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<346> 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<347> 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,<348> wherein at<349> 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<350> sea, Where,<351> '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<352> 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<353> 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<354> 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.]