Act II, Scene 4
A hall in Black-Friars.
- Trumpets, sennet, and cornets. Enter two Vergers, with short
- silver wands; next them, two Scribes, in the habit of
- doctors; after them, the Archbishop of Canterbury alone;
- after him, the Bishops of Lincoln, Ely, Rochester, and Saint
- Asaph; next them, with some small distance, follows a
- Gentleman bearing the purse, with the great seal, and a
- cardinal’s hat; then two Priests bearing each a silver
- cross; then a Gentleman Usher bare-headed, accompanied with
- a Sergeant-at Arms bearing a silver mace; then two Gentlemen
- bearing two great silver pillars; after them, side by side,
- the two Cardinals; two Noble-Men with the sword and mace.
- The King takes place under the cloth of state; the two
- Cardinals sit under him as judges. The Queen takes place
- some distance from the King. The Bishops place themselves on
- each side the court, in manner of a consistory; below them,
- the Scribes. The Lords sit next the Bishops. The rest of the
- Attendants stand in convenient order about the stage.
Cardinal Wolsey1 - 2
- Whilst our commission from Rome is read,
- Let silence be commanded.
King3 - 6
- What’s the need?
- It hath already publicly been read,
- And on all sides th’ authority allow’d;
- You may then spare that time.
- Be’t so; proceed.
- Say, Henry King of England, come into the court.
- Henry King of England, etc.
- Say, Katherine Queen of England, come into the court.
- Katherine Queen of England, etc.
- The Queen makes no answer, rises out of her chair, goes
- about the court, comes to the King, and kneels at his feet;
- then speaks.
Queen Katherine13 - 57
- Sir, I desire you do me right and justice,
- And to bestow your pity on me; for
- I am a most poor woman, and a stranger,
- Born out of your dominions; having here
- No judge indifferent, nor no more assurance
- Of equal friendship and proceeding. Alas, sir!
- In what have I offended you? What cause
- Hath my behavior given to your displeasure,
- That thus you should proceed to put me off,
- And take your good grace from me? Heaven witness,
- I have been to you a true and humble wife,
- At all times to your will conformable;
- Ever in fear to kindle your dislike,
- Yea, subject to your countenance—glad, or sorry,
- As I saw it inclin’d. When was the hour
- I ever contradicted your desire?
- Or made it not mine too? Or which of your friends
- Have I not strove to love, although I knew
- He were mine enemy? What friend of mine
- That had to him deriv’d your anger did I
- Continue in my liking? Nay, gave notice
- He was from thence discharg’d? Sir, call to mind
- That I have been your wife in this obedience
- Upward of twenty years, and have been blest
- With many children by you. If, in the course
- And process of this time, you can report,
- And prove it too, against mine honor aught—
- My bond to wedlock or my love and duty,
- Against your sacred person—in God’s name
- Turn me away; and let the foul’st contempt
- Shut door upon me, and so give me up
- To the sharp’st kind of justice. Please you, sir,
- The King your father was reputed for
- A prince most prudent, of an excellent
- And unmatch’d wit and judgment; Ferdinand,
- My father, King of Spain, was reckon’d one
- The wisest prince that there had reign’d by many
- A year before. It is not to be question’d
- That they had gather’d a wise council to them
- Of every realm, that did debate this business,
- Who deem’d our marriage lawful; wherefore I humbly
- Beseech you, sir, to spare me, till I may
- Be by my friends in Spain advis’d, whose counsel
- I will implore. If not, i’ th’ name of God,
- Your pleasure be fulfill’d!
Cardinal Wolsey58 - 65
- You have here, lady
- (And of your choice), these reverend fathers, men
- Of singular integrity and learning,
- Yea, the elect o’ th’ land, who are assembled
- To plead your cause. It shall be therefore bootless
- That longer you desire the court, as well
- For your own quiet, as to rectify
- What is unsettled in the King.
Campeius66 - 70
- His Grace
- Hath spoken well and justly; therefore, madam,
- It’s fit this royal session do proceed,
- And that, without delay, their arguments
- Be now produc’d and heard.
Queen Katherine71 - 72
- Lord Cardinal,
- To you I speak.
- Your pleasure, madam?
Queen Katherine74 - 78
- I am about to weep; but thinking that
- We are a queen (or long have dream’d so), certain
- The daughter of a king, my drops of tears
- I’ll turn to sparks of fire.
- Be patient yet.
Queen Katherine80 - 90
- I will, when you are humble; nay, before,
- Or God will punish me. I do believe
- (Induc’d by potent circumstances) that
- You are mine enemy, and make my challenge
- You shall not be my judge; for it is you
- Have blown this coal betwixt my lord and me—
- Which God’s dew quench! Therefore I say again,
- I utterly abhor, yea, from my soul
- Refuse you for my judge, whom, yet once more,
- I hold my most malicious foe, and think not
- At all a friend to truth.
