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His noble friends, and fellows, whom to leave
Is only bitter to him, only dying,
Go with me, like good angels, to my end;
And, as the long divorce of steel falls on me,
Make of your prayers one sweet sacrifice,
And lift my soul to heaven '.-Lead on, o' God's


Lov. I do beseech your grace, for charity, If ever any malice in your heart

Were hid against me, now to forgive me frankly. BUCK. Sir Thomas Lovell, I as free forgive you, As I would be forgiven: I forgive all ;

There cannot be those numberless offences 'Gainst me, I can't take peace with: no black envy Shall make my grave2.-Commend me to his grace;



the long DIVORCE -] So, in Lord Sterline's Darius,

"Scarce was the lasting last divorcement made "Betwixt the bodie and the soule," &c. STEEVENS. And lift my soul to heaven.] So, Milton, Paradise Lost, book iv.:


their songs

"Divide the night, and lift our thoughts to heaven."


2 no black envy

Shall MAKE my grave.] Shakspeare, by this expression, meant no more than to make the Duke say, No action expressive of malice shall conclude my life. Envy, by our author, is used for malice and hatred, in other places, and, perhaps, in this.

Again, in the ancient metrical romance of Syr Bevys of Hampton, bl. 1. no date :



Traytoure, he sayd with great envy, "Turne thee now, I thee defye."


They drew their swordes hastely,

"And smot together with great envy.”

And Barrett, in his Alvearie, or Quadruple Dictionary, 1580, thus interprets it.

To make a grave, however, may mean to close it. So, in The Comedy of Errors:


Why at this time the doors are made against you.”


And, if he speak of Buckingham, pray, tell him,
You met him half in heaven: my vows and prayers
Yet are the king's; and, till my soul forsake me 3,
Shall cry for blessings on him: May he live
Longer than I have time to tell his years!
Ever belov'd, and loving, may his rule be!
And, when old time shall lead him to his end,
Goodness and he fill up one monument!

Lov. To the water side I must conduct your grace;
Then give my charge up to sir Nicholas Vaux,
Who undertakes you to your end.


Prepare there, The duke is coming: see, the barge be ready; And fit it with such furniture, as suits The greatness of his person.

BUCK. Nay, sir Nicholas, Let it alone; my state now will but mock me *.

i. e. closed, shut. The sense will then be, (whether quaintly or poetically expressed, let the reader determine) "no malicious action shall close my grave," i. e. attend the conclusion of my existence, or terminate my life; the last action of it shall not be uncharitable.' STEEVENS.

Envy is frequently used in this sense by our author and his contemporaries. See vol. v. p. 108, n. 9; and p. 166, 1. 6. I have therefore no doubt that Mr. Steevens's exposition is right, Dr. Warburton reads-mark my grave; and in support of the emendation it may be observed that the same error has happened in King Henry V.; or at least that all the editors have supposed so, having there adopted a similar correction. See vol. xvii. p. 312, n. 1.


Dr. Warburton's emendation also derives some support from the following passage in The Comedy of Errors: A vulgar comment will be made of it; "And that supposed by the common rout "Against your yet ungalled estimation, "That may with foul intrusion enter in,

And dwell upon your grave, when you are dead."

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forsake ME,] The latter word was added by Mr. Rowe.


4 Nay, sir Nicholas,

Let it alone; my state now will but mock me.] The last

When I came hither, I was lord high constable, And duke of Buckingham; now, poor Edward Bohun 5:

Yet I am richer than my base accusers,

That never knew what truth meant: I now seal it"; And with that blood will make them one day groan for't.

My noble father, Henry of Buckingham,
Who first rais'd head against usurping Richard
Flying for succour to his servant Banister,
Being distress'd, was by that wretch betray'd,
And without trial fell; God's peace be with him!
Henry the seventh succeeding, truly pitying
My father's loss, like a most royal prince,
Restor❜d me to my honours, and, out of ruins,
Made my name once more noble. Now his son,

verse would run more smoothly, by making the monosyllables change places:

"Let it alone, my state will now but mock me."


spoor Edward BOHUN:] The Duke of Buckingham's name was Stafford. Shakspeare was led into the mistake by Holinshed. STEEVENS.

