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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 ;i 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,)] 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;1 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 ho. nour to the whole court, that he speaks the Gerilir:al's sentiments VOL. XI.


And thus far clear him. Now, what mov’d me to 't-
I will be bold with time, and your attention :-
Then mark the inducement. Thus it came;-give heed

My conscience first receiv'd a tenderness,
Scruple, and prick,+ on certain speeches utter'd
By the bishop of Bayonne, then French ambassador;
Who had been hither sent on the debating
A marriage,5 'twixt the duke of Orleans and
Our daughter Mary: l’the progress of this business,
Ere a determinate resolution, he
(I mean, the bishop) did require a respite;
Wherein he might the king his lord advertise
Whether our daughter were legitimate,
Respecting this our marriage with the dowager,
Sometimes our brother's wife. This respite shook
The bosom of my conscience, 6 enter'd me,
Yea, with a splitting power, and made to tremble
The region of my breast; which forc'd such way,

upon the point in question ; and clears him from any attempt, or. wish, to stir that business. Theobald.

4 Scruple, and prick,] Prick of conscience was the term in confession. Fohnson.

The expression is from Holinshed, where the king says: “ The special cause that moy'd me unto this matter was a certaine scru. pulositie that pricked my conscience," &c. See Holinshed, p. 907.

Stecvens. 5 A marriage,] Old copy-- And marriage. Corrected by Mr. Pope. Malone. 6- This respite shook

The bosom of my conscience,] Though this reading be sense, yet, I verily believe, the poet wrote:

The bottom of my conscience, Shakspeare, in all his historical plays, was a most diligent ob. server of Holinshed's Chronicle. Now Holinshed, in the speech which he has given to King Henry upon this subject, makes him deliver himself thus: “Which words, once conceived within the secret bottom of my conscience, ingendred such a scrupulous doubt, that my conscience was incontinently accombred, vexed, and disquieted.” Vid. Life of Henry VIII, p. 907. Theobald.

The phrase recommended by Mr. Theobald occurs again, in King Henry VI, Part I:

“ for therein should we read

“ The very botton and soul of hope.” It is repeated also in Measure for Measure, All's Well that Ends TVell, King Henry VI, P. II, Coriolanus, &c. Steerens.

That many maz’d considerings did throng,
And press'd in with this caution. First, methoughi,
I stood not in the smile of heaven; who had
Commanded nature, that my lady's womb,
If it conceiv'd a male child by me, should
Do no more offices of life to 't, than
The grave does to the dead: for her male issue
Or died where they were made, or shortly after
This world had air'd them: Hence I took a thought,
This was a judgment on me; that my kingdom,
Well worthy the best heir o'the world, should not
Be gladded in ’t by me: Then follows, that
I weigh'd the danger which my realms stood in
By this my issue's fail; and that gave to me
Many a groaning throe. Thus hulling in
The wild sea? of my conscience, I did steer
Toward this remedy, whereupon we are.
Now present here together; that's to say,
I meant to rectify my conscience,—which
I then did feel full sick, and yet not well,
By all the reverend fathers of the land,
And doctors learn’d.-- First, I began in private
With you, my lord of Lincoln; you remember
How under my oppression I did reek,
When I first mov'd you.

Very well, my liege.
K. Hen. I have spoke long; be pleas’d yourself to say
How far you satisfy'd me.

So please your highness, The question did at first so stagger me, Bearing a state of mighty moment in 't, And consequence of dread that I committed The daring'st counsel which I had, to doubt; And did entreat your highness to this course, Which you are running here.

7- hulling in

The wild sea - ] That is, floating without guidance; tossed here and there. Fohnson.

The phrase belongs to navigation. A ship is said to hull, when she is dismasted, and only her hull, or hulk, is left at the direction and mercy of the waves. So, in The Alarum for London, 1602:

“ And they lye hulling up and down the stream.” Steevens, K. Hen.

I then mov'd you,
My lord of Canterbury; and got your leave
To make this present summons:-Unsolicited
I left no reverend person in this court;
But by particular consent proceeded,
Under your hands and seals. Therefore, go on :
For no dislike i'the world against the person
Of the good queen, but the sharp thorny points
Of my alleged reasons, drive this forward :
Prove but our marriage lawful, by my life,
And kingly dignity, we are contented
To wear our mortal state to come, with her,
Katharine our queen, before the primest creature
That's paragon'd o'the world. 9

So please your highness,
The queen being absent, 'tis a needful fitness
That we adjourn this court till further day:
Mean while must be an carnest motion
Made to the queen, to call back her appeal
She intends unto his holiness. [They rise to depart.?

8 I then mov'd you,] “I moved it in confession to you, my lord of Lincoln, then my ghostly father. And forasmuch as then you yourself were in some doubt, you moved me to ask the counsel of all these my lords. Whereupon I moved you, my lord of Canter. bury, first to have your licence, in as much as you were metropoli. tan, to put this matter in question; and so I did of all of you, my lords.” Holinshed's Life of Henry VIII, p. 908. Theobald.

. Thats paragon'd o' the world.] Sir T. Hanmer reads, I think, better:

the primest creature That's paragon oʻthe world. Fohnson. So, in The Two Gentlemen of Verona:

“No: but she is an earthly paragon.Again, in Cymbeline :

" an angel! or, if not,

" An earthly paragon." To paragon, however, is a verb used by Shakspeare, both in An. tony and Cleopatra, and Othello:

“ If thou with Cæsar paragon again
“My man of men.
“La maid

“ That paragons description and wild fame.” Steevens. i They rise to depart.] Here the modern editors add: [ The King speaks to Cranmer.] This marginal direction is not found in the old folio, and was wrongly introduced by some subsequent editor.

K. Hen.

I may perceive, [.Aside. These cardinals trifle with me: I abhor This dilatory sloth, and tricks of Rome. My learn’d and well-beloved servant, Cranmer, Pr’ythee return! with thy approach, I know, My comfort comes along. Break up the court: I say, set on.

Exeunt, in manner as they entered.


Palace at Bridewell.

A Room in the Queen's Apartment.
The Queen, and some of her Women, at work.2
Q. Kath. Take thy lute, wench: my soul grows sad

with troubles ; Sing, and disperse them, if thou canst: leave working,


Orpheus with his lute made trees,
And the mountain-tops, that freeze,

Bow themselves, when he did sing:
To his musick, plants, and flowers,
Ever sprung; as sun, and showers,

There had made a lasting spring.

Cranmer was now absent from court on an embassy, as appears from the last scene of this act, where Cromwell informs Wolsey that he is returned and installed archbishop of Canterbury:

“ My learn'd and well-beloved servant, Cranmer,

« Prythee, return! ” is no more than an apostrophe to the absent bishop of that name.

Ridley. 2- at work. Her majesty (says Cavendish) on being ina formed that the cardinals were coming to visit her, “rose up, having a skein of red silke about her neck, being at work with her maidens." Cavendish attended Wolsey in this visit; and the Queen's answer, in p. 275, is exactly conformable to that which he has recorded, and which he appears to have heard her pro. nounce. Malone.

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