Front Page Titles (by Subject) ACT THE SECOND. - The Works of Christopher Marlowe vol. 1
ACT THE SECOND. - 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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ACT THE SECOND.
EnterCosroe, Menaphon, Ortvgius, Ceneus, with other Soldiers.
- Thus far are we towards Theridamas,
- And valiant Tamburlaine, the man of fame,
- The man that in the forehead of his fortune
- Bears figures of renown and miracle.
- But tell me, that hast seen him, Menaphon,
- What stature wields he, and what personage?
- Of stature tall, and straightly fashionéd,
- Like his desire lift upward and divine,
- So large of limbs, his joints so strongly knit,
- Such breadth of shoulders as might mainly bear
- Old Atlas' burthen;—'twixt his manly pitch,
- A pearl, more worth than all the world, is placed,
- Wherein by curious sovereignty of art
- Are fixed his piercing instruments of sight,
- Whose fiery circles bear encompasséd
- A heaven of heavenly bodies in their spheres,
- That guides his steps and actions to the throne,
- Where honour sits invested royally:
- Pale of complexion, wrought m him with passion,
- Thirsting with sovereignty and love of arms;
- His lofty brows in folds do figure death,
- And in their smoothness amity and life;
- About them hangs a knot of amber hair,
- Wrapped in curls, as fierce Achilles' was,
- On which the breath of Heaven delights to play,
- Making it dance with wanton majesty.—
- His arms and fingers, long, and sinewy,
- Betokening valour and excess of strength;—
- In every part proportioned like the man
- Should make the world subdued to Tamburlaine.
- Well hast thou pourtrayed in thy terms of life
- The face and personage of a wondrous man;
- Nature doth strive with Fortune and his stars
- To make him famous in accomplished worth;
- And well his merits show him to be made
- His fortune's master and the king of men,
- That could persuade at such a sudden pinch,
- With reasons of his valour and his life,
- A thousand sworn and overmatching foes.
- Then, when our powers in points of swords are joined
- And closed in compass of the killing bullet,
- Though strait the passage and the port be made
- That leads to palace of my brother's life,
- Proud is his fortune if we pierce it not.
- And when the princely Persian diadem
- Shall overweigh his weary witless head,
- And fall like mellowed fruit with shakes of death,
- In fair Persia, noble Tamburlaine
- Shall be my regent and remain as king.
- In happy hour we have set the crown
- Upon your kingly head that seeks our honour,
- In joining with the man ordained by Heaven,
- To further every action to the best.
- He that with shepherds and a little spoil
- Durst, in disdain of wrong and tyranny,
- Defend his freedom 'gainst a monarchy,
- What will he do supported by a king,
- Leading a troop of gentlemen and lords,
- And stuffed with treasure for his highest thoughts!
- And such shall wait on worthy Tamburlaine.
- Our army will be forty thousand strong,
- When Tamburlaine and brave Theridamas
- Have met us by the river Araris;
- And all conjoined to meet the witless king,
- That now is marching near to Parthia,
- And with unwilling soldiers faintly armed,
- To seek revenge on me and Tamburlaine,
- To whom, sweet Menaphon, direct me straight.
- I will, my lord. [Exeunt.
EnterMycetes, Meander, with other Lords and Soldiers.
- Come, my Meander, let us to this gear.
- I tell you true, my heart is swoln with wrath
- On this same thievish villain, Tamburlaine,
- And, on that false Cosroe, my traitorous brother.
- Would it not grieve a king to be so abused
- And have a thousand horsemen ta'en away?
- And, which is worse, to have his diadem
- Sought for by such scald knaves as love him not?
- I think it would; well then, by Heavens I swear,
- Aurora shall not peep out of her doors,
- But I will have Cosroe by the head,
- And kill proud Tamburlaine with point of sword.
- Tell you the rest, Meander: I have said.
- Then having past Armenian deserts now,
- And pitched our tents under the Georgian hills,
- Whose tops are covered with Tartarian thieves,
- That lie in ambush, waiting for a prey,
- What should we do but bid them battle straight,
- And rid the world of those detested troops?
