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THE PLAYS EDITED FROM THE FOLIO OF MDCXXIII, WITH VARIOUS
AND AN ESSAY UPON HIS GENIUS
BY RICHARD GRANT WHITE
LITTLE BROWN AND COMPANY
Eutered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1859, by
RICHARD GRANT WHITE,
In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the Southern District of New York.
"THE CRONICLE History of Henry the fift, With his battell fought at Agin Court in France. Togither with Auntient Pistoll. As it hath bene sundry times playd by the Right honorable the Lord Chamberlaine his seruants. LONDON Printed by Thomas Creede, for Tho. Millington, and Iohn Busby. And are to be sold at his house in Carter Lane, next the Powle head. 1600." 4to. 27 leaves.
The same, "London Printed by Thomas Creede, for Thomas Pauier, and are to be sold at his shop in Cornhill, at the signe of the Cat and Parrets, neare the Exchange. 1602." 4to. 26
The same," Printed for T. P. 1608." 4to. 27 leaves. The Life of Henry the Fift occupies twenty-seven pages in the folio of 1623, viz.: from p. 69 to p. 95 inclusive in the division of Histories. It is divided into Acts, but not into Scenes, and has no list of Dramatis Persona.
KING HENRY V.
OLINSHED furnished Shakespeare with the crude material with which he completed in this play the design of which he had the hint from The Famous Victories of Henry the Fifth.* The dramatist followed the chronicler closely, and in some passages but poetically paraphrased his prose.
Shakespeare's Henry the Fifth was first published in quarto in 1600, but with a text so mutilated, as well as so incomplete, that it is quite impossible to decide by internal evidence whether the manuscript from which it was printed represents, even imperfectly, an early form of the play, or, still more imperfectly, the completed work as it appears in the folio. The quarto edition, among other important omissions, is without the Choruses; but from this no inference can be drawn as to the time when the Choruses were written; for it is manifest that that edition was published in great haste, from manuscript obtained in the most surreptitious and inefficient manner, to meet a demand created by the great popularity of the play; and from such a copy the Choruses would be most probably omitted, as having neither narrative nor comic interest. The fifth of these Choruses, therefore, which contains lines that must have been written between April and September, 1599,† is to be accepted as decisive of the date of the production, of the play, especially as it is not mentioned by Meres in 1598, (in the list which includes Henry the Fourth, King John, and Richard the Second,) and as it was published in 1600.
The text exists in a very satisfactory state in the folio, which is the only authority for it. The quarto, however, sometimes affords welcome aid in the conjectural correction of typographical errors.
The period of the action is from 1414 to 1420.
* See the Introduction to the First Part of King Henry the Fourth.