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To lay a heavy and unequal hand
Upon our honors f -
West. O, my good lord Mowbray,'
Construe the times to their necessities, .
And you shall say indeed,—it is the time,
And not the king, that doth you injuries.
Yet, for your part, it not appears to me,
Either from the king, or in the present time,
That you should have an inch of any ground
To build a grief on. Were you not restored
To all the duke of Norfolk's seigniories,
Your noble and right well-remembered father's f
Mowb. What thing in honor had my father lost,
That need to be revived and breathed in me P
The king that loved him, as the state stood then,
Was, force perforce, compelled to banish him.
And then, when Harry Bolingbroke, and he, L
Being mounted, and both roused in their seats,
Their neighing coursers daring of the spur,
Their armed staves” in charge, their beavers down,
Their eyes of fire sparkling through sights” of steel,
And the loud trumpet blowing them together;— -
Then, them, when there was nothing could have stayed
My father from the breast of Bolingbroke,
O, when the king did throw his warder down,
His own life hung upon the staff he threw ;
Then threw he down himself; and all their lives,
That by indictment, and by dint of sword,
Have since miscarried under Bolingbroke.
West. You speak, lord Mowbray, now you know
The earl of Hereford * was reputed then
In England the most valiant gentleman; w
Who knows, on whom fortune would then have smiled P
But, if your father had been victor there,
He ne'er had borne it out of Coventry;
For all the country, in a general voice,
Cried hate upon him; and all their prayers, and love,
Were set on Hereford, whom they doted on,
And blessed, and graced indeed, more than the king.
But this is mere digression from my purpose.—
Here come I from our princely general,
To know your griefs; to tell you from his grace,
That he will give you audience; and wherein
It shall appear that your demands are just,
You shall enjoy them; every thing set off,
That might so much as think you enemies.
Mowb. But he hath forced us to compel this offer,
And it proceeds from policy, not love.
West. Mowbray, you overween, to take it so.
This offer comes from mercy, not from fear;
For, lo! within a ken our army lies;
Upon mine honor, all too confident
To give admittance to a thought of fear.
Our battle is more full of names than yours,
Our men more perfect in the use of arms,
Our armor all as strong, our cause the best;
Then reason wills, our hearts should be as good.—
Say you not, then, our offer is compelled.
Mowb. Well, by my will, we shall admit no parley.
West. That argues but the shame of your offence.
A rotten case abides no handling.
Hast. Hath the prince John a full commission,
In very ample virtue of his father,
To hear, and absolutely to determine
Of what conditions we shall stand upon f
West. That is intended in the general’s name.
I muse, you make so slight a question.
Arch. Then take, my lord of Westmoreland, this
For this contains our general grievances.—
Each several article herein redressed;
All members of our cause, both here and hence,
That are insinewed to this action,
Acquitted by a true, substantial form,
And present execution of our wills
To us, and to our purposes, consigned,—
We come within our awful” banks again,
And knit our powers to the arm of peace.
West. This will I show the general. Please you,
In sight of both our battles we may meet:
And either end in peace, which Heaven so frame;
Or to the place of difference call the swords
Which must decide it. .
Arch. My lord, we will do so.
- - [Erit Wot.
Mowb. There is a thing within my bosom, tells me,
Thap no conditions of our peace can stand.
ast. Fear you not that. If we can make our peace
Upon such large terms, and so absolute,
As our conditions shall consist” upon,
Our peace shall stand as firm as rocky mountains.
Mowb. Ay, but our valuation shall be such,
That every slight and false-derived cause,
Yea, every idle, nice, and wanton reason,
Shall, to the king, taste of this action;
That, were our royal faiths “martyrs in love,
We shall be winnowed with so rough a wind,
That even our corn shall seem as light as chaff,
And good from bad find no partition.
Arch. No, no, my lord. Note this; the king is
Of dainty and such picking" grievances;
For he hath found,-to end one doubt by death,
Revives two greater in the heirs of life.
And therefore will he wipe his tables" clean :
And keep no telltale to his memory,
That may repeat and history his loss
To new remembrance. For full well he knows
He cannot so precisely weed this land,
As his misdoubts present occasion.
His foes are so enrooted with his friends,
That, plucking to unfix an enemy, -
He doth unfasten so, and shake a friend.
So that this land, like an offensive wife,
That hath enraged him on to offer strokes,
As he is striking, holds his infant up,
And hangs resolved correction in the arm
That was upreared to execution.
Hast. Besides, the king hath wasted all his rods
On late offenders, that he now doth lack
The very instruments of chastisement;
So that his power, like to a fangless lion,
May offer, but not hold.
Arch. 'Tis very true;—
And therefore be assured, my good lord marshal,
If we do now make our atonement well,
Our peace will, like a broken limb united,
Grow stronger for the breaking. .
Mowb. Be it so.
Here is returned my lord of Westmoreland.
West. The prince is here at hand. Pleaseth your lordship To meet his grace just distance ’tween our armies? Mowb. Your grace of York, in God’s name then set forward. Arch. Before, and greet his grace : my lord, we come. - [Eveunt.
SCENE II. Another Part of the Forest.
Enter, from one side, Mowbray, the Archbishop, HASTINGs, and others : from the other side, PRINCE John of Lancaster, WESTMORELAND, Officers, and Attendants.
P. John. You are well encountered here, my cousin
Good day to you, gentle lord archbishop;
And so to you, lord Hastings, and to all.—
My lord of York, it better showed with you,
When that your flock, assembled by the bell,
Encircled you, to hear with reverence
Your exposition on the holy text,
Than now to see you here an iron man,"
Cheering a rout of rebels with your drum,
Turning the word to sword, and life to death.
That man that sits within a monarch's heart,
And ripens in the sunshine of his favor,
Would he abuse the countenance of the king,
Alack, what mischiefs might he set abroach,
In shadow of such greatness! With you, lord bishop,
It is even so.-Who hath not heard it spoken,
How deep you were within the books of God?
To us, the speaker in his parliament;
To us, the imagined voice of God himself;
The very opener, and intelligencer,
Between the grace, the sanctities of Heaven,
And our dull workings.” O, who shall believe,
But you misuse the reverence of your place;
Employ the countenance and grace of Heaven,
As a false favorite doth his prince's name,
In deeds dishonorable P You have taken up.”