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 purchase(113) 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 this(115) Scythian Tamburlaine Make but a jest to win the Persian crown.-- Techelles, take a thousand horse with thee, And bid him turn him(116) 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 and(117) more warriors: Haste thee, Techelles; we will follow thee. [Exit TECHELLES.] What saith Theridamas?

THERIDAMAS. Go on, for me. [Exeunt.]

SCENE VI.

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 sprung(118) of human race, Since with the spirit of his fearful pride, He dares(119) 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 fate(120) 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.]

SCENE VII.

Alarms of battle within. Then enter COSROE wounded, TAMBURLAINE, THERIDAMAS, TECHELLES, USUMCASANE, with others.

COSROE.

Christopher Marlowe
Classic Literature Library
Classic Authors

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