ACT III
Scene V.
 

Enter CALLAPINE, ORCANES, the KINGS OF JERUSALEM, TREBIZON, and SORIA, with their train, ALMEDA, and a MESSENGER.

MESSENGER
Renowmed emperor, mighty Callapine,
God's great lieutenant over all the world,
Here at Aleppo, with an host of men,
Lies Tamburlaine, this king of Persia,
(In number more than are the quivering leaves
Of Ida's forest, where your highness' hounds
With open cry pursue the wounded stag,)
Who means to girt Natolia's walls with siege,
Fire the town, and over-run the land.

CALLAPINE
My royal army is as great as his,
That, from the bounds of Phrygia to the sea
Which washeth Cyprus with his brinish waves,
Covers the hills, the valleys, and the plains.
Viceroys and peers of Turkey, play the men;
Whet all your swords to mangle Tamburlaine,
His sons, his captains, and his followers:
By Mahomet, not one of them shall live!
The field wherein this battle shall be fought
For ever term'd the Persians' sepulchre,
In memory of this our victory.

ORCANES
Now he that calls himself the scourge of Jove,
The emperor of the world, and earthly god,
Shall end the warlike progress he intends,
And travel headlong to the lake of hell,
Where legions of devils (knowing he must die
Here in Natolia by your highness' hands),
All brandishing their brands of quenchless fire,
Stretching their monstrous paws, grin with their teeth,
And guard the gates to entertain his soul.

CALLAPINE
Tell me, viceroys, the number of your men,
And what our army royal is esteem'd.

KING OF JERUSALEM
From Palestina and Jerusalem,
Of Hebrews three score thousand fighting men
Are come, since last we shew'd your majesty.

ORCANES
So from Arabia Desert, and the bounds
Of that sweet land whose brave metropolis
Re-edified the fair Semiramis,
Came forty thousand warlike foot and horse,
Since last we number'd to your majesty.

KING OF TREBIZON
From Trebizon in Asia the Less,
Naturaliz'd Turks and stout Bithynians
Came to my bands, full fifty thousand more,
(That, fighting, know not what retreat doth mean,
Nor e'er return but with the victory,)
Since last we number'd to your majesty.

KING OF SORIA
Of Sorians from Halla is repair'd,
And neighbour cities of your highness' land,
Ten thousand horse, and thirty thousand foot,
Since last we number'd to your majesty;
So that the army royal is esteem'd
Six hundred thousand valiant fighting men.

CALLAPINE
Then welcome, Tamburlaine, unto thy death!--
Come, puissant viceroys, let us to the field
(The Persians' sepulchre), and sacrifice
Mountains of breathless men to Mahomet,
Who now, with Jove, opens the firmament
To see the slaughter of our enemies.

Enter TAMBURLAINE with his three SONS, CALYPHAS, AMYRAS, and CELEBINUS; USUMCASANE, and others.

TAMBURLAINE
How now, Casane! see, a knot of kings,
Sitting as if they were a-telling riddles!

USUMCASANE
My lord, your presence makes them pale and wan:
Poor souls, they look as if their deaths were near.

TAMBURLAINE
Why, so he is, Casane; I am here:
But yet I'll save their lives, and make them slaves.--
Ye petty kings of Turkey, I am come,
As Hector did into the Grecian camp,
To overdare the pride of Graecia,
And set his warlike person to the view
Of fierce Achilles, rival of his fame:
I do you honour in the simile;
For, if I should, as Hector did Achilles,
(The worthiest knight that ever brandish'd sword,)
Challenge in combat any of you all,
I see how fearfully ye would refuse,
And fly my glove as from a scorpion.

ORCANES
Now, thou art fearful of thy army's strength,
Thou wouldst with overmatch of person fight:
But, shepherd's issue, base-born Tamburlaine,
Think of thy end; this sword shall lance thy throat.

TAMBURLAINE
Villain, the shepherd's issue (at whose birth
Heaven did afford a gracious aspect,
And join'd those stars that shall be opposite
Even till the dissolution of the world,
And never meant to make a conqueror
So famous as is mighty Tamburlaine)
Shall so torment thee, and that Callapine,
That, like a roguish runaway, suborn'd
That villain there, that slave, that Turkish dog,
To false his service to his sovereign,
As ye shall curse the birth of Tamburlaine.

