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Could speak this with as free a soul as I do! | My lords, I care not (so much I am happy
Above a number), if my actions
Were try'd by every tongue, every eye saw 'em,
Envy and base opinion set against 'em,
I know my life so even : If your business
Seek me out, and that way I am wife in,
Out with it boldly; Truth loves open dealing.
Wol. Tanta est ergà te mentis integritas, regina serea
Queen. O, good my lord, no Latin ;
I am not such a truant since my coming,
As not to know the language I have liv'd in:
A strange tongue makes my cause more strange, sus-
Pray, speak in English : here are some will thank
If you speak truth, for their poor mistress' sake ; 50
Believe me, she has had much wrong: Lord cardinal,
The willing'st sin I ever yet committed,
May be absolv'd in English.
Wol. Noble lady,
I am sorry my integrity should breed
(And service to his majesty and you)
So deep suspicion, where all faith was meant.
We come not by the way of accusation,
To taint that honour every good tongue blesses;
Nor to betray you any way to sorrow;
You have too much, good lady: but to know
How you stand minded in the weighty difference
Between the king and you; and to deliver,
Like free and honest men, our just opinions,
And comforts to your cause.
Cam. Most honour'd madam,
My lord of York-out of his noble nature,
Zeal and obedience he still bore your grace;
Forgetting, like a good man, your late censure
Both of his truth and him (which was too far)
Offers, as I do, in a sign of peace,
His service, and his counsel.
Queen. To betray me.
My lords, I thank you both for your good wills,
Ye speak like honest men (pray God, ye prove so !)
But how to make ye suddenly an answer,
In such a point of weight, so near mine honour
(More near my life, I fear) with my weak wit,
And to such men of gravity and learning,
In truth, I know not. I was set at work
Among my maids : full little, God knows, looking
Either for such men, or such business.
For her sake that I have been (for I feel
The last fit of my greatness), good your graces,
Let me have time, and counsel, for my cause ;
Alas! I am a woman, friendless, hopeless.
Wol. Madam, you wrong the king's love with these
Your hopes and friends are infinite.
Queen. In England,
But little for my profit: Can you think, lords, 90
That any Englishman dare give me counsel ?
Or be a known friend, 'gainst his highness' pleasure
(Though he be grown so desperate to be honest),
And live a subject? Nay, forsooth, my friends,
They that must weigh out my afflictions,
They that my trust must grow to, live not here;
They are, as all my other comforts, far hence,
In mine own country, lords.
Cam. I would, your grace
Would leave your griefs, and take my counsel. 100
Queen. How, sir?
Cam. Put your main cause into the king's pro-
He's loving, and most gracious: 'twill be much
Both for your honour better, and your cause;
For, if the trial of the law o'ertake you,
You'll part away disgrac'd.
Wol. He tells you rightly.
Queen. Ye tell me what ye wish for both, my ruin : Is this your christian counsel ? out upon ye ! Heaven is above all yet; there sits a Judge, That no king can corrupt. Cam. Your
mistakes us. Queen. The more shame for ye; holy men I
Upon my soul, two reverend cardinal virtues ;
But cardinal sins, and hollow hearts, I fear ye.
Mend 'em for shame, my lords. Is this your com-
The cordial that ye bring a wretched lady?
A woman lost among ye, laugh'd at, scorn'd?
I will not wish
I have more charity : But say, I warn’d ye į
Take heed, for heaven's sake, take heed, lest at once
The burden of my sorrows fall upon ye.
Wol. Madam, this is a mere distraction ;
You turn the good we offer into envy.
Queen. Ye turn me into nothing: Woe upon ye,
And all such false professors ! Would ye have me
(If you have any justice, any pity;
If you be any thing but churchmen's habits)
Put my sick cause into his hands that hates me?
Alas! he has banish’d.me his bed already;
His love, too long ago : I am old, my lords,
And all the fellowship I hold now with him
Is only my obedience. What can happen
To me, above this wretchedness ? all your studies
Make me a curse like this.
Cam. Your fears are worse.
Queen. Have I liv'd thus long-let me speak myself,
Since virtue finds no friends-a wife, a true one ?
A woman (I dare say, without vain-glory)
branded with suspicion ?
Have I with all my full affections
Still met the king? lov'd him next heaven? obey'd
Been, out of fondness, superstitious to him :
Almost forgot my prayers to content him?
And am I thus rewarded ? 'tis not well, lords.
Bring me a constant woman to her husband,
One that ne'er dream'd a joy beyond his pleasure ;
And to that woman, when she has done most,
Yet will I add an honour-a great patience.
Wol. Madam, you wander from the good we aim at.
150 Queen. My lord, I dare not make myself so guilty, To give up willingly that noble title Your master wed me to : nothing but death Shall e'er divorce my dignities.
Wol. Pray, hear me.
Queen. 'Would I had never trod this English earth, Or felt the flatteries that grow upon it! Ye have angels' faces, but heaven knows your hearts. What will become of me now, wretched lady? I am the most unhappy woman living:- 160 Alas! poor wenches, where are now your fortunes ?
[To her Women. Shipwreck'd upon a kingdom, where no pity, No friends, no hope; no kindred weep for me, Almost, no grave allow'd me:-Like the lily, That once was mistress of the field, and flourishid, I'll hang my head, and perish.
Wol. If your grace Could but be brought to know our ends are honest, You'd feel more comfort: why should we, good lady, Upon what cause, wrong you ? alas ! our places, 170 The way of our profession is against it; We are to cure such sorrows, not to sow 'em. For goodness' sake, consider what you do ; How you may hurt yourself, ay, utterly Grow from the king's acquaintance, by this carriage. The hearts of princes kiss obedience, $o much they love it; but, to stubborn spirits,