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LOBBY BEFORE THE COUNCIL-CHAMBER.
Enter Cranmer; Servants, Door-Keeper, fc.
- attending Cran. I hope, I am not too late; and yet the
gentleman, That was sent to me from the council, pray'd me To make great haste. All fast? what means this? —
Yes, my lord;
Enter Doctor Butts.
'Tis Butts, The king's physician; As he past along, How earnestly he cast his eyes upon me! Pray heaven, he sound not my disgrace! For cer
tain, This is of purpose lay'd, by some that hate me, (God turn their hearts! I never sought their malice,)
To quench mine honour: they would shame to
make me Wait else at door; a fellow counsellor, Among boys, grooms, and lackeys. But their plea
Must be fulfill’d, and I attend with patience.
Enter, at a window above, the King and Butts. Butts. I'll show your grace the strangest sight,K. Hen.
What's that, Butts ? Butts. I think, your highness saw this many a
day. K. Hen. Body o’me, where is it? Butts.
There, my lord: The high promotion of his grace of Canterbury; Who holds his state at door, 'mongst pursuivants, Pages, and footboys. K. Hen.
Ha! 'Tis he, indeed : Is this the honour they do one another? 'Tis well, there's one above them yet. I had
thought, They had parted so much honesty among them, (At least, good manners,) as not thus to suffer A man of his place, and so near our favour, To dance attendance on their lordships' pleasures, And at the door too, like a post with packets. By holy Mary, Butts, there's knavery: Let them alone, and draw the curtain close; We shall hear more anon.
Enter the Lord Chancellor, the Duke of Suffolk, Earl
of Surrey, Lord Chamberlain, Gardiner, and Cromwell. The Chancellor places himself at the upper end of the table on the left hand; a seat being left void above him, as for the Archbishop of Canterbury. The rest seat themselves in order on each side. Cromwell at the lower end, as secretary.
Chan. Speak to the business, master Secretary: Why are we met in council? Crom.
Please your honours, The chief cause concerns his grace of Canterbury. Gar. Has he had knowledge of it? Crom.
Who waits there? D. Keep. Without, my noble lords? Gar. D. Keep.
My lord archbishop; . And has done half an hour, to know your pleasures.
Chan. Let him come in.
Your grace may enter now.
[Cranmer approaches the council-table. Chan. My good lord archbishop, I am very sorry To sit here at this present, and behold That chair stand empty: But we all are men, In our own natures frail; and capable Of our flesh, few are angels: out of which frailty, And want of wisdom, you, that best should teach us, Have misdemean’d yourself, and not a little, Toward the king first, then his laws, in filling The whole realm, by your teaching, and your chap
(For so we are inform’d,) with new opinions, Divers, and dangerous; which are heresies, And, not reform’d, may prove pernicious.
Gar. Which reformation must be sudden too, My noble lords: for those, that tame wild horses, Pace them not in their hands to make them gentle; But stop their mouths with stubborn bits, and spur
them, Till they obey the manage. If we suffer (Out of our easiness, and childish pity To one man's honour) this contagious sickness, Farewel, all physick: And what follows then? Commotions, uproars, with a general taint Of the whole state: as, of late days, our neighbours, The upper Germany, can dearly witness, Yet freshly pitied in our memories. Cran. My good lords, hitherto, in all the pro
gress Both of my life and office, I have labour'd, And with no little study, that my teaching, And the strong course of my authority, Might go one way, and safely; and the end Was ever, to do well: nor is there living (I speak it with a single heart, my lords,) A man, that more detests, more stirs against, Both in his private conscience, and his place, Defacers of a publick peace, than I do. 'Pray heaven, the king may never find a heart With less allegiance in it! Men, that make Envy, and crooked malice, nourishment, Dare bite the best. I do beseech yonr lordships, That, in this case of justice, my accusers,
Be what they will, may stand forth face to face,
Nay, my lord,
moment, We will be short with you. 'Tis his highness'
pleasure, And our consent, for better trial of you, From hence you be committed to the Tower; Where, being but a private man again, You shall know many dare accuse you boldly, More than, I fear, you are provided for, Cran. Ah, my good lord of Winchester, I thank
you, You are always my good friend; if your will pass, I shall both find your lordship judge and juror, You are so merciful: I see your end, 'Tis my undoing: Love, and meekness, lord, Become a churchman better than ambition; . Win straying souls with modesty again, Cast none away. That I shall clear myself, Lay all the weight ye can upon my patience, I make as little doubt, as you do conscience In doing daily wrongs. I could say more, But reverence to your calling makes me modest.
Gar. My lord, my lord, you are a sectary, That's the plain truth; your painted gloss discovers, To men that understand you, words and weakness.
Crom. My lord of Winchester, you are a little, By your good favour, too sharp; men so noble,