Subscribe for ad free access & additional features for teachers. Authors: 267, Books: 3,607, Poems & Short Stories: 4,435, Forum Members: 71,154, Forum Posts: 1,238,602, Quizzes: 344

Act V

SCENE I.--LONDON. HALL IN THE PALACE.

QUEEN, SIR NICHOLAS HEATH.


HEATH. Madam, I do assure you, that it must be look'd to: Calais is but ill-garrison'd, in Guisnes Are scarce two hundred men, and the French fleet Rule in the narrow seas. It must be look'd to, If war should fall between yourself and France; Or you will lose your Calais.

MARY. It shall be look'd to; I wish you a good morning, good Sir Nicholas: Here is the King. [Exit HEATH.

Enter PHILIP.

PHILIP. Sir Nicholas tells you true, And you must look to Calais when I go.

MARY. Go? must you go, indeed--again--so soon? Why, nature's licensed vagabond, the swallow, That might live always in the sun's warm heart, Stays longer here in our poor north than you:-- Knows where he nested--ever comes again.

PHILIP. And, Madam, so shall I.

MARY. O, will you? will you? I am faint with fear that you will come no more.

PHILIP. Ay, ay; but many voices call me hence.

MARY. Voices--I hear unhappy rumours--nay, I say not, I believe. What voices call you Dearer than mine that should be dearest to you? Alas, my Lord! what voices and how many?

PHILIP. The voices of Castille and Aragon, Granada, Naples, Sicily, and Milan,-- The voices of Franche-Comte, and the Netherlands, The voices of Peru and Mexico, Tunis, and Oran, and the Philippines, And all the fair spice-islands of the East.

MARY (admiringly). You are the mightiest monarch upon earth, I but a little Queen: and, so indeed, Need you the more.

PHILIP. A little Queen! but when I came to wed your majesty, Lord Howard, Sending an insolent shot that dash'd the seas Upon us, made us lower our kingly flag To yours of England.

MARY. Howard is all English! There is no king, not were he ten times king, Ten times our husband, but must lower his flag To that of England in the seas of England.

PHILIP. Is that your answer?

MARY. Being Queen of England, I have none other.

PHILIP. So.

MARY. But wherefore not Helm the huge vessel of your state, my liege, Here by the side of her who loves you most?

PHILIP. No, Madam, no! a candle in the sun Is all but smoke--a star beside the moon Is all but lost; your people will not crown me-- Your people are as cheerless as your clime; Hate me and mine: witness the brawls, the gibbets. Here swings a Spaniard--there an Englishman; The peoples are unlike as their complexion; Yet will I be your swallow and return-- But now I cannot bide.

MARY. Not to help me? They hate me also for my love to you, My Philip; and these judgments on the land-- Harvestless autumns, horrible agues, plague--

PHILIP. The blood and sweat of heretics at the stake Is God's best dew upon the barren field. Burn more!

MARY. I will, I will; and you will stay?

PHILIP. Have I not said? Madam, I came to sue Your Council and yourself to declare war.

MARY. Sir, there are many English in your ranks To help your battle.

PHILIP. So far, good. I say I came to sue your Council and yourself To declare war against the King of France.

MARY. Not to see me?

PHILIP. Ay, Madam, to see you. Unalterably and pesteringly fond! [Aside. But, soon or late you must have war with France; King Henry warms your traitors at his hearth. Carew is there, and Thomas Stafford there. Courtenay, belike--

MARY. A fool and featherhead!

PHILIP. Ay, but they use his name. In brief, this Henry Stirs up your land against you to the intent That you may lose your English heritage. And then, your Scottish namesake marrying The Dauphin, he would weld France, England, Scotland, Into one sword to hack at Spain and me.

MARY. And yet the Pope is now colleagued with France; You make your wars upon him down in Italy:-- Philip, can that be well?

PHILIP. Content you, Madam; You must abide my judgment, and my father's, Who deems it a most just and holy war. The Pope would cast the Spaniard out of Naples: He calls us worse than Jews, Moors, Saracens. The Pope has pushed his horns beyond his mitre-- Beyond his province. Now, Duke Alva will but touch him on the horns, And he withdraws; and of his holy head-- For Alva is true son of the true church-- No hair is harm'd. Will you not help me here?

MARY. Alas! the Council will not hear of war. They say your wars are not the wars of England. They will not lay more taxes on a land So hunger-nipt and wretched; and you know The crown is poor. We have given the church-lands back: The nobles would not; nay, they clapt their hands Upon their swords when ask'd; and therefore God Is hard upon the people. What's to be done? Sir, I will move them in your cause again, And we will raise us loans and subsidies Among the merchants; and Sir Thomas Gresham Will aid us. There is Antwerp and the Jews.

PHILIP. Madam, my thanks.

MARY. And you will stay your going?

