The Second Part of Tamburlaine the Great, by Christopher Marlowe

Act 5.

Scene 1.

[Enter the Governor Of Babylon, Maximus, and others, upon
the walls.]

Governor. What saith Maximus?

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 out258 flags, my lord, of humble truce,
And satisfy the people’s general prayers,
That Tamburlaine’s intolerable wrath
May be suppress’d by our submission.

Governor. Villain, respect’st thou259 more thy slavish life
Than honour of thy country or thy name?
Is not my life and state as dear to me,
The city and my native country’s weal,
As any thing of260 price with thy conceit?
Have we not hope, for all our batter’d walls,
To live secure and keep his forces out,
When this our famous lake of Limnasphaltis
Makes walls a-fresh with every thing that falls
Into the liquid substance of his stream,
More strong than are the gates of death or hell?
What faintness should dismay our courages,
When we are thus defenc’d against our foe,
And have no terror but his threatening looks?

[Enter, above, a Citizen, who kneels to the Governor.]

Citizen. My lord, if ever you did deed of ruth,
And now will work a refuge to 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,
Yet are there Christians of Georgia here,
Whose state he261 ever pitied and reliev’d,
Will get his pardon, if your grace would send.

Governor. How262 is my soul environed!
And this eterniz’d263 city Babylon
Fill’d with a pack of faint-heart fugitives
That thus entreat their shame and servitude!

[Enter, above, a Second Citizen.]

Second Citizen. My lord, if ever you will win our hearts,
Yield up the town, and264 save our wives and children;
For I will cast myself from off these walls,
Or die some death of quickest violence,
Before I bide the wrath of Tamburlaine.

Governor. 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 never yield
As long as any life is in my breast.

[Enter Theridamas and Techelles, with Soldiers.]

Theridamas. Thou desperate governor of Babylon,
To save thy life, and us a little labour,
Yield speedily the city to our hands,
Or else be sure thou shalt be forc’d with pains
More exquisite than ever traitor felt.

Governor. Tyrant, I turn the traitor in thy throat,
And will defend it in despite of thee. —
Call up the soldiers to defend these walls.

Techelles. 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 prest265 to give the last assault,
And that shall bide no more regard of parle.266

Governor. Assault and spare not; we will never yield.

[Alarms: and they scale the walls.]

[Enter Tamburlaine, drawn in his chariot (as before) by the
Kings Of Trebizon and Soria; Amyras, Celebinus, Usumcasane;
Orcanes king of Natolia, and the King Of Jerusalem, led by
Soldiers;267 and others.]

Tamburlaine. 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 batter’d walls.
Where Belus, Ninus, and great Alexander
Have rode in triumph, triumphs Tamburlaine,
Whose chariot-wheels have burst268 th’ Assyrians’ bones,
Drawn with these kings on heaps of carcasses.
Now in the place, where fair Semiramis,
Courted by kings and peers of Asia,
Hath trod the measures,269 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, bringing in the
Governor Of Babylon.]

Who have ye there, my lords?

Theridamas. The sturdy governor of Babylon,
That made us all the labour for the town,
And us’d such slender reckoning of270 your majesty.

Tamburlaine. Go, bind the villain; he shall hang in chains
Upon the ruins of this conquer’d town. —
Sirrah, the view of our vermilion tents
(Which threaten’d 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)
Could not affright you; no, nor I myself,
The wrathful messenger of mighty Jove,
That with his sword hath quail’d all earthly kings,
Could not persuade you to submission,
But still the ports271 were shut: villain, I say,
Should I but touch the rusty gates of hell,
The triple-headed Cerberus would howl,
And make272 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.

Governor. Nor, if my body could have stopt the breach,
Shouldst thou have enter’d, 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-walls,273
My heart did never quake, or courage faint.

Tamburlaine. Well, now I’ll make it quake. — Go draw him274 up,
Hang him in275 chains upon the city-walls,
And let my soldiers shoot the slave to death.

Governor. Vile monster, born of some infernal hag,
And sent from hell to tyrannize on earth,
Do all thy worst; nor death, nor Tamburlaine,
Torture, or pain, can daunt my dreadless mind.

