Front Page Titles (by Subject) SCENE II. - The Works of Christopher Marlowe vol. 1
SCENE II. - 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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EnterTamburlaineleadingZenocrate, Techelles, Usumcasane, Agydas, Machetes, Lords, and Soldiers, loaden with treasure.
- Come, lady, let not this appal your thoughts;
- The jewels and the treasure we have ta'en
- Shall be reserved, and you in better state,
- Than if you were arrived in Syria,
- Even in the circle of your father's arms,
- The mighty soldan of Ægyptia.
- Ah, shepherd! pity my distresséd plight,
- (If, as thou seem'st, thou art so mean a man,)
- And seek not to enrich thy followers
- By lawless rapine from a silly maid,
- Who travelling with these Median lords
- To Memphis, from my uncle's country of Media,
- Where all my youth I have been governéd,
- Have past the army of the mighty Turk,
- Bearing his privy signet and his hand
- To safe conduct us thorough Africa.
- And since we have arrived in Scythia,
- Besides rich presents from the puissant Cham,
- We have his highness' letters to command
- Aid and assistance, if we stand in need.
- But now you see these letters and commands
- Are countermanded by a greater man;
- And through my provinces you must expect
- Letters of conduct from my mightiness,
- If you intend to keep your treasure safe.
- But, since I love to live at liberty,
- As easily may you get the soldan's crown
- As any prizes out of my precinct;
- For they are friends that help to wean my state
- 'Till men and kingdoms help to strengthen it,
- And must maintain my life exempt from servitude.—
- But, tell me, madam, is your grace betrothed?
- I am—my lord—for so you do import.
- I am a lord, for so my deeds shall prove:
- And yet a shepherd by my parentage.
- But, lady, this fair face and heavenly hue
- Must grace his bed that conquers Asia,
- And means to be a terror to the world,
- Measuring the limits of his empery
- By east and west, as Phoebus doth his course.
- Lie here ye weeds that I disdain to wear!
- This complete armour and this curtle axe
- Are adjuncts more beseeming Tamburlame.
- And, madam, whatsoever you esteem
- Of this success and loss unvaluéd,
- Both may invest you empress of the East;
- And these that “seem but silly country swains
- May have the leading of so great an host,
- As with their weight shall make the mountains quake,
- Even as when windy exhalations
- Fighting for passage, tilt within the earth.
- As princely lions, when they rouse themselves,
- Stretching their paws, and threatening herds of beasts,
- So in his armour looketh Tamburlaine.
- Methinks I see kings kneeling at his feet,
- And he with frowning brows and fiery looks,
- Spurning their crowns from off their captive heads.
- And making thee and me, Techelles, kings,
- That even to death will follow Tamburlaine.
- Nobly resolved, sweet friends and followers!
- These Lords, perhaps do scorn our estimates,
- And think we prattle with distempered spirits;
- But since they measure our deserts so mean,
- That in conceit bear empires on our spears,
- Affecting thoughts coequal with the clouds,
- They shall be kept our forcéd followers,
- Till with their eyes they view us emperors.
- The Gods, defenders of the innocent,
- Will never prosper your intended drifts,
- That thus oppress poor friendless passengers.
- Therefore at least admit us liberty,
- Even as thou hopest to be eterniséd,
- By living Asia's mighty emperor.
- I hope our ladies' treasure and our own,
- May serve for ransom to our liberties:
- Return our mules and empty camels back,
- That we may travel into Syria,
- Where her betrothèd lord Alcidamas,
- Expects th' arrival of her highness' person.
- And wheresoever we repose ourselves,
- We will report but well of Tamburlaine.
- Disdains Zenocrate to live with me?
- Or you, my lords, to be my followers?
- Think you I weigh this treasure more than you?
- Not all the gold in India's wealthy arms
- Shall buy the meanest soldier in my train.