PHILIP. And further to discourage and lay lame The plots of France, altho' you love her not, You must proclaim Elizabeth your heir. She stands between you and the Queen of Scots.

MARY. The Queen of Scots at least is Catholic.

PHILIP. Ay, Madam, Catholic; but I will not have The King of France the King of England too.

MARY. But she's a heretic, and, when I am gone, Brings the new learning back.

PHILIP. It must be done. You must proclaim Elizabeth your heir.

MARY. Then it is done; but you will stay your going Somewhat beyond your settled purpose?

PHILIP. No!

MARY. What, not one day?

PHILIP. You beat upon the rock.

MARY. And I am broken there.

PHILIP. Is this a place To wail in, Madam? what! a public hall. Go in, I pray you.

MARY. Do not seem so changed. Say go; but only say it lovingly.

PHILIP. You do mistake. I am not one to change. I never loved you more.

MARY. Sire, I obey you. Come quickly.

PHILIP. Ay. [Exit MARY.

Enter COUNT DE FERIA.

FERIA (aside). The Queen in tears!

PHILIP. Feria! Hast thou not mark'd--come closer to mine ear-- How doubly aged this Queen of ours hath grown Since she lost hope of bearing us a child?

FERIA. Sire, if your Grace hath mark'd it, so have I.

PHILIP. Hast thou not likewise mark'd Elizabeth, How fair and royal--like a Queen, indeed?

FERIA. Allow me the same answer as before-- That if your Grace hath mark'd her, so have I.

PHILIP. Good, now; methinks my Queen is like enough To leave me by and by.

FERIA. To leave you, sire?

PHILIP. I mean not like to live. Elizabeth-- To Philibert of Savoy, as you know, We meant to wed her; but I am not sure She will not serve me better--so my Queen Would leave me--as--my wife.

FERIA. Sire, even so.

PHILIP. She will not have Prince Philibert of Savoy.

FERIA. No, sire.

PHILIP. I have to pray you, some odd time, To sound the Princess carelessly on this; Not as from me, but as your phantasy; And tell me how she takes it.

FERIA. Sire, I will.

PHILIP. I am not certain but that Philibert Shall be the man; and I shall urge his suit Upon the Queen, because I am not certain: You understand, Feria.

FERIA. Sire, I do.

PHILIP. And if you be not secret in this matter, You understand me there, too?

FERIA. Sire, I do.

PHILIP. You must be sweet and supple, like a Frenchman. She is none of those who loathe the honeycomb.

[Exit FERIA.

Enter RENARD.

RENARD. My liege, I bring you goodly tidings.

PHILIP. Well?

RENARD. There will be war with France, at last, my liege; Sir Thomas Stafford, a bull-headed ass, Sailing from France, with thirty Englishmen, Hath taken Scarboro' Castle, north of York; Proclaims himself protector, and affirms The Queen has forfeited her right to reign By marriage with an alien--other things As idle; a weak Wyatt! Little doubt This buzz will soon be silenced; but the Council (I have talk'd with some already) are for war. This the fifth conspiracy hatch'd in France; They show their teeth upon it; and your Grace, So you will take advice of mine, should stay Yet for awhile, to shape and guide the event.

PHILIP. Good! Renard, I will stay then.

RENARD. Also, sire, Might I not say--to please your wife, the Queen?

PHILIP. Ay, Renard, if you care to put it so.

[Exeunt.



SCENE II.--A ROOM IN THE PALACE.

MARY, sitting: a rose in her hand. LADY CLARENCE. ALICE in the background.

MARY. Look! I have play'd with this poor rose so long I have broken off the head.

LADY CLARENCE. Your Grace hath been More merciful to many a rebel head That should have fallen, and may rise again.

MARY. There were not many hang'd for Wyatt's rising.

LADY CLARENCE. Nay, not two hundred.

MARY. I could weep for them And her, and mine own self and all the world.

LADY CLARENCE. For her? for whom, your Grace?

Enter USHER.

USHER. The Cardinal.

Enter CARDINAL POLE. (MARY rises.)

MARY. Reginald Pole, what news hath plagued thy heart? What makes thy favour like the bloodless head Fall'n on the block, and held up by the hair? Philip?--

POLE. No, Philip is as warm in life As ever.

MARY. Ay, and then as cold as ever. Is Calais taken?

POLE. Cousin, there hath chanced A sharper harm to England and to Rome, Than Calais taken. Julius the Third Was ever just, and mild, and father-like; But this new Pope Caraffa, Paul the Fourth, Not only reft me of that legateship Which Julius gave me, and the legateship Annex'd to Canterbury--nay, but worse-- And yet I must obey the Holy Father, And so must you, good cousin;--worse than all, A passing bell toll'd in a dying ear-- He hath cited me to Rome, for heresy, Before his Inquisition.

