SCENE I. A gallery in the palace.
[Enter Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester, a page with a torch
before him, met by Sir Thomas Lovell.]
It's one o'clock, boy, is't not?
It hath struck.
These should be hours for necessities,
Not for delights; times to repair our nature
With comforting repose, and not for us
To waste these times. Good hour of night, Sir Thomas!
Whither so late?
Came you from the King, my lord?
I did, Sir Thomas; and left him at primero
With the Duke of Suffolk.
I must to him too,
Before he go to bed. I'll take my leave.
Not yet, Sir Thomas Lovell. What's the matter?
It seems you are in haste. An if there be
No great offence belongs to't, give your friend
Some touch of your late business. Affairs, that walk,
As they say spirits do, at midnight, have
In them a wilder nature than the business
That seeks despatch by day.
My lord, I love you;
And durst commend a secret to your ear
Much weightier than this work. The Queen's in labour,
They say in great extremity; and fear'd
She'll with the labour end.
The fruit she goes with
I pray for heartily, that it may find
Good time, and live; but for the stock, Sir Thomas,
I wish it grubb'd up now.
Methinks I could
Cry thee amen; and yet my conscience says
She's a good creature, and, sweet lady, does
Deserve our better wishes.
But, sir, sir,
Hear me, Sir Thomas. You're a gentleman
Of mine own way; I know you wise, religious;
And, let me tell you, it will ne'er be well,
'Twill not, Sir Thomas Lovell, take't of me,
Till Cranmer, Cromwell, her two hands, and she,
Sleep in their graves.
Now, sir, you speak of two
The most remark'd i' the kingdom. As for Cromwell,
Beside that of the jewel house, is made master
O' the rolls, and the King's secretary; further, sir,
Stands in the gap and trade of moe preferments,
With which the time will load him. The Archbishop
Is the King's hand and tongue; and who dare speak
One syllable against him?
Yes, yes, Sir Thomas,
There are that dare; and I myself have ventur'd
To speak my mind of him: and indeed this day,
Sir, I may tell it you, I think I have
Incens'd the lords o' the council, that he is,
For so I know he is, they know he is,
A most arch heretic, a pestilence
That does infect the land; with which they moved
Have broken with the King, who hath so far
Given ear to our complaint, of his great grace
And princely care foreseeing those fell mischiefs
Our reasons laid before him, hath commanded
To-morrow morning to the council-board
He be convented. He's a rank weed, Sir Thomas,
And we must root him out. From your affairs
I hinder you too long. Good-night, Sir Thomas.
Many good-nights, my lord! I rest your servant.
[Exeunt Gardiner and Page.]
[Enter the King and Suffolk.]
Charles, I will play no more to-night.
My mind's not on't; you are too hard for me.
Sir, I did never win of you before.
But little, Charles;
Nor shall not, when my fancy's on my play.
Now, Lovell, from the Queen what is the news?
I could not personally deliver to her
What you commanded me, but by her woman
I sent your message; who return'd her thanks
In the great'st humbleness, and desir'd your Highness
Most heartily to pray for her.
What say'st thou, ha?
To pray for her? What, is she crying out?
So said her woman; and that her suff'rance made
Almost each pang a death.
Alas, good lady!
God safely quit her of her burden, and
With gentle travail, to the gladding of
Your Highness with an heir!
'Tis midnight, Charles;
Prithee, to bed; and in thy prayers remember
The estate of my poor queen. Leave me alone;
For I must think of that which company
Will not be friendly to.
I wish your Highness
A quiet night; and my good mistress will
Remember in my prayers.
[Enter Sir Anthony Denny.]
Well, sir, what follows?
Sir, I have brought my lord the Archbishop,
As you commanded me.
Ay, my good lord.
'Tis true; where is he, Denny?
He attends your Highness' pleasure.
Bring him to us.
[Aside.] This is about that which the bishop spake.
I am happily come hither.
[Re-enter Denny, with Cranmer.]
Avoid the gallery. [Lovell seems to stay.]
Ha! I have said. Be gone.
[Exeunt Lovell and Denny.]
[Aside.] I am fearful; wherefore frowns he thus?
'Tis his aspect of terror. All's not well.
How now, my lord! you do desire to know
Wherefore I sent for you.
[Kneeling.] It is my duty
To attend your Highness' pleasure.
Pray you, arise,
My good and gracious Lord of Canterbury.
Come, you and I must walk a turn together;
I have news to tell you. Come, come, me your hand.
Ah, my good lord, I grieve at what I speak,
And am right sorry to repeat what follows.
I have, and most unwillingly, of late
Heard many grievous, I do say, my lord,
Grievous complaints of you; which, being consider'd,
Have mov'd us and our council, that you shall
This morning come before us; where, I know,
You cannot with such freedom purge yourself
But that, till further trial in those charges
Which will require your answer, you must take
Your patience to you, and be well contented
To make your house our Tower. You a brother of us,
It fits we thus proceed, or else no witness
Would come against you.
[Kneeling.] I humbly thank your Highness;
And am right glad to catch this good occasion
Most throughly to be winnowed, where my chaff
And corn shall fly asunder; for, I know,
There's none stands under more calumnious tongues
Than I myself, poor man.
Stand up, good Canterbury!
Thy truth and thy integrity is rooted
In us, thy friend. Give me thy hand, stand up;
Prithee, let's walk. Now, by my holidame,
What manner of man are you? My lord, I look'd
You would have given me your petition, that
I should have ta'en some pains to bring together
Yourself and your accusers; and to have heard you,
Without indurance, further.
Most dread liege,
The good I stand on is my truth and honesty.
If they shall fail, I, with mine enemies,
Will triumph o'er my person; which I weigh not,
Being of those virtues vacant. I fear nothing
What can be said against me.
Know you not
How your state stands i' th' world, with the whole world?
Your enemies are many, and not small; their practices
Must bear the same proportion; and not ever
The justice and the truth o' the question carries
The due o' the verdict with it. At what ease
Might corrupt minds procure knaves as corrupt
To swear against you? Such things have been done.
You are potently oppos'd, and with a malice
Of as great size. Ween you of better luck,
I mean, in perjur'd witness, than your Master,
Whose minister you are, whiles here He liv'd
Upon this naughty earth? Go to, go to!
You take a precipice for no leap of danger,
And woo your own destruction.
God and your Majesty
Protect mine innocence, or I fall into
The trap is laid for me!
Be of good cheer;
They shall no more prevail than we give way to.
Keep comfort to you; and this morning see
You do appear before them. If they shall chance,
In charging you with matters, to commit you,
The best persuasions to the contrary
Fail not to use, and with what vehemency
The occasion shall instruct you. If entreaties
Will render you no remedy, this ring
Deliver them, and your appeal to us
There make before them. Look, the good man weeps!
He's honest, on mine honour. God's blest mother!
I swear he is true-hearted; and a soul
None better in my kingdom. Get you gone,
And do as I have bid you.
He has strangled his language in his tears.
[Enter Old Lady, Lovell following.]
[Within.] Come back! What mean you?
I'll not come back; the tidings that I bring
Will make my boldness manners. Now, good angels
Fly o'er thy royal head, and shade thy person
Under their blessed wings!
Now, by thy looks
I guess thy message. Is the Queen deliver'd?
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.
Give her an hundred marks. I'll to the Queen.
An hundred marks! By this light, I'll ha' more.
An ordinary groom is for such payment.
I will have more, or scold it out of him.
Said I for this, the girl was 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.
[Pursuivants, Pages, etc., attending. Enter Cranmer,
Archbishop of Canterbury.]
I hope I am not too late; and yet the gentleman,
That was sent to me from the council, pray'd me
To make great haste. All fast? what means this? Ho!
Who waits there? Sure, you know me?
Yes, my lord;
But yet I cannot help you.
Your Grace must wait till you be call'd for.
[Enter Doctor Butts.]
[Aside.] This is a piece of malice. I am glad
I came this way so happily; the King
Shall understand it presently.
[Aside.] 'Tis Butts,
The King's physician. As he pass'd 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 honour; they would shame to make me
Wait else at door, a fellow-counsellor,
'Mong boys, grooms, and lackeys. But their pleasures
Must be fulfill'd, and I attend with patience.
