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Christopher Marlowe, The Works of Christopher Marlowe vol. 1 (Tamburlaine, Faust) [1590]

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Christopher Marlowe, The Works of Christopher Marlowe, ed. A.H. Bullen (London: John C. Nimmo, 1885). Vol. 1.

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About this Title:

Three of Marlowe’s plays - Tamburlaine parts 1 and 2, and Dr. Faustus.

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Table of Contents:

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The English Dramatists
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θάμα μὲν φόρμιγγι παμφώνοισί τ᾽ ἐν ἔντεσιν αὐλǶν.

Pindar, Olymph. VII.
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Ballantnpe Press
ballantyne, hanson and co.
edinburgh and london

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The present volumes are the first instalment towards a collective edition of the dramatists who lived about the time of Shakespeare. As the series is intended neither for school-boys nor antiquarians, I have avoided discussions on grammatical usages, and I have not preserved the orthography of the old copies. In Elizabethan times orthography followed the caprices of the printer.1

I desire to acknowledge in the fullest and frankest manner the obligation under which I lie towards the late Mr. Dyce. Perhaps it will be thought that Mr. Dyce's name occurs too frequently in the notes to the present volumes. In many cases the emendations he proposes would naturally suggest themselves to any sensible reader; but I was unwilling to incur the suspicion of having furtively appropriated my predecessor's notes.

I have used with advantage the late Lieutenant-Colonel Edition: current; Page: [vi] Cunningham's edition of Marlowe. Colonel Cunningham was a genial and acute editor, though somewhat inaccurate. The elaborate editions of The Tragical History of Dr. Faustus, by Professor Ward, and the late Professor Wagner of Hamburg, have afforded me much help; and I have consulted with profit the edition of Edward II. prepared by Mr. F. G. Fleay, a scholar whose knowledge in some respects is unrivalled. In the British Museum is preserved an interleaved copy of the 1826 edition of Marlowe (acquired by the Museum authorities in 1847), containing MS. notes by a competent scholar, J. Broughton. I have found Broughton's notes serviceable.

My best thanks are due to the Keeper of the Records of Canterbury Cathedral, Mr. J. Brigstocke Sheppard, for his courtesy in examining the Treasurer's Accounts of the King's School, Canterbury, and in sending me extracts from the Chamberlain's Accounts; to my friend Mr. C. H. Firth of Balliol College, who, besides making frequent references for me to books in the Bodleian, and aiding me with valuable suggestions, read the proof sheets of half of the second volume and of the whole of the third; and to my friend Mr. L. Jacob, formerly scholar ot Trinity College, Cambridge, by whose advice I have frequently profited. For permission to print as an appendix Mr. R. H. Home's Death of Marlowe, I am indebted to Mr. Home's literary executor, Mr. H. Buxton Forman, the well-known editor of Shelley and Keats.

West Hampstead,
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  • PREFACE . . . . . V
  • INTRODUCTION . . . . . IX


Four hundard copies of this Edition have been printed and the type distributed. No more will be published.

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The achievements of Shakespeare's greatest predecessor in the English drama have at length been recognised as a fact in English literature; nor is it possible to look forward to a time when the study of his works will be restricted, as of old, to antiquarians and bibliographers. All who have any serious care for English poetry have felt the magic of Marlowe's “mighty line.” They know that in moving terror and pity the creator of Faustus and Edward II. was excelled only by Shakespeare; and they know, too, that the rich music of Hero and Leander was heard no more in England until the coming of Keats. One of the lessons which Mr. Browning never tires of teaching is that a lofty aim, even where failure follows, “surpasses little works achieved.” Surely no man ever aimed higher than Marlowe; and within so short a space of life few have carried out so worthily their vast designs. He was the first in England to compose tragedies that should have a lasting interest for men. The plays of Greene and Peele are important only as showing how poor was the state of dramatic art at the young poet's advent. It was Marlowe who created, in the true sense of the word, English blank verse, and Edition: current; Page: [x] constituted it the sole vehicle of dramatic expression for all time. The rest of Shakespeare's predecessors are shadows; Marlowe alone lives.

Christopher Marlowe, son of John Marlowe, was baptized at the church of St. George the Martyr, Canterbury, on a 6th February 1563-4.1 The poet's father, who died on 26th January 1604-5, was “clarke of St-Maries.” On the margin of a copy of Beard's Theatre of Gods Judgments, 1598, is a MS. note “Marlowe a shooe makers sonne of Cant.” Marginal scribblings “in a very old hand “have been so frequently fabricated that I was inclined to attach no importance to this MS. note, but the Keeper of the Records of Canterbury Cathedral, Mr. J. B. Sheppard, kindly extracted from the “Chamberlain's Accounts” some entries which prove that John Marlowe was a shoemaker. The entries relate to the admission of freemen. There is an entry dated 26th April 1593, “Joh. Marlowe's apprentice (shoemaker), Wilt. Hewes admitted;” another dated zgth January 1594, “Joh. Crauforde Shoem. admitted; mar. Anne d. of Joh. Marlowe Shoem;” and a third, dated 8th September 1594, “Thorn. Graddell, Vintner, mar. Dorothy d. of John Marlowe Shoem. (admitted).” Apprenticeship or marriage with a freeman's daughter conferred freedom.

Marlowe was educated at the King's School, Canterbury. His name does not occur in the Treasurer's Accounts for 1575-6 and 1576-7; and the register for Edition: current; Page: [xi] 1577-8 is lost. In the accounts for the first quarter of the financial year 1578-9 (namely, from Michaelmas to Christmas 1578) we find no mention of him, but in the accounts for the three following quarters (January to Michaelmas 1579) he is reported to have received his exhibition of £i per quarter. For 1579-80 the record is missing.1

On 17th March 1580-1, Marlowe matriculated at Cambridge as Pensioner of Benet College (now Corpus Christi). The only mention of him in the Books of the College is an entry of his admission, and he is there called simply “Marlin”without the Christian name. It appears to have been a rule at Benet College to record the Christian name along with the surname only in the case of scholars; hence the absence of the Christian name is held to show that Marlowe was not elected to one of the two scholarships which had recently been founded by Archbishop Parker at Benet College for the benefit of boys educated at the King's School, Canterbury. Cunningham urges that it is “less unlikely that a hurried and quasi informal entry has been made in the books than that a boy of Marlowe's industry and precocity of intellect should have gone from that particular school to that particular college on any footing than that of a foundation scholar.” The absence of Marlowe's Christian name from the College Books is a tangible piece of evidence, but there is nothing whatever Edition: current; Page: [xii] to show that Marlowe was distinguished for industry at school. His classical attainments at the beginning of his literary career appear not to have been considerable. In his translation of Ovid's Amores, which is by no means a difficult book, he misses the sense in passages which could be construed to-day with ease by any fourth-form boy. After making all allowance for the inaccuracy of ordinary scholarship vn Marlowe's day, it may be safely said that the poet could not have earned much distinction at Cambridge for sound classical knowledge. The probability is that, both at school and college, he read eagerly but not accurately. His fiery spirit, “still climbing after knowledge infinite,” would ill brook to be fettered by the gyves and shackles of an academical training. But whether he held a scholarship or not, he was content to submit so far to the ordinary routine (less irksome then than now) as to secure his Bachelor's Degree in 1583 and proceed Master of Arts in 1587.

Dyce puts the question, Who defrayed the expenses of his Academical course if he had no scholarship? It is not improbable that he may have gone to Cambridge at the expense of some patron; and Dyce ventures to suggest that the patron was Sir Roger Manwood, Chief Baron of the Exchequer, who had a mansion at St. Stephen's, near Canterbury. On the back of the title-page of a copy of Hero and Leander, ed. 1629, Collier found a manuscript Latin epitaph on this gentleman (who died in December 1592), subscribed with Marlowe's name. The epitaph has every appearance of being Edition: current; Page: [xiii] genuine;1 and as Sir Roger Manwood was distinguished for his munificence, it is not at all unlikely that at some time or other he had made Marlowe the recipient of his bounty. But I must leave the reader to accept or reject Dyce's theory as he pleases.

We have now to consider how Marlowe was engaged after taking his bachelor's degree in 1583. The most plausible view is that of Cunningham, who suggests that the poet trailed a pike in the Low Countries. He points out with some force that Marlowe's “familiarity with military terms, and his fondness for using them are most remarkable.” But we must beware of laying too much stress on this argument; for all the Elizabethan dramatists possessed in large measure the faculty, for which Shakespeare was supremely distinguished, of assimilating technical knowledge of every kind. Phillips, who was followed by Antony-a-Wood and Tanner, states in his Theatrum Poetarum that Marlowe “rose from an actor Edition: current; Page: [xiv] to be a maker of plays;” but the authority of Phillips- who was very frequently inaccurate—carries little weight Collier, who did so much to enlighten students, and so much to perplex them, produced from his capacious portfolio a MS. ballad about Marlowe, entitled the Aiheisfs Tragedie, from which it would appear that the poet had been an actor at the Curtain and in the performance of his professional duties had had the misfortune to break his leg:-

  • “A poet was he of repute,
  • And wrote full many a playe;
  • Now strutting in a silken sute,
  • Now begging by the way.
  • He had also a player been
  • Upon the Curtame-stage;
  • But brake his leg in one lewd scene
  • When in his early age.”1

This is doubtless very ingenious, but I have little hesitation in pronouncing the ballad to be a forgery, though Dyce—who had been victimised on other occasions—and later editors accept it as genuine. The words “When in his early age “can only mean that the poet was a boy-actor at the Curtain; but we know that he could not possibly have been connected with the stage before 1583. I have not seen the MS., and so am unable to deliver any opinion as to the style of the hand-writing; but when we remember how many documents, proved afterwards to be forgeries, Collier put Edition: current; Page: [xv] forward as genuine, we shall be quite justified in rejecting the Atheist's Tragtdie. It is a work of no great difficulty to imitate with success a doggerel ballad.

Critics are agreed that the first, in order of time, of Marlowe's extant dramatic productions is the tragedy of Tamburlaine the Great, in two parts. From internal evidence there can be no doubt that Tamburlaine was written wholly by Marlowe; but on the title-page of the early editions there is no author's name, and we have no decisive piece of external evidence to fix the authorship on Marlowe. In Henslowe's Diary there is an entry which, if it had been genuine, would have been conclusive :—

”Pd unto Thomas Dickers, the 20 of Desembr 1597, for adycyous to Fostus twentie shellinges, and fyve shel-lenges for a prolog to Marloes Tamberlen, so in all I saye payde twentye fyve shellinges.” (Henslowe's Diary, ed. J. P. Collier, p. 71.)

Unfortunately this entry, which was received without suspicion by Dyce and other editors, is a forgery. Mr. G. F. Warner, who published in 1881 his careful and elaborate catalogue of the Manuscripts and Muniments of Dulwich College, pronounces that “the whole entry is evidently a forgery, written in clumsy imitation of Henslowe's hand. The forger, however, has shown some skill in his treatment of a narrow blot or smudge which intersects the upper part of the U in the second 'shellinges;' for in order that the writing may appear to be under and not over the old blot, he has at first carried up the ll (as if writing u) only as far as the lower edge Edition: current; Page: [xvi] of the blot, and then started again from the upper edge to make the loops” (p. 159). The only piece of external evidence which appears to connect Marlowe with Tamburlaine is to be found in a sonnet1 of Gabriel Harvey's, printed at the end of his New Letter of Notable Contents, 1593. From a passage in the Black Book, 1604 (a tract attributed on no sure ground to Thomas Mid-dleton the dramatist), Malone inferred that Tamburlaine was written in whole or part by Nashe. The passage to which Malone referred occurs in the account of an imaginary visit paid to Nashe in his squalid garret “The testern, or the shadow over the bed,” we are informed, “was made of four ells of cobwebs, and a number of small spinner's ropes hung down for curtains: the spindle-shank spiders, which show like great letchers with little legs, went stalking over his head as if they had been conning of I'amburlaine.” (Dyce's Middleton, v. 526.) It is difficult to see how any conclusion about the authorship of Tamburlaine can be drawn from this passage. The writer's meaning is that the spiders walked with the pompous gait of an actor rehearsing the part of Tamburlaine. But, putting aside the evidence (in itself conclusive) of style, there is an excellent reason for dismissing Nashe's claims. To Robert Greene's Menaphon, of which the first extant edition is dated 1589 (though some critics supposed that the book was originally published in 1587), Nashe contributed Edition: current; Page: [xvii] an epistle “To the Gentlemen Students of Both Universities,” in which he holds up to ridicule the “idiote art-masters that intrude themselves to our eares as the alcumists of eloquence; who (mounted on the stage of arrogance) think to outbrave better pens with the swelling bumbast of a bragging blank verse. Indeed it may be the ingrafted overflow of some kilcow con-ceipt that overcloieth their imagination with a more than drunken resolution, beeing not extemporall in the invention of anie other meanes to vent their manhood, commits the digestion of their cholenck incumbrances to the spacious volubilitie of a drumming decasillabon.” (Grosart's Nashe, i. xx.) This passage vas surely intended as a counterblast to the Prologue of lamburlaine. The allusion to “idiote art-masters” points distinctly to Marlowe, who took his Master's degree in 1587; and it was Marlowe who had stamped “bragging blank verse “as his own. Afterwards Nashe was on friendly terms with Marlowe; but in 1589 (or 1587?) he was doing his best to aid Greene in discrediting the author of Tamburlaine. In an address “To the Gentlemen Readers,” prefixed to his Perimedes the Black Smith, 1588, Greene denounces the introduction of blank verse, which he compares to the “fa-burden of Bo-bell.” He speaks with scorn of those poets “who set the end of scollarisme in an English blank verse;” and expressly mentions Tamburtaine,—“daring God out of heaven with that atheist Tamburlan, or blaspheming with the mad preest of the sonne.” It is therefore plain that Tamburlaine, which was entered in the Stationers' books Edition: current; Page: [xviii] on 14th August 1590, and published in the same year, had been presented on the stage in or before 1588 (probably in 1587); and it is equally plain that Nashe1 had no share in the composition of a play which he so unsparingly ridiculed in the epistle prefixed to Menaphon.

It is difficult to over-estimate the importance of Tam-burlaine m the history of the English drama. To appreciate how immensely Marlowe outdistanced at one bound all his predecessors, the reader must summon courage to make himself acquainted with such productions as Gor-boduc, The Misfortunes of Arthur, and Sir Clyomon and Sir Clamydes. He will then perceive how real is Marlowe's claim to be_regarded as the fhp F.ngll That the play is stuffed with bombast, that exaggeration is carried sometimes to the verge of burlesque, no sensible critic will venture to deny. But the characters, with all their stiffness, have life and movement. The Scythian conqueror, “threatening the world in high astounding terms,” is an impressive figure. There is nothing mean or trivial Edition: current; Page: [xix] in the invention. The young poet threw into his work all the energy of his passionate nature. He did not pause to polish his lines, to correct and curtail; but was borne swiftly onward by the wings of his imagination. The absence of chastening restraint is felt throughout; and, indeed, the beauty of some of the most majestic passages is seriously marred by the introduction of a weak or ill-timed verse. Take the following passage from the First Part:-

  • “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.” (ii. 70)

The ear exults in the sonorous march of the stately verse as each successive line paces more majestically than the preceding; but what cruel discomfiture awaits us at the end! It seems almost inconceivable that the poet should have spoilt so magnificent a passage by the lame and impotent conclusion m the last line. For the moment we are half inclined to think that he is playing some trick upon us; that he has deliberately led up to an anti-climax in order to enjoy the malicious satisfaction of laughing at our irritation. 'The noble and oft-quoted Edition: current; Page: [xx] passage on Beauty (i Tamburlaine, v. i) is injured considerably by the diffuseness of the context. Marlowe seems to have blotted literally nothing in this earliest play. But that he was responsible for the vulgar touches of low comedy I am loth to allow. In the preface the publisher, Richard Jones, writes:—” I have purposely omitted and left out some fond and frivolous gestures, digressing, and, in my poor opinion, far unmeet for the matter, which I thought might seem more tedious unto the wise than any way else to be regarded, though haply they have been of some vain-conceited fondlings greatly gaped at, what time they were showed upon the stage in their graced deformities : nevertheless now to be mixed in print with such matter of worth, it would prove a great disgrace to so honourable and stately a history.” It would be well if he had used his pruning-knife with even greater seventy and had left no trace of the excrescences of buffoonery. There can be no doubt that these “vain and frivolous gestures,” of which the publisher complains, were foisted in by the players.

The popularity of Tamburlaine must have been extraordinary. A prologue by Heywood, written at the revival of the Jew of Malta in 1633, informs us that the part of Tamburlaine was originally taken by the famous actor Edward Alleyn. The hero's habiliments were of a most costly character. His breeches, as we learn from Hens-lowe's Diary, were of crimson velvet, and his coat was copper-laced. It is easy to conceive what roars of applause would be evoked by the entrance of Tamburlaine drawn in his chariot by the harnessed monarchs.

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One delightfully ludicrous line in his address to the captives:—

  • “Holla, ye pampered jades of Asia!“

was constantly parodied for the next half century. Greene, as we have seen, infuriated at the success of the piece, railed against the “atheist Tamburlaine.” The satirist Hall, in a passage quoted by Dyce, is equally severe:—

  • “One higher pitch'd doth set his soaring thought
  • On crowned kings that Fortune hath low brought,
  • Or some uprearèd high-aspiring swaine
  • As it might be the Turkish Tamburlaine.
  • Then weeneth he his base drink-drowned spright
  • Rapt to the three-fold loft of heaven hight,
  • When he conceives upon his famèd stage
  • The stalking steps of his great personage,
  • Graced with huf-cap termes and thund'nng threats
  • That his poor hearers' hayre quite upright sets.”

Then he proceeds to ridicule the comic business introduced by the players:—

  • “Now least such frightful showes of Fortune's fall
  • And bloudy tyrants' rage should chance apall
  • The dead-stroke audience, midst the silent rout
  • Comes tramping in a selfe-misformèd lout,
  • And laughs and grins, and frames his mimik face,
  • And justles straight into the prince's place:
  • Then doth the theatre eccho all aloud
  • With gladsome noyse of that applauding crowd
  • A goodly hoch-poch when vile rassettmgs
  • Are match with monarchs and with mightie kings.”

These lines were written in 1597. Ben Jonson. in his Edition: current; Page: [xxii] Discoveries observes:—” The true artificer will not run away from Nature as he were afraid of her; or depart from life and the likeness of truth; but speak to the capacity of his hearers. And though his language differs from the vulgar somewhat it will not fly from all humanity, with the Tamerlanes and Tamer-Chams of the late age, which had nothing in them but the scenical strutting and furious vociferation to warrant them to the ignorant gapers.” Wither in Britain's Remembrancer (1628) alludes to “great Tamburlame upon his throne “uttering

  • “A majestical oration
  • To strike his hearers dead with admiration.”

Taylor, the Water-Poet, in his Oration to the Great Mogul, states that Tamburlaine “perhaps is not altogether so famous in his own country of Tartaria as in England.” From a passage (quoted by Dyce) of Cowley's Guardian it appears that the old play was revived at the Bull about 1650. In 1681 it had become almost wholly forgotten; for in the preface to his play, Tamerlane, published in that year, Charles Saunders writes :—” It hath been told me there is a Cock-pit play going under the name of The Scythian Shepherd, or Tamberlain the Great, which how good it is any one may judge by its obscurity, being a thing not a bookseller in London, or scarce the players themselves who acted it formerly, cow'd call to remembrance.”

In the pages of the Academy (October 20, 1883), two able scholars, Mr. C. H. Herford and Mr. A. Wagner, have investigated the authorities from which Marlowe Edition: current; Page: [xxiii] drew his conception of Tamburlaine's character and history. They show, at some length, and at the cost of considerable research, that Marlowe was indebted to the lives of Timur, by Pedro Mexia the Spaniard, and Petrus Perondinus. Mexia's Silva de varia lecion, published at Seville in 1543, obtained great popularity, and was translated into Italian, French, and English. The English translation, known as Fortescue's The Foreste, appeared in 1571; and there can be little doubt that the book was an early favourite of Marlowe's. When he determined to dramatise the story the poet probably supplemented the information derived from Mexia by a study of Perondinus' Vita magni Tamerlanis, Flor., 1551. The description of Tamburlaine's person, as given by Perondinus, seems certainly to have been in Marlowe's remembrance. “Of stature, tall” is a translation of “Statura fuit procera;” and “his joints so strongly knit,” exactly corresponds with “valida erat 'usque adeo nervorum compage.” But, in order to render his hero's appearance as majestic as possible, Marlowe omits mention of the lameness on which Perondinus dwells. Messrs. Herford and Wagner conclude their scholarly paper with a suggestion that the poet “enriched his conception of the remote and little-known countries, Persia and Scythia, from his classical reading in Herodotus, Euripides, and Xenophon,” and that “the drawing of the weak Persians, Mycetes, Chosroes, and Theridamas, whose 'weakness' is not touched by Mexia, is exactly what we should expect from a youth fresh from those old books in which Edition: current; Page: [xxiv] Persian effeminacy is so piquantly contrasted with the hardihood of Greece.”

Before leaving Tamburlaine a word must be said about Marlowe's introduction of blank verse. Unrhymed verse of ten syllables had been employed both for epic and dramatic purposes before Marlowe's time. The Earl of Surrey, in his translation of Books ii. and iv. of Virgil's Æneid, had been the first to transplant the metre from Italy. Surrey was a charming sonneteer and graceful lyrist; but it would be absurd to claim that his translations from Virgil afford the slightest hint of the capabilities of blank verse. It is impossible to select six consecutive lines that satisfy the ear. Without freedom or swing the procession of languid lines limps feebly forward. When we come to Gorboduc, the first dramatic piece in which rhyme was discarded, the case is no better. Little advance, or rather none at all, has been made in rendering the verse more flexible. Misled by classical usage, all writers before Marlowe aimed at composing blank verse on the model of Greek iambics. Confusing accent with quantity, they regarded accentuated and unaccentuated syllables as respectively long and short. Hence the aim was to end each line with a strongly accentuated syllable, immediately preceded by one that was unaccentuated; in the rest of the line unaccentuated and accentuated syllables occurred alternately. Then, to complete the monotony, at the end of each verse came a pause, which effectually excluded all freedom of movement. This state of things Marlowe abolished. At a touch of the master's hand the heavy-gaited Edition: current; Page: [xxv] verses took symmetry and shape. That the blank verse of Tamburlaine left much to be desired in the way of variety is, of course, undeniable. Its sonorous music is fitted rather for epic than dramatic purposes. The swelling rotundity of the italicised lines in the following passage recalls the magnificent rhythm of Milton:—

  • “The galleys and those piling brigandmes
  • That yearly sail to the Venetian Gulf,
  • And hover in the Straits for Christians' wreck,
  • Shall lie at anchor m the Isle Asant
  • Until the Persian fleet and men-of-war,
  • Sailing along the oriental sea,
  • Have fetched about the Indian continent
  • Even from Persep&lis to Mexico.”

Later, Marlowe learned to breathe sweetness and softness into his “mighty line,”to make the measure that had thundered the threats of Tamburlaine falter the sobs of a broken heart.

On the authority of a memorandum in Coxeter's MSS., Warton stated that in the year 1587, the date to which Tamburlaine is usually assigned, Marlowe translated Coluthus' Rape of Helen into English rhyme. This translation, if it ever existed, has not come down. The version of the Amores must belong to a somewhat earlier date. Dyce conjectures that it was written as a college exercise (surely not at the direction of the college authorities). It is a spirited translation, though the inaccuracies are manifold; in licentiousness, I am compelled to add, it is a match for the original. Its popularity was great, Edition: current; Page: [xxvi] and—printed in company with Sir John Davies' Epigrams —it passed through several editions, which are all undated, and bear the imprint” Middleborugh” or “Middle-bourgh” (in Holland). In June 1599, by order of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Marlowe's translation (together with Marston's Pygmalion, Hall's Satires, and Cutwode's Caltha Poetarum) was committed to the flames; but it continued to be published abroad, and some editions, with the imprint Middleborough on the title-page, were surreptitiously printed at London.1

The Tragical History of Dr. Faustus was probably composed soon after Tamburlaine. In February 1588-9 a “ballad of the life and death of Doctor Faustus the great Cungerer” was entered in the Stationers' Registers. It is probable that this ballad (which is perhaps identical with the Ballad of Faustus2 preserved in the Roxburghe Collection) was founded on the play. No mention of the play occurs in Henslowe's Diary-earlier than September 30, 1594, although the entries go back to February 1591-2. As the profits from the performance were unusually high 3 on that occasion, we may conjecture that the play had been revived after a considerable interval. A German critic, Dr. J. H. Albers, suggests that the reference to the Prince of Parma as Edition: current; Page: [xxvii] persecutor of the Netherlands, points to events that took place before 1590; for in that year the Prince, who died in December 1592, was chiefly occupied with the affairs of France. Whence seeks in the lines (i. 80-83),

  • ”I'll have them fly to India for gold,” &c.

an allusion to the banquet given to the Queen on board ship by Cavendish after his return in the autumn of 1588 from a voyage round the world, Dr. Albers' argument seems somewhat strained. But internal evidence amply warrants us in assigning a later date to Faustus than to Tamburlaine. There is more of passion in Faustus, and less of declamation; the early exuberance has been pruned; the pathos is more searching and subtle; the versification, too, is freer,—more dramatic.

Faustus was entered in the Stationers' Books on January 7th, 1600-1, but the earliest extant edition is the quarto of 1604, which was republished with very slight alterations in 16a).1 An edition with very numerous additions and alterations appeared in 1616.

Even the first edition gives us the play in an interpolated state; for no sane critic would maintain that the comic scenes belong entirely to Marlowe. One instance of a certain interpolation was pointed out by Dyce. In scene XL there is an allusion to Dr. Lopez —“Mass, Dr. Lopus was never such a doctor.” Now Edition: current; Page: [xxviii] the doctor was hanged for treasonable practices in June 1594. He did not come into notoriety until after Marlowe's death, and any allusion to him before 1594 would have been unintelligible to the audience. From this one passage it is plain that the first quarto does not represent the play exactly as it came from Marlowe's hand. But on the strength of internal evidence we might go further, and say that the comic scenes are in no instance by Marlowe. As far as possible, it is well to avoid theorising, but I must state my conviction that Marlowe never attempted to write a comic scene. The—. Muses had dowered him with many rare qualities— nobility and tenderness and pity—but the gift of humour, the most grateful of all gifts, was withheld. To excite ' tears and laughter for all time” was given to Shakespeare alone; but all the Elizabethan dramatists, if we except Ford and Cyril Tourneur, combined to some extent humour with tragic power. The Elizabethan stage rarely tolerated any tragedy that was unrelieved by scenes of mirth. It was in vain to plead the example of classical usage, to point out that the Attic tragedians never jested. Fortunately the “understanding” pittites were not learned in the classical tongues; they applauded when they were satisfied, and they “mewed “when the play dragged. As the populace in Horace's time clamoured “media inter carmina,” for a bear or a boxer, so an Elizabethan audience, when it felt bored or scared, insisted on being enlivened by a fool or a clown. After a little fuming and fretting the poets accepted the conditions; they soon found that the demand of the audience

Edition: current; Page: [xxix]

was no outrage upon nature, and that there need be no abruptness in the passage from tears to laughter. And so was realised for the first and last time in the world's history the dream of Socrates; the theory he propounded to Agathon, who was too drunk and drowsy for argument or contradiction, as the dawn broke over that memorable symposium. But Marlowe could not don alternately the buskin and the sock. His fiery spirit walked always on the heights; no ripple of laughter reached him as he scaled the “high pyramides” of tragic art. But while the poet was pursuing his airy path the actors at the Curtain had to look after their own interests. They knew that though they should speak with the tongues of angels yet the audience would turn a deaf ear unless some comic business were provided. Accordingly they employed some hack-writer, or perhaps a member of their own company, to furnish what was required. How execrably he performed his task is only too plain. But it is strange that Marlowe's editors should have held so distinguished a dramatist as Dekker responsible for these wretched interpolations. They were misled by the entry in Henslowe's Diary concerning Dekker's “addycions” to Faustus,—an entry which has been shown (vtd, p. xv.) to be a gross forgery. There is not the slightest tittle of evidence to convict Dekker of having perpetrated the comic scenes found in the quarto of 1604.

Let us now consider the relationship between the quartos of 1604 and 1616. From an undoubtedly genuine entry in Henslowe's Diary (ed. J. P. Collier, p. 228), we learn that on November 22, 1602, William Edition: current; Page: [xxx] Birde and Samuel Rowley were paid the sum of four pounds for “adicyones” to Faustus. As the sum was comparatively large the additions must have been considerable. Dyce at first thought that the quarto of 1616 represented the play in the shape it had assumed at the hands of Birde and Samuel Rowley. This view he afterwards modified on finding that the anonymous Taming of a Shrew, 1594, contained an obvious imitation of a line1 first printed in ed. 1616. But the editors are agreed that the additions found in ed. 1616 are in no instance to be ascribed to Marlowe. My own opinion is, tKatthe^ new comic scenes and the bulk of the additional matter are certainly not his; but I hold at the same time that ed. 1616 gives us occasionally the author's revised text, or restores passages that had been omitted in the first edition. As this theory has not been put forward before, I may be excused for dwelling on it at some length. If the reader will turn to the speech of the chorus preceding scene vii., and compare the texts of eds. 1604 and 1616, he will readily perceive that the additional lines preserved in the later edition render the passage much Edition: current; Page: [xxxi] more picturesque. As the speech stands in the earlier edition it is very meagre; the additional lines, which were certainly beyond the reach of Birde or Samuel Rowley, give precisely what was wanted. Either Marlowe added them when revising the play, or lines omitted in the earlier edition were restored in the later. The variations in scene xiv. are interesting. At the point where Helen passes over the stage ed. 1604 has—

  • 2nd Schol. Too simple is my wit to tell her praise,
  • Whom all the world admires for majesty.
3rd Schol.
  • No marvel though the angry Greeks pursued
  • With ten years'.war the rape of such a Queen,
  • Whose heavenly beauty passeth all compare.
1st Schol.
  • Since we have seen the pride of Nature's works,
  • And only paragon of excellence,
  • Let us depart; and for this glorious deed
  • Happy and blest be Faustus evermore.”
  • In ed. 1616 the passage stands—
2nd Schol.
  • Was this fair Helen whose admired worth
  • Made Greece with ten years' wars afflict poor Troy.
3rd Schol.
  • Too simple is my wit to tell her worth
  • Whom all the world admires for majesty.
1st Schol.
  • Now we have seen the pride of Nature's work
  • We'll take our leaves, and for this blessed sight,” &c.

In both editions the text is assuredly Marlowe's; but in this instance the first quarto seems to preserve the revised text. Later in the same scene the exhortation of the Old Man reads better in the later than in the earlier edition. The alterations are such as we might expect the author to have made on revision. As to the Edition: current; Page: [xxxii] additions in the terrific scene xvi. it is not easy to speak with confidence. In my judgment the text of the earlier edition is preferable. By delaying the catastrophe the additions seem to weaken its impressiveness. At the departure of the scholars, after they have paid their last sad farewell, our feelings have been raised to the highest pitch; and the intrusion at that moment of the Good and Evil Angels is an artistic mistake. Nor does the entrance of Lucifer and Mephistophilis at the beginning of the scene contribute in the slightest degree to the terror of the catastrophe. The scene as it stands in the earlier edition—the pathetic leave-taking between Faustus and the scholars, followed swiftly by the awful soliloquy —needs no addition of horror. But the new matter found in the later edition is undoubtedly powerful; it was penned by no hack-writer, but has the ring of Marlowe. My impression is, that the text in the later edition gives us the scene in its first state; and that Marlowe on revising his work heightened the dramatic effect of the profoundly impressive catastrophe by cancelling the passages which found their way into ed, 1616. But what shall be said of the final colloquy between the scholars when they find the mangled body of Faustus on the morrow of that fearful night of storm? Is it by Marlowe, or is it, as the late Professor Wagner thought, the work of a “mere versifier “? To my ear the lines are solemn and pathetic, thoroughly worthy of Marlowe; but it does not on this account follow that they have a dramatic fitness. It is not improbable that the play in its un-revised state concluded with the scene between the Edition: current; Page: [xxxiii] scholars, and that the poet afterwards substituted for this scene the chorus' speech of compassion and warning. If we retain the colloquy between the scholars, then the final moralising of the chorus would seem to be otiose; if, on the other hand, the chorus closes the play, then even the short delay caused by the ap'pearance of the scholars is felt to be a dramatic impropriety. To the chorus, in my judgment, must be given the last word; and we must part, however reluctantly, with the tender and pitiful colloquy.1

My view, then, is that Marlowe revised his work; that the quartos of 1604 and 1616 were both printed from imperfect and interpolated play-house copies, and that neither gives the correct text; that in some cases the readings of the earlier editions are preferable, in other cases the readings of the later.

But, it may be objected, what evidence have we to show that the Elizabethan dramatists ever revised their works with such care and elaboration? Omitting all reference to doubtful cases—such as the relationship between the 1597 and 1599 quartos of Romeo and Juliet, or the 1603 and '604 quartos of Hamlet—and omitting, too, the example of Ben Jonson, who was twitted by his Edition: current; Page: [xxxiv] contemporaries for the labour that he bestowed on his works (“For his were called works where others were but plays”), I select two pieces which underwent at their author's hands precisely the same revision as I hold to have been given by Marlowe to Faustus. In Egerton MS. 1994 (preserved in” the British Museum) there is a play entitled Calisto, or the Escapes of Jupiter, which I have elsewhere shown to be composed of scenes from Heywood's Golden Age and Silver Age. A comparison of the text of the MS. with the text of the quartos shows that the author when issuing the printed copy, revised his work throughout, scene by scene, and line by line, correcting, rewriting, curtailing, augmenting. This is the more remarkable in Heywood's case, for he was the most prolific of all the old dramatists, and might well be supposed to have had little time for correction. Again: in my edition of the works of John Day I have printed, along with the text of the quarto, the readings of an early MS. copy of the Parliament of Bees. In the MS., which gives the unrevised text, we find many passages that were afterwards cancelled on revision, and the quarto on the other hand contains passages not found in the MS.; while the variations in phrases and single words are very numerous.

For information as to the origin and growth of the Faust-legend, I refer the reader to the elaborate introductions by Professor Ward and the late Professor Wagner to their editions of Faustus. The point for us to consider is where Marlowe obtained the materials for his tragedy. In 1587 at Frankfort-on-the-Main appeared Edition: current; Page: [xxxv] he first connected account of the great conjurer, under he title of Historia von D. Johann Fausten, dem meitbeschreyten Zauberer und Schwartzkunstler. Two reprints were published in the same year, and three more editions followed in 1589. It was from this book that Marlowe drew his materials; but it is probable that he used an English translation, not the German original. The earliest translation yet discovered is dated 1592. It bears the following title:—The Historic of the damnable 'ife and deserved death of Dr. John Faustus, Newly imprinted and in convenient places imperfect matter amended: according to the true copie printed at Franckfort and translated into English by P. F. Gent.1 The words “Newly imprinted” show that there must have been an edition prior to 1592. It should be remembered that the book was one of those popular productions which ran the greatest risk of being thumbed out of existence. Of the first edition of the German original only a single copy (preserved in the Imperial Library at Vienna) is now known.2 There is one strong piece of evidence to show that Marlowe made use of an English translation. In scene v. the third article of the contract signed by Faustus runs, “Shall do for him and bring for him whatsoever.” Dyce pointed out that the curious text of this passage closely tallies with the text of the corresponding passage in the prose tract. Dyce's quotations are from ed. 1648; he does not seem to have been aware of the Edition: current; Page: [xxxvi] existence of the 1592 edition, where the article stands, “That Mephistophilis should bring him anything and do for him whatsoever.”1 This verbal coincidence is too striking to be merely accidental. It has been suggested by Dr. Von der Velde that the English actors who performed at the courts of Dresden and Berlin between 1585 and 1587 (as shown by Mr Albert Cohn in his work on Shakespeare in Germany) brought with them on their return to England at the end of 1587 the recently published Faustbuch. Professor Ward adds a further suggestion, which deserves consideration. In the German original we have a Duke of Anhalt (in the English tract, Anholt) who becomes in the play the Duke of Vanholt. Professor Ward thinks that the “oddity is best to be reconciled with the other circumstances of the case by the supposition that the German Faustbuch was brought over to England in one of its early editions (before that of 1590) by some person or persons who had travelled both in Germany and in the Netherlands; that through them it came into Marlowe's hands in the shape of a MS. English translation; and that the MS. translation was very probably used by ' P. R.' or whoever was the 'gentleman' who wrote the English History.” He proceeds to state that the English actors who had been performing in Germany would naturally pass through the Netherlands on their return to England. The theory is ingenious, but it is hardly safe to build on such slender foundations.

Edition: current; Page: [xxxvii]

Marlowe's tragedy speedily became popular not only in England but abroad. From a recently published work of great interest by Herr Johannes Meissner, Die Englischen comædiantenzur zeit Shakespeares in Oesterreich, we learn that Faustus and the Jew of Malta, with nine other English plays, were acted (in German versions) by an English company in 1608, during the Carnival, at Graetz.1 Throughout the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries Faustus remained a favourite at Vienna. A Hanswurst or Clown was introduced; the Jesuits, disliking Faustus' scepticism, converted him into a sort of Don Juan; and the two aspects of his character were afterwards combined by Goethe. Among the plays performed by an English company at the Dresden court in 1626 was a Tragadia von Dr Faust?2 which was certainly Marlowe's; on the same list is found a Harrabas, which was no less certainly a version of the Jew of Malta.

Although the popularity of Faustus in England is attested by the number of editions through which it passed, few early allusions to the play are discoverable. When Shakespeare wrote of Helen in Troilus and Cressida,

  • Why, she is a pearl
  • Whose price hath launched above a thousand ships“
Edition: current; Page: [xxxviii]

he must surely have had in his mind the line of Marlowe—

  • “Was this the face that launched a thousand ships? “

It was pointed out by Wagner that the scene in Bar-nabe Barnes' Devil's Charter, 1607, where Pope Alexander VI. signs a contract with a devil disguised as a pronotary, is modelled on scene v. of faustus. In Tim^s Whistle, by “R. C. Gent,” a collection of satires written between 1614 and 1616, there is a passage which Mr. J. M. Cowper (who edited the satires for the Early English Text Society) takes to refer “to the story of the play of Faustus, although it may be said the story was common enough for 'R. C.' to have got it elsewhere.” From Samuel Rowlands' Knave of Clubs we learn that the part of Faustus was originally sustained by Edward Alleyn:—

  • “The gull gets on a surplis,
  • With a crosse upon his brest,
  • Like Allen playing Faustus,
  • In that manner was he drest.”

In this Theatrum Poetarum (1675) Phillips observes quaintly “Of all that Marlowe hath written to the stage, his Dr. Faustus hath made the greatest noise, with its devils and such like tragical sport.”

Dr. Faustus is a work which once read can never be forgotten. It must be allowed that Marlowe did not perceive the full capabilities afforded by the legend he adopted; that crudeness of treatment is shown in making Faustus abandon the pursuit of supernatural knowledge, Edition: current; Page: [xxxix] and turn to trivial uses the power that he had purchased at the price of his soul This and more may be granted; but criticism is silenced when we reflect on the agony of Faustus' final soliloquy and the fervid splendour of his raptures over Helen's beauty. Dr. Faustus is rather a series of dramatic scenes than a complete drama. Many of these scenes were the work of another hand and may be expunged with advantage. But what remains is singularly precious. The subtler treatment of a later age can never efface from our minds the appalling realism of the catastrophe in Marlowe's play : still our sense is pierced by that last despairing cry of shrill anguish—

  • “Ugly Hell, gape not! come not, Lucifer!
  • I'll burn my books! Ah, Mephistophihs!”

Goethe's English biographer speaks slightingly of Marlowe's play; but Goethe1 himself, when questioned about Dr. faustus,” burst out with an exclamation of praise : How greatly was it all planned! He had thought of translating it.”

We have no evidence to enable us to fix precisely the date of the Jew of Malta. The reference in the prologue to the death of the Duke of Guise shows that it was composed not earlier than December 1588. Hens-lowe's Diary contains numerous entries concerning the play, ranging from 26th February 1591-2 to 2ist June Edition: current; Page: [xl] 1596; and there is a notice in the Diary of its revival on 17th. On ay 1594 it was entered in the Stationers' Books, but it was not published until 633, when it was edited by Thomas Heywood after its revival at Court and at the Cockpit. In 1608, as Herr Meissner has shown, it was one of the plays performed at Graetz during the Carnival; in the previous year it had been performed at Passau.

The Jew of Malta is a very unequal work. Hallam, the most cautious of critics, gives it as his opinion that the first two acts “are more vigorously conceived, both as to character and to circumstance, than any other Elizabethan play, except those of Shakespeare.” This judgment, bold as it appears at first sight, probably represents the truth. The masterful grasp that marks the opening scene was a new thing in English tragedy. Language so strong, so terse, so dramatic, had never been heard before on the English stage. In the two first acts there is not a trace of juvenility; all is conceived largely and worked out in firm, bold strokes. Hardly Shakespeare's touch is more absolutely true and unfaltering; nor is it too much to say that, had the character been developed throughout on the same scale as in the first two acts, Barabas would have been worthy to stand alongside of Shylock. But in the last three acts vigorous drawing is exchanged for caricature; for a sinister life-like figure we have a grotesque stage-villain, another Aaron. How this extraordinary transformation was effected, why the poet, who started with such clear-eyed vision and stern resolution, swerved so blindly and Edition: current; Page: [xli] helplessly from the path, is a question that may well perplex critics. Was the artist's hand paralysed by the consciousness of an inability to work out in detail the great conception? I think not. It is more reasonable to assume that the play was required by the actors at a very short notice, and that Marlowe merely sketched roughly the last three acts, leaving it to another hand to fill in the details; or it may be that he put the play aside, under stress of more pressing work, with the intention of resuming the half-told story at a later date, an intention which was frustrated by his sudden death. In any case it is a sheer impossibility to believe that the play in its present form represents the poet's finished work. Marlowe is not less guiltless of the extravagance and buffoonery in the last three acts of the Jew of Malta than of the grotesque and farcical additions made to Dr. Faustus. Yet it was doubtless to this very extravagance that the play owed much of its popularity.1

It has not yet been discovered where Marlowe procured the materials for his play. Probably he used some forgotten novel; nor is it unlikely that he had been afforded opportunities of personally studying Jewish character. The old notion that there were no Jews in England during the Elizabethan time has been shown by modern research to be wholly untenable.2 Barabas' Edition: current; Page: [xlii] devoted lore for his daughter is so fully emphasized in the first two acts that we cannot but suppose Marlowe to have been acquainted with at least one leading trait in Jewish character, the intense family-affection which has distinguished the Jews of all ages. Round the person of Barabas, in the two first acts, is thrown such a halo of poetry as circles Shylock from first to last His figure seems to assume gigantic proportions; his lust of gold is conceived on so grand a scale that the grovelling passion is transmuted, by the alchemy of the poet's imagination, into a magnificent ambition. Our senses are dazzled, sober reason is staggered by the vastness of Barabas' greed:—

  • “Give me the merchants of the Indian mines,
  • That trade in metal of the purest mould;
  • The wealthy Moor that in the Eastern rocks
  • Without control can pick his riches up,
  • And in his house heap pearl like pebble-stones,
  • Receive them free and sell them by the weight;
  • Bags of fiery opals, sapphires, amethysts,
  • Jacinths, hard topaz, grass-green emeralds,
  • And seld-seen costly stones of so gieat price,
  • As one of them, indifferently rated,
  • And of a carat of this quantity,
  • May serve, in peril of calamity,
  • To ransom great kings from captivity.”

Very impressive is the scene where Barabas is shown pacing beneath the casement, “in the shadow of the Edition: current; Page: [xliii] silent night,” like an unquiet spirit round a spot where treasure has been buried. And what a burst of lyric ecstacy when he clasps once more his money-bags!—

  • “Now, Phœbus, ope the eye-lids1 of the day,
  • And, for the raven, wake the morning lark,
  • That I may hover with her in the air,
  • Singing o'er these, as she does o'er her young.”

Again and again must we regret that the last three acts were not composed on the same scale as the earlier part of the play.

Edward the Second was entered in the Stationers' Books on 6th July 1593. In the Dyce Library at South Kensington there is a quarto with a MS. title-page (in a hand of the late 17th century), dated 1593. The first page is in MS., and contains several mistakes, but the text of the printed matter agrees throughout with the quarto of 1598; it may therefore be assumed that the date 1593 is a mistake of the copyist for iSgS.2 Warton states that the play “was written in the year 1590,” but he adduces no evidence in support of his assertion. It is certainly the most elaborate of Marlowe's works, and it has fortunately descended to us with a text free from any serious corruptions. We can hardly assign an earlier date than 1590 for its composition.

A comparison between Edward II. and Richard II. Edition: current; Page: [xliv] naturally suggests itself to every reader. Charles Lamb remarked that” the reluctant pangs of abdicating royalty in Edward furnished hints which Shakespeare scarce improved in his Richard the Second; and the death-scene of Marlowe's king moves pity and terror beyond any scene, ancient or modern, with which I am acquainted.” Mr. Swinburne thinks that there is more discrimination of character in Marlowe's play than Shakespeare's; that the figures are more life-like, stand out more clearly as individual personalities. It may also be urged that there is more “business “in Marlowe's play; that the action is never allowed to flag. Ttie character of the gay, frank, fearless, shameless favourite, Piers Gaveston, is admirably drawn. Even in the presence of death, with the wolfish eyes of the grim nobles bent on him from every side, he loses nothing of his old jauntiness. Marlowe has thoroughly realised this character, and portrayed it in every detail with consummate ability. Hardly less successful is the character of Young Spenser, the insolent compound of recklessness and craft, posing as the saviour of society, while he stealthily pursues his own selfish projects. In his drawing of female characters, Marlowe showed no great skill or variety. The features in some of his portraits are either so dim as to present no likeness at all, or they are excessively unlovely. Isabella is a vain, selfish woman, without any strength of character. She is hurt at finding herself neglected by the king, but the wound is only surface-deep. She acquiesces passively in her husband's death, and with equal indifference Edition: current; Page: [xlv] would have sacrificed her paramour. Edward, with all his weakness, is not wholly ignoble. In all literature there are few finer touches than when, after recounting his fearful suffering and privations in the dungeon, he gathers his breath for one last kingly utterance:—

  • ”Tell Isabel, the queen, I looked not thus
  • When for her sake I ran at tilt in France,
  • And there unhorsed the Duke of Cleremont.”

What heart-breaking pathos in those lines! For a moment, as his thoughts travel back across the years, he forgets the squalor of his dungeon and rides blithely beneath the beaming eyes of his lady. It has been objected that the representation of the king's physical suffering oversteps the limit of dramatic art. Euripides was censured by ancient critics for demeaning tragedy; but to-day the judgment of readers is on the side of Euripides, not of his critics. Besides, if Euripides erred, Sophocles erred also. The physical suffering of Philoctetes excites far more disgust than anything that we find in Euripides. There are those who think that the blinding of Gloster, in Lear, surpasses in horror any scene of physical agony enacted on the English stage. But criticism, which fears to raise its voice against Shakespeare, shows no mercy to Shakespeare's contemporaries.

It has been usually stated that Fabyan's Chronicle was Marlowe's authority for the plot of Edward II., but Mr. Fleay has made it abundantly clear that the poet's indebtedness to Fabyan was very slight, and that the Edition: current; Page: [xlvi] narratives of Stow and Holinshed, who tread closely in the steps of Sir Thomas de la More, were largely used.

The two remaining plays, the Massacre at Paris and the Tragedy of Dido, are preserved in a very unsatisfactory state: the former had been cruelly mutilated, and the latter—left unfinished at the author's death— was completed by Thomas Nashe, an unequalled master of invective, but a tragic poet of no high order. In Henslowe's Diary (ed. J. P. Collier, p. 30), under date 30th January 1593-4, there is an entry—“Rd. at the tragedy of the guyes [Guise] … iij8 … iiij8.” In this part of the Diary the dates are in some confusion; and it is clear from the preceding and following entries that the year should be 1592-3, not 1593-4. In the margin opposite the entry Henslowe has written ”tie” to show that it was a new play. External evidence, therefore, seems to insist that the Massacre at Paris was one of Marlowe's latest works. Even if we suppose that the performance of the play did not immediately follow its composition, yet we cannot regard the Massacre at Paris as a very early work of Marlowe's; for Henry III., with whose assassination the play ends, died on 2nd August 1589. But we have clear proof that the play has come down in a corrupt and mutilated state. There is preserved in an early MS.1 a portion of scene xix., probably a fragment of an original play-house copy. A comparison of the text of the MS. (vid. Vol. II. 277-8) Edition: current; Page: [xlvii] with the text of the printed copy shows how cruelly the play suffered in passing through the press. But when all allowances have been made on the score of curtailments and corruptions, it is certain that the Massacre at Paris was the feeblest of Marlowe's works. Only in one passage does the poet rise to the height of his theme. I refer of course to the fine soliloquy of the Duke of Guise in the second scene. There, and there only, we find the old splendour of diction and magnificence of imagination, the old yearning after limitless power. The other characters are writ in water.

