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Tamb. Well said, Theridamas ; speak in that mood; 40
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 termed 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,
Burthening their bodies with your heavy chains,
And feeding them with thin and slender fare,
That naked row about the Terrene sea,
And when they chance to rest or breathe a space,
Are punished with bastones 1 so grievously,
That they lie panting on the galley's side,
And strive for life at every stroke they give.
These are the cruel pirates of Argier,
That damnèd 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 with his Bassoes and contributory Kings.

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

1 “Mr. Dyce says, 'bastones, i.e. bastinadoes ; 'but the bastinado, as I have seen it, was applied to the soles of the feet, and was therefore a punishment inapplicable to rowers, whom it would have rendered unfit for work. 'Bastones' simply means batons, sticks."-Cunningham.

Tamb. Techelles, and the rest, prepare your swords; I mean to encounter with that Bajazeth.

Baj. Kings of Fez, Moroccus, 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 of dignity,

70 And dar'st thou bluntly call me Bajazeth ? Tamb. And know, thou Turk, that those which lead

my horse,
Shall lead thee captive thorough Africa;
And darst thou bluntly call me Tamburlaine ?

Baj. 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 2 tend my concubines;
And all his captains that thus stoutly stand,
Shall draw the chariot of my emperess,

80 Whom I have brought to see their overthrow.

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

K. of Fez. What means the mighty Turkish emperor, To talk with one so base as Tamburlaine ?

1 Cf, Peele's Battle of Alcsar, i. 2:

“Those plots of ground That to Morrocus lead the lower way." 2 Seraglio (Fr. serail).

K. of Mor. Ye Moors and valiant men of Barbary, How can ye suffer these indignities?

90 K. of Arg. Leave words, and let them feel your lances'

points
Which glided through the bowels of the Greeks.

Baj. Well said, my stout contributory kings :
Your threefold army and my hugy 1 host
Shall swallow up these base-born Persians.

Tech. Puissant, renowned, and mighty Tamburlaine, Why stay we thus prolonging of their lives?

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

Usum. What coward would not fight for such a prize? 100

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

Baj. Zabina, mother of three braver boys
Than Hercules, that in his infancy
Did pash 2 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 ysprong 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,

IIO

i Old form of “huge."
2 Strike violently, dash. So Greene (in Orlando Furioso) :-

“But as the son of Saturn in his wrath
· Pash'd all the mountains at Typhæus' head."

Until I bring this sturdy Tamburlaine,
And all his captains bound in captive chains.

Zab. Such good success happen to Bajazeth !

Tamb. 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, 120 And speech more pleasant than sweet harmony; That with thy looks canst clear the darkened sky, And calm the rage of thundering Jupiter, Sit down by her, adorned with my crown, As if thou wert the empress of the world. Stir not, Zenocrate, until thou see Me march victoriously with all my men, Triùmphing over him and these his kings; Which I will bring as vassals to thy feet ; Till then take thou my crown, vaunt of my worth, 130 And manage words with her, as we will arms.

Zeno. And may my love the king of Persia, Return with victory and free from wound !

Baj. Now shalt thou feel the force of Turkish arms, Which lately made all Europe quake for fear. I have of Turks, Arabians, Moors, and Jews, Enough to cover all Bithynia. Let thousands die; their slaughtered carcasses Shall serve for walls and bulwarks to the rest; And as the heads of Hydra, so my power, Subdued, shall stand as mighty as before. If they should yield their necks unto the sword, Thy soldiers' arms could not endure to strike

140

150

So many blows as I have heads for thee. 1
Thou know'st not, foolish, hardy 2 Tamburlaine,
What 'tis to meet me in the open field,
That leave no ground for thee to march upon.
Tamb. Our conquering swords shall marshal us the

way
We use to march upon the slaughtered foe,
Trampling their bowels with our horses' hoofs;
Brave horses bred on th' white Tartarian hills;
My camp is like to Julius Cæsar's host,
That never fought but had the victory;
Nor in Pharsalia was there such hot war,
As these, my followers, willingly would have.
Legions of spirits fleeting 3 in the air
Direct our bullets and our weapons' points,
And make your strokes to wound the senseless light, 4
And when she sees our bloody colours spread,
Then Victory begins to take her flight,

160 Resting herself upon my milk-white tent ?— But come, my lords, to weapons let us fall; The field is ours, the Turk, his wife and all.

[Exit, with his followers.

i Dyce needlessly altered "thee” to “them." * Dyce reads "foolish-hardy."

3 Fleet=float, swim. In his sonnet on the Return of Spring, Surrey writes:

“The fishes flete with new repaired scale." 4 The old copies give our for your and lure for light. Ed. 1826 corrected lure into light, a reading which I adopt doubtfully, and Dyce made the other correction. Peele imitates this line in David and Bethseba :

“And make their weapons wound the senseless winds."

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