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I from the orient to the drooping west *,
Rumour is likewise a character in Sir Clyomon, Knight of the Golden Shield, &c. 1599.
So also, in The whole magnificent Entertainment given to King James, and the Queen his Wife, &c. &c. 15th March, 1603, by Thomas Decker, 4to. 1604 : "Directly under her in a cart by herselfe, Fame stood upright: a woman in a watchet roabe, thickly set with open eyes and tongues, a payre of large golden winges at her backe, a trumpet in her hand, a mantle of sundry cullours traversing her body: all these ensignes displaying but the propertie of her swiftnesse and aptnesse to disperse Rumoure." STEEVENS.
painted full of tongues." This direction, which is only to be found in the first edition in quarto of 1600, explains a passage in what follows, otherwise obscure. Pope.
the DROOPING West,] A passage in Macbeth will best explain the force of this epithet:
"Good things of day begin to droop and drowse,
MALONE. 5 RUMOUR is a pipe-] Here the poet imagines himself describing Rumour, and forgets that Rumour is the speaker.
JOHNSON. Surely this is a mistake. Rumour is giving her own description, but says of herself:
what need I thus
My well known body to anatomize
And of so easy and so plain a stop o,
That the blunt monster with uncounted heads,
Even with the rebels' blood. But what mean I
so easy and so plain a STOP,] The stops are the holes in a flute or pipe. So, in Hamlet: "Govern these ventages with your finger and thumb:-Look you, these are the stops." Again: "You would seem to know my stops." STEEVENS.
7 And this worm-eaten HOLD of ragged stone,] The old copies read-" worm-eaten hole." MALONE.
Northumberland had retired and fortified himself in his castle, a place of strength in those times, though the building might be impaired by its antiquity; and, therefore, I believe our poet
"And this worm-eaten hold of ragged stone." THEobald. Theobald is certainly right. So, in The Wars of Cyrus, &c. 1594:
Besieg'd his fortress with his men at arms,
"Where only I and that Libanio stay'd
'By whom I live. For when the hold was lost," &c.
Again, in King Henry VI. Part III. :
"She is hard by with twenty thousand men,
“And therefore fortify your hold, my lord." STEEVENS.
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.
SECOND PART OF
KING HENRY IV.
ACT I. SCENE I.
The Porter before the Gate; Enter Lord Bar
BARD. Who 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 orchard;
Please it your honour, knock but at the gate,
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
8 — some STRATAGEM :] Some stratagem means here some great, important, or dreadful event. So, in The Third Part of King Henry VI, the father who had killed his son says:
"O pity, God! this miserable age!
"What stratagems, how fell, how butcherly!
This mortal quarrel daily doth beget!" M. MASON,
Full of high feeding, madly hath broke loose,
I bring you certain news from Shrewsbury.
As good as heart can wish:-
How is this deriv'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,
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.
NORTH. Now, Travers, what good tidings come with you?
TRA. My lord, sir John Umfrevile turn'd me back
With joyful tidings; and, being better hors'd,