Act V. - Scene III.


THERIDAMAS. Weep, heavens, and vanish into liquid tears! Fall, stars that govern his nativity, And summon all the shining lamps of heaven To cast their bootless fires to the earth, And shed their feeble influence in the air; Muffle your beauties with eternal clouds; For Hell and Darkness pitch their pitchy tents, And Death, with armies of Cimmerian spirits, Gives battle 'gainst the heart of Tamburlaine! Now, in defiance of that wonted love Your sacred virtues pour'd upon his throne, And made his state an honour to the heavens, These cowards invisibly<617> assail his soul, And threaten conquest on our sovereign; But, if he die, your glories are disgrac'd, Earth droops, and says that hell in heaven is plac'd!

TECHELLES. O, then, ye powers that sway eternal seats, And guide this massy substance of the earth, If you retain desert of holiness, As your supreme estates instruct our thoughts, Be not inconstant, careless of your fame, Bear not the burden of your enemies' joys, Triumphing in his fall whom you advanc'd; But, as his birth, life, health, and majesty Were strangely blest and governed by heaven, So honour, heaven, (till heaven dissolved be,) His birth, his life, his health, and majesty!

USUMCASANE. Blush, heaven, to lose the honour of thy name, To see thy footstool set upon thy head; And let no baseness in thy haughty breast Sustain a shame of such inexcellence,<618> To see the devils mount in angels' thrones, And angels dive into the pools of hell! And, though they think their painful date is out, And that their power is puissant as Jove's, Which makes them manage arms against thy state, Yet make them feel the strength of Tamburlaine (Thy instrument and note of majesty) Is greater far than they can thus subdue; For, if he die, thy glory is disgrac'd, Earth droops, and says that hell in heaven is plac'd!

Enter TAMBURLAINE,<619> drawn in his chariot (as before) by ORCANES king of Natolia, and the KING OF JERUSALEM, AMYRAS, CELEBINUS, and Physicians.

TAMBURLAINE. What daring god torments my body thus, And seeks to conquer mighty Tamburlaine? Shall sickness prove me now to be a man, That have been term'd the terror of the world? Techelles and the rest, come, take your swords, And threaten him whose hand afflicts my soul: Come, let us march against the powers of heaven, And set black streamers in the firmament, To signify the slaughter of the gods. Ah, friends, what shall I do? I cannot stand. Come, carry me to war against the gods, That thus envy the health of Tamburlaine.

THERIDAMAS. Ah, good my lord, leave these impatient words, Which add much danger to your malady!

TAMBURLAINE. Why, shall I sit and languish in this pain? No, strike the drums, and, in revenge of this, Come, let us charge our spears, and pierce his breast Whose shoulders bear the axis of the world, That, if I perish, heaven and earth may fade. Theridamas, haste to the court of Jove; Will him to send Apollo hither straight, To cure me, or I'll fetch him down myself.

TECHELLES. Sit still, my gracious lord; this grief will cease,<620> And cannot last, it is so violent.

TAMBURLAINE. Not last, Techelles! no, for I shall die. See, where my slave, the ugly monster Death, Shaking and quivering, pale and wan for fear, Stands aiming at me with his murdering dart, Who flies away at every glance I give, And, when I look away, comes stealing on!-- Villain, away, and hie thee to the field! I and mine army come to load thy back With souls of thousand mangled carcasses.-- Look, where he goes! but, see, he comes again, Because I stay! Techelles, let us march, And weary Death with bearing souls to hell.

FIRST PHYSICIAN. Pleaseth your majesty to drink this potion, Which will abate the fury of your fit, And cause some milder spirits govern you.

TAMBURLAINE. Tell me what think you of my sickness now?

FIRST PHYSICIAN. I view'd your urine, and the hypostasis,<621> Thick and obscure, doth make your danger great: Your veins are full of accidental heat, Whereby the moisture of your blood is dried: The humidum and calor, which some hold Is not a parcel of the elements, But of a substance more divine and pure, Is almost clean extinguished and spent; Which, being the cause of life, imports your death: Besides, my lord, this day is critical, Dangerous to those whose crisis is as yours: Your artiers,<622> which alongst the veins convey The lively spirits which the heart engenders, Are parch'd and void of spirit, that the soul, Wanting those organons by which it moves, Cannot endure, by argument of art. Yet, if your majesty may escape this day, No doubt but you shall soon recover all.

TAMBURLAINE. Then will I comfort all my vital parts, And live, in spite of death, above a day. [Alarms within.]

Enter a Messenger.

MESSENGER. My lord, young Callapine, that lately fled from your majesty, hath now gathered a fresh army, and, hearing your absence in the field, offers to set upon<623> us presently.

TAMBURLAINE. See, my physicians, now, how Jove hath sent A present medicine to recure my pain! My looks shall make them fly; and, might I follow, There should not one of all the villain's power Live to give offer of another fight.

USUMCASANE. I joy, my lord, your highness is so strong, That can endure so well your royal presence, Which only will dismay the enemy.

TAMBURLAINE. I know it will, Casane.--Draw, you slaves! In spite of death, I will go shew my face. [Alarms. Exit TAMBURLAINE with all the rest (except the PHYSICIANS), and re-enter presently.]

