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What is your pleasure with me?

Noble lady,
First, mine own service to your grace; the next,
The king's request that I would visit you;
Who grieves much for your weakness, and by me
Sends you his princely commendations,
And heartily entreats you take good comfort.

Kath. O my good lord, that comfort comes too late;
'Tis like a pardon after execution :
That gentle physick, given in time, had cur'd me;
But now I am past all comforts here, but prayers.
How does his highness?

Madam, in good health.
Kath. So may he ever do! and ever flourish,
When I shall dwell with worms, and my poor name
Banish'd the kingdom! - Patience, is that letter,
I caus'd you write, yet sent away?

No, madam. [Giving it to KATH.
Kath. Sir, I most humbly pray you to deliver
This to my lord the king. 2

-? This to my lord the king.] So, Holinshed, p. 939:“ – perceiv. ing hir selfe to waxe verie weak and feeble, and to feele death approaching at hand, caused one of hir gentlewom

omen to write a letter to the king, commending to him hir daughter and his, be. seeching him to stand good father unto hir; and further desired him to have some consideration of hir gentlewomen that had served hir, and to see them bestowed in marriage. Further that it would please him to appoint that hir servants might have their due wages, and a yeares wages beside.” Steevens.

This letter probably fell into the hands of Polydore Virgil, who was then in England, and has preserved it in the twenty-seventh book of his history. The following is Lord Herbert's translation of it:

“My most dear lord, king, and husband, “ The hour of my death now approaching, I cannot choose but, out of the love I bear you, advise you of your soul's health, which you ought to prefer before all considerations of the world or flesh whatsoever: for which yet you have cast me into many calami. ties, and yourself into many troubles.-But I forgive you all, and pray God to do so likewise. For the rest, I commend unto you Mary our daughter, beseeching you to be a good father to her, as I have heretofore desired: I must entreat you also to respect my maids, and give them in marriage, (which is not mich, they being but three,) and to all my other servants a years pay besides their due, lest otherwise they should be unprovided for. Lastly, I make this vow, that mine eyes desire you above all things, Farewell." Malone.



Most willing, madam. Kath. In which I have commended to his goodness The model of our chaste loves,? his young daughter: The dews of heaven fall thick in blessings on her! Beseeching him, to give her virtuous breeding; (She is young, and of a noble modest nature; I hope, she will deserve well;) and a little To love her for her mother's sake, that lov’d him, Heaven knows how dearly. My next poor petition Is, that his noble grace would have some pity Upon my wretched women, that so long, Have follow'd both my fortunes faithfully: Of which there is not one, I dare avow, (And now I should not lie) but will deserve, For virtue, and true beauty of the soul, For honesty, and decent carriage, A right good husband, let him be a noble; 3 And, sure, those men are happy that shall have them. The last is, for my men ;-they are the poorest, But poverty could never draw them from me;That they may have their wages duly paid them, And something over to remember me by;

The legal instrument for the divorce of Queen Katharine is still in being; and among the signatures to it is that of Polydore Virgil. Steevens.

2 The model of our chaste loves,) Model is image or representative. See Vol. V, p. 267, n. 3; and Vol. VII, p. 418, n. 4. Malone.

3 A right good &c.] I would read this line (not with a semicolon, as hitherto printed,) but with only a comma:

A right good husband, let him be a noble; i. e. though he were even of noble extraction. Whalley.

Let him be, I suppose, signifies, even thou he should be; or, ad. mit that he be. She means to observe, that nobility superadded to virtue, is not more than each of her women deserves to meet with in a husband. The same phraseology is found in King Richard II:

“Setting aside his high blood's royalty,

“ And let him be no kinsman to my liege.” Steevens. This is, I think, the true interpretation of the line ; but I do not see why the words let him be a noble, may not, consistently with this meaning, be understood in their obvious and ordinary

We are not to consider Katharine's women like the at. tendants on other ladies. One of them had already been married to no more than a noble husband; having unfortunately captivated a worthless king. Malone.


If heaven had pleas'd to have given me longer life,
And able means, we had not parted thus.
These are the whole contents:-And, good my lord,
By that you love the dearest in this world,
As you wish christian peace to souls departed,
Stand these poor people's friend, and urge the king
To do me this last right.

By heaven, I will;
Or let me lose the fashion of a man!

Kath. I thank you, honest lord. Remember me In all humility unto his highness: Say, his long trouble now is passing Out of this world: tell him, in death I bless'd him, For so I will.-Mine eyes grow dim.-Farewel, My lord-Griffith, farewel.-Nay, Patience, You must not leave me yet. I must to bed; Call in more women.- When I am dead, good wench, Let me be us'd with honour; strew me over With maiden flowers, that all the world may know I was a chaste wife to my grave: embalm me; Then lay me forth: although unqueen'd, yet like A queen, and daughter to a king, inter me. I can no more.

