by Christopher Marlowe



The Prologue

Mycetes, King of Persia
Cosroe, his brother
Persian Lords:
Tamburlaine, a Scythian shepherd
His followers:
Bajazeth, Emperor of the Turks
King of Argier
King of Fez
King of Morocco
Alcidamus, King of Arabia
Soldan of Egypt
Governor of Damascus
Median Lords:
Capolin, an Egyptian
Philemus, a messenger
A Spy

Zenocrate, daughter of the Soldan
Anippe, her maid
Zabina, wife to Bajazeth
Ebea, her maid

Virgins of Damascus, Messengers, Bassoes, Lords, Citizens, Moors, Soldiers, Attendants



   From jigging veins of rhyming mother wits,
   And such conceits as clownage keeps in pay,
   We'll lead you to the stately tent of war,
   Where you shall hear the Scythian Tamburlaine
   Threat'ning the world with high astounding terms
   And scourging kingdoms with his conquering sword.
   View but his picture in this tragic glass,
   And then applaud his fortunes as you please.


   Enter Mycetes, Cosroe, Meander, Theridamas, Ortygius,
   Ceneus, Menaphon, with others.

MYCETES. Brother Cosroe, I find myself aggrieved,
   Yet insufficient to express the same,
   For it requires a great and thund'ring speech.
   Good brother, tell the cause unto my lords;
   I know you have a better wit than I.
COSROE. Unhappy Persia, that in former age
   Hast been the seat of mighty conquerors,
   That in their prowess and their policies
   Have triumphed over Afric and the bounds
   Of Europe, where the sun dares scarce appear
   For freezing meteors and congealed cold,
   Now to be ruled and governed by a man
   At whose birthday Cynthia with Saturn joined,
   And Jove, the sun, and mercury denied
   To shed their influence in his fickle brain!
   Now Turks and Tartars shake their swords at thee,
   Meaning to mangle all thy provinces.
MYCETES. Brother, I see your meaning well enough,
   And through your planets I perceive you think
   I am not wise enough to be a king.
   But I refer me to my noblemen
   That know my wit, and can be witnesses.
   I might command you to be slain for this.
   Meander, might I not?
MEANDER. Not for so small a fault, my sovereign lord.
MYCETES. I mean it not, but yet I know I might.
   Yet live; yea live; Mycetes wills it so.
   Meander, thou, my faithful counselor,
   Declare the cause of my conceived grief,
   Which is, God knows, about that Tamburlaine,
   That, like a fox in midst of harvest time,
   Doth prey upon my flocks of passengers,
   And, as I hear, doth mean to pull my plumes.
   Therefore 'tis good and meet for to be wise.
MEANDER. Oft have I heard your majesty complain
   Of Tamburlaine, that sturdy Scythian thief
   That robs your merchants of Persepolis,
   Treading by land unto the Western Isles,
   And in your confines with his lawless train
   Daily commits incivil outrages,
   Hoping (misled by dreaming prophecies)
   To reign in Asia, and with barbarous arms
   To make himself the monarch of the East.
   But ere he march in Asia or display
   His vagrant ensign in the Persian fields,
   Your grace hath taken order by Theridamas,
   Charged with a thousand horse, to apprehend
   And bring him captive to your highness' throne.
MYCETES. Full true thou speak'st, and like thyself, my lord,
   Whom I may term a Damon for thy love.
   Therefore 'tis best, if so it like you all,
   To send my thousand horse incontinent
   To apprehend that paltry Scythian.
   How like you this, my honourable lords?
   Is it not a kingly resolution?
COSROE. It cannot choose, because it comes from you.
MYCETES. Then hear thy charge, valiant Theridamas,
   The chiefest captain of Mycetes' host,
   The hope of Persia, and the very legs
   Whereon our state doth lean, as on a staff
   That holds us up and foils our neighbour foes.
   Thou shalt be leader of this thousand horse,
   Whose foaming gall, with rage and high disdain,
   Have sworn the death of wicked Tamburlaine.
   Go frowning forth, but come thou smiling home,
   As did sir Paris with the Grecian dame.
   Return with speed; time passeth swift away.
   Our life is frail, and we may die today.
THERIDAMAS. Before the moon renew her borrowed light,
   Doubt not, my lord and gracious sovereign,
   But Tamburlaine and that Tartarian rout
   Shall either perish by our warlike hands
   Or plead for mercy at your highness' feet.
MYCETES. Go, stout Theridamas; thy words are swords,
   And with thy looks thou conquerest all thy foes.
   I long to see thee back return from thence,
   That I may view these milk-white steeds of mine
   All laden with the heads of killed men,
   And from their knees even to their hoofs below
   Besmeared with blood; that makes a dainty show.
THERIDAMAS. Then now, my lord, I humbly take my leave
MYCETES. Theridamas, farewell ten thousand times.

   Exit Theridamas.

   Ah, Menaphon, why stay'st thou thus behind
   When other men press forward for renown?
   Go, Menaphon, go into Scythia,
   And foot by foot follow Theridamas.
COSROE. Nay, pray you let him stay. A greater (task)
   Fits Menaphon than warring with a thief.
   Create him prorex of Assyria,
   That he may win the Babylonians' hearts,
   Which will revolt from Persian government
   Unless they have a wiser king than you.
MYCETES. 'Unless they have a wiser king than you'?
   These are his words; Meander, set them down.
COSROE. And add this to them: that all Asia
   Lament to see the folly of their king.
MYCETES. Well, here I swear by this my royal seat...
COSROE. You may do well to kiss it then.
MYCETES. Embossed with silk as best beseems my state,
   To be revenged for these contemptuous words.
   O, where is duty and allegiance now?
   Fled to the Caspian or the ocean main?
   What, shall I call thee brother? No, a foe,
   Monster of nature, shame unto thy stock,
   That dar'st presume thy sovereign for to mock.
   Meander come. I am abused, Meander.

    Exeunt all except Cosroe and Menaphon.

MENAPHON. How now, my lord? What, mated and amazed
   To hear the king thus threaten like himself?
COSROE. Ah, Menaphon, I pass not for his threats.
   The plot is laid by Persian noblemen
   And captains of the Medean garrisons
   To crown me Emperor of Asia.
   But this it is that doth excruciate
   The very substance of my vexed soul:
   To see our neighbours that were wont to quake
   And tremble at the Persian monarch's name
   Now sit and laugh our regiment to scorn;
   And that which might resolve me into tears,
   Men from the farthest equinoctial line
   Have swarmed in troops into the eastern India,
   Lading their ships with gold and precious stones,
   And made their spoils from all our provinces.
MENAPHON. This should entreat your highness to rejoice,
   Since fortune gives you opportunity
   To gain the title of a conqueror
   By curing of this maimed empery.
   Afric and Europe bordering on your land
   And continent to your dominions,
   How easily may you with a mighty host
   Pass into Graecia, as did Cyrus once,
   And cause them to withdraw their forces home,
   Lest you subdue the pride of Christendom.
COSROE. But, Menaphon, what means this trumpet's sound?
MENAPHON. Behold, my lord, Ortygius and the rest
   Bringing the crown to make you emperor!

   Enter Ortygius and Ceneus bearing a crown,
   with others.

ORTYGIUS. Magnificent and mighty prince Cosroe,
   We, in the name of other Persian states
   And commons of this mighty monarchy,
   Present thee with th' imperial diadem.
CENEUS. The warlike soldiers and the gentlemen,
   That heretofore have filled Persepolis
   With Afric captains taken in the field,
   Whose ransom made them march in coats of gold,
   With costly jewels hanging at their ears
   And shining stones upon their lofty crests,
   Now living idle in the walled towns,
   Wanting both pay and martial discipline,
   Begin in troops to threaten civil war
   And openly exclaim against the king.
   Therefore, to stay all sudden mutinies,
   We will invest your highness emperor,
   Whereat the soldiers will conceive more joy
   Than did the Macedonians at the spoil
   Of great Darius and his wealthy host.
COSROE. Well, since I see the state of Persia droop
   And languish in my brother's government,
   I willingly receive th' imperial crown
   And vow to wear it for my country's good,
   In spite of them shall malice my estate.
ORTYGIUS. And in assurance of desired success,
   We here do crown thee Monarch of the East,
   Emperor of Asia and Persia,
   Great Lord of Medea and Armenia,
   Duke of Africa and Albania,
   Mesopotamia and of Parthia,
   East India and the late discovered isles,
   Chief Lord of all the wide, vast Euxine sea,
   And of the ever-raging Caspian lake.
   Long live Cosroe, mighty Emperor!
COSROE. And Jove may never let me longer live
   Than I may seek to gratify your love,
   And cause the soldiers that thus honour me
   To triumph over many provinces;
   By whose desires of discipline in arms
   I doubt not shortly but to reign sole king,
   And with the army of Theridamas,
   Whither we presently will fly, (my lords,)
   To rest secure against my brother's force.
ORTYGIUS. We knew, my lord, before we brought the crown,
   Intending your investion so near
   The residence of your despised brother,
   The lords would not be too exasperate
   To injure or suppress your worthy title.
   Or if they would, there are in readiness
   Ten thousand horse to carry you from hence
   In spite of all suspected enemies.
COSROE. I know it well, my lord, and thank you all.
ORTYGIUS. Sound up the trumpets, then. God save the king!




    Enter Tamburlaine leading Zenocrate, Techelles,
   Usumcasane, Agydas, Magnetes, other lords, and soldiers
   laden with treasure.

TAMBURLAINE. Come lady, let not this appal your thoughts;
   The jewels and the treasure we have ta'en
   Shall be reserved, and you in better state
   Than if you were arrived in Syria,
   Even in the circle of your father's arms,
   The mighty Soldan of Egyptia.
ZENOCRATE. Ah, shepherd, pity my distressed plight
   (If, as thou seem'st, thou art so mean a man,)
   And seek not to enrich thy followers
   By lawless rapine from a silly maid,
   Who, travelling with these Medean lords
   To Memphis from my uncle's country of Medea,
   Where all my youth I have been governed,
   Have passed the army of the mighty Turk,
   Bearing his privy signet and his hand
   To safe conduct us through Africa.
MAGNETES. And since we have arrived in Scythia,
   Besides rich presents from the puissant Cham,
   We have his highness' letters to command
   Aid and assistance if we stand in need.
TAMBURLAINE. But now you see these letters and commands
   Are countermanded by a greater man,
   And through my provinces you must expect
   Letters of conduct from my mightiness,
   If you intend to keep your treasure safe.
   But since I love to live at liberty,
   As easily may you get the Soldan's crown
   As any prizes out of my precinct.
   For they are friends that help to wean my state,
   Till men and kingdoms help to strengthen it,
   And must maintain my life exempt from servitude.
   But tell me, madam, is your grace betrothed?
ZENOCRATE. I am, my lord, for so you do import.
TAMBURLAINE. I am a lord, for so my deeds shall prove,
   And yet a shepherd by my parentage.
   But, lady, this fair face and heavenly hue
   Must grace his bed that conquers Asia
   And means to be a terror to the world,
   Measuring the limits of his empery
   By east and west, as Phoebus doth his course.
   Lie here, ye weeds that I disdain to wear!
   This complete armour and this curtle-axe
   Are adjuncts more beseeming Tamburlaine.
   And madam, whatsoever you esteem
   Of this success, and loss unvalued,
   Both may invest you empress of the East.
   And these, that seem but silly country swains,
   May have the leading of so great an host
   As with their weight shall make the mountains quake,
   Even as when windy exhalations,
   Fighting for passage, tilt within the earth.
TECHELLES. As princely lions when they rouse themselves,
   Stretching their paws and threatening herds of beasts,
   So in his armour looketh Tamburlaine.
   Methinks I see kings kneeling at his feet,
   And he with frowning brows and fiery looks
   Spurning their crowns from off their captive heads.
USUMCASANE. And making thee and me, Techelles, kings,
   That even to death will follow Tamburlaine.
TAMBURLAINE. Nobly resolved, sweet friends and followers!
   These lords perhaps do scorn our estimates,
   And think we prattle with distempered spirits,
   But since they measure our deserts so mean,
   That in conceit bear empires on our spears,
   Affecting thoughts co-equal with the clouds,
   They shall be kept our forced followers,
   Till with their eyes they view us emperors.
ZENOCRATE. The gods, defenders of the innocent,
   Will never prosper your intended drifts,
   That thus oppress poor friendless passengers.
   Therefore at least admit us liberty,
   Even as thou hop'st to be eternized
   By living Asia's mighty emperor.
AGYDAS. I hope our lady's treasure and our own
   May serve for ransom to our liberties.
   Return our mules and empty camels back,
   That we may travel into Syria,
   Where her betrothed lord, Alcidamus,
   Expects th' arrival of her highness' person.
MAGNETES. And wheresoever we repose ourselves,
   We will report but well of Tamburlaine.
TAMBURLAINE. Disdains Zenocrate to live with me?
   Or you, my lords, to be my followers?
   Think you I weigh this treasure more than you?
   Not all the gold in India's wealthy arms
   Shall buy the meanest soldier in my train.
   Zenocrate, lovelier than the love of Jove,
   Brighter than is the silver Rhodope,
   Fairer than whitest snow on Scythian hills,
   Thy person is more worth to Tamburlaine
   Than the possession of the Persian crown,
   Which gracious stars have promised at my birth.
   A hundred Tartars shall attend on thee,
   Mounted on steeds swifter than Pegasus.
   Thy garments shall be made of Medean silk,
   Enchased with precious jewels of mine own,
   More rich and valurous than Zenocrate's.
   With milk-white harts upon an ivory sled
   Thou shalt be drawn amidst the frozen pools,
   And scale the icy mountains' lofty tops,
   Which with thy beauty will be soon resolved.
   My martial prizes, with five hundred men
   Won on the fifty-headed Volga's waves,
   Shall all we offer to Zenocrate,
   And then myself to fair Zenocrate.
TECHELLES. What now? In love?
TAMBURLAINE. Techelles, women must be flattered.
   But this is she with whom I am in love.

