The Second Part
of Tamburlaine the Great.
Renascence Edition was transcribed by Risa Stephanie Bear, December,
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.
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
VVith his impassionate furie, for the
death of his Lady and Loue faire
te: his forme of
exhortation and discipline
to his three Sonnes,
and the manner of
his owne death.
The second part.
The bloody Conquests
of mighty Tamburlaine
his impassionate fury, for the
his Lady and love, fair Zenocrate: his fourme
of exhortation and discipline
to his three sons,
and manner of his own death.
Amyras, } his sons.
Theridamas, King of Argier.
Techelles, King of Fez.
Usumcasane, King of Morocco.
Orcanes, King of Natolia.
King of Trebizon.
King of Soria.
King of Jerusalem.
King of Amasia.
Gazellus, Viceroy of Byron.
Sigismund, King of Hungary.
| Frederick,} lords of Buda
Baldwin, } and Bohemia.
Callapine, son to Bajazeth,
and prisoner to Tamburlaine.
Almeda, his keeper.
Governor of Babylon.
Captain of Balsera.
Maximus, Perdicas, Physicians,
Lords, Citizens, Messengers,
Soldiers, and Attendants.
Zeocrate, wife to Tamburlaine.
Olympia, wife to the Captain
The general welcomes Tamburlaine receiv'd,
When he arrived last upon the stage,
Have made our poet pen his Second Part,
Where death cuts off the progress of his pomp,
And murderous Fates throw all his triumphs down.
But what became of fair Zenocrate,
And with how many cities' sacrifice
He celebrated her sad funeral,
Himself in presence shall unfold at large.
Enter Orcanes King of Natalia, Gazellus viceroy
of Byron, Uribassa, and
their train, with drums and trumpets.
Orc. Egregious viceroys of these eastern parts,
Plac'd by the issue of great Bajazeth,
And sacred lord, the mighty Callapine,
Who lives in Egypt prisoner to that slave
Which kept his father in an iron cage,—
Now have we march'd from fair Natolia
Two hundred leagues, and on Danubius' banks
Our warlike host, in complete armour, rest,
Where Sigismund, the king of Hungary,
Should meet our person to conclude a truce:
What! shall we parle with the Christian?
Or cross the stream, and meet him in the field?
Gaz. King of Natolia, let us treat of peace:
We are all glutted with the Christians' blood,
And have a greater foe to fight against,—
Proud Tamburlaine, that now in Asia,
Near Guyron's head, doth set his conquering feet,
And means to fire Turkey as he goes:
'Gainst him, my lord, you must address your power.
Uri. Besides, King Sigismund hath brought from Christendom
More than his camp of stout Hungarians,—
Sclavonians, Almains, Rutters, Muffs, and Danes,
That with the halberd, lance, and murdering axe,
Will hazard that we might with surety hold.
Orc. Though from the shortest northern parallel,
Vast Grantland, compass'd with the Frozen Sea,
(Inhabited with tall and sturdy men,
Giants as big as hugy Polypheme,)
Millions of soldiers cut the arctic line,
Bringing the strength of Europe to these arms,
Our Turkey blades shall glide through all their throats,
And make this champion mead a bloody fen:
Danubius' stream, that runs to Trebizon,
Shall carry, wrapt within his scarlet waves,
As martial presents to our friends at home,
The slaughter'd bodies of these Christians:
The Terrene main, wherein Danubius' falls,
Shall by this battle be the bloody sea:
The wandering sailors of proud Italy
Shall meet those Christians, fleeting with the tide,
Beating in heaps against their argosies,
And make fair Europe, mounted on her bull,
Trapp'd with the wealth and riches of the world,
Alight, and wear a woful mourning weed.
Gaz. Yet, stout Orcanes, pro-rex of the world,
Since Tamburlaine hath muster'd all his men,
Marching from Cairo northward, with his camp,
To Alexandria and the frontier towns,
Meaning to make a conquest of our land
'Tis requisite to parle for a peace
With Sigismund, the king of Hungary,
And save our forces for the hot assaults
Proud Tamburlaine intends Natolia.
Orc. Viceroy of Byron, wisely hast thou said.
My realm, the centre of our empery,
Once lost, all Turkey would be overthrown;
And for that cause the Christians shall have peace.
Sclavonians, Almains, Rutters, Muffs, and Danes,
Fear not Orcanes, but great Tamburlaine;
Nor he, but Fortune that hath made him great.
We have revolted Grecians, Albanese,
Sicilians, Jews, Arabians, Turks, and Moors,
Natolians, Sorians, black Egyptians,
Illyrians, Thracians, and Bithynians,
Enough to swallow forceless Sigismund,
Yet scarce enough t' encounter Tamburlaine.
He brings a world of people to the field,
From Scythia to the oriental plage
Of India, where raging Lantchidol
Beats on the regions with his boisterous blows,
That never seaman yet discovered.
All Asia is in arms with Tamburlaine,
Even from the midst of fiery Cancer's tropic
To Amazonia under Capricorn;
And thence, as far as Archipelago,
All Afric is in arms with Tamburlaine:
Therefore, viceroy, the Christians must have peace.
Enter Sigismund, Frederick, Baldwin, and their
train, with drums and trumpets.
Sig. Orcanes, (as our legates promis'd thee,)
We, with our peers, have cross'd Danubius' stream,
To treat of friendly peace or deadly war.
Take which thou wilt; for, as the Romans us'd,
I here present thee with a naked sword:
Wilt thou have war, then shake this blade at me;
If peace, restore it to my hands again,
And I will sheathe it, to confirm the same.
Orc. Stay, Sigismund: forgett'st thou I am he
That with the cannon shook Vienna-walls,
And made it dance upon the continent,
As when the massy substance of the earth
Quiver[s] about the axle-tree of heaven?
Forgett'st thou that I sent a shower of darts,
Mingled with powder'd shot and feather'd steel,
So thick upon the blink-ey'd burghers' heads,
That thou thyself, then County Palatine,
The King of Boheme, and the Austric Duke,
Sent heralds out, which basely on their knees,
In all your names, desir'd a truce of me?
Forgett'st thou that, to have me raise my siege,
Waggons of gold were set before my tent,
Stampt with the princely fowl that in her wings
Carries the fearful thunderbolts of Jove?
How canst thou think of this, and offer war?
Sig. Vienna was besieg'd, and I was there
Then County Palatine, but now a king,
And what we did was in extremity.
But now, Orcanes, view my royal host,
That hides these plains, and seems as vast and wide
As doth the desert of Arabia
To those that stand on Bagdet's lofty tower,
Or as the ocean to the traveller
That rests upon the snowy Appenines;
And tell me whether I should stoop so low,
Or treat of peace with the Natolian king.
Gaz. Kings of Natolia and of Hungary,
We came from Turkey to confirm a league,
And not to dare each other to the field.
A friendly parle might become you both.
Fred. And we from Europe, to the same intent;
Which if your general refuse or scorn,
Our tents are pitch'd, our men stand in array,
Ready to charge you ere you stir your feet.
Orc. So prest are we: but yet, if Sigismund
Speak as a friend, and stand not upon terms,
Here is his sword; let peace be ratified
On these conditions specified before,
Drawn with advice of our ambassadors.
Sig. Then here I sheathe it, and give thee my hand,
Never to draw it out, or manage arms
Against thyself or thy confederates,
But, whilst I live, will be at truce with thee.
Orc. But, Sigismund, confirm it with an oath,
And swear in sight of heaven and by thy Christ.
Sig. By Him that made the world and sav'd my soul,
The Son of God and issue of a maid,
Sweet Jesus Christ, I solemnly protest
And vow to keep this peace inviolable!
Orc. By sacred Mahomet, the friend of God,
Whose holy Alcoran remains with us,
Whose glorious body, when he left the world,
Clos'd in a coffin mounted up the air,
And hung on stately Mecca's temple-roof,
I swear to keep this truce inviolable!
Of whose conditions and our solemn oaths,
Sign'd with our hands, each shall retain a scroll,
As memorable witness of our league.
Now, Sigismund, if any Christian king
Encroach upon the confines of thy realm,
Send word, Orcanes of Natolia
Confirm'd this league beyond Danubius' stream,
And they will, trembling, sound a quick retreat;
So am I fear'd among all nations.
Sig. If any heathen potentate or king
Invade Natolia, Sigismund will send
A hundred thousand horse train'd to the war,
And back'd by stout lanciers of Germany,
The strength and sinews of the imperial seat.
Orc. I thank thee, Sigismund; but, when I war,
All Asia Minor, Africa, and Greece,
Follow my standard and my thundering drums.
Come, let us go and banquet in our tents:
I will despatch chief of my army hence
To fair Natolia and to Trebizon,
To stay my coming 'gainst proud Tamburlaine:
Friend Sigismund, and peers of Hungary,
Come, banquet and carouse with us a while,
And then depart we to our territories.
Enter Callapine, and Almeda his keeper.
Call. Sweet Almeda, pity the ruthful plight
Of Callapine, the son of Bajazeth,
Born to be monarch of the western world,
Yet here detain'd by cruel Tamburlaine.
Alm. My lord, I pity it, and with my heart
Wish your release; but he whose wrath is death,
My sovereign lord, renowmed Tamburlaine,
Forbids you further liberty than this.
Call. Ah, were I now but half so eloquent
To paint in words what I'll perform in deeds,
I know thou wouldst depart from hence with me!
Alm. Not for all Afric: therefore move me not.
Call. Yet hear me speak, my gentle Almeda.
Alm. No speech to that end, by your favour, sir.
Call. By Cairo runs—
Alm. No talk of running, I tell you, sir.
Call. A little further, gentle Almeda.
Alm. Well, sir, what of this?
Call. By Cairo runs to Alexandria-bay
Darotes' stream, wherein at anchor lies
A Turkish galley of my royal fleet,
Waiting my coming to the river-side,
Hoping by some means I shall be releas'd;
Which, when I come aboard, will hoist up sail,
And soon put forth into the Terrene sea,
Where, 'twixt the isles of Cyprus and of Crete,
We quickly may in Turkish seas arrive.
Then shalt thou see a hundred kings and more,
Upon their knees, all bid me welcome home.
Amongst so many crowns of burnish'd gold,
Choose which thou wilt, all are at thy command:
A thousand galleys, mann'd with Christian slaves,
I freely give thee, which shall cut the Straits,
And bring armadoes, from the coasts of Spain,
Fraughted with gold of rich America:
The Grecian virgins shall attend on thee,
Skilful in music and in amorous lays,
As fair as was Pygmalion's ivory girl
Or lovely Iö metamorphosed:
With naked negroes shall thy coach be drawn,
And, as thou rid'st in triumph through the streets,
The pavement underneath thy chariot-wheels
With Turkey-carpets will be covered,
And cloth of arras hung about the walls,
Fit objects for thy princely eye to pierce:
A hundred bassoes, cloth'd in crimson silk,
Shall ride before thee on Barbarian steeds;
And, when thou goest, a golden canopy
Enchas'd with precious stones, which shine as bright
As that fair veil that covers all the world,
When Phœbus, leaping from his hemisphere,
Descendeth downward to th' Antipodes:—
And more than this, for all I cannot tell.
Alm. How far hence lies the galley, say you?
Call. Sweet Almeda, scarce half a league from hence.
Alm. But need we not be spied going aboard?
Call. Betwixt the hollow hanging of a hill,
And crooked bending of a craggy rock,
The sails wrapt up, the mast and tacklings down,
She lies so close that none can find her out.
Alm. I like that well: but, tell me, my lord, if I
should let you go, would you be as good as your word? shall I be
made a king for my labour?
Call. As I am Callapine the emperor,
And by the hand of Mahomet I swear,
Thou shalt be crown'd a king, and be my mate!
Alm. Then here I swear, as I am Almeda,
Your keeper under Tamburlaine the Great,
(For that's the style and title I have yet,)
Although he sent a thousand armed men
To intercept this haughty enterprise,
Yet would I venture to conduct your grace,
And die before I brought you back again!
Call. Thanks, gentle Almeda: then let us haste,
Lest time be past, and lingering let us both.
Alm. When you will, my lord: I am ready.
Call. Even straight:—and farewell, cursed Tamburlaine!
Now go I to revenge my father's death.
Enter Tamburlaine, Zenocrate, and their three sons,
Calyphas, Amyras, and Celebinus, with drums and trumpets.
Tamb. Now, bright Zenocrate, the world's fair eye,
Whose beams illuminate the lamps of heaven,
Whose cheerful looks do clear the cloudy air,
And clothe it in a crystal livery,
Now rest thee here on fair Larissa-plains,
Where Egypt and the Turkish empire part
Between thy sons, that shall be emperors,
And every one commander of a world.
Zeno. Sweet Tamburlaine, when wilt thou leave these arms,
And save thy sacred person free from scathe,
And dangerous chances of the wrathful war?
Tamb. When heaven shall cease to move on both the poles,
And when the ground, whereon my soldiers march,
Shall rise aloft and touch the horned moon;
And not before, my sweet Zenocrate.
Sit up, and rest thee like a lovely queen.
So; now she sits in pomp and majesty,
When these, my sons, more precious in mine eyes
Than all the wealthy kingdoms I subdu'd,
Plac'd by her side, look on their mother's face.
But yet methinks their looks are amorous,
Not martial as the sons of Tamburlaine:
Water and air, being symbolis'd in one,
Argue their want of courage and of wit;
Their hair as white as milk, and soft as down,
(Which should be like the quills of porcupines,
As black as jet, and hard as iron or steel.)
Bewrays they are too dainty for the wars;
Their ringers made to quaver on a lute,
Their arms to hang about a lady's neck,
Their legs to dance and caper in the air,
Would make me think them bastards, not my sons,
But that I know they issu'd from thy womb,
That never look'd on man but Tamburlaine.
Zeno. My gracious lord, they have their mother's looks,
But, when they list, their conquering father's heart.
This lovely boy, the youngest of the three,
Not long ago bestrid a Scythian steed,
Trotting the ring, and tilting at a glove,
Which when he tainted with his slender rod,
He rein'd him straight, and made him so curvet
As I cried out for fear he should have fain.
Tamb. Well done, my boy! thou shalt have shield and lance,
Armour of proof, horse, helm, and curtle-axe,
And I will teach thee how to charge thy foe,
And harmless run among the deadly pikes.
If thou wilt love the wars and follow me,
Thou shalt be made a king and reign with me,
Keeping in iron cages emperors.
If thou exceed thy elder brothers' worth,
And shine in complete virtue more than they,
Thou shalt be king before them, and thy seed
Shall issue crowned from their mother's womb.
Cel. Yes, father; you shall see me, if I live,
Have under me as many kings as you,
And march with such a multitude of men
As all the world shall tremble at their view.
Tamb. These words assure me, boy, thou art my son.
When I am old and cannot manage arms,
Be thou the scourge and terror of the world.
Amy. Why may not I, my lord, as well as he,
Be term'd the scourge and terror of the world?
Tamb. Be all a scourge and terror to the world,
Or else you are not sons of Tamburlaine.
Caly. But, while my brothers follow arms, my lord,
Let me accompany my gracious mother:
They are enough to conquer all the world,
And you have won enough for me to keep.
Tamb. Bastardly boy, sprung from some coward's loins,
And not the issue of great Tamburlaine!
Of all the provinces I have subdu'd
Thou shalt not have a foot, unless thou bear
A mind courageous and invincible;
For he shall wear the crown of Persia
Whose head hath deepest scars, whose breast most wounds,
Which, being wroth, sends lightning from his eyes,
And in the furrows of his frowning brows
Harbours revenge, war, death, and cruelty;
For in a field, whose superficies
Is cover'd with a liquid purple veil,
And sprinkled with the brains of slaughter'd men,
My royal chair of state shall be advanc'd;
And he that means to place himself therein,
Must armed wade up to the chin in blood.
Zeno. My lord, such speeches to our princely sons
Dismay their minds before they come to prove
The wounding troubles angry war affords.
Cel. No, madam, these are speeches fit for us;
For, if his chair were in a sea of blood,
I would prepare a ship and sail to it,
Ere I would lose the title of a king.
Amy. And I would strive to swim through pools of blood.
Or make a bridge of murder'd carcasses,
Whose arches should be fram'd with bones of Turks,
Ere I would lose the title of a king.
Tamb. Well, lovely boys, ye shall be emperors both,
Stretching your conquering arms from east to west:—
And, sirrah, if you mean to wear a crown,
When we shall meet the Turkish deputy
And all his viceroys, snatch it from his head,
And cleave his pericranion with thy sword.
Caly. If any man will hold him, I will strike,
And cleave him to the channel with my sword.
Tamb. Hold him, and cleave him too, or I'll cleave thee;
For we will march against them presently.
Theridamas, Techelles, and Casane
Promis'd to meet me on Larissa-plains,
With hosts a-piece against this Turkish crew;
For I have sworn by sacred Mahomet
To make it parcel of my empery.
The trumpets sound; Zenocrate, they come.
Enter Theridamas, and his train, with drums and
Welcome Theridamas, king of Argier.
Ther. My lord, the great and mighty Tamburlaine,
Arch-monarch of the world, I offer here
My crown, myself, and all the power I have,
In all affection at thy kingly feet.
Tamb. Thanks, good Theridamas.
Ther. Under my colours march ten thousand Greeks,
And of Argier and Afric's frontier towns
Twice twenty thousand valiant men-at-arms;
All which have sworn to sack Natolia.
Five hundred brigandines are under sail,
Meet for your service on the sea, my lord,
That, launching from Argier to Tripoly,
Will quickly ride before Natolia,
And batter down the castles on the shore.
Tamb. Well said, Argier! receive thy crown again.
Enter Usumcasane and Techelles.
Kings of Morocco and of Fez, welcome.
Usum. Magnificent and peerless Tamburlaine,
I and my neighbour king of Fez have brought,
To aid thee in this Turkish expedition,
A hundred thousand expert soldiers;
From Azamor to Tunis near the sea
Is Barbary unpeopled for thy sake,
And all the men, in armour under me,
Which with my crown, I gladly offer thee.
Tamb. Thanks, king of Morocco: take your crown again.
Tech. And, mighty Tamburlaine, our earthly god,
Whose looks make this inferior world to quake,
I here present thee with the crown of Fez,
And with an host of Moors train'd to the war,
Whose coal-black faces make their foes retire,
And quake for fear, as if infernal Jove,
Meaning to aid thee in these Turkish arms,
Should pierce the black circumference of hell,
With ugly Furies bearing fiery flags,
And millions of his strong tormenting spirits:
From strong Tesella unto Biledull
All Barbary is unpeopled for thy sake.
Tamb. Thanks, king of Fez: take here thy crown again.
Your presence, loving friends and fellow-kings,
Makes me to surfeit in conceiving joy:
If all the crystal gates of Jove's high court
Were open'd wide, and I might enter in
To see the state and majesty of heaven,
It could not more delight me than your sight.
Now will we banquet on these plains a while,
And after march to Turkey with our camp,
In number more than are the drops that fall
When Boreas rents a thousand swelling clouds;
And proud Orcanes of Natolia
With all his viceroys shall be so afraid,
That, though the stones, as at Deucalion's flood,
Were turn'd to men, he should be overcome.
Such lavish will I make of Turkish blood,
That Jove shall send his winged messenger
To bid me sheathe my sword and leave the field;
The sun, unable to sustain the sight,
Shall hide his head in Thetis' watery lap,
And leave his steeds to fair Bootes' charge;
For half the world shall perish in this fight.
But now, my friends, let me examine ye;
How have ye spent your absent time from me?
Usum. My lord, our men of Barbary have march'd
Four hundred miles with armour on their backs,
And lain in leaguer fifteen months and more;
For, since we left you at the Soldan's court,
We have subdu'd the southern Guallatia,
And all the land unto the coast of Spain;
We kept the narrow Strait of Jubalter,
And made Canaria call us kings and lords:
Yet never did they recreate themselves,
Or cease one day from war and hot alarms;
And therefore let them rest a while, my lord.
Tamb. They shall, Casane, and 'tis time, i'faith.
Tech. And I have march'd along the river Nile
To Machda, where the mighty Christian priest,
Call'd John the Great, sits in a milk-white robe,
Whose triple mitre I did take by force,
And made him swear obedience to my crown.
From thence unto Cazates did I march,
Where Amazonians met me in the field,
With whom, being women, I vouchsaf'd a league,
And with my power did march to Zanzibar,
The western part of Afric, where I view'd
The Ethiopian sea, rivers and lakes,
But neither man nor child in all the land:
Therefore I took my course to Manico,
Where, unresisted. I remov'd my camp;
And, by the coast of Byather, at last
I came to Cubar, where the negroes dwell,
And, conquering that, made haste to Nubia.
There, having sack'd Borno, the kingly seat,
I took the king and led him bound in chains
Unto Damascus, where I stay'd before.
Tamb. Well done, Techelles!—What saith Theridamas?
Ther. I left the confines and the bounds of Afric,
And made a voyage into Europe,
Where, by the river Tyras, I subdu'd
Stoka, Podolia, and Codemia;
Then cross'd the sea and came to Oblia,
And Nigra Silva, where the devils dance,
Which, in despite of them, I set on fire.
From thence I cross'd the gulf call'd by the name
Mare Majore of the inhabitants.
Yet shall my soldiers make no period
Until Natolia kneel before your feet.
Tamb. Then will we triumph, banquet, and carouse;
Cooks shall have pensions to provide us cates,
And glut us with the dainties of the world;
Lachryma Christi and Calabrian wines
Shall common soldiers drink in quaffing bowls,
Ay, liquid gold, when we have conquer'd him,
Mingled with coral and with orient pearl.
Come, let us banquet and carouse the
Enter Sigismund, Frederick, and Baldwin, with
Sig. Now say, my lords of Buda and Bohemia,
What motion is it that
inflames your thoughts,
And stirs your valours to such sudden arms?
Fred. Your majesty remembers, I am sure,
What cruel slaughter of our
These heathenish Turks and pagans lately made
the city Zula and Danubius;
How through the midst of Varna and
And almost to the very walls of Rome,
They have, not long
since, massacred our camp.
It resteth now, then, that your majesty
all advantages of time and power,
And work revenge upon these infidels.
Your highness knows, for Tamburlaine's repair,
That strikes a terror to
all Turkish hearts,
Natolia hath dismiss'd the greatest part
Of all his
army, pitch'd against our power
Betwixt Cutheia and Orminius' mount,
And sent them marching up to Belgasar,
Acantha, Antioch, and Cassarea,
To aid the kings of Soria and Jerusalem.
Now, then, my lord,
advantage take thereof,
And issue suddenly upon the rest;
That, in the
fortune of their overthrow,
We may discourage all the pagan troop
dare attempt to war with Christians.
Sig. But calls not, then, your
grace to memory
The league we lately made with King Orcanes,
by oath and articles of peace,
And calling Christ for record of our
This should be treachery and violence
Against the grace of our
Bald. No whit, my lord; for with such infidels,
In whom no
faith nor true religion rests,
We are not bound to those
The holy laws of Christendom enjoin;
But, as the faith
which they profanely plight
Is not by necessary policy
To be esteem'd
assurance for ourselves,
So that we vow to them should not infringe
liberty of arms and victory.
Sig. Though I confess the oaths they
Breed little strength to our security,
Yet those infirmities
that thus defame
Their faiths, their honours, and religion,
give us presumption to the like.
Our faiths are sound, and must be
Religious, righteous, and inviolate.
Fred. Assure your
grace, 'tis superstition
To stand so strictly on dispensive faith;
should we lose the opportunity
That God hath given to venge our
And scourge their foul blasphemous paganism,
to Saul, to Balaam, and the rest,
That would not kill and curse at
So surely will the vengeance of the Highest.
And jealous anger of his fearful arm,
Be pour'd with rigour on our
If we neglect this offer'd victory.
Sig. Then arm, my
lords, and issue suddenly,
Giving commandment to our general host,
expedition to assail the pagan,
And take the victory our God hath given.
Enter Orcanes, Gazellus, and Uribassa, with their train.
Orc. Gazellus, Uribassa, and the rest,
Now will we march from proud Orminius' mount
To fair Natolia, where our neighbour kings
Expect our power and our royal presence,
T'encounter with the cruel Tamburlaine,
That nigh Larissa sways a mighty host,
And with the thunder of his martial tools
Makes earthquakes in the hearts of men and heaven.
Gaz. And now come we to make his sinews shake
With greater power than
erst his pride hath felt.
An hundred kings, by scores, will bid him
And hundred thousand subjects to each score:
Which, if a shower
of wounding thunderbolts
Should break out of the bowels of the clouds,
And fall as thick as hail upon our heads,
In partial aid of that proud
Yet should our courages and steeled crests,
And numbers, more
than infinite, of men,
Be able to withstand and conquer him.
Methinks I see how glad the Christian king
Is made for joy of our
That could not but before be terrified
unacquainted power of our host.
