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The play which Sir Gilly Meyrick arranged for at the Globe in 1601 was in all probability a play other than Shakespeare's on the same subject. Phillips, the "manager" of the performance, said that the play was "so old and so long out of use that they should have small or no company at it;" and the sum of forty shillings extra was paid to the actors for their services. Shakespeare's play, which was certainly not written before 1593, could hardly be described as "so old" in 1601, even if it had been still-born; still less can we believe that it was "so old and so long out of use" when editions of it were published in 1597 and 1598, and when it was still worth publishing again in quarto (with the "new additions," we grant) in 1608. Besides, although we may say that Shakespeare's Richard II. deals with a successful and perhaps justifiable deposition of a king, we feel that Shakespeare throws our sympathies largely on to the side of Richard—especially towards the close of the tragedy. Does not Carlisle-the Carlisle, be it noted, for whom Bolingbroke shows such respect -expressly forbid deposition (IV. i. 114-149), "What subject can give sentence on a king?" Again, the conspirators themselves disclaimed any attempt upon Elizabeth's life, and would therefore hardly countenance a play in which the monarch was murdered. It seems more than likely from the nature of the title of Sir Gilly's play that it did not deal with the death of Richard; had it done so, there surely would have been some mention of its more spicy contents in the title; it would have been the "Life and Death of King Richard II." or "The True Tragedie of King Richard II." rather than, apparently, the mere mention of the deposition. Reviewing Shakespeare's play as a whole, too, we find that its general effect is much the same as that of Carlisle's definite dicta,-hardly one to hearten an audience exercised over the ethics and the practical results of violently deposing a monarch, but one much more likely to give them pause. Sir Gilly's play, therefore, whatever it may have been, was not Shakespeare's Richard II. as we now know it.

On April 30th, 1611, the astrologer-quack "Dr." Simon Forman attended a performance at the Globe of a play of Richard II. This play is beyond all doubt entirely different

from our Richard II., for it began with Wat Tyler's revolt and concerned itself with the earlier events of the reign. It has been suggested that this was the first part of a Chronicle Play, of which Sir Gilly Meyrick's play was the second part. This is, of course, merely a guess, which may be correct. As against its likelihood we may point out that it is hardly possible that such a second part would not deal with the death of Richard, and we have already shown that Sir Gilly's play apparently did not deal with the king's murder. In regard to Captain Keeling's notes of the performance of Richard II. and Hamlet,1 all we can say is that the mention of Hamlet inclines us to think of Shakespeare. Even if Captain Keeling's notes are not forgeries we cannot be certain that his Richard is ours.

Another play on the same subject, called The Tragedy of Richard II., was printed in 1870 from a MS. to be found in the Egerton MSS. in the British Museum. It bears a superficial resemblance to Shakespeare's play, but seems to date no earlier than about 1620.

The sum total of positive knowledge regarding any play or plays of Richard II. previous to Shakespeare's is therefore very meagre; at most we are only justified in saying that there was one play on the subject in existence before Shakespeare's; that this play may have been an old Chronicle Play in two parts: while it is just barely possible that the little evidence we have may indicate the existence of two pre-Shakespearian plays on Richard's reign. We have no means of telling whether Shakespeare recast or made other use of all or any of this earlier work. If the Troublesome Raigne of John King of England were not extant, we could hardly surmise from Shakespeare's King John alone that he was recasting an earlier play; indeed we might easily be pardoned for believing that he had drawn his material direct from the Chronicles of Holinshed.

1" Sept. 30th [1607]. Captain Hawkins dined with me, when my companions acted Kinge Richarde the Seconde." Twice during the same month Hamlet was acted: "which I permitt," Captain Keeling goes on to say, "to keepe my people from idlenes and unlawfull games or sleepe." See Rundall, Notices of Dramatic Performances on Board the Ship Dragon in 1607. 1849, p. 231. These notes are supposed to be from Keeling's MS. Journal, still in the India Office. Unfortunately the leaves on which these notes ought to be found have long been missing, and Sir Sidney Lee places these references in his list of Shakespearian forgeries (Life of Shakespeare, p. 369).

On comparing King John with the Troublesome Raigne and with the Chronicles, we find that Shakespeare leaves at least two minor points obscure-the reason for Faulconbridge's hatred of the Dauphin, and the lack of motive for the poisoning of the king by the monk of Swinstead. In the Troublesome Raigne these points are made perfectly clear (see Introduction, King John, in this series). In Richard II. there is at least one exactly parallel case. In Act II. i. 167, York alludes to the "prevention of poor Bolingbroke about his marriage." There is no explanation of this in the play nor any other reference to it, and it is just possible that Shakespeare has made here exactly the same kind of slip as he did in working over King John from the Troublesome Raigne; in other words, this slip in Richard II. looks remarkably like evidence that Shakespeare was working over an older play as he did in the case of the contemporary King John. There are two passages in which Shakespeare was evidently not drawing from the Chronicles. The first is that in which Richard formally hands over the crown to Bolingbroke1 (IV. i. 204 et seq., "I give this heavy weight from off my head," etc.). The second commits Carlisle to the custody of the Abbot of Westminster, whereas, according to the Chronicles, Carlisle was sent to St. Albans.

