by Christopher Marlowe    



The Prologue

Tamburlaine, King of Persia
His sons:
Theridamas, King of Argier
Techelles, King of Fez
Usumcasane, King of Morocco
Orcanes, King of Natolia
King of Trebizon
King of Soria
King of Jerusalem
King of Amasia
Gazellus, Viceroy of Byron
Sigismund, King of Hungary
Lords of Hungary:
Callapine, son to Bajazeth and prisoner to Tamburlaine
Almeda, his keeper
The Captain of Balsera
His Son
Governor of Babylon
A Captain
A Messenger

Zenocrate, wife to Tamburlaine
Olympia, wife to the Captain of Balsera

Lords, Citizens, Physicians, Soldiers, Pioners, Turkish Concubines, Attendants


   The general welcomes Tamburlaine received,
   When he arrived last upon our stage,
   Hath made our poet pen his second part,
   Where death cuts off the progress of his pomp
   And murderous fates throw all his triumphs down.
   But what became of fair Zenocrate,
   And with how many cities' sacrifice
   He celebrated her sad funeral,
   Himself in presence shall unfold at large.



   Enter Orcanes, King of Natolia, Gazellus, Viceroy of Byron,
   Uribassa, and their train, with drums and trumpets.

ORCANES. Egregious viceroys of these eastern parts,
   Placed by the issue of great Bajazeth,
   And sacred lord, the mighty Callapine,
   Who lives in Egypt prisoner to that slave
   Which kept his father in an iron cage,
   Now have we marched from fair Natolia
   Two hundred leagues, and on Danubius' banks
   Our warlike host in complete armour rest,
   Where Sigismund, the king of Hungary,
   Should meet our person to conclude a truce.
   What! Shall we parle with the Christian,
   Or cross the stream and meet him in the field?
GAZELLUS. King of Natolia, let us treat of peace.
   We are all glutted with the Christians' blood,
   And have a greater foe to fight against,
   Proud Tamburlaine, that now in Asia,
   Near Guyron's head, doth set his conquering feet
   And means to fire Turkey as he goes.
   'Gainst him, my lord, must you address your power.
URIBASSA. Besides, King Sigismund hath brought from Christendom
   More than his camp of stout Hungarians -
   Slavonians, Almains, Rutters, Muffs, and Danes,
   That with the halberd, lance, and murdering axe,
   Will hazard that we might with surety hold.
ORCANES. Though from the shortest northern parallel,
   Vast Gruntland, compassed with the frozen sea,
   Inhabited with tall and sturdy men,
   Giants as big as hugy Polypheme,
   Millions of soldiers cut the arctic line,
   Bringing the strength of Europe to these arms,
   Our Turkey blades shall glide through all their throats,
   And make this champion mead a bloody fen.
   Danubius' stream, that runs to Trebizon,
   Shall carry, wrapped within his scarlet waves,
   As martial presents to our friends at home,
   The slaughtered bodies of these Christians.
   The Terrene main, wherein Danubius' falls,
   Shall by this battle be the Bloody Sea.
   The wandering sailors of proud Italy
   Shall meet those Christians, fleeting with the tide,
   Beating in heaps against their argosies,
   And make fair Europe, mounted on her bull,
   Trapped with the wealth and riches of the world,
   Alight and wear a woeful mourning weed.
GAZELLUS. Yet, stout Orcanes, prorex of the world,
   Since Tamburlaine hath mustered all his men,
   Marching from Cairo northward with his camp,
   To Alexandria and the frontier towns,
   Meaning to make a conquest of our land,
   'Tis requisite to parley for a peace
   With Sigismund, the king of Hungary,
   And save our forces for the hot assaults
   Proud Tamburlaine intends Natolia.
ORCANES. Viceroy of Byron, wisely hast thou said.
   My realm, the centre of our empery,
   Once lost, all Turkey would be overthrown;
   And for that cause the Christians shall have peace.
   Slavonians, Almains, Rutters, Muffs, and Danes,
   Fear not Orcanes, but great Tamburlaine,
   Nor he, but Fortune that hath made him great.
   We have revolted Grecians, Albanese,
   Sicilians, Jews, Arabians, Turks, and Moors,
   Natolians, Sorians, black Egyptians,
   Illyrians, Thracians, and Bithynians,
   Enough to swallow forceless Sigismund,
   Yet scarce enough t' encounter Tamburlaine.
   He brings a world of people to the field:
   From Scythia to the oriental plage
   Of India, where raging Lantchidol
   Beats on the regions with his boisterous blows,
   That never seaman yet discovered.
   All Asia is in arms with Tamburlaine.
   Even from the midst of fiery Cancer's tropic
   To Amazonia under Capricorn,
   And thence as far as Archipelago,
   All Afric is in arms with Tamburlaine;
   Therefore, viceroys, the Christians must have peace.

   Enter Sigismund, Frederick, Baldwin, and their
   train, with drums and trumpets.

SIGISMUND. Orcanes, (as our legates promised thee),
   We, with our peers, have crossed Danubius' stream
   To treat of friendly peace or deadly war.
   Take which thou wilt; for, as the Romans used,
   I here present thee with a naked sword.
   Wilt thou have war, then shake this blade at me;
   If peace, restore it to my hands again,
   And I will sheathe it to confirm the same.
ORCANES. Stay, Sigismund. Forgett'st thou I am he
   That with the cannon shook Vienna walls
   And made it dance upon the continent,
   As when the massy substance of the earth
   Quiver about the axletree of heaven?
   Forgett'st thou that I sent a shower of darts,
   Mingled with powdered shot and feathered steel,
   So thick upon the blink-eyed burghers' heads,
   That thou thyself, then County Palatine,
   The King of Boheme, and the Austric Duke,
   Sent heralds out, which basely on their knees,
   In all your names desired a truce of me?
   Forgett'st thou that to have me raise my siege,
   Wagons of gold were set before my tent,
   Stamped with the princely fowl that in her wings
   Carries the fearful thunderbolts of Jove?
   How canst thou think of this and offer war?
SIGISMUND. Vienna was besieged, and I was there,
   Then County Palatine but now a king,
   And what we did was in extremity.
   But now, Orcanes, view my royal host
   That hides these plains and seems as vast and wide
   As doth the desert of Arabia
   To those that stand on Baghdad's lofty tower,
   Or as the ocean to the traveller
   That rests upon the snowy Apennines,
   And tell me whether I should stoop so low,
   Or treat of peace with the Natolian king.
GAZELLUS. Kings of Natolia and of Hungary,
   We came from Turkey to confirm a league,
   And not to dare each other to the field.
   A friendly parley might become ye both.
FREDERICK. And we from Europe, to the same intent,
   Which if your general refuse or scorn,
   Our tents are pitched, our men stand in array,
   Ready to charge you ere you stir your feet.
ORCANES. So prest are we: but yet, if Sigismund
   Speak as a friend, and stand not upon terms,
   Here is his sword; let peace be ratified
   On these conditions specified before,
   Drawn with advice of our ambassadors.
SIGISMUND. Then here I sheathe it and give thee my hand,
   Never to draw it out or manage arms
   Against thyself or thy confederates,
   But whilst I live will be at truce with thee.
ORCANES. But, Sigismund, confirm it with an oath,
   And swear in sight of heaven and by thy Christ.
SIGISMUND. By him that made the world and saved my soul,
   The son of God and issue of a maid,
   Sweet Jesus Christ, I solemnly protest
   And vow to keep this peace inviolable.
ORCANES. By sacred Mahomet, the friend of God,
   Whose holy Alcoran remains with us,
   Whose glorious body, when he left the world,
   Closed in a coffin mounted up the air
   And hung on stately Mecca's temple roof,
   I swear to keep this truce inviolable.
   Of whose conditions and our solemn oaths,
   Signed with our hands, each shall retain a scroll
   As memorable witness of our league.
   Now, Sigismund, if any Christian king
   Encroach upon the confines of thy realm,
   Send word, Orcanes of Natolia
   Confirmed this league beyond Danubius' stream,
   And they will, trembling, sound a quick retreat;
   So am I feared among all nations.
SIGISMUND. If any heathen potentate or king
   Invade Natolia, Sigismund will send
   A hundred thousand horse trained to the war,
   And backed by stout lanciers of Germany,
   The strength and sinews of the imperial seat.
ORCANES. I thank thee, Sigismund; but, when I war,
   All Asia Minor, Africa, and Greece
   Follow my standard and my thundering drums.
   Come, let us go and banquet in our tents.
   I will dispatch chief of my army hence
   To fair Natolia and to Trebizon,
   To stay my coming 'gainst proud Tamburlaine.
   Friend Sigismund and peers of Hungary,
   Come, banquet and carouse with us a while,
   And then depart we to our territories.




   Enter Callapine with Almeda, his keeper.

CALLAPINE. Sweet Almeda, pity the ruthful plight
   Of Callapine, the son of Bajazeth,
   Born to be monarch of the western world,
   Yet here detained by cruel Tamburlaine.
ALMEDA. My lord, I pity it, and with my heart
   Wish your release; but he whose wrath is death,
   My sovereign lord, renowned Tamburlaine,
   Forbids you further liberty than this.
CALLAPINE. Ah, were I now but half so eloquent
   To paint in words what I'll perform in deeds,
   I know thou wouldst depart from hence with me.
ALMEDA. Not for all Afric; therefore move me not.
CALLAPINE. Yet hear me speak, my gentle Almeda.
ALMEDA. No speech to that end, by your favour, sir.
CALLAPINE. By Cairo runs...
ALMEDA. No talk of running, I tell you, sir.
CALLAPINE. A little further, gentle Almeda.
ALMEDA. Well, sir, what of this?
CALLAPINE. By Cairo runs to Alexandria bay
   Darotes' stream, wherein at anchor lies
   A Turkish galley of my royal fleet,
   Waiting my coming to the river side,
   Hoping by some means I shall be released;
   Which, when I come aboard, will hoist up sail
   And soon put forth into the Terrene Sea,
   Where, 'twixt the isles of Cyprus and of Crete,
   We quickly may in Turkish seas arrive.
   Then shalt thou see a hundred kings and more,
   Upon their knees, all bid me welcome home.
   Amongst so many crowns of burnished gold,
   Choose which thou wilt, all are at thy command.
   A thousand galleys, manned with Christian slaves,
   I freely give thee, which shall cut the Straits,
   And bring armadoes from the coasts of Spain,
   Fraughted with gold of rich America.
   The Grecian virgins shall attend on thee,
   Skilful in music and in amorous lays,
   As fair as was Pygmalion's ivory girl
   Or lovely Io metamorphosed.
   With naked negroes shall thy coach be drawn,
   And, as thou rid'st in triumph through the streets,
   The pavement underneath thy chariot wheels
   With Turkey carpets shall be covered,
   And cloth of arras hung about the walls,
   Fit objects for thy princely eye to pierce.
   A hundred bassoes, clothed in crimson silk,
   Shall ride before thee on Barbarian steeds;
   And, when thou goest, a golden canopy
   Enchased with precious stones, which shine as bright
   As that fair veil that covers all the world,
   When Phoebus, leaping from his hemisphere,
   Descendeth downward to th' Antipodes -
   And more than this, for all I cannot tell.
ALMEDA. How far hence lies the galley, say you?
CALLAPINE. Sweet Almeda, scarce half a league from hence.
ALMEDA. But need we not be spied going aboard?
CALLAPINE. Betwixt the hollow hanging of a hill
   And crooked bending of a craggy rock,
   The sails wrapped up, the mast and tacklings down,
   She lies so close that none can find her out.
ALMEDA. I like that well. But tell me, my lord, if I should let you go,
   would you be as good as your word? Shall I be made a
   king for my labour?
CALLAPINE. As I am Callapine the Emperor,
   And by the hand of Mahomet I swear,
   Thou shalt be crowned a king, and be my mate.
ALMEDA. Then here I swear, as I am Almeda,
   Your keeper under Tamburlaine the Great
   (For that's the style and title I have yet,)
   Although he sent a thousand armed men
   To intercept this haughty enterprise,
   Yet would I venture to conduct your grace
   And die before I brought you back again!
CALLAPINE. Thanks, gentle Almeda. Then let us haste,
   Lest time be past and lingering let us both.
ALMEDA. When you will, my lord, I am ready.
CALLAPINE. Even straight: and farewell, cursed Tamburlaine.
   Now go I to revenge my father's death.




   Enter Tamburlaine with Zenocrate, and his three sons,
   Calyphas, Amyras, and Celebinus, with drums and trumpets.

