« PreviousContinue »
Bishops. The rest of Attendants stand in convenient order about the Stage.
Wol. Whilst our commission from Rome is read, Let silence be commanded.
King. What's the need?
It hath already publicly been read,
And on all sides the authority allow'd;
You may then spare that time.
Wol. Be't so:-Proceed.
Beseech you, sir, to spare me, 'till I may
Be by my friends in Spain avis'd; whose counsel'
I will implore: If not; i' the name of God,
Your pleasure be fulfill'd!
Wol. You have here, lady,
(And of your choice) these reverend fathers; men
Of singular integrity and learning,
Yea, the elect of the land, who are assembled
To plead your cause: It shall be therefore hootless,
Scribe. Say, Henry king of England, come into 10 That longer you defer the court; as well
For your own quiet, as to reculy
What is unsettled in the king.
Crier. Henry king of England, &c.
Scribe. Say, Katharine queen of England, come
into the court.
Cam. His grace
Hath spoken well, and justly: Therefore, madam,
15 It's fit this royal session do proceed;
And that, without delay, their arguments
Be now produc'd, and heard.
Queen. Lord cardinal,-
Crier. Katharine, queen of England, &c.
[The Queen makes no answer, rises out of her chair,
goes about the Court, comes to the King, and
kneels at his feet; then speaks.]
Queen. Sir, I desire you, do me right and justice;20
And to bestow your pity on me: for
I am a most poor woman, and a stranger,
Born out of your dominions: having here
No judge indifferent, nor no more assurance
Of equal friendship and proceeding. Alas, sir,
In what have I offended you? what cause
Hath my behaviour given to your displeasure,
That thus you should proceed to put me off,
And take your good grace from me? Heaven wit-
I have been to you a true and humble wife, [ness, 30
At all times to your will conformable :
Ever in fear to kindle your dislike,
Yea, subject to your countenance; glad, or sorry,
As I saw it inclin'd. When was the hour,
I ever contradicted your desire,
Or made it not mine too? Or which of your friends
Have I not strove to love, although I knew
He were mine enemy? what friend of mine,
That had to him deriv'd your anger, did I
Continue in my liking? nay, gave not notice
He was from thence discharg'd? Sir, call to mind,
That I have been your wife, in this obedience,
Upwards of twenty years, and have been blest
With many children by you: If, in the course
And process of this time, you can report,
And prove it too, against mine honour aught,
My bond to wedlock, or my love and duty
Against your sacred person, in God's name,
Turn me away; and let the foul'st contempt
Shut door upon me, and so give me up
To the sharpest kind of justice. Please you, sir,
The king, your father, was reputed for
A prince most prudent, of an excellent
And unmatch'd wit and judgement: Ferdinand,
My father, king of Spain, was reckon❜d one
The wisest prince, that there had reign'd by many
A year before: It is not to be question'd
That they had gather'd a wise council to them
Of every realm, that did debate this business,
Who deem'd our marriage lawful; Wherefore 160
To you I speak.
Wol. Your pleasure, madam?
I am about to weep; but, thinking that
We are a queen, (or long have dream'd so) certain, The daughter of a king, my drops of tears 25 I'll turn to sparks of fire.
Wol. Be patient yet.
Queen. I will, when you are humble; nay, bɩ--
Or God will punish me. I do believe, [fore,
Induc'd by potent circumstances, that
You are mine enemy; and make my challenge',
You shall not be my judge: for it is you
Have blown this coal betwixt my lord and me.-
Which God's dew quench!-Therefore, I say
I utterly abhor, yea, from my soul [again,
Refuse you for my judge; whom, yet once more,
I hold my most malicious foe, and think not
At all a friend to truth.
Wol. I do profess,
You speak not like yourself; who ever yet 40 Have stood to charity, and display'd the effects Of disposition gentle, and of wisdom [wrong: O'er-topping woman's power. Madam, you do me I have no spleen against you; nor injustice For you, or any: how far I have proceeded, 45 Or how far further shall, is warranted
By a commission from the consistory,
Yea, the whole consistory of Rome. You charge
That I have blown this coal: I do deny it: [me
The king is present: If it be known to him,
50 That I gainsay my deed, how may he wound,
And worthily, my falsehood? yea, as much
As you have done my truth. If he know
That I am free of your report, he knows,
I am not of your wrong. Therefore in him
55 It lies, to cure me; and the cure is, to
Remove these thoughts from you: The which
His highness shall speak in, I do beseech
You, gracious madam, to unthink your speaking,
And to say so no more.
Queen. My lord, my lord,
I am a simple woman, much too weak
Challenge is here a verbum juris, a law term. The criminal, when he refuses a juryman, says, challenge him. ? i. e. deny.
To oppose your cunning. You are meek, and
Or touch of her good person?
King. My lord cardinal,
You sign your place and calling, in full seeming,
With meekness and humility: but your heart
Is cramm'd with arrogancy, spleen, and pride.
You have, by fortune, and his highness' favours,
Goneslightly o'er low steps; andnoware mounted,
Where powers are your retamers: and your words,
Domestics to you, serve your will, as 't please
Yourself pronounce their office. I must tell you,
You tender more your person's honour, than
Your high profession spiritual: That again
I do refuse you for my judge; and here,
Before you all, appeal unto the Pope,
To bring my whole cause 'fore his holiness,
And to be judg'd by him,
I do excuse you; yea, upon mine honour,
I free you from 't. You are not to be taught
That you have many enemies, that know not
Why they are so, but, like to village curs,
Bark when their fellows do: by some of these
The queen is put in anger. You are excus'd:
But will you be more justified? you ever
Have wish'd the sleeping of this business; never
Desir'd it to be stirr'd: but oft have hindred, oft,
The passages made toward it:-' on my honour,
I speak my good lord cardinal to this point,
And thus far clear him. Now, what inov'd me
[She curt'sies to the King, and offers to depart.
I will be bold with time, and your attention:~~ Then mark the inducement. Thus it came ;give heed to 't:—
My conscience first receiv'd a tenderness, 20cruple, and prick', on certain speeches utter'd By the bishop of Bayonne, then French ambassaWho had been hither sent on the debating [dor; A marriage, 'twixt the duke of Orleans and Our daughterMary: I' the progress of this business, 25 Ere a determinate resolution, he
Cam. The queen is obstinate,
Stubborn to justice, apt to accuse it, and
Disdainful to be try'd by it; 'tis not well.
She's going away.
King. Call her again.
Crier. Katharine, queen of England, come into
Usher. Madam, you are call'd back.
Queen. What need you note it? pray you, keep
When you are call'd, return.-Now the Lord help,
They vex me past my patience!-pray you, pass
I will not tarry; no, nor ever more,
Upon this business, my appearance make
In any of their courts.
[Exeunt Queen and her Attendants.
King. Go thy ways, Kate:
That man i' the world, who shall report he has
A better wife, let him in nought be trusted,
For speaking false in that: Thou art, alone,
(If thy rare qualities, sweet gentleness,
Thy meekness saint-like,wife-like government,-
Obeying in commanding,-and thy parts
Sovereign and pious else, could speak thee out)
The queen of earthly queens:-She is noble born;
And like her true nobility, she has
Carried herself towards me.
(I mean the bishop) did require a respite;
Wherein he might the king his lord advertise
Whether our daughter were legitimate,
Respecting this our marriage with the dowager,
30 Sometime our brother's wife. This respite shook
The bosom of my conscience, enter'd me,
Yea, with a splitting power, and made to tremble
The region of my breast; which forc'd such way
That many maz'd considerings did throng,
35 And press'd in with this caution. First,methought,
I stood not in the smile of heaven; who had
Commanded nature, that my lady's womb,
If it conceiv'd a male child by me, should
Do no more offices of life to 't, than
40 The grave does to the dead: for her male-issue Or died where they were made, or shortly after This world had air'd them: Hence I took a thought This was a judgement on me; that my kingdom, Well worthy the best heir o'the world, should not 45 Be gladded in't by me: Then follows, that
weigh'd the danger which my realms stood in By this my issue's fail; and that gave to me Many a groaning throe. Thus hulling' in The wild sea of my conscience, I did steer 50 Toward this remedy, whereupon we are
Wol. Most gracious sir,
In humblest manner I require your highness,
That it shall please you to declare, in hearing
Of all these ears, (for where I am robb'd and bound,
There must I be unloos'd; although not there
At once and fully satisfied) whether ever I
Did broach this business to your highness; or
Lay'd any scruple in your way, which might
Induce you to the question on't? or ever
Have to you, but with thanks to God for such
A royal lady, spake one the least word, thatmnight 55
Be to the prejudice of her present state,
Now present here together; that's to say,
I meant to rectify my conscience,-which
I then did feel full sick, and yet not well,-
By all the reverend fathers of the land,
And doctors learn'd.-First, I began in private
With you, my lord of Lincoln; you remember
4 1. e. you shew or denote.
