Page images
PDF
EPUB

Have blown this coal betwixt my lord and me
Which God's dew quench! Therefore, I say again,
I utterly abhor, yea, from my soul,
Refuse you for my judge ;? whom, yet once more,
I hold my most malicious foe, and think not
At all a friend to truth.
Wol.

I do profess,
You speak not like yourself; who ever yet
Have stood to charity, and display'd the effects
Of disposition gentle, and of wisdom
O’ertopping woman's power. Madam, you do me wrong:
I have no spleen against you; nor injustice
For you, or any: how far I have proceeded,
Or how far further shall, is warranted
By a commission from the consistory,
Yea, the whole consistory of Rome. You charge me,
That I have blown this coal: I do deny it:
The king is present: if it be known to him,
That I gainsay 3 my deed, how may he wound,
And worthily, my falsehood? yea, as much
As you have done my truth. But if4 he know
That I am free of your report, he knows,
I am not of your wrong. Therefore in him
It lies, to cure me: and the cure is, to
Remove these thoughts from you: The which before
His highness shall speak in, I do beseech
You, gracious madam, to unthink your speaking,
And to say so no more. .

a law term. The criminal, when he refuses a juryman, says—I challenge him. Johnson. 2 I utterly abhor, yea, from my soul,

Refuse you for my judge;] These are not mere words of passion, but technical terms in the canon law.

Detestor and Recuso. The former, in the language of canonists, signifies no more, than I protest against. Blackstone.

The words are Holinsbed's: "--and therefore openly protested that she did utterly abhor, refuse, and forsake such a judge."

Malone. 3 gainsay-1 i. e. deny. So, in Lord Surrey's translation of the fourth Book of the Æneid:

“I hold thee not, nor yet gainsay thy words.” Steevens. 4_ But if The conjunction-But, which is wanting in the old copy, was supplied, for the sake of measure, by Sir T. Hanmer. Steevens.

Q. Kath.

My lord, my lord,
I am a simple woman, much too weak
To oppose your cunning. You are meek, and humble-

mouth'd;
You sign your place and calling,5 in full seeming,
With meekness and humility : but your heart
Is cramm'd with arrogancy, spleen, and pride.
You have, by fortune, and his highness' favours,
Gone slightly o'er low steps; and now are mounted,
Where powers are your retainers: and your words,
Domesticks to you, serve your will,6 as 't please

5 You sign your place and calling,] Sign, for answer. Warburton.

I think, to sign, must here be to show, to denote. By your outward meekness and humility, you show that you are of an holy or. der, but, &c. Johnson. So, with a kindred sense, in Julius Cæsar:

Signd in thy spoil, and crimson'd in thy lethe.” Steevens. 6 Where powers are your retainers : and your words,

Domesticks to you, serve your will,] You have now got power at your beck, following in your retinue; and words therefore are degraded to the servile state of performing any office which you shall give them. In humbler and more cominon terms: [living now got power, you do not regard your word Johnson.

The word power, when used in the plural and applied to one person only, will not bear the meaning that Dr. Johnson wishes to give it.

By powers are meant the Emperor and the King of France, in the pay of one or the other of whom Wolsey was constantly retained; and it is well known that Wolses entertained some of the nobility of England among his domestics, and had an absolute power over the rest. M Mason.

Whoever were pointed at by the word powers, Shakspeare, surely, does not mean to say that Wolsey was retained by them, but that they were re:ainers, or subservient, to Wolsey. Malone.

I believe that--powers, in the present instance, are used merely to express persons in whom power is lodged The Queen would in. sinuate that Wolsey had rendered the highest officers of state subservient to his will. Steevens. I believe we should read:

Where powers are your retainers, and your wards,

Domesticks to you, &c. The Queen rises naturally in her description. She paints the pow. ers of government depending upon Wolsey under three images; as his retainers, his wards, his domestick servants. Tyrwhitt.

So, in Storer's Life and Death of Thomas Wolsey, Cardinal, a poem, 1599:

“I must have notice where their wards must dwell;
“I car'd not for the gentry, for I had
6. Yong nobles of the land," &c. Steevens.

Yourself pronounce their office. I must tell you,
You tender more you person's honour, than
Your high profession spiritual: That again
I do refuse you for my judge; and here,
Before you all, appeal unto the pope,
To bring my whole cause 'fore his holiness,
And to be judg’d by him.

[She curtsies to the King, and offers to depart. Cam.

The queen is obstinate,
Stubborn to justice, apt to accuse it, and
Disdainful to be try'd by it; 'tis not well. .
She 's going away.

K. Hen. Call her again.
Crier. Katharine queen of England, come into the

court. Grif. Madam, you are call’d back. Q. Kuth. What need you note it? pray you, keep your

way: When you are call’d, return.—Now the Lord help, They vex me past my patience !-pray you, pass on: I will not tarry; no, nor ever more, Upon this business, my appearance make In any of their courts.

