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Henry VIII

Henry VIII Translation Act 3, Scene 1

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Enter QUEEN KATHARINE and her Women, as at work

QUEEN KATHARINE

Take thy lute, wench: my soul grows sad with troubles;Sing, and disperse 'em, if thou canst: leave working.

QUEEN KATHARINE

Play your lute, girl. My soul is sad. Sing and send them away if you can. Stop sewing.

QUEEN KATHARINE

[singing] Orpheus with his lute made trees, And the mountain tops that freeze, Bow themselves when he did sing: To his music plants and flowers Ever sprung; as sun and showers There had made a lasting spring. Every thing that heard him play, Even the billows of the sea, Hung their heads, and then lay by. In sweet music is such art, Killing care and grief of heart Fall asleep, or hearing, die.

QUEEN KATHARINE

[singing]
Orpheus made trees
And the freezing mountain tops
Bow when he sang.
His music made plants and flowers
Grow as if sun and rain
Had created an eternal Spring there.
Everything that heard him play,
Even the waves of the sea,
Hung their heads then lay down next to him.
Beautiful music makes
Murderous sadness and heartache
Fall asleep when they hear it or die.

Enter a Gentleman

QUEEN KATHARINE

How now!

QUEEN KATHARINE

Hello!

GENTLEMAN

An't please your grace, the two great cardinalsWait in the presence.

GENTLEMAN

Your grace, the two important cardinals are waiting in your reception room.

QUEEN KATHARINE

Would they speak with me?

QUEEN KATHARINE

Do they want to speak to me?

GENTLEMAN

They will'd me say so, madam.

GENTLEMAN

They asked me to say they do, madam.

QUEEN KATHARINE

Pray their gracesTo come near.

QUEEN KATHARINE

Ask them to come near.

Exit Gentleman

QUEEN KATHARINE

What can be their business With me, a poor weak woman, fall'n from favour? I do not like their coming. Now I think on't, They should be good men; their affairs as righteous: But all hoods make not monks.

QUEEN KATHARINE

What can their business be with me, a poor weak woman out of favor with the king? I don't like them coming here. Now I think about it, they should be good men and their business should be good, too, but appearances are deceiving and just wearing a monk's habit doesn't make you holy.

Enter CARDINAL WOLSEY and CARDINAL CAMPEIUS

CARDINAL WOLSEY

Peace to your highness!

CARDINAL WOLSEY

Hello, your highness!

QUEEN KATHARINE

Your graces find me here part of a housewife,I would be all, against the worst may happen.What are your pleasures with me, reverend lords?

QUEEN KATHARINE

You can see that I'm a part of a housewife. I want to be a whole one, whatever happens. What do you want from me, wise lords?

CARDINAL WOLSEY

May it please you noble madam, to withdrawInto your private chamber, we shall give youThe full cause of our coming.

CARDINAL WOLSEY

Please, ma'am, if we can go into your private room, we will tell you the whole reason we came.

QUEEN KATHARINE

Speak it here: There's nothing I have done yet, o' my conscience, Deserves a corner: would all other women Could speak this with as free a soul as I do! My lords, I care not, so much I am happy Above a number, if my actions Were tried by every tongue, every eye saw 'em, Envy and base opinion set against 'em, I know my life so even. If your business Seek me out, and that way I am wife in, Out with it boldly: truth loves open dealing.

QUEEN KATHARINE

Say it here. I haven't done anything yet that has to be whispered about in a corner. I wish all other women could say that as truly as I can! My lords, I don't care if everyone talks about and sees my actions or if those actions are attacked by envious and disapproving people, because I'm so much luckier than most people in knowing my life is virtuous. If you have business to do with me and my marriage, say it boldly. Truth should be spoken openly.

CARDINAL WOLSEY

Tanta est erga te mentis integritas, reginaserenissima,—

CARDINAL WOLSEY

Your conduct is so honorable, most serene queen—

QUEEN KATHARINE

O, good my lord, no Latin; I am not such a truant since my coming, As not to know the language I have lived in: A strange tongue makes my cause more strange, suspicious; Pray, speak in English: here are some will thank you, If you speak truth, for their poor mistress' sake; Believe me, she has had much wrong: lord cardinal, The willing'st sin I ever yet committed May be absolved in English.

