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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 against,
Both in his private conscience, and his place,
Defacers of a publick 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'


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


The upper Germany, &c.] Alluding to the heresy of Thomas Muntzer, which sprung up in Saxony in the years 1521 and 1522. a single heart,] A heart void of duplicity or guile.

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 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.

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


Why, my lord?

Not sound?

'Would you were half so honest!

Gar. Not sound, I say.

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.



This is too much;

your painted gloss, &c.] Those that understand you,

under this painted gloss, this fair outside, discover your empty

talk and your false reasoning.



I have done.

And I.

Chan. Then thus for you, my lord,—It stands


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?
All. We are.

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

Gar. What other Would you expect? You are strangely troublesome: Let some o'the guard be ready there.

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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."


"Tis no counterfeit.

This is the king's ring.] It seems to have been a custom, begun probably in the dark ages, before literature was generally diffused, and before the regal power experienced the restraints of law, for every monarch to have a ring, the temporary possession of which invested the holder with the same authority as the owner himself could exercise. The production of it was sufficient to suspend the execution of the law; it procured indemnity for offences committed, and imposed acquiescence and submission on whatever was done under its authority. Instances abound in the history of almost every nation.

Suf. 'Tis the right ring, by heaven: I told ye all, When we first put this dangerous stone a rolling, "Twould fall upon ourselves.

The king will suffer but the little finger

Of this man to be vex'd?


Do you think, my lords,

"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. Gar. 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 judgment comes to hear
The cause betwixt her and this great offender.

K. Hen. 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 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 starve,

Than but once think his place becomes thee not.' Sur. 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 lowsy 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,
Would try him to the utmost, had ye mean;
Which ye shall never have, while I live.


Thus far,

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 am sure, in me.

K. Hen. 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 beholden 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;

"Than but once think his place becomes thee not.] Who dares to suppose that the place or situation in which he is, is not suitable to thee also? who supposes that thou art not as fit for the office of a privy counsellor as he is.

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