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Can play upon it. But what need I thus
Among my household? Why is rumor here?
Who, in a bloody field by Shrewsbury,
Hath beaten down young Hotspur, and his troops,
Even with the rebels' blood. But what mean I
SCENE I. The same. The Porter before the Gate.
Enter LORD Bardolph.
Bardolph. Who keeps the gate here, ho?-Where
is the earl?
Port. What shall I say you are?
Tell thou the earl,
That the lord Bardolph doth attend him here.
Port. His lordship is walked forth into the orchard.
1 Northumberland's castle.
Please it your honor, knock but at the gate,
Here comes the earl.
North. What news, lord Bardolph? Every minute
Should be the father of some stratagem;
As good as heart can wish.
The king is almost wounded to the death;
How is this derived?
Saw you the field? Came you from Shrewsbury? Bard. I spake with one, my lord, that came from
A gentleman well-bred, and of good name,
That freely rendered me these news for true.
North. Here comes my servant, Travers, whom I
On Tuesday last to listen after news.
Bard. My lord, I overrode him on the way;
And he is furnished with no certainties,
More than he haply may retail from me.
North. Now, Travers, what good tidings come with you?
Tra. My lord, sir John Umfrevile turned me back With joyful tidings; and, being better horsed, Outrode me. After him, came, spurring hard, A gentleman almost forspent with speed, That stopped by me to breathe his bloodied horse. He asked 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 seemed 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,
Upon mine honor, for a silken point
I'll give my barony; never talk of it.
North. Why should the gentleman, that rode by
Give then such instances of loss?
He was some hilding fellow, that had stolen
The horse he rode on; and, upon my life,
Spoke at a venture. Look, here comes more news.
North. Yea, this man's brow, like to a title-leaf, Foretells the nature of a tragic volume ;
2 A silken point is a tagged lace.
3 i. e. Hilderling, base, low fellow.
So looks the strond, whereon the imperious flood
Say, Morton, didst thou come from Shrewsbury?
How doth my son, and brother?
Thou tremblest; and the whiteness in thy cheek
And would have told him, half his Troy was burned;
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 feared 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,
And he doth sin, that doth belie the dead;
Bard. I cannot think, my lord, your son is dead.
From whence with life he never more sprung up.
Lend to this weight such lightness with their fear,
1 The bell anciently was rung before the dying person had expired, and
thence was called the passing bell.
2 To vail is to lower, to cast down.