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FROM jigging veins of rhyming mother wits,
And such conceits as clownage keeps in pay,
We'll lead you to the stately tent of war,
Where you shall hear the Scythian Tamburlaine:
Threatening the world with high astounding terms,
And scourging kingdoms with his conquering sword.
View but his picture in this tragic glass,
And then applaud his fortune as you please.

:

* There is no list of characters in the old copies.

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Zenocrate, Daughter of the Soldan of Egypt. w
ANIPPE, her Maid.

ZABINA, Empress of the Turks.
EBEA, her Maid.

Virgins of Damascus.

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Enter MycETES, CoSROE, MEANDER, THERIDAMAs, ORTYGIUS, CENEUS, MENAPHON, with others.

Myc. Brother Cosroe, I find myself aggrieved, Yet insufficient to express the same; For it requires a great and thundering speech: Good brother, tell the cause unto my Lords; I know you have a better wit than I. .

Cos. Unhappy Persia, that in former age Hast been the seat of mighty conquerors, That, in their prowess and their policies, Have triumphed over Afric and the bounds Of Europe, where the sun scarce dares appear IO For freezing meteors and congealed cold, Now to be ruled and governed by a man At whose birthday Cynthia with Saturn joined, And Jove, the Sun, and Mercury denied

&

To shed their 1 influence in his fickle brain | Now Turks and Tartars shake their swords at thee, Meaning to mangle all thy provinces. Myc Brother, I see your meaning well enough, And through your planets I perceive you think I am not wise enough to be a king; 2O But I refer me to my noblemen That know my wit, and can be witnesses. I might command you to be slain for this: to: might I not? Meand. Not for so small a fault, my sovereign lord. Myc. I mean it not, but yet I know I might; Yet live; yea live, Mycetes wills it so. Meander, thou, my faithful counsellor, Declare the cause of my conceived grief, Which is, God knows, about that Tamburlaine, 3o That, like a fox in midst of harvest time, Doth prey upon my flocks of passengers; And, as I hear, doth mean to pull my plumes: Therefore 'tis good and meet for to be wise. Meand. Oft have I heard your Majesty complain Of Tamburlaine, that sturdy Scythian thief, That robs your merchants of Persepolis Trading by land unto the Western Isles, And in your confines with his lawless train Daily commits incivil outrages, 40 Hoping (misled by dreaming prophecies) To reign in Asia, and with barbarous arms To make himself the monarch of the East;

* Old copies "his."

But ere he march in Asia, or display His vagrant ensign in the Persian fields, Your Grace hath taken order by Theridamas, Charged with a thousand horse, to apprehend And bring him captive to your Highness' throne. Myc. Full true thou speak'st, and like thyself, my Lord, Whom I may term a Damon for thy love: 50 Therefore 'tis best, if so it like you all, To send my thousand horse incontinent” To apprehend that paltry Scythian. How like you this, my honourable Lords? Is’t not a kingly resolution? Cos. It cannot choose, because it comes from you. Myc. Then hearthy charge, valiant Theridamas, The chiefest captain of Mycetes' host, The hope of Persia, and the very legs Whereon our State doth lean as on a staff, 6o That holds us up, and foils our neighbour foes: Thou shalt be leader of this thousand horse, Whose foaming gall with rage and high disdain Have sworn the death of wicked Tamburlaine. * Go frowning forth; but come thou smiling home, As did sir Paris with the Grecian dame; Return with speed—time passeth swift away; Our life is frail, and we may die to-day. * Ther. Before the moon renew her borrowed light, Doubt not, my Lord and gracious Sovereign, 7o But Tamburlaine and that Tartarian rout,

* Immediately.

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