William Michael Rossetti William Shakespeare.

The complete works of Shakespeare: With a critical biography online

. (page 138 of 224)
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Anne, How you do talk I

I swear again, I would not be a queen
For all the world.

(M L, In faith, for little EngUmd

You'd venture an embolling: I myself
Would tat Carnarvonshire, although there Hong'd



577



No more to the crown but that. Lo, who comes
here?

EnUr ihe Lord Chamberlain.

Okam, Oood morrow, ladies. What wei^ worth
to know
The secret of your conference?

Anne. My good lord,

Not your demand ; it values not vour asking :
Our mistress' sorrows we were pitying.

Cham, It was a gentle business, and beconung
The action of good women: there is hope
AU will be wefi.

Anne, Now I pray Qod, amen !

Cham, You bear a gentle mind, and heavenly
blessings
Follow such creatures. That you may, fair lady.
Perceive 1 speak sincerely, and high note 's
Ta'en of your many virtues, the king's majesty
Gommenos his good opinion of you to you, and
Does purpose honour to you no less flowing
Than marchioness of Pembroke; to which title
A thousand pound a-year, annual support,
Out of his grace he adds.

Anne, I do not know

What kind of my obedience 1 should tender,
More than mv all is nothing; nor my pravers
Are not words duly hallow 'd, 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.

Cham, Lady,

I shall not £ul to improve the fiiir conceit
The king hath of you. — I have perus'd her well

[jXmde,
Beauty and honour in her are so mins^led.
That they have caught the king : and who knows

yetj
But from this lady may proceed a gem
To lighten all this 'isle 1— 111 to the king.
And say, I spoke with you.

Anne, My honoured lord.

[Exit Lord Chamberlain.

Old L, Why, this it is ; see, seel
I have been begging sixteen years in court
fAm yet a courtier beggarly), nor could
Come pat betwixt too early and too late.
For any suit of pounds : and you (0 fate I)
A very fresh-fish here (fip, fie, fie upon
This compeird fortune!) have your mouth fiU'd up
Before you open it.

Anne, This is strange to me.

Old h. 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 r

Anne. Come, you are pleasaut.

Old L, With vour theme, I could

O'ermount the lark. The Marchioness of Pem-
broke!
A thousand ^unds arvear ! for pore "espeot;
No other obligation : ^j my life.
That promises more thousands : Honour\) trair
Is longer than his foreskirt. Bv this time,
I know, your back will bear a duchess; — asj,
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 bein»



678



If this salute my blood a jot ; it fiUnts dm
To think what follows,
llie queen is oomfortlesSf and we forgetful
In our long absence : Praj, do not deliver
What here you have heard, to her.
(HdL. What do 70a think me? [ExamL

SCENE IV.— ^ BaU m Blackfriars.

Trumpets, tennety and oomstf. Enter two Vergers,
101^ tihort silver wands; next them, tioo Scribes,
m the habits of doctors; <\fUr them, the Arch-
bishop of Cantbrburt alone; tufUr Mm, the
BUhops of LU1001.N, Ely, Rochester, and
Saint Asaph; next tiiem, with somesmalldis-
tance^/oUows a Qentleman bearing the purse, with
the great seal, and a oardinaVs hat; then two
Priests, bearing each a silver cross; then a Qen-
tleman-Usher bare-headed, aecompamed with a
Sergeant-at-Arms, bearing a silver nutoe^ then
two Qentlemen. bearing two great silverjnllars ;
afUr them, side try side, tiie two C9iX^^Da\aWoLS¥.Y
and Campbius: two Noblemen with the sword
and mace. [Then enter the Kufo and Queen,
and their drains.] The Kino takes place under
the cloth of state; the two Cardinals sit wider
kim as judges. The Qubbn takes place at some
distance fiorn the Kino. The Bishops place
themselves on each side the court, in manner of a
consistory; below them, the Scribes. The Lords
sit next the Bishops. The Crier and ihe rest of
the Attendants stand m convenient order about
the stage,

W6L Whilst oar oommiwdon from Rome is
read,
Let silence be commanded.

K. Hen, What's the need ?

It hath already publidj been read,
And on all sides the authority allowed ;
You may then spare that time.

WoL Be't so :— -Proceed.

Scribe, Say, Henry Idng of England, come into
the court.

Crier, Henry king of England, &o.

K, Hen, Here.

Scribe, Say, Katherine queen of England, come
into the court.

