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Greene was the author of one, and Peele of the other. Greene's pamphlet, from whence the foregoing passage is extracted, was writien recently before his death, which happened in September, 1592. How long he and Peele had been dramatick writers, is not precisely asceriained. Peele took the degree of Master of Arts at Oxford, in 1579: Greene took the same degree in Cambridge, in 1583. Each of them has left four or five plays, and they wrote several others, which have not been published. The earliest of Peele's printed pieces, The Arraignment of Paris, appeared in 1584; and one of Greene's pamphlets was printed in 1583. Between that year and 1591 it is highly probable that the two plays in question were written. I suspect they were produced in 1588 or 1589. We have undoubted proofs that Shakspeare was not above working on the materials of other men. His Taming of the Shrew, his King John, and other plays, render any arguments on that point unnecessary. Having iherefore, probably not long before the year 1592, when Greene wrote his Dying Exhortation to a Friend, newmodelled and amplified these two pieces, and produced on the stage what, in the folio edition of his works, are called The Second and Third Part of King Henry VI, and having acquired considerable reputation by them, Greene could not conceal the mor. tification that he felt at his own fame and that of his associate, both of them old and admired play-wrights, being eclipsed by a new upstart writer, (for so he calls our great poet) who had then first, perhaps, attracted the notice of the publick' by exhibiting two plays, formed upon old dramas written by them, considerably enlarged and improved. He therefore, in direct terms, charges him with having acted like the crow in the fable, beautified himself with their feathers ; in other words, with having acquires fame furtivis coloribus, by new-modelling a work originally produced by them: and wishing to depreciate our author, he very naturally quotes a line from one of the pieces which Shakspeare had thus re written; a proceeding which the authors of the original plays considered as an invasion both of their literary property and character. This line, with many others, Shakspeare adopted without any alteration. The very term that Greene uses “to bombast 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. Bumbast was a soft stuff of a loose texture, by which garments were rendered more swelling and protuberant.

Several years after the death of Boiardo, Francesco Berni undertook to new.versify Boiardo's poem, entitled ORLANDO INNA

“ Berni (as Baretti observes) was not satisfied with merely making the versification of that poem better; he interspersed it with many stanzas of his own, and changed almost all the beginning of the cantos, introducing each of them with some moral reflection arising from the canto foregoing.” What Berni did to Boiardo's poem after the death of its author, and niore, I slippose Shakspeare to have done to The First Part of the Contention of the Two Houses of Yorke and Lancaster, &c. and The true Tragedie of Richarde Duke of Yorke, &c. in the life time of Greene



and Peele, their literary parents; and this Rifacimento (as the Italians call it) of these two plays I suppose to have been executed by Shakspeare, and exhibited at the Globe or Blackfriars' theatre, in the year 1591.

I have said Shakspeare did what Berni did, and more. He did not content himself with writing 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 even whole speeches which he thought sufficiently polished, he accepted, and introduced into his own work, with out any, or with very slight, alterations.

In the present edition, all those lines which he adopted without any alteration, are printed in the usual manner; those speeches which he altered or expanded, are distinguished by inverted commas; and to all the lines entirely composed by himself, asterisks are prefixed. The total number of lines in our author's Second and Third Part of King Henry VI, is Sıx THOUSAND AND ForTY-THREE: of these, as I conceive, 1771 lines were written by some author who preceded Shakspeare; 2373 were formed by him on the foundation laid by his predecessors; and 1899 lines were entirely his own composition.

That the reader may have the whole of the subject before him, I shall here transcribe the fourth scene of the fourth Act of The Third Part of King Henry VI, (which happens to be a short one) together with the corresponding scene in the original play; and also a speech of Queen Margaret, in the fifth Act, with the ori. ginal speech on which it is formed. The first specimen will serve to show the method taken by Shakspeare, were he only new-polished the language of the old play, rejecting some part of the dialogue, and making some slight additions to the part which he retained; the second is a striking proof of his facility and vigour of composition, which has happily expanded a thought comprized originally in a very short speech, into thirty-seven lines, none of which appear feeble or superfluous.


Sign. F. 4. edit 1600.

Enter the Queene, and the Lord Rivers.
Rio. Tell me, good madam,
Why is your grace so passionate of late.

Queene. Why, brother Rivers, heare you not the news
Of that success king Edward had of late?

Riv. What? losse of some pitcht battaile against Warwick? Tush; fear not, faire queen, but cast these cares aside. King Edwards noble minde his honours doth' display ; And Warwicke may lose, though then he got the day.

Queene. If that were all, my griefes were at an end; But greater troubles will, I feare, befall.

Riv. What? is he taken prisoner by the foe, To the danger of his royal person then?

Queene. I, there's my griefe; king Edward is surprisde,
And led away as prisoner unto Yorke.

Riv. The newes is passing strange, I must confesse;
Yet comfort yourselfe, for Edward hath more friends
Than Lancaster at this time must perceive,-
That some will set him in his throne againe.

Queene. God grant they may! but gentle brother, come,
And let me leane upon thine arm a while,
Until I come unto the sanctuarie ;
There to preserve the fruit within my womb,
King Edwards seed, true heir to Englands crowne. [Exeunt.


Enter the QUEEN and RIVERS.
Riv. Madam, what makes you in this sudden change?

Queen. Why, brother Rivers, are you yet to learn,
What late misfortune is befall’n king Edward ?

Rio. What, loss of some pitch'd battle against Warwick!
Queen. No, but the loss of his own royal person.
Riv. Then is my sovereign slain?

Queen. Ay, almost slain, for he is taken prisoner;
Either betray'd by falshood of bis guard,
Or by his foe surpriz'd at unawares:
And, as I further have to understand,
Is new committed to the bishop of York,
Fell Warwick's brother, and by that our foe.

