صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

The whole realm, by your teaching, and your chap


(For so we are inform'd), with new opinions, Divers, and dangerous; which are heresies, And, not reform'd, may prove pernicious.

Gard. Which reformation must be sudden too, My noble lords: for those, that tame wild horses, Pace 'em not in their hands to make 'em gentle; But stop their mouths with stubborn bits, and spur


'Till they obey the manage. If we suffer
(Out of our easiness, and childish pity

To one man's honour) this contagious sickness,
Farewel all physick: And what follows then?

Commotions, uproars, with a general taint


Of the whole state: as, of late days, our neighbours, The upper Germany, can dearly witness,

Yet freshly pitied in our memories.


Cran. My good lords, hitherto, in all the progress Both of my life and office, I have labour'd, And with no little study, that my teaching, And the strong course of my authority, Might go one way, and safely; and the end Was ever, to do well: nor is there living (I speak it with a single heart, my lords) A man, that more detests, more stirs against, Both in his private conscience, and his place, Defacers of a publick peace, than I do. Pray heaven, the king may never find a heart With less allegiance in it! Men, that make

[blocks in formation]

Envy, and crooked malice, nourishment,

Dare bite the best. I do beseech your lordships, 300
That, in this case of justice, my accusers,

Be what they will, may stand forth face to face,
And freely urge against me.

Suf. Nay, my lord,

That cannot be; you are a counsellor,

And, by that virtue, no man dare accuse you.

Gard. My lord, because we have business of more


We will be short with you. 'Tis his highness' plea


And our consent, for better trial of you,

From hence you be committed to the Tower;
Where, being but a private man again,


You shall know many dare accuse you boldly,
More than, I fear, you are provided for.

Cran. Ah, my good lord of Winchester, I thank


You are always my good friend; if your will pass,
I shall both find your lordship judge and juror,
You are so merciful: I see your end,
'Tis my undoing: Love, and meekness, lord,
Become a churchman better than ambition;
Win straying souls with modesty again,

Cast none away. That I shall clear myself,
Lay all the weight ye can upon my patience,
I make as little doubt, as you do conscience
In doing daily wrongs. I could say more,
But reverence to your calling makes me modest.



Gard. My lord, my lord, you are a sectary, That's the plain truth; your painted gloss discovers, To men that understand you, words and weakness.

Crom. My lord of Winchester, you are a little,
By your good favour, too sharp; men so noble, 330
However faulty, yet should find respect

For what they have been: 'tis a cruelty,
To load a falling man.

Gard. Good master secretary,

I cry your honour mercy; you may, worst
Of all this table, say so.

Crom. Why, my lord?

Gard. Do not I know you for a favourer

Of this new sect? ye are not sound.

Crom. Not sound?

Gard. Not sound, I say.

Crom. 'Would you were half so honest!


Men's prayers then would seek you, not their fears. Gard. I shall remember this bold language.

Crom. Do:

Remember your bold life too.

Cham. This is too much;

Forbear, for shame, my lords.

Gard. I have done.

Crom. And I.

Cham. Then thus for you, my lord


I take it, by all voices, that forthwith


It stands

You be convey'd to the Tower a prisoner ;
There to remain, 'till the king's further pleasure


Be known unto us: Are you all agreed, lords?

All. We are.

Cran. Is there no other way of mercy,

But I must needs to the Tower, my lords?

Gard. What other

Would you expect? You are strangely troublesome. Let some o' the guard be ready there.


Enter Guard.

Cran. For me?

Must I go like a traitor thither?

Gard. Receive him,

And see him safe i' the Tower.

Cran. Stay, good my lords,

I have a little yet to say. Look there, my lords;
By virtue of that ring, I take my cause

Out of the gripes of cruel men, and give it

To a most noble judge, the king my master.
Cham. This is the king's ring.


Sur. 'Tis no counterfeit.

Suf. 'Tis the right ring, by heaven: I told ye When we first put this dangerous stone a rolling, 'Twould fall upon ourselves.

Nor. Do you think, my lords,

The king will suffer but the little finger

Of this man to be vex'd?

Cham. 'Tis now too certain:


How much more is his life in value with him?


'Would I were fairly out on't.

Crom. My mind gave me,

In seeking tales, and informations,

Against this man (whose honesty the devil
And his disciples only envy at),

Ye blew the fire that burns ye: Now have at ye.

Enter King, frowning on them; takes his Seat.

Gard. Dread sovereign, how much are we bound to heaven

In daily thanks, that gave us such a prince;
Not only good and wise, but most religious:
One that, in all obedience, makes the church
The chief aim of his honour; and, to strengthen
That holy duty, out of dear respect,


His royal self in judgment comes to hear
The cause betwixt her and this great offender.
King. You were ever good at sudden commenda-

Bishop of Winchester. But know, I come not
To hear such flatteries now, and in my presence;
They are too thin and base to hide offences.
To me you cannot reach: You play the spaniel,
And think with wagging of your tongue to win me;
But, whatsoe'er thou tak'st me for, I am sure, 401
Thou hast a cruel nature, and a bloody.-

Good man, sit down. Now let me see the proudest

He, that dares most, but wag his finger at thee:
By all that's holy, he had better starve,
Than but once think this place becomes thee not.
Sur. May it please your grace-


« السابقةمتابعة »