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*he that made us pay one and twenty fif- Cade. Come hither, thou say, thou George *teens, and one shilling to the pound, the (serge), thou buckram lord! what answer *last subsidy.
canst thou make unto my mightiness for • Cade. Well, he shall be beheaded for it delivering up the towns in France to mon“ten times.—Ah, thou say, thou serge, nay, sieur Bus-mine-cue, the dolphin of France ? thou buckram lord ! now art thou within And more than so, thou hast most traitorpoint blank of our jurisdiction regal. What ously erected a grammar-school to infect the canst thou answer to my majesty, for giving youth of the realm ; and against the king's up of Normandy unto monsieur Basimecu, crown and dignity thou hast built up a the dauphin of France ? Be it known unto paper-mill; nay, it will be said to thy face, ' thee, by these presence, even the presence that thou keep'st men in thy house that daily
of lord Mortimer, that I am the besom that read of books with red letters, and talk of a 'must sweep the court clean of such filth as noun and verb, and such abominable words thou art. Thou hast most traitorously cor as no christian ear is able to endure it. And rupted the youth of the realm, in erecting a besides all this, thou hast appointed certain grammar-school : and whereas, before, our justices of the peace, in every shire, to hang • forefathers had no other books but the score honest men that steal for their living; and
and the tally, thou hast caused printing to because they could not read, thou hast hung • be used; and, contrary to the king, his them up; only for which cause they were • crown and dignity, thou hast built a paper most worthy to live. 'mill. It will be proved to thy face, that Say. Yes, what of that? thou hast men about thee, that usually talk Cade. Marry, I say, thou oughtest not to of a noun, and a verb; and such abominable let thy horse wear a cloak, when an honester words, as no christian ear can endure to man than thyself goes in his hose and • hear. Thou hast appointed justices of doublet.
peace, to call poor men before them about 'matters they were not able to answer. . Moreover, thou hast put them in prison ; and because they could not read, thou hast
hanged them; when, indeed, only for that 'cause they have been most worthy to live. • Thou dost ride on a foot-cloth, dost thou not? Say. What of that ?
Cade. Marry, thou oughtest not to let thy horse wear a cloak, when honester men than thou go in their hose and doublets.
Though Malone, it will be observed, has been here somewhat liberal with his commas, he has given us very few asterisks. Shakspere thus only contributed some half-dozen original lines to these scenes; and if we trace the lines marked with commas to the corresponding lines in the Contention,' we shall find that he has not contributed a single new point. According to Malone's theory, then, there was some author who preceded Shakspeare” who may justly claim the merit of having given birth in England to the very highest comedy—not the mere comedy of manners, not the comedy of imitation, but that comedy which, having its roots imbedded in the most profound philosophy, is still as fresh as at the hour when it was first written, and will endure through every change in the outward forms of social life. For what is the comedy which is here before us, written, as it would seem, by “some author who preceded Shakspeare ?” Is it the comedy of Marlowe? or of Greene? or of Peele? or of the latter two, to whom Malone ascribes these plays ?-—or of Lodge, who wrote in conjunction with
Greene?-or of Lyly?-or Kyd ?—or Nashe?-or is it to be traced to some anonymous author, such as he who produced “The Famous Victories?' We are utterly at a loss where to assign the authorship of this comedy upon Malone's theory. We turn to the works of the authors who preceded Shakspere, and we find abundance indeed of low buffoonery, but scarcely a spark of that universal wit and humour which, all things considered, is the very rarest amongst the gifts of genius. Those who are familiar with the works of the earliest English dramatists will know that our assertion is not made at random. Without entering at present more minutely into this question we may support our opinion of the character of the comedy which “preceded Shakspeare” by that of a valued friend, extracted from a few pages of critique on the genius of our poet, as comprehensive as it is beautiful. “He first informed our drama with true wit and humour. Of boisterous, uproarious, blackguard merriment and buffoonery there is no want in our earlier dramatists, nor of mere gibing and jeering and vulgar personal satire; but of true airy wit there is little or none. In the comedies of Shakspeare the wit plays and dazzles like dancing light. This seems to have been the excellence, indeed, for which he was most admired by his contemporaries; for quickness and felicity of repartee they placed him above all other play-writers. But his humour was still more his own than his wit. In that rich but delicate and subtle spirit of drollery, moistening and softening whatever it touches like a gentle oil, and penetrating through all enfoldings and rigorous encrustments into the kernel of the ludicrous that is in everything, which mainly created Malvolio, and Shallow, and Slender, and Dogberry, and Verges, and Bottom, and Lancelot, and Launce, and Costard, and Touchstone, and a score of other clowns, fools, and simpletons, and which, gloriously overflowing in Falstaff, makes his wit exhilarate like wine, Shakspere has had almost as few successors as he had predecessors." * We believe then that the man “ who first informed our drama with true wit and humour” was the only man of whose existence we have any record who could have written the Jack Cade scenes of the • Contention.'
