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(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,
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 fears;
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'
(Though he be grown so desperate to be honAnd live a subject? Nay, forsooth, my friends, They that must weigh out 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.
Cum. 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; [much He's loving, and most gracious; 'twill be Both for your honour better, and your cause; For, if the trial of the law o'ertake you, You'll part away disgrac'd.
Wol. 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 corrupt.
Cum. 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
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
The burden 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, [rie
And all such false professors! Would ye have
(If you have any justice, any pity;
If ye be any thing but churchmen's habits,)
Put my sick cause into his hands that hates
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
Make me a curse like this.
Cam. Your fears are worse. Q. Kath. Have I liv'd thus long-(let me speak myself, [one? Since virtue finds no friends,)-a wife, a true A woman (I dare say, without vainglory,) Never yet branded with suspicion? Have I with all my full affections Still met the king? lov'd him next heaven? obey'd him?
Been, out of fondness, 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 plea
What will become of me now, wretched lady?
I am the most unhappy woman living.-
Alas! poor wenches, where are now your for-
[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 flour-
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,
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
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 II.-Ante-chamber to the King's Apartment.
Enter the Duke of NORFOLK, the Duke of SUFFOLK, the Earl of SURREY, and the Lord CHAMBERLAIN.
Nor. If you will now unite in your complaints,
And forcet 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 new disgraces,
With these you bear already.
To meet the least occasion, that may give me Remembrance of my father-in-law, the duke, To be reveng'd on him.
Suf. 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.
His spell in that is out: the king hath found Matter against him, that for ever mars
The honey of his language. No, he's settled, Not to come off, in his displeasure.
Suf. Believe it.
Sur. Will this work?
Cham. The king in this perceives him, how
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.
Suf. May you be happy in your wish, my For, I profess, you have it. Sur. Now all my joy Trace the conjunction! Suf. My amen to't! Nor. All men's.
Suf. 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.‡
Sur. But, will the king
Digest this letter of the cardinal's?
The Lord forbid !
Nor. Marry, amen!
Suf. No, no;
There be more wasps that buz about his nose, Cardinal Will make this sting the sooner.
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 cry'd, ha! at this.
Cham. Now, God incense him,
And let him cry ha, louder!
Nor. But, my lord,
When returns Cranmer?
Suf. 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 publish'd, and Her coronation. Katharine no more
Shall be call'd, 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.
Suf. He has; and we shall see him
For it, an archbishop.
Nor. So I hear.
Suf. 'Tis so.
Enter WOLSEY and CROMWELL.
Nor. Observe, observe, he's moody.
Wol. The packet, Cromwell, gave it you
Crom. To his own hand, in his bed-chamber.
Wol. Look'd he o'the inside of the paper?
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 a while.-
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
There is more in it than fair visage.--Bullen!
No, we'll no Bullens.-Speedily I wish
To hear from Rome. The marchioness
Nor. He's discontented.
Suf. May be, he hears the king
Does whet his anger to him.
Sur. Sharp enough,
Lord, for thy justice!
Wol. The late queen's gentlewoman; a
To be her mistress mistress! the queen's
This candle burns not clear: 'tis I must snuff
Then, out it goes.-What though I know her
And well-deserving? yet I know her for
A spleeny Lutheran; and not wholesome to
Our cause, that she should lie i' the bosom of
Our hard-rul'd king. Again, there is sprung
A heretic, an arch one, Cranmer; one
Hath crawl'd into the favour of the king,
And is his oracle.
Nor. He is vex'd at something.
Of your best graces in your mind; the which
You were now running o'er; you have scarce
To keep your earthly audit: sure, in that
To steal from spiritual leisure a brief span,
I deem you an ill husband; and am glad
To have you therein my companion.
For holy offices I have a time; a time
To think upon the part of business, which
Her times of preservation, which, perforce,
I bear i' the state; and nature does require
Must give my tendance to.
I, her frail son, amongst my brethren mortal,
K. Hen. You have said well.
Wol. And ever may your highness yoke to-
As I will lend you cause, my doing well
With my well saying!
And 'tis a kind of good deed, to say well:
K. Hen. "Tis well said again;
And yet words are no deeds. My father lov'd
He said, he did; and with his deed did crown
His word upon you. Since I had my office,
I have kept you next my heart; have not alone
Suf. I would, 'twere something that would Employ'd you where high profits might come
fret the string,
The master-cord of his heart!
