Henry VIII

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Original text
Act IV, Scene I
Enter two Gentlemen, meeting one another.

1
Y'are well met once againe.

2
So are you.

1
You come to take your stand heere, and behold
The Lady Anne, passe from her Corronation.

2
'Tis all my businesse. At our last encounter,
The Duke of Buckingham came from his Triall.

1
'Tis very true. But that time offer'd sorrow,
This generall ioy.

2
'Tis well: The Citizens
I am sure haue shewne at full their Royall minds,
As let 'em haue their rights, they are euer forward
In Celebration of this day with Shewes,
Pageants, and Sights of Honor.

1
Neuer greater,
Nor Ile assure you better taken Sir.

2
May I be bold to aske what that containes,
That Paper in your hand.

1
Yes, 'tis the List
Of those that claime their Offices this day,
By custome of the Coronation.
The Duke of Suffolke is the first, and claimes
To be high Steward; Next the Duke of Norfolke,
He to be Earle Marshall: you may reade the rest.

1
I thanke you Sir: Had I not known those customs,
I should haue beene beholding to your Paper:
But I beseech you, what's become of Katherine
The Princesse Dowager? How goes her businesse?

1
That I can tell you too. The Archbishop
Of Canterbury, accompanied with other
Learned, and Reuerend Fathers of his Order,
Held a late Court at Dunstable; sixe miles off
From Ampthill, where the Princesse lay, to which
She was often cyted by them, but appear'd not:
And to be short, for not Appearance, and
The Kings late Scruple, by the maine assent
Of all these Learned men, she was diuorc'd,
And the late Marriage made of none effect:
Since which, she was remou'd to Kymmalton,
Where she remaines now sicke.

2
Alas good Lady.
The Trumpets sound: Stand close, / The Queene is comming.
Ho-boyes.
The Order of the Coronation.
1 A liuely Flourish of Trumpets.
2 Then, two Iudges.
3 Lord Chancellor, with Purse and Mace before him.
4 Quirristers singing.
Musicke.
5 Maior of London, bearing the Mace. Then Garter,
in his Coate of Armes, and on his head he wore a Gilt
Copper Crowne.
6 Marquesse Dorset, bearing a Scepter of Gold, on his
head, a Demy Coronall of Gold. With him, the Earle of
Surrey, bearing the Rod of Siluer with the Doue,
Crowned with an Earles Coronet. Collars of Esses.
7 Duke of Suffolke, in his Robe of Estate, his Coronet
on his head, bearing a long white Wand, as High
Steward. With him, the Duke of Norfolke, with the Rod
of Marshalship, a Coronet on his head. Collars of Esses.
8 A Canopy, borne by foure of the Cinque-Ports,
vnder it the Queene in her Robe, in her haire, richly
adorned with Pearle, Crowned. On each side her, the
Bishops of London, and Winchester.
9 The Olde Dutchesse of Norfolke, in a Coronall of Gold,
wrought with Flowers bearing the Queenes Traine.
10 Certaine Ladies or Countesses, with plaine Circlets
of Gold, without Flowers.
Exeunt, first passing ouer the Stage in Order and State,and then, A great Flourish of Trumpets.

2
A Royall Traine beleeue me: These I know:
Who's that that beares the Scepter?

1
Marquesse Dorset,
And that the Earle of Surrey, with the Rod.

2
A bold braue Gentleman. That should bee
The Duke of Suffolke.

1
'Tis the same: high Steward.

2
And that my Lord of Norfolke?

1
Yes.

2
Heauen blesse thee,
Thou hast the sweetest face I euer look'd on.
Sir, as I haue a Soule, she is an Angell;
Our King ha's all the Indies in his Armes,
And more, and richer, when he straines that Lady,
I cannot blame his Conscience.

1
They that beare
The Cloath of Honour ouer her, are foure Barons
Of the Cinque-Ports.

2
Those men are happy, / And so are all, are neere her.
I take it, she that carries vp the Traine,
Is that old Noble Lady, Dutchesse of Norfolke.

1
It is, and all the rest are Countesses.

2
Their Coronets say so. These are Starres indeed,
And sometimes falling ones.

2
No more of that.
Enter a third Gentleman.

1
God saue you Sir. Where haue you bin broiling?

3
Among the crow'd i'th'Abbey, where a finger
Could not be wedg'd in more: I am stifled
With the meere ranknesse of their ioy.

