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Rend'ring faint quittance,' wearied and out-breath'd,
To Harry Monmouth; whose swift wrath beat down
The never-daunted Percy to the earth,
From whence with life he never more sprung up.
In few, his death (whose spirit lent a fire
Even to the dullest peasant in his camp)
Being bruited once, took fire and heat away
From the best temper'd courage in his troops :
For from his metal was his party steeld;
Which once in him abated,' all the rest
Turn'd on themselves, like dull and heavy lead.
And as the thing that 's heavy in itself,
Upon enforcement, flies with greatest speed;
So did our men, heavy in Hotspur's loss,
Lend to this weight such lightness with their fear,
That arrows fled not swifter toward their aim,
Than did our soldiers, aiming at their safety,
Fly from the field: Then was that noble Worcester
Too soon ta'en prisoner: and that furious Scot,
The bloody Douglas, whose well-labouring sword
Had three times slain the appearance of the king,
'Gan vail his stomach, and did grace the shame


-faint quittance,] Quittance is return. By faint quittance is meant a faint return of blows. So, in K. Henry V:

“We shall forget the office of our hand,

“ Sooner than quittance of desert and merit.” Steevens. 1 For from his metal was his party steeld;

Which once in him abated,] Abated is not here put for the general idea of diminished, nor for the notion of blunted, as applied to a single edge. Abated means reduced to a lower temper, or, as the workmen call it, let down. Johnson.

2 'Gan vail his stomach,] Began to fall his courage, to let his spirits sink under his fortune. Fohnson.

From avaller, Fr. to cast down, or to let fall down. Malone.

This phrase has already appeared in The Taming of the Shrew, Vol. VI, p. 150:

“ Then vail your stomachs, for it is no boot;

“ And place your hands below your husbands' foot.” Reed. Thus, to vail the bonnet is to pull it off. So, in The Pinner of Wakefield, 1599:

“ And make the king vail bonnet to us both." To vail a staff, is to let it fall in token of respect. Thus, in the same play:

“And for the ancient custom of vail staf,
"Keep it still; claim thou privilege from me:

Of those that turn'd their backs; and, in his flight,
Stumbling in fear, was took. The sum of all
Is that the king hath won; and hath sent out
A speedy power, to encounter you, my lord,
Under the conduct of young Lancaster,
And Westmoreland: this is the news at full.

North. For this I shall have time enough to mourn.
In poison there is physick; and these news,
Having been well, that would have made me sick, s
Being sick, have in some measure made me well:
And as the wretch, whose fever-weaken'd joints,
Like strengthless hinges, buckle* under life,
Impatient of his fit, breaks like a fire
Out of his keeper's arms; even so my limbs,
Weaken'd with grief, being now enrag'd with grief,
Are thrice themselves:5 hence therefore, thou nice6



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“If any ask a reason, why? or how?

Say, English Edward vail'd his staf to you.” Steevens. 3 Having been well, that would have made me sick,] i. e. that would, had I been well, have made me sick. Malone.

buckle -] Bend; yield to pressure. Johnson.

even so my limbs,
Weaken'd with grief, being now enrag'd with grief,

Are thrice themselves :) As Northumberland is here comparing himself to a person, who, though his joints are weakened by a bodily disorder, derives strength from the distemper of the mind, I formerly proposed to read~" Weakened with age," or “ Weakened with pain."

When a word is repeated, without propriety, in the same or two succeeding lines, there is great reason to suspect some corruption. Thus, in this scene, in the first folio, we have “ able heels," instead of "armed heels,” in consequence of the word able having occurred in the preceding line. So, in Hamlet : " Thy news shall be the news," &c. instead of “ Thy news shall be the fruit." Again, in Macbeth, instead of “ Whom we, to gain our place,” &c. we find

“Whom we, to gain our peace, have sent to peace." In this conjecture I had once some confidence; but it is much diminished by the subsequent note, and by my having lately observed that Shakspeare elsewhere uses grief for bodily pain. Fal. staff, in King Henry IV, Part I, p. 317, speaks of " the grief of a wound.” Grief, in the latter part of this line, is used in its present sense, for sorrow; in the former part for bodily pain.


A scaly gauntlet now, with joints of steel,
Must glove this hand: and hence, thou sickly quoif;
Thou art a guard too wanton for the head,
Which princes, fesh'd with conquest, aim to hit.
Now bind my brows with iron; And approach
The ragged'st hour? that time and spite dare bring,
To frown upon the enrag'd Northumberland!
Let heaven kiss earth! Now let not nature's hand
Keep the wild flood confin'd! let order die!
And let this world no longer be a stage,
To feed contention in a lingering act;
But let one spirit of the first-born Cain
Reign in all bosoms, that, each heart being set
On bloody courses, the rude scene may end,
And darkness be the burier of the dead! 8

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Grief, in ancient language, signifies bodily pain, as well as sor. row. So, in A Treatise of sundrie Diseases, &c. by T. T. 1591: "-he being at that time griped sore, and having grief in his lower bellie. Dolor ventris is, by our old writers, frequently translated "grief of the guts.” I perceive no need of alteration.

