« ZurückWeiter »
which he was especially qualified to throw occasionally inconsistent, or at any rate not into the form of a chronicle history. It was guided by a determined purpose in the a task peculiarly fitted for the young poet
writer. But although the effect may be, to a during the first five years of his connection certain extent, undramatic, there is impressed with the theatre. Historical dramas, in the upon the whole performance a wonderful air rudest form, presented unequalled attractions of truth. Much of this must have resulted to the audiences who flocked to the rising from the extraordinary quality of the poet's stage. He had not here to invent a plot; or mind, which could tear off all the flimsy conto aim at the unity of action, of time, and ventional disguises of individual character, of place, which the more refined critics of and penetrate the real moving principle of his day held to be essential to tragedy. The events with a rare acuteness, and a rarer form of a chronicle history might appear to impartiality. In our view, that whole porrequire little beyond a poetical exposition of tion of the First Part of Henry VI.' which the most attractive facts of the real Chro deals with the character and actions of Joan nicles. It is in this spirit, we think, that of Arc is a remarkable example of this Shakspere approached the execution of the power in Shakspere. He knew that, with all First Part of 'Henry VI. It appears to us, the influence of her supernatural pretension, also, that in that very early performance he this extraordinary woman could not have in some degree held his genius in subordi swayed the destinies of kingdoms, and nation to the necessity of executing his task, moulded princes and warriors to her will, rather with reference to the character of his unless she had been a person of very rare audience and the general nature of his sub natural endowments. She was represented ject, than for the fulfilment of his own aspira- by the Chroniclers as a mere virago, a bold tions as a poet. There was before him one and shameless trull, a monster, a witch ;-beof two courses. He might have chosen, as cause they adopted the vulgar view of her the greater number of his contemporaries character,-the view, in truth, of those to chose, to consider the dominions of poetry whom she was opposed. They were rough and of common sense to be far sundered; soldiers, with all the virtues and all the vices and, unconscious or doubtful of the force of of their age; the creatures of brute force ; simplicity, he might have resolved, with the champions, indeed, of chivalry, but with them, to substitute what would more un the brand upon them of all the selfish passions questionably gratify a rude popular taste - with which the highest deeds of chivalry the force of extravagance. On the other were too invariably associated. The English hand, it was open to him to transfer to the Chroniclers, in all that regards the delineation dramatic shape the spirit-stirring recitals of of characters and manners, give us abundant the old chronicle writers; in whose narratives, materials upon which we may form an estiand especially in that portion of them in mate of actions, and motives, and instruwhich they make their characters speak, there ments; but they do not show us the instruis a manly and straightforward earnestness ments moving in their own forms of vitality; which in itself not seldom becomes poetical. they do not lay bare their motives ; and Shakspere chose this latter course. When we hence we have no real key to their actions. begin to study the 'Henry VI.,' we find in Froissart is, perhaps, the only contemporary the First Part that the action does not ap writer who gives us real portraits of the pear to progress to a catastrophe; that the men of mail. But Shakspere marshalled author lingers about the details, as one who them upon his stage, in all their rude might, was called upon to exhibit an entire series of their coarse ambition, their low jealousies, events rather than the most dramatic portions their factious hatreds,-mixed up with their of them ;-there are the alternations of suc thirst for glory, their indomitable courage, cess and loss, and loss and success, till we their warm friendships, their tender natural somewhat doubt to which side to assign the affections, their love of country. This is the victory. The characters are firmly drawn, truth which Shakspere substituted for the but without any very subtle distinctions - vague delineations of the old stage. and their sentiments and actions appear
KING HENRY VI.
Sir THOMAS GARGRAVE.
Appears, Act I. sc. 4.
Mayor of London.
Appears, Act I. sc. 3. Act III. sc. 1.
WOODVILLE, Lieutenant of the Tower. Appears, Act I. sc. 1; sc. 3. Act III. sc. 1; sc. 4.
Appears, Act I. sc. 3.
VERNON, of the White Rose, or York, faction. DUKE OF BEDFORD, uncle to the King, and
Appears, Act II. sc. 4. Act III. sc. 4. Act IV. sc. I. Regent of France.
BASSET, of the Red Rose, or Lancaster, Appears, Act I. sc. 1. Act II. sc. 1; sc. 2.
faction. Act III. sc. 2.
Appeara, Act III. sc. 4. Act IV. sc. 1. THOMAS BEAUFORT, Duke of Exeter, great uncle to the King.
CHARLES, Dauphin, and afterwards King, Appears, Act I. sc. 1. Act III. sc. 1. Act IV. sc. 1.
of France. Act V. se. 1; sc. 5.
Appears, Act I. sc. 2; sc. 5; sc. 6. Act II. sc. 1. Henry Beaufort, great uncle to the King, Act 111. se. 2; sc, 3. Act IV. se. 7. Act V. sc. 2; sc. 4. Bishop of Winchester, and afterwards
REIGNIER, Duke of Anjou, and titular King Cardinal.
Appears, Act I. sc. 2; sc. 6. Act II. sc. 1.
Act V. sc. 3; se. 4.
DUKE OF BURGUNDY.
Appears, Act II. sc. 1; sc. 2. Act III. sc. 2; sc. 3. afterwards Duke.
Act IV. sc. 7. Act V. sc. 2.
