Imágenes de páginas

She's a stranger now again.'

So much the more
Must pity drop upon her. Verily,
I swear, 'tis better to be lowly born,
And range with humble livers in content,
Than to be perk'd up in a glistering grief,
And wear a golden sorrow.
Old L.

Our content

Is our best having.2

I would not be a queen.
Old L.

Are all I can return, 'Beseech your lordship,
Vouchsafe to speak my thanks, and my obedience,
As from a blushing handmaid, to his highness;
Whose health, and royalty, I pray for.


By my troth, and maidenhead,|| I shall not fail to approve the fair conceit,6
The king hath of you.-I have perus'd her well;

Beshrew me, I would, And venture maidenhead for't; and so would


For all this spice of your hypocrisy :

You, that have so fair parts of woman on you,
Have too a woman's heart; which ever yet
Affected eminence, wealth, sovereignty;
Which, to say sooth,3 are blessings: and which

(Saving your mincing) the capacity

Of your soft cheveril4 conscience would receive,
If you might please to stretch it.


No, in truth.

Old L. Then you are weakly made: Pluck off
a little;

I would not be a young count in your way,
For more than blushing comes to: if your back
Cannot vouchsafe this burden, 'tis too weak
Ever to get a boy.

How you do talk!
I swear again, I would not be a queen
For all the world.

My honour'd lord. [Exit Lord Chamberlain. Old L. Why, this it is; see, see!

I have been begging sixteen years in court, (Am yet a courtier beggarly,) nor could Nay, good troth,-Come pat betwixt too early and too late, Old L. Yes, troth, and troth,-You would not be For any suit of pounds: and you, (O fate!) a queen? A very fresh-fish here, (fie, fie upon This compell'd fortune?) have your mouth fill'd Before you open it.


Anne. No, not for all the riches under heaven.
Old L. 'Tis strange; a three-pence bow'd5
would hire me,
Old as I am, to queen it: But, I pray you,
What think you of a duchess? have you limbs
To bear that load of title?


Old L.
In faith for little England
You'd venture an emballing: I myself
Would for Carnarvonshire, although there 'long'd
No more to the crown but that. Lo, who comes


Now I pray God, amen Cham. You bear a gentle mind, and heavenly blessings

More than my all, is nothing: nor my prayers
Are not words duly hallow'd, nor my wishes
More worth than empty vanities; yet prayers, and

Follow such creatures. That you may, fair lady,
Perceive I speak sincerely, and high note's
Ta'en of your many virtues, the king's majesty
Commends his good opinion to you, and
Does purpose honour to you no less flowing
Than marchioness of Pembroke; to which title
A thousand pound a year, annual support,
Out of his grace he adds.

I do not know,
What kind of my obedience I should tender;

Good lady, Make yourself mirth with your particular fancy, And leave me out on't. Would I had no being,


If this salute my blood a jot; it faints me,
To think what follows.


Enter the Lord Chamberlain.


is comfortless, and we forgetful
In our long absence: Pray, do not deliver
Cham. Good-morrow, ladies. What were't worth What here you have heard, to her.
to know
Old L.
The secret of your conference?
My good lord,
Not your demand; it values not your asking:
Our mistress' sorrows we were pitying.

Cham. It was a gentle business, and becoming
The action of good women: there is hope,
All will be well.

What do you think me? [Exeunt. SCENE IV-A Hall in Black-Friars. Trumpets, sennet, and cornets. Enter two Vergers, with short silver wands; next them, two Scribes, in the habits of doctors; after them, the Archbishop of Canterbury alone; after him, the Bishops of Lincoln, Ely, Rochester, and Saint Asaph; next them, with some small distance, follows a gentleman bearing the purse, with the great seal, and a cardinal's hat; then two Priests, bearing each a silver cross; then a Gentleman Usher bare-headed, accompanied with a Serjeant at Arms, bearing a silver mace; then two Gentlemen, bearing two great silver pillars, after them, side by side, the two Cardinals, Wolsey and Campeius; two Noblemen with the sword and mace. Then enter the King and Queen, and their trains. The King takes place under the cloth of state; the two Cardinals sit under him as judges. The Queen takes place at some

(1) No longer an Englishwoman. (2) Possession.
(3) Truth. (4) Kid-skin.
(5) Crook'd.

