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Sometime I'll say, I am duke Humphrey's | Sometime I'll say, I am duke Humphrey's wife;
wife, And he a prince, and ruler of the land : " And he a prince, protector of the land; Yet so he rul'd, and such a prince he was, But so he rul'd, and such a prince he was, As he stood by, whilst I, his forlorn duchess, As he stood by, whilst I, his forlorn duchess, • Was made a wonder, and a pointing-stock, Was led with shame, and made a laughingTo every idle rascal follower.
stock But be thou mild, and blush not at my To every idle rascal follower.
shame; Nor stir at nothing, till the axe of death " Hang over thee, as, sure, it shortly will. For Suffolk,-he that can do all in all " * With her, that hateth thee, and hates us
all, And York, and impious Beaufort, that false
priest, Have all lim'd bushes to betray thy wings, And, fly thou how thou canst, they'll tangle
thee: *But fear not thou until thy foot be snar'd, *Nor never seek prevention of thy foes. * Glo. Ah, Nell, forbear; thou aimest all Hum. My lovely Nell, what wouldst thou awry;
have me do? *I must offend before I be attainted:
Should I attempt to rescue thee from hence, *And had I twenty times so many foes,
I should incur the danger of the law, *And each of them had twenty times their And thy disgrace would not be shadow'd so. power,
Eleanor. Be thou mild, and stir not at my *All these could not procure me any scath,
disgrace, *So long as I am loyal, true, and crimeless.
Until the axe of death hang o'er thy head, . Wouldst have me rescue thee from this As shortly sure it will. For Suffolk, he, reproach?
The new-made duke, that may do all in all • Why, yet thy scandal were not wip'd away,
With her that loves him so, and hates us all, • But I in danger for the breach of law.
And impious York, and Beaufort that false • Thy greatest help is quiet, gentle Nell:
priest, I pray thee, sort thy heart to patience: Have all lim’d bushes to betray thy wings, • These few days' wonder will be quickly And, fly thou how thou canst, they will enworn.
We have here 69 lines of Henry VI.,' and the marks of Malone show that, of these, 31 are unaltered from the contention.' Malone, however, has not carried out his own principle of distinguishing by inverted commas the lines in which any change has taken place. When we open The Second Part of Henry VI.' we find, in the first speech, the following three lines marked with inverted commas:
“Seven earls, twelve barons, twenty reverend bishops,
I have perform'd my task, and was espous'd:
* And humbly now upon my bended knee.” The differences of the corresponding three lines in the Contention' are as slight as we find in many passages of the quarto and folio copies of Shakspere's undoubted works. They stand thus in the Contention:'
“Seven earls, twelve barons, and twenty reverend bishops,
I did perform my task, and was espousd :
We may state with confidence that, of the 2373 lines which Malone has computed were formed by Shakspere “on the foundation laid by his predecessors," one-half, at least, so stated to be formed, exhibit nothing more than such minute deviations as we here point out. But, if Malone had carried this principle throughout, of the 1771 lines which he conceives were written by “some author who preceded Shakspeare," at least one-half would have been transferred + Shakspere by the inverted commas. For example: in the scene with Gloster and his duchess there are many lines of the 69 in which no deviation whatever is marked by Malone, but which still deviate as much from the original as the three lines beginning “Seven earls,” &c. We have marked these at the end of each with inverted commas. We mark also, with asterisks at the end, two new lines which Malone has omitted to mark. The result is that, if Malone had carried out his own principle, only 12 of these 69 lines would be held to belong to the original play. Our readers may judge from this what reliance is to be placed upon the commentator's capricious arithmetic. We hold it to be a test altogether fallacious in principle, and carried by him into practice to the extent in which it suited his own purpose, and no farther. Had he shown, for example, that there remained only 12 lines of the original play in the scene before us, some painstaking inquirer might have referred to “The First Part of the Contention,' in surprise at the result, and have discovered that, in all essentials, the scene of 'Henry VI. and the scene of the Contention' are evidently the production of one and the same mind. For what are the additions to this scene which Malone and his followers hold to be the amount of Shakspere's contribution towards it? With the exception of the first four lines, these additions do not contain a single idea which is not found in the original; and in the original all that marks the poet—in a word, all that is Shaksperian-is exclusively to be found. The new lines are comparatively weak, though not injudicious, amplifications of the original. The entire conception of character is in the original; the additions do not contribute a single feature to its development. We have ventured to mark in italics those passages of the scene in the Contention' which appear to us essentially Shaksperian; and we may add that, if passages such as these are to be found in “some author who preceded Shakspeare,” we regret that our stock of enjoyment has not yet been enlarged through any acquaintance with his works.
