Table of Contents:
What saith Maximus?
My Lord, the breach the enimie hath made
Gives such assurance of our overthrow,
That litle hope is left to save our lives,
Or hold our citie from the Conquerours hands.
Then hang out flagges (my Lord) of humble truce,
And satisfie the peoples generall praiers,
That Tamburlains intollorable wrath
May be suppresst by our submission.
Villaine, respects thou more thy slavish life,
Than honor of thy countrie or thy name?
Is not my life and state as deere to me,
The citie and my native countries weale,
As any thing of price with thy conceit?
Have we not hope, for all our battered walles,
To live secure, and keep his forces out,
When this our famous lake of Limnasphaltis
Makes walles a fresh with every thing that falles
Into the liquid substance of his streame,
More strong than are the gates of death or hel?
What faintnesse should dismay our courages,
When we are thus defenc'd against our Foe,
And have no terrour but his threatning lookes?
Enter another [1. Citizen], kneeling to the Governour.
My Lord, if ever you did deed of rush,
And now will work a refuge to our lives,
Ofter submission, hang up flags of truce,
That Tamburlaine may pitie our distresse,
And use us like a loving Conquerour.
Though this be held his last daies dreadfull siege,
Wherein he spareth neither man nor child,
Yet are there Christians of Georgia here,
Whose state he ever pitied and reliev'd,
Wil get his pardon if your grace would send.
How is my soule environed,
And this eternisde citie Babylon,
Fill'd with a packe of faintheart Fugitives,
That thus intreat their shame and servitude?
Enter 2. Citizen.]
My Lord, if ever you wil win our hearts,
Yeeld up the towne, save our wives and children:
For I wil cast my selfe from off these walles,
Or die some death of quickest violence,
Before I bide the wrath of Tamburlaine.
Villaines, cowards, Traitors to our state.
Fall to the earth, and pierce the pit of Hel,
That legions of tormenting spirits may vex
Your slavish bosomes with continuall paines,
I care not, nor the towne will never yeeld
As long as any life is in my breast.
Enter Theridamas and Techelles, with other souldiers.
Thou desperate Governour of Babylon,
To save thy life, and us a litle labour,
Yeeld speedily the citie to our hands,
Or els be sure thou shalt be forc'd with paines,
More exquisite than ever Traitor felt.
Tyrant I turne the traitor in thy throat,
And wil defend it in despight of thee.
Call up the soldiers to defend these wals.
Yeeld foolish Governour, we offer more
Than ever yet we did to such proud slaves,
As durst resist us till our third daies siege:
Thou seest us prest to give the last assault,
And that shal bide no more regard of parlie.
Assault and spare not, we wil never yeeld.
Alarme, and they scale the walles.
Enter Tamburlaine, [drawn in his chariot by the kings of Trebizon and Soria,] with Usumcasane, Amyras, and Celebinus, with others, the two spare kings [Orcanes, King of Natolia, and King of Jerusalem, led by souldiers].
The stately buildings of faire Babylon,
Whose lofty Pillers, higher than the cloudes,
Were woont to guide the seaman in the deepe,
Being carried thither by the cannons force,
Now fil the mouth of Limnasphaltes lake,
And make a bridge unto the battered walles.
Where Belus, Ninus and great Alexander
Have rode in triumph, triumphs Tamburlaine,
Whose chariot wheeles have burst th'Assirians bones,
Drawen with these kings on heaps of carkasses.
Now in the place where faire Semiramis,
Courted by kings and peeres of Asia,
Hath trode the Meisures, do my souldiers martch,
And in the streets, where brave Assirian Dames
Have rid in pompe like rich Saturnia,
With furious words and frowning visages,
My horsemen brandish their unruly blades.
Enter [below] Theridamas and Techelles bringing the Governour of Babylon.
Who have ye there my Lordes?
The sturdy Governour of Babylon,
That made us all the labour for the towne,
And usde such slender reckning of your majesty.
Go bind the villaine, he shall hang in chaines,
Upon the ruines of this conquered towne.
Sirha, the view of our vermillion tents,
Which threatned more than if the region
Next underneath the Element of fire,
Were full of commtes and of blazing stars,
Whose flaming traines should reach down to the earth
Could not affright you , no, nor I my selfe,
The wrathfull messenger of mighty Jove,
That with his sword hath quail'd all earthly kings,
Could not perswade you to submission,
But stil the ports were shut: villaine I say,
Should I but touch the rusty gates of hell,
The triple headed Cerebus would howle,
And wake blacke Jove to crouch and kneele to me,
But I have sent volleies of shot to you,
Yet could not enter till the breach was made.
Nor if my body could have stopt the breach,
Shouldst thou have entred, cruel Tamburlaine:
Tis not thy bloody tents can make me yeeld,
Nor yet thy self, the anger of the highest,
For though thy cannon shook the citie walles,
My heart did never quake, or corrage faint.
