« PreviousContinue »
Therefore, my lord protector, give consent,
Glo. So should I give consent to flatter sin.
How shall we then dispense with that contract,
Suf. As doth a ruler with unlawful oaths;
Her father is no better than an earl,
Suf. Yes, my good lord, her father is a king,
Glo. And so the earl of Armagnac may do
Exe. Beside, his wealth doth warrant liberal dower;
While Reignier sooner will receive, than give.
That he should be so abject, base, and poor,
at a triumph-] A triumph, in the age of Shakspeare, signified a public exhibition, such as a mask, a revel, &c.
As market-men for oxen, sheep, or horse.
I feel such sharp dissention in my breast,
7by attorneyship;] By the intervention of another man's choice; or the discretional agency of another.
Take, therefore, shipping; post, my lord, to France;
Glo. Ay, grief, I fear me, both at first and last. [Exeunt GLOSTER and EXEter. Suf. Thus Suffolk hath prevail'd: and thus he
As did the youthful Paris once to Greece;
If you do censure me, &c.] To censure is here simply to judge. If in judging me you consider the past frailties of your own youth.
9 ruminate my grief.] Grief in the first line is taken genetally for pain or uneasiness; in the second specially for sorrow.
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 publick 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,
"That they lost France, and made his England bleed:
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 not, but it was printed likewise in 1600, and therefore before the publication of the first and second parts. The first part of Henry VI. had been often shown on the stage, and would certainly have appeared in its place, had the author 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 author of the first: and the title of The Contention of the Houses of York and Lancaster, being affixed to the two pieces which were printed in quarto 1600, 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 name of The First Part of King Henry VI. till Heminge and Condell gave it this title in their volume, to distinguish it from the two subsequent 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. This first part was, I conceive, originally called The Historical Play of King Henry VI. MALONE.