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“ It is a thing scarcely believable how much, and how boldly, as well the
common writers that from time to time have copied out his works, as also
certain that have thought themselves liable to control and emend all men's
doings, have taken upon them in this author; who ought with all reverence
to have been handled of them, and with all fear to have been preserved from
altering, depraving, or corrupting.”

Udall's Preface to Erasmus's Apophthegms (applied there to Plutarch).

'THE SECOND EDITION.

VOLUME VII.

LONDON:
CHARLES KNIGHT AND CO., LUDGATE STREET.

MDCCCXLIII.

373

London : Printed by William Clowes and Sons, Stamford Street,

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THE THREE PARTS OF KING HENRY VI.,

AND KING RICHARD III.

WITH REFERENCE TO THE OPINION THAT THE THREE PARTS OF KING

HENRY VI. WERE NOT WRITTEN ORIGINALLY BY SHAKSPERE.

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Vol. VII.

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a an actor

of these to the spectancer say

§ I. The Dramas of Shakspere are in no particular more remarkable than in the almost complete absence of any allusion to their author —any reference to his merely personal thoughts and circumstances —any intimation, that might naturally enough have been conveyed in Prologue or Epilogue, of the relations in which the Poet stood with regard to his audience. There are only ten of his plays in which any one of the characters, at the conclusion, comes forward as an actor to deprecate censure or solicit applause. There are only two out of these ten plays in which the Author, through the actor, directly addresses the spectators. In the Epilogue to “The Second Part of Henry IV.? the Dancer says, in a light manner, “Our humble Author will continue the story.” In the concluding Chorus to Henry V.,' the Poet, then in the very zenith of his popularity, addresses himself to the audience, of course through the actor, more seriously and emphatically:

“ Thus far, with rough and all unable pen,

Our bending author hath pursued the story;
In little room confining mighty men,

Mangling by starts the full course of their glory,
Small time, but in that small most greatly liv'd

This star of England : fortune made his sword
By which the world's best garden he achiev'd,

And of it left his son imperial lord.
Henry the sixth, in infant bands crown'd king

Of France and England, did this king succeed;
Whose state so many had the managing,

That they lost France, and made his England bleed :
Which oft our stage hath shown; and for their sake,

In your fair minds let this acceptance take.” - The story” which the author “ hath pursued thus far” is the story which began with the deposition of Richard II. The story of the triumphant progress of the house of Lancaster, up to the

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