Tamburlaine. Up with him, then! his body shall be scar’d.276

Governor. But, Tamburlaine, in Limnasphaltis’ lake
There lies more gold than Babylon is worth,
Which, when the city was besieg’d, 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?

Governor. Under a hollow bank, right opposite
Against the western gate of Babylon.

Tamburlaine. Go thither, some of you, and take his gold:—

[Exeunt some Attendants.]

The rest forward with execution.
Away with him hence, let him speak no more. —
I think I make your courage something quail. —

[Exeunt Attendants with the Governor or Babylon.]

When this is done, we’ll march from Babylon,
And make our greatest haste to Persia.
These jades are broken-winded and half-tir’d;
Unharness them, and let me have fresh horse.

[Attendants unharness the Kings or Trebizon and Soria]

So; now their best is done to honour me,
Take them and hang them both up presently.

King Of Trebizon. Vile277 tyrant! barbarous bloody Tamburlaine!

Tamburlaine. Take them away, Theridamas; see them despatch’d.

Theridamas. I will, my lord.

[Exit with the Kings or Trebizon and Soria.]

Tamburlaine. Come, Asian viceroys; to your tasks a while,
And take such fortune as your fellows felt.

Orcanes. First let thy Scythian horse tear both our limbs,
Rather than we should draw thy chariot,
And, like base slaves, abject our princely minds
To vile and ignominious servitude.

King Of Jerusalem. 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 do not bridle them.

Tamburlaine. Bridle them, and let me to my coach.

[Attendants bridle Orcanes king of Natolia, and the
King Of Jerusalem, and harness them to the chariot. —
The Governor Of Babylon appears hanging in chains
on the walls. — Re-enter Theridamas.]

Amyras. See, now, my lord, how brave the captain hangs!

Tamburlaine. ’Tis brave indeed, my boy:— well done! —
Shoot first, my lord, and then the rest shall follow.

Theridamas. Then have at him, to begin withal.

[Theridamas shoots at the Governor.]

Governor. Yet save my life, and let this wound appease
The mortal fury of great Tamburlaine!

Tamburlaine. No, though Asphaltis’ lake were liquid gold,
And offer’d me as ransom for thy life,
Yet shouldst thou die. — Shoot at him all at once.

[They shoot.]

So, now he hangs like Bagdet’s278 governor,
Having as many bullets in his flesh
As there be breaches in her batter’d wall.
Go now, and bind the burghers hand and foot,
And cast them headlong in the city’s lake.
Tartars and Persians shall inhabit there;
And, to command the city, I will build
A citadel,279 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?

Tamburlaine. Techelles, drown them all, man, woman, and child;
Leave not a Babylonian in the town.

Techelles. I will about it straight. — Come, soldiers.

[Exit with Soldiers.]

Tamburlaine. 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.

Usumcasane. Here they are, my lord.

Tamburlaine. Well said!280 let there be a fire presently.

[They light a fire.]

In vain, 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 untouch’d 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 I281 obey.
So, Casane; fling them in the fire. —

[They burn the books.]

Now, Mahomet, if thou have any power,
Come down thyself and work a miracle:
Thou art not worthy to be worshipped
That suffer’st282 flames of fire to burn the writ
Wherein the sum of thy religion rests:
Why send’st283 thou not a furious whirlwind down,
To blow thy Alcoran up to thy throne,
Where men report thou sitt’st284 by God himself?
Or vengeance on the head285 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.

[Re-enter Techelles.]

Techelles. I have fulfill’d your highness’ will, my lord:
Thousands of men, drown’d in Asphaltis’ lake,
Have made the water swell above the banks,
And fishes, fed286 by human carcasses,
Amaz’d, swim up and down upon287 the waves,
As when they swallow assafoetida,
Which makes them fleet288 aloft and gape289 for air.

Tamburlaine. Well, then, my friendly lords, what now remains,
But that we leave sufficient garrison,
And presently depart to Persia,
To triumph after all our victories?

Theridamas. Ay, good my lord, let us in290 haste to Persia;
And let this captain be remov’d the walls
To some high hill about the city here.

Tamburlaine. Let it be so; — about it, soldiers; —
But stay; I feel myself distemper’d suddenly.

Techelles. What is it dares distemper Tamburlaine?