QUEEN KATHARINE

My good lord, don't speak Latin. I haven't been so lazy since coming here that I don't know the language of the country I have been living in. Speaking in a foreign language makes my cause seem more strange and suspicious. Please, speak English. There are some people here who will thank you for their mistress's sake if you tell the truth. Believe me, she has been treated very badly. Lord cardinal, even the worst sin I have ever committed can be forgiven in English.

CARDINAL WOLSEY

Noble lady, I am sorry my integrity should breed, And service to his majesty and you, So deep suspicion, where all faith was meant. We come not by the way of accusation, To taint that honour every good tongue blesses, Nor to betray you any way to sorrow, You have too much, good lady; but to know How you stand minded in the weighty difference Between the king and you; and to deliver, Like free and honest men, our just opinions And comforts to your cause.

CARDINAL WOLSEY

Noble lady, I am sorry you are so suspicious about my honesty and my service of your majesty and you, when I meant to serve you faithfully. We don't come to accuse you or taint your honor, which every good person blesses, or to make you sad in any way since you are already too sad, good lady. We just want to know your thoughts in the great quarrel between you and the king and to tell you like open and honest men should our true opinions, and comfort you. 

CARDINAL CAMPEIUS

Most honour'd madam, My Lord of York, out of his noble nature, Zeal and obedience he still bore your grace, Forgetting, like a good man your late censure Both of his truth and him, which was too far, Offers, as I do, in a sign of peace, His service and his counsel.

CARDINAL CAMPEIUS

Honored lady, because of his noble character and the obedience he still wants to show you, my Lord of York has forgotten your recent criticism of his honesty and him, which went too far. He and I offer you his service and advice as a peace offering.

QUEEN KATHARINE

[Aside] To betray me.— My lords, I thank you both for your good wills; Ye speak like honest men; pray God, ye prove so! But how to make ye suddenly an answer, In such a point of weight, so near mine honour,— More near my life, I fear,—with my weak wit, And to such men of gravity and learning, In truth, I know not. I was set at work Among my maids: full little, God knows, looking Either for such men or such business. For her sake that I have been,—for I feel The last fit of my greatness,— good your graces, Let me have time and counsel for my cause: Alas, I am a woman, friendless, hopeless!

QUEEN KATHARINE

[To herself] To betray me.—

[To the CARDINALS] My lords, I thank both of you for your kindness. You speak like honest men. I pray to God you turn out to be honest men! But I don't know how to answer you immediately about such an important matter that threatens my honor—and my life even more, I'm afraid—since my mind is weak and you are such serious and learned men. I was sewing with my maids and didn't expect such men or such business, God knows. Your graces, for the sake of the woman I have been—because I feel my power dying—let me have time and a lawyer on my side. I am a friendless and hopeless woman!

CARDINAL WOLSEY

Madam, you wrong the king's love with these fears:Your hopes and friends are infinite.

CARDINAL WOLSEY

Ma'am, you're being unfair to the king's love with this fear. You have infinite hopes and friends.

QUEEN KATHARINE

In England But little for my profit: can you think, lords, That any Englishman dare give me counsel? Or be a known friend, 'gainst his highness' pleasure, Though he be grown so desperate to be honest, And live a subject? Nay, forsooth, my friends, They that must weigh out my afflictions, They that my trust must grow to, live not here: They are, as all my other comforts, far hence In mine own country, lords.

QUEEN KATHARINE

The ones in England won't help me. Can you imagine any Englishman daring to give me advice, my lords? Or be known to be my friend and side with me against the king, even if he is desperate to do the right thing, and continue living here as a subject? No, the friends who will understand my suffering and whom I have to trust don't live here. They are, like all my other comforts, far away from here, in my own country, lords.

CARDINAL CAMPEIUS

I would your graceWould leave your griefs, and take my counsel.

CARDINAL CAMPEIUS

I wish you would stop being sad and take my advice.

QUEEN KATHARINE

How, sir?

QUEEN KATHARINE

How, sir?

CARDINAL CAMPEIUS

Put your main cause into the king's protection; He's loving and most gracious: 'twill be much Both for your honour better and your cause; For if the trial of the law o'ertake ye, You'll part away disgraced.

