Classic Horror Plays > Tamburlaine the Great, Part II > Act IV
Tamburlaine the Great, Part II
By Christopher Marlowe
Published in 1587
Act IV: Scene I
[Alarms within. AMYRAS and CELEBINUS issue from the tent where CALYPHAS sits asleep.]
Now in their glories shine the golden crowns
Of these proud Turks, much like so many suns
That half dismay the majesty of heaven.
Now, brother, follow we our father's sword,
That flies with fury swifter than our thoughts,
And cuts down armies with his conquering wings.
Call forth our lazy brother from the tent,
For, if my father miss him in the field,
Wrath, kindled in the furnace of his breast,
Will send a deadly lightning to his heart.
Brother, ho! what, given so much to sleep,
You cannot leave it, when our enemies' drums
And rattling cannons thunder in our ears
Our proper ruin and our father's foil?
Away, ye fools! my father needs not me,
Nor you, in faith, but that you will be thought
More childish-valourous than manly-wise.
If half our camp should sit and sleep with me,
My father were enough to scare the foe:
You do dishonour to his majesty,
To think our helps will do him any good.
What, dar'st thou, then, be absent from the fight,
Knowing my father hates thy cowardice,
And oft hath warn'd thee to be still in field,
When he himself amidst the thickest troops
Beats down our foes, to flesh our taintless swords?
I know, sir, what it is to kill a man;
It works remorse of conscience in me.
I take no pleasure to be murderous,
Nor care for blood when wine will quench my thirst.
O cowardly boy! fie, for shame, come forth!
Thou dost dishonour manhood and thy house.
Go, go, tall stripling, fight you for us both,
And take my other toward brother here,
For person like to prove a second Mars.
'Twill please my mind as well to hear, both you
Have won a heap of honour in the field,
And left your slender carcasses behind,
As if I lay with you for company.
You will not go, then?
You say true.
Were all the lofty mounts of Zona Mundi
That fill the midst of farthest Tartary
Turn'd into pearl and proffer'd for my stay,
I would not bide the fury of my father,
When, made a victor in these haughty arms,
He comes and finds his sons have had no shares
In all the honours he propos'd for us.
Take you the honour, I will take my ease;
My wisdom shall excuse my cowardice:
I go into the field before I need!
[Alarms within. AMYRAS and CELEBINUS run out.]
The bullets fly at random where they list;
And, should I go, and kill a thousand men,
I were as soon rewarded with a shot,
And sooner far than he that never fights;
And, should I go, and do no harm nor good,
I might have harm, which all the good I have,
Join'd with my father's crown, would never cure.
I'll to cards.--Perdicas!
Here, my lord.
Come, thou and I will go to cards to drive away the time.
Content, my lord: but what shall we play for?
Who shall kiss the fairest of the Turks' concubines
first, when my father hath conquered them.
They say I am a coward, Perdicas, and I fear
as little their taratantaras, their swords, or their cannons
as I do a naked lady in a net of gold, and, for fear I should be
afraid, would put it off and come to bed with me.
Such a fear, my lord, would never make ye retire.
I would my father would let me be put in the front
of such a battle once, to try my valour! [Alarms within.]
What a coil they keep! I believe there will be some hurt done
anon amongst them.
[Enter TAMBURLAINE, THERIDAMAS, TECHELLES, USUMCASANE; AMYRAS and CELEBINUS leading in ORCANES, and the KINGS OF JERUSALEM, TREBIZON, and SORIA; and SOLDIERS.]
See now, ye slaves, my children stoop your pride,
And lead your bodies sheep-like to the sword!--
Bring them, my boys, and tell me if the wars
Be not a life that may illustrate gods,
And tickle not your spirits with desire
Still to be train'd in arms and chivalry?
Shall we let go these kings again, my lord,
To gather greater numbers 'gainst our power,
That they may say, it is not chance doth this,
But matchless strength and magnanimity?
No, no, Amyras; tempt not Fortune so:
Cherish thy valour still with fresh supplies,
And glut it not with stale and daunted foes.
But where's this coward villain, not my son,
But traitor to my name and majesty?
[He goes in and brings CALYPHAS out.]
Image of sloth, and picture of a slave,
The obloquy and scorn of my renown!
How may my heart, thus fired with mine eyes,
Wounded with shame and kill'd with discontent,
Shroud any thought may hold my striving hands
From martial justice on thy wretched soul?
Yet pardon him, I pray your majesty.
TECHELLES and USUMCASANE
Let all of us entreat your highness' pardon.
Stand up, ye base, unworthy soldiers!
Know ye not yet the argument of arms?
