« AnteriorContinuar »
The second piece of evidence on this point has also recent- great dramatist follows Greene's story very closely, as may ly come to light. It is contained in a MS. Diary, or Note- be seen by some of the notes in the course of the play, and book, kept by Dr. Simon Forman, (MSS. Ashm. 208.) in by the recent republication of " Pandosto" from the unique which, under date of the 15th May, 1611, he states that he copy of 1588, in “Shakespeare's Library." There is, howsaw 66 The Winter's Tale" at the Globe Theatre : this was the ever, one remarkable variation, which it is necessary to point May preceding the representation of it at Court on the 5th out. Greene says: Noveinber. He gives the following brief account of the plot, « The guard left her " (the Queen) "in this perplexitie, which ingeniously includes all the main incidents:
and carried the child to the king, who, quite devoide of pity,
with jealousy of his wife with the king of Bohemia, his friend having neither sail nor rudder to guide it, and so to be carthat came to see him; and how he contrived his death, and ried into the midst of the sea, and there left to the wind and would have had his cup-bearer to have poisoned shim), who wave, as the destinies please to appoint.” gave the king of Bohemia warning thereof, and fled with him Thé child thus "left to the wind and wave" is the Perdita to Bohemia. Remember, also, how he sent to the oracle of of Shakespeare, who describes the way in which the infant Apollo, and the answer of Apollo that she was guiltless, and was exposed very differently, and probably for this reason:that the king was jealous, &c.; and how, except the child was that in The Tempest” he had previously (perhaps not long found again that was lost, the king should die without issue; before) represented Prospero and Miranda turned adrift at for the child was carried into Bohemia, and there laid in a sea in the same manner as Greene had stated his heroine to forest, and brought up by a shepherd; and the king of Bohe- have been disposed of. When, therefore, Shakespeare came mia's son married that wench, and how they fled into Sicilia to write 66 The Winter's Tale," instead of following Greene, to Leontes; and the shepherd having showed the letter of the as he had usually done in other minor circumstances, le nobleman whom Leontes sent, it was that child, and by] the varied from the original narrative, in order to avoid an objccjewels found about her, she was known to be Leontes" daugh- tionable similarity of incident in his two dramas. It is true, ter, and was then sixteen years old. Remember, also, the that in the conclusion Shakespeare has also made important rogue that came in all tattered, like Coll Pipci, and how he and most judicious changes in the story; since nothing could feigned him sick, and to have been robbed of all he had; and well be more revolting than for Pandosto (who answers to how he cozened 'the poor man of all his money, and after Leontes) first to fall dotingly in love with his own daughter, came to the sheep-sheer with a pedlar's packe, and there and afterwards to commit suicide. The termination to which cozenen' them again of all their inoney. And how he changed our great dramatist brings the incidents is at once striking, apparel with the king of Bohemia's son, and then how he natural, and beautiful, and is an equal triumph of judgment turned courtier, &c. Beware of trusting feigned beggars or and power. fawning fellows."
It is, perhaps, singular that Malone, who observed upon We have reason to think that " The Winter's Tale” was in the "involved parenthetical sentences " prevailing in "The its first run on the 15th May, 1611, and that the Globe Thea- Winter's Tale,'* did not in that very peculiarity find a proof tre had not then been long opened for the season.
that it must have been one of Shakespeare's later productions, The opinion that the play was then a novelty, is strongly In the Stationers Registers there is no earlier entry of it than confirmed by the third piece of evidence, which Malolle dis- that of Nov. 8, 1623, when the publication of the first folio covered late in life, and which induced him to relinquish his was contemplated by Blount and Jaggard : it originally apearlier opinion, that " The Winter's Tale” was written in peared in that volume, where it is regularly divided into Acts 1604. He found a memorandum in the office-book of Sir and Scenes: the 66 Wynter's Nighte's Pastime," noticed in Henry Herbert, Master of the Revels, dated the 19th August, the registers under date of May 22, 1594, must have been a 1623, in which it was stated that "The Winter's Tale," was different work. If any proof of the kind were wanted, we "an old play formerly allowed of by Sir George Buc." Sir learn from two lines in "Dido, Queen of Carthage," by MarGeorge Buc was Master of the Revels from October, 1610, lowe and Nash, 1594, 4to, that "a winter's tale" was a then until May, 1622. Sir George Buc must, therefore, have current phrase: licensed - The Winter's Tale" between October, 1610, when he was appointed to his office, and May, 1611, when Forman
“Who would not undergoe all kinde of toyle saw it at the Globe...
To be well stord with such a winter's tale?" Sign. D. 3 b. It might have been composed by Shakespeare in the autumn In representing Bohemia to be a maritime country, Shakeand winter of 1610-11, with a view to its production on the speare adopted the popular notion, as it had been encouraged Bank-side, as soon as the usual performances by the King's since 1588 by Greene's " Pandosto." With regard to the preplayers commenced there. Sir Henry Herbert informs us, vailing ignorance of geography, the subsequent passage from that when he gave permission to revive " The Winter's Tale?? John Taylor's 66 Travels to Prague in Bohemia," a journey perin August 1623, “the allowed book” (that to which Sir formed by him in 1620, shows that the satirical writer did not George Buc had appended his signature) "was missing.” It consider it strange that an alderman of London was not aware had no doubt been destroyed when the Globe Theatre was that a fleet of ships could not arrive at a port of Bohemia: consumed by fire on 29th June, 1613.
