A monologue from the play by Christopher Marlowe

  • NOTE: This monologue is reprinted from Masterpieces of the English Drama. Ed. William Lyon Phelps. New York: American Book Company, 1912.
  • FIRST VIRGIN: Most happy king and emperor of the earth,
    Image of honour and nobility,
    For whom the powers divine have made the world,
    And on whose throne the holy Graces sit;
    In whose sweet person is compris'd the sum
    Of Nature's skill and heavenly majesty;
    Pity our plights! O, pity poor Damascus!
    Pity old age, within whose silver hairs
    Honour and reverence evermore have reign'd!
    Pity the marriage-bed, where many a lord,
    In prime and glory of his loving joy,
    Embraceth now with tears of ruth and blood
    The jealous body of his fearful wife,
    Whose cheeks and hearts, so punish'd with conceit,
    To think thy puissant never-stayed arm
    Will part their bodies, and prevent their souls
    From heavens of comfort yet their age might bear,
    Now wax all pale and wither'd to the death,
    As well for grief our ruthless governor
    Hath thus refus'd the mercy of thy hand,
    (Whose sceptre angels kiss and Furies dread,)
    As for their liberties, their loves, or lives!
    O, then, for these, and such as we ourselves,
    For us, for infants, and for all our bloods,
    That never nourish'd thought against thy rule,
    Pity, O pity, sacred emperor,
    The prostrate service of this wretched town:
    And take in sign thereof this gilded wreath,
    Whereto each man of ruth hath given his hand,
    And wish'd, as worthy subjects, happy means
    To be investors of thy royal brows
    Even with the true Egyptian diadem!