CARDINAL CAMPEIUS

Let the king take care of this business for you. He's loving and very generous. It will be much better both for your honor and your case. Because if you go to trial over this, you'll go away disgraced.

CARDINAL WOLSEY

He tells you rightly.

CARDINAL WOLSEY

He's telling you the truth.

QUEEN KATHARINE

Ye tell me what ye wish for both,—my ruin: Is this your Christian counsel? out upon ye! Heaven is above all yet; there sits a judge That no king can corrupt.

QUEEN KATHARINE

You tell me to do what will get you what you both want—for me to be destroyed. Is this your Christian advice? Get out! God is still in charge. He is a judge no king can corrupt.

CARDINAL CAMPEIUS

Your rage mistakes us.

CARDINAL CAMPEIUS

Your anger makes you misjudge us.

QUEEN KATHARINE

The more shame for ye: holy men I thought ye, Upon my soul, two reverend cardinal virtues; But cardinal sins and hollow hearts I fear ye: Mend 'em, for shame, my lords. Is this your comfort? The cordial that ye bring a wretched lady, A woman lost among ye, laugh'd at, scorn'd? I will not wish ye half my miseries; I have more charity: but say, I warn'd ye; Take heed, for heaven's sake, take heed, lest at once The burthen of my sorrows fall upon ye.

QUEEN KATHARINE

You should be all the more ashamed. I thought you were holy men, I swear, as if you were two wise virtues instead of men. But I fear that you two cardinals are actually deadly sins and have cruel hearts. Fix your hearts, my lords. You should be ashamed. Is this how you're trying to comfort me? Is this the help you bring to a poor lady lost in this country, laughed at, and hated? I won't wish that you suffer half of what I suffer. I am too kind for that. But I have warned you. Be careful, for heaven's sake be careful, or all of my suffering will fall on you at once.

CARDINAL WOLSEY

Madam, this is a mere distraction;You turn the good we offer into envy.

CARDINAL WOLSEY

Ma'am, you're talking nonsense. You're turning our good intentions towards you into bad ones.

QUEEN KATHARINE

Ye turn me into nothing: woe upon ye And all such false professors! would you have me— If you have any justice, any pity; If ye be any thing but churchmen's habits— Put my sick cause into his hands that hates me? Alas, has banish'd me his bed already, His love, too long ago! I am old, my lords, And all the fellowship I hold now with him Is only my obedience. What can happen To me above this wretchedness? all your studies Make me a curse like this.

QUEEN KATHARINE

You're turning me, a queen, into nothing. Damn you and all lying tricksters! If you have any justice or pity or are anything more than the clothes of churchmen, do you want me to put my cause into the hands of someone who hates me? He already banished me from his bed and his love all too long ago! I am old, my lords, and the only bond I have to him is my obedience. What more can happen to me that is worse than this suffering? You're scheming to make me suffer like this.

CARDINAL CAMPEIUS

Your fears are worse.

CARDINAL CAMPEIUS

Your fears are worse than the reality.

QUEEN KATHARINE

Have I lived thus long—let me speak myself, Since virtue finds no friends—a wife, a true one? A woman, I dare say without vain-glory, Never yet branded with suspicion? Have I with all my full affections Still met the king? loved him next heaven? obey'd him? Been, out of fondness, superstitious to him? Almost forgot my prayers to content him? And am I thus rewarded? 'tis not well, lords. Bring me a constant woman to her husband, One that ne'er dream'd a joy beyond his pleasure; And to that woman, when she has done most, Yet will I add an honour, a great patience.

QUEEN KATHARINE

Haven't I lived this long—let me speak for myself, since a virtuous person can't find any friends to speak for her—as a wife, and an honest one? As a woman, I can say without bragging, who has never been suspected of anything? Haven't I always loved the king completely, second only to God? And obeyed him? Haven't I been so fond of him he almost became my god and I almost forgot to pray because I was focusing on making him happy? And am I rewarded with this? This is not good, lords. Bring me a woman true to her husband, one whose only joy was to make him happy, and compared to that woman who has done everything she could, I have one more quality, which is that I have had enormous patience.

