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Defacers of a publick peace, than I do.
'Pray heaven, the king may never find a heart
With less allegiance in it! Men, that make
Envy, and crooked malice, nourishment,
Dare bite the best. I do beseech your lordships,
That, in this case of justice, my accusers,
Be what they will, may stand forth face to face,
And freely urge against me.

Nay, my lord,
That cannot be; you are a counsellor,
And, by that virtue, no man dare accuse you.
GAR. My lord, because we have business of more

moment, We will be short with you. 'Tis his highness'

pleasure, And our consent, for better trial of

you, From hence you be committed to the Tower ; Where, being but a private man again, You shall know many dare accuse you boldly, More than, I fear, you are provided for. CRAN. Ah, my good lord of Winchester, I thank

you, You are always my good friend ; if your will pass, I shall both find your lordship judge and juror, You are so merciful : I see your end, 'Tis my undoing : Love, and meekness, lord, Become a churchman better than ambition; Win straying souls with modesty again, Cast none away. That I shall clear myself, Lay all the weight ye can upon my patience, I make as little doubt, as you do conscience, In doing daily wrongs. I could say more, But reverence to your calling makes me modest.


Defacers of a publick peace,] Read,—the publick peace.

M. MAson.

GAR. My lord, my lord, you are a sectary, That's the plain truth; your painted gloss discovers, To men that understand you, words and weakness.

CROM. My lord of Winchester, you are a little, By your good favour, too sharp; men so noble, However faulty, yet should find respect For what they have been : 'tis a cruelty, To load a falling man.? GAR.

Good master secretary,
I cry your honour mercy; you may, worst
Of all this table, say so.

Why, my lord?
GAR. Do not I know you for a favourer
Of this new sect? ye are not sound.

Not sound ? GAR. Not sound, I say.

CROM. 'Would you were half so honest! Men's prayers then would seek you, not their fears.

GAR. I shall remember this bold language.

Do. Remember


bold life too. CHAN.

This is too much ; Forbear, for shame, my

lords. GAR.

I have done. CROM.

And I.


your painted gloss &c.] Those that understand you, under this painted gloss, this fair outside, discover your empty talk and your false reasoning. Johnson.

'tis a cruelty, To load a falling man.) This sentiment had occurred before. The Lord Chamberlain, checking the Earl of Surrey for his reproaches to Wolsey, says:

O, my lord,
« Press not a falling man too far." STEEVENS.

CHAN. Then thus for you, my lord,--It stands

I take it, by all voices, that forthwith
You be convey'd to the Tower a prisoner ;
There to remain, till the king's further pleasure
Be known unto us : Are you all agreed, lords ?

ALL. We are.

Is there no other way of mercy,
But I must needs to the Tower, my lords?

What other Would you expect ? You are strangely troublesome. Let some o’the guard be ready there.

Enter Guard.


For me? Must I


like a traitor thither? GAR.

Receive him, And see him safe i’the Tower. CRAN.

Stay, good my lords, I have a little yet to say. Look there, my lords ; By virtue of that ring, I take my cause Out of the gripes of cruel men, and give it To a most noble judge, the king my master.

* Chan. Then thus for you, &c.] This, and the little speech above- “ This is too much,” &c. are in the old copy given to the Lord Chamberlain. The difference between Cham, and Chan. is so slight, that I have not hesitated to give them both to the Chancellor, who on Cranmer's entrance first arraigns him, and therefore, (without any consideration of his high station in the council,) is the person to whom Shakspeare would naturally assign the order for his being committed to the Tower. The Chancellor's apologizing to the King for the committal in a subsequent passage, likewise supports the emendation now made, which was suggested by Mr. Capell. MALONE.

CHAM. This is the king's ring.'

'Tis no counterfeit. SUF. 'Tis the right ring, by heaven: I told ye all, When we first put this dangerous stone a rolling, 'Twould fall upon ourselves. NOR.

Do you think, my lords, The king will suffer but the little finger Of this man to be vex’d? CHAM.

'Tis now too certain : How much more is his life in value with him ? 'Would I were fairly out on't. CROM.

My mind gave me, In seeking tales, and informations, Against this man, (whose honesty the devil And his disciples only envy at,) Ye blew the fire that burns ye: Now have at ye.

9 This is the king's ring.] It seems to have been a custom, begun probably in the dark ages, before literature was generally diffused, and before the regal power experienced the restraints of law, for every monarch to have a ring, the temporary possession of which invested the holder with the same authority as the owner himself could exercise. The production of it was sufficient to suspend the execution of the law; it procured indemnity for offences committed, and imposed acquiescence and submission on whatever was done under its authority. Instances abound in the history of almost every nation. See Procopius de bell

. Vandal. L. I. p. 15, as quoted in Farnworth's Machiavel, Vol. I.


9. The traditional story of the Earl of Essex, Queen Elizabeth, and the Countess of Nottingham, long considered as an incident of a romance, is generally known, and now as generally credited. See Birch's Negotiations, p. 206. Reed.


Enter King, frowning on them ; takes his seat.

Gar. Dread sovereign, how much are we bound

to heaven In daily thanks, that gave us such a prince; Not only good and wise, but most religious : One that, in all obedience, makes the church The chief aim of his honour; and, to strengthen That holy duty, out of dear respect, His royal self in judgment comes to hear The cause betwixt her and this great offender. K. HEN. You were ever good at sudden com

mendations, Bishop of Winchester. But know, I come not To hear such flattery now, and in my presence; They are too thin' and base to hide offencés.?


They are too thin &c.] i. e. the commendations above mentioned. Mr. Pope, in the former line, changed fattery to flatteries, and this unnecessary emendation has been adopted by all the subsequent editors. I believe our author wrote

They are too thin and bare; and that the editor of the first folio, not understanding the word, changed it to basé, as he did in King Henry IV. Part I. See Vol. XI. p. 222, n. 2. MALONĖ.

But know, I come not
To hear such flattery now, and in my presence;

They are too thin and base to hide offences. &c.] I think the pointing of these lines preferable to that in the former edition, in which they stand thus :

- I come not
To hear such flatteries now: and in my présence

They are too thin, &c.
It then follows:

To me you cannot reach : you play the spaniel,

And think with wagging of your tongue to win me. But the former of these lines should evidently be thus written:

To one you cannot reach you play the spaniel, the relative whom being understood. WHALLEY.

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