« EdellinenJatka »
later portion of the reign of that monarch. It is true that Forman says nothing of the formal deposition of Richard II. ; but he tells us that in the course of the drama the Duke of Lancaster “ made his own son King," and he could not do so without something like a deposition exhibited or narrated. It is also to be observed, that if Forman's account be at all correct, Shakespeare could never have exhibited the characters of the King and of Gaunt so inconsistently in two parts of the same play. The Richard and the Gaunt of Forman, with their treachery and cruelty, are totally unlike the Richard and Gaunt of Shakespeare. For these reasons we may, perhaps, arrive at the conclusion, that it was a distinct drama, and not by Shakespeare. We may presume, also, that it was the very piece which Sir Gilly Merrick procured to be represented, and for the performance of which, according to a passage in the arraignment of Cuffe and Merrick, the latter paid forty shillings additional, because it was an old play, and not likely to attract an audience.
The very description of the plot given by Forman reads as if it were an old play, with the usual quantity of blood and treachery. How it came to be popular enough, in 1611, to be performed at the Globe must be matter of mere speculation : perhaps the revival of it by the party of the Earls of Essex and Southampton had recalled public attention to it, and improvements might have been made which would render it a favourite in 1611, though it had been neglected in 1601.
Out of these improvements, and out of this renewed popularity, may, possibly, have grown the “new additions,” which were first printed with the impression of Shakespeare's " Richard II.” in 1608', and which solely relate to the deposing of the King. On the other hand, if these new additions," as they were termed in 1608, were only a suppressed part of the original play, there seems no sufficient ground for concluding that it was not Shakespeare's drama which was acted at the instance of Sir Gilly Merrick in 1601. If it were written in 1593, as Malone imagined, or even in 1596, according to the speculation of Chalmers, it might be called an old play in 1601, considering the rapidity with which dramas were often written and brought out at the period of which we are speaking. If neither Shakespeare's
3 It may perhaps be inferred that there was an intention to publish the history,”
;" with these “new additions," in 1603 : at all events, in that year the right in “ Richard II.” “ Richard III.” and “Henry IV.” part i. was transferred to Matthew Law, in whose name the plays came out when the next editions of them appeared. The entry relating to them in the books of the Stationers' Company runs thus :
“ 27 June 1603
Richard the 3d. The second of Richard the 2d. The third of
play, nor that described by Forman, were the pieces selected by Sir Gilly Merrick, there must have been three distinct plays, in the possession of the company acting at the Globe, upon the events of the reign of Richard II.
For the incidents of this “most admirable of all Shakespeare's purely historical plays," as Coleridge calls it, (Lit. Rem. ii. 164,) our great poet appears to have gone no farther than Holinshed, who was bimself indebted to Hall and Fabian. However, Shakespeare has no where felt himself bound to adhere to chronology when it better answered his purpose to desert it. Thus, the Prince of Wales, afterwards Henry V., is spoken of in Act v. sc. 3, as frequenting taverns and stews, when he was in fact only twelve years old. Marston, in a short address before his “Wonder of Women," 1606, aiming a blow at Ben Jonson, puts the duty of a dramatic author in this respect upon its true footing, when he says, “I have not laboured to tie myself to relate anything as a historian, but to enlarge everything as a poet;" and what we have just referred to in this play is exactly one of those anachronisms which, in the words of Schlegel, Shakespeare committed “purposely and most deliberately 4.” His design, of course, was in this instance to link together “Richard II.” and the first part of “ Henry IV.”
Of the four quarto editions of “ Richard II." the most valuable, for its readings and general accuracy, beyond all dispute, is the impression of 1597. The other three quartos were, more or less, printed from it, and the folio of 1623 seems to have taken the latest, that of 1615, as the foundation of its text; but, from a few words found only in the folio, it may seem that the player-editors referred also to some extrinsic authority. It is quite certain, however, that the folio copied obvious and indisputable blunders from the quarto of 1615. There are no fewer than eight places where the folio omits passages inserted in the quartos, in one instance to the destruction of the continuity of the sense, and in most to the detriment of the play. Hence not only the expediency, but the absolute necessity of referring to the quarto copies, from which we have restored all the missing lines, and have distinguished them by placing them between brackets.
+ “ Ich unternehme darzuthun, dass Shakspeare's Anachronismen mehrentheils geflissentlich und mit grossem Bedacht angebracht sind.”—Ueber dramatische Kunst und Litteratur, vol. ii. 43.
KING RICHARD THE SECOND.
QUEEN TO KING RICHARD.
Lords, Heralds, Officers, Soldiers, Gardeners, Keeper,
Messenger, Groom, and other Attendants.
SCENE, dispersedly in England and Wales.
1 A list of characters is not in any of the old editions, and was first supplied by Rowe.
Enter King RICHARD, attended; John of Gaunt, and
other Nobles, with him. K. Rich. Old John of Gaunt, time-honour'd Lan
Gaunt. I have, my liege.
· Brought hither Henry HEREFORD thy bold son ;] In all the ancient copies, quarto and folio, this name is here spelt Herford, showing that it was pronounced in Shakespeare's time as a dissyllable. The difficulty is easily overcome, by reading the first two syllables in the time of one, Hěrěford, and the rhythm of the line is preserved. Numberless instances to justify this practice might be adduced from our poet's dramas. In the speech of Richard after the entrance of Bolingbroke, the title is printed Hereford in the editions of 1598, 1608, and J615, as well as in the folio, 1623 ; and the most usual course in the later part of this play, in the oldest edition as well as in the folio, 1623, is to print it Hereford. On the other hand, in the first scene of “ Henry IV.” part i., we have Herefordshire uniformly printed “ Herdfordshire "
in the quarto editions, and Herefordshire in the folio. Daniel, in his “Civil Wars," 1595, always prints Bolingbroke's title, Herford.
If he appeal the duke on ancient malice,
face, And frowning brow to brow, ourselves will hear Th’ accuser, and th' accused, freely speak.
[Exeunt some Attendants. High-stomach'd are they both, and full of ire, In rage deaf as the sea, hasty as fire?. Re-enter Attendants with BOLINGBROKE and NORFOLK.
Boling. Many years of happy days befal My gracious sovereign, my most loving liege!
Nor. Each day still better other's bappiness;
Boling. First, heaven be the record to my speech !
? In rage deaf as the sea, hasty as fire.] This couplet is quoted in a MS. common-place book of the time in my possession, and there the last line is made
“ Deaf as the sea in rage, hasty as fire.” Possibly this might be the original reading.
3 Add an immortal title to your crown !) For the sake of forming a judgment of the value of editions, and of showing what copies were printed from those that preceded, it may be just worth noting, that the edition of 1615 follows that of 1608, in reading “ Add in immortal title," &c.