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Act III

SCENE I.--THE CONDUIT IN GRACECHURCH,

Painted with the Nine Worthies, among them King Henry VIII. holding a book, on it inscribed 'Verbum Dei'.


Enter SIR RALPH BAGENHALL and SIR THOMAS STAFFORD.

BAGENHALL. A hundred here and hundreds hang'd in Kent. The tigress had unsheath'd her nails at last, And Renard and the Chancellor sharpen'd them. In every London street a gibbet stood. They are down to-day. Here by this house was one; The traitor husband dangled at the door, And when the traitor wife came out for bread To still the petty treason therewithin, Her cap would brush his heels.

STAFFORD. It is Sir Ralph, And muttering to himself as heretofore. Sir, see you aught up yonder?

BAGENHALL. I miss something. The tree that only bears dead fruit is gone.

STAFFORD. What tree, sir?

BAGENHALL. Well, the tree in Virgil, sir, That bears not its own apples.

STAFFORD. What! the gallows?

BAGENHALL. Sir, this dead fruit was ripening overmuch, And had to be removed lest living Spain Should sicken at dead England.

STAFFORD. Not so dead, But that a shock may rouse her.

BAGENHALL. I believe Sir Thomas Stafford?

STAFFORD. I am ill disguised.

BAGENHALL. Well, are you not in peril here?

STAFFORD. I think so. I came to feel the pulse of England, whether It beats hard at this marriage. Did you see it?

BAGENHALL. Stafford, I am a sad man and a serious. Far liefer had I in my country hall Been reading some old book, with mine old hound Couch'd at my hearth, and mine old flask of wine Beside me, than have seen it: yet I saw it.

STAFFORD. Good, was it splendid?

BAGENHALL. Ay, if Dukes, and Earls, And Counts, and sixty Spanish cavaliers, Some six or seven Bishops, diamonds, pearls, That royal commonplace too, cloth of gold, Could make it so.

STAFFORD. And what was Mary's dress?

BAGENHALL. Good faith, I was too sorry for the woman To mark the dress. She wore red shoes!

STAFFORD. Red shoes!

BAGENHALL. Scarlet, as if her feet were wash'd in blood, As if she had waded in it.

STAFFORD. Were your eyes So bashful that you look'd no higher?

BAGENHALL. A diamond, And Philip's gift, as proof of Philip's love, Who hath not any for any,--tho' a true one, Blazed false upon her heart.

STAFFORD. But this proud Prince--

BAGENHALL. Nay, he is King, you know, the King of Naples. The father ceded Naples, that the son Being a King, might wed a Queen--O he Flamed in brocade--white satin his trunk-hose, Inwrought with silver,--on his neck a collar, Gold, thick with diamonds; hanging down from this The Golden Fleece--and round his knee, misplaced, Our English Garter, studded with great emeralds, Rubies, I know not what. Have you had enough Of all this gear?

STAFFORD. Ay, since you hate the telling it. How look'd the Queen?

BAGENHALL. No fairer for her jewels. And I could see that as the new-made couple Came from the Minster, moving side by side Beneath one canopy, ever and anon She cast on him a vassal smile of love, Which Philip with a glance of some distaste, Or so methought, return'd. I may be wrong, sir. This marriage will not hold.

STAFFORD. I think with you. The King of France will help to break it.

BAGENHALL. France! We have once had half of France, and hurl'd our battles Into the heart of Spain; but England now Is but a ball chuck'd between France and Spain, His in whose hand she drops; Harry of Bolingbroke Had holpen Richard's tottering throne to stand, Could Harry have foreseen that all our nobles Would perish on the civil slaughter-field, And leave the people naked to the crown, And the crown naked to the people; the crown Female, too! Sir, no woman's regimen Can save us. We are fallen, and as I think, Never to rise again.

STAFFORD. You are too black-blooded. I'd make a move myself to hinder that: I know some lusty fellows there in France.

BAGENHALL. You would but make us weaker, Thomas Stafford. Wyatt was a good soldier, yet he fail'd, And strengthen'd Philip.

STAFFORD. Did not his last breath Clear Courtenay and the Princess from the charge Of being his co-rebels?

BAGENHALL. Ay, but then What such a one as Wyatt says is nothing: We have no men among us. The new Lords Are quieted with their sop of Abbeylands, And ev'n before the Queen's face Gardiner buys them With Philip's gold. All greed, no faith, no courage! Why, ev'n the haughty prince, Northumberland, The leader of our Reformation, knelt And blubber'd like a lad, and on the scaffold Recanted, and resold himself to Rome.

STAFFORD. I swear you do your country wrong, Sir Ralph. I know a set of exiles over there, Dare-devils, that would eat fire and spit it out At Philip's beard: they pillage Spain already. The French King winks at it. An hour will come When they will sweep her from the seas. No men? Did not Lord Suffolk die like a true man? Is not Lord William Howard a true man? Yea, you yourself, altho' you are black-blooded: And I, by God, believe myself a man. Ay, even in the church there is a man-- Cranmer. Fly would he not, when all men bad him fly. And what a letter he wrote against the Pope! There's a brave man, if any.

BAGENHALL. Ay; if it hold.

CROWD (coming on). God save their Graces!

STAFFORD. Bagenhall, I see The Tudor green and white. (Trumpets.) They are coming now. And here's a crowd as thick as herring-shoals.

BAGENHALL. Be limpets to this pillar, or we are torn Down the strong wave of brawlers.

CROWD. God save their Graces!

[Procession of Trumpeters, Javelin-men, etc.; then Spanish and Flemish Nobles intermingled.

STAFFORD. Worth seeing, Bagenhall! These black dog-Dons Garb themselves bravely. Who's the long-face there, Looks very Spain of very Spain?

BAGENHALL. The Duke Of Alva, an iron soldier.

STAFFORD. And the Dutchman, Now laughing at some jest?

BAGENHALL. William of Orange, William the Silent.

STAFFORD. Why do they call him so?

BAGENHALL. He keeps, they say, some secret that may cost Philip his life.

STAFFORD. But then he looks so merry.

BAGENHALL. I cannot tell you why they call him so.

[The KING and QUEEN pass, attended by Peers of the Realm, Officers of State, etc. Cannon shot off.

CROWD. Philip and Mary, Philip and Mary! Long live the King and Queen, Philip and Mary!

STAFFORD. They smile as if content with one another.

BAGENHALL. A smile abroad is oft a scowl at home.

[KING and QUEEN pass on. Procession.

FIRST CITIZEN. I thought this Philip had been one of those black devils of Spain, but he hath a yellow beard.

SECOND CITIZEN. Not red like Iscariot's.

FIRST CITIZEN. Like a carrot's, as thou say'st, and English carrot's better than Spanish licorice; but I thought he was a beast.

THIRD CITIZEN. Certain I had heard that every Spaniard carries a tail like a devil under his trunk-hose.

TAILOR. Ay, but see what trunk-hoses! Lord! they be fine; I never stitch'd none such. They make amends for the tails.

