The First Part
of Tamburlaine the Great.
Renascence Edition was transcribed by Risa Stephanie Bear, November,
the adaptation to modernized spelling, Ernest Rhys, general editor, of
the text of the octavo of 1590, in
Plays of Christopher Marlowe, London: J. M. Dent &
Sons, Ltd., New York:
E.P. Dutton & Co., 1910. The printer's envoi is adapted
from that in the edition of Brooke, Oxford, 1910 (which is much the
better edition, for those seeking to do assigned reading here).
to this presentation is copyright © 2007 The
of Oregon. For nonprofit and educational uses only. Send comments and
to the publisher, rbear[at]uoregon.edu
This edition is dedicated to Bjorn Bear.
TAMBURLAINE THE GREAT
To the Gentlemen Readers: And others
that take pleasure in reading
whosoever: I have here published in print for your sakes, the two
tragical Discourses of the Scythian Shepherd, Tamburlaine, that became
so great a conqueror, and so mighty a Monarch: My hope is, that they
will be now no less acceptable unto you to read after your serious
affairs and studies, than they have been (lately) delightful for many
of you to see, when the same were shewed in London upon stages: I have
purposely omitted and left out some fond and frivolous gestures,
digressing (and in my poor opinion) far unmeet for the matter, which I
thought, might seem more tedious unto the wise, than any way else to be
regarded, though (haply) they have been of some vain conceited
fondlings greatly gaped at, what times they were shewed upon the stage
in their graced deformities: nevertheless now, to be mixtured in print
with such matter of worth, it would prove a great disgrace to so
honorable and stately a history: Great folly were it in me, to commend
unto your wisdoms, either the eloquence of the Author that writ them,
or the worthiness of the matter itself; I therefore leave unto your
learned censures, both the one and the other, and myself the poor
printer of them unto your most courteous and favourable
protection; which if you vouchsafe to accept, you shall evermore bind
me to employ what travail and service I can, to the advancing and
pleasuring of your excellent degree.
Yours, most humble at
R. J. Printer
Usumcasane,} his followers.
of the Turks.
King of Morocco.
King of Argier.
|King of Arabia.
Soldan of Egypt.
Governor of Damascus.
Magnetes, }Median lords.
Philemus, Bassoes, Lords,
Citizens, Moors, Soldiers, and
the Soldan of
Ebea, her maid.
veins of rhyming mother-wits,
And such conceits as clownage keeps in
lead you to the stately tent of war,
Where you shall hear the Scythian
Threatening the world with high
kingdoms with his conquering sword.
View but his picture in this tragic
And then applaud his fortunes as you
Enter Mycetes, Cosroe, Meander,
Ortygius, Ceneus, Menaphon, with
Myc. Brother Cosroe, I find myself
Yet insufficient to express the same,
For it requires a great and
Good brother, tell the cause unto my
I know you have a
wit than I.
Cos. Unhappy Persia, that in
been the seat of mighty conquerors,
That, in their prowess and their
Have triumph'd over Afric, and the
Of Europe where the sun dares
For freezing meteors and congealed
Now to be rul'd and
by a man
At whose birthday Cynthia with Saturn
And Jove, the
To shed their influence in his fickle
Tartars shake their swords at thee,
Meaning to mangle all thy
Myc. Brother, I see your meaning
And through your planets I perceive
I am not wise enough to
But I refer me to my noblemen,
That know my wit, and can be
might command you to be slain for this,--
Meander, might I not?
Mean. Not for so small a fault, my
Myc. I mean it not, but yet I know
live; yea, live; Mycetes wills it so.--
Meander, thou, my faithful
Declare the cause of my conceived
Which is, God knows, about
That, like a fox in midst of
Doth prey upon
flocks of passengers;
And, as I hear, doth mean to pull my
'tis good and meet for to be wise.
Mean. Oft have I heard your majesty
Tamburlaine, that sturdy Scythian thief,
your merchants of Persepolis
Trading by land unto the Western
your confines with his lawless train
Daily commits incivil outrages,
(misled by dreaming prophecies)
To reign in Asia, and with barbarous
make himself the monarch of the East:
But, ere he march in Asia, or
vagrant ensign in the Persian fields,
Your grace hath taken order by
Charg'd with a thousand horse, to
And bring him
to your highness' throne.
Myc. Full true thou speak'st, and
Whom I may term a Damon for thy love:
Therefore 'tis best, if so
To send my thousand horse incontinent
To apprehend that paltry
How like you this, my honourable lords?
Is it not a kingly
Cos. It cannot choose, because it
Myc. Then hear thy charge, valiant
The chiefest captain of Mycetes' host,
The hope of Persia, and the very
Whereon our state doth lean as on a
That holds us up and foils
Thou shalt be leader of this thousand
with rage and high disdain
Have sworn the death of wicked
frowning forth; but come thou smiling home,
As did Sir Paris with the
Return with speed; time passeth swift
Our life is frail,
and we may
Ther. Before the moon renew her
Doubt not, my lord and gracious
But Tamburlaine and that
Shall either perish by our warlike
Or plead for mercy at
Myc. Go, stout Theridamas; thy words
And with thy looks thou conquerest all
I long to see
back return from hence,
That I may view these milk-white
steeds of mine
loaden with the heads of killed men,
And, from their knees even to
that makes a dainty show.
Ther. Then now, my lord, I humbly
Myc. Theridamas, farewell ten thousand times.
Menaphon, why stay'st thou thus behind,
men press forward for renown?
Menaphon, go into Scythia,
And foot by
foot follow Theridamas.
Cos. Nay, pray you, let him stay; a
Menaphon than warring with a thief:
pro-rex of all Africa,
That he may
win the Babylonians' hearts,
revolt from Persian government,
have a wiser king than you.
Myc. Unless they have a wiser king
his words; Meander, set them down.
Cos. And add this to
see the folly of their king.
Myc. Well, here I swear by this
Cos. You may do well to kiss it, then.
silk as best beseems my state,
reveng'd for these contemptuous words!
O where is
duty and allegiance now?
Fled to the
Caspian or the Ocean main?
I call thee? brother? no, a foe;
nature, shame unto thy stock,
presume thy sovereign for to mock!--
come: I am abus'd, Meander.
Cosroe and Menaphon,
Men. How now, my lord! what,
To hear the
king thus threaten like himself!
Cos. Ah, Menaphon, I pass not
The plot is
laid by Persian noblemen
captains of the Median garrisons
To crown me
emperor of Asia:
But this it
is that doth excruciate
substance of my vexed soul,
To see our
neighbours, that were wont to quake
at the Persian monarch's name,
Now sit and
laugh our regiment to scorn;
which might resolve me into tears,
the farthest equinoctial line
swarm'd in troops into the Eastern India,
their ships with gold and precious stones,
their spoils from all our provinces.
Men. This should entreat
highness to rejoice,
Fortune gives you opportunity
To gain the
title of a conqueror
of this maimed empery.
Europe bordering on your land,
continent to your dominions,
may you, with a mighty host,
Græcia, as did Cyrus once,
them to withdraw their forces home,
subdue the pride of Christendom!
Cos. But, Menaphon, what means this
Men. Behold, my lord, Ortygius and the rest
the crown to make you emperor!
Re-enter Ortygius and Ceneus,
others, bearing a crown.
Orty. Magnificent and mighty prince
We, in the
name of other Persian states
commons of this mighty monarchy,
thee with th' imperial diadem.
Cen. The warlike soldiers and
heretofore have fill'd Persepolis
With Afric captains
taken in the field,
ransom made them march in coats of gold,
costly jewels hanging at their ears,
stones upon their lofty crests,
idle in the walled towns,
both pay and martial discipline,
troops to threaten civil war,
exclaim against their kings:
to stay all sudden mutinies,
invest your highness emperor;
soldiers will conceive more joy
the Macedonians at the spoil
Darius and his wealthy host.
Cos. Well, since I see the state
languish in my brother's government,
receive th' imperial crown,
And vow to
wear it for my country's good,
In spite of
them shall malice my estate.
Orty. And, in assurance of
here do crown thee monarch of the East,
Emperor of Asia and Persia;
Great lord of Media and Armenia;
Mesopotamia and of Parthia,
East India and the late-discover'd
Chief lord of all the wide vast Euxine Sea;
And of the ever-raging
All. Long live Cosroe, mighty emperor!
never let me longer live
Than I may seek to gratify your love,
soldiers that thus honour me
To triumph over many provinces!
of discipline in arms
I doubt not shortly but to reign sole king.
army of Theridamas
(Whither we presently will fly, my lords,)
against my brother's force.
Orty. We knew, my lord, before we
Intending your investion so near
The residence of your
The lords would not be too exasperate
To injury or suppress
Or, if they would, there are in readiness
carry you from hence,
In spite of all suspected enemies.
well, my lord, and thank you all.
Orty. Sound up the trumpets,
Enter Tamburlaine leading Zenocrate,
Agydas, Magnetes, Lords, and Soldiers loaden with treasure.
Tamb. Come, lady, let not this appal
and the treasure we have ta'en
reserv'd, and you in better state
Than if you
were arriv'd in Syria,
Even in the
circle of your father's arms,
Soldan of Ægyptia.
Zeno. Ah, shepherd, pity my distressed
thou seem'st, thou art so mean a man,)
not to enrich thy followers
rapine from a silly maid,
travelling with these Median lords
from my uncle's country of Media,
my youth, I have been governed,
the army of the mighty Turk,
privy-signet and his hand
conduct as thorough Africa.
Mag. And, since we have arrived in
Besides rich presents from the puissant Cham,
We have his highness'
Aid and assistance, if we stand in need.
Tamb. But now you see these letters
Are countermanded by a greater man;
And through my provinces you must
Letters of conduct from my mightiness,
If you intend to keep your
But, since I love to live at liberty
As easily may you get the
As any prizes out of my precinct;
For they are friends that help
Till men and kingdoms help to strengthen it
And must maintain
exempt from servitude--
But, tell me, madam, is your grace betroth'd?
Zeno. I am, my lord,--for so you do
Tamb. I am a lord, for so my deeds
And yet a shepherd by my parentage.
But, lady, this fair face and
Must grace his bed that conquers Asia,
And means to be a terror to the
Measuring the limits of his empery
By east and west, as Phœbus doth
Lie here, ye weeds, that I disdain to wear!
Are adjuncts more beseeming Tamburlaine.--
whatsoever you esteem
Of this success, and loss unvalued,
empress of the East;
And these that seem but silly country swains
leading of so great an host
As with their weight shall make the
Even as when windy exhalations,
Fighting for passage, tilt within
Tech. As princely lions, when they
Stretching their paws, and threatening herds of
armour looketh Tamburlaine.
