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Mess. His letters bear his mind, not I, my lord.
Mess. He did, my lord, four days ere I set forth;
Wor. I would, the state of time had first been whole,
Hot. Sick now! droop now! this sickness doth infect The very life-blood of our enterprize; 'Tis catching hither, even to our camp.He writes me here,—that inward sickness— And that his friends by deputation could not So soon be drawn ; nor did he think it meet, To lay so dangerous and dear a trust On any soul remov'd, but on his own. Yet doth he give us bold advertisement,That with our small conjunction, we should on, To see how fortune is dispos’d to us : For, as he writes, there is no quailing now; Because the king is certainly possess'd Of all our purposes. What say you to it?
Wor. Your father's sickness is a maim to us.
Hot. A perilous gash, a very limb lopp'd off:-
Of all our fortunes.
Doug. 'Faith, and so we should ;
Hot. A rendezvous, a home to fly unto,
Wor. But yet, I would your father had been here. The quality and hair of our attempt Brooks no division : It will be thought By some, that know not why he is away, That wisdom, loyalty, and mere dislike Of our proceedings, kept the earl from hence; And think, how such an apprehension May turn the tide of fearful faction, And breed a kind of question in our cause : For, well you know, we of the offering side Must keep aloof from strict arbitrement; And stop all sight-holes, every loop, from whence The eye of reason may pry
Hot. You strain too far.
We shall o'erturn it topsy-turvy down.-
Doug. As heart can think: there is not such a word Spoke of in Scotland, as this term of fear.
Enter Sir RICHARD VERNON.
Ver. Pray God, my news be worth a welcome, lord.
Hot. No harm : What more?
Hot. He shall be welcome too. Where is his son,
Ver. All furnish’d, all in arms,
To turn and wind a fiery Pegasus,
Hot. No more, no more ; worse than the sun in March,
Ver. There is more news :
Doug. That's the worst tidings that I hear of yet.
Hot. Forty let it be;
Doug. Talk not of dying; I am out of fear
SCENE II.- A public Road near Coventry.
Enter FALSTAFF and BARDOLPH. Fal. Bardolph, get thee before to Coventry; fill me a bottle of sack: our soldiers shall march through ; we'll to Sutton-Colfield to-night.
Bard. Will you give me money, captain ?
Fal. An if it do, take it for thy labour; and if it make twenty, take them all, I'll answer the coinage. Bid
my lieutenant Peto meet me at the town's end. Bard. I will, captain : Farewell.
[Exit. Fal. If I be not ashamed of my soldiers, I am a souced gurnet. I have misused the king's press damnably. I have got, in exchange of a hundred and fifty soldiers, three hundred and odd pounds. I press me none but good householders, yeomen's sons: inquire me out contracted bachelors, such as had been asked twice on the bans; such a commodity of warm slaves, as had as lief hear the devil as a drum ; such as fear the report of a caliver, worse than a struck fowl, or a hurt wild-duck. I pressed me none but such toasts and butter, with hearts in their bellies no bigger than pins' heads, and they have bought out their services; and now my whole charge consists of ancients, corporals, lieutenants, gentlemen of companies, slaves as ragged as Lazarus in the painted cloth, where the glutton's dogs licked his sores : and such as, indeed, were never soldiers; but discarded unjust serving-men, younger sons to younger brothers, , revolted tapsters, and ostlers trade-fallen; the cankers