Act I. - Scene I.

Enter ORCANES king of Natolia, GAZELLUS viceroy of Byron, URIBASSA,<322> and their train, with drums and trumpets.

ORCANES. Egregious viceroys of these eastern parts, Plac'd by the issue of great Bajazeth, And sacred lord, the mighty Callapine, Who lives in Egypt prisoner to that slave Which kept his father in an iron cage,-- Now have we march'd from fair Natolia Two hundred leagues, and on Danubius' banks Our warlike host, in complete armour, rest, Where Sigismund, the king of Hungary, Should meet our person to conclude a truce: What! shall we parle with the Christian? Or cross the stream, and meet him in the field?

GAZELLUS. King of Natolia, let us treat of peace: We all are glutted with the Christians' blood, And have a greater foe to fight against,-- Proud Tamburlaine, that now in Asia, Near Guyron's head, doth set his conquering feet, And means to fire Turkey as he goes: 'Gainst him, my lord, you must address your power.

URIBASSA. Besides, King Sigismund hath brought from Christendom More than his camp of stout Hungarians,-- Sclavonians, Almains, Rutters,<323> Muffs, and Danes, That with the halberd, lance, and murdering axe, Will hazard that we might with surety hold.

ORCANES.<324> Though from the shortest northern parallel, Vast Grantland, compass'd with the Frozen Sea, (Inhabited with tall and sturdy men, Giants as big as hugy<325> Polypheme,) Millions of soldiers cut the<326> arctic line, Bringing the strength of Europe to these arms, Our Turkey blades shall glide through all their throats, And make this champion<327> mead a bloody fen: Danubius' stream, that runs to Trebizon, Shall carry, wrapt within his scarlet waves, As martial presents to our friends at home, The slaughter'd bodies of these Christians: The Terrene<328> main, wherein Danubius falls, Shall by this battle be the bloody sea: The wandering sailors of proud Italy Shall meet those Christians, fleeting with the tide, Beating in heaps against their argosies, And make fair Europe, mounted on her bull, Trapp'd with the wealth and riches of the world, Alight, and wear a woful mourning weed.

GAZELLUS. Yet, stout Orcanes, pro-rex of the world, Since Tamburlaine hath muster'd all his men, Marching from Cairo<329> northward, with his camp, To Alexandria and the frontier towns, Meaning to make a conquest of our land, 'Tis requisite to parle for a peace With Sigismund, the king of Hungary, And save our forces for the hot assaults Proud Tamburlaine intends Natolia.

ORCANES. Viceroy of Byron, wisely hast thou said. My realm, the centre of our empery, Once lost, all Turkey would be overthrown; And for that cause the Christians shall have peace. Sclavonians, Almains, Rutters, Muffs, and Danes, Fear<330> not Orcanes, but great Tamburlaine; Nor he, but Fortune that hath made him great. We have revolted Grecians, Albanese, Sicilians, Jews, Arabians, Turks, and Moors, Natolians, Sorians,<331> black<332> Egyptians, Illyrians, Thracians, and Bithynians,<333> Enough to swallow forceless Sigismund, Yet scarce enough t' encounter Tamburlaine. He brings a world of people to the field, >From Scythia to the oriental plage<334> Of India, where raging Lantchidol Beats on the regions with his boisterous blows, That never seaman yet discovered. All Asia is in arms with Tamburlaine, Even from the midst of fiery Cancer's tropic To Amazonia under Capricorn; And thence, as far as Archipelago, All Afric is in arms with Tamburlaine: Therefore, viceroy,<335> the Christians must have peace.

Enter SIGISMUND, FREDERICK, BALDWIN, and their train, with drums and trumpets.

SIGISMUND. Orcanes, (as our legates promis'd thee,) We, with our peers, have cross'd Danubius' stream, To treat of friendly peace or deadly war. Take which thou wilt; for, as the Romans us'd, I here present thee with a naked sword: Wilt thou have war, then shake this blade at me; If peace, restore it to my hands again, And I will sheathe it, to confirm the same.

ORCANES. Stay, Sigismund: forgett'st thou I am he That with the cannon shook Vienna-walls, And made it dance upon the continent, As when the massy substance of the earth Quiver[s] about the axle-tree of heaven? Forgett'st thou that I sent a shower of darts, Mingled with powder'd shot and feather'd steel, So thick upon the blink-ey'd burghers' heads, That thou thyself, then County Palatine, The King of Boheme,<336> and the Austric Duke, Sent heralds out, which basely on their knees, In all your names, desir'd a truce of me? Forgett'st thou that, to have me raise my siege, Waggons of gold were set before my tent, Stampt with the princely fowl that in her wings Carries the fearful thunderbolts of Jove? How canst thou think of this, and offer war?

SIGISMUND. Vienna was besieg'd, and I was there, Then County Palatine, but now a king, And what we did was in extremity But now, Orcanes, view my royal host, That hides these plains, and seems as vast and wide As doth the desert of Arabia To those that stand on Bagdet's<337> lofty tower, Or as the ocean to the traveller That rests upon the snowy Appenines; And tell me whether I should stoop so low, Or treat of peace with the Natolian king.

GAZELLUS. Kings of Natolia and of Hungary, We came from Turkey to confirm a league, And not to dare each other to the field. A friendly parle<338> might become you both.

FREDERICK. And we from Europe, to the same intent;<339> Which if your general refuse or scorn, Our tents are pitch'd, our men stand<340> in array, Ready to charge you ere you stir your feet.

ORCANES. So prest<341> are we: but yet, if Sigismund Speak as a friend, and stand not upon terms, Here is his sword; let peace be ratified On these conditions specified before, Drawn with advice of our ambassadors.

SIGISMUND. Then here I sheathe it, and give thee my hand, Never to draw it out, or<342> manage arms Against thyself or thy confederates, But, whilst I live, will be at truce with thee.

ORCANES. But, Sigismund, confirm it with an oath, And swear in sight of heaven and by thy Christ.

SIGISMUND. By Him that made the world and sav'd my soul, The Son of God and issue of a maid, Sweet Jesus Christ, I solemnly protest And vow to keep this peace inviolable!

ORCANES. By sacred Mahomet, the friend of God, Whose holy Alcoran remains with us, Whose glorious body, when he left the world, Clos'd in a coffin mounted up the air, And hung on stately Mecca's temple-roof, I swear to keep this truce inviolable! Of whose conditions<343> and our solemn oaths, Sign'd with our hands, each shall retain a scroll, As memorable witness of our league. Now, Sigismund, if any Christian king Encroach upon the confines of thy realm, Send word, Orcanes of Natolia Confirm'd<344> this league beyond Danubius' stream, And they will, trembling, sound a quick retreat; So am I fear'd among all nations.

SIGISMUND. If any heathen potentate or king Invade Natolia, Sigismund will send A hundred thousand horse train'd to the war, And back'd by<345> stout lanciers of Germany, The strength and sinews of the imperial seat.

ORCANES. I thank thee, Sigismund; but, when I war, All Asia Minor, Africa, and Greece, Follow my standard and my thundering drums. Come, let us go and banquet in our tents: I will despatch chief of my army hence To fair Natolia and to Trebizon, To stay my coming 'gainst proud Tamburlaine: Friend Sigismund, and peers of Hungary, Come, banquet and carouse with us a while, And then depart we to our territories. [Exeunt.]