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INDUCTION.

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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, swoľn 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.

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VOL. V.

Among my houshold? Why is Rumour here?
I run 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,
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.

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The Porter before the Gate; Enter Lord BARDOLPH. · Bard. Whọ 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

2

some stratagem :) Some stratagem means here some great, important, or dreadful event. VOL. V.

C

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 ;
And, in the fortune of

my
lord

your son,
Prince Harry slain outright; and both the Blunts
Killd 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 : 0, such a day,
So fought, so follow'd, and so fairly won,
Came not, till now, to dignify the times,
Since Cæsar's fortunes !
North.

How is this deriy'd ? Saw

you the field ? came you from Shrewsbury? Bard. I spake with one, my lord, that came

from 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 sent
On Tuesday last to listen after news.

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.

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Enter TRAVERS.
North. Now, Travers, what good tidings como

with you?
Tra. My lord, sir John Umfrevile turn'd me

back 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
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 ;-
If my young lord your son have not the day,
Upon mine honour, for a silken point*
I'll give my barony: never talk of it.
North. Why should the gentleman, that rode by

Travers,
Give then such instances of loss ?
Bard.

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

Enter MORTON. North. Yea, this man's brow, like to a title:

leaf,

3

forspent -] To forspend is to waste, to exhaust.
silken point -] A point is a string tagged, or lace.

some hilding fellow, For hilderling, i.e. base, degene rate. 6

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

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