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  Vortigern Studies > Vortigern > Art & Literature > Play 3 > Act 1, scene 8

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SCENE VIII. - LONDON. THE PALACE.

Enter FLAVIA and PASCENTIUS.

Fla. Oh, heav'ns! in thy great mercy thou hast led me
To that dear object I so long have sought,
Through ev'ry secret winding o' th' palace.

Pas. My Flavia say!
What is't hath ruffled thus thy gentle bosom?
I fear our father hath occasion'd this;
For late, as passing through the hall I saw him,
He paced to and fro in great disorder:
Sometimes, in deep thought lost, he'd stop and pause,
Then o'er his troubled breast crossing his arms,
Would utter words, but in a voice so low,
That they distili'd themselves in gentle air.
Tho' I did thrice address him, yet he brake
Abruptly from me, and no answer made.
I never saw the conflict of his soul
So plainly in this countenance pourtray'd.

Fla. Alas! 'tis true! I too have seen my father;
And harshly has he urg'd my breach of vow
To my Aurelius, and to pledge my love
To one my soul abhors! say, then, my brother,
Is that kind friendship for my lov'd Aurelius,
Which first in years of infancy took root, -
ls't yet untainted? Speak truly, brother.
And are thy vows of friendship to thy sister
Pure and unspotted as the face of heav'n?
And wilt thou save her?

Pas. 'Tis not in my nature
To act a treach'rous or ungenerous part!

Fla. Enough, enough! I meant not to offend.
That I'm about to ask is truly urgent,
Nor more nor less than our own banishment.

Pas. Th' impending exile is to me most strange;
But, if thy dearest mother thou canst leave,
Then must it be most pressing : I consent,
And will not ruffle thee by further question.
But silence for a while: here comes the Fool,
Of him some tidings we, perchance, may glean.

Enter FOOL.

Fla. Speak, Fool, when did'st last see my gentle mother?
Fool. Rather ask, when 'twas that I e'er saw thy father
in such sort before: marry, he did never speak so roundly
to me. Of old, your Fool did make your sage one trem-
ble ; but my foolship hath not found it so. Times must
indeed be bad, when fools lack wit to battle wise mens'
ire. Nay, but I have legs, therefore, can run; a heart,
that's merry, but would be more so, an 'twas drench'd
with sack from my ladle: but no matter, that's empty,
till you gentles choose to fill it: then, by your leaves,
we'll walk, and carry our wits where they'll chance meet
better fare.

Pas. Nay, nay; come hither. Fool; be not too hasty.
This fellow's true and honest; and, dear sister,
Might well our purpose serve : wilt thou consent
That in our service he be bound?

Fla. Of me ask nothing, but pursue that council
Which, in thy riper wisdom, shall seem meet.

Pas. What's thy purpose. Fool?

Fool. To quit thy father.

Pas. What think'st o'me for a master?

Fool. Nay, o'that I think not, for thou wouldst joke;
but an thou dost, thou hast rare impudence to do't i'th'
presence of a fool.

When thy beard is somewhat blacker,
When thy years have made thee riper,
When in purse the pounds thou'rt telling',
And for a brothel thou'lt be selling
Thy patrimony, and thy lands,

Why marry, an I should, then, find nought more suiting,
my charity shall bid me follow thee, and teach thee the
ways o' this slippery world.

Fla. 0 tarry not, for we must hence away.
What hour is it?

Pas. Near five o'th' clock.
This brilliant mass o'fire, the golden sun,
Hath just sainted with a blushing kiss,
Yon partner of his bed, the vasty sea.

Fool. Yea, and your father wills that ye do soon salute
your beds; for he hath ordered that supper be instantly
brought into the hall.

Fla. Good heav'ns! so soon! Oh! my Pascentius,
Each moment lost is an eternity. [Exeunt.

Fool. Nay, then, ye are gone and ha' left your poor Fool
behind. Methinks, I love that young master; nay, I
know not how 'tis, but my legs would needs go follow
him: yet, master Fool, ia this wisdom ? for they say the
legs should ne'er carry away the brains. Yet, let me see:
cannot I, in my folly, new form this saying, and turn it to
mine own conceit? I ha' hit it: for it matters not what
comes o' my brains; for men say they are good for
nought, but my legs are; therefore, let the better o'th'
two serve as guide for the other. I'll away, then, and
follow him. [Exit.

END OF THE FIRST ACT.

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