Scena Secunda.

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 thou lead'st mee, That the great Childe of Honor, Cardinall Wolsey Was dead? Grif. Yes Madam: but I thinke 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.

The Famous History of the Life of King Henry the Eight Page 31

William Shakespeare Plays

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