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North. Now, Travers, what good tidings come with you?
Tra. My lord, sir John Umfrevile turned me back
Had met ill luck!
My lord, I'll tell you what;
If my young lord your son have not the day,
Upon mine honor, for a silken point 2
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, Foretells the nature of a tragic volume;
2 A silken point is a tagged lace.
3 i. e. Hillerling, base, low fellow.
So looks the strond, whereon the imperious flood
Say, Morton, didst thou come from Shrewsbury?
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.
And would have told him, half his Troy was burned;
Why, he is dead.
He, that but fears the thing he would not know,
That what he feared is chanced. Yet speak, Morton;
And I will take it as a sweet disgrace,
And make thee rich for doing me such wrong.
Your spirit is too true, your fears too certain.
North. Yet, for all this, say not that Percy's dead.
I see a stringe confession in thine eye;
Taon shak'st thy head, and hold'st it fear or sin,
The tongue offends not, that reports his death
And he doth sin, that doth belie the dead ;
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 out-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 away From the best-tempered courage in his troops ; For from his metal was his party steeled; Which once in him abated, all the rest Turned 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 arrow's fled not swister 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-laboring sword Had three times slain the appearance of the king, 'Gan vail ? his stomach, and did grace the shame Of those that turned 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,
1 The bell anciently was rung before the dying person had expired, and thence was called the passing bell.
2 To vail is to lower, to cast down.
Under the conduct of young Lancaster,
North. For this I shall have time enough to mourn.
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, fleshed 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.3 Bard. Sweet earl, divorce not wisdom from your
honor. Mor. The lives of all your loving complices Lean on your health ; the which, if you give o'er
i Grief, in the latter part of this line, is used, in its present sense, for sorrow; in the former part for bodily pain.
2 Shakspeare, like his contemporaries, uses nice in the sense of effeminate, delicate, tender.
3 This line in the quarto, is, by mistake, given to Umfreville, who is spoken of in this very scene as absent. It is given to Travers at Steevens's suggestion.
To stormy passion, must perforce decay.
Bard. We all, that are engaged to this loss,
Mor. 'Tis more than time ; and, my most noble lord,
1 The fourteen following lines, and a number of others in this play were not in the quarto edition.
2 This and the following twenty lines are not found in the quarto.