THE SACRIFICE. A TRAGEDY.

By the Honorable Sir FRANCIS FANE, Knight of the BATH.

The Second Edition.

Quae poterunt unquam satis expurgare cicutae
Ni melius dormire putem, quam scribere Versus.
Hor.

LONDON, Printed by I. R. for Iohn Weld at the Crown between the Temple Gates in Fleetstreet, MDCLXXXVII.

Licensed,

Ro. L'Estrange.

To the Right Honorable CHARLES EARL of Dorset and Middlesex, &c. Lord Lieutenant of the County of Sussex.

My Lord,

HAving long since devoted my self to a Country Life, and wanting Patience to attend the leisure of the Stage, I have adventur'd to exposed this Tragedy, with­out Action; but I shall never be much asham'd of it, since it has had the Honor of your Lordships Appro­bation, whose admirable Genius in Poetry, has long since given you a just Title to preside over all Causes of that kind, and whose Judgement never Errs, but when 'tis seduc'd by your Extraordinory Candor. Yet to have a share in your Lordship's Mercy, rather than all the Clamorous Applauses of the Vulgar, shall ever be esteemed a greater Honor to,

My Lord,
Your Lordships most Obliged and Humble Servant, FRANCIS FANE.

TO THE AUTHOR.

WHen o'r the World the mild Augustus Reign'd,
Wit's Empire too the Roman Poets gain'd:
So when the first auspicious James possest
Our Brittish World, and in Possessing blest;
Our Poets wore the Lawrels of the Age,
While Shakespear, Fletcher, Johnson Crown'd. the Stage
And tho our Caesars since have rais'd the State,
Our Poetry sustains the Roman Fate.
In less Essays successful we have been,
But lost the Nobler Province of the Scene:
Perverters, not Reformers of the Stage,
Deprav'd to Farce, or more fantastick Rage.
How therefore shall we Celebrate thy Name,
Whose Genius has so well retriev'd our Fame?
Whose happy Muse such Wonders can impart,
And temper Shakespear's Flame with Johnson's Art.
Whose Characters set just Examples forth;
Mix Humane Frailties with Heroick Worth:
Shunning th' Extreams in Modern Heroes seen,
Than God's more perfect, or more frail than Men.
With Reason, Nature, Truth our Minds you treat,
A [...]d shew a Prince irregularly Great.
[Page]A generous Soul storm'd by impetuous Love,
Which yet from Virtue's Centre scorns to move.
Thus while the Hero does himself defeat,
Your Tamerlane is rendred truly GREAT,
When by his Troops whole Empires were o'rthrown,
'Twas Fortune's Work, this Conquest was his own.
Your Monarch rages in Othello's Strain,
Iago in Ragalzan lives again.
Not Hecuba like your Despina Rag'd,
Like Her, for Empire and a Monarchs Fate engag'd▪
With Iphigene your Fair Irene vies,
And falls a more lamented Sacrifice.
Your Style, tho just, subservient to the Thought;
Your Numbers in Majestic Plainness wrought.
Methinks I see the Pyrat-Wits of France
Already to this Noble Prize Advance:
An Artifice in which they most excel,
But still, the Sense they steal, they Husband well▪
Thus Sir, they'l melt your Oar, tho not Refine;
While each rich Thought of yours, each massey Line,
Drawn to French Wire shall through whole Volumes shine▪
Accept our Thanks, tho you decline the Stage,
That yet you condescend the Press t'engage:
For while we thus possess the precious Store,
Our Benefit's the same, your Glory more;
Thus, for a Theatre the World you find;
And your Applauding Audience, All Mankind.
N. TATE.

To Sir FRANCIS FANE, on his Admirable Play, the SACRIFICE.

WE have of late with heedless Scenes been fed,
With Plays fit only to be seen, not read,
As tho with Rochester all Sence were dead;
But when that Prince of Wit did yield to death,
As his best Legacy, he did bequeath
To you, his Friend, his great Poetick Power,
And in it nam'd you for his Successour.
Strait Wit's great Council sate, that Critick Tribe,
Who did your Title to the Gift subscribe;
And by their Heralds did aloud declare
To all the World you were his lawful Heir▪
And now to satisfie pretending Men,
You have confirm'd your Title by your Pen.
For by your charming measures you have taught,
You do inherit that dear thing call'd Thought.
Cease then ye Factious Wits, and never dare
Attempt the Laurel from his Head to tare;
For whilst he doth Wit's Glorious Scepter sway,
Ye cannot happier be than to obey;
And if against his Laws ye ne'r rebel,
Both Italy and France,
We shall in Wit as well as Arms excel.
Then Sir, how much is due t'you from the Age
That you your Learned Thoughts should thus engage
Once more to send a Pattern to the Stage?
[Page]A Play correct, where Art and Nature's shown,
That's self Existent, and depends on none;
Where Wit, like Souls in Bodies, by your Art
Is all in all, and all in ev'ry part.
Shou'd Traiterous Whiggs but view the lasting Dress
That you've put on Ragalzan's Wickedness,
Tho hatred to the best of Kings they wear,
Yet all designs against him they'd forbear,
Lest you shou'd make them your next Character.
For well 'tis known that whatsoe'r you write
Will see the Sun till all things end in Night.
And tho these Villains Rope nor Ax do fear,
Yet everlasting Shame they cannot bear.
If happy Souls above can view the State
Of things below, Despina for her Fate
Will thank the Gods, now to her Virtuous Name,
Your well wrought Lines have given a happy Fame:
Irene too, that Pious Beauteous Prize
No more wou'd blame the Effects of her dear Eyes,
Since by it she's become your Sacrifice.
IOHN ROBINS.

To the Honorable Sir FRANCIS FANE, On his Excellent Play, The Sacrifice.

LOng have our Priests condemn'd a Wicked Age
And every Little Critick's senseless rage,
Damn'd a forsaken, self-declining Stage.
Great, 'tis confess'd, and many are our Crimes;
And no less profligate the Vicious Times.
But yet no wonder both prevail so Ill,
The Poets Fury, and the Preachers Skill.
While to the World it is so plainly known,
They blame our Faults, and never mind their own.
Let their Dull Pens flow with unlearned Spight,
And weakly Censure what the Skilful Write:
You, Learned Sir, a Nobler Pattern show
Our best of Rules, and best Example too.
Precepts and grave Instructions dully move;
The brave Performer better does Improve.
Thus in the truest Saryr you Excel,
And show how ill we Write, by Writing well.
This Noble Piece which well deserves your Name,
I Read with Pleasure, tho I Read with Shame.
[...]
[...]
[...]
[...]
[Page]The tender Lawrels which my Brows had drest,
Flag'd like young Flowers by too much Heat opprest:
The Generous Fire I felt in every Line,
Show'd me the cold, the feeble Force of mine.
Henceforth I'll you for Imitation chuse,
Your Nobler Flights will wing my Callow Muse.
So the young Eagle is inform'd to fly,
Seeing the Monarch Bird ascend the Sky,
And tho with less Success, her Strength she'll try.
Spreads he [...] soft Wings, and his vast Tract pursues,
Tho far above the Towring Prince she views.
Where the whole Work is so Divinely wrought,
The Rules so just, and so sublime each Thought,
With such strict Art your Scenes in order plac'd,
With Wit so new, and so uncommon Grac'd;
In vain, Alass! I shou'd attempt to tell
Where, or in what, your Muse does most excel.
Each Character performs its Noble Part,
And stamps its Image on the Readers Heart.
In Tamerlane you a true Hero drest:
A Generous Conflict wars within his Brest:
'Tis there the Mightiest Passions you have show'd:
By turns confess'd the Mortal and the God!
VVhene're his steps approach the haughty Fair,
He bows indeed, but like a Conqueror;
Compell'd to Love, yet scorns his servile Chain,
And spight of all you make the Monarch Reign.
But who without resistless Tears can see?
The Bright, the Innocent Irene dye.
Axalla's Life a Noble Ransom paid,
In vain to save the dear Lov'd Charming Maid.
[Page]Naught surely could, but your own Flame inspire
Your happy Muse to reach so soft a Fire.
Yet with what Art you turn the powerful Stream,
When Treacherous Ragalzan is the Theme!
Youmix our different Passion with such skill,
We feel'em All, and all with Pleasure feel:
We love his Mischiefs, tho the Harms we grieve,
And for his Wit, the Villain we forgive.
In your Despina all those Passions meet,
Which Womans Frailties perfectly compleat:
Pride, and Revenge, Ambition, Love, and Rage
At once her wilful haughty Soul Engage:
And while her Rigid Honor we Esteem,
The dire Effects as justly must condemn.
She shows a Virtue so severely Nice,
As has betray'd it to a pitch of Vice,
All which confess a Godlike Power in you,
Who cou'd form Woman to her self so true.
Live, Mighty Sir, to reconcile the Age,
To the first Glories of the useful Stage:
'Tis you her rifled Empire may restore,
And give her Power she ne're could boast before.
A. BEHN.
Dramatis Personae.
  • Tamerlane the Great.
  • Bajazet, Emperor of the Turks.
  • Axalla, General to Tamerlane.
  • Ragalzan, one of Tamerlane's Chief Officers; a Villain.
  • Zeylan, a Revolted Prince of China.
  • Irene, Tamerlane's Daughter.
  • Despina, Bajazet's Wife.
  • Philarmia, Zeylan's Mistress.
  • Priests,
  • An Astrologer,
  • Captains,
  • Soldiers, and
  • Attendants.
SCENE, a Revolted Fort in China.

THE SACRIFICE.

ACT I. SCENE I.

A Pavilion, with the prospect of a besieg'd Fort.
Enter Tamerlane, Ragalzan, Axalla.
Tam.
HAS Europe, Asia, Afric felt the Charms
Of my Victorious, but Indulgent Arms,
And shall a soft Chinese Prince still dare
Not to seek out his Glory by despair,
Shake off those gracious Fetters which were sent
By me, from Heav'n, to be his Ornament,
Which his great King puts on, and wears with pride?
Rag.

At unknown Virtues Salvages are frighted.

Tam.
The Conquerors of Persia, Macedon,
The Lords of Caesars reverence my Throne;
Clear from the rising, to the setting Sun:
What Alexander near could reach, I won:
Had he subdu'd to the Chinensian Shore,
Then with some reason he had wept for more;
But, like a froward Child, at Meals too great,
He cry'd for want of Stomach, not of Meat.
Rag.
Sir, from Iapan, to the Atlantic Main,
The World lies fetter'd in your glorious Chain:
Whose Life and Influence in the Heav'ns is felt,
As upon Earth the spangled Milky Belt.
Tam.
Soft, good Ragalzan; we are mortal too:
Heav'n cuts out work, which I alone can do.
Axal.
[Page 2]
I'm glad the Emperor swallows not the Pill:
Who offers too much Good, contrives some Ill.
[aside.
Tam.
Had Caesar liv'd, I had taught that Rebel Peace;
And lash'd the stragling Demy-God to Greece,
Whose bus'ness was t'enslave, but not Reform;
I've cleans'd the World, and brush'd it like a Storm.
To purge the World from Sots, and simp'ring Knaves,
To chain Vile Monarchs, and Crown worthy Slaves,
Is my great Task on the reversed Earth.
Axal.
Thanks to your Great, but Heav'n-befriended Birth.
Tam.
Right, brave Axalla. Think not that I swell,
Or have out-grown the Robes Heav'n dress'd me in:
If I in terms so high my Conquests raise,
It is not mine, but my Inspirer's praise.
Enter a Chancellor with a Seal, takes his Seat; then a Master of Ceremonies, ushering in Ambassadors with Presents.
Mr. Cer.
The Grecian Emperor kisses your Foot-stool.
Chan.
The mighty Tamerlane accepts his Offering.
Mr. Cer.
The Persian Emperor, &c.
Chan.
The mighty, &c.
Mr. Cer.
The Emperor of China, &c.
Chan.
The mighty, &c.
Mr. Cer.
The Russian Emperor, &c.
Chan.
The mighty, &c.
Mr. Cer.
Two and twenty African Kings beg admission.
Tam.
Let the Kings wait till the Afternoon.
Where's the Memorial? Read it on, Axalla.
Ax.
Daramnes, Tigranel, and Crantor.
Tam.

My Fathers old Captains: Let them have considera­ble Pensions, besides Pay; and the first Commands that fall.

Ax.

Isfendlar, Tachretin, and Germean Ogli.

Tam.

Rich Noblemen: Let them be imploy'd in places of Honour and Magnificence, they may support themselves.

Ax.

Haly Mordecai.

Tam.

Ha! A man that opposes me; not for the publick good, but to be taken off by preferment: let him be advanc'd to the Gallows.

Ax.
[Page 3]

Burranes and Garrulan.

Tam.

Men of more Sail then Ballast; Impudent, shallow Intruders: Let 'em be banish'd the Court. Princes, for the most part, keep the worst Company.

Ax.
Close waiting argues no sufficiency; but rather still,
For want of other merits, they pay you with
Offensive diligence.
Tam.
Right. Fools are fittest for Dumb-shows:
While wiser men grow faint to feed on Glances.
Ax.
Arcanes, Cardamel, and Rozarno.
Tam.

Persons of great Wit, Honor, and Integrity: Let 'em be advanc'd immediately; there can be no places too good for 'em.

