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Bran. He.

Buck. My surveyor is false; the o'er-great cardinal Hath shew'd him gold: my life is spann'd already : I am the shadow of poor Buckingham;

Whose figure even this instant cloud puts on,

By dark'ning my clear sun.--My lord, farewel.



The Council-Chamber.


Enter King HENRY,

leaning on the Cardinal's Shoulder; the Nobles, and Sir THOMAS LOVEL. The Cardinal places himself under the King's Feet, on his right Side.

King. My life itself, and the best heart of it,
Thanks you for this great care: I stood i' the level
Of a full-charg'd confederacy; and give thanks 270
To you that chok'd it.-Let be call'd before us
That gentleman of Buckingham's: in person
I'll hear him his confessions justify;

And point by point the treasons of his master
He shall again relate.

A Noise within, crying, Room for the Queen. Enter the Queen, ushered by the Dukes of NORFOLK and SUFFOLK: she kneels. The King riseth from his State, takes her up, kisses, and placeth her by him.

Queen. Nay, we must longer kneel; I am a suitor.

King. Arise, and take your place by us :-Half your


Never name to us; you have half our power :
The other moiety, ere you ask, is given;
Repeat your will, and take it.

Queen. Thank your majesty.

That you would love yourself; and, in that love,
Not unconsider'd leave your honour, nor

The dignity of your office, is the point
Of my petition.

King. Lady mine, proceed.

Queen. I am solicited, not by a few,

And those of true condition, that your subjects


Are in great grievance: There have been commis



Sent down among them, which have flaw'd the heart Of all their loyalties wherein, although,


My good lord cardinal, they vent reproaches
Most bitterly on you, as putter-on

Of these exactions, yet the king our master

(Whose honour heaven shield from soil!) even he escapes not

Language unmannerly, yea, such which breaks
The sides of loyalty, and almost appears

In loud rebellion.

Nor. Not almost appears,

It doth appear: for, upon these taxations,
The clothiers all, not able to maintain
The many to them 'longing, have put off


The spinsters, carders, fullers, weavers, who,
Unfit for other life, compell'd by hunger
And lack of other means, in desperate manner
Daring the event to the teeth, are all in uproar,
And Danger serves among them.

King. Taxation!

Wherein? and what taxation ?My lord cardinal,

You that are blam'd for it alike with us,
Know you of this taxation?

Wol. Please you, sir,

I know but of a single part, in aught

Pertains to the state; and front but in that file

Where others tell steps with me.

Queen. No, my lord,


You know no more than others: but you frame Things, that are known alike; which are not whole


To those which would not know them, and yet must Perforce be their acquaintance. These exactions, 320 Whereof my sovereign would have note, they are Most pestilent to the hearing; and, to bear them, The back is sacrifice to the load.

They are devis'd by you; or else

Too hard an exclamation.

King. Still exaction !

They say,

you suffer

The nature of it? In what kind, let's know,
Is this exaction ?

Queen. I am much too venturous

In tempting of your patience; but am bolden'd
Under your promis'd pardon. The subject's grief




Comes through commissions, which compel from


The sixth part of his substance, to be levy'd
Without delay; and the pretence for this

Is nam'd, your wars in France: This makes bold mouths:

Tongues spit their duties out, and cold hearts freeze Allegiance in them; their curses now,

Live where their prayers did; and it's come to pass, That tractable obedience is a slave

To each incensed will. I would, your highness

Would give it quick consideration, for

There is no primer business.

King. By my life,

This is against our pleasure.

Wol. And for me,

I have no further gone in this, than by
A single voice; and that not past me, but


By learned approbation of the judges. If I am Traduc'd by ignorant tongues-which neither know My faculties, nor person, yet will be

The chronicles of my doing-let me say,

'Tis but the fate of place, and the rough brake

That virtue must go through. We must not stint
Our necessary actions, in the fear



malicious censurers; which ever,
As ravenous fishes, do a vessel follow
That is new trimm'd; but benefit no further
Than vainly longing. What we oft do best,
By sick interpreters, once weak ones, is



Not ours, or not allow'd; what worst, as oft,
Hitting a grosser quality, is cry'd up

For our best act. If we shall stand still,

In fear our motion will be mock'd or carp'd at,
We should take root here where we sit, or sit
State statues only.

King. Things done well,

And with a care, exempt themselves from fear;
Things done without example, in their issue
Are to be fear'd. Have you a precedent
Of this commission? I believe, not any.
We must not rend our subjects from our laws,
And stick them in our will. Sixth part of each?
A trembling contribution! Why, we take,



From every tree, lop, bark, and part o' the timber;
And, though we leave it with a root, 'thus hack'd,
The air will drink the sap. To every county,
Where this is question'd, send our letters, with
Free pardon to each man that has deny'd

The force of this commission: Pray, look to't;
I put it to your care.

Wol. A word with you.


[To the Secretary.

Let there be letters writ to every shire,

"Of the king's grace and pardon. The griev'd 'com


Hardly conceive of me; let it be nois'd,

That, through our intercession, this revokement

And pardon comes: I shall anon advise you

Further in the proceeding.


[Exit Secretary.


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