The Second Part of Henry the Fourth


William Shakespeare

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The Second Part of Henry the Fourth Page 01

Containing his Death: and the Coronation of King Henry the Fift

Actus Primus. Scoena Prima.


Enter Rumour.

Open your Eares: For which of you will stop The vent of Hearing, when loud Rumor speakes? I, from the Orient, to the drooping West (Making the winde my Post-horse) still vnfold The Acts commenced on this Ball of Earth. Vpon my Tongue, continuall Slanders ride, The which, in euery Language, I pronounce, Stuffing the Eares of them with false Reports: I speake 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 Blowne by Surmises, Ielousies, 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 neede I thus My well-knowne Body to Anathomize Among my houshold? Why is Rumour heere? I run before King Harries victory, Who in a bloodie field by Shrewsburie Hath beaten downe yong Hotspurre, and his Troopes, Quenching the flame of bold Rebellion, Euen with the Rebels blood. But what meane I To speake 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 Annointed head, as low as death. This haue I rumour'd through the peasant-Townes, Betweene the Royall Field of Shrewsburie, And this Worme-eaten-Hole of ragged Stone, Where Hotspurres Father, old Northumberland, Lyes crafty sicke. The Postes 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 then True-wrongs. Enter.

Scena Secunda.

Enter Lord Bardolfe, and the Porter.

L.Bar. Who keepes the Gate heere hoa? Where is the Earle? 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 Honor, knocke but at the Gate, And he himselfe will answer. Enter Northumberland.

L.Bar. Heere comes the Earle

Nor. What newes Lord Bardolfe? Eu'ry 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. Yong 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 fairely wonne) Came not, till now, to dignifie the Times Since Cęsars Fortunes

Nor. How is this deriu'd? Saw you the Field? Came you from Shrewsbury? L.Bar. I spake with one (my L[ord].) that came fro[m] thence, A Gentleman well bred, and of good name, That freely render'd me these newes for true

Nor. Heere comes my Seruant 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

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

All Pages of This Book
The Famous History of the Life of King Henry the Eight
The First Part of Henry the Fourth
The first Part of Henry the Sixt
The Life of Henry the Fift
The Second Part of Henry the Fourth
The second Part of Henry the Sixt
The third Part of Henry the Sixt