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Tamburlaine the Great, Part 2 by Christopher Marlowe - HTML preview

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     Enter ORCANES king of Natolia, GAZELLUS viceroy of Byron,

     URIBASSA,[4] and their train, with drums and trumpets.

ORCANES.  Egregious viceroys of these eastern parts,

Plac'd by the issue of great Bajazeth,

And sacred lord, the mighty Callapine,

Who lives in Egypt prisoner to that slave

Which kept his father in an iron cage,--

Now have we march'd from fair Natolia

Two hundred leagues, and on Danubius' banks

Our warlike host, in complete armour, rest,

Where Sigismund, the king of Hungary,

Should meet our person to conclude a truce:

What! shall we parle with the Christian?

Or cross the stream, and meet him in the field?

GAZELLUS.  King of Natolia, let us treat of peace:

We all are glutted with the Christians' blood,

And have a greater foe to fight against,--

Proud Tamburlaine, that now in Asia,

Near Guyron's head, doth set his conquering feet,

And means to fire Turkey as he goes:

'Gainst him, my lord, you must address your power.

URIBASSA.  Besides, King Sigismund hath brought from Christendom

More than his camp of stout Hungarians,--

Sclavonians, Almains, Rutters,[5] Muffs, and Danes,

That with the halberd, lance, and murdering axe,

Will hazard that we might with surety hold.

ORCANES.[6]  Though from the shortest northern parallel,

Vast Grantland, compass'd with the Frozen Sea,

(Inhabited with tall and sturdy men,

Giants as big as hugy[7] Polypheme,)

Millions of soldiers cut the[8] arctic line,

Bringing the strength of Europe to these arms,

Our Turkey blades shall glide through all their throats,

And make this champion[9] mead a bloody fen:

Danubius' stream, that runs to Trebizon,

Shall carry, wrapt within his scarlet waves,

As martial presents to our friends at home,

The slaughter'd bodies of these Christians:

The Terrene[10] main, wherein Danubius falls,

Shall by this battle be the bloody sea:

The wandering sailors of proud Italy

Shall meet those Christians, fleeting with the tide,

Beating in heaps against their argosies,

And make fair Europe, mounted on her bull,

Trapp'd with the wealth and riches of the world,

Alight, and wear a woful mourning weed.

GAZELLUS.  Yet, stout Orcanes, pro-rex of the world,

Since Tamburlaine hath muster'd all his men,

Marching from Cairo[11] northward, with his camp,

To Alexandria and the frontier towns,

Meaning to make a conquest of our land,

'Tis requisite to parle for a peace

With Sigismund, the king of Hungary,

And save our forces for the hot assaults

Proud Tamburlaine intends Natolia.

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.

Sclavonians, Almains, Rutters, Muffs, and Danes,

Fear[12] 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,[13] black[14] Egyptians,

Illyrians, Thracians, and Bithynians,[15]

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[16]

Of India, where raging Lantchidol

Beats on the regions with his boisterous blows,

That never seaman yet discovered.

All Asia is in arms with Tamburlaine,

Even from the midst of fiery Cancer's tropic

To Amazonia under Capricorn;

And thence, as far as Archipelago,

All Afric is in arms with Tamburlaine:

Therefore, viceroy,[17] the Christians must have peace.


     train, with drums and trumpets.

SIGISMUND.  Orcanes, (as our legates promis'd thee,)

We, with our peers, have cross'd Danubius' stream,

To treat of friendly peace or deadly war.

Take which thou wilt; for, as the Romans us'd,

I here present thee with a naked sword:

Wilt thou have war, then shake this blade at me;

If peace, restore it to my hands again,

And I will sheathe it, to confirm the same.

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[s] about the axle-tree of heaven?

Forgett'st thou that I sent a shower of darts,

Mingled with powder'd shot and feather'd steel,

So thick upon the blink-ey'd burghers' heads,

That thou thyself, then County Palatine,

The King of Boheme,[18] and the Austric Duke,

Sent heralds out, which basely on their knees,

In all your names, desir'd a truce of me?

Forgett'st thou that, to have me raise my siege,

Waggons of gold were set before my tent,

Stampt with the princely fowl that in her wings

Carries the fearful thunderbolts of Jove?

