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NORTH. Now, Travers, what good tidings comes with you?
TRA. My lord, sir John Umfrevile turn'd me back
With joyful tidings; and, being better hors’d,
Out-rode me. After him, came, spurring hard,
A gentleman almost forespent with speed,
That stopp'd by me to breathe his bloodied horse :
He ask'd the way to Chester; and of him
I did demand, what news from Shrewsbury.
He told me, that rebellion had bad luck,
And that young Harry Percy's spur was cold:
With that he gave his able horse the head,
And, bending forward, struck his armed $ heels
Against the panting sides of his poor jade
Up to the rowel-head; and, starting so,
He seem'd in running to devour the way,
Staying no longer question.
Said he, young Harry Percy's spur was cold?
Of Hotspur, coldspur? that rebellion
Had met ill luck?
My lord, I'll tell you what ;-
If my young lord your son have not the day,
Upon mine honour, for a silken point
I'll give my barony: never talk of it.
NORTH. Why should that|| gentleman, that rode by Travers,
Give, then, such instances of loss?
Who, he ?
He was some hilding a fellow, that had stol'n
The horse he rode on; and, upon my life,
Spoke at a venture. Look, here comes more news.
NORTH. Yea, this man’s brow, like to a title-leaf,"
Foretells the nature of a tragic volume:
So looks the strand, whereon ** the imperious flood
Hath left a witness'd usurpation.-
Say, Morton, did'st thou come from Shrewsbury?
Mor. I ran from Shrewsbury, my noble lord;
Where hateful death put on his ugliest mask,
To fright our party.
First folio, from.
(+) First folio, head. (1) First folio, ill.
() First folio, able. (1) First folio, the.
First folio, adventure.
(**) First folio, when. • Some hilding fellow,–] Some degenerate fellow. The epithet hilding was applied indiscriminately to either sex. Thus Čapulet says of his daughter, “Romeo and Juliet,” Act III. Sc. 5:
“Out on her, hilding." Like to a title-leaf,–] Elegiac poems in former times were usually printed with a black border round the title-page, and sometimes with that leaf totally black.
How doth my son, and brother?
Thou tremblest; and the whiteness in thy cheek
Is apter than thy tongue to tell thy errand.
Even such a man, so faint, so spiritless,
So dull, so dead in look, so woe-begone,
Drew Priam's curtain in the dead of night,
And would have told him, half his Troy was burn'd;
But Priam found the fire, ere he his tongue,
And I my Percy's death, ere thou report'st it.
This thou would'st say,—Your son did thus, and thus ;
Your brother, thus; so fought the noble Douglas;
Stopping my greedy ear with their bold deeds,
But in the end, to stop mine ear indeed,
Thou hast a sigh to blow away this praise,
Ending with—brother, son, and all are dead.
MOR. Douglas is living, and your brother, yet ;
But, for my lord your son,
Why, he is dead.
See, what a ready tongue suspicion hath!
He, that but fears the thing he would not know,
Hath, by instinct, knowledge from others' eyes,
That what he fear'd is chanced. Yet speak, Morton;
Tell thou thy earl, his divination lies;
And I will take it as a sweet disgrace,
And make thee rich for doing me such wrong.
MOR. You are too great to be by me gainsaid:
Your spirit is too true, your fears too certain.
NORTH. Yet, for all this, say not that Percy's dead.
I see a strange confession in thine
Thou shak'st thy head, and hold’st it fear, or sin,
To speak a truth. If he be slain, say so:
The tongue offends not, that reports his death ;
And he doth sin, that doth belie the dead,
Not he, which says the dead is not alive.
Yet the first bringer of unwelcome news
Hath but a losing office; and his tongue
Sounds ever after as a sullen bell,
Remember'd knolling* a departing friend.
BARD. I cannot think, my lord, your son is dead.
MOR. I am sorry, I should force you
That, which I would to Godt I had not seen:
But these mine eyes saw him in bloody state,
Rend'ring faint quittance, wearied and out-breath'd
To Harry † Monmouth; whose swift wrath beat down
The never-daunted Percy to the earth,
From whence with life he never more sprung up.
(*) Quarto, tolling. (+) First folio, heaven. (1) First folio, Henry. • Rend'ring faint quittance,–] Quittance here means requital, as in " Henry V.” Act II. Sc. 2:
“And shall forget the office of our hand,
Sooner than quittance of desert and merit."
In few,a his death, (whose spirit lent a fire
Even to the dullest peasant in his camp,)
Being bruited once, took fire and heat away
From the best temper'd courage in his troops :
For from his metal was his party steeld;
Which once in him abated, all the rest
Turn'd on themselves, like dull and heavy lead.
And as the thing that's heavy in itself,
Upon enforcement, flies with greatest speed,
So did our men, heavy in Hotspur's loss,
Lend to this weight such lightness with their fear,
That arrows fled not swifter toward their aim,
Than did our soldiers, aiming at their safety,
Fly from the field. Then was that noble Worcester
Too soon ta'en prisoner; and that furious Scot,
The bloody Douglas, whose well-labouring sword
Had three times slain the appearance of the king,
'Gan vail his stomach, and did grace the shame
Of those that turn'd their backs; and, in his flight,
Stumbling in fear, was took. The sum of all
Īs,—that the king hath won; and hath sent out
A speedy power, to encounter you, my lord,
Under the conduct of young Lancaster,
And Westmoreland : this is the news at full.
NORTH. For this I shall have time enough to mourn.
