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Tamburlaine the Great. Who, from a Scythian Shephcarde by his rare and woonderfull Conquests, became a most puissant and mightye Monarque. And (for his tyranny, and terrour in Warre) was tearmed, The Scourge of God. Deuided into two Tragicall Discourses, as they were sundrie times shewed vpon Stages in the Citie of London. By the right honorable the Lord. Admyrall, his seruauntes. Nou first, and neulic published. London. Printed by Richard Ihones : at the signe of the Rose•and Crowne neere Holborne Bridge. 1590. 4to.
The above title-page is pasted into a copy of the First Part of Tamburlaine in the Library at Bridge-water House; which copy, excepting that title-page and the Address to the Readers, is the impression of 1605. I once supposed that the title-pages which bear the dates 1605 and 1606 (see below) had been added to the 4tos of the Troo Parts of the play originally printed in 1590; but I am now convinced that both Parts were really reprinted, The First Part in 1605, and The Second Part in 1606, and that nothing remains of the earlier 4tos, except the title-page and the Address to the Readers, which are preserved in the Bridge-water collection.
In the Bodleian Library, Oxford, is an 8vo edition of both parts of Tamburlaine, dated 1590: the title-page of The First Part agrees verbatim with that given above; the half-title-page of The Second Part is as follows;
The Second Part of The bloody Conquests of mighty Tamburlaine. With his impassionate fury, for the death of his Lady and love faire Zenocrate; his fourme of exhortacion and discipline to his three sons, and the maner of his own death.
In the Garrick Collection, British Museum, is an 8vo edition of both Parts dated 1592: the title-page of The First Part runs thus;
Tamburlaine the Great. Who, from a Scythian Shepheard, by his rare and wonderfull Conquestes, became a most puissant and mightie Mornarch (sic): And (for his tyrannie, and terrour in warre) was tearmed, The Scourge of God. The first part of the two Tragicall discourses, as they were sundrie times most stately skewed vpon Stages in the Citie of London. By the right honorable the Lord Admirall, his seruauntes. Now newly published. Printed by Richard lones, dwelling at the signe of the Rose and Crowne neere Holborne Bridge.
The half-title-page of The Second Part agrees exactly with that already given. Perhaps the 8vo at Oxford and that in the British Museum (for I have not had an opportunity of comparing them) are the same impression, differing only in the title-pages.
Langbaine (Account of Engl. Dram. Poets, p. 844) mentions an 8vo dated 1593.
Tamburlaine the Greate. Who, from the state of a Shepheard in Scythia, by his rare and wonderfull Conquesta, became a most puissant and mighty Monarque. London Printed for Edward White, and are to be solde at the little North doore of Saint Paules-Church, at the signe of the Gunne, 1605. 4to.
Tamburlaine the Greate. With his impassionate furie, for the death of his Lady and Loue fair Zenocrate: his forme of exhortation and discipline to his three Sonnes, and the manner of his owne death. The second part. London Printed by B. A. for Bil. White, and are to be solde at his Shop neere the little North doore of Saint Paules Church at the Signe of the Gur, 1606. 4to.
The text of the present edition is given from the Svo of 1592, collated with the 4tos of 1605-6.
TO THE GENTLEMEN-READERS* AND OTHERS THAT TAKE PLEASURE IN
READING HISTORIES. +
GENTLEMEN and courteous readers whosoever: I have here published in print, for your sakes, the two tragical discourses of the Scythian shepherd Tamburlaine, that became so great a conqueror and so mighty a monarch. My hope is, that they will be now no less acceptable unto you to read after your serious affairs and studies than they have been lately delightful for many of you to see when the same were shewed in London upon stages. I have purposely omitted and left out some fond I and frivolous gestures, digressing, and, in my poor opinion, far unmeet for the matter, which I thought might seem more tedious unto the wise than any way else to be regarded, though haply they have been of some vainconceited fondlings greatly gaped at, what time they were shewed upon the stage in their graced deformities : nevertheless now to be mixtured in print with such matter of worth, it would prove a great disgrace to so honourable and stately a history. Great folly were it in me to commend unto your wisdoms either the eloquence of the author that writ them or the worthiness of the matter itself. I therefore leave unto your learned censures & both the one and the other, and myself the poor printer of them unto your most courteous and favourable protection ; which if you vouchsafe to accept, you shall evermore bind me to employ what travail and service I can to the advancing and pleasuring of your excellent degree. Yours, most humble at commandment,
R[ichard] Jones), printer.
* To the Gentlemen-readers, &c.] From the Svo of 1592: in the 4tos this address is worded here and there differently. I have not thought it necessary to mark the vario lectiones of the worthy printer's composition.
t histories] i. e. dramas so called,-plays founded on history.
fond] i. e. foolish.--Concerning the omissions here alluded to, some remarks will be found in the Account of Marlowe and his Writings.
msures] i.e. judgments, opinions.
THE FIRST PART OF
TAMBURLAINE THE GREAT.
From jigging veins of rhyming mother-wits,
THE FIRST PART OF
TAMBURLAINE THE GREAT.
Declare the cause of my conceived grief, Enter MYCETES, CONROE, MEANDER, THERIDAMAS,
Which is, God knows, about that Tamburlaine, ORTYGIUS, CENEUS, MENAPHON, with others. That, like a fox in midst of harvest-time, Myc. Brother Cosroe, I find myself agriev'd; Doth prey upon my flocks of passengers; Yet insufficient to express the same,
And, as I hear, doth mean to pull my plumes : For it requires a great and thundering speech : Therefore 'tis good and meet for to be wise. Good brother, tell the cause unto my lords; Mean. Oft have I heard your majesty complain I know you have a better wit than I.
Of Tamburlaine, that sturdy Scythian thief, Cos. Unbappy Persia,—that in former age That robs your merchants of Persepolis Hast been the seat of mighty conquerors,
Trading by land unto the Western Isles,
And in your confines with his lawless train
To make himself the monarch of the East:
His vagrant ensign in the Persian fields,
And bring him captive to your highness' thr Meaning to mangle all thy provinces.
Myc. Full true thou speak'st, and like th: Myc. Brother, I see your meaning well enough,
*ct And through I your planets I perceive you think Whom I may term a Damon for thy love · I am not wise enough to be a king :
Therefore 'tis best, if so it like you all, But I refer me to my noblemen,
To send my thousand horse incontinent of That know my wit, and can be witnesses. To apprehend that paltry Scythian. I might command you to be slain for this, How like you this, my honourable lords? ir early
Lyly's Meander, might I not?
Is it not a kingly resolution ?
would Mean. Not for so small a fault, my sovereign Cos. It cannot choose, because it comes fencelord.
killed Myc. I mean it not, but yet I know I might. Myc. Then hear thy charge, valiant Theridam Yet live; yea, live; Mycetes wills it so.
The chiefest I captain of Mycetes' host, F2. Meander, thou, my faithful counsellor,
* incivil) i.e. barbarous. So the 8vo.-The 4to “v. * Afric] So the 8vo.-The 4to “Affrica.” ciuili."
that their] Old eds. "his."
7 incontinent) i. e. forthwith, immediately. 1 throuch, So the 4to.-The 8vo " thorough."
chiefest) So the 8v0.-The 4to "chiefe."