Page images

NORFOLK opens a folding-door. The KING is discovered sitting, and reading pensively.

Suf. How sad he looks! sure, he is much afflicted. K. Hen. Who is there? ha?


'Pray God, he be not angry.

K. Hen. Who 's there, I say? How dare you thrust yourselves

Into my private meditations?

Who am I? ha?

Nor. A gracious king, that pardons all offences Malice ne'er meant: our breach of duty, this way, Is business of estate; in which, we come

To know your royal pleasure.

K. Hen.

You are too bold;

Go to; I'll make ye know your times of business :
Is this an hour for temporal affairs? ha?


Who's there? my good lord cardinal?-O my Wolsey, The quiet of my wounded conscience,

Thou art a cure fit for a king.-You 're welcome,

[To CAMPEIUS. Most learned reverend sir, into our kingdom; Use us, and it:-My good lord, have great care I be not found a talker.


Sir, you cannot.


I would your grace would give us but an hour

Of private conference.

K. Hen.

Nor. This priest has no pride in him?

[blocks in formation]

Not to speak of;


I would not be so sick though, for his place:

But this cannot continue.

[blocks in formation]

Wol. Your grace has given a precedent of wisdom Above all princes, in committing freely Your scruple to the voice of Christendom: Who can be angry now? what envy reach you? The Spaniard, tied by blood and favour to her, Must now confess, if they have any goodness, The trial just and noble. All the clerks,

[ocr errors]

I mean the learned ones, in christian kingdoms,
Have their free voices-Rome, the nurse of judgment,
Invited by your noble self, hath sent

One general tongue unto us, this good man,

This just and learned priest, cardinal Campeius;!
Whom, once more, I present unto your highness.

[ocr errors]

K. Hen. And, once more, in mine arms I bid him welcome,

And thank the holy conclave for their loves;

They have sent me such a man I would have wish'd


Cam. Your grace must needs deserve all strangers'


You are so noble: To your highness' hand

I tender my commission; by whose virtue,
(The court of Rome commanding,) you, my lord
Cardinal of York, are join'd with me their servant,
In the unpartial judging of this business.

K. Hen. Two equal men. The queen shall be ac quainted,

Forthwith, for what you come :-Where 's Gardiner? Wol. I know your majesty has always lov'd her So dear in heart, not to deny her that

A woman of less place might ask by law,

Scholars allow'd freely to argue for her.

K. Hen. Ay, and the best she shall have; and my favour

To him that does best; God forbid else. Cardinal,
Prithee call Gardiner to me, my new secretary;
I find him a fit fellow.


Re-enter WOLSEY, with GARDiner.

Wol. Give me your hand: much joy and favour to


You are the king's now.



But to be commanded

For ever by your grace, whose hand has rais'd me. [Aside. K. Hen. Come hither, Gardiner.

[They converse apart. Cam. My lord of York, was not one doctor Pace In this man's place before him?


Yes, he was.

Yes, surely.

Cam. Was he not held a learned man? Wol. Cam. Believe me, there's an ill opinion spread then Even of yourself, lord cardinal.


How! of me?

Cam. They will not stick to say you envied him; And fearing he would rise, he was so virtuous, Kept him a foreign man still; which so griev'd him, That he ran mad, and died.

Heaven's peace be with him!
That's christian care enough: for living murmurers
There's places of rebuke. He was a fool;

For he would needs be virtuous: That good fellow,
If I command him, follows my appointment;
I will have none so near else. Learn this, brother,
We live not to be grip'd by meaner persons.

K. Hen. Deliver this with modesty to the queen.
The most convenient place that I can think of,
For such receipt of learning, is Blackfriars;
There ye shall meet about this weighty business:
My Wolsey, see it furnish'd. O

my lord,

Would it not grieve an able man, to leave

So sweet a bedfellow? But, conscience, conscience,O, 't is a tender place, and I must leave her. [Exeunt.



SCENE III.-An Antechamber in the Queen's


Enter ANNE BULLEN and an old Lady.

Anne. Not for that neither :-Here's the pang that pinches :

His highness having liv'd so long with her and she
So good a lady, that no tongue could ever
Pronounce dishonour of her,-by my life,
She never knew harm-doing;-O now, after
So many courses of the sun enthron'd,

Still growing in a majesty and pomp,-the which
To leave a thousand-fold more bitter than

"T is sweet at first to acquire,-after this process,
To give her the avaunt! it is a pity

Would move a monster.

Old L.

Melt and lament for her.


Hearts of most hard temper

O, God's will! inuch better

She ne'er had known pomp: though it be temporal,
Yet, if that quarrel, fortune, do divorce


It from the bearer, 't is a sufferance, panging

As soul and body's severing.

Old L.

She's a stranger now again.


Alas, poor lady!

So much the more

Must pity drop upon her. Verily,

I swear, 't is better to be lowly born
And range with humble livers in content,
Than to be perk'd up in a glistering grief,
And wear a golden sorrow.

Old L.

Is our best having.


Our content

By my troth and maidenhead,

I would not be a queen.

a Quarrel is an arrow.

Beshrew me, I would,

Old L.

And venture maidenhead for 't; and so would you,
For all this spice of your hypocrisy :

You, that have so fair parts of woman on you,
Have too a woman's heart: which ever yet
Affected eminence, wealth, sovereignty;

Which, to say sooth, are blessings: and which gifts
(Saving your mincing) the capacity

Of your soft cheveril conscience would receive,
If you might please to stretch it.

Nay, good troth,-
Old L. Yes, troth, and troth,-You would not be a

queen ?

Anne. No, not for all the riches under heaven.

Old L. T is strange: a three-pence bowed would

hire me,

Old as I am, to queen it: But, I pray you,

What think you of a duchess? have you limbs
To bear that load of title?


No, in truth.

Old L. Then you are weakly made: Pluck off a little; b

I would not be a young count in your way,

For more than blushing comes to: if your back
Cannot vouchsafe this burden, 't is too weak
Ever to get a boy.


How you do talk!

I swear again, I would not be a queen

For all the world.

Old L.

In faith, for little England
You'd venture an emballing: I myself

Would for Carnarvonshire, although there 'long'd
No more to the crown but that. Lo, who comes here?

a Cheveril-kid-skin. So in Romeo and Juliet,' "O, here's a wit of cheveril, that stretches from an inch narrow to an ell broad."

b Pluck off a little-descend a little: You refuse to be a queen, a duchess, try a count.

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »