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I am forry
BRAN. To fee you ta'en from liberty, to look on The business prefent: 5 "Tis his highness' pleasure, You fhall to the Tower.
BUCK. It will help me nothing, To plead mine innocence; for that die is on me, Which makes my whiteft part black. The will of heaven
Be done in this and all things!-I obey.-
BRAN. Nay, he must bear you company :-The king [To ABERGAVENNY. Is pleas'd, you fhall to the Tower, till you know How he determines further.
As the duke faid The will of heaven be done, and the king's pleasure By me obey'd.
Here is a warrant from
The king, to attach lord Montacute;" and the bodies
5 I am forry
To fee you ta'en from liberty, to look on
The bufinefs prefent:] I am forry that I am obliged to be present and an eye-witnefs of your lofs of liberty. JOHNSON.
6 lord Montacute;] This was Henry Pole, grandson to George Duke of Clarence, and eldest brother to Cardinal Pole. He had married the Lord Abergavenny's daughter. He was reftored to favour at this juncture, but was afterwards executed for another treason in this reign. REED.
John de la Court,] The name of this monk of the Chartreux was John de la Car, alias de la Court. See Holinfhed, p. 863. STEEVENS.
One Gilbert Peck, his chancellor,] The old copies have it-his counsellor; but I, from the authorities of Hall and Holinfhed, changed it to chancellor. And our poet himself, in the beginning of the fecond Act, vouches for this correction :
BUCK. So, fo; These are the limbs of the plot: No more, I hope. BRAN. A monk o' the Chartreux.
O, Nicholas Hopkins??
He. BUCK. My furveyor is false; the o'er-great cardinal
Hath fhow'd him gold: my life is fpann'd already :'
"At which, appear'd againft him his furveyor,
I believe [in the former inftance] the author wrote-And Gilbert &c. MALONE.
9 Nicholas Hopkins ?] The old copy has-Michael Hopkins. Mr. Theobald made the emendation, conformably to the Chronicle: "Nicholas Hopkins, a monk of an house of the Chartreux order, befide Bristow, called Henton." In the MS. Nich. only was probably fet down, and mistaken for Mich.
my life is fpann'd already :] To pan is to gripe, or inclofe in the hand; to Span is alfo to measure by the palm and fingers. The meaning, therefore, may either be, that hold is taken of my life, my life is in the gripe of my enemies; or, that my time is measured, the length of my life is now determined.
Man's life, in fcripture, is faid to be but a span long. Probably, therefore, it means, when 'tis Spann'd 'tis ended.
2 I am the Shadow of poor Buckingham;] So, in the old play of King Leir, 1605:
"And think me but the fhadow of myself."
3 I am the Shadow of poor Buckingham; Whofe figure even this inftant cloud puts on, By dark ning my clear fun.] Thefe lines have paffed all the editors. Does the reader understand them? By me they
Cornets. Enter King HENRY, Cardinal WOLSEY, the Lords of the Council, Sir THOMAS LOVELL, Officers, and Attendants. The King enters leaning on the Cardinal's Shoulder.
K. HEN. My life itself, and the best heart of it,4 Thanks you for this great care: I ftood i' the level
are inexplicable, and must be left, I fear, to fome happier fagacity. If the ufage of our author's time could allow figure to be taken, as now, for dignity or importance, we might read: Whofe figure even this inftant cloud puts out. But I cannot please myself with any conjecture.
Another explanation may be given, fomewhat harsh, but the. beft that occurs to me:
1 am the Shadow of poor Buckingham,
Whofe figure even this inftant cloud puts on,
whofe port and dignity is affumed by the Cardinal, that overclouds and oppreffes me, and who gains my place
By dark ning my clear fun. JOHNSON.
Perhaps Shakspeare has expreffed the fame idea more clearly in The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Antony and Cleopatra, and King John:
"O, how this fpring of love resembleth
"Which now shows all the beauty of the fun, "And, by and by, a cloud takes all away." Antony, remarking on the various appearances affumed by the flying vapours, adds:
now thy captain is
"Even such a body: here I am Antony,
being but the shadow of your son
Of a full-charg'd confederacy,5 and give thanks
Such another thought occurs in The famous Hiftory of Thomas
"He is the fubftance of my fhadowed love."
There is likewise a paffage fimilar to the conclufion of this, in
We might, however, read-pouts on; i. e. looks gloomily
"We pout upon the morning, are unapt
Again, in Romeo and Juliet, Act III. fc. iii:
"Thou pout'ft upon thy fortune and thy love."
Wolfey could only reach Buckingham through the medium of
Our poet has introduced a fomewhat fimilar idea in Much Ado
the pleached bower,
"Where honeyfuckles, ripen'd by the fun,
LOCATION CONTESTANT CONTENTS AN
To pout is at this time a phrafe defcriptive only of infantine
I should with, however, instead of
Be-dark'ning my clear fun.
So, in The Tempeft:
I have be-dimm'd
The following paffage in Greene's Doraftus and Fawnia,
That gentleman of Buckingham's: in perfon
And point by point the treasons of his mafter
funne of profperitie with the miftie cloudes of mishap and mifery."
Mr. M. Mafon has obferved that Dr. Johnson did not do juftice to his own emendation, referring the words whofe figure to Buckingham, when, in fact, they relate to Shadow. Sir W. Blackstone had already explained the paffage in this manner.
By adopting Dr. Johnson's first conjecture, "puts out," for 66 puts on," a tolerable sense may be given to these obfcure lines. "I am but the shadow of poor Buckingham: and even the figure or outline of this fhadow begins now to fade away, being extinguished by this impending cloud, which darkens (or interpofes between me and) my clear fun; that is, the favour of my fovereign." BLACKSTONE.
4 and the best heart of it,] Heart is not here taken for the great organ of circulation and life, but, in a common, and popular fenfe, for the most valuable or precious part. Our author, in Hamlet, mentions the heart of heart. Exhaufted and effete ground is said by the farmer to be out of heart. The hard and inner part of the oak is called heart of oak.
-Stood i' the level
Of a full-charg'd confederacy,] To ftand in the level of a gun is to stand in a line with its mouth, so as to be hit by the hot. JOHNSON.
So, in our author's Lover's Complaint:
not a heart which in his level came
"Could scape the hail of his all-hurting aim."
Again, in our author's 117th Sonnet:
Bring me within the level of your frown, "But thoot not at me," &c.
See alfo Vol. IX. p. 271, n. 4; and p. 294, n. 8. MALONE.