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'Till men and kingdoms help to strengthen it, 30

And must maintain my life exempt from servitude.—

But, tell me, madam, is your grace betrothed?
Zeiw. I am—my lord—for so you do import .
Tamb. I am a lord, for so my deeds shall prove:

And yet a shepherd by my parentage.

But, lady, this fair face and heavenly hue

Must grace his bed that conquers Asia,

And means to be a terror to the world,

Measuring the limits of his empery

By"east and wM^as.Ph(EBus. 3oth his course. 40

Lie here ye weeds that I disdain to wear!

This complete armour and this curtle axe

Are adjuncts more beseeming Tamburlaine.

And, madam, whatsoever you esteem

Of this success and loss unvalued,1

Both may invest you empress of the East;

And these that seem but silly country swains

May have the leading of so great an host,

As with their weight shall make the mountains quake,

Even as when windy exhalations 50

Fighting for passage, tilt within the earth.

Tech. As princely lions, when they rouse themselves, Stretching their paws, and threatening herds of beasts, So in his armour looketh Tamburlaine. Methinks I see kings kneeling at his feet, And he with frowning brows and fiery looks, Spurning their crowns from off their captive heads.

1 Not to be valued; as in Richard III,, i. 4:—" Inestimable stones, unvalued jewels."

Usum. And making thee and me, Techelles,
kings,

That even to death will follow Tamburlaine.
Tamb. Nobly resolved, sweet friends and
lowers!

These Lords, perhaps do scorn our estimates, And think we prattle with distempered spirits; But since they measure our deserts so mean, That in conceit bear empires on our spears, f /VVJ^ I Affecting thoughts coequal with the clouds, / They shall be kept our forced followers, Till with their eyes they view us emperors.

Zeno. The Gods, defenders of the innocent,
Will never prosper your intended drifts,
"That thus oppress poor friendless passengers. 7°
Therefore at least admit us liberty,
Even as thou hopest to be eternised,
MBy living Asia's mighty emperor.

Agyd. I hope our ladies' treasures and our
own,

May serve for ransom to our liberties:
Return our mules and empty camels back,
That we may travel into Syria,
Where her betrothed lord Alcidamas,
Expects th' arrival of her highness' person.

Mag. And wheresoever we repose ourselves, So We will report but well of Tamburlaine.

Tamb. Disdains Zenocrate to live with me?
Or you, my lords, to be my followers?
Think you I weigh this treasure more than you?

[graphic]

Not all the gold in India's wealthy arms
, Shall buy the meanest soldier in my train. /
Zenocrate, lovelier than the love of Jove,
Brighter than is the silver Rhodbpe,1
Fairer than whitest snow on Scythian hills,—
Thy person is more worth to Tamburlaine, J 90
Than the possession of the Persian rrnwn,
Which gracious stars have promised at my birth.
A hundred Tartars shall attend on thee,
Mounted on steeds swifter than Pegasus;
Thy garments shall be made of Median silk,2
Enchased with precious jewels of mine own,
More rich and valurous3 than Zenocrate's.
With milk-white harts upon an ivory sled,
Thou shalt be drawn amidst the frozen pools,4
And scale the icy mountains' lofty tops, 100
Which with thy beauty will be soon resolved.
My martial prizes with five hundred men,
Won on the fifty-headed Volga's waves,
Shall we all5 offer to Zenocrate,
And then myself to fair Zenocrate.

Tech. What now !—in love?

Tamb. Techelles, women must be flattered: But this is she with whom I am in 6 love.

1 Old copies " Rhodolfe."

1 Cf. 1594* Taming of a Shrew:

"Thou shalt have garments wrought of Median silk
Enchas'd with precious jewels brought from far.'

* i.e. valuable.

* 8vo. "Pooles."—410. "poles."

« 8vo. omits "all.' —4to. reads 1' we all shall."

* 8vo.."it."—410. "in."

[graphic]

\ Enter a Soldier.

Soldi News! .news,!

TatiiK How now—What's the matter? 110

Sold. A thousand Pdfcian horsemen are at hand, Sent from the king to ovk.come us all.

Tamb. How now, my lojds of Egypt, and Zenocrate! How !—musryour jewels be/estored again, And I, that triumphed so, be overcome? How say you, lordings,—.is noiuhis your hope?

Agyd. We hope yourself will "willingly restore them.

Tamb. Such hope, such fortune, have the thousand horse. A Soft ye, my lords, and sweet Zenocrate! You must be forced from me.ere you)go. 120 A thousand horsemen !—-We five hundred foot!— An odds too great for us to stand against; But are they rich ?—and is their armour gopd?

Sold. Their plumed helms are wrough*\with beaten gold,

Their swords enamelled, and about their .sicks
Hangs1 massy chains of gold, down to tfie waist,
In every part exceeding brave 2 and rich.

Tamb. Then shall we fight courageously with them? Or look you I should play the orator?

1 So the 8vo. Modern editors (including Dyce) read " hang." It is very common to find in old writers a plural subject joined to a singular verb. See Abbott's Shakespearean Grammar (§ 333). I have retained the seeming anomaly wherever it occurs in the editio princeps,

2 Gaily dressed. The use of the word "brave " in this sense is very common.

A;

Tech. No: cowards and faint-hearted runaways 130 Look for orations when the foe is near Our swords shall play the orator for us.

Usum. Come! let us meet them at the mountain top,1 And with a sudden and a hot alarurri, Drive all their horses headlong down the hill. Tech. Come, let us march ]

Tamb. Stay! ask a parle first.

The Soldiers enter. Open the mails,2 yet guard the treasure sure; Lay out our golden wedges to the view, That their reflections may amaze the Persians; And look we friendly on them when they come; 140 But if they offer word or violence, We'll fight five hundred men at arms to one, Before we part with our possession. And 'gainst the general we will lift our swords, And either lajich3 his greedy thirsting throat, Or take him jsdspnex, and his chain shall serve For manacles, tMl he be ransomed home.

Tech. I hear them come; shall we encounter them? ( Tamb. Keep all your standings and not stir a foot, ^-Myself will bide the danger of the brunt . 150

Enter Theridamas and others.
Ther. Where is the Scythian Tamburlaine?

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