Imatges de pàgina
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That thus you should proceed to put me off,
And take your good grace from me? Heaven witnefs
I've been to you a true and humble wife,
At all times to your will conformable:
Ever in fear to kindle your dislike,

Yea, fubject to your count'nance; glad or forry,
As I faw 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 ftrove to love, although I knew
He were mine enemy? what friend of mine,
That had to him deriv'd 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 bleft
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 perfon; in God's name
Turn me away; and let the foul'ft contempt
Shut door upon me, and fo give me up
To the fharpest kind of justice. Please you, Six,
The King your father was reputed for
A Prince most prudent, of an excellent
And unmatch'd wit and judgment. Ferdinand
My father, King of Spain, was reckon❜d one
The wifeft Prince that there had reign'd, by many
A year before. It is not to be question'd,
That they had gather'd a wife council to them
Of ev'ry realm, that did debate this business,
Who deem'd our marriage lawful. Wherefore humbly,
Sir, I beseech you, fpare me, 'till I may
Be by my friends in Spain advis'd; whofe council
I will implore. If not, i' th' name of God
Your pleasure be fulfill'd.

Wol. You have here, lady,

(And of your choice) these rev'rend fathers, men Of fingular integrity and learning:

Yea,

Yea, the elect o'th 'land, who are affembled

To plead your caufe. It fhall be therefore bootlefs
That longer you defer the court, as well
For our own quiet, as to rectifie

What is unfettled in the King.

Cam. His Grace

Hath spoken well and justly; 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 fpeak.

Wol. Your pleasure, madam.'
Queen. Sir,

I am about to weep; but thinking that
We are a Queen, or long have dream'd fo, certain
The daughter of a King, my drops of tears
I'll turn to fparks 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: that You are mine enemy, and make my challenge. You fhall not be my judge. For it is you Have blown this coal betwixt my lord and me, Which God's dew quench! therefore I fay again, I utterly abhor, yea from my foul Refufe you for my judge, whom yet once more I hold my moft malicious foe, and think not At all a friend to truth.

Wol. I do profess

You fpeak not like your felf, who ever yet
Have ftood to charity, and difplay'd th' effects
Of dispofition gentle, and of Wifdom
O'er-topping woman's power. Madam, you wrong me.
I have no fpleen against you, nor injustice
For you, or any; how far I've proceeded,
Or how far further fhall, is warranted
By a commiffion from the confiftory,

Yea, the whole confift'ry of Rome. You charge me,

That

That I have blown this coal; I do deny it.
Toe King is prefent; if't be known to him
That I gainfay my deed, how may he wound,
And worthily, my falfhood? yea, as much
As you 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 Highnefs fhall fpeak in, I do befeech

You, gracious madam, to unthink your speaking,
And fay no more.

Queen. My lord, my lord, I am

A fimple woman, much too weak t' oppose
Your cunning. You are meek and humble-mouth'd;
You fign your place and calling, in full feeming,
With meeknefs and humility; but your heart
Is cramm'd with arrogance, with fpleen and pride.
You have by fortune and his Highness favours
Gone flightly o'er low fteps, and now are mounted
Where pow'rs are your retainers; and your words,
Domesticks to you, ferve your will, as't please
Your felf pronounce their office. I muft tell you
You tender more your perfon's honour, than
Your high profeffion fpiritual. That again
I do refuse you for my judge, and here
Before you all, appeal unto the Pope
To bring my whole caufe 'fore his holiness
And to be judg'd by him.

She courtefies to the King, and offers to depart Cam. The Queen is obftinate,

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

court.

Ufher. Madam, you are call'd back.

Queen. What need you note it? pray you keep your

way.

Whea

When you are call'd, return. Now the Lord help,

-pray pass on;

They vex me past my patience-
I will not tarry; no, nor ever more
Upon this bufinefs my appearance make
In any of their courts.

[Exeunt Queen and her Attendants.

SCENE VII.

King. Go thy ways, Kate,

That man i'th world, who fhall report he has
A better wife, let him in nought be trufted,
For fpeaking falfe in that. Thou art alone,
(If thy rare qualities, fweet gentleness,
Thy meeknefs faint-like, wife-like government,
Obeying in commanding, and thy parts
Sovereign and pious, could but fpeak thee out)
The Queen of earthly Queens. She's noble born;
And like her true nobility, fhe has

Carried her felf tow'rds me.

Wol. Moft gracious Sir,

In humbleft manner I require your Highness
That it fhall please you to declare, in hearing
Of all thefe ears (for where I'm robb'd and bound,
There must I be unloos'd, although not there
At once, and fully fatisfy'd) if I

Did broach this bufinefs to your Highness, or
Laid any fcruple in your way, which might
Induce you to the question on't; or ever
Have to you, but with thanks to God for fuch
A royal lady, fpake one the leaft word,
That might be prejudice of her prefent state,
Or touch of her good perfon?

King. My lord Cardinal,

I do excufe you; yea, upon mine honour,
I free you from't: you are not to be taught,
That you have many enemies, that know not
Why they are fo, but like the village curs,
Bark when their fellows do. By fome of thefe
The Queen is put in anger; y'are excus'd:

> But

But will
you be more juftify'd? you ever
Have wifh'd the fleeping of this bufinefs, never
Defir'd it to be stirr'd; but oft have hindred
The paffages made tow'rds it: on my honour
I fpeak, 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 th' inducement. Thus it came; give heed to't
My conscience firft receiv'd a tenderness,
Scruple, and prick'd, on certain fpeeches utter'd
By th' bishop of Bayon, then French Ambaffador,
Who had been hither fent on the debating
A marriage 'twixt the Duke of Orleans and
Our daughter Mary: I'th' progrefs of this business,
Ere a determinate refolution, he

(I mean the bishop) did require a refpite,
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 bofom of my conscience, enter'd me,
Yea with a fplitting power; and made to tremble
The region of my breaft, which forc'd fuch way,
That many maz'd confiderings did throng
And preft it with this caution. First, methought
I ftood not in the fmile 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-iffue,
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'th' world) fhould not
Be glad in one by me. Then follows, that
I weigh'd the danger which my realms stood in
By this my iffue's fail, and that gave to me
Many a groaning throe: thus hulling in
The wild fea of my confcience, I did steer
Towards this remedy, whereon we are

Now

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