Classic Horror Plays > Tamburlaine the Great, Part I > Act II
Tamburlaine the Great, Part I
By Christopher Marlowe
Published in 1587
Act II: Scene I
Enter COSROE, MENAPHON, ORTYGIUS, and CENEUS, with SOLDIERS.
Thus far are we towards Theridamas,
And valiant Tamburlaine, the man of fame,
The man that in the forehead of his fortune
Bears figures of renown and miracle.
But tell me, that hast seen him, Menaphon,
What stature wields he, and what personage?
Of stature tall, and straightly fashioned,
Like his desire, lift upwards and divine;
So large of limbs, his joints so strongly knit,
Such breadth of shoulders as might mainly bear
Old Atlas' burden; 'twixt his manly pitch,
A pearl more worth than all the world is plac'd,
Wherein by curious sovereignty of art
Are fix'd his piercing instruments of sight,
Whose fiery circles bear encompassed
A heaven of heavenly bodies in their spheres,
That guides his steps and actions to the throne
Where honour sits invested royally;
Pale of complexion, wrought in him with passion,
Thirsting with sovereignty and love of arms;
His lofty brows in folds do figure death,
And in their smoothness amity and life;
About them hangs a knot of amber hair,
Wrapped in curls, as fierce Achilles' was,
On which the breath of heaven delights to play,
Making it dance with wanton majesty;
His arms and fingers long and sinewy,
Betokening valour and excess of strength;--
In every part proportion'd like the man
Should make the world subdu'd to Tamburlaine.
Well hast thou pourtray'd in thy terms of life
The face and personage of a wondrous man:
Nature doth strive with Fortune and his stars
To make him famous in accomplish'd worth;
And well his merits shew him to be made
His fortune's master and the king of men,
That could persuade, at such a sudden pinch,
With reasons of his valour and his life,
A thousand sworn and overmatching foes.
Then, when our powers in points of swords are join'd,
And clos'd in compass of the killing bullet,
Though strait the passage and the port be made
That leads to palace of my brother's life,
Proud is his fortune if we pierce it not;
And, when the princely Persian diadem
Shall overweigh his weary witless head,
And fall, like mellow'd fruit, with shakes of death,
In fair Persia noble Tamburlaine
Shall be my regent, and remain as king.
In happy hour we have set the crown
Upon your kingly head, that seeks our honour
In joining with the man ordain'd by heaven
To further every action to the best.
He that with shepherds and a little spoil
Durst, in disdain of wrong and tyranny,
Defend his freedom 'gainst a monarchy,
What will he do supported by a king,
Leading a troop of gentlemen and lords,
And stuff'd with treasure for his highest thoughts!
And such shall wait on worthy Tamburlaine.
Our army will be forty thousand strong,
When Tamburlaine and brave Theridamas
Have met us by the river Araris;
And all conjoin'd to meet the witless king,
That now is marching near to Parthia,
And, with unwilling soldiers faintly arm'd,
To seek revenge on me and Tamburlaine;
To whom, sweet Menaphon, direct me straight.
I will, my lord.
Act I: Scene II |
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