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"The second Part of Henry the Sixt, with the death of the Good Duke Hvmfrey,” was first printed in the folio of 1623, where it occupies twenty-seven pages; viz. from p. 120 to p. 146 inclusive, in the division of “Histories." It fills the same place in the subsequent folio impressions.
THE "history” is an alteration of a play printed in 1594, under the following title: “The First part of the Contention betwixt the two famous houses of Yorke and Lancaster, with the death of the good Duke Humphrey: And the banishment and death of the Duke of Suffolke, and the Tragicall end of the proud Cardinall of Winchester, with the notable Rebellion of lacke Cade: And the Duke of Yorkes first claime unto the Crowne. London Printed by Thomas Creed, for Thomas Millington, and are to be sold at his shop under Saint Peter's Church in Cornwall. 1594.” By whom it was written we have no information ; but it was entered on the Stationery' Registers on the 12th March, 1593. Millington published a second edition of it in 1600 : on the 19th April, 1602, it was assigned by Millington to Tho. Pavier, and we hear of it again, in the Stationers’ Register, merely as “Yorke and Lancaster," on the 8th November, 1630.
The name of Shakespeare was not connected with "the first part of the Contention,” until about the year 1619, when T. P. (Thomas Pavier) printed a new edition of the first, and what he called “the second, part” of the same play, with the name of " William Shakspeare, Gent.” upon the general titlepage. The object of Pavier was no doubt fraudulent: he wished to have it believed, that the old play was the production of our great dramatist.
Shakespeare's property, according to our present notions, was only in the additions and improvements he introduced, which are included in the folio of 1623. In Act. iv. sc. 1, is a line necessarily taken from “the first part of the Contention," as the sense, without it, is incomplete ; but the old play has many passages which Shakespeare rejected, and the murder of Duke Humphrey is somewhat differently managed. In general, however, Shakespeare adopted the whole conduct of the story, and did not think it necessary to correct the obvious historical errors of the original.
It is impossible to assign a date to this play excepting by conjecture. Its success, perhaps, led to the entry at Stationers' Hall of the older play in March, 1593, and to its appearance from the press in 1594.
KING HENRY THE SIXTH.
of the King's
Say. Sir HUMPHREY STAFFORD, and his Bro
ther. Sir John STANLEY.
MICHAEL, &c., Cade's Followers.
MARGERÝ JOURDAIN, a Witch. Wife to SIMPCOX. Lords, Ladies, and Attendants; Herald; Petitioners,
Aldermen, a Beadle, Sheriff, and Officers ; Citizens, Prentices, Falconers, Guards, Soldiers, Messengers, &c.
SCENE, in various parts of England.
KING HENRY VI.
SCENE I.-London. A Room of State in the Palace. Flourish of Trumpets : then Hautboys. Enter, on one
side, King HENRY, Duke of GLOSTER, SALISBURY, WARWICK, and Cardinal BEAUFORT; on the other, Queen MARGARET, led in by SUFFOLK; YORK, SoMERSET, BUCKINGHAM, and others following.
Suf. As by your high imperial majesty ( had in charge at my depart for France, As procurator to your excellence, To marry princess Margaret for your grace ; So, in the famous ancient city Tours, In presence of the kings of France and Sicil, The dukes of Orleans, Calaber, Bretaigne, and Alençon, Seven earls, twelve barons, and twenty reverend bishops, I have perform'd my task, and was espous'd : And humbly now upon my bended knee, In sight of England and her lordly peers, Deliver up my title in the queen To your most gracious hands, that are the substance Of that great shadow I did represent ; The happiest gift that ever marquess gave, The fairest queen that ever king receiv'd.
K. Hen. Suffolk, arise.Welcome, queen Margaret : I can express no kinder sign of love, Than this kind kiss.-0 Lord! that lends me life, Lend me a heart replete with thankfulness; For thou hast given me, in this beauteous face, A world of earthly blessings to my soul,