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Upon the head of this forgetful man,

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And for his sake wear the detested blot
Of murd❜rous subornation, shall it be,
That you a world of curses undergo,
Being the agents, or base second means,
The cords, the ladder, or the hangman rather?
O! pardon me, that I descend so low,
To show the line, and the predicament,
Wherein you range under this subtle king.
Shall it for shame be spoken in these days,
Or fill up chronicles in time to come,
That men of your nobility and power,
Did gage them both in an unjust behalf,
(As both of you, God pardon it! have done) –
To put down Richard, that sweet lovely rose,
And plant this thorn, this canker, Bolingbroke?
And shall it, in more shame, be farther spoken,
That you are fool'd, discarded, and shook off
By him, for whom these shames ye underwent?
No! yet time serves, wherein you may redeem
Your banish'd honours, and restore yourselves
Into the good thoughts of the world again.
Revenge the jeering, and disdain'd contempt,
Of this proud king; who studies day and night
To answer all the debt he owes to you,
Even with the bloody payment of your deaths.
Therefore, I say,


Peace, cousin! say no more.

And now I will unclasp a secret book,
And to your quick-conceiving discontents
I'll read you matter deep and dangerous;
As full of peril and adventurous spirit,
As to o'er-walk a current, roaring loud,
On the unsteadfast footing of a spear.
Hot. If he fall in, good night!
Send danger from the east unto the west,
So honour cross it, from the north to south,

or sink or swim,


And let them grapple: - O! the blood more stirs,
To rouse a lion, than to start a hare.

North. Imagination of some great exploit
Drives him beyond the bounds of patience.

Hot. By heaven, methinks, it were an easy leap,
To pluck bright honour from the pale-fac'd moon;
Or dive into the bottom of the deep,

Where fathom-line could never touch the ground,
And pluck up drowned honour by the locks,
So he that doth redeem her thence might wear
Without corrival all her dignities:

But out upon this half-fac'd fellowship!

Wor. He apprehends a world of figures here,
But not the form of what he should attend.

Good cousin, give me audience for a while.
Hot. I cry you mercy.


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Those same noble Scots,

I'll keep them all.

By God, he shall not have a Scot of them:

No, if a Scot would save his soul, he shall not.

I'll keep them, by this hand.


You start away,

And lend no ear unto my purposes.
Those prisoners you shall keep.


Nay, I will; that's flat.

He said, he would not ransom Mortimer;
Forbad my tongue to speak of Mortimer;
But I will find him when he lies asleep,

And in his ear I'll holla Mortimer!

Nay, I'll have a starling shall be taught to speak
Nothing but Mortimer, and give it him,

To keep his anger still in motion.

Wor. Hear you, cousin, a word.

Hot. All studies here I solemnly defy,

Save how to gall and pinch this Bolingbroke:

And that same sword-and-buckler prince of Wales,

But that I think his father loves him not,

And would be glad he met whith some mischance,
I would have him poison'd with a pot of ale.

Wor. Farewell, kinsman. I will talk to you,
When you are better temper'd to attend.

North. Why, what a wasp-stung and impatient fool Art thou to break into this woman's mood,

Tying thine ear to no tongue but thine own!

Hot. Why, look you, I am whipp'd and scourg'd with rods, Nettled, and stung with pismires, when I hear

Of this vile politician, Bolingbroke.

In Richard's time,

A plague upon 't

what do ye call the place? it is in Gloucestershire;

'T was where the mad-cap duke his uncle kept, His uncle York, where I first bow'd my knee

Unto this king of smiles, this Bolingbroke,

'Sblood! when you and he came back from Ravenspurg. North. At Berkley castle.

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Why, what a candy deal of courtesy

This fawning greyhound then did proffer me!


"when his infant fortune came to age,"

And, "gentle Harry Percy," and, "kind cousin,"
O, the devil take such cozeners! - God forgive me!
Good uncle, tell your tale: I have done.

Wor. Nay, if you have not, to 't again,
We'll stay your leisure.


I have done, i' faith.

Wor. Then once more to your Scottish prisoners.
Deliver them up without their ransom straight,
And make the Douglas' son your only mean

For powers in Scotland; which, for divers reasons
Which I shall send you written, be assur'd,

Will easily be granted you. My lord,


Your son in Scotland being thus employ'd,
Shall secretly into the bosom creep


Of that same noble prelate, well belov'd,
The archbishop.

Hot. Of York, is it not?

Wor. True; who bears hard

His brother's death at Bristol, the lord Scroop.
I speak not this in estimation,

As what I think might be, but what I know
Is ruminated, plotted, and set down;
And only stays but to behold the face

Of that occasion that shall bring it on.

Hot. I smell it:

Upon my life, it will do wondrous well,

North. Before the game's afoot, thou still let'st slip. Hot. Why, it cannot choose but be a noble plot. And then the power of Scotland, and of York,

To join with Mortimer, ha?


And so they shall.

Hot. In faith, it is exceedingly well aim'd.
Wor. And 't is no little reason bids us speed,

To save our heads by raising of a head;

For, bear ourselves as even as we can,

The king will always think him in our debt,
And think we think ourselves unsatisfied,
Till he hath found a time to pay us home:
And see already how he doth begin
To make us strangers to his looks of love.

Hot. He does, he does: we'll be reveng'd on him.
Wor. Cousin, farewell. No farther go in this,

Than I by letters shall direct your course.

When time is ripe, (which will be suddenly)

I'll steal to Glendower, and lord Mortimer;

Where you, and Douglas, and our powers at once,
As I will fashion it, shall happily meet,

To bear our fortunes in our own strong arms,

Which now we hold at much uncertainty.

North. Farewell, good brother: we shall thrive, I trust.

Hot. Uncle, adieu. —O! let the hours be short,

Till fields, and blows, and groans applaud our sport. [Exeunt.

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Enter a Carrier, with a Lantern in his hand.

1 Car. Heigh ho! An't be not four by the day, I'll be hanged: Charles' wain is over the new chimney, and yet our horse not packed. What, ostler!

Ost. [Within.] Anon, anon.

1 Car. I pr'ythee, Tom, beat Cut's saddle, put a few flocks in the point; the poor jade is wrung in the withers out of all cess.

Enter another Carrier.

2 Car. Peas and beans are as dank here as a dog, and that is the next way to give poor jades the bots: this house is turned upside down, since Robin ostler died.

1 Car. Poor fellow! never joyed since the price of oats rose: it was the death of him.

2 Car. I think, this be the most villainous house in all London road for fleas : I am stung like a tench.

1 Car. Like a tench? by the mass, there is ne'er a king in Christendom could be better bit, than I have been since the first cock.

2 Car. Why, they will allow us ne'er a jordan, and then we leak in your chimney; and your chamber-lie breeds fleas like a loach.

1 Car. What, ostler! come away and be hanged; come away, 2 Car. I have a gammon of bacon, and two razes of ginger, to be delivered as far as Charing-cross.

1 Car. 'Odsbody! the turkeys in my pannier are quite starved. What, ostler! - A plague on thee! hast thou never an eye in thy head? canst not hear? An 't were not as good a deed as drink, to break the pate of thee, I am a very villain.

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