2
You saw
the Ceremony?

3
That I did.

1
How was it?

3
Well worth the seeing.

2
Good Sir, speake it to vs?

3
As well as I am able. The rich streame
Of Lords, and Ladies, hauing brought the Queene
To a prepar'd place in the Quire, fell off
A distance from her; while her Grace sate downe
To rest a while, some halfe an houre, or so,
In a rich Chaire of State, opposing freely
The Beauty of her Person to the People.
Beleeue me Sir, she is the goodliest Woman
That euer lay by man: which when the people
Had the full view of, such a noyse arose,
As the shrowdes make at Sea, in a stiffe Tempest,
As lowd, and to as many Tunes. Hats, Cloakes,
(Doublets, I thinke) flew vp, and had their Faces
Bin loose, this day they had beene lost. Such ioy
I neuer saw before. Great belly'd women,
That had not halfe a weeke to go, like Rammes
In the old time of Warre, would shake the prease
And make 'em reele before 'em. No man liuing
Could say this is my wife there, all were wouen
So strangely in one peece.

2
But what follow'd?

3
At length, her Grace rose, and with modest paces
Came to the Altar, where she kneel'd, and Saint-like
Cast her faire eyes to Heauen, and pray'd deuoutly.
Then rose againe, and bow'd her to the people:
When by the Arch-byshop of Canterbury,
She had all the Royall makings of a Queene;
As holy Oyle, Edward Confessors Crowne,
The Rod, and Bird of Peace, and all such Emblemes
Laid Nobly on her: which perform'd, the Quire
With all the choysest Musicke of the Kingdome,
Together sung Te Deum. So she parted,
And with the same full State pac'd backe againe
To Yorke-Place, where the Feast is held.

1
Sir,
You must no more call it Yorke-place, that's past:
For since the Cardinall fell, that Titles lost,
'Tis now the Kings, and call'd White-Hall.

3
I know it:
But 'tis so lately alter'd, that the old name
Is fresh about me.

2
What two Reuerend Byshops
Were those that went on each side of the Queene?

3
Stokeley and Gardiner, the one of Winchester,
Newly preferr'd from the Kings Secretary:
The other London.

2
He of Winchester
Is held no great good louer of the Archbishops,
The vertuous Cranmer.

3
All the Land knowes that:
How euer, yet there is no great breach, when it comes
Cranmer will finde a Friend will not shrinke from him.

2
Who may that be, I pray you.

3
Thomas Cromwell,
A man in much esteeme with th'King, and truly
A worthy Friend. The King ha's made him / Master
o'th'Iewell House,
And one already of the Priuy Councell.

2
He will deserue more.

3
Yes without all doubt.
Come Gentlemen, ye shall go my way,
Which is to'th Court, and there ye shall be my Guests:
Something I can command. As I walke thither,
Ile tell ye more.

Both.
You may command vs Sir.
Exeunt.
Original text
Act IV, Scene II
Enter Katherine Dowager, sicke, lead betweene
Griffith, her Gentleman Vsher, and Patience her
Woman.

Grif.
How do's your Grace?

Kath.
O Griffith, sicke to death:
My Legges like loaden Branches bow to'th'Earth,
Willing to leaue their burthen: Reach a Chaire,
So now (me thinkes) I feele a little ease.
Did'st thou not tell me Griffith, as thoulead'st mee,
That the great Childe of Honor, Cardinall Wolsey
Was dead?

Grif.
Yes Madam: but I thanke your Grace
Out of the paine you suffer'd, gaue no eare too't.

Kath.
Pre'thee good Griffith, tell me how he dy'de.
If well, he stept before me happily
For my example.

Grif.
Well, the voyce goes Madam,
For after the stout Earle Northumberland
Arrested him at Yorke, and brought him forward
As a man sorely tainted, to his Answer,
He fell sicke sodainly, and grew so ill
He could not sit his Mule.

Kath.
Alas poore man.

