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Among my household? Why is Rumor here?
I run before king Harry's victory;
Who, in a bloody field by Shrewsbury,
Hath beaten down young Hotspur and his troops,
Quenching the flame of bold rebellion
Even with the rebels' blood. But what mean I
To speak so true at first ? my office is
To noise abroad,—that Harry Monmouth fell
Under the wrath of noble Hotspur's sword ;
And that the king before the Douglas' rage
Stoop'd his anointed head as low as death.
This have I rumor'd through the peasant towns
Between that royal field of Shrewsbury
And this worm-eaten hold of ragged stone,
Where Hotspur's father, old Northumberland,
Lies crafty-sick: the posts come tiring on,
And not a man of them brings other news
Than they have learn'd of me; from Rumor's
tongues They bring smooth comforts false, worse than true wrongs.
Bar. Who keeps the gate here, ho ?—Where is
the earl ? Por. What shall I say you are ? Bar.
Tell thou the earl,
That the lord Bardolph doth attend him here.
Por. His lordship is walk'd forth into the orchard :
Please it your honor, knock but at the gate,
And he himself will answer.
Here comes the earl.
North. What news, lord Bardolph ? every minute
Should be the father of some stratagem :
The times are wild ; contention, like a horse
Full of high feeding, madly hath broke loose,
And bears down all before him.
I bring you certain news from Shrewsbury.
North. Good, an Heaven will!
As good as heart can wish.
The king is almost wounded to the death ;
And, in the fortune of my lord your son,
Prince Harry slain outright; and both the Blunts
Kill’d by the hand of Douglas : young prince John,
And Westmoreland, and Stafford, fled the field;
And Harry Monmouth's brawn, the hulk sir John,
Is prisoner to your son. O, such a day,
So fought, so follow'd, and so fairly won,
Came not, till now, to dignify the times,
Since Cæsar's fortunes.
How is this derived ? Saw
you the field ? came you from Shrewsbury ? Bar. I spake with one, my lord, that came from
thence; A gentleman well bred, and of good name, That freely render'd me these news for true. North. Here comes my servant Travers, whom I
sent On Tuesday last to listen after news.
Bar. My lord, I over-rode him on the way;
And he is furnish'd with no certainties,
More than he haply may retail from me.
North. Now, Travers, what good tidings come
with you? Tra. My lord, sir John Umfrevile turn’d me
back With joyful tidings; and, being better horsed, Out-rode me. After him, came, spurring hard, A gentleman almost forspent with speed, That stopp'd by me to breathe his bloodied horse : He ask'd the way to Chester; and of him I did demand, what news from Shrewsbury. He told me, that rebellion had bad luck, And that young Harry Percy's spur was cold: With that he gave his able horse the head, And, bending forward, struck his armed heels Against the panting sides of his poor jade Up to the rowel-head; and, starting so, He seem'd in running to devour the way, Staying no longer question. North.
Said he, young Harry Percy's spur was cold ?
Of Hotspur, coldspur? that rebellion
Had met ill luck ?
Bar. My lord, I'll tell you what :-
If my young lord your son have not the day;
Upon mine honor, for a silken point 1
I'll give my barony: never talk of it.
North. Why should that gentleman, that rode by
Give then such instances of loss
Who? he ?
He was some hilding 2 fellow, that had stolen
The horse he rode on; and, upon my life,
Spoke at a venture. Look, here comes more news.
North. Yea, this man's brow, like to a title-leaf,
Foretells the nature of a tragic volume.
So looks the strond, whereon the imperious flood
Hath left a witness'd usurpation.-
Say, Morton, didst thou come from Shrewsbury ?
Mor. I ran from Shrewsbury, my noble lord ;
Where hateful death put on his ugliest mask,
To fright our party.
North. How doth my son and brother?
Thou tremblest; and the whiteness in thy cheek
Is apter than thy tongue to tell thy errand.
Even such a man, so faint, so spiritless,
So dull, so dead in look, so woe-begone,
Drew Priam's curtain in the dead of night,
And would have told him half his Troy was burn'd:
But Priam found the fire, ere he his tongue;