I love not to force Grounds; but sow my Favors
In fertil Soils, and my returns ne'r fail me:
'Tis pity Virtue shou'd want stuff to work on,
Or languish with Ignoble Aliments.
Ax.
Comets at first are but Terrestrial Vapors:
But, when prefer'd into the upper Region,
They shine out bright, and there turn glorious Wonders,
Because they're of a pure and fiery substance:
While the dull Clouds ungratefully obscure
The Sun that rais'd 'em.
Tam.
Are there no more men that I can do good to?
Ax.
The Prince of Tanais.
Tam.
Let him Command o're all, next to thy self:
A man of great Conduct, Courage, and Clemency.
Give me the man that's made up like a Caesar,
And he shall be one; but no Tamerlane.
The Scene opens to Bajazet' [...] Cage▪ Tamerlane goes to him.
Why will you still afflict me, Sir, to see
Your malice frustrate all my Clemency.
Like a soft Ball against a stony ground,
Back to my self my benefits rebound.
Heav'n knows your Brothers Blood, your Subjects Tears,
Call'd loud for Vengeance to my tender Ears.
[Page 4]Heav'n turn'd the Scales, and order'd for your share
That punishment you did for me prepare.
Reign with more Justice, and resume your Throne.
Baj.
Now, others Scorn; then I should be my own,
Shou'd I, proud wand'ring Tartar, take from Thee
One Inch of ground, one thought of Liberty:
Cou'd I be ground to Atoms, and each Grain
Might have a Soul made up to dye again;
Thy Terrors shou'd not make me own thy Laws,
Nor owe Contentment of so vile a Cause.
I live for my own sake, and thee De [...]ie:
When I think fit, I'll cheat thy Pride, and Dye.
(Stamps.)
Tam.
'Tis strange, he should not seek to ease his Fate!
He cannot bear, and yet desires the weight.
Enter Irene.
Here, my Axalla, take my fair Irene:
Now pay thy self for all thy services,
Out of this Treasury of Excellence.
'Tis a reward assign'd thee from above,
For firm Allegiance and Seraphic Love.
Ax.
Shou'd Bounteous Heav'n such Presents often make,
It wou'd more largely give, than Man cou'd take:
Nor cou'd my Earthy Soul bear such delight,
But that, like Heav'n, you rais'd it to that Height.
Iren.
Just Heav [...]ns forbid, that I should leave so soon
The serene pleasures of a Virgin Life,
For all the Joys of that unknown Condition.
Tam.
I know, dear Saint, Axalla does instill
The Christian Faith, which mor [...]ifies the Will,
And sets the Mind above all Earthly care;
But, 'tis not fit the World shou'd want an Heir.
Iren.
Nor is it fit, we shou'd devote our selves
To those, by vulgar Error, Nuptial Joys,
Till all the World lies prostrate at your Feet,
And spurns no more at your illustrious Yoke.
Tam.
The World is car'd for; but Axalla dyes,
My sweet Irene: Wou'dst thou have me lose
[Page 5]My worthiest General, for want of such
An easie Medicine? These doubts, Axalla,
In private must be clear'd by you, or none:
Reasons for Love, are best when Love's alone.
[Exeunt.
Rag.
Solus.
'Tis as I thought: She's lost: 'Twas well divin'd,
And to the Foe the Letter not ill sent.
Zeylan will sound a point of War, to grace
The worthy Nuptials of this well-pair'd Hero.
What Soul can bear such unheap'd loads of Scorn?
Gods, lend me patience for some drowsie minutes,
By your revengeful selves, I'll send the Drug back
With full career, lest your vext Powers shou'd want it,
And from my Fingers snatch the long'd-for Prey.
My Love rejected, and my Service slighted,
And the great Heiress of the World bestow'd
Upon an Infidel, a Fugitive Italian;
Because, forsooth, he can tell Stories of one Caesar,
A Servant to the petty State of Rome!
Indeed, this Caesar was a pretty Fellow
To make a Bridge of Boats, or pick a hole
In an old mouldring Wall, and sling the Stones
On the besieg'd: to give him's due, he might
Have made a pretty Scout for our Tartarian Army.
But shall such puny Lessons give directions
To him that leads Twelve hundred Thousand men,
And has destroy'd a Hundred nobler Towns
Than babbling Rome, in the Celestial China,
While I conducted his Victorious Troops?
And is this my Reward? The great Destroyer
Therefore will I destroy, and in his Ruin
Revenge the Conquer'd World, and therein found my Fame;
If not the best, yet in the loudest Name.
Ex.
The Scene the inner part of a Fort. Zeylan, attended with Officers.
Zey.
Are the Men all drawn up?
Cap.
Ready to March,
And pressing to engage; as eager Lovers
[Page 6] After long delays, or Hypocrites
After a formal Fast, that whets more than
Subdues, urging to pay with sinful Int'rest
The mortify'd receiver of Life's Rents.
Zey.
'Tis well. But let me read this once again.
Enter Philarmia.

The mighty Tamerlane lyes at your mercy. Nothing is weaker than secure Greatness. On the South side of his Camp you may break in, up to his own Pavilion. Make use of the sudden opportunity, by the advice of

Your unknown Friend.
Phil.
What Stratagem, what wonderful Device,
My worthy, frowning, speechless General,
That I am not thought worthy to partake of?
Are Women then presum'd to keep no secrets,
Because they never yet confess'd the Truth,
And, with a thousand little Arts, conceal
The Friend of Nature, Love, from silly searching Man
With an Heroic impudent Modesty?
Can they be secret still to curb their pleasures,
And cannot hold their Tongues to save their Lives?
Come, Sir, you have receiv'd a Letter from the Enemy:
I see your Men prepar'd; I'll sally with you.
Zey.
Go, dearest, go, and leave me to my Fate;
The Sword has no Commission to destroy
Thy sacred Sex, but feeds on courser fare:
Dangers and bus'ness are cut out for Men;
Women are spar'd, to Stock the World agen.
Phil.
Shall I out-live thee then? or can I do it?
Are not our Threds so closely spun together,
The same hand breaks them? dost thou love thy Fame
And envy mine? Are Women only made
To stock the Dunghil Earth; pull high-born Souls
From native Seats and give them fleshly Dungeons?
No, no: thou may'st as easily divorce
The loving Elements from each others sides,
As me from thine. Go bid the churlish Earth
Shake off the Amorous Sea, that clings so close
[Page 7]About her [...]linty Brest: Go bid the Female Air,
That is incorporate with Litigious Fire,
Withdraw her temp'rate alimental Aid
In his Victorious unresisted marches.
Zey.
But, my Philarmia, shou'd some boistrous hand
Pluck up this lovely Flower, where dwells all sweetness,
Beauty in abstract, Light original;
Shou'd some rough Mortals, with their Impious arms,
Deface this well drawn Image of Divinity,
To which all others are but Counterfeits;
Or with rude Weapons force the Ivory doors
Of this thy sacred Temple, to let out
The fair Inhabitant, thy precious Soul,
With her bright Handmaids, Beauty, Wit, and Virtue:
The Sun, that borrows Beams of thee, wou'd lose
Its Light and Influence, and the World go blindfold,
Nature would sicken, the Creation dye.
Alas! thou const not ward a fatal blow,
Nor force thy way through woods of walking Steel:
Why wilt thou wound me through thy feeble sides?
Phil.
Oh, but you are too bold! I can foresee
Those dangers, through the perspective of Fear,
Which blinding Valor, like a hot Catarrh,
Deprives your sight of: Honor betrays you
To perilous steps, which Womens cold Complexion
And frightful apprehensions are aware of
But if, inspight of all my watchful cares,
You are involv'd amidst your desperate Foes;
I'll interpose, like Clouds before the Sun,
And steal thee from'em. If I drop to Earth,
Dissolv'd in Tears and Blood; 'twas but a useless vapor:
If I am lost; a Fond, but worthless Female:
No Fate to me can too untimely come;
Who may be kill'd abroad, must dye at home.
(Weeps.)
Zey.
Oh, stop those Tears, lest thou unman me too,
Till I'm expos'd to hissing Contumelies
Of Maids and Matrons, and abhor'd by thee
That caus'd my Shame. Alas! thy Honor lies
In seeking Safety, more than ours in Danger:
[Page 8]Nor can the greatest Acts, Atchiev'd by thy
Unnatural Valor, wipe off half the Stains
That rude Mankind will cast on thy white Innocence
For herding with 'em.
Phil.
Why art thou then so good, so gently kind?
Thy Soul's not made up of such course materials.
If thou refuse me, I'll to th' other side:
I'll kill all those that offer to kill thee,
Till I have quite destroy'd th' unnumber'd Armies
Of the Earth-covering and confounding Tamerlane,
And all the World his Subjects, but thy self;
Then I will fight with thee, and thou shalt kill me,
And, if thou canst forbear to dye, live after.
Zey.
Thou hast o'rcome: Reason has lost the Day,
That useless part of Man, till Love's away.
[Exeunt.
The Scene Tamerlane's Tents.
Ragl.
Now is the time: Prince Zeylan's on the Wing,
And he shall seize his Prey; thanks to his unknown Friend.
A lesser loss than her, cou'd ne'r have rais'd
Revenge so high as his Ingratitude.
Honor, that wavering Judge, here interposes,
Which turns to every Tale: Honor, that spins
Fine curious Paralels, that never meet:
What says she then? First, I must right my self;
And then, not wrong the Public. Rare distinction!
Public! fine Canting word, the Public! Are my Arms,
Or Legs, joyn'd to the Public? Am I in pain
When this Man's hang'd, that Torturd? Do I eat
The less, when this Man starves? Or when he's Froze
Or burnt, do I feel that by my Fire side or Grotto?
But, each man's private good lurks in the Public?
Then, each man take his part, and where's the Public?
Oh, but the Public is the Store-house! No:
Rather the Jayl, that keeps mens private goods
Confin'd. I'll get mine out, and set the rest on fire.
My private Pleasure is my well-known Soveraign good:
T'obey and gratifie each strong Impulse
[Page 9]Of Friendly Nature. What makes the Publick? Power.
And what destroys the Publick? Why, Power again.
Then let this Power dispose the Publick still;
My private Will shall rule that angry Power.
Enter Tamerlane, Axalla, Irene. Alarm within, and Clashing of Swords.
Tam.
What means this noise!
Mess.
The Enemy is entred,
And has repuls'd your Guards. Prince Zeylan's coming to This Tent.
Iren.
For Heav'ns sake, Sir,
Be gone into this inner Room: there's a back-door to't.
Tam.
Is Zeylan come? I'll to my Rebel Guards,
And teach th' advent'rous Rebel to be tamer.
[Exeunt.
Alarm without, Fighting on the Stage.
Zeylan is beat off.
Re-enter Tamerlane, Axalla, Ragalzan.
Tam.
What a bold Rebel's this! No more of mercy,
Since 'tis despis'd; Axalla,
Give order for a general Assault:
I'll to the Temple, and give thanks to Heav'n
For this success.
[Ex. with Axalla.
Rag.
But I'll be there before you;
To just Revenge, one disappointment shall
Not stop my Progress: Now I'll trust my self.
I know the Mummy Priest, a cunning fellow;
By's Nature much, but by's profession more:
He's one of those that deal 'twixt Gods and Men,
A Commerce yet well never understood,
And so they Cheat accordingly.
But has Revenge such pow'rful pleasing Charms?
Receiving Good, 'sa Toy to doing Harms.
Revenge, the Gods best Dish, their close-kept Dainty▪
'Tis their Ambrosia, not to be tasted
By groveling Mortals; and forbid to all,
[Page 10]But bold Promethean Souls; borrowing, because
Able to re-imburse the Gods again
With lofty Passions of immortal Wrath.
Equally powerful still are Contraries:
Hate's the reverse of Love; Revenge is hates fruition:
Nor do I know what's sweetest, or to have
My Mistress in my Bed, My Foe in's Grave.
The Scene the outer part of a Temple.
Enter Tamerlane, Axalla, Ragalzan.
Tam.
I like their Temples, but I loath their Idols:
To all those Beings, that our Senses reach not,
Forms are injurious; much more to the Greatest.
Ax.
I hate no less weak superstitious Fools;
Who, with fond Attributes, th' eternal Being
Reproach, and make more Antic than Mankind.
Like Boys, they fear the Bugbears that they dress.
Tam.
True. Heav'n delights more in the sweet variety
And liberty of thought, than Slanderous Piety:
As a great Monarch him to favor chuses
Who pleasant, but well-manner'd freedom uses,
But hates a sowre, tho an obedient Clown
Who loves his Smiles, less than he fears his Frown;
So Heav'n's great Soul, dress'd in impervious Rays,
The Object of our Wonder and our Praise,
Laughs at our holy Gambols from above:
But those do chiefly his affection move
Who play in's Beams with a well-guessing Love,
For the Great Nature takes delight, to see
The Foot-ball▪ play of Human Sophistry,
Nor willing to be known, loves Men shou'd doubt,
Guess at his Riddles, but not find them out.
Music. Ragalzan appears at a corner of the Stage, with a Priest.
Rag.
What, am I well disguis'd?
Priest.
Mummy it self, Sir.
[Page 11]Here is a Vault, and here's the Trap-door to't;
It has a thousand Labyrinths within,
Not made for nothing: Let 'em search till Doomsday,
They'l never find you. Pugh! the Western Priests
Are not the only Laughers at Mankind.
[Exit, with Ragalzan who takes his place among the Mummies.
The Scene opens, and discovers an Amphitheatre of Crown'd Mummies.
Iren.
These Mummies are more Curious and Magni [...]icent Than those we saw at Cairo.
Ax.
And much more numerous:
Which answers not amiss, to the prodigious space
Of time, suppos'd by their Chronology.
Tam.
Of all the Arts that short-breath'd Man affects
To patch and piece up ruinous Humanity,
Aping of Immortality in Dust
Sure is the noblest.
Ax.
Yet they are Death's Trophies.
'Tis strange, that Man should glory to be conquer'd,
And boast his losses to all after Ages.
Tam.
Proud of his pickled Principality,
When Fame finds nothing in his life, to blow
Her Trumpet for, and wake the list'ning World.
Ax.
And Fame's as false: Cheats us of present Sums,
The daily Rents of Pleasure and of Ease,
To pay in Honor's Airy dry Reversion,
And disputable Titles; Good, or ill,
By dead men unperceiv'd, by th' living undistinguish'd.
Enter Mummy Priest, habited like a Conjurer, &c.
Priest.
Greatest of Emperors, draw near, and see
The richest Wardrobe of Mortality
The world affords: Here stand Time-daring Mummies
Of China Monarchs for ten Thousand years.
[Page 12]Shou'd I relate you all, their Deaths and Lives,
Their Arms, their Arts, their Children, and their Wives,
'Twou'd tire your patience, or to hear, or see,
And Conquer, Sir, your Magnanimity.
Tam.
Troth, I believe thee. What a Canting Tone,
And what a monstrous Tale!
Ax.
They 've long Traditions;
And Lye by old Records as well as Hear-says.
Tam.
No, no. Printing has been here in use some Thou­sand
of years, no wonder they have so many Lyes.
Whose Mummy's this?
Priest.
This is Viteio,
The builder of an University,
Who liv'd one hundred and Fifty years.
Iren.
And whose is this?
Priest.
Ochanti; the Inventer of Printing.
Iren.
And this?
Priest.
Tzinzummey. The Inventer of
Gun-powder: that frighted hence a certain rambling Prince,
Call'd Alexander, from the Oxidrace;
Which he, good Man, mistook for Thunder, and
For Lightning.
Tam.
A small excuse wou'd serve a Western Conqueror.
This crook-back'd Prince here?
Priest.
Huy Hannon.
He that found out the Philosophers Stone.
Tam.
And this?
Priest.
Pintatei: his unfortunate Successor, that lost it.
Ax.
This fellow Drolls.
Tam.
No; 'tis their Tradition.
Iren.
Who is this here?
Priest.
Auchosan. He that invented
Wagons, to Sail with the Wind.
Axalla walks forward
Tam.
Are all your Princes then Philosophers?
Priest.
No. But whosoever finds an admirable Art,
Is strait made Governour of some wealthy Province,
And his Invention is a [...]crib'd unto
The King, whose Reign he liv'd in.
Tam.
Hansome exchange, and nourishment for Virtue!
Priest.
[Page 13]
Here stands the great Tzionzon, builder of the Wall.
Iren.
He stares, and turns about his head. Oh horrid!
Tam.
'Tis strange!
Priest.
Marvel not, Sir; 'tis usual with him:
He seems offended at your Conquests here.
Ragalzan leaps down, Stabs at Tamerlane: Irene inter­poses. He and the Priest leap down the Trap-door.
Tam.
Treason! My Guards! What, vanish'd through this door?
Ax.
Ha! What's the matter? where's the Mummy-shower?
Tam.
Ah, Generous Girl! Art thou not hurt, Irene?
Iren.
No, not at all. The Dagger struck upon this Bracelet
Here, of Beads.
Tam.
A piece of Piety well plac'd: Thanks be to Heav'n.
Enter Guards.
The fellow was in haste.
Ax.
Where is the Villain?
Guards, go search him out,
Tam.
'Tis to no purpose: they have endless Vaults.
Excellent Maid! how durst thou interpose
Thy tender Limbs, that elsewhere art afraid
Of thy own Shadow;
Iren.
It was my Duty, Sir, and my Desire
To save your Life, tho ransom'd by my own,
Tam.
Never was Child so fond, and so indearing!
When at the Siege of Bagdat, in my Tents
A Saracen, with an invenom'd Knife,
Had Stabb'd me in the Arm, the subtil Poyson
Hasting through all the Crimson Salliports
To reach the Throne of Life:
She strait, with greedy Piety suck'd out,
And with her Balmy breath heal'd up the part,
Which all the helps of bold, but needy, Art
Had ne'r effected.
Ax.
I have heard the Story;
And she untainted. Who can hurt an Angel?
I know, I feel her Virtues. But, what mean you?
Shall I not fetch more Soldiers?
Tam.
[Page 14]
'Tis work for a whole Regiment: go call 'em,
And let'em scou [...] the Vaults for many Miles,
And seize on all those wretched Priests they meet with.
I'll turn their Idol Temples all to Mosques,
Or Christian Churches: The Devil here is Worship'd
In greater State, than elsewhere his Creator.
All Impious Priests are vile, but weak dissemblers;
They brave the Gods, but purblind Mortals fear:
Juglers, that in Sear'd Mouths take holy Fire,
In whom Religion, Physic of the Mind,
By which true Souls are purged, and refin'd,
Grows so familiar that it never works,
But feeds ill Humors, and like Venom urks.
Enter Soldiers.
1 Sol.
We shall have brave Plund'ring and Firing here!
Heigh Boyes!
2 Sol.
I; and hanging up these Conjuring Priests.
3 Sol.
For my part, I do not like this Sacrilege.
4 Sol.
Why, is it Sacrilege, to take away
That which was given in God's name, to the Devil's use?
3 Sol.
Ha! God-Almighty made a Trustee for the Devil!
Nay, then have at 'em. Searches, and is frighted.
The Soldiers search; Devils meet 'em at one hole, and fright'em, then another: then flashes of Lightning and Smoak.
The Scene shuts.