The Tragedy of Dido was published in 1594. On the title-page it is stated to have been written by “Christopher Marlowe and Thomas Nash, Gent.” Probably Marlowe left it incomplete at his death, and Nashe finished it. The tragic power shown in Dido is very slight For once Marlowe seems to have descended from his fiery flight above the clouds, and to have sought repose in a trim garden-plot; instead of daring imagination, we have quaint conceits and dainty play of fancy. My own opinion is, that the play is in the main by Marlowe, and that Nashe's work lay chiefly in completing certain scenes which Marlowe had sketched in the rough. To Marlowe must surely be given such lines as these in the opening scene:—

  • “Vulcan shall dance to make thee laughing-sport,
  • And my nine daughters sing when thou art sad;
  • From Juno's bird I'll pluck her spotted pride,
  • To make thee wings wherewith to cool thy face;
  • And Venus' swans shall shed their silver down
  • To sweeten out the slumbers of thy bed,” &c.
Edition: current; Page: [xlviii]

The rhythm of these passages is precisely the same as in the passage (lii. i) where Dido offers to Aeneas a fleet with “tackling made of rivell'd gold.” As Mr. Symonds observes, “The blank verse, falling in couplets, seems to cry aloud for rhymes.” These passages, and the pretty scene where the old nurse tempts away Cupid (who is disguised as Ascanius) by a playfully exaggerated description of the delights of her orchard and flower-garden, must have come from the same hand,—the hand that wrote the song of the “Passionate Shepherd to his Love.” In the second act, where Aeneas relates to Dido the story of the fall of Troy, occurs the passage, which Shakespeare burlesqued in Hamlet1 describing the slaughter of Priam. It is hard to believe that in its present shape the narrative of Aeneas was written wholly by Marlowe. In parts it is so absurdly grandiose that a very slight heightening is required in order to get the effect of burlesque. Let us take the description of the slaughter of Priam:—

  • “At which the frantic queen leaped on his face,
  • And in his eyelids hanging by the nails,
  • A little while prolonged her husband's life.
  • At last the soldiers pulled her by the heels,
  • And swung her howling in the empty air,
  • Which sent an echo to the wounded king:
  • Whereat he lifted up his bed-rid limbs,
  • And would have grappled with Achilles' son,
  • Forgetting both his want of strength and hands;
  • Edition: current; Page: [xlix]
  • Which he disdaining, whisk'd his sword about,
  • And with the wound [wind] thereof the King fell down;
  • Then from the navel to the throat at once
  • He ripp'd old Priam.”

If these lines are Marlowe's they must have been written at the very beginning of his career. Compared with this extraordinary passage the rant of Tamburlaine is tame. It seems probable that Marlowe left the scene unfinished, and that Nashe worked it up into its present ridiculous shape. If the lines I have quoted are Nashe's he must surely have been laughing in his sleeve when he wrote them. It was a good opportunity of showing that he had learnt the trick of “bragging blank verse,” and could swagger in “drumming decasyllabons.” Earlier in the same scene we find passages quite worthy of Marlowe, as in the description how, when Smon unlocked the wooden horse,

  • “Suddenly
  • From out his entrails, Neoptolemus,
  • Setting his spear upon the ground, leapt forth,
  • And, after him, a thousand Grecians more
  • In whose stern faces shined the quenchless fire
  • That after burnt the pride of Asia.”

About the authorship of such lines as those there can be no possible doubt; but there are very few passages in Dido where the “mighty line “rings so unmistakeably.

The exquisite fragment of Hero and Leander, which was entered in the Stationers' Books on 28th September 1593, was first published in 1598, and a second edition,1 Edition: current; Page: [l] with Chapman's continuation, appeared in the same year. From a passage of the Third Sestiad it appears that Marlowe, perhaps with a foreboding of his untimely death, had enjoined upon Chapman the task of completing the poem. The lines are these;—

  • “Then, ho, most strangely-intellectual fire
  • That, proper to my soul, hast power t' inspire
  • Her burning faculties, and with the wings
  • Of thy unspherèd flame visits't the springs
  • Of spirits immortal. Now, as swift as Time
  • Doth follow Motion, find th' eternal clime
  • Of his free soul whose living subject stood
  • Up to the chin in the Pierian flood,
  • And drunk to me half this Musaean story,
  • Inscribing it (a deathless memory;
  • Confer with it, and make my pledge as deep
  • That neither1 s draught be consecrate to sleep:
  • Tell it how much his late desires 1 tender
  • {If yet it know not), and to light surrender
  • My sours dark offspring.”

When Chapman is inspired he is not always articulate. In this apostrophe to the “free soul” of Marlowe we cannot fail to be moved by the impassioned fervour of the language; but when we come to re-read the passage, and ask ourselves what is the meaning of the italicised lines, we are beset with some difficulties. It is certain that the words “late desires “cannot refer to any deathbed utterance of Marlowe; for we know that his end was fearfully sudden. But if it has any meaning at all, Edition: current; Page: [li] the line, “And drunk to me half this Musaean story,” implies that Marlowe had shown his unfinished poem to Chapman. It would not be rash to assert that Chapman had encouraged Marlowe to proceed with the poem, or that it had been originally undertaken at Chapman's request. The words “his late desires “refer to some conversation that had passed between the two poets. Marlowe must have expressed a desire that in the event of his death Chapman should edit and complete the poem, a duty which Chapman solemnly pledged himself to perform. In my judgment the passage shows that Chapman not only had a profound admiration for Marlowe, but had been on terms of intimate friendship with him. Dyce remarks that “as to the conclusion of the passage,' and to light surrender,' &c., I must confess that I am far from understanding it clearly.” But the meaning seems intelligible: his “soul's dark offspring “is the continuation of the poem, the four last sestiads as yet undisclosed to public view; and “to light surrender” merely means to set forth in print to the gaze of the world.

Among all the Elizabethan poets there was none whose genius fitted him to complete the poem of Hero and Leander. The music of Marlowe's rhymed heroics was all his own; he was a master without pupils. In Michael Drayton's Heroical Epistles, which need fear no comparison with Ovid's Heroides, we find fluency and freedom and sweetness; but the clear, rich, fervent notes of Hero and Leander were heard but once. No less truly than finely does Mr. Swinburne say that the Edition: current; Page: [lii] poem “stands out alone amid all the wild and poetic wealth of its teeming and turbulent age, as might a small shrine of Parian sculpture amid the rank splendour of a tropic jungle.” In Chapman's continuation, as in everything that Chapman wrote, there are fine passages in abundance; but the reader is wearied by tedious digressions, dull moralising, and violent conceits. There are couplets in the Tale of Teras (Fifth Sestiad) that for purity of colour and perfection of form are hardly excelled by anything in the first two sestiads; such passages, however, are few. Malone stated that Marlowe left in addition to the two first sestiads “a hundred lines of the third,” but he afterwards retracted the statement.

Hero and Leander sprang at once into popularity. Shakespeare, as everybody knows, quoted in As You Like It the line, “Who ever loved that loved not at first sight?” apostrophising the ill-fated poet, not without a touch of pity, as “dead shepherd;” Ben Jonson introduced passages of the poem into Every Man in his Humour; Henry Petowe, a feeble versifier but a sincere admirer of Marlowe's genius, had the audacity to write and in 1598 to publish The Second part of Hero and Leander; Nashe in Lenten Stuffe speaks of “divine Musaeus and a diviner Muse than him, Kit Marlowe;” Taylor the water-poet tells how he used to sing couplets of Hero and Leander as he plied his sculls on the Thames. Sometimes the poem is mentioned m company with Venus and Adonis. “1 have conveyed away,” says Harebrain in Middleton's A mad World my Masters,”all her wanton

Edition: current; Page: [liii]

pamphlets; as Hero and Leander, Venus and Adonis: O two luscious marrow-bone pies for a young married wife.”

Marlowe's translation of the First Book of Lucan was entered in the Stationers' Books on 28th September 1593, but no earlier edition than the quarto of 1600 is now known to exist. Lucan's name stood much higher in Elizabethan times than in our own day. His grandiloquence, his artificiality, his frigid rhetoric have blinded modern readers to the genuine power which the author of the Pharsalia undoubtedly possessed. Quintilian's judgment was well expressed—” Lucanus ardens et con-citatus et sententiis clanssimus et, ut dicam quod sentio, magis oratoribus quam poetis imitandus.” Lucan was not a born poet; there was no spontaneity in his verse, and even in his best passages he merely keeps on the border-land between poetry and rhetorical prose. But he could rap out telling lines, and he had an imposing vocabulary. Marlowe's version of the first book of the Pharsalia is a piece of close translation, more poetical in some passages than the original, but not doing justice to Lucan in single lines. In the description of the prodigies observed at Rome after Caesar's passage of the Rubicon the advantage is undoubtedly Marlowe's, but on the other hand Lucan's pregnant antitheses and telling phrases are often insufficiently rendered, as where the famous line

  • “Victrix causa diis placuit sed victa Catoni,”

is Englished by

  • “Caesar's cause Tiie gods abeited, Cato liked the other.”
Edition: current; Page: [liv]

Dyce was so struck with the want of “variety of pause “in the versification, that he was inclined on first thoughts to consider the translation an early essay. But I venture to think that the lines are not wan ting in variety of pause to any very noticeable extent. In judging of epic blank verse, it is difficult to avoid a reference to Milton; and of course if we compare the rhythm of Marlowe's translation with the rhythm of Paradise Lost—cadit quaestio. But let us dismiss Milton from our minds, and let us select some of the strongest lines from the translation:—

  • “Strange sights appeared; the angry threatening gods
  • Filled both the earth and seas with prodigies.
  • Great store of strange and unknown stars were seen
  • Wandering about the north, and rings of fire
  • Fly in the air, and dreadful bearded stars,
  • And comets that presage the fall of kingdoms;
  • The flattering sky glittered in often flames,
  • And sundry fiery meteors blazed in heaven,
  • Now spear-like long, now like a spreading touch;
  • Lightning in silence stole forth without clouds,
  • And, from the northern climate snatching fire,
  • Blasted the Capitol; the lesser stars,
  • Which wont to run their course through empty night,
  • At noon-day mustered; Phoebe, having filled
  • Her meeting horns to match her brother's light,
  • Struck with th' earth's sudden shadow, waxed pale;
  • Titan himself, throned in the midst of heaven,
  • His burning chariot plunged in sable clouds,
  • And whelmed the world in darkness, making men
  • Despair of day; as did Thyestes' town,
  • Mycenae, Phoebus flying through the east.
  • Fierce Mulciber unbarred Aetna's gate,
  • Which flamèd not on high, but headlong pitched
  • Her burning head on bending Hespery.
  • Edition: current; Page: [lv]
  • Coal-black Charybdis whirled a sea of blood.
  • Fierce mastives howled. The vestal fires went out;
  • The flame in Alba, consecrate to Jove,
  • Parted in twain, and with a double point
  • Rose, like the Theban brothers' funeral fire.
  • The earth went off her hinges; and the Alps
  • Shook the old snow from off their trembling laps.”

That passage can be read throughout with pleasure. Though not wholly free from monotony, the lines are not stiff; the pause at the end of the line occurs somewhat too frequently to thoroughly satisfy the ear, but as a whole, the passage is at once massive and flexible. I suspect that the translation was intended chiefly as a metrical experiment. As the rhymed heroics of the translation of the Amores were the prelude to Hero and Leander, so the blank verse of the First Book of Lucan may have been a preparatory exercise for a projected epic. The reader will note with some surprise the unusual number of double-endings in the translation of Lucan. In less than 700 lines the double-endings are no fewer than 109;a1 while in Edward II. and the Jew of Malta (which are each about thrice the length of the translation), the double-endings are 107 and 70 respectively. We should naturally expect to find the proportion higher in dramatic than epic blank verse. In the former we look for greater freedom and a less accentuated rhythm; in the latter for a fuller and more sonorous volume of sound. Milton uses double-endings very sparingly.

Edition: current; Page: [lvi]

The delightful song “Come live with me, and be my love” was first printed, without the fourth and sixth stanzas, in the Passionate Pilgrim, 1599. It is well known that, though Shakespeare's name is on the title-page, the pieces in this collection are by various hands. The complete song first appeared, with the author's name, C. Marlowe, subscribed, in that most charming of Elizabethan anthologies, England's Helicon, 1600. Of all pastoral ditties, “Come live with me “is the best and most popular. Sir Hugh Evans trolled snatches from it in the Merry Wives of Windsor; and all lovers of the Complete Angler remember how Maudlin sang to Piscator and his pupil the “smooth song made by Kit Marlowe,” her mother following with the reply of Sir Walter Raleigh (if his it be): “They were old-fashioned poetry, but choicely good.” Donne and Herrick tried—but all in vain—to recapture the fresh dainty notes. An exquisite fragment of Marlowe's, beginning, “I walked along a stream for pureness rare,” is preserved in England?! Parnassus, 1600. Dyce thought that the lines were extracted from some printed composition now unknown; but I do not share Dyce's confidence that the editor of the anthology, Robert Allot, never resorted to manuscript sources.

It is now time to set down what is known of Marlowe's personal history. One thing it is pleasant to record,— that he was under the patronage of Sir Thomas Walsing-ham. To this worthy patron Hero and Leander was dedicated in 1598 by Edward Blunt, the publisher, in language which showed a genuine regard for the deceased Edition: current; Page: [lvii] poet's memory. I give the dedication in full, as it has not received due attention from Marlowe's editors:— “Sir,—We think not ourselves discharged of the duty we owe to our friend when we have brought the breathless body to the earth; for albeit the eye there taketh his ever-farewell of that beloved object, yet the impression of the man that hath been dear unto us, living an afterlife in our memory, there putteth us in mind of farther obsequies due unto the deceased; and namely of the performance of whatsoever we may judge, shall make to his living credit and to the effecting of his determinations prevented by the stroke of death. By these meditations (as by an intellectual will) I suppose myself executor to the unhappily deceased author of this poem; upon whom knowing that in his lifetime you bestowed many kind favours, entertaining the parts of reckoning and worth which you found in him with good countenance and liberal affection, I cannot but see so far into the will of him dead, that whatsoever issue of his brain should chance to come abroad, that the first breath it should take might be the gentle air of your liking; for since his self had been accustomed thereunto, it would prove more agreeable and thriving to his right children than any other foster-countenance whatsoever.” There is nothing conventional in such language as this. It is plain that Edward Blount had a sincere admiration and pity for Marlowe. “The impression of the man that hath been dear unto us!” Surely these are tender and pathetic words! When vials of venom were being poured on the dead man's head, it required some courage to speak Edition: current; Page: [lviii] out generously and manfully; and, therefore, let us give honour to the magnanimous publisher.

The name “atheist” has a very ugly sound. “Agnostic,” “materialist,” and the like, are gentleman-like designations, but a person who styles himself “atheist” is regarded in polite society as blunt and boorish. In Marlowe's time there were no fine distinctions. Any who ventured to impugn the authenticity of the biblical narrative spoke and wrote at their own deadly peril. In February 1589 Francis Kett, fellow of Benet College, Cambridge,—the College of which Marlowe had been a member,—was burnt at Norwich for holding unorthodox views about the Trinity and about Christ's divinity. Such being the state of society, prudence would naturally have dictated that each man should keep his private views to himself, or at least that he should have explained them only to his most intimate friends. “In divinity I keep the road,” says that champion of orthodoxy, Sir Thomas Browne, who exposed the vulnerable points in the scriptural narrative with more acumen and gusto than the whole army of “free-thinkers “from Antony Collins downwards. It would have been well if Marlowe had “kept the road.” Unfortunately he seems to have lost no opportunity of expounding his heretical opinions-The passage referring to Marlowe in Greene's Groat's Worth of Wit, that crazy death-bed wail of a weak and malignant spirit, has been often quoted before, but must be given here once again:—” Wonder not (for with thee will I first beginne), thou famous gracer of tragedians, that Green, who hath said with thee, like the foole in Edition: current; Page: [lix] his heart, “There is no God,” should now give glorie unto his greatnesse; for penetrating in his power, his hand lyes heavy upon me he hath spoken unto me with a voyce of thunder, and I have felt [old ed. left] he is a God that can punish enemies. Why should thy excellent wit, his gift, be so blinded that thou shouldest give no glory to the giver? Is it pestilent Machivilian policie that thou hast studied? O peevish [old ed. punish] folie! What are his rules but meere confused mockeries, able to extirpate in small time the generation of mankinde? for if sic volo, sic iubeo, holde in those that are able to commaund, and if it be lawfull fas et nefas, to doo any thing that is beneficiall, onely tyrants should possesse the earthe, and they, striving to exceed in tiranny, should ech to other be a slaughterman, till, the mightyest outliving all, one stroke were left for Death, that in one age mans life should end. The brocher of this dyabolicall atheisme is dead, and in his life had never the felicitie he aymed at, but, as he beganne in craft, lived in feare, and ended in dispaire. Quam inscrutabilia sunt Dei judicia! This murderer of many brethren had his conscience seared like Cayne; this betrayer of him that gave his life for him inherited the portion of Judas; this apostata perished as ill as Julian : and wilt thou, my friend, be his disciple? Looke unto mee, by him per-swaded to that libertie, and thou shalt finde it an infernall bondage. I know the least of my demerits merit this miserable death; but wilfull striving against knowne truth exceedeth all the terrors of my soule. Deferre not (with mee) till this kst point of extremitie; for little Edition: current; Page: [lx] knowest thou how in the end thou shalt be visited.” Then follow the well-known references to Nashe (or, as some think, Lodge), Peele, and the “upstart crow” Shakespeare. Greene died in September 1592, and the tract must have been published immediately afterwards. Its publication caused much excitement, and the rumour went abroad that the pamphlet was a forgery. Some attributed it to Chettle, others to Nashe. Both these writers quickly came forward to disclaim all share in the authorship. In the preface to Chettle's Kind-Harts Dreame, a tract entered in the Stationers' Books in December 1592 and published immediately afterwards, occurs the following passage:—

“About three moneths since died M. Robert Greene, leaving many papers in sundry book-sellers hands; among other, his Groantsworth of Wit, in which a letter written to diver play-makers is offensively by one or two of them taken; and because on the dead they cannot be avenged, they wilfully forge in their conceites a living author; and after tossing it two [to] and fro, no remedy, but it must light on me. How I have all the time of my conversing in printing hindred the bitter inveying against schollers, it hath been very well knowne, and how in that I dealt I can sufficiently proove. With neither of them that take offence was I acquainted, and with one of them [i.e.Marlowe] I care not if I never be : the other [i.e. Shakespeare], whome at that time I did not so much spare as since I wish I had, for that as I have moderated the heate of living writers, and might have used my owne discretion (especially in such a case) Edition: current; Page: [lxi] the author beeing dead, that I did not, I am as sory as if the originall fault had beene my fault, because myselfe have scene his demeanor no lesse civil than he exclent in the qualitie he professes: besides, divers of worship have reported his uprightnes of dealing which argues his honesty, and his facetious grace in writing that aprooves his art. For the first, whose learning I reverence, and, at the perusing of Greenes booke, stroke out what then in conscience I thought he in some displeasure writ, or, had it beene true, yet to publish it was intollerable, him I would wish to use me no worse than I deserve. I had onely in the copy this share; it was il written, as sometime Greenes hand was none of the best; licensd it must be, ere it could bee printed, which could never be if it might not be read: to be breife, I writ it over, and, as neare as I could, followed the copy, only in that letter I put something out, but in the whole booke not a worde in; for I protest it was all Greenes, not mine, nor Maister Nashes, as some uniustly have affirmed.” From Chettle's statement it is plain that the passage about Marlowe m the Groat's Worth of Wit was not printed in its venomous integrity. Chettle had no personal knowledge of Marlowe; he judged only from common report. It is to his credit that, prejudiced as he was, he had the good feeling to temper the virulence of Greene's attack. Nashe, in the “Private Epistle to the Printer,'1 prefixed to Pierce Peniltsse (a tract issued at the close of 1592) was more vehement in repudiating all connection with the pamphlet which had given so much offence. “Other newes,” he writes, “I am advertised of, that a scald triviall Edition: current; Page: [lxii] lying pamphlet, cald Green's Groats-worth of Wit, is given out to be of my doing. God never have care of my soule, but utterly renounce me, if the least word or sitlible in it proceeded from my pen, or if I were any way privie to the writing or printing of it” At this time Nashe was a friend of Marlowe's. In Pierces Supererogation (which is dated 2yth April, 1593), Gabriel Harvey accuses Nashe of disloyalty to his friends, among whom he particularly mentions Marlowe. Doubtless there was not a word of truth in the charge that Nashe “shamefully and odiously misuseth every friend or acquaintance (as he hath served some of his favorablest Patrons, whom, for certain respects, I am not to name), M. Apis Lapis, Greene, Marlow, Chettle, and whom not?” In Have with you to Saffron Walden, Nashe exclaims indignantly, “I never abusd Marloe, Greene, Chettle, in my life, or anie of my friends that usde me like a friend; which both Marloe and Greene (if they were alive) under their hands would testifie, even as Harry Chettle hath in a short note here;” and then follows a note in which Chettle declares that he never suffered any injury at Nashe's hands. “Poore deceased Kit Marlowe!” are Nashe's words in the Epistle to the Reader prefixed to the second edition (1594) of Chrisfs Tears over Jerusalem.

The burial-register of the Parish Church of St Nicholas, Deptford, contains the following entry1:—” Christopher Edition: current; Page: [lxii] Marlow, slain by firancis Archer, the i of June 1593.' Thomas Beard the Puritan, Oliver Cromwell's tutor, relates the manner of the poet's death as follows:—

“Not inferior to any of the former in atheisme and impietie, and equal to al in maner of punishment, was one of our own nation, of fresh and late memorie, called Marlin [in the margin Marlow], by profession a scholler, brought vp from his youth in the Vniuersitie of Cambridge, but by practise a playmaker and a poet of scurrilitie, who by giuing too large a swing to his owne wit, and suffering his lust to haue the full reines, fell (not without just desert) to that outrage and extremitie, that hee denied God and his sonne Christ, and not onely in word blasphemed the Trinitie, but also (as u is credibly reported) wrote bookes against it, affirming our Sauiour to be but a deceiuer, and Moses to be but a coniurer and seducer of the people, and the holy Bible to bee but vame and idle stories, and all religion but a deuice of policie. But see what a hooke the Lord put in the nostrils of this barking dogge! So it fell out, that as he purposed to stab one, whom he ought a grudge vnto, with his dagger, the other party perceiuing so auoyded the stroke, that, withall catching hold of his wrest, hee stabbed his owne dagger into his owne head, in such sort that, notwithstanding all the meanes of surgerie that could bee wrought, hee shortly after died thereof; the manner of his death being so terrible (for hee euen cursèd and blasphemed to his last gaspe, and together with his breath an oath flew out of his mouth), that it was not only a manifest signe of Gods judgement, but Edition: current; Page: [lxiv] also an horrible and fearefull terror to all that beheld him. But herein did the justice of God most notably appeare, in that hee compelled his owne hand, which had written those blasphemies, to bee the instrument to punish him, and that in his braine which had deuised the same.” So the passage stands in the later editions. It is not unimportant to notice that in the first edition, 1597, for “So it fell out,” &c. we find, “It so fell out that in London Streets as he purposed to stab,” &c. The vague mention of “London Streets” shows that Beard had no exact information when he put together his highly-coloured description of the poet's last moments. Francis Meres in Palladis Tamia, 1598, writes:—” As the poet Lycophron was shot to death by a certain rival of his, so Christopher Marlowe was stabd to death by a bawdy serving-man, a riual of his in his lewde love “(fol. 286). From Vaughan's Golden Grove, 1600, Dyce quotes a somewhat different account:—” Not inferiour to these was one Christopher Marlow, by profession a play-maker, who, as it is reported, about 14 yeres agoe wrote abooke against the Trinitie. But see the effects of God's justice! It so happened that at Detford, a little village about three miles distant from London, as he meant to stab with his ponyard one named Ingram that had inuited him thither to a feast and was then playing at tables, hee quickly perceyving it, so avoyded the thrust, that withall drawing out his dagger for his defence, hee stabd this Marlow into the eye, in such sort that, his braynes comming out at the daggers point, hee shortly after dyed. Thus did God, the true executioner of diuine iustice, Edition: current; Page: [lxv] worke the end of impious atheists” (sig. c. 4, ed. 1608). I must now direct the reader's attention to a strange “Sonet” and stranger “Postcript” and “Glosse,” printed at the end of Gabriel Harvey's Newe Letter of Notable Contents, 1593. Dyce (following Collier) quoted the last line of the “Sonet,” but none of Marlowe's editors has referred to the “Postcript” and “Glosse;” so I make no apology for giving the pieces in full


  • St. Fame dispos'd to cunnycatch the -world
  • Uprear'd a wonderment of Eiyhty Eight;
  • The Earth, addreading to be overhurld,
  • What now auailes, quoth She, my ballance weight:
  • The Circle smyl'd to see the Center feare:
  • The wonder was no wonder fell that yeare.
  • Wonders enhaunse their powre in numbers odd:
  • The fatal! yeare ofyeares is Ninety Three:
  • Parma hatk kist, Demaine entreats the rodd;
  • Warre wondrcth Peace and Spaine in Fraunce to see,
  • Brave Eckenberg the dowty Bassa shames,
  • The Christian Neptune Turkish Vulcane tames.
  • Navarre wooes Roome, Charlmaine glues Guise the Phy:
  • Weepe Powles, thy Tambcrlaine voutsafes to dye.
  • L'ENUOY.

  • The hugest miracle remains behinde,
  • The second Shakerley Rash-Swash to binde.

The Writers Postcript, or a friendly Caueat to the second Shakerley of Powles.

Edition: current; Page: [lxvi]
  • SONET.

  • Sltimbring I lay in melancholy bed
  • Before the dawning of the sanguin light;
  • When Eccho shrill or some Familiar Spright
  • Busted an Epitaph into my hed.
  • Magnifique Mindes bred of Gargantnas race
  • In grisly weedes His Obsequies waiment [sic]
  • Whose Corps on Powles, whose mind triuph'd on Kent,
  • Scorning to bate Sir Rodomont an ace.
  • I mus'd awhilt, and, having mus'd a while,
  • Jesu (quoth I) is that Gargantua minde
  • Conquered and left no Scanderbeg behinde?
  • Vowed hi not to Powles a Second bile?
  • What bile or kibe? (quoth that same early spright)
  • Have you forgot the Scanderbegging wight.

  • Is it a Dreams? or is the Highest minde
  • That ever haunted Powles or hunted winde
  • Bereaft of that same sky-surmounting breath,
  • That breath that taught the Tempany to swell!
  • He and the Plague contended for the game:
  • The hawty man txtolles his hideous thoughtes,
  • And g!oriously insultes upon poore soulcs
  • That plague themselves: for faint harts plague themselves.
  • The tyrant Sickness of base minded slaites
  • Oh how it domino's in Coward Lane!
  • So Surquidy rang out his larum knell
  • When he had girn'd at many a dolefull bell.
  • The ground Disease disdain'd his Toade Conceit
  • And smiling at his Tantberlainc contempt
  • Sternly struck home the peremptory stroke,
  • He that nor feared God nor dreaded Diu'll,
  • Nor ought admired but his wondrous self:
  • Likejunos gawdy Bird that proudly stares
  • On glittringfan of his triumphant taile,
  • Or like the ugly Bugg that scorrid to dy,
  • Edition: current; Page: [lxvii]
  • And mmtntes of Glery rear'd in towering witt—
  • Alas I but Babell Pride must kiss the put.
  • L'ENUOY.

  • Powles steeple, and a hugyer thing if dmane; Bcware
  • the next Bull-beggar of the owne.
  • Fata immature vagantur.”

Harvey's Newe Letter is dated September 1593, and Marlowe died in the June preceding. The drift of the “goggle-eyed sonet of Gorgon “(as Nashe terms it) and “L'enuoy “plainly is,—” Marlowe is dead; it remains to muzzle Nashe.” The epitaph in the “Postcript” certainly refers to Marlowe, and the meaning of the extraordinary lines “I mus'd awhile,” &c., is the same as in the previous sonnet But what are we to make of the Glosse? The only sense to be got out of the lines is that Marlowe had fallen a victim to the plague. We know that the plague was raging at that time in the metropolis. Probably Gabriel Harvey was staying in the country, to be out of the reach of infection,1 when he wrote his Newe Letter. Hearing the report of Marlowe's death he had taken it for granted, when he raised his whoop of exultation, that the poet had died of the plague. We may be sure that, if he had been acquainted at the time with the true account of Marlowe's tragic end, he would have gloated over every detail with ghoul-like ferocity. Though Marlowe took no active part, so far as we know, in supporting Nashe, he seems not to have attempted to Edition: current; Page: [lxviii] conceal his contempt for the Harveys. In Have with you to Saffron Walden, Nashe reports a saying of Marlowe's about Gabriel's younger brother, the Rev. Richard Harvey:—” Kit Marloe was wont to say that he was an asse, good for nothing but to preach of the Iron Age.” If Marlowe was accustomed to deliver his opinion about the Harveys after that fashion, the doctor's animosity is explicable. In Pierces Supererogation (p. 62) the vindictive writer exclaims:—” His [i.e. Nashe's] gayest flourishes are but Gascoigne's weedes or Tarleton's trickes, or Greene's crankes or Marlowe's bravadoes.” In the same tract he uses the term “Marloweism “in the sense of “irreverence.”

It must be frankly conceded that Marlowe not only abandoned Christianity, but had the reputation of leading a vicious life. In the Returne from Pernassus, an anonymous academical play, printed in 1606, but acted before the death of Queen Elizabeth, while high praise is paid to his genius, regret is expressed for the disorderli-ness of his life:—

  • “Marlowe was happy in his baskin['d] Muse,—
  • Alas, unhappy in his life and end!
  • Pitty it is that wit so ill should dwell,
  • Wit lent from heaven, but vices sent from hell.
  • Our theater hath lost, Pluto hath got
  • A tragick penman for a driery plot.”

Among the Harleian MSS. (6853, foL 520) is a Note1”contayninge the opinion of one Christofer Marlye, Edition: current; Page: [lxix] concernynge his damnable opinions and judgment of Relygion and scorne of Gods worde.” It is a comfort to know that the ruffian who drew up the charges, a certain “Rychard Bame,” was hanged1 Tyburn on 6th December 1594. Doubtless Bame was backed by some person or persons of power and position. It was a deliberate attempt on the part of some fanatics to induce the public authorities to institute a prosecution for blasphemy against the poet. How the charges would have been met it is not easy to say; probably his friends—particularly his patron Sir Thomas Wal-singham—would have been powerful enough to avert any serious danger. To a modern reader many of the charges put forward by Bame seem too silly to deserve any serious attention. If Marlowe had been a man of such abandoned principles as his enemies represented, I strongly doubt whether Chapman, who was distinguished for strictness of life, would have cherished his memory with such affection and respect. To my mind the apostrophe to Marlowe in the Third Sestiad of Hero and Leander shows clearly that the two poets were on terms of intimacy, and I fail to understand how Dyce arrived at the opposite conclusion. It is much to be regretted that no copy can now be found of the elegy on Marlowe written by Nashe and prefixed to the Tragedy of Dido, 1594. The elegy was seen by Bishop Tanner, who in his account of Marlowe writes,—” Hanc [sc. Tragedy of Dido] perfecit et edidit Tho. Nashe, Lond. 1594, 4to.— Edition: current; Page: [lxx] Petowius in præfatione ad secundam partem Herois et Leandri multa in Marlovii, commendationem adfert; hoc etiam facit Tho. Nash in Carmine elegiaco tragædiæ Didonis prmfixo'1 in obitum Christoph. Marlovii, ubi quatuor ejus tragædiaram mentionem facit, necnon et alterius De Duce Guisio “(Bibl. Brit., p. 512). Petowe's encomium, to which Tanner refers, runs thus:—

  • “Quicke-sighted spirits,—this suppos'd Apollo,—
  • Conceit no other but th' admired Marlo;
  • Marlo admir'd, whose honney-flowmg vaine
  • No English writer can as yet attaine;
  • Whose name in Fame's immortall treasurie
  • Truth shall record to endles memorie;
  • Marlo, late mortal in, now fram'd all diume,
  • What soule more happy then that soule of thine?
  • Liu still in heauen thy soule, thy fame on earth!
  • Thou dead, of Marlos Hero findes a dearth.
  • Weepe, aged Tellus! all on earth2 complaine!
  • Thy chiefe-borne faire hath lost her faire againe :
  • Her faire in this is lost, that Marlo's want
  • Inforceth Hero's faire be wonderous scant.
  • Oh, had that king of poets breathed longer,
  • Then had faire beautie's fort been much more stronger!
  • Edition: current; Page: [lxxi]
  • His goulden pen had clos'd her so about,
  • No bastard seglet's quill, the world throughout,
  • Had been of force to marre what he had made;
  • For why they were not expert in that trade.
  • What mortall soule with Marlo might contend,
  • That could 'gainst reason force him stoops or bend?
  • Whose siluer-charmmg toung mou'd such delight,
  • That men would shun their sleepe in still darke night
  • To meditate vpon his goulden lynes,
  • His rare conceyts, and sweet-according rimes.
  • But Marlo, still-admired Marlo's gon
  • To hue with beautie in Elyzmm;
  • Immortal beautie, who desires to heare
  • His sacred poesies, sweete in euery eare :
  • Marlo must frame to Orpheus' melodie
  • Himnes all dmine to make heauen harmonie.
  • There euer hue the prince of poetrie,
  • Lme with the liuing in eternuie!”

In his preface “To the quick-sighted Reader,” Petowe says that his poem was “the first fruits of an unripe wit, done at certaine vacant bowers.” The poem has little merit, but the young writer's admiration for Marlowe is genuine and striking.

Other admirers of Marlowe were not silent. George Peele, in his “Prologue to the Honour of the Garter,” written immediately after the poet's death, has these lines:—

  • “Unhappy in thine end,
  • Marley, the Muses' darling for thy verse,
  • Fit to write passions for the souls below,
  • If any wretched souls in passion speak.”

“J. M.” in a MS. poem written in 1600 (quoted by Mr. Halliwell-Phillipps in his Life of Shakespeare), speaks with tenderness of “kynde Kit Marloe.” In a famous Edition: current; Page: [lxxii] passage of the Hierarchic of the Biased Angels, 1635, Heywood writes:—

  • “Marlo, renown'd for his rare art and wit,
  • Could ne'er attain beyond the name of Kit,
  • Although his Hero and Leander
  • did Merit addition rather.”

In Michael Dray ton's admirable “Epistle to Henry Reynolds of Poets and Poesy,” 1627, occur the fine lines which have been so frequently quoted:—

  • “Next1 Marlow, bathed in the Thespian springs,
  • Had in him those brave translunary things That the first poets had;
  • his raptures were All air and fire which made his verses clear;
  • For that fine madness still he did retain,
  • Which rightly should possess a poet's brain.”

Much has been written of Marlowe in glowing verse and eloquent prose by writers of our own time; but not even Mr. Swinburne's impassioned praise is finer than the pathetic Death of Marlowe, published nearly half a century ago by the poet who passed so recently, full of years, from the ingratitude of a forgetful generation.

Mr. J. A. Symonds has denned the leading motive of Marlowe's work as 1}Amour de F Impossible—” the love or lust of unattainable things.” Never was a poet fired with a more intense aspiration for ideal beauty and ideal power. As some adventurous Greek of old might have sailed away, with warning voices in his ears, past the Edition: current; Page: [lxxiii] pillars of Hercules in quest of fabled islands beyond the sun, so Marlowe started on his lonely course, careless of tradition and restraint, resolved to seek and find “some world far from ours “where the secret springs of Knowledge should be opened and he should touch the lips of Beauty. What Marlowe might have achieved if his life had not been so cruelly cut short it were vain to speculate. The enthusiasm which has led some of his admirers to hint that he might have seriously contested Shakespeare's claim to supremacy is uncritical and absurd. Chapman speaks of men

  • “That have strange gifts in nature but no soul
  • Diffused quite through to make them of a piece.”

All the Elizabethan dramatists, in greater or less degree, possessed these “strange gifts in nature,” but in Shakespeare alone was the soul “diffused quite through.” Marlowe showed stupendous power in exciting terror and pity; but it is in single situations rather than in the clear-eyed development of the plot that his power is seen at its highest Shakespeare's sympathy with humanity in all its phases was infinite; Marlowe was a lofty egoist, little moved by the oys and sorrows of ordinary mortals. The gift of radiant humour, which earned for Shakespeare the title of “gentle” among his contemporaries, was denied to Marlowe. There are passages of Marlowe that for majesty and splendour can never be forgotten; but before the magical cadences of Antony and Cleopatra all the voices of the world fall dumb. Shakespeare began his career as a pupil of Marlowe; the lesser poet was self-taught. More than Edition: current; Page: [lxxiv] fifty years of life was granted to Shakespeare; Marlowe went to his grave before he had reached his thirtieth year.1

It remains to discuss briefly certain plays in which critics have alleged that Marlowe was concerned. These are the Tamingoj'a Shrew, 1594; Titus Andronicus; the old King John; and the 3 Parts of Henry VI. The wretched Lamm for London2 and still more wretched Locrine may be at once dismissed as unworthy of the slightest notice.

The Taming of a Shrew contains a number of passages that closely resemble, or are identical with, passages in Marlowe's undoubted plays—particularly Tamburlaine. This fact alone would make us suspect that Marlowe was not the author; for poets of Marlowe's class do not repeat themselves in this wholesale manner. But when we see how maladroitly, without the slightest regard to the context, these passages are introduced, then we may indeed wonder that any critic could have Edition: current; Page: [lxxv] been so insensate as to attribute the authorship to Marlowe. Here is a fair sample of the writing:—

  • ”Father, I swear by Ibis' golden beak
  • More fair and radiant is my bonny Kate
  • Than silver Xanthus when he doth embrace
  • The ruddy Simois at Ida's feet.
  • And care not thou, sweet Kate, how I be clad;
  • Thou shall have garments wrought of Median silk
  • Enchased with precious jewels fetched from far
  • By Italian merchants that with Russian stems
  • Plough up huge furrows in the Terrene mam.”

This passage is patched up from the First Part of Tam-burlaine: cf. I. 2 11. 95-6, 191-2. The reference to “Ibis' golden beak” (in imitation of i Tamb. iv. 3,1. 37) is delightfully ludicrous. In another passage we have a mention of

  • “The massy robe that late adorned
  • The stately legate of the Persian king,“

where (as Dyce remarked) the allusion would be quite unintelligible unless we remembered the lines in 2 Tamb. iii. 2—

  • “And I sat down clothed with a massy robe
  • Which late adorned the Afric potentate.”

Occasionally lines are filched from Faustus;

  • ”And should my love, as erst did Hercules,
  • Attempt to pass the burning vaults of Hell,
  • I would with piteous looks and pleasing words,
  • As once did Orpheus with his harmony
  • And ravishing sound of his melodious harp,
  • Entreat grim Pluto,” &c.

The italicised words are from scene vL (L 29) of Faustus.

Edition: current; Page: [lxxvi]

In my judgment the anonymous writer was sometimes engaged in imitating Marlowe and sometimes in burlesquing him. But be this as it may, the absurdity of attributing the piece to Marlowe is flagrant. The author of the Taming of a Shrew was a genuine humourist; and Mr. Swinburne is speaking within bounds when he calls him “Of all the pre-Shakespeareans incomparably the truest, the richest, the most powerful and original humourist” Marlowe had little or no humour.

We may therefore safely dismiss the Taming of a Shrew; but with Titus Andronicus the case is different. As I re-read this play after coming straight from the study of Marlowe, I find again and again passages that, as it seems to me, no hand but his could have written. It is not easy in a question of this kind to set down in detail reasons for our belief. Marlowe's influence permeated so thoroughly the dramatic literature of his day, that it is hard sometimes to distinguish between master and pupil. When the master is writing at his best there is no difficulty, but when his work is hasty and ill-digested, or has been left incomplete and has received additions from other hands, then our perplexity is great. In our disgust at the brutal horrors that crowd the pages of Titus Andronuus, we must beware of blinding ourselves to the imaginative power that marks much of the writing. In Aaron's soliloquy at the opening of act ii., it is hard to believe that we are not listening to the young Marlowe. There is the ring of Tamburlaine in such lines as these:—

  • ”As when the golden sun salutes the morn,
  • Edition: current; Page: [lxxvii]
  • And, having gilt the ocean with his beams,
  • Gallops the zodiac in his glistering coach,
  • And overlooks the highest-peering hills.”

Both rhythm and diction in the following lines remind us of Marlowe's earliest style:—

  • “Madam, though Venus govern your desires,
  • Saturn is dominator over mine:
  • What signifies my deadly-standing eye,
  • My silence and my cioudy melancholy,
  • My fleece of woolly hair that now uncurls
  • Even as an adder when she doth unroll
  • To do some fatal execution?
  • No, madam, these are no venereal signs:
  • Vengeance is m my heart, death in my hand,
  • Blood and revenge are hammering in my head.”

Aaron's confession of his villainies (in v. i) will recall to every reader the conversation between Barabas and Ithamore in the third scene of the second act of the Jew of Malta. The character of Aaron was either drawn by Marlowe or in close imitation of him; and it seems to me more reasonable to suppose that Titus Andronicus is in the main a crude early work of Marlowe's than that any imitator could have written with such marked power. But the great difficulty lies in determining to whom we should assign the frantic ravings of old Andronicus. They appear to be by another hand than Marlowe's; and they cannot, with any degree of plausibility, be assigned to Shakespeare. Lamb suggested that they recall the writer who contributed the marvellous “additions” to the Spanish Tragedy,—a suggestion that deserves more attention than it has received. What Edition: current; Page: [lxxvii] share Shakespere had in the play I must confess myself at a loss to divine. I have sometimes thought that there are traces of his hand in the very first scene,—and not beyond it; that he began to revise the play, and gave up the task in disgust. It is of Shakespeare rather than of Marlowe that we are reminded in such lines as—

  • “Wilt thou draw near the nature of the gods?
  • Draw near them then in being merciful:
  • Sweet mercy is nobility's true badge.”

But however closely we may look for them, we shall find very few Shakespearean passages. Of Marlowe's earliest style we are constantly and inevitably reminded.

That Marlowe had a share in all three parts of Henry VI. is, I think, certain. The opening lines of the First Part at once recall the language and rhythm of Tambur-laine, and the closing lines are suggestive of a passage of Edward II. The opening lines are:—

  • “Hung be the heavens with black, yield day to night!
  • Comets, importing change of times and states,
  • Brandish your crystal tresses in the sky,
  • And with them scourge the bad revolting stars
  • That have consented unto Henry's death!“

Compare II. Tamburlaine, v. 3:—

  • “Weep, heavens, and vanish into liquid tears!
  • Fall, stars that governs his nativity,
  • And summon all the shining lamps of heaven
  • To cast their bootless fires to the earth,
  • And shed their feeble influence in the air;
  • Muffle your beauties with eternal clouds!“

A closer parallel, whether as regards rhythm or expression, could hardly be found. The two lines with which the First Part closes are:—

Edition: current; Page: [lxxix]
  • “Margaret shall now be queen and rule the king,
  • But I will rule both her, the king and realm.”

Very similar are Mortimer's words in Edward II., v. 4:—

  • “The queen and Mortimer
  • Shall rule the realm, the king; and none rules us.”

To Shakespeare we can assign with certainty only the scene in the Temple Garden and Talbot's last battle, to which may be perhaps added Suffolk's courtship of Margaret. In my judgment the rest of the play is chiefly Marlowe's. I would fain shift from Marlowe's shoulders to Peek's the scene in which the memory of Joan of Arc is so shamefully slandered; but I am convinced that the composition of that scene was beyond Peele's powers.

It is well known that the Second and Third Parts of Henry VI. represent a revision of two older Plays—The First Part of the Contention betwixt the two famous houses of York and Lancaster (1594) and the True Tragedy of Richard Duke of York (1595); but it is not, perhaps, so generally known that the revised editions preserve passages by Marlowe which are not found in the earlier editions. The subject is one of the highest possible interest, but for adequate discussion a lengthy essay would be needed. It is important to note that the 1619 edition of the Whole Contention preserves in some passages a text partially revised. The fact would seem to be that there existed several copies of the plays in various stages of revision. There is no possibility of discovering the early unrevised text in its integrity. The first editions (1594 and 1595) present a text that had Edition: current; Page: [lxxx] undergone a certain amount of revision. It is more than probable that in many passages of the earliest editions we have a garbled text; for even Peele or Greene might have reasonably considered themselves aggrieved at being held responsible for such lines as these:—

  • “So lie thou there and breathe thy last.
  • What's here? the sign of the Castle?
  • Then the prophecy is come to pass,
  • For Somerset was forewarned of Castles,
  • The which he always did observe.
  • And now, behold, under a paltry ale-house sign,
  • The Castle in St. Albans,
  • Somerset hath made the wizard famous by his death.”

These jerky disjointed lines must have been hashed up from short-hand notes. I will now state my own views very briefly. I hold that Shakespeare worked on a full and accurate MS. copy of the early plays, and that these early plays were in large part by Marlowe. Unless we suppose that Shakespeare had the full text of the early plays before him, I do not know how we are to account for the introduction into the revised plays of passages by Marlowe not found in the earlier copies. Critics have pointed out that the opening lines of act iv. of 2 Henry VI. (” The gaudy, blabbing, and remorseful day,” &c.) are unmistakably Marlowe's; and these lines are not found in the Contention, It is plain that Shakespeare's copy of these plays was more complete than the early printed copy. The difficulty lies in determining how much of the additional matter found in the later copies belongs to Shakespeare and how much to Marlowe. Edition: current; Page: [lxxxi] This is a question which I cannot here discuss. It may be true, as Mr. Swinburne says, that there is not in the later plays “a single passage of tragic or poetic interest,” beyond Marlowe's power; but there can be no doubt that Shakespeare corrected, curtailed, and amplified Marlowe's work to a very large extent. Marlowe appears to have worked early and late at the Contention; in one scene we find passages that recall the diction and rhythm of Tamburlaine, in another we are reminded of Edward II.1 Here are some lines that belong to the early period:—

  • “Dark Night, dread Night, the silence of the Night,
  • Wherein the Furies mask in hellish troops,
  • Send up I charge you from Cocytus' lake
  • The spirit Askalon to come to me,
  • And pierce the bowels of the centric earth,
  • And hither come in twinkling of an eye.”

The verb “mask “occurs several times in Tamburlaine, not in the later plays. In i Tamburlaine, iv. 4, we find:—

  • “Ye Furies, that can mask invisible,
  • Dive to the bottom of Avernus' pool,” &c.

Another passage of the Contention in Marlowe's earliest style is to be found in the scene where the king is presented by Iden with Cade's head:—

  • “O let me see that head that in this life
  • Did work me and my land such cruel spite!
  • A visage stem, coal-black his curled locks;
  • Edition: current; Page: [lxxxii]
  • Deep-trenched furrows in his frowning brow
  • Presageth war-like humours in his life.”

Compare II. Tamburlaine, i. 3:—

  • ”And in the furrows ofhis frowmng brows
  • Harbours revenge, war, death, and cruelty.”

In the Contention we find Marlowe's earliest and latest work; but in the Second and Third Parts of Henry VI, we find for the most part merely his latest work. For example, the two passages I have just quoted are not in the revised plays. But I cannot now pursue this subject.

The Troublesome Reign of King John, 1591, is an intolerably wooden piece of work. From the first line to the last we find scarcely a single touch of poetry or power. Earless and unabashed must be the critic who would charge Marlowe with any complicity in the authorship of a play that would rank low among the worst productions of Greene or Peele. The only piece of evidence to connect the play with Marlowe is a passage in the Prologue:—

  • “You that with friendly grace of smoothed brow
  • Have entertained the Scythian Tamburlaine
  • And given applause unto an infidel,
  • Vouchsafe to welcome with like courtesy
  • A warlike Christian and your countryman.”

