« PreviousContinue »
they shall see this my ryng, they knowe it so well, that they shall understande that I have reserved the whole cause into mine owne handes and determination, and that I have discharged them thereof."
“The archbishop perceiving the king's benignity so much to him wards, had much ado to forbeare teares. “ Well, said the king, go your waies, my lord, and do as I have bidden you." My lord, humbling himselfe with thankes, tooke his leave of the kinges highnesse for that night.
“ On the morrow, about nine of the clocke before noone, the coun saile sent a gentleman usher for the archbishop, who, when hee came to the counsaile chamber doore, could not be let in, but of purpose (as it seemed) was compelled there to waite among the pages, lackies, and serving men, all alone. D. Buts, the king's physition, resorting that way, and espying how my lord of Canterbury was handled, went to the king's highnesse, and said ; “My lord of Canterbury, if it please your grace, is well promoted; for now he is become a lackey or a serving man, for yonder hee standeth this halfe hower at the counsaile chamber doare amongste them.”
" It is not so (quoth the king) I trowe, nor the counsaile hath not so little discretion as to use the metropolitane of the realme in that sort, specially being one of their own number. But let them alone (said the king) and we shall heare more soone."
“ Anone the archbishop was called into the counsaile chamber, to whom was alleadged as before is re
hearsed. The archbishop aunswered in like sort as the king had advised him; and in the end, when he perceived that no manner of persuasion or intreatie could serve, he delivered them the king's ring, revoking his cause into the king's hands. The whole counsaile being thereat somewhat amazed, the earle of Bedford with a loud voice confirming his words with a solemn othe, said ; “ When you first began the matter, my lordes, I told you what would come of it. Do you thinke that the king would suffer this man's finger to ake? Much more (I warrant you) will hee defend his life against brabling varlets. You doe but cumber yourselves to hear tales and fables against him.” And incontinently upon the receipt of the king's token, they all rose, and carried to the king his ring, surrendring that matter, as the order and use was, into his own hands.
“ When they were all come to the king's presence, his highness, with a severe countenance, said unto them ; “ Ah, my lordes, I thought I had had wiser men of my counsaile than enow I find you. What discretion was this in you, thus to make the primate of the realme, and one of you in office, to waite at the counsaile chamber doore amongst serving men ? You might have considered that he was a counsailer as well as you, and you had no such commission of me so to handle him. I was content that you should trie him as a counsailer, and not as a meane subject. But now I well perceive that things be done against him maliciouslie, and if some of you might have had
your mindes, you would have tried him to the utter
But I doe you all to wit, and protest, that if a prince may bee beholding unto his subject (and so solemnelie laying his hand upon his brest) said, by the faith I owe to God, I take this man here, my lord of Canterburie, to bee of all other a most faithful subject unto us, and one to whome we are much behold. ing ;" giving him great commendations otherwise, And, with that, one or two of the chiefest of the counsaile, making their excuse, declared, that in requesting his induraunce, it was rather ment for his triall and his purgation against the common fame and slander of the worlde, then for any malice conceived against him." Well, well, my lords (quoth the king), take him, and well use him, as hee is worthy to bee, and make no more adoe.” And with that, every man caught him by the hand, and made faire weather of altogethers, which might easilie be done with that man,
-You a brother of us,] You being one of the council, it is necessary to imprison you, that the witnesses against you may not be deterred.
JOHNSON. 135. Than I myself, poor man.] Poor man probably belongs to the king's reply.
JOHNSON. 146. The good I stand on -] Though good may be taken for advantage or superiority, or any thing which may help or support, yet it would, I think, be more natural to say, The ground I stand on
160. Ween you of better luck,] To ween is to think, to imagine. Though now obsolete, the word was common to all our ancient writers.
-bless her! It is doubtful whe. ther her is referred to the queen or the girl.
JOHNSON. Lovel] Lovel has been just sent out of the presence, and no notice is given of his return : I have placed it here at the instant when the king calls for him.
STEEVENS. 250. Chan. Speak to the business,-) This lord chancellor, though a character, has hitherto had no place in the Dramatis Persona. In the last scene of the fourth act, we heard that Sir Thomas More was appointed lord chancellor: but it is not he whom the poet here introduces. Wolsey, by command, delivered up the seals on the 18th of November 1529 ; on the 25th of the same month, they were delivered to Sir Thomas More, who surrendered them on the 16th of May 1532. Now the conclusion of this scene taking notice of queen Elizabeth's birth (which brings it down to the year 1534), Sir Thomas Audlie must necessarily be our poet's chancellor; who succeeded Sir Thomas More, and held the seals many years.
-] If this passage means any thing, it may mean, few are perfect, while they remain in their mortal capacity. 4
Shakspere uses the word capable as perversely in King Lear :
"and of my land,
Loyal and natural boy, -I'll work the mean “. To make thee capable."
Steevens. I suspect that Shakspere wrote,
In our own natures frail, incapable ; Of our flesh few are angels.We are all frail in our natures, and weak in our under. standings. So, in Marston's Scourge of Villanie, 1599:
“ To be perus’d by all the dung-scum rabble
“ Of thin-brain'd ideots, dull, uncapable." Again, in Hamlet :
“ As one incapable of her own distress." In King Richard III. the word capable is used to de. note a person of capacity and good sense :
-0, 'tis a parlous boy, “ Bold, quick, ingenious, forward, capable." Again, in Love's Labour Lost : “ If their daughters be capable, I will put it to them.” Again, in Hamlet : “ His form and cause conjoin'd, preaching to
stones, “ Would make them capable." The subsequent words strongly support this con. jecture:
-out of which frailty, “ And want of wisdom, you," &c. The transcriber's ear, I believe, here, as in many other places, deceived him.