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.
In few, his death, whose spirit lent a fire Even to the dullest peasant in his camp, Being bruited once, took fire and heat away From the best-temper’d courage in his troops; For from his metal was his party steel’d; Which once in him abated, all the rest Turn’d on themselves, like dull and heavy lead: And as the thing that’s heavy in itself, Upon enforcement flies with greatest speed, So did our men, heavy in Hotspur’s loss, Lend to this weight such lightness with their fear Thatů
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Most people in the Middle Ages were peasants.
In 1932 a peasant revolt in Su County China stopped collection of the poppy tax.