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DRAMATIC WORKS AND POEMS
(RIGINAL AND SELECTED, AND INTRODUCTORY REMARKS TO EACH PLAY,
SAMUEL WELLER SINGER, F. S. A.
A LIFE OF THE POET,
CHARLES SYMMONS, D.D.
IN TWO VOLUMES.
PUBLISHED BY HARPER & BROTHERS,
NO. 82 CLIFF-STREET.
FIRST PART OF
KING HENRY THE SIXTH.
PRELIMINARY REMARK S.
compass of above thirty years. In the three parts But I was made a king at nine months old. of King Henry VI. there is no very precise attention to
King Henry VI. Part II. Act iv. Sc. O the date and disposition of facts; they are shuffled back. ( When I was crown'd I was but nine months old.' wards and forwards out of time. For instance, the
King Henry VI. Part III. Act i. Sc 1 Lord Talbot is killed at the end of the fourth act of this The first of these passages is among the additions play, who in reality did not fall till the 13th of July, made by Shakspeare to the old play, according to Mr. 1433 : and the Second Part of King Henry VI. opens Malone's hypothesis. The other passage does occur in with the marriage of the king, which was solemnized the True Tragedie of Richard Duke of York; and eight years before Talbot's death, in the year 1445. therefore it is natural to conclude that neither shakAgain, in the second part, dame Eleanor Cobham is in speare nor the author of that piece could have writen troduced to insult Queen Margaret : though her penance the First Part of King Henry VI. and banishment for sorcery happened three years be- 2. In Ace ii. Sc. 5. of this play, it is said that the earl fore that princess came over to England. There are of Cambridge raised an army against his sovereign. other transgressions against history as far as the order But Shakspeare, in his play of King Henry V. has reof time is concerned.
presented ihe mauer truly as it was: the earl being in Mr. Malone has written a dissertation to prove that ihat piece, Act ii., condemned at Southampton for conthe First Part of King Henry VI. was not written by spiring to assassinate Henry. Shakspeare : and that the second and Third Parts were 3. The author of this play knew the true pronunci. only altered by him from the oll play, entitled “The ation of the word Hecaie, as it is used by the Roman Contention of the Two famous Houses of Yorke and writers :Lancaster,' printed in two parts, in quarto, in 1594 and I speak not to that railing Hecate." 1595. The subidance of his argument, as far as regards But Shakspeare, in Macbeth, always uses Hecate as a this play, is as follows:
dissyllable. 1. The diction, versification, and allusions in it, are The second speech in this play ascertains the author all different from the diction, versification, and allusions to have been very familiar with Hall's Chronicle :of Shakspeare, and corresponding with those of Greene, • What should I say? his deeds exceed all speech.' Peele, Lodge, Marlowe, and others who preceded him? This phrase is introduced upon almost every occasion there are more allusions to mythology, to classical au. by Hall when he means to be eloquent. Holinshed, not thors, and to ancient and modern history, than are Hall, was Shakspeare's historian. Here then is an found in any one piece of Shakspeare's written on an additional minute proof that this play was not Shak. English story: they are such as do not naturally rise speare's. out of the subject, but seem to be inserted merely to This is the sum of Malone's argument, which Steeshow the writer's learning. These allusions, and many vens has but feebly combated in notes appended to it ; particular expressions, seem more likely w have been and I am disposed io think more out of a spirit of oppo. used by the authors already named than by Shak. sition than from any other cause.
Malone conjectured speare. He points out many of the allusions, and in that this piece which we now call the First Part of stances the words proditor and immanity, which are King Henry VI. was, when first performed, called The not to be found in any of the poet's undisputed works. Play or King Henry VI.; and he afterwards found his -The versification he thinks clearly of a different co- conjecture confirmed by an entry in the accounts of lour from that of Shakspeare's genuine dramas ; while Henslowe, the proprietor of the Rose Theatre on the at the same time it resembles that of many of the plays Bank side. It must have been very popular, having produced before his time, The sense concludes or been played no less than thirteen times in one season: pauses almost uniformly at the end of every line; and the first entry of its performance by the Lord Strange's the verse has scarcely ever a redundant syllable. He company, ai the Rose, is dated March 3, 1591. Ii is produces numerous instances from the works of Lodge, worthy of remark that Shakspeare does not appear at Peele, Greene, and others, of similar versification. any time to have had the smallest connexion with that
A passage in a pamphlet written by Thomas Nashe, theatre, or the companies playing there ; which affords an intimate friend of Greene, Peele, Marlowe, &c. additional argument in favour of Malone's position, shows that the First Part of King Henry VI. had been that the play could pot be his. By whom it was writon the stage before 1592 ; and his favourable mention of ten (says Malone,) it is now, I fear, difficult to ascerthe piece may induce a belief that it was writen by a tain. it was not entered on the Stationers' books, nor friend of his. How would it have joyed brave Talbot, printed (ill the year 1623; when it was reiterated with the terror of the French, to thinke that, after he had Shakspeare's undisputed plays by the editors of the lyen two hundred yeare in his tombe, he should triumph first folio, and improperly entitled the Third* Part of again on the stage ; and have his bones new embalmed King Henry VI. 'In one sense it might be called s0; with the teares of ten thousand spectators at least (at for iwo plays on the subject of that reign had been several times,) who in the tragedian that represents his printed before. But considering the history of that king, person behold him fresh bleeding. :-Pierce Penniloss, and the period of time which the piece comprehends it his Supplication to the Deril, 1592.
ought to have been called, what in fact it is, The First That this passage related to the old play of King Part of King Henry VI. At this distance of time it is Henry VI. or, as it is now called, the First Part of impossible to ascertain on what principle it was that King Henry VI. can hardly be doubled. Talbot appears Heminge and Condell admitted it into their volume ; but in the First Part, and not in the Second or Third Tart, I suspect that they gave it a place as a necessary introand is expressly spoken of in the play, as well as induction to the two other parts; and because Shakspeare Hall's Chronicle, as the terror of the French. Holin had made some slight alterations, and written a few shed, who was Shakspeare's guide, omits the passage lines in it. in Hall, in which Talbot is thus described; and this is Mr. Malone's arguments have made many converts an additional proof that this play was not the production to his opinion; and perhaps Mr. Morgann, in his ele. of our great poet.
gant Essay on the Dramatic Character of Falstaff, † led There are other internal proofs of this :
the way, when he pronounced it "That-drum-and1. The author does not seem to have known precisely trumpei ching,--written doubtless, or rather exhibidad bow old Henry VI. was at the time of his father's long before Shakspeare was born, though afterwards death. He supposed him to have passed the state of repaired and furbished up by him with here and there infancy before he lost his facher, and even to have re
a little sentiment and diction.' membered some of his sayings. In the Fourth act, Sc. 4, speaking of the famous Talbot, he says When I was young (as yet I am not old,)
* This applies only to the title in the Register of the I do remember how my father said,
Stationers' Company: in the first folio it was called the A stouter champion never handled sword.”
First Part of King Henry VI. But Shakspeare knew that Henry VI could not possi. Malone's Life of Shakspeare, p 310, ed 1821. bly remember any thing of his father :
First published in 1777
FIRST PART OF
KING HENRY THE SIXTH.
King HENRY THE Sixth.
Mayor of London. WOODTILLE, Lieutenant of DUKE of GLOSTER, Uncle to the King, and Pro
the Tower. tector.
VERSON, of the White Rose, of York Faction. DUKE of BedroRD, Uncle to the King, and Regent Basset, of the Red Rose, or Lancaster Faction.
of France. Thomas BEAUFORT, Duke of Exeter, great Uncle ReigniER, Duke of Anjou, and titular King ung
CHARLES, Dauphin, and afterwards King of France. to the King. HENRY BEAUFORT, great Uncle to the King, Bi- DUKE of BURGUNDY. Duke of Alencox.
