Sidor som bilder

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.

Line 593. 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, THEOBALD.


Line 722. -a tomb of orphans' tears wept on 'em!] The chancellor is the general guardian of orphans. A tomb of tears is very harsh. JOHNSON.

Line 746.

make use-] Use for interest.

Line 786. Had I but serv'd my God &c.] This sentence was really uttered by Wolsey. JOHNSON.


-once again.] Alluding to their former meeting in JOHNSON.

Line 1. the second act. Line 13. their royal minds;] i. e. their minds well af fected to their king. MALONE.

Line 24.

-this day-] Hanmer reads, -these days,

but Shakspeare meant such a day as this, a coronation day. And such is the English idiom, which our author commonly prefers to grammatical nicety. JOHNSON. Line 105.

-like rams-] That is, like battering rams. JOHNSON.


SCENE II.] This scene is above any other part of Shakspeare's tragedies, and perhaps above any scene of any other poet, tender and pathetick, without gods, or furies, or poisons, or precipices, without the help of romantick circumstances, without im

probable sallies of poetical lamentation, and without any throes of tumultuous misery. JOHNSON. Line 171.

he stepp'd before me, happily,

For my example.] Happily seems to mean on this occasion―peradventure. I have been more than once of this opinion, when I have met with the same word mis-spelt in other passages. STEEVENS.

Line 180. -with easy roads,] i. e. by short stages.


·199. Of an unbounded stomach,] i. e. of unbounded pride, or haughtiness. STEEVENS.

Line 200.

-one, that by suggestion

Ty'd all the kingdom:] The word suggestion, says Dr. Warburton, is here used with great propriety, and seeming knowledge of the Latin tongue: and he proceeds to settle the sense of it from the late Roman writers and their glossers. But Shakspeare's knowledge was from Holinshed, whom he follows verbatim:

"This cardinal was of a great stomach, for he compted himself equal with princes, and by craftie suggestion got into his hands innumerable treasure: he forced little on simonie, and was not pitifull, and stood affectionate in his own opinion: in open presence he would lie and seie untruth, and was double both in speech and meaning: he would promise much and perform little he was vicious of his bodie, and gaue the clergie euil example." Edit. 1587, p. 922. Dr. FARMER.

Line 229. Unwilling to outlive the good that did it;] i. e. Unwilling to survive that virtue which was the cause of its foundation. MALONE.

-solemnly tripping one after another,] This whimsical stagedirection is exactly copied from the folio. STEEVENS.

Line 333. The model of our chaste loves,] Model is image or representative. MALONE.


Line 4. Not for delights;] Gardiner himself is not much delighted. The delight at which he hints seems to be the king's diversion, which keeps him in attendance. JOHNSON.

Line 10. at primero-] Primero and primavista, two games at cards, H. I. Primera Primavista. La Primiere, G. Prime, f. Prime veue. Primum, et primum visum, that is, first, and first seen: because he that can shew such an order of cards first, wins the game. Minshieu's Guide into Tongues, col. 575. Dr. GREY. Line 18. Some touch of your late business:] Some hint of the business that keeps you awake so late. JOHNSON. -mine own way;] Mine own opinion in religion, JOHNSON. 49. Stands in the gap and trade of more preferments,] Trade is the practised method, the general course. JOHNSON. -I have

Line 39.

Line 58.

Incens'd the lords o' the council, that he is, &c. A most arch heretick,] The passage, according to Shakspeare's licentious grammar, may mean-I have incens'd the lords of the council, for that he is, i. e. because. STEEVENS. Line 63. broken with the king;] They have broken silence; told their minds to the king. JOHNSON.

Line 68. He be convented.] i. e. convened.

140. -You a brother of us, &c.] You being one of the council, it is necessary to imprison you, that the witnesses against you may not be deterred. JOHNSON.

Line 148. Than I myself, poor man.] Poor man probably belongs to the king's reply. JOHNSON.

