He never did fall off, my sovereign liege,
But by the chance of war. To prove that true
Needs no more but one tongue for all those wounds,
Those mouthèd wounds, which valiantly he took
When on the gentle Severn’s sedgy bank
In single opposition hand to hand
He did confound the best part of an hour
In changing hardiment with great Glendower.
Three times they breathed, and three times did they drink,
Upon agreement, of swift Severn’s flood,
Who then, affrighted with their bloody looks,
Ran fearfully among the trembling reeds
And hid his crisp head in the hollow bank,
Bloodstainèd with these valiant combatants.
Never did bare and rotten policy
Color her working with such deadly wounds,
Nor could the noble Mortimer
Receive so many, and all willingly.
Then let not him be slandered with revolt.
“That traitor Mortimer!” He never faltered, my lord, except through an accident of war. I’ll prove it, by speaking about the many wounds he heroically suffered when he spent an hour in brutal hand-to-hand combat against Glendower on the grassy banks of the Severn River. They broke three times from fighting, and they drank three times from the Severn. The river itself was frightened by their horrible looks. Its water became discolored with the blood of these brave fighters, and the Severn ran off, as if to hide itself in the weeds on its banks. Treachery has never used deadly wounds to cover its operations, and Mortimer could never have willingly suffered so many injuries. Do not let him be slandered by calling him a traitor.
Thou dost belie him, Percy; thou dost belie him.
He never did encounter with Glendower.
I tell thee, he durst as well have met the devil alone
As Owen Glendower for an enemy.
Art thou not ashamed? But, sirrah, henceforth
Let me not hear you speak of Mortimer.
Send me your prisoners with the speediest means,
Or you shall hear in such a kind from me
As will displease you.—My lord Northumberland,
We license your departure with your son.—
You speak wrongly about him, Percy, you speak wrongly! He never fought Glendower. I tell you, he would just as soon dare to meet the devil himself as fight Glendower. Aren’t you ashamed of yourself? Don’t ever let me hear you speak of Mortimer again. Send me your prisoners as quickly as possible, or you’ll hear about it from me, and you won’t like what I have to say. Northumberland, I give you and your son permission to leave now.