Act 1, Scene 2[Enter] Tamburlaine leading Zenocrate: Techelles, Usumcasane, otherLords [,Magnetes, Agidas,] and Souldiers loden with treasure.
Come lady, let not this appal your thoughts.
The jewels and the treasure we have tane
Shall be reserv'd, and you in better state,
Than if you were arriv'd in Siria,
Even in the circle of your Fathers armes:
The mightie Souldan of Egyptia.
Ah Shepheard, pity my distressed plight,
(If as thou seem'st, thou art so meane a man)
And seeke not to inrich thy followers,
By lawlesse rapine from a silly maide.
Who travailing with these Medean Lords
To Memphis, from my uncles country of Medea,
Where all my youth I have bene governed,
Have past the armie of the mightie Turke:
Bearing his privie signet and his hand:
To safe conduct us thorow Affrica.
And since we have arriv'd in Scythia,
Besides rich presents from the puisant Cham,
We have his highnesse letters to command
Aide and assistance if we stand in need.
But now you see these letters and commandes,
Are countermanded by a greater man:
And through my provinces you must expect
Letters of conduct from my mightinesse,
If you intend to keep your treasure safe.
But since I love to live at liberty,
As Basely may you get the Souldans crowne,
As any prizes out of my precinct.
For they are friends that help to weane my state,
Till men and kingdomes help to strengthen it:
And must maintaine my life exempt from servitude.
But tell me Maddam, is your grace betroth'd?
I am (my Lord,) for so you do import.
I am a Lord, for so my deeds shall proove,
And yet a shepheard by my Parentage:
But Lady, this faire face and heavenly hew,
Must grace his bed that conquers Asia:
And meanes to be a terrour to the world,
Measuring the limits of his Emperie
By East and west, as Phoebus doth his course:
Lie here ye weedes that I disdaine to weare,
[Takes off shepheards cloak.]
This compleat armor, and this curtle-axe
Are adjuncts more beseeming Tamburlaine.
And Maddam, whatsoever you esteeme
Of this successe, and losse unvallued,
Both may invest you Empresse of the East:
And these that seeme but silly country Swaines,
May have the leading of so great an host,
As with their weight shall make the mountains quake,
Even as when windy exhalations,
Fighting for passage, tilt within the earth.
As princely Lions when they rouse themselves,
Stretching their pawes, and threatning heardes of Beastes,
So in his Armour looketh Tamburlaine:
Me thinks I see kings kneeling at his feet,
And he with frowning browes and fiery lookes,
Spurning their crownes from off their captive heads.
And making thee and me Techelles, kinges,
That even to death will follow Tamburlaine.
Nobly resolv'd, sweet friends and followers.
These Lords (perhaps) do scorne our estimates,
And thinke we prattle with distempered spirits:
But since they measure our deserts so meane,
That in conceit bear Empires on our speares,
Affecting thoughts coequall with the cloudes,
They shall be kept our forced followers,
Till with their eies they view us Emperours.
The Gods, defenders of the innocent,
Will never prosper your intended driftes,
That thus oppresse poore friendles passengers.
Therefore at least admit us libertie,
Even as thou hop'st to be eternized,
By living Asias mightie Emperour.
I hope our Ladies treasure and our owne,
May serve for ransome to our liberties:
Returne our Mules and emptie Camels backe,
That we may traveile into Siria,
Where her betrothed Lord Alcidamus,
Expects th'arrivall of her highnesse person.
And wheresoever we repose our selves,
We will report but well of Tamburlaine.
Disdaines Zenocrate to live with me?
Or you my Lordes to be my followers?
Thinke you I way this treasure more than you?
Not all the Gold in lndias welthy armes,
Shall buy the meanest souldier in my traine.
Zenocrate, lovelier than the Love of Jove,
Brighter than is the silver Rhodope.
Fairer than whitest snow on Scythian tails,
Thy person is more woorth to Tamburlaine,
Than the possession of the Persean Crowne,
Which gratious starres have promist at my birth.
A hundreth Tartars shall attend on thee,
Mounted on Steeds, swifter than Pegasus.
Thy Garments shall be made of Medean silke,
Enchast with precious juelles of mine owne:
More rich and valurous than Zenocrates.
With milke-white Hartes upon an Ivorie sled,
Thou shalt be drawen amidst the frosen Pooles,
And scale the ysie mountaines lofty tops:
Which with thy beautie will be soone resolv'd.
My martiall prises with five hundred men,
Wun on the fiftie headed Vuolgas waves,
Shall all we offer to Zenocrate,
And then my selfe to faire Zenocrate.
What now? In love?[Aside.]
Techelles, women must be flatered.[Aside.]
But this is she with whom I am in love.
Enter a Souldier.
How now, what's the matter?
A thousand Persean horsmen are at hand,
Sent from the King to overcome us all.
How now my Lords of Egypt and Zenocrate?
Nowmust your jewels be restor'd againe:
And I that triumpht so be overcome.
How say you Lordings, Is not this your hope?
We hope your selfe wil willingly restore them.
Such hope, such fortune have the thousand horse.
Soft ye my Lords and sweet Zenocrate.
You must be forced from me ere you goe:
A thousand horsmen? We five hundred foote?
An oafs too great, for us to stand against:
But are they rich? And is their armour good?
Their plumed helmes are wrought with beaten golde.
Their swords enameld, and about their neckes
Hangs massie chaines of golde downe to the waste,
In every part exceeding brave and rich.
