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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Enter the Governor of Babylon, MAXIMUS, and others upon the walls.
- My lord, the breach the enemy hath made
- Gives such assurance of our overthrow
- That little hope is left to save our lives,
- Or hold our city from the conqueror's hands.
- Then hang our/tags, my lord, of humble truce,
- And satisfy the people's general prayers,
- That Tamburlaine's intolerable wrath
- May be suppressed by our submission.
- Villain, respects thou more thy slavish life,
- Than honour of thy country or thy name?
- Are not my life and state as dear to me,
- The city, and my native country's weal,
- As anything of price with thy conceit?
- Have we not hope, for all our battered walls,
- To live secure and keep his forces out,
- When this our famous lake of Limnasphaltis
- Makes walls afresh with everything that falls
- Into the liquid substance of his stream,
- More strong than are the gates of death or hell?
- What faintness should dismay our courages
- When we are thus defenced against our foes,
- And have no terror but his threatening looks.
Enter a Citizen, who kneds to the Governor.
- My lord, if ever you did deed of ruth,
- And now will work a refuge for our lives,
- Offer submission, hang up flags of truce,
- That Tamburlaine may pity our distress,
- And use us like a loving conqueror.
- Though this be held his last day's dreadful siege,
- Wherein he spareth neither man nor child,
- Yet are there Christians of Georgia here,
- Whose state was ever pitied and relieved,
- Would get his pardon if your grace would send.
- How is my soul environkd [with cares!]
- And this eternized city, Babylon,
- Filled with a pack of faint-heart fugitives
- That thus entreat their shame and servitude I
- Enter another Citizen.
- My lord, if ever you will win our hearts,
- Yield up the town and save our wives and children;
- For I will cast myself from off these walls
- Or die some death of quickest violence
- Before I bide the wrath of Tamburlaine.
- Villains, cowards, traitors to our state!
- Fall to the earth and pierce the pit of hell,
- That legions of tormenting spirits may vex
- Your slavish bosoms with continual pains!
- I care not, nor the town will ever yield,
- As long as any life is in my breast.
Enter THERIDAMAS, TECHELLES, and Soldiers withou! the walls.
- Thou desperate governor of Babylon,
- To save thy hfe, and us a little labour,
- Yield speedily the city to our hands,
- Or else be sure thou shalt be forced with pains,
- More exquisite than ever traitor felt.
- Tyrant! I turn the traitor in thy throat,
- And will defend it in despite of thee.--
- Call up the soldiers to defend these walls!
- Yield, foolish governor; we offer more
- Than ever yet we did to such proud slaves
- As durst resist us till our third day's siege.
- Thou seest us prest to give the last assault,
- And that shall bide no more regard of parle.
- Assault and spare not; we will never yield.
- [Alarms: and tkey scale the walls.
Enter TAMBURLAINE (drawn in his chariot by the kings of Trebizond and Soria), USUMCASANE, AMYRAS, and CELEBInCUS; the two spare Kings of Natolia and Jerusalem; and others.
- The stately buildings of fair Babylon,
- Whose lofty pillars, higher than the clouds,
- Were wont to guide the seaman in the deep,
- Being carried thither by the cannon's force,
- Now fill the mouth of Limnasphaltis' lake
- And make a bridge unto the battered walls.
- Where Belus, Ninus, and great Alexander
- Have rode in triumph, triumphs Tamburlaine,
- Whose chariot wheels have burst the Assyrians' bones,
- Drawn with these kings on heaps of carcases.
- Now in the place where fair Semiramis,
- Courted by kings and peers of Asia,
- Hath trod the measures, do my soldiers march;
- And in the streets, where brave Assyrian dames
- Have rid in pomp like rich Saturnia,
- With furious words and frowning visages
- My horsemen brandish their unruly blades.
- Re-enter THERIDAMAS and TECHELLES,brinffng in the Governor of Babylon.
- Who have ye there, my lords?
- The sturdy governor of Babylon,
- That made us all the labour for the town,
- And used sueh slender reckoning of your majesty.
- Go, bind the villain; he shall hang in chains
- Upon the ruins of this conquered town.
- Sirrah, the view of our vermilion tents,
- (Which threatened more than if the region
- Next underneath the element of fire
- Were full of comets and of blazing stars,
- Whose flaming trains should reach down to the earth,)
- Could not affright you; no, nor I myself,
- The wrathful messenger of mighty Jove,
- That with his sword hath quailed all earthly kings,
- Could not persuade you to submission,
- But still the ports were shut; villain! I say,
- Should I but touch the rusty gates of hell,
- The triple-headed Cerberus would howl
- And wake black Jove to crouch and kneel to me;
- But I have sent volleys of shot to you,
- Yet could not enter till the breach was made.
- Nor, if my body could have stopt the breach,
- Should'st thou have entered, cruel Tamburlaine.
- 'Tis not thy bloody tents can make me yield,
- Nor yet thyself, the anger of the Highest,
- For though thy cannon shook the city wails,
- My heart did never quake, or courage faint.
- Well, now I'll make it quake; go draw him up,
- Hang him in chains upon the city walls,
- And let my soldiers shoot the slave to death.
