Imagens das páginas

The beauty of her person to the people.
Believe me, sir, she is the goodliest woman
That ever lay by man: which when the people
Had the full view of, such a noise arose
As the shrouds make at sea in a stiff tempest,
As loud, and to as many tunes: hats, cloaks
(Doublets, I think) flew up; and had their faces
Been loose, this day they had been lost. Such joy
I never saw before. Great bellied women,
That had not half a week to go, like ramse
In the old time of war, would shake the press,
And make them reel before them. No man living
Could say, This is my wife, there; all were woven
So strangely in one piece.
2 Gent.

But what follow'd? 3 Gent. At length her grace rose, and with mo

dest paces

Came to the altar; where she kneel'd, and, saintlike,
Cast her fair eyes to heaven, and pray'd devoutly.
Then rose again, and bow'd her to the people :
When by the archbishop of Canterbury
She had all the royal makings of a queen;
As holy oil, Edward Confessor's crown,
The rod, and bird of peace, and all such emblems
Laid nobly on her: which perform’d, the choir,
With all the choicest music of the kingdom,
Together sung Te Deum. So she parted,
And with the same full state pac'd back again
To York Place, where the feast is held.

1 Gent.
Must no more call it York Place, that is past:
For, since the cardinal fell, that title's lost;
'Tis now the king's, and call’d--Whitehall.
3 Gent.

I know it; But 'tis so lately altered, that the old name Is fresh about me.

Sir, you

6 i. e. battering rams :

labat ariete crebro Janua

2 Gent.

What two reverend bishops Were those that went on each side of the queen? 3 Gent. Stokesly and Gardiner; the one, of

(Newly preferr'd from the king's secretary),
The other, London.
2 Gent.

He of Winchester
Is held no great good lover of the archbishop's,
The virtuous Cranmer.
3 Gent.

All the land knows that: However, yet there's no great breach; when it

comes, Cranmer will find a friend will not shrink from him.

2 Gent. Who may that be, I pray you? 3 Gent.

Thomas Cromwell; A man in much esteem with the king, and truly A worthy friend.—The king Has made him master o'the jewel-house, And one, already, of the privy council.

2 Gent. He will deserve more. 3 Gent.

Yes, without all doubt. Come, gentlemen, ye shall go my way, which Is to the court, and there ye shall be my guests; Something I can command. As I walk thither, I'll tell ye more. Both. You may command us, sir.


SCENE II1. Kimbolton.
Enter KATHARINE, Dowager, sick; led between

Grif. How does your grace?

0, Griffith, sick .to death : My legs, like loaden branches, bow' to the earth,

1 This scene is above any other part of Shakspeare's tragedies, and perhaps above any scene of any other poet, tender and pathetic, without gods, or furies, or poisons, or precipices, without the help of romantic circumstances, without improbable sallies of poetical lamentation, and without any throes of tumultuous misery.-JOHNSON.

Willing to leave their burden: Reach a chair;-
So,-now, methinks, I feel a little ease.
Didst thou not tell me, Griffith, as thou led'st me,
That the great child of honour, cardinal Wolsey,
Was dead?

Grif. Yes, madam; but, I think, your grace,
Out of the pain you suffer’d, gave no ear to't.

Kath. Pr’ythee, good Griffith, tell me how he died: If well, he stepp'd before me, happily, For my example. Grif.

Well, the voice goes, madam: For after the stout Earl Northumberland Arrested him at York, and brought him forward (As a man sorely tainted) to his answer, He fell sick suddenly, and grew so ill, He could not sit his mule3. Kath.

Alas! poor man! Grif. At last, with easy roads4, he came to Leicester, Lodg'd in the Abbey; where the reverend abbot, With all his convent, honourably receiv'd him; To whom he gave these words,-0 father abbot, An old man, broken with the storms of state, Is come to lay his weary bones among ye; Give him a little earth for charity! So went to bed: where eagerly his sickness Pursu'd him still; and, three nights after this, About the hour of eight (which he himself Foretold, should be his last), full of repentance, Continual meditations, tears, and sorrows,

[ocr errors]


2 Happily is sometimes used by Shakspeare for haply, peradventure; as in The Taming of the Shrew, Act iv. Sc. 4:

old Gremio is heark’ning still, And happily we might be interrupted.' But it here more probably means opportunely.

