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

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Scene 3.2 Grounds near the palace

Enter Castiza [with] a book,[1] two Ladies.

CASTIZA
Methinks you live strange lives! When I see't not,
The less it grieves me; you know how to ease me then.
If you but knew how well I lov'd your absence
You would bestow 't upon me without asking.

FIRST LADY
Faith, for my part, were it no more for ceremony
Than 'tis for love, you should walk long enough
For my attendance; so think all my fellows,
Though they say nothing. Books in women's hands
They are as much against the hair,
[2] methinks,
As to see men [wear] stomachers
[3] and night-rails![4]
She that has the green sickness
[5] and should follow her counsel would die like an ass and go to th' worms like a salad; not I as long as such a creature as man is made: she's a fool that will not know what he's good for.

Exeunt Ladies.

CASTIZA
Though amongst lives' elections that of virgin
I speak noblest of, yet 't has pleas'd just heaven
To send me a contented blessedness
In this of marriage, which I ever doubted;
I see the king's affection was a true one,
It lasts and holds out long: that['s] no mean virtue
In a commanding man, though in great fear
At first I was enforc'd to venture
[6] on't.

Enter Vortiger and Horsus [disguised, to one side].

VORTIGER
All's happy, clear and safe.

HORSUS
The rest comes gently then.

VORTIGER
Be sure you seize on her full sight at first,
For fear of my discovery.

HORSUS
I'll not miss it.

VORTIGER
Now fortune, and I am sped.

[Horsus seizes and blindfolds Castiza.]

CASTIZA
Oh, help, treason, treason!

HORSUS
Sirrah,
[7] how stand you? Prevent noise and clamour,
Or death shall end thy service.

VORTIGER
[Aside] A sure cunning.

CASTIZA
Oh, rescue!

HORSUS
Dead her voice; away, make speed!

[Vortiger gags her.] Exeunt and enter again.[8]

NOTES

[1] a book: "Seems to have originated as an insertion by the prompter to remind him of a property that had to be brought on to the stage" (Bald).
[2] against the hair: against the grain, with the bawdy innuendo.
[3] stomachers: "An ornamental, detachable shield worn over the abdomen under the doublet or kirtle body to fill the front opening in these garments. It was made over a foundation of pasteboard, or was stiffened by busks" (Linthicum).
[4] night-rails: nightgowns .
[5] green sickness: chlorosis, an anemic disease affecting young women in puberty; Elizabethans attributed it to love-sickness.
[6] venture: risk, wager; pronounced (and sometimes spelled) 'venter.'
[7] Sirrah: This form of address for servants was sometimes used for women.
[8] Exeunt and enter again: Clearly the actors left at one door and entered at another to indicate that Castiza has been carried from the palace grounds and taken by coach to the country. (L) marks no change in scene, and traditionally in such cases none is marked because the subject of the action remains unchanged, but as in The Changeling just before Piracquo's murder, I have marked a new scene to indicate the change in location and the passage of time. (Q) omits the stage direction. Obviously, Castiza's gag has been removed in the meantime.

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