Riv. These news, I must confess, are full of grief:
Yet, gracious madam, bear it as you may;
Warwick may lose, that now hath won the day.

Queen. Till then, fiir hope must hinder life's decay.
And I the rather wean me from despair,
For love of Edward's offspring in my womb:
This is it that makes me bridle passion,
And bear with mildness my misfortune's cross;
Ay, ay, for this I draw in many a tear,
And stop the rising of blood-sucking sighs,
Lest with my sighs or tears I blast or drown
King Edward's fruit, true heir to the English crown.

Riv. But, madam, where is Warwick then become?

Queen. I am informed, that he comes towards London
To set the crown once more on Henry's head:
Guess thon the rest; king Edward's friends must down.
But, to prevent the tyrant's violence,
(For trust not him that once hath broken faith)
I'll bence forth with into the sanctuary,
To save at least the heir of Edward's right;
There shall I rest secure from force, and fraud,
Come therefore, let us fly, while we may fly;
If Warwick take us, we are sure to die.


Sign. G 4. edit. 1600.

Enter the Queene, Prince Edward, Oxford, Somerset, with

drumme and souldiers.
Queen. Welcome to England, my loving friends of France ;
And welcome Somerset and Oxford too.
Once more have we spread our sailes abroad;
And though our tackling be almost consumde,
And Warwicke as our main-mast overthrowne,
Yet, warlike lordes, raise you that sturdie post,
That bears the sailes to bring us unto rest;
And Ned and I, as willing pilots should,
For once with careful mindes guide on the sterne,
To bear us thorough that dangerous gulfe,
That heretofore hath swallowed up our friendes.


March. Enter Queen MARGARET, Prince EDWARD, SOMERSET,

OXFORD, and Solliers.
Q. Mar. Great lords, wise men ne'er sit and wail their loss,
But cheerly seek how to redress their harins.
What though the mast be now blown over-board,
The cable broke, the holding anchor lost,
And half our sailors swallow'd in the flood ?
Yet lives our pilot still: Is 't meet, that he
Should leave the helm, and, like a fearful lad,
With tearful eyes add water to the sea,
And give more strength to that which hath too much;
Wbiles, in his moan, the ship splits on the rock,
Which industry and courage might have sav'd ?
Ah, what a shame! ah, what a fault were this!
Say, Warwick was our anchor; What of that?
And Montague our top-mast; What of him?
Our slaughter'd friends the tackles; What of these?
Why, is not Oxford here another anchor?
And Somerset another goodly mast?
The friends of France our shrouds and tacklings?
And, though unskilful, why not Ned and I
For once allow'd the skilful pilot's charge ?
We will not from the helm, to sit and weep;
But keep our course, though the rough wind say-no,
From shelves and rocks that threaten us with wreck.
As good to chide the waves, as speak them fair.
And what is Edward, but a ruthless sea ?
What Clarence, but a quick-sand of deceit?
And Richard, but a ragged fatal rock?
All these the enemies to our poor bark.
Say, you can swim; alas, 'tis but a while:
Tread on the sand; why, there you quickly sink :

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Bestride the rock; the tide will wash you off,
Or else you famish, that is a threefold death.
This speak I, lords, to let you understand,
In case some one of you would fly from us,
That there 's no hop'd-for mercy with the brothers,
More than with ruthless waves, with sands, and rocks.
Why, courage, then! what cannot be avoided,
'Twere childish weakness to lament, or fear.

If the reader wishes to compare The First Part of the Contention of the Two Houses, &c. with The Second Part of King Henry VI, which was formed upon it, he will find various passages quoted from the elder drama in the notes on that play. The two celebrated scenes, in which the dead body of the Duke of Gloster is described, and the death of Cardinal Beaufort is represented, may be worth examining with this view ; and will sufficiently ascertain how our autho. proceeded in new-modelling that play; with what expression, animation, and splendour of colouring, he filled up the outline that had been sketched by a preceding writer.f

Shakspeare having thus given celebrity to these two old dramas, by altering and writing several parts of them over again, the bookseller, Millington, in 1593-4, to avail bimself of the popularity of the new and admired poet, got, perhaps from Peele, who was then living, or from the author, whoever he was, or from some of the comedians belonging to the Earl of Pembroke, the original play on which The Second Part of King Henry VI was founded; and entered on the Stationers' books, certainly with an intention to publish it. Why it did not then appear, cannot be. now ascertained. But both that, and the other piece on which The Third Part of King Henry VI was formed, was printed by the same bookseller in 1600, either with a view to lead the commin reader to suppose that he should purchase two plays as alterel and new-modelled by Shakspeare, or, without any such frauidulent intention, to derive a profit from the exhibition of a work that so great a writer bad thought proper to retouch, and form into those dramas which for several years before 1600 had with. out doubt been performed with considerable applause. In the same manner The old Taming of a Shreu, on which our author formed a play, had been entered at Stationers' Hall in 1594, and was printed in 1607, without doubt with a view to pass it on the publick as the production of Shakspeare.

Compare also the account of the death of the Duke of York (p. 316) and king Henry's soliloquy (p. 337) with the old play as quoted in the notes.- Sometimes our author new-versified the old, without the addition of any new, matter. See p. 390, n. 7.

+ See p. 201, n. 5; and p. 213, n. 7. Compare also Clifford's speech to the rebels in p. 250, Buckingham's address to King Henry in p. 162, and Iden's speech in p. 256, with the old play, as quoted in the notes.

# Also, as it has lately been discovered, by Cuthbert Burbie, iny 1596. Reed.

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