Page images
PDF

I will implore: if not; i'the name of God,
Your pleasure be fulfill’a!
Wol.

: You have here, lady,
(And of your choice) these reverend fathers; men
Of singular integrity and learning,
Yea, the elect of the land, who are assembled
To plead your cause : It shall be therefore bootless,
That longer you'desire'the court ;8 as well

"defer
For your own quiet, as to rectify
What is unsettled in the king.
Cam.

His grace
Hath spoken well, and justly: Therefore, madam,
It's fit this royal session do proceed;
And that, without delay, their arguments
Be now produc'd, and heard.
Q. Kath.

Lord cardinal,
To you I speak.
Wol.

Your pleasure, madam ?
Q. Kath.

Sir,
I am about to weep;' but, thinking that
We are a queen, (or long have dream'd so) certain,
The daughter of a king, my drops of tears
I'll turn to sparks of fire.
Vol.

Be patient yet.
Q. Kath. I will, when you are humble; nay, before,
Or God will punish me. I do believe,
Induc'd by potent circumstances, that
You are mine enemy; and make my challenge,
You shall not be my judge:' for it is you

8 That longer you desire the court;] That you desire to protract, the business of the court; that you solicit a more distant session and trial. To pray for a longer day, i. e. a more distant one, when the trial or execution of criminals is agitated, is yet the language of the bar. --- In the fourth folio, and all the modern editions, defer is substituted for desire. Malone.

9 I am about to weep; &c.] Shakspeare has given almost a similar sentiment to Hermione, in The Winter's Tale, on an almost similar occasion:

“I am not prone to weeping, as our sex
“ Commonly are, &c.—but I have
“ That honourable grief lodg'd here, which burns

“ Worse than tears drown;" &c. Steevens. 1- and make my challenge, You shall not be my judge:] Challenge is here a verbum juris,

Have blown this coal betwixt my lord and me
Which God's dew quench!—Therefore, I say again,
I utterly abhor, yea, from my soul,
Refuse you for my judge;? whom, yet once more,
I hold my most malicious foe, and think not
At all a friend to truth.
Wol.

I do profess,
You speak not like yourself; who ever yet
Have stood to charity, and display'd the effects
Of disposition gentle, and of wisdom
O’ertopping woman's power. Madam, you do me wrong:
I have no spleen against you; nor injustice
For you, or any: how far I have proceeded,
Or how far further shall, is warranted
By a commission from the consistory,
Yea, the whole consistory of Rome. You chargé me,
That I have blown this coal: I do deny it:
The king is present: if it be known to him,
That I gainsay 3 my deed, how may he wound,
And worthily, my falsehood? yea, as much
As you have done my truth. But if4 he know
That I am free of your report, he knows,
I am not of your wrong. Therefore in him
It lies, to cure me: and the cure is, to
Remove these thoughts from you: The which before
His highness shall speak ini, I do beseech
You, gracious madam, to unthink your speaking,
And to say so no more.

a law term. The criminal, when he refuses a juryman, says--1 challenge him. Johnson. % I utterly abhor, yea, from my soul,

Refuse you for my judge;] These are not mere words of pas. sion, but technical terms in the canon law.

Detestor and Recuso. The former, in the language of canonists, signifies no more, than I protest against. Blackstone.

The words are Holinshed's: " and therefore openly protested that she did utterly abhor, refuse, and forsake such a judge.”

Malone. 3 — gainsay ] i. e. deny. So, in Lord Surrey's translation of the fourth Book of the Æneid:

“I hold thee not, nor yet gainsay thy words.” Steevens. 4- But if-) The conjunction-But, which is wanting in the old copy, was supplied, for the sake of measure, by Sir T. Hanmer. Steevens.

Q. Kath.

My lord, my lord, I am a simple woman, much too weak To oppose your cunning. You are meek, and humble

mouth'd; You sign your place and calling,s in full seeming, With meekness and humility : but your heart Is cramm'd with arrogancy, spleen, and pride. You have, by fortune, and his highness' favours, Gone slightly o’er low steps; and now are mounted, Where powers are your retainers: and your words, Domesticks to you, serve your wiil,6 as 't please

5 You sign your place and calling, ] Sign, for answer Warburton.

I think, to sign, must here be to show, to denote. By your out. ward meekness and humility, you show that you are of an holy order, but, &c. Fohnson. So, with a kindred sense, in Julius Cesar:

Sign'd in thy spoil, and crimson d in thy lethe.” Steedens. 6 Where powers are your retainers : and your words,

Domesticks to you, serve your will,] You have now got power at vour beck, following in your retinue; and words therefore are degraded to the servile state of performing an office which vou shall give them In humbler and more common terms: daving now got power, you do not regard your word. Johnson.

