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Tamburlaine the Great. Who, from a Scythian Shephearde by his rare and woonderfull Conquests, became a most puissant and mightye Monarque. And (for his tyranny, and terrour in Warre) was tearmed, The Scourge of God. Deuided into two Tragicall Discourses, as they were sundrie times shewed vpon Stages in the Citie of London. By the right honorable the Lord Admyrall, his seruauntes. Now first, and newlie published. London. Printed by Richard Ihones: at the signe of the Rose and Crowne neere Holborne Bridge. 1590. 4to.

The above title-page is pasted into a copy of the First Part of Tamburlaine in the Library at Bridge-water House; which copy, excepting that title-page and the Address to the Readers, is the impression of 1605. I once supposed that the title-pages which bear the dates 1605 and 1606 (see below) had been added to the 4tos of the Two Parts of the play originally printed in 1590; but I am now convinced that both Parts were really reprinted, The First Part in 1605, and The Second Part in 1606, and that nothing remains of the earlier 4tos, except the title-page and the Address to the Readers, which are preserved in the Bridge-water collection.

In the Bodleian Library, Oxford, is an 8vo edition of both Parts of Tamburlaine, dated 1590: the title-page of The First Part agrees verbatim with that given above; the half-title-page of The Second Part is as follows;

The Second Part of The bloody Conquests of mighty Tamburlaine. With his impassionate fury, for the death of his Lady and love faire Zenocrate; his fourme of exhortacion and discipline to his three sons, and the maner of his own death.

In the Garrick Collection, British Museum, is an 8vo edition of both Parts dated 1592: the title-page of The First Part runs thus;

Tamburlaine the Great. Who, from a Scythian Shepheard, by his rare and wonderfull Conquestes, became a most puissant and mightie Mornarch [sic]: And (for his tyrannie, and terrour in warre) was tearmed, The Scourge of God. The first part of the two Tragicall discourses, as they were sundrie times most stately shewed vpon Stages in the Citie of London. By the right honorable the Lord Admirall, his seruauntes. Now newly published. Printed by Richard lones, dwelling at the signe of the Rose and Crowne neere Holborne Bridge.

The half-title-page of The Second Part agrees exactly with that already given. Perhaps the 8vo at Oxford and that in the British Museum (for I have not had an opportunity of comparing them) are the same impression, differing only in the title-pages.

Langbaine (Account of Engl. Dram. Poets, p. 844) mentions an 8vo dated 1593.

The title-pages of the latest impressions of The Two Parts are as follows;

Tamburlaine the Greate. Who, from the state of a Shepheard in Scythia, by his rare and wonderfull Conquests, became a most puissant and mighty Monarque. London Printed for Edward White, and are to be solde at the little North doore of Saint Paules-Church, at the signe of the Gunne, 1605. 4to.

Tamburlaine the Greate.

With his impassionate furie, for the death of his Lady and Loue fair Zenocrate: his forme of exhortation and discipline to his three Sonnes, and the manner of his owne death. The second part. London Printed by B. A. for Ed. White, and are to be solde at his Shop neere the little North doore of Saint Paules Church at the Signe of the Gun. 1606. 4to.

The text of the present edition is given from the 8vo of 1592, collated with the 4tos of 1605-6.



GENTLEMEN and courteous readers whosoever: I have here published in print, for your sakes, the two tragical discourses of the Scythian shepherd Tamburlaine, that became so great a conqueror and so mighty a monarch. My hope is, that they will be now no less acceptable unto you to read after your serious affairs and studies than they have been lately delightful for many of you to see when the same were shewed in London upon stages. I have purposely omitted and left out some fond ‡ and frivolous gestures, digressing, and, in my poor opinion, far unmeet for the matter, which I thought might seem more tedious unto the wise than any way else to be regarded, though haply they have been of some vainconceited fondlings greatly gaped at, what time they were shewed upon the stage in their graced deformities: nevertheless now to be mixtured in print with such matter of worth, it would prove a great disgrace to so honourable and stately a history. Great folly were it in me to commend unto your wisdoms either the eloquence of the author that writ them or the worthiness of the matter itself. I therefore leave unto your learned censures § both the one and the other, and myself the poor printer of them unto your most courteous and favourable protection; which if you vouchsafe to accept, you shall evermore bind me to employ what travail and service I can to the advancing and pleasuring of your excellent degree.