   Enter a soldier.

SOLDIER. News, news!
TAMBURLAINE. How now? What's the matter?
SOLDIER. A thousand Persian horsemen are at hand,
   Sent from the king to overcome us all.
TAMBURLAINE. How now, my lords of Egypt and Zenocrate?
   Now must your jewels be restored again,
   And I that triumphed so be overcome?
   How say you, lordlings? Is not this your hope?
AGYDAS. We hope yourself will willingly restore them.
TAMBURLAINE. Such hope, such fortune, have the thousand horse.
   Soft ye, my lords, and sweet Zenocrate,
   You must be forced from me ere you go.
   A thousand horsemen! We five hundred foot!
   An odds too great for us to stand against.
   But are they rich? And is their armour good?
SOLDIER. Their plumed helms are wrought with beaten gold,
   Their swords enamelled, and about their necks
   Hang massy chains of gold down to the waist,
   In every part exceeding brave and rich.
TAMBURLAINE. Then shall we fight courageously with them,
   Or look you I should play the orator?
TECHELLES. No; cowards and fainthearted runaways
   Look for orations when the foe is near.
   Our swords shall play the orators for us.
USUMCASANE. Come, let us meet them at the mountain foot,
   And with a sudden and an hot alarm
   Drive all their horses headlong down the hill.
TECHELLES. Come, let us march.
TAMBURLAINE. Stay, Techelles; ask a parley first.

   The soldiers enter.

   Open the mails; yet guard the treasure sure.
   Lay out our golden wedges to the view,
   That their reflections may amaze the Persians,
   And look we friendly on them when they come.
   But if they offer word or violence,
   We'll fight, five hundred men-at-arms to one,
   Before we part with our possession.
   And 'gainst the general we will lift our swords,
   And either lance his greedy thirsting throat,
   Or take him prisoner, and his chain shall serve
   For manacles till he be ransomed home.
TECHELLES. I hear them come. Shall we encounter them?
TAMBURLAINE. Keep all your standings, and not stir a foot:
   Myself will bide the danger of the brunt. .

   Enter Theridamas with others.

THERIDAMAS. Where is this Scythian, Tamburlaine?
TAMBURLAINE. Whom seek'st thou, Persian? I am Tamburlaine.
THERIDAMAS. Tamburlaine! A Scythian shepherd so embellished
   With nature's pride and richest furniture!
   His looks do menace heaven and dare the gods.
   His fiery eyes are fixed upon the earth
   As if he now devised some stratagem,
   Or meant to pierce Avernus' darksome vaults
   To pull the triple-headed dog from hell.
TAMBURLAINE. Noble and mild this Persian seems to be,
   If outward habit judge the inward man.
TECHELLES. His deep affections make him passionate.
TAMBURLAINE. With what a majesty he rears his looks!
   In thee, thou valiant man of Persia,
   I see the folly of thy emperor.
   Art thou but captain of a thousand horse,
   That by characters graven in thy brows,
   And by thy martial face and stout aspect,
   Deserv'st to have the leading of an host?
   Forsake thy king and do but join with me,
   And we will triumph over all the world.
   I hold the Fates bound fast in iron chains,
   And with my hand turn Fortune's wheel about,
   And sooner shall the sun fall from his sphere
   Than Tamburlaine be slain or overcome.
   Draw forth thy sword, thou mighty man-at-arms,
   Intending but to raze my charmed skin,
   And Jove himself will stretch his hand from heaven
   To ward the blow and shield me safe from harm.
   See how he rains down heaps of gold in showers,
   As if he meant to give my soldiers pay;
   And as a sure and grounded argument
   That I shall be the monarch of the East,
   He sends this Soldan's daughter, rich and brave,
   To be my queen and portly emperess.
   If thou wilt stay with me, renowned man,
   And lead thy thousand horse with my conduct,
   Besides thy share of this Egyptian prize,
   Those thousand horse shall sweat with martial spoil
   Of conquered kingdoms and of cities sacked.
   Both we will walk upon the lofty cliffs,
   And Christian merchants, that with Russian stems
   Plough up huge furrows in the Caspian sea,
   Shall vail to us as lords of all the lake.
   Both we will reign as consuls of the earth,
   And mighty kings shall be our senators.
   Jove sometimes masked in a shepherd's weed,
   And by those steps that he hath scaled the heavens,
   May we become immortal like the gods.
   Join with me now in this my mean estate,
   (I call it mean because, being yet obscure,
   The nations far removed admire me not,)
   And when my name and honour shall be spread
   As far as Boreas claps his brazen wings,
   Or fair Bootes sends his cheerful light,
   Then shalt thou be competitor with me,
   And sit with Tamburlaine in all his majesty.
THERIDAMAS. Not Hermes, prolocutor to the gods,
   Could use persuasions more pathetical.
TAMBURLAINE. Nor are Apollo's oracles more true
   Than thou shalt find my vaunts substantial.
TECHELLES. We are his friends, and if the Persian king
   Should offer present dukedoms to our state,
   We think it loss to make exchange for that
   We are assured of by our friend's success.
USUMCASANE. And kingdoms at the least we all expect,
   Besides the honour in assured conquests,
   Where kings shall crouch unto our conquering swords
   And hosts of soldiers stand amazed at us,
   When with their fearful tongues they shall confess
   These are the men that all the world admires.
THERIDAMAS. What strong enchantments 'tice my yielding soul!
   Ah, these resolved noble Scythians!
   But shall I prove a traitor to my king?
TAMBURLAINE. No, but the trusty friend of Tamburlaine.
THERIDAMAS. Won with thy words, and conquered with thy looks,
   I yield myself, my men, and horse to thee,
   To be partaker of thy good or ill,
   As long as life maintains Theridamas.
TAMBURLAINE. Theridamas, my friend, take here my hand,
   Which is as much as if I swore by heaven
   And called the gods to witness of my vow.
   Thus shall my heart be still combined with thine,
   Until our bodies turn to elements,
   And both our souls aspire celestial thrones.
   Techelles and Casane, welcome him.
TECHELLES. Welcome, renowned Persian, to us all.
USUMCASANE. Long may Theridamas remain with us.
TAMBURLAINE. These are my friends in whom I more rejoice
   Than doth the king of Persia in his crown;
   And by the love of Pylades and Orestes,
   Whose statues we adore in Scythia,
   Thyself and them shall never part from me
   Before I crown you kings in Asia.
   Make much of them, gentle Theridamas,
   And they will never leave thee till the death.
THERIDAMAS. Nor thee, nor them, thrice noble Tamburlaine,
   Shall want my heart to be with gladness pierced,
   To do you honour and security.
TAMBURLAINE. A thousand thanks, worthy Theridamas.
   And now, fair madam, and my noble lords,
   If you will willingly remain with me,
   You shall have honours as your merits be,
   Or else you shall be forced with slavery.
AGYDAS. We yield unto thee, happy Tamburlaine.
TAMBURLAINE. For you then, madam, I am out of doubt.
ZENOCRATE. I must be pleased perforce, wretched Zenocrate!




    Enter Cosroe, Menaphon, Ortygius, Ceneus,
    with other soldiers.

COSROE. Thus far are we towards Theridamas
   And valiant Tamburlaine, the man of fame,
   The man that in the forehead of his fortune
   Bears figures of renown and miracle.
    But tell me, that hast seen him, Menaphon,
   What stature wields he, and what personage?
MENAPHON. Of stature tall, and straightly fashioned,
   Like his desire, lift upwards and divine,
   So large of limbs, his joints so strongly knit,
   Such breadth of shoulders as might mainly bear
   Old Atlas' burden. 'twixt his manly pitch,
   A pearl more worth than all the world is placed,
   Wherein by curious sovereignty of art
   Are fixed his piercing instruments of sight,
   Whose fiery circles bear encompassed
   A heaven of heavenly bodies in their spheres,
   That guides his steps and actions to the throne
   Where honour sits invested royally.
   Pale of complexion, wrought in him with passion,
   Thirsting with sovereignty, with love of arms,
   His lofty brows in folds do figure death,
   And in their smoothness amity and life.
   About them hangs a knot of amber hair,
   Wrapped in curls, as fierce Achilles' was,
   On which the breath of heaven delights to play,
   Making it dance with wanton majesty.
   His arms and fingers, long and sinewy,
   Betokening valour and excess of strength --
   In every part proportioned like the man
   Should make the world subdued to Tamburlaine.
COSROE. Well hast thou portrayed in thy terms of life
   The face and personage of a wondrous man.
   Nature doth strive with fortune and his stars
   To make him famous in accomplished worth,
   And well his merits show him to be made
   His fortune's master and the king of men,
   That could persuade, at such a sudden pinch,
   With reasons of his valour and his life,
   A thousand sworn and overmatching foes.
   Then, when our powers in points of swords are joined,
   And closed in compass of the killing bullet,
   Though strait the passage and the port be made
   That leads to palace of my brother's life,
   Proud is his fortune if we pierce it not.
   And when the princely Persian diadem
   Shall overweigh his weary witless head
   And fall, like mellowed fruit, with shakes of death,
   In fair Persia noble Tamburlaine
   Shall be my regent, and remain as King.
ORTYGIUS. In happy hour we have set the crown
   Upon your kingly head, that seeks our honour
   In joining with the man ordained by heaven
   To further every action to the best.
CENEUS. He that with shepherds and a little spoil
   Durst, in disdain of wrong and tyranny,
   Defend his freedom 'gainst a monarchy,
   What will he do supported by a king,
   Leading a troop of gentlemen and lords,
   And stuffed with treasure for his highest thoughts?
COSROE. And such shall wait on worthy Tamburlaine.
   Our army will be forty thousand strong,
   When Tamburlaine and brave Theridamas
   Have met us by the river Araris;
   And all conjoined to meet the witless king
   That now is marching near to Parthia,
   And with unwilling soldiers faintly armed,
   To seek revenge on me and Tamburlaine,
   To whom, sweet Menaphon, direct me straight.
MENAPHON. I will, my lord.




    Enter Mycetes, Meander, with other lords; and soldiers.

MYCETES. Come, my Meander, let us to this gear.
   I tell you true, my heart is swoll'n with wrath
   On this same thievish villain, Tamburlaine,
   And of that false Cosroe, my traitorous brother:
   Would it not grieve a king to be so abused
   And have a thousand horsemen ta'en away?
   And, which is worse, to have his diadem
   Sought for by such scald knaves as love him not?
   I think it would. Well then, by heavens I swear,
   Aurora shall not peep out of her doors,
   But I will have Cosroe by the head
   And kill proud Tamburlaine with point of sword.
   Tell you the rest, Meander; I have said.
MEANDER. Then, having passed Armenian deserts now,
   And pitched our tents under the Georgian hills,
   Whose tops are covered with Tartarian thieves
   That lie in ambush, waiting for a prey,
   What should we do but bid them battle straight
   And rid the world of those detested troops?
   Lest, if we let them linger here a while,
   They gather strength by power of fresh supplies.
   This country swarms with vile outrageous men
   That live by rapine and by lawless spoil,
   Fit soldiers for the wicked Tamburlaine.
   And he that could with gifts and promises
   Inveigle him that led a thousand horse,
   And make him false his faith unto his king,
   Will quickly win such as are like himself.
   Therefore cheer up your minds; prepare to fight.
   He that can take or slaughter Tamburlaine
   Shall rule the province of Albania.
   Who brings that traitor's head, Theridamas,
   Shall have a government in Medea,
   Beside the spoil of him and all his train.
   But if Cosroe (as our spials say,
   And as we know) remains with Tamburlaine,
   His highness' pleasure is that he should live
   And be reclaimed with princely lenity.

   Enter a Spy.

SPY. An hundred horsemen of my company,
   Scouting abroad upon these champion plains,
   Have viewed the army of the Scythians,
   Which make reports it far exceeds the king's.
MEANDER. Suppose they be in number infinite,
   Yet being void of martial discipline,
   All running headlong after greedy spoils,
   And more regarding gain than victory,
   Like to the cruel brothers of the earth,
   Sprung of the teeth of dragons venomous,
   Their careless swords shall lance their fellows' throats
   And make us triumph in their overthrow.
MYCETES. Was there such brethren, sweet Meander, say,
   That sprung of teeth of dragons venomous?
MEANDER. So poets say, my lord.
MYCETES. And 'tis a pretty toy to be a poet.
   Well, well, Meander, thou art deeply read,
   And having thee, I have a jewel sure.
   Go on, my lord, and give your charge, I say.
   Thy wit will make us conquerors today.
MEANDER. Then, noble soldiers, to entrap these thieves
   That live confounded in disordered troops,
   If wealth or riches may prevail with them,
   We have our camels laden all with gold,
   Which you that be but common soldiers
   Shall fling in every corner of the field,
   And while the base-born Tartars take it up,
   You, fighting more for honour than for gold,
   Shall massacre those greedy-minded slaves;
   And when their scattered army is subdued,
   And you march on their slaughtered carcasses,
   Share equally the gold that bought their lives,
   And live like gentlemen in Persia.
   Strike up the drum and march courageously.
   Fortune herself doth sit upon our crests.
MYCETES. He tells you true, my masters; so he does.
   Drums, why sound ye not when Meander speaks?




