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A LIFE OF THE POET, EXPLANATORY FOOT-NOTES, CRITICAL
NOTES, AND A GLOSSARIAL INDEX.
Rev. HENRY N. HUDSON,
PROFESSOR OF SHAKESPEARE IN BOSTON UNIVERSITY,
IN TWENTY VOLUMES.
PUBLISHED BY GINN & HEATH.
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1880, by
HENRY N. HUDSON, in the office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.
GINN & HEATH:
KING HENRY THE FOURTH.
OHNSON rightly observes that the First and Second Parts of
being arranged as two only because too long to be one. For this cause it seems best to regard them as one in the introductory matter, and so dispose of them both together. The writing of them must be placed at least as early as 1597, when the author was thirty-three years old. The First Part was registered at the Stationers' for publication in February, 1598, and was published in the course of that year. It was reprinted in 1599, and again in 1604; also a fourth time in 1608, and a fifth in 1613. In the first issue the authorship was not stated; but each later issue has the name of “ W. Shakespeare” printed in the title-page as the author. The Second Part was first published in 1600, and there is not known to have been any other edition of it till it reappeared along with the First Part in the folio of 1623.
It is beyond question that the original name of Sir John Falstaff was Sir John Oldcastle; and a curious relic of that name survives in Act i. scene 2, where the Prince calls Falstaff “my old lad of the castle.” And we have several other strong proofs of the fact; as in the Epilogue to the Second Part: “ thing I know, Falstaff shall die of a sweat, unless already he be killed with your hard opinions; for Oldcastle died a martyr, and this is not the man.” Also, in Amends for Ladies, a play by Nathaniel Field, printed in 1618: “ Did you never see the play where the fat Knight, hight Oldcastle, did tell you truly what this honour was?” which clearly alludes to Falstaff's soliloquy about honour in Part First, Act. v. scene 1. Yet it is certain that the change from Oldcastle to Falstaff was made before the play was entered at the Stationers' in 1598, as that entry mentions “the conceited mirth of Sir John Falstaff.” Nor is there any doubt that the Second Part was written before that change was made ;