MARY. I knew it, cousin, But held from you all papers sent by Rome, That you might rest among us, till the Pope, To compass which I wrote myself to Rome, Reversed his doom, and that you might not seem To disobey his Holiness.

POLE. He hates Philip; He is all Italian, and he hates the Spaniard; He cannot dream that I advised the war; He strikes thro' me at Philip and yourself. Nay, but I know it of old, he hates me too; So brands me in the stare of Christendom A heretic! Now, even now, when bow'd before my time, The house half-ruin'd ere the lease be out; When I should guide the Church in peace at home, After my twenty years of banishment, And all my lifelong labour to uphold The primacy--a heretic. Long ago, When I was ruler in the patrimony, I was too lenient to the Lutheran, And I and learned friends among ourselves Would freely canvass certain Lutheranisms. What then, he knew I was no Lutheran. A heretic! He drew this shaft against me to the head, When it was thought I might be chosen Pope, But then withdrew it. In full consistory, When I was made Archbishop, he approved me. And how should he have sent me Legate hither, Deeming me heretic? and what heresy since? But he was evermore mine enemy, And hates the Spaniard--fiery-choleric, A drinker of black, strong, volcanic wines, That ever make him fierier. I, a heretic? Your Highness knows that in pursuing heresy I have gone beyond your late Lord Chancellor,-- He cried Enough! enough! before his death.-- Gone beyond him and mine own natural man (It was God's cause); so far they call me now, The scourge and butcher of their English church.

MARY. Have courage, your reward is Heaven itself.

POLE. They groan amen; they swarm into the fire Like flies--for what? no dogma. They know nothing; They burn for nothing.

MARY. You have done your best.

POLE. Have done my best, and as a faithful son, That all day long hath wrought his father's work, When back he comes at evening hath the door Shut on him by the father whom he loved, His early follies cast into his teeth, And the poor son turn'd out into the street To sleep, to die--I shall die of it, cousin.

MARY. I pray you be not so disconsolate; I still will do mine utmost with the Pope. Poor cousin! Have not I been the fast friend of your life Since mine began, and it was thought we two Might make one flesh, and cleave unto each other As man and wife?

POLE. Ah, cousin, I remember How I would dandle you upon my knee At lisping-age. I watch'd you dancing once With your huge father; he look'd the Great Harry, You but his cockboat; prettily you did it, And innocently. No--we were not made One flesh in happiness, no happiness here; But now we are made one flesh in misery; Our bridemaids are not lovely--Disappointment, Ingratitude, Injustice, Evil-tongue, Labour-in-vain.

MARY. Surely, not all in vain. Peace, cousin, peace! I am sad at heart myself.

POLE. Our altar is a mound of dead men's clay, Dug from the grave that yawns for us beyond; And there is one Death stands behind the Groom, And there is one Death stands behind the Bride--

MARY. Have you been looking at the 'Dance of Death'?

POLE. No; but these libellous papers which I found Strewn in your palace. Look you here--the Pope Pointing at me with 'Pole, the heretic, Thou hast burnt others, do thou burn thyself, Or I will burn thee;' and this other; see!-- 'We pray continually for the death Of our accursed Queen and Cardinal Pole.' This last--I dare not read it her. [Aside.

MARY. Away! Why do you bring me these? I thought you knew better. I never read, I tear them; they come back upon my dreams. The hands that write them should be burnt clean off As Cranmer's, and the fiends that utter them Tongue-torn with pincers, lash'd to death, or lie Famishing in black cells, while famish'd rats Eat them alive. Why do they bring me these? Do you mean to drive me mad?

POLE. I had forgotten How these poor libels trouble you. Your pardon, Sweet cousin, and farewell! 'O bubble world, Whose colours in a moment break and fly!' Why, who said that? I know not--true enough!

[Puts up the papers, all but the last, which falls. Exit POLE.

ALICE. If Cranmer's spirit were a mocking one, And heard these two, there might be sport for him. [Aside.

MARY. Clarence, they hate me; even while I speak There lurks a silent dagger, listening In some dark closet, some long gallery, drawn, And panting for my blood as I go by.

LADY CLARENCE. Nay, Madam, there be loyal papers too, And I have often found them.

MARY. Find me one!

LADY CLARENCE. Ay, Madam; but Sir Nicholas Heath, the Chancellor, Would see your Highness.

MARY. Wherefore should I see him?

LADY CLARENCE. Well, Madam, he may bring you news from Philip.

MARY. So, Clarence.

LADY CLARENCE. Let me first put up your hair; It tumbles all abroad.

MARY. And the gray dawn Of an old age that never will be mine Is all the clearer seen. No, no; what matters? Forlorn I am, and let me look forlorn.

Enter SIR NICHOLAS HEATH.

