Christopher Marlowe.

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Two editions of Hero and Leandcr appeared in 1598. The first
edition, containing only Marlowe's portion of the poem, is entitled
Hero atid Leander. By Christopher Marloe. London, Printed by
Adam Islip, for Edward Blunt. 1598. 410. The title-page of the
second edition, which contains the complete poem, is Hero ana
Leander : Begun by Christopher Marloe ; and finished by George
Chapman. Ut Nectar, Ingetiiiim. At London, Printed by Felix
Kingston, for Paule Linley, and are to be solde in Paules Churche-
yard, at the signe of the Blacke-beare. 1598. 4to.

Two copies of the second edition were discovered a few years
ago at Lamport Hall (the seat of Sir Charles Isham, Bart.) by Mr.
Charles Edmonds. The existence of this edition was previously un-
known. Later editions are : —

Hero and Leander : Begunne by Christopher Marloe: Whereunto
is added the first booke of Lucan translated line for line by the same
Author. Ut Nectar, Lngenium. At London Printed for John
Flasket, and are to be solde in Paules Church-yard, at the signe of
the Blacke-beare. 1600. 4to.

Hero and Leander : Begunne by Christopher Marloe, and finished
by George Chapman. Ut Nectar, lngenium. At London. Im-
printed for John Flasket, and are to be sold in Paules Chutxh-yard,
at the signe of the blacke Beare. 1606. 410.

Hero and Leander : Begunne by Christopher Marloe, and finished
by George Chapman. Ut Nectar, lngenium. At London. Im-
printed for Ed. Blunt and W. Barret, and are to be sold in Pauls
Church-yard, at the signe of the blacke Beare. 1609. 4to.

Hero and Leander : Begunne by Christopher Marloe, and finished
by George Chapmatt. Ut Nectar, lngenium. London. Printed by
W. Stansby for Ed. Blunt and W. Barret, and are to be sold in
Pauls Church-yard, at the signe of the Blacke Beare. 16 13. 410.

Hero and Leander : Begun by Christopher Alarloe, atid finished by
George Chapman. Ut Nectar, lngenium. London, Printed by
A. M. for Richard Hawkins : and are to bee sold at his Shop in
Chancerie-Lane, neere Serieants Inne. 1629. 4to.

Hero and Leander : Begun by Christopher Marloe^ and finished by
George Chapman. Ut Nectar, Ittgenium. London : Printed by N.
Okes for William Leake, and are to be sold at his shop in Chancery-
lane neere the Roules. 1637. 4to.

I have not had an opportunity of seeing the 4to.s. of 1598 or the
4to. of 1600. For the text of the Isham copy, I am indebted to
the Works of George Chapman : Poems and Minor Translations,
1875. I have examined the texts of eds. 1606, 1613, 1629, 1637 ;
and my friend Mr. C. H. Firth has examined for me tlie Bodleian
copy of ed. 1600, in the margin of which Malone has noted the
readings of the first edition.




Sir, we think not ourselves discharged of the duty we owe to our
friend when we have brought the breathless body to the earth ; for
albeit the eye there taketh his ever-farewell of that beloved object,
yet the impression of the man that hath been dear unto us, living an
alter-life m our memory, there putteth us in mind of farther obsequies
due unto the deceased ; and namely of the performance of whatso-
ever we may judge shall make to his living credit and to the effecting
of his determinations prevented by the stroke of death. By these
meditations {as by an intellectual will) I suppose myself executor to
the unhappily deceased author of this poem ; upon whom knowing
that in his lifetime you bestowed many kind favours, entertaining
parts of reckoning and worth which you found in him with good
countenance and liberal affection, I cannot but see so far into the
will of him dead, that whatsoever issue of his brain should chance
to come abroad, that the first breath it should take might be the
gentle air of your liking ; for, since his self had been accustomed
thereunto, it would prove more agreeable and thriving to his right
children than any other foster countenance whatsoever. At this
time seeing that this unfinished tragedy happens under my hands to
be imprinted ; of a double duty, the one to yourself, the other to the
deceased, I present the same to your most favourable allowance,
offering my utmost self now and ever to be ready at your worship's
disposing :




The Argument'^ of the First Sestiad.

