« PreviousContinue »
I sent the king? Is there no way to cure this ?
way, if it take right, in spite of fortune
the EARL of SURREY, and the Lord Chamberlain, Nor. Hear the king's pleasure, cardinal: who commands
you To render up the great seal presently
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 ? 19 The time of this play is from 1521, just before the duke of Buckingham's commitment, to 1533, when Elizabeth was born and christened. The duke of Norfolk, therefore, who is introduced in the first scene of the first act, or in 1522, is not the same person who bere, or in 1529, demands the great seal from Wolsey; for the former died in 1525. Having thus made two persons into one, so the poet has on the contrary made one person into two. The earl of Surrey here is the same who married the duke of Buckingham's daughter, as he himself tell us : but Thomas Howard, earl of Surrey, who married the duke of Buck ingham's daughter, was at this time the individual above mentioned, duke of Norfolk. Cavendish, and the chroniclers who copied from him, mention only the dukes of Norfolk and Suffolk being sent to demand the great seal. The reason for adding a third and fourth person is not very apparent.
Into our hands; and to confine yourself
hear further from his highness.
Stay, Where's your commission, 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 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
in every thing may bring my ruin ! Follow
your envious courses, men of malice;
Sur. The king that gave it.
It must be himself then.
Proud lord, thou liest;
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
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 borse 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 bello5, 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 Sapplement to Mr. Park's edition of the Harleian Miscellany. But 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
Sur. Item, you sent a large commission
Suf. That, out of mere ambition, you have caus’d Your holy hat to be stamp'd on the king's coin 27.
2 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 Archbisbops Cranmer, Bainbridge, and Warham were indulged with the saine privilege. See Snelling's View of the Silver Coin of England.'— Douce.