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'Would you were half so honest! Men's prayers then would seek you, not their fears.
Gar. I shall remember this bold language.
This is too much;
I have done.
All. We are.
Is there no other way of mercy,
Stay, good my lords,
Cham. This is the king's ring.?
6 Chan. Then thus for you, &c.] This, and the little speech above _" This is too much," &c. are in the old copy given to the Lord Chamberlain. The difference between Cham. and Chan, is so slight, that I have not hesitated to give them both to the chancel. lor, who on Cranmer's entrance first arraigns him, and therefore, (without any consideration of his high station in the council) is the person to whom Shakspeare would naturally assign the order for his being committed to the Tower. The Chancellor's apologizing to the King for the committal in a subsequent passage likewise supports the emendation now made, which was suggested by Mr. Capell. Malone.
'Tis no counterfeit. Suf. 'Tis the right ring, by heaven: I told ye all, When we first put this dangerous stone a rolling, 'Twould fall upon ourselves. Nor.
Do you think, my lords, The king will suffer but the little finger Of this man to be vex'd ? Cham.
?Tis now too certain :
My mind gave me,
Enter King, frowning on them; takes his seat.
heaven In daily thanks, that gave us such a prince; Not only good and wise, but most religious: One that, in all obedience, makes the church The chief aim of his honour; and, to strengthen That holy duty, out of dear respect, His royal self in judgment comes to hear The cause betwixt her and this great offender.. K. Hen. You were ever good at sudden commenda
tions, Bishop of Winchester. But know, I come not To hear such flattery now, and in my presence;
7 This is the king's ring.) It seems to have been a custom, hegun probably in the dark ages, before literature was generally diffused, and before the regal power experienced the restraints of law, for every monarch to have a ring, the temporary possession of which invested the holder with the same authority as the owner himself could exercise. The production of it was suficient to suspend the execution of the law; it procured indemnity for offences committed, and imposed acquiescence and submission on whatever was done under its authority. Instances abound in the history of almost every nation. See Procopius de bell. Vandal. L. I. p. 15, as quoted in Farnworth's Machiavel, Vol. I, p 9 The traditional story of the Earl of Essex, Queen Elizabeth, and the Countess of Nottingham, long considered as an incident of a romance is generally known, and now as generally credited. See Birch's Negotiations, p. 206. Reed. VOL. XI.
They are too thin8 and base to hide offences.9
Sur. May it please your grace,
No, sir, it does not please me.
& They are too thin &c.] i. e. the commendations above mentioned. Mr. Pope, in the former line, changed flattery to flatteries, and this unnecessary emendation has been adopted by all the subse. quent editors. I believe our author wrote
They are too thin and bare; and that the editor of the first folio, not understanding the word, changed it to base, as he did in King Henry IV, Part I. See Vol. VIII, p. 180, n. 9. Malone.
But know, I come not
They are too thin and base to hide offences. &c.] I think the pointing of these lines preferable to that in the former edition, in which they stand thus:
I come not
They are too thin, &c.
To me you cannot reach: you play the spaniel,
And think with wagging of your tongue to win me. But the former of these lines should evidently be thus written:
To one you cannot reach you play the spaniel, the relative whom being understood. Whalley.
I think the old copy is right. Malone.
To me you cannot reach, you play the spaniel,
M. Mason. In the punctuation of this passage I have followed the concur, ring advice of Mr. Whalley and Mr. M. Mason. Steevens.
1 Than but once think his place becomes thee not.] Who dares to suppose that the place or situation in which he is, is not suitable to thee also? who supposes that thou art not as fit for the office of a privy counsellor as he is. Mr. Rowe and all the subsequent editors read this place.
I had thought, I had had men of some understanding
shall never have, while I live. Chan.
Well, well, my lords, respect him;
bury, I have a suit which you must not deny me; That is, a fair young maid that yet wants baptism, 2
2 That is, &c.] My suit is, that you would be a godfather to a fair young maid, who is not yet christened. Mr. Rowe readsThere is, &c. and all the subsequent editors have adopted this unnecessary alteration. The final word her, we should now consider as superfluous; but we have many instances of a similar phraseology in these plays-or, the construction may be-A fair young maid, &c. you must be godfather (to), and answer for her. So before, in this play:
whoever the king favours,
“ And far enough from court too." Again, in The Merchant of Venice:
“ How true a gentleman you send relief (to]." Again, in Fulius Cæsar :
You must be godfather, 3 and answer for her.
Cran. The greatest monarch now alive may glory In such an honour; How may I deserve it, That am a poor and humble subject to you? K. Hen. Come, come, my lord, you 'd spare your
spoons;4 you shall have
“ Thy honourable metal may be wrought
“ From what it is dispos'd .” See also Vol. VII, p. 351, n. 3, and a note on Cymbeline, sc. ult. Vol. XVI. Malone.
The superfluous pronoun in the text (if it be superfluous) may be justified by the following passage in Romeo and Juliet :
this reverend holy friar, “ All our whole city is much bound to him.” Steevens. 3 You must be godfather, ] Our prelates formerly were often em. ployed on the like occasions. Cranmer was godfather to Edward VI. See Hall, fo. 232. Archbishop Warham to Henry's eldest son by Queen Katharine ; and the Bishop of Winchester to Henry himself. See Sandford, 479, 495. Reed.
- you'd spare your spoons ;] It was the custom, long before the time of Shakspeare, for the sponsors at christenings to offer gilt spoons as a present to the child. These spoons were called apostle spoons, because the figures of the apostles were carved on the tojes of the handles. Such as were at once opulent and generous, gave the whole twelve ; those who were either more mo. derately rich or liberal, escaped at the expence of the four evangelists; or even sometimes contented themselves with presenting one spoon only, which exhibited the figure of any saint, in honour of whom the child received its name.
In the year 1560, we find entered on the books of the Stationers' company,
a spoyne, of the gyfte of master Reginold Wolfe all gylte with the pycture of St. John."
Ben Jonson also, in his Bartholomew Fair, mentions spoons of this kind : " - and all this for the hope of a couple of apostle spoons, and a cup to eat caudle in.”
So, in Middleton's comedy of A chaste Maid of Cheapside, 1620: 2 Gos. What has he given her!-what is it, gossip? 3 Gos. A faire high standing-cup, and two great 'postle spoons, one of them gilt. 1 Pur. Sure that was Judas then with the red beard." Again:
“E'en the same gossip 'twas that gave the spoons." Again, in Sir Wm. D'Avenant's comedy of The Wits, 1639:
- my pendants, carcanets, and rings, “My christ'ning caudle-cup, and spoons,
“ Are dissolv'd into that lump.”
“ Didst ask her name?-