Hero's description and her love's ;
The fane of Venus, where he moves
His worthy love-suit, and attains ;
Whose bliss the wrath of Fates restrains
For Cupid's grace to Mercury :
Which tale the author doth imply.

On Hellespont, guilty of true love's blood,
In view and opposite two cities stood,
Sea-borderers,2 disjoin'd by Neptune's might ;
The one Abydos, the other Sestos hight.
At Sestos Hero dwelt ; Hero the fair,
Whom young Apollo courted for her hair,
And ofFer'd as a dower his burning throne,
Where she should sit, for men to gaze upon.

1 The Arguments are by Chapman, who also divided Marlowe's por-
tion of the poem into the First and Second Sestiad.

2 Eds. 1600, 1606, 1613, "Sea-borders." — Ed. 1598, according to
Malone, has " sea-borderers ; " and so eds. 1629. 1637.

6 Hero and Leander.

The outside of her garments were of lawn,

The lining purple silk, with gilt stars drawn ; lo

Her wide sleeves green, and border'd with a grove,

Where Venus in her naked glory strove

To please the careless and disdainful eyes

Of proud Adonis, that before her lies ;

Her kirtle blue, whereon was many a stain,

Made with the blood of wretched lovers slain.

Upon her head she ware ^ a myrtle wreath,

From whence her veil reach'd to the ground beneath :

Her veil was artificial flowers and leaves,

Whose workmanship both man and beast deceives : 20

Many would praise the sweet smell as she past,

When 'twas the odour which her breath forth cast ;

And there for honey bees have sought in vain.

And, beat from thence, have lighted there again.

About her neck hung chains of pebble-stone,

Which, lighten'd by her neck, like diamonds shone.

She ware no gloves ; for neither sun nor wind

Would burn or parch her hands, but, to her mind,

Or warm or cool them, for they took delight

To play upon those hands, they were so white. 30

Buskins of shells, all silver'd, used she.

And branch'd with blushing coral to the knee ;

Where sparrows perch'd of hollow pearl and gold,

Such as the world would wonder to behold :

Those with sweet water oft her handmaid fills,

Which as she went, would cherup through the bills.

^ Some editions give "wore."

First Sestiad. 7

Some say, for her the fairest Cupid pin'd,

And, looking in her face, was strooken blind.

But this is true ; so like was one the other,

As he imagin'd Hero was his mother ; 40

And oftentimes into her bosom flew,

About her naked neck his bare arms threw,

And laid his childish head upon her breast.

And, with still panting rock,^ there took his rest.

So lovely-fair was Hero, Venus' nun,

As Nature wept, thinking she was undone,

Because she took more from her than she left,

And of such wondrous beauty her bereft :

Therefore, in sign her treasure suffer'd wrack,

Since Hero's time hath half the world been black. 50

Amorous Leander, beautiful and young
(Whose tragedy divine Musaeus sung),
Dwelt at Abydos ; since him dwelt there none
For whom succeeding times make - greater moan.
His dangling tresses, that were never shorn,
Had they been cut, and unto Colchos borne,
Would have allur'd the venturous youth of Greece
To hazard more than for the golden fleece.
Fair Cynthia wished his arms might be her Sphere ;
Grief makes her pale, because she moves not

there. 60

His body was as straight as Circe's wand ;
Jove might have sipt out nectar Irom his hand.