Enter a Messenger.
Mess. Arm, dread sovereign, and my noble lords!
The treacherous army of
Taking advantage of your slender power,
on us, and determines straight
To bid us battle for our dearest lives.
Orc. Traitors, villains, damned Christians!
Have I not here the
articles of peace
And solemn covenants we have both confirm'd,
He by his Christ, and I by Mahomet?
Gaz. Hell and confusion light upon
That with such treason seek our overthrow,
And care so little for their prophet Christ!
Orc. Can there be such
deceit in Christians,
Or treason in the fleshly heart of man,
Whose shape is figure of the highest God?
Then, if there be a Christ, as Christians say,
But in their deeds deny him for their Christ,
If he be son to everliving Jove,
And hath the power of his outstretched arm,
If he be jealous of his name and honour
As is our holy prophet Mahomet,
Take here these papers as our sacrifice
And witness of thy servant's perjury!
[He tears to pieces the articles of peace.
Open, thou shining veil of Cynthia,
And make a passage from th' empyreal heaven,
That he that sits on high and never sleeps,
Nor in one place is circumscriptible,
But everywhere fills every continent
With strange infusion of his sacred vigour,
May, in his endless power and purity,
Behold and venge this traitor's perjury!
Thou, Christ, that art esteem'd omnipotent,
If thou wilt prove thyself a perfect God,
Worthy the worship of all faithful hearts,
Be now reveng'd upon this traitor's soul,
And make the power I have left behind
(Too little to defend our guiltless lives)
Sufficient to discomfit and confound
The trustless force of those false Christians!—
To arms, my lords! on Christ still let us cry:
If there be Christ, we shall have victory.
Alarms of battle within. Enter Sigismund
Sig. Discomfited is all the Christian host,
And God hath thunder'd
vengeance from on high,
For my accurs'd and hateful perjury.
O just and
dreadful punisher of sin,
Let the dishonour of the pains I feel
In this my mortal well-deserved
End all my penance in my sudden death!
And let this death,
wherein to sin I die,
Conceive a second life in endless mercy!
Enter Orcanes, Gazellus, Uribassa, with others.
Orc. Now lie the Christians bathing in their bloods,
And Christ or
Mahomet hath been my friend.
Gaz. See, here the perjur'd traitor Hungary,
Bloody and breathless for
Orc. Now shall his barbarous body be a prey
To beasts and fowls, and
all the winds shall breathe
Through shady leaves of every senseless
Murmurs and hisses for his heinous sin.
Now scalds his soul in
the Tartarian streams,
And feeds upon the baneful tree of hell,
Zoacum, that fruit of bitterness,
That in the midst of fire is
Yet flourisheth as Flora in her pride,
With apples like the
heads of damned fiends.
The devils there, in chains of quenchless
Shall lead his soul, through Orcus' burning gulf,
From pain to
pain, whose change shall never end.
What say'st thou yet, Gazellus, to
Which we referr'd to justice of his Christ
And to his power,
which here appears as full
As rays of Cynthia to the clearest sight?
Gaz. 'Tis but the fortune of the wars, my lord,
Whose power is often
prov'd a miracle.
Orc. Yet in my thoughts shall Christ be honoured,
Not doing Mahomet an
Whose power had share in this our victory;
And, since this
miscreant hath disgrac'd his faith,
And died a traitor both to heaven
We will both watch and ward shall keep his trunk
these plains for fowls to prey upon.
Go, Uribassa, give it straight in
Uri. I will, my lord.
Orc. And now, Gazellus, let us haste and meet
Our army, and our
brothers of Jerusalem,
Of Soria, Trebizon, and Amasia,
with full Natolian bowls
Of Greekish wine, now let us celebrate
Our happy conquest and his angry fate.
The arras is drawn, and Zenocrate is discovered lying
in her bed of
state; Tamburlaine sitting by her; three Physicians about
tempering potions; her three sons Calyphas, Amyras, and Celebinus;
Theridamas, Techelles and Usumcasane.
Tamb. Black is the beauty of the brightest day;
The golden ball of
heaven's eternal fire,
That danc'd with glory on the silver waves,
Now wants the fuel that inflam'd his beams;
And all with faintness, and
for foul disgrace,
He binds his temples with a frowning cloud,
darken earth with endless night.
Zenocrate, that gave him light and
Whose eyes shot fire from their ivory brows,
And temper'd every
soul with lively heat,
Now by the malice of the angry skies,
jealousy admits no second mate,
Draws in the comfort of her latest
All dazzled with the hellish mists of death.
Now walk the
angels on the walls of heaven,
As sentinels to warn th' immortal souls
To entertain divine Zenocrate:
Apollo, Cynthia, and the ceaseless lamps
That gently look'd upon this loathsome earth,
Shine downwards now no
more, but deck the heavens
To entertain divine Zenocrate:
springs, whose taste illuminates
Refined eyes with an eternal sight,
Like tried silver run through Paradise
To entertain divine Zenocrate:
The cherubins and holy seraphins,
That sing and play before the King of
Use all their voices and their instruments
To entertain divine
And, in this sweet and curious harmony,
The god that tunes
this music to our souls
Holds out his hand in highest majesty
entertain divine Zenocrate.
Then let some holy trance convey my thoughts
Up to the palace of th'
That this my life may be as short to me
As are the
days of sweet Zenocrate.—
Physicians, will no physic do her good?
First Phys. My lord, your majesty shall soon perceive,
And if she pass
this fit, the worst is past.
Tamb. Tell me, how fares my fair Zenocrate?
Zeno. I fare, my lord, as other empresses,
That, when this frail and
Hath suck'd the measure of that vital air
the body with his dated health,
Wane with enforc'd and necessary change.
Tamb. May never such a change transform my love,
In whose sweet being I
repose my life!
Whose heavenly presence, beautified with health,
light to Phœbus and the fixed stars;
Whose absence makes the sun and
moon as dark
As when, oppos'd in one diameter,
Their spheres are
mounted on the serpent's head,
Or else descended to his winding train.
Live still, my love, and so conserve my life,
Or, dying, be the author
of my death.
Zeno. Live still, my lord; O, let my sovereign live!
And sooner let the
Dissolve, and make your kingdom in the sky,
base earth should shroud your majesty;
For, should I but suspect your
death by mine,
The comfort of my future happiness,
And hope to meet
your highness in the heavens,
Turn'd to despair, would break my
And fury would confound my present rest.
But let me
die, my love; yes, let me die;
With love and patience let your true
Your grief and fury hurts my second life.
Yet let me kiss my
lord before I die,
And let me die with kissing of my lord.
my life is lengthen'd yet a while,
Let me take leave of these my loving
And of my lords, whose true nobility
Have merited my latest
Sweet sons, farewell! in death resemble me,
And in your lives
your father's excellence.
Some music, and my fit will cease, my lord.
[They call for music.
Tamb. Proud fury, and intolerable fit,
torment the body of my love,
And scourge the scourge of the immortal
Now are those spheres, where Cupid us'd to sit,
Wounding the world
with wonder and with love
Sadly supplied with pale and ghastly death,
Whose darts do pierce the centre of my soul.
Her sacred beauty hath
And, had she liv'd before the siege of Troy,
whose beauty summon'd Greece to arms,
And drew a thousand ships to
Had not been nam'd in Homer's Iliads,—
Her name had been in
every line he wrote;
Or, had those wanton poets, for whose birth
Rome was proud, but gaz'd a while on her,
Nor Lesbia nor Corinna had
Zenocrate had been the argument
Of every epigram or elegy.
[The music sounds—Zenocrate dies.
What, is she dead? Techelles, draw thy sword,
And wound the earth, that it may cleave in
And we descend into th' infernal vaults,
To hale the Fatal
Sisters by the hair,
And throw them in the triple moat of hell,
taking hence my fair Zenocrate.
Casane and Theridamas, to arms!
cavalieros higher than the clouds,
And with the cannon break the frame
Batter the shining palace of the sun,
And shiver all the
For amorous Jove hath snatch'd my love from hence,
Meaning to make her stately queen of heaven.
What god soever holds thee
in his arms,
Giving thee nectar and ambrosia,
Behold me here, divine
Raving, impatient, desperate, and mad,
Breaking my steeled
lance, with which I burst
The rusty beams of Janus' temple-doors,
Letting out Death and tyrannising War,
To march with me under this
And, if thou pitiest Tamburlaine the Great,
Come down from heaven, and live with me again!
Ther. Ah, good my lord,
be patient! she is dead,
And all this raging cannot make her live.
If words might serve, our voice hath rent the air;
If tears, our eyes have water'd all the earth;
If grief, our murder'd hearts have strained forth blood:
Nothing prevails, for she is dead, my lord.
Tamb. For she is dead! thy
words do pierce my soul:
Ah, sweet Theridamas, say so no more!
Though she be dead, yet let me think she lives,
And feed my mind that dies for want of her.
Where'er her soul be, thou [To the body] shalt stay with
Embalm'd with cassia, ambergris, and myrrh,
Not lapt in lead, but in a sheet of gold,
And, till I die, thou shalt not be interr'd.
Then in as rich a tomb as Mausolus'
We both will rest, and have one epitaph
Writ in as many several languages
As I have conquer'd kingdoms with my sword.
This cursed town will I consume with fire,
Because this place bereft me of my love;
The houses, burnt, will look as if they mourn'd;
And here will I set up her stature
And march about it with my mourning camp,
Drooping and pining for Zenocrate.
[The arras is drawn.
Enter the kings of Trebizon and Soria, one
bringing a sword and the
other a sceptre; next, Orcanes king of Natalia, and
the king of Jerusalem with the imperial crown; after,
Callapine; and, after him,
other Lords and Almeda. Orcanes and the king of
Jerusalem crown Callapine, and the others give him the
Orc. Callapinus Cyricelibes, otherwise Cybelius, son and
heir to the late mighty emperor Bajazeth, by the aid of God and his
friend Mahomet, Emperor of Natolia, Jerusalem, Trebizon, Soria, Amasia,
Thracia, Ilyria, Carmania, and all the hundred and thirty kingdoms
late contributory to his mighty father,—long live Callapinus,
Emperor of Turkey!
Call. Thrice-worthy kings, of Natolia and the rest,
I will requite your royal gratitudes
With all the benefits my empire yields;
And, were the sinews of th' imperial seat
So knit and strengthen'd as when Bajazeth,
My royal lord and father, fill'd the throne,
Whose cursed fate hath so dismember'd it,
Then should you see this thief of Scythia,
This proud usurping king of Persia,
Do us such honour and supremacy,
Bearing the vengeance of our father's wrongs,
As all the world should blot his dignities
Out of the book of base-born infamies.
And now I doubt not but your royal cares
Have so provided for this cursed foe,
That, since the heir of mighty Bajazeth
(An emperor so honour'd for his virtues)
Revives the spirits of all true Turkish hearts,
In grievous memory of his father's shame,
We shall not need to nourish any doubt,
But that proud Fortune, who hath follow'd long
The martial sword of mighty Tamburlaine,
Will now retain her old inconstancy,
And raise our honours to as high a pitch,
In this our strong and fortunate encounter;
For so hath heaven provided my escape
From all the cruelty my soul sustain'd,
By this my friendly keeper's happy means,
That Jove, surcharg'd with pity of our wrongs,
Will pour it down in showers on our heads,
Scourging the pride of cursed Tamburlaine.
Orc. I have a hundred
thousand men in arms;
Some that, in conquest of the perjur'd Christian,
Being a handful to a mighty host,
Think them in number yet sufficient
To drink the river Nile or Euphrates,
And for their power enow to win the world.
K. of Jer. And I as many
Judaea, Gaza, and Sclavonia's bounds,
That on mount Sinai, with their ensigns spread,
Look like the parti-colour'd clouds of heaven
That show fair weather to the neighbour morn.
K. of Treb. And I as many bring from Trebizon,
Chio, Famastro, and Amasia,
All bordering on the Mare-Major-sea,
Riso, Sancina, and the bordering towns
That touch the end of famous Euphrates,
Whose courages are kindled with the flames
The cursed Scythian sets on all their towns,
And vow to burn the villain's cruel heart.
K. of Sor. From Soria with seventy thousand strong,
Ta'en from Aleppo, Soldino, Tripoly,
And so unto my city of Damascus,
I march to meet and aid my neighbour kings;
All which will join against this Tamburlaine,
And bring him captive to your highness' feet.
Orc. Our battle, then, in martial manner pitch'd,
According to our ancient use, shall bear
The figure of the semicircled moon,
Whose horns shall sprinkle through the tainted air
The poison'd brains of this proud Scythian.