But so far from indicating that the author of Tamburlaine had written the piece that was about to be presented, these lines rather show that the “warlike Christian “was intended to oust the “infidel” from popular favour,— Edition: current; Page: [lxxxiii] that the new play was the production of some obscure rival of Marlowe's. The fact that expressions found in Tamburlaine occur in the Troublesome Reign, is, in the absence of other evidence, of no importance; for Marlowe's play was in all men's mouths at the time, and every hack-writer could filch a phrase or two from the man whom they were so anxious to supplant. It is impossible to select from this poor spiritless chronicle-play a dozen consecutive lines that to a good ear would pass as Marlowe's.

So much, then, for Marlowe's relation to plays of doubtful authorship. Among the MS. plays destroyed by Warburton's cook was a comedy entitled the Maiden's Holiday. The piece had been entered in the Stationers' Books on April 8th, 1654, as a joint production of Marlowe and Day. Our knowledge of Day does not begin before 1599, and it is hardly probable that he was writing before that date. If the comedy was written by Marlowe and Day, then we must suppose that Day completed a sketch that had been left by Marlowe, or that he revised the play on the occasion of a revival; but I very much doubt whether Marlowe ever wrote a comedy.

In 1657 Kirkman, the well-known bookseller, published Lusfs Dominion; or the Lascivious Queen. A Tragedie written by Christofer Marloe, Gent. This is a play of some power, but it was certainly not written by Marlowe. Collier showed conclusively that there are references to historical events that happened after Marlowe's death.

I hasten to bring these remarks to a close. So much Edition: current; Page: [lxxxiv] has been admirably written about Marlowe by excellent critics, that I feel I have trespassed on the patience of the reader by detaining him so long. Far be it from me to attempt to weigh Marlowe's genius. So long as high tragedy continues to have interest for men, Time shall lay no hands on the works of Christopher Marlowe. Though

  • “He who showed such great presumption,
  • Is hidden now beneath a little stone,“

his pages still pulse with ardent life. In all literature there are few figures more attractive, and few more exalted, than this of the young poet who swept from the English stage the tatters of barbarism, and habited Tragedy in stately robes; who was the first to conceive largely, and exhibit souls struggling in the bonds of circumstance.

Edition: current; Page: [1]


Edition: current; Page: [2] Edition: current; Page: [3]

Two editions of Tamburlaine—one in 410, the other in Svo— were published in 1590. Of the 410 we have only the title-page and the Address to the Readers, which were found pasted in a copy of the First Part of Tamburlaine preserved in the Bridgewater Collection. In the Bodleian Library there is a perfect copy of the 1590 Svo of both parts. The title-pages of the Svo and 410 agree verbatim, and run as follows:—

Tamburlaine the Great. Who, from a Scythian Shephearde by his rare and tuoonderfull Conquests, became a most puissant and mightye Monarque. And (far his tyranny, and terrour in Warn) tvas tearmed, The Scourge of God. £euided into two Tragical! Discourses, as they were sundrie times shewed upon Stages in the Cttie of London. By the right honorable the lord Admyrall, his seruauntes. Ncrw first, and newlie published. London, Printed by Richard Jhones: at the signe of the Rose and Crowne neere Holbome Bridge. 1590.

The half-title of the Second Part in the Svo is—

The Second Part of The bloody Conquest of mighty Tamburlaine. With his impassionate fury, for the death of his Lady and louefaire Zenocrate: hisfourmt ofexhortacion and discipline to his three sons, and tht maner of his mm death.

In the Garrick Collection, British Museum, there is an Svo edition of both parts dated 1592; the 8vos of 1590 and 1592 are probably the same book with a different title-page. Langbaine and Halliwell mention an edition of 1593; and Collier gives the full title of an edition published in 1597 (Cunningham's Marlowe, p. 368). The two parts were reissued in 1605-6 with the following titles:—

Edition: current; Page: [4]

Tambwrlaine the Create. Who, from the state of a Shepheard in Scythiu, by his rare and wonderfull Conquests became a most puissant and mighty Monarque. London Printed for Edward White, and are to be solde at the little North doore of Saint Paules-Church, at the signe of the Gunne, 1605. 410.

Tamburlaine the Create. With his impassionatc furie, for the death of his Lady and Louefair Zenocrate: his forme of exhortation and discipline to his three Sonnes, and the manner of his crwne death. The second part. London Printed by E. A. for Ed. White, and are to be solde at his Shop neere the little North doore of Saint faults Church at the Signe of the Gun. 1606. 410.

I have had the 1592 Svo and the 1605-6 4to constantly before me; but Dyce was so thoroughly accurate in recording the readings of the old copies, that little or nothing in the way of collation was needed. My friend Mr. C. H. Firth, of Balliol College, Oxford, kindly referred to the 1590 Svo to see whether any light could be thrown on certain corrupt passages; but in all cases the Bodleian copy agreed with the 1592 8vo. I have not thought it necessary to follow Dyce in recording the misprints and unnecessary changes of reading that occur in ed. 1605-6. Where the reading of the later copy seemed a distinct improvement, I have adopted it; but where-ever I have departed from the Svo, I have been careful to record the original reading in a footnote.

The printer's address, from the 1592 Svo, is as follows:—

To the Gentlemen-Readers and Others That Take Pleasure in Reading Histories.

Gentlemen and courteous readers whosoever: I have here published in print, for your sakes, the two tragical discourses of the Scythian shepherd Tamburlaine, that became so great a conqueror and so mighty a monarch. My hope is, that they will be now no less acceptable unto you to read after your serious affairs and studies than they have been lately delightful for many of you to see when the same were shewed in London upon stages. I have purposely omitted1 and left out some Edition: current; Page: [5] fond and frivolous gestures, digressing, and, in my poor opinion, far unmeet for the matter, which I thought might seem more tedious unto the wise than any way else to be regarded, though haply they have been of some vain-conceited fondlings greatly gaped at, what time they were shewed upon the stage in their graced deformities. nevertheless now to be mixtured in print with such matter of worth, it would prove a great disgrace to so honourable and stately a history. Great folly were it in me to commend unto your wisdoms either the eloquence of the author that writ them or the worthiness of the matter itself. I therefore leave unto your learned censures both the one and the other, and myself the poor printer of them unto your most courteous and favourable protection, which if you vouchsafe to accept, you shall evermore bind me to employ what travail and service I can to the advancing and pleasunng of your excellent degree.

Yours, most humble at commandment,
R[ichard] J[ones], printer.
Edition: current; Page: [6] Edition: current; Page: [7]

TAMBURLAINE THE GREAT, part tbe first.


  • From jigging veins of rhyming mother wits,
  • And such conceits as clownage keeps in pay,
  • We'll lead you to the stately tent of war,
  • Where you shall hear the Scythian Tamburlaine:
  • Threatening the world with high astounding terms,
  • And scourging kingdoms with his conquering sword.
  • View but his picture in this tragic glass,
  • And then applaud his fortune as you please.
Edition: current; Page: [8]


Mycetes, King of Persia.

Cosroe, his Brother.


Persian Lords.

Persian Captains,


TAMBURLAINE, a Scythian Shepherd.



his Officers.

Median Lordt.

CAPOLIN, an Egyptian Captain.

BAJAZETH, Emperor of the Turks.

King of Arabia.

King of fez.

King of Morocco.

King of Argier.

Soldan of Egypt

Governor of Damascus.

PHILEMUS, a Messenger.

ZENOCRATE, Daughter of the Soldan of Egypt.

ANIPPE, her Maid.

ZABINA, Empress of the Turks.

EBEA, her Maid.

Virgins of Damascus.




Edition: current; Page: [9]

Enter Mycetes, Cosroe, Meander, Theridamas, Ortygius, Ceneus, Menaphon, with others.

  • Brother Cosroe, I find myself aggrieved,
  • Yet insufficient to express the same;
  • For it requires a great and thundering speech:
  • Good brother, tell the cause unto my Lords;
  • I know you have a better wit than I.
  • Unhappy Persia, that in former age
  • Hast been the seat of mighty conquerors,
  • That, in their prowess and their policies,
  • Have triumphed over Afric and the bounds
  • Of Europe, where the sun scarce dares appear10
  • For freezing meteors and congealéd cold,
  • Now to be ruled and governed by a man
  • At whose birthday Cynthia with Saturn joined,
  • And Jove, the Sun, and Mercury denied
  • Edition: current; Page: [10]
  • To shed their1 influence in his fickle brain!
  • Now Turks and Tartars shake their swords at thee,
  • Meaning to mangle all thy provinces.
  • Brother, I see your meaning well enough,
  • And through your planets I perceive you think
  • I am not wise enough to be a king;20
  • But I refer me to my noblemen
  • That know my wit, and can be witnesses.
  • I might command you to be slain for this:
  • Meander, might I not?
  • Not for so small a fault, my sovereign lord.
  • I mean it not, but yet I know I might;
  • Yet live; yea live, Mycetes wills it so.
  • Meander, thou, my faithful counsellor,
  • Declare the cause of my conceivéd grief,
  • Which is, God knows, about that Tamburlaine,30
  • That, like a fox in midst of harvest time,
  • Doth prey upon my flocks of passengers;
  • And, as I hear, doth mean to pull my plumes:
  • Therefore 'tis good and meet for to be wise.
  • Oft have I heard your Majesty complain
  • Of Tamburlaine, that sturdy Scythian thief,
  • That robs your merchants of Persepolis
  • Trading by land unto the Western Isles,
  • And in your confines with his lawless train
  • Daily commits incivil outrages,40
  • Hoping (misled by dreaming prophecies)
  • To reign in Asia, and with barbarous arms
  • To make himself the monarch of the East;
  • Edition: current; Page: [11]
  • But ere he march in Asia, or display
  • His vagrant ensign in the Persian fields,
  • Your Grace hath taken order by Theridamas,
  • Charged with a thousand horse, to apprehend
  • And bring him captive to your Highness' throne.
  • Full true thou speak'st, and like thyself, my Lord,
  • Whom I may term a Damon for thy love:50
  • Therefore 'tis best, if so it like you all,
  • To send my thousand horse incontinent1
  • To apprehend that paltry Scythian,
  • How like you this, my honourable Lords?
  • Is't not a kingly resolution?
  • It cannot choose, because it comes from you.
  • Then hear thy charge, valiant Theridamas,
  • The chiefest captain of Mycetes' host,
  • The hope of Persia, and the very legs
  • Whereon our State doth lean as on a staff,60
  • That holds us up, and foils our neighbour foes:
  • Thou shall be leader of this thousand horse,
  • Whose foaming gall with rage and high disdain
  • Have sworn the death of wicked Tamburlaine.
  • Go frowning forth; but come thou smiling home,
  • As did sir Pairs with the Grecian dame;
  • Return with speed—time passeth swift away;
  • Our life is frail, and we may die to-day.
  • Before the moon renew her borrowed light,
  • Doubt not, my Lord and gracious Sovereign,70
  • But Tamburlaine and that Tartarian rout,
  • Edition: current; Page: [12]
  • Shall either perish by our warlike hands,
  • Or plead for mercy at your Highness' feet.
  • Go, stout Theridamas, thy words are swords,
  • And with thy looks thou conquerest all thy foes;
  • I long to see thee back return from thence,
  • That I may view these milk-white steeds of mine
  • All loaden with the heads of killed men,
  • And from their knees e'en to their hoofs below
  • Besmeared with blood that makes a dainty show.80
  • Then now, my Lord, I humbly take my leave.
  • Theridamas, farewell! ten thousand times.
  • [Exit Theridamas.
  • Ah, Menaphon, why stay'st thou thus behind,
  • When other men press forward for renown?
  • Go, Menaphon, go into Scythia;
  • And foot by foot follow Theridamas.
  • Nay, pray you let him stay; a greater [task]1
  • Fits Menaphon than warring with a thief:
  • Create him Prorex2 of all Africa,
  • That he may win the Babylonians' hearts90
  • Which will revolt from Persian government,
  • Unless they have a wiser king than you.
  • “Unless they have a wiser king than you.”
  • These are his words; Meander, set them down.
  • And add this to them—that all Asia
  • Laments to see the folly of their king.
  • Well, here I swear by this my royal seat,—
Edition: current; Page: [13]
  • You may do well to kiss it then.
  • Embossed with silk as best beseems my state,
  • To be revenged for these contemptuous words.100
  • Oh, where is duty and allegiance now?
  • Fled to the Caspian or the Ocean main?
  • What shall I call thee? brother?—no, a foe;
  • Monster of nature!—Shame unto thy stock
  • That dar'st presume thy sovereign for to mock!
  • Meander, come: I am abused, Meander.
  • All go out but Cosroe and Menaphon.
  • How now, my Lord? What, mated1 and amazed
  • To hear the king thus threaten like himself!
  • Ah, Menaphon, I pass not2 for his threats;
  • The plot is laid by Persian noblemen110
  • And captains of the Median garrisons
  • To crown me emperor of Asia:
  • But this it is that doth excruciate
  • The very substance of my vexéd soul—
  • To see our neighbours that were wont to quake
  • And tremble at the Persian monarch's name,
  • Now sit and laugh our regiment3 to scorn;
  • And that which might resolve4 me into tears,
  • Men from the farthest equinoctial line
  • Edition: current; Page: [14]
  • Have swarmed in troops into the Eastern India,120
  • Lading their ships1 with gold and precious stones,
  • And made their spoils from all our provinces.
  • This should entreat your highness to rejoice,
  • Since Fortune gives you opportunity
  • To gain the title of a conqueror
  • By curing of this maiméd empery.
  • Afric and Europe bordering on your land,
  • And continent to your dominions,
  • How easily may you, with a mighty host,
  • Pass into Grascia, as did Cyrus once,130
  • And cause them to withdraw their forces home,
  • Lest you subdue the pride of Christendom.
  • But, Menaphon, what means this trumpet's sound?
  • Men, Behold, my lord, Ortygius and the rest
  • Bringing the crown to make you emperor!
  • Enter Ortygius and Ceneus,2 with others, bearing a Crown.
  • Magnificent and mighty Prince Cosroe,
  • We, in the name of other Persian states3
  • And Commons of the mighty monarchy,
  • Present thee with the imperial diadem.
  • The warlike soldiers and the gentlemen,140
  • That heretofore have filled Persepolis
  • With Afric captains taken in the field,
  • Whose ransom made them march in coats of gold,
  • With costly jewels hanging at their ears,
  • And shining stones upon their lofty crests,
  • Edition: current; Page: [15]
  • Now living idle in the walled towns,
  • Wanting both pay and martial discipline,
  • Begin in troops to threaten civil war,
  • And openly exclaim against their king:
  • Therefore, to stop all sudden mutinies,150
  • We will invest your highness emperor,
  • Whereat the soldiers will conceive more joy,
  • Than did the Macedonians at the spoil
  • Of great Darius and his wealthy host.
  • Well, since I see the state of Persia droop
  • And languish in my brother's government,
  • I willingly receive the imperial crown,
  • And vow to wear it for my country's good,
  • In spite of them shall malice1 my estate.
  • And in assurance of desired success,160
  • We here do crown thee monarch of the East,
  • Emperor of Asia and Persia;
  • Great Lord of Media and Armenia;
  • Duke of Africa and Albania,
  • Mesopotamia and of Parthia,
  • East India and the late-discovered isles;
  • Chief lord of all the wide, vast Euxine Sea,
  • And of the ever-raging Caspian Lake.
  • 2 Long live Cosroe, mighty emperor!
  • And Jove may never let me longer live170
  • Than I may seek to gratify your love,
  • And cause the soldiers that thus honour me
  • Edition: current; Page: [16]
  • To triumph over many provinces!
  • By whose desire of discipline in arms
  • I doubt not shortly but to reign sole king,
  • And with the army of Theridamas,
  • (Whither we presently will fly, my lords)
  • To rest secure against my brother's force.
  • We knew, my lord, before we brought the crown,
  • Intending your investion1 so near180
  • The residence of your despisèd brother,
  • The lords would not be too exasperate
  • To injury2 or suppress your worthy title;
  • Or, if they would, there are in readiness
  • Ten thousand horse to carry you from hence,
  • In spite of all suspected enemies.
  • I know it well, my lord, and thank you all.
  • Orty, Sound up the trumpets then.
  • [Trumpets sound.
  • 3 God save the king!
  • [Exeunt omnes.


Enter Tamburlaine leading Zenocrate, 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
  • Edition: current; Page: [17]
  • 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,10
  • Who travelling with these Median lords
  • To Memphis, from my uncle's country of Media,1
  • 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.20
  • 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
  • Edition: current; Page: [18]
  • '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.40
  • 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,1
  • 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 exhalations50
  • 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.
Edition: current; Page: [19]
  • And making thee and me, Techelles, kings,
  • That even to death will follow Tamburlaine.
  • Nobly resolved, sweet friends and followers!60
  • 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.70
  • 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,80
  • 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?
  • Edition: current; Page: [20]
  • 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,1
  • Fairer than whitest snow on Scythian hills,—
  • Thy person is more worth to Tamburlaine,90
  • 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,2
  • Enchased with precious jewels of mine own,
  • More rich and valurous3 than Zenocrate's.
  • With milk-white harts upon an ivory sled,
  • Thou shalt be drawn amidst the frozen pools,4
  • And scale the icy mountains' lofty tops,100
  • 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 all5 offer to Zenocrate,—
  • And then myself to fair Zenocrate.
  • What now!—in love?
  • Techelles, women must be flatteréd:
  • But this is she with whom I am in6 love.
  • Edition: current; Page: [21]
  • Enter a Soldier.
  • News! news!
  • How now—what's the matter?
  • A thousand Persian horsemen are at hand,110
  • 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!—120
  • 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
  • Hangs1 massy chains of gold, down to the waist,
  • In every part exceeding brave2 and rich.
  • Then shall we fight courageously with them?
  • Or look you I should play the orator?
Edition: current; Page: [22]
  • No: cowards and faint-hearted runaways
  • Look for orations when the foe is near:130
  • Our swords shall play the orator for us.
  • Come! let us meet them at the mountain top,1
  • And with a sudden and a hot alarum,
  • Drive all their horses headlong down the hill.
  • Come, let us march!
  • Stay, Techelles! ask a parle first.
  • The Soldiers enter.
  • Open the mails,2 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;140
  • 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 lanch3 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.150
  • Enter Theridamas and others.
  • Where is this Scythian Tamburlaine?
Edition: current; Page: [23]
  • Whom seek'st thou, Persian?—I am Tamburlaine.
  • 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 vauts1
  • To pull the triple-headed dog from hell.160
  • 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!170
  • 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
  • Edition: current; Page: [24]
  • To ward the blow and shield me safe from harm.180
  • 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, renowméd1 man,
  • And lead thy thousand horse with my condúct,
  • Besides thy share of this Egyptian prize,
  • Those thousand horse shall sweat with martial spoil190
  • Of conquered kingdoms and of cities sacked;
  • Both we will walk upon the lofty cliffs,
  • And Christian merchants that with Russian stems2
  • Plough up huge furrows in the Caspian sea,
  • Shall vail3 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.200
  • Join with me now in this my mean estate,
  • (I call it mean because being yet obscure,
  • The nations far removed admire me not.)
  • Edition: current; Page: [25]
  • And when my name and hononr shall be spread
  • As far as Boreas claps his brazen wings,1
  • Or fair Böötes2 sends his cheerful light,
  • Then shall thou be competitor3 with me,
  • And sit with Tamburlaine in all his majesty.
  • Not Hermes, prolocutor to the gods,
  • Could use persuasions more pathetical.210
  • 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;220
  • 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:4
  • But shall I prove a traitor to my king?
  • No, but the trusty friend of Tamburlaine.
Edition: current; Page: [26]
  • 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.230
  • 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 rejoice240
  • Than doth the king of Persia in his crown,
  • And by the love of Pylades and Orestes,
  • Whose statues1 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.
Edition: current; Page: [27]
  • Nor thee nor them, thrice noble Tarnburlaine,
  • Shall want my heart to be with gladness pierced,
  • To do you honour and security.250
  • 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!
  • [Exeunt.
Edition: current; Page: [28]



Enter Cosroe, 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 bear10
  • Old Atlas' burthen;—'twixt his manly pitch,1
  • 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
  • Edition: current; Page: [29]
  • 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 and1 love of arms;20
  • 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,2
  • Betokening valour and excess of strength;—
  • In every part proportioned like the man
  • Should make the world subdued to Tamburlaine.30
  • Well hast thou pourtrayed in thy terms of life
  • The face and personage of a wondrous man;
  • Nature3 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.
  • Edition: current; Page: [30]
  • Then, when our powers in points of swords are joined40
  • And closed in compass of the killing bullet,
  • Though strait the passage and the port1 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 crown50
  • 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.60
  • 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,
  • Edition: current; Page: [31]
  • To whom, sweet Menaphon, direct me straight.
  • I will, my lord. [Exeunt.


Enter Mycetes, Meander, with other Lords and Soldiers.

  • Come, my Meander, let us to this gear.1
  • 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 scald2 knaves as love him not?
  • I think it would; well then, by Heavens I swear,
  • Aurora shall not peep out of her doors,10
  • 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,
  • Edition: current; Page: [32]
  • 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,20
  • 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 Tamburlaine30
  • 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 spials1 say,
  • And as we know) remains with Tamburlaine,
  • His Highness' pleasure is that he should live,
  • And be reclaimed with princely lenity.
A Spy.
  • A hundred horsemen of my company
  • Scouting abroad upon these champion2 plains40
  • Have viewed the army of the Scythians,
  • Which make report it far exceeds the king's.
  • Suppose they be in number infinite,
  • Edition: current; Page: [33]
  • Yet being void of martial discipline,
  • All running headlong after greedy1 spoils,
  • And more regarding gain than victory,
  • Like to the cruel brothers of the earth,
  • Sprong2 of the teeth of dragons venomous,
  • Their careless swords shall lanch their fellows' throats,
  • And make us triumph in their overthrow.50
  • Was there such brethren, sweet Meander, say,
  • That sprang of teeth of dragons venomous?
  • So poets say, my lord.
  • 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,60
  • 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,70
  • Edition: current; Page: [34]
  • 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.


Enter Cosroe, Tamburlaine, Theridamas, Techelles, Usumcasane, and Ortygius, 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,10
  • And let my fortunes and my valour sway
  • To some1 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.
  • Edition: current; Page: [35]
  • Our quivering lances, shaking in the air,
  • And bullets, like Jove's dreadful thunderbolts,
  • Enrolled in flames and fiery smouldering mists,20
  • 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 stop1 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,30
  • Would make one thirst2 and strive to be retained
  • In such a great degree of amity.
  • With duty and3 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'4 golden gates,
  • And makes a passage for all prosperous arms,
  • Shall make me solely emperor of Asia,
  • Then shall your meeds5 and valours be advanced40
  • To rooms of honour and nobility.
Edition: current; Page: [36]
  • 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.50
  • 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;60
  • 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
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Mycetes comes 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 clouts1 that every man shoots at,
  • Our crown the pin that thousands seek to cleave;
  • Therefore in policy I think it good10
  • 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.
  • Enter Tamburlaine.
  • What, fearful coward, straggling from the camp,
  • When kings themselves are present in the field?
  • Thou liest.
  • Base villain! darest thou give2 the lie?
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  • Away; I am the king; go; touch me not.
  • Thou break'st the law of anns, unless thou kneel20
  • 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.
  • Is this your crown?
  • 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!30
  • No; I took it prisoner.
  • You lie; I gave it you.
  • Then 'tis mine.
  • 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.
  • O gods! Is this Tamburlaine the thief?40
  • I marvel much he stole it not away.
  • [Sound trumpets to the battle, and he runs in.
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Enter Cosroe, 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,10
  • And chiefest1 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,20
  • And let them know the Persian king is changed,
  • Edition: current; Page: [40]
  • 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,30
  • And grace your calling with a greater sway.
  • And as we ever aimed1 at your behoof,
  • And sought your state all honour it2 deserved,
  • So will we with our powers and our3 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.40
  • 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.
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  • 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!”50
  • 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,60
  • Whose virtues carry with it life and death;1
  • 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?70
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  • What then, my lord?
  • Why then, Casane,1 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.80
  • 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.2
  • 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.90
  • A jest to charge on twenty thousand men!
  • I judge the purchase3 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.
  • Edition: current; Page: [43]
  • 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 him1 back to war with us,100
  • 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?
  • Go on for me. [Exeunt.


  • 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.
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  • 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,20
  • 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,30
  • 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!40
  • [Exeunt; marital music.
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Alarms.A battle; enter Cosroe, 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 artier1 of my heart—10
  • 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:20
  • Our souls, whose faculties can comprehend
  • The wondrous architecture of the world,
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  • 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:30
  • 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!40
  • 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 talents1 gripe my bleeding heart,
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  • And like a harpy tires1 on my life.50
  • Theridamas and Tamburlaine, I die:
  • And fearful vengeance light upon you both!
  • [COSROE dies.Tamburlaine takes the crown and puts it on.
  • Not all the curses which the2 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,60
  • 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.
  • [Exeunt.
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Enter Bajazeth, the Kings of Fez, Morocco, and Argier, with others in great pomp.

  • Great kings of Barbary and my portly bassoes,1
  • We hear the Tartars and the eastern thieves,
  • Under the conduct of one Tamburlaine,
  • Presume a bickering with your emperor,
  • And think to rouse us from our dreadful siege
  • Of the famous Grecian Constantinople.
  • You know our army is invincible;
  • As many circumcised Turks we have,
  • And warlike bands of Christians renied,2
  • As hath the ocean or the Terrene sea10
  • Small drops of water when the moon begins
  • To join in one her semicircled horns.
  • Yet would we not be braved with foreign power,
  • Nor raise our siege before the Grecians yield,
  • Or breathless lie before the city walls.
Edition: current; Page: [49]
K. of Fez.
  • Renowméd emperor, and mighty general,
  • What, if you sent the bassoes of your guard
  • To charge him to remain in Asia,
  • Or else to threaten death and deadly arms
  • As from the mouth of mighty Bajazeth.20
  • Hie thee, my basso, fast to Persia,
  • Tell him thy lord, the Turkish emperor,
  • Dread lord of Afric, Europe, and Asia,
  • Great king and conqueror of GrÆcia,
  • The ocean, Terrene, and the Coal-black sea.
  • The high and highest monarch of the world
  • Wills and commands (for say not I entreat),
  • Not once to set his foot on Africa,
  • Or spread his colours [once] in GrÆcia,
  • Lest he incur the fury of my wrath.30
  • Tell him I am content to take a truce,
  • Because I hear he bears a valiant mind:
  • But if, presuming on his silly power,
  • He be so mad to manage arms with me,
  • Then stay thou with him; say, I bid thee so:
  • And if, before the sun have measured heaven
  • With triple circuit, thou regreet us not,
  • We mean to take his morning's next arise
  • For messenger he will not be reclaimed,
  • And mean to fetch thee in despite of him.40
  • Most great and puissant monarch of the earth,
  • Your basso will accomplish your behest,
  • And show your pleasure to the Persian,
  • As fits the legate of the stately Turk.
  • [Exit BAS.
Edition: current; Page: [50]
  • They say he is the king of Persia;
  • But, if he dare attempt to stir your siege,
  • 'Twere requisite he should be ten times more,
  • For all flesh quakes at your magnificence.
  • True, Argier; and tremble[s] at my looks.
K. of Mor.
  • The spring is hindered by your smothering host,50
  • For neither rain can fall upon the earth,
  • Nor sun reflex1 his virtuous beams thereon,
  • The ground is mantled with such multitudes.
  • All this is true as holy Mahomet;
  • And all the trees are blasted with our breaths.
K. of Fez.
  • What thinks your greatness best to be achieved
  • In pursuit of the city's overthrow?
  • I will the captive pioners2 of Argier
  • Cut off the water that by leaden pipes
  • Runs to the city from the mountain Camon.60
  • Two thousand horse shall forage up and down,
  • That no relief or succour come by land:
  • And all the sea my gallies countermand.
  • Then shall our footmen lie within the trench,
  • And with their cannons mouthed like Orcus' gulf,
  • Batter the walls, and we will enter in;
  • And thus the Grecians shall be conqueréd.
  • [Exeunt.
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Enter Zenocrate, Agydas, Anippe, with others.

  • Madam Zenocrate, may I presume
  • To know the cause of these unquiet fits,
  • That work such trouble to your wonted rest?
  • ’Tis more than pity such a heavenly face
  • Should by heart's sorrow wax so wan and pale,
  • When your offensive rape by Tamburlaine,
  • (Which of your whole displeasures should be most,)
  • Hath seemed to be digested long ago.
  • Although it be digested long ago,
  • As his exceeding favours have deserved,10
  • And might content the Queen of Heaven, as well
  • As it hath changed my first conceived disdain,
  • Yet since a farther passion feeds my thoughts
  • With ceaseless and disconsolate conceits,
  • Which dyes my looks so lifeless as they are,
  • And might, if my extremes had full events,
  • Make me the ghastly counterfeit1 of death.
  • Eternal heaven sooner be dissolved,
  • And all that pierceth Phcebus’ silver eye,
  • Before such hap fall to Zenocrate!20
  • Ah, life and soul, still hover in his breast
  • And leave my body senseless as the earth.
  • Or else unite you to his life and soul,
  • That I may live and die with Tamburlaine!
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Enter behind Tamburlaine, Techelles, and others.

  • With Tamburlaine! Ah, fair Zenocrate,
  • Let not a man so vile and barbarous,
  • That holds you from your father in despite,
  • And keeps you from the honours of a queen,
  • (Being supposed his worthless concubine,)
  • Be honoured with your love but for necessity.30
  • So, now the mighty soldan hears of you,
  • Your highness needs not doubt but in short time
  • He will with Tamburlaine's destruction
  • Redeem you from this deadly servitude.
  • [Agydas] leave to wound me with these words,
  • And speak of Tamburlaine as he deserves.
  • The entertainment we have had of him
  • Is far from villany1 or servitude,
  • And might in noble minds be counted princely.
  • How can you fancy one that looks so fierce,40
  • Only disposed to martial stratagems?
  • Who, when he shall embrace you in his arms,
  • Will tell you how many thousand men he slew;
  • And when you look for amorous discourse,
  • Will rattle forth his facts of war and blood,
  • Too harsh a subject for your dainty ears.
  • As looks the Sun through Nilus’ flowing stream.
  • Or when the Morning holds him in her arms,
  • So looks my lordly love, fair Tamburlaine;
  • His talk much sweeter than the Muses’ song50
  • Edition: current; Page: [53]
  • They sung for honour ‘gainst Pierides;
  • Or when Minerva did with Neptune strive:
  • And higher would I rear my estimate
  • Than Juno, sister to the highest god,
  • If I were matched with mighty Tamburlaine.
  • Yet be not so inconstant in your love;
  • But let the young Arabian1 live in hope
  • After your rescue to enjoy his choice.
  • You see though first the king of Persia,
  • Being a shepherd, seemed to love you much,60
  • Now in his majesty he leaves those looks,
  • Those words of favour, and those comfortings,
  • And gives no more than common courtesies.
  • Thence rise the tears that so distain my cheeks Fearing his love through my unworthiness. —

[Tamburlaine goes to her and takes her away lovingly by the band, looking wrathfully on AGYDAS, and says nothing. Exeunt all but Agydas.

  • Betrayed by fortune and suspicious love,
  • Threatened with frowning wrath and jealousy,
  • Surprised with fear of2 hideous revenge,
  • I stand aghast; but most astonied
  • To see his choler shut in secret thoughts,70
  • And wrapt in silence of his angry soul.
  • Upon his brows was pourtrayed ugly death;
  • And in his eyes the furies of his heart
  • Edition: current; Page: [54]
  • That shine as comets, menacing revenge,
  • And casts a pale complexion on his cheeks.
  • As when the seaman sees the Hyades
  • Gather an army of Cimmerian clouds,
  • (Auster and Aquilon with winged steeds,
  • All sweating, tilt about the watery heavens,
  • With shivering spears enforcing thunder claps,80
  • And from their shields strike flames of lightening,)
  • All-fearful folds his sails and sounds the main,
  • Lifting his prayers to the Heavens for aid
  • Against the terror of the winds and waves,
  • So fares Agydas for the late-felt frowns,
  • That sent a tempest to my daunted thoughts,
  • And make my soul divine her overthrow.

Enter Usumcasane and Techelles with a naked dagger.

  • See you, Agydas, how the king salutes you?
  • He bids you prophesy what it imports.
  • I prophesied before, and now I prove90
  • The killing frowns of jealousy and love.
  • He needed not with words confirm my fear,
  • For words are vain where working tools present
  • The naked action of my threatened end:
  • It says, Agydas, thou shalt surely die,
  • And of extremities elect the least;
  • More honour and less pain it may procure
  • To die by this resolved hand of thine,
  • Than stay the torments he and Heaven have sworn.
  • Then haste, Agydas, and prevent the plagues100
  • Which thy prolonged fates may draw on thee.
  • Edition: current; Page: [55]
  • Go, wander, free from fear of tyrant's rage,
  • Removed from the torments and the hell,
  • Wherewith he may excruciate thy soul,
  • And let Agydas by Agydas die,
  • And with this stab slumber eternally.
  • Stabs himself.
  • Usumcasane, see, how right the man Hath hit the meaning of my lord, the king.
  • ‘Faith, and Techelles, it was manly done;
  • And since he was so wise and honourable,
  • Let us afford him now the bearing hence,
  • And crave his triple-worthy burial.
  • Agreed, Casane; we will honour him.
  • [Excunt bearing out the body.


Enter Tamburlaine, Techelles, Usumcasane, Theri-damas, a Basso, Zenocrate, Anippe, with others.

  • Basso, by this thy lord and master knows I mean to meet him in Bithynia:
  • See how he comes! tush, Turks are full of brags,
  • And menace more than they can well perform.
  • He meet me in the field, and fetch thee hence!
  • Alas! poor Turk! his fortune is too weak
  • To encounter with the strength of Tamburlaine.
  • View well my camp, and speak indifferently;
  • Do not my captains and my soldiers look
  • As if they meant to conquer Africa.10
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  • Your men are valiant, but their number few,
  • And cannot terrify his mighty host.
  • My lord, the great commander of the world,
  • Besides fifteen contributory kings,
  • Hath now in arms ten thousand Janisaries,
  • Mounted on lusty Mauritanian steeds,
  • Brought to the war by men of Tripoli;
  • Two hundred thousand footmen that have serv’d
  • In two set battles fought in Graecia;
  • And for the expedition of this war,20
  • If he think good, can from his garrisons
  • Withdraw as many more to follow him.
  • The more he brings the greater is the spoil,
  • For when they perish by our warlike hands,
  • We mean to set our footmen on their steeds,
  • And rifle all those stately Janisars.
  • But will those kings accompany your lord?
  • Such as his highness please; but some must stay To rule the provinces he late subdued.
  • [To his Officers.] Then fight courageously: their crowns are yours;30
  • This hand shall set them on your conquering heads, That made me emperor of Asia.
  • Let him bring millions infinite of men,
  • Unpeopling Western Africa and Greece,
  • Yet we assure us of the victory.
  • Even he that in a trice vanquished two kings,
  • More mighty than the Turkish emperor,
  • Shall rouse him out of Europe, and pursue
  • His scattered army till they yield or die.
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  • Well said, Theridamas; speak in that mood;40
  • For will and shall best fitteth Tamburlaine,
  • Whose smiling stars give him assured hope
  • Of martial triumph ere he meet his foes.
  • I that am termed the scourge and wrath of God,
  • The only fear and terror of the world,
  • Will first subdue the Turk, and then enlarge
  • Those Christian captives, which you keep as slaves,
  • Burthening their bodies with your heavy chains,
  • And feeding them with thin and slender fare;
  • That naked row about the Terrene sea,50
  • And when they chance to rest or breathe a space,
  • Are punished with bastones1 so grievously,
  • That they lie panting on the galley's side,
  • And strive for life at every stroke they give.
  • These are the cruel pirates of Argier,
  • That damned train, the scum of Africa,
  • Inhabited with straggling runagates,
  • That make quick havoc of the Christian blood;
  • But as I live that town shall curse the time
  • That Tamburlaine set foot in Africa.60
  • Enter Bajazeth with his Bassoes and contributory Kings.
  • Bassoes and Janisaries of my guard,
  • Attend upon the person of your lord,
  • The greatest potentate of Africa.
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  • Techelles, and the rest, prepare your swords; I mean to encounter with that Bajazeth.
  • Kings of Fez, Moroccus,1 and Argier,
  • He calls me Bajazeth, whom you call lord!
  • Note the presumption of this Scythian slave!
  • I tell thee, villain, those that lead my horse,
  • Have to their names titles of dignity,70
  • And dar'st thou bluntly call me Bajazeth?
  • And know, thou Turk, that those which lead my horse,
  • Shall lead thee captive thorough Africa;
  • And dar'st thou bluntly call me Tamburlaine?
  • By Mahomet my kinsman's sepulchre,
  • And by the holy Alcoran I swear,
  • He shall be made a chaste and lustless eunuch,
  • And in my sarell2 tend my concubines;
  • And all his captains that thus stoutly stand,
  • Shall draw the chariot of my emperess,80
  • Whom I have brought to see their overthrow.
  • By this my sword, that conquered Persia,
  • Thy fall shall make me famous through the world.
  • I will not tell thee how I’ll handle thee,
  • But every common soldier of my camp
  • Shall smile to see thy miserable state.
K. of Fez.
  • What means the mighty Turkish emperor, To talk with one so base as Tamburlaine?
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K. of Mor.
  • Ye Moors and valiant men of Barbary, How can ye suffer these indignities?90
K. of Arg.
  • Leave words, and let them feel your lances’ points.
  • Which glided through the bowels of the Greeks.
  • Well said, my stout contributory kings:
  • Your threefold army and my hugy1 host
  • Shall swallow up these base-born Persians.
  • Puissant, renowmed, and mighty Tamburlaine,
  • Why stay we thus prolonging of their lives?
  • I long to see those crowns won by our swords.
  • That we may rule as kings of Africa.
  • What co ward would not fight for such a prize?100
  • Fight all courageously, and be you kings; I speak it, and my words are oracles.
  • Zabina, mother of three braver boys
  • Than Hercules, that in his infancy
  • Did pash2 the jaws of serpents venomous;
  • Whose hands are made to gripe a warlike lance,
  • Their shoulders broad for complete armour fit, —
  • Their limbs more large, and of a bigger size,
  • Than all the brats ysprong from Typhon's loins;
  • Who, when they come unto their father's age,110
  • Will batter turrets with their manly fists; —
  • Sit here upon this royal chair of state,
  • And on thy head wear my imperial crown,
  • Edition: current; Page: [60]
  • Until I bring this sturdy Tamburlaine,
  • And all his captains bound in captive chains.
  • Such good success happen to Bajazeth!
  • Zenocrate, the loveliest maid alive,
  • Fairer than rocks of pearl and precious stone,
  • The only paragon of Tamburlaine,
  • Whose eyes are brighter than the lamps of heaven,120
  • And speech more pleasant than sweet harmony;
  • That with thy looks canst clear the darkened sky,
  • And calm the rage of thundering Jupiter,
  • Sit down by her, adorned with my crown,
  • As if thou wert the empress of the world.
  • Stir not, Zenocrate, until thou see
  • Me march victoriously with all my men,
  • Triumphing over him and these his kings;
  • Which I will bring as vassals to thy feet;
  • Till then take thou my crown, vaunt of my worth,130
  • And manage words with her, as we will arms.
  • And may my love the king of Persia,
  • Return with victory and free from wound!
  • Now shall thou feel the force of Turkish arms,
  • Which lately made all Europe quake for fear.
  • I have of Turks, Arabians, Moors, and Jews,
  • Enough to cover all Bithynia.
  • Let thousands die; their slaughtered carcasses
  • Shall serve for walls and bulwarks to the rest;
  • And as the heads of Hydra, so my power,140
  • Subdued, shall stand as mighty as before.
  • If they should yield their necks unto the sword,
  • Thy soldiers’ arms could not endure to strike
  • Edition: current; Page: [61]
  • So many blows as I have heads for thee.1
  • Thou know'st not, foolish, hardy2 Tamburlaine,
  • What 'tis to meet me in the open field,
  • That leave no ground for thee to march upon.
  • Our conquering swords shall marshal us the way
  • We use to march upon the slaughtered foe,
  • Trampling their bowels with our horses' hoofs;150
  • Brave horses bred on th' white Tartarian hills;
  • My camp is like to Julius Caesar's host,
  • That never fought but had the victory;
  • Nor in Pharsalia was there such hot war,
  • As these, my followers, willingly would have.
  • Legions of spirits fleeting3 in the air
  • Direct our bullets and our weapons' points,
  • And make your stroke? to wound the senseless light.4
  • And when she sees our bloody colours spread,
  • Then Victory begins to take her flight,160
  • Resting herself upon my milk-white tent? —
  • But come, my lords, to weapons let us fall;
  • The field is ours, the Turk, his wife and all.
  • [Exit, with his followtrs.
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  • Come, kings and bassoes, let us glut our swords, That thirst to drink the feeble Persians' blood.
  • [Exit with his followers.
  • Base concubine, must thou be placed by me, That am the empress of the mighty Turk?
  • Disdainful Turkess and unreverend boss!1
  • Callest thou me concubine, that am betrothed
  • Unto the great and mighty Tamburlaine?170
  • To Tamburlaine, the great Tartarian thief!
  • Thou wilt repent these lavish words of thine,
  • When thy great basso-master and thyself
  • Must plead for mercy at his kingly feet,
  • And sue to me to be your advocate.2
  • And sue to thee! — J tell thee, shameless girl,
  • Thou shalt be laundress to my waiting maid!
  • How lik'st thou her, Ebea? — Will she serve?
  • Madam, perhaps, she thinks she is too fine,
  • But I shall turn her into other weeds,10
  • And make her dainty fingers fall to work.
  • Hear'st thou, Anippe, how thy drudge doth talk?
  • And how my slave, her mistress, menaceth?
  • Both for their sauciness shall be employed
  • To dress the common soldiers' meat and drink,
  • P'or we will scorn they should come near ourselves.
  • Yet sometimes let your highness send for them
  • To do the work my chambermaid disdains.
  • [They sound to the battle -within.
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  • Ye gods and powers that govern Persia,
  • And made my lordly love her worthy king,190
  • Now strengthen him against the Turkish Bajazeth,
  • And let his foes, like flocks of fearful roes
  • Pursued by hunters fly his angry looks,
  • That I may see him issue conqueror!
  • Now, Mahomet, solicit God himself,
  • And make him rain down murdering shot from heaven
  • To dash the Scythians' brains, and strike them dead,
  • That dare to manage arms with him
  • That offered jewels to thy sacred shrine,
  • When first he warred against the Christians!200
  • [To the battle again.
  • By this the Turks lie weltering in their blood,
  • And Tamburlaine is Lord of Africa,
  • Thou art deceived. — I heard the trumpet sound,
  • As when my emperor overthrew the Greeks,
  • And led them captive into Africa.
  • Straight will I use thee as thy pride deserves —
  • Prepare thyself to live and die my slave.
  • If Mahomet should come from heaven and swear
  • My royal lord is slain or conquered,
  • Yet should he not persuade me otherwise210
  • But that he lives and will be conqueror.
  • Enter Bajazeth, pursued by Tamburlaine; they fight, and Bajazeth is overcome.
  • Now, king of bassoes, who is conqueror?
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  • Thou, by the fortune of this damned foil.1
  • Where are your stout contributory kings?
  • Enter Techelles, Theridamas, and Usumcasane.
  • We have their crowns — their bodies strow the field.
  • Each man a crown! — Why kingly fought i' faith.
  • Deliver them into my treasury.
  • Now let me offer to my gracious lord
  • His royal crown again so highly won.
  • Nay, take the crown from her, Zenocrate,220
  • And crown me emperor of Africa,
  • No, Tamburlaine: though now thou gat the best,
  • Thou shalt not yet be lord of Africa.
  • Give her the crown, Turkess; you were best.
  • [He takes it from her.
  • Injurious villains! — thieves! — runagates!
  • How dare you thus abuse my majesty?
  • Here, madam, you are empress; she is none.
  • [Gives it to Zenocrate.
  • Not now, Theridamas; her time is past
  • The pillars that have bolstered up those terms,
  • Are fallen in clusters at my conquering feet230
  • Though he be prisoner, he may be ransomed.
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  • Not all the world shall ransom Bajazeth.
  • Ah, fair Zabina! we have lost the field;
  • And never had the Turkish emperor
  • So great a foil by any foreign foe.
  • Now will the Christian miscreants be glad,
  • Ringing with joy their superstitious bells,
  • And making bonfires for my overthrow.
  • But, ere I die, those foul idolaters
  • Shall make me bonfires with their filthy bones.240
  • For though the glory of this day be lost,
  • Afric and Greece have garrisons enough
  • To make me sovereign of the earth again.
  • Those walled garrisons will I subdue,
  • And write myself great lord of Africa.
  • So from the East unto the furthest West
  • Shall Tamburlaine extend his puissant arm.
  • The galleys and those pilling1 brigandines,
  • That yearly sail to the Venetian gulf,
  • And hover in the Straits for Christians' wreck,250
  • Shall lie at anchor in the isle Asant,2
  • Until the Persian fleet and men of war,
  • Sailing along the oriental sea,
  • Have fetched about the Indian continent,
  • Even from Persepolis to Mexico,
  • And thence unto the straits of Jubaltèr;
  • Where they shall meet and join their force in one
  • Keeping in awe the bay of Portingale,
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  • And all the ocean by the British1 shore;
  • And by this means I'll win the world at last260
  • Yet set a ransom on me, Tamburlaine.
  • What, think'st thou Tamburlaine esteems thy gold?
  • I'll make the kings of India, ere I die,
  • Offer their mines to sue for peace to me,
  • And dig for treasure to appease my wrath.
  • Come, bind them both, and one lead in the Turk;
  • The Turkess let my love's maid lead away.
  • [They bind them.
  • Ah, villains! — dare you touch my sacred arms? O Mahomet! — O sleepy Mahomet!
  • O cursèd Mahomet, that makes us thus270
  • The slaves to Scythians rude and barbarous!
  • Come, bring them in; and for this happy conquest,
  • Triumph and solemnise a martial feast.
  • [Exeunt.
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Enter the Sold An of Egypt, Capolin, Lords, and a Messenger.

  • Awake, ye men of Memphis!1 — hear the clang
  • Of Scythian trumpets! — hear the basilisks,2
  • 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
  • Edition: current; Page: [68]
  • 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 monstrous1 as Gorgon prince of hell,
  • The Soldan would not start a foot from him.
  • But speak, what power hath he?
  • Mighty lord,20
  • 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,30
  • Or ever-drizzling2 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 should3 live to rue their fall.
  • So might your highness, had you time to sort
  • Edition: current; Page: [69]
  • 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,40
  • 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,50
  • 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,60
  • 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.
  • Edition: current; Page: [70]
  • 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,70
  • May have fresh warning to go war with us,
  • And be revenged for her disparagement.
  • [Exeunt,


Enter Tamburlaine, Techelles, Theridamas, Usum-casane, Zekocrate, Anippe, two Moors drawing Bajazeth in 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 it1 in this glorious2 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,10
  • Than it should3 so conspire my overthrow.
  • But, villain! thou that wishest this to me,
  • Fall prostrate on the low disdainful earth,
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  • 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,20
  • 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,30
  • 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 your1 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.40
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  • 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,50
  • 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,60
  • 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
  • Edition: current; Page: [73]
  • That these abuses flow not from1 her tongue:70
  • 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,80
  • 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, shalt2 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;90
  • 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,
  • Edition: current; Page: [74]
  • Even from this day to Plato's wondrous year,1
  • 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.100
  • Techelles, and my loving followers,
  • Now may we see Damascus' lofty towers,
  • Like to the shadows of Pyramides,
  • That with their beauties grace2 the Memphian fields:
  • The golden stature3 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.110
  • 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,120
  • Edition: current; Page: [75]
  • 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.
  • [Exeunt.


