Old Fortunatus – Act Two Chorus

Return to the previous scene


The world to the circumference of heaven
Is as a small point in geometry
Whose greatness is so little, that a less
Cannot be made.  Into that narrow room
Your quick imaginations we must charm
To turn that world, and turn’d, again to part it
Into large kingdoms, and within one moment,
To carry Fortunatus on the wings
Of active thought, many a thousand miles.
Suppose then, since you last beheld him here,
That you have sail’d with him upon the seas,
And leapt with him upon the Asian shores,
Been feasted with him in the Tartar’s palace,
And all the courts of each barbarian kings,
From whence, being call’d by some unlucky star,
For happiness never continues long,
Help me to bring him back to Aragon,
Where, for his pride—riches make all men proud—
On slight quarrel, by a covetous earl,
Fortune’s dear minion is imprisoned.
There think you see him sit with folded arms,
Tears dropping down his cheeks, his white hairs torn,
His legs in rusty fetters, and his tongue
Bitterly cursing that his squint-ey’d soul
Did not make choice of wisdom’s sacred lore.
Fortune, to triumph in unconstancy,
From prison bails him; liberty is wild,
For being set free, he like a lusty eagle
Cuts with his ventrous feathers through the sky,
And lights not till he find the Turkish court.
Thither transport your eyes, and there behold him,
Revelling with the emperor of the east,
From whence, through fear, for safeguard of his life,
Flying into the arms of ugly night,
Suppose you see him brought to Babylon;
And that the sun, clothed all in fury, hath rid
One quarter of his hot celestial way
With the bright morning, and that in this instant,
He and the Soldan meet; but what they say,
Listen you, the talk of kings none dare bewray.                                         [Exit.

Proceed to the next scene


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