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I guess thy message. Is the queen delivered?
Say, ay; and of a boy.
Ay, ay, my liege;
And of a lovely boy. The God of heaven
Both now and ever bless her!-'Tis a girl,
Promises boys hereafter. Sir, your queen
Desires your visitation, and to be
Acquainted with this stranger; 'tis as like you,
As cherry is to cherry.
K. Hen. Give her an hundred marks. I'll to the
[Exit King. Lady. An hundred marks! By this light, I'll have
An ordinary groom is for such payment.
I will have more, or scold it out of him.
Said I, for this, the girl is like to him?
I will have more, or else unsay't; and now
While it is hot, I'll put it to the issue.
SCENE II. Lobby before the Council Chamber.
Enter CRANMER; Servants, Door-keeper, &c.
Cran. I hope I am not too late; and yet the gentleman,
Who waits there ?-Sure you know me?
That was sent to me from the council, prayed me
To make great haste. All fast? what means this?-
D. Keep. Your grace must wait till you be called for.
Butts. This is a piece of malice. I am glad
I came this way so happily. The king
Shall understand it presently.
The king's physician. As he passed along,
How earnestly he cast his eyes upon me!
Pray Heaven, he sound not my disgrace! For certain,
This is of purpose laid by some that hate me,
(God turn their hearts! I never sought their malice,)
To quench mine honor; they would shame to make me
Wait else at door; a fellow counsellor,
Among boys, grooms, and lackeys. But their pleasures
Must be fulfilled, and I attend with patience.
Enter, at a window above, the King and BUTTS. Butts. I'll show your grace the strangest sight,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.
Ha! 'tis he, indeed :
Is this the honor 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 favor,
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.
1 i. e. shared, possessed.
Enter the Lord Chancellor, the DUKE of Suffolk, EARL of SURREY, Lord Chamberlain, GARDiner, and CROMWELL. The Chancellor places himself at the upper end of the table on the left hand; a seai 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 honors,
The chief cause concerns his grace of Canterbury.
Gar. Has he had knowledge of it?
D. Keep. Without, my noble lords?
My lord archbishop;
And has done half an hour, to know your pleasures.
Chan. Let him come in.
Your grace may enter now.1
[CRANMER approaches the council-table.
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 misdemeaned 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 informed,) with new opinions,
1 The old stage direction at the commencement of this scene is, "A councell table brought in with chayres and stooles and placed under the state." Our ancestors were contented to be told that the same spot, without any change of its appearance (except, perhaps, the drawing back of a curtain), was at once the outside and the inside of the council chamber.
2 "Capable of our flesh," probably means, "susceptible of the failings inherent in humanity."
Divers, and dangerous; which are heresies,
And, not reformed, may prove pernicious.
Gar. Which reformation must be sudden too,
My noble lords; for those that tame wild horses,
Pace them 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 honor) 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 neighbors,
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 labored,
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
speak it with a single heart, my lords)
A man that more detests, more stirs against,
Both in his private conscience, and his place,
Defacers of a public peace, than I do.
'Pray Heaven, the king may 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,
That cannot be; you are a counsellor,
And, by that virtue, no man dare accuse you.
Gar. My lord, because we have business of more
We will be short with you. "Tis his highness' pleasure,
1 Alluding to the heresy of Thomas Muntzer, which sprung up in Saxony in the years 1521 and 1522.
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,
Become 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, my 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 favor, too sharp; men so noble,
However faulty, yet should find respect
For what they have been: 'tis a cruelty,
To load a falling man.
I cry your honor mercy;
Of all this table, say so.
Good master secretary,
you may, worst
Why, my lord? Gar. Do not I know you for a favorer Of this new sect? Ye are not sound.
Gar. Not sound, I say.
'Would 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.
Forbear, for shame, my lords.