“I am no sooner eased of him, but Gregory Gandergoose, an We have seen that “ The Tempest” and “The Winter's Alderman of Gotham, catches' me by the goll, demanding if Tale” were both acted at Whitehall, and included in Sir Bohemia be a great town, and whether there be any meat in George Buc's account of the expenses of the Revels from it, and whether the last feet of ships be arrived there." It October, 1611, to October, 16121. How much older - The is to be observed that Shakespeare reverses the scene of Tempest” might be than “ The Winter's Tale,” we have no " Pandosto." and represents as passing in Sicily, what Greene means of determining ; but there is a circumstance which had made to occur in Bohemia. In several places he more shows that the composition of “The Tempest” was anterior verbally followed Greene in this play than he did even Lodge to that of " The Winter's Tale;" and this brings us to speak in "As You Like it:" but the general variations are greater of the novel upon which the latter is founded.
from “Pandosto" than from Rosalynde." Shakespeare As early as the year 1588, Robert Greene printed a tract does not adopt one of the appellations given by Greene; and called “ Pandosto: The Triumph of Time, better known as it inay be noticed that, just anterior to the time of our poet, 6 The History of Dorastus and Fawnia," the title it bore in the name he assigns to the Queen of Leontes had been emsome of the later copies. As far as we now know, it was not mloved as that of a male character: in . The rare Triumphs reprinted until 1607, and a third impression appeared in 1609: 1 of Love and Fortune," acted at court in 1581-2, and printed it afterwards went through many editions; but it seems notlin 1589. Hermione is the lover of the heroine. unlikely that Shakespeare was ject for dramatic representation, by the third impression Lit. Rem. vol. ii. p, 250) is a genuine jealousy of disposition, which came out the year before we suppose him to have com- and it should be immediately followed by the perusal of menced writing his “Winter's Tale3." In many l'espects our | Othello,' which is the direct contrast of it in every particu-. 1 The circumstance that “The Tempest” and “The Winter's Tale”
that the words < Servant-monster," ! Anticks," "Tales," and "Temwere both acted at court at this period, and that they might
pests," applied to Shakespeare, but with our present information the nearly the same date of composition, seems to give great additional
fact seems hardly disputable. probability to the opinion, that Ben Jonson alluded to them in the following passage in the Induction to his "Bartholomew Fair," which
2 How long it continued popular, may be judged from the fact that was acted in 1614, while Shakespeare's two plays were still' high in it was printed as a chap-book as recently as the year 1735, when it popular favour :--" If there be never a Servant-monster i' the Fair, I was
: was called “The Fortunate Lovers; or the History of Dorastus, Prince who can help it, he says ? nor a nest of Anticks? He is loth to make of Sicily, and of Fawnia, only daughter and heir to the King of Bonature afraid in his Playes, like those that beget Tales, Tempests,
hemia," 12mo. and such like Drolleries. The Italic type and the capitals are as 3 In a note upon a passage in Act iii. sc. 2, a reason is assigned for they stand in the original edition in folio, 1631. Gifford (Ben Jon-thinking that Shakespeare did not employ the first edition of Greene's son's Works, Vol. iv. p. 370) could not be brought to acknowledge' novel, but in all probability that of 1609.
lar. For jealousy is a vice of the mind, a culpable tendency the fact that, at some later date, he was instrumental in a reof temper, having certain well known and well defined effects vival of the old “King John.'' and concomitants, all of which are visible in Leontes, and I low long the old " King John" had been in possession of boldly say, not one of which marks its presence in Othello :- the stage prior to 1591, when it was originally printed, we such as, first, an excitability by the most inadequate causes, I have no precise informations, but Shakespeare found it there,
of conception, and a disposition to degrade the object of the applying to his own purposes as much of it as he thouglit passion by sensual fancies and images; thirdly, a sense of would be advantageous. He converted the “two parts" into shame of his own feelings exhibited in a solitary moodiness one drama, and in many of its inain features followed the of humour, and yet from the violence of the passion forced to story, not as he knew it in history, but as it was fixed in poutter itself, and therefore catching occasions to ease the inind pular belief. In some particulars be much improved upon the by ambiguities, and equivoques, by talking to those who can-conduct of the incidents: for instance, in the first act of the not, and who are known not to be able to understand what old “King John," Lady Falconbridge is, needlessly and obis said to them ; in short, by soliloquy in the form of dialogue, jectionably, made a spectator of the scene in which the bas
fourthly, a dread of vulgar ridicule, as distinct from a high mother. Another amendment of the original is the absence sense of honour, or a mistaken sense of duty; and lastly, and of Constance from the stage when the marriage between immediately consequent on this, à spirit of selfish vindictive- Lewis and Blanch is debated and deterinined. A third maness."
terial variation ought not to be passed over without remark. In his lectures in 1815, Coleridge dwelt on the “ not easily Although Shakespeare, like the author or authors of the old jealous" frame of Othello's mind, and on the art of the great King John," employs the Bastard
he Bastard forcibly to raise money poet in working upon his generous and unsuspecting nature: 1 from the monasteries in England, he avoids the scenes of exhe contrasted the characters of Othello and Leontes in this tortion and ribaldry of the elder play, in which the monks respect, the latter from predisposition requiring no such ma and nuns are turned into ridicule, and the indecency and lignant instigator as Iago.
licentiousness of their lives exposed. Supposing the old "King John” to have been brought upon the stage not long
after the defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588, when the THE
hatred of the Roman Catholics was at its height, such an exTIN ANT TITATU OF KING TOAN hibition must have been extremely gratifying to the taste of
vulgar audiences. Shakespeare might justly hold in contempt 5* The Life and Death of King John" was first printed in the such a mode of securing applause; or, possibly, his own re
folio of 1623, where it occupies twenty-two pages, viz. from ligious tenets (a point which is considered at length, with p. 1 to p. 22 inclusive, a new pagination beginning with the the addition of some new information, in the biography of 86 Histories."