TAMBURLAINE. Now, bright Zenocrate, the world's fair eye,
   Whose beams illuminate the lamps of heaven,
   Whose cheerful looks do clear the cloudy air
   And clothe it in a crystal livery,
   Now rest thee here on fair Larissa plains,
   Where Egypt and the Turkish empire part,
   Between thy sons that shall be emperors,
   And every one commander of a world.
ZENOCRATE. Sweet Tamburlaine, when wilt thou leave these arms
   And save thy sacred person free from scathe
   And dangerous chances of the wrathful war?
TAMBURLAINE. When heaven shall cease to move on both the poles,
   And when the ground, whereon my soldiers march,
   Shall rise aloft and touch the horned moon,
   And not before, my sweet Zenocrate.
   Sit up, and rest thee like a lovely queen.
   So, now she sits in pomp and majesty,
   When these, my sons, more precious in mine eyes
   Than all the wealthy kingdoms I subdued,
   Placed by her side, look on their mother's face.
   But yet methinks their looks are amorous,
   Not martial as the sons of Tamburlaine.
   Water and air, being symbolized in one,
   Argue their want of courage and of wit;
   Their hair, as white as milk, and soft as down,
   (which should be like the quills of porcupines,
   As black as jet, and hard as iron or steel),
   Bewrays they are too dainty for the wars;
   Their fingers made to quaver on a lute,
   Their arms to hang about a lady's neck,
   Their legs to dance and caper in the air,
   Would make me think them bastards, not my sons,
   But that I know they issued from thy womb,
   That never looked on man but Tamburlaine.
ZENOCRATE. My gracious lord, they have their mother's looks,
   But when they list, their conquering father's heart.
   This lovely boy, the youngest of the three,
   Not long ago bestrid a Scythian steed,
   Trotting the ring, and tilting at a glove,
   Which when he tainted with his slender rod,
   He reined him straight, and made him so curvet
   As I cried out for fear he should have fall'n.
TAMBURLAINE. Well done, my boy! Thou shalt have shield and lance,
   Armour of proof, horse, helm, and curtle-axe,
   And I will teach thee how to charge thy foe
   And harmless run among the deadly pikes.
   If thou wilt love the wars and follow me,
   Thou shalt be made a king and reign with me,
   Keeping in iron cages emperors.
   If thou exceed thy elder brothers' worth,
   And shine in complete virtue more than they,
   Thou shalt be king before them, and thy seed
   Shall issue crowned from their mother's womb.
CELEBINUS. Yes, father; you shall see me, if I live,
   Have under me as many kings as you,
   And march with such a multitude of men
   As all the world shall tremble at their view.
TAMBURLAINE. These words assure me, boy, thou art my son.
   When I am old and cannot manage arms,
   Be thou the scourge and terror of the world.
AMYRAS. Why may not I, my lord, as well as he,
   Be termed the scourge and terror to the world?
TAMBURLAINE. Be all a scourge and terror to the world,
   Or else you are not sons of Tamburlaine.
CALYPHAS. But while my brothers follow arms, my lord,
   Let me accompany my gracious mother.
   They are enough to conquer all the world,
   And you have won enough for me to keep.
TAMBURLAINE. Bastardly boy, sprung from some coward's loins,
   And not the issue of great Tamburlaine!
   Thou shalt not have a foot, unless thou bear
   A mind courageous and invincible;
   For he shall wear the crown of Persia
   Whose head hath deepest scars, whose breast most wounds.
   Which being wroth sends lightning from his eyes,
   And in the furrows of his frowning brows
   Harbours revenge, war, death, and cruelty;
   For in a field, whose superficies
   Is covered with a liquid purple veil
   And sprinkled with the brains of slaughtered men,
   My royal chair of state shall be advanced;
   And he that means to place himself therein,
   Must armed wade up to the chin in blood.
ZENOCRATE. My lord, such speeches to our princely sons
   Dismay their minds before they come to prove
   The wounding troubles angry war affords.
CELEBINUS. No, madam, these are speeches fit for us,
   For if his chair were in a sea of blood,
   I would prepare a ship and sail to it,
   Ere I would lose the title of a king.
AMYRAS. And I would strive to swim through pools of blood
   Or make a bridge of murdered carcasses,
   Whose arches should be framed with bones of Turks,
   Ere I would lose the title of a king.
TAMBURLAINE. Well, lovely boys, you shall be emperors both,
   Stretching your conquering arms from east to west.
   And, sirrah, if you mean to wear a crown,
   When we shall meet the Turkish deputy
   And all his viceroys, snatch it from his head,
   And cleave his pericranion with thy sword.
CALYPHAS. If any man will hold him, I will strike
   And cleave him to the channel with my sword.
TAMBURLAINE. Hold him, and cleave him too, or I'll cleave thee;
   For we will march against them presently.
   Theridamas, Techelles, and Casane
   Promised to meet me on Larissa plains
   With hosts apiece against this Turkish crew;
   For I have sworn by sacred Mahomet
   To make it parcel of my empery.
   The trumpets sound, Zenocrate; they come.

   Enter Theridamas, and his train.

TAMBURLAINE. Welcome Theridamas, King of Argier.
THERIDAMAS. My lord, the great and mighty Tamburlaine,
   Archmonarch of the world, I offer here
   My crown, myself, and all the power I have,
   In all affection at thy kingly feet.
TAMBURLAINE. Thanks, good Theridamas.
THERIDAMAS. Under my colours march ten thousand Greeks,
   And of Argier and Afric's frontier towns
   Twice twenty thousand valiant men-at-arms,
   All which have sworn to sack Natolia.
   Five hundred brigandines are under sail,
   Meet for your service on the sea, my lord,
   That, launching from Argier to Tripoli,
   Will quickly ride before Natolia,
   And batter down the castles on the shore.
TAMBURLAINE. Well said, Argier; receive thy crown again.

   Enter Techelles and Usumcasane together.

TAMBURLAINE. Kings of Morocco and of Fez, welcome.
USUMCASANE. Magnificent and peerless Tamburlaine,
   I and my neighbour king of Fez have brought,
   To aid thee in this Turkish expedition,
   A hundred thousand expert soldiers;
   From Azamor to Tunis near the sea
   Is Barbary unpeopled for thy sake,
   And all the men in armour under me,
   Which with my crown I gladly offer thee.
TAMBURLAINE. Thanks, king of Morocco; take your crown again.
TECHELLES. And, mighty Tamburlaine, our earthly God,
   Whose looks make this inferior world to quake,
   I here present thee with the crown of Fez,
   And with an host of Moors trained to the war,
   Whose coal-black faces make their foes retire
   And quake for fear, as if infernal Jove,
   Meaning to aid thee in these Turkish arms,
   Should pierce the black circumference of hell,
   With ugly Furies bearing fiery flags,
   And millions of his strong tormenting spirits;
   From strong Tesella unto Biledull
   All Barbary is unpeopled for thy sake.
TAMBURLAINE. Thanks, king of Fez; take here thy crown again.
   Your presence, loving friends and fellow kings,
   Makes me to surfeit in conceiving joy.
    If all the crystal gates of Jove's high court
   Were opened wide, and I might enter in
   To see the state and majesty of heaven,
   It could not more delight me than your sight.
   Now will we banquet on these plains a while,
   And after march to Turkey with our camp,
   In number more than are the drops that fall
   When Boreas rents a thousand swelling clouds.
   And proud Orcanes of Natolia
   With all his viceroys shall be so afraid,
   That though the stones, as at Deucalion's flood,
   Were turned to men, he should be overcome.
   Such lavish will I make of Turkish blood,
   That Jove shall send his winged messenger
   To bid me sheathe my sword and leave the field;
   The sun, unable to sustain the sight,
   Shall hide his head in Thetis' watery lap,
   And leave his steeds to fair Bootes' charge;
   For half the world shall perish in this fight.
   But now, my friends, let me examine ye;
   How have ye spent your absent time from me?
USUMCASANE. My lord, our men of Barbary have marched
   Four hundred miles with armour on their backs,
   And lain in leaguer fifteen months and more;
   For, since we left you at the Soldan's court,
   We have subdued the southern Guallatia
   And all the land unto the coast of Spain.
   We kept the narrow Strait of Gibraltar,
   And made Canaria call us kings and lords:
   Yet never did they recreate themselves,
   Or cease one day from war and hot alarms;
   And therefore let them rest a while, my lord.
TAMBURLAINE. They shall, Casane, and 'tis time, i' faith.
TECHELLES. And I have marched along the river Nile
   To Machda, where the mighty Christian priest,
   Called John the Great, sits in a milk-white robe,
   Whose triple mitre I did take by force,
   And made him swear obedience to my crown.
   From thence unto Cazates did I march,
   Where Amazonians met me in the field,
   With whom (being women), I vouchsafed a league,
   And with my power did march to Zanzibar,
   The western part of Afric, where I viewed
   The Ethiopian sea, rivers and lakes,
   But neither man nor child in all the land.
   Therefore I took my course to Manico,
   Where, unresisted, I removed my camp;
   And, by the coast of Byather, at last
   I came to Cubar, where the negroes dwell,
   And, conquering that, made haste to Nubia.
   There, having sacked Borno, the kingly seat,
   I took the king and led him bound in chains
   Unto Damascus, where I stayed before.
TAMBURLAINE. Well done, Techelles. What saith Theridamas?
THERIDAMAS. I left the confines and the bounds of Afric,
   And made a voyage into Europe,
   Where, by the river Tyros, I subdued
   Stoka, Padalia, and Codemia;
   Then crossed the sea and came to Oblia
   And Nigra Silva, where the devils dance,
   Which, in despite of them, I set on fire.
   From thence I crossed the gulf called by the name
   Mare Magiore of th' inhabitants.
   Yet shall my soldiers make no period
   Until Natolia kneel before your feet.
TAMBURLAINE. Then will we triumph, banquet, and carouse.
   Cooks shall have pensions to provide us cates
   And glut us with the dainties of the world;
   Lachryma Christi and Calabrian wines
   Shall common soldiers drink in quaffing bowls,
   Ay, liquid gold, when we have conquered him,
   Mingled with coral and with orient pearl.
   Come, let us banquet and carouse the whiles.




   Enter Sigismund, Frederick, and Baldwin, with their train.

SIGISMUND. Now say, my lords of Buda and Bohemia,
   What motion is it that inflames your thoughts,
   And stirs your valours to such sudden arms?
FREDERICK. Your majesty remembers, I am sure,
   What cruel slaughter of our Christian bloods
   These heathenish Turks and pagans lately made
   Betwixt the city Zula and Danubius;
   How through the midst of Varna and Bulgaria,
   And almost to the very walls of Rome,
   They have, not long since, massacred our camp.
   It resteth now, then, that your majesty
   Take all advantages of time and power,
   And work revenge upon these infidels.
   Your highness knows, for Tamburlaine's repair,
   That strikes a terror to all Turkish hearts,
   Natolia hath dismissed the greatest part
   Of all his army pitched against our power
   Betwixt Cutheia and Orminius' mount,
   And sent them marching up to Belgasar,
   Acantha, Antioch, and Caesarea,
   To aid the kings of Soria and Jerusalem.
   Now, then, my lord, advantage take hereof
   And issue suddenly upon the rest,
   That in the fortune of their overthrow
   We may discourage all the pagan troop
   That dare attempt to war with Christians.
SIGISMUND. But calls not then your grace to memory
   The league we lately made with king Orcanes,
   Confirmed by oath and articles of peace,
   And calling Christ for record of our truths?
   This should be treachery and violence
   Against the grace of our profession.
BALDWIN. No whit, my lord; for with such infidels,
   In whom no faith nor true religion rests,
   We are not bound to those accomplishments
   The holy laws of Christendom enjoin;
   But as the faith which they profanely plight
   Is not by necessary policy
   To be esteemed assurance for ourselves,
   So what we vow to them should not infringe
   Our liberty of arms and victory.
SIGISMUND. Though I confess the oaths they undertake
   Breed little strength to our security,
   Yet those infirmities that thus defame
   Their faiths, their honours, and religion
   Should not give us presumption to the like.
   Our faiths are sound, and must be consummate,
   Religious, righteous, and inviolate.
FREDERICK. Assure your grace, 'tis superstition
   To stand so strictly on dispensive faith;
   And should we lose the opportunity
   That God hath given to venge our Christians' death
   And scourge their foul blasphemous paganism,
   As fell to Saul, to Balaam, and the rest,
   That would not kill and curse at God's command,
   So surely will the vengeance of the highest,
   And jealous anger of his fearful arm,
   Be poured with rigour on our sinful heads
   If we neglect this offered victory.
SIGISMUND. Then arm, my lords, and issue suddenly,
   Giving commandment to our general host,
   With expedition to assail the pagan,
   And take the victory our God hath given.




   Enter Orcanes, Gazellus, Uribassa, with their train.

ORCANES. Gazellus, Uribassa, and the rest,
   Now will we march from proud Orminius' mount
   To fair Natolia, where our neighbour kings
   Expect our power and our royal presence,
   T' encounter with the cruel Tamburlaine,
   That nigh Larissa sways a mighty host,
   And with the thunder of his martial tools
   Makes earthquakes in the hearts of men and heaven.
GAZELLUS. And now come we to make his sinews shake
   With greater power than erst his pride hath felt,
   An hundred kings, by scores, will bid him arms,
   And hundred thousands subjects to each score;
   Which, if a shower of wounding thunderbolts
   Should break out of the bowels of the clouds
   And fall as thick as hail upon our heads,
   In partial aid of that proud Scythian,
   Yet should our courages and steeled crests,
   And numbers more than infinite of men,
   Be able to withstand and conquer him.
URIBASSA. Methinks I see how glad the Christian king
   Is made for joy of your admitted truce,
   That could not but before be terrified
   With unacquainted power of our host.

   Enter a messenger.

