William Shakespeare.

The plays of William Shakespeare; in twenty-one volumes, with the corrections and illustrations of various commentators, to which are added notes (Volume 12) online

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Online LibraryWilliam ShakespeareThe plays of William Shakespeare; in twenty-one volumes, with the corrections and illustrations of various commentators, to which are added notes (Volume 12) → online text (page 1 of 38)
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* Second Part of King Henry IV.] The transactions
comprized in this history 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.


The Second Part of King Henry IV. 1 suppose to have been
written in 1598. See An Attempt to ascertain the Order of
Shakspeare's PlaySy Vol. II. 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 dramatick
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.


Enemies to the


King Henry the Fourth :

Henry, Prince of Wales, qftenvards'

King Henry V ;
Thomas, Duke of Clarence ;
Prince John of Lancaster, * afterwards > his Sons.

(2 Henry V.) Duke ofBedford;
Prince Humphrey 0/ Gloster, afterwards

(2 Henry V.) Duke o/' Gloster ;
Earl of Warwick ; "J

Earl of Westmoreland ; > of the King^s Party.
Gower; Harcourt ; }

Lord Chief Justice of the King^s Bench.
A Gentleman attending on the Chief Justice.
Earl of Northumberland ;
Scroop, Archbishop of York ;
Lord Mowbray ; Lord Hastings ;
Lord Bardolph ; xS'ir John Colevile ; ^
Travers andMoTton,Domesticks o/'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,

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, Mes-
senger, Drawers, Beadles, Grooms, &c.

SCENE, England.

' See note under the Personce Dramatis of the First Part of
this play. Steevens.


Warkworth. Before Northumberland's Castle,

Enter Rumour,^ painted full of Tongues,^

Hum. Open your ears ; For which of you will
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,yM// oftoongSy 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

" With tongues of fire. "

And so had Sir Thomas More, in one of his Pageants :

" Fame I am called, mervayle you nothing

*' Thoughe with tonges I am compassed all rounde."
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,*
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 prepared defence ;
Wliilst the big year, swoPn 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 ;

In a masque presented on St. Stephen's night, 1614, by Thomas
Campion, Rumour comes on in a skin-coatyw// o/'winged tongues.

Rumour is likewise a character in Sir Clyomoriy Knight qfthe
Golden Shield, &c. 1599.

So also, in The tchole magnificent Entertainment given to
King James, and the Queen his Wife, &c. &c. 15th March,
1603, by Thomas Decker, 4-to. 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 display-
ing but the propertie of her swiftnesse and aptnesse to disperse
Rumoure.'* Sxeevens.

painted Jiill 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 tvest,'] A passage in Macbeth will best

explain the force of this epithet :

" Good things of day begin to droop and drowse,
" And night's black agents to their preys do rouse."


* 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,^

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 houshold ? Why is Rumour here ?

Trun before king Harry's victory ;

Who, in a bloody field by Shrewsbury,

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,''^

* so easy and so plain a stop,] The stops are*the holes

in a flute or pipe. So, m Hamlet : " Govern these ventages
with your finger and thumb : Look you, these are the stops"
Again : " You would seem to know my stops." Steevens.

^ And this luorm-eaten hold of ragged stoney"] 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
wrote :

And this tuorm-eaten hold of ragged stone. Theobald.

Theobald is certainly right. So, in The Wars of Cyrus, &c.


" 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. Ill :

" She is hard by with twenty thousand men,

" And therefore fortify your hold, my lord." Steevens.


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

They bring smooth comforts false, worse than

true wrongs. [^Ea^iL




The same.

The Porter before the Gate; Enter Lord

Bard, Who keeps the gate here, ho ? Where
is the earl ?

Port, What shall I say you are ?

Bard, Tell thou the earl,

That the lord Bardolph doth attend him here.

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

Enter Northumberland.

Bard, Here comes the earl.

North, What news, lord Bardolph ? every mi-
nute 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.

Bard. Noble earl,

I bring you certain news from Shrewsbury.

North. Good, an heaven will !

Bard. As good as heart can wish :

The king is almost wounded to the death j
And, in the fortune of my lord your son.
Prince Harry slain outright ; and both the Blunts
KilPd 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, tiU now, to dignify the times,
Since Caesar's fortunes !

North. How is this deriv'd ?

Saw you the field ? came you from Shrewsbury ?

Bard. I spake with one, my lord, that came
from thence; (, , .v

A gentleman well bred, and of good name.
That freely rendered me these news for true.

