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Taxation! Wherein ? and what taxation ?-My lord cardinal, You that are blam’d for it alike with us, Know you of this taxation? Wol.
Please you, sir, I know but of a single part, in aught Pertains to the state; and front but in that file Where others tell steps with me. Q. KATH.
No, my lord, You know no more than others : but
frame Things, that are known alike;' which are not
wholesome To those which would not know them, and yet must Perforce be their acquaintance. These exactions, Whereof my sovereign would have note, they are Most pestilent to the hearing; and, to bear them, The back is sacrifice to the load. They say, They are devis’d by you; or else you suffer Too hard an exclamation. K. HEN.
Still exaction! The nature of it? In what kind, let's know, Is this exaction?
“ With that, anone out start dangere ;" and the fourth, in the 10th Canto of the 4th Book of his Fairy Queen, and again in the fifth Book and the ninth Canto.
STEEVENS. -front but in that file-] I am but primus inter pares. I am but first in the row of counsellors. Johnson.
This was the very idea that Wolsey wished to disclaim. It was not his intention to acknowledge that he was the first in the row- of counsellors, but that he was merely on a level with the rest, and stept in the same line with them. M. Mason. 1 You know no more than others : &c.]
know no more than other counsellors, but you are the person who frame those things which are afterwards proposed, and known equally by all. M. Mason,
That is, you
Q. KATH. I am much too venturous In tempting of your patience; but am bolden'd Under your promis'd pardon. The subject's grief Comes through commissions, which compel from
each The sixth part of his substance, to be levied Without delay; and the pretence for this Is nam’d, your wars in France: This makes bold
mouths : Tongues spit their duties out, and cold hearts freeze Allegiance in them; their curses now, Live where their prayers did; and it's come to pass, That tractable obedience is a slave To each incensed will. I would, your highness Would give it quick consideration, for There is no primer business.s
tractable obedience &c.] i. e. those who are tractable and obedient, must give way to others who are angry.
MUSGRAVE. The meaning of this is, that the people were so much irritated by oppression, that their resentment got the better of their obedience. M. MASON.
The meaning, I think, is—Things are now in such a situation, that resentment and indignation predominate in every man's breast over duty and allegiance. Malone. * There is no primer business.] In the old edition
There is no primer baseness. The
queen is here complaining of the suffering of the commons, which, she suspects, arose from the abuse of power in some great men. she is very reserved in speaking her thoughts concerning the quality of it. We may be assured then, that she did not, in conclusion, call it the highest baseness ; but rather made use of a word that could not offend the Cardinal, and yet would incline the King to give it a speedy hearing. I read therefore:
There is no primer business. i. e. no matter of state that more earnestly presses a despatch.
WARBURTON. Dr. Warburton (for reasons which he has given in his note) would read:
no primer business : VOL, XV.
And for me,
By my life,
but I think the meaning of the original word is sufficiently clear.
My faculties, nor person,] The old copy-by ignorant tongues. But surely this epithet must have been an interpolation, the ignorance of the supposed speakers being sufficiently indicated by their knowing neither the faculties nor person of the Cardinal. I have, therefore, with Sir T. Hanmer, restored the measure, by the present omission. STEEVENS.
* We must not stint-] To stint is to stop, to retard. Many instances of this sense of the word are given in a note on Romeo and Juliet, Act I. sc. iii. STEEVENS.
• To cope-] To engage with, to encounter. The word is still used in some counties. JOHNSON. So, in As you like it :
“ I love to cope him in these sullen fits.” STEEVENS.
once weak ones,] The modern editors read-or weak
Not ours, or not allow'd ;8 what worst, as oft,
Things done well,
ones; but once is not unfrequently used for sometime, or at one time or other, among our ancient writers. So, in the 13th Idea of Drayton :
“ This diamond shall once consume to dust." Again, in The Merry Wives of Windsor : “I pray thee, once to-night give my sweet Nan this ring."
Again, in Leicester's Commonwealth : " if God should take from us her most excellent majesty (as once he will) and so leave us destitute" STEEVENS.
or not allow'd;] Not approved. See Vol. V. p. 95, n. 5. MALONE.
-what worst, as oft, Hitting a grosser quality,] The worst actions of great men are commended by the vulgar, as more accommodated to the grossness of their notions. JOHNSON.
For our best act.] I suppose, for the sake of measure, wé should read-action. Perhaps the three last letters of this word were accidentally omitted by the compositor. STEEVENS.
Things done well,] Sir T. Hanmer, very judiciously in my opinion, completes the measure by reading :
Things that are done well. STEEVENS. * From every tree, lop, bark, and part o the timber ;] Lop is a substantive, and signifies the branches. WARBURTON.
And, though we leave it with a root, thus hack'd,
A word with you.
[To the Secretary. Let there be letters writ to every shire, Of the king's grace and pardon. The griev'd
Hardly conceive of me; let it be nois'd,
It grieves many :
That, through our intercession, &c.] So, in Holinshed, p. 892: “ The cardinall, to deliver himself from the evill will of the commons, purchased by procuring and advancing of this demand, affirmed, and caused it to be bruted abrode that through his intercession the king had pardoned and released all things." STEEVENS.
* Enter Surveyor.] It appears from Holinshed that his name was Charles Knyvet. Ritson.
• The gentleman is learn'd, &c.] We understand from “ The Prologue of the translatour," that the Knyghte of the Swanne, a French romance, was translated at the request of this unfortunate nobleman. Copland, the printer, adds,
this present history compyled, named Helyas the Knight