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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— Tothe Pope?
The letter, as live, with all the business
I writ to his holiness. Nay then, farewell !
I have touch'd the highest point of all my greatnessle ;
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 19 and SUFFOLK,

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
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 ? 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
To Asher-house , my lord of Winchester's,
Till
you

hear further from his highness.
Wol.

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;
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 gave me:
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?

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,

Ye appear

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.'.

that see.

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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
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 22 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 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.

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Farewell nobility; let his grace go forward,
And dare us with his cap, like larks 24.
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 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;
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 objection: if I blush,
It is, to see a nobleman want manners.
Sur. I'd rather want those, than my

head. Have

at you.

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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.

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.

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