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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 prepared defence,

Whiles the big year, swoln 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

Among my household? Why is Rumour here?
I run before King Harry's victory;

Who in a bloody field by Shrewsbury

6. tongues] Tongue Ff.

8. men] them Ff.





13. Whiles] Whil'st Ff. 13. grief] griefes (or griefs) Ff. 16. surmises] Surmise Ff 2-4. 21. anatomize] anothomize Q; Anathomize Ff 1-3.

5. The . . . earth] Probably a metaphor from the theatre. Cf. The Return from Parnassus, II. i :—

"earth the loath'd stage Whereon we act this feigned personage."

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13. swoln. grief] pregnant with some other cause of discomfort.

14. tyrant] cruel monster; cf. Much Ado, I. i. 176. 15. And no ... matter] whereas nothing of the kind is the case-an emphatic denial of the truth of the belief or surmise just recited. Jonson, A Tale of a Tub, iv. v, and Fletcher, Monsieur Thomas, IV. iv: "he lay roaring out his leg was broken, And no such matter." Cf. Sonnets, lxxxvii. 14. 16. surmises] suspicions, as frequently.

17. of so... stop] of such plain construction in respect to its "ventages," by "stop ping" which the sound is regulated, that it is easy to play upon. Cf. Hamlet, 111. ii. 75, 76, 379-388.

18. the... heads] Cf. Coriolanus,
IV. i. 1, 2, and 11. iii. 18: "the many-
headed multitude"; Dekker, The Guls
Horn-booke: "The people is said to
bee a beast of many heads'; Revenge
for Honour, 1. i: "this same many-
headed beast, the people." Blunt,
dull-witted, as in Two Gentlemen of
Verona, II. vi. 41.
19. still... wavering] Pope read
still-discordant-wavering. For the
thought, cf. Richard ÏI. 11. ii. 128:
"the wavering commons," and 1 Henry
VI. IV. i. 138.

20. what] why. So in 1. ii. 112 post.
21. anatomize] lay open to minute
examination, describe minutely.
Nashe, Pierce Pennilesse (McKerrow,
1. 213): "In plays, all cożenages, all
cunning drifts
are most lively
24. field
Shrewsbury] Craig
quotes a marginal comment in the
British Museum copy of Fabyan's
Chronicle: "a batteyl fyeld nere
Shrewsbury, foughtyn in a field caled

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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
Stoop'd his anointed head as low as death.
This have I rumour'd 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 learn'd of me: from Rumour's tongues
They bring smooth comforts false, worse than true wrongs.

[Exit. 40

28. so true] of truth Ff 2-4. 33. peasant towns] peasant-Townes Ff 1,2; peasant-Towns F3; Peasant Towns F 4. 34. that] Ff. 35. worm-eaten hold] worme-eaten hole Q; Worm-eaten-Hole Ff. 36. Where] When Q. 37. crafty-sick hyphen Pope. 39. me :] me, Q; Me. Ff. 40. smooth comforts false] hyphen Ff. Exit.] exit Rumours. Q.

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and Edward the Third, 1. ii: "The ragged walles," in reference to Roxborough Castle.

37. crafty-sick]" sick in craft," feigning sickness; cf. Hamlet, III. iv. 188: "mad in craft."

37. posts] couriers, as in Merchant of Venice, v. i. 46. A post is mentioned by name in Greene, George a Greene, 1. i: "his [the King of Scots'] Post. Iohn Taylour."

37. tiring] tearing, in tearing haste. The metaphor is from a hawk, which was said to"tire" on (i.e. pull or tear at) a morsel of meat given to it to exercise itself upon; O.F. tirer. Cf. Lyly, Mother Bombie (Bond, iii.), Iv. ii: "he wold tyre and retire," and note there.

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40. smooth comforts] pleasant and comforting news; cf. 1 Henry IV. 1. i. 66: "smooth and welcome news.' Wrongs, harms, injuries; cf. Julius Cæsar, III. i. 47.


SCENE I.-The same.


