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

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home l personae l act 1 l act 2 l act 3 l act 4 l act 5
scene 1 l dumb show 2 l chorus 3 l scene 2 l scene 3

Scene 2.2 A hall in the palace

Enter Vortiger, a Gentleman [meeting him].

GENTLEMAN
My lord!

VORTIGER
I fear thy news will fetch a curse,
It comes with such a violence.

GENTLEMAN
The people are up in arms against you!

VORTIGER
Oh, this dream of glory! I could wish
A sting unto thee; there's no such felt in hell
The fellow but to mine I feel now.
Sweet power, before I can have [time] to taste thee
Must I forever lose thee? What's the impostume
[1]
That swells 'em now?

GENTLEMAN
The murder of Constantius.

Exit Gentleman.

VORTIGER
Ulcers of realms! They hated him alive,
Grew weary of the minute of his reign
Compared with some kings' time, and poisoned him
Often before he died in their black wishes,
Call'd him an evil of their own electing.
And is their ignorant zeal so fiery now
When all [their] thanks are cold? The mutable hearts
That move in their false breasts! Provide me safety!

Shout.

Hark, I hear ruin threaten me with a voice
That imitates thunder.

Enter Gentleman.

GENTLEMAN
Where's the king?

VORTIGER
Who takes him?

GENTLEMAN
Send peace to all your royal thoughts, my lord;
A fleet of valiant Saxons newly landed
Offer the truth of all their service to you.

VORTIGER
Saxons! My wishes! Let 'em have free entrance
And plenteous welcomes from all hearts that love us;
They never could come happier.

Enter Hengist, Horsus, drum and soldiers.

HENGIST
Health, power, and victory to Vortiger.

VORTIGER
There can be no more wish'd to a king's pleasure
If all the languages earth speaks were ransack'd.
Your names I know not, but so much good fortune
And warranted worth lightens your fair aspects,
I cannot but in arms of love enfold you.

HENGIST
The mistress of our births, hope-[fruitful] Germany,
Calls me Hengistus, and this Captain Horsus,
A man low built but, sir, in acts of valour
Flame is not swifter. We are all, my lord,
The sons of fortune; she has sent us forth
To thrive by the red sweat of our own merits,
And since after the rage of many a tempest
Our fate has cast us upon Britain's bounds,
We offer you the first fruits of our wounds.

VORTIGER
Which we shall dearly prize; the mean'st blood spent
Shall at wealth's fountain make his own content.

HENGIST
You double vigour in us then, my lord:
Pay is the soul of them that thrive by th' sword.

Exeunt omnes.

NOTES

[1] impostume: cyst

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