1. SCENE I. Yorkshire. Gaultree Forest.
[Enter the Archbishop of York, Mowbray, Hastings, and others.]
What is this forest call'd?
'Tis Gaultree Forest, an 't shall please your grace.
Here stand, my lords; and send discoverers forth
To know the numbers of our enemies.
We have sent forth already.
'Tis well done.
My friends and brethren in these great affairs,
I must acquaint you that I have received
New-dated letters from Northumberland;
Their cold intent, tenour and substance, thus:
Here doth he wish his person, with such powers
As might hold sortance with his quality,
The which he could not levy; whereupon
He is retired, to ripe his growing fortunes,
To Scotland: and concludes in hearty prayers
That your attempts may overlive the hazard
And fearful meeting of their opposite.
Thus do the hopes we have in him touch ground
And dash themselves to pieces.
[Enter a Messenger.]
Now, what news?
West of this forest, scarcely off a mile,
In goodly form comes on the enemy;
And, by the ground they hide, I judge their number
Upon or near the rate of thirty thousand.
The just proportion that we gave them out.
Let us sway on and face them in the field.
What well-appointed leader fronts us here?
I think it is my Lord of Westmoreland.
Health and fair greeting from our general,
The prince, Lord John and Duke of Lancaster.
Say on, my Lord of Westmoreland, in peace:
What doth concern your coming?