Page images
PDF
EPUB

To hear me speak his good now?
Kath.

Yes, good Griffith;
I were malicious else.
Grif.

This cardinal, 9

she had served in her prosperity, More adds, “ Men use, if they have an evil turne, to write it in marble, and whoso doth us a good turne, we write it in duste.” More's Works, bl. 1. 1557, p. 59. Percy.

In Whitney's Emblemes, printed at Leyden, 4to. 1586, p. 183, is the following:

Scribit in marmore læsus.
" In marble harde our harmes wee alwayes grave;
“ Because, wee still will beare the same in minde:
“ In duste wee write the benefittes wee have,
" Where they are soone defaced with the winde.

“ So, wronges wee houlde, and never will forgive;

“ And soone forget, that still with us shoulde live." Again, as Mr. Ritson quotes from Harrington's Ariosto:

“ Men say it, and and we see it come to pass,

« Good turns in sand, shrewd turns are writ in brass." To avoid an unnecessary multiplication of instances, I shall just observe, that the same sentiment is found in Massinger's Maid of Honour, Act V, sc. ii, and Marston's Malcontent, Act II, sc. iii. Reed.

9 This cardinal, &c.] This speech is formed on the following passage in Holinshed: “ This cardinal, (as Edmond Campion, in his Historie of Ireland, described him,) was a man undoubtedly born to honour; I think, (saith he) some prince's bastard, no butcher's sonne; exceeding wise, faire-spoken, high-minded, full of revenge, vitious of his bodie, loftie to his enemies, were they never so bigge, to those that accepted and sought his friendship wonderful courteous; a ripe schooleman, thrall to affections, brought a bed with flatterie ; insaciable to get, and more prince. lie in bestowing, as appeareth by his two colleges at Ipswich and Oxenford, the one overthrown with his fall, the other unfinished, and yet as it lyeth, for an house of studentes, (considering ali the appurtenances) incomparable throughout Christendome.He held and injoied at once the bishoprickes of Yorke, Duresme, and Winchester, the dignities of Lord Cardinall, Legat, and Chancellor, the abbaie of St. Albons, diverse priories, sundrie fat benefices in commendam; a great preferrer of his servants, an advauncer of learning, stoute in every quarrel, never happy till this his overthrow: wherein she shewed such moderation, and ended so perfectlie, that the houre of his death did him more honour than all the pomp of his life passed. *»

* So, in Macbeth:

" nothing in his life
“Became him like the leaving it;”

Steevens.

Though from an humble stock, undoubtedly
Was fashion'd to much honour. 1 From his cradle,
He was a scholar, and a ripe, and good one;
Exceeding wise, fair spoken, and persuading:2
Lofty, and sour, to them that lov'd him not;
But, to those men that sought him, sweet as summer.
And though he were unsatisfied in getting,
(Which was a sin) yet in bestowing, madam,
He was most princely: Ever witness for him
Those twins of learning, that he raisd in you,
Ipswich,and Oxford! one of which fell with him,

When Shakspeare says that Wolsey was “a scholar from his cradle," he had probably in his thoughts the account given by Cavendish, which Stowe has copied : “ Cardinal Wolsey was an honest, poor man's sonne-who, being but a child, was very apt to learne ; wherefore by means of his parents and other his good friends he was maintained at the university of Oxford, where in a short time he prospered so well, that in a small time, (as he told me with his owne mouth, he was made bachelour of arts, when he was but fifteen years of age, and was most commonly called the boy batchelour.See also Wolsey's Legend, Mirrour for Magistrates, 1587.

I have here followed the punctuation of the old copy, where there is a full point at honour, and from his cradle begins a new sentence. This punctuation has likewise been adopted in the late editions. «Mr. Theobald, however, contends that we ought to point thus:

“ Was fashion'd to much honour from his cradle." And it must be owned that the words of 'Holinshed, here thrown into verse, “ This cardinall was a man undoubtedly born to ho. nour,” strongly support his regulation. The reader has before him the arguments on each side. I am by no means confident that I have decided rightly. Malone. The present punctuation,

" From his cradle,

“ He was a scholar, seems to be countenanced by a passage in King Henry V:

Never was such a sudden scholar made.Steevens. 1 Was fashion'd to much honour.] Perhaps our author borrowed this expression from Saint Paul's Epistle to the Romans, ix, 21: “Hath not the potter power over the clay of the same lump, to make one vessel unto honour? &c. Steevens.

2- fair spoken, and persuading :) Eloquence constituted a part of the Cardinal's real character in the charges exhibited against him, it was alleged that at the Privy Council he would have all the words to himself, and consumed much time with a fair tale.* See 4 Inst. 91. H. White. VOL. XI.

Ff

Unwilling to outlive the good that did it;4
The other, though unfinish’d, yet so famous,
So excellent in art, and still so rising,
That Christendom shall ever speak his virtue.
His overthrow heap'd happiness upon him;
For then, and not till then, he felt himself,
And found the blessedness of being little :
And, to add greater honours to his age
Than man could give him, he died, fearing God.

Kath. After my death I wish no other herald,
No other speaker of my living actions,
To keep mine honour from corruption,
But such an honest chronicler as Griffith.
Whom I most hated living, thou hast made me,
With thy religious truth, and modesty, .
Now in his ashes honour: Peace be with him!
Patience, be near me still; and set me lower:
I have not long to trouble thee.--Good Griffith,
Cause the musicians play me that sad note
I nam’d my knell, whilst I sit meditating
On that celestial harmony I go to.