This is not an expression thrown out at random, or by mistake, but one strongly marked with historical propriety. The name of the Duke of Buckingham, most generally known, was Stafford; but the History of Remarkable Trials, 8vo. 1715, p. 170, says: "it seems he affected that surname [of Bohun] before that of Stafford, he being descended from the Bohuns, earls of Hereford." His reason for this might be, because he was lord high constable of England by inheritance of tenure from the Bohuns: and as the poet has taken particular notice of his great office, does it not seem probable that he had fully considered of the Duke's foundation for assuming the name of Bohun? In truth, the Duke's name was Bagot; for a gentleman of that very ancient family married the heiress of the barony of Stafford, and their son, relinquishing his paternal surname, assumed that of his mother, which continued in his posterity. TOLLET.

Of all this probably Shakspeare knew nothing. MALONE. 6 I now seal it, &c.] I now seal my truth, my loyalty, with blood, which blood shall one day make them groan.


Henry the eighth, life, honour, name, and all
That made me happy, at one stroke has taken
For ever from the world. I had my trial,

And, must needs say, a noble one; which makes me
A little happier than my wretched father :
Yet thus far we are one in fortunes,-Both
Fell by our servants, by those men we lov'd most
A most unnatural and faithless service!


Heaven has an end in all: Yet, you that hear me,
This from a dying man receive as certain:
Where you are liberal of your loves, and counsels,
Be sure, you be not loose'; for those you make


And give your hearts to, when they once perceive The least rub in your fortunes, fall away

Like water from ye, never found again

But where they mean to sink ye. All good people,
Pray for me! I must now forsake ye; the last hour
Of my long weary life is come upon me.

And when you would say something that is sad, Speak how I fell.—I have done; and God forgive me! [Exeunt BUCKINGHAM and Train. 1 GENT. O, this is full of pity!-Sir, it calls, I fear, too many curses on their heads, That were the authors.


If the duke be guiltless, "Tis full of woe: yet I can give you inkling Of an ensuing evil, if it fall, Greater than this.

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be not LOOSE ;] This expression occurs again in Othello :
"There are a kind of men so loose of soul,
"That in their sleeps will mutter their affairs."

8 And when you would King Richard II. :


say something that is sad, &c.] So, in

"Tell thou the lamentable tale of me,

“And send the hearers weeping to their beds." STEEVENS.

1 GENT. Good angels keep it from us! Where may it be? You do not doubt my faith, sir? 2 GENT. This secret is so weighty, 'twill require A strong faith to conceal it.

Let me have it;


I do not talk much.

I am confident;

2 GENT. You shall, sir: Did you not of late days hear A buzzing, of a separation

Between the king and Katherine ?


Yes, but it held not: For when the king once heard it, out of anger He sent command to the lord mayor, straight To stop the rumour, and allay those tongues That durst disperse it. 2 GENT.

But that slander, sir, Is found a truth now: for it grows again Fresher than e'er it was; and held for certain1, The king will venture at it. Either the cardinal, Or some about him near, have, out of malice To the good queen, possess'd him with a scruple, That will undo her: To confirm this too, Cardinal Campeius is arriv'd, and lately; As all think, for this business.


"Tis the cardinal; And merely to revenge him on the emperor, For not bestowing on him, at his asking, The archbishoprick of Toledo, this is purpos'd.

2 GENT. I think, you have hit the mark: But is't not cruel,

That she should feel the smart of this? The cardinal Will have his will, and she must fall.

9 - strong faith-] Is great fidelity. JOHNSON.

I - and HELD for certain,] To hold, is to believe. So, in Lord Surrey's translation of the fourth Æneid :

"I hold thee not, nor yet gainsay thy words."


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