Imatges de pÓgina

Enter a Gentleman.

Q. Kath. How now?

Gent. An't please your grace, the two great cardinals

Wait in the

Q. Kath.


Would they speak with me?

Gent. They will'd me say so, madam.
Q. Kath.

Pray their graces To come near. [Exit Gent.] What can be their business With me, a poor weak woman, fallen from favour?

I do not like their coming, now I think on't.

They should be good men; their affairs are righteous: But all hoods make not monks.



Peace to your highness! Q. Kath. Your graces find me here part of a housewife; I would be all, against the worst may happen. What are your pleasures with me, reverend lords?

Wol. May it please you, noble madam, to withdraw Into your private chamber, we shall give you The full cause of our coming.

Q. Kath.

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 every tongue, every eye saw them,
Envy and base opinion set against them,

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.
Wol. Tanta est ergà te mentis integritas, regina

Q. Kath. 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, sus


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.


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.

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.

To betray me.

Q. Kath. [Aside. My lords, I thank you both for your good wills, Ye speak like honest men, (pray God, ye prove so!) But how to make you 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.

Wol. Madam, you wrong the king's love with these fears;

Your hopes and friends are infinite.

Q. Kath.


In England

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.

I would, your grace
Would leave your griefs, and take my counsel.
Q. Kath.

How, sir?
Cam. 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 you,
You'll part away disgrac❜d.


He tells you rightly. Q. Kath. 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.


Your rage mistakes us.

Q. Kath. The more shame for ye; holy men I thought


Upon my soul, two reverend cardinal virtues:
But cardinal sins, and hollow hearts, I fear ye:
Mend them for shame, my lords. Is this your comfort?
The cordial that ye bring a wretched lady?

A woman lost among ye, laughed at, scorn'd? *
I will not wish ye half my miseries,

I have more charity: But say, I warn'd ye;

Take heed, for heaven's sake, take heed, lest at once The burden of my sorrows fall upon ye.

Wol. Madam, this is a mere distraction;

You turn the good we offer into envy.

Q. Kath. Ye turn me into nothing: Woe upon ye, And all such false professors! Would ye 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! he 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
s only my obedience. What can happen
above this wretchedness? all

to me,

Take me a curse like this.


your studies

Your fears are worse.

2. Kath. Have I liv'd thus long-(let me speak my


Se virtue finds no friends), a wife, a true one?
Aoman (I dare say, without vain-glory),
Ner yet branded with suspicion?

HI with all my full affections

Sti met the king? lov'd him next heaven? obey'd him?
Bee out of fondness, superstitious to him?
Almost forgot my prayers to content him?
Anam I thus rewarded? 'tis not well, lords.
Br me a constant woman to her husband,
On that ne'er dream'd a joy beyond his pleasure;
A to that woman, when she has done most,
Y will I add an honour,-a great patience.

Vol. Madam, you wander from the good we aim at.
Kath. My lord, I dare not make myself so guilty,
give up willingly that noble title

ur master wed me to: nothing but death

all e'er divorce my dignities.


'Pray, hear me. Q. Kath. 'Would I had never trod this English earth, felt the flatteries that grow upon it!

e have angels' faces, but heaven knows your hearts. What will become of me now, wretched lady?

am the most unhappy woman living.— Alas! poor wenches, where are now your fortunes? [To her Women. Shipwreck'd upon a kingdom, where no pity, No friends, no hope; no kindred weep for me, Almost, no grave allow'd me :-Like the lily, That once was mistress of the field, and flourish'd, I'll hang my head, and perish. 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 them.
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.
Cam. Madam, you'll find it so. You wrong your


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.

Q. Kath. 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.

SCENE II. Antechamber to the KING's Apartment.
Enter the DUKE of NORFOLK, the DUKE of SUFFOLK,
the EARL of SURRY, and the Lord Chamberlain.
Nor. If you will now unite in your complaints
And force them with a constancy, the cardinal
Cannot stand under them: If you omit

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