Графични страници
PDF файл

His grace

For your own quiet, as to rectify
What is unsettled in the king.

Hath spoken well, and justly: Therefore, madam,
It's fit this royal session do proceed ;
And that, without delay, their arguments
Be now produc'd, and heard.

Lord cardinal,
To you I speak.

Your pleasure, madam ?

2. Kath.

[ocr errors]


I am about to weep; but, thinking that
We are a queen, (or long have dreaın'd fo,) certain,
The daughter of a king, my drops of tears
I'll turn to sparks of fire.

Be patient yet.
Q: Kath. 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 shall not be my judge; for it is you
Have blown this coal betwixt my lord and me,-
Which God's dew quench!—Therefore, I say again,
I utterly abhor, yea, from my soul


for my judge; whom, yet once more,
I hold my moft malicious foe, and think not
At all a friend to truth.

I do profess,
You speak not like yourself; who ever yet
Have stood to charity, and display'd the effects
Of disposition gentle, and of wisdom
O’ertopping woman's power. Madam, you do me wrong:
I have no fpleen against you; nor injuitice
For you, or any : how far I have proceeded,


Or how far further shall, is warranted
By a commission from the consistory,
Yea, the whole consistory of Rome. You charge me,
That I have blown this coal : I do deny it:
The king is present : If it be known to him,
That I gainsay my deed, how may he wound,
And worthily, my falsehood ? 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 curé me: and the cure is, to
Remove these thoughts from you : The which before
His highness shall speak in, I do beseech
You, gracious madam, to unthink your speaking,
And to say so no more.
Q: Kath.

My lord, my lord,
I am a simple woman, much too weak
To oppose your cunning. You are meek and humble.

You sign your place and calling, in full seeming,
With meekness and humility: but your

Is cramm'd with arrogancy, spleen, and pride.
You have, by fortune, and his highness' favours,
Gone slightly o’er low steps; and now are mounted,
Where powers are your retainers: and your words,
Domesticks to you, ferve your will, as't please

their office. I must tell you,
You tender more your person's honour, than
Your high profession spiritual : That again
I do refuse you for my judge; and here,
Before you all, appeal unto the pope,
To bring my whole cause 'fore his holiness,
And to be judg’d by him.
[She curt lies to the King, and offers to depart,



The queen is obftinate,
Stubborn to justice, apt to accuse it, and
Disdainful to be try'd by it ; 'tis not well.
She's going away.

K. Hen. Call her again.
Crier. Katharine queen of England, come into the court.
Grif, Madam, you are call'd back,
Q. Kath. What need you note it? pray you, keep yout

When you are callid, return.-Now the Lord help,
They vex me past my patience !-pray you, pass on:
I will not tarry; no, nor ever more,
Upon this business, my appearance make

of their courts. [Exeunt Queen, GRIFFITH, and her other Attendants, K. Hen.

Go thy ways, Kate :
That man i'the world, who shall report he has
A better wife, let him in nought be trusted,
For speaking false in that : Thou art, alone,
If thy rare qualities, sweet gentleness,
Thy meekness faint-like, wife-like government, —-
Obeying in commanding,--and thy parts
Sovereign and pious else, could speak thee out)

of earthly queens :-She is noble bora ;
And, like her true nobility, she has
Carried herself towards me.

Moft gracious fir,
In humblest manner I require your highness,
That it shall please you to declare, in hearing
Of all these ears, (for where I am robb’d and bound,
There must I be unloos'd; although not there
At once and fully satisfied,) whether ever I
Did broach this business to your highness; or
Laid any scruple in your way, which might

The queen

Induce you to the question on't? or ever
Have to you,—but with thanks to God for such
A royal lady,-fpake one the least word, might
Be to the prejudice of her present state,
Or touch of her good perfon?
K. Hen.

My lord cardinal,
I do excuse you; yea, upon mine honour,
Į free you from't. You are not to be taught
That you have many enemies, that know not
Why they are so, but, like to village curs,
Bark, when their fellows do: by some of these
The queen is put in anger. You are excus'd :
But will you be more justify'd ? you ever
Have wish'd the sleeping of this business; never
Defir'd it to be stirr'd; but oft have hinder'd; 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

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 fent 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,
Sometimes our brother's wife. This refpite shook
The bosom of my conscience, enter'd me,


By this

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, thould
Do no niore offices of life to't, than
The grave does to the dead : for her male issue
Or died where they were made, or thortly after
This world had air'd them : Hence I took a thought,
This was a judgement on me; that my kingdom,
Well worthy the best heir o'the world, thould not
Be gladded in't by me : Then follows, that
I weigh'd the danger which my realms stood in

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.

Very well, my liege.
K. Hen. I have spoke long; be pleas'd yourself to say
How far you satisfy'd me.

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


« ПредишнаНапред »