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Noble madam, Men's evil manners live in brass; their virtues We write in water. May it please your highness To hear me speak his good now? Kath.
Yes, good Griffith; I were malicious else. Grif.
This cardinal, Though from an humble stock, undoubtedly Was fashion'd to much honour from his cradle 8. He was a scholar, and a ripe, and good one; Exceeding wise, fair spoken, and persuading: Lofty, and sour, to them that lov'd him not; But, to those men that sought him, sweet as summer. And though he were unsatisfied in getting (Which was a sin), yet in bestowing, madam, He was most princely: Ever witness for him Those twins of learning, that he rais'd in you, Ipswich, 'and Oxford ! one of which fell with him, Unwilling to outlive the good that did it 9; The other, though unfinish’d, yet so famous, So excellent in art, and still so rising, That Christendom shall ever speak his virtue. His overthrow heap'd happiness upon him; For then, and not till then, he felt himself, And found the blessedness of being little: And, to add greater honours to his age Than man could give him, he died, fearing God 10.
8 This passage has been absurdly pointed in all the modern editions:
This cardinal, &c.
• Unwilling to outlive the good that did it.' Good appears here to be put for goodness, as in the passage just above :
•May it please your highness
To hear me speak his good now?' 10 This speech is formed on the following passage in Holinshed :— This cardinal (as Edmund Campion in his Historie of
Kath. After my death I wish no other herald, No other speaker of my living actions, To keep mine honour from corruption, But such an honest chronicler as Griffith. Whom I most hated living, thou hast made me, With thy religious truth, and modesty, Now in his ashes honour: Peace be with him!-Patience, be near me still; and set me lower: I have not long to trouble thee.—Good Griffith, Cause the musicians play me that sad note I nam'd my knell, whilst I sit meditating On that celestial harmony I go to.
Sad and solemn musick.
Grif. She is asleep: Good wench, let's sit down
quiet, For fear we wake her;—Softly, gentle Patience.
Ireland described him) was a man undoubtedly born to honour I think (saith he) some prince's bastard, no butcher's sonne; exceeding wise, faire-spoken, high-minded, full of revenge, vitious of his bodie, loftie to his enemies, were they never so bigge, to those that accepted and sought his friendship wonderful courteous; a ripe schooleman, thrall to affections, brought a bed with flatterie ; insaciable to get, and more princelie in bestowing, as appeareth by his two colleges at Ipswich and Oxenford, the one overthrown with his fall, the other unfinished, and yet as it lyeth, for an house of studentes
(considering all the appurtenances) incomparable throughout Christendome.- He held and injoied at once the bishoprickes of Yorke, Duresme, and Winchester, the dignities of lord cardinall, legatt, and chancellor, the abbaie of St. Albans, diverse priories, sandrie fat benefices in commendam ; a great preferrer of his servants, an advauncer of learning, stoute in every quarrel, never happy till this his overthrow : wherin he shewed such moderation, and ended so perfectlie, that the houre of his death did him more honour than all the pomp of his life passed. We have a similar thought in Macbeth :
nothing in his life Became him like the leaving it.'
The Vision Enter, solemnly tripping one after
another, six Personages, clad in white robes, wearing on their heads garlands of bays, and golden vizards on their faces; branches of bays, or palm, in their hands. They first congee unto her, then dance; and, at certain changes, the first two hold a spare garland over her head; at which, the other four make reverend court’sies ; then the two that held the garland, deliver the same to the other next two, who observe the same order in their changes, and holding the garland over her head : which done, they deliver the same garland to the last two, who likewise observe the same order: at which (as it were by inspiration) she makes in her sleep signs of rejoicing, and holdeth up her hands to heaven : and so in their dancing they vanish, carrying the garland with them. The musick continues. Kath. Spirits of peace, where are ye? Are ye all
And leave me here in wretchedness behind ye11?
Grif. Madam, we are here.
It is not
I call for : Saw
ye none enter, since I slept? Grif.
None, madam. Kath. No? Saw you not, even now, a blessed troop Invite me to a banquet; whose bright faces Cast thousand beams upon me, like the sun ? They promis'd me eternal happiness; And brought me garlands, Griffith, which I feel I am not worthy yet to wear : I shall, Assuredly.
11 Gray had probably this passage in his mind when he made his bard exclaim on a similar occasion :
Stay, 0 stay! nor thus forlorn
Grif. I am most joyful, madam, such good dreams Possess your fancy. Kath.
Bid the musick leave, They are harsh and heavy to me. [Musick ceases. Pat.
Do you note, How much her grace is alter'd on the sudden? How long her face is drawn? How pale she looks, And of an earthly cold ? Mark you her eyes?
Grif. She is going, wench; pray, pray.
Heaven comfort her!
You are a saucy fellow : Deserve we no more reverence? Grif.
You are to blame, Knowing, she will not lose her wonted greatness, To use so rude behaviour: go to, kneel 12.
Mess. I humbly do ontreat your highness' pardon; My haste made me unmannerly: There is staying A gentleman, sent from the king, to see you. Kath. Admit him entrance, Griffith : But this
fellow Let me ne'er see again.
[Exeunt Griffith and Messenger. Re-enter GRIFFITH, with CAPUCIUS.
If my sight fail not, You should be lord ambassador from the emperor, My royal nephew, and your name Capucius.
12 Queen Katharine's servants, after the divorce at Dunstable, and the Pope's curse stuck up at Dunkirk, were directed to be sworn to serve her not as queen but as princess dowager. Some refused to take the oath, and so were forced to leave her service; and as for those who took it and stayed, she would not be served by them, by which means she was almost destitute of attendants. See Hall's Chronicle, fol. 219. Bishop Barnet says that all the women about her still called her queen. Hist. of the Reformation, p. 162.
Cap. Madam, the same, your servant.
O my lord,
Noble lady, First, mine own service to your grace; the next, The king's request that I would visit you; Who grieves much for your weakness, and by me Sends you his princely commendations, And heartily entreats you take good comfort.
Kath. O my good lord, that comfort comes too late; 'Tis like a pardon after execution : That gentle physick, given in time, had cur'd me; But now I am past all comforts here, but
prayers. How does his highness? Сар.
Madam, in good health. Kath. So may he ever do! and ever flourish, When I shall dwell with worms, and my poor name Banish'd the kingdom !-Patience, is that letter, I caus'd you write, yet sent away? Pat.
[Giving it to KATHARINE. Kath. Sir, I most humbly pray you to deliver This to my lord the king 13. Cap.
Most willing, madam.
perceiving bir selfe to waxe yerie weake and feeble, and to feele death approaching at hand, caused one of hir gentlewomen to write a letter to the king, commending to him hir daughter and his, beseeching him to stand good father unto hir; and farther desired him to have consideration of hir gentlewomen that had served hir, and to see them bestowed in marriage. Further, that it would please him to appoint that bir servants might have their due wages, and a yeares wages beside.' Holinshed, p. 939. This letter probably fell into the hands of Polydore Virgil, who was then in England, and has preserved it in the twenty-seventh book of his history. Lord Herbert has given a translation of it in his History of King Henry VIII.