DUKE OF ALENÇON.
Appears, Act I. sc. 2. Act II. sc. 1. Act III. sc. 2; sc. 3. RICHARD PLANTAGENET, eldest son of Richard,
Act IV. sc. 7. Act V. se. 2; sc. 4. late Earl of Cambridge ; afterwards Duke
Governor of Paris. of York.
Appears, Act IV. sc. 1.
BASTARD OF ORLEANS.
Appears, Act I. sc. 2. Act II. sc. 1. Act III. se. 2; sc. 3.
Act IV. sc. 7. Act V. sc. 4. Appears, Act I. sc. I. Act II. sc. 4. Act III. sc. 1.
Master-Gunner of Orleans, and his Son.
Appear, Act I. sc. 4.
General of the French Forces in Bourdeaux.
Appears, Act IV. sc. 2.
A French Sergeant.
Appears, Act II. sc. 1.
Appears, Act II. sc. 3.
An old Shepherd, father to Joan la Pucelle.
Appears, Act V. sc. 4. John TALBOT, son to Lord Talbot. MARGARET, daughter to Reignier ; afterwards Appears, Act IV.sc. 5; sc. 6; sc. 7.
married to King Henry. EDMUND MORTIMER, Earl of March.
Appears, Act V. se. 3.
COUNTESS OF AUVERGNE.
Appears, Act II. sc. 3.
JOAN LA PUCELLE, commonly called
Joan of Arc.
Appears, Act I. sc. 2, sc. 5; se. 6. Act II. sc. I.
Act III. sc. 2; sc. 3. Act IV. sc. 7.
Act V. sc. 2; sc. 3; se. 4.
! Fiends appearing to La Pucelle, Lords,
| Appears, Act IV. sc. 3; ' sc. 4; se. 7.
Warders of the Tower, Heralds, Officers, SIR WILLIAM GLANSDALE.
Soldiers, Messengers, and several AttendAppears, Act I. sc. 4.
ants both on the English and French.
SCENE,--PARTLY IN ENGLAND, AND PARTLY IN FRANCE.
Dead march. Corpse of King HENRY V. discovered, lying in state ; attended
on by the DUKES OF BEDFORD, GLOSTER, and EXETER; the EARL OF WARWICK, the BISHOP OF WINCHESTER, Heralds, dc.
Bed. Hung be the heavens with black', yield day to night!
Comets, importing change of times and states,
a Crystal. This epithet is applied to comets, in a sonnet by Lord Sterline, 1604:
“When as those crystal comets whiles appear.”
And with them scourge the bad revolting stars,
England ne'er lost a king of so much worth.
Virtue he had, deserving to command:
He ne'er lift up his hand but conquered.
Henry is dead, and never shall revive:
By magic verses have contriv'd his end b?
Unto the French the dreadful judgment-day
The church's prayers made him so prosperous.
His thread of life had not so soon decay'd ;
a Consented. Malone is of opinion that consented is here used only in the ordinary sense of that word, and that it is used also in the ordinary sense in the 5th scene of this Act:
“ You all consented unto Salisbury's death.” Steevens, on the other hand, believes that the word should be spelt concented.-Steevens appears to us to be right. To concent is to be in harmony-to act together. See the passage in . Henry V.,' Act I., Scene 2, and the notes on that passage:
“ For government, through high, and low, and lower,
Put into parts, doth keep in one concent;
Like music." • A passage in Scot's · Discoverie of Witchcraft,' 1584, explains this:-“ The Irishmen .. will not stick to affirm that they can rime either man or beast to death." This is an old northern superstition. In Gray's spirited • Descent of Odin' we find
" Thrice he trac'd the Runic rhyme;
Thrice pronounc'd, in accents dread,
None do you like but an effeminate prince,
Whom, like a schoolboy, you may over-awe.
And lookest to command the prince and realm.
More than God or religious churchmen may.
And ne'er throughout the year to church thou go'st,
Except it be to pray against thy foes.
Let 's to the altar :-Heralds, wait on us :-
Enter a Messenger.
Mess. My honourable lords, health to you all!
Sad tidings bring I to you out of France,
· Moisten'd. So the folio of 1623. The second folio, in which some verbal alterations of the original text are found, and which, for the most part, are made with judgment, reads moist. We adhere to the original in all those cases where the alterations of the second folio are somewhat doubtful. • Nourisk. Nourice, nourish, nursh, are the same words. We have an example in Lydgate:
“ Athenes whan it was in his floures
Was called nourish of philosophers wise.” Pope substituted marish, for the nourish of the folios. Mr. Dyce thinks that Pope was right. Ritson, he observes, quotes a line from Kyd's Spanish Tragedy:'
“ Made mountains marsh with spring-tides of my tears." • Malone says, “ This blank undoubtedly arose from the transcriber's or compositor's not being able to make out the name." We greatly doubt this. In the original the line is terminated with four hyphens, thus (----), a point which is several times used in the same play to mark an interruption. For example, in the 4th scene of this Act,
“ Thou shalt not die whiles-Pope suggested (the notion looks like a joke) to fill up the line thus:
“ Than Julius Cæsar, or bright Francis Drake;" and Monk Mason gravely upholds the reading. Johnson would read,
“ Than Julius Cæsar, or bright Berenice.”