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resemble others in Shakspeare's undisputed plays, are not found in the original pieces in quarto, but in his rifaccimento 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 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 history had been dramatized before the time of Shakspeare. Thus we have King John, in two parts, by an anonymous writer; Edward I., by George Peele; Edward II., by Christopher Marlowe; Edward III., anonymous; Henry IV., containing the deposition of Richard II., and the accession of Henry to the crown, anonymous ; Henry V. and Richard III., both by anonymous authors. It is therefore highly probable, that the whole of the story of Henry VI. had been brought on the scene; and that the first of the plays here printed, for
; merly called The Historical Play of King Henry VI., and now named The First Part of King Henry VI., as well as the Two Parts of the Contention of the Houses of York and Lancaster, were the compositions of some of the authors who had produced the historical dramas above enumerated.
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 are possessed of so much merit, that they can scarcely be ascribed to any one except the most distinguished of Shakspeare's predecessors; but the tameness of the general style is very different from the peculiar characteristics of that Poet's mighty line, which are great energy both of thought and language, degenerating too frequently into tumor and extravagance. The versification appears to me to be of a different color.- That Marlowe, Peele, and Greene, may all of them have had a share in these dramas, is consonant to the frequent practice of the age ; of which ample proofs may be found in the extracts from Henslowe's MS. printed by Mr. Malone.”
From the passage alluding to these plays in Greene's Groatsworth of Wit, it seems probable that they were produced previous to 1592, but were not printed until they appeared in the folio of 1623.
To Johnson's high panegyric of that impressive scene in this play, the death of Cardinal Beaufort, we may add that Schlegel says, “ It is sublime beyond all praise. Can any other poet be named who has drawn aside the curtain of eternity at the close of this life in such an overpowering and awful manner? “And yet it is not mere horror with which we are filled, but solemn emotion; we have an exemplification of a blessing and a curse in close proximity; the pious king is an image of the heavenly mercy, which, even in his last moments, labors to enter into the soul of the sinner'
KING HENRY THE SIXTH :
HUMPHREY, Duke of Gloster, his Uncle.
CARDINAL BEAUFORT, Bishop of Winchester, great
RICHARD PLANTAGENET, Duke of York:
EDWARD and RICHARD, his Sons.
Duke of Somerset,
Duke of Suffolk,
Duke of Buckingham,
of the King's Party.
Young CLIFFORD, his Son,
Earl of Salisbury, of the York Faction.
LORD SCALES, Governor of the Tower. LORD SAY.
SIR JOHN STANLEY.
A Sea Captain, Master, and Master's Mate, and WALTER
Two Gentlemen, Prisoners with Suffolk.
A Herald. VAUX.
HUME and SOUTHWELL, two Priests.
BOLINGBROKE, a Conjuror. A Spirit raised by him.
THOMAS HORNER, an Armorer: PETER, his Man.
Clerk of Chatham. Mayor of St. Albans.
SIMPCOX, an Impostor. Two Murderers.
JACK CADE, a Rebel:
GEORGE, JOHN, DICK, SMITH the Weaver, MICHAEL,
Lords, Ladies, and Attendants; Petitioners, Aldermen, a
SCENE, dispersedly in various parts of England.
SECOND PART OF
KING HENRY THE SIXTH.
SCENE I. London. A Room of State in the Palace.
Flourish of trumpets; then hautboys. Enter, on one
As procurator to your excellence,
To marry princess Margaret for your grace;
In presence of the kings of France and Sicil,
The dukes of Orleans, Calaber, Bretaigne, and Alençon,
And humbly now upon my bended knee,
1 "The marquesse of Suffolk, as procurator to king Henry, espoused the said ladie in the church of St. Martins. At the which marriage were present, the father and mother of the bride; the French king himself, that was uncle to the husband; and the French queen also, that was aunt to the wife. There were also the dukes of Orleance, of Calabre, of Alanson, and of Britaine; seven earles, twelve barons, twenty bishops."-Hall and Holinshed.
To your most gracious hands, that are the substance 1
The happiest gift that ever marquess gave,
K. Hen. Suffolk, arise.-Welcome, queen Marga
I can express no kinder sign of love,
Than this kind kiss.-O Lord, that lends me life,
*If sympathy of love unite our thoughts.
Q. Mar. Great king of England, and my gracious lord;
'The mutual conference that my mind hath had — 'By day, by night; waking, and in my dreams; In courtly company, or at my beads,
With you mine alder-liefest sovereign,
Makes me the bolder to salute my king
• With ruder terms; such as my wit affords,
And over-joy of heart doth minister.
K. Hen. Her sight did ravish; but her grace in
Her words y-clad with wisdom's majesty,
'Lords, with one cheerful voice welcome my love.
Q. Mar. We thank you all.
Suff. My lord protector, so it please your grace, Here are the articles of contracted peace,
1 i. e. to the gracious hands of you, my sovereign, who are, &c. In the old play the line stands :
"Unto your gracious excellence, that are."
2 I am the bolder to address you, having already familiarized you to my imagination.
3 i. e. most beloved of all; from alder, of all; formerly used in composition with adjectives of the superlative degree; and liefest, dearest, or most loved.
Between our sovereign and the Frerch king Charles, For eighteen months concluded by consent.
Glo. [Reads.] Imprimis, It is agreed between the French king Charles, and William de la Poole, marquess of Suffolk, ambassador for Henry king of England,—that the said Henry shall espouse the lady Margaret
, daughter unto Reignier king of Naples, Sicilia, and Jerusalem ; and crown her queen of England, ere the thirtieth of May next ensuing. — Item, — That the duchy of Anjou, and the county of Maine, shall be released and delivered to the king her father
K. Hen. Uncle, how now?
Pardon me, gracious lord ;
K. Hen. Uncle of Winchester, I pray, read on.
Win. Item,- It is further agreed between them— that the duchies of Anjou and Maine shall be released and delivered over to the king her father; and she sent over of the king of England's own proper cost and charges, without having dowry. K. Hen. They please us well.—Lord marquess,
[Exeunt King, Queen, and SUFFOLK. Glo. Brave peers of England, pillars of the state, • To you duke Humphrey must unload his grief, • Your grief, the common grief of all the land. • What? did my brother Henry spend his youth,