Page images



Of which there is not one, I dare avow,
(And now I should not lie,) but will deserve,
For virtue, and true beauty of the soul,
For honesty, and decent carriage,

A right good husband, let him be a noble;
And, sure, those men are happy, that shall have them,
The last is, for my men ;-they are the poorest,
But poverty could never draw them from me ;-
That they may have their wages duly paid them,
And something over to remember me by:

If heaven had pleas'd to have given me longer life,
And able means, we had not parted thus.
These are the whole contents:-And, good my lord,
By that you love the dearest in this world,
As you wish christian peace to souls departed,
Stand these poor people's friend, and urge the king
To do me this last right.

By heaven, I will;
Or let me lose the fashion of a man!

Kath. I thank you, honest lord. Remember me
In all humility unto his highness:
Say, his long trouble now is passing

Out of this world: tell him, in death I bless'd him,
For so I will.-Mine eyes grow dim.-Farewell,
My lord.-Griffith, farewell.-Nay, Patience,
You must not leave me yet. I must to bed;
Call in more women.- -When I am dead, good wench,
Let me be us'd with honour; strew me over
With maiden flowers, that all the world may know
I was a chaste wife to my grave: embalm me,
Then lay me forth: although unqueen'd, yet like
A queen, and daughter to a king, inter me.
I can no more.- [Exeunt, leading Katharine.


SCENE I.-A Gallery in the Palace. Enter GARDINER, Bishop of WINCHESTER, a Page with a torch before him, met by Sir THOMAS


Gar. It's one o'clock, boy, is't not?

"Twill not, sir Thomas Lovell, take't of me,-
Till Cranmer, Cromwell, her two hands, and she,
Sleep in their graves.


Now, sir, ye speak of two
The most remark'd i' the kingdom. As for Crom-


Beside that of the jewel-house, he's made master
O' the rolls, and the king's secretary; further, sir,
Stands in the gap and trade of more preferments,
With which the time will load him: The arch-

Is the king's hand, and tongue; And who dare
Yes, yes, sir Thomas,
One syllable against him?
There are, that dare; and I myself have ventur'd
To speak my mind of him: and, indeed, this day,
Sir, (I may tell it you,) I think, I have
Incens'd the lords o'th council, that he is
(For so I know he is, they know he is,)
A most arch heretic, a pestilence,

That does infect the land: with which they moved,
Have broken with the king; who hath so far
Given ear to our complaint, (of his great grace
And princely care; foreseeing those fell mischiefs
Our reasons laid before him,) he hath commanded,
To-morrow morning to the council-board
He be convented. He's a rank weed, Sir Thomas,
And we must root him out. From your affairs
I hinder you too long: good night, sir Thomas.
Lov. Many good nights, my lord; I rest your
servant. [Exeunt Gardiner and Page.
As Lovely is going out, enter the King and the
Duke of SUFFOLK.

K. Hen. Charles, I will play no more to-night;
My mind's not on't, you are too hard for me.
Suf. Sir, I did never win of you before.

K. Hen. But little, Charles;
Nor shall not, when my fancy's on my play.-
Now, Lovell, from the queen what is the news?
Lov. I could not personally deliver to her
What you commanded me, but by her woman
I sent your message; who return'd her thanks
In the greatest humbleness, and desir'd your high-
Most heartily to pray for her.
What say'st thou? ha!
K. Hen.
Lov. So said her woman; and that her sufferance
Almost each pang a death.

It hath struck.
Gar. These should be hours for necessities,
Not for delights; times to repair our nature
With comforting repose, and not for us
To waste these times.-Good hour of night, sir To pray for her? what, is she crying out?

Whither so late?
Came you from the king, my lord?
Gar. I did, sir Thomas; and left him at primero
With the duke of Suffolk.


I must to him too,

Before he go to bed. I'll take my leave.

Alas, good lady
K. Hen.
Suf. God safely quit her of her burden, and
With gentle travail, to the gladding of
Your highness with an heir!
K. Hen.

'Tis midnight, Charles,

Gar. Not yet, sir Thomas Lovell. What's the Pr'ythee, to bed; and in thy prayers remember


It seems, you are in haste; an if there be
No great offence belongs to't, give your friend
Some touch of your late husiness: Affairs, that walk
(As, they say, spirits do) at midnight, have
In them a wilder nature, than the business
That seeks despatch by day.


My lord, I love you; And durst commend a secret to your ear

Mach weightier than this work. The queen's in


They say, in great extremity; and fear'd,
She'll with the labour end.