    Enter Cosroe, Tamburlaine, Theridamas, Techelles,
   Usumcasane, Ortygius, with others.

COSROE. Now, worthy Tamburlaine, have I reposed
   In thy approved fortunes all my hope.
   What think'st thou, man, shall come of our attempts?
   For even as from assured oracle,
   I take thy doom for satisfaction.
TAMBURLAINE. And so mistake you not a whit, my lord,
   For fates and oracles of heaven have sworn
   To royalize the deeds of Tamburlaine,
   And make them blest that share in his attempts.
   And doubt you not but, if you favour me
   And let my fortunes and my valour sway
   To some direction in your martial deeds,
   The world will strive with hosts of men-at-arms
   To swarm unto the ensign I support.
   The hosts of Xerxes, which by fame is said
   To drink the mighty Parthian Araris,
   Was but a handful to that we will have.
   Our quivering lances shaking in the air
   And bullets like Jove's dreadful thunderbolts,
   Enrolled in flames and fiery smouldering mists,
   Shall threat the gods more than Cyclopean wars;
   And with our sun-bright armour, as we march
   We'll chase the stars from heaven and dim their eyes
   That stand and muse at our admired arms.
THERIDAMAS. You see, my lord, what working words he hath,
   But when you see his actions top his speech,
   Your speech will stay, or so extol his worth
   As I shall be commended and excused
   For turning my poor charge to his direction.
   And these, his two renowned friends, my lord,
   Would make one thrust and strive to be retained
   In such a great degree of amity.
TECHELLES. With duty and with amity we yield
   Our utmost service to the fair Cosroe.
COSROE. Which I esteem as portion of my crown.
   Usumcasane and Techelles both,
   When she that rules in Rhamnis' golden gates
   And makes a passage for all prosperous arms
   Shall make me solely emperor of Asia,
   Then shall your meeds and valours be advanced
   To rooms of honour and nobility.
TAMBURLAINE. Then haste, Cosroe, to be king alone,
   That I with these my friends and all my men
   May triumph in our long expected fate.
   The king, your brother, is now hard at hand;
   Meet with the fool, and rid your royal shoulders
   Of such a burden as outweighs the sands
   And all the craggy rocks of Caspia.

   Enter a Messenger.

MESSENGER. My lord, we have discovered the enemy
   Ready to charge you with a mighty army.
COSROE. Come, Tamburlaine, now whet thy winged sword,
   And lift thy lofty arm into the clouds,
   That it may reach the king of Persia's crown
   And set it safe on my victorious head.
TAMBURLAINE. See where it is, the keenest curtle-axe
   That e'er made passage through Persian arms.
   These are the wings shall make it fly as swift
   As doth the lightning or the breath of heaven,
   And kill as sure as it swiftly flies.
COSROE. Thy words assure me of kind success.
   Go, valiant soldier, go before and charge
   The fainting army of that foolish king.
TAMBURLAINE. Usumcasane and Techelles, come.
   We are enough to scare the enemy,
   And more than needs to make an emperor.




   To the battle and Mycetes comes out alone with
   his crown in his hand, offering to hide it.

MYCETES. Accursed be he that first invented war!
   They knew not, ah, they knew not, simple men,
   How those were hit by pelting cannon shot
   Stand staggering like a quivering aspen leaf
   Fearing the force of Boreas' boisterous blasts.
   In what a lamentable case were I,
   If nature had not given me wisdom's lore,
   For kings are clouts that every man shoots at,
   Our crown the pin that thousands seek to cleave.
   Therefore in policy I think it good
   To hide it close -- a goodly stratagem,
   And far from any man that is a fool.
   So shall not I be known, or if I be,
   They cannot take away my crown from me.
   Here will I hide it in this simple hole.

   Enter Tamburlaine.

TAMBURLAINE. What, fearful coward! Straggling from the camp,
   When kings themselves are present in the field?
MYCETES. Thou liest.
TAMBURLAINE. Base villain, dar'st thou give the lie?
MYCETES. Away! I am the king. Go! Touch me not!
   Thou break'st the law of arms, unless thou kneel
   And cry me, "mercy, noble king!"
TAMBURLAINE. Are you the witty king of Persia?
MYCETES. Ay, marry, am I. Have you any suit to me?
TAMBURLAINE. I would entreat you to speak but three wise words.
MYCETES. So I can, when I see my time.
TAMBURLAINE. Is this your crown?
MYCETES. Ay. Didst thou ever see a fairer?
TAMBURLAINE. You will not sell it, will ye?
MYCETES. Such another word, and I will have thee executed.
   Come, give it me.
TAMBURLAINE. No; I took it prisoner.
MYCETES. You lie; I gave it you.
TAMBURLAINE. Then 'tis mine.
MYCETES. No; I mean I let you keep it.
TAMBURLAINE. Well, I mean you shall have it again.
   Here, take it for a while; I lend it thee
   Till I may see thee hemmed with armed men.
   Then shalt thou see me pull it from thy head;
   Thou art no match for mighty Tamburlaine.


MYCETES. O gods, is this Tamburlaine the thief?
   I marvel much he stole it not away.

    Sound trumpets to the battle, and he runs in.



    Enter Cosroe, Tamburlaine, Theridamas, Menaphon,
   Meander, Ortygius, Techelles, Usumcasane, with others.

TAMBURLAINE. Hold thee, Cosroe; wear two imperial crowns.
   Think thee invested now as royally,
   Even by the mighty hand of Tamburlaine,
   As if as many kings as could encompass thee
   With greatest pomp, had crowned thee emperor.
COSROE. So do I, thrice-renowned man-at-arms,
   And none shall keep the crown but Tamburlaine.
   Thee do I make my regent of Persia
   And general lieutenant of my armies.
   Meander, you that were our brother's guide,
   And chiefest counsellor in all his acts,
   Since he is yielded to the stroke of war,
   On your submission we with thanks excuse
   And give you equal place in our affairs.
MEANDER. Most happy emperor, in humblest terms
   I vow my service to your majesty,
   With utmost virtue of my faith and duty.
COSROE. Thanks, good Meander. Then, Cosroe, reign
   And govern Persia in her former pomp.
   Now send embassage to thy neighbour kings,
   And let them know the Persian king is changed
   From one that knew not what a king should do
   To one that can command what 'longs thereto.
   And now we will to fair Persepolis
   With twenty thousand expert soldiers.
   The lords and captains of my brother's camp
   With little slaughter take Meander's course,
   And gladly yield them to my gracious rule.
   Ortygius and Menaphon, my trusty friends,
   Now will I gratify your former good
   And grace your calling with a greater sway.
ORTYGIUS. And as we ever aimed at your behoof,
   And sought your state all honour it deserved,
   So will we with our powers and our lives
   Endeavour to preserve and prosper it.
COSROE. I will not thank thee, sweet Ortygius;
   Better replies shall prove my purposes.
   And now, lord Tamburlaine, my brother's camp
   I leave to thee and to Theridamas,
   To follow me to fair Persepolis.
   Then will we march to all those Indian mines
   My witless brother to the Christians lost,
   And ransom them with fame and usury.
   And till thou overtake me, Tamburlaine,
   (staying to order all the scattered troops,)
   Farewell, lord regent and his happy friends.
   I long to sit upon my brother's throne.
MEANDER. Your majesty shall shortly have your wish,
   And ride in triumph through Persepolis.

   Exeunt all except Tamburlaine, Techelles and Theridamas.

TAMBURLAINE. And ride in triumph through Persepolis!
   Is it not brave to be a king, Techelles?
   Usumcasane and Theridamas,
   Is it not passing brave to be a king,
   And ride in triumph through Persepolis?
TECHELLES. O, my lord, 'tis sweet and full of pomp.
USUMCASANE. To be a king is half to be a god.
THERIDAMAS. A god is not so glorious as a king.
   I think the pleasure they enjoy in heaven
   Cannot compare with kingly joys in earth:
   To wear a crown enchased with pearl and gold,
   Whose virtues carry with it life and death;
   To ask and have, command and be obeyed;
   When looks breed love, with looks to gain the prize,
   Such power attractive shines in princes' eyes.
TAMBURLAINE. Why, say, Theridamas, wilt thou be a king?
THERIDAMAS. Nay: though I praise it, I can live without it.
TAMBURLAINE. What say my other friends? Will you be kings?
TECHELLES. Ay, if I could, with all my heart, my lord.
TAMBURLAINE. Why, that's well said, Techelles: so would I.
   And so would you, my masters, would you not?
USUMCASANE. What then, my lord?
TAMBURLAINE. Why then, Casane, shall we wish for aught
   The world affords in greatest novelty
   And rest attemptless, faint and destitute?
   Methinks we should not. I am strongly moved,
   That if I should desire the Persian crown,
   I could attain it with a wondrous ease;
   And would not all our soldiers soon consent,
   If we should aim at such a dignity?
THERIDAMAS. I know they would with our persuasions.
TAMBURLAINE. Why, then, Theridamas, I'll first assay
   To get the Persian kingdom to myself;
   Then thou for Parthia; they for Scythia and Medea;
   And if I prosper, all shall be as sure
   As if the Turk, the Pope, Afric, and Greece
   Came creeping to us with their crowns apace.
TECHELLES. Then shall we send to this triumphing king,
   And bid him battle for his novel crown?
USUMCASANE. Nay, quickly then, before his room be hot.
TAMBURLAINE. 'twill prove a pretty jest, in faith, my friends.
THERIDAMAS. A jest to charge on twenty thousand men!
   I judge the purchase more important far.
TAMBURLAINE. Judge by thyself, Theridamas, not me,
   For presently Techelles here shall haste
   To bid him battle ere he pass too far
   And lose more labour than the gain will quite.
   Then shalt thou see the Scythian Tamburlaine
   Make but a jest to win the Persian crown.
   Techelles, take a thousand horse with thee,
   And bid him turn him back to war with us,
   That only made him king to make us sport.
   We will not steal upon him cowardly,
   But give him warning and more warriors.
   Haste thee, Techelles; we will follow thee.
   What saith Theridamas?
THERIDAMAS. Go on, for me.




    Enter Cosroe, Meander, Ortygius, Menaphon,
   with other soldiers.

COSROE. What means this devilish shepherd to aspire
   With such a giantly presumption,
   To cast up hills against the face of heaven,
   And dare the force of angry Jupiter?
   But as he thrust them underneath the hills,
   And pressed out fire from their burning jaws,
   So will I send this monstrous slave to hell,
   Where flames shall ever feed upon his soul.
MEANDER. Some powers divine, or else infernal, mixed
   Their angry seeds at his conception,
   For he was never sprung of human race,
   Since with the spirit of his fearful pride,
   He dares so doubtlessly resolve of rule,
   And by profession be ambitious.
ORTYGIUS. What god, or fiend, or spirit of the earth,
   Or monster turned to a manly shape,
   Or of what mould or mettle he be made,
   What star or state soever govern him,
   Let us put on our meet encountering minds,
   And in detesting such a devilish thief,
   In love of honour and defence of right
   Be armed against the hate of such a foe,
   Whether from earth, or hell, or heaven he grow.
COSROE. Nobly resolved, my good Ortygius,
   And since we all have sucked one wholesome air,
   And with the same proportion of elements
   Resolve, I hope we are resembled,
   Vowing our loves to equal death and life.
   Let's cheer our soldiers to encounter him,
   That grievous image of ingratitude,
   That fiery thirster after sovereignty,
   And burn him in the fury of that flame
   That none can quench but blood and empery.
   Resolve, my lords and loving soldiers, now
   To save your king and country from decay.
   Then strike up, drum; and all the stars that make
   The loathsome circle of my dated life,
   Direct my weapon to his barbarous heart,
   That thus opposeth him against the gods,
   And scorns the powers that govern Persia.




   Enter to the battle.
   After the battle, enter Cosroe wounded, Theridamas,
   Tamburlaine, Techelles, Usumcasane, with others.

