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Home > King Henry VIII > ACT III - SCENE I. London. QUEEN KATHARINE's apartments.

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ACT III - SCENE I. London. QUEEN KATHARINE's apartments.
Enter QUEEN KATHARINE and her Women, as at work

QUEEN KATHARINE
1    Take thy lute, wench: my soul grows sad with troubles;
2    Sing, and disperse 'em, if thou canst: leave working.
SONG
3    Orpheus with his lute made trees,
4    And the mountain tops that freeze,
5    Bow themselves when he did sing:
6    To his music plants and flowers
7    Ever sprung; as sun and showers
8    There had made a lasting spring.
9    Every thing that heard him play,
10   Even the billows of the sea,
11   Hung their heads, and then lay by.
12   In sweet music is such art,
13   Killing care and grief of heart
14   Fall asleep, or hearing, die.
Enter a Gentleman

QUEEN KATHARINE
15   How now!
Gentleman
16   An't please your grace, the two great cardinals
17   Wait in the presence.
QUEEN KATHARINE
18   Would they speak with me?
Gentleman
19   They will'd me say so, madam.
QUEEN KATHARINE
20   Pray their graces
21   To come near.
Exit Gentleman
22   What can be their business
23   With me, a poor weak woman, fall'n from favour?
24   I do not like their coming. Now I think on't,
25   They should be good men; their affairs as righteous:
26   But all hoods make not monks.
Enter CARDINAL WOLSEY and CARDINAL CAMPEIUS