The fruit, she goes with,
I pray for heartily; that it may find
Good time, and live: but for the stock, sir Thomas,
I wish it grubb'd up now.

Methinks, I could

Cry the amen; and yet my conscience says
She's a good creature, and, sweet lady, does
Deserve our better wishes.


But, sir, sir,

Hear me, sir Thomas: You are a gentleman
Of mine own way; I know you wise, religious;
And, let me tell you, it will ne'er be well,-

[blocks in formation]

Cran. I am fearful:-Wherefore frowns he thus? "Tis his aspect of terror. All's not well. K. Hen. How now, my lord? You do desire to Wherefore I sent for you? [know It is my duty To attend your highness' pleasure.



'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 sorry 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 con-

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
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 thoroughly to be winnow'd, where my chaff And corn shall fly asunder; for, I know, There's none stands under more calumnious tongues, Than I myself, poor man. K. Hen.

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

I should have ta'en some pains to bring together Yourself and your accusers; and to have heard you Without indurance further.


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.

K. Hen.

[blocks in formation]

Know you not how


Your state stands 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 swear against you? Such things have been done.
You are potently oppos'd; and with a malice
Of as great size. 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."


God, and your majesty,

Be of good cheer;

Protect mine innocence, or I fall into
The trap, is laid for me!
K. Hen.
They shall no more prevail, than we give way to.
Keep comfort to you; and this morning see
You do appear before them: if they shall chance,
In charging you with matters, to commit you,
The best 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 honest, on mine honour. God's blest mother!


Enter Doctor BUTTS.


[Exit Butts. (Aside.)

Butts. This is a piece of malice. I am glad I came this way so happily: The king Shall understand it presently. '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 laid, by some that hate me, (God turn their hearts! I never sought 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, at a window above, the King and BUTTS.
Butts. I'll shew your grace the strangest sight,-
K. Hen.
What's that Butts?
Butts. I think, your highness saw this many a

K. Hen. Body o'me, where is it?

There, my lord: The high promotion of his grace of Canterbury; Who holds his state at door, 'mongst pursuivants, Pages and footboys.

K. Hen.
Ha! "Tis he, indeed :
Is this the honour they do one another.



'Tis well, there's one above them yet. I had

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.-

Gar. My lord, because we have business of
more moment,

We will be short with you. 'Tis his highness'

And our consent, for better trial of you,
From hence you be committed to the Tower;
Where, being but a private man again,
You shall know many dare accuse you boldly,
More than, I fear, you are provided for.

Cran. Ah, my good lord of Winchester, I thank
You are always my good friend; if your will pass,
I shall both find your lordship judge and juror,
You are so merciful: I see your end,
Tis my undoing: Love, and meekness, lord,
Become a churchman better than ambition;

The Council-Chamber.
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 Arch-Win straying souls with modesty again,
bishop of CANTERBURY. The rest seat themselves
Cromwell at the lower
in order on each side.

end, as secretary,

Chan. Speak the business, master secretary:
Why are we met in council?

Please your honours,
The chief cause concerns his grace of Canterbury.
Gar. Has he had knowledge of it?



Who waits there?
D. Keep. Without, my noble lords?


My lord archbishop;
D. Keep.
And has done half an hour, to know your pleasures.
Chan. Let him come in.
D. Keep.
Your grace may enter now.
(Cranmer approaches the council-table.)
Chan. My good lord archbishop, I am very sorry
To sit here at this present, and behold
That chair stand empty: But we all are men,
In our own natures frail; and capable

Of our flesh, few are angels: out of which frailty,
And want of wisdom, you, that best should teach us,
Have misdemean'd yourself, and not a little,
Toward the king first, then his laws, in filling
The whole realm, by your teaching, and your

(For so we are inform'd,) with new opinions,
Divers, and dangerous; which are heresies,
And, not reform'd, may prove pernicious.

Gar. Which reformation must be sudden too,
My noble lords: for those, that tame wild horses,
Pace them not in their hands to make them gentle;
But stop their mouths with stubborn bits, and spur

Till they obey the manage. If we suffer
(Out of our easiness, and childish pity
To one man's honour) this contagious sickness,
Farewell, all physic: And what follows then?
Commotions, uproars, with a general taint
Of the whole state: as, of late days, our neighbours,
The upper Germany, can dearly witness,
Yet freshly pitied in our memories.


