Act II. - Scene V.


TAMBURLAINE. Hold thee, Cosroe; wear two imperial crowns; Think thee invested now as royally, Even by the mighty hand of Tamburlaine, As if as many kings as could encompass thee With greatest pomp had crown'd thee emperor.

COSROE. So do I, thrice-renowmed man-at-arms;<103> And none shall keep the crown but Tamburlaine: Thee do I make my regent of Persia, And general-lieutenant of my armies.-- Meander, you, that were our brother's guide, And chiefest<104> counsellor in all his acts, Since he is yielded to the stroke of war, On your submission we with thanks excuse, And give you equal place in our affairs.

MEANDER. Most happy<105> emperor, in humblest terms I vow my service to your majesty, With utmost virtue of my faith and duty.

COSROE. Thanks, good Meander.--Then, Cosroe, reign, And govern Persia in her former pomp. Now send embassage to thy neighbour kings, And let them know the Persian king is chang'd, From one that knew not what a king should do, To one that can command what 'longs thereto. And now we will to fair Persepolis With twenty thousand expert soldiers. The lords and captains of my brother's camp With little slaughter take Meander's course, And gladly yield them to my gracious rule.-- Ortygius and Menaphon, my trusty friends, Now will I gratify your former good, And grace your calling with a greater sway.

ORTYGIUS. And as we ever aim'd<106> at your behoof, And sought your state all honour it<107> deserv'd, So will we with our powers and our<108> lives Endeavour to preserve and prosper it.

COSROE. I will not thank thee, sweet Ortygius; Better replies shall prove my purposes.-- And now, Lord Tamburlaine, my brother's camp I leave to thee and to Theridamas, To follow me to fair Persepolis; Then will we<109> march to all those Indian mines My witless brother to the Christians lost, And ransom them with fame and usury: And, till thou overtake me, Tamburlaine, (Staying to order all the scatter'd troops,) Farewell, lord regent and his happy friends. I long to sit upon my brother's throne.

MEANDER. Your majesty shall shortly have your wish, And ride in triumph through Persepolis. [Exeunt all except TAMBURLAINE, THERIDAMAS, TECHELLES, and USUMCASANE.]

TAMBURLAINE. And ride in triumph through Persepolis!-- Is it not brave to be a king, Techelles?-- Usumcasane and Theridamas, Is it not passing brave to be a king, And ride in triumph through Persepolis?

TECHELLES. O, my lord, it is sweet and full of pomp!

USUMCASANE. To be a king is half to be a god.

THERIDAMAS. A god is not so glorious as a king: I think the pleasure they enjoy in heaven, Cannot compare with kingly joys in<110> earth;-- To wear a crown enchas'd with pearl and gold, Whose virtues carry with it life and death; To ask and have, command and be obey'd; When looks breed love, with looks to gain the prize,-- Such power attractive shines in princes' eyes.

TAMBURLAINE. Why, say, Theridamas, wilt thou be a king?

THERIDAMAS. Nay, though I praise it, I can live without it.

TAMBURLAINE. What say my other friends? will you be kings?

TECHELLES. I, if I could, with all my heart, my lord.

TAMBURLAINE. Why, that's well said, Techelles: so would I;-- And so would you, my masters, would you not?

USUMCASANE. What, then, my lord?

TAMBURLAINE. Why, then, Casane,<111> shall we wish for aught The world affords in greatest novelty, And rest attemptless, faint, and destitute? Methinks we should not. I am strongly mov'd, That if I should desire the Persian crown, I could attain it with a wondrous ease: And would not all our soldiers soon consent, If we should aim at such a dignity?

THERIDAMAS. I know they would with our persuasions.

TAMBURLAINE. Why, then, Theridamas, I'll first assay To get the Persian kingdom to myself; Then thou for Parthia; they for Scythia and Media; And, if I prosper, all shall be as sure As if the Turk, the Pope, Afric, and Greece, Came creeping to us with their crowns a-piece.<112>

TECHELLES. Then shall we send to this triumphing king, And bid him battle for his novel crown?

USUMCASANE. Nay, quickly, then, before his room be hot.

TAMBURLAINE. 'Twill prove a pretty jest, in faith, my friends.

THERIDAMAS. A jest to charge on twenty thousand men! I judge the purchase<113> more important far.

TAMBURLAINE. Judge by thyself, Theridamas, not me; For presently Techelles here shall haste To bid him battle ere he pass too far, And lose more labour than the gain will quite:<114> Then shalt thou see this<115> Scythian Tamburlaine Make but a jest to win the Persian crown.-- Techelles, take a thousand horse with thee, And bid him turn him<116> back to war with us, That only made him king to make us sport: We will not steal upon him cowardly, But give him warning and<117> more warriors: Haste thee, Techelles; we will follow thee. [Exit TECHELLES.] What saith Theridamas?

THERIDAMAS. Go on, for me. [Exeunt.]