ACT I
Scene II.
 

Enter CALLAPINE, and ALMEDA his keeper.

CALLAPINE
Sweet Almeda, pity the ruthful plight
Of Callapine, the son of Bajazeth,
Born to be monarch of the western world,
Yet here detain'd by cruel Tamburlaine.

ALMEDA
My lord, I pity it, and with my heart
Wish your release; but he whose wrath is death,
My sovereign lord, renowmed Tamburlaine,
Forbids you further liberty than this.

CALLAPINE
Ah, were I now but half so eloquent
To paint in words what I'll perform in deeds,
I know thou wouldst depart from hence with me!

ALMEDA
Not for all Afric: therefore move me not.

CALLAPINE
Yet hear me speak, my gentle Almeda.

ALMEDA
No speech to that end, by your favour, sir.

CALLAPINE
By Cairo runs--

ALMEDA
No talk of running, I tell you, sir.

CALLAPINE
A little further, gentle Almeda.

ALMEDA
Well, sir, what of this?

CALLAPINE
By Cairo runs to Alexandria-bay
Darotes' stream, wherein at anchor lies
A Turkish galley of my royal fleet,
Waiting my coming to the river-side,
Hoping by some means I shall be releas'd;
Which, when I come aboard, will hoist up sail,
And soon put forth into the Terrene sea,
Where, 'twixt the isles of Cyprus and of Crete,
We quickly may in Turkish seas arrive.
Then shalt thou see a hundred kings and more,
Upon their knees, all bid me welcome home.
Amongst so many crowns of burnish'd gold,
Choose which thou wilt, all are at thy command:
A thousand galleys, mann'd with Christian slaves,
I freely give thee, which shall cut the Straits,
And bring armadoes, from the coasts of Spain,
Fraughted with gold of rich America:
The Grecian virgins shall attend on thee,
Skilful in music and in amorous lays,
As fair as was Pygmalion's ivory girl
Or lovely Io metamorphosed:
With naked negroes shall thy coach be drawn,
And, as thou rid'st in triumph through the streets,
The pavement underneath thy chariot-wheels
With Turkey-carpets shall be covered,
And cloth of arras hung about the walls,
Fit objects for thy princely eye to pierce:
A hundred bassoes, cloth'd in crimson silk,
Shall ride before thee on Barbarian steeds;
And, when thou goest, a golden canopy
Enchas'd with precious stones, which shine as bright
As that fair veil that covers all the world,
When Phoebus, leaping from his hemisphere,
Descendeth downward to th' Antipodes:--
And more than this, for all I cannot tell.

ALMEDA
How far hence lies the galley, say you?

CALLAPINE
Sweet Almeda, scarce half a league from hence.

ALMEDA
But need we not be spied going aboard?

CALLAPINE
Betwixt the hollow hanging of a hill,
And crooked bending of a craggy rock,
The sails wrapt up, the mast and tacklings down,
She lies so close that none can find her out.

ALMEDA
I like that well: but, tell me, my lord,
if I should let you go, would you be as good as
your word? shall I be made a king for my labour?

CALLAPINE
As I am Callapine the emperor,
And by the hand of Mahomet I swear,
Thou shalt be crown'd a king, and be my mate!

ALMEDA
Then here I swear, as I am Almeda,
Your keeper under Tamburlaine the Great,
(For that's the style and title I have yet,)
Although he sent a thousand armed men
To intercept this haughty enterprize,
Yet would I venture to conduct your grace,
And die before I brought you back again!

CALLAPINE
Thanks, gentle Almeda: then let us haste,
Lest time be past, and lingering let us both.

ALMEDA
When you will, my lord: I am ready.

CALLAPINE
Even straight:--and farewell, cursed Tamburlaine!
Now go I to revenge my father's death.

[Exeunt.]