Front Page Titles (by Subject) ACT THE FOURTH. - The Works of Christopher Marlowe vol. 1
ACT THE FOURTH. - 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 FOURTH.
Enter theSold AnofEgypt, Capolin, Lords, and a Messenger.
- Awake, ye men of Memphis! — hear the clang
- Of Scythian trumpets! — hear the basilisks,
- That, roaring, shake Damascus' turrets down!
- The rogue of Volga holds Zenocrate,
- The Soldan's daughter, for his concubine,
- And with a troop of thieves and vagabonds,
- Hath spread his colours to our high disgrace,
- While you, faint-hearted, base Egyptians,
- Lie slumbering on the flowery banks of Nile,
- As crocodiles that unaffrighted rest,
- While thundering cannons rattle on their skins.
- Nay, mighty Soldan, did your greatness see
- The frowning looks of fiery Tamburlaine,
- That with his terror and imperious eyes,
- Commands the hearts of his associates,
- It might amaze your royal majesty.
- Villain, I tell thee, were that Tamburlaine
- As monstrous as Gorgon prince of hell,
- The Soldan would not start a foot from him.
- But speak, what power hath he?
- Mighty lord,
- Three hundred thousand men in armour clad,
- Upon their prancing steeds disdainfully,
- With wanton paces trampling on the ground:
- Five hundred thousand footmen threatening shot,
- Shaking their swords, their spears, and iron bills,
- Environing their standard round, that stood
- As bristle-pointed as a thorny wood:
- Their warlike engines and munition
- Exceed the forces of their martial men.
- Nay, could their numbers countervail the stars,
- Or ever-drizzling drops of April showers,
- Or withered leaves that Autumn shaketh down,
- Yet would the Soldan by his conquering power
- So scatter and consume them in his rage,
- That not a man should live to rue their fall.
- So might your highness, had you time to sort
- Your fighting men, and raise your royal host;
- But Tamburlaine, by expedition,
- Advantage takes of your unreadiness.
- Let him take all the advantages he can,
- Were all the world conspired to fight for him,
- Nay, were he devil, as he is no man,
- Yet in revenge of fair Zenocrate,
- Whom he detaineth in despite of us,
- This arm should send him down to Erebus,
- To shroud his shame in darkness of the night.
- Pleaseth your Mightiness to understand,
- His resolution far exceedeth all.
- The first day when he pitcheth down his tents,
- White is their hue, and on his silver crest,
- A snowy feather spangled white he bears,
- To signify the mildness of his mind,
- That, satiate with spoil, refuseth blood.
- But when Aurora mounts the second time
- As red as scarlet is his furniture;
- Then must his kindled wrath be quenched with blood,
- Not sparing any that can manage arms;
- But if these threats move not submission,
- Black are his colours, black pavilion;
- His spear, his shield, his horse, his armour, plumes,
- And jetty feathers, menace death and hell;
- Without respect of sex, degree, or age,
- He razeth all his foes with fire and sword.
- Merciless villain! — peasant, ignorant
- Of lawful arms or martial discipline'!
- Pillage and murder are his usual trades.
- The slave usurps the glorious name of war.
- See, Capolin, the fair Arabian king,
- That hath been disappointed by this slave
- Of my fair daughter, and his princely love,
- May have fresh warning to go war with us,
- And be revenged for her disparagement.
EnterTamburlaine, Techelles, Theridamas, Usum-casane, Zekocrate, Anippe, two Moors drawingBajazethin a cage, and his Wife following him.
- Bring out my footstool.
- [BAJAZETH is taken out of the cage.
- Ye holy priests of heavenly Mahomet,
- That, sacrificing, slice and cut your flesh,
- Staining his altars with your purple blood;
- Make Heaven to frown and every fixèd star
- To suck up poison from the moorish fens,
- And pour it in this glorious tyrant's throat!
- The chiefest god, first mover of that sphere,
- Enchased with thousands ever-shining lamps,
- Will sooner burn the glorious frame of Heaven,
- Than it should so conspire my overthrow.
- But, villain! thou that wishest this to me,
- Fall prostrate on the low disdainful earth,
- And be the footstool of great Tamburlaine,
- That I may rise into my royal throne.
- First shall thou rip my bowels with thy sword,
- And sacrifice my soul to death and hell,
- Before I yield to such a slavery.
- Base villain, vassal, slave to Tamburlaine!
- Unworthy to embrace or touch the ground,
- That bears the honour of my royal weight;
- Stoop, villain, stoop! — Stoop! for so he bids
- That may command thee piecemeal to be torn,
- Or scattered like the lofty cedar trees
- Struck with the voice of thundering Jupiter.