Tamburlaine. Something, Techelles; but I know not what. —
But, forth, ye vassals!291 whatsoe’er292 it be,
Sickness or death can never conquer me.


258 out] Old eds. “our.”

259 respect’st thou] Old eds. “RESPECTS thou:” but afterwards, in this scene, the 8vo has, “Why SEND’ST thou not,” and “thou SIT’ST.”

260 of] So the 8vo. — The 4to “in.”

261 he] So the 4to. — The 8vo “was.”

262 How, &c.] A mutilated line.

263 eterniz’d] So the 4to. — The 8vo “enternisde.”

264 and] So the 4to. — Omitted in the 8vo.

265 prest] i.e. ready.

266 parle] Here the old eds. “parlie”: but repeatedly before they have “parle” (which is used more than once by Shakespeare).

267 Orcanes, king of Natolia, and the King of Jerusalem, led by soldiers] Old eds. (which have here a very imperfect stage-direction) “the two spare kings” — “spare” meaning — not then wanted to draw the chariot of Tamburlaine.

268 burst] i.e. broken, bruised.

269 the measures] i.e. the dance (properly — solemn, stately dances, with slow and measured steps).

270 of] So the 8vo. — The 4to “for.”

271 ports] i.e. gates.

272 make] So the 4to. — The 8vo “wake.”

273 the city-walls) So the 8vo. — The 4to “the walles.”

274 him] So the 4to. — The 8vo “it.”

275 in] Old eds. “VP in,{”}— the “vp” having been repeated by mistake from the preceding line.

276 scar’d] So the 8vo; and, it would seem, rightly; Tamburlaine making an attempt at a bitter jest, in reply to what the Governor has just said. — The 4to “sear’d.”

277 Vile] The 8vo “Vild”; the 4to “Wild” (Both eds., a little before, have “VILE monster, born of some infernal hag”, and, a few lines after, “To VILE and ignominious servitude”:— the fact is, our early writers (or rather, transcribers), with their usual inconsistency of spelling, give now the one form, and now the other: compare the folio SHAKESPEARE, 1623, where we sometimes find “vild” and sometimes “VILE.”)

278 Bagdet’s] So the 8vo. — The 4to “Badgets.”

279 A citadel, &c.] Something has dropt out from this line.

280 Well said] Equivalent to — Well done! as appears from innumerable passages of our early writers: see, for instances, my ed. of Beaumont and Fletcher’s WORKS, vol. i. 328, vol. ii. 445, vol. viii. 254.

281 will I] So the 8vo. — The 4to “I will.”

282 suffer’st] Old eds. “suffers”: but see the two following notes.

283 send’st] So the 8vo. — The 4to “sends.”

284 sit’st] So the 8vo. — The 4to “sits.”

285 head] So the 8vo. — The 4to “blood.”

286 fed] Old eds. “feede.”

287 upon] So the 8vo. — Omitted in the 4to.

288 fleet] i.e. float.

289 gape] So the 8vo. — The 4to “gaspe.”

290 in] So the 8vo. — Omitted in the 4to.

291 forth, ye vassals] Spoken, of course, to the two kings who draw his chariot.

292 whatsoe’er] So the 8vo. — The 4to “whatsoeuer.”

Scene 2.

[Enter Callapine, King Of Amasia, a Captain, and train,
with drums and trumpets.]

Callapine. King of Amasia, now our mighty host
Marcheth in Asia Major, where the streams
Of Euphrates293 and Tigris swiftly run;
And here may we294 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,
If God or Mahomet send any aid.

King Of Amasia. 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 Turkish swords shall headlong send to hell;
And that vile carcass, drawn by warlike kings,
The fowls shall eat; for never sepulchre
Shall grace this295 base-born tyrant Tamburlaine.

Callapine. When I record296 my parents’ slavish life,
Their cruel death, mine own captivity,
My viceroys’ bondage under Tamburlaine,
Methinks I could sustain a thousand deaths,
To be reveng’d of all his villany. —
Ah, sacred Mahomet, thou that hast seen
Millions of Turks perish by Tamburlaine,
Kingdoms made waste, brave cities sack’d and burnt,
And but one host is left to honour thee,
Aid297 thy obedient servant Callapine,
And make him, after all these overthrows,
To triumph over cursed Tamburlaine!