COSROE. Barbarous and bloody Tamburlaine,
   Thus to deprive me of my crown and life!
   Treacherous and false Theridamas,
   Even at the morning of my happy state,
   Scarce being seated in my royal throne,
   To work my downfall and untimely end!
   An uncouth pain torments my grieved soul,
   And death arrests the organ of my voice,
   Who, entering at the breach thy sword hath made,
   Sacks every vein and artery of my heart.
   Bloody and insatiate Tamburlaine!
TAMBURLAINE. The thirst of reign and sweetness of a crown,
   That caused the eldest son of heavenly Ops
   To thrust his doting father from his chair,
   And place himself in the imperial heaven,
   Moved me to manage arms against thy state.
   What better precedent than mighty Jove?
   Nature, that framed us of four elements
   Warring within our breasts for regiment,
   Doth teach us all to have aspiring minds.
   Our souls, whose faculties can comprehend
   The wondrous architecture of the world
   And measure every wandering planet's course,
   Still climbing after knowledge infinite,
   And always moving as the restless spheres,
   Will us to wear ourselves and never rest,
   Until we reach the ripest fruit of all,
   That perfect bliss and sole felicity,
   The sweet fruition of an earthly crown.
THERIDAMAS. And that made me to join with Tamburlaine;
   For he is gross and like the massy earth
   That moves not upwards, nor by princely deeds
   Doth mean to soar above the highest sort.
TECHELLES. And that made us, the friends of Tamburlaine,
   To lift our swords against the Persian king.
USUMCASANE. For as when Jove did thrust old Saturn down,
   Neptune and Dis gained each of them a crown,
   So do we hope to reign in Asia,
   If Tamburlaine be placed in Persia.
COSROE. The strangest men that ever nature made!
   I know not how to take their tyrannies.
   My bloodless body waxeth chill and cold,
   And with my blood my life slides through my wound;
   My soul begins to take her flight to hell
   And summons all my senses to depart.
   The heat and moisture which did feed each other,
   For want of nourishment to feed them both,
   Are dry and cold; and now doth ghastly death
   With greedy talons gripe my bleeding heart
   And like a harpy tires on my life.
   Theridamas and Tamburlaine, I die --
   And fearful vengeance light upon you both!

   Tamburlaine takes the crown, and puts it on.

TAMBURLAINE. Not all the curses which the Furies breathe
   Shall make me leave so rich a prize as this.
   Theridamas, Techelles, and the rest,
   Who think you now is king of Persia?
ALL. Tamburlaine! Tamburlaine!
TAMBURLAINE. Though Mars himself, the angry god of arms,
   And all the earthly potentates conspire
   To dispossess me of this diadem,
   Yet will I wear it in despite of them,
   As great commander of this eastern world,
   If you but say that Tamburlaine shall reign.
ALL. Long live Tamburlaine, and reign in Asia!
TAMBURLAINE. So; now it is more surer on my head
   Than if the gods had held a parliament,
   And all pronounced me king of Persia.




    Enter Bajazeth, the Kings of Fez, Morocco, and
   Argier, with others, in great pomp.

BAJAZETH. Great kings of Barbary and my portly Bassoes,
   We hear the Tartars and the eastern thieves,
   Under the conduct of one Tamburlaine,
   Presume a bickering with your emperor,
   And think to rouse us from our dreadful siege
   Of the famous Grecian Constantinople.
   You know our army is invincible;
   As many circumcised Turks we have,
   And warlike bands of Christians renied,
   As hath the Ocean or the Terrene sea
   Small drops of water when the moon begins
   To join in one her semicircle horns.
   Yet would we not be braved with foreign power,
   Nor raise our siege before the Grecians yield
   Or breathless lie before the city walls.
FEZ. Renowned emperor and mighty general,
   What if you sent the Bassoes of your guard
   To charge him to remain in Asia,
   Or else to threaten death and deadly arms
   As from the mouth of mighty Bajazeth?
BAJAZETH. Hie thee, my Basso, fast to Persia.
   Tell him thy lord, the Turkish emperor,
   Dread lord of Afric, Europe, and Asia,
   Great king and conqueror of Graecia,
   The Ocean, Terrene, and the coal-black sea,
   The high and highest monarch of the world,
   Wills and commands, (for say not I entreat,)
   Not once to set his foot in Africa,
   Or spread his colours in Graecia,
   Lest he incur the fury of my wrath.
   Tell him I am content to take a truce,
   Because I hear he bears a valiant mind;
   But if, presuming on his silly power,
   He be so mad to manage arms with me,
   Then stay thou with him, - say, I bid thee so --
   And if, before the sun have measured heaven
   With triple circuit, thou re-greet us not,
   We mean to take his morning's next arise
   For messenger he will not be reclaimed,
   And mean to fetch thee in despite of him.
BASSO. Most great and puissant monarch of the earth,
   Your Basso will accomplish your behest
   And show your pleasure to the Persian,
   As fits the legate of the stately Turk

   Exit Basso.

ARGIER. They say he is the king of Persia;
   But if he dare attempt to stir your siege,
   'Twere requisite he should be ten times more,
   For all flesh quakes at your magnificence.
BAJAZETH. True, Argier, and trembles at my looks.
MOROCCO. The spring is hindered by your smothering host,
   For neither rain can fall upon the earth,
   Nor sun reflex his virtuous beams thereon,
   The ground is mantled with such multitudes.
BAJAZETH. All this is true as holy Mahomet,
   And all the trees are blasted with our breaths.
FEZ. What thinks your greatness best to be
   In pursuit of the city's overthrow?
BAJAZETH. I will the captive pioners of Argier
   Cut off the water that by leaden pipes
   Runs to the city from the mountain Carnon.
   Two thousand horse shall forage up and down,
   That no relief or succour come by land,
   And all the sea my galleys countermand.
   Then shall our footmen lie within the trench,
   And with their cannons mouthed like Orcus' gulf,
   Batter the walls, and we will enter in;
   And thus the Grecians shall be conquered.




    Enter Agydas, Zenocrate, Anippe, with others.

AGYDAS. Madam Zenocrate, may I presume
   To know the cause of these unquiet fits
   That work such trouble to your wonted rest?
   'Tis more than pity such a heavenly face
   Should by heart's sorrow wax so wan and pale,
   When your offensive rape by Tamburlaine,
   (which of your whole displeasures should be most)
   Hath seemed to be digested long ago.
ZENOCRATE. Although it be digested long ago,
   As his exceeding favours have deserved,
   And might content the queen of heaven as well
   As it hath changed my first-conceived disdain;
   Yet, since a farther passion feeds my thoughts
   With ceaseless and disconsolate conceits.
   Which dyes my looks so lifeless as they are,
   And might, if my extremes had full events,
   Make me the ghastly counterfeit of death.
AGYDAS. Eternal heaven sooner be dissolved,
   And all that pieces Phoebe's silver eye,
   Before such hap fall to Zenocrate!
ZENOCRATE. Ah, life and soul, still hover in his breast,
   And leave my body senseless as the earth,
   Or else unite you to his life and soul,
   That I may live and die with Tamburlaine!

   Enter Tamburlaine, with Techelles, and others.

AGYDAS. With Tamburlaine? Ah, fair Zenocrate,
   Let not a man so vile and barbarous,
   That holds you from your father in despite
   And keeps you from the honours of a queen,
   (being supposed his worthless concubine,)
   Be honoured with your love, but for necessity.
   So, now the mighty Soldan hears of you,
   Your highness needs not doubt but in short time
   He will, with Tamburlaine's destruction,
   Redeem you from this deadly servitude.
ZENOCRATE. Agydas, leave to wound me with these words,
   And speak of Tamburlaine as he deserves.
   The entertainment we have had of him
   Is far from villainy or servitude,
   And might in noble minds be counted princely.
AGYDAS. How can you fancy one that looks so fierce,
   Only disposed to martial stratagems?
   Who, when he shall embrace you in his arms,
   Will tell how many thousand men he slew,
   And, when you look for amorous discourse,
   Will rattle forth his facts of war and blood,
   Too harsh a subject for your dainty ears.
ZENOCRATE. As looks the sun through Nilus' flowing stream,
   Or when the morning holds him in her arms,
   So looks my lordly love, fair Tamburlaine;
   His talk much sweeter than the Muses' song
   They sung for honour 'gainst Pierides,
   Or when Minerva did with Neptune strive;
   And higher would I rear my estimate
   Than Juno, sister to the highest god,
   If I were matched with mighty Tamburlaine.
AGYDAS. Yet be not so inconstant in your love,
   But let the young Arabian live in hope,
   After your rescue to enjoy his choice.
   You see, though first the King of Persia,
   Being a shepherd, seemed to love you much,
   Now, in his majesty, he leaves those looks,
   Those words of favour, and those comfortings,
   And gives no more than common courtesies.
ZENOCRATE. Thence rise the tears that so distain my cheeks,
   Fearing his love through my unworthiness.

   Tamburlaine goes to her, and takes her away lovingly by
   the hand, looking wrathfully on Agydas, and says nothing.
   Exeunt all except Agydas.

AGYDAS. Betrayed by Fortune and suspicious love,
   Threatened with frowning wrath and jealousy,
   Surprised with fear of hideous revenge,
   I stand aghast; but most astonished
   To see his choler shut in secret thoughts,
   And wrapt in silence of his angry soul.
   Upon his brows was portrayed ugly death,
   And in his eyes the fury of his heart,
   That shine as comets, menacing revenge,
   And cast a pale complexion on his cheeks.
   As when the seaman sees the Hyades
   Gather an army of Cimmerian clouds,
   (Auster and Aquilon with winged steeds,
   All sweating, tilt about the watery heavens,
   With shivering spears enforcing thunderclaps,
   And from their shields strike flames of lightning)
   All fearful folds his sails and sounds the main,
   Lifting his prayers to the heavens for aid
   Against the terror of the winds and waves,
   So fares Agydas for the late-felt frowns
   That sent a tempest to my daunted thoughts
   And make my soul divine her overthrow.

   Enter Techelles with a naked dagger, and Usumcasane.

TECHELLES. See you, Agydas, how the king salutes you.
   He bids you prophesy what it imports.
AGYDAS. I prophesied before, and now I prove
   The killing frowns of jealousy and love.
   He needed not with words confirm my fear,
   For words are vain where working tools present
   The naked action of my threatened end.
   It says, Agydas, thou shalt surely die,
   And of extremities elect the least.
   More honour and less pain it may procure,
   To die by this resolved hand of thine
   Than stay the torments he and heaven have sworn.
   Then haste, Agydas, and prevent the plagues
   Which thy prolonged fates may draw on thee.
   Go wander free from fear of tyrant's rage,
   Removed from the torments and the hell
   Wherewith he may excruciate thy soul,
   And let Agydas by Agydas die,
   And with this stab slumber eternally.
TECHELLES. Usumcasane, see, how right the man
   Hath hit the meaning of my lord and king.
USUMCASANE. Faith, and Techelles, it was manly done;
   And, since he was so wise and honourable,
   Let us afford him now the bearing hence,
   And crave his triple-worthy burial.
TECHELLES. Agreed, Casane; we will honour him.




    Enter Tamburlaine, Techelles, Usumcasane,
   Theridamas, Basso, Zenocrate, with others.

TAMBURLAINE. Basso, by this thy lord and master knows
   I mean to meet him in Bithynia.
   See, how he comes! Tush, Turks are full of brags
   And menace more than they can well perform.
   He meet me in the field and fetch thee hence!
   Alas, poor Turk, his fortune is too weak
   T' encounter with the strength of Tamburlaine.
   View well my camp, and speak indifferently:
   Do not my captains and my soldiers look
   As if they meant to conquer Africa?
BASSO. Your men are valiant, but their number few,
   And cannot terrify his mighty host.
   My lord, the great commander of the world,
   Besides fifteen contributory kings,
   Hath now in arms ten thousand janizaries,
   Mounted on lusty Mauritanian steeds,
   Brought to the war by men of Tripoli;
   Two hundred thousand footmen that have served
   In two set battles fought in Graecia;
   And for the expedition of this war,
   If he think good, can from his garrisons
   Withdraw as many more to follow him.
TECHELLES. The more he brings, the greater is the spoil,
   For when they perish by our warlike hands,
   We mean to set our footmen on their steeds
   And rifle all those stately janizars.
TAMBURLAINE. But will those kings accompany your lord?
BASSO. Such as his highness please; but some must stay
   To rule the provinces he late subdued.
TAMBURLAINE. Then fight courageously; their crowns are yours.
   This hand shall set them on your conquering heads,
   That made me emperor of Asia.
USUMCASANE. Let him bring millions infinite of men,
   Unpeopling western Africa and Greece,
   Yet we assure us of the victory.
THERIDAMAS. Even he, that in a trice vanquished two kings
   More mighty than the Turkish emperor,
   Shall rouse him out of Europe and pursue
   His scattered army till they yield or die.
TAMBURLAINE. Well said, Theridamas! Speak in that mood,
   For 'will' and 'shall' best fitteth Tamburlaine,
   Whose smiling stars give him assured hope
   Of martial triumph, ere he meet his foes.
   I that am termed the scourge and wrath of God,
   The only fear and terror of the world,
   Will first subdue the Turk, and then enlarge
   Those Christian captives which you keep as slaves,
   Burdening their bodies with your heavy chains,
   And feeding them with thin and slender fare,
   That naked row about the Terrene sea,
   And, when they chance to breathe and rest a space,
   Are punished with bastones so grievously
   That they lie panting on the galley's side,
   And strive for life at every stroke they give.
   These are the cruel pirates of Argier,
   That damned train, the scum of Africa,
   Inhabited with straggling runagates,
   That make quick havoc of the Christian blood.
   But, as I live, that town shall curse the time
   That Tamburlaine set foot in Africa.

   Enter Bajazeth with his wife, Zabina, and her maid,
   Ebea, his Bassoes and contributory Kings.