It occupies the same place and the same the poet) might induce him to touch lightly upon such mat.
f 1206 16 space in the re-impressions of 1632, 1664, and 1685.)
and 1685.1 Iterat contain it is that the oldodoma
Inucli coarse 66 KING JOHN," the earliest of Shakespeare's Histories" | abuse of the Roman Catholics, and violent invective against in the folio of 1623, (where they are arranged according to the the ambition of the pontiff, little of which is found in Shakereigns of the different monarchs) first appeared in that vol- speare. It is, however, easy to discover reasons why he ume, and the Registers of the Stationers' Company have would refuse to pander to popular prejudice, without supsearched in vain for any entry regarding it; it is not enume- posing him to feel direct sympathy with the enemies of the rated by Blount and Jaggard on the 8th Nov. 1623, when Reformation. they inserted a list of the pieces, 66 not formerly entered to Some of the principal incidents of the reign of John had other men,” about to be included in their folio: herce an in-been converted into a drama, with the purpose of promoting ference might be drawn that there had been some previous the Reformation, very early in the reign of Elizabeth, if not entry of “ King John" 66 to other men,” and, perhaps, even in that of Edward VI. We refer to the play of " Kynge that the play had been already published. *
Johan," by Bishop Bale, which, like the old "King John," It seemis indisputable that Shakespeare's " King John "was is in two parts, though we can trace no other particular refounded upon an older play, three times printed anterior to semblance. It was printed by the Camden Society, from the the publication of the folio of 1623 : " The first and second author's original MS. (in the library of the duke of Devonpart of the troublesome Reign of John, King of England," shire) in 1838, and is a specimen of the mixture of allegory came from the press in 1591, 1611, and 1622.3 Malone, and and history in the same play, perhaps unexampled. As it others who have adverted to this production, have obviously was, doubtless, unknown both to the author or authors of the not had the several impressions before them. The earliest old “King John," as well as to Shakespeare, it requires no copy, that of 1591, has no name on the title-page: that of 1611 | farther notice here, than to show at how early a date that porhas " W. Sh." to indicate the author, and that of 1622, “W. tion of our annals had been brought upon the stage. Shakespeare," the sur-nane only at length.4 Steevens once Upon the question, when - King John” was written by thought that the ascription of it to Shakespeare by fraudulent Shakespeare, we have no knowledge beyond the fact that booksellers, who wished it to be taken for his popular work, Francis Meres introduces it into his list in 1598. Malone spewas correct, but he subsequently abandoned this untenablé culated that it was composed in 1596, but he does not place opinion. Pope attributed it jointly to Shakespeare and Wil- reliance upon the internal evidence he himself adduces, which liam Rowley, and Farmer “made no doubt that Rowley wrote certainly is of a more than usually vague character. Chalmers, the first King John." There is, however, reason to believe on the other hand, would assign the play to 1598, but the that Rowley was not an author at so early a date: his first chance seems to be, that it was written a short time before it extant printed work was a play, in writing which he aided was spoken of by Meres : we should be disposed to assign it John Day and George Wilkins, called “The Travels of three to a date between 1596 and 1598, when the old “King John," English Brothers." 1607. In 1591, he must have been very which was probably in a course of representation in 1591, had young; but we are not therefore to conclude decisively that gone a little out of recollection, and when Meres would have his name is not, at any period and in any way, to be connect- had time to become acquainted with Shakespeare's drama, ed with a drama on the incidents of the reign of King John ; | from its popularity either at the Globe or Blackfriars' Thefor the tradition of Pope's time may have been founded upon | atres.
1 It purports to be divided into acts and scenes, but very irregularly: more than one dramatist was concerned in the composition of the thus what is called Actus Secundus fills no more than about half a play. page, and Actus Quartus is twice repeated. The later folios adopt
ated. The later folios adont 4 The edition of 1591 was printed for Sampson Clarke : that of 1611., this defective arrangement, excepting that in that of 1632 Actus by Valentine Simmes, for John Helme; and that of 1622, by Aug. Quintus is made to precede Actus Quartus.
Mathews, for Thomas Dewe. 2 On the 29th Nov. 1614, 6 a booke called the Historie of George 5 The edition of 1591 is preceded by a Prologue, omitted in the two Lord Faulconbridge, bastard son of Richard Cordelion," was entered | later impressions, which makes it quite clear that the old 6 King on the Stationers' Registers, but this was evidently the prose romance John, was posterior to Marlowe's "Tamberlaine :" it begins, of which an edition in 1616, 4to. is extant. Going back to 1558, it
66 You that with friendly grace of smoothed brow, appears that a book, called "Cur de Lion,” was entered on the Sta
Have entertained the Scythian Tamberlaine," &c. tioners' Register of that year.
