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K. Hen.

What's that, Butts? Butts. I think, your highness saw this many a day. K. Hen. Body o'me, where is it? Butts.

There, my lord : The high promotion of his grace of Canterbury; Who holds his state at door, 'mongst pursuivants, Pages, and footboys. K. Hen.

Ha! 'Tis he, indeed: Is this the honour they do one another? "Tis well, there's one above them yet. I had thought, They had parted so much honesty among them (At least, good manners), as not thus to suffer A man of his place, and so near our favour, To dance attendance on their lordships' pleasures, And at the door too, like a post with packets. By holy Mary, Butts, there's knavery: Let them alone, and draw the curtain close; We shall hear more anon.

[Ereunt. The Council-chamber. Enter the Lord Chancellor, the Duke of SUFFOLK,

EARL of SURRY, Lord Chamberlain, GARDINER, and CROMWELL. The Chancellor places himself at the upper end of the Table on the left Hand; u Seat being left void above him, as for the ARCHBISHOP of CanTeRBURY. The rest seat themselves in order on each side. CROMWELL at the lower end, as Secretary,

Chan. Speak to the business, master secretary:
Why are we met in council ?

Please your honours, The chief cause concerns his grace of Canterbury.

Gar. Has he had knowledge of it?


Who waits there? D. Keep. Without, my noble lords? Gar.

Yes. D. Keep.

My lord archbishop; And has done half an hour, to know your pleasures.

Chan. Let him come in.
D. Keep.

Your grace may enter now. [Cranmer approaches the Council-tul!

Chan. My good lord archbishop, I am very sorry To sit here at this present, and behold That chair stand empty: But we all are men, In our own natures frail; and capable Of our flesh, few are angels: out of which frailty, And want of wisdom, you, that best should teach us, Have misdemean'd yourself, and not a little, Toward the king first, then his laws, in filling The whole realm, by your teaching, and your chaplains (For so we are inform’d), with new opinions, Divers, and dangerous; which are heresies, And, not reform'd, may prove pernicious.

Gar. Which reformation must be sudden too, My noble lords: for those, that tame wild horses, Pace then not in their hands to make them gentle; But stop their mouths with stubborn bits, and spur them, Till they obey the manage. If we suffer (Out of our easiness, and childish pity To one man's honour) this contagious sickness, Farewell all physic: And what follows then? Commotions, uproars, with a general taint Of the whole state: as, of late days, our neighbours, The upper Germany, can dearly witness, Yet freshly pitied in our memories.

Cran. My good lords, hitherto, in all the progress Both of my life and office, I have labour'd, And with no little study, that my teaching, And the strong course of my authority, Might go one way, and safely; and the end Was ever, to do well : nor is there living (I speak it with a single heart, my lords), A man, that more detests, more stirs agaivst, Both in his private conscience, and his place, Defacers of a public peace, than I do. Pray heaven, the king inay never find a heart With less allegiance in it! Men, that make Envy, and crooked malice, nourishment, Dare bite the best. I do beseech your lordships, That, in this case of justice, my accusers, Be what they will, may stand forth face to face, And freely urge against me.



Nay, my lord, Thai cannot be; you are a co

counsellor, And, by that virtue, no man dare accuse you. Gar.' My lord, because we have business of more

moinent, We will be short with you. 'Tis his highness' pleasure, And our consent, for better trial of you, From hence you be committed to the Tower; Where, being but a private man again, You shall know many dare accuse you boldly, More than, I fear, you are provided for.

Cran. Ah, my good lord of Winchester, I thank you,
You are always my good friend; if your will pass,
I shall both find your lordship judge and juror,
You are so merciful: I see your end,
'Tis my undoing: Love, and meekness, lord,
Becoine a churchman better than ambition;
Win straying souls

with modesty again,
Cast none away. That I shall clear myself,
Lay all the weight ye can upon my patience,
I make as little doubt, as you do conscience
In doing daily wrongs. I could say more,
But reverence to your calling makes me modest.

Gar. My lord, iny lord, you are a sectary, That's the plain truth; your painted gloss discovers, 'To men that understand you, words and weakness.

Crom. My lord of Winchester, you are a little,
By your good favour, too sharp; men so noble,
However faulty, yet should find respect
For what they have been : 'tis a cruelty,
To load a falling man.

Good master secretary,
I cry your honour mercy; you inay, worst
Of all this table, say so.

Why, my lord?
Gar. Do not I know you for a favourer
Of this new sect? ye are not sound.

Not sound?
Gar. Not sound, I say.


you were half so honest Men's prayers then would seek you, not their fears

Gar. I shall remember this bold language.

Remember your bold life too.

This is too much; Forbear, for shame, my

lords. Gar.

I have done. Crom.

And I. Chan. Then thus for you, my lord,-- It stands agreed, I take it, by all voices, that forth with You be convey'd to the Tower a prisoner; There to remain, till the king's further pleasure Be known unto us: Are you all agreed, lords?

All. We are.

Cran. Is there no other way of mercy,
But I must needs to the Tower, my lords?

What other Would you expect? You are strangely troublesome! Let some o’the guard be ready there.

Enter Guard.

For me?
Must I like a traitor thither?

Receive him,
And see him safe i'the Tower.

Stay, good my lords,
I have a little yet to say. Look there, my lords;
By virtue of that ring, I take my cause
Out of the gripes of cruel men, and give it
To a most

noble judge, the king my master. Cham. This is the king's ring. Surry.

'Tis no counterfeit. Suf: "'Tis the right ring, hy heaven: I told ye all, When we first put this dangerous stone a rolling, 'Twould fall upon ourselves. Nor.

Do you think, my lords,
The king will suffer but the little finger
Of this man to be vex'd ?

"Tis now too certain,
Ilow much more is his life in value with him.
Would I were fairly out on't.

My inind gave me,



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In seeking tales, and informations,
Against this man (whose honesty the devil
And his disciples only envy at),
Ye blew the fire that burns ye: Now have at ye.

Enter King, frowning on them; takes his Seat.
Gar. Dread sovereign, how much are we bound to
In daily thanks, that gave us such a prince; [heaven
Not only good and wise, but most religious:
One that, in all obedience, makes the church
The chief aim of his honour; and, to strengthen
That holy duty, out of dear respect,
His royal self in judgment comes to hear
The cause betwixt her and this great offender!
K. Hen. You were ever good at sudden commen-

Bishop of Winchester. But know, I come not
To hear such flattery now, and in my presence ;
They are too thin and base to hide offences.
To me you cannot reach, you play the spaniel,
And think with wagging of your tongue to win me;
But, whatsoe'er thou tak’st me for, I am sure,
Thou hast a cruel nature, and a bloody:-
Good man, [To Cranmer] sit down. Now let me see

the proudest
He, that dares most, but wag his finger at thee:
By all that's holy, he had better arve,
Than but once think his place becomes thee not.

Surry. May it please your grace,
K. Hen.

No, sir, it does not please me.
I had thought, I had had men of some understanding
And wisdom, of my council; but I find none.
Was it discretion, lords, to let this man,
This good man (few of you deserve that title),
This honest man, wait like a lousy footboy
At chamber-door? and one as great as you are?
Why, what a shame was this! Did my commission
Bid ye so far forget yourselves? I gave ye
Power, as he was a counsellor, to try him,
Not as a groom: There's some of ye, I see,
More out of malice than integrity.

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