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ON KING HENRY IV., PARTS I. AND II.
The first edition of Henry IV., Part I.,' and the prince worthily says, “ As I am a appeared in 1598. Five other editions were true gentleman, I will have the half of this printed before the folio of 1623. The first spent to-night." He shows his gentility by edition of Henry IV., Part II.,' appeared in calling the receivers villains and rascals. 1600. Another edition was issued the same The prince is sent to the “counter” by the year. No subsequent edition appeared till Lord Mayor. “Gadshill,” the prince's man, the folio of 1623. The text of the folio, who robbed the carrier, is taken before the from which we print, does not materially Lord Chief Justice; and the young prince, differ from the original quartos, in the First who seems to have got out of the counter Part. In the Second Part there are large as suddenly as he got in, rescues the thief. additions, and those some very important The scene ends with the Chief Justice com. passages, in the folio.
mitting Henry to the Fleet. He is, of Shakspere found the stage in possession course, released. “But whither are ye of a rude drama, The Famous Victories of going now?" quoth Ned. “To the court," Henry V.,' upon the foundation of which he answers the true gentleman of a prince, constructed not only his two parts of Henry “ for I hear say my father lies very sick. IV.,' but his 'Henry V. That old play was .... The breath shall be no sooner acted prior to 1588; Tarleton, a celebrated out of his mouth but I will clap the crown on comic actor, who played the clown in it, bav my head.” To the court he goes, and there ing died in that year. It is, in many respects, the bully becomes a hypocrite. The great satisfactory that this very extraordinary per scene in 'The Second Part of Henry IV.;formance has been preserved. None of the "I never thought to hear you speak again," old dramas exhibit in a more striking light is founded, probably, upon & passage in the marvellous reformation which Sbakspere, Holinshed; but there is a similar scene in more than all his contemporaries, produced The Famous Victories.' It is, perhaps, the in the dramatic amusements of the age of highest attempt in the whole play. Elizabeth. Of The Famous Victories of And now that we have seen what the Henry V.,' the comic parts are low buf popular notion of the conqueror of Aginfoonery, without the slightest wit, and the court was at a period when Shakspere betragic monotonous stupidity, without a par gan to write, and, perhaps, indeed, up to ticle of poetry. And yet Shakspere built the time when he gave us his own idea of upon this thing, and for a very satisfactory Henry of Monmouth,—and when we know reason-the people were familiar with it. that nearly all the historians up to the time
In 'The Famous Victories' we are intro of Shakspere took pretty much the same duced to the “Young Prince" in the open view of Henry's character,we may, pering scene. His companions are “ Ned," haps, be astonished to be told that Shak“ Tom,” and “Sir John Oldcastle," who spere's fascinating representation of Henry beans the familiar name of “ Jockey." They
of Monmouth, "as an historical portrait, is have been committing a robbery upon the
not only unlike the original, but misleading king's receivers; and Jockey informs the and unjust in essential points of characprince that his (the prince's) man bath ter.” Shakspere was, in truth, the only robbed a poor carrier. The plunder of the
