Page images

To a prepar'd place in the choir, fell off
A distance from her; while her grace sat down
To rest a while, some half an hour, or so,
In a rich chair of state, opposing freely
The beauty of her person to the people.
Believe me, sir, she is the goodliest woman
That ever lay by man: which when the people
Had the full view of, such a noise arose
As the shrouds make at sea ip a stiff tempest,
As loud, and to as many tunes: hats, cloaks,
(Doublets, I think), flew up; and had their faces
Been loose, this day they had been lost. Such joy
I never saw before. Great-bellied women,
That had not half a week to go, like rams
In the old time of war, would shake the press,
And make them reel before them. No man living
Could say, This is my wife, there; all were woven
So strangely in one piece.
2 Gent.

But, pray, what follow'd ? 3 Gent. At length her grace rose, and with modest

paces Came to the altar; where she kneel'd, and, saint.

like, Cast her fair eyes to heaven, and pray'd devoutly, Then rose again, and bow'd her to the people: When by the archbishop of Capterbury She had all the royal makings of a queen; As holy oil, Edward Confessor's crown, The rod, and bird of peace, and all such emblems, Laid nobly on her: which perform'd, the choir, With all the choicest musick of the kingdom, Together subg Te deum. So she parted, And with the same fall state pac'd back again To, where the feast is held.

1 Cent. Must no more call it York-place, that is past: For, since the cardinal fell, that title's lost; 'Tis now the king's, and call'd-Whitehall. 3 Gent.

I know it;

Sir, you

But 'tis so lately alter'd, that the old name
Is fresh about me.
2 Gent.

What two reverend bishops Were those that went on each side of the queen? 3 Gent. Stokesly and Gardiner; the one, of Win

(Newly preferr'd from the king's secretary),
The other, London,
2 Gent.

He of Winchester
Is held no great good lover of the archbishop's,
The virtuous Cranmer.
3 Gent.

All the land knows that: However, yet there's no great breach; when it

comes, Cranmer will find a friend will not shrink from him.

2 Gent. Who may that be, I 3 Gent.

Thomas Cromwell; A man in much esteenwith the king, and truly A worthy friend.--The king Has made him master o’the jewel-house, And one, already, of the privy.council.

2 Gent. He will deserve more. 3 Gent

Yes, without all doubt. Come, gentlemen, ye shall go my way, which Is to the court, and there ye shall be my guests; Something I can command. As I walk thither, I'll tell ye more. Both. You may command us, sir.


pray you?



Enter Katharine, dowager, sick; led between

Griffith and Patience.

Grif. How does your grace?

0, Griffith, sick to death :
My legs, like loaden branches, bow to the earth,
Willing to leaye their burden: Reach a chair;
S0,-now methinks, I feel a little ease.
Didst thou not tell me, Griffith, as thou led'st me,
That the great child of honour, cardinal Wolsey,
Was dead ?

Grif. Yes, madam; but, I think, your grace,
Out of the pain you suffer'd, gave no ear to't.
Kath. Priythee, good Griffith, tell me how he

If well, he stepp'd before me, happilyt,
For my example.

Well, the voice goes, madam :
For after the stout earl Northumberland
Arrested him at York, and brought him forward
(As a mau sorely tainted), to his answer,
He fell sick suddenly, and grew so ill,
He could not sit his mule.

• This scene is above any other part of Shakspeare's tragedies, and perhaps above any scene of any other poet; tender and pathetick, without gods, or furies, or poisons, or precipices; without the help of romantick circumstances, without improbable sallies of poetical lamentation, and without any throes of tumultuous misery.

JOHNSON. # Haply.


Alas! poor man! Grif. At last, with easy roads*, he came to Lei..

cester, Lodg'd in the abbey ; where the reverend abbot, With all his convent, honourably receiv'd him; To whom he gave these words,- father abbot, An old man, broken with the storms of state, Is come to lay his weary bones among ye ; Give him a little earth for charity! So went to bed : where eagerly his sickness Pursu'd him still; and three nights after this, About the hour of eight (which he himself Foretold, sliould be his last), full of repentance, Continual meditations, tears, and sorrows, He gave his honours to the world again, His blessed part to heaven, and slept in peace. Kath. So may he rest; his faults lie gently on

Yet thus far, Griffith, give me leave to speak him,
And yet with charity,—He was a man
Of an unbounded stomacht, ever ranking
Himself with princes; one, that by suggestion
Ty'd all the kingdom: simony was fair play;
His own opinion was his law: l’the presence $
He would say untruths; and be ever double,
Both in his words and meaning: He was never,
But where he meant to ruin, pitiful:
His promises were, as he then was, mighty;
But his performance, as he is now, nothing.
Of his own body he was ill, and gave
The clergy ill example.

Noble madam,
Men's evil manners live in brass; their virtues
We write in water. May it please your highness
To hear me speak liis good now?

Yes, good Griffith;
I were malicious else.

This cardinal,

1. Grif.

* By short stages.

+ Pride.

1 of the king.

Though from an humble stock, undoubtedly
Was fashion'd to* much honour. From his cradle,
He was å scholar, and a ripe, and good one;
Exceeding wise, fair-spoken, and persuading:
Lofty, and sour, to them that lov'd him not;
But, to those men that sought him, sweet as sum.


And though he were unsatisfied in getting,
(Which was a siv), yet in bestowing, madam,
He was most princely: Ever witness for him
Those twins of learning, that he rais'd in you,
Ipswich, and Oxford ! onet of which fell with him,
Unwilling to outlive the good that did it;
The other, though unfinish'd, yet so famous,
So excellent in art, and still so rising,
That Christendom shall ever speak his virtue.
His overthrow heap'd happiness upon him;
For then, and not till then, he felt himself,
And found the blessedness of being little :
And, to add greater honours to his age
Than man could give him, he died, fearing God.

Kath. After my death I wish no other herald,
No other speaker of my living actions,
To keep mine honour from corruption,
But such an honest chronicler as Griffith.
Whom I most hated living, thou hast made me,
With thy religious truth, and modesty,
Now in his ashes honour: Peace be with him!
Patience, be near me still; and set me lower:
I have not long to trouble thee.-Good Griffith,
Cause the musicians play me that sad note
I nam'd my knell, whilst I sit meditating
On that celestial harmony I go to.

Sad and solemn musick. Grif. She is asleep: Good wench, let's sit down

quiet, For fear we wake her ;-Softly, gentle Patience.

• Formed for.

+ Ipswich.

« PreviousContinue »