Enter the Archbishop of Canterbury, and the Bishop OF Ely
My lord, I'll tell you; that self bill is urged, Which in the eleventh year of the last king's reign Was like, and had indeed against us pass'd, But that the scambling and unquiet time Did push it out of farther question.
It must be thought on. If it pass against us, We lose the better half of our possession: For all the temporal lands which men devout By testament have given to the church Would they strip from us; being valued thus: As much as would maintain, to the king's honour, Full fifteen earls and fifteen hundred knights, Six thousand and two hundred good esquires; And, to relief of lazars and weak age, Of indigent faint souls past corporal toil. A hundred almshouses right well supplied; And to the coffers of the king beside, A thousand pounds by the year: thus runs the bill.
The courses of his youth promised it not. The breath no sooner left his father's body, But that his wildness, mortified in him, Seem'd to die too; yea, at that very moment Consideration, like an angel, came And whipp'd the offending Adam out of him, Leaving his body as a paradise, To envelop and contain celestial spirits. Never was such a sudden scholar made; Never came reformation in a flood, With such a heady currance, scouring faults Nor never Hydra-headed wilfulness So soon did lose his seat and all at once As in this king.
Hear him but reason in divinity, And all-admiring with an inward wish You would desire the king were made a prelate: Hear him debate of commonwealth affairs, You would say it hath been all in all his study: List his discourse of war, and you shall hear A fearful battle render'd you in music: Turn him to any cause of policy, The Gordian knot of it he will unloose, Familiar as his garter: that, when he speaks, The air, a charter'd libertine, is still, And the mute wonder lurketh in men's ears, To steal his sweet and honey'd sentences; So that the art and practic part of life Must be the mistress to this theoric: Which is a wonder how his grace should glean it, Since his addiction was to courses vain, His companies unletter'd, rude and shallow, His hours fill'd up with riots, banquets, sports, And never noted in him any study, Any retirement, any sequestration From open haunts and popularity.
The strawberry grows underneath the nettle And wholesome berries thrive and ripen best Neighbour'd by fruit of baser quality: And so the prince obscured his contemplation Under the veil of wildness; which, no doubt, Grew like the summer grass, fastest by night, Unseen, yet crescive in his faculty.
It must be so; for miracles are ceased; And therefore we must needs admit the means How things are perfected.
But, my good lord, How now for mitigation of this bill Urged by the commons? Doth his majesty Incline to it, or no?
He seems indifferent, Or rather swaying more upon our part Than cherishing the exhibiters against us; For I have made an offer to his majesty, Upon our spiritual convocation And in regard of causes now in hand, Which I have open'd to his grace at large, As touching France, to give a greater sum Than ever at one time the clergy yet Did to his predecessors part withal.
With good acceptance of his majesty; Save that there was not time enough to hear, As I perceived his grace would fain have done, The severals and unhidden passages Of his true titles to some certain dukedoms And generally to the crown and seat of France Derived from Edward, his great-grandfather.
The French ambassador upon that instant Craved audience; and the hour, I think, is come To give him hearing: is it four o'clock?
Then go we in, to know his embassy; Which I could with a ready guess declare, Before the Frenchman speak a word of it.