The rebel camp near Shrewsbury.
(Hotspur; Worcester; Douglas; Sir Richard Vernon; Sir Walter Blunt)
The rebels are divided as to when to give battle. Hotspur and Douglas want to fight immediately, the others urge that they wait until more of their supporters have arrived. Sir Walter Blunt arrives from the King, asking to know what the causes of the rebellion are, in case things can be settled without fighting. Hotspur launches into a tirade against the King’s ingratitude and poor title to the throne. This is not the rebels’ official answer, however, which Hotspur proposes shall be delivered to the King by Worcester the next day. (121 lines)
Enter Hotspur, Worcester, Douglas, Vernon.
We’ll fight with him tonight.
It may not be.
You give him then advantage.
Not a whit.
Why say you so? Looks he not for supply?
So do we.
His is certain, ours is doubtful.
Good cousin, be advis’d, stir not tonight.
Do not, my lord.
You do not counsel well,
You speak it out of fear and cold heart.
Do me no slander, Douglas. By my life,
And I dare well maintain it with my life,
If well-respected honor bid me on,
I hold as little counsel with weak fear
As you, my lord, or any Scot that this day lives.
Let it be seen tomorrow in the battle
Which of us fears.
Yea, or tonight.
Tonight, say I.
Come, come, it may not be. I wonder much,
Being men of such great leading as you are,
That you foresee not what impediments
Drag back our expedition. Certain horse
Of my cousin Vernon’s are not yet come up.
Your uncle Worcester’s horses came but today,
And now their pride and mettle is asleep,
Their courage with hard labor tame and dull,
That not a horse is half the half of himself.
So are the horses of the enemy
In general journey-bated and brought low.
The better part of ours are full of rest.
The number of the King exceedeth our.
For God’s sake, cousin, stay till all come in.
The trumpet sounds a parley.
Enter Sir Walter Blunt.
I come with gracious offers from the King,
If you vouchsafe me hearing and respect.
Welcome, Sir Walter Blunt; and would to God
You were of our determination!
Some of us love you well, and even those some
Envy your great deservings and good name,
Because you are not of our quality,
But stand against us like an enemy.
And God defend but still I should stand so,
So long as out of limit and true rule
You stand against anointed majesty.
But to my charge. The King hath sent to know
The nature of your griefs, and whereupon
You conjure from the breast of civil peace
Such bold hostility, teaching his duteous land
Audacious cruelty. If that the King
Have any way your good deserts forgot,
Which he confesseth to be manifold,
He bids you name your griefs, and with all speed
You shall have your desires with interest
And pardon absolute for yourself and these
Herein misled by your suggestion.
The King is kind, and well we know the King
Knows at what time to promise, when to pay.
My father and my uncle and myself
Did give him that same royalty he wears,
And when he was not six and twenty strong,
Sick in the world’s regard, wretched and low,
A poor unminded outlaw sneaking home,
My father gave him welcome to the shore;
And when he heard him swear and vow to God
He came but to be Duke of Lancaster,
To sue his livery and beg his peace,
With tears of innocency and terms of zeal,
My father, in kind heart and pity mov’d,
Swore him assistance, and perform’d it too.
Now when the lords and barons of the realm
Perceiv’d Northumberland did lean to him,
The more and less came in with cap and knee,
Met him in boroughs, cities, villages,
Attended him on bridges, stood in lanes,
Laid gifts before him, proffer’d him their oaths,
Gave him their heirs as pages, followed him
Even at the heels in golden multitudes.
He presently, as greatness knows itself,
Steps me a little higher than his vow
Made to my father, while his blood was poor,
Upon the naked shore at Ravenspurgh,
And now forsooth takes on him to reform
Some certain edicts and some strait decrees
That lie too heavy on the commonwealth,
Cries out upon abuses, seems to weep
Over his country’s wrongs, and by this face,
This seeming brow of justice, did he win
The hearts of all that he did angle for;
Proceeded further—cut me off the heads
Of all the favorites that the absent King
In deputation left behind him here,
When he was personal in the Irish war.
Tut, I came not to hear this.
Then to the point.
In short time after, he depos’d the King,
Soon after that, depriv’d him of his life,
And in the neck of that, task’d the whole state;
To make that worse, suff’red his kinsman March
(Who is, if every owner were well plac’d,
Indeed his king) to be engag’d in Wales,
There without ransom to lie forfeited;
Disgrac’d me in my happy victories,
Sought to entrap me by intelligence,
Rated mine uncle from the Council-board,
In rage dismiss’d my father from the court,
Broke oath on oath, committed wrong on wrong,
And in conclusion drove us to seek out
This head of safety, and withal to pry
Into his title, the which we find
Too indirect for long continuance.
Shall I return this answer to the King?
Not so, Sir Walter; we’ll withdraw a while.
Go to the King, and let there be impawn’d
Some surety for a safe return again,
And in the morning early shall mine uncle
Bring him our purposes. And so farewell.
I would you would accept of grace and love.
And may be so we shall.
Pray God you do.