shall demand. 
My bounden duty bids me tell the truth, 
If case it lie in me to tell the truth. 60 

Lor, Then, Pedringano, this is my demand : 
Whom loves my sister Bellimperia? 
For she reposeth all her trust in thee. 
Speak, man, and gain both friendship and reward : 
I mean, whom loves she in Andrea's place ? 

Ped, Alas, my lord, since Don Andrea's death 
I have no credit with her as before ; 
And therefore know not, if she love or no. 

Lor. Nay, if thou dally, then I am thy foe, 

{Draws his sword. 
And fear shall force what friendship cannot win : 70 
Thy death shall bury what thy life conceals ; 
Thou diest for more esteeming her than me. 

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ACT II. sc. I. The Spanish Tragedy 

Ped. O, stay, my lord. 

Lor, Yet speak the truth, and I will guerdon thee, 

And shield thee from whatever can ensue. 

And will conceal whate'er proceeds from thee. 

But if thou dally once again, thou diest 

Ped. If madam Bellimperia be in love 

Lor. What, villain I ifs and ands ? 
Ped. O, stay, my lord, she loves Horatio. 80 

[Balthazar starts dock. 
Lor. What, Don Horatio, our knight marshal's son ? 
Ped. Even him, my lord. 
Lor. Now say, but how know'st thou he is her love ? 

And thou shalt find me kind and liberal : 

Stand up, I say, and fearless tell the truth. 
Ped. She sent him letters, which myself perused, 

Full-firaught with lines and arguments of love. 

Preferring him before Prince Balthazar. 
Lor. Swear on this cross that what thou say's! is true ; 

And that thou wilt conceal what thou hast told. 90 
Ped I swear to both, by him that made us all. 
Lor. In hope thine oath is true, here's thy reward : 

But if I prove thee perjur'd and unjust, 
■ This very sword, whereon thou took'st thine oath. 

Shall be the worker of thy tragedy. 
Ped. What I have said is true, and shall — ^for me — 

Be still conceaPd from Bellimperia. 

Besides, your honour's liberality 

Deserves my duteous service, ev'n till death. 

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The Spanish Tra£:ed7 ' actii. sci. 

LcfT. Let this be all that thou shalt do for me : loo 

Be watchful, when and where these lovers meet. 
And give me notice in some secret sort. 

PecL I will, my lord. 

Lor. Then shalt thou find that I am liberal. 

Thou know'st that I can more advance thy state 
Than she ; be therefore wise, and fail me not 
Go and attend her, as thy custom is, 
Lest absence make her think thou dost amiss. 

\Exit Pedringano. 
Why so : tam armis quam ingenio : 
Where words prevail not, violence prevails ; i lo 
But gold doth more than either of them both. 
How likes Prince Balthazar this stratagem ? 

Bal, Both well and ill ; it makes me glad and sad : 
Glad, that I know the hind'rer of my love ; 
Sad, that I fear she hates me whom I love. 
Glad, that I know on whom to be revenged ; 
Sad, that she '11 fly me, if I take revenge. 
Yet must I take revenge, or die myself, 
For love resisted grows impatient. 
I think Horatio be my destin'd plague : 120 

First, in his hand he brandishM a sword, 
And with that sword he fiercely wagM war,. 
And in that war he gave me dangerous wounds, 
And by those wotmds he forced me to yield. 
And by my yielding I became his slave. 
Now in his mouth he carries pleasing words, 

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ACT II. sc. M. The Spanish Tragedy 

Which pleasing words do harbour sweet conceits. 
Which sweet conceits are lim'd with sly deceits. 
Which sly deceits smooth Bellimperia's ears. 
And through her ears dive down into her heart, 130 
And in her heart set him, where I should stand. 
Thus hath he ta'en my body by his force. 
And now by sleight would captivate my soul : 
But in his fall I '11 tempt the destinies. 
And either lose my life, or win my love. 
Lor. Let's go, my lord ; your staying stays revenge. 
Do you but follow me, and gain your love : 
Her favour must be won by his remove. [ExeufU, 


Enter Horatio and Bellimperia, 

Hor, Now, madam, since by favour of your love 
Our hidden smoke is tum'd to open flame. 
And that with looks and words we feed our thought 
(Two chief contents, where more cannot be had) : 
Thus, in the midst of love's fair blandishments. 
Why show you sign of inward languishments ? 

[Pedringano showeth all to the Prince and 
Lorenzo, placing them in secret. 
Bel. My heart, sweet friend, is like a ship at sea : 
She wisheth port, where, riding all at ease. 
She may repair what stormy times have worn, 

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The Spanish Tragedy act ii. sc. «. 

And leaning on the shore, may sing with joy, lo 
That pleasure follows pain, and bliss annoy. 
Possession of thy love is th' only port, 
Wherein my heart, with fears and hopes long 

Each hour doth wish and long to make resort. 
There to repair the joys that it hath lost, 
And, sitting safe, to sing in Cupid's quire 
That sweetest bliss is crown of love's desire. 

[Balthazar and Lorenzo above, 

BaL O sleep, mine eyes, see not my love profan'd ; 
Be deaf, my ears, hear not my discontent ; 
Die, heart : another joys what thou deserv'st. 20 

Lor, Watch still, mine eyes, to see this love disjoined ; 
Hear still, mine ears, to hear them both lament ; 
Live, heart, to joy at fond Horatio's fall. 

Bel, Why stands Horatio speechless all this while? 

Hor, The less I speak, the more I meditate. 

Bel, But whereon dost thou chiefly meditate ? 

Hor. On dangers past, and pleasures to ensue. 

Bal, On pleasures past, and dangers to ensue. 

Bel, What dangers and what pleasures dost thou mean ? 

Hor, Dangers of war, and pleasures of our love. 30 

Lor, Dangers of death, but pleasures none at alL 

Bel, Let dangers go, thy w2ir shall be with me : 
But such a war, as breaks no bond of peace. 
Speak thou fair words, I'll cross them with fair 
words ; 


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ACT II. sc «. The Spanish Tra^redy 

Send thou sweet looks, I '11 meet them with sweet 

looks ; 
Write loving lines, I 'U answer loving lines ; 
Give me a kiss, I ^1 countercheck thy kiss : 
Be this our warring peace, or peaceftil war. 

Hor, But, gracious madam, then appoint the field, 

Where trial of this war shall first be made. 40 

Bed, Ambitious villain, how his boldness grows ! 

BeL Then be thy father's pleasant boVr the field, 
Where first we voVd a mutual amity ; 
The court were dangerous, that place is safe. 
Our hour shall be, when Vesper 'gins to rise. 
That summons home distressful travellers : 
There none shall hear us but the harmless birds ; 
Haply the gentle nightingale 
Shall carol us asleep, ere we be ware. 
And, singing with the prickle at her breast, 50 

Tell our delight and mirthfiil dalliance : 
Till then each hour will seem a year and more. 

Hot. But, honey sweet and honourable love, 
Return we now into your father's sight : 
Dang'rous suspicion waits on our delight 

Lor. Ay, danger mixed with jealous despite 

Shall send thy soul into eternal night. \Exeunt 


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The Spanish Tragedy act ii. sc. 3. 


Enter King of Spain^ Portingdl Ambassador^ 
Don Cyprian^ etc. 

King, Brother of Castile, to the prince's love 
What says your daughter Bellimpcria ? 

Cyp. Although she coy it, as becomes her kind, 
And yet dissemble that she loves the prince, 
I doubt not, I, but she will stoop in time. 
And were she froward, which she will not be, 
Yet herein shall she follow my advice, 
Which is to love him, or forgo my love. 

King. Then, lord Ambassador of Portingal, 

Advise thy king to make this marriage up, 10 

For strengthening of our late-confirmed league ; 
I know no better means to make us friends. 
Her dowry shall be large and liberal : 
Besides that she is daughter and half-heir 
Unto our brother here, Don Cyprian, 
And shall enjoy the moiety of his land, 
I 'U grace her marriage with an uncle's gift, 
And this it is — in case the match go forward — : 
The tribute which you pay, shall be released ; 
And if by Balthazar she have a son, 20 

He shall enjoy the kingdom after us. 

Amb. 1 11 make the motion to my sovereign liege. 
And work it, if my counsel may prevail. 

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ACT II. sc. 3. The Spanish Tra£:edy 

King, Do so, my lord, and if he give consent, 
I hope his presence here will honour us, 
In celebration of the nuptial day ; 
And let himself determine of the time. 

Amb, Will't please your grace command me ought beside? 

King, Commend me to the king, and so farewell 

But Where's Prince Balthazar to take his leave? 30 

Amb, That is performed already, my good lord. 

King, Amongst the rest of what you have in charge. 
The prince's ransom must not be forgot : 
That 's none of mine, but his that took him prisoner ; 
And well his forwardness deserves reward : 
It was Horatio, our knight marshal's son. 

Amb, Between us there's a price already pitch'd, 
And shall be sent with all convenient speed. 

King, Then once again ferewell, my lord. 

Amb, Farewell, my lord of Castile, and the rest \ExiU 

King. Now, brother, you must take some little pains 41 
To win fair Bellimperia from her will : 
Young virgins must be rulM by their friends. 
The prince is amiable, and loves her well ; 
If she neglect him and forgo his love, 
She both will wrong her own estate and ours. 
Therefore, whiles I do entertain the prince 
With greatest pleasure that our court affords. 
Endeavour you to win your daughter's thought : 
If she give back, all this will come to naught 50 


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The Spanish Tra^redy act ii. sc 4. 

Enter HarcUio^ Bellimperia^ and Pedringano. 

Hor. Now that the night begins with sable wings 
To overcloud the brightness of the sun, 
And that in darkness pleasures may be done : 
Come, Bellimperia, let us to the bow'r, 
And there in safety pass a pleasant hour. 

Bel, I follow thee, my love, and will not back, 
Although my fainting heart controls my souL 

Hor, Why, make you doubt of Pedringano's faith ? 

Bel, No, he is as trusty as my second self. — 

Go, Pedringano, watch without the gate, 10 

And let us know if any make approach. 

Ped, [Aside], Instead of watching, I *11 deserve more gold 
By fetching Don Lorenzo to this match. 

\Exil Pedringano. 

Hor, What means my love? 

Bel, I know not what myself; 

And yet my heart foretells me some mischance. 

Hor, Sweet, say not so ; fair fortune is our friend. 
And heav'ns have shut up day to pleasure us. 
The stars, thou see'st, hold back their twinkling shine, 
And Luna hides herself to pleasure us. 

Bel, Thou hast prevailed ; 1 11 conquer my misdoubt, 20 

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ACT II. sc 4. The Spanish Tra£:edy 

And in thy love and counsel drown my fear. 

I fear no more ; love now is all my thoughts. 

Why sit we not ? for pleasure asketh ease. 
Hot. The more thou sitf st within these leafy bowers, 

The more will Flora deck it with her flowers. 
Bel, Ay, but if Flora spy Horatio here. 

Her jealous eye will think I sit too near. 
Hor. Hark, madam, how the birds record by night. 

For joy that Bellimperia sits in sight. 
Bel, No, Cupid counterfeits the nightingale, 30 

To frame sweet music to Horatio's tale. 
Hor. If Cupid sing, then Venus is not far : 

Ay, thou art Venus, or some fairer star. 
Bel, If I be Venus, thou must needs be Mars ; 

And where Mars reigneth, there must needs be 
Hor, Then thus begin our wars : put forth thy hand, 

That it may combat with my ruder hand. 
Bel, Set forth thy foot to try the push of mine. 
Hor, But first my looks shall combat against thine. 
Bel, Then ward thyself: I dart this kiss at thee. 40 
Hor, Thus I retort the dart thou threw'st at me. 
Bel, Nay, then to gain the glory of the field. 

My twining arms shall yoke and make thee yield. 
Hor, Nay, then my arms are large and strong withal : 

Thus elms by vines are compass'd, till they fall. 
Bel, O, let me go ; for in my troubled eyes 

Now ma/st thou read that life in passion dies. 


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The Spanish Tragedy act ii. sc 5. 

Hor. O, stay a while, and I will die with thee ; 

So shalt thou yield, and yet have conquered me. 
BeL Who's there ? Pedringano ! we are betrayed ! 50 

Enter Lorenzo^ Balthazar , Serberine^ Pedringano^ 

Lor. My lord, away with her, take her aside. — 

O, sir, forbear : your valoiu- is already tried. 

Quickly despatch, my masters. 

\They hang him in the arbour. 
Hot, What, will you murder me ? 

Lor, Ay, thus, and thus : these are the fruits of love. 

\They stab him, 
BeL Of save his life, and let me die for him I 

O, save him, brother ; save him, Balthazar : 

I lov*d Horatio ; but he loVd not me. 
Bal> But Balthazar loves Bellimperia. 
Lor. Although his life were still ambitious-proud. 

Yet is he at the highest now he is dead. 60 

Bet, Murder 1 murder 1 Help, Hieronimo, help I 
Lor. Come, stop her mouth ; away with her. 



Enter Hieronimo in his shirty etc, 

Hier, What outcries pluck me from my naked bed, 
And chill my throbbing heart with trembling fear, 
c 37 

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ACT. iL sc s. The Spanish Tragedy 

Which never danger yet could daunt before ? 

Who calls Hieronimo? speak, here I am. 

I did not slumber ; therefore 'twas no dream. 

No, no, it was some woman cried for help ; 

And here within this garden did she cry ; 

And in this garden must I rescue her. — 

But stay, what murd'rous spectacle is this? 

A man hang'd up and all the murd'rers gone ! lo 

And in my bower, to lay the guilt on me ! 

This place was made for pleasure, not for death. 

[Jfle cuts him down. 
Those garments that he wears I oft have seen — : 
Alas, it is Horatio, my sweet son 1 
O no, but he that whilom was my son ! 
O, was it thou that calPdst me from my bed ? 

speak, if any spark of life remain : 

1 am thy father ; who hath slain my son ? 
What savage monster, not of human kind, 

Hath here been glutted with thy harmless blood, 20 
And left thy bloody corpse dishonour'd here, 
For me, amidst these dark and deathful shades. 
To drown thee with an ocean of my tears? 
O heavens, why made you night to cover sin ? 
By day this deed of darkness had not been. 
O earth, why didst thou not in time devour 
The vild profaner of this sacred bow'r? 
O poor Horatio, what hadst thou misdone. 
To leese thy life, ere life was new begun ? 

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The Spanish Tragedy act ii. sc s. 

O wicked butcher, whatsoe'er thou wert, 30 

How could thou strangle virtue and desert ? 
Ay me most wretched, that have lost my joy, 
In leesing my Horatio, my sweet boy I 

Enter Isabella. 

Isab, My husband's absence makes my heart to throb : — 

Hieronimo 1 
Hier. Here, Isabella, help me to lament ; 

For sighs are stopp'd, and all my tears are spent 
Isab. What world of grief ! my son Horatio! 

O, Where's the author of this endless woe ? 
Hier. To know the author were some ease of grief ; 40 

For in revenge my heart would find relieil 
Isab. Then is he gone ? and is my son gone too ? 

O, gush out, tears, fountains and floods of tears ; 

Blow, sighs, and raise an everlasting storm ; 

For outrage fits our cursed wretchedness. 

\Ay nuy Hieronimo^ sweet husband^ speak! 
Hier. He suppd with us to-night^ frolic and merry ^ 

And said he would go visit Balthazar 

At the duk^s palace: there the prince doth lodge. 

He had no custom to stay out so late: 50 

He may be in his chamber; some go see. 

Roderigo^ ho / 

Enter Pedro and Jaques. 

Isab. Ay me, he raves/ sweet Hieronimo. 

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ACT II. sc 5. The Spanish Tragedy 

Hicr. True^ all Spain takes note of it. 

Besides^ he is so generally beloi/d; 

His majesty the other day did grace him I 

With waiting on his cup : these be favours^ 

Which do assure me he cannot be skort-lii/d. 
Isab. Sweet Hieronimo I 
Hier. / wonder how this fellow got his clothes / — 60 

Sirrah, sirrahy I ^11 know the truth of all: 

JaqueSy run to the Duke of Castile s presently ^ 

And bid my son Horatio to come home : 

I and his mother have had strange dreams to-night 

Do ye hear me^ sirf 
Jaques. Ay^ sir. 

Hier. Well^ sir^ begone, 

Pedro^ come hither; knottfst thou who this is t 
Ped. Too welly sir, 
Hier. Too well I who, who is itt Peace, Isabella I 

Nay, blush not, man. 
Ped. // is my lord Horatio, 

Hier. Ha, ha, St, James/ but this doth make me laugh, 

That there are more deluded than myself, 70 *i 

Ped. Deluded? ^ 

Hier. Ay : 

I would have sworn myself, within this hour^ 

That this had been my son Horatio: 

His garments are so like. 

Ha/ are they not grecU persuasions f 
Isab. O, would to God it were not so / 

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The Spanish Tragedy act ii. sc s* 

Hier. Were not^ Isabella f dost thou dream it is t 
Can thy soft bosom entertain a thought^ 
That such a black deed of mischief should be done 
On one so pure and spotless as our son t 80 

Away, I can ashamed, 
Isab. Dear Hieronimo^ 

Cast a more serious eye upon thy grief : 
Weak apprehension gives but weak belief 
Hier. // was a man, sure, that was han^d up here ; 
A youth, cu I remember: I cut him doTvn, 
If it should prove my son now after all- 
Say you f say you f-^Light / lend me a taper; 
Let me look again, — O God I 
Confusion, mischief torment, death and hell. 
Drop all your stings at once in my cold bosom, 90 
That now is stiff with horror: kill me quickly! 
Be gracious to me, thou infective night. 
And drop this deed of murder down on me ; 
Gird in my waste of grief with thy large darkness. 
And let me not survive to see the light 
f May put me in the mind I had a son, 

^ ■ Isab. O sweet HorcUio I O my dearest son / 
^ Hier. How strangely had I lost my way to grief I\ 
,^ Sweet, lovely rose, ill-pluck'd before thy time, 

* Fair, worthy son, not conquered, but betra/d, 100 

I '11 kiss thee now, for words with tears are stay'd. 
^ Isab. And 1 11 close up the glasses of his sight, 
f. For once these eyes were only my delight 


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ACT iL sc 5. The Spanish Tragedy 

Hier. See's! thou this handkercher besmear'd with blood? 

It shall not from me, till I take revenge. 

See'st thou those wounds that yet are bleeding fresh? 

I '11 not entomb them, till I have revenge. 

Then will I joy amidst my discontent ; 

Till then my sorrow never shall be spent 
Isab, The heav'ns are just ; murder cannot be hid : i lo 

Time is the author both of truth and right, 

And time will bring this treachery to light. 
Hier, Meanwhile, good Isabella, cease thy plaints. 

Or, at the least, dissemble them awhile : 

So shall we sooner find the practice out, 

And learn by whom all this was brought about 

Come, Isabel, now let us take him up, 

\They take him up. 

And bear him in from out this cursM place. 

I '11 say his dirge ; singing fits not this case. 