BAJAZETH. Bassoes and janizaries of my guard,
   Attend upon the person of your lord,
   The greatest potentate of Africa.
TAMBURLAINE. Techelles and the rest, prepare your swords;
   I mean t' encounter with that Bajazeth.
BAJAZETH. Kings of Fez, Morocco, and Argier,
   He calls me Bajazeth, whom you call lord!
   Note the presumption of this Scythian slave!
   I tell thee, villain, those that lead my horse
   Have to their names titles of dignity,
   And dar'st thou bluntly call me Bajazeth?
TAMBURLAINE. And know thou, Turk, that those which lead my horse
   Shall lead thee captive thorough Africa,
   And dar'st thou bluntly call me Tamburlaine?
BAJAZETH. By Mahomet my kinsman's sepulchre,
   And by the holy Alcoran I swear,
   He shall be made a chaste and lustless eunuch,
   And in my sarell tend my concubines;
   And all his captains, that thus stoutly stand,
   Shall draw the chariot of my emperess,
   Whom I have brought to see their overthrow.
TAMBURLAINE. By this my sword that conquered Persia,
   Thy fall shall make me famous through the world.
   I will not tell thee how I'll handle thee,
   But every common soldier of my camp
   Shall smile to see thy miserable state.
FEZ. What means the mighty Turkish emperor
   To talk with one so base as Tamburlaine?
MOROCCO. Ye moors and valiant men of Barbary,
   How can ye suffer these indignities?
ARGIER. Leave words, and let them feel your lances' points,
   Which glided through the bowels of the Greeks.
BAJAZETH. Well said, my stout contributory kings.
   Your threefold army and my hugy host
   Shall swallow up these base-born Persians.
TECHELLES. Puissant, renowned, and mighty Tamburlaine,
   Why stay we thus prolonging all their lives?
THERIDAMAS. I long to see those crowns won by our swords,
   That we may reign as kings of Africa.
USUMCASANE. What coward would not fight for such a prize?
TAMBURLAINE. Fight all courageously, and be you kings.
   I speak it, and my words are oracles.
BAJAZETH. Zabina, mother of three braver boys
   Than Hercules, that in his infancy
   Did pash the jaws of serpents venomous,
   Whose hands are made to gripe a warlike lance,
   Their shoulders broad, for complete armour fit,
   Their limbs more large and of a bigger size
   Than all the brats y-sprung from Typhon's loins,
   Who, when they come unto their father's age,
   Will batter turrets with their manly fists --
   Sit here upon this royal chair of state,
   And on thy head wear my imperial crown,
   Until I bring this sturdy Tamburlaine
   And all his captains bound in captive chains.
ZABINA. Such good success happen to Bajazeth!
TAMBURLAINE. Zenocrate, the loveliest maid alive,
   Fairer than rocks of pearl and precious stone,
   The only paragon of Tamburlaine,
   Whose eyes are brighter than the lamps of heaven
   And speech more pleasant than sweet harmony,
   That with thy looks canst clear the darkened sky
   And calm the rage of thundering Jupiter --
   Sit down by her, adorned with my crown,
   As if thou wert the empress of the world.
   Stir not, Zenocrate, until thou see
   Me march victoriously with all my men,
   Triumphing over him and these his kings,
   Which I will bring as vassals to thy feet.
   Till then, take thou my crown, vaunt of my worth,
   And manage words with her, as we will arms.
ZENOCRATE. And may my love, the king of Persia,
   Return with victory and free from wound!
BAJAZETH. Now shalt thou feel the force of Turkish arms,
   Which lately made all Europe quake for fear.
   I have of Turks, Arabians, Moors, and Jews,
   Enough to cover all Bithynia.
   Let thousands die! Their slaughtered carcasses
   Shall serve for walls and bulwarks to the rest;
   And as the heads of Hydra, so my power,
   Subdued, shall stand as mighty as before.
   If they should yield their necks unto the sword,
   Thy soldiers' arms could not endure to strike
   So many blows as I have heads for thee.
   Thou know'st not, (foolish hardy Tamburlaine,)
   What 'tis to meet me in the open field,
   That leave no ground for thee to march upon.
TAMBURLAINE. Our conquering swords shall marshal us the way
   We use to march upon the slaughtered foe,
   Trampling their bowels with our horses' hoofs,
   Brave horses bred on the white Tartarian hills.
   My camp is like to Julius Caesar's host,
   That never fought but had the victory;
   Nor in Pharsalia was there such hot war
   As these, my followers, willingly would have.
   Legions of spirits, fleeting in the air,
   Direct our bullets and our weapons' points,
   And make your strokes to wound the senseless air;
   And when she sees our bloody colours spread,
   Then Victory begins to take her flight,
   Resting herself upon my milk-white tent.
   But come, my lords, to weapons let us fall;
   The field is ours, the Turk, his wife, and all.

   Exit with his followers.

BAJAZETH. Come, kings and bassoes, let us glut our swords,
   That thirst to drink the feeble Persians' blood.

   Exit with his followers.

ZABINA. Base concubine, must thou be placed by me
   That am the empress of the mighty Turk?
ZENOCRATE. Disdainful Turkess, and unreverend boss,
   Call'st thou me concubine, that am betrothed
   Unto the great and mighty Tamburlaine?
ZABINA. To Tamburlaine, the great Tartarian thief!
ZENOCRATE. Thou wilt repent these lavish words of thine
   When thy great Basso-master and thyself
   Must plead for mercy at his kingly feet,
   And sue to me to be your advocate.
ZABINA. And sue to thee? I tell thee, shameless girl,
   Thou shalt be laundress to my waiting maid.
   How lik'st thou her, Ebea? Will she serve?
EBEA. Madam, she thinks perhaps she is too fine,
   But I shall turn her into other weeds
   And make her dainty fingers fall to work.
ZENOCRATE. Hear'st thou, Anippe, how thy drudge doth talk,
   And how my slave, her mistress, menaceth?
   Both for their sauciness shall be employed
   To dress the common soldiers' meat and drink,
   For we will scorn they should come near ourselves.
ANIPPE. Yet sometimes let your highness send for them
   To do the work my chambermaid disdains.

   They sound the battle within, and stay.

ZENOCRATE. Ye gods and powers that govern Persia,
   And made my lordly love her worthy king,
   Now strengthen him against the Turkish Bajazeth,
   And let his foes, like flocks of fearful roes
   Pursued by hunters, fly his angry looks,
   That I may see him issue conqueror.
ZABINA. Now Mahomet, solicit God himself,
   And make him rain down murdering shot from heaven
   To dash the Scythians' brains, and strike them dead
   That dare to manage arms with him
   That offered jewels to thy sacred shrine
   When first he warred against the Christians.

   To the battle again.

ZENOCRATE. By this the Turks lie weltering in their blood,
   And Tamburlaine is lord of Africa.
ZABINA. Thou art deceived. I heard the trumpets sound
   As when my emperor overthrew the Greeks
   And led them captive into Africa.
   Straight will I use thee as thy pride deserves;
   Prepare thyself to live and die my slave.
ZENOCRATE. If Mahomet should come from heaven and swear
   My royal lord is slain or conquered,
   Yet should he not persuade me otherwise
   But that he lives and will be conqueror.

   Bajazeth flies, and Tamburlaine pursues him. The battle
   short, and they enter. Bajazeth is overcome.

TAMBURLAINE. Now, king of Bassoes, who is conqueror?
BAJAZETH. Thou, by the fortune of this damned foil.
TAMBURLAINE. Where are your stout contributory kings?

   Enter Techelles, Theridamas, Usumcasane.

TECHELLES. We have their crowns; their bodies strow the field.
TAMBURLAINE. Each man a crown? Why, kingly fought, I' faith.
   Deliver them into my treasury.
ZENOCRATE. Now let me offer to my gracious lord
   His royal crown again, so highly won.
TAMBURLAINE. Nay, take the Turkish crown from her, Zenocrate,
   And crown me Emperor of Africa.
ZABINA. No, Tamburlaine; though now thou gat the best,
   Thou shalt not yet be lord of Africa.
THERIDAMAS. Give her the crown, Turkess, you were best.

   He takes it from her, and gives it Zenocrate.

ZABINA. Injurious villains, thieves, runagates,
   How dare you thus abuse my majesty?
THERIDAMAS. Here, madam, you are empress; she is none.
TAMBURLAINE. Not now, Theridamas; her time is past.
   The pillars that have bolstered up those terms
   Are fall'n in clusters at my conquering feet.
ZABINA. Though he be prisoner, he may be ransomed.
TAMBURLAINE. Not all the world shall ransom Bajazeth.
BAJAZETH. Ah, fair Zabina, we have lost the field,
   And never had the Turkish emperor
   So great a foil by any foreign foe.
   Now will the Christian miscreants be glad,
   Ringing with joy their superstitious bells,
   And making bonfires for my overthrow.
   But ere I die, those foul idolaters
   Shall make me bonfires with their filthy bones,
   For though the glory of this day be lost,
   Afric and Greece have garrisons enough
   To make me sovereign of the earth again.
TAMBURLAINE. Those walled garrisons will I subdue,
   And write myself great lord of Africa.
   So from the east unto the furthest west
   Shall Tamburlaine extend his puissant arm.
   The galleys and those pilling brigandines,
   That yearly sail to the Venetian gulf
   And hover in the Straits for Christians' wrack,
   Shall lie at anchor in the Isle Asant,
   Until the Persian fleet and men-of-war,
   Sailing along the oriental sea,
   Have fetched about the Indian continent,
   Even from Persepolis to Mexico,
   And thence unto the Straits of Gibraltar,
   Where they shall meet and join their force in one,
   Keeping in awe the bay of Portingale
   And all the ocean by the British shore;
   And by this means I'll win the world at last.
BAJAZETH. Yet set a ransom on me, Tamburlaine.
TAMBURLAINE. What, think'st thou Tamburlaine esteems thy gold?
   I'll make the kings of India, ere I die,
   Offer their mines to sue for peace to me.
   And dig for treasure to appease my wrath.
   Come, bind them both, and one lead in the Turk;
   The Turkess let my love's maid lead away.

   They bind them.

BAJAZETH. Ah, villains, dare you touch my sacred arms?
   O Mahomet! O sleepy Mahomet!
ZABINA. O cursed Mahomet, that mak'st us thus
   The slaves to Scythians rude and barbarous!
TAMBURLAINE. Come, bring them in, and for this happy conquest
   Triumph, and solemnize a martial feast




    Enter Soldan of Egypt with three or four Lords,
   Capolin and a Messenger.

SOLDAN. Awake, ye men of Memphis! Hear the clang
   Of Scythian trumpets! Hear the basilisks,
   That roaring shake Damascus' turrets down!
   The rogue of Volga holds Zenocrate,
   The Soldan's daughter, for his concubine,
   And with a troop of thieves and vagabonds,
   Hath spread his colours to our high disgrace,
   While you, fainthearted base Egyptians,
   Lie slumbering on the flowery banks of Nile,
   As crocodiles that unafrighted rest
   While thundering cannons rattle on their skins.
MESSENGER. Nay, mighty Soldan, did your greatness see
   The frowning looks of fiery Tamburlaine,
   That with his terror and imperious eyes
   Commands the hearts of his associates,
   It might amaze your royal majesty.
SOLDAN. Villain, I tell thee, were that Tamburlaine
   As monstrous as Gorgon, prince of hell,
   The Soldan would not start a foot from him.
   But speak, what power hath he?
MESSENGER. Mighty lord,
   Three hundred thousand men in armour clad,
   Upon their prancing steeds, disdainfully
   With wanton paces trampling on the ground;
   Five hundred thousand footmen threatening shot,
   Shaking their swords, their spears, and iron bills,
   Environing their standard round, that stood
   As bristle-pointed as a thorny wood;
   Their warlike engines and munition
   Exceed the forces of their martial men.
SOLDAN. Nay, could their numbers countervail the stars,
   Or ever-drizzling drops of April showers,
   Or withered leaves that autumn shaketh down,
   Yet would the Soldan by his conquering power
   So scatter and consume them in his rage,
   That not a man should live to rue their fall.
CAPOLIN. So might your highness, had you time to sort
   Your fighting men, and raise your royal host,
   But Tamburlaine by expedition
   Advantage takes of your unreadiness.
SOLDAN. Let him take all th' advantages he can.
   Were all the world conspired to fight for him,
   Nay, were he devil, as he is no man,
   Yet in revenge of fair Zenocrate,
   Whom he detaineth in despite of us,
   This arm should send him down to Erebus,
   To shroud his shame in darkness of the night.
MESSENGER. Pleaseth your mightiness to understand,
   His resolution far exceedeth all.
   The first day when he pitcheth down his tents,
   White is their hue, and on his silver crest,
   A snowy feather spangled white he bears,
   To signify the mildness of his mind
   That, satiate with spoil, refuseth blood;
   But when Aurora mounts the second time,
   As red as scarlet is his furniture;
   Then must his kindled wrath be quenched with blood,
   Not sparing any that can manage arms;
   But if these threats move not submission,
   Black are his colours, black pavilion;
   His spear, his shield, his horse, his armour, plumes,
   And jetty feathers menace death and hell;
   Without respect of sex, degree, or age,
   He razeth all his foes with fire and sword.
SOLDAN. Merciless villain, peasant ignorant
   Of lawful arms or martial discipline!
   Pillage and murder are his usual trades.
   The slave usurps the glorious name of war.
   See Capolin, the fair Arabian king,
   That hath been disappointed by this slave
   Of my fair daughter and his princely love,
   May have fresh warning to go war with us,
   And be revenged for her disparagement.




    Enter Tamburlaine, Techelles, Theridamas, Usumcasane,
   Zenocrate, Anippe, two moors drawing Bajazeth in
   his cage, and his wife, Zabina, following him.

TAMBURLAINE. Bring out my footstool.

   They take Bajazeth out of the cage.

