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Re-enter the Dukes of Norfolk and SUFFOLK, the Earl
of Surrey, and the Lord Chamberlain.
Nor. Hear the king's pleasure, cardinal: who com
Who dare cross them,
Wol. Till I find more than will, or words, to do it,
Sur. The king, that gave it.
It must be himself then.
3 To Asher-house,] Asher was the ancient name of Esher.
4 - my lord of Winchester's,] Shakspeare forgot that Wolsey was himself bishop of Winchester, unless he meant to say, you must confine yourself to that house which you possess as bishop of Winchester. Asher, near Hampton-Court, was one of the houses belonging to that bishoprick.
Sur. Thou art a proud traitor, priest.
Proud lord, thou liest ;
This, and all else
By my soul,
† “ That in the way,” &c.—Malone.
s To be thus jaded —] To be abused and ill treated, like a worthless horse ; or perhaps to be ridden by a priest ;--to have him mounted above us.
Farewell nobility ; let his grace go forward.
Yes, that goodness Of gleaning all the land's wealth into one, Into your own hands, cardinal, by extortion ; The goodness of your intercepted packets You writ to the pope, against the king : your
goodness, Since you provoke me, shall be most notorious.— My lord of Norfolk, as you are truly noble, As you respect the common good, the state Of our despis'd nobility, our issues, Who, if he live, will scarce be gentlemen,Produce the grand sum of his sins, the articles Collected from his life :—I'll startle you Worse than the sacring bell’, when the brown wench Lay kissing in your arms, lord cardinal.
Wol. How much, methinks, I could despise this man, But that I am bound in charity against it!
Nor. Those articles, my lord, are in the king's hand : But, thus much, they are foul ones.
So much fairer, And spotless shall mine innocence arise, When the king knows my truth. Sur.
This cannot save you I thank my memory, I yet remember Some of these articles ; and out they shall.
6 And dare us with his cap, like larks.] It is well known that the hat of a cardinal is scarlet ; and that one of the methods of daring larks was by small mirrors fastened on scarlet cloth, which engaged the attention of these birds while the fowler drew his net over them.
7 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, sacrer.
Now, if you can blush, and cry guilty, cardinal,
Speak on, sir;
Nor. Then, that, in all you writ to Rome, or else
Then, that, without the knowledge,
Sur. Item, you sent a large commission
Suf. That, out of mere ambition, you have caus’d
Sur. Then, that you have sent innumerable substance, (By what means got, I leave to your own conscience,) To furnish Rome, and to prepare the ways You have for dignities; to the mere undoingo Of all the kingdom. Many more there are ; Which, since they are of you, and odious, I will not taint my mouth with. Cham.
O my lord,
8 Your holy hat to be stamp'd on the king's coin.] This was certainly one of the articles exhibited against Wolsey, but rather with a view to swell the catalogue, than from any serious cause of accusation ; inasmuch as the archbishops Cranmer, Bainbrigge, and Warham, were indulged with the same privilege.
9 — to the mere undoing -] Mere is absolute.
Press not a falling man too far ; 'tis virtue:
I forgive him.
Nor. And so we'll leave you to your meditations How to live better. For your stubborn answer, About the giving back the great seal to us, The king shall know it, and, no doubt, shall thank you. So fare you well, my little good lord cardinal.
[Exeunt all but WOLSEY. Wol. So farewell to the little good you bear me. Farewell, a long farewell, to all my greatness ! This is the state of man ; To-day he puts forth The tender leaves of hope, to-morrow blossoms, And bears his blushing honours thick upon him: The third day, comes a frost, a killing frost ; And,—when he thinks, good easy man, full surely His greatness is a ripening,-nips his root, And then he falls, as I do. I have ventur'd, Like little wanton boys that swim on bladders, This many summers in a sea of glory; But far beyond my depth: my high-blown pride At length broke under me ; and now has left me, Weary, and old with service, to the mercy Of a rude stream, that must for ever hide me. Vain pomp, and glory of this world, I hate ye ;
1- of a præmunire,] It is almost unnecessary to observe that pramunire is a barbarous word used instead of præmonere.