It is these pauses that are our undoing. It is then that sedition enters the fortress and our troops rise in insurrection. Once before he had paused, and love with its horrid rout, its shawms, its cymbals, and its heads with gory locks torn from the shoulders had burst in....Now again he paused, and into the breach thus made, leapt Ambition, the harridan, and Poetry, the witch, and Desire of Fame, the strumpet; all joined hands and made of his heart their dancing ground. Standing upright in the solitude of his room, he vowed that he would be the first poet of his race and bring immortal lustre upon his name.

This passage, in the narrator's voice, describes Orlando in chapter two. Here, the narrator introduces what will become a familiar theme: that men often mix fame and poetry in their minds. The narrator thinks it is a mistake to write for the purpose of fame and fortune. The actual writing, she suggests, is "one voice to another" and it has absolutely nothing to do with criticism or praise. But here, young Orlando does not understand that fame and ambition should be kept separate from his poetry. It takes him hundreds of years before he comes to the understanding that his poetry is for himself.