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The. No epilogue, I pray you ; for your play needs no excuse. Never excuse ; for when the players are all dead, there needs none to be blamed. Marry, if he that writ it had played Pyramus and hanged himself in Thisbe's garter, it would have been a fine tragedy : and so it is, truly ; and very notably discharged. But, come, your Bergomask: let your epilogue alone.
[A dance. The iron tongue of midnight hath told twelve: Lovers, to bed ; 'tis almost fairy time. 371 I fear we shall out-sleep the coming morn As much as we this night have overwatch'd. This palpable-gross play hath well beguiled The heavy gait of night. Sweet friends, to
bed. A fortnight hold we this solemnity, In nightly revels and new jollity. [Exeunt.
Aud the wolf behowls the moon ;
380 All with weary task fordone. Now the wasted brands do glow,
Whilst the screech-owl, screeching loud, Puts the wretch that lies in woe
In remembrance of a shroud. Now it is the time of night
That the graves all gaping wide, Every one lets forth his sprite,
In the church-way paths to glide : And we fairies, that do run
390 By the triple Hecate's team, From the presence of the sun,
Following darkness like a dream, Now are frolic : not a mouse Shall disturb this hallow'd house : I am sent with broom before, To sweep the dust behind the door. Enter OPERON and TITANIA with their train. Obe. Through the house give glimmering
By the dead and drowsy fire ;
400 Hop as light as bird from brier ;
And this ditty, after me,
Sing, and dance it trippingly.
To each word a warbling note :
[Song and dance.
410 Which by us shall blessed be ; And the issue there create Ever shall be fortunate. So shall all the couples three Ever true in loving be ; And the blots of Nature's hand Shall not in their issue stand ; Never mole, here lip, nor scar, Nor mark prodigious, such as are Despised in nativity,
420 Shall upon their children be. With this field-dew consecrate, Every fairy take his gait; And each several chamber bless, Through this palace, with sweet peace; And the owner of it blest Ever shall in safety rest. Trip away ; make no stay ; Meet me all by break of day.
[Ereunt Oberon, Titania, and train. Puck. If we shadows have offended, 430
Think but this, and all is mended,
The second and third parts of King Henry VI. are recasts of two older plays, The First Part of the Cretatica (published 1591) and The True Tragedie of Richard Duke of York, &c. (published 1595). Abrat 3,241 lines of these old plays re-appear either in the same or in an altered form in 2 and 3 Heary 1l.: what remains (2,736 lines) being altogether new. No question in Shakespeare scholarship is more perplexing and difficult than that of the authorship of these four connected historical dramas. Various theories hare been propounded, but the two which have superseded all others are: 1h that of Mr. Richard Grant White, that Marlowe, Greene, and Shakespeare (and perhaps Peele) Fere the authors of the old plays, and Shakespeare alone the reviser; (2) that of Miss Jane Lee, that Marlove and Greene (and possibly Peele) were the authors of the old plays, and Shakespeare and Mariofe i working as collaborateurs) the revisers. The latter is perhaps the most generally accepted theory. Marlowe's hand is certainly visible in both the old plays and in some of the passages which awear for the first time in Henry VÝ. (see, for a striking example, 2 llenry! T., Act IV. sc. I., L. 1-1). Shak speare and the “ Dead Shepherd” whom he alludes to in As You Like It, were then fellowworkers, and if rivals, their rivalry was noble. But in truth, at this time, Marlowe, by virtue of liis Prestige, and because he had found his proper genius while Shakespeare was still feeling after his tra direction, would be the superior, and the degree of independence of spirit shown in Shakespeare's Fork, although he is under the intluence of Marlowe, is interesting and remarkable. It is evident that already in variety of imagination and sound judgment Shakespeare surpasses his great contempar Miss Lee has made a detailed apportionment of the work among the several writers, but her table is too long to be reproduced here. She says: "The Third l'art of Henry VI. underwent a much less thorough revision than the second. Out of 3,075 lines in Part II. there are 1,715 new lines, some 40 altered lines (many but very slightly altered), and some 520 old lines. In Part III., out of a una lines, there are about 1,021 new lines, about 871 altered lines, and about 1,010 old lines. Hence it is that in Part III. there are fewer resemblances of thought and verbal expression to Shakespeare's andrebied writings than in Part II." When the revision of the old plays was made cannot be said sith certainty-perhaps a short time before Marlowe's death, in 1593, perhaps at a date previous to Grane's slicering allusion to Shakespeare in the Groatsworth of Wit, 1592.
