« ZurückWeiter »
KING EDWARD THE FOURTH.
EDWARD, Prince of Wales, afterwards)
RICHARD, Duke of York,
GEORGE, Duke of Clarence,
RICHARD, Duke of Gloster, afterwards
King Richard III.,
A Young Son of Clarence.
sons to the King.
HENRY, Earl of Richmond, afterwards King
CARDINAL BOURCHIER, Archbishop of Canter-
THOMAS ROTHERHAM, Archbishop of York.
JOHN MORTON, Bishop of Ely.
DUKE OF BUCKINGHAM.
DUKE OF NORFOLK,
EARL OF SURREY, bis son.
EARL RIVERS, brother to King Edward's Queen.
SIR THOMAS VAUGHAN.
SIR WALTER HERBERT.
SIR ROBERT BRAKENBURY, lieutenant of the Tower.
ELIZABETH, Queen to King Edward IV.
LADY ANNE, widow of Edward, Prince of Wales,
A Young Daughter of Clarence.
Lords and other Attendants; a Pursuivant, Scrivener, Citizens, Murderers, Messengers, Soldiers, &c.
SCENE-In various parts of England.
TIME OF ACTION.
The time of this play, according to Daniel, occupies eleven days, with intervals.
Day 1: Act I. Scenes 1 and 2.-Interval.
Day 7: Act IV. Scene 1.
Day 8: Act IV. Scenes 2-5.-Interval.
Day 2: Act I. Scenes 3 and 4; Act II. Scenes 1 and 2.
Day 9: Act V. Scene 1.-Interval.
Day 4: Act II. Scene 4.
Day 5: Act III. Scene 1.
Day 10: Act V. Scene 2 and first half of Scene 3.
Day 6: Act III. Scenes 2-7.
HISTORIC DATES.--The dead body of Henry VI. exposed to public view in St. Paul's, 22nd May, 1471. Marriage of Richard with Anne, 1472. Death of Clarence, beginning of 1478. Death of Edward IV., 9th April, 1483. Rivers and Grey arrested, 30th April, 1483. Hastings executed, 13th June, 1483. Rivers, Grey, and Vaughan executed, 15th June, 1483. Buckingham harangues the citizens in Guildhall, 24th June, 1483. Lord Mayor and citizens offer Richard the crown, 25th June; he is declared king at Westminster Hall, 26th June; and crowned, 6th July, 1483. Buckingham executed, October, 1483. Death of Queen Anne, 16th March, 1485. Henry VII. lands at Milford Haven, 7th August, 1485. Battle of Bosworth Field, 22nd August, 1485.
KING RICHARD III.
Of this play there are more editions printed before 1640 than of any other play of Shakespeare's. As in the case of I. Henry IV., six Quarto editions of this play appeared before the publication of the first Folio in 1623. The first Quarto was printed in 1597, and entitled:
The Tragedy of King Richard the third. | Containing, His treacherous. Plots against his brother Clarence: | the pittiefull murther of his innocent nephewes: | his tyrannicall vsurpation: with the whole course of his detested life, and most deserued death. | As it hath beene lately Acted by the Right honourable the Lord Chamber- | laine his seruants. | AT LONDON | Printed by Valentine Sims, for Andrew Wise, dwelling in Paules Churchyard, at the | Sign of the Angell. | 1597. | The next Quarto appeared in 1598; the title-page is substantially the same, except that the name of the author ("By William Shakespeare") was added, and that it was printed by Thomas Creede for the same publisher. The third Quarto was printed in 1602. On the title-page of this edition we find "Newly augmented;" but this statement is not founded on fact, as no additions were made. It was reprinted from the second Quarto by the same printer for the same publisher; and the only additions to be found in it are some additional errors of the press. The fourth Quarto was printed in 1605 from the third, with the same title-page, except that it was printed for "Mathew | Lawe, dwelling in Paules Churchyard, at the Signe of the Foxe, neare S. Austins gate, 1605. " and not for Andrew Wise. The fifth Quarto, which has on the title-page: "As it hath beene lately Acted by the Kings Maiesties seruants. | was
printed in 1612 not from Q. 4 but from Q. 3, by the same printer and for the same bookseller as the last edition. The next edition, the sixth Quarto, is the rarest of all, only one copy being known, which is in the Capell collection. It was published in 1622, and the title-page is the same as that of Q. 5, except that it was printed by Thomas Purfoot for the same publisher, Matthew Lawe. Another edition, Q. 7, was printed in 1629; the text was taken, not from F. 1, but from Q. 6. "It was printed by John Norton for Matthew Law. Except in the name of the printer, and the substitution of the word 'tiranous' for 'tyrrannical,' the title-page does not differ from that of Q. 6" (see Cambridge ed. p. xv.). The eighth and last Quarto is a mere reprint of Q. 7, and was printed by John Norton in 1634. "There is no bookseller's name on the titlepage, if we may trust that which Capell has supplied in MS. 'from a copy in the possession of Messrs. Tonsons and Draper'" (ut supra).