Methinks I see kings kneeling at his feet,
with frowning brows and fiery looks
Spurning their crowns from off
Usum. And making thee and me,
That even to death will follow Tamburlaine.
Tamb. Nobly resolv'd, sweet friends
These lords perhaps do scorn our estimates,
And think we
with distemper'd spirits:
But, since they measure our deserts so mean,
conceit bear empires on our spears,
Affecting thoughts coequal with the
They shall be kept our forced followers
Till with their eyes they view
Zeno. The gods, defenders of the
never prosper your intended drifts,
That thus oppress poor friendless
Therefore at least admit us liberty,
Even as thou hop'st to
By living Asia's mighty emperor.
Agyd. I hope our lady's treasure and
serve for ransom to our liberties:
Return our mules and empty camels
we may travel into Syria,
Where her betrothed lord, Alcidamus,
arrival of her highness' person.
Mag. And wheresoever we repose
will report but well of Tamburlaine.
Tamb. Disdains Zenocrate to live
you, my lord, to be my followers?
Think you I weigh this treasure more
Not all the gold in India's wealthy arms
Shall buy the meanest
Zenocrate, lovelier than the love of Jove,
Brighter than is
Fairer than whitest snow on Scythian hills,
worth to Tamburlaine
Than the possession of the Persian crown,
stars have promis'd at my birth.
A hundred Tartars shall attend on
steeds swifter than Pegasus;
Thy garments shall be made of Median silk,
Enchas'd with precious jewels of mine own,
More rich and valurous than
With milk-white harts upon an ivory sled
Thou shalt be
amidst the frozen pools,
And scale the icy mountains' lofty tops,
thy beauty will be soon resolv'd:
My martial prizes, with five hundred
on the fifty-headed Volga's waves,
Shall we all offer to Zenocrate,
myself to fair Zenocrate.
Tech. What now! in love?
Tamb. Techelles, women must be flattered:
is she with whom I am in love.
Enter a Soldier.
Tamb. How now! what's the matter?
thousand Persian horsemen are at hand,
the king to overcome us all.
Tamb. How now, my lords of Egypt
your jewels be restor'd again,
And I, that
triumph'd so, be overcome?
you, lordlings? is not this your hope?
Agyd. We hope
willingly restore them.
Tamb. Such hope, such fortune, have
Soft ye, my
lords, and sweet Zenocrate!
You must be
forced from me ere you go--
horsemen! we five hundred foot!
An odds too
great for us to stand against.
they rich? and is their armour good?
Sold. Their plumed
wrought with beaten gold,
swords enamell'd, and about their necks
chains of gold down to the waist;
part exceeding brave and rich.
Tamb. Then shall we fight
Or look you
I should play the orator?
Tech. No; cowards and faint-hearted
orations when the foe is near:
shall play the orators for us.
Usum. Come, let us meet them at
And with a
sudden and an hot alarum
Drive all their horses
headlong down the
Tech. Come, let us march.
Techelles; ask a
The Soldiers enter.
Open the mails,
yet guard the treasure sure:
Lay out our
golden wedges to the view,
reflections may amaze the Persians;
And look we
friendly on them when they come:
they offer word or violence,
fight, five hundred men-at-arms to one
part with our possession;
the general we will lift our swords,
lance his greedy thirsting throat,
Or take him
prisoner, and his chain shall serve
manacles till he be ransom'd home.
Tech. I hear them come: shall we
Tamb. Keep all your standings, and
not stir a
Myself will bide the danger of the brunt.
Enter Theridamas, with others.
Ther. Where is this Scythian
Tamb. Whom seek'st thou, Persian? I am
shepherd so embellished
nature's pride and richest furniture!
do menace heaven and dare the gods;
eyes are fix'd upon the earth,
As if he
now devis'd some stratagem,
Or meant to
pierce Avernus' darksome vaults
To pull the
triple-headed dog from hell.
Tamb. Noble and mild this Persian
habit judge the inward man.
Tech. His deep affections make him
Tamb. With what a majesty he rears his looks!--
thou valiant man of Persia,
I see the
folly of thy emperor.
but captain of a thousand horse,
characters graven in thy brows,
And by thy
martial face and stout aspect,
to have the leading of an host?
king, and do but join with me,
And we will
triumph over all the world:
I hold the
Fates bound fast in iron chains,
And with my
hand turn Fortune's wheel about;
shall the sun fall from his sphere
Tamburlaine be slain or overcome.
thy sword thou mighty man-at-arms,
but to raze my charmed skin,
himself will stretch his hand from heaven
To ward the
blow, and shield me safe from harm.
See, how he
rains down heaps of gold in showers,
As if he
meant to give my soldiers pay!
And, as a
sure and grounded argument
shall be the monarch of the East,
this Soldan's daughter rich and brave,
To be my
queen and portly emperess.
wilt stay with me, renowmed man,
thy thousand horse with my conduct,
share of this Egyptian prize,
thousand horse shall sweat with martial spoil
conquer'd kingdoms and of cities sack'd:
will walk upon the lofty cliffs;
Christian merchants, that with Russian stems
huge furrows in the Caspian Sea,
to us as lords of all the lake;
will reign as consuls of the earth,
kings shall be our senators.
sometimes masted in a shepherd's weed;
those steps that he hath scal'd the heavens
become immortal like the gods.
me now in this my mean estate,
(I call it
mean, because, being yet obscure,
far-remov'd admire me not,)
And when my
name and honour shall be spread
As far as
Boreas claps his brazen wings,
Bootes sends his cheerful light,
thou be competitor with me,
with Tamburlaine in all his majesty.
Ther. Not Hermes, prolocutor to the
use persuasions more pathetical.
Tamb. Nor are Apollo's oracles more
thou shalt find my vaunts substantial.
Tech. We are his friends; and if the
Should offer present
dukedoms to our state,
We think it loss to make exchange for that
of by our friend's success.
Usum. And kingdoms at the least we
honour in assured conquests,
shall crouch unto our conquering swords,
of soldiers stand amaz'd at us,
their fearful tongues they shall confess,
the men that all the world admires.
Ther. What strong
my yielding soul
resolved, noble Scythians!
But shall I
prove a traitor to my king?
Tamb. No; but the trusty friend
Ther. Won with thy words, and conquer'd with thy
myself, my men, and horse to thee,
partaker of thy good or ill,
As long as
life maintains Theridamas.
Tamb. Theridamas, my friend, take
Which is as
much as if I swore by heaven,
the gods to witness of my vow.
my heart be still combin'd with thine
bodies turn to elements,
our souls aspire celestial thrones.--
and Casane, welcome him.
Tech. Welcome, renowmed Persian, to
Usum. Long may Theridamas remain with us!
my friends, in
whom I more rejoice
the king of Persia in his crown;
And, by the
love of Pylades and Orestes,
statues we adore in Scythia,
them shall never part from me
crown you kings in Asia.
of them, gentle Theridamas,
will never leave thee till the death.
Ther. Nor thee nor them,
my heart to be with gladness pierc'd,
To do you
honour and security.
Tamb. A thousand thanks, worthy
fair madam, and my noble lords,
If you will
willingly remain with me,
have honours as your merits be;
Or else you
shall be forc'd with slavery.
Agyd. We yield unto thee, happy
Tamb. For you, then, madam, I am out of doubt.
must be pleas'd perforce,--wretched Zenocrate!
Enter Cosroe, Menaphon, Ortygius,
and Ceneus, with Soldiers.
Cos. Thus far are we towards
valiant Tamburlaine, the man of fame,
The man that in the forehead of
Bears figures of renown and miracle.
But tell me, that hast
What stature wields he, and what personage?
Men. Of stature tall, and
Like his desire, lift upwards and divine;
So large of limbs, his joints
Such breadth of shoulders as might mainly bear
Old Atlas' burden;
his manly pitch,
A pearl more worth than all the world is plac'd,
curious sovereignty of art
Are fix'd his piercing instruments of sight,
fiery circles bear encompassed
A heaven of heavenly bodies in their
That guides his steps and actions to the throne
Where honour sits
Pale of complexion, wrought in him with passion,
sovereignty and love of arms;
His lofty brows in folds do figure death,
their smoothness amity and life;
About them hangs a knot of amber hair,
in curls, as fierce Achilles' was,
On which the breath of heav'n
Making it dance with wanton majesty;
His arms and fingers long and
Betokening valour and excess of strength;--
In every part proportion'd
Should make the world subdu'd to Tamburlaine.
Cos. Well hast thou pourtray'd in
thy terms of
The face and personage of a wondrous man:
Nature doth strive with
and his stars
To make him famous in accomplish'd worth;
And well his
shew him to be made
His fortune's master and the king of men,
persuade, at such a sudden pinch,
reasons of his valour and his life,
sworn and overmatching foes.
our powers in points of swords are join'd,
in compass of the killing bullet,
strait the passage and the port be made
to palace of my brother's life,
his fortune if we pierce it not;
the princely Persian diadem
overweigh his weary witless head,
like mellow'd fruit, with shakes of death
Persia noble Tamburlaine
Shall be my
regent, and remain as king.
Orty. In happy hour we have set
Upon your kingly
head, that seeks our honour
with the man ordain'd by heaven
every action to the best.
Cen. He that with shepherds and a
disdain of wrong and tyranny,
freedom 'gainst a monarchy,
he do supported by a king,
troop of gentlemen and lords,
with treasure for his highest thoughts!
Cos. And such shall
will be forty thousand strong,
Tamburlaine and brave Theridamas
Have met us
by the river Araris;
conjoin'd to meet the witless king,
That now is
marching near to Parthia,
unwilling soldiers faintly arm'd,
revenge on me and Tamburlaine;
sweet Menaphon, direct me straight.
Men. I will, my lord.
Enter ; Mycetes, Meander,
other Lords; and Soldiers.
Myc. Come, my Meander, let us to
tell you true, my heart is swoln with wrath
On this same thievish
And of that false Cosroe, my traitorous brother.
grieve a king to be so abus'd,
And have a
thousand horsemen ta'en away?
And, which is worse, to have his diadem
for by such scald knaves as love him not?
I think it would: well,
heavens I swear,
Aurora shall not peep out of her doors,
But I will
by the head,
And kill proud Tamburlaine with point of sword.
Meander: I have said.
having pass'd Armenian deserts now,
And pitch'd our tents under the
Whose tops are cover'd with Tartarian thieves,
That lie in
waiting for a prey,
What should we do but bid them battle straight,
world of those detested troops?
Lest, if we let them linger here a
gather strength by power of fresh supplies.