Grif.
At last, with easie Rodes, he came to Leicester,
Lodg'd in the Abbey; where the reuerend Abbot
With all his Couent, honourably receiu'd him;
To whom he gaue these words. O Father Abbot,
An old man, broken with the stormes of State,
Is come to lay his weary bones among ye:
Giue him a little earth for Charity.
So went to bed; where eagerly his sicknesse
Pursu'd him still, and three nights after this,
About the houre of eight, which he himselfe
Foretold should be his last, full of Repentance,
Continuall Meditations, Teares, and Sorrowes,
He gaue his Honors to the world agen,
His blessed part to Heauen, and slept in peace.

Kath.
So may he rest, / His Faults lye gently on him:
Yet thus farre Griffith, giue me leaue to speake him,
And yet with Charity. He was a man
Of an vnbounded stomacke, euer ranking
Himselfe with Princes. One that by suggestion
Ty'de all the Kingdome. Symonie, was faire play,
His owne Opinion was his Law. I'th'presence
He would say vntruths, and be euer double
Both in his words, and meaning. He was neuer
(But where he meant to Ruine) pittifull.
His Promises, were as he then was, Mighty:
But his performance, as he is now, Nothing:
Of his owne body he was ill, and gaue
The Clergy ill example.

Grif.
Noble Madam:
Mens euill manners, liue in Brasse, their Vertues
We write in Water. May it please your Highnesse
To heare me speake his good now?

Kath.
Yes good Griffith,
I were malicious else.

Grif.
This Cardinall,
Though from an humble Stocke, vndoubtedly
Was fashion'd to much Honor. From his Cradle
He was a Scholler, and a ripe, and good one:
Exceeding wise, faire spoken, and perswading:
Lofty, and sowre to them that lou'd him not:
But, to those men that sought him, sweet as Summer.
And though he were vnsatisfied in getting,
(Which was a sinne) yet in bestowing, Madam,
He was most Princely: Euer witnesse for him
Those twinnes of Learning, that he rais'd in you,
Ipswich and Oxford: one of which, fell with him,
Vnwilling to out-liue the good that did it.
The other (though vnfinish'd) yet so Famous,
So excellent in Art, and still so rising,
That Christendome shall euer speake his Vertue.
His Ouerthrow, heap'd Happinesse vpon him:
For then, and not till then, he felt himselfe,
And found the Blessednesse of being little.
And to adde greater Honors to his Age
Then man could giue him; he dy'de, fearing God.

Kath.
After my death, I wish no other Herald,
No other speaker of my liuing Actions,
To keepe mine Honor, from Corruption,
But such an honest Chronicler as Griffith.
Whom I most hated Liuing, thou hast made mee
With thy Religious Truth, and Modestie,
(Now in his Ashes) Honor: Peace be with him.
Patience, be neere me still, and set me lower,
I haue not long to trouble thee. Good Griffith,
Cause the Musitians play me that sad note
I nam'd my Knell; whil'st I sit meditating
On that Coelestiall Harmony I go too.
Sad and solemne Musicke.

Grif.
She is asleep: Good wench, let's sit down quiet,
For feare we wake her. Softly, gentle Patience.
The Vision.
Enter solemnely tripping one after another, sixe
Personages, clad in white Robes, wearing on their heades
Garlands of Bayes, and golden Vizards on their faces,
Branches of Bayes or Palme in their hands. They first
Conge vnto her, then Dance: and at certaine Changes,
the first two hold a spare Garland ouer her Head, at
which the other foure make reuerend Curtsies. Then the
two that held the Garland, deliuer the same to the other
next two, who obserue the same order in their Changes,
and holding the Garland ouer her head. Which done,
they deliuer the same Garland to the last two: who
likewise obserue the same Order. At which (as it were
by inspiration) she makes (in her sleepe) signes of reioycing,
and holdeth vp her hands to heauen. And so, in their
Dancing vanish, carrying the Garland with them. The
Musicke continues.

Kath.
Spirits of peace, where are ye? Are ye all gone?
And leaue me heere in wretchednesse, behinde ye?

Grif.
Madam, we are heere.

Kath.
It is not you I call for,
Saw ye none enter since I slept?

Grif.
None Madam.