Line 159. The good I stand on-] Though good may be taken for advantage or superiority, or any thing which may help or support, yet it would, I think, be more natural to say,

The ground I stand on—

Mr. Malone is of opinion that the old reading is right. Line 174. -Ween you of better luck,] To ween is to think, to imagine.


Line 212.

bless her!] It is doubtful whether her is referred to the queen or the girl. JOHNSON.

Line 217. Lovell,] Lovell has been just sent out of the presence, and no notice is given of his return. I have placed it here at the instant when the king calls for him. STEEVENS.

Line 502.

[ocr errors]


draw the curtain close;] i.e. the curtain of the


Line 275.

balcony, or upper stage, where the king now is. and capable

Line 293.

Of our flesh, few are angels: &c.] If this passage means any thing, it may mean, few are perfect, while they remain in their mortal capacity. STEEVENS. Line 323. -a single heart,] i.e. a heart void of duplicity or guile. MALONE.

Line 360. your painted gloss &c.] Those that understand you, under this painted gloss, this fair outside, discover your empty talk and your false reasoning. JOHNSON. Line 444. Than but once think his place becomes thee not.] Who dares to suppose that the place or situation in which he is, is not suitable to thee also? who supposes that thou art not as fit for the office of a privy counsellor as he is? MALONE. Line 481. —you'd spare your spoons;] It appears by this and another passage in the next scene, that the gossips gave spoons. JOHNSON.

It was the custom, long before the time of Shakspeare, for the sponsors at christenings to offer gilt spoons as a present to the child. These spoons were called apostle spoons, because the figures of the apostles were carved on the tops of the handles. Such as were at once opulent and generous, gave the whole twelve; those who were either more moderately rich or liberal, escaped at the expence of the four evangelists; or even sometimes contented themselves with presenting one spoon only, which exhibited the figure of any saint, in honour of whom the child received its name. STEEVENS.


-Paris-Garden?] The bear-garden of that time.

503. -gaping.] i. e. bawling, shouting. ·524.sir Guy, nor Colbrand,] Of Guy of Warwick every one has heard. Colbrand was the Danish giant, whom Guy subdued at Winchester. Their combat is very elaborately described by Drayton in his Polyolbion.


Line 535. -Moorfields to muster in?] The train-bands of the city were exercised in Moorfields. JOHNSON.

Line 543. he should be a brazier by his face,] A brazier signifies a man that manufactures brass, and a mass of metal occasionally heated to convey warmth. Both these senses are here understood. JOHNSON.

[ocr errors]

Line 547.

serpent; a fire-work, an ignis fatuus.

Line 551.

till her pink'd porringer fell off her head,] Her pink'd porringer is her pink'd cap, which looked as if it had been moulded on a porringer. MALONE -the meteor-] The fire-drake, the brazier. JOHNSON. 560. loose shot,] i. e. loose or random shooters.

Line 553.

That fire-drake-] A fire-drake is a fiery


566. the Tribulation of Tower-hill, or the limbs of Limehouse,] I suspect the Tribulation to have been a puritanical meeting-house. The limbs of Limehouse, I do not understand.

Line 598. pitch.

Line 570. whipping.

JOHNSON. -running banquet of two beadles,] A publick JOHNSON.

Line 589. here ye lie baiting of bumbards,] A bumbard is an ale-barrel; to bait bumbards is to tipple, to lie at the spigot.


-I'll pick you o'er the pales else.] To pick is to



Line 647. [Now shall this peace sleep with her: &c.] These lines, to the interruption by the king, seem to have been inserted at some revisal of the play, after the accession of king James. If the passage, included in crotchets, be left out, the speech of Cranmer proceeds in a regular tenour of prediction and continuity of sentiments; but by the interposition of the new lines, he first celebrates Elizabeth's successor, and then wishes he did not know that she was to die; first rejoices at the consequence, and then laments the cause. Our author was at once politick and idle; he resolved to flatter James, but neglected to reduce the whole speech to pro

« FöregåendeFortsätt »