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What simple virgins may persuade, we will.
Gov. Farewel, sweet virgins, on whose safe re-
Depend our city, liberty, and lives. [Ereunt.
Enter TAM BURLAIN E, TECHELLEs, THERIDAMAs,
Usu McAs ANE, with others : Tamburlaine all in
black and very melancholy. To them enter the
VIRGINs of DAMAscus.
TAMB. What, are the turtles fray'd out of their
Alas, poor fools! must you be first shall feel
The sworn destruction of Damascus?
They knew my custom; could they not as well
Have sent ye out, when first my milk-white flags
Through which sweet mercy threw her gentle beams
Reflexed them on your disdainful eyes,
As now, when fury and incensed hate
Flings slaught'ring terror from my coal-black tents,
And tells for truth submission comes too late?
1 Wing. Most happy king and emp'ror of the earth,
Image of honour and nobility,
For whom the pow'rs divine have made the world,
And on whose throne the holy graces sit;
In whose sweet person is compriz'd the sum
Of nature's skill and heavenly majesty;
Pity our plights! O pity poor Damascus!
Pity old age, within whose silver hairs
Honour and rev'rence evermore have reign'd
Pity the marriage bed, where many a lord
In prime and glory of his loving joy
Embraceth now with tears of ruth and blood
The jealous body of his fearful wife
Whose cheeks and hearts so punish'd with conceit,
To think thy puissant, never-stayed arm, -
Will part their bodies and prevent their souls
From heavens of comfort yet their age might bear,
Now wax all pale and wither'd to the death,
As well for grief our ruthless governor
Has thus refus'd the mercy of thy hand,
(Whose sceptre angels kiss and furies dread,)
As for their liberties, their loves, or lives |
Oh then for these, and such as we ourselves,
For us, for infants, and for all our bloods,
That never nourish'd thought against thy rule,
Pity, oh pity, sacred emperor,
The prostrate service of this wretched town,
And take in sign thereof this gilded wreath;
Whereto each man of rule hath giv'n his hand,
And wish'd, as worthy subjects, happy means
To be investers of thy royal brows
Even with the true Egyptian diadem!
TAM.B. Virgins, in vain you labour to prevent
That which mine honour swears shall be perform'd.
Behold my sword what see you at the point?
1 VIRG. Nothing but fear, and fatal steel, my lord.
TAMB. Your fearful minds are thick and misty then;
For there sits Death; there sits imperious Death
Keeping his circuit by the slicing edge.
But I am pleas'd you shall not see him there;
He now is seated on my horsemen's spears,
And on their points his fleshless body feeds.
Techelles, straight go charge a few of them
To charge these dames, and shew my servant, Death,
Sitting in scarlet on their armed spears.
All. O pity us!
TAM E. Away with them, I say, and shew them
Death. [The Virgins are taken out.
I will not spare these proud Egyptians,
Nor change my martial observations
For all the wealth of Gehon's golden waves,
Or for the love of Venus, would she leave
The angry god of arms and lie with me.
They have refus’d the offer of their lives,
And know my customs are as peremptory
As wrathful planets, death, or destiny.
Enter Tech ELLEs.
What, have your horsemen shown the virgins' death?
Tech. They have, my lord, and on Damascus’
Have hoisted up their slaughter'd carcases.
TAMB. A sight as baneful to their souls, I think,
As are Thessalian drugs or Mithridate:
But go, my lords, put the rest to the sword.
Ah, fair Zenocrate —divine Zenocrate l—
Fair is too foul an epithet for thee,
That in thy passion for thy country's love,
And fear to see thy kingly father's harm,
With hair dishevell'd wip'st thy wat'ry cheeks;
And, like to Flora in her morning pride,
Shaking her silver tresses in the air,
Rain'st on the earth resolved pearl in showers,
And sprinklest sapphires on thy shining face,
Where beauty, mother to the Muses, sits
And comments volumes with her iv'ry pen,
Taking instructions from thy flowing eyes,
Eyes, when that Ebena steps to heaven,
In silence, of thy solemn evening's walk,
Making the mantle of the richest night,
The moon, the planets, and the meteors, light;
These angels, in their chrystal armours fight
A doubtful battle with my tempted thoughts
For Egypt's freedom, and the Soldan's life;
His life that so consumes Zenocrate,
Whose sorrows lay more siege unto my soul,
Than all my army to Damascus' walls:
And neither Persia's" sovereign, nor the Turk
Troubled my senses with conceit of foil
So much by much as doth Zenocrate.
What is beauty, saith my sufferings, then?
If all the pens that ever poets held
Had fed the feeling of their master's thoughts,
And ev'ry sweetness that inspir'd their hearts,
Their minds, and muses on admired themes;
If all the heavenly quintessence they still
From their immortal flowers of poesy,
Wherein, as in a mirror, we perceive
The highest reaches of a human wit;
If these had made one poem's period,
And all combin’d in beauty's worthiness,
Yet should there hover in their restless heads
One thought, one grace, one wonder, at the least,
Which into words no virtue can digest:
But how unseemly is it for my sex,
My discipline of arms and chivalry,
My nature, and the terror of my name,
To harbour thoughts effeminate and faints
Save only that in beauty's just applause,
With whose instinct the soul of man is touch'd;
And ev'ry warrior that is wrapt with love
Of fame, of valour, and of victory,
Must needs have beauty beat on his conceits.
I thus conceiving and subduing both
That which hath stopt the tempest of the Gods,”
Even from the fiery-spangled veil of Heaven,
To feel the lovely warmth of shepherds' flames,
And march in cottages of strowed weeds,
Shall give the world to note for all my birth,
That virtue solely is the sum of glory,
And fashions men with true nobility.—
Who's within there?
Hath Bajazet been fed to-day ?
* A line appears to have been omitted in both the old copies. after the word “Gods.” The reader will easily supply the sense.