- Zenocrate, lovelier than the love of Jove,
- Brighter than is the silver Rhodope,
- Fairer than whitest snow on Scythian hills,—
- Thy person is more worth to Tamburlaine,
- Than the possession of the Persian crown,
- Which gracious stars have promised at my birth.
- A hundred Tartars shall attend on thee,
- Mounted on steeds swifter than Pegasus;
- Thy garments shall be made of Median silk,
- Enchased with precious jewels of mine own,
- More rich and valurous than Zenocrate's.
- With milk-white harts upon an ivory sled,
- Thou shalt be drawn amidst the frozen pools,
- And scale the icy mountains' lofty tops,
- Which with thy beauty will be soon resolved
- My martial prizes with five hundred men,
- Won on the fifty-headed Volga's waves,
- Shall we all offer to Zenocrate,—
- And then myself to fair Zenocrate.
- Techelles, women must be flatteréd:
- But this is she with whom I am in love.
- Enter a Soldier.
- How now—what's the matter?
- A thousand Persian horsemen are at hand,
- Sent from the king to overcome us all.
- How now, my lords of Egypt, and Zenocrate!
- How!—must your jewels be restored again,
- And I, that triumphed so, be overcome?
- How say you, lordings,—is not this your hope?
- We hope yourself will willingly restore them.
- Such hope, such fortune, have the thousand horse.
- Soft ye, my lords, and sweet Zenocrate!
- You must be forcèd from me ere you go.
- A thousand horsemen!—We five hundred foot!—
- An odds too great for us to stand against.
- But are they rich?—and is their armour good?
- Their plumèd helms are wrought with beaten gold,
- Their swords enamelled, and about their necks
- Hangs massy chains of gold, down to the waist,
- In every part exceeding brave and rich.
- Then shall we fight courageously with them?
- Or look you I should play the orator?
- No: cowards and faint-hearted runaways
- Look for orations when the foe is near:
- Our swords shall play the orator for us.
- Come! let us meet them at the mountain top,
- And with a sudden and a hot alarum,
- Drive all their horses headlong down the hill.
- Stay, Techelles! ask a parle first.
- The Soldiers enter.
- Open the mails, yet guard the treasure sure;
- Lay out our golden wedges to the view,
- That their reflections may amaze the Persians;
- And look we friendly on them when they come;
- But if they offer word or violence,
- We'll fight five hundred men at arms to one,
- Before we part with our possession.
- And 'gainst the general we will lift our swords,
- And either lanch his greedy thirsting throat,
- Or take him prisoner, and his chain shall serve.
- For manacles, till he be ransomed home.
- I hear them come; shall we encounter them?
- Keep all your standings and not stir a foot,
- Myself will bide the danger of the brunt.
- EnterTheridamasand others.
- Where is this Scythian Tamburlaine?
- Whom seek'st thou, Persian?—I am Tamburlaine.
- A Scythian shepherd so embellishéd
- With nature's pride and richest furniture!
- His looks do menace Heaven and dare the gods:
- His fiery eyes are fixed upon the earth,
- As if he now devised some stratagem,
- Or meant to pierce Avernus' darksome vauts
- To pull the triple-headed dog from hell.
- Noble and mild this Persian seems to be,
- If outward habit judge the inward man.
- His deep affections make him passionate.
- With what a majesty he rears his looks!
- In thee, thou valiant man of Persia,
- I see the folly of thy emperor.
- Art thou but captain of a thousand horse,
- That by chàracters graven in thy brows,
- And by thy martial face and stout aspéct,
- Deserv'st to have the leading of a host!
- Forsake thy king, and do but join with me,
- And we will triumph over all the world;
- I hold the fates bound fast in iron chains,
- And with my hand turn fortune's wheel about:
- And sooner shall the sun fall from his sphere,
- Than Tamburlaine be slain or overcome.
- Draw forth thy sword, thou mighty man at arms,
- Intending but to raze my charméd skin,
- And Jove himself will stretch his hand from Heaven
- To ward the blow and shield me safe from harm.
