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These are the main points in which Shakespeare diverges from or is misled by Holinshed. The commentary to the play supplies references to the Chronicles, as well as some minor historical details to be found in Capgrave, Hardyng and other chroniclers.

One short passage from Holinshed, not quoted with the extracts at the end of this Introduction, may be cited here. It is interesting as being Shakespeare's authority for Glendower's boast that he was "trained up" at the English court (III. i. 122 post).

"This Owen Glendouer was sonne to an esquier of Wales, named Griffith Vichan: he dwelled in the parish of Conwaie, within the countie of Merioneth in North Wales, in a place called Glindourwie, which is as much to saie in English, as The vallie by the side of the water of Dee, by occasion whereof he was surnamed Glindour Dew.

"He was first set to studie the lawes of the realme, and became an vtter barrester, or an apprentise of the law (as they terme him) and serued king Richard at Flint castell, when he was taken by Henrie duke of Lancaster, though other haue written that he serued this king Henrie the fourth, before he came to atteine the crowne, in roome of an esquier" (Holinshed, Chronicles, ed. 1808, iii. 17).

II. Daniel, Civil Wars.—It is possible, Professor Moorman thinks,1 that Shakespeare may have consulted the History of the Civil Wars by Daniel, a narrative poem of which the first four books were published in 1595. Professor Moorman points out, in support of this opinion, that several of Shakespeare's divergences from Holinshed are also to be found in Daniel's work, itself probably based on Holinshed's Chronicles. (a) Daniel agrees with Shakespeare in describing Hotspur as a young man at the date of the Battle of Shrewsbury

There shall young Hotspur, with a fury led,
Meete with thy forward son, as fierce as he.

—Daniel, Civil Wars, ed. Grosart, iv, 34.

(b) Daniel, like Shakespeare, adds to Holinshed's account of the battle the dramatic incident of the Prince's rescue of his father:

1 See his edition of 1 Henry IV. in "The Warwick Shakespeare".

Hadst thou not there lent present speedy ayd
To thy indangered father, nerely tyrde,
Whom fierce incountring Dowglas overlaid
That day had there his troublous life expirde.
-Ibid. iv. 49.

(c) According to Shakespeare, Glendower was not present at the Battle of Shrewsbury, whereas Holinshed, although he does not mention Glendower, says that the Welsh came to the aid of the Percys and took part in the battle (see p. xlii post). Daniel here agrees with Shakespeare:

The joining with the Welsh (they had decreed)

Stopt hereby part; which made their cause the worse.

-1bid. iv. 36.

III. Chevy Chase.-Shakespeare may have been indebted for some suggestions to the ballad of Chevy Chase. There are three points of connection between the play and the ballad. In the first place Shakespeare prefixes to the names Percy and Douglas the honorific "the" customary in the north. In the ballad Douglas and Percy are so designated. See I. iii. 261 and note. Secondly, the Prince's challenge to Percy to meet him in single combat is paralleled in Chevy Chase, i. 73-80. Thirdly, the Prince's lament over the corpse of the slain Hotspur (V. iv. 87-101) has its analogue in the Percy's address to the dead Douglas in Chevy Chase, ii. 58-62.

IV. The Famous Victories of Henry the Fifth.-(i) It is elsewhere noted (p. xxii post) that Shakespeare found in The Famous Victories the name Sir John Oldcastle. (ii) He derived, moreover, from this play a few general ideas for the comic plot of Henry IV. Notably, the highway robbery has its counterpart in The Famous Victories. In The Famous Victories the Prince is portrayed as a riotous young man, who haunts taverns, and is associated in acts of highway robbery with noted thieves. (iii) Both plays contain the interview between Prince Henry and the King (pp. xlvxlvii post). (iv) Reference has already been made to the account given in The Famous Victories of the Prince's striking the Lord Chief Justice (pp. 1 ff. post). (v) The tavern scene (II. iv. 375 ff.), in which Falstaff and the Prince act the little play of father and son, may have been suggested by

1 See note to IV. iv. 18.

the scene in The Famous Victories where Derick and John Cobler rehearse the incident of Prince Henry's misconduct in the Chief Justice's court (pp. lii, liii post). (vi) The Prince's quibbling retort to Falstaff's admonition, "Do not thou, when thou art king, hang a thief” (I. ii. 58 ff.), is evidently a reminiscence of the Prince's promise in The Famous Victories to make Ned1 Chief Justice (p. liv post). (vii) In The Famous Victories the Prince and his companions frequent the "olde Tauerne in Eastcheape". (viii) Lastly, it is noticeable that the old play contains a Ned,' who may have supplied Shakespeare with a name for Poins.

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V. Elyot, The Governour.-Reference has already been made (p. xvi ff. ante) to the indirect debt to Sir Thomas Elyot's The Governour, which contains the story of the Prince's flouting the Chief Justice's authority. To some possible reminiscences of The Governour attention is drawn in the notes.

