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few students of the two texts, even while admitting the traces of a corrector's hand in F, will agree with their low estimate of his skill. His text is more smooth and regular; but very seldom is it noticeably less vigorous on that account. Where single words differ, there is generally nothing to choose between the texts. No one has put down the additions in F to the credit of a corrector other than the author himself. As to the omissions in F, when we have deducted the long passage in iv. ii., the rest are of so little importance that it is impossible to discover the grounds on which Staunton characterised them as

terse and vigorous bits of dialogue.” And, after a careful and prolonged study of the texts, the present editor, while giving full weight to the editor or editors' and printer's responsibility for errors in F, is unable to distinguish its debt to a “nameless transcriber” from that which it may owe to the author's original version of the play. In short, he sees nothing in F which precludes it from consideration as a return, in the main faithful and accurate, to the author's own text, containing passages that had been omitted in 2, and superseding Q as a trustworthy and definite version of the play. On the other hand, the source of Q seems to him to be the stage version of the play, shortened at certain points from the original text, and garnished here and there with a line which breaks up the dialogue or illustrates the action of the play more fully. It is possible, too, that the editor of Q revised his text by comparing it with a performance of the play on the stage, or with his reminiscences of such a performance; for several of his readings are best explained as slips of memory or free interpolations on the part of an actor. When the editors of F i charged themselves with curing and perfecting the received text, they doubtless compared one or more editions of Q with a MS.-either the original or a careful transcript–of the play as originally written.

Mr. P. A. Daniel, in his preface to Mr. Griggs' facsimile of Q1, has given an explanation of this process which sets the whole matter in a very clear light. He believes F to represent the author's text of the play: Q to be a shortened and revised copy of that text The editor of F carefully revised the text

of one of the quartos by the original MS., and sent the corrected volume, with his deletions, interlineations, and marginal additions, to the printer. Comparing F i with the quartos, Mr. Daniel finds that, for two doubtful readings shared by it with Q 1, and for one shared with each of the editions Q 3, Q 4, and Q 5, nine, at least, are shared with 26. These nine may be increased to twelve, by adding three probable cases. It is thus probable that Q 6 was the copy corrected by the editor of F, who overlooked a few words or wrong letters. The printer took over this copy, and brought F into being, with a certain number of errors and misunderstandings due to the crowded state of the revised page.

To almost every case of difficulty which meets the textual student, Mr. Daniel's hypothesis may be applied with a more than plausible result; and, in the text which the present editor has followed, he has endeavoured to act on the principles laid down by Mr. Daniel as a corollary to his proposition. At the same time, in examining the several variations between the texts, the editor has tested them by the other theories that have been put forward for their solution. While founding his text on F, he has accepted such readings from Q as seem to him to be deliberate improvements; and at 11. i. 66-8 and II. iv. 1, 2, both highly debateable passages, he has ventured to retain the Q readings which have been rejected, on grounds which appear to him not sufficiently strong, by many editors.

Special instances will be found fully treated in the notes which supplement the text. One point, however, calls for further mention. The collation shows that, for the first 150 lines or so of III. i., and from about v. iii. 80 to the end of the play, the editor of F i found little to alter in his copy of Q. Where he made alterations, it is highly probable that he made them on his own responsibility. Reference to Q 1 or Q 2 at these passages shows us several times that, where the latter quartos are wrong, the earlier contain a satisfactory reading, which, we cannot doubt, he would have adopted had he possessed authority to guide him. The inference is that his MS. was wanting at these points, and that he had to depend on a later quarto and his own instinct. Again, in I. i., where

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the variations between the texts are very few, the readings of the earlier quartos in several cases have a weight that cannot be attributed to F. A case in point is I. i. 65, where F reads “That tempts him to this harsh Extremity.”

This is an obvious correction of a reading common to Qq 2, 5, and 6, “That tempts him to this extreamitie.” We might assume, as we can assume in most cases, that the editor of F I found the omitted word "harsh” in the original MS., and inserted it accordingly. But, in Q 1, we find a better and more satisfactory reading, “That tempers him to this extremity," which needs no alteration. It seems likely that, in the MS. from which Q I was derived," tempers” was written in its abbreviated form “temps," and that Q 2, not noticing the abbreviation, took the word from the same MS. as “tempts." 2 3 likewise used the MS., and printed it “temps," without regard to sense. In Q 5, this meaningless word was altered to the more obvious "tempts," and so F I found it printed in Q 6. Nothing is more likely than that the opening pages of the authentic MS. were torn or illegible from use and the lapse of time. Finding no help here, the editor emended the metre of the line by inserting the word “harsh." To judge from the reading, the early leaves of the MS. were wanting or illegible in part; while the closing leaves, and a leaf or two in the middle, were totally illegible or had perished. There has been a very general opinion that, in passages where original authority was wanting, the editor of F I resorted to a copy of Q 3. This may have been the case; but there is no circumstance which tends to show that, to his copy of Q 6, he added in these instances anything more than a talent for cautious emendation.

