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Prince. Come away, Ned and Tom.
But tell me, sirs, think you not that it was a villainous part of me to rob my
father's receivers ? Ned. Why, no, my lord, it was but a trick of youth. Prince. Faith, Ned, thou sayest true: but tell me, sirs, whereabouts
Tom. My lord, we are now about a mile off London.
Enter Jockey (i.6. Sir John Oldcastle).
ford is risen with hue and cry after your man, which parted from us
the last night, and has set upon and hath robbed a poor carrier. Prince. Zounds I the villain that was wont to spy out our booties."
The Famous Victories of Henry the Fifth, Sc. i.
Henry IV.-Parts I. and II.
The Early Editions. (I.) The First Part of King Henry the Fourth, entered on the Stationers' Registers, under date of February 25, 1597-8, appeared for the first time in a Quarto edition, with the following title-page:-“The History of Henrie the Fourth; with the battell at Shrewsburie, betweene the King and Lord Henry Percy, surnamed Henrie Hotspur of the North. With the humorous conceits of Sir lohn Falstalffe. At London. Printed by P. S. for Andrew Wise, dwelling in Paules Church. yard, at the signe of the Angell. 1598." (Cp. Grigg's Facsimile edition.)
No less than five subsequent Quarto editions appeared before the publication of the play in the first Folio ; they were issued in 1599, 1604, 1608, 1613, 1622. Other Quartos belong to the years 1632 and 1639. Each edition seems to have been derived from its predecessor.
The title of the play in the Folio is, “ The First Part of Henry the Fourth, with the Life and Death of Henry Surnamed Hotspurre.” The Cambridge editors refer the Folio text to a partially corrected copy of the fifth Quarto. The earlier Quartos were, however, probably consulted by the corrector.
(11.) The Second Part of King Henry the Fourth was first published
in Quarto in 1600, with the following title-page:-"The Second part of Henrie the fourth, continuing to his death, and corona. tion of Henry the fifth. With the humours of Sir John Falstafte, and swaggering Pistoll. As it hath been sundry times publikely acted by the right honourable the Lord Chamberlaine his seru. ants. Written by William Shakespeare. London. Printed by V. S. for Andrew Wise and William Aspley. 1600." (Cp. Grigg's Facsimile edition.) The play was entered by the publishers upon the Stationers’ Registers on August 23rd of the same year.
By some accident the first scene of Act III. had been omitted in some copies of the Quarto. The error was rectified by inserting two new leaves, the type of some of the preceding and following leaves being used; hence there are two different im. pressions of the latter part of Act II. and the beginning of Act III. ii.
The text of this Part in the first Folio was probably ultimately derived from a transcript of the original MS. It contains passages which had evidently been originally omitted in order to shorten the play for the stage. “Some of these are among the finest in the play, and are too closely connected with the context to allow of the supposition that they were later additions, inserted by the author after the publication of the Quarto " (Cambridge editors). Similarly, the Quarto contains passages not found in the Folio, and for the most part “ the Quarto is to be regarded as having the higher critical value.”
Date of Composition. There is almost unanimity among scholars in assigning i Henry IV. to the year 1596-1597. (i.) According to Chalmers, the opening lines of the play“ plainly allude” to the expedition against Spain in 1596. Similarly the expression the poor fellow never joyed since the price of oats rose' (II. i.) may be connected with the Proclamation for the Dearth of Corn, etc., issued in the same year. The introduction of the word "valiant,' detrimental to the metre of the line, in Act V. iv. 41,
“ The spirits Of(valiant) Shirley, Staford, Blunt, are in my arms," may perhaps also point to 1596-7 as the original date of composition: the Shirleys were knighted by the Queen in 1597.
(ii.) The earliest reference to the play occurs in Meres' Palladis Tamia, 1598; while Ben Jonson ends his Every Man Out of His' Humour with the words, “ You may in time make lean Macilente as fat as Sir John Falstaff.” In the Pilgrimage to Parnassus, acted at St John's College, Cambridge, Christmas 1598, there are what seem to be obvious reminiscences of the tapster's · Anon, Anon, Sir.'* The point is of special interest in view of Mr. H. P. Stokes' suggestion that i Henry IV. was itself originally a Christmas play of the previous year, 1597.
(iii.) General considerations of style corroborate these pieces of external evidence; its subtle characterisation, " its reckless ease and full creative power,” its commingling of the serious and the comic, its free use of verse and prose, make the play “a splendid and varied historic tragi-comedy" rather than a mere “ history,”“historic in its personages and its spirit, yet blending the high heroic poetry of chivalry with the most original inventions of broad humour” (Verplanck). Henry IV. bears, in fact, the same relationship to Richard III., King John, and Richard 11. that
* Cp.“I shall no sooner open this pint pot but the word like a knavetapster will cry 'Anon, Anon, Sir,'” etc.