TAMBURLAINE. Then shall we fight courageously with them? Or look you I should play the orator?

TECHELLES. No; cowards and faint-hearted runaways Look for orations when the foe is near: Our swords shall play the orators for us.

USUMCASANE. Come, let us meet them at the mountain-top,(45) And with a sudden and an hot alarum Drive all their horses headlong down the hill.

TECHELLES. Come, let us march.

TAMBURLAINE. Stay, Techelles; ask a parle first.

The SOLDIERS enter.

Open the mails,(46) yet guard the treasure sure: Lay out our golden wedges to the view, That their reflections may amaze the Persians; And look we friendly on them when they come: But, if they offer word or violence, We'll fight, five hundred men-at-arms to one, Before we part with our possession; And 'gainst the general we will lift our swords, And either lance(47) his greedy thirsting throat, Or take him prisoner, and his chain shall serve For manacles till he be ransom'd home.

TECHELLES. I hear them come: shall we encounter them?

TAMBURLAINE. Keep all your standings, and not stir a foot: Myself will bide the danger of the brunt.

Enter THERIDAMAS with others.

THERIDAMAS. Where is this(48) Scythian Tamburlaine?

TAMBURLAINE. Whom seek'st thou, Persian? I am Tamburlaine.

THERIDAMAS. Tamburlaine! A Scythian shepherd so embellished With nature's pride and richest furniture! His looks do menace heaven and dare the gods; His fiery eyes are fix'd upon the earth, As if he now devis'd some stratagem, Or meant to pierce Avernus' darksome vaults(49) To pull the triple-headed dog from hell.

TAMBURLAINE. Noble and mild this Persian seems to be, If outward habit judge the inward man.

TECHELLES. His deep affections make him passionate.

TAMBURLAINE. With what a majesty he rears his looks!-- In thee, thou valiant man of Persia, I see the folly of thy(50) emperor. Art thou but captain of a thousand horse, That by characters graven in thy brows, And by thy martial face and stout aspect, Deserv'st to have the leading of an host? Forsake thy king, and do but join with me, And we will triumph over all the world: I hold the Fates bound fast in iron chains, And with my hand turn Fortune's wheel about; And sooner shall the sun fall from his sphere Than Tamburlaine be slain or overcome. Draw forth thy sword, thou mighty man-at-arms, Intending but to raze my charmed skin, And Jove himself will stretch his hand from heaven To ward the blow, and shield me safe from harm. See, how he rains down heaps of gold in showers, As if he meant to give my soldiers pay! And, as a sure and grounded argument That I shall be the monarch of the East, He sends this Soldan's daughter rich and brave,(51) To be my queen and portly emperess. If thou wilt stay with me, renowmed(52) man, And lead thy thousand horse with my conduct, Besides thy share of this Egyptian prize, Those thousand horse shall sweat with martial spoil Of conquer'd kingdoms and of cities sack'd: Both we will walk upon the lofty cliffs;(53) And Christian merchants,(54) that with Russian stems(55) Plough up huge furrows in the Caspian Sea, Shall vail(56) to us as lords of all the lake; Both we will reign as consuls of the earth, And mighty kings shall be our senators. Jove sometime masked in a shepherd's weed; And by those steps that he hath scal'd the heavens May we become immortal like the gods. Join with me now in this my mean estate, (I call it mean, because, being yet obscure, The nations far-remov'd admire me not,) And when my name and honour shall be spread As far as Boreas claps his brazen wings, Or fair Bootes(57) sends his cheerful light, Then shalt thou be competitor(58) with me, And sit with Tamburlaine in all his majesty.

THERIDAMAS. Not Hermes, prolocutor to the gods, Could use persuasions more pathetical.

TAMBURLAINE. Nor are Apollo's oracles more true Than thou shalt find my vaunts substantial.

TECHELLES. We are his friends; and, if the Persian king Should offer present dukedoms to our state, We think it loss to make exchange for that We are assur'd of by our friend's success.

Christopher Marlowe
Classic Literature Library
Classic Authors

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