Kixg HENRT the Sixth.
great-uncle to the King.
STAFFORD, his brother.
and WALTER WHITMORE.
Two Gentlemen, prisoners with Suffolk.
butcher, Smith the weaver, MICHAEL,
&c., followers of Cade.
Aldermen, a Herald, a Beadle, Sheriff, and
SCENE I. London. The palace. Flourish of trumpets : then hautboys. Enter
the KING, HUMPHREY, Duke of GLOUCESTER, SALISBURY, WARWICK, and CARDINAL BEAUFORT, on the one side; the QUEEN, SUFFOLK, YORK, SOMERSET, and BUCKINGHAM, on the other.
Suf. As by your high imperial majesty I had in charge at my depart for France, As procurator to your excellence, To marry Princess Margaret for your grace, So, in the famous ancient city, Tours, In presence of the Kings of France and Sicil, The Dukes of Orleans, Calaber, Bretagne and
Alençon, Seven earls, twelve barons and twenty reverend
bishops, I have perform’d my task and was espoused : And humbly now upon my bended knee, 10 In sight of Èngland and her lordly peers, Deliver up my title in the queen To your most gracious hands, that are the sub
stance Of that great shadow I did represent ; The happiest gift that ever marquess gave, The fairest queen that ever king received. King. Suifolk, arise. Welcome, Queen
Margaret : I can express no kinder sign of love Than this kind kiss. O Lord, that lends me life, Lend me a heart replete with thankfulness ! 20 For thou hast given me in this beauteous face A world of earthly blessings to my soul, If sympathy of love unite our thoughts. Queen. 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 alderliefest sovereign, Makes me the bolder to salute my king With ruder terms, such as my wit affords 30 And over-joy of heart doth minister. King. Per sight did ravish ; but her grace
in speech, Her words y-clad with wisdom's majesty, Makes me from wondering fall to weeping
joys; Such is the fulness of my heart's content. Lords, with one cheerful voice welcome my
love. All [kneeling). Long live Queen Margaret,
England's happiness! Queen. We thank you all. [Flourish. Suf. My lord protector, so it please your
grace, Here are the articles of contracted peace 40 Between our sovereign and the French king
Glou. [Reads] Imprimis, it is agreed between the French king Charles, and William de la Pole, 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 Jerubalem, 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'
(Lets the paper jall. King. Uncle, how now! Glou.
Pardon me, gracious lord ; Some sudden qualm hath struck me at the
heart And dimm'd mine eyes, that I can read no fur
ther. king. Uncle oi Winchester, I pray, read on.
Car. [R-ads] Item, It is further agreed between them, that the duchies of Aujou and Maine shall be released and delivered over to tie king her father, and she sent over of the King of England's own proper cost and charges, without having any dowry;' king. They please us well. Lord marquess,
kneel down : We here create thee the first duke of Suffolk, Ind gird thee with the sword. Cousin of
York, We here discharge your grace from being re
gent I’ the parts of France, till term of eighteen
months Be full expired. Thanks, uncle Winchester, Gloucester, York, Buckingham, Somerset, Salisbury, and Warwick;
70 We thank you all for this great favor done, In entertainment to my princely queen. Come, let us in, and with all speed provide To see her coronation be perform’d.
