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New-dated letters from Northumberland;
Their cold intent, tenour and substance thus :
Here doth he wish his person, with such Powers
As might hold sortance with his quality,
The which he could not levy; whereupon
He is retir’d, to ripe his growing fortunes,
To Scotland; and concludes in hearty prayers,
That your attempts may over-live the hazard
And fearful meeting of their oppofite.
Mowb. Thus do the hopes we have in him touch
And dash themselves to pieces.
Enter a Messenger.
Haft. Now, what news?
Mel. West of this forest, scarcely off a mile,
In goodly form comes on the enemy:
· And by the ground they hide, I judge their number
Upon, or near, the rate of thirty thousand.
Mowb. The just proportion that we gave them oute Let us sway on, and face them in the field.
York. What well-appointed leader fronts us here?
Mowb. I think, it is my lord of Westmorland.
Weft. Health and fair Greeting from our General,
The Prince, Lord John, and Duke of Lancaster.
York. Say on, my lord of Westmorland, in peace:
What doth concern your coming ?
Weft. Then, my lord,
Unto your Grace do I in chief address
The substance of my speech. If that Rebellion
Came like it self, in base and abject routs,
Led on by bloody youth, goaded with rage,
And countenanc'd by boys and beggary ;
I say, if damn'd Commotion so appear'd
In his true, native, and most proper shape,
You, reverend Father, and these noble lords,
Had not been here to dress the ugly form
Of base and bloody insurrection
With your fair honours. You, my lord Arch-bishop,
Whose See is by a civil peace maintain'd,
Whose beard the silver hand of peace hath touch'd,
Whose learning and good letters peace hath tutor’d,
Whose white investments figure innocence,
The Dove and very blessed Spirit of Peace ;
Wherefore do you so ill translate your self,
Out of the speech of peace, that bears such grace,
Into the harth and boift'rous tongue of war ?
Turning your books to graves, your ink to blood,
Your pens to launces, and your tongue divine
To a loud trumpet and a point of war?
York. Wherefore do I this? so the question stands.
Briefly, to this end : we are all diseas'd,
And with our surfeiting and wanton hours,
Have brought our selves into a burning fever,
And we must bleed for it: of which disease
Our late King Richard being infected, dy'd.
But, my molt noble lord of Westmorland,
I take not on me here as a phyfician :
Nor do I, as an enemy to peace,
Troop in the throngs of military men :
But rather shew a while like fearful war,
To diet rank minds, fick of happiness ;
And purge th' obstructions, which begin to stop
veins of life. Hear me more plainly. I have in equal balance juftly weigh'd What wrongs our arms may do, what wrongs we suffer ; And find our griefs heavier than our offences. We see, which way the stream of time doth run, And inforc'd from our most Quiet there, By the rough torrent of occasion ; And have the summary of all our griefs, When time shall serve, to shew in articles ; Which long ere this we offer'd to the King, And might by no suit gain our audience. When we are wrong'd and would unfold our griefs, We are deny'd access unto his person, Ev'n by those men that most have done us wrong. The danger of the days but newly gone, .'
(Whose memory is written on the earth
With yet-appearing blood) and the Examples
Of every minute's instance, present now,
Have put us in these ill-beseeming arms:
Not to break peace, or any branch of it ;
But to establis here a peace, indeed,
Concurring both in name and quality.
Weft. When ever yet was your appeal deny'd ?
Wherein have you been galled by the King'?
What Peer hath been suborn'd to grate on you,
That you should seal this lawless bloody book
Of forg'd Rebellion with a Seal divine, (15)
And confecrate Commotion's Civil Page ?
York. My brother general, the Common-wealth,
To Brother born an household Cruelty,
I make my quarrel in particular.
Weft. There is no need of any
such redress; Or if there were, it not belongs to you.
Mowb. Why not to him in part, and to us all,
That feel the bruises of the days before ;
And suffer the condition of these times
To lay an heavy and unequal hand
Upon our honours ?
