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And Somerset another goodly maft?
The friends of France our fhrouds and tacklings?
But keep our course, though the rough wind fay-no,
In cafe fome one of you would fly from us,
That there's no hop'd for mercy with the brothers,
If the reader wishes to compare The First Part of the Contention of the Two Houfes, &c. with The Second Part of King Henry VI. which was formed upon it, he will find various paffages quoted from the elder drama in the notes on that play. The two celebrated scenes, in which the dead body of the Duke of Glofter is described, and the death of Cardinal Beaufort is represented, may be worth examining with this view; and will fufficiently ascertain how our author proceeded in newmodelling that play; with what expreflion, animation, and fplendour of colouring, he filled up the outline that had been fketched by a preceding writer.†
Shakspeare having thus given celebrity to these two old dramas, by altering and writing several parts of them over again, the bookfeller, Millington, in 1593-4, to avail himself of the popularity of the new and admired poet, got, perhaps from Peele, who was then living, or from the author, whoever he was, or from fome of the comedians belonging to the Earl of Pembroke,
*Compare alfo the account of the death of the Duke of York (p. 50) and King Henry's foliloquy (p. 79) with the old play as quoted in the notes.---Sometimes our author new-verfified the old, without the addition of any new, matter. See p. 152, n. 7.
+ See Vol. XIII. p. 289, n. 6; and p. 304, n. 8 Compare alfo Clifford's fpeech to the rebels in p. 354, Buckingham's addrefs to King Henry in p. 234, and Iden's fpeech in p. 363, with the old play, as quoted in the notes.
the original play on which The Second Part of King Henry VI. was founded; and entered it on the Stationers' books, certainly with an intention to publish it. Why it did not then appear, cannot be now ascertained. But both that, and the other piece on which The Third Part of King Henry V1. was formed, was printed by the fame bookfeller in 1600, either with a view to lead the common reader to fuppofe that he should purchase two plays as altered and new-modelled by Shakspeare, or, without any fuch fraudulent intention, to derive a profit from the exhibition of a work that fo great a writer had thought proper to retouch, and form into thofe dramas which for feveral years before 1600 had without doubt been performed with confiderable applaufe. In the fame manner The old Taming of a Shrew, on which our author formed a play, had been entered at Stationers' Hall in 1594, and was printed in 1607,* without doubt with a view to pass it on the publick as the production of Shakspeare.
When William Pavier republifhed The Contention of the Two Houfes, &c. in 1619,† he omitted the words in the original titlepage, as it was acted by the earl of Pembrooke his fervantes ;' juft as, on the republication of King John in two parts, in 1611, the words,-" as it was acted in the honourable city of London," were omitted; because the omitted words in both cafes marked the refpective pieces not to be the production of Shakspeare. And as in King John the letters W. Sh. were added in 1611 to deceive the purchafer, fo in the republication of The Whole Contention &c. Pavier, having difmiffed the words above mentioned, inferted these: "Newly CORRECTED and ENLARGED by William Shakspeare;" knowing that these pieces had been made the ground work of two other plays; that they had in fact been corrected and enlarged, (though not in that copy which Pavier printed, which is a mere republication from the edition of 1600,) and exhibited under the titles of The Second and Third Part of King Henry VI.; and hoping that this new edition of the original plays would pass for thofe altered and augmented by Shakspeare, which were then unpublifhed.
If Shakspeare had originally written these three plays of King Henry VI. would they not probably have been found by the book
Alfo, as it has lately been discovered, by Cuthbert Burbie, in 1596. REED.
Pavier's edition has no date, but it is afcertained to have been printed in 1619, by the fignatures; the last of which is Q. The play of Pericles was printed in 1619, for the fame bookfeller, and its first fignature is R. The undated copy, therefore, of The Whole Contention &c. and Pericles, muft have been printed at the same time.
See An Attempt to ascertain the Order of Shakspeare's Plays, Vol. II, article, King John.
feller in the fame MS? Would not the three parts have been procured, whether furreptitioufly or otherwife, all together? Would they not in that MS. have borne the titles of The First and Second and Third Part of King Henry VI.? And would not the bookfeller have entered them on the Stationers' books, and published fuch of them as he did publish, under thofe titles, and with the name of Shakspeare? On the other hand, if that which is now diftinguished by the name of The First Part of King Henry VI. but which I fuppofe in those times was only called "The Hiftorical. Play of King Henry VI." if this was the production of fome old dramatift, if it had appeared on the ftage fome years before 1591, (as from Nafhe's mention of it seems to be implied,) perhaps in 1587 or 1588, if its popularity was in 1594 in its wane, and the attention of the publick was entirely taken up by Shakspeare's alteration of two other plays which had likewife appeared before 1591, would not the fuperior popularity of these two pieces, altered by fuch a poet, attract the notice of the bookfellers and finding themselves unable to procure them from the theatre, would they not gladly feize on the originals on which this new and admired writer had worked, and publish them as foon as they could, neglecting entirely the preceding old play, or First Part of King Henry VI. (as it is now called,) which Shakspeare had not embellished with his pen ?-Such, as we have feen, was actually the procefs; for Thomas Millington, neglecting entirely The First Part of King Henry VI. entered the ORIGINAL of The Second Part of King Henry V1. at Stationers' Hall in 1593-4, and published the ORIGINALS of both that and The Third Part in 1600. When Heminge and Condell printed these three pieces in folio, they were neceffarily obliged to name the old play of King Henry VI. the first part, to diftinguish it from the two following historical dramas, founded on a later period of the fame king's reign.
