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they belong evidently to a more practised hand than that which reduced the original conception into language. But the hand, as we think, is still the same; the improved hand applying itself to its work with more technical precision. It is our belief that the man who conceived the original scene could alone have finished it. When did any great artist ever produce a perfect picture from another's sketch? The genius which informed the original idea could alone preserve it through the process of its refinement.
"Enough to purchase such another island,
'So thou wilt let me live, and feel no pain.
K. Hen. Ah, what a sign it is of evil life, *When death's approach is seen so terrible!
War. Beaufort, it is thy sovereign speaks to thee.
* K. Hen. O thou eternal Mover of the heavens,
*And from his bosom purge this black despair!
War. See, how the pangs of death do make him grin.
* Sal. Disturb him not, let him pass peaceably.
FIRST PART OF THE CONTENTION, ACT III., Sc. III.
Card. O, death! if thou wilt let me live
King. Oh, see, my lord of Salisbury, how he is
Lord cardinal, remember, Christ must save thy soul.
Card. Why, died he not in his bed?
What would you have me to do then?
Oh, see where duke Humphrey's ghost doth stand, And stares me in the face. Look, look, comb down his hair!
So, now he's gone again: Oh, oh, oh.
Sal. See how the pangs of death do gripe his heart. King. Lord cardinal, if thou diest assur'd of heavenly bliss,
K. Hen. Peace to his soul, if God's good pleasure Hold up thy hand, and make some sign to us.
'Lord cardinal, if thou think'st on heaven's bliss,
6 K. Hen. Forbear to judge, for we are sinners
'Close up his eyes, and draw the curtain close; 'And let us all to meditation.
Oh, see he dies, and makes no sign at all.
Sal. So bad an end did never none behold;
King. Forbear to judge, good Salisbury, forbear,
Go, take him hence, and see his funerals perform'd.
We shall conclude our parallel extracts from the Second Part of Henry VI. and the 'Contention' with the following portions of the scenes with Jack Cade:—
SECOND PART OF HENRY VI., ACT IV., Sc. II.
Drum. Enter CADE, DICK the butcher, SMITH the weaver, and others in great number.
Cade. We John Cade, so termed of our supposed father,
Dick. Or rather, of stealing a cade of herrings.
FIRST PART OF THE CONTENTION, ACT IV., Sc. II.
Cade. I, John Cade, so named for my valiancy.
Dick. He was an honest man and a good bricklayer.
Cade. My mother was come of the Lacies.
Dick. He was an honest man, and a good brick- many laces. layer.
Cade. My mother a Plantagenet,
6 Dick. I knew her well, she was a midwife.
Smith. 'A must needs; for beggary is valiant.
Dick. No question of that; for I have seen him whipped three market-days together.
Cade. I fear neither sword nor fire.
Smith. He need not fear the sword, for his coat is of proof.
Dick. But, methinks, he should stand in fear of fire, being burnt i' the hand for stealing of sheep.
Cade. Be brave then; for your captain is brave, and vows reformation. There shall be, in England, seven halfpenny loaves sold for a penny the threehooped pot shall have ten hoops; and I will make it felony to drink small beer: all the realm shall be in common, and in Cheapside shall my palfry go to grass. And, when I am king, (as king I will be)
All. God save your majesty!
Cade. I thank you, good people; - there shall 'be no money; all shall eat and drink on my score; and I will apparel them all in one livery, that they 'may agree like brothers, and worship me their lord.
Dick. The first thing we do, let's kill all the 'lawyers.
Cade. Nay, that I mean to do. Is not this a lamentable thing, that of the skin of an innocent lamb should be made parchment? that parchment, being scribbled o'er, should undo a man? Some say, the bee stings: but I say, 'tis the bee's wax, for I did but seal once to a thing, and I was never mine own man since. How now? who's there?
Enter some, bringing in the Clerk of Chatham.
read, and cast accompt.
Cade. O monstrous!
Smith. We took him setting of boys' copies.
Smith. H'as a book in his pocket, with red letters in 't.
Cade. Nay, then he is a conjurer.
Dick. Nay, he can make obligations, and write court-hand.
Robin. And now, being not able to occupy her furred pack, she washeth bucks up and down the country. Cade. Therefore I am honourably born.