3" It was written, I believe (says Malone), by Robert Greene, or in the Hist. of Engl. Dram. Poetry and the Stage, vol. iii. p. 112, George Peele," but he produces nothing in support of his opinion. reasons are assigned for believing that Marlowe's “Tamberlaine" was The mention of the Scythian Tamberlaine," in the Prologue to the acted about 1587. edition of the old “ King John," in 1591, might lead us to suppose 6 In Henslowe's MS. Diary, under the date of May, 1598, we meet that it was the production of Marlowe, who did not die until 1593; with an entry of a play by Robert Wilson, Henry Chettle, Anthony but the style of the two parts is evidently different: rhyming couplets Munday, and Michael Drayton, entitled " The Funerals of Richard are much more abundant in the first than in the second, and there is Cordelion." It possibly had no connexion with the portion of history reason to believe, according to the frequent custom of that age, that i to which Shakespeare's play and the old “King John” relate.
KING RICHARD II.
Roxe. 1608." 4to. 39 leavit: Second: with new adoben an actor, and in the rece pehm. 208,) preserved intofi
clear that any reference to it was intended by Shakespeare.
Where the matter is so extremely doubtful, we shall not atp". The Tragedie of King Richard the second. As it hath tempt' to fix on any particular year. If any argument, one beene publikely acted by the right Honourable the Lorde way or the other, could be founded upon the publication of Chamberlaine Eis Seruants. London Printed by Valentine Daniel's “ Civil Wars," in 1595, it would show that that poet Simmes for Androw Wise, and are to be sold at his shop had made alterations in subsequent editions of his poem, in in Paules church yard at the signe of the Angel. 1597.*, order, perhaps, to fall in more with the popular notions l'e4to. 37 leaves.
garding the history of the time, as produced by the success 66 The Tragedie of King Richard the second. As it hath heene of the play of our great dramatist. Meres mentions “Richard
publikely acted by the Right Honourable the Lord Cham-| the 2" in 1598. berlaine his seruants. By William Shake-speare. London Respecting the new additions" of " the deposing of King Printed by Valentine Simmes for Andrew Wise, and are Richard " we have some evidence, the existence of which was to be sold at his shop in Paules churchyard at the signe of not known in the time of Malone, who conjectured that this the Angel, 1598." 4to. 36 leaves.
scene had originally formed part of Shakespeare's play, and "The Tragedie of King Richard the Second: with new ad- was suppressed in the printed copy of 1597, from the fear
ditions of the Parliament Sceane, and the deposing of King of offending Elizabeth," and not published, with the rest, Richard. As it hath been lately acted by the Kinges Ma- until 16082. Such may have been the case, but we now know iesties seruantes, at the Globe. By William Shake-speare. that there were two separate plays upon the events of the At London, Printed by W. W. for Mathew Law, and are reign of Richard II., and the deposition seems to have formed to be sold at his shop in Paule's churchyard, at the signe a portion of both. On the 30th Aprl, 1611, Dr. Simon Fora lost play by Shakespeare, intended as a “first part” to his extant drama on the later portion of the reign of that monarch. FIRST PART OF KING HENRY IV. It is also true that Forman says nothing of the formal depo-ruombe History of Hantie the Tioyrth. With the hottell at sition of Richard II. ; but he tells us that in the course of the drama the Duke of Lancaster - made his own son King," and
man saw.66 Richard 2," as he expressly calls it, at the Globe 66 The Tragedie of King Richard the Second: with new ad- Theatre, for which Shakespeare was a writer, at which he had
ditions of the Parliament Sceane, and the deposing of King been an actor, and in the receipts of which he was interested. Richard. As it hath been lately acted by the Kinges Ma- In his original Diary, (MS. Ashm. 208,) preserved in the iesties seruants, at the Globe. By William Shake-speare. Bodleian Library, Forman inserts the following account of, At London, Printed for Mathew Law, and are to be sold and observations upon, the plot of the "Richard II.," he at his shop in Paules Church-yard, at the signe of the Foxe. having been present at the representation :1615. 4to. 39 leaves.