We have now to present a scene,--the celebrated one of the death of Cardinal Beaufort,-in which the elaboration has been so
far carried that Malone leaves only one line as the property of the original author. Yet we venture to think that the original author had something more to do with its production than that one line; and that the whole dramatic conception of the scene, as well as some of the most remarkable expressions, are the property, not of the amplifier, however skilful be his amplification, but of the mind which first pictured to itself that terrible deathbed. Most skilful, indeed, are the elaborations; and they belong evidently to a more practised hand than that which reduced the original conception into language. But the hand, as we think, is still the same; the improved hand applying itself to its work with more technical precision. It is our belief that the man who conceived the original scene could alone have finished it. When did any great artist ever produce a perfect picture from another's sketch ? The genius which informed the original idea could alone preserve it through the process of its refinement.
Second PART OF HENRY VI., Act III., 1 First PART OF THE CONTENTION, Act III., SCENE 3.
SCENE 3. * K. Hen. How fares my lord ? speak,
Beaufort, to thy sovereign. Car. If thou be'st death, I'll give thee Car. O, death ! if thou wilt let me live England's treasure,
But one whole year, I'll give thee as much • Enough to purchase such another island,
gold • So thou wilt let me live, and feel no pain. As will purchase such another island. * K. Hen. Ah, what a sign it is of evil life, King. Oh, see, my lord of Salisbury, how *When death's approach is seen so terrible!
he is troubled ! * War. Beaufort, it is thy sovereign speaks | Lord cardinal, remember, Christ must save to thee.
thy soul. * Car. Bring me unto my trial when you
will. Died he not in his bed ? where should he Car. Why, died he not in his bed ? die?
What would you have me to do then ? Can I make men live, whe'r they will or Can I make men live, whether they will or no ? no?
Sirrah, go fetch me the poison which the *O! torture me no more, I will confess.
'pothecary sent me. Alive again ? then show me where he is ; Oh, see where duke Humphrey's ghost doth • I'll give a thousand pound to look upon
And stares me in the face. Look, look, comb *He hath no eyes, the dust hath blinded
down his hair! them.
So, now he's gone again : Oh, oh, oh! • Comb down his hair ; look ! look! it stands
upright, Like lime-twigs set to catch my winged
soul ! Give me some drink; and bid the apothecary * Bring the strong poison that I bought of him. * K. Hen. O, thou eternal Mover of the
heavens, *Look with a gentle eye upon this wretch ! *0, beat away the busy meddling fiend, *That lays strong siege unto this wretch's soul, *And from his bosom purge this black de
War. See, how the pangs of death do |
make him grin. • Sal. Disturb him not, let him pass peace
ably. * K. Hen. Peace to his soul, if God's good
pleasure be! • Lord cardinal, if thou think'st on heaven's
bliss, • Hold up thy hand, make signal of thy
hope. • He dies, and makes no sign ; 0, God, for
give him ! • War. So bad a death argues a monstrous
life. • K. Hen. Forbear to judge, for we are sin
ners all. Close up his eyes, and draw the curtain
close; * And let us all to meditation.
Sal. See how the pangs of death do gripe
his heart. King. Lord cardinal, if thou diest assur’d
of heavenly bliss, Hold up thy hand, and make some sign to us,
Sal. So bad an end did never none behold;
We shall conclude our parallel extracts from The Second Part of Henry VI.' and the Contention' with the following portions of the scenes with Jack Cade :SECOND PART OF HENRY VI., Act IV., First PART OF THE CONTENTION, Act IV. SCENE 2.
SCENE 2. Drum. Enter CADE, Dick the butcher, Smith Enter Jack Cade, Dick BUTCHER, Robin,
the weaver, and others in great number. Will, Tom, HARRY, and the rest, with long • Cade. We John Cade, so termed of our staves. supposed father, –
Cade. Proclaim silence. • Dick. Or rather, of stealing a cade of All. Silence ! herrings.
Cade. I, John Cade, so named for my • Cade. --for our enemies shall fall before
valiancy. • us, inspired with the spirit of putting down Dick. Or rather for stealing of a cade of • kings and princes, Command silence.
sprats. Dick. Silence!
Cade. My father was a Mortimer. Cade. My father was a Mortimer,
Dick. He was an honest man and a good Dick. He was an honest man, and a good bricklayer. bricklayer.
Cade. My mother was come of the Lacies. Cade. My mother a Plantagenet,
Nick. She was a pedlar's daughter indeed, Dick. I knew her well, she was a midwife. and sold many laces. Cade. My wife descended of the Lacies, Robin. And now, being not able to occupy
Dick. She was, indeed, a pedlar's daughter, her furred pack, she washeth bucks up and and sold many laces.
down the country. • Smith. But, now of late, not able to travel
Cade. Therefore I am honourably born. with her furred pack, she washes bucks here Harry. Ay, the field is honourable, for he at home.
was born under a hedge, because his father • Cade. Therefore am I of an honourable had no other house but the cage.
