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Riv. The newes is paffing ftrange, I must confeffe ;
Queene. God grant they may but gentle brother, come,
KING Henry VI. Part III. Act IV. Scene IV.
Enter the Queen, and Rivers.
Riv. These news, Į mufconfess, are full of grief:
Queen. Till then, fair hope muft hinder life's decay.
Queen. I am informed, that he comes towards London To let the crown once more on Henry's head : Guess thou the reft; king Edward's friends must down. But, to prevent the tyrant's violence, (For trust not him that once hath broken faith,) j'll hence forthwith unto the fanctuary, To save at least the heir of Edward's right; There shall I rest secure from force, and fraud. Come therefore, let us fly, while we may Ay; If Warwick take us, we are sure to die. (Exeunt. The True TRAGEDIE OF RichARDE DUKE OP
Yorke, &c. Sign. G 4. edit. 1600. Enter the Queene, Prince Edward, Oxford, Somerset,
with drumme and fouldiers. Queene. Welcome to England, my loving friends of France ; And welcome Somerset and Oxford too. Once more have we spread our failes abroad; And though our tackling be almost consumde, And Warwicke as our main-maft overthrowne, Yet, warlike lordes, raise you that sturdie post, That bears the failes to bring us unto rest ; And Ned and I, as willing pilots should, For once with careful mindes guide on the fterne, To bear us thorough that dangerous gulfe, That heretofore hath swallowed up our friendes. KING HENRY VI. PART III. Act V. SCENE IV. March. Enter Queen MARGARET, Prince EDWARD,
SOMERSET, OXFORD, and Soldiers. Q. Mar. Great lords, wise men ne'er fit and wail their loss, But cheerly feek how to redress their harms. What though the mast be now blown over-board, The cable broke, the holding anchor loft, And half our failors swallow'd in the flood ? Yet lives our pilot ftill : Is't meet, that he Should leave the helm, and, like a fearful lad, With tearful eyes add water to the sea, And give more strength to that which hath too much;
Whiles, in his moan, the ship splits on the rock,
Tread on the sand; why, there you quickly fink:
If the reader winnes to compare The firft part of the Contention of the two houses, &c. with The Second Part of King Henry VI. which was formed upon it, he will find various passages 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
s Compare also the account of the death of the duke of York (p. 269) and King Henry's Soliloquy (p. 287) with the old play as quoted in the notes. Sometimes our author new-versihed the old, without the addition of any new, matter. See p. 335, 8. 1.
examining with this view; and will fufficiently ascertain how our author proceeded in new-modelling that play; with what expression, animation. and splendour of colouring he
the outline that had been sketched 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 bookseller, 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 some of the commedians belonging to the earl of Pembroke, the original play on which the Second Part of K.HenryVI. 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 VI. was formed, was printed by the same bookseller in 1600, either with a view to lead the common reader to suppose that he should parchase two plays as altered and newmodelled by Shakspeare, or, without any such fraudulent intention, to derive a profit from the exhibition of a work that so great a writer had thought proper to retouch, and form into those dramas which for several years bes fore 1600 had without doubt been performed with considerable applause. In the same 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 "republished The Contention of the two Houfes, &c. in 1619, he omitted the words in the
6 See p. 185, n.8; and p. 196, n. 9. Compare also Clifford's speech to the rebels in p. 229, Buckingham's address to King Henry in p. 249, and Iden's speech in p. 255, with the old play, as quoted in the notes.
7 Pavier's edition has no date, but it is ascertained to have been printed in 1619, by the Signatures; the last of which is Q. The play of Pericles was printed in 1619, for the same bookseller, and its pf hgnature is R. The undoubted copy, therefore, of Tbe Wbole Contezsien, &c. and Pericles, sout have been printed at che same time.
original title page, -" as it was acted by the earl of Pembrooke bis fervantes; "--just 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 cases marked the respective pieces not to be the production of Shakspeare 8. And as in King John the letters W. Sh. were added in 1611 to deceive the purchaser, so in the republication of The Whole Contention, &c. Pavier, having dismissed the words above mentioned, inserted 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 K. Henry VI.; and hoping that this new edition of the original plays would pass for
those altered and augmented by Shakspeare, which were then unpublished.
If Shakspeare had originally written these three plays of King Henry VI. would they not probably have been found by the bookseller in the fame MI.? Would not the three parts have been procured, whether surreptitiously or otherwise, all together? Would they not in that Mr. have borne the titles of the Firft and Second and Third Part of King Henry VI.? And would not the bookseller have entered them on the Stationers' books, and published such of them as he he did publish, under those titles, and with the name of ShakSpeare On the other hand, if that which is now distinguished by the name of The First Part of King Henry VI. but which I suppose in those times was only called “ The historical play of King Henry VI." if this was the production of some old dramatist, if it had appeared on the stage some years before 1591, (as from Nashe'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 likewise appeared before 1591, would
8 See An Artempe to ascertain sbe order of Sbakspeare's plays, Vol. 1. Asticle, King Jobs.