Act IV. Scene I. The Camp Of Locrine.

[Enter Locrine, Camber, Corineius, Assaracus,
Thrasimachus, and the soldiers.]

LOCRINE.
Thus from the furty of Bellona's broils,
With sound of drum and trumpets' melody,
The Brittain king returns triumphantly.
The Scithians slain with great occasion
Do equalize the grass in multitude,
And with their blood have stained the streaming brooks,
Offering their bodies and their dearest blood
As sacrifice to Albanactus' ghost.
Now, cursed Humber, hast thou paid thy due,
For thy deceits and crafty treacheries,
For all thy guiles and damned strategems,
With loss of life, and everduring shame.
Where are thy horses trapped with burnished gold,
Thy trampling coursers ruled with foaming bits?
Where are thy soldiers, strong and numberless,
Thy valiant captains and thy noble peers?
Even as the country clowns with sharpest scythes
Do mow the withered grass from off the earth,
Or as the ploughman with his piercing share
Renteth the bowels of the fertile fields,
And rippeth up the roots with razours keen:
So Locrine with his mighty curtleaxe
Hath cropped off the heads of all thy Huns;
So Locrine's peers have daunted all thy peers,
And drove thin host unto confusion,
That thou mayest suffer penance for thy fault,
And die for murdering valiant Albanact.

CORINEIUS.
And thus, yea thus, shall all the rest be served
That seek to enter Albion gainst our wills.
If the brave nation of the Troglodites,
If all the coalblack Aethiopians,
If all the forces of the Amazons,
If all the hosts of the Barbarian lands,
Should dare to enter this our little world,
Soon should they rue their overbold attempts,
That after us our progeny may say,
There lie the beasts that sought to usurp our land.

LOCRINE.
Aye, they are beasts that seek to usurp our land,
And like to brutish beasts they shall be served.
For mighty Jove, the supreme king of heaven,
That guides the concourse of the Meteors,
And rules the motion of the azure sky,
Fights always for the Brittains' safety.--
But stay! me thinks I hear some shriking noise,
That draweth near to our pavilion.

[Enter the soldiers leading in Estrild.]

ESTRILD.
What prince so ere, adorned with golden crown,
Doth sway the regal scepter in his hand,
And thinks no chance can ever throw him down,
Or that his state shall everlasting stand:
Let him behold poor Estrild in this plight,
The perfect platform of a troubled wight.
Once was I guarded with manortial bands,
Compassed with princes of the noble blood;
Now am I fallen into my foemen's hands,
And with my death must pacific their mood.
O life, the harbour of calamities!
O death, the haven of all miseries!
I could compare my sorrows to thy woe,
Thou wretched queen of wretched Pergamus,
But that thou viewdst thy enemies' overthrow.
Night to the rock of high Caphareus,
Thou sawest their death, and then departedst thence;
I must abide the victor's insolence.
The golds that pitied thy continual grief
Transformed thy corps, and with thy corps thy care;
Poor Estrild lives despairing of relief,
For friends in trouble are but few and rare.
What, said I few? Aye! few or none at all,
For cruel death made havoc of them all.
Thrice happy they whose fortune was so good,
To end their lives, and with their lives their woes!
Thrice hapless I, whom fortune so withstood,
That cruelly she gave me to my foes!
Oh, soldiers, is there any misery,
To be compared to fortune's treachery.

LOCRINE.
Camber, this same should be the Scithian queen.

CAMBER.
So may we judge by her lamenting words.

LOCRINE.
So fair a dame mine eyes did never see;
With floods of woe she seems overwhelmed to be.

CAMBER.
O Locrine, hath she not a cause for to be sad?

LOCRINE.

[At one side of the stage.]

If she have cause to weep for Humber's death,
And shed salt tears for her overthrow,
Locrine may well bewail his proper grief,
Locrine may move his own peculiar woe.
He, being conquered, died a speedy death,
And felt not long his lamentable smart:
I, being conqueror, live a lingering life,
And feel the force of Cupid's sudden stroke.
I gave him cause to die a speedy death,
He left me cause to wish a speedy death.
Oh that sweet face painted with nature's dye,
Those roseall cheeks mixed with a snowy white,
That decent neck surpassing ivory,
Those comely breasts which Venus well might spite,
Are like to snares which wily fowlers wrought,
Wherein my yielding heart is prisoner caught.
The golden tresses of her dainty hair,
Which shine like rubies glittering with the sun,
Have so entrapt poor Locrine's lovesick heart,
That from the same no way it can be won.
How true is that which oft I heard declared,
One dram of joy, must have a pound of care.