ACT II. SCENE I.

The out-part of the Fort: Tamerlane's Tents on the other side. Enter Philarmia, Zeylan.
Phil.
'TWas bravely done! one of your worthy Spoils,
To catch the Scythian Lion in your Toils,
Than let him go! Seem'd it to your great Mind
So small a Prize, Great Tamerlane t'have joyn'd
To Bajazet, and in one Cage confin'd?
The Scourge and Terror of the World t'have tam'd,
And for his Conquest of the Globe been fam'd?
All for a Complement! a Barbarous glance
From a She-Tartar!
Zeyl.
'Twas th' effect of Chance:
For, while I paid Irene short Respects,
For thy sake only, honoring thy Sex,
The Emperor escap'd. But, is't not Jealousie,
That envious Dream, that avaritious Monster,
That wou'd have more than all, that fills thy Mind
With such unkind expostulations! Tell me.
By Heav'ns thou wound'st me with ten Thousand Arrows
Sharper than Death, Dishonour, Pains Infernal!
How can my Heart, brim full of theee, receive
Another in? Can the whole World, with all
It's glittering Trifles, and Deluding Joys,
Add ought to my possession, having thee?
Or can the Gods, with unexhausted Stocks
Of Benefits, reach down a greater blessing
To charm my Soul, or pull up my Ambition
Into a higher Sphere, than thy Embraces?
What have I more to wish or pray for? Speak.
Phil.
I Jealous! what of you? For which of your Perfections
Your Valor, or your Prudence? No, no; but I'm asham'd
To own so false a Creature. Farewel.
You man of War: I'll try your mettle.
Exit. He strives to stay her: she breaks from him.
Zey.
Nay, stay, and hear me.
Pray Heav'n our Loves prove not unfortunate;
[Page 16]This Girls so rash and daring, and so Jealous,
So easily provok'd, headstrong, and sudden:
Tho soft as Prayers when pleas'd, and passionately
Tender, when she perceives her error.
My Soul akes for thee, tho I cannot guide thee.
[Exit.
Enter Ragalzan
Rag.
Strange disappointment this too! yet I find
There's no suspicion of my Treason. Nothing
To Holy Villany! Am I a Saint, or not?
The Saint and Devil differ in Man so little,
Those open bare-fac'd Mortals look as simply
As naked Dogs, or new-shorn Sheep, expos'd
To th' Injuries and Scorn of all Mankind:
While I, like visiting Angels, kill unseen.
Here I lye round, and close, as sleeping Serpents:
He that treads on me, Feels before he Sees me.
Enter Tamerlane.
Now to my post: I must draw near, and flatter.
Tam.
'Tis time my bus'nes of the World were done:
Or this Cameleon Fortune may change colours,
And Tarnish all my Glories. Why was I
Now so unhappy to escape this blow?
Then I had dy'd in time, and ripe for Fate,
With all my Triumphs waiting on my Herse.
Rag. aside.

I'm sorry for't indeed, Sir.

Tam.
Methinks, I find a boding of some mischief,
Which threatens, more than Thousand Lives, my Fame.
Enter Axalla.
Ax.
The fair Despina is arriv'd, and begs to be
Admitted: And I hear, she hates
Th'unfortunate, like Cleopatra; hoping
To be the object of your choice. Your late
Severity to her harsh Husband, she
[Page 17]Counts as a piece of Courtship done to her.
Tam.
Hast thou now known me, Friend, so many years,
And didst thou ever find my easie heart
Melt at a Woman's Face? Those many Thousand
Wives, Virgins, Widows, all my Supplicants,
Mov'd me no more, than Pictures do a Statue
That stands upon its Basis.
No; I am Beauty-proof: Bring in the little Image,
Made up of little Arts, and lesser Charms;
I'll blow 'em off.
Ax.
This Conquest o're your self
Out-does the Caesars more than all your Triumphs.
Tam.
Why talk'st thou of these petty Lords of Rome?
What is their Carthage, or Numantia,
To Nanquin, Pequin, Mosco, Cambalu,
Casbin, and Cairo, and Constantinople,
Quinzay, and Babylon, Dehli, and Agra?
And canst thou think my Soul can yield to Charms
Which wrought upon those idle-headed Caesars,
Who in Triumphant Cars, like Flies on wheels,
Assum'd the Glory of that little dust
Which their Crampt Empire rais'd in several Ages?
When I alone have won more Worlds, than e're
They knew or thought of.
Rag.
They set some Scriblers to out-lye the World,
And drest their Roman Eagles up, to Soar
Like Paper Kites, t' amuse the wandring Vulgar▪
And yet the very Plat-forms of your Conquests
Wou'd cover all the Earth they ever fought for.
Tam.
My Actions are too great for all Records,
They tire Narrations, baffle formal Words.
Ax.
Right, Sir; but own the Cause. This Vanity
Sticks close, like Ivy to the noblest Plants.
Tam.
True, my Axalla; but shou'd I speak less,
I shou'd detract from Heav'n, that threw these Favors
Upon my worthless Person.
[Page 18]Enter Despina.
Ax.
Here she comes:
Now be your self, and His that made you great.
Tam.
Ha! What flash of Lightning's this, that strikes my Brest?
Then Fame has once spoke true; a Glorious Form!
But I must be my self; nay, more, appear
Churlish and Cruel, to keep off vain hopes.
Desp.
Great Sir, to whom wise Heav'n the World design'd,
kneeling. As a just Tribute to your greater Mind;
Long may you Reign, if Bajazet may live:
A Grant which Heav'n alone, and You, can give.
We cancel all the Rights that Fortune gave,
And Life alone, the gift of Nature, crave:
Show the same mercy you had wish'd to find,
If Fortune had to Him, not You, been kind.
Tam.
Do as you wou'd be done to, Rules no State;
Nor yet is Nature's Law: for in close competitions
Where Life's at Stake, if you do not destroy
Your Rival's Life, your own you can't enjoy;
Yet none wou'd grant to let himself be slain,
Tho by his death another life did gain.
My Case is clearer, just in all mens Sence,
To kill your Husband in my own defence:
Which is no more than he wou'd do by me,
Or ought to do, if he secure wou'd be.
Desp.
High Confidence o're Policy prevails;
When great Souls meet, low-founded Reason fails:
Brave Sympathy does Interest disdain;
Or 'tis an Int'rest of a nobler Strain,
To please themselves by pleasings all their gain.
Tam.
You talk of Friends, or Lovers, lukewarm Mortals
That have not heat enough t'inflame themselves
With high-flown Thoughts, and Self determin'd Actions:
Give me Ambi [...]ion that is ne'r extinguish'd,
Yet feeds upon it self; burns like the Sun
In its own Centre unconsum'd,
And Warms or Scorches, whom it please, at distance.
[Page 19]Souls that are inaccessible, and high,
Are strictest followers of the Deity:
Humble Mankind copies the Low Creation,
And makes the tamest Animals their Guides;
Out [...]done still by the Strong and wise ones.
Desp.
Shou'd Gods destroy all Men that them provoke,
They must Create, to make their Altars Smoke;
If all were kill'd that do affect your Throne,
King without Subjects, you wou'd Reign alone
A Monarch wrapt in Contemplation:
To a hast'ning Son, or nature-urging Wife,
To some brave Brutes, or King-contemning Flies,
And Death will come by Siege, if not Surprize.
Was all the World for your vain Self design'd?
Or, if it be the Int'rest of Mankind
To have you dye, why do you wish to live,
When Social Joys you neither take nor give!
Tam.
How bold her Reason! how Divine her Face!
What do I feel? some strange, but Cordial heat:
Some Passion shakes my Reason from her Seat.
Desp.
The Road to Fame's to try unpractic'd ways;
From common Methods, rises common Praise:
Blood has to Glory ever been a Cheat;
Let Mercy make you Famous, Safe, and Great.
When Fortune shares so much in each event,
Distraining Mortals goods for Heav'nly Rent,
Prudence in vain a Monarchs Life protects:
Counsels inspir'd produce the best effects.
Tam.
'Tis time to fly!
Madam, you argue well: Let time digest
My thoughts, and ripen them for your request.
Ex. severally.
Rag.
If I remember well my former frailties,
This discomposure in the Prince, is Love:
If it be so, there is enough to work on.
Other attempts are Dangerous, Rash, Uncertain:
This flattering distemper works as sure
Destruction: he shall be his own Tormentor;
His Life and Fame shall languish e're he dyes.
[Page 20]I'll strait to Bajazet, who loves this Wife
More than his Empire; tell him, She's already
In Tamerlane's embraces: That in him,
Will work some fatal Passion; and in her,
Revenge as desperate.
[Exit.
Re-enter Tamerlane.
Tam.
To Arms, to Arms, my Soul; and stop the passage
To this weak Enemy. Love, thou poor trifle of
Unactive Minds, drowsie Divinity,
Music for Maids or Madmen,
Thou pinching Play-fellow, tickling Tormentor;
Thou fawning Cut-throat Beggar, hence, begone,
My Brest affords no settlement for Vagrants:
Go to some Silken Persian, soft Italian,
To limber Courtiers, callow beardless Boys;
Go [...]ind some lazie Epi [...]ure, whose Soul
Lives in his Dish, and thence by Transmigration,
Lives in his Wench, and when that short-liv'd pleasure
Expires, is bo [...]n a new to Wine and Surfeits.
How darest thou seek for room in my full Mind,
In which the U [...]iverse lies cram'd with all its cares,
Where every Vertue harbors for protection,
And every Vice waits for a Reformation?
And yet, methinks I see the blind ragg'd Boy
Laughing the tott'ring Globe out of my hand:
It must not, shall not be. He comes, he comes
Again, and warms my Brest with his false Fires.
Captains, let loose the World, that I may once more Conquer't;
Strike off the Chains from all my fetter'd Princes,
Let 'em Rebel, and find out Manly troubles
To shake off these: Let Bus'ness out-do Reason.
Go build more Ships, sea [...]ch out some Savage Corner
That Nature hides, or evil Spiri [...]s guard,
From Manners, or Religion; there I'll go
Subdue, Reform: Let Mankind once more prove
How much my Glo [...]y does o [...]- [...]igh my Love.
[Page 21]The Scene a Prison. Bajazet in his Cage; Ragalzan, Iaylo [...].
Rag.
It is too true:
The Emperor has deny'd her to come near you.
Baj.
And did I live so long, only to see her?
Rag.
Nay, more than that, This night She is design'd
For his Embraces.
Baj.
Death! Furies! Hell! Damnation! Fires! and Flames!
You Sacred Bugbears, false invented names,
To fright Mankind into Religious Fits;
Where is the Justice of the Sacred Writs?
You Rascal Mahomet▪ am I thus requited?
My Prayers, my Services, my Off rings slighted?
Is this your thanks? I scorn thee, thou'rt a Cheat;
I made thee Holy, but to make me Great:
Thou brok'st the Contract first. Where is thy Love?
Where is thy Int'rest with the Powers above?
If such there be, what cross events they give,
That I, who scorn to Reign, am forc'd to live?
Rag.
Majestic Blasphemy! It works most bravely.
Iayl.
What says the Prince?
Rag.
He does Blaspheme and Rave,
Talks something that is Wicked, and is Brave:
Like modern Heroes.
Baj.
See, see! She comes all glorious to the Bed
Of Barbarous Tamerlane, design'd to breed
A race of running Tartars! Merciless Gods,
I cannot, will not bear it.
[Knocks his head against the Cage.
Rag.
So I'll be gone.
Jaylor, go help him forwards, I'll prefer thee:
'Tis time his mouth were stopt; the vile Blasphemer!
It is the Emperor wills it.
Iayl.
Then 'tis done, Sir.
Rag.
'T will make mad work, i'faith! Now She 'labhor
Great Tamerlane, and do some worthy Mischief,
And I shall be her Confident; for, if
The Emperor Loves, Axalla will decline
The scandalous Office: I shall guide th' Intrigue:
[Page 22]For still I sooth his proud o'reweening Spirit
To his Destruction. Fool, to think such blows
Can be forgot, or salv'd with Balmy Flattery!
Injuries are Immortal; kept alive
By those that give, no less than those that take'em:
One justly hopes, the other fears Revenge,
Purchasing Safety by a second blow.
Tame Christians court Affronts: Let him not live,
And worship Mahomet, that can forgive.
Exit.
Axalla, Irene.
Ax.
D'ye hear the news?
Iren.
What, of my Fathers Love?
Ax.
Nay, more than that; The death of Bajazet:
Just now found dead in's Cage, wallowing in's Blood.
Iren.
'Tis strange! I'm sure 'twas not my Father's act.
Ax.
I cannot tell: this Love will change a man
As much as a new Faith; and Proselytes
At their admission are injoin'd great Tasks.
Enter Despina weeping, and Ragalzan.
Here comes the Mourner, and the Mischief-maker:
I like not their acquaintance.
Iren.
I wonder that he finds such Favor with the Emperor!
Ax.
That his quick Eye sees not his bungling Flattery,
The Seam's so visible and gross.
Desp.
O sad, sad Story!
Rag.
'Twas as I told you, and your Dream confirms it.
Iren.
Oh, they come near! How can I bear with patience
The sight of her, that gives so great Disquiet
To my great Father; blasts his glorious Name?
Rag.
Madam, did you observe?
Desp.
What makes the Princess fly me?
Am I brought hither to be scorn'd as well as injur'd;
These are your Tartarian manners!
Rag.
'Tis not her Education, but Religion?
She's bred a Christian, and betroth'd to this Axalla:
[Page 23]'Twas they perswaded the Emperor to this Murder.
Desp.
Did they? a wondrous Act! Oh, my dear Sultan!
Just Heav'ns lend me the Power to vindicate his wrongs;
Send me the Furies, I will turn 'em Saints
By this my holy Justice. Oh, oh, oh!
(Weeps).
Rag.
And, since this peevish Girl has heard her Father's Passion,
She Vows she'll never see you; tho you shou'd stoop
To be her Father's Wife.
Desp.
A pretty Spark!
But I will see her, tho I walk through Flames
To meet her.
Enter Tamerlane.
Tam.
Bless me, 'tis sad! I was to blame, to urge
His patience to that height: and yet he scorn'd
All offers at my hands, and had design'd
For me, the self-same Cage, taken at Tauris.
'Tis true, I order'd that Despina shou'd
Not yet come near him, but that was not well.
Ha! there she is, and I begin to change;
In vain I struggle with Love's mighty Yoke,
And the contention 'twixt two powerful Passions
Lays wast my Mind.
This Soultry heat of Love has scorch'd up quite
The temperate Climes of Virtue: I'm become
Like the Arabian Desart, dry, unfruitful,
Where nothing grows for Mankind's use,
'Tis all but horrid Rocks and Precipices,
And Tempest-beaten Sands to blind Men's Eyes,
And bury 'em alive. How can I give
Account of my great Charge?
Rag.
He's in his Passion: now I'll give him counsel.
Might I presume to guess your Royal troubles,
The beauteous Captive gives you some Disquiet.
Tam.
Audacious Wretch! how dar'st thou search into
The Soveraign's Brest, and rudely touch his Wounds?
Rag.
You pity, Sir, her Husband's dismal Fate.
Tam.
True: wsth unfeigned Sorrow.
Rag.
[Page 24]
But, Sir, may I proceed a little farther?
And 'tis my humble care for your contentment,
And the continuance of your spotless Fame,
Tho for my Duty I shou'd meet my death
By my too forward Zeal: yet I will speak
My Conscience for the Public.
Tam.
Speak thy Grievance.
Rag.
The death of Friends is but a Skin-deep wound
To tough Mankind: The Earth is over-stock'd,
The Feeding's bare; the less the Herd, the fatter.
What then of Foes, or Rivals? Love's a Passion
No Hero ought to blush for; 'tis their own:
It is the noblest Error of great Minds,
Or a Perfection rather; born of the
Same Parent Valor is, excess of Heat:
'Tis a Majesti [...] Madness, Heav'nly Fury;
None ever scap'd it of the Gods, or Heroes.
Tam.
What then? Speak out.
Rag.
Why then, 'tis strongly rumor'd
That you are touch'd with that Celestial frailty.
Tam.
Is it divulg'd so soon? Well then since thou
Hast guess'd so well, I'll tell thee my Disease.
She is the first of all that trivial Sex
That ever gain'd the out-works of my Heart,
A kind Esteem; But more, S' has fir'd the Fort,
And turn'd out all the vigorous Defendants,
The Manly Vertues that secur'd the Place:
I ne'r knew Love before, but for State Int'rest,
Which pa [...]ns the Prince's Body for the Public.
Rag.
So much the worse. The first Loves are most dangerous:
The rest are flashes, Sparkles of the former,
Doubly reflected Rainbows, dying Ecchoes;
Diseases of the Brain are seldom cur'd,
And their first Fits most fatal, if delay'd.
What fills the World with Madmen? Is't not Love?
Tam.
My Reasoning faculty, that was my guide,
Is so bewildred in this Hellish Fog,
That I do often grope for't, seldom find it.
Is there no Cure for this?
Rag.
[Page 25]
One, very natural: Breathing of a Vein in Fevers,
Or giving Vent to Vessels that wou'd break.
Tam.
Oh; but Discourse and Time, may Conquer Passion.
Rag.
Stay till a tickling Cough turns a Consumption,
For want of taking such a Sugar'd Medicine.
Statesmen in Love begin their Alphabet,
'Tis a new World, an undiscover'd Coast.
I've Lov'd, Enjoy'd; and Lov'd, and lost: There is
No Rock, nor Shelf, in all the dangerous Road
Of Woman, but I am your Pilot for't.
Take it from me, tho Honor gets the better,
'Tis a most costly Victory: puts you to
Th' expence of many thoughtful hours, and wasts
A wise Man's Brain, that's fit for nobler uses.
Love lyes in Ambush; when you think the least on't,
Rallies again, and routs th' unsetled Victor:
And, tho 'tis oft pluck'd up with endless labor,
The rank Weed still appears.
But think I, you shou'd make a Life of Passion,
To whine, and dally, and to truck for hearts
Some Months, or Years, like other common Mortals?
A Prince's Love's to like, and to enjoy;
And then at once away with Love, and puling Passion.
Tam.
Are there no limits then for Princes Passions?
Rag.
There may be; yet 'twere better to be eas'd
At any rate, than leave the World neglected:
Millions of Souls draw vital breath from yours.
The Soldiers murmur that you stop your Progress;
Pausing upon such Toys; yet take this Cordial:
Fortune has made her free, without your guilt.
Attempt to gain her Love by fair persuasion,
And take her to your Wife.
Tam.
'Twere not unlawful;
But, oh, 'tis Rash, 'tis Base, 'tis out of Season.
Rag.
Then will you still expose this worthy Passion
To your deriding Foes, and grieving Friends;
Carry the Baby Love about the Army,
And ask the Soldiers how it does become you?
Ta.
Thy Reasons have som weight: my Thoughts are wandred▪
[Page 26]And blown about with every gust of Passion▪
For want of Reason's Ballast.—Here she com [...]s▪
Enter Despina.
And turns thy Problems all to Demonstrations.
Rag.
I, and she comes to court you: pray make use on't.
Desp.
Down, down proud Billows of my Stormy [...]rest▪
Be calm one moment, till I search a little
The great Disturber of my injur'd Soul,
Then rage again, till Fury bids you cease.
Sir, can you spare no Cordial for my Fears?
No Balm, to stop the Issue of my Tears?
Or must I be the Fountain of your Court,
To weep in Artful forms, to make you Sport?
Tam.
Dry Clouds, and empty Griefs long hide the day;
The Dismal'st Vapors weep themselves away:
Those Eyes will shine again, or Heav'n decay.
Desp.
Talk not of Lustre, Sir; restore my Light,
And give me the lov'd Object of my Sight.
Tam.
She knows not of his death; what need I name it?
By the quick notice on't, and his hard usage,
She'l think I caus'd it: but I will prepare her,
Aside.
As if she made the most severe Conjectures.
Well, Madam, none with Reason can deny
Their own request: Suppose adjudg'd to dye
A Prisoner was, at whose Obnoxious birth
The Squint-ey'd Stars shot vengeance on the Earth
Heav'ns Fiery Flail, the Whip for restive Mortals,
To make'm draw through Flames in Yokes of Iron,
The Mildew of your Hopes, Seed of your Fear;
And wou'd you in exchange that Prisoner spare?
Desp.
Were he the greatest Monster Nature teem'd▪
From her erroneous Womb; Satan redeem'd,
And once again relapsing to his Nature,
Plotting to cheat the winking wise Creator;
The Plague-sore of the World, Factor to Fate,
Bloody as reason of Usurping State
[Page 27]Or, if to save his Life, I lost my own,
My Bajazet should live; nay, live without a Throne.
But, oh!
Tam.
Then here your Captive stands,
Chain'd fast in Cupids thin tenacious Bands;
Strong, tho unseen; like those of Fate, I feel
Love's Airy Nets, those Cobwebs made of Steel:
Pity the Wretch whom all extreams do move,
Who cannot hope for, live without your Love.
Desp.
Dost thou abuse me too! thou needst not wear
Such study'd Cruelty to mock Despair.
I came to tast, not swallow Candyed Poysons;
Curious to know, how many Sulphurous Devils
That weak and leaky Vessel Man,
Hoop'd with Hypocrisie, might hold, who is
A Pastboard Cask, a very S [...]eve to Virtue.
Tyrant, I come not to divert my Fate,
But to chase on, and scarifie thy Hate.
Phlegmatic [...]iend, Dutch Devil, dost thou think
Thy Murders can be stifled, Gods can Wink,
When such great Stars as Bajazet add Light
To Heav'n, and make thy Crimson'd Earth more bright?
Hid in their blackness dost thou think thy Deeds?
Thy Cloven Foot peeps through thy Hermits Weeds.
Tam.
How quickly she had notice of his death!
Desp.
Curs'd be thy ill-got Empire, curs'd thy Race,
Live to its own destruction, thy disgrace:
And when thy Rebel Offspring is subdu'd,
Thy trembling hand in thy own blood embru'd:
Then may thy passions war against each other:
May Lust and Pride, the Idols of the Great,
Command still contraries, and mock thy Prayers;
Torn with wild Horses of cross-drawing Cares,
Those Brazen Bulls due to their Ingineers;
May Hopes spring up, and still be choak'd with Fears,
And may'st thou always aym, and ever miss:
I wish thee a long life; but such as this.
Tam.
Pray give me leave—
Desp.
[Page 28]
Nor dye thou by thy Sorrows, Sword, or Laws;
For I would have thee live, without a Cause.
May still some Clouds of hopeless Passion blind
When Honour, with its Sunshine, cheers thy Mind:
Ne'r mayest thou Love, but find the Women chast;
Nor e'r be proud, but by scorn'd Love abas'd:
And when thy slie misfortunes flatter most,
May each nak'd Beauty prove a horrid Ghost.
May Schreech Owls make thy Music, Toads thy Pictures,
Thorns and ill Conscience stuff thy Beds of down:
And may thy Torments never find a date,
Till Heav'n wants power to Plague, or Hell to Hate.
Ex.
Tam.

