Massacre at Paris - Christopher Marlowe - ebook

The Massacre at Paris is a historical play by the celebrated Elizabethan playwright Christopher Marlowe, also the author of the masterpiece Dr. Faustus. It displays the events of the Saint Bartholomew's Day Massacre that took place in the French capital in 1572. The gory massacre, which lasted for several weeks, was of a religious aspect. In addition to Parisian Calvinist Protestants, thousands of their coreligionists poured into the city to celebrate at the wedding of one of their leaders when they were violently attacked and exterminated by mobs.

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Massacre at Paris

Christopher Marlowe


[Scene i]

Enter Charles the French King, [Catherine] the Queene Mother, the King of Navarre, the Prince of Condye, the Lord high Admirall, and [Margaret] the Queene of Navarre, with others.

CHARLES. Prince of Navarre my honourable brother, Prince Condy, and my good Lord Admirall, wishe this union and religious league, Knit in these hands, thus joyn'd in nuptiall rites, May not desolve, till death desolve our lives, And that the native sparkes of princely love, That kindled first this motion in our hearts, May still be feweld in our progenye.

NAVAREE. The many favours which your grace has showne, From time to time, but specially in this, Shall binde me ever to your highnes will, In what Queen Mother or your grace commands.

QUEENE MOTHER. Thanks sonne Navarre, you see we love you well, That linke you in mariage with our daughter heer: And as you know, our difference in Religion Might be a meanes to crosse you in your love.

CHARLES. Well Madam, let that rest: And now my Lords the mariage rites perfourm'd, We think it good to goe and consumate The rest, with hearing of an holy Masse: Sister, I think your selfe will beare us company.

QUEENE MARGARET. I will my good Lord.

CHARLES. The rest that will not goe (my Lords) may stay: Come Mother, Let us goe to honor this solemnitie.

QUEENE MOTHER. Which Ile desolve with bloud and crueltie.


Exit [Charles] the King, Queene Mother, and [Margaret] the Queene of Navar [with others], and manet Navar, the Prince of Condy, and the Lord high Admirall.

NAVARRE. Prince Condy and my good Lord Admiral, Now Guise may storme but does us little hurt: Having the King, Queene Mother on our side, To stop the mallice of his envious heart, That seekes to murder all the Protestants: Have you not heard of late how he decreed, If that the King had given consent thereto, That all the protestants that are in Paris, Should have been murdered the other night?

ADMIRALL. My Lord I mervaile that th'aspiring Guise Dares once adventure without the Kings assent, To meddle or attempt such dangerous things.

CONDY. My Lord you need not mervaile at the Guise, For what he doth the Pope will ratifie: In murder, mischeefe, or in tiranny.

NAVARRE. But he that sits and rules above the clowdes, Doth heare and see the praiers of the just: And will revenge the bloud of innocents, That Guise hath slaine by treason of his heart, And brought by murder to their timeles ends.

ADMIRALL. My Lord, but did you mark the Cardinall The Guises brother, and the Duke Dumain: How they did storme at these your nuptiall rites, Because the house of Burbon now comes in, And joynes your lineage to the crowne ofFrance?

NAVARRE. And thats the cause that Guise so frowns at us, And beates his braines to catch us in his trap, Which he hath pitcht within his deadly toyle. Come my Lords lets go to the Church and pray, That God may still defend the right of France: And make his Gospel flourish in this land.


[Scene ii]

Enter the Duke of Guise.

GUISE. If ever Hymen lowr'd at marriage rites, And had his alters decks with duskie lightes: If ever sunne stainde heaven with bloudy clowdes, And made it look with terrour on the worlde: If ever day were turnde to ugly night, And night made semblance of the hue of hell, This day, this houre, this fatall night, Shall fully shew the fury of them all. Apothecarie.--

Enter the Pothecarie.


GUISE. Now shall I prove and guerdon to the ful, The love thou bear'st unto the house of Guise: Where are those perfumed gloves which late I sent To be poysoned, hast thou done them? speake, Will every savour breed a pangue of death?

POTHECARIE. See where they be my Lord, and he that smelles but to them, dyes.

GUISE. Then thou remainest resolute.

POTHECARIE. I am my Lord, in what your grace commaundes till death.

GUISE. Thankes my good freend, I wil requite thy love. Goe then, present them to the Queene Navarre: For she is that huge blemish in our eye, That makes these upstart heresies in Fraunce: Be gone my freend, present them to her straite. Souldyer.--

Exit Pothecaier.

Enter a Souldier.


GUISE. Now come thou forth and play thy tragick part, Stand in some window opening neere the street, And when thou seest the Admirall ride by, Discharge thy musket and perfourme his death: And then Ile guerdon thee with store of crownes.

SOULDIER. I will my Lord.

Exit Souldier.