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That man i' the world who shall report he has
Most gracious sir,
My lord cardinal, I do excuse you; yea, upon mine honour, I free you from 't. You are not to be taught That you 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 justified ? you ever Have wish'd the sleeping of this business ; never Desir'd it to be stirr'd : but oft have hinder'd, oft, The passages made toward it:-on my honour, I speak my good lord cardinal to this point, And thus far clear him. Now, what mov'd me to 't, I will be bold with time, and your attention :
Then mark the inducement. Thus it came ;-give
heed to 't: My conscience first receiv'd a tenderness, Scruple, and prick, on certain speeches utter'd By the bishop of Bayonne, then French ambassador; Who had been hither sent on the debating A marriage, 'twixt the duke of Orleans and Our daughter Mary: l' the progress of this business, Ere a determinate resolution, he (I mean the bishop) did require a respite; Wherein he might the king his lord advertise Whether our daughter were legitimate, Respecting this our marriage with the dowager, Sometimes our brother's wife. This respite shook The bosom of my conscience, enter'd me, Yea, with a splitting power, and made to tremble The region of my breast; which forc'd such way, That many maz'd considerings did throng, And press d in with this caution. First, methought, I stood not in the smile of heaven; who had Commanded nature, that my lady's womb, If it conceiv'd a male child by me, should Do no more offices of life to 't, than The grave does to the dead : for her male issue Or died where they were made, or shortly after This world had air’d them : Hence I took a thought This was a judgment on me; that my kingdom, Well worthy the best heir oʻthe world, should not Be gladded in 't by me: Then follows, that I weigh'd the danger which my realms stood in By this my issue's fail: and that gave to me Many a groaning throe. Thus hulling in The wild sea of my conscience, I did steer Toward this remedy, whereupon we are Now present here together ; that is to say, I meant to rectify my conscience,—which I then did feel full sick, and yet not well,
By all the reverend fathers of the land,
Very well, my liege.
So please your highness,
I then mov'd you,
So please your highness,
I may perceive, [Aside. These cardinals trifle with me: I abhor This dilatory sloth, and tricks of Rome. My learn’d and well-beloved servant, Cranmer, Prithee, return! with thy approach, I know, My comfort comes along. Break up the court : I say, set on. [Exeunt in manner as they entered.
SCENE I.–Palace at Bridewell. A Room in the
Queen's Apartment. The Queen, and some of her Women, at work. Q. Kath. Take thy lute, wench: my soul grows sad
with troubles : Sing, and disperse them if thou canst : leave working.
Bow themselves, when he did sing:
There had made a lasting spring.
Hung their heads, and then lay by.
Enter a Gentleman.
Gent. An 't please your grace, the two great cardinals Wait in the presence.
Q. Kath. Would they speak with me?
Pray their graces To come near. [Exit Gent.] What can be their
business With me, a poor weak woman, fallen from favour ? I do not like their coming. Now I think on 't, They should be good men ; their affairs as righteous : But all hoods make not monks.