Call. Well, then, my noble lords, for this my friend
That freed me from the bondage of my foe,
I think it requisite and honourable
To keep my promise and to make him king,
That is a gentleman, I know, at least.
Alm. That's no matter, sir, for being a king; for Tamburlaine came up
K. of Jer. Your majesty may choose some 'pointed time,
Performing all your promise to the full;
'Tis naught for your majesty to give a kingdom.
Call. Then will I shortly keep my promise, Almeda.
Alm. Why, I thank your majesty.
Enter Tamburlaine and his three Sons, Calyphas,
Amyras, and Celebinus;
Usumcasane; four Attendants bearing the hearse of
Zenocrate, and the
drums sounding a doleful march; the town burning.
Tamb. So burn the
turrets of this cursed town,
Flame to the highest region of the air,
And kindle heaps of exhalations,
That, being fiery meteors, may presage
Death and destruction to the
Over my zenith hang a blazing star,
That may endure till
heaven be dissolv'd,
Fed with the fresh supply of earthly dregs,
Threatening a dearth and famine to this land!
lightning, fearful thunder-claps,
Singe these fair plains, and make
them seem as black
As is the island where the Furies mask,
with Lethe, Styx, and Phlegethon,
Because my dear Zenocrate is dead!
Caly. This pillar, plac'd in memory of her,
Where in Arabian, Hebrew,
Greek, is writ,
This town, being burnt by Tamburlaine the Great,
Forbids the world to build it up again.
Amy. And here this mournful
streamer shall be plac'd,
Wrought with the Persian and th' Egyptian
To signify she was a princess born,
And wife unto the monarch of
Cel. And here this table as a register
Of all her virtues and
Tamb. And here the picture of Zenocrate,
To show her
beauty which the world admir'd;
Sweet picture of divine Zenocrate,
That, hanging here, will draw the gods from heaven,
And cause the stars
fix'd in the southern arc
(Whose lovely faces never any view'd
have not pass'd the centre's latitude,)
As pilgrims travel to our
Only to gaze upon Zenocrate.
Thou shalt not beautify
But keep within the circle of mine arms:
At every town
and castle I besiege,
Thou shalt be set upon my royal tent;
And, when I
meet an army in the field,
Those looks will shed such influence in my
As if Bellona, goddess of the war,
Threw naked swords and
sulphur-balls of fire
Upon the heads of all our enemies.—
And now, my
lords, advance your spears again;
Sorrow no more, my sweet Casane, now:
Boys, leave to mourn; this town shall ever mourn,
Being burnt to
cinders for your mother's
Caly. If I had wept a sea of tears for her,
It would not ease the
sorrows I sustain.
Amy. As is that town, so is my heart consum'd
With grief and sorrow for
my mother's death.
Cel. My mother's death hath mortified my mind,
And sorrow stops the
passage of my speech.
Tamb. But now, my boys, leave off, and list to me,
That mean to teach
you rudiments of war.
I'll have you learn to sleep upon the ground,
March in your armour thorough watery fens,
Sustain the scorching heat
and freezing cold,
Hunger and thirst, right adjuncts of the war;
after this, to scale a castle-wall,
Besiege a fort, to undermine a
And make whole cities caper in the air:
Then next, the way to
fortify your men;
In champion grounds what figure serves you best,
which the quinque-angle form is meet,
Because the corners there may
fall more flat
Whereas the fort may fittest be assail'd,
where th' assault is desperate:
The ditches must be deep; the
Narrow and steep; the walls made high and broad;
bulwarks and the rampires large and strong,
With cavalieros and thick
And room within to lodge six thousand men,
It must have
privy ditches, countermines,
And secret issuings to defend the ditch;
It must have high argins and cover'd ways
To keep the bulwark-fronts
And parapets to hide the musketeers,
Casemates to place
the great artillery,
And store of ordnance, that from every flank
scour the outward curtains of the fort,
Dismount the cannon of the
Murder the foe, and save the walls from breach.
is learn'd for service on the land,
By plain and easy demonstration
I'll teach you how to make the water mount,
That you may dry-foot march
through lakes and pools,
Deep rivers, havens, creeks, and little seas,
And make a fortress"in the raging waves,
Fenc'd with the concave of a
Invincible by nature of the place.
When this is done, then are ye
And worthy sons of Tamburlaine the Great.
Caly. My lord, but this is dangerous to be done;
We may be slain or
wounded ere we learn.
Tamb. Villain, art thou the son of Tamburlaine,
And fear'st to die, or
with a curtle-axe
To hew thy flesh, and make a gaping wound?
beheld a peal of ordnance strike
A ring of pikes, mingled with shot and
Whose shatter'd limbs, being toss'd as high as heaven,
the air as thick as sunny motes,
And canst thou, coward, stand in fear
Hast thou not seen my horsemen charge the foe,
the arms, cut overthwart the hands,
Dying their lances with their
And yet at night carouse within my tent,
empty veins with airy wine,
That, being concocted, turns to crimson
And wilt thou shun the field for fear of wounds?
View me, thy
father, that hath conquer'd kings,
And, with his host, march'd round
about the earth,
Quite void of-scars and clear from any wound,
the wars lost not a drop of blood,
And see him lance his flesh to teach
[He cuts his arm.
A wound is nothing, be it ne'er so deep;
Blood is the god of war's rich
Now look I like a soldier, and this wound
As great a grace and
majesty to me,
As if a chair of gold enamelled,
Enchas'd with diamonds,
And fairest pearl of wealthy India,
here under a canopy,
And I sat down, cloth'd with a massy robe
late adorn'd the Afric potentate,
Whom I brought bound unto Damascus'
Come, boys, and with your fingers search my wound,
And in my
blood wash all your hands at once,
While I sit smiling to behold the
Now, my boys, what think ye of a wound?
Caly. I know not what I
should think of it; methinks 'tis a pitiful sight.
Cel. 'Tis nothing.—Give me a wound, father.
Amy. And me another, my lord.
Tamb. Come, sirrah, give me your arm.
Cel. Here, father, cut it bravely, as you did your own.
Tamb. It shall suffice thou dar'st abide a wound;
My boy, thou shalt not lose a drop of blood
Before we meet the army of the Turk;
But then run desperate through the thickest throngs,
Dreadless of blows, of bloody wounds, and death;
And let the burning of Larissa-walls,
My speech of war, and this my wound you see,
Teach you, my boys, to bear courageous minds,
Fit for the followers of great Tamburlaine.—
Usumcasane, now come, let us march
Towards Techelles and Theridamas,
That we have sent before to fire the towns,
The towers and cities of these hateful Turks,
And hunt that coward faint-heart runaway,
With that accursed traitor Almeda,
Till fire and sword have found them at a bay.
Usum. I long to pierce his bowels with my sword,
That hath betray'd my gracious sovereign,—
That curs'd and damned traitor Almeda.
Tamb. Then let us see if coward Callapine
Dare levy arms against our puissance,
That we may tread upon his captive neck,
And treble all his father's slaveries.
Enter Techelles, Theridamas, and their train.
Ther. Thus have we march'd northward from Tamburlaine,
Unto the frontier point of Soria;
And this is Balsera, their chiefest hold,
Wherein is all the treasure of the land.
Tech. Then let us bring our
Minions, falc'nets, and sakers, to the trench,
Filling the ditches with the walls' wide breach,
And enter in to seize upon the hold.—
How say you, soldiers, shall we not?
Soldiers. Yes, my lord, yes; come,
let's about it.
Ther. But stay a while; summon a parle, drum.
It may be they will yield it quietly,
Knowing two kings, the friends to Tamburlaine,
Stand at the walls with such a mighty power.
[A parley sounded.—
Captain appears on the walls,
with Olympia his wife, and his son.
Capt. What require you, my masters?
Ther. Captain, that thou yield up thy hold to us.
Capt. To you! why, do
you think me weary of it?
Tech. Nay, captain, thou art weary of thy
If thou withstand the friends of Tamburlaine.
Ther. These pioners of
Argier in Africa,
Even in the cannon's face, shall raise a hill
Of earth and faggots higher than thy fort,
And, over thy argins and cover'd ways,
Shall play upon the bulwarks of thy hold
Volleys of ordnance, till the breach be made
That with his ruin fills up all the trench;
And, when we enter in, not heaven itself
Shall ransom thee, thy wife, and family.
Tech. Captain, these Moors
shall cut the leaden pipes
That bring fresh water to thy men and thee.
And lie in trench before thy castle-walls,
That no supply of victual shall come in,
Nor [any] issue forth but they shall die;
And, therefore, captain, yield it quietly.
Capt. Were you, that are the
friends of Tamburlaine,
Brothers of holy Mahomet himself,
I would not yield it; therefore do your worst:
Raise mounts, batter, intrench, and undermine,
Cut off the water, all convoys that can,
Yet I am resolute: and so, farewell.
[Captain, Olympia, and son, retire from
Ther. Pioners, away!
and where I stuck the stake,
Intrench with those dimensions I prescrib'd;
Cast up the earth towards the castle-wall,
Which, till it may defend you, labour low,
And few or none shall perish by their shot.
Pioners. We will, my lord.
Tech. A hundred horse shall scout about the plains,
To spy what force comes to relieve the hold.
Both we, Theridamas, will intrench our men,
And with the Jacob's staff measure the height
And distance of the castle from the trench,
That we may know if our artillery
Will carry full point-plank unto their walls.
Ther. Then see the bringing of our ordnance
Along the trench into the
Where we will have gallions of six foot broad,
To save our
cannoneers from musket-shot;
Betwixt which shall our ordnance thunder
And with the breach's fall, smoke, fire, and dust,
the echo, and the soldiers' cry,
Make deaf the air and dim the crystal
Tech. Trumpets and drums, alarum presently!
And, soldiers, play the
men; the hold is yours!
Enter the Captain, with Olympia, and his son.
Olym. Come, good my lord, and let us haste from hence,
Along the cave
that leads beyond the foe:
No hope is left to save this conquer'd hold.
Capt. A deadly bullet gliding through my side,
Lies heavy on my heart;
I cannot live:
I feel my liver pierc'd, and all my veins,
begin and nourish every part,
Mangled and torn, and all my entrails
In blood that straineth from their orifex.
Farewell, sweet wife!
sweet son, farewell! I die.
Olym. Death, whither art thou gone, that both we live?
Come back again,
sweet Death, and strike us both!
One minute and our days, and one
Contain our bodies! Death, why com'st thou not?
Well, this must be the messenger for thee:
[Drawing a dagger.
Now, ugly Death, stretch out thy sable wings,
And carry both our souls
where his remains.—
Tell me, sweet boy, art thou content to die?
barbarous Scythians, full of cruelty,
And Moors, in whom was never pity
Will hew us piecemeal, put us to the wheel,
Or else invent some
torture worse than that;
Therefore die by thy loving mother's hand,
Who gently now will lance thy ivory throat,
And quickly rid thee both
of pain and life.
Son. Mother, despatch me, or I'll kill myself;
think you I can live and see him dead?
Give me your knife, good mother,
or strike home:
The Scythians shall not tyrannise on me:
strike, that I may meet my father.
[She stabs him, and he dies.
Olym. Ah, sacred Mahomet, if this be sin,
Entreat a pardon of the God of heaven,
And purge my soul before it
comes to thee!
[She burns the bodies of her
husband and son, and then
attempts to kill
Enter Theridamas, Techelles, and all their train.
Ther. How now, Madam! what are you doing?
Olym. Killing myself, as I
have done my son,
Whose body, with his father's, I have burnt,
Lest cruel Scythians should dismember him.
Tech. 'Twas bravely done,
and like a soldier's wife.
Thou shalt with us to Tamburlaine the Great,
Who, when he hears how resolute thou wert,
Will match thee with a viceroy or a king.
Olym. My lord deceas'd was
dearer unto me
Than any viceroy, king, or emperor;
And for his sake here will I end my days.
Ther. But, lady, go with us
And thou shalt see a man greater than Mahomet,
In whose high looks is much more majesty,
Than from the concave superficies
Of Jove's vast palace, the empyreal orb,
Unto the shining bower where Cynthia sits,
Like lovely Thetis, in a crystal robe;
That treadeth fortune underneath his feet,
And makes the mighty god of arms his slave;
On whom Death and the Fatal Sisters wait
With naked swords and scarlet liveries;
Before whom, mounted on a lion's back,
Rhamnusia bears a helmet full of blood,
And strows the way with brains of slaughter'd men;
By whose proud side the ugly Furies run,
Hearkening when he shall bid them plague the world;
Over whose zenith, cloth'd in windy air,
And eagle's wings join'd to her feather'd breast,
Fame hovereth, sounding of her golden trump,
That to the adverse poles of that straight line
Which measureth the glorious frame of heaven
The name of mighty Tamburlaine is spread;
And him, fair, lady, shall thy eyes behold.
