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A LIFE OF THE POET, EXPLANATORY FOOT-NOTES, CRITICAL
NOTES, AND A GLOSSARIAL INDEX.
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1880, by
HENRY N. HUDSON, in the office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.
GINN & HEATH :
KING HENRY VI.
HE Third Part resumes the history just where it paused at
the close of the Second, and carries it on from the first battle of Saint Alban's, May, 1445, till the death of King Henry, which took place in May, 1471. And the connection of this play with the preceding is much the same as that between the First Part and the Second; there being no apparent reason why the Third should begin where it does, but that the Second ended there. The parliamentary doings, which resulted in a compromise of the two factions, are here set in immediate juxtaposition with the first battle of Saint Alban's, whereas they were in fact separated by an interval of more than five years. Nevertheless the arrangement is a very judicious one; for that interval was marked by little else than similar scenes of slaughter, which had no decisive effect on the relative condition of the parties : so that the representing of them would but have encumbered the play with details without helping on the author's purpose. Not so, however, with the battle of Wakefield, which followed hard upon those doings in Parliament: for this battle, besides that it yielded matter of peculiar dramatic interest in itself, had the effect of kindling that inexpressible rage and fury of madness which it took such rivers of blood to slake. For the historians note that from this time forward the war was conducted with the fiercest rancour and exasperation, each faction seeming more intent to butcher than to subdue the other. The cause of this demoniacal enthusiasm could not well be better presented than it is in the wanton and remorseless savagery displayed at the battle in question. And the effect is answerably told in the next battle represented, where the varying fortune and long-doubtful issue served but to multiply and deepen the horrors of the tragedy.
The result of the battle of Towton, fought March 29, 1461,