King Of Amasia. 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 Tamburlaine.

Captain. Renowmed298 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 knees
To sue for mercy at your highness’ feet.

Callapine. Captain, the force of Tamburlaine is great,
His fortune greater, and the victories
Wherewith he hath so sore dismay’d the world
Are greatest to discourage all our drifts;
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;
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 eternize 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 rejoin’d again at full,
Assail it, and be sure of victory.


293 Euphrates] See note §, p. 36.

{note §, from p. 36. (The First Part of Tamburlaine the

“Euphrates] So our old poets invariably, I believe,
accentuate this word.”}

{Note: ‘Euphrates’ was printed with no accented characters
at all.}

294 may we] So the 8vo. — The 4to “we may.”

295 this] So the 8vo. — The 4to “that” (but in the next speech of the same person it has “THIS Tamburlaine”).

296 record] i.e. call to mind.

297 Aid] So the 8vo. — The 4to “And.”

298 Renowmed] See note ||, p. 11. So the 8vo. — The 4to “Renowned.”— The prefix to this speech is wanting in the old eds.

{note ||, from p. 11. (The First Part of Tamburlaine the

“renowmed] i.e. renowned. — So the 8vo. — The 4to “renowned.”
— The form “RENOWMED” (Fr. renomme) occurs repeatedly
afterwards in this play, according to the 8vo. It is
occasionally found in writers posterior to Marlowe’s time.

“Of Constantines great towne RENOUM’D in vaine.”
Verses to King James, prefixed to Lord Stirling’s

Scene 3.

[Enter Theridamas, Techelles, and Usumcasane.]

Theridamas. 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 Tamburlaine!
Now, in defiance of that wonted love
Your sacred virtues pour’d upon his throne,
And made his state an honour to the heavens,
These cowards invisibly299 assail his soul,
And threaten conquest on our sovereign;
But, if he die, your glories are disgrac’d,
Earth droops, and says that hell in heaven is plac’d!

Techelles. O, 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,
Be not inconstant, careless of your fame,
Bear not the burden of your enemies’ joys,
Triumphing in his fall whom you advanc’d;
But, as his birth, life, health, and majesty
Were strangely blest and governed by heaven,
So honour, heaven, (till heaven dissolved be,)
His birth, his life, his health, and majesty!

Usumcasane. Blush, heaven, to lose the honour of thy name,
To see thy footstool set upon thy head;
And let no baseness in thy haughty breast
Sustain a shame of such inexcellence,300
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
(Thy instrument and note of majesty)
Is greater far than they can thus subdue;
For, if he die, thy glory is disgrac’d,
Earth droops, and says that hell in heaven is plac’d!

[Enter Tamburlaine,301 drawn in his chariot (as before)
by Orcanes king of Natolia, and the King Of Jerusalem,
Amyras, Celebinus, and Physicians.]

Tamburlaine. 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 term’d 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.
Ah, friends, what shall I do? I cannot stand.
Come, carry me to war against the gods,
That thus envy the health of Tamburlaine.

Theridamas. Ah, good my lord, leave these impatient words,
Which add much danger to your malady!

Tamburlaine. 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.
Theridamas, haste to the court of Jove;
Will him to send Apollo hither straight,
To cure me, or I’ll fetch him down myself.

Sit still, my gracious lord; this grief will cease,302
And cannot last, it is so violent.

Tamburlaine. 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 flies away at every glance I give,
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 carcasses. —
Look, where he goes! but, see, he comes again,
Because I stay! Techelles, let us march,
And weary Death with bearing souls to hell.

First Physician. Pleaseth your majesty to drink this potion,
Which will abate the fury of your fit,
And cause some milder spirits govern you.

Tamburlaine. Tell me what think you of my sickness now?

First Physician. I view’d your urine, and the hypostasis,303
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:
Besides, my lord, this day is critical,
Dangerous to those whose crisis is as yours:
Your artiers,304 which alongst the veins convey
The lively spirits which the heart engenders,
Are parch’d and void of spirit, 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.

Tamburlaine. Then will I comfort all my vital parts,
And live, in spite of death, above a day.

