Page images
PDF
EPUB

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 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 upreard 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 to 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 lord

ship, To meet his grace just distance 'tween our armies?

Mowb. Your grace of York, in God's name then set

forward. Arch. Before, and greet his grace :—my lord, we come.

[Exeunt.

SCENE II.--- Another Part of the Forest.

Enter, from one side, MOWBRAY, the Archbishop, Hast

INGS, 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 bishops 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 imagin’d voice of God himself ;

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 upswarm'd them.

Arch. Good my 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,
Croud 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 shoved from the court,
Whereon this Hydra son of war is born:
Whose dangerous eyes may well be charmed 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.

Mowb. 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 :
And so, success of mischief shall be born;
And heir from heir shall hold this quarrel up,
Whiles England shall have generation.

P. John. You are too shallow, Hastings, much too

shallow, To sound the bottom of the after-times.

West. Pleaseth your grace, to answer them directly, How far-forth you do like their articles ?

P. John. I like them all, and do allow them well:
And swear here by the honour of my blood,
My father's purposes have been inistook;
And some about him have too lavishly
Wrested his meaning, and authority.-
My lord, these griefs shall be with speed redress’d;
Upon my soul, they shall. If this may please you,
Discharge your powers unto their several counties,
As we will ours: and here, between the armies,
Let's drink together friendly, and embrace;
That all their eyes may bear those tokens home,
Of our restored love, and amity.

Arch. I take your princely word for these redresses.

P. John. I give it you, and will maintain my word : And thereupon I drink unto your grace. Hast. Go, captain, [To an Officer.] and deliver to the

army This news of peace; let them have pay, and part: I know, it will well please them; Hie thee, captain.

[Exit Officer. Arch. To you, my noble lord of Westmoreland. West. I pledge your grace: And, if you knew what

pains
I have bestow'd, to breed this present peace,
You would drink freely : but my love to you
Shall show itself more openly hereafter.

Arch. I do not doubt you.

West. I am glad of it.-
Health to my lord, and gentle cousin, Mowbray.

Mowb. You wish me health in very happy season;
For I am, on the sudden, something ill.

Arch. Against ill chances, men are ever merry; But heaviness foreruns the good event.

West. Therefore be merry, coz; since sudden sorrow Serves to say thus,-Some good thing comes to-morrow.

Arch. Believe me, I am passing light in spirit.
Mowb. So much the worse, if your own rule be true.

[Shouts within P. John. The word of peace is render'd; Hark how

they shout!
Mowb. This had been cheerful, after victory.

Arch. A peace is of the nature of a conquest;
For then both parties nobly are subdued,
And neither party loser.

P. John. Go, my lord,
And let our army be discharged too.

[Erit WestMORELAND.
And, good my lord, so please you, let our trains
March by us; that we may peruse the men
We should have cop'd withal.

Arch. Go, good lord Hastings,
And, ere they be dismiss’d, let them march by.

[Exit Hastings. P. John. I trust, my lords, we shall lie to-night toge

ther.

Re-enter WestMORELAND. Now, cousin, wherefore stands our army still ?

West. The leaders, having charge from you to stand,

« PreviousContinue »