L. Bard. Who keeps the gate here, ho!
The Porter opens the gate.

Where is the earl?

Port. What shall I say you are?
L. Bard.

Tell thou the earl

That the Lord Bardolph doth attend him here.

ACT I. SCENE 1.] Pope; Scena Secunda. Ff. The same.] Capell. Enter Lord Bardolph.] Enter the Lord Bardolfe at one doore. Q; Enter Lord Bardolfe, and the Porter. Ff; Porter before the Gate; Enter Lord Bardolph. Capell. I. L. Bard.] L. Bar. Ff; Bard. Q (throughout the scene). 1. here] om. Ff 2-4. 1. here, ho!] Ed.; here ho? Q; heere ho? F 1. 1. The Porter gate.] Cambridge Edd.; om. Q, Ff; Enter Porter. Dyce (ed. 1).


I. Who ... here, ho!] "Who" is here, I think, the indefinite (= "He who "), and not the interrogative pronoun, as is implied, for instance, by the punctuation, “Who keeps the gate here? ho!" (Oxford Shakespeare), and "Who keeps the gate here, ho?" (Cambridge Shakespeare). "Who keeps the gate" is a periphrasis (= "Porter ") of a kind usual in calling to servants or others, in attendance but out of sight. Cf. 2 Henry VI. 1. iv. 82: " York... Who's within there, ho! Enter a Serving. man." (Oxford Shakespeare); Henry VIII. v. ii. 2, 3: "Cran. Ho! Who waits there! ("there?" Oxford Shakespeare). Enter Keeper"; Massinger, The Roman Actor, III. ii: Iphis... I must knock ... Within there, ho! something divine come forth. [Enter Latinus as a Porter]"; Jonson, Every Man in his Humour, IV. viii; R. Steele, The Funeral (1701), 11. iii: "Fardingale. No-who waits there-pray bring my





lute out of the next room. Enter Servant, with a Lute." In Henry VIII. v. iii. 4, the "Keeper at the door" is doubtful whether Norfolk's question, "Who waits there?" is or is not the conventional call to the Doorkeeper, viz. "Who waits there!": "Nor. Who waits there? Keeper at the door. Without, my noble lords? Gar. Yes. Keep. My lord archbishop: And has done half-an-hour, to know your pleasures." Cf. also Beaumont and Fletcher, Maid's Tragedy, v. iii: "Lys.

Summon him, Lord Cleon. Cleon. Ho, from the walls there!"; and Jack Straw (Hazlitt's Dodsley, v. 396): "Neighbours, you that keep the gates."


2. What] Who. So in King Lear, V. iii. 121; Othello, 1. i. 94 : “ Bra. What are you? Rod. My name is Roderigo"; and Beaumont and Fletcher, Knight of the Burning Pestle, Iv. iii. O.E. hwat manna, where manna is gen. plur. depending upon hwat (= what of men, who?); Icel. hvað manna, who?

Port. His lordship is walk'd forth into the orchard:
Please it your honour, knock but at the gate,
And he himself will answer.

L. Bard.



Here comes the earl.

[Exit Porter.

North. What news, Lord Bardolph ? every minute now
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.

L. Bard.

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

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
Kill'd 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 follow'd and so fairly won,
Came not till now to dignify the times,
Since Cæsar's fortunes!




6. Exit Porter.] 13. an God] and God Q;

6. Enter...] Enter the Earle Northumberland. Q.
7. North.] Earle Q (passim).
21. follow'd] followed Q.

Dyce (ed. 1). and heauen Ff.

8. stratagem] deed of violence; cf. 3 Henry VI. II. v. 89; Jack Straw (Hazlitt's Dodsley, v. 395): "Affrighting so his heart with strong conceit Of some unhappy, grievous stratagem"; Arden of Feversham, III. iv: "A place well fitting such a stratageme" [i.e. a murder, described later as "a massacar"].

14. to the death] See note to 1 Henry IV. v. v. 14. For the article, cf. The Wit of a Woman (Malone Society Reprint), ix: "You are for the life, and he is for the death"; Dan. til Døden, till death; and Sw. lifvet är kort, life is short.

