a scholar and a ripe and good one: this reference is taken from Shakespeare's Henry VIII Act IV Scene 2 where Katherine of Aragon is speaking of Wolsey, of whose death she has heard recently. The full quotation is:

He was a scholar, and a ripe and good one
Exceeding wise, fair spoken and persuading;
Lofty and sour to them that loved him not
But to those men that sought him sweet as summer.

Last modified 22 January 2002