Bishop of Rochester, it is not my hand nor seal!' To that quoth the king to my lord of Canterbury, “Sir, how say ye? is it not his hand and seal ? “Yes, sir," quoth my lord of Canterbury. "That is not so,' quoth the Bishop of Rochester, • for indeed you were in hand with me to have both my hand and seal, as other of my lords had already done ; but then I said to you that I would never consent to no such act, for it were much against my conscience ; nor my hand and seal should never be seen at any such instrument, God willing; with much more matter touching the same communication between us.' “You say truth,' quoth the Bishop of Canterbury ; “such words ye said unto me; but at the last ye were fully persuaded that I should for you subscribe your name, and put to a seal myself, and ye would allow the same.' " All which words and matter,' quoth the Bishop of Rochester, under your correction, my lord, and supportation of this noble audience, there is nothing more untrue.' "Well, well,' quoth the king, “it shall make no matter ; we will not stand with you in argument herein, for you are but one man.' And with that the court was adjourned until the next day of this session."


(Queen Katharine.]





SCENE I. Palace at Bridewell. A Room in the Queen's

Apartment. The QUEEN, and some of her Women, at work. Q. Kath. Take thy lute, wench: my soul grows sad with

troubles :
Sing, and disperse them if thou canst: leave working.

Orpheus with his lute made trees,
And the mountain-tops that freeze,

Bow themselves, when he did sing :
To his music, plants and flowers
Ever sprung; as sun and showers

There had made a a lasting spring.
Everything that heard him play,
Even the billows of the sea,

Hung their heads, and then lay by.
In sweet music is such art:
Killing care and grief of heart
Fall asleep, or, hearing, die.

Enter a Gentleman.
Q. Kath. How now?

Gent. An't please your grace, the two great cardinals
Wait in the presence.
Q. Kath.

Would they speak with me?
Gent. They willd me say so, madam.
Q. Kath.

Pray their graces
To come near. [Exit Gent.] What can be their business


weak woman, fallen from favour?
I do not like their coming. Now I think on’t,
They should be good men ; b their affairs as righteous :
But all hoods make not monks.c

With me, a

a The modern editors, without the slightest authority, read—

" There had been a lasting spring." b We follow the punctuation of the original. The ordinary reading is—

“ I do not like their coming, now I think on 't." © The old Latin proverb—" Cucullus non facit monachum."



Peace to your highness!
Q. Kath. Your graces find me here part of a housewife;
I would be all, against the worst may happen.
What are your pleasures with me, reverend lords?

Wol. May it please you, noble madam, to withdraw
Into your private chamber, we shall give you
The full cause of our coming.
Q. Kath.

Speak it here;
There's nothing I have done yet, o' my conscience,
Deserves a corner: 'Would all other women
Could speak this with as free a soul as I do!
My lords, I care not, (so much I am happy
Above a number,) if my actions
Were tried by every tongue, every eye saw them,
Envy and base opinion set against them,
I know my life so even: If your business
Seek me out, and that



am wife in, Out with it boldly: Truth loves open dealing. Wol. Tanta est ergà te mentis integritas, regina sere

Q. Kath. O good my lord, no Latin;
I am not such a truant since my coming,
As not to know the language I have liv'd in :
A strange tongue makes my cause more strange, suspicious ;
Pray speak in English: here are some will thank

If you speak truth, for their poor mistress' sake;
Believe me she has had much wrong: Lord cardinal,
The willing'st sin I ever yet committed
May be absolv'd in English.

Noble lady,
I am sorry my integrity should breed,
And service to his majesty and you,
So deep suspicion where all faith was meant.
We come not by the way of accusation,
To taint that honour every good tongue blesses ;
Nor to betray you any way to sorrow;
You have too much, good lady: but to know

How you stand minded in the weighty difference
Between the king and you; and to deliver,
Like free and honest men, our just opinions,
And comforts to your cause.

Most honour'd madam,
My lord of York,-out of his noble nature,
Zeal and obedience he still bore your grace;
Forgetting, like a good man, your late censure
Both of his truth and him, (which was too far,)--
Offers, as I do, in a sign of peace,
His service and his counsel.
Q. Kath.
To betray me.

My lords, I thank you both for your good wills;
Ye speak like honest men ; pray God, ye prove so!
But how to make ye suddenly an answer,
In such a point of weight, so near mine honour,
(More near my life, I fear,) with my weak wit,
And to such men of gravity and learning,
In truth, I know not. I was set at work
Among my maids ; full little, God knows, looking
Either for such men, or such business.
For her sake that I have been, (for I feel
The last fit of my greatness,) good your graces,
Let me have time, and counsel, for my cause ;
Alas! I am a woman, friendless, hopeless.

Wol. Madam, you wrong the king's love with these


Your hopes and friends are infinite.
Q. Kath.

In England
But little for my profit: Can you think, lords,
That any Englishman dare give me counsel ?
Or be a known friend, ’gainst his highness' pleasure,
(Though he be grown so desperate to be honest,)
And live a subject ? Nay, forsooth, my friends,
They that must weigh out a my afflictions,
They that

my trust must grow to, live not here:
They are, as all my other comforts, far hence,
In mine own country, lords.

Weigh out-outweigh,



I would your grace Would leave your griefs, and take my counsel. Q. Kath.

How, sir? Cam. Put your main cause into the king's protection ; He's loving, and most gracious ; 't will be much Both for your honour better, and your cause ; For, if the trial of the law o’ertake

You 'll part away disgrac'd.

He tells you rightly.
Q. Kath. Ye tell me what ye wish for both, my ruin:
Is this your christian counsel ? out upon ye!
Heaven is above all yet; there sits a Judge
That no king can corrup

Your rage mistakes us.
Q. Kath. The more shame for ye; holy men I thought ye,
Upon my soul, two reverend cardinal virtues ;
But cardinal sins, and hollow hearts, I fear ye:
Mend them, for shame, my lords. Is this your comfort ?
The cordial that ye bring a wretched lady?
A woman lost among ye, laugh'd at, scorn'd?
I will not wish ye half my miseries,
I have more charity : But say, I warn'd ye;
Take heed; for Heaven's sake, take heed, lest at once
The burthen of my sorrows fall upon ye.

Wol. Madam, this is a mere distraction; You turn the good we offer into envy.

Q. Kath. Ye turn me into nothing : Woe upon ye,
And all such false professors ! Would ye have me
(If you have any justice, any pity;
If ye be anything but churchmen's habits)

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.

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

« VorigeDoorgaan »