Bless me! what Thunder, and what Lightning too!

Rag.
Oh, Sir, she is the haughtiest, and the wyliest Dame,
That ever liv'd.
Tam.
Yet she appear'd so sweet, so innocent,
Who look'd for Storms from so serene a Sky?
Good Gods, what Charms! Her very Frowns are Philtres
Her Treaty undermin'd my tender part;
This noble Rage, fires and blows up my heart.
Rag.
And 'twas a just one too. Have you not us'd▪
Her Husband like a wild Beast, and incag'd him,
Made him your Footstool, worse Indignities
Than death it self, deny'd her to come near him,
And since, as she thinks, caus'd him to be murder'd?
Tam.
Heav'n knows, I knew not of his death, but grieve for't.
Rag.
And I know too; but what can salve the wild
Objections of a blear-ey'd Jealous mind,
To whom well polish'd Truth looks most like Varnish,
And Arguments serve but for Aggravations?
Most Men believe you caus'd it, and 'tis talk'd of;
For 'tis the Fate of wise Men, to be thought
To act what Interest, not Justice bids them:
And Histories do oftner palliate Crimes,
Than publish 'em: There is more Wickedness
Than all the World's aware of, (or you either. Aside)
To clear the Truth is now impossible,
Since she has found you love her; which she'l judge
[Page 29]To be the cause, more than State-Rivalship.
But, wou'd you take my Judgement, Sir, I'de own it,
And say, I did it for her Love, not Empire.
Tam.
What! Shall I own a Lye, and wound my Honor?
Rag.
What, by a little Love-talk, blown away
With the next Wind? Ten Lyes to every Truth;
Where he that talks the most, still thinks the least on't.
Love is a Lye it self: there's no such Passion:
And Truth to Women makes men most suspected,
Because 'tis rarely practic'd.
No Woman takes her self to be a Monster;
Yet she wou'd be so, if her Eyes were Stars,
Her Lips of Roses, and her Face of Lillies:
Why, Traps were made for Foxes, Gins for Hare [...],
Lime-twigs for Birds, and Lyes & Oaths for Women.
Tam.
Thou'rt a rare Artist in Love's Mysteries!
But then, suppose this shou'd incense her more?
Rag.
Why, then 'tis but t'unswear the same things o'r
Again: How can a credulous Woman
Discern a Truth, from Falshood?
Her Reason yields, and Passion takes the Sway:
Then swear there are no Stars, because 'tis Day
That hides them all; Truth is asham'd to stay,
And dares not show her naked open brest
To an excuse that's rich, and finely drest.
Tam.
Oh brave Ragalzan! thou canst turn and wind
A Woman, like an Engine.
Rag.
They're no more;
Manag'd as easily by dexterous Men:
Work up their Passions, then they are on Horseback
Without a Bridle; drive 'em where you please.
As we are to the Gods, so they to us
Are meer Machines.
Tam.
I, such Machines, as Ships, that drown their Sailors▪
Such Brutes, as break their Masters Necks.
Well, I may use some Art, yet can not travel
Far from the Road of Honor:
But I am Rough, and ne'r was made for Courtship.
Rag.
Great Souls are fit for all things; Try your Rhetori [...],
[Page 30]Which never fail'd you yet to win Mankind:
Woman is easier gain'd; Nature's your Party,
And lays 'em open to the least attack.
Exit Tam.

'Tis hard, when a Man's own Wit runs so low, that he is forc'd to let in the Tide of another Man's Counsel; 'tis as fatal and slavish, as borrowing of Money. Now will Despina, when she's a little cooler, tell him that formal Tale I told her; Plow, that upon very high, and opprobrious Language to the Emperor, one of the Keepers, by his order, struck Bajazet, that he dyed on't: which is not so very Barbarous, but Tamerlane perhaps will own it a little to try her temper; but he shall never be believed, if he unswear it a Thousand times. He is a Man of so much Honor, That a Lye of his is more credible than a Ver­dict of Twelve Men. 'Tis not good to use a Man's self to be too punctual: 'tis too like an Engine; Every Man knows where to have him.

ACT. III. SCENE I.