Wel, now Ile make it quake, go draw him up,
Hang him up in chaines upon the citie walles,
And let my souldiers shoot the slave to death.
Vile monster, born of some infernal hag,
And sent from hell to tyrannise on earth,
Do all thy wurst, nor death, nor Tamburlaine,
Torture or paine can daunt my dreadlesse minde.
Up with him then, his body shalbe scard.
But Tamburlaine in Lymnasphaltis lake,
There lies more gold than Babylon is worth,
Which when the citie was besieg'd I hid,
Save but my life and I wil give it thee.
Then for all your valour, you would save your life.
Where about lies it?
Under a hollow bank, right opposite
Against the Westerne gate of Babylon.
Go thither some of you and take his gold,
The rest forward with execution,
Away with him hence, let him speake no more:
I think I make your courage something quaile.
[Exeunt souldiers several ways, some with Governour.]
When this is done, we'll martch from Babylon,
And make our greatest haste to Persea:
These Jades are broken winded, and halfe tyr'd,
Unharnesse them, and let me have fresh horse:
So, now their best is done to honour me,
Take them, and hang them both up presently.
Vild Tyrant, barbarous bloody Tamburlain.
Take them away Theridamas, see them dispatcht.
I will my Lord.
[Exit with the Kings of Trebizon and Soria]
Come Asian Viceroies, to your taskes a while
And take such fortune as your fellowes felt.
First let thy Scythyan horse teare both our limmes
Rather then we should draw thy chariot,
And like base slaves abject our princely mindes
To vile and ignominious servitude.
Rather lend me thy weapon Tamburlain,
That I may sheath it in this breast of mine,
A thousand deathes could not torment our hearts
More than the thought of this dooth vexe our soules.
They will talk still my Lord, if you doe not bridle them.
Bridle them, and let me to my coach.
They bridle them.
[Souldiers hang the Governour of Babylon in chaines on the walles. Enter Theridamas below.]
See now my Lord how brave the Captaine hangs.
Tis brave indeed my boy, wel done,
Shoot first my Lord, and then the rest shall follow.
Then have at him to begin withall.
Yet save my life, and let this wound appease
The mortall furie of great Tamburlain.
No, though Asphaltis lake were liquid gold,
And offer'd me as ransome for thy life,
Yet shouldst thou die, shoot at him all at once. They shoote.
So now he hangs like Bagdets Governour,
Having as many bullets in his flesh,
As there be breaches in her battered wall.
Goe now and bind the Burghers hand and foot,
And cast them headlong in the cities lake:
Tartars and Perseans shall inhabit there,
And to command the citie, I will build
A Cytadell, that all Assiria
Which hath bene subject to the Persean king,
Shall pay me tribute for, in Babylon.
What shal be done with their wives and children my Lord.
Techelles, Drowne them all, man, woman, and child,
Leave not a Babylonian in the towne.
I will about it straight, come Souldiers.
Now Casane, wher's the Turkish Alcaron,
And all the heapes of supersticious bookes,
Found in the Temples of that Mahomet,
Whom I have thought a God? they shal be burnt.
Here they are my Lord.
Wel said, let there be a fire presently.
In vaine I see men worship Mahomet,
My sword hath sent millions of Turks to hell,
Slew all his Priests, his kinsmen, and his friends,
And yet I live untoucht by Mahomet:
There is a God full of revenging wrath,
From whom the thunder and the lightning breaks,
Whose Scourge I am, and him will I obey.
So Casane, fling them in the fire.
Now Mahomet, if thou have any power,
Come downe thy selfe and worke a myracle,
Thou art not woorthy to be worshipped,
That suffers flames of fire to burne the writ
Wherein the sum of thy religion rests.
Why send'st thou not a furious whyrlwind downe,
To blow thy Alcaron up to thy throne,
Where men report, thou sitt'st by God himselfe,
Or vengeance on the head of Tamburlain,
That shakes his sword against thy majesty,
And spurns the Abstracts of thy foolish lawes.
Wel souldiers, Mahomet remaines in hell,
He cannot heare the voice of Tamburlain,
Seeke out another Godhead to adore,
The God that sits in heaven, if any God,
For he is God alone, and none but he.
I have fulfil'd your highnes wil, my Lord,
Thousands of men drown'd in Asphaltis Lake,
Have made the water swell above the bankes,
And fishes fed by humaine carkasses,
Amasde, swim up and downe upon the waves,
As when they swallow Assafatida,
Which makes them fleet aloft and gaspe for aire.
Wel then my friendly Lordes, what now remaines
But that we leave sufficient garrison
And presently depart to Persea,
To triumph after all our victories.
I, good my Lord, let us in hast to Persea,
And let this Captaine be remoov'd the walles,
To some high hill about the citie here.
Let it be so, about it souldiers:
But stay, I feele my selfe distempered sudainly.
What is it dares distemper Tamburlain?
Something Techelles, but I know not what,
But foorth ye vassals, what so ere it be,
Sicknes or death can never conquer me.