Cardinal Wolsey91 - 112
- I do profess
- You speak not like yourself, who ever yet
- Have stood to charity, and display’d th’ effects
- Of disposition gentle, and of wisdom
- O’ertopping woman’s pow’r. Madam, you do me wrong,
- I have no spleen against you, nor injustice
- For you or any. How far I have proceeded,
- Or how far further shall, is warranted
- By a commission from the consistory,
- Yea, the whole consistory of Rome. You charge me
- That I have blown this coal. I do deny it.
- The King is present: if it be known to him
- That I gainsay my deed, how may he wound,
- And worthily, my falsehood! Yea, as much
- As you have done my truth. If he know
- That I am free of your report, he knows
- I am not of your wrong. Therefore in him
- It lies to cure me, and the cure is to
- Remove these thoughts from you; the which before
- His Highness shall speak in, I do beseech
- You, gracious madam, to unthink your speaking
- And to say so no more.
Queen Katherine113 - 129
- My lord, my lord,
- I am a simple woman, much too weak
- T’ oppose your cunning. Y’ are meek and humble-mouth’d,
- You sign your place and calling, in full seeming,
- With meekness and humility; but your heart
- Is cramm’d with arrogancy, spleen, and pride.
- You have, by fortune and his Highness’ favors,
- Gone slightly o’er low steps and now are mounted
- Where pow’rs are your retainers, and your words
- (Domestics to you) serve your will as’t please
- Yourself pronounce their office. I must tell you,
- You tender more your person’s honor than
- Your high profession spiritual; that again
- I do refuse you for my judge, and here,
- Before you all, appeal unto the Pope,
- To bring my whole cause ’fore his Holiness,
- And to be judg’d by him.
- She curtsies to the King and offers to depart.
Campeius130 - 133
- The Queen is obstinate,
- Stubborn to justice, apt to accuse it, and
- Disdainful to be tried by’t: ’tis not well.
- She’s going away.
- Call her again.
- Katherine Queen of England, come into the court.
- Madam, you are call’d back.
Queen Katherine137 - 142
- What need you note it? Pray you keep your way;
- When you are call’d, return. Now the Lord help!
- They vex me past my patience. Pray you pass on.
- I will not tarry; no, nor ever more
- Upon this business my appearance make
- In any of their courts.
- Exeunt Queen and her Attendants.
King143 - 153
- Go thy ways, Kate.
- That man i’ th’ world who shall report he has
- A better wife, let him in nought be trusted
- For speaking false in that. Thou art alone
- (If thy rare qualities, sweet gentleness,
- Thy meekness saint-like, wife-like government,
- Obeying in commanding, and thy parts
- Sovereign and pious else, could speak thee out)
- The queen of earthly queens. She’s noble born;
- And like her true nobility she has
- Carried herself towards me.
Cardinal Wolsey154 - 166
- Most gracious sir,
- In humblest manner I require your Highness
- That it shall please you to declare, in hearing
- Of all these ears (for, where I am robb’d and bound,
- There must I be unloos’d, although not there
- At once and fully satisfied), whether ever I
- Did broach this business to your Highness, or
- Laid any scruple in your way which might
- Induce you to the question on’t? Or ever
- Have to you, but with thanks to God for such
- A royal lady, spake one the least word that might
- Be to the prejudice of her present state,
- Or touch of her good person?
King167 - 221
- My Lord Cardinal,
- I do excuse you; yea, upon mine honor,
- I free you from’t. You are not to be taught
- That you have 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. Y’ are excus’d;
- But will you be more justified? You ever
- Have wish’d the sleeping of this business, never desir’d
- It to be stirr’d; but oft have hind’red, oft,
- The passages made toward it. On my honor,
- I speak my good Lord Card’nal to this point,
- And thus far clear him. Now, what mov’d me to’t,
- I will be bold with time and your attention:
- Then mark th’ inducement. Thus it came; give heed to’t:
- My conscience first receiv’d a tenderness,
- Scruple, and prick, on certain speeches utter’d
- By th’ Bishop of Bayonne, then French ambassador,
- Who had been hither sent on the debating
- A marriage ’twixt the Duke of Orléans and
- Our daughter Mary. I’ th’ progress of this business,
- Ere a determinate resolution, he
- (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 spitting 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, methought
- 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 th’ 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 judgment on me, that my kingdom
- (Well worthy the best heir o’ th’ 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 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.
Bishop of Lincoln222
- Very well, my liege.
King223 - 224
- I have spoke long, be pleas’d yourself to say
- How far you satisfied me.
Bishop of Lincoln225 - 231
- 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.
King232 - 245
- 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’ th’ world against the person
- Of the good Queen, but the sharp thorny points
- Of my alleged reasons, drives 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,
- Katherine our queen, before the primest creature
- That’s paragon’d o’ th’ world.
Campeius246 - 251
- 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.
King252 - 258
- I may perceive
- These Cardinals trifle with me; I abhor
- This dilatory sloth and tricks of Rome.
- My learn’d and well-beloved servant, Cranmer,
- Prithee 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.