Front Page Titles (by Subject) TAMBURLAINE THE GREAT. Part the Second: ACT THE FIRST. - The Works of Christopher Marlowe vol. 1
TAMBURLAINE THE GREAT. Part the Second: ACT THE FIRST. - 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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TAMBURLAINE THE GREAT.
Part the Second
ACT THE FIRST.
ORCANES,King of Natolia, GAZELLUS,Viceroy of Byron, URiBASSA,and their train, with drums and trumpets.
- Egregious viceroys of these eastern parts,
- Placed 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 marched 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?
- King of Natolia, let us treat of peace;
- We are all 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 conq'ring feet,
- And means to fire Turkey as he goes.
- 'Gainst him, my lord, you roust address your power.
- Besides, King Sigismund hath brought from Christendom,
- More than his camp of stout Hungarians,—
- Sclavonians, Almain rutters, Muffes, and Danes,
- That with the halbert, lance, and murdering axe,
- Will hazard that we might with surety hold.
- Though from the shortest northern parallel,
- Vast Grantland, compassed with the Frozen Sea,
- (Inhabited with tall and sturdy men,
- Giants as big as hugy Polypheme,)
- Millions of soldiers cut the arctick line,
- Bringing the strength of Europe to these arms,
- Our Turkey blades shall glide through all their throats,
- And make this champion 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 slaughtered bodies of these Christians.
- The Terrene 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,
- Trapped with the wealth and riches of the world,
- Alight, and wear a woful mourning weed.
- Yet, stout Orcanes, Prorex of the world,
- Since Tamburlaine hath mustered all his men,
- Marching from Cairon 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.
- 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, Almain rutters, Muffes, and Danes,
- Fear 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, Syrians, black Egyptians,
- Illyrians, Thracians, and Bithynians,
- Enough to swallow forceless Sigismund,
- Yet scarce enough to encounter Tamburlaine.
- He brings a world of people to the field,
- From Scythia to the oriental plage
- 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 tropick,
- To Amazonia under Capricorn;
- And thence as far as Archipelago,
- All Afric is in arms with Tamburlaine;
- Therefore, viceroy, the Christians must have peace.
- Enter SIGISMUND, FREDERICK, BALDWIN, and their Train, with drums and trumpets.
- Orcanes, (as our legates promised thee,)
- We, with our peers, have crossed Danubius' stream,
- To treat of friendly peace or deadly war.
- Take which thou wilt, for as the Romans used,
- 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 sheath it, to confirm the same.
- Stay, Sigismund! forget'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?
- Forget'st thou that I sent a shower of darts,
- Mingled with powdered shot and feathered steel,
- So thick upon the blink-eyed burghers' heads,
- That thou thyself, then County Palatine,
- The King of Boheme, and the Austrick Duke,
- Sent heralds out, which basely on their knees
- In all your names desired a truce of me?
- Forget'st thou, that to have me raise my siege,
- Waggons of gold were set before my tents,
- Stampt with the princely fowl, that in her wings,
- Carries the fearful thunderbolts of Jove?
- How canst thou think of this, and offer war '
- Vienna was besieged, 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 Badgeth's lofty tower;
- Or as the ocean, to the traveller
- That rests upon the snowy Apennines;
- And tell me whether I should stoop so low,
- Or treat of peace with the Natolian king.
- 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 might become you both.
- And we from Europe, to the same intent,
- Which if your general refuse or scorn,
- Our tents are pitched, our men stand in array,
- Ready to charge you ere you stir your feet.
- So prest 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.
- Then here I sheathe it, and give thee my hand,
- Never to draw it out, or manage arms
- Against thyself or thy confederates,
- But whilst I live will be a truce with thee.
- But, Sigismund, confirm it with an oath,
- And swear in sight of heaven and by thy Christ.
- By him that made the world and saved my soul,
- The son of God and issue of a maid,
- Sweet Jesus Christ, I solemnly protest
- And vow to keep this peace inviolable.