Wej. O my good lord Mowbray,
Conftrue the times to their necessities,
And you shall say, indeed, it is the time,
(15) of forg'd Rebellion with a Seal divine ? ] In one of my Old Quarto's of 1600 (for I have two of the self-fame Edition; one of which, 'tis evident, w3s corrected in some Passages during the working off the whole Impression;) after the Linc above quoted I found this Verse,
And consecrate Commotion's civil Edge. I have thought the Verse worth preserving, and ventur'd to fubftitute Page for Edge, with reg ,rd to the Uniformity of Me taphor. Tho', I confess, the Liter may very well do in this Sense : that the Sword of Rebellion, drawn by a Bishop, may in some Sort be said to be consecrated by his Reverence: as the King, afterwards, talking of going to the Holy Wars, says,
We'll draw no Swords, but what are fan&ified. VOL. IV.
And not the King, that doth you injuries.
Yet, for your part, it not appears to me,
Or from the King, or in the present time,
should have an inch of any ground
To build a grief on. Were you not restor'd
To all the Duke of Norfolk's Seigniories,
Your noble and right-well-remember'd father's ?
Mowb. What thing, in honour, had my father loft,
That need to be reviv'd and breath'd in me?
The King, that lov’d him, as the State ftood then,
Was, force perforce, compellid to banish him.
And then, when Harry Boling broke and he
Being mounted and both rowsed in their seats,
Their neighing Coursers daring of the fpur,
Their armed staves in charge, their beavers down,
Their eyes of fire sparkling through fights of steel,
And the loud trumpet blowing them together ;
Then, then, when there was nothing could have staid
My father from the breast of Boling broke ;
0, when the King did throw his warder down,
His own life hung upon the staff he threw;
Then threw he down himself, and all their lives,
That by indictment, or by dint of sword,
Have since miscarried under Boling broke.
Weft. You speak, lord Mowbray, now, you know,
not what. The Earl of Hereford was reputed then In England the most valiant gentleman. Who knows, on whom fortune would then have smil'd ? But if your father had been victor there, He ne'er had borne it out of Coventry ; For all the country in a general voice Cry'd hate upon him; all their prayers and love Were set on Hereford, whom they doted on, And bless'd, and grac'd, indeed, more than the King (15)
But (16) And bless'd and grac'd more than the King himself. ] The Two oldest Folio's (which first gave us this Speech of Weltmorlant) read this Line thus ;
And blefo'd and grac’d, and did more than the King.
But this is mere digression from my purpose.
Here come I from our princely General,
To know your griefs ; to tell you from his Grace,
That he will give you audience ; and wherein
It shall appear that your demands are just,
You shall enjoy them ; every thing set off,
That might so much as think you enemies.
Mowb. But he hath forc'd us to compel this offer,
And it proceeds from policy, not love.
Weft. Mowbray, you over-ween to take it so:
This offer comes from mercy, not from fear.
For, lo! within a ken, our army
Upon mine honour, all too confident
To give admittance to a thought of fear.
Our battel is more full of names than yours,
Our men more perfect in the use of arms,
Our armour all as strong, our cause the best ;
Then reason wills, our hearts should be as good.
Say you not then, our offer is compell’d.
Mowb. Well; by my will, we shall admit no parley.
Weft. That argues but the shame of your offence:
A rotten case abides no handling.
Haft. Hath the Prince John a full commission,
In very ample virtue of his father,
To hear and absolutely to determine
Of what conditions we shall stand upon
Wef. That is intended in the General's name:
I muse, you make so flight a question.
York. Then take, my lord of Westmorland, this sche-
For this contains our general grievances :
Each several article herein redress’d,
All members of our cause, both here and hence,
That are infinewed to this action,
Acquitted by a true substantial form ;
And present executions of our wills
Dr. Thirlby saw it was corrupted by the Transcribers, and gave
me that easy Care, with which I have reform'd the Text, so
very near to the Traces of the corrupted Reading.