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Act 1st scene 1st—this play was not only well acted, but gotten up with much care—the Bishops were dressed in Protestant robes, which was not correct — but Kemble is quite correct as to the crosses and pillars, which he directs to be carried before Cardinal Wolsey-Cavendish tells us, that Wolsey, on being made Archbishop of York, erected his cross within the jurisdiction of Canterbury, but forasmuch as Canterbury claimeth a superiority over York, as of all other Bishopricks within England, he being moved therewith, gave unto York a certain check for his presumption, by reason whereof there engendered some grudge between York and Canterbury-whereupon York, that he might be superiour in dignity to Canterbury, obtained to be made a Cardinal and the Pope's Legate-he also found means with the King to be made Lord Chancellor in the room of Canterbury, who had holden that office many years—he then exercised his authority over all ecclesiastical persons without exception—he had two great crosses of silver, one for his Archbishoprick and the other for his Legacy, borne before him, whithersoever he went or rode, by two of the tallest Priests that he could get within this realm-Cavendish afterwards mentions the two silver pillarsthese were carried by two Gentlemen.
Warham as Archbishop of Canterbury was Legatus natus, Wolsey was Legatus a latere—in Johnson and Steevens' Shakspeare the enumeration of the D. P. is not correct--the Archbishop of Canterbury, who enters in the 2d act and does not speak, was Warham-Cromwell tells Wolsey in the 3d act that Cranmer was made Archbishop.
Scene 3d. Lord Sands says-—" They've all new legs"—Who?-in the original the Lord Chamber
“ As far as I can see, all the good our English
Kemble has omitted these lines, and consequently there is no word to which they has reference.
“ I'm glad they are going.”
these words should have been omitted, or else Lovel's speech (in which he says that the gallants must either leave their French fashions, or pack to their old play-fellows) should have been retained-these mistakes are of no great importance, but still when a person undertakes to revise a play, he has no right to represent the author as guilty of inaccuracies, which do not exist in the original text.
Lord Chamberlain. “ Your Lordship shall along. Lord Sands. Ay, ay; if the beauties are there, “ I must make one among them, to be sure."
These lines are not in Shakspeare, but they are in Henry 8th as published by Bell from the C. G. prompt-book in 1773–Kemble has adopted the tag at the end of the act from the same place.
Scene 4th. Cavendish gives a particular account of the Banquet-he differs but little from Shakspeare, except in telling us, that Wolsey mistook Sir Edward Neville for the King—he adds that Lord Sands was the King's Chamberlain.
Act 2d scene 1st-Lovel says " To the water side I must conduct your grace; “ Then give my charge up to Sir Nicholas Vaux"
-in Shakspeare Vaux gives orders for the barge Kemble omits the character of Vaux, and makes Guildford speak his short speech-as he made this alteration, he should, in Lovel's speech, have changed Sir Nicholas Vaux to Sir Henry Guildford -in Bell's edition the thing is better managed — Lovel's two lines about Vaux are omitted, and he gives orders for the barge himself.
“ Remember Buckingham" is from the C. G. prompt-book-Shakspeare says
Speak how I fell— I have done ; and God for
give me!” As no change was necessary, so none should have been made besides the speaker had just before said, that he was no longer Buckingham, but poor Edward Bohun.
Scene 2d. “ See, the King,” is from the promptbook of 1773—there is no particular harm in such little additions to the original text, but why make them?
Enter Wolsey and Campeius with a commission. Burnet in his History of the Reformation saysWolsey wrote an earnest letter to Campeius at “ Rome, to hasten him over ; the draught of it is in “ his Secretary's hand, amended in some places by “ his own ; and concluded thus, • I hope all things “shall be done according to the will of God, the de“sire of the King, the quiet of the kingdom, and “ to our honour, with a good conscience'_but Wol
sey dasht out this last word with a good conscience, perhaps judging that was a thing fit for meaner
persons, but that it was below the dignity of two “ Cardinals to consider it much."
Enter Gardiner-in this scene he should not be dressed as a Bishop, he was not made Bishop of Winchester till Dec. 5 1531, after Wolsey's deaththis scene is supposed to pass in 1528 when Campeius came into England—the King absolutely gained Campeius to do all he could for him without losing the Pope's favour--he led a very dissolute life in England, hunting and gaming all the day long, and following whores all the night-he brought a bastard* of his own over with him, whom the King knighted—80 that if the King sought his pleasure, it was no strange thing, since he had such a copy set him by two Legates, who representing his Holiness so lively in their manners, it was no unusual thing, if a King had a slight sense of such disorders. (Burnet). The King concludes this scene with saying
“Would it not grieve an able man, to leave
Shakspeare goes too far in making the King regret so so sweet a bedfellow-he is however in some degree countenanced by Cavendish—but Wolsey, in one of his dispatches to Rome, about the divorce, says, that because of some diseases in the Queen, which were incurable, the King had resolved never to come near her more-(Burnet probably) — tho' the King's anxiety for a divorce was doubtless increased by his love for Anne Bullen, yet his scruples of conscience were not a pretence-Rapin well observes, the wonder is he did not feel them sooner-he was married to his brother's widow, when he was about twelve years' old, a dispensation from the Pope having been first obtained—about two years after he, by his father's command, made a formal protestation, that he did not confirm his marriage, but retracted and annulled it—Henry the 7th, when he was just dying, charged his son to break it off—and it was not till after a serious consideration of the reasons on both sides, that Henry the 8th, six weeks after he came to the crown, was married again publickly-when the divorce came to be agitated, the Queen solemnly protested that her marriage with Prince Arthur had never been consummated, but there were the strongest presumptive proofs to the contrary. What were the King's secret motives, is only known to Heaven, but the principal reason which he always assigned was, that he found by the law of Moses, “ if a man “ took his brother's wife, they should die childless”this made him reflect on the death of his children, which he now looked on as a curse from God for that unlawful marriage-upon this he set himself to study the case, and called for the judgments of the best Divines and Canonists-he likewise commanded the Archbishop of Canterbury to require the opinions of the Bishops of England--and they all, (except the
* Jortin in his Life of Erasmus says, that the young man was not a bastard, but born in wedlock, before his father went into orders.