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Prepare there,
The duke is coming: see, the barge be ready;
And fit it with such furniture, as suits
The greatness of his person.

Nay, sir Nicholas,
Let it alone; my state now will but mock me.9
When I came hither, I was lord high constable,
And duke of Buckingham; now, poor Edward Bohun:1
Yet I am richer than my base accusers,
That never knew what truth meant: I now seal it;2
And with that blood will make them one day groan for’t.
My noble father, Henry of Buckingham,
Who first rais'd head against usurping Richard,
Flying for succour to his servant Banister,
Being distress'd, was by that wretch betray’d,
And without trial fell; God's peace be with him!
Henry the seventh succeeding, truly pitying
My father's loss, like a most royal prince,
Restor’d me to my honours, and, out of ruins,
Made my náme once more noble. Now his son,

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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
That made me happy, at one stroke has taken
For ever from the world. I had my trial,
And, must needs say, a noble one; which makes me
A little happier than my

wretched father:
Yet thus far we are one in fortunes -Both
Fell by our servants, by those men we lov’d most;
A most unnatural and faithless service!
Heaven has an end in all: Yet, you that hear me,
This from a dying man receive as certain :
Where you are liberal of your loves, and counsels,
Be sure, you be not loose;3 for those you make friends,
And give your hearts to, when they once perceive
The least rub in your fortunes, fall away
Like water from ye, never found again
But'where"they mean to sink ye. All good people,

Pray for me! I must now forsake ye; the last hour
Of my long weary life is come upon me.
And when you would say something that is sad,
Speak how I fell.-1 have done; and God forgive me!

[Exeunt Buck. and Train.
1 Gent. O, this is full of pity !-Sir, it calls,
I fear, too many curses on their heads,
That were the authors.
2 Gent.

If the duke be guiltless,
'Tis full of woe: yet I can give you inkling
Of an ensuing evil, if it fall,
Greater than this.
I Gent.

Good angels keep it from us!
What may

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:
“ There are a kind of men so loose of soul,

“That in their sleeps will mutter their affairs.” Steevens.
4 And when you would say something that is sad, &c.] So, in King
Richard II:

“ Tell thou the lamentable tale of me,
“ And send the hearers weeping to their bels.” Steevens .

strong faith ---) Is great fidelity. Johnson.


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I do not talk much.
2 Gent.

I am confident;
You shall, sir: Did you not of late days hear
A buzzing, of a separation
Between the king and Katharine ?
I Gent.

Yes, but it held not:
For when the king once heard it, out of anger
He sent command to the lord mayor, straight
To stop the rumour, and allay those tongues.
That durst disperse it.
2 Gent.

But that slander, sir,
Is found a truth now: for it grows again
Fresher than e'er it was; and held for certain,6
The king will venture at it. Either the cardinal,
Or some about him near, have, out of malice
To the good queen, possess'd him with a scruple
That will undo her: To confirm this too,
Cardinal Campeius is arriv'd, and lately;
As all think, for this business.
I Gent.

'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?
Lord chamberlain.

Good day to both your graces.
Suf. How is the king employ'd ?

I left him private,
Full of sad thoughts and troubles.

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 ?

'Tis so;

> 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

These news are every where; every tongue speaks them,
And every true heart weeps for 't: All, that dare
Look into these affairs, see this main end,'-
The French king's sister." Heaven will one day open
The king's eyes, that so long have slept upon
This bold bad man.

And free us from his slavery.
Nor. We had need pray,
And heartily, for our deliverance;
Or this imperious man will work us all
From princes into pages:9 all men's honours
Lie in one lump before him, to be fashion'd
Into what pitch he please.3

For me, my lords,
I love hiin not, nor scar liim; there's my creed:
As I am made without him, so I 'll stand,
If the king please; his curses and his blessings
Touch me alike, they are breath I not believe in.
I knew him, and I know him; so I leave him
To him, that made him proud, the pope.

Let 's in;
And, with some other business, put the king


- 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.

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