« IndietroContinua »
I. i. II. Is either slaine or wounded dangerouslie.
1. i. 261. When I return with victorie from the field.
1. iii. 51-52. till thy blood, Congealed with his. (Overlooked, Cambridge.)
II. i. 113. And very well-appointed as I thought.
II. i. 130-131. like the nightOwles lazie flight, Or like an idle thresher.
II. i. 182. Why via, to London will we march amaine.
11. ii. 133. Rich. Whoever got thee
(11. vi. 8. The common people swarm like summer flies.
III. iii. 124. his love was an eternall plant.
v. i. 81. [takes his red rose out of his hat.
(v. ii. 44. Which sounded like
a clamour in a vault.
V. iv. 75. You see, I drinke the water of mine eies.
Other Q readings are accepted, or were accepted by different editors, but I have confined myself to those in the Cambridge Shakespeare (1895). I may have overlooked some, one or two I reject in favour of the Folio. And I am not sure "shrimp" (III. ii. 156) ought not to be accepted. Compare "writhled shrimp," 1 Henry VI. II. iii. 23.
The following is Mr. P. A. Daniel's summary of his timeanalysis of 3 Henry VI. (New Shaks. Soc. 1879): "Time of this play 20 days represented on the stage; with intervals: suggesting a period in all of say two months. Day 1, Act I. scene i. Interval; Day 2, Act I. scenes ii.-iv. Interval; Day 3, Act II. scene i. Interval; Day 4, Act II. scenes ii.-vi. Interval; Day 5, Act III. scene i. Interval; Day 6, Act III. scene ii. Interval; Day 7, Act III. scene iii. Interval; Day 8, Act IV. scene i. Interval; Day 9, Act IV. scenes ii. and iii. Interval; Day 10, Act IV. scene iv. Interval; Day 11, Act IV. scene v. Interval; Day 12, Act IV. scene vi. Interval; Day 13, Act IV. scene vii. Interval; Day 14, Act IV. scene viii. Interval; Day 15, Act IV. scene viii.
(1. 53 to end.
Bishop's Palace scene) Interval; Day 16,
Interval; Day 19, The historic period of the battle of St.
Act v. scene i. Interval; Day 17, Act v. scenes ii. and iii.
And the connection of this play with its successor Richard III. must always be borne in mind. Mr. Daniel says: "The connection of this (Richard III.) with the preceding play, in point of time is singularly elastic; not a single day intervenes, yet years must be supposed to have elapsed. The murder of Henry VI. is but two days old-his unburied corpse bleeds afresh in the presence of the murderer. . . . Edward's eldest son is now a promising youth. . . . Time has stood still with the chief dramatis personæ . they step forward in the new scene much as when in the last play the curtain fell."
With regard to character development in this part, enough has been said above, and in my notes. The chief new feature is of course Gloucester, one of whose traits, his proverbial lore, is noticed above in this Introduction. For an excellent study of him see Mr. Thomson's edition of Richard III. in this series. Grafton gives a very full description in Hardyng's Continuation of this terrible scourge, who might be regarded as an anticipation of the English view of Machiavel in Elizabeth's time, with whom Shakespeare makes him compare himself.
PARALLELS FROM EARLIER OR CONTEMPORARY WRITERS.
Those from Greene are not numerous or important enough to be made special reference to. Nor is there as much evidence of Peele's assistance as I expected. He may be referred to at "main battle" (I. i. 8), "unpeople " (I. i. 126)," ground gape and swallow" (I. i. 161), "soul's palace . . . prison (II. i. 74), "hard as steel" (II. i. 201, and at II. i. 199), "refrain" (II. ii. 110), "By him that made us . . . dine to-night
(II. ii. 126), "Spring-time" (II. iii. 47), “drunken with blood" (II. iii. 23), “remunerate" (II. iii. 50-52), II. iv. 1-4, "effuse of blood" (II. vi. 28), "world goes hard" (II. vi. 77), “unstaunched thirst" (II. vi. 83), "ghostly father" (III. ii. 107), golden time" (III. ii. 127), "lade" (III. ii. 139), III. ii. 16, "thrust (Q) from " (III. iii. 190), “With sleight and manhood" (IV. ii. 20), "Atlas" (v. i. 36), "deck" (V. i. 43-44), “Coalblack" (v. i. 54), V. iii. 1-10, “rids way” (v. iii. 21), “holding anchor" (V. iv. 4). See, too, note (to Q passage) at "thirsty sword lop" (II. iv. I-4).
There are more probably, but this list does not contain enough solidity to build upon. The passages referred to are often found in positions where there is no sign of Peele's style. Sometimes, however, there is. Sometimes, on the other hand, the references are by no means valuable-only I had no better. Marlowe's Tamburlaine has a few of the above.
I have, in Introduction to Part II., given an assemblage of expressions from The Spanish Tragedy that are met with in Parts I., II. and III., as well as in Contention and True Tragedie. The examination there made suggests that Kyd's great play preceded all these plays excepting The First Contention and possibly 1 Henry VI. But from other evidence I believe it did precede 1 Henry VI. And further it suggested that The Contention is an earlier play than I Henry VI., which from other evidence is probably the case.