CARDINAL WOLSEY
27   Peace to your highness!
QUEEN KATHARINE
28   Your graces find me here part of a housewife,
29   I would be all, against the worst may happen.
30   What are your pleasures with me, reverend lords?
CARDINAL WOLSEY
31   May it please you noble madam, to withdraw
32   Into your private chamber, we shall give you
33   The full cause of our coming.
QUEEN KATHARINE
34   Speak it here:
35   There's nothing I have done yet, o' my conscience,
36   Deserves a corner: would all other women
37   Could speak this with as free a soul as I do!
38   My lords, I care not, so much I am happy
39   Above a number, if my actions
40   Were tried by every tongue, every eye saw 'em,
41   Envy and base opinion set against 'em,
42   I know my life so even. If your business
43   Seek me out, and that way I am wife in,
44   Out with it boldly: truth loves open dealing.
CARDINAL WOLSEY
45   Tanta est erga te mentis integritas, regina
46   serenissima,--
QUEEN KATHARINE
47   O, good my lord, no Latin;
48   I am not such a truant since my coming,
49   As not to know the language I have lived in:
50   A strange tongue makes my cause more strange,
51   suspicious;
52   Pray, speak in English: here are some will thank you,
53   If you speak truth, for their poor mistress' sake;
54   Believe me, she has had much wrong: lord cardinal,
55   The willing'st sin I ever yet committed
56   May be absolved in English.
CARDINAL WOLSEY
57   Noble lady,
58   I am sorry my integrity should breed,
59   And service to his majesty and you,
60   So deep suspicion, where all faith was meant.
61   We come not by the way of accusation,
62   To taint that honour every good tongue blesses,
63   Nor to betray you any way to sorrow,
64   You have too much, good lady; but to know
65   How you stand minded in the weighty difference
66   Between the king and you; and to deliver,
67   Like free and honest men, our just opinions
68   And comforts to your cause.
CARDINAL CAMPEIUS
69   Most honour'd madam,
70   My Lord of York, out of his noble nature,
71   Zeal and obedience he still bore your grace,
72   Forgetting, like a good man your late censure
73   Both of his truth and him, which was too far,
74   Offers, as I do, in a sign of peace,
75   His service and his counsel.
QUEEN KATHARINE
Aside
76    To betray me.--
77   My lords, I thank you both for your good wills;
78   Ye speak like honest men; pray God, ye prove so!
79   But how to make ye suddenly an answer,
80   In such a point of weight, so near mine honour,--
81   More near my life, I fear,--with my weak wit,
82   And to such men of gravity and learning,
83   In truth, I know not. I was set at work
84   Among my maids: full little, God knows, looking
85   Either for such men or such business.
86   For her sake that I have been,--for I feel
87   The last fit of my greatness,--good your graces,
88   Let me have time and counsel for my cause:
89   Alas, I am a woman, friendless, hopeless!
CARDINAL WOLSEY
90   Madam, you wrong the king's love with these fears:
91   Your hopes and friends are infinite.
QUEEN KATHARINE
92   In England
93   But little for my profit: can you think, lords,
94   That any Englishman dare give me counsel?
95   Or be a known friend, 'gainst his highness' pleasure,
96   Though he be grown so desperate to be honest,
97   And live a subject? Nay, forsooth, my friends,
98   They that must weigh out my afflictions,
99   They that my trust must grow to, live not here:
100  They are, as all my other comforts, far hence
101  In mine own country, lords.
CARDINAL CAMPEIUS
102  I would your grace
103  Would leave your griefs, and take my counsel.
QUEEN KATHARINE
104  How, sir?
CARDINAL CAMPEIUS
105  Put your main cause into the king's protection;
106  He's loving and most gracious: 'twill be much
107  Both for your honour better and your cause;
108  For if the trial of the law o'ertake ye,
109  You'll part away disgraced.
CARDINAL WOLSEY
110  He tells you rightly.
QUEEN KATHARINE
111  Ye tell me what ye wish for both,--my ruin:
112  Is this your Christian counsel? out upon ye!
113  Heaven is above all yet; there sits a judge
114  That no king can corrupt.
CARDINAL CAMPEIUS
115  Your rage mistakes us.
QUEEN KATHARINE
116  The more shame for ye: holy men I thought ye,
117  Upon my soul, two reverend cardinal virtues;
118  But cardinal sins and hollow hearts I fear ye:
119  Mend 'em, for shame, my lords. Is this your comfort?
120  The cordial that ye bring a wretched lady,
121  A woman lost among ye, laugh'd at, scorn'd?
122  I will not wish ye half my miseries;
123  I have more charity: but say, I warn'd ye;
124  Take heed, for heaven's sake, take heed, lest at once
125  The burthen of my sorrows fall upon ye.
CARDINAL WOLSEY
126  Madam, this is a mere distraction;
127  You turn the good we offer into envy.
QUEEN KATHARINE
128  Ye turn me into nothing: woe upon ye
129  And all such false professors! would you have me--
130  If you have any justice, any pity;
131  If ye be any thing but churchmen's habits--
132  Put my sick cause into his hands that hates me?
133  Alas, has banish'd me his bed already,
134  His love, too long ago! I am old, my lords,
135  And all the fellowship I hold now with him
136  Is only my obedience. What can happen
137  To me above this wretchedness? all your studies
138  Make me a curse like this.
CARDINAL CAMPEIUS
139  Your fears are worse.
QUEEN KATHARINE
140  Have I lived thus long--let me speak myself,
141  Since virtue finds no friends--a wife, a true one?
142  A woman, I dare say without vain-glory,
143  Never yet branded with suspicion?
144  Have I with all my full affections
145  Still met the king? loved him next heaven?
146  obey'd him?
147  Been, out of fondness, superstitious to him?
148  Almost forgot my prayers to content him?
149  And am I thus rewarded? 'tis not well, lords.
150  Bring me a constant woman to her husband,
151  One that ne'er dream'd a joy beyond his pleasure;
152  And to that woman, when she has done most,
153  Yet will I add an honour, a great patience.
CARDINAL WOLSEY
154  Madam, you wander from the good we aim at.
QUEEN KATHARINE
155  My lord, I dare not make myself so guilty,
156  To give up willingly that noble title
157  Your master wed me to: nothing but death
158  Shall e'er divorce my dignities.
CARDINAL WOLSEY
159  Pray, hear me.
QUEEN KATHARINE
160  Would I had never trod this English earth,
161  Or felt the flatteries that grow upon it!
162  Ye have angels' faces, but heaven knows your hearts.
163  What will become of me now, wretched lady!
164  I am the most unhappy woman living.
165  Alas, poor wenches, where are now your fortunes!
166  Shipwreck'd upon a kingdom, where no pity,
167  No friend, no hope; no kindred weep for me;
168  Almost no grave allow'd me: like the lily,
169  That once was mistress of the field and flourish'd,
170  I'll hang my head and perish.
CARDINAL WOLSEY
171  If your grace
172  Could but be brought to know our ends are honest,
173  You'ld feel more comfort: why should we, good lady,
174  Upon what cause, wrong you? alas, our places,
175  The way of our profession is against it:
176  We are to cure such sorrows, not to sow 'em.
177  For goodness' sake, consider what you do;
178  How you may hurt yourself, ay, utterly
179  Grow from the king's acquaintance, by this carriage.
180  The hearts of princes kiss obedience,
181  So much they love it; but to stubborn spirits
182  They swell, and grow as terrible as storms.
183  I know you have a gentle, noble temper,
184  A soul as even as a calm: pray, think us
185  Those we profess, peace-makers, friends, and servants.
CARDINAL CAMPEIUS
186  Madam, you'll find it so. You wrong your virtues
187  With these weak women's fears: a noble spirit,
188  As yours was put into you, ever casts
189  Such doubts, as false coin, from it. The king loves you;
190  Beware you lose it not: for us, if you please
191  To trust us in your business, we are ready
192  To use our utmost studies in your service.
QUEEN KATHARINE
193  Do what ye will, my lords: and, pray, forgive me,
194  If I have used myself unmannerly;
195  You know I am a woman, lacking wit
196  To make a seemly answer to such persons.
197  Pray, do my service to his majesty:
198  He has my heart yet; and shall have my prayers
199  While I shall have my life. Come, reverend fathers,
200  Bestow your counsels on me: she now begs,
201  That little thought, when she set footing here,
202  She should have bought her dignities so dear.
Exeunt

< (Previous) ACT II, SCENE IVACT III, SCENE II (Next) >
Scene Index
  • PROLOGUE


  • ACT I
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III
  • SCENE IV


  • ACT II
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III
  • SCENE IV


  • ACT III
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II


  • ACT IV
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II


  • ACT V
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III
  • SCENE IV
  • SCENE V
  • EPILOGUE

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