[Alarms within.]

[Enter a Messenger.]

Messenger. My lord, young Callapine, that lately fled
from your majesty, hath now gathered a fresh army, and,
hearing your absence in the field, offers to set upon305 us

Tamburlaine. 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.

Usumcasane. I joy, my lord, your highness is so strong,
That can endure so well your royal presence,
Which only will dismay the enemy.

Tamburlaine. I know it will, Casane. — Draw, you slaves!
In spite of death, I will go shew my face.

[Alarms. Exit Tamburlaine with all the rest (except the
Physicians), and re-enter presently.]

Tamburlaine. Thus are the villain cowards306 fled for fear,
Like summer’s vapours vanish’d by the sun;
And, could I but a while pursue the field,
That Callapine should be my slave again.
But I perceive my martial strength is spent:
In vain I strive and rail against those powers
That mean t’ 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 unto307 Bithynia, where I took
The Turk and his great empress prisoners.
Then march’d I into Egypt and Arabia;
And here, not far from Alexandria,
Whereas308 the Terrene309 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.
}From thence to Nubia near Borno-lake,
And so along the Aethiopian sea,
Cutting the tropic line of Capricorn,
I conquer’d all as far as Zanzibar.
Then, by the northern part of Africa,
I came at last to Graecia, and from thence
To Asia, where I stay against my will;
Which is from Scythia, where I first began,310
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 this311 earthly globe,
Whereas the sun, declining from our sight,
Begins the day with our Antipodes!
And shall I die, and this unconquered?
Lo, here, my sons, are all the golden mines,
Inestimable drugs and precious stones,
More worth than Asia and the world beside;
And from th’ 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 unconquered?
Here, lovely boys; what death forbids my life,
That let your lives command in spite of death.

Amyras. Alas, my lord, how should our bleeding hearts,
Wounded and broken with your highness’ grief,
Retain a thought of joy or spark of life?
Your soul gives essence to our wretched subjects,312
Whose matter is incorporate in your flesh.

Celebinus. Your pains do pierce our souls; no hope survives,
For by your life we entertain our lives.

Tamburlaine. But, sons, this subject, not of force enough
To hold the fiery spirit it contains,
Must part, imparting his impressions
By equal portions into313 both your breasts;
My flesh, divided in your precious shapes,
Shall still retain my spirit, though I die,
And live in all your seeds314 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 crown’d before I die. —
Help me, my lords, to make my last remove.

[They assist Tamburlaine to descend from the chariot.]

Theridamas. A woful change, my lord, that daunts our thoughts
More than the ruin of our proper souls!

Tamburlaine. Sit up, my son, [and] let me see how well
Thou wilt become thy father’s majesty.

Amyras. With what a flinty bosom should I joy
The breath of life and burden of my soul,
If not resolv’d into resolved pains,
My body’s mortified lineaments315
Should exercise the motions of my heart,
Pierc’d 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 plead in vain unpleasing sovereignty!

Tamburlaine. Let not thy love exceed thine honour, son,
Nor bar thy mind that magnanimity
That nobly must admit necessity.
Sit up, my boy, and with these316 silken reins
Bridle the steeled stomachs of these317 jades.

Theridamas. My lord, you must obey his majesty,
Since fate commands and proud necessity.

Amyras. Heavens witness me with what a broken heart

[Mounting the chariot.]

And damned318 spirit I ascend this seat,
And send my soul, before my father die,
His anguish and his burning agony!

[They crown Amyras.]

Tamburlaine. Now fetch the hearse of fair Zenocrate;
Let it be plac’d by this my fatal chair,
And serve as parcel of my funeral.

Usumcasane. Then feels your majesty no sovereign ease,
Nor may our hearts, all drown’d in tears of blood,
Joy any hope of your recovery?

Tamburlaine. 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.

Techelles. Then let some god oppose his holy power
Against the wrath and tyranny of Death,
That his tear-thirsty and unquenched hate
May be upon himself reverberate!

[They bring in the hearse of Zenocrate.]