ESTRILD.
Hard is their fall who, from a golden crown,
Are cast into a sea of wretchedness.

LOCRINE.
Hard is their thrall who by Cupid's frown
Are wrapt in waves of endless carefulness.

ESTRILD.
Oh kingdom, object to all miseries.

LOCRINE.
Oh love, the extremest of all extremities.

[Let him go into his chair.]

FIRST SOLDIER.
My lord, in ransacking the Scithian tents,
I found this Lady, and to manifest
That earnest zeal I bear unto your grace,
I here present her to your majesty.

SECOND SOLDIER.
He lies, my Lord; I found the Lady first,
And here present her to your majesty.

FIRST SOLDIER.
Presumptuous villain, wilt thou take my prize?

SECOND SOLDIER.
Nay, rather thou deprivest me of my right.

FIRST SOLDIER.
Resign thy title, cative, unto me,
Or with my sword I'll pierce thy coward's loins.

SECOND SOLDIER.
Soft words, good sir, tis not enough to speak;
A barking dog doth seldom strangers bite.

LOCRINE.
Unreverent villains, strive you in our sight?
Take them hence, Jailor, to the dungeon;
There let them lie and try their quarrel out.
But thou, fair princess, be no whit dismayed,
But rather joy that Locrine favours thee.

ESTRILD.
How can he favor me that slew my spouse?

LOCRINE.
The chance of war, my love, took him from thee.

ESTRILD.
But Locrine was the causer of his death.

LOCRINE.
He was an enemy to Locrine's state,
And slew my noble brother Albanact.

ESTRILD.
But he was linked to me in marriage bond,
And would you have me love his slaughterer?

LOCRINE.
Better to live, than not to live at all.

ESTRILD.
Better to die renowned for chastity,
Than live with shame and endless infamy.
What would the common sort report of me,
If I forget my love, and cleave to thee?

LOCRINE.
Kings need not fear the vulgar sentences.

ESTRILD.
But Ladies must regard their honest name.

LOCRINE.
Is it a shame to live in marriage bonds?

ESTRILD.
No, but to be a strumpet to a king.

LOCRINE.
If thou wilt yield to Locrine's burning love,
Thou shalt be queen of fair Albania.

ESTRILD.
But Gwendoline will undermine my state.

LOCRINE.
Upon mine honor, thou shalt have no harm.

ESTRILD.
Then lo, brave Locrine, Estrild yields to thee;
And by the gods, whom thou doest invocate,
By the dead ghost of thy deceased sire,
By thy right hand and by thy burning love,
Take pity on poor Estrild's wretched thrall.

CORINEIUS.
Hath Locrine then forgot his Gwendoline,
That thus he courts the Scithian's paramour?
What, are the words of Brute so soon forgot?
Are my deserts so quickly out of mind?
Have I been faithful to thy sire now dead,
Have I protected thee from Humber's hands,
And doest thou quite me with ungratitude?
Is this the guerdon for my grievous wounds,
Is this the honour for my labor's past?
Now, by my sword, Locrine, I swear to thee,
This injury of thine shall be repaid.

LOCRINE.
Uncle, scorn you your royal sovereign,
As if we stood for cyphers in the court?
Upbraid you me with those your benefits?
Why, it was a subject's duty so to do.
What you have done for our deceased sire,
We know, and all know you have your reward.

CORINEIUS.
Avaunt, proud princox; bravest thou me withall?
Assure thy self, though thou be Emperor,
Thou ne'er shalt carry this unpunished.

CAMBER.
Pardon my brother, noble Corineius;
Pardon this once and it shall be amended.

ASSARACHUS.
Cousin, remember Brutus' latest words,
How he desired you to cherish them;
Let not this fault so much incense your mind,
Which is not yet passed all remedy.

CORINEIUS.
Then, Locrine, lo, I reconcile my self;
But as thou lovest thy life, so love thy wife.
But if thou violate those promises,
Blood and revenge shall light upon thy head.
Come, let us back to stately Troinouant,
Where all these matters shall be settled.

LOCRINE.

[To himself.]

Millions of devils wait upon thy soul!
Legions of spirits vex thy impious ghost!
Ten thousand torments rack thy cursed bones!
Let every thing that hath the use of breath
Be instruments and workers of thy death!

[Exeunt.]
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