Page images

Whose beard the silver hand of peace hath touch'd,
Whose learning and good letters peace hath tutor’d,
Whose white investments figure innocence,

The dove and very blessed spirit of peace ;
Wherefore do you so ill tranllate yourself
Into the harsh and boist'rous tongue of war ?
Turning your books to swords, your ink to blood,
Your pens to lances, and your tongue divine
To a loud trumpet, and a point of war?
York. My Lord of Westmoreland, we are

And with our surfeiting and wanton hours
Have brought ourselves into a burning fever,
And we must bleed for it: of this disease,
Richard, our lawful King, infected, died.
I do not, as an enemy to peace,
Flame in the van of military hosts.
I have in equal balance justly weigh'd
What wrongs our arms may do, what wrongs

we suffer, And find our injuries outweigh the danger Excited by our arms: thus are we drawn, By the rough torrent of occasion, From the still stream of peace. We have the sum Of all our griefs to shew in articles ; Which, long ere this, we offer'd to the King, But might by no suit gain an audience. .' When we are wrong'd, and would unfold our griefs,


. . . We


[ocr errors]

KING HENRY IV.. . ' 59
We are denied admittance to his person i
Ev'n by those men, who most have done us wrong.

West. When ever yet was your appeal denied,
That you should feal this lawless, bloody book
Of forg'd rebellion with a seal divine,
And consecrate commotion's bitter edge ?
Hast. 'We feel the bruises of these woeful

And suffer the oppression of thefe times
To lay a heavy and unequal hand
Upon our honors.

West. O my good Lord Hastings,
Conftrue the times to their necessities,
And you shall say, it is indeed the time,
And not the King, that does you injuries.
Here come I from our princely General
To know your griefs, and tell you from his Grace
That he will give you audience; and wherever
It shall appear that your demands are just,
You shall enjoy them, ev'ry cause remov'd,
That might so much as think you enemies.

Mow. This offer comes from policy, not love. · West. This offer comes from mercy, not from

The royal army is too confident,
To give admittance to a thought of fear.
Our battle is more full of names than yours,

Our men more perfe&t in the use of arms,
Our hearts undaunted in our Monarch's causea
Call you not then our offers insincere.
Mow. Well, by my will we shall admit no

West. That argues but the shame of your

- offence.
'Tis a bad cause, that will not bear discussion.
York. Then take, my Lord of Westmoreland,

this schedule :
For it contains our general grievances.
Each article, here specified, redress’d;
Our friends, and all the members of our cause,
Acquitted by a true substantial form;
We flow within our loyal banks again,
And knit our powers to the arm of peace.
West. This will I thew the General. Please

you, Lords,
In light of both our armies let us meet;
And either end in peace,---which Heav'n may

Or to the place of diff'rence call the swords,
Which must decide it.

York. Be it so, my Lord !



[ocr errors]

Mow. There is a fomething in my bosom tells me,
That no conditions of our peace can stand. . .
Hast. Fear you not that: if we can make our

Upon such lib'ral terms, so absolute
As our conditions shall insist upon,
Qur peace will stand as firm as rocky moun-

Mor. Besides, the King has wasted all his

On late offenders, and he now shall want
The very instruments of chastisement,
So that his pow'r, ev'n like a fangless Lion,
May offer, but not hold.

York. Then be assur’d
If reconciliation shall be made,
Our peace will, like a broken limb, united, i
Grow stronger for the breaking.


West. Here at hand
Is come the General. Please your Lordship
To meet the Prince, just distance 'twixt our ar-




. A Forest in Yorkshire.

(Trumpets, in parley.) Enter York, MOWBRAY, HASTINGS, MORTON, . . &c. on one side. Prince John, WestmoRELAND, Gower,

. &c. on the other. Lanc. My Lord of York, this ill befits your

Grace. The man, that fits within a monarch's heart, And ripens in the sunshine of his favor, Would he abuse the countenance of the King, Alas, what mischief might he set on foot, In shadow of such greatness! With your Grace It is ev'n so. Who has not heard it said. How deep you were within the sacred volumes ? To us th’imagin'd voice of Heay'n itself.

you misuse the rev'rence of your place, Employ the countenance and grace of Heav'n, As a false fav’rite does his Prince's name, In deeds dishonorable. You have raised, Under the counterfeited zeal of God, The subjects of his substitute, your King, ' And arm’d them 'gainst the peace of Heav'n w and him.


« PreviousContinue »