Orier, Katherine aueen of England, &c.
[The Queen mcuces no answer, rises out of her
chair, goes about thecourt, comes to the Kmo,
and kneels at his feet; then speaks,

Q» Kath, 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,
Bom out of your dominions ; having here
No judge indifferent, nor no more assurance
Of equal friendship and proceedhig. Alas, sir,
In what have I offended you ? w^t cause
Hath my behaviour given to your displeasure,
That thus you should proceed to put me off.
And take your good grace from me ? Heaven

witness,
I have been to you a true and humble wife,
At all times to your will conformable :
Ever in fear to kindle your dislike, /

Yea, subject to your countenance ; glad, or sorry,
As I saw it inclm*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 enem;^ ? What friend of mine
Thai had to him derived your anger, did I



KING HENRY VIII.



Continue in my likuig? nay, gare notice
He was from thence discharged ? Sir, call to mind
That I have been your wife, in this obedienoe,
Upwards of twenty years, and have been blest
With many children by yon: If, in the coarse
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 oontempt
Shut door upon me, and so ^ve me up
To the sharpest kind of justice. Please yon, sir.
The king, your finther, was reputed for
A prince most prudent, of an excellent
And anmatch*d wit and judgment : Ferdinand,
My fiither. King of Spain, was reckoned one
The wisest prince, that there had reign*d by many
A year before : It is not to be qnestion'd
Tliat they had gathered a wise council to them
Of every realm, that did debate this business,
Who deemed our marriage lawful : Wherefore I

humbly
Beseech yon, sir, to spare me, till I may
Be by my friends in Spain advised ; whose counsd
I will implore ; if not, i* the name of God,
Your pleasure be ftilfiird !

WoL Yoa have here, lady,

fAnd of your choice) these reverend fathers; men
Of singular integrity and learning.
Yea, the elect of the land, who are assembled
To plead your cause: It shall be therefore bootless,
That longer you desire the court ; as well
For your own quiet, as to rectify
What is unsettled in the king.

Cam, His grace

Hath spoken w6ll and justly : Therefore, madam,
It*8 fit this royal session do proceed ;
And that, without delay, their arguments
Be now produced, and beard.

Q, Kath, Lord cardinal,

To you I speak.

ivol, Yonr pleasure, madame ?

Q, Kath, Sir,

I am about to weep ; bat, thinking that
We are a queen (or long have dream 'd so), certain
The daughter of a king, my drops of tears
111 turn to sparks of fire.

WoL Be patient yet.

Q, Kath, I will, when yoa are humble ; nay,
before,
Or CK>d 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 iudge: whom, yet once more,
I hold my most nialicious foe, and think not
At all a friend to truth.

WoL I do profess

You speak not like yourself; who ever yet
Have stood to charity, and display'd the effects
Of disposition gentle, and of wisdom
Overtopping woman's power. Madam, you do me

wrong:
I have no spleen against yoa ; nor injustice
For you, or any: bow far I have proceeded,
Or how far further shall, is warranted
By a commission from the consistory.
Yea, the whole consistory of Rome. You chai^ me
That 1 have blowB this coal : I do deny it *



The king if present: if it be known to him
TluU I gainsaj my deed, how may he wound,
And worthily, my &lsehood ? yea, as mnch
As yoa liare done my truth. If be know
That I am free of your report, he knows
I am not of your wrong. Therefore in him
It lies to care me: and the cure is, to
Bemore these thooghts from you: The which

before
Hb highness shall speak in, I do beseech
Yon, gracious nuulam, to nnthink your speaking,
And to say so no more.

Q, Katk, My lord, my lord,

I am A simple woman, much too weak
To oppose your cunning. You are meek and

homble-mouth'd ;
You sign your place and calling, in frill seeming
With meekness and humility : but your heart
Is crammed with arrogancnr, spleen, and pride.
Yoa have, by fortune, and his highness* favours.
Gone slightly o*er low steps: and now are

mounted
Where powers are your retainers: and your words,
Domestics to you, serve your wilL as*t please
Yourse f pronounce their office. I must toll yon.
You tender more ^our personls honour than
Your high profession spiritual : That again
I do refuse you for my judge ; and here,
Before you all, appeal unto the |)ope.
To brinff my whole cause Yore his noliness
And to be judg'd by him.

[She cmidnUithelSjXQ^Qndoffen to depart.

Ccmu The queen is obstinate,

Btubbom to jostioe, apt to accuse it, and
DisdaUiful to be tried by it; tis not well.
She's ffoing away.

K, am. Call her again.

Orier, Katherine queen of England, come into
the court

Qrif, Madam, yoa are call'd back.

Q, Katk. What need you note it ? pray yoa,
keep your way :
When yoo are caird, return.— Now the Lord help,
They vex me past my patience 1 -pray you, pass on :
I will not tarry : no, nor ever more.
Upon this bosmess, my appearance make
In any of their courts.

[SaoemU Qubeh, GiUFriTH, and her ether
Attendants.

K, Ben, Go thy ways, Kate :

That man i* the world who shall report he has
A better wife, let him in nought be trusted,
For speaking false in that : Thou art, alone
(If thy rare qualities, sweet gentleness,
Thy meekness saint-like, wife-like government, —
Obeying in commandmg, and thy paru
Sovereign and pious else, could speak thee out).
The queen of earthly (queens :— She is noble boon ;
And, like her true nobility, she has
Carried herself towards me.

WoL Most gracious sir,

In humblest manner I require your highness.
That it shall please yoa to declare, in hearing
Of all these ears (for where I am robb'd and bound,
There must I be nnloos'd; although not there
At once and fully satisfied), whether ever I
Did broach this business to your highness ; or
Laid any scrapie in your way, which might
Induce yoa to the question on*t? or ever
Have to you,— but with thanks to God for such
A royal lady,— spaka one the least word that might



Be to the prejudice of her present state.
Or toach oi bar good person?



KING HENRY VHT.



K.HetL



My lord cardinal,



679



I do excuse you; yea. apon mine honour,
I free you m>m*t. Yoa are not to be taaghl
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 an^er. You are excas'd :
But will you be more justified? you ever
Have wished the sleeping of this business ; never
Desur'd it to be stirred : out oft have hinder'd, oft,
The passages made toward it :— on my honour,
I speak my good lord carduial to this point,
And thus far clear him. Now, what mov*d me to\
I will be bold with time, and your attention :—
Then mark the inducement Thus it came;—

^ve heed tot:
My conscience first receiyM a tenderness.
Scruple, and prick, on certain speeches utter*d
By the Bishop of Bayonne, then French ambas-
sador;
Who had been hither sent on the debating
A marriage, 'twixt the Duke of Orleans and
Our dau^ter Mary : I' the progress of this bosi*

nesSf
Ere a determmate resolution, he
(I mean the bishop) did require a respite;
Wherein he might the king his lord advertise
Whether our daughter were le^timate,
Respecting this our marriage with the dowager.
Sometimes oar 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 or my breast; which forc'd such way,
That many maz'd considerings did throng,
And press d in with this caution. First, methougfat
I stood not m the smile of Heaven ; who had
Commanded nature, that my lady's womb
If it conceived a male child by me, should
Do no more offices of life tot. than
The grave does to the dead : for her male issue
Or died where they were made, or shortly after
This world had air'd them : Hence I took a thought
This was a judgment on me ; that my kingdom.
Well worthy the best heir o* the world, should not
Be gladded in*t by me : Then follows, that
I weighed the danger which my realms stood in
By this my issue's fail : and tliat gave to me
Many a groaning throe. Thus hullmg m
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 leam'd. First, I began in private
With you, my lord of Lincoln ; you remember
How under my oppression I did reek,
When I fiirst mov'd you.

Ijin, Very well, my liege.

K, Hen, I have spoke long ; be pleard yourseU
to say
How &r you satisfied me.

Ltn. So please yoor highneaa,

The question did at first so stagger me, —
Bearing a state of mighty moment in't,
And consequence of dread,— that I comaoitted
The daring'st counsel which I had, to doubt
And did entreat your highness to this coarse,
Which you are running here.

K. Hen, I then moy'd jron,

My lord of Canterbury ; and got your leave
To make this present summons :— Unsolicited
I Mt n. rererend Pe^gfei«5<^!^Ogle



680



KING HENKY Vin.



Bot bj partionltf consent proceeded,

Under jonr hands and seals. Therefore, go on ;

For DO dislike V the world against the person

Of the good queen, bat the sharp thorny points

Of my alleged reasons, drive this forward :

Prove bat oar marriage lawful, by my life

And kingly dignity, we are contented

To wear our mortal state to come with her,

Katharine our aueen, before the primest creature

That's paragon'a o' the world.

Cam. So please roar highness,

fhe queen being absent, *ti8 a needtal fitness.



That we a4Joam this court till Airtber dqr*
Meanwhile mast be an earnest motion
Made to the queen, to call back her appeal
She intends onto his holiness. [Theynteiodepmi
K, Hen, I may perceive, [Amek

These cardinals trifle with me : 1 abhor
This dilatory sloth, and tricks of Rome.
My learned and well-beloved servant, Cranmer,
Prithee, retarn I with thy approach, I know,
My comfort comes along. Break up the coart :
I say, set on.

[.Sosuitf m wuumer at tkejf mtered.



ACT in.



S0E1<(E L~Ai2aoe at Bridewell. ASoommihe
Queen !b Apartment*

The QxraBR and tone of her Women, at toorL

Q. Kath. Take thy late, wench : my soul grows
sad with troubles:
Sing, and disperse them if thoa canst: leave
workmg.

80Na

OrphefOB wHh his lute made trees,
And Uie mountaiu tops that froeza,

Bow themaelTes. when he did sixig:
To bis musio, plaots ftnd flowers
Brer sprung ; ss son and showers

There had made a lasting aptixig.

Brerything thai heard him play,
Sren the billows of the sea.

Hung their heads, and then laj bf .
In sweet music is such srt :
Killing care and grief of heart

vail asleep, or, hearing, die.

Snter a Gentleman.

Q, Kath. How now?

Sent. An*t please your grace, the two great
cardinals
Wait in the presence.
a, Kath, Would they speak with me?

uent. They willed me say so, nuidaro.
Q. Kath, Pray their graces

To come near. [SkU Qent] What can be their

business
With me, a poor weak woman, fidlen from

£ivoar?
I do not like their coming. Now I think on*t.
They should be good men ; their afiUrs as righteous :
But all hoods make not monks.

Enter Wolset and CAXPEins.

WoL Peace to your highness I

Q, Kath. Tour graces find me here part of a
hoosewife;
I would be all against the worst may happen.
What are your pleasures with me, reverend lords?

WoL May it please you, noble madam, to
withdraw
Into Toor private chamber, we shall give yoa
The full cause of oar coming.

Q. Kath. Speak it here;

There^s nothing I have done yet, o* my conscience,
Deserves a comer : *Would ail other women
Coald speak this with as free a soul as 1 dol
Mr loros, I care not (so much I am happy
Above a number) if my actions
Were tried by every tongue, every eye saw them,
Envy and base opinion set against them,
I know my life so even : If vour business
Seek me out, and that way I am wife in.
Oat with it boldly: Troth loves open dealfaig.



WoL Tamia ettergd ie m t ntU iniegntaty regirn
teremstima^'^

Q. Kath. O good my lord, no Liatin ;
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 m English : here are aome wfll thank

you,
If yoa speak truth, for their poor mistress* sake ;
Believe me she has had much wrong: Lord

cardinal,
The willing'st sin I ever jet committed
May be absolv'd m English.

fFoL Noble lady,

I am sorry my integrity should breed,
And service to his majesty and yoa.
So deep suspicion where all £uth 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 mach, 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, oar just opinions.
And comforts to year cause.

Omu Most honoured 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 bis truth and him (which was too &r),—
Offers, as I do, in a sign of peace,
His service and his ooanseL

Q. Kath, To betray me. [Atide.

My lords, I thank you both for your good wills ;
Ye speak like honest men ; pray Ood, ye prove so i
But now 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, Io<ddng
Either for such men, or such business.
For her sake that I have been (for I fed
The Ust fit of my greatness), good your graces,
Let me have time, and counsel, for my cause ;
Alas ! 1 am a woman, friendless, hopeless.

WoL Madam, you wrong the king's love witf
these rears ;
Tour hopes and friends are infinite.

Q. Kath, In England

But little for my profit: can yoa think, lords,
That anv 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 m.»t weigl^w» m^^5<^^|(5t>g [g



KING HENRY VTTL



561



Tliej that mj trust must grow to, lire not here $
Thej are, as all mj other oomforte, fu henoe,
In mine own oonntry, lords,

Oanu I would joar grace

Woald leaye jovr griefii and take my counsel.

g.Kath. Uow,nr?

Uam, Pot jour main oanse into the king^ pro-
tection;
HeV loving, and most gradoas ; twill be macfa
Both for jour honoar better, and your cause;
For, if the trial of the law overtake 7011,
Youll part awaj disgraced.

WoL He tells 70a rightlj.

Q. Katk. Te ten me what ye wish for both, mj
ruin:
Is this jour christian counsel? out upon jel
Heaven is above all jet; there sits a Judge
That no king can corrupt

(Jam. louT ram mistakes ua.