19. brawn] a boar fattened for the table, as in 1 Henry IV. 11. iv. 110. Cf. T. Nabbes, Totenham-Court, 1. ii; and the same author's The Springs Glory

(Bullen, O.E.P., N.S., ii. 232): “every Brawne or hogge, either Christmas or thy selfe [Shrovetide] have demolisht." It has been suggested, however, that the comparison is with the flesh of the brawn when tightly rolled "into a round lump, like a bag-pudding," a collar of brawn. Cf. also M. Coverdale, Psalms, CXIX. 70: "Their herte is as fat as brawne."

19. hulk] A large unwieldy person; an example of this use is given by New Eng. Dict. from the seventeenth century; and the sense is still extant in the Craven dialect.

21. follow'd] "followed up," as in Henry V. II. iv. 68.

23. Casar's fortunes] An echo, possibly, of Kyd, Cornelia (Hazlitt's Dodsley, v. 206): "Cornelia.

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How is this derived?

Saw you the field? came you from Shrewsbury?

L. Bard. I spake with one, my lord, that came from thence, 25
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 sent
On Tuesday last to listen after news.


L. Bard. My lord, I over-rode him on the way;
And he is furnish'd with no certainties

More than he haply may retail from me.

North. Now, Travers, what good tidings comes with you?
Tra. My lord, Sir John Umfrevile turn'd me back

With joyful tidings; and, being better horsed,
Out-rode me. After him came spurring hard
A gentleman, almost forspent with speed,
That stopp'd by me to breathe his bloodied horse.
He ask'd the way to Chester; and of him
I did demand what news from Shrewsbury:

25. my lord,] (my L.) Ff. 27. render'd] rendred Q.




28. whom] who Q.

30. Enter Travers] enter Trauers. Q (against lines 25, 26); after line 32 Pope. 33. with] from Ff. 34. Sir] om. Ff 2-4. 36. hard] head F 1.

loss lifts Cæsar's fortunes high'r. Chorus. Fortune is fickle. Corn. But hath fail'd him never." Fortunes, successes, victories; cf. Middleton, Women Beware Women, I. i: "Thy successes, Howe'er they look, I will still name my fortunes; Hopeful or spiteful, they shall all be welcome."

is treated sometimes as a singular, and sometimes as a plural. Pope read tidings come.

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37. forspent] exhausted, as in 3 Henry VI. II. iii. 1. Steevens quotes Sir A. Gorges' translation of Lucan's Pharsalia, vii: "crabbed sires forspent with age. For the intensive prefix 29. listen after] try to hear of, en- for- (spelt also fore-, as here in Ff, Q quire for. 2 Henry VI. 1. iii. 152: "I [forespent, Q]), cf. "forwearied," in will... listen after Humphrey, how King John, II. i. 233, and "fordone" he proceeds"; Nashe, Strange Newes: in Midsummer-Night's Dream, v. ii. "He had a very fair cloak play 4. the good husband and listen after it." Cf. also Greene, George a Greene, III. ii: "goe to Bradford, and listen out your fellow Wily"; Faire Em, III. ii: "Let us . . . hearken after our king." Dan. lytte eftir, to listen for.

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30. over-rode] rode by, outrode. Cf. Fletcher, Wild-Goose Chase, 1. i: "over-hied him."

32. retail] recount. Johnson (1771) read retain.

33. tidings]"Tidings," like "news,"

38. breathe] rest, as frequently; the sense "exercise" is found in All's Well, II. iii. 272. Bloodied, smeared with blood, as in A Yorkshire Tragedy, 1. vii.: "One of his men all faint and bloudied!" i.e. his flesh torn by his master's spur; and ib. v. x. Cf. "unbloodied beak," in 2 Henry VI. III. ii. 193. For the formation "bloodied," cf. "tardied" in Winter's Tale, 11. ii. 163, and "out-craftied" in Cymbeline, III. iv. 15.

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