ACT III
Scene III.
 

Enter TAMBURLAINE, TECHELLES, USUMCASANE, THERIDAMAS,
a BASSO, ZENOCRATE, ANIPPE, with others.

TAMBURLAINE
Basso, by this thy lord and master knows
I mean to meet him in Bithynia:
See, how he comes! tush, Turks are full of brags,
And menace more than they can well perform.
He meet me in the field, and fetch thee hence!
Alas, poor Turk! his fortune is too weak
T' encounter with the strength of Tamburlaine:
View well my camp, and speak indifferently;
Do not my captains and my soldiers look
As if they meant to conquer Africa?

BASSO
Your men are valiant, but their number few,
And cannot terrify his mighty host:
My lord, the great commander of the world,
Besides fifteen contributory kings,
Hath now in arms ten thousand janizaries,
Mounted on lusty Mauritanian steeds,
Brought to the war by men of Tripoly;
Two hundred thousand footmen that have serv'd
In two set battles fought in Graecia;
And for the expedition of this war,
If he think good, can from his garrisons
Withdraw as many more to follow him.

TECHELLES
The more he brings, the greater is the spoil;
For, when they perish by our warlike hands,
We mean to set our footmen on their steeds,
And rifle all those stately janizars.

TAMBURLAINE
But will those kings accompany your lord?

BASSO
Such as his highness please; but some must stay
To rule the provinces he late subdu'd.

TAMBURLAINE
[To his OFFICERS]
Then fight courageously: their crowns are yours;
This hand shall set them on your conquering heads,
That made me emperor of Asia.

USUMCASANE
Let him bring millions infinite of men,
Unpeopling Western Africa and Greece,
Yet we assure us of the victory.

THERIDAMAS
Even he, that in a trice vanquish'd two kings
More mighty than the Turkish emperor,
Shall rouse him out of Europe, and pursue
His scatter'd army till they yield or die.

TAMBURLAINE
Well said, Theridamas! speak in that mood;
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 term'd 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,
Burdening 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 punish'd with bastones so grievously
That they lie panting on the galleys' side,
And strive for life at every stroke they give.
These are the cruel pirates of Argier,
That damned 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, BASSOES, the KINGS OF FEZ, MOROCCO,
and ARGIER; ZABINA and EBEA.

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

TAMBURLAINE
Techelles and the rest, prepare your swords;
I mean t' encounter with that Bajazeth.

BAJAZETH
Kings of Fez, Morocco, 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;
And dar'st thou bluntly call me Bajazeth?

TAMBURLAINE
And know, thou Turk, that those which lead my horse
Shall lead thee captive thorough Africa;
And dar'st thou bluntly call me Tamburlaine?

BAJAZETH
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 tend my concubines;
And all his captains, that thus stoutly stand,
Shall draw the chariot of my emperess,
Whom I have brought to see their overthrow!

TAMBURLAINE
By this my sword that conquer'd 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.

KING OF FEZ
What means the mighty Turkish emperor,
To talk with one so base as Tamburlaine?

KING OF MOROCCO
Ye Moors and valiant men of Barbary.
How can ye suffer these indignities?

KING OF ARGIER
Leave words, and let them feel your lances'
points,
Which glided through the bowels of the Greeks.

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

TECHELLES
Puissant, renowm'd, and mighty Tamburlaine,
Why stay we thus prolonging of their lives?

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

USUMCASANE
What coward would not fight for such a prize?

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

BAJAZETH
Zabina, mother of three braver boys
Than Hercules, that in his infancy
Did pash 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 y-sprung 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,
Until I bring this sturdy Tamburlaine
And all his captains bound in captive chains.

ZABINA
Such good success happen to Bajazeth!

TAMBURLAINE
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 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,
Triumphing 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,
And manage words with her, as we will arms.

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

BAJAZETH
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 slaughter'd carcasses
Shall serve for walls and bulwarks to the rest;
And as the heads of Hydra, so my power,
Subdu'd, shall stand as mighty as before:
If they should yield their necks unto the sword,
Thy soldiers' arms could not endure to strike
So many blows as I have heads for them.
Thou know'st not, foolish-hardy Tamburlaine,
What 'tis to meet me in the open field,
That leave no ground for thee to march upon.

TAMBURLAINE
Our conquering swords shall marshal us the way
We use to march upon the slaughter'd foe,
Trampling their bowels with our horses' hoofs,
Brave horses bred on the white Tartarian hills
My camp is like to Julius Caesar'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 in the air,
Direct our bullets and our weapons' points,
And make your strokes to wound the senseless light;
And when she sees our bloody colours spread,
Then Victory begins to take her flight,
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.]

BAJAZETH
Come, kings and bassoes, let us glut our swords,
That thirst to drink the feeble Persians' blood.

[Exit with his followers.]

ZABINA
Base concubine, must thou be plac'd by me
That am the empress of the mighty Turk?

ZENOCRATE
Disdainful Turkess, and unreverend boss,
Call'st thou me concubine, that am betroth'd
Unto the great and mighty Tamburlaine?

ZABINA
To Tamburlaine, the great Tartarian thief!

