Imatges de pÓgina

Believe me, sir, she is the goodliest woman
That ever lay by man: which when the people
Had the full view of, such a noise arose

As the shrouds make at sea in a stiff tempest,
As loud, and to as many tunes: hats, cloaks,
(Doublets, I think,) flew up; and had their faces
Been loose, this day they had been lost. Such joy
I never saw before. Great-bellied women,
That had not half a week to go, like rams

In the old time of war, would shake the press,
And make them reel before them. No man living
Could say, This is my wife, there; all were woven
So strangely in one piece.

2 Gent. But, 'pray, what follow'd?

3Gent.At length her grace rose, and with modest paces Came to the altar; where she kneel'd, and, saint-like, Cast her fair eyes to heaven, and pray'd devoutly. Then rose again, and bow'd her to the people :

When by the archbishop of Canterbury

She had all the royal makings of a queen ;

As holy oil, Edward Confessor's crown,

The rod, and bird of peace, and all such emblems
Laid nobly on her which perform'd, the choir,
With all the choicest music of the kingdom,
Together sung Te Deum. So she parted,
And with the same full state pac'd back again
To York-place, where the feast is held.

2 Gent. Sir, you

Must no more call it York-place, that is past :
For, since the cardinal fell, that title's lost;
'Tis now the king's, and call'd—Whitehall.
3 Gent. I know it;

But 'tis so lately alter'd, that the old name
Is fresh about me.

2 Gent. What two reverend bishops

Were those that went on each side of the queen?

3 Gent.Stokesly and Gardiner; the one of Winchester, (Newly preferr'd from the king's secretary,}

The other, London.

2 Gent. He of Winchester

Is held no great good lover of the archbishop's,
The virtuous Cranmer.

3 Gent. All the land knows that:

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However, yet there's no great breach; when it comes, Cranmer will find a friend will not shrink from him. 2 Gent. Who may that be, I pray you?

3 Gent. Thomas Cromwell;

A man in much esteem with the king, and truly
A worthy friend. The king

Has made him master o'the jewel-house,
And one, already, of the privy-council.
2 Gent. He will deserve more.

3 Gent. Yes, without all doubt.

Come, gentlemen, ye shall go my way, which
Is to the court, and there ye shall be my guests;
Something I can command. As I walk thither,
I'll tell ye more.

Both. You may command us, sir.



Kimbolton. Enter KATHARINE, Dowager, sick; led between GRIFFITH and PATIENCE.

Grif. How does your grace?

Kath. O, Griffith, sick to death:

My legs, like loaden branches, bow to the earth,
Willing to leave their burden :-Reach a chair ;-
So, now, methinks, I feel a little ease.

Didst thou not tell me, Griffith, as thou led'st me,
That the great child of honour, cardinal Wolsey,
Was dead?

Grif. Yes, madam; but, I think, your grace,
Out of the pain you suffer'd, gave no ear to't.

Kath. Pr'ythee, good Griffith, tell me how he died : If well, he stepp'd before me, happily,3

For my example.

Grif. Well, the voice goes, madam :

For after the stout earl Northumberland

Arrested him at York, and brought him forward (As a man sorely tainted,) to his answer,

He fell sick suddenly, and grew so ill,

He could not sit his mule.

Kath. Alas, poor man !

Grif. At last, with easy roads, he came to Leicester

[2] This scene is above any other part of Shakspeare's tragedies, and perhaps above any scene of any other poet, tender and pathetic, without gods, or furies, or poisons, or precipices, without the help of romantic circumstances, without improbable sallies of poetical lamentation, and without any throes of tumultuous misery. JOHNS.

[3] Happily seems to mean on this occasion-peradventure, haply. STEE.

Lodg'd in the abbey ; where the reverend abbot,
With all his convent, honourably receiv'd him ;
To whom he gave these words,-O father abbot,
An old man, broken with the storms of state,
Is come to lay his weary bones among ye ;
Give him a little earth for charity!

So went to bed: where eagerly his sickness
Pursu'd him still; and, three nights after this,
About the hour of eight, (which he himself
Foretold, should be his last,) full of repentance,
Continual meditations, tears, and sorrows,
He gave his honours to the world again,
His blessed part to heaven, and slept in peace.
Kath. So may he rest; his faults lie gently on him!
Yet thus far, Griffith, give me leave to speak him,
And yet with charity,-He was a man
Of an unbounded stomach, ever ranking
Himself with princes; one, that by suggestion
Ty'd all the kingdom: simony was fair play;
His own opinion was his law: I'the presence
He would say untruths; and be ever double,
Both in his words and meaning: He was never,
But where he meant to ruin, pitiful :

His promises were, as he then was, mighty;
But his performance, as he is now, nothing.
Of his own body he was ill,5 and gave
The clergy ill example.

Grif. 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,
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 unsatisfy'd in getting,
(Which was a sin,) yet in bestowing, madam,

[4] That is, of unbounded pride, or haughtiness. STEEV.

15 A criminal connection with women was anciently called the vice of the body.


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 ;
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.
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 music.


Grif. She is asleep: Good wench, let's sit down quiét, For fear we wake her ;-Softly, gentle Patience. 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 music continues. Kath. Spirits of peace, where are ye? are ye all gone? And leave me here in wretchedness behind ye? Grif. Madam, we are here.


Kath. It is not you I call for:

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Katharine. Spirits of peace, where are ye? Are ye all gone

And leave me here in wretchedness behind ye?

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