Beauty and honour in her are so mingled,
That they have caught the king: and who knows

But from this lady may proceed a gem,
To lighten all this isle?-I'll to the king,
And say, I spoke with you.

This is strange to me.
Old L. How tastes it? is it bitter? forty pence, no.
There was a lady once ('tis an old story,)
That would not be a queen, that would she not,
For all the mud in Egypt :-Have you heard it?
Anne. Come, you are pleasant.
Old L.
With your theme, I could
O'ermount the lark. The marchioness of Pembroke!
A thousand pounds a year! for pure respect;
No other obligation: By my life,

That promises more thousands: Honour's train
Is longer than his foreskirt. By this time,

I know, your back will bear a duchess ;-Say,
Are you not stronger than you were?


(6) Opinion.

(7) Flourish on cornets. (8) Ensigns of dignity carried before cardinals.

[blocks in formation]

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.]

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 should proceed to put me off,
And take your good grace from me? Heaven witness,
I have been to you a true and humble wife,
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,
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 notice
He was from thence discharg'd? Sir, call to mind
That I have been your wife, in this obedience,
Upward 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 judgment: Ferdinand,
My father, king of Spain, was reckon❜d one
The wisest prince, that there had reign'd by many
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 I


(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 bootless,'
That longer you desire the court; as well
For your own quiet, as to rectify
What is unsettled in the king.
His grace


[ocr errors]

Or God will punish me. I do believe,

Q. Kath. Sir, I desire you, do me right and Induc'd by potent circumstances, that


Beseech you, sir, to spare me, till I may
Be by my friends in Spain advis'd; whose counsel
I will implore: if not, i'the name of God,
Your pleasure be fulfill'd!

You have here, lady,

(1) Useless.

(2) Deny.

Hath spoken well, and justly: Therefore, madam,
It's fit this royal session do proceed;
And that, without delay, their arguments
Be now produc'd, and heard.
Q. Kar
Το you I speak.
Q. Kath.

Lord cardinal,

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
I'll turn to sparks of fire.

Be patient yet.

Q. Kath. I will, when you are humble; nay, before,

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 again,
I utterly abhor, yea, from my soul,
Refuse you
for my judge; whom, yet once more,
I hold my most malicious foe, and think not
At all a friend to truth.
I do profess
You speak not like yourself; who ever yet
Have stood to charity, and display'd the effects
Of disposition gentle, and of wisdom
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,
Or how far further shall, is warranted
By a commission from the consistory,
Yea, the whole consistory of Rome. You charge me,
That I have blown this coal: I do deny it:
The king is present: if it be known to him,
That I gainsay2 my deed, how may he wound,
And worthily, my falsehood? yea, as much
As you have done my truth. But if he know,
That I am free of your report, he knows,
I am not of your wrong. Therefore in him
It lies, to cure me: and the cure is, to
Remove these thoughts from you: The which before
His highness shall speak in, I do beseech
You, gracious madam, to unthink your speaking,
And to say so no more.
Q. Kath.
My lord, my lord,
I am a simple woman, much too weak

To oppose your cunning. You are meek, and hunble-mouth'd;

You sign your place and calling, in full seeming,3
With meekness and humility: but your heart
Is cramm'd with arrogancy, spleen, and pride.
You have, by fortune, and his highness' favours,
Gone slightly o'er low steps; and now are mounted
Where powers are your retainers: 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,

(3) Appearance.

To bring my whole cause 'fore his holiness,
And to be judg'd by him.

Whether our daughter were legitimate,
Respecting this our marriage with the dowager,
[She court'sies to the King, and offers to depart. Sometime our brother's wife. This respite shook
The queen is obstinate,The bosom of my conscience, enter'd me,
Stubborn to justice, apt to accuse it, and
Yea, with a splitting power, and made to tremble
Disdainful to be try'd by it; 'tis not well.
The region of my breast; which forc'd such way,
She's going away.
That many maz'd considerings did throng,
And press'd in with this caution. First, methought,

K. Hen.

Call her again.

Crier. Katharine, queen of England, come into I stood not in the smile of heaven; who had
the court.
Commanded nature, that my lady's womb,
If not conceiv'd a male child by me, should
Do no more offices of life to't, than
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

Grif. Madam, you are call'd back.
Q. Kath. What need you note it? pray you, keep

your way:

When you are call'd, return.-Now the Lord help,
They vex me past my patience!-pray you, pass on:
I will not tarry; no, nor ever nore,
Upon this business, my appearance make
In of their courts.