These discrepancies may well be explained in the same way as the reference to Bolingbroke's marriage. When we remember that King John and Richard II. were written probably within a year of one another, it becomes still more likely that Shakespeare should have produced the two similar plays by similar methods; and the likelihood is strengthened by the amount of evidence we possess of the existence of a previous

1 Apparently taken from Froissart. "Then King Richard was brought into the hall, apparelled like a king in his robes of estate, his sceptre in his hand and his crown on his head. Then he stood up alone, not holden nor stayed by no man, and said aloud: 'I have been king of England, duke of Acquitaine and lord of Ireland about twenty-two years, which seignory, royalty, sceptre, crown and heritage I clearly resign here to my cousin Henry of Lancaster; and I desire him here in this open presence, in entering of the same possession, to take this sceptre.' And so delivered it to the Duke, who took it. Then King Richard took the crown from his head with both his hands and set it before him, and said: 'Fair cousin, Henry, duke of Lancaster, I give and deliver you this crown, wherewith I was crowned king of England, and therewith all the right thereto de pending.' The Duke of Lancaster took it . . ." (Froissart's Chronicles, Berner's trans., Globe Edition, p. 469).

play or plays which may have stood in the same relationship to Richard II. as the Troublesome Raigne did to King John.1

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The question of the date when Richard II. was written is so closely bound up with the same question regarding King John that it is impossible to deal with either play separately. Both questions have been dealt with at length by the present editor in the Introduction to King John in this series; there is no need therefore to cover the same ground a second time. The conclusions arrived at are, that the evidence is so evenly divided that it is impossible to state definitely which is the earlier of the two plays: and that "external,” “internal" and "metrical" evidence point to 1593-5 as the widest period within which both plays must have been written.2

The sources of Richard II. were, either directly, or indirectly through the intermediate stage of the possibly existent earlier play dealt with above, the Chronicles of Holinshed. A trace of Holinshed's predecessor Hall is apparently to be found in connection with Act v. Scene iii. Holinshed copies Hall almost verbatim, but a reference to York's age as preventing him from riding to Bolingbroke as fast as Aumerle, is to be found alone in Hall, "whiche her father being an olde man could not do," and may have its echo in the Duchess's words (V. ii. 115) :— though I be old

I doubt not but to ride as fast as York.

The adventures of Mowbray in the Holy Land seem to be suggested by Stowe's Annals (1580). We have already drawn attention to the apparent source of the formal renunciation of the crown by Richard,-Berner's Froissart (1525); but as Shakespeare draws nowhere else in his history plays from Froissart, this particular borrowing looks like the work of the writer of our hypothetical Ur-Richard.

The debt to any historical source other than Holinshed is trivial, and on examination it may be seen that the second

I Since the above was written Prof. Saintsbury in the Cambridge History of English Literature enters a caveat against assuming too absolutely the originality of Shakespeare's play (vol. iv. p. 184).

21595, or late in 1594, is by some definitely accepted for Richard II., on the ground-first pointed out by Grant White-that of the first and second editions of Daniel's Civill Warres, which are both dated 1595, the latter alone contains passages which resemble parts of Shakespeare's play. This conclusion assumes the priority of the play with reference to the poem on rather insufficient grounds.

edition of the Chronicles of England, Scotland, and Ireland (1586-7) was used; for the withering of the bay-trees (II. iv. 8) does not appear in the first edition.

In no other historical play does Shakespeare keep so closely to the Chronicle. Indeed the closeness of the relationship between Holinshed and Richard II. might well form a strong argument against the supposition that any earlier play was rehandled or even glanced at. Even if Shakespeare did work over an earlier Richard, he must also have referred at first hand to Holinshed. Let us hope that the matter may be settled some day by the discovery of the earlier play or plays on the same subject.

To illustrate fully the close correspondence between Shakespeare and Holinshed in this play would exceed the limits of the whole Introduction. The following examplesalthough the giving of them brings to mind the man who carried around a brick as a sample of the house he had to sell -must suffice for our purpose.

I. Hereford's challenge spoken by a knight on his behalf, see Richard II. 1. i. 87 et seq. :

"Right deare and sovereigne lord, here is Henrie of Lancaster, duke of Hereford and earle of Derbie, who saith, and I for him likewise say, that Thomas Mowbraie, duke of Norfolke, is a false and disloiall traitor to you and your roiall majestie; and likewise the duke of Hereford saith, and I for him, that Thomas Mowbraie, duke of Norfolke, hath received eight thousand nobles to pay the soldiers that keepe your towne of Calis; which he hath not doone as he ought: and furthermore the said duke of Norfolke hath been the occasion of all the treason that hath been contrived in your realme for the space of these eighteene yeares, and, by his false suggestions and malicious counsell, he hath caused to die and to be murdered your right deere uncle, the duke of Glocester, sonne to King Edward. Moreover, the duke of Hereford saith, and I for him, that he will prove this with his bodie against the bodie of the said duke of Norfolke within lists" (Boswell-Stone, Shakespeare's Holinshed, p. 80).

II. The meeting of Richard and Bolingbroke on the latter's return to England, see Richard II. III. iii. 186 et seq :

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