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His noble friends, and fellows, whom to leave
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.:
"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,
Lov. To the water side I must conduct your grace;
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."
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,
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
And, must needs say, a noble one; which makes me
Heaven has an end in all: Yet, you that hear me,
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,
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.
be not LOOSE ;] This expression occurs again in Othello :
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."