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Mycetes, King of Persia.
Tamburlaine, a Scythian Shepherd.
USUMCASANE, \ ktS
M^netes, \ ^ian Lords.
Zenocrate, Daughter of the Soldan of Egypt.
ANIPPE, her Maid.
Zabina, Empress of the Turks.
Ebea, her Maid.
Virgins of Damascus.
1 There is no list of characters in the old copies.
TAMBURLAINE THE GREAT.
j Part tfje Jirst. "- y
ACT THE FIRST.
Enter Mycetes, Cosroe, Meander, Theridamas,
Myc. Brother Cosroe, I find myself aggrieved,
Cos. Unhappy Persia, that in former age *
To shed their I ilifjuence in his fickle brain!
Now Turks a'hil'Tartars shake their swords at thee,
Meaning to niangle all thy provinces.
Myc. .Brother, I see your meaning well enough, And thiojigh your planets I perceive you think I am-ncf wise enough to be a king, 20 Bajt I refer me to my noblemen •That" know my wit, and can be witnesses. "J-Jhight command you to be slain for this: .^Meander, 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, 30 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.djer1"1'"^ proj?h££l.j£g) To reign in Asia, and with barbarous arms v To make himself the monarch of the East;
But ere he march in Asia, or display
Myc. Full true thou speak'st, and like thyself, my
Whom I may term a Damon for thy love: 50
Therefore 'tis best, if so it like you all,
To send my thousand horse incontinent1
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 hear thy charge, valiant Theridamas,
Return with speed—time passeth swift away; L f'^T- ^"w-a..^
Titer. Before the moon renew her borrowed light, a Doubt not, my Lord and gracious Sovereign, 70 But Tamburlaine and that Tartarian rout,
Shall either perish by our warlike hands,
Myc. Go, stout Theridamas, thy words are swords, And with thy looks thou conquerest all thy foes; \ I lonff to see thee back return frftrja Jfoeoce^. < That I may view these milk-white steeds of mine | All loadeh with the heads of kilTSd men, ! And from their knees e'en to their hoofs below 7 Besmeared with blood that makes a dainty shog. 80 I ^"Ther. Then now, my Lord, I humbly take my leave. ! Myc. Theridamas, farewell! ten thousand times.
[Exit Theridamas. Ah, Menaphon, why stay'st thou thus behind, When other men press forward for renown? Go, Menaphon, go into Scythia; And foot by foot follow Theridamas.
Cos. Nay, pray you let him stay; a greater [task]1
Myc. "Unless they have a wiser king than you.'
\ Myc. Well, here I swear by this my royal seat,—
1 The modern editors insert the word "task." a Viceroy. In Day's Parliament of Bees the master-bee is styled "' Prorex."