Page images

More worth than empty vanities; yet prayers, and wishes,
Are all I can return. 'Beseech your lordship,
Vouchsafe to speak my thanks, and my obedience,
As from a blushing handmaid, to his highness;
Whose health, and royalty, I pray for.

Cham. Lady,
I shall not fail to approve the fair conceit,”
The king hath of you.-I have perus’d her well;"


Beauty and honour in her are so mingled,
That they have caught the king: and who knows yet,
But from this lady may proceed a gem,
To lighten all this isle "—I’ll to the king,

such arbitrary changes were allowable, ought not to be admitted here, this being a distinct proposition, not an illation from what has gone before. I know not, (says Anne) what external acts of duty and obeisance I ought to return for such unmerited favour. All I can do of that kind, and even more, if more were possible, would be insufficient: nor are any prayers that I can of. fer up for my benefactor sufficiently sanctified, nor any wishes that I can breathe for his happiness, of more value than the most worthless and empty vanities. Malone.

* I shall not fail &c I shall not omit to strengthen, by my commendation, the opinion which the King has formed. johnson.

- * I have perus'd her well;] From the many artful strokes of address the poet has thrown in upon Queen Elizabeth and her mother, it should seem that this play was written and performed in his royal mistress's time: if so, some lines were added by him in the last scene, after the accession of her successor, King James. Theobald. a gem, To lighten all this isle?] Perhaps alluding to the carbuncle, a gem supposed to have intrinsick light, and to shine in the dark: any other gem may reflect light, but cannot give it. johnson. So, in Titus Andronicus: “A precious ring, that lightens all the hole.” Steevens. Thus, in a palace described in Amadis de Gaule, Trans. 1619, fol B. IV, p 5: “In the roofe of a chamber hung two lampes of gold, at the bottomes whereof were enchased two carbuncles, which gave so bright a splendour round about the roome, that there was no neede of any other light.” With a reference to this no. tion, I imagine, Milton, speaking of the orb of the sun, says: “If stone, carbuncle most or chrysolite ” Paradise Lost, B. III, v. 596. And that we have in Antony and Cleopatra: “ — were it carbuncled “Like holy Phabus' car.” H. White.

6 —

And say, I spoke with you.

-Anne. My honour’d lord.

[Exit Ld. Cham.

Old L. Why, this it is; see, see!
I have been begging sixteen years in court,
(Am yet a courtier beggarly) nor could
Come pat betwixt too early and too late,
For any suit of pounds: and you, (O fate 1)
A very fresh-fish here, (fy, fy upon
This compell’d fortune!) have your mouth fill’d up,
Before you open it.

-Anne. This is strange to me.

Old L. How tastes it? is it bitter? forty pence, no." There was a lady once, ('tis an old story). That would not be a queen, that would she not, For all the mud in Egypt:*—Have you heard it?

•Anne. Come, you are pleasant.

Old L. With your theme, I could O’ermount the lark. The marchioness of Pembroke! A thousand pounds a year! for pure respect; No other obligation: By my life, That promises more thousands: Honour’s train Is-longer than his foreskirt. By this time, I know, your back will bear a duchess;–Say,

7 is it bitter? forty pence, no.] Mr. Roderick, in his appendix to Mr. Edwards's book, proposes to read: — for two-pence, The old reading may, however, stand. Forty pence was, in those days, the proverbial expression of a small wager, or a small sum. Money was then reckoned by pounds, marks, and nobles. Forty pence is half a noble, or the sixth part of a pound. Forty pence, or three and four pence, still remains, in many offices, the legal and established fee. So, in King Richard II, Act V, sc. v.: “The cheapest of us is ten groats too dear.” Again in All's Well that Ends Well, Act II, the Clown says: “As fit as ten groats for the hand of an attorney.” Again, in Green’s Groundwork of Coneycatching: “ — wagers laying, &c. forty pence gaged against a match of wrestling.” Again, in The longer thou livest the more Fool thou art, 1570: “I dare wage with any man forty pence.” Again, in The Storye of King Darius, 1565, an interlude: “Nay, that I will not for fourty pence.” Steevens.

a For all the mud in Egypt's] The fertility of Egypt is derived from the mud and slime of the Nile. Steevens.

Are you not stronger than you were 2

...Anne. Good lady,
Make yourself mirth with your particular fancy,
And leave me out on 't. 'Would I had no being,
If this salute my blood a jot; it faints me,
To think what follows.
The queen is comfortless, and we forgetful
In our long absence: Pray, do not deliver
What here you have heard, to her.

Old L. What do you think me?


.4 Hall in Black-Fryars.

Trumflets, Sennet,” and Cornets. Enter Two Vergers, with short Silver Wands; next them, Two Scribes,

9 — Sennet, Dr. Burney (whose General History of Musick has been so highly and deservedly applauded) undertook to trace the etymology, and discover the certain meaning of this term, but without success. The following conjecture of his should not, however, be withheld from the publick: “Senné or sennie, de l'Allemandsen, qui signifie assemblee. Dict de vieux Language: “Senne, assemblee a son de cloche.” Menage. Perhaps, therefore, (says he,) sennet may mean a flourish for the purpose of assembling chiefs, or apprizing the people of their ap#. I have likewise been informed, (as is elsewhere noted) hat semeste is the name of an antiquated French tune.” See jutius Caesar, Act I, sc. ii. Steevens. in the second part of Marston's Antonio and Mellida— “Cornets sound a cynet.” Farmer A senet appears to have signified a short flourish on cornets. In King Henry VI, P. III, after the King and the Duke of York have entered into a compact in the parliament-house, we find this marginal direction: “Senet. Here they [the lords], come down [from their seats].” In that place a flourish must have been meant. The direction which has occasioned this note should be, I believe, Sennet on cornetS. In Marlowe's King Edward II, we find “Cornets sound a sigmate.” Senet or signate was undoubtedly nothing more than a flourish or sounding. The Italian Sonata formerly signified nothing more. See Florio’s Italian Dict. 1611, in v. That senet was merely the corrupt pronunciation of signate, is ascertained by the following entry in the folio M.S. of Mr. Henslowe, who appears to have spelt entirely by the ear:

in the Habits of Doctors; after them, the Archbishof, of Canterbury alone; after him, the Bishofs of Lincoln, Ely, Rochester, and Saint Asaph; next them, with some small distance, follows a Gentleman bearing the Purse, with the Great Seal, and a Cardinal’s Hat; then two Priests, bearing each a Silver Cross; then a Gentleman-Usher bare-headed, accompanied with a Sergeant at Arms, bearing a Silver Mace; then two Gentlemen, bearing two great Silver Pillars;” after them,

“Laid out at sundry times, of my own ready money, abowt the gainynge of ower comysion, as followeth, 1597.

“Laid out for goinge to the corte to the Master of the Requeasts, xiid.

“Item. Paid unto the clerk of the Senette, 40s.” Malone.

1 — Archbishop of Canterbury,–Bishops of Lincoln, Ely, Rochester, and Saint Asaph;] These were, William Warham, John Longland, Nicholas West, John Fisher, and Henry Standish. West, Fisher, and Standish, were counsel for the Queen. Reed.

2 Pillars; Pillars were some of the ensigns of dignity carried before cardinals. Sir Thomas More, when he was speaker to the commons, advised them to admit Wolsey into the house with his maces and his pillars. More's Life of Sir T. More. johnson. So, in The Treatous, a satire on Cardinal Wolsey, no date, but published between the execution of the Duke of Buckingham and the repudiation of Queen Katharine. Of this curiosity the reader will find a particular account in Herbert's improved edit. of Ames’s Typographical Antiquities, Vol. III, p. 1538, &c. The author of this invective was William Roy. See Bale de Script. Brit. edit. 1548, p. 254, b : “With worldly pompe incredible, “Before him rideth two prestes stronge; “And they bear two crosses right longe, “Gapynge in every man's face: “After them folowe two laye men secular, “And each of theym holdyn a pillar, “In their hondes steade of a mace.” Steevens. At the end of Fiddes's Life of Cardinal Wolsey, is a curious letof Mr. Anstis's, on the subject of the two silver pillars usually borne before Cardinal Wolsey. This remarkable piece of pa. geantry did not escape the notice of Shakspeare. Percy. Wolsey had two great crosses of silver, the one of his archbishoprick, the other of his legacy, borne before him whithersoever he went or rode, by two of the tallest priests that he could get within the realm. This is from Vol. III, p. 920, of Holinshed, and it seems from p. 837, that one of the pillars was a token of a cardinal, and perhaps he bore the other pillar as an archbishop. Tøllet,

side by side, the two Cardinals Wolsey and CAMPEIUs; two.Woblemen with the Sword and Mace. Then enter the King and Queen, and their Trains. The King takes filace under the cloth of state; the two Cardinals sit under him as judges. The Queen takes filace at some distance from the King. The Bishoffs filace themselves on each side the court, in manner of a consistory; below them, the Scribes. The Lords sit next the Bishops. The Crier and the rest of the Attendants stand in convenient order about the stage.

IVol. Whilst our commission from Rome is read, Let silence be commanded. K. Hen. What’s the need? It hath already publickly been read, And on all sides the authority allow’d; You may then spare that time. IP'ol. - Be 't so:–Proceed. Scribe. Say, Henry king of England, come into the COurt. Crier. Henry king of England, &c. K. Hen. Here. o Scribe. Say, Katharine queen of England, come into COurt. Crier. Katharine queen of England, &c.

| The Queen makes no answer, rises out of her chair, goes about the court,” comes to the King, and kneels at his feet; then sheaks.]

Q. Kath. Sir, I desire you, do me right and justice;"

One of Wolsey's crosses certainly denoted his being Legate, as the other was borne before him either as cardinal or arch-. bishop... “On the – day of the same moneth (says Hall) the cardinall removed out of his house called Yorke-place, with one crosse, saying, that he would he had never borne more, meaning that by hys crosse which he bore as legate, which degree-taking was his confusion.” Chron. Henry VIII, 104, b. Malone.

3—goes about the court, “Because (says Cavendish) she could not come to the king directlie, for the distance severed be. tween them.” Malone.

*Sir, I desire you, do me right and justice, &c.] This speech of the Queen, and the King's reply, are taken from Holinshed, with the most trifling variations. Steevens.

« PreviousContinue »