Page images

The danger of the day's but newly gone,
Whose memory is written on the earth
With yet-appearing blood; and the examples
Of every minute's instance, present now,
Have put us in these ill-beseeming arms :
Not to break peace, or any branch of it,
But to establish here a peace indeed,
Concurring both in name and quality.

Welt. When ever yet was your appeal deny'd ?
Wherein have you been galled by the King ?
What Peer hath been suborn'd to grate on you,
That you should seal this lawless bloody book
Of forg'd rebellion with a seal divine ?

York. My brother General, the common-wealth
I make my quarrel in particular.

Weft. There is no need of any such redress ;
Or if there were, it not belongs to you.

Mowb. Why not to him in part, and to us all,
That feel the bruiles of the days before,
And suffer the condition of these times
To lay an heavy and unequal hand
Upon our honours ?

Weft. O my good Lord Mowbray,
Conftrue the times to their necessities,
And you shall say, indeed, it is the time,
And not the King, that doth you injuries.
Yet, for your part, it not appears to me,
Or from the King, or in the present time,
That you should have an inch of any ground
To build a grief on. Were you not restor'd
To all the Duke of Norfolk's seigniories,
Your noble and right-well-remember'd father ?

Mowb. What thing, in honour, had my father lost
That need to be reviv'd and breath'd in me?
The King that lov'd him, as the state stood then,
Was forc'd, perforce compell’d to banish him.
And then, wben Henry Boling broke and he
Being mounted and both rowsed in their seats,
Their neighing coursers daring of the spur,
Their armed Aaves in charge, their beavers down,

M 3


[ocr errors][ocr errors]

Their eyees of fire sparkling through fights of steel,
And the loud trumpet blowing them together ;
Then, then, when there was nothing could have staid
My father from the breast of Bolingbroke ;
o, when the King did throw his warder down,
His own life hung upon the staff he threw;
Then threw he down himself, and all their lives,
That by indictment or by dint of sword
Have fince miscarried under Bolingbroke.
Weft. You speak, Lord Mowbray, now, you know not

The Earl of Hereford was reputed then
In England the most valiant gentleman.
Who knows on whom fortune would then have smild?
But if your father had been victor there,
He ne'er had born it out of Coventry,
For all the country in a general voice
Cry'd hate upon him; all their prayers and love
Were set on Hereford, whom they doted on,
And bless’d and grac'd indeed more than the King.
But this is meer digression from my purpose.
Here come I from our princely General,
To know your griefs ; to te'l you from his Grace,
That he will give you audience; and wherein
It shall appear that your demands are just,
You shall enjoy them ; every thing set off
That might so much as mark you enemies.

Mowb. But he hath forc'd us to compel this offer,
And it proceeds from policy, not love.

Weft. Mowbray, you over-ween to take it fo :
This offer comes from mercy, not from fear.
For lo! within a ken our army lyes ;
Upon mine honour, all too confident
To give admittance to a thought of fear.
Our battel is more full of names than yours,
Our men more perfect in the use of arms,
Our armour all as strong, our cause the best ;
Then reason wills, our hearts should be as good.
Say you not then our offer is compell’d.
Mowb. Well, by my will we bhall admit no parley.


[ocr errors]

Weft. That argues but the shame of your offence :
A rotten case abides no handling.

Haft. Hath the Prince Jobn a full commission,
In very ample virtue of his father,
To hear and absolutely to determine
Of what conditions we shall stand upon ?

Weft. That is intended in the General's name :
I mufe you make so flight a question.

York. Then take, my Lord of Weftmorland, this schedule, For this contains our general grievances : Each several article herein redress’d, All members of our cause, both here and hence, That are infinewed into this action, Acquitted by a true substantial form; And present executions of our wills, To us, and to our properties confirm’d; We come within our awful banks again, And knit our powers to the arm of peace.

