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INTRODUCTION.

Tais “history” is an alteration of a play printed in 1594, 4to, under the following title: "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 Iacke Cade: And the Duke of Yorkes first claime unto the Crowne. London Printed by Thomas Creed, for Thomas Millington, and are to be sold at his shop under St. Peters Church in Cornwall. 1594.” By whom it was written we have no information; but it was entered on the Stationers' Registers on the 12th March, 1593-4. Millington published a second edition of it in 1600, some copies purporting to have been printed by W. W., and others by Valentine Simmes : on the 19th April, 1602, it was assigned by Millington to Tho. Pavier, and we hear of it again, in the Stationers' Registers, merely as “ Yorke and Lancaster,” on the 8th November, 1630. A reprint of this play, from the unique copy in the Bodleian Library, 4to, 1594, was made by the Shakespeare Society in 1843.

The name of Shakespeare was not connected with “ the first part of the Contention " until about the year 1619, when T. P. (Thomas Pavier) printed a new edition of the first, and what he called " the second, part” of the same play, with “ Written by William Shakespeare, Gent." upon the general title-page. The object of Pavier was no doubt fraudulent: he wished to have it believed, that the old play was the production of our great dramatist. Shakespeare's property, according to our present notions, was

in the additions and improvements he introduced, which are included in the folio of 1623. In Act iv. sc. 1, is a line necessarily taken from “ the first part of the Contention,” as the sense, without it, is incomplete; but the old play has many passages which Shakespeare rejected, and the murder of Duke Humphrey is somewhat differently managed. In general, however, Shakespeare adopted the whole conduct of the story, and did not think it necessary to correct the obvious historical errors of the original.

It is impossible to assign a date to this play excepting by conjecture. Its success, perhaps, led to the entry at Stationers' Hall of the older play in March, 1593-4, and to its appearance from the press in 1594.

DRAMATIS PERSONÆ'.

KING HENRY THE SIXTH.
HUMPHREY, DUKE OF GLOSTER, his Uncle.
CARDINAL BEAUFORT, Bishop of Winchester.
RICHARD PLANTAGENET, Duke of York.
EDWARD and RICHARD, his Sons.
DUKE OF SOMERSET, DUKE OF SUFFOLK, DUKE OF

BUCKINGHAM, LORD CLIFFORD, and his Son, -of the

King's Party. EARL OF SALISBURY, EARL OF WARWICK,-of the

York Faction. LORD SCALES, Governor of the Tower. LORD SAY. SIR

HUMPHREY STAFFORD, and his Brother. SIR JOHN

STANLEY WALTER WHITMORE, and a Sea-captain, Master, and Master's

Mate. Two Gentlemen, Prisoners with SUFFOLK. VAUX. HUME and SOUTH WELL, Priests. BOLINGBROKE, a Conjurer. A Spirit raised by him. THOMAS HORNER, an Armourer. PETER, his Man. Clerk of Chatham. Mayor of St. Alban's. SIMPCOX, an Impostor. Two Murderers. JACK CADE, and GEORGE, JOHN, DICK, SMITH the

Weaver, MICHAEL, &c., bis Followers. ALEXANDER IDEN, a Kentish Gentleman.

MARGARET, Queen to King Henry.
ELEANOR, DUCHESS OF GLOSTER.
MARGERY JOURDAIN, a Witch. Wife to SIMPCOX.
Lords, Ladies, and Attendants; Herald; Petitioners, Aldermen, a

Beadle, Sheriff, and Officers; Citizens, Prentices, Falconers,
Guards, Soldiers, Messengers, &c.

SCENE, in various Parts of England.

| First made and prefixed by Rowe.

SECOND PART

OF

KING HENRY VI.

ACT I. SCENE I.

London. A Room: of State in the Palace.

Flourish of Trumpets : then Hautboys. Enter, on one side,

King HENRY, Duke of GLOSTER, SALISBURY, WARWICK, and Cardinal BEAUFORT ; on the other, Queen MARGARET, led in by SUFFOLK; YORK, SOMERSET, BUCKINGHAM, and others, following.

