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Henry VIII: Act 2, Scene 4

Henry VIII
Act 2, Scene 4

A hall in Black-Friars.

  1. Trumpets, sennet, and cornets. Enter two Vergers, with short
  2. silver wands; next them, two Scribes, in the habit of
  3. doctors; after them, the Archbishop of Canterbury alone;
  4. after him, the Bishops of Lincoln, Ely, Rochester, and Saint
  5. Asaph; next them, with some small distance, follows a
  6. Gentleman bearing the purse, with the great seal, and a
  7. cardinal’s hat; then two Priests bearing each a silver
  8. cross; then a Gentleman Usher bare-headed, accompanied with
  9. a Sergeant-at Arms bearing a silver mace; then two Gentlemen
  10. bearing two great silver pillars; after them, side by side,
  11. the two Cardinals; two Noble-Men with the sword and mace.
  12. The King takes place under the cloth of state; the two
  13. Cardinals sit under him as judges. The Queen takes place
  14. some distance from the King. The Bishops place themselves on
  15. each side the court, in manner of a consistory; below them,
  16. the Scribes. The Lords sit next the Bishops. The rest of the
  17. Attendants stand in convenient order about the stage.

Cardinal Wolsey

18 - 19
  1. Whilst our commission from Rome is read,
  2. Let silence be commanded.

King

20 - 23
  1.                           What’s the need?
  2. It hath already publicly been read,
  3. And on all sides th’ authority allow’d;
  4. You may then spare that time.

Cardinal Wolsey

24
  1.                               Be’t so; proceed.

First Scribe

25
  1. Say, Henry King of England, come into the court.

Crier

26
  1. Henry King of England, etc.

King

27
  1. Here.

Second Scribe

28
  1. Say, Katherine Queen of England, come into the court.

Crier

29
  1. Katherine Queen of England, etc.
  1. The Queen makes no answer, rises out of her chair, goes
  2. about the court, comes to the King, and kneels at his feet;
  3. then speaks.

Queen Katherine

33 - 77
  1. Sir, I desire you do me right and justice,
  2. And to bestow your pity on me; for
  3. I am a most poor woman, and a stranger,
  4. Born out of your dominions; having here
  5. No judge indifferent, nor no more assurance
  6. Of equal friendship and proceeding. Alas, sir!
  7. In what have I offended you? What cause
  8. Hath my behavior given to your displeasure,
  9. That thus you should proceed to put me off,
  10. And take your good grace from me? Heaven witness,
  11. I have been to you a true and humble wife,
  12. At all times to your will conformable;
  13. Ever in fear to kindle your dislike,
  14. Yea, subject to your countenanceglad, or sorry,
  15. As I saw it inclin’d. When was the hour
  16. I ever contradicted your desire?
  17. Or made it not mine too? Or which of your friends
  18. Have I not strove to love, although I knew
  19. He were mine enemy? What friend of mine
  20. That had to him deriv’d your anger did I
  21. Continue in my liking? Nay, gave notice
  22. He was from thence discharg’d? Sir, call to mind
  23. That I have been your wife in this obedience
  24. Upward of twenty years, and have been blest
  25. With many children by you. If, in the course
  26. And process of this time, you can report,
  27. And prove it too, against mine honor aught
  28. My bond to wedlock or my love and duty,
  29. Against your sacred personin God’s name
  30. Turn me away; and let the foul’st contempt
  31. Shut door upon me, and so give me up
  32. To the sharp’st kind of justice. Please you, sir,
  33. The King your father was reputed for
  34. A prince most prudent, of an excellent
  35. And unmatch’d wit and judgment; Ferdinand,
  36. My father, King of Spain, was reckon’d one
  37. The wisest prince that there had reign’d by many
  38. A year before. It is not to be question’d
  39. That they had gather’d a wise council to them
  40. Of every realm, that did debate this business,
  41. Who deem’d our marriage lawful; wherefore I humbly
  42. Beseech you, sir, to spare me, till I may
  43. Be by my friends in Spain advis’d, whose counsel
  44. I will implore. If not, i’ th’ name of God,
  45. Your pleasure be fulfill’d!

Cardinal Wolsey

78 - 85
  1.                             You have here, lady
  2. (And of your choice), these reverend fathers, men
  3. Of singular integrity and learning,
  4. Yea, the elect o’ th’ land, who are assembled
  5. To plead your cause. It shall be therefore bootless
  6. That longer you desire the court, as well
  7. For your own quiet, as to rectify
  8. What is unsettled in the King.

Campeius

86 - 90
  1.                                His Grace
  2. Hath spoken well and justly; therefore, madam,
  3. It’s fit this royal session do proceed,
  4. And that, without delay, their arguments
  5. Be now produc’d and heard.

