King. What's the need? It hath already publiquely bene read, And on all sides th' Authority allow'd, You may then spare that time

Car. Bee't so, proceed

Scri. Say, Henry K[ing]. of England, come into the Court

Crier. Henry King of England, &c

King. Heere

Scribe. Say, Katherine Queene of England, Come into the Court

Crier. Katherine Queene of England, &c.

The Queene makes no answer, rises out of her Chaire, goes about the Court, comes to the King, and kneeles at his Feete. Then speakes.

Sir, I desire you do me Right and Iustice, And to bestow your pitty on me; for I am a most poore Woman, and a Stranger, Borne out of your Dominions: hauing heere No Iudge indifferent, nor no more assurance Of equall Friendship and Proceeding. Alas Sir: In what haue I offended you? What cause Hath my behauiour giuen to your displeasure, That thus you should proceede to put me off, And take your good Grace from me? Heauen witnesse, I haue bene to you, a true and humble Wife, At all times to your will conformable: Euer in feare to kindle your Dislike, Yea, subiect to your Countenance: Glad, or sorry, As I saw it inclin'd? When was the houre I euer contradicted your Desire? Or made it not mine too? Or which of your Friends Haue I not stroue to loue, although I knew He were mine Enemy? What Friend of mine, That had to him deriu'd your Anger, did I Continue in my Liking? Nay, gaue notice He was from thence discharg'd? Sir, call to minde, That I haue beene your Wife, in this Obedience, Vpward of twenty years, and haue bene blest With many Children by you. If in the course And processe of this time, you can report, And proue it too, against mine Honor, aught; My bond to Wedlocke, or my Loue and Dutie Against your Sacred Person; in Gods name Turne me away: and let the fowl'st Contempt Shut doore vpon me, and so giue me vp To the sharp'st kinde of Iustice. Please you, Sir, The King your Father, was reputed for A Prince most Prudent; of an excellent And vnmatch'd Wit, and Iudgement. Ferdinand My Father, King of Spaine, was reckon'd one The wisest Prince, that there had reign'd, by many A yeare before. It is not to be question'd, That they had gather'd a wise Councell to them Of euery Realme, that did debate this Businesse, Who deem'd our Marriage lawful. Wherefore I humbly Beseech you Sir, to spare me, till I may Be by my Friends in Spaine, aduis'd; whose Counsaile I will implore. If not, i'th' name of God Your pleasure be fulfill'd

Wol. You haue heere Lady, (And of your choice) these Reuerend Fathers, men Of singular Integrity, and Learning; Yea, the elect o'th' Land, who are assembled To pleade your Cause. It shall be therefore bootlesse, That longer you desire the Court, as well For your owne quiet, as to rectifie What is vnsetled in the King

Camp. His Grace Hath spoken well, and iustly: Therefore Madam, It's fit this Royall Session do proceed, And that (without delay) their Arguments Be now produc'd, and heard

Qu. Lord Cardinall, to you I speake

Wol. Your pleasure, Madam

Qu. Sir, I am about to weepe; but thinking that We are a Queene (or long haue dream'd so) certaine The daughter of a King, my drops of teares, Ile turne to sparkes of fire

Wol. Be patient yet

Qu. I will, when you are humble; Nay before, Or God will punish me. I do beleeue (Induc'd by potent Circumstances) that You are mine Enemy, and make my Challenge, You shall not be my Iudge. For it is you Haue blowne this Coale, betwixt my Lord, and me; (Which Gods dew quench) therefore, I say againe, I vtterly abhorre; yea, from my Soule Refuse you for my Iudge, whom yet once more I hold my most malicious Foe, and thinke not At all a Friend to truth

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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