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As presence did present them; him in eye, Still him in praise: and, being present both, 'Twas said, they saw but one; and no discerner Durst wag his tongue in censure.' When these suns (For so they phrase them,) by their heralds challeng'd

The noble spirits to arms, they did perform Beyond thought's compass; that former fabulous


Being now seen possible enough, got credit,
That Bevis was believ'd.2


O, you go far.


NOR. As I belong to worship, and affect In honour honesty, the tract of every thing Would by a good discourser lose some life, Which action's self was tongue to. All was royal;*

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"So match'd, as each seem'd worthiest when alone."

1 Durst wag his tongue in censure.]


Censure for determina-

tion, of which had the noblest appearance.

See Vol. IV. p. 190, n. 4. MALone.

• That Bevis was believ'd.] The old romantick legend of Bevis of Southampton. This Bevis, (or Beavois,) a Saxon, was for his prowess created by William the Conqueror Earl of Southampton: of whom Camden in his Britannia. THEOBALD.


-the tract of every thing &c.] The course of these triumphs and pleasures, however well related, must lose in the description part of that spirit and energy which were expressed in the real action. JOHNSON.

All was royal; &c.] This speech was given in all the editions to Buckingham; but improperly; for he wanted information, having kept his chamber during the solemnity. I have therefore given it to Norfolk. WARBURTON.

The regulation had already been made by Mr. Theobald.


To the disposing of it nought rebell'd,
Order gave each thing view; the office did
Distinctly his full function.5


Who did guide,

I mean, who set the body and the limbs
Of this great sport together, as you guess?
NOR. One, certes," that promises no element
In such a business.


I pray you, who, my lord? NOR. All this was order'd by the good discretion Of the right reverend cardinal of York.

BUCK. The devil speed him! no man's pie is free'd


From his ambitious finger. What had he
To do in these fierce vanities?" I wonder,


the office did

Distinctly his full function.] The commission for regulating this festivity was well executed, and gave exactly to every particular person and action the proper place. JOHNSON.

-certes,] An obsolete adverb, signifying-certainly, in truth. So, in The Tempest:

"For, certes, these are people of the island." It occurs again in Othello, Act I. sc. i.

It is remarkable, that, in the present instance, the adverb certes must be sounded as a monosyllable. It is well understood that old Ben had no skill in the pronunciation of the French language; and the scene before us appears to have had some touches from his pen. By genuine Shakspeare certes is constantly employed as a dissyllable. STEEVENS.

7-element-] No initiation, no previous practices. Elements are the first principles of things, or rudiments of knowledge. The word is here applied, not without a catachresis, to a person. JOHNson.


no man's pie is free'd

From his ambitious finger.] To have a finger in the pie, is a proverbial phrase. See Ray, 244. REED.

9-fierce vanities?] Fierce is

here, I think, used like

That such a' keech1 can with his very bulk
Take up the rays o'the beneficial sun,
And keep it from the earth.


Surely, sir,

There's in him stuff that puts him to these ends:
For, being not propp'd by ancestry, (whose grace
Chalks successors their way,) nor call'd upon
For high feats done to the crown; neither allied
To eminent assistants, but, spider-like,

Out of his self-drawing web, he gives us note,
The force of his own merit makes his way;
A gift that heaven gives for him, which buys
A place next to the king.

the French fier for proud, unless we suppose an allusion to the mimical ferocity of the combatants in the tilt. JOHNSON.

It is certainly used as the French word fier. So, in Ben Jonson's Bartholomew Fair, the puritan says, the hobby horse " is a fierce and rank idol." STEEVENS.

Again, in The Rape of Lucrece:


Thy violent vanities can never last."

In Timon of Athens, we have—

"O the fierce wretchedness that glory brings!"


1 That such a keech-] A keech is a solid lump or mass. A cake of wax or tallow formed in a mould, is called yet in some places, a keech. JOHNSON.

There may, perhaps, be a singular propriety in this term of contempt. Wolsey was the son of a butcher, and in The Second Part of King Henry IV. a butcher's wife is called-Goody Keech. STEEVENS.

Out of his self-drawing web,] Thus it stands in the first edition. The latter editors, by injudicious correction, have printed :


Out of his self-drawn web. JOHNSON.

3he gives us note,] Old copy-O gives us &c. Corrected by Mr. Steevens. MALONE.

A gift that heaven gives for him, which buys

A place next to the king.] It is evident a word or two in the sentence is misplaced, and that we should read:


I cannot tell

What heaven hath given him, let some graver eye
Pierce into that; but I can see his pride
Peep through each part of him:5 Whence has he

If not from hell, the devil is a niggard;
Or has given all before, and he begins
A new hell in himself.


Why the devil,

Upon this French going-out, took he upon him,
Without the privity o' the king, to appoint
Who should attend on him? He makes up the file
Of all the gentry; for the most part such

A gift that heaven gives; which buys for him
A place next to the king. WARBURTON.

It is full as likely that Shakspeare wrote:
gives to him,-

which will save any greater alteration. JOHNSON.

I am too dull to perceive the necessity of any change. What he is unable to give himself, heaven gives or deposits for him, and that gift, or deposit, buys a place, &c. STEevens.


agree with Johnson that we should read:

A gift that heaven gives to him:

for Abergavenny says in reply,

"I cannot tell

"What heaven hath given him "

which confirms the justness of this amendment. I should otherwise have thought Steevens's explanation right. M. MASON.


-I can see his pride

Peep through each part of him :] So, in Troilus and Cressida:


her wanton spirits look out

"At every joint and motive of her body." STEEVENS.

the file] That is, the list. JOHNSON.

So, in Measure for Measure: "The greater file of the subject held the duke for wise." Again, in Macbeth:

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-I have a file

"Of all the gentry" STEEVENS.

Too, whom as great a charge as little honour
He meant to lay upon: and his own letter,
The honourable board of council out,"

Must fetch him in he papers.8


I do know

Kinsmen of mine, three at the least, that have
By this so sicken'd their estates, that never
They shall abound as formerly.


O, many

Have broke their backs with laying manors on them For this great journey. What did this vanity,

7-council out,] Council not then sitting. JOHNSON. The expression rather means, "all mention of the board of council being left out of his letter." STEEVENS.

That is, left out, omitted, unnoticed, unconsulted with.


It appears from Holinshed, that this expression is rightly explained by Mr. Pope in the next note: without the concurrence of the council. "The peers of the realme receiving letters to prepare themselves to attend the king in this journey, and no apparent necessarie cause expressed, why or wherefore, seemed to grudge that such a costly journey should be taken in handwithout consent of the whole boarde of the Counsaille.”


Must fetch him in he papers.] He papers, a verb; his own letter, by his own single authority, and without the concurrence of the council, must fetch him in whom he papers down. I don't understand it, unless this be the meaning.


Wolsey published a list of the several persons whom he had appointed to attend on the King at this interview. See Hall's Chronicle, Rymer's Fœdera, Tom. XIII. &c. STEEVENS.

• Have broke their backs with laying manors on them

For this great journey.] In the ancient Interlude of Nature, bl. 1. no date, but apparently printed in the reign of King Henry VIII. there seems to have been a similar stroke aimed at this expensive expedition:

"Pryde. I am unhappy, I se it well,

"For the expence of myne apparell

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