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THE transactions comprized in this history take up about nine years. The action commences with the account of Hotspur's being defeated and killed ; 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. STEEVENS. The Second Part of King Henry IV. I suppose to have been written in 1598. See An Attempt to ascertain 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 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.
Of this play there are two quartos, in Mr. Malone's Collection, both printed in the same year, 1600; but it is doubtful whether they are different editions, or only the one a corrected impression of the other, from some omissions having passed in the first. See them more particularly described in the list of quartos, vol. ii. Mr. Steevens in a subsequent note, speaks of a third, but I have never seen it. I have referred to that which Mr. Malone supposed to be the first by the letter A. to the other, by letter B. BOSWELL.
KING HENRY the Fourth :
HENRY, Prince of Wales, afterwards
THOMAS, Duke of Clarence;
PRINCE JOHN OF LANCASTER', after
wards (2 Henry V.) Duke of his Sons. Bedford;
PRINCE HUMPHREY OF GLOSTER, after
wards (2 Henry V.) Duke of
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; SIR JOHN COLE
TRAVERS and MORTON, Domesticks of Northum
FALSTAFF, BaraDLpH, PISTOL, and PAGE.
DAVY, Servant to Shallow.
MOULDY, SHALLOW, WART, FEEBLE, and BULLCALF, Recruits.
FANG and SNARE, Sheriff's Officers.
Rumour. A Porter.
A Dancer, Speaker of the Epilogue.
LADY NORTHUMBERLAND. LADY PERCY.
Lords and other Attendants; Officers, Soldiers,
1 See note under the Personæ Dramatis of the First Part of this play. STEEVENS.
Warkworth. Before Northumberland's Castle.
Enter RUMOUR, painted full of Tongues3.
RUM. Open your ears; For which of you will stop
The vent of hearing, when loud Rumour speaks?
2 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.
3 RUMOUR, painted full of TONGUES.] This the author probable 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. had long ago ex
Stephen Hawes, in his Pastime of Pleasure, hibited 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, merveyle 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.
In a masque presented on St. Stephen's night, 1614, by Thomas Campion, Rumour comes on in a skin-coat full of winged togues.