- Then, as I look down to the damnèed fiends,
- Fiends look on me! and thou, dread god of hell,
- With ebon sceptre strike this hateful earth,
- And make it swallow both of us at once!
- [TAMBURLAINE gets up on him to his chair.
- Now clear the triple region of the air,
- And let the Majesty of Heaven behold
- Their scourge and terror tread on emperors.
- Smile stars, that reigned at my nativity,
- And dim the brightness of your neighbour lamps!
- Disdain to borrow light of Cynthia!
- For I, the chiefest lamp of all the earth,
- First rising in the East with mild aspèct,
- But fixèd now in the Meridian line,
- Will send up fire to your turning spheres,
- And cause the sun to borrow light of you.
- My sword struck fire from his coat of steel,
- Even in Bithynia, when I took this Turk;
- As when a fiery exhalation,
- Wrapt in the bowels of a freezing cloud
- Fighting for passage, make[s] the welkin crack,
- And casts a flash of lightning to the earth:
- But ere I march to wealthy Persia,
- Or leave Damascus and the Egyptian fields,
- As was the fame of Clymene's brain-sick son,
- That almost brent the axle-tree of heaven,
- So shall our swords, our lances, and our shot
- Fill all the air with fiery meteors:
- Then when the sky shall wax as red as blood
- It shall be said I made it red myself,
- To make me think of nought but blood and war.
- Unworthy king, that by thy cruelty
- Unlawfully usurp'st the Persian seat,
- Dar'st thou that never saw an emperor,
- Before thou met my husband in the field,
- Being thy captive, thus abuse his state,
- Keeping his kingly body in a cage,
- That roofs of gold and sun-bright palaces
- Should have prepared to entertain his grace?
- And treading him beneath thy loathsome feet,
- Whose feet the kings of Africa have kissed.
- You must devise some torment worse, my lord,
- To make these captives rein their lavish tongues.
- Zenocrate, look better to your slave.
- She is my handmaid's slave, and she shall look
- That these abuses flow not from her tongue:
- Chide her, Anippe.
- Let these be warnings for you then, my slave,
- How you abuse the person of the king;
- Or else I swear to have you whipt, stark-naked.
- Great Tamburlaine, great in my overthrow,
- Ambitious pride shall make thee fall as low,
- For treading on the back of Bajazeth,
- That should be horsèd on four mighty kings.
- Thy names, and titles, and thy dignities
- Are fled from Bajazeth and remain with me,
- That will maintain it 'gainst a world of kings.
- Put him in again.
- [They put him into the cage.
- Is this a place for mighty Bajazeth?
- Confusion light on him that helps thee thus!
- There, whiles he lives, shall Bajazeth be kept;
- And, where I go, be thus in triumph drawn;
- And thou, his wife, shalt feed him with the scraps
- My servitors shall bring thee from my board;
- For he that gives him other food than this,
- Shall sit by him and starve to death himself;
- This is my mind and I will have it so.
- Not all the kings and emperors of the earth,
- If they would lay their crowns before my feet,
- Shall ransom him, or take him from his cage.
- The ages that shall talk of Tamburlaine,
- Even from this day to Plato's wondrous year,
- Shall talk how I have handled Bajazeth;
- These Moors, that drew him from Bithynia,
- To fair Damascus, where we now remain,
- Shall lead him with us wheresoe'er we go.
- Techelles, and my loving followers,
- Now may we see Damascus' lofty towers,
- Like to the shadows of Pyramides,
- That with their beauties grace the Memphian fields:
- The golden stature of their feathered bird
- That spreads her wings upon the city's walls
- Shall not defend it from our battering shot:
- The townsmen mask in silk and cloth of gold,
- And every house is as a treasury:
- The men, the treasure, and the town is ours.
- Your tents of white now pitched before the gates,
- And gentle flags of amity displayed,
- I doubt not but the governor will yield,
- Offering Damascus to your majesty.
- So shall he have his life and all the rest:
- But if he stay until the bloody flag
- Be once advanced on my vermilion tent,
- He dies, and those that kept us out so long.
- And when they see us march in black array,
- With mournful streamers hanging down their heads,
- Were in that city all the world contained,
- Not one should 'scape, but perish by our swords.
- Yet would you have some pity for my sake,
- Because it is my country, and my father's.
- Not for the world, Zenocrate; I've sworn.
- Come; bring in the Turk.
EnterSoldan, Arabia, Capolin,and Soldiers with streaming colours.
