Billeder på siden

Enter GUILDFORD, behind.

Cran. Why?

Keep. Your grace must wait, till must wait, till you be call'd for.

Cran. So.

Guil. This is a piece of malice. I am glad,
I came this way so happily: The king
Shall understand it presently.

Cran. It is


Sir Henry Guildford: As he past along,

How carnestly he cast his eyes upon me!

'Pray heaven, he sound not my disgrace! For certain, This is of purpose laid, by some that hate me,

To quench mine honour: they would shame to make


Wait else at door; a fellow-counsellor,

Among boys, grooms, and lackeys. But their pleasures Must be fulfill'd, and I attend with patience.


The Council-chamber.


The King's chair, raised, in the centre,-the Lord Chancellor at the upper end of the table on the left hand,a seat left void on the right, as for the Archbishop of CANTERBURY.-NORFOLK, SUFFOLK, SURREY, Chamberlain, GARDINER, LOVEL, in order on each side, and CROMWELL at the table, as Secretary,— discovered.

Gard. Speak to the business, master secretary: Why are we met in council?

Crom. Please your honours,

The chief cause concerns his grace of Canterbury.
Gard. Has he had knowledge of it?

Crom. Yes.

[blocks in formation]

Keep. My lord archbishop;

And has done half an hour, to know your pleasures.

Nor. Let him come in.

Keep. Your grace may enter now.

Enter CRANMER.-Exit Keeper.

Nor. My good lord archbishop, I am very sorry
To sit here at this present, and behold.
That chair stand empty.

You've misdemean'd yourself, and not a little,
Toward the king first, then his laws, in filling
The whole realm

With new opinions,

Divers, and dangerous; which are heresies,
And, not reform'd, may prove pernicious.

Gard. Which reformation must be sudden too,
My noble lords; for those, that tame wild horses,
Pace 'em not in their hands to make 'em gentle;
But stop their mouths with stubborn bits, and spur'em,
Till they obey the manage.

Cran. My good lords, hitherto, in all the progress Both of my life and office, I have labour'd, And with no little study, that my teaching,

And the strong course of my authority,

Might go one way, and safely; and the end
Was ever, to do well.

Pray heaven, the king may never find a heart
With less allegiance in't!

"Beseech your lordships,

That, in this case of justice, my accusers,

Be what they will, may stand forth face to face,

And freely urge against me.

Suf. Nay, my lord,

That cannot be; you are a counsellor,

And, by that virtue, no man dare accuse you.

Gard. My lord, because we have business of more


We will be short with you. 'Tis his highness' plea


And our consent, for better trial of you,

From hence you be committed to the Tower;
Where, being but a private man again,
You shall know, many dare accuse you boldly,
More than, I fear, you are provided for.


Cran. Ah, my good lord of Winchester, I thank
You are always my good friend; if your will pass,
I shall both find your lordship judge and juror,
You are so merciful: I see your end,
'Tis my undoing: Love, and meekness, lord,
Become a churchman better than ambition;
Win straying souls with modesty again,
Cast none away. That I shall clear myself,
Lay all the weight ye can upon my patience,
I make as little doubt, as you do conscience
In doing daily wrongs. I could say more,
But reverence to your calling makes me modest.
Gard. My lord, my lord, you are a sectary,
That's the plain truth; your painted gloss discovers,
To men that understand you, words and weakness.
Crom. My lord of Winchester, you are a little,
By your good favour, too sharp; men so noble,
However faulty, yet should find respect

For what they have been: 't is a cruelty,
To load a falling man.

Gard. Good master secretary,

I cry your honour mercy; you may, worst
Of all this table, say so.

Crom. Why, my lord?

Gard. Do not I know you for a 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.
Crom. Do:

Remember your bold life too.

Cham. This is too much;

Forbear, for shame, my lords.
Gard. I have done.

Crom. And I.

Gard. Then thus for you, my lord,—it stands agreed, I take it, by all voices, that forthwith

You be convey'd to the Tower a prisoner;
There to remain, till the king's further pleasure
Be known unto us: Are you all agreed, lords?
All. We are.

Cran. Is there no other way of mercy,

But I must needs to the Tower, my lords?

Gard. What other

Would you expect? You're strangely troublesome : Let some o' the guard be ready there.

Enter the Keeper of the Council-chamber.

Cran. For me?

Must I go like a traitor thither?

Gard. Receive him,

And see him safe i' the Tower.

Cran. Stay, good my lord.

I have a little yet to say.—

Look there, my lords:


[Exit the Keeper.

[They all rise, and look at the ring.]

By virtue of that ring, I take my cause
Out of the gripes of cruel men, and give it
To a most noble judge, the king my master,
Gard. Is it the king's ring?

Suf. 'Tis no counterfeit.

ye all,

Sur. 'Tis the right ring, by heaven: I told 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

Of this man to be vex'd?

Cham. 'Tis now too certain :

How much more is his life in value with him?

'Would I were fairly out on 't!

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;
Not only good and wise, but most religious:
One that, in all obedience, makes the church
The chief aim of his honour; and to strengthen
That holy duty, out of dear respect,

His royal self in judgement comes to hear

The cause betwixt her and this great offender, [Sits. King. You were ever good at sudden commendations,

Bishop of Winchester. But know, I come not

To hear such flatteries now.-Good man, sit down:-
Sit down, I say.-Now let me see the proudest
He, that dares most, but wag his finger at thee:
By all that 's holy, he had better starve,

Than but once think this place becomes thee not.
Gard. (Rises.) May it please your grace,-
King. No, sir, it does not please me.-

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 lowsy 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 mean;
Which ye shall never have, while I live.

Nor. My most dread sovereign, may it like your


To let my tongue excuse all. What was purpos'd, Concerning his imprisonment, was rather

(If there be faith in men,) meant for his trial, And fair purgation to the world, than malice; 1 am sure, in me.

King. Well, well, my lords, respect him; Take him, and use him well; he's worthy of it.

« ForrigeFortsæt »