FOURTH CITIZEN. Tut! every Spanish priest will tell you that all English heretics have tails.

FIFTH CITIZEN. Death and the Devil--if he find I have one--

FOURTH CITIZEN. Lo! thou hast call'd them up! here they come--a pale horse for Death and Gardiner for the Devil.

Enter GARDINER (turning back from the procession).

GARDINER. Knave, wilt thou wear thy cap before the Queen?

MAN. My Lord, I stand so squeezed among the crowd I cannot lift my hands unto my head.

GARDINER. Knock off his cap there, some of you about him! See there be others that can use their hands. Thou art one of Wyatt's men?

MAN. No, my Lord, no.

GARDINER. Thy name, thou knave?

MAN. I am nobody, my Lord.

GARDINER (shouting). God's passion! knave, thy name?

MAN. I have ears to hear.

GARDINER. Ay, rascal, if I leave thee ears to hear. Find out his name and bring it me (to ATTENDANT).

ATTENDANT. Ay, my Lord.

GARDINER. Knave, thou shalt lose thine ears and find thy tongue, And shalt be thankful if I leave thee that. [Coming before the Conduit. The conduit painted--the nine worthies--ay! But then what's here? King Harry with a scroll. Ha--Verbum Dei--verbum--word of God! God's passion! do you know the knave that painted it?

ATTENDANT. I do, my Lord.

GARDINER. Tell him to paint it out, And put some fresh device in lieu of it-- A pair of gloves, a pair of gloves, sir; ha? There is no heresy there.

ATTENDANT. I will, my Lord; The man shall paint a pair of gloves. I am sure (Knowing the man) he wrought it ignorantly, And not from any malice.

GARDINER. Word of God In English! over this the brainless loons That cannot spell Esaias from St. Paul, Make themselves drunk and mad, fly out and flare Into rebellions. I'll have their bibles burnt. The bible is the priest's. Ay! fellow, what! Stand staring at me! shout, you gaping rogue!

MAN. I have, my Lord, shouted till I am hoarse.

GARDINER. What hast thou shouted, knave?

MAN. Long live Queen Mary!

GARDINER. Knave, there be two. There be both King and Queen, Philip and Mary. Shout!

MAN. Nay, but, my Lord, The Queen comes first, Mary and Philip.

GARDINER. Shout, then, Mary and Philip!

MAN. Mary and Philip!

GARDINER. Now, Thou hast shouted for thy pleasure, shout for mine! Philip and Mary!

MAN. Must it be so, my Lord?

GARDINER. Ay, knave.

MAN. Philip and Mary!

GARDINER. I distrust thee. Thine is a half voice and a lean assent. What is thy name?

MAN. Sanders.

GARDINER. What else?

MAN. Zerubbabel.

GARDINER. Where dost thou live?

MAN. In Cornhill.

GARDINER. Where, knave, where?

MAN. Sign of the Talbot.

GARDINER. Come to me to-morrow.-- Rascal!--this land is like a hill of fire, One crater opens when another shuts. But so I get the laws against the heretic, Spite of Lord Paget and Lord William Howard, And others of our Parliament, revived, I will show fire on my side--stake and fire-- Sharp work and short. The knaves are easily cow'd. Follow their Majesties. [Exit. The crowd following.

BAGENHALL. As proud as Becket.

STAFFORD. You would not have him murder'd as Becket was?

BAGENHALL. No--murder fathers murder: but I say There is no man--there was one woman with us-- It was a sin to love her married, dead I cannot choose but love her.

STAFFORD. Lady Jane?

CROWD (going off). God save their Graces!

STAFFORD. Did you see her die?

BAGENHALL. No, no; her innocent blood had blinded me. You call me too black-blooded--true enough Her dark dead blood is in my heart with mine. If ever I cry out against the Pope Her dark dead blood that ever moves with mine Will stir the living tongue and make the cry.

STAFFORD. Yet doubtless you can tell me how she died?

BAGENHALL. Seventeen--and knew eight languages--in music Peerless--her needle perfect, and her learning Beyond the churchmen; yet so meek, so modest, So wife-like humble to the trivial boy Mismatch'd with her for policy! I have heard She would not take a last farewell of him, She fear'd it might unman him for his end. She could not be unmann'd--no, nor outwoman'd-- Seventeen--a rose of grace! Girl never breathed to rival such a rose; Rose never blew that equall'd such a bud.

STAFFORD. Pray you go on.

BAGENHALL. She came upon the scaffold, And said she was condemn'd to die for treason; She had but follow'd the device of those Her nearest kin: she thought they knew the laws. But for herself, she knew but little law, And nothing of the titles to the crown; She had no desire for that, and wrung her hands, And trusted God would save her thro' the blood Of Jesus Christ alone.

STAFFORD. Pray you go on.

BAGENHALL. Then knelt and said the Misere Mei-- But all in English, mark you; rose again, And, when the headsman pray'd to be forgiven, Said, 'You will give me my true crown at last, But do it quickly;' then all wept but she, Who changed not colour when she saw the block, But ask'd him, childlike: 'Will you take it off Before I lay me down?' 'No, madam,' he said, Gasping; and when her innocent eyes were bound, She, with her poor blind hands feeling--'where is it? Where is it?'--You must fancy that which follow'd, If you have heart to do it!

CROWD (in the distance). God save their Graces!

STAFFORD. Their Graces, our disgraces! God confound them! Why, she's grown bloodier! when I last was here, This was against her conscience--would be murder!

BAGENHALL. The 'Thou shall do no murder,' which God's hand Wrote on her conscience, Mary rubb'd out pale-- She could not make it white--and over that, Traced in the blackest text of Hell--'Thou shall!' And sign'd it--Mary!

STAFFORD. Philip and the Pope Must have sign'd too. I hear this Legate's coming To bring us absolution from the Pope. The Lords and Commons will bow down before him-- You are of the house? what will you do, Sir Ralph?

BAGENHALL. And why should I be bolder than the rest, Or honester than all?

STAFFORD. But, sir, if I-- And oversea they say this state of yours Hath no more mortice than a tower of cards; And that a puff would do it--then if I And others made that move I touch'd upon, Back'd by the power of France, and landing here, Came with a sudden splendour, shout, and show, And dazzled men and deafen'd by some bright Loud venture, and the people so unquiet-- And I the race of murder'd Buckingham-- Not for myself, but for the kingdom--Sir, I trust that you would fight along with us.

BAGENHALL. No; you would fling your lives into the gulf.

STAFFORD. But if this Philip, as he's like to do, Left Mary a wife-widow here alone, Set up a viceroy, sent his myriads hither To seize upon the forts and fleet, and make us A Spanish province; would you not fight then?

BAGENHALL. I think I should fight then.

STAFFORD. I am sure of it. Hist! there's the face coming on here of one Who knows me. I must leave you. Fare you well, You'll hear of me again.

BAGENHALL. Upon the scaffold.

[Exeunt.