Tamerlane, Despina, Ragalzan following.
Rag.
SO, the work is doing, and my Pupil
Is strong in Argument against himself.
What neither Hate nor Reason could suggest,
Nor Malice hope for, Beauty has supply'd;
What all the Universe could ne'r have shaken,
One Female has subverted: That great Mind,
That thought the World too little, creeps and fawns
Like a well-beaten Spaniel. Now's the time,
Now he lies open, bare from the protection
Of his own Virtues, by the Gods forsaken,
Bound hand and foot by Woman, and deliver'd
To my Correction: But I'le use him gently;
Gently as Bears the Robbers of their Whelps, as Lions
The Men that stick their Javelins in their sides,
As Clowns their Plunderers, Thieves broke loose their Judges,
As Lawyers Clients, or Electors Ale,
[Page 31]As Brokers Bankrupts, Senates needy Princes,
Trustees a Minor, Priests a sinful Purse,
Mad Dogs their Mates, and Wives their Husbands Whores.
Tam.
Dreams are but Vapors of some Thoughts mislayd,
Still'd and retorted without Reasons Aid,
Poysons of Quiet by ill mixtures made.
Desp.
Awake I saw and heard his bleeding Ghost,
And of this Barbarous Fact thy Tartars boast:
And didst not thou strive to conceal it most?
Tam. aside.
Too strong Presumptions make Denyals vain▪
Truth is not seen by Judgements prepossest,
No more than Light by Eyes with Rheume opprest:
I'll try what use of Fiction may be made.
Then tell me, Madam, how has Fame tradu [...]'d me?
Desp.
Fierce Hypocrite, when thou hadst him deny'd
The sight of me, whom he lov'd more than Life,
Or Health, or Fame; tho at thy mercy Cag'd,
A Generous Disdain fill'd his brave mind,
He call'd thee wandring Tartar, Conquering Begger,
That Want, not Honor, forc'd thy starveling Soul
To prey abroad, and urge thee to a Fortune
Thou ne'r desir'dst, nor dream'd of: strait his Keeper
By thy fierce Frowns encourag'd, gave the Prince
A fatal blow.
Who falling down, Is this thy Zeal, he cry'd?
This thy Devotion, Tamerlane? and dy'd.
Tam.
It was my Zeal, and my Devotion too,
If not to Heav'n, or Nature, yet to You:
Fame the forerunner of your Conquering Eyes,
That wand'ring Tell-tale, made my Heart your Prize.
What Interest or Safety ne'r cou'd woo,
The dawning of your Light forc'd me to do;
What may your Form, full Risen, tempt me to?
Rivals on Earthly Thrones may claim a Station,
But Violence for Heav'n is soft persuasion:
Beauty belongs to him that Worships best,
Exalts her Deity above the rest,
Tramples on Law, Religion for her sake.
Desp.
Impious wretch, must I thy Crimes partake?
[Page 32]No, Tyrant, [...]twas Ambition mov'd the Wheel,
And ground those Reasons, back'd and Edg'd with Steel.
Tam.
Accuse Tyrannic Heav'n that made you bright,
Accuse those killing Eyes; not my weak Sight.
I did a Crime, without my own consent;
And Justice pardons, where there's no intent:
When Love commands, who dare's be Innocent?
Blame not the Ship that falls foul on another;
But blame the Winds that blow it: Neighbourly Streams
Keep in their Destin'd bounds, till Showrs from Heav'n
Constrain 'em to invade the Friendly Earth
With as unquestion'd Power
As that which gives it from the highest Cause;
Celestial Visions cancel written Laws.
Desp.
If Man may act what e'r he's mov'd to do,
The same Man is both Judge and Party too:
Bodies and Souls are so in Marriage ty'd,
Their distinct Issues hardly are descry'd;
But well known Body is the surer side.
Inspired thoughts may flow from Heav'n or Hell,
But Aethiops Bastards will their Fathers tell:
Charge not the Gods with thy Infernal Sins;
Murder and Piety cannot pass for Twins.
Tam.
I urg'd their Power, but now defend their Justice.
Impartial Heav'n, not robbing all the rest,
Cou'd not permit by one to be posiest
So great a Joy so long.
Too happy Bajazet's compendious youth,
Which bath'd in Blisses, envy'd by the Gods,
When for one hour of Heav'n in your fair Arms
I'de forfeit all my Right to endless Ages.
But, if you call a Crime what Heav'n commands,
Tho clear'd above, yet I have lost my Cause.
In vain the Prisoner pleads his Innocence,
Who'd rather dye, than anger his Accuser.
Then, if my death can expiate that Act,
That controverted Crime 'twixt Heav'n and you,
Here, take this Sword; Come, pierce this Amorous Brest:
Th'Impression made by your fair hand, will be
[Page 33]Softer than down of Swans, than Showers of Roses,
Softer than Rain on Wool, whose patient Fleeces
Take without noise, or murmur, Heav'nly Blows;
Softer than gentle Air, that breaths from any Lips, but yours [...]
Returns of Passion, Sighs and mutual Vows,
Joys and Confessions of Intranced Lovers.
Desp.
I'll keep thee for a greater punishment;
Nor the slow Tortures of just Heaven prevent.
Tam.
Assume Heav'ns power once more, and punish Laws,
Correct the Crime of which you was the Cause:
In you 'tis Justice, and I'll ne'r repine
To Love, to Sin, to Dye, by Power Divine.
Ah, sweet occasion of my Pains!
Cou'd all my Pleasures, all my Gains,
Empire surrendred, but contract
Pardon for one resistless Act:
Cou'd my afflicted Soul but have
One Tear, to sanctisie my Grave;
I'de leave the World, and dying boast
That Pearl wou'd pay for Asia lost.
Desp.
Who can believe so false, and [...]iercea Creature,
Transcendent Prince of Hypocrites!
Tam.
She's [...]reater,
Who kills and tramples Mankind at her Feet,
And yet appears so harmless and so sweet.
Desp.
No, Tyrant, live; because I loath thy Offering;
Repent, and wash thy Venom out with Tears:
I wou'd not send the Gods a Present out of season,
An unclean Sacrifice, the worst of all the Herd.
Thy Sorrow seems the truer, 'cause 'tis just,
And Penitence prevails with Powers above:
I can afford'my Pity, not my Love.
Tam.
Then Life is given me, but Love deny'd!
A wondrous motive for that daring Deed!
Dy'd Bajazet for this? that I might Reign.
Then I am guilty: take o'r rated Life,
Sinc Villany is grown so poor and cheap
To take a Bribe from any thing but Love.
Cleanse not a House on purpose to pull down,
[Page 34]Wash not a bloody Garment, but to wear it;
Nor let a Sully'd Coin, that wears th'Impression of
Your Heav'nly Face, be scour'd and brightned, only
To throw away.
By Mahomet, and by his Master too,
Give me thy Love, and the whole World is thine;
That great share I possess: that lesser, left unconquer'd
To exercise my Arms, inspi [...]'d by thee;
My Fifty Realms, with all the Lives within 'em,
Men, Women, Children, Beasts, and every Inch
Of ground they feed on in that spacious Pasture,
My Seas with all their Fish, my Air, My Birds, my Clouds;
And if the Sun, and Moon, and Stars receive
Their Al [...]ment from my exhaled Empire,
Then they are mine, and them I will give thee too:
And thou shalt call me Niggard when I have done,
Unless I gain more Crowns to strow thy feet with.
Desp.
Well, I'll consider twice, 'fore I undo Thee,
And All the World, by this large Donative:
If you are Real, you may hope for Love.
Tam.
My Word on Earth, my Oath's a Law Above.
Ex. leading her.
The Scene the outside of the Fort.
Alarms, and Fighting behind the Scenes.
Enter Zeylan.
Zey.
All's lost; but thus far I've escap'd: 'Twere better
T'have le [...]t all to the Mercy of Generous Tamerlane;
But now 't's too late.
Yet I am more concern'd for my Philarmia,
Than Life, or Fame, or Liberty, or Country.
Enter Six or Seven Soldiers.
Ha! what, surpriz'd!
1 Sold.
Stand, Traytor; yield.
2 Sold.
Deliver.
Zey.
Lives are not sold so cheaply.
(Fights, and is disarm'd.)
[Page 35]Enter Philarmia, Amazon-like disguis'd.
Phil.
What shall I do? there is no quarter given,
My Zeylan will be slain! Cou'd I but meet him!
Oh Heav'ns! he's yonder, ready to be Butcher'd!
[Runs upon the Soldiers.
Hold, Soldiers, hold; I've Orders from Axalla
To save his Life: Hold, hold; he is my Prisoner.
Now, with a Fiction, will I try his Faith.
Is your Name Zeylan?
Zey.
Yes.
Phil.
Then, Sir, you owe this Favor to a Lady,
Whose Interest prevail'd above the Orders of the Emperor,
The fair Irene; who commanded me
To seek you out, and save you.
Zey.
That life so spar'd, shall be enjoy'd no longer
Than till she calls it back, and still employ'd
In the most rigorous of her Commands.
Phil.
But, Sir, such Favors come not, but on Terms:
The Princess loves you.
Zey.
It is her Mercy, sure, but not her Love.
Phil.
No, no; she Loves you, and with Justice asks
Your Love, without a Rival.
Zey.
Nor is it fit, that so Divine a Princess
Shou'd be the sharer only of a Herat,
But the intire Possessor.
Alass, my humble Thoughts dust never aim
At such high flights; but if I ever fix 'em,
My Faithful Heart is not to be divided
In worthless Rags, and made a sport for Winds,
But Consecrated to one Deity:
Love and Religion both admit no more.
Phil.
So, so; he yields: Oh, the perfidious Wretch!
Then shall I bring her back the welcom message
Of your true Love?
Zey.
That's too presumptuous;
But of Gratitude,
Of unrestrain'd Devotion to her Service,
Which neither Death, nor Dangers, shall deter
[Page 36]From Desperate Obedience.
Phil.
Crafty Traytor!
He dares not say he loves her; but 'tis plain.
I'll probe him [...]eeper:
She hears you have a Mistress, call'd Philarmia.
Zey.
I had; but Heav'n alone can tell, if now I have he [...]
Phil.
And did not she deserve your dearest Thoughts?
Zey.
She was, or is, what nothing can be more.
Phil.
And is this all? False Man! Now to the quick.
You must renounce her, or your Life: Be brief.
Zey.
Renounce her! What, shall I renounce the Gods,
Forswear Eternal Joys, and blessed Mansions,
Cut off my hopes from Heav'ns Seraphic Pleasures,
Then, here, resume your mighty Gift,
My Life has ever been a Slave to Honor;
Shall it not serve a Nobler Master, Love?
Not all the Tortures, Crosses, Scourges, Chains [...]
Those double Deaths, all the refin'd Inventions
That Witty Malice makes for Misery;
Not all the Thunders, Lightnings, Earthquakes, Floods,
Terrestrial Terrors, or Celestial Fits,
The Frowns of Angry Heav'n, or Smiles of Beauty,
Shall force me to abjure such glorious hopes,
Or turn Apostate to Divine Philarmia.
Phil.
Then take thy Life, and thy Philarmia too,
[Discovers her self.
Thou justest, dearest Soul.
Zey.
Blest Image! art thou here? Oh, may I trust
My Senses, or thy Word? My dear Deceiver!
Dear, desperate self-destroyer!
Phil.
But thy Preserver.
Why, did not I foresee that I shou'd save thee?
Which is the better Soldier now?
Zey.
Philarmia.
Oh thou art full of Fame; thou may'st retire
Like a rich lazy General.
Phil.
I'll consider;
But here's no time to pour our Passions out,
The Army's coming this way: I'll go back,
And stop the Soldiers from pursuing thee.
[Page 37]Go seek thy safety in some lonesome Cave▪
Then send me word, and I will find thee out▪
I'll take my leave of the Victorious World,
To share in thy Distresses.
Zey.
Stay a little:
Oh, stay awhile. Who knows when we shall meet?
Phil.
Lovers, in absence, have delights peculiar:
If nought but what is present gives us Pleasure,
What Joy have Parents, when their Children wande [...]
In prosperous Voyages? What Joy have Prince [...],
In Victories remote? What Joy have Usurers,
When Mony travels, to enrich it self?
Then bless thy self with Hope, sweetest of Passions,
Which Absence gives us, Presence robs us of.
Zeyl.
Feed me not with imaginary Joys.
The envious World, with its ill-natur'd Tricks,
And Accidental Crosses, may divide us:
The Gods themselves desire not, men shou'd have
Such filling Joys, as thou and I possess;
Lest they should slight eternal Happiness.
Oh, let us part no more! how can I leave thee?
Phil.
Well, well, then I'm content; let me be caught
In conference with thee; let me be slaughter'd,