Good my lord, let him be forgiven for once,
And we will force him to the field hereafter.
Stand up, my boys, and I will teach ye arms,
And what the jealousy of wars must do.--
O Samarcanda, where I breathed first,
And joy'd the fire of this martial flesh,
Blush, blush, fair city, at thine honour's foil,
And shame of nature, which Jaertis' stream,
Embracing thee with deepest of his love,
Can never wash from thy distained brows!--
Here, Jove, receive his fainting soul again;
A form not meet to give that subject essence
Whose matter is the flesh of Tamburlaine,
Wherein an incorporeal spirit moves,
Made of the mould whereof thyself consists,
Which makes me valiant, proud, ambitious,
Ready to levy power against thy throne,
That I might move the turning spheres of heaven;
For earth and all this airy region
Cannot contain the state of Tamburlaine.
By Mahomet, thy mighty friend, I swear,
In sending to my issue such a soul,
Created of the massy dregs of earth,
The scum and tartar of the elements,
Wherein was neither courage, strength, or wit,
But folly, sloth, and damned idleness,
Thou hast procur'd a greater enemy
Than he that darted mountains at thy head,
Shaking the burden mighty Atlas bears,
Whereat thou trembling hidd'st thee in the air,
Cloth'd with a pitchy cloud for being seen.--
And now, ye canker'd curs of Asia,
That will not see the strength of Tamburlaine,
Although it shine as brightly as the sun,
Now you shall feel the strength of Tamburlaine,
And, by the state of his supremacy,
Approve the difference 'twixt himself and you.
Thou shew'st the difference 'twixt ourselves and thee,
In this thy barbarous damned tyranny.
KING OF JERUSALEM
Thy victories are grown so violent,
That shortly heaven, fill'd with the meteors
Of blood and fire thy tyrannies have made,
Will pour down blood and fire on thy head,
Whose scalding drops will pierce thy seething brains,
And, with our bloods, revenge our bloods on thee.
Villains, these terrors, and these tyrannies
(If tyrannies war's justice ye repute),
I execute, enjoin'd me from above,
To scourge the pride of such as Heaven abhors;
Nor am I made arch-monarch of the world,
Crown'd and invested by the hand of Jove,
For deeds of bounty or nobility;
But, since I exercise a greater name,
The scourge of God and terror of the world,
I must apply myself to fit those terms,
In war, in blood, in death, in cruelty,
And plague such peasants as resist in me
The power of Heaven's eternal majesty.--
Theridamas, Techelles, and Casane,
Ransack the tents and the pavilions
Of these proud Turks, and take their concubines,
Making them bury this effeminate brat;
For not a common soldier shall defile
His manly fingers with so faint a boy:
Then bring those Turkish harlots to my tent,
And I'll dispose them as it likes me best.--
Meanwhile, take him in.
We will, my lord.
[Exeunt with the body of CALYPHAS.]
KING OF JERUSALEM
O damned monster! nay, a fiend of hell,
Whose cruelties are not so harsh as thine,
Nor yet impos'd with such a bitter hate!
Revenge it, Rhadamanth and Aeacus,
And let your hates, extended in his pains,
Excel the hate wherewith he pains our souls!
KING OF TREBIZON
May never day give virtue to his eyes,
Whose sight, compos'd of fury and of fire,
Doth send such stern affections to his heart!
KING OF SORIA
May never spirit, vein, or artier, feed
The cursed substance of that cruel heart;
But, wanting moisture and remorseful blood,
Dry up with anger, and consume with heat!
Well, bark, ye dogs: I'll bridle all your tongues,
And bind them close with bits of burnish'd steel,
Down to the channels of your hateful throats;
And, with the pains my rigour shall inflict,
I'll make ye roar, that earth may echo forth
The far-resounding torments ye sustain;
As when an herd of lusty Cimbrian bulls
Run mourning round about the females' miss,
And, stung with fury of their following,
Fill all the air with troublous bellowing.
I will, with engines never exercis'd,
Conquer, sack, and utterly consume
Your cities and your golden palaces,
And, with the flames that beat against the clouds,
Incense the heavens, and make the stars to melt,
As if they were the tears of Mahomet
For hot consumption of his country's pride;
And, till by vision or by speech I hear
Immortal Jove say "Cease, my Tamburlaine,"
I will persist a terror to the world,
Making the meteors (that, like armed men,
Are seen to march upon the towers of heaven)
Run tilting round about the firmament,
And break their burning lances in the air,
For honour of my wondrous victories.--
Come, bring them in to our pavilion.
Act III: Scene V |
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