The First Part of Tamburlaine the Great, by Christopher Marlowe

Act 2.

Scene 1.

[Enter Cosroe, Menaphon, Ortygius, and Ceneus, with Soldiers.]

Cosroe.

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?

Menaphon.

Of stature tall, and straightly fashioned,
Like his desire, lift upwards and divine;
So large of limbs, his joints so strongly knit,
Such breadth of shoulders as might mainly bear
Old Atlas’ burden; ‘twixt his manly pitch,65
A pearl more worth than all the world is plac’d,
Wherein by curious sovereignty of art
Are fix’d his piercing instruments of sight,
Whose fiery circles bear encompassed
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 in him with passion,
Thirsting with sovereignty and66 love of arms;
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,67
Betokening valour and excess of strength; —
In every part proportion’d like the man
Should make the world subdu’d68 to Tamburlaine.

Cosroe.

Well hast thou pourtray’d in thy terms of life
The face and personage of a wondrous man:
Nature doth strive with Fortune69 and his stars
To make him famous in accomplish’d worth;
And well his merits shew 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.
Then, when our powers in points of swords are join’d,
And clos’d in compass of the killing bullet,
Though strait the passage and the port70 be made
That leads to palace of my brother’s life,
Proud is71 his fortune if we pierce it not;
And, when the princely Persian diadem
Shall overweigh his weary witless head,
And fall, like mellow’d fruit, with shakes of death,
In fair72 Persia noble Tamburlaine
Shall be my regent, and remain as king.

Ortygius.

In happy hour we have set the crown
Upon your kingly head, that seeks our honour
In joining with the man ordain’d by heaven
To further every action to the best.

Ceneus.

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 stuff’d with treasure for his highest thoughts!

Cosroe.

And such shall wait on worthy Tamburlaine.
Our army will be forty thousand strong,
When Tamburlaine and brave Theridamas
Have met us by the river Araris;
And all conjoin’d to meet the witless king,
That now is marching near to Parthia,
And, with unwilling soldiers faintly arm’d,
To seek revenge on me and Tamburlaine;
To whom, sweet Menaphon, direct me straight.

Menaphon.

I will, my lord.

[Exeunt.]

65 pitch] Is generally equivalent to — stature. (“I would have you tell me what PITCH he was of, Velim mihi dicas qua STATURA fuerit.” Coles’s DICT.) But here it means the highest part of the body — the shoulders (see the 10th sign. of PITCH in Halliwell’s DICT. OF ARCH. AND PROV. WORDS) — the “pearl” being, of course, his head.

66 and] So the 4to. — The 8vo “with.”

67 His arms and fingers long and sinewy] So the 8vo, except that, by a misprint, it has “snowy” for “sinewy.”— The 4to gives the line thus —

“His armes long, HIS fingers SNOWY-WHITE.”!!

(and so the line used to stand in Lamb’s SPEC. OF DRAM. POETS, till I made the necessary alteration in Mr. Moxon’s recent ed. of that selection.)

68 subdu’d] So the 8vo. — The 4to “subdue.”

69 Nature doth strive with Fortune, &c.] Qy did Shakespeare recollect this passage when he wrote —

“Nature and Fortune join’d to make thee great”?
KING JOHN, act iii. sc. 1.

70 port] i.e. gate.

71 is] So the 8vo. — The 4to “in.”

72 In fair, &c.] Here “fair” is to be considered as a dissyllable: compare, in the Fourth Act of our author’s JEW OF MALTA,

“I’ll feast you, lodge you, give you FAIR words,
And, after that,” &c.

Scene 2.

[Enter Mycetes, Meander, with other Lords; and Soldiers.]

Mycetes.

Come, my Meander, let us to this gear.
I tell you true, my heart is swoln with wrath
On this same thievish villain Tamburlaine,
And of73 that false Cosroe, my traitorous brother.
Would it not grieve a king to be so abus’d,
And have a thousand horsemen ta’en away?
And, which is worse,74 to have his diadem
Sought for by such scald knaves as love him not?
I think it would: well, then, by heavens I swear,
Aurora shall not peep out of her doors,
But I will have Cosroe by the head,
And kill proud Tamburlaine with point of sword.
Tell you the rest, Meander: I have said.

Meander.