1 Some eds. have " rockt," which may be the right reading.

2 So ed. 1637. — The earher editions that I have seen read "may."

8 He7'o and Leander.

Even as delicious meat is to the tast,

So was his neck in touching, and surpast

The white of Pelops' shoulder : I could tell ye,

How smooth his breast was, and how white his belly ;

And whose immortal fingers did imprint

That heavenly path with many a curious dint

That runs along his back ; but my rude pen

Can hardly blazon forth the loves of men, 70

Much less of powerful gods : let it suffice

That niy slack Muse sings of Leander's eyes ;

Those orient cheeks and lips, exceeding his

That leapt into the water for a kiss

Of his own shadow, and, despising many,

Died ere he could enjoy the love of any.

Had wild Hippolytus Leander seen,

Enamour'd of his beauty had he been :

His presence made the rudest peasant melt,

That in the vast uplandish country dwelt ; 80

The barbarous Thracian soldier, mov'd with nought,

Was mov'd with him, and for his favour sought.

Some swore he was a maid in man's attire,

For in his looks were all that men desire, —

A pleasant-smiling cheek, a speaking eye,

A brow for love to banquet royally ;

And such as knew he was a man, would say,

" Leander, thou art made for amorous play :

Why art thou not in love, and loved of all ?

Though thou be fair, yet be not thine own thrall." 90

The men of wealthy Sestos every year,
For his sake whom their goddess held so dear,

First Sestiad. 9

Rose-cheek'd ^ Adonis, kept a solemn feast :

Thither resorted many a wandering guest

To meet their loves : such as had none at all

Came lovers home from this great festival ;

For every street, like to a firmament,

Glister'd with breathing stars, who, where they went,

Frighted the melancholy earth, which deem'd

Eternal heaven to burn, for so it seem'd, 100

As if another Phaeton had got

The guidance of the sun's rich chariot.

But, far above the loveliest, Hero shin'd.

And stole away th' enchanted gazer's mind ;

For like sea-nymphs' inveigling harmony,

So was her beauty to the standers by ;

Nor that night-wandering, pale, and watery ^ star

(When yawning dragons draw her thirling^ car

From Latmus' mount up to the gloomy sky,

Where, crown'd with blazing light and majesty, 1 10

She proudly sits) more over-rules the flood

Than she the hearts of those that near her stood.

Even as when gaudy nymphs pursue the chase.

Wretched Ixion's shaggy-footed race,

Incens'd with savage heat, gallop amain

From steep pine-bearing mountains to the plain,

1 Cf. Venus and Adonis (1. 3) —

" Rose-cheek'd Adonis hied him to the chace. "
» So Hamlet i. i—

" The moist star.

Upon whose influence Neptune's empire stands."
s " Thrilling — tremulously moving." — Dyce. Perhaps the meaning
rather m penetrating — drilling its way through — "the gloomy sky."


lo Hero Mid Lemider.

So ran the people forth to gaze upon her,
And all that view'd her were enamour'd on her :
And as in fury of a dreadful fight,

Their fellows being slain or put to flight, 120

Poor soldiers stand with fear of death dead-strooken,
So at her presence all surpris'd and tooken.
Await the sentence of her scornful eyes ;
•-"^ He whom she favours lives ; the other dies :
There might you see one sigh ; another rage ;
And some, their violent passions to assuage,
Compile sharp satires ; but, alas, too late !
For faithful love will never turn to hate ;
And many, seeing great princes were denied,
Pin'd as they went, and thinking on her died. 130

On this feast-day — O cursed day and hour ! —
Went Hero thorough Sestos, from her tower
To Venus' temple, where unhappily.
As after chanc'd, they did each other spy.
So fair a church as this had Venus none :
The walls were of discolour'd^ jasper-stone,
Wherein was Proteus carved ; and over-head
A lively vine of green sea-agate spread.
Where by one hand light-headed Bacchus hung,
And with the other wine from grapes out-wrung. 140

Of crystal shining fair the pavement was ;
The town of Sestos call'd it Venus' glass :
There might you see the gods, in sundry shapes,
Committing heady riots, incests, rapes ;

1 Variegated (Lat. discolor).

First Sestiad. 1 1

For know, that underneath this radiant flour ^

Was Danae's statue in a brazen tower :

Jove slily stealing from his sister's bed,

To dally with Idalian Ganymed,

And for his love Europa bellowing loud.

And tumbling with the Rainbow in a cloud ; 150

Blood-quaffing Mars heaving the iron net

Which limping Vulcan and his Cyclops set ;

Love kindling fire, to burn such towns as Troy ;

Silvanus weeping for the lovely boy

That now is turned into a cypress-tree,

Under whose shade the wood-gods love to be.

And in the midst a silver altar stood :

There Hero, sacrificing turtles' blood,

Vailed ^ to the ground, veiling her eyelids close ;

And modestly they opened as she rose : 160

Thence flew Love's arrow with the golden head ;

And thus Leander was enamoured.

Stone-still he stood, and evermore he gaz'd.

Till with the fire, that from his countenance blaz'd,

Relenting Hero's gentle heart was strook :

Such force and virtue hath an amorous look.

It lies not in our power to love or hate,
For will in us is over-rul'd by fate.
When two are stript long ere the course begin.
We wish that one should lose, the other win ; £70

1 Dyce quotes a passage of Harington's Orlando Furioso where
"flowre" (floor) rhymes with "towre. "

- Ed. 1600 and later 4tos. " Tail'd." For the coupling of " Vailed "
with "veiling," cf. 2 Tamb. v. iii. 6, "pitch their pitchy tents."

12 Hero and Leander.

And one especially do we affect
Of two gold ingots, like in each respect :
The reason no man knows, let it sufifice,
What we behold is censur'd by our eyes.
Where both deliberate, the love is slight :
Who ever lov'd, that lov'd not at first sight? ^
He kneel'd ; but unto her devoutly prayed :
Chaste Hero to herself thus softly said,
" Were I the saint he worships, I would hear him ; "
And, as she spake those words, came somewhat near
him. 1 80

He started up ; she blushed as one asham'd ;
Wherewith Leander much more was inflam'd.
He touch'd her hand ; in touching it she trembled :
Love deeply grounded hardly is dissembled.
These lovers parled by the touch of hands :
True love is mute, and oft amazed stands.
Thus while dumb signs their yielding hearts entangled,
The air with sparks of living fire was spangled ;
And Night, "2 deep-drenched in misty Acheron,
Heav'd up her head, and half the world upon 190

Breath'd darkness forth (dark night is Cupid's day) :
And now begins Leander to display
Love's holy fire, with words, with sighs, and tears ;
Which, like sweet music, enter'd Hero's ears ;

1 This line is quoted in As you like it, iii. 5 : —

"Dead shepherd, now I find thy saw of might, —
Who ever lov'd, that lov'd not at first sight f"

2 "A periphrasis of Night." Marginal note in ed. 1598.

First Sestiad. r 3

And yet at every word she turn'd aside

And always cut him off, as he replied

At last, like to a bold sharp sophister,

With cheerful hope thus he accosted her.

" Fair creature/ let me speak without offence :

I would my rude words had the influence 200

To lead thy thoughts as thy fair looks do mine !

Then shouldst thou be his prisoner, who is thine.

Be not unkind and fair ; mis-shapen stuff

Are of behaviour boisterous and rough.

O, shun me not, but hear me ere you go !

God knows, I cannot force love as you do :

My words shall be as spotless as my youth,

Full of simplicity and naked truth.

This sacrifice, whose sweet perfume descending

-From Vehu?"aItar7To your footsteps -bending, ,. 210

Doth testify that you exceed her far,

To whom you offer, and whose nun you are.

Why should you worship her ? her you surpass

As much as sparkling diamonds flaring glass.

A diamond set in lead his worth retains ;

A heavenly nymph, belov'd of human swains.

Receives no blemish, but ofttimes more grace ;

Which makes me hope, although I am but base.

Base in respect of thee divine and pure.

Dutiful service may thy love procure ; 220

And I in duty will excel all other.

As thou in beauty dost exceed Love's mother.

1 Lines 199-204, 221-222, are quoted, not quite accurately, by

Matthew in Every Man in his Humour, iv. i.

14 Hero and Leander.

Nor heaven nor thou were made to gaze upon :

As heaven preserves all things, so save thou one.

A stately-builded ship, well rigg'd and tall,

The ocean maketh more majestical ;

Why vow'st thou, then, to live in Sestos here,

Who on Love's seas more glorious wouldst appear ?

Like untun'd golden strings all women are,

Which long time lie untouch'd, will harshly jar. 230

Vessels of brass, oft handled, brightly shine :

What difference betwixt ^ the richest mine

And basest mould, but use ? for both, not us'd,

Are of like worth. Then treasure is abus'd.

When misers keep it : being put to loan.

In time it will return us two for one.

Rich robes themselves and others do adorn ;

Neither themselves nor others, if not worn.

Who builds a palace, and rams up the gate,

Shall see it ruinous and desolate : 240

Ah, simple Hero, learn thyself to cherish !

Lone women, like to empty houses, perish.

Less sins the poor rich man, that starves himself

In heaping up a mass of drossy pelf,

Than such as you : his golden earth remains,

Which, after his decease, some other gains ;

But this fair gem, sweet in the loss alone,

When you fleet hence, can be bequeath'd to none ;

Or, if it could, down from th' enamell'd sky

All heaven would come to claim this legacy, 250

1 Some eds. give " between."


First Sestiad. 15

And with intestine broils the world destroy,

And quite confound Nature's sweet harmony.

Well therefore by the gods decreed it is,

We human creatures should enjoy that bliss.

One is no number ; ^ maids are nothing, then,

Without the sweet society of men.

Wilt thou live single still ? one shalt thou be.

Though never-singling Hymen couple thee.

Wild savages, that drink of running springs

Think water far excels all earthly things ; 260

But they, that daily taste neat "^ wine, despise it :

Virginity, albeit some highly prize it,

Compar'd with marriage, had you tried them both.

Differs as much as wine and water doth.

Base bullion for the stamp's sake we allow ;

Even so for men's impression do we you ;

By which alone, our reverend fathers say,

Women receive perfection every way.

This idol, which you term virginity.

Is neither essence subject to the eye, 270

No, nor to any one exterior sense.

Nor hath it any place of residence,

Nor is't of earth or mould celestial.

Or capable of any form at all.

Of that which hath no being, do not boast ;

Things that are not at all, are never lost.

• Cf. Shakespeare, Sonnef cxxxvi. —

" Among a number one is reckoned none."
- Some eds. read "sweet."

1 6 Hero a7id Lean der.

Men foolishly do call it virtuous :

What virtue is it, that is born with us ?

Much less can honour be ascrib'd thereto :

Honour is purchas'd by the deeds we do ; 2?o

Believe me, Hero, honour is not won,

Until some honourable deed be done.

Seek you, for chastity, immortal fame.

And know that some have wrong'd Diana's name ?

Whose name is it, if she be false or not,

So she be fair, but some vile tongues will blot ?

But you are fair, ay me ! so wondrous fair,

So young, so gentle, and so debonair,

As Greece will think, if thus you live alone.

Some one or other keeps you as his own, 290

Then, Hero, hate me not, nor from me fly,

To follow swiftly-blasting infamy.

Perhaps thy sacred priesthood makes thee loath :

Tell me to whom mad'st thou that heedless oath ? "

" To Venus," answer'd she ; and, as she spake,

Forth from those two tralucent cisterns brake

A stream of liquid pearl, which down her face

Made milk-white paths, whereon the gods might trace

To Jove's high court. He thus replied : " The rites

In which Love's beauteous empress most delights, 300

Are banquets, Doric music, midnight revel.