North. Here comes my servant, Travers, whom
I sent
On Tuesday last to listen after news.

Bard. My lord, I over-rode him on the way ^

- some stratagem :] Some stratagem means here some
great, important, or dreadful event. So, in The Third Part of
King Henri/ VI. the father who had killed his son says :

" O pity, God! this miserable age!
. * ' " What stratagems, how fell, how butcherly !

" This mortal quarrel daily doth beget!" M. Masow.

sc. I. KING HENRY IV. 11

And he is furnish'd with no certainties.
More than he haply may retail from me.

Enter Travers.

North. Now, Travers, what good tidings come
with you ?

Tra, My lord, sir John Umfrevile turn'd me
back " : i :3t -rv-^r j^^

With joyful tidings ; and, being better hors'd.
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.
He told me, that rebellion had bad luck.
And that young Harry Percy's spur was cold :
With that, he gave his able horse the head,
And, bending forward, struck his armed heels *
Against the panting sides of his poor jade ^

^ forspent with speed,"] To forspend is to waste, to ex-
haust. So, in Sir A. Gorges' translation of Lucan, B. VII :
" crabbed sires Jbrspent with age.'* Steevens.

' armed keels ] Thus the quarto, 1600. The folio,
1623, reads able heels; the modern editors, without au-
thority agile heels. Steevens.

* poor jade ] Poor jade is used, not in contempt,

but in compassion. Poor jade means the horse wearied with
his journey.

Jade, however, seems anciently to have signified what we
now call a hackney ; a beast employed in drudgery, opposed to
a horse kept for show, or to be rid by its master. So, in a
comedy called A Knack to kn&uo a Knave^ 1594 :

" Besides, I'll give you the keeping of a diozen jades,
" And now and then meat for you and your horse.**
This is said by a. former to a courtier. Steevens.

Shakspeare, however, (as Mr. Steevens has observed,) cer-

12 SECOND PART OF act r.

Up to the rowel-head ; ^ and, starting so,
He seem'd in running to devour the way,*
Staying no longer question.

North. Ha ! Again.

Said he, young Harry Percy's spur was cold ?
Of Hotspur, coldspur?^ that rebellion
Had met ill luck !

Bard. My lord, I'll tell you what j

If my young lord your son have not the day.

tainly does not use the word as a term of contempt ; for King
Richard the Second gives this appellation to his favourite horse
Roan Barbary, on which Henry the Fourth rode at his corona-

** That jade hath eat bread from my royal hand."


* rofwel-head ;"] I think that I have observed in old
prints the roftuel of those times to have been only a single spike.


He seerri'd in running to devour the iioay,~\ So, in the Book
of Job, chap, xxxix : " He siuallouseth the ground with fierce-
ness and rage."

The same expression occurs in Ben Jonson's Sejanus :
" But with that speed and heat of appetite,
** With which they greedily devour the luay
** To some great sports." Steevens.

So Ariel, to describe his alacrity in obeying Prospero's com-

** I drink the air before me." M. Mason.

So, in one of the Roman poets (I forget which) :
cur&u consumere campum. Blackstone.

The line quoted by Sir William Blackstone is in Nemesian :
latumque fuga consumere campum. Malone.

* Of Hotspur, coldspur ?] Hotspur seems to have been a
very common term for a man of vehemence and precipitation.
Stanyhurst, who translated four books of Virgil, in 1584, ren-
ders the following line :

Nee victoris heri tetigit captiva cuhile.

** To couch not mounting of mayster vanquisher hoat-
spur.'" Steevens.

sc. I, KING HENRY IV. 18

Upon mine honour, for a silken point ^
1*11 give my barony : never talk of it.

North. Why should the gentleman, that rode by
Give then such instances of loss ?

Bard. Who, he ?

He was some hilding fellow,'' that had stoPn
The horse he rode on ; and, upon my life.
Spoke at a venture. Look, here comes more news.

Enter Morton.

North. Yea, this man's brow, like to a title-
Foretells the nature of a tragick volume :
So looks the strond, whereon the imperious flood

Hath left a Avitness'd usurpation.'-'

Say, Morton, didst thou come from Shrewsbury ?

MoR. I ran from Shrewsbury, my noble lord;
Where hateful death put on his ugliest mask.
To fright our party.

North, How doth my son, and brother ?

* silken point ]) A point is a string tagged, or lace.

' some hilding ye//oU),] For hilderling, i. e. base, de-
generate. Pope.

Hilderlingf Degener; vox adhuc agro Devon, familiaris.
Spelman. Keed.