The differences and discrepancies between the two principal authentic texts, viz. Q. 1 and F. 1, are so numerous, and so bewildering in their variety and character, that the attempt to piece together from these discordant authorities a text, which shall approach as closely as possible to what Shakespeare intended his amended text to be, is enough to fill any editor with despair. Various theories have been started to account for the utter want of agreement between Q. 1 and F. 1; but none of them furnish any satisfactory solution of the mystery. The theory of the Cambridge editors is so ingeniously devised, and so carefully worked out, that in justice to them we must quote it at length:
"The following scheme will best explain the theory which we submit as a not impos
A 1 is the author's original MS.
B1 is a transcript by another hand with some accidental omissions and, of course, slips of the pen. From this transcript was printed the Quarto of 1597, Q 1.
A 2 is the author's original MS. revised by himself, with corrections and additions, interlinear, marginal, and on inserted leaves.
B 2 is a copy of the revised MS., made by another hand, probably after the death of the author, and perhaps a very short time before 1623. As the stage directions of the Folio, which was printed from B 2, are more precise and ample as a rule than those of the Quarto, we may infer that the transcript, B2, was made for the library of the theatre, perhaps to take the place of the original which had become worn by use, for Richard H. continued to be a popular acting play. Some curious, though not frequent, coincidences between the text of the Folio and that of the Quarto of 1602, Q3, lead us to suppose that the writer of B 2, had occasionally recourse to that Quarto to supplement passages which, by its being frayed or stained, had become illegible in A 2. They go on to say: "Assuming the truth of this hypothesis, the object of an Editor must be to give in the text as near an approximation as possible to A,1 rejecting from F1 all that is due to the unknown writer of B 2 and supplying its place from Q 1, which, errors of pen and press apart, certainly came from the hand of Shakespeare. In the construction of our text we have steadily borne this principle in mind, only deviating from it in a few instances where we have retained the expanded version of the Folio in preference to the briefer version of the Quarto, even when
1 It is clearly so printed in my copy (Ed. 1864); but it may be a misprint for A.
we incline to think that the earlier form is more terse and therefore not likely to have been altered by its Author. Our reason is this: as the Folio version contains substantially that of the Quarto and as the question does not admit of a positive decision we prefer the risk of putting in something which Shakespeare did not to that of leaving out something which he did write. Cæteris paribus we have adopted the reading of the Quarto."
The conclusion thus arrived at seems rather inconsistent with the facts advanced in their theory; since what an editor should aim at is to make the text as nearly as possible identical with A 2, which, according to the theory of the Cambridge editors, was Shakespeare's own revision of his original text. We have therefore based our text upon that of F. 1, only adopting such readings from Q. 1 as the sense, or metre may seem to require. There is no reason to suppose, from what we know of Shakespeare's natural objection to have his plays printed, as long as the acting right was vested in his own company, that Q.1 was, in this case, an authorized transcript from his original text; and we cannot agree with the Cambridge editors that any superiority possessed by either text is, on the whole, to be assigned to the Quarto rather than to the Folio.
