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Shakspeare never loaded a line in this manner, and so uselessly—" wherefore" should be dismissed, and the line proceed thus:
"Who deem'd our marriage lawful; humbly I "Beseech you, Sir," &c.
93." Lord Cardinal,
"To you I speak."
This equivocal address, where there were present two cardinals, engages the attention of them both, and Catherine found it necessary to distinguish Wolsey in this emphatic manner.
94. "O'ertopping woman's power. Madam, you do me wrong."
"Madam" is a useless hypermeter.
95. "Where powers are your retainers."
By " powers," I believe, is meant potentates, supremes of state; and the sense, that Wolsey had made these powers subservient to him.
This word occurs again in K. Henry V. It perhaps should be altered, or rather restored to its primitive and natural form, enloos'd; to unloose should mean to fasten.
"Whether ever I
It should be "spoken," or the accepted abbreviation spoke; but the metre is excessive. We might read, dismissing one word,
"A royal lady,—spoke the least word, might."
99. "/ speak, my good Lord Cardinal, to this
I represent my Lord Cardinal as he really acted in this case.
100." The bosom of my conscience."
The inmost recess; equivalent to the expression, "my heart's core," " my heart of hearts."
101. "I meant to rectify my conscience—which "/ then did feel full sick, and yet not
"And which is yet not well." "/ committed
"The daring'st counsel which I had to doubt*
"Daring" means, here, confident, resolute; that counsel, on which otherwise I would have placed the firmest reliance, I began to suspect as fallacious.
ACT III. SCENE I.
106. "And that way I am wife in," &c.
I am persuaded this passage has been corrupted; neither "wife" nor wise affords any tolerable sense.
108. "The willing'st sin."
"Willing'st" for wilfullest.
109. "They that must weigh out my afflictions, "They that my trust must grow to, live not here."
"Weigh out" for outweigh, says Mr. Steevens; but that explanation will by no means accord with the sense. Is not this rather the meaning? They who must poise and estimate fairly my several afflictions. D D 2
110." Out upon ye
"The more shame for ye; holy men I thought ye——
".Hollow hearts, Ifear ye
"I will not wish ye half my miseries
"■ But say, I warrtd ye
"The burden of my sorrows fall upon ye."
Here, in ten successive lines, is, to the reproach of the editors, a repetition seven times of a vulgar misuse of the cases, the nominative for the accusative:—in familiar conversation, indeed, the pronoun "you," when not emphatic, or put in opposition to some other person, is uttered with the short, flat sound of the e, y£; but to set down thus, in the chastened publication of an eminent author, repeatedly, so barbarous an anomaly as the nominative case for the accusative, is, I think, utterly unpardonable.
111." Woe upon ye!"
And again, in the second line, this impropriety (according to a custom too prevalent) reversed, "you" instead of ye:
"If you have any justice, any pity."
But the very next line, again, properly:
"If ye be any thing but churchmen's habits."
"All your studies
"Make me a curse like this." The sense is imperative: let your wits do their utmost to produce a misery to me equal to this.
"Your fears are worse." I believe this is in reference to the last words uttered by the queen; your fears create an evil worse than what really exists.
112. "Ye have angels faces."
The origin of this jingle is related by Camden, from Beda: "Gregory the Great, Bishop of Rome, on a time, saw beautifull boyes to be sold in the market at Rome, and demanded from whence they were; answer was made him, out of the isle of Britan: then asked he againe whether they were Christians or no? They said, no. Alas! for pitie, said Gregory," &c. "Then he would know of the■r by what name their nation was called; and they told him Angleshmen; and justly be they so called, quoth he, for they have angelike faces, and seem meete to be made coheirs with the angels in heaven."
114." The king loves you,"Beware you lose it not."
We.should read, beware you lose him not.
117." How he coasts,
"And hedges his own way."
"To hedge, in the language of gamesters, is to counteract in some measure the probable loss of a bet by wagering a part of the amount of it in a new bet upon the contrary side.
123. "You are full of heavenly stuff."
Stuff is merely matter, whether good or bad.
125." My loyalty,
"Which ever has and ever shall be growing,
"Till Death, that winter, kill it."
This is false concord: it should be,
"Which still has been, and ever shall be growing," &c.
126." 1 do profess
That for your highness' good I ever labour'd
"More than my own; that am, have, and will be,
"Though all the world should crack their
duty to you, "And throw it from their soul, though
There is here a palpable omission, that leaves the sense perplexed and imperfect. Some arrangment like this is necessary:
-I do profess,
"That for your highness' good I ever labour'd "More than my own; that I am, have been, and shall be■,
"Though all the world should crack their duty to you,
"And throw it from their soul (most firm and
loyal) "Though perils," &c.
130. "How eagerly ye follow my disgraces, "As ifit fed ye."
Grammar requires "disgrace," here, in the singular number, and you, after "fed" instead of
133." When the brown wench
"Lay kissing in your arms, Lord Cardinal."