O aliquis mihi quaspulchrum ver educat herbas^ 1 20 
[Hieronimo sets his breast unto his sword. 
Misceat^ Gr* nostra detur medicina dolori; 
Auty si quifaciunt annorum obHvia^ succos 
Praebeat; ipse metatn magnum quaecunque per 

Gramina Soipulchras effert in luminis orasj 
Ipse bibam quicquid meditatur saga veneniy 
QuicquidGf* herbarum vi caeca nenia nectit: 
Omnia perpetiar^ lethum quoque^ dum semelomnis 

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The Spanish Tragedy act ii. sc «. 

Noster in extincto moriatur pectore sensus, — 

Ergo tuos oculos nunquam^ mea vita^ vicUbo^ 

Et tua perpetuus sepeUvit lumina somnus f 1 30 

Emoriar tecum : siCy stcjuvat ire sub umbras, — 

Attamen absistam properato cedere letho^ 

Ne mortem vindicta tuam torn nulla sequatur, 

[Here he throws it from him and bears 
the body away. 

Ghost ofAndreOy Revenge, 

Andrea, Brought'st thou me hither to increase my pain? 
I look'd that Balthazar should have been slain : 
But 'tis my friend Horatio that is slain, 
And they abuse fair Bellimperia, 
On whom I doted more than all the world, 
Because she lov'd me more than all the world. 

Revenge, Thou talk'st of harvest, when the com is 
* green : 

The end is crown of every work well done ; 
The sickle comes not, till the com be ripe. 
Be still ; and ere I lead thee from this place, 10 
1 11 show thee Balthazar in heavy case. 


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ACT iiL sc I. The Spanish Tragedy 



The Court of Portugal. 

Enter Viceroy of Portingal^ Nobles^ Alexandro^ VUlufipo. 

Vic, Infortunate condition of king^, 

Seated amidst so many helpless doubts 1 

First we are plac'd upon extremest height, 

And oft supplanted with exceeding hate, 

But ever subject to the wheel of chance ; 

And at our highest never joy we so, 

As we both doubt and dread our overthrow. 

So striveth not the waves with sundry winds, 

As fortune toileth in the affairs of kings, 

That would be fear'd, yet fear to be belov'd, lo 

Sith fear or love to kings is flattery. 

For instance, lordings, look upon your king, 

By hate deprived of his dearest son. 

The only hope of our successive line. 

Nob, I had not thought that Alexandro's heart 

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The Spanish Tragedy act hi. sc s 

Had been envenomed with such extreme hate ; 
But now I see that words have several works, 
And there's no credit in the countenance. 

ViL No ; for, my lord, had you beheld the train, 

That feignM love had colour'd in his looks, 20 

When he in camp consorted Balthazar, 
Far more inconstant had you thought the sun. 
That hourly coasts the centre of the earth, 
Than Alexandro's purpose to the prince. 

Vic. No more, Villuppo, thou hast said enough, 

And with thy words thou slay'st our wounded 

Nor shall I longer dally with the world, 
Procrastinating Alexandro's death : 
Go some of you, and fetch the traitor forth. 
That, as he is condemned, he may die. 30 

Enter Alexandra^ with a Nobleman and haiberts. 

Nob, In such extremes will nought but patience serve. 

Alex, But in extremes what patience shall I use? 
Nor discontents it me to leave the world, 
Vfiih whom there nothing can prevail but wrong. 

Nob, Yet hope the best 

Alex, 'Tis heaven is my hope : 

As for the earth, it is too much infect 
To yield me hope of any of her mould. 

Vic, Why linger ye ? bring forth that daring fiend, 
And let him die for his accursed deed. 

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ACT III. sc f. The Spanish Tragedy 

Alex. Not that I fear the extremity of death 40 

(For nobles cannot stoop to servile fear) 
Do I| O king, thus discontented live. 
But Uiis, O this, torments my labouring soul. 
That thus I die suspected of a sin, 
Whereof, as heav'ns have known my secret 

So am I free from this suggestion. 

Vic. No more, I say ! to the tortures I when ? 
Bind him, and bum his body in those flames, 

[They bind him to the stake. 
That shall prefigure those unquenchM fires 
Of Phlegethon, preparM for his soul. 50 

AUx. My guiltless death will be aveng'd on thee, 
On thee, Villuppo, that hath malidd thus, 
Or for thy meed hast falsely me accused. 

Vil. Nay, Alexandro, if thou menace me, 
1 11 lend a hand to send thee to the lake, 
Where those thy words shall perish with thy works : 
Injurious traitor I monstrous homicide ! 

Enter Ambassador. 

Amb. Stay, hold a while ; 

And here — with pardon of hb majesty — 

Lay hands upon Villuppo. 
Vic Ambassador, 60 

What news hath uig'd this sudden enterance? 

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The Spanish Tragfedy act hi. sc i. 

Amb. Know, sovereign lord, that Balthazar doth live. 
Vic. What sa/st thou ? liveth Balthazar our son ? 
Amb, Your highness' son, Lord Balthazar, doth live ; 
And, well entreated in the court of Spain, 
Humbly commends him to your majesty. 
These eyes beheld — and these my followers — ; 
With these, the letters of the king's commends 

[Gives him litters. 
Are happy witnesses of his highness' health. 

[The King looks on the letters^ and proceeds. 
Vic. * Thy son doth live, your tribute is receiv'd j 70 
Thy peace is made, and we are satisfied. 
The rest resolve upon as things propos'd 
For both our honours and thy benefit' 
Amb. These are his highness' £uther articles. 

[He gives him more letters. 
Vic. Accursed wretch, to intimate these ills 
Against the life and reputation 
Of noble Alexandro I Come, my lord, unbind 

Let him unbind thee, that is bound to death. 
To make a quital for thy discontent. 

[ They unbind him. 
Alex. Dread lord, in kindness you could do no less, 80 
Upon report of such a damnM fact ; 
But thus we see our innocence hath sav'd 
The hopeless life which thou, Villuppo, sought 
By thy suggestions to have massacred. 

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ACT III. sc 1. The Spanish Tragedy 

Vic. Say, false Villuppo, wherefore didst thou thus 
Falsely betray Lord Alexandro*s life? 
Him, whom thou knoVst that no unkindness else, 
But ev^n the slaughter of our dearest son, 
Could once have mov'd us to have misconceived. 

Alex. Say, treacherous Villuppo, tell the king : 90 

Wherein hath Alexandro us'd thee ill ? 

Vil. Rent with remembrance of so foul a deed, 
My guilty soul submits me to thy doom : 
For not for Alexandro's injuries. 
But for reward and hope to be preferred. 
Thus have I shamelessly hazarded his life. 

Vic. Which, villain, shall be ransom'd with thy death — : 
And not so mean a torment as we here 
Devis'd for him who, thou said'st, slew our son, 
But with the bitt'rest torments and extremes 100 
That may be yet invented for thine end. 

[Alexandro seems to entreat. 
Entreat me not ; go, take the traitor hence : 

{Exit Villuppo. 
And, Alexandro, let us honour thee 
With public notice of thy loyalty. — 
To end those things articulated here 
By our great lord, the mighty King of Spain, 
We with our council will deliberate. 
Come, Alexandro, keep us company. \Exeunt. 


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The Spanish Tragedy act hi. sc «. 

Enter Hierommo. 

Hier. O eyes! no eyes, but fountains fraught with 

O life 1 no life, but lively form of death ; 
O world 1 no world, but mass of public wrongs, 
Confus'd and fill'd with murder and misdeeds 1 
O sacred heav'ns 1 if this unhallowed deed,. 
If this inhuman and barbarous attempt, . 
If this incomparable murder thus 
Of mine, but now no more my son. 
Shall unreveaPd and unrevengM pass. 
How should we term your dealings to be just, lo 
If you unjustly deal with those that in your justice 

The night, sad secretary to my moans. 
With direful visions wakes my vex^d soul, 
And with the wounds of my distressftil son 
Solicits me for notice of his death. 
The ugly fiends do sally forth of hell, 
And frame my steps to unfrequented paths. 
And fear my heart with fierce inflamM thoughts. 
The cloudy day my discontents records, 
Early begins to register my dreams, 20 


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ACT iiL sc a. The Spanish Tragedy 

And drive me forth to seek the murtherer. 
Eyes, life, worid, heav'ns, hell, night, and day. 
See, search, shew, send some man, some mean, that 
may— [A Utter falUth. 

What's here ? a letter? tush 1 it is not so I — 
A letter written to Hieronimo ! \Redink. 

* For want of ink, receive this bloody writ : 
Me hath my hapless brother hid from thee ; 
Revenge thyself on Balthazar and him : 
For these were they that murdered thy son. 
Hieronimo, revenge Horatio's death, 50 

And better fare than Bellimperia doth.' 
What means this miexpected miracle ? 
My son slain by Lorenzo and the prince I 
What cause had they Horatio to malign ? 
Or what might move thee, Bellimperia, 
To accuse thy brother, had he been the mean ? 
Hieronimo, beware ! — thou art betra/d. 
And to entrap thy life this train is laid. 
Advise thee therefore, be not credulous : 
This is devisM to endanger thee, 40 

That thou, by this, Lorenzo shouldst accuse ; 
And he, for thy dishonour done, should draw 
Thy life in question and thy name in hate. 
Dear was the life of my beloved son. 
And of his death behoves me be reveng'd : 
Then hazard not thine own, Hieronimo, 
But live f effect thy resolution. 

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The Spanish Tragedy act hi. sc a. 

I therefore will by circumstances try, 

What I can gather to confirm this writ ; 

And, hearkening near the Duke of Castile's house, 50 

Close, if I can, with Bellimpcria, 

To listen more, but nothing to bewray. 

Enter Pedringano. 

Now, Pedringano ! 
Pe<L Now, Hieronimo ! 

Hier. Where 's thy lady ? 
Ped. I know not ; here's my ord. 

Enter Lorenzo. 

Lor. How now, who's this? Hieronimo? 

Hier. My lord— • 

Ped. He asketh for my lady Bellimperia. 

Lor, What to do, Hieronimo? llie duke, my father, 
Upon some disgrace, awhile removed her hence ; 
But if it be ought I may inform her of. 
Tell me, Hieronimo, and I'll let her know it. 60 

Hier, Nay, nay, my lord, I thank you ; it shall not 
I had a suit unto her, but too late, 
And her disgrace makes me unfortunate. 

Lor, Why so, Hieronimo ? use me. 


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ACT III. sc s. The Spanish Tragedy 

Hier, O no, my lord ; I dare not ; it must not be ; 

I humbly thank your lordship.^ 
Lor. Why then, farewelL 

Hier. My grief no heart, my thoughts no tongue can 
tell. \Exit. 

Lor. Come hither, Pedringano, see'st thou this ? 
PecL My lord, I see it, and suspect it too. 
Un^. Tl^s is that damnM villain Serberine, 70 

That hath, I fear, reveaPd Horatio's death. 
Ped. My lord, he could not, 'twas so lately done ; 

And since he hath not left my company. 
Lor. Admit he have not, his condition 's such. 

As fear or flatt'ring words may make him false. 

I know his humour, and therewith repent 

That e'er I us'd him in this enterprise. 

1 Line 65 and first part of 66 (O no . . . lordship) are replaced, 
in all the Qq. from z6o3 onwards, by the following lines : 

Hier. Who f yout my lordf 

I ftstrve your favour for a greater honour; 

This is a very toy^ my lord, a toy. 
Lor. All*s one, Hieronimo, acquaint me with it, 
Hier. I faith, my lord, it is an idle thing; 

I must confess I ha* been too slack, too tardy. 

Too remiss unto your honour. 
Lor. How noWf Hitronimo f 

Hier. In troth, my lord, it is a thing of nothing: 

The murder of a son, or so 

A thing of nothing, my lord! 

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The Spanish Trafi:edy act hi. sc «. 

But, Pedringano, to prevent the worst, 
And 'cause I know thee secret as my soul, 
Here, for thy further satisfaction, take thou this, 80 

[Gives him more goid. 
And hearken to me — ^thus it is devis'd : 
This night thou must (and, prithee, so resolve) 
Meet Serberine at Saint Luigi's Park — 
Thou know'st 'tis here hard by behind the house — 
There take thy stand, and see thou strike him sure : 
For die he must, if we do mean to live. 

Ped, But how shall Serberine be there, my lord ? 

Lor. Let me alone ; I '11 send to him to meet 

The prince and me, where thou must do this deed. 

Ped. It shall be done, my lord, it shall be done ; 90 

And 1 11 go arm myself to meet him there. 

Zjot. When things shall alter, as I hope they will, 

Then shalt thou mount for this ; thou know'st my 
mind. [Exit Pedringano. 


Enter Page. 

Page. My lord? 

Lor. Go, sirrah. 

To Serberine, and bid him forthwith meet 
The prince and me at Saint Luigi's Park, 
Behind the house ; this evening, boy I 

Page. I go, my lord. 

D 53 

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ACT III. sc •. The Spanish Tragedy 

Lor. But, sirrah, let the hour be eight o'clock : 

Bid him not faiL 
Page. I fly, my lord. [Exit 

Lor. Now to confirm the complot thou hast cast loo 
Of all these practices, I '11 spread the watch. 
Upon precise commandment from the king, 
Strongly to guard the place where Pedringano 
This night shall murder hapless Serberine. 
Thus must we work that will avoid distrust ; 
Thus must we practise to prevent mishap, 
And thus one ill another must expulse. 
This sly enquiry of Hieronimo 
For Bellimperia breeds suspicion, 
And this suspicion bodes a further ilL i lo 

As for myself, I know my secret fault, 
And so do they ; but I have dealt for them : 
They that for com their souls endangered, 
To save my life, for coin shall venture theirs ; 
And better it 's that base companions die. 
Than by their life to hazard our good haps. 
Nor shall they live, for me to fear their faith : 
I '11 trust myself myself shall be my friend ; 
For die they shall, slaves are ordain'd to no other 
end. [Exit. 


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The Spanish Tragedy act hi. sc 3. 


Enter PedringanOf with a pistol. 

Ped, Now, Pedringano, bid thy pistol hold, 

And hold on, Fortune 1 once more favour me ; 

Give but success to mine attempting spirit, 

And let me shift for taking of mine aim. 

Here is the gold : this is the gold proposed ; 

It is no dream that I adventure for, 

But Pedringano is possess'd thereo£ 

And he that would not strain his conscience 

For him that thus his liberal purse hath stretched. 

Unworthy such a favour, may he fail, 10 

And, wishing, want, when such as I prevail. 

As for the fear of apprehension, 

I kpow, if need should be, my noble lord 

Will stand between me and ensuing harms ; 

Besides, this place is free from all suspect : 

Here therefore will I stay and take my stand. 

EnUr the Watch. 

1. I wonder much to what intent it is 

That we are thus expressly charged to watch. 

2. 'Tis by commandment in the king's own name. 

3. But we were never wont to watch and ward 20 
So near the duke, his brother's, house before. 

2. Content yourself, stand close, there's somewhat in 't. 

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ACT III. sc » The Spanish Tragedy 

Enter Serherine. 

Ser. Here, Serberine, attend and stay thy pace ; 

For here did Don Lorenzo's page appoint 

That thou by his command shouldst meet with him. 

How fit a place — ^if one were so disposed — 

Methinks this comer is to close with one. 
Ped, Here comes the bird that I must seize upon : 

Now, Pedringano, or never, play the man 1 
Ser, I wonder that his lordship stays so long, 50 

Or wherefore should he send for me so late? 
Ped. For this, Serberine ! — ^and thou shalt ha't 

[Shoots tke dag. 

So, there he lies ; my promise is performed. 

The Watch. 

1. Hark, gentlemen, this is a pistol shot 

2. And here's one slain ; — stay the murderer. 
Ped. Now by the sorrows of the souls in hell, 

[He strives with the watch. 
Who first lays hand on me, 1 11 be his priest 

3. Sirrah, confess, and therein play the priest, 
Why hast thou thus unkindly kUl'd the man ? 

Ped. Why ? because he walk'd abroad so late. 40 

3. Come, sir, you had been better kept your bed. 

Than have conmiitted this misdeed so late. 
a. Come, to the marshal's with the murderer 1 

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The Spanish Tragedy act hi. sc 4. 

I. On to Hieronimo's 1 help me here 
To bring the murder'd body with us too. 
Ped. Hieronimo ? carry me before whom you will : 
Whatever he be, HI answer him and you ; 
And do your worst, for I defy you alL \ExeunL 


Enter Lorenzo and Balthazar. 

BaL How now, my lord, what makes you rise so soon ? 
Lor. Fear of preventing our mishaps too late. 
BaL What mischief is it that we not mistrust ? 
Lor. Our greatest ills we least mistrust, my lord, 

And inexpected harms do hurt us most 
BaL Why, tell me, Don Lorenzo, tell me, man, 

If ought concerns our honour and your own. 
Lor. Nor you, nor me, my lord, but both in one : 

For I suspect — and the presiunption 's great — 

That by those base confederates in our fault 10 

Touching the death of Don Horatio, 

We are betrayed to old Hieronimo. 
Bid. Betrayed, Lorenzo? tush 1 it cannot be. 
Lor. A guilty conscience, urgM with the thought 

Of former evils, easily cannot err : 

I am persuaded — and dissuade me not — 

That all's revealed to Hieronima 

And therefore know that I have cast it thus : — 

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ACT III. sc. 4. The Spanish Tragedy 

Enter Page, 

But here's the page. How now? what news with 

Page, My lord, Serberine is slain. 

Bal. Who? Serberine, my man? 20 

Page, Your highness' man, my lord. 

Lor, Speak, page, who murder'd him ? 

Page, He that is apprehended for the fact 

Lor, Who? 

Page, Pedringano. 

Bal, Is Serberine slain, that lov'd his lord so well? 
Injurious villain, murd'rer of his friend I 

Lor, Hath Pedringano murder'd Serberine ? 

My lord, let me entreat you to take the pains 
To exasperate and hasten his revenge 
With your complaints unto my lord the king. 
This tiieir dissension breeds a greater doubt 30 

Bal, Assure thee, Don Lorenzo, he shall die, 
Or else his highness hardly shall deny. 
Meanwhile I '11 haste the marshal-sessions : 
For die he shall for this his damned deed. 

[Exit Balthaxar. 

Lor, Why so, this fits our former policy. 

And thus experience bids the wise to deal 

I lay the plot : he prosecutes the point ; 

I set the trap : he breaks the worthless twigs, 


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The Spanish Tragedy act hi. sc 4. 

And sees not that wherewith the bird was lim'd. 
Thus hopeful men, that mean to hold their own, 40 
Must look like fowlers to their dearest friends. 
He runs to kill whom I have holp to catch. 
And no man knows it was my reaching fetch. 
Tis hard to trust unto a multitude, 
Or any one, in mine opinion, 
When men themselves their secrets will reveal 

Enter a Messenger with a letter. 


Page. My lord? 

Lor. What 'she? 

Mes. I have a letter to your lordship. 

Lor. From whence ? 

