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Repeat your will, and take it.
Thank your majesty.
That you would love yourself; and, in that love,
Not unconsider'd leave your honour, nor
The dignity of your office, is the point
Of my petition.
K. Hen. Lady mine, proceed.
Q. Kath. I am solicited, not by a few, And those of true condition, that your subjects Are in great grievance: there have been com
missions Sent down among them, which hath flaw'd the
heart Of all their loyalties:—wherein, although, My good lord cardinal, they vent reproaches Most bitterly on you, as putter-on Of these exactions, yet the king our master, (Whose honour heaven shield from soil!) even he
Language unmannerly, yea, such which breaks
The sides of loyalty, and almost appears
In loud rebellion.
Not almost appears,
It doth appear: for, upon these taxations,
The clothiers all, not able to maintain
The many to them ’longing, have put off
The spinsters, carders, fullers, weavers, who,
Unfit for other life, compell’d by hunger
And lack of other means, in desperate manner
Daring the event to the teeth, are all in uproar,
And Danger serves among them.
Wherein? and what taxation :-My lord cardinal,
You that are blam'd for it alike with us,
Know you of this taxation?
Please you, sir,
I know but of a single part, in aught
Pertains to the state; and front but in that file
Where others tell steps with me.
No, my lord,
You know no more than others: but you frame
Things, that are known alike; which are not whole-
some To those which would not know them, and yet must Perforce by their acquaintance. These exactions, Whereof my sovereign would have note, they are Most pestilent to the hearing; and, to bear them, The back is sacrifice to the load. They say, They are devis'd by you; or else you suffer Too hard an exclamation. K. Hen.
Still exaction! The nature of it? In what kind, let's know, Is this exaction?
Q. Kath. I am much too venturous In tempting of your patience; but am bolden'd Under your promis'd pardon. The subject’s grief Comes through commissions, which compel from
The sixth part of his substance, to be levy'd
Without delay; and the pretence for this
Is nam’d, your wars in France: This makes bold
mouths: Tongues spit their duties out, and cold hearts
Allegiance in them; their curses now,
Live where their prayers did; and it's come to
That tractable obedience is a slave
To each incensed will. I would, your highness
Would give it quick consideration, for
There is no primer business.
By my life,
This is against our pleasure.
And for me, · I have no further gone in this, than by
A single voice; and that not påss'd me, but
By learned approbation of the judges.
If I am traduc'd by tongues, which neither know
My faculties, nor person, yet will be
The chronicles of my doing,-let me say,
'Tis but the fate of place, and the rough brake
That virtue must go through. We must not stint
Our necessary actions, in the fear
To cope malicious censurers; which ever,
As ravenous fishes, do a vessel follow
That is new trimm’d; but benefit no further
Than vainly longing. What we oft do best,
By sick interpreters, once weak ones, is
Not ours, or not allow'd; what worst, as oft,
Hitting a grosser quality, is cry'd up
For our best act. If we shall stand still,
In fear our motion will be mock'd or carp'd at,
We should take root here where we sit, or sit
State statues only.
K. Hen. Things done well,
And with a care, exempt themselves from fear;
Things done without example, in their issue
Are to be fear’d. Have you a precedent
Of this commission? I believe, not any.
We must not rend our subjects from our laws, .
And stick them in our will. Sixth part of each?
A trembling contribution! Why, we take,
From every tree, lop, bark, and part o'the timber;
And, though we leave it with a root, thus hack’d,
The air will drink the sap. To every county,
Where this is question’d, send our letters, with
Free pardon to each man that has deny'd
The force of this commission: Pray, look to't;
I put it to your care.
A word with you.
[To the Secretary. Let there be letters writ to every shire, Of the king's grace and pardon. The griev'd com
mons Hardly conceive of me; let it be nois’d, That, through our intercession, this revokement And pardon comes: I shall anon advise you Further in the proceeding. [Exit Secretary.
Enter Surveyor. Q. Kath. I am sorry, that the duke of Bucking
ham Is run in your displeasure. K. Hen.
It grieves many: . The gentleman is learn’d, and a most rare speaker, To nature none more bound; his training such, That he may furnish and instruct great teachers, And never seek for aid out of himself.
When these so noble benefits shall prove
Not well dispos’d, the mind growing once corrupt,
They turn to vicious forms, ten times more ugly
Than ever they were fair. This man, so complete,
Who was enrollid ʼmongst wonders, and when we,
Almost with ravish'd list’ning, could not find
His hour of speech a minute; he, my lady,
Hath into monstrous habits put the graces
That once were his, and is become as black
As if besmear'd in hell. Sit by us; you shall hear
(This was his gentleman in trust,) of him
Things to strike honour sad.-Bid him recount
The fore-recited practices; whereof
We cannot feel too little, hear too much.
Wol. Stand forth; and with bold spirit relate
what you, .
Most like a careful subject, have collected
Out of the duke of Buckingham.
Suro. First, it was usual with him, every day
It would infect his speech, That if the king
Should without issue die, he'd carry it so
To make the scepter his: These very words
I have heard him utter to his son-in-law,
Lord Aberga'ny; to whom by oath he menac'd
Revenge upon the cardinal.
Please your highness, note
This dangerous conception in this point.
Not friended by his wish, to your high person
His will is most malignant; and it stretches
Beyond you, to your friends.