VI. Lastly, in connection with the sources of the play, it remains to refer to the many passages which reflect literary fashions or affectations of Shakespeare's time, and to reminiscences of contemporary literature. (a) First, there are the many instances in which the Puritan cant is burlesqued or ridiculed. See, for example, "grace thou wilt have none. Fal. . . . not so much as will serve to be prologue to an egg and butter" (I. ii. 17-21); “one of the wicked" (ibid. 96, 97); "be damned" (ibid. 99); "amendment of life" (ibid. 103); "vocation" (ibid. 106); "God give thee the spirit of persuasion,” etc. (ibid. 151). Also "I would I were a weaver; I could sing psalms" (II. iv. 133); and "violently carried away from grace" (ibid. 445, 446). (6) Examples of literary parody are to be found in the two well-known passages in II. iv. in which Falstaff ridicules the "King Cambyses' vein" of the writers of early Elizabethan tragedy (II. 390-393), and the preciosity of the Euphuists (11. 397-431). See the notes to these passages. (c) Furthermore, there are several references to the stock properties and characters of the then old-fashioned stage-plays of an earlier generation in II. iv. 137 (“a dagger of lath") and ibid. 452, 453 ("that reverend vice, that grey iniquity," etc.). (d) Reminiscences of and obligations to contemporary literature are noted in the commentary, and need

1 This Ned gave Shakespeare hints for the character of his Falstaff,

not be enumerated here; but it may be worth while referring to the numerous passages which exhibit a knowledge of the Bible; many of these were apparently written in ridicule of the Puritans, who were given to scriptural quotation. We may instance: "wisdom cries out in the streets, and no man regards it" (I. ii. 90, 91); "amendment of life" (ibid. 103); "'tis no sin for a man to labour in his vocation" (ibid. 105, 106); "Redeeming time" (ibid. 216); "sons of darkness" (II. iv. 174); "the tree may be known by the fruit" (ibid. 426, 427); "Pharaoh's lean kine" (ibid. 472); "Dives that lived in purple" (III. iii. 32); “fire, that's God's angel" (ibid. 35); "son of utter darkness" (ibid. 37); "The king himself is to be feared as the lion" (ibid. 150); "in the state of innocency Adam fell" (ibid. 165, 166); perhaps, "with unwashed hands" (ibid. 185); and "Lazarus in the painted cloth" (IV. ii. 25, 26).


We have already referred to the substitution of the name Falstaff for that of Oldcastle in dealing with the evidence for the date of the play, but there are a few more points to be considered in this connection.

That the original name was Sir John Oldcastle seems clear (see pp. x-xii ante). The question then arises whether Shakespeare intended in his Sir John to satirize the Sir John Oldcastle, Lord Cobham, whose life and martyrdom are historical. As already stated, the Lollard knight, virtuous and brave though he was, suffered traduction at the hands of successive generations of his religious opponents. Sixteenth century tradition represented him as a man whose youth had been dissolute. In The Famous Victories of Henry the Fifth he appears as a cynical associate of the Prince of Wales. From this play, which is one of the sources of 1 Henry IV., Shakespeare borrowed Sir John Oldcastle's name and gave it to the knight who was to be the central figure in his tavern scenes. Shakespeare owes the older dramatist little more, so far as Falstaff is concerned. The Sir John Oldcastle of The Famous Victories is but slightly drawn, and the Sir John of Henry IV. is virtually a new creation,

But even if the Sir John of Shakespeare owes little more than the name to The Famous Victories, it is possible that the character may embody traditions respecting the real Sir John Oldcastle. Members of the Cobham family of Shakespeare's day resented, we are told, the Oldcastle of Henry IV. as an affront to the memory of their ancestor. And Shakespeare is clearly one of those dramatists whose imputations upon the character of the noble martyr are so warmly refuted by Fuller in the oft-quoted passage in the Church History of Britain (xv. Cent., Book iv., § 40, p. 168, ed. 1655): "StagePoets have themselves been very bold with, and others very merry at, the Memory of Sr John Oldcastle, whom they have fancied a boon Companion, a jovial Royster, and yet a Coward to boot, contrary to the credit of all Chronicles, owning him a Martial man of merit. The best is, St John Falstaffe hath relieved the Memory of St John Oldcastle, and of late is substituted Buffoone in his place, but it matters as little what petulant Poets, as what malicious Papists have written against him."

An attempt has been made to identify Shakespeare's Falstaff with the historical Sir John Oldcastle on the evidence of a speech in the Second Part of Henry IV. III. ii. 28, 29. (v. p. xii ante), where it is said that Falstaff, as a boy, was page to Thomas Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk. But, as we have seen, it has been shown by Dr. Aldis Wright that the ultimate authority for the statement that Sir John Oldcastle had been Sir Thomas Mowbray's page is the play itself.

Whether Shakespeare did or did not intend to disparage the good Lord Cobham, it would seem that contemporary dramatists read a satirical intention into the character of Falstaff. In 1600 appeared The First Part of the Life of Sir John Oldcastle and The Second Part of Sir John Oldcastle. The latter play is not extant, but the former seems to have been written with the definite object of profiting by the popularity of Shakespeare's play and, at the same time, of pleasing those, whom Shakespeare had offended, by presenting an image of the true Sir John Oldcastle. The authors, Munday, Drayton, Wilson, and Hathaway (according to Henslowe's Diary), stated their purpose plainly in their prologue :

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