[Exeunt Queen, GRIF. and her other Attendants. K. Hen.

Go thy ways, Kate :
That man i’ the world, who shall report he has
A better wife, let him in nought be trusted,
For speaking false in that: Thou art, alone,
(If thy rare qualities, sweet gentleness,
Thy meekness saint-like, wife-like government,
Obeying in commanding,—and thy parts
Sovereign and pious else, could speak thee out,?)
The queen of earthly queens :She is noble born ;
And, like her true nobility, she has
Carried herself towards me.
Ilol.

Most gracious sir,
In humblest manner I require your highness,

7could speak thee out,)] If thy several qualities had tongues to speak thy praise Johnson.

Rather--had tongues capable of speaking out thy merits; i. e. of doing them extensive justice. In Cymbeline we have a similar expression:

"You speak him far.Steevens.

That it shall please you to declare, in hearing
Of all these ears, (for where I am robb’d and bound,
There must I be unloos’d; although not there
At once and fully satisfied, 3) whether ever I
Did broach this business to your highness; or
Laid any scruple in your way, which might
Induce you to the question on 't? or ever
Have to you,but with thanks to God for such
A royal lady,—spake one the least word, might
Be to the prejudice of her present state,
Or touch of her good person?
K. Hen.

My lord cardinal,
I do excuse you; yea, upon mine honour,
I free you from 't. You are not to be taught
That you have many enemies, that know not
Why they are so, but, like to village curs,
Bark when their fellows do: by some of these
The queen is put in anger. You are excus'd:
But will you be more justify'd ? you ever
Have wish'd the sleeping of this business; never
Desir'd it to be stirr’d; but oft have hinder’d; oft
The passages made toward it:2-on my honour,
I speak my good lord cardinal to this point, 3

8 - although not there

At once and fully satisfied,)] The sense which is encumbered with words, is no more than this-I must be loosed, though when so loosed, I shall not be satisfied fully and at once; that is, I shall not be immediately satisfied. Johnson.

9 — might - ) Old copy, redundantly—that might. Steevens.

1 Desir'd it to be stirr'd;] The useless words--to bes might, in my opinion, be safely omitted, as they clog the metre, without enforcement of the sense. Steevens.

2 The passages made toward it:) i. e. closed, or fastened. So, in The Comedy of Errors, Act III, sc. i:

“Why at this time the doors are made against you." For the present explanation and pointing, I alone am answera. ble. A similar phrase occurs in Macbeth:

Stop up the access and passage to remorse.” Yet the sense in which these words have hitherto been received may be the true one. Steevens. 3 — on my honour,

I speak my good lord cardinal to this point,] The King, having first addressed to Wolsey, breaks off; and declares upon his honour to the whole court, that he speaks the Cardinal's sentiments VOL. XI. .

Bb

And thus far clear him. Now, what mov'd me to't,
I will be bold with time, and your attention :-
Then mark the inducement. Thus it came;-give heed

to't:-
My conscience first receiv'd a tenderness,
Scruple, and prick,+ on certain speeches utter'd
By the bishop of Bayonne, then French ambassador;
Who had been hither sent on the debating
A marriage,5 'twixt the duke of Orleans and
Our daughter Mary: l'the progress of this business,
Ere a determinate resolution, he
(I mean, the bishop) did require a respite;
Wherein he might the king his lord advertise
Whether our daughter were legitimate,
Respecting this our marriage with the dowager,
Sometimes our brother's wife. This respite shook
The bosom of my conscience, 6 enter'd me,
Yea, with a splitting power, and made to tremble
The region of my breast; which' forc'd such way,

upon the point in question ; and clears him from any attempt, or wish, to stir that business. Theobald.

4 Scruple, and prick,] Prick of conscience was the term in confession. Fohnson.

The expression is from Holinshed, where the king says: “The special cause that mov'd me unto this matter was a certaine scru. pulositie that pricked my conscience," &c. See Holinshed, p. 907.

Steevens. 5 A marriage,] Old copy- And marriage. Corrected by Mr. Pope. Malone 0 _ This respite shook

The bosom of my conscience,] Though this reading be sense, yet, I verily believe, the poet wrote:

The bottom of my conscience, Shakspeare, in all his historical plays, was a most diligent observer of Holinshed's Chronicle. Now Holinshed, in the speech which he has given to King Henry upon this subject, makes him deliver himself thus: “ Which words, once conceived within the secret bottom of my conscience, ingendred such a scrupulous doubt, that my conscience was incontinently accombred, vexed, and disquieted.” Vid. Life of Henry VIII, p. 907. Theobald.

The phrase recommended by Mr. Theobald occurs again, in King Henry VI, Part I:

“- for therein should we read

“ The very bottom and soul of hope." It is repeated also in Measure for Measure, All's Well that Ends Well, King Henry VI, P II, Coriolanus, &c. Steevens.

« PreviousContinue »