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She dared to brave Neptunus' haughty pride, | That these great lords, and Margaret our And brave the brunt of froward Eolus.”
queen, Friar Bacon, by ROBERT GREENE. Do seek subversion of thy harmless life ?”
Henry VI., Part II 3. “ King. Thus far, ye English peers, 3. “Q. Mar. Who can be patient in such have we display'd
extremes ? Our waving ensigns with a happy war; Ah, wretched man!'would I had died a maid, Thus nearly hath our furious rage reveng'd And never seen thee, never borne thee son, My daughter's death upon the traitorous Scot; Seeing thou hast prov'd so unnatural a father! And now before Dunbar our camp is pitch'd, Hath he deserv'd to lose his birthright thus? Which, if it yield not to our compromise,
Hadst thou but lov'd him half so well as I; The plough shall furrow where the palace Or felt that pain which I did for him once ; stood,
Or nourish'd him, as I did with my blood; And fury shall envy so high a power,
Thou wouldst have left thy dearest heartThat mercy shall be banish'd from our sword.
blood there, Doug. What seeks the English king?
Rather than made that savage duke thine King. Scot, ope those gates, and let me
heir, enter in.
And disinherited thine only son.” Submit thyself and thine unto my grace,
Henry VI., Part III. Or I will put each mother's son to death, And lay this city level with the ground.”
James IV., by ROBERT GREENE. 4. “Barons of England, and my noble
4. “ York. The army of the queen hath lords,
got the field: Though God and fortune have bereft from us
My uncles both are slain in rescuing me; Victorious Richard, scourge of infidels,
And all my followers to the eager foe And clad this land in stole of dismal hue,
Turn back, and fly, like ships before the wind, Yet give me leave to joy, and joy you all,
Or lambs pursued by hungry starved wolves. That from this womb hath sprung a second My sons God knows what hath bechanced hope,
them." A king that may in rule and virtue both
Henry VI., Part III. Succeed his brother in his empery."
The Troublesome Reign of King John. As the examples of Shaksperian learning which we have recently given are all taken from the additions to “The Contention,' so are the examples of early Shaksperian versification also taken from the new passages. No one attempts to doubt that these new passages are by Shakspere. If, then, the same structure of versification prevails in some of the additional passages as prevails in the old portions,—and of this we could have furnished many similar examples,it follows, almost conclusively, that the argument against Shakspere being the original author of the three plays, on account of their versification, is as untenable as that he was not the author of the First Part on account of its learning.
Some pages of Malone's · Dissertation' are devoted to the proof that “ the supposition of imperfect or spurious copies cannot account for the variations” between the two parts of The Contention' and the Second and Third Parts of Henry VI.' We quite agree with him here. The argument sustains itself without any proof; for no theory of unskilful copyists, or of auditors obtaining a copy from repeated hearings, would account for such changes as we have exhibited between the elder and later plays. “We are compelled to maintain,” adds Malone, “either that Shakspeare wrote two plays
on the story which forms his “Second Part of King Henry VI.'-a hasty sketch, and an entirely distinct and more finished performance
—or else we must acknowledge that he formed that piece on a foundation laid by another writer; that is, upon the quarto copy of “The First Part of the Contention,' &c.; and the same argument applies to “The Third Part of King Henry VI.,' which is founded on The True Tragedy of Richard Duke of York.'"* This is the question, certainly, to which we confine ourselves, with a slight difference in terms. We hold that the quarto copy of each Part of the Contention' is a sketch, if we may so describe an artist's first picture, as compared with a later and more finished copy of the same general design. But it is not necessarily “ a hasty sketch.” This is, however, immaterial. But is the case of the Second and Third Parts of · Henry VI. without a parallel? Has not Shakspere, in some of his undoubted plays, made a sketch of each, which was afterwards worked up into a “ more finished performance”? Are there not existing sketches of · Romeo and Juliet,' of Henry V.,' of The Merry Wives of Windsor,' and of “Hamlet'?t The latter is the most important parallel example. The Duke of Devonshire's copy of the edition of 1603 was unknown to Malone; had it been familiar to him, as it now is to all Shaksperian students by its republication, would Malone have proved that Shakspere's · Hamlet' was formed “ on a foundation laid by another writer”? We have no hesitation in saying most distinctly that there is not a single principle of “internal evidence" by which Malone's hypothesis is supported, that the Second and Third Parts of “Henry VI.' “ were not originally written by Shakspeare,” which could not be applied to prove that the · Hamlet' of 1603 did not also own some other “ literary parent;" and that Shakspere only “new versified, new modelled, transposed many of the parts, and greatly amplified and improved the whole.” We will endeavour very briefly to propound an hypothesis to this effect, after Malone's fashion. We take the words which he applies to the · Henry VI. ;' the difference is only in a name. “That the reader may have the whole of the subject before him, we shall here transcribe” a speech from the second scene of the first act of • Hamlet, “ together with the corresponding scene in the original play; and also a speech” in the third act, “ with the original speech on which it is formed. The first specimen will serve to show the method taken by Shakspeare, where he only new polished the language of the old play, rejecting some part of the dialogue, and making
* Dissertation, p. 582.
