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As ravenous fishes, do a vessel follow
That is new trimm'd; but benefit no further
Than vainly longing. What we oft do best,
By sick interpreters, once weak ones,3 is
Not ours, or not allow'd ;* what worst, as oft,
Hitting a grosser quality, 5 is cried up
For our best act. If we shall stand still,
In fear our motion will be mock'd or carp'd at,
We should take root here where we sit, or sit
State statues only.
K. Hen.

Things done well,7
And with a care, exempt themselves from fear; .
Things done without example, in their issue
Are to be fear’d. Have you a precedent
Of this commission? I believe, not any.
We must not rend our subjects from our laws,
And stick them in our will. Sixth part of each?
A trembling contribution! Why, we take,
From every tree, lop, bárk, and part o’the timber;8

2 To cope - To engage with; to encounter. The word is stili used in some counties. Johnson.

3 once weak ones,] The modern editors read-or weak ones; but once is not unfrequently used for sometime, or at one time or other, among our ancient writers. So, in the 13th Idea of Drayton:

" This diamond shall once consume to dust." Again, in The Merry Wives of Windsor :-“I pray thee, once to. night give my sweet Nan this ring."

Again, in Leicester's Commonwealth: if God should take from us her most excellent majesty (as once he will) and so leave us destitute " Steevens. 4 or not allow'd;] Not approved. See Vol. III, p. 72, n. 8.

Malone. 5 what worst, as oft,

Hitting a grosser quality,] The worst actions of great men are commended by the vulgar, as more accommodated to the grossness of their notions. Johnson.

6 For our best act.] I suppose, for the sake of measure, we should read-action. Perhaps the three last letters of this word were accidentally omitted by the compositor. Steevens.

9 Things done well,] Sir T. Hanmer, very judiciously in my opinion, completes the measure by reading:

Things that are done well. Steevens. 8 From every tree, lop, bark, and part o' the timber;] Lop is a substantive, and signifies the branches. Warburton.



And, though we leave it with a root, thus hack’d,
The air will drink the sap. To every county,
Where this is question'd, send our letters, with
Free pardon to each man that has denied
The force of this commission: Pray, look to't;
I put it to your care.

A word with you. [To the Secretary.
Let there be letters writ to every shire,
Of the king's grace and pardon. The griev'd commons
Hardly conceive of me; let it be nois'd,
That, through our intercession, this revokement
And pardon comes :9 I shall anon advise you
Further in the proceeding.

[Exit Secretary Enter Surveyor. Q. Kath. I am sorry, that the Duke of Buckingham Is run in your displeasure. K. Hen.

It grieves many : The gentleman is learnd, and a most rare speaker, To nature none more bound; his training such, That he may furnish and instruct great teachers, And never seek for aid out of himself.3 Yet see When these so noble benefits shall prove Not well dispos’d,* the mind growing once corrupt,

9 That, through our intercession, &c.] So, in Holinshed, p. 892: "The cardinali, to deliver himself from the evill will of the commons, purchased by procuring and advancing of this demand, affirmed, and caused it to be bruted abrode that through his intercession the king had pardoned and released all things." Steevens.

i Enter Surveyor.] It appears from Holinshed that his name was Charles Kryvet. Ritson.

2 The gentleman is learn'd, &c.) We understand from “The Prologue of the translatour,” that the Knyghte of the Swanne, a French romance, was translated at the request of this unfortunate nobleman. Copland, the printer, adds, “ this present history compyled, 'named Helyas the Knight of the Swanne, of whom linially is descended my said lord.The duke was executed on Friday the 17th of May, 1521. The book has no date. Steevens.

3 And never seek for aid out of himself.] Beyond the treasures of his own mind. Yohnson. Read:

And ne'er seek aid out of himself. Yet see.--. Ritson. 4 noble benefits

They turn to vicious forms, ten times more ugly.
Than ever they were fair. This man so complete,
Who was enroll’d 'mongst wonders, and when we,
Almost with ravish'd list’ning, could not find
His hour of speech a minute; he, my lady,
Hath into monstrous habits put the graces
That once were his, and is become as black
As if besmear'd in hell.5 Sit by us; you shall hear
(This was his gentleman in trust) of him
Things to strike honour sad.Bid him recount
The fore-recited practices; whereof
We cannot feel too little, hear too much.
Wol. Stand forth; and with bold spirit relate what

Most like a careful subject, have collected
Out of the duke of Buckingham.
K. Hen.

Speak freely.
Surv. First, it was usual with him, every day
It would infect his speech, That if the king
Should without issue die, he'd carry it6 so
To make the sceptre his: These very words
I have heard him utter to his son-in-law,
Lord Aberga'ny; to whom by oath he menac'd
Revenge upon the cardinal.

