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not the fuperior popularity of these two pieces, altered by such a poet, attract the notice of the booksellers ? and finding themselves unable to procure them from the theatre, would they not gladly seize on the originals on which this piew and admired writer had worked, and publish them as soon 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, we have seen, was actually the process; for Thomas Millington, neglecting entirely TheFirft Part of K. Henry VI. entered the ORIGINAL of The Second Part of K. Henry VI. 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 necessarily obliged to name the old play of King Henry VI. the firft part, to distinguish it from the two fol. lowing historical dramas, founded on a later period of the fame king's reign.
Having examined such external evidence as time has left Els concerning these two plays, now denominated The Second and Third Parts of King Henry VI. let us see whether we cannot by internal marks ascertain how far Shakspeare was concerned in their composition.
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 Houses of Yorke and Laxcafter, &c. and the other under the title of the true Tragedie of Richarde duke of Yorke, &c. were fpurious and imperfect copies of Shakspeare's Second and Third Part of King Henry VI., and many passages 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 passages being suppoled to be in substance the same, only variously exhibited in different copies. The variations have been accounted for, by supposing that the imperfect and spurious quarto copies (as they were called) were taken down either by an unskilful short-hand writer, or by some auditor who picked up “ during the representation what the time would permit, then filled up some of his omissions at a second 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 subscribed : two of Heywood's pieces furnishing indubitable proofs that plays in the time of our author were sometimes imperfectly copied during the representation, by the car, or by short-hand writers. But a minute examination of the two pieces in queftion, 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 case with respect to them. No fraudulent copyift or short-hand writer would invent circumstances totally different from those which appear in Shakspeare's new-modelled draughts as exhibited in the first folio; or insert whole speeches, of which scarcely a trace is found in that edition. In the course of the foregoing notes many of these have been particularly pointed out. I Thall now bring into one point of view all those internal circumstances which prove in my apprehension decisively, 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 some places a speech in one of these quartos confifts of ten or twelve lines. In Shakfpeare's folio the fame speech consists of perhaps only half the number'. A copyift by the ear, or an unkilful short-hand writer, might mutílate and exhibit a poet's thoughts or expressions imperfectly; but would he dilate and amplify them, or introduce totally new matter? Affuredly he would not.
2. Some circumstances are mentioned in the old quarto plays, of which there is not the least trace in the folio; and many minute variations are found between them and the folió, that prove the pieces in quarto to have been original and distinct compositions.
In the last act of the Firft 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 Shak.
► See p. 377
· See p. 127, n. 2; p. 150, n. &; p. 154, n. *; p. 243, n. ; P. 333, R. 7; and p. 356, n. 2.
speare's play he is not introduced on the stage after that battle.
In one of the original scenes between Jack Cade and his followers, which Shakspeare has made the seventh scene of the fourth act of his Second Part of King Henry VI. Dick Butcher drags a serjeant, that is, a catch-pole, on the stage, and a dialogue consisting of seventeen lines passes between Cade, &c. at the conclusion 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 him. self a knight; and finding that Stafford's brother was also a knight, he dubs Dick Butcher also. But in Shakspeare's play the latter circumstance is omitted.
In the old play Somerset goes out immediately after he is appointed regent of France. In Shak fpeare's Second Part of King Henry VI, he continues on the stage with Henry to the end of the scene (A& I, fc. iii.) and the king addresses him as they go out.
In the old play, the dutchess of Glofter enters with Hume, Bolinbroke, and Margery Jourdain, and after some conver: fation with them, tells them that while they perform their rites, she will go to the top of an adjoining tower, and there write down such answers as the spirits, that they are to raise, shall give to her questions. But in Shakspeare's play, Hume, Southwell, (who is not introduced in the elder drama) and Bolingbroke, &c. enter without the dutchess; and after some converfation' the dutchess appears above, (that is, on the tower,) and encourages them to proceed 3.
In Shakspeare's play, when the duke of York enters, and finds the dutchess of Glofter, &c. and her co-adjutors performing their magick rites, (p. 141,) the duke seizes the paper in which the answers of the spirit to certain questions
2 See p. 227, n. *; and Tbe Firf Part of the Contention, &c. 1600 Sign. G. 3.
2 See p. 137, n. 2.
are written down, and reads them aloud. In the old play the answers are not here recited by York; but in a fubfequent scene Buckingham reads them to the king; (see p. 141, n. 9, and p. 149, n. 3.) and this is one of the many transpositions that Shakspeare made in new-modelling these pieces, of which I shall speak more fully hereafter.
In the old play, when the king pronounces sentence on the dutchess of Ġlofter, he particularly mentions the mode of her penance; and the sentence is pronounced in prose. “ Stand forth dame Eleanor Cobham, dutchess of Glofter, and hear the sentence pronounced against thee for these treasons that thou haft committed against us, our state and peers. First, for thy haynous crimes thou shalt two daies in London do penance barefoot in the streets, with a white poeete about thy bodie, and a wax taper burning in thy hard : that done, thou shalt be banished for ever into the Ine of Man, there to end thy wretched daies; and this is our sentence irrevocable.-Away with her." But in Shakspeare's play, (p. 155) the king pronounces sentence in verse against the dutchess and her confederates at the same time; and only says in general, that " after three days open penance, she ball be banished to the Isle of Man."
In Shakspeare's play, (p. 175) when the duke of York undertakes to subdue the Irish rebels, if he be furnished with a fufficient army, Suffolk fays, that he will see that charge performed.” But in the old play the queen enjoins be duke of Buckingham to attend to this business, and he accepts the office.
In our author's play Jack Cade is described as a clothier, in the old play he is “ the dyer of Ashford.” In the same piece, when the king and Somerset appear at Kenelworth, a dialogue passes between them and the queen, of which not one word is preserved in the corresponding scene in The Second Part of King Henry VI. (p. 231.) In the old play, Buckingham ftates to the king the grounds on which York had taken up arms; but in Shakspeare's piece, (p. 242,) York himself assigns his reasons for his conduct. In the old play near the conclusion, young Clifford,
when he is preparing to carry off the dead body of his father, is assaulted by Richard, and after putting him to flight, he makes a speech consisting of four lines. But in Shakspeare's play (p. 252) there is no combat between them, nor is Richard introduced in that scene. The four lines therefore above mentioned are necessarily omitted.
In the old play the queen drops her glove, and finding that the dutchess of Gloster makes no attempt to take it up, she gives her a box on the ear :
. Give me my glove; why, minion, can you not fee?" But in Shakspeare's play, (p. 133,) the queen drops not a glove, but a fan :
“ Give me my fan: What, minion, can you not?" In Shakspeare's Second Part of King Henry VI. (p. 201,) Suffolk discovers himself to the captain who had feized him, by shewing his George. In the old play he announces his quality by a ring, a feal-ring we may suppose, exhibiting his arms. In the fame scene of Shakspeare's play, he observes that the captain threatens more
“ Than Bargulus, the strong Illyrian pirate.” But in the elder drama Suffolk says, he
“ Threatens more plagues than mighty Abradas,
“ The great Macedonian pirate." In the same scene of the original play the captain threatens to fink Suffolk's ship; but no fuch'menace is found in Shakspeare's play.
In The True Tragedie of Richarde duke of York, &c. Richard (afterwards duke of Gloster) informs Warwick that his father the earl of Salisbury was killed in an action which he describes, and which in fact took place at Ferrybridge in Yorkshire. But Shakspeare in his Third Part of King Henry VI. (p. 283) formed upon the piece above-mentioned, has rightly deviated from it, and for father substituted brother, it being the natural brother of Warwick, (the 4