|.. “Remember therein how Jack Straw, by his overmuch In the folio of 1623, “ The life and death of King Richard the boldness. not being politic, nor suspecting any thing, was
Second” occupies twenty-three pages, viz. from p. 23 to suddenly, at Smithfield Bárs, stabbed by Walworth, the p. 45, inclusive. The three other folios reprint it in the Mavor of London; and so he and his whole army was oversame form, and in all it is divided into Acts and Scenes.] thrown. Therefore, in such case, or the like, never admit
ABOVE we have given the titles of four quarto editions of any party without a bar between, for a man cannot be too " King Richard 11.," which preceded the publicaion of the wise, nor keep himself too safe. Also, remember how the folio of 1623, and which were all published during the life- Duke of Glouster, the Earl of Arundel, Oxford, and others, time of Shakespeare: they bear date respectively in 1597, crossing the King in his humour about the Duke of Erland 1598, 1608, and 1615. It will be observed that the title of (Ireland) and Bushy, were glad to fly and raise a host of men: the edition of 1608 states that it contains "new additions and being in his castle, how the Duke of Erland came by of the Parliament Scene, and the deposing of King Richard." night to betray him, with 300 men; but, having privy warning The Duke of Devonshire is in possession of an unique copy, thereof, kept his gates fast, and would not suffer the enemy dated 1608, the title of which merely follows the wording of to enter, which went back again with a fly in his ear, and the preceding impression of 1598, omitting any notice of after was slain by the Earl of Arundel in the battle. Remem"new additions," though containing the whole of them. ber, also, when the Duke (i.e. of Gloucester) and Arundel.came The name of our great dramatist first appears in connection to London with their army, King Richard came forth to them, with this historical play in 1598, as if Simmes the printer, and and met them, and gave them fair words, and promised them Wise the stationer, when they printed and published their pardon, and that all should be well, if they would discharge edition of 1597, did not know, or were not authorized to state, I their army; upon whose promises and fair speeches they did that Shakespeare was the writer of it. Precisely the same it: and after, the King bid them all to a banquet, and so bewas the case with “ King Richard III.," printed and pub-trayed them, and cut off their heads, &c., because they had lished by the same parties in the same year, and of which not his pardon under his hand and seal before, but his word. also a second edition appeared in 1598, with the name of the Remember therein, also, how the Duke of Lancaster privily author.
contrived all villainy to set them all together by the ears, and We will first speak regarding the date of the original pro- to make the nobility to envy the King, and mislike him and duction of “Richard II.," and then of the period when it is his government; by which means he made his own son king, likely that the new additions" were inserted.
which was Henry Bolingbroke. Remember, also, how the It was entered on the Stationers' Register in 1597, in the Duke of Lancaster asked a wise man whether himself should following manner:- .
ever be king; and he told him no, but his son should be a “29 Aug. 1597.
| king: and when he had told him, he hanged him up for his Andrew Wise.1 The Tragedye of Richard the Seconde." labour, because he should not bruit abroad, or speak thereof
This memorandum was made anterior, but perhaps only to others. This was a policy in the Commonwealth's opinion, shortly anterior, to the actual publication of " Richard II., but I say it was a villain's part, and a Judas' kiss, to hang and it-forms the earliest notice of its existence. Malone sup- the man for. telling him the truth. Beware by this example poses that it was written in 1593, but he does not produce al of noblemen and their fair words, and say little to them, lest single fact or argument to establish his position; nor perhaps they do the like to thee for thy good will." could any be adduced beyond the circumstance, that having The quotation was first published in “New Particulars reassigned the " Comedy of Errors" to 1592, and '“ Love's La-garding Shakespeare and his Works,” 8vo, 1836, where it bour's Lost" to 1594, he had left an interval between those was suggested that this - Richard II.” might be the play years in which he could place not only " Richard II." but which Sir Gilly Merrick and others are known to nave pro
Richard III." In fact, we can arrive at no nearer approx-cured to be acted the afternoon before the insurrection imation ; although Chalmers, in his “Supplemental Apology," headed by the Earls of Essex and Southampton, in 1601 ; contended that a note of time was to be found in the allusions (Bacon's Works by Mallet, iv. 320) but in a letter, published in the first and second Acts to the disturbances in Ireland. in a note to the same tract, Mr. Amyot argued, that " the It is quite certain that the rebellion in that country was re- deposing of King Richard " probably formed no part of the newed in 1594, and proclaimed in 1595 : but it is far from play Forman saw, and that it might actually be another, and
I There is another circumstance belonging to the title-page of the the insurrection of Lords Essex and Southampton. Thorpe's CustuDuke of Devonshire's copy which deserves notice: it states that the male Roffense, p. 89, contains an account of an interview betwe play was printed " as it hath been publikely acted by the Right Ho- | Lambarde (when he presented his pandect of the records of the Tower) nourable the Lord Chamberlaine, his seruantes." The company to l and Elizabeth, shortly subsequent to that event, in which she obwhich Shakespeare belonged were not called the servants of the Lord served, “I am Richard the Second, know you not that?" Lambarde Chamberlain after James I. came to the throne, but the King's replied, “Such a wicked imagination was determined and attempted Majesty's servants," as in the title-page of the other copy of 1608. by a most unkind gentleman, the most adorned creature that ever This fact might give rise to the supposition, that it had been intended your Majestie made." "He said the Queen) that will forgett God to reprint an edition of Richard II., including " the Parliament will alsoe forgett his benefactors." The publication of the edition scene," but not mentioning it, before the death of Elizabeth; but of 1608, without the mention on the title-page of the Parliament that for some reason it was postponed for about five years.
