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description of the entry of Richard and Bolingbroko into London. We incline to the opinion of Mr. Knight, that the “Civil Warres” was produced and published before Richard II. was written. In Drayton the incident is told as follows:
“ He that in glory of his fortune sate,
Admiring what he thought could never be,
And lift up his rejoicing soul, to see
Th' advancement of his long-desir'd degree;
The unregarded king; that drooping went.
Judge, if he did more envy, or lament.
Which th' image of both fortunes doth present:
In th' other, worse than worst of all disgrace." (4) SCENE III.-Can no man tell of my unthrifty son!] This speech may be regarded as striking the key-note of the three plays which continue the history of England at this period ; and is, as Johnson observes, “a very proper introduction to the future character of Henry the Fifth, to his debaucheries in his youth, and his greatness in his manhood.” Shakespeare's authority for thus delineating the Prince, was in all probability either the old play of Richard II. or a passage in Holinshed, which may be better adduced as an illustration in another place. Holinshed has founded his statement "on the authority," as Mr. Hunter points out, "of the chroniclers immediately preceding himself, Fabyan, Polydore Vergil, and Caxton, who wrote while the memory of the Prince's extravagance may well be supposed to have been alive, as they were all writers of his own century. But as this testimony," he adds, "may be regarded as coming late, and it may be thought that they are so far removed from the actual time, that they are in some degree at least copyists from each other, and not wholly independent authorities ;" he refers to Henry's own contemporaries, Hardyng, Walsingham, Otterburne, the historian who called himself Titus Livius, and Thomas of Elmham: all of whom notice the vicious life of his youth in connexion with the entire change which took place in him on his accession to the throne. How early Henry became thus dissolute, it is not possible even to conjecture, but Malone's note on this passage is quite worthy of attention. “The Prince," he observes, “was at this time but twelve years old; for he was born in 1388, and the conspiracy on which the present scene is formed, was discovered in the beginning of the year 1400. He scarcely frequented taverns or stews at so early an age :” and it may be noticed that his answer declaring his prowess as a tilter, is that of an inexperienced young champion in his full strength.
(5) SCENE V.-Whilst my gross flesh.sinks downward, here to die.) The circumstantial detail of the murder of Richard II., as it is represented in the close of this play, was popularly considered, even long after the time of Shakespeare, to be in reality the true history of his death : and down to the present day, the manner in which he came to his end constitutes one of the most interesting Problems of English history. Holinshed is again the principal authority of the dramatist; and his statements are avowedly founded on the report of Abraham Fleming, who was one of the compilers of the series of chronicles collectively called by the name of Holinshed. Fleming derived his information from the “Short History by Thomas of Walsingham, from Edward I. to Henry V." Walsingham appears to record his narrative for the purpose of disproving the common fame,” that the king's death was to be attributed to com. pulsory famine : and, continues Fleming, “he referreth it altogether to voluntarie pining of himselfe. For, when he heard that the complots and attempts of such of his favourers as sought his restitution, and their own advancement, were annihilated, and the chiefe agents shamefullie executed; he tooke such a conceit at these misfortunes,
for so Thomas Walsingham termeth them and was so beaten out of heart,-that wilfullie he starved himselfe, and so died in Pomfret Castle." So far as this statement can be received, it is not at all inconsistent with the ordinary account of the murder of Richard, nor with his "desperate manhood," as Holinshed properly calls it, on that occasion; excited as he was by his injuries, and his own fierce selfwill and impetuous disposition.
In the termination of the life of the dethroned king, by whatsoever means it was effected, if the guilty wish for his death, were ever expressed by Bolingbroke as related by Walsingham, and transferred by Fleming into Holinshed; the passage seems not only to have furnished matter for the present play, but also to have suggested almost the very words which Shakespeare has employed in two very noble and well-known parallel passages. The first of these is in “ King John," Act III. Scene 1.
“Good Hubert, Hubert, -Hubert, throw thine eye
On yon young boy :-I'll tell thee what, my friend ;-
Thou art his keeper!” The other passage is of course the celebrated temptation of Buckingham by the Duke of Gloucester to the murder of Edward V. and his brother, in “The Life and Death of Richard the Third,” Act IV. Scene 2.
“ Thus high, by thy advice and thy assistance,
Is Richard seated.
Young Edward lives—Think now what I would speak!" “One writer," says Holinshed, “which seemeth to have great knowledge of King Richard's doings, saith that King Henrie, sitting on a daie at his table, sore sighing, said, 'Have I no faithfull friend which will deliver me of him, whose life will be my death, and whose death will be the preservation of my life?' This saying was much noted of them that were present, and especiallie of one called Sir Piers of Exton." It is added that “this knight incontinentlie departed from the court, with eight strong persons in his companie, and came to Pomfret;" where the remaining act of the tragedy was suddenly performed. In the Chronicle of Gervase of Dover, relating to the reign of Henry II., 1171, there is a very remarkable historical parallel to this passage, in the passionate expression of that sovereign in reference to the Archbishop Thomas à Becket. The historian states that the king became so enraged beyond the majestic decency of his condition, that he aloud lamented that of all the numbers, both of nobles and others, whom he had maintained, there was not one of them who would undertake to redress his injuries. These and the like complaints of the king so much irritated four knights, that they bound themselves together by an oath, and withdrew from court to execute their design.
