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THE transactions comprised in this play take up about nine years. The action commences with the account of Hotspur's being defeated and killed [1403], and closes with the death of king Henry IV. and the coronation of king Henry V. [1412-13]. "Upton thinks these two plays improperly called The First and Second Parts of Henry the Fourth. The first play ends (he says) with the peaceful settlement of Henry in the kingdom by the defeats of the rebels.' This is hardly true; for the rebels are not yet finally suppressed. The second, he tells us, shows Henry the Fifth in the various lights of a good-natured rake, till, on his father's death, he assumes a more manly character. This is true; but this representation gives us no idea of a dramatic action. These two plays will appear to every reader, who shall peruse them without ambition of critical discoveries, to be so connected, that the second is merely a sequel to the first; to be two only to be one."-Johnson.

This play was entered at Stationers' Hall, August 23, 1600. There are two copies, in quarto, printed in that year; but it is doubtful whether they are different editions, or the one only a corrected impression of the other.

Malone supposes it to have been composed in 1598.



KING HENRy the Fourth :

HENRY, Prince of Wales, afterwards

King Henry V.;

THOMAS, Duke of Clarence;

PRINCE JOHN of Lancaster, afterwards his Sons. (2 Henry V.) Duke of Bedford;

PRINCE HUMPHREY of Gloster, afterwards (2 Henry V.) Duke of Gloster;

Earl of Warwick;

Earl of Westmoreland; of the King's Party.

Lord Chief Justice of the King's Bench.

A Gentleman attending on the Chief Justice.

Earl of Northumberland;

SCROOP, Archbishop of York;


Lord Bardolph; Sir John COLEVILE :)

Enemies to the


TRAVERS an / MORTON, Domestics of Northumberland.

Falstaff, Bardolphi, Pistol, an Page.

Poiss and Pero, Attendants on Prince Henry.

SHALLOW and SILENCE, Country Justices.

DAVY, S.rvant to Shallow.


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Lords, and other Attendants; Officers, Soldiers, Messen

ger, Drawers, Beadles, Grooms,

SCENE. England.





Warkworth. Before Northumberland's Castle.

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Enter RUMOR, painted full of tongues.1
Rumor. OPEN your ears; for which of you
The vent of hearing, when loud Rumor speaks?
1, 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 Rumor, who but only I,
Make fearful musters, and prepared defence;
Whilst the big ear, swollen with some other grief,
Is thought with child by the stern tyrant war,
And no such matter? Rumor 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,

1 In a musk on St. Stephen's Night, 1614, by Thomas Campion,

Rimor comes on in a skin coat full of winged longues.

2 The stops are the holes in a flute or pipe.

Can play upon it. But what need I thus
My well-known body to anatomize

Among my household? Why is rumor here?
I run before king Harry's victory;
Who, in a bloody field by Shrewsbury,

Hath beaten down young Hotspur, and his troops,
Quenching the flame of bold rebellion

Even with the rebels' blood. But what mean I
To speak so true at first? My office is
To noise abroad,-that Harry Monmouth fell
Under the wrath of noble Hotspur's sword;
And that the king before the Douglas' rage
Stooped his anointed head as low as death.
This have I rumored through the peasant towns
Between that royal field of Shrewsbury
And this worm-eaten hold of ragged stone,'
Where Hotspur's father, old Northumberland,
Lies crafty-sick. The posts come tiring on,
And not a man of them brings other news
Than they have learned of me. From Rumor's tongues
They bring smooth comforts false, worse than true



SCENE I. The same. The Porter before the Gate.

Enter LORD Bardolph.

Bardolph. Who keeps the gate here, ho?—Where

is the earl?

Port. What shall I say you are?


Tell thou the earl,

That the lord Bardolph doth attend him here.

Port. His lordship is walked forth into the orchard.

1 Northumberland's castle.

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Please it your honor, knock but at the gate,
And he himself will answer.



Here comes the earl.

North. What news, lord Bardolph? Every minute


Should be the father of some stratagem;
The times are wild; contention, like a horse
Full of high feeding, madly hath broke loose,
And bears down all before him.

Noble earl,
I bring you certain news from Shrewsbury.
North. Good, an Heaven will!


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
Killed by the hand of Douglas: young prince John,
And Westmoreland, and Stafford, fled the field;
And Harry Monmouth's brawn, the hulk sir John,
Is prisoner to your son. O, such a day,
So fought, so followed, and so fairly won,
Came not, till now, to dignify the times,
Since Cæsar's fortunes!


How is this derived?

Saw you the field? Came you from Shrewsbury? Bard. I spake with one, my lord, that came from


A gentleman well-bred, and of good name,

That freely rendered me these news for true.

North. Here comes my servant, Travers, whom I


On Tuesday last to listen after news.

Bard. My lord, I overrode him on the way; And he is furnished with no certainties,

More than he haply may retail from me.

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