Olym. Take pity of a lady's ruthful tears,
That humbly craves upon her knees to stay,
And cast her body in the burning flame
That feeds upon her son's and husband's flesh,
Tech. Madam, sooner
shall fire consume us both
Than scorch a face so beautiful as this,
In frame of which Nature hath show'd more skill
Than when she gave eternal chaos form,
Drawing from it the shining lamps of heaven.
Ther. Madam, I am so far
in love with you,
That you must go with us: no remedy.
Olym. Then carry me, I care not,
where you will,
And let the end of this my fatal journey
Be likewise end to my accursed life.
Tech. No, madam, but the beginning
of your joy:
Come willingly, therefore.
Ther. Soldiers, now let us meet the general,
Who by this time is at Natolia,
Ready to charge the army of the Turk.
The gold and silver, and the pearl, ye got,
Rifling this fort, divide in equal snares:
This lady shall have twice so much again
Out of the coffers of our treasury.
Enter Callapine, Orcanes, the Kings of Jerusalem,
Trebizon, and Soria, with their train, Almeda, and
Mess. Renowmed emperor, mighty Callapine,
God's great lieutenant over
all the world,
Here at Aleppo, with an host of men,
this king of Persia,
(In number more than are the quivering leaves
Ida's forest, where your highness' hounds
With open cry pursue the
Who means to girt Natolia's walls with siege,
Fire the town, and
over-run the land.
Call. My royal army is as great as his,
That, from the bounds of
Phrygia to the sea
Which washeth Cyprus with his brinish waves,
the hills, the valleys, and the plains.
Viceroys and peers of Turkey,
play the men;
Whet all your swords to mangle Tamburlaine,
His sons, his
captains, and his followers:
By Mahomet, not one of them shall live!
The field wherein this battle shall be fought
For ever term'd the
In memory of this our victory.
Orc. Now he that calls himself the scourge of Jove,
The emperor of the
world, and earthly god,
Shall end the warlike progress he intends,
travel headlong to the lake of hell,
Where legions of devils (knowing
he must die
Here in Natolia by your highness' hands),
their brands of quenchless fire,
Stretching their monstrous paws, grin
with their teeth,
And guard the gates to entertain his soul.
Call. Tell me, viceroys, the number of your men,
And what our army
royal is esteem'd.
K. of Jer. From Palestina and Jerusalem,
Of Hebrews three score
thousand fighting men
Are come, since last we show'd your majesty.
Orc. So from Arabia Desert, and the bounds
Of that sweet land whose
Re-edified the fair Semiramis,
Came forty thousand
warlike foot and horse,
Since last we number'd to your majesty.
K. of Treb. From Trebizon in Asia the Less,
Naturalis'd Turks and stout
Came to my bands, full fifty thousand more,
know not what retreat doth mean,
Nor e'er return but with the victory,)
Since last we number'd to your majesty.
K. of Sor. Of Sorians from Halla is repair'd,
And neighbour cities of
your highness' land,
Ten thousand horse, and thirty thousand foot,
Since last we number'd to your majesty;
So that the army royal is
Six hundred thousand valiant fighting men.
Call. Then welcome,
Tamburlaine, unto thy death!
Come, puissant viceroys, let us to the
(The Persians' sepulchre), and sacrifice
Mountains of breathless
men to Mahomet,
Who now, with Jove, opens the firmament
To see the
slaughter of our enemies.
Enter Tamburlaine with his three sons, Calyphus,
Amyras, and Celebinus;
Usumcasane, and others.
Tamb. How now, Casane! see, a knot of kings,
Sitting as if they were a-telling riddles!
Usum. My lord, your presence
makes them pale and wan:
Poor souls, they look as if their deaths were near.
Tamb. Why, so he
is, Casane; I am here:
But yet I'll save their lives, and make them slaves.—
Ye petty kings of Turkey, I am come,
As Hector did into the Grecian camp,
To overdare the pride of Græcia,
And set his warlike person to the view
Of fierce Achilles, rival of his fame:
I do you honour in the simile;
For, if I should, as Hector did Achilles,
(The worthiest knight that ever brandish'd sword,)
Challenge in combat any of you all,
I see how fearfully ye would refuse,
And fly my glove as from a scorpion.
Orc. Now, thou art fearful of thy
Thou wouldst with overmatch of person fight:
But, shepherd's issue, base-born Tamburlaine,
Think of thy end; this sword shall lance thy throat.
Tamb. Villain, the
shepherd's issue (at whose birth
Heaven did afford a gracious aspect,
And join'd those stars that shall be opposite
Even till the dissolution of the world,
And never meant to make a conqueror
So famous as is mighty Tamburlaine)
Shall so torment thee, and that Callapine,
That, like a roguish runaway, suborn'd
That villain there, that slave, that Turkish dog,
To false his service to his sovereign,
As ye shall curse the birth of Tamburlaine.
Call. Rail not, proud Scythian: I shall now revenge
My father's vile abuses and mine own.
K. of Jer. By Mahomet, he shall
be tied in chains,
Rowing with Christians in a brigandine
About the Grecian isles to rob and spoil,
And turn him to his ancient trade again:
Methinks the slave should make a lusty thief.
Call. Nay, when the
battle ends, all we will meet,
And sit in council to invent some pain
That most may vex his body and his soul.
Tamb. Sirrah Callapine, I'll
hang a clog about your neck for running away again: you shall not
trouble me thus to come and fetch you.—
But as for you, viceroyfs], you shall have bits,
And, harness'd like my horses, draw my coach;
And, when ye stay, be lash'd with whips of wire:
I'll have you learn to feed on provender,
And in a stable lie upon the planks.
Orc. But, Tamburlaine, first thou
shalt kneel to us,
And humbly crave a pardon for thy life.
K. of Treb. The common soldiers
of our mighty host
Shall bring thee bound unto the general's tent.
K. of Sor. And all have
jointly sworn thy cruel death,
Or bind thee in eternal torments' wrath.
Tamb. Well, sirs, diet
yourselves; you know I shall have occasion shortly to journey you.
Cel. See, father, how Almeda the
jailor looks upon us!
Tamb. Villain, traitor, damned fugitive,
I'll make thee wish the earth had swallow'd thee!
See'st thou not death within my wrathful looks?
Go, villain, cast thee headlong from a rock,
Or rip thy bowels, and rent out thy heart,
T' appease my wrath; or else I'll torture thee,
Searing thy hateful flesh with burning irons
And drops of scalding lead, while all thy joints
Be rack'd and beat asunder with the wheel;
For, if thou liv'st, not any element
Shall shroud thee from the wrath of Tamburlaine.
Call. Well in despite
of thee, he shall be king.—
Come, Almeda; receive this crown of me:
I here invest thee king of Ariadan,
Bordering on Mare Roso, near to Mecca.
Orc. What! take it, man.
Alm. [to Tamb.] Good my lord, let me take it.
Call. Dost thou ask him
leave? here; take it.
Tamb. Go to, sirrah! take your crown, and make up
the half dozen. So, sirrah, now you are a king, you must give arms.
Orc. So he shall, and wear thy head in his scutcheon.
let him hang a bunch of keys on his standard, to put him in remembrance
he was a jailor, that, when I take him, I may knock out his brains with
them, and lock you in the stable, when you shall come sweating from my
K. of Treb. Away! let us to the field, that the
villain may be slain.
Tamb. Sirrah, prepare whips, and bring my chariot to my
tent; for, as soon as the battle is done, I'll ride in
triumph through the camp.
Enter Theridamas, Techelles, and their train.
How now, ye petty kings? lo, here are bugs
Will make the hair stand
upright on your heads,
And cast your crowns in slavery at their feet!—
Welcome, Theridamas and Techelles, both:
See ye this rout, and know ye
this same king?
Ther. Ay, my lord; he was Callapine's keeper.
Tamb. Well now ye see he is a king. Look to him,
we are fighting, lest he hide his crown as the foolish king of Persia
K. of Sor. No, Tamburlaine; he shall not be put to that
Tamb. You know not, sir.— But now, my followers and my
Fight as you ever did, live conquerors,
The glory of this happy day is
My stern aspect shall make fair Victory,
Hovering betwixt our
armies, light on me,
Loaden with laurel-wreaths to crown us all.
Tech. I smile to think how, when this field is fought
And rich Natolia
ours, our men shall sweat
With carrying pearl and treasure on their
Tamb. You shall be princes all, immediately.—
Come, fight, ye Turks, or
yield us victory.
Orc. No; we will meet thee, slavish Tamburlaine.
Amyras and Celebinus issue from the
tent where Calyphas sits asleep.
Amy. Now in their glories shine the golden crowns
Of these proud Turks, much like so many suns
That half dismay the majesty of heaven.
Now, brother, follow we our father's sword,
That flies with fury swifter than our thoughts,
And cuts down armies with his conquering wings.
Cel. Call forth our
lazy brother from the tent,
For, if my father miss him in the field,
Wrath, kindled in the furnace of his breast,
Will send a deadly lightning to his heart.
Amy. Brother, ho! what,
given so much to sleep,
You cannot leave it, when our enemies' drums
And rattling cannons thunder in our ears
Our proper ruin and our father's foil?
Caly. Away, ye fools! my father
needs not me,
Nor you, in faith, but that you will be thought
More childish-valourous than manly-wise.
If half our camp should sit and sleep with me,
My father were enough to scare the foe:
You do dishonour to his majesty,
To think our helps will do him any good.
Amy. What, dar'st thou, then,
be absent from the fight,
Knowing my father hates thy cowardice,
And oft hath warn'd thee to be still in field,
When he himself amidst the thickest troops
Beats down our foes, to flesh our taintless swords?
Caly. I Know, sir,
what it is to kill a man;
It works remorse of conscience in me.
I take no pleasure to be murderous,
Nor care for blood when wine will quench my thirst.
Cel. O cowardly
boy! fie, for shame, come forth!
Thou dost dishonour manhood and thy house.
Caly. Go, go, tall
stripling, fight you for us both,
And take my other toward brother here,
For person like to prove a second Mars.
'Twill please my mind as well to hear, both you
Have won a heap of honour in the field,
And left your slender carcasses behind,
As if I lay with you for company.
Amy. You will not go, then?
Amy. Were all the lofty mounts of Zona Mundi
That fill the midst of farthest Tartary
Turn'd into pearl and proffer'd for my stay,
I would not bide the fury of my father,
When, made a victor in these haughty arms,
He comes and finds his sons have had no shares
In all the honours he propos'd for us.
Caly. Take you the honour, I
will take my ease;
My wisdom shall excuse my cowardice:
I go into the field before I need!
[Alarms within. Amyras and Celebinus
The bullets fly at random where they list;
And, should I go, and kill a thousand men,
I were as soon rewarded with a shot,
And sooner far than he that never fights;
And, should I go, and do no harm not good,
I might have harm, which all the good I have,
Join'd with my father's crown, would never cure.
I'll to cards.—Perdicas!
Perd. Here, my lord.
Caly. Come, thou and I will go to cards to drive away the
Perd. Content, my lord: but what shall we play for?
Caly. Who shall kiss the fairest of the Turks' concubines
my father hath conquered them.
Perd. Agreed, i'faith.
Caly. They say I am a coward, Perdicas, and I fear as
taratantaras, their swords, or their cannons as I do a naked lady in a
net of gold, and, for fear I should be afraid, would put it off and
come to bed with me.
Perd. Such a fear, my lord, would never make ye retire.
Caly. I would my father would let me be
put in the front of such a battle once, to try my valour!
What a coil they keep! I believe there will be some hurt
done anon amongst them.
Enter Tamburlaine, Theridamas, Techelles, Usum-casane;
Amyras and Celebinus leading in Orcanes, and the
Kings of Jerusalem, Trebizon, and Soria; and Soldiers.
Tamb. See now, ye slaves, my children stoop your pride,
And lead your
bodies sheep-like to the sword!—
Bring them, my boys, and tell me if
Be not a life that may illustrate gods,
And tickle not your
spirits with desire
Still to be train'd in arms and chivalry?
Amy. Shall we let go these kings again, my lord,
To gather greater
numbers 'gainst our power,
That they may say, it is not chance doth
But matchless strength and magnanimity?