- By sacred Mahomet, the friend of God,
- Whose holy Alcoran remains with us,
- Whose glorious body, when he left the world,
- Closed 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 and our solemn oaths,
- Signed 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 this league beyond Danubius' stream,
- And they will, trembling, sound a quick retreat;
- So am I feared among all nations.
- If any heathen potentate or king
- Invade Natolia, Sigismund will send
- A hundred thousand horse trained to the war,
- And backed by stout lanciers of Germany,
- The strength and sinews of the Imperial seat.
- 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 Trebison,
- 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.
CALLAPINE with ALMEDA, his Keeper, discovered. Call. Sweet Almeda, pity the ruthful plight
- Of Callapine, the son of Bajazeth,
- Born to be monarch of the western world,
- Yet here detained by cruel Tamburlaine.
- My lord, I pity it, and with all my heart
- Wish you release; but he whose wrath is death,
- My sovereign lord, renowmid Tamburlaine,
- Forbids you farther liberty than this.
- Ah, were I now but half so eloquent
- To paint in words what I'll perform in deeds,
- I know thou would'st depart from hence with me.
- Not for all Afric: therefore move me not.
- Yet hear rne speak, my gentle Almeda.
- No speech to that end, by your favour, sir.
- No talk of running, I tell you, sir.
- A little farther, gentle Almeda.
- By Cairo runs to Alexandria bay Darote's streams, wherein at
- A Turkish galley of my royal fleet,
- Waiting my coming to the river side,
- Hoping by some means I shall be released,
- Which, when I come aboard, will hoist up sail,
- And soon put forth into the Terrene sea,
- Where, '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 burnished gold,
- Choose which thou wilt, all are at thy command;
- A thousand galleys, manned with Christian slaves,
- I freely give thee, which shall cut the straits,
- And bring armados from1 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 lo metamorphosid.
- 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, clothed in crimson silk,
- Shall ride before thee on Barbarian steeds;
- And when thou goest, a golden canopy
- Enchased with precious stones, which shine as
- As that fair veil that covers all the world,
- When Phoebus, leaping from the hemisphere,
- Descendeth downward to the antipodes,—
- And more than this—for all I cannot tell.
- How far hence lies the galley, say you?
- Sweet Almeda, scarce half a league from hence.
- But need we not be spied going aboard ?
- 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
- 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?
- As I am Callapine the emperor,
- And by the hand of Mahomet I swear
- Thou shalt be crowned a king, and be my mate.
- Then hear 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 enterprise,
- Yet would I venture to conduct your grace,
- And die before I brought you back again.
- Thanks, gentle Almeda; then let us haste.
- Lest time be past, and lingering let us both.
- When you will, my lord; I am ready.
- Even straight; and farewell, cursèd Tamburlaine.
- Now go I to revenge my father's death.
Enter TAMBURLAINE, with ZENOCRATE and his three Sons, CALYPHAS, AMYRAS, and CELEBINUS, with drums and trumpets.
- 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.
- Sweet Tamburlaine, when wilt thou leave these arms,
- And save thy sacred person free from scathe,
- And dangerous chances of the wrathful war?
- 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 subdued,
- Placed 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 symbolised 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,
- Would make me think them bastards not my sons,
- But that I know they issued from thy womb
- That never looked on man but Tamburlaine.
- 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 with his slender rod,
- He reined him straight and made him so curvet,
- As I cried out for fear he should have fallen.
- Well done, my boy, thou shaltg 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 shall be made a king and reign with me,
- Keeping in iron cages emperors.
- If thou exceed thy elder brothers' worth
- And shine in cbmplete virtue more than they,
- Thou shalt be king before them, and thy seed
- Shall issue crowned from their mother's womb.
- 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 tremble at their view.
- 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.
- Why may not I, my lord, as well as he,
- Be termed the scourge and terror of the world?
- Be all a scourge and terror to the world,
- Or else you are not sons of Tamburlaine.
- Cal.But while my brothers follow arms,my lord,
- Let me accompany my gracious mother;
- They are enoughto conqueral the world,
- And you have won enough for me to keep.