MESSENGER. Arm, dread sovereign, and my noble lords!
   The treacherous army of the Christians,
   Taking advantage of your slender power,
   Comes marching on us, and determines straight
   To bid us battle for our dearest lives.
ORCANES. Traitors, villains, damned Christians!
   Have I not here the articles of peace
   And solemn covenants we have both confirmed,
   He by his Christ, and I by Mahomet?
GAZELLUS. Hell and confusion light upon their heads,
   That with such treason seek our overthrow,
   And care so little for their prophet Christ!
ORCANES. Can there be such deceit in Christians,
   Or treason in the fleshly heart of man,
   Whose shape is figure of the highest God?
   Then if there be a Christ, as Christians say,
   But in their deeds deny him for their Christ,
   If he be son to everliving Jove,
   And hath the power of his outstretched arm,
   If he be jealous of his name and honour
   As is our holy prophet Mahomet,
   Take here these papers as our sacrifice
   And witness of thy servant's perjury.
   Open, thou shining veil of Cynthia,
   And make a passage from the empyreal heaven,
   That he that sits on high and never sleeps,
   Nor in one place is circumscriptible,
   But everywhere fills every continent
   With strange infusion of his sacred vigour,
   May, in his endless power and purity,
   Behold and venge this traitor's perjury!
   Thou Christ that art esteemed omnipotent,
   If thou wilt prove thyself a perfect God,
   Worthy the worship of all faithful hearts,
   Be now revenged upon this traitor's soul,
   And make the power I have left behind
   (too little to defend our guiltless lives)
   Sufficient to discomfort and confound
   The trustless force of those false Christians.
   To arms, my lords! On Christ still let us cry.
   If there be Christ, we shall have victory.




   Sound to the battle, and Sigismund comes out wounded.

SIGISMUND. Discomfited is all the Christian host,
   And God hath thundered vengeance from on high,
   For my accursed and hateful perjury.
   O just and dreadful punisher of sin,
   Let the dishonour of the pains I feel
   In this my mortal well deserved wound
   End all my penance in my sudden death!
   And let this death, wherein to sin I die,
   Conceive a second life in endless mercy!

   Enter Orcanes, Gazellus, Uribassa, with others.

ORCANES. Now lie the Christians bathing in their bloods,
   And Christ or Mahomet hath been my friend.
GAZELLUS. See here the perjured traitor Hungary,
   Bloody and breathless for his villainy.
ORCANES. Now shall his barbarous body be a prey
   To beasts and fowls, and all the winds shall breathe
   Through shady leaves of every senseless tree,
   Murmurs and hisses for his heinous sin.
   Now scalds his soul in the Tartarian streams
   And feeds upon the baneful tree of hell,
   That Zoacum, that fruit of bitterness,
   That in the midst of fire is ingraft,
   Yet flourisheth as Flora in her pride,
   With apples like the heads of damned fiends.
   The devils there, in chains of quenchless flame,
   Shall lead his soul through Orcus' burning gulf,
   From pain to pain, whose change shall never end.
   What say'st thou yet, Gazellus, to his foil,
   Which we referred to justice of his Christ
   And to his power, which here appears as full
   As rays of Cynthia to the clearest sight?
GAZELLUS. 'tis but the fortune of the wars, my lord,
   Whose power is often proved a miracle.
ORCANES. Yet in my thoughts shall Christ be honoured,
   Not doing Mahomet an injury,
   Whose power had share in this our victory;
   And since this miscreant hath disgraced his faith
   And died a traitor both to heaven and earth,
   We will both watch and ward shall keep his trunk
   Amidst these plains for fowls to prey upon.
   Go, Uribassa, give it straight in charge.
URIBASSA. I will, my lord.

   Exit Uribassa.

ORCANES. And now, Gazellus, let us haste and meet
   Our army, and our brother of Jerusalem,
   Of Soria, Trebizon, and Amasia,
   And happily, with full Natolian bowls
   Of Greekish wine, now let us celebrate
   Our happy conquest and his angry fate.




   The arras is drawn, and Zenocrate lies in her bed
   of state; Tamburlaine sitting by her; three
   Physicians about her bed, tempering potions.
   Theridamas, Techelles, Usumcasane, and the three sons.

TAMBURLAINE. Black is the beauty of the brightest day;
   The golden ball of heaven's eternal fire,
   That danced with glory on the silver waves,
   Now wants the fuel that inflamed his beams,
   And all with faintness and for foul disgrace,
   He binds his temples with a frowning cloud,
   Ready to darken earth with endless night.
   Zenocrate, that gave him light and life,
   Whose eyes shot fire from their ivory bowers,
   And tempered every soul with lively heat,
   Now by the malice of the angry skies,
   Whose jealousy admits no second mate,
   Draws in the comfort of her latest breath,
   All dazzled with the hellish mists of death.
   Now walk the angels on the walls of heaven,
   As sentinels to warn th' immortal souls
   To entertain divine Zenocrate.
   Apollo, Cynthia, and the ceaseless lamps
   That gently looked upon this loathsome earth,
   Shine downwards now no more, but deck the heavens
   To entertain divine Zenocrate.
   The crystal springs, whose taste illuminates
   Refined eyes with an eternal sight,
   Like tried silver run through Paradise
   To entertain divine Zenocrate.
   The cherubins and holy seraphins,
   That sing and play before the King of Kings,
   Use all their voices and their instruments
   To entertain divine Zenocrate.
   And in this sweet and curious harmony,
   The God that tunes this music to our souls
   Holds out his hand in highest majesty
   To entertain divine Zenocrate.
   Then let some holy trance convey my thoughts
   Up to the palace of th' empyreal heaven,
   That this my life may be as short to me
   As are the days of sweet Zenocrate.
   Physicians, will no physic do her good?
PHYSICIAN. My lord, your majesty shall soon perceive,
   And if she pass this fit, the worst is past.
TAMBURLAINE. Tell me, how fares my fair Zenocrate?
ZENOCRATE. I fare, my lord, as other empresses,
   That, when this frail and transitory flesh
   Hath sucked the measure of that vital air
   That feeds the body with his dated health,
   Wane with enforced and necessary change.
TAMBURLAINE. May never such a change transform my love,
   In whose sweet being I repose my life,
   Whose heavenly presence, beautified with health,
   Gives light to Phoebus and the fixed stars;
   Whose absence makes the sun and moon as dark
   As when, opposed in one diameter,
   Their spheres are mounted on the serpent's head,
   Or else descended to his winding train.
   Live still, my love, and so conserve my life,
   Or, dying, be the author of my death.
ZENOCRATE. Live still, my lord! O, let my sovereign live!
   And sooner let the fiery element
   Dissolve and make your kingdom in the sky,
   Than this base earth should shroud your majesty;
   For, should I but suspect your death by mine,
   The comfort of my future happiness
   And hope to meet your highness in the heavens,
   Turned to despair, would break my wretched breast,
   And fury would confound my present rest.
   But let me die, my love; yes, let me die;
   With love and patience let your true love die.
   Your grief and fury hurts my second life.
   Yet let me kiss my lord before I die,
   And let me die with kissing of my lord.
   But since my life is lengthened yet a while,
   Let me take leave of these my loving sons,
   And of my lords, whose true nobility
   Have merited my latest memory.
   Sweet sons, farewell! In death resemble me,
   And in your lives your father's excellency.
   Some music, and my fit will cease, my lord.

   They call music.

TAMBURLAINE. Proud fury and intolerable fit,
   That dares torment the body of my love
   And scourge the scourge of the immortal God!
   Now are those spheres, where Cupid used to sit,
   Wounding the world with wonder and with love,
   Sadly supplied with pale and ghastly death,
   Whose darts do pierce the centre of my soul.
   Her sacred beauty hath enchanted heaven,
   And had she lived before the siege of Troy,
   Helen, whose beauty summoned Greece to arms
   And drew a thousand ships to Tenedos,
   Had not been named in Homer's Iliads;
   Her name had been in every line he wrote.
   Or, had those wanton poets, for whose birth
   Old Rome was proud, but gazed a while on her,
   Nor Lesbia nor Corinna had been named;
   Zenocrate had been the argument
   Of every epigram or elegy.

   The music sounds, and she dies.

   What, is she dead? Techelles, draw thy sword
   And wound the earth, that it may cleave in twain
   And we descend into th' infernal vaults,
   To hale the Fatal Sisters by the hair
   And throw them in the triple moat of hell,
   For taking hence my fair Zenocrate.
   Casane and Theridamas, to arms!
   Raise cavalieros higher than the clouds,
   And with the cannon break the frame of heaven.
   Batter the shining palace of the sun,
   And shiver all the starry firmament,
   For amorous Jove hath snatched my love from hence,
   Meaning to make her stately queen of heaven.
   What god soever holds thee in his arms,
   Giving thee nectar and ambrosia,
   Behold me here, divine Zenocrate,
   Raving, impatient, desperate, and mad,
   Breaking my steeled lance, with which I burst
   The rusty beams of Janus' temple doors,
   Letting out death and tyrannizing war,
   To march with me under this bloody flag!
   And, if thou pitiest Tamburlaine the Great,
   Come down from heaven, and live with me again!
THERIDAMAS. Ah, good my lord, be patient! She is dead,
   And all this raging cannot make her live.
   If words might serve, our voice hath rent the air;
   If tears, our eyes have watered all the earth;
   If grief, our murdered hearts have strained forth blood.
   Nothing prevails, for she is dead, my lord.
TAMBURLAINE. For she is dead! Thy words do pierce my soul!
   Ah, sweet Theridamas, say so no more.
   Though she be dead, yet let me think she lives
   And feed my mind that dies for want of her.
   Where'er her soul be, thou shalt stay with me,
   Embalmed with cassia, ambergris, and myrrh,
   Not lapped in lead, but in a sheet of gold,
   And till I die thou shalt not be interred.
   Then in as rich a tomb as Mausolus'
   We both will rest and have one epitaph
   Writ in as many several languages
   As I have conquered kingdoms with my sword.
   This cursed town will I consume with fire,
   Because this place bereft me of my love;
   The houses, burnt, will look as if they mourned;
   And here will I set up her statue
   And march about it with my mourning camp,
   Drooping and pining for Zenocrate.

   The arras is drawn.



   Enter the kings of Trebizon and Soria, one bringing
   a sword and another a sceptre; next Natolia and
   Jerusalem with the imperial crown. After,
   Callapine, and after him, Almeda and other lords. Orcanes
   and Jerusalem crown him and the others give him
   the sceptre.

ORCANES. Callapinus Cyricelibes, otherwise Cybelius, son and successive heir to the
   late mighty emperor Bajazeth, by the aid of God and his friend Mahomet,
   emperor of Natolia, Jerusalem, Trebizon, Soria, Amasia, Thracia, Illyria,
   Carmonia, and all the hundred and thirty kingdoms late contributory to his
   mighty father. Long live Callapinus, emperor of Turkey!
CALLAPINE. Thrice worthy kings, of Natolia and the rest,
   I will requite your royal gratitudes
   With all the benefits my empire yields;
   And were the sinews of th' imperial seat
   So knit and strengthened as when Bajazeth,
   My royal lord and father, filled the throne,
   Whose cursed fate hath so dismembered it,
   Then should you see this thief of Scythia,
   This proud usurping king of Persia,
   Do us such honour and supremacy,
   Bearing the vengeance of our father's wrongs,
   As all the world should blot our dignities
   Out of the book of baseborn infamies.
   And now I doubt not but your royal cares
   Hath so provided for this cursed foe,
   That, since the heir of mighty Bajazeth
   (An emperor so honoured for his virtues)
   Revives the spirits of true Turkish hearts,
   In grievous memory of his father's shame,
   We shall not need to nourish any doubt,
   But that proud Fortune, who hath followed long
   The martial sword of mighty Tamburlaine,
   Will now retain her old inconstancy
   And raise our honours to as high a pitch,
   In this our strong and fortunate encounter;
   For so hath heaven provided my escape
   From all the cruelty my soul sustained,
   By this my friendly keeper's happy means,
   That Jove, surcharged with pity of our wrongs,
   Will pour it down in showers on our heads,
   Scourging the pride of cursed Tamburlaine.
ORCANES. I have a hundred thousand men in arms,
   Some, that in conquest of the perjured Christian,
   Being a handful to a mighty host,
   Think them in number yet sufficient
   To drink the river Nile or Euphrates,
   And for their power enow to win the world.
JERUSALEM. And I as many from Jerusalem,
   Judaea, Gaza, and Scalonians' bounds,
   That on Mount Sinai, with their ensigns spread,
   Look like the parti-coloured clouds of heaven
   That show fair weather to the neighbour morn.
TREBIZON. And I as many bring from Trebizon,
   Chio, Famastro, and Amasia,
   All bordering on the Mare Major sea,
   Riso, Sancina, and the bordering towns
   That touch the end of famous Euphrates,
   Whose courages are kindled with the flames
   The cursed Scythian sets on all their towns,
   And vow to burn the villain's cruel heart.
SORIA. From Soria with seventy thousand strong,
   Ta'en from Aleppo, Soldino, Tripoli,
   And so unto my city of Damascus,
   I march to meet and aid my neighbour kings,
   All which will join against this Tamburlaine
   And bring him captive to your highness' feet.
ORCANES. Our battle then, in martial manner pitched,
   According to our ancient use, shall bear
   The figure of the semicircled moon,
   Whose horns shall sprinkle through the tainted air
   The poisoned brains of this proud Scythian.
CALLAPINE. Well, then, my noble lords, for this my friend
   That freed me from the bondage of my foe,
   I think it requisite and honourable
   To keep my promise and to make him king,
   That is a gentleman, I know, at least.
ALMEDA. That's no matter, sir, for being a king; for
   Tamburlaine came up of nothing.
JERUSALEM. Your majesty may choose some 'pointed time,
   Performing all your promise to the full.
   'Tis nought for your majesty to give a kingdom.
CALLAPINE. Then will I shortly keep my promise, Almeda.
ALMEDA. Why, I thank your majesty.




   Enter Tamburlaine with Usumcasane, and his three sons,
   four bearing the hearse of Zenocrate, and the
   drums sounding a doleful march, the town burning.

