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An Antechamber in the Palace.
Enter the Duke of NORFOLK, at one door; at the other, the Duke of BUCKINGHAM, and the Lord ABERGAVENNY.
Buck. Good morrow, and well met. How have you done, Since laft we faw in France?
Nor. I thank your grace:
Healthful; and ever fince a fresh admirer2
Buck. An untimely ague
Stay'd me a prifoner in my chamber, when
This hiftorical drama comprizes a period of twelve years, commencing in the twelfth year of King Henry's reign, (1521,) and ending with the chriftening of Elizabeth in 1533. Shakspeare has deviated from history in placing the death of Queen Catharine before the birth of Elizabeth, for in fact Catharine did not die till 1536.
King Henry VIII. was written, I believe, in 1601. See An Attempt to aftertain the order of Shakspeare's Plays, Vol. I.
Dr. Farmer in a note on the epilogue obferves from Stowe, that "Robert Greene had written fomething on this ftory"; but this, I apprehend, was not a play, but fome hiftorical account of Henry's reign, written not by Robert Greene, the dramatick poet, but by fome other perfon. In the lift of "authors out of whom Stowe's Annals were compiled," prefixed to the laft edition printed in his life time, quarto, 1605, Robert Greene is enumerated with Robert de Brun, Robert Fabian, &c. and he is often quoted as an authority for facts in the margin of the history of that reign. MALONE.
a fresh admirer] An admirer untired; an admirer ftill feeling the impreffion as if it were hourly renewed. JOHNSON.
3 Thofe funs of glory,] That is, thofe glorious funs. The editor of the third folio plaufibly enough reads-Thofe fans of glory; and indeed as in old English books the two words are ufed indifcriminately, the luminary being often fpelt fon, it is fometimes difficult to determine which is meant; fun, or fon. However, the fubfequent part of the line, and the recurrence of the fame expreffion afterwards, are in favour of the reading of the original copy. MALONE.
Nor. "Twixt Guines and Arde:
I was then present, faw them falute on horse-back;
Such a compounded one?
Buck. All the whole time
I was my chamber's prisoner.
The view of earthly glory: Men might fay,
4 as they grow together;] That is, as if they grew together. See Vol. IV. p. 358, n. We have the fame image in our author's Venus and Adonis:
66 a sweet embrace;
"Incorporate then they seem; face grows to face." MALONE. 5 Till this time, pomp was fingle; but now marry'd
To one above itself.] The author only meant to say in a noify periphrafe, that pomp was increased on this occafion to more than twice as much as it bad ever been before. Pomp is married to pomp, but the new pomp is greater than the old. JOHNSON.
6 Each following day
Became the next day's mafter, &c.] Dies diem docet. Every day learned fomething from the preceding, till the concluding day collected all the fplendour of all the former fhews. JOHNSON.
7 All clinquant,] All glittering, all fhining. Clarendon ufes this word in his defcription of the Spanish Juego de Toros. JOHNSON.
It is likewife ufed in A Memorable Mafque, &c. performed before king James at Whitehall in 1613, at the marriage of the Palgrave and princess Elizabeth:
his bufkins clinquant as his other attire." STEEVENS.
Made it a fool, and beggar. The two kings,
Beyond thought's compafs; that former fabulous ftory,
Buck. O, you go far.
All was royal';
Nor. As I belong to worship, and affect
Buck. Who did guide,
Į mean, who set the body and the limbs
"So match'd, as each feem'd worthieft when alone." JOHNSON. 9 Durft wag bis tongue in cenfure.] Cenfure for determination, of which had the nobleft appearance. WARBURTON.
See Vol. I. p. 113, n. 8.
1 That Bevis was believ'd.] The old romantick legend of Bevis of Southampton. This Bevis, (or Beavois) a Saxon, was for his prowess created by William the Conqueror earl of Southampton: of whom Camden in his Britannia. THEOBALD.
the tract of every thing, &c.] The course of these triumphs and pleasures, however well related, muft lofe in the defcription part of that fpirit and energy which were expreffed in the real action. JOHNSON. - All was royal; &c.] This fpeech was given in all the editions to Buckingham; but improperly. For he wanted information, having kept his chamber during the folemnity. I have therefore given it to Norfolk. WARBURTON.
The regulation had already been made by Mr. Theobald. MALONE. -the office did
·Diftinely bis full function.] The commiffion for regulating this feftivity was well executed, and gave exactly to every particular perfon and action the proper place. JOHNSON,
Cf this great sport together, as you guess?
Buck. I pray you, who, my lord?
Nor. All this was order'd by the good difcretion
Buck. The devil speed him! no man's pye is free'd
Nor. Surely, fir,
There's in him stuff that puts him to these ends;
Out of his felf-drawing web, he gives us note,
5-element-] No initiation, no previous practices. Elements are the first principles of things, or rudiments of knowledge. The word is here applied, not without a catachrefis, to a perfon. JOHNSON.
fierce panities?] Fierce is here, I think, ufed like the French fer, for proud, unlefs we fuppofe an allufion to the mimical ferocity of the combatants in the tilt. JOHNSON.
It is certainly used as the French word fier. So, in Ben Jonfon's Bartholomew Fair, the puritan says, the hobby horfe
rank idol." STEEVENS.
Again, in the Rape of Lucrece:
"Thy violent vanities can never laft.”
In Timon of Athens we have→→
is a fierce and
"O the fierce wretchedness that glory brings!" MALONE. 7 That fuch a keech-] A keech is a folid lump or mafs. A cake of wax or tallow formed in a mould is called yet in fome places a keech. JOHNSON.
There may, perhaps, be a fingular propriety in this term of contempt. Wolfey was the fon of a butcher, and in the fecond part of King Henry IV. a butcher's wife is called-Goody Keech. STEEVENS.
Out of bis felf-drawing web,-] Thus it ftands in the first edition. The later editors, by injudicious correction, have printed : Out of bis felf-drawn web. JOHNSON.
9- he gives us wote,] Old Copy-O gives us, &c. Mr. Steevens. MALONE.
A place next to the king'.
Aber. I cannot tell
What heaven hath given him, let fome graver eye.
Peep through each part of him: Whence has he that?
Or has given all before, and he begins.
Buck. Why the devil,
Upon this French going-out, took he upon him,
Aber. I do know
Kinsmen of mine, three at the leaft, that have
A gift that beaven gives for him, which buys
A place next to the king.] It is evident a word or two in the fentence is misplaced, and that we should read:
A gift that beaven gives; which buys for bim
A place next to the king. WARBURTON,
It is full as likely that Shakspeare wrote gives to bim, which will fave any greater alteration. JoHNSON.
I am too dull to perceive the neceflity of any change. What he is unable to give himself, heaven gives or depofits for him, and that gift, or depofit, buys a place, &c. STEEVENS.
2 the file] That is, the lift. JOHNSON.
3 council out,] It appears from Holinhed, that this expreffion is rightly explained by Mr. Pope in the next note: without the concurrence of the council, The peers of the realme receiving letters to prepare themfelves to attend the king in this journey, and no apparent neceffarie caufe expreffed, why or wherefore, feemed to grudge that fuch a coftly journey fhould be taken in hand-without confent of the abole boarde of the Counfaille." MALONE.
Muft fetch him in be papers.] He papers,—a verb; his own letter, by his own fingle authority, and without the concurrence of the council, muft fetch in him whom he papers down.-I don't understand it, unless this be the meaning. POPE.
Wolfey published a lift of the feveral perfons whom he had appointed to attend on the king at this interview. See Hall's Chronicle, Rymer's Federa, tom. 13, &c. STEEVENS.