CALLAPINE
Rail not, proud Scythian: I shall now revenge
My father's vile abuses and mine own.

KING OF JERUSALEM
By Mahomet, he shall be tied in chains,
Rowing with Christians in a brigandine
About the Grecian isles to rob and spoil,
And turn him to his ancient trade again:
Methinks the slave should make a lusty thief.

CALLAPINE
Nay, when the battle ends, all we will meet,
And sit in council to invent some pain
That most may vex his body and his soul.

TAMBURLAINE
Sirrah Callapine, I'll hang a clog about
your neck for running away again: you shall not
trouble me thus to come and fetch you.--
But as for you, viceroy[s], you shall have bits,
And, harness'd like my horses, draw my coach;
And, when ye stay, be lash'd with whips of wire:
I'll have you learn to feed on provender,
And in a stable lie upon the planks.

ORCANES
But, Tamburlaine, first thou shalt kneel to us,
And humbly crave a pardon for thy life.

KING OF TREBIZON
The common soldiers of our mighty host
Shall bring thee bound unto the general's tent.

KING OF SORIA
And all have jointly sworn thy cruel death,
Or bind thee in eternal torments' wrath.

TAMBURLAINE
Well, sirs, diet yourselves; you know I
shall have occasion shortly to journey you.

CELEBINUS
See, father, how Almeda the jailor looks upon us!

TAMBURLAINE
Villain, traitor, damned fugitive,
I'll make thee wish the earth had swallow'd thee!
See'st thou not death within my wrathful looks?
Go, villain, cast thee headlong from a rock,
Or rip thy bowels, and rent out thy heart,
T' appease my wrath; or else I'll torture thee,
Searing thy hateful flesh with burning irons
And drops of scalding lead, while all thy joints
Be rack'd and beat asunder with the wheel;
For, if thou liv'st, not any element
Shall shroud thee from the wrath of Tamburlaine.

CALLAPINE
Well, in despite of thee, he shall be king.--
Come, Almeda; receive this crown of me:
I here invest thee king of Ariadan,
Bordering on Mare Roso, near to Mecca.

ORCANES
What! take it, man.

ALMEDA
[to Tamb.] Good my lord, let me take it.

CALLAPINE
Dost thou ask him leave? here; take it.

TAMBURLAINE
Go to, sirrah! take your crown, and make up
the half dozen. So, sirrah, now you are a king, you must give
arms.

ORCANES
So he shall, and wear thy head in his scutcheon.

TAMBURLAINE
No; let him hang a bunch of keys on his
standard, to put him in remembrance he was a jailor, that,
when I take him, I may knock out his brains with them,
and lock you in the stable, when you shall come sweating
from my chariot.

KING OF TREBIZON
Away! let us to the field, that the villain
may be slain.

TAMBURLAINE
Sirrah, prepare whips, and bring my chariot
to my tent; for, as soon as the battle is done, I'll ride
in triumph through the camp.

Enter THERIDAMAS, TECHELLES, and their train.

How now, ye petty kings? lo, here are bugs
Will make the hair stand upright on your heads,
And cast your crowns in slavery at their feet!--
Welcome, Theridamas and Techelles, both:
See ye this rout, and know ye this same king?

THERIDAMAS
Ay, my lord; he was Callapine's keeper.

TAMBURLAINE
Well, now ye see he is a king. Look to him,
Theridamas, when we are fighting, lest he hide his crown
as the foolish king of Persia did.

KING OF SORIA
No, Tamburlaine; he shall not be put
to that exigent, I warrant thee.

TAMBURLAINE
You know not, sir.--
But now, my followers and my loving friends,
Fight as you ever did, like conquerors,
The glory of this happy day is yours.
My stern aspect shall make fair Victory,
Hovering betwixt our armies, light on me,
Loaden with laurel-wreaths to crown us all.

TECHELLES
I smile to think how, when this field is fought
And rich Natolia ours, our men shall sweat
With carrying pearl and treasure on their backs.

TAMBURLAINE
You shall be princes all, immediately.--
Come, fight, ye Turks, or yield us victory.

ORCANES
No; we will meet thee, slavish Tamburlaine.

[Exeunt severally.]