In poison there is physic; and these * news,
Having been well, that would have made me sick;
Being sick, have in some measure made me well:
And as the wretch, whose fever-weaken'd joints,
Like strengthless hinges, bucklec under life,
Impatient of his fit, breaks like a fire
Out of his keeper's arms; even so my limbs,
Weaken'd with grief, being now enrag'd with grief,
Are thrice themselves : hence therefore, thou niced crutch;
A scaly gauntlet now, with joints of steel,
Must glove this hand: and hence, thou sickly coif;
Thou art a guard too wanton for the head,
Which princes, flesh'd with conquest, aim to hit.
Now bind my brows with iron; and approach
The ragged'ste hour that time and spite dare bring,
(*) First folio, this. a In few,– [That is, in short, in a few words. So in “The Tempest,” Act I. Sc. 2:
"In few, they hurried us aboard a bark;” and in “Measure for Measure," Act III. Sc. 1.:
" In few, bestowed her on her own lamentation." See note (-) Vol. I., p. 329. b 'Gan vail his stomach, — ] Lower his pride or courage. See note (-), Vol. I., p. 378. • Buckle under-] Bend under. a Thou nice crutch,] Nice means here effeminate. • The ragged’st hour-] The roughest hour.
To frown upon the enrag'd Northumberland!
Let heaven kiss earth! Now let not nature's hand
Keep the wild flood confin'd! let order die!
And let this* world no longer be a stage,
To feed contention in a lingering act,
But let one spirit of the first-born Cain
Reign in all bosoms, that, each heart being set
On bloody courses, the rude scene may end,
And darkness be the burier of the dead!
TRA. This strained passion doth you wrong, my lord.a
BARD. Sweet earl, divorce not wisdom from your honour.
Mor. The lives of all your loving complices
Lean on your health; the which, if you give o'er
To stormy passion, must perforce decay.b
You cast the event of war, my noble lord,
And summ'd the account of chance, before you said,
Let us make head. It was your presurmise,
That, in the dole of blows, your son might drop:
You knew, he walk'd o'er perils, on an edge,
More likely to fall in, than to get o'er ;
You were advis'd, his flesh was capable
Of wounds, and scars; and that his forward spirit
Would lift him where most trade of danger rang'd;
Yet did you say,—Go forth; and none of this,
Though strongly apprehended, could restrain
The stiff-borne action. What hath then befallen,
Or what hath this bold enterprise brought forth,
More than that being which was like to be?
BARD. We all that are engaged to this loss,
Knew that we ventur'd on such dangerous seas,
That, if we wrought out life, 't wast ten to one;
And yet we venturd, for the gain propos'd
Chok’d the respect of likely peril feard;
And, since we are o'erset, venture again.
Come, we will all put forth ; body and goods.
MOR. 'Tis more than time: and, my most noble lord,
I hear for certain, and dot speak the truth,6-
The gentle archbishop of York is up,
With well-appointed powers; he is a man,
(*) First folio, the. (1) First folio, was. (1) Quarto, dare. * Tra. This strained passion doth you wrong, my lord.] This line is omitted in the folio.
b Must perforce decay.] The remainder of Morton's speech, after this line, is omitted in the quarto.
. The dole of blous-] The dealing, the distribution of blows. d You were advis’d, - ) You were aware. e Capable-] That is, susceptible, sensible. “ Alongst the galupin or silver paved way of heaven, conducted into the great hall of the gods, Mercury sprinkled me with water, which made me capable of their divine presence.”—GREENE'S Orpharion, 4to, 1599, p. 7. See note (m), Vol. I., p. 413. 1 Where most trade-] Most traffic. See note (“), Vol. I., p. 670.
& And do speak the truth, — ] Here, again, the quarto omits what follows of Morton's speech.
Who with a double surety binds his followers.
My lord your son had only but the corps,
But shadows, and the shows of men, to fight :
For that same word, rebellion, did divide
The action of their bodies from their souls ;
And they did fight with queasiness, constrain'd,
As men drink potions; that their weapons only
Seem'd on our side, but, for their spirits and souls,
This word, rebellion, it had froze them up,
As fish are in a pond: but now the bishop
Turns insurrection to religion :
Suppos’d sincere and holy in his thoughts,
He's follow'd both with body and with mind;
And doth enlarge his rising with the blood
Of fair King Richard, scrap'd from Pomfret stones ;
Derives from heaven his quarrel, and his cause ;
Tells them, he doth bestride a bleeding land,
Gasping for life under great Bolingbroke;
And more and less, a do flock to follow him.
NORTH. I knew of this before ; but, to speak truth,
This present grief had wip'd it from my mind.
Go in with me; and counsel every man
The aptest way for safety, and revenge:
Get posts, and letters, and make friends with speed ;
Never so few, and* never yet more need.
SCENE II.-London. A Street.
Enter SiR JOHN FALSTAFF, with his Page bearing his sword
FAL. Sirrah, you giant, what says the doctor to my water?
PAGE. He said, sir, the water itself was a good healthy water : but, for the party that owed it, he might have more diseases than he knew for.
FAL. Men of all sorts take a pride to gird at me. The brain of this foolish-compounded clay, man, is not able to invent any thing that tends to laughter, more than I invent, or is invented on me: I am not only witty in myself
, but the cause that wit is in other men. I do here walk before thee, like a sow, that hath overwhelmed all her litter but one. If the prince put thee into my service for any other reason than to set me off, why then I have no judgment. Thou whoreson mandrake, thou art fitter to be worn in my cap, than to wait at my heels. I was never manned with an agateb till now: but I will in-set † you neither in gold nor silver, but in vile apparel, and
(*) First folio, nor.
(+) First folio, set. * More and less --] That is, great and small. So in “Henry IV.” Part I. Act IV. Sc. 3:
“ The more and less carae in with cap and knee." b I was never manned with an agate-] An agate stone was frequently cut to represent the human form, and was occasionally worn in the hat by gallants.