Enter Soldan, 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.10
  • My lord, it is the bloody Tamburlaine,
  • A sturdy felon and1 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,
  • Edition: current; Page: [76]
  • 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,20
  • 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 is30
  • 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,40
  • 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.
  • Edition: current; Page: [77]
  • 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?50
  • 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.60
  • 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.
  • [Exeunt.
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The Banquet; and to it come Tamburlaine, all in scarlet,1 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?10
  • Ay, such a stomach, cruel Tamburlaine, as I could willingly feed upon thy blood-raw heart.2
  • 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,
  • Edition: current; Page: [79]
  • And in your hands bring hellish poison up
  • And squeeze it in the cup of Tamburlaine!20
  • 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 heaven30
  • 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.
  • [Bajazeth takes 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 carbonadoes1 and eat them.
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  • 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 let1 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, while2 hunger make you eat.How now, Zenocrate, do not the Turk and his wife make a goodly show at a banquet?60
  • Yes, my lord.
  • 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,70
  • Or if my love unto your majesty
  • Edition: current; Page: [81]
  • May merit favour at your highness' hands,
  • Then raise your siege from fair Damascus walls,
  • And with my father take a friendly truce.
  • Zenocrate, were Egypt Jove's own land,
  • Yet would I with my sword make Jove to stoop.
  • I will confute those blind geographers
  • That make a triple region in the world,
  • Excluding regions which I mean to trace,
  • And with this pen reduce them to a map,80 {Pointing to his sword.
  • Calling the provinces cities and towns,
  • After my name and thine, Zenocrate.
  • Here at Damascus will I make the point
  • That shall begin the perpendicular;
  • And would'st thou have me buy thy father's love
  • With such a loss?—Tell me, Zenocrate.
  • 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,90
  • 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.90
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  • 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. Nowl 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.
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  • 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 plage1 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 valour2 and by magnanimity.130
  • 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,140
  • 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.
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Enter the GOVERNOR of DAMASCO, 1 with three or four Citizens, and four Virgins, with branches of laurel in their hands.

  • Still doth this man, or rather god of war,
  • Batter our walls and beat our turrets down;
  • And to resist with longer stubbornness,
  • Or hope of rescue from the Soldan's power,
  • Were but to bring our wilful overthrow,
  • And make us desperate of our threatened lives.
  • We see his tents have now been altered
  • With terrors to the last and cruellest hue.
  • His coal-black colours everywhere advanced,
  • Threaten our city with a general spoil;10
  • And:if we should with common rites of arms
  • Offer our safeties to his clemency,
  • I fear the custom, proper to his sword,
  • Which he observes as parcel of his fame,
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  • Intending so to terrify the world,
  • By any innovation or remorse
  • Will never be dispensed with till our deaths;
  • Therefore, for these our harmless virgins' sakes,
  • Whose honours and whose lives rely on him,
  • Let us have hope that their unspotted prayers,20
  • Their blubberedd1 chicks, and hearty, humble moans,
  • Will melt his fury into some remorse,
  • And use us like a loving conqueror.
  • I Virg. If humble suits or imprecations,2
  • (Uttered with tears of wretchedness and blood
  • Shed from the heads and hearts of all our sex,
  • Some made your wives and some your children)
  • Might have entreated your obdurate breasts
  • To entertain some care3 of our securities
  • Whiles only danger beat upon our walls,30
  • These more than dangerous warrants of our death
  • Had never been erected as they be,
  • Nor you depend on such weak helps as we.
  • Well, lovely virgins, think our country's care,
  • Our love of honour, loath to be inthralled
  • To foreign powers and rough imperious yokes,
  • Would not with too much cowardice or fear,
  • (Before all hope of rescue were denied)
  • Submit yourselves and us to servitude.
  • Therefore in that your safeties and our own,40
  • Your honours, liberties, and lives were weighed
  • In equal care and balance with our own,
  • Edition: current; Page: [86]
  • Endure as we the malice of our stars,
  • The wrath of Tamburlaine and power of wars;
  • Or be the means the overweighing heavens
  • Have kept to qualify these hot extremes,
  • And bring us pardon in your cheerful looks.
2 Virg.
  • Then here before the Majesty of Heaven
  • And holy patrons1 of Egyptia,
  • With knees and hearts submissive we entreat50
  • Grace to our words and pity to our looks
  • That this device may prove propitious,
  • And through the eyes and ears of Tamburlaine
  • Convey events of mercy to his heart;
  • Grant that these signs of victory we yield
  • May bind the temples of his conquering head,
  • To hide the folded furrows of his brows,
  • And shadow his displeased countenance
  • With happy looks of ruth and lenity.
  • Leave us, my lord, and loving countrymen;60
  • What simple virgins may persuade, we will.
  • Farewell, sweet virgins, on whose safe return Depends our city, liberty, and lives.
  • [Exeunt Governor and Citizens; manent Virgins.
  • Enter Tamburlaine, TEchelles, Theridamas, Usum-casane, with others: Tamburlaine all in black and very melancholy.
  • What, are the turtles frayed out of their nests? Alas, poor fools! must you be first shall feel
  • Edition: current; Page: [87]
  • The sworn destruction of Damascus walls?l
  • They knew my custom; could they not as well
  • Have sent ye out, when first my milk-white flags,2
  • ThUDugh which sweet marcy threw her gentle beams,
  • Reflexing them on your disdainful eyes,
  • As now, when fury and incensed hate
  • Flings slaughtering terror from my coal-black tents,
  • And tells for truth submissions comes too late?
1 Virg.
  • Most happy king and emperor of the earth,
  • Image of honour and nobility,
  • For whom the powers divine have made the world,
  • And on whose throne the holy Graces sit;
  • In whose sweet person is comprised the sum
  • Of nature's skill and heavenly majesty;
  • Pity our plights! O pity poor Damascus!80
  • Pity old age, within whose silver hairs
  • Honour and reverence evermore have reigned!
  • Pity the marriage bed, where many a lord,
  • In prime and glory of his loving joy,
  • Embraceth now with tears of ruth and blood
  • The jealous body of his fearful wife,
  • Whose cheeks and hearts so punished with conceit,
  • To think thy puissant, never-stayed arm,
  • Will part their bodies, and prevent their souls
  • From heavens of comfort yet their age might bear,90
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  • Now wax all pale and withered to the death,
  • As well for grief our ruthless governor
  • Hath1 thus refused the mercy of thy hand,
  • (Whose sceptre angels kiss and furies dread,)
  • As for their liberties, their loves, or lives!
  • O then for these, and such as we ourselves,
  • For us, our infants, and for all our bloods,
  • That never nourished thought against thy rule,
  • Pity, O pity, sacred emperor,
  • The prostrate service of this wretched town,100
  • And take in sign thereof this gilded wreath;
  • Whereto each man of rule hath given his hand,
  • And wished,2 as worthy subjects, happy means
  • To be investers of thy royal brows
  • Even with the true Egyptian diadem!
  • Virgins, in vain you labour to prevent That which mine honour swears shall be performed. Behold my sword! what see you at the point?
1 Virg.
  • Nothing but fear, and fatal steel, my lord.
  • Your fearful minds are thick and misty then;110
  • For there sits Death; there sits imperious Death
  • Keeping his circuit by the slicing edge.
  • But I am pleased you shall not see him there;
  • He now is seated on my horsemen's spears,
  • And on their points his fleshless body feeds.
  • Techelles, straight go charge a few of them
  • To charge these dames, and show my servant, Death,
  • Sitting in scarlet on their armed spears.
  • O pity us!
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  • Away with them, I say, and show them Death.[The Virgins are taken out.]
  • I will not spare these proud Egyptians,121
  • Nor change my martial observations
  • For all the wealth of Gihon's golden waves,
  • Or for the love of Venus, would she leave
  • The angry god of arms and lie with me.
  • They have refused the offer of their lives,
  • And know my customs are as peremptory
  • As wrathful planets, death, or destiny.
  • Enter TECHELLES.
  • What, have your horsemen shown the virgins Death?
  • They have, my lord, and on Damascus walls,130
  • Have hoisted up their slaughtered carcases.
  • A sight as baneful to their souls, I think,
  • As are Thessalian drugs or mithridate:1
  • But go, my lords, put the rest to the sword.
  • [Exeunt Lords.
  • Ah, fair Zenocrate!—divine Zenocrate!—
  • Fair is too foul an epithet for thee,
  • That in thy passion for thy country's love,
  • And fear to see thy kingly father's harm,
  • With hair dishevelled wip'st thy watery cheeks;
  • And, like to Flora2 in her morning pride,140
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  • Shaking her silver tresses in the air,
  • Rain'st on the earth resolved pearl in showers,
  • And spnnklest sapphires on thy shining face,
  • Where beauty, mother to the Muses, sits
  • And comments volumes with her ivory pen,
  • Taking instructions from thy flowing eyes;
  • Eyes, that,1 when Ebena steps to heaven,
  • In silence of thy solemn evening's walk,
  • Make, in the mantle of the richest night,
  • The moon, the planets, and the meteors, light;150
  • There angels in their crystal armours fight
  • A doubtful battle with my tempted thoughts
  • For Egypt's freedom, and the Soldan's life;
  • His life that so consumes Zenocrate,
  • Whose sorrows lay more siege unto my soul,
  • Than all my army to Damascus walls:
  • And neither Persia's2 sovereign, nor the Turk
  • Troubled my senses with conceit of foil
  • So much by much as doth Zenocrate.
  • What is beauty, saith my sufferings, then?160
  • If all the pens that ever poets held
  • Had fed the feeling of their masters' thoughts,
  • And every sweetness that inspired their hearts,
  • Their minds, and muses on admirid themes;
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  • If all the heavenly quintessence they still
  • From their immortal flowers of poesy,
  • Wherein, as in a mirror, we perceive
  • The highest reaches of a human wit;
  • If these had made one poem's period,
  • And all combined in beauty's worthiness,170
  • Yet should there hover in their restless heads
  • One thought, one grace, one wonder, at the least,
  • Which into words no virtue can digest.
  • But how unseemly is it for my sex,
  • My discipline of arms and chivalry,
  • My nature, and the terror of my name,
  • To harbour thoughts effeminate and faint!
  • Save only that in beauty's just applause,
  • With whose instinct the soul of man is touched;
  • And every warrior that is wrapt with love180
  • Of fame, of valour, and of victory,
  • Must needs have beauty beat on his conceits:
  • I thus conceiving and subduing both
  • That which hath stoopt the chiefest of the gods,1
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  • Even from the fiery-spangled veil of Heaven,
  • To feel the lowly warmth of shepherds' flames,
  • And mask in cottages of strowid reeds,
  • Shall give the world to note for all my birth,
  • That virtue solely is the sum of glory,
  • And fashions men with true nobility.—190
  • Who's within there?
  • Enter two or three Attendants.
  • Hath Bajazeth been fed to-day?
  • Attend1 Ay, my lord.
  • Bring him forth; and let us know if the town be ransacked.
  • [Exeunt Attendants.
  • The town is ours, my lord, and fresh supply Of conquest and of spoil is offered us.
  • That's well, Techelles; what's the news?
  • The Soldan and the Arabian king together, March2 on us with such eager violence,200
  • As if there were no way3 but one with us.
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  • No more there is not, I warrant thee, Techelles.
  • They bring in BAJAZETH and ZABINA.
  • We know the victory is ours, my lord;
  • But let us save the reverend Soldan's life,
  • For fair Zenocrate that so laments his state.
  • That will we chiefly see unto, Theridamas,
  • For sweet Zenocrate, whose worthiness
  • Deserves a conquest over every heart.
  • And now, my footstool, if I lose the field,
  • You hope of liberty and restitution?210
  • Here let him stay, my masters, from the tents,
  • Till we have made us ready for the field.
  • Pray for us, Bajazeth; we are going.
  • Go, never to return with victory.
  • Millions of men encompass thee about,
  • And gore thy body with as many wounds!
  • Sharp, forked arrows light upon thy horse!
  • Furies from the black Cocytus lake,
  • Break up the earth,' and with their firebrands,
  • Enforce thee run upon the baneful pikes!220
  • Volleys of shot pierce through thy charmed skin,
  • And every bullet dipt in poisoned drugs!
  • Or, roaring cannons sever all thy joints,
  • Making thee mount as high as eagles soar'
  • Let all the swords and lances in the field
  • Stick in his breast as in their proper rooms!
  • At every pore let blood come dropping forth,
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  • That lingering pains may massacre his heart,
  • And madness send his damnid soul to hell!
  • Ah, fair Zabina! we may curse his power;230
  • The heavens may frown, the earth for anger quake:
  • But such a star hath influence in his sword,
  • As rules the skies and countermands the gods
  • More than Cimmerian Styx or Destiny;
  • And then shall we in this detested guise,
  • With shame, with hunger, and with horror stay,1
  • Griping our bowels with retorqued2 thoughts,
  • And have no hope to end our ecstasies.
  • Then is there left no Mahomet, no God,
  • No fiend, no fortune, nor no hope of end240
  • To our infamous monstrous slaveries.
  • Gape earth, and let the fiends infernal view
  • A3 hell as hopeless and as full of fear
  • As are the blasted banks of Erebus,
  • Where shaking ghosts with ever-howling groans
  • Hover about the ugly ferryman,
  • To get a passage to Elysium!4
  • Why should we live? O, wretches, beggars, slaves!
  • Why live we, Bajazeth, and build up nests
  • So high within the region of the air250
  • By living long in this oppression,
  • That all the world will see and laugh to scorn
  • The former triumphs of our mightiness
  • In this obscure infernal servitude?
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  • O life, more loathsome to my vexid thoughts
  • Than noisome parbreak1 of the Stygian snakes,
  • Which fills the nooks of hell with standing air,
  • Infecting all the ghosts with cureless griefs!
  • O dreary engines of my loathed sight,
  • That see my crown, my honour, and my name260
  • Thrust under yoke and thraldom of a thief,
  • Why feed ye still on day's accursèd beams
  • And sink not quite into my tortured soul?
  • You see my wife, my queen, and emperess,
  • Brought up and propped by the hand of fame,
  • Queen of fifteen contributory queens,
  • Now thrown to rooms of black abjection,2
  • Smeared with blots of basest drudgery,
  • And villainess3 to shame, disdain, and misery.
  • AccursÈD Bajazeth, whose words of ruth,270
  • (That would with pity cheer Zabina's heart,
  • And make our souls resolve in ceaseless tears.)
  • Sharp hunger bites upon, and gripes the root,
  • From whence the issues of my thoughts do break!
  • O poor Zabina! O my queen! my queen!
  • Fetch me some water for my burning breast,
  • To cool and comfort me with longer date,
  • That in the shortened sequel of my life
  • I may pour forth my soul into thine arms
  • With words of love, whose moaning intercourse280
  • Edition: current; Page: [96]
  • Hath hitherto been stayed with wrath and hate
  • Of our expressless bann'd inflictions.
  • Sweet Bajazeth, I will prolong thy life,
  • As long as any blood or spark of breath
  • Can quench or cool the torments of my grief.
  • [She goes out.
  • Now, Bajazeth, abridge thy baneful days,
  • And beat thy brains out of thy conquered head,
  • Since other means are all forbidden me,
  • That may be ministers of my decay.
  • O, highest lamp of ever-living Jove,290
  • AccursÈD day! infected with my griefs,
  • Hide now thy stained face in endless night,
  • And shut the windows of the lightsome Heavens!
  • Let ugly Darkness with her rusty coach,
  • Engirt with tempests, wrapt in pitchy clouds,
  • Smother the earth with never-fading mists!
  • And let her horses from their nostrils breathe
  • Rebellious winds and dreadful thunder-claps!
  • That in this terror Tamburlame may live,
  • And my pined soul, resolved in liquid air,300
  • May still excruciate his tormented thoughts!
  • Then let the stony dart of senseless cold
  • Pierce through the centre of my withered heart,
  • And make a passage for my loathed life!
  • [He brains himself against the cage.
  • Re enter ZABINA.
  • What do mine eyes behold? my husband dead! His skull all riven in twain! his brains dashed out,—
  • Edition: current; Page: [97]
  • The brains of Bajazeth, my lord and sovereign:
  • O Bajazeth, my husband and my lord!
  • O Bajazeth! O Turk! O Emperor!310
  • Give him his liquor? not I. Bring milk and fire, and my blood I bring him again.—Tear me in pieces— give1 me the sword with a ball of wild-fire upon it.— Down with him! Down with him!—Go to my child! Away! Away! Away!—Ah, save that infant! save him, save him '—I, even I, speak to her.—The sun was down—streamers white, red, black—here, here, here!— Fling the meat in his face—Tamburlaine.—Tamburlaine!—Let the soldiers be buried.—Hell! Death, Tamburlaine, Hell!—Make ready my coach,2 my chair, my jewels.—I come! I come! I come!321
  • [She runs against the cage and brains herself.
  • Enter ZENOCRATE with ANIPPE.
  • Wretched Zenocrate! that liv'st to see
  • Damascus walls dyed with Egyptians'3 blood,
  • Thy father's subjects and thy countrymen;
  • Thy streets strowed with dissevered joints of men
  • And wounded bodies gasping yet for life:
  • But most accurst, to see the sun-bright troop
  • Of heavenly virgins and unspotted maids,
  • (Whose looks might make the angry god of arms
  • To break his sword and mildly treat of love)330
  • Edition: current; Page: [98]
  • On horsemen's lances to be hoisted up
  • And guiltlessly endure a cruel death:
  • For every fell and stout Tartarian steed,
  • That stampt on others with their thundering hoofs,
  • When all their riders charged their quivering spears,
  • Began to check the ground and rein themselves,
  • Gazing upon the beauty of their looks.—
  • Ah Tamburlaine! wert thou the cause of this
  • That term'st Zenocrate thy dearest love?
  • Whose lives were dearer to Zenocrate340
  • Than her own life, or aught save thine own love.
  • But see another bloody spectacle!
  • Ah, wretched eyes, the enemies of my heart,
  • How are ye glutted with these grievous objects,
  • And tell my soul more tales of bleeding ruth!
  • See, see, Anippe, if they breathe or no.
  • No breath, nor sense, nor motion in them both;
  • Ah, madam! this their slavery hath enforced,
  • And ruthless cruelty of Tamburlaine.
  • Earth, cast up fountains from thy entrails,350
  • And wet thy cheeks for their untimely deaths!
  • Shake with their weight in sign of fear and grief!
  • Blush, Heaven, that gave them honour at their birth
  • And let them die a death so barbarous!
  • Those that are proud of fickle empery
  • And place their chiefest good in earthly pomp,
  • Behold the Turk and his great Emperess!
  • Ah, Tamburlaine! my love! sweet Tamburlaine!
  • That fight'st for sceptres and for slippery crowns,
  • Edition: current; Page: [99]
  • Behold the Turk and his great Emperess!360
  • Thou, that in conduct of thy happy stars
  • Sleep's! every night with conquests on thy brows,
  • And yet would'st shun the wavering turns of war,
  • In fear and feeling of the like distress
  • Behold the Turk and his great Emperess!
  • Ah, mighty Jove and holy Mahomet,
  • Pardon my love!—O, pardon his contempt
  • Of earthly fortune and respect of pity,
  • And let not conquest, ruthlessly pursued,
  • Be equally against his life incensed370
  • In this great Turk and hapless Emperess!
  • And pardon me that was not moved with ruth
  • To see them live so long in misery!
  • Ah, what may chance to thee, Zenocrate?
  • Madam, content yourself, and be resolved
  • Your love hath Fortune so at his command,
  • That she shall stay and turn her wheel no more,
  • As long as life maintains his mighty arm
  • That fights for honour to adorn your head.
  • Enter PHILEMUS, a Messenger.
  • What other heavy news now brings Philemus?380
  • Madam, your father, and the Arabian king,
  • The first affecter of your excellence,
  • Comes now, as Turnus 'gainst Eneas did,
  • Armed with lance into the Egyptian fields,
  • Ready for battle 'gainst my lord, the king.
  • Now shame and duty, love and fear present
  • A thousand sorrows to my martyred soul.
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  • Whom should I wish the fatal victory
  • When my poor pleasures are divided thus
  • And racked by duty from my cursèd heart?390
  • My father and my first-betrothed love
  • Must fight against my life and present love;
  • Wherein the change I use condemns my faith,
  • And makes my deeds infkmous through the world:
  • But as the gods, to end the Trojans' toil
  • Prevented Turnus of Lavinia
  • And fatally enriched ^Eneas' love,
  • So for a final1 issue to my griefs,
  • To pacify my country and my love
  • Must Tamburlaine by their resistless pow'rs400
  • With virtue of a gentle victory
  • Conclude a league of honour to my hope;
  • Then, as the Powers divine have pre-ordained,
  • With happy safety of my father's life
  • Send like defence of fair Arabia.
  • [They sound to the battle: and TAMBURLAINE enjoys the victory; after, the KING OF ARABIA enters wounded.
  • K, of Arab, What cursèd power guides the murdering hands
  • Of this infamous tyrant's soldiers,
  • That no escape may save their enemies,
  • Nor fortune keep themselves from victory?
  • Lie down, Arabia, wounded to the death,410
  • And let Zenocrate's fair eyes behold
  • Edition: current; Page: [101]
  • That, as for her thou bear'st these wretched arms,
  • Even so for her thou diest in these arms,
  • Leaving thy1 blood for witness of thy love.
  • Too dear a witness for such love, my lord!
  • Behold Zenocrate! the cursèd object,
  • Whose fortunes never mastered her griefs;
  • Behold her wounded, in conceit, for thee,
  • As much as thy fair body is for me.
K. of Arab.
  • Then shall I die with full, contented heart,420
  • Having beheld divine Zenocrate,
  • Whose sight with joy would take away my life
  • As now it bringeth sweetness to my wound,
  • If I had not been wounded as I am.
  • Ah! that the deadly pangs, I suffer now,
  • Would lend an hour's licence to my tongue,
  • To make discourse of some sweet accidents
  • Have chanced thy merits in this worthless bondage;
  • And that I might be privy to the state
  • Of thy deserved contentment, and thy love;430
  • But, making now a virtue of thy sight,
  • To drive all sorrow from my fainting soul,
  • Since death denies me farther cause of joy,
  • Deprived of care, niy heart with comfort dies,
  • Since thy desired hand shall close mine eyes.
  • [He dies.
  • Edition: current; Page: [102]
  • Come, happy father of Zenocrate,
  • A title higher than thy Soldan's name.
  • Though my right hand have thus enthralled thee,
  • Thy princely daughter here shall set thee free;
  • She that hath calmed the fury of my sword,440
  • Which had ere this been bathed in streams of blood
  • As vast and deep as Euphrates or Nile,
  • O sight thrice welcome to my joyful soul,
  • To see the King, my father, issue safe
  • From dangerous battle of my conquering love!
  • Well met, my only dear Zenocrate,
  • Though with the loss of Egypt and my crown.
  • 'Twas I, my lord, that got the victory,
  • And therefore grieve not at your overthrow,
  • Since I shall render all into your hands,450
  • And add more strength to your dominions
  • Than ever yet confirmed the Egyptian crown.
  • The God of war resigns his room to me,
  • Meaning to make me general of the world:
  • Jove, viewing me in arms, looks pale and wan,
  • Fearing my power should pull him from his throne.
  • Where'er I come the Fatal Sisters sweat,
  • And grisly Death, by running to and fro,
  • To do their ceaseless homage to my sword;
  • And here in Afric, where it seldom rains,460
  • Since I arrived with my triumphant host,
  • Have swelling clouds, drawn from wide-gasping wounds,
  • Been oft resolved in bloody purple showers,.
  • Edition: current; Page: [103]
  • A meteor that might terrify the earth,
  • And make it quake at every drop it drinks.
  • Millions of souls sit on the banks of Styx
  • Waiting the back return of Charon's boat;
  • Hell and Elysium1 swarm with ghosts of men,
  • That I have sent from sundry foughten fields,
  • To spread my fame through hell and up to heaven.470
  • And see, my lord, a sight of strange import,
  • Emperors and Kings lie breathless at my feet:
  • The Turk and his great Empress, as it seems,
  • Left to themselves while we were at the fight,
  • Have desperately despatched their slavish lives:
  • With them Arabia, too, hath left his life:
  • All sights of power to grace my victory;
  • And such are objects fit for Tamburline;
  • Wherein, as in a mirror, may be seen
  • His honour, that consists in shedding blood,480
  • When men presume to manage arms with him.
  • Mighty hath God and Mahomet made thy hand,
  • Renowmed Tamburlaine! to whom all kings
  • Of force must yield their crowns and emperies;
  • And I am pleased with this my overthrow,
  • If, as beseems a person of thy state,
  • Thou hast with honour used Zenocrate.
  • Her state and person want no pomp, you see;
  • And for all blot of foul inchastity
  • I record Heaven her heavenly self is clear:490
  • Then let me find no farther time to grace
  • Edition: current; Page: [104]
  • Her princely temples with the Persian crown.
  • But here these kings that on my fortunes wait,
  • And have been crowned for proved worthiness,
  • Even by this hand that shall establish them,
  • Shall now, adjoining all their hands with mine,
  • Invest her here the Queen of Persia.
  • What saith the noble Soldan and Zenocrate?
  • I yield with thanks and protestations Of endless honour to thee for her love.500
  • Then doubt I not but fair Zenocrate Will soon consent to satisfy us both.
  • Else1 should I much forget myself, my lord.
  • Then let us set the crown upon her head, That long hath lingered for so high a seat.
  • My hand is ready to perform the deed; For now her marriage-time shall work us rest,
  • And here's the crown, my lord; help set it on.2
  • Then sit thou down, divine Zenocrate;
  • And here we crown thee Queen of Persia,510
  • And all the kingdoms and dominions
  • That late the power of Tamburlaine subdued.
  • As Juno, when the giants were suppressed,
  • That darted mountains at her brother Jove,
  • So looks my love, shadowing in her brows
  • Triumphs and trophies for my victories;
  • Or, as Latona's daughters, bent to arms,
  • Adding more courage to my conquering mind.
  • Edition: current; Page: [105]
  • To gratify the sweet Zenocrate,
  • Egyptians, Moors, and men of Asia,520
  • From Barbary unto the western India,
  • Shall pay a yearly tribute to thy sire:
  • And from the bounds of Afric to the banks
  • Of Ganges shall his mighty arm extend.
  • And now, my lords and loving followers,
  • That purchased kingdoms by your martial deeds,
  • Cast off your armour, put on scarlet robes,
  • Mount up your royal places of estate,
  • Environed with troops of noblemen,
  • And there make laws to rule your provinces.530
  • Hang up your weapons on Alcides' post,1
  • For Tamburlaine takes truce with all the world.
  • Thy first-betrothed love, Arabia,
  • Shall we with honour, as beseems, entomb
  • With this great Turk and his fair Emperess.
  • Then, after all these solemn exequies,
  • We will our rites2 of marriage solemnise.
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  • The general welcomes Tamburlaine received,
  • When he arrivèd last upon the1 stage,
  • Hath made our poet pen his Second Part,
  • Where death cuts off the progress of his pomp,
  • And murderous fates throw, all his trmmphs down.
  • But what became of fair Zenocrate,
  • And with how many cities' sacrifice
  • He celebrated her sad2 funeral,
  • Himself in presence shall unfold at large.
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His three Sons.

His Generals, Kings of Fez, Argier, and Morocco.

ORCANES, King of Natolia.

King of Jerusalem.

King of Trebizond.

King of Syria.

GAZELLUS, Viceroy of Byron.


SIGISMUND, King of Hungary.


Lords of Buda and Bohemia.


Governor of Babylon.



ALMEDA, his Keeper.

King of Amasia.


Captain of Balsera.

His Son.

Another Captain.

Lords, Citizens, Soldiers, &c.

ZENOCRATE, TAMBURLAINE'S Queen. OLYMPIA, Wife of the Captain of Balsera. Turkish Concubines.

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ORCANES,King of Natolia, GAZELLUS,Viceroy of Byron, URiBASSA,1 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.10
  • What? Shall we parle with the Christian?
  • Or cross the stream, and meet him in the field?
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  • 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,20
  • More than his camp of stout Hungarians,—
  • Sclavonians, Almain rutters,1 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,30
  • Our Turkey blades shall glide through all their throats,
  • And make this champion2 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.
  • Edition: current; Page: [113]
  • The Terrene Main, wherein Danubius falls,1
  • Shall, by this battle, be the Bloody Sea.
  • The wandering sailors of proud Italy
  • Shall meet those Christians, fleeting with the tide,40
  • 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 peace50
  • 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.60
  • We have revolted Grecians, Albanese,
  • Sicilians, Jews, Arabians, Turks, and Moors,
  • Natolians, Syrians, black Egyptians,
  • Edition: current; Page: [114]
  • Illyrians,1 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 Lantchidol2
  • Beats on the regions with his boisterous blows,70
  • 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.80
  • 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,
  • Edition: current; Page: [115]
  • And made it dance upon the continent,
  • As when the massy substance of the earth
  • Quiver[s] about the axle-tree of heaven?90
  • 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,100
  • 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's1 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,
  • Edition: current; Page: [116]
  • 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,120
  • Ready to charge you ere you stir your feet.
  • So prest1 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.130
  • 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,140
  • And hung on stately Mecca's temple-roof,
  • I swear to keep this truce inviolable;
  • Of whose conditions2 and our solemn oaths,
  • Edition: current; Page: [117]
  • 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'd1 this league beyond Danubius' stream,
  • And they will, trembling, sound a quick retreat;150
  • 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;160
  • 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.
  • [Exeunt.


CALLAPINE with ALMEDA, his Keeper, discovered. Call. Sweet Almeda, pity the ruthful plight

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  • 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,10
  • 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.
  • By Cairo1 runs
  • No talk of running, I tell you, sir.
  • A little farther, gentle Almeda.
  • Well, sir, what of this?
  • By Cairo runs to Alexandria bay Darote's streams, wherein at2
  • 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.
  • Edition: current; Page: [119]
  • Amongst so many crowns of burnished gold,30
  • 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,40
  • 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
  • bright
  • As that fair veil that covers all the world,50
  • 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 need2 we not be spied going aboard ?
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  • 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 out60
  • 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 men70
  • 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.
  • [Exeunt.


Enter TAMBURLAINE, with ZENOCRATE and his three Sons, CALYPHAS, AMYRAS, and CELEBINUS, with drums and trumpets.

  • Now, bright Zenocrate, the world's fair eye,
  • Edition: current; Page: [121]
  • 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,10
  • 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:20
  • But yet methinks their looks are amorous,1
  • 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)
  • Edition: current; Page: [122]
  • 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,30
  • 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 tainted1 with his slender rod,2
  • He reined him straight and made him so curvet,40
  • 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.
  • Edition: current; Page: [123]
  • If thou exceed thy elder brothers' worth
  • And shine in cbmplete virtue more than they,50
  • 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,60
  • 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,70
  • 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;
  • Edition: current; Page: [124]
  • For in a field, whose superficies1
  • Is covered with a liquid purple veil
  • And sprinkled with the brains of slaughtered men,80
  • 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.90
  • And I would strive to swim through2 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.100
Edition: current; Page: [125]
  • If any man will hold him, I will strike And cleave him to the channel1 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.110
  • 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.
  • Thanks, good Theridamas.
  • 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.
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  • 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 thee1 in these2 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.
  • Edition: current; Page: [127]
  • Your presence, loving friends, and fellow kings,150
  • 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 Natolia160
  • 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'1 charge;
  • For half the world shall perish in this fight.170
  • 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 leaguer2 fifteen months and more; For, since we left you at the Soldan's court,
  • Edition: current; Page: [128]
  • We have subdued the southern Guallatia,
  • And all the land unto the coast of Spain;
  • We kept the narrow Strait of Jubalter,1
  • And made Canaria call us kings and lords;180
  • 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,2 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,190
  • 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,200
  • And conquering that, made haste to Nubia.
  • Edition: current; Page: [129]
  • 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 I1 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 orient2 pearl
  • Come, let us banquet and carouse the whiles. [Exeunt.
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Enter SIGISMUND, FREDERICK, BALDWIK, and their train.

  • Now say, my lords of Buda and Bohemia,
  • What motion is it that inflames your thoughts,
  • And stirs your valours to such sudden arms?
  • Your majesty remembers, I am sure,
  • What cruel slaughter of our Christian bloods
  • These heathenish Turks and Pagans lately made,
  • Betwixt the city Zula and Danubius;
  • How through the midst of Varna and Bulgaria,
  • And almost to the very walls of Rome,
  • They have, not long since, massacred our camp.10
  • It resteth now, then, that your majesty
  • Take all advantages of time and power,
  • And work revenge upon these infidels.
  • Your highness knows, for Tamburlaine's repair,
  • That strikes a terror to all Turkish hearts,
  • Natolia hath dismissed the greatest part
  • Of all his army, pitched against our power,
  • Betwixt Cutheia and Orminius' mount,
  • And sent them marching up to Belgasar,
  • Acantha, Antioch, and Caesarea,20
  • Edition: current; Page: [131]
  • To aid the kings of Soria,^and Jerusalem.
  • Now then, my lord, advantage take thereof,
  • And issue suddenly upon the rest;
  • That in the fortune of their overthrow,
  • We may discourage all the pagan troop,
  • That dare attempt to war with Christians.
  • But calls not then your grace to memory
  • The league we lately made with King Orcanes,
  • Confirmed by oath and articles of peace,
  • And calling Christ for record of our truths?
  • This should be treachery and violence
  • Against the grace of our profession.
  • No whit, my lord, for with such infidels,
  • In whom no faith nor true religion rests,
  • We are not bound to those accomplishments
  • The holy laws of Christendom enjoin;
  • But as the faith, which they profanely plight,
  • Is not by necessary policy
  • To be esteemed assurance for ourselves,
  • So that we vow to them should not infringe
  • Our liberty of arms or victory.
  • Though I confess the oaths they undertake
  • Breed little strength to our security,
  • Yet those infirmities that thus defame
  • Their faiths, their honours, and their religion,
  • Should not give us presumption to the like.
  • Our faiths are sound, and must be consummate,1 Religious, righteous, and inviolate.
Edition: current; Page: [132]
  • Assure your grace 'tis superstition
  • To stand so strictly on dispensive faith;50
  • And should we lose the opportunity
  • That God hath given to venge our Christians' death,
  • And scourge their foul blasphemous Paganism,
  • As fell to Saul, to Balaam, and the rest,
  • That would not kill and curse at God's command,
  • So surely will the vengeance of the Highest,
  • And jealous anger of His fearful arm,
  • Be poured with rigour on our sinful heads,
  • If we neglect this offered victory.
  • Then arm, my lords, and issue suddenly,60
  • Giving commandment to our general host,
  • With expedition to assail the Pagan,
  • And take the victory our God hath given. [Exeunt.


Enter ORCANES, GAZELLUS, and URIBASSA, with their trains.

  • Gazellus, Uribassa, and the rest,
  • Now will we march from proud Orminius' mount,
  • To fair Natolia, where our neighbour kings
  • Expect our power and our royal presence,
  • To encounter with the cruel Tamburlaine,
  • That nigh Larissa sways a mighty host,
  • And with the thunder of his martial1 tools
  • Makes earthquakes in the hearts of men and heaven.
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  • And now come we to make his sinews shake,
  • With greater power than erst his pride hath felt10
  • An hundred kings, by scores, will bid him arms,
  • And hundred thousands subjects to each score,
  • Which, if a shower of wounding thunderbolts
  • Should break out of the bowels of the clouds,
  • And fall as thick as hail upon our heads,
  • In partial aid of that proud Scythian,
  • Yet should our courages and steeled crests,
  • And numbers, more than infinite, of men,
  • Be able to withstand and conquer him.
  • Methinks I see how glad the Christian king20 Is made, for joy of your admitted truce,
  • That could not but before be terrified
  • With1 unacquainted power of our host.
  • Enter a Messenger.
  • Arm, dread sovereign, and my noble lords!
  • The treacherous army of the Christians,
  • Taking advantage of your slender power,
  • Comes marching on us, and determines straight
  • To bid us battle for our dearest lives.
  • Traitors! villains! damned Christians!
  • Have I not here the articles of peace,30
  • And solemn covenants we have both confirmed,
  • He by his Christ, and I by Mahomet?
  • Hell and confusion light upon their heads,
  • Edition: current; Page: [134]
  • That with such treason seek our overthrow,
  • And care so little for their prophet, Christ!
  • Can there be such deceit in Christians,
  • Or treason in the fleshly heart of man,
  • Whose shape is figure of the highest God!
  • Then, if there be a Christ, as Christians say,
  • But in their deeds deny him for their Christ,
  • If he be son to everhving Jove,
  • And hath the power of his outstretched arm;
  • If he be jealous of his name and honour,
  • As is our holy prophet, Mahomet;—
  • Take here these papers as our sacrifice
  • And witness of thy servant's perjury.
  • [He tears to pieces the articles of peace.
  • Open, thou shining veil of Cynthia,
  • And make a passage from the empyreal heaven,
  • That he that sits on high and never sleeps,
  • Nor in one place is circumscriptible,
  • But everywhere fills every continent
  • With strange infusion of his sacred vigour,
  • May in his endless power and purity,
  • Behold and venge this traitor's perjury!
  • Thou Christ, that art esteemed omnipotent,
  • If thou wilt prove thyself a perfect God,
  • Worthy the worship of all faithful hearts,
  • Be now revenged upon this traitor's soul,
  • And make the power I have left behind,
  • (Too little to defend our guiltless lives,)
  • Sufficient to discomfort and confound
  • The trustless force of those false Christians.
  • Edition: current; Page: [135]
  • To arms, my lords! On Christ still let us cry!
  • If there be Christ, we shall have victory.


Alarums of battle.Enter SIGISMUND, wounded.

  • Discomfited is all the Christian host,
  • And God hath thundered vengeance from on high,
  • For my accursèd and -hateful perjury.
  • O, just and dreadful punisher of sin,
  • Let the dishonour of the pains I feel,
  • In this my mortal well-deserved wound,
  • End all my penance in my sudden death!
  • And let this death, wherein to sin I die,
  • Conceive a second life in endless mercy!
  • [He dies.
  • Enter ORCANES, GAZELLUS, URIBASSA, and others.
  • Now lie the Christians bathing in their bloods,10
  • nd Christ or Mahomet hath been my friend.
  • See here the perjured traitor Hungary,
  • Bloody and breathless for his villany.
  • Now shall his barbarous body be a prey
  • To beasts and fowls, and all the winds shall breathe
  • Through shady leaves of every senseless tree
  • Murmurs and hisses for his heinous sin.
  • Now scalds his soul in the Tartarian streams,
  • And feeds upon the baneful tree of hell,
  • That Zoacum,1 that fruit of bitterness,
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  • That in the midst of fire is ingrafted,
  • Yet flourishes as Flora in her pride,
  • With apples like the heads of damned fiends.
  • The devils there, in chains of quenchless flame,
  • Shall lead his soul through Orcus' burning gulph,
  • From pain to pain, whose change shall never end.
  • What say'st thou yet, Gazellus, to his foil
  • Which we referred to justice of his Christ,
  • And to his power, which here appears as full
  • As rays of Cynthia to the clearest sight?30
  • 'Tis but the fortune of the wars, my lord,
  • Whose power is often proved a miracle.
  • Yet in my thoughts shall Christ be honoured,
  • Not doing Mahomet an injury,
  • Whose power had share in this our victory;
  • And since this miscreant hath disgraced his faith,
  • And died a traitor both to heaven and earth,
  • We will1 both watch and ward shall keep his trunk
  • Amidst these plains for fowls to prey upon.
  • Go, Uribassa, give it straight in charge.40
  • I will, my lord.
  • [Exit.
  • And now, Gazellus, let us haste and meet
  • Our army, and our brother[s] of Jerusalem,
  • Of Soria, Trebizond, and Amasia,
  • And happily, with full Natolian bowls
  • Of Greekish wine, now let us celebrate
  • Our happy conquest and his angry fate.
  • [Exeunt.
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ZENOCRATEis discovered lying in her bed of state; TAMBURLAINE sitting by her; three PHYSICIANS about her led, tempering potions; THERIDAMAS, TECHELLES, USUMCASANE, and the three Sons.

  • Black is the beauty of the brightest day;
  • The golden ball of heaven's eternal fire,
  • That danced with glory on the silver waves,
  • Now wants the fuel that inflamed his beams;
  • And all with faintness, and for foul disgrace,
  • He binds his temples with a frowning cloud,
  • Ready to darken earth with endless night.
  • Zenocrate, that gave him light and life,
  • Whose eyes shot fire from their1 ivory bowers,
  • And tempered every soul with lively heat,10 Now by the malice of the angry skies,
  • Whose jealousy admits no second mate,
  • Draws in the comfort of her latest breath,
  • All dazzled with the hellish mists of death.
  • Now walk the angels on the walls of heaven,
  • As sentinels to warn the immortal souls
  • To entertain divine Zenocrate.
  • Apollo, Cynthia, and the ceaseless lamps
  • That gently looked upon this loathsome earth,
  • Shine downward now no more, but deck the heavens,20 To entertain divine Zenocrate.
  • Edition: current; Page: [138]
  • The crystal springs, whose taste illuminates
  • Refined eyes with an eternal sight,
  • Like tried silver, run through Paradise,
  • To entertain divine Zenocrate.
  • The cherubins and holy seraphins,
  • That sing and play before the King of kings,
  • Use all their voices and their instruments
  • To entertain divine Zenocrate.
  • And in this sweet and curious harmony,30
  • The God that tunes this music to our souls,
  • Holds out his hand in highest majesty
  • To entertain divine Zenocrate.
  • Then let some holy trance convey my thoughts
  • Up to the palace of th' empyreal heaven,
  • That this my life may be as short to me
  • As are the days of sweet Zenocrate.—
  • Physicians, will no1 physic do her good?
  • My lord, your majesty shall soon perceive:
  • An if she pass this fit, the worst is past.40
  • Tell me, how fares my fair Zenocrate?
  • I fare, my lord, as other empresses,
  • That, when this frail and2 transitory flesh
  • Hath sucked the measure of that vital air
  • That feeds the body with his dated health,
  • Wade with enforced and necessary change.
  • May never such a change transform my
  • love, In whose sweet being I repose my life,
  • Edition: current; Page: [139]
  • Whose heavenly presence, beautified with health,
  • Gives light to Phoebus and the fixed stars!50
  • Whose absence makes1 the sun and moon as dark,
  • As when, opposed in one diameter,
  • Their spheres are mounted on the serpent's head,
  • Or else descended to his winding train.
  • Live still, my love, and so conserve my life,
  • Or, dying, be the author2 of my death!
  • Live still, my lord! O, let my sovereign live!
  • And sooner let the fiery element
  • Dissolve and make your kingdom in the sky,
  • Than this base earth should shroud your majesty:60
  • For should I but suspect your death by mine,
  • The comfort of my future happiness,
  • And hope to meet your highness in the heavens,
  • Turned to despair, would break my wretched breast,
  • And fury would confound my present rest.
  • But let me die, my love; yet let me die;
  • With love and patience let your true love die!
  • Your grief and fury hurts my second life.
  • — Yet let me kiss my lord before I die,
  • And let me die with kissing of my lord.70
  • But since my life is lengthened yet a while,
  • Let me take leave of these my loving sons,
  • And of my lords, whose true nobility
  • Have merited my latest memory.
  • Sweet sons, farewell! In death resemble me,
  • Edition: current; Page: [140]
  • And in your lives your father's excellence.1
  • Some music, and my fit will cease, my lord.
  • [They call for music.
  • Proud fury, and intolerable fit,
  • That dares torment the body of my love,
  • And scourge the scourge of the immortal God:80 Now are those spheres, where Cupid used to sit,
  • Wounding the world with wonder and with love,
  • Sadly supplied with pale and ghastly death,
  • Whose darts do pierce the centre of my soul
  • Her sacred beauty hath enchanted heaven;
  • And had she lived before the siege of Troy,
  • Helen (whose beauty summoned Greece to arms,
  • And drew a thousand ships to Tenedos)
  • Had not been named in Homer's Iliads;
  • Her name had been in every line he wrote.90 Or had those wanton poets, for whose birth
  • Old Rome was proud, but gazed a while on her,
  • Nor Lesbia nor Connna had been named;
  • Zenocrate had been the argument
  • Of every epigram or elegy.
  • [The music sounds.Zenocrate dies.
  • What! is she dead? Techelles, draw thy sword
  • And wound the earth, that it may cleave in twain,
  • And we descend into the infernal vaults,
  • To hale the Fatal Sisters by the hair,2
  • Edition: current; Page: [141]
  • And throw them in the triple moat of hell,100
  • For taking hence my fair Zenocrate.
  • Casane and Theridamas, to arms!
  • Raise cavalieros1 higher than the clouds,
  • And with the cannon break the frame of heaven;
  • Batter the shining palace of the sun,
  • And shiver all the starry firmament,
  • For amorous Jove hath snatched my love from hence,
  • Meaning to make her stately queen of heaven.
  • What God soever holds thee in his arms,
  • Giving thee nectar and ambrosia,110
  • Behold me here, divine Zenocrate,
  • Raving, impatient, desperate, and mad,
  • Breaking my steelèd lance, with which I burst
  • The rusty beams of Janus' temple-doors,
  • Letting out Death and tyrannising War,
  • To march with me under this bloody flag!
  • And if thou pitiest Tamburlaine the Great,
  • Come down from heaven, and live with me again!
  • Ah, good my lord, be patient; she is dead,
  • And all this raging cannot make her live.120
  • If words might serve, our voice hath rent the air;
  • If tears, our eyes have watered all the earth;
  • If grief, our murdered hearts have strained forth blood
  • Nothing prevails,2 for she is dead, my lord.
Edition: current; Page: [142]
  • For she is dead! Thy words do pierce my
  • soul!
  • Ah, sweet Theridamas! say so no more;
  • Though she be dead, yet let me think she lives,
  • And feed my mind that dies for want of her.
  • Where'er her soul be, thou [To the body] shall stay with
  • me,
  • Embalmed with cassia, ambergris, and myrrh,130
  • Not lapt in lead, but in a sheet of gold,
  • And till I die thou shalt not be interred.
  • Then in as rich a tomb as Mausolus'
  • We both will rest and have one epitaph
  • Writ in as many several languages
  • As I have conquered kingdoms with my sword.
  • This cursèd town will I consume with fire,
  • Because this place bereaved me of my love:
  • The houses, burnt, will look as if they mourned;
  • And here will I set up her statua,1140
  • And march about it with my mourning camp
  • Drooping and pining for Zenocrate.
  • [The seene doses.
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Enter the Kings of Trebizond and Syria, one bearing a sword, and the other a sceptre; next the Kings of Natolia and Jerusalem, with the imperial crown; after, Callapine, and after him other Lords and Almeda. Orcanes and the King of Jerusalem crown him, and the others give him the sceptre.

  • Callapinus Cyricelibes, otherwise Cybelius, son
  • and successive heir to the late mighty emperor, Bajazeth,
  • by the aid of God and his friend Mahomet, emperor of
  • Natolia, Jerusalem, Trebizond, Soria, Amasia, Thracia,
  • Illyria, Carmania, and all the hundred and thirty kingdoms
  • late contributory to his mighty father. Long live
  • Callapinus, Emperor of Turkey!
  • Thrice worthy kings of Natolia, and the rest,
  • I will requite your royal gratitudes
  • With all the benefits my empire yields;10
  • And were the sinews of the imperial seat
  • So knit and strengthened as when Bajazeth
  • My royal lord and father filled the throne,
  • Whose cursèd fate hath so dismembered it,
  • Edition: current; Page: [144]
  • Then should you see this chief of Scythia,
  • This proud, usurping king of Persia,
  • Do us such honour and supremacy,
  • Bearing the vengeance of our father's wrongs,
  • As all the world should blot his1 dignities
  • Out of the book of base-born infamies.20
  • And now I doubt not but your royal cares
  • Have so provided for this cursèd foe,
  • That, since the heir of mighty Bajazeth,
  • (An emperor so honoured for his virtues,)
  • Revives the spirits of all true Turkish hearts,
  • In grievous memory of his father's shame,
  • We shall not need to nourish any doubt,
  • But that proud fortune, who hath followed long
  • The martial sword of mighty Tamburlaine,
  • Will now retain her old inconstancy,30
  • And raise our honours to as high a pitch,
  • In this our strong and fortunate encounter;
  • For so hath heaven provided my escape,
  • From all the cruelty my soul sustained,
  • By this my friendly keeper's happy means,
  • That Jove, surcharged with pity of our wrongs,
  • Will pour it down in showers on our heads,
  • Scourging the pride of cursèd Tamburlaine.
  • I have a hundred thousand men in arms;
  • Some, that in conquest2 of the perjured Christian,40 Being a handful to a mighty host,
  • Edition: current; Page: [145]
  • Think them in number yet sufficient
  • To drink the river Nile or Euphrates,
  • And for their power enow to win the world.
  • And I as many from Jerusalem,
  • Judæa, Gaza, and Sclavonia's1 bounds,
  • That on Mount Sinai with their ensigns spread,
  • Look like the parti-coloured clouds of heaven
  • That show fair weather to the neighbour morn.
  • And I as many bring from Trebizond,50
  • Chio, Famastro, and Amasia,
  • All bordering on the Mare Major sea,
  • Riso, Sancina, and the bordering towns
  • That touch the end of famous Euphrates,
  • Whose courages are kindled with the flames,
  • The cursèd Scythian sets on all their towns,
  • And vow to burn the villain's cruel heart
  • From Syria2 with seventy thousand strong
  • Ta'en from Aleppo, Soldino, Tripoli,
  • And so on to my city of Damasco,
  • I march to meet and aid my neighbour kings;
  • All which will join against this Tamburlaine,
  • And bring him captive to your highness' feet.
  • Our battle then in martial manner pitched,
  • According to our ancient use, shall bear
  • The figure of the semicircled moon,
  • Whose horns shall sprinkle through the tainted air
  • The poisoned brains of this proud Scythian.
Edition: current; Page: [146]
  • Well then, my noble lords, for this my friend
  • That freed me from the bondage of my foe,70
  • I think it requisite and honourable,
  • To keep my promise and to make him king,
  • That is a gentleman, I know, at least.
  • That's no matter, sir, for being a king; [f]or
  • Tamburlaine came up of nothing.
  • Your majesty may choose some 'pointed time,
  • Performing all your promise to the full;
  • 'Tis nought for your majesty to give a kingdom.
  • Then will I shortly keep my promise, Almeda.
  • Why, I thank your majesty.
  • [Exeunt.80


Enter Tamburlaine, with Usumcasane, and his three Sons; four Attendants bearing the hearse of Zeno-Crate, and the drums sounding a doleful march; tht town burning.

