Prompt: You just met Shakespeare, how will you keep up with his witty remarks?
It was a cold breezy morning. Rain had begun to fall. I had wandered into a village in search of shelter. I sought reprise near the awning a cottage. I stepped back and knocked over a potted plant.
“Who’st arouse my quarters?” I heard a man’s voice.
I thought to run but I noticed it to begun to rain beginning to grow stronger.
“No one sir. Sorry to bother,” I said weary of who I had troubled.
The door opened and a man of long locks met me.
“My fellow, be’st thy lost? Or might thy seek a shilling? If the later I shall send you away. The former; of what may’st I be of help?”
“Sir, need I take a moment? I have been on travels and this storm precludes me from further advance,” I said removing my hat, and messing my hair.
“Travels? Any man set forth on adventure is always welcome, please come in,” He said.
He brought me into a study and gave me a glass of ale.
“Thou’st go by the west or east?” He asked sitting down and taking a quill and scribbling something quickly.
“I come from quite a long way sir. A place where I couldn’t find my way.”
“That is a saddest trifle I’ve heard all day and I’ve only just extinguished mine evening’s flame,” he said, reaching for a pitcher of ale.
“No sir, I am far from troubled. I am on travels for fortune, but the days have proven lackluster,” I said, wondering what was in the beer.
“Luck strikes us many, but for some nary is seen,” He shuffled some papers and shot me an eye.
“My works have forced me to abandon purpose. I have sought to begin new life,” as a quick buzz came over me.
“The life of labor a noble art. There are many builders looking for strapping lads. Perhaps you could break your back for meager earnings.”
“I’d like to see myself as a seeker of ideas and arts, I think I can contribute great things.”
“What can be said, has been said many a time over. Do you think you have something of worth to say? Something which the masses have yet to come across? Are you loiterer of ideas?
“No sir, to the contrary, I lie awake at night with visions of what could be. But with the incessant drive which cannot be fulfilled.”
“We all have passions that torment, lad. Days when the sun shines but does not warm. I once was a daydreamer but then I rolled out from my bed and closed the blinds.”
“Are you saying that I should give up on what I’m trying to pursue?”
“Dear lad, I know nothing about you, yet judging upon thy’st lost gaze, it occurs to me that no fortune will ever lie upon your eyes. I have composed many a man, described far notions of ideals and whims, yet my slightest discernment tells me to say that I should send you on your meandering way. I am afflicted with my own discourses.”
The rain outside began to fall harder.
“Why do you say that sir? I simply thought to seek relief from a trying journey. Not to be berated by a bullock.”
“I have answers for you lad, answers I’ve learned from years of toil, strife, and failure. In each and every of those trials by fire I learned what is sought is rarely what we truly aspire. Yet the day is full of recourse even when clouds embark.
“Quite a morning to come upon an unnecessary diatribe, I think to find myself out.”
I began to sit up when he sat forward and folded his hands.
“There are still adventures to be won and nights to rest. Even when all you can say is that you met a man on one dreary morning in the village and he told you to dismiss your compass.”
“Sir, I’ve traveled all my life. Seen town after town, people with hopes never reached and desires only left for the garbage. In all that, what strikes me about ambition is that it’s ever fleeting. I can go here. I can go there. Yet I always end up where I am. A better man, perhaps, a wiser man, maybe. A successful man is something which only I can confront when I peer upon my reflection only to be shocked at what I’ve become or what I have lost.”
“Lad, I’ve an appointment in the shortly. I hope you enjoyed the ale. I suggest you to drink into a stupor when you peer upon thine complexion. It’s much easier to live when fortune is also inebriated.”
I looked at the base of the glass and noticed pieces of hops.
“I’ve never been a drunkard, sir but I’m always yearning for replete. What was your name?”
“I go by many monikers. You can remember me as Varrius. I could very well have remained silent. you still would be as well off as your are now. Please, let me show you to the door.”
I set the pint down and glanced over at his papers. I noticed a title of what looked like a book - Measure for Measure.
“I am unsure of your ambivalence sir, but I do feel this meeting has been ardent. What did you say your profession was?”
“A ne’er-do-well. As we all are. Farewell.”
. . .