Master-Gunner of Orleans, and his Son
A French Sergeant. A Porter.
MARGARET, Daughter to Reignier: afterwards EARL OF WARWICK. EARL of SALISBURY, Earl
married to King Henry. of SUFFOLK.
COUNTESS of AUVERGNE. LORD TALBOT, afterwards Earl of Shrewsbury. Joan LA PUCELLE, commonly called Joan of Arc. John TALBOT, his Son.
Fiends appearing to La Pucelle, Lords, Warders EDMUND MORTIMER, Earl of March.
of the Tower, Heralds, Officers, Soldiers, MesMortimer's Keeper, and a Lawyer.
sengers, and several Attendants both on the Enge SIR John FASTOLFE. Sir William Lucy.
lish and French. SIR WILLIAM GLANSDALE. SIR THOMAS GAR
SCENE--partly in England, and partly in France.
Like captives bound to a triumphant car.
What? 'shall we curse the planets of mishap, SCENE I. Westminster Abbey., Dead March. That plotted thus our glory's overthrow ?
Corpse of King Henry the Fifth discovered, lying Or shall we think the subile-witted French
Unto the French the dreadful judgment day
So dreadful will not be, as was his sight. Hung be the heavens with black,yield day to The battles of the Lord of Hosts he fought: night!
The church's prayers made him so prosperous. Comets, importing change of times and states,
Glo. The church! where is it? Had not church Brandish your crystal tresses in the sky,
men pray'd, And with them scourge the bad revolting stars,
His thread of life had not so soon decay'd: That have consented unto Henry's deaih!
None do you like but an effeminate prince, Henry the Fifth, too famous to live long! Whom, like a schoolboy, you may overawe. England ne'er lost a king of so much worth.
Win. Gloster, whate'er we like, thou art proĜlo. England ne'er had a king, until his time.
tector; Virtue he had, deserving to command :
And lookest to command the prince, and realm. His brandish'd sword did blind men with his beams; Thy wife is proud; she holdeth thee in awe, His arms spread wider than a dragon's wings; More than God, or religious churchmen, may. His sparkling eyes, replete with wrathful fire, Glo. Name not religion, for thou lov'st the flesh; More dazzled and drove back his enemies, And ne'er throughout the year to church thou go'st, Than midday sun fierce bent against their faces. Except it be to pray against thy foes. What should I say? his deeds exceed all speech : Bed. Cease, cease these jars, and rest your minds He ne'er lift up his hand, but conquer'd.
in peace! Exe. We mourn in black; Why mourn we not Let's to the altar :-Heralds, wait on us :in blood ?
Instead of gold, we'll offer up our arms;, Henry is dead, and never shall revive;
Since arms avail not, now that Henry's dead. Upon a wooden coffin we attend;
Posterity, await for wretched years, And death's dishonourable victory
When at their mothers' moist eyes babes shall suck We with our stately presence glorify,
Our isle be made a nourish" of salt tears,
And none but women left to wail the dead. 1 Richard Beauchamp, carl of Warwick, who is a character in King Henry V. The earl of 'Warwick, 3 Crystal is an epihet repeatedly bestowed on comets who appears in a subsequent part of this drama, is by our ancient writers. Richard Nevill, son to the earl of Salisbury, who came 4 Consented here means conspired together to pro to the title in right of his wise, Anne, sister of Henry mote the death of Henry by their malignant influence Beauchamp, duke of Warwick. Richard, the father on human events. Our ancestors had but one word to of this Henry,
was appointed governor to the king on express consent, and concent, which meant accord and the demise of Thomas Beaufort, duke of Exeter, and agreement, whether of persons or things. died in 1439. There is no reason to think the author 5 There was a notion long prevalent that life might bo meant to confound the two characters.
taken away by metrical charms. 2 Alluding to the ancient practice of hanging the stage 6 Nurse, was anciently spelt nouryce and noryshe with black when a tragedy was to be acted.
and, by Lydgale, even nourish.