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"The First Part of Henry VI.' was originally | bracing many details. That portion of the printed, under that title, in the folio collec- question which is founded upon an expression tion of 1623. Upon the authority, then, of of Robert Greene, that Shakspere pilfered the editors of that edition of Mr. Will these plays from some unknown author, is liam Shakespeare's Comedies, Histories, and fully discussed in the 'Biography,' book iii., Tragedies, published according to the true c. 3. We there state that a full ‘Illustration' original Copies,' this drama properly finds a of the unity of the three Parts of Henry place in every modern edition of our poet's VI.,' and of 'Richard III.' will be found works. But since the time of Malone most in a subsequent Volume. It will be more English critics have agreed that this play is convenient to give that 'Illustration' with spurious; and Drake, without hesitation, re- the play of 'Richard III.,' when the entire fers to what Shakspere's friends and editors text will be before the reader. denominated the Second and Third Parts of In the humble house of Shakspere's boy
Henry VI.' as the First and Second Parts; hood, there was, in all probability, to be and recommends all future editors, if they found a thick squat folio volume, then some print this first play at all, to give it only in thirty years printed, in which might be read, an Appendix. If we were in the habit, then, “what misery, what murder, and what exeof taking upon trust what the previous crable plagues this famous region hath sufeditors of Shakspere have authoritatively fered by the division and dissension of the held, we should either reject this play alto renowned houses of Lancaster and York.” gether, or, if we printed it, we should inform This book was 'Hall's Chronicle. With the our readers that “the hand of Shakspere is local and family associations that must have nowhere visible throughout." We cannot belonged to his early years, the subject of consent to follow either of these courses. the four dramas that relate to the dissension We print the play, and we do not tell the of the houses of Lancaster and York, or reader that Shakspere never touched it. rather the subject of this one great drama in The question of the authenticity of the three four parts, must have irresistibly presented parts of Henry VI.' is a very large one, em- | itself to the mind of Shakspere, as one
SCENE III.—London. Hill before the Tower.
Since Henry's death, I fear there is conveyance a.
[Servants knock. 1 WARD. [Within.] Who 's there that knocks so imperiously? 1 Serv. It is the poble duke of Gloster. 2 WARD. [Within.] Whoe'er he be, you may not be let in. 1 SERV. Villains, answer you so the lord protector? I WARD. (Within.] The Lord protect him! so we answer him :
We do no otherwise than we are will’d.
There's none protector of the realm but I.
Servants rush at the Tower gates. Enter to the gates, WOODVILLE, the
Open the gates; here 's Gloster that would enter.
The cardinal of Winchester forbids ::
That thou, nor none of thine, shall be let in.
Arrogant Winchester? that haughty prelate,
Open the gates, or I 'll shut thee out shortly. 1 Serv. Open the gates unto the lord protector;
Or we 'll burst them open, if that you come not quickly.
Enter WINCHESTER, attended by a train of Servants in tawny coats.
Break up. So in Hall's Chronicle:-" The lusty Kentish-men, hoping on more friends, brake up the gates of the King's Bench and Marshalsea.”
Peeld-an allusion to the shaven crown of the priest.
And not protector of the king or realm.
Thou that contriv'dst to murder our dead lord ;
If thou proceed in this thy insolence.
This be Damascus, be thou cursed Cain,
To slay thy brother Abel, if thou wilt a.
Thy scarlet robes, as a child's bearing cloth
I 'll use, to carry thee out of this place.
Draw, men, for all this privileged place;
[GLOSTER and his men attack the Bishop.
Here by the cheeks I 'll drag thee up and down. Win. Gloster, thou 'lt answer this before the pope. Glo. Winchester goose! I cry—a rope! a rope !
Now beat them hence: Why do you let them stay ?
Thee I 'll chase hence, thou wolf in sheep's array.-
Here a great tumult. In the midst of it, enter the Mayor of London, and
May. Fie, lords! that you, being supreme magistrates,
Thus contumeliously should break the peace !
Here 's Beaufort, that regards nor God nor king,
Hath here distrain'd the Tower to his use.
One that still motions war, and never peace,
a The old travellers believed that Damascus was the scene of the first murder. Maundevile says, “ And in that place where Damascus was founded Kaym slew Abel his brother.”
So the second folio; the first omits too.