Steevens. nice —] i. e. trifling. So, in Julius Cæsar:

it is not meet
“ That every nice offence should bear his comments.”

Steevens. ? The ragged’st hour —) Mr. Theobald and the subsequent editors read–The rugged'st. But change is unnecessary, the expression in the text being used more than once by our author. In As you Like it, Amiens says, his voice is ragged; and rag is employed as a term of reproach in The Merry Wives of Windsor, and in Timon of Athens. See also the Epistle prefixed to Spenser's Shepherd's Calender, 1579: “- as thinking them fittest for the rustical rudeness of shepherds, either for that their rough sound would make his rimes more ragged, and rustical,” &c. The modern editors of Spenser might here substitute the word rugged with just as much propriety as it has been substituted in the present passage, or in that in As you Like it. See Vol. V, p. 47, n. 7. Again, in The Rape of Lucrece:

“ Thy secret pleasure turns to open shame,

“Thy smoothing titles to a ragged name." Again, in our poet's eighth Sonnet :

“ Then let not Winter's ragged hand deface

“In thee thy summer.” Again, in the play before us:

" A ragged and fore.stall'd remission.” Malone. 8 And darkness be the burier of the dead!] The conclusion of this

Tra. This strained passion doth you wrong, my lord.
Bard. Sweet earl, divorce not wisdom from your ho-



Mor. The lives of all your loving complices
Lean on your health; the which, if you give o'er
To stormy passion, must perforce decay.
You cast the event of war, my noble lord,
And summ’d the account of chance, before you said,
Let us make head. It was your presurmise,
That, in the dole of blows' your son might drop:
You knew, he walk'd o’er perils, on an edge,
More likely to fall in, than to get o’er:'
You were advis'd, his flesh was capable?
Of wounds, and scars; and that his forward spirit
Would lift him where most trade of danger rang'd;
Yet did you say, Go forth; and none of this,
Though strongly apprehended, could restrain
The stiff-borne action: What hath then befallen,
Or what hath this bold enterprize brought forth,
More than that being which was like to be?

Bard. We all, that are engaged to this loss, 3


noble speech is extremely striking. There is no need to suppose it exactly philosophical; darkness, in poetry, may be absence of eyes, as well as privation of light. Yet we may remark, that by an ancient opinion it has been held, that if the human race, for whom the world was made, were extirpated, the whole system of sublunary nature would cease. Johnson.

in the dole of blows -] The dole of blows is the distribution of blows. Dole originally signified the portion of alms (consisting either of meat or money)

that was given away at the door of a nobleman. See Vol. VII, p. 207, n. 9. Steevens. fa ? You knew, he walk'd v'er perils, on an edge,

More likely to fall in, than to get o'er:] So, in King Henry IV, .
Part I:

“ As full of peril and adventurous spirit,
“ As to o'erwalk a current roaring loud,

“On the unsteadfast footing of a spear." Malone.
2 You were advis'd, his flesh was capable -] i. e. you knew. So,
in The Two Gentlemen of Verona:

“ How shall I doat on her with more advice i. e. on further knowledge. Malone.

Thus also, Thomas Twyne, the continuator of Pbaer's translation of Virgil, 1584, for haud inscius, has advis'd:

“He spake: and strait the sword advisde into his throat

receives." Steevens.


Knew that we ventur'd on such dangerous seas,
That, if we wrought out life, 'twas ten to one:
And yet we ventur'd, for the gain propos'd
Chok’d the respect of likely peril fear'd;
And, since we are o'erset, venture again.
Come, we will all put forth; body, and goods.

Mor. 'Tis more than time: And, my most noble lord,
I hear for certain, and do speak the truth,-
The gentle archbishop of York is up,
With well-appointed powers; he is a man,
Who with a double surety binds his followers.
My lord your son had only but the corps,
But shadows, and the shows of men, to fight:
For that same word, rebellion, did divide
The action of their bodies from their souls;
And they did fight with queasiness, constrain'd,
As men drink potions; that their weapons only
Seem'd on our side, but, for their spirits and souls,
This word, rebellion, it had froze them up,
As fish are in a pond: But now the bishop
Turns insurrection to religion:
Suppos'd sincere and holy in his thoughts,
He's follow'd both with body and with mind;
And doth enlarge his rising with the blood
Of fair king Richard, scrap'd from Pomfret stones :
Derives from heaven his quarrel, and his cause ;
Tells them, he doth bestride a bleeding land,
Gasping for life under great Bolingbroke;
And more, and less, do flock to follow him.

North. I knew of this before; but, to speak truth,
This present grief had wip'd it from my mind.
Go in with me; and counsel every man
The aptest way for safety, and revenge:

3 We all, that are engaged to this loss,] We have a similar phraseology in the preceding play:

“ Hath a more worthy interest to the state,

“ Than thou the shadow of succession.” Malone. 4 The gentle &c.] These one-and-twenty lines were added since the first edition. Fohnson.

5 Tells them, he doth bestride a bleeding land,] That is, stands over his country to defend her as she lies bleeding on the ground. So Falstaff before says to the Prince, If thou see me down, Hal, and bestride me, so; it is an office of friendship. Johnson.

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