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  Vortigern Studies > Vortigern > Art & Literature > Play 3 > Act 1, scene 7

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SCENE VII. - A HALL IN VORTIGERN'S PALACE.

Enter VORTIGERN.

Vor. How stands it now? - then am I but protector?
Oh! 'tis an attribute my soul abhors,
To sovereignty a pander and a slave,
That looks with wistful eyes upon the crown,
And dares not touch it: - No! I will none on't.
Curse on those lords that did award me this,
Whose justice needs must force them keep the crown
For those, who, by descent, do justly claim it.
By heav'ns! I'll pour my bitter vengeance down,
For this, their slow and niggardly promotion.
Yet, as they did award, and give me sway,
Until young prince Aurelius should arrive;
Then is it mine most sure! The princes cannot,
From their cold graves, return to snatch it from me!
Their wish'd-for deaths are sure! yet, do I dread -
For here within, there lurks a messenger
That cautions me, and fain would have me fear.
What, hoa! without, I say! who attends there?

Enter Servant.

Vor. Are there no letters yet arrived from Rome?

Serv. No, my good liege.

Vor. Nor messengers?

Serv. Neither, my gracions sir.

Vor. Retire a while. [Exit Servant.
Nor messengers, nor letters! this alarms me !
But what care I: e'en let the princes come;
When come, there's room enough i'th' ground for them.
But, soft! now let me weigh my present state;
For much I fear these Barons' profier'd friendship.
" Their niggard show of liberality
" Suits ill my lofty aim, and but the semblance wears
" Of that my soul is thirsting fordominion!
" Not rivetted by closer ties, their chief, tho' friendly,
" May swerve, and prove a foe!"
Yet, I've a lure that shall ensnare that chief:
My daughter's hand! but, if she should refuse,
Then were my purpose baffled, or destroyed.
Is it not strange, a flinty heart like mine,
Should stagger thus, when thinking of a daughter?
Flavia! whose fondest love to young Aurelius,
Now sojourning at Rome, hath long been pledg'd!
Yet, what of that? shall she, a whining girl,
Oppose a father's and a monarch's will ?
My firm resolve once known, will shake that mind,
Which in her gentlest moments nature fram'd.
This work achiev'd, each lord his aid shall lend;
And to my will the haughtiest crest shall bend. [Exit.

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