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SECOND PART OF
KING HENRY IV.
SCENE I.-The same.
The Porter before the Gate; Enter Lord 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 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.
Should be the father of some stratagem:2
The times are wild; contention, like a horse
2 some stratagem:] Some stratagem means here some great, important, or dreadful event.
Full of high feeding, madly hath broke loose,
I bring you certain news from Shrewsbury.
As good as heart can wish:
The king is almost wounded to the death;
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.
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,
forspent-] To forspend is to waste, to exhaust.
That stopp'd by me to breathe his bloodied horse:
Said he, young Harry Percy's spur was cold?
Had met ill-luck!
My lord, I'll tell you what ;
If my young lord your son have not the day,
Upon mine honour, 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?
Spoke at a venture. Look, here comes more news.
North. Yea, this man's brow, like to a title leaf,6 Foretells the nature of a tragick volume:
So looks the strond, whereon the imperious flood
silken point] A point is a string tagged, or lace.
some hilding fellow,] 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.
Hath left a witness'd usurpation.
Say, Morton, did'st thou come from Shrewsbury?
How doth my son, and brother?
Thou tremblest; and the whiteness in thy cheek
This thou would'st say,-Your son did thus, and thus:
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:
7 — a witness'd usurpation.] i.e. an attestation of its ravage. 8 Your spirit-] The impression upon your mind, by which you conceive the death of your son.
Thou shak'st thy head; and hold'st it fear, or sin,?
The tongue offends not, that reports his death:
Bard. I cannot think, my lord, your son is dead.
From whence with life he never more sprung up.
9 -hold'st it fear, or sin,] Fear for danger.