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have had divers children, although it hath pleased God to those days as wise, as well learned men, and men of as call them out of this world, which hath been no default in good judgment as be at this present in both realms, who
thought then the marriage between you and me good and ““And when ye had me at the first, I take God to be lawful. Therefore it is a wonder to hear what new inmy judge, I was a true maid without touch of man; and ventions are now invented against me, that never intended whether it be true or no, I put it to your conscience. If but honesty. And cause me to stand to the order and there be any just cause by the law that ye can allege judgment of this new court, wherein ye may do me much against me, either of dishonesty or any other impediment wrong, if ye intend any cruelty ; for ye may condemn me to banish and put me from you, I am well content to de- for lack of sufhcient answer, having no indifferent counsel, part to my great shame and dishonour; and if there be but such as be assigned me, with whose wisdom and none, then here I most lowly beseech you let me remain learning I am not acquainted. Ye must consider that in my former estate, and receive justice at your hands. they cannot be indifferent counsellors for my part which The king your father was in the time of his reign of such be your subjects, and taken out of your own council before, estimation thorough the world for his excellent wisdom, wherein they be made privy, and dare not, for your disthat he was accounted and called of all men the second pleasure, disobey your will and intent, being once made Solomon; and my father Ferdinand, King of Spain, who privy thereto. Therefore I most humbly require you, in was esteemed to be one of the wittiest princes that reigned the way of charity, and for the love of God, who is the just in Spain, many years before, were both wise and excellent Judge, to spare me the extremity of this new court, until kings in wisdom and princely behaviour. It is not there- I may be advertised what way and order my friends in fore to be doubted, but that they elected and gathered as Spain will advise me to take. And if ye will not extend to wise counsellors ab ut them as to their high discretions me so much indifferent favour, your pleasure then be fulwas thought meet. Also, as me seemeth, there was in filled, and to God I commit my cause!'”
(1) SCENE I.-She should have bought her dignities so dear.] The foregoing scene is almost identical with the account which Cavendish has left us of the interview between Katharine and the Cardinals :
“And then my lord rose up, and made him ready, taking his barge, and went straight to Bath Place to the other cardinal; and so went together unto Bridewell, directly to the queen's lodging: and they, being in her chamber of presence, showed to the gentleman usher that they came to speak with the queen's grace. The gentleman usher advertised the queen thereof incontinent. With that she came out of her privy chamber with a skein of white thread about her neck, into the chamber of presence, where the cardinals were giving of attendance upon her coming. At whose coming quoth she, “Alack, my lords, I am very sorry to cause you to attend upon me; what is your pleasure with me?' If it please you,' quoth my Lord Cardinal, 'to go into your privy chamber, we will show you the cause of our coming' My lord,' quoth she, if you have any thing to say, speak it openly before all these folks ; for I fear nothing that ye can say or allege against me, but that I would all the world should both hear and see it; therefore I pray you speak your minds openly.' Then began my lord to speak to her in Latin. Nay, good my lord,' quoth she, “speak to me in English I beseech you ; although I understand Latin.' * Forsooth then,' quoth my lord, Madam, if it please your grace, we come both to know your mind, how ye be disposed to do in this matter between the king and you, and also to declare secretly our opinions and our counsel unto you, which we have intended of very zeal and obedience that we bear to your grace.' 'My lords, I thank you then,' quoth she, ‘of your good wills; but to make answer to your request I cannot so suddenly, for I was set among my maidens at work, thinking full little of any such matter, wherein there needeth a longer deliberation, and a better head than mine, to make answer to so noble wise men as ye be; I had need of good counsel in this case, which toucheth me so near; and for any counsel or friendship that I can find in England, [they) are nothing to my purpose or profit. Think you, I pray you, my lords, will any Englishmen counsel or be friendly unto me against the king's pleasure, they being his subjects? Nay forsooth, my lords ! and for my counsel in whom I do intend to put my trust be not here; they being in Spain, in my
native country. Alas, my lords! I am a poor woman lacking both wit and understanding sufficiently to answer such approved wise men as ye be both, in so weighty a matter. I pray you to extend your good and indifferent minds in your authority unto me, for I am a simple woman, destitute and barren of friendship and counsel here in a foreign region : and as for your counsel, I will not refuse, but be glad to hear.'
“And with that, she took my lord by the hand and led
when did he regard
Out of himself ?)
“ The Erle of Northumberlande
Dare take nothynge on hande;
For and this curre do gnar,
For all their noble blode
(1) SCENE II.–Give him a little earth for charity!] So Cavendish :
“And the next day he took his journey with Master Kingston and the guard. And as soon as they espied their old master, in such a lamentable estate, they lamented him with weeping eyes. Whom my lord took by the hands, and divers times, by the way, as he rode, he would talk with them, sometime with one, and sometime with another; at night he was lodged at a house of the Earl of Shrewsbury's, called Hardwick Hall, very evil
The next day he rode to Nottingham, and there lodged that night, more sicker, and the next day we rode to Leicester Abbey; and by the way he waxed so sick that he was divers times likely to have fallen from his mule ; and being night before we came to the abbey of Leicester, where at his coming in at the gates the abbot of the place with all his convent met him with the light of many torches; whom they right honourably received with great reverence. To whom my lord said, “Father Abbot, I am come hither to leave my bones among you,' wbom they brought on his mule to the stairs foot of his chamber, and there alighted, and Master Kingston then took him by the arm and led him up the stairs ; who told me afterwards that he never carried so heavy a burden in all his life. And as soon as he was in his chamber, he went incontinent to his bed, very sick."
