Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
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Henry IV, Part 2 (Folio 1 1623)



The second Part of King Henry the Fourth.
75

Tra. My Lord, Sir Iohn Vmfreuill turn'd me backe
With ioyfull tydings; and (being better hors'd)
90Out-rod me. After him, came spurring head
A Gentleman (almost fore-spent with speed)
That stopp'd by me, to breath his bloodied horse.
He ask'd the way to Chester: And of him
I did demand what Newes from Shrewsbury:
95He told me, that Rebellion had ill lucke,
And that yong Harry Percies Spurre was cold.
With that he gaue his able Horse the head,
And bending forwards strooke his able heeles
Against the panting sides of his poore Iade
100Vp to the Rowell head, and starting so,
He seem'd in running, to deuoure the way,
Staying no longer question.
North. Ha? Againe:
Said he yong Harrie Percyes Spurre was cold?
105(Of Hot-Spurre, cold-Spurre?) that Rebellion,
Had met ill lucke?
L. Bar. My Lord: Ile tell you what,
If my yong Lord your Sonne, haue not the day,
Vpon mine Honor, for a silken point
110Ile giue my Barony. Neuer talke of it.
Nor. Why should the Gentleman that rode by Trauers
Giue then such instances of Losse?
L. Bar. Who, he?
He was some hielding Fellow, that had stolne
115The Horse he rode-on: and vpon my life
Speake at aduenture. Looke, here comes more Newes.

Enter Morton.

Nor. Yea, this mans brow, like to a Title-leafe,
Fore-tels the Nature of a Tragicke Volume:
120So lookes the Strond, when the Imperious Flood
Hath left a witnest Vsurpation.
Say Morton, did'st thou come from Shrewsbury?
Mor. I ran from Shrewsbury (my Noble Lord)
Where hatefull death put on his vgliest Maske
125To fright our party.
North. How doth my Sonne, and Brother?
Thou trembl'st; and the whitenesse in thy Cheeke
Is apter then thy Tongue, to tell thy Errand.
Euen such a man, so faint, so spiritlesse,
130So dull, so dead in looke, so woe-be-gone,
Drew Priams Curtaine, in the dead of night,
And would haue told him, Halfe his Troy was burn'd.
But Priam found the Fire, ere he his Tongue:
And I, my Percies death, ere thou report'st it.
135This, thou would'st say: Your Sonne did thus, and thus:
Your Brother, thus. So fought the Noble Dowglas,
Stopping my greedy eare, with their bold deeds.
But in the end (to stop mine Eare indeed)
Thou hast a Sigh, to blow away this Praise,
140Ending with Brother, Sonne, and all are dead.
Mor. Dowglas is liuing, and your Brother, yet:
But for my Lord, your Sonne.
North. Why, he is dead.
See what a ready tongue Suspition hath:
145He that but feares the thing, he would not know,
Hath by Instinct, knowledge from others Eyes,
That what he feard, is chanc'd. Yet speake (Morton)
Tell thou thy Earle, his Diuination Lies,
And I will take it, as a sweet Disgrace,
150And make thee rich, for doing me such wrong.
Mor. You are too great, to be (by me) gainsaid:

Your Spirit is too true, your Feares too certaine.
North. Yet for all this, say not that Percies dead.
I see a strange Confession in thine Eye:
155Thou shak'st thy head, and hold'st it Feare, or Sinne,
To speake a truth. If he be slaine, say so:
The Tongue offends not, that reports his death:
And he doth sinne that doth belye the dead:
Not he, which sayes the dead is not aliue:
160Yet the first bringer of vnwelcome Newes
Hath but a loosing Office: and his Tongue,
Sounds euer after as a sullen Bell
Remembred, knolling a departing Friend.
L. Bar. I cannot thinke (my Lord) your son is dead.
165Mor. I am sorry, I should force you to beleeue
That, which I would to heauen, I had not seene.
But these mine eyes, saw him in bloody state,
Rend'ring faint quittance (wearied, and out-breath'd)
To Henrie Monmouth, whose swift wrath beate downe
170The neuer-daunted Percie to the earth,
From whence (with life) he neuer more sprung vp.
In few; his death (whose spirit lent a fire,
Euen to the dullest Peazant in his Campe)
Being bruited once, tooke fire and heate away
175From the best temper'd Courage in his Troopes.
For from his Mettle, was his Party steel'd;
Which once, in him abated, all the rest
Turn'd on themselues, like dull and heauy Lead:
And as the Thing, that's heauy in it selfe,
180Vpon enforcement, flyes with greatest speede,
So did our Men, heauy in Hotspurres losse,
Lend to this weight, such lightnesse with their Feare,
That Arrowes fled not swifter toward their ayme,
Then did our Soldiers (ayming at their safety)
185Fly from the field. Then was that Noble Worcester
Too soone ta'ne prisoner: and that furious Scot,
(The bloody Dowglas) whose well-labouring sword
Had three times slaine th'appearance of the King,
Gan vaile his stomacke, and did grace the shame
190Of those that turn'd their backes: and in his flight,
Stumbling in Feare, was tooke. The summe of all,
Is, that the King hath wonne: and hath sent out
A speedy power, to encounter you my Lord,
Vnder the Conduct of yong Lancaster
195And Westmerland. This is the Newes at full.
North. For this, I shall haue time enough to mourne.
In Poyson, there is Physicke: and this newes
(Hauing beene well) that would haue made me sicke,
Being sicke, haue in some measure, made me well.
200And as the Wretch, whose Feauer-weakned ioynts,
Like strengthlesse Hindges, buckle vnder life,
Impatient of his Fit, breakes like a fire
Out of his keepers armes: Euen so, my Limbes
(Weak'ned with greefe) being now inrag'd with greefe,
205Are thrice themselues. Hence therefore thou nice crutch,
A scalie Gauntlet now, with ioynts of Steele
Must gloue this hand. And hence thou sickly Quoife,
Thou art a guard too wanton for the head,
Which Princes, flesh'd with Conquest, ayme to hit.
210Now binde my Browes with Iron, and approach
The ragged'st houre, that Time and Spight dare bring
To frowne vpon th'enrag'd Northumberland.
Let Heauen kisse Earth: now let not Natures hand
Keepe the wilde Flood confin'd: Let Order dye,
215And let the world no longer be a stage
To feede Contention in a ling'ring Act:
But let one spirit of the First-borne Caine
g
Reigne