Conventionally in this play, the Induction precedes the first act and scene. From this point in the act onwards, therefore, conventional scene numbering diverges from the First Folio.
OPen your Eares: For which of you will stop
1he vent of hearing, when loud Rumour speakes?
1 from the Orient, to the drooping West
(Making the wind my Post‑horse) still vnfold
The Acts commenced on this Ball of Earth.
Vpon my Tongue, continuall Slanders ride,
The which, in every Language, I pronounce,
Stuffing the Eares of them with false Reports:
I speak of Peace, while couert Enmitie
(Vnder the smile of Safety) wounds the World:
And who but Rumour, who but onely I
Make 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
Blown by Surmises, Iealousies, Coniectures;
And 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 need I thus
My well‑knowne Body to Anatomize
Among my houshold? Why is Rumour heere?
I run before King Harries victory,
Who in a bloodie field by Shrewsburie,
Hath beaten downe young Hotspurre, and his Troopes,
Quenching the flame of bold Rebellion,
Euen with the Rebels blood. But what meane I
To speak 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
Stoop'd his Anointed head, as low as death.
This haue I rumour'd through the peasant‑Townes,
Between that Royall Field of Shrewsburie,
And this Worme‑eaten‑Hole of ragged Stone,
Where Hotspurres Father, old Northumberland,
Lyes craftysicke. The Posts 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 than True‑