Imatges de pÓgina

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 gainsay 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 humblemouth'd;

You sign your place and calling,5 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,6
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.

[She curt'sies to the king, and offers to depart.

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.

K.Hen. Call her again.

Cri. Katharine queen of England, come into the court. Grif. Madam, you are call'd back.

Q.Kath.What need you note it?pray you,keep your way;

[5] To sign, must here be to show, to denote. By your outward meekness and humility, you show that you are of an holy order, but, &c. JOHNS. [6] The queen would insinuate that Wolsey had rendered the highest offices subservient to his will. STEEV.

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 more,

Upon this business, my appearance make

In any of their courts.

[Exe. Queen,GRIFFITH, 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,--
Obeying in commanding,-and thy parts
Sovereign and pious else, could speak thee out,)7
The queen of earthly queens :-She is noble born;
And, like her true nobility, she has

Carried herself towards me.

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
Laid any scruple in your way, which might
Induce you to 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 justify'd? 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 made toward it :-on my honour,

[7] If thy several qualities had tongues to speak thy praise. JOHNS. [8] The sense, which is incumbered with words, is no more than this-I must be loosed, though when so loosed, I shall not be satisfied fully and at once; that is, I shall not be immediately satisfied. JOHNS.

[blocks in formation]

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 receiv'd 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 business,
Ere a determinate resolution, he

(I mean, the bishop,) did require a respite ;
Wherein he might the king his lord advértise
Whether our daughter were legitimate,
Respecting this our marriage with the dowager,
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,

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 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 thought,
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 hulling in
The wild sea of my conscience,2 I did steer
Toward this remedy, whereupon we are
Now present here together; that's to say,
I meant to rectify my conscience,-which

[9] The king, having first addressed to 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 in that business. THEO.

[1] Prick of conscience was the term in confession. JOHNS.

[27 The phrase belongs to navigation. 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. STEEV.

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,

When I first mov'd you.

Lin. Very well, my liege.

K.Hen. I have spoke long; be pleas'd yourself to say. How far you satisfied me.

Lin. 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.

Cam. So please your highness,

The queen being absent, 'tis a needful fitness

That we adjourn this court till further day';
Mean while must be an earnest motion

Made to the queen, to call back her appeal
She intends unto his holiness.

K.Hen. I may perceive,

[They rise to depart.

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! with thy approach, I know,
My comfort comes along. Break up the court:
I say, set on.


[Exeunt, in manner as they enter'd.


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

2. Katharine.

TAKE thy lute, wench: my soul grows sad with troubles;
Sing, and disperse them, if thou canst leave working.

Orpheus with his lute made trees,
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.

Q.Kath. How now?

Gen. An't please your grace, the two great cardinals Wait in the presence.

Q. Kath. Would they speak with me?

Gen. They will'd me say so, madam.

Q.Kath. Pray their graces

To come near. [Exit Gen.] What can be their business 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 affairs are righteous :3 But all hoods make not monks.


Wol. Peace to your highness!

Q.Kath. Your graces find me here part of a housewife : I 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 Into your private chamber, we shall give you

The full cause of our coming.

[3] Affairs means not their present err and, but the business of their calling JOHNS.

« AnteriorContinua »