Page images
PDF
EPUB

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 shall admit no

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

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

West. That is intended in the general's name:
I muse, you make so slight a question.
Arch. Then take, my lord of Westmoreland, 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 insinew'd to this action, Acquitted by a true substantial form; And present execution of our wills To us, and to our purposes, consignd; We come within our awful banks again, And knit our powers to the arm of peace. West. This will I show the general. Please you,

lords, In sight of both our battles we may meet : And either end in peace, which heaven so frame! Or to the place of difference call the swords Which must decide it.

Arch.

My lord, we will do so.

[Exit West. Mowl. There is a thing within my bosom, tells

me, That no conditions of our peace can stand. Hast. Fear you not that: if we can make our

peace
Upon such large terms, and so absolute,
As our conditions shall consist upon,
Our peace shall stand as firm as rocky mountains.

Mowb. Ay, but our valuation shall be such,
That every slight and false derived cause,
Yea, every idle, nice, and wanton reason,
Shall, to the king, taste of this action:
That, were our royal faiths martyrs in love,
We shall be winnow'd with so rough a wind,
That e'en our corn shall seem as light as chaff,
And good from bad find no partition,
Arch. No, no, my lord; Note this,- the king is

weary
Of dainty and such picking grievances 72:
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 telltale to his memory,
That may repeat and history his loss
To new remembrance: For full well he knows,
He cannot so precisely weed this land,
As his misdoubts present occasion :
His foes are so enrooted with his friends,

That, plucking to unfix an enemy,
He doth unfasten so, 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.

Hast. Besides, the king hath wasted all his rods
On late offenders, that he now doth lack
The
very

instruments of chastisement:
So that his power, like a fangless lion,
May offer, but not hold.
Arch.

'Tis very true;-
And therefore be assur'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 so.
Here is return'd my lord of Westmoreland.

Re-enter WESTMORELAND. West. The prince is here at hand: Pleaseth your

lordship, To meet his grace just distance 'tween our armies? Mowl. Your grace of York, in God's name then

set forward. Arch. Before, and greet his grace:-my lord, we

[Exeunt. SCENE II.

come.

[graphic]

Another Part of the Forest.

Enter from one side MOWBRAY, the Archbishop,

HASTINGS, and others: from the other side, Prince John of LANCASTER, WESTMORELAND, Officers, and Attendants.

P. John. You are well encounter'd here, my cousin

Mowbray:Good day to you, gentle lord archbishop ;And so to you, lord Hastings,-and to all.My lord of York, it better show'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 sits within a monarch's heart, And ripens in the sunshine of his favour, Would he abuse the countenance of the king, Alack, what mischiefs might he set abroach, In shadow of such greatness! With you, lord bishop, It is even so:—Who hath not heard it spoken, How deep you were within the books of God? To us, the speaker in his parliament; To us, the imagind voice of God himself;

Good my

73

The very opener, and intelligencer,
Between the grace, the sanctities of heaven,
And our dull workings: 0, who shall believe,
But you misuse the reverence of your place;
Employ the countenance and grace of heaven,
As a false favourite doth his prince's name,
In deeds dishonourable? You have taken up,
Under the counterfeited zeal of God,
The subjects of his substitute, my father ;
And, both against the peace of heaven and him,
Have here up-swarm'd them.
Arch.

lord of Lancaster,
I am not here against your father's peace:
But, as I told my lord of Westmoreland,
The time misorder'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 shov'd from the

court, Whereon this Hydra son of war is born: Whose dangerous eyes may well be charm'd asleep, With grant of our most just and right desires; And true obedience, of this madness cur'd, Stoop tamely to the foot of majesty.

Mowl. If not, we ready are to try our fortunes
To the last man.
Hast.

And though we here fall down,
We have supplies to second our attempt;
If they miscarry, theirs shall second them:

VOL, VII.

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »