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Buck. My surveyor is false; the o'er-great cardinal Hath shew'd him gold : my life is spann'd already : I am the shadow of poor Buckingham; Whose figure even this instant cloud puts on, By dark’ning my clear sun.-My lord, farewel.
The Council-Chamber. Cornet. Enter King Henry,
leaning on the Cardinal's Shoulder; the Nobles, and Sir Thomas Lovel. The Cardinal places himself under the King's Feet, on his right Side.
King. My life itself, and the best heart of it, Thanks you for this great care : I stood i' the level Of a full-charg'd confederacy; and give thanks 270 To you
that chok'd it.-Let be call'd before us That 'gentleman of Buckingham's: in person I'll hear him his confessions justify; And point by point the treasons of his master He shall again relate. 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. Queen. Nay, we must longer kneel; I am a suitor.
King. Arise, and take your 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.
Queen. 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.
King. Lady mine, proceed.
Queen. I am solicited, not by a few,
And those of true condition, that your subjects
Are in great grievance : There have been commis.
289 Sent down anong 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
Language unmannerly, yea, such which breaks
The sides of loyalty, and almost appears
In loud rebellion.
Nor. Not almost appears,
It doth appear: for, upon these taxations, 300
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 by 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,
310 Know you of this taxation ?
Wol. 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.
Queen. No, my lord,
You know no more than others : but you frame
Things, that are known alike; which are not whole.
To those which would not know them, and yet must
Perforce be their acquaintance. These exactions, 320
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.
King. Still exaćtion!
The nature of it? In what kind, let's know,
Is this exaction ?
Queen. I am much too venturous
In tempting of your patience ; but am bolden'd 330
Under your promis'd pardon. The subject's griet
Comes, through commissions, which compel from
The sixth part of his substance, to be levy'd
Without delay; and the pretence for this
Is nam’d, your wars in France : This makes bold
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,
That tractable obedience is a slave
To each incensed will. I would, your highness
Would give it quick consideration, for
341 There is no primer business.
King. By my life,
This is against our pleasure.
Wol. And for me,
I have no further gone in this, than by
A single voice; and that not past 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,
'Tis but the fate of place, and the rough brake
That virtue must go through. We must not stint
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 weak ones, is
Not ours, or not allow'd; what worst, as oft, 360
Hitting a grosser quality, is cry'd 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.
King. 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. 370
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 ;
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 deny'd
The force of this commission : Pray, look to't;
I put it to your care.
380 Wol. 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 revokement
And pardon comes : I shall anon advise you
Further in the proceeding.