Kath.
No? Saw you not euen now a blessed Troope
Inuite me to a Banquet, whose bright faces
Cast thousand beames vpon me, like the Sun?
They promis'd me eternall Happinesse,
And brought me Garlands (Griffith) which I feele
I am not worthy yet to weare: I shall assuredly.

Grif.
I am most ioyfull Madam, such good dreames
Possesse your Fancy.

Kath.
Bid the Musicke leaue,
They are harsh and heauy to me.
Musicke ceases.

Pati.
Do you note
How much her Grace is alter'd on the sodaine?
How long her face is drawne? How pale she lookes,
And of an earthy cold? Marke her eyes?

Grif.
She is going Wench. Pray, pray.

Pati.
Heauen comfort her.
Enter a Messenger.

Mes.
And't like your Grace ------

Kath.
You are a sawcy Fellow,
Deserue we no more Reuerence?

Grif.
You are too blame,
Knowing she will not loose her wonted Greatnesse
To vse so rude behauiour. Go too, kneele.

Mes.
I humbly do entreat your Highnesse pardon,
My hast made me vnmannerly. There is staying
A Gentleman sent from the King, to see you.

Kath.
Admit him entrance Griffith. But this Fellow
Let me ne're see againe.
Exit Messeng.
Enter Lord Capuchius.
If my sight faile not,
You should be Lord Ambassador from the Emperor,
My Royall Nephew, and your name Capuchius.

Cap.
Madam the same. Your Seruant.

Kath.
O my Lord,
The Times and Titles now are alter'd strangely
With me, since first you knew me. / But I pray you,
What is your pleasure with me?

Cap.
Noble Lady,
First mine owne seruice to your Grace, the next
The Kings request, that I would visit you,
Who greeues much for your weaknesse, and by me
Sends you his Princely Commendations,
And heartily entreats you take good comfort.

Kath.
O my good Lord, that comfort comes too late,
'Tis like a Pardon after Execution;
That gentle Physicke giuen in time, had cur'd me:
But now I am past all Comforts heere, but Prayers.
How does his Highnesse?

Cap.
Madam, in good health.

Kath.
So may he euer do, and euer flourish,
When I shall dwell with Wormes, and my poore name
Banish'd the Kingdome. Patience, is that Letter
I caus'd you write, yet sent away?

Pat.
No Madam.

Kath.
Sir, I most humbly pray you to deliuer
This to my Lord the King.

Cap.
Most willing Madam.

Kath.
In which I haue commended to his goodnesse
The Modell of our chaste loues: his yong daughter,
The dewes of Heauen fall thicke in Blessings on her,
Beseeching him to giue her vertuous breeding.
She is yong, and of a Noble modest Nature,
I hope she will deserue well; and a little
To loue her for her Mothers sake, that lou'd him,
Heauen knowes how deerely. / My next poore Petition,
Is, that his Noble Grace would haue some pittie
Vpon my wretched women, that so long
Haue follow'd both my Fortunes, faithfully,
Of which there is not one, I dare auow
(And now I should not lye) but will deserue
For Vertue, and true Beautie of the Soule,
For honestie, and decent Carriage
A right good Husband (let him be a Noble)
And sure those men are happy that shall haue 'em.
The last is for my men, they are the poorest,
(But pouerty could neuer draw 'em from me)
That they may haue their wages, duly paid 'em,
And something ouer to remember me by.
If Heauen had pleas'd to haue giuen me longer life
And able meanes, we had not parted thus.
These are the whole Contents, and good my Lord,
By that you loue the deerest in this world,
As you wish Christian peace to soules departed,
Stand these poore peoples Friend, and vrge the King
To do me this last right.

Cap.
By Heauen I will,
Or let me loose the fashion of a man.

Kath.
I thanke you honest Lord. Remember me
In all humilitie vnto his Highnesse:
Say his long trouble now is passing
Out of this world. Tell him in death I blest him
(For so I will) mine eyes grow dimme. Farewell
My Lord. Griffith farewell. Nay Patience,
Vou must not leaue me yet. I must to bed,
Call in more women. When I am dead, good Wench,
Let me be vs'd with Honor; strew me ouer
With Maiden Flowers, that all the world may know
I was a chaste Wife, to my Graue: Embalme me,
Then lay me forth (although vnqueen'd) yet like
A Queene, and Daughter to a King enterre me.
I can no more.
Exeunt leading Katherine.
Modern text
Act IV, Scene I
Enter two Gentlemen, meeting one another

FIRST GENTLEMAN
You're well met once again.