Having examined fuch external evidence as time has left us concerning these two plays, now denominated The Second and Third Parts of King Henry VI. let us fee whether we cannot by internal marks afcertain how far Shakspeare was concerned in their compofition.
It has long been a received opinion that the two quarto plays," one of which was published under the title of The First Part of the Contention of the Two Houfes of Yorke and Lancafter, &c. and the other under the title of The true Tragedie of Richarde Duke of Yorke, &c. were fpurious and imperfect copies of Shakfpeare's Second and Third Part of King Henry VI.; and many paffages have been quoted in the notes to the late editions of Shakspeare, as containing merely the various readings of the quartos and the folio; the paffages being fuppofed to be in fub
ftance the fame, only varioufly exhibited in different copies. The variations have been accounted for, by fuppofing that the imperfect and fpurious copies (as they were called) were taken down either by an unskilful fhort-hand writer, or by fome auditor who picked up " during the representation what the time would permit, then filled up fome of his omiffions at a fecond or third hearing, and when he had by this method formed fomething like a play, fent it to the printer." To this opinion, I with others for a long time fubfcribed: two of Heywood's pieces furnishing indubitable proofs that plays in the time of our author were fometimes imperfectly copied during the representation, by the ear, or by fhort-hand writers.* But a minute examination of the two pieces in question, and a careful comparison of them with Shakspeare's Second and Third Part of King Henry VI. have convinced me that this could not have been the cafe with respect to them. No fraudulent copyift or fhort-hand writer would invent circumftances totally different from those which appear in Shaksfpeare's new-modelled draughts as exhibited in the firft folio; or infert whole Speeches, of which fcarcely a trace is found in that edition. In the courfe of the foregoing notes many of these have been particularly pointed out. I fhall now bring into one point of view all thofe internal circumftances which prove in my apprehenfion decifively, that the quarto plays were not fpurious and imperfect copies of Shakspeare's pieces, but elder dramas on which he formed his Second and Third Part of King Henry VI.
1. In fome places a speech in one of these quartos confifts of ten or twelve lines. In Shakspeare's folio the fame fpeech confifts of perhaps only half the number. A copyift by the ear, or an unfkilful short-hand writer, might mutilate and exhibit a poet's thoughts or expreffions imperfectly; but would he dilate. and amplify them, or introduce totally new matter? Affuredly he would not.
2. Some circumftances are mentioned in the old quarto plays, of which there is not the leaft trace in the folio; and many minute variations are found between them and the folio, that prove the pieces in quarto to have been original and diftinct compofitions.
In the last Act of The First Part of the Contention, &c. the Duke of Buckingham after the battle of Saint Albans, is brought in wounded, and carried to his tent; but in Shakspeare's play he is not introduced on the stage after that battle.
See p. 214.
↑ See Vol. XIII. p. 202; n. 7; p. 236, n. 4; p. 373, n. 3 ;---also p. 149, n. 3; p. 170, n. 3, of the prefent volume.
In one of the original scenes between Jack Cade and his fol lowers, which Shakspeare has made the feventh fcene of the fourth Act of his Second Part of King Henry VI. Dick Butcher drags a ferjeant, that is, a catch-pole, on the ftage, and a dialogue confifting of feventeen lines paffes between Cade, &c. at the conclufion of which it is determined that the ferjeant shall be "brain'd with his own mace.' Of this not one word appears in our author's play. In the fame piece Jack Cade, hearing that a knight, called Sir Humphrey Stafford, was coming at the head of an army against him, to put himself on a par with him makes himself a knight; and finding that Stafford's brother was alfo a knight, he dubs Dick Butcher alfo. But in Shakspeare's play the latter circumftance is omitted.
In the old play Somerfet goes out immediately after he is appointed regent of France. In Shakspeare's Second Part of King Henry VI. he continues on the ftage with Henry to the end of the scene, (A&t I. fc. iii.) and the King addreffes him as they go
In the old play, the Duchefs of Glofter enters with Hume, Bolingbroke, and Margery Jourdain, and after fome conversation with them, tells them that while they perform their rites, fhe will go to the top of an adjoining tower, and there write down fuch answers as the spirits, that they are to raise, fhall give to her queftions. But in Shakspeare's play, Hume, Southwell, (who is not introduced in the elder drama) and Bolingbroke, &c. enter without the Duchess; and after some conversation the Duchefs appears above, (that is, on the tower,) and encourages them to proceed. +
In Shakspeare's play, when the Duke of York enters, and finds the Duchefs of Glofter, &c. and her co-adjutors performing their magick rites, (Vol. XIII. p. 221,) the Duke feizes the paper in which the answers of the spirit to certain questions are written down, and reads them aloud. In the old play the answers are not here recited by York; but in a fubfequent fcene Buckingham reads them to the King; (fee p. 221, n. 7; and p. 234, n. 1,) and this is one of the many tranfpofitions that Shakspeare made in newmodelling these pieces, of which I fhall speak more fully hereafter.
In the old play, when the King pronounces fentence on the Duchess of Glofter, he particularly mentions the mode of her penance; and the fentence is pronounced in profe: "Stand forth dame Eleanor Cobham, Duchefs of Glofter, and hear the fentence pronounced against thee for thefe treafons that thou haft
* See Vol. XIII. p. 352, n. 4; and The First Part of the Contention &c. 1600, fign. G 3.
See Vol. XIII. p. 216, n. 8.