HEATH. I bring your Majesty such grievous news I grieve to bring it. Madam, Calais is taken.

MARY. What traitor spoke? Here, let my cousin Pole Seize him and burn him for a Lutheran.

HEATH. Her Highness is unwell. I will retire.

LADY CLARENCE. Madam, your Chancellor, Sir Nicholas Heath.

MARY. Sir Nicholas! I am stunn'd--Nicholas Heath? Methought some traitor smote me on the head. What said you, my good Lord, that our brave English Had sallied out from Calais and driven back The Frenchmen from their trenches?

HEATH. Alas! no. That gateway to the mainland over which Our flag hath floated for two hundred years Is France again.

MARY. So; but it is not lost-- Not yet. Send out: let England as of old Rise lionlike, strike hard and deep into The prey they are rending from her--ay, and rend The renders too. Send out, send out, and make Musters in all the counties; gather all From sixteen years to sixty; collect the fleet; Let every craft that carries sail and gun Steer toward Calais. Guisnes is not taken yet?

HEATH. Guisnes is not taken yet.

MARY. There yet is hope.

HEATH. Ah, Madam, but your people are so cold; I do much fear that England will not care. Methinks there is no manhood left among us.

MARY. Send out; I am too weak to stir abroad: Tell my mind to the Council--to the Parliament: Proclaim it to the winds. Thou art cold thyself To babble of their coldness. O would I were My father for an hour! Away now--Quick!

[Exit HEATH.

I hoped I had served God with all my might! It seems I have not. Ah! much heresy Shelter'd in Calais. Saints I have rebuilt Your shrines, set up your broken images; Be comfortable to me. Suffer not That my brief reign in England be defamed Thro' all her angry chronicles hereafter By loss of Calais. Grant me Calais. Philip, We have made war upon the Holy Father All for your sake: what good could come of that?

LADY CLARENCE. No, Madam, not against the Holy Father; You did but help King Philip's war with France, Your troops were never down in Italy.

MARY. I am a byword. Heretic and rebel Point at me and make merry. Philip gone! And Calais gone! Time that I were gone too!

LADY CLARENCE. Nay, if the fetid gutter had a voice And cried I was not clean, what should I care? Or you, for heretic cries? And I believe, Spite of your melancholy Sir Nicholas, Your England is as loyal as myself.

MARY (seeing the paper draft by POLE). There! there! another paper! Said you not Many of these were loyal? Shall I try If this be one of such?

LADY CLARENCE. Let it be, let it be. God pardon me! I have never yet found one. [Aside.

MARY (reads). 'Your people hate you as your husband hates you.' Clarence, Clarence, what have I done? what sin Beyond all grace, all pardon? Mother of God, Thou knowest never woman meant so well, And fared so ill in this disastrous world. My people hate me and desire my death.

LADY CLARENCE. No, Madam, no.

MARY. My husband hates me, and desires my death.

LADY CLARENCE. No, Madam; these are libels.

MARY. I hate myself, and I desire my death.

LADY CLARENCE. Long live your Majesty! Shall Alice sing you One of her pleasant songs? Alice, my child, Bring us your lute (ALICE goes). They say the gloom of Saul Was lighten'd by young David's harp.

MARY. Too young! And never knew a Philip.

Re-enter ALICE.

Give me the lute. He hates me! (She sings.)

Hapless doom of woman happy in betrothing! Beauty passes like a breath and love is lost in loathing: Low, my lute; speak low, my lute, but say the world is nothing-- Low, lute, low!

Love will hover round the flowers when they first awaken; Love will fly the fallen leaf, and not be overtaken; Low, my lute! oh low, my lute! we fade and are forsaken-- Low, dear lute, low!

Take it away! not low enough for me!

ALICE. Your Grace hath a low voice.

MARY. How dare you say it? Even for that he hates me. A low voice Lost in a wilderness where none can hear! A voice of shipwreck on a shoreless sea! A low voice from the dust and from the grave (Sitting on the ground). There, am I low enough now?

ALICE. Good Lord! how grim and ghastly looks her Grace, With both her knees drawn upward to her chin. There was an old-world tomb beside my father's, And this was open'd, and the dead were found Sitting, and in this fashion; she looks a corpse.

Enter LADY MAGDALEN DACRES.

LADY MAGDALEN. Madam, the Count de Feria waits without, In hopes to see your Highness.

LADY CLARENCE (pointing to MARY). Wait he must-- Her trance again. She neither sees nor hears, And may not speak for hours.

LADY MAGDALEN. Unhappiest Of Queens and wives and women!

ALICE (in the foreground with LADY MAGDALEN). And all along Of Philip.

LADY MAGDALEN. Not so loud! Our Clarence there Sees ever such an aureole round the Queen, It gilds the greatest wronger of her peace, Who stands the nearest to her.

