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'Tis his afpé&t of terror. All's not well.
King. How now, my lord? You do desire to know
Wherefore I sent for you.
Cran. It is my duty,
To attend your highness' pleasure.
King. Pray you, arise,
My good and gracious lord of Canterbury.
Come, you and I must walk a turn together;
I have news to tell you: Come, come, give me your hand.
Ah, my good lord, I grieve at what I speak,
And am right forry to repeat what follows:
I have, and most unwillingly, of late
Heard many grievous, I do say, my lord,
Grievous complaints of you; which, being consider'd,
Have mov'd us and our council, that you shall
This morning come before us ; where, I know,
You cannot with such freedom purge yourself,
But that, till further trial, in those charges
Which will require your answer, you must take
Your patience to you, and be well contented
To make your house our Tower: You a brother of us ,
It fits we thus proceed, or else no witness
Would come against you.
Cran. I humbly thank your highness;
And am right glad to catch this good occasion
Most throughly to be winnow'd, where my chaff
And corn shall fiy asunder: for, I know,
There's none stands under more calumnious tongues,
Than I myself, poor man
King. Stand up, good Canterbury ;
Thy truth, and thy integrity, is rooted
In us, thy friend : Give me thy hand, stand up;
Pr’ythee, let's walk. Now, by my holy-dame,
What manner of man are you? My lord, I look'd
You would have given me your petition, that
8 - Yuu a brotber of us,] You being one of the council, it is ne. cessary to imprison you, that the witnesses against you may not be deterred. JOHNSON
9. Tban I myself, poor man.] Poor man belongs probably to the king's reply. GREY,
I should have ta'en some pains to bring together
Yourself and your accusers; and to have heard you
Without indurance, further.
Cran. Most dread liege,
The good I stand on' is my truth, and honesty ;
If they shall fail, I, with mine enemies ?,
Will triumph o'er my person ; which I weigh not,
Being of those virtues vacant.
I fear nothing
What can be said against me.
King. Know you not How your state ítands i’ the world, with the whole world! Your enemies are many, and not small; their practices Must bear the same proportion : and not ever The justice and the truth o' the question carries The due o' the verdict with it: At what ease Might corrupt minds procure knaves as corrupt 'To Twear against you? such things have been done, You are potently oppos’d; and with a malice Of as great fize. Ween you of better luck?, I mean, in perjur’d witness, than your master, Whose minister you are, whiles here he liv'd Upon this naughty earth? Go to, go to; You take a precipice for no leap of danger, And woo your own destruction.
Cran. God, and your majesty,
Protect mine innocence, or I fall into
is laid for me !
King. Be of good cheer;
They Thall no more prevail, than we give way to.
Keep comfort to you; and this morning fee
You do appear before them: if they shall chance,
In charging you with matters, to commit you,
1 The good I stand one] Though good may be taken for advantage or superiority, or any thing which may help or support, yet it would, I think, be more natural to say, The ground I fand on JOHNSON.
? I, with mine enemies,] Cranmer, I suppose, means, that whenever his honesty 'fails, he shall rejoice as heartily as his enemies at his des ftruction. MALONI.
3 Ween you of better luck,] To ween is to think, to imagire. Though pow obsolete, the word was common to all our ancient writers. STEEV.
The beft persuasions to the contrary
Fail not to use, and with what vehemency,
The occasion shall instruct you : if entreaties
Will render you no remedy, this ring
Deliver them, and your appeal to us
There make before them.-Look, the good man weeps!
He's honeft, on mine honour. God's bleft mother!
I swear, he is true-hearted; and a soul
None better in my kingdom.-Get you gone,
And do as I have bid you.—He has strangled
His language in his tears.
[Èxit Cranmer. Enter an old Lady. Gen. [within]. Come back; What mean you?
Lady. I'll not come back; the tidings that I bring
Will make my boldness manners.- Now, good angels
Fly o'er thy royal head, and shade thy person
Under their blessed wings!
King. Now, by thy looks
I guess thy message. Is the queen deliver'd ?
