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“ The Second part of Henrie the fourth, continuing to his death, and coronation of Henrie the fift. With the humours of Sir John Falstaffe, and swaggering Pistoll. As it hath been sundrie times publikely acted by the right honourable, the Lord Chamberlaine his seruants. Written by William Shakespeare. London Printed by V. S. for Andrew Wise, and William Aspley. 1600.” 4to. 43 leaves.
Other copies of the same edition, in quarto, not containing Sign. E 5 and E 6, have only 41 leaves.
In the folio, 1623, “ The Second Part of Henry the Fourth, containing his Death: and the Coronation of King Henry the Fift," occupies twenty-nine pages in the division of “Histories,” viz. from p. 74 to p. 102 inclusive, the last two not being numbered. Pages 89 and 90, by an error of the press, are numbered 91 and 92. In the reprint of the folio, 1632, this mistake is repeated. In the two later folios the pagination continued from the beginning to the end of the volume.
We may state with more certainty than usual, that “ Henry IV.” Part ii. was written before the 25th Feb. 1598. In the preliminary notice of “ Henry IV." Part i. it is mentioned, that Act ii. sc. 2. of
history” before us contains a piece of evidence that Falstaff was still called Oldcastle when it was written ; viz. that the prefix of Old, is retained in the quarto, 1600, before a speech which belongs to Falstaff, and which is assigned to him in the folio of 1623. Now, we know that the name of Oldcastle was changed to that of Falstaff anterior to the entry of “Henry IV.” Part i. in the books of the Stationers' Company on the 25th Feb. 1597-8. This circumstance overturns Malone's theory, that “ Henry IV.” Part ii. was not written until 1599. It requires no proof that it was produced after “ Richard II.” because that play is quoted in it.
The memorandum in the Stationers' Registers, prior to the publication of the following play, is inserted literatim in Vol. ii. p. 183 : it bears date on 23d Aug. 1600, and it was made by Andrew Wise and William Aspley, who brought out “ The Seconde Parte of the History of Kinge Henry the iiii",” 4to, in that year.
There was only one edition of “Henry IV.” Part ii. in 1600, but some copies vary importantly. The play was evidently produced from the
press in haste; and besides other large omissions, a whole scene, forming the commencement of Act iii. was left out. Most of the copies are without these pages, but they are found in those of the Duke of Devonshire and Malone. The stationer must have discovered the error after the publication, and sheet E was accordingly reprinted, in order to supply the defect.
The folio 1623, was taken from a complete copy of the edition of 1600; and, moreover, the actor-editors, probably from a play-house manuscript in their hands, furnished many other lines wanting in the quarto. On the other hand, the quarto, 1600, contains several passages not found in the folio, 1623. Our text includes both, (properly distinguished in the notes) in order that no syllable which came from the pen of Shakespeare may be lost. Even if we suppose our great dramatist to have himself rejected certain portions, preserved in the quarto, the exclusion of them by a modern editor would be unpardonable, as they form part of the history of the poet's mind.
KING HENRY THE FOURTH.
Opposites to the King.
Recruits. FANG and SNARE, Sheriff's Officers. RUMOUR, the Presenter. A Porter. A Dancer, Speaker of the Epilogue. LADY NORTHUMBERLAND. LADY PERCY. Hostess QUICKLY. DOLL TEAR-SHEET. Lords, and Attendants ; Officers, Soldiers, Messenger, Drawers,
Beadles, Grooms, &c.
1 A list of “ the Actors' names” fills the last leaf of the play in the folio, 1623.
Warkworth. Before Northumberland's Castle.
Enter Rumour, painted full of Tongues?. Rum. Open your ears; for which of you will stop The vent of hearing, when loud Rumour speaks? 1, from the orient to the drooping west, Making the wind my post-horse, still unfold The acts commenced on this ball of earth : Upon my tongues continual slanders ride, The which in every language I pronounce, Stuffing the ears of men with false reports. I speak of peace, while covert enmity, Under the smile of safety, wounds the world : And who but Rumour, who but only 1, Make fearful musters, and prepar’d defence; Whilst the big year, swoln with some other grief, Is thought with child by the stern tyrant war, And no such matter? Rumour is a pipe Blown by surmises, jealousies, conjectures ; And of so easy and so plain a stop, That the blunt monster with uncounted heads, The still-discordant wavering multitude,
1 Induction.] So called in the folio, 1623, where it is treated as the first scene of the play. The word is used in the same way by Ben Jonson, Marston, and other dramatists of the time. The quarto is not divided into Acts and Sceres; and Rumour enters as if to deliver a Prologue.
? Enter Rumour, painted full of Tongues.] This is the descriptive stagedirection of the quarto, 1600 : the folio, 1623, has only “ Enter Rumour.” It was common in the time of Shakespeare, and long before, to speak of “Rumour," as dressed in a robe covered with tongues.
Can play upon it. But what need I thus
3 Between that royal field of Shrewsbury] The folio, 1623, has the for “that;” but “that” of the quarto, 1600, is probably right, as the reference is to the “ bloody field by Shrewsbury,” before mentioned. Besides,“ that royal field,” and “ this worm-eaten hold,” in the next line, seem put in opposition.
* And this worm-eaten HOLD-] Misprinted hole in the old copies, quarto and folio : the compositor perhaps printed by his ear.
5 Where Hotspur's father,] The quarto, 1600, has When for “Where" of the folio, 1623. The latter is of course right.