« AnteriorContinuar »
Turn me away; and let the foul'st contempt
after duty. Mr. M. Mason has justly observed that, with such a punctuation, the sense requires-- Towards your sacred person, A comma being placed at duty, the construction is—If you can report and prove aught against mine honour, my love and duty, or aught against your sacred person, &c. but I doubt whether this was our author's intention ; for such an arrangement seems to make a breach of her honour and matrimonial bond to be something distinct from an offence against the king's person, which is not the case. Perhaps, however, by the latter words Shakspeare meant, against your life. MALONE.
against my honour aught, My bond to wedlock, or my love and duty
Against your sacred person, &c.] The meaning of this passage is sufficiently clear, but the construction of it has puzzled
It is evidently erroneous, but may be amended by merely removing the word or from the middle of the second line to the end of it. It will then run thus
against my honour aught,-
Against your sacred person, &c. This slight alteration makes it grammatical, as well as intelligible. M. Mason.
You have here, lady, (And of your choice,) these reverend fathers; men Of singular integrity and learning, Yea, the elect of the land, who are assembled To plead your cause: It shall be therefore bootless, That longer you desire the court;3 as well For your own quiet, as to rectify What is unsettled in the king.
CAM. Hath spoken well, and justly: Therefore, madam, It's fit this royal session do proceed; And that, without delay, their arguments Be now produc'd, and heard. Q. KATH.
Your pleasure, madam? Q. KATH.
Sir, I am about to weep;4 but, thinking that We are a queen, (or long have dream'd so,) certain, The daughter of a king, my drops of tears I'll turn to sparks of fire. Wol.
Be patient yet.
* That longer you desire the court;] That you desire to protract the business of the court; that you solicit a more distant session and trial. To pray for a longer day, i. e. a more distant one, when the trial or execution of criminals is agitated, is yet the language of the bar.-In the fourth folio, and all the modern editions, defer is substituted for desire. MALONE.
* I am about to weep; &c.] Shakspeare has given almost a similar sentiment' to Hermione, in The Winter's Tale, on an almost similar occasion :
“ I am not prone to weeping, as our sex
Commonly are, &c.—but I have
Q. KATH. I will, when you are humble; nay,
before, Or God will punish me. I do believe, Induc'd by potent circumstances, that You are mine enemy; and make my challenge, You shall not be my judge :' for it is you Have blown this coal betwixt my lord and me,Which God's dew quench!—Therefore, I say again, I utterly abhor, yea, from my soul, Refuse you for my judge; whom, yet once more, I hold my most malicious foe, and think not At all a friend to truth. Wol.
I do profess, You speak not like yourself; who ever yet Have stood to charity, and display'd the effects Of disposition gentle, and of wisdom O’ertopping woman's power. Madam, you do me
wrong: I have no spleen against you; nor injustice For you, or any: how far I have proceeded, Or how far further shall, is warranted By a commission from the consistory, Yea, the whole consistory of Rome. You charge me, That I have blown this coal: I do deny it:
and make my challenge, You shall not be my judge :] Challenge is here a verbum juris, a law term. The criminal, when he refuses a juryman, says-I challenge him. Johnson. 6 I utterly abhor, yea, from my soul
Refuse you for my judge ;] These are not mere words of passion, but technical terms in the canon law.
Detestor and Recuso. The former, in the language of canonists, signifies no more, than I protest against. BLACKSTONE.
The words are Holinshed's: “ — and therefore openly protested that she did utterly abhor, refuse, and forsake such a judge.” MALONE.
The king is present: if it be known to him,
you have done my truth. But if & he know
My lord, my lord, I am a simple woman, much too weak To oppose your cunning. You are meek, and hum
ble-mouth'd; You sign your place and calling, in full seeming, With meekness and humility: but your heart Is cramm’d with arrogancy, spleen, and pride. You have, by fortune, and his highness' favours, Gone slightly o’er low steps; and now are mounted Where
powers are your retainers : and your words,
gainsay-] i.e. deny. So, in Lord Surrey's translation of the fourth Book of the Æneid : “ I hold thee not, nor yet gainsay thy words."
STEEVENS. $ -- But if-] The conjunction-But, which is wanting in the old copy, was supplied, for the sake of measure, by Sir T. Hanmer. STEEVENS. 9. You sign your place and calling,] Sign, for answer,
WARBURTON. I think, to sign, must here be to show, to denote. By your outward meekness and humility, you show that you are of an holy order, but, &c. Johnson. So, with a kindred sense, in Julius Cæsar : Sign'd in thy spoil, and crimson'd in thy lethe.”
Domesticks to you, serve your will,' as't please
, Before you all, appeal unto the pope,
1 Where powers are your
words, Domesticks to you, serve your will,] You have now got power at your beck, following in your retinue; and words therefore are degraded to the servile state of performing any office which you shall give them. In humbler and more common terms : Having now got power, you do not regard your word.
JOHNSON. The word power, when used in the plural and applied to one person only, will not bear the meaning that Dr. Johnson wishes to give it.
By powers are meant the Emperor and the King of France, in the pay of one or the other of whom Wolsey was constantly retained; and it is well known that Wolsey entertained some of the nobility of England among his domesticks, and had an absolute power over the rest. M. Mason.
Whoever were pointed at by the word powers, Shakspeare, surely, does not mean to say that Wolsey was retained by them, but that they were retainers, or subservient, to Wolsey.
MALONE. I believe that-powers, in the present instance, are used merely to express persons in whom power is lodged. The Queen would insinuate that Wolsey had rendered the highest officers of state subservient to his will. STEEVENS. I believe we should read :
Where powers are your retainers, and your wards,
Domesticks to you, &c. The Queen rises naturally in her description. She paints the powers of government depending upon Wolsey under three images; as his retainers, his wards, his domestick servants.
TYRWHITT. So, in Storer's Life and Death of Thomas Wolsey, Cardinal, a poem, 1599:
“ I must have notice where their wards must dwell;
Young nobles of the land,” &c. STEEVENS.