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  Vortigern Studies > Vortigern > Art & Literature > Play 3 > Act 1, scene 6

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SCENE VI. - ASSEMBLY OF BARONS

Enter VORTIGERN.

Vor. Oh! my thrice noble and right worthy peers,
We now are met upon the heaviest summons
That ever yet did occupy our thoughts:
The sparkling drop which graces every eye,
And fain would deluge every manly cheeck,
Denotes the brimful sorrow of the heart:
Pity disgraces not the manlike brow;
And yet it suits but ill the present crisis,
When our best strength and wisdom both are needful,
To stem this black, this' damn'd conspiracy!
For bloody war and foul rebellion lurk
Beneath the mask of cruel treachery,
Which, i' th' present, is so plainly shewn,
By the brutal deed of these vile Scotsmen!
Then let not drowsy thought deter our purpose,
Nor basely rot in us the plant of justice.
The clamorous people call aloud for sentence!
Should we delay, it will go hard with us.

1st Bar. Trusting to thee, our noble sage protector,
We here, without delay, pronounce as guilty,
The perpetrators of this crying deed.
We further, with one general accord,
Beseech you bear the badge of royalty,
Until the princes shall return from Rome:
For on Aurelius, now the elder son
Of our deceased King, the election lights.
Well do we feel how tedious ia the task,
How full of trouble and perplexity!
But we do also know thee for a man,
Most good, most perfect, and most merciful!

Vor. I fear, good Barons, you do flatter me.
I thought, ere this, to have resigned the weight,
Which the late King had heaped upon my shoulders:
But mark the sad reverse; for even now,
You double this my load, and bear me down.
Oh! ye have struck me where I am indeed
Most vulnerable" The voice o'th' people!"
For them I will surrender liberty.
Despatch to Rome the messengers, I pray;
And let Aurelius know, that he is call'd
To wear this gold, this forked diadem,
That gives to man the sway of sovereignty.

2nd Bar. My lord, the people. Barons, all do thank you,
For this your kind compliance with their will.
To-morrow's dawn shall see the packets ready;
And we will, then, consult what messengers
Shall to the princes bear these heavy tidings.

Vor. "Tis well! I do commend your zealous care.
And now, good friends, one mournful charge remains,
To 'tend the burial of our murder'd King.
Oh! 'twas a nipping blast, which suddenly
Bereft us of our first, our sweetest plant;
Both king and father it hath stolen from us.
" But, wherefore do I strive to ope anew,
" Those gates which bar the course of liquid sorrow?
" No! rather let your griefs now pine unseen,
" Where cold restraint can neither chide nor curb ye."
Farewell! time then be yours until to-morrow. [Exeunt.

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