Home
log out +

Henry IV, Pt. 2: Act 1, Prologue

Henry IV, Pt. 2
Act 1, Prologue

Prologue
  1. Induction
  1. Enter Rumor, painted full of tongues.

Rumor

3 - 42
  1. Open your ears; for which of you will stop
  2. The vent of hearing when loud Rumor speaks?
  3. I, from the orient to the drooping west
  4. (Making the wind my post-horse), still unfold
  5. The acts commenced on this ball of earth.
  6. Upon my tongues continual slanders ride,
  7. The which in every language I pronounce,
  8. Stuffing the ears of men with false reports.
  9. I speak of peace, while covert enmity
  10. Under the smile of safety wounds the world;
  11. And who but Rumor, who but only I,
  12. Make fearful musters and prepar’d defense,
  13. Whiles the big year, swoll’n with some other grief,
  14. Is thought with child by the stern tyrant war,
  15. And no such matter? Rumor is a pipe
  16. Blown by surmises, jealousies, conjectures,
  17. And of so easy and so plain a stop
  18. That the blunt monster with uncounted heads,
  19. The still-discordant wav’ring multitude,
  20. Can play upon it. But what need I thus
  21. My well-known body to anatomize
  22. Among my household? Why is Rumor here?
  23. I run before King Harry’s victory,
  24. Who in a bloody field by Shrewsbury
  25. Hath beaten down young Hotspur and his troops,
  26. Quenching the flame of bold rebellion
  27. Even with the rebels’ blood. But what mean I
  28. To speak so true at first? My office is
  29. To noise abroad that Harry Monmouth fell
  30. Under the wrath of noble Hotspur’s sword,
  31. And that the King before the Douglas’ rage
  32. Stoop’d his anointed head as low as death.
  33. This have I rumor’d through the peasant towns
  34. Between that royal field of Shrewsbury
  35. And this worm-eaten hold of ragged stone,
  36. Where Hotspur’s father, old Northumberland,
  37. Lies crafty-sick. The posts come tiring on,
  38. And not a man of them brings other news
  39. Than they have learnt of me. From Rumor’s tongues
  40. They bring smooth comforts false, worse than true wrongs.
  1. Exit Rumor.
© 2018 Unotate.comcontactprivacy policy • Creative Commons text from PlayShakespeare.com • Header illustration by Byam Shaw