Then shall we fight couragiously with them.
Or looke you, I should play the Orator?
No: cowards and fainthearted runawaies,
Looke for orations when the foe is neere.
Our swordes shall play the Orators for us.
Come let us meet them at the mountain foot,
And with a sodaine and an hot alarme
Drive all their horses headlong down the hill.
Come let us martch.
Stay Techelles, aske a parlee first.
The Souldiers enter.
Open the Males, yet guard the treasure sure,
Lay out our golden wedges to the view,
That their reflexions may amaze the Perseans.
And looke we friendly on them when they come:
But if they offer word or violence,
Weele fight five hundred men at armes to one,
Before we part with our possession.
And gainst the Generall we will lift our swords,
And either ranch his greedy thirsting throat,
Or take him prisoner, and his chaine shall serve
For Manackles, till he be ransom'd home.
I heare them come, shal we encounter them?
Keep all your standings, and not stir a foote,
My selfe will bide the danger of the brunt.
Enter Theridamas with others.
Where is this Scythian Tamburlaine?
Whom seekst thou Persean? I am Tamburlain.
A Scythian Shepheard, so imbellished
With Natures pride, and richest furniture?
His looks do menace heaven and dare the Gods,
His fierie eies are fixt upon the earth,
As if he now devis'd some Stratageme:
Or meant to pierce Avernus darksome vaults,
And pull the triple headed dog from hell.
Noble and milde this Persean seemes 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 Persea) [To Theridamas.]
I see the folly of thy Emperour:
Art thou but Captaine of a thousand horse,
That by Characters graven in thy browes,
And by thy martiall face and stout aspect,
Deserv'st to have the leading of an hoste?
Forsake thy king and do but joine with me
And we will triumph over all the world.
I hold the Fates bound fast in yron chaines,
And with my hand turne Fortunes wheel about,
And sooner shall the Sun fall from his Spheare,
Than Tamburlaine be slaine or overcome.
Draw foorth thy sword, thou mighty man at Armes,
Intending but to rase my charmed skin:
And Jove himselfe will stretch his hand from heaven,
To ward the blow, and shield me safe from harme.
See how he raines down heaps of gold in showers,
As if he meant to give my Souldiers pay,
And as a sure and grounded argument,
That I shall be the Monark of the East,
He sends this Souldans daughter rich and brave,
To be my Queen and portly Emperesse.
If thou wilt stay with me, renowmed man,
And lead thy thousand horse with my conduct,
Besides thy share of this Egyptian prise,
Those thousand horse shall sweat with martiall spoile
Of conquered kingdomes, and of Cities sackt.
Both we wil walke upon the lofty cliffs,
And Christian Merchants that with Russian stems
Plow up huge furrowes in the Caspian sea,
Shall vaile to us, as Lords of all the Lake.
Both we will raigne as Consuls of the earth,
And mightie kings shall be our Senators.
Jove sometime masked in a Shepheards weed,
And by those steps that he hath scal'd the heavens,
May we become immortall like the Gods.
Joine with me now in this my meane estate,
(I cal it meane, because being yet obscure,
The Nations far remoov'd admyre me not)
And when my name and honor shall be spread,
As far as Boreas claps his brazen wings,
Or faire Boötes sends his cheerefull light,
Then shalt thou be Competitor with me,
And sit with Tamburlaine in all his majestie.
Not Hermes Prolocutor to the Gods,
Could use perswasions more patheticall.
Nor are Apollos Oracles more true,
Then thou shalt find my vaunts substantiall.
We are his friends, and if the Persean king
Should offer present Dukedomes to our state,
We thinke it losse to make exchange for that
We are assured of by our friends successe.
And kingdomes at the least we all expect,
Besides the honor in assured conquestes:
Where kings shall crouch unto our conquering swords,
And hostes of souldiers stand amaz'd at us,
When with their fearfull tongues they shall confesse
Theise are the men that all the world admires.
What stronge enchantments tice my yeelding soule?
Are these resolved noble scythians?
But shall I proove a Traitor to my King?
No, but the trustie friend of Tamburlaine.
Won with thy words, and conquered with thy looks,
I yeeld my selfe, my men and horse tothee:
To be partaker of thy good or ill,
As long as life maintaines Theridamas.
Theridamas my friend, take here my hand,
Which is as much as if I swore by heaven,
And call'd the Gods to witnesse of my vow,
Thus shall my heart be still combinde with thine,
Untill our bodies turne toElements:
And both our soules aspire celestiall thrones.
Techelles, and Casane, welcome him.
Welcome renowmed Persean to us all.
Long may Theridamas remaine with us.
These are my friends in whom I more rejoice,
Than dooth the King of Persea in his Crowne:
And by the love of Pyllades and Orestes,
Whose statutes we adore in Scythia,
Thy selfe and them shall never part from me,
Before I crowne you kings in Asia.
Make much of them gentle Theridamas,
And they will never leave thee till the death.
Nor thee, nor them, thrice noble Tamburlaine,
Shal want my heart to be with gladnes pierc'd
To do you honor and securitie.
A thousand thankes worthy Theridamas:
And now faire Madam, and my noble Lords,
If you will willingly remaine with me,
You shall have honors, as your merits be:
Or els you shall be forc'd with slaverie.
We yeeld unto thee happie Tamburlaine.
For you then Maddam, I am out of doubt.
I must be pleasde perforce, wretched Zenocrate.