After the death of Richard, Shakespeare sagaciously shows that the first policy of Bolingbroke was to disclaim any participation in it, as he does even to Exton himself: and here again appears a remarkable similarity between this part of the present play and the speech of King John to Hubert after the supposed murder of Arthur, in the fine passage in Act IV. Scene 2, of that play. Bolingbroke's second and more imposing act of policy was to appear publicly to declare that he was altogether innocent of the death of the late king, by honourably exposing and interring a body affirmed to be that of Richard. Holinshed thus sets down the circumstances of this ceremony :-"After he was thus dead, his bodie was embalmed and cered, and covered with lead, all save the face, to the intent that all men might see him, and perceive that he was departed from life. For, as the corpse was conveied from Pomfret to London, in all the townes and places where those that had the conveiance of it did staie with it all night,—they caused 'Dirige' to be sung in the evening, and masse of 'Requiem' in the morning; and, as well after the one service as the other, his face, dis-covered, was shewed to all that
coveted to behold it. Thus was the corpse first brought to
But, vanquish'd from that hour, denied the Tower, and after through the citie to the cathedrall
All food to take, and so he died. church of saint Paule, bare-faced, where it laie three daies
This some have said and have receired,
But shall not be by me believed ; together, that all men might behold it. There was a
For certain others yet do tell solemne obsequie done for him, both at Paule's and after
That he is still alive and well, at Westminster; at which time both at Dirige over night,
Though shut within their prison-fort;and in the morning at Requiem, the king and the citizens
And therefore some do mis-report. of London were present.' Up to this point the remains
It matters not that they display'd were treated with great ceremony, but they were next
A dead man's corse uncover'a laid, removed to the church of the Friars Predicants at Abbot's
Through London with such honours borce
As should a lifeless king adorn; Langley in Hertfordshire ; where they were obscurely
Declaring that it was the corse interred by the Bishop of Chester and the Abbots of
or Richard lying on that hearse. St. Alban's and Waltham, “none of the nobles," adds Holinshed, “nor anie of the commons to accompt of
But I believe not certainly being present; neither was there anie to bid them to dinner
That it the former king could be :
'Twas but his chaplain, Maudelain, after they had laid him in the ground, and finished the
Was carried by that solemn train; funerall service."
Who in face, size, and height, and limb, Throughout the whoie of these proceedings, as well in
So closely did resemble him, the first ostentatious display of a corse, affirmed to have
That each one firmly thought he knew been that of the dethroned monarch, as afterwards,-it
'T was good King Richard met his view, seems as if the policy of Bolingbroke might everywhere
If it were he, both morn and eve
My hearty prayers to God I give, be traced. After having effected his first object, that of
Who merciful and piteous is, showing, in the most public places, the uninjured body of
That he may take his soul to bliss." a person, which is declared by Froissart to have been seen by twenty thousand witnesses ;—and after having per- The priest Maudelaine, who is mentioned in these verses, formed all the principal rites, the rest of the funeral bad already represented Richard in the conspiracy of the was passed over in silence. There is also the curious Earls of Rutland and Kent; and he was afterwards taken evidence of a contemporaneous poetical historian, relating with many others at Cirencester, and was one of those first the exposure of a body said to have been King hanged at London. Hence ii was that his body could be Richard's, and afterwards the obscure burial of it. In a so opportunely brought forward as that of the late king ; manuscript copy of John Hardyng's Chronicle, preserved in and it is not impossible that Henry might even have inthe Lansdowne Collection, there are the following notices dulged in a bitter jest, by so calling the lifeless remains of of this funeral :
who, whilst living, had been really put forward as the " Sone after that kyng Richerde so was dede,
royal substitute. Throughout a great part of the reign of And brought to Paule's with gret solempnite, -,
Henry IV. the very general belief that Richard was not (Men sayd he was for-hungred)-and lapp'd in lede; dead, was a source of the most serious vexation to him ; But that his masse was done, and " Dirige,”
and it is especially remarkable that he should have exIn Herse Rial his corse lay there, I se:
perienced much of his anxiety from the appearance of And after Masse to Westmynster was ladde, Where • Placebo' and · Dyryye' he hadde."
