Imatges de pàgina
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That thus you should proceed to put me off,
And take your good grace from me? Heaven witness;
I've been to you a true and humble wife,
At all times to your will conformable:
Ever in fear to kindle your disike,
Yea, subject to your count'nance ; glad or forry,
As I saw it inclin'd: when was the hour
I ever contradicted your defire ?
Or made it not mine too? 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 derivd your anger, did I
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,
Upwards 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 ought,
My bond of wedlock, or my love and duty
Against your facred person in God's name
Turn me away; and let the foul'st contempt
Shut door upon me, and to give me up
To the sharpest kind of justice. Please you, Sir,
The King your father was reputed for
A Prince moft prudent, of an excellent
And unmatch'd wit and judgment. Ferdinand
My father, King of Spain, was reckon'd one
The wiseft 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 ev'ry realm, that did debate this business,
Who deem'd our marriage lawful. Wherefore humbly,
Sir, I beseech you, spare me, 'till I may
Be by my friends in Spain advis'd; whole council
I will implore.

If not, i'th' name of God Your pleasure be fulfillid.

Wol. You have here, lady, (And of your choice) these rey'rend fathers, men Of fingular integrity and learning :

Yeah

Yea, the ele& o'ch 'land, who are assembled
To plead your cause. It shall be therefore bootless-
Thai longer you defer the court, as well
For our own quiet, as to rectifie
What is unsettled in the King.

Cam. · His Grase
Hath Spoken well and juftly; therefore, madam,
It's fit this royal feffion do proceed,
And that without delay their arguments
Be now produc'd, and heard,

Queen. Lord Cardinal,
To you I speak.

Wol. Your pleasure, madam.

Queen. Sir,
I am about to weep; but thinking that
We are a Queen, or long have dream'd fo, certaine
The daughter of a King, my drops of tcars
I'll turn to sparks of fire,

Wol. Be patient yet.

Queen. I will, when you are humble; nay before, Or God will punish me. I do believe, Induc'd by potent circumstances: chas 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.

Wol. I do profess You speak not like your self, who ever yet Have stood to charity, and display'd th' effe&t's Of disposition gentle, and of Wisdom O'er-topping woman's power. Madam, you wrong me.. I have no spleen against you, nor injustice For you, or any; how far I've proceeded, Or how far further shall, is warranted By a commission from the consistory, Yea, the whole confift'ry of Rome. You charge me,

That

That I have blown this coal; I do deny it.
Toe King is present; if't be known to him
That I gainsay my deed, how may he wound,
And worthily, my falshood ? yea, as much
As

Hou have done my truth. But 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 say no more.

Queen. My lord, my lord, I am A simple woman, much too weak t'oppose Your cunning. You are neek and humble-mouth'd s. You sign your place and calling, in full seeming, With meekness and humility; but your heart Is cramm'd with arrogance, with spleen and pride. You have by fortune and his Highness favours Gone nightly o’er low steps, and now are mounted Where pow'rs are your

retainers;

and

your words, Domesticks to you, serve your will, as't please Your self pronounce their office. I inuft tell you: You tender more your person's honour, than Your high profeflion 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 courtefies to the King, and offers to departa
Cam. The Queen is obstinate,
Stubborn to justice, apt t'accuse it, and
Disdainful to be try'd by't; 'tis not well.
She's going away.

King. Call her again.
Cryer. Katherine, Queen of England, come into the
Uher. Madam, you are called back.
Queen. What need you note it? pray you keep your
way.

When

court,

When you are callid, return. Now the Lord help,
They vex me past my patience-pray 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.

SCENE VII.
King. Go thy ways, Kate,
That man i'ch' world, who shall report he has
A better wife, let him in nought be crufted,
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, could but speak thee out)
The Queen of earthly Queens. She's noble borng.
And like her true nobility, she bas
Carried her self tow'rds me.

Wol. Most gracious Sir,
In humbleft manner I require your Highness
That it fall please you to declare, in hearing
Of all these ears (fór where I'm robb’d and bound,
There must I be unloos'd, although not there
At once, and fully satisfy'd) if 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 prejudice of her present state,
Or touch of her good person?

King. My lord Cardinal,
I do excuse you; yea, upon mino 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 the village curs,
Bark when their fellows do. By some of these
The Queen is put in anger; y'are excus'd:

But

1

But will you be more justify'd ? you ever
Have wish'd the sleeping of this business, never
Desir'd it to be ftirrd; but oft have hindred
The passages made tow'rds it : on my honour
I speak, my good lord Cardinal, to this point ;
And thus far clear him. Now, what mov'd me toit.
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 prickd, on certain speeches utterd
By th' bilhop of Bayon, then French Ambassador,
Who had been hither sent on the debating
A marriage 'wixt 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,
Sometime 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 preft it with this caution. First, methought
I stood not in the smile of heav'n, which 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 Mortly 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 glad in one by me. Then follows, that
I weigh'd the danger which my realms stood in
By this my issile's fail

, and that gave to me
Many a groaning throe: thus hulling in
The wild sea of my conscience, I did steer
Towards this remedy, whereon we are

Now

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