- Bastardly boy, sprung from some coward's loins,
- And not the issue of great Tamburlaine;
- Of all the provinces I have subdued,
- 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
- Is covered with a liquid purple veil
- And sprinkled with the brains of slaughtered men,
- Is covered with a liquid purple veil
- My royal chair of state shall be advanced;
- And he that means to place himself therein,
- Must armed wade up to the chin in blood
- My lord, such speeches to our princely sons
- Dismay their minds before they come to prove
- The wounding troubles angry war affords.
- 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.
- And I would strive to swim through pools of blood,
- Or make a bridge of murdered carcases,
- Whose arches should be framed with bones of Turks,
- Ere I would lose the title of a king.
- 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 shall meet the Turkish deputy
- And all his viceroys, snatch it from his head,
- And cleave his pericranium with thy sword.
- If any man will hold him, I will strike And cleave him to the channel with my sword.
- Hold him, and cleave him too, or I'll cleave thee,
- For we will march against them presently.
- Theridamas, Techelles, and Casane
- Promised to meet me on Larissa plains
- With hosts apiece 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.
- 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.
- Under my colours march ten thousand Greeks; And of Argier's and Afric's frontier towns Twice twenty thousand valiant men-at-arms, All which have sworn to sack Natolia.
120 Five hundred brigandines are under sail, Meet for your service on the sea, my lord, That launching from Argier to Tripoli, Will quickly ride before Natolia, And batter down the castles on the shore.
- Well said, Argier: receive thy crown again.
- Enter TECHELLES and USUMCASANE together.
- Kings of Moroccus and of Fez, welcome.
- Magnificent and peerless Tamburlaine! I and my neighbour king of Fez have brought To aid thee in this Turkish expedition,
130 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.
- Thanks, king of Moroccus, take your crown again.
- 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 trained to the war,
140 Whose coal-black faces make their foes retire, And quake for fear, as if infernal Jove Meaning to aid thee in these Turkish arms, Should pierce the black circumference of hell With ugly Furies bearing fiery flags, And millions of his strong tormenting spirits. From strong Tesella unto Biledull All Barbary is unpeopled for thy sake.
- 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 opened 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 awhile,
- 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 turned to men, he should be overcome.
- Such lavish will I make of Turkish blood,
- That Jove shall send his winged messenger
- To bid roe sheath 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' 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?
- My lord, our men of Barbary have marched Four hundred miles with armour on their backs, And lain in leaguer fifteen months and more; For, since we left you at the Soldan's court,
- We have subdued the southern Guallatia,
- And all the land unto the coast of Spain;
- We kept the narrow Strait of Jubalter,
- 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 awhile, my lord.
- They shall, Casane, and 'tis time i'faith.
- And I have marched along the river Nile
- To Machda, where the mighty Christian priest,
- Called John the Great, 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 vouchsafed a league,
- And with my power did march to Zanzibar,
- The eastern part of Afric, where I viewed
- The Ethiopian sea, rivers and lakes,
- But neither man nor child in all the land;
- Therefore I took my course to Manico,
- Where unresisted, I removed my camp;
- And by the coast of Byather, at last
- I came to Cubar, where the Negroes dwell,
- And conquering that, made haste to Nubia.
- There, having sacked Borno the kingly seat,
- I took the king and led him bound in chains
- Unto Damasco, where I stayed before.
- Well done, Techelles. Whatsaith Theridamas?
- I left the confines and the bounds of Afric,
- And [thence I made a voyage into Europe,
- Where by the river, Tyras, I subdued
- Stoka, Podolia, and Codemia;
- Thence crossed the sea and came to Oblia,
- And Nigra Sylva, where the devils dance,
- Which in despite of them, I set on fire.
- From thence I crossed the gulf called by the name
- Mare Majore of the inhabitants.
- Yet shall my soldiers make no period,
- Until Natolia kneel before your feet.
- 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 conquered him)
- Mingled with coral and with orient pearl
- Come, let us banquet and carouse the whiles. [Exeunt.
- Like Almainrutterswiththeirhorsemen's staves.”
- Do not fear, I have
- A staff to taint and bravely.”Broughton,
- “At last arriving at the listes side
- She with her rod did gently smite the rail.”