I am, my lord,--for so you do import.

TAMBURLAINE. I am a lord, for so my deeds shall prove; And yet a shepherd by my parentage. But, lady, this fair face and heavenly hue Must grace his bed that conquers Asia, And means to be a terror to the world, Measuring the limits of his empery By east and west, as Phoebus doth his course.-- Lie here, ye weeds, that I disdain to wear! This complete armour and this curtle-axe Are adjuncts more beseeming Tamburlaine.-- And, madam, whatsoever you esteem Of this success, and loss unvalued,(35) Both may invest you empress of the East; And these that seem but silly country swains 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.

TECHELLES. As princely lions, when they rouse themselves, Stretching their paws, and threatening herds of beasts, So in his armour looketh Tamburlaine. Methinks I see kings kneeling at his feet, And he with frowning brows and fiery looks Spurning their crowns from off their captive heads.

USUMCASANE. And making thee and me, Techelles, kings, That even to death will follow Tamburlaine.

TAMBURLAINE. Nobly resolv'd, sweet friends and followers! These lords perhaps do scorn our estimates, And think we prattle with distemper'd spirits: But, since they measure our deserts so mean, That in conceit(36) bear empires on our spears, Affecting thoughts coequal with the clouds, They shall be kept our forced followers Till with their eyes they view us emperors.

ZENOCRATE. The gods, defenders of the innocent. Will never prosper your intended drifts, That thus oppress poor friendless passengers. Therefore at least admit us liberty, Even as thou hop'st to be eternized By living Asia's mighty emperor.

AGYDAS. I hope our lady's treasure and our own May serve for ransom to our liberties: Return our mules and empty camels back, That we may travel into Syria, Where her betrothed lord, Alcidamus, Expects the arrival of her highness' person.

MAGNETES. And wheresoever we repose ourselves, We will report but well of Tamburlaine.

TAMBURLAINE. Disdains Zenocrate to live with me? Or you, my lords, to be my followers? Think you I weigh this treasure more than you? Not all the gold in India's wealthy arms Shall buy the meanest soldier in my train. Zenocrate, lovelier than the love of Jove, Brighter than is the silver Rhodope,(37) Fairer than whitest snow on Scythian hills, Thy person is more worth to Tamburlaine Than the possession of the Persian crown, Which gracious stars have promis'd at my birth. A hundred Tartars shall attend on thee, Mounted on steeds swifter than Pegasus; Thy garments shall be made of Median silk, Enchas'd with precious jewels of mine own, More rich and valurous(38) than Zenocrate's; With milk-white harts upon an ivory sled Thou shalt be drawn amidst the frozen pools,(39) And scale the icy mountains' lofty tops, Which with thy beauty will be soon resolv'd:(40) My martial prizes, with five hundred men, Won on the fifty-headed Volga's waves, Shall we all offer(41) to Zenocrate, And then myself to fair Zenocrate.

TECHELLES. What now! in love?

TAMBURLAINE. Techelles, women must be flattered: But this is she with whom I am in(42) love.

Enter a SOLDIER.

SOLDIER. News, news!

TAMBURLAINE. How now! what's the matter?

SOLDIER. A thousand Persian horsemen are at hand, Sent from the king to overcome us all.

TAMBURLAINE. How now, my lords of Egypt, and Zenocrate! Now must your jewels be restor'd again, And I, that triumph'd(43) so, be overcome? How say you, lordings? is not this your hope?

AGYDAS. We hope yourself will willingly restore them.

TAMBURLAINE. Such hope, such fortune, have the thousand horse. Soft ye, my lords, and sweet Zenocrate! You must be forced from me ere you go.-- A thousand horsemen! we five hundred foot! An odds too great for us to stand against. But are they rich? and is their armour good!

SOLDIER. Their plumed helms are wrought with beaten gold, Their swords enamell'd, and about their necks Hang massy chains of gold down to the waist; In every part exceeding brave(44) and rich.

Christopher Marlowe
Classic Literature Library
Classic Authors

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