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THE tranfactions contained in this hiftorical drama are comprised within the period of about ten months; for the action commences with the news brought of Hotfpur having defeated the Scots under Archibald earl of Douglas at Holmedon, (or Halidown-hill,) which battle was fought on Holyrood-day, (the 14th of September,) 1402; and it clofes with the defeat and death of Hotfpur at Shrewsbury; which engagement happened on Saturday the 21st of July, (the eve of Saint Mary Magdalen,) in the year 1403. THEOBALD.
This play was first entered at Stationers' Hall, Feb. 25, 1597, by Andrew Wife. Again, by M. Woolf, Jan. 9, 1598. For the piece fuppofed to have been its original, fee Six old Plays on which Shakspeare founded, &c. published for S. Leacroft, Charing-Crofs. STEEVENS.
Shakspeare has apparently defigned a regular connexion of these dramatic hiftories from Richard the Second to Henry the Fifth. King Henry, at the end of Richard the Second, declares his purpose to vifit the Holy Land, which he refumes in the firft fpeech of this play. The complaint made by King Henry in the laft act of Richard the Second, of the wildness of his son, prepares the reader for the frolicks which are here to be recounted, and the characters which are now to be exhibited. JOHNSON.
This comedy was written, I believe, in the year 1597.
King HENRY the Fourth.
fons to the King.
THOMAS PERCY, Earl of Worcester.
HENRY PERCY, Earl of Northumberland :
Sir RICHARD VERNON.
Sir JOHN FALSTAFF.
Lady PERCY, wife to Hotspur, and fifter to Mortimer.
Mrs. QUICKLY, hoftefs of a tavern in Eastcheap.
Lords, Officers, Sheriff, Vintner, Chamberlain, Drawers, two Carriers, Travellers, and Attendants.
KING HENRY IV.
ACT I. SCENE 1.
London. A Room in the Palace.
Enter King HENRY, WESTMORELAND, Sir WALTER BLUNT, and Others.
O fhaken as we are, fo wan with care,
Find we a time for frighted peace to pant,
And breathe short-winded accents of new broils
No more the thirsty Erinnys of this foil
Shall daub her lips with her own children's blood;
Of hostile paces: thofe oppofed eyes,
Which, like the meteors of a troubled heaven,
Did lately meet in the intestine fhock
And furious close of civil butchery,
Shall now, in mutual, well-beseeming ranks,
(Whose foldier now, under whofe bleffed cross
Whofe arms were moulded in their mothers' womb
Therefore we meet not now:-Then let me hear
Weft. My liege, this hafte was hot in queftion,