SCENE II.--ROOM IN WHITEHALL PALACE.

MARY. Enter PHILIP and CARDINAL POLE.

POLE. Ave Maria, gratia plena, Benedicta tu in mulieribus.

MARY. Loyal and royal cousin, humblest thanks. Had you a pleasant voyage up the river?

POLE. We had your royal barge, and that same chair, Or rather throne of purple, on the deck. Our silver cross sparkled before the prow, The ripples twinkled at their diamond-dance, The boats that follow'd, were as glowing-gay As regal gardens; and your flocks of swans, As fair and white as angels; and your shores Wore in mine eyes the green of Paradise. My foreign friends, who dream'd us blanketed In ever-closing fog, were much amazed To find as fair a sun as might have flash'd Upon their lake of Garda, fire the Thames; Our voyage by sea was all but miracle; And here the river flowing from the sea, Not toward it (for they thought not of our tides), Seem'd as a happy miracle to make glide-- In quiet--home your banish'd countryman.

MARY. We heard that you were sick in Flanders, cousin.

POLE. A dizziness.

MARY. And how came you round again?

POLE. The scarlet thread of Rahab saved her life; And mine, a little letting of the blood.

MARY. Well? now?

POLE. Ay, cousin, as the heathen giant Had but to touch the ground, his force return'd-- Thus, after twenty years of banishment, Feeling my native land beneath my foot, I said thereto: 'Ah, native land of mine, Thou art much beholden to this foot of mine, That hastes with full commission from the Pope To absolve thee from thy guilt of heresy. Thou hast disgraced me and attainted me, And mark'd me ev'n as Cain, and I return As Peter, but to bless thee: make me well.' Methinks the good land heard me, for to-day My heart beats twenty, when I see you, cousin. Ah, gentle cousin, since your Herod's death, How oft hath Peter knock'd at Mary's gate! And Mary would have risen and let him in, But, Mary, there were those within the house Who would not have it.

MARY. True, good cousin Pole; And there were also those without the house Who would not have it.

POLE. I believe so, cousin. State-policy and church-policy are conjoint, But Janus-faces looking diverse ways. I fear the Emperor much misvalued me. But all is well; 'twas ev'n the will of God, Who, waiting till the time had ripen'd, now, Makes me his mouth of holy greeting. 'Hail, Daughter of God, and saver of the faith. Sit benedictus fructus ventris tui!'

MARY. Ah, heaven!

POLE. Unwell, your Grace?

MARY. No, cousin, happy-- Happy to see you; never yet so happy Since I was crown'd.

POLE. Sweet cousin, you forget That long low minster where you gave your hand To this great Catholic King.

PHILIP. Well said, Lord Legate.

MARY. Nay, not well said; I thought of you, my liege, Ev'n as I spoke.

PHILIP. Ay, Madam; my Lord Paget Waits to present our Council to the Legate. Sit down here, all; Madam, between us you.

POLE. Lo, now you are enclosed with boards of cedar, Our little sister of the Song of Songs! You are doubly fenced and shielded sitting here Between the two most high-set thrones on earth, The Emperor's highness happily symboll'd by The King your husband, the Pope's Holiness By mine own self.

MARY. True, cousin, I am happy. When will you that we summon both our houses To take this absolution from your lips, And be regather'd to the Papal fold?

POLE. In Britain's calendar the brightest day Beheld our rough forefathers break their Gods, And clasp the faith in Christ; but after that Might not St. Andrew's be her happiest day?

MARY. Then these shall meet upon St. Andrew's day.

Enter PAGET, who presents the Council. Dumb show.

POLE. I am an old man wearied with my journey, Ev'n with my joy. Permit me to withdraw. To Lambeth?

PHILIP. Ay, Lambeth has ousted Cranmer. It was not meet the heretic swine should live In Lambeth.

MARY. There or anywhere, or at all.

PHILIP. We have had it swept and garnish'd after him.

POLE. Not for the seven devils to enter in?

PHILIP. No, for we trust they parted in the swine.

POLE. True, and I am the Angel of the Pope. Farewell, your Graces.

PHILIP. Nay, not here--to me; I will go with you to the waterside.

POLE. Not be my Charon to the counter side?

PHILIP. No, my Lord Legate, the Lord Chancellor goes.

POLE. And unto no dead world; but Lambeth palace, Henceforth a centre of the living faith.

[Exeunt PHILIP, POLE, PAGET, etc.

Manet MARY.

MARY. He hath awaked! he hath awaked! He stirs within the darkness! Oh, Philip, husband! now thy love to mine Will cling more close, and those bleak manners thaw, That make me shamed and tongue-tied in my love. The second Prince of Peace-- The great unborn defender of the Faith, Who will avenge me of mine enemies-- He comes, and my star rises. The stormy Wyatts and Northumberlands, The proud ambitions of Elizabeth, And all her fieriest partisans--are pale Before my star! The light of this new learning wanes and dies: The ghosts of Luther and Zuinglius fade Into the deathless hell which is their doom Before my star! His sceptre shall go forth from Ind to Ind! His sword shall hew the heretic peoples down! His faith shall clothe the world that will be his, Like universal air and sunshine! Open, Ye everlasting gates! The King is here!-- My star, my son!

Enter PHILIP, DUKE OF ALVA, etc.

Oh, Philip, come with me; Good news have I to tell you, news to make Both of us happy--ay, the Kingdom too. Nay come with me--one moment!

PHILIP (to ALVA). More than that: There was one here of late--William the Silent They call him--he is free enough in talk, But tells me nothing. You will be, we trust, Sometime the viceroy of those provinces-- He must deserve his surname better.

ALVA. Ay, sir; Inherit the Great Silence.

PHILIP. True; the provinces Are hard to rule and must be hardly ruled; Most fruitful, yet, indeed, an empty rind, All hollow'd out with stinging heresies; And for their heresies, Alva, they will fight; You must break them or they break you.

ALVA (proudly). The first.

PHILIP. Good! Well, Madam, this new happiness of mine?

[Exeunt.

Enter THREE PAGES.

FIRST PAGE. News, mates! a miracle, a miracle! news! The bells must ring; Te Deums must be sung; The Queen hath felt the motion of her babe!

SECOND PAGE. Ay; but see here!

FIRST PAGE. See what?

SECOND PAGE. This paper, Dickon. I found it fluttering at the palace gates:-- 'The Queen of England is delivered of a dead dog!'

THIRD PAGE. These are the things that madden her. Fie upon it!

FIRST PAGE. Ay; but I hear she hath a dropsy, lad, Or a high-dropsy, as the doctors call it.

THIRD PAGE. Fie on her dropsy, so she have a dropsy! I know that she was ever sweet to me.

FIRST PAGE. For thou and thine are Roman to the core.

THIRD PAGE. So thou and thine must be. Take heed!

FIRST PAGE. Not I, And whether this flash of news be false or true, So the wine run, and there be revelry, Content am I. Let all the steeples clash, Till the sun dance, as upon Easter Day.

[Exeunt.



SCENE III.--GREAT HALL IN WHITEHALL.

At the far end a dais. On this three chairs, two under one canopy for MARY and PHILIP, another on the right of these for POLE. Under the dais on POLE'S side, ranged along the wall, sit all the Spiritual Peers, and along the wall opposite, all the Temporal. The Commons on cross benches in front, a line of approach to the dais between them. In the foreground, SIR RALPH BAGENHALL and other Members of the Commons.

FIRST MEMBER. St. Andrew's day; sit close, sit close, we are friends. Is reconciled the word? the Pope again? It must be thus; and yet, cocksbody! how strange That Gardiner, once so one with all of us Against this foreign marriage, should have yielded So utterly!--strange! but stranger still that he, So fierce against the Headship of the Pope, Should play the second actor in this pageant That brings him in; such a cameleon he!

SECOND MEMBER. This Gardiner turn'd his coat in Henry's time; The serpent that hath slough'd will slough again.

THIRD MEMBER. Tut, then we all are serpents.

SECOND MEMBER. Speak for yourself.

THIRD MEMBER. Ay, and for Gardiner! being English citizen, How should he bear a bridegroom out of Spain? The Queen would have him! being English churchman How should he bear the headship of the Pope? The Queen would have it! Statesmen that are wise Shape a necessity, as a sculptor clay, To their own model.

SECOND MEMBER. Statesmen that are wise Take truth herself for model. What say you? [To SIR RALPH BAGENHALL.

BAGENHALL. We talk and talk.

FIRST MEMBER. Ay, and what use to talk? Philip's no sudden alien--the Queen's husband, He's here, and king, or will be--yet cocksbody! So hated here! I watch'd a hive of late; My seven-years' friend was with me, my young boy; Out crept a wasp, with half the swarm behind. 'Philip!' says he. I had to cuff the rogue For infant treason.

THIRD MEMBER. But they say that bees, If any creeping life invade their hive Too gross to be thrust out, will build him round, And bind him in from harming of their combs. And Philip by these articles is bound From stirring hand or foot to wrong the realm.

SECOND MEMBER. By bonds of beeswax, like your creeping thing; But your wise bees had stung him first to death.

THIRD MEMBER. Hush, hush! You wrong the Chancellor: the clauses added To that same treaty which the emperor sent us Were mainly Gardiner's: that no foreigner Hold office in the household, fleet, forts, army; That if the Queen should die without a child, The bond between the kingdoms be dissolved; That Philip should not mix us any way With his French wars--

SECOND MEMBER. Ay, ay, but what security, Good sir, for this, if Philip----

THIRD MEMBER. Peace--the Queen, Philip, and Pole. [All rise, and stand.

Enter MARY, PHILIP, and POLE.

[GARDINER conducts them to the three chairs of state. PHILIP sits on the QUEEN'S left, POLE on her right.

GARDINER. Our short-lived sun, before his winter plunge, Laughs at the last red leaf, and Andrew's Day.

MARY. Should not this day be held in after years More solemn than of old?

PHILIP. Madam, my wish Echoes your Majesty's.

POLE. It shall be so.

GARDINER. Mine echoes both your Graces'; (aside) but the Pope-- Can we not have the Catholic church as well Without as with the Italian? if we cannot, Why then the Pope. My lords of the upper house, And ye, my masters, of the lower house, Do ye stand fast by that which ye resolved?

VOICES. We do.

GARDINER. And be you all one mind to supplicate The Legate here for pardon, and acknowledge The primacy of the Pope?

VOICES. We are all one mind.

GARDINER. Then must I play the vassal to this Pole. [Aside.

[He draws a paper from under his robes and presents it to the KING and QUEEN, who look through it and return it to him; then ascends a tribune, and reads.

We, the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, And Commons here in Parliament assembled, Presenting the whole body of this realm Of England, and dominions of the same, Do make most humble suit unto your Majesties, In our own name and that of all the state, That by your gracious means and intercession Our supplication be exhibited To the Lord Cardinal Pole, sent here as Legate From our most Holy Father Julius, Pope, And from the Apostolic see of Rome; And do declare our penitence and grief For our long schism and disobedience, Either in making laws and ordinances Against the Holy Father's primacy, Or else by doing or by speaking aught Which might impugn or prejudice the same; By this our supplication promising, As well for our own selves as all the realm, That now we be and ever shall be quick, Under and with your Majesties' authorities, To do to the utmost all that in us lies Towards the abrogation and repeal Of all such laws and ordinances made; Whereon we humbly pray your Majesties, As persons undefiled with our offence, So to set forth this humble suit of ours That we the rather by your intercession May from the Apostolic see obtain, Thro' this most reverend Father, absolution, And full release from danger of all censures Of Holy Church that we be fall'n into, So that we may, as children penitent, Be once again received into the bosom And unity of Universal Church; And that this noble realm thro' after years May in this unity and obedience Unto the holy see and reigning Pope Serve God and both your Majesties.

VOICES. Amen. [All sit.

[He again presents the petition to the KING and QUEEN, who hand it reverentially to POLE.

POLE (sitting). This is the loveliest day that ever smiled On England. All her breath should, incenselike, Rise to the heavens in grateful praise of Him Who now recalls her to His ancient fold. Lo! once again God to this realm hath given A token of His more especial Grace; For as this people were the first of all The islands call'd into the dawning church Out of the dead, deep night of heathendom, So now are these the first whom God hath given Grace to repent and sorrow for their schism; And if your penitence be not mockery, Oh how the blessed angels who rejoice Over one saved do triumph at this hour In the reborn salvation of a land So noble. [A pause. For ourselves we do protest That our commission is to heal, not harm; We come not to condemn, but reconcile; We come not to compel, but call again; We come not to destroy, but edify; Nor yet to question things already done; These are forgiven--matters of the past-- And range with jetsam and with offal thrown Into the blind sea of forgetfulness. [A pause. Ye have reversed the attainder laid on us By him who sack'd the house of God; and we, Amplier than any field on our poor earth Can render thanks in fruit for being sown, Do here and now repay you sixty-fold, A hundred, yea, a thousand thousand-fold, With heaven for earth.

[Rising and stretching forth his hands. All kneel but SIR RALPH BAGENHALL, who rises and remains standing.

The Lord who hath redeem'd us With His own blood, and wash'd us from our sins, To purchase for Himself a stainless bride; He, whom the Father hath appointed Head Of all his church, He by His mercy absolve you! [A pause. And we by that authority Apostolic, Given unto us, his Legate, by the Pope, Our Lord and Holy Father, Julius, God's Vicar and Vicegerent upon earth, Do here absolve you and deliver you And every one of you, and all the realm And its dominions from all heresy, All schism, and from all and every censure, Judgment, and pain accruing thereupon; And also we restore you to the bosom And unity of Universal Church. [Turning to GARDINER. Our letters of commission will declare this plainlier.

