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  Vortigern Studies > Vortigern > Art & Literature > Play 3 > Act 1, scene 3

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SCENE III. - ANOTHER APARTMENT IN VORTIGERN'S PALACE.

Enter VORTIGERN.

Vor. Thus far, then, have my deeds a sanction found;
For still each morn doth the resplendent sun
Dart forth its golden rays, to grace my sight.
0 what an inconsistent thing is man!
There was a time when e'en a murd'rous thought
Would have congeal'd my very mass of blood;
" And, as a tree, on the approaching storm,
" My frame would shake and tremble."
But now I stand not at the act itself,
Which breaks all bonds of hospitality.
To me, the King hath ever been most kind;
Yea, even lavish of his princely favours,
And this his love do I requite with murder!
And wherefore this? Why! for a diadem,
The which I purchase at no less a cost
Than the perdition of my precious soul;
Still at that self-same price must I obtain it.
The rooted hate the Britons bear the Scots
Is unto me an omen most propitious.
I have despatched my secret emissaries.

And the young princes, sons of the old king,
Long since for study, sojourners at Rome,
Even for them have I prepared honours:
For ere the moon shall twice have fill'd her orb,
Death shall entwine them with a crown immortal!

Enter Servants.

Ser. Two officers, my lord, await your leisure.

Vor. Shew them to our presence.

Enter Murderers.

Have ye concluded ?
Is your answer ready ?

Murd. We have consider'd all,
And on your promis'd bounty undertake
The speedy execution.

Vor. Ye are agreed ?

Both. Yes, my good lord.

Vor. List, then, awhile!
This night Constantius gives a feast, whereat
He wills I shall be present. Mark we well;
And let your signal my retiring be:
Then tarry not, but to it on the instant.

Murd. Fear not, my noble lord, we are resolv'd

[Exeunt.

Vor. So now, good King, prepare thee for the worst.
And, ere the thick and noisome air of night
Shall with damn'd Hecate's baneful spells be fill'd,
Thou must from hence to the cold bed of death,
To whom the peasant and the king are slaves.
Come, then, black night, and hood the world in darkness;
Seal close the hearts of those I have suborn'd,
That pity may not turn them from their purpose. [Exit.

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