Enter the KING, reading a Schedule;* and
Suf. The king, the king.
K. Hen. What piles of wealth hath he accumulated
To his own portion! and what expense by the
Seems to flow from him! How, i' the name of
Does he rake this together!-Now, my lords;
Saw you the cardinal?
Nor. My lord, we have
Stood here observing him: Some strange com-
Is in his brain: he bites his lip, and starts;
Stops on a sudden, looks upon the ground,
Then, lays his finger on his temple; straight,
Springs out into fast gait; then, stops again,
Strikes his breast hard; and anon, he casts
His eye against the moon: in most strange
We have seen him set himself.
K. Hen. It may well be;
There is a mutiny in his mind. This morning
Papers of state he sent me to peruse,
As I requir'd; And, wot‡ you, what I found
There; on my conscience, put unwittingly?
Forsooth, an inventory, thus importing,-
The several parcels of his plate, his treasure,
Rich stuffs, and ornaments of household; which
I find at such proud rate, that it out-speaks
Possession of a subject.
Nor. It's heaven's will;
Some spirit put this paper in the packet,
To bless your eye withal.
K. Hen. If we did think
His contemplation were above the earth,
And fix'd on spiritual object, he should still
Dwell in his musings: but I am afraid,
His thinkings are below the moon, not worth
His serious considering.
[He takes his seat, and whispers Lovell,
who goes to WOLSEY.
Wol. Heaven forgive me!
Ever God bless your highness!
But par'd my present havings, to bestow
My bounties upon you.
Wol. What should this mean?
Sur. The Lord increase this business!
K. Hen. Have I not made you
If what I now pronounce, you have found true:
The prime man of the state? I pray you, tell
And, if you may confess it, say withal,
If you are bound to us, or no. What say you?
Wol. My sovereign, I confess, your royal
My studied purposes requite; which went
Shower'd on me daily, have been more, than
Beyond all man's endeavours:-my endeavours
Have ever come too short of my desires,
Have been mine so, that evermore they pointed
Yet, fil'd with my abilities: Mine own ends
The profit of the state. For your great graces
To the good of your most sacred person, and
Heap'd upon me, poor undeserver, I
Can nothing render but allegiant thanks;
Which ever has, and ever shall be growing,
My prayers to heaven for you; my loyalty,
Till death, that winter, kill it.
K. Hen. Fairly answer'd;
A loyal and obedient subject is
Therein illustrated: The honour of it
The foulness is the punishment. I presume,
Does pay the act of it; as, i' the contrary,
That, as my hand has open'd bounty to you,
My heart dropp'd love, my power rain'd hon-
On you, than any; so your hand, and heart,
Your brain, and every function of your power,
Should, notwithstanding that your bond of
As 'twere in love's particular, be more [duty,
To me, your friend, than any.
That for yourhighness' good I ever labour'd
More than mine own; that am, have, and will
Though all the world should crack their duty
And throw it from their soul: though perils did
Abound, as thick as thought could make them,
You are full of heavenly stuff, and bear the Appear in forms more horrid; yet my duty,
As doth a rock against the chiding flood,
Should the approach of this wild river break,
And stand unshaken yours.
K. Hen. "Tis nobly spoken: Take notice, lords, he has a loyal breast, For you have seen him open't.-Read o'er this; [Giving him papers. And, after, this: and then to breakfast, with What appetite you have.
[Exit KING, frowning upon Cardinal WOLSEY: the Nobles throng after him, smiling, and whispering. Wol. What should this mean? What sudden anger's this? how have I reap'd He parted frowning from me, as if ruin [it? Leap'd from his eyes: So looks the chated lion
Upon the daring huntsman that has gall'd him; Then makes him nothing. I must read this
I fear, the story of his anger.-'Tis so;
This paper has undone me:-"Tis the account
Of all that world of wealth I have drawn to-
For mine own ends; indeed, to gain the pope-
And fee my friends in Rome. O negligence,
Fit for a fool to fall by! What cross devil
Made me put this main secret in the packet
I sent the king? Is there no way to cure this?
No new device to beat this from his brains?
I know, 'twill stir him strongly; Yet I know
A way, if it take right, in spite of fortune
Will bring me off again. What's this-To the
The letter, as I live, with all the business
I writ to his holiness. Nay then, farewell!
