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  Vortigern Studies > Vortigern > Art & Literature > Play 3 > Act 3, scene 5

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SCENE V. - THE COUNTRY.

Enter FLAVIA, PASCENTIUS, and FOOL.

Pas. Why, sister, thus should grief usurp thy cheek ?
0 mingle not so much of lily die
With thy sweet, rosy blood: thou'rt cold as death:
Pine not in silence thus!

Fla. I'll sit me down and court sweet music's aid.

She sings.
She sang, while from her eye ran down
The silv'ry drop of sorrow;
From grief she stole away the crown,
Sweet patience, too, did borrow.
Pensive she sat while fortune frown'd,
And smiling woo'd sad melancholy.

II.
Keen anguish fain would turn her heart.
And sour her gentle mind;
But charity still kept her part,
And meekness to her soul did bind.
She bow'd content,
Heav'd forth one sigh,
Sang, wept, then turn'd to melancholy.

III.
Carelegs her locks abound her hung,
And strove to catch each dewy tear;
The plaintive bird in pity sung,
And breath'd his sorrow in her ear.
Amaz'd she look'd,
And thank'd his care,
Then sunk once more to melancholy.

Pas. 0! why sing thus? thou dost join wo to wo:
Thy grief, methinks, demands more cheering notes.

Fla. Oh! brother, this strange frame that keeps in life,
Is almost sick and weary of its tenant.
Tho' short hath been its course, yet fickle fortune
Hath with it wanton made, and blown it
To and fro, a toy for this remorseless world.

Pas. Listen, I pray thee now, to reason's voice: -
Were it not strange, if thou alone shouldst 'scape
The numerous ills and buffets of the world ?

Fool. I'troth, thou hast wisely spoken.

Pas. Dost think so, my good Fool?

Fool. Marry, ay, do I: an I'll tell thee why; thy speech
hath not wearied the Fool; therefore, 'tis a wise speech.

Pas. Thou'rt, then, a judge?

Fool. Ay, and a righteous one, too: dost mark me? 'tis
your Fool alone will make a true report.

Pas. I understand thee not.

Fool. The more's the pity. He that doth, or well
speak, or write, will be praised by fools only : for look
ye: envy doth sting those that have knowledge, and
makes them fear lest their wise heads should be out-
witted; therefore, again, 'tis your Fool alone that is your
upright judge; cause, forsooth, his brains are not in
plenty; but, those which he hath are at's own disposal.

Pas. This road, methinks, should lead us on our way
To the prince's camp! Fool, go you on before.

[As they retire, enter Captain and Soldiers.

Capt. Not quite so fast, good master: prithee, halt.

Fla. What, guards! 0! brother, now we are undone.

Pas. Be calm, be calm! the troops are not my father's.
Wil't please you, sir, inform us whence ye came ?

Capt. From Scotland, sir.

Fla. Then, 0! good heav'ns protect me?

Pas. And who is your commander ?

Capt. One whose merit
Outweighs whatever yet did breathe on earth.
If ye be Britons, as your looks bespeak,
Then show your wonted quality of justice:
Did ye not 'fore the awful face of heaven,
Proclaim Constantius as your lawful king,
When on his head, was pour'd the sacred oil ?

Pas. But he is now no more.

Capt. Yet hath he two sons living,
Whose souls, for purity, I can compare
Unto this bright, this spotless canopy.

Pas. Are ye bound towards the camp ?

Capt. We are; and if you're upright men, and true,
Thither you'll follow, and there wield the sword
For justice, truth, and your anointed king.
Yet, in this hallow'd cause, we would not force you;
But lead into the fold, with gentleness,
Each sheep that may, unknowingly, have stray'd,
And broke from out its bounds and flowery pasture.

Pas. Proceed, then, and we'll follow. Tell me, sister,
Doth not your heart beat high ?

Fla. Yea, it swells so, this little breast, in truth,
Can scarce contain it.
How shall we bear the meeting ?

Fool. I troth, merrily, merrily, as I do. 'Tis true I am a
Briton; but, then, am I not a fool ? And ne'er will I put
my folly to the test. Think'st thou, I'll risk my brains
for mine anointed king? Nay, nay; in this affair, mine
heels shall be my guide, and quick teach me the way to
run. [Exeunt.

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