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The Complete Works of William Shakespeare King Henry the Eighth

Part 2 out of 3

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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!
WOLSEY. Madam, you wrong the King's love with these fears;
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 out 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.
CAMPEIUS. I would your Grace
Would leave your griefs, and take my counsel.
CAMPEIUS. Put your main cause into the King's protection;
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 ye
You'll part away disgrac'd.
WOLSEY. He tells you rightly.
QUEEN KATHARINE. Ye tell me what ye wish for both--my ruin.
Is this your Christian counsel? Out upon ye!
Heaven is above all yet: there sits a Judge
That no king can corrupt.
CAMPEIUS. Your rage mistakes us.
QUEEN KATHARINE. The more shame for ye; holy men I thought ye,
Upon my soul, two reverend cardinal virtues;
But cardinal sins and hollow hearts I fear ye.
Mend 'em, for shame, my lords. Is this your comfort?
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 warned ye.
Take heed, for heaven's sake take heed, lest at once
The burden of my sorrows fall upon ye.
WOLSEY. Madam, this is a mere distraction;
You turn the good we offer into envy.
QUEEN KATHARINE. Ye turn me into nothing. Woe upon ye,
And all such false professors! Would you 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! 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.
CAMPEIUS. Your fears are worse.
QUEEN KATHARINE. Have I liv'd thus long--let me speak myself,
Since virtue finds no friends--a wife, a true one?
A woman, I dare say without vain-glory,
Never yet branded with suspicion?
Have I with all my full affections
Still met the King, lov'd him next heav'n, obey'd him,
Been, out of fondness, superstitious to him,
Almost forgot my prayers to content him,
And am I thus rewarded? 'Tis not well, lords.
Bring me a constant woman to her husband,
One that ne'er dream'd a joy beyond his pleasure,
And to that woman, when she has done most,
Yet will I add an honour--a great patience.
WOLSEY. Madam, you wander from the good we aim at.
QUEEN KATHARINE. My lord, I dare not make myself so guilty,
To give up willingly that noble title
Your master wed me to: nothing but death
Shall e'er divorce my dignities.
WOLSEY. Pray hear me.
QUEEN KATHARINE. Would I had never trod this English earth,
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.
[To her WOMEN] Alas, poor wenches, where are now
your fortunes?
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.
WOLSEY. 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 'em.
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 servants.
CAMPEIUS. Madam, you'll find it so. You wrong your virtues
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 you;
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.
QUEEN KATHARINE. Do what ye will my lords; and pray
forgive me
If I have us'd 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.


London. The palace


NORFOLK. If you will now unite in your complaints
And force them with a constancy, the Cardinal
Cannot stand under them: if you omit
The offer of this time, I cannot promise
But that you shall sustain moe new disgraces
With these you bear already.
SURREY. I am joyful
To meet the least occasion that may give me
Remembrance of my father-in-law, the Duke,
To be reveng'd on him.
SUFFOLK. Which of the peers
Have uncontemn'd gone by him, or at least
Strangely neglected? When did he regard
The stamp of nobleness in any person
Out of himself?
CHAMBERLAIN. My lords, you speak your pleasures.
What he deserves of you and me I know;
What we can do to him--though now the time
Gives way to us--I much fear. If you cannot
Bar his access to th' King, never attempt
Anything on him; for he hath a witchcraft
Over the King in's tongue.
NORFOLK. O, fear him not!
His spell in that is out; the King hath found
Matter against him that for ever mars
The honey of his language. No, he's settled,
Not to come off, in his displeasure.
I should be glad to hear such news as this
Once every hour.
NORFOLK. Believe it, this is true:
In the divorce his contrary proceedings
Are all unfolded; wherein he appears
As I would wish mine enemy.
SURREY. How came
His practices to light?
SUFFOLK. Most strangely.
SURREY. O, how, how?
SUFFOLK. The Cardinal's letters to the Pope miscarried,
And came to th' eye o' th' King; wherein was read
How that the Cardinal did entreat his Holiness
To stay the judgment o' th' divorce; for if
It did take place, 'I do' quoth he 'perceive
My king is tangled in affection to
A creature of the Queen's, Lady Anne Bullen.'
SURREY. Has the King this?
SUFFOLK. Believe it.
SURREY. Will this work?
CHAMBERLAIN. The King in this perceives him how he coasts
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.
SURREY. Would he had!
SUFFOLK. May you be happy in your wish, my lord!
For, I profess, you have it.
SURREY. Now, all my joy
Trace the conjunction!
SUFFOLK. My amen to't!
NORFOLK. All men's!
SUFFOLK. There's order given for her coronation;
Marry, this is yet but young, 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.
SURREY. But will the King
Digest this letter of the Cardinal's?
The Lord forbid!
NORFOLK. Marry, amen!
SUFFOLK. No, no;
There be moe wasps that buzz about his nose
Will make this sting the sooner. Cardinal Campeius
Is stol'n away to Rome; hath ta'en no leave;
Has left the cause o' th' 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.
CHAMBERLAIN. Now, God incense him,
And let him cry 'Ha!' louder!
NORFOLK. But, my lord,
When returns Cranmer?
SUFFOLK. 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.
NORFOLK. This same Cranmer's
A worthy fellow, and hath ta'en much pain
In the King's business.
SUFFOLK. He has; and we shall see him
For it an archbishop.
NORFOLK. So I hear.
SUFFOLK. 'Tis so.


The Cardinal!
NORFOLK. Observe, observe, he's moody.
WOLSEY. The packet, Cromwell,
Gave't you the King?
CROMWELL. To his own hand, in's bedchamber.
WOLSEY. Look'd he o' th' inside of the paper?
CROMWELL. Presently
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.
WOLSEY. Is he ready
To come abroad?
CROMWELL. I think by this he is.
WOLSEY. Leave me awhile. Exit
[Aside] It shall be to the Duchess of Alencon,
The French King's sister; he shall marry her.
Anne Bullen! No, I'll no Anne Bullens for him;
There's more in't than fair visage. Bullen!
No, we'll no Bullens. Speedily I wish
To hear from Rome. The Marchioness of Pembroke!
NORFOLK. He's discontented.
SUFFOLK. May be he hears the King
Does whet his anger to him.
SURREY. Sharp enough,
Lord, for thy justice!
WOLSEY. [Aside] The late Queen's gentlewoman, a knight's
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 virtuous
And well deserving? Yet I know her for
A spleeny Lutheran; and not wholesome to
Our cause that she should lie i' th' bosom of
Our hard-rul'd King. Again, there is sprung up
An heretic, an arch one, Cranmer; one
Hath crawl'd into the favour of the King,
And is his oracle.
NORFOLK. He is vex'd at something.