Exeunt, leading KATH

ACT V ..... SCENE I.

A Gallery in the Palace.

Enter GARDINER, Bishop of Winchester, a Page with

a Torch before him, met by Sir THOMAS LOVELL.
Gar. It 's one o'clock, boy, is 't not?

It hath struck.
Gar. These should be hours for necessities,
Not for delights;a times to repair our nature
With comforting repose, and not for us

4 Not for delights ;) Gardiner himself is not much delighted, The delight at which he hints, seems to be the King's diversion, which keeps him in attendance. Johnson. 5 These should be hours

- times to repair our nature

To waste these times. Good hour of night, sir Tho.

mas! Whither so late? Lov.

Came you from the king, my lord? Gar. I did, sir Thomas; and left him at primero With the duke of Suffolk. Lov.

I must to him too, Before he go to bed. I 'll take my

leave. Gar. Not yet, sir Thomas Lovell. What 's the matter? It seems, you are in haste; an if there be No great offence belongs to 't, give your friend Some touch of your late business:? Affairs, that walk (As, they say, spirits do,) at midnight, have In them a wilder nature, than the business That seeks despatch by day. Lov.

My lord, I love you; And durst commend a secret to your ear Much weightier than this work. The queen 's in labour, They say, in great extremity; and fear’d, She 'll with the labour end. Gar.

The fruit, she goes with, I pray for heartily; that it may find Good time, and live: but for the stock, sir Thomas, I wish it grubb'd up now. Lov.

Methinks, I could Cry the amen; and yet my conscience says She 's a good creature, and, sweet lady, does


With comforting repose,] Hence, perhaps, the following passage in the fifth Act of Rowe's Fair Penitent. Sciolto is the speaker:

“ This dead of night, this silent hour of darkness,
“ Nature for rest ordain’d and soft repose.” Steevens.

at primero –] Primero and Primavista, two games at cards, H. I. Primera, Primavista. La Primiere, G. Prime, f. Prime weue. Primum, et primum visum, that is, first, and first seen: because he that can show such an order of cards first, wins the game. Minsheu's Guide into Tongues, col. 575. Grey. So, in Woman 's a Weather cock, 1612:

“Come will your worship make one at primero.?” Again, in the Preface to The Rival Friends, 1632: “ - when it may be, some of our butterfly judgments expected a set at maw or primavista from them.” Steevens.

Some touch of your late business :] Some hint of the business that keeps you awake so late. Fohnson.

Deserve our better wishes.

But, sir, sir,
Hear me, sir Thomas: You are a gentleman
Of mine own way;8 I know you wise, religious;
And, let me tell you, it will ne'er be well-
'Twill not, sir Thomas Lovell, take 't of me,
Till Cranmer, Cromwell, her two hands, and she,
Sleep in their graves.

Now, sir, you speak of two
The most remark'd i’ the kingdom. As for Cromwell,
Beside that of the jewel-house, he's made master
O'the rolls, and the king's secretary; further, sir,
Stands in the gap and trade of more preferments,
With which the time will load him: The archbishop
Is the king's hand, and tongue; And who dare speak
One syllable against him?

Yes, yes, sir Thomas,
There are that dare; and I myself have ventur'd
To speak my mind of him: and, indeed, this day,
Sir, (I may tell it you) I think, I have
Incens'd the lords o' the council, that he is
(For so I know he is, they know he is,)
A most arch heretick, a pestilence




mine own way;] Mine own opinion in religion. Fohnson.

- he's made -) The pronoun, which was omitted in the old copy, was inserted by Mr. Theobald. Malone.

1 Stands in the gap and trade of more preferments,] Trade is the practised method, the general course. Johnson.

Trade has been already used by Shakspeare with this meaning in King Richard II:

“ Some way of common trade." See Vol. VIII, p. 89, n. 5. Steevens.

I have
Incens'd the lords o' the council, that he is &c.

A most arch heretick,] This passage, according to the old el. liptical mode of writing, may mean I have incens'd the lords of the council, for that he is, i.e. because. Steevens.

I have roused the lords of the council by suggesting to them that he is a most arch heretick: I have thus incited them against him. Malone.

Incensed, I believe, in this instance, and some others, only means prompted, set on. So, in King Richard III:

“ Think you, my lord, this little prating York
“ Was not incensed by his subtle mother 1 Steevens.

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