[Ereunt King, Queen, and Suffolk. Glou. Brave peers of England, pillars of the
state, To you Duke Humphrey must unload his grief, Your gries, the common grief of all the land. What! did my brother Henry spend his youth, His valor, coin and people, in the wars ? Did he so often lodge in open field, In winter's cold and summer's parching heat, To conquer France, his true inheritance ? And did my brother Bedford toil his wits, To keep by policy what Henry got ? Have you yourselves, Somerset, Buckingham, Brave York, Salisbury, and victorious War
wick, Received deep scars in France and Normandy? Or hath mine uncle Beaufort and myself, With all the learned council of the realm, Studied so long, sat in the council-house 90 Early and late, debating to and fro How France and Frenchmen might be kept in
awe, And had his highness in his infancy Crowned in Paris in despite of foes ? And shall these labors and these honors die ? Shall Henry's conquest, Bedford's vigilance, Your deeds of war and all our counsel die ? O peers of England, shameful is this league Fatal this marriage, cancelling your fame,
Blotting your names from books of memory,
Glou. Ay, uncle, we will keep it, if we can ;
120 and are the cities, that I got with wounds, Delivered up again with peaceful words ? Vort Dieu ! Turk. For Suffolk's duke, may he be suffo
in France, Before Car. My Lord of Gloucester, now ye grow
too hot : It was the pleasure of my lord the king. Glou, My Lord of Winchester, I know your
mind; *Tis not my speeches that you do mislike, 140 Bat’tis my presence that doth trouble ye. Rancor will out : proud prelate, in thy face I see thy fury: if I longer stay, We shall begin our ancient bickerings. Lordings, farewell ; and say, when I am gone, I prophesied France will be lost ere long. (Exit.
Car. So, there goes our protector in a rage. Tis known to you he is mine enemy, Nay, more, an enemy unto you all, And no great
friend. I fear me, to the king. 150 Consider, lords, he is the next of blood, And heir apparent to the English crown : Had Henry got an empire by his marriage,
And all the wealthy kingdoms of the west, There's reason he should be displeased at it. Look to it, lords ! let not his smoothing words Bewitch your hearts ; be wise and circumspect. What though the common people favor him, Calling him Humphrey, the good Duke of
Gloucester,' Clapping their hands, and crying with loud voice,
160 'Jesu maintain your royal excellence !' With God preserve the good Duke Hum
phrey !' I fear me, lords, for all this flattering gloss, He will be found a dangerous protector. Buck. Why should be, then, protect our
sovereign, He being of age to govern of himself ? Cousin of Somerset, join you with me, And all together, with the Duke of Suffolk, We'll quickly hoise Duke Humphrey from bis
seat. Car. This weighty business will not brook delay :
170 I'll to the Duke of Suffolk presently. [Erit. Som. Cousin of Buckingham, though Hum
phrey's pride And greatness of his place be grief to us, Yet let us watch the haughty cardinal : His insolence is more intolerable Than all the princes in the land beside : If Gloucester be displaced, he'll be protector. Buck. Or thou or I, Somerset, will be pro
tector, Desp Duke Humphrey or the cardinal.
[Ereunt Buckingham and Somerset. Sal. Pride went before, ambition follows him.
180 While these do labor for their own preferment, Behoves it is to labor for the realm. I never saw but Humphrey Duke of Gloucester Did bear him like a noble gentleman. Oft have I seen the haughty cardinal, More like a soldier than a man o' the church, As stout and proud as he were lord of all, Swear like a ruffian and demean himself Unlike the ruler of a commonweal. Warwick, my son, the comfort of my age, 1990 Thy deeds, thy plainness and thy housekeep
ing, Hath won the greatest favor of the commons, Excepting none but good Duke Humphrey : And, brother York, thy acts in Ireland, In bringing them to civil discipline, Thy late exploits done in the heart of France, When thou wert regent for our sovereign, Have made thee fear'd and honor'd of the peo
ple : Join we together, for the public good, In what we can, to bridle and suppress
200 The pride of Suffolk and the cardinal, With Somerset's ard Buckingham's ambition ; And, as we may, cherish Duke Humphrey's
deeds, While they do tend the profit of the land. War. So God help Warwick, as he loves
And common profit of his country!
unto the main. War. Unto the main ! O father, Maine is
lost; That Maine which by main force Warwick did
win, And would have kept so long as breath did last! Main chance, father, you meant ; but I meant
Maine, Which I will win from France, or else be slain,
[Ereunt Warwick and Salisbury. York. Anjou and Maine are given to the
French; Paris is lost; the state of Normandy Stands on a tickle point, now they are gone : Suffolk concluded on the articles, The peers agreed, and Henry was well pleased To change two dukedoms for a duke's fair daughter.
