Classic Horror Plays > Tamburlaine the Great, Part II > Act IV
Tamburlaine the Great, Part II
By Christopher Marlowe
Published in 1587
Act IV: Scene II
Distress'd Olympia, whose weeping eyes,
Since thy arrival here, behold no sun,
But, clos'd within the compass of a tent,
Have stain'd thy cheeks, and made thee look like death,
Devise some means to rid thee of thy life,
Rather than yield to his detested suit,
Whose drift is only to dishonour thee;
And, since this earth, dew'd with thy brinish tears,
Affords no herbs whose taste may poison thee,
Nor yet this air, beat often with thy sighs,
Contagious smells and vapours to infect thee,
Nor thy close cave a sword to murder thee,
Let this invention be the instrument.
Well met, Olympia: I sought thee in my tent,
But, when I saw the place obscure and dark,
Which with thy beauty thou wast wont to light,
Enrag'd, I ran about the fields for thee,
Supposing amorous Jove had sent his son,
The winged Hermes, to convey thee hence;
But now I find thee, and that fear is past,
Tell me, Olympia, wilt thou grant my suit?
My lord and husband's death, with my sweet son's,
(With whom I buried all affections
Save grief and sorrow, which torment my heart,)
Forbids my mind to entertain a thought
That tends to love, but meditate on death,
A fitter subject for a pensive soul.
Olympia, pity him in whom thy looks
Have greater operation and more force
Than Cynthia's in the watery wilderness;
For with thy view my joys are at the full,
And ebb again as thou depart'st from me.
Ah, pity me, my lord, and draw your sword,
Making a passage for my troubled soul,
Which beats against this prison to get out,
And meet my husband and my loving son!
Nothing but still thy husband and thy son?
Leave this, my love, and listen more to me:
Thou shalt be stately queen of fair Argier;
And, cloth'd in costly cloth of massy gold,
Upon the marble turrets of my court
Sit like to Venus in her chair of state,
Commanding all thy princely eye desires;
And I will cast off arms to sit with thee,
Spending my life in sweet discourse of love.
No such discourse is pleasant in mine ears,
But that where every period ends with death,
And every line begins with death again:
I cannot love, to be an emperess.
Nay, lady, then, if nothing will prevail,
I'll use some other means to make you yield:
Such is the sudden fury of my love,
I must and will be pleas'd, and you shall yield:
Come to the tent again.
Stay now, my lord; and, will you save my honour,
I'll give your grace a present of such price
As all the world can not afford the like.
What is it?
An ointment which a cunning alchymist
Distilled from the purest balsamum
And simplest extracts of all minerals,
In which the essential form of marble stone,
Temper'd by science metaphysical,
And spells of magic from the mouths of spirits,
With which if you but 'noint your tender skin,
Nor pistol, sword, nor lance, can pierce your flesh.
Why, madam, think you to mock me thus palpably?
To prove it, I will 'noint my naked throat,
Which when you stab, look on your weapon's point,
And you shall see't rebated with the blow.
Why gave you not your husband some of it,
If you lov'd him, and it so precious?
My purpose was, my lord, to spend it so,
But was prevented by his sudden end;
And for a present easy proof thereof,
That I dissemble not, try it on me.
I will, Olympia, and will keep it for
The richest present of this eastern world.
[She anoints her throat.]
Now stab, my lord, and mark your weapon's point,
That will be blunted if the blow be great.
Here, then, Olympia.--
What, have I slain her? Villain, stab thyself!
Cut off this arm that at murdered my love,
In whom the learned Rabbis of this age
Might find as many wondrous miracles
As in the theoria of the world!
Now hell is fairer than Elysium;
A greater lamp than that bright eye of heaven,
From whence the stars do borrow all their light,
Wanders about the black circumference;
And now the damned souls are free from pain,
For every Fury gazeth on her looks;
Infernal Dis is courting of my love,
Inventing masks and stately shows for her,
Opening the doors of his rich treasury
To entertain this queen of chastity;
Whose body shall be tomb'd with all the pomp
The treasure of my kingdom may afford.
[Exit with the body.]
Act IV: Scene I |
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