  • So burn the turrets of this cursèd town,
  • Flame to the highest region of the air,
  • And kindle heaps of exhalations,
  • That being fiery meteors may presage
  • Death and destruction to the inhabitants!
  • Over my zenith hang a blazing star,
  • That may endure till heaven be dissolved,
  • Fed with the fresh supply of earthly dregs,
  • Threatening a dearth1 and famine to this land!
  • Flying dragons, lightning, fearful thunderclaps,10
  • Edition: current; Page: [147]
  • Singe these fair plains and make them seem as black
  • As is the island where the Furies mask,
  • Compassed with Lethe, Styx, and Phlegethon,
  • Because my dear's! Zenocrate is dead.
  • This pillar, placed in memory of her, Where in Arabian, Hebrew, Greek, is writ:—
  • This town, being burnt by Tamburlaine the Great,
  • Forbids the world to build it up again,
  • And here this mournful streamer shall be placed,
  • Wrought with the Persian and th' Egyptian arms,20
  • To signify she was a princess born,
  • And wife unto the monarch of the East.
  • And here this table as a register
  • Of all her virtues and perfections.
  • And here the picture of Zenocrate,
  • To show her beauty which the world admired;
  • Sweet picture of divine Zenocrate,
  • That, hanging here, will draw the gods from heaven,
  • And cause the stars fixed in the southern arc,
  • (Whose lovely faces never any viewed30
  • That have not passed the centre's latitude,)
  • As pilgrims, travel to our hemisphere,
  • Only to gaze upon Zenocrate.
  • Thou shalt not beautify Larissa plains,
  • But keep within the circle of mine arms.
  • At every town and castle I besiege,
  • Thou shalt be set upon my royal tent;
  • And when I meet an army in the field,
  • Those1 looks will shed such influence in my camp
  • Edition: current; Page: [148]
  • As if Bellona, goddess of the war,40
  • Threw naked swords and sulphur-balls of fire
  • Upon the heads of all our enemies.
  • And now, my lords, advance your spears again:
  • Sorrow no more, my sweet Casane, now;
  • Boys, leave to mourn! this town shall ever mourn,
  • Being burnt to cinders for your mother's death.
  • If I had wept a sea of tears for her,
  • It would not ease the sorrows I sustain.
  • As is that town, so is my heart consumed
  • With grief and sorrow for my mother's death.50
  • My mother's death hath mortified my mind,
  • And sorrow stops the passage of my speech.
  • But now, my boys, leave off and list to me,
  • That mean to teach you rudiments of war;
  • I'll have you learn to sleep upon the ground,
  • March in your armour thorough watery fens,
  • Sustain the scorching heat and freezing cold,
  • Hunger and thirst,1 right adjuncts of the war,
  • And after this to scale a castle wall,
  • Besiege a fort, to undermine a town,60
  • And make whole cities caper in the air.
  • Then next the way to fortify your men;
  • In champion grounds, what figure serves you best,
  • For which2 the quinque-angle form is meet,
  • Because the corners there may fall more flat
  • Whereas the fort may fittest be assailed,
  • And sharpest where the assault is desperate.
  • Edition: current; Page: [149]
  • The ditches must be deep; the counterscarps
  • Narrow and steep; the walls made high and broad;
  • The bulwarks and the rampires large and strong,70
  • With cavalieros and thick counterforts,
  • And room within to lodge six thousand men.
  • It must have privy ditches, countermines,
  • And secret issuings to defend the ditch;
  • It must have high argins1 and covered ways,
  • To keep the bulwark fronts from battery,
  • And parapets to hide the musketers;2
  • Casemates to place the great artillery;
  • And store of ordnance, that from every flank
  • May scour the outward curtains of the fort,80
  • Dismount the cannon of the adverse part,
  • Murder the foe, and save the3 walls from breach.
  • When this is learned for service on the land,
  • By plain and easy demonstration
  • I'll teach you how to make the water mount,
  • That you may dry-foot march through lakes and
  • pools,
  • Deep rivers, havens, creeks, and little seas,
  • And make a fortress in the raging waves,
  • Fenced with the concave of a monstrous rock,
  • Invincible by nature of the place.90
  • When this is done, then are ye soldiers,
  • And worthy sons of Tamburlaine the Great.
Edition: current; Page: [150]
  • My lord, but this is dangerous to be done;
  • We may be slain or wounded ere we learn.
  • Villain! Art thou the son of Tamburlaine,
  • And fear'st to die, or with the curtle-axe
  • To hew thy flesh, and make a gaping wound?
  • Hast thou beheld a peal of ordnance strike
  • A ring of pikes, mingled with shot1 and horse,
  • Whose shattered limbs, being tossed as high as heaven,100
  • Hang in the air as thick as sunny motes,
  • And canst thou, coward, stand in fear of death?
  • Hast thou not seen my horsemen charge the foe,
  • Shot through the arms, cut overthwart the hands,
  • Dyeing their lances with their streaming blood,
  • And yet at night carouse within my tent,
  • Filling their empty veins with airy wine,
  • That, being concocted, turns to crimson blood,
  • And wilt thou shun the field for fear of wounds?
  • View me, thy father, that hath conquered kings,110
  • And, with his horse, marched2 round about the earth,
  • Quite void of scars, and clear from any wound,
  • That by the wars lost not a drop3 of blood,
  • And see him lanch his flesh to teach you all
  • He cuts his arm.
  • A wound is nothing, be it ne'er so deep;
  • Blood is the god of war's rich livery.
  • Now look I like a soldier, and this wound
  • Edition: current; Page: [151]
  • As great a grace and majesty to me,
  • As if a chain of gold, enamellèd,
  • Enchased with diamonds, sapphires, rubies,120
  • And fairest pearl of wealthy India,
  • Were mounted here under a canopy,
  • And I sate down clothed with a massy robe,
  • That late adorned the Afric potentate,
  • Whom I brought bound unto Damascus walls.
  • Come, boys, and with your fingers search my wound,
  • And in my blood wash all your hands at once,
  • While I sit smiling to behold the sight.
  • Now, my boys, what think ye of a wound?
  • I know not what I should think of it; methinks it is a pitiful sight.130
  • This? nothing: give me a wound, father.
  • And me another, my lord.
  • Come, sirrah, give me your arm.
  • Here, father, cut it bravely, as you did your own.
  • It shall suffice thou darest abide a wound;
  • My boy, thou shalt not lose a drop of blood
  • Before we meet the army of the Turk;
  • But then run desperate through the thickest throngs,
  • Dreadless of blows, of bloody wounds, and death;140
  • And let the burning of Larissa walls,
  • My speech of war, and this my wound you see,
  • Teach you, my boys, to bear courageous minds,
  • Fit for the followers of Great Tamburlaine!
  • Usumcasane, now come let us march
  • Towards Techelles and Theridamas,
  • That we have sent before to fire the towns
  • Edition: current; Page: [152]
  • The towers and cities of these hateful Turks,
  • And hunt that coward, faint-heart runaway,
  • With that accursèd1 traitor Almeda,150
  • Till fire and sword have found them at a bay.
  • I long to pierce his2 bowels with my sword,
  • That hath betrayed my gracious sovereign,—
  • That cursèd and damned traitor Almeda.
  • Then let us see if coward Callapine
  • Dare levy arms against our puissance,
  • That we may tread upon his captive neck,
  • And treble all his father's slaveries.
  • Exeunt.


Enter Techelles, Theridamas, and their train.

  • Thus have we marched northward from Tamburlaine,
  • Unto the frontier point3 of Syria;
  • And this is Balsora, their chiefest hold,
  • Wherein is all the treasure of the land.
  • Then let us bring our light artillery,
  • Minions,4 falc'nets, and sakers, to the trench,
  • Filling the ditches with the walls' wide breach,
  • And enter in to seize upon the gold.
  • How say you, soldiers? shall we [or] not?
Edition: current; Page: [153]
  • Yes, my lord, yes; come, let's about it.10
  • But stay awhile; summon a parle, drum.
  • It may be they will yield it quietly,
  • Knowing two kings, the friends1 to Tamburlaine,
  • Stand at the walls with such a mighty power.
  • A parle sounded.Captain appears on the walls, with Olympia his Wife, and Son.
  • What require you, my masters?
  • Captain, that thou yield up thy hold to us.
  • To you! Why, do you2 think me weary of it?
  • Nay, captain, thou art weary of thy life,
  • If thou withstand the friends of Tamburlaine!
  • These pioners of Argier in Africa,20
  • Even in the cannon's face, shall raise a hill
  • Of earth and faggots higher than the fort,
  • And over thy argins and covered ways
  • Shall play upon the bulwarks of thy hold
  • Volleys of ordnance, till the breach be made
  • That with his ruin fills up all the trench,
  • And when we enter in, not heaven itself
  • Shall ransom thee, thy wife, and family.
  • Captain, these Moors shall cut the leaden pipes,
  • That bring fresh water to thy men and thee,30
  • And lie in trench before thy castle walls,
  • That no supply of victual shall come in,
  • Nor [any] issue forth but they shall die;
  • And, therefore, captain, “yield it quietly.
Edition: current; Page: [154]
  • Were you, that are the friends of Tamburlaine,
  • Brothers of holy Mahomet himself,
  • I would not yield it; therefore do your worst:
  • Raise mounts, batter, intrench, and undermine,
  • Cut off the water, all convoys that can,1
  • Yet I am resolute, and so farewell.40
  • [Captain, Olympia, and their Son retire from the walls.
  • Pioners, away! and where I stuck the stake,
  • Intrench with those dimensions I prescribed.
  • Cast up the earth towards the castle wall,
  • Which, till it may defend you, labour low,
  • And few or none shall perish by their shot.
  • We will, my lord.
  • [Exeunt Pioners.
  • A hundred horse shall scout about the plains
  • To spy what force comes to relieve the hold.
  • Both we, Theridamas, will entrench our men,
  • And with the Jacob's staff measure the height50
  • And distance of the castle from the trench,
  • That we may know if our artillery
  • Will carry full point-blank unto their walls.
  • Then see the bringing of our ordnance
  • Along the trench into the battery,
  • Where we will have gabions2 of six feet broad
  • Edition: current; Page: [155]
  • To save our cannoniers from musket shot.
  • Betwixt which shall our ordnance thunder forth,
  • And with the breach's fall, smoke, fire, and dust,
  • The crack, the echo, and the soldier's cry,60
  • Make deaf the ear and dim the crystal sky.
  • Trumpets and drums, alarum presently;
  • And, soldiers, play the men; the hold1 is yours.
  • [Exeunt.


Alarum within.—Enter the Captain, with Olympia, and his Son.

  • Come, good my lord, and let us haste from hence
  • Along the cave that leads beyond the foe;
  • No hope is left to save this conquered hold.
  • A deadly bullet, gliding through my side,
  • Lies heavy on my heart; I cannot live.
  • I feel my liver pierced, and all my veins,
  • That there begin and nourish every part,
  • Mangled and torn, and all my entrails bathed
  • In blood that straineth2 from their orifex.
  • Farewell, sweet wife! sweet son, farewell! I die.10
  • [He dies.
Edition: current; Page: [156]
  • Death, whither art thou gone, that both we live?
  • Come back again, sweet Death, and strike us both!
  • One minute end our days! and one sepùlchre
  • Contain our bodies! Death, why com'st thou not?
  • Well, this must be the messenger for thee:
  • [Drawing a dagger.
  • Now, ugly Death, stretch out thy sable wings,
  • And carry both our souls where his remains.
  • Tell me, sweet boy, art thou content to die?
  • These barbarous Scythians, full of cruelty,
  • And Moors, in whom was never pity found,20
  • Will hew us piecemeal, put us to the wheel,
  • Or else invent some torture worse than that;
  • Therefore die by thy loving mother's hand,
  • Who gently now will lance thy ivory throat,
  • And quickly rid thee both of pain and life.
  • Mother, despatch me, or I'll kill myself;
  • For think you I can live and see him dead?
  • Give me your knife, good mother, or strike home:
  • The Scythians shall not tyrannise on me:
  • Sweet mother, strike, that I may meet my father.30
  • [She stabs him and he dies.
  • Ah, sacred Mahomet, if this be sin,
  • Entreat a pardon of the God of heaven,
  • And purge my soul before it come to thee.
  • [She burns the bodies of her husband and son and then attempts to kill herself.
  • Enter Theridamas, Techelles, and all their train.
  • How now, madam, what are you doing?
Edition: current; Page: [157]
  • Killing myself, as I have done my son,
  • Whose body, with his father's, I have burnt,
  • Lest cruel Scythians should dismember him.
  • 'Twas bravely done, and, like a soldier's wife.
  • Thou shall with us to Tamburlaine the Great,
  • Who, when he hears how resolute thou art,40
  • Will match thee with a viceroy or a king.
  • My lord deceased was dearer unto me
  • Than any viceroy, king, or emperor;
  • And for his sake here will I end my days.
  • But, lady, go with us to Tamburlaine,
  • And thou shalt see a man, greater than Mahomet,
  • In whose high looks is much more majesty,
  • Than from the concave superficies
  • Of Jove's vast palace, the empyreal orb,
  • Unto the shining bower where Cynthia sits,50
  • Like lovely Thetis, in a crystal robe;
  • That treadeth fortune underneath his feet,
  • And makes the mighty god of arms his slave;
  • On whom Death and the Fatal Sisters wait
  • With naked swords and scarlet liveries:
  • Before whom, mounted on a lion's back,
  • Rhamnusia bears a helmet full of blood,
  • And strews the way with brains of slaughtered men;
  • By whose proud side the ugly Furies run,
  • Hearkening when he shall bid them plague the world;60
  • Over whose zenith, clothed in windy air,
  • And eagle's wings join'd1 to her feathered breast,
  • Edition: current; Page: [158]
  • Fame hovereth, sounding of her golden trump,
  • That to the adverse poles of that straight line,
  • Which measureth the glorious frame of heaven,
  • The name of mighty Tamburlaine is spread,
  • And him, fair lady, shall thy eyes behold.
  • Come!
  • Take pity of a lady's ruthful tears,
  • That humbly craves upon her knees to stay70
  • And cast her body in the burning flame,
  • That feeds upon her son's and husband's flesh,
  • Madam, sooner shall fire consume us both,
  • Than scorch a face so beautiful as this,
  • In frame of which Nature hath showed more skill
  • Than when she gave eternal chaos form,
  • Drawing from it the shining lamps of heaven.
  • Madam, I am so far in love with you,
  • That you must go with us—no remedy.
  • Then carry me, I care not, where you will,80
  • And let the end of this my fatal journey
  • Be likewise end to my accursèd life.
  • No, madam, but the beginning of your joy:
  • Come willingly therefore.
  • Soldiers, now let us meet the general,
  • Who by this time is at Natolia,
  • Ready to charge the army of the Turk.
  • The gold and silver, and the pearl, we got,
  • Rifling this fort, divide in equal shares:
  • Tnis lady shall have twice as much again90
  • Out of the coffers of our treasury.
  • [Exeunt.
Edition: current; Page: [159]


Enter Callapine, Orcanes, Almeda, and the Kings of Jerusalem, Trebizond, and Soria, -with their trains.— To them enter a Messenger.

  • Renowmid emperor, mighty Callapine,
  • God's great lieutenant over all the world!
  • Here at Aleppo, with a host of men,
  • Lies Tamburlaine, this king of Persia,
  • (In numbers more than are the1 quivering leaves
  • Of Ida's forest, where your highness' hounds,
  • With open cry, pursue the wounded stag,)
  • Who means to girt Natolia's walls with siege,
  • Fire the town, and overrun the land.
  • My royal army is as great as his,10
  • That, from the bounds of Phrygia to the sea
  • Which washeth Cyprus with his brinish waves,
  • Covers the hills, the valleys, and the plains.
  • Viceroys and peers of Turkey, play the men!2
  • Whet all your swords, to mangle Tamburlaine,
  • His sons, his captains, and his followers;
  • By Mahomet! not one of them shall live;
  • The field wherein this battle shall be fought
  • For ever term the Persian's sepulchre,
  • In memory of this our victory!20
Edition: current; Page: [160]
  • Now, he that calls himself the1 scourge of Jove,
  • The emgeror of the world, and earthly god,
  • Shall end the warlike progress he intends,
  • And travel headlong to the lake of hell,
  • Where legions of devils, (knowing he must die
  • Here, in Natolia, by your highness' hands,)
  • All brandishing their brands2 of quenchless fire,
  • Stretching their monstrous paws, grin with3 their teeth,
  • And guard the gates to entertain his soul.
  • Tell me, viceroys, the number of your men,30
  • And what our army royal is esteemed.
  • From Palestina and Jerusalem,
  • Of Hebrews threescore thousand fighting men
  • Are come since last we showed your majesty.
  • So from Arabia Desert, and the bounds
  • Of that sweet land, whose brave metropolis
  • Re-edified the fair Semiramis,
  • Came forty thousand warlike foot and horse,
  • Since last we numbered to your majesty.
  • From Trebizond, in Asia the Less,40
  • Naturalised Turks and stout Bithynians
  • Came to my bands, full fifty thousand more
  • (That, fighting, know not what retreat doth mean,
  • Nor e'er return but with the victory,)
  • Since last we numbered to your majesty.
  • Of Sorians from Halla is repaired,
  • And neighbour cities of your highness' land,
  • Edition: current; Page: [161]
  • Ten thousand horse, and thirty thousand foot,
  • Since last we numbered to your majesty;
  • So that the royal army is esteemed50
  • Six hundred thousand valiant fighting men.
  • Then welcome, Tamburlaine, unto thy death.
  • Come, puissant viceroys, let us to the field,
  • (The Persians' sepulchre,) and sacrifice
  • Mountains of breathless men to Mahomet,
  • Who now, with Jove, opens the firmament
  • To see the slaughter of our enemies.
  • Enter Tamburlaine and his three Sons, Usumcasane, &c.
  • How now, Casane? See a knot of kings,
  • Sitting as if they were a-telling riddles.
  • My lord, your presence makes them pale and wan:60
  • Poor souls! they look as if their deaths were near.
  • And so he is, Casane; I am here;
  • But yet I'll save their lives, and make them slaves.
  • Ye petty kings of Turkey, I am come,
  • As Hector did into the Grecian camp,
  • To overdare the pride of Græcia,
  • And set his warlike person to the view
  • Of fierce Achilles, rival of his fame:
  • I do you honour in the simile;
  • For if I should, as Hector did Achilles,70
  • (The worthiest knight that ever brandished sword),
  • Challenge in combat any of you all,
  • Edition: current; Page: [162]
  • I see how fearfully ye would refuse,
  • And fly my glove as from a scorpion.
  • Now thou art fearful of thy army's strength,
  • Thou would'st with overmatch of person fight;
  • But, shepherd's issue, base-born Tamburlaine,
  • Think of thy end! this sword shall lance thy throat.
  • Villain! the shepherd's issue (at whose birth
  • Heaven did afford a gracious aspèct,80
  • And joined those stars that shall be opposite
  • Even till the dissolution of the world,
  • And never meant to make a conqueror
  • So famous as is mighty Tamburlaine,)
  • Shall so torment thee and that Callapine,
  • That, like a roguish runaway, suborned
  • That villain there, that slave, that Turkish dog,
  • To false his service to his sovereign,
  • As ye shall curse the birth of Tamburlaine.
  • Rail not, proud Scythian! I shall now revenge90
  • My father's vile abuses, and mine own.
  • By Mahomet! he shall be tied in chains,
  • Rowing with Christians in a brigandme
  • About the Grecian isles to rob and spoil,
  • And turn him to his ancient trade again:
  • Methinks the slave should make a lusty thief.
  • Nay, when the battle ends, all we will meet,
  • And sit in council to invent some pain
  • That most may vex his body and his soul.
Edition: current; Page: [163]
  • Sirrah, Callapine! I'll hang a clog about your neck for running away1 again; you shall not trouble me thus to come and fetch you;102
  • But as for you, viceroy[s], you shall have bits,
  • And, harnessed like my horses, draw my coach;
  • And when ye stay, be lashed with whips of wire.
  • I'll have you learn to feed on2 provender
  • And in a stable lie upon the planks.
  • But, Tamburlaine, first thou shalt kneel to us,
  • And humbly crave a pardon for thy life.
  • The common soldiers of our mighty host no Shall bring thee bound unto the general's tent.110
  • And all have jointly sworn thy cruel death,
  • Or bind thee in eternal torments' wrath.
  • Well, sirs, diet yourselves; you know I shall have occasion shortly to journey you.
  • See, father,
  • How Almeda the jailor looks upon us.
  • Villain! traitor! damned fugitive.!
  • I'll make thee wish the earth had swallowed thee,
  • See'st thou not death within my wrathful looks?120
  • Go, villain, cast thee headlong from a rock,
  • Or rip thy bowels, and rent out thy heart
  • To appease my wrath! or else I'll torture thee,
  • Searing thy hateful flesh with burning irons
  • And drops of scalding lead, while all thy joints
  • Be racked and beat asunder with the wheel;
  • Edition: current; Page: [164]
  • For, if thou liv'st, not any element
  • Shall shroud thee from the wrath of Tamburlaine.
  • Well, in despite of thee he shall be king.
  • Come, Almeda; receive this crown of me,130
  • I here invest thee king of Ariadan
  • Bordering on Mare Roso, near to Mecca.
  • What! Take it, man.
  • Good my lord, let me take it.
  • [To Tamb.
  • Dost thou ask him leave? Here; take it.
  • Go to, sirrah, take your crown, and make up the half dozen. So, sirrah, now you are a king, you must give arms.1
  • So he shall, and wear thy head in his scutcheon.
  • No;2 let him hang a bunch of keys on his standard to put him in remembrance he was a jailor, that when I take him, I may knock out his brains with them, and lock you in the stable, when you shall come sweating from my chariot.144
  • Away; let us to the field, that the villain may be slain.
  • Sirrah, prepare whips and bring my chariot to my tent, for as soon as the battle is done, I'll ride in triumph through the camp.
  • Enter Theridamas, Techelles, and their train.
  • How now, ye petty kings? Lo, here are bugs3150
  • Will make the hair stand upright on your heads,
  • Edition: current; Page: [165]
  • And cast your crowns in slavery at their feet.
  • Welcome, Theridamas and Techelles, both!
  • See ye this rout, and know ye this same king?
Ther. Ay.
  • my lord; he was Callapine's keeper.
  • Well, now ye see he is a king; look to him, Theridamas, when we are fighting, lest he hide his crown as the foolish king of Persia did.
  • No, Tamburlaine; he shall not be put to that exigent, I warrant thee.160
  • You know not, sir—
  • But now, my followers and my loving friends,
  • Fight as you ever did, like conquerors,
  • The glory of this happy day is yours.
  • My stern aspect shall make fair victory,
  • Hovering betwixt our armies, light on me
  • Loaden with laurel wreaths to crown us all.
  • I smile to think how, when this field is fought
  • And rich Natolia ours, our men shall sweat
  • With carrying pearl and treasure on their backs.170
  • You shall be princes all, immediately;
  • Come, fight ye Turks, or yield us victory.
  • No; we will meet thee, slavish Tamburlaine.
  • [Exeunt.
Edition: current; Page: [166]



Alarums.Amyras and Celebinus issue from the tent where Calyphas sits asleep.

  • Now in their glories shine the golden crowns
  • Of these proud Turks, much like so many suns
  • That half dismay the majesty of heaven.
  • Now, brother, follow we our father's sword,
  • That flies with fury swifter than our thoughts,
  • And cuts down armies with his conquering wings.
  • Call forth our lazy brother from the tent,
  • For if my father miss him in the field,
  • Wrath, kindled in the furnace of his breast,
  • Will send a deadly lightning to his heart.10
  • Brother! Ho! what given so much to sleep'
  • You cannot leave it, when our enemies' drums
  • And rattling cannons thunder in our ears
  • Our proper ruin and our father's foil?
  • Away, ye fools! my father needs not me,
  • Nor you in faith, but that you will be thought
  • More childish-valorous than manly-wise.
  • If half our camp should sit and sleep with me,
  • My father were enough to scare the foe.
  • Edition: current; Page: [167]
  • You do dishonour to his majesty,20
  • To think our helps will do him any good.
  • What! Dar'st thou then be absent from the field,
  • Knowing my father hates thy cowardice,
  • And oft hath warned thee to be still in field,
  • When he himself amidst the thickest troops
  • Beats down our foes, to flesh our taintless swords?
  • I know, sir, what it is to kill a man;
  • It works remorse of conscience in me;
  • I take no pleasure to be murderous,
  • Nor care for blood when wine will quench my thirst.30
Cel, O.
  • cowardly boy! Fie! for shame come forth;
  • Thou dost dishonour manhood and thy house.
  • Go, go, tall1 stripling, fight you for us both,
  • And take my other toward brother here,
  • For person like to prove a second Mars.
  • 'Twill please my mind as well to hear you both
  • Have won a heap of honour in the field
  • And left your slender carcases behind,
  • As if I lay with you for company.
  • You will not go then?
  • You say true.40
  • Were all the lofty mounts of Zona Mundi
  • That fill the midst of farthest Tartary
  • Turned into pearl and proffered for my stay,
  • Edition: current; Page: [168]
  • I would not bide the fury of my father,
  • When, made a victor in “these haughty arms,
  • He comes and finds his sons have had no shares
  • In all the honours he proposed for us.
  • Take you the honour, I will take my ease;
  • My wisdom shall excuse my cowardice.
  • I go into the field before I need!50
  • [Alarums.—Amyras and Celebinus run in.
  • The bullets fly at random where they list;
  • And should I go and kill a thousand men,
  • I were as soon rewarded with a shot,
  • And sooner far than he that never fights;
  • And should I go and do no harm nor good,
  • I might have harm which all the good I have,
  • Joined with my father's crown, would never cure.
  • I'll to cards. Perdicas.
  • Here, my lord.
  • Come, thou and I will go to cards to drive away the time.60
  • Content, my lord; but what shall we play for?
  • Who shall kiss the fairest of the Turk's concubines first, when my father hath conquered them.
  • Agreed, i'faith.
  • [Theyplay.
  • They say I am a coward, Perdicas, and I fear as little their taratantaras, their swords or their cannons, as I do a naked lady in a net of gold, and, for fear I should be afraid, would put it off and come to bed with me.
  • Such a fear, my lord, would never make ye retire.
  • I would my father would let me be put in the front of such a battle once to try my valour. [Alarms]
  • Edition: current; Page: [169]
  • What a coil they keep! I believe there will be some hurt done anon amongst them.”
  • [Exeunt.73


Enter Tamburlaine, Theridamas, Techelles, Usumca-sane, Amyras, and Celebinus, leading the Turkish Kings.

  • See now, ye slaves, my children stoops1 your pride,
  • And leads your bodies sheeplike to the sword.
  • Bring them, my boys, and tell me if the wars
  • Be not a life that may illustrate gods,
  • And tickle not your spirits with desire
  • Still to be trained in arms and chivalry?
  • Shall we let go these kings again, my lord,
  • To gather greater numbers 'gainst our power,
  • That they may say it is not chance doth this,
  • But matchless strength and magnanimity?10
  • No, no, Amyras; tempt not fortune so:
  • Cherish thy valour still with fresh supplies,
  • And glut it not with stale and daunted foes.
  • But where's this coward villain, not my son,
  • But traitor to ray name and majesty?
  • He goes in and brings him out.
  • Image of sloth and picture of a slave,
  • The obloquy and scorn of my renown!
  • How may my heart, thus firæd with mine2 eyes,
  • Edition: current; Page: [170]
  • Wounded with shame and killed with discontent,
  • Shroud any thought may1 hold my striving hands20
  • From martial justice on thy wretched soul?
  • Yet pardon him, I pray your majesty.
Tech. and Usum.
  • Let all of us entreat your highness' pardon.
  • Stand up, ye base, unworthy soldiers! Know ye not yet the argument of arms?
  • Good my lord, let him be forgiven for once,2 And we will force him to the field hereafter.
  • Stand up, my boys, and I will teach ye arms,
  • And what the jealousy of wars must do.
  • O Samarcanda (where I breathèd first30
  • And joyed the fire of this martial flesh),
  • Blush, blush, fair city, at thine honour's foil,3
  • And shame of nature, which4 Jaertis' stream,
  • Embracing thee with deepest of his love,
  • Can never wash from thy distainèd brows!
  • Here, Jove, receive his fainting soul again;
  • A form not meet to give that subject essence
  • Whose matter is the flesh of Tamburlaine;
  • Wherein an incorporeal spirit moves,
  • Made of the mould whereof thyself consists,40
  • Which makes me valiant, proud, ambitious,
  • Ready to levy power against thy throne,
  • That I might move the turning spheres of heaven!
  • Edition: current; Page: [171]
  • For earth and all this airy region
  • Cannot contain the state of Tamburlaine.
  • By Mahomet! thy mighty friend, I swear,
  • In sending to my issue such a soul,
  • Created of the massy dregs of earth,
  • The scum and tartar of the elements,
  • Wherein was neither courage, strength, or wit,50
  • But folly, sloth, and damned idleness,
  • Thou hast procured a greater enemy
  • Than he that darted mountains at thy head,
  • Shaking the burthen mighty Atlas bears;
  • Whereat thou trembling hid'st thee in the air,
  • Clothed with a pitchy cloud for being seen :
  • And now, ye cankered curs of Asia,
  • That will not see the strength of Tamburlaine,
  • Although it shine as brightly as the sun;
  • Now you shall feel the strength of Tamburlaine.60
  • And, by the state of his supremacy, [Slabs CALVPHAS.
  • Approve the difference 'twixt himself and you.
  • Thou show'st the difference 'twixt ourselves and thee,
  • In this thy barbarous damnhd tyranny.
  • Thy victories are grown so violent,
  • That shortly Heaven, filled with the meteors
  • Of blood and fire thy tyrannies have made,
  • Will pour down blood and fire on thy head,
  • Whose scalding drops will pierce thy seething brains,
  • And, with our bloods, revenge our bloods1 on thee.70
Edition: current; Page: [172]
  • Villains! these terrors and these tyrannies
  • (If tyrannies war's justice ye repute,)
  • I execute, enjoined me from above,
  • To scourge the pride of such as Heaven abhors;
  • Nor am I made arch-monarch of the woHd,
  • Crowned and invested by the hand of Jove
  • For deeds of bounty or nobility;
  • But since I exercise a greater name,
  • The scourge of God, and terror of the worlds
  • I must apply myself to fit those terms,80
  • In war, in blood, in death, in cruelty,
  • And plague such peasants as resist in1 me,
  • The power of Heaven's eternal majesty.
  • Theridamas, Techelles, and Casane, 2
  • Ransack the tents and the pavilions
  • Of these proud Turks, and take their concubines,
  • Making them bury this effeminate brat,
  • For not a common soldier shaU defile
  • His manly fingers with so faint a boy.
  • Then bring those Turkish harlots to my tent,90
  • And I'll dispose them as it likes me best;
  • Meanwhile, take him in.
  • We will, my lord.
  • O damned monster I Nay, a fiend of hell,
  • Whose cruelties are not so harsh as thine,
  • Nor yet imposed with such a bitter hate!
  • Revenge it, Rhadamanth and Æacus,
  • Edition: current; Page: [173]
  • And let your hates, extended in his pains,
  • Excel1 the hate wherewith he pains our souls.
  • May never day give virtue to his eyes,100
  • Whose sight, composed of fury and of fire,
  • Doth send such stern affections to his heart.
  • May never spirit, vein, or artier, feed
  • The curstd substance of that cruel heart!
  • But, wanting moisture and remorseful blood,
  • Dry up with anger, and consume with heat.
  • Well, bark, ye dogs; I'll bridle all your tongues,
  • And bind them close with bits of burnished steel,
  • Down to the channels of your hateful throats
  • And, with the pains my rigour shall inflict,110
  • I'll make ye roar, that earth may echo forth
  • The far-resounding torments ye sustain :
  • As when an herd of lusty Cymbrian bulls
  • Run mourning round about the females' miss, 1
  • And, stung with fury of their following,
  • Fall all the air with troublous bellowing;
  • I will, with engines never exercised,
  • Conquer, sack, and utterly consume
  • Your cities and your golden palaces;
  • And, with the flames that beat against the clouds,120
  • Incense the heavens, and make the stars to melt,
  • As if they were the tears of Mahomet,
  • For hot consumption of his country's pride;
  • And, till by vision or by speech I hear
  • Edition: current; Page: [174]
  • Immortal Jove say “Cease, my Tamburlaine,”
  • I will persist, a terror to the world,
  • Making the meteors (that, like armed men,
  • Are seen to march upon the towers of heaven),
  • Run tilting round about the firmament,
  • And break their burning lances in the air,130
  • For honour of my wondrous victories.
  • Come, bring them in to our pavilion. [Exeunt.


OLYMPIA discovered Mane.

  • Distressed Olympia, whose weeping eyes
  • Since thy arrival here behold no sun,
  • But closed within the compass of a1 tent
  • Hath stained thy cheeks, and made thee look like death,
  • Devise some means to rid thee of thy life,
  • Rather than yield to his detested smt,
  • Whose drift is only to dishonour thee;
  • And since this earth, dewed with thy brinish tears,
  • Affords no herbs whose taste may poison thee,
  • Nor yet this air, beat often with thy sighs, io
  • Contagious smells and vapours to infect thee,
  • Nor thy close cave a sword to murder thee;
  • Let this invention be the instrument.
  • Well met, Olympia; I sought thee in my tent,
  • But when I saw the place obscure and dark,
  • Edition: current; Page: [175]
  • Which with thy beauty thou was wont to light,
  • Enraged, I ran about the fields for thee,
  • Supposing amorous Jove had sent his son,
  • The winged Hermes, to convey thee hence;
  • But now I find thee, and that fear is past.20
  • Tell me, Olympia, wilt thou grant my suit?
  • My lord and husband's death, with my sweet son's,
  • (With whom I buried all affections
  • Save grief and sorrow, which torment my heart,)
  • Forbids my mind to entertain a thought
  • That tends to love, but meditate on death,
  • A fitter subject for a pensive soul.
  • Olympia, pity him, in whom thy looks
  • Have greater operation and more force
  • Than Cynthia's in the water), wilderness,30
  • For with thy view my joys are at the full,
  • And ebb again as thou departest from me.
  • Ah, pity me, my lord! and draw your sword,
  • Making a passage for my troubled soul,
  • Which beats against this prison to get out,
  • And meet my husband and my loving son.
  • Nothing but sull thy husband and thy son!
  • Leave this, my love, and listen more to me.
  • Thou shalt be stately queen of fair Argier;
  • And clothed in costly cloth of massy gold,40
  • Upon the marble turrets of my court
  • Sit like to Venus in her chair of state,
  • Commanding all thy princely eye desires;
  • Edition: current; Page: [176]
  • And I will east off arms to sit with thee,
  • Spending my life in sweet discourse of love.
  • No such discourse is pleasant in mine ears,
  • But that where every period ends with death,
  • And every line begins with death again.
  • I cannot love, to be an emperess.
  • Nay, lady, then, if nothing will prevail,50
  • I'll use some other means to make you yield :
  • Such is the sudden fury of my love,
  • I must and will be pleased, and you shall yield :
  • Come to the tent again.
  • Stay now, my lord; and, will1 a you save my honour,
  • I'll give your grace a present of such price,
  • As all the world cannot afford the like.
  • What is it?
  • An ointment which a cunning alchymist,
  • Distilled from the purest balsamum60
  • And simplest extracts of all minerals,
  • In which the essential form of marble stone,
  • Tempered by science metaphysical,
  • And spells of magic from the mouths1 of spirits,
  • With which if you but 'noint your tender skin,
  • Nor pistols, sword, nor lance, can pierce your flesh.
  • Why, madam, think you to mock me thus palpably?
Edition: current; Page: [177]
  • To prove it, I will 'noint my naked throat,
  • Which, when you stab, look on your weapon's point,
  • And you shall see't rebated1 with the blow.70
  • Why gave you not your husband some of it,
  • If you loved him, and it so precious?
  • My purpose was, my lord, to spend it so,
  • But was prevented by his sudden end;
  • And for a present, easy proof thereof,
  • That I dissemble not, try it on me.
  • I will, Olympia, and will 2 keep it for
  • The richest present of this eastern world.

[She anoints her throat.3

  • Now stab, my lord, and mark your weapon's point,
  • That will be blunted if the blow be great.80
  • Here then, Olympia. [Stabs her.
  • What, have I slain her! Villain, stab thyself,
  • Cut off this arm that murdered thy love,
  • In whom the learned Rabbis of this age
  • Might find as many wondrous miracles
  • As in the Theoria of the world.
  • Now hell is fairer than Elysium; 4
  • A greater lamp than that bright eye of heaven,
  • Edition: current; Page: [178]
  • From whence the stars do borrow1 all their light,
  • Wanders about the black circumference;90
  • And now the damned souls are free from pain,
  • For every Fury gazeth on her looks;
  • Infernal “Dis is courting of my love,
  • Inventing masks and stately shows for her,
  • Opening the doors of his rich treasury
  • To entertain this queen of chastity;
  • Whose body shall be tombed with all the pomp
  • The treasure of my2 kingdom may afford.
  • [Exit, with the body.



Enter TAMBURLAINE drawn in his chariot1 by the Kings of Trebizond and Sofia, with bits in their mouths, reins in his4 left hand, and in his right hand a whip with which he scourgeth them; “TECHELLES, TRERIDAMAS, USUMCASANE, AMVRAS, CELEBINUS; Kings of Natolia and Jerusalem led by 1 five or six comman soldiers.

  • Hollo, ye pampered jades of Asia!6
  • What! can ye draw but twenty miles a day,
  • And have so proud a chariot at your heels,
  • And such a coachman as great Tamburlaine,
  • But from Asphaltis, where I conquered you,
  • Edition: current; Page: [179]
  • To Byron here, where thus I honour you!
  • The horse that guide the golden eye of Heaven,
  • And blow the morning from their nosterils, 1
  • Making their fiery gait above the clouds,
  • Are not so honoured in their governor, “10
  • As you, ye slaves, in mighty Tamburlaine.
  • The headstrong jades of Thrace Alcides tamed,
  • That King Egeus fed with human flesh,
  • And made so wanton that they knew their strengths,
  • Were not subdued with valour more divine
  • Than you by this unconquered ann of mine.
  • To make you fierce, and fit my appetite,
  • You shall be fed with flesh as raw as blood,
  • And drink in pails the strongest muscadel;
  • If you can live with it, then live, and draw20
  • My chariot swifter than the racking2 clouds;
  • If not, then die hke beasts, and fit for naught
  • But perches for the black and fatal ravens.
  • Thus am I right the scourge of h_ghest Jove;
  • And see the figure of my dignity
  • By which I hold my name and majesty!
  • Let me have coach, my lord, that I may ride,
  • And thus be drawn with 3 these two idle kings.
  • Thy youth forbids such ease, my kingly boy,
  • Edition: current; Page: [180]
  • Tire Second Part of [Aer Iv.
  • They shall to-morrow draw my chariot, 30
  • While these their fellow-kings may be refreshed.
  • O thou that sway'st the region under earth,
  • And art a king as absolute as Jove,
  • Come as thou didst in fruitful Sicily,
  • Surveying all the glories of the land,
  • And as thou took'st the fair Proserpina,
  • Joying the fruit of Ceres' garden-plot, 1
  • For love, for honour, and to make her queen,
  • So for just hate, for shame, and to subdue
  • This proud contemner of thy dreadful power,40
  • Come once in fury and survey his pride,
  • Haling him headlong to the lowest hell.
  • Your majesty must get some bits for these,
  • To bridle their contemptuous, cursing tongues,
  • That, like unruly, never-broken jades,
  • Break through the hedges of their hateful mouths,
  • And pass their fixed bounds exceedingly.
  • Nay, we will break the hedges of their mouths,
  • And pull their kicking colts2 out of their pastures.
  • Your majesty already hath devised50
  • A mean, as fit as may be, to restrain
  • These coltish coach-horse tongues from blasphemy.
  • How like you that, sir king? why speak you not?
  • Ah, cruel brat, sprung from a tyrant's loins!
  • How like his curshd father he begins
  • To practise taunts and bitter tyrannies!
  • Ay, Turk, I tell thee, this same boy is he
  • Edition: current; Page: [181]
  • That must (advanced in higher pomp than this)”
  • Rifle the kingdoms I shall leave unsacked,
  • If Jove, esteeming me too good for earth,60
  • Raise me to match the fair Aldeboran,
  • Above the threefold ostracism of heaven,
  • Before I conquer all the triple world.
  • Now, fetch me out the Turkish concubines;
  • I will prefer them for the funeral
  • They have bestowed on my abortive son.
  • [The Concubines are broughl in.
  • Where are my common soldiers now, that fought
  • So lion-like upon Asphaitis' plains?
  • Here, my lord.
  • Hold ye, tall soldiers, take ye queens apiece--
  • I mean such queens as were king's concubines--71
  • Take them; divide them, and their1 jewels too,
  • And let them equally serve all your turns.
  • We thank you.
  • Brawl not, I warn you, for your lechery :
  • For every man that so offends shall die.
  • Injurious tyrant, wilt thou so defame
  • The hateful fortunes of thy victory,
  • To exercise upon such guiltless dames
  • The violence of thy common soldiers' lust?80
  • Live continent2 then, ye slaves, and meet not
  • me
  • With troops of harlots at your slothful heels.
Edition: current; Page: [182]
  • O pity us, my lord, and save our honours.
  • Are ye not gone, ye villains, with your spoils.?
  • [They run away with the ladies.
  • O merciless, infernal cruelty!
  • Save your honours! 'Twere but time indeed,
  • Lost long before ye knew what honour meant.
  • It seems they meant to conquer us, my lord,
  • And make us jesting pageants for their trulls.
  • And now themselves shall make our pageants,
  • And common soldiers jest with all their trulls.91
  • Let them take pleasure soundly in their spoils,
  • Till we prepare our march to Babylon,
  • Whither we next make expedition.
  • Let us not be idle then, my lord,
  • But presently be prest to conquer it.
  • We will, Teehelles. Forward then, ye jades.
  • Now crouch, ye kings of greatest Asia,
  • And tremble when ye hear this scourge will come
  • That whips down cities and controuleth crowns,100
  • Adding their wealth and treasure to my store.
  • The Euxine sea, north to Natolia;
  • The Terrene, west; the Caspian, north-north-east;
  • And on the south, Sinus Arabicus;
  • Shall all be loaden with the martial spoils
  • We will convey with us to Persia.
  • Then shall my native city, Samarcanda,
  • And crystal waves of fresh Jaertis' stream,
  • The pride and beauty of her princely seat,
  • Be famous through the furthest 1 continents,110
  • Edition: current; Page: [183]
  • For there my palace-royal shall be placed,
  • Whose shining turrets shall dismay the heavens,
  • And cast the fame of Ilion's tower to hell.
  • Thorough the streets with troops of conquered kings,
  • I'll ride in golden armour like the sun;
  • And in my helm a triple plume shall spring,
  • Spangled with diamonds, dancing in the air,
  • To note me emperor of the threefold world,
  • Like1 to an almond tree y-mounted high
  • Upon the lofty and celestial mount120
  • Of ever-green 2 Selinus quaintly decked
  • With blooms more white than Erycina's 3 brows,4
  • Whose tender blossoms tremble every one,
  • At every little breath through heaven is blown.
  • Then in my coach, like Saturn's royal son,
  • Mounted1 his shining chariot gilt with fire,
  • And drawn with princely eagles through the path
  • Paved with bright crystal and enchased with stars,
  • Edition: current; Page: [184]
  • When all the gods stand gazing at his pomp,
  • So will I ride through Samarcanda streets,130
  • Until my soul, dissevered from this flesh,
  • Shall mount the milk-white way, and meet him there.
  • To Babylon, my lords _ to Babylon. [Exeunt.
Edition: current; Page: [185]



Enter the Governor of Babylon, MAXIMUS, and others upon the walls.

  • What saith Maximus?
  • 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 thou1 more thy slavish life,10
  • 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,
  • Edition: current; Page: [186]
  • 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?20
  • 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,30
  • 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.
Sec. Cit.
  • My lord, if ever you will win our hearts,
  • Yield up the town and1 save our wives and children;
  • Edition: current; Page: [187]
  • For I will cast myself from off these walls40
  • 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,50
  • 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,60
  • And that shall bide no more regard of parle. 1
  • Assault and spare not; we will never yield.
  • [Alarms: and tkey scale the walls.
Edition: current; Page: [188]

Enter TAMBURLAINE (drawn in his chariot by the kings of Trebizond and Soria), USUMCASANE, AMYRAS, and CELEBInCUS; the two spare1 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,70
  • 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,1 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?80
  • The sturdy governor of Babylon,
  • Edition: current; Page: [189]
  • 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,)90
  • 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.100
  • 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 him1 up,
  • Hang him in 2 chains upon the city walls,
  • And let my soldiers shoot the slave to death.
Edition: current; Page: [190]
  • Vile monster! born of some infernal hag,110
  • 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?120
  • 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.130
  • [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!
Edition: current; Page: [191]
  • 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 minds140
  • 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.50
  • 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,
  • Edition: current; Page: [192]
  • Having as many bullets in his flesh
  • As there be breaches in her battered walL
  • Go now, and bind the burghers hand and foot,160
  • 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.170
  • [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.
  • Here they are, my lord.
  • 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.180
  • 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.
  • Edition: current; Page: [193]
  • 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 down190
  • 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.200
  • 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 1 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 Persia210
  • To triumph after all our victories?
Edition: current; Page: [194]
  • 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.
  • [Exeunt.220


Enter CALLAPINE, lhe King of Amasia, and Soldiers, with drums and lrumiOets.