The additions which, in The Second Part of Henry VI.,' we find made to the original play, are pretty equally spread through all the scenes. The passages between Henry and Margaret in the third act, and the scene of Suffolk's murder in the fourth act, have upon the whole received the greatest elaboration. But in “The
* Pictorial History of England, vol. iii., p. 589.
Third Part of Henry VI.' we have whole scenes taken from the * Contention' with scarcely an additional line; and the lines which are added come, for the most part, in large masses. The alterations are sometimes, too, of the very slightest character. Compare, for example, the Parliament scene in the first act, the scene of the death of Rutland, that in which York is taken prisoner and murdered, the stabbing of young Edward in the field at Tewksbury, and the scene between Gloster and Henry in the Tower. These, be it observed, are the great scenes of the play. It is unnecessary for us to give parallel examples of these; for the critical reader may now readily compare the “Henry VI.' with the “Contention.' The additions, we have said, come in large masses in the Third Part. We instance the celebrated soliloquy of Henry in the second act, which is expanded from thirteen lines to fifty-four, and of which the additions are evidently not of Shakspere's earliest period. The scene between Henry and the Gamekeepers is also greatly expanded; so the soliloquy of Gloster at the end of the third act; and so the scene with Lewis of France. These elaborated scenes are, as compared with those which remain unaltered, the minor scenes. Upon the whole it is clear to us that when Shakspere revised the play he found less necessity for a general change in the Second Part than in the First. The original work had been performed with greater technical skill.
The additions which Shakspere undoubtedly made to “The First Part of the Contention,' and The True Tragedy of Richard Duke of York,' as they appear in the Second and Third Parts of · Henry VI.,' ought, upon any just theory that the original plays were the composition of a different author, to be recognised by a distinctive character. Malone was aware that, without such a distinctive character could be shown, his arithmetical exhibition of the amended lines and the additional lines would go for little. He therefore makes a bold statement, which he does not take the slightest trouble to verify:
“ I have said that certain passages in the Second and Third Parts of King Henry VI.' are ascertained to be Shakspeare's by a peculiar phraseology. This peculiar phraseology, without a single exception, distinguishes such parts of these plays as are found in the folio, and not in the elder quarto dramas, of which the phraseology, as well as the versification, is of a different colour. This observation applies not only to the new original matter produced by Shakspeare, but to his alteration of the old.”
