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SCENE I, The Rebel Camp, near SHREWSBURY.
Enter HotSPUR, WORCESTER, and DOUGLAS.
Hot. Well said, my noble Scot: if speaking truth,
In this fine age, were not thought flattery,
Such attribution should the Douglas have,
As not a soldier of this season's stamp
go so general current through the world.
By heaven, I cannot flatter; I defy
The tongues of smoothers; but a braver place
In my heart's love, hath no man than yourself:
Nay, task me to the word; approve me, lord.
Doug. Thou art the king of honour:
No man so potent breathes upon the ground,
But I will beard him.
Do so, and 'tis well :-
Enter a Messenger, with Letters.
What letters hast thou there?-) can but thank you.
Mess. These letters come from your father,
Hot. Letters from him! why comes he not himself? Mess. He cannot come, my lord; he’s grievous sick.
Hot. Zounds! how has he the leisure to be sick,
In such a justling time? Who leads his power??
Under whose government come they along?
Mess. His letters bear his mind, not I, my lord.
Wor. I prythee, tell me, doth he keep his bed?
Mess. He did, my lord, four days ere I set forth ;
And at the time of my departure thence,
He was much fear'd by his physicians.
Wor. I would, the state of time had first been whole,
Ere he by sickness had been visited ;
His health was never better worth than now.
Hot. Sick now! droop now! this sickness doth infect The very life-blood of our enterprise; 'Tis catching hither, even to our camp. He writes me here,—that inward sickness And that his friends by deputation could not So soon be drawn; nor did he think it meet, To lay so dangerous and dear a trust On any soul remov’d, but on his own. Yet doth he give us bold advertisement, That with our small conjunction, we should on, To see how fortune is dispos'd to us : For, as he writes, there is no quailing now; Because the king is certainly possess'd Of all our purposes. What say you to it?
Wor, Your father's sickness is a maim to us.
Hot. A perilous gash, a very limb lopp'd off':-
And yet, in faith, 'tis not; his present want
Seems more than we shall find it:-Were it good,
To set the exact wealth of all our states
All at one cast? to set so rich a main
On the nice bazard of one doubtful hour?
It were not good : for therein should we read
The very bottom and the soul of hope;
The very list, the very utmost bound
Of all our fortunes.
'Faith, and so we should; Where now remains a sweet reversion:
We may boldly spend upon the hope of what
Is to come in:
A comfort of retirement lives in this.
Hot. A rendezvous, a home to fly unto,
If that the devil and mischance look big
Upon the maidenhead of our affairs.
Wor. But yet, I would your father had been here ;
The qnality and hair of our attempt
Brooks no division: It will be thought
By some, that know not why he is away,
That wisdom, loyalty, and mere dislike
Of our proceedings, kept the earl from hence;
And think, how such an apprehension
May turn the tide of fearful faction,
And breed a kind of question in our cause :
For, well you know, we of the offering side
Must keep aloof from strict arbitrement;
And stop all sight-holes, every loop, from whence
The eye of reason may pry in upon us :
This absence of your father's draws a curtain,
That shows the ignorant a kind of fear
Before not dreamt of.
You strain too far.
I, rather, of his absence make this use;-
It lends a lustre, and more great opinion,
A larger dare to our great enterprise,
Than if the earl were here: for men must think,
If we without his help, can make a head
To push agaiøst the kingdom ; with his help,
We shall o'erturn it topsy-turvy down.-
Yet all goes well, yet all our joints are whole.
Doug. As heart can think : there is not such a word Spoke of in Scotland, as this term of fear.
Enter Sir RICHARD VERNON.
Hot. My cousin Vernon! welcome, by my soul.
Ver. Pray God, my news be worth a welcome, lord.
The earl of Westmoreland, seven thousand strong,
Is marching hitherwards; with him, prinoe John.
Hot. No harm: What more?
And further, I have learn’d, The king himself in person is set forth, Or hitherwards intended speedily, With strong and mighty preparation.
Hot. He shall be welcome too. Where is his son,
The nimble-footed mad-cap prince of Wales,
And his comrades, that daff'd the world aside,
And bid it pass?
All furnish’d, all in arms,
All plum'd like estridges that wing the wind;
Bated like eagles having lately bath'd;
Glittering in golden coats, like images;
As full of spirit as the month of May,
And gorgeous as the sun at midsummer;
Wanton as youthful goats, wild as young bulls.
I saw young Harry,—with bis beaver on,
His cuisses on his thighs, gallantly arm’d,-
Rise from the ground like feather'd Mercury,
And vaulted with such ease into bis seat,
As if an angel dropp'd down from the clouds,
To turn and wind a fiery Pegasus,
And witch the world with noble horsemanship.
Hot. No more, no more; worse than the sun in March,
This praise doth nourish agues. Let them come;
They come like sacrifices in their trim,
And to the fire-ey'd maid of smoky war,
All bot, and bleeding, will we offer them:
The mailed Mars shall on his altar sit,
Up to the ears in blood. I am on fire,
To hear this rich reprisal is so nigh,
And yet not ours:--Come, let me take my horse,
Who is to bear me, like a thunderbolt,
Against the bosom of the prince of Wales :
Harry to Harry shall, hot horse to horse,
Meet, and ne'er part, till one drop down a corse.-
0, that Glendower were come!
There is more news: I learn'd in Worcester, as I rode along, He cannot draw his power this fourteen days.
Doug. That's the worst tidings that I hear of yet.
Wor. Ay, by my faith, that bears a frosty sound.
Hot. What may the king's whole battle reach unto?
Ver. To thirty thousand.
Forty let it be;
My father and Glendower being both away,
The powers of us may serve so great a day.
Come, let us make a muster speedily:
Doomsday is near; die all, die merrily.
Doug: Talk not of dying; I am out of fear
Of death, or death’s hand, for this one half year.
SCENE II. A public Road near COVENTRY.
Enter FALSTAFF and BARDOLPH. Fal. Bardolph, get thee before to Coventry; fill me a bottle of sack: our soldiers shall march through; we'll to Sutton-Colfield to-night.
Bard. Will you give me money, captain?
Fal. Lay out, lay out.
Bard. This bottle makes an angel.
Ful. An if it do, take it for thy labour; and if it make twenty, take them all, I'll answer the coinage. Bid my lieutenant Peto meet me at the town's end. Bard. I will, captain: farewell.
[Exit. Fal. If I be not ashamed of my soldiers, I am a souced gurnet.
I have misused the king's press damnably. I have got, in exchange of a hundred and fifty soldiers, three hundred and odd pounds. me none but good householders, yeomen's sons: inquire me out contracted bachelors, such as had been asked twice on the banns; such a commodity of warm slaves, as had as lief hear the devil as a drum; such as fear the report of a caliver, worse than a struck fowl, or a hurt wild-duck. I pressed me none but such loasts and butter, with hearts in their bellies no bigger than pins' heads, and they have bought out their services; and now my whole charge consists of ancients, corporals, lieutenants, gentlemen of companies, slaves as ragged as Lazarus in the painted cloth, where the glut