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Prove but our marriage lawful, by my life,
So please your highness,
I may perceive, [Aside. These cardinals trifle with me: I abhor This dilatory sloth, and tricks of Rome. My learn’d and well-beloved servant, Cranmer, Prithee, return! with thy approach, I know, My comfort comes along. Break up the court: I say, set on.
[Exeunt in manner as they entered.
The condemnation and subsequent demeanour of Buckingham are thus given by Hall. The outline has been beautifully filled up in the poet's picture :
“ The duke was brought to the bar sore chafing, and sweat marvellously; after he had made his reverence he paused awhile.” * * * * *
After his sentence “the Duke of Buckingham said, — My lord of Norfolk, you have said as a traitor should be said unto, but I was never none; but, my lords, I nothing malign for that you have done to me, but the eternal God forgive you my death, as I do: I shall never sue to the king for life, howbeit he is a gracious prince, and more grace may come from him than I desire. I desire you, my lords, and all my fellows to pray for me.'
“ Then was the edge of the axe turned towards him, and so led into a barge. Sir Thomas Lovell desired him to sit on the cushions and carpet ordained for him; he said, "Nay, for when I went to Westminster I was Duke of Buckingham; now I am but Edward Bohun, the most caitiff of the world.' Thus they landed at the Temple, where received him Sir Nicolas Vawse and Sir William Sandes, Baronets, and led him through the city, who desired ever the people to pray for him, of whom some wept and lamented, and said, This is the end of evil life. God forgive him ! he was a proud prince; it is a pity that he behaved him so against his king and
liege lord, whom God preserve. Thus about iiii of the clock he was brought as a cast man to the Tower.”
Holinshed thus narrates the circumstance which suggests the dialogue between Campeius and Wolsey in the second scene :-“ About this time the king received into favour Doctor Stephen Gardiner, whose service he used in matters of great secresy and weight; admitting him in the room of Doctor Pace, the which being continually abroad in ambassades, and the same oftentimes not much necessary, by the cardinal's appointment, at length he took such grief therewith that he fell out of his right wits."
The great trial-scene is fully described by Cavendish, in one of the most interesting pieces of memoir-writing which our language furnishes. We track Shakspere at every step :
« Ye shall understand, as I said before, that there was a court erected in the Blackfriars in London, where these two cardinals sat for judges. Now will I set you out the manner and order of the court there. First, there was a court placed with tables, benches, and bars, like a consistory, a place judicial (for the judges to sit on). There was also a cloth of estate, under the which sat the king; and the queen sat some distance beneath the king : under the judges' feet sat the officers of the court. The chief scribe there was Dr. Stephens (who was after Bishop of Winchester); the apparitor was one Cooke, most commonly called Cooke of Winchester. Then sat there within the said court, directly before the king and the judges, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Doctor Warham, and all the other bishops. Then at both the ends, with a bar made for them, the councillors on both sides. The doctors for the king were Doctor Sampson, that was after Bishop of Chichester, and Doctor Bell, who after was Bishop of Worcester, with divers other. The proctors on the king's part were Doctor Peter, who was after made the king's chief secretary, and Doctor Tregonell, and divers other.
“ Now on the other side stood the counsel for the queen,-Doctor Fisher, Bishop of Rochester, and Doctor Standish, some time a grey friar, and then Bishop of St. Asaph in Wales; two notable clerks in divinity, and in especial the Bishop of Rochester, a very godly man and a devout person, who after suffered death at Tower Hill; the which was greatly lamented through all the foreign universities of Christendom. There was also another ancient doctor, called, as I remember, Doctor Ridley, a very small person in stature, but surely a great and excellent clerk in divinity.
“ The court being thus furnished and ordered, the judges commanded the crier to proclaim silence; then was the judges' commission, which they had of the pope, published and read openly before all the audience there assembled : that done, the crier called the king, by the name of King Henry of England, come into the court,' &c. With that the king answered and said, “Here, my lords.' Then he called also the queen, by the name of 'Katharine queen of England, come into the court,' &c.; who made no answer to the same, but rose up incontinent out of her chair, where as she sat; and because she could not come directly to the king for the distance which severed them, she took pain to go about unto the king, kneeling down at his feet in the sight of all the court and assembly, to whom she said in effect, in broken English, as followeth :
“«Sir,' quoth she, “I beseech you for all the loves that hath been between us, and for the love of God, let me have justice and right; take of me some pity and compassion, for I am a poor woman and a stranger born out of your dominion ; I have here no assured friend, and much less indifferent counsel ; I flee to you as to the head of justice within this realm. Alas! sir, wherein have I offended you, or what occasion of displeasure? Have I designed against your will and pleasure; intending, as I perceive, to put me from you? I take God and all the world to witness that I have been to you a true, humble, and obedient wife, ever conformable to your will and pleasure, that never said or did anything to the contrary thereof, being always well pleased and contented with all things wherein you had any delight or dalliance, whether it were in little or much; I never grudged in word or countenance, or showed a visage or spark of discontentation. I loved all those whom ye loved only for your sake, whether I had cause or no, and whether they were my friends or my enemies. This twenty years I have been your true wife, or more, and by me ye have had divers children, although it hath pleased God to call them out of this world, which hath been no default in me.
