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Thus, in The Third Part of King Henry VI. (p. 454,) Sir John Grey is said to have lost his life in quarrel of the house of York; " and King Edward stating the claim of his widow, whom he afterwards married, mentions, that his lands after the battle of Saint Albans, (February 17, 1460-1,) were seized on by the conqueror. Whereas, in fact, they were seized on by Edward himself after the battle of Towton, (in which he was conqueror,) March 29, 1461. The conqueror at the second battle of Saint Albans, the battle here meant, was Queen Margaret. This statement was taken from the old quarto play; and, from carelessness was adopted by Shakspeare without any material alteration. But at a subsequent period when he wrote his King Richard III. he was under a necessity of carefully examining the English chronicles; and in that play, Act I. Sc. III. he has represented this matter truly as it was:
"In all which time, you, and your husband Grey,
(And, Rivers, so were you ;)-Was not your husband "In Margaret's battle at Saint Albans slain?"
It is called "Margaret's battle," because she was there victorious.
An equally decisive circumstance is furnished by the same play. In The Third Part of King Henry VI. (p. 478,) Warwick proposes to marry his eldest daughter (Isabella) to Edward Prince of Wales, and the proposal is accepted by Edward; and in a subsequent scene Clarence says, he will marry the younger daughter (Anne). In these particulars Shakspeare has implicitly followed the elder drama. But the fact is, that the Prince of Wales married Anne the younger daughter of the Earl of Warwick, and the Duke of Clarence married the elder, Isabella. Though the author of The true Tragedie of the Duke of Yorke, &c. was here inaccurate, and though Shakspeare too negligently followed his steps,-when he wrote his King Richard III. he had gained better information; for there Lady ANNE is rightly represented as the widow of the Prince of Wales, and the youngest daughter of the Earl of Warwick:
"Which done, God take king Edward to his mercy,
"For then I'll marry Warwick's youngest daughter; "What though I kill'd her husband, and her father," &c. i. e. Edward Prince of Wales, and King Henry VI.
King Richard III, Act I. Sc. I.
I have said that certain passages in The Second and Third Part of King Henry VI. are ascertained to be Shakspeare's by a peculiar phraseology. This peculiar phraseology, without a single exception, distinguishes such parts of these plays as are found in the folio, and not in the elder quarto dramas, of which the phraseology, as well as the versification, is of a different colour. This observation applies not only to the new original matter pro
duced by Shakspeare, but to his alteration of the old. Our author in his undoubted compositions has fallen into an inaccuracy, of which I do not recollect a similar instance in the works of any other dramatist. When he has occasion to quote the same paper twice, (not from memory, but verbatim,) from negligence he does not always attend to the words of the paper which he has occasion to quote, but makes one of the persons of the drama recite them with variations, though he holds the very paper quoted before his eyes. Thus, in All's Well that Ends Well, Act V. Sc. III. Helena says:
here's letter: This it says:
Yet, as I have observed in vol. xi. p. 420, n. 6. Helena in Act III. Sc. II. reads this very letter aloud, and there the words are different, and in plain prose: "When thou canst get the ring from my finger, which never shall come off, and show me a child begotten of thy body," &c. In like manner, in the first scene of The Second Part of King Henry VI. Suffolk presents to the Duke of Gloster, protector of the realm, the articles of peace concluded between France and England. The protector begins to read the articles, but when he has proceeded no further than these words,-" Item, that the dutchy of Anjou and the county of Maine shall be released and delivered to the king her father," he is suddenly taken ill, and rendered incapable of proceeding on which the Bishop of Winchester is called upon to read the remainder of the paper. He accordingly reads the whole of the article, of which the Duke of Gloster had only read a part: "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 she sent," &c. Now though Maine in our old chronicles is sometimes called a county, and sometimes a dutchy, yet words cannot change their form under the eyes of two readers: nor do they in the original play, entitled The First Part of the Contention of the Two Houses, &c. for there the article as recited by the protector corresponds with that recited by the Bishop, without the most minute variation. "Item, It is further agreed between them, that the dutchies of Anjou and of Maine shall be released and delivered over to the king her father, and she sent," &c. Thus in the old play says the Duke, and so says the Cardinal after him. This one circumstance, in my apprehension, is of such weight, that though it stood alone, it might decide the present question. Our author has fallen into a similar inaccuracy in the fourth scene of the same Act, where the Duke of York recites from a paper the questions that had been put to the Spirit, relative to the Duke of Suffolk, Somerset, &c *.
* See p. 201, n. 8.
Many minute marks of Shakspeare's hands may be traced in such parts of the old plays as he has new-modelled. I at present recollect one that must strike every reader who is conversant with his writings. He very frequently uses adjectives adverbially; and this kind of phraseology, if not peculiar to him, is found more frequently in his writings than those of any of his contemporaries. Thus-"I am myself indifferent honest; "-" as dishonourable ragged as an old faced ancient; "-" equal ravenous; "-" leaves them invisible; &c. In The true Tragedie of the Duke of Yorke, &c. the King, having determined to marry Lady Grey, injoins his brothers to use her honourably. But in Shakspeare's play the words are,-" use her honourable." So, in Julius Cæsar:
Young man, thou could'st not die more honourable." In like manner, in The Third Part of King Henry VI. we find this line:
"Is either slain, or wounded dangerous." but in the old play the words are-" wounded dangerously."
In the same play the word handkerchief is used; but in the corresponding scene in The Third Part of King Henry VI. (p. 406,) Shakspeare has substituted the northern term napkin, which occurs so often in his works, in its room *.
