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COMEDIES, HISTORIES, TRAGEDIES,
“ It is a thing scarcely believable how much, and how boldly, as well the
Udall's Preface to Erasmus's Apophthegms (applied there to Plutarch).
THE SECOND EDITION.
CHARLES KNIGHT AND CO., LUDGATE STREET.
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.
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 :
6. Thus far, with rough and all unable pen,
Our bending author hath pursued the story;
Mangling by starts the full course of their glory.
This star of England : fortune made his sword
And of it left his son imperial lord.
Of France and England, did this king succeed ;
That they lost France, and made his England bleed :
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