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My lord cardinal,
I do excuse you; yea, upon mine honour,
I free you from't. You are not to be taught
many enemies, that know not
Why they are so, but, like to village curs,
Bark when their fellows do: by some of these
The queen is put in anger. You are excus'd:
But will you be more justify'd ? you ever
Have wish'd the sleeping of this business; never
Desir'd it to be stirr'd; but oft have hinder'd; oft
made toward it:-on my honour, I speak my good lord cardinal to this point, And thus far clear him. Now, what mov'd me
to't, I will be bold with time, and
attention:Then mark the inducement. Thus it came;- give
heed to't:My conscience first receiv'd a tenderness, Scruple, and prick, on certain speeches utter'd By the bishop of Bayonne, then French ambassador; Who had been hither sent on the debating A marriage, 'twixt the duke of Orleans and Our daughter Mary: l’the progress of this business, Ere a determinate resolution, be (I mean, the bishop) did require a respite; Wherein he might the king his lord advertise Whether our daughter were legitimate, Respecting this our marriage with the dowager, Sometimes our brother's wife. This respite shook The bosom of my conscience, enter'd me,
Yea, with a splitting power, and made to tremble
The region of my breast; which forc'd such way,
That many maz'd considerings did throng,
And press'd in with this caution. First, me-
I stood not in the smile of heaven; who had
Commanded nature, that my lady's womb,
If it conceiv'd a male child by me, should
Do no more offices of life to’t, than
The grave does to the dead: for her male issue
Or died where they were made, or shortly after
This world had air'd them: Hence I took a thought,
This was a judgement on me; that my kingdom,
Well worthy the best heir o'the world, should not
Be gladded in't by me: Then follows, that
I weigh'd the danger which my realms stood in
By this my issue's fail; and that gave to me
Many a groaning throe. Thus 23 hulling in
The wild sea of my conscience, I did steer
Toward this remedy, whereupon we are
Now present here together; that's to say,
I meant to rectify my conscience,- which
I then did feel full sick, and yet not well, -
By all the reverend fathers of the land,
And doctors learn'd. First, I began in private
With you, my lord of Lincoln; you remember
How under my oppression I did reek,
When I first mov'd you.
Very well, my liege.
K. Hen. I have spoke long; be pleas'd yourself to say How far you satisfy'd me. Lin.
So please your highness,
The question did at first so stagger me,-
Bearing a state of mighty moment in't,
And consequence of dread,- that I committed
The daring'st counsel which I had, to doubt;
And did entreat your highness to this course,
Which you are running here.
I then mov'd you,
My lord of Canterbury; and got your leave
To make this present summons:--Unsolicited
I left no reverend person in this court;
But by particular consent proceeded,
Under your hands and seals. Therefore, go on:
For no dislike i'the world against the person
Of the good queen, but the sharp thorny points
Of my alledged reasons, drive this forward :
Prove but our marriage lawful, by my life,
And kingly dignity, we are contented
To wear our mortal state to come, with her,
Katharine our queen, before the primest creature
That's paragon'd o'the world.
So please your highness,
The queen being absent, 'tis a needful fitness
That we adjourn this court till further day:
Mean while must be an earnest motion
Made to the queen, to call back her appeal
She intends unto his holiness. [They rise to depart.
may perceive, [Aside, These cardinals trifle with me: I abhor This dilatory sloth, and tricks of Rome. My learn'd and well-beloved servant, Cranmer, Pr’ythee return! with thy approach, I know, My comfort comes along. Break up the court: I say, set on [Exeunt, in manner as they enter'd.
A Room in the Queen's Apartment, The Queen, and some of her Women, at work. Q. Kath. Take thy lute, wench: my soul grows
sad with troubles ; Sing, and disperse them, if thou canst: leave working.
Orpheus with his lute made trees,
And the mountain-tops, that freeze,
Bow themselves, when he did sing:
To his musick, plants, and flowers,
Ever sprung; as sun, and showers,
There hud made a lasting spring.
Every thing that heard him play,
Even the billows of the sea,
Hung their heads, and then lay by.
In sweet musick is such art;
Killing care, and grief of heart,
Full asleep, or, hearing, die.