Henry IV Part 2

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

 

RUMOUR

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Open your ears, for which of you will stop

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

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

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

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The acts commenced on this ball of earth.

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Upon my tongues continual slanders ride,

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The which in every language I pronounce,

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Stuffing the ears of men with false reports.
false (adj.) 4 wrong, mistaken

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I speak of peace while covert enmity,

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Under the smile of safety, wounds the world;

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And who but Rumour, who but only I,

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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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Can play upon it. But what need I thus

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

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Among my household? Why is Rumour here?

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I run before King Harry's victory,

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Who in a bloody field by Shrewsbury
field (n.) 1 field of battle, battleground, field of combat

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Hath beaten down young Hotspur and his troops,

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Quenching the flame of bold rebellion

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Even with the rebels' blood. But what mean I

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To speak so true at first? My office is
office (n.) 1 task, service, duty, responsibility

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To noise abroad that Harry Monmouth fell

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Under the wrath of noble Hotspur's sword,

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And that the King before the Douglas' rage

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

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

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Between that royal field of Shrewsbury

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

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Where Hotspur's father, old Northumberland,

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

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And not a man of them brings other news

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

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

2H4 induction.40 
Exit

 
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