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Henry VIII - Act 3, scene 1
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Navigate this workHenry VIII - Act 3, scene 1
Act 3, scene 1
Wolsey and Campeius visit Katherine to persuade her to contest the divorce no longer.Enter Queen and her Women, as at work.
1538 Take thy lute, wench. My soul grows sad with troubles.
1539 Sing, and disperse ’em if thou canst. Leave working.
⌜WOMAN sings⌝ song.
1540 Orpheus with his lute made trees
1541 And the mountaintops that freeze
1542 5 Bow themselves when he did sing.
1543 To his music plants and flowers
1544 Ever sprung, as sun and showers
1545 There had made a lasting spring.
1546 Everything that heard him play,
1547 10 Even the billows of the sea,
1548 Hung their heads and then lay by.
1549 In sweet music is such art,
1550 Killing care and grief of heart
1551 Fall asleep or, hearing, die.
Enter a Gentleman.
QUEEN KATHERINE 1552 15How now?
1553 An ’t please your Grace, the two great cardinals
1554 Wait in the presence.
QUEEN KATHERINE 1555 Would they speak with me?
1556 They willed me say so, madam.
QUEEN KATHERINE 1557 20 Pray their Graces
1558 To come near.⌜Gentleman exits.⌝
1559 What can be their business
1560 With me, a poor weak woman, fall’n from favor?
1561 I do not like their coming, now I think on ’t.
1562 25 They should be good men, their affairs as righteous.
1563 But all hoods make not monks.
Enter the two Cardinals, Wolsey and Campeius.
WOLSEY 1564 Peace to your Highness.
1565 Your Graces find me here part of a housewife;
1566 I would be all, against the worst may happen.
1567 30 What are your pleasures with me, reverend lords?
1568 May it please you, noble madam, to withdraw
1569 Into your private chamber, we shall give you
1570 The full cause of our coming.
QUEEN KATHERINE 1571 Speak it here.
1572 35 There’s nothing I have done yet, o’ my conscience,
1573 Deserves a corner. Would all other women
1574 Could speak this with as free a soul as I do.
1575 My lords, I care not, so much I am happy
1576 Above a number, if my actions
1577 40 Were tried by ev’ry tongue, ev’ry eye saw ’em,
1578 Envy and base opinion set against ’em,
1579 I know my life so even. If your business
1580 Seek me out, and that way I am wife in,
1581 Out with it boldly. Truth loves open dealing.
WOLSEY 1582 45Tanta est erga te mentis integritas, regina
QUEEN KATHERINE 1584 O, good my lord, no Latin!
1585 I am not such a truant since my coming
p. 1171586 As not to know the language I have lived in.
1587 50 A strange tongue makes my cause more strange,
1589 Pray speak in English. Here are some will thank you,
1590 If you speak truth, for their poor mistress’ sake.
1591 Believe me, she has had much wrong. Lord Cardinal,
1592 55 The willing’st sin I ever yet committed
1593 May be absolved in English.
WOLSEY 1594 Noble lady,
1595 I am sorry my integrity should breed—
1596 And service to his Majesty and you—
1597 60 So deep suspicion, where all faith was meant.
1598 We come not by the way of accusation,
1599 To taint that honor every good tongue blesses,
1600 Nor to betray you any way to sorrow—
1601 You have too much, good lady—but to know
1602 65 How you stand minded in the weighty difference
1603 Between the King and you, and to deliver,
1604 Like free and honest men, our just opinions
1605 And comforts to ⌜your⌝ cause.
CAMPEIUS 1606 Most honored madam,
1607 70 My Lord of York, out of his noble nature,
1608 Zeal, and obedience he still bore your Grace,
1609 Forgetting, like a good man, your late censure
1610 Both of his truth and him—which was too far—
1611 Offers, as I do, in a sign of peace,
1612 75 His service and his counsel.
QUEEN KATHERINE, ⌜aside⌝ 1613 To betray me.—
1614 My lords, I thank you both for your good wills.
1615 You speak like honest men; pray God you prove so.
1616 But how to make you suddenly an answer
1617 80 In such a point of weight, so near mine honor—
1618 More near my life, I fear—with my weak wit,
1619 And to such men of gravity and learning,
1620 In truth I know not. I was set at work
p. 1191621 Among my maids, full little, God knows, looking
1622 85 Either for such men or such business.
1623 For her sake that I have been—for I feel
1624 The last fit of my greatness—good your Graces,
1625 Let me have time and counsel for my cause.
1626 Alas, I am a woman friendless, hopeless.
1627 90 Madam, you wrong the King’s love with these fears;
1628 Your hopes and friends are infinite.
QUEEN KATHERINE 1629 In England
1630 But little for my profit. Can you think, lords,
1631 That any Englishman dare give me counsel,
1632 95 Or be a known friend, ’gainst his Highness’ pleasure,
1633 Though he be grown so desperate to be honest,
1634 And live a subject? Nay, forsooth. My friends,
1635 They that must weigh out my afflictions,
1636 They that my trust must grow to, live not here.
1637 100 They are, as all my other comforts, far hence
1638 In mine own country, lords.
CAMPEIUS 1639 I would your Grace
1640 Would leave your griefs and take my counsel.
QUEEN KATHERINE 1641 How, sir?
1642 105 Put your main cause into the King’s protection.
1643 He’s loving and most gracious. ’Twill be much
1644 Both for your honor better and your cause,
1645 For if the trial of the law o’ertake you,
1646 You’ll part away disgraced.
WOLSEY 1647 110 He tells you rightly.
1648 You tell me what you wish for both: my ruin.
1649 Is this your Christian counsel? Out upon you!
1650 Heaven is above all yet; there sits a judge
1651 That no king can corrupt.
CAMPEIUS 1652 115 Your rage mistakes us.
p. 121QUEEN KATHERINE
1653 The more shame for you! Holy men I thought you,
1654 Upon my soul, two reverend cardinal virtues;
1655 But cardinal sins and hollow hearts I fear you.
1656 Mend ’em, for shame, my lords. Is this your comfort?
1657 120 The cordial that you bring a wretched lady,
1658 A woman lost among you, laughed at, scorned?
1659 I will not wish you half my miseries;
1660 I have more charity. But say I warned you:
1661 Take heed, for heaven’s sake, take heed, lest at once
1662 125 The burden of my sorrows fall upon you.
1663 Madam, this is a mere distraction.
1664 You turn the good we offer into envy.
1665 You turn me into nothing! Woe upon you
1666 And all such false professors. Would you have me—
1667 130 If you have any justice, any pity,
1668 If you be anything but churchmen’s habits—
1669 Put my sick cause into his hands that hates me?
1670 Alas, has banished me his bed already,
1671 His love, too, long ago. I am old, my lords,
1672 135 And all the fellowship I hold now with him
1673 Is only my obedience. What can happen
1674 To me above this wretchedness? All your studies
1675 Make me a curse like this.
CAMPEIUS 1676 Your fears are worse.
1677 140 Have I lived thus long—let me speak myself,
1678 Since virtue finds no friends—a wife, a true one—
1679 A woman, I dare say without vainglory,
1680 Never yet branded with suspicion—
1681 Have I with all my full affections
1682 145 Still met the King, loved him next heav’n, obeyed him,
1683 Been, out of fondness, superstitious to him,
1684 Almost forgot my prayers to content him,
p. 1231685 And am I thus rewarded? ’Tis not well, lords.
1686 Bring me a constant woman to her husband,
1687 150 One that ne’er dreamed a joy beyond his pleasure,
1688 And to that woman, when she has done most,
1689 Yet will I add an honor: a great patience.
1690 Madam, you wander from the good we aim at.
1691 My lord, I dare not make myself so guilty
1692 155 To give up willingly that noble title
1693 Your master wed me to. Nothing but death
1694 Shall e’er divorce my dignities.
WOLSEY 1695 Pray hear me.
1696 Would I had never trod this English earth
1697 160 Or felt the flatteries that grow upon it!
1698 You have angels’ faces, but heaven knows your hearts.
1699 What will become of me now, wretched lady?
1700 I am the most unhappy woman living.
1701 ⌜To her Women.⌝ Alas, poor wenches, where are now
1702 165 your fortunes?
1703 Shipwracked upon a kingdom where no pity,
1704 No friends, no hope, no kindred weep for me,
1705 Almost no grave allowed me, like the lily
1706 That once was mistress of the field and flourished,
1707 170 I’ll hang my head and perish.
WOLSEY 1708 If your Grace
1709 Could but be brought to know our ends are honest,
1710 You’d feel more comfort. Why should we, good lady,
1711 Upon what cause, wrong you? Alas, our places,
1712 175 The way of our profession, is against it.
1713 We are to cure such sorrows, not to sow ’em.
1714 For goodness’ sake, consider what you do,
1715 How you may hurt yourself, ay, utterly
1716 Grow from the King’s acquaintance by this carriage.
p. 1251717 180 The hearts of princes kiss obedience,
1718 So much they love it. But to stubborn spirits
1719 They swell and grow as terrible as storms.
1720 I know you have a gentle, noble temper,
1721 A soul as even as a calm. Pray think us
1722 185 Those we profess: peacemakers, friends, and servants.
1723 Madam, you’ll find it so. You wrong your virtues
1724 With these weak women’s fears. A noble spirit,
1725 As yours was put into you, ever casts
1726 Such doubts, as false coin, from it. The King loves
1727 190 you;
1728 Beware you lose it not. For us, if you please
1729 To trust us in your business, we are ready
1730 To use our utmost studies in your service.
1731 Do what you will, my lords, and pray forgive me
1732 195 If I have used myself unmannerly.
1733 You know I am a woman, lacking wit
1734 To make a seemly answer to such persons.
1735 Pray do my service to his Majesty.
1736 He has my heart yet and shall have my prayers
1737 200 While I shall have my life. Come, reverend fathers,
1738 Bestow your counsels on me. She now begs
1739 That little thought, when she set footing here,
1740 She should have bought her dignities so dear.