ALICE. Ay, this Philip; I used to love the Queen with all my heart-- God help me, but methinks I love her less For such a dotage upon such a man. I would I were as tall and strong as you.

LADY MAGDALEN. I seem half-shamed at times to be so tall.

ALICE. You are the stateliest deer in all the herd-- Beyond his aim--but I am small and scandalous, And love to hear bad tales of Philip.

LADY MAGDALEN. Why? I never heard him utter worse of you Than that you were low-statured.

ALICE. Does he think Low stature is low nature, or all women's Low as his own?

LADY MAGDALEN. There you strike in the nail. This coarseness is a want of phantasy. It is the low man thinks the woman low; Sin is too dull to see beyond himself.

ALICE. Ah, Magdalen, sin is bold as well as dull. How dared he?

LADY MAGDALEN. Stupid soldiers oft are bold. Poor lads, they see not what the general sees, A risk of utter ruin. I am not Beyond his aim, or was not.

ALICE. Who? Not you? Tell, tell me; save my credit with myself.

LADY MAGDALEN. I never breathed it to a bird in the eaves, Would not for all the stars and maiden moon Our drooping Queen should know! In Hampton Court My window look'd upon the corridor; And I was robing;--this poor throat of mine, Barer than I should wish a man to see it,-- When he we speak of drove the window back, And, like a thief, push'd in his royal hand; But by God's providence a good stout staff Lay near me; and you know me strong of arm; I do believe I lamed his Majesty's For a day or two, tho', give the Devil his due, I never found he bore me any spite.

ALICE. I would she could have wedded that poor youth, My Lord of Devon--light enough, God knows, And mixt with Wyatt's rising--and the boy Not out of him--but neither cold, coarse, cruel, And more than all--no Spaniard.

LADY CLARENCE. Not so loud. Lord Devon, girls! what are you whispering here?

ALICE. Probing an old state-secret--how it chanced That this young Earl was sent on foreign travel, Not lost his head.

LADY CLARENCE. There was no proof against him.

ALICE. Nay, Madam; did not Gardiner intercept A letter which the Count de Noailles wrote To that dead traitor Wyatt, with full proof Of Courtenay's treason? What became of that?

LADY CLARENCE. Some say that Gardiner, out of love for him, Burnt it, and some relate that it was lost When Wyatt sack'd the Chancellor's house in Southwark. Let dead things rest.

ALICE. Ay, and with him who died Alone in Italy.

LADY CLARENCE. Much changed, I hear, Had put off levity and put graveness on. The foreign courts report him in his manner Noble as his young person and old shield. It might be so--but all is over now; He caught a chill in the lagoons of Venice, And died in Padua.

MARY (looking up suddenly). Died in the true faith?

LADY CLARENCE. Ay, Madam, happily.

MARY. Happier he than I.

LADY MAGDALEN. It seems her Highness hath awaken'd. Think you That I might dare to tell her that the Count--

MARY. I will see no man hence for evermore, Saving my confessor and my cousin Pole.

LADY MAGDALEN. It is the Count de Feria, my dear lady.

MARY. What Count?

LADY MAGDALEN. The Count de Feria, from his Majesty King Philip.

MARY. Philip! quick! loop up my hair! Throw cushions on that seat, and make it throne-like. Arrange my dress--the gorgeous Indian shawl That Philip brought me in our happy days!-- That covers all. So--am I somewhat Queenlike, Bride of the mightiest sovereign upon earth?

LADY CLARENCE. Ay, so your Grace would bide a moment yet.

MARY. No, no, he brings a letter. I may die Before I read it. Let me see him at once.

Enter COUNT DE FERIA (kneels).

FERIA. I trust your Grace is well. (Aside) How her hand burns!

MARY. I am not well, but it will better me, Sir Count, to read the letter which you bring.

FERIA. Madam, I bring no letter.

MARY. How! no letter?

FERIA. His Highness is so vex'd with strange affairs--

MARY. That his own wife is no affair of his.

FERIA. Nay, Madam, nay! he sends his veriest love, And says, he will come quickly.

MARY. Doth he, indeed? You, sir, do you remember what you said When last you came to England?

FERIA. Madam, I brought My King's congratulations; it was hoped Your Highness was once more in happy state To give him an heir male.

MARY. Sir, you said more; You said he would come quickly. I had horses On all the road from Dover, day and night; On all the road from Harwich, night and day; But the child came not, and the husband came not; And yet he will come quickly.... Thou hast learnt Thy lesson, and I mine. There is no need For Philip so to shame himself again. Return, And tell him that I know he comes no more. Tell him at last I know his love is dead, And that I am in state to bring forth death-- Thou art commission'd to Elizabeth, And not to me!

FERIA. Mere compliments and wishes. But shall I take some message from your Grace?