How canst thou think of this, and offer war?

SIGISMUND.  Vienna was besieg'd, and I was there,

Then County Palatine, but now a king,

And what we did was in extremity

But now, Orcanes, view my royal host,

That hides these plains, and seems as vast and wide

As doth the desert of Arabia

To those that stand on Bagdet's[19] lofty tower,

Or as the ocean to the traveller

That rests upon the snowy Appenines;

And tell me whether I should stoop so low,

Or treat of peace with the Natolian king.

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 parle[20] might become you both.

FREDERICK.  And we from Europe, to the same intent;[21]

Which if your general refuse or scorn,

Our tents are pitch'd, our men stand[22] in array,

Ready to charge you ere you stir your feet.

ORCANES.  So prest[23] 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[24] 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 sav'd my soul,

The Son of God and issue of a maid,

Sweet Jesus Christ, I solemnly protest

And vow to keep this peace inviolable!

ORCANES.  By sacred Mahomet, the friend of God,

Whose holy Alcoran remains with us,

Whose glorious body, when he left the world,

Clos'd in a coffin mounted up the air,

And hung on stately Mecca's temple-roof,

I swear to keep this truce inviolable!

Of whose conditions[25] and our solemn oaths,

Sign'd with our hands, each shall retain a scroll,

As memorable witness of our league.

Now, Sigismund, if any Christian king

Encroach upon the confines of thy realm,

Send word, Orcanes of Natolia

Confirm'd[26] this league beyond Danubius' stream,

And they will, trembling, sound a quick retreat;

So am I fear'd among all nations.

SIGISMUND.  If any heathen potentate or king

Invade Natolia, Sigismund will send

A hundred thousand horse train'd to the war,

And back'd by[27] 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 despatch chief of my army hence

To fair Natolia and to Trebizon,

To stay my coming 'gainst proud Tamburlaine:

Friend Sigismund, and peers of Hungary,

Come, banquet and carouse with us a while,

And then depart we to our territories.



     SCENE II.

     Enter CALLAPINE, and 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 detain'd 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, renowmed[28] 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[29] 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,[30] wherein at[31] anchor lies

A Turkish galley of my royal fleet,

Waiting my coming to the river-side,

Hoping by some means I shall be releas'd;

Which, when I come aboard, will hoist up sail,

And soon put forth into the Terrene[32] sea,

Where,[33] 'twixt the isles of Cyprus and of Crete,

We quickly may in Turkish seas arrive.

Then shalt thou see a hundred kings and more,

Upon their knees, all bid me welcome home.

Amongst so many crowns of burnish'd gold,

Choose which thou wilt, all are at thy command:

A thousand galleys, mann'd with Christian slaves,

I freely give thee, which shall cut the Straits,

And bring armadoes, from[34] 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, cloth'd in crimson silk,

Shall ride before thee on Barbarian steeds;

And, when thou goest, a golden canopy

Enchas'd with precious stones, which shine as bright

As that fair veil that covers all the world,

When 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[35] we not be spied going aboard?

CALLAPINE.  Betwixt the hollow hanging of a hill,

And crooked bending of a craggy rock,

The sails wrapt up, the mast and tacklings down,

She lies so close that none can find her out.

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 crown'd 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 enterprize,

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[36] 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, ZENOCRATE, and their 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 subdu'd,

Plac'd by her side, look on their mother's face.

But yet methinks their looks are amorous,

Not martial as the sons of Tamburlaine:

Water and air, being symboliz'd in one,

Argue their want of courage and of wit;

Their hair as white as milk, and soft as down,

(Which should be like the quills of porcupines,

As black as jet, and hard as iron or steel,)

Bewrays they are too dainty for the wars;

Their 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 issu'd from thy womb,

That never look'd 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[37] with his slender rod,

He rein'd him straight, and made him so curvet

As I cried out for fear he should have faln.


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[38] 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 term'd the scourge and terror of[39] the world?

TAMBURLAINE.  Be all a scourge and terror to[40] 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[41] from some coward's loins,

And not the issue of great Tamburlaine!

