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He seem'd in running to devour the way,
L. Bard. My lord, I 'll tell you what ;-
Mor. I ran from Shrewsbury, my noble lord ;
How doth my son, and brother ?
a Hilding-an expression of contempt for a cowardly, spiritless person.
Title-leaf. Poems of lament were distinguished by a black title-page.
And would have told him, half his Troy was burn'd:
Mor. Douglas is living, and your brother, yet:
Why, he is dead.
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, To speak a truth. If he be slain, say so: The tongue offends not that reports his death : And he doth sin that doth belie the dead; Not he, which says the dead is not alive. Yet the first bringer of unwelcome news Hath but a losing office; and his tongue Sounds ever after as a sullen bell, Remember'd knolling a departing friend.b
a Fear-danger; matter or occasion of fear. b Departing friend.
thought that departing was here used for departed. But the ancient custom was for the bell to ring for the departing soul-not for the soul that had fled. Hence it was called the passing bell.
L. Bard. I cannot think, my lord, your son is dead.
Mor. I am sorry I should force you to believe That which I would to heaven I had not seen : But these mine eyes saw him in bloody state, Rendering faint quittance, wearied and out-breath'd, To Henry Monmouth ; whose swift wrath beat down The never-daunted Percy to the earth, From whence with life he never more sprung up. In few, his death (whose spirit lent a fire Even to the dullest peasant in his camp) Being bruited once, took fire and heat away From the best-temper'd courage in his troops : For from his metal was his party steel'd; Which once in him abated, all the rest Turn'd on themselves, like dull and heavy lead. And as the thing that 's heavy in itself, Upon enforcement, flies with greatest speed; So did our men, heavy in Hotspur's loss, Lend to this weight such lightness with their fear, That arrows fled not swifter toward their aim, Than did our soldiers, aiming at their safety, Fly from the field : Then was that noble Worcester Too soon ta'en prisoner : and that furious Scot, The bloody Douglas, whose well-labouring sword Had three times slain the appearance of the king, 'Gan vail bis stomach, and did grace the shame Of those that turn'd their backs; and, in his flight, Stumbling in fear, was took. The sum of all Is, that the king hath won; and hath sent out A speedy power to encounter you, my lord, Under the conduct of young Lancaster, And Westmoreland : this is the news at full.
North. For this I shall have time enough to mourn. In poison there is physic; and these news, Having been well that would have made me sick, Being sick, have in some measure made me well: And as the wretch, whose fever-weaken'd joints,
Like strengthless hinges, buckle a under life,
lord.] L. Bard. Sweet earl, divorce not wisdom from your
honour. Mor. The lives of all your loving complices Lean on your health ; the which, if you give o'er To stormy passion, must perforce decay. You cast the event of war, my noble lord, And summ’d the account of chance, before you said, Let us make head. It was your presurmise,
a Buckle. This word, which here means to bend, is used precisely in the same signification in the present day, when applied to a horse, whose “ weakend joints, like strengthless hinges," are said to buckle.
b Grief. In this line the first “ grief" is put for bodily pain ; the second for mental sorrow.
That in the dole of blows your son might drop :
L. Bard. We all, that are engaged to this loss,