Page images
PDF
EPUB

in the Habits of Doctors; after them, the Archbishop of Canterbury alone; after him, the Bishops of Lincoln, Ely, Rochester, and Saint Asaph;1 next them, with some small distance, follows a Gentleman bearing the Purse, with the Great Seal, and a Cardinal's Hat; then two Priests, bearing each a Silver Cross; then e Gentleman-Usher bare-headed, accompanied with a Sergeant at Arms, bearing a Silver Mace; then two Gentlemen, bearing two great Silver Pillars ;2 after them,

“ Laid out at sundry times, of my own ready money, abowt the gainynge of ower comysion, as followeth, 1597.

" Laid out for goinge to the corte to the Master of the Re. queasts, xijd.

Item. Paid unto the clerk of the Senette, 40s." Malone.

1- Archbishop of Canterbury, Bishops of Lincoln, Ely, Rochester, and Saint Asaph;] These were, William Warham, John Longland, Nicholas West, John Fisher, and Henry Standish. West, Fisher, and Standish, were counsel for the Queen. Reed.

1_ Pillars;) Pillars were some of the ensigns of dignity carried before cardinals. Sir Thomas More, when he was speaker to the commons, advised them to admit Wolsey into the house with his maces and his pillars. More's Life of Sir T. More.

i Johnson. So, in The Treatous, a satire on Cardinal Wolsey, no date, but published between the execution of the Duke of Buckingham and the repudiation of Queen Katharine. Of this curiosity the reader will find a particular account in Herbert's improved edit. of Ames's Typographical Antiquities, Vol. III, p. 1538, &c.

The author of this invective was William Roy. See Bale de Script. Brit. edit. 1548, p. 254, b:

“ With worldly pompe incredible,
“Before him rideth two prestes stronge;
“ And they bear two crosses right longe,

“ Gapynge in every man's face:
After them folowe two laye men secular,
“ And each of theym holdyn a pillar,

« In their hondes steade of a mace.” Steevens. At the end of Fiddes's Life of Cardinal Wolsey, is a curious let. of Mr. Anstis's, on the subject of the two silver pillars usually borne before Cardinal Wolsey. This remarkable piece of pa. geantry did not escape the notice of Shakspeare. Percy.

Wolsey had two great crosses of silver, the one of his archbishoprick, the other of his legacy, borne before him whithersoever he went or rode, by two of the tallest priests that he could get within the realm. This is from Vol. III, p. 920, of Holinshed, and it seems from p. 837, that one of the pillars was a token of a cardinal, and perhaps he bore the other pillar as an archbishop.

Tollet.

side by side, the two Cardinals WOLSEY and CAMPEIUS; two Noblemen with the Sword and Mace. Then enter the King and Queen, and their Trains. The King takes place under the cloth of state; the two Cardinals sit under him as judges. The Queen takes place at some distance from the King. The Bishops place themselves on each side the court, in manner of a consistory; below them, the Scribes. The Lords sit next the Bishops. The Crier and the rest of the Attendants stand in convenient order about the stage: Wol. Whilst our commission from Rome is read, Let silence be commanded. K. Hen.

What's the need?
It hath already publickly been read,
And on all sides the authority allow'd;
You may then spare that time.
Wol.

Be't so :-Proceed.
Scribe. Say, Henry king of England, come into the

court.
Crier. Henry king of England, &c.
K. Hen. Here.
Scribe. Say, Katharine queen of England, come into

court. Crier. Katharine queen of England, &c. [The Queen makes no answer, rises out of her chair, goes

about the court,3 comes to the King, and kneels at his
feet; then speaks.]
Q. Kath. Sir, I desire you, do me right and justice ;4

One of Wolsey's crosses certainly denoted his being Legate, as the other was borne before him either as cardinal or archbishop. “On the day of the same moneth (says Hall) the cardinall removed out of his house called Yorke-place, with one crosse, saying, that he would he had never borne more, meaning that by hys crosse which he bore as legate, which degree-taking was bis confusion." Chron. Henry VIII, 104, b. Malone.

3 goes about the court,] “Because (says Cavendish) she could not come to the king directlie, for the distance severed between them.” Malone.

4 Sir, I desire you, do me right and justice; &c.] This speech of the Queen, and the King's reply, are taken from Holinshed, with the most trifling variations. Steevens.