  • King of Amasia, now our mighty host
  • Marcheth in Asia Major where the streams
  • Of Euphrates and Tigris swiftly run,
  • And here may we behold great Babylon
  • Circled about with Limnasphaltis' lake
  • Where Tamburlaine with all his army lies,
  • Which being faint and weary with the siege,
  • We may lie ready to encounter him
  • Before his host be full from Babylon,
  • And so revenge our latest grievous loss,10
  • If God or Mahomet send any aid.
  • Doubt not, my lord, but we shall conquer him.
  • The monster that hath drunk a sea of blood,
  • And yet gapes still for more to quench his thirst,
  • Our Turkioh swords shall headlong send to.hell,
  • Edition: current; Page: [195]
  • And that vile carcase drawn by warlike kings
  • The fowls shall eat; for never sepulchre
  • Shall grace this base-born tyrant Tamburlaine.
  • When I record my parents' slavish life,
  • Their cruel death, mine own captivity, 2o
  • My viceroys' bondage under Tamburlaine,
  • Methinks I could sustain a thousand deaths
  • To be revenged of all his villany.
  • Ah, sacred Mahomet! thou that hast seen
  • Millions of Turks perish by Tamburlaine,
  • Kingdoms made waste, brave cities sacked and burnt,
  • And but one host is left to honour thee,
  • Aid thy obedient servant, Callapine,
  • And make him after all these overthrows
  • To triumph over cursed Tamburlaine.30
  • Fear not, my lord; I see great Mahomet
  • Clothed in purple clouds, and on his head
  • A chaplet brighter than Apollo's crown,
  • Marching about the air with armed men
  • To join with you against this Tamburlam.
  • Renowmèd general, mighty Callapine,
  • Though God himself and holy Mahomet
  • Should come in person to resist your power,
  • Yet might your mighty host encounter all,
  • And pull proud Tamburlaine upon his knees40
  • To sue for mercy at your highness' feet.
  • Captain, the force of Tamburlaine is great,
  • His fortune greater, and the victories
  • Wherewith he hath so sore dismayed the world
  • Are greatest to discourage all our drifts;
  • Edition: current; Page: [196]
  • Yet when the pride of Cynthia is at full,
  • She wanes again, and so shall his, I hope;
  • For we have here the chief selected men
  • Of twenty several kingdoms at the least;
  • Nor ploughman, priest, nor merchant, stays at home;50
  • All Turkey is in arms with Callapine;
  • And never will we sunder camps and arms
  • Before himself or his be conquered.
  • This is the time that must eternise me
  • For conquering the tyrant of the world.
  • Come, soldiers, let us lie in wait for him,
  • And if we find him absent from his camp,
  • Or that it be rejoined again at full,
  • Assail it and be sure of victory. [Exeunt.



  • Weep, heavens, and vanish into liquid tears!
  • Fall, stars that govern his nativity,
  • And summon all the shining lamps of heaven
  • To cast their bootless fires to the earth,
  • And shed their feeble influence in the air;
  • Muffle your beauties with eternal clouds,
  • For Hell and Darkness pitch their pitchy tents,
  • And Death with armies of Cimmerian spirits
  • Gives battle 'gainst the heart of Tamburl_ne!
  • Now in defiance of that wonted love
  • Your sacred virtues poured upon his throne
  • Edition: current; Page: [197]
  • And made his state an honour to the heavens,
  • These cowards invisible1 assail his soul,
  • And threaten conquest on our sovereign;
  • But if he die your glories are disgraced;
  • Earth droops and says that hell in heaven is placed.
  • 0 then, ye powers that sway eternal seats
  • And guide this massy substance of the earth,
  • If you retain desert of holiness
  • As your supreme estates instruct our thoughts,20
  • Be not inconstant, careless of your fame,—
  • Bear not the burthen of your enemies' joys
  • Triumphing in his fall whom you advanced,
  • But as his birth, life, health, and majesty
  • Were strangely blest and governed by heaven,
  • So honour, heaven, (till heaven dissolvSd be)
  • His birth, his life, his health, and majesty!
  • Blush, heaven, to lose the honour of thy name!
  • To see thy footstool set upon thy head!
  • And let no baseness in thy haughty breast30
  • Sustain a shame of such inexcellence,2
  • To see the devils mount in angels' thrones,
  • And angels dive into the pools of hell!
  • And though they think their painful date is out,
  • And that their power is puissant as Jove's,
  • Which makes them manage arms against thy state,
  • Yet make them feel the strength of Tamburlaine,
  • Edition: current; Page: [198]
  • (Thy instrument and note of majesty,)
  • Is greater far than they can thus subdue :
  • For if he die thy glory is disgraced;40
  • Earth droops and says that hell in heaven is placed.
  • Enter TAMBURLAINE (drawn in his chariot as before), AMYRAS, CELEBINUS, and Physician.
  • What daring god torments my body thus,
  • And seeks to conquer mighty Tamburlaine?
  • Shall sickness prove me now to be a man,
  • That have been termed the terror of the world?
  • Techelles and the rest, come, take your swords,
  • And threaten him whose hand afflicts my soul.
  • Come, let us march against the powers of heaven,
  • And set black streamers in the firmament,
  • To signify the slaughter of the gods. 5°
  • Ah, friends, what shall I do? I cannot stand.
  • Come carry me to war against the gods
  • That thus envy the health of Tamburlaine.
  • Ah, good my lord, leave these impatient words,
  • Which add much danger to your malady.
  • Why, shall I sit and languish in this pain?
  • No, strike the drums, and in revenge of this,
  • Come, let us charge our spears and pierce his breast,
  • Whose shoulders bear the axis of the world,
  • That, if I perish, heaven and earth may fade.60
  • Theridamas, haste to the court of Jove,
  • Will him to send Apollo hither straight,
  • To cure me, or I'll fetch him down myself.
Edition: current; Page: [199]
  • Sit still, my gracious lord; this grief will cease,
  • And cannot last, it is so violent.
  • Not last, Techelles?--No! for I shall die.
  • See, where my slave, the ugly monster, Death,
  • Shaking and quivering, pale and wan for fear,
  • Stands aiming at me with his murdering dart,
  • Who files away at every glance I give,70
  • And, when I look away, comes stealing on.
  • Villain, away, and hie thee to the field
  • I and mine army come to load thy back
  • With souls of thousand mangled carcases.
  • Look, where he goes; but see, he comes again,
  • Because I stay : Techelles, let us march
  • And weary Death with bearing souls to hell.
  • Plcaseth your majesty to drink this potion,
  • Which will abate the fury of your fit,
  • And cause some milder spirits govern you.80
  • Tell me what think you of my sickness now?
  • I viewed your urine, and the hypostasls1
  • Thick and obscure, doth make your danger great;
  • Your veins are full of accidental heat,
  • Whereby the moisture of your blood is dried.
  • The humidum and calor, which some hold
  • Is not a parcel of the elements,
  • But of a substance more divine and pure,
  • Is almost clean extinguished and spent;
  • Which, being the cause of life, imports your death.90
  • Besides, my lord, this day is critical,
  • Edition: current; Page: [200]
  • Dangerous to those whose crisis is as yours;
  • Your artiers, which the veins convey
  • The lively spirits which the heart engenders,
  • Are parched and void of spirits, that the soul,
  • Wanting those organons by which it moves,
  • Cannot endure, by argument of art.
  • Yet, if your majesty may escape this day,
  • No doubt but you shall soon recover all.
  • Then will I comfort all my vital parts,100
  • And live, in spite of death, above a day.
  • [Alarums within.
  • Enter Messenger.
  • My lord,1 young Callapine, that lately fled from
  • your majesty, hath now gathered a fresh army, and
  • hearing your absence in the field, offers to set upon2 us presently.
  • See, my physicians now, how Jove hath sent
  • A present medicine to recure my pain.
  • My looks shall make them fly, and might I follow,
  • There should not one of all the villain's power
  • Live to give offer of another fight,110
  • I joy, my lord, your highness is so strong,
  • That can endure so well your royal presence,
  • Which only will dismay the enemy.
Edition: current; Page: [201]
  • I know it will, Casane. Draw, you slaves; In spite of death, I will go show my face.
  • —Tamburlaine goes out, and comes in with the rest.
  • Thus are the villain old copies villaines.1 The reading in the text is dyce's, cowards fled for fear,
  • Like summer's vapours vanished by the sun;
  • And could I but awhile pursue the field,
  • That Callapine should be my slave again.
  • But I perceive my martial strength is spent120
  • In vain I strive and rail against those powers,
  • That mean to invest me in a higher throne,
  • As much too high for this disdainful earth.
  • Give me a map; then let me see how much
  • Is left for me to conquer all the world,
  • That these, my boys, may finish all my wants.
  • [One brings a map.
  • Here I began to march towards Persia,
  • Along Armenia and the Caspian Sea,
  • And thence unto Bithynia, where I took
  • The Turk and his great empress prisoners.130
  • Thence marched I into Egypt and Arabia,
  • And here, not far from Alexandria,
  • Whereas the Terrene and the Red Sea meet,
  • Being distant less than full a hundred leagues,
  • I meant to cut a channel to them both,
  • That men might quickly sail to India.2
  • Edition: current; Page: [202]
  • From thence to Nubia near Borno lake,
  • And so along the Æthiopian sea,
  • Cutting the Tropic line of Capricorn,
  • I conquered all as far as Zanzibar.140
  • Then, by the northern part of Africa,
  • I came at last to Grascia, and from thence
  • To Asia, where I stay against my will;
  • Which is from Scythia, where I first began,
  • Backward[s] and forwards near five thousand leagues.
  • Look here, my boys; see what a world of ground
  • Lies westward from the midst of Cancer's line,
  • Unto the rising of this earthly globe;
  • Whereas the sun, declining from our sight,
  • Begins the day with our Antipodes!150
  • And shall I die, and this unconquèrd?
  • Lo, here, my sons, are all the golden mines,
  • Inestimable drugs and precious stones,
  • More worth than Asia and the world beside;
  • And from the Antarctic Pole eastward behold
  • As much more land, which never was descried,
  • Wherein are rocks of pearl that shine as bright
  • As all the lamps that beautify the sky!
  • And shall I die, and this unconquerd?
  • Here, lovely boys; what death forbids my life,160
  • That let your lives command in spite of death.
  • Alas, my lord, how should our bleeding hearts,
  • Wounded and broken with your highness' grief,
  • Retain a thought of joy or spark of life?
  • Edition: current; Page: [203]
  • Your soul gives essence to our wretched subjects,1
  • Whose matter is incorporate in your flesh.
  • Your pains do pierce our souls; no hope survives,For by your life we entertain our lives.
  • But, sons, this subject, not of force enough
  • To hold the fiery spirit it contains,170
  • Must part, imparting his impressions
  • By equal portions into both your breasts;
  • My flesh, divided in your precious shapes,
  • Shall still retain my spirit, though I die,
  • And live in all your seeds immortally.
  • Then now remove me, that I may resign
  • My place and proper title to my son.
  • First, take my scourge and my imperial crown,
  • And mount my royal chariot of estate,
  • That I may see thee crowned before I die.180
  • Help me, my lords, to make my last remove.
  • [They lift him down.
  • A woful change, my lord, that daunts our thoughts,
  • More than the ruin of our proper souls!
  • Sit up, my son, [and] let me see how well Thou wilt become thy father's majesty.
  • With what a flinty bosom should I joy The breath of life and burthen of my soul, If not resolved into resolved pains,
  • Edition: current; Page: [204]
  • My body's mortifièd lineaments1
  • Should exercise the motions of my heart,190
  • Pierced with the joy of any dignity!
  • O father! if the unrelenting ears
  • Of death and hell be shut against my prayers,
  • And that the spiteful influence of Heaven,
  • Deny my soul fruition of her joy;
  • How should I step, or stir my hateful feet
  • Against the inward powers of my heart,
  • Leading a life that only strives to die,
  • And plead2 in vain unpleasing sovereignty?
  • Let not thy love exceed thine honour,son,200
  • Nor bar thy mind that magnanimity
  • That nobly must admit necessity.
  • Sit up, my boy, and with those silken reins
  • Bridle the steelèd stomachs of those jades.
  • My lord, you must obey his majesty, Since fate commands and proud necessity.
  • Heavens witness me with what a broken heart
  • And damned3 spirit I ascend this seat,
  • And send my soul, before my father die,
  • His anguish and his burning agony!210
  • [They crown AMYRAS.
  • Now fetch the hearse of fair Zenocrate;
  • Edition: current; Page: [205]
  • Let it be placed by this my fatal chair,
  • And serve as parcel of my funeral.
  • Then feels your majesty no sovereign ease,
  • Nor may our hearts, all drowned in tears of blood,
  • Joy any hope of your recovery?
  • Casane, no; the monarch of the earth,
  • And eyeless monster that torments my soul,
  • Cannot behold the tears ye shed for me,
  • And therefore still augments his cruelty.220
  • Then let some God oppose his holy power
  • Against the wrath and tyranny of Death,
  • That his tear-thirsty and unquènched hate
  • May be upon himself reverberate!
  • {They bring in the hearse of ZENOCRATE.
  • Now eyes enjoy your latest benefit,
  • And when my soul hath virtue of your sight,
  • Pierce through the coffin and the sheet of gold,
  • And glut your longings with a heaven of joy.
  • So reign, my son; scourge and controul those slaves,
  • Guiding thy chariot with thy father's hand.230
  • As precious is the charge thou undertakest
  • As that which Clymene's brain-sick son did guide,
  • When wandering Phoebe's ivory cheeks were scorched,
  • And all the earth, like ^Etna, breathing fire;
  • Be warned by him, then; learn with awful eye
  • To sway a throne as dangerous as his;
  • For if thy body thrive not full of thoughts
  • As pure and fiery as Phyteus'1 beams,
  • Edition: current; Page: [206]
  • The nature of these proud rebelling jades
  • Will take occasion by the slenderest hair,240
  • And draw thee piecemeal like Hippolitus,
  • Through rocks more steep and sharp than Caspian clifts.1
  • The nature of thy chariot will not bear
  • A guide of baser temper than myself,
  • More than Heaven's coach the pride of Phaeton.
  • Farewell, my boys; my dearest friends farewell!
  • My body feels, my soul doth weep to see
  • Your sweet desires deprived my company,
  • For Tamburlaine, the scourge of God, must die.
  • [He dies.
  • Meet heaven and earth, and here let all things end,250
  • For earth hath spent the pride of all her fruit,
  • And Heaven consumed his choicest living fire.
  • Let Earth and Heaven his timeless2 death deplore,
  • For both their worths will equal him no more.
Edition: current; Page: [207]


Edition: current; Page: [208] Edition: current; Page: [209]

THE Tragedy of Dr. Faustus was entered on the Stationers' Books January 7, 1600-1, but the 4to. of 1604 is the earliest edition yet discovered. A copy (probably unique) of this edition is in the Bodleian Library. The title is:—The Tragicall History of D. Fauslus. As it hath bent Acted by the Right Honorable the Earle of Nottingham his serucmts. Written by Ch. Marl. London Printed by V. S. for Thomas Bushell 1604. The text of ed. 1604 was first printed by Dyce, and more recently the precious 4to. has been inspected by Professor A. W. Ward, who published an edition of Faustus in 1878. A second 4to., of which there is a unique copy in the town library of Hamburg, appeared in 1609 with the following title:—The Tragicall History of the hsmble Life and death of Doctor Faustus. Written by Ch. Marl. Imprinted at London by C. E. for John Wright and are to be sold at Christ-church gate. 1609, This edition agrees in almost every particular with the preceding. Its readings are reported in Wagner's edition (1877). The third 4to., which contains some scenes wholly re-written and others printed for the first time, was published in 1616 with the following title:— The Tragicall History of the Life and Death of Doctor Faustus. Written by Ch. Marl. London, Printed for John Wright, and are tt be sold at his shop without A'ewgate, at the signe of the Bible, 1616. In the Introduction I have discussed fully the origin of these changes and additions. Other 4tos. agreeing in the main with ed. 1616 appeared in 1620,1624, and 1631. In 1663 the play was issued once more in 4to. (with a very corrupt text).

I have followed the text of the first 4to., recording the reading of the later 4105. where it seemed necessary. In all cases where I have adopted a later reading, the text of the edittoso princeps is given in a footnote. I have printed in an Appendix the scenes that were re-cast or added in ed. 1616; but where the changes and additions are not extensive, they are given in the footnotes. As Dr. Faustus is a series of dramatic scenes rather than a regular drama, I have made a division merely into scenes—not into acts and scenes. The same arrangement has been adopted in Professor Ward's edition.

Edition: current; Page: [210]





Vintner, Horse-Courser, Knight, Old Man, Schokrs, Friars, and Attendants.





Good Angel.

Evil Angel.

The Seven Deadly Sins.


The Spirits representing ALEXANDER THE GREAT and

his Paramour, and HELEN of Troy. Chorus.

Edition: current; Page: [211]



  • Not marching now in fields of Trasymene,
  • Where Mars did mate1 the Carthaginians;
  • Nor sporting in the dalliance of love,
  • In Courts of Kings where state is overturned;
  • Nor in the pomp of proud audacious deeds,
  • Intends our Muse to vaunt2 his3 heavenly verse:
  • Only this, gentlemen,—we must perform
  • The form of Faustus' fortunes, good or bad;
  • To patient judgments we appeal our plaud,
  • And speak for Faustus in his infancy.10
  • Now is he born, his parents base of stock,
  • Edition: current; Page: [212]
  • In Germany, within a town called Rhodes;1
  • Of riper years to Wertenberg2 he went,
  • Whereas his kinsmen chiefly brought him up.
  • So soon he profits in Divinity,
  • The3 fruitful plot of scholarism graced,
  • That shortly he was graced with Doctor's name,
  • Excelling all whose sweet delight disputes
  • In heavenly matters of Theology;
  • Till swollen with cunning, of a self-conceit,20
  • His waxen wings did mount above his reach,
  • And, melting, Heavens conspired his overthrow;
  • For, falling to a devilish exercise,
  • And glutted now4 with learning's golden gifts,
  • He surfeits upon cursèd Necromancy.
  • Nothing so sweet as Magic is to him,
  • Which he prefers before his chiefest bliss.
  • And this the Man that in his Study sits!
  • [Exit.


FAUSTUS discovered in his Study.

  • Settle thy studies, Faustus, and begin To sound the depth of that thou wilt profess;
  • Edition: current; Page: [213]
  • Having commenced be a Divine in show,
  • Yet level at the end of every Art,
  • And live and die in Aristotle's works.
  • Sweet Analytics, 'tis thou hast ravished me,
  • Bene disserere est finis logices.
  • Is to dispute well Logic's chiefest end?
  • Affords this Art no greater miracle?
  • Then read no more, thou hast attained the end;10
  • A greater subject fitteth Faustus' wit:
  • Bid on cat me on1 farewell, Galen come,
  • Seeing Ubi desinit Philosophus ibi incipit Medicus;
  • Be a physician, Faustus, heap up gold,
  • And be eternised for some wondrous cure.
  • Summum bonum medicines sanitas,
  • The end of physic is our body's health.
  • Why, Faustus, hast thou not attained that end?
  • Is not thy common talk found2 Aphorisms?3
  • Are not thy bills4 hung up as monuments,20
  • Whereby whole cities have escaped the Plague,
  • Edition: current; Page: [214]
  • And thousand desperate maladies been eased?
  • Yet art thou still but Faustus and a man.
  • Couldst1 thou make man to live eternally,
  • Or, being dead, raise them to life again,
  • Then this profession were to be esteemed.
  • Physic, farewell.—Where is Justinian?
  • Si una eademque res legatur2 duobus, alter rem, alter valorem ret, &c.
  • A pretty 3 case of paltry legacies!
  • Exhareditare filium non potest pater nisi, &f.430
  • Such is the subject of the Institute
  • And universal Body of the Law.5
  • This6 study fits a mercenary drudge,
  • Who aims at nothing but external trash;
  • Too servile7 and illiberal for me.
  • When all is done Divinity is best;
  • Jerome's Bible, Faustus, view it well.
  • Stipendium peccati mors est. Ha! Stipendium, &c.
  • The reward of sin is death. That's hard.39
  • Si peccasse negamus fallimur et nulla est in nobis veritas. If we say that we have no sin we deceive ourselves, and there's no truth in us. Why then, belike we must sin, and so consequently die;
  • Ay, we must die an everlasting death.
  • Edition: current; Page: [215]
  • What doctrine call you this, Che sera sera,1
  • What will be shall be? Divinity, adieu!
  • These metaphysics of Magicians
  • And necromantic books are heavenly:
  • Lines, circles, scenes,2
  • “And sooner may a gulling weather-spie
  • By drawing forth heaven's sceanes tell certainly.”
  • (Later eds. of Donne read “scheme.”) letters, and characters:
  • Ay, these are those that Faustus most desires.50
  • O what a world of profit and delight,
  • Of power, of honour, of omnipotence
  • Is promised to the studious artisan!
  • All things that move between the quiet poles
  • Shall be at my command: Emperors and Kings
  • Are but obeyed in their several provinces,
  • Nor can they raise the wind or rend the clouds;
  • But his dominion that exceeds in this
  • Stretcheth as far as doth the mind of man.
  • A sound Magician is a mighty god:60
  • Here, Faustus, tire3 thy brains to gain a Deity.
  • Wagner!4
  • Wagner, commend,” &c.
  • Enter wagner.
  • Commend me to my dearest friends,
  • The German Valdes and Cornelius;
  • Request them earnestly to visit me.
Edition: current; Page: [216]
  • I will, sir.
  • [Exit.
  • Their conference will be a greater help to me Than all my labours, plod I ne'er so fast
  • Enter Good Angel and Evil Angel.
G. Ang.
  • O Faustus! lay that damned book aside,
  • And gaze not on it lest it tempt thy soul,
  • And heap God's heavy wrath upon thy head.70
  • Read, read the Scriptures: that is blasphemy.
E. Ang.
  • Go forward, Faustus, in that famous art,
  • Wherein all Nature's treasure1 is contained:
  • Be thou on earth as Jove is in the sky,
  • Lord and commander of these elements.
  • [Exeunt Angels.
  • How am I glutted with conceit of this!
  • Shall I make spirits fetch me what I please,
  • Resolve me of all ambiguities,
  • Perform what desperate enterprise I will?
  • I'll have them fly to India for gold,80
  • Ransack the Ocean for orient pearl,
  • And search all corners of the new-found world
  • For pleasant fruits and princely delicates;
  • I'll have them read me strange Philosophy
  • And tell the secrets of all foreign kings;
  • I'll have them wall all Germany with brass,2
  • And make swift Rhine circle fair Wertenberg,
  • Edition: current; Page: [217]
  • I'll have them fill the public schools with silk,1
  • Wherewith the students shall be bravely clad;
  • I'll levy soldiers with the coin they bring,90
  • And chase the Prince of Parma from our land,
  • And reign sole King of all our Provinces;
  • Yea, stranger engines for the brunt of war
  • Than was the fiery keel2 at Antwerp's bridge,
  • I'll make my servile spirits to invent.
  • Come, German Valdes and Cornelius,
  • And make me blest with your sage conference.
  • Edition: current; Page: [218]
  • Valdes, sweet Valdes, and Cornelius,
  • Know that your words have won me at the last
  • To practise Magic and concealed arts:100
  • Yet not your words only, but mine own fantasy
  • That will receive no object, for my head
  • But ruminates on necromantic skill.
  • Philosophy is odious and obscure,
  • Both Law and Physic are for petty wits;
  • Divinity1 is basest of the three,
  • Unpleasant, harsh, contemptible, and vild:
  • 'Tis Magic, Magic that hath ravished me.
  • Then, gentle friends, aid me in this attempt;
  • And I that have with concise syllogisms2110
  • Gravelled the pastors of the German Church,
  • And made the flowering pride of Wertenberg
  • Swarm to my problems, as the infernal spirits
  • On sweet Musaeus3 when he came to hell,
  • Will be as cunning as Agrippa was,
  • Whose shadows4 made all Europe honour him.
  • Faustus, these books, thy wit, and our experience
  • Shall make all nations to canonise us.
  • As Indian Moors obey their Spanish Lords,
  • Edition: current; Page: [219]
  • So shall the spirits1 of every element120
  • Be always serviceable to us three;
  • Like lions shall they guard us when we please;
  • Like Almain ratters2 with their horsemen's staves
  • Or Lapland giants,3 trotting by our sides;
  • Sometimes like women or unwedded maids,
  • Shadowing more beauty in their airy brows
  • Than have the4 white breasts of the Queen of love:
  • From5 Venice shall they drag huge argosies,
  • And from America the golden fleece
  • That yearly stuffs old Philip's treasury;130
  • If learned Faustus will be resolute.
  • Valdes, as resolute am I in this As thou to live; therefore object it not.
  • The miracles that Magic will perform Will make thee vow to study nothing else.
  • He that is grounded in Astrology,
  • Enriched with Tongues, well seen in6 Minerals,
  • Hath all the principles Magic doth require.
  • Then doubt not, Faustus, but to be renowm'd,
  • Edition: current; Page: [220]
  • And more frequented for this mystery140
  • Than heretofore the Delphian Oracle.
  • The spirits tell me they can dry the sea,
  • And fetch the treasure of all foreign wrecks,
  • Ay, all the wealth that our forefathers hid
  • Within the massy entrails of the earth;
  • Then tell me, Fatistus, what shall we three want?
  • Nothing, Cornelius! O this cheers my soul!
  • Come show me some demonstrations magical,
  • That I may conjure in some bushy 1 grove,
  • And have these joys in full possession.150
  • Then haste thee to some solitary grove
  • And bear wise Bacon's and Albertus'2 works,
  • The Hebrew Psalter and New Testament;
  • And whatsoever else is requisite
  • We will inform thee ere our conference cease.
  • Valdes, first let him know the words of art;
  • And then, all other ceremonies learned,
  • Faustus may try his cunning by himself.
  • First I'll instruct thee in the rudiments,
  • And then wilt thou be perfecter than I.160
  • Then come and dine with me, and after meat,
  • We'll canvas every quiddity thereof;
  • For ere I sleep I'll try what I can do:
  • This night I'll conjure tho' I die therefore.
  • [Exeunt.
Edition: current; Page: [221]


Enter two Scholars.1

Ist Schol.
  • I wonder what's become of Faustus that was
  • wont to make our schools ring with sicprobo f
2nd Schol.
  • That shall we know, for see here comes his boy.
  • Enter WAGNER.
Ist Schol.
  • How now, sirrah! Where's thy master?
  • God in heaven knows.
2nd Schol.
  • Why, dost not thou know?
  • Yes, I know. But that follows not.
Ist Schol.
  • Go to, sirrah! leave your jesting, and tell us where he is.10
  • That follows not necessary by force of argument, that you, being licentiates, should stand upon:2 therefore acknowledge your error and be attentive.
2nd Schol.3
  • Why, didst thou not say thou knewest?
  • Have you any witness on't?
Ist Schol.
  • Yes, sirrah, I heard you.
  • Ask my fellows if I be a thief.
2nd Schol.
  • Well, you will not tell us?
  • Yes, sir, I will tell you; yet if you were not dunces, you would never ask me such a question; for[20 Edition: current; Page: [222] is not he corpus naturale? and is not that mobile? then wherefore should you ask me such a question? But that I am by nature phlegmatic, slow to wrath, and prone to lechery (to love, I would say), it were not for you to come within forty feet of the place of execution, although I do not doubt to see you both hanged the next sessions. Thus having triumphed over you, I will set my countenance like a Precisian, and begin to speak thus:—Truly, my dear brethren, my master is within at dinner, with Valdes and Cornelius, as this wine, if it could speak, [30 would1 inform your worships; and so the Lord bless you, preserve you, and keep you, my dear brethren, my dear brethren.2
  • [Exit.
1st Schol.3
  • Nay, then, I fear he is fallen into that damned Art, for which they two are infamous through the world.
2nd Schol.
  • Were he a stranger, and not allied to me, yet should I grieve for him. But come, let us go and inform the Rector, and see if he by his grave counsel can reclaim him.40
Edition: current; Page: [223]
1st Schol.
  • O, but I fear me nothing can reclaim him.
2nd Schol.
  • Yet let us try what we can do.
  • [Exeunt.


Enter FAUSTUS to conjure.1

  • Now2
  • that the gloomy shadow of the earth
  • Longing to view Orion's drizzling look,
  • Leaps from the antarctic world unto the sky,
  • And dims the welkin with her pitchy breath,
  • Faustus, begin thine incantations,
  • And try if devils will obey thy hest,
  • Seeing thou hast prayed and sacrificed to them.
  • Within this circle is Jehovah's name,
  • Forward and backward anagrammatised,3
  • The breviated4 names of holy saints,10
  • Figures of every adjunct to the Heavens,
  • And characters of signs and erring5
  • “Sir, I was fnar and clerk, and all myself: None mourned but night, nor funeral tapers bore But trring stars.” stars,
  • By which the spirits are enforced to rise:
  • Then fear not, Faustus, but be resolute,
  • And try the uttermost magic can perform.
Edition: current; Page: [224]
  • Sint tnihi Dei Acherontis propitii 1 Vakat numen triplex Jehovas Jgnei, aerii, aquatani spiritus, salvete! Orientis princcps Behebub, inferni ardcntis monarcha, et Demo-gorgon, propitiamus vos, ut apparent el surgat Mephistophilis, quod turneraris;1
  • perjehovam Gehennam, etcon [20 :ecratam aquam quam nunc spargo, signumque crucis quod nunc facio, et per vota nostra, ipst nunc surgat nobis dicatus2 Mephistophilis t
  • I charge thee to return and change thy shape;
  • Thou art too ugly to attend on me.
  • Go, and return an old Franciscan friar;
  • That holy shape becomes a devil best
  • I see there's virtue in my heavenly words;
  • Who would not be proficient in this art?
  • How pliant is this Mephistophilis,30
  • Full of obedience and humility!
  • Such is the force of Magic and my spells:
  • No[w],3
  • Faustus, thou art conjuror laureat,
  • Edition: current; Page: [225]
  • That can'st command great Mephistophilis:
  • Quin regis Mephistophilis fratris imagine.
  • Re-enter MEPHISTOPHILIS like a Franciscan Friar.1
  • Now, Faustus, what would'st thou have me [to] do?
  • I charge thee wait upon me whilst I live, To do whatever Faustus shall command, Be it to make the moon 2 drop from her sphere, Or the ocean to overwhelm the world.40
  • I am a servant to great Lucifer, And may not follow thee without his leave: No more than he commands must we perform.
  • Did not he charge thee to appear to me?
  • No, I came hither3 of mine own accord.
  • Did not my conjuring speeches raise thee? Speak.
  • That was the cause, but jtlper acddens;1
  • For when we hear one rack the name of God, Abjure the Scriptures and his Saviour Christ, We fly in hope to get his glorious soul;50
  • Nor will we come, unless he use such means Whereby he is in danger to be damned:
  • Edition: current; Page: [226]
  • Therefore the shortest cut for conjuring
  • Is stoutly to abjure the Trinity,1
  • And pray devoutly to the Prince of Hell.
  • So Faustus hath Already done; and holds this principle,
  • There is no Chief but only Belzebub,
  • To whom Faustus doth dedicate himself.
  • This word damnation terrifies not him,60
  • For he confounds Hell in Elysium;
  • His ghost be with the old philosophers!
  • But, leaving these vain trifles of men's souls,
  • Tell me what is that Lucifer thy lord?
  • Arch-regent and commander of all spirits.
  • Was not that Lucifer an Angel once?
  • Yes, Faustus, and most dearly loved of God.
  • How comes it then that he is Prince of Devils?
  • O, by aspiring pride and insolence; For which God threw him from the face of heaven.70
  • And what are you that live with Lucifer?
  • Unhappy spirits that fell with Lucifer Conspired against our God with Lucifer, And are for ever damned with Lucifer.
  • Where are you damned?
  • In Hell.
  • How comes it then that thou art out of Hell?
  • Why this is Hell, nor am I out of it: Think'st thou that I who saw the face of God, And tasted the eternal joys of Heaven,80
  • Edition: current; Page: [227]
  • Am not tormented with ten thousand Hells,
  • In being deprived of everksting bliss?
  • O Faustus! leave these frivolous demands,
  • Which strike a terror to my fainting soul.
  • What, is great Mephistophilis so passionate
  • For being deprived of the joys of Heaven?
  • Learn thou of Faustus manly fortitude,
  • And scorn those joys thou never shalt possess.
  • Go bear these2 tidings to great Lucifer:
  • Seeing Faustus hath incurred eternal death90
  • By desperate thoughts against Jove's deity,
  • Say he surrenders up to him his soul,
  • So he will spare him four and twenty 1 years,
  • Letting him live in all voluptuousness;
  • Having thee ever to attend on me;
  • To give me whatsoever I shall ask,
  • To tell me whatsoever I demand,
  • To slay mine enemies, and aid my friends,
  • And always be obedient to my will.
  • Go, and return to mighty Lucifer,100
  • And meet me in my study at midnight,
  • And then resolve me of thy master's mind.
  • I will, Faustus.
  • [Exit.
  • Had I as many souls as there be stars,
  • I'd give them all for Mephistophilis.
  • By him I'll be great Emperor of the world,
  • And make a bridge th[o]rough the moving air,
  • Edition: current; Page: [228]
  • To pass the ocean with a band of men:
  • I'll join the hills that bind the Afric shore,
  • And make that country110 continent to Spain,
  • And both contributory to my Crown.
  • The Emperor shall not live but by my leave,
  • Nor any Potentate of Germany.
  • Now that I have obtained what I desire,
  • I'll live in speculation of this Art
  • Till Mephistophilis return again.
  • [Exit.


Enter2 WAGNER and Clown.

  • Sirrah, boy, come hither.
  • How, boy! Swowns, boy! I hope you have seen many boys with such pickadevaunts3 as I have; boy, quotha!
  • Tell me, sirrah, hast thou any comings in?
  • Ay, and goings out too. You may see else.
  • Alas, poor slave! see how poverty jesteth in his nakedness! the villain is bare and out of service, and so hungry that I know he would give his soul to the Devil for a shoulder of mutton, though it were blood-raw.10
  • How. My soul to the Devil for a shoulder of mutton, though 'twere blood-raw! Not so, good friend. By'r Lady, I had need have it well roasted and good sauce to it, if I pay so dear.
Edition: current; Page: [229]
  • Well, wilt them serve us, and I'll make thee go like Qui mihi discipulus?1
  • How, in verse?
  • No, sirrah;in beaten silk and stavesacre.1
  • How, how, Knave's acre!1
  • I, I thought that was all the land his father left him. Do you hear? I would be sorry to rob you of your living.
  • Sirrah, I say in stavesacre.
  • Oho! Oho! Stavesacre! Why then belike if I were your man I should be full of vermin.
  • So thou shalt, whether thou beest with me or no. But, sirrah, leave your jesting, and bind yourself presently unto me for seven years, or I'll turn all the lice about thee into familiars, and they shall tear thee in pieces.29
  • Do you hear, sir? You may save that labour: they are too familiar with me already: swowns! they are as bold with my flesh as if they had paid for their meat and drink.
  • Well, do you hear, sirrah? Hold, take these guilders.
  • [Gives money.
  • Gridirons! what be they?
  • Why, French crowns.
Edition: current; Page: [230]
  • Mass, but in the name of French crowns, a man were as good have as many English counters. And what should I do with these?40
  • Why, now, sirrah, thou art at an hour's warning, whensoever and wheresoever the Devil shall fetch thee.
  • No, no. Here, take your gridirons again.
  • Truly I'll none of them.
  • Truly but you shall.
  • Bear witness I gave them him.
  • Bear witness I give them you again.
  • Well, I will cause two Devils presently to fetch thee away—Baliol and Belcher.49
  • Let your Baliol and your Belcher come here, and I'll knock them, they were never so knocked since they were Devils! Say I should kill one of them, what would folks say? “Do you see yonder tall fellow in the round slop1—he has killed the devil.” So I should be called Kill-devil all the parish over.
  • Enter two Devils: the Clown runs up and down crying.
  • Baliol and Belcher! Spirits, away! [Exeunt Devils.
  • What, are they gone? A vengeance on them, they have vild long nails! There was a he-devil, and a she-devil! I'll tell you how you shall know them; all he-devils has horns, and all she-devils has clifts and cloven feet.61
  • Well, sirrah, follow me.
Edition: current; Page: [231]
  • But, do you hear—if I should serve you, would you teach me to raise up Banios and Belcheos?
  • I will teach thee to turn thyself to anything; to a dog, or a cat, or a mouse, or a rat, or anything.
  • How! a Christian fellow to a dog or a cat, a mouse or a rat! No, no, sir. If you turn me into anything, let it be in the likeness of a little pretty frisking flea, that I may be here and there and everywhere. Oh, I'll tickle the pretty wenches' plackets; I'll be amongst them, i' faith.
  • Well, sirrah, come.
  • But, do you hear, Wagner?
  • How! Baliol and Belcher!
  • O Lord! I pray, sir, let Banio and Belcher go sleep.
  • Villain—call me Master Wagner, and let thy left eye be diametarily fixed upon my right heel, with quasi vestigias1 nostras insistere.
  • [Exit. go
  • God forgive me, he speaks Dutch fustian. Well, I'll follow him: 111 serve him, that's flat [Exit.


FAUSTUS discovered in his Study.

  • Now, Faustus, must
  • Thou needs be damned, and canst thou not be saved: What boots it then to think of God or Heaven?
  • Edition: current; Page: [232]
  • Away with such vain fancies, and despair:
  • Despair in God, and trust in Belzebub;
  • Now go not backward: no, Faustus, be resolute:
  • Why waverst thou? O, something soundeth in mine
  • ears
  • Abjure this Magic, turn to God again!
  • Ay, and Faustus will turn to God again.
  • To God?—He loves thee not—10
  • The God thou servst is thine own appetite,
  • Wherein is fixed the love of Belzebub;
  • To him I'll build an altar and a church,
  • And offer lukewarm blood of new-born babes.
  • Enter Good Angel and Evil Angel.
G. Ang.1
  • Sweet Faustus, leave that execrable Art.
  • Contrition, prayer, repentance! What of them?
G. Ang.
  • O, they are means to bring thee unto Heaven.
E. Ang.
  • Rather, illusions—fruits of lunacy,
  • That makes men foolish that do trust them most.
G. Ang.
  • Sweet Faustus, think of Heaven, and heavenly
  • things.20
E. Ang.
  • No, Faustus, think of honour and of1
  • {Exeunt Angels.
  • Of wealth!
  • Why the Signiory of Embden shall be mine.
  • When Mephistophilis shall stand by me,
  • Edition: current; Page: [233]
  • What God can hurt thee? Faustus, thou art safe:
  • Cast no more doubts. Come, Mephistophilis,
  • And bring glad tidings from great Lucifer;—
  • Is't not midnight? Come, Mephistophilis;
  • Veni, veni, Mephistophile I
  • Now tell me,1 what says Lucifer thy lord?30
  • That I shall wait on Faustus whilst he2
  • So he will buy my service with his soul.
  • Already Faustus hath hazarded that for thee.
  • But, Faustus, thou must bequeath it solemnly,
  • And write a deed of gift with thine own blood,
  • For that security craves great Lucifer.
  • If thou deny it, I will back to Hell.
  • Stay, Mephistophilis! and tell me what good
  • Will my soul do thy lord.
  • Enlarge his kingdom.40
  • Is that the reason why he tempts us thus?
  • Meph. Solamen miseris socios habuisse dolons.
  • Why,3 have you any pain that tortures4 others?
  • Meph, As great as have the human souls of men.
  • But tell me, Faustus, shall I have thy soul?
  • And I will be thy slave, and wait on thee,
  • And give thee more than thou hast wit to ask.
  • Edition: current; Page: [234]
  • Faust. Ay, Mephistophilis, I give it thee.
  • Then, Faustus,1 stab thine arm courageously,
  • And bind thy soul that at some certain day.50
  • Great Lucifer may claim it as his own;
  • And then be thou as great as Lucifer.
  • Faust, \stabbing his arm.] Lo, Mephistophilis, for
  • love of thee,
  • I cut mine arm, and with my proper blood
  • Assure my soul to be great Lucifer's,
  • Chief lord and regent of perpetual night!
  • View here the blood that trickles from mine arm,
  • And let it be propitious for my wish.
  • But, Faustus, thou must
  • Write it in manner of a deed of gift.60
  • Ay, so I will. [Writes^ But, Mephistophilis,
  • My blood congeals, and I can write no more.
  • I'll fetch thee fire to dissolve it straight. [Exit.
  • What might the staying of my blood portend?
  • Is it unwilling I should write this bill?
  • Why streams it not that I may write afresh?
  • Faustus gives to thee his soul. Ah, there it stayed.
  • Why should'st thou not? Is not thy soul thine own?
  • Then write again, Faustus gives to thee his soul.
  • Re-enter MEPHISTOPHILIS with a chafer of coals.
  • Meph. Here's fire. Come, Faustus, set it on.170
Edition: current; Page: [235]
  • So now the blood begins to clear again;
  • Now will I make an end immediately.
  • Writes.
  • O what will not I do to obtain his soul.
  • [Aside.
  • Faust. Consummatum est: this bill is ended,
  • And Faustus hath bequeathed his soul to Lucifer.
  • But what is this inscription on mine arm?
  • Homo, fuge! Whither should I fly?
  • If unto God, he'll throw me1 down to Hell
  • My senses are deceived; here's nothing writ:—
  • I see it plain; here in this place is writ80
  • Homo, fuge! Yet shall not Faustus fly.
  • Meph, I'll fetch him somewhat to delight his mind.
  • [Exit.
  • Re-enter MEPHISTOPHILIS with Devils, who give crowns
  • and rich apparel to FAUSTUS, dance, and depart.
  • Speak, Mephistophilis, what means this show?
  • Nothing, Faustus, but to delight thy mind withal,
  • And to show thee what Magic can perform.
  • But may I raise up Spirits when I please?
  • Ay, Faustus, and do greater things than these.
  • Then there's enough for a thousand souls.
  • Here, Mephistophilis, receive this scroll,
  • A deed of gift of Body and of Soul:90
  • But yet conditionally that thou perform
  • All articles prescribed between us both.
  • Faustus, I swear by Hell and Lucifer
  • To effect all promises between us made.
Edition: current; Page: [236]
  • Then hear me read them: On these conditions following. First, that Faustus may be a Spirit in form and substance. Secondly, that Mephistophilis shall be his servant, and at his command. Thirdly, shall do for him and bring him whatsoever he desires.1
  • Fourthly, that he shall be in his chamber or house invisible. Lastly, that he shall appear to the said John Faustus, at all times, and in what form or shape soever he pleases. I, John Faustus, of Wertenberg, Doctor, by these presents do give both body and soul to Lucifer, Prince of the East, and his minister, Mephistophilis; and furthermore grant unto them, that twenty-four years being expired, the articles above written inviolate, full power to fetch or carry the said John Faustus, body and soul, flesh, blood, or goods, into their habitation wheresoever. By me, JOHN FAUSTUS.
  • Speak, Faustus, do you deliver this as your deed?110
  • Ay, take it, and the Devil give thee good on't!
  • Now, Faustus, ask what thou wilt.
  • First will I question with thee about Hell.
  • Tell me where is the place that men call Hell?
  • Under the Heavens.
  • Ay, but whereabout?
  • Within the bowels of these elements,
  • Edition: current; Page: [237]
  • Where we are tortured and remain for ever;
  • Hell hath no limits, nor is circumscribed
  • In one self place; for where we are is Hell,
  • And where Hell is there1 must we ever be:120
  • And, to conclude, when all the world dissolves,
  • And every creature shall be purified,
  • All places shall be Hell that is not Heaven
  • Come, I think Hell's a fable.
Meph. Ay.
  • think so still, till experience change thy mind.
  • Why, think'st thou then that Faustus shall be damned?
  • Ay, of necessity, for here's the scroll
  • Wherein thou hast given thy soul to Lucifer.
  • Ay, and body too; but what of that?
  • Think'st thou that Faustus is so fond to imagine130
  • That, after this life, there is any pain?'
  • Tush; these are trifles, and mere old wives' tales.
  • But, Faustus, I am an instance to prove the contrary,
  • For I am damned, and am now in Hell.
  • How! now in Hell?
  • Nay, an this be Hell, I'll willingly be damned here;
  • What?2 Ed. 1616 reads,—“What, sleeping, eating, walking, and disputing.” walking, disputing, &c.?
  • But, leaving off this, let me have a wife,
  • The fairest maid in Germany;
  • Edition: current; Page: [238]
  • For I am wanton and lascivious,140
  • And cannot live without a wife.1
  • Well, Faustus, thou shall have a wife.
  • [MEPHISTOPHILIS fetches in a woman-devil,
  • Faust. What sight is this?
  • Now, Faustus, wilt thou have a wife?
  • Here's a hot whore, indeed! No, I'll no wife.
  • Marriage is but,” &c.
  • How — a wife?
  • I prithee, Faustus, talk not of a wife.
  • Nay, sweet Mephistophilis, fetch me one, for I will have one.
  • Well — thou wilt have one. Sit there till I come: I'll fetch thee a wife in the devil's name. [Exit.
  • Re-enter MEPHISTOPHILIS with a Devil drest like a Woman, with fireworks.
  • Tell me,2 Faustus, how dost thou like thy wife?
  • A plague on her for a hot whore!
  • Tut, Faustus,150
  • Marriage is but a ceremonial toy;
  • And3 if thou lovest me, think no4 more of it.
  • I'll cull thee out the fairest courtesans,
  • And bring them every morning to thy bed;
  • She whom thine eye shall like, thy heart shall have,
  • Be she as chaste as was Penelope,
  • As wise as Saba, or as beautiful
  • As was bright Lucifer before his fall.
  • Edition: current; Page: [239]
  • Here, take this book, peruse it thoroughly: [Gives a book.
  • The iterating of these lines brings gold;160
  • The framing of this circle on the ground
  • Brings whirlwinds, tempests, thunder and1 lightning:
  • Pronounce this thrice devoutly to thyself,
  • And men in armour2 shall appear to thee,
  • Ready to execute what thou desir'st
  • Thanks,3
  • This will I keep as chary as my life.
  • [Exeunt.”
  • Then begins a new scene —
  • (“Enter (csc) WAGNER solus.
  • Wag. Learned Faustus,
  • To know the secrets,” &c.)
  • which should come later.:— Mephistophilis yet fain would I have a book wherein I might behold all spells and incantations, that I might raise up spirits when I please.
  • Here they are, in this book.
  • [Turns to them.
  • Now would I have a book where I might see all characters and planets of the heavens, that I might know their motions and dispositions.172
  • Here they are too.
  • [Turns to them.
  • Nay, let me have one book more,—and then I have done,—wherein I might see all plants, herbs, and trees that grow upon the earth.
  • Here they be.
  • O, thou art deceived.
  • Tut, I warrant thee.
  • [Turns to them Exeunt.
Edition: current; Page: [240]