- Methinks we march as Meleager did,
- Environèd with brave Argolian knights,
- To chase the savage Calydonian boar,
- Or Cephalus with lusty Theban youths
- Against the wolf that angry Themis sent
- To waste and spoil the sweet Aonian fields,
- A monster of five hundred thousand heads,
- Compact of rapine, piracy, and spoil.
- The scum of men, the hate and scourge of God,
- Raves in Ægyptia and annoyeth us.
- My lord, it is the bloody Tamburlaine,
- A sturdy felon and a base-bred thief,
- By murder raisèd to the Persian crown,
- That dare control us in our territories.
- To tame the pride of this presumptuous beast,
- Join your Arabians with the Soldan's power,
- Let us unite our royal bands in one,
- And hasten to remove Damascus' siege.
- It is a blemish to the majesty
- And high estate of mighty emperors,
- That such a base usurping vagabond
- Should brave a king, or wear a princely crown.
- Renowmèd Soldan, have you lately heard
- The overthrow of mighty Bajazeth
- About the confines of Bithynia?
- The slavery wherewith he persecutes
- The noble Turk and his great emperess?
- I have, and sorrow for his bad success;
- But noble lord of great Arabia,
- Be so persuaded that the Soldan is
- No more dismayed with tidings of his fall,
- Than in the haven when the pilot stands,
- And views a stranger's ship rent in the winds,
- And shiverèd against a craggy rock;
- Yet in compassion to his wretched state,
- A sacred vow to heaven and him I make,
- Confirming it with Ibis' holy name.
- That Tamburlaine shall rue the day, the hour,
- Wherein he wrought such ignominious wrong
- Unto the hallowed person of a prince,
- Or kept the fair Zenocrate so long
- As concubine, I fear, to feed his lust.
- Let grief and fury hasten on revenge;
- Let Tamburlaine for his offences feel
- Such plagues as we and heaven can pour on him.
- I long to break my spear upon his crest,
- And prove the weight of his victorious arm;
- For Fame, I fear, hath been too prodigal
- In sounding through the world his partial praise.
- Capolin, hast thou surveyed our powers?
- Great emperors of Egypt and Arabia,
- The number of your hosts united is
- A hundred and fifty thousand horse;
- Two hundred thousand foot, brave men-at-arms,
- Courageous, and full of hardiness,
- As frolick as the hunters in the chase
- Of savage beasts amid the desert woods.
- My mind presageth fortunate success
- And Tamburlaine, my spirit doth foresee
- The utter ruin of thy men and thee.
- Then rear your standards; let your sounding drums
- Direct our soldiers to Damascus walls.
- Now, Tamburlaine, the mighty Soldan comes,
- And leads with him the great Arabian king,
- To dim thy baseness and obscurity,
- Famous for nothing but for theft and spoil;
- To raze and scatter thy inglorious crew
- Of Scythians and slavish Persians.
The Banquet; and to it comeTamburlaine, all in scarlet,Theridamas, Techelles, Usumcasane, Bajazeth[in his cage],Zabina, and others.
- Now hang our bloody colours by Damascus,
- Reflexing hues of blood upon their heads,
- While they walk quivering on their city walls,
- Half dead for fear before they feel my wrath,
- Then let us freely banquet and carouse
- Full bowls of wine unto the god of war
- That means to fill your helmets full of gold,
- And make Damascus spoils as rich to you,
- As was to Jason Colchos' golden fleece, —
- And now, Bajazeth, hast thou any stomach?
- Ay, such a stomach, cruel Tamburlaine, as I could willingly feed upon thy blood-raw heart.
- Nay thine own is easier to come by; pluck out that; and 'twill serve thee and thy wife: Well, Zeno-crate, Techelles, and the rest, fall to your victuals.
- Fall to, and never may your meat digest!
- Ye furies, that can mask invisible,
- Dive to the bottom of Avernus' pool,
- And in your hands bring hellish poison up
- And squeeze it in the cup of Tamburlaine!
- Or, wingèd snakes of Lerna, cast your stings,
- And leave your venoms in this tyrant's dish!
- And may this banquet prove as ominous
- As Progne's to the adulterous Thracian king,
- That fed upon the substance of his child.
- My lord, [my lord] how can you suffer these Outrageous curses by these slaves of yours?
- To let them see, divine Zenocrate,
- I glory in the curses of my foes,
- Having the power from the imperial heaven
- To turn them all upon their proper heads.
- I pray you give them leave, madam: this speech is a goodly refreshing to them.
- But if his highness would let them be fed, it would do them more good.
