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“ The Second part of Henrie the fourth, continuing to his death, and coronation of Henrie the fift. With the humours of Sir John Falstaffe, and swaggering Pistoll. As it hath been sundrie times publikely acted by the right honourable, the Lord Chamberlaine his seruants. Written by William Shakespeare. London Printed by V. S. for Andrew Wise, and William Aspley. 1600.” 410. 43 leaves.
Other copies of the same edition, in quarto, not containing Sign. E 5 and E 6, have only 41 leaves.
In the folio, 1623, “ The Second Part of Henry the Fourth, containing his Death: and the Coronation of King Henry the Fift,” occupies twenty-nine pages in the division of “Histories,” viz. from p. 74 to p. 102 inclusive, the last two not being numbered. Pages 89 and 90, by an error of the press, are numbered 91 and 92. In the reprint of the folio, 1632, this mistake is repeated. In the two later folios the pagination continued from the beginning to the end of the volume.
We may state with more certainty than usual, that "Henry IV." Part ii. was written before the 25th Feb. 1598. In the preliminary notice of “ Henry IV.” Part i. it is mentioned, that Act ii. sc. 2, of the “history” before us contains a piece of evidence that Falstaff was still called Oldcastle when it was written; viz. that the prefix of Old. is retained in the quarto, 1600, before a speech which belongs to Falstaff, and which is assigned to him in the folio of 1623. Now, we know that the name of Oldcastle was changed to that of Falstaff anterior to the entry of “Henry IV.” Part i. in the books of the Stationers' mpany on the 25th Feb. 1597–8. This circumstance overturns Malone's theory, that “Henry IV.” Part ii. was not written until 1599. It requires no proof that it was produced after “Richard II.” because that play is quoted in it.
The memorandum in the Stationers' Registers, prior to the publication of the following play, is inserted literatim in Vol. fi. p. 183 : it bears date on 23d Aug. 1600, and it was made by Andrew Wise and William Aspley, who brought out "The Seconde Parte of the History of Kinge Henry the iiiith,” 4to, in that year.
There was only one edition of " Henry IV.” Part ii. in 1600, but some copies vary importantly. The play was evidently produced from the press in haste ; and besides other large omissions, a whole scene, forming the commencement of Act jii. was left ont. Most of the copies are without these pages, but they are found in those of the Duke of Devonshire and Malone. The stationer must have discovered the error after the publication, and sheet E was accordingly reprinted, in order to supply the defect.
The folio 1623 was taken from a complete copy of the edition of 1600; and, moreover, the actor-editors, probably from a play-house manuscript in their hands, furnished many other lines wanting in the quarto. On the other hand, the quarto, 1600, contains several passages not found in the folio, 1623. Our text includes both, (properly distinguished in the notes) in order that no syllable which came from the pen of Shakespeare may be lost. Even if we suppose our great dramatist to have himself rejected certain portions, preserved in the quarto, the exclusion of them by a modern editor would be unpardonable, as they form part of the history the poet's DRAMATIS PERSONÆ.
KING HENRY THE FOURTH.
Of the King's
Opposites to the LORD HASTINGS ;
King. LORD BARDOLPH; SIR John COLEVILLE. TRAVERS and MORTON, Retainers of Northumber
land. FalstAFF, BARDOLPH, Pistol, and a Page. Poins and Peto. SHALLow and SILENCE, Country Justices. Davy, Servant to Shallow. MOULDY, SHADOW, WART, FEEBLE, and BULCALF,
Recruits. Fang and SNARE, Sheriff's Officers. RUMOUR, the Presenter. A Porter. A Dancer, Speaker of the Epilogue.
LADY NORTHUMBERLAND. LADY PERCY.
Lords, and Attendants; Officers, Soldiers, Mes
senger, Drawers, Beadles, Grooms, &c.