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THE SECOND PART OF
KING HENRY THE SIXTH .
“ The Second Part of Henry the Sixt, with the death of the Good Duke Hvmfrey," was first printed in its complete form, in the folio of 1623. In the brief notice prefixed to the foregoing drama, we have ventured an opinion that the two plays, or one play divided into two parts, called “The First Part of the Contention,” &c.* and “ The True Tragedie,” &c.,f afterwards published by Pavier, under the title of “The Whole Contention," &c.,I were not, as Malone has laboured to prove, the production of a preceding writer, but were Shakespeare's first sketches (surreptitiously and inaccurately printed) of what he subsequently re-wrote, and entitled “ The Second and Third Parts of Henry VI.”
In expressing this opinion, we must not be understood to go the extreme length of ascribing the whole of these two pieces to Shakespeare. Much in them unquestionably belongs to another and a very different hand; but the greater portion, especially in “ The First Part of the Contention,” appears to our judgment far beyond the reach of any other writer of the age. Such, too, we are pleased to find, is the view entertained by Mr. Halliwell. In his Introduction to the excellent reprint of these two dramas for the Shakespeare Society, in 1843, after a careful revision of the evidence in opposition to the claims of Shakespeare to their authorship, this judicious authority well observes :—“There are so many passages in the two plays now reprinted, that seem almost beyond the power of any of Shakespeare's predecessors or contemporaries, perhaps even not excepting Marlowe, that, as one method of explaining away the difficulties which attend a belief in Malone's theory, my conjecture that when these plays were printed in 1594 and 1595, they included the first additions which Shakespeare made to the originals, does not seem improbable, borne out, as it is, by an examination of the early editions. If I am so far correct, we have yet to discover the originals of the two parts of the Contention, as well as that of 1 Henry VI."
* "The First part of the Contention betwixt the two famous Houses of Yorke and Lancaster, with the death of the good Duke Humphrey: And the banishment and death of the Duke of Suffolke, and the Tragicall end of the proud Cardinall of Winchester, with the notable Rebellion of lacke Cade: And the Duke of Yorke's first claime onto the Crowne. London, Printed by Thomas Creed, for Thomas Millington, and are to be sold at his shop vnder Saint Peters Church in Cornwall. 1594."
“The True Tragedie of Richard Duke of Yorke, and the death of good King Henrie the Sixt, with the whole contention
betweene the two Houses Lancaster and Yorke, as it was sundrie times acted by the Right Honourable the Earle of Pembrooke his seruants. Printed at London by P. S., for Thomas Millington, and are to be sold at his shoppe under Saint Peters Church in Cornwal. 1595."
1 “The Whole Contention betweene the two Famous Houses, Lancaster and Yorke. With the Tragicall ends of the good Duke Humfrey, Richard Duke of Yorke, and King Henrie the sixt. Diuided into two parts: And newly corrected and enlarged. Written by William Shakespeare, Gent. Printed at London, for T. P."
}of the Yorkist party.
King HENRY THE SIXTI.
MARGARET, Queen to King Henry.
Lords, Ladies, and Attendants ; Petitioners, Aldermen, a Herald, a Beadle, Sheriffs,
and Oficers; Citizens, Prentices, Falconers, Guards, Soldiers, Messengers, d'c.
SCENE, -- Disperscaly in rarious parts of England.
Fourish of Trumpets : then Hautboys. Enter, on As procurator to your excellence,
one side, KING HENRY, DUKE OF GLOUCESTER, To marry princess Margaret for your grace; SALISBURY,WARWICK, and CARDINAL BEAU- So, in the famous ancient city Tours,FORT; on the other, QUEEN MARGARET, led In presence of the kings of France and Sicil, in by SUFFOLK ; YORK, SOMERSET, BUCKING- The dukes of Orleans, Calaber, Bretaigne, and HAM, and others following.
Seven earls, twelve barons, and twenty reverend SUF. As by your high imperial majesty I have perform’d my task, and was espous’d; I had in charge at my depart for France, And humbly now upon my bended knee,
In sight of England and her lordly peers,
king her father, and she sent over of the king of Deliver up my title in the queen
England's own proper cost and charges, without To your most gracious hands, that are the substance having any dowry. Of that great shadow I did represent;
K. Hen. They please us well.—Lord marquess, The happiest gift that ever marquess gave,
kneel down; The fairest queen that ever king receiv’d.
We here create thee the first duke of Suffolk, K. HEN. Suffolk, arise.
And girt thee with the sword.—Cousin of York, Margaret :
We here discharge your grace from being regent I can express no kinder sign of love,
I'the parts of France, till term of eighteen months Than this kind kiss.-0 Lord, that lends me life,
Be full expir'd.— Thanks, uncle Winchester, Lend me a heart replete with thankfulness !
Gloster, York, Buckingham, Somerset, For thou hast given me, in this beauteous face,
Salisbury, and Warwick ; A world of earthly blessings to my soul,
We thank you all for this great favour done, If sympathy of love unite our thoughts.
In entertainment to my princely queen. Q. Mar. Great king of England, and my gra- Come, let us in; and with all speed provide cious lord ;
To see her coronation be perform’d. The mutual conference that my mind hath had,
[Exeunt KING, QUEEN, and SUFFOLK. By day, by night; waking, and in my dreams,
Glo. Brave peers of England, pillars of the state', In courtly company, or at my beads,
To you duke Humphrey inust unload his grief,With you mine alder-liefest sovereign,
Your grief, the common grief of all the land. Makes me the bolder to salute my king
What did my brother Henry spend his youth, With ruder terms, such as my wit affords
His valour, coin, and people, in the wars ? And over-joy of heart doth minister. [speech, Did he so often lodge in open field,
K. Hen. Her sight did ravish ; but her grace in In winter's cold and summer's parching heat, Her words y-clad with wisdom's majesty, Makes me, from wondering, fall to weeping, joys;
To conquer France, his true inheritance ?
And did my brother Bedford toil his wits, Such is the fulness of my heart's content.
To keep by policy what Henry got? Lords, with one cheerful voice welcome my love. ALL. Long live queen Margaret, England's Brave York, Salisbury, and victorious Warwick,
Have you yourselves, Somerset, Buckingham, All happiness!
Receiv'd deep scars in France and Normandy ? Q. Mar. We thank
Or hath mine uncle Beaufort, and myself,
Studied so long, sat in the council-house
How France and Frenchmen might be kept in awe? Glo. [Reads.] Imprimis, It is agreed between And hath his highness in his infancy the French king, Charles, and William de la
Been crown'd in Paris, in despite of foes ? Poole, marquess of Suffolk, ambassador for Henry And shall these labours and these honours die?. king of England,- that the said Henry shall
Shall Henry's conquest, Bedford's vigilance, espouse the lady Margaret, daughter unto Reig- Your deeds of war, and all our counsel die ? nier king of Naples, Sicilia, and Jerusalem ;
O, peers of England, shameful is this league ! and crown her queen of England, ere the thirtieth Fatal this marriage! cancelling your fame, of May next ensuing.--Item,—That the duchy Blotting your names from books of memory, of Anjou and the county of Maine shall be re- Razing the characters of your renown, leased and delivered to the king her father- Defacing monuments of conquer'd France, K. HEN. Uncle, how now!
Undoing all, as all had never been ! Glo.
Pardon me, gracious lord ; Car. Nephew, what means this passionate disSome sudden qualm hath struck me at the heart,
course, And dimm'd mine eyes, that I can read no further. This peroration with such circumstance?
K. HEN. Uncle of Winchester, I pray, read on. For France, 'tis ours; and we will keep it still.
CAR. [Reads.] Item,- It is further agreed Glo. Ay, uncle, we will keep it, if we can; between them,- that the duchies of Anjou and But now it is impossible we should : Maine shall be released and delivered over to the Suffolk, the new-made duke that rules the roast,
& Or at my beads,-) See note (C), p. 3, Vol. I.
b Alder-liefest-) All-dearest; dearest of all; a Saxon compound found in many of our early writers, from Chaucer to Shakespeare,
C Been crown'd in Paris,-] The old text reads "Crowned in Paris,” &c. Capell added “Beer," as did also Mr. Collier's annotator