Richard III., dramatically as well as historically, is a sequel to the three parts of Henry VI., in which Shakespeare's share is generally admitted to have been that of a reviser. The question naturally arises whether Shakespeare was the author of Richard III., or merely the editor and reviser of a sequel to those plays on which he had been engaged previously. Mr. Daniel holds that the play was really the work of the author or authors of the Henry VI, plays, and was revised by Shakespeare. Mr. Fleay looks upon it as a Shakespearean recension

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and completion of an unfinished play by Marlowe, so thorough that any distinction between the original text and the revision is impossible. The only considerations on which an answer can be founded depend upon the style and date of the drama.

(1) The evidence of style places Richard III., beyond all doubt, among Shakespeare's earliest plays. Apart from the ordinary metrical tests, which, applied whether to Q or F, do not differ materially in the result, the verse has everywhere that rhetorical accent with which Marlowe had stamped the language of the stage. The spirit of the verse is in keeping with its accent. No passage can be singled out as an example of that vein of reflective sentiment which, at a not much later date, Shakespeare expressed with so great a command of imagery. The most striking passages, Clarence's account of his dream in I. iv., and Tyrrel's narrative of the murder of the princes in iv. iii., are little more than evenly written pieces of description, with a certain amount of smooth eloquence and picturesque colour. Richard's soliloquies in I. i. and I. ii. are clearly the work of the hand which was responsible for his soliloquies in 3 Henry VI. III. ii. and v. vi. He declares his aims in the vigorous rhythm which Marlowe makes his heroes use, explicit in sense and full of sound. These speeches, indeed, might have been written by Marlowe in a restrained mood, in which his habitual rhetoric was sobered by a consciousness of his dramatic purpose. If the programme which they reveal is outrageous, their actual words are free from the grotesqueness with which Marlowe's Barabas relates his iniquities, and from the extravagance of the wildly poetic "lunes” of Tamburlaine. On the other hand, they have not that depth of living passion which Marlowe sounds in Tamburlaine's rhapsody on Divine Zenocrate, or in the last soliloquy of Faustus. And, as a matter of fact, where Marlowe worked, as in Edward II., with greater self-restraint, his style has not much in common with that of Richard III. The classical allusions, which fill Edward II., and are very noticeable in the Henry VI. plays, are nearly absent from Richard III. The formal tragic style of such a passage as the lamentation of the women in Richard III. iv. iv., has a stateliness which we miss in Edward II.;


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but it has not that lyric fervour which give certain passages o. Edward II. a pathos that redeems their crudeness.

It is conceivable, in short, that Marlowe may have written much of Richard III.; but we have nothing from his hand which goes to prove that he must have had a part in it. It may be said that the style of the play is a distinct advance on the style of Titus Andronicus, which is closely akin to the style of Marlowe's most literal imitators. The individual quality of its rhetoric has been trained by previous work on the Henry VI. plays; while probably the congeniality of a tragic figure like Richard to a taste founded on Marlowe's models has given an opportunity for the independent expression of that quality. Any tendency to exaggeration is softened by an increasing sense of the relation between the dramatist's art and life itself. If we allow Shakespeare to have had any part in the play, then Richard III., whatever may be its debt to older material, shows witness of his hand, at a time when he has reached the stage of untrammelled expression of his meaning, but is still partly dependent on his models for the form that his work takes, and has yet to handle the highest gifts of poetry. The declamatory vigour of Richard III. gathers fresh life in the complaints of Constance and the ecstasies of Romeo and Juliet. Its echo is still audible in the balanced melody of the plays of Shakespeare's middle life. And, tame as it is in comparison, it is the first sign of the possibility of that eloquence, compact of fire and air, and pregnant with “immortal longings,” which is the case for the huge spirits of his great tragedies.

(2) In date, then, Richard III. probably follows immediately upon the third part of Henry VI. No allusion exists to settle the year in which the play was first produced. John Weever's epigram to “honie-tong'd Shakespeare,” which selects the poems of 1593-4 and the characters of Romeo and Richard for praise, was not published till 1599. It may have been written, as has been conjectured, as early as 1595; but this cannot be proved. All that can be said is that Weever probably chose the names of Romeo and Richard for mention, on account of their popularity on the stage. A book of Epigrammes and

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