3 Cardinals generally rode on mules, as a mark perhaps of humility. Cavendish says that Wolsey rodelike a cardinal sumptuously upon his mule, trapped altogether in crimson velvet and gilt stirrups.' And Roy, in the Satire already quoted, says:

« Doth he then use on mules to ride?
Ye, and that with so shameful pride

That to tell it is not possible.' 4 Roads, or rodex, here, is the same as courses, stages, or journeys From whence also was formed out-rodes, in-rodes, &c.

He gave his honours to the world again,
His blessed part to heaven, and slept in peace.

Kath. So may he rest; his faults lie gently on him!
Yet thus far, Griffith, give me leave to speak him,
And yet with charity,– He was a man
Of an unbounded stomach, ever ranking
Himself with princes; one, that by suggestion
Ty'd all the kingdom: simony was fair play;
His own opinion was his law: I'the presence
He would say untruths; and be ever double,
Both in his words and meaning: He was never,
But where he meant to ruin, pitiful:
His promises were, as he then was, mighty;
But his performance, as he is now, nothing.
Of his own body he was ill?, and gave
The clergy ill example.

Noble madam, Men's evil manners live in brass; their virtues We write in water. May it please your highness To hear me speak his good now? Kath.

Yes, good Griffith: I were malicious else. Grif.

This cardinal,


bi. e. of unbounded pride or haughtiness. Thus Holinshed• This cardinal was of a great stomach, for he computed himself equal with princes, and by crafty suggestions got into his hands innumerable treasure: he forced little on simony, 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 gave the clergie evil example.' Ed 1587, p. 922.

one that by suggestion

Ty'd all the kingdom Suggestion here, I think, means wicked prompting. It is used in this sense in The Tempest. I have no doubt that we should read tyth'd instead of ty'd, as Dr. Farmer proposed, and as the passage quoted from Holinshed warrants. The word tythes was not exclusively used to signify the emoluments of the clergy. Thus in Beaumont and Fletcher's Queen of Corinth:

• Why, sir, the kingdom's his; and no man now
Cau come to Corinth, or from Corinth go,
Without his licence ; he puts up the tithes

of every office through Achaia. 7. To be ill, evil, or naught of budy, was to be addicted to women: to be lewd in life and manuers.

Though from an humble stock, undoubtedly
Was fashion'd to much honour from his cradle8.
He was a scholar, and a ripe, and good one;
Exceeding wise, fair spoken, and persuading:
Lofty, and sour, to them that lov'd him not;
But, to those men that sought him, sweet as summer.
And though he were unsatisfied in getting
(Which was a sin), yet in bestowing, madam,
He was most princely: Ever witness for him
Those twins of learning, that he rais’d in you,
Ipswich, and Oxford! one of which fell with him,
Unwilling to outlive the good that did it';
The other, though unfinish’d, yet so famous,
So excellent in art, and still so rising,
That Christendom shall ever speak his virtne.
His overthrow heap'd happiness upon him;
For then, and not till then, he felt himself,
And found the blessedness of being little:
And, to add greater honours to his age
Than man could give him, he died, fearing God10.

Kath. After my death I wish no other herald,
No other speaker of my living actions,
To keep mine honour from corruption,
But such an honest chronicler as Griffith.

8 This passage has been absurdly pointed in all the modern editions:

This cardinal, &c.
Was fashiou'd to much hononr. From his cradle
He was a scholar, and a ripe and good one.'

• Unwilling to outlive the good that did it.' Good appears here to be put for goodness, as in the passage just above:

? May it please your highness

To hear me speak his good now ?' 10 This speech is formed on the following passage in Holinshed: - This cardinal (as Edmund Campion in his Historie of Ireland described him) was a man undoubtedly born to honour; I think (saith he) some prince's bastard, no butcher's sonne; exceeding wise, faire-spoken, high-minded,' full of revenge, vitious of his bodie, loftie to his enemies, were they never so bigge, to those that accepted and sought his friendship wonderful courteous; ripe schooleman, thrall to affections, brought a bed with flatterie ; insaciable to get, and more princelie in bestowing, as appeareth by his two colleges at Ipswich' and Oxenford, the one overthrown with big fall, ihe other unfinished, and yet as it Iyeth, for an


« AnteriorContinuar »