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WOL.

Stay, Where's yourcommission, lords? words cannot carry Authority so weighty,” SUF.

Who dare cross them? Bearing the king's will from his mouth expressly?

Wol. Till I find more than will, or words, to do it, (I mean, your malice,) know, officious lords, I dare, and must deny it. Now I feel Of what coarse metal ye are moulded,-envy, How eagerly ye follow my disgraces, As if it fed ye? and how sleek and wanton Ye appear in every thing may bring my ruin ! Follow your envious courses, men of malice; You have christian warrant for them, and, no doubt, In time will find their fit rewards. That seal, You ask with such a violence, the king, (Mine, and your master,) with his own handgaveme: Bade me enjoy it, with the place and honours, During my life ; and, to confirm his goodness, Tied it by letters patents: Now, who'll take it?

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. Till I find more than will, or words, to do it, (I mean, your malice,) know, &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 will and words) to do it ; that is, to carry authority so mighty ; I will deny to return what the King has given me. Johnson.

SUR. The king, that gave

it. WOL.

It must be himself then. Sur. Thou art a proud traitor, priest. Wol.

Proud lord, thou liest; Within these forty hours* Surrey durst better Have burnt that tongue, than said so. SUR.

Thy ambition,
Thou scarlet sin, robb’d this bewailing land
Of noble Buckingham, my father-in-law:
The heads of all thy brother cardinals,
(With thee, and all thy best parts bound together,)
Weigh’d not a hair of his. Plague of your policy !
You sent me deputy for Ireland;
Far from his succour, from the king, from all
That might have mercy on the fault thou gav'st him;
Whilst your great goodness, out of holy pity,
Absolv'd him with an axe.
Wol.

This, and all else
This talking lord can lay upon my credit,
I
answer, is most false. The duke by law

* Within these forty hours-] Why forty hours? But a few minutes have passed since Wolsey's disgrace. I suspect that Shakspeare wrote—within these four hours,—and that the person who 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 anciently 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 shillings-;" 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.

Found his deserts : how innocent I was
From any private malice in his end,
His noble jury and foul cause can witness.
If I lov'd many words, lord, I should tell you,
You have as little honesty as honour;
That I, in the way of loyalty and truth
Toward the king, my ever royal master,
Dare mate a sounder man than Surrey can be,
And all that love his follies.
SUR.

By my soul,
Your long coat, priest, protects you; thou should'st

feel My sword i'the life-blood of thee else.--My lords, Can ye endure to hear this arrogance? And from this fellow? If we live thus tamely, To be thus jaded by a piece of scarlet, Farewell nobility ; let his grace go forward, And dare us with his cap, like larks.?

* 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.

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. And dare us with his cap, like larks.] So, in Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy, edit. 1632, p. 656: “-never Hobie 80 dared a lark.

It is well known that the hat of a cardinal is scarlet ; and Wol.

All goodness Is poison to thy stomach. SUR.

Yes, that goodness Of gleaning all the land's wealth into one, Into your own hands, cardinal, by extortion; The goodness of your intercepted packets, You writ to the pope, against the king : your good

ness, Since you provoke me, shall be most notorious.My lord of Norfolk,-as you are truly noble, As you respect the common good, the state Of our despis’d nobility, our issues, Who, if he live, will scarce be gentlemen,Produce the grand sum of his sins, the articles Collected from his life :-I'll startle you Worse than the sacring bell, when the brown

wench' Lay kissing in your arms, lord cardinal.

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. * Who,] Old copy-Whom. Corrected in the second folio.

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 procession, as also in other offices of the Romish church, is called the sacring, or consecration bell; from the French word, sacrer.

THEOBALD. The Abbess, in The Merry Devil of Edmonton, 1608, says:

“ — you shall ring the sacring bell,

“ Keep your hours, and toll your knell.” Again, in Reginald Scott's Discovery of Witchcraft, 1584: “ He heard a little sacring bell ring to the elevation of a to-morrow mass."

Wol. How much, methinks, I could despise this

man, But that I am bound in charity against it! Nor. Those articles, my lord, are in the king's

hand : But, thus much, they are foul ones. Wol.

So much fairer, And spotless, shall mine innocence arise, When the king knows my truth. SUR.

This cannot save you:
I thank my memory, I yet remember
Some of these articles; and out they shall.
Now, if you can blush, and cry guilty, cardinal,
You'll show a little honesty.
WOL.

Speak on, sir;
I dare your worst objections: if I blush,
It is, to see a nobleman want manners.

SUR. I'd rather want those, than my head.

Have at you.

1

The now obsolete verb to sacre, is used by P. Holland, in his translation of Pliny's Natural History, Book X. ch. vi. And by Chapman, in his version of Homer's Hymn to Diana :

Sacring my song to every deity." STEEVENS.

when the brown wench &c.] The amorous propensities of Cardinal Wolsey are much dwelt on in the ancient satire already quoted, p. 88, n. 6:

“ By his pryde and faulce treachery,
« Whoardom and baudy leachery,

“ He hath been so intollerable.” Again :

“ The goodes that he thus gaddered
“ Wretchedly he hath scattered

“ In causes nothynge expedient.
To make wyndowes walles and dores,
“ And to mayntayne baudes and whores

“ A grett parte thereof is spent.”
And still more grossly are his amours spoken of in many

other parts of the same poem. STEEVENS.

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