Act III. - Scene II.

Enter ZENOCRATE, AGYDAS, ANIPPE, with others.

AGYDAS. Madam Zenocrate, may I presume To know the cause of these unquiet fits That work such trouble to your wonted rest? 'Tis more than pity such a heavenly face Should by heart's sorrow wax so wan and pale, When your offensive rape by Tamburlaine (Which of your whole displeasures should be most) Hath seem'd to be digested long ago.

ZENOCRATE. Although it be digested long ago, As his exceeding favours have deserv'd, And might content the Queen of Heaven, as well As it hath chang'd my first-conceiv'd disdain; Yet since a farther passion feeds my thoughts With ceaseless<140> and disconsolate conceits,<141> Which dye my looks so lifeless as they are, And might, if my extremes had full events, Make me the ghastly counterfeit<142> of death.

AGYDAS. Eternal heaven sooner be dissolv'd, And all that pierceth Phoebus' silver eye, Before such hap fall to Zenocrate!

ZENOCRATE. Ah, life and soul, still hover in his<143> breast, And leave my body senseless as the earth, Or else unite you<144> to his life and soul, That I may live and die with Tamburlaine!

Enter, behind, TAMBURLAINE, with TECHELLES, and others.

AGYDAS. With Tamburlaine! Ah, fair Zenocrate, Let not a man so vile and barbarous, That holds you from your father in despite, And keeps you from the honours of a queen, (Being suppos'd his worthless concubine,) Be honour'd with your love but for necessity! So, now the mighty Soldan hears of you, Your highness needs not doubt but in short time He will, with Tamburlaine's destruction, Redeem you from this deadly servitude.

ZENOCRATE. Leave<145> to wound me with these words, And speak of Tamburlaine as he deserves: The entertainment we have had of him Is far from villany or servitude, And might in noble minds be counted princely.

AGYDAS. How can you fancy one that looks so fierce, Only dispos'd to martial stratagems? Who, when he shall embrace you in his arms, Will tell how many thousand men he slew; And, when you look for amorous discourse, Will rattle forth his facts<146> of war and blood, Too harsh a subject for your dainty ears.

ZENOCRATE. As looks the sun through Nilus' flowing stream, Or when the Morning holds him in her arms, So looks my lordly love, fair Tamburlaine; His talk much<147> sweeter than the Muses' song They sung for honour 'gainst Pierides,<148> Or when Minerva did with Neptune strive: And higher would I rear my estimate Than Juno, sister to the highest god, If I were match'd with mighty Tamburlaine.

AGYDAS. Yet be not so inconstant in your love, But let the young Arabian<149> live in hope, After your rescue to enjoy his choice. You see, though first the king of Persia, Being a shepherd, seem'd to love you much, Now, in his majesty, he leaves those looks, Those words of favour, and those comfortings, And gives no more than common courtesies.

ZENOCRATE. Thence rise the tears that so distain my cheeks, Fearing his love<150> through my unworthiness.

[TAMBURLAINE goes to her, and takes her away lovingly by the hand, looking wrathfully on AGYDAS, and says nothing. Exeunt all except AGYDAS.]

AGYDAS. Betray'd by fortune and suspicious love, Threaten'd with frowning wrath and jealousy, Surpris'd with fear of<151> hideous revenge, I stand aghast; but most astonied To see his choler shut in secret thoughts, And wrapt in silence of his angry soul: Upon his brows was pourtray'd ugly death; And in his eyes the fury<152> of his heart, That shone<153> as comets, menacing revenge, And cast a pale complexion on his cheeks. As when the seaman sees the Hyades Gather an army of Cimmerian clouds, (Auster and Aquilon with winged steeds, All sweating, tilt about the watery heavens, With shivering spears enforcing thunder-claps, And from their shields strike flames of lightning,) All-fearful folds his sails, and sounds the main, Lifting his prayers to the heavens for aid Against the terror of the winds and waves; So fares Agydas for the late-felt frowns, That send<154> a tempest to my daunted thoughts, And make my soul divine her overthrow.

Re-enter TECHELLES with a naked dagger, and USUMCASANE.

TECHELLES. See you, Agydas, how the king salutes you! He bids you prophesy what it imports.

AGYDAS. I prophesied before, and now I prove The killing frowns of jealousy and love. He needed not with words confirm my fear, For words are vain where working tools present The naked action of my threaten'd end: It says, Agydas, thou shalt surely die, And of extremities elect the least; More honour and less pain it may procure, To die by this resolved hand of thine Than stay the torments he and heaven have sworn. Then haste, Agydas, and prevent the plagues Which thy prolonged fates may draw on thee: Go wander free from fear of tyrant's rage, Removed from the torments and the hell Wherewith he may excruciate thy soul; And let Agydas by Agydas die, And with this stab slumber eternally. [Stabs himself.]

TECHELLES. Usumcasane, see, how right the man Hath hit the meaning of my lord the king!

USUMCASANE. Faith, and, Techelles, it was manly done; And, since he was so wise and honourable, Let us afford him now the bearing hence, And crave his triple-worthy burial.

TECHELLES. Agreed, Casane; we will honour him. [Exeunt, bearing out the body.]