TECHELLES. The more he brings, the greater is the spoil; For, when they perish by our warlike hands, We mean to set(157) our footmen on their steeds, And rifle all those stately janizars.

TAMBURLAINE. But will those kings accompany your lord?

BASSO. Such as his highness please; but some must stay To rule the provinces he late subdu'd.

TAMBURLAINE. [To his OFFICERS] Then fight courageously: their crowns are yours; This hand shall set them on your conquering heads, That made me emperor of Asia.

USUMCASANE. Let him bring millions infinite of men, Unpeopling Western Africa and Greece, Yet we assure us of the victory.

THERIDAMAS. Even he, that in a trice vanquish'd two kings More mighty than the Turkish emperor, Shall rouse him out of Europe, and pursue His scatter'd army till they yield or die.

TAMBURLAINE. Well said, Theridamas! speak in that mood; For WILL and SHALL best fitteth Tamburlaine, Whose smiling stars give him assured hope Of martial triumph ere he meet his foes. I that am term'd the scourge and wrath of God, The only fear and terror of the world, Will first subdue the Turk, and then enlarge Those Christian captives which you keep as slaves, Burdening their bodies with your heavy chains, And feeding them with thin and slender fare; That naked row about the Terrene(158) sea, And, when they chance to rest or breathe(159) a space, Are punish'd with bastones(160) so grievously That they(161) lie panting on the galleys' side, And strive for life at every stroke they give. These are the cruel pirates of Argier, That damned train, the scum of Africa, Inhabited with straggling runagates, That make quick havoc of the Christian blood: But, as I live, that town shall curse the time That Tamburlaine set foot in Africa.

Enter BAJAZETH, BASSOES, the KINGS OF FEZ, MOROCCO, and ARGIER; ZABINA and EBEA.

BAJAZETH. Bassoes and janizaries of my guard, Attend upon the person of your lord, The greatest potentate of Africa.

TAMBURLAINE. Techelles and the rest, prepare your swords; I mean t' encounter with that Bajazeth.

BAJAZETH. Kings of Fez, Morocco,(162) and Argier, He calls me Bajazeth, whom you call lord! Note the presumption of this Scythian slave!-- I tell thee, villain, those that lead my horse Have to their names titles(163) of dignity; And dar'st thou bluntly call me Bajazeth?

TAMBURLAINE. And know, thou Turk, that those which lead my horse Shall lead thee captive thorough Africa; And dar'st thou bluntly call me Tamburlaine?

BAJAZETH. By Mahomet my kinsman's sepulchre, And by the holy Alcoran I swear, He shall be made a chaste and lustless eunuch, And in my sarell(164) tend my concubines; And all his captains, that thus stoutly stand, Shall draw the chariot of my emperess, Whom I have brought to see their overthrow!

TAMBURLAINE. By this my sword that conquer'd Persia, Thy fall shall make me famous through the world! I will not tell thee how I'll(165) handle thee, But every common soldier of my camp Shall smile to see thy miserable state.

KING OF FEZ. What means the(166) mighty Turkish emperor, To talk with one so base as Tamburlaine?

KING OF MOROCCO. Ye Moors and valiant men of Barbary. How can ye suffer these indignities?

KING OF ARGIER. Leave words, and let them feel your lances' points, Which glided through the bowels of the Greeks.

BAJAZETH. Well said, my stout contributory kings! Your threefold army and my hugy(167) host Shall swallow up these base-born Persians.

TECHELLES. Puissant, renowm'd,(168) and mighty Tamburlaine, Why stay we thus prolonging of(169) their lives?

THERIDAMAS. I long to see those crowns won by our swords, That we may rule(170) as kings of Africa.

USUMCASANE. What coward would not fight for such a prize?

TAMBURLAINE. Fight all courageously, and be you kings: I speak it, and my words are oracles.

BAJAZETH. Zabina, mother of three braver(171) boys Than Hercules, that in his infancy Did pash(172) the jaws of serpents venomous; Whose hands are made to gripe a warlike lance, Their shoulders broad for complete armour fit, Their limbs more large and of a bigger size Than all the brats y-sprung(173) from Typhon's loins; Who, when they come unto their father's age, Will batter turrets with their manly fists;-- Sit here upon this royal chair of state, And on thy head wear my imperial crown, Until I bring this sturdy Tamburlaine And all his captains bound in captive chains.

Christopher Marlowe
Classic Literature Library
Classic Authors

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