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We will be short with you. "Tis his highness' plea
And our consent, for better trial of you,
Cran. Ah, my good lord of Winchester, I thank you,
You are always my good friend: if your will pass,
Gard. Good master secretary,
cry your honour mercy; you may, worst Of all this table, say so.
Crom. Why, my lord?
Gard. Do not I know you for à favourer Of this new sect? ye are not sound. "Crom. Not sound?
Gard. Not sound, I say.
Crom. 'Would you were half so honest! Men's prayers then would seek you, not their fears.
Gard. I shall remember this bold language.
Remember your bold life too.
Crom. And I.
Gard. Then thus for you, my lord,-it stands agreed,
I take it, by all voices, that forthwith
Cran. Is there no other way of mercy,
But I must needs to the Tower, my lords?
Would you expect? You're strangely troublesome: Let some o' the guard be ready there.
Enter the KEEPER of the Council Chamber.
Must I go like a traitor thither?
And see him safe i' the Tower,
I have a little yet to say.
Look there, my lords:
[Exit the KEEPper.
[They all rise, and look at the Ring.
By virtue of that ring, I take my cause
Suf. "Tis no counterfeit.
Sur. 'Tis the right ring, by Heaven: I told ye all, When we first put this dangerous stone a rolling, "Twould fall upon ourselves.
Nor. Do you think, my lords,
The king will suffer but the little finger
Cham 'Tis now too certain :
How much more is his life in value with him!
Enter the KING, frowning on them; when he takes his Seat, they all sit.
Gard. [Rises.] Dread sovereign, how much are we bound to Heaven,
In daily thanks, that gave us such a prince;
Bishop of Winchester. But know, I come not
[GARDINER sits. I'd thought, I'd had men of some understanding And wisdom of my council, but I find none. Was it discretion, lords, to let this man, This good man, (few of you deserve that title,) This honest man, wait like a lousy foot-boy At chamber door? and one as great as you are? Why, what a shame was this! Did my commission Bid ye so far forget yourselves? I gave ye Power, as he was a counsellor, to try him, Not as a groom: There's some of ye, I see,
More out of malice than integrity,
Would try him to the utmost, had ye means; shall never have, while I live.
Nor. My most dread sovereign, may it like your
To let my tongue excuse all. What was purposed,
King. Well, well, my lords, respect him; Take him, and use him well; he's worthy of it. Make me no more ado, but all embrace him; Be friends, for shame, my lords!—
[They embrace Cranmer.
My Lord of Canterbury,
Cran. The greatest monarch now alive may glory
King. Come, come, my lord, you'd spare your spoons: you shall have
Two noble partners with you; the old Duchess of Norfolk,
And Lady Marquis Dorset: Will these please you?— Once more, my lord of Winchester, I charge you, Embrace and love this man.
Gard. With a true heart,
And brother's love, I do it. [Embraces CRANMER. Cran. And let Heaven
Witness, how dear I hold this confirmation.
King. Good man, those joyful tears show thy true heart.
The common voice, I see, is verified
Of thee, which says thus, Do my Lord of Canterbury A shrewd turn, and he's your friend for ever.—