« AnteriorContinua »
Foretells the nature of a tragick volume :
Mor. I ran from Shrewsbury, my noble lord;
North. How doth my son, and brother? Thou tremblest; and the whiteness in thy cheek Is apter than thy tongue to tell thy errand. Even such a man, so faint, so spiritless, So dull, so dead in look, so woe-begone, Drew Priam's curtain in the dead of night, And would have told him, half his Troy was
burn'd: But Priam found the fire, ere he is tongue, And I my Percy's death, ere thou report'st it. This thou would'st say,—Your son did thus, and
Your brother, thus : so fought the noble Douglas ;
Mor. Douglas is living, and your brother, yet :
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,
as every intermediate leaf, was totally black. I have several in my possession, written by Chapman, the translator of Homer, and ornamented in this manner. STEEVENS.
- a witness'd usurpation.) i. e. an attestation of its ravage.
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," To speak a truth. If he be slain, say so: The tongue offends not, that reports his death: And he doth sin, that doth belie the dead; Not he, which says the dead is not alive. Yet the first bringer of unwelcome news Hath but a losing office; and his tongue Sounds ever after as a sullen bell, Remember'd knolling a departing friend.
Bard. I cannot think, my lord, your son is dead.
Mor. I am sorry, I should force you to believe
8 Your spirit — ] The impression upon your mind, by which you conceive the death of your son.
- hold' st it fear, or sin,] Fear for danger.
Lend to this weight such lightness with their fear,
Lancaster, And Westmoreland: this is the news at full. North. For this I shall have time enough to
mourn. In poison there is physick; and these news, Having been well, that would have made me sick, Being sick, have in some measure made me well : And as the wretch, whose fever-weaken'd joints, Like strengthless hinges, buckles under life, Impatient of his fit, breaks like a fire Out of his keeper's arms; even so my limbs, Weaken'd with grief, being now enrag'd with grief, Are thrice themselves: hence therefore, thou nice*
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, flesh'd with conquest, aim to hit. Now bind my brows with iron; And approach
? Gan vail his stomach,] Began to fall his courage, to let his spirits sink under his fortune. From avaller, Fr. to cast down, or to let fall down.
buckle -] Bend; yield to pressure.
The ragged’st hour that time and spite dare bring,
lord. 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; Let us make head. It was your presurmise, That, in the dole of blows your son might drop: You knew, he walk d o'er perils, on an edge, More likely to fall in, than to get o'er: You were advis'd, his flesh was capable Of wounds, and scars; and that his forward spirit Would lift him where most trade of danger rang’d; Yet did you say,—Go forth; and none of this, Though strongly apprehended, could restrain The stiff-borne action: What hath then befallen,
5 And darkness be the burier of the dead!] The conclusion of this noble speech is extremely striking. There is no need to suppose it exactly philosophical; darkness, in poetry, may be absence of eyes, as well as privation of light. Yet we may remark, that by an ancient opinion it has been held, that if the human race, for whom the world was made, were extirpated, the whole system or sublunary nature would cease. Johnson.
Or what hath this bold enterprize brought forth,
Bard. We all, that are engaged to this loss,
lord, I hear for certain, and do speak the truth, The gentle archbishop of York is up, With well-appointed powers; he is a man, Who with a double surety binds his followers. My lord your son had only but the corps, But shadows, and the shows of men, to fight: For that same word, rebellion, did divide The action of their bodies from their souls; And they did fight with queasiness, constrain'd, As men drink potions; that their weapons only Seem'd on our side, but, for their spirits and souls, This word, rebellion, it had froze them up, As fish are in a pond: But now the bishop Turns insurrection to religion: Suppos’d sincere and holy in his thoughts, He's follow'd both with body and with mind; And doth enlarge his rising with the blood Of fair king Richard, scrap'd from Pomfret stones: Derives from heaven his quarrel, and his cause; Tells them, he doth bestride a bleeding land, Gasping for life under great Bolingbroke; And more, and less,do flock to follow him. North. I knew of this before; but, to speak
more and less,] More and less mean greater and less.