Enter TAMBURLAINE, drawn in his chariot by the KINGS OF
TREBIZON and SORIA, with bits in their mouths,
reins in his left hand, and in his right hand a whip
with which he scourgeth them; AMYRAS, CELEBINUS, TECHELLES,
THERIDAMAS, USUMCASANE; ORCANES king of Natolia, and the
KING OF JERUSALEM, led by five or six common SOLDIERS;
and other SOLDIERS.
Holla, ye pamper'd jades of Asia!
What, can ye draw but twenty miles a-day,
And have so proud a chariot at your heels,
And such a coachman as great Tamburlaine,
But from Asphaltis, where I conquer'd you,
To Byron here, where thus I honour you?
The horse that guide the golden eye of heaven,
And blow the morning from their nostrils,
Making their fiery gait above the clouds,
Are not so honour'd in their governor
As you, ye slaves, in mighty Tamburlaine.
The headstrong jades of Thrace Alcides tam'd,
That King Aegeus fed with human flesh,
And made so wanton that they knew their strengths,
Were not subdu'd with valour more divine
Than you by this unconquer'd arm of mine.
To make you fierce, and fit my appetite,
You shall be fed with flesh as raw as blood,
And drink in pails the strongest muscadel:
If you can live with it, then live, and draw
My chariot swifter than the racking clouds;
If not, then die like beasts, and fit for naught
But perches for the black and fatal ravens.
Thus am I right the scourge of highest Jove;
And see the figure of my dignity,
By which I hold my name and majesty!
Let me have coach, my lord, that I may ride,
And thus be drawn by these two idle kings.
Thy youth forbids such ease, my kingly boy:
They shall to-morrow draw my chariot,
While these their fellow-kings may be refresh'd.
O thou that sway'st the region under earth,
And art a king as absolute as Jove,
Come as thou didst in fruitful Sicily,
Surveying all the glories of the land,
And as thou took'st the fair Proserpina,
Joying the fruit of Ceres' garden-plot,
For love, for honour, and to make her queen,
So, for just hate, for shame, and to subdue
This proud contemner of thy dreadful power,
Come once in fury, and survey his pride,
Haling him headlong to the lowest hell!
Your majesty must get some bits for these,
To bridle their contemptuous cursing tongues,
That, like unruly never-broken jades,
Break through the hedges of their hateful mouths,
And pass their fixed bounds exceedingly.
Nay, we will break the hedges of their mouths,
And pull their kicking colts out of their pastures.
Your majesty already hath devis'd
A mean, as fit as may be, to restrain
These coltish coach-horse tongues from blasphemy.
How like you that, sir king? why speak you not?
KING OF JERUSALEM
Ah, cruel brat, sprung from a tyrant's loins!
How like his cursed father he begins
To practice taunts and bitter tyrannies!
Ay, Turk, I tell thee, this same boy is he
That must (advanc'd in higher pomp than this)
Rifle the kingdoms I shall leave unsack'd,
If Jove, esteeming me too good for earth,
Raise me, to match the fair Aldeboran,
Above the threefold astracism of heaven,
Before I conquer all the triple world.--
Now fetch me out the Turkish concubines:
I will prefer them for the funeral
They have bestow'd on my abortive son.
Save your honours! 'twere but time indeed,
Lost long before ye knew what honour meant.
It seems they meant to conquer us, my lord,
And make us jesting pageants for their trulls.
And now themselves shall make our pageant,
And common soldiers jest with all their trulls.
Let them take pleasure soundly in their spoils,
Till we prepare our march to Babylon,
Whither we next make expedition.
Let us not be idle, then, my lord,
But presently be prest to conquer it.
We will, Techelles.--Forward, then, ye jades!
Now crouch, ye kings of greatest Asia,
And tremble, when ye hear this scourge will come
That whips down cities and controlleth crowns,
Adding their wealth and treasure to my store.
The Euxine sea, north to Natolia;
The Terrene, west; the Caspian, north northeast;
And on the south, Sinus Arabicus;
Shall all be loaden with the martial spoils
We will convey with us to Persia.
Then shall my native city Samarcanda,
And crystal waves of fresh Jaertis' stream,
The pride and beauty of her princely seat,
Be famous through the furthest continents;
For there my palace royal shall be plac'd,
Whose shining turrets shall dismay the heavens,
And cast the fame of Ilion's tower to hell:
Thorough the streets, with troops of conquer'd kings,
I'll ride in golden armour like the sun;
And in my helm a triple plume shall spring,
Spangled with diamonds, dancing in the air,
To note me emperor of the three-fold world;
Like to an almond-tree y-mounted high
Upon the lofty and celestial mount
Of ever-green Selinus, quaintly deck'd
With blooms more white than Erycina's brows,
Whose tender blossoms tremble every one
At every little breath that thorough heaven is blown.
Then in my coach, like Saturn's royal son
Mounted his shining chariot gilt with fire,
And drawn with princely eagles through the path
Pav'd with bright crystal and enchas'd with stars,
When all the gods stand gazing at his pomp,
So will I ride through Samarcanda-streets,
Until my soul, dissever'd from this flesh,
Shall mount the milk-white way, and meet him there.
To Babylon, my lords, to Babylon!