[QUEEN heard sobbing. Cries of Amen! Amen! Some of the Members embrace one another. All but SIR RALPH BAGENHALL pass out into the neighboring chapel, whence is heard the Te Deum.

BAGENHALL. We strove against the papacy from the first, In William's time, in our first Edward's time, And in my master Henry's time; but now, The unity of Universal Church, Mary would have it; and this Gardiner follows; The unity of Universal Hell, Philip would have it; and this Gardiner follows! A Parliament of imitative apes! Sheep at the gap which Gardiner takes, who not Believes the Pope, nor any of them believe-- These spaniel-Spaniard English of the time, Who rub their fawning noses in the dust, For that is Philip's gold-dust, and adore This Vicar of their Vicar. Would I had been Born Spaniard! I had held my head up then. I am ashamed that I am Bagenhall, English.

Enter OFFICER.

OFFICER. Sir Ralph Bagenhall!

BAGENHALL. What of that?

OFFICER. You were the one sole man in either house Who stood upright when both the houses fell.

BAGENHALL. The houses fell!

OFFICER. I mean the houses knelt Before the Legate.

BAGENHALL. Do not scrimp your phrase, But stretch it wider; say when England fell.

OFFICER. I say you were the one sole man who stood.

BAGENHALL. I am the one sole man in either house, Perchance in England, loves her like a son.

OFFICER. Well, you one man, because you stood upright, Her Grace the Queen commands you to the Tower.

BAGENHALL. As traitor, or as heretic, or for what?

OFFICER. If any man in any way would be The one man, he shall be so to his cost.

BAGENHALL. What! will she have my head?

OFFICER. A round fine likelier. Your pardon. [Calling to ATTENDANT. By the river to the Tower.

[Exeunt.



SCENE IV.--WHITEHALL. A ROOM IN THE PALACE. MARY, GARDINER, POLE, PAGET, BONNER, etc.

MARY. The King and I, my Lords, now that all traitors Against our royal state have lost the heads Wherewith they plotted in their treasonous malice, Have talk'd together, and are well agreed That those old statutes touching Lollardism To bring the heretic to the stake, should be No longer a dead letter, but requicken'd.

ONE OF THE COUNCIL. Why, what hath fluster'd Gardiner? how he rubs His forelock!

PAGET. I have changed a word with him In coming, and may change a word again.

GARDINER. Madam, your Highness is our sun, the King And you together our two suns in one; And so the beams of both may shine upon us, The faith that seem'd to droop will feel your light, Lift head, and flourish; yet not light alone, There must be heat--there must be heat enough To scorch and wither heresy to the root. For what saith Christ? 'Compel them to come in.' And what saith Paul? 'I would they were cut off That trouble you.' Let the dead letter live! Trace it in fire, that all the louts to whom Their A B C is darkness, clowns and grooms May read it! so you quash rebellion too, For heretic and traitor are all one: Two vipers of one breed--an amphisbaena, Each end a sting: Let the dead letter burn!

PAGET. Yet there be some disloyal Catholics, And many heretics loyal; heretic throats Cried no God-bless-her to the Lady Jane, But shouted in Queen Mary. So there be Some traitor-heretic, there is axe and cord. To take the lives of others that are loyal, And by the churchman's pitiless doom of fire, Were but a thankless policy in the crown, Ay, and against itself; for there are many.

MARY. If we could burn out heresy, my Lord Paget, We reck not tho' we lost this crown of England-- Ay! tho' it were ten Englands!

GARDINER. Right, your Grace. Paget, you are all for this poor life of ours, And care but little for the life to be.

PAGET. I have some time, for curiousness, my Lord Watch'd children playing at their life to be, And cruel at it, killing helpless flies; Such is our time--all times for aught I know.

GARDINER. We kill the heretics that sting the soul-- They, with right reason, flies that prick the flesh.

PAGET. They had not reach'd right reason; little children! They kill'd but for their pleasure and the power They felt in killing.

GARDINER. A spice of Satan, ha! Why, good! what then? granted!--we are fallen creatures; Look to your Bible, Paget! we are fallen.

PAGET. I am but of the laity, my Lord Bishop, And may not read your Bible, yet I found One day, a wholesome scripture, 'Little children, Love one another.'

GARDINER. Did you find a scripture, 'I come not to bring peace but a sword'? The sword Is in her Grace's hand to smite with. Paget, You stand up here to fight for heresy, You are more than guess'd at as a heretic, And on the steep-up track of the true faith Your lapses are far seen.

PAGET. The faultless Gardiner!

MARY. You brawl beyond the question; speak, Lord Legate!

POLE. Indeed, I cannot follow with your Grace: Rather would say--the shepherd doth not kill The sheep that wander from his flock, but sends His careful dog to bring them to the fold. Look to the Netherlands, wherein have been Such holocausts of heresy! to what end? For yet the faith is not established there.

GARDINER. The end's not come.

POLE. No--nor this way will come, Seeing there lie two ways to every end, A better and a worse--the worse is here To persecute, because to persecute Makes a faith hated, and is furthermore No perfect witness of a perfect faith In him who persecutes: when men are tost On tides of strange opinion, and not sure Of their own selves, they are wroth with their own selves, And thence with others; then, who lights the faggot? Not the full faith, no, but the lurking doubt. Old Rome, that first made martyrs in the Church, Trembled for her own gods, for these were trembling-- But when did our Rome tremble?

PAGET. Did she not In Henry's time and Edward's?

POLE. What, my Lord! The Church on Peter's rock? never! I have seen A pine in Italy that cast its shadow Athwart a cataract; firm stood the pine-- The cataract shook the shadow. To my mind, The cataract typed the headlong plunge and fall Of heresy to the pit: the pine was Rome. You see, my Lords, It was the shadow of the Church that trembled; Your church was but the shadow of a church, Wanting the Papal mitre.

GARDINER (muttering). Here be tropes.

POLE. And tropes are good to clothe a naked truth, And make it look more seemly.

GARDINER. Tropes again!

POLE. You are hard to please. Then without tropes, my Lord, An overmuch severeness, I repeat, When faith is wavering makes the waverer pass Into more settled hatred of the doctrines Of those who rule, which hatred by and by Involves the ruler (thus there springs to light That Centaur of a monstrous Commonweal, The traitor-heretic) then tho' some may quail, Yet others are that dare the stake and fire, And their strong torment bravely borne, begets An admiration and an indignation, And hot desire to imitate; so the plague Of schism spreads; were there but three or four Of these misleaders, yet I would not say Burn! and we cannot burn whole towns; they are many, As my Lord Paget says.

GARDINER. Yet my Lord Cardinal--

POLE. I am your Legate; please you let me finish. Methinks that under our Queen's regimen We might go softlier than with crimson rowel And streaming lash. When Herod-Henry first Began to batter at your English Church, This was the cause, and hence the judgment on her. She seethed with such adulteries, and the lives Of many among your churchmen were so foul That heaven wept and earth blush'd. I would advise That we should thoroughly cleanse the Church within Before these bitter statutes be requicken'd. So after that when she once more is seen White as the light, the spotless bride of Christ, Like Christ himself on Tabor, possibly The Lutheran may be won to her again; Till when, my Lords, I counsel tolerance.

