« PreviousContinue »
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, curs d Glendower;
Whose daughter, as we hear, the earl of March
Hath lately married. Shall our coffers then
Be emptied, to redeem a traitor home?
Shall we buy treason ? 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 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 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 not asham'd? 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.
[Éxeunt 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.
Re-enter WORCESTER. Hot.
Speak of Mortimer?
'Zounds, I will speak of him; and let my soul
if I do not join with him :
Yea, on his part, I'll empty all these veins,
And shed my 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 urg'd 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 God pardon !) did set forth
Upon his Irish expedition;
From whence he, intercepted, did return
To be depos’d, and, shortly, murdered.
Wor. And for whose death, we in the world's wide mouth
Live scandaliz’d, and foully spoken of.
Hot. But, soft, I pray you; Did king Richard then
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 stary'd.
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 murd'rous 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 shanie, 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 further
That you are foolid, 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'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
Therefore, I say,
Peace, cousin, say no more: And now I will unclasp a secret book, And to your quick-conceiving discontents ['ll read you matter deep and dangerous ; As full of peril, and advent'rous spirit, As. to o'er-walk 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, And let them grapple ;-0! 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-fac'd 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-fac'd fellowship!
Wor. Ile 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.
Those same noble Scots,
That are your prisoners,
I'll keep them all; By heaven, he shall not have a Scot of them : l'll keep them, by this hand
And lend no ear unto my purposes.-
Those prisoners you shall keep.
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!
I'll have a starling shall be taught to speak
Nothing but Mortimer, and give it him,
To keep his anger still in motion.
Cousin ; a word.
Hot. All studies here I solemnly defy,
Save how to gall and pinch this Bolingbroke;
And that same sword-and-buckler prince of Wales,
But that I think his father loves him not,
And would be glad he met with some mischance,
I'd have him poison’d with a pot of ale.
Wor. Farewell, kinsman! I will talk to you,
When you are better temper'd to attend.
Norih. Why, what a wasp-stung and impatient fool
Art thou, to break into this woman's mood;
Tying thine par to no tongue but thine own?
Hot. Why, look you, I am whipp'd and scourg'd 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 Gloucestershire;-
'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,
And, gentle Harry Percy,—and, kind cousin,-
O, the devil take such cozeners !-Heaven forgive me
Good uncle, tell your tale, for I have done.
Wor. Nay, if you have not, to't again ;
We'll stay your leisure.
I have done, i'faith.
Wor. Then once more to your Scottish prisoners.
Deliver them up without their ransom straight,
And make the Douglas' son your only mean
For powers in Scotland; which,—for divers reasons,
Which I shall send you written,-be assur'd,
Will easily be granted.--You, my lord,- [To NORTHUMBERLAND
Your son in Scotland being thus employ’d,
Shall secretly into the bosom creep,
Of that same noble prelate, well belov’d,
Hot. Of York, is't not ?
Wor. True ; who bears hard
His brother's death at Bristol, the lord Scroop.
I speak not this in estimation,
As what I think might be, but what I know
Is ruminated, plotted and set down;
And only stays but to behold the face
Of that occasion that shall bring it on.
Hot. I smell it; upon my life, it will do well.
North. Before the game's afoot, thou still let'st slip.
Hot. Why, it cannot choose but be a noble plot :-
And then the power of Scotland, and of York, -
To join with Mortimer, ha ?
And sn they shall.
Hot. In faith, it is exceedingly well aim'd.
Wor. And 'tis no little reason bids us speed,
To save our heads by raising of a head :
For, bear ourselves as even as we can,
The king will always think him in our debt;
And think we think ourselves unsatisfied,
Till he hath found a time to pay us home.
And see already how he doth begin
To make us strangers to his looks of love.
Hot. He does, he does ; we'll be reveng'd on him.
Wor. Cousin, farewell ;—No further go in this
Than I by letters shall direct your course.
When time is ripe, (which will be suddenly)
I'll steal to Glendower, and lord Mortimer;
Where you and Douglas, and our powers at once,
(As I will fashion it,) shall happily meet,
To bear our fortunes in our own strong arms,
Which now we hold with much uncertainty:
North. Farewell, good brother, we shall thrive, I trust.
Hot. Uncle, adieu :-0, let the hours be short, Till fields, and blows, and groans applaud our sport. [Exeunt.
Hotspur and his confederates meet in consultation, preparatory to the battle of Shrewsbury.
SCENE I.—Bangor. A Room in the Archdeacon's House.
Enter HOTSPUR, WORCESTER, MORTIMER, and GLENDOWER.
Mort. These promises are fair, the parties sure,
And our induction full of prosperous hope.