Cran. My good lords, hitherto, in all the pro-
Both of my life and office, I have labour'd,
And with no little study, that my teaching,
And the strong course of my authority,
Might go one way, and safely; and the end
Was ever, to do well: nor is there living
(I speak it with a single heart, my lords,)
A man, that more detests, more stirs against,
Both in his private conscience, and his place,
Defacers of a public peace, than I do.
'Pray heaven, the king may never find a heart
With less allegiance in it! Men, that make
Envy, and crook'd malice, nourishment,
Dare bite the best. I do beseech your lordships,
That, in this case of justice, my accusers,
Be what they will, may stand forth face to face,
And freely urge against me.

Nay, my lord,
That cannot be; you are a counsellor,
And, by that virtue, no man dare accuse you.

Cast none away. That I shall clear myself,
Lay all the weight ye can upon my patience,
I make as little doubt, as you do conscience,
In doing daily wrongs. I could say more,
But reverence to your calling makes me modest.
Gar. My lord, my lord, you are a sectary,
That's the plain truth; your painted gloss dis-


To men that understand you, words and weakness.
Crom. My lord of Winchester, you are a little,
By your good favour, too sharp; men so noble,
However faulty, yet should find respect
For what they have been; 'tis a cruelty,
To load a falling man.


I cry your honour mercy;
Of all this table, say so.

Good master secretary,
you may, worst

Why, my lord?
Gar. Do not I know you for a favourer
Of this new sect? ye are not sound.

Gar. Not sound, I say.

Not sound?

'Would you were half so honest!


Men's prayers then would seek you, not their fears.
Gar. I shall remember this bold language.
Remember your bold life too.

This is too much;

[blocks in formation]

Forbear, for shame, my lords.
Chan. Then thus for you, my lord,-It stands
I take it, by all voices, that forthwith
You be conveyed to the Tower a prisoner;
There to remain, till the king's further pleasure
Be known unto us: Are you all agreed, lords?
All. We are.
Is there no other
of mercy,
But I must needs to the Tower, my lords?
What other


Would you expect? You are strangely trouble-
Let some o'the guard be ready there.
Enter Guard.
Must I go like a traitor thither?

And see him safe i'the Tower.


For me?

Receive him,

Stay, good my lords,
I have a little yet to say. Look there, my lords;
By virtue of that ring, I take my cause
Out of the gripes of cruel men, and give it
To a most noble judge, the king my master.
Cham. This is the king's ring.

"Tis no counterfeit.
Suf. 'Tis the right ring, by heaven: I told ye all,
When we first put this dangerous stone a rolling,
'Twould fall upon ourselves.


Do you think, my lords,
The king will suffer but the little finger
Of this man to be vex'd;


"Tis now too certain: How much more is his life in value with him? 'Would I were fairly out on't.


My mind gave me, In seeking tales, and informations, Against this man, (whose honesty the devil And his disciples only envy at,)

Ye blew the fire that burns ye: Now have at ye.
Enter King, frowning on them; takes his seat.
Gar. Dread sovereign, how much are we bound
to heaven

In daily thanks, that gave us such a prince;
Not only good and wise, but most religious:
One that, in all obedience, makes the church
The chief aim of his honour; and, to strengthen
That holy duty, out of dear respect,
His royal self in judgment comes to hear,
The cause betwixt her and this great offender.
K. Hen. You were ever good at sudden com-

Bishop of Winchester. But know, I come not
To hear such flattery now, and in my presence;
They are too thin and base to hide offences.
To me you cannot reach, you play the spaniel,
And think with wagging of your tongue to win me;
But, whatsoe'er thou tak'st me for, I am sure
Thou hast a cruel nature, and a bloody.—
Good man, (to Cranmer) sit down. Now let me
see the proudest

He, that dares most, but wag his finger at thee:
By all that's holy, he had better starve,
Than but once think his place becomes thee not.
Sur. May it please your grace,-
K. Hen.
No, sir, it does not please me.
I had thought, I had had men of some under-

And wisdom, of my council; but I find none.
Was it discretion, lords, to let this man,
This good man, (few of you deserve that title,)
This honest man, wait like a lousy footboy
At chamber-door? and one as great as you are?
Why, what a shame was this? Did my commission
Bid ye so far forget yourselves? I gave ye
Power as he was a counsellor to try him,
Not as a groom; There's some of ye, I see,
More out of malice than integrity,
Would try him to the utmost, had ye mean;
Which ye shall never have while I live.
Thus far,
My most dread sovereign, may it like your grace
To let my tongue excuse all. What was purpos'd
Concerning his imprisonment, was rather
(If there be faith in men,) meant for his trial,
And fair purgation to the world, than malice;
I am sure, in me.

K. Hen. Well, well, my lords, respect him;
Take him, and use him well, he's worthy of it.
I will say thus much for him, If a prince
May be beholden to a subject, I

Am, for his love and service, so to him.
Make me no more ado, but all embrace him;
Be friends, for shame, my lords.-My lord of Can-

I have a suit, which you must not deny me;
That is, a fair young maid, that yet wants baptism,
You must be godfather, and answer for her.
Cran. The greatest monarch now alive may

In such an honour; How may I deserve it,
That am a poor and humble subject to you?

K. Hen. Come, come, my lord, you'd spare
your spoons; you shall have
Two noble partners with you; the old Duchess of

And lady marquis Dorset; Will these please yon? Once more, my lord of Winchester, I charge you, Embrace, and love this man.


And brother-love, I do it.


With a true heart,

And let heaven

Witness, how dear I hold this confirmation.

[blocks in formation]



Port. You'll leave your noise anon, ye rascals: you take the court for Paris-garden? ye rade slaves, leave your gaping,

(Within.) Good master porter, I belong to the larder.

Port. Belong to the gallows, and be hanged, you rogue: Is this a place to roar in?-Fetch me a dozen crab-tree staves, and strong ones; these are but switches to them.-I'll scratch your heads: You must be seeing christenings? Do you look for ale and cakes here, you rude rascals.

Man. Pray, sir, be patient; 'tis as much impossible

(Unless we sweep them from the door with cannons,)
To scatter them, as 'tis to make them sleep
On May-day morning; which will never be:
We may as well push against Paul's, as stir them.
Port. How got they in, and be hang'd?

Man. Alas, I know not; How gets the tide in?
As much as one sound cudgel of four foot
(You see the poor remainder) could distribute,
Ì made no spare, sir.


You did nothing, sir.

Man. I am not Samson, nor sir Guy, nor Colbrand, to mow them down before me: but, if I spared any, that had a head to hit, either young or old, he or she, cuckold or cuckold-maker, let me never hope to see a chine again; and that I would uot for a cow, God save her.

(Within.) Do you hear, master porter? Port. I shall be with you presently, good master puppy. Keep the door close, sirrah.

Man. What would you have me do?

Port. What should you do, but knock them down by the dozens? Is this Moorfields to muster in? or have we some strange Indian with the great tool come to court, the women so besiege us? Bless me, what a fry of fornication is at door! On my christian conscience, this one christening will beget a thousand; here will be father, godfather, and all together.

Man. The spoons will be the bigger, sir. There is a fellow somewhat near the door, he should be a brazier by his face, for, o'my conscience, twenty of the dog-days now reign in's nose; all that stand about him are under the line, they need no other penance: That fire-drake did I hit three times on the head, and three times was his nose discharged against me; he stands there, like a mortar-piece, to blow us.

There was a haberdasher's wife of small wit near him, that railed upon me till her pink'd porringer fell off her head, for kindling such a combustion in the state. I miss'd the meteor once, and hit that woman, who cried ont, clubs! when I might see from far some forty truncheoneers draw to her succour, which were the hope of the Strand, where she was quartered. They fell on; I made good my place; at length they came to the broomstaff with me, I defied them still; when suddenly a file of boys behind them, loose shot, delivered such a shower of pebbles, that I was fain to draw mine honour in, and let them win the work: The devil was among them, I think, surely,

Port. These are the youths that thunder at a play-house, and fight for bitten apples; that no



audience but the Tribulation of Tower-bill, or the limbs of Limehouse, their dear brothers, are able to endure. I have some of them in Limbo Patrum, and there they are like to dance these three days; besides the running banquet of two beadles, that is

to come.

Enter the Lord Chamberlain.
Cham. Mercy o'me, what a multitude are here!
They grow still too, from all parts they are coming,
As if we kept a fair here! Where are these porters,
These lazy knaves?-Ye have made a fine hand,

There's a trim rabble let in: Are all these

Your faithful friends o'the suburbs? We shall have
Great store of room, no doubt, left for the ladies,
When they pass back from the christening.
An't please your honour,
We are but men; and what so many may do,
Not being torn a pieces, we have done :
An army cannot rule them.


As I live,

If the king blame me for't, I'll lay ye all
By the heels, and suddenly; and on your heads
Clap round fines, for neglect: You are lazy knaves;
And here ye lie baiting of bumbards, when
Ye should do service. Hark, the trumpets sound;
They are come already from the christening:
the and find a way out
Go, break among press,
To let the troop pass fairly; or I'll find
A Marshalsea, shall hold you play these two


Port. Make way there for the princess.

Man. You great fellow, stand close up, or I'll make your head ache.

Port. You i'the camblet, get up o'the rail; I'll [Exeunt. pick you o'er the pales else.

