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* SECOND PART OF KING HENRY IV.] The tranfactions comprized in this history take up about nine years. The action commences with the account of Hotfpur's being defeated and killed ; and clofes with the death of King Henry IV. and the coronation of King Henry V. [1412-13.] THEOBALD.
This play was entered at Stationers' Hall, Auguft 23, 1600. STEEVENS.
The Second Part of King Henry IV. I fuppofe to have been written in 1598. See An Attempt to afcertain the Order of Shakspeare's Plays, Vol. II. MALONE.
Mr. Upton thinks these two plays improperly called The First and Second Parts of Henry the Fourth. The firft play ends, he fays, with the peaceful fettlement of Henry in the kingdom by the defeat of the rebels. This is hardly true; for the rebels are not yet finally fuppreffed. The fecond, he tells us, fhows Henry the Fifth in the various lights of a good-natured rake, till, on his father's death, he affumes a more manly character. This is true; but this reprefentation gives us no idea of a dramatick action. These two plays will appear to every reader, who fhall peruse them without ambition of critical difcoveries, to be fo connected, that the fecond is merely a fequel to the first; to be two only because they are too long to be one. JOHNSON.
King Henry the Fourth:
Thomas, Duke of Clarence;
afterwards his Sons. (2 Henry V.) Duke of Bedford; Prince Humphrey of Glofter, afterwards (2 Henry V.) Duke of Glofter; Earl of Warwick;
Earl of Weftmoreland;
} of the King's Party.
Lord Chief Justice of the King's Bench.
Earl of Northumberland;
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, Meffenger, Drawers, Beadles, Grooms, &c.
1 See note under the Perfonæ Dramatis of the First Part of this play. STEEVENS.
Warkworth. Before Northumberland's Castle.
Enter Rumour, painted full of Tongues.3
RUM. Open your ears; For which of you will ftop
The vent of hearing, when loud Rumour speaks?
2 Enter Rumour,] This fpeech of Rumour is not inelegant or unpoetical, but it is wholly useless, fince we are told nothing which the firft fcene does not clearly and naturally discover. The only end of fuch prologues is to inform the audience of fome facts previous to the action, of which they can have no knowledge from the perfons of the drama. JOHNSON.
3 Rumour, painted full of tongues.] This the author probably drew from Holinfhed's Defcription of a Pageant, exhibited in the court of Henry VIII. with uncommon cost and magnificence: "Then entered a perfon called Report, apparelled in crimson fattin, full of toongs, or chronicles." Vol. III. p. 805. This however might be the common way of representing this perfonage in mafques, which were frequent in his own times. T. WARTON.
Stephen Hawes, in his Paftime of Pleasure, had long ago exhibited her (Rumour) in the fame manner:
"A goodly lady, envyroned about
And fo 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 affiftants in The Mirror for Magiftrates, in his Legend of King Albanacte.
I, from the orient to the drooping west,4
In a mafque 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 Clyomon, Knight of the Golden Shield, &c. 1599.
So alfo, 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 ftood upright: a woman in a watchet roabe, thickly fet with open eyes and tongues, a payre of large golden winges at her backe, a trumpet in her hand, a mantle of fundry cullours traverfing her body all these enfignes displaying but the propertie of her fwiftneffe and aptneffe to difperfe Rumoure." STEEVENS.
painted full of tongues.] This direction, which is only to be found in the first edition in quarto of 1600, explains a paffage in what follows, otherwife obfcure. POPE.
-the drooping weft,] A paffage in Macbeth will best explain the force of this epithet:
"Good things of day begin to droop and drowse,
MALONE. ·Rumour is a pipe-] Here the poet imagines himself defcribing Rumour, and forgets that Rumour is the speaker.