TAMBURLAINE. So burn the turrets of this cursed town,
   Flame to the highest region of the air,
   And kindle heaps of exhalations
   That, being fiery meteors, may presage
   Death and destruction to th' inhabitants!
   Over my zenith hang a blazing star,
   That may endure till heaven be dissolved,
   Fed with the fresh supply of earthly dregs,
   Threatening a death and famine to this land!
   Flying dragons, lightning, fearful thunderclaps,
   Singe these fair plains, and make them seem as black
   As is the island where the Furies mask,
   Compassed with Lethe, Styx, and Phlegethon,
   Because my dear Zenocrate is dead.
CALYPHAS. This pillar, placed in memory of her,
   Where in Arabian, Hebrew, Greek, is writ,
   This town being burnt by Tamburlaine the Great,
   Forbids the world to build it up again.
AMYRAS. And here this mournful streamer shall be placed,
   Wrought with the Persian and Egyptian arms,
   To signify she was a princess born
   And wife unto the monarch of the East.
CELEBINUS. And here this table as a register
   Of all her virtues and perfections.
TAMBURLAINE. And here the picture of Zenocrate,
   To show her beauty which the world admired;
   Sweet picture of divine Zenocrate,
   That, hanging here, will draw the gods from heaven
   And cause the stars fixed in the southern arc,
   (Whose lovely faces never any viewed
   That have not passed the centre's latitude,)
   As pilgrims travel to our hemisphere,
   Only to gaze upon Zenocrate.
   Thou shalt not beautify Larissa plains,
   But keep within the circle of mine arms;
   At every town and castle I besiege,
   Thou shalt be set upon my royal tent;
   And when I meet an army in the field,
   Those looks will shed such influence in my camp,
   As if Bellona, goddess of the war,
   Threw naked swords and sulphur balls of fire
   Upon the heads of all our enemies.
   And now, my lords, advance your spears again.
   Sorrow no more, my sweet Casane, now.
   Boys, leave to mourn; this town shall ever mourn,
   Being burnt to cinders for your mother's death.
CALYPHAS. If I had wept a sea of tears for her,
   It would not ease the sorrows I sustain.
AMYRAS. As is that town, so is my heart consumed
   With grief and sorrow for my mother's death.
CELEBINUS. My mother's death hath mortified my mind,
   And sorrow stops the passage of my speech.
TAMBURLAINE. But now, my boys, leave off and list to me,
   That mean to teach you rudiments of war.
   I'll have you learn to sleep upon the ground,
   March in your armour thorough watery fens,
   Sustain the scorching heat and freezing cold,
   Hunger and thirst, right adjuncts of the war.
   And after this, to scale a castle wall,
   Besiege a fort, to undermine a town,
   And make whole cities caper in the air.
   Then next, the way to fortify your men,
   In champion grounds what figure serves you best,
   For which the quinque-angle form is meet,
   Because the corners there may fall more flat
   Whereas the fort may fittest be assailed,
   And sharpest where th' assault is desperate.
   The ditches must be deep, the counterscarps
   Narrow and steep, the walls made high and broad,
   The bulwarks and the rampires large and strong,
   With cavalieros and thick counterforts,
   And room within to lodge six thousand men.
   It must have privy ditches, countermines,
   And secret issuings to defend the ditch.
   It must have high argins and covered ways
   To keep the bulwark fronts from battery,
   And parapets to hide the musketeers,
   Casemates to place the great artillery,
   And store of ordnance, that from every flank
   May scour the outward curtains of the fort,
   Dismount the cannon of the adverse part,
   Murder the foe, and save the walls from breach.
   When this is learned for service on the land,
   By plain and easy demonstration
   I'll teach you how to make the water mount,
   That you may dryfoot march through lakes and pools,
   Deep rivers, havens, creeks, and little seas,
   And make a fortress in the raging waves,
   Fenced with the concave of a monstrous rock,
   Invincible by nature of the place.
   When this is done, then are ye soldiers,
   And worthy sons of Tamburlaine the Great.
CALYPHAS. My lord, but this is dangerous to be done;
   We may be slain or wounded ere we learn.
TAMBURLAINE. Villain, art thou the son of Tamburlaine,
   And fear'st to die, or with a curtle-axe
   To hew thy flesh, and make a gaping wound?
   Hast thou beheld a peal of ordnance strike
   A ring of pikes, mingled with shot and horse,
   Whose shattered limbs, being tossed as high as heaven,
   Hang in the air as thick as sunny motes,
   And canst thou, coward, stand in fear of death?
   Hast thou not seen my horsemen charge the foe,
   Shot through the arms, cut overthwart the hands,
   Dyeing their lances with their streaming blood,
   And yet at night carouse within my tent,
   Filling their empty veins with airy wine,
   That, being concocted, turns to crimson blood,
   And wilt thou shun the field for fear of wounds?
   View me, thy father, that hath conquered kings,
   And with his host marched round about the earth,
   Quite void of scars and clear from any wound,
   That by the wars lost not a dram of blood,
   And see him lance his flesh to teach you all.

   He cuts his arm.

   A wound is nothing, be it ne'er so deep;
   Blood is the god of war's rich livery.
   Now look I like a soldier, and this wound
   As great a grace and majesty to me,
   As if a chair of gold enamelled,
   Enchased with diamonds, sapphires, rubies,
   And fairest pearl of wealthy India,
   Were mounted here under a canopy,
   And I sat down, clothed with the massy robe
   That late adorned the Afric potentate,
   Whom I brought bound unto Damascus' walls.
   Come, boys, and with your fingers search my wound,
   And in my blood wash all your hands at once,
   While I sit smiling to behold the sight.
   Now, my boys, what think you of a wound?
CALYPHAS. I know not what I should think of it. Methinks 'tis a pitiful sight.
CELEBINUS. 'tis nothing. Give me a wound, father.
AMYRAS. And me another, my lord.
TAMBURLAINE. Come, sirrah, give me your arm.
CELEBINUS. Here, father, cut it bravely, as you did your own.
TAMBURLAINE. It shall suffice thou dar'st abide a wound.
   My boy, thou shalt not lose a drop of blood
   Before we meet the army of the Turk;
   But then run desperate through the thickest throngs,
   Dreadless of blows, of bloody wounds, and death;
   And let the burning of Larissa walls,
   My speech of war, and this my wound you see,
   Teach you, my boys, to bear courageous minds,
   Fit for the followers of great Tamburlaine.
   Usumcasane, now come let us march
   Towards Techelles and Theridamas,
   That we have sent before to fire the towns,
   The towers and cities of these hateful Turks,
   And hunt that coward faintheart runaway,
   With that accursed traitor, Almeda,
   Till fire and sword have found them at a bay.
USUMCASANE. I long to pierce his bowels with my sword,
   That hath betrayed my gracious sovereign,
   That cursed and damned traitor, Almeda.
TAMBURLAINE. Then let us see if coward Callapine
   Dare levy arms against our puissance,
   That we may tread upon his captive neck,
   And treble all his father's slaveries.




   Enter Techelles, Theridamas, and their train.

THERIDAMAS. Thus have we marched northward from Tamburlaine,
   Unto the frontier point of Soria,
   And this is Balsera, their chiefest hold,
   Wherein is all the treasure of the land.
TECHELLES. Then let us bring our light artillery,
   Minions, falc'nets, and sakers, to the trench,
   Filling the ditches with the walls' wide breach,
   And enter in to seize upon the gold.
   How say ye, soldiers, shall we not?
SOLDIERS. Yes, my lord, yes; come, let's about it.
THERIDAMAS. But stay a while; summon a parle, drum.
   It may be they will yield it quietly,
   Knowing two kings, the friends to Tamburlaine,
   Stand at the walls with such a mighty power.

   Summon the battle. Enter (above) Captain with his    Wife and Son.

CAPTAIN. What require you, my masters?
THERIDAMAS. Captain, that thou yield up thy hold to us.
CAPTAIN. To you! Why, do you think me weary of it?
TECHELLES. Nay, Captain, thou art weary of thy life
   If thou withstand the friends of Tamburlaine.
THERIDAMAS. These pioners of Argier in Africa
   Even in the cannon's face shall raise a hill
   Of earth and faggots higher than thy fort,
   And over thy argins and covered ways
   Shall play upon the bulwarks of thy hold
   Volleys of ordnance, till the breach be made
   That with his ruin fills up all the trench;
   And, when we enter in, not heaven itself
   Shall ransom thee, thy wife, and family.
TECHELLES. Captain, these Moors shall cut the leaden pipes
   That bring fresh water to thy men and thee,
   And lie in trench before thy castle walls,
   That no supply of victual shall come in,
   Nor (any) issue forth but they shall die;
   And, therefore, Captain, yield it quietly.
CAPTAIN. Were you, that are the friends of Tamburlaine,
   Brothers to holy Mahomet himself,
   I would not yield it; therefore do your worst.
   Raise mounts, batter, intrench, and undermine,
   Cut off the water, all convoys that can,
   Yet I am resolute: and so, farewell.
THERIDAMAS. Pioners, away! And where I stuck the stake,
   Intrench with those dimensions I prescribed;
   Cast up the earth towards the castle wall,
   Which, till it may defend you, labour low,
   And few or none shall perish by their shot.
PIONERS. We will, my lord.

   Exeunt Pioners.

TECHELLES. A hundred horse shall scout about the plains
   To spy what force comes to relieve the hold.
   Both we, Theridamas, will intrench our men,
   And with the Jacob's staff measure the height
   And distance of the castle from the trench,
   That we may know if our artillery
   Will carry full point-blank unto their walls.
THERIDAMAS. Then see the bringing of our ordnance
   Along the trench into the battery,
   Where we will have gabions of six foot broad,
   To save our cannoneers from musket shot;
   Betwixt which shall our ordnance thunder forth,
   And with the breach's fall, smoke, fire, and dust,
   The crack, the echo, and the soldier's cry,
   Make deaf the air and dim the crystal sky.
TECHELLES. Trumpets and drums, alarum presently!
   And, soldiers, play the men; the hold is yours!




   Enter the Captain of Balsera, with his wife Olympia, and his son.

OLYMPIA. Come, good my lord, and let us haste from hence
   Along the cave that leads beyond the foe.
   No hope is left to save this conquered hold.
CAPTAIN. A deadly bullet gliding through my side
   Lies heavy on my heart; I cannot live.
   I feel my liver pierced, and all my veins,
   That there begin and nourish every part,
   Mangled and torn, and all my entrails bathed
   In blood that straineth from their orifex.
   Farewell, sweet wife! Sweet son, farewell! I die.
OLYMPIA. Death, whither art thou gone, that both we live?
   Come back again, sweet Death, and strike us both.
   One minute end our days, and one sepulchre
   Contain our bodies! Death, why com'st thou not?
   Well, this must be the messenger for thee.
   Now, ugly Death, stretch out thy sable wings
   And carry both our souls where his remains.
   Tell me, sweet boy, art thou content to die?
   These barbarous Scythians, full of cruelty,
   And Moors, in whom was never pity found,
   Will hew us piecemeal, put us to the wheel,
   Or else invent some torture worse than that;
   Therefore die by thy loving mother's hand,
   Who gently now will lance thy ivory throat,
   And quickly rid thee both of pain and life.
SON. Mother, dispatch me, or I'll kill myself;
   For think ye I can live and see him dead?
   Give me your knife, good mother, or strike home;
   The Scythians shall not tyrannize on me.
   Sweet mother, strike, that I may meet my father.

   She stabs him.

OLYMPIA. Ah, sacred Mahomet, if this be sin,
   Entreat a pardon of the God of heaven,
   And purge my soul before it comes to thee. .

   Enter Theridamas, Techelles, and all their train.

THERIDAMAS. How now, madam! What are you doing?
OLYMPIA. Killing myself, as I have done my son,
   Whose body, with his father's, I have burnt,
   Lest cruel Scythians should dismember him.
TECHELLES. 'Twas bravely done, and like a soldier's wife.
   Thou shalt with us to Tamburlaine the Great,
   Who, when he hears how resolute thou wert,
   Will match thee with a viceroy or a king.
OLYMPIA. My lord deceased was dearer unto me
   Than any viceroy, king, or emperor;
   And for his sake here will I end my days.
THERIDAMAS. But, lady, go with us to Tamburlaine,
   And thou shalt see a man greater than Mahomet,
   In whose high looks is much more majesty
   Than from the concave superficies
   Of Jove's vast palace, the empyreal orb,
   Unto the shining bower where Cynthia sits,
   Like lovely Thetis, in a crystal robe;
   That treadeth Fortune underneath his feet
   And makes the mighty God of arms his slave;
   On whom Death and the Fatal Sisters wait
   With naked swords and scarlet liveries;
   Before whom, mounted on a lion's back,
   Rhamnusia bears a helmet full of blood
   And strows the way with brains of slaughtered men;
   By whose proud side the ugly Furies run,
   Hearkening when he shall bid them plague the world.
   Over whose zenith, clothed in windy air,
   And eagle's wings joined to her feathered breast,
   Fame hovereth, sounding of her golden trump,
   That to the adverse poles of that straight line
   Which measureth the glorious frame of heaven
   The name of mighty Tamburlaine is spread;
   And him, fair lady, shall thy eyes behold.
OLYMPIA. Take pity of a lady's ruthful tears,
   That humbly craves upon her knees to stay
   And cast her body in the burning flame
   That feeds upon her son's and husband's flesh.
TECHELLES. Madam, sooner shall fire consume us both
   Than scorch a face so beautiful as this,
   In frame of which Nature hath showed more skill
   Than when she gave eternal chaos form,
   Drawing from it the shining lamps of heaven.
THERIDAMAS. Madam, I am so far in love with you,
   That you must go with us - no remedy.
OLYMPIA. Then carry me, I care not, where you will,
   And let the end of this my fatal journey
   Be likewise end to my accursed life.
TECHELLES. No, madam, but the beginning of your joy.
   Come willingly, therefore.
THERIDAMAS. Soldiers, now let us meet the general,
   Who by this time is at Natolia,
   Ready to charge the army of the Turk.
   The gold, the silver, and the pearl ye got,
   Rifling this fort, divide in equal shares:
   This lady shall have twice so much again
   Out of the coffers of our treasury.