- See how he rains down heaps of gold in showers,
- As if he meant to give my soldiers pay!
- And as a sure and grounded argument,
- That I shall be the monarch of the East,
- He sends this soldan's daughter rich and brave,
- To be my queen and portly emperess.
- If thou wilt stay with me, renowméd man,
- And lead thy thousand horse with my condúct,
- Besides thy share of this Egyptian prize,
- Those thousand horse shall sweat with martial spoil
- Of conquered kingdoms and of cities sacked;
- Both we will walk upon the lofty cliffs,
- And Christian merchants that with Russian stems
- Plough up huge furrows in the Caspian sea,
- Shall vail to us, as lords of all the lake.
- Both we will reign as consuls of the earth,
- And mighty kings shall be our senators.
- Jove sometimes masked in a shepherd's weed,
- And by those steps that he hath scaled the heavens
- May we become immortal like the gods.
- Join with me now in this my mean estate,
- (I call it mean because being yet obscure,
- The nations far removed admire me not.)
- And when my name and hononr shall be spread
- As far as Boreas claps his brazen wings,
- Or fair Böötes sends his cheerful light,
- Then shall thou be competitor with me,
- And sit with Tamburlaine in all his majesty.
- Not Hermes, prolocutor to the gods,
- Could use persuasions more pathetical.
- Nor are Apollo's oracles more true,
- Than thou shalt find rny vaunts substantial.
- We are his friends, and if the Persian king
- Should offer present dukedoms to our state,
- We think it loss to make exchange for that
- We are assured of by our friend's success.
- And kingdoms at the least we all expect,
- Besides the honour in assuréd conquests,
- When kings shall crouch unto our conquering swords
- And hosts of soldiers stand amazed at us;
- When with their fearful tongues they shall confess,
- These are the men that all the world admires.
- What strong enchantmenls tice my yielding soul!
- These are resolvéd, noble Scythians:
- But shall I prove a traitor to my king?
- No, but the trusty friend of Tamburlaine.
- Won with thy words, and conquered with thy looks,
- I yield myself, my men, and horse to thee,
- To be partaker of thy good or ill,
- As long as life maintains Theridamas.
- Theridamas, my friend, take here my hand,
- Which is as much as if I swore by Heaven,
- And call'd the gods to witness of my vow.
- Thus shall my heart be still combined with thine
- Until our bodies turn to elements,
- And both our souls aspire celestial thrones.
- Techelles and Casane, welcome him!
- Welcome, renowmèd Persian, to us all!
- Long may Theridamas remain with us!
- These are my friends, in whom I rejoice
- Than doth the king of Persia in his crown,
- And by the love of Pylades and Orestes,
- Whose statues we adore in Scythia,
- Thyself and them shall never part from me
- Before I crown you kings in Asia.
- Make much of them, gentle Theridamas,
- And they will never leave thee till the death.
- Nor thee nor them, thrice noble Tarnburlaine,
- Shall want my heart to be with gladness pierced,
- To do you honour and security.
- A thousand thanks, worthy Therulamas.
- And now fair madam, and my noble lords,
- If you will willingly remain with me
- You shall have honours as your merits be;
- Or else you shall be forced with slavery.
- We yield unto thee, happy Tamburlaine.
- For you then, madam, I am out of doubt.
- Zeno, I must be pleased perforce. Wretched Zeno-crate!
ACT THE SECOND.
- “Thou shalt have garments wrought of Median silk
- Enchas'd with precious jewels brought from far.”
- “Italian merchants that with Russian stems
- Plough up huge furrows in the Tyrrhene main.”
- Merchants = merchantmen stems = prows.
- “What strong enchantments tice my yielding soul
- To these resolved noble Scythians?”
- “Minis amor juvenum, quamvis abiere tot anni,
- In Scythia magnum none quoque nomen habet.”
- —Ex Ponto, iii. 2, 95-96.