Page images
PDF
EPUB

K. Hen.

What say'st thou ? ha! To pray for her ? what! is she crying out ? Lov. So said her woman; and that her suffer

ance made
Almost each pang a death.
K. Hen.

Alas, good lady!
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 :
Pr'ythee, to bed; and in thy prayers remember
Th’ estate of my poor queen. Leave me alone,
For I must think of that, which company
Would not be friendly to.
Suf.

I wish your highness A quiet night; and my good mistress will Remember in my prayers. K. Hen.

Charles, good night.—

[Exit SUFFOLK. Enter Sir ANTHONY DENNY. Well, sir, what follows ?

Den. Sir, I have brought my lord the archbishop, As you commanded me. K. Hen.

Ha! Canterbury ? Den. Ay, my good lord. K. Hen. 'Tis true: where is he, Denny ? Den. He attends your highness' pleasure. K. Hen.

Bring him to us.

[Exit DENNY. Lov. This is about that which the bishop spake : I am happily come hither.

[Aside. Re-enter DENNY, with CRANMER. K. Hen.

Avoid the gallery.

[LOVELL seems to stay. Ha! I have said.—Be gone. What!

[Ereunt LoveLL and DENNY. 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

know
Wherefore I sent for you.
Cran.

It is my duty
T'attend your highness' pleasure.
K. Hen.

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

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. 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. K. Hen.

Know you not How your state stands i' the world, with the whole

world? Your enemies are many, and not small; their prac

tices 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, Cran.

God, and your majesty, Protect mine innocence, or I fall into The trap is laid for me! K. Hen.

Be of good cheer; 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! I swear, he is true-hearted; and a soul None better in my kingdom.-Get you gone, And do as I have bid you.—[Exit CRANMER.]-He

has strangled His language in his tears.

Enter an old Lady.
Gent. [Within.] Come back : what mean you ?
Lady. I'll not come back; the tidings that I bring
Will make my boldness manners.--Now, good an-

gels
Fly o'er thy royal head, and shade thy person
Under their blessed wings!
K. Hen.

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 !—'tis a girl,
Promises boys hereafter. Sir, your queen
Desires your visitation, and to be
Acquainted with this stranger: 'tis as like you,
As cherry is to cherry.

your hand.

Ah, my good jord, 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 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 window'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.
Lovell,

SCENE II.The Lobby before the Council

Chamber.
Re-enter LOVELL.
Lov.

Sir.

Enter CRANMER; Servants, Door-Keeper, dr. K. Hen. Give her an hundred marks. I'll to the

attending. queen.

[Exit King: Cran. I hope, I am not too late ; and yet the Lady. An hundred marks! By this light, I'll ha' gentleman,

That was sent to me from the council, pray'd me An ordinary groom is for such payment:

To make great haste. All fast? what means this? I will have more, or scold it out of him.

Hoa! Said I for this, the girl was like to him?

Who waits there !-Sure you know me ? I will have more, or else unsay't; and now

D. Keep

Yes, my lord; While it is hot, I'll put it to the issue. (Exeunt. | But yet I cannot help you.

more.

[graphic][subsumed][merged small]

sures

Cran.
Why?

This is of purpose laid by some that hate me, D. Keep. Your grace must wait, till you be call'd (God turn their hearts! I never sought their malice,) for.

To quench mine honour: they would shame to

make me Enter Doctor Butts.

Wait else at door, a fellow councillor Cran.

So. || 'Mong boys, grooms and lackeys. But their pleaBulls. This is a piece of malice. I am glad, I came this way so happily : the king

Must be fulfill'd, and I attend with patience. Shall understand it presently.

[Exit Butts. Cran.

'Tis Butts, [Aside.

Enter the King and Butts, at a window above. The king's physician. As he past along,

Butts. I'll show your grace the strangest sight How earnestly he cast his eyes upon me.

K. Hen.

What's that, Butts ? Pray heaven, he sound not my disgrace! For Butts. I think, your highness saw this many a certain,

day.

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

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 'em yet. I had thought, They had parted so much honesty among 'em, (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 'em alone, and draw the curtain close ; We shall hear more anon.

[Exeunt.

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 Archbishop of CANTERBURY. The rest seat 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?
Crom.

Yes.
Nor.

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

Yes. D. Keep

My lord archbishop; 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-lable.
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 chap-

lains, (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

them, 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 progress 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 crooked 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.
Suf.

Nay, my lord,
That cannot be: you are a councillor,
And by that virtue no man dare accuse you.
Gar. My lord, because we have business of

more moment, We will be short with you. 'Tis his bighness'

pleasure, 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 ; 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 : Win straying souls with modesty again, 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 discovers, 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.
Gar.

Good master secretary,
I cry your honour mercy: you may, worst
Of all this table, say so.
Crom.

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

Not sound!
Gar. Not sound, I say.
Crom.

Would you were half so honest : Men's prayers, then, would seek you, not their

fears.
Gar. I shall remember this bold language.
Crom.

Do.
Remember your bold life too.
Chan.

This is too much;
Forbear, for shame, my lords.
Gar.

I have done.
Crom.
Chan. Then thus for you, my lord.—It stands

agreed,
I take it, by all voices, that forthwith
You be convey'd 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.

And I.

ye

some.

Cran.
Is there no other

way

of
mercy,
Not as a groom.

There's some of ye, I see, But I must needs to the Tower, my lords ?

More out of malice than integrity, Gar.

What other Would try him to the utmost, had ye mean; Would you expect? You are strangely trouble Which shall never have while I live.

Chan.

Thus far, Let some of the guard be ready there.

My most dread sovereign, may it like your grace

To let my tongue excuse all. What was purpos'd Enter Guard.

Concerning his imprisonment, was rather Cran.

For me? (If there be faith in men) meant for his trial, Must I go like a traitor thither ?

And fair purgation to the world, than malice, Gar.

Receive him, I'm sure, in me. And see him safe i’ the Tower.

K. Hen. Well, well, my lords, respect him : Cran.

Stay, good my lords; Take him, and use him well; he's worthy of it. I have a little yet to say.—Look there, my lords : I will say thus much for him: if a prince By virtue of that ring I take my cause

May be beholding to a subject, I Out of the gripes of cruel men, and give it

Am, for his love and service, so to him. To a most noble judge, the king my master. Make me no more ado, but all embrace him : Cham. This is the king's ring.

Be friends, for shame, my lords !--My lord of CanSur. 'Tis no counterfeit.

terbury, Suf. 'Tis the right ring, by heaven! I told yo I have a suit which you must not deny me; all,

That is, a fair young maid that yet wants baptism, When we first put this dangerous stone a rolling, You must be godfather, and answer for her. 'Twould fall upon ourselves.

Cran. The greatest monarch now alive may glory Nor.

Do you think, my lords, In such an honour: how may I deserve it, The king will suffer but the little finger

That am a poor and humble subject to you? Of this man to be vex'd ?

K. Hen. Come, come, my lord, you'd spare your Clam. 'Tis now too certain,

spoons. How much more is his life in value with him. You shall have two poble partners with you; Would I were fairly out on't.

The old duchess of Norfolk, and lady marquess Crom. My mind gave me,

Dorset : In seeking tales, and informations,

Will these please you? Against this man, whose honesty the devil

Once more, my lord of Winchester, I charge you, And his disciples only envy at,

Embrace, and love this man. Ye blew the fire that burns ye. Now have at ye. Gar.

With a true heart,

And brother-love, I do it. Enter the King, frowning on them ; he takes his

Cran.

And let heaven seat.

Witness how dear I hold this confirmation. Gar. Dread sovereign, how much are we bound K. Hen. Good man! those joyful teurs show thy to heaven

true heart. In daily thanks, that gave us such a prince ;

The common voice, I see, is verified Not only good and wise, but most religious : Of thee, which says thus, “ Do my lord of CanterOne that in all obedience makes the church

bury The chief aim of his honour; and, to strengthen A shrewd turn, and he is your friend for ever.”— That holy duty, out of dear respect,

Come, lords, we trifle time away ; I long His royal self in judgment comes to hear

To have this young one made a Christian. The cause betwixt her and this great offender. As I have made ye one, lords, one remain; K. Hen. You were ever good at sudden com So I grow stronger, you more honour gain. mendations,

[Exeunt. Bishop of Winchester; but know, I come not To hear such flattery now, and in my presence:

SCENE III.-The Palace Yard. They are too thin and bare to hide offences.

Noise and Tumult within. Enter Porter and his To me you cannot reach. You play the spaniel,

Man.
And think with wagging of your tongue to win me;
But, whatso'er thou tak'st me for, I'm sure,

Port. You'll leave your noise anon, ye rascals : Thou hast a cruel nature, and a bloody:-

do you take the court for Paris-garden? ye rude Good man,-[To CRANMER.]-sit down. Now, slaves, leave your gaping. let me see the proudest,

[Within.] Good master porter, I belong to the He that dares most, but wag his finger at thee : larder. By all that's holy, he had better starve,

Port. Belong to the gallows, and be hanged, you Than but once think this place becomes thee not. rogue! Is this a place to roar in ?-Fetch me a Sur. May it please your grace,

dozen crab-tree staves, and strong ones: these are K. Hen.

No, sir, it does not please me, but switches to them. I'll scratch your heads : I had thought, I had had men of some understanding you must be seeing christenings? Do you look And wisdom of my council; but I find none. for ale and cakes here, you rude rascals ? Was it discretion, lords, to let this man,

Man. Pray, sir, be patient: 'tis as much imThis good man, (few of you deserve that title)

possible, This honest man, wait like a lousy footboy

Unless we sweep 'em from the door with cannons, At chamber door ? and one as great as you are ? To scatter 'em, as 'tis to make 'em sleep Why, what a shame was this ! Did my commission On May-day morning; which will never be. Bid ye so far forget yourselves ? I gave ye

We may as well push against Paul's, as stir 'em. Power, as he was a councillor to try him,

Port. How got they in, and be hang'd ?

Man. Alas, I know not: how gets the tide in ? ly a file of boys behind 'em, loose shot, delivered As much as one sound cudgel of four foot

such a shower of pebbles, that I was fain to draw (You see the poor remainder) could distribute, mine honour in, and let 'em win the work. The I made no spare, sir.

devil was amongst 'em, I think, surely. Port. You did nothing, sir.

Port. These are the youths that thunder at a Man. I am not Samson, nor sir Guy, nor Colbrand, playhouse, and fight for bitten apples; that no To mow 'em down before me; but if I spared any, audience, but the Tribulation of Tower-hill, or the That had a head to hit, either young or old, limbs of Limehouse, their dear brothers, are able to He or she, cuckold or cuckold-maker,

endure. I have some of 'em in Limbo Patrum, and Let me ne'er hope to see a chine again;

there they are like to dance these three days, besides And that I would not for a cow, God save her. the running banquet of two beadles, that is to come.

[Within.] Do you hear, master Porter ?
Port. I shall be with you presently, good master

Enter the Lord Chamberlain. puppy.-Keep the door close, sirrah.

Cham. Mercy o' me, what a multitude are here! Man. What would you have me do?

They grow still too; from all parts they are coming, Port. What should you do, but knock 'em down As if we kept a fair here! Where are these porters, by the dozens ? Is this Moorfields to muster in? These lazy knaves ?-Ye have made a fine hand, or have we some strange Indian with the great tool

fellows: come to court, the women so besiege us? Bless There's a trim rabble let in. Are all these me, what a fry of fornication is at door! On my Your faithful friend o’ the suburbs? We shall have Christian conscience, this one christening will beget | Great store of room, no doubt, left for the ladies, a thousand : here will be father, godfather, and all When they pass back from the christening. together.

Port.

An't please your honour Man. The spoons will be the bigger, sir. There we are but men; and what so many may do, is a fellow somewhat near the door, he should be a Not being torn a pieces, we have done : brazier by his face, for, o' my conscience, twenty An army cannot rule 'em. of the dog-days now reign in's nose: all that stand Cham.

As I live, about him are under the line, they need no other | If the king blame me for't, I'll lay ye all penance. That fire-drake did I hit three times on By the heels, and suddenly; and on your heads the head, and three times was his nose discharged Clap round fines for neglect. Y'are lazy knaves; against me: he stands there, like a mortar-piece, And here ye lie baiting of bombards, when to blow us. There was a haberdasher's wife of Ye should do service. Hark! the trumpets sound; small wit near him, that railed upon me till her They're come already from the christening. pink'd porringer fell off her head, for kindling such | Go, break among the press, and find a way out a combustion in the state. I miss'd the meteor To let the troop pass fairly, or I'll find once, and hit that woman, who cried out, clubs ! A Marshalsea shall hold ye play these two months. when I might see from far some forty truncheoners Port. Make way there for the princess. draw to her succour, which were the hope o' the Man. You great fellow, Strand, where she was quartered. They fell on; Stand close up, or I'll make your head ache. I made good my place; at length they came to the Port. You i' the camblet, get up o' the rail; broomstaff to me : I defied 'em still; when sudden- | I'll peck you o'er the pales else. (Excunt.

48

[graphic][subsumed][merged small]
« PreviousContinue »