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  Act 2 Scene 1

page Act 2 Scene 1 Page 11

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LORD ROSS

The Earl of Wiltshire hath the realm in farm.

LORD ROSS

The Earl of Wiltshire has rented out the land.

LORD WILLOUGHBY

The king’s grown bankrupt, like a broken man.

LORD WILLOUGHBY

The king is bankrupt.

NORTHUMBERLAND

260Reproach and dissolution hangeth over him.

NORTHUMBERLAND

He is disgraced.

LORD ROSS

He hath not money for these Irish wars,
His burthenous taxations notwithstanding,
But by the robbing of the banish’d duke.

LORD ROSS

The only way he can afford to fight the war in Ireland, even with all the money that he’s collected from these new taxes, is by stealing everything from the Duke of Hereford.

NORTHUMBERLAND

His noble kinsman: most degenerate king!
265But, lords, we hear this fearful tempest sing,
Yet see no shelter to avoid the storm;
We see the wind sit sore upon our sails,
And yet we strike not, but securely perish.

NORTHUMBERLAND

Friends, we see this storm coming, and yet we don’t seek any shelter to avoid it! We see the wind blowing fiercely upon our sails, and yet we don’t lower the sails but recklessly perish.

LORD ROSS

We see the very wreck that we must suffer;
270And unavoided is the danger now,
For suffering so the causes of our wreck.

LORD ROSS

We see the shipwreck coming, but the danger is unavoidable now because we sat by and allowed all this to happen.

NORTHUMBERLAND

Not so; even through the hollow eyes of death
I spy life peering; but I dare not say
How near the tidings of our comfort is.

NORTHUMBERLAND

That’s not true. Even though we are close to ruin, I can see a way out. But I’m not going to say how near the news of our rescue is.

LORD WILLOUGHBY

275Nay, let us share thy thoughts, as thou dost ours.

LORD WILLOUGHBY

Please tell us your thoughts, as we have told you ours.

LORD ROSS

Be confident to speak, Northumberland:
We three are but thyself; and, speaking so,
Thy words are but as thoughts; therefore, be bold.

LORD ROSS

Have the confidence to speak, Northumberland. The three of us are just like you. If you speak, you’ll most likely say what we’re already thinking. Be bold.

NORTHUMBERLAND

Then thus: I have from Port le Blanc, a bay
280In Brittany, received intelligence
That Harry Duke of Hereford, Rainold Lord Cobham,
That late broke from the Duke of Exeter,
His brother, Archbishop late of Canterbury,
Sir Thomas Erpingham, Sir John Ramston,
285Sir John Norbery, Sir Robert Waterton and Francis Quoint,
All these well furnish’d by the Duke of Bretagne
With eight tall ships, three thousand men of war,
Are making hither with all due expedience
And shortly mean to touch our northern shore:
290Perhaps they had ere this, but that they stay
The first departing of the king for Ireland.
If then we shall shake off our slavish yoke,
Imp out our drooping country’s broken wing,
Redeem from broking pawn the blemish’d crown,
295Wipe off the dust that hides our sceptre’s gilt
And make high majesty look like itself,
Away with me in post to Ravenspurgh;
But if you faint, as fearing to do so,
Stay and be secret, and myself will go.

NORTHUMBERLAND

Then here it is: I have learned that the Duke of Bretagne, in Brittany, has given eight large ships to Harry Duke of Hereford as well as Rainold Lord Cobhman—who recently broke his alliance with the Duke of Exeter—his brother, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Sir Thomas Erpingham, Sir John Ramston, Sir John Norbery, Sir Robert Waterton, and Francis Quoint. These men sailed the ships with three thousand soldiers from Port le Blanc, and right now they are racing to England. They left as soon as the king departed for Ireland. If you want to be free of your slavery to the king, help our country to rise again, and restore the honor of our royalty, then come with me right now to Ravenspurgh. If you’re afraid to do so, then wait here while I go myself.

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