SCENE IV. The Palace.

Enter trumpets, sounding; then two Aldermen, Lord Mayor, Garter, CRANMER, Duke of NORFOLK, with his marshal's staff, Duke of SUFFOLK, two Noblemen bearing great standing-bowls for the christening gifts; then four Noblemen bearing a canopy, under which the Duchess of NORFOLK, godmother, bearing the Child, richly habited in a mantle, &c. Train borne by a Lady: then follows the Marchioness of DORSET, the other godmother, and Ladies. The troop pass once about the stage, and Garter speaks.

Gart. Heaven, from thy endless goodness, send, prosperous life, long, and ever happy, to the high and mighty princess of England, Elizabeth!

Flourish. Enter King and Train.
Cran. (Kneeling.) And to your royal grace, and
the good queen,

My noble partners, and myself, thus pray :-
All comfort, joy, in this most gracious lady,
Heaven ever laid up to make parents happy,
May hourly fall upon ye!

K. Hen. Thank you, good lord archbishop;
What is her name?

Stand up, lord.-
K. Hen.
(The King kisses the Child.)
With this kiss take my blessing: God protect
Into whose hands I give thy life.


K. Hen. My noble gossips, ye have been too

I thank ye heartily; so shall this lady,
When she has so much English.

Let me speak, sir,
For heaven now bids me; and the words I utter
Let none think flattery, for they'll find them truth.
This royal infant, (heaven still move about her!)
Though in her cradle, yet now promises
Upon this land a thousand thousand blessings,
Which time shall bring to ripeness: She shall be

(But few now living can behold that goodness,)
A pattern to all princes, living with her,
And all, that shall succeed: Sheba was never
More covetous of wisdom, and fair virtue,
Than this pure soul shall be: all princely graces,
That mould up such a mighty piece as this is,
With all the virtues that attend the good,
Shall still be doubled on her : truth shall nurse her,
Holy and heavenly thoughts still counsel her:
She shall be lov'd, and fear'd: Her own shall
bless her:

Her foes shake like a field of beaten corn,
And hang their heads with sorrow: Good grows
with her:

In her days, every man shall eat in safety
Under his own vine, what he plants; and sing
The merry songs of peace to all his neighbours:
God shall be truly known; and those about her
From her shall read the perfect ways of honour,
And by those claim their greatness, not by blood.
Nor shall this peace sleep with her: But as when
The bird of wonder dies, the maiden phoenix,
Her ashes new create another heir,

As great in admiration as herself;

So shall she leave her blessedness to one,

(When heaven shall call her from this cloud of

Who, from the sacred ashes of her honour,
Shall star-like rise, as great in fame as she was,
And so stand fix'd: Peace, plenty, love, truth,


That were the servants to this chosen infant,
Shall then be his, and like a vine grow to him;
Wherever the bright sun of heaven shall shine,
His honour and the greatness of his name
Shall be, and make new nations: He shall flourish,
And, like a mountain cedar, reach his branches
To all the plains about him:-Our children's
Shall see this, and bless heaven.

K. Hen.

Thou speakest wonders.
Cran. She shall be, to the happiness of England,
An aged princess; many days shall see her,
And yet no day without a deed to crown it.
'Would I had known no more! but she must die,
She must, the saints must have her; yet a virgin,
A most unspotted lily shall she pass
To the ground, and all the world shall mourn her.
K. Hen. O lord archbishop,

Thou hast made me now a man; never, before
This happy child, did I get any thing:
This oracle of comfort has so pleas'd me,
That, when I am in heaven, I shall desire
To see what this child does, and praise my Maker.—
I thank ye all,-To you, my good lord mayor,
And your good brethren, I am much beholden;
I have receiv'd much honour by your presence,
Lead the way,
And ye shall find me thankful.


Ye must all see the queen, and she must thank ye,
She will be sick else. This day, no man think
He has business at his house; for all shall stay,
This little one shall make it holiday.


'Tis ten to one, this play can never please
All that are here: Some come to take their ease,
And sleep an act or two; but those, we fear,
We have frighted with our trumpets; so, 'tis clear,
They'll say, 'tis naught: others, to hear the city
Abus'd extremely, and to cry,-that's witty!
Which we have not done neither: that, I fear,
All the expected good we are like to hear
For this play at this time, is only in
The merciful construction of good women;
For such a one we shew'd them: If they smile
And say, 'twill do, I know, within a while
All the best men are ours; for 'tis ill hap,
If they hold, when their ladies bid them clap.
S 33

« PreviousContinue »