Mes. From Pedringano that's imprisoned. 

Lor. So he is in prison then ? 

Mes. Ay, my good lord. 50 

Lor, What would he with us ? — He writes us here. 

To stand good lord, and help him in distress. — 

Tell him I have his letters, know his mind ; 

And what we may, let him assure him of. 

Fellow, begone : my boy shall follow thee. 

{Exit Messenger. 

This works like wax ; yet once more try thy wits. 

Boy, go, convey this purse to Pedringano ; 

Thou knowest the prison, closely give it him. 

And be advis'd that none be there about : 

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ACT III. sc 4. The Spanish Tragedy 

Bid him be merry still, but secret ; 60 

And though the marshal-sessions be to-day, 

Bid him not doubt of his delivery. 

Tell him his pardon is already sign'd, 

And thereon bid him boldly be resolv*d : 

For, were he ready to be tumM off— 

As 'tis my will the uttermost be tried — 

Thou with his pardon shalt attend him still. 

Show him this box, tell him his pardon's in't ; 

But open 't not, and if thou lov'st thy life ; 

But let him wisely keep his hopes unknown : 70 

He shall not want while Don Lorenzo lives. 

Away 1 

P^g^* I go, my lord, I run. 

Lor, But, sirrah, see that this be cleanly done. 

Now stands our fortune on a tickle point, 
And now or never ends Lorenzo's doubts. 
One only thing is uneffected yet. 
And that's to see the executioner. 
But to what end ? I list not trust the air 
With utterance of our pretence therein, 
For fear the privy whisp'ring of the wind 80 

Convey our words amongst unfriendly ears, 
That lie too open to advantages. 
E quel eke voglio io^ nessun lo sa ; 
Intendo to : quel mi basterd^, \ExiL 


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The Spanish Tragedy act hi. sc » 


Enter Boy^ with the box. 

Boy* My master hath forbidden me to look in this box ; 
and, by my troth, 'tis likely, if he had not warned me, 
I should not have had so much idle time ; for we 
men's-kind, in our minority, are like women in their 
uncertainty : that they are most forbidden, they will 

soonest attempt : so I now. By my bare honesty, 

here's nothing but the bare empty box : were it 
not sin against secrecy, I would say it were a piece of 
gentlemanlike knavery. I must go to Pedringano, 
and tell him his pardon is in this box ; nay, I would 
have sworn it, had I not seen the contrary. — I cannot 
choose but smile to think how the villain will flout 
the gallows, scorn the audience, and descant on the 
hangman,and all prestuningof his pardon from hence. 
M^'t not be an odd jest for me to stand and grace 
every jest he makes, pointing my finger at this box, 
as who would say : 'Mock on, here's thy warrant.' 
Is't not a scurvy jest that a man should jest himself 
to death? Alas 1 poor Pedringano, I am in a sort 
sorry for thee ; but if I should be hanged with thee, 
I cannot weep. \Exit. 


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ACT in. sc 6. The Spanish Tras:edy 

Enter Hieronimo and the Deputy, 

Hier. Thus must we toil in other men's extremes. 

That know not how to remedy our own ; 

And do them justice, when unjustly we, 

For all our wrongs, can compass no redress. 

But shall I never live to see the day. 

That I may come, by justice of the heavens, 

To know the cause that may my cares allay ? 

This toils my body, this consumeth age, 

That only I to all men just must be. 

And neither gods nor men be just to me. lo 

Dep. Worthy Hieronimo, your office asks 

A care to punish such as do transgress. 
Hier, So is 't my duty to regard his death 

Who, when he liv'd, deserved my dearest blood. 

But come, for that we came for : let 's begin ; 

For here lies that which bids me to be gone. 

Enter Officers y Boy^ and Pedringano^ with a letter in his 
hand^ bound, 

Dep, Bring forth the prisoner, for the court is set 
Ped, Gramercy, boy, but it was time to come ; 
For I had written to my lord anew 
A nearer matter that concemeth him, 20 

For fear his lordship had forgotten me. 

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The Spanish Tragedy agt hi. sc. 6. 

But sith he hath remembered me so well — 
Come, come, come on, when shall we to this gear ? 

Hier, Stand forth, thou monster, murderer of men. 
And here, for satisfaction of the world, 
Confess thy folly, and repent thy fault ; 
For there's thy place of execution. 

Ped, This is short work : well, to your marshalship 
First I confess — nor fear I death therefore — : 
I am the man, 'twas I slew Serberine. 30 

But, sir, then you think this shall be the place. 
Where we shall satisfy you for this gear ? 

Dep, Ay, Pedringano. 

Ped, Now I think not so. 

Hier. Peace, impudent ; for thou shalt find it so : 
For blood with blood shall, while I sit as judge. 
Be satisfied, and the law discharg'd. 
And though myself cannot receive the like. 
Yet will I see that others have their right. 
Despatch : the fault 's approved and confess'd, 
And by our law he is condemn'd to die. 40 

Hangm, Come on, sir, are you ready ? 

Ped, To do what, my fine, officious knave ? 

Hangm, To go to this gear. 

Ped, O sir, you are too forward : thou wouldst fain fur- 
nish me with a halter, to disfumish me of my habit 
So I should go out of this gear, my raiment, into that 
gear, the rope. But, hangman, now I spy your 
knavery, I '11 not change without boot, that's flat. 

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ACT in. sc 6. The Spanish Tragedy 

Hangnu Come, sir. 

Ped, So, then, I must up ? 50 

ffangm. No remedy. 

Ped. Yes, but there shall be for my coming down. 

Hangm, Indeed, here's a remedy for that 

Ped. How? be turned off? 

Hangm. Ay, truly ; come, are you ready ? I pray, sir, 

despatch ; the day goes away. 
Ped, What, do you hang by the hour? if you do, I may 

chance to break your old custom. 
Hangnu Faith, you have reason ; for I am like to break 

your young neck. 60 

Ped Dost thou mock me, hangman ? pray God, I be not 

preserved to break your knave's pate for this. 
Hangm, Alas, sir ! you are a foot too low to reach it, and 

I hope you will never grow so high while I am in 

the office. 
Ped Sirrah, dost see yonder boy with the box in his 

Hangm. What, he that points to it with his finger? 
Ped Ay, that companion. 

Hangm. I know him not ; but what of him ? 70 

Ped Dost thou thmk to live till his old doublet will 

make thee a new truss ? 
Hangm. Ay, and many a fair year after, to truss up many 

an honester man than either thou or he. 
Ped What hath he in his box, as thou thinkest ? 
Hangm. Faith, I cannot tell, nor I care not greatly ; 

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The Spanish Tragedy act hi. sc «. 

methinks you should rather hearken to your soul's 

Ptd, Why, sirrah hangman, I take it that that is good 

for the body is likewise good for the soul : and it 

may be, in that box is balm for both. 8i 

Hangm, Well, thou art even the merriest piece of man's 

flesh that e'er groaned at my office door 1 
Ped, Is your roguery become an office with a knave's 

Hangm, Ay, and that shall all they witness that see you 

seal it with a thief s name. 
Ped. I prithee, request this good company to pray with 

Hangm. Ay, marry, sir, this is a good motion : my 

masters, you see here's a good fellow. 91 

Ped, Nay, nay, now I remember me, let them alone till 

some other time ; for now I have no great need. 
Hier, I have not seen a wretch so impudent 

O monstrous times, where murder's set so light, 

And where the soul, that should be shrin'd in heaven, 

Solely delights in interdicted thmgs, 

Still wand'ring in the thorny passages, 

That intercepts itself of happiness. 

Murder ! O bloody monster 1 God forbid 100 

A foult so foul should 'scape unpunishM. 

Despatch, and see this execution done 1— 

This makes me to remember thee, my son. 

[ExU Hieronimo. 

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ACT in. sc 7. The Spanish Tragedy 

Ped, Nay, soft, no haste. 

Dep. Why, wherefore stay you ? Have you hope of life ? 
Ped, Why, ay I 
Hangm. As how? 

Ped Why, rascal, by my pardon from the king. 
Hangm. Stand you on that? then you shall off with 
this. [He turns him off, 

Dep. So, executioner ; — convey him hence ; 

But let his body be unburiM : no 

Let not the earth be choked or infect 

With that which heav'n contemns, and men neglect. 



Enter Hieronimo* 

Hier, Where shall I run to breathe abroad my woes, 
My woes, whose weight hath wearied the earth ? 
Or mine exclaims, that have surcharg'd the air 
With ceaseless plaints for my deceased son ? 
The blustering winds, conspiring with my words, 
At^y lament have mov^d the leafless trees. 
Disrobed the meadows of their flowered green, 
Made mountains marsh with spring-tides of my tears. 
And broken through the brazen gates of hell. 
Yet still tormented is my tortured soul lo 

With broken sighs and restless passions. 
That wingM mount ; and, hovering in the air, 

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The Spanish Tragedy act hi. sc 7. 

Beat at the windows of the brightest heavens, 
Soliciting for justice and revenge : 
But they are plac'd in those empyreal heights, 
Where, countermur'd with walls of diamond, 
I find the place impregnable ; and they 
Resist my woes, and give my words no way. 

Enter Hangman with a letter. 

Hangm, O lord, sir! God bless you, sirl the man, 
sir, Petergade, sir, he that was so full of merry 
conceits 21 

Hier. Well, what of him ? 

Hangm. O lord, sir, he went the wrong way ; the 
fellow had a fair commission to the contrary. Sir, 
here is his passport ; I pray you, sir, we have done 
him wrong. 

Hier. I warrant thee, give it me. 

Hangm, You will stand between the gallows and me ? 

Hier. Ay, ay. 

Hangm. I thank your lord worship. [Exit Hangman. 

Hier. And yet, though somewhat nearer me concerns, 
I will, to ease the grief that I sustain, 32 

Take truce with sorrow while I read on this. 
* My lord, I write, as mine extremes required, 
That you would labour my delivery : 
If you neglect, my life is desperate. 
And in my death I shall reveal the troth. 
You know, my lord, I slew him for your sake, 

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ACT III. sc 7. The Spanish Tragedy 

And was confederate with the prince and you ; 
Won by rewards and hopeful promises, 40 

I holp to murder Don Horatio too.' — 
Holp he to murder mine Horatio ? 
And actors in th* accursed tragedy 
Wast thou, Lorenzo, Balthazar and thou, 
Of whom my son, my son deserved so well ? 
What have I heard, what have mine eyes beheld ? 
O sacred heavens, may it come to pass 
That such a monstrous and detested deed. 
So closely smothered, and so long concealed. 
Shall thus by this be veng^d or reveal'd ? 50 

Now see I what I durst not then suspect, 
That Bellimperia's letter was not feign'd. 
Nor feignM she, though falsely they have wrong'd 
Both her, myself Horatio, and themselves. 
Now may I make compare 'twixt hers and this. 
Of every accident I ne'er could find 
Till now, and now I feelingly perceive 
They did what heav'n unpunished would not leave. 
O false Lorenzo I are these thy flattering looks ? 
Is this the honour that thou didst my son ? 60 

And Balthazar — bane to thy soul and me 1 — 
Was this the ransom he reserved thee for ? 
Woe to the cause of these constraint wars t 
Woe to thy baseness and captivity, 
Woe to thy birth, thy body and thy soul. 
Thy cursM father, and thy conquered self t 

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The Spanish Tragedy act hi. sc a 

And bann'd with bitter execrations be 

The day and place where he did pity thee I 

But wherefore waste I mine unfruit^ words, 

When naught but blood will satisfy my woes ? 70 

I will go plain me to my lord the king, 

And cry aloud for justice through the court, 

Wearing the flints with these my withered feet ; 

And either purchase justice by entreats, 

Or tire them all with my revenging threats. [Exi^ 

Enter Isabella and her Maid, 

Isab. So that, you say, this herb, will purge the ey^ 

And this, the head ? — 

Ah ! — ^but none of them will purge the heart 1 

No, there's no medicine left for my disease. 

Nor any physic to recure the dead. 

[She runs lunatic 

Horatio ! O, where 's Horatio ? 
Maid Good madam, affright not thus yourself 

With outrage for your son Horatio : 

He sleeps in quiet in the Elysian fields. , 
Isab. Why, (Ud I not give you gowns and goodly things, 10 

Boug]it you a whistle and a whipstalk too, 

To be revenged on their villanies ? 
E 69 

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ACT in. sc 9. The Spanish Tragedy 

Maid, Madam, these humours do tonnent my souL 
hob. My soul— poor soul I thou talk*st of things — 

Thou know'st not what : my soul hath silver wings, 

That mounts me up unto the highest heavens ; 

To heav'n : ay, there sits my Horatio, 

Back'd with a troop of fiery Cherubins, 

Dancing about his newly healM wounds, 19 

Singing sweet hymns and chanting heav'nly notes : 

Rare harmony to greet his innocence. 

That died, ay died, a mirror in our days. 

But say, where shall I find the men, the murderers. 

That slew Horatio ? Whither shall I run 

To find them out that murdered my son ? \Exeuni. 


BilUmperia at a window* 

Bel, What means this outrage that is offer'd me? 
\ Why am I thus sequester'd firom the court ? 
\ No notice 1 Shall I not know the cause 
^. Of these my secret and suspicious ills ? 
\ AccursM brother, unkind murderer, 
\ Why bend'st thou thus thy mind to martyr me ? 
Hiero^imo, why writ I of thy wrongs, 
Or why art thou so slack in thy revenge ? 
Andrea, O Andrea ! that thou saw'st 
Me for thy friend Horatio handled thus, 10 


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The Spanish Tragedy act in. sc m. 

And him for me thus causeless murderM ! — 
Well, force perforce, I must constrain myself 
To patience, and apply me to the time, 
Till heav'n, as I have hop'd, shall set me free. 

Enter Chrisiophil. 

Chris. Come, madam Bellimperia, this may not be. 


Enter Lorenzo^ Balthazar ^ cmd the Page, 

Lor, Boy, talk no further ; thus far things go well. 
Thou art assured that thou saVst him dead ? 

Page, Or else, my lord, I live not. 

Lor, That *s enough. 

As for his resolution in his end, 
Leave that to him with whom he sojourns now. — 
Here, take my ring and give it Christophil, 
And bid him let my sister be enlarged. 
And bring her hither straight — \Exit Page, 

This that I did was for a policy. 
To smooth and keep the murder secret, lo 

Which, as a nine-days* wonder, being o'erblown. 
My gentle sister will I now enlarge. 

Bal, And time, Lorenzo : for my lord the duke, 
You heaixL enquired for her yester-night. 

Lor, Why,|an(^my lord, I hope you heard me say 

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ACT III. sc sa The Spanish Tragedy 

Sufficient reason why she kept away ; 

But that 's all one. My lord, you love her ? 

BaL Ay. 

Lor, Then in your love beware ; deal cunningly : 
Salve all suspicions, only soothe me up ; 
And if she hap to stand on terms with us — 20 

As for her sweetheart and concealment so — 
Jest with her gently : under feignM jest 
Are things conceal'd that else would breed unrest— 
But here she comes. 

Enter BelUmperia, 

Now, sister ? 

Bel Sister?— No! 

Thou art no brother, but an enemy ; 
Else wouldst thou not have us'd thy sister so : 
First, to affright me with thy weapons drawn. 
And with extremes abuse my company ; 
And then to hurry me, like whirlwind's rage, 
Amidst a crew of thy confederates, 30 

And clap me up, where none might come at me. 
Nor I at any, to reveal my wrongs. 
What madding fury did possess thy wits ? 
Or wherein is 't that I offended thee ? 

Lor, Advise you better, Bellimperia, 

For I have done you no disparagement ; 
Unless, by more discretion than deserv'd, 
I sought to save your honour and mine own. 

BeL Mine honour? why, Lorenzo, wherein is't 

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The Spanish Tragedy act hi. sc n. 

That I neglect my reputation so, 40 

As you, or any, need to rescue it ? 

Lor, His highness and my &ther were resolv'd 
To come confer with old Hieronimo, 
Concerning certain matters of estate, 
That by the viceroy was determine. 

Bel, And wherein was mine honour touch'd in that? 

Bid, Have patience, Bellimperia ; hear the rest 

Lor, Me (next in sight) as messenger they sent. 
To give him notice that they were so nigh : 
Now when I came, consorted with the prince, 50 
And unexpected, in an arbour there, 
Foimd Bellimperia with Horatio— 

BeL How then? 

Lor, Why, then, remembering that old disgrace. 
Which you for Don Andrea had endur'd. 
And now were likely longer to sustain. 
By being found so meanly accompanied, 
Thought rather — ^for I knew no readier mean — 
To thrust Horatip forth my father's way. 

Bid, And carry you obscurely somewhere else, 60 

Lest that his highness should have found you there. 

BeL Ev'n so, my lord ? And you are witness 
That this is true which he entreateth of? 
You, gentle brother, forg'd this for my sake. 
And you, my lord, were made his instrument ? 
A work of worth, worthy the noting too 1 
But what 's the cause that you concealed me since? 

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ACT III. sc M. The Spanish Tragedy 

Lor, Your melancholy, sister, since the news 
Of your first favourite Don Andrea's death, 
My Other's old wrath hath exasperate. 70 

Bal, And better was't for you, being in disgrace^ 
To absent yourself, and give his fury place. 

BeU But why had I no notice of his ire ? 

Lor. That were to add more fuel to your fire, 
Who burnt like iEtna for Andrea's loss. 

Bel, Hath not my father then enquir'd for me ? 

Lor, Sister, he hath, and thus excused I thee. 

\He whisper eth in her ear. 
But, Bellimperia, see the gentle prince ; 
Look on thy love, behold young Balthazar, 
Whose passions by thy presence are increased ; 80 
And in whose melancholy thou may'st see 
Thy hate, his love ; thy flight, his following 

Bel, Brother, you are become an orator — 
I know not, I, by what experience — 
Too politic for me, past all compare. 
Since last I saw you ; but content yourself: 
The prince is meditating higher things. 

Bal, Tis of thy beauty then that conquers kings | 
Of those thy tresses, Ariadne's twines, 
Wherewith my liberty thou hast surpris'd ; 90 

Of that thine ivory front, my sorrow's map, 
Wherein I see no hav'n to rest my hope. 

BeU To love and fear, and both at once, my lord, 

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The Spanish Tragedy act iil sc i 

In my conceit, are things of more import 
Than women's wits are to be busied with. 
Bal, Tis I that love. 


VV UUlil i 



But I that fear. 






Fear yourself? 


Ay, brother. 




As those 
That, what they love, are loath and fear to lose. 

Bal. Then, &ir, let Balthazar your keeper be. loo 

BeL No, Balthazar doth fear as well as we : 

EttremuU metui pmndum junxere timorem — 
Est vanum stolidae prodiHotds opus. 

Lor, Nay, and you argue things so cunningly, 
Well go continue this discourse at court 

BaL Led by the loadstar of her heaVnly looks, 
Wends poor, oppressed Balthazar, 
As o'er the mountains walks the wanderer, 
Incertain to effect his pilgrimage. \ExeunL 


Digitized by VjOOQIC 

ACT III. sc II. The Spanish Tragedy 

Enter two PorHngals^ and Hieronimo meets them. 