Queen Katherine

91 - 92
  1.                            Lord Cardinal,
  2. To you I speak.

Cardinal Wolsey

93
  1.                 Your pleasure, madam?

Queen Katherine

94 - 98
  1.                       Sir,
  2. I am about to weep; but thinking that
  3. We are a queen (or long have dream’d so), certain
  4. The daughter of a king, my drops of tears
  5. I’ll turn to sparks of fire.

Cardinal Wolsey

99
  1.                              Be patient yet.

Queen Katherine

100 - 110
  1. I will, when you are humble; nay, before,
  2. Or God will punish me. I do believe
  3. (Induc’d by potent circumstances) that
  4. You are mine enemy, and make my challenge
  5. You shall not be my judge; for it is you
  6. Have blown this coal betwixt my lord and me
  7. Which God’s dew quench! Therefore I say again,
  8. I utterly abhor, yea, from my soul
  9. Refuse you for my judge, whom, yet once more,
  10. I hold my most malicious foe, and think not
  11. At all a friend to truth.

Cardinal Wolsey

111 - 132
  1.                           I do profess
  2. You speak not like yourself, who ever yet
  3. Have stood to charity, and display’d th’ effects
  4. Of disposition gentle, and of wisdom
  5. O’ertopping woman’s pow’r. Madam, you do me wrong,
  6. I have no spleen against you, nor injustice
  7. For you or any. How far I have proceeded,
  8. Or how far further shall, is warranted
  9. By a commission from the consistory,
  10. Yea, the whole consistory of Rome. You charge me
  11. That I have blown this coal. I do deny it.
  12. The King is present: if it be known to him
  13. That I gainsay my deed, how may he wound,
  14. And worthily, my falsehood! Yea, as much
  15. As you have done my truth. If he know
  16. That I am free of your report, he knows
  17. I am not of your wrong. Therefore in him
  18. It lies to cure me, and the cure is to
  19. Remove these thoughts from you; the which before
  20. His Highness shall speak in, I do beseech
  21. You, gracious madam, to unthink your speaking
  22. And to say so no more.

Queen Katherine

133 - 149
  1.                        My lord, my lord,
  2. I am a simple woman, much too weak
  3. T’ oppose your cunning. Y’ are meek and humble-mouth’d,
  4. You sign your place and calling, in full seeming,
  5. With meekness and humility; but your heart
  6. Is cramm’d with arrogancy, spleen, and pride.
  7. You have, by fortune and his Highness’ favors,
  8. Gone slightly o’er low steps and now are mounted
  9. Where pow’rs are your retainers, and your words
  10. (Domestics to you) serve your will as’t please
  11. Yourself pronounce their office. I must tell you,
  12. You tender more your person’s honor than
  13. Your high profession spiritual; that again
  14. I do refuse you for my judge, and here,
  15. Before you all, appeal unto the Pope,
  16. To bring my whole cause ’fore his Holiness,
  17. And to be judg’d by him.
  1. She curtsies to the King and offers to depart.

Campeius

151 - 154
  1.                          The Queen is obstinate,
  2. Stubborn to justice, apt to accuse it, and
  3. Disdainful to be tried by’t: ’tis not well.
  4. She’s going away.

King

155
  1. Call her again.

Crier

156
  1. Katherine Queen of England, come into the court.

King

157
  1. Madam, you are call’d back.

Queen Katherine

158 - 163
  1. What need you note it? Pray you keep your way;
  2. When you are call’d, return. Now the Lord help!
  3. They vex me past my patience. Pray you pass on.
  4. I will not tarry; no, nor ever more
  5. Upon this business my appearance make
  6. In any of their courts.
  1. Exeunt Queen and her Attendants.

King

165 - 175
  1.                         Go thy ways, Kate.
  2. That man i’ th’ world who shall report he has
  3. A better wife, let him in nought be trusted
  4. For speaking false in that. Thou art alone
  5. (If thy rare qualities, sweet gentleness,
  6. Thy meekness saint-like, wife-like government,
  7. Obeying in commanding, and thy parts
  8. Sovereign and pious else, could speak thee out)
  9. The queen of earthly queens. She’s noble born;
  10. And like her true nobility she has
  11. Carried herself towards me.

Cardinal Wolsey

176 - 188
  1.                             Most gracious sir,
  2. In humblest manner I require your Highness
  3. That it shall please you to declare, in hearing
  4. Of all these ears (for, where I am robb’d and bound,
  5. There must I be unloos’d, although not there
  6. At once and fully satisfied), whether ever I
  7. Did broach this business to your Highness, or
  8. Laid any scruple in your way which might
  9. Induce you to the question on’t? Or ever
  10. Have to you, but with thanks to God for such
  11. A royal lady, spake one the least word that might
  12. Be to the prejudice of her present state,
  13. Or touch of her good person?

