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To noise abroad that Harry Monmouth fell
Than they have learn'd of me: from Rumour's tongues They bring smooth comforts false, worse than true wrongs.
SCENE I.-The same.
The Porter before the Gate; Enter LORD BARDOLPH. L. Bard. Who keeps the gate here, ho?-Where is the
Port. What shall I say you are?
Tell thou the earl
That the Lord Bardolph doth attend him here.
Port. His lordship is walk'd forth into the orchard: Please it your honour, knock but at the gate,
And he himself will answer.
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,
Noble earl, 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;
Prince Harry slain outright; and both the Blunts
And Westmoreland, and Stafford, fled the field;
How is this deriv'd?
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 render'd 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 furnish'd 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 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.
Said he young Harry Percy's spur was cold?
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 the gentleman that rode by Travers Give, then, such instances of loss?
He was some hilding fellow, that had stolen
Spoke at a venture. -Look, here comes more news.
North. Yea, this man's brow, like to a title-leaf,
So looks the strand, whereon the imperious flood
Say, Morton, did'st thou come from Shrewsbury?
How doth my son and brother?
So dull, so dead in look, so woe-begone,
And would have told him half his Troy was burn'd;
This thou wouldst say,-Your son did thus and thus;
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
Not he which says the dead is not alive.
Remember'd knolling a departing friend.
L. 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 God I had not seen; But these mine eyes saw him in bloody state, Rend'ring faint quittance, wearied and out-breath'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.
Lend to this weight such lightness with their fear,
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,
Out of his keeper's arms; even so my limbs,
Are thrice themselves. Hence, therefore, thou nice crutch!
Must glove this hand: and hence, thou sickly quoif!
Which princes, flesh'd with conquest, aim to hit.
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,
That in the dole o' blows your son might drop:
Of wounds and scars; and that his forward spirit
L. Bard. We all that are engaged to this loss
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