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Warkworth. Before Northumberland's Castle.
Enter RUMOUR', painted full of tongues.
Rum. Open your ears; For which of you will stop
That the blunt monster with uncounted heads,
1 Enter RUMOUR,] This speech of Rumour is not inelegant or unpoetical, but it is wholly useless, since we are told nothing which the first scene does not clearly and naturally discover. The only end of such prologues is to inform the audience of some facts previous to the action, of which they can have no knowledge from the persons of the drama. JOHNSON.
Among my household? Why is Rumour here?
Who, in a bloody field by Shrewsbury,
Hath beaten down young Hotspur, and his troops,
Even with the rebels' blood. But what mean I.
Than they have learn'd of me; From Rumour's tongues
SECOND PART OF
KING HENRY IV.
SCENE I.-The same.
The Porter before the Gate; Enter Lord BARDOLPH,
WHO keeps the gate here, ho?-Where is the earl?
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.
Here comes the earl.
North. What news, lord Bardolph? every minute
Should be the father of some stratagem 2:
The times are wild; contention, like a horse
9 some stratagem:] Some stratagem means here some great, important, or dreadful event.
Full of high feeding, madly hath broke loose,
I bring you certain news from Shrewsbury.
As good as heart can wish :
The king is almost wounded to the death;
How is this deriv'd?
Saw you the field? came you from Shrewsbury?
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
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
3 forspent-] To forspend is to waste, to exhaust.
That stopp'd by me to breathe his bloodied horse:
Said he, young Harry Percy's spur was cold?
Had met ill luck?
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 the gentleman, that rode by
Give them such instances of loss?
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 tragick volume:
silken point] A point is a string tagged, or lace.
6 like to a title-leaf,] It may not be amiss to observe, that, in the time of our poet, the title-page to an elegy, as well as every intermediate leaf, was totally black. I have several in my possession, written by Chapman, the translator of Homer, and ornamented in this manner. STEEVENS.