Front Page Titles (by Subject) SCENE I. - The Works of Christopher Marlowe vol. 1
SCENE I. - Christopher Marlowe, The Works of Christopher Marlowe vol. 1 
The Works of Christopher Marlowe, ed. A.H. Bullen (London: John C. Nimmo, 1885). Vol. 1.
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EnterMycetes, Cosroe, Meander, Theridamas, Ortygius, Ceneus, Menaphon, with others.
- Brother Cosroe, I find myself aggrieved,
- Yet insufficient to express the same;
- For it requires a great and thundering speech:
- Good brother, tell the cause unto my Lords;
- I know you have a better wit than I.
- Unhappy Persia, that in former age
- Hast been the seat of mighty conquerors,
- That, in their prowess and their policies,
- Have triumphed over Afric and the bounds
- Of Europe, where the sun scarce dares appear
- For freezing meteors and congealéd cold,
- Now to be ruled and governed by a man
- At whose birthday Cynthia with Saturn joined,
- And Jove, the Sun, and Mercury denied
- To shed their influence in his fickle brain!
- Now Turks and Tartars shake their swords at thee,
- Meaning to mangle all thy provinces.
- Brother, I see your meaning well enough,
- And through your planets I perceive you think
- I am not wise enough to be a king;
- But I refer me to my noblemen
- That know my wit, and can be witnesses.
- I might command you to be slain for this:
- Meander, might I not?
- Not for so small a fault, my sovereign lord.
- I mean it not, but yet I know I might;
- Yet live; yea live, Mycetes wills it so.
- Meander, thou, my faithful counsellor,
- Declare the cause of my conceivéd grief,
- Which is, God knows, about that Tamburlaine,
- That, like a fox in midst of harvest time,
- Doth prey upon my flocks of passengers;
- And, as I hear, doth mean to pull my plumes:
- Therefore 'tis good and meet for to be wise.
- Oft have I heard your Majesty complain
- Of Tamburlaine, that sturdy Scythian thief,
- That robs your merchants of Persepolis
- Trading by land unto the Western Isles,
- And in your confines with his lawless train
- Daily commits incivil outrages,
- Hoping (misled by dreaming prophecies)
- To reign in Asia, and with barbarous arms
- To make himself the monarch of the East;
- But ere he march in Asia, or display
- His vagrant ensign in the Persian fields,
- Your Grace hath taken order by Theridamas,
- Charged with a thousand horse, to apprehend
- And bring him captive to your Highness' throne.
- Full true thou speak'st, and like thyself, my Lord,
- Whom I may term a Damon for thy love:
- Therefore 'tis best, if so it like you all,
- To send my thousand horse incontinent
- To apprehend that paltry Scythian,
- How like you this, my honourable Lords?
- Is't not a kingly resolution?
- It cannot choose, because it comes from you.
- Then hear thy charge, valiant Theridamas,
- The chiefest captain of Mycetes' host,
- The hope of Persia, and the very legs
- Whereon our State doth lean as on a staff,
- That holds us up, and foils our neighbour foes:
- Thou shall be leader of this thousand horse,
- Whose foaming gall with rage and high disdain
- Have sworn the death of wicked Tamburlaine.
- Go frowning forth; but come thou smiling home,
- As did sir Pairs with the Grecian dame;
- Return with speed—time passeth swift away;
- Our life is frail, and we may die to-day.
- Before the moon renew her borrowed light,
- Doubt not, my Lord and gracious Sovereign,
- But Tamburlaine and that Tartarian rout,
- Shall either perish by our warlike hands,
- Or plead for mercy at your Highness' feet.
- Go, stout Theridamas, thy words are swords,
- And with thy looks thou conquerest all thy foes;
- I long to see thee back return from thence,
- That I may view these milk-white steeds of mine
- All loaden with the heads of killed men,
- And from their knees e'en to their hoofs below
- Besmeared with blood that makes a dainty show.
- Then now, my Lord, I humbly take my leave.
- Theridamas, farewell! ten thousand times.
- Ah, Menaphon, why stay'st thou thus behind,
- When other men press forward for renown?
- Go, Menaphon, go into Scythia;
- And foot by foot follow Theridamas.
