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Lord Cardinal, To you I speak

Queen Katherine
Lord Cardinal,
To you I speak.
Your pleasure, madam.

You sign your place and calling, in full seeming,
With meekness and humility, but your heart
Is crammed with arrogancy, spleen, and pride.

Queen Katherine
I am about to weep; but thinking that
We are a queen, or long have dreamed so, certain
The daughter of a king, my drops of tears
I’ll turn to sparks of fire.
Be patient yet.
Queen Katherine
I will, when you are humble; nay, before,
Or God will punish me. I do believe,
Induced by potent circumstances, that
You are mine enemy, and make my challenge
You shall not be my judge; for it is you
Have blown this coal betwixt my lord and me—
Which God’s dew quench! Therefore I say again,
I utterly abhor, yea, from my soul
Refuse you for my judge, whom, yet once more,
I hold my most malicious foe and think not
At all a friend to truth.
I do profess
You speak not like yourself, who ever yet
Have stood to charity and displayed th’ effects
Of disposition gentle and of wisdom
O’ertopping woman’s power. Madam, you do me wrong.
I have no spleen against you, nor injustice
For you or any. How far I have proceeded,
Or how far further shall, is warranted
By a commission from the Consistory,
Yea, the whole Consistory of Rome. You charge me
That I “have blown this coal.” I do deny it.
The King is present. If it be known to him
That I gainsay my deed, how may he wound,
And worthily, my falsehood, yea, as much
As you have done my truth. If he know
That I am free of your report, he knows
I am not of your wrong. Therefore in him
It lies to cure me, and the cure is to
Remove these thoughts from you, the which before
His Highness shall speak in, I do beseech
You, gracious madam, to unthink your speaking
And to say so no more.
Queen Katherine
My lord, my lord,
I am a simple woman, much too weak
T’ oppose your cunning. You’re meek and humble-mouthed;
You sign your place and calling, in full seeming,
With meekness and humility, but your heart
Is crammed with arrogancy, spleen, and pride.
You have by fortune and his Highness’ favors
Gone slightly o’er low steps, and now are mounted
Where powers are your retainers, and your words,
Domestics to you, serve your will as ’t please
Yourself pronounce their office. I must tell you,
You tender more your person’s honor than
Your high profession spiritual, that again
I do refuse you for my judge, and here,
Before you all, appeal unto the Pope
To bring my whole cause ’fore his Holiness,
And to be judged by him.
 She curtsies to the King, and offers to depart.
The Queen is obstinate,
Stubborn to justice, apt to accuse it, and
Disdainful to be tried by ’t. ’Tis not well.
She’s going away.
Call her again.
Katherine, Queen of England, come into the court.
Gentleman Usher
Madam, you are called back.
Queen Katherine
What need you note it? Pray you, keep your way.
When you are called, return. Now, the Lord help!
They vex me past my patience. Pray you, pass on.
I will not tarry; no, nor ever more
Upon this business my appearance make
In any of their courts.
 Queen and her Attendants exit.
Go thy ways, Kate.
That man i’ th’ world who shall report he has
A better wife, let him in naught be trusted,
For speaking false in that. Thou art, alone—
If thy rare qualities, sweet gentleness,
Thy meekness saintlike, wifelike government,
Obeying in commanding, and thy parts
Sovereign and pious else, could speak thee out—
The queen of earthly queens. She’s noble born,
And like her true nobility she has
Carried herself towards me.

Act 2
Scene 4
Line 74

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