« ZurückWeiter »
Thefe many fummers in a fea of glory;
Cardinal Wolfey's Speech to Cromwell.
Cromwell, I did not think to shed a tear
And fleep in dull cold marble, where no mention
leaves and bloffoms: fo that Mr. Warburton's criticism is unneceffary. See Love's Labour Loft.
(7) Cromwell, &c.] In the fecond part of Henry VI. A. I. S. 4. the duke of Glofter fays to his wife,
Banifh the canker of ambitious thoughts.
(8) Love thyfelf last: cherish those hearts, that hate thee:
Corruption wins not more than honesty.
To filence envious tongues. (9) Be just, and fear not.
Thou fall'it a blessed martyr. Serve the king ;
(8) Love, &c.] The whole meaning of this advice feems to be this: "Pay lefs regard to your own intereft than to that of your friends; love them firft, yourself last, nay, even after your enemies; for it is neceffary for you to cherish thofe that hate you, to heap favours on them, and thereby makē 'em your friends; for even corruption and bribery itself wins not more than honesty and open-dealing." There feems a peculiar excellence in this advice of Wolley, whofe pride had occafioned him to despise his enemies, and contemn all their feeble efforts, as he judg'd, to harm him: and instead of loving himself last, he had placed there his first and fole affection. So that Mr. Warburton's criticifm falls to the ground, who, obferving, "that this, tho' an admirable precept for our conduct in private life, was never defign'd for the magistrate or public minister,, gives his opinion the poet wrote;
Cherish those hearts that wait thee.
Sir T. Hanmer flattens the line by reading it,
Cherish ev'n the hearts that bate thee.
This paffage appears with double propriety, when we confider it comes from the mouth of a divine, who may be fuppofed to have had this verfe of St. Matthew in view. Love your enemies, bless them that curfe you, do good to them that hate you. Chap. v. ver. 44.
(9) Be juft, &c.] The power and blessing of a good heart, and confcience, are mentioned in the 40th page foregoing. Milton, in his Comus, fpeaks thus excellently of a virtuous man.
He that has light within his own clear breast,
And, pr'ythee, lead me in
There take an inventory of all I have;
I dare now call mine own. O Cromwell! Cromwell!
ACT IV. SCENE I
-Such a noife arose
As the shrouds make at sea in a stiff tempeft,
never faw before. Great belly'd women,
SCENE II. Cardinal Wolfey's Death.
At last with eafy roads he came to Leicester;
Is come to lay his weary bones among you,
Foretold, fhould be his last,) full of repentance,
His Vices and Virtues.
So may he reft, his faults lie gently on him!
(10) One that, &c.] Mr. Warburton explains this paffage thus, "One that by giving the king pernicious counfel, ty'd or enAav'd the kingdom." And he obferves, that Shakespear ufes the word fuggeftion, with a great propriety and feeming knowledge of the Latin tongue. For the late Roman writers and their gloffes agree to give this fenfe to it; Suggeftio, eft cum magiftratus quilibet principi falubre confilium fuggerit. A fuggeftion, is, when a magiftrate gives a prince wholesome counsel. "So that nothing could be feverer than this reflection, that that wholesome. counsel, which it is the minifter's duty to give his prince, was fo impoifoned by him, as to produce flavery to his country." The commentator here (with great fhew of reafon) seems to ftrike out a meaning his author moft probably never meant; if the reading be juft, the paffage is plain and eafy, fhould we take suggeftion in its vulgar acceptation; but it feems very exceptionable, nor can I be fatisfied withity'd, efpecially when I confider the words immediately following; indeed, it may be faid, the is particularizing his vices without any connection: The Oxford editor reads tyth'd, which is too forc'd, and unwarrantable: Wolfcy certainly had great fway in the kingdom by means of the high credit he was in with the king, but he could not be faid properly, I think, by fuggeftion, by underhand dealings, or by pernicious counfel (which you will,) to tye the kingdom, properly; the word is printed very imperfectly in the old editions; perhaps it was fway'd; but I pretend not to fay any thing cer tain; the judicious reader will foon fee whether the explication. given fatisfles him.
Both in his words and meaning. He was never,
His promises were, as he then was, mighty;
(11) Men's evil manners live in brafs; their virtues We write in water. * *
*. This cardinal,
Tho' from an humble ftock, undoubtedly
The other, though unfinfh'd, yet fo famous,
(11) Men's, &c.] Beaumont and Fletcher borrowed this fentiment from Shakespear in their Philafter. A& 5.
All your better deeds