Puslapio vaizdai

Out of the powerful regions' under earth,
Help me this once, that France may get the field.
[They walk about, and speak not.
O, hold me not with silence over-long!
Where I was wont to feed you with my blood,
I'll lop a member off, and give it you,

In earnest of a further benefit;


you do condescend to help me now.— [They hang their heads. No hope to have redress ?-My body shall Pay recompense, if you will grant my suit. [They shake their heads. Cannot my body, nor blood-sacrifice, Entreat you to your wonted furtherance? Then take my soul; my body, soul, and all, Before that England give the French the foil. [They depart. See! they forsake me. Now the time is come, That France must vail3 her lofty-plumed crest, And let her head fall into England's lap. My ancient incantations are too weak, And hell too strong for me to buckle with: Now, France, thy glory droopeth to the dust. [Exit. Alarums. Enter French and English, fighting. LA PUCELLE and YORK fight hand to hand. LA PUCELLE is taken. The French fly. York. Damsel of France, I think I have you fast; Unchain your spirits now with spelling charms, And try if they can gain your liberty.A goodly prize, fit for the devil's grace! See, how the ugly witch doth bend her brows, As if, with Circe, she would change my shape. Puc. Chang'd to a worser shape thou canst not be. York. O, Charles the Dauphin is a proper man; No shape but his can please your dainty eye. Puc. A plaguing mischief light on Charles, and


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Alarums. Enter SUFFOLK, leading in LADY

MARGARET. Suff. Be what thou wilt, thou art my prisoner. [Gazes on her.

O fairest beauty, do not fear, nor fly;
For I will touch thee but with reverent hands,
And lay them gently on thy tender side.

I kiss these fingers [Kisses her hand.] for eternal peace:

Who art thou? say, that I may honour thee.
Mar. Margaret my name; and daughter to a king,
The king of Naples, whosoe'er thou art.

Suff. An earl I am, and Suffolk am I call'd.
Be not offended, nature's miracle,
Thou art allotted to be ta'en by me :
So doth the swan her downy cygnets save,
Keeping them prisoners underneath her wings.
Yet, if this servile usage once offend,
Go, and be free again as Suffolk's friend.

[She turns away as going.
O, stay!-I have no power to let her pass;
My hand would free her, but my heart says-no.
As plays the sun upon the glassy streams,
Twinkling another counterfeited beam,

So seems this gorgeous beauty to mine eyes."

Fain would I woo her, yet I dare not speak:
I'll call for pen and ink, and write my mind:
Fye, De la Poole! disable not thyself;
Hast not a tongue? is she not here thy prisoner ?
Wilt thou be daunted at a woman's sight?
Ay; beauty's princely majesty is such,
Confounds the tongue, and makes the senses rough."
Mar. Say, earl of Suffolk,-if thy name be so,-
What ransom must I pay before I pass?
For, I perceive, I am thy prisoner.

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Suff. How canst thou tell she will deny thy suit, Before thou make a trial of her love? [Aside. Mar. Why speak'st thou not? what ransom must I pay?

5 This comparison, made between things sufficiently unlike (Johnson observes,) is intended to express the softness and delicacy of Lady Margaret's beauty, which delighted, but did not dazzle: which was bright, but gave no pain by its lustre.

Suff. She's beautiful; and therefore to be woo'd: She is a woman; therefore to be won. [Aside. Mar. Wilt thou accept of ransom, yea, or no? Suff. Fond man! remember, that thou hast a wife: Then how can Margaret be thy paramour? [Aside. Mar. I were best leave him, for he will not hear. Suff. There all is marr'd; there lies a cooling


Mar. He talks at random; sure, the man is mad. Suff. And yet a dispensation may be had.

Mar. And yet I would that you would answer me. Suff. I'll win this lady Margaret. For whom? Why, for my king: Tush! that's a wooden thing. Mar. He talks of wood: It is some carpenter. Suff. Yet so my fancy10 may be satisfied, And established between these realms. peace But there remains a scruple in that too; For though her father be the king of Naples, And our nobility will scorn the match." Duke of Anjou and Maine, yet he is poor,


Mar. Hear ye, captain? Are you not at leisure? Henry is youthful, and will quickly yield.Suff. It shall be so, disdain they ne'er so much: Madam, I have a secret to reveal.

Mar. What though I be enthrall'd? he seems a And will not any way dishonour me. knight,

[Aside. Suff. Lady, vouchsafe to listen what I say. And then I need not crave his courtesy. Mar. Perhaps, I shall be rescu'd by the French: [Aside. Suff. Sweet madam, give me hearing in a causeMar. Tush: women have been captivate ere now. [Aside.

Suff. Lady, wherefore talk you so? Mar. I cry you mercy, 'tis but quid for quo. Suff. Say, gentle princess, would you not suppose Your bondage happy, to be made a queen? Mar. To be a queen in bondage, is more vile, Than is a slave in base servility; For princes should be free. Suff.

And so shall you, If happy England's royal king be free.

Mar. Why, what concerns his freedom unto me? Suff. I'll undertake to make thee Henry's queen; To put a golden sceptre in thy hand, And set a precious crown upon thy head, If thou wilt condescend to be myMar.

Suff. His love.


Mar. I am unworthy to be Henry's wife. Suff. No, gentle madam; I unworthy am To woo so fair a dame to be his wife, And have no portion in the choice myself. How say you, madam; are you so content? Mar. An if my father please, I am content.

6 Do not represent thyself so weak.' To disable was to dispraise, or impeach.

7 The meaning of rough here is not very evident. Sir Thomas Hanmer reads crouch.

8 A cooling card was most probably a card so decisive as to cool the courage of the adversary. Metaphorically, something to damp or overwhelm the hopes of an expectant.

9 i. e. an awkward business, an undertaking Ant likely to succeed. It is sport to see a bold fellow out of countenance, for that puts his face into a most shrunken and wooden posture."

10 i. e. love.

Suff. Then call our captains, and our colours,

And, madam, at your father's castle walls
We'll crave a parley to confer with him.

[Troops come forward.
A Parley sounded. Enter REIGNIER, on the Walls.
Suff See, Reignier, see, thy daughter prisoner.
Reig. To whom?

Suff. Reig.

To me.

Suffolk, what remedy?
I am a soldier, and unapt to weep,
Or to exclaim on fortune's fickleness.

Suff. Yes, there is remedy enough, my lord:
Consent (and for thy honour, give consent,)
Thy daughter shall be wedded to my king;
Whom I with pain have woo'd and won thereto :
And this her easy-held imprisonment
Hath gain'd thy daughter princely liberty.
Reig. Speaks Suffolk as he thinks?
Fair Margaret knows,
That Suffolk doth not flatter, face, or feign.
Reg. Upon thy princely warrant, I descend,
To give thee answer of thy just demand.
[Exit from the Walls.
Suff. And here I will expect thy coming.
Trumpets sounded. Enter REIGNIER, below.
Reig. Welcome, brave earl, into our territories:
Command in Anjou what your honour pleases.
Suff. Thanks, Reignier, happy for so sweet a

Fit to be made companion with a king:
What answer makes your grace unto my suit?
Reig. Since thou dost deign to woo her little

To be the princely bride of such a lord;
Upon condition I may quietly

Enjoy mine own, the county Maine, and Anjou,
Free from oppression, or the stroke of war,
My daughter shall be Henry's, if he please.
Suff. That is her ransom, I deliver her;
And those two counties, I will undertake,
Your grace shall well and quietly enjoy.

Reig. And I again,-in Henry's royal name,
As deputy unto that gracious king,

Give thee her hand, for sign of plighted faith.
Suff. Reignier of France, I give thee kingly thanks,
Because this is in traffic of a king:
And yet, methinks, I could be well content
To be mine own attorney in this case.
Flover then to England with this news,
And make this marriage to be solemniz'd;
So, farewell Reignier! Set this diamond safe
la golden palaces, as it becomes.


Reg. I do embrace thee, as I would embrace
The Christian prince, King Henry, were he here.
Mar. Farewell, my lord? Good wishes, praise,
and prayers,

Shall Suffolk ever have of Margaret. [Going.
Suff. Farewell, sweet madam! But hark you,

No princely commendation to my king?

Mar. Such commendations as become a maid,
A virgin, and his servant, say to him.
Suff. Words sweetly plac'd and modestly directed.
But madam, I must trouble you again-
No loving token to his majesty?
Mar. Yes, my good lord; a pure unspotted heart,
Never yet taint with love, I send the king.
Suff. And this withal.

[Kisses her. Mur. That for thyself:-I will not so presume, To send such peevish tokens to a king.

[Exeunt REIGNIER and MARGARET. Suff. O, wert thou for myself!-But, Suffolk, stay;

1 To face is to carry a false appearance, to play the hypocrite. Hence the name of one of Ben Jonson's Characters in The Alchymist.

21. e. silly, foolish.

3 Mad has been shown by Steevens to have been oc rasionally used for wild, in which sense we must take here; if we do not, with others, suspect it an error of Le press for And or Her.


Thou may'st not wander in that labyrinth;
There Minotaurs, and ugly treasons, lurk.
Solicit Henry with her wondrous praise:
Bethink thee on her virtues that surmount;
Mad,3 natural graces that extinguish art;
Repeat their semblance often on the seas,
Thou may'st bereave him of his wits with wonder.
That, when thou com'st to kneel at Henry's feet,
SCENE IV. Camp of the Duke of York, in Anjou.
Enter YORK, WARWICK, and others.

York. Bring forth that sorceress, condemn'd to


Enter LA PUCELLE, guarded, and a Shepherd.
Shep. Ah, Joan! this kill thy father's heart out-

Have I sought every country far and near,
And, now it is my chance to find thee out,
Must I behold thy timeless4 cruel death?"
Ah, Joan, sweet daughter Joan, I'll die with thee!
Puc. Decrepit miser! base ignoble wretch!
I am descended of a gentler blood:
Thou art no father, nor no friend of mine.
Shep. Out, out!-My lords, an please you, 'tis

not so;

I did beget her, all the parish knows :
Her mother liveth yet, can testify,
She was the first fruit of my bachelorship.
War. Graceless! wilt thou deny thy parentage?
York. This argues what her kind of life hath

Wicked and vile; and so her death concludes.

Shep. Fye, Joan! that thou wilt be so obstacle!"
God knows, thou art a collop of my flesh :
And for thy sake have I shed many a tear:
Deny me not, I pr'ythee, gentle Joan.


Puc. Peasant, avaunt!-You have suborn'd this man,

purpose to obscure my noble birth.

Shep. "Tis true, I gave a noble to the priest, The morn that I was wedded to her mother.-Kneel down and take my blessing, good my girl. Wilt thou not stoop? Now cursed be the time Of thy nativity! I would the milk

Thy mother gave thee, when thou suck'dst her breast,

Had been a little ratsbane for thy sake!

Or else, when thou didst keep my lambs a-field,
I wish some ravenous wolf had eaten thee!
Dost thou deny thy father, cursed drab?
O, burn her, burn her; hanging is too good. [Exit.
York. Take her away, for she hath liv'd too long,
To fill the world with vicious qualities.

Puc. First, let me tell you whom you have con-

Not one begotten of a shepherd swain
But issu'd from the progeny of kings;
Virtuous and holy; chosen from above,
By inspiration of celestial grace,

To work exceeding miracles on earth.
I never had to do with wicked spirits:
But you, that are polluted with your lusts,
Stain'd with the guiltless blood of innocents,
Corrupt and tainted with a thousand vices,-
Because you want the grace that others have,
You judge it straight a thing impossible
To compass wonders, but by help of devils.
No, misconceived! Joan of Arc hath been
A virgin from her tender infancy,
Chaste and immaculate in very thought;
Whose maiden blood, thus rigorously effus'd,
Will cry for vengeance at the gates of heaven.

York. Ay, ay;-away with her to execution.
War. And hark ye, sirs; because she is a maid,
Spare for no fagots, let there be enough:

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Place barrels of pitch upon the fatal stake,
That so her torture may be shortened.

Puc. Will nothing turn your unrelenting hearts?
Then, Joan, discover thine infirmity;
That warranteth by law to be thy privilege.-
I am with child, ye bloody homicides;
Murder not then the fruit within my womb,
Although ye hale me to a violent death.

York. Now heaven forefend! the holy maid with


War. The greatest miracle that e'er ye wrought; Is all your strict preciseness come to this? York. She and the Dauphin have been juggling; I did imagine what would be her refuge. War. Well, go to; we will have no bastards live: Especially, since Charles must father it. Puc. You are deceived; my child is none of his; It was Alençon, that enjoy'd my love.

York. Alençon! that notorious Machiavel!! It dies, an if it had a thousand lives.

Puc. O, give me leave, I have deluded you; 'Twas neither Charles, nor yet the duke I nam'd, But Reignier, king of Naples, that prevail'd.

War. A married man! that's most intolerable. York. Why, here's a girl! I think, she knows not well,

There were so many, whom she may accuse.
War. It's a sign, she hath been liberal and free.
York. And, yet, forsooth, she is a virgin pure.
Strumpet, thy words condemn thy brat, and thee:
Use no entreaty, for it is in vain.

Puc. Then lead me hence; with whom I leave
my curse:

May never glorious sun reflex his beams
Upon the country where you make abode!
But darkness and the gloomy shade of death
Environ you; till mischief, and despair,
Drive you to break your necks, or hang yourselves!
[Exit, guarded.
York. Break thou in pieces, and consume to

Thou foul accursed minister of hell!

Enter CARDINAL BEAUFORT, attended.
Car. Lord Regent, I do greet your excellence
With letters of commission from the king.
For know, my lords, the states of Christendom,
Mov'd with remorse of these outrageous broils,
Have earnestly implor'd a general peace
Betwixt our nation and the aspiring French;
And here at hand the Dauphin, and his train,
Approacheth, to confer about some matter.

York. Is all our travail turn'd to this effect?
After the slaughter of so many peers,
So many captains, gentlemen and soldiers,
That in this quarrel have been overthrown,
And sold their bodies for their country's benefit,
Shall we at last conclude effeminate peace
Have we not lost most part of all the towns,
By treason, falsehood, and by treachery,
Our great progenitors had conquer'd?-
O, Warwick, Warwick! I foresee with grief
The utter loss of all the realm of France.


War. Be patient, York: if we conclude a peace, It shall be with such strict and severe covenants, As little shall the Frenchman gain thereby. Enter CHARLES, attended; ALENGON, Bastard, REIGNIER, and others.

Char. Since, lords of England, it is thus agreed,
That peaceful truce shall be proclaim'd in France,
We come to be informed by yourselves
What the conditions of that league must be.
York. Speak, Winchester; for boiling choler

The hollow passage of my poison'd voice,
By sight of these our baleful enemies.

1 The character of Machiavel seems to have made so very deep an impression on the dramatic writers of this age, that he is many times introduced without regard to anachronism.

2 Compassion, pity.

Win. Charles, and tne. st, it is enacted thus:
That-in regard King Henry gives consent,
Of mere compassion, and of lenity,
To ease your country of distressful war,
And suffer you to breathe in fruitful peace,―
You shall become true liegemen to his crown:
And, Charles, upon condition thou wilt swear
To pay him tribute, and submit thyself,
Thou shalt be plac'd as viceroy under him,
And still enjoy thy regal dignity.

Alen. Must he be then as shadow of himself?
Adorn his temples with a coronet ;*
And yet, in substance and authority,
Retain but privilege of a private man?
This proffer is absurd and reasonless.

Char. 'Tis known, already, that I am possess'd
With more than half the Gallian territories,
And therein reverenc'd for their lawful king:
Shall I, for lucre of the rest unvanquish'd,
Detract so much from that prerogative,
As to be call'd but viceroy of the whole?
No, lord ambassador; I'll rather keep
That which I have, than, coveting for more,
Be cast from possibility of all.

York. Insulting Charles! hast thou by secret


Used intercession to obtain a league;
And, now the matter grows to compromise,
Stand'st thou aloof upon comparison?
Either accept the title thou usurp'st,
Of benefits proceeding from our king,
And not of any challenge of desert,
Or we will plague thee with incessant wars.
Reig. My lord, you do not well in obstinacy
To cavil in the course of this contract.
If once it be neglected, ten to one,
We shall not find like opportunity.

Alen. To say the truth, it is your policy,
To save your subjects from such massacre,
And ruthless slaughters, as are daily seen
By our proceeding in hostility:

And therefore take this compact of a truce, Although you break it when your pleasure serves. [Aside to CHARLES.

War. How say'st thou, Charles? shall our condition stand?

Char. It shall:

Only reserv'd, you claim no interest
In any of our towns of garrison.

York. Then swear allegiance to his majesty;
As thou art knight, never to disobey,
Nor be rebellious to the crown of England,
Thou, nor thy nobles, to the crown of England.-

[CHARLES, and the rest, give tokens of fealty. So, now dismiss your army when ye please; Hang up your ensigns, let your drums be still. For here we entertain a solemn peace. [Exeunt. SCENE V. London. A Room in the Palace. Enter KING HENRY, in conference with SUF FOLK; GLOSTER and EXETER following.

K. Hen. Your wondrous rare description, noble earl,

Of beauteous Margaret hath astonish'd me:
Her virtues, graced with external gifts,
Do breed love's settled passions in my heart:
And like as rigour in tempestuous gusts
Provokes the mightiest hulk against the tide;
So am I driven, by breath of her renown,
Either to suffer shipwreck, or arrive
Where I may have fruition of her love.

Suff. Tush! my good lord! this superficial tale
Is but a preface of her worthy praise:
The chief perfections of that lovely dame
(Had I sufficient skill to utter them,)
Would make a volume of enticing lines,
Able to ravish any dull conceit.
And, which is more, she is not so divine,

ful. It is an epithet frequently bestowed on poisonous plants and reptiles.

4 Coronet is here used for crown.

5 Be content to live as the beneficiary of our king.'

Baleful had anciently the same meaning as bane- Benefit is here a term of law.

So full replete with choice of all delights,
But, with as humble lowliness of mind,
She is content to be at your command;
Command, I mean, of virtuous chaste intents,
To love and honour Henry as her lord.

K. Hen. And otherwise will Henry ne'er


Therefore, my lord protector, give consent,
That Margaret may be England's royal queen.
Glo. So should I give consent to flatter sin.
You know, my lord, your highness is betroth'd
Unto another lady of esteem;

How shall we then dispense with that contract,
And not deface your honour with reproach?

Suff. As doth a ruler with unlawful oaths;
Or one, that, at a triumph1 having vow'd
To try his strength, forsaketh yet the lists
By reason of his adversary's odds:

A poor earl's daughter is unequal odds:
And therefore may be broke without offence.


My tender youth was neve, yet attaint
With any passion of inflaming love,
I cannot tell; but this I am assur'd,

I feel such sharp dissension in my breast,
Such fierce alarums both of hope and fear,
As I am sick with working of my thoughts.
Take, therefore, shipping: post, my lord, to France;
Agree to any covenants: and procure

That Lady Margaret do vouchsafe to come
To cross the seas to England, and be crown'd
King Henry's faithful and anointed queen:
For your expenses and sufficient charge,
Among the people gather up a tenth.
Be gone, I say; for, till you do return,
I rest perplexed with a thousand cares.--
And you, good uncle, banish all offence:
If you do censure me by what you were,
Not what you are, I know it will excuse
This sudden execution of my will.
And so conduct me, where from company,

Glo. Why, what, I pray, is Margaret more than I may revolve and ruminate my grief.4


Her father is no better than an earl,
Although in glorious titles he excel.

Suff. Yes, my good lord, her father is a king,
The king of Naples, and Jerusalem;
And of such great authority in France,
As his alliance will confirm our peace,
And keep the Frenchmen in allegiance.

Glo. And so the earl of Armagnac may do,
Because he is near kinsman unto Charles.

Ere. Beside, his wealth doth warrant liberal

While Reignier sooner will receive than give.
Suff. A dower, my lords! disgrace not so your

That he should be so abject, base, and poor,
To choose for wealth, and not for perfect love.
Henry is able to enrich his queen,

And not to seek a queen to make him rich:
So worthless peasants bargain for their wives,
As market-men for oxen, sheep,or horse.
Marriage is a matter of more worth,
Than to be dealt in by attorneyship:2
Not whom we will, but whom his grace affects,
Must be companion of his nuptial bed:

And therefore, lords, since he affects her most,
It most of all these reasons bindeth us,
In our opinions she should be preferr'd.
For what is wedlock forced, but a hell,
An age of discord and continual strife?
Whereas the contrary bringeth forth bliss,
And is a pattern of celestial peace.
Whom should we match with Henry, being a king,
But Margaret, that is daughter to a king?
Her peerless feature, joined with her birth,
Approves her fit for none, but for a king?
Her valiant courage, and undaunted spirit
(More than in women commonly is seen,)
Will answer our hope in issue of a king;
For Henry, son unto a conqueror,
Is likely to beget more conquerors,
If with a lady of so high resolve,
As is fair Margaret, he be link'd in love.
Then yield, my lords; and here conclude with me,
That Margaret shall be queen, and none but she.
K. Hen. Whether it be through force of your

My noble lord of Suffolk; or for that

I A triumph then signified a public exhibition; such as a tournament, mask, or revel.