Cade. I am able to endure much. Dick. Ay, by my faith, the field is honour
Geo. That's true; I know he can endure able; and there was he born, under a anything, for I have seen him whipped two hedge; for his father had never a house, but market-days together. the cage.
Cade. I fear neither sword nor fire. Cade. Valiant I am.
Will. He need not fear the sword, for his * Smith. 'A must needs; for beggary is coat is of proof. *valiant.
Cade. I am able to endure much.
Dick. No question of that; for I have seen him whipped three market-days together.
Cade. I fear neither sword nor fire.
need not fear the sword, his coat is of proof.
Dick. But, methinks, he should stand in 1 Dick. But methinks he should fear the fire, fear of fire, being burnt i'the hand for steal being so often burnt in the hand for stealing ing of sheep.
of sheep. Cade. Be brave then; for your captain is Cade. Therefore be brave, for your captain brave, and vows reformation. There shall is brave, and vows reformation: you shall be, in England, seven halfpenny loaves sold have seven halfpenny loaves for a penny, for a penny: the three-hooped pot shall have and the three-hooped pot shall have ten ten hoops; and I will make it felony to drink hoops, and it shall be felony to drink small small beer : all the realm shall be in com beer, if I be king, as king I will be. mon, and in Cheapside shall my palfrey go All. God save your majesty! to grass. And, when I am king, (as king I Cade. I thank you, good people : you shall will be
all eat and drink of my score, and go all in All. God save your majesty!
my livery; and we'll have no writing, but • Cade. I thank you, good people ;-there the score and the tally, and there shall be no
shall be no money; all shall eat and drink | laws but such as come from my mouth. 'on my score ; and I will apparel them all Dick. We shall have sore laws then, for he ‘in one livery, that they may agree like was thrust into the mouth the other day. • brothers, and worship me their lord.
Geo. Ay, and stinking law too, for his • Dick. The first thing we do, let's kill all breath stinks so that one cannot abide it. the lawyers. Cade. Nay, that I mean to do. Is not this
[Why, is 't not a miserable thing, that of a lamentable thing, that of the skin of an in the skin of an innocent lamb parchment nocent lamb should be made parchment ?
should be made, and then with a little blotthat parchment, being scribbled o'er, should
ting over with ink a man should undo himundo a man? Some say the bee stings :
self? Some say 't is the bees that sting, but but I say, 't is the bee's wax, for I did but
I say 't is their wax, for I am sure I never seal once to a thing, and I was never mine
sealed to anything but once, and I was never own man since. How now? who's there?
mine own man since.]* Enter some, bringing in the Clerk of Chatham.
Enter Will with the Clerk of Chatham. Smith. The clerk of Chatham: he can
Will. Oh, captain, a prize! write and read, and cast accompt.
Cade. Who's that, Will ? Cade. O, monstrous !
Will. The clerk of Chatham : he can write Smith. We took him setting of boys' copies.
and read and cast account. I took him setCade. Here's a villain !
ting of boys' copies; and he has a book in his Smith. H'as a book in his pocket, with
pocket with red letters. red letters in't.
Cade. Zounds, he's a conjurer! bring him Cade. Nay, then he is a conjurer.
hither. Now, sir, what's your name? Dick. Nay, he can make obligations, and
Clerk. Emanuel, sir, an it shall please you. write court-hand.
Dick. It will go hard with you, I tell you, • Cade. I am sorry for 't: the man is a
for they use to write that o'er the top of . proper man, on mine honour; unless I find
letters. • him guilty, he shall not die.-Come hither,
Cade. What, do you use to write your sirrah, I must examine thee: What is thy
name? Or do you, as ancient forefathers name?
have done, use the score and the tally? Clerk. Emmanuel.
Clerk. Nay, truly, sir, I praise God I have Dick. They 'use to write it on the top of
been so well brought up that I can write letters ;-'T will go hard with you.
mine own name. • Cade. Let me alone :-Dost thou use to Cade. Oh, he has confessed; go hang him *write thy name? or hast thou a mark to
with his pen and inkhorn about his neck. • thyself, like an honest plain-dealing man ?
Clerk. Sir, I thank God, I have been so well brought up, that I can write my name.
All. He hath confess'd : away with him ; he's a villain and a traitor. • Cade. Away with him, I say: hang him with his pen and inkhorn about his neck. Second PART OF HENRY VI., Act IV., FIRST PART OF THE CONTENTION, Act IV., SCENE 7.
SCENE 7. • Mess. My lord, a prize, a prize! here's Geo. My lord, a prize, a prize ! here's the the lord Say, which sold the towns in France; lord Say, which sold the towns in France.
* This passage in brackets is found in Scene 7 of the fourth act.