Page images
PDF

Put my sick cause into his hands that hates me?
Alas! he has banish'd me his bed already;
His love, too long ago: I am old, my lords,
And all the fellowship I hold now with him
Is only my obedience. What can happen
To me, above this wretchedness? all your studies
Make me a curse like this.
Cam.

Your fears are worse.
Q. Kath. Have I liv'd thus long-(let me speak my-

self,
Since virtue finds no friends),-a wife, a true one?
A woman (I dare say, without vain-glory),
Never yet branded with suspicion?
Have I with all iny full affections
Still met the king? lov'd him next heaven? obey'd him?
Been, out of foudness, superstitious to him?
Almost forgot my prayers to content him?
And am I thus rewarded? 'tis not well, lords.
Bring me a constant woman to her husband,
One that ne'er dream'd a joy beyond his pleasure;
And to that woman, when she has done most,
Yet will I add an honour,--a great patience.
Wol. Madam. Vou wander from the good we aim at.

Q. Kath. My lord, I dare not make myself so guilty, To give up willingly that noble title Your master wed me to : nothing but death Shall e'er divorce my dignities. Wol.

'Pray, bear me. Q. Kath. 'Would I had never trod this English earth, Or felt the flatteries that grow upon it! Ye have angels' faces, but heaven knows your hearts. What will become of me now, wretched lady? I am the most unhappy woman living. Alas! poor wenches, where are now your fortunes?

[To her Women. Shipwreck'd upon a kingdom, where no pity, No friends, no hope; no kindred weep for me, Almost, no grave allow'd me :-Like the lily, That once was mistress of the field, and flourish’d, I'll hang my head, and perish. Wol.

If your grace

Could but be brought to know, our ends are honest,
You'd feel more comfort: why should we, good lady,
Upon what cause, wrong you? alas! our places,
The way of our profession, is against it;
We are to cure such sorrows, not to sow them.
For goodness' sake, consider what you do;
How you may hurt yourself, ay, utterly
Grow from the king's acquaintance, by this carriage.
The hearts of princes kiss obedience,
So inuch they love it; but, to stubborn spirits,
They swell, and grow as terrible as storms.
I know you have a gentle, noble temper,
A soul as even as a calm: Pray, think us
Those we profess, peace-makers, friends, and servants.
Cam. Madam, you'll find it so. You wrong your

virtues
With these weak women's fears. A noble spirit,
As yours was put into you, ever casts
Such doubts, as false coin, from it. The king loves you;
Beware, you lose it not: For us, if you please
To trust us in your business, we are ready
To use our utmost studies in your service.
Q. Kath. Do what ye will, my lords: And, pray, for-

give me, If I have us’d myself unmannerly: You know, I am a woman, lacking wit To make a seemly answer to such persons. Pray, do my service to his majesty: He has my heart yet; and shall have my prayers, While I shall have my life. Come, reverend fathers, Bestow your counsels on me: she now begs, That little thought, when she set footing here, She should have bought her dignities so dear. [Exeunt. SCENE 11. Antechamber to the King's Apartment. Enter the Duke of Norfolk, the Duke of Suffolk,

the EARL of SURRY, and the Lord Chamberlain.

Nor. If you will now unite in your complaints And force them with a constancy, the cardinal Cannot stand under them : If you omit

The offer of this time, I cannot promise,
But that you shall sustain more pew disgraces,
With these you bear already.
Surry.

I am joyful
To meet the least occasion, that may give me
Remembrance of my father-in-law, the duke,
To be reveng'd on him.
Suff.

Which of the peers
Have uncontemn'd gone by him, or at least
Strangely neglected? when did he regard
The stamp of nobleness in any person,
Out of himself?

Cham. My lords, you speak your pleasures :
What he deserves of you and me, I know;
What we can do to him (though now the time
Gives way to us), I much fear. If you cannot
Bar his access to the king, never attempt
Any thing on him; for he hath a witchcraft
Over the king in his tongue.
Nor.

O, fear him not;
His spell in that is out : the king hath found
Matter against him, that for ever mars
The honey of his language. No, he settled,
Not to come off, in his displeasure.

Surry.
I should be glad to hear such news as this
Once every hour.
Nor.

Believe it, this is true.
In the divorce, his contrary proceedings
Are all unfolded; wherein he appears,
As I could wish mine enemy.
Surry.

How came
His practices to light?
Suff

Most strangely.
Surry.

O, how, how? Suff. The cardinal's letter to the pope miscarried, And came to the eye o'the king; wherein was read, How that the cardinal did entreat his holiness To stay the judgment o'the divorce: For if It did take place, I do, quoth he, perceive

[ocr errors]

My king is tangled in affection to
A creature of the queen's, lady Anne Bullen.

Surry. Has the king this?
Suff.

Believe it.
Surry.

Will this work?
Cham. The king in this perceives him, how he coasts,
And hedges, his own way. But in this point
All his tricks founder, and he brings his physic
After his patient's death; the king already
Hath married the fair lady.
Surry.

Would he had!
Suff. May you be happy in your wish, my lord;
For, 1 profess, you have it.
Surry.

Now all my joy
Trace the conjunction!
Suff

My amen to't!
Nor.

AU men's.
Suff. There's order given for her coronation :
Marry, this is yet but young, and may be left
To some ears unrecounted.-But, my lords.
She is a gallant creature, and complete
In mind and feature: I persuade me, from her
Will fall some blessing to this land, which shall
In it be memoriz'd.
Surry.

But, will the king
Digest this letter of the cardinal's!
The Lord forbid !

Marry, amen!
Suff

No, no;
There be more wasps that buz about his nose,
Will make this sting the sooner. Cardinal Campeius
Is stolen away to Rome: hath ta'en no leave;
Has left the cause o'the king unhandled; and
Is posted, as the agent of our cardinal,
To second all his plot. I do assure you
The king cried, ba! at this.
| Cham,

Now, God incense him, And let him cry ha, louder! · Nor.

But, my lord, When returns Cranmer?

[ocr errors]

Suff. He is return'd, in his opinions; which
Have satisfied the king for his divorce,
Together with all famous colleges
Almost in Christendom: shortly, I believe,
His second marriage shall be publisb’d, and
Her coronation. Katharine no more
Shall be callid queen; but princess dowager,
And widow to prince Arthur.
Nor.

This same Cranmer's
A worthy fellow, and hath ta'en much pain
In the king's business.
Suff.

He has; and we shall see hiin

For it, an archbishop:

[ocr errors]

Nor.
Suff

'Tis so. The cardinal

Enter Wolsey and CROMWELL. Nor.

Observe, observe, he's moody. Wol. The packet, Cromwell, gave it you the king? Crom. To his own hand, in his bedchamber.. Wol. Look'd he o'the inside of the paper? Crom.

Presently
He did unseal them; and the first he view'd,
He did it with a serious mind; a heed
Was in his countenance : You, he bade,
Attend him here this morning.
Wol.

Is he ready
To come abroad?.
Crom.

I think, by this he is.
Wol. Leave me awhile.-

[Exit Cromwell.
It shall be to the duchess of Alençon,
The French king's sister : he shall marry her. -
Anne Bullen! No; I'll no Anne Bullens for him:
There is more in it than fair visage.—Bullen!
No, we'll no Ballens.-Speedily I wish
To hear from Rome.—The marchioness of Pembroke!

Nor. He's discontented.
Suff.

May be, he hears the king Does whet his anger to liin.

« PreviousContinue »