|ACT III SCENE I
|London. QUEEN KATHARINE's apartments.
|[Enter QUEEN KATHARINE and her Women, as at work]
|Take thy lute, wench: my soul grows sad with troubles;
|Sing, and disperse 'em, 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 music plants and flowers
|Ever sprung; as sun and showers
|There had 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 music is such art,
|Killing care and grief of heart
|Fall asleep, or hearing, die.
|[Enter a Gentleman]
|An't please your grace, the two great cardinals
|Wait in the presence.
|Would they speak with me?
|They will'd me say so, madam.
|Pray their graces
|To come near.
|What can be their business
|With me, a poor weak woman, fall'n 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 CARDINAL WOLSEY and CARDINAL CAMPEIUS]
|Peace to your highness!
|Your graces find me here part of a housewife,
|I would be all, against the worst may happen.
|What are your pleasures with me, reverend lords?
|May it please you noble madam, to withdraw
|Into your private chamber, we shall give you
|The full cause of our coming.
|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 'em,
|Envy and base opinion set against 'em,
|I know my life so even. If your business
|Seek me out, and that way I am wife in,
|Out with it boldly: truth loves open dealing.
|Tanta est erga te mentis integritas, regina
|O, good my lord, no Latin;
|I am not such a truant since my coming,
|As not to know the language I have lived in:
|A strange tongue makes my cause more strange,
|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 absolved in English.
|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.
|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.
|[Aside] To betray me.--
|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!
|Madam, you wrong the king's love with these fears:
|Your hopes and friends are infinite.
|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.
|I would your grace
|Would leave your griefs, and take my counsel.
|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 ye,
|You'll part away disgraced.
|He tells you rightly.
|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.
|Your rage mistakes us.
|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 'em, for shame, my lords. Is this your comfort?
|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 burthen of my sorrows fall upon ye.
|Madam, this is a mere distraction;
|You turn the good we offer into envy.
|Ye turn me into nothing: woe upon ye
|And all such false professors! would you 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, 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.
|Your fears are worse.
|Have I lived thus long--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? loved him next heaven?
|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.
|Madam, you wander from the good we aim at.
|My lord, I dare not make myself so guilty,
|To give up willingly that noble title
|Your master wed me to: nothing but death
|Shall e'er divorce my dignities.
|Pray, hear me.
|Would I had never trod this English earth,
|Or felt the flatteries that grow upon it!
|Ye have angels' faces, but heaven knows your hearts.
|What will become of me now, wretched lady!
|I am the most unhappy woman living.
|Alas, poor wenches, where are now your fortunes!
|Shipwreck'd upon a kingdom, where no pity,
|No friend, no hope; no kindred weep for me;
|Almost no grave allow'd me: like the lily,
|That once was mistress of the field and flourish'd,
|I'll hang my head and perish.
|If your grace
|Could but be brought to know our ends are honest,
|You'ld feel more comfort: why should we, good lady,
|Upon what cause, wrong you? alas, our places,
|The way of our profession is against it:
|We are to cure such sorrows, not to sow 'em.
|For goodness' sake, consider what you do;
|How you may hurt yourself, ay, utterly
|Grow from the king's acquaintance, by this carriage.
|The hearts of princes kiss obedience,
|So much they love it; but to stubborn spirits
|They swell, and grow as terrible as storms.
|I know you have a gentle, noble temper,
|A soul as even as a calm: pray, think us
|Those we profess, peace-makers, friends, and servants.
|Madam, you'll find it so. You wrong your virtues
|With these weak women's fears: a noble spirit,
|As yours was put into you, ever casts
|Such doubts, as false coin, from it. The king loves you;
|Beware you lose it not: for us, if you please
|To trust us in your business, we are ready
|To use our utmost studies in your service.
|Do what ye will, my lords: and, pray, forgive me,
|If I have used myself unmannerly;
|You know I am a woman, lacking wit
|To make a seemly answer to such persons.
|Pray, do my service to his majesty:
|He has my heart yet; and shall have my prayers
|While I shall have my life. Come, reverend fathers,
|Bestow your counsels on me: she now begs,
|That little thought, when she set footing here,
|She should have bought her dignities so dear.