Then, having pass’d Armenian deserts now,
And pitch’d our tents under the Georgian hills,
Whose tops are cover’d with Tartarian thieves,
That lie in ambush, waiting for a prey,
What should we do but bid them battle straight,
And rid the world of those detested troops?
Lest, if we let them linger here a while,
They gather strength by power of fresh supplies.
This country swarms with vile outragious men
That live by rapine and by lawless spoil,
Fit soldiers for the75 wicked Tamburlaine;
And he that could with gifts and promises
Inveigle him that led a thousand horse,
And make him false his faith unto his76 king,
Will quickly win such as be77 like himself.
Therefore cheer up your minds; prepare to fight:
He that can take or slaughter Tamburlaine,
Shall rule the province of Albania;
Who brings that traitor’s head, Theridamas,
Shall have a government in Media,
Beside78 the spoil of him and all his train:
But, if Cosroe (as our spials say,
And as we know) remains with Tamburlaine,
His highness’ pleasure is that he should live,
And be reclaim’d with princely lenity.

[Enter a Spy.]

Spy.

An hundred horsemen of my company,
Scouting abroad upon these champion79 plains,
Have view’d the army of the Scythians;
Which make report it far exceeds the king’s.

Meander.

Suppose they be in number infinite,
Yet being void of martial discipline,
All running headlong, greedy after80 spoils,
And more regarding gain than victory,
Like to the cruel brothers of the earth,
Sprung81 of the teeth of82 dragons venomous,
Their careless swords shall lance83 their fellows’ throats,
And make us triumph in their overthrow.

Mycetes.

Was there such brethren, sweet Meander, say,
That sprung of teeth of dragons venomous?

Meander.

So poets say, my lord.

Mycetes.

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.

Meander.

Then, noble soldiers, to entrap these thieves
That live confounded in disorder’d troops,
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 scatter’d army is subdu’d,
And you march on their slaughter’d carcasses,
Share equally the gold that bought their lives,
And live like gentlemen in Persia.
Strike up the84 drum, and march courageously:
Fortune herself doth sit upon our crests.

Mycetes.

He tells you true, my masters; so he does. —
Drums, why sound ye not when Meander speaks?

[Exeunt, drums sounding.]

73 of] i.e. on.

74 worse] So the 8vo. — The 4to “worst.”

75 the] So the 8vo. — The 4to “that.”

76 his] So the 8vo. — The 4to “the.”

77 be] So the 8vo. — The 4to “are.”

78 Beside] So the 8vo. — The 4to “Besides.”

79 champion] i.e. champaign.

80 greedy after] Old eds. “after greedie.”

81 Sprung] Here, and in the next speech, both the old eds. “Sprong”: but in p. 18, l. 3, first col., the 4to has “sprung”, and in the SEC. PART of the play, act iv. sc. 4, they both give “SPRUNG from a tyrants loynes.”

{Page 18, First Column, Line 3, This Play:
“For he was never sprung of human race,”}

82 teeth of] So the 8vo. — Omitted in the 4to.

83 lance] Here both the old eds. “lanch”: but see note ||, p. 11.{i.e. note 47.}

84 the] So the 8vo. — 0mitted in the 4to.

Scene 3.

[Enter Cosroe, Tamburlaine, Theridamas, Techelles, Usumcasane, and Ortygius, with others.]

Cosroe.

Now, worthy Tamburlaine, have I repos’d
In thy approved fortunes all my hope.
What think’st thou, man, shall come of our attempts?
For, even as from assured oracle,
I take thy doom for satisfaction.

Tamburlaine.

And so mistake you not a whit, my lord;
For fates and oracles [of] heaven have sworn
To royalize the deeds of Tamburlaine,
And make them blest that share in his attempts:
And doubt you not but, if you favour me,
And let my fortunes and my valour sway
To some85 direction in your martial deeds,
The world will86 strive with hosts of men-at-arms
To swarm unto the ensign I support.
The host of Xerxes, which by fame is said
To drink the mighty Parthian Araris,
Was but a handful to that we will have:
Our quivering lances, shaking in the air,
And bullets, like Jove’s dreadful thunderbolts,
Enroll’d in flames and fiery smouldering mists,
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.

Theridamas.

You see, my lord, what working words he hath;
But, when you see his actions top87 his speech,
Your speech will stay, or so extol his worth
As I shall be commended and excus’d
For turning my poor charge to his direction:
And these his two renowmed88 friends, my lord,
Would make one thirst89 and strive to be retain’d
In such a great degree of amity.

Techelles.

With duty and90 with amity we yield
Our utmost service to the fair91 Cosroe.

Cosroe.

Which I esteem as portion of my crown.
Usumcasane and Techelles both,
When she92 that rules in Rhamnus’93 golden gates,
And makes a passage for all prosperous arms,
Shall make me solely emperor of Asia,
Then shall your meeds94 and valours be advanc’d
To rooms of honour and nobility.

Tamburlaine.

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 burden as outweighs the sands
And all the craggy rocks of Caspia.