[Enter the King and Butts, at a window above.]
I'll show your Grace the strangest sight--
What's that, Butts?
I think your Highness saw this many a day.
Body o' me, where is it?
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 honour they do one another?
'Tis well there's one above 'em yet. I had thought
They had parted so much honesty among 'em,
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 'em alone, and draw the curtain close;
We shall hear more anon.
SCENE III. The council-chamber.
[A council-table brought in with chairs and stools, and placed
under the state. Enter Lord Chancellor; places himself at the
upper end of the table on the left hand, a seat being left void
above him, as for Canterbury's seat. Duke of Suffolk, Duke of
Norfolk, Surrey, Lord Chamberlain, Gardiner, seat themselves in
order on each side. Cromwell at lower end, as secretary. Keeper
at the door.]
Speak to the business, master secretary.
Why are we met in council?
Please your honours,
The chief cause concerns his Grace of Canterbury.
Has he had knowledge of it?
Who waits there?
Without, my noble lords?
My Lord Archbishop;
And has done half an hour, to know your pleasures.
Let him come in.
KEEPER. Your Grace may enter now.
[Cranmer approaches the council-table.]
My good Lord Archbishop, I'm 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.
Which reformation must be sudden too,
My noble lords; for those that tame wild horses
Pace 'em not in their hands to make 'em gentle,
But stop their mouth with stubborn bits and spur 'em
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.
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 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.
My lord, because we have business of more moment,
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.
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.
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.
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 may, worst
Of all this table, say so.
Why, my lord?
Do not I know you for a favourer
Of this new sect? Ye are not sound.
Not sound, I say.
Would you were half so honest!
Men's prayers then would seek you, not their fears.
I shall remember this bold language.
Remember your bold life too.
This is too much.
Forbear, for shame, my lords.
I have done.
Then thus for you, my lord: it stands agreed,
I take it, by all voices, that forthwith
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?
Is there no other way of mercy,
But I must needs to the Tower, my lords?
Would you expect? You are strangely troublesome.
Let some o' the guard be ready there.
[Enter the guard.]
Must I go like a traitor thither?
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.
This is the King's ring.
'Tis no counterfeit.
'Tis the right ring, by heaven! I told ye all,
When we first put this dangerous stone a-rolling,
'Twould fall upon ourselves.
Do you think, my lords,
The King will suffer but the little finger
Of this man to be vex'd?
'Tis now too certain.
How much more is his life in value with him?
Would I were fairly out on't!
My mind gave me,
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.]
Dread sovereign, how much are we bound to Heaven
In daily thanks, that gave us such a prince;
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 judgement comes to hear
The cause betwixt her and this great offender.
You were ever good at sudden commendations,
Bishop of Winchester. But know, I come not
To hear such flattery now, and in my presence;
They are too thin and bare 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'm sure
Thou hast a cruel nature and a bloody.
[To Cranmer.] Good man, 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 starve
Than but once think this place becomes thee not.
May it please your Grace,--
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 councillor to try him,--
Not as a groom. There's some of ye, I see,
More out of malice than integrity,
Would try him to the utmost, had ye mean;
Which ye shall never have while I live.
My most dread sovereign, may it like your Grace
To let my tongue excuse all. What was purpos'd
Concerning his imprisonment was rather,
If there be faith in men, meant for his trial
And fair purgation to the world, than malice,
I'm sure, in me.
Well, well, my lords, respect him;
Take him, and use him well, he's worthy of it.
I will say thus much for him, if a prince
May be beholding to a subject, I
Am, for his love and service, so to him.
Make me no more ado, but all embrace him.
Be friends, for shame, my lords! My Lord of Canterbury,
I have a suit which you must not deny me;
That is, a fair young maid that yet wants baptism,
You must be godfather, and answer for her.
The greatest monarch now alive may glory
In such an honour; how may I deserve it,
That am a poor and humble subject to you?
Come, come, my lord, you'd spare your spoons.
You shall have two noble partners with you, the old Duchess
of Norfolk and Lady Marquess Dorset. Will these please you?
Once more, my Lord of Winchester, I charge you, embrace and
love this man.
