Act III. - Scene V.


MESSENGER. Renowmed<473> emperor, mighty<474> Callapine, God's great lieutenant over all the world, Here at Aleppo, with an host of men, Lies Tamburlaine, this king of Persia, (In number more than are the<475> quivering leaves Of Ida's forest, where your highness' hounds With open cry pursue the wounded stag,) Who means to girt Natolia's walls with siege, Fire the town, and over-run the land.

CALLAPINE. My royal army is as great as his, That, from the bounds of Phrygia to the sea Which washeth Cyprus with his brinish waves, Covers the hills, the valleys, and the plains. Viceroys and peers of Turkey, play the men; Whet all your<476> swords to mangle Tamburlaine, His sons, his captains, and his followers: By Mahomet, not one of them shall live! The field wherein this battle shall be fought For ever term'd<477> the Persians' sepulchre, In memory of this our victory.

ORCANES. Now he that calls himself the<478> scourge of Jove, The emperor of the world, and earthly god, Shall end the warlike progress he intends, And travel headlong to the lake of hell, Where legions of devils (knowing he must die Here in Natolia by your<479> highness' hands), All brandishing their<480> brands of quenchless fire, Stretching their monstrous paws, grin with<481> their teeth, And guard the gates to entertain his soul.

CALLAPINE. Tell me, viceroys, the number of your men, And what our army royal is esteem'd.

KING OF JERUSALEM. From Palestina and Jerusalem, Of Hebrews three score thousand fighting men Are come, since last we shew'd your<482> majesty.

ORCANES. So from Arabia Desert, and the bounds Of that sweet land whose brave metropolis Re-edified the fair Semiramis, Came forty thousand warlike foot and horse, Since last we number'd to your majesty.

KING OF TREBIZON. From Trebizon in Asia the Less, Naturaliz'd Turks and stout Bithynians Came to my bands, full fifty thousand more, (That, fighting, know not what retreat doth mean, Nor e'er return but with the victory,) Since last we number'd to your majesty.

KING OF SORIA. Of Sorians<483> from Halla is repair'd,<484> And neighbour cities of your highness' land,<485> Ten thousand horse, and thirty thousand foot, Since last we number'd to your majesty; So that the army royal is esteem'd Six hundred thousand valiant fighting men.

CALLAPINE. Then welcome, Tamburlaine, unto thy death!-- Come, puissant viceroys, let us to the field (The Persians' sepulchre), and sacrifice Mountains of breathless men to Mahomet, Who now, with Jove, opens the firmament To see the slaughter of our enemies.


TAMBURLAINE. How now, Casane! see, a knot of kings, Sitting as if they were a-telling riddles!

USUMCASANE. My lord, your presence makes them pale and wan: Poor souls, they look as if their deaths were near.

TAMBURLAINE. Why, so he<486> is, Casane; I am here: But yet I'll save their lives, and make them slaves.-- Ye petty kings of Turkey, I am come, As Hector did into the Grecian camp, To overdare the pride of Graecia, And set his warlike person to the view Of fierce Achilles, rival of his fame: I do you honour in the simile; For, if I should, as Hector did Achilles, (The worthiest knight that ever brandish'd sword,) Challenge in combat any of you all, I see how fearfully ye would refuse, And fly my glove as from a scorpion.

ORCANES. Now, thou art fearful of thy army's strength, Thou wouldst with overmatch of person fight: But, shepherd's issue, base-born Tamburlaine, Think of thy end; this sword shall lance thy throat.

TAMBURLAINE. Villain, the shepherd's issue (at whose birth Heaven did afford a gracious aspect, And join'd those stars that shall be opposite Even till the dissolution of the world, And never meant to make a conqueror So famous as is<487> mighty Tamburlaine) Shall so torment thee, and that Callapine, That, like a roguish runaway, suborn'd That villain there, that slave, that Turkish dog, To false his service to his sovereign, As ye shall curse the birth of Tamburlaine.

CALLAPINE. Rail not, proud Scythian: I shall now revenge My father's vile abuses and mine own.