Enter the KING, reading of a schedule, and LOVELL

SURREY. I would 'twere something that would fret the string,
The master-cord on's heart!
SUFFOLK. The King, the King!
KING. What piles of wealth hath he accumulated
To his own portion! And what expense by th' hour
Seems to flow from him! How, i' th' name of thrift,
Does he rake this together?--Now, my lords,
Saw you the Cardinal?
NORFOLK. 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; 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.
KING. It may well be
There is a mutiny in's mind. This morning
Papers of state he sent me to peruse,
As I requir'd; and wot 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 outspeaks
Possession of a subject.
NORFOLK. It's heaven's will;
Some spirit put this paper in the packet
To bless your eye withal.
KING. If we 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.
[The KING takes his seat and whispers
LOVELL, who goes to the CARDINAL]
WOLSEY. Heaven forgive me!
Ever God bless your Highness!
KING. Good, my lord,
You are full of heavenly stuff, and bear the inventory
Of your best graces in your mind; the which
You were now running o'er. You have scarce time
To steal from spiritual leisure a brief span
To keep your earthly audit; sure, in that
I deem you an ill husband, and am glad
To have you therein my companion.
For holy offices I have a time; a time
To think upon the part of business which
I bear i' th' state; and nature does require
Her times of preservation, which perforce
I, her frail son, amongst my brethren mortal,
Must give my tendance to.
KING. You have said well.
WOLSEY. And ever may your Highness yoke together,
As I will lend you cause, my doing well
With my well saying!
KING. 'Tis well said again;
And 'tis a kind of good deed to say well;
And yet words are no deeds. My father lov'd you:
He said he did; and with his deed did crown
His word upon you. Since I had my office
I have kept you next my heart; have not alone
Employ'd you where high profits might come home,
But par'd my present havings to bestow
My bounties upon you.
WOLSEY. [Aside] What should this mean?
SURREY. [Aside] The Lord increase this business!
KING. Have I not made you
The prime man of the state? I pray you tell me
If what I now pronounce you have found true;
And, if you may confess it, say withal
If you are bound to us or no. What say you?
WOLSEY. My sovereign, I confess your royal graces,
Show'r'd on me daily, have been more than could
My studied purposes requite; which went
Beyond all man's endeavours. My endeavours,
Have ever come too short of my desires,
Yet fil'd with my abilities; mine own ends
Have been mine so that evermore they pointed
To th' good of your most sacred person and
The profit of the state. For your great graces
Heap'd upon me, poor undeserver, I
Can nothing render but allegiant thanks;
My pray'rs to heaven for you; my loyalty,
Which ever has and ever shall be growing,
Till death, that winter, kill it.
KING. Fairly answer'd!
A loyal and obedient subject is
Therein illustrated; the honour of it
Does pay the act of it, as, i' th' contrary,
The foulness is the punishment. I presume
That, as my hand has open'd bounty to you,
My heart dropp'd love, my pow'r rain'd honour, more
On you than any, so your hand and heart,
Your brain, and every function of your power,
Should, notwithstanding that your bond of duty,
As 'twere in love's particular, be more
To me, your friend, than any.
WOLSEY. I do profess
That for your Highness' good I ever labour'd
More than mine own; that am, have, and will be--
Though all the world should crack their duty to you,
And throw it from their soul; though perils did
Abound as thick as thought could make 'em, and
Appear in forms more horrid--yet my duty,
As doth a rock against the chiding flood,
Should the approach of this wild river break,
And stand unshaken yours.
KING. 'Tis nobly spoken.
Take notice, lords, he has a loyal breast,
For you have seen him open 't. Read o'er this;
[Giving him papers]
And after, this; and then to breakfast with
What appetite you have.
Exit the KING, frowning upon the CARDINAL; the
NOBLES throng after him, smiling and whispering
WOLSEY. What should this mean?
What sudden anger's this? How have I reap'd it?
He parted frowning from me, as if ruin
Leap'd from his eyes; so looks the chafed lion
Upon the daring huntsman that has gall'd him--
Then makes him nothing. I must read this paper;
I fear, the story of his anger. 'Tis so;
This paper has undone me. 'Tis th' account
Of all that world of wealth I have drawn together
For mine own ends; indeed to gain the popedom,
And fee my friends in Rome. O negligence,
Fit for a fool to fall by! What cross devil
Made me put this main secret in the packet
I sent the King? Is there no way to cure this?
No new device to beat this from his brains?
I know 'twill stir him strongly; yet I know
A way, if it take right, in spite of fortune,
Will bring me off again. What's this? 'To th' Pope.'
The letter, as I live, with all the business
I writ to's Holiness. Nay then, farewell!
I have touch'd the highest point of all my greatness,
And from that full meridian of my glory
I haste now to my setting. I shall fall
Like a bright exhalation in the evening,
And no man see me more.

Re-enter to WOLSEY the DUKES OF NORFOLK and

NORFOLK. Hear the King's pleasure, Cardinal, who commands you
To render up the great seal presently
Into our hands, and to confine yourself
To Asher House, my Lord of Winchester's,
Till you hear further from his Highness.
Where's your commission, lords? Words cannot carry
Authority so weighty.
SUFFOLK. Who dares cross 'em,
Bearing the King's will from his mouth expressly?
WOLSEY. Till I find more than will or words to do it--
I mean your malice--know, officious lords,
I dare and must deny it. Now I feel
Of what coarse metal ye are moulded--envy;
How eagerly ye follow my disgraces,
As if it fed ye; and how sleek and wanton
Ye appear in every thing may bring my ruin!
Follow your envious courses, men of malice;
You have Christian warrant for 'em, and no doubt
In time will find their fit rewards. That seal
You ask with such a violence, the King--
Mine and your master--with his own hand gave me;
Bade me enjoy it, with the place and honours,
During my life; and, to confirm his goodness,
Tied it by letters-patents. Now, who'll take it?
SURREY. The King, that gave it.
WOLSEY. It must be himself then.
SURREY. Thou art a proud traitor, priest.
WOLSEY. Proud lord, thou liest.
Within these forty hours Surrey durst better
Have burnt that tongue than said so.
SURREY. Thy ambition,
Thou scarlet sin, robb'd this bewailing land
Of noble Buckingham, my father-in-law.
The heads of all thy brother cardinals,
With thee and all thy best parts bound together,
Weigh'd not a hair of his. Plague of your policy!
You sent me deputy for Ireland;
Far from his succour, from the King, from all
That might have mercy on the fault thou gav'st him;
Whilst your great goodness, out of holy pity,
Absolv'd him with an axe.
WOLSEY. This, and all else
This talking lord can lay upon my credit,
I answer is most false. The Duke by law
Found his deserts; how innocent I was
From any private malice in his end,
His noble jury and foul cause can witness.
If I lov'd many words, lord, I should tell you
You have as little honesty as honour,
That in the way of loyalty and truth
Toward the King, my ever royal master,
Dare mate a sounder man than Surrey can be
And all that love his follies.
SURREY. By my soul,
Your long coat, priest, protects you; thou shouldst feel
My sword i' the life-blood of thee else. My lords
Can ye endure to hear this arrogance?
And from this fellow? If we live thus tamely,
To be thus jaded by a piece of scarlet,
Farewell nobility! Let his Grace go forward
And dare us with his cap like larks.
WOLSEY. All goodness
Is poison to thy stomach.
SURREY. Yes, that goodness
Of gleaning all the land's wealth into one,
Into your own hands, Cardinal, by extortion;
The goodness of your intercepted packets
You writ to th' Pope against the King; your goodness,
Since you provoke me, shall be most notorious.
My Lord of Norfolk, as you are truly noble,
As you respect the common good, the state
Of our despis'd nobility, our issues,
Whom, if he live, will scarce be gentlemen--
Produce the grand sum of his sins, the articles
Collected from his life. I'll startle you
Worse than the sacring bell, when the brown wench
Lay kissing in your arms, Lord Cardinal.
WOLSEY. How much, methinks, I could despise this man,
But that I am bound in charity against it!
NORFOLK. Those articles, my lord, are in the King's hand;
But, thus much, they are foul ones.
WOLSEY. So much fairer
And spotless shall mine innocence arise,
When the King knows my truth.
SURREY. This cannot save you.
I thank my memory I yet remember
Some of these articles; and out they shall.
Now, if you can blush and cry guilty, Cardinal,
You'll show a little honesty.
WOLSEY. Speak on, sir;
I dare your worst objections. If I blush,
It is to see a nobleman want manners.
SURREY. I had rather want those than my head. Have at you!
First, that without the King's assent or knowledge
You wrought to be a legate; by which power
You maim'd the jurisdiction of all bishops.
NORFOLK. Then, that in all you writ to Rome, or else
To foreign princes, 'Ego et Rex meus'
Was still inscrib'd; in which you brought the King
To be your servant.
SUFFOLK. Then, that without the knowledge
Either of King or Council, when you went
Ambassador to the Emperor, you made bold
To carry into Flanders the great seal.
SURREY. Item, you sent a large commission
To Gregory de Cassado, to conclude,
Without the King's will or the state's allowance,
A league between his Highness and Ferrara.
SUFFOLK. That out of mere ambition you have caus'd
Your holy hat to be stamp'd on the King's coin.
SURREY. Then, that you have sent innumerable substance,
By what means got I leave to your own conscience,
To furnish Rome and to prepare the ways
You have for dignities, to the mere undoing
Of all the kingdom. Many more there are,
Which, since they are of you, and odious,
I will not taint my mouth with.
Press not a falling man too far! 'Tis virtue.
His faults lie open to the laws; let them,
Not you, correct him. My heart weeps to see him
So little of his great self.
SURREY. I forgive him.
SUFFOLK. Lord Cardinal, the King's further pleasure is--
Because all those things you have done of late,
By your power legatine within this kingdom,
Fall into th' compass of a praemunire--
That therefore such a writ be sued against you:
To forfeit all your goods, lands, tenements,
Chattels, and whatsoever, and to be
Out of the King's protection. This is my charge.
NORFOLK. And so we'll leave you to your meditations
How to live better. For your stubborn answer
About the giving back the great seal to us,
The King shall know it, and, no doubt, shall thank you.
So fare you well, my little good Lord Cardinal.
Exeunt all but WOLSEY
WOLSEY. So farewell to the little good you bear me.
Farewell, a long farewell, to all my greatness!
This is the state of man: to-day he puts forth
The tender leaves of hopes; to-morrow blossoms
And bears his blushing honours thick upon him;
The third day comes a frost, a killing frost,
And when he thinks, good easy man, full surely
His greatness is a-ripening, nips his root,
And then he falls, as I do. I have ventur'd,
Like little wanton boys that swim on bladders,
This many summers in a sea of glory;
But far beyond my depth. My high-blown pride
At length broke under me, and now has left me,
Weary and old with service, to the mercy
Of a rude stream, that must for ever hide me.
Vain pomp and glory of this world, I hate ye;
I feel my heart new open'd. O, how wretched
Is that poor man that hangs on princes' favours!
There is betwixt that smile we would aspire to,
That sweet aspect of princes, and their ruin
More pangs and fears than wars or women have;
And when he falls, he falls like Lucifer,
Never to hope again.