ZENOCRATE
Thou wilt repent these lavish words of thine
When thy great basso-master and thyself
Must plead for mercy at his kingly feet,
And sue to me to be your advocate.

ZABINA
And sue to thee! I tell thee, shameless girl,
Thou shalt be laundress to my waiting-maid.--
How lik'st thou her, Ebea? will she serve?

EBEA
Madam, she thinks perhaps she is too fine;
But I shall turn her into other weeds,
And make her dainty fingers fall to work.

ZENOCRATE
Hear'st thou, Anippe, how thy drudge doth talk?
And how my slave, her mistress, menaceth?
Both for their sauciness shall be employ'd
To dress the common soldiers' meat and drink;
For we will scorn they should come near ourselves.

ANIPPE
Yet sometimes let your highness send for them
To do the work my chambermaid disdains.

[They sound to the battle within.]

ZENOCRATE
Ye gods and powers that govern Persia,
And made my lordly love her worthy king,
Now strengthen him against the Turkish Bajazeth,
And let his foes, like flocks of fearful roes
Pursu'd by hunters, fly his angry looks,
That I may see him issue conqueror!

ZABINA
Now, Mahomet, solicit God himself,
And make him rain down murdering shot from heaven,
To dash the Scythians' brains, and strike them dead,
That dare to manage arms with him
That offer'd jewels to thy sacred shrine
When first he warr'd against the Christians!

[They sound again to the battle within.]

ZENOCRATE
By this the Turks lie weltering in their blood,
And Tamburlaine is lord of Africa.

ZABINA
Thou art deceiv'd. I heard the trumpets sound
As when my emperor overthrew the Greeks,
And led them captive into Africa.
Straight will I use thee as thy pride deserves;
Prepare thyself to live and die my slave.

ZENOCRATE
If Mahomet should come from heaven and swear
My royal lord is slain or conquered,
Yet should he not persuade me otherwise
But that he lives and will be conqueror.

Re-enter BAJAZETH, pursued by TAMBURLAINE.

TAMBURLAINE
Now, king of bassoes, who is conqueror?

BAJAZETH
Thou, by the fortune of this damned foil.

TAMBURLAINE
Where are your stout contributory kings?

Re-enter TECHELLES, THERIDAMAS, and USUMCASANE.

TECHELLES
We have their crowns; their bodies strow the field.

TAMBURLAINE
Each man a crown! why, kingly fought, i'faith.
Deliver them into my treasury.

ZENOCRATE
Now let me offer to my gracious lord
His royal crown again so highly won.

TAMBURLAINE
Nay, take the Turkish crown from her, Zenocrate,
And crown me emperor of Africa.

ZABINA
No, Tamburlaine; though now thou gat the best,
Thou shalt not yet be lord of Africa.

THERIDAMAS
Give her the crown, Turkess, you were best.

[Takes it from her.]

ZABINA
Injurious villains, thieves, runagates,
How dare you thus abuse my majesty?

THERIDAMAS
Here, madam, you are empress; she is none.

[Gives it to ZENOCRATE.]

TAMBURLAINE
Not now, Theridamas; her time is past:
The pillars, that have bolster'd up those terms,
Are faln in clusters at my conquering feet.

ZABINA
Though he be prisoner, he may be ransom'd.

TAMBURLAINE
Not all the world shall ransom Bajazeth.

BAJAZETH
Ah, fair Zabina! we have lost the field;
And never had the Turkish emperor
So great a foil by any foreign foe.
Now will the Christian miscreants be glad,
Ringing with joy their superstitious bells,
And making bonfires for my overthrow:
But, ere I die, those foul idolaters
Shall make me bonfires with their filthy bones;
For, though the glory of this day be lost,
Afric and Greece have garrisons enough
To make me sovereign of the earth again.

TAMBURLAINE
Those walled garrisons will I subdue,
And write myself great lord of Africa:
So from the East unto the furthest West
Shall Tamburlaine extend his puissant arm.
The galleys and those pilling brigandines,
That yearly sail to the Venetian gulf,
And hover in the Straits for Christians' wreck,
Shall lie at anchor in the Isle Asant,
Until the Persian fleet and men-of-war,
Sailing along the oriental sea,
Have fetch'd about the Indian continent,
Even from Persepolis to Mexico,
And thence unto the Straits of Jubalter;
Where they shall meet and join their force in one.
Keeping in awe the Bay of Portingale,
And all the ocean by the British shore;
And by this means I'll win the world at last.

BAJAZETH
Yet set a ransom on me, Tamburlaine.

TAMBURLAINE
What, think'st thou Tamburlaine esteems thy gold?
I'll make the kings of India, ere I die,
Offer their mines, to sue for peace, to me,
And dig for treasure to appease my wrath.--
Come, bind them both, and one lead in the Turk;
The Turkess let my love's maid lead away,

[They bind them.]

BAJAZETH
Ah, villains, dare you touch my sacred arms?--
O Mahomet! O sleepy Mahomet!

ZABINA
O cursed Mahomet, that mak'st us thus
The slaves to Scythians rude and barbarous!

TAMBURLAINE
Come, bring them in; and for this happy conquest
Triumph, and solemnize a martial feast.

[Exeunt.]