Imágenes de páginas

And, if you may confess it, say withal,
If you are bound to us, or no. What say you?

Wol. My sovereign, I confess, your royal graces,
Shower'd on me daily, have been more than could
My studied purposes requite; which went
Beyond all man's endeavours:my endeavours
Have ever come too short of my desires,
Yet, fil'd with my abilities:? Mine own ends
Have been mine so, that evermore they pointed
To the good of your most sacred person, and
The profit of the state. For your great graces
Heap'd upon me, poor undeserver, I
Can nothing render but allegiant thanks;
My prayers to heaven for you; my loyalty,
Which ever has, and ever shall be growing,
Till death, that winter, kill it.

Fairly answer'd; A loyal and obedient subject is Therein illustrated: The honour of it Does pay the act of it; as, i’the contrary, The foulness is the punishment. I presume, , That, as my hand has open’d bounty to you, My heart dropp'd love, my power rain’d honour,



Beyond all man's endeavours:] The sense is, my purposes went beyond all human endeavour. I purposed for your

honour more than it falls within the compass of man's nature to attempt.

Johnson. I am rather inclined to think, that which refers to royal graces ;" which, says Wolsey, no human endeavour could requite. MALONE.

. Yet, fild with my abilities :] My endeavours, though less than my

desires, have fild, that is, have gone an equal pace with my

abilities. Johnson.
So, in a preceding scene:

front but in that file
Where others tell steps with me." STEEVENS.

On you, than any; so your hand, and heart,
Your brain, and every function of your power,
Should, notwithstanding that your bond of duty,
As 'twere in love's particular, be more
To me, your friend, than any.

I do profess,
That for your highness' good I ever labour'd
More than mine own; that am, have, and will be.5
Though all the world should crack their duty to you,
And throw it from their soul; though perils did
Abound, as thick as thought could make them, and
Appear in forms more horrid; yet my duty,

my hand has open'd bounty to you,
My heart dropp'd love, my power rain’d honour, more

On you, &c.] As Ben Jonson is supposed to have made some alterations in this play, it may not be amiss to compare the passage

before us, with another, on the same subject, in the New Inn :

“ He gave me my first breeding, I acknowledge;
" Then shower'd his bounties on me, like the hours
“ That open-handed sit upon the clouds,
“And press the liberality of heaven
“ Down to the laps of thankful men.” STEEVENS.

notwithstanding that your bond of duty,] Besides the general bond of duty, by which you are obliged to be a loyal and obedient subject, you owe a particular devotion of yourself to me, as your particular benefactor. Johnson,

that am, have, and will be.] I can find no meaning in these words, or see how they are connected with the rest of the sentence; and should therefore strike them out. M. MASON.

I suppose the meaning is, that, or such a man, I am, have been, and will ever be. Our author has many hard and forced expressions in his plays; but many of the hardnesses in the piece before us appear to me of a different colour from those of Shakspeare. Perhaps, however, a line following this has been lost; for in the old copy there is no stop at the end of this line; and, indeed, I have some doubt whether a comma ought not to be placed at it, rather than a full point. MALONE.


As doth a rock against the chiding flood,
Should the approach of this wild river break,
And stand unshaken yours.

'Tis nobly spoken: Take notice, lords, he has a loyal breast, For you have seen him open't.—Read o'er this;

[Giving him Papers. And, after, this: and then to breakfast, with What appetite you have.

[Exit King, frowning upon Cardinal WOLSEY:

the Nobles throng after him, smiling, and

whispering. WOL.

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,

6 As doth a rock against the chiding flood,] So, in our author's 116th Sonnet:

it is an ever-fixed mark, “ That looks on tempests, and is never shaken.” The chiding flood is the resounding flood. So, in the verses in commendation of our author, by J. M. S. prefixed to the folio 1632:

there plays a fair “But chiding fountain." See Vol. XII. p. 361, n. 2. MALONE. See also Vol. IV. p. 450, n. 5. STEEVENS. “ Ille, velut pelagi rupes immota, resistit.”

Æn. VII. 586. S. W.

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

The letter, as I live, with all the business
I writ to his holiness. Nay then, farewell !
I have touch'd the highest point of all my great-
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,8 and the Lord Chamberlain.

Nor. Hear the king's pleasure, cardinal: who

commands you

7 I have touch'd the highest point of all my greatness ;] So, in Marlowe's King Edward II:

“ Base fortune, now I see that in thy wheel
“ There is a point, to which when men aspire,
“ They tumble headlong down. That point I touch'd;
“ And seeing there was no place to mount up higher,
Why should I grieve at my declining fall ?”

MALONE. * Re-enter the Dukes &c.] It may not be improper here to repeat, that the time of this play is from 1521, just before the Duke of Buckingham's commitment, to the year 1533, when Queen Elizabeth was born and christened. The Duke of Nor. folk, 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

To render up the great seal presently
Into our hands; and to confine yourself
To Asher-house, my lord of Winchester's,

hear further from his highness.

Till you

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
66 To meet the least occasion that may give me

“ Remembrance of my father-in-law, the duke." Again :

“Thy ambition,
“ Thou scarlet sin, robb'd this bewailing land
“ Of noble Buckingham, my father-in-law:
You sent me deputy for Ireland ;

66 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 interlocutors 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.

9 To Asher-house,] Thus the old copy. Asher was the an. cient name of Esher

į as appears from Holinshed : 66 and everie man took their horses and rode strait to Asher."

Holinshed, Vol. II. p. 909. WARNER, 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.




« AnteriorContinuar »