Hot. Reuolted Mortimer? He neuer did fall off, my Soueraigne Liege, But by the chance of Warre: to proue that true, Needs no more but one tongue. For all those Wounds, Those mouthed Wounds, which valiantly he tooke, When on the gentle Seuernes siedgie banke, In single Opposition hand to hand, He did confound the best part of an houre In changing hardiment with great Glendower: Three times they breath'd, and three times did they drink Vpon agreement, of swift Seuernes flood; Who then affrighted with their bloody lookes, Ran fearefully among the trembling Reeds, And hid his crispe-head in the hollow banke, Blood-stained with these Valiant Combatants. Neuer did base and rotten Policy Colour her working with such deadly wounds; Nor neuer could the Noble Mortimer Receiue so many, and all willingly: Then let him not be sland'red with Reuolt

King. Thou do'st bely him Percy, thou dost bely him; He neuer did encounter with Glendower: I tell thee, he durst as well haue met the diuell alone, As Owen Glendower for an enemy. Art thou not asham'd? But Sirrah, henceforth Let me not heare you speake of Mortimer. Send me your Prisoners with the speediest meanes, Or you shall heare in such a kinde from me As will displease ye. My Lord Northumberland, We License your departure with your sonne, Send vs your Prisoners, or you'l heare of it.

Exit King.

Hot. And if the diuell come and roare for them I will not send them. I will after straight And tell him so: for I will ease my heart, Although it be with hazard of my head

Nor. What? drunke with choller? stay & pause awhile, Heere comes your Vnckle. Enter Worcester.

Hot. Speake of Mortimer? Yes, I will speake of him, and let my soule Want mercy, if I do not ioyne with him. In his behalfe, Ile empty all these Veines, And shed my deere blood drop by drop i'th dust, But I will lift the downfall Mortimer As high i'th Ayre, as this Vnthankfull King, As this Ingrate and Cankred Bullingbrooke

Nor. Brother, the King hath made your Nephew mad Wor. Who strooke this heate vp after I was gone? Hot. He will (forsooth) haue all my Prisoners: And when I vrg'd the ransom once againe Of my Wiues Brother, then his cheeke look'd pale, And on my face he turn'd an eye of death, Trembling euen at the name of Mortimer

Wor. I cannot blame him: was he not proclaim'd By Richard that dead is, the next of blood? Nor. He was: I heard the Proclamation, And then it was, when the vnhappy King (Whose wrongs in vs God pardon) did set forth Vpon his Irish Expedition: From whence he intercepted, did returne To be depos'd, and shortly murthered

Wor. And for whose death, we in the worlds wide mouth Liue scandaliz'd, and fouly spoken of

Hot. But soft I pray you; did King Richard then Proclaime my brother Mortimer, Heyre to the Crowne? Nor. He did, my selfe did heare it

Hot. Nay then I cannot blame his Cousin King, That wish'd him on the barren Mountaines staru'd. But shall it be, that you that set the Crowne Vpon the head of this forgetfull man, And for his sake, wore the detested blot Of murtherous subornation? Shall it be, That you a world of curses vndergoe, Being the Agents, or base second meanes, The Cords, the Ladder, or the Hangman rather? O pardon, if that I descend so low, To shew the Line, and the Predicament Wherein you range vnder this subtill King. Shall it for shame, be spoken in these dayes, Or fill vp Chronicles in time to come, That men of your Nobility and Power, Did gage them both in an vniust behalfe (As Both of you, God pardon it, haue done) To put downe Richard, that sweet louely Rose, And plant this Thorne, this Canker Bullingbrooke? And shall it in more shame be further spoken, That you are fool'd, discarded, and shooke off By him, for whom these shames ye vnderwent? No: yet time serues, wherein you may redeeme Your banish'd Honors, and restore your selues Into the good Thoughts of the world againe. Reuenge the geering and disdain'd contempt Of this proud King, who studies day and night To answer all the Debt he owes vnto you, Euen with the bloody Payment of your deaths: Therefore I say- Wor. Peace Cousin, say no more. And now I will vnclaspe a Secret booke, And to your quicke conceyuing Discontents, Ile reade you Matter, deepe and dangerous, As full of perill and aduenturous Spirit, As to o're-walke a Current, roaring loud On the vnstedfast footing of a Speare

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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