This country swarms with
That live by rapine and by lawless spoil,
And he that could with gifts and promises
led a thousand horse,
And make him false his faith unto his king,
win such as be like himself.
Therefore cheer up your minds; prepare to
He that can take or slaughter Tamburlaine,
Shall rule the province of
Who brings that traitor's head, Theridamas,
Shall have a government in
Beside the spoil of him and all his train:
But, if Cosroe (as our
And as we know) remains with Tamburlaine,
His highness' pleasure is
And be reclaim'd with princely lenity.
Enter a Spy.
Spy. An hundred horsemen of my
abroad upon these champion plains,
Have view'd the army of the
make report it far exceeds the king's.
Mean. Suppose they be in number
being void of martial discipline,
All running headlong, greedy after
And more regarding gain than victory,
Like to the cruel brothers of the
the teeth of dragons venomous,
careless swords shall lance their fellows' throats,
And make us
triumph in their overthrow.
Myc. Was there such brethren,
of teeth of dragons venomous?
Mean. So poets say, my lord.
'tis a pretty toy to be a poet.
Meander, thou art deeply read;
thee, I have a jewel sure.
Go on, my
lord, and give your charge, I say;
will make us conquerors to-day.
Mean. Then, noble soldiers, to
confounded in disorder'd troops,
or riches may prevail with them,
We have our
camels laden all with gold,
that be but common soldiers
in every corner of the field;
the base-born Tartars take it up,
fighting more for honour than for gold,
massacre those greedy-minded slaves;
their scatter'd army is subdu'd,
march on their slaughter'd carcasses.
equally the gold that bought their lives,
like gentlemen in Persia.
the drum, and march courageously:
herself doth sit upon our crests.
Myc. He tells you true, my
sound ye not when Meander speaks?
Enter Cosroe, Tamburlaine, Theridamas, Techelles,
Usumcasane, and Ortygius, with
worthy Tamburlaine, have I repos'd
approved fortunes all my hope.
think'st thou, man, shall come of our attempts?
as from assured oracle,
I take thy
doom for satisfaction.
Tamb. And so mistake you not a whit, my
and oracles heav'n have sworn
the deeds of Tamburlaine,
them blest that share in his attempts
you not but, if you favour me,
And let my
fortunes and my valour sway
direction in your martial deeds,
will strive with hosts of men-at-arms
unto the ensign I support.
of Xerxes, which by fame is said
the mighty Parthian Araris,
Was but a
handful to that we will have:
quivering lances, shaking in the air,
bullets, like Jove's dreadful thunderbolts,
flames and fiery smouldering mists,
threat the gods more than Cyclopian wars;
our sun-bright armour, as we march,
the stars from heaven, and dim their eye
and muse at our admired arms.
Ther. You see, my lord, what working
But, when you see his actions top his speech,
Your speech will
so extol his worth
As I shall be commended and excus'd
For turning my
charge to his direction:
And these his two renowmed friends, my lord,
make one thirst and strive to be retain'd
In such a great degree of
Tech. With duty and with amity we
utmost service to the fair Cosroe.
Cos. Which I esteem as portion of
Usumcasane and Techelles both,
When she that rules in Rhamnus' golden
And makes a passage for all prosperous arms,
Shall make me solely
Then shall your meeds and valours be advanc'd
To rooms of honour
Tamb. Then haste, Cosroe, to be king
I with these my friends and all my men
May triumph in our long--expected
The king, your brother, is now hard at hand:
Meet with the fool, and
Of such a burden as outweighs the sands
And all the
rocks of Caspia.
Enter a Messenger.
discovered the enemy
Ready to charge you with a mighty army.
Tamburlaine; now whet thy winged sword,
thy lofty arm into the clouds,
That it may
reach the king of Persia's crown,
And set it
safe on my victorious head.
Tamb. See where it is, the keenest
made passage thorough Persian arms!
the wings shall make it fly as swift
As doth the
lightning or the breath of heaven,
And kill as
sure as it swiftly flies.
Cos. Thy words assure me of kind
soldier, go before, and charge
fainting army of that foolish king.
Tamb. Usumcasane and
We are enow
to scare the enemy,
than needs to make an emperor.
to the battle.
Enter Mycetes, with
his crown in
Myc. Accurs'd be he that first
They knew not, ah, they knew not, simple men,
How those were hit by
Stand staggering like a quivering aspen-leaf
Boreas' boisterous blasts!
In what a lamentable case were I,
given me wisdom's lore!
For kings are clouts that every man shoots at,
crown the pin that thousands seek to cleave:
Therefore in policy I
To hide it close; a goodly stratagem,
And far from any man that is
So shall not I be known; or if I be,
They cannot take away my crown
Here will I hide it in this simple hole.
Tamb. What, fearful coward,
straggling from the
themselves are present in the field!
Myc. Thou liest.
Tamb. Base villain, darest thou give
me the lie?
Myc. Away! I am the king; go; touch me not.
break'st the law of arms, unless thou kneel,
And cry me
"mercy, noble king!"
Tamb. Are you the witty king of Persia?
Myc. Ay, marry, am I: have you any suit to me?
Tamb. I would
entreat you to speak but three wise words.
Myc. So I can when
I see my
Tamb. Is this your crown?
Myc. Ay: didst thou
ever see a
Tamb. You will not sell it, will you?
word, and I will have thee executed.
Tamb. No; I took it prisoner.
Myc. You lie; I
gave it you.
Tamb. Then 'tis mine.
Myc. No; I mean I
Tamb. Well, I mean you shall have it again.
it for a while: I lend it thee,
Till I may
see thee hemm'd with armed men;
thou see me pull it from thy head:
Thou art no
match for mighty Tamburlaine.
Myc. O gods, is this
much he stole it not away.
to the battle: he runs out.
Enter Cosroe, Tamburlaine, Menaphon,
Tamb. Hold thee, Cosroe; wear two
Theridamas, Techelles, Usumcasane, with others.
Think thee invested now as royally,
Even by the mighty hand of
As if as many kings as could encompass thee
crown'd thee emperor.
Cos. So do I, thrice-renowmed
none shall keep the crown but Tamburlaine:
Thee do I make my regent of
And general lieutenant of my armies.--
Meander, you, that were our
And chiefest counsellor in all his acts,
Since he is yielded to the
On your submission we with thanks excuse,
And give you equal place
Mean. Most happy
emperor, in humblest terms
I vow my
service to your majesty,
virtue of my faith and duty.
Cos. Thanks, good Meander.--Then,
Persia in her former pomp.
embassage to thy neighbour kings,
them know the Persian king is chang'd,
that knew not what a king should do,
To one that
can command what 'longs thereto.
And now we
will to fair Persepolis
thousand expert soldiers.
and captains of my brother's camp
slaughter take Meander's course,
yield them to my gracious rule.--
and Menaphon, my trusty friends.
Now will I
gratify your former good,
your calling with a greater sway.
Orty. And as we ever aim'd
your state all honour it deserv'd,
So will we
with our powers and our lives
to preserve and prosper it.
Cos. I will not thank thee, sweet
replies shall prove my purposes.--
Lord Tamburlaine, my brother's camp
I leave to
thee and to Theridamas,
me to fair Persepolis;
we march to all those Indian mines
brother to the Christians lost,
them with fame and usury:
thou overtake me, Tamburlaine,
order all the scatter'd troops,)
lord regent and his happy friends.
I long to
sit upon my brother's throne.
Mean. Your majesty shall shortly
And ride in
triumph through Persepolis.
all except Tamb., Ther., Tech., and Usum.
Tamb. And ride in
Is it not
brave to be a king, Techelles!--
Is it not
passing brave to be a king,
And ride in
triumph through Persepolis?
Tech. O, my lord, it is sweet and
Usum. To be a king, is half to be a god.
Ther. A god is not so glorious as a
the pleasure they enjoy in heaven,
Cannot compare with kingly joys in
To wear a crown enchas'd with pearl and gold,
Whose virtues carry with
To ask and have, command and be obey'd;
When looks breed
looks to gain the prize,
Such power attractive shines in princes' eyes.
Tamb. Why, say, Theridamas, wilt
thou be a king?
Ther. Nay, though I praise it, I can
Tamb. What say my other friends? will you be
Tech. I, if I could, with all my
heart, my lord.
Tamb. Why, that's well said,
Techelles: so would I:--
And so would you,
would you not?
Usum. What, then, my lord?
Tamb. Why, then, Casane, shall we
wish for aught
The world affords in greatest novelty,
And rest attemptless, faint, and
Methinks we should not. I
am strongly mov'd,
That if I should desire the Persian crown,
with a wondrous ease:
And would not all our soldiers soon consent,
aim at such a dignity?
Ther. I know they would with our
Tamb. Why, then, Theridamas, I'll
get the Persian kingdom to myself;
Then thou for Parthia; they for
And, if I prosper, all shall be as sure
As if the Turk, the
Came creeping to us with their crowns a-piece.
Tech. Then shall we send to this
And bid him battle for his novel crown?
Usum. Nay, quickly, then, before his
room be hot.
Tamb. 'Twill prove a pretty jest, in
Ther. A jest to charge on twenty
judge the purchase more important far.
Tamb. Judge by thyself, Theridamas,
presently Techelles here shall haste
To bid him battle ere he pass too
lose more labour than the gain will quite:
Then shalt thou see this
Make but a jest to win the Persian crown.--
thousand horse with thee,
And bid him turn him back to war with us,
made him king to make us sport:
We will not steal upon him cowardly,
him warning and more warriors:
Haste thee, Techelles; we will follow
Ther. Go on, for me.
Enter Cosroe, Meander, Ortygius, and Menaphon,
Cos. What means this devilish
With such a
To cast up
hills against the face of heaven,
the force of angry Jupiter?
But, as he
thrust them underneath the hills,
out fire from their burning jaws,
So will I
send this monstrous slave to hell,
flames shall ever feed upon his soul.
Mean. Some powers
divine, or else
seeds at his conception;
For he was
never sprung of human race,
the spirit of his fearful pride,
He dares so
doubtlessly resolve of rule,
profession be ambitious.
Orty. What god, or fiend, or spirit
turned to a manly shape,
Or of what
mould or mettle he be made,
or fate soever govern him,
Let us put
on our meet encountering minds;
detesting such a devilish thief,
In love of
honour and defence of right,
against the hate of such a foe,
from earth, or hell, or heaven he grow.
Cos. Nobly resolv'd,
we all have suck'd one wholesome air,
the same proportion of elements
hope we are resembled,
loves to equal death and life.
our soldiers to encounter him,
grievous image of ingratitude,
thirster after sovereignty,
him in the fury of that flame
can quench but blood and empery.
lords and loving soldiers, now
your king and country from decay.
up, drum; and all the stars that make
loathsome circle of my dated life,
weapon to his barbarous heart,
opposeth him against the gods,
the powers that govern Persia!
