Page images
PDF
EPUB

521

He were mine enemy? what friend of mine,
That had to him deriv'd your anger, did I
Continue in my liking? nay, gave not notice
He was from thence discharg'd? Sir, call to mind,
That I have been your wife, in this obedience,
Upward of twenty years, and have been blest
With many children by you : If, in the course
And process of this time, you can report,
And prove it too, against mine honour aught,
My bond to wedlock, or my love and duty
Against your sacred person, in God's name,
Turn me away; and let the foul'st contempt
Shut door upon me, and so give me up
To the sharpest kind of justice. Please you, sir,
The king, your father, was reputed for
A prince most prudent, of an excellent
And unmatch'd wit and judgment: Ferdinand,
My father, king of Spain, was reckon'd one
The wisest prince, that there had reign’d by many
А
year

before : It is not to be question'd
That they had gather'd a wise council to them
Of every realm, that did debate this business,
Who deem'd our marriage lawful: Wherefore I

humbly Beseech you, sir, to spare me, 'till I may 540 Be by my friends in Spain advis'd; whose counsel I will implore : If not ; i'the name of God, Your pleasure be fulfillid!

Wol. You have here, lady (And of your choice), these reverend fathers; men Fiij

Of

531

[ocr errors]

Of singular integrity and learning,
Yea, the elect of the land, who are assembled
To plead your cause : It shall be therefore bootless,
That longer you defer the court; as well
For your own quiet, as to rectify

550 What is unsettled in the king.

Cam. His grace
Hath spoken well, and justly: Therefore, madam,
It's fit this royal session do proceed ;
And that, without delay, their arguments
Be now produc'd, and heard.

Queen. Lord cardinal-
To you I speak.

Wol. Your pleasure, madam?
Queen. Sir,

5бо
I am about to weep; but, thinking that
We are a queen (or long have dream'd so), certain,
The daughter of a king, my drops of tears
I'll turn to sparks of fire.

Wol. Be patient yet.

Queen. I will, when you are humble; nay, before,
Or God will punish me. I do believe,
Induc'd by potent circumstances, that
You are mine enemy; and make my challenge, $
You shall not be my judge: for it is you 570
Have blown this coal betwixt my lord and me
Which God's dew quench!-Therefore, I say again,
I utterly abhor, yea, from my soul
Refuse you for my judge; whom, yet once more,
I hold my most malicious foe, and think not

At

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

At all a friend to truth.

Wol. I do profess,
You speak not like yourself; who ever yet
Have stood to charity, and display'd the effects
Of disposition gentle, and of wisdom

580 O'er-topping woman's power. Madam, you do me

wrong: I have no spleen against you ; nor injustice For you, or any : how far I have proceeded, Or how far further shall, is warranted By a commission from the consistory, Yea, the whole consistory of Rome. You charge me, That I have blown this coal: I do deny it: The king is present; If it be known to hiin, That I gainsay my deed, how may he wound, And worthily, my falsehood ? yea, as much

590
As you have done my truth. If he know
That I am free of your report, he knows,
I am not of your wrong. Therefore in him
It lies, to cure me: and the cure is, to
Remove these thoughts from you : The which before
His highness shall speak in, I do beseech
You, gracious madam, to unthink your speaking,
And to say so no more.

Queen. My lord, my lord,
I am a simple woman, much too ak

600 To oppose your cunning. You are meek, and hum

ble-mouth'd; You sign your place and calling, in full seeming, With meekness and humility ; but your heart

[ocr errors]

Is cramm'd with arrogancy, spleen, and pride.
You have, by fortune, and his highness' favours,
Gone slightly o'er low steps; and now are mounted,
Where powers are your retainers: and your words,
Domesticks to you, serve your will, as't please
Yourself pronounce their office, I must tell you,
You tender more your person's honour, than 610
Your high profession spiritual : That again
I do refuse you for my judge; and here,
Before you all, appeal unto the pope,
To bring my whole cause 'fore his holiness,
And to be judg’d by him.

[She curt’sies to the King, and offers to depart.
Cam. The queen is obstinate,
Stubborn to justice, apt to accuse it, and
Disdainful to be try'd by it; 'tis not well.
She's going away.
King. Call her again.

620 Crier. Katharine, queen of England, come into

the court. Usher. Madam, you are call'd back. Queen. What need you note it ? pray you, keep

your way : When you are call’d, return.--Now the Lord help, They vex me past my patiencel-pray you, pass on: I will not tarry; no, nor ever more, Upon this business, my appearance make In any of their courts.

[Exeunt Queen, and her Attendants. King. Go thy ways, Kate : That man i’the world, who shall report he has 630

A better

A better wife, let him in nought be trusted,
For speaking false in that : Thou art, alone
(If thy rare qualities, sweet gentleness,
Thy meekness saint-like, wife-like government-
Obeying in commanding--and thy parts
Sovereign and pious else, could speak thee out),
The queen of earthly queens :-She is noble born:
And, like her true nobility, she has
Carried herself towards me.
Wol. Most gracious sir,

640
In humblest manner I require your highness,
That it shall please you to declare, in hearing
Of all these ears (for where I am robb’d and bound,
There must I be unloos’d; although not there
At once and fully satisfy’d), whether ever I
Did broach this business to your highness; or
Lay'd any scruple in your way, which might
Induce you to the question on't? or ever
Have to you-but with thanks to God for such
A royal lady-spake one the least word, that might
Be to the prejudice of her present state, 652
Or touch of her good person ?

King. My lord cardinal,
I do excuse you ; yea, upon mine honour,
I free you from't. You are not to be taught

have many enemies, that know not
Why they are so, but, like to village curs,
Bark when their fellows do: by some of these
The queen is put in anger. You are excus'd:
But will you be more justify'd ? you ever

660

That you

« PreviousContinue »