(2) SCENE II.-His blessed part to heaven.) By his "blessed part" is of course meant his “spiritual or immortal part:” and we apprehend that the expression “better part," in the much-controverted passage in “As You Like It," Act III. Sc. 2:—“Atalanta's better part," bears a similar signification ; in proof of this may be cited the trite old epitaph mentioned by Whalley :
(1) SCENE III.- Parish-garden.] This is usually printed Paris garden, but Parish was possibly the vulgar pronunciation of the word. Paris Garden was a district of St. Saviour's parish, in Southwark, wherein were two famous gardens set apart for the diversion of bear-baiting. On the 25th of May, 1599, soon after her accession to the throne, Queen Elizabeth gave a splendid dinner to the
Within Westmynster hall;
“Why Come Ye Nat To Courte?" &c. &c.
“ Sarah's obedience, Lydia's open heart,
And Martha's care, and Mary's belter part." And the following passage from Overbury's “ Characters:"_“ Lastly," (he is depicting a Melancholy Man,) “he is a man onely in shew, but comes short of the better part, a whole reasonable soule, which is mans chief preeminence," &c.
(3) Scene II.
and urge the king To do me this last right.]
The letter referred to in this passage, which Katharine addressed to the king a short time before her death, is preserved in Polydore Virgil's History, and has been translated as follows by Lord Herbert :-
“My most dear lord, king, and husband,
“ The hour of my death now approaching, I cannot choose but, out of the love I bear you, advise you of your soul's health, which you ought to prefer before all considerations of the world or flesh whatsoever: for which yet you have cast me into many calamities, and yourself into many troubles. ---But I forgive you all, and pray God to do so likewise. For the rest, I commend unto you Mary our daughter, beseeching you to be a good father to her, as I have heretofore desired. I must entreat you also to respect my maids, and give them in marriage, (which is not much, they being but three,) and to all my other servants a year's pay besides their due, lest otherwise they should be unprovided for. Lastly, I make this vow, that mine eyes desire you above all things. Fare- . well."
French ambassadors, who were afterwards entertained with the baiting of bulls and bears, and the queen herself stood with the ambassadors looking on the pastime till six at night. The next day, the same ambassadors went by water to Paris Garden, where they saw another baiting of bulls and of bears.” (See Nichols' Progresses, Vol. I.
H E N R Y
THE EIGHT H.
"SHAKSPEARE was as profound a historian as a poet; when we compare his Henry the Eighth with the preceding pieces, we see distinctly that the English nation during the long, peaceable, and economical reign of Henry VII., whether from the exhaustion which was the fruit of the civil wars, or from more general European influences, had made a sudden transition from the powerful confusion of the middle age, to the regular tameness of modern times. Henry the Eighth has, therefore, somewhat of a prosaic appearance ; for Shakspeare, artist-like, adapted himself always to the quality of his materials. If others of his works, both in elevation of fancy and in energy of pathos and character, tower far above this, we have here on the other hand occasion to admire his nice powers of discrimination and his perfect knowledge of courts and the world. What tact was requisite to represent before the eyes of the queen subjects of such a delicate nature, and in which she was personally so nearly concerned, without doing violence to the truth! He has unmasked the tyrannical king, and to the intelligent observer exhibited him such as he was actually : haughty and obstinate, voluptuous and unfeeling, extravagant in conferring favours, and revengeful under the pretext of justice; and yet the picture is so dexterously handled that a daughter might take it for favourable. The legitimacy of Elizabeth's birth depended on the invalidity of Henry's first marriage, and Shakspeare has placed the proceedings respecting his separation from Catharine of Arragon in a very doubtful light. We see clearly that Henry's scruples of conscience are no other than the beauty of Anne Boleyn. Catharine is, properly speaking, the heroine of the piece ; she excites the warmest sympathy by her virtues, her defenceless misery, her mild but firm opposition, and her dignified resignation. After her, the fall of Cardinal Wolsey constitutes the principal part of the business. Henry's whole reign was not adapted for dramatic poetry. It would have merely been a repetition of the same scenes : the repudiation, or the execution of his wives, and the disgrace of his most estimable ministers, which was usually soon followed by death. Of all that distinguished Henry's life, Shakspeare has given us sufficient specimens. But as, properly speaking, there is no division in the history where he breaks off, we must excuse him if he gives us a flattering compliment of the great Elizabeth for a fortunate catastrophe. The piece ends with the general joy at the birth of that princess, and with prophecies of the happiness which she was afterwards to enjoy or to diffuse. It was only by such a turn that the hazardous freedom of thought in the rest of the composition could have passed with impunity: Shakspeare was not certainly himself deceived respecting this theatrical delusion. The true conclusion is the death of Catharine, which under a feeling of this kind, he has placed earlier than was conformable to history.”—SCHLEGEL.