Christopher Marlowe: Accurst be he that first invented war

ACCURST be he that first invented war,
They knew not, ah, they knew not simple men,
How those were hit by pelting Cannon shot,
Stand staggering like a quivering Aspen leafe,
Fearing the force of Boreas boistrous blasts.
In what a lamentable case were I,
If Nature had not given me wisedomes lore?
For Kings are clouts that every man shoots at,
Our Crowne the pin that thousands seeke to cleave.
Therefore in pollicie I thinke it good
To hide it close: a goodly Stratagem,
And far from any man that is a foole.
So shall not I be knower, or if I bee,
They cannot take away my crowne from me.
Here will I hide it in this simple hole.


From Tamburlaine the Great, Part 1, Act 2, Scene 4, written 1587.
The lines are spoken by the Persian emperor, Mycetes.

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