2 That is, Having now got power, you do not regard your word. i. e. if thy several qualities could speak thy praise. The sense is, "I owe so much to my own innocence, as to clear up my character, though I do not expect my wrongers will do me justice." • The king, having first addressed Wolsey, breaks off; and declares upon his honour to the whole court, that he speaks the cardinal's sentiments upon the point in question; and clears him from any attempt, or wish, to stir that business. i. e. prick of conscience, which was the term in con fession. A ship is said to hull, when she is dismasted, and only her hull, or hulk, is left at the direction and mercy of the waves.
Orpheus with his lute made trees,
And the mountain-tops, that freeze,
Bow themselves, when he did sing: To his musick, plants and flowers Ever sprung; as sun, and showers,
There had made a lasting spring. Every thing that heard him play, Even the billows of the sea,
Hung their heads, and then lay by. In sweet musick is such art; Killing care, and grief of heart, Fall asleep, or, hearing, die.
Enter a Gentleman.
Queen. How now? Gent. An't please your grace, the two great carWait in the presence'.
The Queen's Apartments.
The Queen and her Women, as at work. Queen. TAKE thy lute, wench: my soul grows troubles; Sing, and disperse them, if thon canst; leave 35 working.
These cardinals trifle with me: I abhor 15 This dilatory sloth, and tricks of Rome. My learn'd and well-beloved servant, Cranmer, Pr'ythee, return! with thy approach, I know, My comfort comes along. Break up the court: I say, set on.
[Exeunt in manner as they entered.
I do not like their coming, now I think on't. They should be good men; their affairs are
righteous: But, all hoods make not monks.
Made to the queen, to call back her appeal
She intends unto his holiness. [They rise to depart.
King. I may perceive,
Enter Wolsey and Campeius. Wol. Peace to your highness! [wife Queen. Your graces find me here part of a houseI would be all, against the worst may happen. What are your pleasures with me, reverend lords? Wol. May it please you, noble madam, to withdraw
Queen. Would they speak with me?
Gent. They will'd me say so, madam.
Queen. Pray their graces
To come near. [Exit Gent.] What can be their
With me, a poor weak woman, fallen from fa-
Queen. Speak it here;
There's nothing I have done yet,o' my conscience, 40 Deserves a corner: Would, all other women Could speak this with as free a soul as I do! My lords, I care not, (so much I am happy Above a number) if my actions
Into your private chamber, we shall give you The full cause of our coming.
Were try'd by every tongue, every eye saw 'em, 45 Envy and base opinion set against 'em,
I know my life so even: If your business
Seek me out, and that way I am wife in,
Out with it boldly; Truth loves open dealing.
Wol. Tanta est erga te mentis integritas, regina
Queen. O, good my lord, no Latin;
I am not such a truant since my coming,
As not to know the language I have liv'd in:
A strange tongue makes my cause more strange, suspicious; Pray, speak in English: here are some will thank
i. e. in the presence-chamber.
If you speak truth, for their poor mistress' sake; Believe me, she has had much wrong: Lord cardinal,
The willing'st sin I ever yet committed,
May be absolv'd in English.
Wol. Noble lady,
I am sorry, my integrity should breed
Affairs for professions.
(And service to his majesty and you)
So deep suspicion, where all faith was meant.
We come not by the way of accusation,
To taint that honour every good tongue blesses;
Nor to betray you any way to sorrow;
You have too much, good lady: but to know
How you stand minded in the weighty difference
Between the king and you; and to deliver,
Like free and honest men, our just opinions,
And comforts to your cause.
Cam. Most honour'd madam,
5 The cordial that ye bring a wretched lady?
A woman lost among ye, laugh'd at, scorn'd?
