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King Henry the Fourth:
Henry, Prince of Wales, afterwards
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; Gower; Harcourt;
of the King's Party.
Lord Chief Justice of the King's Bench.
Lord Mowbray; Lord Hastings;
Poins and Peto, Attendants on Prince Henry.
Mouldy, Shadow, Wart, Feeble, and Bullcalf,
Fang and Snare, Sheriff's Officers.
A Dancer, Speaker of the Epilogue.
Enemies to the
Lady Northumberland. Lady Percy.
Lords and other Attendants; Officers, Soldiers, Messenger, Drawers, Beadles, Grooms, &c.
I See note under the Personæ Dramatis of the First Part of this play. STEEVENS.
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?
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.
-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 crimson sattin, 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 Pastime of Pleasure, had long ago exhibited her (Rumour) in the same manner:
"A goodly lady, envyroned about
And so had Sir Thomas More, in one of his Pageants:
Not to mention her elaborate portrait by Chaucer, in The Booke of Fame; and by John Higgins, one of the assistants in The Mirror for Magistrates, in his Legend of King Albanacte.
I, from the orient to the drooping west,*
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 Člyomon, 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 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 torgues, 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 aptnesse 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 passage in Macbeth will best explain the force of this epithet:
"Good things of day begin to droop and drowse,
-Rumour is a pipe-] Here the poet imagines himself describing Rumour, and forgets that Rumour is the speaker.
And of so easy and so plain a stop,
so easy and so plain a stop,] The stops are the holes in a flute 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 stops." STEEVENS.
7 And this worm-eaten hold of ragged store,] The old copies read-worm-eaten hole. MALONE.
Northumberland had retired and fortified himself in his castle, a place of strength in those times, though the building might be impaired by its antiquity; and, therefore, I believe our poet
And this worm-eaten hold of ragged stone. THEOBALD. Theobald is certainly right. So, in The Wars of Cyrus, &c. 1594:
Besieg'd his fortress with his men at arms, "Where only I and that Libanio stay'd
"By whom I live. For when the hold was lost," &c. Again, in King Henry VI. P. III :
"She is hard by with twenty thousand men,
"And therefore fortify your hold, my lord." STEEVENS.