SECOND GENTLEMAN
So are you.

FIRST GENTLEMAN
You come to take your stand here and behold
The Lady Anne pass from her coronation?

SECOND GENTLEMAN
'Tis all my business. At our last encounter
The Duke of Buckingham came from his trial.

FIRST GENTLEMAN
'Tis very true. But that time offered sorrow,
This, general joy.

SECOND GENTLEMAN
'Tis well. The citizens,
I am sure, have shown at full their royal minds –
As, let 'em have their rights, they are ever forward –
In celebration of this day with shows,
Pageants, and sights of honour.

FIRST GENTLEMAN
Never greater,
Nor, I'll assure you, better taken, sir.

SECOND GENTLEMAN
May I be bold to ask what that contains,
That paper in your hand?

FIRST GENTLEMAN
Yes, 'tis the list
Of those that claim their offices this day,
By custom of the coronation.
The Duke of Suffolk is the first, and claims
To be High Steward; next, the Duke of Norfolk,
He to be Earl Marshal. You may read the rest.

SECOND GENTLEMAN
I thank you, sir; had I not known those customs,
I should have been beholding to your paper.
But I beseech you, what's become of Katherine,
The Princess Dowager? How goes her business?

FIRST GENTLEMAN
That I can tell you too. The Archbishop
Of Canterbury, accompanied with other
Learned and reverend fathers of his order,
Held a late court at Dunstable, six miles off
From Ampthill where the Princess lay; to which
She was often cited by them, but appeared not.
And, to be short, for not appearance, and
The King's late scruple, by the main assent
Of all these learned men, she was divorced,
And the late marriage made of none effect;
Since which she was removed to Kimbolton,
Where she remains now sick.

SECOND GENTLEMAN
Alas, good lady!
Trumpets
The trumpets sound. Stand close, the Queen is coming.
Hautboys
The Order of the Coronation:
1. A lively flourish of trumpets
2. Then two Judges
3. Lord Chancellor, with purse and mace before him
4. Choristers singing
Music
5. Mayor of London, bearing the mace. Then Garter,
in his coat of arms, and on his head he wore a gilt
copper crown
6. Marquess Dorset, bearing a sceptre of gold, on his
head a demi-coronal of gold. With him the Earl of
Surrey, bearing the rod of silver with the dove,
crowned with an earl's coronet. Collars of Esses
7. Duke of Suffolk, in his robe of estate, his coronet
on his head, bearing a long white wand, as High
Steward. With him the Duke of Norfolk, with the rod
of marshalship, a coronet on his head. Collars of Esses
8. A canopy borne by four of the Cinque Ports;
under it the Queen in her robe; in her hair, richly
adorned with pearl, crowned. On each side her the
Bishops of London and Winchester
9. The old Duchess of Norfolk, in a coronal of gold
wrought with flowers, bearing the Queen's train
10. Certain Ladies or Countesses, with plain circlets
of gold without flowers
The procession passes over the stage in order and state

SECOND GENTLEMAN
A royal train, believe me. These I know.
Who's that that bears the sceptre?

FIRST GENTLEMAN
Marquess Dorset;
And that the Earl of Surrey, with the rod.

SECOND GENTLEMAN
A bold brave gentleman. That should be
The Duke of Suffolk?

FIRST GENTLEMAN
'Tis the same: High Steward.

SECOND GENTLEMAN
And that my Lord of Norfolk?

FIRST GENTLEMAN
Yes.

SECOND GENTLEMAN
(looking at the Queen)
Heaven bless thee!
Thou hast the sweetest face I ever looked on.
Sir, as I have a soul, she is an angel;
Our King has all the Indies in his arms,
And more, and richer, when he strains that lady.
I cannot blame his conscience.

FIRST GENTLEMAN
They that bear
The cloth of honour over her are four barons
Of the Cinque Ports.

SECOND GENTLEMAN
Those men are happy, and so are all are near her.
I take it, she that carries up the train
Is that old noble lady, Duchess of Norfolk.

FIRST GENTLEMAN
It is, and all the rest are countesses.

