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WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE: anonymous extracts from 'Henry IV, Part 1', in a manuscript containing notes, attributed to Thomas Harriot, on metaphysics and theology; circa 1594 - circa 1603.
ca. 1594-
1603
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Add. MS 64078, folio 47 verso (reversed)

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Add. MS 64078, folio 47 verso (reversed)
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From the collections of: THE BRITISH LIBRARY

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The British Library has graciously contributed the above images to Shakespeare Documented under a Creative Commons Public Domain Mark.

Copyright status of the manuscript and unpublished Materials: The 1988 Copyright, Designs and Patents Act (as amended) states that unpublished literary and artistic works remain in copyright in the UK until at least 31 December 2039. Therefore important parts of the library’s collection remain in copyright, including very old manuscripts. However for unpublished material created many centuries ago and in the public domain in most other countries, the Library believes this material to be very unlikely to offend anyone. As an institution whose role it is to support access to knowledge, we have therefore taken the decision to release certain digitised images technically still in copyright in the UK under the Public Domain Mark.

Document-specific information
Title: WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE: anonymous extracts from 'Henry IV, Part 1', in a manuscript containing notes, attributed to Thomas Harriot, on metaphysics and theology; circa 1594 - circa 1603.
Date: ca. 1594-1603
Repository: The British Library, London, UK
Call number and opening: Add. MS 64078, fols. 47r-48r 
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Item Title
WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE: anonymous extracts from 'Henry IV, Part 1', in a manuscript containing notes, attributed to Thomas Harriot, on metaphysics and theology; circa 1594 - circa 1603.
Item Date
ca. 1594-1603
Repository
The British Library, London, UK
Call Number
Add. MS 64078, fol. 47v (reversed)

Add. MS 64078, folio 48 recto (reversed)

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Add. MS 64078, folio 48 recto (reversed)
Click image to enlarge

Institution Rights and Document Citation

 

From the collections of: THE BRITISH LIBRARY

Terms of use
The British Library has graciously contributed the above images to Shakespeare Documented under a Creative Commons Public Domain Mark.

Copyright status of the manuscript and unpublished Materials: The 1988 Copyright, Designs and Patents Act (as amended) states that unpublished literary and artistic works remain in copyright in the UK until at least 31 December 2039. Therefore important parts of the library’s collection remain in copyright, including very old manuscripts. However for unpublished material created many centuries ago and in the public domain in most other countries, the Library believes this material to be very unlikely to offend anyone. As an institution whose role it is to support access to knowledge, we have therefore taken the decision to release certain digitised images technically still in copyright in the UK under the Public Domain Mark.

Document-specific information
Title: WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE: anonymous extracts from 'Henry IV, Part 1', in a manuscript containing notes, attributed to Thomas Harriot, on metaphysics and theology; circa 1594 - circa 1603.
Date: ca. 1594-1603
Repository: The British Library, London, UK
Call number and opening: Add. MS 64078, fols. 47r-48r 
View online bibliographic record

Item Title
WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE: anonymous extracts from 'Henry IV, Part 1', in a manuscript containing notes, attributed to Thomas Harriot, on metaphysics and theology; circa 1594 - circa 1603.
Item Date
ca. 1594-1603
Repository
The British Library, London, UK
Call Number
Add. MS 64078, fol. 48r (reversed)

Add. MS 64078, folio 47 recto (reversed)

View Image Assets
Add. MS 64078, folio 47 recto (reversed)
Click image to enlarge

Institution Rights and Document Citation

 

From the collections of: THE BRITISH LIBRARY

Terms of use
The British Library has graciously contributed the above images to Shakespeare Documented under a Creative Commons Public Domain Mark.

Copyright status of the manuscript and unpublished Materials: The 1988 Copyright, Designs and Patents Act (as amended) states that unpublished literary and artistic works remain in copyright in the UK until at least 31 December 2039. Therefore important parts of the library’s collection remain in copyright, including very old manuscripts. However for unpublished material created many centuries ago and in the public domain in most other countries, the Library believes this material to be very unlikely to offend anyone. As an institution whose role it is to support access to knowledge, we have therefore taken the decision to release certain digitised images technically still in copyright in the UK under the Public Domain Mark.

