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P. John. This is the strangest tale that e'er I heard.
P. Hen. This is the strangest fellow, brother John,-
Come, bring your luggage nobly on your back:
For my part, if a lie may do thee grace,
I'll gild it with the happiest terms I have. [A retreat is sounded.
The trumpet sounds retreat, the day is ours,
Come, brother, let's to the highest of the field,
To see what friends are living, who are dead.
[Exeunt PRINCE HENRY and PRINCE JOHN. Fal. I'll follow, as they say for reward. He that rewards me, God reward him; If I do grow great, I'll grow less; for I'll purge, and leave sack, and live cleanly, as a nobleman should do. [Exit, bearing off the body.
SCENE V-Another part of the Field.
The Trumpets sound.-Enter King Henry, PRINCE HENRY, PRINCE JOHN, WESTMORELAND, and others, with WORCESTER and VERNON, prisoners.
K. Hen. Thus ever did rebellion find rebuke.-
Ill-spirited Worcester! did we not send grace,
Pardon, and terms of love to all of you?
And wouldst thou turn our offers contrary?
Misuse the tenor of thy kinsman's trust?
Three knights upon our party slain to-day,
A noble earl, and many a creature else,
Had been alive this hour,
If, like a Christian, thou hadst truly borne
Betwixt our armies true intelligence.
Wor. What I have done, my safety urged me to;
And I embrace this fortune patiently.
Since not to be avoided it falls on me.
K. Hen. Bear Worcester to the death, and Vernon too; Other offenders we will pause upon.
[Exeunt WORCESTER and VERNON, guarded.
How goes the field?
P. Hen. The noble Scot, lord Douglas, when he saw
The fortune of the day quite turn'd from him,
The noble Percy slain, and all his men
Upon the foot of fear,-fled with the rest:
And, falling from a hill, he was so bruised,
That the pursuers took him. At my tent
The Douglas is; and I beseech your grace,
I may dispose of him.
K. Hen. With all my heart.
P. Hen. Then, brother John of Lancaster to you
This honourable bounty shall belong:
Go to the Douglas, and deliver him
Up to his pleasure, ransomless and free:
His valour, shown upon our crests to-day,
Hath taught us how to cherish such high deeds,
Even in the bosom of our adversaries.
K. Hen. Then this remains, that we divide our power.—
You, son John, and my cousin Westmoreland,
Towards York shall bend you, with your dearest speed,
To meet Northumberland, and the prelate Scroop,
Who, as we hear, are busily in arms:
Myself, and you, son Harry,-will towards Wales,
To fight with Glendower, and the earl of March.
Rebellion in this land shall lose his sway,
Meeting the check of such another day:
And since this business so fair is done,
Let us not leave till all our own be won.
Warkworth.-Before NORTHUMBERLAND's Castle.
Enter RUMOUR, painted full of Tongues.
Rum. Open your ears; For which of you will stop
The vent of hearing, when loud Rumour speaks?
I, from the orient to the drooping west,
Making the wind my post-horse, still unfold
The acts commenced on this ball of earth:
Upon my tongues continual slanders ride;
The which in every language I pronounce,
Stuffing the ears of men with false reports.
I speak of peace, while covert enmity,
Under the smile of safety, wounds the world:
And who but Rumour, who but only I,
Make fearful musters, and prepared defence;
Whilst the big year, swol'n with some other grief,
Is thought with child by the stern tyrant war,
And no such matter? Rumour is a pipe
Blown by surmises, jealousies, conjectures;
And of so easy and so plain a stop,
That the blunt monster with uncounted heads,
The still-discordant wavering multitude,
Can play upon it. But what need
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-síck: 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.
SCENE I.-The same. The PORTER before the Gate.
Enter LORD BARDOLPH.
Bard. Who keeps the gate here, ho ?Where is the earl?
Port. What shall I say you are?
Bard. Tell thou the earl,
That the lord Bardolph doth attend him here.
Port. His lordship is walk'd forth into the orchard;
Please it your honour, knock but at the gate,
And he himself will answer.
Bard. Here comes the earl.
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.
Bard. Noble earl,
I bring you certain news from Shrewsbury.
North. Good, an heaven will!
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?
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.
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 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, fe seem'd in running to devour the way, Staying no longer question.
North. Ha!- -Again.
Said he, young Harry Percy's spur was cold?
* Important event.