2 By the intervention of another man's choice; or the discretional agency of another. The phrase occurs twice in King Richard III. :

Be the attorney of my love to her.'
'I, by attorney, bless thee from thy mother.'


[Exit. Glo. Ay, grief, I fear me, both at first and last. [Exeunt GLOSTER and EXETER. Suff. Thus Suffolk hath prevail'd: and thus he


As did the youthful Paris once to Greece;
With hope to find the like event in love,
But prosper better than the Trojan did.
Margaret shall now be queen, and rule the king;
But I will rule both her, the king, and realm.


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 second and third parts were published without the first, 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,
Whose state so many had the managing,

That they lost France, and made his England bleed:
Which oft our stage hath shown.'

France is lost in this play. The two following contain,
as the old title imports, the contention of the houses of
York and Lancaster.

The Second and Third Parts of Henry VI. were printed in 1600. When Henry V. was written, we know before the publication of the first and second parts. The not, but it was printed likewise in 1600, and therefore

First Part of Henry VI. had been often shown on the stage, and would certainly have appeared in its place, had the anthor been the publisher. JOHNSON.

THAT the second and third parts, as they are now called, were printed without the first, is a proof, in my apprehension, that they were not written by the same author: and the title of The Contention of the Houses of York and Lancaster, being affixed to the two pieces which were printed in quarto, is a proof that they were a distinct work, commencing where the other ended, but not written at the same time; and that this play was never known by the title of The First Part of King Henry VI. till Heminge and Condell gave it that name in their volume, to distinguish it from the two subse quent plays; which being altered by Shakspeare, assumed the new titles of the Second and Third Parts of King Henry VI. that they might not be confounded with the original pieces on which they were formed. The first part was originally called The Historical Play King Henry VI. MALONE.

3 To censure is here simply to judge. If in judging me you consider the past frailties of your own youth.' 4 Grief, in the first line, stands for pain, uneasiness ¡ in the second, especially for sorrow.




THIS and the Third Part of King Henry VI. contain that troublesone period of this prince's reign, which took in the whole contention between the houses of York and Lancaster: and under that title were these two plays first acted and published. The present play opens with King Henry's marriage, 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 reign [A. D. 1455]: so that it comprises the history and transactions of ten years.

wrote new beginnings to the Acts; he new versified, he new modelled, he transposed many of the parts; and greatly amplified and improved the whole. Several lines, however, and whole speeches, which he thought sufficiently polished, he accepted, and introduced, without any, or very slight, alterations.