Enter CROMWELL, standing amazed

Why, how now, Cromwell!
CROMWELL. I have no power to speak, sir.
WOLSEY. What, amaz'd
At my misfortunes? Can thy spirit wonder
A great man should decline? Nay, an you weep,
I am fall'n indeed.
CROMWELL. How does your Grace?
WOLSEY. Why, well;
Never so truly happy, my good Cromwell.
I know myself now, and I feel within me
A peace above all earthly dignities,
A still and quiet conscience. The King has cur'd me,
I humbly thank his Grace; and from these shoulders,
These ruin'd pillars, out of pity, taken
A load would sink a navy--too much honour.
O, 'tis a burden, Cromwell, 'tis a burden
Too heavy for a man that hopes for heaven!
CROMWELL. I am glad your Grace has made that right use of it.
WOLSEY. I hope I have. I am able now, methinks,
Out of a fortitude of soul I feel,
To endure more miseries and greater far
Than my weak-hearted enemies dare offer.
What news abroad?
CROMWELL. The heaviest and the worst
Is your displeasure with the King.
WOLSEY. God bless him!
CROMWELL. The next is that Sir Thomas More is chosen
Lord Chancellor in your place.
WOLSEY. That's somewhat sudden.
But he's a learned man. May he continue
Long in his Highness' favour, and do justice
For truth's sake and his conscience; that his bones
When he has run his course and sleeps in blessings,
May have a tomb of orphans' tears wept on him!
What more?
CROMWELL. That Cranmer is return'd with welcome,
Install'd Lord Archbishop of Canterbury.
WOLSEY. That's news indeed.
CROMWELL. Last, that the Lady Anne,
Whom the King hath in secrecy long married,
This day was view'd in open as his queen,
Going to chapel; and the voice is now
Only about her coronation.
WOLSEY. There was the weight that pull'd me down.
O Cromwell,
The King has gone beyond me. All my glories
In that one woman I have lost for ever.
No sun shall ever usher forth mine honours,
Or gild again the noble troops that waited
Upon my smiles. Go get thee from me, Cromwell;
I am a poor fall'n man, unworthy now
To be thy lord and master. Seek the King;
That sun, I pray, may never set! I have told him
What and how true thou art. He will advance thee;
Some little memory of me will stir him--
I know his noble nature--not to let
Thy hopeful service perish too. Good Cromwell,
Neglect him not; make use now, and provide
For thine own future safety.
CROMWELL. O my lord,
Must I then leave you? Must I needs forgo
So good, so noble, and so true a master?
Bear witness, all that have not hearts of iron,
With what a sorrow Cromwell leaves his lord.
The King shall have my service; but my prayers
For ever and for ever shall be yours.
WOLSEY. Cromwell, I did not think to shed a tear
In all my miseries; but thou hast forc'd me,
Out of thy honest truth, to play the woman.
Let's dry our eyes; and thus far hear me, Cromwell,
And when I am forgotten, as I shall be,
And sleep in dull cold marble, where no mention
Of me more must be heard of, say I taught thee--
Say Wolsey, that once trod the ways of glory,
And sounded all the depths and shoals of honour,
Found thee a way, out of his wreck, to rise in--
A sure and safe one, though thy master miss'd it.
Mark but my fall and that that ruin'd me.
Cromwell, I charge thee, fling away ambition:
By that sin fell the angels. How can man then,
The image of his Maker, hope to win by it?
Love thyself last; cherish those hearts that hate thee;
Corruption wins not more than honesty.
Still in thy right hand carry gentle peace
To silence envious tongues. Be just, and fear not;
Let all the ends thou aim'st at be thy country's,
Thy God's, and truth's; then, if thou fall'st, O Cromwell,
Thou fall'st a blessed martyr!
Serve the King, and--prithee lead me in.
There take an inventory of all I have
To the last penny; 'tis the King's. My robe,
And my integrity to heaven, is all
I dare now call mine own. O Cromwell, Cromwell!
Had I but serv'd my God with half the zeal
I serv'd my King, he would not in mine age
Have left me naked to mine enemies.
CROMWELL. Good sir, have patience.
WOLSEY. So I have. Farewell
The hopes of court! My hopes in heaven do dwell.