MARY. Tell her to come and close my dying eyes, And wear my crown, and dance upon my grave.

FERIA. Then I may say your Grace will see your sister? Your Grace is too low-spirited. Air and sunshine. I would we had you, Madam, in our warm Spain. You droop in your dim London.

MARY. Have him away! I sicken of his readiness.

LADY CLARENCE. My Lord Count, Her Highness is too ill for colloquy.

FERIA (kneels, and kisses her hand). I wish her Highness better. (Aside) How her hand burns!

[Exeunt.



SCENE III.--A HOUSE NEAR LONDON.

ELIZABETH, STEWARD OF THE HOUSEHOLD, ATTENDANTS.

ELIZABETH. There's half an angel wrong'd in your account; Methinks I am all angel, that I bear it Without more ruffling. Cast it o'er again.

STEWARD. I were whole devil if I wrong'd you, Madam. [Exit STEWARD.

ATTENDANT. The Count de Feria, from the King of Spain.

ELIZABETH. Ay!--let him enter. Nay, you need not go: [To her LADIES. Remain within the chamber, but apart. We'll have no private conference. Welcome to England!

Enter FERIA.

FERIA. Fair island star!

ELIZABETH. I shine! What else, Sir Count?

FERIA. As far as France, and into Philip's heart. My King would know if you be fairly served, And lodged, and treated.

ELIZABETH. You see the lodging, sir, I am well-served, and am in everything Most loyal and most grateful to the Queen.

FERIA. You should be grateful to my master, too. He spoke of this; and unto him you owe That Mary hath acknowledged you her heir.

ELIZABETH. No, not to her nor him; but to the people, Who know my right, and love me, as I love The people! whom God aid!

FERIA. You will be Queen, And, were I Philip--

ELIZABETH. Wherefore pause you--what?

FERIA. Nay, but I speak from mine own self, not him; Your royal sister cannot last; your hand Will be much coveted! What a delicate one! Our Spanish ladies have none such--and there, Were you in Spain, this fine fair gossamer gold-- Like sun-gilt breathings on a frosty dawn-- That hovers round your shoulder--

ELIZABETH. Is it so fine? Troth, some have said so.

FERIA. --would be deemed a miracle.

ELIZABETH. Your Philip hath gold hair and golden beard; There must be ladies many with hair like mine.

FERIA, Some few of Gothic blood have golden hair, But none like yours.

ELIZABETH. I am happy you approve it.

FERIA. But as to Philip and your Grace--consider, If such a one as you should match with Spain, What hinders but that Spain and England join'd, Should make the mightiest empire earth has known. Spain would be England on her seas, and England Mistress of the Indies.

ELIZABETH. It may chance, that England Will be the Mistress of the Indies yet, Without the help of Spain.

FERIA. Impossible; Except you put Spain down. Wide of the mark ev'n for a madman's dream.

ELIZABETH. Perhaps; but we have seamen. Count de Feria, I take it that the King hath spoken to you; But is Don Carlos such a goodly match?

FERIA. Don Carlos, Madam, is but twelve years old.

ELIZABETH. Ay, tell the King that I will muse upon it; He is my good friend, and I would keep him so; But--he would have me Catholic of Rome, And that I scarce can be; and, sir, till now My sister's marriage, and my father's marriages, Make me full fain to live and die a maid. But I am much beholden to your King. Have you aught else to tell me?

FERIA. Nothing, Madam, Save that methought I gather'd from the Queen That she would see your Grace before she--died.

ELIZABETH. God's death! and wherefore spake you not before? We dally with our lazy moments here, And hers are number'd. Horses there, without! I am much beholden to the King, your master. Why did you keep me prating? Horses, there!

[Exit ELIZABETH, etc.

FERIA. So from a clear sky falls the thunderbolt! Don Carlos? Madam, if you marry Philip, Then I and he will snaffle your 'God's death,' And break your paces in, and make you tame; God's death, forsooth--you do not know King Philip.

[Exit.



SCENE IV.--LONDON. BEFORE THE PALACE.

A light burning within. VOICES of the night passing.

FIRST. Is not yon light in the Queen's chamber?

SECOND. Ay, They say she's dying.

FIRST. So is Cardinal Pole. May the great angels join their wings, and make Down for their heads to heaven!

SECOND. Amen. Come on. [Exeunt.

TWO OTHERS.

FIRST. There's the Queen's light. I hear she cannot live.

SECOND. God curse her and her Legate! Gardiner burns Already; but to pay them full in kind, The hottest hold in all the devil's den Were but a sort of winter; sir, in Guernsey, I watch'd a woman burn; and in her agony The mother came upon her--a child was born-- And, sir, they hurl'd it back into the fire, That, being but baptized in fire, the babe Might be in fire for ever. Ah, good neighbour, There should be something fierier than fire To yield them their deserts.