GARDINER. What, if a mad dog bit your hand, my Lord, Would you not chop the bitten finger off, Lest your whole body should madden with the poison? I would not, were I Queen, tolerate the heretic, No, not an hour. The ruler of a land Is bounden by his power and place to see His people be not poison'd. Tolerate them! Why? do they tolerate you? Nay, many of them Would burn--have burnt each other; call they not The one true faith, a loathsome idol-worship? Beware, Lord Legate, of a heavier crime Than heresy is itself; beware, I say, Lest men accuse you of indifference To all faiths, all religion; for you know Right well that you yourself have been supposed Tainted with Lutheranism in Italy.

POLE (angered). But you, my Lord, beyond all supposition, In clear and open day were congruent With that vile Cranmer in the accursed lie Of good Queen Catherine's divorce--the spring Of all those evils that have flow'd upon us; For you yourself have truckled to the tyrant, And done your best to bastardise our Queen, For which God's righteous judgment fell upon you In your five years of imprisonment, my Lord, Under young Edward. Who so bolster'd up The gross King's headship of the Church, or more Denied the Holy Father!

GARDINER. Ha! what! eh? But you, my Lord, a polish'd gentleman, A bookman, flying from the heat and tussle, You lived among your vines and oranges, In your soft Italy yonder! You were sent for. You were appeal'd to, but you still preferr'd Your learned leisure. As for what I did I suffer'd and repented. You, Lord Legate And Cardinal-Deacon, have not now to learn That ev'n St. Peter in his time of fear Denied his Master, ay, and thrice, my Lord.

POLE. But not for five-and-twenty years, my Lord.

GARDINER. Ha! good! it seems then I was summon'd hither But to be mock'd and baited. Speak, friend Bonner, And tell this learned Legate he lacks zeal. The Church's evil is not as the King's, Cannot be heal'd by stroking. The mad bite Must have the cautery--tell him--and at once. What would'st thou do hadst thou his power, thou That layest so long in heretic bonds with me; Would'st thou not burn and blast them root and branch?

BONNER. Ay, after you, my Lord.

GARDINER. Nay, God's passion, before me! speak'

BONNER. I am on fire until I see them flame.

GARDINER. Ay, the psalm-singing weavers, cobblers, scum-- But this most noble prince Plantagenet, Our good Queen's cousin--dallying over seas Even when his brother's, nay, his noble mother's, Head fell--

POLE. Peace, madman! Thou stirrest up a grief thou canst not fathom. Thou Christian Bishop, thou Lord Chancellor Of England! no more rein upon thine anger Than any child! Thou mak'st me much ashamed That I was for a moment wroth at thee.

MARY. I come for counsel and ye give me feuds, Like dogs that set to watch their master's gate, Fall, when the thief is ev'n within the walls, To worrying one another. My Lord Chancellor, You have an old trick of offending us; And but that you are art and part with us In purging heresy, well we might, for this Your violence and much roughness to the Legate, Have shut you from our counsels. Cousin Pole, You are fresh from brighter lands. Retire with me. His Highness and myself (so you allow us) Will let you learn in peace and privacy What power this cooler sun of England hath In breeding godless vermin. And pray Heaven That you may see according to our sight. Come, cousin. [Exeunt QUEEN and POLE, etc.

GARDINER. Pole has the Plantagenet face, But not the force made them our mightiest kings. Fine eyes--but melancholy, irresolute-- A fine beard, Bonner, a very full fine beard. But a weak mouth, an indeterminate--ha?

BONNER. Well, a weak mouth, perchance.

GARDINER. And not like thine To gorge a heretic whole, roasted or raw.

BONNER. I'd do my best, my Lord; but yet the Legate Is here as Pope and Master of the Church, And if he go not with you--

GARDINER. Tut, Master Bishop, Our bashful Legate, saw'st not how he flush'd? Touch him upon his old heretical talk, He'll burn a diocese to prove his orthodoxy. And let him call me truckler. In those times, Thou knowest we had to dodge, or duck, or die; I kept my head for use of Holy Church; And see you, we shall have to dodge again, And let the Pope trample our rights, and plunge His foreign fist into our island Church To plump the leaner pouch of Italy. For a time, for a time. Why? that these statutes may be put in force, And that his fan may thoroughly purge his floor.

BONNER. So then you hold the Pope--

GARDINER. I hold the Pope! What do I hold him? what do I hold the Pope? Come, come, the morsel stuck--this Cardinal's fault-- I have gulpt it down. I am wholly for the Pope, Utterly and altogether for the Pope, The Eternal Peter of the changeless chair, Crown'd slave of slaves, and mitred king of kings, God upon earth! what more? what would you have? Hence, let's be gone.

Enter USHER.

USHER. Well that you be not gone, My Lord. The Queen, most wroth at first with you, Is now content to grant you full forgiveness, So that you crave full pardon of the Legate. I am sent to fetch you.

GARDINER. Doth Pole yield, sir, ha! Did you hear 'em? were you by?

USHER. I cannot tell you, His bearing is so courtly-delicate; And yet methinks he falters: their two Graces Do so dear-cousin and royal-cousin him, So press on him the duty which as Legate He owes himself, and with such royal smiles--

GARDINER. Smiles that burn men. Bonner, it will be carried. He falters, ha? 'fore God, we change and change; Men now are bow'd and old, the doctors tell you, At three-score years; then if we change at all We needs must do it quickly; it is an age Of brief life, and brief purpose, and brief patience, As I have shown to-day. I am sorry for it If Pole be like to turn. Our old friend Cranmer, Your more especial love, hath turn'd so often, He knows not where he stands, which, if this pass, We two shall have to teach him; let 'em look to it, Cranmer and Hooper, Ridley and Latimer, Rogers and Ferrar, for their time is come, Their hour is hard at hand, their 'dies Irae' Their 'dies Illa,' which will test their sect. I feel it but a duty--you will find in it Pleasure as well as duty, worthy Bonner,-- To test their sect. Sir, I attend the Queen To crave most humble pardon--of her most Royal, Infallible, Papal Legate-cousin.

[Exeunt.



SCENE V.--WOODSTOCK.

ELIZABETH, LADY IN WAITING.

ELIZABETH. So they have sent poor Courtenay over sea.

LADY. And banish'd us to Woodstock, and the fields. The colours of our Queen are green and white, These fields are only green, they make me gape.

ELIZABETH. There's whitethorn, girl.

LADY. Ay, for an hour in May. But court is always May, buds out in masques, Breaks into feather'd merriments, and flowers In silken pageants. Why do they keep us here? Why still suspect your Grace?

ELIZABETH. Hard upon both. [Writes on the window with a diamond.

Much suspected, of me Nothing proven can be. Quoth Elizabeth, prisoner.

LADY. What hath your Highness written?

ELIZABETH. A true rhyme.