I will not wish ye half my miseries,
I have more charity: But say, I warn'd ye;
Take heed, for heaven's sake, take heed, lest at
My lord of York,-out of his noble nature,
Zeal and obedience he still bore your grace;
Forgetting, like a good man, your late censure
Both of his truth and him, (which was too far)-15
Offers, as I do, in a sign of peace,
His service, and his counsel.-
Your hopes and friends are infinite.
Queen. In England,
But little for my profit: Can you think, lords,
That any Englishman dare give me counsel ?
Or be a known friend, 'gainst his highness' plea-
Upon my soul, two reverend cardinal virtues;
But cardinal sins, and hollow hearts, I fear ye:
Mend 'em for shame, my lords. Is this your
The burdens of my sorrows fall upon ye.
Wol. Madam, this is a mere distraction;
You turn the good we offer into envy.
Queen. Yeturn me into nothing: Woe upon ye,
And all such false professors! Would ye have me
(If you have any justice, any pity;
If you be any thing but churchmen's habits)
Put my sick cause into his hands that hates me?
Alas! he has banish'd me his bed already;
His love, too long ago; I am old, my lords,
And all the fellowship I hold now with him
Is only my obedience. What can happen
To me, above this wretchedness? all your studies
Make me a curse like this.
Queen. To betray me.
My lords, I thank you both for your good wills,
Yespeak like honest men, (pray God, ye prove so!) 20
But how to make ye suddenly an answer,
In such a point of weight, so near mine honour,
(More near my life, I fear) with my weak wit,
And to such men of gravity and learning,
In truth, I know not. I was set at work
Among my maids; full little, God knows, looking
Either for such men, or such business.
For her sake that I have been1, (for I feel
The last fit of my greatness) good your graces,
Let me have time, and counsel, for my cause;
Alas! I am a woman, friendless, hopeless.
Wol. Madam, you wrong the king's love with
Cam. Your fears are worse.
Queen. Have I liv'd thus long,-let me speak
Since virtue finds no friends,-a wife, a true one}
A woman, (I dare say, without vain-glory)
Never yet branded with suspicion?
Have I with all my full affections [him?
Still met the king? lov'd him next heaven? obey'd
Been, out of fondness, superstitious3 to him?"
Almost forgot my prayers to content him?
And am I thus rewarded? 'tis not well, lords.
Bring me a constant woman to her husband,
One that ne'er dream'd a joy beyond his pleasure;
And to that woman, when she has done most,
Yet will I add an honour,-a great patience.
Wol. Madam, you wander from the good we
Queen. My lord, I dare not make myself so
To give up willingly that noble title
Your master wed me to: nothing but death
Shall e'er divorce my dignities.
(Though he be grown so desp'rate to be honest) 40
And live a subject? Nay, forsooth, my friends,
They that must weigh out my afflictions,
They that my trust must grow to, live not here;
They are, as all my other comforts, far hence,
In niine own country, lords.
Cam. I would, your grace
Would leave your griefs, and take my counsel.
Queen. How, sir?
Cum. Put your main cause into the king's pro-
He's loving, and most gracious: 'twill be much 50
Both for your honour better, and your cause;
For, if the trial of the law o'ertake you,
You'll part away disgrac'd.
What will become of me now! wretched lady!
I am the most unhappy woman living.-
Alas! poor wenches, where are now your for-
[To her women.
Shipwreck'd upon a kingdom, where no pity,
Wol. He tells you rightly.
Queen. Ye tell me what ye wish for both, my 55 No friends, no hope; no kindred weep for me;
Is this your christian counsel? out upon ye!
Heaven is above all yet; there sits a Judge,
That no king can corrupt.
Almost, no grave allow'd me:-Like the lily,
That once was mistress of the field, and flourished,
I'll hang my head, and perish.
Wol. If your grace
Cam. Your rage mistakes us. [nest, Queen. The more shame for ye; holy men 160 Could but be brought to know, our ends are ho
Wol. Pray, hear me.
Queen. 'Would I had never trod this English
Or felt the flatteries that grow upon it!
Ye have angels' faces, but heaven knows your
1i. e. for the sake of that royalty I have formerly possessed. To weigh out here implies the same as to outweigh. 3i. e. served him with superstitious attention. * A quibble, said to have been originally the quibble of a saint.-" England, a little island, where, as Saint Augustin saith, there be people with angels' faces, so the inhabitants have the courage and hearts of lyons."