- Lest, if we let them linger here awhile,
- They gather strength by power of fresh supplies.
- This country swarms with vile outrageous men
- That live by rapine and by lawless spoil,
- Fit soldiers for the wicked Tamburlaine;
- And he that could with gifts and promises
- Inveigle him that led a thousand horse,
- And make him false his faith unto his king,
- Will quickly win such as be like himself.
- Therefore cheer up your minds; prepare to fight;
- He that can take or slaughter Tamburlaine
- Shall rule the province of Albania:
- Who brings that traitor's head, Theridamas,
- Shall have a government in Media,
- Beside the spoil of him and all his train:
- But if Cosroe, (as our spials say,
- And as we know) remains with Tamburlaine,
- His Highness' pleasure is that he should live,
- And be reclaimed with princely lenity.
- A hundred horsemen of my company
- Scouting abroad upon these champion plains
- Have viewed the army of the Scythians,
- Which make report it far exceeds the king's.
- Suppose they be in number infinite,
- Yet being void of martial discipline,
- All running headlong after greedy spoils,
- And more regarding gain than victory,
- Like to the cruel brothers of the earth,
- Sprong of the teeth of dragons venomous,
- Their careless swords shall lanch their fellows' throats,
- And make us triumph in their overthrow.
- Was there such brethren, sweet Meander, say,
- That sprang of teeth of dragons venomous?
- And 'tis a pretty toy to be a poet.
- Well, well, Meander, thou art deeply read,
- And having thee, I have a jewel sure.
- Go on, my Lord, and give your charge, I say;
- Thy wit will make us conquerors to-day.
- Then, noble soldiers, to entrap these thieves,
- That live confounded in disordered troops,
- If wealth or riches may prevail with them,
- We have our camels laden all with gold,
- Which you that be but common soldiers
- Shall fling in every corner of the field;
- And while the base-born Tartars take it up,
- You, fighting more for honour than for gold,
- Shall massacre those greedy-minded slaves;
- And when their scattered army is subdued,
- And you march on their slaughtered carcases,
- Share equally the gold that bought their lives,
- And live like gentlemen in Persia.
- Strike up the drum! and march courageously!
- Fortune herself doth sit upon our crests.
- He tells you true, my masters: so he does.
- Drums, why sound ye not, when Meander speaks?
- [Exeunt, drums sounding.
EnterCosroe, Tamburlaine, Theridamas, Techelles, Usumcasane,andOrtygius, with others.
- Now, worthy Tamburlaine, have I reposed
- In thy approvèd fortunes all my hope.
- What thmk'st thou, man, shall come of our attempts?
- For even as from assurèd oracle,
- I take thy doom for satisfaction.
- And so mistake you not a whit, my Lord;
- For fates and oraclès [of] Heaven have sworn
- To royalise the deeds of Tamburlaine,
- And make them blest that share in his attempts.
- And doubt you not but, if you favour me,
- And let my fortunes and my valour sway
- To some direction in your martial deeds,
- The world will strive with hosts of men at arms,
- To swarm unto the ensign I support:
- The host of Xerxes, which by fame is said
- To have drank the mighty Parthian Araris,
- Was but a handful to that we will have.
- Our quivering lances, shaking in the air,
- And bullets, like Jove's dreadful thunderbolts,
- Enrolled in flames and fiery smouldering mists,
- Shall threat the gods more than Cyclopian wars:
- And with our sun-bright armour as we march,
- We'll chase the stars from heaven and dim their eyes
- That stand and muse at our admired arms.
- You see, my Lord, what working words he hath;
- But when you see his actions stop his speech,
- Your speech will stay or so extol his worth
- As I shall be commended and excused
- For turning my poor charge to his direction.
- And these his two renowmèd friends, my lord,
- Would make one thirst and strive to be retained
- In such a great degree of amity.
- With duty and with amity we yield
- Our utmost service to the fair Cosroe.
- Which I esteem as portion of my crown.
- Usumcasane and Techelles both,
- When she that rules in Rhamnus' golden gates,
- And makes a passage for all prosperous arms,
- Shall make me solely emperor of Asia,
- Then shall your meeds and valours be advanced
- To rooms of honour and nobility.
