Enter Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester, a Page with a torch before him, met by Lovell
These should be hours for necessities, Not for delights; times to repair our nature With comforting repose, and not for us To waste these times. Good hour of night, Sir Thomas! Whither so late?
Not yet, Sir Thomas Lovell. What's the matter? It seems you are in haste: an if there be No great offence belongs to't, give your friend Some touch of your late business: affairs, that walk, As they say spirits do, at midnight, have In them a wilder nature than the business That seeks dispatch by day.
My lord, I love you; And durst commend a secret to your ear Much weightier than this work. The queen's in labour, They say, in great extremity; and fear'd She'll with the labour end.
The fruit she goes with I pray for heartily, that it may find Good time, and live: but for the stock, Sir Thomas, I wish it grubb'd up now.
Methinks I could Cry the amen; and yet my conscience says She's a good creature, and, sweet lady, does Deserve our better wishes.
But, sir, sir, Hear me, Sir Thomas: you're a gentleman Of mine own way; I know you wise, religious; And, let me tell you, it will ne'er be well, 'Twill not, Sir Thomas Lovell, take't of me, Till Cranmer, Cromwell, her two hands, and she, Sleep in their graves.
Now, sir, you speak of two The most remark'd i' the kingdom. As for Cromwell, Beside that of the jewel house, is made master O' the rolls, and the king's secretary; further, sir, Stands in the gap and trade of moe preferments, With which the time will load him. The archbishop Is the king's hand and tongue; and who dare speak One syllable against him?
Yes, yes, Sir Thomas, There are that dare; and I myself have ventured To speak my mind of him: and indeed this day, Sir, I may tell it you, I think I have Incensed the lords o' the council, that he is, For so I know he is, they know he is, A most arch heretic, a pestilence That does infect the land: with which they moved Have broken with the king; who hath so far Given ear to our complaint, of his great grace And princely care foreseeing those fell mischiefs Our reasons laid before him, hath commanded To-morrow morning to the council-board He be convented. He's a rank weed, Sir Thomas, And we must root him out. From your affairs I hinder you too long: good night, Sir Thomas.
Enter King Henry VIII and Suffolk
But little, Charles; Nor shall not, when my fancy's on my play. Now, Lovell, from the queen what is the news?
I could not personally deliver to her What you commanded me, but by her woman I sent your message; who return'd her thanks In the great'st humbleness, and desired your highness Most heartily to pray for her.
God safely quit her of her burthen, and With gentle travail, to the gladding of Your highness with an heir!
'Tis midnight, Charles; Prithee, to bed; and in thy prayers remember The estate of my poor queen. Leave me alone; For I must think of that which company Would not be friendly to.
Re-enter Denny, with Cranmer
Exeunt Lovell and Denny
Pray you, arise, My good and gracious Lord of Canterbury. Come, you and I must walk a turn together; I have news to tell you: come, come, give me your hand. Ah, my good lord, I grieve at what I speak, And am right sorry to repeat what follows I have, and most unwillingly, of late Heard many grievous, I do say, my lord, Grievous complaints of you; which, being consider'd, Have moved us and our council, that you shall This morning come before us; where, I know, You cannot with such freedom purge yourself, But that, till further trial in those charges Which will require your answer, you must take Your patience to you, and be well contented To make your house our Tower: you a brother of us, It fits we thus proceed, or else no witness Would come against you.
I humbly thank your highness; And am right glad to catch this good occasion Most throughly to be winnow'd, where my chaff And corn shall fly asunder: for, I know, There's none stands under more calumnious tongues Than I myself, poor man.
Stand up, good Canterbury: Thy truth and thy integrity is rooted In us, thy friend: give me thy hand, stand up: Prithee, let's walk. Now, by my holidame. What manner of man are you? My lord, I look'd You would have given me your petition, that I should have ta'en some pains to bring together Yourself and your accusers; and to have heard you, Without indurance, further.
Most dread liege, The good I stand on is my truth and honesty: If they shall fail, I, with mine enemies, Will triumph o'er my person; which I weigh not, Being of those virtues vacant. I fear nothing What can be said against me.
Know you not How your state stands i' the world, with the whole world? Your enemies are many, and not small; their practises Must bear the same proportion; and not ever The justice and the truth o' the question carries The due o' the verdict with it: at what ease Might corrupt minds procure knaves as corrupt To swear against you? such things have been done. You are potently opposed; and with a malice Of as great size. Ween you of better luck, I mean, in perjured witness, than your master, Whose minister you are, whiles here he lived Upon this naughty earth? Go to, go to; You take a precipice for no leap of danger, And woo your own destruction.
Be of good cheer; They shall no more prevail than we give way to. Keep comfort to you; and this morning see You do appear before them: if they shall chance, In charging you with matters, to commit you, The best persuasions to the contrary Fail not to use, and with what vehemency The occasion shall instruct you: if entreaties Will render you no remedy, this ring Deliver them, and your appeal to us There make before them. Look, the good man weeps! He's honest, on mine honour. God's blest mother! I swear he is true—hearted; and a soul None better in my kingdom. Get you gone, And do as I have bid you.
He has strangled His language in his tears.
Enter Old Lady, Lovell following
I'll not come back; the tidings that I bring Will make my boldness manners. Now, good angels Fly o'er thy royal head, and shade thy person Under their blessed wings!
Now, by thy looks I guess thy message. Is the queen deliver'd? Say, ay; and of a boy.
Ay, ay, my liege; And of a lovely boy: the God of heaven Both now and ever bless her! 'tis a girl, Promises boys hereafter. Sir, your queen Desires your visitation, and to be Acquainted with this stranger 'tis as like you As cherry is to cherry.
An hundred marks! By this light, I'll ha' more. An ordinary groom is for such payment. I will have more, or scold it out of him. Said I for this, the girl was like to him? I will have more, or else unsay't; and now, While it is hot, I'll put it to the issue.