- Sirrah, why fall you not to? — are you so daintily brought up, you cannot eat your own flesh?
- First, legions of devils shall tear thee in pieces.
- Villain, know'st thou to whom thou speakest?
- O, let him alone. Here; eat, sir: take it from [40 my sword's point, or I'll thrust it to thy heart.
- [Bajazethtakes it and stamps upon it.
- He stamps it under his feet, my lord.
- Take it up, villain, and eat it; or I will make thee slice the brawns of thy arms into carbonadoes and eat them.
- Nay, 'twere better he killed his wife, and then he shall be sure not to be starved, and he be provided for a month's victual beforehand.
- Here is my dagger: despatch her while she is fat, for if she live but a while longer, she will fall into [50 a consumption with fretting, and then she will not be worth the eating.
- Dost thou think that Mahomet will suffer this?
- 'Tis like he will when he cannot let it
- Go to; fall to your meat. — What, not a bit! Belike he hath not been watered to-day; give him some drink.
- [They give him water to drink, and he flings it upon the ground.
- Fast, and welcome, sir, while hunger make you eat.How now, Zenocrate, do not the Turk and his wife make a goodly show at a banquet?
- Methinks, 'tis a great deal better than a consort of musick.
- Yet musick would do well to cheer up Zenocrate. Pray thee, tell, why thou art so sad? — If thou wilt have a song, the Turk shall strain his voice. But why is it?
- My lord, to see my father's town besieged,
- The country wasted where myself was born,
- How can it but afflict my very soul?
- If any love remain in you, my lord,
- Or if my love unto your majesty
- May merit favour at your highness' hands,
- Then raise your siege from fair Damascus walls,
- And with my father take a friendly truce.
- Honour still wait on happy Tamburlaine;
- Yet give me leave to plead for him my lord.
- Content thyself: his person shall be safe
- And all the friends of fair Zenocrate,
- If with their lives they may be pleased to yield,
- Or may be forced to make me emperor;
- For Egypt and Arabia must be mine.—
- Feed you slave; thou may'st think thyself happy to be
- fed from my trencher.
- Baj. My empty stomach, full of idle heat,
- Draws bloody humours from my feeble parts,
- Preserving life by hasting cruel death.
- My veins are pale; my sinews hard and dry;
- My joints benumbed; unless I eat, I die.
- Zab. Eat, Bajazeth: and let us live
- In spite of them,—looking some happy power
- Will pity and enlarge us.
- Here, Turk; wilt thou- have a clean trencher?
- Ay, tyrant, and more meat.
- Soft, sir; you must be dieted;too much eating will make you surfeit.
- So it would, my lord, 'specially having so small a walk and so little exercise.
- [A second course is brought in of crowns.
- Theridamas, Techelles, and Casane, here [110 are the cates you desire to finger, are they not?
- Ay, my lord: but none save kings must feed with these.
- 'Tis enough for us to see them, and for Tam-burlaine only to enjoy them.
- Well; here is now to the Soldan of Egypt, the King of Arabia, and the Governor of Damascus. Now take these three crowns, and pledge me, my contributory kings.—I crown you here, Theridamas, King of Argier; Techelles, King of Fez; and Usumcasane, King of [120 Moroccus. How say you to this, Turk? These are not your contributory kings.
- Nor shall they long be thine, I warrant them.
- Kings of Argier, Moroccus, and of Fez,
- You that have marched with happy Tamburlaine
- As far as from the frozen plage of heaven,
- Unto the watery morning's ruddy bower,
- And thence by land unto the torrid zone,
- Deserve these titles I endow you with,
- By valour and by magnanimity.
- Your births shall be no blemish to your fame,
- For virtue is the fount whence honour springs,
- And they are worthy she investeth kings.
- And since your highness hath so well vouchsafed;
- If we deserve them not with higher meeds
- Than erst our states and actions have retained
- Take them away again and make us slaves.
- Well said, Theridamas; when holy fates
- Shall 'stablish me in strong Egyptia,
- We mean to travel to the antarctick pole,
- Conquering the people underneath our feet,
- And be renowmed as never emperors were.
- Zenocrate, I will not crown thee yet,
- Until with greater honours I be graced.
- “Ay, such a stomach, cruel Tamburlaine,
- As I could feed upon thy blood-raw heart.”
- “Now take these three crowns,
- And pledge me, my contributory kings.
- —I crown you here, Theridamas, King of Argier;
- Techelles, King of Fez; Usumcasane,
- King of Moroccus. How say you to this, Turk?
- I These are not your contributory kings.”