- Then haste, Cosroe, to be king alone,
- That I with these, my friends, and all my men
- May triumph in our long-expected fate.—
- The king, your brother, is now hard at hand;
- Meet with the fool, and rid your royal shoulders
- Of such a burthen as outweighs the sands
- And all the craggy rocks of Caspia.
- Enter a Messenger.
- My lord, we have discoveréd the enemy
- Ready to charge you with a mighty army.
- Come, Tamburlaine! now whet thy wingéd sword,
- And lift thy lofty arm into the clouds,
- That it may reach the king of Persia's crown,
- And set it safe on my victorious head.
- See where it is, the keenest curtle axe
- That e'er made passage thorough Persian arms.
- These are the wings shall make it fly as swift
- As doth the lightning or the breath of Heaven.
- And kill as sure as it swiftly flies.
- Thy words assure me of kind success;
- Go, valiant soldier, go before and charge
- The fainting army of that foolish king.
- Usumcasane and Techelles, come!
- We are enow to scare the enemy,
- And more than needs to make an emperor.
- [They go out to the battle
Mycetescomes out alone with his Crown in his hand, offering to hide it.
- AccursÈD be he that first invented war!
- They knew not, ah they knew not, simple men,
- How those were hit by pelting cannon shot,
- Stand staggering like a quivering aspen leaf
- Fearing the force of Boreas' boisterous blasts.
- In what a lamentable case were I
- If Nature had not given me wisdom's lore,
- For kings are clouts that every man shoots at,
- Our crown the pin that thousands seek to cleave;
- Therefore in policy I think it good
- To hide it close; a goodly stratagem,
- And far from any man that is a fool:
- So shall I not be known; or if I be,
- They cannot take away my crown from me.
- Here will I hide it in this simple hole.
- What, fearful coward, straggling from the camp,
- When kings themselves are present in the field?
- Base villain! darest thou give the lie?
- Away; I am the king; go; touch me not.
- Thou break'st the law of anns, unless thou kneel
- And cry me “mercy, noble king.”
- Are you the witty king of Persia?
- Ay, many am I: have you any suit to me?
- I would entreat you speak but three wise words.
- So I can when I see my time.
- Ay, didst thou ever see a fairer?
- You will not sell it, will you?
- Such another word and I will have thee executed. Come, give it me!
- No; I mean I let you keep it.
- Well; I mean you shall have it again.
- Here; take it for a while: I lend it thee,
- 'Till I may see thee hemmed with arméd men;
- Then shalt thou see me pull it from thy head:
- Thou art no match for mighty Tamburlaine.
- [Exit TAMBURLAINE.
- O gods! Is this Tamburlaine the thief?
- I marvel much he stole it not away.
- [Sound trumpets to the battle, and he runs in.
EnterCosroe, Tamburlaine, Theridamas, Menaphon, Meander, Ortygius, Techelles, Usumcasane, with others.
- Hold thee, Cosroe! wear two imperial crowns;
- Think thee invested now as royally,
- Even by the mighty hand of Tamburlaine,
- As if as many kings as could encompass thee
- With greatest pomp, had crowned thee emperor.
- So do I, thrice renowméd man-at-arms,
- And none shall keep the crown but Tamburlaine.
- Thee do I make my regent of Persia,
- And general lieutenant of my armies.
- Meander, you, that were our brother's guide,
- And chiefest counsellor in all his acts,
- Since he is yielded to the stroke of war,
- On your submission we with thanks excuse,
- And give you equal place in our affairs.
- Most happy emperor, in humblest terms,
- I vow my service to your majesty,
- With utmost virtue of my faith and duty.
- Thanks, good Meander: then, Cosroe, reign,
- And govern Persia in her former pomp!
- Now send embassage to thy neighbour kings,
- And let them know the Persian king is changed,
- From one that knew not what a King should do,
- To one that can command what 'longs thereto.
- And now we will to fair Persepolis,
- With twenty thousand expert soldiers.
- The lords and captains of my brother's camp
- With little slaughter take Meander's course,
- And gladly yield them to my gracious rule.
