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2. Two Carriers and Gadshill.--Smirke
KING HENRY IV.-PART I.
This drama was first entered at Stationers' Hall February 25, 1597-8: its production is assigned by Malone to the year 1597, while Mr. Chalmers and Dr. Drake suppose it to have been written during the preceding year. No fewer than five quarto editions of this play were published during the life-time of our author; in 1698, 1599, 1604, 1608, and 1613.
The action of the First Part of Henry the Fourth begins immediately after the defeat of the Scots at Holmedon in 1402, and terminates with the defeat and death of Hotspur at Shrewsbury about ten months afterwards.
Dr. Johnson observes, that “Shakspeare has apparently designed a regular connexion of these dramatic histories from Richard the Second to Henry the Fifth. King Henry, at the end of Richard the Second, declares his purpose to visit the Holy Land, which he resumes in the first speech of this play. The complaint made by King Henry, in the last act of Richard the Second, of the wildness of his son, prepares the reader for the frolics which are here to be recounted, and the characters which are now to be exhibited.'
It may be remarked, however, that the introduction of the prince at this early period of history is to be