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  Vortigern Studies > Vortigern > Art & Literature > Play 3 > Act 4, scene 10

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SCENE X. - VORTICERN'S PALACE.

Enter VORTIGERN and First Baron.

1st Bar. Speed, my most gracious lord! think on your
safety.
They course your troops, and dreadful is the carnage.

Vor. Where are my sons ?

1st Bar. Let not your tongue curse me when I shall say.

Vor. Speak, quick !

1st Bar. With all their troops they join'd the enemy,
And bore with them their mother.

Enter Officer.

Vor. Well, sir; and what more tidings do you bring?

Off. To London's lofty walls they've follow'd us.

Vor. I care not an' they follow'd to the grave.
Speak, vassal! coward, speak! where is Rowena?

0ff. Alas! I fear me, sir, she's ta'en a prisoner.

Vor. Then all, indeed, is lost!Thou sweetest death!
Bury but in this bosom thy fell dart,
And I will bless thee for the gentle deed.

Off. Shall I go forth, my lord, and man the walls'

Vor. Do as thou wilt.
Good friend. I'd speak with thee.

Off. What, sir, are your commands ?

Vor. Thou art an old, and ever faithful servant.

Off. My means have not kept pace with my desires.

Vor. I know thee well. Wouldst thou not serve me.friend?

Off. Ay, my good lord: but put me to the test,
And you shall see me smile on death himself.

Vor. I take thee at thy word. Hold here my sword,
And but one friendly office render me:
Flinch not, strike deep and home: there lies my heart.

Off. 0! if each drop that were to issue from thee,
Was a most costly jewel, and the whole
Were my reward, by heav'n I would not do't!

Vor. Thou coward! what, afraid? 0! shame, fie on't!

Off. Consider, sir, your queen yet lives.

Vor. My friend, thou'rt in the right. To arms, then, out.
Bring me my burnish'd shield, my weighty axe,
And man the northern gate; let every bell
Sound forth its brazen peal, until they rouse
Our tombed fathers from their silent graves,
To come and aid us at this pinch of time:
Ring till the very steeples totter down.
Mark well my orders; he that flinches, dies.
If aught of murmur's heard, choak it with death.
Away, away! the grave or victory!

END OF THE FOURTH ACT.

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