« PreviousContinue »
I sent the king? Is there no way to cure this?
Re-enter the DUKES of NORFOLK 19 and SUFFOLK,
the EARL of SURREY, and the Lord Chamber-
18. Thus in Marlowe's King Edward II.:
• Base fortune, now I see that in thy wheel
Why should I grieve at my declining fall ?'
Into our hands; and to confine yourself
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 21, (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 hand
Sur. The king that gave it.
It must be himself then.
Proud lord, thou liest; Within these forty hours Surrey durst better Have burnt that tongue, than said so. Sur.
20 · Asher was the ancient name of Esher, in Surrey. Shakspeare forgot that Wolsey was himself Bishop, of Winchester, having succeeded Bishop Fox in 1528, holding the see in commendam. Esher was one of the episcopal palaces belonging to that see.
21 That is, “Till I find more than (your malicious) will and words to do it, I dare and must deny it.”,
Thou scarlet sin, robb'd this bewailing land
This, and all else
By my soul,
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 23 by a piece of scarlet,
22 i. e. equal.
23 i. e. overcrowed, overmastered. The force of this term may be best understood from a proverb given by Cotgrave, in v. Rosse, a jade. • Il n'est si bon cheval qui n'en deviendroit rosse : It would anger a saint, or crestfall the best man living to be so used. Thus in Antony and Cleopatra, Act iii. Sc. 1 :
• The ne'er-yet-beaten horse of Parthia
We have jaded out o’the field.' VOL. VII.
Farewell nobility; let his grace go forward,
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 25, when the brown wench Lay kissing in your arms, lord cardinal 26. Wol. How much, methinks, I could despise this
man, But that I am bound in charity against it!
24 A cardinal's hat is scarlet, and the method of daring larks is by small mirrors on scarlet cloth, which engages the attention of the birds while the fowler draws his nets over them. The same thought occurs in Skelton's Why come ye not to Court? a satire on Wolsey :
• The red hat with his lure'
Bringeth all things under cure.' 25 The little bell which is rung to give notice of the elevation of the Host, and other offices of the Romish Church, is called the sacring or consecration bell. Thus in Reginald Scot's Discovery of Witchcraft, 1584:- He heard a little sacring bell ring to the elevation of a to-morrow mass.
26 'The amorous propensities of Cardinal Wolsey are much dwelt upon in Roy's Satire against him, printed in the Supplement to Mr. Park's edition of the Harleian Miscellany. Bat it was a common topic of invective against the clergy; all came under the censure, and many no doubt richly deserved 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;
Speak on, sir:
First, that without the king's assent, or knowledge, You wrought to be a legate; by which power You maim'd the jurisdiction of all bishops.
Nor. Then, that, in all you writ to Rome, or else To foreign princes, Ego et Rex meus Was still inscrib'd; in which you brought the king To be
your servant. Suf. Then, that, without the knowledge Either of king or council, when you
went Ambassador to the emperor, you made bold To carry into Flanders the great seal.
Sur. Item, you sent a large commission To Gregory de Cassalis, to conclude, Without the king's will, or the state's allowance, A league between his highness and Ferrara.
Suf. That, out of mere ambition, you have caus’d Your holy hat to be stamp'd on the king's coin 27
27 • This was one of the articles exhibited against Wolsey, but rather with a view to swell the catalogue than from any serious cause of accusation; inasmuch as the Archbishops Cranmer, Bainbridge, and Warham were indulged with the same privilege. See Snelling's View of the Silver Coin of England.'— Douce.