* 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.

^ a voitness'd usurpation."} i. e. an attestation of its ra-
vage. Steevens.


Thou tremblest ; and the whiteness in thy cheek
Is apter than thy tongue to tell thy errand.
Even such a man, so faint, so spiritless,
So dull, so dead in look, so woe-begone,^
Drew Priam*s curtain in the dead of night,
And would have told him, half his Troy was

burn*d :
But Priam found the fire, ere he his tongue.
And I my Percy's death, ere thou report* st it.
This thou would*st say, Your son did thus, and

Your brother, thus ; so fought the noble Douglas;
Stopping my greedy ear with their bold deeds :
But in the end, to stop mine ear indeed.
Thou hast a sigh to blow away this praise.
Ending with ^brother, son, and all are dead.

MoR. Douglas is living, and your brother, yet :
But, for my lord your son,

North. Why, he is dead.

See, what a ready tongue suspicion hath !
He, that but fears the thing he would not know%

" so xjooe-begone,'] This word was common enough

amongst the old Scottish and English poets, as G. Douglas,
Chaucer, Lord Buckhurst, Fairfax; and signifies, ^ar gone in
xiooe. Warburton.

So, in The Spanish Tragedy :

** Awake, revenge, or we are xvo-begone P*
Again, in Arden of Feversham, 1592:

** So tvoe-begone, so inly charg'd with woe."
Again, in A Looking Glass for London and England j 1598 :
" Fair Alvida, look not so tvoe-begone.**
Dr. Bentley is said to have thought this passage corrupt, and
therefore (with a greater degree of gravity than my readers will
probably express) proposed the following emendation:
So dead so dull in look^ Ucalegon,
Drew Priam's curtain &c.
The name of Ucalegon is found in the third Book of the Iliad,
and the second of the jEneid. Steevens.

sc. /. KING HENRY IV. 15

Hath, by instinct, knowledge from others* eyes,

Thatwhathefear'd is chanced. Yet speak, Morton;

Tell thou thy earl, his divination lies ;

And I will take it as a sweet disgrace.

And make thee rich for doing me such wi'ong.

MoR. You are too great to be by me gainsaid :
Your spirit^ is too true, your fears too certain.

North, Yet, for all this, say not that Percy's
I see a strange confession in thine eye :
Thou shak'st thy head; and hold'st it fear, or sin,*

* Your spirit ] The impression upon your mind, by which
you conceive the death of your son. Johnson.

' Yetf for all thiSf say not &c.] The contradiction in the
first part of this speech might be imputed to the distraction of
Northumberland's mind; but the calmness of the reflection,
contained in the last lines, seems not much to countenance such
a supposition. I will venture to distribute this passage in a man-
ner which will, I hope, seem more commodious; but do not
wish the reader to forget, that the most commodious is not always
the true reading :

Bard. Yet^ for all thisy say not that Percy's dead.
North. / see a strange confession in thine eye.
Thou shak'st thy heady and nold'st itfoar^ or sin.
To speak a truth. If he he slain^ say so :
The tongue offends not, that reports his death ;
And he doth sin^ that doth behe the dead ;
Not he, "which says the dead is not alive.

Mor. Yet the first bringer of unwelcome news
Hath but a losing office ; and his tongue
Sounds ever after as a sullen bell.
Remember' d knolling a departing friend.
Here is a natural interposition of Bardolph at the beginning,
who is not pleased to hear his news confuted, and a proper pre-
paration of Morton for the tale which he is unwilling to tell.


* ' - hold'st r'^fear, or sin,"^ Fear for danger.


16 SECOND PART OF act r.

To speak a truth. If he be slain, say so :'
The tongue offends not, that reports his death :
And he doth sin, that doth belie the dead ;
Not he, which says the dead is not alive.
Yet the first bringer of unwelcome news
Hath but a losing office ; and his tongue
Sounds ever after as a sullen bell.
Remembered knolling a departing friend.^

Bard. I cannot think, my lord, your son is dead.

MoR. I am sorry, I should force you to believe
That, which I would to heaven I had not seen :
But these mine eyes saw him in bloody state,
Rend*ring faint quittance,*^ wearied and out-

* If he he slain^ say so .] The words say so are in the

first folio, but not in the quarto : they are necessary to the verse,
but the sense proceeds as well without them. Johnson.