Tamb. No, no, Amyras; tempt not Fortune so:
Cherish thy valour still
with fresh supplies,
And glut it not with stale and daunted foes.
where's this coward villain, not my son,
But traitor to my name and
[He goes in and brings Calyphas out.
Image of sloth, and picture of a
The obloquy and scorn of my renown!
How may my heart, thus fired
with mine eyes,
Wounded with shame and kill'd with discontent,
any thought may hold my striving hands
From martial justice on thy
Ther. Yet pardon him, I pray your majesty.
Tech. and Usum. Let all of us entreat your highness' pardon.
Tamb. Stand up, ye base, unworthy soldiers!
Know ye not yet the
argument of arms?
Amy. Good, my lord, let him be forgiven for once,
And we will force him
to the field hereafter.
Tamb. Stand up, my boys, and I will teach ye arms,
And what the
jealousy of wars must do.—
O Samarcanda, where I breathed first,
joy'd the fire of this martial flesh,
Blush, blush, fair city, at thine
And shame of nature, which Jaertis' stream,
thee with deepest of his love,
Can never wash from thy distained
Here, Jove, receive his fainting soul again;
A form not meet to
give that subject essence
Whose matter is the flesh of Tamburlaine,
Wherein an incorporeal spirit
Made of the mould whereof thyself consists,
Which makes me
valiant, proud, ambitious,
Ready to levy power against thy throne,
I might move the turning spheres of heaven;
For earth and all this airy
Cannot contain the state of Tamburlaine.
By Mahomet, thy mighty friend, I swear,
In sending to my issue such a
Created of the massy dregs of earth,
The scum and tartar of the
Wherein was neither courage, strength, or wit,
sloth, and damned idleness,
That hast procur'd a greater enemy
that darted mountains at thy head,
Shaking the burden mighty Atlas
Whereat thou trembling hidd'st thee in the air,
Cloth'd with a
pitchy cloud for being seen.—
And now, ye canker'd curs of Asia,
will not see the strength of Tamburlaine,
Although it shine as brightly
as the sun,
Now you shall feel the strength of Tamburlaine,
And, by the
state of his supremacy,
Approve the difference 'twixt himself and you.
Orc. Thou show'st the difference 'twixt ourselves and thee,
In this thy barbarous damned tyranny.
K. of Jer. Thy victories are
grown so violent,
That shortly heaven, fill'd with the meteors
and fire thy tyrannies have made,
Will pour down blood and fire on thy
Whose scalding drops will pierce thy seething brains,
our bloods, revenge our bloods on thee.
Tamb. Villains, these terrors,
and these tyrannies
(If tyrannies war's justice ye repute),
enjoin'd me from above,
To scourge the pride of such as Heaven abhors;
Nor am I made arch-monarch of the world,
Crown'd and invested by the
hand of Jove,
For deeds of bounty or nobility;
But, since I exercise a
The scourge of God and terror of the world,
I must apply myself to fit those terms,
In war, in blood, in death, in cruelty,
And plague such peasants as resist in me
The power of Heaven's eternal majesty.—
Theridamas, Techelles, and Casane,
Ransack the tents and the pavilions
Of these proud Turks, and take their concubines,
Making them bury this effeminate brat;
For not a common soldier shall defile
His manly fingers with so faint a boy:
Then bring those Turkish harlots to my tent,
And I'll dispose them as it likes me best.—
Meanwhile, take him in.
Soldiers. We will, my lord.
[Exeunt with the body of Calyphas.
K. of Jer. O damned monster! nay, a
fiend of hell,
Whose cruelties are not so harsh as thine,
Nor yet impos'd with such a bitter hate!
Orc. Revenge it, Rhadamanth
And let your hates, extended in his pains,
Excel the hate wherewith he pains our souls!
K. of Treb. May never day
give virtue to his eyes,
Whose sight, compos'd of fury and of fire,
Doth send such stern affections to his heart!
K. of Sor. May never
spirit, vein, or artier, feed
The cursed substance of that cruel heart;
But, wanting moisture and remorseful blood,
Dry up with anger, and
consume with heat!
Tamb. Well, bark, ye dogs: I'll bridle all your
And bind them close with bits of burnish'd steel,
Down to the
channels of your hateful throats;
And, with the pains my rigour shall
I'll make ye roar, that earth may echo forth
far-resounding torments ye sustain;
As when an herd of lusty Cimbrian
Run mourning round about the females' miss,
And, stung with fury
of their following,
Fill all the air with troubles bellowing.
with engines never exercis'd,
Conquer, sack, and utterly consume
cities and your golden palaces,
And, with the flames that beat against
Incense the heavens, and make the stars to melt,
As if they were the tears of Mahomet
For hot consumption of his country's pride;
And, till by vision or by speech I hear
Immortal Jove say " Cease, my Tamburlaine,"
I will persist a terror to the world,
Making the meteors (that, like armed men,
Are seen to march upon the towers of heaven)
Run tilting round about the firmament,
And break their burning lances in the air,
For honour of my wondrous victories,—
Come, bring them in to our pavilion.
Olym. Distress'd Olympia, whose weeping eyes,
Since thy arrival here,
behold no sun,
But, clos'd within the compass of a tent,
thy cheeks, and made thee look like death,
Devise some means to rid
thee of thy life,
Rather than yield to his detested suit,
is only to dishonour thee;
And, since this earth, dew'd with thy
Affords no herbs whose taste may poison thee,
this air, beat often with thy sighs,
Contagious smells and vapours to
Nor thy close cave a sword to murder thee,
invention be the instrument.
Ther. Well met, Olympia: I sought thee in my tent,
But, when I
saw the place obscure and dark,
Which with thy beauty thou wast wont to
Enrag'd, I ran about the fields for thee,
Supposing amorous Jove
had sent his son,
The winged Hermes, to convey thee hence;
But now I
find thee, and that fear is past,
Tell me, Olympia, wilt thou grant my
Olym. My lord and husband's death, with my sweet son's,
(With whom I
buried all affections
Save grief and sorrow, which torment my heart),
Forbids my mind to entertain a thought
That tends to love, and meditate on death,
A fitter subject for a pensive soul.
Ther. Olympia, pity him in whom
Have greater operation and more force
Than Cynthia's in the watery wilderness;
For with thy view my joys are at the full,
And ebb again as thou depart'st from me.
Olym. Ah, pity me, my lord,
and draw your sword,
Making a passage for my troubled soul,
Which beats against this prison to get out,
And meet my husband and my loving son!
Ther. Nothing but still thy
husband and thy son?
Leave this, my love, and listen more to me:
Thou shalt be stately queen of fair Argier;
And, cloth'd in costly cloth of massy gold,
Upon the marble turrets of my court
Sit like to Venus in her chair of state,
Commanding all thy princely eye desires;
And I will cast off arms to sit with thee,
Spending my life in sweet discourse of love.
Olym. No such discourse is
pleasant in mine ears,
But that where every period ends with death,
And every line begins with death again:
I cannot love, to be an emperess.
Ther. Nay, lady, then, if nothing
I'll use some other means to make you yield:
Such is the sudden fury of my love,
I must and will be pleas'd, and you shall yield:
Come to the tent again.
Olym. Stay now, my lord; and, will you save my
I'll give your grace a present of such price
As all the world can not afford the like.
Ther. What is it?
ointment which a cunning alchymist
Distilled from the purest balsamum
And simplest extracts of all minerals,
In which the essential form of marble stone,
Temper'd by science metaphysical,
And spells of magic from the mouths
With which if you but 'noint your tender skin,
sword, nor lance, can pierce your flesh.
Ther. Why, madam, think you to
mock me thus palpably?
Olym. To prove it, I will 'noint my naked throat,
Which when you stab, look on your weapon's point,
And you shall see't
rebated with the blow.
Ther. Why gave you not your husband some of it,
If you lov'd him, and it so precious!
Olym. My purpose was, my lord, to
spend it so,
But was prevented by his sudden end;
And for a present
easy proof thereof,
That I dissemble not, try it on me.
Ther. I will,
Olympia, and will keep it for
The richest present of this eastern world.
[She anoints her throat.
Olym. Now stab, my lord, and mark your
That will be blunted if the blow be great.
Ther. Here, then, Olympia.—
What, have I slain her? Villain, stab thyself!
Cut off this arm that murdered my love,
In whom the learned Rabbis of this age
Might find as many wondrous miracles
As in the theoria of the world!
Now hell is fairer than Elysium;
A greater lamp than that bright eye of heaven,
From whence the stars do borrow all their light,
Wanders about the black circumference;
And now the damned souls are free from pain,
For every Fury gazeth on her looks;
Infernal Dis is courting of my love,
Inventing masks and stately shows for her,
Opening the doors of his rich treasury
To entertain this queen of chastity;
Whose body shall be tomb'd with all the pomp
The treasure of my kingdom may afford.
[Exit with the body.
Enter Tamburlaine, drawn in his chariot by the Kings
of Trebizon and Soria, with bits in their mouths,
reins in his left hand, and in his
right hand a whip with which he scourgeth them; Amyras, Celebinus,
Techelles, Theridamas, Usumcasane; Orcanes King of Natalia, and
the King of Jerusalem, led by five or six common Soldiers; and
Tamb. Holla, ye pamper'd jades of Asia!
What, can ye draw but twenty
And have so proud a chariot at your heels,
And such a coachman as great Tamburlaine,
But from Asphaltis, where I conquer'd you,
To Byron here, where thus I honour you?
The horse that guide the golden eye of heaven.
And blow the morning from their nostrils,
Making their fiery gait above the clouds,
Are not so honour'd in their governor
As you, ye slaves, in mighty Tamburlaine.
The headstrong jades of Thrace Alcides tam'd,
That King Ægeus fed with human flesh,
And made so wanton that they knew their strengths,
Were not subdu'd with valour more divine
Than you by this unconquer'd arm of mine.
To make you fierce, and fit my appetite,
You shall be fed with flesh as raw as blood,
And drink in pails the strongest muscadel:
If you can live with it, then live, and draw
My chariot swifter than the racking clouds;
If not, then die like beasts, and fit for naught
But perches for the black and fatal ravens.
Thus am I right the scourge of highest Jove;
And see the figure of my dignity,
By which I hold my name and majesty!
Amy. Let me have coach, my lord, that I may ride,
And thus be drawn by
these two idle kings.
Tamb. Thy youth forbids such ease, my kingly boy:
They shall to-morrow
draw my chariot,
While these their fellow-kings may be refresh'd.
Orc. O thou that sway'st the region under earth,
And art a king as
absolute as Jove,
Come as thou didst in fruitful Sicily,
the glories of the land,
And as thou took'st the fair Proserpina,
Joying the fruit of Ceres' garden-plot,
For love, for honour, and to
make her queen,
So, for just hate, for shame, and to subdue
contemner of thy dreadful power,
Come once in fury, and survey his
Haling him headlong to the lowest hell!
Ther. You majesty must get some bits for these,
To bridle their
contemptuous cursing tongues,
That, like unruly never-broken jades,
Break through the hedges of their hateful mouths,
And pass their fixed bounds exceedingly.
Tech. Nay, we will break the
hedges of their mouths,
And pull their kicking colts out of their pastures.
Usum. Your majesty
already hath devis'd
A mean, as fit as may be, to restrain
These coltish coach-horse tongues from blasphemy.
Cel. How like you
that, sir king? why speak you not?
K. of Jer. Ah, cruel brat, sprung
from a tyrant's loins!
How like his cursed father he begins
To practice taunts and bitter tyrannies!
Tamb. Ay, Turk, I tell thee,
this same boy is he
That must (advanc'd in higher pomp than this)
Rifle the kingdoms I shall leave unsack'd,
If Jove, esteeming me too good for earth.
Raise me, to match the fair Aldeboran,
Above the threefold astracism of heaven,
Before I conquer all the triple world.—
Now fetch me out the Turkish concubines:
I will prefer them for the funeral
They have bestow'd on my abortive son.
[The Concubines are brought in.
Where are my common soldiers now, that fought
So lion-like upon Asphaltis' plains?
Soldiers. Here, my lord.
Hold ye, tall soldiers, take ye queens a-piece,—
I mean such queens as were kings' concubines;
Take them; divide them, and their jewels too,
And let them equally serve all your turns.
Soldiers. We thank your
Tamb. Brawl not, I warn you, for your lechery;
For every man that so offends shall die.
Orc. Injurious tyrant, wilt
thou so defame
The hateful fortunes of thy victory,
To exercise upon such guiltless dames
The violence of thy common soldiers' lust?