BAJAZETH. Ye holy priests of heavenly Mahomet,
   That, sacrificing, slice and cut your flesh,
   Staining his altars with your purple blood,
   Make heaven to frown and every fixed star
   To suck up poison from the moorish fens,
   And pour it in this glorious tyrant's throat!
TAMBURLAINE. The chiefest god, first mover of that sphere
   Encas'd with thousand
   Will sooner burn the glorious frame of heaven
   Than it should so conspire my overthrow.
   But, villain, thou that wishest this to me,
   Fall prostrate on the low disdainful earth,
   And be the footstool of great Tamburlaine,
   That I may rise into my royal throne.
BAJAZETH. First shalt thou rip my bowels with thy sword
   And sacrifice my heart to death and hell,
   Before I yield to such a slavery.
TAMBURLAINE. Base villain, vassal, slave to Tamburlaine,
   Unworthy to embrace or touch the ground
   That bears the honour of my royal weight,
   Stoop, villain, stoop! Stoop, for so he bids
   That may command thee piecemeal to be torn,
   Or scattered like the lofty cedar trees
   Strook with the voice of thundering Jupiter.
BAJAZETH. Then, as I look down to the damned fiends,
   Fiends, look on me; and thou, dread god of hell,
   With ebon sceptre strike this hateful earth,
   And make it swallow both of us at once!

   Tamburlaine gets up upon Bajazeth to reach his chair.

TAMBURLAINE. Now clear the triple region of the air,
   And let the majesty of heaven behold
   Their scourge and terror tread on emperors.
   Smile stars that reigned at my nativity,
   And dim the brightness of their neighbour lamps;
   Disdain to borrow light of Cynthia,
   For I, the chiefest lamp of all the earth,
   First rising in the east with mild aspect,
   But fixed now in the meridian line,
   Will send up fire to your turning spheres
   And cause the sun to borrow light of you.
   My sword struck fire from his coat of steel,
   Even in Bithynia, when I took this Turk,
   As when a fiery exhalation,
   Wrapped in the bowels of a freezing cloud,
   Fighting for passage, makes the welkin crack
   And casts a flash of lightning to the earth.
   But ere I march to wealthy Persia,
   Or leave Damascus and th' Egyptian fields,
   As was the fame of Clymene's brainsick son
   That almost brent the axle-tree of heaven,
   So shall our swords, our lances, and our shot
   Fill all the air with fiery meteors.
   Then, when the sky shall wax as red as blood,
   It shall be said I made it red myself,
   To make me think of nought but blood and war.
ZABINA. Unworthy king, that by thy cruelty
   Unlawfully usurp'st the Persian seat,
   Dar'st thou, that never saw an emperor
   Before thou met my husband in the field,
   Being thy captive, thus abuse his state,
   Keeping his kingly body in a cage,
   That roofs of gold and sun-bright palaces
   Should have prepared to entertain his grace?
   And treading him beneath thy loathsome feet,
   Whose feet the kings of Africa have kissed?
TECHELLES. You must devise some torment worse, my lord
   To make these captives rein their lavish tongues.
TAMBURLAINE. Zenocrate, look better to your slave.
ZENOCRATE. She is my handmaid's slave, and she shall look
   That these abuses flow not from her tongue.
   Chide her, Anippe.
ANIPPE. Let these be warnings for you then, my slave,
   How you abuse the person of the king;
   Or else I swear to have you whipped stark naked.
BAJAZETH. Great Tamburlaine, great in my overthrow,
   Ambitious pride shall make thee fall as low,
   For treading on the back of Bajazeth,
   That should be horsed on four mighty kings.
TAMBURLAINE. Thy names and titles and thy dignities
   Are fled from Bajazeth and remain with me,
   That will maintain it against a world of kings.
   Put him in again.
BAJAZETH. Is this a place for mighty Bajazeth?
   Confusion light on him that helps thee thus.
TAMBURLAINE. There, while he lives, shall Bajazeth be kept,
   And where I go be thus in triumph drawn;
   And thou, his wife, shall feed him with the scraps
   My servitors shall bring thee from my board,
   For he that gives him other food than this
   Shall sit by him and starve to death himself.
   This is my mind, and I will have it so.
   Not all the kings and emperors of the earth,
   If they would lay their crowns before my feet,
   Shall ransom him or take him from his cage.
   The ages that shall talk of Tamburlaine,
   Even from this day to Plato's wondrous year,
   Shall talk how I have handled Bajazeth.
   These Moors, that drew him from Bithynia
   To fair Damascus, where we now remain,
   Shall lead him with us whereso'er we go.
   Techelles, and my loving followers,
   Now may we see Damascus' lofty towers,
   Like to the shadows of Pyramides
   That with their beauties grace the Memphian fields.
   The golden stature of their feathered bird,
   That spreads her wings upon the city walls,
   Shall not defend it from our battering shot.
   The townsmen mask in silk and cloth of gold,
   And every house is as a treasury;
   The men, the treasure, and the town are ours.
THERIDAMAS. Your tents of white now pitched before the gates,
   And gentle flags of amity displayed,
   I doubt not but the governor will yield,
   Offering Damascus to your majesty.
TAMBURLAINE. So shall he have his life, and all the rest.
   But if he stay until the bloody flag
   Be once advanced on my vermilion tent,
   He dies, and those that kept us out so long.
   And when they see me march in black array,
   With mournful streamers hanging down their heads,
   Were in that city all the world contained,
   Not one should 'scape, but perish by our swords.
ZENOCRATE. Yet would you have some pity for my sake,
   Because it is my country's and my father's.
TAMBURLAINE. Not for the world, Zenocrate, if I have sworn.
   Come, bring in the Turk.




    Enter Soldan, Arabia, Capolin, with streaming
   colours and soldiers.

SOLDAN. Methinks we march as Meleager did,
   Environed with brave Argolian knights,
   To chase the savage Calydonian boar,
   Or Cephalus, with lusty Theban youths,
   Against the wolf that angry Themis sent
   To waste and spoil the sweet Aonian fields.
   A monster of five hundred thousand heads,
   Compact of rapine, piracy, and spoil,
   The scum of men, the hate and scourge of God,
   Raves in Egyptia, and annoyeth us.
   My lord, it is the bloody Tamburlaine,
   A sturdy felon, and a base-bred thief,
   By murder raised to the Persian crown,
   That dares control us in our territories.
   To tame the pride of this presumptuous beast,
   Join your Arabians with the Soldan's power;
   Let us unite our royal bands in one
   And hasten to remove Damascus' siege.
   It is a blemish to the majesty
   And high estate of mighty emperors,
   That such a base usurping vagabond
   Should brave a king, or wear a princely crown.
ARABIA. Renowned Soldan, have ye lately heard
   The overthrow of mighty Bajazeth
   About the confines of Bithynia?
   The slavery wherewith he persecutes
   The noble Turk and his great emperess?
SOLDAN. I have, and sorrow for his bad success.
   But, noble lord of great Arabia,
   Be so persuaded that the Soldan is
   No more dismayed with tidings of his fall,
   Than in the haven when the pilot stands,
   And views a stranger's ship rent in the winds
   And shivered against a craggy rock
   Yet in compassion to his wretched state,
   A sacred vow to heaven and him I make,
   Confirming it with Ibis' holy name,
   That Tamburlaine shall rue the day, the hour,
   Wherein he wrought such ignominious wrong
   Unto the hallowed person of a prince,
   Or kept the fair Zenocrate so long,
   As concubine, I fear, to feed his lust.
ARABIA. Let grief and fury hasten on revenge.
   Let Tamburlaine for his offences feel
   Such plagues as heaven and we can pour on him.
   I long to break my spear upon his crest
   And prove the weight of his victorious arm;
   For fame, I fear, hath been too prodigal
   In sounding through the world his partial praise.
SOLDAN. Capolin, hast thou surveyed our powers?
CAPOLIN. Great emperors of Egypt and Arabia,
   The number of your hosts united is
   A hundered and fifty thousand horse,
   Two hundred thousand foot, brave men-at-arms,
   Courageous and full of hardiness,
   As frolic as the hunters in the chase
   Of savage beasts amid the desert woods.
ARABIA. My mind presageth fortunate success,
   And, Tamburlaine, my spirit doth foresee
   The utter ruin of thy men and thee.
SOLDAN. Then rear your standards; let your sounding drums
   Direct our soldiers to Damascus' walls.
   Now, Tamburlaine, the mighty Soldan comes
   And leads with him the great Arabian king
   To dim thy baseness and obscurity,
   Famous for nothing but for theft and spoil;
   To raze and scatter thy inglorious crew
   Of Scythians and slavish Persians.




    The banquet, and to it cometh Tamburlaine all in scarlet,
   Theridamas, Techelles, Usumcasane and Zenocrate, also
    Bajazeth, with Zabina, Fez, Argier and Morocco.

TAMBURLAINE. Now hang our bloody colours by Damascus,
   Reflexing hues of blood upon their heads,
   While they walk quivering on their city walls,
   Half dead for fear before they feel my wrath.
   Then let us freely banquet and carouse
   Full bowls of wine unto the god of war,
   That means to fill your helmets full of gold,
   And make Damascus' spoils as rich to you
   As was to Jason Colchos' golden fleece.
   And now, Bajazeth, hast thou any stomach?
BAJAZETH. Ay, such a stomach, (cruel Tamburlaine), as I could
   Willingly feed upon thy blood raw heart.
TAMBURLAINE. Nay, thine own is easier to come by. Pluck out that,
   And 'twill serve thee and thy wife. Well, Zenocrate,
   Techelles, and the rest, fall to your victuals.
BAJAZETH. Fall to, and never may your meat digest!
   Ye Furies, that can mask invisible,
   Dive to the bottom of Avernus' pool,
   And in your hands bring hellish poison up,
   And squeeze it in the cup of Tamburlaine!
   Or, winged snakes of Lerna, cast your stings,
   And leave your venoms in this tyrant's dish!
ZABINA. And may this banquet prove as ominous
   As Procne's to th' adulterous Thracian king
   That fed upon the substance of his child.
ZENOCRATE. My lord, how can you suffer these
   Outrageous curses by these slaves of yours?
TAMBURLAINE. To let them see, (divine Zenocrate),
   I glory in the curses of my foes,
   Having the power from the imperial heaven
   To turn them all upon their proper heads.
TECHELLES. I pray you, give them leave, madam; this speech is a goodly
    refreshing to them.
THERIDAMAS. But, if his highness would let them be fed, it would do
   them more good.
TAMBURLAINE. Sirrah, why fall you not to? Are you so daintily brought
   up, you cannot eat you own flesh?
BAJAZETH. First, legions of devils shall tear thee in pieces.
USUMCASANE. Villain, knowest thou to whom thou speakest?
TAMBURLAINE. O, let him alone. Here; eat, sir; take it from
   My sword's point, or I'll thrust it to thy heart.

   He takes it and stamps upon it.

THERIDAMAS. He stamps it under his feet, my lord.
TAMBURLAINE. Take it up, villain, and eat it; or I will make thee slice the
   brawns of thy arms into carbonadoes and eat them.
USUMCASANE. Nay, 'twere better he killed his wife, and then she shall be
   sure not to be starved, and he be provided for a month's
   victual beforehand.
TAMBURLAINE. Here is my dagger. Dispatch her while she is fat, for if she
   live but a while longer, she will fall into consumption with
   fretting, and then she will not be worth the eating.
THERIDAMAS. Dost thou think that Mahomet will suffer this?
TECHELLES. 'tis like he will, when he cannot let it.
TAMBURLAINE. Go to; fall to your meat. What, not a bit? Belike he hath not
   been watered today: give him some drink.

   They give him water to drink, and he flings it on the ground.

   Fast, and welcome, sir, while hunger make you eat. How
   now, Zenocrate, doth not the Turk and his wife make a
   goodly show at a banquet?
ZENOCRATE. Yes, my lord.
THERIDAMAS. Methinks 'tis a great deal better than a consort of music.
TAMBURLAINE. Yet music would do well to cheer up Zenocrate. Pray thee tell,
   why art thou so sad? If thou wilt have a song, the Turk shall
strain his voice. But why is this?
ZENOCRATE. My lord, to see my father's town besieged,
   The country wasted, where myself was born,
   How can it but afflict my very soul?
   If any love remain in you, my lord,
   Or if my love unto your majesty
   May merit favour at your highness' hands,
   Then raise your siege from fair Damascus' walls,
   And with my father take a friendly truce.
TAMBURLAINE. Zenocrate, were Egypt Jove's own land,
   Yet would I with my sword make Jove to stoop.
   I will confute those blind geographers
   That make a triple region in the world,
   Excluding regions which I mean to trace,
   And with this pen reduce them to a map,
   Calling the provinces, cities, and towns,
   After my name and thine, Zenocrate.
   Here at Damascus will I make the point
   That shall begin the perpendicular.
   And wouldst thou have me buy thy father's love
   With such a loss? Tell me, Zenocrate.
ZENOCRATE. Honour still wait on happy Tamburlaine;
   Yet give me leave to plead for him, my lord.
TAMBURLAINE. Content thyself: his person shall be safe,
   And all the friends of fair Zenocrate,
   If with their lives they will be pleased to yield,
   Or may be forced to make me emperor;
   For Egypt and Arabia must be mine.
   - Feed, you slave; thou mayst think thyself happy to be
   fed from my trencher.
BAJAZETH. My empty stomach, full of idle heat,
   Draws bloody humours from my feeble parts,
   Preserving life by hasting cruel death.
   My veins are pale, my sinews hard and dry,
   My joints benumbed; unless I eat, I die.
ZABINA. Eat, Bajazeth. Let us live in spite of them,
   Looking some happy power will pity and enlarge us.
TAMBURLAINE. Here, Turk; wilt thou have a clean trencher?
BAJAZETH. Ay, tyrant, and more meat.
TAMBURLAINE. Soft, sir, you must be dieted; too much eating will make you surfeit.
THERIDAMAS. So it would, my lord, 'specially having so small a walk and so little

   Enter a second course of crowns.