The word puwer, when used in the plural and applied to one person only, will not bear the meaning that Dr. Johnson wishes to give it!

Bv powers are meant the Emperor and the King of France, in the pav of one or the other of hon Wolsev was constantly retained, and it is well known that Wolses entertained some of the nobility of England among his domestics, and had an absolute power over the rest. M Mason.

Whoever were pointed at by the word powers, Shakspeare, surely, does not mean to say that Wolsey was retained by them, but that they were retainers, or subservient, to Wolsev. Malone.

I believe that-powers, in the present instance, are used merely to express persons in whom power is lo lged The Queen would in. sinuate that Wolsey had rendered the highest officers of state subservient to his will. Steevens. I believe we should read:

Where powers are your retainers, and your wards,

Domesticks to you, &c. The Queen rises naturally in her description. She paints the pow. ers of government depending upon Wolsey under three images; as his retainers, his wards, his domestick servants. T r hitt

So, in Storer's Life and Death of Thomas Wolsey, Carilinal, a poem, 1599:

" I must have notice where their warıls must dwell:
“I car'd not for the gentry, for I had
“Yong nobles of the land,” &c. Steevens.

Yourself pronounce their office. I must tell you,
You tender more you person's honour, than
Your high profession spiritual: That again
I do refuse you for my judge; and here,
Before you all, appeal unto the pope,
To bring my whole cause 'fore his holiness,
And to be judg’d by him.

[She curt sies to the King, and offers to depart. Cam.

The queen is obstinate,
Stubborn to justice, apt to accuse it, and
Disdainful to be try'd by it; ’tis not well.
She's going away.

K, Hen. Call her again.'
Crier. Katharine queen of England, come into the

court. Grif. Mudum, you are call’d back. Q. Kuth. What need you note it? pray you, keep your

way: When you are callid, return.--Now the Lord help, They ex me past my patience !-pray you, pass on: I will not tarry; no, nor ever more, Upon tiis business, my appearance make In any of their courts.

[Exeunt Queen, GRIF, and her other Attendants. K. Hen.

Go thy ways, Kate:
That man i' the world, who shall report lie has
A better wife, let him in nousht be trusted,
For speaking false in that: Thou art, alone,
(If thy rare qualities, sweet gentleness,
Thy meekness saint-ike, wife-ise government
Obeying in commanding:-und thy parts
Sovereign and pious else, could speak thee out,?)
The queen of earthly queens :-She is noble born;
And, like her true nobility, she has
Carried herself towards me.

Most gracious sir,
In humblest manner I require your highness,

7could speak thee out,)] If thy several qualities had tongues to speak thy praise Johnson . Rather-had tongues capable of speaking out thv maits i e. of doing them extensive justice. In Cymbeline we have a similar expression:

" You speak him far.” Steevens.,

That it shall please you to declare, in hearing
Of all these ears, (for where I am robb’d and bound,
There must I be unloos’d; although not there
At once and fully satisfied, 8) whether ever I
Did broach this business to your highness; or
Laid any scruple in your way, which might
Induce you to the question on't? or ever
Have to you, but with thanks to God for such
A royal lady,spake one the least word, might
Be to the prejudice of her present state,
Or touch of her good person?
K. Hen.

My lord cardinal,
I do excuse you; yea, upon mine honour,
I free you from 't. You are not to be taught
That you have many enemies, that know not
Why they are so, but, like to village curs,
Bark when their fellows do: by some of these
The queen is put in anger. You are excus'd:
But will you be more justify’d? you ever
Have wish'd the sleeping of this business; never
Desir'd it to be stirr'd ;1 but oft have hinder'd; oft
The passages made toward it :-on my honour,
I speak my good lord cardinal to this point, 3

8 although not there.

At once and fully satisfied,) 7 The sense which is encumbered with words, is no more than this-I must be loosed, though when so loosed, I shall not be satisfied fully and at once; that is, I shall not be immediately satisfied. Johnson.

9- might - ) Old copy, redundantly—that might. Steerens.

1 Desir'd it to be stirr'd;] The useless words to be, might, in my opinion, be safely omitted, as they clog the metre, without enforcement of the sense. Steedens.

2 The passages made toward it:] i. e. closed, or fastened. So, in The Comedy of Errors, Act III, sc.i:

“Why at this time the doors are made against you." For the present explanation and pointing, I alone am answerable. A similar phrase occurs in Macoeth:

Stop up the access and passage to remorse." Yet the sense in which these words have hitherto been received may be the true one. Steevens. 3 — on my honour,

I speak my good lord cardinal to this point,] The King, having first addressed to Wolsey, breaks off; and declares upon his honour to the whole court, that he speaks the Garliral's sentiments VOL. XI.

Вь

« PreviousContinue »