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in the country, and gave his opinion that the question of marriage might be decided by native authorities.* He wrote a book to prove his position, and hence his employment by the king and subsequent preferment.
The first scene of the third act gives the interview between the cardinals and the queen, to which I have already alluded; it is almost paraphrased from Holinshed and his authorities : for instance:
"My lord, I thank you for your good will, but to make you answer to your request I cannot so suddenly for I am set among my maids at work, thinking full little of any such matter, wherein there needeth a longer deliberation, and better head than mine, to make answer; for I need counsel in this case which touched me so near, and for any counsel or friendship that I can find in England, they are not for my profit;—"
"My lords, I thank you both for your good wills;
* See Burnet, i,, 144: but whence?
Either for such men, or such business.
For his sake that I have been (for I feel
The last thing that I have been), good your graces,
Let me have time and counsel for my cause.
Alas! I am a woman, friendless, hopeless.
Can you think, lords, That any Englishman dare give me counsel? Or be a known friend,'gainst his highness'pleasure?"
We now approach another of the great events of this play—the disgrace of Wolsey. Norfolk,* Suffolk, Surry, and the lord chamberlain, are introduced,-f - congratulating each other on the declining influence of the cardinal. And he is in disgrace, says Suffolk, because
"The cardinal's letters to the pope miscarried,
This incident is not in Holinshed, nor do I know where Shakspeare found it, or whence
* There is a confusion here. The present Norfolk is the former Surry. No Surry was concerned in these proceedings. That title was now borne by Henry Howard, the celebrated and literary earl, now a lad of thirteen years old. Collins, i. 93.
f Act iii. Sc. 2.
comes the story of the inventory delivered by mistake."*
But the greatest error in this scene, which must have occurred, at latest, in 1529, is the mention of the marriage of Anne Boleyn, and her intended coronation. The marriage certainly did not occur before 1533.-!
The demand of the great seal by Norfolk and Suffolk, and Wolsey's hesitation in delivering it upon a verbal message, are in Holinshed.J
Surry (it should be Norfolk) now accuses Wolsey of the destruction of his father-in-law Buckingham, with which view, he (Surry) was sent to Ireland as lord deputy; and after some allusions too personal to be repeated, he enumerates the articles of charge against the cardinal :—
'' Surry. First, that without the king's assent or knowledge, You wrote to be a legate; by which pow'r You maim'd the jurisdiction of all bishops.
Norf. Then, that in all you writ to Rome, or else, To foreign princes, Ego et Rex meus Was still inscrib'd; in which you brought the king To be your servant.
* Steevens (Bosw. 412) points out a story in Holinshed of a mistake like this committed by Rutball, Bisbop of Durham.
t Lingard, 189. t P. 741.
Suf. That, without the knowledge
Sur. Item, you sent a large commission
Suf. That, out of mere ambition, you have caus'd Your holy hat to be stamp'd on the king's coin.
Sur. Then, that you've sent innumerable substance (By what means got I leave to your own conscience), To furnish Rome, and to prepare the ways You have for dignities, to the mere undoing Of all the kingdom."
These articles are to be found, with somej others, in Holinshed.* They are abridged from i forty-four lengthy charges,f which were some time afterwards prepared in the House of Lords, and sent down to the Commons, but came to nothing.
It may be observed, that the charge of writing Ego et Rex meus, with which we are familiar, is erroneously stated. Wolsey, according to the accusation, gave the king his place, but put himself too near to him. He wrote, " The king
and I," thus making himself a fellow to the king.*
A new character is now introduced—Thomas Cromwell. His conversations with Wolsey are imaginary and very well imagined; and he is appropriately produced as the faithful friend of the cardinal, whom he defended in the House of Commons against the charges lately noticed.-fNow Cromwell, the falling minister, learns that Sir Thomas More has already succeeded him as chancellor; and that Cranmer, having returned from abroad, has been installed Archbishop of Canterbury. This is right as to More;J but Cranmer did not become archbishop until 1532, when Warham died.
The chronological error respecting Anne Boleyn's marriage and public acknowledgment is repeated by Cromwell. Cavendish imputes to this young lady a great share in Wolsey's fall, and accordingly he says,
"There was the weight that pull'd me down. O Cromwell!
The king has gone beyond me: all my glories
* Art. 4. t Pari. Hist. i. 501.
% 25th Oct. 1529. British Statesmen, i. 60.