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I bring you certain news from Shrewsbury.

North. Good, an God will !

As good as heart can wish.
The king is almost wounded to the death,
And in the fortune of my lord, your son,
Prince Harry slain outright; and both the Blunts
Kill'd by the hand of Douglas ; young prince John,
And Westmoreland and Stafford, fled the field ;
And Harry Monmouth's brawn, the hulk sir John,
Is prisoner to your son.

0! such a day,
So fought, so follow'd, and so fairly won,
Came not till now to dignify the times,
Since Cæsar's fortunes.

How is this deriv'd ?
Saw you the field ? came you from Shrewsbury?
Bard. I spake with one, my lord, that came from

A gentleman well-bred, and of good name,
That freely render'd me these news for true.

North. Here comes my servant, Travers, whom I sent
On Tuesday last to listen after news.

Bard. My lord, I over-rode him on the way,
And he is furnish'd with no certainties,
More than he haply may retail from me.

North. Now, Travers, what good tidings come with

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 forspent 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.

Ha !-Again.
i So the quarto; folio : from.



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

Give, then, such instances of loss ?

Who, he ?
He was some hilding fellow, that had stolen
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,
Foretels the nature of a tragic volume:
So looks the strond, whereon th' imperious flood
Hath left a witness'd usurpation.
Say, Morton, didst thou come from Shrewsbury ?

Mor. I ran from Shrewsbury, my noble lord ;
Where hateful death put on his ugliest mask,
To fright our party.

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 wouldst 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,

1 String for fastening dress. 2 Low.

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 eye: Thou shak'st thy head; and hold'st it fear, or sin, To speak the 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 to believe That which I would to heaven I had not seen; But these mine eyes saw him in bloody state, Rendering faint quittance, wearied and outbreath’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. In few, 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 steel'd; 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 th' appearance of the king,

1 So the folio; the quarto : an. 2 The quarto omits : say so.

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'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
Is, 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, buckler 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 nice?

crutch! A scaly gauntlet now, with joints of steel, Must glove this hand : and hence, thou sickly quoif ! 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 rugged'st hour that time and spite dare bring, To frown upon th' 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.3 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. You cast the event of war, my noble lord, 1 Bend.


Weak, petty: 3 This line is omitted in the folio. 4 This and the thirteen lines following, were first printed in the

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 was ten to one;
And yet we ventur'd, for the gain propos'd
Chok'd the respect of likely peril fear'd,
And, since we are o'erset, venture again.

Come, we will all put forth; body, and goods.

Mor. 'T is more than time: and, my most noble lord,

I hear for certain, and dare2 speak the truth,
The gentle archbishop of York is up,3
With well-appointed powers: he is a man,
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,

Turns insurrection to religion :

th' archbishop

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,

3 This and the twenty

1 Distribution, allotment. 2 Folio: do. lines following, were first printed in the folio.

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