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Page 68, line 20, for a read on.
152, note #, for No. ccxii. 474 read p. 104.
213, note *, for 1439 read 1449.
239, line 6, for Nicholas read Nicolas.

VOL. II.

Page 5, note #, dele James. 11, after line 19, insert The killing of Rutland by Clifford is from Holinshed. 14, line 14, for creation read creature. 37, line 13, for 1671 read 1471. 113, line 12, dele Although. line 21, before His insert For. 137, line 2 of note, for dudid insert du dit. 184, note *, for Boece read Boece. 200, note S, line 2, after be read the. 290, line 6-7, for Coleride read Coleridge.

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--VOL. I Page King John ............................................. l Richard II. ........ .................................... 34 Henry IV. PART I. ................................. 75 - PART II. ................................. 119 HENRY V. ................................................ 160 HENRY VI. PART I. ....................... ~ 212

PART II. ................................. 260

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KING JOHN.

THIS is the first in chronological order of the historical plays. Steevens*mentions it with others as closely following Hall, Holinshed, Stow, and other chroniclers; but he mentions also an old play, (“The troublesome Reign of King John,”)+ of which the author is not exactly known. I cannot concur with Steevens in thinking it possible that Shakspeare himself wrote this play ; but he certainly took from it the outline of his plot, and some of his scenes. We shall judge, in going through his play, whether he went any further for his history.

That old play is itself supposed, upon the slightest possible evidence, to have been taken from a still older performance, which had for its author John Ball, the first Protestant Bishop of Ossory, whose object was to expose, by a reference to the

* Boswell's edition, xv. 194.

f In six old plays, Leacroft, i. 217.

f See Pictorial Shakspere, p. 6. WOL. I. B

history. pf the reign of John, the abuses of the #ömish chärdh..". But it is very doubtful whether this play was seen by the author of the other.

The first impression conveyed by Shakspeare's play is, that the young Prince Arthur had a legitimate claim to the crown of England, that the crown was usurped by his uncle John, and that the King of France, having summoned John, by his ambassador Chatillon, to surrender the crown, forthwith declared war against him, in order to put Arthur in possession of his right.

“The succession of John,” says Hallam, “ has certainly passed in modern times for an usurpation. I do not find that it was considered as such by his own contemporaries on this side the Channel;”: and the same well-informed author shows, that the preference of a nephew to a brother, in the line of succession, was by no means an established rule of the law of England. Shakspeare himself is mainly responsible for the prevalency of this belief of usurpation. I do not say he created it, because he found it in the old play.

Our poet places King John at Northampton, where he is thus addressed by Chatillon, the ambassador of France:—

* J. P. Collier's preface to King John, p. vii.

+ See also Blackstone, i. 200, and Nicolas' Chronology of History, p. 306.

t Middle Ages, ii. 473.

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