Gives way to us) I much fear. If you cannot
Bar his access to the king, never attempt
Any thing on him; for he hath a witchcraft
Over the king in his tongue.
You'd feel more comfort: why should we, good
Upon what cause, wrong you? alas! our places,
The way of our profession is against it;
We are to cure such sorrows, not to sow 'em.
For goodness' sake, consider what you do;
How you may hurt yourself, ay, utterly
Grow from the king's acquaintance, by this car-
The hearts of princes kiss obedience,
So much they love it; but, to stubborn spirits,
They swell, and grow as terrible as storms.
I know, you have a gentle, noble temper,
A soul as even as a calm; Pray, think us
Those we profess, peace-makers, friends, and
Cam.Madam, you'll find it so. You wrong your
With these weak woman's fears. A noble spirit,
As yours was put into you, ever casts
Such doubts, as false coin, from it. The king|
Beware, you lose it not: For us, if you please
To trust us in your business, we are ready
To use our utmost studies in your service.
Queen. Do what ye will, my lords: And, pray,
If I have us'd myself unmannerly;
You know, I am a woman, lacking wit
To make a seemly answer to such persons.
Pray, do my service to his majesty:
He has my heart yet; and shall have my prayers, 30
While I shall have my life. Come, reverend fa-
Nor. O, fear him not;
His spell in that is out: the king hath found
Matter against him, that for ever mars
The honey of his language. No, he's settled,
Not to come off, in his displeasure.
I should be glad to hear such news as this
Once every hour.
Bestow your counsels on me: she now begs,
That little thought, when she set footing here,
She should have bought her dignities so dear.
His practices to light?
Suf. Most strangely.
Sur. O, how, how?
Suf. The cardinal's letter to the pope miscarried,
And came to the eye o' the king: whereinwas read,
How that the cardinal did entreat his holiness
To stay the judgement o' the divorce; For if
25 It did take place, I do, quoth he, perceive,
My king is tangled in affection to
A creature of the queen's, lady Anne Bullen.
Sur. Has the king this?
Suf. Believe it.
Sur. Will this work?
Nor. Believe it, this is true.
In the divorce, his 3 contrary proceedings
Are all unfolded; wherein he
As I would wish mine enemy.
Sur. How came
Cham. The king in this perceives him, how he
And hedges, his own way. But in this point
All his tricks founder, and he brings his physick
After his patient's death; the king already
35 Hath married the fair lady.
Sur.-Would he had!
Antichamber to the King's Apartment.
Enter Duke of Norfolk, Duke of Suffolk, the Earl 40
of Surrey, and the Lord Chamberlain.
Nor. If you will now unite in your complaints,
And force them with a constancy, the cardinal
Cannot stand under them: If you omit
The offer of this tune, I cannot promise,
But that you shall sustain more new disgraces,
With these you bear already.
Sur. I am joyful
To meet the least occasion, that may give me
Remembrance of my father-in-law, the duke,
To be reveng'd on him.
Suf. Which of the peers
Have uncontemn'd gone by him, or at least
Strangely neglected? when did he regard
The stamp of nobleness in any person,
Out of himself2?
Cham. My lords, you speak your pleasures: What he deserves of you and me, I know; What we can do to him, (though now the time
Suf. May you be happy in your wish, my lord
For, I profess, you have it.
Sur. Now all my joy
Trace the conjunction!
Suf. My amen to 't!
Nor. All men's.
Suf. There's order given for her coronation:
Marry, this is yet but young, and may be left
45 To some ears unrecounted.-But, my lords,
She is a gallant creature, and complete
In mind and feature: I persuade me, from her
Will fall some blessing to this land, which shall
In it be memoriz'd'.
Sur. But, will the king
Digest this letter of the cardinal's?
The Lord forbid!
Nor. Marry, Amen!
Suf. No, no;
55 There be more wasps that buz about his nose,
Will make this sting thesooner. Cardinal Campeius
Is stol'n away to Rome; hath ta'en no leave;
Has left the cause of the king unhandled; and
Is posted, as the agent of our cardinal,
1i. e. his private practices opposite to his 1i.e. enforce, urge. 2 i. e. except in himself. To hedge, is to creep along by the hedge: not to take the direct and open public procedure. To memorize is to make memorable. path. To trace is to follow.