Alarms of battle within. Then enter Cosroe
Tamburlaine, Theridamas, Techelles, Usumcasane, with
Cos. Barbarous and bloody
deprive me of my crown and life!--
and false Theridamas,
Even at the
morning of my happy state,
being seated in my royal throne,
To work my
downfall and untimely end!
pain torments my grieved soul
arrests the organ of my voice,
entering at the breach thy sword hath made,
vein and artier of my heart.--
Tamb. The thirst of reign and sweetness
the eldest son of heavenly Ops
his doting father from his chair,
himself in the empyreal heaven,
Mov'd me to
manage arms against thy state.
precedent than mighty Jove?
that fram'd us of four elements
within our breasts for regiment,
us all to have aspiring minds:
whose faculties can comprehend
wondrous architecture of the world,
every wandering planet's course,
climbing after knowledge infinite,
moving as the restless spheres,
Will us to
wear ourselves, and never rest,
Until we reach the ripest fruit of all,
perfect bliss and sole felicity,
fruition of an earthly crown.
Ther. And that made me to join
For he is
gross and like the massy earth
not upwards, nor by princely deeds
to soar above the highest sort.
Tech. And that made us, the
our swords against the Persian king.
Vsum. For as, when Jove
thrust old Saturn down,
Dis gain'd each of them a crown,
So do we
hope to reign in Asia,
Tamburlaine be plac'd in Persia.
Cos. The strangest men that
I know not
how to take their tyrannies.
bloodless body waxeth chill and cold.
And with my
blood my life slides through my wound;
begins to take her flight to hell,
all my senses to depart:
and moisture, which did feed each other,
For want of
nourishment to feed them both,
Are dry and
cold; and now doth ghastly Death
talents gripe my bleeding heart,
And like a
harpy tires on my life.--
and Tamburlaine, I die:
vengeance light upon you both!
Cosroe's crown, and puts
his own head.
all the curses which the Furies breathe
me leave so rich a prize as this.
Techelles, and the rest,
you now is king of Persia?
All. Tamburlaine! Tamburlaine!
Mars himself, the angry god of arms,
And all the
earthly potentates conspire
dispossess me of this diadem,
Yet will I
wear it in despite of them,
commander of this eastern world,
If you but
say that Tamburlaine shall reign.
All. Long live Tamburlaine,
Tamb. So; now it is more surer on my head
Than if the
gods had held a parliament,
pronounc'd me king of Persia.
Enter Bajazeth, the kings of Fez, Morocco, and Argier,
Baj. Great kings of Barbary, and my
We hear the
Tartars and the eastern thieves,
conduct of one Tamburlaine,
bickering with your emperor,
to rouse us from our dreadful siege
famous Grecian Constantinople.
our army is invincible;
circumcised Turks we have,
bands of Christians renied,
As hath the
ocean or the Terrene sea
of water when the moon begins
To join in
one her semicircled horns:
we not be brav'd with foreign power,
our siege before the Grecians yield,
breathless lie before the city-walls.
K. of Fez. Renowmed
you sent the bassoes of your guard
him to remain in Asia,
Or else to
threaten death and deadly arms
As from the
mouth of mighty Bajazeth?
Baj. Hie thee, my basso, fast to
thy lord, the Turkish emperor,
of Afric, Europe, and Asia,
and conqueror of Graecia,
Terrene, and the Coal-black sea,
and highest monarch of the world,
commands, (for say not I entreat,)
Not once to
set his foot in Africa,
his colours in Graecia,
incur the fury of my wrath:
Tell him I
am content to take a truce,
hear he bears a valiant mind:
presuming on his silly power,
He be so
mad to manage arms with me,
thou with him,--say, I bid thee so.
before the sun have measur'd heaven
With triple circuit, thou regreet us
mean to take his morning's next arise
For messenger he will not be
And mean to fetch thee in despite of him.
Bass. Most great and
monarch of the earth,
Your basso will accomplish your behest,
pleasure to the Persian,
As fits the legate of the stately Turk.
of Arg. They say he is the king of Persia;
But, if he dare attempt
'Twere requisite he should be ten times more,
For all flesh
at your magnificence.
Baj. True, Argier; and trembles at my
of Mor. The spring is hinder'd by your smothering host;
can fall upon the earth,
Nor sun reflex his virtuous beams thereon,
is mantled with such multitudes.
Baj. All this is true as holy
And all the
trees are blasted with our breaths.
K. of Fez. What thinks
greatness best to be achiev'd
of the city's overthrow?
Baj. I will the captive pioners of
off the water that by leaden pipes
Runs to the city from the mountain
Two thousand horse shall forage up and down,
That no relief or succour
And all the sea my galleys countermand:
Then shall our footmen
And with their cannons, mouth'd like Orcus' gulf,
and we will enter in;
And thus the Grecians shall be conquered.
Enter Zenocrate, Agydas, Anippe, with
Agyd. Madam Zenocrate, may I presume
To know the
cause of these unquiet fits
That work such trouble to your wonted
more than pity such a heavenly face
Should by heart's sorrow wax so wan
When your offensive rape by Tamburlaine
(Which of your whole
should be most)
to be digested long ago.
Zeno. Although it be digested long
exceeding favours have deserv'd,
content the Queen of Heaven, as well
As it hath
chang'd my first-conceiv'd disdain;
Yet since a
farther passion feeds my thoughts
ceaseless and disconsolate conceits.
my looks so lifeless as they are,
if my extremes had full events,
Make me the
ghastly counterfeit of death.
Agyd. Eternal heaven sooner be
that pierceth Phœbus' silver eye,
hap fall to Zenocrate!
Zeno. Ah, life and soul, still hover in
my body senseless as the earth,
unite us to his life and soul,
That I may
live and die with Tamburlaine!
Agyd. With Tamburlaine! Ah, fair Zenocrate,
Let not a
man so vile and barbarous,
you from your father in despite,
you from the honours of a queen,
suppos'd his worthless concubine,)
with your love but for necessity!
So, now the
mighty Soldan hears of you,
highness needs not doubt but in short time
with Tamburlaine's destruction,
from this deadly servitude.
Zeno. Leave to wound me with these
of Tamburlaine as he deserves:
entertainment we have had of him
Is far from
villany or servitude,
in noble minds be counted princely.
Agyd. How can you fancy
looks so fierce,
dispos'd to martial stratagems?
Who, when he
shall embrace you in his arms,
how many thousand men he slew;
you look for amorous discourse,
forth his facts of war and blood,
Too harsh a
subject for your dainty ears.
Zeno. As looks the sun through
Or when the Morning holds him in her arms,
So looks my
lordly love, fair Tamburlaine;
much sweeter than the Muses' song
for honour 'gainst Pierides,
Minerva did with Neptune strive:
would I rear my estimate
sister to the highest god,
If I were
match'd with mighty Tamburlaine.
Agyd. Yet be not so
inconstant in your
But let the
young Arabian live in hope,
rescue to enjoy his choice.
though first the king of Persia,
shepherd, seem'd to love you much,
Now, in his
majesty, he leaves those looks,
of favour, and those comfortings,
no more than common courtesies.
Zeno. Thence rise the tears
disdain my cheeks,
love through my unworthiness.
goes to her, and takes her away
lovingly by the hand, looking
Agydas, and says nothing. Exeunt
by fortune and suspicious love,
with frowning wrath and jealousy
with fear of hideous revenge,
aghast; but most astonied
To see his
choler shut in secret thoughts,
in silence of his angry soul:
brows was pourtray'd ugly death;
And in his
eyes the fury of his heart,
as comets, menacing revenge,
And cast a
pale complexion on his cheeks.
As when the
seaman sees the Hyades
army of Cimmerian clouds,
Aquilon with winged steeds,
sweating, tilt about the watery heavens,
shivering spears enforcing thunder-claps,
their shields strike flames of lightning,)
folds his sails, and sounds the main,
prayers to the heavens for aid
terror of the winds and waves;
Agydas for the late-felt frowns,
That send a
tempest to my daunted thoughts,
And make my
soul divine her overthrow.
Re--enter Techelles with a
naked dagger, and Usumcasane.
Tech. See you, Agydas, how the king
He bids you
prophesy what it imports.
Agyd. I prophesied before, and now I
frowns of jealousy and love.
not with words confirm my fear,
are vain where working tools present
action of my threaten'd end:
Agydas, thou shalt surely die,
extremities elect the least;
and less pain it may procure,
To die by
this resolved hand of thine
the torments he and heaven have sworn.
Agydas, and prevent the plagues
prolonged fates may draw on thee:
free from fear of tyrant's rage,
from the torments and the hell
he may excruciate thy soul;
Agydas by Agydas die,
this stab slumber eternally.
right the man
the meaning of my lord and king!
Usum. Faith, and, Techelles,
he was so wise and honourable,
afford him now the bearing hence,
his triple-worthy burial.
Tech. Agreed, Casane; we will
bearing out the body.
Enter Tamburlaine, Techelles,
Theridamas, a Basso, Zenocrate, Anippe, with
Tamb. Basso, by this thy lord and
mean to meet him in Bithynia:
See, how he comes! tush, Turks are full
And menace more than they can well perform.
He meet me in the field,
Alas, poor Turk! his fortune is too weak
strength of Tamburlaine:
View well my camp, and speak indifferently;
captains and my soldiers look
As if they meant to conquer Africa?
men are valiant, but their number few,
And cannot terrify his mighty
lord, the great commander of the world,
Besides fifteen contributory
Hath now in arms ten thousand janizaries,
Mounted on lusty Mauritanian
Brought to the war by men of Tripoly;
Two hundred thousand footmen that
In two set battles fought in Graecia;
And for the expediton of
If he think good, can from his garrisons
Withdraw as many more to
Tech. The more he brings, the greater is the
For, when they
perish by our
We mean to set our footmen on their steeds,
Tamb. But will those kings accompany your
Bas. Such as his highness please: but some must stay
To rule the
provinces he late subdu'd.
Tamb. [To his Officers]. Then fight
courageously: their crowns are yours,
shall set them on your conquering heads
That made me emperor of Asia.
him bring millions infinite of men,
Unpeopling Western Africa and
we assure us of the victory.
Ther. Even he, that in a trice
More mighty than the Turkish emperor,
Shall rouse him out of
His scatter'd army till they yield or die.
Theridamas! speak in that mood;
For will and shall best
Whose smiling stars give him assured hope
he meets his foes.
