Imatges de pÓgina

The lives of those that he did lead to fight
Against the great magician, damn'd Glendower;
Whose daughter, as we hear, the earl of March
Hath lately married. Shall our coffers then
Be emptied, to redeem a traitor home?
Shall we buy treason? and indent with fears,"
When they have lost and forfeited themselves?
No, on the barren mountains let him starve;
For I shall never hold that man my friend,
Whose tongue shall ask me for one penny cost
To ransome home revolted Mortimer.

Hot. Revolted Mortimer!

He never did fall off, my sovereign liege,

But by the chance of war;-To prove that true, Needs no more but one tongue for all those wounds, Those mouthed wounds, which valiantly he took, When on the gentle Severn's sedgy bank,

In single opposition, hand to hand,

He did confound the best part of an hour

In changing hardiments with great Glendower:

Three times they breath'd, and three times did they


Upon agreement, of swift Severn's flood;
Who then, affrighted with their bloody looks,
Ran fearfully among the trembling reeds,
And hid his crisp head' in the hollow bank
Blood-stained with these valiant combatants.

7 and indent with fears,] i. e. bargain and article with



hardiment-] An obsolete word, signifying hardiness, bravery, stoutness. Spenser is frequent in his use of it.


three times did they drink,] It is the property of wounds to excite the most impatient thirst. The poet therefore hath with exquisite propriety introduced this circumstance, which may serve to place in its proper light the dying kindness of Sir Philip Sydney; who, though suffering the extremity of thirst from the agony of his own wounds, yet, notwithstanding, gave up his own draught of water to a wounded soldier. HENLEY.


his crisp head-] Crisp is curled.

Never did bare and rotten policy

Colour her working with such deadly wounds;
Nor never could the noble Mortimer

Receive so many, and all willingly:

Then let him not be slander'd with revolt.

K. Hen. Thou dost belie him, Percy, thou dost belie him,

He never did encounter with Glendower;

I tell thee,

He durst as well have met the devil alone,
As Owen Glendower for an enemy.
Art not ashamed? But, sirrah, henceforth
Let me not hear you speak of Mortimer:
Send me your prisoners with the speediest means,
Or you shall hear in such a kind from me
As will displease you.-My lord Northumberland,
We license your departure with your son:-
Send us your prisoners, or you'll hear of it.

Exeunt King HENRY, BLUNT, and Train.
Hot. And if the devil come and roar for them,
I will not send them:-I will after straight,
And tell him so; for I will ease my heart,
Although it be with hazard of my head.

North. What, drunk with choler? stay, and pause


Here comes your



Re-enter Worcester.

Speak of Mortimer?

'Zounds, I will speak of him; and let



Want mercy, if I do not join with him:
Yea, on his part, I'll empty all these veins,
And shed my dear blood drop by drop i'the dust,
But I will lift the down-trod Mortimer
As high i'the air as this unthankful king,

As this ingrate and canker'd Bolingbroke.

North. Brother, the king hath made your nephew mad. [TO WORCESTEr. Wor. Who struck this heat up, after I was gone? Hot. He will, forsooth, have all my prisoners; And when I urg'd the ransome once again


my wife's brother, then his cheek look'd pale; And on my face he turn'd an eye of death,2 Trembling even at the name of Mortimer.

Wor. I cannot blame him: Was he not proclaim'd,

By Richard that dead is, the next of blood?
North. He was; I heard the proclamation:
And then it was, when the unhappy king
(Whose wrongs in us God pardon!) did set forth
Upon his Irish expedition;

From whence he, intercepted, did return
To be depos'd, and shortly, murdered.

Wor. And for whose death, we in the world's wide mouth

Live scandaliz'd, and foully spoken of.

Hot. But, soft, I pray you; Did king Richard then Proclaim my brother Edmund Mortimer

Heir to the crown?


He did; myself did hear it.

Hot. Nay, then I cannot blame his cousin king, That wish'd him on the barren mountains starv'd. But shall it be, that you,-that set the crown Upon the head of this forgetful man; And, for his sake, wear the detested blot Of murd❜rous subornation,-shall it be, That you a world of curses undergo; Being the agents, or base second means, The cords, the ladder, or the hangman rather?— O, pardon me, that I descend so low,

To show the line, and the predicament,


an eye of death,] That is, an eye menacing death.

Wherein you range under this subtle king.—
Shall it, for shame, be spoken in these days,
Or fill up chronicles in time to come,
That men of your nobility and power,
Did gage them both in an unjust behalf,-
As both of you, God pardon it! have done,—
To put down Richard, that sweet lovely rose,
And plant this thorn, this canker,3 Bolingbroke?
And shall it, in more shame, be further spoken,
That you are fool'd, discarded, and shook off
By him, for whom these shames ye underwent?
No; yet time serves, wherein you may redeem
Your banish'd honours, and restore yourselves
Into the good thoughts of the world again:
Revenge the jeering, and disdain'd' contempt,
Of this proud king; who studies, day and night,
To answer all the debt he owes to you,

Even with the bloody payment of your deaths.
Therefore, I say,—

Peace, cousin, say no more:
And now I will unclasp a secret book,
And to your quick-conceiving discontents
I'll read you matter deep and dangerous;
As full of peril, and advent'rous spirit,
As to o'er-walk a current, roaring loud,
On the unsteadfast footing of a spear.

Hot. If he fall in, good night:-or sink or swim:

Send danger from the east unto the west,
So honour cross it from the north to south,
And let them grapple;-O! the blood more stirs,
To rouse a lion, than to start a hare.

North. Imagination of some great exploit
Drives him beyond the bounds of patience.

this canker, Bolingbroke?] The canker-rose is the dogrose, the flower of the Cynosbaton.

[blocks in formation]

Hot. By heaven, methinks, it were an easy leap, To pluck bright honour from the pale-fac'd moon; Or dive into the bottom of the deep,

Where fathom-line could never touch the ground,
And pluck up drowned honour by the locks;
So he, that doth redeem her thence, might wear,
Without corrival, all her dignities:

But out upon this half-fac'd fellowship!"

Wor. He apprehends a world of figures here,
But not the form of what he should attend.-
Good cousin, give me audience for a while.
Hot. I cry you mercy.


That are your prisoners,


Those same noble Scots,

I'll keep them all;

By heaven, he shall not have a Scot of them:
No, if a Scot would save his soul, he shall not:
I'll keep them, by this hand.


You start away,

And lend no ear unto my purposes.

Those prisoners you shall keep.

He said, he would not ransome Mortimer;
Forbad my tongue to speak of Mortimer;
But I will find him when he lies asleep,
And in his ear I'll holla-Mortimer!

Nay, I will; that's flat:

I'll have a starling shall be taught to speak
Nothing but Mortimer, and give it him,
To keep his anger still in motion.

But out upon this half-fac'd fellowship!] A coat is said to be faced, when part of it, as the sleeves or bosom, is covered with something finer or more splendid than the main substance. The mantua-makers still use the word. Half-fac'd fellowship is then "partnership but half-adorned, partnership which yet wants half the show of dignities and honours." JOHNSON.


a world of figures here,] Figures mean shapes created by Hotspur's imagination.

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