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visit Francis. The field of the cloth of gold, in the summer of 1520, at which Henry met Francis in person, and where tournaments were held for many successive days with unexampled magnificence, is the fact which ushers us to the opening of the last of Shakspeare's Chronicle Plays.

THE COURT OF HENRY VIII. IN WOLSEY'S PLENITUDE OF POWER;

THE HAUGHTY AND OVERBEARING SPIRIT OF THAT MINISTER,
EXEMPLIFIED BY HIS INFLUENCE IN PROCURING THE ATTAINDER
or BUCKINGHAM; THE STATE OF PUBLIC EXPECTATION WHICH
PRECEDED THE KING'S DIVORCE PROM KATHERINE; AND THE
EVENTS WHICH FINALLY LED To Wolsey's DISGRACE; REPRE-
SENTED BY SCENES SUPPOSED TO OCCUR IN AN ANTE-CHAMBER
OF THE PALACE ; IN A STREET OP LONDON; AGAIN, IN AN
ANTE-CHAMBER OF THE PALACE ; AND IN AN ANTE-CHAMBER OF
THE QUEEN'S APARTMENTS.

HISTORICAL MEMORANDA. Edward duke of Buckingham was executed in 1521. He inherited the office of lord high constable from the Bohuns, earls of Hereford, which office, after his death, was never revived in England. Shaks. peare makes him wrongly call himself Buhun :-he was a Stafford. Henry's scruples concerning his marriage were seriously taken up in 1527, at the same period that the beauty of Anne Boleyn made an impression on him. Wolsey, unaware of this attachment, promoted the divorce as a means of seconding his own policy, one point of which was, the marrying of Henry to the sister of Francis I.

We are to imagine the dukes of Norfolk and Buckingham meeting in an ante-chamber in the palace. Buckingham is the first speaker. (Bucking.] Good morrow, and well met. How have

you

done Since last we saw in France ? [Norfolk.] I thank your grace:

Healthful, and an untir'd admirer still

Of what I saw there.
[Buckingham.] An untimely ague

Stay'd me a priso'ner in my chamber, when
Those suns of glory, those two lights of men,
Met in the vale of Arde.

[Norfolk.] Nay, then, you lost

The view of earthly glory. Men might say,–
Till that time pomp was single :
Each follo'wing day outshone the last. The kings,
Equal in lustre were now best, now worst,

As presence did present them. All was royal.
[Buckingham.] Who was it set the body and the limbs

Of this great sport together, as you guess ? [Norfolk.] One, certainly, that promises no element

In such a busi’ness. [Buckingham.] 'Pray you, who, my lord ? [Norfolk.] All this was order'd by the good discretion

Of the right reverend cardinal of York. [Buckingham.] The devil speed him! no man's pie is freed

From his ambitious finger. What had he
To do, forsooth, in these fierce vanities ?
He takes upon him,
Without the privity o'the king, to 'appoint
Who shall attend him : he makes out the file
Of all the gentry; meaning, for the most part,
To whom his letter reaches, as great charge
As little honour: so that many have
By this so sicken'd their estates, that never
Shall they abound as formerly. And what,
What did these vanities conclude in, but
A most poor issue? Grievingly I think
The peace not values half the cost : already
The French have flaw'd the league, and have attach'd
Our merchants' goods at Bourdeaux. All this business

It seems, then, that our reverend cardi'nal carried. [Norfolk.] The state, my lord, takes notice of the difference

Between you and the cardi’nal. I advise you
To bear in mind, his nature is revengeful.
His sword is sharp, and reaches far, and where
'Twill not extend, thither he darts it.-Lo!
The rock that I advise your shunning: hush'

:

Cardinal Wolsey in state passes through the chamber, fixing his eye with disdain on Buckingham, and Buckingham on him: he asks aloud of one of his secretaries, whether the examination of the duke of Buckinghan's surveyor is put into writing, and whether the surveyor is ready to attend in person : being answered affirmatively, he nioves on, saying[Wolsey.] Well, we shall soon know more; and Buckingham Shall lessen this big look.

