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

Actus Primus. Scœna Prima.

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.


Enter Rumour.
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‑ wrongs.

Scena Secunda.

Enter Lord Bardolfe, and the Porter.
L. Bar. Who keeps the Gate heere hos?
Where is the Earl?
Por. What shall I say you are?
Bar. 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 Honour, knocke but at the Gate,
And he himselfe will answer.
Enter Northumberland.
L. Bar. Here comes the Earle.
Nor. What news, Lord Bardolfe? Every minute now
Should be the Father of some Stratagem;
The Times are wilde: Contention (like a Horse
Full 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.
L. 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. Young Prince Iohn,
And 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 fairly wonne)
Came not, till now, to dignifie the Times
Since Cæsars Fortunes.
Nor. How is this deriu'd?
Saw you the Field? Came you from Shrewsbury?
L. Bar. I spake with one (my LordL.) that came fromfrō thence,
A Gentleman, well bred, and of good name,
That freely render'd me these news for true.
Nor. Heere comes my Servant Trauers, whom I sent
On Tuesday last, to listen after Newes.
Enter Trauers
L. Bar. My Lord, I ouer‑rod him on the way;
And he is furnish'd with no certainties,
More then he (haply) may retaile from me.
Nor. Now Trauers, what good tidings comes fromfrō you?