Wol. Most gracious Sir, In humblest manner I require your Highnes, That it shall please you to declare in hearing Of all these eares (for where I am rob'd and bound, There must I be vnloos'd, although not there At once, and fully satisfide) whether euer I Did broach this busines to your Highnes, or Laid any scruple in your way, which might Induce you to the question on't: or euer Haue to you, but with thankes to God for such A Royall Lady, spake one, the least word that might Be to the preiudice of her present State, Or touch of her good Person? Kin. My Lord Cardinall, I doe excuse you; yea, vpon mine Honour, I free you from't: You are not to be taught That you haue many enemies, that know not Why they are so; but like to Village Curres, Barke when their fellowes doe. By some of these The Queene is put in anger; y'are excus'd: But will you be more iustifi'de? You euer Haue wish'd the sleeping of this busines, neuer desir'd It to be stir'd; but oft haue hindred, oft The passages made toward it; on my Honour, I speake my good Lord Cardnall, to this point; And thus farre cleare him. Now, what mou'd me too't, I will be bold with time and your attention: Then marke th' inducement. Thus it came; giue heede too't: My Conscience first receiu'd a tendernes, Scruple, and pricke, on certaine Speeches vtter'd By th' Bishop of Bayon, then French Embassador, Who had beene hither sent on the debating And Marriage 'twixt the Duke of Orleance, and Our Daughter Mary: I'th' Progresse of this busines, Ere a determinate resolution, hee (I meane the Bishop) did require a respite, Wherein he might the King his Lord aduertise, Whether our Daughter were legitimate, Respecting this our Marriage with the Dowager, Sometimes our Brothers Wife. This respite shooke The bosome of my Conscience, enter'd me; Yea, with a spitting power, and made to tremble The region of my Breast, which forc'd such way, That many maz'd considerings, did throng And prest in with this Caution. First, me thought I stood not in the smile of Heauen, who had Commanded Nature, that my Ladies wombe If it conceiu'd a male-child by me, should Doe no more Offices of life too't; then The Graue does to th' dead: For her Male Issue, Or di'de where they were made, or shortly after This world had ayr'd them. Hence I tooke a thought, This was a Iudgement on me, that my Kingdome (Well worthy the best Heyre o'th' World) should not Be gladded in't by me. Then followes, that I weigh'd the danger which my Realmes stood in By this my Issues faile, and that gaue to me Many a groaning throw: thus hulling in The wild Sea of my Conscience, I did steere Toward this remedy, whereupon we are Now present heere together: that's to say, I meant to rectifie my Conscience, which I then did feele full sicke, and yet not well, By all the Reuerend Fathers of the Land, And Doctors learn'd. First I began in priuate, With you my Lord of Lincolne; you remember How vnder my oppression I did reeke When I first mou'd you

B.Lin. Very well my Liedge

Kin. I haue spoke long, be pleas'd your selfe to say How farre you satisfide me

Lin. So please your Highnes, The question did at first so stagger me, Bearing a State of mighty moment in't, And consequence of dread, that I committed The daringst Counsaile which I had to doubt, And did entreate your Highnes to this course, Which you are running heere

Kin. I then mou'd you, My Lord of Canterbury, and got your leaue To make this present Summons vnsolicited. I left no Reuerend Person in this Court; But by particular consent proceeded Vnder your hands and Seales; therefore goe on, For no dislike i'th' world against the person Of the good Queene; but the sharpe thorny points Of my alleadged reasons, driues this forward: Proue but our Marriage lawfull, by my Life And Kingly Dignity, we are contented To weare our mortall State to come, with her, (Katherine our Queene) before the primest Creature That's Parragon'd o'th' World

Camp. So please your Highnes, The Queene being absent, 'tis a needfull fitnesse, That we adiourne this Court till further day; Meane while, must be an earnest motion Made to the Queene to call backe her Appeale She intends vnto his Holinesse

Kin. I may perceiue These Cardinals trifle with me: I abhorre This dilatory sloth, and trickes of Rome. My learn'd and welbeloued Seruant Cranmer, Prethee returne, with thy approch: I know, My comfort comes along: breake vp the Court; I say, set on.

Exeunt., in manner as they enter'd.

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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