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* THIRD PART OF KING Henry VI.] The action of this play (which was at first printed under this title, The True Tran gedy of Richard Duke of York, and the good King Henry the Sixth ; or, The Second Part of the Contention of York and Lancaster,) opens just after the first battle at Saint Albans, [May 23, 1455,] wherein the York faction carried the day; and closes with the murder of King Henry VI. and the birth of Prince Edward, afterwards King Edward V. [November 4, 1471.) So that this history takes in the space of full sixteen
THEOBALD. I have never seen the quarto copy of the Second part of The Whole Contention, &c. printed by Valentine Simmes for Thomas Millington, 1600; but the copy printed by W. W. for Thomas Millington, 1600, is now before me; and it is not precisely the same with that described by Mr. Pope and Mr. Theobald, nor does the undated edition (printed in fact, in 1619,) correspond with their description. The title of the piece printed in 1600, by W. W. is as follows: The True Tragedie of Richarde Duke of Yorke, and the Death of good King Henrie the Sixt : With the whole Contention between the Two Houses Lancaster and Yorke : as it was fundry Times acted by the Right Honourable the Earle of Pembrooke his Servants. Printed at London by W. W. for Thomas Millington, and are to be fold at his Shoppe under St. Peter's Church in Cornewall, 1600. On this piece Shakspeare, as I conceive, in 1591 formed the drama before us, See Vol. XIII. p. 2, and the Ellay at the end of this play.
MALONE. The present historical drama was altered by Crowne, and brought on the stage in the year 1680, under the title of The Miseries of Civil War. Surely the works of Shakspeare could have been little read at that period; for Crowne, in his Prologue, declares the play to be entirely his own composition :
" For by his feeble skill 'tis built alone,
“ The divine Shakspeare did not lay one stone." whereas the very first scene is that of Jack Cade copied almost verbatim from The Second Part of King Henry VI. and several others from this third part, with as little variation. STEEVENS,
King Henry the Sixth:
Earl of Oxford. Earl of Northum-Lords on K,
Stanley. Sir John Montgomery. Sir John So-
his Father. A Father that has killed his Son,
King Edward, Melengers, Watchmen, &c.
SCENE, during part of the third Act, in France;
during all the rest of the Play, in England.
THIRD PART OF
ACT I. SCENE I.
London. The Parliament-House.
Drums. Some Soldiers of York's party break in.
Then, Enter the Duke of YORK, EDWARD, RICHARD, NORFOLK, MONTAGUE, WARWICK, and Others, with white Rofes in their Hats.
WAR. I wonder, how the king escap'd our hands. York. While we pursu'd the horsemen of the
north, He sily stole away, and left his men: Whereat the great lord of Northumberland, Whose warlike ears could never brook retreat, 'Cheer'd up the drooping army; and himself, • Lord Clifford, and lord Stafford, all a-breast, Charg'd our main battle's front, and, breaking in,
I Third Part of King Henry VI.] This play is only divided from the former for the convenience of exhibition ; for the series of action is continued without interruption, nor are any two scenes of any play more closely connected than the first scene of this play with the last of the former. Johnson.
• Were by the swords of common soldiers sain. Edw. Lord Stafford's father, duke of Bucking
ham, • Is either sain, or wounded dangerous : I cleft his beaver with a downright blow; “That this is true, father, behold his blood.
[Showing his bloody Sword. Mont. And, brother, here's the earl of Wilt
shire's blood, [T. YORK, showing his. Whom I encounter'd as the battles join'd. Rich. Speak thou for me, and tell them what I
did.3 [Throwing down the Duke of SOMERSET'S
• Were liy the swords of common foldiers Nain.] See the Second Part of this Play, p. 386, n. 1. Reed.
This is an inadvertency in our author. The elder Clifford was slain by York, and his son lives to revenge his death.
M. Mason. Dr. Percy in a note on the preceding play, has pointed out the inconfiftency between this account, and the representation there, Clifford being killed on the stage by the Duke of York, the present speaker. Shakspeare was led into this inconsistency by the author of the original plays : if indeed there was but one author, for this circumstance might lead us to suspect that the first and second part of The Contention &c. were not written by the same hand. However, this is not decisive; for the author, whoever he was, might have been inadvertent, as we find Shakspeare undoubtedly was. MALONE.
3 Rich. Speak thou for me, and tell them what I did.] Here, as Mr. Elderton of Salisbury has observed to me, is a gross anachronism. At the time of the first battle of Saint Albans, at which Richard is represented in the last scene of the preceding play to have fought, he was, according to that gentleman's calculation, not one year old, having (as he conceivės,) been born at Fotheringay Castle, October 21, 1454. At the time to which the third scene of the first A&t of this play is referred, he was, according to the same gentleman's computation, but fix years old ; and in the fifth Act, in which Henry is represented as having