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Nay, sir Nicholas,
9 Nay, sir Nicholas,
Let it alone; my state now will but mock me.] The last verse would run more smoothly, by making the monosyllables change places:
Let it alone, my state will now but mock me. Whalley.
-poor E:lward Bohun:) The Duke of Buckingham's name was Stafford. Shakspeare was led into this mistake by Holinshed. Steevens.
This is not an expression thrown out at random, or by mistake but one strongly marked with historical propriety. The name of the Duke of Buckingham, most generally known, was Stafford; but the History of Remarkable Trials, 8vo. 1715, p. 170, says: “it seems he affected that surname (of Bohun] before that of Stafford, he being descended from the Bohuns, earls of Hereford.” His reason for this might be, because he was lord high constable of England by inheritance of tenure from the Bohuns; and as the poet has taken particular notice of this great oilice, does it not seem probable that he had fully considered of the Duke's foundation for assuming the pame of Bohun? In truth, the Duke's name was Bago's; for a gentleman of that very ancient family married the heiress of the barony of Stafford, and their son re. linquishing his paternal surname, assumed that of his mother, which continued in his posterity. Tollet Of all this probably Sbakspeare knew nothing. Malone.
I now seal it ; &c.] I now seal my truth, my loyalty, with blood, which blood shall one day make them groan. Fohnson.
Henry the eighth, life, honour, name, and all
[Exeunt Buck. and Train.
If the duke be guiltless,
Good angels keep it from us!
it be? You do not doubt my faith, sir? 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:
“That in their sleeps will mutter their affairs.” Steevens.
“ 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,
'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 fur. nished. They were young, and handsome; and of the best breed in the north. When they were ready 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 'll 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,
Let 's in;
- see this main end,] Thus the old copy. All, &c. perceive this main end of these counsels, namely, the French king's sister. The editor of the fourth 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. ? 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.