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The Porter before the gate; Enter Lord Bardolph. Bard. Who keeps the gate here, ho ?Where is
the earl? Port. What shall I say you are? Bard.
Tell thou the earl, That the lord Bardolph doth attend him here. Port. His lordship is walk'd forth into the or.
chard; Please it your honour, knock but at the gate, And he himself will answer.
Here conies the earl. North. What news, lord Bardolph? every minute
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,
• Important or dreadful event.
I briug you certain news from Shrewsbury.
North. Good, an heaveu will!
As good as beart 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 Casar'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
thence ; 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
On Tuesday last to listen after news.
Bard. My lord, I over-rode hin on the way;
And he is furnish'd with no certainties,
More than he haply may retain from me.
North. Now, Travers, what good tidings come
with you? Tra. My lord, sir John Umfrevile turn'd nie back With joyful tidings; and, being better hors'd, Out-rode me. After him, came, spurring hard, A gentleman alnıost forspent* witii speed, That stopp'd by me to breathe his bloodied horse: He ask'd the way to Chester; aud of him I did demand, wiat 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 has not the day,
Upon mine honour, for a silken point*
l'll give my barony: never talk of it.
North. Why should the gentleman, that rode by
Give then such instances of loss?
Who, he ?
He was some hildingt 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 mas's brow, like to a title-leaf,
Foretells the nature of a tragick volume:
So looks the strond, wllereon the imperious flood
Hath left a witness'd usurpation 1.-
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 apler than thy tongue to tell thy errand.
Even such a man, so faint, so spiritless,
So dull, so dead in look, so woe-begone,
• Lace tagged.
+ Hilderling, base, cowardly.
An attestation of its ravage.
Drew Priam's curtain in the dead of night,
And would have told him, half bis Troy was buro'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
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, North.
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 eye : 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 bis death: And he doth sin, that doth belie the dead; Not lie, 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 iu bloody state, Rend'ring 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),
Beiug bruitedt 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 pot 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 vailf his stomach, and did grace the shame
Of those that turn'd their backs; and, in his flight,
Stumbling in fear, was look. 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 physick; 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 keepers' arms; even so my limbs,
Weaken'd with grief, being now enrag'd with grief,
Are thrice themselves; hence therefore, thou niceg