some slight additions to the part which he retained : the second is a striking proof of his facility and vigour of composition, which has happily expanded a thought, comprised originally in a short speech, into” fifty-nine “ lines, none of which appear feeble or superfluous."*
FROM THE OLD IIAMLET, S10. B 3, EDIT. 1603. Cor.+ Farewell! how now, Ophelia? what's
the news with you ? Oph. 0, my dear father, such a change in
Cor. Why, what's the matter, my Ophelia ?
flower of Denmark, He is bereft of all the wealth he had ; That jewel that adorn'd his feature most Is filch'd and stol'n away, his wit's bereft
him. He found me walking in the gallery all alone: There comes he to me, with a distracted look, His garters lagging down, his shoes untied, And fix'd his eyes so steadfast on my face, As if they had vow'd, this is their latest object. Small while he stood, but gripes me by the
wrist, And there he holds my pulse till with a sigh He doth unclasp his hold, and parts away Silent, as is the mid time of the night: And as he went, his eye was still on me, For thus his head over his shoulder look'd. He seem'd to find the way without his eyes, For out of doors he went without their help, And so did leave me.
Cor. Mad for thy love. What, have you given him any cross words
of late ? Oph. I did repel his letters, deny his gifts, As you did charge me.
Cor. Why, that hath made him mad : By Heav'n, 't is as proper for our age to cast Beyond ourselves, as 't is for the younger sort To leave their wantonness. Well, I am sorry That I was so rash : but what remedy? Let's to the king : this madness may prove, Though wild a while, yet more true to thy
From HAMLET, Act I., SCENE 2. ·Pol. Farewell!-How now, Ophelia ?
what's the matter? *Oph. Alas, my lord, I have been so af
frighted! *Pol. With what, in the name of Heaven? * Oph. My lord, as I was sewing in my
chamber, *Lord Hamlet, with his doublet all unbrac'd; *No hat upon his head; his stockings foul'd, *Ungarter'd, and down-gyved to his ankle ; *Pale as his shirt; his knees knocking each
other; *And with a look so piteous in purport, *As if he had been loosed out of hell, *To speak of horrors,-he comes before me.
Pol. Mad for thy love? *Oph.
My lord, I do not know ; *But, truly, I do fear it. *Pol.
What said he ? • Oph. He took me by the wrist, and held
me hard ; *Then goes he to the length of all his arm; *And, with his other hand thus, o'er his brow, *He falls to such perusal of my face, *As he would draw it. Long stay'd he so ; *At last, a little shaking of mine arm, *And thrice his head thus waving up and
down, *He rais’d a sigh so piteous and profound, *That it did seem to shatter all his bulk, * And end his being: That done, he lets me go : And, with his head over his shoulder turn'd, He seem'd to find his way without his eyes ;
For out o' doors he went without their help, • And, to the last, bended their light on me.
*Pol. Go with me; I will go seek the king. *This is the very ecstacy of love ; *Whose violent property foredoes itself, *And leads the will to desperate undertakings, *As oft as any passion under heaven *That does afflict our natures. I am sorry, What, have you given him any hard words
of late ? *Oph. No, my good lord; but, as you did
command, • I did repel his letters, and denied • His access to me.
That hath made him mad. I am sorry that with better heed and judg.
* Dissertation, p. 572.