Wel. This will I shew the General. Please you, Lords,
In fight of both our battels, we may meet ;
And either end in peace, which heav'n so frame !
Or to the place of difference call the swords
Which must decide it.
York. My Lord, we will do so.' [Exit Werte

Mowb. There is a thing within my bofom tells me,
That no conditions of our peace can stand.

Haft. Fear you not that : if we can make our peace-
Upon such large terms and so absolute,
As our conditions shall infift upon,
Our peace shall stand as firm as rocky mountains.

Mowb. Ay, but our valuation shall be such,
That ev'ry Night and false-derived cause,
Yea, ev'ry idle, nice and wanton reason,
Shall to the King taste of this action.
That, were our loyal faiths martyrs in love,
We shall be winnow'd with so rough a wind,
That ev'n our corn fhall seem as light as chaff,
And good from bad find no partition.
York. No, no, my Lord, note this ; the King is weary


Of dainty and such picking grievances :
For he hath found, to end one doubt by death,
Revives two greater in the heirs of life.
And therefore will he wipe his tables clean,
And keep no tell-tale to his memory,
That may repeat and history his loss
To new remembrance. For full well he knows,
He cannot so precisely weed this laad,
As his misdoubts present occafion :
His foes are so enrooted with his friends,
That plucking to unfix an enemy
He doth unfasten fo and shake a friend.
So that this land, like an offensive wife,
That hath enrag'd him on to offer strokes,
As he is striking, holds his infant up,
And hangs resolv'd correction in the arm
That was uprear'd to execution.

Haft. Besides, the King hath wasted all his rods
On late offenders, that he now doth lack
The very instruments of chastisement:
So that his pow'r, like to a fangless Lion,
May offer, but not hold.

York. 'Tis very true :
And therefore be affur’d, my good Lord Marshal,
If we do now make our atonement well,
Our peace will, like a broken limb united,
Grow stronger for the breaking.

Mowb. Be it fo.
Here is return'd my Lord of Westmorland..

Enter Westmorland.
Weft. The Prince is here at hand: pleaseth your Lordship
To meet his Grace, just distance 'tween our armies ?
Mowb. Your Grace of York in God's name then set for

ward. York. Before, and greet his Grace ; my Lord, we come.


Enler Prince John of Lancaster. Lan. You're well encounter'd here, my coufin Mowbray; Bood day to you, my gentle Lord Arch-bishop,


And so to you, Lord Hastings, and to all !
My Lord of York, it better thew'd with you,
When that your flock assembled by the bell
Encircled you, to hear with reverence
Your exposition on the holy text;
Than now to see you here an iron man,
Cheering a rout of rebels with your drum,
Turning the word to sword, and life to death.
That man that fits within a monarch's heart,
And ripens in the fun-fhine of his favour,
Would he abuse the count'nance of the King,
Alack, what mischiefs might he fet abroach,
In shadow of such greatness ? With you, Lord Bishop,
It is ev'n so. Who hath not heard it spoken,
How deep you were within the books of heav'n?
To us, the speaker in his parliament ;
To us, th' imagin' voice of heav'n it self ;
The very opener, and intelligencer
Between the grace, the fanctities of heav'n,
And our dull workings. O, who shall believe
But you

misuse the rev'rence of your place,
Employ the countenance and grace of heav'n,
As a false favourite doth his Prince's name,
In deeds dishon'rable ? you've taken up,
Under the counterfeited zeal of God,
The subjects of his substitute, my father ;
And both againft the peace of heav'n and him
Have here up-swarm'd them.
York. Good my Lord of Lancaster

I am not here against your father's peace :
But, as I told my Lord of Westmorland,
The time mil-order'd doth in common sense
Crowd us and crush us to this monstrous form,
To hold our safety up. I sent your Grace
The parcels and particulars of our grief,
The which hath been with scorn ihov'd from the Court:
Whereon this Hydra-fon of war is born,
Whose dangerous eyes may well be charm's asleep
With grant of our most just and right desire;
And true obedience, of this madness cur’d,


[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »