previous next


London. A gallery in the palace.
Enter GARDINER, Bishop of Winchester, a Page with a torch before him met by SIR THOMAS LOVELL.

It's one o'clock, boy, is't not?

It hath struck.

These should be hours for necessities,

Not for delights; times to repair our nature

With comforting repose, and not for us

To waste these times. Good hour of night, Sir Thomas!

Whither so late?

Came you from the king, my lord?

I did, Sir Thomas; and left him at primero

With the Duke of Suffolk.

I must to him too,

Before he go to bed. I'll take my leave. (10)

Not yet, Sir Thomas Lovell. What's the matter?

It seems you are in haste: an if there be

No great offence belongs to't, give your friend

Some touch of your late business: affairs, that walk,

As they say spirits do, at midnight, have

In them a wilder nature than the business

That seeks dispatch by day.

My lord, I love you;

And durst commend a secret to your ear

Much weightier than this work. The queen's in labour,

They say, in great extremity; and fear'd

She'll with the labour end. (20)

The fruit she goes with

I pray for heartily, that it may find

Good time, and live: but for the stock, Sir Thomas,

I wish it grubb'd up now.

Methinks I could

Cry the amen; and yet my conscience says

She's a good creature, and, sweet lady, does

Deserve our better wishes.

But, sir, sir,

Hear me, Sir Thomas: you're a gentleman

Of mine own way; I know you wise, religious;

And, let me tell you, it will ne'er be well,

'Twill not, Sir Thomas Lovell, take't of me,

Till Cranmer, Cromwell, her two hands, and she,

Sleep in their graves.

Now, sir, you speak of two

The most remark'd i' the kingdom. As for Cromwell,

Beside that of the jewel house, is made master

O' the rolls, and the king's secretary; further, sir,

Stands in lte gap and trade of moe preferments,

With which the time will load him. The archbishop

Is the king's hand and tongue'; and who dare speak

One syllable against him?

Yes, yes, Sir Thomas

There are that dare; and I myself have ventured (41)

To speak my mind of him: and indeed this day,

Sir, I may tell it you, I think I have

Incensed the lords o' the council, that he is,

For so I know he is, they know he is,

A most arch heretic, a pestilence

That does infect the land: with which they moved

Have broken with the king; who hath so far

Given ear to our complaint, of his great grace

And princely care foreseeing those fell mischiefs

Our reasons laid before him, hath commanded (51)

To-morrow morning to the council-board

He be convented. He's a rank weed, Sir Thomas,

And we must root him out. From your affairs

I hinder you too long: good night, Sir Thomas.

Many good nights, my lord: I rest your servant. Exeunt Gardiner and Page.
Enter the KING and SUFFOLK.

Charles, I will play no more to-night;

My mind's not on 't; you are too hard for me.

Sir, I did never win of you before.

But little, Charles;

Nor shall not, when my fancy's on my play.

Now, Lovell, from the queen what is the news?

I could not personally deliver to her

What you commanded me, but by her woman

I sent your message; who return'd her thanks

In the greatest humbleness, and desired your highness

Most heartily to pray for her.

What say'st thou, ha?

To pray for her? what, is she crying out?

So said her woman; and that her sufferance made

Almost each pang a death.

Alas, good lady!

God safely quit her of her burthen, and (71)

With gentle travail, to the gladding of

Your highness with an heir!

'Tis midnight, Charles;

Prithee, to bed; and in thy prayers remember

The estate of my poor queen. Leave me alone;

For I must think of that which company

Would not be friendly to.

I wish your highness

A quiet night; and my good mistress will

Remember in my prayers.

Charles, good night. Exit Suffolk.

Well, sir, what follows? (80)

Sir, I have brought my lord the archbishop,

As you commanded me.

Ha! Canterbury?

Ay, my good lord.

'Tis true: where is he, Denny?

He attends your highness' pleasure.

Bring him to us. Exit Denny.

This is about that which the bishop spake:

I am happily come hither. Re-enter DENNY, with CRANMER.

Avoid the gallery. [Lovell seems to stay.]

Ha! I have said. Be gone.

What! [Exeunt Lovell and Denny.

I am fearful: wherefore frowns he thus?

'Tis his aspect of terror. All's not well.

How now, my lord! you do desire to know

Wherefore I sent for you. (90)

It is my duty

To attend your highness' pleasure.

Pray you, arise,

My good and gracious Lord of Canterbury.

Come, you and I must walk a turn together;

I have news to tell you: come, come, give me your hand.

Ah, my good lord, I grieve at what I speak,

And am right sorry to repeat what follows:

I have, and most unwillingly, of late

Heard many grievous, I do say, my lord, (100)

Grievous complaints of you; which, being consider'd,

Have moved us and our council, that you shall

This morning come before us; where, I know,

You cannot with such freedom purge yourself,

But that, till further trial in those charges

Which will require your answer, you must take

Your patience to you, and be well contented

To make your house our Tower: you a brother of us,

It fits we thus proceed, or else no witness

Would come against you.

I humbly thank your highness;

And am right glad to catch this good occasion

Most thoroughly to be winnow'd, where my chaff (111)

And corn shall fly asunder: for, I know,

There's none stands under more calumnious tongues

Than I myself, poor man.

Stand up, good Canterbury:

Thy truth and thy integrity is rooted

In us, thy friend: give me thy hand, stand up:

Prithee, let's walk. Now, by my holidame,

What manner of man are you? My lord, I look'd

You would have given me your petition, that

I should have ta'en some pains to bring together (120)

Yourself and your accusers; and to have heard you,

Without indurance, further.

Most dread liege,

The good I stand on is my truth and honesty:

If they shall fail, I, with mine enemies,

Will triumph o'er my person; which I weigh not,

Being of those virtues vacant. I fear nothing

What can be said against me.

Know you not

How your state stands i' the world, with the whole world?

Your enemies are many, and not small; their practices

Must bear the same proportion; and not ever (131)

The justice and the truth o' the question carries

The due o' the verdict with it: at what ease

Might corrupt minds procure knaves as corrupt

To swear against you? such things have been done.

You are potently opposed; and with a malice

Of as great size. Ween you of better luck,

I mean, in perjured witness, than your master,

Whose minister you are, whiles here he lived

Upon this naughty earth? Go to, go to;

You take a precipice for no leap of danger,

And woo your own destruction.

God and your majesty (141)

Protect mine innocence, or I fall into

The trap is laid for me!

Be of good cheer;

They shall no more prevail than we give way to.

Keep comfort to you; and this morning see

You do appear before them: if they shall chance,

In charging you with matters, to commit you,

The best persuasions to the contrary

Fail not to use, and with what vehemency

The occasion shall instruct you: if entreaties (150)

Will render you no remedy, this ring

Deliver them, and your appeal to us

There make before them. Look, the good man weeps!

He's honest, on mine honour. God's blest mother!

I swear he is true-hearted; and a soul

None better in my kingdom. Get you gone,

And do as I have bid you. [Exit Cranmer.]

He has strangled

His language in his tears. Enter Old Lady, LOVELL following.

Come back: what mean you?

Old L.
I'll not come back; the tidings that I bring (159)

Will make my boldness manners. Now, good angels

Fly o'er thy royal head, and shade thy person

Under their blessed wings!

Now, by thy looks

I guess thy message. Is the queen deliver'd?

Say, ay; and of a boy.

Old L.
Ay, ay, my liege;

And of a lovely boy: the God of heaven

Both now and ever bless her! 'tis a girl,

Promises boys hereafter. Sir, your queen

Desires your visitation, and to be

Acquainted with this stranger: 'tis as like you

As cherry is to cherry.



Give her an hundred marks. I'll to the queen. [Exit.

Old L.
An hundred marks by this light, I'll ha' more.

An ordinary groom is for such payment.

I will have more, or scold it out of him.

Said I for this, the girl was like to him?

I will have more, or else unsay 't; and now,

While it is hot, I'll put it to the issue. [Exeunt.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: