Actus Tertius. Scena Prima.

Enter Queene and her Women as at worke.

Queen. Take thy Lute wench, My Soule growes sad with troubles, Sing, and disperse 'em if thou canst: leaue working.


Orpheus with his Lute made Trees, And the Mountaine tops that freeze, Bow themselues when he did sing. To his Musicke, Plants and Flowers Euer sprung; as Sunne and Showers, There had made a lasting Spring. Euery thing that heard him play, Euen the Billowes of the Sea, Hung their heads, & then lay by. In sweet Musicke is such Art, Killing care, & griefe of heart, Fall asleepe, or hearing dye. Enter a Gentleman.

Queen. How now? Gent. And't please your Grace, the two great Cardinals Wait in the presence

Queen. Would they speake with me? Gent. They wil'd me say so Madam

Queen. Pray their Graces To come neere: what can be their busines With me, a poore weake woman, falne from fauour? I doe not like their comming; now I thinke on't, They should bee good men, their affaires as righteous: But all Hoods, make not Monkes. Enter the two Cardinalls, Wolsey & Campian.

Wols. Peace to your Highnesse

Queen. Your Graces find me heere part of a Houswife, (I would be all) against the worst may happen: What are your pleasures with me, reuerent Lords? Wol. May it please you Noble Madam, to withdraw Into your priuate Chamber; we shall giue you The full cause of our comming

Queen. Speake it heere. There's nothing I haue done yet o' my Conscience Deserues a Corner: would all other Women Could speake this with as free a Soule as I doe. My Lords, I care not (so much I am happy Aboue a number) if my actions Were tri'de by eu'ry tongue, eu'ry eye saw 'em, Enuy and base opinion set against 'em, I know my life so euen. If your busines Seeke me out, and that way I am Wife in; Out with it boldly: Truth loues open dealing

Card. Tanta est erga te mentis integritas Regina serenissima

Queen. O good my Lord, no Latin; I am not such a Truant since my comming, As not to know the Language I haue liu'd in: A strange Tongue makes my cause more strange, suspitious: Pray speake in English; heere are some will thanke you, If you speake truth, for their poore Mistris sake; Beleeue me she ha's had much wrong. Lord Cardinall, The willing'st sinne I euer yet committed, May be absolu'd in English

Card. Noble Lady, I am sorry my integrity should breed, (And seruice to his Maiesty and you) So deepe suspition, where all faith was meant; We come not by the way of Accusation, To taint that honour euery good Tongue blesses; Nor to betray you any way to sorrow; You haue too much good Lady: But to know How you stand minded in the waighty difference Betweene the King and you, and to deliuer (Like free and honest men) our iust opinions, And comforts to our cause

Camp. Most honour'd Madam, My Lord of Yorke, out of his Noble nature, Zeale and obedience he still bore your Grace, Forgetting (like a good man) your late Censure Both of his truth and him (which was too farre) Offers, as I doe, in a signe of peace, His Seruice, and his Counsell

Queen. To betray me. My Lords, I thanke you both for your good wills, Ye speake like honest men, (pray God ye proue so) But how to make ye sodainly an Answere In such a poynt of weight, so neere mine Honour, (More neere my Life I feare) with my weake wit; And to such men of grauity and learning; In truth I know not. I was set at worke, Among my Maids, full little (God knowes) looking Either for such men, or such businesse; For her sake that I haue beene, for I feele The last fit of my Greatnesse; good your Graces Let me haue time and Councell for my Cause: Alas, I am a Woman frendlesse, hopelesse

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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