Let me be torn alive, since Zeylan wills it:
Come let's begin to talk.
[Trumpets sound.
Zey.
Oh, hark, the Trumpet! Hast thou hence like Lightning▪
Why should I make thee lose thy precious Life,
For saving mine? Farewel, Farewel, my Dearest:
If I go with thee, we shall both be slain.
Phil.
Parting, or Death, which is the greater Pain?
Ex. severall [...]
Tamerlane, and Despina, sitting upon Thrones. An Antic Dance, and a SONG.
GReatness, I give thee my excuse,
For thee I have no leisure;
Nor Care what Bus'ness can produce,
[Page 38]For Life's too short for Pleasure:
Count Griefs, Diseases, Love's disdains,
What need these Artificial Pains?
Nature invites us to a Treat,
And gives us but short time to stay;
While Coxcombs Carve, and Wise Men Eat,
Death, the close Waiter, takes away.
Count Griefs, &c.
Tam.
Now, Madam, I'm in Heav'n, my Soul rides high,
And treads th' unyielding Air: nothing can sink
What you have rais'd so vastly.
Where have I slept all those deluding years,
And dream'd of Joys, but never tasted any
Till this transporting, Deifying minute?
How have I toil'd, turn'd upside down the World,
Begging Mens Voices to be counted happy,
And at this Fairy Feast have still rose hungry!
Drunk with Ambition I saw all things double;
But, when I came to taste the Airy Joys,
They fled the feeling: now, my Soul runs over,
I am all Joy, all Plenty, all Abundance.
Desp.
But these imagin'd Joys may come far short
Of expectation, cloy you to repentance;
And then you'l curse th'Inchantress, and the Syren.
Tam.
Oh, never, never; I cou'd gaze away
My Life, upon these over-powring Charms,
This all-supplying Face, till Death did fix me
In this Triumphant posture, far more glorious
Tha [...] all the Statues of the Ancient Heroes,
Who fool'd away their Lives for less rewards:
Oh, I am all content, all Wealth, all Pleasure!
Well, Madam, have you thought of your demand:
That I may pay my Vows; and that great Bond,
Drawn betwixt Love and Beauty, that's Recorded
In the Eternal Registers, be cancel'd?
Desp.
I have, Sir; but you'l think it is too much
To grant: Alass! my humble, worthless Person
Can never merit such a mighty Gift.
[Page 39]What is there in me, that cou'd prompt you to
So kind, so rash a Vow? You only meant
To Conquer and delude a credulous Woman.
Tam.
By all the Oaths that I have sworn before,
And, if thou urgest, by ten Thousand more,
There's nothing in my power that I'll resuse thee.
Desp.
Then, Sir, deliver up to me your Daughter
Bound in Chains; your dear, and fair Irene.
Tam.
My Daughter, bound in Chains! She is no Thief,
Nor Murderer: what Offence has she committed
Against your Self, or Me? Pray ask again:
Command th' Assyrian, Persian, Grecian Empires,
I have enough besides; I'll make thee Greater
Than Ninus, Cyrus, or than Alexander,
All three united, and yet less than me;
But, having me, thou'rt greater than us all:
The Emper [...]rs of the World are but thy Slaves,
When I am thine. But why this vain request?
Take the four Monarchs Lands;
They are Confiscated, and given to me,
For Treason 'gainst their Maker:
But why my Pious, dearest Child?
What is she guilty of, that can deserve
Such Ignominious, fatal reparation?
Desp.
I see, great Monarchs can dispence with Vows;
Such Fetters are not made for boundless Souls.
Farewell, most mighty Prince;
Live long, and fortunate, without Despina.
[Exit.
Tam.
Ha! what a change is this? How soon my Joy's
Unravel'd, and my Soul from topmost Stories
Sunk to the bottom of most damn'd Despair;
Wound up so high, to make her fall the greater!
What have I done? deliver'd up my daughter
To certain Death. Heav'n, what a Conflict's this!
Not all the Beauties of the Universe
Shall make me yield to so abhorr'd an Act,
But I have Vow'd: But 'twas a Lover's Vow,
Whose Perjuriesure laugh'd at. No; there is
No jesting with Divinity. But how
[Page 40]Comes Tamerlane reduced to this necessity?
Why, Tamerlane's in Love. A goodly Precedent
For Envious Posterity to discant on!
A fine conclusion of a Glorious Life!
Oh Heav'n, the Guide and Prospect of my Actions,
Let thy kind Thunder end the shameful doubt:
Destroy me at this Moment; let me tread
No longer these inglorious steps, nor dash
Thy unexampled Favors on the Ground
By such a childish Act. Love, keep thy distance.
But Love now fights under Religion's Banner,
And makes it's Folly Sacred. Death must prevent
This loathed Act, and expiate th' Intent.
[Exit.
An Astrologer, Axalla, Irene, a Captain. Thunder, Light­ning, Rainbows inverted, a bloody Arm, Comet, &c.
Iren.
Oh Heav'ns, the dreadful sight! 'Tis Doomsday coming!
Ax.
Ha! Nocturnal Rainbows! Inverted too!
Reflexions answering not the form of Luminous Bodies,
And such a Comet as puts out the Stars!
Cease, you bold peepers into Nature's Bowels,
To give the World glossie but fading Reasons:
Nature this day has made a Fool of Art.
Cap.
Methinks the Sky wears a more gaudy Dress
Than her old glistering Garniture of Stars;
There is some mighty Revel sure above:
Hark how they stamp, as if they were dancing Jigs!
Ax.
How dare you make such Comments on these Wonders?
Cap.
Faith, Innocence is fearless, as 'tis free;
Tho the Frame crack, the Splinters shall not fright me.
Shou'd the great Gods, that toss these Fiery Orbs
Like Tennis-balls for Heav'nly recreation,
Let slip some weighty Globe through careless Fingers,
Upon this Head; the Accident's prepar'd for.
Ax.
Well said, brave youth, if with respect to Heav'n.
Ha! what means this? A bloody Hand, and Writing!
Cap.
Scriveners in Heav'n! then there's some hopes for Usurers.
Ax.
The hand of Heav'n is drawing some Indentures,
[Page] [Page] [Page 41] Altering Estates in the poor under-World.
Of all the sights, this does perplex me most.
Pray, Sir your Judgement: 'Tis an Ancient Hand,
I cannot read.
Astro.
No wonder, Sir; 't has not been us'd
In China these ten Thousand years.
Ax.
Noble Tradition!
Astro.
But the Words are these, Kiungsi Honan;
Which is Interpreted, Death, Division:
Some Great Man dyes, and leaves his vast Dominions
To dubious Heirs.
Ax.
Nothing more likely, Sir;
He that grasps more than's Handful, loses all.
A lucky Guess turns to a Prophesie.
Enter Tamerlane.
Tam.
I've urg'd to have my Sentence chang'd in vain,
Told her the Truth, but why should she believe me?
Shou'd the Sun change his Course, men might suspect
The Day-light.
The Pole Star, if un [...]ix'd, absolves the Sailor
From farther Faith. Oh, the vile Rogue Ragalzan!
Ha! what a glorious Night after the Storm!
I think a Comet, and an Arm from Heav'n!
Come, Vengeance, come; 'tis time that thou wert come;
Welcom, dear Comet, welcom bloody Paw:
Cou'd I but reach thee, I'de shake hands with thee.
Why all this noise, and ne'r a flaming Dart
To fix me dead? I thought the Gods durst strike
When they did threaten. Was there ever Mortal
That more abus'd their Favors, study'd Acts
More vile, to rouse up Heav'nly Indignation?
By your Immortal Selves, if you neglect
Your Office, I will snatch away Revenge,
The Jewel of your Crown, and put an end
With my own hands to this Inglorious Life.
Ire.
Strange Sights i'th' Air, they say, foretel great Changes▪
What, will these Rebels never make an end?
[Page 42]Good Father, stay at home, and tell the Stories
Of your great Deeds, to your admiring Friends;
But go to Wars no more: Leave off a winning Gamester.
One day, you take a Town, and make a Governour;
The next, you win a Country, make a King:
These pay some little Chief-rent to their Lord,
Enjoy the rest themselves. You take from some,
And give it back to others. Why might not less
Than all the World serve one Man's turn?
Tam.
How wisely thou dost weigh the Trifles of the World!
Ire.
And now you sigh, the Earth lies heavy on you:
Conquer no more; or let the weighty Ball
Roll off, as it came on.
Tam.
Oh, my Irene!
'Tis thou dost cause my Grief, my dear disturber.
Ire.
Alass! wherein have I offended you?
Perhaps, my want of Duty was the cause;
But sure I meant it not.
If to rejoy [...]e at all your Victories;
If to fall out, with all that lessen you;
If to dissolve in Tears, when you're not well;
Or have your Peace disturb'd with Martial Cares:
If to fall into Swoons when you 're in danger,
Be not to love you; then I love you not.
[Weeps.
Tam.
Ah, cruel Girl, begon, I cannot bear thee,
For every look from thee strikes Death into me:
How much more happy art thou now, than I!
Short-sighted Innocence! thou hast no Prospect
Of this thy Danger; the sad thought of which
Racks my poor Soul, and cuts me up alive,
And tears my Bowels out before my Face!
Iren.
Good Sir, what moves you to this fatal sadness?
Tam.
Ah! were it fit that thou should'st know my Sorrows,
Yet Children should not know their Parents Shame.
Ire.
I know your Troubles, and have heard your Vow,
And I can satisfie your nicest Scruples:
Heav'n be my Witness, I
Had rather go to death, to give you ease,
Than to th'Embraces of a dear-lov'd Hero,
[Page 43]Whose Wit cou'd charm, whose Valor cou'd secure me,
Whose Beauty cou'd inflame my frozen Brest;
Rather than to my Nuptials with Axalla.
My Refignation will be your discharge
To Heav'n, and Earth: Injuries are Rewards
When they are begg'd for.
Tam.
Greater then wou'd be
Thy kindness, and my shame, shou'd I desert thee.
Ire.
But, Sir, consider how the World's Amaz'd,
And Nature's frighted, to see you disorder'd:
Do we not blow up worthless Cottages,
To save contiguous Palaces, from bold
And disrespectful Flames?
And shall the World want Order, and direction
From your great Soul, if mine can stop its passage
To other Orbs, and make the Earth my Debtor?
Tam.
So young, so wise! Why sure thou art Inspir'd;
Thy Soul's upon the Wing, and sees much farther,
Than the unfledg'd Companions of her years,
Ill Omen of thy Fate: Thy Soul's too ripe
To stay long in the Shell. Oh, now I fear thee.
Ire.
What if I might have liv'd some harmless years
Of Ignorance, and Youth? Yet if you please
To pluck off this green Fruit (I will not say
Untimely, when you call sor't) to content
Some longing Palate,
'Twill not be harsh to me, if not to you.
You gave me Life, and 'tis but to restore it,
To pay a debt which you contracted for me;
Let me be just to Nature, if not you.
Tam.
No more, no more sweet merciful Redeemer▪
Why art thou come to scrue up my A [...]ctions?
Oh, every Word from thee, against thy self,
Does wound my Soul, more than ten Thousand Daggers.
Dear, cruel Orator, why dost thou plead
Against the Innocent, to save the Guilty?
He that does spare my life's the worst of Murderers▪
And thou deserv'st to dye, by speaking for me:
I cannot bear thy sinful Eloquence;
[Page 44]Let not so sweet an Angel plead for Satan.
Oh, leave me to the Furies: they're my Council.
[Exeunt.
Re-enter Tamerlane, with Axalla.
Tam.
In what condition is the Enemy?
Ax.
Now you speak like your self, a watchful Monarch.
Tam.
May not Prince Zeylan once again surprize us,
Before the general Assault be given?
Ax.
He may, Sir; but I have intrench'd the Army
With greater safety, doubled all the Guards
About your sacred Person.
Tam.
Wondrous well.
But then give order strait to all the Rounds
To keep a stri [...]er Watch, that whosoever
Dares stir abroad to night, be shot at without mercy;
And let it be proclaim'd without delays:
Secureness, more than Cowardise, betrays.
[Exit.
Ax.
And yet, pray Heav'n he meditate no mischief
In mighty Souls, Passion's not soon supprest:
Like wounded Whales, they struggle till they dye;
By their impatience they increase the smart,
Provoke their Pains, and vex a harmless Dart,
Tossing the mighty Mass till they're on ground,
Their Rage more fatal, than the little Wound.
[Exit.