LADY. Cut with a diamond; so to last like truth.

ELIZABETH. Ay, if truth last.

LADY. But truth, they say, will out, So it must last. It is not like a word, That comes and goes in uttering.

ELIZABETH. Truth, a word! The very Truth and very Word are one. But truth of story, which I glanced at, girl, Is like a word that comes from olden days, And passes thro' the peoples: every tongue Alters it passing, till it spells and speaks Quite other than at first.

LADY. I do not follow.

ELIZABETH. How many names in the long sweep of time That so foreshortens greatness, may but hang On the chance mention of some fool that once Brake bread with us, perhaps: and my poor chronicle Is but of glass. Sir Henry Bedingfield May split it for a spite.

LADY. God grant it last, And witness to your Grace's innocence, Till doomsday melt it.

ELIZABETH. Or a second fire, Like that which lately crackled underfoot And in this very chamber, fuse the glass, And char us back again into the dust We spring from. Never peacock against rain Scream'd as you did for water.

LADY. And I got it. I woke Sir Henry--and he's true to you I read his honest horror in his eyes.

ELIZABETH. Or true to you?

LADY. Sir Henry Bedingfield! I will have no man true to me, your Grace, But one that pares his nails; to me? the clown!

ELIZABETH. Out, girl! you wrong a noble gentleman.

LADY. For, like his cloak, his manners want the nap And gloss of court; but of this fire he says. Nay swears, it was no wicked wilfulness, Only a natural chance.

ELIZABETH. A chance--perchance One of those wicked wilfuls that men make, Nor shame to call it nature. Nay, I know They hunt my blood. Save for my daily range Among the pleasant fields of Holy Writ I might despair. But there hath some one come; The house is all in movement. Hence, and see.

[Exit LADY.

MILKMAID (singing without).

Shame upon you, Robin, Shame upon you now! Kiss me would you? with my hands Milking the cow? Daisies grow again, Kingcups blow again, And you came and kiss'd me milking the cow.

Robin came behind me, Kiss'd me well I vow; Cuff him could I? with my hands Milking the cow? Swallows fly again, Cuckoos cry again, And you came and kiss'd me milking the cow.

Come, Robin, Robin, Come and kiss me now; Help it can I? with my hands Milking the cow? Ringdoves coo again, All things woo again. Come behind and kiss me milking the cow!

ELIZABETH. Right honest and red-cheek'd; Robin was violent, And she was crafty--a sweet violence, And a sweet craft. I would I were a milkmaid, To sing, love, marry, churn, brew, bake, and die, Then have my simple headstone by the church, And all things lived and ended honestly. I could not if I would. I am Harry's daughter: Gardiner would have my head. They are not sweet, The violence and the craft that do divide The world of nature; what is weak must lie; The lion needs but roar to guard his young; The lapwing lies, says 'here' when they are there. Threaten the child; 'I'll scourge you if you did it:' What weapon hath the child, save his soft tongue, To say 'I did not?' and my rod's the block. I never lay my head upon the pillow But that I think, 'Wilt thou lie there to-morrow?' How oft the falling axe, that never fell, Hath shock'd me back into the daylight truth That it may fall to-day! Those damp, black, dead Nights in the Tower; dead--with the fear of death Too dead ev'n for a death-watch! Toll of a bell, Stroke of a clock, the scurrying of a rat Affrighted me, and then delighted me, For there was life--And there was life in death-- The little murder'd princes, in a pale light, Rose hand in hand, and whisper'd, 'come away! The civil wars are gone for evermore: Thou last of all the Tudors, come away! With us is peace!' The last? It was a dream; I must not dream, not wink, but watch. She has gone, Maid Marian to her Robin--by and by Both happy! a fox may filch a hen by night, And make a morning outcry in the yard; But there's no Renard here to 'catch her tripping.' Catch me who can; yet, sometime I have wish'd That I were caught, and kill'd away at once Out of the flutter. The gray rogue, Gardiner, Went on his knees, and pray'd me to confess In Wyatt's business, and to cast myself Upon the good Queen's mercy; ay, when, my Lord? God save the Queen! My jailor--

Enter SIR HENRY BEDINGFIELD.

BEDINGFIELD. One, whose bolts, That jail you from free life, bar you from death. There haunt some Papist ruffians hereabout Would murder you.

ELIZABETH. I thank you heartily, sir, But I am royal, tho' your prisoner, And God hath blest or cursed me with a nose-- Your boots are from the horses.

BEDINGFIELD. Ay, my Lady. When next there comes a missive from the Queen It shall be all my study for one hour To rose and lavender my horsiness, Before I dare to glance upon your Grace.

ELIZABETH. A missive from the Queen: last time she wrote, I had like to have lost my life: it takes my breath: O God, sir, do you look upon your boots, Are you so small a man? Help me: what think you, Is it life or death.

BEDINGFIELD. I thought not on my boots; The devil take all boots were ever made Since man went barefoot. See, I lay it here, For I will come no nearer to your Grace;

[Laying down the letter.

And, whether it bring you bitter news or sweet, And God hath given your Grace a nose, or not, I'll help you, if I may.

ELIZABETH. Your pardon, then; It is the heat and narrowness of the cage That makes the captive testy; with free wing The world were all one Araby. Leave me now, Will you, companion to myself, sir?

BEDINGFIELD. Will I? With most exceeding willingness, I will; You know I never come till I be call'd. [Exit.

ELIZABETH. It lies there folded: is there venom in it? A snake--and if I touch it, it may sting. Come, come, the worst! Best wisdom is to know the worst at once. [Reads:

'It is the King's wish, that you should wed Prince Philibert of Savoy. You are to come to Court on the instant; and think of this in your coming. 'MARY THE QUEEN.'

Think I have many thoughts; I think there may be birdlime here for me; I think they fain would have me from the realm; I think the Queen may never bear a child; I think that I may be some time the Queen, Then, Queen indeed: no foreign prince or priest Should fill my throne, myself upon the steps. I think I will not marry anyone, Specially not this landless Philibert Of Savoy; but, if Philip menace me, I think that I will play with Philibert, As once the Holy Father did with mine, Before my father married my good mother,-- For fear of Spain.

Enter LADY.

LADY. O Lord! your Grace, your Grace, I feel so happy: it seems that we shall fly These bald, blank fields, and dance into the sun That shines on princes.

ELIZABETH. Yet, a moment since, I wish'd myself the milkmaid singing here, To kiss and cuff among the birds and flowers-- A right rough life and healthful.

LADY. But the wench Hath her own troubles; she is weeping now; For the wrong Robin took her at her word. Then the cow kick'd, and all her milk was spilt. Your Highness such a milkmaid?

ELIZABETH. I had kept My Robins and my cows in sweeter order Had I been such.

LADY (slyly). And had your Grace a Robin?

ELIZABETH. Come, come, you are chill here; you want the sun That shines at court; make ready for the journey. Pray God, we 'scape the sunstroke. Ready at once.

[Exeunt.



