1. Scene I. The Rebel Camp near Shrewsbury.
[Enter Hotspur, Worcester, and Douglas.]
Well said, my noble Scot: if speaking truth
In this fine age were not thought flattery,
Such attribution should the Douglas have,
As not a soldier of this season's stamp
Should go so general-current through the world.
By God, I cannot flatter; I defy
The tongues of soothers; but a braver place
In my heart's love hath no man than yourself:
Nay, task me to my word; approve me, lord.
Thou art the king of honour:
No man so potent breathes upon the ground
But I will beard him.
Do so, and 'tis well.--
[Enter a Messenger with letters.]
What letters hast thou there?--I can but thank you.
These letters come from your father.
Letters from him! why comes he not himself?
He cannot come, my lord; he's grievous sick.
Zwounds! how has he the leisure to be sick
In such a justling time? Who leads his power?
Under whose government come they along?
His letters bears his mind, not I, my lord.
I pr'ythee, tell me, doth he keep his bed?
He did, my lord, four days ere I set forth,
And at the time of my departure thence
He was much fear'd by his physicians.
I would the state of time had first been whole
Ere he by sickness had been visited:
His health was never better worth than now.
Sick now! droop now! this sickness doth infect
The very life-blood of our enterprise;
'Tis catching hither, even to our camp.