With a true heart
And brother-love I do it.
And let Heaven
Witness how dear I hold this confirmation.
Good man, those joyful tears show thy true heart.
The common voice, I see, is verified
Of thee, which says thus, "Do my Lord of Canterbury
A shrewd turn, and he is your friend for ever."
Come, lords, we trifle time away; I long
To have this young one made a Christian.
As I have made ye one, lords, one remain;
So I grow stronger, you more honour gain.
SCENE IV. The palace yard.
[Noise and tumult within. Enter Porter and his Man.]
You'll leave your noise anon, ye rascals; do you take
the court for Paris-garden? Ye rude slaves, leave your gaping.
[Within.] Good master porter, I belong to the larder.
Belong to the gallows, and be hang'd, ye rogue! Is this
a place to roar in? Fetch me a dozen crab-tree staves, and strong
ones; these are but switches to 'em. I'll scratch your heads. You
must be seeing christenings? Do you look for ale and cakes here,
you rude rascals?
Pray, sir, be patient. 'Tis as much impossible--
Unless we sweep 'em from the door with cannons--
To scatter 'em, as 'tis to make 'em sleep
On May-day morning; which will never be.
We may as well push against Paul's, as stir 'em.
How got they in, and be hang'd?
Alas, I know not: how gets the tide in?
As much as one sound cudgel of four foot--
You see the poor remainder--could distribute,
I made no spare, sir.
You did nothing, sir.
I am not Samson, nor Sir Guy, nor Colbrand,
To mow 'em down before me; but if I spar'd any
That had a head to hit, either young or old,
He or she, cuckold or cuckold-maker,
Let me ne'er hope to see a chine again;
And that I would not for a cow, God save her!
[Within.] Do you hear, master porter?
I shall be with you presently, good master puppy.--
Keep the door close, sirrah.
What would you have me do?
What should you do, but knock 'em down by the dozens? Is this
Moorfields to muster in? Or have we some strange Indian with the
great tool come to court, the women so besiege us? Bless me, what
a fry of fornication is at door! On my Christian conscience, this
one christening will beget a thousand; here will be father,
godfather, and all together.
The spoons will be the bigger, sir. There is a fellow somewhat
near the door, he should be a brazier by his face, for, o' my
conscience, twenty of the dog-days now reign in's nose; all that
stand about him are under the line, they need no other penance:
that fire-drake did I hit three times on the head, and three
times was his nose discharged against me; he stands there, like a
mortar-piece, to blow us. There was a haberdasher's wife of
small wit near him, that rail'd upon me till her pink'd porringer
fell off her head, for kindling such a combustion in the state. I
miss'd the meteor once, and hit that woman; who cried out
"Clubs!" when I might see from far some forty truncheoners draw
to her succour, which were the hope o' the Strand, where she was
quartered. They fell on; I made good my place; at length they
came to the broomstaff to me; I defied 'em still; when suddenly a
file of boys behind 'em, loose shot, deliver'd such a shower of
pebbles, that I was fain to draw mine honour in, and let 'em win
the work. The devil was amongst 'em, I think, surely.
These are the youths that thunder at a playhouse, and fight for
bitten apples; that no audience but the tribulation of Tower-hill
or the limbs of Limehouse, their dear brothers, are able to
endure. I have some of 'em in Limbo Patrum, and there they are
like to dance these three days; besides the running banquet of
two beadles that is to come.
[Enter Lord Chamberlain.]
Mercy o' me, what a multitude are here!
They grow still too; from all parts they are coming
As if we kept a fair here! Where are these porters,
These lazy knaves? Ye have made a fine hand, fellows.
There's a trim rabble let in. Are all these
Your faithful friends o' the suburbs? We shall have
Great store of room, no doubt, left for the ladies,
When they pass back from the christening.
An't please your honour,
We are but men; and what so many may do,
Not being torn a-pieces, we have done.
An army cannot rule 'em.
As I live,
If the King blame me for't, I'll lay ye all
By the heels, and suddenly; and on your heads
Clap round fines for neglect. Ye're lazy knaves;
And here ye lie baiting of bombards, when
Ye should do service. Hark! the trumpets sound;
They're come already from the christening.