- Vile monster! born of some infernal hag,
- And sent from hell to tyrannise on earth,
- Do all thy worst; nor death, nor Tamburlaine,
- Torture, nor pain, can daunt my dreadless mind.
- Up with him, then; his body shall be scared.
- But, Tamburlaine, in Limnasphalfis' lake
- There lies more gold than Babylon is worth,
- Which when the city was besieged, I hid.
- Save but my life and I will give it thee.
- Then for all your valour you would save your life?
- Whereabout lies it?
- Under a hollow bank, right opposite
- Against the western gate of Babylon.
- Go thither, some of you, and take his gold;-
- The rest--forward with execution!
- Away with him hence, let him speak no more.
- I think I make your courage something quail
- When this is done, we'll march from Babylon,
- And make our greatest haste to Persia.
- [They hang u_Othe Governor in chains
- These jades are broken-winded and half tired,
- Unharness them, and let me have fresh horse.
- [Attendants unharness the Kings o_ Trebizond and Sofia.
- So, now their best is done to honour me,
- Take them and hang them both up presently,
- Vild tyrant! barbarous bloody Tamburlaine!
- Take them away, Theridamas; see them despatched.
- I will, my lord.
- [Exit with the lr_ings of Trebizond and Sofia.
- Come, Asian viceroys; to your tasks awhile,
- And take such fortune as your fellows felt.
- First let thy Seythian horse tear both our limbs,
- Rather than we should draw thy chariot,
- And like base slaves abject our prmcety minds
- To vile and ignominious servitud_
- Rather lend me thy weapon, Tamburlaine,
- That I may sheathe it in this breast of mine.
- A thousand deaths could not torment our hearts
- More than the thought of this doth vex our souls.
- They will talk still, my lord, if you don't bridle them.
- Bridle them, and let me to my coach.
- [They bridle them.
- See now, my lord, how brave the captain hangs.
- 'Tis brave indeed, my boy; well done.
- Shoot first, my lord, and then the rest shall follow.
- Then have at him to begin withal.
- [THERIDAMAS Shoots.
- Yet save my life, and let this wound appease
- The mortal fury of great Tamburlaiue.
- No, though Asphaltis' lake were liquid gold,
- And offered me as ransom for thy life,
- Yet should'st thou die. Shoot at him all at once.
- [They shoat.
- So, now he hangs like Bagdet's governor,
- Having as many bullets in his flesh
- As there be breaches in her battered walL
- Go now, and bind the burghers hand and foot,
- And cast them headlong in the city's lake.
- Tartars and Persians shall inhabit there,
- And to command the city, I will build
- A [lofty] citadel that all Africa,
- Which hath been subject to the Persian king,
- Shall pay me tribute for in Babylon.
- What shall be done with their wives and children, my lord?
- Techelles, drown them all, man, woman, and child.
- Leave not a Babylonian in the town.
- I will about it straight. Come, soldiers.
- [Exit with soldiers.
- Now, Casane, where's the Turkish Alcoran,
- And all the heaps of superstitious books
- Found in the temples of that Mahomet,
- Whom I have thought a god? They shall be burnt.
- Well said; let there be a fire presently.
- In vain, I see, men worship Mahomet :
- My sword hath sent millions of Turks to hell,
- Slain all his priests, his kinsmen, and his friends,
- And yet I live untouched by Mahomet.
- There is a God, full of revenging wrath,
- From whom the thunder and the lightning breaks,
- Whose scourge I am, and him will I obey :
- So, Casane, fling them in the fire.
- Now, Mahomet, if thou have any power,
- Come down thyself and work a miracle :
- Thou art not worthy to be worshipped,
- That suffers flame of fire to burn the writ
- Wherein the sum of thy religion rests.
- Why send'st thou not a furious whirlwind down
- To blow thy Alcoran up to thy throne,
- Where men report thou sit'st by God himself?
- Or vengeance on the head of Tamburlaine
- That shakes his sword against thy majesty,
- And spurns the abstracts of thy foolish laws?
- Well, soldiers, Mahomet remains in hell;
- He cannot hear the voice of Tamburlaine;
- Seek out another Godhead to adore,
- The God that sits in heaven, if any God;
- For he is God alone, and none but he.
- Re-enter TECHELLES.
- I have fulfilled your highness' will, my lord.
- Thousands of men, dro_uaed in Asphaltis' lake,
- Have made the waters swell above the banks,
- And fishes, fed by human carcases,
- Amazed, swim up and down upon the waves,
- As when they swallow assafo_tida,
- Which makes them fleet aloft and gape for air.
- Well then, my friendly lords, what now remains,
- But that we leave sufficient garrison,
- And presently depart to Persia
- To triumph after all our victories?
- Ay, good my lord; let us in haste to Persia,
- And let this captain be removed the walls
- To some high hill about the city here.
- Let it be so; about it, soldiers;
- But stay; I feel myself distempered suddenly.
- What is it dares distemper Tamburlaine?
- Something, Techelles; but I know not what--
- But forth, ye vassals! whatsoe'er it be,
- Sickness or death can never conquer me.