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That the blunt monster with uncounted heads,
The still-discordant wavering multitude,
Can play upon it.

But what need I thus
My well-known body to anatomize
Among my household ? Why is Rumour 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 rebel's 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 rumour'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 Rumour's

tongues They bring smooth comforts false, worse than true wrongs.

[Exit.

:

ACT THE FIRST.

SCENE I.

The same.

Enter LORD BARDOLPH.
L. BARD. Who keeps the gate here, ho !
The Porter

opens

the gate.

Where is the earl ? Port. What shall I say you are ? L. BARD.

Tell thou the earl That the Lord Bardolph doth attend him here.

PORT. His lordshipis walk'd forth into the orchard: Please it your honour, knock but at the gate, And he himself will answer.

Enter NORTHUMBERLAND. L. BARD

Here comes the earl.

[Exit Porter. NORTH. What news, Lord Bardolph ? every

minute now
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.
L. BARD.

Noble earl,
I bring you certain news from Shrewsbury.

NORTH, Good, an God will!
L. BARD.

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 !
NORTH.

How is this derived ?
Saw you the field ? came you from Shrewsbury?
L. BARD. 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.

Enter TRAVERS.
L. BARD. 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 comes

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.

Ha! Again :
Said he young Harry Percy's spur was cold?
Of Hotspur Coldspur? that rebellion
Had met ill luck ?
L. BARD.

My lord, I'll tell you what; If my young

lord

your son have not the day, Upon mine honour, for a silken point I'll give my barony: never talk of it. NORTH. Why should that gentleman that rode

by Travers Give then such instances of loss ? L. Bard.

Who, he ? He was some hilding fellow that had stolen The horse he rode on, and, upon my life, Spoke at a venture. Look, here comes more news.

Enter MORTON, NORTH. Yea, this man's brow, like to a title-leaf, Foretells the nature of a tragic volume: So looks the strand 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 burnt;
But Priam found the fire ere he his tongue,
And I my Percy's death ere thou report'st it.
This thou wouldst say, Your son did thus and thus ;
Your brother thus : so fought the noble Douglas :
Stopping my greedy ear with their bold deeds:
But in the end, to stop my ear indeed,
Thou hast a sigh to blow away this praise,
Ending with Brother, son, and all are dead.
Mor. Douglas is living, and your brother, yet;
for
my
lord

your son, NORTH.

Why, he is dead. See what a ready tongue suspicion hath! He that but fears the thing he would not know Hath by instinct knowledge from others' eyes That what he fear'd is chanced. Yet speak, Morton; Tell thou an earl his divination lies, And I will take it as a sweet disgrace And make thee rich for doing me such wrong.

Mor. You are too great to be by me gainsaid : Your spirit is too true, your fears too certain. NORTH. Yet, for all this, say not that Percy's

dead.

But,

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