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Thra. Though I be young and of a tender age.
That he should fear and tremble at the looks
That at defiance standeth with his king),
Leave these thy taunts, leave these thy bragging words,
Thra. If princes stain their glorious dignity
With ugly spots of monstrous infamy,
They leeset their former estimation,
And throw themselves into a hell of hate.
Loc. Wilt thou abuse my gentle patience,
As though thou didst our high displeasure scorn?
Proud boy, that thou mayst know thy prince is moved,
We banish thee for ever from our court.
Thra. Then, losel‡ Locrine, look unto thyself; Thrasimachus will 'venge this injury.
Loc. Farewell, proud boy, and learn to use § thy tongue.
The latest words that Brutus spake to you;
How he desired you, by the obedience
That children ought to bear unto their sire,
Consider this, that if the injury
Do move her mind, as certainly it will,
War and dissension follows speedily.
What though her power be not so great as yours?
Slain by the biting of a silly mouse?
Even so the chance of war inconstant is.
Loc. Peace, uncle, peace, and cease to talk hereof; For he that seeks, by whispering this or that,
To trouble Locrine in his sweetest life,
Let him persuade himself to die the death.
Enter ESTRILD, SABREN, and a PAGE.
Est. O say me, page, tell me, where is the king. Wherefore doth he send for me to the court?
Is it to die? is it to end my life?
Say me, sweet boy; tell me and do not feign.
Page. No, trust me, madam: if you will credit the little
A follower of Venus.
An unworthy wretch.
I Say to me.
† I. e. loose.
§ I, e. use it with propriety.
honesty that is yet left me, there is no such danger as you fear. But prepare yourself; yonder 's the king.
Est. Then, Estrild, lift thy dazzled spirits up,
[Taking her up.
Enter GUENDOLEN, THRASIMACHUS, MADAN, and Soldiers,
Guen. You gentle winds, that with your modest blasts
Enter the clouds, unto the throne of Jove,
And learn'd to love proud Humber's concubine.
Shed forth those tears with me, which then you shed
Those tears are fittest for my woeful case,
Since Locrine shuns my nothing-pleasant face.
Blush heavens, blush sun, and hide thy shining beams;
Thra. Sister, complaints are bootless in this cause,
This plague must be repaid with grievous war
This war must finish with Locrinus' death:
His death must soon extinguish our complaints.
Guen. O no; his death will more augment my woes: He was my husband, brave Thrasimachus,
More dear to me than the apple of mine eye;
Should Locrine live, that caused my father's death ?
The heavens, the earth, the air, the fire reclaim;+
Guen. Then henceforth farewell womanish complaints!
For Nemesis, the mistress of revenge,
Sits arm'd at all points on our dismal blades:
And cursed Estrild, that inflamed his heart,
Shall, if I live, die a reproachful death.
Mad. Mother, though nature makes me to lament My luckless father's froward lechery,
Yet, for he wrongs my lady mother thus,
I, if I could, myself would work his death.
Thra. See, madam, see! the desire of revenge
Is in the children of a tender age.
Forward, brave soldiers, into Mercia,
Where we shall brave the coward to his face.
Enter LOCRINE, ESTRILD, SABREN, ASSARACUS, and Soldiers.
Loc. Tell me, Assaracus, are the Cornish choughs
In such great number come to Mercia?
And have they pitched there their petty host,
So close unto our royal mansion ?
Assa. They are, my lord, and mean incontinent To bid defiance to your majesty.
Loc. It makes me laugh, to think that Guendolen Should have the heart to come in arms against me. Est. Alas, my lord, the horse will run amain, When as the spur doth gall him to the bone: Jealousy, Locrine, hath a wicked sting.
Loc. Say'st thou so, Estrild, beauty's paragon?
Well, we will try her choler to the proof,
And make her know, Locrine can brook no braves.
*I. e. his destruction.
I. e. cry out against.
Thunder and lightning. Enter the GHOST of CORINEUS.
Ghost. Behold, the circuit of the azure sky
The fire casteth forth sharp darts of flames;
The wandering birds that flutter in the dark
Behold they come; the trumpets call them forth:
Lo where their army glistereth on the plains.
And pour thy plagues on cursed Locrine's head! [Stands aside. Enter LOCRINE, ESTRILD, ASSA RACUS, SABREN and their Soldiers at one side; THRASIMACHUS, GUENDOLEN, MADAN, and their followers at another.
Loc. What, is the tiger started from his cave?
Is Guendolen come from Cornubia,
That thus she braveth Locrine to the teeth?
Guen. Ay, Locrine, traitorous Locrine, we are come,
What have I done, that thou shouldst scorn me thus ?
Have I bewray'd thy arcane secrecy?
I. e. thy secret secrecy.
Have I dishonoured thy marriage bed
Unkind, thou wrong'st thy first and truest feere;*
Est. Believe me, Locrine, but the girl is wise,
How finely frames she her oration!
Thra. Locrine, we came not here to fight with words,
But, for you are so merry in your frumps,†
That we may see who hath the better hand.
Loc. Think'st thou to dare me, bold Thrasimachus?
Think'st thou to feart me with thy taunting braves ?§
Enter LOCRINE, ASSARACUS, and Soldiers at one door; GUENDOLEN, THRASIMACHUS, and his forces at another. They fight. LOCRINE and his followers are driven back. Then re-enter LOCRINE and ESTRILD.
Loc. O fair Estrilda, we have lost the field;
Scoff'd at by those that are our enemies.
Ten thousand soldiers, arm'd with sword and shield,
Like to grim Mars, when, cover'd with his targe,
O lovely Estrild, now the chase begins:
Mounted on coursers garnish'd all with pearls;
Ne'er shall mine eyes behold that dismal hour,
I. e. mate.
I. e. gibes, sneers. § Bravadoes.