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With oars as musical—the people's shouts,
Whitehall. That call'd Heaven's blessings on my head, in sounds
KING HENRY and Attendants. That might have drown'd the thunders—I've more need
KING Of blessing now, and not a voice would say it. 'Sdeath! ye're all traitors: the King's bed defiled,
And by his grooms, and ye must pause and parley Your Grace, no doubt, will long survive this trial.
For proof and witness! Find me demonstration,
Or I'll be law, witness, and judge. A King
Not to cast off a wanton from his bed,
But must be trammel'd, thwarted, check’d, control'd Time was I trusted each fond possibility,
By quirks of law, old formal statutes, rolls For hope sate queen of all my golden fortunes; Of parchment scribled o'er with musty phrases ! But now
I'll let you know our will's this kingdom's law.
He awaits your Highness' pleasure. QUEEN
Back, back, I say ! Come hither, Norreys: we have loved, have trusted I will not enter! Whither will ye plunge me?
you— Into what chamber, but the sickly air
Could you find out no nobler way than this
Your pardon, Sire, but save your Highness' presence, To execution. Will ye place me there,
Show me the man dare taint my name with treason, Where those poor babes, their crook-back'd uncle I'd dash my gauntlet in his face, and choke murder'd,
Th'audacious lie within his venomous throat. Still haunt ?-Inhuman hospitality!
And more, excepting still my Liege's person, Look there! look there! fear mantles o'er my soul
Whoe'er haih slander'd the Queen's honour, be it As with a prophet's robe, the ghostly walls
With me, or Knight far worthier of her favour, Are sentineld with mute and headless spectres,
I do defy that man to mortal battle. Whose lank and grief-attenuated fingers
Body to body, as a Knight-1 'll prove him Point to their gory and dissever'd necks,
The most convicted, recreant, foulest slanderer, The least and lordly noble, some like princes :
Whose breath e'er soil'd a Lady's spotless name! Through the dim loop-holes gleam the haggard faces Of those, whose dark unutterable fate
Thou hast done us service, Norreye; for that reason, Lies buried in your dungeons' depths; some wan
Though we impeach our honour by our mercy, With famine, some with writhing features fix’d
Confess, if treacherous opportunity In the agony of torture.—Back! I say:
Or her too easy virtue did allure thee, They beckon me across the fatal threshold,
(For in the heat and wild distemperature Which none may pass and live.
Of passion, noblest souls forget themselves).
Be bold, be dauntless, but be true: we pledge
The deaths of traitors, The honour of a king, to give thee back
Some meet return.
I do beseech your Highness,
Some devil hath beset your easy ear. The angels that behold our inmost thoughts,
If you strike off this unoffending head, He'll find no crime but loving him too fondly; Your Majesty will lose a faithful servantAnd let him visit that with his worst vengeance. That's soon replaced; but for the Queen, I say, Come, Sir, your wearied patience well may fail : And will maintain it with my life, the best, On to that chamber, where I slept so sweetly, The chastest Queen, the closest nun in Europe, When guiltier far than now. On-on, good Kingston. I Is Messalina to a Vestal
Now, hy St. Paul! thou wear'st our patience.-Speak, Away with him to the Tower.-What! have we
How got ye this ? look ye confirm it. stoop'd
May 't please your Highness, that a holy Friar,
Albeit I know your Grace for weightiest reasons
Mistrusts their order, hath perpetual access
Unto the prisoner Smeaton.
Ha! a priest
l'the plot-why then 't is ripe and pregnant. Gardiner Arraign his justice? I'd but now a missive
We are bound to thee. My Lord of Winchester, From Cranmer ;-he, forsooth, good blameless man,
Look thou make good this charge against our Queen, Knowing no sin himself, believes there's none
Or, by St. Paul! thou shalt have cause to rue it. In others.—'Sdeath! I'll hear no more excuses;
So, back to Greenwich; we 'll go hunt the deer! The fact 's as clear, or shall be, as yon Sun.
Blow horns-yell dogs-we'll have a gorgeous day! Thou think'st her guiltless ?
The sun is in the Heavens, and our high heart
Is mounting with him. Off-to horse-to horse.
Till this hour, my Liege,
· Blessed are those that weep."-Oh! truth of truths, Had been impossible. Oh! best and greatest,
Not understood till fell—thou grace of Heaven, That best and greatest to ungrateful men
Spirit of Christ, thou didst not all forsake me, Should be a license thus to wrong the bounties
When my whole life was like a banquet-served By which they lived!—And that the Queen-raised up By Pride and Luxury-dangerous cup-bearers
. From a Knight's daughter to the throne of England Prayers, all unwonted on the dainty couch, A partner of King Henry's bed—the strange,
Where Queens are lapt in purple, failid not me; Th’unnatural act doth give itself the lie!
Mine heart, a place forbid to pain or sorrow, It doth outargue closest demonstration,
Thou didst incline to other's grief: I read And make us rather deem our senses traitors
In the deep lines of woe-worn cheeks, the bliss Than trust the assurance of most damning proofs.
Of resignation to the Eternal will;
And felt, admired, adored the Christian beauty Ha! proofs ?
Of graces that I had no scope to practise.
But now, oh Christ! that thou vouchsafest me
The mercy of affliction--oh! the warmth
The full religion that o'erflows my heart.
My cited thoughts stand ready at my call,
And undistracted memory ranges o'er
My map of life—where it is wilderness
Or weed-o'ergrown, pour streams of penitence;
But where the sunshine of Heaven's grace, though
By hasty clouds of earthly passion, gleams Is the confession of the guilty, forced
Upon the golden harvest of good deeds, By no stern tension of the searching rack,
It glorifies that Sun in humblest thankfulness. Nor laceration of the bleeding flesh,
Thee, therefore, amiable prison, thee But free, unbribed, unsought
Oh! Solitude-dreadful in apprehension ;
When present, to the friendless, the best friend!
Henceforth will I esteem, as much beyond
The pride and press of courts, as I feel nearer
My Liege, To Heaven within you. 'Tis that outdoes all record of old crime,
Good my Lord Archbishop That no discrimination knows, nor choice
I will not wrong thee by the idle question or base from noble, foul from fair-to fall
Why here? 'T is sorrow's dwelling, and thou art here From the allow'd embrace of such a king
But in obedience to thy heart and function.
But now shall irreligious Avarice I come not, Lady, to erect anew
Pluck from his lips the Scholar's dole—the Temples The much misused Confessional, where Sins Lie desecrate in ruin-or the night Best hid in shameful silence, or wrung forth of ancient ignorance and error sink la voiceless anguish, to Heaven's midnight ear, On the dark land for ever and for ever. Are acted o'er again in foul recital :
QUEEN. But oh, if thou art fallen, the saintliest pupil
Alas! Sir, why enamour me with life, In our young school of Christian graces, thou
Making me deem myself of value here, That to the living fountain of the Gospel
Here in this world, which I must leave?-So young Camest duly, to draw forth the eternal waters,
To be cut off, and so untimely! cast What infamy will blacken o'er our cause !
A blooming branch to the cold grave! Yet Heaven, A horror of deep darkness hath oppress'd
Whose cause it is, will raise defenders up.
My child ! my daughter! oh prophetic soul!
I dare not trust, yet will not disbelieve
Thy glorious omens. Good my Lord Archbishop, Yet whose sweet converse makes my prison day Thou 'lt not endure these knees should grow to earth, So short, I'm fain t' encroach upon the night. To less than Heaven; but I adjure thee, watch Şir, were I guilty (and in truth I know
Her ripening spirit, sow the seed, ne'er lost My crime but vaguely), there's a passage here
Though cast on the waste waters. or one detected in such nameless sin, That had been blotted with my scalding tears:
Heaven but grant "Tis stainless, and in truth unread; nor ask I
The life and power!
T' another subject now,
My sins, my sins ! Heaven's Grace be praised! but oh! the obdurate King.
Of them to Christ alorie ;QUEEN. There 's death in thy sad looks: speak, I 'll endure it. That heart bleeds freeliest that inly bleeds. He that has placed this cross upon my shoulders Will give me strength to bear it. I defy not, Bear with me yet, my Lord, for I must tax With boastfulness unfeminine, the shame,
Your kindness further. There is one, but one The agony; nor yet ungrateful speak
In all this world, my memory names, hath cause As weary of a world only too full
To think of me as of her enemy, Of joyance. Thou, my child, wouldst well rebuke
The Lady Mary; for a dying woman Thy mother's selfish soul if she could leave thee
Entreat her pardon. I've a letter here, Without a rending of her heart-strings: thou Written to the King with such poor eloquence Not less, my mother! most of all, my husband !
As I am mistress of; beseech thee hear it;
Then, if thou wilt, be thou the bearer of it.
The Letter. (4)
“Sire, your displeasure and imprisonment
Are all so strange to me, that what to write
I know not, what t' excuse : you sent erewhile
Never had Prince a wife so loyal-duteous, In mountain solitude, or glen, of traveller
So to affection true, as your Anne Boleyn. Untrod, should want its sabbath bell to knoll That name and place had been my life's content, To porest worship: that a holy priesthood,
God and your Grace so willing it; yet ne'er Chaste, simple, to themselves alone severe,
Forgot I, that the fancy which had raised me Poor below luxury, rich beyond contempt,
Might wander to another fairer object. Environd with their heaven-led families,
You chose me, nor deserving, nor desiring, Should with their lives’ most saintly eloquence Your Queen and Partner :-having so honour'd me Preach Christ – Christ only:— while all reverend Good, your Grace, let no light unworthy motive, Learning
Nor my malicious enemies' false counsel,
Withdraw your favour from me. lest the stain,
Not with my foes my judges-try me openly; And Hell made rich with everlasting souls.-
Here are but two: one guiltless, and one guilty.
On—and be fearless--on, my soul! Th'opprobrious voice of the world's slander silenced:
He sleeps; Or by the undoubted plainness of my guilt,
Poor wretch, thou 'lt sleep ere long more deep-he Your Grace escape all censure of rash harshness,
dreams. And God and man approve th' extremest rigour
MARK (in his sleep.)
Her voice—her voice-ye heard her lute-like voice,
Who loosed these bonds, who led me forth from death But if my death, worse than my death, my shame,
"T was I, your servant, I
Where am [!-who
And what art thou ?—The Father Angelo!
Oh! sleep, sweet sleep, art thou a prophetess,
Or but a gracious and most kind deceiver! Before his judgment throne, where I shall stand,
Oh! palace-builder-oh! thou Queen of bridals,
That in the silent prison makest the bells
Sound for the jocund marriage-oh! magician,
With realm of witchcrafi wide as thought-time, place
And circumstance, combine, and shift, and change,
Like spirits on thy sorcerous wand that wait, Found favour in thy sight—if e'er thine ear
And all things are that are not-night is day,
Grief joy, death life, th' impossible becomes
Th' unpillow'd beggar, and dost proudly seat him
Upon a throne-dost bring the Queen of queens Written from my doleful prison in the Tower,
Down to the level of a boy like me. Your loyal and most faithful wife, Anne Boleyn."
Mark Smeaton, I am here to know thy purpose,
Thy calm deliberate purpose : yet 't is time God, that can make the marble heart like wax,
To disavow thy dangerous evidence-
Yet, but not long : I saw the Judges pass
Across the court, and one that bare an axe
Went first, as to denote they sate in judgment
A Prison in the Tower.
Then she must die
If by mine oath she is found guilty, who
Shall intercept that bloody instrument?-
And wherefore this, but the relenting King
Yet to swear-before high Heaven"Tis but the wise relentlessness of Heaven.
All-seeing Heaven !-Heaven, that in thunder spake Doth the dread earthquake feel remorse, that makes The stern command, “Thou shalt not bear false witA populous city one vast tomb, where Guilt
Her soul all leprous with its gangrene taint,
And to the block with her—not worth the jeoparding Than the fierce tossings of the infernal pit,
The immortal spirit
Earl Arundel, and certain other peers
By special mandate from the King, t' arraign
Come into the Court, Crime is not crime but in its motive thou
Anne, Queen of England. Art false but to be true-false to her fame,
QUEEN. True to her better interests. But I came not
Here. To argue. Yet when thou go'st hence, take heed
OFFICER. Thou pass not o'er the hill where Traitors die;
Anne, Queen of England Lest, trammeld in the press, thou 'rt forced to see, (Be seated, it beseems your Grace's station), From first to last, the hideous deed—the stroke, Look on this Court, these peers of England, met, The agony, the despair, the writhing hands,
By the King's high commission, to pass sentence The sever'd neck, the cry to Heaven, that Heaven Between thyself and the King's Grace-hast aught Shall turn away from, and
T" object ere thou 'rt arraign'd?
I'd thought, my Lords, Let me not read it, lest its hideous falsehood
It had stood more with the King's justice, more Shake my saint resolution. There—'t is done! With the usage of the land, a poor weak woman ANGELO.
Had not been forced t’ abide your awful ordeal What, ho! within,-ye see this youth deliver
Alone and unadvised; that Counsel, learn'd This instrument as his own deed.
In forms of law, and versed by subtle practice
In forcing from the bribed or partial witnesses
Th'unwilling truth, had been assign'd me.-Well,
Be 't as it is—I have an advocate
Gold cannot fee, nor circumstance appal :
An advocate, whose voiceless eloquence,
If it should fail before your earthly court,
Shall in a higher gain me that acquittal
Mine enemies' malice may deny me here
Mine Innocence. Proceed.
Anne, Queen of England, Like Heaven will pardon! Sir, I cannot think Thou hast deceived me; if thou hast, the tortures
Thou stand'st arraign'd, that treasonously and foully
To the dishonour of his Highness' person Of all eternity will be too short
And slander of his issue, thou hast conspired T'avenge this wicked subornation!
With certain Traitors, now convict and sentencedANGELO.
George, Viscount Rochford, Henry Norreys, Knight, Peace!
Sir William Brereton, Francis Weston, Knights,
And one Mark Smeaton,Oh! pardon, Sir, my thoughts do swim so strangely;
QUEEN. Things all so monstrous and incredible
Pause, Sir; heard I rightly Have come to pass, there's nought that seems too My Brother's name, Lord Rochford's ? I beseech you, strange,
My Lords, what part bears he in this Indictment?
The same with all the rest.
Great God of Thunder, Beyor is the reach and scope of our belief.
Refrain thy bolt!-my Lords, there are among ye
Have noble Sisters, if ye deem this possible,
I do consent ye deem it true. Go on, Sir.
OFFICER DUKE OF NORFOLK, DUKE OF SUFFOLK, MARQUIS And one Mark Smeaton. Exeter, and others as Judges. The Queen and
Would they make me smile NORFOLK
With iteration of that name-a meet
And likely lover for King Henry's Queen!
My Lords, ye have perused that dangerous paper