I. By your leave, sir. 
Hier. p Tis neither as you thinky nor as you thinky 
Nor as you think j you ^re wide all : 
These slippers are not mine^ they were n^ stm 

My son ! and what's a son t A thing begot 
Within a pair of minutes — thereabout; 
A lump bred up in darkness^ and doth serve 
To ballace these light creatures we call women j 
Andy at nine months end, creeps forth to light. 
What is there yet in a son, lo 

To make a father dote, rave^ or run madf 
Being born^ itpoutSy crieSy and breeds teeth. 
What is there yet in a son f He must befedy 
Be taught to go, and speak. Ayy or yet 
Why might not a man love a calf as well? 
Or melt in passion der a frisking kidy 
As for a son f MethinkSy a young bacon^ 
Or a fine little smooth horse colty 
Should move a man as much as doth a son : 
For one of these y in very little timey 20 

Will grow to some good use; whereas a son^ 
The more he grows in stature and in years y 

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The Spanish Tragedy act iil sc u. 

Tke mon unsguar^d, ut^evelPdy he appears^ 
Reckons Ms parents among the rank of fools y 
Strikes care upon their heads with his mad riots; 
Makes them look old^ before they meet with age. 
This is a son /—And what a loss were this^ 

Considered truly f O, but my Horatio 

Grew out of reach of these insatiate humours : 
He Un/d his loving parents ; 30 

He was my comfort^ and his mothet^sjoyy 
The very arm that did hold up our house : 
Our hopes were stored up in him^ 
Hone but a damned murderer could hate him. 
He had not seen the back of nineteen year^ 
When his strong arm unhorsed 
The proud Prince Balthazar ^ and his great mind^ 
Too full ofhonour^ took him to his mercy — 
That valiant y but ignoble Portingali 
Welly heaven is heaven still / 
And there is Nemesis^ and Furies^ 40 

And things calPd whipSy 
And they sometimes do meet with murderers: 
They do not always ^scapCy that is lome comfort, 
Ayy ayy ay; and then time steals on^ 
Andttealsy and stealSy till violence leaps forth 
Like thunder wrapped in a ball offircy 
And so doth bring confusion to them all] 
Good leave have you : nay, I pray you go, 
For I '11 leave you, if you can leave me so. 50 


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ACT III. sc. II. The Spanish Tragedy 

2. Pray you, which is the next way to my lord the 
Hier. The next way from me. 

1. To his house, we mean. 
Hier. O, hard by : 'tis yon house that you see. 

2. You could not tell us if his son were there ? 
Hier. Who, my Lord Lorenzo ? 

I. Ay, sir. 

[Hegoetk in at one door and conies out at another. 
Hier. O, forbear I 

For other talk for us far fitter were. 
But if you be importunate to know 
The way to him, and where to find him out, 
Then list to me, and I '11 resolve your doubt. 
There is a path upon your left-hand side, 6o 

That leadeth from a guilty conscience 
Unto a forest of distrust and fear — 
A darksome place, and dangerous to pass : 
There shall you meet with melancholy thoughts. 
Whose baleful humours if you but uphold, 
It will conduct you to Despair and Death — 
Whose rocky cliffs when you have once beheld, 
Within a hugy dale of lasting night. 
That, kindled with the world's iniquities, 
Doth cast up filthy and detested fiimes — : 70 

Not far from thence, where murderers have built 
A habitation for their cursM souls. 
There, in a brazen cauldron, fix'd by Jove, 

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The Spanish Tragedy act ui. sc sa. 

In his fell wrath, upon a sulphur flame, 
Yourselves shall find Lorenzo bathing him 
In boiling lead and blood of innocents. 

1. Ha, ha, ha ! 

Hier. Ha, ha, ha ! Why, ha, ha, ha 1 Farewell, good 
ha, ha, ha 1 \Exit 

2. Doubtless this man is passing lunatic. 

Or imperfection of his age doth make him dote. 8o 
Come, let's away to seek my lord the duke. 



Enter Hieronimo^ with a poniard in one hand 
and a rope in the other. 

Hier. Now, sir, perhaps I come and see the king ; 
The king sees me, and fain would hear my suit : 
Why, is not this a strange and seld-seen thing, 
That standers-by with toys should strike me mut^ ?^ 
Go to, I see their shifts, and say no more.— 
Hieronimo, 'tis time for thee to trudge : 
Down by the dale that flows with purple gore, 
Standeth a fiery tower ; there sits a judge 
Upon a seat of steel and molten brass. 
And 'twixt his teeth he holds a fire-brand, lo 

That leads unto the lake where hell doth stand. 
Away, Hieronimo I to him be gone : 

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ACT III. sc It. The Spanish Tragedy 

He'll do thee justice for Horatio's death. 

Turn down this path: thou shalt be with him 

straight ; 
Or this, and then thou need'st not take thy breath : 

This way or that way I Soft and fair, not so : 

For if I hang or kill myself, let 's know 
Who will revenge Horatio's murther then ? 
No, no 1 fie, no ! pardon me, I '11 none of that. 

\He flings away the dagger ofid halter. 
This way I '11 take, and this way comes the king : 20 
\He takes them up again. 
And here 1 11 have a fling at him, that 's flat ; 
And, Balthazar, I '11 be with thee to bring. 
And thee, Lorenzo I Here's the king — ^nay, stay ; 
And here, ay here — ^there goes the hare away. 

Enter King^ Ambassador^ Castile^ and Lorenzo, 

King, Now show, ambassador, what our viceroy saith : 

Hath he receiv'd the articles we sent ? 
Hier, Justice, O, justice to Hieronimo. 
Lor, Back 1 see'st thou not the king is busy ? 
ffier, O, is he so ? 

King, Who is he that interrupts our business ? 
Hier, Not I. Hieronimo, beware ! go by, go by 1 30 
Amb, RenownM King, he hath receiv'd and read 

Thy kingly proffers, and thy promis'd league ; 

And, as a man extremely over-joy'd 

To hear his son so princely entertain'd, 

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The Spanish Tragedy act hi. sc sa. 

Whose death he had so solemnly bewail'd. 

This for thy further satisfaction, 

And kingly love, he kindly lets thee know : 

First, for the marriage of his princely son 

With Bellimperia, thy belovM niece» 

The news are more delightful to his soul, 40 

Than myrrh or incense to the offended heavens. 

In person, therefore, will he come himself, 

To see the marriage rites solenmiz^d, 

And, in the presence of the court of Spain, 

To knit a sure inextricable band 

Of kingly love and everlasting league 

Betwixt the crowns of Spain and PortingaL 

There will he give his crown to Balthazar, 

And make a queen of Bellimperia. 

King, Brother, how like you this our viceroy's love ? 50 

Cast No doubt, my lord, it is an argument 
Of honourable care to keep his friend. 
And wondrous zeal to Balthazar his son ; 
Nor am I least indebted to his grace, 
That bends his liking to my daughter thus. 

Amb, Now last, dread lord, here hath his highness sent 
(Although he send not that his son return) 
His ransom due to Don Horatio. 

Hier. Horatio I who calls Horatio ? 

King, And well remembered : thank his majesty. 60 
Here, see it given to Horatio. 

Hier, Justice, O, justice, justice, gentle king I 

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ACT III. sc n. The Spanish Tragedy 

King. Who is that ? Hieronimo ? 

Hier. Justice, O, justice ! O my son, my son I 

My son, whom naught can ransom or redeem ! 
Lor, Hieronimo, you are not well-advis'd. 
Hier, Away, Lorenzo, hinder me no more ; 

For thou hast made me bankrupt of my bliss. 

Give me my son ! you shall not ransom him 1 
^^way ! I'll rip the bowels of the earth, 70 

.^^^ \He diggeth with his dagger. 

And ferry over to th' Elysian plains, 

And bring my son to show his deadly wounds. 

Stand from about me 1 

I '11 make a pickaxe of my poniard, 
- And here surrender up my marshalship ; 

For I '11 go marshal up the fiends in hell. 

To be avengM on you all for this. 
King. What means this outrage ? 

Will none of you restrain his fury? 
Hier. Nay, soft and fair 1 you shall not need to strive : 80 

For needs must he go that the devils drive. 

King. What accident hath happ'd Hieronimo ? 
I have not seen him to demean him so. 

Lor. My gracious lord, he is with extreme pride, 
Conceiv'd of young Horatio his son — 
And covetous of having to himself 
The ransom of the young prince Balthazar — 
Distract, and in a manner lunatic 

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The Spanish Tragedy act iil sc laA. 

King. Believe me, nephew, we are sorry for 't: 

This is the love that fathers bear their sons. 90 

But, gentle brother, go give to him this gold, 
The prince's ransom ; let him have his due. 
For what he hath, Horatio shall nofw^ ; 
Haply Hieronimo hath need thereof 

Lor. But if he be thus helplessly distract, 
Tis requisite his office be resigned. 
And giv'n to one of more discretion. 

King, We shall increase his melancholy so. 
'Tis best that we see further in it first, 
Till when ourself will hold exempt the place. 100 
And, brother, now bring in the ambassador. 
That he may be a witness of the match 
'Twixt Balthazar and Bellimperia, 
And that we may prefix a certain time. 
Wherein the marriage shall be solemnized, 
That we may have thy lord, the viceroy, here. 

Amb. Therein your highness highly shall content 
His majesty, that longs to hear from hence. 

King. On, dien, and hear you, lord ambassador—^- 



Enter Jaques and Pedro. 

Jaq. / wonder^ Pedro^ why our master thus 

At midnight sends us with our torches lights 

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ACT lu. sc mma. The Spanish Tragedy 

H^Xen man, and bird, and beast, an all at rest. 
Save those that watch for rape and bloody murder, 
Ped. O Jaques, know thou that our master's mind 
Is much distraught, since his Horatio died. 
And— 'now his agld years should sleep in rest. 
His heart in quiet—like a desperate man. 
Crows lunatic and childish for his son. 
Sometimes, as he doth at his table sit, lo 

He speaks as if Horatio stood by him; 
Then starting in a rage, falls on the earth, 
Cries out ^Horatio, where is my Horatio t ' 
So that with extreme grief and cutting sorrow 
There is not left in him one inch of man : 
See, where he comes. 

Enter Hieronimo. 

Hier. ipry through every crevice of each wall. 

Look on each tree, and search through every brake. 
Beat at the bushes, stamp ourgrandam earth. 
Dive in the water, and stare up to heaven : 20 

Yet cannot I behold my son Horatio. — 
How now, who's there f spirits, spirits? 

Ped. fVe are your servants that attend you, sir. 

Hier. WheU make you with your torches in the dark f 

Ped. You bid us light them, and attend you here. 

Hier. No, no,you are deceii/d/ not Is—you are deceit/dl 
Was I so mad to bid you light your torches now f 

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The Spanish Tragedy act hi. sc ssa. 

Light me your torches at the mid ofnoon^ 
IVhen-as the sun-god rides in all his glory j 
Light me your torches then. 

Pcd. Then we bum daylight. 

Hicr. Let it be burnt; Night is a murdrous slut^ 31 
That would not have her treasons to be seen; 
And yonder pale-fad d Hecate there^ the moon^ 
Doth give consent to that is done in darkness; 
And all those stars that gaze upon her/ace^ 
Are aglets on her sleeve^ pins on her train; 
And those that should be powerful and divine^ 
Do sleep in darkness y when they most should shine, 

Pcd. Provoke them not ^f cur sir^ with tempting words: 
The heart/ ns are gracious^ and your miseries 40 

And sorrow makes you speak, you know not what, 

Hier. Villain^ thou liestl and thou dost nought 

But tell me I am mad: thou liest, I am not mad I 

I know thee to be Pedro, and he Jaques. 

I^ II prove it to thee; and were I mctd, how could It 

Where was she that same night. 

When my Horatio was murder' dt 

She should have shone : search thou the book. — Had 

the moon shone. 
In my boy s face there was a kind ofgrace^ 
That I know — nay, I do know — had the murdrer 
seen him, 50 

His weapon would have falPn and cut the earth. 
Had he been framed of naught but blood and death. 
F 85 

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ACT III. sc. zaA. The Spanish Trafi:edy 

Alack / when mischief doth it knows not what^ 
What shall we say to mischief f 

Enter Isabella. 

Isab. Dear Hieronimo^ come in a-doors; 

O, seek not means so to increase thy sorrow. 

Hicr. Indeed^ Isabella, we do nothing here; 
I do not cry : ask Pedro, and askfaques; 
Not I indeed J we are very merry, very merry. 

Isab. How f be merry here, be merry here f 60 

Is not this the place, and this the very tree. 
Where my Horatio died, where he was murdered f 

Hier. Was — do not say what: let her weep it out. 
This was the tree; I set it of a kernel : 
And when our hot Spain could not let itgrow^ 
But that the infant and the human sap 
Began to wither, duly twice a morning 
Would I be sprinkling it with fountain-water. 
At IcLst it grew and grew, and bore and bore^ 
Till at the length 70 

It grew a gallows, and did bear our son : 
It bore thy fruit and mine — wicked, wicked plant i 
[One knocks within at the door. 
See, who knock there. 

Ped. // is a painter, sir. 

Hier. Bid him come in^ and paint some comfort. 

For surely tliere 's none lives but painted comfort. 

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The Spanish Tragedy act hi. sc. zsa. 

Let him come in! — One knows not what may 

CoiPs will that I should set this tree I — but even so 
Masters ungrateful servants rear from nought^ 
And then they hate them that did bring them up. 

Enter the Painter. 

Paint God bless you^ sir, 

Hicr. Wherefore t why ^ thou scornful villain f 

IloWy where^ or by what means should I be bles^dt 8i 

Isab. What wouldst thou have^ good fellow f 

Paint Justice, madam. 

Hier. O ambitious beggar i 

Wouldst thou have that that lives not in the world f 

Why, all the undelved mines cannot buy 

An ounce of justice / 

^Tis a jewel so inestimable. J tell thee. 

Cod hath engrossed all justice in his hands, 

And there is none but what comes from him. 

Paint (7, then I see 

That God must right me for my murdered son. 90 

Hier. How, was thy son murder* df 

Paint Ay, sirs no man did hold a son so dear. 

Hier. WhcU, not as thine f that^s a lie. 
As massy as the earth : I had a son. 
Whose least unvalued hair did weigh 
A thousand of thy sons: and he was murdet^d. 

Paint Alcu^ sir, I had no more but he. 

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ACT III. sc laA. The Spanish Trac:edy 

Hier. Nor /, nor I: but this same one of mine 
Was worth a legion. But all is one, 
Pedro^ Jaques^ go in a-doorsj Isabella^ go^ loo 

And this good fellow here and I 
Will range this hideous orchard up and down^ 
Like to two lions reavld of their young. 
Go in a-doors^ I say, 

[Exeunt The painter and he sits down. 
Come^ let 's talk wisely now. 
Was thy son murdered f 

Paint. Ay^ sir, 

Hier. So was mine. 

How dost take itf art thou not sometimes madt 
Is there no tricks that comes before thine eyes t 

Paint. O Lord^yeSySir, 

Hier. Art a fainter t canst paint me a tear^ or a 
woundy a groan^ or a sigh f canst paint me such a 
tree as this f iii 

Paint. 5/r, / am sure you have heard of my painting : 
my name^s Bazardo. 

Hier. Basardo! afore God, an excellent fellow. Look 
youy sirt do you see^ I^d have you paint me for my 
gallery^ in your oil-colours matted^ and draw me 
five years younger than I am — do ye see^ sir^ let five 
years go; let them go like the marshal of Spain — 
my wife Isabella standing by me^ with a speaking 
look to my son Horatio^ which should intend to this 
or some such-like purpose: *God bless thee^ my 

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The Spanish Tragedy act hi. sc. »a. 

sweet son 'y and my hand leaning upon his head^ 
thus^ sir; do you see f — may it be done t 1 23 

Paint Very well^ sir, 

Hier. Nay^ I pray ^ mark me^ sir: then^ sir^ would 1 
have you paint me this tree^ this very tree* Canst 
paint a doleful cry f 

Paint Seemingly^ sir, 

Hier. Nay^ it should cry; but all is one. Welly sir^ 
{faint me a youth run through and through with 
villain^ swords^ hanging upon this tree. Canst thou 
draw a murderer f 132 

Paint ni warrant you^ sir; I have the pattern of the 
most notorious villains that ever lived in all Spain, 

Hier. O^ let them be worse^ worse: stretch thine art^ 
and let their beards be of Judas his own colour; 
and let their eye-brows jutty over: in any case 
observe that, Then^ sir, after some violent noise, 
bring me forth in my shirt, and my gown under 
mine arm, with my torch in my hand, and my 
sword reared up thus : — and with these words : X41 

' What noise is this t who calls Hieronimo f ' 

May it be done t 

Piunt YecL, sir, 

Hier. Well, sir; then bring me forth, bring me through 
alley and alley, still with a distracted countenance 
going along, and let my hair heave up my night- 
cap. Let the clouds scowl, make the moon dark, 

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ACT III. sc xaA. The Spanish Tragedy 

the stars extinct^ the winds blowings the bells tolUng^ 
the owls shrieking^ the toads croaking^ the minutes 
jarring^ and the clock striking twelve. And then 
at last^ sir^ starting^ behold a man hangings and 
tottering and tottering^ as you know the wind will 
wceve a man, and I with a trice to cut him down. 
And looking upon him by the advantage of my 
torchy find it to be my son Horatio, There you 
may show apassion^ there you may show a passion f 
Draw me like old Priam of Troy, crying: * The 
house is a-fire, the house is a-fire, as the torch over 
my head!* Make me curse^ make me rave^ make 
me cry, make me mad, make me well again, make me 
curse hell, invocate heaven, and in the end leave 
me in a trance — and so forth. 163 

Paint And is this the end f 

Hier. O no, there is no end: the end is death and 
madness/ As I am never better than when I am 
mad: then methinks I am a brave fellow ; then I 
do wonders: but reason abuseth me, and, there* s 
the torment, there* s the hell. At the last, sir, bring 
me to one of the murderers; were he as strong as 
Hector, thus would I tear and drag him up and 
down, 172 

[He beats the painter in, then comes out again, 
with a book in his hand. 


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The Spanish Tragedy act hi. sc. 13. 

Enter Hierommo^ with a book in his hand. 

Vindicta mihi! 