If this peculiarity of phraseology could be shown to exist only in the amended portions of the Second and Third Parts of · Henry VI.' as compared with those portions which are untouched, we are ready to admit that the received theory would remain unshaken in a very material point. But the assertion is utterly without foundation. Malone himself does not attempt to support his assertion by any examples. He flies off from the general question, and goes to the “ inaccuracies,” which he holds form a distinguishing“ peculiarity" of Shakspere, and “other minute marks of his hand,” such as using adjectives adverbially—a characteristic not of Shakspere alone, but of every writer of his time. In the same way he maintains that “in our author's genuine plays he frequently borrows from himself, the same thoughts being found in nearly the same expressions in different pieces ;” but he asserts that, in the Second and Third Parts, such resemblances, with the exception of three passages, are only found between the additional passages and the genuine plays of Shakspere. “The First Part of Henry VI.' is assumed to stand upon the same ground, for he gives one example of “ coincidency" between that play and · Henry V' as against his hypothesis. Malone's citation of passages in the Second and Third Parts of
Henry VI.,' in which these resemblances may be traced, includes only new passages, of course. We hold that, if this want of accurate resemblance of manner could be established, the argument would still be worth little whilst there was unity of action, and of character, in the plays themselves, and general identity with the manner of Shakspere. But it is utterly worthless if we show that there are many passages in “The First Part of Henry VI.' and the two Parts of the Contention in which the same thought and expression may be traced to Shakspere's other works. The author of the ‘Dissertation' has been extremely careful to point out the resemblances, in his own notes, between the new lines of the Contention and passages in various plays of Shakspere; and has even traced the associations which would naturally present themselves to the poet's mind, as a proof that he wrote the new lines only. We will divert our readers with an example :
“ And as the butcher takes away the calf,
And binds the wretch, and beats it when it strays,
Bearing it to the bloody slaughterhouse.” “In perusing these lines,” says the solemn commentator, “one cannot help recollecting the trade which his father has by some been
ssages, of cohese resemblancecond and "pothesis.
supposed to have followed.” We proceed to exhibit, not the one passage of The First Part of Henry VI.' in which there is “coincidency” of thought and expression with Shakspere's other plays, nor the three other passages of the two parts of the ‘Contention;' but we put some thirty or forty passages of this character before our readers; and we leave to others to assign its true name to the assertion of Malone, that these resemblances can be found only in what he held Shakspere to have written of these dramas,—that is, in one passage of "The First Part of Henry VI.,' and in three of the unmarked lines of the Second and Third Parts.
FROM HENRY VI., Part I. “ Scarlet hypocrite”—(addressed to a car
dinal). “ Good God! that nobles should such sto
machs bear.” “ Rather than I would be so vile-esteem'd."
“ No, no, I am but shadow of myself.”
“ I love no colours."
“ Scarlet sin" (Henry VIII, addressed to a cardinal).
" He was a man Of an unbounded stomach.” Henry VIII. “'T is better to be vile than vile-esteem'd."
Sonnets. “ I am the shadow of poor Buckingham.”
Henry VIII. “ I do fear colourable colours.”
Love's Labour's Lost. “ Stay the very riping of the time."
Merchant of Venice. - " The table of my memory.” Hamlet. “ Dry sorrow drinks our blood.”
Romeo and Juliet. “My oil-dried lamp, and time-bewasted light.”
Richard II. “ Like to a murthering-piece, in many places Gives me superfluous death.” Hamlet.
“Were growing time once ripen'd to my will.”
“ My book of memory.”
“ Like lamps whose wasting oil is spent.”
“ Thou dost then wrong me; as the slaugh
terer doth, Which giveth many wounds, when one will
kill.” “Our sacks shall be a mean to sack a city.”
“ Lean famine, quartering steel, and climbing
fire." “ Who now is girdled with a waist of iron."
“ Now thou art come unto a feast of death." " "Tis but the shortning of my life one day."
“ Here's that will sack a city.” Henry IV.
(Falstaff showing his bottle of sack.) “ Leash'd in like hounds, should famine, sword, and fire."
Henry V. " That as a waist do girdle you about.”
King John. 6. This feast of battle."
Richard II. “ Heaven shorten Harry's happy life one day."
Henry V. “ Keeps death his court, and there the antic
Richard II. « Be the attorney of my love to her.”
“ Thou antic death, which laughs us here to
“ Marriage is a matter of more worth Than to be dealt with by attorneyship."
FROM THE FIRST PART OF THE
CONTENTION. « She bears à duke's whole revenues on her
back." (Malone has marked this as a new line with an asterisk, the only difference
being that whole is omitted.) “ Mail'd up in shame, with papers on my