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  • Title: Henry IV, Part 2 (Folio 1 1623)
  • Editor: Rosemary Gaby

  • Copyright Rosemary Gaby. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Editor: Rosemary Gaby
    Not Peer Reviewed

    Henry IV, Part 2 (Folio 1 1623)


    0.1The Second Part of Henry the Fourth,
    Containing his Death: and the Coronation
    of King Henry the Fift.

    1Actus Primus. Scoena Prima.


    Enter Rumour.
    OPen your Eares: For which of you will stop
    5The vent of Hearing, when loud Rumor speakes?
    I, from the Orient, to the drooping West
    (Making the winde my Post-horse) still vnfold
    The Acts commenced on this Ball of Earth.
    Vpon my Tongue, continuall Slanders ride,
    10The which, in euery Language, I pronounce,
    Stuffing the Eares of them with false Reports:
    I speake of Peace, while couert Enmitie
    (Vnder the smile of Safety) wounds the World:
    And who but Rumour, who but onely I
    15Make fearfull Musters, and prepar'd Defence,
    Whil'st the bigge yeare, swolne with some other griefes,
    Is thought with childe, by the sterne Tyrant, Warre,
    And no such matter? Rumour, is a Pipe
    Blowne by Surmises, Ielousies, Coniectures;
    20And of so easie, and so plaine a stop,
    That the blunt Monster, with vncounted heads,
    The still discordant, wauering Multitude,
    Can play vpon it. But what neede I thus
    My well-knowne Body to Anathomize
    25Among my houshold? Why is Rumour heere?
    I run before King Harries victory,
    Who in a bloodie field by Shrewsburie
    Hath beaten downe yong Hotspurre, and his Troopes,
    Quenching the flame of bold Rebellion,
    30Euen with the Rebels blood. But what meane I
    To speake so true at first? My Office is
    To noyse abroad, that Harry Monmouth fell
    Vnder the Wrath of Noble Hotspurres Sword:
    And that the King, before the Dowglas Rage
    35Stoop'd his Annointed head, as low as death.
    This haue I rumour'd through the peasant-Townes,
    Betweene the Royall Field of Shrewsburie,
    And this Worme-eaten-Hole of ragged Stone,
    Where Hotspurres Father, old Northumberland,
    40Lyes crafty sicke. The Postes come tyring on,
    And not a man of them brings other newes
    Then they haue learn'd of Me. From Rumours Tongues,
    They bring smooth-Comforts-false, worse then True-
    wrongs. Exit.

    45Scena Secunda.

    Enter Lord Bardolfe, and the Porter.

    L. Bar. Who keepes the Gate heere hoa?
    Where is the Earle?
    Por. What shall I say you are?
    50Bar. Tell thou the Earle
    That the Lord Bardolfe doth attend him heere.
    Por. His Lordship is walk'd forth into the Orchard,
    Please it your Honor, knocke but at the Gate,
    And he himselfe will answer.
    55Enter Northumberland.
    L. Bar. Heere comes the Earle.
    Nor. What newes Lord Bardolfe? Eu'ry minute now
    Should be the Father of some Stratagem;
    The Times are wilde: Contention (like a Horse
    60Full of high Feeding) madly hath broke loose,
    And beares downe all before him.
    L. Bar. Noble Earle,
    I bring you certaine newes from Shrewsbury.
    Nor. Good, and heauen will.
    65L. Bar. As good as heart can wish:
    The King is almost wounded to the death:
    And in the Fortune of my Lord your Sonne,
    Prince Harrie slaine out-right: and both the Blunts
    Kill'd by the hand of Dowglas. Yong Prince Iohn,
    70And Westmerland, and Stafford, fled the Field.
    And Harrie Monmouth's Brawne (the Hulke Sir Iohn)
    Is prisoner to your Sonne. O, such a Day,
    (So fought, so follow'd, and so fairely wonne)
    Came not, till now, to dignifie the Times
    75Since Caesars Fortunes.
    Nor. How is this deriu'd?
    Saw you the Field? Came you from Shrewsbury?
    L. Bar. I spake with one (my L.) that came frōm thence,
    A Gentleman well bred, and of good name,
    80That freely render'd me these newes for true.
    Nor. Heere comes my Seruant Trauers, whom I sent
    On Tuesday last, to listen after Newes.
    Enter Trauers.
    L. Bar. My Lord, I ouer-rod him on the way,
    85And he is furnish'd with no certainties,
    More then he (haply) may retaile from me.
    Nor. Now Trauers, what good tidings comes frōm you?