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For you have seen him open 't.-Read o'er this;
[Giving him Papiers. And, after, this: and then to breakfast, with What appetite you have.
[Exit King, frowning upon Cardinal Wol. the Nobles throng after him, smiling, and whispering.
What should this mean? What sudden anger's this? how have I reap'd it? He parted frowning from me, as if ruin Leap'd from his eyes: So looks the chafed lion Upon the daring huntsman that has gall’d him; Then makes him nothing. I must read this paper; I fear, the story of his anger.-'Tis so; This paper has undone me:- 'Tis the account Of all that world of wealth I have drawn together! For mine own ends; indeed, to gain the popedom, And fee my friends in Rome. O negligence, Fit for a fool to fall by! What cross devil Made me put this main secret in the packet I sent the king? Is there no way to cure this? No new device to beat this from his brains? I know, 'twill stir him strongly; Yet I know A way, if it take right, in spite of fortune, Will bring me off again. What's this—To the Pope ? The letter, as I live, with all the business I writ to his holiness. Nay then, farewel ! I have touch'd the highest point of all my greatness;5 And, from that full meridian of my glory, I haste now to my setting: I shall fall Like a bright exhalation in the evening, And no man see me more. Re-enter the Dukes of NORFOLK and SUFFOLK, the Earl
of SURREY,6 and the Lord Chamberlain. Nor. Hear the king's pleasure, cardinal: who com
5 I have louch'd the highest point of all any greatness;] So, in Marlowe's King Eilward 11:
“Base fortune, now I see that in thy wheel
" Why should I grieve at my declining fall}" Malone. 6 Re-enter the Dukes &c.] It may not be improper here to repeat,
To render up the great seal presently
that the time of this play is from 1521, just before the Duke of Buckingham's commitment, to the year 1533, when Queen Eliza. beth was born and christened. The Duke of Norfolk, therefore, who is introduced in the first scene of the first Act, or in 1522, is not the same person who here, or in 1529, demands the great seal from Wolsey; for Thomas Howard, who was created Duke of Norfolk, 1514, died, we are informed by Holinshed, p. 891, at Whitsuntide, 1525. As our author has here made two persons into one, so, on the contrary, he has made one person into two. The Earl of Surrey here is the same with him who married the Duke of Buckingham's daughter, as appears from his own mouth;
“I am joyful
“Remembrance of my father-in-law, the duke." Again:
“ Thy ambition,
“ Far from his succour, - " But Thomas Howard, Earl of Surrey, who married the Duke of Buckingham's daughter, was at this time the individual above mentioned Duke of Norfolk. The reason for adding the third or fourth person as interculators in this scene is not very apparent, for Holinshed, p. 909, mentions only the Dukes of Norfolk and Suffolk being sent to demand the great seal, and all that is spoken would proceed with sufficient propriety out of their mouths. The cause of the Duke of Norfolk's animosity to Wolsey is obvious, and Cavendish mentions that an open quarrel at this time subsisted between the Cardinal and Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk. Reed.
7 To Asher-house,] Thus the old copy. Asher was the ancient name of Esher; as appears from Holinshed: “ – and everie man took their horses and rode strait to Asher.” Holinshed, Vol. II, p. 909. Warner.
8 — my lord of Winchester's,] Shakspeare forgot that Wolsey was himself Bishop of Winchester, unless he meant to say, you must confine yourself to that house which you possess as Bishop of Winchester. Asher, near Hampton-Court, was one of the houses belonging to that bishoprick. Malone.
Fox, Bishop of Winchester, died Sept. 14, 1528, and Wolsey held this see in commendam. Esher therefore was his own house.
Where 's your commission, lords? words cannot carry
Who dare cross them?
Wol. Till I find more than will, or words, to do it,
Sur. The king, that gave it.
It must be himself then.
Proud lord, thou liest; Within these forty hours? Surrey durst better
9 so weighty.) The editor of the third folio changed weighty to mighty, and all the subsequent editors adopted his capricious alteration. Malone.
I believe the change pointed out, was rather accidental than capricious; as, in the proof sheets of this republication, the words -weighty and mighty have more than once been given instead of each other. Steevens. 1 Till I find more than will, or words, to do it, (I mean, your malice,) krow, &c.] Wolsey had said:
" words cannot carry
“ Authority so weighty.” To which they reply:
“Who dare cross them?” &c. Wolsey, answering them, continues his own speech, Till I find more than will or words (I mean more than your malicious wili and words) to do it; that is, to carry authority so mighty; I will deny to return what the King has given me. Johnson.
2 Within these forty hours - ] Why forty hours? But a few mi. nutes have passed since Wolsey's disgrace. I suspect that Shakspeare wrote--within these four hours,--and that the person who VOL XI.
Have burnt that tongue, than said so.
This, and all else
By my soul,
revised and tampered with this play, not knowing that hours was used by our poet as a dissyllable, made this injudicious alteration.
Malone. I adhere to the old reading. Forty (I know not why) seems an. ciently to have been the familiar number on many occasions, where no very exact reckoning was necessary. In a former scene, the Old Lady offers to lay Anne Bullen a wager of " forty pence;" Slender, in The Merry Wives of Windsor, says--I had rather than forty shilling's --;" and in The Taming of the Shrew, “the humour of forty fancies” is the ornament of Grumio's hat. Thus, also, in Coriolanus:
" on fair ground
“I could beat forty of them.” Steevens. 3 That I, in the way &c.] Old copy— That in the way. Steevens. Mr. Theobald reads:
That I in the way &c. and this unnecessary emendation has been adopted by all the subsequent editors. Malone.
As this passage is to me obscure, if not unintelligible, without Mr. Theobald's correction, I have not discarded it.. Steevens.
Your long coat, priest, protects you ; thou should'st feel
Yes, that goodness
4 To be thus jaded ) To be abused and ill treated, like a worthless horse: or perhaps to be ridden by a priest ;-to have him mounted above us. Malone.
The same verb (whatever its precise meaning may be) occurs in Antony and Cleopatra, Act III, sc. i:
" The ne'er-yet-beaten horse of Parthia
“ We have jaded out o'the field.” Steevens. 5 And dare us with his cap, like larks. So, in Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy, edit. 1632, p. 656: “ never Hobie so dared a lark."
It is well known that the hat of a cardinal is scarlet; and that one of the methods of daring larks was by small mirrors fastened on scarlet cloth, which engaged the attention of these birds while the fowler drew his net over them.
The same thought occurs in Skelton's Why come ye not to Court? i. e. a satire on Wolsey :
“ The red hat with his lure,
“Bringeth al thinges under cure.” Steevens.
Malone. 9 Worse than the sacring bell,] The little bell, which is rung to * give notice of the Host approaching when it is carried in proces.