FROM THE OLD Hamlet, Sig. G, EDIT. 1603. Ham. Why, what a dunghill idiot slave
am I! Why, these players here draw water from
eyes: For Hecuba! why, what is Hecuba to him,
or he to Hecuba ? What would he do, and if he had my loss ? His father murther’d, and a crown bereft him ? He would turn all his tears to drops of blood, Amaze the standers-by with his laments, Strike more than wonder in the judicial ears, Confound the ignorant, and make mute the
wise: Indeed his passion would be general. Yet I like to an ass and John-a-dreams, Having my father murther'd by a villain, Stand still, and let it pass. Why, sure I am
a coward; Who plucks me by the beard, or twits my
nose ? Gives me the lie i' th’ throat down to the
lungs ? Sure I should take it, or else I have no gall, Or by this I should a fatted all the region
kites With this slave's offal, this damned villain, Treacherous, bawdy, murtherous villain ! Why, this is brave; that I, the son of my
dear father, Should like a scalion, like a very drab, Thus rail in words. About, my brain ! I have heard that guilty creatures, sitting at a
play, Hath, by the very cunning of the scene, Confess'd a murther committed long before. This spirit that I have seen may be the devil, And out of my weakness and my melan.
choly, As he is very potent with such men, Doth seek to damn me. I will have sounder
proofs : The play 's the thing, Wherein I'll catch the conscience of the king.
*I had not quoted him: I fear’d he did but
trifle, *And meant to wrack thee; but, beshrew my
jealousy! . It seems it is as proper to our age • To cast beyond ourselves in our opinions, • As it is common for the younger sort * To lack discretion. Come, go we to the king: *This must be known; which, being kept
close, might move *More grief to hide than hate to utter love.
FROM HAMLET, Act III., SCENE 3. 0, what a rogue and peasant slave am I! *Is it not monstrous, that this player here, *But in a fiction, in a dream of passion, *Could force his soul so to his whole conceit, *That, from her working, all his visage
warm'd; *Tears in his eyes, distraction in 's aspect, *A broken voice, and his whole function
suiting *Which forms to his conceit? And all for
nothing! For Hecuba ? What's Hecuba to him, or he to Hecuba, • That he should weep for her? What would
he do, *Had he the motive and the cue for passion *That I have? He would drown the stage
with tears, *And cleave the general ear with horrid
speech; • Make mad the guilty, and appal the free,
Confound the ignorant; and amaze, indeed, *The very faculties of eyes and ears.
Yet I, *A dull and muddy-mettled rascal, peak, Like John-a-dreams, unpregnant of my
cause, *And can say nothing ; no, not for a king, *Upon whose property, and most dear life,
A damn'd defeat was made. Am I a coward ? *Who calls me villain ? breaks my pate
across ? Plucks off my beard, and blows it in my
face? • Tweaks me by the nose ? gives me the lie
i' the throat, • As deep as to the lungs ? Who does me this ? *Ha! • Why, I should take it: for it cannot be, . But I am pigeon liver'd, and lack gall *To make oppression bitter; or, ere this,
I should have fatted all the region kites • With this slave's offal: Bloody, bawdy vil
lain! *Remorseless, treacherous, lecherous, kind
less villain ! *O vengeance. • What an ass am I! ay, sure, this is most
brave; • That I, the son of the dear murthered, *Prompted to my revenge by heaven and hell,
• Must, like a whore, unpack my heart with
have heard That guilty creatures, sitting at a play, Have by the very cunning of the scene • Been struck so to the soul, that presently • They have proclaim'd their malefactions; *For murther, though it have no tongue, will
speak *With most miraculous organ. I'll have
these players *Play something like the murther of my
father, *Before mine uncle: I'll observe his looks; *I'll tent him to the quick; if he but blench, • I know my course. The spirit that I have
seen • May be the devil: and the devil hath power *To assume a pleasing shape; yea, and per
haps, Out of my weakness, and my melancholy, (As he is very potent with such spirits,) • Abuses me to damn me: I'll have grounds • More relative than this: The play 's the
thing Wherein I 'll catch the conscience of the
king. The reader then having the whole subject before him” in these extracts (those who will take the trouble to read Malone's · Dissertation’ will know that we are not over-stating his proofs), we ask, as Malone has asked with reference to the · Henry VI.,' if there is any similarity between the “ versification” of the old play and “the undoubted performances of Shakspere ;” whether there is any similarity in the “ diction ;" whether it is not clear, from this isolated view of the matter, that the old · Hamlet was the work of “some author who preceded Shakspere;” and whether any further proof of this limited nature is required to show “ with what expression, animation, and splendour of colouring, he filled up the outline that had been sketched by a preceding writer” ? * In giving these extracts, “ all those lines which he adopted without any alteration are printed in the usual manner; those which he altered or expanded are distinguished by inverted commas; and to all the lines entirely composed by himself asterisks are prefixed. The total number of lines in” these extracts from “our author's" · Hamlet' is 106 : “ of these, as I conceive," 14 " lines were written by some author or authors who preceded Shakspere ;" 36 “ were formed by him on the foundations laid by his predecessors; and” 56 “ lines were entirely his own composition.”+ * Dissertation, p. 376.
+ Dissertation, p. 572.