Enter Cranmer, Archbyshop of Canterbury. Cran. I hope I am not too late, and yet the Gentleman That was sent to me from the Councell, pray'd me To make great hast. All fast? What meanes this? Hoa? Who waites there? Sure you know me? Enter Keeper. Keep. Yes, my Lord: But yet I cannot helpe you Cran. Why? Keep. Your Grace must waight till you be call'd for. Enter Doctor Buts. Cran. So Buts. This is a Peere of Malice: I am glad I came this way so happily. The King Shall vnderstand it presently. Exit Buts Cran. 'Tis Buts. The Kings Physitian, as he past along How earnestly he cast his eyes vpon me: Pray heauen he found not my disgrace: for certaine This is of purpose laid by some that hate me, (God turne their hearts, I neuer sought their malice) To quench mine Honor; they would shame to make me Wait else at doore: a fellow Councellor 'Mong Boyes, Groomes, and Lackeyes. But their pleasures Must be fulfill'd, and I attend with patience. Enter the King, and Buts, at a Windowe aboue. Buts. Ile shew your Grace the strangest sight King. What's that Buts? Butts. I thinke your Highnesse saw this many a day Kin. Body a me: where is it? Butts. There my Lord: The high promotion of his Grace of Canterbury, Who holds his State at dore 'mongst Purseuants, Pages, and Foot-boyes Kin. Ha? 'Tis he indeed. Is this the Honour they doe one another? 'Tis well there's one aboue 'em yet; I had thought They had parted so much honesty among 'em, At least good manners; as not thus to suffer A man of his Place, and so neere our fauour To dance attendance on their Lordships pleasures, And at the dore too, like a Post with Packets: By holy Mary (Butts) there's knauery; Let 'em alone, and draw the Curtaine close: We shall heare more anon. A Councell Table brought in with Chayres and Stooles, and placed vnder the State. Enter Lord Chancellour, places himselfe at the vpper end of the Table, on the left hand: A Seate being left void aboue him, as for Canterburies Seate. Duke of Suffolke, Duke of Norfolke, Surrey, Lord Chamberlaine, Gardiner, seat themselues in Order on each side. Cromwell at lower end, as Secretary. Chan. Speake to the businesse, M[aster]. Secretary; Why are we met in Councell? Crom. Please your Honours, The chiefe cause concernes his Grace of Canterbury Gard. Ha's he had knowledge of it? Crom. Yes Norf. Who waits there? Keep. Without my Noble Lords? Gard. Yes Keep. My Lord Archbishop: And ha's done halfe an houre to know your pleasures Chan. Let him come in Keep. Your Grace may enter now. Cranmer approches the Councell Table. Chan. My good Lord Archbishop, I'm very sorry To sit heere at this present, and behold That Chayre stand empty: But we all are men In our owne natures fraile, and capable Of our flesh, few are Angels; out of which frailty And want of wisedome, you that best should teach vs, Haue misdemean'd your selfe, and not a little: Toward the King first, then his Lawes, in filling The whole Realme, by your teaching & your Chaplaines (For so we are inform'd) with new opinions, Diuers and dangerous; which are Heresies; And not reform'd, may proue pernicious Gard. Which Reformation must be sodaine too My Noble Lords; for those that tame wild Horses, Pace 'em not in their hands to make 'em gentle; But stop their mouthes with stubborn Bits & spurre 'em, Till they obey the mannage. If we suffer Out of our easinesse and childish pitty To one mans Honour, this contagious sicknesse; Farewell all Physicke: and what followes then? Commotions, vprores, with a generall Taint Of the whole State; as of late dayes our neighbours, The vpper Germany can deerely witnesse: Yet freshly pittied in our memories Cran. My good Lords; Hitherto, in all the Progresse Both of my Life and Office, I haue labour'd, And with no little study, that my teaching And the strong course of my Authority, Might goe one way, and safely; and the end Was euer to doe well: nor is there liuing, (I speake it with a single heart, my Lords) A man that more detests, more stirres against, Both in his priuate Conscience, and his place, Defacers of a publique peace then I doe: Pray Heauen the King may neuer find a heart With lesse Allegeance in it. Men that make Enuy, and crooked malice, nourishment; Dare bite the best. I doe beseech your, Lordships, That in this case of Iustice, my Accusers, Be what they will, may stand forth face to face, And freely vrge against me Suff. Nay, my Lord, That cannot be; you are a Counsellor, And by that vertue no man dare accuse you Gard. My Lord, because we haue busines of more moment, We will be short with you. 