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L. Bard.

Tell thou the earl That the Lord Bardolph doth attend him here. Port. His lordship is walked forth into the

orchard : Please it your honour, knock but at the gate, And he himself will answer.




L. Bard.

Here comes the earl. North. What news, Lord Bardolph ? every

minute now
Should be the father of some stratagem.
The times are wild ; contention, like a horse
Full of high feeding, madly hath broke loose,
And bears down all before him.
L. Bard.

Noble earl,
I bring you certain news from Shrewsbury.

North. Good, an God will !
L. Bard.

As good as heart can wish :-
The king is almost wounded to the death ;
And, in the fortune of


your son, Prince Harry slain outright; and both the Blunts Killed 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. O, such a day,
So fought, so followed, and so fairly won,
Came not till now to dignify the times
Since Cæsar's fortunes.

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

from thence ;
A gentleman well bred, and of good name,
That freely rendered me these news for true,
North. Here comes my servant Travers, whom

I sent
On Tuesday last to listen after news.

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


North. Now, Travers, what good tidings come

with you? Tra. My lord, Sir John Umfrevile turned me

back With joyful tidings; and, being better horsed, Out-rode me. After him came spurring hard A gentleman, almost forspent with speed, That stopped by me to breathe his bloodied horse.

He asked the way to Chester ; and of him
I did demand, what news from Shrewsbury.
He told me that rebellion had ill luck,
And that young Harry Percy's spur was cold.
With that, he gave his able horse the head,
And, bending forward, struck his arméd heels
Against the panting sides of his poor jade
Up to the rowel-head; and starting so,
He seemed in running to devour the way,
Staying no longer question.

Ha !-Again.
Said he, young Harry Percy's spur was cold ?
Of Hotspur, Coldspur? that rebellion
Had met ill luck ?
L. Bard.

My lord, I 'll tell you what : If my young


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 the gentleman that rode by

Give then such instances of loss ?
L. Bard.

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



North. Yea, this man's brow, like to a title-leaf,
Foretells the nature of a tragic volume :
So looks the strond whereon the imperious flood
Hath left a witnessed 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

burned : 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
Hath, by instinct, knowledge from others' eyes
That what he feared is chanced.

Yet speak
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

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,
Remembered knolling a departed friend,



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