Ay, heaven will be revebg'd of every ill \ 
Nor will they suffer murder unrepaid. 
Then stay, Hieronimo, attend their will : 
For mortal men may not appoint their time ! — 
^Per scelus semper tutum est sceleribus iter^ \ 
Strike, and strike home, where wrong is offered thee ; 
For evils unto ills conductors be, 
And death's the worst of resolution. 
For he that thinks with patffence to contend 10 

To quiet life, his life shall easily end. — 
* Fata si miserosjuvanty habes salutem ; 
Fata si vitam neganty habes sepulchrum ' : 
If destiny thy miseries do ease, 
Then hast thou health, and happy shalt thou be ; 
If destiny deny thee life, Hieronimo, 
Yet shalt thou be assured of a tomb — 2 
If neither, yet let this thy comfort be : 
Heav'n cov'reth him that hath no burial. 
And to conclude, I will revenge his death ! 20 

But how ? not as the vulgar wits of men, 
With open, but inevitable ills. 
As by a secret, yet a certain mean, 
Which under kindship will be cloaked best. 
Wise men will take their opportunity 

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ACT III. sc. 13. The Spanish Tragedy 

Closely and safely, fitting things to time. — 

But in extremes advantage hath no time ; 

And therefore all times fit not for revenge. 

Thus therefore will I rest me in unyest y 

Dissembling quiet in tmquietness, 50 

Not seeming that I know their villanies, 

That my simplicity may make them think. 

That ignorantly I will let all slip ; 

For ignorance, I wot, and well they know, 

Remedium malorum iners est. 

Nor ought avails it me to menace them 

Who, as a wintry storm upon a plain, 

Will bear me down with their nobility. 

No, no, Hieronimo, thou must enjoin 

Thine eyes to observation, and thy tongue 40 

To milder speeches than thy spirit affords. 

Thy heart to patience, and thy hands to rest, 

Thy cap to courtesy, and thy knee to bow, 

Till to revenge thou know, when, where and how. 

\A noise within. 
How now, what noise ? what coil is that you keep? 

Enter a Servant. 

Serv, Here are a sort of poor petitioners. 

That are importunate, and it shall please you, sir, 
That you should plead their cases to the king. 

Hier. That I should plead their several actions? 
Why, let them enter, and let me see them. 

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The Spanish Trafi:edy act iil sc «). 

Enter three Citizens and an Old Man. 

1. So, 50 

I tell you this : for learning and for law, 

There is not any advocate in Spain 

That can prevail, or will take half the pain 

That he will, in pursuit of equity. 
ffier. Come near, you men, that thus importune me.— 

[Aside.] Now must I bear a face of gravity ; 

For thus I us'd, before my marshalship, 

To plead in causes as corregidor. — 

Come on, sirs, what 's the matter? 
2. Sir, an action. 

Bier. Of battery? 

1. Mine of debt 

Ifier. Give place. 60 

2. No, sir, mine is an action of the case. 

3. Mine an ejeciione firmae by a lease. 
Hier. Content you, sirs ; are you determined 

That I should plead your several actions ? 

1. Ay, sir, and here's my declaration. 

2. And here's my band. 

3. And here 's my lease. 

\They give himpapert. 
Hier. But wherefore stands yon silly man so mute, 
With mournful eyes and hands to heav'n uprear'd? 
Come hither, father, let me know thy cause. 
Senex. O worthy sir, my cause, but slightly known, 70 

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ACT III. sc. 13. The Spanish Tragedy 

May move the hearts of warlike Myrmidons, 

And melt the Corsic rocks with ruthful tears. 
Hier, Say, father, tell me what's thy suit? 
Senex, No, sir, could my woes \ 

Give way unto my most distressful words, I 

Then should I not in paper, as you see, 

With ink bewray what blood began in me. | 

Hier. What 's here ? * The humble supplication 

Of Don Bazulto for his murdered son.' 
Senex. Ay, sir. 
Hier. No, sir, it was my murder'd son : 

O my son, my son, O my son Horatio 1 80 

But mine, or thine, Bazulto, be content. 

Here, take my handkercher, and wipe thine eyes, 
.-; Whiles wretched rSn thy mishaps may see 

The lively portrait of my dying self. 

\He draweth out a bloody napkin, 

O no, not this ; Horatio, this was thine ; 

And when I d/d it in thy dearest blood. 

This was a token 'twixt thy soul and me, 

That of thy death revenged I should be. 

But here, take this, and this — what, my purse ? — 

Ay, this, and that, and all of them are thine ; 90 

For all as one are our extremities. 

1. O, see the kindness of Hieronimo I \ 

2. This gentleness shows him a gentleman. 
Hier, See, see, O see thy shame, Hieronimo ; 

See here a loving father to his son ! 

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The Spanish Tragedy act hi. sc >». 

Behold the sorrows and the sad laments, 

That he deliv*reth for his son's decease I 

If love's effects so strive in lesser things, 

If love enforce such moods in meaner wits, 

If love express such power in poor estates : loo 

Hieronimo, when as a raging sea, 

Toss'd with the wind and tide, o'ertumest then 

The upper billows course of waves to keep. 

Whilst lesser waters labour in the deep : 

Then sham's t thou not, Hieronimo, to neglect 

The sweet revenge of thy Horatio ? 

Though on this earth justice will not be foimd, 

I '11 down to hell, and in this passion 

Knock at the dismal gates of Pluto's court. 

Getting by force, as once Alcidcs did, iia 

A troop of Furies and tormenting hags ; 

To torture Don Lorenzo and the rest. 

Yet lest the triple-headed porter should 

Deny my passage to the slimy strand, / 

The Thracian poet thou shalt counterfeit : / 

Come on, old father, be my Orpheus, / 

And if thou canst no notes upon the harp, • 

Then sound the burden of thy sore heart's-grief, 

TiU we do gain that Proserpine may grant 

Revenge on them that murderM my son. 120 

Then will I rent and tear them, thus and thus, 

Shiv'ring their limbs in pieces with my teeth. 

[Tears the papers. 

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ACT III. sc IS. The Spanish Tragedy 

1. O sir, my declaration ! 

[Exii Hierommo^ and they after. 
X Save my bond ! 

Enter Hieroninio. . 

2. Save my bond 1 

3. Alas, my lease ! it cost me ten pound, 
And you my lord, have torn the same. 

Hier. That cannot be, I gave it never a wound ; 
Show me one drop of blood fall from the same : 
How is it possible I should slay it then ? 
Tush, no ; run after, catch me if you can. 130 

\Exeunt all but the Old Man, Bastulto remains 
till Hieronimo enters again^ who^ staring him 
in theface^ speaks. 
ffier. And art thou come, Horatio, from the depth, 
To ask for justice in this upper earth. 
To tell thy father thou art unreveng'd, 
To wring more tears from Isabella's eyes. 
Whose lights are dimmed with over-long laments ? 
Go back, my son, complain to Aeacus, 
For here's no justice ; gentle boy, be gone, 
For justic^isuexilMJEcom the-earth : 
flieronimo will bear thee company. 
Thy mother cries on righteous Rhadamanth 140 
For just revenge against the murderers. 
Senex, Alas, my lord, whence springs this troubled 
speech ? 


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The Spanish Tragedy act hi. sc 13. 

Hier. But let me look on my Horatio. 

Sweet boy, how art thou changed in death's black 

shade I 
Had Proserpine no pity on thy youth, 
But suffered thy fair crimson-colour'd spring ^^^^ 
With withered winter to be blasted thus ? 
Horatio, thou art older than thy father : 
Ah, ruthless fate, that favour thus transforms 1 

Bca, Ah, my good lord, I am not your young son. 150 

Hier, What, not my son ? thou then a Fury art, , 
Sent from the empty kingdom of black night ] 
To summon me to make appearance 
Before grim Minos and just Rhadamanth, 
To plague Hieronimo that is remiss, 
And seeks not vengeance for Horatio's death. 

Beat, I am a grievM man, and not a ghost, 
That came for justice for my murdered son. 

Hier. Ay, now I know thee, now thou nam'st thy son : 
Thou art the lively image of my grief ; 160 

Within thy face, my sorrows I may see. 
Thy eyes are gumm'd with tears, thy cheeks are wan, 
Thy forehead troubled, and thy mutfring lips 
Murmur sad words abruptly broken off; 
By force of windy sighs thy spirit breathes, 
And all this sorrow riseth for thy son : 
And selfsame sorrow feel I for my son. 
Come in, old man, thou shalt to Isabel ; 
Lean on my arm : I thee, thou me, shalt stay, 

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ACT III. sc 14. The Spanish Tragedy 

And thou, and I, and she will sing a song, 170 

Three parts in one, but all of discords fram'd — : 
Talk not of chords, but let us now be gone. 
For with a cord Horatio was slain. [Exeunf, 


Enter King of Spaing the Duke, Viceroy^ and Lorenso^ 
Balthazar, Don Pedro, and Bellimperia, 

King. Go, brother, 'tis the Duke of Castile's cause ; 
Salute the Viceroy in our name. 

Cast. I go. 

Vic. Go forth, Don Pedro, for thy nephew's sake, 
And greet the Duke of Castile. 

Ped. It shall be so. 

King. And now to meet these Portuguese : 

For as we now are, so sometimes were these, 
Kings and commanders of the western Indies. 
Welcome, brave Viceroy, to the court of Spain, 
And welcome all his honourable train 1 
*Tis not unknown to us for why you come, to 

Or have so kingly cross'd the seas : 
Sufficeth it, in this we note the troth 
And more than common love you lend to us. 
So is it that mine honourable niece 
(For it beseems us now that it be known) 

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The Spanish Tragedy act hi. sc 14. 

Already is betroth'd to Balthazar : 

And by appointment and our condescent 

To-morrow are they to be married. 

To this intent we entertain thyself, 

Thy followers, their pleasure, and our peace. ao 

Speak, men of Portingal, shsill it be so ? 

If ay, say so; if not, say flatly no. 
Vtc. Renowmfed King, I come not, as thou think'st, 

With doubtful followers, imresolvfed men. 

But such as have upon thine articles 

Confirmed thy motion, and contented me. 

Know, sovereign, I come to solemnize 

The marriage of thy beloved niece, 

Fair Bellimperia, with my Balthazar, 

With thee, my son ; whom sith I live to see, 30 

Here take my crown, I give it her and thee ; 

And let me live a solitary life, 

In ceaseless prayers. 

To think how strangely heav'n hath thee preserved. 
JCtng. See, brother, see, how nature strives in him 1 

Come, worthy Viceroy, and accompany 

Thy friend with thine extremities : 

A place more private fits this princely mood. 
Vic. Or here, or where your highness thinks it good. 

[Exeunt all but Castile and Lorenzo^ 


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ACT III. sc. IS. The Spanish Tragedy 

Castile^ Lorenso. 

Cast Nay, stay, Lorenzo, let me talk with you. 
See'st thou this entertainment of these kings ? 

Lor, I do, my lord, and joy to see the same. 

Cast And knoVst thou why this meeting is ? 

Lor. For her, my lord, whom Balthazar doth love, 
And to confirm their promised marrikge. 

Cast She is thy sister ? 

Lor. Who, Bellimperia ? ay, 

My gracious lerd, and this is the day, 
That I have long'd so happily to see. 

Cast Thou wouldst be loath that any fault of thine lo 
intercept her in her happiness ? 
^' x.c/?-.i*ieav'M will not let Lorenzo err so much. 
/ CastV7\sfmexi^ Lorenzo, listen to my words : 
It is suspected, and reported too, 
That thou, Lorenzo, wrongest Hieronimo, 
And in his suits towards his majesty 
Still keep'st him back, and seek'st to cross his suit. 

Lor. That I, my lord ? 

Cast I tell diee, son, myself have heard it said, 

When (to my sorrow) I have been asham'd 20 

To answer for thee, Uiough thou art my son. 
Lorenzo, know'st thou hot the common love 
And kindness that Hieronimo hath won 

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The Spanish Tragedy act in. sc 15. 

By his deserts within the court of Spain ? 

Or see'st thou not the king my brother's care 

In his behalf, and to procure his health ? 

Lorenzo, shouldst thou thwart his passions. 

And he exclaim against thee to the king, 

What honour were 't in this assembly, 

Or what a scandal were 't among the kings 30 

To hear Hieronimo exclaim on thee ? 

Tell me — and look thou tell me truly too— 

Whence grows the ground of this report in court ? 
Lor^ My lord, it lies not in Lorenzo's power 

To stop the vulgar, liberal of their tongues : 

A small advantage makes a water-breach. 

And no man lives that long contenteth all. 
CasU Myself have seen thee busy to keep back 

Him and his supplications from the king. 
Lor^ Yourself, my lord, hath seen his passions, 40 

That ill beseem'd the presence of a king : 

And for I pitied him in his distress, 

I held him thence with kind and courteous words, 

As free from malice to Hieronimo 

As to my soul, my lord. 
Ciist Hieronimo, my son, mistakes thee then. 
Lor. My gracious father, believe me, so he doth. 

But what's a silly man, distract in mind 

To think upon the murder of his son ? 

Alas I how easy is it for him to err ! 50 

But for his satisfaction and the world's, 
G loi 

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ACT in. sc IS. The Spanish Tragedy 

Twere good, my lord, that Hieronimo and I 
Were reconciPd, if he misconster me. 
Cast Lorenzo, thou hast said ; it shall be so. 
Go one of you, and call Hieronimo. 

Enter Balthazar and Bellimperia. 

Bai, Come, Bellimperia, Balthazar's content, 
My sorrow's ease and sovereign of my bliss, 
Sith heaven hath ordain'd thee to be mine : 
Disperse those clouds and melancholy looks, 
And clear them up with those thy sun-bright eyes, 
Wherein my hope and heaven's fair beauty lies. 6i 

BeL My looks, my lord, are fitting for my love. 
Which, new-begun, can show no brighter yet 

BaL New-kindled flames should bum as morning sun. 

BeL But not too fast, lest heat and all be done. 
I see my lord my father. 

Bal. Truce, my love ; 

I '11 go salute him. 

Cast, Welcome, Balthazar, 

Welcome, brave prince, the pledge of Castile's 

peace 1 
And welcome, Bellimperia ! — How now, girl ? 
Why com'st thou sadly to salute us thus ? 70 

Content thyself for I am satisfied : 
It is not now as when Andrea liv'd ; 
We have forgotten and forgiven that, 

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The Spanish Tragedy act hi. sc. is. 

And thou art gracM with a happier love. — 
But, Balthazar, here comes Hieronimo ; 
I '11 have a word with him. 

Enter Hieronimo and a Servant 

Hier, And where 's the duke ? 

Serv, Yonder. 

Hier, Ev'n so. — 

What new device have they devised, trow? 
^^^^S^M^^^ ^ mild as the lamb 1 

Is't I will be revenged ? No, I am not the man. — 80 
Cast. Welcome, Hieronimo. 
Lor. Welcome, Hieronimo. 
Bal. Welcome, Hieronimo. 
Hier. My lords, I thank you for Horatio. 
Cast. Hieronimo, the reason that I sent 

To speak with you, is this. 
Hier. What, so short ? 

Then I *11 be gone, I thank you for't. 
Cast Nay, stay, Hieronimo ! — go call him, son. 
ILor. Hieronimo, my father craves a word with you. 
Hier. With me, sir? why, my lord, I thought you had 
done. 90 

Lor. No ; [Aside"] would he had I 
C€ut. Hieronimo, I hear 

You find yourself aggrievM at my son, 

Because you have not access unto the king ; 

And say 'tis he that intercepts your suits. 

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ACT III. sc 15. The Spanish Tragedy 

Hier. Why, is not this a miserable thing, my lord? 
Cast Hieronimo, I hope you have no cause. 
And would be loath that one of your deserts 
Should once have reason to suspect my son, 
Consid'ring how I think of you myself. 
Hier, Your son Lorenzo I whom, my noble lord? lOo 
The hope of Spain, mine honourable friend ? 
Grant me the combat of them, if they dare : 

[Draws out his sword. 
I '11 meet him fjace to face, to tell me so ! 
! These be the scandalous reports of such 
i As love not me, and hate my lord too much : 
> Should I suspect Lorenzo would prevent 
\i Or cross my suit, that lov'd my son so well ? 
My lord, I am asham'd it should be said. 
Lor* Hieronimo, I never gave you cause. 
Hier. My good lord, I know you did not. 
Ccat There then pause ; 

And for the satisfaction of the world, 1 1 1 

Hieronimo, frequent my homely house, 
The Duke of Castile, Cyprian's ancient seat ; 
And when thou wilt, use me, my son, and it : 
But here, before Prince Balthazar and me. 
Embrace each other, and be perfect friends. 
Hier. Ay, marry, my lord, and shaU. 

Friends, quoth he ? see, I '11 be friends with you all : 
Especially with you, my lovely lord ; 
For divers causes it is fit for us i2o 


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The Spanish Trasredy act iil sc s6. 

That we be friends : the world 's suspicious, 

And men may think what we imagine not 
Bal. Why, this is friendly done, Hieronimo. 
Zjot. And that I hope : old grudges are forgot ? 
Hier, What else ? it were a shame it should not be so. 
Cast. Come on, Hieronimo, at my request ; 

Let us entreat your company to-day. [Exeunt 

Hier. Your lordship's to conunand. — Pah I keep your 

Cki mifapiii carezze che non suole^ 

Tradito miha^o tradir mi vuole, 130 


Enter Ghost and Revenge* 

Ghost, Awake, Erichtho I Cerberus, awake t 

Solicit Pluto, gentle Proserpine 1 

To combat, Acheron and Erebus I 

For ne'er, by Styx and Phlegethon in hell, 

O'er-ferried Charon to the fiery lakes 

Such fearful sights, as poor Andrea sees. 

Revenge, awake ! 
Revenge. Awake? for why? 

Ghost. Awake, Revenge ; for thou art ill-advis'd 

To sleep— awake ! what, thou art wam'd to watch I 
Revenge, Content thyself, and do not trouble me. 10 

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ACT III. sc. 16. The Spanish Tragedy 

Ghost Awake, Revenge, if love — as love hath had — 
Have yet the power or prevalence in hell I 
Hieronimo with Lorenzo is join'd in league, 
And intercepts our passage to revenge : 
Awake, Revenge, or we are woe-begone I 

Revenge. Thus worldlings ground, what they have 
dream'd, upon. 
Content thyself, Andrea : though I sleep, 
Yet is my mood soliciting their souls. 
Sufficeth thee that poor Hieronimo 
Cannot forget his son Horatio. 20 

Nor dies Revenge, although he sleep awhile ; 
For in unquiet quietness is feign'd. 
And slumbering is a common worldly wile. — 
Behold, Andrea, for an instance, how 
Revenge hath slept, and then imagine thou. 
What 'tis to be subject to destiny. 

Enter a Dumb-Show. 


Ghost Awake, Revenge ; reveal this mystery. 
Revenge, Lo ! the two first the nuptial torches bore 
As brightly burning as the mid-day*s sun ; 
But after them doth Hymen hie as fast, 30 

Clothed in sable and a saflfron robe. 
And blows them out, and quencheth them with 

As discontent that things continue so. 

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The Spanish Tragedy act in. sc 16. 

GhosL Sufficethme; thy meaning's understood, 
And thanks to thee and those infernal powers, 
That will not tolerate a lover's woe. — 
Rest thee, for I will sit to see the rest 

Revenge, Then argue not, for thou hast thy request 



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ACT IV. sc. I. The Spanish Tragedy 



Enter Bellimperia and Hiercnimo, 

Bel, Is this the love thou bear'st Horatio ? 

