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I see a strange confession in thine eye:
Thou shakest 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 tolling a departing friend.

L. Bard. I cannot think, my lord, your son is dead.
Mor. I am sorry I should force


to believe
That which I would to God I had not seen;
But these mine eyes saw him in bloody state,
Rendering faint quittance, weariedandout-breathed,
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

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
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. Forthis 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, buckle 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 enraged 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 ragged'st hour that time and spite dare bring To frown upon the enraged Northumberland!

Let heaven kiss earth! now let not Nature's hand
Keep the wild flood confined ! 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. L. 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, 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 advised his flesh was capable Of wounds and scars and that his forward spirit Would lift him where most trade of danger ranged: 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?

L. Bard. We all that are engaged to this loss Knew that we ventured on such dangerous seas That if we wrought our life 'twas ten to one; And yet we ventured, for the gain proposed Choked 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. 'Tis more than time : and, my most noble

lord, I hear for certain, and do speak the truth, The gentle Archbishop of York is up With well-appointed powers : he is a man Who with a double surety binds his followers. My lord your son had only but the corpse, 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 : Supposed sincere and holy in his thoughts, He's followed both with body and with mind; And doth enlarge his rising with the blood Of fair King Richard, scraped 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 do flock to follow him.

North. I knew of this before; but, to speak truth, This present grief had wiped 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. [Exeunt.


A street.
Enter FalstAFF, with his Page bearing his

sword and buckler. 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 judgement. Thou whoreson mandrake, thou art fitter to be worn in my cap than to wait at my heels. I was never manned with an agate till now : but I will inset you neither in gold nor silver, but in vile apparel, and

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