FIRST. Amen to all Your wish, and further.

A THIRD VOICE. Deserts! Amen to what? Whose deserts? Yours? You have a gold ring on your finger, and soft raiment about your body; and is not the woman up yonder sleeping after all she has done, in peace and quietness, on a soft bed, in a closed room, with light, fire, physic, tendance; and I have seen the true men of Christ lying famine-dead by scores, and under no ceiling but the cloud that wept on them, not for them.

FIRST. Friend, tho' so late, it is not safe to preach. You had best go home. What are you?

THIRD. What am I? One who cries continually with sweat and tears to the Lord God that it would please Him out of His infinite love to break down all kingship and queenship, all priesthood and prelacy; to cancel and abolish all bonds of human allegiance, all the magistracy, all the nobles, and all the wealthy; and to send us again, according to His promise, the one King, the Christ, and all things in common, as in the day of the first church, when Christ Jesus was King.

FIRST. If ever I heard a madman,--let's away! Why, you long-winded--Sir, you go beyond me. I pride myself on being moderate. Good night! Go home. Besides, you curse so loud, The watch will hear you. Get you home at once.

[Exeunt.



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

A Gallery on one side. The moonlight streaming through a range of windows on the wall opposite. MARY, LADY CLARENCE, LADY MAGDALEN DACRES, ALICE. QUEEN pacing the Gallery. A writing table in front. QUEEN comes to the table and writes and goes again, pacing the Gallery.

LADY CLARENCE. Mine eyes are dim: what hath she written? read.

ALICE. 'I am dying, Philip; come to me.'

LADY MAGDALEN. There--up and down, poor lady, up and down.

ALICE. And how her shadow crosses one by one The moonlight casements pattern'd on the wall, Following her like her sorrow. She turns again.

[QUEEN sits and writes, and goes again.

LADY CLARENCE. What hath she written now?

ALICE. Nothing; but 'come, come, come,' and all awry, And blotted by her tears. This cannot last.

[QUEEN returns.

MARY. I whistle to the bird has broken cage, And all in vain. [Sitting down. Calais gone--Guisnes gone, too--and Philip gone!

LADY CLARENCE. Dear Madam, Philip is but at the wars; I cannot doubt but that he comes again; And he is with you in a measure still. I never look'd upon so fair a likeness As your great King in armour there, his hand Upon his helmet. [Pointing to the portrait of Philip on the wall.

MARY. Doth he not look noble? I had heard of him in battle over seas, And I would have my warrior all in arms. He said it was not courtly to stand helmeted Before the Queen. He had his gracious moment, Altho' you'll not believe me. How he smiles As if he loved me yet!

LADY CLARENCE. And so he does.

MARY. He never loved me--nay, he could not love me. It was his father's policy against France. I am eleven years older than he, Poor boy! [Weeps.

ALICE. That was a lusty boy of twenty-seven; [Aside. Poor enough in God's grace!

MARY. --And all in vain! The Queen of Scots is married to the Dauphin, And Charles, the lord of this low world, is gone; And all his wars and wisdoms past away: And in a moment I shall follow him.

LADY CLARENCE. Nay, dearest Lady, see your good physician.

MARY. Drugs--but he knows they cannot help me--says That rest is all--tells me I must not think-- That I must rest--I shall rest by and by. Catch the wild cat, cage him, and when he springs And maims himself against the bars, say 'rest': Why, you must kill him if you would have him rest-- Dead or alive you cannot make him happy.

LADY CLARENCE. Your Majesty has lived so pure a life, And done such mighty things by Holy Church, I trust that God will make you happy yet.

MARY. What is the strange thing happiness? Sit down here: Tell me thine happiest hour.

LADY CLARENCE. I will, if that May make your Grace forget yourself a little. There runs a shallow brook across our field For twenty miles, where the black crow flies five, And doth so bound and babble all the way As if itself were happy. It was May-time, And I was walking with the man I loved. I loved him, but I thought I was not loved. And both were silent, letting the wild brook Speak for us--till he stoop'd and gather'd one From out a bed of thick forget-me-nots, Look'd hard and sweet at me, and gave it me. I took it, tho' I did not know I took it, And put it in my bosom, and all at once I felt his arms about me, and his lips--

MARY. O God! I have been too slack, too slack; There are Hot Gospellers even among our guards-- Nobles we dared not touch. We have but burnt The heretic priest, workmen, and women and children. Wet, famine, ague, fever, storm, wreck, wrath,-- We have so play'd the coward; but by God's grace, We'll follow Philip's leading, and set up The Holy Office here--garner the wheat, And burn the tares with unquenchable fire! Burn!-- Fie, what a savour! tell the cooks to close The doors of all the offices below. Latimer! Sir, we are private with our women here-- Ever a rough, blunt, and uncourtly fellow-- Thou light a torch that never will go out! 'Tis out--mine flames. Women, the Holy Father Has ta'en the legateship from our cousin Pole-- Was that well done? and poor Pole pines of it, As I do, to the death. I am but a woman, I have no power.--Ah, weak and meek old man, Seven-fold dishonour'd even in the sight Of thine own sectaries--No, no. No pardon! Why that was false: there is the right hand still Beckons me hence. Sir, you were burnt for heresy, not for treason, Remember that! 'twas I and Bonner did it, And Pole; we are three to one--Have you found mercy there, Grant it me here: and see, he smiles and goes, Gentle as in life.