Q, Katk, The more shame for je ; hoi j men I
thought je,
Upon mj soul, two reverend cardinal virtues ;
But cardinal sins, and hollow hearts, I fear je:
Mend them, for shame, mj lords. Is this jour

comfort?
The cordial that je bring a wretched lad j ?
A woman lost among ve, Iau^h*d at, scorn *d?
I will not wish je half mj miseries,
I have more charitj: But saj, I wam*d je ;
Take heed, for heaven's sake, take heed, lestat onoe
The harden of mj sorrows fall upon je.

WoL Madam, this is a mere distraction;
You turn the good we offer into envj.

Q, Kath. Yetommeintonothing: Woe upon je,
And all such false professors I Would je have me
nf jou have anj justice, anj pitj ;
If je be anvthing but churchmen's habits)
Put mv sick cause into his hands that hates me?
Alas ! ne has banish'd me his bed alread j;
His love, too long ago : I am old, my lords,
And all the fellowship I hold now with him
Is onl J m J obedience. What can happen
To me above this wretchedness? all jour studies
Make me a corse like this.

Cam, Your fears are worse.

Q. KaOu Have I liv*d thus long— (let me speak
mjself,
8moe virtue finds no friends) - a wife, a true one ?
A woman M dare saj, without vain-glorj)
Never jet oranded with suspicion?
Have I with all mj full affections
Still met the king? lov'd him next heaven?

obej'd him ?
Been, out of fondness, superstitions to him ?
Almost forgot mj pravers to content him ?
And am I thus rewarded? *tis not well, lords.



What will become of me now, wretohed ladj ?

I am the most unhappj woman living.

Alas I poor wenches, where are now jour for

tunes? [7b Asr Women

Shipwrecked upon a kingdom, where no pitj,
No friends, no nope ; no kindred weep for me;
Almost no grave allow'd me :— Like the lilj.
That once was mistress of the field and floarish*d,
IMl hang mj head and perish.

WgL If jour grace

Could but be brought to know our ends are honest,
You'd feel more comfort : whj should we, good

ladj.
Upon what cause, wrong jou? alast our places,
The waj of our profession is againAt it;
We are to cure such sorrows, not to sow them.
For goodness' sake, consider what jou do;
How JOU maj hurt jourself, aj, utterl j
Qrow from the king's aoquaintanoe, bj this car-
riage.
The hearts of princes kiss obedience,
80 much the J love it; but to stubborn spirita
Thej swell, and grow as terrible as storms.
I know JOU have a gentle, noble temper,
A soul as even as a calm : Prav think us
Those we profess, peace-makers, friends, and

servants.
Cam, Madam, jonll find it 10. You wrong

jour virtues
With these weak women^ fears. A noble spirit.
As jours was put into jou, ever casts
Sudi doubts, as false coin, from it The king

loves JOU ;
Beware jou lose it not ; For us, if jou please
To trust us in jour business, we are readj
To use our utmost 8tndit« in jour service.

Q, Katk, Do what je will, mj lords : And, praj,

forgive me,
If I have us d mjself unmannerlj;
Yon know, 1 am a woman, lacking wit
To make a seemlj answer to such persons.
Pray, do m j service to his ntajest j :
He has mj heart jet ; and shall liave mj prajers,
While I shall have mj life. Come, reverend

fathers,
Bestow jour counsels on me : she now begs,
That little thought, when she set footing here.
She should have bought her dignities so dear.

[Exeunt,

SCENE TL^Anieehamiber to ike King's

Apartment,

Enter the Duke of Norfolk, (he I>^* «« f^
FOLK, the Earl of Surbby, and the l»«^
Chamberlain. ,



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583



What we can do to him (though now the time
Gires waj to os), I much fear. If 70a camiot
Bar his access to the king, never attempt
Anything on him; for be hath a witchcraft
Over the king in his tongue.

Nor, 0, fear him not;

His spell in that is oat: 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.

8w, Sir.

I should be glad to hear such news as this
Once every hour.

Not, Believe it, this is true,

In the divorce, his contrary proceedings
Are all unfolded; wherein he appears.
As I would wish mine enemy.

8wr. How came

His praotioes to light ?

Saf, Most strangel V.

Swr, O, how, how?

Suf. The oardmal^s letter to the pope miscarried.
And came to the eye o* the king: wherein was read,
How that the cardinal did entreat his holiness



Online LibraryWilliam Michael Rossetti William ShakespeareThe complete works of Shakespeare: With a critical biography → online text (page 138 of 224)