Scene, and the deposing of King Richard," might have been con2 There might be many reasons why the exhibition of the depos ing templated about this date. of Richard II. would be objectionable to Elizabeth, especially after
Shrewsburie, betweene the King and Lord Henry Percy, he could not do so without something like a deposition ex
surnamed Henrie Hotspur of the North. With the humor
ous conceits of Sir John hibited or narrated. It is also to be observed, that if For
John Falstalffe. At London, printed by man's account be at all correct, Shakespeare could never have
P. S. for Andrew Wise, dwelling in Paules Churchyard, at exhibited the characters of the King and of Gaunt so incon
| the signe of the Angell. 1598." 4to. 40. leaves. sistently in two parts of the same play. The Richard and
- The History of Henry the Fourth; With the battell at
Shrewsburie, betweene the King and Lord Henry Percy, the Gaunt of Forman, with their treachery and cruelty, are totally unlike the Pichard and Gaunt of Shakespeare. For
surnamed Henry Hotspur of the North. With the humorthese reasons we may, perhaps, arrive at the conclusion, that
ous conceits of Sir lohn Falstalffe. Newly corrected by it was a distinct drama, and not by Shakespeare. We may
W. Shake-speare. At London, Printed by S. s. for Andrew presume, also, that it was the very piece which Sir Gilly
Wise, dwelling in Paules Churchyard, at the signe of the Merrick procured to be represented, and for the performance
Angell. 1599." 4to. 40 leaves. of which, according to a passage in the arraignment of Cuffe
66 The History of Henrie the Fourth, With the battell at and Merrick, the latter paid forty shillings additional, because
Shrewsburie, betweene the King, and Lord Henry Percy, it was an old play, and not likely to attract an audience.
surnamed Henry Hotspur of the North. With the humorThe very description of the plot given by Forman reads as
ous conceits of Sir John Falstalffe. Newly corrected by if it were an old play, with the usual quantity of blood and
W. Shake-speare. London Printed by Valentine Simmes, treachery How it came to be popular enough, in 1611, to be
for Mathew Law, and are to be solde at his shop in Paules performed at the Globe must be matter of mere speculation :
Cliurchyard, at the signe of the Fox. 1604.” 4to: 40 leaves.
“ The History of Henry the fourth, With the battell of perhaps the revival of it by the party of the Earls of Essex and Southampton had recalled public attention to it, and im
Shrewseburie, betweene the King, and Lord Henry Percy, provements might have been made which would render it a
surnamed Henry Hotspur of the North. With the humorfavourite in 1611, though it had been neglected in 1601.
ous conceites of Sir John Falstalffe. Newly corrected by Out of these improvements, and out of this renewed popu
W. Shake-speare. London, Printed for Mathew Law, and larity, may, possibly, have grown the "new additions," which
are to be sold at his shop in Paules Churchyard, neere unto were first printed with the impression of Shakespeare's
S. Augustines gate, at the signe of the Foxe. 1608." 4to. "Richard II.” in 16081, and which solely relate to the deposing
40 leaves. of the King. On the other hand, if these 6 new additions, s
The 4to edition of 1613 also consists of 40 leaves : and the only as they were termed in 1608, were only a suppressed part of the
differences between its title-page and that of 1608 are the original play, there seems no sufficient ground for concluding |
date, and the statement that it was “ Printed by W. W." that it was not Shakespeare's drama which was acted at the
8 In the folio of 1623, “The First Part of Henry the Fourth, instance of Sir Gilly Merrick in 1601. If it were written in
with the Life and Death of Henry Sirnamed" Hot-spvrre,'s 1593, as Malone imagined, or even in 1596, according to the
occupies twenty-six pages, viz. from p. 46 to p. 73 inclusive. speculation of Chalmers, it might be called an old play in 1601,
In the later folios it is reprinted in the same form.] considering the rapidity with which dramas were often writ-1 At the time when Shakespeare selected the portion of histen and brought out at the period of which we are speaking. tory included in the following play, as a fit subject for dramaIf neither Shakespeare's play, nor that described by Forman, tic representation, the stage was in possession of an old play, were the pieces selected by Sir Gilly Merrick, there must entitled, “The Famous Victories of Henry the Fifth," of have been three distinct plays, in the possession of the com- which three early impressions, one printed in 1598, and two pany acting at the Globe, upon the events of the reign of others without date, have come down to us : a copy of one Richard II.
edition without date is in the Collection of the Duke of For the incidents of this most admirable of all Shake- Devonshire; and, judging from the type and other circumspeare's purely historical plays," as Coleridge calls it, (Lit. stances, we may conclude that it was anterior to the impression Rem. ii. 164,) our great poet appears to have gone no farther of 1598, and that it made its appearance shortly after 1594, on than Holinshed, who was himself indebted to Hall and Fabian. the 14th of May of which year it was entered on the StationHowever, Shakespeare has nowhere felt himself bound to ad- ers' Registers. Richard Tarlton, who died in 1588, was an here to chronology when it better answered his purpose to actor in that piece, but how long before 1588 it had been prodesert it. Thus, the Prince of Wales, afterwards Henry V., duced, we have no means of ascertaining. It is, in fact, in is spoken of in Act v. sc. 3, as frequenting taverns and stews, prose, although many portions of it are printed to look like he was in fact only twelve
ve years old. Marston, in a verse, because, at the date when it first came from the press, short address before his « Wonder of Women," 1606, aiming blank-verse had become popular on the stage, and the book a blow at. Ben Jonson, puts the duty of a dramatic author seller probably was desirous of giving the old play a modern in this respect upon its true footing, when he says, “I have appearance. Our most ancient public dramas were composed not laboured to tie myself to relate anything as a historian, in rhyme: to rhyme seems to have succeeded prose, and but to enlarge everything as a poet ;' and what we have just prose, about the date when Shakespeare, is believed to have referred to in this play is exactly one of those anachronisms originally come to London, was displaced by blank-verse, inwhich, in the words of Schlegel, Shakespeare committed termixed with couplets and stanzas. 6 The Famous Victories 66 purposely and most deliberately2" His design, of course, of Henry the Fifth" seems to belong to the middle period; was in this instance to link together - Richard II." and the and as Stephen Gosson, in his “School of Abuse," 1579, leads first part of " Henry IV."
