Page images

Every thing that heard him play,
Even the billows of the sea,

Hung their heads, and then lay by.
In sweet musick is such art;
Killing care, and grief of heart,
Fall asleep, or, hearing, die.

Enter a Gentleman.
Q. Kath. How now?

Gent. An't please your grace, the two great cardinals Wait in the presence. 3 Q. Kath.

Would they speak with me? Gent. They willd me say so, madam. R. Kąth.

Pray their graces To come near. [Exit Gent.] What can be their business With me, a poor weak woman, fallen from favour? I do not like their coming, now I think on 't. They should be good men; their affairs as righteous:4 But all hoods make not monks.5


Peace to your highness! Q. Kath. Your graces find me here part of a house:

wife; I would be all, against the worst may happen. What are your pleasures with me, reverend lords?

IVol. May it please you, noble madam, to withdraw

3 Wait in the presence.) i. e. in the presence-chamber. So, in Peacham's Compleat Gentleman : “ The lady Anne of Bretaigne, passing thorow the presence in the court of France,” &c. Steevens.

4 They should be good men; their affairs as righteous:] Affairs, for professions, and then the sense is clear and pertinent. The proposition is they are priests. The illation, they are good men; for being understood: but if affairs be interpreted in its common signification, the sentence is absurd. Warburton.

The sentence has no great difficulty: Affairs means not their present errand, but the business of their calling Johnson.

Being churchmen they should be virtuons, and every business they undertake as righteous as their sacred office : but all hoods, &c.-The ignorant editor of the second folio, not understanding the line, substituted are for as; and this capricious alteration (with many others introduced by the same hand,) has been adopted by all the modern editors. Malone. all hoods make not monks.] Cucullus non facit monachum.




Into your private chamber, we shall give you
The full cause of our coming.
Q. Kath.

Speak it here;
There's nothing I have done yet, conscience,
Deserves a corner: 'Would, all other women
Could speak this with as free a soul as I do!
My lords, I care not, (so much I am happy
Above a number) if my actions :
Were tried by every tongue, every eye saw them,
Envy and base opinion set against them,
I know my life so even: If your business
Seek me out, and that way I am wife in, 8
Out with it boldly; Truth loves open dealing.



6 Envy and base opinion set against them,] I would be glad that my conduct were in some publick trial confronted with mine enemies, that envy and corrupt judgment might try their utmost power against me. Johnson.

Envy, in Shakspeare's age, often signified, malice. So, after. wards:

“ Ye turn the good we offer into enary." Malone. 7 Seek me out, &c.] I believe that a word has dropt out here, and that we should read:

- If your business

Seek speak out, and that way I am wise in; i. e. in the way that I can understand it. Tyrwhitt. The metre shows here is a syllable dropt. I would read:

I know my life so even. If 'tis your business

To seek me out, &c. Blackstone. The alteration proposed by Sir W. Blackstone injures one line as much as it improves the other. We might read: Doth seek me out,

Ritson. and that way I am wife in,] That is, if you come to ex. amine the title by which I am the King's wife ; or, if you come to know how I have behaved as a wife. The meaning, whatever it be, is so coarsely and unskilfully expressed, that the latter edi. tors have liked nonsense better, and contrarily to the ancient and only copy, have published:

And that way I am wise in. Fohnson. This passage is unskilfully expressed indeed; so much so, that I don't see how it can import either of the meanings that John. son contends for, or indeed any other. I therefore think that the modern editors have acted rightly in reading wise instead of wife, for which that word might easily have been mistaken; nor can I think the passage, so amended, nonsense, the meaning of it being this: "If your business relates to me, or to any thing of which I have any knowledge.” M. Mason.


Wol. Tanta est ergà te mentis integritas, regina sere

nissima, Q. Kath. O, good my lord, no Latin ;9 I am not such a truant since my coming, As not to know the language I have liv'd in: A strange tongue makes my cause more strange, sus

Pray, speak in English: here are some will thank you,
If you speak truth, for their poor mistress' sake;
Believe me, she has had much wrong: Lord cardinal,
The willing'st sin I ever yet committed,
May be absolv'd in English.

Noble lady,
I am sorry, my integrity should breed,
(And service to his majesty and you)
So deep suspicion, where all faith was meant.
We come not by the way of accusation,
To taint that honour every good tongue blesses;
Nor to betray you any way to sorrow;
You have too much, good lady: but to know
How you stand minded in the weighty difference
Between the king and you; and to deliver,
Like free and honest men, our just opinions,
And comforts to your cause.?