Plays, masks, and all that stern age counteth evil.

Thee as a holy idiot doth she scorn ;

For thou, in vowing chastity, hast sworn

To rob her name and honour, and thereby

Committ'st a sin far worse than perjury.


First Sestiad. 1 7

Even sacrilege against her deity,

Through regular and formal purity.

To expiate which sin, kiss and shake hands :

Such sacrifice as this Venus demands." 310

Thereat she smil'd, and did deny him so,

As put ^ thereby, yet might he hope for mo ;

Which makes him quickly reinforce his speech,

And her in humble manner thus beseech :

" Though neither gods nor men may thee deserve,

Yet for her sake, whom you have vow'd to serve.

Abandon fruitless cold virginity,

The gentle queen of Love's sole enemy.

Then shall you most resemble Venus' nun.

When Venus' sweet rites are performed and done. 320

Flint-breasted Pallas joys in single life ;

But Pallas and your mistress are at strife.

Love, Hero, then, and be not tyrannous ;

But heal the heart that thou hast wounded thus j

Nor stain thy youthful years with avarice :

Fair fools delight to be accounted nice.

The richest ^ corn dies, if it be not reapt \

Beauty alone is lost, too warily kept."

These arguments he us'd, and many more \

Wherewith she yielded, that was won before. 330

Hero's looks yielded, but her words made war :

Women are won when they begin to jar.

1 Cf. Second Sestiad, 1. 73 —

" She with a kind of granting /«/ him by it."

- This line is quoted in England's Parnassus \s\\.\\ the reading" ripest."

1 8 Hero and Leander.

Thus, having swallow'd Cupid's golden hook,

The more she striv'd, the deeper was she strook :

Yet, evilly feigning anger, strove she still,

And would be thought to grant against her will.

So having paus'd a while, at last she said,

"Who taught thee rhetoric to deceive a maid?

Ay me ! such words as these should I abhor,

And yet I like them for the orator," 340

With that, Leander stooped to have embrac'd her,

But from his spreading arms away she cast her,

And thus bespake him : " Gentle youth, forbear

To touch the sacred garments which I wear.

Upon a rock, and underneath a hill.

Far from the town (where all is whist ^ and still,

Save that the sea, playing on yellow sand,

Sends forth a rattling murmur to the land.

Whose sound allures the golden Morpheus

In silence of the night to visit us), 350

My turret stands; and there, God knows, I play

With Venus' swans and sparrows all the day.

A 2 dwarfish beldam bears me company,

That hops about the chamber where I lie.

And spends the night, that might be better spent,

In vain discourse and apish merriment : —

1 Hushed,

2 ' ' To the ' beldam nurse ' there occurs the following allusion in Dray-
ton's Heroical Epistle from Queen Mary to Charles Brandon : —

' There is no beldam nurse to powt nor lower
When wantoning we revell in my tower,
Nor need I top my turret with a light,
To guide thee to me as thou swim'st by night.'" — Broughton.

First Sesliad. 1 9

Come thither." As she spake this, lier tongue tripp'd,

For unawares " Come thither" from her slipp'd ;

And suddenly her former colour chang'd,

And here and there her eyes through anger rang'd ; 360

And, like a planet moving several ways

At one self instant, she, poor soul, assays,

Loving, not to love at all, and every part

Strove to resist the motions of her heart ;

And hands so pure, so innocent, nay, such

As might have made Heaven stoop to have a touch,

Did she uphold to Venus, and again

Vow'd spotless chastity ; but all in vain ;

Cupid beats down her prayers with his wings ;

Her vows above ^ the empty air he flings : 370

All deep enrag'd, his sinewy bow be bent.

And shot a shaft that burning from him went ;

Wherewith she strooken, look'd so dolefully,

As made Love sigh to see his tyranny ;

And, as she wept, her tears to pearl he turn'd,

And wound them on his arm, and for her mourn'd.

Then towards the palace of the Destinies,

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