[Enter a Messenger.]

Messenger.

My lord,
We have discovered the enemy
Ready to charge you with a mighty army.

Cosroe.

Come, Tamburlaine; now whet thy winged sword,
And lift thy lofty arm into95 the clouds,
That it may reach the king of Persia’s crown,
And set it safe on my victorious head.

Tamburlaine.

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 sure96 as it swiftly flies.

Cosroe.

Thy words assure me of kind success:
Go, valiant soldier, go before, and charge
The fainting army of that foolish king.

Tamburlaine.

Usumcasane and Techelles, come:
We are enow to scare the enemy,
And more than needs to make an emperor.

[Exeunt to the battle.]

85 some] So the 4to. — The 8vo “scorne.”

86 will] So the 8vo. — The 4to “shall.”

87 top] i.e. rise above, surpass. — Old eds. “stop.”

88 renowmed] See note ||, p. 11.{i.e. note 52.} So the 8vo. — The 4to “renowned.”

89 thirst] The 8vo “thrust”: the 4to “thrist.”

90 and] So the 4to. — The 8vo “not.”

91 the fair] So the 8vo. — The 4to “THEE faire.”

92 she] i.e. Nemesis.

93 Rhamnus’] Old eds. “Rhamnis.”

94 meeds] So the 8vo. — The 4to “deeds.”

95 into] Used here (as the word was formerly often used) for UNTO.

96 sure] A dissyllable here. In the next line “assure” is a trisyllable.

Scene 4.

[Enter Mycetes with his crown in his hand.]97

Mycetes.

Accurs’d be he that first invented war!
They knew not, ah, they knew not, simple men,
How those were98 hit by pelting cannon-shot
Stand staggering99 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 clouts that every man shoots at,
Our crown the pin100 that thousands seek to cleave:
Therefore in policy I think it good
To hide it close; a goodly stratagem,
And far from any man that is a fool:
So shall not I 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.]

Tamburlaine.

What, fearful coward, straggling from the camp,
When kings themselves are present in the field?

Mycetes.

Thou liest.

Tamburlaine.

Base villain, darest thou give me101 the lie?

Mycetes.

Away! I am the king; go; touch me not.
Thou break’st the law of arms, unless thou kneel,
And cry me “mercy, noble king!”

Tamburlaine.

Are you the witty king of Persia?

Mycetes.

Ay, marry,102 am I: have you any suit to me?

Tamburlaine.

I would entreat you to speak but three wise words.

Mycetes.

So I can when I see my time.

Tamburlaine.

Is this your crown?

Mycetes.

Ay: didst thou ever see a fairer?

Tamburlaine.

You will not sell it, will you?

Mycetes.

Such another word, and I will have thee executed. Come,
give it me.

Tamburlaine.

No; I took it prisoner.

Mycetes.

You lie; I gave it you.

Tamburlaine.

Then ’tis mine.

Mycetes.

No; I mean I let you keep it.

Tamburlaine.

Well, I mean you shall have it again.
Here, take it for a while: I lend it thee,
Till I may see thee hemm’d with armed men;
Then shalt thou see me pull it from thy head:
Thou art no match for mighty Tamburlaine.

[Exit.]

Mycetes.

O gods, is this Tamburlaine the thief?
I marvel much he stole it not away.

[Trumpets within sound to the battle: he runs out.]

97 with his crown in his hand] The old eds. add “offering to hide it;” but THAT he does presently after.

98 those were] i.e. those who were, who have been.

99 Stand staggering] So the 8vo. — The 4to “Stand THOSE staggering.”

100 For kings are clouts that every man shoots at,

Our crown the pin, &c.]
CLOUT means the white mark in the butts; PIN, the peg in the
centre, which fastened it.

101 me] So the 4to. — Omitted in the 8vo.

102 MYCETES. Ay, marry, &c.] From this to “TAMBURLAINE. Well, I mean you shall have it again” inclusive, the dialogue is prose: compare act iv. sc. 4, p. 29.

Scene 5.

[Enter Cosroe, Tamburlaine, Menaphon, Meander, Ortygius, Theridamas, Techelles, Usumcasane, with others.]

Tamburlaine.

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 crown’d thee emperor.

Cosroe.

So do I, thrice-renowmed man-at-arms;103
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,
And chiefest104 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.

Meander.

Most happy105 emperor, in humblest terms
I vow my service to your majesty,
With utmost virtue of my faith and duty.

Cosroe.

Thanks, good Meander. — Then, Cosroe, reign,
And govern Persia in her former pomp.
Now send embassage to thy neighbour kings,
And let them know the Persian king is chang’d,
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,
And grace your calling with a greater sway.

Ortygius.

And as we ever aim’d106 at your behoof,
And sought your state all honour it107 deserv’d,
So will we with our powers and our108 lives
Endeavour to preserve and prosper it.

Cosroe.

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;
Then will we109 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 scatter’d troops,)
Farewell, lord regent and his happy friends.
I long to sit upon my brother’s throne.

Meander.

Your majesty shall shortly have your wish,
And ride in triumph through Persepolis.

[Exeunt all except Tamburlaine, Theridamas, Techelles, and Usumcasane.]

Tamburlaine.

And ride in triumph through Persepolis! —
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?

Techelles.

O, my lord, it is sweet and full of pomp!

Usumcasane.

To be a king is half to be a god.

Theridamas.

A god is not so glorious as a king:
I think the pleasure they enjoy in heaven,
Cannot compare with kingly joys in110 earth; —
To wear a crown enchas’d with pearl and gold,
Whose virtues carry with it life and death;
To ask and have, command and be obey’d;
When looks breed love, with looks to gain the prize —
Such power attractive shines in princes’ eyes.

Tamburlaine.

Why, say, Theridamas, wilt thou be a king?

Theridamas.

Nay, though I praise it, I can live without it.

Tamburlaine.

What say my other friends? will you be kings?

Techelles.

I, if I could, with all my heart, my lord.

Tamburlaine.

Why, that’s well said, Techelles: so would I; —
And so would you, my masters, would you not?

Usumcasane.

What, then, my lord?

Tamburlaine.

Why, then, Casane,111 shall we wish for aught
The world affords in greatest novelty,
And rest attemptless, faint, and destitute?
Methinks we should not. I am strongly mov’d,
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?

Theridamas.

I know they would with our persuasions.

Tamburlaine.

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 a-piece.112

Techelles.

Then shall we send to this triumphing king,
And bid him battle for his novel crown?

Usumcasane.

Nay, quickly, then, before his room be hot.

Tamburlaine.

’Twill prove a pretty jest, in faith, my friends.

Theridamas.

A jest to charge on twenty thousand men!
I judge the purchase113 more important far.

Tamburlaine.

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 gain will quite:114
Then shalt thou see this115 Scythian Tamburlaine
Make but a jest to win the Persian crown. —
Techelles, take a thousand horse with thee,
And bid him turn him116 back to war with us,
That only made him king to make us sport:
We will not steal upon him cowardly,
But give him warning and117 more warriors:
Haste thee, Techelles; we will follow thee.

[Exit Techelles.]

What saith Theridamas?

Theridamas.

Go on, for me.

[Exeunt.]

103 renowmed man-at-arms] See note ||, p. 11.{i.e. note 52.} So the 8vo. — The 4to “RENOWNED MEN at armes.”

104 chiefest] So the 4to. — The 8vo “chiefe.”

105 happy] So the 8vo. — The 4to “happiest.”

106 aim’d] So the 4to. — The 8vo “and.”

107 it] So the 4to. — The 8vo “is.”

108 our] So the 4to. — Omitted in the 8vo.

109 we] So the 8vo. — The 4to “I.”

110 in earth] i.e. on earth. So in the Lord’s Prayer, “Thy will be done IN EARTH.”

111 Casane] Both the old eds. here “Casanes.”

112 a-piece] So the 4to. — The 8vo “apace.”

113 purchase] i.e. booty, gain.

114 quite] i.e. requite.

115 this] So (deiktikos) the 8vo. — The 4to “the.”

116 him] Old eds. “his.”

117 and] So the 8vo. — The 4to “with.”

Scene 6.

[Enter Cosroe, Meander, Ortygius, and Menaphon, with Soldiers.]

Cosroe.

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 press’d out fire from their burning jaws,
So will I send this monstrous slave to hell,
Where flames shall ever feed upon his soul.

Meander.

Some powers divine, or else infernal, mix’d
Their angry seeds at his conception;
For he was never sprung118 of human race,
Since with the spirit of his fearful pride,
He dares119 so doubtlessly resolve of rule,
And by profession be ambitious.

Ortygius.

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 fate120 soever govern him,
Let us put on our meet encountering minds;
And, in detesting such a devilish thief,
In love of honour and defence of right,
Be arm’d against the hate of such a foe,
Whether from earth, or hell, or heaven he grow.

Cosroe.

Nobly resolv’d, my good Ortygius;
And, since we all have suck’d one wholesome air,
And with the same proportion of elements
Resolve,121 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,
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!

[Exeunt, drums sounding.]