I have touch'd the highest point of all my
And, from that full meridian of my glory,
I haste now to my setting: I shall fall
Like a bright exhalation in the evening,
And no man see me more.
Re-enter the Dukes of NORFOLK, and SUFFOLK, the Earl of SURREY, and the Lord CHAMBER
Nor. Hear the king's pleasure, cardinal:
who commands you
To render up the great seal presently
Into our hands; and to confine yourself
To Asher-house, my lord of Winchester's,
Till you hear further from his highness.
Where's your commission, lords? words can-
Authority so weighty.
Suf. Who dare cross them? [pressly? Bearing the king's will from his mouth exWol. Till I find more than will, or words, to do it,
(I mean, your malice,) know, officious lords,
I dare, and must deny it. Now I feel
Of what coarse metal ye are moulded,-envy.
How eagerly ye follow my disgraces,
As if it fed ye! and how sleek and wanton
Ye appear in every thing may bring my ruin!
Follow your envious courses, men of malice;
You have Christian warrant for them, and, no
In time will find their fit rewards. That seal,
You ask with such a violence, the king,
(Mine, and your master,) with his own hand
gave me :
Bade me enjoy it, with the place and honours,
During my life; and, to confirm his goodness,
Tied it by letters patents: Now, who'll take it?
Sur. The king, that gave it.
Wol. It must be himself then.
Sur. Thou art a proud traitor, priest. Wol. Proud lord, thou liest; Within these forty hours Surrey durst better Have burnt that tongue, than said so.
Thou scarlet sin, robb'd this bewailing land Of noble Buckingham, my father-in-law: The heads of all thy brother cardinals, (With thee, and all thy best parts bound together,)
Weigh'd not a hair of his. Plague of your poYou sent me deputy for Ireland; [licy! Far from his succour, from the king, from all That might have mercy on the fault thou gav's' him;
Whilst your great goodness, out of holy pity, Absolv'd him with an axe.
Wol. This, and all else
This talking lord can lay upon my credit,
I answer, is most false. The duke by law
Found his deserts: how innocent I was
From any private malice in his end,
His noble jury and foul cause can witness.
If I lov'd many words, lord, I should tell you,
You have as little honesty as honour;
That I, in the way of loyalty and truth
Toward the king, my ever royal master,
Dare mate a sounder man than Surrey can be,
And all that love his follies.
Your long coat, priest, protects you; thou should'st feel
My sword i'the life-blood of thee else.-My. Can ye endure to hear this arrogance? [lords, And from this fellow? If we live thus tamely, To be thus jaded by a piece of scarlet, Farewell nobility; let his grace go forward, And dare us with his cap, like larks.‡
Wol. All goodness
Is poison to thy stomach.
Sur. Yes, that goodness
Of gleaning all the land's wealth into one, Into your own hands, cardinal, by extortion; The goodness of your intercepted packets, You writ to the pope, against the king: your [rious.
Since you provoke me, shall be most noto-
My lord of Norfolk,-as you are truly noble,
As you respect the common good, the state
Of our despis'd nobility, our issues,
Who, if he live, will scarce be gentlemen,-
Produce the grand sum of his sins, the articles
Collected from his life :-I'll startle you
Worse than the scaring bell, when the brown
Lay kissing in your arms, lord cardinal.
Wol. How much, methinks, I could despise
But that I am bound in charity against it!
Nor. Those articles, my lord, are in the
But, thus much, they are foul ones.
Wol. So much fairer,
And spotless, shall mine innocence arise,
When the king knows my truth.
Sur. This cannot save you:
I thank my memory, I yet remember
Some of these articles; and out they shall.
Now, if you can blush, and cry guilty, cardi-
You'll show a little honesty.
I dare your worst objections: if I blush, It is, to see a nobleman want manners.
Sur. I'd rather want those, than my head. | That sweet aspect of princes, and their ruin,
More pangs and fears than wars or women
Have at you.
First, that, without the king's assent, or know-
You wrought to be a legate; by which power
You maim'd the jurisdiction of all bishops.
Nor. Then, that, in all you writ to Rome, or
To foreign princes, Ego et Rex meus
Was still inscrib'd; in which you brought the
To be your servant.
Suf. Then, that, without the knowledge Either of king or council, when you went Ambassador to the emperor, you made bold To carry into Flanders the great seal.
Sur. Item, you sent a large commission
To Gregory de Cassalis, to conclude,
Without the king's will, or the state's allow-
A league between his highness and Ferrara.