Sounds ever after as a sullen belly

Remembered knolling a departing yreVnrf. 3 So, in our au-
thor's 71st Sonnet :

" you shall hear the surly svUen bell

" Give warning to the world that / amjled**
This significant epithet has been adopted by Milton :

** I hear the far-off curfew sound,

** Over some wide-water*d shore

** Swinging slow with sullen roar.'*
Departingy I believe, is here used for departed. Malone.

I cannot concur in this supposition. The bell, anciently, was
rung before expiration, and thence was called the passing bell,
i. e. the bell that solicited prayers for the sovlpassing into another
world. Steevens.

I am inclined to think that this bell might have been originally
used to drive away demons who were watching to take possession
of the soul of the deceased. In the cuts to some of the old ser-
vice books which contain the Vigilics mortuorum, several devils
are waiting for this purpose in the chamber of a dying man, to
whom the priest is administering extreme unction. Douce.

' . faint quittance,] Quittance is return. By Joint

sc. J. KING HENRY IV. 17

To Harry Monmouth ; whose swift wrath beat down
The never-daunted Percy to the earth,
From whence with Hfe he never more sprung up.
In few, his death (whose spirit lent a fire
Even to the dullest peasant in his camp,)
Being bruited once, took fire and heat away
From the best tempered courage in his troops :
For from his metal was his party steel' d ;
Which once in him abated,^ all the rest
Turn*d on themselves, like dull and heavy lead.
And as the thing that's heavy in itself.
Upon enforcement, flies with greatest speed ;
So did our men, heavy in Hotspur's loss,
Lend to this weight such lightness with their fear.
That arrows fled not swifter toward their aim.
Than did our soldiers, aiming at their safety.
Fly from the field : Then was that noble Worcester
Too soon ta'en prisoner ; and that furious Scot,
The bloody Douglas, whose well-labouring sword
Had three times slain the appearance of the king,
'Gan vail his stomach,^ and did grace the shame

quittance is meant a Jhint return of blows. So, in King

Henri/ V. :

" We shall forget the office of our hand,

" Sooner than quittance of desert and merit.**


* For from his metal tons his parti/ steel' d f
Which once in him abated,] Abated is not here put for
the general idea of diminished, nor for the notion of blunted,
as applied to a single edge. Abated means reduced to a lower
temper, or, as the workmen call it, let down. Johnson,

^ ' *Gan vail his stomach,"] Began to fall his courage, to let
his spirits sink under his fortune. Johnson.

From avaller, Fr. to cast down, or to let fall down.


This phrase has already appeared in The Taming of the
SArew, Vol. IX. p. 194:


18 SECOND PART OF act i.

Of those that turn'd their backs ; and, in his flight,
Stumbling in fear, was took. The sum of all V
Is, ^that the king hath won ; and hath sent out I
A speedy power, to encounter you, my lord.
Under the conduct of young Lancaster,
And Westmoreland : this is the news at full.
North. For this I shall have time enough to

mourn. ^^^'^^^!^

In poison there is physick ; and these ne^s, '^
Having been well, that would have made me sick,*
Being sick, have in some measure made me well:
And as the wretch, whose fe ver- weaken* d joints,
Like strengthless hinges, buckle^ under life, "
Impatient of his fit, breaks like a fire \

Out of his keeper's arms ; even so my limbs, ' /
Weakened with grief, being now enrag'd with grief,
Are thrice themselves:^ hence therefore, thou nice*

crutch ;

*' Then vail your stomachs^ for it is no boot ;

" And place your hands below your husbands* foot."


Thus, to vail the bonnet is to pull it off. So, in The Pinner
0/ Wakefield y 1599; '

*' And make the king vail bonnet to us both."
To vail a staff, is to let it fall in token of respect. Thus, in
the same play :

"And for the ancient custom of vail-stqffy

" Keep it still ; claim thou privilege from me r
. . * If any ask a reason, why ? or how ?

" Say, English Edward vail'd his staffs to you.'*
See Vol. VII. p. 235, n. 1. Steevens.

' Having been ivelif that tjoould have made me sicky'] i. e<
that would, had I been well, have made me sick. Malone.

* buckle ] Bend; yield to pressure.. Johnson.^

even so my limbs, ^^ ^^- ^* '"^^ ^^' ^^ -^ - -

Weakened with grief, being now enraged with grief,
Are thrice themselves -.I As Northumberland is here com-
paring himself to a person, who, though his joints are weakened

Online LibraryWilliam ShakespeareThe plays of William Shakespeare; in twenty-one volumes, with the corrections and illustrations of various commentators, to which are added notes (Volume 12) → online text (page 1 of 38)