Imagini ale paginilor
PDF
ePub

Gent. An't please your grace, the two great cardinals Wait in the presence. Q. Kath,

Would they speak with me? Gent. They will'd me say so, madam. Q. Kath.

Pray their graces To come near. [Exit Gent.] What can be their

business With me, a poor weak woman, fallen from favour? I do not like their coming, now I think on't. They should be good men; their affairs as righteous : But all hoods make not monks.

Enter WOLSEY and CAMPEIUS. Wol.

Peace to your highness ! Q. Kath. Your graces find me here part of a house

wife; I would be all, against the worst may happen. What are your pleasures with me, reverend lords?

Wol. May it please you, noble madam, to withdraw Into your private chamber, we shall give you The full cause of our coming. Q. Kath.

Speak it here; There's nothing I have done yet, o' my conscience, Deserves a corner: 'Would, all other women Could speak this with as free a soul as I do! My lords, I care not, (so much I am happy Above a number,) if my actions Were tried by every tongue, every eye saw them, Envy and base opinion set against them, I know my life so even : If your business

VOL. IX.

S

strange,

Seek me out, and that way I am wife in®,
Out with it boldly; Truth loves open dealing.
Wol. Tanta est ergå te mentis integritas

, regina serenissima, Q. Kath. O, good my lord, no Latin; I am not such a truant since my coming, As not to know the language I have liv'd in: A strange tongue makes my cause more

suspicious; Pray, speak in English: here are some will thank

you,
If you speak truth, for their poor mistress' sake;
Believe me, she has had much wrong: Lord cardinal,
The willing'st sin I ever yet committed,
May be absolv'd in English.
IVol.

Noble lady,
I am sorry, my integrity should breed,
(And service to his majesty and you,)
So deep suspicion, where all faith was meant.
We come not by the way of accusation,
To taint that honour every good tongue blesses ;
Nor to betray you any way to sorrow;
You have too much, good lady: but to know
How you stand minded in the weighty difference
Between the king and you; and to deliver,
Like free and honest men, our just opinions,
And comforts to your cause.
Cam.

Most honour'd madam,
My lord of York,-out of his noble nature,
Zeal and obedience he still bore your grace;

Forgetting, like a good man, your late censure
Both of his truth and him, (which was too far,)-
Offers, as I do, in a sign of peace,
His service and his counsel.
Q. Kath.

To betray me. [Aside.
My lords, I thank you both for your good wills,
Ye speak like honest men, (pray God, ye prove so!)
But how to make ye suddenly an answer,
In such a point of weight, so near mine honour,
(More near my life, I fear,) with my weak wit,
And to such men of gravity and learning,
In truth, I know not. I was set at work
Among my maids; full little, God knows, looking
Either for such men, or such business.
For her sake that I have been, (for I feel
The last fit of my greatness,) good your graces,
Let me have time, and counsel, for my cause;
Alas ! I am a woman, friendless, hopeless.
Wol. Madam, you wrong the king's love with these

fears; Your hopes and friends are infinite. Q. Kath.

In England, But little for my profit: Can you think, lords, That any Englishman dare give me counsel? Or be a known friend, 'gainst his highness' pleasure, (Though he be grown so desperate to be honest,) And live a subject? Nay, forsooth, my friends, They that must weigh out my afflictions, They that my trust must grow to, live not here;

They are, as all my other comforts, far hence,
In mine own country, lords.
Сат. .

I would, your grace
Would leave your griefs, and take my counsel.
Q. Kath.

How, sir?
Cam. Put your main cause into the king's protection ;
He's loving, and most gracious: 'twill be much
Both for your honour better, and your cause;
For, if the trial of the law o'ertake you,
You'll part away disgrac'd,
Wol.

He tells you rightly.
Q, Kath. Ye tell me what ye wish for both, my

ruin:
Is this your christian counsel? out upon ye!
Heaven is above all yet; there sits a judge,
That no king can corrupt.
Cam.

Your rage mistakes us.
Q. Kath. The more shame for ye; holy men I

thought ye,
Upon my soul, two reverend cardinal virtues;
But cardinal sins, and hollow hearts, I fear ye:
Mend them for shame, my lords. Is this your com-

fort?
The cordial that ye bring a wretched lady?
A. woman lost among ye, laugh’d at, scorn'd?
I will not wish ye half my miseries,
I have more charity: But say, I warn'd ye;
Take heed, for heaven's sake, take heed, lest at once
The burden of my sorrows fall upon ye.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Wol. Madam, this is a mere distraction;
You turn the good we offer into envy.

Q. Kath. Ye turn me into nothing: Woe upon ye,
And all such false professors! Would ye have me
(If you have any justice, any pity;
If ye be any thing but churchmen’s habits,)
Put my sick cause into his hands that hates me?
Alas! he has banish'd me his bed already;
His love, too long ago: I am old, my lords,
And all the fellowship I hold now with him
Is only my obedience. What can happen
To me, above this wretchedness? all your studies
Make me a curse like this.
Cam.

Your fears are worse.
Q. Kath. Have I liv'd thus longa-(let me speak

myself,
Since virtue finds no friends,)- - a wife, a true one?
A woman (I dare say, without vain-glory,)
Never yet branded with suspicion?
Have I with all my full affections
Still met the king? lov'd him next heaven? obey'd

him ?
Been, out of fondness, superstitious to him?
Almost forgot my prayers to content him?
And am I thus rewarded? 'tis not well, lords.
Bring me a constant woman to her husband,
One that ne'er dream'd a joy beyond his pleasure;
And to that woman, when she has done most,
Yet will I add an honour,-a great patience.

Wol. Madam, you wander from the good we aim at.

« ÎnapoiContinuați »