Imatges de pÓgina

Have wish'd the sleeping of this business; never
Desir'd it to be stirr'd; but oft have hindred, 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 the inducement. Thus it came;—give
heed to't:-

My conscience first receiv'd a tenderness,

Scruple, and prick, on certain speeches utter'd

By the 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'the 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 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 690
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 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.

Lin. Very well, my liege.


King. I have spoke long; be pleas'd yourself to


How far you satisfy'd me?

Lin. 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'the world against the person
Of our good queen, but the sharp thorny points
Of my alleged reasons, drive this forward :
Prove but our marriage lawful, by my life,
And kingly dignity, we are contented

To wear our mortal state to come, with her,

Katharine our queen, before the primest creature
That's paragon'd o'the world.

Cam. So please your highness,

The queen being absent, 'tis a needful fitness
That we adjourn this court to further day:
Mean while must be an earneat motion

Made to the queen, to call back her appeal
She intends unto his holiness.

King. I may perceive,



[They rise to depart.

These cardinals trifle with me: I abhor
This dilatory sloth, and tricks of Rome.
My learn'd and well-beloved servant, Cranmer,
Pr'ythee, return! with thy approach, I know,
My comfort comes along. Break up the court:
I say, set on.


[Exeunt, in Manner as they enter'd.



The Queen's Apartments.


The Queen and her Women,

as at Work.


thy lute, wench: my soul grows sad with troubles;

Sing, and disperse them, if thou canst: leave work

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Enter a Gentleman.

Queen. How now ?

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

Wait in the presence.

Queen. Would they speak with me?

Gent. They will'd me say so, madam.
Queen. Pray their graces


To come near. [Exit Gent.] What can be their bu


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 righ


But, All hoods make not monks.


Wol. Peace to your highness!

Queen. 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 with-


Into your private chamber, we shall give you
The full cause of our coming.

Queen. Speak it here;

There's nothing I have done yet, o' my conscience, Deserves a corner: 'Would, all other women



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