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By my life,
And for me,
8 There is no primer business ) In the old edition
There is no primer baseness. The queen is here complaining of the suffering of the commons, which, she suspects, arose from the abuse of power in some great men.' 'But she is very reserved in speaking her thoughts concerning the quality of it. We may be assured then, that she did not, in conclusion, call it the highest baseness; but rather made use of a word that could not offend the Cardinal, and yet would incline the King to give it a speedy hearing. I read therefore:
There is no primer business. i. e. no matter of state that more earnestly presses a despatch.
Warburton. Dr. Warburton (for reasons which he has given in his note) would read:
no primer business : but I think the meaning of the original word is sufficiently clear. No primer baseness is no mischief more ripe or ready for redress. So, in Othello: “ Were they as prime as goats, as hot as monkies "
Steevens. 9 If I am traduc'd by tongues, which neither knosu,
My faculties, nor person,] The old copy-by ignorant tongues. But surely tbis epithet must have been an interpolation, the ignorance of the supposed speakers being sufficiently indicated by their knowing neither the faculties nor person of the Cardinal. I have, therefore, with Sir T. Hanmer, restored the measure, by the present omission. Steevens.
1 We must not stint-] To stint is to stop, to retard. Many instances of this sense of the word are given in a note on Romeo and Juliet, Act I, sc. iii. Steevens.
* We must not stint -] . e. we must not limit, we must not restrain our necessary actions:-We must not do less than what is necessary to be done, because we may encounter malicious censures. Am. Ed.
As ravenous fishes, do a vessel follow
Things done well,7
2 To cope - 1 To engage with; to encounter. The word is still used in some counties. Johnson.
3 once weak ones,] The modern editors read or weak ones; but once is not uofrequently used for sometime, or at one time or other, among our ancient writers. So, in the 13th Idea of Drayton:
“ This diamond shall once consume to dust." Again, in The Merry Wives of Windsor :-“I pray thee, once tonight give my sweet Nan this ring."
Again, in Leicester's Commonwealth: “ if God should take from us her most excellent majesty (as once he will) and so leave us destitute -," Steevens. 4- or not allow'd;] Not approved. See Vol. III, p. 72, n. 8.
Malone. 5 what worst, as oft,
Hitting a grosser quality,] The worst actions of great men are commended by the vulgar, as more accommodated to the grossness of their notions. Johnson.
6 For our best act.] I suppose, for the sake of measure, we should read-action. Perhaps the three last letters of this word were accidentally omitted by the compositor. Steevens.
7 Things done well,] Sir T. Hanmer, very judiciously in my opinion, completes the measure by reading :
Things that are done well. Steevens. 8 From every tree, lop, bark, and part o'the timber;] Lop is a substantive, and signifies the branches. Warburton.
And, though we leave it with a root, thus hack’d,
' A word with you. [To the Secretary.
It grieves many:
9 That, through our intercession, &c.] So, in Holinshed, p. 892: 6. The cardinalĩ, to deliver himself from the evill will of the commons, purchased by procuring and advancing of this demand, af. firmed, and caused it to be bruted abrode that through his intercession the king had pardoned and released all things.” Steevens.
1 Enter Surveyor.] It appears from Holinshed that his name was Charles Knyvet. Ritson.
2 The gentleman is learn'd, &c.] We understand from “ The Prologue of the translatour," that the Knyghte of the Swanne, a French romance, was translated at the request of this unfortunate nobleman. Coplanıt, the printer, adds, “ this present history compyled, named Helyas the Knight of the Swanne, of whom linially is descended my said lord.” The duke was executed on Friday the 17th of May, 1521. The book has no date. Steevens.
3 And never seek for aid out of himself.] Beyond the treasures
And ne'er seek aid out of himself. Yet see,-., Ritson,
They turn to vicious forms, ten times more ugly.
Please your highness, note
My learn'd lord cardinal, Deliver all with charity. K. Hen.
Not well dispos’d,] Great gifts of nature and education, not joined with good dispositions. Johnson. 5 is become as black As if besmear'd in hell.] So, in Othello:
“ Her name, that was as fresh
“ As mine own face.” Steevens. 0 he'd carry it -- ] Old copy--he'l. Corrected by Mr. Rowe. Malone.
7 This dangerous conception in this point.] Note this particular part of this dangerous design. Fohnson.
How grounded he his title to the crown,
. He was brought to this By a vain prophecy of Nicholas Hopkins. 8
K. Hen. What was that Hopkins?
Sir, a Chartreux friar.
How know'st thou this? Surv. Not long before your highness sped to France, The duke being at the Rose, within the parish Saint Lawrence Poultney,' did of me demand What was the speech amongst the Londoners Concerning the French journey: I reply'd, Men fear'd, the French would prove perfidious, To the king's danger. Presently the duke Said, 'Twas the fear, indeed; and that he doubted, 'Twould prove the verity of certain words Spoke by a holy monk; that oft, says he, Hath sent to me, wishing me to permit
By a vain prophecy of Nicholas Hopkins.] In former editions:
By a vain phrophecy of Nicholas Henton. We heard before from Brandon, of one Nicholas Hopkins; and now his name is changed into Henton; so that Brandon and the surveyor seem to be in two stories. There is, however, but one and the same person meant, Hopkins, as I have restored it in the text, for perspicuity's sake; yet it will not be any difficulty to account for the other name, when we come to consider, that he was a monk of the convent, called Henton, near Bristol. So both Hall and Holinshed acquaint us. And he might, according to the custom of these times, be called Nicholas of Henton, from the place; as Hopkins from his family. Theobald. .
This mistake, as it was undoubtedly made by Shakspeare, is worth a note. It would be doing too great an honour to the players to suppose them capable of being the authors of it.
Steevens. Shakspeare was perhaps led into the mistake by inadvertently referring the words, “called Henton," in the passage already quoted from Holinshed, (p. 212, n. 5,) not to the monastery, but to the monk. Malone.
9 The duke being at the Rost, &c.) This house was purchased about the year 1561, by Richard Hill, sametime master of the Merchant Tailors company, and is now the Merchant Tailors school, in Suffolk-lane. Whalley.