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And that it was great pity, so it was,
That villanous saltpetre should be digg'd
Out of the bowels of the harmless earth,
Which many a good tall fellow had destroy'd
So cowardly; and, but for these vile guns,
He would himself have been a soldier.
This bald, unjointed chat of his, my lord,
I answer'd indirectly, as I said;
And, I beseech you, let not his report
Come current for an accusation
Betwixt my love and your high majesty.
Blunt. The circumstance consider'd, good my lord,
Whatever Harry Percy then had said,
To such a person, and in such a place,
At such a time, with all the rest re-told,
May reasonably die, and never rise
To do him wrong, or any way impeach
What then he said, so he unsay it now.
K. Hen. Why, yet he doth deny his prisoners;
But with proviso and exception,--
That we, at our own charge, shall ransom straight
His brother-in-law, the foolish Mortimer;
Who, on my soul, hath wilfully betray'd
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 empty’d, to redeem a traitor home?
Shall we buy treason 2 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 ransom 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 hardiment 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 her crisp head in the hollow bank,
Blood-stained with these valiant combatants.
Never did base 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 slandered with revolt.
K. Hen. [Rises.] 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 2 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.
... [Flourish of Trumpets and Drums.-Ereunt all
but Non THUMBERLAND and Hotspu R.
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 I make a hazard of my head.
North. What, drunk with choler? stay, and pause
Here comes your uncle.
Hot. Speak of Mortimer! Yes, I will speak of him; and let my soul 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. Wor. Who struck this heat up after I was gone? Hot. He will, forsooth, have all my prisoners: And when I urged the ransom once again Of my wife's brother, then his cheek look'd pale; And on my face he turn’d an eye of death, 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 Heaven pardon') did set forth Upon his Irish expedition; From whence he, intercepted, did return To be deposed, and, shortly, murdered. Hot. But, soft, I pray you; did King Richard then - Proclaim my brother, Edmund Mortimer, Heir to the crown? North. He did: myself did hear it. Hot. Nay, then I cannot blame his cousin king, That wish'd him on the barren mountains starved. But shall 't, 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, Heaven pardon it! have done,)
Where fathom-line could never touch the ground,
To put down Richard, that sweet lovely rose,
And plant this thorn, this canker, 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,+
Wor, Peace, cousin, say no more:
And now will I 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'erwalk 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;—Oh! 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.
Hot. By Heaven, methinks it were an easy leap,
To pluck bright Honour from the pale-faced moon;
Or dive into the bottom of the deep,
And pluck up drowned Honour by the locks;
So he, that doth redeem her thence, might wear,
Without corrival, all her dignities:— i.
But out upon this half-faced fellowship ! t
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. Wor. Those same noble Scots, That are your prisoners, Hot. 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. Wor. You start away, And lend no ear unto my purposes.— Those prisoners you shall keep. Hot. Nay, I will; that's flat: He said he would not ransom Mortimer; Forbade 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'll have a starling shall be taught to speak Nothing but Mortimer, and give it him, To keep his anger still in motion. Wor, Farewell, kinsman' I will talk to you, When you are better temper'd to attend. North. Why, what a wasp-stung and impatient fool Art thou, to break into this woman’s mood; Tying thine ear to no tongue but thine own! Hot. Why, look you, I am whipp'd and scourged with rods, Nettled, and stung with pismires, when I hear Of this vile politician, Bolingbroke In Richard's time, What do you call the place?— A plague upon 't!—it is in Glostershire;— ‘Twas where the mad-cap duke his uncle kept, His uncle York;—where I first bow'd my knee Unto this king of smiles, this Bolingbroke;— When you and he came back from Ravenspurg. North. At Berkley Castle. Hot. You say true;— Why, what a candy deal of courtesy This fawning greyhound then did proffer me! Look “when his infant fortune came to age,"—