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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 1 the best part of an hour

In changing hardiment 2 with great Glendower.

Three times they breathed, and three times did they drink,

Upon agreement, of swift Severn's flood;

Who then, affrighted with their bloody looks,
Ran fearfully among the trembling reeds,
And hid his crisp 3 head in the hollow bank,
Blood-stained with these valiant combatants.
Never did bare and rotten policy

Color 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 thou not ashamed? But, sirrah, henceforth

Let me not hear you speak of Mortimer :


2 Bravery, stoutness.

• Curled.

Send me your prisoners with the speediest means,
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 awhile;

Here comes your uncle.



Speak of Mortimer ?

Zounds, 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. [to Worcester. 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 pro


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 deposed, and, shortly, murdered.

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

Live scandalised, and foully spoken of.

Hot. But, soft, I pray you. Did king Richard


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 starved. 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 murderous 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,
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, Bolingbroke?
And shall it, in more shame, be farther 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 honors, and restore yourselves
Into the good thoughts of the world again;
Revenge the jeering and disdain'd1 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 adventurous 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 Honor cross it from the north to south,

1 Disdainful.

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.

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

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

But out upon this half-faced fellowship!

Wor. He apprehends a world of figures 1 here, But not the form of what he should attend.— Good cousin, give me audience for awhile.

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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.


Hot. Nay, I will; that's flat :He said, he would not ransom Mortimer; Forbad my tongue to speak of Mortimer :

Shapes created by his imagination.

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