|ACT II SCENE I
|Westminster. A street.
|[Enter two Gentlemen, meeting]
|Whither away so fast?
|O, God save ye!
|Even to the hall, to hear what shall become
|Of the great Duke of Buckingham.
|I'll save you
|That labour, sir. All's now done, but the ceremony
|Of bringing back the prisoner.
|Were you there?
|Yes, indeed, was I.
|Pray, speak what has happen'd.
|You may guess quickly what.
|Is he found guilty?
|Yes, truly is he, and condemn'd upon't.
|I am sorry for't.
|So are a number more.
|But, pray, how pass'd it?
|I'll tell you in a little. The great duke
|Came to the bar; where to his accusations
|He pleaded still not guilty and alleged
|Many sharp reasons to defeat the law.
|The king's attorney on the contrary
|Urged on the examinations, proofs, confessions
|Of divers witnesses; which the duke desired
|To have brought viva voce to his face:
|At which appear'd against him his surveyor;
|Sir Gilbert Peck his chancellor; and John Car,
|Confessor to him; with that devil-monk,
|Hopkins, that made this mischief.
|That was he
|That fed him with his prophecies?
|All these accused him strongly; which he fain
|Would have flung from him, but, indeed, he could not:
|And so his peers, upon this evidence,
|Have found him guilty of high treason. Much
|He spoke, and learnedly, for life; but all
|Was either pitied in him or forgotten.
|After all this, how did he bear himself?
|When he was brought again to the bar, to hear
|His knell rung out, his judgment, he was stirr'd
|With such an agony, he sweat extremely,
|And something spoke in choler, ill, and hasty:
|But he fell to himself again, and sweetly
|In all the rest show'd a most noble patience.
|I do not think he fears death.
|Sure, he does not:
|He never was so womanish; the cause
|He may a little grieve at.
|The cardinal is the end of this.
|By all conjectures: first, Kildare's attainder,
|Then deputy of Ireland; who removed,
|Earl Surrey was sent thither, and in haste too,
|Lest he should help his father.
|That trick of state
|Was a deep envious one.
|At his return
|No doubt he will requite it. This is noted,
|And generally, whoever the king favours,
|The cardinal instantly will find employment,
|And far enough from court too.
|All the commons
|Hate him perniciously, and, o' my conscience,
|Wish him ten fathom deep: this duke as much
|They love and dote on; call him bounteous Buckingham,
|The mirror of all courtesy;--
|Stay there, sir,
|And see the noble ruin'd man you speak of.
Enter BUCKINGHAM from his arraignment; tip-staves
before him; the axe with the edge towards him;
halberds on each side: accompanied with LOVELL,
VAUX, SANDS, and common people
|Let's stand close, and behold him.
|All good people,
|You that thus far have come to pity me,
|Hear what I say, and then go home and lose me.
|I have this day received a traitor's judgment,
|And by that name must die: yet, heaven bear witness,
|And if I have a conscience, let it sink me,
|Even as the axe falls, if I be not faithful!
|The law I bear no malice for my death;
|'T has done, upon the premises, but justice:
|But those that sought it I could wish more Christians:
|Be what they will, I heartily forgive 'em:
|Yet let 'em look they glory not in mischief,
|Nor build their evils on the graves of great men;
|For then my guiltless blood must cry against 'em.
|For further life in this world I ne'er hope,
|Nor will I sue, although the king have mercies
|More than I dare make faults. You few that loved me,
|And dare be bold to weep for Buckingham,
|His noble friends and fellows, whom to leave
|Is only bitter to him, only dying,
|Go with me, like good angels, to my end;
|And, as the long divorce of steel falls on me,
|Make of your prayers one sweet sacrifice,
|And lift my soul to heaven. Lead on, o' God's name.
|I do beseech your grace, for charity,
|If ever any malice in your heart
|Were hid against me, now to forgive me frankly.
|Sir Thomas Lovell, I as free forgive you
|As I would be forgiven: I forgive all;
|There cannot be those numberless offences
|'Gainst me, that I cannot take peace with:
|no black envy
|Shall mark my grave. Commend me to his grace;
|And if he speak of Buckingham, pray, tell him
|You met him half in heaven: my vows and prayers
|Yet are the king's; and, till my soul forsake,
|Shall cry for blessings on him: may he live
|Longer than I have time to tell his years!
|Ever beloved and loving may his rule be!
|And when old time shall lead him to his end,
|Goodness and he fill up one monument!
|To the water side I must conduct your grace;
|Then give my charge up to Sir Nicholas Vaux,
|Who undertakes you to your end.
|The duke is coming: see the barge be ready;
|And fit it with such furniture as suits
|The greatness of his person.
|Nay, Sir Nicholas,
|Let it alone; my state now will but mock me.
|When I came hither, I was lord high constable
|And Duke of Buckingham; now, poor Edward Bohun:
|Yet I am richer than my base accusers,
|That never knew what truth meant: I now seal it;
|And with that blood will make 'em one day groan for't.
|My noble father, Henry of Buckingham,
|Who first raised head against usurping Richard,
|Flying for succor to his servant Banister,
|Being distress'd, was by that wretch betray'd,
|And without trial fell; God's peace be with him!
|Henry the Seventh succeeding, truly pitying
|My father's loss, like a most royal prince,
|Restored me to my honours, and, out of ruins,
|Made my name once more noble. Now his son,
|Henry the Eighth, life, honour, name and all
|That made me happy at one stroke has taken
|For ever from the world. I had my trial,
|And, must needs say, a noble one; which makes me,
|A little happier than my wretched father:
|Yet thus far we are one in fortunes: both
|Fell by our servants, by those men we loved most;
|A most unnatural and faithless service!
|Heaven has an end in all: yet, you that hear me,
|This from a dying man receive as certain:
|Where you are liberal of your loves and counsels
|Be sure you be not loose; for those you make friends
|And give your hearts to, when they once perceive
|The least rub in your fortunes, fall away
|Like water from ye, never found again
|But where they mean to sink ye. All good people,
|Pray for me! I must now forsake ye: the last hour
|Of my long weary life is come upon me. Farewell:
|And when you would say something that is sad,
|Speak how I fell. I have done; and God forgive me!
|[Exeunt BUCKINGHAM and Train]
|O, this is full of pity! Sir, it calls,
|I fear, too many curses on their beads
|That were the authors.
|If the duke be guiltless,
|'Tis full of woe: yet I can give you inkling
|Of an ensuing evil, if it fall,
|Greater than this.
|Good angels keep it from us!
|What may it be? You do not doubt my faith, sir?
|This secret is so weighty, 'twill require
|A strong faith to conceal it.
|Let me have it;
|I do not talk much.
|I am confident,
|You shall, sir: did you not of late days hear
|A buzzing of a separation
|Between the king and Katharine?
|Yes, but it held not:
|For when the king once heard it, out of anger
|He sent command to the lord mayor straight
|To stop the rumor, and allay those tongues
|That durst disperse it.
|But that slander, sir,
|Is found a truth now: for it grows again
|Fresher than e'er it was; and held for certain
|The king will venture at it. Either the cardinal,
|Or some about him near, have, out of malice
|To the good queen, possess'd him with a scruple
|That will undo her: to confirm this too,
|Cardinal Campeius is arrived, and lately;
|As all think, for this business.
|'Tis the cardinal;
|And merely to revenge him on the emperor
|For not bestowing on him, at his asking,
|The archbishopric of Toledo, this is purposed.
|I think you have hit the mark: but is't not cruel
|That she should feel the smart of this? The cardinal
|Will have his will, and she must fall.
|We are too open here to argue this;
|Let's think in private more.