SECOND GENTLEMAN
Their coronets say so. These are stars indeed –

FIRST GENTLEMAN
And sometimes falling ones.

SECOND GENTLEMAN
No more of that.
The end of the procession leaves; and then a great
flourish of trumpets
Enter a third Gentleman

FIRST GENTLEMAN
God save you, sir! Where have you been broiling?

THIRD GENTLEMAN
Among the crowd i'th' Abbey, where a finger
Could not be wedged in more: I am stifled
With the mere rankness of their joy.

SECOND GENTLEMAN
You saw
The ceremony?

THIRD GENTLEMAN
That I did.

FIRST GENTLEMAN
How was it?

THIRD GENTLEMAN
Well worth the seeing.

SECOND GENTLEMAN
Good sir, speak it to us.

THIRD GENTLEMAN
As well as I am able. The rich stream
Of lords and ladies, having brought the Queen
To a prepared place in the choir, fell off
A distance from her, while her grace sat down
To rest awhile, some half an hour or so,
In a rich chair of state, opposing freely
The beauty of her person to the people.
Believe me, sir, she is the goodliest woman
That ever lay by man; which when the people
Had the full view of, such a noise arose
As the shrouds make at sea in a stiff tempest,
As loud, and to as many tunes. Hats, cloaks –
Doublets, I think – flew up, and had their faces
Been loose, this day they had been lost. Such joy
I never saw before. Great-bellied women,
That had not half a week to go, like rams
In the old time of war, would shake the press,
And make 'em reel before 'em. No man living
Could say ‘This is my wife’ there, all were woven
So strangely in one piece.

SECOND GENTLEMAN
But what followed?

THIRD GENTLEMAN
At length her grace rose, and with modest paces
Came to the altar, where she kneeled, and saint-like
Cast her fair eyes to heaven, and prayed devoutly,
Then rose again, and bowed her to the people;
When by the Archbishop of Canterbury
She had all the royal makings of a queen,
As holy oil, Edward Confessor's crown,
The rod, and bird of peace, and all such emblems
Laid nobly on her: which performed, the choir,
With all the choicest music of the kingdom,
Together sung Te Deum. So she parted,
And with the same full state paced back again
To York Place, where the feast is held.

FIRST GENTLEMAN
Sir,
You must no more call it York Place; that's past,
For since the Cardinal fell that title's lost:
'Tis now the King's, and called Whitehall.

THIRD GENTLEMAN
I know it,
But 'tis so lately altered that the old name
Is fresh about me.

SECOND GENTLEMAN
What two reverend bishops
Were those that went on each side of the Queen?

THIRD GENTLEMAN
Stokesley and Gardiner, the one of Winchester,
Newly preferred from the King's secretary,
The other, London.

SECOND GENTLEMAN
He of Winchester
Is held no great good lover of the Archbishop's,
The virtuous Cranmer.

THIRD GENTLEMAN
All the land knows that;
However, yet there is no great breach. When it comes,
Cranmer will find a friend will not shrink from him.

SECOND GENTLEMAN
Who may that be, I pray you?

THIRD GENTLEMAN
Thomas Cromwell,
A man in much esteem with th' King, and truly
A worthy friend. The King has made him Master
O'th' Jewel House,
And one, already, of the Privy Council.

SECOND GENTLEMAN
He will deserve more.

THIRD GENTLEMAN
Yes, without all doubt.
Come, gentlemen, ye shall go my way, which
Is to th' court, and there ye shall be my guests:
Something I can command. As I walk thither,
I'll tell ye more.

SECOND and THIRD GENTLEMEN
You may command us, sir.
Exeunt
Modern text
Act IV, Scene II
Enter Katherine, Dowager, sick, led between
Griffith, her gentleman usher, and Patience, her
woman

GRIFFITH
How does your grace?

KATHERINE
O Griffith, sick to death.
My legs, like loaden branches bow to th' earth,
Willing to leave their burden. Reach a chair.
So: now, methinks, I feel a little ease.
Didst thou not tell me, Griffith, as thou ledst me,
That the great child of honour, Cardinal Wolsey,
Was dead?

GRIFFITH
Yes, madam; but I think your grace,
Out of the pain you suffered, gave no ear to't.