219 I cannot blame them all : what is't to them ? 'Tis thine they give away, and not their own. Pirates may make cheap pennyworths of their
pillage And purchase friends and give to courtezans, Still revelling like lords till all be gone ; While as the silly owner of the goods Weeps over them and wrings his hapless hands And shakes his head and trembling stands
aloof, While all is shared and all is borne away, Ready to starve and dare not touch his own : So York must sit and fret and bite his tongue, While his own lands are bargain'd for and sold.
231 Methinks the realms of England, France and
Ireland Bear that proportion to my flesh and blood As did the fatal brand Althea burn'd Unto the prince's heart of Calydon. Anjou and Maine both given unto the French ! Cold news for me, for I had hope of France, Even as I have of fertile England's soil. A day will come when York shall claiin his
OW : And therefore I will take the Nevils' parts 240 And make it show of love to proud Duke Ilum
plures, And, when I spy advantage, claim the crown, For that's the golden mark I seek to hit : Nor shall proud Lancaster usurp my right, Nor hold the sceptre in his childish fist, Nor wear the diadem upon his head, Whose church-like humors fits not for a crown. Then, York, be still awhile, till time do serve : Watch thou and wake when others be asleep, To pry into the secrets of the state ; 250 Till Henry, surfeiting in joys of love, With his new bride and England's dear-bought queen,
[jars : And Humphrey with the peers be fali'n at Then will I raise aloft the milk-white rose, With whose sweet smell the air shall be per
And in my standard bear the arms of York,
crown, Whose bookish rule hath pull’d fair England down.
(Exit. SCENE II. The DUKE OF GLOUCESTER'S
house, Enter DUKE HUMPHREY and his wise El
ripen'd com, Hanging the head at Ceres' plenteous load ? Why doth the great Duke Humphrey knit his
brows, As frowning at the favors of the world ? Why are thine eyes fixed to the sullen earth, Gazing on that which seems to dim thy sight? What seest thou there? King Henry's diadem, Enchased with all the honors of the world ? If so, gaze on, and grovel on thy face, Until thy head be circled with the same. 10 Put forth thy hand, reach at the glorious gold. What, is't too short ? I'll lengthen it with
mine; And, having both together heared it up, We'll both together list our heads to heaven, And never more abase our sight so low As to vouchsafe one glance into the ground. Glou. O Nell, sweet Nell, if thou dost love
thy lord, Banish the canker of ambitious thoughts. And may that thought, when I imagine ill Against my king and nephew, virtuous Henry, Be my last breathing in this mortal world ! 21 My troublous dream this night doth make me
sad. Duch. What dream'd my lord ? tell me,
and I'll requite it With sweet rehearsal of my morning's dream. Glou. Methought this staff, mine office
badge in court, Was broke in twain ; by whom I have forgot, But, ils I think, it was by the cardinal ; And on the pieces of the broken wand Were placed the heads of Edmund Duke of
Somerset, And William de la Pole, first duke of Suffolk. This was my dream : what it doth bode, God knows.
31 Duch. Tut, this was nothing but an argu
ment That he that breaks a stick of Gloucester's
grove Shall lose his head for his presumption. But list to me, my Humphrey, my sweet duke: Methought I sat in scat of majesty In the cathedral church of Westminster, And in that chair where kings and queens are
crown'd ; Where Henry and dame Margaret kneeld to
me And on my head did set the diadem.
40 Glou. Nay, Eleanor, then must I chide out.