A street in Westminster

Enter two GENTLEMEN, meeting one another

FIRST GENTLEMAN. Y'are well met once again.
FIRST GENTLEMAN. You come to take your stand here, and
The Lady Anne pass from her coronation?
SECOND GENTLEMAN. 'Tis all my business. At our last encounter
The Duke of Buckingham came from his trial.
FIRST GENTLEMAN. 'Tis very true. But that time offer'd
This, general joy.
SECOND GENTLEMAN. 'Tis well. The citizens,
I am sure, have shown at full their royal minds--
As, let 'em have their rights, they are ever forward--
In celebration of this day with shows,
Pageants, and sights of honour.
FIRST GENTLEMAN. Never greater,
Nor, I'll assure you, better taken, sir.
SECOND GENTLEMAN. May I be bold to ask what that contains,
That paper in your hand?
FIRST GENTLEMAN. Yes; 'tis the list
Of those that claim their offices this day,
By custom of the coronation.
The Duke of Suffolk is the first, and claims
To be High Steward; next, the Duke of Norfolk,
He to be Earl Marshal. You may read the rest.
SECOND GENTLEMAN. I thank you, sir; had I not known
those customs,
I should have been beholding to your paper.
But, I beseech you, what's become of Katharine,
The Princess Dowager? How goes her business?
FIRST GENTLEMAN. That I can tell you too. The Archbishop
Of Canterbury, accompanied with other
Learned and reverend fathers of his order,
Held a late court at Dunstable, six miles of
From Ampthill, where the Princess lay; to which
She was often cited by them, but appear'd not.
And, to be short, for not appearance and
The King's late scruple, by the main assent
Of all these learned men, she was divorc'd,
And the late marriage made of none effect;
Since which she was removed to Kimbolton,
Where she remains now sick.
SECOND GENTLEMAN. Alas, good lady!
The trumpets sound. Stand close, the Queen is coming.


1. A lively flourish of trumpets.
2. Then two JUDGES.
3. LORD CHANCELLOR, with purse and mace before him.
4. CHORISTERS singing.
5. MAYOR OF LONDON, bearing the mace. Then GARTER, in
his coat of arms, and on his head he wore a gilt copper
6. MARQUIS DORSET, bearing a sceptre of gold, on his head a
demi-coronal of gold. With him, the EARL OF SURREY,
bearing the rod of silver with the dove, crowned with an
earl's coronet. Collars of Esses.
7. DUKE OF SUFFOLK, in his robe of estate, his coronet on
his head, bearing a long white wand, as High Steward.
With him, the DUKE OF NORFOLK, with the rod of
marshalship, a coronet on his head. Collars of Esses.
8. A canopy borne by four of the CINQUE-PORTS; under it
the QUEEN in her robe; in her hair richly adorned with
pearl, crowned. On each side her, the BISHOPS OF LONDON
9. The old DUCHESS OF NORFOLK, in a coronal of gold
wrought with flowers, bearing the QUEEN'S train.
10. Certain LADIES or COUNTESSES, with plain circlets of gold
without flowers.

Exeunt, first passing over the stage in order and
state, and then a great flourish of trumpets

SECOND GENTLEMAN. A royal train, believe me. These know.
Who's that that bears the sceptre?
FIRST GENTLEMAN. Marquis Dorset;
And that the Earl of Surrey, with the rod.
SECOND GENTLEMAN. A bold brave gentleman. That should be
The Duke of Suffolk?
FIRST GENTLEMAN. 'Tis the same--High Steward.
SECOND GENTLEMAN. And that my Lord of Norfolk?
SECOND GENTLEMAN. [Looking on the QUEEN] Heaven
bless thee!
Thou hast the sweetest face I ever look'd on.
Sir, as I have a soul, she is an angel;
Our king has all the Indies in his arms,
And more and richer, when he strains that lady;
I cannot blame his conscience.
FIRST GENTLEMAN. They that bear
The cloth of honour over her are four barons
Of the Cinque-ports.
SECOND GENTLEMAN. Those men are happy; and so are all
are near her.
I take it she that carries up the train
Is that old noble lady, Duchess of Norfolk.
FIRST GENTLEMAN. It is; and all the rest are countesses.
SECOND GENTLEMAN. Their coronets say so. These are stars
And sometimes falling ones.
FIRST GENTLEMAN. No more of that.
Exit Procession, with a great flourish of

Enter a third GENTLEMAN

God save you, sir! Where have you been broiling?
THIRD GENTLEMAN. Among the crowds i' th' Abbey, where a finger
Could not be wedg'd in more; I am stifled
With the mere rankness of their joy.
The ceremony?
THIRD GENTLEMAN. Well worth the seeing.
SECOND GENTLEMAN. Good sir, speak it to us.
THIRD GENTLEMAN. As well as I am able. The rich stream
Of lords and ladies, having brought the Queen
To a prepar'd place in the choir, fell off
A distance from her, while her Grace sat down
To rest awhile, some half an hour or so,
In a rich chair of state, opposing freely
The beauty of her person to the people.
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 'em reel before 'em. No man living
Could say 'This is my wife' there, all were woven
So strangely in one piece.
SECOND GENTLEMAN. But what follow'd?
THIRD GENTLEMAN. At length her Grace rose, and with
modest paces
Came to the altar, where she kneel'd, and saintlike
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.
You must no more call it York Place: that's past:
For since the Cardinal fell that title's lost.
'Tis now the King's, and called Whitehall.
But 'tis so lately alter'd that the old name
Is fresh about me.
SECOND GENTLEMAN. What two reverend bishops
Were those that went on each side of the Queen?
THIRD GENTLEMAN. Stokesly and Gardiner: the one of Winchester,
Newly preferr'd from the King's secretary;
The other, London.
SECOND GENTLEMAN. He of Winchester
Is held no great good lover of the Archbishop's,
The virtuous Cranmer.
THIRD GENTLEMAN. All the land knows that;
However, yet there is no great breach. When it comes,
Cranmer will find a friend will not shrink from him.
SECOND GENTLEMAN. Who may that be, I pray you?
THIRD GENTLEMAN. Thomas Cromwell,
A man in much esteem with th' King, and truly
A worthy friend. The King has made him Master
O' th' jewel House,
And one, already, of the Privy Council.
SECOND GENTLEMAN. He will deserve more.
THIRD GENTLEMAN. Yes, without all doubt.
Come, gentlemen, ye shall go my way, which
Is to th' 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.



Enter KATHARINE, Dowager, sick; led between GRIFFITH, her
Gentleman Usher, and PATIENCE, her woman

GRIFFITH. How does your Grace?
KATHARINE. O Griffith, sick to death!
My legs like loaden branches bow to th' 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?
GRIFFITH. Yes, madam; but I think your Grace,
Out of the pain you suffer'd, gave no ear to't.
KATHARINE. Prithee, good Griffith, tell me how he died.
If well, he stepp'd before me, happily,
For my example.
GRIFFITH. 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.
KATHARINE. Alas, poor man!
GRIFFITH. At last, with easy roads, he came to Leicester,
Lodg'd in the abbey; where the reverend abbot,
With all his covent, 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.
KATHARINE. 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,
Tied all the kingdom. Simony was fair play;
His own opinion was his law. I' th' 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, and gave
The clergy ill example.
GRIFFITH. 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?
KATHARINE. Yes, good Griffith;
I were malicious else.
GRIFFITH. 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 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;
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.
KATHARINE. 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
GRIFFITH. She is asleep. Good wench, let's sit down quiet,
For fear we wake her. Softly, gentle Patience.


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 reverent curtsies.
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 vanish,
carrying the garland with them. The music continues.

KATHARINE. Spirits of peace, where are ye? Are ye all gone?
And leave me here in wretchedness behind ye?
GRIFFITH. Madam, we are here.
KATHARINE. It is not you I call for.
Saw ye none enter since I slept?
GRIFFITH. None, madam.
KATHARINE. 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.
GRIFFITH. I am most joyful, madam, such good dreams
Possess your fancy.
KATHARINE. Bid the music leave,
They are harsh and heavy to me. [Music
PATIENCE. 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 her eyes.
GRIFFITH. She is going, wench. Pray, pray.
PATIENCE. Heaven comfort her!