KATHERINE
Prithee, good Griffith, tell me how he died.
If well, he stepped before me happily
For my example.

GRIFFITH
Well, the voice goes, madam:
For after the stout Earl Northumberland
Arrested him at York, and brought him forward,
As a man sorely tainted, to his answer,
He fell sick suddenly, and grew so ill
He could not sit his mule.

KATHERINE
Alas, poor man.

GRIFFITH
At last, with easy roads, he came to Leicester,
Lodged in the abbey, where the reverend abbot,
With all his covent, honourably received him;
To whom he gave these words: ‘ O, father abbot,
An old man, broken with the storms of state,
Is come to lay his weary bones among ye;
Give him a little earth for charity.’
So went to bed, where eagerly his sickness
Pursued him still, and, three nights after this,
About the hour of eight, which he himself
Foretold should be his last, full of repentance,
Continual meditations, tears, and sorrows,
He gave his honours to the world again,
His blessed part to heaven, and slept in peace.

KATHERINE
So may he rest; his faults lie gently on him!
Yet thus far, Griffith, give me leave to speak him,
And yet with charity. He was a man
Of an unbounded stomach, ever ranking
Himself with princes; one that by suggestion
Tied all the kingdom. Simony was fair play;
His own opinion was his law. I'th' presence
He would say untruths, and be ever double
Both in his words and meaning. He was never,
But where he meant to ruin, pitiful.
His promises were as he then was, mighty,
But his performance as he is now, nothing.
Of his own body he was ill, and gave
The clergy ill example.

GRIFFITH
Noble madam,
Men's evil manners live in brass; their virtues
We write in water. May it please your highness
To hear me speak his good now?

KATHERINE
Yes, good Griffith,
I were malicious else.

GRIFFITH
This Cardinal,
Though from an humble stock, undoubtedly
Was fashioned to much honour. From his cradle
He was a scholar, and a ripe and good one,
Exceeding wise, fair-spoken, and persuading;
Lofty and sour to them that loved him not,
But, to those men that sought him, sweet as summer.
And though he were unsatisfied in getting –
Which was a sin – yet in bestowing, madam,
He was most princely: ever witness for him
Those twins of learning that he raised in you,
Ipswich and Oxford! – one of which fell with him,
Unwilling to outlive the good that did it;
The other, though unfinished, yet so famous,
So excellent in art, and still so rising,
That Christendom shall ever speak his virtue.
His overthrow heaped happiness upon him,
For then, and not till then, he felt himself,
And found the blessedness of being little;
And, to add greater honours to his age
Than man could give him, he died fearing God.

KATHERINE
After my death I wish no other herald,
No other speaker of my living actions,
To keep mine honour from corruption,
But such an honest chronicler as Griffith.
Whom I most hated living, thou hast made me,
With thy religious truth and modesty,
Now in his ashes honour. Peace be with him!
Patience, be near me still, and set me lower;
I have not long to trouble thee. Good Griffith,
Cause the musicians play me that sad note
I named my knell, whilst I sit meditating
On that celestial harmony I go to.
Sad and solemn music

GRIFFITH
She is asleep. Good wench, let's sit down quiet,
For fear we wake her. Softly, gentle Patience.
The vision:
Enter, solemnly tripping one after another, six
personages clad in white robes, wearing on their heads
garlands of bays, and golden vizards on their faces;
branches of bays or palm in their hands. They first
congie unto her, then dance; and, at certain changes,
the first two hold a spare garland over her head, at
which the other four make reverent curtsies. Then the
two that held the garland deliver the same to the other
next two, who observe the same order in their changes,
and holding the garland over her head; which done,
they deliver the same garland to the last two, who
likewise observe the same order. At which, as it were
by inspiration, she makes in her sleep signs of rejoicing,
and holdeth up her hands to heaven; and so in their
dancing vanish, carrying the garland with them. The
music continues

KATHERINE
Spirits of peace, where are ye? Are ye all gone,
And leave me here in wretchedness behind ye?

GRIFFITH
Madam, we are here.

KATHERINE
It is not you I call for.
Saw ye none enter since I slept?

GRIFFITH
None, madam.

