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SCENE I. The Rebel Camp near Shrewsbury.
Enter HOTSPUR, WORCESTER, and DOUGLAS.
The tongues of soothers; but a braver place
Do so, and 'tis well:
Enter a Messenger, with Letters.
What letters hast thou there?—I can but thank you.
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;
For, as he writes, there is no quailing now;
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?
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
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,
Of our proceedings, kept the earl from hence;
And stop all sight-holes, every loop, from whence
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,
Before not dreamt of.
You strain too far.
I, rather, of his absence make this use;—
Than if the earl were here: for men must think,
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,
And further, I have learn'd,
The king himself in person is set forth,
With strong and mighty preparation.
Where is his son,
Hot. He shall be welcome too.
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;*
His cuisses on his thighs, gallantly arm'd,-
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;
And yet not ours:-Come, let me take my horse,
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.
+ 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.