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  Vortigern Studies > Vortigern > Art & Literature > Play 3 > Act 2, scene 3

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SCENE III. - ROME.

Discovers VORTIGERN, EDMUNDA, WORTIMER, &c. at
supper.

Vor. Seek, Wortimer, thy brother and thy sister :
Tell them it suits but ill their present years,
To tarry thus, when summoned to our presence.

Wort. My gracious father, I obey.

Edm. 0! dearest husband, calm thy ruffled soul,
They mean not to offend your grace; perchance,
They know not of thy wish for their attendance.

Vor. Peace, then ; and with thywords, whet not, I pray,
That wrath, which kindles sore within my breast!
Again, dost hear me, bid thy tongue be silent,
'Twere better else, thou didst retire.

Edm. I go, and though a vulture gnaw my heart,
I'd bear it all with meekness and with patience,
Rather than this my voice should e'er offend thee. [Exit.

Wort. My gracious sir, I've search'd the chambers
through,
And call'd aloud, but answer had I none;
Save mine own words, return'd upon mine ear,
In airy sound.

Vor. What! scorn'd, and thus defied! I will not bear it.
Send for my prating wife, and should I find
That she, in anywise, did aid their flight,
Let her beware of my revenge. What, ho!

Enter Servant.

Quick to my wife, and say I'd speak with her.
As yet, from those dull sluggards sent to Rome,
No tidings have I heard. But here she comes.

Enter EDMUNDA.

Edm. What is your pleasure, sir ?

Vor. Where are my recreant son and daughter gone:
Nay, think not with those eye-drops to deceive me;
Tell me, I say,thou know'st full well their flight!

Edm. If in these veins doth run the blood of life,
Or there be truth on earth, I know not of them.

Vor. Deceive me not; I say thou speak'st most false.
I know the quality of women's eyes,
That, in a breath, can weep, can laugh, or frown.
Say not these waters flow for loss o' them;
I know thee well, thou hast with both conspir'd ;
Twere better thou mak'st known their hiding place.

Edm. 0! sir, these tears do stop my pow'r o' speech,
Which would again vouch that I utter'd.

Vor. It is most false: but look to't, and dost hear me,
Come not athwart me and my purposes,
Lest thou shouldst add to that fierce hate I bear thee.

[Exit.

Edm. And can this be? these ears were sure deceiv'd
Yet I sleep not, nor is my brain distemper'd.
It was not so, he said not he did hate me!
0! heav'ns, in your great mercy, aid me now;
And if your pleasure be not to torment
Our poor existence in this span of life,
Aid me to bear my weight o' miseries!
Oh! yet again! my son and daughter gone,
And tell not me the cause o' this, their flight.
My brain grows hot, I can no longer bear it.
Forbid his presence, too! 0! I am distracted!
If sleep will quiet me, I'll to the poppy,
And with its juices drench these fev'rous lips!
Yes! I ha' need of med'cine and of comfort!
Again, my wits do wander: I'll retire;
And lest the bleak winds battle with my head,
I'll to my couch, and lay me on its pillow. [Exit.

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