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Warkworth. Before Northumberland's Castle.
Enter Rumour', painted full of tongues. Rum. Open your ears; For which of you will stop The vent of hearing, when loud Rumour speaks? I, 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 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 no such matter! Rumour 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, Can play upon it. But what need I thus My well-known body to anatomize
· 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 previous to the action, of which they can have no knowledge from the persons of the drama. Johnson.
Among my household ? Why is Rumour here?
SECOND PART OF
KING HENRY IV.
SCENE I.-The same.
The Porter before the Gate; Enter Lord BARDOLPH.
Port. What shall I say you are ?
Tell thou the earl, That the lord Bardolph doth attend him here.
Port. His Lordship is walk'd forth into the orchard ; Please it your honour, 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':
some stratagem :) Some stratagem means here some great, important, or dreadful event.
Full of high feeding, madly hath broke loose,
North. Good, an heaven will!
As good as heart can wish :-
How is this deriv'd ?
thence; A gentleman well bred, and of good name, That freely render'd me these news for true. North. Here comes my servant, Travers, whom I
Bard. My lord, I over-rode him on the way;
North. Now, Travers, what good tidings come with
forspent —] To forspend is to waste, to exhaust.
That stopp'd by me to breathe his bloodied horse :
My lord, I'll tell you what ;-
Who, he ?
North. Yea, this man's brow, like to a title-leaf, Foretells the nature of a tragick volume:
silken point -] A point is a string tagged, or lace. -some hilding fellow,] For hilderling, i. e. base, degenerate.
- like to a title-leaf,] It may not be amiss to observe, that, in the time of our poet, the title-page to an elegy, as well as every intermediate leaf, was totally black. I have several in my possession, written by Chapman, the translator of Homer, and ornamented in this manner. STEEVENS.