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, Bretaigne, and Alençon,
Seven earls, twelve barons, and twenty reverend bishops ',
I have perform'd my task, and was espous'd:
And humbly now, upon my bended knee,
In sight of England and her lordly peers,
Deliver up my title in the queen
To your most gracious hands, that are the substance
Of that great shadow I did represent;

TWENTY reverend bishops,] So Holinshed, and Hall whom he copied. The 4to, 1594, of “ The first Part of the Contention," reads erroneously, probably from mishearing, “and then the reverend bishops ;" but the edition 1619 of the same play corrects it to "twenty," as in the chronicles and folios.

The happiest gift that ever marquess gave,
The fairest queen that ever king receiv'd'.

K. Hen. Suffolk, arise. - Welcome, queen Margaret :
I can express no kinder sign of love,
Than this kind kiss.-0 Lord ! that lends me life,
Lend me a heart replete with thankfulness;
For thou hast given me, in this beauteous face,
A world of earthly blessings to my soul,
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 alderlievest 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 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.

Al. Long live queen Margaret, England's happiness!
Q. Mar. We thank you all.

[Flourish.
Suf. My lord protector, so it please your grace,
Here are the articles of contracted peace,
Between our sovereign, and the French 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

? The fairest queen that ever king RECEIV'D.] '" That ever king possess'dis the word in the old “ Contention,” 1594. The reason for the change was, of course, that “receiv'd” is a better antithesis to “ gave,” than the older word possess'd.

3 With you mine ALDERLIEVEST sovereign,] “ Alderlievest ” is a compound word, which does not occur in “The First Part of the Contention," where the whole speech is different. It is derived from alder or aller, as Tyrwhitt states, the genitive case plural, and the superlative of lieve : it means dearest of all, or all-dearest. In the German translation of Professor Mommsen it is allerliebster Herr. In English, " alderlievest” is met with in Chaucer, Gascoigne, and in Marston ; but the latter gives it to his Dutch Courtesan. It is not of frequent occurrence; but we find it, in the comparative degree, in “The Cobbler of Canterbury,” 4to, 1590 :

“ An alder liefer swaine, I weene,

In the barge there was not seene."

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"

[He lets the treaty fall. K. Hen. Uncle, how now? Glo.

Pardon me, gracious lord ;
Some sudden qualm hath struck me at the heart,
And dimm'd mine eyes, that I can read no farther.

K. Hen. Uncle of Winchester, I pray, read on.

Win. Item,—“It is farther 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 any dowry.” K. Hen. They please us well.-Lord

well.—Lord marquess, kneel down': We here create thee the first duke of Suffolk, And girt thee with the sword.—Cousin of York, We here discharge your grace from being regent I'the parts of France, till term of eighteen months Be full expir'd.-

Thanks, uncle Winchester,
Gloster, York, Buckingham, Somerset,
Salisbury, and Warwick;
We thank you all for this great favour done
In entertainment to my princely queen.
Come, let us in; and with all speed provide
To see her coronation be perform'd.

[Exeunt King, Queen, and SUFFOLK.

and delivered to the king her father”] In the 4to. “Contention," 1594, Gloster breaks off at the first syllable of the word “father," and a stage-direction is added, “ Duke Humphrey lets it fall.” No such intimation is given in the folio, 1623, and we are to suppose that Winchester picks up the treaty, and that the King, in consequence, requires him to continue the perusal of it. The corr. fo. 1632 adds Pausing as a stage-direction after the word “father." There is a verbal variation between what Gloster has read, as part of the document, and the words Winchester reads: possibly it was not meant that Gloster should give the exact words, on account of the state of his mind; but still he is more particular on some points than Winchester.

* They please us well. --Lord marQUESS, kneel down :] Unless we read "marquess” as three syllables the line is incomplete, and the corr. fo. 1632 in. serts thee after “ kneel,” in order to make out the measure ; but nothing of the sort is found in the old “Contention” where the passage is exactly as in the folio, 1623, and we make no change.

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