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the minion of Jupiter, whose protecting arm he sometimes acknowledges ; whom he occasionally condescends to imitate, and now and then dares to threaten. He marches on from battle to battle, from conquest to conquest, like the God of War or "tlrundering Jupiter;" from Scythia to Persia, from Persia to Turkey, and from Turkey to Egypt, -all in the first part. We find him in the second part subduing Natolia, Trebizon, Jerusalem, Syria; encaging the Emperor of the Turks; bridling and driving in his chariot the pampered jades of Asia,--to wit, the Kings of Trebizon and Syria; stabbing his son, because he is not so bloody-minded as his father; sacking towns; slaughtering men, women, and children, by thousands; until, at length, he is attacked by disease, the vanguard of the supreme conqueror, Death, at whose approach he becomes desperately enraged,threatens to
“march against the powers' of Heaven,
And set black streamers in the firmament,
To signify the slaughter of the Gods;"
and bids a messenger
“ haste to the Court of Jove,
Will him to send Apollo hither straight
To cure' me; or I'll fetch him down myself.”
But all in vain ; for after vaunting and scolding until he is exhausted, Great Tamburlaine, “ the scourge of God and terror of the world," dies.
His followers and enemies all talk in the same elevated strain. Some of them, indeed, in due season,
“ Will batter turrets with their manly fists,
And make whole cities caper in the air.”
The offspring of the wit, it would appear, like its parent, is subject to disease; and after examining, with a little attention, the pathognomic symptoms which characterise the dramas of Tamburlaine, it may be pronounced, with certainty, that they are afflicted with mania or furious madness. Furious madness, for instance, is distinguished by a peculiar wildness of the countenance, rolling and glistening of the eyes, grinding of the teeth, loud roarings, violent exertions of strength, incoherent discourses, unaccountable malice to certain persons--all which will be found to correspond in a remarkable manner with the symptoms manifested in this offspring of Marlowe's brain. We could produce examples answering this description; but as they would extend this article beyond its proposed limits, those of
our readers, who have not read the play, must be content with the specimens quoted, and take our word for the rest.
This, bad as it is, is preferable to the melancholic madness of tragedy, with its ahs! and ohs! and all the interminable train of puling interjections which distinguish some more modern productions, or the hallucinatio maniacalis, or rabies asinina, caused by an imaginary or mistaken idea of the unfortunate victim being possessed of poetical genius ;-an idea which demonstrates the opinion of medical writers, that persons of weak intellects are not subject to madness, to be erroneous. Tamburlaine, however, though a madman, is no fool; the distinction between which is well drawn by Locke, who says, “ the difference between a madman and a fool is, that the former reasons justly from false data; and the latter erroneously from just data."
We shall now proceed with our extracts, premising that we have selected such as are uttered at comparatively lucid intervals, or, at least, when the disorder is not at its access. The person of the hero is thus pourtrayed : :
“Of stature tall, and straightly fashioned,
Like his desire lift upward and divine,
So large of limbs, his joints so strongly knit,
Such breadth of shoulders as might mainly bear
Old Atlas' burthen ;-twixt his manly brows,
A pearl more worth than all the world is plac'd,
Wherein by curious sovereignty of art
Are fix'd his piercing instruments of sight,
Whose fiery circles bear encompass'd
A heaven of heavenly bodies in their spheres,
That guides his steps and actions to the throne,
Where honour sits invested royally:
Pale of complexion, wrought in him with passion,
Thirsting with sovereignty and love of arms,
His lofty brows in folds do figure death,
And in their smoothness amity and life;
About them hangs a knot of amber hair,
Wrapped in curls, as fierce Achilles' was,
On which the breath of Heaven delights to play,
Making it dance with wanton majesty.-
His arms and fingers, long, and snowy-white,
Betokening valour and excess of strength ;-
In ev'ry part proportion'd like the man
Should make the world subdued to Tamburlaine.”
We are constrained to add his own description of the
daughter of the Soldan of Egypt, divine Zenocrate, whom he first captures, and then marries.
“ Zenocrate, the loveliest maid alive,
Fairer than rocks of pearl and precious stone,
The only paragon of Tamburlaine,
Whose eyes are brighter than the lamps of heaven,
And speech more pleasant than sweet harmony;
That with thy looks canst clear the darken'd sky,
And calm the rage of thund'ring Jupiter,
Sit down by her, adorned with my crown,
As if thou wert the empress of the world.”
Tamburlaine's speech, wherein he assigns his reasons for aspiring to the throne of Persia, is written with some degree of force.
“The thirst of reign and sweetness of a crown,
That caus'd the eldest son of heav'nly Ops
To thrust his doting father from his chair,
And place himself in the imperial heaven,
Mov'd me to manage arms against thy state.
What better precedent than mighty Jove?
Nature that form'd us of four elements,
Warring within our breasts for regiment,
Doth teach us all to have aspiring minds;
Our souls, whose faculties can comprehend
The wond'rous architecture of the world,
And measure ev'ry wand'ring planet's course,
Still climbing after knowledge infinite,
And always moving as the restless spheres,
Will us to wear ourselves, and never rest,
Until we reach the ripest fruit of all,
That perfect bliss and sole felicity,
The sweet fruition of an earthly crown.
To this may be added, the intercession of the Egyptian virgins for the devoted city of Damascus, besieged by mighty Tamburlaine; which, though tainted with the common infirmity of the dramatis personæ, has yet a touch of feeling in it, and the only one that has, unless we except the succeeding quotation.
“ 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 ;
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.” The unrelenting Scythian, however, is not to be satisfied with other tears than those of blood; and the virgins are slaughtered by his high command, and hung upon the walls of Damascus.
Tamburlaine is besieging the father of Zenocrate, and attempts a slight expression of regret thereat.
Ah, fair Zenocrate !--divine Zenocrate!-
(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 dishevelld wip’st thy watry 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.”
We imagine, that this was not all pretence, as he deigns to give the Soldan his life.
The Massacre at Paris is, as one might expect, indeed a tragedy-a succession of assassinations and murders, without plot, interest, or invention. It is short, and not divided into acts. There is one, and, in our judgment, but one passage worth extracting. It is part of a soliloquy of the Duke of Guise, and is written with considerable energy.
“ Now, Guise, begin those deep-engender'd thoughts
To burst abroad, those never-dying flames,
Which cannot be extinguish'd but by blood.
Oft have I levell’d, and at last have learn'd
That peril is the chiefest way to happiness;
And resolution, honour's faireșt aim.
What glory is there in a common good,
That hangs for ev'ry peasant to achieve?
I best, that flies beyond my reach,
Set me to scale the high Pyramides,
And thereon set the diadem of France;
I'll either rend it with my nails to nought,