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K I N G
A C T I. SC EN E I.
London. A Room of fate in the Palace. Flourish of trumpets: then hautboys. Enter, on one side,
King "Henry, Duke of Gloster, SALISBURY, WARWICK, and Cardinal BEAUFORT ; on the other, Queen MARGARET, led in by SUFFOLK ; York, So. MERSET, BUCKINGHAM, and Others, following. Suf. As by your high imperial majesty 2 I had in charge at my depart for France,
" In a note prefixed to the preceding play, I have briefly stated my opinion concerning the drama now before us, and that which fullows it; to which the original editors of Shakspeare's works in folio have given the titles of The Second and I bird Parts of King Henry VI.
Tbe Contention of tbe two famous boules of Yorke and Lancaster in two parts, was published in quarto, in 1600; and the first part was entered on the Stationers' books, (as Mr. Steevens has observed, ) March 12, 1593-4. On these two plays, which I believe to have been wsit. ten by fome preceding author, before the year 1590, Shakipeare formed, as I conceive, this and the following drama; altering, retrenching, or amplifying, as he thought proper. The reasons on wbich this hypothefis is founded, I shall lubjoin at large at the end of Tbe third part of King Henry VI. At present it is only necessary to apprize the reader of the method observed in the printing of these plays. All the lines printed in the usual manner, are found in the original quarto plays (or at least with such minute variations as are not worth noticing); and those, I conceive, Shakspeare adopted as he found them. The fines to which inverted commas are prefixed, were, if my hypothesis be well founded, retouched, and greatly improved by him; and those with afterisks were his own original production; the embroidery with which he ornamented the coarse stuff that had been awkwardly made up for the stage by some of his contemporaries. The speeches which he new-modelled, he improved, sometimes by amplification, and sometimes by retrenchment. These two pieces, I imagine, were produced in their present form in
As procurator to your excellence 3,
To marry princeis Margaret for your grace ;
1591. See An Artempe to ascertain the order of Sbakspeare's plays, Vol I. and the Disiertation at the end of Tbe third pare of King Henry VI. Dr. Johnson observes very justly, that these two parts were not written without a dependence on the first. Undoubtedly not; the old play of K. Henry VI. (or, as it is now called. The forft pari,) certainly had been exhibited before there were written in any fo:m. But it does not follow from this conceflion, either that The Contention of ibe two boufes, &c. in two parts, was written by the author of the former play, or that Shakspeare was the author of these two pieces as they originally appeared. MALONE.
This and Tbe third part of King Henry VI. contain that troublesome period of this prince's reign, which took in the whole contention betwixt the houles of York and Lancaster. The present scene opens with king Henry's m rriage, which was in the twenty-third year of his reign [A.D. 1445); and closes with the first battle fought at St. Albans, and won by the York faction, in the thirty-third year of his seign (1455): so that it comprizes the history and transactions of ten years.
THEOBALD. This play was altered by Crowne, and acted in 1682. STEEVENS.
? Als by your bigb, &c.] It is apparent that this play begins where the former ends, and continues the series of transacions of which it presupposes the first part already known. This is a sufficient proof that the second and third parts were not written without dependance on the first, though they were printed as containing a complete period of history. JOHNSON.
3. As procurator to your excellence, &c.] So, in Holined, p. 625: " The marquelle of Suffolk, as procurator to king Henrie, espoused the faid ladic in the church of saint Martins. At the which marriage were present the father and mother of the bride; the French king himself that was uncle to the husband, and the French queen also that was aunt to the wife. There were also the dukes of Orleance, of Calabre, of Alanson, and of Britaine, leaven earles, cwelve barons, twenty bishops," &c. STEEVENS. This pasage Holinihed transcribed vertarim from Hall. MALONE.
Deliver up my title in the queen
K. Hen. Suffolk, arise.- Welcome, queen Margaret : I can express no kinder sign of love, Than this kind kiss.-0 Lord, that lends me life, Lend me a heart replete with thankfulness ! For thou hast given me, in this beauteous face, • A world of earthly blessings to my soul, * If sympathy of love unite our thoughts.
: R. Mar. Great king of England, and my gracious • The mutual conferences that my mind hath had• By day, by night; waking, and in my dreams; • In courtly company, or at my beads, • With you mine alder-lefest fovereigno, • Makes me the bolder to falute my king • With ruder terms; such as my wit affords, • And over-joy of heart doch minister.
* K. Hen. Her fight did rayish : but her grace in speech, · Her words y-clad with wisdom's majesty, • Makes me, from wondering, fall to weeping joys ?;
4 - tbat art] i. e. to the gracious hands of you, my sovereign, who are, &c. In the old play the line stands :
Unto your gracious excellence that are, &c. MALONE. 5 Tbe mutual conference-) I am the bolder to address you, having already familiarized you to my imagination. Johnson.
P- mine alder-lefest fovereign,] Alder-leveft, lays Mr. Tyrwhitt, in his Glos. to Chaucer, fignifies, deareft of all. Leve or lefe, Sax. diar; Alder or Aller, gen.ca. pl. of all. MalonE.
The word is used by Chaucer, Marston, and Gascoigne, STIEVENS.
7 Makes me, from wondering, fall 10 weeping joys;] This weeping jy, of which there is no trace in the original play, Shakspeare was extremely fond of; having introduced it in Mueb ado about notbing, K. Ricbard Il. Macberb, and King Lear. This and the preceding fpeech fand thus in the original play in quarto. I transcribe them that the reader may be the better able to judge concerning my hypothesis ; and shall quote a few other passages for the same purpose. To exhibit
• Such is the fulness of my heart's content.-
All. Long live queen Margaret, England's happiness! 2. Mar. We thank you all.
[1 lourisha Suf. My lord protector, so it please your grace, Here are the articles of contracted peace, Between our sovereign and the French king Charles, • For eighteen months concluded by consent.
Glo. (reads.] Imprimis, It is agreed between the French king, Charles, and William de la Poole, marquefs of Suffolk, ambasador for Henry king of England, --hatibe jaid Henry small espouje the lady Margaret ,daughter unto Reignier king of Naples, Sicilia, and Jerusalem; and crown ber queen of England, ere the thirtieth of May next ensuing:Ítem, –That the dutchy of Anjou and the county of Maine, shall be releajed and delivered to the king her father
K. Hen. Uncle, ho now?
Glo. Pardon me, gracious lord;
K. Hen. Uncle of Winchester, I pray, read on.
Win. Item,-It is further agreed between them,-that the dutchies of Anjou and Maine shall be released and delivered over to the king her father; and the sent over of the king of England's own proper cost and charges, without having dowry:
K. Hen. They please us well.-Lord marquess, kneel
We here create thee thc first duke of Suffolk,
all the speeches that Shakspeare has altered, would be almost to print the two plays twice:
Queen. The exceflive love I beare unto your grace,
Fr. King. Her lookes did wound, but now her speech doth
And girt thee with the sword.
[Exeunt King, Queen, and SUFFOLK, Glo. Brave peers of England, pillars of the state, * To you duke Humphrey muft unload his grief,
Your grief, the common grief of all the land. • What did my brother Henry spend his youth,
His valour, coin, and people, in the wars? • Did he so often lodge in open field,
In winter's cold, and summer's parching heat, 'To conquer France, his true inheritance ? And did my brother Bedford toil his wits, * To keep by policy what Henry got ? Have you yourselves, Somerset, Buckingham, Brave York, Salisbury, and victorious Warwick, Receiv'd deep scars in France and Normandy? Or hath mine uncle Beaufort, and myself, • With all the learned council of the realm, Study'd so long, sat in the council-house, Early and late, debating to and fro · How France and Frenchmen might be kept in awe?
And hath his highness in his infancy • Been crown'd * in Paris, in despight of foes;
And shall these labours, and these honours, die ? Shall Henry's conquest, Bedford's vigilance, Your deeds of war, and all our counsel, die ?
peers of England, shameful is this league ! Fatal this marriage! cancelling your fame; Blotting your names from books of memory ; * Been crown'd-] The word Been was supplied by Mr. Steevens.