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What should we do but bid them battle straight,
And rid the world of those detested troops?
Lest, if we let them linger here awhile,
They gather strength by power of fresh supplies.
This country swarms with vile outrageous men
That live by rapine and by lawless spoil,
Fit soldiers for the wicked Tamburlaine ;
And he that could with gifts and promises
Inveigle him that led a thousand horse,
And make him false his faith unto his king,
Will quickly win such as be like himself.
Therefore cheer up your minds; prepare to fight;
He that can take or slaughter Tamburlaine
Shall rule the province of Albania:
Who brings that traitor's head, Theridamas,
Shall have a government in Media,
Beside the spoil of him and all his train :
But if Cosroe, (as our spials' say,
And as we know) remains with Tamburlaine,
His Highness' pleasure is that he should live,
And be reclaimed with princely lenity.
A Spy. A hundred horsemen of my company
Scouting abroad upon these champion® plains
Have viewed the army of the Scythians,
Which make report it far exceeds the king's.
Meand. Suppose they be in number infinite,
Espials, spies. Cf. Henry VI., 4:-"The prince's spials have informed me."
• The old form of “champain."
Yet being void of martial discipline,
All running headlong after greedy spoils,
And more regarding gain than victory,
Like to the cruel brothers of the earth,
Sprong? of the teeth of dragons venomous,
Their careless swords shall lanch their fellows' throats,
And make us triumph in their overthrow.
Myc. Was there such brethren, sweet Meander, say, That sprong of teeth of dragons venomous ?
Meand. So poets say, my lord.
Myc. And 'tis a pretty toy to be a poet.
Well, well, Meander, thou art deeply read,
And having thee, I have a jewel sure.
Go on, my Lord, and give your charge, I say;
Thy wit will make us conquerors to-day.
Meand. Then, noble soldiers, to entrap these thieves, That live confounded in disordered troops,
60 If wealth or riches may prevail with them, We have our camels laden all with gold,
that be but common soldiers
Shall fling in every corner of the field;
And while the base-born Tartars take it up,
You, fighting more for honour than for gold,
Shall massacre those greedy-minded slaves;
And when their scattered army is subdued,
And you march on their slaughtered carcases,
Share equally the gold that bought their lives,
1 Dyce printed “greedy after spoils." : So the old copies: in the Second Part we have the spelling “sprung." VOL. I.
And live like gentlemen in Persia.
Strike up the drum I and march courageously!
Fortune herself doth sit upon our crests.
Myc. He tells you true, my masters : so he does.
Drums, why sound ye not, when Meander speaks?
[Excunt, drums sounding.
Enter CosROE, TAMBURLAINE, THERIDAMAS, TECHELLES,
USUMCASANE, and ORTYGIUS, with others.
Cos. Now, worthy Tamburlaine, have I reposed
In thy approved fortunes all my hope.
What think'st thou, man, shall come of our attempts ?
For even as from assured oracle,
I take thy doom for satisfaction.
Tamb. And so mistake you not a whit, my Lord;
For fates and oraclès (of) Heaven have swom
-To royalise the deeds of Tamburlaine,
And make them blest that share in his attempts.
And doubt you not but, if you favour me,
And let my fortunes and my valour sway
• To some' direction in your martial deeds,
The world will strive with hosts of men at arms,
To swarm unto the ensign I support :
The host of Xerxes, which by fame is said
"To have drank the mighty Parthian Araris,
Was but a handful to that we will have.
Our quivering lances, shaking in the air,
And bullets, like Jove's dreadful thunderbolts,
Enrolled in flames and fiery smouldering mists,
Shall threat the gods more than Cyclopian wars :
And with our sun-bright armour as we march,
We'll chase the stars from heaven and dim their eyes
That stand and muse at our admired arms.
Ther. You see, my Lord, what working words he hath;
But when you see his actions stop his speech,
Your speech will stay or so extol his worth
As I shall be commended and excused
For turning my poor charge to his direction.
And these his two renowmèd friends, my lord,
30 Would make one thirst? and strive to be retained In such a great degree of amity.
Tech. With duty and with amity we yield
Our utmost service to the fair Cosroe.
Cos. Which I esteem as portion of my crown.
U sumcasane and Techelles both,
When she that rules in Rhamnus'* golden gates,
And makes a passage for all prosperous arms,
Shall make me solely emperor of Asia,
Then shall your meeds 6 and valours be advanced
40 To rooms of honour and nobility.
1 Dyce reads “top," which gives excellent sense, 3 8vo. “thrust."-410. thrist,"
* So 400.-8v0. "DOC." • Broughton quotes from Locrine :
• She that rules fair Rhamnus' golden gates
Grant us the honour of the victory." The old copies read “ Rhamnis." The allusion is of course to Nemesis, who had a temple at Rhamnus in Attica.
• So 8vo.-4to. deeds."
Tamb. Then haste, Cosroe, to be king alone,
That I with these, my friends, and all my men
May triumph in our long-expected fate.-
The king, your brother, is now hard at hand;
Meet with the fool, and rid your royal shoulders
Of such a burthen as outweighs the sands
And all the craggy rocks of Caspia.
Enter a Messenger.
Mes. My lord, we have discovered the enemy
Ready to charge you with a mighty army.
50 Cos. Come, Tamburlainel now whet thy winged
And lift thy lofty arm into the clouds,
That it may reach the king of Persia's crown,
And set it safe on my victorious head.
Tamb. See where it is, the keenest curtle axe
That e'er made passage thorough Persian arms.
These are the wings shall make it fly as swift
As doth the lightning or the breath of Heaven,
And kill as sure as it swiftly flies.
Cos. Thy words assure me of kind success; 60
Go, valiant soldier, go before and charge
The fainting army of that foolish king.
Tamb. Usumcasane and Techelles, come!
We are enow to scare the enemy,
And more than needs to make an emperor.
[They go out to the battle.