Tamb. Live continent, then,
ye slaves, and meet not me
With troops of harlots at your slothful heels.
Concubines. O pity us,
my lord, and save our honours!
Tamb. Are ye not gone, ye villains, with
[The Soldiers run away with the
K. of Jer. O, merciless,
Tamb. Save your honours! 'twere but time indeed,
Lost long before ye knew what honour meant.
Ther. It seems they meant to conquer us, my lord,
And make us jesting
pageants for their trulls.
Tamb. And now themselves shall make our pageant,
And common soldiers
jest with all their trulls.
Let them take pleasure soundly in their
Till we prepare our march to Babylon,
Whither we next make
Tech. Let us not be idle, then, my lord,
But presently be prest to
Tamb. We will, Techelles.—Forward, then, ye jades!
Now crouch, ye kings
of greatest Asia,
And tremble when ye hear this scourge will come
whips down cities and controlleth crowns,
Adding their wealth and
treasure to my store.
The Euxine sea, north to Natolia;
west; the Caspian, north north-east;
And on the south, Sinus Arabicus;
Shall all be loaden with the martial spoils
We will convey with us to
Then shall my native city Samarcanda,
And crystal waves of
fresh Jaertis' stream,
The pride and beauty of her princely seat,
famous through the furthest continents;
For there my palace royal shall
Whose shining turrets shall dismay the heavens,
And cast the
fame of Ilion's tower to hell:
Thorough the streets, with troops of
I'll ride in golden armour like the sun;
And in my
helm a triple plume shall spring,
Spangled with diamonds, dancing in
To note me emperor of the three-fold world;
Like to an
almond-tree y-mounted high
Upon the lofty and celestial mount
ever-green Selinus, quaintly deck'd
With blooms more white than
Whose tender blossoms tremble
At every little breath that thorough heaven is blown.
my coach, like Saturn's royal son
Mounted his shining chariot gilt with
And drawn with princely eagles through the path
Pav'd with bright
crystal and enchas'd with stars,
When all the gods stand gazing at his
So will I ride through Samarcanda-streets,
Until my soul, dissever'd from this flesh,
Shall mount the milk-white way, and meet him there.
To Babylon, my lords, to Babylon!
Enter the Governor of Babylon, Maximus, and
others, upon the walls.
Gov. What saith Maximus?
Max. My lord, the breach the enemy hath made
Gives such assurance of our overthrow,
That little hope is left to save our lives,
Or hold our city from the conqueror's hands.
Then hang out flags, my lord, of humble truce,
And satisfy the people's general prayers,
That Tamburlaine's intolerable wrath
May be suppressed by our submission.
Gov. Villain, respect'st thou more
thy slavish life
Than honour of thy country or thy name?
Is not my life and state as dear to me,
The city and my native country's weal,
As any thing of price with thy conceit?
Have we not hope, for all our batter'd walls,
To live secure and keep his forces out,
When this our famous lake of Limnasphaltis
Makes walls a-fresh with every thing that falls
Into the liquid substance of his stream,
More strong than are the gates of death or hell?
What faintness should dismay our courages,
When we are thus defenc'd against our foe,
And have no terror but his threatening looks?
Enter, above, a Citizen, who kneels to the
Cit. My lord, if ever you did deed of ruth,
And now will work a refuge
to our lives,
Offer submission, hang up flags of truce,
Tamburlaine may pity our distress,
And use us like a loving conqueror.
Though this be held his last day's dreadful siege,
Wherein he spareth neither man nor child,
Yet are there Christians of
Whose state he ever pitied and reliev'd,
Will get his
pardon, if your grace would send.
Gov. How is my soul environed!
this eternis'd city Babylon
Fill'd with a pack of faint-heart fugitives
That thus entreat their shame and servitude!
Enter, above, a Second Citizen.
Sec. Cit. My lord, if ever you will win our hearts,
Yield up the town, and save our wives and children;
For I will cast myself from off these walls,
Or die some death of
Before I bide the wrath of Tamburlaine.
Gov. Villains, cowards,
traitors to our state!
Fall to the earth, and pierce the pit of hell,
That legions of tormenting spirits may vex
Your slavish bosoms with continual pains!
I care not, nor the town will never yield
As long as any life is in my breast.
Enter Theridamas and Techelles, with Soldiers.
Ther. Thou desperate governor of Babylon,
To save thy life, and us a
Yield speedily the city to our hands,
Or else be sure
thou shalt be forc'd with pains
More exquisite than ever traitor felt.
Gov. Tyrant, I turn the traitor in thy throat,
And will defend it in
despite of thee.—
Call up the soldiers to defend these walls.
Yield, foolish governor; we offer more
Than ever yet we did to such
As durst resist us till our third day's siege.
us prest to give the last assault,
And that shall bide no more regard
Gov. Assault and spare not; we will never yield.
[Alarms: and they scale the walls.
Enter Tamburlaine, drawn in his chariot (as before)
by the Kings of Trebizon and Soria; Amyras, Celebinus,
Usumcasane; Orcanes King of Natalia, and the King
of Jerusalem, led by
Soldiers; and others.
Tamb. The stately buildings of fair Babylon,
Whose lofty pillars, higher than the clouds,
Were wont to guide the seaman in the deep,
Being carried thither by the cannon's force,
Now fill the mouth of Limnasphaltis' lake,
And make a bridge unto the batter'd walls.
Where Belus, Ninus, and great Alexander
Have rode in triumph, triumphs Tamburlaine,
Whose chariot-wheels have burst th' Assyrians' bones,
Drawn with these kings on heaps of carcasses.
Now in the place, where fair Semiramis,
Courted by kings and peers of Asia,
Hath trod the measures, do my soliders march;
And in the streets, where brave Assyrian dames
Have rid in pomp like rich Saturnia,
With furious words and frowning visages
My horsemen brandish their unruly blades.
Re-enter Theridamas and Techelles, bringing
in the Governor of Babylon.
Who have ye there, my lords?
Ther. The sturdy governor of Babylon,
That made us all the labour for
And us'd such slender reckoning of your majesty.
Tamb. Go, bind the villain; he shall hang in chains
Upon the ruins of
this conquer'd town.—
Sirrah, the view of our vermilion tents
threaten'd more than if the region
Next underneath the element of fire
Were full of comets and of blazing stars,
Whose flaming trains should
reach down to the earth)
Could not affright you; no, nor I myself,
wrathful messenger of mighty Jove,
That with his sword hath quail'd all
Could not persuade you to submission,
But still the
ports were shut: villain, I say,
Should I but touch the rusty gates of
The triple headed Cerberus would howl,
And make black Jove to
crouch and kneel to me;
But I have sent volleys of shot to you.
could not enter till the breach was made.
Gov. Nor, if my body could have stopt the breach,
Shouldst thou have
enter'd, cruel Tamburlaine.
'Tis not thy bloody tents can make me yield,
Nor yet thyself, the anger of the Highest;
For, though thy cannon shook the city-walls,
My heart did never quake, or courage faint.
Tamb. Well, now I'll make
it quake.—Go draw him up,
Hang him in chains upon the city walls,
And let my soldiers shoot the slave to death.
Gov. Vile monster, born
of some infernal hag,
And sent from hell to tryannise on earth,
Do all thy worst; nor death, nor Tamburlaine,
Torture, or pain, can daunt my dreadless mind.
Tamb. Up with him, then!
his body shall be scar'd.
Gov. But, Tamburlaine, in Limnasphaltis' lake
There lies more gold than Babylon is worth,
Which, when the city was besieg'd, I hid:
Save but my life, and I will give it thee.
Tamb. Then, for all your
valour, you would save your life?
Whereabout lies it?
Gov. Under a hollow bank, right opposite
Against the western gate of Babylon.
Tamb. Go thither, some of you, and
take his gold:—
[Exeunt some Attendants.
The rest forward with execution.
Away with him hence, let him speak no more.—
I think I make your courage something quail.—
[Exeunt Attendants with
When this is done, we'll march from Babylon,
the Governor of Babylon.
And make our greatest haste to Persia.
These jades are broken winded and half-tir'd;
Unharness them, and let me have fresh horse.
[Attendants unharness the
So; now their best is done to honour me,
Kings of Trebizon and Soria.
Take them and hang them both up presently.
K. of Treb. Vile tyrant!
barbarous bloody Tamburlaine!
Tamb. Take them away, Theridamas; see
Ther. I will, my lord.
[Exit with the Kings
of Trebizon and Soria.
Tamb. Come, Asian viceroys;
to your tasks a while,
And take such fortune as your fellows felt.
Orc. First let thy Scythian
horse tear both our limbs,
Rather than we should draw thy chariot,
And, like base slaves, abject our princely minds
To vile and ignominious servitude.
K. of Jer. Rather lend me thy
That I may sheathe it in this breast of mine.
A thousand deaths could
not torment our hearts
More than the thought of this doth vex our
Amy. They will talk still, my lord, if you do not bridle
Tamb. Bridle them, and let me to my coach.
[Attendants bridle Orcanes King of
Natalia, and the
King of Jerusalem, and harness them to the chariot.—
The Governor of Babylon appears
chains on the walls.—
Amy. See, now, my
lord, how brave the captain hangs!
Tamb. 'Tis brave indeed, my
Shoot first, my lord, and then the rest shall follow.
Ther. Then have
at him, to begin withal.
[Theridamas shoots at the Governor.
Gov. Yet save my life, and let this
The mortal fury of great Tamburlaine!
Tamb. No, though Asphaltis' lake
were liquid gold,
And offer'd me as ransom for thy life,
thou die.—Shoot at him all at once.
So, now he hangs like Bagdet's governor,
Having as many bullets in his
As there be breaches in her batter'd wall.
Go now, and bind the
burghers hand and foot,
And cast them headlong in the city's lake.
Tartars and Persians shall inhabit there;
And, to command the city, I
A citadel, that all Africa,
Which hath been subject to the
Shall pay me tribute for in Babylon.
Tech. What shall be
done with their wives and children, my lord?
Tamb. Techelles, drown them all, man, woman, and child;
Leave not a Babylonian in the town.
Tech. I will about it
[Exit with Soldiers.
Tamb. Now, Casane, where's the Turkish Alcoran,
And all the heaps of
Found in the temples of that Mahomet
Whom I have
thought a god? they shall be burnt.
Usum. Here thy are, my lord.
Well said! let there be a fire presently.
[They light a fire.
In vain, I see, men worship Mahomet:
My sword hath sent millions of Turks to hell,
Slew all his priests, his kinsmen, and his friends,
And yet I live untouch'd by Mahomet.
There is a God, full of revenging wrath,
From whom the thunder and the lightning breaks,
Whose scourge I am, and him will I obey.
So, Casane; fling them in the fire.—
[They burn the books.
Now, Mahomet, if thou have any power,
thyself and work a miracle:
Thou art not worthy to be worshipped
suffer'st flames of fire to burn the writ
Wherein the sum of thy
Why send'st thou not a furious whirlwind down,
thy Alcoran up to thy throne,
Where men report thou sitt'st by God
Or vengeance on the head of Tamburlaine
That shakes his sword
against thy majesty,
And spurns the abstracts of thy foolish laws?—
Well, soldiers, Mahomet remains in hell;
He cannot hear the voice of
Seek out another godhead to adore;
The God that sits in
heaven, if any god,
For he is God alone, and none but he.
Tech. I have fulfill'd your highness' will, my lord:
Thousands of men,
drown'd in Asphaltis' lake,
Have made the water swell above the banks,
And fishes, fed by human carcasses,
Amaz'd, swim up and down upon the
As when they swallow assafoetida,
Which makes them fleet aloft
and gape for air.
Tamb. Well, then, my friendly lords, what now remains,
But that we
leave sufficient garrison,
And presently depart to Persia,
after all our victories?
Ther. Ay, good my lord, let us in haste to Persia;
And let this captain
be remov'd the walls
To some high hill about the city here.
Tamb. Let it be so;—about it, soldiers;—
But stay; I feel myself
Tech. What is it dares distemper Tamburlaine?
Techelles; but I know not what.—
But, forth, ye vassals! whatsoe'er it be,
Sickness or death can never conquer me.
Enter Callapine, King of Amasia, a
Captain, and train, with drums and
Call. King of Amasia, now our mighty host
Marcheth in Asia Major, where the streams
Of Euphrates and Tigris swiftly run;
And here may we behold great Babylon,
Circled about with Limnasphaltis' lake,
Where Tamburlaine with all his army lies,
Which being faint and weary with the siege,
We may lie ready to encounter him
Before his host be full from Babylon,
And so revenge our latest grievous loss,
If God or Mahomet send any aid.
