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  • Print publication year: 2009
  • Online publication date: August 2010
  • First published in: 1888

HENRY VI.—CONDENSED BY CHARLES KEMBLE

Summary

INTRODUCTION.

The matter of this play is taken from the Three Parts of Henry VI. with the exception of seven passages from Richard II., amounting in all to 35 lines, and two passages from Richard III., amounting in all to 58 lines. Very few of the lines in this play are not to be found in Shakespeare. Such lines we have marked with an asterisk; although, in many cases, part of these lines are either taken from Shakespeare's own words, or closely imitated therefrom. Only in two instances has Charles Kemble introduced words which Shakespeare has not used, namely, hint (the verb), ii. 4. 25, and unfurl, iii. 5. 192; and he has been guilty of an impropriety in the use of the modern exclamation Huzza (iii. 4. 98); which, although it is the older form of Hurrah, is not to be found, apparently, in any author before Evelyn (1665). Neither form of the exclamation occurs in Shakespeare. Nowhere has the adaptor attempted to rise to such original flights as Cibber; in fact this condensed play shows how much greater reverence was felt for the text of Shakespeare in Charles Kemble's time, compared with that of Crowne, or Cibber, or even of David Garrick. It is a matter of some difficulty to identify all the passages from Shakespeare that have been brought into requisition. In those cases where the text has been rigidly adhered to we have used the expression “Taken from.”

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