Most honour'd madam,
My lord of York-out of his noble nature,
Zeal and obedience he still bore your grace;
Forgetting, like a good man, your late censure
Both of his truth and him, (which was too far)-
Offers, as I do, in a sign of peace,
His service and his counsel.
Q. Kilh.

To betray me.



O good my lord, no Latin;] So, Holinshed, p. 908: “ Then began the cardinall to speake to her in Latine. Naie good my lord (quoth she) speake to me in English.” Steevens.

? (And service to his majesty and you)] This line stands so very aukwardly, that I am inclined to think it out of its place. The author perbaps wrote, as Mr. Edwards has suggested:

“ I am sorry my integrity sbould breed
“ So deep suspicion, where all faith was meant,
“ And service to his majesty and you.” Malone.

- to your cause.) Old copy-our cause. Corrected by the editor of the second folio. Malone.


My lords, I thank you both for your good wills,
Ye speak like honest men, (pray God, ye prove so!)
But how to make ye suddenly an answer,
In such a point of weight, so near mine honour,
(More near my life, I fear,) with my weak wit,
And to such men of gravity and learning,
In truth, I know not. I was set at work
Among my maids; full little, God knows, looking
Either for such men, or such business.
For her sake that I have been,3 (for I feel
The last fit of my greatness) good your graces,
Let me have time, and counsel, for my cause;
Alas! I am a woman, friendless, hopeless.
Wol. Madam, you wrong the king's love with these

Your hopes and friends are infinite.
Q. Kath.

In England,
But little for my profit: Can you think, lords,
That any Englishman dare give me counsel?
Or be a known friend, 'gainst his highness' pleasure,
(Though he be grown so desperate to be honest)*
And live a subject? Nay, forsooth, my friends,
They that must weigh out my affictions, 5
They that my trust must grow to, live not here;
They are, as all my other comforts, far hence,
In mine own country, lords.

I would, your grace
Would leave your griefs, and take my counsel.
Q. Kath.

How, sir? Cam. Put your main cause into the king's protection;


3 For her sake that I have been, &c.] For the sake of that royalty which I bave heretofore possessed. Malone.

(Though he be grown so desperate to be honest)] Do you think that any Englishman dare advise me; or, if any man should venture to advise with honesty, that he could live? Fohnson.

- weigh out my afflictions.) This phrase is obscure. To weigh out, is, in modern language, to deliver by weight; but this sense cannot be here admitted. To weigh is likewise to deliberate upon, to consider with due attention. This may, perhaps, be meant. Or the phrase, to weigh out, máy signify to counterbalance, to counteract with equal force. Johnson.

To weigh out is the same as to outweigh. In Macbeth, Shakspeare has overcome for come over. Steevens,

He's loving, and most gracious: 'twill be much
Both for your honour better, and your cause;
For, if the trial of the law o’ertake you,
You 'll part away disgrac'd.

He tells you rightly.
Q. Kath. Ye tell me what ye wish for both, my ruin:-
Is this your christian counsel? out upon ye!
Heaven is above all yet; there sits a judge,
That no king can corrupt,


mistakes us. Q. Kath. The more shame for ye;" holy men I

thought ye,
Upon my soul, two reverend cardinal virtues;
But cardinal sins, and hollow hearts, I fear ye:
Mend them for shame, my lords. Is this your

The cordial that ye bring a wretched lady?
A woman lost among ye, laugh'd at, scorn’d?
I will not wish


half my miseries,
I have more charity: But say, I warn'd ye;
Take heed, for heaven's sake, take heed, lest at once
The burden of my sorrows fall upon ye.

Wol. Madam, this is a mere distraction;
You turn the good we offer into envy.

Q. Kath. Ye turn me into nothing: Woe upon ye,
And all such false professors! Would ye have me
(If you have any justice, any pity;
If ye be any thing but churchmen's habits,)
Put my sick cause into his hands that hates me?
Alas! he has banish'd me his bed already ;
His love, too long ago: I am old, my lords,
And all the fellowship I hold now with him
Is only my obedience. What can happen
To me, above this wretchedness? all your studies
Make me a curse like this.

Your fears are worse.
Q. Kath. Have I liy'd thus long-(let me speak my-

self, Since virtue finds no friends,)-a wife, a true one?

6 The more shame for ye ;] If I mistake you, it is by your fault, not mine; for I thought you good. The distress of Katharine might have kept her from the quibble to which she is irresistibly, tempted by the word cardinal. Johnson.

« PreviousContinue »