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The Complete Works of William Shakespeare

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By sick interpreters, once weak ones, is
Not ours, or not allow'd; what worst, as oft
Hitting a grosser quality, is cried up
For our best act. If we shall stand still,
In fear our motion will be mock'd or carp'd at,
We should take root here where we sit, or sit
State-statues only.
KING. Things done well
And with a care exempt themselves from fear:
Things done without example, in their issue
Are to be fear'd. Have you a precedent
Of this commission? I believe, not any.
We must not rend our subjects from our laws,
And stick them in our will. Sixth part of each?
A trembling contribution! Why, we take
From every tree lop, bark, and part o' th' timber;
And though we leave it with a root, thus hack'd,
The air will drink the sap. To every county
Where this is question'd send our letters with
Free pardon to each man that has denied
The force of this commission. Pray, look tot;
I put it to your care.
WOLSEY. [Aside to the SECRETARY] A word with you.
Let there be letters writ to every shire
Of the King's grace and pardon. The grieved commons
Hardly conceive of me-let it be nois'd
That through our intercession this revokement
And pardon comes. I shall anon advise you
Further in the proceeding. Exit SECRETARY


QUEEN KATHARINE. I am sorry that the Duke of Buckingham
Is run in your displeasure.
KING. It grieves many.
The gentleman is learn'd and a most rare speaker;
To nature none more bound; his training such
That he may furnish and instruct great teachers
And never seek for aid out of himself. Yet see,
When these so noble benefits shall prove
Not well dispos'd, the mind growing once corrupt,
They turn to vicious forms, ten times more ugly
Than ever they were fair. This man so complete,
Who was enroll'd 'mongst wonders, and when we,
Almost with ravish'd list'ning, could not find
His hour of speech a minute-he, my lady,
Hath into monstrous habits put the graces
That once were his, and is become as black
As if besmear'd in hell. Sit by us; you shall hear-
This was his gentleman in trust-of him
Things to strike honour sad. Bid him recount
The fore-recited practices, whereof
We cannot feel too little, hear too much.
WOLSEY. Stand forth, and with bold spirit relate what you,
Most like a careful subject, have collected
Out of the Duke of Buckingham.
KING. Speak freely.
SURVEYOR. First, it was usual with him-every day
It would infect his speech-that if the King
Should without issue die, he'll carry it so
To make the sceptre his. These very words
I've heard him utter to his son-in-law,
Lord Aberga'ny, to whom by oath he menac'd
Revenge upon the Cardinal.
WOLSEY. Please your Highness, note
This dangerous conception in this point:
Not friended by his wish, to your high person
His will is most malignant, and it stretches
Beyond you to your friends.
QUEEN KATHARINE. My learn'd Lord Cardinal,
Deliver all with charity.
KING. Speak on.
How grounded he his title to the crown
Upon our fail? To this point hast thou heard him
At any time speak aught?
SURVEYOR. He was brought to this
By a vain prophecy of Nicholas Henton.
KING. What was that Henton?
SURVEYOR. Sir, a Chartreux friar,
His confessor, who fed him every minute
With words of sovereignty.
KING. How know'st thou this?
SURVEYOR. Not long before your Highness sped to France,
The Duke being at the Rose, within the parish
Saint Lawrence Poultney, did of me demand
What was the speech among the Londoners
Concerning the French journey. I replied
Men fear'd the French would prove perfidious,
To the King's danger. Presently the Duke
Said 'twas the fear indeed and that he doubted
'Twould prove the verity of certain words
Spoke by a holy monk 'that oft' says he
'Hath sent to me, wishing me to permit
John de la Car, my chaplain, a choice hour
To hear from him a matter of some moment;
Whom after under the confession's seal
He solemnly had sworn that what he spoke
My chaplain to no creature living but
To me should utter, with demure confidence
This pausingly ensu'd: "Neither the King nor's heirs,
Tell you the Duke, shall prosper; bid him strive
To gain the love o' th' commonalty; the Duke
Shall govern England."'
QUEEN KATHARINE. If I know you well,
You were the Duke's surveyor, and lost your office
On the complaint o' th' tenants. Take good heed
You charge not in your spleen a noble person
And spoil your nobler soul. I say, take heed;
Yes, heartily beseech you.
KING. Let him on.
Go forward.
SURVEYOR. On my soul, I'll speak but truth.
I told my lord the Duke, by th' devil's illusions
The monk might be deceiv'd, and that 'twas dangerous
for him
To ruminate on this so far, until
It forg'd him some design, which, being believ'd,
It was much like to do. He answer'd 'Tush,
It can do me no damage'; adding further
That, had the King in his last sickness fail'd,
The Cardinal's and Sir Thomas Lovell's heads
Should have gone off.
KING. Ha! what, so rank? Ah ha!
There's mischief in this man. Canst thou say further?
SURVEYOR. I can, my liege.
KING. Proceed.
SURVEYOR. Being at Greenwich,
After your Highness had reprov'd the Duke
About Sir William Bulmer-
KING. I remember
Of such a time: being my sworn servant,
The Duke retain'd him his. But on: what hence?
SURVEYOR. 'If' quoth he 'I for this had been committed-
As to the Tower I thought-I would have play'd
The part my father meant to act upon
Th' usurper Richard; who, being at Salisbury,
Made suit to come in's presence, which if granted,
As he made semblance of his duty, would
Have put his knife into him.'
KING. A giant traitor!
WOLSEY. Now, madam, may his Highness live in freedom,
And this man out of prison?
QUEEN KATHARINE. God mend all!
KING. There's something more would out of thee: what say'st?
SURVEYOR. After 'the Duke his father' with the 'knife,'
He stretch'd him, and, with one hand on his dagger,
Another spread on's breast, mounting his eyes,
He did discharge a horrible oath, whose tenour
Was, were he evil us'd, he would outgo
His father by as much as a performance
Does an irresolute purpose.
KING. There's his period,
To sheath his knife in us. He is attach'd;
Call him to present trial. If he may
Find mercy in the law, 'tis his; if none,
Let him not seek't of us. By day and night!
He's traitor to th' height. Exeunt


London. The palace


CHAMBERLAIN. Is't possible the spells of France should juggle
Men into such strange mysteries?
SANDYS. New customs,
Though they be never so ridiculous,
Nay, let 'em be unmanly, yet are follow'd.
CHAMBERLAIN. As far as I see, all the good our English
Have got by the late voyage is but merely
A fit or two o' th' face; but they are shrewd ones;
For when they hold 'em, you would swear directly
Their very noses had been counsellors
To Pepin or Clotharius, they keep state so.
SANDYS. They have all new legs, and lame ones. One would take it,
That never saw 'em pace before, the spavin
Or springhalt reign'd among 'em.
CHAMBERLAIN. Death! my lord,
Their clothes are after such a pagan cut to't,
That sure th' have worn out Christendom.


How now?
What news, Sir Thomas Lovell?
LOVELL. Faith, my lord,
I hear of none but the new proclamation
That's clapp'd upon the court gate.
CHAMBERLAIN. What is't for?
LOVELL. The reformation of our travell'd gallants,
That fill the court with quarrels, talk, and tailors.
CHAMBERLAIN. I am glad 'tis there. Now I would pray our monsieurs
To think an English courtier may be wise,
And never see the Louvre.
LOVELL. They must either,
For so run the conditions, leave those remnants
Of fool and feather that they got in France,
With all their honourable points of ignorance
Pertaining thereunto-as fights and fireworks;
Abusing better men than they can be,
Out of a foreign wisdom-renouncing clean
The faith they have in tennis, and tall stockings,
Short blist'red breeches, and those types of travel
And understand again like honest men,
Or pack to their old playfellows. There, I take it,
They may, cum privilegio, wear away
The lag end of their lewdness and be laugh'd at.
SANDYS. 'Tis time to give 'em physic, their diseases
Are grown so catching.
CHAMBERLAIN. What a loss our ladies
Will have of these trim vanities!
LOVELL. Ay, marry,
There will be woe indeed, lords: the sly whoresons
Have got a speeding trick to lay down ladies.
A French song and a fiddle has no fellow.
SANDYS. The devil fiddle 'em! I am glad they are going,
For sure there's no converting 'em. Now
An honest country lord, as I am, beaten
A long time out of play, may bring his plainsong
And have an hour of hearing; and, by'r Lady,
Held current music too.
CHAMBERLAIN. Well said, Lord Sandys;
Your colt's tooth is not cast yet.
SANDYS. No, my lord,
Nor shall not while I have a stamp.
Whither were you a-going?
LOVELL. To the Cardinal's;
Your lordship is a guest too.
CHAMBERLAIN. O, 'tis true;
This night he makes a supper, and a great one,
To many lords and ladies; there will be
The beauty of this kingdom, I'll assure you.
LOVELL. That churchman bears a bounteous mind indeed,
A hand as fruitful as the land that feeds us;
His dews fall everywhere.
CHAMBERLAIN. No doubt he's noble;
He had a black mouth that said other of him.
SANDYS. He may, my lord; has wherewithal. In him
Sparing would show a worse sin than ill doctrine:
Men of his way should be most liberal,
They are set here for examples.
CHAMBERLAIN. True, they are so;
But few now give so great ones. My barge stays;
Your lordship shall along. Come, good Sir Thomas,
We shall be late else; which I would not be,
For I was spoke to, with Sir Henry Guildford,
This night to be comptrollers.
SANDYS. I am your lordship's. Exeunt


London. The Presence Chamber in York Place

Hautboys. A small table under a state for the Cardinal,
a longer table for the guests. Then enter ANNE BULLEN,
and divers other LADIES and GENTLEMEN, as guests, at one door;
at another door enter SIR HENRY GUILDFORD

GUILDFORD. Ladies, a general welcome from his Grace
Salutes ye all; this night he dedicates
To fair content and you. None here, he hopes,
In all this noble bevy, has brought with her
One care abroad; he would have all as merry
As, first, good company, good wine, good welcome,
Can make good people.


O, my lord, y'are tardy,
The very thought of this fair company
Clapp'd wings to me.
CHAMBERLAIN. You are young, Sir Harry Guildford.
SANDYS. Sir Thomas Lovell, had the Cardinal
But half my lay thoughts in him, some of these
Should find a running banquet ere they rested
I think would better please 'em. By my life,
They are a sweet society of fair ones.
LOVELL. O that your lordship were but now confessor
To one or two of these!
SANDYS. I would I were;
They should find easy penance.
LOVELL. Faith, how easy?
SANDYS. As easy as a down bed would afford it.
CHAMBERLAIN. Sweet ladies, will it please you sit? Sir Harry,
Place you that side; I'll take the charge of this.
His Grace is ent'ring. Nay, you must not freeze:
Two women plac'd together makes cold weather.
My Lord Sandys, you are one will keep 'em waking:
Pray sit between these ladies.
SANDYS. By my faith,
And thank your lordship. By your leave, sweet ladies.
[Seats himself between ANNE BULLEN and another lady]
If I chance to talk a little wild, forgive me;
I had it from my father.
ANNE. Was he mad, sir?
SANDYS. O, very mad, exceeding mad, in love too.
But he would bite none; just as I do now,
He would kiss you twenty with a breath. [Kisses her]
CHAMBERLAIN. Well said, my lord.
So, now y'are fairly seated. Gentlemen,
The penance lies on you if these fair ladies
Pass away frowning.
SANDYS. For my little cure,
Let me alone.

