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King Henry the Fourth:
Henry, prince of Wales, afterwards king.
Thomas, duke of Clarence;
Prince John of Lancaster,* afterwards (2 Hen->his sons. ry V) duke of Bedford;
Prince Humphrey of Gloster, afterwards (2.
Earl of Warwick;
Earl of Westmoreland; of the king's party.
Lord chief justice of the King's Bench.
Earl of Northumberland;
Travers and Morton, domesticks of Northumberland.
Poins and Peto, attendants on prince Henry.
Shallow and Silence, country justices.
Davy, servant to Shallow.
enemies to the king.
Mouldy, Shadow, Wart, Feeble, and Bullcalf, recruits.
Fang and Snare, sheriff's officers.
Rumour. A Porter.
A Dancer, speaker of the epilogue.
Lady Northumberland. Lady Percy.
Lords and other attendants; officers, soldiers, messenger, drawers, beadles, grooms, &c.
* See note under the Personæ Dramatis of the First Part of this play. Steevens.
SECOND PART OF
KING HENRY IV.
Warkworth. Before Northumberland's Castle.
Enter Rumour,1 painted full of Tongues.2
Rum. Open your ears; For which of you will stop
Upon my tongues continual slanders ride;
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.
painted full of Tongues.] This direction, which is only to be found in the first edition in quarto of 1600, explains a passage in what follows, otherwise obscure. Pope.
3 Rumour is a pipe-] Here the poet imagines himself describing Rumour, and forgets that Rumour is the speaker.
And of so easy and so plain a stop,*
This have I rumour'd through the peasant towns pleasant
Between that royal field of Shrewsbury
4 so easy and so plain a stop,] The stops are the holes in a flute or pipe. So, in Hamlet: "Govern these ventages with your finger and thumb:-Look you, these are the stops." Again: "You would seem to know my stops." Steevens.
5 And this worm-eaten hold of ragged stone,] The old copies read -worm-eaten hole. Malone.
Northumberland had retired and fortified himself in his castle, a place of strength in those times, though the building might be impaired by its antiquity; and, therefore, I believe our poet wrote: And this worm-eaten hold of ragged stone. Theobald.
Theobald is certainly right. So, in The Wars of Cyrus, &c. 1594 :
66 'By whom I live. For when the hold was lost," &c. Again, in King Henry VI, P. III:
"She is hard by with twenty thousand men,
"And therefore fortify your hold, my lord." Steevens.
SECOND PART OF
KING HENRY IV.
ACT I.....SCENE I.
The Porter before the Gate; Enter Lord BARDOLPH.
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.
Enter NORTHUMBERLAND. Here comes the earl. North. What news, lord Bardolph? every minute now Should be the father of some stratagem:1 The times are wild; contention, like a horse Full of high feeding, madly hath broke loose, And bears down all before him.
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,
1 some stratagem:] Some stratagem means here some great, important, or dreadfui event. So, in The Third Part of King Henry VI, the father who had killed his son says:
"O pity, God! this miserable age!
"This mortal quarrel daily doth beget!" M. Mason.
And Westmoreland, and Stafford, fled the field;
How is this deriv'd? 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,
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;
North. Now, Travers, what good tidings come with you?
Tra. My lord, sir John Umfrevile turn'd me back
forspent with speed,] To forspend is to waste, to exhaust. So, in Sir A. Gorges' translation of Lucan, B. VII: crabbed sires forspent with age." Steevens. 3-armed heels-] Thus the quarto, 1600. The folio, 1623, reads-able heels; the modern editors, without authority-agile heels. Steevens.
poor jade-] Poor jade is used, not in contempt, but in compassion. Poor jade means the horse wearied with his journey. Fade, however, seems anciently to have signified what we now call a hackney; a beast employed in drudgery, opposed to a horse