ACT. IV. SCENE I.

A Guard of Mus [...]uetiers: Axalla and Irene behind Enter Tamerlane, disgu [...]'d.
Tam.
SLave to my Passions, Scandal to my self
Here stand the [...] of great Tamerlane,
Right reverend [...] Fine [...]
Poor Thunder-blasted Oak sometime the Glory, now
The just reproach of all the neighb'ring Shrub [...],
But hold! Self-murder, that In [...]ernal Crime,
[Page 45]Which all the Gods level their Thunder at!
Why, 'tis an Act the Gods admire, and envy,
Because they cannot do't: and where's the wrong?
May not I mow my Grass, reap my own Corn,
Cut my own Woods, lay down this load of Life,
Without Injustice or to Gods, or Men?
Self-preservation, Nature's Highest Law,
Is best obey'd, when our Sublimer part,
Tir'd out with Troubles, and chain'd up with Griefs,
Strives to shake off her fleshy Mancles,
And fly to Nobler Dwellings.
Fine Quirk, to salve the Conscience, to let others kill me!
Well, 'tis all one, as if I kill'd my self:
And that's no harm, since I'm no more my self:
The Magistrate in me destroys the Malefactor;
And this form pleases best, a comlier shape
Of Death.
Ax.
'Tis as I guess'd; I know 'tis he, by his Majestie Mee [...]
His piercing Eyes that use to strike Men speechless;
Tho Suns are Clouded, yet the Day-light shows
When they're ascended in our Hemisphere.
Ire.
Oh Heav'ns! It is the Emperor: I'll go to him.
Ax.
Oh, by no means, I've told the the Guards already.
Enter Zeylan disguiz'd.
Zey.
I hope 'tis not too late, tho time is precious;
Now my Philarmia's acting her last part;
My Trumpet saw her led away to Judgement,
By this time she's condemned, perhaps led out
To Execution: yet if it were so,
How comes the World to be no more disorder'd,
No Earthquake, no Eclips, Convulsion, Blindness?
Can Nature keep an equal Pulse, or have
A healthful look in such an Agony,
When she that is the Life of Nature's dying?
Ah, poor Philarmia! must thou lose thy Life
For sparing min [...] Unhappy headstrong Girl!
Well, thus [...]ar I have got into their Camp
[Page 46]With this Disguise: I'll find some other mean [...]
To see this high and mighty God-like Man,
And with this Dagger search his haughty Heart,
And try if it be mortal; so prevent
Her Death by the Confusion, tho I lose
My Life to do't, or perish all together.
Tam.
All my Commands are lost, there's none will shoot:
I, whom so many Millions late obey'd,
Am slighted, scorn'd. Have I no Friend, nor Foe,
To put a stop to my declining Honor?
'Tis hard. Rogues, Traitors, fawning Slaves
To the Coward Tamerlane: Now I cou'd wish
For raging Bajazet, to be my Orator.
1 Sold.
'Tis the Emperor, as the General told us.
2 Sold.
My Life, 'tis he by's Voice; Camrade, my Powder's wet.
3 Sold.
And my hand shakes, I cannot hold my Arms.
Tam.
What, Am I yet contemn'd? Slaves, Cowards, Dogs,
Whom do you guard here, wand'ring Tamerlane,
That Renegade, Cut-throat, glorious Thief,
Whom Fortune meant the Gallows, gave the Throne to?
Zey.
What a bold Fellow's this, that rails against
His Prince, and no man shoots him? sure 'tis some
Discontented Votary of China, that contemns
The Conqueror's Laws.
This Fellow may assist in my design.
(Goes up to Tam.
Tam.
Ha! a Spy o'th'Enemy's!
Zey.
Methinks, I see
Some discontent writ on thy brow: Art thou
So weary of thy Life, to rail upon
The Emperor to his Guards?
Tam.
I, that I am:
And I would have him kill'd.
Zey.
And so wou'd I,
For stronger Reasons, cou'd I pass his Guards.
Tam.
Merciful Providence that brought thee hither,
My dear chance Friend!
I will assist thee in thy brave design,
And bring thee where he is. But, since thou'rt in
A killing mood, thou shalt kill me: not that
[Page 47]I love him dearer than I do my self;
But 'tis more Charity to kill a man prepar'd,
To ease a Wretch opprest,
And groaning under Loads of weighty Sorrows.
Zey.
Why shou'd I kill an Innocent that ne'r provok'd me?
Tam.
Alass, I'm not so harmless;
I have done many vile and barbarous Murders,
Committed Sacrilege, unpeopled Cities:
Here stands the Man, that has destroy'd more of
Mankind, than ever Mortal did, since the Creation.
Zey.
Alass, poor Frantic Wretch!
Tam.
Mistake me not, I've been a General,
And am guilty of all Crimes, committed
By my Command: Then, if a man deserves
To dye for single Murders, can the greater
Number excuse him? Men Duel for Revenge,
A hasty piece of Justice, and do freely
Exchange each others Lives, which each man has a right to:
We murder Thousands that did ne'r provoke us
With wrongful Deed, or Sharper Contumelies.
Zey.
In that thou hast some Reason.
Tam.
Nay, lately I have done the most abhorr'd [...]
And Hellish Act, that History e'r spoke of:
I have condemn'd a guiltless Person, twice
Has sav'd my Life, only to please my Lust.
Don't I deserve Damnation? May not I
Obtain from thy kind Hand, that longs to do
Some great Heroic mischief,
The lovely Death-stroke?
Zey.
Alass, I pity thee;
And have no cognizance of these thy Crimes,
Half wash'd away by Penitence.
Tam.
Well then,
Suppose that I was Tamerlane; wou'dst thou not kill me?
Zey.
I, that I wou'd, with much more eager hast
Than quench my Thirst with Nectar, or my Love
With Venus, or with Helen, or with her
Whom above all my longing Soul holds dearest;
Lov'd at first sight, and never after chang'd.
Tam.
[Page 48]
I see 'tis Love that makes us Madmen all.
Then I am Tamerlane, the Terror of the World.
Zey.
Rather it's Scorn, or Pity. Alass, poor Madman!
Wrought up by idle Fumes t'affect to dye
For such a Mighty Monarch.
Tam.
I tell thee, I
Am he; the Wrath of Heav'n, the Scourge of Mortals:
'Tis I that have enslav'd thy Native Soil,
My Sword has Widow'd half the Universe,
Turn'd the World wrongside outwards, in the toss
Broke all the brittle Laws, that e'r Mankind
Compos'd, their paltry Earthen wares of Justice:
And all for Glory, damn'd eternal Fame.
Take thy Revenge.
Zey.
Vain Madman, hold thy Peace.
Tam.
VVhy then, by Mahomet, I am. Zey. Falsly.
Thou swear'st by thy false Prophet, who can take
No Vengeance for thy Perjury, nor hears it:
Nor will I e'r believe thee.
Tam.
aside.
Double Infidel:
It is impossible here to convince him.
VVell, well, I long to dye, 'cause Life's a burthen;
But if I show thee Tamerlane, in all
His glory, compass'd in with Guards, and circled
VVith prostrate Princes in his bright Pavilion,
And like the Mid-day Sun with all his Rayes about him,
And after find out means to have him single,
And then a way for thee t'escape when thou
Hast kill'd him: VVill that merit Thanks, or Friendship?
Zey.
VVhy, now thou speak'st: and cou'dst thou make it good,
VVere I the greatest Man that trod on Earth,
And with my hand cou'd reach the spangled Spheres,
And distribute mens Fortunes with their Stars;
I wou'd Depose my self, to be thy Slave,
And lick the Dust before thee.
Tam,
If I betray thee, Heav'n revenge the Falshood.
Zey.
Come then, my perjur'd Madman, I will trust thee,
And thou shalt Steer me in this unknown Coast;
For what have I to save, Philarmia lost?
[Exeunt.
[Page 49] Enter Ragalzan, Despina.
Rag.
This was a rare request, a Master-piece of Malice:
There's nothing but a Woman cou'd have thought on't.
How cou'd you work him to this height?
Desp.
With ease:
Lovers will wind themselves by Words to Passion,
Their Airy Talk turns Fire by Agitation:
Thus, sometimes yielding, sometimes aggravating,
'Twixt Hope and Fear, like Ships betray'd by Calms
To greater Storms; I then extorted from him
Such monstrous Oaths, such wild and Impious Offers,
The Gods might be asham'd to be so Hector'd.
Rag.
Oh, good, good, good! But did not he deny
What he affirm'd, as soon as he had heard
Your Admirable Suit?
Desp.
Oh, yes, most fiercely.
But cou'd I think such mean things of a Hero,
A double Caesar, Triple Alexander?
And you had told me all the Truth before.
Rag.
It was too true. How cou'd he be secure
Had Bajazet escap'd? The Turkish Garrisons
Had all revolted. But I've found a way
To make him constant to his Vow, and swallow't glibly.
The Mufti's here, and the Dervises too,
About Petitions from their several Churches.
The Mufti's supler than a new oyl'd Tumbler,
When you have greas'd his Fist: give him a colour,
To make things doubtful, then throw Dice for Justice.
They all shall find it Lawful, and require him
To offer up his Daughter.
Desp.
That's enough:
Let me alone to give the fatal Period.
But how does he digest this Compound Passion?
Rag.
I come not near him; but he raves Divinely:
Love and Ambition fiercely sight within him;
When Nature steps to part them, both fall on her:
Love pities her at last, and takes her part,
[Page 50]Then both go to't again, and fight for ever;
Those Mastiffs are too keen to loose their hold.
Desp.
Oh, thou refreshest me with chearful Sounds,
With all the Musi [...] of sublime Revenge!
Oh, thou hast given me Spirit of Joy to drink!
Rag.
Nay, then take t' other Dram. His pretty Daughter
Came to him since, and with her innocent Prate
Has so betwich'd him, that he went out strait
And told his passion to the gaping Army:
And wou'd have kill'd himself, if not prevented.
Desp.
I wou'd have hindred him: I wou'd not have him dye
So unprepar'd,
His Life and Fame shall perish both together.
Rag.
But yet some easier way might have been found.
Desp.
This is the nobler method.
I'll wound him in his Fame, his tender'st part,
To which his Life has ever been a Drudge,
And run of errands over all the World:
I'll make the angry Lyon scourge himself
With his own Tail; and then give him his Fate
As certain, as unlook'd for.
When he has offer'd up his bloody Victim
To my great Shrine, his dear and dutiful Irene,
The Saviour of his Life, Age's Supporter;
Abhorr'd by all his Friends, by's Foes contemn'd,
Deserted by Mankind, by Heav'n rejected,
Then let him dye with all his Shames about him
Petty Revenges, are for Petty Crimes;
And pardon me, great Soul of Bajazet,
If th'Earth afford no greater an Atonement
For thy dear Blood.
Pray give me an account of all proceedings,
That we may feast our selves on his Afflictions.
Rag.
I will not lose my share of the least morsel.
[Exeunt.
[Page 51] Tamerlane in his Pavilion: Princes and Servants about him.
Tam.
giving a Ring to one of his Guards.
Go tell the Countryman, that sits without
At the Pavilion Gate, that by this Token,
The man that left him there, desires him to
Come in: not a word more, upon your duty.
[Exit Guard.
Now is the time, to put a period to
This languishing Distemper, flattering Fever,
This merry Madness, this Apulian Sting,
That makes men rage in measures: now I'le shake off
This rude Companion, Love, that blinds Men first,
Then gives them blows in jest, that smart in earnest.
Enter Guard, with Zeylan disguis'd.
Zey.
Am I betray'd, or no? Here stands the Prince;
But where's my Guide, I know not! 'Tis no matter,
I'll make a bold Attack, and lose my Life in't.
Tam.
Let all withdraw, and leave me with this Stranger.
Come, Friend, draw nearer, view me more exactly,
And tell me, if your Partner in Affliction
Has kept his Word. Am I forsworn, or no?
Am not I Tamerlane?
Zey.
Death, 'tis the same;
Shining in all his Glory! What means this Riddle?
Tam.
Nay, fear not to come near me.
Zey.
'Tis not Fear, but Wonder.
Tam.
Here, take this Dagger, strike this open Brest;
But yet, before you do this welcom Act,
Here is the Door you must escape at, to
The River's side; where lies a Boat prepar'd
To take in the next Comer, which will strait
Row you to Zeylan's Citadel, before
The Deed be known: and here's a Cabinet
Not very weighty, but worth many Millions,
The Spoils of Turky, Persia, Aegypt, China, Muscovy, Syria, Afric, Indostan;
[Page 52]If thou get'st clear from hence, thou hast enough
To purchase thee a Kingdom.
Zey.
Sure Fame has
Not [...]latter'd him: he's a Man of wond'rous Virtue!
But Thrones are not exempt from fatal Sorrows.
Can I consent to kill my Benefactor?
Tam.
There's nothing thou canst do, that can deserve
So great Rewards, but this. Alass! I'm weary
Of Life, my Empire is too great a Burden,
Without the over-weight of private Griefs:
I never yet refus'd the thing was ask'd me,
Nor ever sent a sad Man from my presence;
And shall I be deny'd so small, so just a Favor?
Zey.
My Vengeance fails me. Most Heroi [...] Prince,
I cannot guide this Dagger to your Brest;
I beg but one Request, in satisfaction
Of all the Wrongs, the World, or you have done me.
Tam.
Refuse not this to me, and I'll refuse thee
Nothing, that my unbounded Empire yields.
Zey.
Here on my knees I'll try your Virtue first:
I beg, Sir, a young Beardless Captain's Life,
That is condemn'd to dye, for letting Zeylan
Escape, that was his Prisoner. Tam. I grant it freely.
Zey.
Why, then as freely here I give you Zeylan,
[pulls off his disguise.
With all my Forces, all my Reputation
Acquir'd in Arms, and lye still at your Mercy;
But, know the weighty Reason: she's my Mistress
In that disguise. No smothering Revenge,
Nor over-looking Envy, nor vile Treason,
Mov'd me to this; but her dear Life endanger'd
Urg'd me to undertake your Death, my own,
The ruin of the World, that my fair Saint
Might fly out in the merciful Confusion.
Tam.
But art thou Zeylan? Welcom noble Prince,
[Embraces him.
Prop to thy falling Country, China's Redeemer!
Can there be so much Virtue in the World?
And Love the Cause, dire Love, that monstrous Passion?
'Tis I that am thy Prisoner: here I yield thee
My Sword, with all its Conquests, all its Glories,
[Page 53]With more serene and unconcern'd a Freedom,
Than Virgins do their Beauties, Saints their Souls,
To Heaven, or Hymen: but besure thou give
No Q [...]rter; take my Life; for if thou spare it,
Perhaps I [...] resume the rest. Thou art
The [...]ittest man to execute this Sacred Act:
Oh, now 'tis Justice, that before was Fury.
Zey.
Pray, Sir, be pleased to call first to your Guards;
Her precious Life's at stake.
Tam.
Guards, make hast;
Carry my Pardon to the sentenc'd Captain
That let Prince Zeylan scape. Now, Sir,
To my Request: be speedy, and begone
With all your Treasure, lest the Soldiers Fury
O'rwhelm you. Come, ease me quickly.
Zey.
I have not, Sir, been bred in Foreign Courts,
Nor can I talk of high-flown Rules of Honor,
Those nice distinctionss, fram'd in Virtues School;
But I have some rude Sparks of Nature, show me,
By their dim light,
How great a Monster is Ingratitude.
Tam.
Thou art ungrateful then, if thou deny me this
So just Request, since I have answer'd thine:
Death is to me a greater Gift, than Life
Is to thy Mistress. Is there a greater good
Than to be lull'd asleep from endless griefs,
And wake no more to find 'em?
Thou art unjust too to thy Native Country;
Nor canst thou answer this to Heav'n or Earth:
Nor will the Ghost of all thy slaughter'd Friends
Let thee sleep quiet, till they are Reveng'd;
They'l haunt thee, tear thee in ten Thousand pieces;
And send a Sampler of thee to each Corner
Of the wide Mischief-studying Earth, to teach
The World the Fate of Traytors to their Country.
Zey.
I never heard Great Tamerlane abus'd
Heav'ns favors to excess; but his kind Sword
Still carv'd out work for his diffusive Mercy;
The petty Wranglers of the Universe
[Page 54]Chose rather to submit to his Just Sceptre,
Than to subdue each other:
Shall I deprive the World of all its Lustre,
The Ornament of Story, Task of Fame,
Extinguish the great Light graces and guides it,
And by your Glory raise my Infamy?
Urge me not to a Crime your self would fly from.
Tam.
Is there such Honour in the World besides?
How many Climates have I pass'd, and now
At last have found it in this Savage Corner?
Sure 'tis Instill'd by Nature, not by Precept.
'Tis time to dye now, for a weighty Reason:
Thou hast out-done me in my own Pretensions,
And rais'd the price of Honor to that rate,
'Twou'd ruine me, and all my Conquer'd Earth
To rise to that vast purchase. Oh, the Mark's too high
For me to reach; I'll quit the Field
In Virtue, and return to Tyranny:
Kill me, or else thy Mistress dyes.
Zey.
kneeling.
The Gods forbid.
Oh, look upon her first, and she will melt you:
You cannot hurt so sweet an Innocence.
I know you cannot, Nature will not bear it:
She'l smile away your Anger; or she'l thaw
Your frozen heart t'a Torrent, with her Tears.
She is the Joy of Nature, Pride of Heav'n,
The Idol of all Eyes that e'r beheld her:
Tygers wou'd lose their Fierceness at her sight,
And can Mankind hold Weapons to destroy her?
Oh, save her, save her, save her, Virtuous Prince,
And let my Life redeem her.
Tam.
Rise, brave Friend.
No; both shall live together, and live happy:
I take delight in the content of all men,
Less dear than thee, tho I have none my Self.
Well, I'll not press thee 'gainst the sense of Honor,
And Nature too: I know too well the weight
They bear, in well-born Souls. A thousand ways
There are, to the great Joy that thou deny'st me:
[Page 55]I'll wait a little longer, spread my Sails
To the next Wind, to wast me to my Port,
Where I will Anchor, and Lanch out no more.
But, to return th' Heroic Resignation,
I make thee King of China.
Zey.
Vice-Roy rather,
When I have Conquer'd the Remaining Rebels.
Tam.
Then, by my last Will, I bequeath it Thee;
My Death shall soon confirm it. Let's go out,
And strait declare it to the wondring Army.
The World's my own: let's leave it in full Light;
That Sun makes no fair Day, that sets not Bright.

ACT V. SCENE I.