- Ortygius and Menaphon, my trusty friends,
- Now will I gratify your former good,
- And grace your calling with a greater sway.
- And as we ever aimed at your behoof,
- And sought your state all honour it deserved,
- So will we with our powers and our lives
- Endeavour to preserve and prosper it.
- I will not thank thee, sweet Ortygius;
- Better replies shall prove my purposes.
- And now, Lord Tamburlaine, my brother's camp
- I leave to thee and to Theridamas,
- To follow me to fair Persepolis.
- Then will we march to all those Indian mines,
- My witless brother to the Christians lost,
- And ransom them with fame and usury.
- And till thou overtake me, Tamburlaine,
- (Staying to order all the scattered troops,)
- Farewell, lord regent and his happy friends!
- I long to sit upon my brother's throne.
- Your majesty shall shortly have your wish,
- And ride in triumph through Persepolis.
- [All go Slip out but TAMB.,. TECH., THER., and USUM.
- “And ride in triumph through Persepolis!”
- Is it not brave to be a king, Techelles?
- Usumcasane and Theridamas,
- Is it not passing brave to be a king,
- “And ride in triumph through Persepolis?”
- O, my lord, 'tis sweet and full of pomp.
- To be a king is half to be a god.
- A god is not so glorious as a king.
- I think the pleasure they enjoy in heaven,
- Cannot compare with kingly joys in earth.—
- To wear a crown enchased with pearl and gold,
- Whose virtues carry with it life and death;
- To ask and have, command and be obeyed;
- When looks breed love, with looks to gain the prize,
- Such power attractive shines in princes' eyes!
- Why say, Theridamas, wilt thou be a king?
- Nay, though I praise it, I can live without it.
- What say my other friends? Will you be kings?
- I, if I could, with all my heart, my lord.
- Why, that's well said, Techelles; so would I,
- And so would you, my masters, would you not?
- Why then, Casane, shall we wish for aught
- The world affords in greatest novelty,
- And rest attemptless, faint, and destitute?
- Methinks we should not: I am strongly moved,
- That if I should desire the Persian crown,
- I could attain it with a wondrous ease.
- And would not all our soldiers soon consent,
- If we should aim at such a dignity?
- I know they would with our persuasions.
- Why then, Theridamas, I'll first assay
- To get the Persian kingdom to myself;'
- Then thou for Parthia; they for Scythia and Media;
- And, if I prosper, all shall be as sure
- As if the Turk, the Pope, Afric, and Greece,
- Came creeping to us with their crowns apiece.
- Then shall we send to this triumphing king,
- And bid him battle for his novel crown?
- Nay, quickly then, before his room be hot.
- 'Twill prove a pretty jest, in faith, my friends.
- A jest to charge on twenty thousand men!
- I judge the purchase more important far.
- Judge by thyself, Theridamas, not me;
- For presently Techelles here shall haste
- To bid him battle ere he pass too far,
- And lose more labour than the game will quite.
- Then shalt thou see this Scythian Tamburlaine,
- Make but a jest to win the Persian crown.
- Techelles, take a thousand horse with thee,
- And bid him turn him back to war with us,
- That only made him king to make us sport.
- We will not steal upon him cowardly,
- But give him warning and more warriors.
- Haste, thee, Techelles, we will follow thee.
- What saith Theridamas?
- What means this devilish shepherd to aspire
- With such a giantly presumption
- To cast up hills against the face of heaven,
- And dare the force of angry Jupiter?
- But as he thrust them underneath the hills,
- And pressed out fire from their burning jaws,
- So will I send this monstrous slave to hell,
- Where flames shall ever feed upon his soul.
- Some powers divine, or else infernal, mixed
- Their angry seeds at his conception; m
- For he was never sprong of human race,
- Since with the spirit of his fearful pride,
- He dare so doubtlessly resolve of rule,
- And by profession be ambitious.
- What god, or fiend, or spirit of the earth,
- Or monster turned to a manly shape,
- Or of what mould or mettle he be made,
- What star or state soever govern him,
- Let us put on our meet encountering minds;
- And in detesting such a devilish chief,
- In love of honour and defence of right,
- Be armed against the hate of such a foe,
- Whether from earth, or hell, or heaven, he grow.
