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Henry IV Part 2

No Fear Act 1 Scene 1
No Fear Act 1 Scene 1 Page 5

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And I will take it as a sweet disgrace
And make thee rich for doing me such wrong.
no talent for prophecy. I’ll take it as a pleasant insult, and I’ll pay you richly for doing me that wrong.

MORTON

You are too great to be by me gainsaid,
Your spirit is too true, your fears too certain.

MORTON

You are too great a man to be slandered by me. Your instinct is correct; your fears are true.

NORTHUMBERLAND

95Yet, for all this, say not that Percy’s dead.
I see a strange confession in thine eye.
Thou shak’st thy head and hold’st it fear or sin
To speak a truth. If he be slain, say so.
The tongue offends not that reports his death;
100And he doth sin that doth belie the dead,
Not he which says the dead is not alive.
Yet the first bringer of unwelcome news
Hath but a losing office, and his tongue
Sounds ever after as a sullen bell
105Remembered tolling a departing friend.

NORTHUMBERLAND

But despite all this, don’t say that Percy’s dead. I can see a strange sort of confession in your eyes. You shake your head; you’re afraid to tell the truth, or you think it would be sinful. If he’s been killed, say so. The man who reports a death doesn’t offend with that report. To lie about the dead is a sin, but it is no sin to say that a dead man is not alive. It’s a losing situation, being the first man to bring unwelcome news. That man’s voice sounds forever like a sad bell, and it will always be remembered for tolling the death of a friend.

LORD BARDOLPH

I cannot think, my lord, your son is dead.

LORD BARDOLPH

My lord, I cannot believe your son is dead.

MORTON

I am sorry I should force you to believe
That which I would to God I had not seen,
But these mine eyes saw him in bloody state,
110Rend'ring faint quittance, wearied and outbreathed,
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
115Even to the dullest peasant in his camp,
Being bruited once, took fire and heat away
From the best tempered courage in his troops;
For from his metal was his party steeled,
Which, once in him abated, all the rest
120Turned on themselves, like dull and heavy lead.
And as the thing that’s heavy in itself
Upon enforcement flies with greatest speed,

MORTON

I’m sorry that I must force you to believe this, when I wish to God that I hadn’t seen it myself. But I saw him, in his bloody state, with my own eyes. He was barely able to fight back, exhausted and out of breath. Harry Monmouth’s swift fury beat the unflinching Percy down to the ground, and once he was there, Percy never rose again. To be brief, Percy’s spirit inspired the entire army, down to the dullest peasant. When the news got out that he had been killed, it took the fire and courage away from even the bravest soldiers. Percy’s metal steeled the whole army; when they learned that he had been blunted, they bent and warped like dull, heavy lead.
And just as a heavy object gains momentum once it’s pushed into motion, our army, made heavy by

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