Harry. Ay, the field is honourable, for he was born under a hedge, because his father had no other house but the cage.
Cade. I am able to endure much.
George. That's true; I know he can endure anything, for I have seen him whipped two market-days together.
Cade. I fear neither sword nor fire.
Will. He need not fear the sword, for his coat is of proof.
Dick. But methinks he should fear the fire, being so often burnt in the hand for stealing of sheep.
Cade. Therefore be brave, for your captain is brave and vows reformation: you shall have seven halfpenny loaves for a penny, and the three-hooped pot shall have ten hoops, and it shall be felony to drink small beer, if I be king, as king I will be.
All. God save your majesty.
Cade. I thank you, good people: you shall all eat and drink of my score, and go all in my livery; and we'll have no writing but the score and the tally, and there shall be no laws but such as come from my mouth.
Dick. We shall have sore laws then, for he was thrust into the mouth the other day.
Geo. Ay, and stinking law too, for his breath stinks so that one cannot abide it.
[Why is 't not a miserable thing, that of the skin of an innocent lamb parchment should be made, and then with a little blotting over with ink a man should undo himself? Some say 't is the bees that sting, but I say 'tis their wax, for I am sure I never sealed to anything but once, and I was never mine own man since.]*
Enter WILL with the Clerk of Chatham. Will. Oh, captain, a prize.
Cade. Who's that, Will?
Will. The clerk of Chatham: he can write and read and cast account. I took him setting of boys' copies and he has a book in his pocket with red letters.
Cade. Zounds, he's a conjuror; bring him hither. Now, sir, what's your name?
Clerk. Emanuel, sir, an it shall please you. Dick. It will go hard with you, I tell you, for they use to write that o'er the top of letters.
*This passage in brackets is found in Scene VII. of the fourth act.
6 Mess. My lord, a prize, a prize! here's the lord 'Say, which sold the towns in France; *he that *made us pay one and twenty fifteens, and one shil*ling to the pound, the last subsidy.
Cade. Well, he shall be beheaded for it ten 'times, Ah, thou say, thou serge, nay, thou 'buckram lord! now art thou within point blank of 'our jurisdiction regal. What canst thou answer 'to my majesty, for giving up of Normandy unto 'monsieur Basimecu, the dauphin of France? Be it 'known unto thee, by these presence, even the presence ' of lord Mortimer, that I am the besom that must 'sweep the court clean of such filth as thou art. "Thou hast most traitorously corrupted the youth of 'the realm, in erecting a grammar-school: and where'as, before, our forefathers had no other books but 'the score and the tally, thou hast caused printing 'to be used; and, contrary to the king, his crown 'and dignity, thou hast built a paper-mill. It will 'be proved to thy face, that thou hast men about 'thee, that usually talk of a noun, and a verb; and 'such abominable words, as no Christian ear can en'dure to hear. Thou hast appointed justices of 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 6 '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.
Cade. What, do you use to write your name? Or do you, as ancient forefathers have done, use the score and the tally?
Clerk. Nay, truly, sir, I praise God I have been so well brought up that I can write mine own name. Cade. Oh, he has confessed; go hang him with his pen and inkhorn about his neck.
FIRST PART OF THE CONTENTION, ACT IV., Sc. VII.
Cade. Come hither, thou Say, thou George (serge), thou buckram lord! what answer canst thou make unto my mightiness, for delivering up the towns in France to monsieur Bus-mine-cue, the dolphin of France? and more than so, thou hast most traitorously erected a grammar-school, to infect the youth of the realm; and against the king's crown and dignity thou hast built up a paper-mill; nay, it will be said to thy face, that thou keep'st men in thy house that daily read of books with red letters, and talk of a noun and verb, and such abominable words as no Christian ear is able to endure it. And besides all this, thou hast appointed certain justices of the peace, in every shire, to hang honest men that steal for their living; and because they could not read, thou hast hung them up; only for which cause they were most worthy to live.
Say. Yes, what of that?
Cade. Marry, I say, thou oughtest not to let thy horse wear a cloak, when an honester man than thyself goes in his hose and doublet.
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
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 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 Tewkesbury, 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.
*Pictorial History of England, vol. iii, p. 589.
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 slaughter-house."