Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

Therefore, my lord protector, give consent,
That Margaret may be England's royal queen.

Glo. So should I give consent to flatter sin.
You know, my lord, your highness is betroth'd
Unto another lady of esteem;
How shall we then dispense with that contract,
And not deface your honour with reproach?

Suf. As doth a ruler with unlawful oaths;
Or one, that, at a triumpho having vow'd
To try his strength, forsaketh yet the lists
By reason of his adversary's odds:
A poor earl's daughter is unequal odds,
And therefore may be broke without offence.
Glo. Why, what, I pray, is Margaret more than

that?
Her father is no better than an earl,
Although in glorious titles he excel.

Suf. Yes, iny good lord, her father is a king,
The king of Naples, and Jerusalem;
And of such great authority in France,
As his alliance will confirm our peace,
And keep the Frenchmen in allegiance.
Glo. And so the earl of Armagnac may

do Because he is near kinsman unto Charles. Exe. Beside, his wealth doth warrant liberal

dower; While Reignier sooner will receive, than give. Suf. A dower, my lords! disgrace not so your

king,
That he should be so abject, base, and poor,
To choose for wealth, and not for perfect love.
Henry is able to enrich his queen,
And not to seek a queen to make him rich:
So worthless peasants bargain for their wives,

. — at a triumph-) A triumph, in the age of Shakspeare, signified a public exhibition, such as a mask, a revel, &c.

As market-men for oxen, sheep, or horse.
Marriage is a matter of more worth,
Than to be dealt in by attorneyship;
Not whom we will, but whom his grace affects,
Must be companion of his nuptial bed:
And therefore, lords, since he affects her most,
It most of all these reasons bindeth us,
In our opinions she should be preferr’d.
For what is wedlock forced, but a hell,
An age of discord and continual strife?
Whereas the contrary bringeth forth bliss,
And is a pattern of celestial peace.
Whom should we match, with Henry, being a king;
But Margaret, that is daughter to a king?
Her peerless feature, joined with her birth,
Approves her fit for none, but for a king:
Her valiant courage, and undaunted spirit,
(More than in women commonly is seen,)
Will answer our hope in issue of a king;
For Henry, son unto a conqueror,
Is likely to beget more conquerors,
If with a lady of so high resolve,
As is fair Margaret, he be link'd in love.
Then yield, my lords; and here conclude with me,
That Margaret shall be queen, and none but she.
K. Hen. Whether it be through force of

report,
My noble lord of Suffolk; or for that
My tender youth was never yet attaint
With any passion of inflaming love,
I cannot tell; but this I am assur'd,
I feel such sharp dissention in my breast,
Such fierce alarums both of hope and fear,
As I am sick with working of my thoughts.

your

7

choice;

by attorneyship;] By the intervention of another man's or the discretional agency of another.

Take, therefore, shipping; post, my lord, to France;
Agree to any covenants: and procure
That lady Margaret do vouchsafe to come
To cross the seas to England, and be crown'd
King Henry's faithful and anointed queen:
For your expences and sufficient charge,
Among the people gather up a tenth.
Be gone, I say; for, till you do return,
I rest perplexed with a thousand cares.-
And you, good uncle, banish all offence:
If you do censure me by what you were,
Not what you are, I know it will excuse
This sudden execution of my will.
And so conduct me, where from company,
I may revolve and ruminate my grief.

[Exit. Glo. Ay, grief, I fear me, both at first and last.

Exeunt Gloster and EXETER.
Suf. Thus Suffolk hath prevailid: and thus he

goes,
As did the youthful Paris once to Greece;
With hope to find the like event in love,
But prosper better than the Trojan did.
Margaret shall now be queen, and rule the king;
But I will rule both her, the king, and realm.

[Exit.

9

If you do censure me, &c.] To censure is here simply to judge. If in judging me you consider the past frailties of your own youth.

ruminate my grief.] Grief in the first line is taken generally for pain or uneasiness ; in the second specially for sorrow.

Of this play there is no copy earlier than that of the folio in 1623, though the two succeeding parts are extant in two editions in quarto. That the second and third parts were published without the first, may be admitted as no weak proof that the copies were surreptitiously obtained, and that the printers of that time gave the publick those plays, not such as the author designed, but such as they could get them. That this play was written before the two others is indubitably collected from the series of events; that it was written and played before Henry the Fifth is apparent,

because in the epilogue there is mention made of this play, and not of the other parts :

“ Henry the sixth in swaddling bands crown'd king,
“ Whose state so many had the managing,
“ That they lost France, and made his England bleed:

Which oft our stage hath shown.” France is lost in this play. The two following contain, as the old title imports, the contention of the houses of York and Lancaster. The second and third parts of Henry VI. were printed in 1600. When Henry V. was written, we know not, but it was printed likewise in 1600, and therefore before the publication of the first and second parts. The first part of Henry VI, had been often shown on the stage, and would certainly have appeared in its place, had the author been the publisher. Johnson.

That the second and third parts (as they are now called) were printed without the first, is a proof, in my apprehension, that they were not written by the author of the first and the title of The Contention of the Houses of York and Lancaster, being affixed to the two pieces which were printed in quarto 1600, is a proof that they were a distinct work, commencing wbere the other ended, but not written at the same time; and that this play was never known by the name of The First Part of King Henry VI. till Heminge and Condell gave it this title in their volume, to distinguish it from the two subsequent plays ; which being altered by Shakspeare, assumed the new titles of The Second and Third Parts of King Henry VI. that they might not be confounded with the original pieces on which they were formed. This first part was, I conceive, originally called The Historical Play of King Henry VI. MALONE.

« ZurückWeiter »