It is much easier to find fault with the theories of others upon this difficult question than to propound any more satisfactory theory one's self. It is highly probable that it is owing to the very extraordinary popularity of this play that so many discrepancies are found between the text of Q. 1 and F. 1. The former must have been published within a comparatively short time after the first production of the play. It has already been observed that, from what we know of the history of the other Quartos, it is very improbable that the First Quarto of Richard III. was printed with the sanction or under the supervision of the author, and not from a copy obtained by more or less surreptitious means. It is evident that, whatever else it may be, Q. 1 could not have been the play as it was acted when Shakespeare was one of the leading members of the Lord Chamberlain's Company; that is to say, it was not the play as
finally revised by him. It is a very suspicious circumstance that the words "greatly augmented" should appear on the title-page of Q. 3, as there is nothing in the text to justify such a description; and it certainly looks as if the printer had been promised a copy of the play, as revised by the author, with the additions that he had made in the course of its successful career. In the case of Romeo and Juliet Q. 2 has upon its title-page "Newly corrected, augmented, and amended;" and it, undoubtedly, contains Shakespeare's own revisions, and is the chief authority for the text as now recognized. Also in the case of Hamlet, the surreptitiously printed Quarto of 1603 was more than usually defective; and Q. 2 (1604), which is the best and fullest text of the play we have, has upon its title-page "Newly imprinted and enlarged to almost as much againe as it was, according to the true and perfect coppie."
With regard to the Cambridge editors, who, in their text, adhere with almost fanatical reverence to Q. 1 in the cases where the difference between it and F. 1 are unimportant, and, in some cases, where the advantage certainly seems to be with the latter-even they acknowledge that the text of F. 1 is very often preferable, and that it contains corrections and additions which must have been made by Shakespeare himself. How, then, are we to account for the fact which must be frankly admitted that, in some cases, the reading of F. 1 is manifestly wrong, and that in many of these cases we are able to correct the mistake by the aid of Q. 1? Some of these mistakes, of course, are mere errors of the transcriber of the MS. or of the printer. But a large balance remains which cannot be so explained. Unfortunately space does not allow us here to go into a minute analysis of the differences between Q. 1 and F. 1. In the case of one scene taken haphazard we have done so; but we must refer our readers to the late Mr. Spedding's admirable paper in the New Shakspere Society's Transactions, 1875 (p. 1-75), with nearly all of which, especially the concluding paragraph, we most cordially agree. Mr. P. A. Daniel, in his Introduction to the Facsimile Reprint of Q.1, has most patiently analysed the
differences between Qq. 1-6 and F. 1; and he comes to the conclusion that F. 1 was printed from a copy of Q. 6, altered "in accordance with the theatrical MS. which the transcriber had before him." The arguments by which he reaches this conclusion are worthy of the closest attention, though we cannot agree with him on all points. But even he admits that an editor should take F. 1 "as the basis of his text."
We can only here suggest some facts which may partially explain the difficulty above mentioned. In order to form an idea of what a playhouse copy of a play was in the time of Shakespeare, one ought to see the MS. copy of some comedy acted by one of the travelling companies in Italy. The stage is, after all, a very conservative institution. Some fifteen or sixteen years ago, if not now, in Italy the theatre-copy of a play was, except for modern handwriting, quite as confused as the playhouse copy would be in the time of Shakespeare. The MS. is written on both sides of the paper, with only a narrow margin left, in which the stage-directions and the "calls" of the various actors are marked, exactly as we find them in the few old playhouse copies that remain to us of dramas acted in the seventeenth century. This one copy serves for the prompter and stage-manager, and from it all the parts have to be copied. It is easy to see how, in the course of the long career of a successful play which, if not acted many times in succession, would be frequently repeated at intervals, this MS. would get terribly damaged. Some of the leaves would have to be restored by the prompter, or by some copyist in the company; and it is possible that, in recopying these damaged sheets, certain lacunæ might have to be filled up from the actors' parts, or even from memory; and in this way, although the prompter may be supposed to have known nearly every line of the piece by heart, verbal errors might easily creep in; as they might also, in cases where some actor's part was used for reference, copied perhaps, in his own not too legible handwriting. It may be that some of the discrepancies in the text of Richard III. arose from the fact that the actors had made some