KING OF JERUSALEM. By Mahomet, he shall be tied in chains, Rowing with Christians in a brigandine About the Grecian isles to rob and spoil, And turn him to his ancient trade again: Methinks the slave should make a lusty thief.

CALLAPINE. Nay, when the battle ends, all we will meet, And sit in council to invent some pain That most may vex his body and his soul.

TAMBURLAINE. Sirrah Callapine, I'll hang a clog about your neck for running away again: you shall not trouble me thus to come and fetch you.-- But as for you, viceroy[s], you shall have bits, And, harness'd<488> like my horses, draw my coach; And, when ye stay, be lash'd with whips of wire: I'll have you learn to feed on<489> provender, And in a stable lie upon the planks.

ORCANES. But, Tamburlaine, first thou shalt<490> kneel to us, And humbly crave a pardon for thy life.

KING OF TREBIZON. The common soldiers of our mighty host Shall bring thee bound unto the<491> general's tent<.>

KING OF SORIA. And all have jointly sworn thy cruel death, Or bind thee in eternal torments' wrath.

TAMBURLAINE. Well, sirs, diet yourselves; you know I shall have occasion shortly to journey you.

CELEBINUS. See, father, how Almeda the jailor looks upon us!

TAMBURLAINE. Villain, traitor, damned fugitive, I'll make thee wish the earth had swallow'd thee! See'st thou not death within my wrathful looks? Go, villain, cast thee headlong from a rock, Or rip thy bowels, and rent<492> out thy heart, T' appease my wrath; or else I'll torture thee, Searing thy hateful flesh with burning irons And drops of scalding lead, while all thy joints Be rack'd and beat asunder with the wheel; For, if thou liv'st, not any element Shall shroud thee from the wrath of Tamburlaine.

CALLAPINE. Well, in despite of thee, he shall be king.-- Come, Almeda; receive this crown of me: I here invest thee king of Ariadan, Bordering on Mare Roso, near to Mecca.

ORCANES. What! take it, man.

ALMEDA. [to Tamb.] Good my lord, let me take it.

CALLAPINE. Dost thou ask him leave? here; take it.

TAMBURLAINE. Go to, sirrah!<493> take your crown, and make up the half dozen. So, sirrah, now you are a king, you must give arms.<494>

ORCANES. So he shall, and wear thy head in his scutcheon.

TAMBURLAINE. No;<495> let him hang a bunch of keys on his standard, to put him in remembrance he was a jailor, that, when I take him, I may knock out his brains with them, and lock you in the stable, when you shall come sweating from my chariot.

KING OF TREBIZON. Away! let us to the field, that the villain may be slain.

TAMBURLAINE. Sirrah, prepare whips, and bring my chariot to my tent; for, as soon as the battle is done, I'll ride in triumph through the camp. Enter THERIDAMAS, TECHELLES, and their train. How now, ye petty kings? lo, here are bugs<496> Will make the hair stand upright on your heads, And cast your crowns in slavery at their feet!-- Welcome, Theridamas and Techelles, both: See ye this rout,<497> and know ye this same king?

THERIDAMAS. Ay, my lord; he was Callapine's keeper.

TAMBURLAINE. Well, now ye see he is a king. Look to him, Theridamas, when we are fighting, lest he hide his crown as the foolish king of Persia did.<498>

KING OF SORIA. No, Tamburlaine; he shall not be put to that exigent, I warrant thee.

TAMBURLAINE. You know not, sir.-- But now, my followers and my loving friends, Fight as you ever did, like conquerors, The glory of this happy day is yours. My stern aspect<499> shall make fair Victory, Hovering betwixt our armies, light on me, Loaden with laurel-wreaths to crown us all.

TECHELLES. I smile to think how, when this field is fought And rich Natolia ours, our men shall sweat With carrying pearl and treasure on their backs.

TAMBURLAINE. You shall be princes all, immediately.-- Come, fight, ye Turks, or yield us victory.

ORCANES. No; we will meet thee, slavish Tamburlaine. [Exeunt severally.]