Page images

Tamb. Come, bring them in; and for this happy

conquest, , .

Triumph and solemnize a martial feast. [Exeunt. •w* A /



Enter the Soldan of Egypt, Capolise, Lords,

and a MessengerSold. Awake, ye men of Memphis!—hear the


Of Scythian trumpets!—hear the basilisks,
That, roaring, shake Damascus' turrets down!
The rogue of Volga holds Zenocrate,
The Soldan's daughter, for his concubine,
And with a troop of thieves and vagabonds,
Hath spread his colours to our high disgrace,
While you, faint-hearted, base Egyptians,
Lie slumb'ring on the flow'ry banks of Nile, /

As crocodiles that unaffrighted rest,
While thund'ring cannons rattle on their skins.

Mess. Nay, mighty soldan.did your greatness see
The frowning looks of fiery Tamburlaine,
That with his terror and imperious eyes,
Commands the hearts of his associates,
It might amaze your royal majesty.

Sold. Villain, I tell thee, were that Tamburlaine
As monstrous as [the] gorgon prince of hell,

The soldan would not start a foot from him.
But speak, what pow'r hath he?

Mess. Mighty lord,

Three hundred thousand men in armour clad,
Upon their prancing steeds disdainfully,
With wanton paces trampling on the ground:
Five hundred thousand footmen threat'ning 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.

Sold. Nay, could their numbers countervail the


Or ever-drizzling drops of April show'rs,
Or wither'd leaves that Autumn shaketh down,
Yet would the Soldan, by his conq'ring pow'r
So scatter and consume them in his rage,
That not a man should live to rue their fall.

Capo. So might your highness, had you time to


Your fighting men, and raise your royal host; \ *. t .' But Tamburlaiue, by expedition,

Advantage takes of your unreadiness.

Sold. Let him take all th' advantages he can,
Were all the world conspir'd 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.

Mess. Pleaseth your Mightiness to understand, His resolution far exceedeth all. The first day when he pitcheth down his tents, White is their hue, and on his silver crest, A snowy feather spangled white he bears, To signify the mildness of his mind, That, satiate with spoil, refuseth blood. But when Aurora mounts the second time As red as scarlet is his furniture; Then must his kindled wrath be quench'd with blood, Not sparing any that can manage arms; But if these threats move not submission, Black are his colours, black, his pavilions; His spear, his shield, his .horse, his armour, plumes, And petty feathers, menace death and hell; Without respect of sex, degree, or age, He razeth all his foes with fire and sword.

Sold. Merciless villain !—peasant, ignorant Of lawful arms or martial discipline! Pillage and rnurder are his usual trades. The slave usurps the glorious name of war. See, Capoline, the fair Arabian king, That hath been disappointed by this slave Of my fair daughter, and his princely love, May have fresh warning to go war with us, And be reveng'd for her disparagement. [Exeunt. SCENE II.

Enter Tamburlaine, Techelles,thf.ridamas, Usumcasane, Zenocrate, Anippe, two Moors drawing Bajazet in a cage, and his Wife following him.

Tamb. Bring out my footstool.

[Bajazet is taken out of the cage.
Baj. Ye holy priests of heavenly Mahomet,
That, sacrificing, slice and cut your flesh,
Staining your altars with your purple blood;
Make Heaven to frown and ev'ry fixed star
To suck up poison from the Moorish fens,
And pour it in this glorious tyrant's throat!

Tamb. The chiefest god, first mover of that


Enchas'd with thousand ever-shining lamps,
'v , Will sooner burn the glorious frame of Heaven,

: Than it should so conspire my overthrow.
But villain! thou that wishest this to me,
Fall prostrate on the low disdainful earth,
And be the footstool of great Tamburlaine,
That I may rise unto my royal throne.

Baj. First shalt thou rip my bowels with thy


And sacrifice my soul to death and hell,
Before I yield to such a slavery.

Tamb. Base villain, vassal, slave to Tamburlaine!
! Unworthy to embrace or touch the ground,
That bears the honour of my royal weight;
Stoop, villain, stoop! stoop! for so he bids

That may command thee piecemeal to be torn,
Or scatter'd like the lofty cedar trees
Struck with the voice of thund'ring Jupiter.

Baj. When as 1 look down to the damned 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.

[ Tambur/aine gets upon him to his chair.

Tanb. Now clear the triple region of the air,
And let the Majesty of Heaven behold I
Their scourge and terror tread on emperors.
Smile, stars, that reign'd at my nativity,
And dim the brightness of their neighbour lamps!
Disdain to borrow light of Cynthia!

I, the chiefest lamp of all the earth,
First rising in the East with mild aspect,
But fixed now in the Meridian line,
Will send up fire to your turning spheres,
And cause the sun to borrow light of you,/
My sword struck fire from his coat of steel
Ev'n iu Bithynia, when 1 took this Turk;
As when a fiery exhalation,
Wrapt in the bowels of a freezing cloud
Fighting for passage, makes the welkin crack,
And casts a flash of lightning to the earth:
But ere I march to wealthy Persia,
Or leave Damascus and th' Egyptian fields,
As was the fame of Clymene's brain-sick son,
That almost brent* the axle-tree of heaven,
• Brent-burnt.

« PreviousContinue »