Hautboys. Enter CARDINAL WOLSEY, attended; and
takes his state

WOLSEY. Y'are welcome, my fair guests. That noble lady
Or gentleman that is not freely merry
Is not my friend. This, to confirm my welcome-
And to you all, good health! [Drinks]
SANDYS. Your Grace is noble.
Let me have such a bowl may hold my thanks
And save me so much talking.
WOLSEY. My Lord Sandys,
I am beholding to you. Cheer your neighbours.
Ladies, you are not merry. Gentlemen,
Whose fault is this?
SANDYS. The red wine first must rise
In their fair cheeks, my lord; then we shall have 'em
Talk us to silence.
ANNE. You are a merry gamester,
My Lord Sandys.
SANDYS. Yes, if I make my play.
Here's to your ladyship; and pledge it, madam,
For 'tis to such a thing-
ANNE. You cannot show me.
SANDYS. I told your Grace they would talk anon.
[Drum and trumpet. Chambers discharg'd]
WOLSEY. What's that?
CHAMBERLAIN. Look out there, some of ye. Exit a SERVANT
WOLSEY. What warlike voice,
And to what end, is this? Nay, ladies, fear not:
By all the laws of war y'are privileg'd.

Re-enter SERVANT

CHAMBERLAIN. How now! what is't?
SERVANT. A noble troop of strangers-
For so they seem. Th' have left their barge and landed,
And hither make, as great ambassadors
From foreign princes.
WOLSEY. Good Lord Chamberlain,
Go, give 'em welcome; you can speak the French tongue;
And pray receive 'em nobly and conduct 'em
Into our presence, where this heaven of beauty
Shall shine at full upon them. Some attend him.
Exit CHAMBERLAIN attended. All rise, and tables remov'd
You have now a broken banquet, but we'll mend it.
A good digestion to you all; and once more
I show'r a welcome on ye; welcome all.

Hautboys. Enter the KING, and others, as maskers,
habited like shepherds, usher'd by the LORD CHAMBERLAIN.
They pass directly before the CARDINAL,
and gracefully salute him

A noble company! What are their pleasures?
CHAMBERLAIN. Because they speak no English, thus they pray'd
To tell your Grace, that, having heard by fame
Of this so noble and so fair assembly
This night to meet here, they could do no less,
Out of the great respect they bear to beauty,
But leave their flocks and, under your fair conduct,
Crave leave to view these ladies and entreat
An hour of revels with 'em.
WOLSEY. Say, Lord Chamberlain,
They have done my poor house grace; for which I pay 'em
A thousand thanks, and pray 'em take their pleasures.
[They choose ladies. The KING chooses ANNE BULLEN]
KING. The fairest hand I ever touch'd! O beauty,
Till now I never knew thee! [Music. Dance]
WOLSEY. My lord!
WOLSEY. Pray tell 'em thus much from me:
There should be one amongst 'em, by his person,
More worthy this place than myself; to whom,
If I but knew him, with my love and duty
I would surrender it.
CHAMBERLAIN. I will, my lord.
[He whispers to the maskers]
WOLSEY. What say they?
CHAMBERLAIN. Such a one, they all confess,
There is indeed; which they would have your Grace
Find out, and he will take it.
WOLSEY. Let me see, then. [Comes from his state]
By all your good leaves, gentlemen, here I'll make
My royal choice.
KING. [Unmasking] Ye have found him, Cardinal.
You hold a fair assembly; you do well, lord.
You are a churchman, or, I'll tell you, Cardinal,
I should judge now unhappily.
WOLSEY. I am glad
Your Grace is grown so pleasant.
KING. My Lord Chamberlain,
Prithee come hither: what fair lady's that?
CHAMBERLAIN. An't please your Grace, Sir Thomas Bullen's
The Viscount Rochford-one of her Highness' women.
KING. By heaven, she is a dainty one. Sweet heart,
I were unmannerly to take you out
And not to kiss you. A health, gentlemen!
Let it go round.
WOLSEY. Sir Thomas Lovell, is the banquet ready
I' th' privy chamber?
LOVELL. Yes, my lord.
WOLSEY. Your Grace,
I fear, with dancing is a little heated.
KING. I fear, too much.
WOLSEY. There's fresher air, my lord,
In the next chamber.
KING. Lead in your ladies, ev'ry one. Sweet partner,
I must not yet forsake you. Let's be merry:
Good my Lord Cardinal, I have half a dozen healths
To drink to these fair ladies, and a measure
To lead 'em once again; and then let's dream
Who's best in favour. Let the music knock it.
Exeunt, with trumpets



Westminster. A street

Enter two GENTLEMEN, at several doors

FIRST GENTLEMAN. Whither away so fast?
Ev'n to the Hall, to hear what shall become
Of the great Duke of Buckingham.
FIRST GENTLEMAN. I'll save you
That labour, sir. All's now done but the ceremony
Of bringing back the prisoner.
SECOND GENTLEMAN. Were you there?
FIRST GENTLEMAN. Yes, indeed, was I.
SECOND GENTLEMAN. Pray, speak what has happen'd.
FIRST GENTLEMAN. You may guess quickly what.
SECOND GENTLEMAN. Is he found guilty?
FIRST GENTLEMAN. Yes, truly is he, and condemn'd upon't.
SECOND GENTLEMAN. I am sorry for't.
FIRST GENTLEMAN. So are a number more.
SECOND GENTLEMAN. But, pray, how pass'd it?
FIRST GENTLEMAN. I'll tell you in a little. The great Duke.
Came to the bar; where to his accusations
He pleaded still not guilty, and alleged
Many sharp reasons to defeat the law.
The King's attorney, on the contrary,
Urg'd on the examinations, proofs, confessions,
Of divers witnesses; which the Duke desir'd
To have brought, viva voce, to his face;
At which appear'd against him his surveyor,
Sir Gilbert Peck his chancellor, and John Car,
Confessor to him, with that devil-monk,
Hopkins, that made this mischief.
That fed him with his prophecies?
All these accus'd him strongly, which he fain
Would have flung from him; but indeed he could not;
And so his peers, upon this evidence,
Have found him guilty of high treason. Much
He spoke, and learnedly, for life; but all
Was either pitied in him or forgotten.
SECOND GENTLEMAN. After all this, how did he bear him-self
FIRST GENTLEMAN. When he was brought again to th' bar to hear
His knell rung out, his judgment, he was stirr'd
With such an agony he sweat extremely,
And something spoke in choler, ill and hasty;
But he fell to himself again, and sweetly
In all the rest show'd a most noble patience.
SECOND GENTLEMAN. I do not think he fears death.
FIRST GENTLEMAN. Sure, he does not;
He never was so womanish; the cause
He may a little grieve at.
The Cardinal is the end of this.
By all conjectures: first, Kildare's attainder,
Then deputy of Ireland, who remov'd,
Earl Surrey was sent thither, and in haste too,
Lest he should help his father.
SECOND GENTLEMAN. That trick of state
Was a deep envious one.
FIRST GENTLEMAN. At his return
No doubt he will requite it. This is noted,
And generally: whoever the King favours
The Cardinal instantly will find employment,
And far enough from court too.
SECOND GENTLEMAN. All the commons
Hate him perniciously, and, o' my conscience,
Wish him ten fathom deep: this Duke as much
They love and dote on; call him bounteous Buckingham,
The mirror of all courtesy-

Enter BUCKINGHAM from his arraignment, tip-staves
before him; the axe with the edge towards him; halberds
on each side; accompanied with SIR THOMAS
and common people, etc.

FIRST GENTLEMAN. Stay there, sir,
And see the noble ruin'd man you speak of.
SECOND GENTLEMAN. Let's stand close, and behold him.
BUCKINGHAM. All good people,
You that thus far have come to pity me,
Hear what I say, and then go home and lose me.
I have this day receiv'd a traitor's judgment,
And by that name must die; yet, heaven bear witness,
And if I have a conscience, let it sink me
Even as the axe falls, if I be not faithful!
The law I bear no malice for my death:
'T has done, upon the premises, but justice.
But those that sought it I could wish more Christians.
Be what they will, I heartily forgive 'em;
Yet let 'em look they glory not in mischief
Nor build their evils on the graves of great men,
For then my guiltless blood must cry against 'em.
For further life in this world I ne'er hope
Nor will I sue, although the King have mercies
More than I dare make faults. You few that lov'd me
And dare be bold to weep for Buckingham,
His noble friends and fellows, whom to leave
Is only bitter to him, only dying,
Go with me like good angels to my end;
And as the long divorce of steel falls on me
Make of your prayers one sweet sacrifice,
And lift my soul to heaven. Lead on, a God's name.
LOVELL. I do beseech your Grace, for charity,
If ever any malice in your heart
Were hid against me, now to forgive me frankly.
BUCKINGHAM. Sir Thomas Lovell, I as free forgive you
As I would be forgiven. I forgive all.
There cannot be those numberless offences
'Gainst me that I cannot take peace with. No black envy
Shall mark my grave. Commend me to his Grace;
And if he speak of Buckingham, pray tell him
You met him half in heaven. My vows and prayers
Yet are the King's, and, till my soul forsake,
Shall cry for blessings on him. May he live
Longer than I have time to tell his years;
Ever belov'd and loving may his rule be;
And when old time Shall lead him to his end,
Goodness and he fill up one monument!
LOVELL. To th' water side I must conduct your Grace;
Then give my charge up to Sir Nicholas Vaux,
Who undertakes you to your end.
VAUX. Prepare there;
The Duke is coming; see the barge be ready;
And fit it with such furniture as suits
The greatness of his person.
BUCKINGHAM. Nay, Sir Nicholas,
Let it alone; my state now will but mock me.
When I came hither I was Lord High Constable
And Duke of Buckingham; now, poor Edward Bohun.
Yet I am richer than my base accusers
That never knew what truth meant; I now seal it;
And with that blood will make 'em one day groan fort.
My noble father, Henry of Buckingham,
Who first rais'd head against usurping Richard,
Flying for succour to his servant Banister,
Being distress'd, was by that wretch betray'd
And without trial fell; God's peace be with him!
Henry the Seventh succeeding, truly pitying
My father's loss, like a most royal prince,
Restor'd me to my honours, and out of ruins
Made my name once more noble. Now his son,
Henry the Eighth, life, honour, name, and all
That made me happy, at one stroke has taken
For ever from the world. I had my trial,
And must needs say a noble one; which makes me
A little happier than my wretched father;
Yet thus far we are one in fortunes: both
Fell by our servants, by those men we lov'd most-
A most unnatural and faithless service.
Heaven has an end in all. Yet, you that hear me,
This from a dying man receive as certain:
Where you are liberal of your loves and counsels,
Be sure you be not loose; for those you make friends
And give your hearts to, when they once perceive
The least rub in your fortunes, fall away
Like water from ye, never found again
But where they mean to sink ye. All good people,
Pray for me! I must now forsake ye; the last hour
Of my long weary life is come upon me.
And when you would say something that is sad,
Speak how I fell. I have done; and God forgive me!
Exeunt BUCKINGHAM and train
FIRST GENTLEMAN. O, this is full of pity! Sir, it calls,
I fear, too many curses on their heads
That were the authors.
SECOND GENTLEMAN. If the Duke be guiltless,
'Tis full of woe; yet I can give you inkling
Of an ensuing evil, if it fall,
Greater than this.
FIRST GENTLEMAN. Good angels keep it from us!
What may it be? You do not doubt my faith, sir?
SECOND GENTLEMAN. This secret is so weighty, 'twill require
A strong faith to conceal it.
FIRST GENTLEMAN. Let me have it;
I do not talk much.
SECOND GENTLEMAN. I am confident.
You shall, sir. Did you not of late days hear
A buzzing of a separation
Between the King and Katharine?
FIRST GENTLEMAN. Yes, but it held not;
For when the King once heard it, out of anger
He sent command to the Lord Mayor straight
To stop the rumour and allay those tongues
That durst disperse it.
SECOND GENTLEMAN. But that slander, sir,
Is found a truth now; for it grows again
Fresher than e'er it was, and held for certain
The King will venture at it. Either the Cardinal
Or some about him near have, out of malice
To the good Queen, possess'd him with a scruple
That will undo her. To confirm this too,
Cardinal Campeius is arriv'd and lately;
As all think, for this business.
FIRST GENTLEMAN. 'Tis the Cardinal;
And merely to revenge him on the Emperor
For not bestowing on him at his asking
The archbishopric of Toledo, this is purpos'd.
SECOND GENTLEMAN. I think you have hit the mark; but is't
not cruel
That she should feel the smart of this? The Cardinal
Will have his will, and she must fall.
We are too open here to argue this;
Let's think in private more. Exeunt


London. The palace

Enter the LORD CHAMBERLAIN reading this letter

'The horses your lordship sent for, with all the care
had, I saw well chosen, ridden, and furnish'd. They were
young and handsome, and of the best breed in the north.
When they were ready to set out for London, a man of
my Lord Cardinal's, by commission, and main power, took
'em from me, with this reason: his master would be serv'd
before a subject, if not before the King; which stopp'd
our mouths, sir.'

I fear he will indeed. Well, let him have them.
He will have all, I think.


NORFOLK. Well met, my Lord Chamberlain.
CHAMBERLAIN. Good day to both your Graces.
SUFFOLK. How is the King employ'd?
CHAMBERLAIN. I left him private,
Full of sad thoughts and troubles.
NORFOLK. What's the cause?
CHAMBERLAIN. It seems the marriage with his brother's wife
Has crept too near his conscience.
SUFFOLK. No, his conscience
Has crept too near another lady.
NORFOLK. 'Tis so;
This is the Cardinal's doing; the King-Cardinal,
That blind priest, like the eldest son of fortune,
Turns what he list. The King will know him one day.
SUFFOLK. Pray God he do! He'll never know himself else.
NORFOLK. How holily he works in all his business!
And with what zeal! For, now he has crack'd the league
Between us and the Emperor, the Queen's great nephew,
He dives into the King's soul and there scatters
Dangers, doubts, wringing of the conscience,
Fears, and despairs-and all these for his marriage;
And out of all these to restore the King,
He counsels a divorce, a loss of her
That like a jewel has hung twenty years
About his neck, yet never lost her lustre;
Of her that loves him with that excellence
That angels love good men with; even of her
That, when the greatest stroke of fortune falls,
Will bless the King-and is not this course pious?
CHAMBERLAIN. Heaven keep me from such counsel! 'Tis most true
These news are everywhere; every tongue speaks 'em,
And every true heart weeps for 't. All that dare
Look into these affairs see this main end-
The French King's sister. Heaven will one day open
The King's eyes, that so long have slept upon
This bold bad man.
SUFFOLK. And free us from his slavery.
NORFOLK. We had need pray, and heartily, for our deliverance;
Or this imperious man will work us an
From princes into pages. All men's honours
Lie like one lump before him, to be fashion'd
Into what pitch he please.
SUFFOLK. For me, my lords,
I love him not, nor fear him-there's my creed;
As I am made without him, so I'll stand,
If the King please; his curses and his blessings
Touch me alike; th' are breath I not believe in.
I knew him, and I know him; so I leave him
To him that made him proud-the Pope.
NORFOLK. Let's in;
And with some other business put the King
From these sad thoughts that work too much upon him.
My lord, you'll bear us company?
The King has sent me otherwhere; besides,
You'll find a most unfit time to disturb him.
Health to your lordships!
NORFOLK. Thanks, my good Lord Chamberlain.
Exit LORD CHAMBERLAIN; and the KING draws
the curtain and sits reading pensively
SUFFOLK. How sad he looks; sure, he is much afflicted.
KING. Who's there, ha?
NORFOLK. Pray God he be not angry.
KING HENRY. Who's there, I say? How dare you thrust yourselves
Into my private meditations?
Who am I, ha?
NORFOLK. A gracious king that pardons all offences
Malice ne'er meant. Our breach of duty this way
Is business of estate, in which we come
To know your royal pleasure.
KING. Ye are too bold.
Go to; I'll make ye know your times of business.
Is this an hour for temporal affairs, ha?

Enter WOLSEY and CAMPEIUS with a commission

Who's there? My good Lord Cardinal? O my Wolsey,
The quiet of my wounded conscience,
Thou art a cure fit for a King. [To CAMPEIUS] You're
Most learned reverend sir, into our kingdom.
Use us and it. [To WOLSEY] My good lord, have great care
I be not found a talker.
WOLSEY. Sir, you cannot.
I would your Grace would give us but an hour
Of private conference.
KING. [To NORFOLK and SUFFOLK] We are busy; go.
NORFOLK. [Aside to SUFFOLK] This priest has no pride in him!
SUFFOLK. [Aside to NORFOLK] Not to speak of!
I would not be so sick though for his place.
But this cannot continue.
NORFOLK. [Aside to SUFFOLK] If it do,
I'll venture one have-at-him.
SUFFOLK. [Aside to NORFOLK] I another.
WOLSEY. Your Grace has given a precedent of wisdom
Above all princes, in committing freely
Your scruple to the voice of Christendom.
Who can be angry now? What envy reach you?
The Spaniard, tied by blood and favour to her,
Must now confess, if they have any goodness,
The trial just and noble. All the clerks,
I mean the learned ones, in Christian kingdoms
Have their free voices. Rome the nurse of judgment,
Invited by your noble self, hath sent
One general tongue unto us, this good man,
This just and learned priest, Cardinal Campeius,
Whom once more I present unto your Highness.
KING. And once more in mine arms I bid him welcome,
And thank the holy conclave for their loves.
They have sent me such a man I would have wish'd for.
CAMPEIUS. Your Grace must needs deserve an strangers' loves,
You are so noble. To your Highness' hand
I tender my commission; by whose virtue-
The court of Rome commanding-you, my Lord
Cardinal of York, are join'd with me their servant
In the unpartial judging of this business.
KING. Two equal men. The Queen shall be acquainted
Forthwith for what you come. Where's Gardiner?
WOLSEY. I know your Majesty has always lov'd her
So dear in heart not to deny her that
A woman of less place might ask by law-
Scholars allow'd freely to argue for her.
KING. Ay, and the best she shall have; and my favour
To him that does best. God forbid else. Cardinal,
Prithee call Gardiner to me, my new secretary;
I find him a fit fellow. Exit WOLSEY


WOLSEY. [Aside to GARDINER] Give me your hand: much
joy and favour to you;
You are the King's now.
GARDINER. [Aside to WOLSEY] But to be commanded
For ever by your Grace, whose hand has rais'd me.
KING. Come hither, Gardiner. [Walks and whispers]
CAMPEIUS. My Lord of York, was not one Doctor Pace
In this man's place before him?
WOLSEY. Yes, he was.
CAMPEIUS. Was he not held a learned man?
WOLSEY. Yes, surely.
CAMPEIUS. Believe me, there's an ill opinion spread then,
Even of yourself, Lord Cardinal.
WOLSEY. How! Of me?
CAMPEIUS. They will not stick to say you envied him
And, fearing he would rise, he was so virtuous,
Kept him a foreign man still; which so griev'd him
That he ran mad and died.
WOLSEY. Heav'n's peace be with him!
That's Christian care enough. For living murmurers
There's places of rebuke. He was a fool,
For he would needs be virtuous: that good fellow,
If I command him, follows my appointment.
I will have none so near else. Learn this, brother,
We live not to be grip'd by meaner persons.
KING. Deliver this with modesty to th' Queen.
The most convenient place that I can think of
For such receipt of learning is Blackfriars;
There ye shall meet about this weighty business-
My Wolsey, see it furnish'd. O, my lord,
Would it not grieve an able man to leave
So sweet a bedfellow? But, conscience, conscience!
O, 'tis a tender place! and I must leave her. Exeunt


London. The palace


ANNE. Not for that neither. Here's the pang that pinches:
His Highness having liv'd so long with her, and she
So good a lady that no tongue could ever
Pronounce dishonour of her-by my life,
She never knew harm-doing-O, now, after
So many courses of the sun enthroned,
Still growing in a majesty and pomp, the which
To leave a thousand-fold more bitter than
'Tis sweet at first t' acquire-after this process,
To give her the avaunt, it is a pity
Would move a monster.
OLD LADY. Hearts of most hard temper
Melt and lament for her.
ANNE. O, God's will! much better
She ne'er had known pomp; though't be temporal,
Yet, if that quarrel, fortune, do divorce
It from the bearer, 'tis a sufferance panging
As soul and body's severing.
OLD LADY. Alas, poor lady!
She's a stranger now again.
ANNE. So much the more
Must pity drop upon her. Verily,
I swear 'tis better to be lowly born
And range with humble livers in content
Than to be perk'd up in a glist'ring grief
And wear a golden sorrow.
OLD LADY. Our content
Is our best having.
ANNE. By my troth and maidenhead,
I would not be a queen.
OLD LADY. Beshrew me, I would,
And venture maidenhead for 't; and so would you,
For all this spice of your hypocrisy.
You that have so fair parts of woman on you
Have too a woman's heart, which ever yet
Affected eminence, wealth, sovereignty;
Which, to say sooth, are blessings; and which gifts,
Saving your mincing, the capacity
Of your soft cheveril conscience would receive
If you might please to stretch it.
ANNE. Nay, good troth.
OLD LADY. Yes, troth and troth. You would not be a queen!
ANNE. No, not for all the riches under heaven.
OLD LADY. 'Tis strange: a threepence bow'd would hire me,
Old as I am, to queen it. But, I pray you,
What think you of a duchess? Have you limbs
To bear that load of title?
ANNE. No, in truth.
OLD LADY. Then you are weakly made. Pluck off a little;
I would not be a young count in your way
For more than blushing comes to. If your back
Cannot vouchsafe this burden, 'tis too weak
Ever to get a boy.
ANNE. How you do talk!
I swear again I would not be a queen
For all the world.
OLD LADY. In faith, for little England
You'd venture an emballing. I myself
Would for Carnarvonshire, although there long'd
No more to th' crown but that. Lo, who comes here?