TAMBURLAINE. Theridamas, Techelles and Casane, her are the cates you
   desire to finger, are they not?
THERIDAMAS. Ay, my lord, but none save kings must feed with these.
TECHELLES. 'Tis enough for us to see them, and for Tamburlaine only to
   enjoy them.
TAMBURLAINE. Well, here is now to the Soldan of Egypt, the King of Arabia,
   and the governor of Damascus. Now, take these three
   crowns, and pledge me, my contributory kings. I crown you
   here, Theridamas, King of Argier; Techelles, King of Fez;
   and Usumcasane, King of Morocco. How say you to this,
   Turk? These are not your contributory kings.
BAJAZETH. Nor shall they long be thine, I warrant them.
TAMBURLAINE. Kings of Argier, Morocco, and of Fez,
   You that have marched with happy Tamburlaine
   As far as from the frozen place of heaven
   Unto the wat'ry morning's ruddy bower,
   And thence by land unto the torrid zone,
   Deserve these titles I endow you with
   By valour and by magnanimity.
   Your births shall be no blemish to your fame,
   For virtue is the fount whence honour springs,
   And they are worthy she investeth kings.
THERIDAMAS. And, since your highness hath so well vouchsafed,
   If we deserve them not with higher meeds
   Than erst our states and actions have retained,
   Take them away again, and make us slaves.
TAMBURLAINE. Well said, Theridamas. When holy Fates
   Shall 'stablish me in strong Egyptia,
   We mean to travel to th' Antarctic pole,
   Conquering the people underneath our feet,
   And be renowned as never emperors were.
   Zenocrate, I will not crown thee yet,
   Until with greater honours I be graced.




    The governor of Damascus with three or four Citizens,
   and four Virgins with branches of laurel in their hands.

GOVERNOR. Still doth this man, or rather god of war,
   Batter our walls and beat our turrets down;
   And to resist with longer stubbornness,
   Or hope of rescue from the Soldan's power,
   Were but to bring our wilful overthrow,
   And make us desperate of our threatened lives.
   We see his tents have now been altered
   With terrors to the last and cruel'st hue.
   His coal-black colours, everywhere advanced,
   Threaten our city with a general spoil;
   And if we should with common rites of arms
   Offer our safeties to his clemency,
   I fear the custom proper to his sword.
   Which he observes as parcel of his fame,
   Intending so to terrify the world,
   By any innovation or remorse
   Will never be dispensed with till our deaths.
   Therefore, for these our harmless virgins' sakes,
   Whose honours and whose lives rely on him,
   Let us have hope that their unspotted prayers,
   Their blubbered cheeks, and hearty humble moans
   Will melt his fury into some remorse,
   And use us like a loving conqueror.
1 VIRGIN. If humble suits or imprecations
   (uttered with tears of wretchedness and blood
   Shed from the heads and hearts of all our sex,
   Some made your wives, and some your children,)
   Might have entreated your obdurate breasts
   To entertain some care of our securities
   While only danger beat upon our walls,
   These more than dangerous warrants of our death
   Had never been erected as they be,
   Nor you depend on such weak helps as we.
GOVERNOR. Well, lovely virgins, think our country's care,
   Our love of honour, loath to be enthralled
   To foreign powers and rough imperious yokes,
   Would not with too much cowardice or fear,
   Before all hope of rescue were denied,
   Submit yourselves and us to servitude.
   Therefore, in that your safeties and our own,
   Your honours, liberties, and lives were weighed
   In equal care and balance with our own,
   Endure as we the malice of our stars,
   The wrath of Tamburlaine and power of wars,
   Or be the means the overweighing heavens
   Have kept to qualify these hot extremes,
   And bring us pardon in your cheerful looks.
2 VIRGIN. Then here, before the majesty of heaven
   And holy patrons of Egyptia,
   With knees and hearts submissive we entreat
   Grace to our words and pity to our looks
   That this device may prove propitious,
   And through the eyes and ears of Tamburlaine
   Convey events of mercy to his heart.
   Grant that these signs of victory we yield
   May bind the temples of his conquering head
   To hide the folded furrows of his brows,
   And shadow his displeased countenance
   With happy looks of ruth and lenity.
   Leave us, my lord, and loving countrymen.
   What simple virgins may persuade, we will.
GOVERNOR. Farewell, sweet virgins, on whose safe return
   Depends our city, liberty, and lives.

   Exeunt all except Virgins.
   Enter Tamburlaine, Techelles, Theridamas, Usumcasane,
   with others. Tamburlaine, all in black and very melancholy.

TAMBURLAINE. What, are the turtles frayed out of their nests?
   Alas, poor fools, must you be first shall feel
   The sworn destruction of Damascus?
   They know my custom; could they not as well
   Have sent ye out when first my milk-white flags,
   Through which sweet mercy threw her gentle beams,
   Reflexing them on your disdainful eyes,
   As now when fury and incensed hate
   Flings slaughtering terror from my coal-black tents,
   And tells for truth submission comes too late?
1 VIRGIN. Most happy king and emperor of the earth,
   Image of honour and nobility,
   For whom the powers divine have made the world
   And on whose throne the holy Graces sit,
   In whose sweet person is comprised the sum
   Of nature's skill and heavenly majesty,
   Pity our plights! O, pity poor Damascus!
   Pity old age, within whose silver hairs
   Honour and reverence evermore have reigned.
   Pity the marriage bed, where many a lord,
   In prime and glory of his loving joy,
   Embraceth now with tears of ruth and blood
   The jealous body of his fearful wife,
   Whose cheeks and hearts, so punished with conceit
   To think thy puissant never-stayed arm
   Will part their bodies and prevent their souls
   From heavens of comfort yet their age might bear,
   Now wax all pale and withered to the death,
   As well for grief our ruthless governor
   Hath thus refused the mercy of thy hand,
   (Whose sceptre angels kiss and Furies dread,
   As for their liberties, their loves, or lives.
   Oh, then, for these, and such as we ourselves,
   For us, for infants, and for all our bloods,
   That never nourished thought against thy rule,
   Pity, o pity, sacred emperor,
   The prostrate service of this wretched town;
   And take in sign thereof this gilded wreath,
   Whereto each man of rule hath given his hand,
   And wished, as worthy subjects, happy means
   To be investors of thy royal brows
   Even with the true Egyptian diadem.
TAMBURLAINE. Virgins, in vain you labour to prevent
   That which mine honour swears shall be performed.
   Behold my sword; what see you at the point?
1 VIRGIN. Nothing but fear and fatal steel, my lord.
TAMBURLAINE. Your fearful minds are thick and misty then,
   For there sits Death; there sits imperious Death,
   Keeping his circuit by the slicing edge.
   But I am pleased you shall not see him there.
   He now is seated on my horsemen's spears,
   And on their points his fleshless body feeds.
   Techelles, straight go charge a few of them
   To charge these dames and show my servant, Death,
   Sitting in scarlet on their armed spears.
VIRGINS. O, pity us!
TAMBURLAINE. Away with them, I say, and show them Death.

   They take them away.

   I will not spare these proud Egyptians,
   Nor change my martial observations
   For all the wealth of Gihon's golden waves.
   Or for the love of Venus, would she leave
   The angry god of arms and lie with me.
   They have refused the offer of their lives
   And know my customs are as peremptory
   As wrathful planets, death, or destiny.

   Enter Techelles.

   What, have your horsemen shown the virgins Death?
TECHELLES. They have, my lord, and on Damascus' walls
   Have hoisted up their slaughtered carcasses.
TAMBURLAINE. A sight as baneful to their souls, I think,
   As are Thessalian drugs or Mithridate:
   But go, my lords, put the rest to the sword.

   Exeunt, all except Tamburlaine.

   Ah, fair Zenocrate! Divine Zenocrate!
   Fair is too foul an epithet for thee,
   That in thy passion for thy country's love,
   And fear to see thy kingly father's harm,
   With hair dishevelled wip'st thy watery cheeks;
   And, like to Flora in her morning's pride,
   Shaking her silver tresses in the air,
   Rain'st on the earth resolved pearl in showers,
   And sprinklest sapphires on thy shining face,
   Where beauty, mother to the Muses, sits,
   And comments volumes with her ivory pen,
   Taking instructions from thy flowing eyes;
   Eyes, when that Ebena steps to heaven,
   In silence of thy solemn evening's walk,
   Making the mantle of the richest night,
   The moon, the planets, and the meteors, light.
   There angels in their crystal armours fight
   A doubtful battle with my tempted thoughts
   For Egypt's freedom and the Soldan's life,
   His life that so consumes Zenocrate,
   Whose sorrows lay more siege unto my soul
   Than all my army to Damascus' walls;
   And neither Persia's sovereign nor the Turk
   Troubled my senses with conceit of foil
   So much by much as doth Zenocrate.
   What is beauty, saith my sufferings, then?
   If all the pens that ever poets held
   Had fed the feeling of their masters' thoughts,
   And every sweetness that inspired their hearts,
   Their minds, and muses on admired themes;
   If all the heavenly quintessence they still
   From their immortal flowers of poesy,
   Wherein, as in a mirror, we perceive
   The highest reaches of a human wit;
   If these had made one poem's period,
   And all combined in beauty's worthiness,
   Yet should there hover in their restless heads
   One thought, one grace, one wonder, at the least,
   Which into words no virtue can digest.
   But how unseemly is it for my sex,
   My discipline of arms and chivalry,
   My nature, and the terror of my name,
   To harbour thoughts effeminate and faint!
   Save only that in beauty's just applause,
   With whose instinct the soul of man is touched;
   And every warrior that is rapt with love
   Of fame, of valour, and of victory,
   Must needs have beauty beat on his conceits.
   I thus conceiving and subduing both,
   That which hath stooped the topmost of the gods,
   Even from the fiery spangled veil of heaven,
   To feel the lovely warmth of shepherds' flames
   And march in cottages of strowed weeds,
   Shall give the world to note, for all my birth,
   That virtue solely is the sum of glory,
   And fashions men with true nobility.
   Who's within there?

   Enter two or three.

   Hath Bajazeth been fed today?
ATTENDANT. Ay, my lord.
TAMBURLAINE. Bring him forth; and let us know if the town be ransacked.

   Exeunt Attendants.
   Enter Techelles, Theridamas, Usumcasane, and others.

TECHELLES. The town is ours, my lord, and fresh supply
   Of conquest and of spoil is offered us.
TAMBURLAINE. That's well, Techelles. What's the news?
TECHELLES. The Soldan and the Arabian king together
   March on us with such eager violence
   As if there were no way but one with us.
TAMBURLAINE. No more there's not, I warrant thee, Techelles.

   They bring in the Turk, Bajazeth, in his cage,
   and Zabina

THERIDAMAS. We know the victory is ours, my lord,
   But let us save the reverend Soldan's life
   For fair Zenocrate that so laments his state.
TAMBURLAINE. That will we chiefly see unto, Theridamas,
   For sweet Zenocrate, whose worthiness
   Deserves a conquest over every heart.
   And now, my footstool, if I lose the field,
   You hope of liberty and restitution?
   Here let him stay, my masters, from the tents,
   Till we have made us ready for the field.
   Pray for us, Bajazeth; where we are going..

   Exeunt all except Bajazeth and Zabina.