Document-specific information
Title: WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE: anonymous extracts from 'Henry IV, Part 1', in a manuscript containing notes, attributed to Thomas Harriot, on metaphysics and theology; circa 1594 - circa 1603.
Date: ca. 1594-1603
Repository: The British Library, London, UK
Call number and opening: Add. MS 64078, fols. 47r-48r 
View online bibliographic record

Item Title
WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE: anonymous extracts from 'Henry IV, Part 1', in a manuscript containing notes, attributed to Thomas Harriot, on metaphysics and theology; circa 1594 - circa 1603.
Item Date
ca. 1594-1603
Repository
The British Library, London, UK
Call Number
Add. MS 64078, fol. 47r (reversed)

Institution Rights and Document Citation

 

From the collections of: THE BRITISH LIBRARY

Terms of use
The British Library has graciously contributed the above images to Shakespeare Documented under a Creative Commons Public Domain Mark.

Copyright status of the manuscript and unpublished Materials: The 1988 Copyright, Designs and Patents Act (as amended) states that unpublished literary and artistic works remain in copyright in the UK until at least 31 December 2039. Therefore important parts of the library’s collection remain in copyright, including very old manuscripts. However for unpublished material created many centuries ago and in the public domain in most other countries, the Library believes this material to be very unlikely to offend anyone. As an institution whose role it is to support access to knowledge, we have therefore taken the decision to release certain digitised images technically still in copyright in the UK under the Public Domain Mark.

Document-specific information
Title: WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE: anonymous extracts from 'Henry IV, Part 1', in a manuscript containing notes, attributed to Thomas Harriot, on metaphysics and theology; circa 1594 - circa 1603.
Date: ca. 1594-1603
Repository: The British Library, London, UK
Call number and opening: Add. MS 64078, fols. 47r-48r 
View online bibliographic record

Sometime in the final years of Queen Elizabeth’s reign, someone copied sixty-three lines from Shakespeare’s Henry IV Part 1 into the final leaves of a notebook devoted primarily to his Latin notes on metaphysics and theology. The compiler selected twenty excerpts of varying length—from one line to a dozen—almost exclusively from the main plot of the play. The selections show a particular interest in the subjects of peace, war, dishonor, cowardice, and youthful ambition. King Henry is quoted the most with thirty-two lines from four speeches. 

The extracts from Henry IV Part 1 in BL Add. MS 64078 were copied, with the manuscript upside-down, on the final flyleaf and end pastedown of the notebook (following the order fols. 47v , 48r, and 47r), showing that the compiler was not worried about the presentation of his jottings, but was simply trying to exploit any space left in his notebook, a phenomenon common at the time. Nevertheless, the compiler already shows some care in the way the extracts are chosen and organized, anticipating, as Laura Estill has observed, “the appearance and use of later manuscript extracts” (Estill, 11), as for instance those found in Edward Pudsey’s notebook (fragments of which are now held at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and the Bodleian Library). The extracts are selected and extracted in a continuous sequence, following their chronological order in the play. Some are accompanied by a marginal comment highlighting the topic or function of the lines excerpted: for example, the marginalia “in praise of one” indicates that the extract next to it, “Amongst a grove ye very straitest plant” (fol. 47v), is a metaphor that can be used to describe someone worthy of praise. 

The compiler slightly altered some of the extracts by removing speakers and local references, and by changing some of the syntax and grammar of the lines in order to make them independent from their original context and more universally applicable. This is a common aspect of dramatic extracting practice. Because of the presence of some of these alterations, it has generally been believed that these lines were jotted down during a performance of the play, and then copied into this manuscript; however, it is not possible to exclude the possibility that the variations were solely the result of appropriation actively carried out by the copyist. Furthermore, as the date of the extracts is not precise, we cannot know for certain whether these were copied before they were published for the first time, in 1598, or not. 

The manuscript, BL Add. MS 64078, acquired by the British Library at a Sotheby’s sale in 1986, was compiled around 1594-1603. It is one of the few surviving manuscripts from before ca. 1600 containing extracts from professional plays, and it is the first to display excerpts from Henry IV Part 1. Even if it is not possible to precisely date when these quotations were added to the manuscript, we can speculate that it was between 1594, the year in which the theological notes were written, as stated in the title prefacing them (“Notae ex discussionibus Sorbonicis. Parisi 1594,” fol. 3), and 1603, the year in which Elizabeth I died, as suggested by the fact that the word “king” in one of the extracts was substituted with the word “queen.”

The identity of the author of these notes is also uncertain: the original copyist simply entitled the notes “De Deo” (fol. 3) but left them anonymous. Only subsequently did another contemporary hand expand the title to “Notae ex discursu Thomae Harrioti (Ut Credo) [De Deo]” (fol. 3), identifying the compiler as Thomas Harriot, a mathematician and natural philosopher. Harriot (ca. 1560-1621), a contemporary of Shakespeare, was admired throughout Europe for his intellectual achievements, and his connections with the court would certainly make him a notable collector of Shakespearean extracts. However, over the years Harriot also acquired a reputation for impiety, and, as Hilton Kelliher has suggested in his analysis of the manuscript, this “reputation for unorthodox theological views” could have influenced the choice of ascribing these notes to him, basing “this attribution on no evidence other than association of ideas” (Kelliher, 148).