ALICE. Madam, who goes? King Philip?

MARY. No, Philip comes and goes, but never goes. Women, when I am dead, Open my heart, and there you will find written Two names, Philip and Calais; open his,-- So that he have one,-- You will find Philip only, policy, policy,-- Ay, worse than that--not one hour true to me! Foul maggots crawling in a fester'd vice! Adulterous to the very heart of Hell. Hast thou a knife?

ALICE. Ay, Madam, but o' God's mercy--

MARY. Fool, think'st thou I would peril mine own soul By slaughter of the body? I could not, girl, Not this way--callous with a constant stripe, Unwoundable. The knife!

ALICE. Take heed, take heed! The blade is keen as death.

MARY. This Philip shall not Stare in upon me in my haggardness; Old, miserable, diseased, Incapable of children. Come thou down. [Cuts out the picture and throws it down. Lie there. (Wails) O God, I have kill'd my Philip!

ALICE. No, Madam, you have but cut the canvas out; We can replace it.

MARY. All is well then; rest-- I will to rest; he said, I must have rest. [Cries of 'ELIZABETH' in the street. A cry! What's that? Elizabeth? revolt? A new Northumberland, another Wyatt? I'll fight it on the threshold of the grave.

LADY CLARENCE. Madam, your royal sister comes to see you.

MARY. I will not see her. Who knows if Boleyn's daughter be my sister? I will see none except the priest. Your arm. [To LADY CLARENCE. O Saint of Aragon, with that sweet worn smile Among thy patient wrinkles--Help me hence. [Exeunt.

The PRIEST passes. Enter ELIZABETH and SIR WILLIAM CECIL.

ELIZABETH. Good counsel yours-- No one in waiting? still, As if the chamberlain were Death himself! The room she sleeps in--is not this the way? No, that way there are voices. Am I too late? Cecil ... God guide me lest I lose the way. [Exit ELIZABETH.

CECIL. Many points weather'd, many perilous ones, At last a harbour opens; but therein Sunk rocks--they need fine steering--much it is To be nor mad, nor bigot--have a mind-- Nor let Priests' talk, or dream of worlds to be, Miscolour things about her--sudden touches For him, or him--sunk rocks; no passionate faith-- But--if let be--balance and compromise; Brave, wary, sane to the heart of her--a Tudor School'd by the shadow of death--a Boleyn, too, Glancing across the Tudor--not so well.

Enter ALICE.

How is the good Queen now?

ALICE. Away from Philip. Back in her childhood--prattling to her mother Of her betrothal to the Emperor Charles, And childlike--jealous of him again--and once She thank'd her father sweetly for his book Against that godless German. Ah, those days Were happy. It was never merry world In England, since the Bible came among us.

CECIL. And who says that?

ALICE. It is a saying among the Catholics.

CECIL. It never will be merry world in England, Till all men have their Bible, rich and poor.

ALICE. The Queen is dying, or you dare not say it.

Enter ELIZABETH.

ELIZABETH. The Queen is dead.

CECIL. Then here she stands! my homage.

ELIZABETH. She knew me, and acknowledged me her heir, Pray'd me to pay her debts, and keep the Faith: Then claspt the cross, and pass'd away in peace. I left her lying still and beautiful, More beautiful than in life. Why would you vex yourself, Poor sister? Sir, I swear I have no heart To be your Queen. To reign is restless fence, Tierce, quart, and trickery. Peace is with the dead. Her life was winter, for her spring was nipt: And she loved much: pray God she be forgiven.

CECIL. Peace with the dead, who never were at peace! Yet she loved one so much--I needs must say-- That never English monarch dying left England so little.

ELIZABETH. But with Cecil's aid And others, if our person be secured From traitor stabs--we will make England great.

Enter PAGET, and other LORDS OF THE COUNCIL, SIR RALPH BAGENHALL, etc.

LORDS. God save Elizabeth, the Queen of England!

BAGENHALL. God save the Crown! the Papacy is no more.

PAGET (aside). Are we so sure of that?

ACCLAMATION. God save the Queen!


THE END.

       *      *      *      *      *      *      *       *       *       *       *       *


Lord Alfred Tennyson

Sorry, no summary available yet.