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THE historical transactions, contained in this play, take in the compass of above thirty years. I must observe, however, that our author, in the three parts of Henry VI. has not been very precise to the date and disposition of his facts ; but shuffled them, backwards and forwards, out of time. For instance ; the lord Talbot is killed at the end of the fourth act of this play, who in reality did not fall till the 13th of July 1453 ; and The Second Part of Henry VI. opens with the marriage of the king, which was solemnized eight years before Talbot's death, in the year 1445. Again, in the second part, dame Eleanor Cobham is introduced
to insult queen Margaret ; though her penance and banishment for sorcery happened three years before that princess came over to England. THEOBALD.
Of this play there is no copy earlier than that of the folio in 1623, though the two succeeding parts are extant in two editions in quarto. That the 2d and 3d parts were published without the 1st may be admitted as no weak proof that the copies were surreptitiously obtained, and that the printers of that time gave the public those plays not such as the author designed, but such as they could get them. That this play was written before the two others is indubitably collected from the series of events ; that it was written and played before Henry the Fifth is apparent, because in the epilogue there is mention made of this play, and not of the other parts.
Henry the Sixth in swaddling bands crown'd king,
Which oft our stage hath shown.
The 2d and 3d parts of Henry VI. were printed in 1600. When Henry V. was written we know not, but it was printed likewise in 1600, and therefore before the publication of the first and second parts : the first part of Henry VI. had been often shown on the stage, andwould certainly have appeared in its place, had the author been the publisher. JOHNSON
King HENRY the Sixth.
the king: HENRY BEAUFORT, great uncle to the king, bishop of
Winchester, and afterwards cardinal. John BEAUFORT, earl of Somerset ; afterwards, duke. RICHARD PLANTAGENET, eldest son of Richard late
earl of Cambridge ; afterwards duke of York. Earl of WARWICK. Earl of SALISBURY. Earl of
SUFFOLK Lord TALBOT, afterwards earl of Shrewsbury : John TALBOT, his son. EDMUND MORTIMER, Earl of March. MORTIMER's Keeper, and a Lawyer. Sir John FASTOLFE. Sir WILLIAM Lucy. Sir WILLIAM GLANSDALE. Sir THOMAS GAR
Mayor of London. WOODVILLE, lieutenant of the
Tower. VERNON, of the White Rose, or York faction. BASSET, of the Red Rose, or Lancaster faction. CHARLES, dauphin and afterwards king of France. REIGNIER, duke of Anjou, and titular king of Naples. Duke of BURGUNDY. Duke of ALENÇON. Governour of Paris. Bastard of Orleans. Master-Gunner of Orleans, and his son. General of the French Forces in Bourdeaux, A French Serjeant. A Porter. An old Shepherd, father to Joan la Pucelle. MARGARET, daughter to Reignier ; afterw ardsmar
ried to king Henry. Countess of AUVERGNE. JOAN LA PUCELLE, commonly called Joan of Arc. Fiends appearing to La Pucelle, Lords, Warders of
the Tower, Heralds, Officers, Soldiers, Messengers, and several Attendants both on the English and French. SCENE, partly in England, and partly in France.