New Authorial Line In the Manuscript of Henry IV

    Most of the changes between the so called Dering Manuscript of Henry IV (Folger Document V.b.34) were accomplished without additional "bridge lines."  However one exception is to be found in what will become the messenger's account to Northumberland of the chaos that over came the rebels during the battle of Shrewsbury, where Northumberland's son, young Henry Percy, has been slain by Prince Hal.  

    The line, completely embedded in the manuscript, has no printed source, yet it reads as good as any of the Author's better lines and runs "then feare gave wings to flight."   It is very difficult to understand this line as a condensation of the battle, effected either by the hypothetical Sir Edward Dering or by Hand B, the scribe.  Instead it looks, for all the world, as the Author's original conception of this conversation, in the idiom only he mastered so well.  

    One can think of any number of unAuthorial constructions for this line, such as "we seen the enemy and we ran."  None of them would equal the superb "then feaer gave wings to flight" line.  So I thought to let the reader see it as it appears on the sheet:

This matchless line appears no where else in the works of Shakespeare and does not seem likely to have been the invention of another.  It is clearly embedded in the sheet and shows no sign of having been inserted from a modified sheet from the printed text, as suggested by the editors of the Folger Facsimile edition.  

    Like most of the other paleographic characteristics of  D, it too suggests that D is the early prepublication and unified version of Henry IV, before it became two parts and was printed.

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