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ye will not extend to me so much indifferent favour, your pleasure then be fulfilled and to God I commit my cause !' “And with that she rose up, making a low curtsy to the king, and so departed from thence. Many supposed that she would have resorted again to her former place ; but she took her way straight out of the house, leaning, as she was wont always to do, upon the arm of her general receiver, called Master Griffith. And the king being advertised of her departure, commanded the crier to call her again, who called her by the name of ‘Katherine queen of England, come into the court,’ &c. With that quoth Master Griffith, “Madam, ye be called again.” “On, on,' quoth she, “it maketh no matter, for it is no indifferent court for me, therefore I will not tarry. Go on your ways.” And thus she departed out of that court, without any farther answer at that time, or at any other, nor would never appear at any other court after. “The king, perceiving that she was departed in such sort, calling to his grace's memory all her lament words that she had pronounced before him and all the audience, said thus in effect :—‘Forasmuch,' quoth he, “as the queen is gone, I will, in her absence, declare unto you all my lords here present assembled, she hath been to me as true, as obedient, and as conformable a wife as I could in my fantasy wish or desire. She hath all the virtuous qualities that ought to be in a woman of her dignity, or in any other of baser estate. Surely she is also a noblewoman born ; if nothing were in her but only her conditions, will well declare the same.’ With that quoth my lord cardinal,—'Sir, I most humbly beseech your highness to declare me before all this audience, whether I have been the chief inventor or first mover of this matter unto your majesty: for I am greatly suspected of all men herein.” “My lord cardinal, quoth the king, “I can well excuse you herein. Marry,' quoth he, “ye have been rather against me in attempting or setting forth thereof. And to put you all out of doubt, I will declare unto you the special cause that moved me hereunto ; it was a certain scrupulosity that pricked my conscience upon divers words that were spoken at a certain time by the Bishop of Bayonne, the French king's ambassador, who had been here long upon the debating for the conclusion of a marriage to be concluded between the princess, our daughter Mary and the Duke of Orleans, the French king's second son. “And upon the resolution and determination thereof, he desired respite to advertise the king his master thereof, whether our daughter Mary should be legitimate in respect of the marriage which was sometime between the queen here and my brother the late prince Arthur. These words were so conceived within my scrupulous conscience, that it bred a doubt within my breast, which doubt pricked, vexed, and troubled so my mind, and so disquieted me, that I was in great doubt of God's indignation; which, as seemed me, appeared right well; much the rather for that he hath not sent me any issue male; for all such issue male as I have received of the queen died incontinent after they were born ; so that I doubt the punishment of God in that behalf. Thus being troubled in waves of a scrupulous conscience, and partly in despair of any issue male by her, it drave me at last to consider the estate of this realm, and the danger it stood in for lack of issue male to succeed me in this imperial dignity. I thought it good, therefore, in relief of the weighty burden of scrupulous conscience, and the quiet estate of this noble realm, to attempt the law therein, and whether I might take another wife in case that my first copulation with this gentlewoman were not lawful ; which I intend not for any carnal concupiscence, nor for any displeasure or mislike of the queen's person or age, with whom I could be as well content to continue during my life, if our marriage may stand with God's laws, as with any woman alive ; in which point consisteth all this doubt that we go now about to try by the learned wisdom and o O
judgment of you our prelates and pastors of this realm here assembled for that purpose; to whose conscience and judgment I have committed the charge, according to the which, God willing, we will be right well contented to submit ourself, to obey the same for our part. Wherein after I once perceived my conscience wounded with the doubtful case herein, I moved first this matter in confession to you, my Lord of Lincoln, my ghostly father. And forasmuch as then yourself were in some doubt to give me counsel, moved me to ask further counsel of all you, my lords; wherein I moved you first, my lord of Canterbury, axing your licence (forasmuch as you were our metropolitan) to put this matter in question; and so I did of all you, my lords, to the which ye have all granted by writing under all your seals, the which I have here to be showed.’ ‘That is truth, if it please your highness,” quoth the bishop of Canterbury; “I doubt not but all my brethren here present will affirm the same.’ ‘No, sir, not I,’ quoth the bishop of Rochester, ‘ye have not my consent thereto.” “No! ha’ the l’ quoth the king; ‘look here upon this: is not this your hand and seal?" and showed him the instrument with seals. ‘No, forsooth, sire, quoth the bishop of Rochester, “it is not my hand nor seal ' To that quoth the king to my Lord of Canterbury, “Sir, how say ye f is it not his hand and seal?" Yes, sir, quoth my Lord of Canterbury. “That is not so, quoth the bishop of Rochester, “for indeed you were in hand with me to have both my hand and seal, as other of my lords had already done; but then I said to you that I would never consent to no such act, for it were much against my conscience; nor my hand and seal should never be seen at any such instrument, God willing; with much more matter touching the same communication between us.’ ‘You say truth, quoth the bishop of Canterbury; “such words ye said unto me; but at the last ye were fully persuaded that I should for you subscribe your name, and put to a seal myself, and ye would allow the same.’ ‘All which words and matter, quoth the bishop of Rochester, “under your correction, my lord, and supportation of this noble audience, there is nothing more untrue.” “Well, well, quoth the king, “it shall make no matter; we will not stand with you in argument herein, for you are but one man.’ And with that the court was adjourned until the next day of this session.”
152.--THE FALL OF WOLSEY. SHAksperse.
The King goes out, frowning upon Cardinal Wolsey: the Nobles throng after him, smiling, and whispering.
Wol. What should this mean
Made me put this main secret in the packet
Re-enter the Dukes of Norfolk and Suffolk, the Earl of Surrey, and the Lord Chamberlain.
Nor. Hear the king's pleasure, cardinal: who commands you
Suf. Who dare cross them,
Wol. Till I find more than will, or words, to do it,
Follow your envious courses, men of malice ;
You have christian warrant for them, and, no doubt,
Sur. The king, that gave it.
Wol. It must be himself then.
Within these forty hours Surrey durst better
Sur. - Thy ambition,
Weigh’d not a hair of his. Plague of your policy
Wol. This, and all else
Sur. By my soul,
Wol. . All goodness
Of gleaning all the land's wealth into one,
Wol. How much, methinks, I could despise this man, But that I am bound in charity against it !
Mor. Those articles, my lord, are in the king's hand: But, thus much, they are foul ones.
Wol. So much fairer,
Sur. This cannot save you:
Now, if you can blush, and cry guilty, cardinal,
Wol. Speak on, sir;
Suf. I'd rather want those than my head. Have at you.
Mor. Then, that, in all you writ to Rome, or else
Suf. Then, that, without the knowledge
Sur. Item, you sent a large commission
Suf. That, out of mere ambition, you have caused
Sur. Then, that you have sent innumerable substance,
Cham. O my lord,
Sur. I forgive him.
Suf. Lord cardinal, the king's further pleasure is,
Mor. And so we'll leave you to your meditations
[Ereunt all but Wolsey.
Wol. So farewell to the little good you bear me.
Farewell, a long farewell, to all my greatness!