Say, ay; and of a boy.
Lady. Ay, ay, my liege;
And of a lovely boy: The God of heaven
Both now and ever bless her 4 !—'tis a girl,
Promises boys hereafter. Sir, your queen
Defires your visitation, and to be
Acquainted with this stranger; 'tis as like you,
As cherry is to cherry.
King. Give her an hundred marks. I'll to the queen.
[Exit King 4 – bless ber ! ] It is doubtful whether ber is referred to the queen or the girl. JOHNSON.
As I believe this play was calculated for the ear of Elizabeth, I ima. gine, ber relates to the girl. MALONE.
5 Lovel,-) Lovel has been just sent out of the presence, and no notice is given of his return : I have placed it here at the instant when the king calls for him. STEEVENS.
Lady. An hundred marks ! By this light, I'll have more.
An ordinary groom is for such payment.
I will have more, or scold it out of him.
Said I for this, the girl is like to him?
I will have more, or else unsay't; and now,
While it is hot, I'll put it to the issue.
Before the Council-Chamber.
Enter CRANMER; Servants, Door-keeper, &c. attending,
Cran. I hope, I am not too late; and yet the gentle.
That was sent to me from the council, pray'd me
To make great hafte. All fast? what means this ?-Hoa!
Who waits there?-Sure, you know me?
D. Keep. Yes, my lord;
But yet I cannot help you.
D. Keep. Your grace must wait, till you be call'd for.
Enter Doctor BUTTS.
Butts. This is a piece of malice. I am glad,
I came this way so happily: The king
Shall understand it presently.
Cran. [ Aside.] 'Tis Butts,
The king's physician; As he past along,
How earnestly he cast his eyes upon me!
Pray heaven, he sound not my disgrace! For certain,
This is of purpose lay'd, by some that hate me,
(God turn their hearts ! I never fought their malice,)
To quench mine honour: they would shame to make me
Wait else at door; a fellow counsellor,
Among boys, grooms, and lackeys. But their pleasures
Must be fulfill'd, and I attend with patience.
Enter, above, the King and Butts.
Butts, I'll shew your grace the strangest fight,-
King. What's that, Butts ?
Butts, I think, your highness saw this many a day.
King. Body o'me, where is it?
Butts. There, my lord :
The high promotion of his grace of Canterbury;
Who holds his state at door, 'mongst pursuivants,
Pages, and foot-boys.
King. Ha! 'Tis he, indeed:
Is this the honour they do one another?
'Tis well, there's one above them yet. I had thought,
They had parted so much honesty among them,
(At least, good manners,) as not thus to suffer
A man of his place, and so near our favour,
To dance attendance on their lordships' pleasures,
And at the door too, like a post with packets.
By holy Mary, Butts, there's knavery:
Let them alone, and draw the curtain close;
We shall hear more anon.-
Enter the Lord Chancellor , the Duke of SUFFOLK, Earl
of SURREY, Lord Chamberlain, GARDINER, and Cromwell. The Chancellor places himself at the upper end of the table on the left hand; a seat being left void above him, as for the Archbishop of Canterbury. The rejt feat themselves in order on each side. Cromwell at the lower end, as secretary.
Chan. Speak to the business, master Secretary:
Why are we met in council ?
Crom. Please your honours,
The chief cause concerns his grace of Canterbury.
Gar. Has he had knowledge of it?
6 Enter the Lord Chancellor,-) In the preceding scene we have heard of the birth of Elizabeth, and from the conclufion of the present it appears that she is not yet christened. She was born September 7, 1533, and baptized on the 11th of the same month. Cardinal Wolsey was chancellor of England from September 7, 1516, to the 25th of October 1530, on which day the feals were given to Sir Thomas More. He held them till the 20th of May, 1533, when Sir Thomas Aud. ley was appointed Lord Keeper. He therefore is the person here introduced; but Shakspeare has made a mistake in calling him Lord Chancellor, for he did not obtain that title till the January after the birth of Elizabeth. MALONE.