Please your highness, note
This dangerous conception in this point.?
Not friended by his wish, to your high person
His will is most malignant; and it stretches
Beyond you, to your friends.
B. Kath.

My learn'd lord cardinal, Deliver all with charity. K. Hen.

Speak on:

Not well disposd,] Great gifts of nature and education, not joined with good dispositions. Fohnson.

is become as black
As if besmeard in hell.] So, in Othello:

“ Her name, that was as fresh
“ As Dian's visage, is now begrim'd and black

“ As mine own face.” Steevens: 6- he'd carry it -] Old copy-he'l. Corrected by Mr. Rowe. Malune. . ? This dangerous conception in this point.] Note this particular part of this dangerous design. Fohnson.

How grounded he his title to the crown,
Upon our fail? to this point hast thou heard him
At any time speak aught?

He was brought to this
By a vain prophecy of Nicholas Hopkins. 8

K. Hen. What was that Hopkins?

Sir, a Chartreux friar.
His confessor; who fed him every minute
With words of sovereignty.
K. Hen.

How know'st thou this? Surv. Not long before your highness sped to France, The duke being at the Rose, within the parish Saint Lawrence Poultney, did of me demand What was the speech amongst the Londoners Concerning the French journey: I reply'd, . Men fear'd, the French would prove perfidious, To the king's danger. Presently the duke Said, 'Twas the fear, indeed; and that he doubted, 'Twould prove the verity of certain words Spoke by a holy monk; that oft, says he, Hath sent so me, wishing me to permit

? By a vain prophecy of Nicholas Hopkins.] In former editions:

By a vain phrophecy of Nicholas Henton. We heard before from Brandon, of one Nicholas Hopkins; and now his name is changed into Henton; so that Brandon and the surveyor seem to be in two stories. There is, however, but one and the same person meant, Hopkins, as I have restored it in the 1ext, for perspicuity's sake; yet it will not be any difficulty to account for the other name, when we come to consider, that he was a monk of the convent, called Henton, near Bristol. So both Hall and Holinshed acquaint us. And he might, according to the custom of these times, be called Nicholas of Henton, from the place; as Hopkins from his family. Theobald.

This mistake, as it was undoubtedly made by Shakspeare, is worth a note. It would be doing too great an honour to the players to suppose them capable of being the authors of it.

Steevens. Shakspeare was perhaps led into the mistake by inadvertently referring the words, “called Henton," in the passage already quoted from Holinshed, (p. 212, n. 5,) not to the monastery, but to the monk. Malone.

9 The duke being at the Rose, &c.) This house was purchased about the year 1561, by Richard Hill, sometime master of the Merchant Tailors company, and is now the Merchant Tailors school, in Suffolk-lane. Whalley.

John de la Court, my chaplain, a choice hour
To hear from him a matter of some moment :
Whom after under the confession's sealı
He solemnly had sworn, that, what he spoke,
My chaplain to no creature living, but
To me, should utter, with demure confidence
This pausingly ensud, Neither the king, nor his heirs,
(Tell you the duke) shall prosper: bid him strive
To gain the love of the commonalty; the duke
Shall govern England.
Q. Kath.

If I know you well,
You were the duke's surveyor, and lost your office
On the complaint o' the tenants: Take good heed,
You charge not in your spleen a noble person,
And spoil your nobler soul! I say, take heed;
Yes, heartily beseech you.
K. Hen.

Let him on :-
Go forward.

Surv. On my soul, I 'll speak but truth. I told my lord the duke, By the devil's illusions This monk might be deceiv'd; and that 'twas dang'rous

for him,3

1 under the confession's seal -1 All the editions, down from the beginning, have commission's. But what commission's seal? That is a question, I dare say, none of our diligent editors asked themselves. The text must be restored, as I have corrected it; and honest Holinshed, (p. 863,] from wbom our author took the substance of this passage, may be called in as a testimony. “The duke in talk told the monk, that he had done very well to bind his chaplain, John de la Court, under the seal of confession, to keep secret such matter." Theobald. 2 To gain the love -] The old copy reads-To the love.

Steevens. For the insertion of the word gain I am answerable. From the corresponding passage in Holinshed, it appears evidently to have been omitted through the carelessness of the compositor: “ The said monke told to De la Court, neither the king nor his heirs should prosper, and that I should endeavour to purchase the good wills of the commonalty of England.”

Since I wrote the above, I find this correction had been made by the editor of the fourth folio. Malone. It had been adopted by Mr. Rowe, and all subsequent editors.

Steevens. 3- for him,] Old copy--for this. Corrected by Mr. Rowe.


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