Abbildungen der Seite

* SECOND PART OF KING HENRY IV.] The transactions comprized in this hiftory 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.] THEOBALD. This play was entered at Stationers' Hall, August 23, 1600.

SteeVENS. The Second Part of King Henry IV. I suppose to have been written in 1598. See An Attempt to ascertain the Order of Shakspeare's Plays, Vol. I. Malone.

Mr. 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 defeat 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 because they are too long to be one. JOHNSON.


King Henry the Fourth :
Henry, Prince of Wales, afterwards King

Henry V.
Thomas, Duke of Clarence.
Prince John of Lancaster, afterwards his fons,

(2 Henry V.) Duke of Bedford. Prince Humphrey of Glocefter, afterwards

(2 Henry V.) Duke of Glocester. Earl of Warwick.

1 of the king's
Earl of Westmoreland.
Gower. Harcourt.

Lord Chief Justice of the King's Bench.
A Gentleman attending on the Chief Justice.
Earl of Northumberland;
Scroop, Archbishop of York ;

enemies to the
Lord Mowbray ; Lord Hastings; king
Lord Bardolph ; Sir John Colevile ;
Travers and Morton; domesticks of Northumberland.
Falstaff, Bardolph, Pistol, and Page.
Poins and Peto; attendants on Prince Henry.
Shallow and Silence; country Justices.
Davy, servant to Shallow.
Mouldy, Shadow, Wart, Feeble, and Bullcalf; recruits.
Fang and Snare ; Sheriff's officers.
Rumour. A Porter.
A Dancer ; speaker of the Epilogue.
Lady Northumberland. Lady Percy,
Hostess Quickly. Doll Tear-sheet.
Lords and other Attendants; Officers, Soldiers, Mef-
senger, Drawers, Beadles, Grooms, &c.

SCENE, England.

· See note under the Persone dramatis of the First Part of this play. STEEVENS

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

Rum. Open your ears; For which of you

will ftop The vent of hearing, when loud Rumour speaks ?


2 Enter Rumour,] This speech of Rumour is not inelegant or unpoetical, but it is wholly useless, since we are told nothing which the first scene does not clearly and naturally discover. The only end of such prologues is to inform the audience of some facts prévious to the action, of which they can have no knowledge from the persons of the drama. JOHNSON.

Rumour, painted full of tongues.] This the author probably drew-from Holinshed's Description of a Pageant, exhibited in the court of Henry VIII. with uncommon cost and magnificence: “ Then entered a person called Report, apparelled in criinfon fattin, full of toongs, or chronicles." Vol. III. p. 805. This however might be the common way of representing this personage in masques, which were frequent in his own times. T. Warton.

Stephen Hawes, in his Paftime of Pleasure, had long ago exhibited her (Rumour) in the same manner :

A goodly lady, envyroned about

" With tongues of fire. And so had Sir Thomas Moore, in one of his Pageants :

Fame I am called, mervayle you nothing

“ Thoughe with tonges I am compaffed all rounde." Not to mention her elaborate portrait by Chaucer, in The Booke of Fame ; and by John Higgins, one of the asliftants in The Mirror for Magistrales, in his Legend of King Albanacte. Farmer.

In a masque presented on St. Stephen's night, 1614, by Thomas Campion, Rumour comes on in a skin-coat full of winged tongues.

Rumour is likewise a character in Sir Clyomon Knight of the Golden Shield, &c. 1599

So also, in The whole magnificent Entertainment given to King James, and the Queen his wife, &c. &c. 15th March, 1603, by

I, from the priènt to the drooping west,

the wind my posthorse, still unfold
The acts.commenced on this ball of earth:
Upon my tongues continual Nanders 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, swol’n with some other grief,
Is thought with child by the stern tyrant war,
And so such matter? Rumour is a pipes
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 thus

Thomas Decker, 4to. 1604: “ Directly under her in a cart by herselfe, Fame stood upright: a woman in a watchet roabe, thickly set with open eyes and tongues, a payre of large golden winges at her backe, a trumpet in her hand, a mantle of sundry cullours traversing her body; all these ensignes displaying but the propertie of her swiftnesse and aptnesle to disperse Rumoure." STEEVENS.

painted full of tongues.] This direction, which is only to be found in the first edition in quarto of 1600, explains a passage in what follows, otherwise obscure. Pope,

-the drooping west,] A paffage in Macbeth will best csplain the force of this epithet :

“ Good things of day begin to drop and drowse,
“ And night's

do roufe.”

MALONE. Rumour is a pipe-] Here the poet imagines himself describing Rumour, and forgets that Rumour is the speaker.

JOHNSON, "-lo easy and so plain a stop,] The flops are the holes in a fute or pipe. So, in Hamlet: "Govern these ventages with your finger and thumb:-Look you, these are the stops."- -Again,** You would seem to know my Bops." STEVENS.

agents to their

[ocr errors]
« ZurückWeiter »