Sad and solemn musick.
Grif. She is asleep: Good wench, let's sit down quiet,
For fear we wake her;-Softly, gentle Patience.

3 Ipswich,] “The foundation-stone of the College which the Cardinal founded in this place, was discovered a few years ago. It is now in the Chapter-house of Christ Church, Oxford.” Seward's Anecdotes of distinguished Persons, &c. 1795. Steevens.

4 Unwilling to outlive the good that did it;] Unwilling to survive that virtue which was the cause of its foundation: or, perhaps, "the good” is licentiously used for the good man ; "the virtuous prelate who founded it.” So, in The Winter's Tale: “ — a piece many years in doing.

Mr. Pope and the subsequent editors read the good he did it; which appears to me unintelligible. “ The good he did it,” was laying the foundation of the building and endowing it: if therefore we suppose the college unwilling to outlive the good he did it, we suppose it to expire instantly after its birth.

- The college unwilling to live longer than its founder, or the goodness that gave rise to it," though certainly a conceit, is sufficiently intelligible. Malone. Good, I believe, is put for goodness. So, in p. 314:

" May it please your highness
6 To hear me speak his good now?" Steevens

The Vision. Enter, solemnly tripping one after another, 5

six Personages, clad in white robes, wearing on their heads garlands of bays, and golden vizards6 on their faces; branches of bays, or palm, in their hands. They first congee unto her, then dance; and, at certain changes, the first two hold a spare garland over her head; at which, the other four make reverend court'. sies; then the two, that held the garland, deliver the same to the other next two, who observe the same order in their changes, and holding the garland over her head: which done, they deliver the same garland to the last two, who likewise observe the same order: at which, (as it were by inspiration she makes in her sleep signs of rejoicing, and holdeth up her hands to heaven: and so in their dancing they vanish, carrying the garland with them. The musick continues.

Kath. Spirits of peace, where are ye? Are ye all gone? And leave me here in wretchedness behind ye??

Grif. Madam, we are here.
Kath.

It is not you I call for:
Saw ye none enter, since I slept?
Grif.

None, madam. Kath. No? Saw you not, even now, a blessed troop Invite me to a banquet; whose bright faces Cast thousand beams upon me, like the sun? They promis'd me eternal happiness; And brought me garlands, Griffith, which I feel I am not worthy yet to wear: I shall, Assuredly.

Grif. I am most joyful, madam, such good dreams

5- solemnly tripping one after another,] This whimsical stage. direction is exactly taken from the old copy. Steevens.

Of this stage-direction I do not believe our author wrote one word. Katharine's next speech probably suggested this tripping dumb-shew to the too busy reviver of this play. Malone.

6- golden vizards - These tawdry disguises are also mentioned in Hall's account of a maske devised by King Henry VIII: “ – thei were appareled &c. with visers and cappes of golde.

Steevens. 7 And leave me here in wretchedness behind ye?] Perhaps Mr. Gray had this passage in his thoughts, when he made his Bard exclaim, on a similar occasion, (the evanescence of visionary forms):

“ Stay, O stay! nor thus forlorn
Leave me unbless'd, unpitied, here to mourn!Steevens.

Pat.

Possess your fancy.
Kath.

Bid the musick leave,
They are harsh and heavy to me. [Musick ceases.
Pat.

Do you note,
How much her grace is alter'd on the sudden?
How long her face is drawn? How pale she looks,
And of an earthy cold? Mark you her eyes? 8
Grif. She is going, wench; pray, pray.

Heaven comfort her!
Enter a Messenger.
Mess. An 't like your grace, —
Kath.

You are a saucy fellow:
Deserve we no more reverence?
Grif.

You are to blame,
Knowing, she will not lose her wonted greatness,
To use so rude behaviour: go to, kneel.'

Mese. I humbly do entreat your highness' pardon;
My haste made me unmannerly: There is staying
A gentleman, sent from the king, to see you.

Kath. Admit him entrance, Griffith: But this fellow Let me ne'er see again. [Exeunt GRIF. and Mess. Re-enter GRIFFITH with CAPUCIUS.

If my sight fail not,
You should be lord ambassador from the emperor,
My royal nephew, and your name Capucius.

Cap. Madam, the same, your servant.
Kath.

O my lord,
The times, and titles, now are alter'd strangely
With me since first you knew me. But, I pray you,

8— Mark you her eyes?] The modern editors read- Mark her eyes. But in the old copy, there being a stop of interrogation after this passage, as after the foregoing clauses of the speech, I have ventured to insert the pronoun-you, which at once supports the ancient pointing, and completes the measure. Steevens.

9- go to, kneel.] Queen Katharine's servants, after the di. vorce at Dunstable, and the Pope's curse stuck up at Dunkirk, were directed to be sworn to serve her not as a Queen, but as Princess Dowager. Some refused to take the oath, and so were forced to leave her service; and as for those who took it and stayed, she would not be served by them, by which means she was almost destitute of attendants. See Hall, fol. 219. Bishop Burnet says, all the women about her still called her Queen. Bur. net, p. 162. Reed.

« PreviousContinue »