Is this the kindness that thou counterfeit'st? 
Are these the fruits of thine incessant tears? 
Hieronimo, are these thy passions, 
Thy protestations and thy deep laments. 
That thou wert wont to weary men withal ? 
O unkind father I O deceitful world ! 
With what excuses canst thou show thjrself 
From this dishonour and the hate of men ? 
Thus to neglect the loss and life of him lo 

Whom both my letters and thine own belief 
Assures thee to be causeless slaughter^ 1 
Hieronimo, for shame, Hieronimo, 
Be not a history to after-times 
Of such ingratitude unto thy son : 
Unhappy mothers of such children then. 
But monstrous fathers to forget so soon 
The death of those, whom they with care and cost 
Have tendered so, thus careless should be lost 

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The Spanish Tragedy act iv. sc i. 

Myself, a stranger in respect of thee, 20 

So lov'd his life, as still I wish their deaths. 
Nor shall his death be unreveng'd by me. 
Although I bear it out for fashion's sake : 
For here I swear, in sight of heav'n and earth, 
Shouldst thou neglect the love thou shouldst retain, 
And give it over, and devise no more, 
Myself should send their hateful souls to hell. 
That wrought his downfall with extremest death. 

Hier. But may it be that Bellimperia 

Vows such revenge as she hath deign'd to say ? 30 

Why, then I see that heav'n applies our drift, 

And all the saints do sit soliciting 

For vengeance on those cursM murtherers. 

Madam, 'tis true, and now I find it so : 

I found a letter, written in your name. 

And in that letter, how Horatio died. 

Pardon, O pardon, Bellimperia, 

My fear and care in not believing it ; 

Nor think I thoughtless think upon a mean 

To let his death be unreveng'd at full 40 

And here I vow — so you but give consent, 

And will conceal my resolution — : 

I will ere long determine of their deaths 

That causeless thus have murderM my son. 

BeL Hieronimo, I will consent, conceal, 

And ought that may effect for thine avail. 
Join with thee to revenge Horatio's death. 

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ACT IV. sc s. The Spanish Tragedy 

Hier, On, then ; and whatsoever I devise, 
Let me entreat you, grace my practices, 
For why the plot's already in mine head. 50 

Here they are. 

Enter Balthazar and Lorenzo* 

BaL ' How now, Hieronimo ? 

What, courting Bellimperia ? 
Hier. Ay, my lord ; 

Such courting as (I promise you) : 

She hath my heart, but you, my lord, have hers. 
Lor. But now, Hieronimo, or never, 

We are to entreat your help. 
Hier. My help? 

Why, my good lords, assure yourselves of me ; 

For you have giv'n me cause — : 

Ay, by my faith have you ! 
Bal, It pleased you. 

At the entertainment of the ambassador, 60 

To grace the king so much as with a show. 

Now, were your study so well furnished. 

As for the passing of the first night's sport 

To entertain my father with the like, 

Or any such-like pleasing motion, 

Assure yourself, it would content them well 
Hier. Is this all? 
BaL Ay, this is alL 

Hier. Why then, 1 11 fit you ; say no more, 

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The Spanish Tragedy act iv. sc i. 

When I was young, I gave my mind 
And plied myself to fruitless poetry ; 70 

Which though it profit the professor naught, 
Yet is it passing pleasing to the world. 

Lor, And how for that ? 

Hier, Marry, my good lord, thus : 

(And yet, methinks, you are too quick with us) — : 
When in Toledo there I studied. 
It was my chance to write a tragedy : 
See here, my lords — \He shows them a book. 

Which, long forgot, I found this other day. 
Now would your lordships favour me so much 
As but to grace me with your acting it — 80 

I mean each one of you to play a part — 
Assure you it will prove most passing strange, 
And wondrous plausible to that assembly. 

Bed, What, would you have us play a tragedy ? 

Hier, Why, Nero thought it no disparagement, 
And kings and emperors have ta'en delight 
To make experience of their wits in plays. 

Lor, Nay, be not angry, good Hieronimo ; 
The prince but ask'd a question. 

BcU, In faith, Hieronimo, and you be in earnest, 90 
I 'U make one. 

Lor, And I another. 

Hier, Now, my good lord, could you entreat 
Your sister Bellimperia to make one ? 
For what's a play without a woman in 

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ACT IV. sc f. The Spanish Tragedy 

BeL Little entreaty shall serve me, Hieronimo ; 
For I must needs be employed in your play. 

Hier. Why, this is well : I tell you, lordings, 
It was determined to have been acted, 
By gentlemen and scholars too, 
Such as could tell what to speak. 

Bal, And now lOO 

It shall be play*d by princes and courtiers, 
Such as can tell how to speak : 
If, as it is our country manner, 
You will but let us know the argument. 

Hier. That shall I roundly. The chronicles of Spain 
Record this written of a knight of Rhodes : 
He was betroth'd, and wedded at the length, 
To one Perseda, an Italian dame, 
Whose beauty ravished all that her beheld. 
Especially the soul of Soliman, no 

Who at the marriage was the chiefest guest 
By sundry means sought Soliman to win 
Perseda's love, andpeic^ not gain the same. 
Then 'gan he/brea^>is passions to a friend, 
^ One of his basfaa^, whom he held full dear ; 
Her had this bashaw long solicited, 
And saw she was not otherwise to be won. 
But by her husband's death, this knight of Rhodes, 
Whom presently by treachery he slew. 
She, stirr'd with an exceeding hate therefore, 120 
As cause of this slew Soliman, 

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The Spanish Tragedy act iv. sc. i. 

And, to escape the bashaw's tyranny, 

Did stab herself: and this the tragedy. 
Lor, O excellent ! 
BeU But say, Hieronimo, what then became 

Of him that was the bashaw? 
Hier. Marry, thus : 

Mov'd with remorse of his misdeeds, 

Ran to a mountain-top, and hung himself. 
BaL But which of us is to perform that part ? 
Hier. O, that will I, my lords ; make no doubt of it : 

1 11 play the murderer, I warrant you ; 131 

For I already have conceited that 
Bal. And what shall I ? 
Hier. Great Soliman, the Turkish emperor. 
Lor. And I? 

Hier. Erastus, the knight of Rhodes. 

Bel. And I? 
Hier. Perseda, chaste and resolute. — 

And here, my lords, are several abstracts drawn, 

For each of you to note your parts. 

And act it, as occasion's ofTer'd you. 

You must provide a Turkish cap, 140 

A black mustachio and a falchion ; 

\Gives a paper to Balthazar, 

You with a cross, like to a knight of Rhodes ; 

[Gives another to Lorenzo. 

And, madam, you must attire yourself 

[Hegiveth Bellimperia another. 

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ACT IV. sc 1. The Spanish Tragedy 

Like Phoebe, Flora, or the hunteress, 

Which to your discretion shall seem best. 

And as for me, my lords, I '11 look to one. 

And, with the ransom that the viceroy sent, 

So furnish and perform this tragedy. 

As all the world shall say, Hieronimo 

Was liberal in gracing of it so. 150 

Bal, Hieronimo, methinks a comedy were better. 
Hier. A comedy ? 

Fie ! comedies are fit for common wits : 

But to present a kingly troop withal, 

Give me a stately-written tragedy ; 

Tragosdia cothumata^ fitting kings. 

Containing matter, and not common things. 

My lords, all this must be performed, 

As fitting for the first night's revelling. 

The Italian tragedians were so sharp of wit, 160 

That in one hour's meditation 

They would perform anything in action. 
Lor. And well it may ; for I have seen the like 

In Paris 'mongst the French tragedians. 
Hier, In Paris ? mass ! and well remember^ I 

There's one thing more that rests for us to da 
Bal, What's that, Hieronimo? forget not anything. 
Hier, Each one of us 

Must act his part in unknown languages, 

That it may breed the more variety : 170 

As you, my lord, in Latin, I in Greek, 

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The Spanish Tragedy act iv. sc i. 

You in Italian, and for because I know 
That Bellimperia hath practised the French, 
In courtly French shall all her phrases be. 

BeL You mean to try my cunning then, Hieronimo ? 

BaL But this will be a mere confusion, 
And hardly shall we all be understood. 

Hier. It must be so ; for the conclusion 

Shall prove the invention and all was good : 

And I myself in an oration, i8o 

And with a strange and wondrous show besides. 

That I will have there behind a curtain. 

Assure yourself, shall make the matter known : 

And all shall be concluded in one scene, 

For there 's no pleasure ta'en in tediousness. 

Bal, How like you this ? 

Lor, Why, thus my lord : 

We must resolve to soothe his humours up. 

Bed, On then, Hieronimo ; ferewell till soon. 

Hier, You'll ply this gear? 

Lor. I warrant you. 

\Exeunt all but Hieronimo. 

Hier, Why so : 

Now shall I see the fall of Babylon, 190 

Wrought by the heavens in this confusion. 
And if the world like not this tragedy, 
Hard is the hap of old Hieronimo. \ExiU 


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ACT IV. sc s. The Spanish Tragedy 

Enter Isabella with a weapon, 

Jsab, Tell me no more ! — O monstrous homicides ! 
Since neither piety nor pity moves 
The king to justice or compassion, 
I will revenge myself upon this place, 
Where thus they murder'd my belovM son. 

[She cuts down the arbour. 
Down with these branches and these loathsome 

Of this unfortunate and fatal pine : 
Down with them, Isabella ; rent them up, 
And bum the roots from whence the rest is sprang. 
I will not leave a root, a stalk, a tree, lo 

A bough, a branch, a blossom, nor a leaf^ 
No, not an herb within this garden-plot — : 
Accursed complot of my misery ! 
Fruitless for ever may this garden be, 
Barren the earth, and blissless whosoe'er 
Imagines not to keep it unmanur'd I 
An eastern wind, commix'd with noisome airs. 
Shall blast the plants and the young saplings ; 
The earth with serpents shall be pestered. 
And passengers, for fear to be infect, ao 

Shall stand aloof, and, looking at it, tell : 

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The Spanish Tragedy act iv. sc p 

' There, murder'd, died the son of Isabel.' 

Ay, here he died, and here I him embrace : 

See, where his ghost solicits, with his wounds, 

Revenge on her that should revenge his death. 

Hieronimo, make haste to see thy son ; 

For sorrow and despair hath cited me 

To hear Horatio plead with Rhadamanth : 

Make haste, Hieronimo, to hold excus'd 

Thy negligence in pursuit of their deaths 5a 

Whose hateful wrath bereav'd him of his breath. — 

Ah, nay, thou dost delay their deaths, 

Forgiv'st the murd'rers of thy noble son. 

And none but I bestir me — to no end ! 

And as I curse this tree from further fruit, 

So shall my womb be cursed for his sake ; 

And with this weapon will I wound the breast, 

The hapless breast, that gave Horatio suck. 

[SAe stabs herself. 


Enter Hieronimo; he knocks up the curtain. 
Enter the Duke of Castile. 

Cast, How now, Hieronimo, where 's your fellows, 

That you take all this pain ? 
Hier. O sir, it is for the author's credit, 
H 117 

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ACT IV. sc J. The Spanish Tragedy 

To look that all things may go welL 
But, good my lord, let me entreat your grace, 
To give the king the copy of the play : 
This is the argument of what we show. 

Ccist. I will| Hieronimo. 

Hier. One thing more, my good lord. 

CasU What's that? 

Hier, Let me entreat your grace 

That, when the train are pass'd into the gallery, lo 
You would vouchsafe to throw me down the key. 

Cctst, I will, Hieronimo. {Exit Castile. 

Hier. What, are you ready, Balthazar? 

Bring a chair and a cushion for the king. 

Enter Balthazar^ with a chair. 

Well done, Balthazar 1 hang up the title : 
i yj : Our scene is Rhodes ;— what, is your beard on ? 
^ / ' Bal, Half on ; the other is in my hand. 
^^ ; Hier. Despatch for shame ; are you so long ? 
^' [Exit Balthazar. 

Bethink thyself, Hieronimo, 
Recall thy wits, recount thy former wrongs 
Thou hast receiv'd by murder of thy son, ao 

And lastly — ^not least 1 — ^how Isabel 
Once his mother and thy dearest wife. 
All woe-begone for him, hath slain herself. 
Behoves thee then, Hieronimo, to be revenged t 

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The Spanish Tragedy act iv. sc. 4. 

The plot is laid of dire revenge : 

On, then, Hieronimo, pursue revenge ; 

For nothing wants but acting of revenge 1 

[Exit Hieronimo, 


Enter Spanish Kingy Viceroy^ the Duke of Castile^ 
and their train. 

King. Now, Viceroy, shall we see the tragedy 
Of Soliman, the Turkish emperor, 
Performed — of pleasure — by your son the prince, 
My nephew Don Lorenzo, and my niece. 
Vic, Who? Bellimperia? 

King, Ay, and Hieronimo, our marshal, 

At whose request they deign to do't themselves : 
These be our pastimes in the court of Spain. 
Here, brother, you shall be the bookkeeper : 
This is the argument of that they show. 

\Hegiveth him a book. 

Gentlemen^ this play of Hieronimo^ in sundry 

languages^ was thought good to be set down in 

English more largely^ for the easier understa$iding 

to every public reader. 

Enter Balthazar, Bellimperia, and Hieronimo. 

Bal. Bashaw^ that Rhodes is ours^ yield heavens the 
honour^ 10 


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ACT IV. sc 4. The Spanish Tragedy 

And holy Mahomet^ our sacred prophet / 
And be thou gradd with every excellence 
That Soliman can give, or thou desire. 
But thy desert in conquering Rhodes is less 
Than in reserving this fair Christian nymph^ 
Perseda^ blissful lamp of excellence^ 
Whose eyes compel^ like powerful adamant^ 
The warlike heart of Soliman to wait. 

King, See, Viceroy, that is Balthazar, your son, 

That represents the emperor Soliman : 20 

How well he acts his amorous passion I 

Vic, Ay, Bellimperia hath taught him that 

Cast, That 's because his mind runs all on Bellimperia. 

Hier. Whatever joy earth yields^ betide your majesty. 

Bal. Earth yields no joy without Persedds love* 

Hier. Let then Perseda en your grace attend. 

Bal. She shall not wait on me^ but I on her : 
Drawn by the influence of her lights ^ I yield. 
But let myfriendy the Rhodian knight^ comeforth^ 
ErastOy dearer than my life to me, 30 

That he may see Perseda^ my belox/d 

Enter Erasto, 

King. Here comes Lorenzo : look upon the plot, 

And tell me, brother, what part plays he? 
BeL Ahy my Erasto^ welcome to Perseda. 
Lor. Thrice happy is Erasto that thou Ui/st; 

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The Spanish Tragedy act iv. sc 4. 

Rkode^ loss is nothing to Erastdsjoy : 
Sitk his Perseda lives^is life survives, 

BaL Ah^ bashaw^ here is love between Erasto 
And fair Perseda^ sovereign of my soul, 

Hier. Remove Erasto^ mighty Soliman^ 40 

And then Perseda will be quickly won. 

BaL Erasto is my friend; and while he liveSy 
Perseda never will remove her love, 

Hier. Let not Erasto live to grieve great Soliman, 

BaL Dear is Erasto in our princely eye, 

Hier. But if he be your rivals let him die, 

BaL Why, let him die! — so love commandeth me. 
Yet grieve I that Erasto should so die. 

Hier. Erasto, Soliman saluteth thee, 

And lets thee wit by me his highnes^ will, 50 

Which is, thou shouldst be thus employ d. 

[Stabs him. 

BeL Ay me/ 

Erasto/ see, Soliman, Erasto 's slain/ 

BaL Vet liveth Soliman to comfort thee. 
Fair queen of beauty, let not favour die. 
But with a gracious eye behold his grief. 
That with Persedds beauty is increased. 
If by Perseda his grief be not reUa^d, 

BeL Tyrant, desist soliciting vain suits ; 
Relentless are mine ears to thy latfunts. 
As thy butcher is pitiless and base, 60 

Which seised on my Erasto, harmless knight. 

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ACT IV. sc 4. The Spanish Tragedy 

Yet by thy power thou thinkest to command^ 

And to thy power Perseda doth obey : 

Buty were she dble^ thus she would revenge 

Thy treacheries on thee^ ignoble prince : [Stabs him. 

And on herself she would be thus reven^d. 

[Stabs herself. 

King, Well said ! — Old marshal, this was bravely done I 

Hier, But Bellimperia plays Perseda well ! 

Vic, Were this in earnest, Bellimperia, 

You would be better to my son than so. 70 

King, But now what follows for Hieronimo ? 

Hier. Marry, this follows for Hieronimo : 
Here break we off our simdry languages, 
And thus conclude I in our vulgar tongue. 
Haply you think— but bootless are your thoughts — 
That this is fabulously counterfeit. 
And that we do as all tragedians do : 
To die to-day (for fashioning our scene) 
The death of Ajax or some Roman peer, 
And in a minute starting up again, 80 

Revive to please to-morrow's audience. 
No, princes ; know I am Hieronimo, 
The hopeless father of a hapless son. 
Whose tongue is ttm'd to tell his latest tale, 
Not to excuse gross errors in the play. 
I see, your looks urge instance of these words ; 
Behold the reason urging me to this : 

[Shows his dead son. 

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The Spanish Tragedy act iv. sc 4. 

See here my show, look on this spectacle : 
Here lay my hope, and here my hope hath end ; 
. Here lay my heart, and here my heart was slain ; 
Here lay my treasure, here my treasure lost ; 91 
Here lay my hliss, and here my bliss bereft : 
But hope, heart, treasure, joy, and bliss. 
All fled, faiPd, died, yea, all decay'd with this. 
From forth these wounds came breath that gave me 

They murder'd me that made these fatal marks. 
The cause was love, whence grew this mortal hate ; 
The hate : Lorenzo and young Balthazar ; 
The love : my son to Bellimperia. 
But night, the coVrer of accursed crimes, 100 

With pitchy silence hush'd these traitors' harms, 
And lent them leave, for they had sorted leisure 
To take advantage in my garden-plot 
Upon my son, my dear Horatio : 
There merciless they butcher'd up my boy. 
In black, dark night, to pale, dim, cruel death. 
He shridcs : I heard (and yet, methinks, I hear) 
His dismal outcry echo in the air. 
With soonest speed I hasted to the noise, 
Where hanging on a tree I found my son, no 

Through-girt with wounds, and slaughtered as you 

And grieved I, think you, at this spectacle? 
Speak, Portuguese, whose loss resembles mine : 

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ACT IV. sc 4. The Spanish Tragedy 

If thou canst weep upon thy Balthazar, 
'Tis like I wail'd for my Horatio. 
And you, my lord, whose reconciled son 
March'd in a net, and thought himself unseen, 
And rated me for brainsick lunacy. 
With ' God amend that mad Hieronimo ! ' — 
How can you brook our play's catastrophe ? lao 
And here behold this bloody hand-kercher, 
t Which at Horatio's death I weeping dipp'd 
Within the river of his bleeding wounds : 
It as propitious, see, I have reserved. 
And never hath it left my bloody heart. 
Soliciting remembrance of my vow 
With these, O, these accursM murderers : 
Which now performed my heart is satisfied. 
And to this end the bashaw I became 
That might revenge me on Lorenzo's life, 130 

Who therefore was appointed to the part. 
And was to represent the knight of Rhodes, 
That I might kill him more conveniently. 
So, Viceroy, was this Balthazar, thy son. 
That Soliman which Bellimperia, 
In person of Perseda, murderM : 
Solely appointed to that tragic part 
That she might slay him that offended her. 
Poor Bellimperia miss'd her part in this : 
Flor though the story saith she should have died, 
VWt I of kindness, and of care to her, 141 


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The Spanish Tragedy act iv. sa 4. 

Did otherwise determine of her end ; 

But love of him whom they did hate too much 

Did urge her resolution to be such. — 

And, princes, now behold Hieronimo, 

Author and actor in this tragedy, 

Bearing his latest fortune in his fist ; 

And will as resolute conclude his part. 

As any of the actors gone before. 

And, gentles, thus I end my play ; 150 

Urge no more words : I have no more to say. 

[He runs to hang himself. 
King. O hearken, Viceroy 1 Hold, Hieronimo I 

Brother, my nephew and thy son are slain I 
Vic. We are betrayed ; my Balthazar is slain I 

Break ope the doors ; run, save Hieronimo. 

\They break in and hold Hieronimo. 

Do but inform the king of these events ; 

Upon mine honour, thou shalt have no harm. 
Hier. Viceroy, I will not trust thee with my life, 

Which I Uiis day have offered to my son. 

Accursed wretch I 160 

Why stay*st thou him that was resolv'd to die? 
King. Speak, traitor \ damned, bloody murd'rer, speak I 

For now I have thee, I will make thee speak. 

Why hast thou done this undeserving deed ? 
Vic. Why hast thou murdered my Balthazar ? 
Cast. Why hast thou butcher'd both my children thus? 

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ACT IV. sc. 4. The Spanish Tragedy 

Hier. [But are you sure th^ are deadf 

Cast Ay^ slave^ too sure, 

Hier. What^ and yours toot 

Vic. Ay, all are dead; not one of them survive. 

Hier. Nay^ then I care noij come^ and we shdll be friends j 
Let us lay our heads together : 171 

See, here's a goodly noose will hold them alL 

Vic O damned devily how secure he is I 

Hier. Secure? why, dost thou wonder at itf 

I tellthee^ Viceroy y this day I have seen revenge. 

And in that sight am grown a prouder monarch. 

Than ever sat under the crown of Spain. 

Had I as many lives as there be stars. 

As many heai/ns to go to, as those lives, 

Pdgive them all, ay, and my soul to boot, 180 

But I would see thee ride in this red pool J\ 

O, good words 1 

As dear to me was my Horatio, 

As yours, or yours, or yours, my lord, to you. 

My guiltless son was by Lorenzo slain, 

And by Lorenzo and that Balthazar 

Am I at last revenged thoroughly, 

Upon whose souls may heav'ns be yet aveng'd 

With greater far than these afflictions. 

Cast, But who were thy confederates in this? 190 

Vic. That was thy daughter Bellimperia ; 
For by her hand my Balthazar was slain : 
I saw her stab him. 


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The Spanish Trag:edy act iv. sc. 4. 

King, Why speak'st thou not ? ^ 

Hier, What lesser liberty can kings afford 

Than harmless silence ? then afford it me. 

Su£ficeth, I may not, nor I will not tell thee. 
King. Fetch forth the tortures : traitor as thou art, 

I '11 make thee tell. 
1 Instead of IL 193 (second half: ' Why speak'st thou not') to 
204, the Qq. from 1602 onwards have the following passage (thejr 
have also put 11. 190-193, first half, before 1. 182) : 

[Hier.] Meihinks, since I grew inward with revenge^ 
I cannot look with scorn enough on death. 

King. Whaty dost thou mock us, slave f bring tortures forth, 

Hier. Do, do, do: and meantime I* II torture you. 
You had a son, as I take it; and your son 
Should ha* been married to your daughter: 
Ha, was it not so f— You had a son too. 
He was my liege's nephew ; lie was proud 
And politic ; had he liv*d, he might have come 
To wear the crown of Spain (/ think 'twas so) — •• xo 

• Twas I that kilVd him ; look you, this same hand, 
*Twas it that stabb'd his heart — do ye see this handf 
For one Horatio, if you ever knew him : a youth, 
One that they hanged up in his father' s garden ; 
One that did force your valiant son to yield. 
While your more valiant son did take him prisoner, 

Vic. Be deaf, my senses; I can hear no more. 

King. Fall, heat/n, and ewer us with thy sad ruins. 

Cast Roll all the world within thy pitchy cloud, 

Hier. Now do I applaud what I have acted, 20 

Nunc iners cadat manus / 
Now to express the rupture of my part— 

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ACT IV. sc. 4. The Spanish Tragedy 

Hiir. Indeed, 

Thou may'st torment me, as his wretched son 
Hath done in murd'ring my Horatio : 200 

But never shalt thou force me to reveal 
The thing which I have vow'd inviolate. • 
And therefore, in despite of all thy threats, 
Pleas'd with their deaths, and eas'd with their 

First take my tongue, and afterwards my heart. 

\He bites out his tongue. 
King. O monstrous resolution of a wretch 1 

See, Viceroy, he hath bitten forth his tongue, 
Rather than to reveal what we required. 
Cctst, Yet can he write. 

King. And if in this he satisfy us not, 210 

We will devise th' extremest kind of death 
That ever was invented for a wretch. 

\Then he makes signs for a knife to mend his pen. 
Cotst, O, he would have a knife to mend his pen. 
Vic. Here, and advise thee that thou write the troth. — 
Look to my brother 1 save Hieronimo ! 

\He with a knife stabs the duke and himself 
King. What age hath ever heard such monstrous 
deeds ? 
My brother, and the whole succeeding hope 
That Spain expected after my decease 1 — 
Go, bear his body hence, that we may mourn 
The loss of our beloved brother's death — : 220 


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The Spanish Tragedy act iv. sc $, 

That he may be entomb'd !— -Whatever befall, 

I am the next, the nearest, last of all. 
Vic. And thou, Don Pedro, do the like for us : 

Take up our hapless son, untimely slain ; 

Set me with him, and he with woeful me, 

Upon the main-mast of a ship unmanned, 

And let the wind and tide haul me along 

To Scylla's barking and untamM gulf^ 

Or to the loathsome pool of Acheron, 

To weep my want for my sweet Balthazar : 230 

Spain hath no refuge for a PortingaL 
[The trumpets sound a dead march; the King of 
Spain mourning after his brother's body^ and 
the King of Portingal bearing the body of his 


Enter Ghost and Revenge. 

Ghost Ay, now my hopes have end in their efTects, 
When blood and sorrow finish my desires : 
Horatio murder'd in his father's bower ; 
Vild Serberine by Pedringano slain ; 
False Pedringano hang'd by quaint device ; 
Fair Isabella by herself misdone ; 
Prince Balthazar by Bellimperia stabVd ; 

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ACT IV. sa B, The Spanish Tragedy 

The Duke of Castile and his wicked son 

Both done to death by old Hieronimo ; 

My Bellimperia fallen, as Dido fell, lo 

And good Hieronimo slain by himself: 

Ay, these were spectacles to please my soul 1 — 

Now will I beg at lovely Proserpine 

That, by the virtue of her princely doom, 

I may consort my friends in pleasing sort, 

And on my foes work just and sharp revenge. 

I '11 lead my friend Horatio through those fields, 

Where never-dying wars are still inur'd ; 

VVL lead fair Isabella to that train. 

Where pity weeps, but never feeleth pain ; 20 

1 11 lead my Bellimperia to those joys. 

That vestal virgins and fair queens possess ; 

I '11 lead Hieronimo where Orpheus plays, 

Adding sweet pleasure to eternal days. 

But say, Revenge — ^for thou must help, or none — 

Against the rest how shall my hate be shown ? 

Rsv. This hand shall hale them down to deepest hell, 
Where none but Furies, bugs and tortures dwelL 

GAost, Then, sweet Revenge, do this at my request : 
Let me be judge, and doom them to unrest 30 

Let loose poor Tityus from the vulture's gripe. 
And let Don Cyprian supply his room ; 
Place Don Lorenzo on Ixion's wheel. 
And let the lover's endless pains surcease 
(Juno forgets old wrath, and grants him ease) ; 

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The Spanish Tragedy act iv. sc s. 

Hang Balthazar about Chimaera's neck, 
And let him there bewail his bloody love, 
Repining at our joys that are above ; 
Let Serberine go roll the fatal stone, 
And take from Sisyphus his endless moan ; 40 

False Pedringano, for his treachery, 
Let him be dragged through boiling Acheron, 
And there live, dying still in endless flames. 
Blaspheming gods and all their holy names. 
/?«/. Then haste we down to meet thy friends and foes : 
To place thy friends in ease, the rest in woes ; 
For here though death hath end their misery, 
1 11 there begin their endless tragedy. [Exeunt. 


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Aglbts, ornamental tags, ni. xua. 

Ambages, round-about ways, beat- 
ing about the bash, i. it. 90. 

Apply, to conform, iii. ix. 13; to 
ply, further, iv. i. 31. 

Bacon, pig, iii. xi. 17. 
Ball ACS, v6., to ballast, iii. xi. 8. 
Bann'd, cursed, iil rii. 67. 
Battery, unlawful beating, in. 

xiii. 60. 
Became, where s what became of, 

I. iii. 74. 
Bewray, to^ reveal, I. iii. 54, in. ii. 

5a, III. xiiL 76. 
Bring, I '11 be with you to bring ; ^. 
■ note to IIL xiL as. 
Bugs, bugbears, iv. v. aS. 

Carbines, carabineers, l ii. 89. 

Case, an action op the, *an 
action for redress of wrongs not 
spedally provided against m law, 
in which the whole cause of com- 
plaint was set out in the wnt' 
(Webster) ; in. xiiL 6z. 

Case, if CASE^if the case be, in 
case, II. L 6a 

Cleanly, adroitly, dexterously, iil 
iv. 73. 

Closely, secretly, in. iv. 58, in. 

Coil, noise, tumult, in. xiii. 45. 

Company, conqtanion, lu. x. aS. 

CONDBSCBNT, COUSeUt, HI. xlv. 17. 

Consort, to, with aocsto consort 

with. III. L aif lY. V. 15. 
Contend, to stnve towards, ni. xiii. 

Contents, contentments, il ii. 4. 
Cornet, troop of cavahry, i. ii. 4x. 
CoRREGiDOR, a Spanish magistrate, 

IIL xiii. 58. 
CoR'srvE ~ corrosive, annoyance, 

worry, L ii. 143. 
Countercheck, to meet a cheoc 

(attack) with a check, 11. iL 37. 
Countermur'd, walled in, pro- 
tected by walls, in. viL z6. 
Course, words op, meaningless, 

empty words, i. iv. 98. 
Cunning, wit, skill, iy. 1 175. 

Dag, large pistol, m. iiL 3a. 
Ding, to stnke, i. iv. aa. 
DiSTAiN, to tarnish, defile, I. iiL 33. 
Drift, aim, intention, iv. i. 3x4 

EjECTiONB firm^ * a writ which 
lay to eject a tenant from his 
holding' (Wharton's Lam^Lexi- 
eon) ; iil xiiL 63. 

Fact, (criminal) deed, iil iv. aa. 
Favour, appearance, look, m. xiii. 

Fetch, in the original (XuutoySi/cA, 

trick, straUgem, iil iv. 43, 
Flat, that's flat, that s clear, 

Uiat is certain, iil vL 48, m. xiL 


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Force pbrporcb, of necessity, jridd- 

ing to necessity, iii ix. za. 
For why, because, iv. i. 50. 
Front, forehead, iii. x. 91. 

Gear, afiiair, matter^ business, iii. 

vi. a3i 3ai 43i >V' »• ^89 ; dress, 

clothing, HI. vl 46, 47. 
Give back, to go back, recede, 

withdraw, 11. iii. S©. 
Grace, vb., to favour, iv. 1. 49. iv. i. 

6x ; embellish, iii. v. 15; nt out, 

IV. L 150. 
Gramercv, great thanks, many 

thanks, iii. vi. x8. 
Gummed, cloj^ged, dimmed, as with 

gum, HI. xui. 163. 

Haggard, wild, refractory, 11. L 4. 
Herb-hencb^ hence, inconsequence 

of this, I. ii. 7a ... 

Humorous, capricious, whimsical, 

I. iv. X05. 

Ingratitude, unkindness, iv. i. 15. 
Inured, put in practice, earned on, 
IV. V. x8. 

Jdttv, to juttv OVER, to project, 
overhang, iii. xiiA. 137. 

Leese, to lose. II. V. ao, 33. 
Lording, of lordly descent, lord, 
I. V. 17, hi. i. la, IV. L 97. 

Matted, dull, in. xiiA. zx6. 

NiLL, will not, I. iv. 7. 

PsBTBNCB, intention, iii. iv. 79. 

Quital, reqmtal, recompense, iii. 
i. 79. 

Reaching, &r-reaching, clever, in. 
iv. 43. 

The Spaaish Tragedy 

Recurs, probably * contamination * 

oirecurt and recm/er, iii. viil 5. 
Remorse, regret, pitjr, i. iv. 27.^ 
Rent, to rend, in. xiii. xax, iv. u. 8. 
Rounded, whispered, i. L 8x. 

Seemingly, in semblance, in ap- 
pearance, HI. xiiA. X28. 

Seld-seen, strange, curious, iii. 
xii. 3. . , 

Sit, to sit beside, to miss, lose, i. 
ii. X77. 

Soothe up, c/. note to hi. x. 19. 

Sort, tro«p. number, in. xiii. 46. 

Sorted, selected, chosen, sought 
out, IV. iv. xoa. 

Suspect, suspicion, in. iii. X5. 

Terms, to stand on, to stand on 
one's own terms, to hold out, iii. 
X. aa 

Through-girt, pierced, iv. iv. iix. 

Tickle, uncertain, critical, dan- 
gerous, HI. iv. 74. 

Toil, »^., to harass, wesuy, in. vi. 8. 

Train, snare, trap, in. u. 38 ; wUe 
deceit (?), HI. L X9. 

Travellers, labourers, n. u. 46. 

Tricks, delusions, in. xiiA. X07. 

Tucket, flourish of trumpets, fen- 
fare, I. ii. xoo. 

Unbevelled, not well adjusted, 
rough, unpolished, hl xL 23. 

Unmanured^ unworked, unculti- 
vated, IV. ii. x6. 

Unsquarbd, uneven, rough, in. zi. 

ViLD, vile, II. V. 27, IV. V. 4. 

Vulgar, «., tiie common people, 
mob, HI. XV. 35. 

Waving, moving, departing, i. iL 

When ? See note to in. l 47. 
Wield, to carry, 1. iv. 35. 


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Induction.— The Induction of TJU Spanish Tragedy was cer- 
tainly conceived in imitation of Seneca's Thyesta^ which play 
is opened by the ghost of Tantalus in company of Megaera. 
Very similar is the beginning (and end) of the contemporary Mis- 
fortunes of Arthur^ where the ghost of the murdered Gorlois 
appears, expressing his thirst for revenge. Kyd may have intro- 
duced the figure of a ghost earlier, in his Hamlet ; and one might 
even speculate as to whether that play did not begin with an 
introductory speech similar to that of Andrea or Gorlois, had not 
the German Hamlet (Brudermord) a prologue with Night and the 
Furies. Of course, the ghost appears in untold dramas of the 
Renaissance in England and abroad, and it is needless to say to 
what splendid use this old requisite of the Seneca drama has been 
transformed by Shakspere. 

L L X sqq. The opening lines have often been quoted and cari- 
catured by contemporary dxamatists, e.g. in The Knight of the 
Burning Pestle^ The Rebelliotit Albumanar, The Fair Maid of the 
West, etc. 

L L Z9 sqq. The description of the nether world in the Induction 
is principally taken from the jEneid, Canto vi. 

I. L 82. gates of horn. Of course, from jEneid, H, 893 (cp. 
Odyssey t xix. 563). 

I. iL Z2. The Duke of Castile addresses his brother here with 
words adapted from those famous ones originally addressed by 
Claudian to Honoriiis, the son of Tbeodosias the Great (De tertio 


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N0TB8 The Spanish Tragedy 

Comulahi Honoriit 11. 96-98). In reality, they are more fit for the 
father, who, in 392, had conquered the rival Emperor Engenius, 
near Aqtiileia. See Gibbon, chapter zxvil, towards the end. St. 
Augustine and, after him, Orosius quote Uie lines too, but leave 
out the heathen god ^olus : a host of other writers follow in their 
train. ^Ifric must have known them also. 

I. ii. 55. These lines were probably put together by Kyd after 
classical models, like Mneid^ x. 361 :— 

* haeret pede pes, densusque viro vir ' ; 
Statins' Thehais^ viii. 399 : — 

' Ense mhiax ensis, pede pes, et cuspide cuspis' ; 
CurHuSf III. ii. 13 :— 

' vir viro, armis anna, conserta sunt ' ; 

and numerous others. The structure reminds one at once of the 
splendid passage in the Iliad (xvl assX where the Myrmidons are 
mustered by their great captain :~* 

*kffvlt &p* dffrliF Ipet^e, K6pvs xSpvp, Mpa 8' Mip, 

I. iii. Like ill. i. a most unnecessary scene, but thoroughly 
English in its aim to bring as much action and movement on the 
scene as possible. If Kyd had deliberately planned a demonstra- 
tion against the law of the unity of place, he could not have done 

I. iii. 7. Translation or pars4>hrase of the well-known line from 
Seneca (PhaedrUt 607, ed. Leo) : — 

' Curae leves loquuntur, ingentes stupent' 

I. iii. 15. Probably again an adaptation of current Latin lines. 
John Webster, in his Academiarum Examen, fol B^ a, has the 

' Qm cadit in terram, non habet unde cadat' 


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The Spanish Tragedy notes 

Similarly Th. Andrewe, in The Unmasking oj a Feminine AfacAia- 
veil (1604), fol Bg d, A literal translation of them is to be 
found in the Old Timon, ed. Dyce, p. 61, 11. 9, 10. 

I. iii. 8a. TerceircCs lord. With respect to the power inherent 
in such a dignity, I may be allowed to quote W F. Walker, The 
Azores, or Western Islands^ ?• 35 • ' In those days, Portugal 
bestowed upon the original discoverers and colonisers of countries 
annexed to her crown the lordships of them, with the title of 
Capitdo Donatario, This post was held in high esteem, as, 
besides the emoluments attaching to it, the fortunate holder was 
given plenary powers, which secured him almost despotic sway. 
. . . Their privileges were hereditary and descended to the lineal 
successors of those to whom they were granted ; provisions being 
made for regencies in the case of minors . . • such com- 
prehensive powers making of the Donatario a sort of sub- 
r^gulus. . . .' 

