Gary Taylor, John Jowett, Terri Bourus, and Gabriel Egan (eds), The New Oxford Shakespeare: Critical Reference Edition, Vol. 2

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pg 23121.1Sc. 2Actus Primus. Scœna Prima.

Enter the two Bishops of Canterbury and Ely.

Bish. Cant. My Lord, Ile tell you, that selfe Bill is vrg'd,

2Which in th'eleuēth yere of ye last Kings reign

Critical Apparatus3Was like, and had indeed against vs past,

4But that the scambling and vnquiet time

5Did push it out of farther question.


Bish. Ely. But how my Lord shall we resist it now?


Bish. Cant. It must be thought on: if it passe against vs,

8We loose the better halfe of our Possession:

9For all the Temporall Lands, which men deuout

10By Testament haue giuen to the Church,

11Would they strip from vs; being valu'd thus,

12As much as would maintaine, to the Kings honor,

13Full fifteene Earles, and fifteene hundred Knights,

14Six thousand and two hundred good Esquires:

15And to reliefe of Lazars, and weake age

16Of indigent faint Soules, past corporall toyle,

17A hundred Almes-houses, right well supply'd:

18And to the Coffers of the King beside,

19A thousand pounds by th'yeere. Thus runs the Bill.


Bish. Ely. This would drinke deepe.


Bish. Cant. 'Twould drinke the Cup and all.


Bish. Ely. But what preuention?


Bish. Cant. The King is full of grace, and faire regard.


Bish. Ely. And a true louer of the holy Church.


Bish. Cant. The courses of his youth promis'd it not.

26The breath no sooner left his Fathers body,

27But that his wildnesse, mortify'd in him,

28Seem'd to dye too: yea, at that very moment,

29Consideration like an Angell came,

30And whipt th'offending Adam out of him;

31Leauing his body as a Paradise,

32T'inuelop and containe Celestiall Spirits.

33Neuer was such a sodaine Scholler made:

34Neuer came Reformation in a Flood,

35With such a heady currance scowring faults:

36Nor neuer Hidra-headed Wilfulnesse

37So soone did loose his Seat; and all at once;

38As in this King.

Bish. Ely: We are blessed in the Change.


Bish. Cant. Heare him but reason in Diuinitie;

40And all-admiring, with an inward wish

41You would desire the King were made a Prelate:

42Heare him debate of Common-wealth Affaires;

43You would say, it hath been all in all his study:

44List his discourse of Warre; and you shall heare

45A fearefull Battaile rendred you in Musique.

h1v Link 46Turne him to any Cause of Pollicy,

pg 231347The Gordian Knot of it he will vnloose,

48Familiar as his Garter: that when he speakes,

49The Ayre, a Charter'd Libertine, is still,

50And the mute Wonder lurketh in mens eares,

51To steale his sweet and honyed Sentences:

52So that the Art and Practique part of Life,

53Must be the Mistresse to this Theorique.

54Which is a wonder how his Grace should gleane it,

55Since his addiction was to Courses vaine,

56His Companies vnletter'd, rude, and shallow,

57His Houres fill'd vp with Ryots, Banquets, Sports;

58And neuer noted in him any studie,

59Any retyrement, any sequestration,

60From open Haunts and Popularitie.


B. Ely. The Strawberry growes vnderneath the Nettle,

62And holesome Berryes thriue and ripen best,

63Neighbour'd by Fruit of baser qualitie:

64And so the Prince obscur'd his Contemplation

65Vnder the Veyle of Wildnesse, which (no doubt)

66Grew like the Summer Grasse, fastest by Night,

Critical Apparatus67Vnseene, yet cressiue in his facultie.


B. Cant. It must be so: for Miracles are ceast:

69And therefore we must needes admit the meanes,

70How things are perfected.

B. Ely. But my good Lord:

71How now for mittigation of this Bill,

72Vrg'd by the Commons? doth his Maiestie

73Incline to it, or no?

B. Cant. He seemes indifferent:

74Or rather swaying more vpon our part,

75Then cherishing th'exhibiters against vs:

76For I haue made an offer to his Maiestie,

77Vpon our Spirituall Conuocation,

78And in regard of Causes now in hand,

79Which I haue open'd to his Grace at large,

80As touching France, to giue a greater Summe,

81Then euer at one time the Clergie yet

82Did to his Predecessors part withall.


B. Ely. How did this offer seeme receiu'd, my Lord?


B. Cant. With good acceptance of his Maiestie:

85Saue that there was not time enough to heare,

86As I perceiu'd his Grace would faine haue done,

87The seueralls and vnhidden passages

88Of his true Titles to some certaine Dukedomes,

89And generally, to the Crowne and Seat of France,

90Deriu'd from Edward, his great Grandfather.


B. Ely. What was th'impediment that broke this off?


B. Cant. The French Embassador vpon that instant

93Crau'd audience; and the howre I thinke is come,

94To giue him hearing: Is it foure a Clock?


B. Ely. It is.

pg 2314 96

B. Cant. Then goe we in, to know his Embassie:

97Which I could with a ready guesse declare,

98Before the Frenchman speake a word of it.


B. Ely. Ile wait vpon you, and I long to heare it.


Notes Settings


Critical Apparatus
1.1.3 past = passed
Critical Apparatus
1.1.67 cressiue = crescive
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