Tamerlane on a Couch asleep.
SONG.
REason and Time had once agreed,
My Heart from Loving shou'd be freed;
But Cupid swore, he'd lay a Snare
Shou'd catch my Reason, Time repair.
Sylvia appear'd with all the Charms
And Witchcrafts of a Face,
Able to do all Mankind harms,
And Womankind disgrace:
Reason strait fled, Time wou'd have stay'd,
Mistaking for the Sun,
The glories of the brighter Maid,
By those his course to run.
Jove saw, and fear'd some strange surprise,
Lest all the World shou'd be
Immortal made by her bright Eyes,
And Scorn his Deity:
So Time was forc'd to fly, old Age remain [...]
But, Ah! poor Reason ne'r came back again.
[Page 56]Enter in Dumb-show, Time with his Hour-glass, The Parc [...] Death, speckled Fame drawn in a Chariot by Cerberus, fol­low'd by Furies and Infernal Spirits.
Scene opens, and discovers Mount Atlas, with a Face and Beard like a Man made by Trees, which sinks down by degrees with soft Music; and at the top of him appear Angels with flaming Swords, and the Fiends begin to withdraw.
I Ang.
Be gone, Infernal Spirits; leave this Hero,
Whose Virtues none of Human Race e're equal'd.
Be calm, Great Monarch: Let no Fiends molest,
With frightful Dreams, thy too afflicted Brest.
No mortal Beauty does deserve thy Passion;
A brighter Object claims thy Admiration:
Thou hast a Share in thy Creator's Love,
Thy Soul, thy Fame, are both secure above.
Tam.
Where have I been, in Hell and Heav'n at once?
Was this a Dream? Or did I waking see?
My Senses were not lock't, sure: Had the doors
Been shut, such Visions never cou'd have enter'd.
At first, 'twas horid; after, most Serene:
Oh, let me ever tast such Tranquil Joys
As this last moment Heav'n infus'd into me!
What need I care how near I am the Haven,
If I must land in Bliss?
Enter Guard.
Guard.
Ragalzan begs admittance to your Presence.
Tam.
How dares the cause of all my Woes come near me?
He will disturb my Thoughts again: no matter;
Why s [...]ould I hope for Peace?
Enter Ragalzan.
Villain, what hast thou done, thou hast betray'd me,
And brought me to the Suburbs of Damnation:
[Page 57]I'm on the top of Ae [...]na, scorch'd already
With all the Sulphurous Flames, and Hellish Vapors
That Pride, and Lust, and dire Ingratitude,
With all the black Ingredients that are boiling
Within that baleful Fur [...]ce, can [...]ast up;
And still thy trecherous Counsels push me forwards
Into the dreadful Gulph. Traytor, be sure
Thou bring me off this Ro [...], and place me once again
Into the tranquil Plains of chearful Peace,
And unreproaching Consci [...]nce; or, by the Justice
Of all those watchful Powers that threaten my destruction,
I'll bury the [...] alive, and cover thee with Kingdoms,
That thou shalt never see the Light again.
[...]
[Page 58]But weigh'd it not so throughly.
Rag.
More than this;
Because you love va [...]iety of Faiths,
I have enquir'd the opinion of the Muf [...]ce,
The Calif, Patriarch of Antioch, and brought
A Writing here under their Hands and Seals.
Tam.
Oh, let me see those Heav'nly Lines.
Rag.
Look to that Paragraph.
Tam.
reads.
An unjust Vow is better breke than kept:
This Vow is not unjust, nor needs be broke;
For tho the intent of the Demander might
Extend to free disposal of her Person
To Death, or long Captivity; yet since
'Tis not exprest, the Emperor's oblig'd
No farther than to literal performance,
And all means may be us'd to save her harmless Person.
Rag.
Is not this Sence?
Tam.
Reason peeps out again,
O'reast with Shame and Passion: Thanks, dear Friend.
O, thou hast scatter'd Life through my dead Veins,
And pour'd such Floods of Joy into my Bosom,
The sudden Heav'nly Showers will cause an Inundation!
Oh, how my wrinkled Heart, shrunk up with Sorrows,
Dilates it self, to let the ruddy Rivers
Have their free course through all the Azure Channels!
Go, tell Despina she shall be obey'd,
(To the Guard.)
I'll see it done my self: then bring my Daughter
(Since it must be so) bound; but hark you, Friends,
Guard her as you wou'd do your Lives, or, more than yours,
My own: Let no bold Sacrilegious hand
Dare to profane the Temple of all Virtues;
By Heav'n, he dyes, that suffers any hand
To touch that Holy Maid. Oh, I'm asham'd,
That such a blot shou'd rest upon my Glory;
But Heav'n must be obey'd, tho to my blushes
Bring her, I say;
But then besure you suffer none to touch her,
Or, by the price of all my conquer'd Globe,
Which is not worth one hair of her bright Head,
[Page 59]I'll crumble you to dust, and blow you round
The Mournfull Universe; which I'll hang round with black,
If her dear Life's invaded; if she dyes,
And leaves me not an Heir to rule the World,
I'll Massacre Mankind, and root out all▪
That race of busie intellectual Monsters,
Half Angels, and half Brutes, and worse than either:
Or turn them all to Eunuchs, who shall how!
In pious Dirges for her hovering Soul,
Till it is [...]ixt in foremost ranks of Glory,
Weep out their Lives, and leave the Empty World.
Alarm without, Trumpet and Drums.
Enter Axalla, with Captains.
Ax.
Sir, your Triumphant Arms have crush'd the Rebels:
China, and all the World is now your own,
Tam.
Oh, my Axalla, oh, there was a time
I cou'd have hear'd such Sounds with raging Joys;
But now it comes too late:
Give blind men Beauty, Music to the Deaf,
Give Prosperous Winds to Ships that have no Sails;
Their Joys will be like mine.
Ax.
What, not in Temper yet, Sir?
I must acquaint you with a just occasion,,
To intermix some sorrows with your Joys:
The Noble Zeylan and Philarmia's slain,
Whose Gratitude to you, Love to each other
Wou'd not excuse them from this dangerous Action.
Tam.
Then Honor's out of Fashion, Tears in Tune.
Alass, poor Rival in that lo [...]ty Science,
There's no man left alive that can keep up
That Beautiful Contention: I've out-liv'd it.
Tell me how that Heroic Pair expir'd.
Ax.
The Rebels were dispers'd, their Leaders taken▪
Yet rash Philarmia follow'd the pursuit,
Tho rescu'd twice by Zeylan, we retreated;
But anxious Zeylan went back to secure her,
And in a Skirmish with the flying Rebels
[Page 60]Receiv'd a dangerous Wound: which caus'd a Rumor
Through all the Camp that he was slain. At last
Philarmia comes Victorious, hears the News;
Then strait like Lightning Arm'd with bright Destruction,
Flew in the thickest Troops, and flash'd, and Shi [...]'d,
Struck dead whole Rank [...] before her; till she was
Exting [...]ish'd by some envious hand, that drew
Death's dismal Curtain o'r her glorious Face:
Zeylan comes back, and missing her, tho faint,
And bloody, Lanches out again, and finds
A crimson heap of newly slaughter'd Bodies,
Their Souls yet flutt'ring o'r their ruin'd Mansions▪
And there too soon he spy'd
A Diamond in the Dust, sparkling Philarmia,
Pale, and yet glimmering, in the shades of Death;
Then strait tear's up his Wounds, and with his Dagger [...],
Till he falls dead upon her.
Tam.
Happy Pair!
Enter Despina.
Ax.
What, Love affairs yet! Friends, let us retire.
[Exit with Soldier [...] ▪.
Tam.
Here comes the sole Disturber of my peaceful [...]houghts▪
Desp.
Thanks, most indulgent Conqueror: Now I find
There are some Monarchs that do own the Gods,
That unrestrained Power, allay'd
With Piety, can bound it self like th'Ocean,
Whose uphil Waves hang o'r the threat'ned Earth▪
Might overflow its humble Friend, but will not.
Trumpets, and Cornets; the Procession enters.
Virgins in Mourning.
Tam.
So, so; here comes the Stateliest piece of Shame
That ever Monarch groan'd for: Now I feel
Honor and Piety return again. I'll keep my purpose
Close to Religion, Laws, to Heav'n, to Nature
[Page 61] Irene is brought in like a Sacrifice.
Drest like a Sacrifice! Ah, poor Irene,
Art thou prepar [...] [...] for a sudden Fate?
Ire.
A sudden Fate! There's no such thing in Nature;
We're dying from our [...]radles: Heav'n can send
No greater [...], when't has predispos'd
M [...]n for the [...].
'Tis a qui [...]k M [...]d'cine, for a long Disease.
Re-enter A [...]alla.
Ha! what Pageant's this?
Great Gods, can this be true? or do I see
A Lovers Oath, an over-acted Rant,
A [...] Word, that has out-run a Thought
Fore'd by the Violence of self-urging Passion,
Which the Gods laugh at, other men dispise,
And feat [...]er to the Wind, become so sacred,
So indispen [...]ible, that she must dye [...]or [...]?
Nay, she by whom thou Liv [...]st, thy Angel, thy Redeemer▪
Are there such things as Gods? Or are they over-busy'd?
Or is the World become so rankly Wicked
Ne'ra spare Thunderbolt is lest for Thee?
Tam.
Oh, spare me, spare me; let me dye, Axall [...].
Ax.
Canst thou devor [...] that Life, that sav'd thy own?
See that blood spilt, that sprung from thy own Fountain;
And kept thy own from shedding? Canst thou hear
Her dying Groans, by whose sweet Prayers the Heav'ns
Have been inclin'd to thy Success, and softned to
Tay Failings?
By whose dear Murmurs and Celestial Sound
Thy Life has been refresh'd more than by Glory?
Whose Tears wou'd melt the Earth into an Ocean,
Whose Sighs wou'd cleave an Universe of Adamants,
A [...]d make a Palsy shake the guilty Earth
To [...]hreds, to Atoms, to a second Chaos,
Tho it were Crampt with unrelenting Irons;
[Page 62]And Hearts, as hard as thine.
Tam.
Axalla, Oh Axalla, cou'dst thou see
My Heart, thou woud'st not chide, but pity me:
Here stands a Saint, and there methinks an Angel
Peeps from the Clouds, to call me to performance
Of Sacred Vows. Is Heaven divided
Against it self, and shall frail man be constant!
Nay, more than that; I'm satisfi'd by all
The Oracles of Heav'n, the Mystic Priests
Of several Churches, that my Vow's perform'd
In her delivery: But, oh! I've done too much.
Desp.
Ha! is't come to this?
[Aside.
Ax.
Too much indeed, and more than Heav'n requires:
For had you made a Vow to burn the World,
Blot out Religion, Laws, destroy Mankind,
And leave no Soul to Worship his Creator;
'Twere Sin to make it, but to keep it greater.
Fy, Sir; for shame grasp your loose thoughts together.
Bind up your shatter'd So [...], that it may piece again,
And grow the stronger by this Amorous Fracture:
Oh, let me never live, to see
The Glory of all Ages basely bury'd
Thus in a Woman's Arms.
Desp.
Sir, I perceive
I breed a Faction in your Family;
Your Slaves are angry, and you must obey:
Unbind the Princess; but unloose me too
From my rash Contract; 'Tis better for us both.
Tam.
No, Fairest, no:
Let me not lose that Heav'n, after assurance.
Think of some Nobler, less afflicting Tryal,
Some desperate, never yet attempted Action,
Nor ever thought of: Bid me drain the Ocean,
Make Mountains Navigable, transplant a Climate,
Unhindge the Globe; Bid me obscure the Sun;
Name that impossible that shan't be done:
But urge me not to tear out mine own Bowels,
To be alive Dissected, doubly Martyr'd.
Desp.
Are Vows made only to be broke; and Women
[Page 63]The Stales, to cheat the Gods by? Is this your Love?
That I must keep my Word, and you be free:
I'll try if I shall be obey'd: Strangle the Princess.
Ax.
kneeling.
Hold, Madam, hold: Here, take my guilty Head:
'Twas I that councel [...]d Bajazet's Destruction,
Contriv'd the Murder, urg'd the doubtful Prince.
Cou'd her soft Heart contrive so harsh a Deed?
Her Pious Soul consent to such black Crimes?
Cou'd she the fatal Laws of Empire know,
The hard necessities of Jealous Greatness?
Let me, the Author, expiate the Crime:
Let not this spotless Lamb redeem a Tyger,
Deep in your Husband's Blood.
Desp.
You are her Lover;
Then I must punish you, and set her free.
Ire.
Oh, Madam, hear him not: his cruel Love
Betrays his Life, but never will save mine;
For sure, I neither can, nor will out-live him.
Ah, generous Innocent! why wilt thou rob me
Of Martyrdom, in such a Glorious Cause,
To save my Father's Life, and ease his Sorrows,
That weigh too heavy on the afflicted World?
Desp.
What Game of Glory's this: where Death's the Prize,
And Life the odious Blank? When Appetites
Are too irregular, pity they shou'd be humour'd.
Tam.
He wrongs himself to save his guiltless Mistress:
No Truth is half so Holy, as this Falsehood.
Despair urg'd Bajazet to self-Destruction;
Heav'n be my Judge. 'twas no Command of mine,
Nor yet their Counsel, to substract one minute
From his Heroic Life.
Desp.
So you have told me, Sir; and I begin
To think you real: well, 'tis time
The Vail were off, lest Passion work some mischief.
Forgive me, mighty Sir, this bold Request,
[kneeling.
'Twas but to try the fir [...]ess of your Love:
You have discharg'd your Promise to the utmost,
[...] upon the Rack your own indulgent Nature.
Sir, [...] think this was the way to win you,
[Page 64]And make my self the Empress of the World;
To come to your Majestie bed, all re [...]king
In your dear Daughters Blood? I'm satisfy'd
You never order'd Bajazets Destruction,
As you convinc'd me since.
Tam.
'Tis a Sacred Truth;
No more, than by hard usage, and denying
To him the sight of you, which was his Life.
Desp.
That well might move me, Sir, but not so highly.
Tam.
I had your temper show'd me in false Glasses,
Which made me Amourously own in part
What you believ'd by many weighty Reasons.
Ax.
This may end well: I've seldom heard of Women
Stand upon terms with all-commanding Emperors.
Rag.
If these two piece again, what will become
Of me, the Engineer? I shall be crush'd
'Twixt these two mighty Wheels, that I have put
In motion. Perhaps, the Emperor is not poyson'd:
Who knows the walks of wily Womankind?
Desp.
Now, Sir, by Virtue of your former Grant,
I'll add but one request, you'll not deny me:
'Tis to release your Admirable Daughter,
And beg the Friendship of the fair Irene.
Tam.
Now you revive me, Madam; all my Sorrows
Vanish like Dreams, or like the gloomy Shades,
They steal away insensibly from Day-light:
And unperceiv'd, like well-bred Courtiers, slide
Out of their Prince's Presence. Oh, how my Heart's
Enlarg'd! the spacious Room left open
For Airy, lightsome thoughts; there's nothing lest
That can disturb my Peace. Strike off her Chains
And bring her to the Empress.
Ax.
The Gods Forbid: What, give her Sacred Life
Into the Hands of one that Vows her Death!
[...]ust not to cover'd Flames, nor Furies reconcil'd.
Tam.
Ha! hold a little.
(To the Guards.)
Desp.
Am I suspected? Then my Faith's discharg'd;
And my Revenge, chain'd up by unjust Pity,
Breaks loose again; my darling, dear Revenge,
[Page 65]And rages for its Prey. Perform your Vow, Great Sir.
Ax.
Oh, hear a little! May you not accept
A meaner Offering for this mighty Princess;
As Deities of old took worthless Brutes
To save Heroic Lives; and give the Emperor
A full discharge of his rash Vow.
Desp.
If either of you dye, Heav'n be my Witness
I freely clear the Emperor of his Vow.
The other dyes of Grief by course.
[Aside.
Ax.
One Life, to save a better, 'tis no Crime,
But an exchange, to the advantage of
All the surviving World: Then thus, Sir, I absolve you.
[Stabs him­self.
Guard her dear Life, or let just Vengeance shake
Your Guilty Throne.
Tam.
Oh desperate Fondness!
Ire.
Oh Heav'ns!
Irene swoons. Tam. and Ragal. run to her.
Tam.
What ails Irene?
Ire.
Nothing but Dying.
Rag.
Sure'tis not Grief alone; I fear she's Poyson'd,
By some corrupted Servant: and I've heard
Some mutt'ring on't.
Tam.
Hast thou indeed?
Rag.
But here
I have a Cordial-Antidote, will expel
Both Grief, and Poyson too.
Tam.
Give it her quickly.
(Ragal. gives it her.)
Ha! She revives.
Rag. to Desp.
But she'l as soon relapse:
I've poyson'd her, without that State and Pomp,
Which I knew wou'd not take.
Desp.
What needed that rash hast?
Rag.
Ha! She relents, and longs to be our Soveraign;
But I'll secure her,
For fear of squeamish penitential Tales:
Then say, 'twas Justice for my murder'd Friend.
Goes to Ax. & embraces him.
Ah, my poor dying Friend, dear fellow Soldier!
Have we out-liv'd all dangers from our Foes,
To dy thus tamely? Sir, can you bear these wrongs?
Just Heav'ns, I cannot▪ False Murdress!
[Stabs Despina.
Desp.
[Page 66]
What thou, Ragalzan! Oh, thou double Traytor [...]
Didst not thou blow the Coals of my revenge,
Accuse them all of Bajazets Destruction?
Tam.
Guards, seize the Villain.
Rag.
Can you believe her, Sir?
She spits her Venom, now she's trod upon.
Tam.
Hold me up, Crantor, I am faint with Sorrow.
Desp.
I, and with Poyson too. Here was the Dagger kept
To Vindicate my wrongs upon thy Daughter,
Whom now Ragalzan poyson'd▪
Thou hast not many minutes left to live,
Nor I, to tell thee how.
[Dyes.
Tam.
Blest be the hand that did it: hadst thou spar'd
One Life, more precious than my own, thou might'st
Have bustled with the briskest Female Saints
For place in Glory.
Ire.
Oh, generous Soul! Oh, my belov'd Axalla!
Kneeling by him.
Oh, tell thy poor Irene, why thou wast
So kindly cruel to thy self and me?
Ax.
Live, Princess, Live; live to thy Father's Joy,
The Empire's quiet, and the Ages Glory:
Oh, live, to teach the World more Innocence,
And let this Wretch expire; who might have stay'd
T'have lov'd you longer, not have serv'd you better.
[Dyes.
Ire.
What, wou'dst thou have me live an Age of Sorrows,
When the first Moment of thy Fate has kill'd me?
I [...]aint a pace! Kind Heav'n has hear'd my Prayers:
Oh, I come after thee! nothing on Earth shall stop me.
Two Angels are my Bridemen, Saints my Singers,
The Clouds my Chariot, and the Skies my Shrine;
Where I for ever will join hands with thine.
Oh! 'tis too much to have both Heav'n and Thee.
[Dyes.
Tam.
She's gone; the sweetest Saint Heav'n ever shin'd with!
Guards, bear the guilty Wretch to Death and Torture.
Rag.
Bear me in Triumph, Guards; I've won the day▪
And dye a greater Conqueror than thy self,
Most mighty Tamerlane: thou, and my lesser Foes,
About my Feet.
Tam.
Away with the vile Traytor.
Ex. with Rag.
[Page 67]He urg'd my Patience: now I'll dye in Peace.
Oh, now I'm safe! Now the kind Poyson comes
To end the Quarrel betwixt Love and Honor▪
To satisfie my Friends, secure my Fame.
You Gods, that make unchangeable Decrees,
And lead Mankind in strong, but unseen Lines;
If you assume us hence to nobler Seats,
Receive me quickly, with a generous Freedom,
For no man's Works deserve so great Rewards:
The powers we have, come from you; And what Thanks
Can they deserve, who only pay what's lent,
And have no power to Cheat? Perhaps, you scorn
The beggarly return of Benefits,
Like Trafficking Mankind: If these be your Resolves,
My hopes I Anchor on his generous Doctrine,
Whose Sepulcher in Iewry I paid Vows to,
Who gives Rewards, yet Suffer'd to obtain'em.
And now I find voluptuous death steal on me,
And I begin to dream before I sleep:
Green Meadows, Silver Streams, and warbling Winds.
All the whole Sky a Rainbow. Lovely Sight!
Who wou'd not dye for this? Now I'm i'th' Dark;
And there I leave thee, World, just as I ever found thee.
[Dye [...]
FINIS.

Books Printed for John Weld, &c.

THe Lives of Illustrious Men, written in Latine by Corneli­us Nepos, and done into English by several Hands The Second Edition; in 8 [...].

2. A Discourse of Wit; shewing what's meant by that which Men usually call so, with its Causes, different sorts, and great abuses thereof; also a Character of a Pretender to Wit, with Choice Instructions for the attaining the Ingenious Art of Translating. By D. A. M. D. in 12 [...].

3 There's lately publish'd by Dr. Horneck, a seasonable Discourse, shewing the great necessity of applying our selves betimes to the serious practice of Religion, very useful (especially at this time) to re-call both young and old from the Errors of their ways; in 12 [...]. price, I s.

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