King

189 - 243
  1.                              My Lord Cardinal,
  2. I do excuse you; yea, upon mine honor,
  3. I free you from’t. You are not to be taught
  4. That you have many enemies, that know not
  5. Why they are so, but, like to village curs,
  6. Bark when their fellows do: by some of these
  7. The Queen is put in anger. Y’ are excus’d;
  8. But will you be more justified? You ever
  9. Have wish’d the sleeping of this business, never desir’d
  10. It to be stirr’d; but oft have hind’red, oft,
  11. The passages made toward it. On my honor,
  12. I speak my good Lord Card’nal to this point,
  13. And thus far clear him. Now, what mov’d me to’t,
  14. I will be bold with time and your attention:
  15. Then mark th’ inducement. Thus it came; give heed to’t:
  16. My conscience first receiv’d a tenderness,
  17. Scruple, and prick, on certain speeches utter’d
  18. By th’ Bishop of Bayonne, then French ambassador,
  19. Who had been hither sent on the debating
  20. A marriage ’twixt the Duke of Orléans and
  21. Our daughter Mary. I’ th’ progress of this business,
  22. Ere a determinate resolution, he
  23. (I mean the Bishop) did require a respite,
  24. Wherein he might the King his lord advertise
  25. Whether our daughter were legitimate,
  26. Respecting this our marriage with the dowager,
  27. Sometimes our brother’s wife. This respite shook
  28. The bosom of my conscience, enter’d me,
  29. Yea, with a spitting power, and made to tremble
  30. The region of my breast, which forc’d such way,
  31. That many maz’d considerings did throng
  32. And press’d in with this caution. First, methought
  33. I stood not in the smile of heaven, who had
  34. Commanded nature, that my lady’s womb,
  35. If it conceiv’d a male-child by me, should
  36. Do no more offices of life to’t than
  37. The grave does to th’ dead; for her male issue
  38. Or died where they were made, or shortly after
  39. This world had air’d them. Hence I took a thought
  40. This was a judgment on me, that my kingdom
  41. (Well worthy the best heir o’ th’ world) should not
  42. Be gladded in’t by me. Then follows, that
  43. I weigh’d the danger which my realms stood in
  44. By this my issue’s fail, and that gave to me
  45. Many a groaning throe. Thus hulling in
  46. The wild sea of my conscience, I did steer
  47. Toward this remedy, whereupon we are
  48. Now present here together: that’s to say,
  49. I meant to rectify my consciencewhich
  50. I then did feel full sick, and yet not well
  51. By all the reverend fathers of the land
  52. And doctors learn’d. First I began in private
  53. With you, my Lord of Lincoln. You remember
  54. How under my oppression I did reek
  55. When I first mov’d you.

Bishop of Lincoln

244
  1.                         Very well, my liege.

King

245 - 246
  1. I have spoke long, be pleas’d yourself to say
  2. How far you satisfied me.

Bishop of Lincoln

247 - 253
  1.                           So please your Highness,
  2. The question did at first so stagger me,
  3. Bearing a state of mighty moment in’t
  4. And consequence of dread, that I committed
  5. The daring’st counsel which I had to doubt,
  6. And did entreat your Highness to this course
  7. Which you are running here.

King

254 - 267
  1.                             I then mov’d you,
  2. My Lord of Canterbury, and got your leave
  3. To make this present summons. Unsolicited
  4. I left no reverend person in this court;
  5. But by particular consent proceeded
  6. Under your hands and seals. Therefore go on,
  7. For no dislike i’ th’ world against the person
  8. Of the good Queen, but the sharp thorny points
  9. Of my alleged reasons, drives this forward.
  10. Prove but our marriage lawful, by my life
  11. And kingly dignity, we are contented
  12. To wear our mortal state to come with her,
  13. Katherine our queen, before the primest creature
  14. That’s paragon’d o’ th’ world.

Campeius

268 - 273
  1.                                So please your Highness,
  2. The Queen being absent, ’tis a needful fitness
  3. That we adjourn this court till further day.
  4. Mean while must be an earnest motion
  5. Made to the Queen to call back her appeal
  6. She intends unto his Holiness.

King

274 - 281
  1. Aside.
  2.                                I may perceive
  3. These Cardinals trifle with me; I abhor
  4. This dilatory sloth and tricks of Rome.
  5. My learn’d and well-beloved servant, Cranmer,
  6. Prithee return; with thy approach, I know,
  7. My comfort comes along.—Break up the court!
  8. I say, set on.
  1. Exeunt in manner as they enter’d.
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