Imatges de pàgina


SCENE I. The Rebel Camp near Shrewsbury.

Hot. Well said, my noble Scot: If speaking truth,
In this fine age, were not thought flattery,
Such attribution should the Douglas have,
As not a soldier of this season's stamp
Should go so general current through the world.
By heaven, I cannot flatter; I defy

The tongues of soothers; but a braver place
In my heart's love, hath no man than yourself:
Nay, task me to the word; approve me, lord.
Doug. Thou art the king of honour:
No man so potent breathes upon the ground,
But I will beard him.


Do so, and 'tis well:

Enter a Messenger, with Letters.

What letters hast thou there?—I can but thank you.
Mess. These letters come from
your father,
Hot. Letters from him! why comes he not him-


Mess. He cannot come, my lord; he's grievous sick.

Hot. 'Zounds! how has he the leisure to be sick, In such a justling time? Who leads his power? Under whose government come they along? Mess. His letters bear his mind, not I, my lord.


I defy;] To defy means here to disdain.

+ But I will beard him.] To beard is to oppose face to face in a hostile or daring manner.

Wor. I pr'ythee, tell me, doth he keep his bed? Mess. He did, my lord, four days ere I set forth; And at the time of my departure thence,

He was much fear'd by his physicians.

Wor. I would, the state of time had first been whole,

Ere he by sickness had been visited;

His health was never better worth than now.

Hot. Sick now! droop now! this sickness doth infect

The very life-blood of our enterprize;
'Tis catching hither, even to our camp.-
He writes me here,-that inward sickness-
And that his friends by deputation could not
So soon be drawn; nor did he think it meet,
To lay so dangerous and dear a trust
On any soul remov'd,' but on his own.
Yet doth he give us bold advertisement,-
That with our small conjunction, we should on,
To see how fortune is dispos'd to us:


For, as he writes, there is no quailing now;
Because the king is certainly possess'd
Of all our purposes. What say you to it?

Wor. Your father's sickness is a maim to us. Hot. A perilous gash, a very limb lopp d off:— And yet, in faith, 'tis not; his present want Seems more than we shall find it:-Were it good, To set the exact wealth of all our states

All at one cast? to set so rich a main

On the nice hazard of one doubtful hour?
It were not good: for therein should we read
The very bottom and the soul of hope;

On any soul remov'd,] On any less near to himself; on any whose interest is remote.

-no quailing:] To quail is to languish, to sink into dejection.

The very list,' the very utmost bound

Of all our fortunes.


'Faith, and so we should; Where now remains a sweet reversion:


We may boldly spend upon the hope of what
Is to come in:

A comfort of retirement' lives in this.

Hot. A rendezvous, a home to fly unto,

If that the devil and mischance look big

Upon the maidenhead of our affairs.

Wor. But yet, I would your father had been here. The quality and hair1 of our attempt

Brooks no division: It will be thought

By some, that know not why he is away,
That wisdom, loyalty, and mere dislike

Of our proceedings, kept the earl from hence;
And think, how such an apprehension
May turn the tide of fearful faction,
And breed a kind of question in our cause:
For, well you know, we of the offering side2
Must keep aloof from strict arbitrement;

And stop all sight-holes, every loop, from whence
The eye of reason may pry in upon us:

7 The very list,] The list is the selvage; figuratively, the utmost line of circumference, the utmost extent.

Where now remains-] Where is, used here for whereas. It is often used with that signification by our author and his contemporaries.

9 A comfort of retirement-] A support to which we may have


The quality and hair-] The hair seems to be the complexion, the character. The metaphor appears harsh to us, but, perhaps, was familiar in our author's time. We still say something is against the hair, as against the grain, i. e. against the natural tendency.

we of the offering side-] The offering side may mean simply the assailant, in opposition to the defendant: and it is likewise true of him that offers war, or makes an invasion, that his cause ought to be kept clear from all objections.

This absence of your father's draws a curtain,
That shows the ignorant a kind of fear

Before not dreamt of.


You strain too far.

I, rather, of his absence make this use;—
It lends a lustre, and more great opinion,
A larger dare to our great enterprize,

Than if the earl were here: for men must think,
If we, without his help, can make a head
To push against the kingdom; with his help,
We shall o'erturn it topsy-turvy down.-
Yet all goes well, yet all our joints are whole.
Doug. As heart can think: there is not such a

Spoke of in Scotland, as this term of fear.

Enter Sir RICHARD VERnon.

Hot. My cousin Vernon! welcome, by my soul. Ver. Pray God, my news be worth a welcome,


The earl of Westmoreland, seven thousand strong,
Is marching hitherwards; with him, prince John.
Hot. No harm: What more?

And further, I have learn'd,

The king himself in person is set forth,
Or hitherwards intended speedily,

With strong and mighty preparation.

Where is his son,

Hot. He shall be welcome too.
The nimble-footed mad-cap prince of Wales,
And his comrades, that daff'd the world aside,
And bid it pass?

All furnish'd, all in arms,
All plum'd like estridges that wing the wind;

3 This absence of your father's draws a curtain,] To draw a curtain had anciently the same meaning as to undraw one has at present.

Bated like eagles having lately bath'd;*
Glittering in golden coats, like images;
As full of spirit as the month of May,
And gorgeous as the sun at midsummer;
Wanton as youthful goats, wild as young bulls.
I saw young Harry, with his beaver on,


His cuisses on his thighs, gallantly arm'd,-
Rise from the ground like feather'd Mercury,
And vaulted with such ease into his seat,
As if an angel dropp'd down from the clouds,
To turn and wind a fiery Pegasus,

And witch the world with noble horsemanship.

Hot. No more, no more; worse than the sun in

This praise doth nourish agues. Let them come;
They come like sacrifices in their trim,
And to the fire-ey'd maid of smoky war,
All hot, and bleeding, will we offer them:
The mailed Mars shall on his altar sit,
Up to the ears in blood. I am on fire,
To hear this rich reprisal is so nigh,

And yet not ours:-Come, let me take my horse,
Who is to bear me, like a thunderbolt,

Against the bosom of the prince of Wales:

Harry to Harry shall, hot horse to horse,

Meet, and ne'er part, till one drop down a corse.— O, that Glendower were come!


There is more news:

I learn'd in Worcester, as I rode along,

He cannot draw his power this fourteen days.
Doug. That's the worst tidings that I hear of yet.

+ All plum'd like estridges, that wing the wind;

Bated like eagles, &c.] i. e. all dressed like the Prince himself, the ostrich-feather being the cognizance of the Prince of Wales. To bate is, in the style of falconry, to beat the wing, from the French, battre, that is, to flutter in preparation for flight. His cuisses,] Cuisses, French. Armour for the thighs. And witch-] For bewitch, charm.

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