118 sprung] See note ‡, p. 14.{i.e. note 81.}

119 dares] So the 8vo. — The 4to “dare.”

120 fate] Old eds. “state.”

121 Resolve] Seems to mean — dissolve (compare “our bodies turn to elements,” p. 12, sec. col.): but I suspect some corruption here.

{Page 12, Second Column, This Play:
“TAMBURLAINE. . . . .
Until our bodies turn to elements,
And both our souls aspire celestial thrones. —”
etc.}

Scene 7.

[Alarms of battle within. Then enter Cosroe wounded, Tamburlaine, Theridamas, Techelles, Usumcasane, with others.]

Cosroe.

Barbarous122 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 grieved soul;
And death arrests the organ of my voice,
Who, entering at the breach thy sword hath made,
Sacks every vein and artier123 of my heart. —
Bloody and insatiate Tamburlaine!

Tamburlaine.

The thirst of reign and sweetness of a crown,
That caus’d the eldest son of heavenly Ops
To thrust his doting father from his chair,
And place himself in the empyreal heaven,
Mov’d me to manage arms against thy state.
What better precedent than mighty Jove?
Nature, that fram’d us of four elements
Warring within our breasts for regiment,124
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,
Will us to wear ourselves, and never rest,
Until we reach the ripest fruit125 of all,
That perfect bliss and sole felicity,
The sweet fruition of an earthly crown.

Theridamas.

And that made me to join with Tamburlaine;
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.

Techelles.

And that made us, the friends of Tamburlaine,
To lift our swords against the Persian king.

Usumcasane.

For as, when Jove did thrust old Saturn down,
Neptune and Dis gain’d each of them a crown,
So do we hope to reign in Asia,
If Tamburlaine be plac’d in Persia.

Cosroe.

The strangest men that ever nature made!
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,
Are126 dry and cold; and now doth ghastly Death
With greedy talents127 gripe my bleeding heart,
And like a harpy128 tires on my life. —
Theridamas and Tamburlaine, I die:
And fearful vengeance light upon you both!

[Dies. — Tamburlaine takes Cosroe’S crown, and puts it on his own head.]

Tamburlaine.

Not all the curses which the129 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?

All.

Tamburlaine! Tamburlaine!

Tamburlaine.

Though Mars himself, the angry god of arms,
And all the earthly potentates conspire
To dispossess me of this diadem,
Yet will I wear it in despite of them,
As great commander of this eastern world,
If you but say that Tamburlaine shall reign.

All.

Long live Tamburlaine, and reign in Asia!

Tamburlaine.

So; now it is more surer on my head
Than if the gods had held a parliament,
And all pronounc’d me king of Persia.

[Exeunt.]

122 Barbarous] Qy. “O barbarous”? in the next line but one, “O treacherous”? and in the last line of the speech, “O bloody”? But we occasionally find in our early dramatists lines which are defective in the first syllable; and in some of these instances at least it would almost seem that nothing has been omitted by the transcriber or printer.

123 artier] i.e. artery. This form occurs again in the SEC. PART of the present play: so too in a copy of verses by Day;

“Hid in the vaines and ARTIERS of the earthe.”
SHAKESPEARE SOC. PAPERS, vol. i. 19.

The word indeed was variously written of old:

“The ARTER strynge is the conduyt of the lyfe spiryte.”
Hormanni VULGARIA, sig. G iii. ed. 1530.

“Riche treasures serue for th’ARTERS of the war.”
Lord Stirling’s DARIUS, act ii. Sig. C 2. ed. 1604.

“Onelye the extrauagant ARTIRE of my arme is brused.”
EVERIE WOMAN IN HER HUMOR, 1609, sig. D 4.

“And from the veines some bloud each ARTIRE draines.”
Davies’s MICROCOSMOS, 1611, p. 56.

124 regiment] i.e. rule.

125 fruit] So the 4to. — The 8vo “fruites.”

126 are] Old eds. “Is.”

127 talents] Was often used by our early writers for TALONS, as many passages might be adduced to shew. Hence the quibble in Shakespeare’s LOVE’S LABOUR’S LOST, act iv. sc. 2., “If a TALENT be a claw,” &c.

128 harpy] So the 8vo. — The 4to “Harper;” and with that reading the line is cited, in a note on MACBETH, act iv. sc. 1, by Steevens, who also gives “tires UPON my life;” but “TIRES” (a well-known term in falconry, and equivalent here to — preys) is to be pronounced as a dissyllable. (In the 4to it in spelt “tyers.”

129 the] So the 4to. — The 8vo “thy.”

http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/m/marlowe/christopher/tambur1/act2.html

Last updated Friday, March 7, 2014 at 23:10