When we came to 2 Henry VI., True Tragedy and 3 Henry VI., all these betrayed familiarity with The Spanish Tragedy; this deduction gives a useful standing-ground. I am inclined to think some space of time (certainly not less than a year) elapsed between the composition of The Contention and The True Tragedy. To return to Kyd. His next work in order was probably Cornelia, not, I believe, an acted play, and not perhaps of much note-probably a failure and also only a translation. But Soliman and Perseda is an excellent play and admittedly Kyd's. It was entered in the Stationers' Register, 22nd November, 1592 (Boas), and no doubt printed very soon afterwards, and possibly an undated edition existing
may be of that issue. Professor Boas thinks it may have been earlier than Cornelia, and written about 1588, or possibly a few years later. In this choice of vagueness the latter is the more worthy of acceptation. There seems to be no argument for placing it earlier than the close of 1592. But Professor Boas's edition of Kyd must be no more than referred to here.
Let us see how it stands with regard to this later play of Kyd's and our quintet. Soliman and Perseda, with the excellent Basilisco and Piston, the former referred to by Shakespeare in King John, was a very popular play.
1. iv. 136. As opposite . . . as the south to the Septentrion. Soliman and Perseda, III. iv. 5: "From East to West, from South to Septentrion." In Q. 1. iv. 179. Off with his head, and set it on Yorke Gates. Soliman and Perseda, v. iv. 112: "Off with his head and suffer him not to speake." In Q. And in the earlier Contention, Q, at 2 Henry VI. iv. i. 103. in Selimus, by Greene, etc., later.
II. i. 25. Dazzle mine eyes, or do I see three suns? Soliman and Perseda, 244: Dasell mine eyes, or ist Lucinas chaine." In Q.
II. i. 91-92. Nay if thou be that princely eagle's bird, Show thy descent by gazing 'gainst the sun. Soliman and Perseda, 111. i. 85: "As ayre bred Eagles, if they once perceiue That any of their broode but close their sight When they should gase against the glorious Sunne, They straight way sease upon him." In Q.
II. i. 200. But sound the trumpets, and about our task. Soliman and Perseda, II. i. 211: Why then, lets make us ready, and about it." Not in Q. Probably early and frequent? In Tamburlaine.
II. ii. 66. Spoken like a toward prince (keen for battle). Soliman and Perseda, 1. iv. 35-36: "Tis wondrous that so yong a toward warriour Should bide the shock of such approoved knights.' In Q. In Tamburlaine.
II. v. 5 (in Q). How like a mastlesse ship upon the seas. Soliman and Perseda, 1. ii. 2: "But shall I, like a mastlesse ship at sea, Goe every way."
III. i. 314 (in Q). troops of arméd men (and 1 Henry VI. 11. ii. 24). Cornelia: "huge troops of Arméd men" (11. 173).
III. ii. 83. He is the bluntest wooer in Christendom. Soliman and Perseda, 1. iii. 211: "the braginst knave in Christendom." In Q.
v. i. 37. weakling (to a person). Soliman and Perseda, II. i. 80: "the weakling coward." In Q.
v. iii. 3 (in Q). the bigboond traytor Warwick. Soliman and Perseda, 1. ii. 59: "The sudden Frenchman, and the bigbon'd Dane". In Selimus,
and in Titus Andronicus.
v. iii. 11 (in Contention, Q). I saw him in the thickest throng Charging his lance. II. iii. 14 (in True Tragedy, Q): Thy noble father in the thickest
thronges was beset. And again True Tragedy, v. iv. 18: With my Sword presse in the thickest thronges. Cornelia, v. i. 183-5: "Bellona. in the thickest throng Cuts In Marlowe. In Q (Contention and True Tragedy).
v. iv. 78. His realm a slaughter-house, his subjects slain. And in 2 Henry VI. II. i. 212 (and IV. iii. 5, literally, by the butcher). Soliman and Perseda, v. iii. 43: "To leade a Lambe into the slaughter-house." This example is not, perhaps, of any weight. In Q (Contention).
v. vi. 33. Bloody-minded. Also in 2 Henry VI. iv. i. 36, and Quartos at both. "Bloody minded cruell men (Cornelia, Iv. ii. 203). Well-proportioned in 2 Henry VI. 111. ii. 175 (and Q) is also in Soliman and Perseda, III. i. 19.
Several of the above parallels are undeniably cogent; and as they go back to the Quartos in all cases-often to First Contention there can be no question where the priority of use lies. Kyd (if Kyd wrote all Soliman and Perseda, which is an assumption) picked them out of these earlier works. But to those who would like to give Kyd a finger in the original pieces, these are useful weapons. I have given my reasons for not making that assumption. It would be difficult to prove or disprove. Hardly any mannerisms can be sworn to as Kyd's. But on the other side it is to be admitted in his claim that Kyd had a very nice sense of humour. When this group is added to The Spanish Tragedy group in Part II. (Introduction), there is a better array of evidence for Kyd than for either Greene or Marlowe of this sort. But of other sorts style, from pro
I conclude then
-often more weighty, from metre, from nounced mannerisms-there is none for Kyd. that Kyd in Soliman and Perseda (or some one else) used those expressions at second-hand. And it is very noticeable that not one of the best instances, hardly one of any sort, appears for the first time in 3 Henry VI., but is there taken from Q. So that as regards the dates of writing we may be right in placing Soliman and Perseda (as well as Cornelia) after The True Tragedy, but prior to 3 Henry VI. The logic is fair. If the writer of Soliman and Perseda was sufficiently attracted by Q to borrow from it, he would assuredly have used more of 3 Henry VI. if his Q borrowings came from there.
This places 3 Henry VI. not earlier than the end of 1592. The above line of reasoning is further established in Part II. (Introduction), where we have seen that The Contention pre