SCENE VI.--LONDON. A ROOM IN THE PALACE.

LORD PETRE and LORD WILLIAM HOWARD.

PETRE. You cannot see the Queen. Renard denied her, Ev'n now to me.

HOWARD. Their Flemish go-between And all-in-all. I came to thank her Majesty For freeing my friend Bagenhall from the Tower; A grace to me! Mercy, that herb-of-grace, Flowers now but seldom.

PETRE. Only now perhaps. Because the Queen hath been three days in tears For Philip's going--like the wild hedge-rose Of a soft winter, possible, not probable, However you have prov'n it.

HOWARD. I must see her.

Enter RENARD.

RENARD. My Lords, you cannot see her Majesty.

HOWARD. Why then the King! for I would have him bring it Home to the leisure wisdom of his Queen, Before he go, that since these statutes past, Gardiner out-Gardiners Gardiner in his heat, Bonner cannot out-Bonner his own self-- Beast!--but they play with fire as children do, And burn the house. I know that these are breeding A fierce resolve and fixt heart-hate in men Against the King, the Queen, the Holy Father, The faith itself. Can I not see him?

RENARD. Not now. And in all this, my Lord, her Majesty Is flint of flint, you may strike fire from her, Not hope to melt her. I will give your message.

[Exeunt PETRE and HOWARD.

Enter PHILIP (musing)

PHILIP. She will not have Prince Philibert of Savoy, I talk'd with her in vain--says she will live And die true maid--a goodly creature too. Would she had been the Queen! yet she must have him; She troubles England: that she breathes in England Is life and lungs to every rebel birth That passes out of embryo. Simon Renard! This Howard, whom they fear, what was he saying?

RENARD. What your imperial father said, my liege, To deal with heresy gentlier. Gardiner burns, And Bonner burns; and it would seem this people Care more for our brief life in their wet land, Than yours in happier Spain. I told my Lord He should not vex her Highness; she would say These are the means God works with, that His church May flourish.

PHILIP. Ay, sir, but in statesmanship To strike too soon is oft to miss the blow. Thou knowest I bad my chaplain, Castro, preach Against these burnings.

RENARD. And the Emperor Approved you, and when last he wrote, declared His comfort in your Grace that you were bland And affable to men of all estates, In hope to charm them from their hate of Spain.

PHILIP. In hope to crush all heresy under Spain. But, Renard, I am sicker staying here Than any sea could make me passing hence, Tho' I be ever deadly sick at sea. So sick am I with biding for this child. Is it the fashion in this clime for women To go twelve months in bearing of a child? The nurses yawn'd, the cradle gaped, they led Processions, chanted litanies, clash'd their bells, Shot off their lying cannon, and her priests Have preach'd, the fools, of this fair prince to come; Till, by St. James, I find myself the fool. Why do you lift your eyebrow at me thus?

RENARD. I never saw your Highness moved till now.

PHILIP. So weary am I of this wet land of theirs, And every soul of man that breathes therein.

RENARD. My liege, we must not drop the mask before The masquerade is over--

PHILIP. --Have I dropt it? I have but shown a loathing face to you, Who knew it from the first.

Enter MARY.

MARY (aside). With Renard. Still Parleying with Renard, all the day with Renard, And scarce a greeting all the day for me-- And goes to-morrow. [Exit MARY.

PHILIP (to RENARD, who advances to him). Well, sir, is there more?

RENARD (who has perceived the QUEEN). May Simon Renard speak a single word?

PHILIP. Ay.

RENARD. And be forgiven for it?

PHILIP. Simon Renard Knows me too well to speak a single word That could not be forgiven.

RENARD. Well, my liege, Your Grace hath a most chaste and loving wife.

PHILIP. Why not? The Queen of Philip should be chaste.

RENARD. Ay, but, my Lord, you know what Virgil sings, Woman is various and most mutable.

PHILIP. She play the harlot! never.

RENARD. No, sire, no, Not dream'd of by the rabidest gospeller. There was a paper thrown into the palace, 'The King hath wearied of his barren bride.' She came upon it, read it, and then rent it, With all the rage of one who hates a truth He cannot but allow. Sire, I would have you-- What should I say, I cannot pick my words-- Be somewhat less--majestic to your Queen.

PHILIP. Am I to change my manners, Simon Renard, Because these islanders are brutal beasts? Or would you have me turn a sonneteer, And warble those brief-sighted eyes of hers?

RENARD. Brief-sighted tho' they be, I have seen them, sire, When you perchance were trifling royally With some fair dame of court, suddenly fill With such fierce fire--had it been fire indeed It would have burnt both speakers.

PHILIP. Ay, and then?

RENARD. Sire, might it not be policy in some matter Of small importance now and then to cede A point to her demand?

PHILIP. Well, I am going.

RENARD. For should her love when you are gone, my liege, Witness these papers, there will not be wanting Those that will urge her injury--should her love-- And I have known such women more than one-- Veer to the counterpoint, and jealousy Hath in it an alchemic force to fuse Almost into one metal love and hate,-- And she impress her wrongs upon her Council, And these again upon her Parliament-- We are not loved here, and would be then perhaps Not so well holpen in our wars with France, As else we might be--here she comes.

Enter MARY.

MARY. O Philip! Nay, must you go indeed?

PHILIP. Madam, I must.

MARY. The parting of a husband and a wife Is like the cleaving of a heart; one half Will flutter here, one there.

PHILIP. You say true, Madam.

MARY. The Holy Virgin will not have me yet Lose the sweet hope that I may bear a prince. If such a prince were born and you not here!

PHILIP. I should be here if such a prince were born.

MARY. But must you go?

PHILIP. Madam, you know my father, Retiring into cloistral solitude To yield the remnant of his years to heaven, Will shift the yoke and weight of all the world From off his neck to mine. We meet at Brussels. But since mine absence will not be for long, Your Majesty shall go to Dover with me, And wait my coming back.

MARY. To Dover? no, I am too feeble. I will go to Greenwich, So you will have me with you; and there watch All that is gracious in the breath of heaven Draw with your sails from our poor land, and pass And leave me, Philip, with my prayers for you.

PHILIP. And doubtless I shall profit by your prayers.

MARY. Methinks that would you tarry one day more (The news was sudden) I could mould myself To bear your going better; will you do it?

PHILIP. Madam, a day may sink or save a realm.

MARY. A day may save a heart from breaking too.

PHILIP. Well, Simon Renard, shall we stop a day?

RENARD. Your Grace's business will not suffer, sire, For one day more, so far as I can tell.

PHILIP. Then one day more to please her Majesty.

MARY. The sunshine sweeps across my life again. O if I knew you felt this parting, Philip, As I do!

PHILIP. By St. James I do protest, Upon the faith and honour of a Spaniard, I am vastly grieved to leave your Majesty. Simon, is supper ready?

RENARD. Ay, my liege, I saw the covers laying.

PHILIP. Let us have it.

[Exeunt.


Lord Alfred Tennyson

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