us to suppose that at that time prose was not very usual in Of the four quarto editions of " Richard II." the most valu- theatrical performances, it may be conjectured that “The able, for its readings and general accuracy beyond all dispute, Famous Victories of Henry the Fifth” was not written until is the impression of 1597. The other three quartos were, after 1580. more or less, printed from it, and the folio of 1623 seems to That a play upon the events of the reign of Henry V. was have taken the latest, that of 1615, as the foundation of its upon the stage in 1592, we have the indisputable evidence of text; but, from a few words found only in the folio, it may Thomas Nash, in his notorious work, “ Pierce Penniless, his seem that the player-editors referred also to some extrinsic Supplication," which went through three editions in the same authority. It is quite certain, however, that the folio copied year: we quote from the first, (Sign. H 2.) where he says, obvious and indisputable blunders from the quarto of 1615. What a glorious thing it is to have Henry the Fifth repreThere are no fewer than eight places where the folio omits sented on the Stage, leading the French King prisoner, and passages inserted in the quartos, in one instance to the de- forcing him and the Dolphin to sweare fealtie. We know struction of the continuity of the sense, and in most to the also that a drama,. called "Harry the V.," was performed by detriment of the play. Hence not only the expediency, but Henslowe's Company on the 28th November, 1595, and it apthe absolute necessity of referring to the quarto copies, from pears likely that it was a revival of " The Famous Victories," which we have restored all the missing lines, and have dis-with some important additions, which gave it the attraction tinguished them by placing them between brackets. of a new play; for the receipts (as we find by Henslowe's 1 It may perhaps be inferred that there was an intention to publish
1627 June 1603 the 5 history," with these "new additions," in 1603: at all events, in “Matth. Lawe] in full Courte, iij Enterludes or playes. The that year the right in "Richard II.” : Richard III." and " Henry IV."
first of Richard the 3d. The second of Richard the 2d.. part i. was transferred to Matthew Law, in whose name the plays
The third of Henry the 4, the first pte, all Kings." ... came out when the next editions of them appeared. The entry re 2 "Ich unternehme darzuthun, dass Shakespeare's Anachronismen lating to them in the books of the Stationers' Company runs mehrentheils geflissentlich und mit grossem Bedacht angebracht thus:
sind." -Ueber dramatische Kunst and Litteratur, vol. ii. 43.
Diary) were of such an amount as was generally only pro-|. As the year did not then end until the 25th March, the 25th duced by a first representation. Out of this circumstance February, 1597, was of course the 25th February, 1598; and may have arisen the publication of the early undated edition pursuant to the above entry, Andrew Wise published the in the possession of the Duke of Devonshire. The reproduc- first edition of " The History of Henry IV." with the date of tion of " The Famous Victories" by a rival company, and the 1598: we may infer, therefore, that it was ready, or nearly appearance of it from the press, possibly led Shakespeare to ready, to be issued at the time the memorandum was made at consider in what way, and with what improvements, he could Stationers' Hall: on the title-page," the humorous conceits avail himself of some of the same incidents for the theatre to of Sir John Falstalffe" are made peculiarly obvious. It is which he belonged. This event would at once make the sub-certain, then, that before the play was printed, the name of ject popular, and hence, perhaps, the re-impression of "The Oldcastle had been altered to that of Falstaff. The reason for Famous Victories of Henry the Fifth” in 15981. The year the change is asserted to have been, that some descendants 1596 may possibly have been the date when Shakespeare wrote of “Sir John Oldcastle, the good Lord Cobham," (as he is his 6 Henry IV." Part i.
called upon the title-page of a play which relates to his hisIt is to be observed, that the incidents which are summarily tory, printed in 16004,) remonstrated against the ridiculo dismissed in one old play, are extended by our great dramatist thrown upon the character of the protestant inartyr, by the over three-the two parts of " Henry IV.” and “ Henry V.” introduction into Shakespeare's drama of a person bearing the It is impossible to institute any parallel between “The Fa- same name. Such, unquestionably, may have been the case ; mous Victories”? and Shakespeare's drainas; for, besides that but it is possible also that Shakespeare, finding that his play, the former has reached us evidently in an imperfect shape, the and his Sir John Oldcastle were often confounded with The immeasurable superiority of the latter is such, as to render Famous Victories" and with Sir John Old castle of that drama, any attempt to trace resemblance rather a matter of contrast made the change with a view that they should be disthan comparison. Who might be the writer of " The Famous tinguished. That he did not quite succeed, is evident from Victories," it would be idle to speculate ; but it is decidedly the quotation we have made from Field's “Amends for inferior to most of the extant works of Marlowe, Greene, Ladies." Peele, Kyd, Lodge, or any other of the more celebrated pre- Respecting the manner in which Falstaff was attired on the decessors of Shakespeare.