other false Richards after Maudelaine, against whom be
issued proclamations so late as 1402. The printed editions of the Chronicle differ entirely in The illustration of the removal of the body obscurely the text of this stanza; but the following verse, and the interred at Abbot's Langley, with royal honours to Westtitle of the chapter in which they occur, appear to indicate minster, rightly belongs to the play of Henry V. to which that the author probably thought it more prudent not to we refer it. But there is one circumstance, arising out of declare his having seen the body. He states, however, that translation, which may be properly noticed in this that when the funeral ceremonies were performed at place,-the opportunity which it afforded of examining St. Paul's :
some skulls in the royal tomb, by Sir Joseph Ayloffe,
Edward King, Richard Gough, and others, in the latter " * The kynge and lordes clothes of golde there offered,
part of the last century; when the skull which was believed Some viji, some ix, upon his herse were profferde.
to be that of the king did not exhibit any marks of vioAt Westmynster then did they so the same ;
lence. Mr. King states that " a small cleft that was visible When trustynge he should there have buryed bene, on one side, appeared, on close inspection, to be merely In at that Mynster lyke a Prince of name,
the opening of a suture from length of time and decay: In his owne tombe, together with the quene
and it was beside in such a part of the head that it must Anne, that afore his fyrst wyfe had bene. But then the kyng him fast to Langley sent,
have been visible when the visage was exposed, had it been There in the Freers' to be buryed secretement."
the consequence of a wound given by a battle-axe, it being
at the top of what the anatomists call the os temporis." Hardyng adds, in the title to this chapter, that the body In answer to these arguments it is to be observed, firstly, was removed thither “for men should have no remem- that the skulls examined were contained in the sub-basebraunce of him."
ment of the tomb, and not in the monument itself, under No part of this narrative indicates any doubt that the the effigies, where the royal bodies might be supposed to be remains which had been exhibited were really those of laid. Secondly, that only the lower part of the face was Richard ; nor is there any notice of the other reports con- uncovered when the remains were carried through London, cerning the cause of his death. The author of the Metri- and the temporal bones were hidden. The rumour of cal History of the Deposition, on the contrary, seems not starvation by his keepers, which Holinshed says was the only to have very much doubted the identity of the de- most commonly believed, might have been the cause of the ceased individual, but also to have disbelieved that the death of Richard; or he might even, as another account dethroned king was really dead. His narrative of these states, have remained by his own will too long without food, particulars may be thus rendered in the familiar style and and then have been unable to receive it, and so have died. measure of the original :
A heavy suspicion of the guilt of destroying him must “ When the King was these tidings shew'd,
always, however, rest upon the memory of Henry of Boling: The which were neither fair ner good;
broke ; though at the present time he is commonly believed So sadly on his heart they sank
to have been innocent, and Richard to have expired at That never more he ate or drank;
Pomfret from purely natural causes.
THE FIRST PART OF
KING HENRY THE FOURTH.
“ The History of Henrie the Fovrth ; With the battell at Shrewsburie, betweene the King and Lord Henry Percy, surnamed Henrie Hotspur of the North. With the humorous conceits of Sir John Falstalffe. At London, Printed by P. S. for Andrew Wise, dwelling in Paules Churchyard, at the signe of the Angell. 1598.” Such is the title of the first and best edition of this famous historic drama. A second edition was issued in 1599, which was followed by a third in 1604, a fourth in 1608, a fifth in 1613, and a sixth in 1622. That six distinct impressions of it should have been published before its incorporation in the folio of 1623, is proof of its enduring popularity.
The First Part of King Henry IV. was entered on the books of the Stationers' Company in 1597, to which year Malone ascribes its production. Chalmers and Drake assign it to 1596, but the evidence for either date is so extremely vague and unsubstantial that no dependance can be placed upon it. All we really know is, that the play was written before 1598, because Meres, in his list published that year, enumerates "Henry the IVth.” as one of our poet's works. Shakespeare, it is thought, selected the stirring period of our history comprehended in the reigns of Henry IV. and V. for dramatic illustration, in consequence of the success achieved by an old and worthless piece which had long retained possession of the stage, called “ The Famous Victories of Henry the Fifth ;” though Dr. Johnson conceived that he had planned a regular connexion of these dramatic histories from Richard the Second to Henry the Fifth. From a similarity in some of the incidents and in the names of two or three of the characters, it is quite clear that he was acquainted with “ The Famous Victories,” and the circumstance of his having chosen the same events for representation, may have occasioned the revival of that old piece by Henslowe's company in 1595, and its re-publication in 1598. As Mr. Collier observes, “ It is impossible to institute any parallel between • The Famous Victories' and Shakespeare's dramas ; for, besides that the former has reached us evidently in an imperfect shape, the immeasurable superiority of the latter is such, as to render any attempt to trace resemblance a matter of contrast rather than of comparison.”
In the year 1844, a manuscript copy of the play of Henry the Fourth was found among the family papers of Sir Edward Dering, Bart., of Surrenden, Kent. Mr. Halliwell, who edited the MS. for the Shakespeare Society, observes, in his Introduction to the volume, that it “ does not contain the whole of Shakespeare's Henry IV., but the two parts condensed into one, and, as we