Actus Quartus. Scena Prima.

Enter the Arch-bishop, Mowbray, Hastings, Westmerland, Coleuile.

Bish. What is this Forrest call'd? Hast. 'Tis Gaultree Forrest, and't shall please your Grace

Bish. Here stand (my Lords) and send discouerers forth, To know the numbers of our Enemies

Hast. Wee haue sent forth alreadie

Bish. 'Tis well done. My Friends, and Brethren (in these great Affaires) I must acquaint you, that I haue receiu'd New-dated Letters from Northumberland: Their cold intent, tenure, and substance thus. Here doth hee wish his Person, with such Powers As might hold sortance with his Qualitie, The which hee could not leuie: whereupon Hee is retyr'd, to ripe his growing Fortunes, To Scotland; and concludes in heartie prayers, That your Attempts may ouer-liue the hazard, And fearefull meeting of their Opposite

Mow. Thus do the hopes we haue in him, touch ground, And dash themselues to pieces. Enter a Messenger.

Hast. Now? what newes? Mess. West of this Forrest, scarcely off a mile, In goodly forme, comes on the Enemie: And by the ground they hide, I iudge their number Vpon, or neere, the rate of thirtie thousand

Mow. The iust proportion that we gaue them out. Let vs sway-on, and face them in the field. Enter Westmerland.

Bish. What well-appointed Leader fronts vs here? Mow. I thinke it is my Lord of Westmerland

West. Health, and faire greeting from our Generall, The Prince, Lord Iohn, and Duke of Lancaster

Bish. Say on (my Lord of Westmerland) in peace: What doth concerne your comming? West. Then (my Lord) Vnto your Grace doe I in chiefe addresse The substance of my Speech. If that Rebellion Came like it selfe, in base and abiect Routs, Led on by bloodie Youth, guarded with Rage, And countenanc'd by Boyes, and Beggerie: I say, if damn'd Commotion so appeare, In his true, natiue, and most proper shape, You (Reuerend Father, and these Noble Lords) Had not beene here, to dresse the ougly forme Of base, and bloodie Insurrection, With your faire Honors. You, Lord Arch-bishop, Whose Sea is by a Ciuill Peace maintain'd, Whose Beard, the Siluer Hand of Peace hath touch'd, Whose Learning, and good Letters, Peace hath tutor'd, Whose white Inuestments figure Innocence, The Doue, and very blessed Spirit of Peace. Wherefore doe you so ill translate your selfe, Out of the Speech of Peace, that beares such grace, Into the harsh and boystrous Tongue of Warre? Turning your Bookes to Graues, your Inke to Blood, Your Pennes to Launces, and your Tongue diuine To a lowd Trumpet, and a Point of Warre

Bish. Wherefore doe I this? so the Question stands. Briefely to this end: Wee are all diseas'd, And with our surfetting, and wanton howres, Haue brought our selues into a burning Feuer, And wee must bleede for it: of which Disease, Our late King Richard (being infected) dy'd. But (my most Noble Lord of Westmerland) I take not on me here as a Physician, Nor doe I, as an Enemie to Peace, Troope in the Throngs of Militarie men: But rather shew a while like fearefull Warre, To dyet ranke Mindes, sicke of happinesse, And purge th' obstructions, which begin to stop Our very Veines of Life: heare me more plainely. I haue in equall ballance iustly weigh'd, What wrongs our Arms may do, what wrongs we suffer, And finde our Griefes heauier then our Offences. Wee see which way the streame of Time doth runne, And are enforc'd from our most quiet there, By the rough Torrent of Occasion, And haue the summarie of all our Griefes (When time shall serue) to shew in Articles; Which long ere this, wee offer'd to the King, And might, by no Suit, gayne our Audience: When wee are wrong'd, and would vnfold our Griefes, Wee are deny'd accesse vnto his Person, Euen by those men, that most haue done vs wrong. The dangers of the dayes but newly gone, Whose memorie is written on the Earth With yet appearing blood; and the examples Of euery Minutes instance (present now) Hath put vs in these ill-beseeming Armes: Not to breake Peace, or any Branch of it, But to establish here a Peace indeede, Concurring both in Name and Qualitie

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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