KATHERINE
No? Saw you not even now a blessed troop
Invite me to a banquet, whose bright faces
Cast thousand beams upon me, like the sun?
They promised me eternal happiness,
And brought me garlands, Griffith, which I feel
I am not worthy yet to wear; I shall, assuredly.

GRIFFITH
I am most joyful, madam, such good dreams
Possess your fancy.

KATHERINE
Bid the music leave,
They are harsh and heavy to me.
Music ceases

PATIENCE
Do you note
How much her grace is altered on the sudden?
How long her face is drawn? How pale she looks?
And of an earthy colour? Mark her eyes.

GRIFFITH
She is going, wench. Pray, pray.

PATIENCE
Heaven comfort her!
Enter a Messenger

MESSENGER
An't like your grace –

KATHERINE
You are a saucy fellow!
Deserve we no more reverence?

GRIFFITH
(to Messenger)
You are to blame,
Knowing she will not lose her wonted greatness,
To use so rude behaviour. Go to, kneel.

MESSENGER
I humbly do entreat your highness' pardon;
My haste made me unmannerly. There is staying
A gentleman sent from the King, to see you.

KATHERINE
Admit him entrance, Griffith; but this fellow
Let me ne'er see again.
Exit Messenger
Enter Lord Capuchius
If my sight fail not,
You should be lord ambassador from the Emperor,
My royal nephew, and your name Capuchius.

CAPUCHIUS
Madam, the same: your servant.

KATHERINE
O my lord,
The times and titles now are altered strangely
With me since first you knew me. But I pray you,
What is your pleasure with me?

CAPUCHIUS
Noble lady,
First mine own service to your grace; the next,
The King's request that I would visit you,
Who grieves much for your weakness, and by me
Sends you his princely commendations,
And heartily entreats you take good comfort.

KATHERINE
O my good lord, that comfort comes too late,
'Tis like a pardon after execution.
That gentle physic, given in time, had cured me,
But now I am past all comforts here but prayers.
How does his highness?

CAPUCHIUS
Madam, in good health.

KATHERINE
So may he ever do, and ever flourish,
When I shall dwell with worms, and my poor name
Banished the kingdom. Patience, is that letter
I caused you write yet sent away?

PATIENCE
No, madam.
She gives it to Katherine

KATHERINE
Sir, I most humbly pray you to deliver
This to my lord the King.

CAPUCHIUS
Most willing, madam.

KATHERINE
In which I have commended to his goodness
The model of our chaste loves, his young daughter –
The dews of heaven fall thick in blessings on her! –
Beseeching him to give her virtuous breeding.
She is young, and of a noble modest nature;
I hope she will deserve well – and a little
To love her for her mother's sake, that loved him,
Heaven knows how dearly. My next poor petition
Is that his noble grace would have some pity
Upon my wretched women, that so long
Have followed both my fortunes faithfully;
Of which there is not one, I dare avow –
And now I should not lie – but will deserve,
For virtue and true beauty of the soul,
For honesty and decent carriage,
A right good husband, let him be a noble;
And sure those men are happy that shall have 'em.
The last is for my men – they are the poorest,
But poverty could never draw 'em from me –
That they may have their wages duly paid 'em,
And something over to remember me by.
If heaven had pleased to have given me longer life
And able means, we had not parted thus.
These are the whole contents; and, good my lord,
By that you love the dearest in this world,
As you wish Christian peace to souls departed,
Stand these poor people's friend, and urge the King
To do me this last right.

CAPUCHIUS
By heaven, I will,
Or let me lose the fashion of a man!

KATHERINE
I thank you, honest lord. Remember me
In all humility unto his highness.
Say his long trouble now is passing
Out of this world. Tell him in death I blessed him,
For so I will. Mine eyes grow dim. Farewell,
My lord. Griffith, farewell. Nay, Patience,
You must not leave me yet. I must to bed;
Call in more women. When I am dead, good wench,
Let me be used with honour; strew me over
With maiden flowers, that all the world may know
I was a chaste wife to my grave. Embalm me,
Then lay me forth; although unqueened, yet like
A queen, and daughter to a king, inter me.
I can no more.
Exeunt, leading Katherine
SHAKESPEARE'S WORDS © 2020 DAVID CRYSTAL & BEN CRYSTAL