Act II. - Scene IV.
Enter MYCETES with his crown in his hand.<97>
MYCETES. Accurs'd be he that first invented war! They knew not, ah, they knew not, simple men, How those were<98> hit by pelting cannon-shot Stand staggering<99> like a quivering aspen-leaf Fearing the force of Boreas' boisterous blasts! In what a lamentable case were I, If nature had not given me wisdom's lore! For kings are clouts that every man shoots at, Our crown the pin<100> that thousands seek to cleave: Therefore in policy I think it good To hide it close; a goodly stratagem, And far from any man that is a fool: So shall not I be known; or if I be, They cannot take away my crown from me. Here will I hide it in this simple hole.
TAMBURLAINE. What, fearful coward, straggling from the camp, When kings themselves are present in the field?
MYCETES. Thou liest.
TAMBURLAINE. Base villain, darest thou give me<101> the lie?
MYCETES. Away! I am the king; go; touch me not. Thou break'st the law of arms, unless thou kneel, And cry me "mercy, noble king!"
TAMBURLAINE. Are you the witty king of Persia?
MYCETES. Ay, marry,<102> am I: have you any suit to me?
TAMBURLAINE. I would entreat you to speak but three wise words.
MYCETES. So I can when I see my time.
TAMBURLAINE. Is this your crown?
MYCETES. Ay: didst thou ever see a fairer?
TAMBURLAINE. You will not sell it, will you?
MYCETES. Such another word, and I will have thee executed. Come, give it me.
TAMBURLAINE. No; I took it prisoner.
MYCETES. You lie; I gave it you.
TAMBURLAINE. Then 'tis mine.
MYCETES. No; I mean I let you keep it.
TAMBURLAINE. Well, I mean you shall have it again. Here, take it for a while: I lend it thee, Till I may see thee hemm'd with armed men; Then shalt thou see me pull it from thy head: Thou art no match for mighty Tamburlaine. [Exit.]
MYCETES. O gods, is this Tamburlaine the thief? I marvel much he stole it not away. [Trumpets within sound to the battle: he runs out.]