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1 GENT. We are too open here to argue this; Let's think in private more.
An Ante-chamber in the Palace.
Enter the Lord Chamberlain, reading a Letter. CHAM. My Lord,-The horses your lordship sent for, with all the care I had, I saw well chosen, ridden, and furnished. They were young, and handsome and of the best breed in the north. When they were ready to set out for London, a man of my lord cardinal's, by commission, and main power, took 'em from me; with this reason,-His master would be served before a subject, if not before the king : which stopped our mouths, sir.
Full of sad thoughts and troubles.
I fear, he will, indeed: Well, let him have them : He will have all, I think.
Enter the Dukes of NORFOLK and SUFFOLK.
I left him private,
What's the cause?
CHAM. It seems, the marriage with his brother's wife
Has crept too near his conscience.
Has crept too near another lady.
No, his conscience
2 Well met, my GOOD
Lord chamberlain.] The epithet-good, was inserted by Sir Thomas Hanmer, for the sake of measure.
NOR. This is the cardinal's doing, the king-cardinal: That blind priest, like the eldest son of fortune, Turns what he list. The king will know him one day.
SUF. Pray God, he do! he'll never know himself else.
NOR. How holily he works in all his business! And with what zeal! For, now he has crack'd the league
Between us and the emperor, the queen's great nephew,
He dives into the king's soul; and there scatters
These news are every where; every tongue speaks them,
And every true heart weeps for't: All, that dare
3 Turns what he LIST.] So the old copy. The modern editors have altered it to lists, but the original reading was the phraseology of Shakspeare. So, a few lines after this:
All men's honours
"Lie in one lump before him to be fashion'd
4 That, like a jewel, has hung twenty years, &c.] See vol. xiv. p. 264, n. 2. MALONE.
5 see this main end,] Thus the old copy. All, &c. per
The French king's sister. Heaven will one day open
And free us from his slavery.
NOR. We had need pray,
And heartily, for our deliverance:
If the king please; his curses and his blessings
And, with some other business, put the king From these sad thoughts, that work too much upon him :
ceive this main end of these counsels, namely, the French king's sister. The editor of the fourth folio and all the subsequent editors read-his; but y' or this were not likely to be confounded with his. Besides, the King, not Wolsey, is the person last mentioned; and it was the main end or object of Wolsey to bring about a marriage between Henry and the French king's sister. End has already been used for cause, and may be so here. See p. 357:
"The cardinal is the end of this." MALONE.
6 The French king's sister.] i. e. the Duchess of Alençon. STEEVENS.
7 From princes into pages:] This may allude to the retinue of the Cardinal, who had several of the nobility among his menial servants. JOHNSON.
8 Into what PITCH he please.] The mast must be fashioned into pitch or height, as well as into particular form. The meaning is, that the Cardinal can, as he pleases, make high or low.
My lord, you'll bear us company ?
The king hath sent me other-where: besides,
Thanks, my good lord Chamberlain. [Exit Lord Chamberlain.
NORFOLK opens a folding-door. The King is discovered sitting, and reading pensively.
SUF. How sad he looks! sure, he is much afflicted.
K. HEN. Who is there? ha?
'Pray God, he be not angry. K. HEN. Who's there, I say? How dare you thrust yourselves
Into my private meditations?
NOR. A gracious king, that pardons all offences Malice ne'er meant: our breach of duty, this way,
The stage direction, in the old copy, is a singular one. "Exit Lord Chamberlain, and the King draws the curtain, and sits reading pensively." STEEVENS.
This stage direction was calculated for, and ascertains precisely the state of, the theatre in Shakspeare's time. When a person was to be discovered in a different apartment from that in which the original speakers in the scene are exhibited, the artless mode of our author's time was, to place such person in the back part of the stage, behind the curtains, which were occasionally suspended across it. These the person who was to be discovered, (as Henry, in the present case,) drew back just at the proper time. Mr. Rowe, who seems to have looked no further than the modern stage, changed the direction thus: "The scene opens, and discovers the King," &c. but, besides the impropriety of introducing scenes when there were none, such an exhibition would not be proper here, for Norfolk has just said-" Let's in," and therefore should himself do some act, in order to visit the King. This, indeed, in the simple state of the old stage, was not attended to; the King very civilly discovering himself. See An Account of our old Theatres, vol. iii. MALONE.
Is business of estate; in which, we come
You are too bold; Go to; I'll make ye know your times of business: Is this an hour for temporal affairs? ha ?
Enter WOLSEY and CAMPeius.
Who's there? my good lord cardinal ?-O my Wolsey,
The quiet of my wounded conscience;
Thou art a cure fit for a king.-You're welcome, [TO CAMPEIUS. Most learned reverend sir, into our kingdom; Use us, and it :-My good lord, have great care I be not found a talker 9. [TO WOLSEY.
Sir, you cannot.
NOR. This priest has
I would not be so sick
But this cannot continue.
I'll venture one have at him 2.
We are busy; go. [To NORFOLK and SUFFOLK. no pride in him? Not to speak of though', for his
If it do,
have great care
I be not found a talker.] I take the meaning to be, Let care be taken that my promise be performed, that my professions
of welcome be not found empty talk.' JOHNSON.
So, in King Richard III.:
Exeunt NORFOLK and SUFFOLK.
we will not stand to prate,
"Talkers are no good doers." STEEVENS.
SO SICK though,] That is, so sick as he is proud.
2 I'll venture one HAVE at him.] So afterwards, Surrey says: VOL. XIX. 2 B