Suf. That, out of mere ambition, you have
Your holy hat to be stamp'd on the king's coin.
Sur. Then, that you have sent innumerable
(By what means got, I leave to your own con-
To furnish Rome, and to prepare the ways
You have for dignities; to the mere undoing
Of all the kingdom. Many more there are;
Which, since they are of you, and odious,
I will not taint my mouth with.
Press not a falling man too far; 'tis virtue :
His faults lie open to the laws; let them,
Not you, correct him. My heart weeps to see
So little of his great self.
Sur. I forgive him.
Suf. Lord cardinal, the king's further plea-
Because all those things, you have done of late
By your power legatinet within this kingdom,
Fall into the compass of a præmunire,‡—
That therefore such a writ be sued against you:
To forfeit all your goods, lands, tenements,
Chattels, and whatsoever, and to be [charge.
Out of the king's protection:-This is my
Nor. And so we'll leave you to your medi-
How to live better. For your stubborn answer,
About the giving back the great seal to us,
The king shall know it, and, no doubt, shall
So fare you well, my little good lord cardinal.
[Exeunt all but WOLSEY.
Wol. So farewell to the little good you bear
Farewell, a long farewell, to all my greatness!
This is the state of man; To-day he puts forth
The tender leaves of hope; to-morrow blossoms,
And bears his blushing honours thick upon
The third day, comes a frost, a killing frost;
And,-when he thinks, good easy man, full
His greatness is a ripening,-nips his root,
And then he falls, as I do. I have ventur'd,
Like little wanton boys that swim on bladders,
This many summers in a sea of glory; [pride
But far beyond my depth: my high-blown
At length broke under me; and now has left
Weary, and old with service, to the mercy
Of a rude stream, that must for ever hide me.
Vain pomp, and glory of this world, I hate ye;
I feel my heart new open'd: O, how wretched
Is that poor man, that hangs on princes' fa-
There is, betwixt that smile we would aspire
+ As the Pope's legate.
↑ A writ incurring a penalty.
And when he falls, he falls like Lucifer,
Never to hope again.—
Why, how now, Cromwell?
Crom. I have no power to speak, Sir.
Wol. What, amaz'd
Enter CROMWELL, amazedly.
At my misfortunes? can thy spirit wonder,
A great man should decline? Nay, an you
I am fallen indeed.
Crom. How does your grace?
Never so truly happy, my good Cromwell.
Wol. Why, well;
I know myself now; and I feel within me
A peace above all earthly dignities,
A still and quiet conscience. The king has
I humbly thank his grace; and from these
These ruin'd pillars, out of pity, taken
O, 'tis a burden, Cromwell, 'tis a burden,
A load would sink a navy, too much honour:
Too heavy for a man that hopes for heaven.
Crom. I am glad, your grace has made that
right use of it.
Wol. I hope, have: I am able now, me(Out of a fortitude of soul I feel,) [thinks,
To endure more miseries, and greater far,
Than my weak-hearted enemies dare offer.
What news abroad?
Is your displeasure with the king.
Crom. The heaviest, and the worst,
Wol. God bless him!
Lord chancellor in your place.
Crom. The next is, that Sir Thomas More is
But he's a learned man. May he continue
Wol. That's somewhat sudden :
For truth's sake, and his conscience; that his
Long in his highness' favour, and do justice
When he has run his course, and sleeps in
May have a tomb of orphan's tears wept on
Crom. That Cranmer is return'd with wel-
Install'd lord archbishop of Canterbury.
Wol. That's news indeed.
Crom. Last, that the lady Anne,
This day was view'd in open, as his queen,
Whom the king hath in secrecy long married.
Going to chapel; and the voice is now
Only about her coronation.
Wol. There was the weight that pull'd me
down. O Cromwell,
In that one woman I have lost for ever:
The king has gone beyond me, all my glories
No sun shall ever usher forth mine honours,
Or gild again the noble troops that waited
Upon my smiles. Go, get thee from me, Crom-
I am a poor fallen man, unworthy now
To be thy lord and master: Seek the king;
That sun, I pray, may never set! I have told
What, and how true thou art: he will advance
(I know his noble nature,) not to let
Some little memory of me will stir him,
Thy hopeful service perish too: Good Crom-
For thine own future safety.
Neglect him not; make uset now, and provide
* The chancellor is the guardian of orphans.