stage in the time of Shakespeare, we meet with a curions Sir John Oldcastle is one of the persons in 66 The Famous passage in a manuscript, the handwriting of Inigo Jones, the Victories;' and no doubt can be entertained that the charac- property of the Duke of Devonshire. The Surveyor of the ter of Sir John Falstaff, in the first part of Shakespeare's Works, describing the dress of a person who was to figure in " Henry IV.," was originally called Sir John Oldcastle. “If any one of the court masques, early in the reign of James I., says, hesitation could formerly have been felt upon this point, it that he is to be dressed like a Sir Johny Falstaff, in á robé must have been recently entirely removed by Mr. Halliwell's of russet, quite low, with a great belly, like a swollen man, very curious and interesting tract, “On the character of Sir | long moustachios, the shoes short, and out of them great toes, John Falstaff, as originally exhibited by Shakespeare," 12mo. I like naked feet: buskins, to show a great swollen leg.” Wó 1841. How the identity of Oldcastle and Falstaff could ever are, perhaps; only to understand from this description, that have been questioned after the discovery of the following the appearance of the character was to bear a general resempassage in a play by Nathaniel Field, called, " Amends for blance to that of Sir John Falstaff, as exhibited on the stage Ladies," 1618, it is difficult to comprehend: the lines seem to at the Globe or Blackfriars? Theatres. . us decisive :
Although we are without any contemporaneous notices of "Did you never see
the performance of Shakespeare's "Henry IV.” Part i., there The play where the fat knight, hight Oldcastle,
cannot be a doubt that it was extraordinarily popular. · It Did tell you truly what this honour was?”
went through five distinct impressions in 4to, in 1598, 1599, This can allude to nothing but to Falstaff's speech in Act v. 1604, 1608, and 1613, before it was printed in the first folio. SC. 2, of the ensuing play, and it would also show (as Mr. There was also an edition in 1639, which deserves notice, beHalliwell points out) that Falstaff sometimes retained the cause it was not a reprint of the play as it had appeared either name of Old castle after the author had altered it to that of in the first or second folios, but of the 4to. of 1613, that text Falstaff?." This fact is remarkable, recollecting that " Amends being for some reason preferred. Meres introduces " Henry
prior to that date no fewer than four editions of " Henry IV.” that he alluded to Part i., because, on the preceding page, Part i., had been printed, on the title-pages of which Falstaff (fo. 281, b) he makes a quotation from one of Falstaff's was prominently introduced, and that he was called by no speeches,-there is nothing but roguery in villainous man," other name from the beginning to the end of that drama. -though without acknowledging the source from which it The case is somewhat different with respect to Shakespeare's was taken. We may be tolerably sure, however, that“ Henry " Henry IV." Part ii., which contains a singular confirmatory IV." Part ii., had then been produced by Shakespeare, but it piece of evidence that Falstaff was still called Oldcastle after is not distinguished by Meres, and he also makes no menthat continuation of the "history" had been written and per- tion of " Henry V.," the events of whose reign, to his marformed. In Acti. sc. 2 of the drama, old, is given as the pre- riage with Catherine of France, were included in the old play fix to one of Falstaff's speeches. The error is met with in no of 7 The Famous Victories." other part of the play, and when the MS. for the quarto, 1600, With regard to the text of this play, it is unquestionably was corrected for
gle passage escaped obser- found in its purest state in the earliest 4to. of 1598, and to vation, and the ancient reading was preserved until it was that we have mainly adhered, assigning reasons in our notes expunged in the folio of 1623. Malone and Steevens, in op- when we have varied from it. The editors of the folio, 1623, position to Theobald, argue that Old, was not meant for Old- copied implicitly the 4to. impression nearest to their own day, castle, but was the commencement of the name of some actor: that of 1613, adopting many of its defects, and, as far as we none such belonged to Shakespeare's company, and the pro-can judge, resorting to no MS. authority, nor to the previous bability is all in favour of Theobald's supposition. . quartos of 1598, 1599, 1604, and 1608..: Several decided errors,
This change must have been made by Shakespeare anterior made in reprint of 1599, were repeated and multiplied in the to the spring of 1598, because we then meet with the subse- subsequent quarto impressions, and from thence found their quent entry in the Stationers Registers, relating to the earliest way into the folio. Near the end of Act i. we meet with a edition of Henry IV." Part i.
curious proof of what we have advanced : we there find a line, “25 Feb. 1597.
thus distinctly printed in the 4to, 1598:- ..
"I'le steale to Glendower and Lo: Mortimer :)
1 The third edition of “The Famous Victories” was printed after 3 There is another entry, under date 27th June, 1603, by which James I. came to the throne : it has no date, but it states on the title: "Henry the 4 the first pte." seems to have been transferred by Wise page that it was acted by the King's Majesty's servants." This to Law, for whom the edition of 1604 was in fact printed. assertion was probably untrue, the object of the stationer being to I 4 Mr. Halliwell does not seem to have been aware, when speaking induce buyers to believe that it was the same play as Shakespeare's of " The First part of the true and honorable History of the Life of work, which was certainly performed by the King's Majesty's ser Sir John Oldcastle, the good Lord Cobham," a play attributed to vants." From this impression Steevens reprinted it in the "Šix Old Shakespeare on the title-page of most of the copies printed in 1600, Plays," 8vo, 1779.
that two other copies of it have recently been discovered, which have 2 The same conclusion may perhaps be drawn from the mention of no author's name. Hence it might be inferred, that the original “fat Sir John Oldcastle," in "The Meeting of Gallants at an Ordi- / title-page was cancelled at the instance of our great dramatist, and narie," 1604, 4to, a tract recently reprinted, under the editorial care another substituted. ,' of Mr. Halliwell, for the Percy Society. .