“And when ye had me at the first, I take God to be my judge, I was a true maid without touch of man; and whether it be true or no, I put it to your conscience. If there be any just cause by the law that ye can allege against me, either of dishonesty or any other impediment, to banish and put me from you, I am well content to depart, to my great shame and dishonour; and if there be none, then here I most lowly beseech you let me remain in my former estate, and receive justice at your hands. The king your father was in the time of his reign of such estimation through the world for his excellent wisdom, that he was accounted and called of all men the second Solomon; and my father Ferdinand King of Spain, who was esteemed to be one of the wittiest princes that reigned in Spain many years before, were both wise and excellent kings in wisdom and princely behaviour. It is not therefore to be doubted but that they elected and gathered as wise councillors about them as to their high discretions was thought meet. Also, as me seemeth, there was in those days as wise, as well-learned men, and men of as good judgment, as be at this present in both realms, who thought then the marriage between you and me good and lawful; therefore it is a wonder to hear what new inventions are now invented against me, that never intended but honesty, and cause me to stand to the order and judgment of this new court, wherein ye may do me much wrong, if ye intend any cruelty; for ye may condemn me for lack of sufficient answer, having no indifferent counsel, but such as be assigned me, with whose wisdom and learning I am not acquainted. Ye must consider that they cannot be indifferent counsellors for my part which be your subjects, and taken out of your own council before, wherein they be made privy, and dare not, for your displeasure, disobey your will and intent, being once made privy thereto. Therefore, I most humbly require you, in the way of charity, and for the love of God, who is the best judge, to spare me the extremity of this new court, until I may be advertised what way and order my friends in Spain will advise me to take; and if ye will not extend to me so much indifferent favour, your pleasure then be fulfilled, and to God I commit my cause!
“ And with that she rose up, making a low curtsy to the king, and so departed from thence. Many supposed that she would have resorted again to her former place; but she took her way straight out of the house, leaning, as she was wont always to do, upon the arm of her general receiver, called Master Griffith. And the king, being advertised of her departure, commanded the crier to call her again, who called her by the name of Katharine queen of England, come into the court,' &c. With that quoth Master Griffith, Madam, ye be called again. “On, on,' quoth she, “it maketh no matter, for it is no indifferent court for me, therefore I will not tarry. Go on your ways. And thus she departed out of that court, without any farther answer at that time, or at any other, nor would never appear at any other court after.
“ The king, perceiving that she was departed in such sort, calling to his grace's memory all her lament words that she had pronounced before him and all the audience, said thus in effect:- Forasmuch,' quoth he, as the queen is gone, I will, in her absence, declare unto you all, my lords here present assembled, she hath been to me as true, as obedient, and as conformable a wife as I could in my fantasy wish or desire. She hath all the virtuous qualities that ought to be in a woman of her dignity, or in any other of baser estate. Surely she is also a noblewoman born: if nothing were in her but only her conditions, will well declare the same.' With that quoth my lord cardinal,— Sir, I most humbly beseech your highness to declare me before all this audience, whether I have been the chief inventor or first mover of this matter unto your majesty; for I am greatly suspected of all men herein.' My lord cardinal,' quoth the king, "I can well excuse you herein. Marry,' quoth he, 'ye have been rather against me in attempting or setting forth thereof. And to put you all out of doubt, I will declare unto you the special cause that moved me hereunto; it was a certain scrupulosity that pricked my conscience upon divers words that were spoken at a certain time by the Bishop of Bayonne, the French king's ambassador, who had been here long upon the debating for the conclusion of a marriage to be concluded between the princess our daughter Mary and the Duke of Orleans, the French king's second son.
“And upon the resolution and determination thereof, he desired respite to advertise the king his master thereof, whether our daughter Mary should be legitimate in respect of the marriage which was sometime between the queen here and my brother the late prince Arthur. These words were so conceived within my scrupulous conscience, that it bred a doubt within my breast, which doubt pricked, vexed, and troubled so my mind, and so disquieted me, that I was in great doubt of God's indignation ; which, as seemed me, appeared right well; much the rather for that he hath not sent me any issue male; for all such issue male as I have received of the queen died incontinent after they were born; so that I doubt the punishment of God in that behalf. Thus being troubled in waves of a scrupulous conscience, and partly in despair of any issue male by her, it drave me at last to consider the estate of this realm, and the danger it stood in for lack of issue male to succeed me in this imperial dignity. I thought it good, therefore, in relief of the weighty burden of scrupulous conscience, and the quiet estate of this noble realm, to attempt the law therein, and whether I might take another wife in case that my first copulation with this gentlewoman were not lawful; which I intend not for any carnal concupiscence, nor for any displeasure or mislike of the queen’s person or age, with whom I could be as well content to continue during my life, if our marriage may stand with God's laws, as with any woman alive; in which point consisteth all this doubt that we go now about to try by the learned wisdom and judgment of you our prelates and pastors of this realm here assembled for that purpose; to whose conscience and judgment I have committed the charge, according to the which, God willing, we will be right well contented to submit ourself, to obey the same for our part. Wherein after I once perceived my conscience wounded with the doubtful case herein, I moved first this matter in confession to you, my lord of Lincoln, my ghostly father. And forasmuch as then yourself were in some doubt to give me counsel, moved me to ask further counsel of all you, my lords; wherein I moved you first, my lord of Canterbury, axing your licence (forasmuch as you were our metropolitan) to put this matter in question ; and so I did of all you, my lords ; to the which ye have all granted by writing under all your seals, the which I have here to be showed.' "That is truth, if it please your highness,' quoth the Bishop of Canterbury ; ' I doubt not but all my brethren here present will affirm the same.' “No, sir, not I,' quoth the Bishop of Rochester, ‘ye have not my consent thereto.'
No ha' thee?' quoth the king; look here upon this: is not this your hand and seal ?' and showed him the instrument with seals. •No, forsooth, sire,' quoth the