   Enter Callapine, Orcanes, Jerusalem, Trebizon, Soria.
   and Almeda with their train, and Messenger.

MESSENGER. Renowned emperor, mighty Callapine,
   God's great lieutenant over all the world,
   Here at Aleppo, with an host of men,
   Lies Tamburlaine, this king of Persia,
   (in number more than are the quivering leaves
   Of Ida's forest, where your highness' hounds
   With open cry pursue the wounded stag,)
   Who means to girt Natolia's walls with siege,
   Fire the town, and overrun the land.
CALLAPINE. My royal army is as great as his,
   That, from the bounds of Phrygia to the sea
   Which washeth Cyprus with his brinish waves,
   Covers the hills, the valleys, and the plains.
   Viceroys and peers of Turkey, play the men.
   Whet all your swords to mangle Tamburlaine,
   His sons, his captains and his followers.
   By Mahomet, not one of them shall live.
   The field wherein this battle shall be fought
   Forever term the Persians' sepulchre,
   In memory of this our victory.
ORCANES. Now he that calls himself the scourge of Jove,
   The emperor of the world, and earthly god,
   Shall end the warlike progress he intends
   And travel headlong to the lake of hell,
   Where legions of devils (knowing he must die
   Here in Natolia by your highness' hands),
   All brandishing their brands of quenchless fire,
   Stretching their monstrous paws, grin with their teeth,
   And guard the gates to entertain his soul.
CALLAPINE. Tell me, viceroys, the number of your men,
   And what our army royal is esteemed.
JERUSALEM. From Palestina and Jerusalem,
   Of Hebrews three score thousand fighting men
   Are come, since last we showed your majesty.
ORCANES. So from Arabia Desert, and the bounds
   Of that sweet land whose brave metropolis
   Re-edified the fair Semiramis,
   Came forty thousand warlike foot and horse,
   Since last we numbered to your majesty.
TREBIZON. From Trebizon in Asia the Less,
   Naturalized Turks and stout Bithynians
   Came to my bands, full fifty thousand more,
   That, fighting, know not what retreat doth mean,
   Nor e'er return but with the victory,
   Since last we numbered to your majesty.
SORIA. Of Sorians from Halla is repaired,
   And neighbour cities of your highness' land,
   Ten thousand horse and thirty thousand foot,
   Since last we numbered to your majesty;
   So that the army royal is esteemed
   Six hundred thousand valiant fighting men.
CALLAPINE. Then welcome, Tamburlaine, unto thy death.
   Come, puissant viceroys, let us to the field,
   (the Persians' sepulchre), and sacrifice
   Mountains of breathless men to Mahomet,
   Who now, with Jove, opens the firmament
   To see the slaughter of our enemies. .

   Enter Tamburlaine with his three sons and Usumcasane.

TAMBURLAINE. How now, Casane! See, a knot of kings,
   Sitting as if they were a-telling riddles.
USUMCASANE. My lord, your presence makes them pale and wan.
   Poor souls, they look as if their deaths were near.
TAMBURLAINE. Why, so he is, Casane; I am here.
   But yet I'll save their lives and make them slaves.
   Ye petty kings of Turkey, I am come,
   As Hector did into the Grecian camp,
   To overdare the pride of Graecia
   And set his warlike person to the view
   Of fierce Achilles, rival of his fame.
   I do you honour in the simile;
   For, if I should, as Hector did Achilles,
   (the worthiest knight that ever brandished sword,)
   Challenge in combat any of you all,
   I see how fearfully ye would refuse,
   And fly my glove as from a scorpion.
ORCANES. Now thou art fearful of thy army's strength,
   Thou wouldst with overmatch of person fight.
   But, shepherd's issue, baseborn Tamburlaine,
   Think of thy end; this sword shall lance thy throat.
TAMBURLAINE. Villain, the shepherd's issue, (at whose birth
   Heaven did afford a gracious aspect,
   And joined those stars that shall be opposite
   Even till the dissolution to the world,
   And never meant to make a conqueror
   So famous as is mighty Tamburlaine)
   Shall so torment thee and that Callapine,
   That, like a roguish runaway, suborned
   That villain there, that slave, that Turkish dog,
   To false his service to his sovereign,
   As ye shall curse the birth of Tamburlaine.
CALLAPINE. Rail not, proud Scythian. I shall now revenge
   My father's vile abuses and mine own.
JERUSALEM. By Mahomet, he shall be tied in chains,
   Rowing with Christians in a brigandine
   About the Grecian isles to rob and spoil,
   And turn him to his ancient trade again.
   Methinks the slave should make a lusty thief.
CALLAPINE. Nay, when the battle ends, all we will meet
   And sit in council to invent some pain
   That most may vex his body and his soul.
TAMBURLAINE. Sirrah Callapine; I'll hang a clog about your neck for running away again.
   You shall not trouble me thus to come and fetch you.
   But as for you, viceroy, you shall have bits,
   And, harnessed like my horses, draw my coach;
   And, when ye stay, be lashed with whips of wire.
   I'll have you learn to feed on provender
   And in a stable lie upon the planks.
ORCANES. But, Tamburlaine, first thou shalt kneel to us
   And humbly crave a pardon for thy life.
TREBIZON. The common soldiers of our mighty host
   Shall bring thee bound unto the general's tent.
SORIA. And all have jointly sworn thy cruel death,
   Or bind thee in eternal torments' wrath.
TAMBURLAINE. Well, sirs, diet yourselves; you know I shall have
   occasion shortly to journey you.
CELEBINUS. See, father, how Almeda the jailor looks upon us.
TAMBURLAINE. Villain, traitor, damned fugitive,
   I'll make thee wish the earth had swallowed thee.
   Seest thou not death within my wrathful looks?
   Go, villain, cast thee headlong from a rock,
   Or rip thy bowels and rend out thy heart
   T' appease my wrath; or else I'll torture thee,
   Searing thy hateful flesh with burning irons
   And drops of scalding lead, while all thy joints
   Be racked and beat asunder with the wheel;
   For, if thou liv'st, not any element
   Shall shroud thee from the wrath of Tamburlaine.
CALLAPINE. Well, in despite of thee, he shall be king.
   Come, Almeda, receive this crown of me.
   I here invest thee king of Ariadan,
   Bordering on Mare Rosso, near to Mecca.
ORCANES. What! Take it, man.
ALMEDA. Good my lord, let me take it.
CALLAPINE. Dost thou ask him leave? Here; take it.
TAMBURLAINE. Go to, sirrah, take your crown, and make up the
   half dozen. So, sirrah,    Now you are a king, you must give arms.
ORCANES. So he shall, and wear thy head in his scutcheon.
TAMBURLAINE. No; let him hang a bunch of keys on his standard,
   To put him in remembrance he was a jailor, that,
when I take him, I may knock out his brains with them, and lock you
   in the stable, when you shall come sweating from my chariot.
TREBIZON. Away; let us to the field, that the villain may be slain.
TAMBURLAINE. Sirrah, prepare whips, and bring my chariot to
   my tent; for, as soon as the battle is done, I'll ride
   in triumph through the camp. .

   Enter Theridamas, Techelles, and their train.

   How now, ye petty kings? Lo, here are bugs
   Will make the hair stand upright on your heads,
   And cast your crowns in slavery at their feet.
   Welcome, Theridamas and Techelles, both.
   See ye this rout, and know ye this same king?
THERIDAMAS. Ay, my lord; he was Callapine's keeper.
TAMBURLAINE. Well now you see he is a king. Look to him,
   Theridamas, when we are fighting, lest he hide his
   Crown as the foolish king of Persia did.
SORIA. No, Tamburlaine; he shall not be put to that exigent, I warrant thee.
TAMBURLAINE. You know not, sir.
   But now, my followers and my loving friends,
   Fight as you ever did, like conquerors;
   The glory of this happy day is yours.
   My stern aspect shall make fair victory,
   Hovering betwixt our armies, light on me,
   Loaden with laurel wreaths to crown us all.
TECHELLES. I smile to think how when this field is fought
   And rich Natolia ours, our men shall sweat
   With carrying pearl and treasure on their backs.
TAMBURLAINE. You shall be princes all, immediately.
   Come, fight, ye Turks, or yield us victory.
ORCANES. No; we will meet thee, slavish Tamburlaine.




   Alarm. Amyras and Celebinus issue from the tent
   where Calyphas sits asleep.

AMYRAS. Now in their glories shine the golden crowns
   Of these proud Turks, much like so many suns
   That half dismay the majesty of heaven.
   Now, brother, follow we our father's sword,
   That flies with fury swifter than our thoughts
   And cuts down armies with his conquering wings.
CELEBINUS. Call forth our lazy brother from the tent,
   For if my father miss him in the field,
   Wrath, kindled in the furnace of his breast,
   Will send a deadly lightning to his heart.
AMYRAS. Brother, ho! What, given so much to sleep,
   You cannot leave it when our enemies' drums
   And rattling cannons thunder in our ears
   Our proper ruin and our father's foil?
CALYPHAS. Away, ye fools! My father needs not me,
   Nor you, in faith, but that you will be thought
   More childish-valorous than manly-wise.
   If half our camp should sit and sleep with me,
   My father were enough to scar the foe.
   You do dishonour to his majesty,
   To think our helps will do him any good.
AMYRAS. What, dar'st thou, then, be absent from the fight,
   Knowing my father hates thy cowardice,
   And oft hath warned thee to be still in field,
   When he himself amidst the thickest troops
   Beats down our foes to flesh our taintless swords?
CALYPHAS. I know, sir, what it is to kill a man;
   It works remorse of conscience in me.
   I take no pleasure to be murderous,
   Nor care for blood when wine will quench my thirst.
CELEBINUS. O cowardly boy! Fie, for shame, come forth!
   Thou dost dishonour manhood and thy house.
CALYPHAS. Go, go, tall stripling, fight you for us both,
   And take my other toward brother here,
   For person like to prove a second Mars,
   'Twill please my mind as well to hear both you
   Have won a heap of honour in the field
   And left your slender carcasses behind,
   As if I lay with you for company.
AMYRAS. You will not go, then?
CALYPHAS. You say true.
AMYRAS. Were all the lofty mounts of Zona Mundi
   That fill the midst of farthest Tartary
   Turned into pearl and proffered for my stay,
   I would not bide the fury of my father,
   When, made a victor in these haughty arms,
   He comes and finds his sons have had no shares
   In all the honours he proposed for us.
CALYPHAS. Take you the honour, I will take my ease;
   My wisdom shall excuse my cowardice.
   I go into the field before I need?

   Alarm, and Amyras and Celebinus run in.

   The bullets fly at random where they list;
   And should I go and kill a thousand men,
   I were as soon rewarded with a shot,
   And sooner far than he that never fights;
   And should I go and do nor harm nor good,
   I might have harm, which all the good I have,
   Joined with my father's crown, would never cure.
   I'll to cards. Perdicas!
PERDICAS. Here, my lord.
CALYPHAS. Come, thou and I will go to cards to drive away the time.
PERDICAS. Content, my lord: but what shall we play for?
CALYPHAS. Who shall kiss the fairest of the Turks' concubines first, when my
   father hath conquered them?
PERDICAS. Agreed, i' faith.

   They play.

CALYPHAS. They say I am a coward, Perdicas, and I fear as little their
   taratantaras, their swords, or their cannons as I do a naked lady in
   a net of gold, and for fear I should be afraid, would put it off
    and come to bed with me.
PERDICAS. Such a fear, my lord, would never make ye retire.
CALYPHAS. I would my father would let me be put in the front
   of such a battle once, to try my valour.


   What a coil they keep! I believe there will be some
   hurt done anon amongst them. .

   Enter Tamburlaine, Theridamas, Techelles, Usum-
   casane, Amyras, Celebinus, leading the Turkish Kings.

TAMBURLAINE. See now, ye slaves, my children stoop your pride
   And lead your glories sheeplike to the sword.
   Bring them, my boys, and tell me if the wars
   Be not a life that may illustrate gods,
   And tickle not your spirits with desire
   Still to be trained in arms and chivalry?
AMYRAS. Shall we let go these kings again, my lord,
   To gather greater numbers 'gainst our power,
   That they may say it is not chance doth this,
   But matchless strength and magnanimity?
TAMBURLAINE. No, no, Amyras; tempt not fortune so.
   Cherish thy valour still with fresh supplies,
   And glut it not with stale and daunted foes.
   But where's this coward villain, not my son,
   But traitor to my name and majesty.

   He goes in and brings him out.

