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Henry the eighth, life, honour, name, and all
fortunes, fall away Like water from ye, never found again But"where"they mean to sink ye. All good people, when Pray for me! I must now forsake ye; the last hour Of my long weary life is come upon me. Farewel: And when you would say something that is sad, 4 Speak how I fell.-1 have done; and God forgive me!
[Exeunt Buck. and Truin.
If the duke be guiltless,
Good angels keep it froin us!
2 Gent. This secret is so weighty, 'twill require A strong faiths to conceal it. 1 Gent.
Let me have it;
be not loose:) This expression occurs again in Othello: “ There are a kind of men so loose of soul,
“That in their sleeps will mutter their affairs.” Steevens. 4 And when you would say something that is sad, &c.] So, in King Richard II:
“ Tell thou the lamentable tale of me,
- strong faith--) Is great fidelity. Johnson.
I do not talk much.
I am confident;
Yes, but it held not:
But that slander, sir,
Or some about him near, have, out of malice
That will undo her: To confirm this too,
'Tis the cardinal; And merely to revenge him on the emperor, For not bestowing on him, at his asking, The archbishoprick of Toledo, this is purpos'd. 2 Gent. I think, you have hit the mark: But is 't not
cruel, That she should feel the smart of this? The cardinal Will have his will, and she must fall. i Gent.
'Tis woful. We are too open here to argue this; Let's think in private more.
An Ante-Chamber in the Palace. Enter the Lord Chamberlain, reading a Letter. Cham. My lord,—The horses your lordship sent for, with all the care I had, I saw well chosen, ridden and furnished. They were young, and handsome; and of the best breed in the north. When they were ready to set out for
and held for certain,) To hold, is to believe. So, in Lord Surrey's translation of the fourth Æneid:
“ I hold thee not, nor yet gainsay thy words.” Steevens.
London, a man of my lord cardinals, by commission, and main power, took 'em from me; with this reason,--His master would be served before a subject, if not before the king: which stopped our mouths, sir. I fear, he will, indeed: Well, let him have them: He will have all, I think.
Enter the Dukes of NORFOLK and SUFFOLK.
Well met, my good?
Good day to both your graces.
I left him private,
What's the cause? Cham. It seems, the marriage with his brother's wife Has crept too near his conscience. Suf.
No, his conscience Has crept too near another lady.
Nor. This is the cardinal's doing, the king-cardinal: That blind priest, like the eldest son of fortune, Turns what he list. The king will know him one day.
Suf. Pray God, he do! he lll never know himself else.
Nor. How holily he works in all his business! And with what zeal! For, now he has crack'd the league Between us and the emperor, the queen’s great nephew, He dives into the king's soul; and there scatters Dangers, doubts, wringing of the conscience, Fears, and despairs, and all these for his marriage: And, out of all these to restore the king, He counsels a divorce: a loss of her, That, like a jewel, has hung twenty years About his neck, yet never lost her lustre;8 Of her, that loves him with that excellence That angels love good men with; even of her, That, when the greatest stroke of fortune falls, Will bless the king: And is not this course pious ?
? Well met, my good-] The epithet-good, was inserted by Sir Thomas Hanmer for the sake of measure. Steevens.
* That, like a jewel, has hung twenty years &c.] See Vol. VI, p. 185, n. 2. Malone.
Cham. Heaven keep me from such counsel! 'Tis most
And free us from his slavery.
For me, my lords,
see this inain end,] Thus the old copy. All, &c. perceive this main end of these counsels, namely, the French king's sister. 'The editor of the fourthi folio and all the subsequent editors read --his; but yt or this were not likely to be confounded with his. Besides, the King, not Wolsey, is the person last mentioned; and it was the main end or object of Wolsey to bring about a marriage between Henry and the French king's sister. End has already been used for cause, and may be so here. See p. 238:
" The cardinal is the end of this.” Malone. 1 The French king's sister.) i. e. the Duchess of Alençon.
Steevens. 2 From princes into pages :] This may allude to the retinue of the Cardinal, who had several of the nobility among his menial servants. Johnson.
3 Into what pitch he please.] The mass must be fashioned into pitch or height, as well as into particular form. The meaning is, that the Cardinal can, as he pleases, make high or low. Fohnson.
The allusion seems to be to the 21st verse of the 9th chapter of the Epistle of St. Paul to the Romans : “ Hath not the potter power over the clay of the same lump, to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour ? Collins.
From these sad thoughts, that work too much upon
My lord, you 'll bear us company?
[Exit Ld. Cham. NORFOLK opens a folding-door. The King is discovered
sitting, and reading pensively.*
'Pray God, he be not angry. K. Hen. Who's there, I say? How dare you thrust
Nor. A gracious king, that pardons all offences
You are too bold:
4 The stage direction, in the old copy, is a singular one. Exit Lord Chamberlain, and the King draws the curtain, and sits reading pensively. Steevens.
This stage direction was calculated for, and ascertains precisely the state of, the theatre in Shakspeare's time. When a person was to be discovered in a different apartment from that in which the original speakers in the scene are exhibited, the artless mode of our author's time was to place such person in the back part of the stage, behind the curtains, which were occasionally suspended across it. These the person, who was to be discovered, (as Henry, in the present case,) drew back just at the proper. time. Mr. Rowe, who seems to have looked no further than the modern stage, changed the direction thus: “ The scene opens, and discovers the
King;" &c. but, besides the impropriety of introducing scenes, when there were none, such an exhibition would not be proper here, for Norfolk has just said Let 's in,”-and therefore should himself do some act, in order to visit the King. This, indeed, in the simple state of the old stage, was not attended to; the King very civilly discovering himself. Malone.