Exe. Queen, Grif. and her other attendants.
K. Hen.
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,-Now
Obeying in commanding,-and thy parts
Sovereign and pious else, could speak thee out,1)
The queen of earthly queens :-She is noble born;
And, like her true nobility, she has
Carried herself towards me.

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
Laid 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, might
Be to the prejudice of her present state,
Or touch of her good person?

K. Hen.

My lord cardinal,
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, hinder'd; oft
The passages made3 toward it :--on my honour,
I speak my good lord cardinal to this point,
And thus far clear him. Now, what mov'd me to't,-
I will be bold with time, and your attention :-
Then mark the inducement. Thus it came ;-give
heed to't:--

My conscience first received a tenderness,
Scruple, and prick, on certain speeches utter'd
By the bishop of Bayonne, then French ambassador;
Who had been hither sent on the debating
A marriage, 'twixt the duke of Orleans and
Our daughter Mary: I'the progress of this busi-


Ere a determinate resolution, he

(I mean the bishop) did require a respite; Wherein he might the king his lord advertise

(1) Speak out thy merits.
(2) Immediately satisfied.
(3) Closed or fastened.
(4) Floating without guidance.

This was a judgment on me; that my kingdom,
Well worthy the best heir o'the world, should not
Be gladded in't by me: Then follows, that
I 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 hulling4 in
The wild sea of my conscience, I did steer
Toward this remedy, whereupon we are

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
How under my oppression I did reek,5
When I first mov'd you.


Very well, my liege.
K. Hen. I have spoke long; be pleas'd yourself

to say

How far you satisfied me.


So please your highness,
The question did at first so stagger me,-
Bearing a state of mighty moment in't,
And consequence of dread, that I committed
The daring'st counsel which I had, to doubt;
And did entreat your highness to this course,
Which you are running here.

K. Hen.
I then mov'd you,
My lord of Canterbury; and got your leave
To make this present summons:-Unsolicited
I left no reverend person in this court;
But by particular consent proceeded,
Under your hands and seals. Therefore, go on :
For no dislike i'the world against the person
Of the good queen, but the sharp thorny points
Of my alleged reasons, drive this forward:
Prove but our marriage lawful, by my life,
And kingly dignity, we are contented
To wear our mortal state to come, with her,
Katharine our queen, before the primest creature
That's paragon'd' o'the world.

So please your highness,
The queen being absent, 'tis a needful fitness
That we adjourn this court till further day:
Meanwhile must be an earnest motion
Made to the queen, to call back her appeal
She intends unto his holiness. [They rise to depart.
K. Hen.
I may perceive, [Âside.
These cardinals trifle with me: I abhor
This dilatory sloth, and tricks of Rome.
My learn'd and well-beloved servant, Cranmer,
Pr'ythee, return 7 with thy approach, I know,
My comfort comes along. Break up the court:
I say, set on. [Exe. in manner as they entered.

(5) Waste, or wear away.

(6) Without compare.

(7) An apostrophe to the absent bishop.


SCENE I-Palace at Bridewell. A room in the Queen's apartment. The Queen, and some of her Women, at work.

Q. Kath. Take thy lute, wench: my soul grows

sad with troubles;

Sing, and disperse them, if thou canst: leave working.


Orpheus with his lute made trces,
And the mountain-tops, that freeze,

Bow themselves, when he did sing
To his music, plants, and flowers,
Ever sprung; as sun, and showers,

There had been a lasting spring.
Every thing that heard him play,
Even the billows of the sea,

Hung their heads, and then lay by.
In sweet music is such art;
Killing care, and grief of heart,
Fall asleep, or, hearing, die.

Enter a Gentleman.

With me, a poor weak woman,
fallen from favour?
I do not like their coming, now I think on't.
They should be good men; their affairs2 are right-


But all hoods make not monks.

Q Kath.
To betray me. [Aside.
My lords, I thank you both for your good wills,
Ye speak like honest men, (pray God, ye prove so!)
But how to make you suddenly an answer,

Q Kath. How now?

Wait in the presence.1
Q. Kath.

Would they speak with me?
Gent. They will'd me say so, madam.
Q. Kath.
Pray their graces
To come near. [Exit Gent.] What can be their

Gent. An't please your grace, the two great car- 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 been (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
these fears;
Your hopes and friends are infinite.
Q. Kath.
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' pleasure
(Though he be grown so desperate to be honest,)
And live a subject? Nay, forsooth, my friends,
They that must weigh out3 my afflictions,
They that my trust must grow to, live not here;
They are, as all my other comforts, far hence,
In mine own country, lords.
I would, your grace
Would leave your griefs, and take my counsel.
Q. Kath.
How, sir?
Cam. Put your main cause into the king's pro-

Enter Wolsey and Campeius.

Peace to your highness!
Q. Kath. Your graces find me here part of a

I would by all, against the worst may happen.
What are your pleasures with me, reverend lords?
Wol. May it please you, noble madam, to with-
Into your private chamber, we shall give you
The full cause of our coming.

Believe me, she has had much wrong: Lord car-

The willing'st sin I ever yet committed,
May be absolv'd in English.
Noble lady,



(And service to his majesty and you,)
am sorry, my integrity should breed

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.

Q. Kath.

Speak it here;
There's nothing I have done yet, o'my conscience,
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
Were tried by every tongue, every eye saw them,
Envy and base opinion set against them,
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

Q. Kath. 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,

Pray, speak in English: here are some will thank


If you speak truth, for their poor mistress' sake; (2) Professions.

(1) Presence-chamber.

Most honour'd madam,
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,)→→→
Offers, as I do, in a sign of peace,

His service and his counsel.


He's loving and most gracious; 'twill be much
Both for your honour better, and your cause;
For, if the trial of the law o'ertake you,
You'll part away disgrac'd.

He tells you rightly.
Q. Kath. Ye tell me what ye wish for both, my
ruin :

[blocks in formation]

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 once
The burden of my sorrows fall upon ye.

Wol. Madam, this is a mere distraction;
You turn the good we offer into envy.

QKath. Ye turn me into nothing: Wo upon ye, And all such false professors! Would ye have me (If you have any justice, any pity; If ye 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.

[blocks in formation]


'Pray, hear me. Q. Kath. 'Would I had never trod this English


Or felt the flatteries that grow upon it!
Ye have angels' faces, but heaven knows your hearts.
What will become of me now, wretched lady?
I am the most unhappy woman living
Alas! poor wenches, where are now your fortunes?
[To her Women.||
Shipwreck'd upon a kingdom, where no pity,
No friends, no hope; no kindred weep for me,
Almost, no grave allow'd me :-Like the lily,
That once was mistress of the field, and flourish'd,
I'll hang my head, and perish.

Cam. Madam, you'll find it so. You wrong your


(1) Served him with superstitious attention. VOL, II,

With these weak women's fears. A noble spirit,
As yours was put into you, ever casts
Such doubts, as false coin, from it. The king loves


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.
Q. Kath. Do what ye will, my lords: And, pray,
forgive me,

If I have us'd2 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,
While I shall have my life. Come, reverend fathers,
Bestow your counsels on me: she now begs,
That little thought, when she set footing here,
She should have bought her dignities so dear.



SCENE II-Ante-chamber to the King's apart-
Enter the Duke of Norfolk, the Duke
of Suffolk, the Earl of Surrey, and the Lord

[blocks in formation]


I should be glad to hear such news as this
Once every hour.

Believe it, this is true.
In the divorce, his contrary proceedings
Are all unfolded; wherein he appears,
As I could wish mine enemy.

How came


His practices to light?

If your grace
Could but be brought to know, our ends are honest,
You'd feel more comfort: why should we, good lady,
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 them.
For goodness' sake, consider what you do;
How you may hurt yourself, ay, utterly
Grow from the king's acquaintance, by this carriage.
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 ser- A creature of the queen's, lady Anne Bullen.

Most strangely.
O, how, how?
Suff. The cardinal's letter to the pope miscarried,
And came to the eye o'the king: wherein was read,
How that the cardinal did entreat his holiness
To stay the judgment o'the divorce: For if
It did take place, I do, quoth he, perceive
My king is tangled in affection to


Sur. Has the king this?

(2) Behaved.

2 G

(3) Enforce.

« AnteriorContinuar »