I that am term'd the scourge and wrath of God,
and terror of the world,
Will first subdue the Turk, and then enlarge
Christian captives which you keep as slaves,
Burdening their bodies
And feeding them with thin and slender fare;
the Terrene sea,
And, when they chance to rest or breathe a space,
punish'd with bastones so grievously
That they lie panting on the
And strive for life at every stroke they give.
These are the
pirates of Argier,
That damned train, the scum of Africa,
That make quick havoc of the Christian blood:
But, as I
live, that town shall curse the time
That Tamburlaine set foot in Africa.
Enter Bajazeth, Bassoes, the
kings of Fez,
Morocco, and Argier; Zabina and Ebea.
Baj. Bassoes and janizaries of my
the person of your lord,
greatest potentate of Africa.
Tamb. Techelles and the rest,
I mean t'encounter with that Bajazeth.
Baj. Kings of Fez, Morocco, and
He calls me
Bajazeth, whom you call lord!
presumption of this Scythian slave!--
thee, villain, those that lead my horse
their names titles of dignity ;
thou bluntly call me Bajazeth?
Tamb. And know, thou Turk, that
which lead my horse
thee captive thorough Africa;
thou bluntly call me Tamburlaine?
Baj. By Mahomet my
And by the
holy Alcoran I swear,
He shall be
made a chaste and lustless eunuch,
And in my
sarell tend my concubines;
And all his
captains, that thus stoutly stand,
the chariot of my emperess,
Whom I have
brought to see their overthrow!
Tamb. By this my sword that
shall make me famous through the world!
I will not
tell thee how I'll handle thee,
common soldier of my camp
to see thy miserable state.
K. of Fez. What means the mighty
with one so base as Tamburlaine?
K. of Morocco. Ye Moors and
men of Barbary,
How can ye
suffer these indignities?
K. of Arg. Leave words, and let them
Which glided through the bowels of the Greeks.
said, my stout contributory kings!
Your threefold army and my hugy host
swallow up these base-born Persians.
Why stay we
thus prolonging of their lives?
Thcr. I long to see those
crowns won by
That we may
rule as kings of Africa.
Usum. What coward would not fight for
Tamb. Fight all courageously, and be you kings:
I speak it,
and my words are oracles.
Baj. Zabina, mother of three braver
Hercules, that in his infancy
Did pash the jaws of serpents venomous
hands are made to gripe a warlike lance,
Their shoulders broad for
Their limbs more large and of a bigger size
Than all the
y-sprung from Typhon's loins;
Who, when they come unto their father's
batter turrets with their manly fists;--
Sit here upon this royal chair
And on thy head wear my imperial crown,
Until I bring this
And all his captains bound in captive chains.
success happen to Bajazeth!
Tamb. Zenocrate, the loveliest
Fairer than rocks of pearl and precious stone,
The only paragon of
Whose eyes are brighter than the lamps of heaven,
And speech more
That with thy looks canst clear the darken'd sky,
rage of thundering Jupiter;
Sit down by her, adorned with my crown,
wert the empress of the world.
Stir not, Zenocrate, until thou see
victoriously with all my men,
Triumphing over him and these his kings,
will bring as vassals to thy feet;
Till then, take thou my crown, vaunt
And manage words with her, as we will arms.
love, the king of Persia,
Return with victory and free from wound!
shalt thou feel the force of Turkish arms,
lately made all Europe quake for fear.
I have of Turks, Arabians,
Enough to cover all Bithynia:
Let thousands die: their
Shall serve for walls and bulwarks to the rest;
And as the
Hydra, so my power,
Subdu'd, shall stand as mighty as before:
yield their necks unto the sword,
Thy soldiers' arms could not endure
So many blows as I have heads for them.
Thou know'st not,
What 'tis to meet me in the open field,
That leave no
thee to march upon.
Tamb. Our conquering swords shall
marshal us the
We use to march upon the slaughter'd foe,
Trampling their bowels
Brave horses bred on the white Tartarian hills.
to Julius Caesar's host,
That never fought but had the victory;
Pharsalia was there such hot war
As these, my followers, willingly
Legions of spirits, fleeting in the air,
Direct our bullets and our
And make your strokes to wound the senseless light;
our bloody colours spread,
Then Victory begins to take her flight,
herself upon my milk-white tent.--
But come, my lords, to weapons let
The field is ours, the Turk, his wife, and all.
with his followers.
Baj. Come, kings and bassoes, let
us glut our
That thirst to drink the feeble Persians' blood.
with his followers.
concubine, must thou be plac'd by me
That am the
empress of the mighty Turk?
Zeno. Disdainful Turkess, and
thou me concubine, that am betroth'd
great and mighty Tamburlaine?
Zab. To Tamburlaine, the great
Zeno. Thou wilt repent these lavish words of
great basso-master and thyself
for mercy at his kingly feet,
And sue to
me to be your advocate.
Zab. And sue to thee! I tell thee,
Thou shalt be
to my waiting-maid.--
How lik'st thou her, Ebea? will she serve?
she thinks perhaps she is too fine;
But I shall turn her into other
make her dainty fingers fall to work.
Zeno. Hear'st thou,
thy drudge doth talk?
And how my slave, her mistress, menaceth?
sauciness shall be employ'd
To dress the common soldiers' meat and
we will scorn they should come near ourselves.
your highness send for them
To do the work my chambermaid disdains.
to the battle within.
Zeno. Ye gods and powers that govern
And made my lordly love her
Now strengthen him against the Turkish Bajazeth,
like flocks of fearful roes
Pursu'd by hunters, fly his angry looks,
That I may
see him issue conqueror!
Zab. Now, Mahomet, solicit God
make him rain down murdering shot from heaven,
To dash the Scythians'
and strike them dead,
That dare to manage arms with him
thy sacred shrine
When first he warr'd against the Christians!
to the battle within.
Zeno. By this the Turks lie
weltering in their blood,
Tamburlaine is lord of Africa.
Zab. Thou art deceiv'd. I heard the trumpets sound
emperor overthrew the Greeks,
And led them captive into Africa.
Straight will I
use thee as thy pride deserves;
Prepare thyself to live and die my
Zeno. If Mahomet should come from heaven and swear
royal lord is
Yet should he not persuade me otherwise
But that he lives
Re-enter Bajazeth, pursued by Tamburlaine.
Tamb. Now, king of bassoes, who is
Baj. Thou, by the fortune of this damned foil.
are your stout
Re-enter Techelles, Theridamas,
Tech. We have their crowns; their
Tamb. Each man a crown! why, kingly fought,
them into my treasury.
Zeno. Now let me offer to my gracious
crown again so highly won.
Tamb. Nay, take the Turkish crown
me emperor of Africa.
Zab. No, Tamburlaine; though now thou
not yet be lord of Africa.
Ther. Give her the crown, Turkess,
it from her.
villains, thieves, runagates,
you thus abuse my majesty?
Ther. Here, madam, you are
empress; she is
it to Zenocrate.
now, Theridamas; her time is past:
pillars, that have bolster'd up those terms,
Are fain in
clusters at my conquering feet.
Zab. Though he be prisoner, he
Tamb. Not all the world shall ransom Bajazeth.
fair Zabina! we have lost the field;
had the Turkish emperor
So great a
foil by any foreign foe.
the Christian miscreants be glad,
with joy their superstitious bells,
bonfires for my overthrow:
But, ere I
die, those foul idolaters
me bonfires with their filthy bones;
the glory of this day be lost,
Greece have garrisons enough
To make me
sovereign of the earth again.
Tamb. Those walled garrisons
myself great lord of Africa:
So from the
East unto the furthest West
extend his puissant arm.
and those pilling brigandines,
sail to the Venetian gulf,
in the Straits for Christians' wreck,
at anchor in the Isle Asant,
Persian fleet and men-of-war,
along the oriental sea,
Have fetch'd about the Indian continent,
Persepolis to Mexico,
And thence unto the Straits of Jubalter;
meet and join their force in one,
Keeping in awe the Bay of Portingale,
the ocean by the British shore;
And by this means I'll win the world at
Baj. Yet set a ransom on me, Tamburlaine.
Tamburlaine esteems thy gold?
the kings of India, ere I die,
mines, to sue for peace, to me.
And dig for
treasure to appease my wrath.--
them both, and one lead in the Turk;
let my love's maid lead away.
Baj. Ah, villains, dare you touch
my sacred arms?
O Mahomet! O sleepy Mahomet!
cursed Mahomet, that mak'st us thus;
to Scythians rude and barbarous!
Tamb. Come, bring them in;
this happy conquest
and solemnise a martial feast.
of Egypt, Capolin, Lords, and
Sold. Awake, ye men of Memphis! hear
Scythian trumpets; hear the basilisks,
That, roaring, shake Damascus'
The rogue of Volga holds Zenocrate,
The Soldan's daughter, for
And, with a troop of thieves and vagabonds,
Hath spread his
to our high disgrace,
While you, faint-hearted base Egyptians,
on the flowery banks of Nile,
As crocodiles that unaffrighted rest
thundering cannons rattle on their skins.
Mess. Nay, mighty Soldan, did your
The frowning looks of fiery Tamburlaine,
That with his terror and
the hearts of his associates,
It might amaze your royal majesty.
Sold. Villain, I tell thee, were
As monstrous as Gorgon prince of hell,
The Soldan would not start a
But speak, what power hath he?
Mess. Mighty lord,
hundred thousand men in armour clad,
Upon their prancing steeds,
With wanton paces trampling on the ground;
Five hundred thousand
Shaking their swords, their spears, and iron bills,
Environing their standard round, that stood
As bristle-pointed as a
Their warlike engines and munition
Exceed the forces of their
Sold. Nay, could their numbers
Or ever--drizzling drops of April showers,
Or wither'd leaves
Yet would the Soldan by his conquering power
consume them in his rage,
That not a man should live to rue their fall.
Capo. So might your highness, had
you time to
Your fighting men, and raise your royal host;
But Tamburlaine by
Advantage takes of your unreadiness.
Sold. Let him take all th'
advantages he can:
Were all the world conspir'd to fight for him,
Nay, were he devil, as
he is no
Yet in revenge of fair Zenocrate,
Whom he detaineth in despite of
arm should send him down to Erebus,
To shroud his shame in darkness of
Mess. Pleaseth your mightiness to
resolution far exceedeth all.
