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And which is worse, to have his diadem
Sought for by such scald knaves as love him not?
I think it would; well then, by Heavens I swear,
Aurora shall not peep out of her doors,
But I will have Cosroe by the head,
And kill proud Tamburlaine with point of sword.
Tell you the rest, Meander; I have said.
MEAND. Then having past Armenian deserts now,
And pitch'd our tents under the Georgian hills,
Whose tops are cover'd with Tartarian thieves,
That lie in ambush, waiting for a prey,
What should we do but bid them battle straight,
And rid the world of those detested troops?
Lest, if we let them linger here awhile,
They gather strength by pow'r of fresh supplies.
This country swarms with vile outragious men
That live by rapine and by lawless spoil,
Fit soldiers for the wicked Tamburlaine;
And he that could with gifts and promises
Inveigle him that led a thousand horse,
And make him false his faith unto his king,
Will quickly win such as be like himself.
Therefore cheer up your minds ! prepare to fight!
He that can take or slaughter Tamburlaine,
Shall rule the province of Albania:
Who brings that traitor's head, Theridamas,
Shall have a government in Media,
Beside the spoil of him and all his train :
But if Cosroe, (as our spials say,
And as we know) remains with Tamburlaine,
His Highness' pleasure is that he should live,
And be reclaim'd with princely lenity.
A SPY. A hundred horsemen of my company
Scouting abroad upon these champion plains
Have view'd the army of the Scythians,
Which make report it far exceeds the king's.
MEAND. Suppose they be in number infinite,
Yet being void of martial discipline,
All running headlong after greedy spoils,
And more regarding gain than victory,
Like to the cruel brothers of the earth,
Sprung of the teeth of dragons venomous,
Their careless swords shall lance their fellows' throats,
And make us triumph in their overthrow.
MYC. Was there such brethren, sweet Meander, say, That sprung of teeth of dragons venomous? MEAND. So poets say, my lord.
Myc. And 'tis a pretty toy to be a poet.
Well, well, Meander, thou art deeply read,
And having thee, I have a jewel sure.
Go on, my Lord, and give your charge, I say;
Thy wit will make us conquerors to-day.
MEAND. Then, noble soldiers, to entrap these
That live confounded in disorder'd troops,
If wealth or riches may prevail with them,
We have our camels laden all with gold,
Which you that be but common soldiers
Shall fling in ev'ry corner of the field;
And while the base-born Tartars take it up,
You, fighting more for honour than for gold,
Shall massacre those greedy-minded slaves;
And when their scatter'd army is subdu'd,
And you march on their slaughter'd carcasses,
Share equally the gold that bought their lives,
And live like gentlemen in Persia.
Strike up the drum ! and march courageously!
Fortune herself doth sit upon our crests.
MYC. He tells you true, my masters: so he does. Drums, why sound ye not, when Meander speaks? [Exeunt.
Enter COSROE, TAMBURLAINE, THERIDAMAS, TECHELLES, USUMCASANE and ORTYGIUS, with others.
Cos. Now, worthy Tamburlaine, have I repos'd In thy approved fortune all my hope.
What think'st thou, man, shall come of our attempts?
For e'en as from assured oracle,
I take thy doom for satisfaction.
TAMB. And so mistake you not a whit, my Lord; For fates and oracles [of] Heav'n have sworn
To royalize the deeds of Tamburlaine,
And make them blest that share in his attempts.
And doubt you not, but if you favour me,
And let my fortunes and my valour sway
To some direction in your martial deeds,
The world will strive with hosts of men at arms,
To swarm unto the ensign I support:
The host of Xerxes, which by fame is said
T'have drank the mighty Parthian Araris,
Was but a handful to that we will have.
Our quiv'ring lances, shaking in the air,
And bullets, like Jove's dreadful thunderbolts,
Enroll'd in flames and fiery smould'ring mists,
Shall threat the gods more than Cyclopian wars:
And with our sun-bright armour as we march,
We'll chase the stars from heaven and dim their eyes
That stand and muse at our admired arms.
THER. You see, my Lord, what working words he hath;
But when you see his actions stop his speech,
Your speech will stay or so extol his worth
As I shall be commended, and excus'd
For turning my poor charge to his direction.
And these his two renowned friends, my lord,
Would make one thrust and strive to be retain'd
In such a great degree of amity.
TECH. With duty and with amity we yield
Our utmost service to the fair Cosroe.
Cos. Usumcasane and Techelles both,
When she that rules in Rhamnus' golden gates,
And makes a passage for all prosp'rous arms,
Shall make me solely emperor of Asia,
Then shall your meeds and valours be advanc'd
To rooms of honour and nobility.
TAMB. Then haste, Cosroe, to be king alone,
That I with these, my friends, and all my men
May triumph in our long-expected fate.
The king, your brother, is now hard at hand;
Meet with the fool, and rid your royal shoulders
Of such a burthen as outweighs the sands
And all the craggy rocks of Caspia.
MES. My lord, we have discovered the enemy
Ready to charge you with a mighty army.
Cos. Come, Tamburlaine! now whet thy winged
And lift thy lofty arm into the clouds,
That it may reach the king of Persia's crown,
And set it safe on my victorious head.
TAMB. See where it is, the keenest curtle axe
That ere made passage thorough Persian arms.
These are the wings shall make it fly as swift
As doth the lightning or the breath of Heaven,
And kill as surely as it swiftly flies.
Cos. Thy words assure me of kind success;
Go, valiant soldier, go before and charge
The fainting army of that foolish king.
TAMB. Usumcasane and Techelles come!
We are enough to scare the enemy,
And more than needs to make an emperor.
[They go out to the battle.
alone with his crown in his hand, and endeavours to hide it.]
Mvc. Accurs'd be he that first invented war! They knew not, ah they knew not, simple men,