  • When I behold the heavens, then I repent, And curse thee, wicked Mephistophilis, Because thou hast deprived me of those joys.
  • Why,2
  • 'Twas thine own seeking, Faustus; thank thyself.
  • But think'st thou Heaven is such a glorious thing?
  • I tell thee, Faustus, it is not half so fair
  • As thou or any man that breathes on earth.
  • ''Faust. How prov'st thou that?
  • 'Twas made for man; then he's more excellent.” Faustus,
  • Thinkest thou Heaven is such a glorious thing?
  • I tell thee 'tis not half so fair as thou,
  • Or any man that breathes on earth.
  • How prov'st thou that?
  • 'Twas made for man, therefore is man more excellent.
  • If it were made for man, 'twas made for me;10
  • I will renounce this Magic and repent
  • Enter Good Angel and Evil Angel.
G. Ang.
  • Faustus, repent; yet God will pity thee.
E. Ang.
  • Thou art a Spirit; God cannot pity thee.
  • Who buzzeth in mine ears I am a Spirit?
  • Edition: current; Page: [241]
  • Be I a Devil, yet God may pity me;
  • Ay, God will pity me if I repent.
E. Ang.
  • Ay, but Faustus never shall repent.
  • [Exeunt Angels.
  • My heart's so hardened I cannot repent
  • Scarce can I name salvation, faith, or heaven,
  • But1 fearful echoes thunder in mine ears20
  • Faustus, thou art damned I Then swords and knives,
  • Poison,2.gun, halters, and envenomed steel
  • Are laid before me to despatch myself,
  • And long ere this I should have slain myself,
  • Had not sweet pleasure conquered deep despair.
  • Have not I made blind Homer sing to me
  • Of Alexander's love and CEnon's death?
  • And hath not he that built the walls of Thebes
  • With ravishing sound of his melodious harp,
  • Made music with my Mephistophilis?30
  • Why should I die then, or basely despair?
  • I am resolved: Faustus shall ne'er repent—
  • Come, Mephistophilis, let us dispute again,
  • And argue of divine Astrology.
  • Tell me, are there many heavens above the moon?
  • Are all celestial bodies but one globe,
  • As is the substance of this centric earth?
  • As are the elements, such are the spheres3
  • Mutually folded in each other's orb,
  • Edition: current; Page: [242]
  • And, Faustus,40
  • All jointly move upon one axletree
  • Whose terminine is termed the world's wide pole;
  • Nor are the names of Saturn, Mars,
  • or Jupiter Feigned, but are erring stars.
  • But tell me, have they all one motion both, situ et tempore.
  • All jointly move from east to west in twenty-four hours upon the poles of the world; but differ in their motion upon the poles of the zodiac.
  • Tush!50
  • These slender trifles Wagner can decide;
  • Hath Mephistophilis no greater skill?
  • Who knows not the double motion of the planets?
  • The first is finished in a natural day;
  • The second thus: as Saturn in thirty years; Jupiter in twelve: Mars in four; the Sun, Venus, and Mercury in a year; the moon in twenty-eight days. Tush, these are freshmen'sJ suppositions. But tell me, hath every sphere a dominion or intelligentia?
  • Ay.60
  • How many heavens, or spheres, are there?
  • Nine: the seven planets, the firmament, and the empyreal heaven.2
  • Faust. But is there not ctclum igneum et cryitallinum?
'' Meph.
  • No, Faustus, they are but fables.
  • Faust. Resolve me then in this one question: Why,” &c.
  • Well, resolve me in this question: Why have Edition: current; Page: [243] we not conjunctions, oppositions, aspects, eclipses, all at one time, but in some years we have more, in some less?
  • Per inmqualem motute rcspectu totius.
  • Well, I am answered. Tell me who made the world.70
  • I will not.
  • Sweet Mephistophilis, tell me.
  • Move me not,1 for I will not tell thee.
  • Villain, have I not bound thee to tell me anything?
  • Ay, that is not against our kingdom; but this is. Think thou on Hell, Faustus, for thou art damned.
  • Think, Faustus, upon God that made the world.
  • Remember this.
  • [Exit.
  • Ay, go, accursèd Spirit, to ugly Hell.80
  • 'Tis thou hast damned distressed Faustus' soul.
  • Is't not too late?
  • Re-enter Good Angel and Evil Angel.
E. Ang.
  • Too late.
G. Ang.
  • Never too late, if Faustus can repent.
E. Ang.
  • If thou repent, Devils shall tear thee in pieces.
G. Ang.
  • Repent, and they shall never raze thy skin.
  • [Exeunt Angels.
Edition: current; Page: [244]
  • Ah, Christ my Saviour,1
  • Seek to save distressed Faustus' soul!
  • Christ cannot save thy soul, for he is just;
  • There's none but I have interest in the same.90
  • O, who art thou that look'st so terrible?
  • I am Lucifer, And this is my companion-prince in Hell.
  • O Faustus! they are come to fetch away2 thy soul!
  • Luc?3
  • We are come to tell thee thou dost injure us.
  • Luc. Thou call'st on Christ contrary to thy promise.
  • Belz. Thou shouldst not think on God.
  • Think on the Devil.
  • And his dam too.”
  • (The mention of the devil's “dam” must surely have been added by; the actor to provoke a laugh from the groundlings.) We come to tell thee thou dost injure us.
  • Thou talk'st of Christ contrary to thy promise;
  • Thou should'st not think of God: think of the Devil, And of his dam too.
  • Nor will I henceforth: pardon me in this,
  • And Faustus vows never to look to Heaven,
  • Never4 to name God, or to pray to him,100
  • To burn his Scriptures, slay his Ministers,
  • And make my Spirits pull his Churches down.
Edition: current; Page: [245]
  • Do so, and we will highly gratify thee. Faustus, we are come from Hell to show thee some pastime: sit down, and thou shalt see all the Seven Deadly Sins1 appear in their proper shapes.
  • That sight will be as pleasing unto me,
  • As Paradise was to Adam the first day Of his creation.
  • Talk not of paradise nor creation, but mark this show: talk of the Devil, and nothing else: come away!112
  • Enter the Seven Deadly Sins.
  • Now, Faustus, examine them of their several names and dispositions.
  • What art thou—the first?
  • I am Pride. I disdain to have any parents. I am like to Ovid's flea:2 I can creep into every corner of a wench; sometimes, like a perriwig, I sit upon her brow; or like a fan of feathers, I kiss her lips; indeed I do—what do I not? But, fie, what a scent is here! I'll not speak another word, except the ground were perfumed, and covered with cloth of arras.122
  • What art thou—the second?
  • I am Covetousness, begotten of an old churl in an old leathern bag; and might I have my wish I would desire that this house and all the people in it were turned
  • Edition: current; Page: [246]
  • to gold, that I might lock you up in my good chestO, my sweet gold!
  • What art thou—the third?129
  • I am Wrath. I had neither father nor mother: I leapt out of a lion's mouth when I was scarce half an hour old; and ever since I have run up and down the world with this case1 of rapiers, wounding myself when I had nobody to fight withal. I was born in Hell; and look to it, for some of you shall be my father.
  • What art thou—the fourth?
  • I am Envy, begotten of a chimney-sweeper and an oyster-wife. I cannot read, and therefore wish all books were burnt. I am lean with seeing others eat.O that there would come a famine through all the world, that all might die, and I live alone! then thou should'st see how fat I would be. But must thou sit and I stand! Come down with a vengeance!143
  • Away, envious rascal! What art thou—the fifth?
  • Who, I, sir? I am Gluttony. My parents are all dead, and the devil a penny they have left me, but a bare pension, and that is thirty meals a day and ten bevers2—a small trifle to suffice nature. O, I come of a royal parentage! My grandfather was a Gammon of Bacon, my grandmother was a Hogshead of Claret-wine,
  • Edition: current; Page: [247]
  • my godfathers “were these, Peter Pickleherring, and-Martin Martlemas-beef;1
  • O, but my godmother, she was a jolly gentlewoman, and well beloved in every good town and city; her name was Mistress Margery March-beer.2
  • Now, Faustus, thou hast heard all my progeny, wilt thou bid me to supper?156
  • No, I'll see thee hanged: thou wilt eat up all my victuals.
  • Glut Then the Devil choke thee!
  • Choke thyself, glutton! Who art thou—the sixth?161
  • I am Sloth. I was begotten on a sunny bank, where I have lain ever since; and you have done me great injury to bring me from thence: let me be carried thither again by Gluttony and Lechery. I'll not speak another word for a king's ransom.
  • What are you, Mistress Minx, the seventh and last?
  • Who, I, sir? I am one that loves an inch of raw mutton better than an ell of fried stockfish; and the first letter of my name begins with L.3171
Edition: current; Page: [248]
  • Away to Hell, to Hell! Now, Faustus, how dost thou like this?
  • [Exeunt the Sins.
  • O, this feeds my soul!
  • Tut, Faustus, in Hell is all manner of delight.
  • O might I see Hell, and return again, How happy were I then!
  • Thou shalt; I will send for thee at midnight. In meantime take this book; peruse it throughly, And thou shalt turn thyself2 into what shape thou wilt.180
  • Great thanks, mighty Lucifer! This will I keep as chary as my life.
  • Farewell, Faustus, and think on the Devil.
  • Farewell, great Lucifer!
  • [Exeunt LUCIFER and BELZEBUB. Come, Mephistophilis.3
  • Enter CHORUS.
  • Learned Faustus, To know the secrets of Astronomy, Graven in the book of Jove's high firmament, Did mount himself to scale Olympus' top, Being seated in a chariot burning bright, Drawn by the strength of yoky dragons' necks.
  • Edition: current; Page: [249]
  • He now is gone to prove Cosmography,
  • And, as I guess, will first arrive at Rome,
  • To see the Pope and manner of his Court,
  • And take some part of holy Peter's feast,
  • That to this day is highly solemnised.1
  • [Exit.
  • Learned Faustus,
  • To find the secrets of Astronomy
  • Graven in the book of Jove's high firmament,
  • Did mount him up to scale Olympus' top;
  • Where, sitting in a chariot burning bright,
  • Drawn by the strength of yoked dragons' necks,
  • He views the clouds, the planets, and the stars,
  • The tropic zones, and quarters of the sky,
  • From the bright circle of the hornÈd moon
  • Even to the height of Primum Mobile;
  • And, whirling round with this circumference,
  • Within the concave compass of the pole,
  • From east to west his dragons swiftly glide,
  • And in eight days did bring him home again.
  • Not long he stay'd within his quiet house,
  • To rest his bones after his weary toil,
  • But new exploits do hale him out again
  • And, mounted then upon a dragon's back,
  • That with his wings did part the subtle air,
  • He now is gone to prove cosmography,
  • That measures coasts and kingdoms of the earth;
  • And, as I guess, will first arrive at Rome,
  • To see the Pope and manner of his court,
  • And take some part of holy Peter's feast,
  • The which this day is highly solemniss'd.
  • [Exit,
  • The additional lines seem worthy of Marlowe, and add considerably to the picturesqueness of the original.—In Henslowe's inventory of the property of the Admiral's men (Diary, p. 273) mention is made of “I dragon in fostes.” Perhaps (as Wagner suggests) Faustus alighted from his dragon-car at the beginning of the next scene.
Edition: current; Page: [250]



  • Having now, my good Mephistophilis,
  • Passed with delight the stately town of Trier,2
  • Environed round with airy mountain-tops,
  • With walls of flint, and deep entrenched lakes,
  • Not to be won by any conquering prince;
  • From Paris next, coasting the realm of France,
  • We saw the river Maine fall into Rhine,
  • Whose banks are set with groves of fruitful vines;
  • Then up to Naples, rich Campania,
  • Whose buildings fair and gorgeous to the eye,10
  • The streets straight forth, and paved with finest brick,
  • Quarter the town in four equivalents:3
  • There saw we learned Maro's golden tomb,
  • The way he cut, an English mile in length,
  • Thorough a rock of stone in one night's space;4
  • From thence to Venice, Padua, and the rest,
  • In one5 of which a sumptuous temple stands,
  • Edition: current; Page: [251]
  • That threats the stars with her aspiring top.1
  • Thus hitherto has Faustus spent his time:
  • But tell me, now, what resting-place is this?20
  • Hast thou, as erst I did command,
  • Conducted me within the walls of Rome?
  • Faustus, I have; and because we will not be unprovided, I have taken up his Holiness' privy-chamber for our use.
  • I hope his Holiness will bid us welcome.
  • Tut,3 'tis no matter, man, we'll be bold with his good cheer,
  • And now, my Faustus, that thou may'st perceive
  • What Rome containeth to delight thee with,
  • Know that this city stands upon seven hills
  • That underprop the groundwork of the same:
  • Just4 through the midst runs flowing Tiber's stream,
  • With winding banks that cut it in two parts:
  • Over the which four5 stately bridges lean,
  • That make safe passage to each part of Rome:
  • Upon the bridge called Ponte6 Angelo
  • Erected is a castle passing strong,
  • Edition: current; Page: [252]
  • Within1 whose walls such store of ordnance are,40
  • And double2 cannons formed of carved brass,
  • As match the days within one complete year;
  • Besides the gates and high pyramides,
  • Which Julius Caesar brought from Africa.
  • Now by the kingdoms of infernal rule,
  • Of Styx, of3 Acheron, and the fiery lake
  • Of ever-burning Phlegethon, I swear
  • That I do long to see the monuments
  • And situation of bright-splendent Rome:
  • Come therefore, let's away.
  • Meph4 Nay, Faustus, stay; I know you'd see the Pope,
  • And take some part of holy Peter's feast,51
  • Where thou shall see a troop of bald-pate friars,
  • Whose summum bonum is in belly-cheer.
  • Well, I'm content to compass them some sport,
  • And by their folly make us merriment
  • Then charm me [Mephistophilis] that I
  • May be invisible, to do what I please
  • Unseen of any whilst I stay in Rome.
  • [MEPHISTOPHILIS charms him.
Edition: current; Page: [253]
Meph. So.
  • Faustus, now Do what thou wilt, thou shall not be discerned.60
  • Sound a Sonnet.1
  • Enter the POPE and the CARDINAL OF LORRAIN to the banquet, with Friars attending.
  • My Lord of Lorrain, wilt please you draw near?
  • Fall to, and the devil choke you an you spare!
  • How now! Who's that which spake?—Friars, look about.
First Friar.
  • Here's nobody, if it like your Holiness.
  • My lord, here is a dainty dish was sent me from the Bishop of Milan.
  • I thank you, sir.
  • [Snatches the dish.
  • How now! Who's that which snatched the meat from me? Will no man look? My Lord, this dish was sent me from the Cardinal of Florence.70
  • You say true; I'll ha't.
  • [Snatches the dish.
  • What, again! My lord, I'll drink to your grace.
  • I'll pledge your grace.
  • [Snatches the cup.
C. of Lor.
  • My lord, it may be some ghost newly crept out of Purgatory, come to beg a pardon of your Holiness.
  • It may be so. Friars, prepare a dirge to lay the fury of this ghost. Once again, my lord, fall to.
  • [The POPE crosses himself.
  • What, are you crossing of yourself? Well, use that trick no more I would advise you.
  • [The POPE crosses himself again.
  • Edition: current; Page: [254]
  • Well, there's the second time. Aware the third,80
  • I give you fair warning.
  • [The POPE crosses himself again, and FAUSTUS hitshim a box of the ear; and they all run away.
  • Come on, Mephistophilis, what shall we do?
  • Nay, I know not We shall be cursèd with bell, book, and candle.
  • How! bell, book, and candle,—candle, book, and bell,
  • Forward and backward to curse Faustus to Hell!
  • Anon you shall hear a hog grunt, a calf bleat, an ass bray,
  • Because it is Saint Peter's holiday.
  • Re-enter the Friars to sing the Dirge.
First Friar.
  • Come, brethren, let's about our business with good devotion.
  • [They sing.
  • CursÈD be he that stole away his Holiness' meat from the table! Maledicat Dominus!91
  • CursÈD be he that struck his Holiness a blow on the face.! Maledicat Dominus!
  • CursÈD be he that took1 Friar Sandelo a blow on the pate! Maledicat Dominus
  • CursÈD be he that dislurbeth our holy dirge! Maledicat Dominus!
  • CursÈD be he that took away his Holiness' wine! Maledicat Dominus! Et omnes sancti! Amen!
  • MEPHISTOPHILIS and FAUSTUS beat the Friars, and fling fireworks among them: and so exeunt.
  • Edition: current; Page: [255]
  • Enter CHORUS.
  • When Faustus had with pleasure ta'en the view
  • Of rarest things, and royal courts of kings,
  • He stayed his course, and so returned home;
  • Where such as bear his absence but with grief,
  • I mean his friends, and near'st companions,
  • Did gratulate his safety with kind words,
  • And in their conference of what befell,
  • Touching his journey through the world and air,
  • They put forth questions of Astrology,
  • Which Faustus answered with such learned skill,110
  • As they admired and wondered at his wit.
  • Now is his fame spread forth in every land;
  • Amongst the rest the Emperor is one,
  • Carolus the Fifth, at whose palace now
  • Faustus is feasted 'mongst his noblemen.
  • What there he did in trial of his art,
  • I leave untold—your eyes shall see performed.
  • [Exit.


Enter1 ROBIN the Ostler with a book in his hand.

  • O, this is admirable! here I ha' stolen one of Dr. Faustus's conjuring books, and i' faith I mean to search some circles for my own use. Now will I make
  • Edition: current; Page: [256]
  • all the maidens in our parish dance at my pleasure, stark naked before me; and so by that means I shall see more than e'er I felt or saw yet.
  • Enter RALPH calling ROBIN.
  • Robin, prithee come away; there's a gentleman tarries to have his horse, and he would have his things rubbed and made clean: he keeps such a chafing with my mistress about it; and she has sent me to look thee out; prithee come away.II
  • Keep out, keep out, or else you are blown up; you are dismembered, Ralph: keep out, for I am about a roaring piece of work.
  • Come, what doest thou with that same book? Thou can'st not read.
  • Yes, my master and mistress shall find that I can read, he for his forehead, she for her private study; she's born to bear with me, or else my art fails.
  • Why, Robin, what book is that?20
  • What book! why the most intolerable book for conjuring that e'er was invented by any brimstone devil.
  • Can'st thou conjure with it?
  • I can do all these things easily with it; first, I can make thee drunk with ippocras1 at any tabern in Europe for nothing; that's one of my conjuring works.
  • Our Master Parson says that's nothing.
  • True, Ralph; and more, Ralph, if thou hast
  • Edition: current; Page: [257]
  • any mind to Nan Spit, our kitchenmaid, then turn her and wind her to thy own use as often as thou wilt, and at midnight.31
  • O brave Robin, shall I have Nan Spit, and to mine own use? On that condition I'd feed thy devil with horsebread1 as long as he lives, of free cost.
  • No more, sweet Ralph: let's go and make clean our boots, which lie foul upon our hands, and then to our conjuring in the devil's name.
  • [Exeunt.


Enter2 ROBIN and RALPH with a silver goblet.

  • Come, Ralph, did not I tell thee we were for ever made by this Doctor Faustus' book? ecce signum, here's a simple purchase3 for horsekeepers; our horses shall eat no hay as long as this lasts.
  • But, Robin, here comes the Vintner.
  • Hush! I'll gull him supernaturally.
  • Enter Vintner.
  • Drawer, I hope all is paid: God be with you; come, Ralph.
Edition: current; Page: [258]
  • Soft, sir; a word with you. I must yet have a goblet paid from you, ere you go,10
  • I, a goblet, Ralph; I, a goblet! I scorn you, and you are but a1 & c. I, a goblet! search me.
  • I mean so, sir, with your favour.
  • [Searches him.
  • How say you now?
  • I must say somewhat to your fellow. You, sir!
  • Me, sir! me, sir! search your fill. [Vintner searches him.~\ Now, sir, you may be ashamed to burden honest men with a matter of truth.
  • Well, t'one2 of you hath this goblet about you.20
  • You lie, drawer, 'tis afore me. [Aside.] Sirrah you, I'll teach you to impeach honest men;—stand by; —I'll scour you for a goblet!—stand aside you had best, I charge you in the name of Belzebub. Look to the goblet, Ralph.
  • [Aside to RALPH.
  • What mean you, sirrah?
  • I'll tell you what I mean. [Reads from a bwk.] Sanctobulorum Periphrasticon—Nay, I'll tickle you, Vintner. Look to the goblet, Ralph.
  • [Aside to RALPH.
  • [Reads.] Polypragmos Belseboramsframantopacostiphos tostu, Mephistophilis, & c.31
  • Edition: current; Page: [259]
  • Enter MEPHISTOPHILIS, sets squibs at their backs, and then exit. They run about.
  • O nomine Domini! what meanest thou, Robin? thou hast no goblet
  • Peccatum peccatorum Here's thy goblet, good Vintner.
  • [Gives the goblet to Vintner, who exit.
  • Misericordia pro nobisi What shall I do? Good devil, forgive me now, and I'll never rob thy library more.
  • Monarch of Hell, under whose black survey
  • Great potentates do kneel with awful fear,40
  • Upon whose altars thousand souls do lie,
  • How am I vexed with these villains' charms?
  • From Constantinople am I hither come
  • Only for pleasure of these damned slaves.
  • How from Constantinople? You have had a great journey: will you take sixpence in your purse to pay for your supper, and begone?
  • Well, villains, for your presumption, I transform thee into an ape, and thee into a dog; and so begone.
  • [Exit.
  • How, into an ape; that's brave! I'll have fine sport with the boys. I'll get nuts and apples enow.51
  • And I must be a dog.
Edition: current; Page: [260]
  • I'faith thy head will never be out of the pottage pot.
  • [Exeunt.1


Enter2 EMPEROR, FAUSTUS, and a Knight with Attendants.

  • Master Doctor Faustus, I have heard strange report of thy knowledge in the black art, how that none in my empire nor in the whole world can compare with thee for the rare effects of magic: they say thou hast a familiar spirit, by whom thou canst accomplish what thou list This therefore is my request, that thou let me see some proof of thy skill, that mine eyes may be witnesses to confirm what mine ears have heard reported: and here I swear to thee by the honour of mine imperial crown, that, whatever thou doest, thou shalt be no ways prejudiced or endamaged.11
  • I'faith he looks much like a conjuror.
  • [Aside.
  • My gracious sovereign, though I must confess myself far inferior to the report men have published, and nothing answerable to the honour of your imperial majesty, yet for that love and duty binds me thereunto, I am content to do whatsoever your majesty shalt command me.
  • Then, Doctor Faustus, mark what I shalt say.
  • Edition: current; Page: [261]
  • As I was sometime solitary set20
  • Within my closet, sundry thoughts arose
  • About the honour of mine ancestors,
  • How they had won by prowess such exploits,
  • Got such riches, subdued so many kingdoms
  • As we that do succeed, or they that shall
  • Hereafter possess our throne, shall
  • (I fear me) ne'er attain to that degree
  • Of high renown and great authority;
  • Amongst which kings is Alexander the Great,
  • Chief spectacle of the world's pre-eminence,
  • The bright shining of whose glorious acts
  • Lightens the world with his reflecting beams,
  • As when I hear but motion made of him
  • It grieves my soul I never saw the man.
  • If therefore thou by cunning of thine art
  • Canst raise this man from hollow vaults below,
  • Where lies entombed this famous conqueror,
  • And bring with him his beauteous paramour,
  • Both in their right shapes, gesture, and attire
  • They used to wear during their time of life,40
  • Thou shalt both satisfy my just desire,
  • And give me cause to praise thee whilst I live.
  • My gracious lord, I am ready to accomplish your request so far forth as by art, and power of my Spirit, I am able to perform.
  • I'faith that's just nothing at all.
  • [Aside.
  • But, if it like your grace, it is not in my ability to present before your eyes the true substantial bodies Edition: current; Page: [262] of those two deceased princes, which long since are consumed to dust.50
  • Ay, marry, Master Doctor, now there's a sign of grace in you, when you will confess the truth. [Aside.
  • But such spirits as can lively resemble Alexander and his paramour shalt appear before your grace in that manner that they both1 lived in, in their most flourishing estate; which I doubt not shalt sufficiently content your imperial majesty.
  • Go to, Master Doctor, let me see them presently.
  • Do you hear, Master Doctor? You bring Alexander and his paramour before the Emperor!61
  • How then, sir?
  • I'faith that's as true as Diana turned me to a stag!
  • No, sir, but when Actaeon died, he left the horns for you. Mephistophilis, begone.
  • Nay, an you go to conjuring, I'll begone.
  • [Exit.
  • I'll meet with you anon for interrupting me so. Here they are, my gracious lord.
  • Re-enter MEPHISTOPHILIS with Spirits in the shaft of ALEXANDER and his Paramour.
  • Master Doctor, I heard this lady while she Edition: current; Page: [263] lived had a wart or mole in her neck: how shalt I know whether it be so or no?72
  • Your highness may boldly go and see.
  • Sure these are no Spirits, but the true substantial bodies of those two deceased princes.
  • [Exeunt Spirits.
  • Will't please your highness now to send for the Knight that was so pleasant with me here of late?
  • One of you call him forth! [Exit Attendant.
  • Re-enter the Knight with a pair of horns on his head.
  • How now, Sir Knight! why I had thought thou had'st been a bachelor, but now I see thou hast a wife, that not only gives thee horns, but makes thee wear them. Feel on thy head.82
  • Thou damned wretch and execrable dog, Bred in the concave of some monstrous rock, How darest thou thus abuse a gentleman? Villain, I say, undo what thou hast done!
  • O, not so fast, sir; there's no haste; but, good, are you remembered how you crossed me in my conference with the Emperor? 1 think I have met with you for it.90
  • Good Master Doctor, at my entreaty release him: he hath done penance sufficient.
  • My gracious lord, not so much for the injury he offered me here in your presence, as to delight you with some mirth, hath Faustus worthily requited this injurious Knight: which, being all I desire, I am content to release him of his horns: and, Sir Knight, here-after Edition: current; Page: [264] speak well of scholars. Mephistophilis, transform htm straight. [MEPHISTOPHILIS removes the horns.] Now, my good lord, having done my duty I humbly take my leave.101
  • Farewell, Master Doctor; yet, ere you go Expect from me a bounteous reward.
  • [Exeunt.



  • Now, Mephistophilis, the restless course
  • That Time doth run with calm and silent foot,
  • Shortening my days and thread of vital life,
  • Calls for the payment of my latest years:
  • Therefore, sweet Mephistophilis, let us
  • Make haste to Wertenberg.
  • What, will you go on horseback or on foot?
  • Nay, till I'm past this fair and pleasant green, I'll walk on foot.
  • Enter a Horse-Courser.2
  • I have been all this day seeking one Master Fustian: mass, see where he is! God save you, Master Doctor!12
  • What, horse-courser! You are well met.
Edition: current; Page: [265]
  • Do you hear, sir? I have brought you forty dollars for your horse.
  • I cannot sell him so: if thou likest him for fifty, take him.
  • Alas, sir, I have no more.—I pray you speak for me.19
  • I pray you-let him have him: he is an honest fellow, and he has a great charge, neither wife nor child.
  • Well, come, give me your money. [Horse-Courser gives FAUSTUS the money.] My boy will deliver him to you. But I must tell you one thing before you have him; ride him not into the water at any hand.
  • Why, sir, will he not drink of all waters?
  • O yes, he will drink of all waters, but ride him not into the water: ride him over hedge or ditch, or where thou wilt, but not into the water.29
  • Well, sir.—Now am I made man for ever: I'll not leave my horse for [twice] forty: if he had but the quality of hey-ding-ding, hey-ding-ding, I'd make a brave living on him: he has a buttock as slick1 as an eel [Aside.] Well, God b' wi' ye, sir, your boy will deliver him me: but hark you, sir; if my horse be sick or ill at ease, if I bring his water to you, you'll tell me what it is.
  • Away, you villain; what, dost think I am a horse-doctor?
  • [Exit Horse-Courser.
  • What art thou, Faustus, but a man condemned to die? Thy fatal time doth draw to final end;40 Despair doth drive distrust unto my thoughts:
  • Edition: current; Page: [266]
  • Confound these passions with a quiet sleep:
  • Tush, Christ did call the thief upon the cross;
  • Then rest thee, Faustus, quiet in conceit
  • [Sleeps in his chair.
  • Re-enter Horse-Courser, all wet, crying.
  • Alas, alas! Doctor Fustian quotha? mass, Doctor Lopus1 was never such a doctor: has given me a purgation has purged me of forty dollars; I shalt never see them more. But yet, like an ass as I was, I would not be ruled by him, for he bade me I should ride him into no water: now I, thinking my horse had had some [50 rare quality that he would not have had me known11 Be not you known on't,1 i.e. be not you aware of it.” of, I, like a venturous youth, rid him into the deep pond at the town's end. I was no sooner in the middle of the pond, but my horse vanished away, and I sat upon a bottle of hay, never so near drowning in my life. But I'll seek out my Doctor, and have my forty dollars again, or I'll make it the dearest horse!—0, yonder is his snipper-snapper.—Do you hear? you hey-pass,s where's your master?
Edition: current; Page: [267]
  • Why, sir, what would you? You cannot speak with him.
  • But I will speak with him.62
  • Why, he's fast asleep. Come some other time.
  • I'll speak with him now, or I'll break his glass windows about his ears.
  • I tell thee he has not slept this eight nights.
  • An he have not slept this eight weeks I'll speak with him.
  • See where he is, fast asleep.
  • Ay, this is he. God save you, Master Doctor, Master Doctor, Master Doctor Fustian!—Forty dollars, forty dollars for a bottle of hay!72
  • Why, thou seest he hears thee not.
  • So ho, ho!—so ho, ho! [Hollas in his ear.] No, will you not wake? I'll make you wake ere I go. [Pulls FAUSTUS by the leg, and fulls it away] Alas, I am undone! What shalt I do?
  • O my leg, my leg! Help, Mephistophilis! call the officers. My leg, my leg!
  • Come, villain, to the constable.80
  • O lord, sir, let me go, and I'll give you forty dollars more.
  • Where be they?
  • I have none about me. Come to my ostry1 and I'll give them you.
  • Begone quickly. [Horse-Courser runs away.
  • What, is he gone? Farewell he! Faustus has Edition: current; Page: [268] his leg again, and the horse-courser, I take it, a bottle of hay for his labour. Well, this trick shalt cost him forty dollars more.90
  • Enter WAGNER.
  • How now, Wagner, what's the news with thee?
  • Sir, the Duke of Vanholt doth earnestly entreat your company.
  • The Duke of Vanholt! an honourable gentleman, to whom I must be no niggard of my cunning. Come, Mephistophilis, let's away to him.
  • [Exeunt.1



  • Believe me, Master Doctor, this merriment hath much pleased me.
  • My gracious lord, I am glad it contents you so well.—But it may be, madam, you take no delight in this. I have heard that great-bellied women do long for some dainties or other: what is it, madam? tell me, and you shalt have it.
  • Thanks, good Master Doctor; and for I see your courteous intent to pleasure me, I will not hide Edition: current; Page: [269] from you the thing my heart desires; and were it now summer, as it is January and the dead time of the winter, I would desire no better meat than a dish of ripe grapes.
  • Alas, madam, that's nothing! Mephistophilis, begone. [JSxit MEPHISTOPHILIS.] Were it a greater thing than this, so it would content you, you should have it
  • Re-enter MEPHISTOPHILIS with grapes.
  • Here they be, madam; wilt please you taste on them?
  • Believe me, Master Doctor, this makes me wonder above the rest, that being in the dead time of winter, and in the month of January, how you should come by these grapes.21
  • If it like your grace, the year is divided into two circles over the whole world, that, when it is here winter with us, in the contrary circle it is summer with them, as in India, Saba, and farther countries in the East; and by means of a swift Spirit that I have I had them brought hither, as you see.—How do you like them, madam; be they good?
  • Believe me, Master Doctor, they be the best grapes that e'er I tasted in my life before.30
  • I am glad they content you so, madam.
  • Come, madam, let us in, where you must well reward this learned man for the great kindness he hath showed to you.
  • And so I will, my lord; and, whilst I live, rest beholding for this courtesy.
  • I humbly thank your grace.
Edition: current; Page: [270]
  • Come, Master Doctor, follow us and receive your reward.
  • [Exeunt.


Enter1 WAGNER.

  • I think my master means to die shortly; he has made his i!l, and given me his wealth, his house, his goods, and store of golden plate, besides two thousand ducats ready-coined, I wonder what he means if death were nigh, lie would not frolic thus. He's now at supper with the scholars, where there's such belly-cheer as Wagner in his life ne'er saw the like and, see where they come! belike the feast is done. [Exit.'
  • I think my master shortly2 means to die, For he hath given to me all his goods: And yet, methinks, if that death were [so] near, He would not banquet, and carouse and swill Amongst the students, as even now he doth, Who are at supper with such belly-cheer As Wagner ne'er beheld in all his life. See where they come! belike the feast is ended. Exit.


Enter3 FAUSTUS, with two or three Scholars and MEPHISTOPHILIS.

Ist Schol.
  • Master Doctor Faustus, since our conference about fair ladies, which was the beautifullest in all the world, we have determined with ourselves that Helen of Greece was the admirablest lady that ever lived: therefore,
  • Edition: current; Page: [271]
  • Master Doctor, if you will do us that favour, as to let us see that peerless dame of Greece, whom all the world admires for majesty, we should think ourselves much beholding unto you.
  • Gentlemen,
  • For that I know your friendship is unfeigned,10
  • And Faustus' custom is not to deny
  • The just requests of those that wish him well,
  • You shalt behold that peerless dame of Greece,
  • No otherways for pomp and majesty,
  • Than when Sir Paris crossed the seas with her,
  • And brought the spoils1 to rich Dardania.
  • Be silent, then, for danger is in words.
  • [Music sounds, and HELEN2
  • passeth wer the stage. 2nd SchoL Too simple is my wit to tell her praise, Whom all the world admires for majesty.3
Edition: current; Page: [272]
3rd Schol.
  • No marvel though the angry Greeks pursued20
  • With ten years' war the rape of such a Queen,
  • Whose heavenly beauty passeth all compare.
1st Schol.
  • Since we have seen the pride of Nature's works,
  • And only paragon of excellence,
  • Let us depart; and for this glorious deed
  • Happy and blest be Faustus evermore.
  • Gentlemen, farewell—the same I wish to you.
  • [Exeunt Scholars. Enter an Old Man.
Old Man.1
  • Old Man. O gentle Faustus, leave this damned art,
  • This magic, that will charm thy soul to hell,
  • And quite bereave thee of salvation!
  • Though thou hast now offended like a man,
  • Do not persever in it like a devil.
  • Yet, yet thou hast an amiable soul,
  • If sm by custom grow not into nature;
  • Then, Faustus, will repentance come too late;
  • Then thou art banish'd from the sight of Heaven:
  • No mortal can express the pains of hell.
  • It may be, this my exhortation
  • Seems harsh and all unpleasant: let it not,
  • For, gentle son, I speak it not in wrath,
  • Or envy of thee, but in tender love,
  • And pity of thy future misery;
  • And so have hope that this my kind rebuke,
  • Checking thy body, may amend thy soul.”
  • Ah, Doctor Faustus, that I might prevail To guide thy steps unto the way of life,
  • Edition: current; Page: [273]
  • By which sweet path thou may'st attain the goal30
  • That shalt conduct thee to celestial rest!
  • Break heart, drop blood, and mingle it with tears,
  • Tears falling from repentant heaviness
  • Of thy most vild and loathsome filthiness,
  • The stench whereof corrupts the inward soul
  • With such flagitious crimes of heinous sins
  • As no commiseration may expel,
  • But Mercy, Faustus, of thy Saviour sweet,
  • Whose blood alone must wash away thy guilt.
  • Where art thou, Faustus? wretch, what hast thou done?
  • Damned1 art thou, Faustus, damned; despair and die! Hell calls2 for right, and with a roaring voice Says “Faustus! come! thine hour is almost3 come!” And Faustus now4 will come to do the right
  • [Mephistophilis gives htm a dagger.
Old Man.
  • Ah stay, good Faustus, stay thy desperate steps!
  • I see an angel hovers o'er thy head,
  • And, with a vial full of precious grace,
  • Offers to pour the same into thy soul:
  • Then call for Mercy, and avoid Despair.
  • Ah,5 my sweet friend, I feel
  • Thy words do comfort my distressed soul.
  • Leave me a while to ponder on my sins.
Edition: current; Page: [274]
Old Man.
  • I1 go, sweet Faustus, but with heavy cheer, Fearing the ruin of thy hopeless soul.
  • [Exit.
  • AccursÈD2 Faustus, where is Mercy now?
  • I do repent; and yet I do despair:
  • Hell strives with grace for conquest in my breast:
  • What shalt I do to shun the snares of death?
  • Thou traitor, Faustus, I arrest thy soul
  • For disobedience to my sovereign Lord;60
  • Revolt, or I'll in piecemeal tear thy flesh.
  • Sweet03 Mephistophilis, entreat thy lord
  • To pardon my unjust presumption.
  • And with my blood again I will confirm
  • My former vow I made to Lucifer.
  • Do it then quickly, with unfeigned heart, Lest greater danger do attend thy drift
  • [FAUSTUS stabs his arm and writes with his blood on a paper.4
  • Torment, sweet friend, that base and crooked age,5
  • That durst dissuade me from thy Lucifer,
  • With greatest torments that our Hell affords.70
  • His faith is great: I cannot touch his soul;
  • But what I may afflict his body with
  • I will attempt, which is but little worth.
Edition: current; Page: [275]
  • One1 thing, good servant, let me crave of thee,
  • To glut the longing of my heart's desire,—
  • That I might have unto my paramour
  • That heavenly Helen, which I saw of late,
  • Whose sweet embracings may extinguish clean
  • These thoughts that do dissuade me from my vow,
  • And keep mine oath I made to Lucifer.80
  • Faustus, this or what else thou shalt desire Shalt be performed in twinkling of an eye.
  • Re-enter HELEN.
  • Was this the face that launched a thousand ships And burnt the topless2 towers of Ilium? Sweet Helen, make me immortal with a kiss. [Kisses her.
  • Edition: current; Page: [276]
  • Her lips sucks forth my soul; see where it flies!—
  • Come, Helen, come, give me my soul again.
  • Here will I dwell, for Heaven is1 in these lips,
  • And all is dross that is not Helena.
  • I will be Paris, and for love of thee,90
  • Instead of Troy, shalt Wertenberg be sacked:
  • And I will combat with weak Menelaus,
  • And wear thy colours on my plumed crest:
  • Yea, I will wound Achilles in the heel,
  • And then return to Helen for a kiss.
  • Oh, thou art fairer than the evening air
  • Clad in the beauty of a thousand stars;
  • Brighter are thou than flaming Jupiter
  • When he appeared to hapless Semele:
  • More lovely than the monarch of the sky
  • In wanton Arethusa's azur'd2 arms;
  • And none but thou shalt be my paramour!
  • [Exeunt.3


Enter4 the Old Man.

  • AccursÈD Faustus, miserable man,
  • That from thy soul exclud'st the Grace of Heaven,
  • And fly'st the throne of his tribunal seat!
  • Edition: current; Page: [277]
  • Enter Devils.
  • Satan begins to sift me with his pride:
  • As in this furnace God shalt try my faith,
  • My faith, vile Hell, shalt triumph over thee.
  • Ambitious fiends! see how the heavens smile
  • At your repulse, and laugh your state to scorn!
  • Hence, Hell! for hence I fly unto my God.
  • [Exeunt on one side Devils—on the other, Old Man.


Enter1 FAUSTUS with Scholars.

  • Ah, gentlemen!
1st Schol.
  • What ails Faustus?
  • Ah, my sweet chamber fellow, had I lived with thee, then had I lived still! but now I die eternally. Look, comes he not, comes he not?
2nd Schol.
  • What means Faustus?
3rd Schol.
  • Belike he is grown into some sickness by being over solitary.
Ist Schol.
  • If it be so, we'll have physicians to cure him. Tis but a surfeit Never fear, man.10
  • A surfeit of deadly sin that hath damned both body and soul.
2nd Schol.
  • Yet, Faustus, look up to Heaven: remember God's mercies are infinite.
  • But Faustus' offences can never be pardoned: the serpent that tempted Eve may be saved, but not Edition: current; Page: [278] Faustus. Ah, gentlemen, hear me with patience, and tremble not at my speeches! Though my heart pants and quivers to remember that I have been a student here these thirty years, oh, would I had never seen Wertenberg, never read book! and what wonders I have done, all Germany can witness, yea, all the world; for which Faustus hath lost both Germany and the world, yea Heaven itself, Heaven, the seat of God, the throne of the blessed, the kingdom of joy; and must remain in Hell for ever, Hell, ah, Hell, for ever! Sweet friends! what shalt become of Faustus being in Hell for ever?27
3rd Schol.
  • Yet, Faustus, call on God.
  • On God, whom Faustus hath abjured! on God, whom Faustus hath blasphemed! Ah, my God, I would weep, -but the Devil draws in my tears. Gush forth blood instead of tears! Yea, life and soul! Oh, he stays my tongue! I would lift up my hands, but see, they hold them, they hold them!
  • All, Who, Faustus?
  • Lucifer and Mephistophilis. Ah, gentlemen, I gave them my soul for my cunning!
  • God forbid!
  • God forbade it indeed; but Faustus hath done it: for vain pleasure of twenty-four years hath Faustus lost eternal joy and felicity. I writ them a bill with mine own blood: the date is expired j the time will come, and he will fetch me.43
Ist Schol.
  • Why did not Faustus tell us of this before, that divines might have prayed for thee?
  • Oft have I thought to have done so; but the Edition: current; Page: [279] devil threatened to tear me in pieces if I named God; to fetch both body and soul if I once gave ear to divinity: and now 'tis too late. Gentlemen, away! lest you perish with me.50
2nd Schol.
  • Oh, what shalt we do to save1 Faustus?
  • Talk not of me, but save yourselves, and depart.
3rd Schol.
  • God will strengthen me. I will stay with Fauitus.
Ist Schol.
  • Tempt not God, sweet friend; but let us into the next room, and there pray for him.
Faust. Ay.
  • pray for me, pray for me! and what noise soever ye hear, come not unto me, for nothing can rescue me.
2nd Schol.
  • Pray thou, and we will pray that God may-have mercy upon thee.61
  • Gentlemen, farewell: if I live till morning I'll visit yau: if not—Faustus is gone to Hell.
  • Faustus, farewell
  • [Exeunt Scholars. The dock strikes eleven.
  • Ah, Faustus,
  • Now hast thou but one bare hour to live,
  • And then thou must be damned perpetually!
  • Stand still, you ever-moving spheres of Heaven,
  • That time may cease, and midnight never come;
  • Fair Nature's eye, rise, rise again and make70
  • Perpetual day; or let this hour be but
  • A year, a month, a week, a natural day,
  • That Faustus may repent and save his soul!
  • Edition: current; Page: [280]
  • O lente, lente, currite noetis equi!1 The stars move still, time runs, the clock will strike, The Devil will come, and Faustus must be damned. O, 111 leap up to2 my God! Who pulls me down? See,3 see where Christ's blood streams in the firniament!
  • One4 drop would save my soul—half a drop: ah. my Christ!
  • Ah, rend not my heart for naming of my Christ! go Yet will I call on him: O spare me, Lucifer!— Where5 is it now? 'tis gone; and see where God Stretcheth out his arm, and bends his ireful brows! Mountains and hills come, come and fall on me, And hide me from the heavy wrath of God!6 No!7 no!
  • Then will I headlong run into the earth;
  • Edition: current; Page: [281]
  • Earth1 gape! O no, it will not harbour me!
  • You stars that reigned at my nativity,
  • Whose influence hath allotted Death and Hell,90
  • Now draw up Faustus like a foggy mist
  • Into the entrails of yon labouring cloud,2
  • That when you vomit forth into the air,
  • My limbs may issue from your smoky mouths.
  • So3 that my soul may but ascend to Heaven.
  • [The clock strikes the half hour.
  • Ah, half the hour is past! 'twill all be past anon!4 God!
  • If thou wilt not have mercy on my soul,
  • Yet for Christ's sake whose blood hath ransomed me,
  • Impose some end to my incessant pain;100
  • Let Faustus live in Hell a thousand years—
  • A hundred thousand, and—at last—be saved!
  • O, no end is limited to damned souls!
  • Why wert thou not a creature wanting soul?
  • Or why is this immortal that thou hast?
  • Ah, Pythagoras' Metempsychosis! were that true,
  • This soul should fly from me, and I be chang'd
  • Unto some brutish beast! all beasts are happy,
  • For, when they die,
  • Edition: current; Page: [282]
  • Their souls are soon dissolved in elements110
  • But mine must live, still to be plagued in Hell.
  • Curst be the parents that engendered me!
  • No, Faustus: curse thyself: curse Lucifer
  • That hath deprived thee of the joys of Heaven.
  • [The dock strikes twelve.
  • O, it strikes, it strikes! Now, body, turn to air, Or Lucifer will bear thee quick to Hell.
  • [Thunder and lightning,
  • O soul, be chang'd into little water-drops, And fall into the ocean—ne'er be found.
  • [Enter Devils.
  • My God!1 my God! look not so fierce on me!
  • Adders and serpents, let me breathe awhile!120
  • Ugly Hell, gape not! come not, Lucifer!
  • I'll burn my books!2—Ah, Mephistophilis!
  • [Exeunt Devils with FAUSTUS.3
  • Enter CHORUS.
  • Cut is the branch that might have grown full straight,
  • And burned is Apollo's laurel bough,
  • That sometime grew within this learned man.
  • Faustus is gone; regard his hellish fall,
  • Whose fiendful fortune may exhort the wise
  • Edition: current; Page: [283]
  • Only to wonder at unlawful things,
  • Whose deepness doth entice such forward wits
  • To practise more than heavenly power permits.
  • [Exit.
  • Terminat hora diem; terminal author1 opus.
Edition: current; Page: [284]


SCENE 4 as printed in the 1616 quarto:

Enter WAGNER and the Clown.