TAMBURLAINE. Thus are the villain cowards<624> fled for fear, Like summer's vapours vanish'd by the sun; And, could I but a while pursue the field, That Callapine should be my slave again. But I perceive my martial strength is spent: In vain I strive and rail against those powers That mean t' invest me in a higher throne, As much too high for this disdainful earth. Give me a map; then let me see how much Is left for me to conquer all the world, That these, my boys, may finish all my wants. [One brings a map.] Here I began to march towards Persia, Along Armenia and the Caspian Sea, And thence unto<625> Bithynia, where I took The Turk and his great empress prisoners. Then march'd I into Egypt and Arabia; And here, not far from Alexandria, Whereas<626> the Terrene<627> and the Red Sea meet, Being distant less than full a hundred leagues, I meant to cut a channel to them both, That men might quickly sail to India. >From thence to Nubia near Borno-lake, And so along the Aethiopian sea, Cutting the tropic line of Capricorn, I conquer'd all as far as Zanzibar. Then, by the northern part of Africa, I came at last to Graecia, and from thence To Asia, where I stay against my will; Which is from Scythia, where I first began,<628> Backward[s] and forwards near five thousand leagues. Look here, my boys; see, what a world of ground Lies westward from the midst of Cancer's line Unto the rising of this<629> earthly globe, Whereas the sun, declining from our sight, Begins the day with our Antipodes! And shall I die, and this unconquered? Lo, here, my sons, are all the golden mines, Inestimable drugs and precious stones, More worth than Asia and the world beside; And from th' Antarctic Pole eastward behold As much more land, which never was descried, Wherein are rocks of pearl that shine as bright As all the lamps that beautify the sky! And shall I die, and this unconquered? Here, lovely boys; what death forbids my life, That let your lives command in spite of death.

AMYRAS. Alas, my lord, how should our bleeding hearts, Wounded and broken with your highness' grief, Retain a thought of joy or spark of life? Your soul gives essence to our wretched subjects,<630> Whose matter is incorporate in your flesh.

CELEBINUS. Your pains do pierce our souls; no hope survives, For by your life we entertain our lives.

TAMBURLAINE. But, sons, this subject, not of force enough To hold the fiery spirit it contains, Must part, imparting his impressions By equal portions into<631> both your breasts; My flesh, divided in your precious shapes, Shall still retain my spirit, though I die, And live in all your seeds<632> immortally.-- Then now remove me, that I may resign My place and proper title to my son.-- First, take my scourge and my imperial crown, And mount my royal chariot of estate, That I may see thee crown'd before I die.-- Help me, my lords, to make my last remove. [They assist TAMBURLAINE to descend from the chariot.]

THERIDAMAS. A woful change, my lord, that daunts our thoughts More than the ruin of our proper souls!

TAMBURLAINE. Sit up, my son, [and] let me see how well Thou wilt become thy father's majesty.

AMYRAS. With what a flinty bosom should I joy The breath of life and burden of my soul, If not resolv'd into resolved pains, My body's mortified lineaments<633> Should exercise the motions of my heart, Pierc'd with the joy of any dignity! O father, if the unrelenting ears Of Death and Hell be shut against my prayers, And that the spiteful influence of Heaven Deny my soul fruition of her joy, How should I step, or stir my hateful feet Against the inward powers of my heart, Leading a life that only strives to die, And plead in vain unpleasing sovereignty!

TAMBURLAINE. Let not thy love exceed thine honour, son, Nor bar thy mind that magnanimity That nobly must admit necessity. Sit up, my boy, and with these<634> silken reins Bridle the steeled stomachs of these<635> jades.

THERIDAMAS. My lord, you must obey his majesty, Since fate commands and proud necessity.

AMYRAS. Heavens witness me with what a broken heart [Mounting the chariot.] And damned<636> spirit I ascend this seat, And send my soul, before my father die, His anguish and his burning agony! [They crown AMYRAS.]

TAMBURLAINE. Now fetch the hearse of fair Zenocrate; Let it be plac'd by this my fatal chair, And serve as parcel of my funeral.

USUMCASANE. Then feels your majesty no sovereign ease, Nor may our hearts, all drown'd in tears of blood, Joy any hope of your recovery?

TAMBURLAINE. Casane, no; the monarch of the earth, And eyeless monster that torments my soul, Cannot behold the tears ye shed for me, And therefore still augments his cruelty.

TECHELLES. Then let some god oppose his holy power Against the wrath and tyranny of Death, That his tear-thirsty and unquenched hate May be upon himself reverberate! [They bring in the hearse of ZENOCRATE.]

TAMBURLAINE. Now, eyes, enjoy your latest benefit, And, when my soul hath virtue of your sight, Pierce through the coffin and the sheet of gold, And glut your longings with a heaven of joy. So, reign, my son; scourge and control those slaves, Guiding thy chariot with thy father's hand. As precious is the charge thou undertak'st As that which Clymene's<637> brain-sick son did guide, When wandering Phoebe's<638> ivory cheeks were scorch'd, And all the earth, like Aetna, breathing fire: Be warn'd by him, then; learn with awful eye To sway a throne as dangerous as his; For, if thy body thrive not full of thoughts As pure and fiery as Phyteus'<639> beams, The nature of these proud rebelling jades Will take occasion by the slenderest hair, And draw thee<640> piecemeal, like Hippolytus, Through rocks more steep and sharp than Caspian cliffs:<641> The nature of thy chariot will not bear A guide of baser temper than myself, More than heaven's coach the pride of Phaeton. Farewell, my boys! my dearest friends, farewell! My body feels, my soul doth weep to see Your sweet desires depriv'd my company, For Tamburlaine, the scourge of God, must die. [Dies.]

AMYRAS. Meet heaven and earth, and here let all things end, For earth hath spent the pride of all her fruit, And heaven consum'd his choicest living fire! Let earth and heaven his timeless death deplore, For both their worths will equal him no more! [Exeunt.]