1. Henry of Monmouth,' by J. Endell Tyler, B.D., receivers amounts to a thousand pounds; , vol. ., page 356.
man of his age who rejected the imperfect | Famous Victories of King Henry V.'” But evidence of all the historians as to the che Malone is arguing for the support of a fa racter of Henry of Monmouth, and nobly | vourite theory. Rowe has noticed a tradivindicated him even from his own biogra- | tion that Falstaff was written originally phers, and, what was of more importance, under the name of Oldcastle. This opinion from the coarser traditions embodied in a would receive some confirmation from the popular drama of Shakspere's own day. fact that Shakspere has transferred other
In the play of The Famous Victories of Dames from the old play, Ned, Gadshill, Henry V. we have, as already mentioned, and why not, then, Oldcastle? The prince the character of “Sir John Oldcastle.” This in one place calls Falstaff “ my old lad of personage, like all the other companions of the castle;" but this may be otherwise exthe prince in that play, is a low, worthless plained. The Sir John Oldcastle of history, fellow, without a single spark of wit or hu Lord Cobham, was, as is well known, one of mour to relieve his grovelling profligacy. the most strenuous supporters of the ReBut he is also a very insignificant character, formation of Wickliffe ; and hence it has with less stage business than even “ Ned" been argued that the original name of Shak. and “ Tom." Dericke, the clown, is, indeed, spere's fat knight was offensive to zealous the leading character throughout this play. Protestants in the time of Elizabeth, and Altogether, Oldcastle has only thirty lines was accordingly changed to that of Falstaff. put in his mouth in the whole piece. We Whether or not Shakspere's Falstaff was have no allusion to his being fat; we hear originally called Oldcastle, he was, after the nothing of his gluttony. Malone, however, character was fairly established as Falstaff, calls this Sir John Oldcastle "a pampered anxious to vindicate himself from the charge glutton." It is a question whether this that he had attempted to represent the OldOldcastle, or Jockey, suggested to Shakspere castle of history. In the epilogue to The his Falstaff. We cannot discover the very Second Part of Henry IV: we find this pas slightest similarity; although Malone del sage :-“For anything I know, Falstaff shall cidedly says, “ Shakspere appears evidently die of a sweat, unless already he be killed to have caught the idea of the character of with your hard opinions; for Oldcastle died Falstaff from a wretched play entitled The a martyr, and this is not the man."
KING HENRY IV.
Act V. sc. 1; sc. 4; sc. 5.
Appears, Act I. sc. 2. Act II. sc. 2; sc. 4.
Act V. sc. 1; sc. 3; sc. 4; sc. 5.
King. Appears, Act I. sc. 1. Act IV. sc. 2. Act V. sc. 4; sc. 5.
SIR WALTER BLUNT, friend to the King. Appears, Act I. sc. 1; sc. 3. Act III. sc. 2. Act IV. sc. 3.
Act V. sc. 1; sc. 3. THOMAS PERCY, Earl of Worcester. Appeara, Act I. sc. 3. Act III. sc. 1. Act IV. sc. 1 ; sc. 3.
Act V. sc. 1; sc. 2; sc. 5. HENBY PERCY, Earl of Northumberland.
Appears, Act I. sc. 3. HENRY PEROY, surnamed Hotspur, son to the
Earl of Northumberland.
Appeara, Act III. sc. l.
Appears, Act IV. sc. 4.
Appears, Act IV. sc. 4.
ARCHIBALD, Earl of Douglas. Appears, Act IV. sc. 1; sc. 3. Act V. sc. 2; sc. 3; sc. 4.
Appeara, Act III. sc. 1.
SIR RICHARD VERNON. Appears, Act IV. sc. 1; sc. 3. Act V. sc. 2; sc. 2; sc. 5
SOB JOHN FALSTAFF. Appears, Act I. sc. 2. Act II. &c. 2; sc. 4. Act III. sc. 3. Act IV. sc. 2. Act V. sc. 1; sc. 3; sc. 4.
Act IV. sc. 2.
Mortimer. Appears, Act II. sc. 3. Act III. sc. 1. LADY MORTIMER, daughter to Glendower,
and wife to Mortimer.
Appears, Act III. sc. 1. MRS. QUICKLY, hostess of a tavern in East
cheap. Appears, Act II. sc. . Act III. sc. 3 Lords, Officers, Sheriff, Vintner, Chamber.
lain, Drawers, Two Carriers, Travel lers, and Attendants.
*** There is no List of Characters in the old copies.
Enter KING HENRY, WESTMORELAND, Sir WALTER Blunt, and others.
K. Hen. So shaken as we are, so wan with care,
Find we a time for frighted peace to pant,
• Entrance. In the variorum editions of Shakspere, except Malone's of 1821, we have the following correction of the text:
“ No more the thirsty Erinnys of this soil.” This reading was suggested by Monck Mason, and adopted by Steevens. Erinnys, according to Monck Mason, is the Fury of Discord. The first conjecture of Steevens was that the word was entrants ; the suggestion of Douce was entrails. The original text is somewhat obscure; but the obscurity is perfectly in the manner of Shakspere, and in great part arises from the boldness of the metaphor. Entrance is put for mouth ; and if we were to read, “No more the thirsty mouth of this earth shall daub her lips with the blood of her own children," we should find little more difficulty than with the passage in Genesis, which was probably in Shakspere's mind when he wrote the line:-“ And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy