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Henry the eighth, life, honour, name, and all
1 Gent. O, this is full of pity!—Sir, it calls,
2 Gent. If the duke be guiltless,
1 Gent. Good angels keep it from us. What may it be 2 You do not doubt my faith, sir?
2 Gent. This secret is so weighty, 'twill require A strong faith" to conceal it.
1 Gent. Let me have it;
3 — be not loose: ) This expression occurs again in Otheilo : “There are a kind of men so loose of soul, “That in their sleeps will mutter their affairs.” Steevens.
4 And when you would say something that is sad, &c.] So, in King Fichard II: “Tell thou the lamentable tale of me, “And send the hearers weeping to their beds.” Steevens. s — strong faith —j Is great fidelity. johnson. VOL. XI. Z
I do not talk much.
2 Gent. I am confident;
1 Gent. Yes, but it held not:
2 Gent. But that slander, sir,
1 Gent. 'Tis the cardinal;
2 Gent. I think, you have hit the mark: But is 't not
That she should feel the smart of this? The cardinal Will have his will, and she must fall.
l Gent. 'Tis woful. We are too open here to argue this; Let’s think in private more. [Exeunt. SCENE II.
.An Ante-Chamber in the Palace.
Cham. My lord, The horses your lordshih sent for, with all the care I had, I saw well chosen, ridden and furmished. They were young, and handsome ; and of the best breed in the north. When they were ready to set out for
6 — and held for certain, To hold, is to believe. So, in Lord Surrey's translation of the fourth AEneid: “I hold thee not, nor yet gainsay thy words.” Steevens.
JLondon, a man of my lord cardinal’s, by commission, and main flower, took 'em from me 5 with this reason, His master would be served before a subject, if not before the king: which stoffed our mouths, sir. I fear, he will, indeed: Well, let him have them: He will have all, I think.
Enter the Dukes of Norfolk and SUFFolk.
JWor, Well met, my good? Lord chamberlain.
Cham. Good day to both your graces.
Suf. How is the king employ'd :
Cham. I left him private, Full of sad thoughts and troubles.
JWor, What's the cause:
Cham. It seems, the marriage with his brother’s wife Has crept too near his conscience.
Suf. No, his conscience Has crept too near another lady. JWor, 'Tis so;
This is the cardinal’s doing, the king-cardinal:
7 Well met, my good — The epithet—good, was inserted by Sir Thomas Hanmer for the sake of measure. Steevens.
* That, like a jewel, has hung twenty years &c.] See Vol. VI, p. 185, n. 2. Malone.
Cham. Heaven keep me from such counsell 'Tis most true,
These news are every where; every tongue speaks them,
Suf. And free us from his slavery.
-Vor. We had need pray,
Suf. For me, my lords,
:^/or. Let's in;
And, with some other business, put the king
* — see this main end, Thus the old copy. All, &c. perceive this main end of these counsels, namely, the French king's sister: The editor of the fourth folio and all the subsequent editors read —his; but yt or this were not likely to be confounded with his. Besides, the King, not Wolsey, is the person last mentioned; and it was the main end or object of Wolsey to bring about a marriage between Henry and the French king’s sister. End has already been used for cause, and may be so here. See p. 238: “The cardinal is the end of this.” Malone. 1 The French king's sister.] i. e. the Duchess of Alençon. Steevent. ... *From princes into pages.) This may allude to the retinue of the Cardinal, who had several of the nobility among his menial servants. johnson. 3 Into what pitch he please.] The mass must be fashioned into pitch or height, as well as into particular form. The meaning is, that the Cardinal can, as he pleases, make high or low. johnson. The allusion seems to be to the 21st verse of the 9th chapter of the Epistle of St. Paul to the Romans: “ Hath not the potter power over the clay of the same lump, to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour” Collins.
From these sad thoughts, that work too much upon him:—
My lord, you’ll bear us company?
Cham. Excuse me; The king hath sent me other-where: besides, You'll find a most unfit time to disturb him: Health to your lordships.
JWor. Thanks, my good lord chamberlain.
[Exit Ld. Cham.
Norfolk oftens a folding-door. The King is discovered sitting, and reading fiensively.”
Suf. How sad he looks! sure, he is much afflicted. R. Hen. Who is there? hał JWor. 'Pray God, he be not angry. R. Hen. Who’s there, I say? How dare you thrust yourselves Into my private meditations? Who am I? hał .Vor. A gracious king, that pardons all offences. Malice ne'er meant: our breach of duty, this way, Is business of estate; in which, we come To know your royal pleasure. JK. Hen. You are too bold: Go to; I'll make ye know your times of business: Is this an hour for temporal affairs? hai–
4 The stage direction, in the old copy, is a singular one. Exit Lord Chamberlain, and the King draws the curtain, and sits reading fensively. Steevens.
This stage direction was calculated for, and ascertains precisely the state of, the theatre in Shakspeare's time. When a person was to be discovered in a different apartment from that in which the original speakers in the scene are exhibited, the artless mode of our author’s time was to place such person in the back part of the stage, behind the curtains, which were occasionally suspended across it. These the person, who was to be discovered, (as Henry, in the present case,) drew back just at the proper time. Mr. Rowe, who seems to have looked no further than the modern stage, changed the direction thus: “ The scene opens, and discovers the King,” &c. but, besides the impropriety of introducing scenes, when there were none, such an exhibition would not be proper here, for Norfolk has just said—“Let’s in,”—and therefore should himself do some act, in order to visit the King. This, indeed, in the simple state of the old stage, was not attended to: the King very civilly discovering himself. Malone.