CHAMBERLAIN. Good morrow, ladies. What were't worth to know
The secret of your conference?
ANNE. My good lord,
Not your demand; it values not your asking.
Our mistress' sorrows we were pitying.
CHAMBERLAIN. It was a gentle business and becoming
The action of good women; there is hope
All will be well.
ANNE. Now, I pray God, amen!
CHAMBERLAIN. You bear a gentle mind, and heav'nly blessings
Follow such creatures. That you may, fair lady,
Perceive I speak sincerely and high notes
Ta'en of your many virtues, the King's Majesty
Commends his good opinion of you to you, and
Does purpose honour to you no less flowing
Than Marchioness of Pembroke; to which tide
A thousand pound a year, annual support,
Out of his grace he adds.
ANNE. I do not know
What kind of my obedience I should tender;
More than my all is nothing, nor my prayers
Are not words duly hallowed, nor my wishes
More worth than empty vanities; yet prayers and wishes
Are all I can return. Beseech your lordship,
Vouchsafe to speak my thanks and my obedience,
As from a blushing handmaid, to his Highness;
Whose health and royalty I pray for.
I shall not fail t' approve the fair conceit
The King hath of you. [Aside] I have perus'd her well:
Beauty and honour in her are so mingled
That they have caught the King; and who knows yet
But from this lady may proceed a gem
To lighten all this isle?-I'll to the King
And say I spoke with you.
ANNE. My honour'd lord! Exit LORD CHAMBERLAIN
OLD LADY. Why, this it is: see, see!
I have been begging sixteen years in court-
Am yet a courtier beggarly-nor could
Come pat betwixt too early and too late
For any suit of pounds; and you, O fate!
A very fresh-fish here-fie, fie, fie upon
This compell'd fortune!-have your mouth fill'd up
Before you open it.
ANNE. This is strange to me.
OLD LADY. How tastes it? Is it bitter? Forty pence, no.
There was a lady once-'tis an old story-
That would not be a queen, that would she not,
For all the mud in Egypt. Have you heard it?
ANNE. Come, you are pleasant.
OLD LADY. With your theme I could
O'ermount the lark. The Marchioness of Pembroke!
A thousand pounds a year for pure respect!
No other obligation! By my life,
That promises moe thousands: honour's train
Is longer than his foreskirt. By this time
I know your back will bear a duchess. Say,
Are you not stronger than you were?
ANNE. Good lady,
Make yourself mirth with your particular fancy,
And leave me out on't. Would I had no being,
If this salute my blood a jot; it faints me
To think what follows.
The Queen is comfortless, and we forgetful
In our long absence. Pray, do not deliver
What here y' have heard to her.
OLD LADY. What do you think me? Exeunt


London. A hall in Blackfriars

Trumpets, sennet, and cornets. Enter two VERGERS, with short silver wands;
next them, two SCRIBES, in the habit of doctors; after them,
ROCHESTER, and SAINT ASAPH; next them, with some small distance,
follows a GENTLEMAN bearing the purse, with the great seal,
and a Cardinal's hat; then two PRIESTS, bearing each silver cross;
then a GENTLEMAN USHER bareheaded, accompanied with a SERGEANT-AT-ARMS
bearing a silver mace; then two GENTLEMEN bearing two great silver pillars;
after them, side by side, the two CARDINALS, WOLSEY and CAMPEIUS;
two NOBLEMEN with the sword and mace. Then enter the KING and QUEEN
and their trains. The KING takes place under the cloth of state;
the two CARDINALS sit under him as judges. The QUEEN takes place
some distance from the KING. The BISHOPS place themselves on each side
of the court, in manner of consistory; below them the SCRIBES.
The LORDS sit next the BISHOPS. The rest of the attendants stand
in convenient order about the stage

WOLSEY. Whilst our commission from Rome is read,
Let silence be commanded.
KING. What's the need?
It hath already publicly been read,
And on all sides th' authority allow'd;
You may then spare that time.
WOLSEY. Be't so; proceed.
SCRIBE. Say 'Henry King of England, come into the court.'
CRIER. Henry King of England, &c.
KING. Here.
SCRIBE. Say 'Katharine Queen of England, come into the court.'
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

QUEEN KATHARINE. Sir, I desire you do me right and justice,
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 you should proceed to put me of
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
I 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
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 sharp'st 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
A 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 humbly
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' th' name of God,
Your pleasure be fulfill'd!
WOLSEY. You have here, lady,
And of your choice, these reverend fathers-men
Of singular integrity and learning,
Yea, the elect o' th' 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.
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.
To you I speak.
WOLSEY. 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.
WOLSEY. Be patient yet.
QUEEN KATHARINE. I Will, when you are humble; nay, before
Or God will punish me. I do believe,
Induc'd by potent circumstances, that
You are mine enemy, and make my challenge
You shall not be my judge; for it is you
Have blown this coal betwixt my lord and me-
Which God's dew quench! Therefore I say again,
I utterly abhor, yea, from my soul
Refuse you for my judge, whom yet once more
I hold my most malicious foe and think not
At all a friend to truth.
WOLSEY. I do profess
You speak not like yourself, who ever yet
Have stood to charity and display'd th' effects
Of disposition gentle and of wisdom
O'ertopping woman's pow'r. Madam, you do me wrong:
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 gainsay my deed, how may he wound,
And worthily, my falsehood! Yea, as much
As you have done my truth. 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.
QUEEN KATHARINE. My lord, my lord,
I am a simple woman, much too weak
T' oppose your cunning. Y'are meek and humble-mouth'd;
You sign your place and calling, 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,
Gone slightly o'er low steps, and now are mounted
Where pow'rs 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 curtsies to the KING, and offers to depart]
CAMPEIUS. The Queen is obstinate,
Stubborn to justice, apt to accuse it, and
Disdainful to be tried by't; 'tis not well.
She's going away.
KING. Call her again.
CRIER. Katharine Queen of England, come into the court.
GENTLEMAN USHER. Madam, you are call'd back.
QUEEN KATHARINE. What need you note it? Pray you keep your way;
When you are call'd, return. Now the Lord help!
They vex me past my patience. Pray you pass on.
I will not tarry; no, nor ever more
Upon this business my appearance make
In any of their courts. Exeunt QUEEN and her attendants
KING. Go thy ways, Kate.
That man i' th' 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-
The queen of earthly queens. She's noble born;
And like her true nobility she has
Carried herself towards me.
WOLSEY. Most gracious sir,
In humblest manner I require your Highness
That it shall please you to declare in hearing
Of all these ears-for where I am robb'd and bound,
There must I be unloos'd, although not there
At once and fully satisfied-whether ever I
Did broach this business to your Highness, or
Laid any scruple in your way which might
Induce you to the question on't, or ever
Have to you, but with thanks to God for such
A royal lady, spake one the least word that might
Be to the prejudice of her present state,
Or touch of her good person?
KING. 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. Y'are excus'd.
But will you be more justified? You ever
Have wish'd the sleeping of this business; never desir'd
It to be stirr'd; but oft have hind'red, oft,
The passages made toward it. On my honour,
I speak my good Lord Cardinal to this point,
And thus far clear him. Now, what mov'd me to't,
I will be bold with time and your attention.
Then mark th' inducement. Thus it came-give heed to't:
My conscience first receiv'd a tenderness,
Scruple, and prick, on certain speeches utter'd
By th' 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' th' progress of this business,
Ere a determinate resolution, he-
I mean the Bishop-did require a respite
Wherein he might the King his lord advertise
Whether our daughter were legitimate,
Respecting this our marriage with the dowager,
Sometimes 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 it 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' th' 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, I did steer
Toward this remedy, whereupon we are
Now present here together; that's to say
I meant to rectify my conscience, which
I then did feel full sick, and yet not well,
By all the reverend fathers of the land
And doctors learn'd. First, I began in private
With you, my Lord of Lincoln; you remember
How under my oppression I did reek,
When I first mov'd you.
LINCOLN. Very well, my liege.
KING. I have spoke long; be pleas'd yourself to say
How far you satisfied me.
LINCOLN. 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.
KING. 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' th' world against the person
Of the good Queen, but the sharp thorny points
Of my alleged reasons, drives this forward.
Prove but our marriage lawful, by my life
And kingly dignity, we are contented
To wear our moral state to come with her,
Katharine our queen, before the primest creature
That's paragon'd o' th' world.
CAMPEIUS. So please your Highness,
The Queen being absent, 'tis a needful fitness
That we adjourn this court till further day;
Meanwhile must be an earnest motion
Made to the Queen to call back her appeal
She intends unto his Holiness.
KING. [Aside] I may perceive
These cardinals trifle with me. I abhor
This dilatory sloth and tricks of Rome.
My learn'd and well-beloved servant, Cranmer,
Prithee return. With thy approach I know
My comfort comes along. -Break up the court;
I say, set on. Exuent in manner as they entered



London. The QUEEN'S apartments

Enter the QUEEN and her women, as at work

QUEEN KATHARINE. Take thy lute, wench. My soul grows
sad with troubles;
Sing and disperse 'em, 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 made 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.


GENTLEMAN. An't please your Grace, the two great Cardinals
Wait in the presence.
QUEEN KATHARINE. Would they speak with me?
GENTLEMAN. They will'd me say so, madam.
QUEEN KATHARINE. Pray their Graces
To come near. [Exit GENTLEMAN] What can be their business
With me, a poor weak woman, fall'n from favour?
I do not like their coming. Now I think on't,
They should be good men, their affairs as righteous;
But all hoods make not monks.


WOLSEY. Peace to your Highness!
QUEEN KATHARINE. Your Graces find me here part of housewife;
I would be all, against the worst may happen.
What are your pleasures with me, reverend lords?
WOLSEY. May it please you, noble madam, to withdraw
Into your private chamber, we shall give you
The full cause of our coming.
QUEEN KATHARINE. 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 ev'ry tongue, ev'ry eye saw 'em,
Envy and base opinion set against 'em,
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.
WOLSEY. Tanta est erga te mentis integritas, regina serenis-sima-
QUEEN KATHARINE. 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, suspicious;
Pray speak in English. Here are some will thank you,
If you speak truth, for their poor mistress' sake:
Believe me, she has had much wrong. Lord Cardinal,
The willing'st sin I ever yet committed
May be absolv'd in English.
WOLSEY. Noble lady,
I am sorry my integrity should breed,
And service to his Majesty and you,
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.
CAMPEIUS. 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.
QUEEN KATHARINE. [Aside] To betray me.-
My lords, I thank you both for your good wins;
Ye speak like honest men-pray God ye prove so!
But how to make ye suddenly an answer,
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!
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 My,
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. Exeunt


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. An 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 CROMWELL
[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 an 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

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