And to bestow your pity on me: for
I am a most poor woman, and a stranger,
Born out of your dominions; having here
No judge indifferent, nor no more assurance
Of equal friendship and proceeding. Alas, sir,
In what have I offended you? what cause
Hath my behaviour given to your displeasure,
That thus you should proceed to put me off,
And take your good grace from me? Heaven witness,
I have been to you a true and humble wife,
At all times to your will conformable:5
Ever in fear to kindle your dislike,
Yea, subject to your countenance; glad, or sorry,
As I saw it inclin'd. When was the hour,
I ever contradicted your desire,
Or made it not mine too? Or which of your friends
Have not I strove to love, although I knew
He were mine enemy? what friend of mine,
That had to him deriv'd your anger, did I
Continue in my liking? nay, gave notice
He was from thence discharg'd? Sir, call to mind
That I have been your wife, in this obedience,
Upward of twenty years, and have been blest
With many children by you : If, in the course
And process of this time, you can report,

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

5 At all times to your will conformable:] The character Queen Katharine here prides herself for, is given to another Queen in

The Historie of the uniting of the Kingdom of Portugall to the Crowne of Castill, fo. 1600, p. 258: “- at which time Queene Anne his wife fell sicke of a rotten fever, the which in few daies brought her to another life; wherewith the King was much grieved, being a lady wholly conformable to his humour.” Reed.. 6 nay, gave notice -] In modern editions:

nay, gave not notice Though the author's common liberties of speech might justify the old reading, yet I cannot but think that not was dropped he. fore notice, having the same letters, and would therefore follow Sir T. Hanmer's correction. Fohnson.

Our author is so licentious in his construction, that I suspect no corruption. Malone.

Perhaps this inaccuracy (like a thousand others) is chargeable only on the blundering superintendants of the first folio.---Instead of-onay, we might read:

nor gave notice
He was from thence discharg'd? Steevens. , ' ;

And prove it too, against mine honour aught,
My bond to wedlock, or my love and duty,
Against your sacred person,7 in God's name,
Turn me away; and let the foul'st contempt
Shut door upon me, and so give me up
To the sharpest kind of justice. Please you, sir,
The king, your father, was reputed for
A prince most prudent, of an excellent
And unmatch'd wit and judgment: Ferdinand,
My father, king of Spain, was reckon'd one
The wisest prince, that there had reign’d by many
A year before: It is not to be question'd
That they had gather'd a wise council to them
Of every realm, that did debate this business,
Who deem'd our marriage lawful: Wherefore I humbly
Beseech you, sir, to spare me, till I may .
Be by my friends in Spain advis’d; whose counsel

7 or my love and duty,

Against your sacred person, ] There seems to be an error in the phrase “ Against your sacred person;" but I don't know how to amend it. The sense would require that we should read, “ Towards your sacred person," or some word of a similar import, which against will not bear: and it is not likely that against should be written by mistake for towards. M. Mason.

In the old copy there is not a comma in the preceding line af. ter duty. Mr. M. Mason has justiy observed that, with such a punctuation, the sense requires - Towards your sacred person. A comma being placed at duty, the construction is-. If you can report and prove aught against mine honour, my love and duty, or aught against your sacred person, &c. but I doubt whether this was our author's intention; for such an arrangement seems to make a breach of her honour and matrimonial bond to be something distinct from an offence against the king's person, which is not the case. Perhaps, however, by the latter words Shakspeare meant, against your life. Malone.

against my honour aught, My bond to wedlock, or my love and duty

Against your sacred person, &c.] The meaning of this passage is sufficiently clear, but the construction of it has puzzled us all. It is evidently erroneous, but may be amended by merely removing the word or from the middle of the second line to the end of it. It will then run thus

against my honour aught,
My bond to wedlock,-my love and duty, or

Against your sacred person, &c. This slight alteration makes it grammatical, as well as intelligi. ble. M. Mason.

I will implore: if not; i'the name of God,
Your pleasure be fulfill'd!
Woi.

You have here, lady,
(And of your choice) these reverend fathers; men
Of singular integrity and learning,
Yea, the elect of the land, who are assembled
To plead your cause : It shall be therefore bootless,
That longer you desire the court;& as well
For your own quiet, as to rectify
What is unsettled in the king.
Cam.

His grace
Hath spoken well, and justly: Therefore, madam,
It's fit this royal session do proceed;
And that, without delay, their arguments
Be now produc'd, and heard.
Q. Kath.

Lord cardinal,-
To you I speak.
Wol.

Your pleasure, madam?
Q. Kath.

Sir,
I am about to weep; 9 but, thinking that
We are a queen, (or long have dream'd so) certain,
The daughter of a king, my drops of tears
I'll turn to sparks of fire.
Wol.

Be patient yet.
Q. Kath. I will, when you are humble; nay, before,
Or God will punish me. I do believe,
Induc'd by potent circumstances, that
You are mine enemy; and make my challenge,
You shall not be my judge:' for it is you

8 That longer you desire the court;] That you desire to protract the business of the court; that you solicit a more distant session and trial. To pray for a longer day, i. e. a more distant one, when the trial or execution of criminals is agitated, is yet the language of the bar'.-In the fourth folio, and all the modern editions, defer is substituted for desire. Malone.

9 I am about to weep; &c.] Shakspeare has given almost a si. milar sentiment to Hermione, in The Winter's Tale, on an almost similar occasion:

“I am not prone to weeping, as our sex
« Commonly are, &c.—but I have
“ That honourable grief lodg'd here, which burns

“Worse than tears drown;" &c. Steevens. 1_ and make my challenge, You shall not be my judge:] Challenge is here a verbum juris,

« PreviousContinue »