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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.
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,
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.
Το you I speak.
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,
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.
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,
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,
Call her again.
Crier. Katharine, queen of England, come into I stood not in the smile of heaven; who had
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
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.
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
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.
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
Would they speak with me?
Gent. They will'd me say so, madam.
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
Your hopes and friends are infinite.
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.
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.
(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.
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.
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
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
Το me, above this wretchedness? all your studies
Make me a curse like this.
'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.
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,
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
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.
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.
His practices to light?
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?
Cham. The king in this coasts,
Anne Bullen! No; I'll no Anne Bullens for him. Will this work? || There is more in it than fair visage.-Bullen! perceives him, how he No, we'll no Bullens.-Speedily I wish
To hear from Rome.-The marchioness of Pem
And hedges, his own way. But in this point All his tricks founder, and he brings his physic After his patient's death; the king already Hath married the fair lady.
'Would he had!
Suff. May you be happy in your wish, my lord!
For, I profess, you have it.
Trace! the conjunction!
Now all my joy
My amen to't!
Suff. There's order given for her coronation :
Marry, this is yet but young,2 and may be left
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.3
But, will the king
Digest this letter of the cardinal's?
The Lord forbid!
Suff No, no; There be more wasps that buzz about his nose, Will make this sting the sooner. Cardinal Campeius Is stolen away to Rome; hath ta'en no leave; Has left the cause o'the king unhandled; and Is posted, as the agent of our cardinal, To second all his plot. I do assure you The king cried, ha! at this.
Cham. Now, God incense him, And let him cry ha, louder! Nor.
But, my lord,
When returns Cranmer?
Suff. He is return'd, in his opinions; which
Have satisfied the king for his divorce,
Together with all famous colleges
Almost in Christendom: shortly, I believe,
His second marriage shall be publish'd, and
Her coronation. Katharine no more
Shall be call'd, queen; but princess dowager,
And widow to prince Arthur.
This same Cranmer's A worthy fellow, and hath ta'en much pain In the king's business.
Suff He has; and we shall see him For it, an archbishop. So I hear.
Enter Wolsey and Cromwell.
Observe, observe, he's moody.
Wol. The packet, Cromwell, gave it you the
Crom. To his own hand, in his bed-chamber.
Wol. Look'd he o'the inside of the paper?
He did unseal them; and the first he view'd,
He did it with a serious mind; a heed
Was in his countenance: You, he bade
Attend him here this morning.
Is he ready
To come abroad?
Crom. I think, by this he is. Wol. Leave me a while. It shall be to the duchess of Alençon, [Exit Cromwell. The French king's sister: he shall marry her.
(1) Follow. (2) New. (3) Made memorable.
Nor. He's discontented.
May be, he hears the king
Does whet his anger to him.
Lord, for thy justice!
Wol. The late queen's gentlewoman; a knight's daughter,
To be her mistress' mistress! the queen's queen!---
This candle burns not clear: 'tis I must snuff it;
Then, out it goes.-What though I know her vir-
And well-deserving? yet I know her for
A spleeny Lutheran; and not wholesome to
Our cause, that she should lie i'the bosom of
Our hard-rul'd king. Again, there is sprung up
A heretic, an arch one, Cranmer; one
Hath crawl'd into the favour of the king,
And is his oracle.
He is vex'd at something. Suff. I would, 'twere something that would fret the string, The master-cord of his heart!
Enter the King, reading a Schedule, and Lovell.
The king, the king.
K. Hen. What piles of wealth hath he accumu-
To his own portion! and what expense by the hour
Seems to flow from him! How, i'the name of thrift,
Does he rake this together?-Now, my lords;
Saw you the cardinal?
Nor. My lord, we have Stood here observing him: Some strange commotion Is in his brain: he bites his lip, and starts; Stops on a sudden, looks upon the ground, Then, lays his finger on his temple; straight, Springs out into fast gait;5 then, stops again, Strikes his breast hard; and anon, he casts His eye against the moon: in most strange postures We have seen him set himself.
K. Hen. It may well be; There is a mutiny in his mind. This morning, Papers of state he sent me to peruse, As I requir'd; And, wote you, what I found There; on my conscience, put unwittingly? Forsooth, an inventory, thus importing,The several parcels of his plate, his treasure, Rich stuffs, and ornaments of household; which I find at such proud rate, that it out-speaks Possession of a subject. Nor.
It's Heaven's will; Some spirit put this To bless your eye withal. in the packet, paper K. Hen.
If he did think
His contemplation were above the earth,
And fix'd on spiritual object, he should still
Dwell in his musings: but, I am afraid,
His thinkings are below the moon, not worth
His serious considering.
[He takes his seat, and whispers Lovell, who goes to Wolsey.
Heaven forgive me!
Ever God bless your highness!
Good my lord, You are full of heavenly stuff, and bear the inven tory
Of your best graces in your mind; the which
(4) An inventory. (5) Steps. (6) Know.