- Nay, pray you let him stay; a greater [task]
- Fits Menaphon than warring with a thief:
- Create him Prorex of all Africa,
- That he may win the Babylonians' hearts
- Which will revolt from Persian government,
- Unless they have a wiser king than you.
- “Unless they have a wiser king than you.”
- These are his words; Meander, set them down.
- And add this to them—that all Asia
- Laments to see the folly of their king.
- Well, here I swear by this my royal seat,—
- You may do well to kiss it then.
- Embossed with silk as best beseems my state,
- To be revenged for these contemptuous words.
- Oh, where is duty and allegiance now?
- Fled to the Caspian or the Ocean main?
- What shall I call thee? brother?—no, a foe;
- Monster of nature!—Shame unto thy stock
- That dar'st presume thy sovereign for to mock!
- Meander, come: I am abused, Meander.
- All go out butCosroeandMenaphon.
- How now, my Lord? What, mated and amazed
- To hear the king thus threaten like himself!
- Ah, Menaphon, I pass not for his threats;
- The plot is laid by Persian noblemen
- And captains of the Median garrisons
- To crown me emperor of Asia:
- But this it is that doth excruciate
- The very substance of my vexéd soul—
- To see our neighbours that were wont to quake
- And tremble at the Persian monarch's name,
- Now sit and laugh our regiment to scorn;
- And that which might resolve me into tears,
- Men from the farthest equinoctial line
- Have swarmed in troops into the Eastern India,
- Lading their ships with gold and precious stones,
- And made their spoils from all our provinces.
- This should entreat your highness to rejoice,
- Since Fortune gives you opportunity
- To gain the title of a conqueror
- By curing of this maiméd empery.
- Afric and Europe bordering on your land,
- And continent to your dominions,
- How easily may you, with a mighty host,
- Pass into Grascia, as did Cyrus once,
- And cause them to withdraw their forces home,
- Lest you subdue the pride of Christendom.
- But, Menaphon, what means this trumpet's sound?
- Men, Behold, my lord, Ortygius and the rest
- Bringing the crown to make you emperor!
- EnterOrtygiusandCeneus,with others, bearing a Crown.
- Magnificent and mighty Prince Cosroe,
- We, in the name of other Persian states
- And Commons of the mighty monarchy,
- Present thee with the imperial diadem.
- The warlike soldiers and the gentlemen,
- That heretofore have filled Persepolis
- With Afric captains taken in the field,
- Whose ransom made them march in coats of gold,
- With costly jewels hanging at their ears,
- And shining stones upon their lofty crests,
- Now living idle in the walled towns,
- Wanting both pay and martial discipline,
- Begin in troops to threaten civil war,
- And openly exclaim against their king:
- Therefore, to stop all sudden mutinies,
- We will invest your highness emperor,
- Whereat the soldiers will conceive more joy,
- Than did the Macedonians at the spoil
- Of great Darius and his wealthy host.
- Well, since I see the state of Persia droop
- And languish in my brother's government,
- I willingly receive the imperial crown,
- And vow to wear it for my country's good,
- In spite of them shall malice my estate.
- And in assurance of desired success,
- We here do crown thee monarch of the East,
- Emperor of Asia and Persia;
- Great Lord of Media and Armenia;
- Duke of Africa and Albania,
- Mesopotamia and of Parthia,
- East India and the late-discovered isles;
- Chief lord of all the wide, vast Euxine Sea,
- And of the ever-raging Caspian Lake.
- Long live Cosroe, mighty emperor!
- And Jove may never let me longer live
- Than I may seek to gratify your love,
- And cause the soldiers that thus honour me
- To triumph over many provinces!
- By whose desire of discipline in arms
- I doubt not shortly but to reign sole king,
- And with the army of Theridamas,
- (Whither we presently will fly, my lords)
- To rest secure against my brother's force.
- We knew, my lord, before we brought the crown,
- Intending your investion so near
- The residence of your despisèd brother,
- The lords would not be too exasperate
- To injury or suppress your worthy title;
- Or, if they would, there are in readiness
- Ten thousand horse to carry you from hence,
- In spite of all suspected enemies.
- I know it well, my lord, and thank you all.
- Orty, Sound up the trumpets then.
- [Trumpets sound.
- God save the king!
- [Exeunt omnes.
- But what are kings when regiment is gone
- But perfect shadows in a sunshine day.”