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penance; and the sentence is pronounced in prose: "Stand forth dame Eleanor Cobham, Duchess of Gloster, and hear the sentence pronounced against thee for these treasons that thou hast committed against us, our state and peers. First, for thy haynous crimes thou shalt two daies in London do penance barefoot in the streets, with a white sheete about thy bodie, and a wax taper burning in thy hand: that done, thou shalt be banished for ever into the Isle of Man, there to end thy wretched daies; and this is our sentence irrevocable.-Away with her." But in Shakspeare's play, (p. 220.) the King pronounces sentence in verse against the Duchess and her confederates at the same time; and only says in general, that "after three days open penance, she shall be banished to the Isle of Man."
In Shakspeare's play, (p. 248,) when the Duke of York undertakes to subdue the Irish rebels, if he be furnished with a sufficient army, Suffolk says, that he "will see that charge performed." But in the old play the Queen enjoins the Duke of Buckingham to attend to this business, and he accepts the office.
In our author's play Jack Cade is described as a clothier, in the old play he is the dyer of Ashford." In the same piece, when the King and Somerset appear at Kenelworth, a dialogue passes between them and the Queen, of which not one word is preserved in the corresponding scene in The Second Part of King Henry VI. (p. 325.) In the old play, Buckingham states to the King the grounds on which York had taken up arms; but in Shakspeare's piece, (p. 339,) York himself assigns his reasons for his conduct
In the old play near the conclusion, young Clifford, when he is preparing to carry off the dead body of his father, is assaulted by Richard, and after putting him to fight, he makes a speech consisting of four lines. But in Shakspeare's play, (p. 350,) there is no combat between them, nor is Richard introduced in that scene. The four lines therefore above mentioned are necessarily omitted.
In the old play the Queen drops her glove, and finding the Duchess of Gloster makes no attempt to take it up, she gives her
a box on the ear:
"Give me my glove; why, minion, can you not see?" But in Shakspeare's play, (p. 191,) the Queen drops not a glove, but a fan:
"Give me my fan: What, minion, can you not?"
In Shakspeare's Second Part of King Henry VI. (p. 283,) Suffolk discovers himself to the Captain who had seized him, by showing his George. In the old play he announces his quality by a ring, a seal ring we may suppose, exhibiting his arms. In the same scene of Shakspeare's play, he observes that the Captain threatens more
"Than Bargulus, the strong Illyrian pyrate.” But in the elder drama Suffolk says, he
"Threatens more plagues than mighty Abradas,
"The great Macedonian pirate."
In the same scene of the original play the Captain threatens to sink Suffolk's ship; but no such menace is found in Shakspeare's
play The true Tragedie of Richarde Duke of Yorke, &c. Richard
(afterwards Duke of Gloster,) informs Warwick that his father the Earl of Salisbury was killed in an action which he describes, and which in fact took place at Ferrybridge in Yorkshire. But Shakspeare in his Third Part of King Henry VI. (p. 426,) formed upon the piece above mentioned, has rightly deviated from it, and for father substituted brother, it being the natural brother of Warwick, (the bastard son of Salisbury,) that fell at Ferrybridge. The Earl of Salisbury, Warwick's father, was beheaded at Pomfret.
In the same old play a son is introduced who has killed his father, and afterwards a father who has killed his son. King Henry, who is on the stage, says not a word till they have both appeared, and spoken; he then pronounces a speech of seven lines. But in Shakspeare's play (p. 434, n.5,) this speech is enlarged, and two speeches formed on it; the first of which the King speaks after the son has appeared, and the other after the entry of the father.
In our author's play, (p. 480,) after Edward's marriage with Lady Grey, his brothers enter, and converse on that event. The King, Queen, &c. then join them, and Edward asks Clarence how he approves his choice. In the elder play there is no previous dialogue between Gloster and Clarence; but the scene opens with the entry of the King, &c. who desires the opinion of his brothers on his recent marriage.
In our author's play (p. 464,) the following line is found : "And set the murderous Machiavel to school."
This line in The true Tragedie of Richarde Duke of Yorke, &c. stood thus:
"And set the aspiring Catiline to school."
Catiline was the person that would naturally occur to Peele or Greene, as the most splendid classical example of inordinate ambition; but Shakspeare, who was more conversant with English books, substituted Machiavel, whose name was in such frequent use in his time that it became a specifick term for a consummate politician; and accordingly he makes his host in The Merry Wives of Windsor, when he means to boast of his own shrewdness, exclaim, "Am I subtle? am I a Machiavel?"
*Of the odium attached to the name of Machiavel, we have an amusing instance in Gill's Logonomia Anglica, 1621: "Et ne
Many other variations beside those already mentioned might be pointed out; but that I may not weary the reader, I will only refer in a note to the most striking diversities that are found between Shakspeare's Second and Third Part of King Henry VI. and the elder dramas printed in quarto *.
The supposition of imperfect or spurious copies cannot account for such numerous variations in the circumstances of these pieces; (not to insist at present on the language in which they are clothed;) so that we are compelled (as I have already observed) to maintain, either that Shakspeare wrote two plays on the story which forms his Second Part of King Henry VI. a hasty sketch, and an entirely distinct and more finished performance; or else we must acknowledge that he formed that piece on a foundation laid by another writer, that is, upon the quarto copy of The First Part of the Contention of the Two Houses of Yorke and Lancaster, &c.—and the same argument precisely applies to The Third Part of King Henry VI. which is founded on The true Tragedie of Richard Duke of Yorke.
Let us now revert to the Resemblances that are found in these pieces as exhibited in the folio, to passages in our author's undisputed plays; and also to the Inconsistencies that may be traced between them; and, if I do not deceive myself, both the one and the other will add considerable support to the foregoing observations.
In our author's genuine plays, he frequently borrows from himself, the same thoughts being found in nearly the same ex
semper Sidneios loquamur et Spenseros, audi epilogum fabulæ quam docuit Boreali dialecto poeta titulumque fecit reus Machiavellus:
"Machil iz hanged
"And brened in his buks."
See the Second Part of King Henry VI. p. 183, n. 8; p. 212, n. 1; p. 214, n. 4; p. 215, n. 7; p. 216, n. 8; p. 219, n. 3; p. 220, n. 4; p. 232, n. 4; p. 246, n. 6; p. 248, n. 7; p. 252, n. 6; p. 262, n. 6; p. 269, n. 7; p. 276, n. 8; p. 280, n. 8; p. 289, n. 3 and 4; p. 292, n. 2; p. 293, n. 3 and 4; p. 323, n. 8; p. 325, n. 3; p. 326, n. 4; p. 331, n. 4; p. 334, n. 1; p. 337, n. 7; p. 338, n.6; p. 339, n. 1 and 2; p. 340, n. 3; p. 341, n. 5; p. 312, n. 7; p. 355, n. 3; p. 350, n. 7; p. 353, n. 4; and p. 358, n. 4 and 5.
pressions in different pieces. In The Second and Third Part of King Henry VI. as in other dramas, these coincidencies with his other works may be found *; and this was one of the circumstances that once weighed much in my mind, and convinced me of their authenticity. But a collation of these plays with the old pieces on which they are founded, has shewn me the fallacy by which I was deceived: for the passages of these two parts of King Henry VI. which correspond with others in our author's undisputed plays, exist only in the folio copy, and not in the quarto; in other words, in those parts of these new-modelled pieces, which were of Shakspeare's writing, and not in the originals by another hand, on which he worked. This, I believe, will be found invariably the case, except in three instances.
The first is, "You have no children, butchers;" which is, it must be acknowledged, in The true Tragedie of Richarde Duke of Yorke, &c. 1600; (as well as in The Third Part of King Henry VI.) and is also introduced with a slight variation in Macbeth.
Another instance is found in King John. That king, when charged with the death of his nephew, asks
"Think you, I bear the shears of destiny?
which bears a striking resemblance to the words of Cardinal Beaufort in The First Part of the Contention of the Two Houses, &c. which Shakspeare has introduced in his Second Part of King Henry VI.:
Died he not in his bed?
"Can I make men live whe'r they will or no?"
The third instance is found in The true Tragedy of Richarde Duke of Yorke, &c. In that piece are the following lines, which Shakspeare adopted with a very slight variation, and inserted in his Third Part of King Henry VI. :
doves will peck in rescue of their brood.—
"Who hath not seen them even with those same wings
Offering their own lives in their young's defence?" So, in our author's Macbeth:
* See The Second Part of King Henry VI. p. 169, n. 6; p. 249, n. 8; p. 272, n. 5; p. 273, n. 7; p. 278, n. 2; p. 284, n. 5; p. 291, n. 6; p. 321, n.5; p. 352, n. 9, n. 1, n. 2; p. 355, -Third Part, p. 427, n. 5; p. 438, n. 3; p. 449, 6.
the poor wren—
“The most diminutive of birds, will fight,
But whoever recollects the various thoughts that Shakspeare has borrowed from preceding writers, will not be surprised that in a similar situation, in Macbeth, and King John, he should have used the expressions of an old dramatist, with whose writings he had been particularly conversant; expressions too, which he had before embodied in former plays: nor can, I think, these three instances much diminish the force of the foregoing observation. That it may have its full weight, I have in the present edition distinguished by asterisks all the lines in The Second and Third Part of King Henry VI. of which there is no trace in the old quarto plays, and which therefore I suppose to have been written by Shakspeare. Though this has not been effected without much trouble, yet, if it shall tend to settle this long-agitated question, I shall not consider my labour as wholly thrown away.
Perhaps a similar coincidency in The First Part of King Henry VI, may be urged in opposition to my hypothesis relative to that play. "Lean famine, quartering steel, and climbing fire," are in that piece called the attendants on the brave Lord Talbot ; as, in Shakspeare's King Henry V. " famine, sword, and fire, are leash'd in like hounds, crouching under the martial Henry for employment." If this image had proceeded from our author's imagination, this coincidency might perhaps countenance the supposition that he had some hand at least in that scene of The First Part of King Henry VI. where these attendants on war are personified. But that is not the case; for the fact is, that Shakspeare was furnished with this imagery by a passage in Holinshed, as the author of the old play of King Henry VI. was by Hall's Chronicle: "The Goddesse of warre, called Bellonas-hath these three hand-maides ever of necessitie attendyng on her, bloud, fyre, and famine *."
In our present inquiry, it is undoubtedly a very striking circumstance that almost all the passages in The Second and Third Part of King Henry VI. which resemble others in Shakspeare's undisputed plays, are not found in the original pieces in quarto, but in his Rifacimento published in folio. As these Resemblances to his other plays, and a peculiar Shakspearian phraseology, ascertain a considerable portion of these disputed dramas to be the production of Shakspeare, so on the other hand certain passages which are 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.
* Hall's Chron. Henry VI. fol. xxix.