  • Come hither, sirrah boy!
  • Boy! O! disgrace to my person! Zounds' boy in your face! you have seen many boys with beards, I am sure.
  • Sirrah, hast thou no comings in?
  • Yes, and goings out too, you may see, sir.
  • Alas, poor slave! see how poverty jests in his nakedness! I know the villain's out of service, and so hungry that I know he would give his soul to the devil for a shoulder of mutton, though it were blood raw.
  • Not so neither; I had need to have it well roasted, and good sauce to it, if I pay so dear, I can tell you.
  • Sirrah, wilt thou be my man, and wait on me? and I will make thee go like Qui mihi discipulus.
  • What, in verse?
  • No, slave, in beaten silk and staves-acre.
  • Staves-acre? that's good to kill vermin j then belike if I serve you I shalt be lousy.
Edition: current; Page: [285]
  • Why, so thou shalt be whether thou dost it or no: for, sirrah, if thou dost not presently bind thyself to me for seven years, I'll turn all the lice about thee into familiars, and make them tear thee in pieces.
  • Nay, sir, you may save yourself a labour, for they are as familiar with me as if they paid for their meat and drink, I can tell you.
  • Well, sirrah, leave your jesting, and take these guilders.
  • Yes, marry, sir, and I thank you too.
  • So now thou art to be at an hour's warning whensoever and wheresoever the devil shalt fetch thee.
  • Clown, Here, take your guilders again, I'll none of 'em.
  • Not I, thou art pressed; prepare thyself, for I will presently raise up two devils to carry thee away. Banio! Belcher!
  • Belcher! an' Belcher come here, I'll belch him; I am not afraid of a devil
  • Enter two Devils.
  • How now, sir, will you serve me now?
  • Ay, good Wagner, take away the devil[s] then.
  • Spirits away! now, sirrah, follow me.
  • [Exeunt Devils.
  • I will, sir; but hark you, master, will you teach me this conjuring occupation?
  • Ay, sirrah, I'll teach thee to turn thyself to a dog, or a cat, or a mouse, or a rat, or anything.
  • Clown, A dog, or a cat, or a mouse, or a rat! O brave Wagner!
Edition: current; Page: [286]
  • Villain, call me Master Wagner, and see that you walk attentively, and let your right eye be always diametrally fixed upon my left heel, that thou mayest quasi vestigias nostras insistere.
  • Well, sir, I warrant you.
  • [Exeunt.
  • After SCENE 6 the following scene is found in ed. 1616:—
  • Enter ROBIN1 with a book.
  • What, Dick! look to the horses there till I come again; I have gotten one of Doctor Faustus' conjuring books, and now we'll have such knavery as't passes.
  • Enter DICK.
  • What, Robin! you must come away and walk the horses.
  • I walk the horses! I scorn't, faith; I have other matters in hand; let the horses walk themselves an they will. A per se a; t. h. e. the; o per se o; Demy organ gorgon: keep further from me, O thou illiterate and unlearned hostler!
  • 'Snails! what hast thou got there? a book' why, thou can'st not tell ne'er a word on't.
  • That thou shalt see presently: keep out of the circle, I say, lest I send you into the ostry with a vengeance
  • That's like, faith! you had best leave your foolery, for an my master come, he'll conjure you, faith.
  • My master conjure me! I'll tell thee what; an my master come here, I'll clap as fair a pair of horns on his head, as e'er thou sawest in thy life.
Edition: current; Page: [287]
  • Thou need'st not do that, for my mistress hath done it.
  • Ay, there be of us here that have waded as deep into matters as other men, if they were disposed to talk.
  • A plague take you, I thought you did not sneak up and down after her for nothing. But, I prithee, tell me in good sadness, Robin, is that a conjuring book?
  • Do but speak what thou'lt have me to do, and I'll do't; if thou'lt dance naked, put off thy clothes, and I'll conjure thee about presently; or if thou'lt go but to the tavern with me, I'll give thee white wine, red wine, claret wine, sack, muskadine, malmsey, and whippincrust; hold, belly, hold; and we'll not pay one penny for it
  • O brave! Prithee let's to it presently, for I am as dry as a dog.
  • Come, then, let's away.
  • [Exeunt.
  • In SCENE 7, after I. 48, the 1616 ed. proceeds as follows:
  • Nay, stay, my Faustus; I know you'd see the Pope,
  • And take some part of holy Peter's feast,
  • The which in state1 and high solemnity
  • This day is held through Rome and Italy,
  • In honour of the Pope's triumphant victory.
  • Sweet Mephistophilis, thou pleasest me;
  • Whilst I am here on earth let me be cloyed
  • With all things that delight the heart of man:
  • My four-and-twenty years of liberty
  • Edition: current; Page: [288]
  • I'll spend in pleasure and in dalliance,
  • That Faustus' name, whilst this bright frame doth stand,
  • May be admired through the furthest land.
  • 'Tis well said, Faustus; come then, stand by me, And thou shalt see them come immediately.
  • Nay, stay, my gentle Mephistophilis,
  • And grant me my request, and then I go.
  • Thou know'st within the compass of eight days,
  • We viewed the face of heaven, of earth, and hell;
  • So high our dragons soared into the air,
  • That, looking down, the earth appeared to me
  • No bigger than my hand in quantity;
  • There did we view the kingdoms of the world,
  • And what might please mine eye I there beheld.
  • Then in this show let me an actor be,
  • That this proud Pope may Faustus' cunningl see.
  • Let it be so, my Faustus, but first stay,
  • And view their triumphs as they pass this way;
  • And then devise what best contents thy mind,
  • By cunning in thine art to cross the Pope,
  • Or dash the pride of this solemnity;
  • To make his monks and abbots stand like apes,
  • And point like antics at his triple crown!
  • To beat the beads about the friars' pates;
  • Or clap huge horns upon the cardinals' heads;
  • Or any villainy thou canst devise,
  • And I'll perform it, Faustus: hark! they come:
  • This day shalt make thee be admired in Rome.
  • Edition: current; Page: [289]
  • Enter the Cardinals and Bishops, some bearing crosiers, some pillars; Monks and Friars singing their procession; then the POPE, RAYMOND, King of Hungary, the ARCHBISHOP OF RHEIMS, with BRUNO led in chains.
  • Cast down our footstool
  • Saxon Bruno stoop,
  • Whilst on thy back his holiness ascends
  • Saint Peter's chair and state pontifical.
  • Proud Lucifer, that state belongs to me; But thus I fall to Peter, not to thee.
  • To me and Peter shalt thou grovelling lie,
  • And crouch before the papal dignity:
  • Sound trumpets then, for thus Saint Peter's heir
  • From Bruno's back ascends Saint Peter's chair.
  • [A flourish while he ascends.
  • Thus, as the gods creep on with feet of wool,
  • Long ere with iron hands they punish men,
  • So shalt our sleeping vengeance now arise,
  • And smite with death thy hated enterprise.
  • Lord Cardinals of France and Padua,
  • Go forthwith to our holy consistory,
  • And read, amongst the statutes decretal,
  • What by the holy council held at Trent
  • The sacred synod hath decreed for him,
  • That doth assume the papal government
  • Without election, and a true consent:
  • Away, and bring us word with speed.
  • I Card. We go, my lord.
  • [Exntnt Cardinals.
  • Lord Raymond.
  • VOL. i.
Edition: current; Page: [290]
  • Go, haste thee, gentle Mephistophilis,
  • Follow the Cardinals to the consistory;
  • And as they turn their superstitious books,
  • Strike them with sloth and drowsy idleness;
  • And make them sleep so sound, that in their shapes
  • Thyself and I may parley with this Pope,
  • This proud confronter of the Emperor,
  • And, in despite of all his holiness,
  • Restore this Bruno to his liberty,
  • And bear him to the states of Germany.
  • Faustus, I go.
  • Despatch it soon,
  • The Pope shalt curse that Faustus came to Rome.
  • Pope Adrian, let me have right1 of law. I was elected by the Emperor.
  • We will depose the Emperor for that deed,
  • And curse the people that submit to him:
  • Both he and thou shall2 stand excommunicate,
  • And interdict from church's privilege,
  • And all society of holy men:
  • He grows too proud in his authority,
  • Lifting his lofty head above the clouds,
  • And like a steeple overpeers the church:
  • But we'll pull down his haughty insolence;
  • And, as Pope Alexander, our progenitor,
  • Trod on the neck of German Frederick,
  • Adding this golden sentence to our praise,
  • Edition: current; Page: [291]
  • “That Peter's heirs should tread on Emperors,
  • And walk upon the dreadful adder's back,
  • Treading the lion and the dragon down,
  • And fearless spurn the killing basilisk;”
  • So will we quell that haughty schismatic,
  • And by authority apostolical
  • Depose him from his regal government
  • Pope Julius swore to princely Sigismond,
  • For him, and the succeeding Popes of Rome,
  • To hold the Emperors their lawful lords.
  • Pope Julius did abuse the church's rights,
  • And therefore none of his decrees can stand.
  • Is not all power on earth bestowed on us?
  • And therefore, though we would, we cannot err.
  • Behold this silver belt, whereto is fixed
  • Seven golden seals, fast sealed with seven seals,
  • In token of our seven-fold power from heaven,
  • To bind or loose, lock fast, condemn or judge,
  • Resign or seal, or what so pleaseth us:
  • Then he and thou, and all the world, shalt stoop,
  • Or be assured of our dreadful curse,
  • To light as heavy as the pains of hell.
  • Enter FAUSTUS and MEPHISTOPHILIS like the Cardinals.
  • Now tell me, Faustus, are we not fitted well?
  • Yes, Mephistophilis, and two such Cardinals
  • Ne'er serv'd a holy Pope as we shalt do.
  • But whilst they sleep within the consistory,
  • Let us salute his reverend fatherhood.
  • Behold, my lord, the Cardinals are returned.
Edition: current; Page: [292]
  • Welcome, grave fathers; answer presently
  • What have our holy council there decreed,
  • Concerning Bruno and the Emperor,
  • In quittance of their kte conspiracy,
  • Against our state and papal dignity?
  • Most sacred patron of the Church of Rome,
  • By full consent of all the [holy] synod,
  • Of priests and prelates, it is thus decreed:
  • That Bruno, and the German Emperor,
  • Be held as Lollards and bold schismatics,
  • And proud disturbers of the church's peace:
  • And if that Bruno, by his own assent,
  • Without enforcement of the German peers,
  • Did seek to wear the triple diadem,
  • And by your death to climb St Peter's chair,
  • The statutes decretal have thus decreed:
  • He shalt be straight condemned of heresy,
  • And on a pile of faggots burnt to death.
  • It is enough: here, take him to your charge,
  • And bear him straight to Pontel Angelo,
  • And in the strongest tower enclose him fast:
  • To-morrow, sitting in our consistory,
  • With all our college of grave cardinals,
  • We will determine of his life or death.
  • Here, take his triple crown along with you,
  • And leave it in the church's treasury.
  • Make haste, again, my good lord Cardinals,
  • And take our blessing apostolical.
  • So, so; was never devil thus blessed before.
Edition: current; Page: [293]
  • Away, sweet Mephistophilis, begone;
  • The Cardinals will be plagued for this anon.
  • Go presently and bring a banquet forth,
  • That we may solemnise St Peter's feast,
  • And with Lord Raymond, King of Hungary,
  • Drink to our late and happy victory.
  • [Exeunt.
  • A sennet while the banquet is brought in; and then enter FAUSTUS and MEPHISTOPHILIS in their own shapes.
  • Now, Faustus, come, prepare thyself for mirth;
  • The sleepy Cardinals are hard at hand,
  • To censure Bruno, that is posted hence,
  • And on a proud-paced steed, as swift as thought,
  • Flies o'er the Alps to fruitful Germany,
  • There to salute the woful Emperor.
  • The Pope will curse them for their sloth to-day,
  • That slept both Bruno and his crown away.
  • But, now that Faustus may delight his mind,
  • And by their folly make some merriment,
  • Sweet Mephistophilis, so charm me here,
  • That I may walk invisible to all,
  • And do whate'er I please unseen of any.
  • Faustus, thou shall; then kneel down presently,
  • Whilst on thy head I lay my hand,
  • And charm thee with this magic wand;
  • First, wear this girdle, then appear
  • Invisible to all are here;
  • The planets seven, the gloomy air,
  • Hell, and the furies' forked hair;
  • Edition: current; Page: [294]
  • Pluto's blue fire, and Hecat's tree,
  • With magic spells so compass thee,
  • That no eye may thy body see!
  • So, Faustus, now, for all their holiness,
  • Do what thou wilt, thou shalt not be discerned.
  • Thanks, Mephistophilis; now, friars, take heed, Lest Faustus make your shaven crowns to bleed.
  • Faustus, no more: see where the Cardinals come.
  • Enter the Cardinals with a book.
  • Welcome, Lord Cardinals; come, sit down;
  • Lord Raymond, take your seat; friars, attend
  • And see that all things be in readiness,
  • As best beseems this solemn festival
  • I Card. First, may it please your sacred holiness,
  • To view the sentence of the reverend synod,
  • Concerning Bruno and the Emperor.
  • What needs this question? Did I not tell you,
  • To-morrow we would sit i the consistory,
  • And there determine of his punishment?
  • You brought us word even now, it was decreed,
  • That Bruno, and the cursèd Emperor,
  • Were by the holy council both condemned,
  • For loathed Lollards, and base schismatics:
  • Then wherefore would you have me view that book?
  • I Card. Your grace mistakes, you gave us no such charge.
  • Deny it not: we all are witnesses
  • That Bruno here was late delivered you,
  • Edition: current; Page: [295]
  • With his rich triple crown to be reserved,
  • And put into the church's treasury.
Hath Card.
  • By holy Paul we saw them not!
  • By Peter you shalt die,
  • Unless you bring them forth immediately!
  • Hale them to prison, lade their limbs with gyves:
  • False prelates, for this hateful treachery,
  • CursÈD be your souls to hellish misery!
  • [Exeunt Attendants with the Cardinals.
  • So they are safe; now, Faustus, to the feast; The Pope had never such a frolic guest
  • Lord Archbishop of Rheims, sit down with us.
  • I thank your holiness.
  • Fall to; the devil choke you, an you spare.
  • Who is that spoke? Friars, look about Lord Raymond, pray fall to: I am beholding To the Bishop of Millaine for this so rare a present.
  • I thank you, sir.
  • [Snatches the dish.
  • How now! Who snatched the meat from me? Villains! why speak you not?
  • My good Lord Archbishop, here's a most dainty dish, Was sent me from a Cardinal in France.
  • I'll have that too.
  • [Snatches the dish.
  • What Lollards do attend our holiness, That we receive such great indignity? Fetch me some wine.
  • Ay, pray do, for Faustus is a-dry.
  • Lord Raymond, I drink unto your grace.
  • I pledge your grace.
  • [Snatches the cup.
Edition: current; Page: [296]
  • My wine gone too! Ye lubbers, look about
  • And find the man that doth this villainy,
  • Or by our sanctitude you all shalt die.
  • I pray, my lords, have patience at this
  • Troublesome banquet
  • Please it your Holiness, I think it be some ghost crept out of Purgatory, and now is come unto your Holiness for his pardon.
  • It may be so.
  • Go then, command our priests to sing a dirge, To lay the fury of this same troublesome ghost.
  • [Exit Attendant. The POPE crosses himself.
  • Faust, How now!
  • Must every bit be spiced with a cross? Nay, then, take that.
  • [Gives the POPE a buffet.
  • O, I am slain! help me, my lords!
  • O come and help to bear my body hence!
  • Damned be his1 soul for ever for this deed!
  • [Exeunt POPE and his train.
  • Now, Faustus, what will you do now? For I can tell you you'll be cursèd with bell, book, and candle.
  • Bell, book, and candle; candle, book, and bell, Forward and backward, to curse Faustus to hell!
  • Enter the Friars with bell, book, and candle, for tJit dirge.
1 Friar.
  • Come, brethren, let's about our business with good devotion.
  • [They sing.
  • Edition: current; Page: [297]
  • CursÈD be he that stole his Holiness' meat from the table.
  • Maledicat Dominus.
  • CursÈD be he that struck his Holiness a blow on the face.
  • Maledicat Dominus.
  • CursÈD be he that struck Friar Sandelo a blow on the pate.
  • Maledicat Dominus.
  • CursÈD be he that disturbeth our holy dirge.
  • Maledicat Dominus.
  • CursÈD be he that took away his Holiness' wine.
  • Maledicat Dominus.
  • [They beat the “Friars, fling fireworks among them, and exeunt.
  • SCENE 9 in ed. 1616 runs as follows:
  • Enter ROBIN and DICK with a cup.
  • Sirrah Robin! we were best look that your devil can answer the stealing of this same cup, for the vintner's boy follows us at the hard heels.
  • Tis no matter, let him come; an he follow us, I'll so conjure him as he was never conjured in his life, I warrant him: let me see the cup.
  • Here 'tis: yonder he comes. Now, Robin, now or never show thy cunning.
  • Enter Vintner.
  • Oh, are you here? I am glad I have found you; you are a couple of fine companions: pray where's the cup you stole from the tavern?
  • How, how! we steal a cup! take heed what you say; we look not like cup-stealers, I can tell you.
Edition: current; Page: [298]
  • Never deny”!, for I know you have it, and I'll search you.
  • Search me? Ay, and spare not—Hold the cup, Dick—Come, come, search me, search me.
  • [Vintner searches him.
  • Come on, sirrah, let me search you now.
  • Ay, ay, do, do—Hold the cup, Robin—I fear not your searching; we scorn to steal your cups, I can tell you.
  • [Vintner searches him.
  • Never outface me for the matter; for sure the cup is between you two.
  • Nay, there you lie, 'tis beyond us both.
  • A plague take you, I thought 'twas your knavery to take it away: come, give it me again.
  • Ay, much! when, can you tell?—Dick, make me a circle, and stand close at my back, and stir not for thy life.—Vintner, you shalt have your cup anon; say nothing, Dick: [Readsfrom hisbook] O per se, 0; Demogorgon; Belcher and Mephistophilis!
  • You princely legions of infernal rule,
  • How am I vexed by these villains' charms!
  • From Constantinople have they brought me now,
  • Only for pleasure of these damned slaves.
  • By lady, sir, you have had a shrewd journey of it! will it please you to take a shoulder of mutton to supper, and a tester in your purse, and go back again?
  • Ay, I pray you heartily, sir; for we called you but in jest, I promise you.
Edition: current; Page: [299]
  • To purge the rashness of this cursèd deed,
  • First, be thou turned to this ugly shape;
  • For apish deeds transformed to an ape.
  • O brave! an ape! I pray, sir, let me have the carrying of him about to show some tricks.
  • And so thou shall: be thou transformed to a dog, and carry him upon thy back j away! begone!
  • A dog! That's excellent! let the maids look well to their porridge-pots, for I'll into the kitchen presently: come, Dick, come.
  • [Exeunt the two Clowns.
  • Now with the flames of ever-burning fire,
  • I'll wing myself, and forthwith fly amain
  • Unto my Faustus to the Great Turk's court.
  • [Exit.
  • After SCENE g is found in ed. 1616 the following scene:
  • Enter MARTINO and FREDERICK at several doors.
  • What ho! officers, gentlemen!
  • Hie to the presence to attend the Emperor;
  • Good Frederick, see the rooms be voided straight,
  • His majesty is coming to the hall;
  • Go back, and see the state in readiness.
  • But where is Bruno, our elected Pope,
  • That on a fury's back came post from Rome?
  • Will not his grace consort the Emperor?
  • O yes: and with him comes the German conjurer,
  • The learned Faustus, fame of Wittenberg;
  • The wonder of the world for magic art:
  • And he intends to show great Carolus
  • The race of all his stout progenitors,
  • Edition: current; Page: [300]
  • And bring in presence of his majesty,
  • The royal shapes, and perfect1 semblances,
  • Of Alexander and his beauteous paramour.
  • Where is Benvolio?
  • Fast asleep, I warrant you;
  • He took his rouse with stoups of Rhenish wine
  • So kindly yesternight to Bruno's health,
  • That all this day the sluggard keeps his bed.
  • See, see, his window's ope! we'll call to him.
  • What ho! Benvolio!
  • Enter BENVOLIO above, at a window, in his nightcap; buttoning.
  • What a devil ail you two?
  • Speak softly, sir, lest the devil hear you:
  • For Faustus at the court is late arrived,
  • And at his heels a thousand Furies wait,
  • To accomplish whatsoever the Doctor please.
  • What of this?
  • Come, leave thy chamber first, and thou shalt see
  • This conjurer perform such rare exploits,
  • Before the Pope and royal Emperor,
  • As never yet was seen in Germany.
  • Has not the Pope enough of conjuring yet?
  • He was upon the devil's back late enough;
  • An if he be so far in love with him,
  • I would he would post with him to Rome again.
  • Speak, wilt thou come and see this sport?
  • Not I.
Edition: current; Page: [301]
  • Wilt thou stand in thy window and see it then?
  • Ay, an I fall not asleep i' the meantime.
  • The Emperor is at hand, who comes to see What wonders by black spells may compassed be.
  • Well, go you attend the Emperor: I am content for this once to thrust my head out at a window: for they say, if a man be drank over-night, the devil cannot hurt him in the morning: if that be true, I have a charm in my head shalt control him as well as the conjurer, I warrant you.
  • [Exeunt FREDERICK and MARTINO.
  • SCENE 10 is versified in ed. 1616 as follows:
  • A sennet. —Enter CHARLES, the German Emperor, BRUNO, SAXONY, FAUSTUS, MEPHISTOPHILIS, FREDERICK, MARTINO, and Attendants.
  • Wonder of men, renowned magician,
  • Thrice-learned Faustus, welcome to our court.
  • This deed of thine, in setting Bruno free
  • From his and our professed enemy,
  • Shalt add more excellence unto thine art
  • Than if by powerful necromantic spells
  • Thou could'st command the world's obedience.
  • For ever be beloved of Carolus;
  • And if this Bruno thou hast late redeemed
  • In peace possess the triple diadem,
  • And sit in Peter's chair despite of chance,
  • Thou shalt be famous through all Italy,
  • And honoured of the German Emperor.
  • These gracious words, most royal Carolus,
  • Edition: current; Page: [302]
  • Shalt make poor Faustus, to his utmost power,
  • Both love and serve the German Emperor,
  • And lay his life at holy Bruno's feet:
  • For proof whereof, if so your grace be pleased,
  • The Doctor stands prepared by power of art
  • To cast his magic charms, that shalt pierce through
  • The ebon gates of ever-burning hell,
  • And hale the stubborn Furies from their caves,
  • To compass whatsoe'er your grace commands.
  • Blood, he speaks terribly! but for all that, I do not greatly believe him; he looks as like [a] conjurer as the Pope to a costermonger.
  • Emp, Then, Faustus, as thou late didst promise us,
  • We would behold that famous conqueror,
  • Great Alexander, and his paramour,
  • In their true shapes and state majestical,
  • That we may wonder at their excellence.
  • Your majesty shalt see them presently.
  • Mephistophilis, away;
  • And with a solemn noise of trumpets' sound
  • Present before this royal Emperor
  • Great Alexander and his beauteous paramour.
  • Faustus, I will.
  • Well, Master Doctor, an your devils come not away quickly, you shalt have me asleep presently: zounds! I could eat myself for anger, to think I have been such an ass all this while, to stand gaping after the devil's governor, and can see nothing.
  • I'll make you feel something anon, if my art fail me not.
  • [Aside.
  • Edition: current; Page: [303]
  • My lord, I must forewarn your majesty,
  • That when my spirits present the royal shapes
  • Of Alexander and his paramour,
  • Your grace demand no questions of the king;
  • But in dumb silence let them come and go.
  • Be it as Faustus please, we are content.
  • Ay, ay, and I am content too: an thou bring Alexander and his paramour before the Emperor, I'll be Actseon, and turn myself to a stag.
  • And I'll play Diana, and send you the horns presently.
  • Sennet.Enter at one door the Emperor ALEXANDER, at the other DARIUS; they meet; DARIUS is thrown down; ALEXANDER kills him, takes off his crown, and offering to go out, his Paramour meets him; he embraceth her, and sets DARIUS' crown upon her head; and coming back, both salute the EMPEROR, who, having his state, offers to embrace them; which FAUSTUS seeing, suddenly stays him: then trumpets cease and music sounds.
  • My gracious lord, you do forget yourself,
  • These are but shadows, not substantial.
  • O pardon me, my thoughts are so ravished
  • With sight of this renowned Emperor,
  • That in mine arms I would have compassed him;
  • But, Faustus, since I may not speak to them,
  • To satisfy my longing thoughts at full,
  • Let me this tell thee: I have heard it said,
  • That this fair lady, whilst she lived on earth,
  • Edition: current; Page: [304]
  • Had on her neck a little wart or mole;
  • Now may I prove that saying to be true?
  • Your majesty may boldly go and see.
  • Faustus, I see it plain;
  • And in this sight thou better pleasest me,
  • Than if I gained another monarchy.
  • Away! begone! \Exit sfiffw.] See, see, my gracious lord! what strange beast is yon that thrusts his head out at window?
  • O wondrous sight! see, Duke of Saxony,
  • Two spreading horns most strangely fastened
  • Upon the head of young Benvolio.
  • What, is he asleep or dead?
  • He sleeps, my lord, but dreams not of his horns.
  • This sport is excellent: we'll call and wake him. What ho! Benvolio!
  • A plague upon you, let me sleep awhile.
  • I blame thee not to sleep much, having such a head of thine own.
  • Look up, Benvolio, 'tis the Emperor calls.
  • The Emperor! where? O, zounds, my head!
  • Nay, an thy horns hold, 'tis no matter for thy head, for that's armed sufficiently.
  • Why, how now, sir knight? what, hanged by the horns? This [is] most horrible: fie, pull in your head for shame; let not all the world wonder at you.
  • Zounds, Doctor, is this your villainy?
  • O say not so, sir, the Doctor has no skill!
  • No art, no cunning, to present these lords,
  • Or bring before this royal Emperor
  • Edition: current; Page: [305]
  • The mighty monarch, warlike Alexander:
  • If Faustus do it, you are straight resolved
  • In bold Actason's shape to turn a stag.
  • And therefore, my lord, so please your majesty,
  • I'll raise a kennel of hounds shalt hunt him so,
  • As all his footmanship shalt scarce prevail
  • To keep his carcass from their bloody fangs.
  • Ho! Belimote, Argiron, Asterote!
  • Hold, hold! zounds! he'll raise up a kennel of devils, I think, anon: good my lord entreat for me; 'sblood, I am never able to endure these torments.
  • Then, good Mr. Doctor,
  • Let me entreat you to remove his horns,
  • He has done penance now sufficiently.
  • My gracious lord; not so much for injury done to me, as to delight your majesty with some mirth, hath Faustus justly requited this injurious knight; which being all I desire, I am content to remove his horns. Mephis-tophilis, transform him; and hereafter, sir, look you speak well of scholars.
  • Speak well of ye? 'Sblood, an scholars be such cuckold-makers to clap horns of honest men's heads o1 this order, I'll ne'er trust smooth faces and small ruffs more. But an I be not revenged for this, would I might be turned to a gaping oyster, and drink nothing but salt water.
  • [Aside.
  • Come, Faustus, while the Emperor lives,
  • In recompense of this thy high desert,
  • Thou shalt command the state of Germany,
  • And live beloved of mighty Carolus.
  • [Exeunt omnes.
  • Edition: current; Page: [306]
  • Then follow two scenes not found in the two earlier eds.:
  • [SCENE Xa.]
  • Enter BENVOLIO, MARTINO, FREDERICK, and Soldiers.
  • Nay, sweet Benvolio, let us sway thy thoughts From this attempt against the conjurer.
  • Away, you love me not to urge me thus;
  • Shalt I let slip so great an injury,
  • When every servile groom jests at my wrongs,
  • And in their rustic gambols proudly say, “
  • Benvolio's head was graced with horns to-day? “
  • O may these eyelids never close again,
  • Till with my sword I have that conjurer slain:
  • If you will aid me in this enterprise,
  • Then draw your weapons and be resolute;
  • If not, depart; here will Benvolio die,
  • But Faustus' death shalt quit my infamy.
  • Nay, we will stay with thee, betide what may, And kill that doctor if he come this way.
  • Then, gentle Frederick, hie thee to the grove,
  • And place our servants and our followers,
  • Close in an ambush there behind the trees;
  • By this I know the conjurer is near:
  • I saw him kneel, and kiss the Emperor's hand,
  • And take his leave, laden with rich rewards:
  • Then, soldiers, boldly fight; if Faustus die,
  • Take you the wealth, leave us the victory.
  • Come, soldiers, follow me unto the grove, Who kills him shalt have gold and endless love.
  • [Exit FREDERICK with Soldiers.
Edition: current; Page: [307]
  • My head is lighter than it was by the horns, But yet my heart more ponderous than my head, And pants until I see that conjurer dead.
  • Where shalt we place ourselves, Benvolio?
  • Here will we stay to hide the first assault; O were that damned hell-hound but in place, Thou soon should'st see me quit my foul disgrace!
  • Enter FREDERICK.
  • Close, close, the conjurer is at hand,
  • And all alone comes walking in his gown;
  • Be ready then, and strike the peasant down.
  • Mine be that honour then: now, sword, strike home,
  • For horns he gave I'll have his head anon.
  • Enter FAUSTUS, with a false head.
  • See, see, he comes.
  • No words: this blow ends all; Hell take his soul, his body thus must fall
  • O!
  • Groan you, Master Doctor?
  • Break may his heart with groans: dear Frederick, see, Thus will I end his griefs immediately.
  • Strike with a willing hand; his head is off.
  • [BENVOLIO strikes off FAUSTUS'S false head.
  • The Devil's dead, the Furies now may laugh.
  • Was this that stern aspect, that awful frown, Made the grim monarch of infernal spirits Tremble and quake at his commanding charms?
Edition: current; Page: [308]
  • Was this that damned head, whose art1 conspired Benvolio's shame before the Emperor?
  • Bern). Ay, that's the head, and here the body lies, Justly rewarded for his vilknies.
  • Come, let's devise how we may add more shame To the black scandal of his hated name.
  • Bettv. First, on his head, in quittance of my wrongs, I'll nail huge forked horns, and let them hang Within the window where he yoked me first, That all the world may see my just revenge.
  • What use shalt we put his beard to?
  • We'll sell it to a chimney-sweeper; it will wear out ten birchen brooms, I warrant you.
  • What shalt [his] eyes do?
  • We'll put out his eyes; and they shalt serve for buttons to his lips, to keep his tongue from catching cold.
  • An excellent policy: and now, sirs, having divided him, what shalt the body do? [FAUSTUS^/^ up
  • Zounds, the Devil's alive again!
  • Give him his head, for God's sake.
  • Nay, keep it: Faustus will have heads and hands,
  • Ay, all2 your hearts to recompense this deed.
  • Knew you not, traitors, I was limited
  • For four-and-twenty years to breathe on earth?
  • And had you cut my body with your swords,
  • Or hewed this flesh and bones as small as sand,
  • Yet in a minute had my spirit returned,
  • And I had breathed a man, made free from harm.
  • Edition: current; Page: [309]
  • But wherefore do I dally my revenge?
  • Asteroth, Belimoth, Mephistophilis!
  • Enter MEPHISTOPHILIS and other Devils.
  • Go, horse these traitors on your fiery backs,
  • And mount aloft with them as high as heaven;
  • Thence pitch them headlong to the lowest hell:
  • Yet, stay; the world shalt see their misery,
  • And hell shalt after plague their treachery.
  • Go, Belimoth, and take this caitiff hence,
  • And hurl him in some lake of mud and dirt:
  • Take thou this other, drag him through the woods
  • Amongst the pricking thorns and sharpest briers;
  • Whilst with my gentle Mephistophilis,
  • This traitor flies unto some sleepy rock,
  • That rolling down may break the villain's bones,
  • As he intended to dismember me.
  • Fly hence! despatch my charge immediately!
  • Pity us, gentle Faustus, save our lives'
  • Away!
  • He must needs go, that the devil drives.
  • [Exeunt Spirits with the Knights
  • Enter the ambushed Soldiers.
Ist Sold.
  • Come, sirs, prepare yourselves in readiness,
  • Make haste to help these noble gentlemen,
  • I heard them parley with the conjurer.
znd Sold.
  • See, where he comes j despatch and kill the slave.
  • What's here? an ambush to betray my life!
  • Then, Faustus, try thy skill: base peasants, stand!
  • Edition: current; Page: [310]
  • For lo, these trees remove at my command,
  • And stand as bulwarks 'twixt yourselves and me,
  • To shield me from your hated treachery:
  • Yet to encounter this your weak attempt,
  • Behold an army comes incontinent.

[FAUSTUS strikes the door, and enter a Devil flaying on a drum, after him another bearing an ensign, and divers with weapons; MEPHISTO-PHILIS with fireworks. They set upon the Soldiers and drive them out.


Enter at several doors BENVOLIO, FREDERICK, and MAR-TINO, their heads and faces bloody and besmeared with mud and dirt, all halting horns on their heads.

  • What ho! Benvolio!
  • Here; what, Frederick, ho!
  • O help me, gentle friend; where is Martino?
  • Dear Frederick, here, Half smothered in a lake of mud and dirt, Through which the 'Furies dragged me by the heels.
  • Martino, see Benvolio's horns again!
  • O, misery! how now, Benvolio?
  • Defend me, heaven! shalt I be haunted still?
  • Nay, fear not, man, we have no power to kill
  • My friends transformed thus: O, hellish spite1 Your heads are all set with horns.
  • You hit it right, It is your own you mean: feel on your head.
Edition: current; Page: [311]
  • Zounds!1 horns again!
  • Nay, chafe not, man, we all are sped.
  • What devil attends this damned magician, That spite of spite our wrongs are doubled?
  • What may we do that we may hide our shames?
  • If we should follow him to work revenge, He'd join long asses' ears to these huge horns, And make us laughing-stocks to all the world.
  • What shalt we then do, dear Benvolio?
  • I have a castle joining near these woods, And thither we'll repair, and live obscure, Till time shalt alter these2 our brutish shapes: Sith black disgrace hath thus eclipsed our fame, We'll rather die with grief than live with shame.
  • [Exeunt omnes.

SCENE XI. runs as follows in ed. 1616:—

Enter FAUSTUS and the Horse-Courser, and MEPHIS-TOPHILIS.

Horse- C.
  • I beseech your worship accept of these forty dollars.
  • Friend, thou canst not buy so good a horse for so small a price: I have no great need to sell him, but if thou likest him for ten dollars more, take him, because I see thou hast a good mind to him.
  • I beseech you, sir, accept of this: I am a very poor man, and have lost very much of late by horseflesh, and this bargain will set me up again.
Edition: current; Page: [312]
  • Well, I will not stand with thee; give me the money. Now, sirrah, I must tell you that you may ride him o'er hedge and ditch and spare him not; but, do you hear, in any case, ride him not into the water.
  • How, sir, not into the water?—why, will he not drink of all waters?
  • Yes; he will drink of all waters, but ride him not into the water; o'er hedge and ditch, or where thou wilt, but not into the water. Go, bid the hostler deliver him unto you, and remember what I say.
  • I warrant you, sir: O! joyful day: now am I made a man for ever!
  • [Exit.
  • What art thou, Faustus, but a man condemned to die?
  • Thy fatal time draws to a final end;
  • Despair doth drive distrust into my thoughts:
  • Confound these passions with a quiet sleep:
  • Tush! Christ did call the Thief upon the Cross:
  • Then rest thee, Faustus, quiet in conceit.
  • [He sits to sleep.
  • Enter the Horse-Courser wet.
  • O! what a cozening Doctor was this! I riding my horse into the water, thinking some hidden mystery had been in the horse, I had nothing under me but a little straw, and had much ado to escape drowning. Well, I'll go rouse him, and make him give me my forty dollars again. Ho! sirrah, Doctor, you cozening scab! Master Doctor, awake and rise, and give me my money again; for your horse is turned to a bottle of hay. Edition: current; Page: [313] Master Doctor! [He fulls of his eg.] Alas! I am undone! what shalt I do! I have pulled off his leg.
  • O! help, help, the villain hath murdered me!
  • Murder or not murder, now he has but one leg 111 outrun him, and cast this leg into some ditch or other.
  • [He runs off.
  • Stop him! stop him! stop him:—ha, ha, ha! Faustus hath his leg again, and the Horse-Courser a bundle of hay for his forty dollars.
  • Enter WAGNER.
  • How now, Wagner, what news with thee?
  • If it please you, the Duke of Vanholt doth earnestly entreat your company; and hath sent some of his men to attend you, with provision fit for your journey.
  • The Duke of Vanholt's an honourable gentleman, and one to whom I must be no niggard of my cunning: come, away.
  • [Exeunt.
  • Here follows a scene not found in the two earlier 4tos. Enter ROBIN, DICK, Horse-Courser, and Carter.
  • Come, my masters, I'll bring you to the best beer in Europe; what ho! hostess! where be these whores?
  • Enter Hostess.
  • How now, what lack you? What, my old guess?1 welcome.
  • Sirrah, Dick, dost thou know why I stand so mute? Dick. No, Robin, why is't?
  • Edition: current; Page: [314]
  • Rob. I am eighteen-pence on the score; but say nothing; see if she have forgotten me.
  • Host. Who's this, that stands so solemnly by himself? What, my old guest?
  • O hostess, how do you do? I hope my score stands still.
  • Ay, there's no doubt of that; for methinks you make no haste to wipe it out.
  • Why, hostess, I say, fetch us some beer.
  • You shalt presently: look up into the hall there, ho!
  • [Exit.
  • Come, sirs, what shalt we do now till mine hostess comes?
  • Marry, sir, I'll tell you the bravest tale how a conjurer served me; you know Doctor Faustus?
  • Ay, a plague take him! here's some on's have cause to know him; did he conjure thee too?
  • I'll tell you how he served me: as I was going to Wittenberg t'other day with a load of hay he met me, and asked me what he should give me for as much hay as he could eat; now, sir, I, thinking that a little would serve his turn, bad him take as much as he would for three farthings; so he presently gave me my money and fell to eating; and as I am a cursen man, he never left eating till he had eat up all my load of hay.
  • O, monstrous! eat a whole load of hay?
  • Yes, yes, that may be; for I have heard of one that has eat a load of logs.
  • Now, sirs, you shalt hear how villainously he served me: I went to him yesterday to buy a horse o Edition: current; Page: [315] him, and he would by no means sell him under forty dollars; so, sir, because I knew him to be such a horse as would run over hedge and ditch and never tire, I gave him his money; so when I had my horse, Doctor Faustus bad me ride him night and day, and spare him no time; but, quoth he, in any case, ride him not into the water. Now, sir, I thinking the horse had some quality that he would not have me know of, what did I, but rid him into a great river! and when I came just in the midst, my horse vanished away, and I sate straddling upon a bottle of hay.
  • O brave Doctor!
  • But you shalt hear how bravely I served him for it; I went me home to his house, and there I found him asleep; I kept hallooing and whooping in his ears, but all could not wake him: I, seeing that, took him by the leg, and never rested pulling till I had pulled me his leg quite off; and now 'tis at home in mine hostry.
  • And has the Doctor but one leg then? That's excellent! for one of his devils turned me into the likeness of an ape's face.
  • Some more drink, hostess.
  • Hark you, we'll into another room and drink awhile, and then we'll go seek out the doctor.
  • [Exeunt omnes.
  • SCENE XII. stands as follows in ed. 1616:—
  • Thanks, Master Doctor, for these pleasant Edition: current; Page: [316] sights; nor know I how sufficiently to recompense your great deserts in erecting that enchanted castle in the air; the sight whereof so delighted me, as nothing in the world could please me more.
  • I do think myself, my good lord, highly recompensed in that it pleaseth your grace to think but well of that which Faustus hath performed. But, gracious lady, it may be that you have taken no pleasure in those sights; therefore I pray you tell me, what is the thing you most desire to have; be it in the world, it shalt be yours. I have heard that great-bellied women do long for things are rare and dainty.
  • True, Master Doctor; and since I find you so kind, I will make known unto you what my heart desires to have; and were it now summer as it is January, a dead time of the winter, I would request no better meat than a dish of ripe grapes.
  • This is but a small matter: go, Mephistophilis; away! [Exit MEPHISTOPHILIS.] Madam, I will do more than this for your content
  • Enter MEPHISTOPHILIS again with the grapes.
  • Here now, taste ye these; they should be good, for they come from a far country, I can tell you.
  • This makes me wonder more than all the rest; that at this time of the year, when every tree is barren of his fruit, from whence you had these ripe grapes.
  • Please it, your grace, the year is divided into two circles over the whole world; so that when it is winter with us, in the contrary circle it is likewise summer Edition: current; Page: [317] with them; as in India, Saba, and such countries that lie far east, where they have fruit twice a year; from whence, by means of a swift spirit that I have, I had these grapes brought as you see.
  • And trust me they are the sweetest grapes that e'er I tasted. \The Clown[s] bounce at the gate within.
  • What rude disturbers have we at the gate? Go pacify their fury, set it ope, And then demand of them what they would have.
  • [They knock again, and call out to talk with FAUSTUS.
  • Why, how now, masters; what a coil is there; What is the reason you disturb the Duke?
  • We have no reason for it, therefore a fig for him.
  • Why, saucy varlets, dare you be so bold?
  • I hope, sir, we have wit enough to be more bold than welcome.
  • It appears so; pray be bold elsewhere, and trouble not the Duke.
  • What would they have?
  • They all cry out to speak with Doctor Faustus.
  • Ay, and we will speak with him.
  • Will you, sir? Commit the rascals.
  • Commit with us; he were as good commit with his father as commit with us.
  • I do beseech your grace, let them come in, They are good subject for a merriment
  • Do as thou wilt, Faustus, I give thee leave.
  • I thank your grace.
  • Enter ROBIN, DICK, Carter, and Horse-Courser. Why, how now, my good friends?
  • Edition: current; Page: [318]
  • Faith you are too outrageous; but come near, I have procured your pardons; welcome all.
  • Nay, sir, we will be welcome for our money, and we will pay for what we take. What ho! give's half a dozen of beer here, and be hanged.
  • Nay, hark you, can you tell me where you are? Cart. Ay, marry, can I, we are under heaven.
  • Ay; but, Sir Saucebox, know you in what place?
  • Ay, ay, the house is good enough to drink in; zouns! fill us some beer, or we'll break all the barrels in the house, and dash out all your brains with your bottles.
  • Be not so furious; come, you shalt have beer. My lord, beseech you give me leave awhile, I'll gage my credit 'twill content your grace.
  • With all my heart, kind Doctor, please thyself, Our servants and our court's at thy command.
  • I humbly thank your grace;—then fetch some beer.
  • Ay, marry! there spake a doctor, indeed! and faith, I'll drink a health to thy wooden leg for that word.
  • My wooden leg! what dost thou mean by that?
  • Ha, ha, ha! dost hear him, Dick? he has forgot his leg.
  • Ay, ay, he does not stand much upon that.
  • No, faith, not much upon a wooden leg.
  • Good Lord! that flesh and blood should be so Edition: current; Page: [319] frail with your worship! Do not you remember a horse-courser you sold a horse to?
  • Yes, I remember I sold one a horse.
  • And do you remember you bid he should not ride into the water?
  • Yes, I do very well remember that.
  • And do you remember nothing of your leg.
  • No, in good sooth.
  • Then, I pray, remember your courtesy.
  • I thank you, sir.
  • 'Tis not so much worth: I pray you tell me one thing.
  • “What's that?
  • Be both your legs bedfellows every night together?
  • Would'st thou make a Colossus of me, that thou askest me such a question?
  • No, truly, sir, I would make nothing of you; but I would fain know that.
  • Enter Hostess with drink.
  • Then I assure thee, certainly they are.
  • I thank you, I am fully satisfied.
  • But wherefore dost thou ask?
  • For nothing, sir; but methinks you should have a wooden bedfellow of one of 'em.
  • Why, do you hear, sir, did not I pull off one of your legs when you were asleep?
  • But I have it again now I am awake? look you here, sir.
Edition: current; Page: [320]
  • O horrible! had the Doctor three legs? Can. Do you remember, sir, how you cozened me, and eat up my load of—
  • [FAUSTUS, in the middle of each speech, charms them dumb.
  • Do you remember how you made me wear an ape's—
  • You whoreson conjuring scab! do you remember how you cozened me with a ho—
  • Ha' you forgotten me? You think to carry it away with your hey-pass and re-pass: do you remember the dog's fa—
  • [Exeunt Clowns.
  • Who pays for the ale? Hear you, Master Doctor; now you have sent away my guess, I pray you who shalt pay me for my a—
  • [Exit Hostess.
  • My lord, We are much beholding to this learned man.
  • So are we, madam; which we will recompense With all the love and kindness that we may; His artful sport drives all sad thoughts away. [Exeunt.
  • 1616 SCENE XVI. begins thus:
  • Thus from infernal Dis do we ascend
  • To view the subjects of our monarchy,
  • Those souls which sin seals the black sons of hell;
  • Mang which, as chief, Faustus, we come to thee,
  • Edition: current; Page: [321]
  • Bringing with us lasting damnation,
  • To wait upon thy soul: the time is come
  • Which makes it forfeit
  • And, this gloomy night, Here, in this room, will wretched Faustus be.
  • And here we'll stay, To mark him how he doth demean himself.
  • How should he but in desperate lunacy? Fond worldling, now his heart-blood dries with grief; His conscience kills it; and his labouring brain Begets a world of idle fantasies To over-reach the devil; but all in vain; His store of pleasures must be sauc'd with pain. He and his servant Wagner are at hand; Both come from drawing Faustus' latest will. See, where they come!
  • Enter FAUSTUS and WAGNER.
  • Say,- Wagner,—thou hast perus'd my will,— How dost thou like it?
  • Sir, so wondrous well, As in all humble duty I do yield My life and lasting service for your love.
  • Gramercy,1 Wagner.
  • Enter Scholars.
  • Welcome, gentlemen.
  • [Exit WAGNER.
First Schol.
  • Now, worthy Faustus, methinks your looks are changed.
Edition: current; Page: [322]
  • Ah, gentlemen.
  • [The text then proceeds as in ed. 1604; but after I. 63, when the scholars retire, the following additions are found:
  • Ay, Faustus, now thou hast no hope of heaven; Therefore despair; think only upon hell, For that must be thy mansion, there to dwell.
  • O thou bewitching fiend! 'twas thy temptation Hath robb'd me of eternal happiness!
  • I do confess it, Faustus, and rejoice: 'Twas I that, when thou wert i' the way to heaven, Damm'd up thy passage; when thou took'st the book To view the Scriptures, then I turned the leaves, And led thine eye.
  • What, weep'st thou? 'tis too late; despair! Farewell! Fools that will laugh on earth must weep in hell. [Exit.
  • Enter GOOD ANGEL and EVIL ANGEL at several doors.
Good Ang.
  • O Faustus! if thou hadst given ear to me, Innumerable joys had follow'd thee! But thou didst love the world.
Evil Ang.
  • Gave ear to me, And now must taste hell-pains perpetually.
Good Ang.
  • O, what will all thy riches, pleasures, pomps, Avail thee now?
Evil Ang.
  • Nothing, but vex thee more, To want in hell, that had on earth such store.
Good Ang.
  • O, thou hast lost celestial happiness,
  • Pleasures unspeakable, bliss without end.
  • Hadst thou affected sweet divinity,
  • Hell or the devil had had no power on thee:
  • Edition: current; Page: [323]
  • Hadst thou kept on that way, Faustus, behold,
  • [Music, while a throne descends.
  • In what resplendent glory thou hadst sit
  • In yonder throne, like those bright-shining saints,
  • And triuinph'd over hell! That hast thou lost;
  • And now, poor soul, must thy good angel leave thee:
  • The jaws of hell are open to receive thee.
  • [Exit. The throne ascends.
Evil Ang.
  • Now, Faustus, let thine eyes with horror stare
  • [Hell is discovered.
  • Into that vast perpetual torture-house:
  • There are the furies tossing damngd souls
  • On burning forks; there bodies boil in lead;
  • There are live quarters broiling on the coals,
  • That ne'er can die; this ever-burning chair
  • Is for o'er-tortured souls to rest them in;
  • These that are fed with sops of flaming fire
  • Were gluttons, and lov'd only delicates,
  • And laugh'd to see the poor starve at their gates;
  • But yet all these are nothing; thou shalt see
  • Ten thousand tortures that more horrid be.
  • 0, I have seen enough to torture me!
Evil Ang.
  • Nay, thou must feel them, taste the smart of all:
  • He that loves pleasure, must for pleasure fall And so, I leave thee, Faustus, till anon, Then wilt thou tumble in confusion.

[Exit. Hell disappears.

Edition: current; Page: [324]

At the close of SCENE XVI. in ed. 1616 follows a scene which I suppose to have been written by Marlowe:

Enter Scholars.

First Schol.
  • Come, gentlemen, let us go visit Faustus, For such a dreadful night was never seen; Since first the world's creation did begin, Such fearful shrieks and cries were never heard: Pray Heaven the doctor have escap'd the danger.
Sec. Schol.
  • O help us, Heaven! see, here are Faustus'
  • limbs, All torn asunder by the hand of death!
Third Schol.
  • The devils whom Faustus serv'd havt torn him thus;
  • For, 'twixt the hours of twelve and one, methought,
  • I heard him shriek and call aloud for help;
  • At which self time the house seem'd all on fire
  • With dreadful horror of these damned fiends.
Sec. Schol.
  • Well, gentlemen, though Faustus' end be such
  • As every Christian heart laments to think on,
  • Yet, for he was a scholar once adrmVd
  • For wondrous knowledge in our German schools,
  • We'll give his mangled limbs due burial;
  • And all the students, cloth'd in mourning black,
  • Shalt wait upon his heavy funeral.
  • [Exeunt.
Edition: current; Page: [325]


“A ballad of the life and death of Doctor Faustus the great con-gerer,” perhaps founded on Marlowe's play, was licensed to be printed 28th February 1588-9. It was perhaps the ballad printed below from the Roxburghe Collection.

The judgment of God shewed upon one John Faustus, Doctor in Divinity.

Tune of Fortune my Foe.

  • All Christian men, give ear a while to me,
  • How I am plung'd in pain, but cannot die:
  • I liv'd a life the like did none before,
  • Forsaking Christ, and I am damn'd therefore.
  • At Wittenburge, a town in Germany,
  • There was I born and bred of good degree;
  • Of honest stock, which afterwards I sham'd;
  • Accurst therefore, for Faustus was I nam'd.
  • In learning, loe, my uncle brought up me,
  • And made me Doctor in Divinity;
  • And, when he dy'd, he left me all his wealth,
  • Whose cursèd gold did hinder my souls health.
  • Then did I shun the holy Bible-book,
  • Nor on Gods word would ever after look;
  • But studied accursèd conjuration,
  • Which was the cause of my utter damnation.
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  • The devil in fryars weeds appeared to me,
  • And straight to my request he did agree,
  • That I might have all things at my desire:
  • I gave him soul and body for his hire.
  • Twice did I make my tender flesh to bleed,
  • Twice with my blood I wrote the devils deed,
  • Twice wretchedly I soul and body sold,
  • To live in peace1 and do what things I would.
  • For four and twenty years this bond was made,
  • And at the length my soul was truly paid!
  • Time ran away, and yet I never thought
  • How dear my soul our Saviour Christ had bought.
  • Wouldf I Hi first been made a beast by kind!
  • Then had not I so vainly set my mind;
  • Or would, when reason first began to bloom,
  • Some darksome den had been my deadly tomb!
  • Woe to the day of my nativity!
  • Woe to the time that once did foster me!
  • And woe unto the hand that seal'd the bill!
  • Woe to myself, the cause of all my ill!
  • The time I passed away, with much delight,
  • Mongst princes, peers, and many a worthy knight:
  • I wrought such wonders by my magick skill,
  • That all the world may talk of Faustus still.
  • The devil he carried me up into the sky,
  • Where I did see how all the world did lie;
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  • I went about the world in eight daies space,
  • And then return'd unto my native place.
  • What pleasure I did wish to please my mind
  • He did perform, as bond and seal did bind;
  • The secrets of the stars and planets told,
  • Of earth and sea, with wonders manifold.
  • When four and twenty years was almost run,
  • I thought of all things that was past and done;
  • How that the devil would soon claim his right,
  • And carry me to everlasting night.
  • Then all too late I curst my wicked deed,
  • The dread1 whereof doth make my heart to bleed;
  • All daies and hours I mourned wondrous sore,
  • Repenting me of all things done before.
  • I then did wish both sun and moon to stay,
  • All times and seasons never to decay;
  • Then had my time nere come to dated end,
  • Nor soul and body down to hell descend.
  • At last, when I had but one hour to come,
  • I turn'd my glass, for my last hour to run,
  • And call'd in learned men to comfort me;
  • But faith was gone, and none could comfort me.
  • By twelve a clock my glass was almost out:
  • My grieved conscience then began to doubt;
  • I wisht the students stay in chamber by; But,
  • as they staid, they heard a dreadful cry.
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  • Then present, lo,1 they came into the hall,
  • Whereas my brains was cast against the wall;
  • Both arms and legs in pieces torn they see,
  • My bowels gone: this was an end of me.
  • You conjurers and damned witches all,
  • Example take by my unhappy fall:
  • Give not your souls and bodies unto hell,
  • See that the smallest hair you do not sell.
  • But hope that Christ his kingdom you may gain,
  • Where you shalt never fear such mortal pain;
  • Forsake the devil and all his crafty ways,
  • Embrace true faith that never more decays.

Printed by and for A. M. and sold by the Booksellers of London.