Malone adopted the following expedient to mark these alterations and adoptions, which has been followed in the present edition:-All those lines which the poet adopted without any alteration, are printed in the usual manner; those speeches which he altered or expanded The Contention of the Two Famous Houses of York are distinguished by inverted commas; and to all lines and Lancaster was published in quarto; the first part in entirely composed by himself asterisks are prefixed. 1594; the second, or True Tragedy of Richard Duke of The internal evidences upon which Malone relies to York, in 1595; and both were reprinted in 1600. In a establish his position are, 1. The variations between the dissertation annexed to these plays, Mr. Malone has old plays in quarto, and the corresponding pieces in the endeavoured to establish the fact that these two dramas folió edition of Shakspeare's dramatic works, which were not originally written by Shakspeare, but by some are of so peculiar a nature as to mark two distinct preceding author or authors before the year 1590; and hands. Some circumstances are mentioned in the old that upon them Shakspeare formed this and the follow-quarto plays, of which there is not the least trace in the ing drama, altering, retrenching, or amplifying as he folio; and many minute variations occur that prove the thought proper. I will endeavour to give a brief ab- pieces in the quarto to have been original and distinet stract of the principal arguments. 1. The entry on the compositions. No copyist or shorthand writer would Stationers' books, in 1594, does not mention the name invent circumstances lutally different from those which of Shakspeare; nor are the plays printed with his name appear in Shakspeare's new-modelled draughts, as exIn the early editions; but, after the poet's death, an edi-hibited in the first folio; or insert whole speeches, or tion was printed by one Pavier without date, but really, which scarcely a trace is found in that edition. In some in 1619, with the name of Shakspeare on the title-page. places a speech in one of these quartos consists of ten This he has shown to be a common fraudulent prac-or twelve lines: in Shakspeare's folio the same speech tice of the booksellers of that period. When Pavier re- consists perhaps of only half the number. A copyist by published The Contention of the Two Houses, &c. in the ear, or an unskilful shorthand writer. might mutilate 1619, he omitted the words as it was acted by the earl and exhibit a poet's thoughts or expressions imperfectly; of Pembrooke his servantes,' which appeared on the but he would not dilate and amplify them, or introduce original title-page,-just as on the republication of the totally new matter. old play of King John, in two parts, in 1611, the words Malone then exhibits a sufficient number of instances 'as it was acted in the honourable city of London,' were to prove, beyond the possibility of doubt, his position: omitted; because the omitted words in both cases mark- so that (as he observes) we are compelled to admit, ed the respective pieces not to be the production of either that Shakspeare wrote two sets of plays on the Shakspeare. And, as in King John, the letters W. Sh. story which forms his Second and Third Parts of King were added, in 1611, to deceive the purchaser; so in Henry VI., hasty sketches, and entirely distinct aud the republication of The whole Contention, &c. Pavier, more finished performances; or else we must acknowhaving dismissed the words above-mentioned, inserted ledge that he formed his pieces on a foundation laid by these: Newly corrected and enlarged by William another writer or writers; that is upon the two parts of Shakspere: knowing that these pieces had been made The Contention of the Two Houses of York, &c. It is the groundwork of two other plays: that they had in a striking circumstance that almost all the passages in fact been corrected and enlarged, (though not in his co-the Second and Third Parts of King Henry VI. which py, which was a mere reprint from the edition of 1600,) resemble others in Shakspeare's undisputed plays, are and exhibited under the titles of the Second and Third not found in the original pieces in quarto, but in his ri Parts of King Henry VI.; and hoping that this new edi. faccimento in folio. As these resemblances to his other tion of the original plays would pass for those altered plays, and a peculiar Shakspearian phraseology, ascerand augmented by Shakspeare, which were then un-tain a considerable portion of these disputed dramas to published. be the production of that poet; so, on the other hand, other passages, discordant, in matters of fact, from his other plays, are proved by this discordancy not to have been composed by him and these discordant passages, being found in the original quarto plays, prove that those pieces were composed by another writer.

It is observable that several portions of English his

A passage from Greene's Groatsworth of Wit, adduced by Mr. Tyrwhitt, first suggested and strongly supports Malone's hypothesis. The writer, Robert Greene, is supposed to address himself to his poetical friend, George Peele, in these words: Yes, trust them not [alluding to the players], for there is an upstart crowe beautified with our feathers, that with history had been dramatised before the time of Shakspeare, tygre's heart wrapped in a player's hide, supposes hee is well able to bombaste out a blank verse as the best of you; and, being an absolute Joannes factotum, is, in his own conceit, the only Shakescene in a country.

Thus we have King John, in two parts, by an anony mous writer; Edward I. by George Peele; Edward II. by Christopher Marlowe; Edward IL anonymous; Henry IV. containing the deposition of Richard II. and O tyger's heart wrapped in a woman's hide! is a line the accession of Henry to the crown, anonymous; Henin the old quarto play entitled The First Part of the ry V. and Richard III, both by anonymous authors. It Contention, &c. There seems to be no doubt that the is therefore highly probable that the whole of the story allusion is to Shakspeare, that the old plays may have of Henry VI. had been brought on the scene, and that been the production of Greene, Peele, and Marlowe, or the first of the plays here printed, formerly called some of them; and that Greene could not conceal his The Historical Play of King Henry VI, and now named mortification, at the fame of himself and his associates, The First Part of King Henry VI. as well as the Two old and established playwrights, being eclipsed by a new Parts of the Contention of the Houses of York and Lanupstart writer, (for so he calls the poet,) who had then caster, were the compositions of some of the authors perhaps first attracted the notice of the public by exhi-who had produced the historical dramas above enumiebiting two plays formed upon old dramas written by rated. them, considerably enlarged and improved. The very term that Greene uses, to bombaste out a blank verse, exactly corresponds with what has been now suggested, This new poet, says he, knows as well as any man how to amplify and swell out a blank verse.

Mr. Boswell, speaking of the originals of the second and third of these plays, says, "That Marlowe may have had some share in these compositions, I am not disposed to deny; but I cannot persuade myself that they entirely proceeded from his pen. Some passages Shakspeare did for the old plays, what Berni had beare possessed of so much merit, that they can scarcely fore done to the Orlando Innamorato of Boiardo. He be ascribed to any one except the most disting cished of

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