Go, break among the press, and find a way out
To let the troops pass fairly; or I'll find
A Marshalsea shall hold ye play these two months.
Make way there for the princess.
You great fellow,
Stand close up, or I'll make your head ache.
You i' the camlet, get up o' the rail;
I'll peck you o'er the pales else.
SCENE V. The palace.
[Enter trumpets, sounding; then two Aldermen, Lord Mayor,
Garter, Cranmer, Duke of Norfolk with his marshal's staff,
Duke of Suffolk, two Noblemen bearing great standing-bowls for
the christening-gifts; then four Noblemen bearing a canopy,
under which the Duchess of Norfolk, godmother, bearing the
child richly habited in a mantle, etc., train borne by a Lady;
then follows the Marchioness Dorset, the other godmother, and
Ladies. The troop pass once about the stage, and Garter speaks.]
Heaven, from thy endless goodness, send prosperous
life, long and ever happy, to the high and mighty Princess of
[Flourish. Enter King and Guard.]
[Kneeling.] And to your royal Grace, and the good queen,
My noble partners, and myself, thus pray:
All comfort, joy, in this most gracious lady,
Heaven ever laid up to make parents happy,
May hourly fall upon ye!
Thank you, good Lord Archbishop.
What is her name?
Stand up, lord.
[The King kisses the child.]
With this kiss take my blessing: God protect thee!
Into whose hand I give thy life.
My noble gossips, ye have been too prodigal.
I thank ye heartily; so shall this lady,
When she has so much English.
Let me speak, sir,
For Heaven now bids me; and the words I utter
Let none think flattery, for they'll find 'em truth.
This royal infant--Heaven still move about her!--
Though in her cradle, yet now promises
Upon this land a thousand thousand blessings,
Which time shall bring to ripeness. She shall be--
But few now living can behold that goodness--
A pattern to all princes living with her,
And all that shall succeed. Saba was never
More covetous of wisdom and fair virtue
Than this pure soul shall be. All princely graces,
That mould up such a mighty piece as this is,
With all the virtues that attend the good,
Shall still be doubled on her. Truth shall nurse her,
Holy and heavenly thoughts still counsel her.
She shall be lov'd and fear'd: her own shall bless her;
Her foes shake like a field of beaten corn,
And hang their heads with sorrow. Good grows with her.
In her days every man shall eat in safety,
Under his own vine, what he plants, and sing
The merry songs of peace to all his neighbours.
God shall be truly known; and those about her
From her shall read the perfect ways of honour,
And by those claim their greatness, not by blood.
Nor shall this peace sleep with her; but as when
The bird of wonder dies, the maiden phoenix,
Her ashes new create another heir
As great in admiration as herself;
So shall she leave her blessedness to one,
When heaven shall call her from this cloud of darkness,
Who from the sacred ashes of her honour
Shall star-like rise as great in fame as she was,
And so stand fix'd. Peace, plenty, love, truth, terror,
That were the servants to this chosen infant,
Shall then be his, and like a vine grow to him.
Wherever the bright sun of heaven shall shine,
His honour and the greatness of his name
Shall be, and make new nations. He shall flourish,
And, like a mountain cedar, reach his branches
To all the plains about him. Our children's children
Shall see this, and bless Heaven.
Thou speakest wonders.
She shall be, to the happiness of England,
An aged princess; many days shall see her,
And yet no day without a deed to crown it.
Would I had known no more! but she must die,
She must, the saints must have her; yet a virgin,
A most unspotted lily shall she pass
To the ground, and all the world shall mourn her.
O Lord Archbishop,
Thou hast made me now a man! Never, before
This happy child, did I get anything.
This oracle of comfort has so pleas'd me,
That when I am in heaven I shall desire
To see what this child does, and praise my Maker.
I thank ye all. To you, my good Lord Mayor,
And you, good brethren, I am much beholding;
I have receiv'd much honour by your presence,
And ye shall find me thankful. Lead the way, lords.
Ye must all see the Queen, and she must thank ye,
She will be sick else. This day, no man think
Has business at his house; for all shall stay.
This little one shall make it holiday.