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KING HENRY IV.
Before Northumberland's Castle. Enter RUMOUR, painted full of Tongues.' Rum. Open your ears; for which of you will stop The vent of hearing, when loud rumour speaks ? I, from the orient to the drooping west, Making the wind my post-horse, still unfold The acts commenced on this ball of earth : Upon my tongues continual slanders ride, The which in every language I pronounce, Stuffing the ears of men with false reports. I speak of peace, while covert enmity, Under the smile of safety, wounds the world: And who but Rumour, who but only I, Make fearful musters, and prepar'd defence; Whilst the big year, swoln with some other grief, Is thought with child by the stern tyrant war, And no such matter ? Rumour is a pipe Blown by surmises, jealousies, conjectures ; And of so easy and so plain a stop, That the blunt monster with uncounted heads, The still-discordant wavering multitude, Can play upon it. But what need I thús My well-known body to anatomize Among my household ? Why is Rumour here? I run before king Harry's victory; Who in a bloody field by Shrewsbury Hath beaten down young Hotspur, and his troops,
1 This direction is only in the quarto, 1600. Rumour, or Fame, was often so represented.
Quenching the flame of bold rebellion
SCENE I.-The Same.
Enter Lord BARDOLPH." Bard. Who keeps the gate here ? ho! Where is the earl ?
Enter Warder, above." Ward. What shall I say you are ? Bard.
Tell thou the earl, That the lord Bardolph doth attend him here.
Ward. His lordship is walk'd forth into the orchard : Please it your honour, knock but at the gate, And he himself will answer.
(Exit Warder. Enter NORTHUMBERLAND. Bard.
Here comes the earl.
Noble earl, peasant : in f. e. 2 Porter before the Gate; Enter, &c.: in f. e. 3. Not in f. e.
I bring you certain news from Shrewsbury.
North. Good, an God will !
As good as heart can wish.
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, That freely render'd me these news for true.
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,
Ha !-Again. 1 So the quarto; folio : from.
Said he, young Harry Percy's spur was cold?
My lord, I'll tell you what:
Who, he ?
Mor. I ran from Shrewsbury, my noble lord ;
How doth my son and brother?
Mor. Douglas is living, and your brother, yet;
Why, he is dead. -
1 String for fastening dress. ? Low.
Hath by instinct knowledge from others' eyes,
Mor. You are too great to be by me gainsaid :
North. Yet, for all this, say not that Percy's dead.I see a strange confession in thine eye: Thou shak’st thy head; and hold'st it fear, or sin, To speak the truth. If he be slain, say so ;? The tongue offends not, that reports his death; And he doth sin that doth belie the dead, Not he which says the dead is not alive. Yet the first bringer of unwelcome news Hath but a losing office; and his tongue Sounds ever after as a sullen bell, Remember'd knolling a departing friend.
Bard. I cannot think, my lord, your son is dead.
Mor. I am sorry I should force you to believe That which I would to heaven I had not seen; But these mine eyes saw him in bloody state, Rendering faint quittance, wearied and outbreath’d, To Harry Monmouth; whose swift wrath beat down The never-daunted Percy to the earth, From whence with life he never more sprung up. 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, That arrows fled not swifter toward their aim, Than did our soldiers, aiming at their safety, Fly from the field. Then was that noble Worcester Too soon ta'en prisoner; and that furious Scot, The bloody Douglas, whose well-labouring sword Had three times slain th' appearance of the king,
1 So the folio; the quarto : an. 2 The quarto omits : say so.