Tamburlaine. 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 control those slaves,
Guiding thy chariot with thy father’s hand.
As precious is the charge thou undertak’st
As that which Clymene’s319 brain-sick son did guide,
When wandering Phoebe’s320 ivory cheeks were scorch’d,
And all the earth, like Aetna, breathing fire:
Be warn’d 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’321 beams,
The nature of these proud rebelling jades
Will take occasion by the slenderest hair,
And draw thee322 piecemeal, like Hippolytus,
Through rocks more steep and sharp than Caspian cliffs:323
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 depriv’d my company,
For Tamburlaine, the scourge of God, must die.


Amyras. Meet heaven and earth, and here let all things end,
For earth hath spent the pride of all her fruit,
And heaven consum’d his choicest living fire!
Let earth and heaven his timeless death deplore,
For both their worths will equal him no more!


299 invisibly] So the 4to. — The 8vo “inuincible.”

300 inexcellence] So the 4to. — The 8vo “inexcellencie.”

301 Enter Tamburlaine, &c.] Here the old eds. have no stage- direction; and perhaps the poet intended that Tamburlaine should enter at the commencement of this scene. That he is drawn in his chariot by the two captive kings, appears from his exclamation at p. 72, first col. “Draw, you slaves!”

302 cease] So the 8vo. — The 4to “case.”

303 hypostasis] Old eds. “Hipostates.”

304 artiers] See note *, p. 18.

{Note *, from p. 18. (The First Part of Tamburlaine the

“Artier] i.e. artery. This form occurs again in the SEC.
PART of the present play: so too in a copy of verses by

“Hid in the vaines and ARTIERS of the earthe.”

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.”

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

305 upon] So the 4to. — The 8vo “on.”

306 villain cowards] Old eds. “VILLAINES, cowards” (which is not to be defended by “VILLAINS, COWARDS, traitors to our state”, p. 67, sec. col.). Compare “But where’s this COWARD VILLAIN,” &c., p. 61 sec. col.

307 unto] So the 8vo. — The 4to “to.”

308 Whereas] i.e. Where.

309 Terrene] i.e. Mediterranean.

310 began] So the 8vo. — The 4to “begun.”

311 this] So the 8vo. — The 4to “the.”

312 subjects] Mr. Collier (Preface to COLERIDGE’S SEVEN LECTURES ON SHAKESPEARE AND MILTON, p. cxviii) says that here “subjects” is a printer’s blunder for “substance”: YET HE TAKES NO NOTICE OF TAMBURLAINE’S NEXT WORDS, “But, sons, this SUBJECT not of force enough,” &c. — The old eds. are quite right in both passages: compare, in p. 62, first col.;

“A form not meet to give that SUBJECT essence
Whose matter is the flesh of Tamburlaine,” &c.

313 into] So the 8vo. — The 4to “vnto.”

314 your seeds] So the 8vo. — The 4to “OUR seedes.” (In p. 18, first col., {The First Part of Tamburlaine the Great} we have had “Their angry SEEDS”; but in p. 47, first col., {this play} “thy seed”:— and Marlowe probably wrote “seed” both here and in p. 18.)

315 lineaments] So the 8vo. — The 4to “laments.”— The Editor of 1826 remarks, that this passage “is too obscure for ordinary comprehension.”

316 these] So the 4to. — The 8vo “those.”

317 these] So the 4to. — The 8vo “those.”

318 damned] i.e. doomed — sorrowful.

319 Clymene’s] So the 8vo. — The 4to “Clymeus.”

320 Phoebe’s] So the 8vo. — The 4to “Phoebus.”

321 Phyteus’] Meant perhaps for “Pythius’”, according to the usage of much earlier poets:

“And of PHYTON [i.e. Python] that Phebus made thus fine
Came Phetonysses,” &c.
Lydgate’s WARRES OF TROY, B. ii. SIG. K vi. ed.

Here the modern editors print “Phoebus’”.

322 thee] So the 8vo. — The 4to “me.”

323 cliffs] Here the old eds. “clifts” and “cliftes”: but see p. 12, line 5, first col.

{p. 12, first col. (The First Part of Tamburlaine the

“Both we will walk upon the lofty cliffs;*

* cliffs] So the 8vo. — The 4to “cliftes.”}

This web edition published by:

The University of Adelaide Library
University of Adelaide
South Australia 5005

Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 11:58