L iv. 90. jSneidt ii 615 seq, :— 

' Jam summas arces Tritonia (respice) Pallas 
Insedit, nimbo effulgens et Gorgone saeva.* 

L T. 26. Robert of Gloucester was never, as far as I know, in 
Portugal. It was Alonzo I., Portugal's first great warrior-king, 
the hero of Ourique, before whom Saracen Lisbon fell (1147). 
But in this attempt Alonzo was helped by a fleet of adventurers 
on their way to the Holy Land, the greater part of whom 
were English. Camdes celebrates the event in the Lusiadas, 
iii. 57, 58. 

I. v. 37. This is Edmond Langley, Earl of Kent, and first Duke 
of York (134Z-Z402). He went on an expedition to Spain and 
Portugal in 1381-83 ; but that he ' razed Lisbon walls and took 
the king of Portmgal in fight ' is a free flight of Kyd's fancy. The 
Dictionary of NaHomal Biography says (zxzii. zzo) : ' F^mi^nd 


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N0TB8 The Spanish Tragedy 

would have attacked the king of Portugal if he had felt strong 
enough, but as it was he had no choice except to return to 
England, where he arrived in October 138a.' He vras created 
Duke of York on August 6, 1385, principally for his having taken 
part in the king's expedition to Scotland. 

I. v. 49. John of Gaunt made two expeditions to Spain : one in 
1367, under the Black Prince, to support Pedro the Cruel against 
Henry of Trastamara, when in the battle of Najera Du Guesclin was 
made a prisoner (Henry himself escaped) ; and a second in 1386-87, 
when he styled himself King of Castile, but ' met with little success 
and was eventually forced to quit Spain.' He had, however, the 
gratification that his two daughters became, respectively, Queens 
of Portugal and of Castile. Kyd lost a great chance here : why 
did he not introduce the splendid figure of the Black Prince? 

II. i. 3-6 and 9-10 are taken, almost literally, from Watson's 
'EJcaro/iTO^/a, Sonnet 47. Watson's lines themselves are an 
adaptation of a sonnet by Serafino d'Aquila (No. X03 in the 
edition of Venice, 1548; ed. Menghini, p. 213)'. 

II. i. 9 sqq. This speech of Balthazar, not a little tinged with 
euphuism, was the subject of many a joke : e.g, in Ben Jonson's 
Poetaster^ ill. i. ; and Field's^ Woman is a Weathercock^ I. ii. (see 
the Preface, p. xxix). 

II. i. 47. Tlius there had been a domestic catastrophe on account 
of Bellimperia's love for an inferior, where Pedringano, the go> 
between, had been saved firom punishment by Lorenzo. This is 
alluded to in iii. x. 54, and iii. xv. 72 and 73. 

II. i. Z09. More frequently we find the synonymous motto: 
Tarn Marti quam Mercurio{w\iic3i had, for instance, been adopted 
by Gascoigne). 

II. ii. 50. prickle, i.e, thorn. That the nightingale sings ' with a 
prickle at her breast,' in order to be kept awake, is a motif made 
use of by numberless poets. 


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The Spanish Tragedy notes 

II. iii. 17-ai. Lorenzo is not very likely to admire this generosity 
on the part of his uncle. 

IL iv. 57. Had our play been written after Othello^ we might 
consider this line a gauche imitation of Desdemona's magnanima 

II. iv. 61 and 62, 11. v. i sqq, Cp, the picture given as frontispiece. 
It represents the situation at the beginning of the fifth scene, one 
of the best and most popular of the play. 

II. V. 46^. I do not think that this first addition is an improve- 
ment. It panders to the vulgar taste, which considers the more 
rant and madness the better. Kyd certainly showed greater 
artistic refinement and deeper insight in here dwelling chiefly on 
Hieronimo's grief and tenderness for his son, and in introducing 
madness only as a later phase in the development of the character. 

II. V. 57. This refers to I. v. 15, 16. 

II. V. lao. These Latin verses were probably composed by Kyd 
himself, having, perhaps, in his mind the lines from ThyesUs, 691, 

' Ipse est sacerdos : ipse funesta prece 
Letale carmen ore violento canit.' 

Sict sic jttvat ire sub umbrcu is, of course, from Dido's speech in 
the Mneidt iv. 660. In line 124 the Quarto reads effecit ; I owe 
the conjecture effert to my colleague, Dr. Traube, of Mimich. Dr. 
Traube is, I think, also right in pointing, for the probable original 
of U. 125, 126, to Tibullus, II. iv. 55 sqq, : 

' Quidquid habet Circe, quidquid Medea veneni, 
Quidquid et herbarum Thessala terra gerit • . 
Si modo me placido videat Nemesis mea vultu, 
MiUe alias herbas misceat ilia, bibam.' 

III. I z sqq^ These are regular commonplaces of the Seneca 
drama. The whole scene has no bearing upon the main plot 


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NOTES The Spanish Tragedy 

Vilufipo is an Italian word, meaning canfusioftt entoMgUntent, 
We have an Italian play with the title // Viluppo^ by Girolamo 
Paiabosco, in which some similarity has been fowid by Klein with 
Shakspere's Two Gentlemen, of Verona, 

III. L 47. when f Expression of impatience, conmion in Eliza- 
bethan writers ; also in Shakspere. 

III. ii I sqq. Often quoted and derided. 

III. ii. 83 (and 96). The Quartos read Liugis, Such a saint is, 
however, unknown to me (as is also the St. Lingis of Koppel's 
German translation). Luigi is, at any rate, Italian, if not Spanish. 

III. ii. 94. Che le leron I Unintelligible words, which seem to 
call the page (is it the page's name?). The best conjecture is, 
perhaps, Koppel's 'CM leggieronT It is only a pity that 
leggieron is hardly an Italian word. 

III. ii. 105. That we have in Lorenzo ' the nearest approach to a 
Machiavellian ' before Marlowe's Barabas has been well set forth 
by Edward Me3rer in his MachiaveUi and the Elituibethan Drama, 
p. 32 seq. He quotes Spanish Tr*, iii. ii. 105-107, 115-119; 11. 
i. no, in; and iii. iv. 4, 5; and points out the parallels in 
Machiavelli's works. 

III. iv. 52. To stand good lord, ue, to be or act as a good lord to 
him ; cp, the similar phrase : ' to stand good friend.' 

III. vi. 45 (and 71). Alludes to the well-known custom of the 
hangman getting the clothes of the hanged. 

III. vi. 99. i.e, which intercept, bar it from happiness. We have 
the ending -es, -s several times for the plural of verbs : L L 65, 
shakes ; iii. iv. 75, ends ; iii. viii. 16, mounts. 

III. vii. z-zo. Note the unusual frequency of alliteration in these 

III. vii 15-18. The passage reminds one somewhat of Iphigenia*s 
sublime Parunlied, in Goethe's draina. 

III. viii. Here some modem editions begin a new act. This 


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The Spanish Tragedy iiotbs 

division is not wairanted by the old Quartos, nor, indeed, by the 
internal structure of the play : Kyd evidently meant each act to 
finish with the re-appearance of Ghost and Revenge as chorus. 
We have a division into four acts in the English Seneca {Tkedais 
and OcUana) ; in the plays of the Spaniard Juan de la Cueva, who 
was especially proud of this innovation; in Naogeorgus* Pamma^ 
chius ; in./<ick Straw ^ etc., down to SheUesr's Prometheus Unbound, 
and Alfred Austin's England* s Darling, 

WL X. zi. A nine-day^ wonder, A phrase particularly well 
known in Elizabethan times; cf, Kemp's Nine days* wonder^ 
performed in a dance from London to Norwich, z6oo. 

ui. X. 19. soothe me up, i,e, bear out, confirm what I say. 
Sooth means originally true (cp, forsooth, in sooth); it if the 
participle of the root «i, to be (Greek 0rr-). Thus O. E. gesdtfian= 
to prove the truth of, to bear witness ; gesd9 glosses parasita (cp, 
Shakspere's soother^^Gecmasi Ja-sager), Cp, also iv. i. 187, to 
soothe his humours up=:flatter his humour. 

iiL X. 32. This advice of Lorenzo's is duly put into practice 
towards the end of the scene, where the meaning is indeed ' con- 
cealed under feigned jest' 

III. X. 38. my company s my companion, t.#. Horatia 

III. X. 54. Cp, note to 11. 1 47. 

III. xi. 15. The original Spanish Tragedy has certamly many 
ridiculous passages, but here Kyd is outdone by the inter- 

IIL xL 42. And things called whips. The same phrase in 
s Henry VI,, ii. L 136 (and The Contention) ; it was probably also 
In the old Hamlet, 

IIL xi. 54. Thus the stage £Dr The Spanish Tragedy had two 

III. xi. 60 sqq. An oft-praised passage. As to the allegoiy in it, 
cp, Sarrazin, p. 53, and an article by F« I. Carpenter, in Mod, 


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NOTBt The Spanish Tragedy 

Lang, Noies, zii 358 sqq. In certain expressions Kyd doubtless 
had the jEneid in his mind (as in I. L). 

III. xii. Poniard and rope. Constantly occurring motif', see 
Schrder, Titus Andronicus^ p. 77 seq,^ and Carpenter, l,c, 

III. xii. 6 sqq. As Hieronimo sees no means of attaining justice 
and revenge, be, for a moment, contemplates suicide. The simi- 
larity to Hamlet is apparent 

III. xii 14 and 15. this path ... or tkis^ i.e, poniard, or rope. 

III. xii. 16. The sequence of ideas is exactly as in the Latin 
lines, II. V. 133 seq, Cp. also Iii. iL 46 seq, 

III. xii. 22. ril he with thee to brings i,e. I '11 chastise you ; I 'U 
give you a sound lesson ; I 'U give it to you. Sw in Troilus and 
Cressida^ I. il 305, and some other Elizabethan passages. 

III. xii 24. ' There goes the hare away,' i,e, there is the game 
I want to hunt; that's where the game lies. Cp, Gosson, The 
School of Abuset ed. Arber, p. 70: 

* Hie labor, hoc opus est, there goeth the hare away.' 

III. xii. 30. Hieronimo, gobyt One of the best-known pieces of 
Elizabethan slang, introduced by Shakspere, Ben Jonson, Dekker, 
Chapman, Webster, etc. 

III. xii. 6z. Is this a slip of Kyd's? Surely, by this time, the 
king must have heard of Horatio's murder. 

III. xiL 76. Cp, Virgil's and Bismarck's : 

' Flectere si nequeo superos, Acheronta roovebo.* 

III. xii. 8z. An old proverb, already found in the Assembly of 
Gods, ascribed to Lydgate, I 21. See Dr. Triggs's edition. 

III. xiiA. 90. The painter Bazardo with his slain son recalls 
Luca Signorelli, whose son was also murdered ; cp, the poem by 
Graf Platen, and Sjrmonds's Renaissance in Italy, ill 280-282. 

III. xiii. I sqq. The connecting thread of ideas in th^ passage is : 


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The Spanish Tragedy notes 

'Vengeance is mine ; I will repay, saith the Lord' (Deuteronomy 
xxxii 35 and Romans zil 19). Wait therefore till Heaven avenges 
you (11. 1-5). But one evil or crime leads to another ; therefore 
'strike home where wrong is ofifered thee' (6-11). If, then, you 
take upon yourself to act, after all but two things can happen : 
either you win your game — then all is well ; or you lose your life 
in your attempt— then you are at least * assured of a tomb. ' There- 
fore, I will be mj son's avenger (12-20). 

III. xiii. 6. This line is from Seneca's Agamemnon, 1x5 : ' Per 
scelera semper sceleribus tutum est iter ' ; U. za and 13 are from 
the Troades, 5x0-512 : 

' Fata si miseros juvant, 
Habes salutem ; fata si vitam negant, 
Habes sepulcrum.' 

III. xiii. 19. This is Lucan's 'Caelo tegitur, qui non habet 
urnam ' {PJkarsaiia, vii. 818). The passage has often been quoted, 
e.g, by St Augustine (De Civitate Dei, L 12) ; in Sir Thomas 
More's Utopia, in Lyly's Endymion, and elsewhere. A pretty little 
poem by Heine shotild not be forgotten in connection with this. 

III. xiii 35. From Seneca's CEdipus, 5x5. 

ni. xiii. 72. The ' Corsic rocks ' come from Octavia, 382 : 
' Remotus inter Corsici rupes maris.' 

III. xiiL 98-Z06. Difficult passage, for which many emendations 
have been brought forward. The best suggestion is probably Mr. 
Gollancz's, namely, to take 11. IQ3 and 104 as an exclamation, 
reading, at the same time, o'erhtmeth thee in 1. xo2. 

III. xiii. 17Z. dis-cords^chords-^ord: one of the cruellest puns 
in the play. Cp, also iv. i. 153, *Fiel comtdxts are fit for 
common wits ' ; iv. ii. 12, ' this garden-^/c?/ : 

Accursed complot of my misery t ' 
and others. 
IIL xiT. zz. Kyd's geography is quite on a par with his history. 


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NOTES The Spanish Tragedy 

IIL XV. 129, Z3a The correct form of this quotation seems to be : 

' Chi mi fa piCi carezze che non suole, 
O mi ha ingannato o ingannar mi vuole.* 

Dunlop [History of Prose Fiction, ed. Wilson, ii. 310) says the 
lines are taken from Ariosto ; but I have not been able to identify 
them. See further Vossler, Das deutsche Madrigal, p. 48, who 
gives a translation into German by Caspar Ziegler (1685). 

III. xvi. I. The Quarto reads Erictha, This means, of course, 
the Thessalian sorceress Erich tho, well known from Lucan, 
Ovid, Dante, and Goethe's Fayst, She is often introduced in the 
Elizabethan drama (cp. especially Marston's Sophonisba), 

III. xvi. 3 sqq. The Quarto reads : 

' To combat Ackinon and Ericus in heU. 
For neere by Siix and Phlegeton : 
Nor ferried Carotit etc. 

III. xvi IS. Revenge seems to have fallen asleep over the 
author's play ! The ghost reminds him that Proserpine — Plato's 
all-powexiul consort — had enjoined him to watch. 

rv, i. 9. Instead of this line, the Quartos have two : 
* With what dishonour, and the hate of men, 
From this dishonour and the hate of men.' 
lY. i. 17-19. Anacoluthon. 

IV. i. 31. applies our drift. Collier conjectures ' applauds our 
drift ' (Introduction to John Bruen\ but wrongly, I think. The 
meaning is evidently : ' Heaven furthers our drifting plans, brings 
them to a definite goal.' There may be a touch of Latinism in 
vgs^j'^appHcare (navem\ to land, to bring ashore. 

iv. i. 7Z, 72. The poet has made the same lament in a Latin 
hexameter at the end of his Cornelia : 

' Non prostmt Domino, quae prosunt omnibusi artes. 


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The Spani3h Tragedy notes 

iv. L 85-87. These lines were quoted by Heywood UklaiaAfolegy 
for Actors (z6ia), fol E, k, Heywood's words have been the 
means of identifying Kyd as the author of Tke Spanish Tragedy. 

IV. iii. The allusion to a curtain (in the stage-direction), to the 
* book * (nr. iv. 9), or • copy of the play/ to the * title* (nr. iil 14)— 
ue, the play-bill-— and to the 'gallery* (iv. iii zo) whither the 
spectators of the play within the play proceed, are very important 
for the history of the stage. 

lY. iv. 69, 70. By no means a bad attempt at tragic irony. 

IV. iv. 905. From this point Kyd completely loses his head in 
heaping on horror after horror. Biting out the tongue and stab- 
bing the innocent Duke of Castile are certainly quite unnecessary. 
Classical reminiscences may have been in his mind, like the story 
of Zeno and others alluded to by Cicero, Tusc, ii. 32, and De 
Natura Deorum, iil 33. We read in Lyl/s Euphues (ed. Arber, 
p. 146) : ' Zeno because he would not be enforced to reveal anything 
against his will by torments, bit ofif his tongue and spit it in the 
fiBoe of the tjrrant' Cp, also TUus Andronicus, iii. i. 131. 

IV. iv. 235 sqq. Although there is little poetic ring in this passage, 
and although Kyd cannot let us off without the inevitable Acheron, 
yet these lines recall, by their choice of simile — a mysterious ship 
setting out into the boundless sea— some of the most beautiful 
fancies of the western and northern nations of Europe, and 
especially some of the finest passages in English literature : the 
Viking-burial of Scyld So6fing in Bhwu^, the Passing of Arthur in 
Layamon and the Idylls cf the King^ and the most perfect Ijrric 
of our time, Tennyson's Crossing the Bar, They recall, too, 
many victims seized by treacherous Rdn, or heroes gone to rest in 
Tir-fa'tonn, notably the greatest Englishman of the time of The 
Spanish Tragedy t tiie sea-king of terrible and glorious memory. 
Sir ntmcis Drake. 


Digitized by VjOOQIC 


The Spanish Tragedy 


I. i. 82. horn] Hor Q. 
I. ii. zoi. the] this Q. 
I. iii. 29. is] not in Q. 

I. V. 59. thy] the Q. 

II. i. 27. b^ut^s] beauteous. 
II. i. 29. this ecstasy] these 

II. ii. 33. war] warring!, 
II. iii. 49. thought] thoughts. 
II. iv. 32. not] nor. 
II. iv. 35. wars] warre. 

II. V. loi. sta/d] stainde. 
iiL i. 4. hate] heat. 

III. L 91. Or wherein Q. 
III. ii. 13. wakes] wake. 
III. ii. 15. Solicits] Solicite. 

III. ii. 83 and 96. Saint Luigi's] 

S. Liugis, 
III. vi. X12. heav*n] heauens. 
III. vii. 15. empyreal] imperiall. 

III. X. X02. £t] Est 

IIL X. 103. Esq EU 

III. xii. 45. inextricable] in- 

III. xii. 81. For] not in Q. 

III. xiii. 62. Eiectione firma Q. 

III. xiil 149. fate] Father. 

III. xiii. 159. thy] my. 

III. XV. 63. no] not in Q. 

III. XV. 119. Especially] 

III. xvi. 1-4. See the Notes. 

III. xvi. 9. To sleep— awake I] 
Th sleepe, away. 

IV. i. 9. See the Notes. 
IV. i. 48. and] not in Q. 

IV. i. 181, X82. Transposed in Q. 
IV. iv. 57. Persedahis]P<r5»A«x, 
IV. iv. 228. gulf] greefe. 


II. V. 58. he] not in Quartos 1602 
and z6io. 

II. V. 80. pure] poore 1602. 

III. ii. 38. to his] vs to. 

III. xiiA. 36. aglets] aggots. 
III. xiiA. 62. died] hied. 

III. xiiA. 1x5. for] not in Qq. 

III. xiiA. X50. owls] Owle. 

III. xiiA. 154. wave] weaue x6oa. 

III. xiiA. 157. first show] not in 

IV. iv. X75. revenge] reueng'd. 

The Latin and Italian quotations have all ietn eonsiderably changed, 

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at the Edinburgh University Press 

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