MESSENGER. An't like your Grace--
KATHARINE. You are a saucy fellow.
Deserve we no more reverence?
GRIFFITH. You are to blame,
Knowing she will not lose her wonted greatness,
To use so rude behaviour. Go to, kneel.
MESSENGER. I humbly do entreat your Highness' pardon;
My haste made me unmannerly. There is staying
A gentleman, sent from the King, to see you.
KATHARINE. Admit him entrance, Griffith; but this fellow
Let me ne'er see again. Exit MESSENGER


If my sight fail not,
You should be Lord Ambassador from the Emperor,
My royal nephew, and your name Capucius.
CAPUCIUS. Madam, the same--your servant.
KATHARINE. O, my Lord,
The times and titles now are alter'd strangely
With me since first you knew me. But, I pray you,
What is your pleasure with me?
CAPUCIUS. 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.
KATHARINE. O my good lord, that comfort comes too late,
'Tis like a pardon after execution:
That gentle physic, given in time, had cur'd me;
But now I am past all comforts here, but prayers.
How does his Highness?
CAPUCIUS. Madam, in good health.
KATHARINE. 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?
PATIENCE. No, madam. [Giving it to
KATHARINE. Sir, I most humbly pray you to deliver
This to my lord the King.
CAPUCIUS. Most willing, madam.
KATHARINE. In which I have commended to his goodness
The model of our chaste loves, his young daughter--
The dews of heaven fall thick in blessings on her!--
Beseeching him to give her virtuous breeding--
She is young, and of a noble modest nature;
I hope she will deserve well--and a little
To love her for her mother's sake, that lov'd him,
Heaven knows how dearly. My next poor petition
Is that his noble Grace would have some pity
Upon my wretched women that so long
Have follow'd both my fortunes faithfully;
Of which there is not one, I dare avow--
And now I should not lie--but will deserve,
For virtue and true beauty of the soul,
For honesty and decent carriage,
A right good husband, let him be a noble;
And sure those men are happy that shall have 'em.
The last is for my men--they are the poorest,
But poverty could never draw 'em from me--
That they may have their wages duly paid 'em,
And something over to remember me by.
If heaven had pleas'd to have given me longer life
And able means, we had not parted thus.
These are the whole contents; and, good my lord,
By that you love the dearest in this world,
As you wish Christian peace to souls departed,
Stand these poor people's friend, and urge the King
To do me this last right.
CAPUCIUS. By heaven, I will,
Or let me lose the fashion of a man!
KATHARINE. I thank you, honest lord. Remember me
In all humility unto his Highness;
Say his long trouble now is passing
Out of this world. Tell him in death I bless'd him,
For so I will. Mine eyes grow dim. Farewell,
My lord. Griffith, farewell. Nay, Patience,
You must not leave me yet. I must to bed;
Call in more women. When I am dead, good wench,
Let me be us'd with honour; strew me over
With maiden flowers, that all the world may know
I was a chaste wife to my grave. Embalm me,
Then lay me forth; although unqueen'd, yet like
A queen, and daughter to a king, inter me.
I can no more. Exeunt, leading



London. A gallery in the palace

Enter GARDINER, BISHOP OF WINCHESTER, a PAGE with a torch before

GARDINER. It's one o'clock, boy, is't not?
BOY. It hath struck.
GARDINER. These should be hours for necessities,
Not for delights; times to repair our nature
With comforting repose, and not for us
To waste these times. Good hour of night, Sir Thomas!
Whither so late?
LOVELL. Came you from the King, my lord?
GARDINER. I did, Sir Thomas, and left him at primero
With the Duke of Suffolk.
LOVELL. I must to him too,
Before he go to bed. I'll take my leave.
GARDINER. Not yet, Sir Thomas Lovell. What's the matter?
It seems you are in haste. An if there be
No great offence belongs to't, give your friend
Some touch of your late business. Affairs that walk--
As they say spirits do--at midnight, have
In them a wilder nature than the business
That seeks despatch by day.
LOVELL. My lord, I love you;
And durst commend a secret to your ear
Much weightier than this work. The Queen's in labour,
They say in great extremity, and fear'd
She'll with the labour end.
GARDINER. The fruit she goes with
I pray for heartily, that it may find
Good time, and live; but for the stock, Sir Thomas,
I wish it grubb'd up now.
LOVELL. Methinks I could
Cry thee amen; and yet my conscience says
She's a good creature, and, sweet lady, does
Deserve our better wishes.
GARDINER. But, sir, sir--
Hear me, Sir Thomas. Y'are a gentleman
Of mine own way; I know you wise, religious;
And, let me tell you, it will ne'er be well--
'Twill not, Sir Thomas Lovell, take't of me--
Till Cranmer, Cromwell, her two hands, and she,
Sleep in their graves.
LOVELL. Now, sir, you speak of two
The most remark'd i' th' kingdom. As for Cromwell,
Beside that of the Jewel House, is made Master
O' th' Rolls, and the King's secretary; further, sir,
Stands in the gap and trade of moe preferments,
With which the time will load him. Th' Archbishop
Is the King's hand and tongue, and who dare speak
One syllable against him?
GARDINER. Yes, yes, Sir Thomas,
There are that dare; and I myself have ventur'd
To speak my mind of him; and indeed this day,
Sir--I may tell it you--I think I have
Incens'd the lords o' th' Council, that he is--
For so I know he is, they know he is--
A most arch heretic, a pestilence
That does infect the land; with which they moved
Have broken with the King, who hath so far
Given ear to our complaint--of his great grace
And princely care, foreseeing those fell mischiefs
Our reasons laid before him--hath commanded
To-morrow morning to the Council board
He be convented. He's a rank weed, Sir Thomas,
And we must root him out. From your affairs
I hinder you too long--good night, Sir Thomas.
LOVELL. Many good nights, my lord; I rest your servant.

Enter the KING and the DUKE OF SUFFOLK

KING. Charles, I will play no more to-night;
My mind's not on't; you are too hard for me.
SUFFOLK. Sir, I did never win of you before.
KING. But little, Charles;
Nor shall not, when my fancy's on my play.
Now, Lovell, from the Queen what is the news?
LOVELL. I could not personally deliver to her
What you commanded me, but by her woman
I sent your message; who return'd her thanks
In the great'st humbleness, and desir'd your Highness
Most heartily to pray for her.
KING. What say'st thou, ha?
To pray for her? What, is she crying out?
LOVELL. So said her woman; and that her suff'rance made
Almost each pang a death.
KING. Alas, good lady!
SUFFOLK. God safely quit her of her burden, and
With gentle travail, to the gladding of
Your Highness with an heir!
KING. 'Tis midnight, Charles;
Prithee to bed; and in thy pray'rs remember
Th' estate of my poor queen. Leave me alone,
For I must think of that which company
Will not be friendly to.
SUFFOLK. I wish your Highness
A quiet night, and my good mistress will
Remember in my prayers.
KING. Charles, good night. Exit SUFFOLK


Well, sir, what follows?
DENNY. Sir, I have brought my lord the Archbishop,
As you commanded me.
KING. Ha! Canterbury?
DENNY. Ay, my good lord.
KING. 'Tis true. Where is he, Denny?
DENNY. He attends your Highness' pleasure.
KING. Bring him to us. Exit DENNY
LOVELL. [Aside] This is about that which the bishop spake.
I am happily come hither.