Of all the provinces I have subdu'd

Thou shalt not have a foot, unless thou bear

A mind courageous and invincible;

For he shall wear the crown of Persia

Whose head hath deepest scars, whose breast most wounds,

Which, being wroth, sends lightning from his eyes,

And in the furrows of his frowning brows

Harbours revenge, war, death, and cruelty;

For in a field, whose superficies[42]

Is cover'd with a liquid purple veil,

And sprinkled with the brains of slaughter'd men,

My royal chair of state shall be advanc'd;

And he that means to place himself therein,

Must armed wade up to the chin in blood.

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[43] pools of blood,

Or make a bridge of murder'd carcasses,[44]

Whose arches should be fram'd with bones of Turks,

Ere I would lose the title of a king.

TAMBURLAINE.  Well, lovely boys, ye shall be emperors both,

Stretching your conquering arms from east to west:--

And, sirrah, if you mean to wear a crown,

When we[45] 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[46] 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

Promis'd to meet me on Larissa-plains,

With hosts a-piece against this Turkish crew;

For I have sworn by sacred Mahomet

To make it parcel of my empery.

The trumpets sound; Zenocrate, they come.

     Enter THERIDAMAS, and his train, with drums and trumpets.

Welcome, Theridamas, king of Argier.

THERIDAMAS.  My lord, the great and mighty Tamburlaine,

Arch-monarch of the world, I offer here

My crown, myself, and all the power I have,

In all affection at thy kingly feet.

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 Tripoly,

Will quickly ride before Natolia,

And batter down the castles on the shore.

TAMBURLAINE.  Well said, Argier! receive thy crown again.


Kings of Morocco[47] 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 train'd to the war,[48]

Whose coal-black faces make their foes retire,

And quake for fear, as if infernal[49] Jove,

Meaning to aid thee[50] in these[51] Turkish arms,

Should pierce the black circumference of hell,

With ugly Furies bearing fiery flags,

And millions of his strong[52] 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 open'd wide, and I might enter in

To see the state and majesty of heaven,

It could not more delight me than your sight.

Now will we banquet on these plains a while,

And after march to Turkey with our camp,

In number more than are the drops that fall

When Boreas rents a thousand swelling clouds;

And proud Orcanes of Natolia

With all his viceroys shall be so afraid,

That, though the stones, as at Deucalion's flood,

Were turn'd to men, he should be overcome.

Such lavish will I make of Turkish blood,

That Jove shall send his winged messenger

To bid me sheathe my sword and leave the field;

The sun, unable to sustain the sight,

Shall hide his head in Thetis' watery lap,

And leave his steeds to fair Bootes'[53] 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 march'd

Four hundred miles with armour on their backs,

And lain in leaguer[54] fifteen months and more;

For, since we left you at the Soldan's court,

We have subdu'd the southern Guallatia,

And all the land unto the coast of Spain;

We kept the narrow Strait of Jubalter,[55]

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 march'd along the river Nile

To Machda, where the mighty Christian priest,

Call'd John the Great,[56] sits in a milk-white robe,

Whose triple mitre I did take by force,

And made him swear obedience to my crown.

]From thence unto Cazates did I march,

Where Amazonians met me in the field,

With whom, being women, I vouchsaf'd a league,

And with my power did march to Zanzibar,

The western part of Afric, where I view'd

The Ethiopian sea, rivers and lakes,

But neither man nor child in all the land:

Therefore I took my course to Manico,

Where,[57] unresisted, I remov'd my camp;

And, by the coast of Byather,[58] at last

I came to Cubar, where the negroes dwell,

And, conquering that, made haste to Nubia.

There, having sack'd Borno, the kingly seat,

I took the king and led him bound in chains

Unto Damascus,[59] where I stay'd before.

TAMBURLAINE.  Well done, Techelles!--What saith Theridamas?

THERIDAMAS.  I left the confines and the bounds of Afric,

And made[60] a voyage into Europe,

Where, by the river Tyras, I subdu'd

Stoka, Podolia, and Codemia;

Then cross'd the sea and came to Oblia,

And Nigra Silva, where the devils dance,

Which, in despite of them, I set on fire.

]From thence I cross'd the gulf call'd by the name

Mare Majore of the inhabitants.

Yet shall my soldiers make no period

Until Natolia kneel before your feet.

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 conquer'd him,[61]

Mingled with coral and with orient[62] pearl.

Come, let us banquet and carouse the whiles.