Kelliher argues that the co-existence of dramatic excerpts alongside Latin notes on a metaphysical subject testifies “to the popularity of Shakespeare’s plays among his more articulate contemporaries” (Kelliher, 145). Henry IV Part 1 in particular was greatly appreciated, both in print and on stage, throughout the seventeenth century, and was also well-received by various compilers of manuscript and print collections: first mentioned by Meres in his 1598 Palladis Tamia, it was extracted in print, for the first time, in Belvedere and England’s Parnassus (both 1600), and reappeared again in later manuscripts (for example BL Egerton MS 2446, ca. 1620) and printed collections (see Cotgrave’s The English Treasury of Wit and Language, 1655).

Hilton Kelliher presents a full analysis of the manuscript with transcriptions and images in “Contemporary Manuscript Extracts from Shakespeare’s Henry IV Part I.” Because the original manuscript was heavily damaged by water, MS Facsimile *1033 is available for consultation at the British Library. A complete transcription of the extracts from Henry IV Part 1 from BL Add. MS 64078 is also available online in the original and normalized spelling on DEx: A Database of Dramatic Extracts.
 

Semi-diplomatic transcription

[Image 1: fol. 47v reversed]

The edge of war like an ill sheathed nyff
no more shall cutt his master

[left margin] in praise of one 
Amongst a grove the very straitest plant

[left margin] in dispraise 
Dishonor staynes his brow

To prune hymself & bristle vp
the Crest of youth against your dignity

[left margin] of a Temperat man 
my blood hath bin too cold & tem[...]
vnapt to stir at small indignities
& you have found me for acordingly
you tread vppo my Patience
but my condition
which hath bin smooth as oyle soft as [...] down
hath therefore lost that Title of Respect
wch the proud soule neare payes but to [...] proud

Our house little desrves the scourge of greatness
of the same greatness which our own hands have holp
to make so portly

Great ostlers & Chaberlas differ no more from hangmen
then givig direction doth from labourig

[left margin] 8. 
He compares the comonwelth to a paire of
boots which great men ride in.
he asketh whether the comon welth will
hold out water in fowle way.
he aunswers yea. Justice hath liquord
her

To one that sayd at his Nativity the Earth quakt
he aunswered that so it would have done yf a Katt had then but
Kittend, though he had neur bin born.

Add
Diseased Nature oftentymes breaks forth
In strange Eruptions, oft the teeming Earth
is with a kynd of Collick pinch't & vext
by the Iprisoning of vnruly wynd
win her wob, which for inlargemet strivig
shakes the old beldame Earth, & topples down
steeples & Mossgrown Towrs:

[Image 2: fol. 48r reversed]

ill Poetry is like the forc't gate of
[...] shuffling Nagg

shallow jesters & rash bavin witts 
tis not good for a great name

to be a stale & cheap in common company, nor common
haqnen in the Eyes of men

his Presence must be like a Robe pontifical
not seene but when tis wondred at

& then he must steale Curtesy
from Heavn, & dress hymself in
sutch humillity, as he may pluck
allegiance from mens harts euen in
the prsence of the Queene which els

[left margin] bruising armes 

opinion which must & doth oft help
one to a Crown will still keepe
loyall to possession, & hold hym as
fellow of no marke nor liklihoode

[left margin] being no more indebt to yeares than you
   
hung their Ey lidds down
slept in his face & rendred sutch aspect
as clowdy men use to their adversaries

through feare base Inclination & the
start of Spleene

[Image 3: fol. 47r reversed]

[left margin] a valiant man taxed of feares

Do me no slaunder, 
If well respected honor bid me on
I hold as little councell wth weake feare
as you.
lett it be seen tomorrow in the battayle

Written by Beatrice Montedoro

Sources

Laura Estill, Dramatic Extracts in Seventeenth-Century English Manuscripts: Watching, Reading, Changing Plays (Newark: University of Delaware Press, 2015).

Hilton Kelliher, “Contemporary Manuscript Extracts from Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part I.” English Manuscript Studies 1 (1989): 133–81.

J. J. Roche, "Harriot, Thomas (c.1560–1621)," Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, Oct 2006) <http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/12379> accessed 11 April 2017

Last updated December 4, 2017