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The King takes his State. The Lords of the Council
take their several places. The CARDINAL places himself under the King's feet, on his right side. A noise within, crying, Room for the Queen! Enter
the QUEEN, ushered by the DUKES OF NORFOLK and
SUFFOLK : she kneels. The King riseth from his
State, takes her up, kisses, and placeth her by him."
Q. Kath. Nay, we must longer kneel; I am a suitor.
K. Hen. Arise, and take place by us :-Half your
Never name to us; you have half our power;
The other moiety, ere you ask, is given ;
Repeat your will, and take it.
Thank your majesty.
That you would love yourself, and, in that love,
Not unconsider'd leave your honour, nor
The dignity of your office, is the point
Of my petition.
K. Hen. Lady mine, proceed.
Q. Kath. I am solicited, not by a few,
And those of true condition, that your subjects
Are in great grievance : there have been commissions
Sent down among them, which have flaw'd the heart
Of all their loyalties :—wherein, although,
My good lord cardinal, they vent reproaches
Most bitterly on you, as putter-on
Of these exactions, yet the king our master,
(Whose honour heaven shield from soil !) even he escapes
Language unmannerly, yea, such which breaks
The sides of loyalty, and almost appears
In loud rebellion.
Not almost appears,
It doth appear: for, upon these taxations,
The clothiers all, not able to maintain
The many to them 'longing, have put off
The spinsters, carders, fullers, weavers, who,
Unfit for other life, compellid hy hunger,
And lack of other means, in desperate manner
Daring the event to the teeth, are all in uproar,
And Danger serves among them.
Wherein ? and what taxation ?-My lord cardinal,
You that are blam'd for it alike with us,
Know you of this taxation ?
Please you, sir,
I know but of a single part, in aught
Pertains to the state ; and front but in that file
Where others tell steps with me.
No, my lord,
You know no more than others : but you frame
Things, that are known alike, which are not wholesome
To those which would not know them, and yet must
Perforce be their acquaintance. These exactions
Whereof my sovereign would have note, they are
Most pestilent to the hearing; and to bear them
The back is sacrifice to the load. They say
They are devis'd by you; or else you suffer
Too hard an exclamation.
Still exaction! The nature of it? In what kind, let 's know, Is this exaction?
Q. Kath. I am much too venturous In tempting of your patience; but am bolden'd Under your promis'd pardon. The subject's grief Comes through commissions, which compel from each The sixth part of his substance, to be levied Without delay; and the pretence for this Is nam'd, your wars in France : This makes boid
mouths ; Tongues spit their duties out; and cold hearts freeze Allegiance in them; their curses now Live where their prayers did; and it 's come to pass,
This tractable obedience is a slave
To each incensed will. I would your highness
Would give it quick consideration, for
There is no primer baseness.
By my life,
This is against our pleasure.
And for me,
I have no further gone in this, than by
A single voice; and that not pass'd me, but
By learned approbation of the judges. If I am
Traduc'd by ignorant tongues, which neither know
My faculties, nor person, yet will be
The chronicles of my doing, let me say
'T is but the fate of place, and the rough brake
That virtue must go through. We must not stinti
Our necessary actions, in the fear
To cope malicious censurers ; which ever,
As ravenous fishes, do a vessel follow
That is new trimm'd; but benefit no further
Than vainly longing. What we oft do best,
By sick interpreters, once a weak ones, is
Not ours, or not allow'd; what worst, as oft,
Hitting a grosser quality, is cried up
For our best act. If we shall stand still,
In fear our motion will be mock'd or carp'd at,
We should take root here where we sit, or sit
State statues only.
K. Hen. Things done well, And with a care, exempt themselves from fear; Things done without example, in their issue Are to be fear'd. Have you a precedent Of this commission? I believe not any. We must not rend our subjects from our laws, And stick them in our will. Sixth part of each? A trembling contribution! Why, we take From every tree, lop, bark, and part o' the timber;
a Once is here used in the sense of sometimes.
And, though we leave it with a root, thus hack'd
The air will drink the sap. To every county,
Where this is question'd, send our letters, with
Free pardon to each man that has denied
The force of this commission : Pray, look to 't;
I put it to your care.
A word with you. [To the Secretary,
Let there be letters writ to every shire,
Of the king's grace and pardon. The griev'd com-
Hardly conceive of me; let it be nois'd,
That through our intercession this revokément
And pardon comes : I shall anon advise you
Further in the proceeding.
Q. Kath. I am sorry that the duke of Buckingham
Is run in your displeasure.
It grieves many :
The gentleman is learn'd, and a most rare speaker,
To nature none more bound; his training such
That he may furnish and instruct great teachers,
And never seek for aid out of himself. Yet see
When these so noble benefits shall prove
Not well dispos'd, the mind growing once corrupt,
They turn to vicious forms, ten times more ugly
Than ever they were fair. This man so complete,
Who was enroll'd 'mongst wonders, and when we,
Almost with ravish'd list’ning, could not find
His hour of speech a minute; he, my lady,
Hath into monstrous habits put the graces
That once were his, and is become as black
As if besmear'd in hell. Sit by us; you shall hear
(This was his gentleman in trust) of him
Things to strike honour sad.—Bid him recount
The fore-recited practices; whereof
We cannot feel too little, hear too much.
Wol. Stand forth ; and with bold spirit relate what
Most like a careful subject, have collected
Out of the duke of Buckingham.
Surv. First, it was usual with him, every day
It would infect his speech, That if the king
Should without issue die, he'd carry it so
To make the sceptre his : These very words
I have heard him utter to his son-in-law,
Lord Aberga'ny; to whom by oath he menac'd
Revenge upon the cardinal.
Please your highness, note
This dangerous conception in this point.
Not friended by his wish, to your high person
His will is most malignant; and it stretches
Beyond you, to your friends.
My learn'd lord cardinal,
Deliver all with charity.
How grounded he his title to the crown,
Upon our fail ? to this point hast thou heard him
At any time speak aught ?
He was brought to this
By a vain prophecy of Nicholas Henton.
K. Hen. What was that Henton?
Sir, a Chartreux friar,
His confessor ; who fed him every minute
With words of sovereignty.
How know'st thou this? Surv. Not long before your highness sped to France, The duke being at the Rose, within the parish Saint Lawrence Poultney, did of me demand What was the speech among the Londoners Concerning the French journey : I replied, Men fear'd the French would prove perfidious, To the king's danger. Presently the duke