Yours, most humble at commandment,

Richard] Jones], printer.

*To the Gentlemen-readers, &c.] From the Svo of 1592: in the 4tos this address is worded here and there differently. I have not thought it necessary to mark the varia lectiones of the worthy printer's composition.

† histories] i. e. dramas so called,—plays founded on history.

fond] i. e. foolish.-Concerning the omissions here alluded to, some remarks will be found in the Account of Marlowe and his Writings.

sures] i. e. judgments, opinions.




FROM jigging veins of rhyming mother-wits,
And such conceits as clownage keeps in pay,
We'll lead you to the stately tent of war,
Where you shall hear the Scythian Tamburlaine
Threatening the world with high astounding terms,
And scourging kingdoms with his conquering sword.
View but his picture in this tragic glass,
And then applaud his fortunes as you please.

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Ortygius, CeneUS MENAPHON, with others.


Declare the cause of my conceived grief,
Which is, God knows, about that Tamburlaine,
That, like a fox in midst of harvest-time,
Doth prey upon my flocks of passengers;
And, as I hear, doth mean to pull my plumes:
Therefore 'tis good and meet for to be wise.

Mean. Oft have I heard your majesty complain
Of Tamburlaine, that sturdy Scythian thief,
That robs your merchants of Persepolis
Trading by land unto the Western Isles,
And in your confines with his lawless train
Daily commits incivil* outrages,
Hoping (misled by dreaming prophecies).
To reign in Asia, and with barbarous arms
To make himself the monarch of the East:
But, ere he march in Asia, or display
His vagrant ensign in the Persian fields,
Your grace hath taken order by Theridamas,

Now Turks and Tartars shake their swords at Charg'd with a thousand horse, to apprehend com


And bring him captive to your highness' thr
Myc. Full true thou speak'st, and like th
my lord,

Whom I may term a Damon for thy love.
Therefore 'tis best, if so it like you all,
To send my thousand horse incontinent +
To apprehend that paltry Scythian.
How like you this, my honourable lords?
Is it not a kingly resolution?

ir early

Cos. It cannot choose, because it comes fence-


Myc. Then hear thy charge, valiant Theridam
The chiefest captain of Mycetes' host,

Myc. Brother Cosroe, I find myself agriev'd;
Yet insufficient to express the same,
For it requires a great and thundering speech:
Good brother, tell the cause unto my lords;
I know you have a better wit than I.

Cos. Unhappy Persia,-that in former age
Hast been the seat of mighty conquerors,
That, in their prowess and their policies,
Have triumph'd over Afric,* and the bounds
Of Europe where the sun dares scarce appear
For freezing meteors and congealèd cold,—
Now to be rul'd and govern'd by a man
At whose birth-day Cynthia with Saturn join'd,
And Jove, the Sun, and Mercury denied
To shed their + influence in his fickle brain!

Meaning to mangle all thy provinces.

Myc. Brother, I see your meaning well enough, And through your planets I perceive you think I am not wise enough to be a king:

But I refer me to my noblemen,

That know my wit, and can be witnesses.
I might command you to be slain for this,-
Meander, might I not?

Mean. Not for so small a fault, my sovereign

Myc. I mean it not, but yet I know I might.Yet live; yea, live; Mycetes wills it so.Meander, thou, my faithful counsellor,

* Afric] So the 8vo.-The 4to "Affrica." † their] Old eds. "his."

through, So the 4to.-The 8vo "thorough."

F 2.

incivil) i. e. barbarous.-So the Svo.-The 4to "v.

† incontinent] i. e. forthwith, immediately.
t chiefest] So the Svo.-The 4to "chiefe."

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