[a pause.] [Buckingham.] This butcher's cur is venom-mouth'd, and I

Have no't the power to muzzle him : at this instant
He bores me with some trick: he's gone to the king:

I 'll follow, and outstare him. [Norfolk.] Stay, my lord,

And let your reason question with your anger,
What 'tis you go about. No man in England
Ca'n advise so well as you. Be to yourself
As
you
would to

your

friend. [Buckingham.] I'll to the king,

And, from a mouth of honour, quite cry down

This Ipswich fellow's insolence. [Norfolk.] Be' advis'd:

Heat not a furnace for yourself so hot
That it may singe you.
I say again, there is no English soul
That’s stronger to direct you

than yourself,
If, with the

sap

of

reason, you would quench,
Or but allay, the fire of passion.
[Buckingham.] Sir,

I a'm thankful to you, and I'll go along
By your prescription ;-but this top-proud fellow,
Whom, from the flow of gall, I do not name,
By proofs as clear as crystal founts, I know

To be corrupt and treaso'nous. [Norfolk.] Say not treaso'nous.

:

:

[this cardinal [Buckingham.] To'the king I'll say't. I'll let him know

Doth buy and sell his honour as he pleases,

And for his own advantage. Brandon here enters with a serjeant at arms and a guard, and addresses the last speaker. [Brandon.] My lord the duke of Buckingham, and earl

Of Hereford, Stafford, and Southampton, I
Arrest thee of high treason, in the name

Of our most sovereign king.
[Buckingham.] Lo! you, my lord,

The net has fallen upon me: I shall perish
Under device and practice. 'Twill serve nothing
To plead my innocence: the die is on me
Which makes

my whitest part black : the will of heaven Be done in this, and all things :- I obey. [Brandon.] My lord, you do not go alone. The king

Is pleas'd lord Aberga'ny shall to' the Tower
Till he determines further. Here's a warrant
Also to' attach lord Montacute; the bodies
Of

your confessor, John de la Court; and

Gilbert Peck, your chancellor. [Buckingham.] So, so;

These are the limbs of the plot: no more, I hope ? [Brandon.] A monk of the Chartreux. [Buckingham.] Oh, Nicholas Hopkins ? [Brandon.) He. [Buckingham.] My súrveyor is false : the o'ergreat cardinal

Hath shown him gold: my life is spann'd already:
I am the shadow of poor Buckingham:

My lord, farewell ! We are to imagine a short interval of time, and a change of place to a street in the approach to Westminster Hall: two gentlemen meet each other, and enter into conversation.

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[First Gent.) Whither away so fast?
(Second Gent.] Oh,-heaven save you !

Even to the hall, to hear what shall become

Of the great duke of Buckingham. [First Gent.] I'll save you

That labour, sir. All's now done, but the ceremony

Of bringing back the priso’ner. [Second Gent.) What has happen'd ? [First Gent.) He is found guilty, and condemn’d upon it. [Second Gent.) I am sorry for 't. [First Gent.) So are a number more. [Second Gent.] The cardi'nal is the end of this. [First Gent.) 'Tis likely :

For mark you this, that on Kildare's attainder,
Then deputy of Ireland, and removal,
Earl Surrey was sent thither, and in haste too,

Lest he should help his noble father-in-law. [Second Gent.] This is noted,—whoever the king favours,

Is sure to get employment through the cardinal,
But far enough from court, sir. All the commons
Hate him; this duke of Buckingham, as much

They love and dote on.
[First Gent.) Stay your farther talk,

And see the noble ruin'd man you speak of. Buckingham is brought in from his arraignment : the axe, with the edge towards him, is carried in front; and men with halberds are on each side of him : Sir Thornas Lovell and Sir Nicholas Vaux are the persons who hace the conduct of him to the Tower : a multitude of people must enter into the picture which the imagination has to form : Buckingham speaks : [Buckingham.] All good people,

You that thus far have come to pity me,

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