Henry IV Part 2


Act I
Act II
Act IV
Act V
Enter Rumour, painted full of tongues
induction (n.) opening scene [of a play], initial step, preparation


Open your ears, for which of you will stop

The vent of hearing when loud Rumour speaks?
vent (n.) 1 aperture, opening

I, from the orient to the drooping west,
drooping (adj.) 2 [of the sun] moving downward

Making the wind my post-horse, still unfold
post-horse (n.) 2 pony-express, express speed
still (adv.) 1 constantly, always, continually See Topics: Frequency count

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.
false (adj.) 4 wrong, mistaken

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,
fearful (adj.) 2 causing fear, awe-inspiring, terrifying, alarming
muster (n.) 1 (plural) enlistment of soldiers, mobilizing of troops

Whiles the big year, swollen with some other grief,
big (adj.) 1 pregnant [with], swollen

Is thought with child by the stern tyrant War,
tyrant (n.) 1 pitiless ruffian, cruel villain

And no such matter? Rumour is a pipe
matter (n.) 5 reason, cause, ground

Blown by surmises, jealousies, conjectures,
conjecture (n.) 3 suspicion, misgiving, evil doubt
jealousy (n.) 1 suspicion, mistrust, apprehension

And of so easy and so plain a stop
stop (n.) 4 means of closing a finger-hole in a wind instrument

That the blunt monster with uncounted heads,
blunt (adj.) 1 stupid, obtuse, dull-witted
uncounted (adj.) uncountable, innumerable

The still-discordant wavering multitude,
still-discordant (adj.) always disagreeing, perpetually quarrelling
wavering (adj.) inconstant, fickle, capricious

Can play upon it. But what need I thus

My well-known body to anatomize
anatomize, annothanize (v.) dissect, reveal, lay open

Among my household? Why is Rumour here?

I run before King Harry's victory,

Who in a bloody field by Shrewsbury
field (n.) 1 field of battle, battleground, field of combat See Topics: Frequency count

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
office (n.) 1 task, service, duty, responsibility See Topics: Frequency count

To noise abroad that Harry Monmouth fell

Under the wrath of noble Hotspur's sword,

And that the King before the Douglas' rage

Stooped his anointed head as low as death.
stoop (v.) 1 kneel, submit, bow down

This have I rumoured through the peasant towns
peasant (adj.) 2 country, rural, backwoods

Between that royal field of Shrewsbury

And this worm-eaten hold of ragged stone,
hold (n.) 1 stronghold, castle, fortress

Where Hotspur's father, old Northumberland,

Lies crafty-sick. The posts come tiring on,
crafty-sick (adj.) pretending sickness
post (n.) 1 express messenger, courier See Topics: Frequency count
tiring (adj.) exhausted, worn out from riding hard

And not a man of them brings other news

Than they have learnt of me. From Rumour's tongues

They bring smooth comforts false, worse than true wrongs.
false (adj.) 4 wrong, mistaken
smooth (adj.) 1 pleasant, welcome, gratifying


  Next scene