'Tis his Highnesse pleasure And our consent, for better tryall of you, From hence you be committed to the Tower, Where being but a priuate man againe, You shall know many dare accuse you boldly, More then (I feare) you are prouided for Cran. Ah my good Lord of Winchester: I thanke you, You are alwayes my good Friend, if your will passe, I shall both finde your Lordship, Iudge and Iuror, You are so mercifull. I see your end, 'Tis my vndoing. Loue and meekenesse, Lord Become a Churchman, better then Ambition: Win straying Soules with modesty againe, Cast none away: That I shall cleere my selfe, Lay all the weight ye can vpon my patience, I make as little doubt as you doe conscience, In doing dayly wrongs. I could say more, But reuerence to your calling, makes me modest Gard. My Lord, my Lord, you are a Sectary, That's the plaine truth; your painted glosse discouers To men that vnderstand you, words and weaknesse Crom. My Lord of Winchester, y'are a little, By your good fauour, too sharpe; Men so Noble, How euer faulty, yet should finde respect For what they haue beene: 'tis a cruelty, To load a falling man Gard. Good M[aster]. Secretary, I cry your Honour mercie; you may worst Of all this Table say so Crom. Why my Lord? Gard. Doe not I know you for a Fauourer Of this new Sect? ye are not sound Crom. Not sound? Gard. Not sound I say Crom. Would you were halfe so honest: Mens prayers then would seeke you, not their feares Gard. I shall remember this bold Language Crom. Doe. Remember your bold life too Cham. This is too much; Forbeare for shame my Lords Gard. I haue done Crom. And I Cham. Then thus for you my Lord, it stands agreed I take it, by all voyces: That forthwith, You be conuaid to th' Tower a Prisoner; There to remaine till the Kings further pleasure Be knowne vnto vs: are you all agreed Lords All. We are Cran. Is there no other way of mercy, But I must needs to th' Tower my Lords? Gard. What other, Would you expect? You are strangely troublesome: Let some o'th' Guard be ready there. Enter the Guard. Cran. For me? Must I goe like a Traytor thither? Gard. Receiue him, And see him safe i'th' Tower Cran. Stay good my Lords, I haue a little yet to say. Looke there my Lords, By vertue of that Ring, I take my cause Out of the gripes of cruell men, and giue it To a most Noble Iudge, the King my Maister Cham. This is the Kings Ring Sur. 'Tis no counterfeit Suff. 'Ts the right Ring, by Heau'n: I told ye all, When we first put this dangerous stone a rowling, 'Twold fall vpon our selues Norf. Doe you thinke my Lords The King will suffer but the little finger Of this man to be vex'd? Cham. Tis now too certaine; How much more is his Life in value with him? Would I were fairely out on't Crom. My mind gaue me, In seeking tales and Informations Against this man, whose honesty the Diuell And his Disciples onely enuy at, Ye blew the fire that burnes ye: now haue at ye. Enter King frowning on them, takes his Seate. Gard. Dread Soueraigne, How much are we bound to Heauen, In dayly thankes, that gaue vs such a Prince; Not onely good and wise, but most religious: One that in all obedience, makes the Church The cheefe ayme of his Honour, and to strengthen That holy duty out of deare respect, His Royall selfe in Iudgement comes to heare The cause betwixt her, and this great offender Kin. You were euer good at sodaine Commendations, Bishop of Winchester. But know I come not To heare such flattery now, and in my presence They are too thin, and base to hide offences, To me you cannot reach. You play the Spaniell, And thinke with wagging of your tongue to win me: But whatsoere thou tak'st me for; I'm sure Thou hast a cruell Nature and a bloody. Good man sit downe: Now let me see the proudest Hee, that dares most, but wag his finger at thee. By all that's holy, he had better starue, Then but once thinke his place becomes thee not Sur. May it please your Grace; - Kin. No Sir, it doe's not please me, I had thought, I had had men of some vnderstanding, And wisedome of my Councell; but I finde none: Was it discretion Lords, to let this man, This good man (few of you deserue that Title) This honest man, wait like a lowsie Foot-boy At Chamber dore? and one, as great as you are? Why, what a shame was this? Did my Commission Bid ye so farre forget your selues? I gaue ye Power, as he was a Counsellour to try him, Not as a Groome: There's some of ye, I see, More out of Malice then Integrity, Would trye him to the vtmost, had ye meane, Which ye shall neuer haue while I liue Chan. Thus farre My most dread Soueraigne, may it like your Grace, To let my tongue excuse all. What was purpos'd Concerning his Imprisonment, was rather (If there be faith in men) meant for his Tryall, And faire purgation to the world then malice, I'm sure in me Kin. Well, well my Lords respect him, Take him, and vse him well; hee's worthy of it. I will say thus much for him, if a Prince May be beholding to a Subiect; I Am for his loue and seruice, so to him. Make me no more adoe, but all embrace him; Be friends for shame my Lords: My Lord of Canterbury I haue a Suite which you must not deny mee. That is, a faire young Maid that yet wants Baptisme, You must be Godfather, and answere for her Cran. The greatest Monarch now aliue may glory In such an honour: how may I deserue it, That am a poore and humble Subiect to you? Kin. Come, come my Lord, you'd spare your spoones; You shall haue two noble Partners with you: the old Duchesse of Norfolke, and Lady Marquesse Dorset? will these please you? Once more my Lord of Winchester, I charge you Embrace, and loue this man Gard. With a true heart, And Brother; loue I doe it Cran. And let Heauen Witnesse how deare, I hold this Confirmation Kin. Good Man, those ioyfull teares shew thy true hearts, The common voyce I see is verified Of thee, which sayes thus: Doe my Lord of Canterbury A shrewd turne, and hee's your friend for euer: Come Lords, we trifle time away: I long To haue this young one made a Christian. As I haue made ye one Lords, one remaine: So I grow stronger, you more Honour gaine. Exeunt.
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