- Nobly resolved, my good Ortygius;
- And since we all have sucked one wholesome air,
- And with the same proportion of elements
- Resolve, I hope we are resembled
- Vowing our loves to equal death and life.
- Let's cheer our soldiers to encounter him,
- That grievous image of ingratitude,
- That fiery thirster after sovereignty,
- And burn him in the fury of that flame,
- That none can quench but blood and empery.
- Resolve, my lords and loving soldiers, now
- To save your king and country from decay.
- Then strike up, drum; and all the stars that make
- The loathsome circle of my dated life,
- Direct my weapon to his barbarous heart,
- That thus opposeth him against the gods,
- And scorns the powers that govern Persia!
- [Exeunt; marital music.
Alarms.—A battle; enterCosroe, wounded,Therida-mas, Tamburlaine, Techelles, Usumcasane, with others.
- Barbarous and bloody Tamburlaine,
- Thus to deprive me of my crown and life!
- Treacherous and false Theridamas,
- Even at the morning of my happy state,
- Scarce being seated in my royal throne,
- To work my downfall and untimely end!
- An uncouth pain torments my grievéd soul,
- And death arrests the organ of my voice,
- Who, entering at the breach thy sword hath made,
- Sacks every vein and artier of my heart—
- Bloody and insatiate Tamburlaine!
- The thirst of reign and sweetness of a crown
- That caused the eldest son of heavenly Ops,
- To thrust his doting father from his chair,
- And place himself in the empyreal heaven,
- Moved me to manage arms against thy state.
- What better precedent than mighty Jove?
- Nature that framed us of four elements,
- Warring within our breasts for regiment,
- Doth teach us all to have aspiring minds:
- Our souls, whose faculties can comprehend
- The wondrous architecture of the world,
- And measure every wandering planet's course,
- Still climbing after knowledge infinite,
- And always moving as the restless spheres,
- Wills us to wear ourselves, and never rest,
- Until we reach the ripest fruit of all,
- That perfect bliss and sole felicity,
- The sweet fruition of an earthly crown.
- And that made me to join with Tamburlaine:
- For he is gross and like the massy earth,
- That moves not upwards, nor by princely deeds
- Doth mean to soar above the highest sort.
- And that made us the friends of Tamburlaine,
- To lift our swords against the Persian king.
- Usum, For as when Jove did thrust old Saturn down,
- Neptune and Dis gained each of them a crown,
- So do we hope to reign in Asia,
- If Tamburlaine be placed in Persia.
- The strangest men that ever nature made!
- I know not how to take their tyrannies.
- My bloodless body waxeth chill and cold,
- And with my blood my life slides through my wound;
- My soul begins to take her flight to hell,
- And summons all my senses to depart.—
- The heat and moisture, which did feed each other,
- For want of nourishment to feed them both,
- Is dry and cold; and now doth ghastly death,
- With greedy talents gripe my bleeding heart,
- And like a harpy tires on my life.
- Theridamas and Tamburlaine, I die:
- And fearful vengeance light upon you both!
- [COSROE dies.—Tamburlainetakes the crown and puts it on.
- Not all the curses which the furies breathe,
- Shall make me leave so rich a prize as this.
- Theridamas, Techelles, and the rest,
- Who think you now is king of Persia?
- Tamburlaine! Tamburlaine!
- Though Mars himself, the angry god of arms,
- And all the earthly potentates conspire
- To dispossess me of this diadem,
- Yet will I wear it in despite of them,
- As great commander of this eastern world,
- If you but say that Tamburlaine shall reign.
- Long live Tamburlaine and reign in Asia!
- So now it is more surer on my head,
- Than if the gods had held a Parliament,
- And all pronounced me king of Persia.
- “Saucy lictors
- Will catch at us like strumpets, and scald rhymers
- Ballad us out of tune.”
- “She that rules fair Rhamnus' golden gates
- Grant us the honour of the victory.”
- “Father, do but think
- How sweet a thing it is to wear a crown,
- Within whose circuit is Ehzium
- And all that poets feign of bliss and joy.”