The first day when he pitcheth down his
White is their hue, and on his silver crest,
A snowy feather
To signify the mildness of his mind,
That, satiate with spoil,
But, when Aurora mounts the second time,
As red as scarlet is
Then must his kindled wrath be quench'd with blood,
that can manage arms:
But, if these threats move not submission,
colours, black pavilion;
His spear, his shield, his horse, his armour,
And jetty feathers, menace death and hell;
Without respect of sex,
He razeth all his foes with fire and sword.
villain, peasant, ignorant
Of lawful arms or martial discipline!
murder are his usual trades:
The slave usurps the glorious name of war.
Capolin, the fair Arabian king,
That hath been disappointed by this
fair daughter and his princely love,
May have fresh warning to go war
And be reveng'd for her disparagement.
Enter Tamburlaine, Techelles, Theridamas, Usumcasane,
Zenocrate, Anippe, two Moors drawing
a cage, and Zabina following
Tamb. Bring out my footstool.
take Bajazeth out of the cage.
Baj. Ye holy priests of heavenly
slice and cut your flesh,
his altars with your purple blood,
to frown, and every fixed star
To suck up
poison from the moorish fens,
And pour it
in this glorious tyrant's throat!
Tamb. The chiefest god,
first mover of
with thousands ever-shining lamps,
burn the glorious frame of heaven
should so conspire my overthrow.
villain, thou that wishest this to me,
prostrate on the low disdainful earth,
And be the
footstool of great Tamburlaine,
That I may
rise into my royal throne.
Baj. First shalt thou rip my bowels
sacrifice my heart to death and hell,
yield to such a slavery.
Tamb. Base villain, vassal, slave to
embrace or touch the ground
the honour of my royal weight;
villain, stoop! stoop; for so he bids
command thee piecemeal to be torn,
scatter'd like the lofty cedar-trees
the voice of thundering Jupiter.
Baj. Then, as I look down to
look on me! and thou, dread god of hell,
sceptre strike this hateful earth,
And make it
swallow both of us at once!
gets up on him into his chair.
Tamb. Now clear the triple region
And let the
Majesty of Heaven behold
scourge and terror tread on emperors.
stars that reign'd at my nativity,
And dim the
brightness of your neighbour lamps;
borrow light of Cynthia!
For I, the
chiefest lamp of all the earth,
rising in the east with mild aspect,
now in the meridian line,
up fire to your turning spheres,
the sun to borrow light of you.
struck fire from his coat of steel,
Bithynia, when I took this Turk;
As when a
the bowels of a freezing cloud,
for passage, make the welkin crack,
And casts a
flash of lightning to the earth:
But, ere I
march to wealthy Persia,
Damascus and th' Egyptian fields,
As was the
fame of Clymene's brain-sick son
brent the axle-tree of heaven,
our swords, our lances, and our shot
the air with fiery meteors;
the sky shall wax as red as blood,
It shall be
said I made it red myself,
To make me
think of naught but blood and war.
Zab. Unworthy king, that by
usurp'st the Persian seat,
thou, that never saw an emperor
met my husband in the field,
captive, thus abuse his state,
kingly body in a cage,
of gold and sun-bright palaces
Should have prepar'd to entertain his
treading him beneath thy loathsome feet,
Whose feet the kings of Africa
Tech. You must devise some torment
To make these captives rein their lavish tongues.
Tamb. Zenocrate, look better to your
Zeno. She is my handmaid's slave,
and she shall
That these abuses flow not from her tongue.--
Chide her, Anippe.
Anip. Let these be warnings, then,
for you, my
How you abuse the person of the king;
Or else I swear to have
Baj. Great Tamburlaine, great in my
Ambitious pride shall make thee fall as low,
For treading on the back
That should be horsed on four mighty kings.
Tamb. Thy names, and titles, and thy
Are fled from Bajazeth, and remain with me,
That will maintain it
world of kings.--
Put him in again.
[They put him into the cage.
Baj. Is this a place for mighty
Confusion light on him that helps thee thus.
Tamb. There, while he lives, shall
And, where I go, be thus in triumph drawn;
And thou, his wife,
him with the scraps
My servitors shall bring thee from my board;
gives him other food than this,
Shall sit by him, and starve to death
This is my mind, and I will have it so.
Not all the kings and emperors
If they would lay their crowns before my feet,
Shall ransom him,
him from his cage:
The ages that shall talk of Tamburlaine,
to Plato's wondrous year,
Shall talk how I have handled Bajazeth:
that drew him from Bithynia
To fair Damascus, where we now remain,
him with us wheresoe'er we go.--
Techelles, and my loving followers,
see Damascus' lofty towers,
Like to the shadows of Pyramides
beauties grace the Memphian fields.
The golden stature of their
spreads her wings upon the city walls,
defend it from our battering shot:
townsmen mask in silk and cloth of gold,
house is as a treasury;
the treasure, and the town are ours.
Ther. Your tents of white
pitch'd before the gates,
flags of amity display'd,
I doubt not
but the governor will yield,
Damascus to your majesty.
Tamb. So shall he have his life, and
But, if he
stay until the bloody flag
advanc'd on my vermilion tent,
and those that kept us out so long;
they see me march in black array,
mournful streamers hanging down their heads
that city all the world contain'd,
should scape, but perish by our swords.
Zeno. Yet would you
pity for my sake,
is my country and my father's.
Tamb. Not for the world,
Zenocrate, if I
in the Turk.
Sold. Methinks we march as Meleager
king of Arabia, Capolin,
and Soldiers, with streaming colours.
Environed with brave Argolian knights,
To chase the savage Calydonian
Cephalus, with lusty Theban youths,
Against the wolf that angry Themis
waste and spoil the sweet Aonian fields.
A monster of five hundred
Compact of rapine, piracy, and spoil,
The scum of men, the hate
scourge of God,
Raves in Egyptia, and annoyeth us:
My lord, it is the
A sturdy felon, and a base-bred thief,
By murder raised
That dare control us in our territories.
To tame the
this presumptuous beast,
Join your Arabians with the Soldan's power;
unite our royal bands in one,
And hasten to remove
a blemish to the majesty
And high estate of mighty emperors,
Should brave a king, or wear a princely crown.
of Ar. Renowmed
Soldan, have you lately heard
The overthrow of mighty Bajazeth
confines of Bithynia?
The slavery wherewith he persecutes
his great emperess?
Sold. I have, and sorrow for his bad
noble lord of great Arabia,
Be so persuaded that the Soldan is
with tidings of his fall,
Than in the haven when the pilot stands,
stranger's ship rent in the winds,
And shivered against a craggy rock:
compassion to his wretched state,
A sacred vow to heaven and him I
Confirming it with Ibis' holy name,
That Tamburlaine shall rue the day,
Wherein he wrought such ignominious wrong
Unto the hallow'd
person of a
Or kept the fair Zenocrate so long,
As concubine, I fear, to
K. of Ar. Let grief and fury hasten on revenge;
for his offences feel
Such plagues as heaven and we can pour on him:
break my spear upon his crest,
And prove the weight of his victorious
fame, I fear, hath been too prodigal
In sounding through the world his
Sold. Capolin, hast thou survey'd our powers?
emperors of Egypt and Arabia,
The number of your hosts united is,
fifty thousand horse,
Two hundred thousand foot, brave men-at-arms,
and full of hardiness,
As frolic as the hunters in the chase
amid the desert woods.
K. of Ar. My mind presageth fortunate
And, Tamburlaine, my spirit doth foresee
The utter ruin of thy men and
Sold. Then rear your standards; let
Direct our soldiers to Damascus' walls.--
Now, Tamburlaine, the
And leads with him the great Arabian king,
To dim thy
Famous for nothing but for theft and spoil;
To raze and
thy inglorious crew
Of Scythians and slavish Persians.
banquet set out; and to it come Tamburlaine all in
Zenocrate, Theridamas, Techelles, Usumcasane,
Bajazeth drawn in his cage, Zabina, and
Tamb. Now hang our bloody colours by
hues of blood upon their heads,
walk quivering on their city-walls,
for fear before they feel my wrath.
Then let us
freely banquet, and carouse
of wine unto the god of war,
to fill your helmets full of gold,
Damascus' spoils as rich to you
As was to
Jason Colchos' golden fleece.--
Bajazeth, hast thou any stomach?
Baj. Ay, such a stomach,
Tamburlaine, as I could willingly
feed upon thy blood-raw heart.
Tamb. Nay, thine own is easier
by: pluck out that; and 'twill serve thee and thy wife. -- Well,
and the rest, fall to your victuals.
Baj. Fall to, and never
that can mask invisible,
Dive to the
bottom of Avernus' pool,
And in your
hands bring hellish poison up,
it in the cup of Tamburlaine!
snakes of Lerna, cast your stings,
your venoms in this tyrant's dish!
Zab. And may this banquet
to th' adulterous Thracian king
upon the substance of his child!
Zeno. My lord, how can you
curses by these slaves of yours?
Tamb. To let them see,
I glory in
the curses of my foes,
Having the power from the empyreal heaven
them all upon their proper heads.
Tech. I pray you. give them
madam; this speech is a goodly
refreshing for them.
Ther. But, if his highness would let them
it would do them more
Tamb. Sirrah, why fall you not to? are you so daintily
you cannot eat your own flesh?
Baj. First, legions of devils
thee in pieces.
Usum. Villain, knowest thou to whom thou
Tamb. O, let him alone.--Here; eat,
sir; take it from my sword's
point, or I'll thrust it to thy heart.
food, and stamps upon it.
He stamps it under his
up, villain, and eat it; or I will make
thee slice the
brawns of thy arms into carbonadoes and eat them.
Nay, 'twere better he killed his wife, and then
she shall be
sure not to be starved, and he be provided for a month's
Here is my dagger: despatch her
while she is fat; for, if she
live but a while longer, she will fall
into a consumption with fretting, and then she will not be worth the
Dost thou think that Mahomet
'Tis like he will, when he cannot let it.
Tamb. Go to; fall to your meat.
What, not a bit!-- Belike he
hath not been watered to-day: give him
give Bajazeth water to drink,
and he flings it on the ground.
welcome, sir, while hunger make you eat. --How now,
Zenocrate! doth not the Turk and his
wife make a
goodly show at a banquet?
Zeno. Yes, my lord.
a great deal better than a consort of music.
Tamb. Yet music would do well to cheer
Zenocrate. Pray thee,
tell why art thou so sad? if thou wilt
have a song, the
Turk shall strain his voice: but why is
Zeno. My lord, to see my father's town besieg'd,
wasted, where myself was born,
How can it
but afflict my very soul?
If any love
remain in you, my lord,
Or if my
love unto your majesty
favour at your highness' hands,
your siege from fair Damascus' walls,
And with my
father take a friendly truce.