K. of Ama. Doubt not, my lord, but we
shall conquer him:
The monster that hath drunk a sea of blood,
And yet gapes still for more to quench his thirst,
Our Turkish swords shall headlong send to hell;
And that vile carcass, drawn by warlike kings,
The fowls shall eat; for never sepulchre
Shall grace this base-born tyrant Tamburlaine.
Call. When I record my
parents' slavish life,
Their cruel death, mine own captivity,
My viceroys' bondage under Tamburlaine,
Methinks I could sustain a thousand deaths,
To be reveng'd of all his villany.—
Ah, sacred Mahomet, thou that hast seen
Millions of Turks perish by Tamburlaine,
Kingdoms made waste, brave cities sack'd and burnt.
And but one host is left to honour thee,
Aid thy obedient servant Callapine,
And make him, after all these overthrows,
To triumph over cursed Tamburlaine!
K. of Ama. Fear not, my lord:
I see great Mahomet,
Clothed in purple clouds, and on his head
A chaplet brighter than Apollo's crown,
Marching about the air with armed men,
To join with you against this Tamburlaine.
Capt. Renowned general,
Though God himself and holy Mahomet
Should come in person to resist your power,
Yet might your mighty host encounter all,
And pull proud Tamburlaine upon his knees
To sue for mercy at your highness' feet.
Call. Captain, the force of
Tamburlaine is great,
His fortune greater, and the victories
Wherewith he hath so sore dismay'd the world
Are greatest to discourage all our drifts;
Yet, when the pride of Cynthia is at full,
She wanes again; and so shall his, I hope;
For we have here the chief selected men
Of twenty several kingdoms at the least;
Nor ploughman, priest, nor merchant, stays at home;
All Turkey is in arms with Callapine;
And never will we sunder camps and arms
Before himself or his be conquered:
This is the time that must eternise me
For conquering the tyrant of the world.
Come, soldiers, let us lie in wait for him,
And, if we find him absent from his camp,
Or that it be rejoin'd again at full,
Assail it, and be sure of victory.
Enter Theridamas, Techelles, and Usumcasane.
Ther. Weep, heavens, and vanish into liquid tears!
Fall, stars that
govern his nativity,
And summon all the shining lamps of heaven
their bootless fires to the earth,
And shed their feeble influence in
Muffle your beauties with eternal clouds;
For Hell and
Darkness pitch their pitchy tents,
And Death, with armies of Cimmerian
Gives battle 'gainst the heart of Tamburlaine!
defiance of that wonted love
Your sacred virtues pour'd upon his
And made his state an honour to the heavens,
invisibly assail his soul,
And threaten conquest on our sovereign;
But, if he die, your glories are disgrac'd,
Earth droops, and says that hell in heaven is plac'd!
Tech. O, then, ye
powers that sway eternal seats,
And guide this massy substance of the earth,
If you retain desert of holiness,
As your supreme estates instruct our thoughts,
Be not inconstant, careless of your fame,
Bear not the burden of your enemies' joys,
Triumphing in his fall when you advanc'd;
But, as his birth, life, health, and majesty
Were strangely blest and governed by heaven,
So honour, heaven (till heaven dissolved be,)
His birth, his life, his health, and majesty!
Usum. Blush, heaven, to
lose the honour of thy name,
To see thy footstool set upon thy head;
And let no baseness in thy haughty breast
Sustain a shame of such inexcellence,
To see the devils mount in angels' thrones,
And angels dive into the pools of hell!
And, though they think their painful date is out,
And that their power is puissant as Jove's,
Which makes them manage arms against thy state,
Yet make them feel the strength of Tamburlaine
(Thy instrument and note of majesty)
Is greater far than they can thus subdue;
For, if he die, thy glory is disgrac'd,
Earth droops, and says that hell in heaven is plac'd!
Enter Tamburlaine, drawn in his chariot (as before) by Orcanes
Natalia, and the King of Jerusalem, Amyras, Celebinus, and
Tamb. What daring god torments my body thus,
And seeks to conquer
Shall sickness prove me now to be a man,
been term'd the terror of the world?
Techelles and the rest, come, take
And threaten him whose hand afflicts my soul:
Come, let us
march against the powers of heaven.
And set black streamers in the
To signify the slaughter of the gods.
Ah, friends, what
shall I do? I cannot stand.
Come, carry me to war
against the gods,
That thus envy the health of Tamburlaine.
Ther. Ah, good my lord, leave these impatient words,
Which add much
danger to your malady!
Tamb. Why, shall I sit and languish in this pain?
No, strike the drums,
and, in revenge of this,
Come, let us charge our spears, and pierce his
Whose shoulders bear the axis of the world,
That, if I perish,
heaven and earth may fade.
Theridamas, haste to the court of Jove;
him to send Apollo hither straight,
To cure me, or I'll fetch him down
Tech. Sit still, my gracious lord; this grief will cease,
last, it is so violent.
Tamb. Not last, Techelles! no, for I shall die.
See, where my slave,
the ugly monster Death,
Shaking and quivering, pale and wan for fear,
Stands aiming at me with his murdering dart,
Who flies away at every
glance I give,
And, when I look away, comes stealing on!—
away, and hie thee to the field!
I and mine army come to load thy back
With souls of thousand mangled carcasses.—
Look, where he goes! but,
see, he comes again,
Because I stay! Techelles, let us
And weary Death with bearing souls to hell.
First Phy. Pleaseth your majesty to drink this potion,
Which will abate
the fury of your fit,
And cause some milder spirits govern you.
Tamb. Tell me what think you of my sickness now?
First Phy. I view'd your urine, and the hypostasis,
Thick and obscure,
doth make your danger great:
Your veins are full of accidental heat,
Whereby the moisture of your blood is dried:
The humidum and calor,
which some hold
Is not a parcel of the elements,
But of a substance
more divine and pure,
Is almost clean extinguished and spent;
being the cause of life, imports your death:
Besides, my lord, this day
Dangerous to those whose crisis is as yours:
which alongst the veins convey
The lively spirits which the heart
Are parch'd and void of spirit, that the soul,
Wanting those organons by which it moves,
Cannot endure, by argument of
Yet, if your majesty may escape this day,
No doubt but you shall
soon recover all.
Tamb. Then will I comfort all my vital parts,
live, in spite of death, above a day.
Enter a Messenger.
Mes. My lord, young Callapine, that lately fled from your
majesty, hath now gathered a fresh army, and, hearing your absence in
the field, offers to set upon us presently.
my physicians, now, how Jove hath sent
A present medicine to recure my pain!
My looks shall make them fly; and, might I follow,
There should not one of all the villain's power
Live to give offer of another fight.
Usum. I joy, my lord, your
highness is so strong,
That can endure so well your royal presence,
Which only will dismay the enemy.
Tamb. I know it will, Casane.—Draw,
In spite of death, I will go show my face.
[Alarms. Exit Tamburlaine with all
the rest (except
the Physicians), and re-enter presently.
Tamb. Thus are the villain
cowards fled for fear,
Like summer's vapours vanish'd by the sun;
And, could I but a while pursue the field,
That Callapine should be my slave again.
But I perceive my martial strength is spent:
In vain I strive and rail against those powers
That mean t' invest me in a higher throne,
As much too high for this disdainful earth.
Give me a map; then let me see how much
Is left for me to conquer all the world.
That these, my boys, may finish all my wants.
[One brings a map.
Here I began to march towards Persia,
Along Armenia and the Caspian Sea,
And thence unto Bithynia, where I took
The Turk and his great empress prisoners.
Then march'd I into Egypt and Arabia;
And here, not far from Alexandria,
Whereas the Terrene and the Red Sea meet,
Being distant less than full a hundred leagues,
I meant to cut a channel to them both,
That men might quickly sail to India.
From thence to Nubia near Borno-lake,
And so along the Æthiopian sea,
Cutting the tropic line of Capricorn,
I conquer'd all as far as Zanzibar.
Then, by the northern part of Africa,
I came at last to Graecia, and from thence
To Asia, where I stay against my will;
Which is from Scythia, where I first began,
Backward[s] and forwards near five thousand leagues.
Look here, my boys; see, what a world of ground
Lies westward from the midst of Cancer's line
Unto the rising of this earthly globe,
Whereas the sun, declining from our sight,
Begins the day with our Antipodes!
And shall I die, and this unconquered?
Lo, here, my sons, are all the golden mines,
Inestimable drugs and precious stones,
More worth than Asia and the world beside;
And from th'Antarctic Pole eastward behold
As much more land, which never was descried,
Wherein are rocks of pearl that shine as bright
As all the lamps that beautify the sky!
And shall I die, and this unconquered?
Here, lovely boys; what death forbids my life,
That let your lives command in spite of death.
Amy. Alas, my lord, how should our bleeding hearts,
Wounded and broken
with your highness' grief,
Retain a thought of joy or spark of life?
Your soul gives essence to our wretched subjects,
Whose matter is
incorporate in your flesh.
Cel. Your pains do pierce our souls; no hope survives,
For by your life
we entertain our lives.
Tamb. But, sons, this subject, not of force enough
To hold the fiery spirit it contains,
Must part, imparting his impressions
By equal portions into both your breasts;
My flesh, divided in your precious shapes,
Shall still retain my spirit, though I die,
And live in all your seeds immortally.—
Then now remove me, that I may resign
My place and proper title to my son.—
First, take my scourge and my imperial crown,
And mount my royal chariot of estate,
That I may see thee crown'd before I die.—
Help me, my lords, to make my last remove.
[They assist Tamburlaine to
descend from the chariot.
Ther. A woful
change, my lord, that daunts our thoughts
More than the ruin of our proper souls!
Tamb. Sit up, my son; let me see how well
Thou wilt become thy father's majesty.
Amy. With what a flinty bosom
should I joy
'The breath of life and burden of my soul,
If not resolv'd into resolved pains,
My body's mortified lineaments
Should exercise the motions of my heart,
Pierc'd with the joy of any dignity!
O father, if the unrelenting ears
Of Death and Hell be shut against my prayers,
And that the spiteful influence of Heaven
Deny my soul fruition of her joy,
How should I step, or stir my hateful feet
Against the inward powers of my heart,
Leading a life that only strives to die,
And plead in vain unpleasing sovereignty?
Tamb. Let not thy love exceed
thine honour, son,
Nor bar thy mind that magnanimity
That nobly must admit necessity.
Sit up, my boy, and with these silken reins
Bridle the steeled stomachs of these jades.
Ther. My lord, you must
obey his majesty,
Since fate commands and proud necessity.
Amy. Heavens witness me with
what a broken heart
[Mounting the chariot.
And damned spirit I ascend this seat,
And send my soul, before my father die,
His anguish and his burning agony!
[They crown Amyras.
Tamb. Now fetch the hearse of fair Zenocrate;
Let it be plac'd by this my fatal chair,
And serve as parcel of my funeral.
Usum. Then feels your majesty no
Nor may our hearts, all drown'd in tears of blood,
Joy any hope of your recovery?
Tamb. Casane, no; the monarch of the earth,
And eyeless monster that
torments my soul,
Cannot behold the tears ye shed for me,
still augments his cruelty.
Tech. Then let some god oppose his holy power
Against the wrath and
tyranny of Death,
That his tear-thirsty and unquenched hate
May be upon
[They bring in the hearse of Zenocrate.
Tamb. Now, eyes, enjoy your latest benefit.
And, when my soul hath
virtue of your sight,
Pierce through the coffin and the sheet of gold,
And glut your longings with a heaven of joy.
So, reign, my son; scourge
and control those slaves,
Guiding thy chariot with thy father's hand.
As precious is the charge thou undertak'st
As that which Clymene's
brain-sick son did guide,
When wandering Phoebe's ivory cheeks were
And all the earth, like Ætna, breathing fire:
Be warn'd by
him, then; learn with awful eye
To sway a throne as dangerous as his;
For, if thy body thrive not full of thoughts
As pure and fiery as
The nature of these proud rebelling jades
occasion by the slenderest hair,
And draw thee piecemeal, like
Through rocks more steep and sharp than Caspian cliffs:
nature of thy chariot will not bear
A guide of baser temper than
More than heaven's coach the pride of Phaeton.
boys! my dearest friends, farewell!
My body feels, my soul doth weep to
Your sweet desires depriv'd my company,
For Tamburlaine, the
scourge of God, must die.
Amy. Meet heaven and earth, and here let all things end,
For earth hath
spent the pride of all her fruit,
And heaven consum'd his choicest
Let earth and heaven his timeless death deplore,
their worths will equal him no more!