BAJAZETH. Go, never to return with victory!
   Millions of men encompass thee about,
   And gore thy body with as many wounds!
   Sharp forked arrows light upon thy horse!
   Furies from the black Cocytus lake,
   Break up the earth, and with their firebrands
   Enforce thee run upon the baneful pikes!
   Volleys of shot pierce through thy charmed skin,
   And every bullet dipped in poisoned drugs!
   Or roaring cannons sever all thy joints,
   Making thee mount as high as eagles soar!
ZABINA. Let all the swords and lances in the field
   Stick in his breast as in their proper rooms!
   At every pore let blood come dropping forth,
   That lingering pains may massacre his heart
   And madness send his damned soul to hell!
BAJAZETH. Ah, fair Zabina! We may curse his power,
   The heavens may frown, the earth for anger quake,
   But such a star hath influence in his sword
   As rules the skies and countermands the gods
   More than Cimmerian Styx or destiny.
   And then shall we in this detested guise,
   With shame, with hunger, and with horror -- ay,
   Griping our bowels with retorqued thoughts
   And have no hope to end our ecstasies.
ZABINA. Then is there left no Mahomet, no god,
   No fiend, no fortune, nor no hope of end
   To our infamous, monstrous slaveries?
   Gape earth, and let the fiends infernal view
   A hell as hopeless and as full of fear
   As are the blasted banks of Erebus,
   Where shaking ghosts with ever howling groans
   Hover about the ugly ferryman
   To get a passage to Elysium!
   Why should we live? Oh, wretches, beggars, slaves!
   Why live we, Bajazeth, and build up nests
   So high within the region of the air,
   By living long in this oppression,
   That all the world will see and laugh to scorn
   The former triumphs of our mightiness
   In this obscure infernal servitude?
BAJAZETH. O life, more loathsome to my vexed thoughts
   Than noisome parbreak of the Stygian snakes,
   Which fills the nooks of hell with standing air,
   Infecting all the ghosts with cureless griefs!
   O dreary engines of my loathed sight,
   That see my crown, my honour, and my name
   Thrust under yoke and thraldom of a thief,
   Why feed ye still on day's accursed beams,
   And sink not quite into my tortured soul?
   You see my wife, my queen, and emperess,
   Brought up and propped by the hand of Fame,
   Queen of fifteen contributory queens,
   Now thrown to rooms of black abjection,
   Smeared with blots of basest drudgery,
   And villainess to shame, disdain, and misery.
   Accursed Bajazeth, whose words of ruth,
   That would with pity cheer Zabina's heart,
   And make our souls resolve in ceaseless tears,
   Sharp hunger bites upon and gripes the root
   From whence the issue of my thoughts do break.
   O poor Zabina! O my queen, my queen!
   Fetch me some water for my burning breast,
   To cool and comfort me with longer date,
   That in the shortened sequel of my life
   I may pour forth my soul into thine arms
   With words of love whose moaning intercourse
   Hath hitherto been stayed with wrath and hate
   Of our expressless banned inflictions.
ZABINA. Sweet Bajazeth, I will prolong thy life
   As long as any blood or spark of breath
   Can quench or cool the torments of my grief.

   She goes out.

BAJAZETH. Now, Bajazeth, abridge thy baneful days,
   And beat the brains out of thy conquered head,
   Since other means are all forbidden me,
   That may be ministers of my decay.
   O highest lamp of everliving Jove,
   Accursed day, infected with my griefs,
   Hide now thy stained face in endless night,
   And shut the windows of the lightsome heavens.
   Let ugly darkness with her rusty coach
   Engirt with tempests, wrapped in pitchy clouds,
   Smother the earth with never fading mists,
   And let her horses from their nostrils breathe
   Rebellious winds and dreadful thunderclaps,
   That in this terror Tamburlaine may live,
   And my pined soul, resolved in liquid air,
   May still excruciate his tormented thoughts!
   Then let the stony dart of senseless cold
   Pierce through the centre of my withered heart,
   And make a passage for my loathed life!

   He brains himself against the cage.
   Enter Zabina.

ZABINA. What do mine eyes behold? My husband dead!
   His skull all riven in twain, his brains dashed out!
   The brains of Bajazeth, my lord and sovereign!
   O Bajazeth, my husband and my lord!
   O Bajazeth! O Turk! O Emperor!
   Give him his liquor? Not I. Bring milk and fire, and my
   blood I bring him again. Tear me in pieces. Give me
   the sword with a ball of wild fire upon it. Down with him!
   Down with him! Go to, my child; away, away, away! Ah,
   save that infant, save him, save him! I, even I, speak to her.
   The sun was down. Streamers white, red, black. Here,
   here, here! Fling the meat in his face! Tamburlaine,
   Tamburlaine! Let the soldiers be buried. Hell, death,
   Tamburlaine, hell! Make ready my coach, my chair, my
   jewels. I come, I come, I come!

   She runs against the cage, and brains herself
   Enter Zenocrate with Anippe. .

ZENOCRATE. Wretched Zenocrate, that livest to see
   Damascus' walls dyed with Egyptian blood,
   Thy father's subjects and thy countrymen;
   The streets strowed with dissevered joints of men,
   And wounded bodies gasping yet for life;
   But most accursed, to see the sun-bright troop
   Of heavenly virgins and unspotted maids,
   Whose looks might make the angry god of arms
   To break his sword and mildly treat of love,
   On horsemen's lances to be hoisted up,
   And guiltlessly endure a cruel death.
   For every fell and stout Tartarian steed,
   That stamped on others with their thundering hooves,
   When all their riders charged their quivering spears,
   Began to check the ground and rein themselves,
   Gazing upon the beauty of their looks.
   Ah, Tamburlaine, wert thou the cause of this,
   That term'st Zenocrate thy dearest love?
   Whose lives were dearer to Zenocrate
   Than her own life, or aught save thine own love.
   But see, another bloody spectacle!
   Ah, wretched eyes, the enemies of my heart,
   How are ye glutted with these grievous objects,
   And tell my soul more tales of bleeding ruth!
   See, see, Anippe, if they breathe or no.
ANIPPE. No breath, nor sense, nor motion, in them both.
   Ah, madam, this their slavery hath enforced,
   And ruthless cruelty of Tamburlaine!
ZENOCRATE. Earth, cast up fountains from thy entrails,
   And wet thy cheeks for their untimely deaths.
   Shake with their weight in sign of fear and grief.
   Blush, heaven, that gave them honour at their birth
   And let them die a death so barbarous.
   Those that are proud of fickle empery
   And place their chiefest good in earthly pomp,
   Behold the Turk and his great emperess!
   Ah, Tamburlaine my love, sweet Tamburlaine,
   That fights for sceptres and for slippery crowns,
   Behold the Turk and his great emperess!
   Thou, that in conduct of thy happy stars,
   Sleep'st every night with conquest on thy brows,
   And yet wouldst shun the wavering turns of war,
   In fear and feeling of the like distress,
   Behold the Turk and his great empress!
   Ah, mighty Jove and holy Mahomet,
   Pardon my love! O, pardon his contempt
   Of earthly fortune and respect of pity,
   And let not conquest, ruthlessly pursued,
   Be equally against his life incensed
   In this great Turk and hapless emperess!
   And pardon me that was not moved with ruth
   To see them live so long in misery!
   Ah, what may chance to thee, Zenocrate?
ANIPPE. Madam, content yourself, and be resolved,
   Your love hath Fortune so at his command,
   That she shall stay, and turn her wheel no more,
   As long as life maintains his mighty arm
   That fights for honour to adorn your head.

   Enter Philemus, a messenger.

ZENOCRATE. What other heavy news now brings Philemus?
PHILEMUS. Madam, your father, and th' Arabian king,
   The first affecter of your excellence,
   Comes now, as Turnus 'gainst Aeneas did,
   Armed with lance into the Egyptian fields,
   Ready for battle 'gainst my lord the King.
ZENOCRATE. Now shame and duty, love and fear present
   A thousand sorrows to my martyred soul.
   Whom should I wish the fatal victory,
   When my poor pleasures are divided thus,
   And racked by duty from my cursed heart?
   My father and my first-betrothed love
   Must fight against my life and present love,
   Wherein the change I use condemns my faith
   And makes my deeds infamous through the world.
   But as the gods, to end the Trojans' toil,
   Prevented Turnus of Lavinia
   And fatally enriched Aeneas' love,
   So, for a final issue to my griefs,
   To pacify my country and my love,
   Must Tamburlaine by their resistless powers,
   With virtue of a gentle victory,
   Conclude a league of honour to my hope;
   Then, as the powers divine have preordained,
   With happy safety of my father's life
   Send like defence of fair Arabia.

   They sound to the battle and Tamburlaine enjoys
   the victory. After, Arabia enters wounded.

ARABIA. What cursed power guides the murdering hands
   Of this infamous tyrant's soldiers,
   That no escape may save their enemies,
   Nor fortune keep themselves from victory?
   Lie down, Arabia, wounded to the death,
   And let Zenocrate's fair eyes behold
   That, as for her thou bear'st these wretched arms,
   Even so for her thou diest in these arms,
   Leaving thy blood for witness of thy love.
ZENOCRATE. Too dear a witness for such love, my lord.
   Behold Zenocrate, the cursed object
   Whose fortunes never mastered her griefs.
   Behold her wounded in conceit for thee,
   As much as thy fair body is for me!
ARABIA. Then shall I die with full contented heart,
   Having beheld divine Zenocrate,
   Whose sight with joy would take away my life,
   As now it bringeth sweetness to my wound,
   If I had not been wounded as I am.
   Ah, that the deadly pangs I suffer now
   Would lend an hour's license to my tongue,
   To make discourse of some sweet accidents,
   Have chanced thy merits in this worthless bondage,
   And that I might be privy to the state
   Of thy deserved contentment and thy love.
   But, making now a virtue of thy sight,
   To drive all sorrow from my fainting soul,
   Since death denies me further cause of joy,
   Deprived of care, my heart with comfort dies,
   Since thy desired hand shall close mine eyes.

   Dies. Enter Tamburlaine, leading the Soldan;
   Enter Techelles, Theridamas, Usumcasane, with others.

TAMBURLAINE. Come, happy father of Zenocrate,
   A title higher than thy Soldan's name.
   Though my right hand have thus enthralled thee,
   Thy princely daughter here shall set thee free,
   She that hath calmed the fury of my sword,
   Which had ere this been bathed in streams of blood
   As vast and deep as Euphrates or Nile.
ZENOCRATE. O sight thrice welcome to my joyful soul,
   To see the king, my father, issue safe
   From dangerous battle of my conquering love!
SOLDAN. Well met, my only dear Zenocrate,
   Though with the loss of Egypt and my crown.
TAMBURLAINE. 'twas I, my lord, that gat the victory,
   And therefore grieve not at your overthrow,
   Since I shall render all into your hands,
   And add more strength to your dominions
   Than ever yet confirmed th' Egyptian crown.
   The god of war resigns his room to me,
   Meaning to make me general of the world.
   Jove, viewing me in arms, looks pale and wan,
   Fearing my power should pull him from his throne.
   Where'er I come the Fatal Sisters sweat,
   And grisly Death, by running to-and-fro
   To do their ceaseless homage to my sword.
   And here in Afric, where it seldom rains,
   Since I arrived with my triumphant host,
   Have swelling clouds, drawn from wide-gasping wounds,
   Been oft resolved in bloody purple showers,
   A meteor that might terrify the earth,
   And make it quake at every drop it drinks.
   Millions of souls sit on the banks of Styx,
   Waiting the back return of Charon's boat;
   Hell and Elysium swarm with men
   That I have sent from sundry foughten fields
   To spread my fame through hell and up to heaven.
   And see, my lord, a sight of strange import,
   Emperors and kings lie breathless at my feet.
   The Turk and his great empress, as it seems,
   Left to themselves while we were at the fight,
   Have desperately dispatched their slavish lives:
   With them Arabia, too, hath left his life;
   All sights of power to grace my victory.
   And such are objects fit for Tamburlaine,
   Wherein, as in a mirror, may be seen
   His honour, that consists in shedding blood
   When men presume to manage arms with him.
SOLDAN. Mighty hath God and Mahomet made thy hand,
   Renowned Tamburlaine, to whom all kings
   Of force must yield their crowns and emperies;
   And I am pleased with this my overthrow,
   If, as beseems a person of thy state,
   Thou hast with honour used Zenocrate.
TAMBURLAINE. Her state and person want no pomp, you see,
   And for all blot of foul inchastity,
   I record heaven, her heavenly self is clear.
   Then let me find no further time to grace
   Her princely temples with the Persian crown;
   But here these kings that on my fortunes wait,
   And have been crowned for proved worthiness
   Even by this hand that shall establish them,
   Shall now, adjoining all their hands with mine,
   Invest her here my Queen of Persia.
   What saith the noble Soldan and Zenocrate?
SOLDAN. I yield with thanks and protestations
   Of endless honour to thee for her love.
TAMBURLAINE. Then doubt I not but fair Zenocrate
   Will soon consent to satisfy us both.
ZENOCRATE. Else should I much forget myself, my lord.
THERIDAMAS. Then let us set the crown upon her head,
   That long hath lingered for so high a seat.
TECHELLES. My hand is ready to perform the deed,
   For now her marriage time shall work us rest.
USUMCASANE. And here's the crown, my lord; help set it on.
TAMBURLAINE. Then sit thou down, divine Zenocrate,
   And here we crown thee Queen of Persia,
   And all the kingdoms and dominions
   That late the power of Tamburlaine subdued.
   As Juno, when the giants were suppressed,
   That darted mountains at her brother Jove,
   So looks my love, shadowing in her brows
   Triumphs and trophies for my victories;
   Or as Latona's daughter, bent to arms,
   Adding more courage to my conquering mind.
   To gratify thee, sweet Zenocrate,
   Egyptians, Moors, and men of Asia,
   From Barbary unto the Western Inde,
   Shall pay a yearly tribute to thy sire;
   And from the bounds of Afric to the banks
   Of Ganges shall his mighty arm extend.
   And now, my lords and loving followers,
   That purchased kingdoms by your martial deeds,
   Cast off your armour, put on scarlet robes,
   Mount up your royal places of estate,
   Environed with troops of noblemen,
   And there make laws to rule your provinces.
   Hang up your weapons on Alcides' post,
   For Tamburlaine takes truce with all the world.
   Thy first-betrothed love, Arabia,
   Shall we with honour, as beseems, entomb
   With this great Turk and his fair emperess.
   Then, after all these solemn exequies,
   We will our rites of marriage solemnize.


© This edition and HTML version, Peter Farey, 2001-2
Based upon an e-text from:
The Complete Works of Christopher Marlowe. Fredson Bowers, ed.
Cambridge, England: The University Press, 1973
Welcome corrections to my original attempt supplied by Michael Blanc.

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