Tamb. Zenocrate, were Egypt
Yet would I
with my sword make Jove to stoop.
confute those blind geographers
That make a
triple region in the world,
regions which I mean to trace,
this pen reduce them to a map,
provinces, cities, and towns,
name and thine, Zenocrate:
Damascus will I make the point
begin the perpendicular:
thou have me buy thy father's love
With such a
loss? tell me, Zenocrate.
still wait on happy Tamburlaine!
Yet give me
leave to plead for him, my lord.
thyself: his person shall be safe,
And all the
friends of fair Zenocrate,
their lives they will be pleas'd to yield,
Or may be
forced to make me emperor;
and Arabia must be mine.--
Feed, you slave; thou mayst think thyself
happy to be fed from my
Baj. My empty stomach, full of idle heat,
bloody humours from my feeble parts,
life by hastening cruel death.
are pale; my sinews hard and dry;
benumb'd; unless I eat, I die.
Zab. Eat, Bajazeth; let us live
in spite of them, looking some happy
power will pity and enlarge us.
Tamb. Here, Turk; wilt thou
have a clean
Baj. Ay, tyrant, and more meat.
sir! you must be dieted; too much eating will make you
Ther. So it would, my lord, 'specially having so
small a walk and so
second course is
brought in of crowns.
Casane, here are the cates you desire
to finger, are they not?
Ther. Ay, my lord: but none save
feed with these.
Tech. Tis enough for us to see them, and for
Tamburlaine only to
Tamb. Well; here is
now to the Soldan of Egypt, the King of Arabia,
and the Governor of Damascus. Now,
take these three
crowns, and pledge me, my contributory kings. I crown you
here, Theridamas, king of Argier; Techelles, king of
Fez; and Usumcasane, king of Morocco.--How say you to
this, Turk? these are not your
Baj. Nor shall they long be thine, I warrant
Tamb. Kings of Argier, Morocco, and of Fez,
have marched with happy Tamburlaine
As far as
from the frozen plage of heaven
watery Morning's ruddy bower,
by land unto the torrid zone.
these titles I endow you with
and by magnanimity.
shall be no blemish to your fame;
is the fount whence honour springs,
are worthy she investeth kings.
Ther. And, since your highness
deserve them not with higher meeds
our states and actions have retained,
away again, and make us slaves.
Tamb. Well said, Theridamas:
stablish me in strong Ægyptia,
We mean to
travel to th' antarctic pole,
the people underneath our feet,
renowm'd as never emperors were.--
I will not crown thee yet,
greater honours I be grac'd.
of Damascus with
three or four
Citizens, and four Virgins with branches of
laurel in their hands.
Gov. Still doth this man, or rather
god of war,
Batter our walls and beat our turrets down;
And to resist with longer
Or hope of rescue from the Soldan's power,
Were but to
And make us
desperate of our threatened lives.
We see his tents have now been
terrors to the last and cruel'st hue;
His coal-black colours,
Threaten our city with a general spoil;
And, if we should
rites of arms
Offer our safeties to his clemency,
I fear the custom
Which he observes as parcel of his fame,
Intending so to
By any innovation or remorse
Will never be dispens'd with till
Therefore, for these our harmless virgins' sakes,
whose lives rely on him,
Let us have hope that their unspotted prayers,
Their blubber'd cheeks, and hearty humble
Will melt his fury into some remorse,
And use us like a loving
humble suits or
(Utter'd with tears of wretchedness and blood
and hearts of all our sex,
Some made your wives, and some your
have entreated your obdurate breasts
To entertain some care of our
Whilst only danger beat upon our walls,
These more than dangerous
Had never been erected as they be,
Nor you depend on such
Gov. Well, lovely virgins, think
Our love of honour, loath to be enthrall'd
To foreign powers and
Would not with too much cowardice or fear,
rescue were denied,
Submit yourselves and us to servitude.
your safeties and our own,
Your honours, liberties, and lives were
equal care and balance with our own,
Endure as we the malice of our
wrath of Tamburlaine and power of wars;
Or be the means the
Have kept to qualify these hot extremes,
And bring us pardon in
the Majesty of Heaven
And holy patrons of Ægyptia,
With knees and
submissive we entreat
Grace to our words and pity to our looks,
device may prove propitious,
And through the eyes and ears of
Convey events of mercy to his heart;
Grant that these signs of victory
May bind the temples of his conquering head,
To hide the folded furrows
And shadow his displeased countenance
With happy looks of ruth
Leave us, my lord, and loving countrymen:
What simple virgins
persuade, we will.
Gov. Farewell, sweet virgins, on whose safe
Depends our city, liberty, and lives.
all except the Virgins.
Enter Tamburlaine, all in
black and very melancholy,
Tamb. What, are the turtles fray'd
out of their
fools, must you be first shall feel
destruction of Damascus?
my custom; could they not as well
ye out when first my milk-white flags,
which sweet Mercy threw her gentle beams,
them on their disdainful eyes,
As now when
fury and incensed hate
slaughtering terror from my coal-black tents,
for truth submission comes too late?
First Vir. Most happy
emperor of the earth,
honour and nobility,
the powers divine have made the world,
whose throne the holy Graces sit;
sweet person is compris'd the sum
skill and heavenly majesty;
plights! O, pity poor Damascus!
age, within whose silver hairs
reverence evermore have reign'd!
marriage-bed, where many a lord,
and glory of his loving joy,
now with tears of ruth and blood
body of his fearful wife,
cheeks and hearts, so punish'd with conceit,
thy puissant never-stayed arm
their bodies, and prevent their souls
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
refus'd the mercy of thy hand,
sceptre angels kiss and Furies dread,)
their liberties, their loves, or lives!
for these, and such as we ourselves,
For us, for
infants, and for all our bloods,
nourish'd thought against thy rule,
pity, sacred emperor,
prostrate service of this wretched town;
And take in
sign thereof this gilded wreath,
each man of rule hath given his hand,
as worthy subjects, happy means
investers of thy royal brows
the true Egyptian diadem!
Tamb. Virgins, in vain you labour to
mine honour swears shall be perform'd.
sword; what see you at the point?
First Vir. Nothing but fear
steel, my lord.
Tamb. Your fearful minds are thick and misty,
sits death; there sits imperious Death,
circuit by the slicing edge.
But I am
pleas'd you shall not see him there;
He now is
seated on my horsemen's spears,
their points his fleshless body feeds.--
straight go charge a few of them
these dames, and shew my servant Death,
scarlet on their armed spears.
Virgins. O, pity us!
with them, I say, and shew them Death!
Virgins are taken out
by Techelles and others.
I will not
spare these proud Egyptians,
my martial observations
For all the
wealth of Gihon's golden waves,
Or for the
love of Venus, would she leave
god of arms and lie with me.
refus'd the offer of their lives,
And know my
customs are as peremptory
planets, death, or destiny.
your horsemen shown the virgins Death?
Tech. They have, my
lord, and on
hoisted up their slaughtered carcasses.
Tamb. A sight as
their souls, I think,
Thessalian drugs or mithridate:
But go, my
lords, put the rest to the sword.
all except Tamburlaine.
Fair is too
foul an epithet for thee,--
That in thy
passion for thy country's love,
And fear to
see thy kingly father's harm,
dishevell'd wip'st thy watery cheeks;
to Flora in her morning's pride,
silver tresses in the air,
the earth resolved pearl in showers,
sprinklest sapphires on thy shining face,
Beauty, mother to the Muses, sits,
comments volumes with her ivory pen,
instructions from thy flowing eyes;
that Ebena steps to heaven,
of thy solemn evening's walk,
mantle of the richest night,
the planets, and the meteors, light;
angels in their crystal armours fight
battle with my tempted thoughts
freedom and the Soldan's life,
that so consumes Zenocrate;
sorrows lay more siege unto my soul
Than all my
army to Damascus' walls;
Persia's sovereign nor the Turk
senses with conceit of foil
So much by
much as doth Zenocrate.
beauty, saith my sufferings, then?
If all the
pens that ever poets held
Had fed the
feeling of their masters' thoughts,
sweetness that inspir'd their hearts,
minds, and muses on admired themes;
If all the
heavenly quintessence they still
immortal flowers of poesy,
in a mirror, we perceive
reaches of a human wit;
had made one poem's period,
And all combin'd in beauty's worthiness,
there hover in their restless heads
One thought, one grace, one
wonder, at the
Which into words no virtue can digest.
But how unseemly is it
My discipline of arms and chivalry,
My nature, and the terror of
To harbour thoughts effeminate and faint!
Save only that in beauty's
With whose instinct the soul of man is touched;
that is rapt with love
Of fame, of valour, and of victory,
beauty beat on his conceits:
I thus conceiving, and subduing both,
hath stoop'd the chiefest of the gods,
Even from the fiery-spangled
To feel the lovely warmth of shepherds' flames,
And mask in
Shall give the world to note, for all my birth,
solely is the sum of glory,
And fashions men with true nobility.--
Hath Bajazeth been
Attend. Ay, my lord.
Tamb. Bring him forth; and let us know if
the town be ransacked.
Enter Techelles, Theridamas,
Usumcasane, and others.
Tech. The town is ours, my lord, and
Of conquest and of spoil is offer'd us.
Tamb. That's well, Techelles. What's the news?
Tech. The Soldan and the Arabian
March on us with such eager violence
As if there were no way but one
Tamb. No more there is not, I
in Bajazeth in
Ther. We know the victory is ours,
followed by Zabina. Exeunt Attendants.
let us save the reverend Soldan's life
For fair Zenocrate that so
Tamb. That will we chiefly see unto,
For sweet Zenocrate, whose worthiness
conquest over every heart.--
And now, my
footstool, if I lose the field,
You hope of
liberty and restitution?--
him stay, my masters, from the tents,
have made us ready for the field.--
us, Bajazeth; we are going.
all except Bajazeth and Zabina.
Baj. Go, never to return with
men encompass thee about,
thy body with as many wounds!
forked arrows light upon thy horse!
the black Cocytus' lake,
the earth, and with their fire-brands
thee run upon the baneful pikes!
shot pierce through thy charmed skin,
bullet dipt in poison'd drugs!
cannons sever all thy joints,
mount as high as eagles soar!
Zab. Let all the swords and
lances in the field
his breast as in their proper rooms!
pore let blood come dropping forth,
lingering pains may massacre his heart,
send his damned soul to hell!
Baj. Ah, fair Zabina! we may
may frown, the earth for anger quake;
But such a
star hath influence in his sword
the skies and countermands the gods
Cimmerian Styx or Destiny:
shall we in this detested guise,
with hunger, and with horror stay,
bowels with retorqued thoughts,
And have no
hope to end our ecstasies.
