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Quenching the flame of bold rebellion
Even with the rebels' blood. But what mean I
To speak so true at first? my office is
To noise abroad,—that Harry Monmouth fell
Under the wrath of noble Hotspur's sword ;
And that the king before the Douglas' rage
Stoop'd his anointed head as low as death.
This have I rumour'd through the peasant towns
Between that royal field of Shrewsbury
And this worm-eaten hold of ragged stone,
Where Hotspur's father, old Northumberland,
Lies crafty-sick: the posts come tiring on,
And not a man of them brings other news
Than they have learn’d of me; From Rumour's tongues
They bring smooth comforts false, worse than true





Scene 1.-The same.

The Porter before the Gate; Enter Lord BARDOLPH. Burd. Who keeps the gate here, ho ?-Where is the

earl ? Port. What shall I say you are? Bard.

Tell thou the earl, That the lord Bardolph doth attend him here.

Port. His Lordship is walk'd forth into the orchard; Please it your honour, knock but at the gate, And he himself will answer.


Here comes the earl. North. What news, lord Bardolph ? every minute now Should be the father of some stratagem : The times are wild; contention, like a horse Full of high feeding, madly hath broke loose, And bears down all before him. Bard.

Noble earl,
I bring you certain news from Shrewsbury.

North. Good, an heaven will !

As good as heart can wish :-
The king is almost wounded to the death;
And, in the fortune of my lord your son,
Prince Harry slain outright; and both the Blunts
Killid by the hand of Douglas : young prince John,
And Westmoreland, and Stafford, fled the field;

- some stratagem :) Some strutagem means here some great, important, or dreadful event.--M. MASON.

And Harry Monmouth's brawn, the hulk sir John,
Is prisoner to your son : 0, such a day,
So fought, so follow'd, and so fairly won,
Came not, till now, to dignify the times,
Since Cæsar's fortunes !

How is this deriv'd ?
Saw you the field ? came you from Shrewsbury?

Bard. I spake with one, my lord, that came from thence; A gentleman well bred, and of good name, That freely render'd me these news for true.

North. Here comes my servant, Travers, whom I sent On Tuesday last to listen after news.

Bard. My lord, I over-rode him on the way;
And he is furnish'd with no certainties,
More than he haply may retail from me.


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North. Now, Travers, what good tidings come with you?

Tra. My lord, sir John Umfrevile turn'd me back
With joyful tidings; and, being better hors’d,
Out-rode me. After him, came, spurring hard,
A gentleman almost forspent with speed,
That stopp'd by me to breathe his bloodied horse :
He ask'd the way to Chester ; and of him

I did demand what news from Shrewsbury.
He told me, that rebellion had bad luck,
And that young Harry Percy's spur was cold :
With that he gave his able horse the head,
And, bending forward, struck his armed heels
Against the panting sides of his poor jade
Up to the rowel-head; and starting so,

He seem'd in running to devour the way,
Staying no longer question.

Ha !--Again.
Said he, young Harry Percy's spur was cold?
Of Hotspur, coldspur? that rebellion
Had met ill luck!

My lord, I'll tell you what;-
If my young lord your son have not the day,

- forspent- ) i. e. Wasted, exhausted.



Upon mine honour, for a silken pointe
I'll give my barony: never talk of it.

North. Why should the gentleman that rode by TraGive then such instances of loss?

[vers, Bard.

Who, he ?
He was some hilding fellow, that had stol’n
The horse he rode on; and, upon my life,
Spoke at a venture. Look, here comes more news.

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North. Yea, this man's brow, like to a title-leaf,:
Foretells the nature of a tragick volume :
So looks the strond, whereon the imperious flood
Hath left a witness'd usurpation,"
Say, Morton, didst thou come from Shrewsbury?

Mor. I ran from Shrewsbury, my noble lord ;
Where hateful death put on his ugliest mask,
To fright our party.

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 his tongue,
And I my Percy's death, ere thou report'st it,
This thou would'st say,—Your son did thus and thus :
Your brother thus : so fought the noble Douglas;
Stopping my greedy ear with their bold deeds :
But in the end, to stop mine ear indeed,
Thou hast a sigh to blow away this praise,
Ending with-brother, son, and all are dead.

Mor. Douglas is living, and your brother, yet:
But, for my lord your son,

point) i. e. A string tagged, or lace.
hilding)—for hilderling, i. e. base, degenerate.

like to a title-leaf,] It may not be amiss to observe, that, in the time of

our poet, the title-page to an elegy, as well 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.-STEEVENS.


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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, 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 That, which I would to heaven I had not seen : But these mine eyes saw him in bloody state, Rend'ring faint quittance, wearied and out-breath’d, To Harry Monmouth; whose swift wrath beat down The never-daunted Percy to the earth, From whence with life he never more sprung up. In few, his death (whose spirit lent a fire Even to the dullest peasant in his camp,) Being bruited once, took fire and heat

away From the best-temper'd courage in his troops : For from his metal was his party steeld; Which once in him abated,' all the rest



fear,] Here used for danger.

quittance,) i.e. Return. By“ faint quittance" is meant, “a faint return of blows."-STEEVENS.

I-abated,] This word is not here put for the general idea of diminished, nor for the notion of blunted as applied to a single edge. Abated means reduced to a lower temper, or, as the workmen call it, let down.--Johnson.

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