CARDINAL WOLSEY

Madam, you wander from the good we aim at.

CARDINAL WOLSEY

Ma'am, you're getting distracted from the good things we're offering you.

QUEEN KATHARINE

My lord, I dare not make myself so guilty, To give up willingly that noble title Your master wed me to: nothing but death Shall e'er divorce my dignities.

QUEEN KATHARINE

My lord, I wouldn't dare to commit the sin of willingly giving up the noble title I gained when your master married me. Nothing but death will ever divorce me from my dignity and power.

CARDINAL WOLSEY

Pray, hear me.

CARDINAL WOLSEY

Please listen to me.

QUEEN KATHARINE

Would I had never trod this English earth, Or felt the flatteries that grow upon it! Ye have angels' faces, but heaven knows your hearts. What will become of me now, wretched lady! I am the most unhappy woman living. Alas, poor wenches, where are now your fortunes! Shipwreck'd upon a kingdom, where no pity, No friend, no hope; no kindred weep for me; Almost no grave allow'd me: like the lily, That once was mistress of the field and flourish'd, I'll hang my head and perish.

QUEEN KATHARINE

I wish I had never set foot on this English land or been flattered by the people in it! You have angels' faces, but heaven knows what you're really like. What will become of poor me? I am the unhappiest woman alive.

[To her attendants]
Poor girls, where are your fortunes now? You're shipwrecked in this country where there's no pity, no friend to us, and no hope. No family members cry for me. There's barely a grave allowed for me. Like a lily that once flourished as the queen of a field, I'll hang my head and die.

CARDINAL WOLSEY

If your grace Could but be brought to know our ends are honest, You'ld feel more comfort: why should we, good lady, Upon what cause, wrong you? alas, our places, The way of our profession is against it: We are to cure such sorrows, not to sow 'em. For goodness' sake, consider what you do; How you may hurt yourself, ay, utterly Grow from the king's acquaintance, by this carriage. The hearts of princes kiss obedience, So much they love it; but to stubborn spirits They swell, and grow as terrible as storms. I know you have a gentle, noble temper, A soul as even as a calm: pray, think us Those we profess, peace-makers, friends, and servants.

CARDINAL WOLSEY

If you could just be convinced that we mean well you wouldn't feel as bad. Why would we treat you badly, good lady? Our positions and our profession prevent that. We're supposed to cure suffering like this, not cause it. For goodness' sake, think about what you're doing. You could hurt yourself, in fact you could cause the king to cut himself off from you completely, if you keep acting this way. Kings love obedience so much they kiss obedient people, but they grow as violent as storms towards stubborn ones. I know you have a gentle, noble personality and a calm, reasonable mind. Please, consider us to be what we claim to be: peace-makers, your friends, and your servants.

CARDINAL CAMPEIUS

Madam, you'll find it so. You wrong your virtues With these weak women's fears: a noble spirit, As yours was put into you, ever casts Such doubts, as false coin, from it. The king loves you; Beware you lose it not: for us, if you please To trust us in your business, we are ready To use our utmost studies in your service.

CARDINAL CAMPEIUS

Ma'am, you'll find that we are those things. You're betraying your virtues by being afraid like a weak woman. A noble mind like the one you have throws out suspicions like this as if they were fake coins. The king loves you. Be careful not to lose his love. As for us, if you will trust us with your business, we are ready to work as hard as we can to help you.

QUEEN KATHARINE

Do what ye will, my lords: and, pray, forgive me, If I have used myself unmannerly; You know I am a woman, lacking wit To make a seemly answer to such persons. Pray, do my service to his majesty: He has my heart yet; and shall have my prayers While I shall have my life. Come, reverend fathers, Bestow your counsels on me: she now begs, That little thought, when she set footing here, She should have bought her dignities so dear.

QUEEN KATHARINE

Do what you want, my lords. Please forgive me if I have been rude. You know I am a woman and don't have the brains to answer such people as you politely. Please, send my best to the king. I still love him and will pray for him for the rest of my life. Come, wise priests, give me your advice. Now I'm begging. When I set foot in this country, I didn't know I would pay such a price for the honors done to me.

Exeunt

Henry viii
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