   Image of sloth, and picture of a slave,
   The obloquy and scorn of my renown!
   How may my heart, thus fired with mine eyes,
   Wounded with shame and killed with discontent,
   Shroud any thought may hold my striving hands
   From martial justice on thy wretched soul?
THERIDAMAS. Yet pardon him, I pray your majesty.
TECHELLES & USUMCASANE. let all of us entreat your highness' pardon.
TAMBURLAINE. Stand up, ye base, unworthy soldiers!
   Know ye not yet the argument of arms?
AMYRAS. Good, my lord, let him be forgiven for once,
   And we will force him to the field hereafter.
TAMBURLAINE. Stand up, my boys, and I will teach ye arms,
   And what the jealousy of wars must do.
   O Samarcanda, where I breathed first,
   And joyed the fire of this martial flesh,
   Blush, blush, fair city, at thine honour's foil,
   And shame of nature, which Jaertis' stream,
   Embracing thee with deepest of his love,
   Can never wash from thy distained brows!
   Here, Jove, receive his fainting soul again,
   A form not meet to give that subject essence
   Whose matter is the flesh of Tamburlaine,
   Wherein an incorporeal spirit moves,
   Made of the mould whereof thyself consists,
   Which makes me valiant, proud, ambitious,
   Ready to levy power against thy throne,
   That I might move the turning spheres of heaven;
   For earth and all this airy region
   Cannot contain the state of Tamburlaine.

   He stabs Calyphas.

   By Mahomet, thy mighty friend, I swear,
   In sending to my issue such a soul,
   Created of the massy dregs of earth,
   The scum and tartar of the elements,
   Wherein was neither courage, strength, or wit,
   But folly, sloth, and damned idleness,
   Thou hast procured a greater enemy
   Than he that darted mountains at thy head,
   Shaking the burden mighty Atlas bears,
   Whereat thou trembling hidd'st thee in the air,
   Clothed with a pitchy cloud for being seen.
   And now, ye cankered curs of Asia,
   That will not see the strength of Tamburlaine,
   Although it shine as brightly as the sun,
   Now you shall feel the strength of Tamburlaine,
   And, by the state of his supremacy,
   Approve the difference 'twixt himself and you.
ORCANES. Thou show'st the difference 'twixt ourselves and thee,
   In this thy barbarous damned tyranny.
JERUSALEM. Thy victories are grown so violent,
   That shortly heaven, filled with the meteors
   Of blood and fire thy tyrannies have made,
   Will pour down blood and fire on thy head,
   Whose scalding drops will pierce thy seething brains,
   And, with our bloods, revenge our bloods on thee.
TAMBURLAINE. Villains, these terrors, and these tyrannies
   (If tyrannies war's justice ye repute),
   I execute, enjoined me from above,
   To scourge the pride of such as heaven abhors;
   Nor am I made archmonarch of the world,
   Crowned and invested by the hand of Jove,
   For deeds of bounty or nobility;
   But since I exercise a greater name,
   The scourge of God and terror of the world,
   I must apply myself to fit those terms,
   In war, in blood, in death, in cruelty,
   And plague such peasants as resist in me
   The power of heaven's eternal majesty.
   Theridamas, Techelles, and Casane,
   Ransack the tents and the pavilions
   Of these proud Turks, and take their concubines,
   Making them bury this effeminate brat;
   For not a common soldier shall defile
   His manly fingers with so faint a boy.
   Then bring those Turkish harlots to my tent,
   And I'll dispose them as it likes me best.
   Meanwhile, take him in.
SOLDIERS. We will, my lord.

   Exeunt with the body of Calyphas.

JERUSALEM. O damned monster! Nay, a fiend of hell,
   Whose cruelties are not so harsh as thine,
   Nor yet imposed with such a bitter hate!
ORCANES. Revenge it, Rhadamanth and Aeacus,
   And let your hates, extended in his pains,
   Expel the hate wherewith he pains our souls!
TREBIZON. May never day give virtue to his eyes,
   Whose sight, composed of fury and of fire,
   Doth send such stern affections to his heart!
SORIA. May never spirit, vein, or artery, feed
   The cursed substance of that cruel heart;
   But, wanting moisture and remorseful blood,
   Dry up with anger, and consume with heat!
TAMBURLAINE. Well, bark, ye dogs. I'll bridle all your tongues
   And bind them close with bits of burnished steel,
   Down to the channels of your hateful throats;
   And, with the pains my rigour shall inflict,
   I'll make ye roar, that earth may echo forth
   The far resounding torments ye sustain;
   As when an herd of lusty Cimbrian bulls
   Run mourning round about the females' miss,
   And, stung with fury of their following,
   Fill all the air with troublous bellowing.
   I will, with engines never exercised,
   Conquer, sack, and utterly consume
   Your cities and your golden palaces,
   And with the flames that beat against the clouds,
   Incense the heavens and make the stars to melt,
   As if they were the tears of Mahomet
   For hot consumption of his country's pride.
   And, till by vision or by speech I hear
   Immortal Jove say 'Cease, my Tamburlaine,'
   I will persist a terror to the world,
   Making the meteors (that like armed men
   Are seen to march upon the towers of heaven)
   Run tilting round about the firmament
   And break their burning lances in the air,
   For honour of my wondrous victories.
   Come, bring them in to our pavilion.




   Enter Olympia alone.

OLYMPIA. Distressed Olympia, whose weeping eyes,
   Since thy arrival here beheld no sun,
   But, closed within the compass of a tent,
   Have stained thy cheeks, and made thee look like Death,
   Devise some means to rid thee of thy life,
   Rather than yield to his detested suit,
   Whose drift is only to dishonour thee;
   And since this earth, dewed with thy brinish tears,
   Affords no herbs whose taste may poison thee,
   Nor yet this air, beat often with thy sighs,
   Contagious smells and vapors to infect thee,
   Nor thy close cave a sword to murder thee,
   Let this invention be the instrument.

   Enter Theridamas.

THERIDAMAS. Well met, Olympia. I sought thee in my tent,
   But when I saw the place obscure and dark,
   Which with thy beauty thou wast wont to light,
   Enraged, I ran about the fields for thee,
   Supposing amorous Jove had sent his son,
   The winged Hermes, to convey thee hence.
   But now I find thee, and that fear is past.
   Tell me, Olympia, wilt thou grant my suit?
OLYMPIA. My lord and husband's death, with my sweet son's,
   (with whom I buried all affections
   Save grief and sorrow, which torment my heart),
   Forbids my mind to entertain a thought
   That tends to love, but meditate on death,
   A fitter subject for a pensive soul.
THERIDAMAS. Olympia, pity him in whom thy looks
   Have greater operation and more force
   Than Cynthia's in the watery wilderness,
   For with thy view my joys are at the full,
   And ebb again as thou depart'st from me.
OLYMPIA. Ah, pity me, my lord, and draw your sword,
   Making a passage for my troubled soul,
   Which beats against this prison to get out
   And meet my husband and my loving son.
THERIDAMAS. Nothing but still thy husband and thy son?
   Leave this, my love, and listen more to me:
   Thou shalt be stately queen of fair Argier,
   And, clothed in costly cloth of massy gold,
   Upon the marble turrets of my court
   Sit like to Venus in her chair of state,
   Commanding all thy princely eye desires;
   And I will cast off arms to sit with thee,
   Spending my life in sweet discourse of love.
OLYMPIA. No such discourse is pleasant in mine ears,
   But that where every period ends with death,
   And every line begins with death again.
   I cannot love to be an emperess.
THERIDAMAS. Nay lady, then, if nothing will prevail,
   I'll use some other means to make you yield.
   Such is the sudden fury of my love
   I must and will be pleased, and you shall yield.
   Come to the tent again.
OLYMPIA. Stay, good my lord, and, will you save my honour,
   I'll give your grace a present of such price
   As all the world cannot afford the like.
THERIDAMAS. What is it?
OLYMPIA. An ointment which a cunning alchemist
   Distilled from the purest balsamum
   And simplest extracts of all minerals,
   In which the essential form of marble stone,
   Tempered by science metaphysical,
   And spells of magic from the mouths of spirits,
   With which if you but 'noint your tender skin,
   Nor pistol, sword, nor lance, can pierce your flesh.
THERIDAMAS. Why, madam, think ye to mock me thus palpably?
OLYMPIA. To prove it, I will 'noint my naked throat,
   Which when you stab, look on your weapon's point,
   And you shall see't rebated with the blow.
THERIDAMAS. Why gave you not your husband some of it,
   If you loved him, and it so precious?
OLYMPIA. My purpose was, my lord, to spend it so,
   But was prevented by his sudden end;
   And for a present easy proof hereof,
   That I dissemble not, try it on me.
THERIDAMAS. I will, Olympia, and will keep it for
   The richest present of this eastern world.

   She annoints her throat.

OLYMPIA. Now stab, my lord, and mark your weapon's point,
   That will be blunted if the blow be great.
THERIDAMAS. Here, then, Olympia.
   What, have I slain her? Villain, stab thyself!
   Cut off this arm that murdered my love,
   In whom the learned rabbis of this age
   Might find as many wondrous miracles
   As in the theoria of the world.
   Now hell is fairer than Elysium;
   A greater lamp than that bright eye of heaven,
   From whence the stars do borrow all their light,
   Wanders about the black circumference;
   And now the damned souls are free from pain,
   For every Fury gazeth on her looks.
   Infernal Dis is courting of my love,
   Inventing masks and stately shows for her,
   Opening the doors of his rich treasury
   To entertain this queen of chastity,
   Whose body shall be tombed with all the pomp
   The treasure of my kingdom may afford

   Exit taking her away.



   Enter Tamburlaine, drawn in his chariot by
   Trebizon and Soria with bits in their mouths,
   reins in his left hand, and in his right hand a
   whip with which he scourgeth them. Techelles,
   Theridamas, Usumcasane, Amyras, Celebinus; Orcanes
   and Jerusalem, led by with five or six common

TAMBURLAINE. Holla, ye pampered jades of Asia!
   What, can ye draw but twenty miles a day,
   And have so proud a chariot at your heels,
   And such a coachman as great Tamburlaine,
   But from Asphaltis, where I conquered you,
   To Byron here, where thus I honour you?
   The horse that guide the golden eye of heaven
   And blow the morning from their nostrils,
   Making their fiery gait above the clouds,
   Are not so honoured in their governor
   As you, ye slaves, in mighty Tamburlaine.
   The headstrong jades of Thrace Alcides tamed,
   That King Aegeus fed with human flesh
   And made so wanton that they knew their strengths,
   Were not subdued with valour more divine
   Than you by this unconquered arm of mine.
   To make you fierce and fit my appetite,
   You shall be fed with flesh as raw as blood
   And drink in pails the strongest muscadel.
   If you can live with it, then live, and draw
   My chariot swifter than the racking clouds;
   If not, then die like beasts, and fit for nought
   But perches for the black and fatal ravens.
   Thus am I right the scourge of highest Jove,
   And see the figure of my dignity,
   By which I hold my name and majesty!
AMYRAS. Let me have coach, my lord, that I may ride,
   And thus be drawn by these two idle kings.

   (i.e. Orcanes and Jerusalem)

TAMBURLAINE. Thy youth forbids such ease, my kingly boy.
   They shall tomorrow draw my chariot,
   While these their fellow kings may be refreshed.
ORCANES. O thou that swayest the region under earth,
   And art a king as absolute as Jove,
   Come as thou didst in fruitful Sicily,
   Surveying all the glories of the land,
   And as thou took'st the fair Proserpina,
   Joying the fruit of Ceres' gardenplot,
   For love, for honour, and to make her queen,
   So, for just hate, for shame, and to subdue
   This proud contemner of thy dreadful power,
   Come once in fury and survey his pride,
   Haling him headlong to the lowest hell.
THERIDAMAS. Your majesty must get some bits for these,
   To bridle their contemptuous cursing tongues,
   That, like unruly never broken jades,
   Break through the hedges of their hateful mouths
   And pass their fixed bounds exceedingly.
TECHELLES. Nay, we will break the hedges of their mouths,
   And pull their kicking colts out of their pastures.
USUMCASANE. Your majesty already hath devised
   A mean, as fit as may be, to restrain
   These coltish coach horse tongues from blasphemy.
CELEBINUS. How like you that, sir king? Why speak you not?
JERUSALEM. Ah, cruel brat, sprung from a tyrant's loins!
   How like his cursed father he begins
   To practice taunts and bitter tyrannies!
TAMBURLAINE. Ay, Turk, I tell thee, this same boy is he
   That must (advanced in higher pomp than this)
   Rifle the kingdoms I shall leave unsacked,
   If Jove, esteeming me too good for earth,
   Raise me to match the fair Aldebaran,
   Above the threefold astracism of heaven,
   Before I conquer all the triple world.
   Now fetch me out the Turkish concubines.
   I will prefer them for the funeral
   They have bestowed on my abortive son.

   The concubines are brought in.

   Where are my common soldiers now, that fought
   So lionlike upon Asphaltis' plains?
SOLDIERS. Here, my lord.
TAMBURLAINE. Hold ye, tall soldiers, take ye queens apiece -
   I mean such queens as were kings' concubines.
   Take them; divide them, and their jewels too,
   And let them equally serve all your turns.
SOLDIERS. We thank your majesty.
TAMBURLAINE. Brawl not, I warn you, for your lechery,
   For every man that so offends shall die.
ORCANES. Injurious tyrant, wilt thou so defame
   The hateful fortunes of thy victory,
   To exercise upon such guiltless dames
   The violence of thy common soldiers' lust?
TAMBURLAINE. Live continent, then, ye slaves, and meet not me
   With troops of harlots at your slothful heels.
CONCUBINES. O pity us, my lord, and save our honours.
TAMBURLAINE. Are ye not gone, ye villains, with your spoils?

   They run away with the Ladies.

JERUSALEM. O, merciless, infernal cruelty!
TAMBURLAINE. Save your honours! 'Twere but time indeed,
   Lost long before you knew what honour meant.
THERIDAMAS. It seems they meant to conquer us, my lord,
   And make us jesting pageants for their trulls.
TAMBURLAINE. And now themselves shall make our pageant,
   And common soldiers jest with all their trulls.
   Let them take pleasure soundly in their spoils,
   Till we prepare our march to Babylon,
   Whither we next make expedition.
TECHELLES. Let us not be idle, then, my lord,
   But presently be prest to conquer it.
TAMBURLAINE. We will, Techelles. Forward, then, ye jades.
   Now crouch, ye kings of greatest Asia,
   And tremble when ye hear this scourge will come
   That whips down cities and controlleth crowns,
   Adding their wealth and treasure to my store.
   The Euxine sea, north to Natolia,
   The Terrene, west; the Caspian, north northeast,
   And on the south, Sinus Arabicus,
   Shall all be loaden with the martial spoils
   We will convey with us to Persia.
   Then shall my native city Samarcanda,
   And crystal waves of fresh Jaertis' stream,
   The pride and beauty of her princely seat,
   Be famous through the furthest continents;
   For there my palace royal shall be placed,
   Whose shining turrets shall dismay the heavens
   And cast the fame of Ilion's tower to hell.
   Thorough the streets, with troops of conquered kings,
   I'll ride in golden armour like the sun,
   And in my helm a triple plume shall spring,
   Spangled with diamonds, dancing in the air,
   To note me emperor of the threefold world;
   Like to an almond tree y-mounted high
   Upon the lofty and celestial mount
   Of evergreen Selinus, quaintly decked
   With blooms more white than Erycina's brows,
   Whose tender blossoms tremble every one
   At every little breath through heaven blown.
   Then in my coach, like Saturn's royal son
   Mounted his shining chariot gilt with fire,
   And drawn with princely eagles through the path
   Paved with bright crystal and enchased with stars,
   When all the gods stand gazing at his pomp,
   So will I ride through Samarcanda streets,
   Until my soul, dissevered from this flesh,
   Shall mount the milk-white way, and meet him there.
   To Babylon, my lords, to Babylon!




   Enter the governor of Babylon upon the walls, with
   Maximus and others.

GOVERNOR. What saith Maximus?
MAXIMUS. My lord, the breach the enemy hath made
   Gives such assurance of our overthrow,
   That little hope is left to save our lives
   Or hold our city from the conqueror's hands.
   Then hang out flags, my lord, of humble truce,
   And satisfy the people's general prayers,
   That Tamburlaine's intolerable wrath
   May be suppressed by our submission.
GOVERNOR. Villain, respect'st thou more thy slavish life
   Than honour of thy country or thy name?
   Is not my life and state as dear to me,
   The city and my native country's weal,
   As any thing of price with thy conceit?
   Have we not hope, for all our battered walls,
   To live secure and keep his forces out,
   When this our famous lake of Limnasphaltis
   Makes walls afresh with everything that falls
   Into the liquid substance of his stream,
   More strong than are the gates of death or hell?
   What faintness should dismay our courages,
   When we are thus defensed against our foe,
   And have no terror but his threatening looks?

   Enter a Citizen, kneeling to the Governor.

CITIZEN. My lord, if ever you did deed of ruth,
   And now will work a refuge to our lives,
   Offer submission, hang up flags of truce,
   That Tamburlaine may pity our distress
   And use us like a loving conqueror.
   Though this be held his last day's dreadful siege,
   Wherein he spareth neither man nor child,
   Yet are there Christians of Georgia here,
   Whose state he ever pitied and relieved,
   Will get his pardon, if your grace would send.
GOVERNOR. How is my soul environed!
   And this eternized city Babylon
   Filled with a pack of faintheart fugitives
   That thus entreat their shame and servitude!

   Enter another Citizen.

2 CITIZEN. My lord, if ever you will win our hearts,
   Yield up the town, and save our wives and children;
   For I will cast myself from off these walls
   Or die some death of quickest violence,
   Before I bide the wrath of Tamburlaine.
GOVERNOR. Villains, cowards, traitors to our state,
   Fall to the earth, and pierce the pit of hell,
   That legions of tormenting spirits may vex
   Your slavish bosoms with continual pains!
   I care not, nor the town will never yield
   As long as any life is in my breast.

   Enter Theridamas and Techelles, with other Soldiers.

THERIDAMAS. Thou desperate governor of Babylon,
   To save thy life, and us a little labour,
   Yield speedily the city to our hands,
   Or else be sure thou shalt be forced with pains
   More exquisite than ever traitor felt.
GOVERNOR. Tyrant, I turn the traitor in thy throat,
   And will defend it in despite of thee.
   Call up the soldiers to defend these walls.
TECHELLES. Yield, foolish governor; we offer more
   Than ever yet we did to such proud slaves
   As durst resist us till our third day's siege.
   Thou seest us prest to give the last assault,
   And that shall bide no more regard of parley.
GOVERNOR. Assault and spare not; we will never yield.

   Alarm, and they scale the walls.
   Enter Tamburlaine (drawn in his chariot by Trebizon and
   Soria, with two spare kings, Orcanes and Jerusalem), also
   Usumcasane, Amyras and Celebinus.

TAMBURLAINE. The stately buildings of fair Babylon,
   Whose lofty pillars, higher than the clouds,
   Were wont to guide the seaman in the deep,
   Being carried thither by the cannon's force,
   Now fill the mouth of Limnasphaltis' lake
   And make a bridge unto the battered walls.
   Where Belus, Ninus, and great Alexander
   Have rode in triumph, triumphs Tamburlaine,
   Whose chariot wheels have burst th' Assyrians' bones,
   Drawn with these kings on heaps of carcasses.
   Now in the place where fair Semiramis,
   Courted by kings and peers of Asia,
   Hath trod the measures, do my soldiers march,
   And in the streets, where brave Assyrian dames
   Have rid in pomp like rich Saturnia,
   With furious words and frowning visages
   My horsemen brandish their unruly blades.

   Enter Theridamas and Techelles, bringing the Governor of Babylon.

   Who have ye there, my lords?
THERIDAMAS. The sturdy governor of Babylon,
   That made us all the labour for the town
   And used such slender reck'ning of your majesty.
TAMBURLAINE. Go, bind the villain; he shall hang in chains
   Upon the ruins of this conquered town.
   Sirrah, the view of our vermilion tents
   (which threatened more than if the region
   Next underneath the element of fire
   Were full of comets and of blazing stars,
   Whose flaming trains should reach down to the earth)
   Could not affright you; no, nor I myself,
   The wrathful messenger of mighty Jove,
   That with his sword hath quailed all earthly kings,
   Could not persuade you to submission,
   But still the ports were shut. Villain, I say,
   Should I but touch the rusty gates of hell,
   The triple headed Cerberus would howl
   And make black Jove to crouch and kneel to me;
   But I have sent volleys of shot to you,
   Yet could not enter till the breach was made.
GOVERNOR. Nor if my body could have stopped the breach,
   Shouldst thou have entered, cruel Tamburlaine.
   'Tis not thy bloody tents can make me yield,
   Nor yet thyself, the anger of the Highest;
   For though thy cannon shook the city walls,
   My heart did never quake or courage faint.
TAMBURLAINE. Well, now I'll make it quake. Go, draw him up;
   Hang him in chains upon the city walls,
   And let my soldiers shoot the slave to death.
GOVERNOR. Vile monster, born of some infernal hag,
   And sent from hell to tyrannize on earth,
   Do all thy worst; nor death, nor Tamburlaine,
   Torture, or pain, can daunt my dreadless mind.
TAMBURLAINE. Up with him, then; his body shall be scarred.
GOVERNOR. But, Tamburlaine, in Limnasphaltis' lake
   There lies more gold than Babylon is worth,
   Which, when the city was besieged, I hid.
   Save but my life, and I will give it thee.
TAMBURLAINE. Then, for all your valour, you would save your life?
   Whereabout lies it?
GOVERNOR. Under a hollow bank, right opposite
   Against the western gate of Babylon.
TAMBURLAINE. Go thither, some of you, and take his gold.

   Exeunt some Attendants.

   The rest forward with execution.
   Away with him hence; let him speak no more.
   I think I make your courage something quail.

   Exeunt Attendants, with the Governor.

   When this is done, we'll march from Babylon
   And make our greatest haste to Persia.
   These jades are broken winded and half tired;
   Unharness them, and let me have fresh horse.
   So; now their best is done to honour me,
   Take them and hang them both up presently.
TREBIZON. Vile tyrant! Barbarous bloody Tamburlaine!
TAMBURLAINE. Take them away, Theridamas; see them dispatched.
THERIDAMAS. I will, my lord.

   Exit with Trebizon and Soria.

TAMBURLAINE. Come, Asian viceroys, to your tasks a while,
   And take such fortune as your fellows felt.
ORCANES. First let thy Scythian horse tear both our limbs,
   Rather than we should draw thy chariot,
   And, like base slaves, abject our princely minds
   To vile and ignominious servitude.
JERUSALEM. Rather lend me thy weapon, Tamburlaine,
   That I may sheathe it in this breast of mine.
   A thousand deaths could not torment our hearts
   More than the thought of this doth vex our souls.
AMYRAS. They will talk still, my lord, if you don't bridle them.
TAMBURLAINE. Bridle them, and let me to my coach.

   They bridle them.
   The Governor of Babylon appears hanging in chains
   on the walls. Enter Theridamas.

AMYRAS. See, now, my lord, how brave the captain hangs.
TAMBURLAINE. 'Tis brave indeed my boy. Well done!
   Shoot first, my lord, and then the rest shall follow.
THERIDAMAS. Then have at him, to begin withal.

   Theridamas shoots.

GOVERNOR. Yet save my life, and let this wound appease
   The mortal fury of great Tamburlaine.
TAMBURLAINE. No, though Asphaltis' lake were liquid gold,
   And offered me as ransom for thy life,
   Yet shouldst thou die. Shoot at him all at once.

   They shoot.

   So, now he hangs like Baghdad's governor,
   Having as many bullets in his flesh
   As there be breaches in her battered wall.
   Go now, and bind the burghers hand and foot,
   And cast them headlong in the city's lake.
   Tartars and Persians shall inhabit there;
   And, to command the city, I will build
   A citadel, that all Assyria,
   Which hath been subject to the Persian king,
   Shall pay me tribute for in Babylon.
TECHELLES. What shall be done with their wives and children, my lord?
TAMBURLAINE. Techelles, drown them all, man, woman, and child;
   Leave not a Babylonian in the town.
TECHELLES. I will about it straight. Come, soldiers.


TAMBURLAINE. Now, Casane, where's the Turkish Alcoran
   And all the heaps of superstitious books
   Found in the temples of that Mahomet
   Whom I have thought a god? They shall be burnt.
USUMCASANE. Here they are, my lord.
TAMBURLAINE. Well said; let there be a fire presently.
   In vain, I see, men worship Mahomet.
   My sword hath sent millions of Turks to hell,
   Slew all his priests, his kinsmen, and his friends,
   And yet I live untouched by Mahomet.
   There is a God, full of revenging wrath,
   From whom the thunder and the lightning breaks,
   Whose scourge I am, and him will I obey.
   So, Casane; fling them in the fire.
   Now Mahomet, if thou have any power,
   Come down thyself and work a miracle.
   Thou art not worthy to be worshipped
   That suffers flames of fire to burn the writ
   Wherein the sum of thy religion rests.
   Why send'st thou not a furious whirlwind down
   To blow thy Alcoran up to thy throne,
   Where men report thou sitt'st by God himself?
   Or vengeance on the head of Tamburlaine
   That shakes his sword against thy majesty
   And spurns the abstracts of thy foolish laws?
   Well, soldiers, Mahomet remains in hell;
   He cannot hear the voice of Tamburlaine.
   Seek out another godhead to adore -
   The God that sits in heaven, if any god,
   For he is God alone, and none but he.

   Enter Techelles.

TECHELLES. I have fulfilled your highness' will, my lord.
   Thousands of men, drowned in Asphaltis' lake,
   Have made the water swell above the banks,
   And fishes, fed by human carcasses,
   Amazed, swim up and down upon the waves,
   As when they swallow asafoetida,
   Which makes them fleet aloft and gasp for air.
TAMBURLAINE. Well, then, my friendly lords, what now remains,
   But that we leave sufficient garrison
   And presently depart to Persia,
   To triumph after all our victories?
THERIDAMAS. Ay, good my lord, let us in haste to Persia;
   And let this captain be removed the walls
   To some high hill about the city here.
TAMBURLAINE. Let it be so; about it, soldiers.
   But stay; I feel myself distempered suddenly.
TECHELLES. What is it dares distemper Tamburlaine?
TAMBURLAINE. Something, Techelles; but I know not what.
   But, forth, ye vassals! Whatsoe'er it be,
   Sickness or death can never conquer me.




   Enter Callapine, Amasia, with drums and trumpets.

CALLAPINE. King of Amasia, now our mighty host
   Marcheth in Asia Major, where the streams
   Of Euphrates and Tigris swiftly run;
   And here may we behold great Babylon,
   Circled about with Limnasphaltis' lake,
   Where Tamburlaine with all his army lies,
   Which being faint and weary with the siege,
   We may lie ready to encounter him
   Before his host be full from Babylon,
   And so revenge our latest grievous loss,
   If God or Mahomet send any aid.
AMASIA. Doubt not, my lord, but we shall conquer him.
   The monster that hath drunk a sea of blood
   And yet gapes still for more to quench his thirst,
   Our Turkish swords shall headlong send to hell;
   And that vile carcass, drawn by warlike kings,
   The fowls shall eat; for never sepulchre
   Shall grace this baseborn tyrant Tamburlaine.
CALLAPINE. When I record my parents' slavish life,
   Their cruel death, mine own captivity,
   My viceroys' bondage under Tamburlaine,
   Methinks I could sustain a thousand deaths
   To be revenged of all his villainy.
   Ah, sacred Mahomet, thou that hast seen
   Millions of Turks perish by Tamburlaine,
   Kingdoms made waste, brave cities sacked and burnt,
   And but one host is left to honour thee,
   Aid thy obedient servant Callapine,
   And make him, after all these overthrows,
   To triumph over cursed Tamburlaine.
AMASIA. Fear not, my lord. I see great Mahomet,
   Clothed in purple clouds, and on his head
   A chaplet brighter than Apollo's crown,
   Marching about the air with armed men,
   To join with you against this Tamburlaine.
   Renowned general, mighty Callapine,
   Though God himself and holy Mahomet
   Should come in person to resist your power,
   Yet might your mighty host encounter all,
   And pull proud Tamburlaine upon his knees
   To sue for mercy at your highness' feet.
CALLAPINE. Captain, the force of Tamburlaine is great,
   His fortune greater, and the victories
   Wherewith he hath so sore dismayed the world
   Are greatest to discourage all our drifts;
   Yet when the pride of Cynthia is at full,
   She wanes again, and so shall his, I hope;
   For we have here the chief selected men
   Of twenty several kingdoms at the least.
   Nor ploughman, priest, nor merchant, stays at home;
   All Turkey is in arms with Callapine;
   And never will we sunder camps and arms
   Before himself or his be conquered.
   This is the time that must eternize me
   For conquering the tyrant of the world.
   Come, soldiers, let us lie in wait for him,
   And if we find him absent from his camp,
   Or that it be rejoined again at full,
   Assail it and be sure of victory.




   Theridamas, Techelles, and Usumcasane.

THERIDAMAS. Weep, heavens, and vanish into liquid tears!
   Fall, stars that govern his nativity,
   And summon all the shining lamps of heaven
   To cast their bootless fires to the earth
   And shed their feeble influence in the air.
   Muffle your beauties with eternal clouds,
   For Hell and Darkness pitch their pitchy tents,
   And Death, with armies of Cimmerian spirits,
   Gives battle 'gainst the heart of Tamburlaine.
   Now in defiance of that wonted love
   Your sacred virtues poured upon his throne,
   And made his state an honour to the heavens,
   These cowards invisibly assail his soul
   And threaten conquest on our sovereign.
   But if he die, your glories are disgraced,
   Earth droops and says that hell in heaven is placed.
TECHELLES. O, then, ye powers that sway eternal seats
   And guide this massy substance of the earth,
   If you retain desert of holiness,
   As your supreme estates instruct our thoughts,
   Be not inconstant, careless of your fame,
   Bear not the burden of your enemies' joys,
   Triumphing in his fall whom you advanced,
   But as his birth, life, health, and majesty
   Were strangely blest and governed by heaven,
   So honour, heaven (till heaven dissolved be,)
   His birth, his life, his health, and majesty!
USUMCASANE. Blush, heaven, to lose the honour of thy name,
   To see thy footstool set upon thy head;
   And let no baseness in thy haughty breast
   Sustain a shame of such inexcellence,
   To see the devils mount in angels' thrones,
   And angels dive into the pools of hell.
   And though they think their painful date is out,
   And that their power is puissant as Jove's,
   Which makes them manage arms against thy state,
   Yet make them feel the strength of Tamburlaine,
   Thy instrument and note of majesty
   Is greater far than they can thus subdue;
   For, if he die, thy glory is disgraced,
   Earth droops and says that hell in heaven is placed.

   Enter Tamburlaine, drawn by captive kings, with
   Amyras, Celebinus and Physicians.

TAMBURLAINE. What daring God torments my body thus
   And seeks to conquer mighty Tamburlaine?
   Shall sickness prove me now to be a man,
   That have been termed the terror of the world?
   Techelles and the rest, come, take your swords,
   And threaten him whose hand afflicts my soul.
   Come, let us march against the powers of heaven
   And set black streamers in the firmament
   To signify the slaughter of the gods.
   Ah, friends, what shall I do? I cannot stand,
   Come, carry me to war against the gods,
   That thus envy the health of Tamburlaine.
THERIDAMAS. Ah, good my lord, leave these impatient words
   Which add much danger to your malady.
TAMBURLAINE. Why, shall I sit and languish in this pain?
   No, strike the drums, and, in revenge of this,
   Come, let us charge our spears, and pierce his breast
   Whose shoulders bear the axis of the world,
   That if I perish, heaven and earth may fade.
   Theridamas, haste to the court of Jove;
   Will him to send Apollo hither straight
   To cure me, or I'll fetch him down myself.
TECHELLES. Sit still, my gracious lord; this grief will cease
   And cannot last, it is so violent.
TAMBURLAINE. Not last, Techelles? No, for I shall die.
   See where my slave, the ugly monster Death,
   Shaking and quivering, pale and wan for fear,
   Stands aiming at me with his murdering dart,
   Who flies away at every glance I give,
   And when I look away, comes stealing on.
   Villain, away, and hie thee to the field!
   I and mine army come to load thy bark
   With souls of thousand mangled carcasses.
   Look, where he goes! But see, he comes again
   Because I stay. Techelles, let us march
   And weary Death with bearing souls to hell.
PHYSICIAN. Pleaseth your majesty to drink this potion,
   Which will abate the fury of your fit
   And cause some milder spirits govern you.
TAMBURLAINE. Tell me, what think you of my sickness now?
PHYSICIAN. I viewed your urine, and the hypostasis,
   Thick and obscure, doth make your danger great.
   Your veins are full of accidental heat,
   Whereby the moisture of your blood is dried.
   The humidum and calor, which some hold
   Is not a parcel of the elements,
   But of a substance more divine and pure,
   Is almost clean extinguished and spent,
   Which, being the cause of life, imports your death.
   Besides, my lord, this day is critical,
   Dangerous to those whose crisis is as yours.
   Your arteries, which alongst the veins convey
   The lively spirits which the heart engenders,
   Are parched and void of spirit, that the soul,
   Wanting those organons by which it moves,
   Cannot endure, by argument of art.
   Yet, if your majesty may escape this day,
   No doubt but you shall soon recover all.
TAMBURLAINE. Then will I comfort all my vital parts,
   And live, in spite of death, above a day.

   Alarm within. Enter a Messenger

MESSENGER. My lord, young Callapine, that lately fled from
   your majesty, hath now gathered a fresh army, and
   hearing your absence in the field, offers to set upon
   us presently.
TAMBURLAINE. See, my physicians, now, how Jove hath sent
   A present medicine to recure my pain.
   My looks shall make them fly; and might I follow,
   There should not one of all the villains's power
   Live to give offer of another fight.
USUMCASANE. I joy, my lord, your highness is so strong,
   That can endure so well your royal presence,
   Which only will dismay the enemy.
TAMBURLAINE. I know it will, Casane. Draw, you slaves!
   In spite of death, I will go show my face.

   Alarm. Tamburlaine goes in and comes out again
   with all the rest.

   Thus are the villains, cowards fled for fear,
   Like summer's vapours vanished by the sun;
   And could I but a while pursue the field,
   That Callapine should be my slave again.
   But I perceive my martial strength is spent.
   In vain I strive and rail against those powers
   That mean t' invest me in a higher throne,
   As much too high for this disdainful earth.
   Give me a map; then let me see how much
   Is left for me to conquer all the world,
   That these, my boys, may finish all my wants.

   One brings a map.

   Here I began to march towards Persia,
   Along Armenia and the Caspian Sea,
   And thence unto Bithynia, where I took
   The Turk and his great empress prisoners.
   Then marched I into Egypt and Arabia;
   And here, not far from Alexandria,
   Whereas the Terrene and the Red Sea meet,
   Being distant less than full a hundred leagues,
   I meant to cut a channel to them both,
   That men might quickly sail to India.
   From thence to Nubia near Borno lake,
   And so along the Ethiopian Sea,
   Cutting the tropic line of Capricorn,
   I conquered all as far as Zanzibar.
   Then, by the northern part of Africa,
   I came at last to Graecia, and from thence
   To Asia, where I stay against my will;
   Which is from Scythia, where I first began,
   Backward and forwards near five thousand leagues.
   Look here, my boys; see, what a world of ground
   Lies westward from the midst of Cancer's line
   Unto the rising of this earthly globe,
   Whereas the sun, declining from our sight,
   Begins the day with our Antipodes.
   And shall I die, and this unconquered?
   Lo, here, my sons, are all the golden mines,
   Inestimable drugs and precious stones,
   More worth than Asia and the world beside;
   And from th' Antarctic Pole eastward behold
   As much more land, which never was descried,
   Wherein are rocks of pearl that shine as bright
   As all the lamps that beautify the sky.
   And shall I die, and this unconquered?
   Here, lovely boys; what death forbids my life,
   That let your lives command in spite of death.
AMYRAS. Alas, my lord, how should our bleeding hearts,
   Wounded and broken with your highness' grief,
   Retain a thought of joy or spark of life?
   Your soul gives essence to our wretched subjects,
   Whose matter is incorporate in your flesh.
CELEBINUS. Your pains do pierce our souls; no hope survives,
   For by your life we entertain our lives.
TAMBURLAINE. But, sons, this subject, not of force enough
   To hold the fiery spirit it contains,
   Must part, imparting his impressions
   By equal portions into both your breasts.
   My flesh, divided in your precious shapes,
   Shall still retain my spirit, though I die,
   And live in all your seeds immortally.
   Then now remove me, that I may resign
   My place and proper title to my son.
   First, take my scourge and my imperial crown,
   And mount my royal chariot of estate,
   That I may see thee crowned before I die.
   Help me, my lords, to make my last remove.
THERIDAMAS. A woeful change, my lord, that daunts our thoughts
   More than the ruin of our proper souls.
TAMBURLAINE. Sit up, my son, let me see how well
   Thou wilt become thy father's majesty.

   They crown Amyras.

AMYRAS. With what a flinty bosom should I joy
   The breath of life and burden of my soul,
   If not resolved into resolved pains,
   My body's mortified lineaments
   Should exercise the motions of my heart,
   Pierced with the joy of any dignity!
   O father, if the unrelenting ears
   Of death and hell be shut against my prayers,
   And that the spiteful influence of heaven
   Deny my soul fruition of her joy,
   How should I step or stir my hateful feet
   Against the inward powers of my heart,
   Leading a life that only strives to die,
   And plead in vain unpleasing sovereignty?
TAMBURLAINE. Let not thy love exceed thine honour, son,
   Nor bar thy mind that magnanimity
   That nobly must admit necessity.
   Sit up, my boy, and with these silken reins
   Bridle the steeled stomachs of those jades.
THERIDAMAS. My lord, you must obey his majesty,
   Since fate commands and proud necessity.
AMYRAS. Heavens witness me with what a broken heart
   And damned spirit I ascend this seat,
   And send my soul, before my father die,
   His anguish and his burning agony!
TAMBURLAINE. Now fetch the hearse of fair Zenocrate.
   Let it be placed by this my fatal chair,
   And serve as parcel of my funeral.
USUMCASANE. Then feels your majesty no sovereign ease,
   Nor may our hearts, all drowned in tears of blood,
   Joy any hope of your recovery?
TAMBURLAINE. Casane, no. The monarch of the earth,
   And eyeless monster that torments my soul,
   Cannot behold the tears ye shed for me,
   And therefore still augments his cruelty.
TECHELLES. Then let some god oppose his holy power
   Against the wrath and tyranny of Death,
   That his tear-thirsty and unquenched hate
   May be upon himself reverberate!

   They bring in the hearse.

TAMBURLAINE. Now, eyes, enjoy your latest benefit,
   And when my soul hath virtue of your sight,
   Pierce through the coffin and the sheet of gold,
   And glut your longings with a heaven of joy.
   So, reign, my son; scourge and control those slaves,
   Guiding thy chariot with thy father's hand.
   As precious is the charge thou undertak'st
   As that which Clymene's brainsick son did guide,
   When wandering Phoebe's ivory cheeks were scorched,
   And all the earth, like Etna, breathing fire.
   Be warned by him, then learn with awful eye
   To sway a throne as dangerous as his;
   For if thy body thrive not full of thoughts
   As pure and fiery as Phyteus' beams,
   The nature of these proud rebelling jades
   Will take occasion by the slenderest hair
   And draw thee piecemeal, like Hippolytus,
   Through rocks more steep and sharp than Caspian cliffs.
   The nature of thy chariot will not bear
   A guide of baser temper than myself,
   More than heaven's coach the pride of Phaeton.
   Farewell, my boys! My dearest friends, farewell!
   My body feels, my soul doth weep to see
   Your sweet desires deprived my company,
   For Tamburlaine, the scourge of God, must die.


AMYRAS. Meet heaven and earth, and here let all things end,
   For earth hath spent the pride of all her fruit,
   And heaven consumed his choicest living fire.
   Let earth and heaven his timeless death deplore,
   For both their worths will equal him no more. .


© 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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