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Are you not stronger than you were?
What do you think me?
[Exeunt. SCENE IV.
A Hall in Black-Fryars.
with short Silver Wands; next them, Two Scribes,
Sennet,] Dr. Burney (whose General History of Musick has been so highly and deservedly applauded) undertook to trace the etymology, and discover the certain meaning of this term, but without success. The following conjecture of his should not, liowever, be with held from the publick:
“Senné or sennie, de l'Allemand sen, qui signifie assemblee. Dict. de vieux Language:
“ Senne, assemblee a son de cloche.” Menage. Perhaps, therefore, (says he,) sennet may mean a fourish for the purpose of usseinbling chiefs, or apprizing the people of their approach. I have likewise been informed, (as is elsewhere noted) ihat seneste is the name of an antiquated French tune.” See Yulius Cesar, Act I, sc. ii. Steevens. In the second part of Marston's Antonio and Mellida
“ Cornets sound a cynet." Farmer. A senet appears to have signified a short flourish on cornets. In King Henry VI, P. III, after the King and the Duke of York have entered into a compact in the parliament-house, we find this marginal direction: “ Senet. Here they (the lords) come down (from their seats.” In that place a flourish must have been meant. The direction which has occasioned this note should be, I believe, sennet on cornets.
In Marlowe's King Edward II, we find “Cornets sound a sig. nate.”
Senet or signate was undoubtedly nothing more than a flourish or sounding. The Italian Sonata formerly signified nothing more. See Florio's Italian Dict. 1611, in v.
That senet was merely the corrupt pronunciation of signate, is ascertained by the following entry in the folio MS. of Mr. Henslowe, who appears to have spelt entirely by the ear:
in the Habits of Doctors; after them, the Archbishop of Canterbury alone; after him, the Bishops of Lincoln, Ely, Rochester, and Saint Asaph;? next them, with some small distance, follows a Gentleman bearing the Purse, with the Great Seal, and a Cardinal's Hat; then two Priests, bearing each a Silver Cross; then a Gentleman-Usher bare-headed, accompanied with a Sergeant at Arms, bearing a Silver Mace; then two Gentlemen, bearing two great Silver Pillars ;? after them,
“ Laid out at sundry times, of my own ready money, abowt the gainynge of ower comysion, as followeth, 1597.
“ Laid out for goinge to the corte to the Master of the Requeasts, xiid.
“ Item. Paid unto the clerk of the Senette, 40s." Malone.
1- Archbishop of Canterbury, Bishops of Lincoln, Ely, Rochester, and Saint Asaph;] These were, William Warham, John Longland, Nicholas West, John Fisher, and Henry Standish. West, Fisher, and Standish, were counsel for the Queen. Reed.
2- Pillars;] Pillars were some of the ensigns of dignity carried before cardinals. Sir Thomas More, when he was speaker to the commons, advised them to admit Wolsey into the house with his maces and his pillars. More's Life of Sir T. More.
Fohnson. So, in The Treatous, a satire on Cardinal Wolsey, no date, but published between the execution of the Duke of Buckingham and the repudiation of Queen Katharine. Of this curiosity the reader will find a particular account in Herbert's improved edit. of Ames's Typographical Antiquities, Vol. III, p. 1538, &c.
The author of this invective was William Roy. See Bale de Script. Brit. edit. 1548, p. 254, b:
“ With worldly pompe incredible,
“Gapynge in every man's face:
“ In their hondes steade of a mace.” Steevens. At the end of Fiddes's Life of Cardinal Wolsey, is a curious let. of Mr. Anstis's, on the subject of the two silver pillars usually borne before Cardinal Wolsey. This remarkable piece of pa. geantry did not escape the notice of Shakspeare. Percy.
Wolsey had two great crosses of silver, the one of his archbishoprick, the other of his legacy, borne before him whithersoever he went or rode, by two of the tallest priests that he could get within the realm. This is from Vol. III, p. 920, of Holinshed, and it seems from p. 837, that one of the pillars was a token of a cardinal, and perhaps he bore the other pillar as an archbishop.
side by side, the two Cardinals WOLSEY and CAMPEIUS; two Noblemen with the Sword and Mace. Then enter the King and Queen, and their Trains. The King takes place under the cloth of state; the two Cardinals sit under him as judges. The Queen takes place at some distance from the King. The Bishops place themselves on each side the court, in manner of a consistory; below them, the Scribes. The Lords sit next the Bishops. The Crier and the rest of the Attendants stand in convenient order about the stage.
Wol. Whilst our commission from Rome is read,
What's the need?
Be't so:--Proceed. Scribe. Say, Henry king of England, come into the
court. Crier. Henry king of England, &c. K. Hen. Here. Scribe. Say, Katharine queen of England, come into
court. Crier. Katharine queen of England, &c. . [The Queen makes no answer, rises out of her chair, goes
about the court,3 comes to the King, and kneels at his feet; then speaks.] Q. Kath. Sir, I desire you, do me right and justice ;*
One of Wolsey's crosses certainly denoted his being Legate, as the other was borne before him either as cardinal or archbishop. “On the day of the same moneth (says Hall) the cardinall removed out of his house called Yorke-place, with one crosse, saying, that he would he had never borne more, meaning that by hys crosse which he bore as legate, which degree-taking was his confusion.” Chron. Henry VIII, 104, b. Malone.
3 — goes about the court,] “Because (says Cavendish) she could not come to the king directlie, for the distance severed be. tween them.” Malone.
4 Sir, I desire you, do me right and justice; &c.] This speech of the Queen, and the King's reply, are taken from Holinshed, with the most trifiing variations. Steevens.
And to bestow your pity on me: for
5 At all times to your will conformable:] The character Queen Katharine here prides herself for, is given to another Queen in The Historie of the uniting of the Kingdom of Portugall to the Crowne of Castill, fo. 1600, p. 2387 " at which time Queene Anne his wife fell sicke of a rotten fever, the which in few daies brought her to another life; where with the King was much grieved, be. ing a lady wholly conformable to bis humour.” Reed. 6 nay, gave notice -] In modern editions:
nay, give not notice Though the author's common liberties of speech might justify the old reading, yet I cannot bnt think that not was dropped before notice, having the same letters, and would therefore follow Sir T. Hanmer's correction. Johnson.
Our author is so licentious in his construction, that I suspect no corruption. Malone.
Perhaps this inaccuracy (like a thousand others) is chargcable only on the blundering superintendants of the first folio.-Instead ofnay, we might read:
nor gave notice
And prove it too, against mine honour aught,
1 or my love and duty,
Against your sacred person, ] There seems to be an error in the phrase “ Against your sacred person;" but I don't know how to amend it. The sense would require that we should read, “ Towards your sacred person," or some word of a similar import, . which against will not bear: and it is not likely that against should be written by mistake for towards. M. Mason.
In the old copy there is not a comma in the preceding line af. ter duty. Mr. M. Mason has justly observed that, with such a punctuation, the sense requires-Towards your sacred person. A comma being placed at duty, the construction is-If you can re. port and prove aught against mine honour, my love and duty, or aught against your sacred person, &c. but I doubt whether this was our author's intention; for such an arrangement seems to make a breach of her honour and matrimonial bond to be some. thing distinct from an offence against the king's person, which is not the case. Perhaps, however, by the latter words Shakspeare meant, against your life. Malone.
- against my honour aught,
Against your sacred person, &c.] The meaning of this passage is sufficiently clear, but the construction of it has puzzled us all. It is evidently erroneous, but may be amended by merely removing the word or from the middle of the second line to the end of it. It will then run thus
- against my honour aught,
Against your sacred person, &c.