Re-enter DENNY, With CRANMER

KING. Avoid the gallery. [LOVELL seems to stay]
Ha! I have said. Be gone.
What! Exeunt LOVELL and DENNY
CRANMER. [Aside] I am fearful--wherefore frowns he thus?
'Tis his aspect of terror. All's not well.
KING. How now, my lord? You do desire to know
Wherefore I sent for you.
CRANMER. [Kneeling] It is my duty
T'attend your Highness' pleasure.
KING. Pray you, arise,
My good and gracious Lord of Canterbury.
Come, you and I must walk a turn together;
I have news to tell you; come, come, give me your hand.
Ah, my good lord, I grieve at what I speak,
And am right sorry to repeat what follows.
I have, and most unwillingly, of late
Heard many grievous--I do say, my lord,
Grievous--complaints of you; which, being consider'd,
Have mov'd us and our Council that you shall
This morning come before us; where I know
You cannot with such freedom purge yourself
But that, till further trial in those charges
Which will require your answer, you must take
Your patience to you and be well contented
To make your house our Tow'r. You a brother of us,
It fits we thus proceed, or else no witness
Would come against you.
CRANMER. I humbly thank your Highness
And am right glad to catch this good occasion
Most throughly to be winnowed where my chaff
And corn shall fly asunder; for I know
There's none stands under more calumnious tongues
Than I myself, poor man.
KING. Stand up, good Canterbury;
Thy truth and thy integrity is rooted
In us, thy friend. Give me thy hand, stand up;
Prithee let's walk. Now, by my holidame,
What manner of man are you? My lord, I look'd
You would have given me your petition that
I should have ta'en some pains to bring together
Yourself and your accusers, and to have heard you
Without indurance further.
CRANMER. Most dread liege,
The good I stand on is my truth and honesty;
If they shall fail, I with mine enemies
Will triumph o'er my person; which I weigh not,
Being of those virtues vacant. I fear nothing
What can be said against me.
KING. Know you not
How your state stands i' th' world, with the whole world?
Your enemies are many, and not small; their practices
Must bear the same proportion; and not ever
The justice and the truth o' th' question carries
The due o' th' verdict with it; at what ease
Might corrupt minds procure knaves as corrupt
To swear against you? Such things have been done.
You are potently oppos'd, and with a malice
Of as great size. Ween you of better luck,
I mean in perjur'd witness, than your Master,
Whose minister you are, whiles here He liv'd
Upon this naughty earth? Go to, go to;
You take a precipice for no leap of danger,
And woo your own destruction.
CRANMER. God and your Majesty
Protect mine innocence, or I fall into
The trap is laid for me!
KING. Be of good cheer;
They shall no more prevail than we give way to.
Keep comfort to you, and this morning see
You do appear before them; if they shall chance,
In charging you with matters, to commit you,
The best persuasions to the contrary
Fail not to use, and with what vehemency
Th' occasion shall instruct you. If entreaties
Will render you no remedy, this ring
Deliver them, and your appeal to us
There make before them. Look, the good man weeps!
He's honest, on mine honour. God's blest Mother!
I swear he is true-hearted, and a soul
None better in my kingdom. Get you gone,
And do as I have bid you.
He has strangled his language in his tears.


GENTLEMAN. [Within] Come back; what mean you?
OLD LADY. I'll not come back; the tidings that I bring
Will make my boldness manners. Now, good angels
Fly o'er thy royal head, and shade thy person
Under their blessed wings!
KING. Now, by thy looks
I guess thy message. Is the Queen deliver'd?
Say ay, and of a boy.
OLD LADY. Ay, ay, my liege;
And of a lovely boy. The God of Heaven
Both now and ever bless her! 'Tis a girl,
Promises boys hereafter. Sir, your queen
Desires your visitation, and to be
Acquainted with this stranger; 'tis as like you
As cherry is to cherry.
KING. Lovell!


KING. Give her an hundred marks. I'll to the Queen.
OLD LADY. An hundred marks? By this light, I'll ha' more!
An ordinary groom is for such payment.
I will have more, or scold it out of him.
Said I for this the girl was like to him! I'll
Have more, or else unsay't; and now, while 'tis hot,
I'll put it to the issue.


Lobby before the Council Chamber


CRANMER. I hope I am not too late; and yet the gentleman
That was sent to me from the Council pray'd me
To make great haste. All fast? What means this? Ho!
Who waits there? Sure you know me?


KEEPER. Yes, my lord;
But yet I cannot help you.
KEEPER. Your Grace must wait till you be call'd for.


BUTTS. [Aside] This is a piece of malice. I am glad
I came this way so happily; the King
Shall understand it presently.
CRANMER. [Aside] 'Tis Butts,
The King's physician; as he pass'd along,
How earnestly he cast his eyes upon me!
Pray heaven he sound not my disgrace! For certain,
This is of purpose laid by some that hate me--
God turn their hearts! I never sought their malice--
To quench mine honour; they would shame to make me
Wait else at door, a fellow councillor,
'Mong boys, grooms, and lackeys. But their pleasures
Must be fulfill'd, and I attend with patience.

Enter the KING and BUTTS at window above

BUTTS. I'll show your Grace the strangest sight--
KING. What's that, Butts?
BUTTS. I think your Highness saw this many a day.
KING. Body a me, where is it?
BUTTS. There my lord:
The high promotion of his Grace of Canterbury;
Who holds his state at door, 'mongst pursuivants,
Pages, and footboys.
KING. Ha, 'tis he indeed.
Is this the honour they do one another?
'Tis well there's one above 'em yet. I had thought
They had parted so much honesty among 'em--
At least good manners--as not thus to suffer
A man of his place, and so near our favour,
To dance attendance on their lordships' pleasures,
And at the door too, like a post with packets.
By holy Mary, Butts, there's knavery!
Let 'em alone, and draw the curtain close;
We shall hear more anon.


The Council Chamber

A Council table brought in, with chairs and stools, and placed
under the state. Enter LORD CHANCELLOR, places himself at the
upper end of the table on the left band, a seat being left void
above him,
as for Canterbury's seat. DUKE OF SUFFOLK, DUKE OF NORFOLK,
order on each side; CROMWELL at lower end, as secretary.
KEEPER at the door

CHANCELLOR. Speak to the business, master secretary;
Why are we met in council?
CROMWELL. Please your honours,
The chief cause concerns his Grace of Canterbury.
GARDINER. Has he had knowledge of it?
NORFOLK. Who waits there?
KEEPER. Without, my noble lords?
KEEPER. My Lord Archbishop;
And has done half an hour, to know your pleasures.
CHANCELLOR. Let him come in.
KEEPER. Your Grace may enter now.

CRANMER approaches the Council table

CHANCELLOR. My good Lord Archbishop, I am very sorry
To sit here at this present, and behold
That chair stand empty; but we all are men,
In our own natures frail and capable
Of our flesh; few are angels; out of which frailty
And want of wisdom, you, that best should teach us,
Have misdemean'd yourself, and not a little,
Toward the King first, then his laws, in filling
The whole realm by your teaching and your chaplains--
For so we are inform'd--with new opinions,
Divers and dangerous; which are heresies,
And, not reform'd, may prove pernicious.
GARDINER. Which reformation must be sudden too,
My noble lords; for those that tame wild horses
Pace 'em not in their hands to make 'em gentle,
But stop their mouth with stubborn bits and spur 'em
Till they obey the manage. If we suffer,
Out of our easiness and childish pity
To one man's honour, this contagious sickness,
Farewell all physic; and what follows then?
Commotions, uproars, with a general taint
Of the whole state; as of late days our neighbours,
The upper Germany, can dearly witness,
Yet freshly pitied in our memories.
CRANMER. My good lords, hitherto in all the progress
Both of my life and office, I have labour'd,
And with no little study, that my teaching
And the strong course of my authority
Might go one way, and safely; and the end
Was ever to do well. Nor is there living--
I speak it with a single heart, my lords--
A man that more detests, more stirs against,
Both in his private conscience and his place,
Defacers of a public peace than I do.
Pray heaven the King may never find a heart
With less allegiance in it! Men that make
Envy and crooked malice nourishment
Dare bite the best. I do beseech your lordships
That, in this case of justice, my accusers,
Be what they will, may stand forth face to face
And freely urge against me.
SUFFOLK. Nay, my lord,
That cannot be; you are a councillor,
And by that virtue no man dare accuse you.
GARDINER. My lord, because we have business of more moment,
We will be short with you. 'Tis his Highness' pleasure
And our consent, for better trial of you,
From hence you be committed to the Tower;
Where, being but a private man again,
You shall know many dare accuse you boldly,
More than, I fear, you are provided for.
CRANMER. Ah, my good Lord of Winchester, I thank you;
You are always my good friend; if your will pass,
I shall both find your lordship judge and juror,
You are so merciful. I see your end--
'Tis my undoing. Love and meekness, lord,
Become a churchman better than ambition;
Win straying souls with modesty again,
Cast none away. That I shall clear myself,
Lay all the weight ye can upon my patience,
I make as little doubt as you do conscience
In doing daily wrongs. I could say more,
But reverence to your calling makes me modest.
GARDINER. My lord, my lord, you are a sectary;
That's the plain truth. Your painted gloss discovers,
To men that understand you, words and weakness.
CROMWELL. My Lord of Winchester, y'are a little,
By your good favour, too sharp; men so noble,
However faulty, yet should find respect
For what they have been; 'tis a cruelty
To load a falling man.
GARDINER. Good Master Secretary,
I cry your honour mercy; you may, worst
Of all this table, say so.
CROMWELL. Why, my lord?
GARDINER. Do not I know you for a favourer
Of this new sect? Ye are not sound.
CROMWELL. Not sound?
GARDINER. Not sound, I say.
CROMWELL. Would you were half so honest!
Men's prayers then would seek you, not their fears.
GARDINER. I shall remember this bold language.
Remember your bold life too.
CHANCELLOR. This is too much;
Forbear, for shame, my lords.
GARDINER. I have done.
CHANCELLOR. Then thus for you, my lord: it stands agreed,
I take it, by all voices, that forthwith
You be convey'd to th' Tower a prisoner;
There to remain till the King's further pleasure
Be known unto us. Are you all agreed, lords?
ALL. We are.
CRANMER. Is there no other way of mercy,
But I must needs to th' Tower, my lords?
GARDINER. What other
Would you expect? You are strangely troublesome.
Let some o' th' guard be ready there.

Enter the guard

CRANMER. For me?
Must I go like a traitor thither?
GARDINER. Receive him,
And see him safe i' th' Tower.
CRANMER. Stay, good my lords,
I have a little yet to say. Look there, my lords;
By virtue of that ring I take my cause
Out of the gripes of cruel men and give it
To a most noble judge, the King my master.
CHAMBERLAIN. This is the King's ring.
SURREY. 'Tis no counterfeit.
SUFFOLK. 'Tis the right ring, by heav'n. I told ye all,
When we first put this dangerous stone a-rolling,
'Twould fall upon ourselves.
NORFOLK. Do you think, my lords,
The King will suffer but the little finger
Of this man to be vex'd?
CHAMBERLAIN. 'Tis now too certain;
How much more is his life in value with him!
Would I were fairly out on't!
CROMWELL. My mind gave me,
In seeking tales and informations
Against this man--whose honesty the devil
And his disciples only envy at--
Ye blew the fire that burns ye. Now have at ye!

Enter the KING frowning on them; he takes his seat

GARDINER. Dread sovereign, how much are we bound to heaven
In daily thanks, that gave us such a prince;
Not only good and wise but most religious;
One that in all obedience makes the church
The chief aim of his honour and, to strengthen
That holy duty, out of dear respect,
His royal self in judgment comes to hear
The cause betwixt her and this great offender.
KING. You were ever good at sudden commendations,
Bishop of Winchester. But know I come not
To hear such flattery now, and in my presence
They are too thin and bare to hide offences.
To me you cannot reach you play the spaniel,
And think with wagging of your tongue to win me;
But whatsoe'er thou tak'st me for, I'm sure
Thou hast a cruel nature and a bloody.
[To CRANMER] Good man, sit down. Now let me see the proudest
He that dares most but wag his finger at thee.
By all that's holy, he had better starve
Than but once think this place becomes thee not.
SURREY. May it please your Grace--
KING. No, sir, it does not please me.
I had thought I had had men of some understanding
And wisdom of my Council; but I find none.
Was it discretion, lords, to let this man,
This good man--few of you deserve that title--
This honest man, wait like a lousy footboy
At chamber door? and one as great as you are?
Why, what a shame was this! Did my commission
Bid ye so far forget yourselves? I gave ye
Power as he was a councillor to try him,
Not as a groom. There's some of ye, I see,
More out of malice than integrity,
Would try him to the utmost, had ye mean;
Which ye shall never have while I live.
My most dread sovereign, may it like your Grace
To let my tongue excuse all. What was purpos'd
Concerning his imprisonment was rather--
If there be faith in men--meant for his trial
And fair purgation to the world, than malice,
I'm sure, in me.
KING. Well, well, my lords, respect him;
Take him, and use him well, he's worthy of it.
I will say thus much for him: if a prince
May be beholding to a subject,
Am for his love and service so to him.
Make me no more ado, but all embrace him;
Be friends, for shame, my lords! My Lord of Canterbury,
I have a suit which you must not deny me:
That is, a fair young maid that yet wants baptism;
You must be godfather, and answer for her.
CRANMER. The greatest monarch now alive may glory
In such an honour; how may I deserve it,
That am a poor and humble subject to you?
KING. Come, come, my lord, you'd spare your spoons. You
shall have
Two noble partners with you: the old Duchess of Norfolk
And Lady Marquis Dorset. Will these please you?
Once more, my Lord of Winchester, I charge you,
Embrace and love this man.
GARDINER. With a true heart
And brother-love I do it.
CRANMER. And let heaven
Witness how dear I hold this confirmation.
KING. Good man, those joyful tears show thy true heart.
The common voice, I see, is verified
Of thee, which says thus: 'Do my Lord of Canterbury
A shrewd turn and he's your friend for ever.'
Come, lords, we trifle time away; I long
To have this young one made a Christian.
As I have made ye one, lords, one remain;
So I grow stronger, you more honour gain.


The palace yard

Noise and tumult within. Enter PORTER and his MAN

PORTER. You'll leave your noise anon, ye rascals. Do you
take the court for Paris garden? Ye rude slaves, leave your
[Within: Good master porter, I belong to th' larder.]
PORTER. Belong to th' gallows, and be hang'd, ye rogue! Is
this a place to roar in? Fetch me a dozen crab-tree staves,
and strong ones; these are but switches to 'em. I'll scratch
your heads. You must be seeing christenings? Do you look
for ale and cakes here, you rude rascals?
MAN. Pray, sir, be patient; 'tis as much impossible,
Unless we sweep 'em from the door with cannons,
To scatter 'em as 'tis to make 'em sleep
On May-day morning; which will never be.
We may as well push against Paul's as stir 'em.
PORTER. How got they in, and be hang'd?
MAN. Alas, I know not: how gets the tide in?
As much as one sound cudgel of four foot--
You see the poor remainder--could distribute,
I made no spare, sir.
PORTER. You did nothing, sir.
MAN. I am not Samson, nor Sir Guy, nor Colbrand,
To mow 'em down before me; but if I spar'd any
That had a head to hit, either young or old,
He or she, cuckold or cuckold-maker,
Let me ne'er hope to see a chine again;
And that I would not for a cow, God save her!
[ Within: Do you hear, master porter?]
PORTER. I shall be with you presently, good master puppy.
Keep the door close, sirrah.
MAN. What would you have me do?
PORTER. What should you do, but knock 'em down by th'
dozens? Is this Moorfields to muster in? Or have we some
strange Indian with the great tool come to court, the
women so besiege us? Bless me, what a fry of fornication
is at door! On my Christian conscience, this one christening
will beget a thousand: here will be father, godfather,
and all together.
MAN. The spoons will be the bigger, sir. There is a fellow
somewhat near the door, he should be a brazier by his
face, for, o' my conscience, twenty of the dog-days now
reign in's nose; all that stand about him are under the line,
they need no other penance. That fire-drake did I hit three
times on the head, and three times was his nose discharged
against me; he stands there like a mortar-piece, to blow us.
There was a haberdasher's wife of small wit near him, that
rail'd upon me till her pink'd porringer fell off her head,
for kindling such a combustion in the state. I miss'd the
meteor once, and hit that woman, who cried out 'Clubs!'
when I might see from far some forty truncheoners draw
to her succour, which were the hope o' th' Strand, where
she was quartered. They fell on; I made good my place.
At length they came to th' broomstaff to me; I defied 'em
still; when suddenly a file of boys behind 'em, loose shot,
deliver'd such a show'r of pebbles that I was fain to draw
mine honour in and let 'em win the work: the devil was
amongst 'em, I think surely.
PORTER. These are the youths that thunder at a playhouse
and fight for bitten apples; that no audience but the
tribulation of Tower-hill or the limbs of Limehouse, their
brothers, are able to endure. I have some of 'em in Limbo
Patrum, and there they are like to dance these three days;
besides the running banquet of two beadles that is to come.


CHAMBERLAIN. Mercy o' me, what a multitude are here!
They grow still too; from all parts they are coming,
As if we kept a fair here! Where are these porters,
These lazy knaves? Y'have made a fine hand, fellows.
There's a trim rabble let in: are all these
Your faithful friends o' th' suburbs? We shall have
Great store of room, no doubt, left for the ladies,
When they pass back from the christening.
PORTER. An't please your honour,
We are but men; and what so many may do,
Not being torn a pieces, we have done.
An army cannot rule 'em.
If the King blame me for't, I'll lay ye all
By th' heels, and suddenly; and on your heads
Clap round fines for neglect. Y'are lazy knaves;
And here ye lie baiting of bombards, when
Ye should do service. Hark! the trumpets sound;
Th' are come already from the christening.
Go break among the press and find a way out
To let the troops pass fairly, or I'll find
A Marshalsea shall hold ye play these two months.
PORTER. Make way there for the Princess.
MAN. You great fellow,
Stand close up, or I'll make your head ache.
PORTER. You i' th' camlet, get up o' th' rail;
I'll peck you o'er the pales else.


The palace

Enter TRUMPETS, sounding; then two ALDERMEN, LORD MAYOR, GARTER,
CRANMER, DUKE OF NORFOLK, with his marshal's staff, DUKE OF
two Noblemen bearing great standing-bowls for the christening
then four Noblemen bearing a canopy, under which the DUCHESS OF
NORFOLK, godmother, bearing the CHILD richly habited in a mantle,
train borne by a LADY; then follows the MARCHIONESS DORSET,
the other godmother, and LADIES. The troop pass once about the
stage, and GARTER speaks

GARTER. Heaven, from thy endless goodness, send prosperous
life, long and ever-happy, to the high and mighty
Princess of England, Elizabeth!

Flourish. Enter KING and guard

CRANMER. [Kneeling] And to your royal Grace and the
good Queen!
My noble partners and myself thus pray:
All comfort, joy, in this most gracious lady,
Heaven ever laid up to make parents happy,
May hourly fall upon ye!
KING. Thank you, good Lord Archbishop.
What is her name?
CRANMER. Elizabeth.
KING. Stand up, lord. [The KING kisses the child]
With this kiss take my blessing: God protect thee!
Into whose hand I give thy life.
KING. My noble gossips, y'have been too prodigal;
I thank ye heartily. So shall this lady,
When she has so much English.
CRANMER. Let me speak, sir,
For heaven now bids me; and the words I utter
Let none think flattery, for they'll find 'em truth.
This royal infant--heaven still move about her!--
Though in her cradle, yet now promises
Upon this land a thousand blessings,
Which time shall bring to ripeness. She shall be--
But few now living can behold that goodness--
A pattern to all princes living with her,
And all that shall succeed. Saba was never
More covetous of wisdom and fair virtue
Than this pure soul shall be. All princely graces
That mould up such a mighty piece as this is,
With all the virtues that attend the good,
Shall still be doubled on her. Truth shall nurse her,
Holy and heavenly thoughts still counsel her;
She shall be lov'd and fear'd. Her own shall bless her:
Her foes shake like a field of beaten corn,
And hang their heads with sorrow. Good grows with her;
In her days every man shall eat in safety
Under his own vine what he plants, and sing
The merry songs of peace to all his neighbours.
God shall be truly known; and those about her
From her shall read the perfect ways of honour,
And by those claim their greatness, not by blood.
Nor shall this peace sleep with her; but as when
The bird of wonder dies, the maiden phoenix
Her ashes new create another heir
As great in admiration as herself,
So shall she leave her blessedness to one--
When heaven shall call her from this cloud of darkness--
Who from the sacred ashes of her honour
Shall star-like rise, as great in fame as she was,
And so stand fix'd. Peace, plenty, love, truth, terror,
That were the servants to this chosen infant,
Shall then be his, and like a vine grow to him;
Wherever the bright sun of heaven shall shine,
His honour and the greatness of his name
Shall be, and make new nations; he shall flourish,
And like a mountain cedar reach his branches
To all the plains about him; our children's children
Shall see this and bless heaven.
KING. Thou speakest wonders.
CRANMER. She shall be, to the happiness of England,
An aged princess; many days shall see her,
And yet no day without a deed to crown it.
Would I had known no more! But she must die--
She must, the saints must have her--yet a virgin;
A most unspotted lily shall she pass
To th' ground, and all the world shall mourn her.
KING. O Lord Archbishop,
Thou hast made me now a man; never before
This happy child did I get anything.
This oracle of comfort has so pleas'd me
That when I am in heaven I shall desire
To see what this child does, and praise my Maker.
I thank ye all. To you, my good Lord Mayor,
And you, good brethren, I am much beholding;
I have receiv'd much honour by your presence,
And ye shall find me thankful. Lead the way, lords;
Ye must all see the Queen, and she must thank ye,
She will be sick else. This day, no man think
Has business at his house; for all shall stay.
This little one shall make it holiday.


'Tis ten to one this play can never please
All that are here. Some come to take their ease
And sleep an act or two; but those, we fear,
W'have frighted with our trumpets; so, 'tis clear,
They'll say 'tis nought; others to hear the city
Abus'd extremely, and to cry 'That's witty!'
Which we have not done neither; that, I fear,
All the expected good w'are like to hear
For this play at this time is only in
The merciful construction of good women;
For such a one we show'd 'em. If they smile
And say 'twill do, I know within a while
All the best men are ours; for 'tis ill hap
If they hold when their ladies bid 'em clap.

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