The next circumstance to which I wish to call the attention of those who do not think the present investigation wholly incurious, is, the Transpositions that are found in these plays. In the preceding notes I have frequently observed that not only several lines, but sometimes whole scenes †, were transposed by Shakspeare. In p. 405, a Messenger, giving an account of the death of the Duke of York, says:
"Environed he was with many foes;
"And stood against them, as the hope of Troy
Against the Greeks, that would have enter'd Troy. "But Hercules himself must yield to odds-;"
When this passage was printed, not finding any trace of the last three lines in the corresponding part of the old play, I marked them inadvertently as Shakspeare's original composition in my former edition; but I afterwards found that he had borrowed them from a subsequent scene on a quite different subject, in which Henry, taking leave of Warwick, says to him
"Farewell my Hector, and my Troy's true hope!"
and the last line, "But Hercules," &c. is spoken by Warwick,
*In Othello both the words-napkin, and handkerchief, may be found. STEEVENS.
† See p. 496, n. 5; p. 508, n. 4.
near the conclusion of the piece, after he is mortally wounded in the battle of Barnet.
So, in The true Tragedie of Richard Duke of Yorke, &c. after the Duke has slain Clifford, he says
"Now, Lancaster, sit sure:-thy sinews shrink." Shakspeare has not made use of that line in that place, but availed himself of it afterwards, where Edward brings forth Warwick wounded; King Henry VI. Part III. Act V. Sc. II. :
"Now, Montague, sit fast: I seek for thee," &c. Many other transpositions may be traced in these plays, to which I shall only refer in a note*.
Such transpositions as I have noticed, could never have arisen from any carelessness or inaccuracy of transcribers or copyists; and therefore are to be added to the many other circumstances which prove that The Second and Third Parts of K. Henry VI. as exhibited in the folio, were formed from the materials of a preceding writer.
It is also observable, that many lines are repeated in Shakspeare's Second and Third Part of King Henry VI. but no such repetitions are found in the old quarto plays. The repetition undoubtedly arose from Shakspeare's not always following his original strictly, but introducing expressions which had struck him in other parts of the old plays; and afterwards, forgetting that he had before used such expressions, he suffered them to remain in their original places also.
Another proof that Shakspeare was not the author of The Contention of the Two Houses, &c. is furnished by the inconsistencies into which he has fallen, by sometimes adhering to, and sometimes deviating from, his original: an inaccuracy which may be sometimes observed in his undisputed plays.
One of the most remarkable instances of this kind of inconsistency is found in The Second Part of King Henry VI. p. 306, where he makes Henry say:
"I'll send some holy bishop to intreat," &c.
a circumstance which he took from Holinshed's Chronicle; whereas in the old play no mention is made of a bishop on this occasion. The King there says, he will himself come and parley with the rebels, and in the mean time he orders Clifford and Buckingham to gather an army. In a subsequent scene, however, Shakspeare forgot the new matter which he had introduced in the former; and Clifford and Buckingham only parley with Cade, &c. conformably to the old play.
In Romeo and Juliet he has fallen into a similar inaccuracy. In the poem on which that tragedy is founded, Romeo, in his
* See p. 271, n. 4; p. 298, n. 8; p. 345, n. 3; p. 490, n. 6.
interview with the Friar, after sentence of banishment has been pronounced against him, is described as passionately lamenting his fate in the following terms:
"First nature did he blame, the author of his life,
"In which his joys had been so scant, and sorrows aye so rife; "The time and place of birth he fiercely did reprove; "He cryed out with open mouth against the stars above. "On fortune eke he rail'd," &c.
The Friar afterwards reproves him for want of patience. In forming the corresponding scene Shakspeare has omitted Romeo's invective against his fate, but inadvertently copied the Friar's remonstrance as it lay before him:
"Why rail'st thou on thy birth, the heaven, and earth?”` If the following should be considered as a trifling circumstance, let it be remembered, that circumstances which, separately considered, may appear unimportant, sometimes acquire strength, when united to other proofs of more efficacy: in my opinion, however, what I shall now mention, is a circumstance of considerable weight. It is observable that the priest concerned with Eleanor Cobham, Duchess of Glocester, in certain pretended operations of magick, for which she was tried, is called by Hall, John Hum. So is he named in The First Part of the Contention of the Two Houses of Yorke, &c. the original, as I suppose, of The Second Part of King Henry VI. Our author, probably thinking the name harsh or ridiculous, softened it to Hume; and by that name this priest is called in his play printed in folio. But in Holinshed he is named Hun; and so undoubtedly, or perhaps for softness, Hune, he would have been called in the original quarto play just mentioned, if Shakspeare had been the author of it; for Holinshed and not Hall was his guide, as I have shown incontestably in a note on King Henry V. vol. xvii. p. 270, n.4. But Hall was undoubtedly the historian who had been consulted by the original writer of The Contention of the Two Houses of Yorke and Lancaster; as appears from his having taken a line from thence, "That Alexander Iden, an esquire of Kent," and from the scene in which Cardinal Beaufort is exhibited on his death-bed. One part of the particular description of the Cardinal's death and dying words, in the old quarto play, is founded on a passage in Hall, which Holinshed, though in general a servile copyist of the former chronicler, has omitted. The passage is this: " Dr. John Baker, his pryvie counsailer and hys chapellayn, wrote, that lying on his death-bed he [Cardinal Beaufort] said these words: Why should I dye, havyng so much ryches? If the whole realme would save my lyfe, I am
* See Hall, Henry V. fol. lxxix. Holinshed says, a gentleman of Kent, named Alexander Iden, awaited so his time," &c.