Zab. Then is there left no Mahomet,
no fortune, nor no hope of end
infamous, monstrous slaveries.
earth, and let the fiends infernal view
A hell as
hopeless and as full of fear
As are the
blasted banks of Erebus,
shaking ghosts with ever-howling groans
the ugly ferryman,
To get a
passage to Elysium!
we live? --O, wretches, beggars, slaves!--
we, Bajazeth, and build up nests
within the region of the air,
long in this oppression,
the world will see and laugh to scorn
triumphs of our mightiness
obscure infernal servitude?
Baj. O life, more loathsome to my
Than noisome parbreak of the Stygian snakes,
Which fills the nooks of
Infecting all the ghosts with cureless griefs!
of my loathed sight,
That see my crown, my honour, and my name
yoke and thraldom of a thief,
Why feed ye still on day's accursed
sink not quite into my tortur'd soul?
You see my wife, my queen, and
Brought up and propped by the hand of Fame,
Queen of fifteen
Now thrown to rooms of black abjection,
Smeared with blots of
And villainess to shame, disdain, and misery.
whose words of ruth,
That would with pity cheer Zabina's heart,
souls resolve in ceaseless tears,
Sharp hunger bites upon and gripes
From whence the issue of my thoughts do break!
O poor Zabina! O my
Fetch me some water for my burning breast,
To cool and comfort
That, in the shorten'd sequel of my life,
I may pour forth my soul into thine arms
With words of love, whose
Hath hitherto been stay'd with wrath and hate
Zab. Sweet Bajazeth, I will prolong
long as any blood or spark of breath
Can quench or cool the torments of
Baj. Now, Bajazeth, abridge thy
And beat the brains out of thy conquer'd head,
Since other means are
That may be ministers of my decay.
O highest lamp of
Accursed day, infected with my griefs,
Hide now thy stained face
And shut the windows of the lightsome heavens!
with her rusty coach,
Engirt with tempests, wrapt in pitchy clouds,
earth with never-fading mists,
And let her horses from their nostrils
winds and dreadful, thunder-claps,
That in this terror Tamburlaine may
And my pin'd soul, resolv'd in liquid air,
May still excruciate his
Then let the stony dart of senseless cold
Pierce through the
of my wither'd heart,
And make a passage for my loathed life!
brains himself against the cage
Zab. What do mine eyes behold? my
His skull all riven in twain! his brains dash'd out,
The brains of
my lord and sovereign!
O Bajazeth, my husband and my lord!
his liquor? not I. Bring milk and fire, and my blood I bring him
in pieces--give me the sword with a ball of wild--fire upon it.--Down
down with him!--Go to my child; away, away, away! ah, save that infant!
him, save him!--I, even I, speak to her.--The sun was down--streamers
black.-- Here, here, here!--Fling the meat in his
Tamburlaine!--Let the soldiers be buried.--Hell, death, Tamburlaine,
ready my coach, my chair, my jewels.--I come, I come, I come!
runs against the cage,
and brains herself.
Enter Zenocrate with Anippe.
Zeno. Wretched Zenocrate! that
liv'st to see
Damascus' walls dy'd with Egyptians' blood,
Thy father's subjects and
The streets strow'd with dissever'd joints of men,
bodies gasping yet for life;
But most accurs'd, to see the sun--bright
heavenly virgins and unspotted maids
(Whose looks might make the angry
To break his sword and mildly treat of love)
horsemen's lances to be hoisted up,
guiltlessly endure a cruel death;
fell and stout Tartarian steed,
stamp'd on others with their thundering hoofs,
their riders charg'd their quivering spears,
check the ground and rein themselves,
the beauty of their looks.
Tamburlaine, wert thou the cause of this,
Zenocrate thy dearest love?
were dearer to Zenocrate
own life, or aught save thine own love.
another bloody spectacle!
wretched eyes, the enemies of my heart,
How are ye
glutted with these grievous objects,
And tell my
soul more tales of bleeding ruth!--
Anippe, if they breathe or no.
Anip. No breath, nor sense, nor
motion, in them
Ah, madam, this their slavery hath enforc'd,
And ruthless cruelty
Zeno. Earth, cast up fountains from
And wet thy cheeks for their untimely deaths;
Shake with their weight
of fear and grief!
Blush, heaven, that gave them honour at their birth,
them die a death so barbarous!
Those that are proud of fickle empery
their chiefest good in earthly pomp,
Behold the Turk and his great
Ah, Tamburlaine my love, sweet Tamburlaine,
That fight'st for sceptres
Behold the Turk and his great emperess!
Thou that, in
of thy happy stars,
Sleep'st every night with conquest on thy brows,
wouldst shun the wavering turns of war,
In fear and feeling of the like
Behold the Turk and his great emperess!
Ah, mighty Jove and
Pardon my love! O,
Of earthly fortune and respect of pity;
And let not
Be equally against his life incens'd
In this great
And pardon me that was not mov'd with ruth
so long in misery!--
Ah, what may chance to thee, Zenocrate?
content yourself, and be resolv'd,
Your love hath Fortune so at his
That she shall stay, and turn her wheel no more,
As long as life
That fights for honour to adorn your head.
Zeno. What other heavy news now
Phil. Madam, your father, and the Arabian
affecter of your excellence,
as Turnus 'gainst Æneas did,
lance into the Egyptian fields,
battle 'gainst my lord the king.
Zeno. Now shame and duty,
love and fear
sorrows to my martyr'd soul,
I wish the fatal victory,
poor pleasures are divided thus,
by duty from my cursed heart?
and my first-betrothed love
against my life and present love;
change I use condemns my faith.
my deeds infamous through the world:
But, as the
gods, to end the Trojans' toil,
Turnus of Lavinia,
enrich'd Æneas' love,
So, for a
final issue to my griefs,
my country and my love,
Tamburlaine by their resistless powers,
of a gentle victory,
league of honour to my hope;
the powers divine have pre-ordain'd,
safety of my father's life
defence of fair Arabia.
sound to the battle within; and
Tamburlaine enjoys the victory:
which, the King of Arabia
K. of Ar. What
cursed power guides the murdering hands
infamous tyrant's soldiers,
escape may save their enemies,
keep themselves from victory?
Arabia, wounded to the death,
Zenocrate's fair eyes behold,
for her thou bear'st these wretched arms,
Even so for
her thou diest in these arms,
blood for witness of thy love.
Zeno. Too dear a witness for
Zenocrate, the cursed object
fortunes never mastered her griefs;
wounded in conceit for thee,
As much as
thy fair body is for me!
K. of Ar. Then shall I die with full
beheld divine Zenocrate,
with joy would take away my life
As now it
bringeth sweetness to my wound,
If I had
not been wounded as I am.
that the deadly pangs I suffer now
an hour's licence to my tongue,
discourse of some sweet accidents
chanc'd thy merits in this worthless bondage,
And that I
might be privy to the state
deserv'd contentment and thy love!
now a virtue of thy sight,
all sorrow from my fainting soul,
denies me further cause of joy,
care, my heart with comfort dies,
desired hand shall close mine eyes.
Re-enter Tamburlaine, leading
Techelles, Theridamas, Usumcasane, with others.
Tamb. Come, happy father of
higher than thy Soldan's name.
right hand have thus enthralled thee,
princely daughter here shall set thee free;
hath calm'd the fury of my sword,
ere this been bath'd in streams of blood
As vast and
deep as Euphrates or Nile.
Zeno. O sight thrice-welcome to my
To see the
king, my father, issue safe
dangerous battle of my conquering love!
Sold. Well met, my
the loss of Egypt and my crown!
Tamb. 'Twas I, my lord, that
therefore grieve not at your overthrow,
shall render all into your hands,
more strength to your dominions
Than ever yet confirm'd th' Egyptian
god of war resigns his room to me,
Meaning to make me general of the
Jove, viewing me in arms, looks pale and wan,
Fearing my power should
from his throne:
Where'er I come the Fatal Sisters sweat,
running to and fro,
To do their ceaseless homage to my sword:
Afric, where it seldom rains,
Since I arriv'd with my triumphant host,
swelling clouds, drawn from wide-gaping wounds,
Been oft resolv'd in
A meteor that might terrify the earth,
And make it
every drop it drinks:
Millions of souls sit on the banks of Styx,
back-return of Charon's boat;
Hell and Elysium swarm with ghosts of
have sent from sundry foughten fields
To spread my fame through hell
and up to
And see, my lord, a sight of strange import,--
breathless at my feet;
The Turk and his great empress, as it seems,
themselves while we were at the fight,
Have desperately despatch'd
With them Arabia, too, hath left his life:
All sights of
to grace my victory;
And such are objects fit for Tamburlaine,
as in a
mirror, may be seen
His honour, that consists in shedding blood
presume to manage arms with him.
Sold. Mighty hath God and
Renowmed Tamburlaine, to whom all kings
Of force must yield
crowns and emperies;
And I am pleas'd with this my overthrow,
person of thy state,
Thou hast with honour us'd Zenocrate.
state and person want no pomp, you see;
And for all blot of foul
record heaven, her heavenly self is clear:
Then let me find no further
Her princely temples with the Persian crown;
But here these kings
my fortunes wait,
And have been crowned for proved worthiness
this hand that shall establish them,
adjoining all their hands with mine,
here the Queen of Persia.
the noble Soldan, and Zenocrate?
Sold. I yield with thanks
honour to thee for her love.
Tamb. Then doubt I not but fair
consent to satisfy us both.
Zeno. Else should I much forget
Ther. Then let us set the crown upon her head,
hath linger'd for so high a seat.
Tech. My hand is ready to
For now her
marriage-time shall work us rest.
Usum. And here's the
help set it on.
Tamb. Then sit thou down, divine Zenocrate;
And here we
crown thee Queen of Persia,
And all the
kingdoms and dominions
the power of Tamburlaine subdu'd.
when the giants were suppress'd,
mountains at her brother Jove,
So looks my
love, shadowing in her brows
and trophies for my victories;
Or as Latona's
daughter, bent to arms,
courage to my conquering mind.
thee, sweet Zenocrate,
Moors, and men of Asia,
Barbary unto the Western India,
Shall pay a
yearly tribute to thy sire;
the bounds of Afric to the banks
shall his mighty arm extend.--
And now, my
lords and loving followers,
purchas'd kingdoms by your martial deeds,
your armour, put on scarlet robes,
your royal places of estate,
with troops of noblemen,
make laws to rule your provinces:
your weapons on Alcides' post;
Tamburlaine takes truce with all the world.--
first-betrothed love, Arabia,
with honour, as beseems, entomb
great Turk and his fair emperess.
all these solemn exequies,
We will our
rites of marriage, solemnise.