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Put your main cause into the King’s protection

Put your main cause into the King’s protection.
He’s loving and most gracious. ’Twill be much
Both for your honor better and your cause,
For if the trial of the law o’ertake you,
You’ll part away disgraced.
He tells you rightly.
Queen Katherine
You tell me what you wish for both: my ruin.
Is this your Christian counsel? Out upon you!
Heaven is above all yet; there sits a judge
That no king can corrupt.

Would I had never trod this English earth
Or felt the flatteries that grow upon it!
You have angels’ faces, but heaven knows your hearts.

Your rage mistakes us.
Queen Katherine
The more shame for you! Holy men I thought you,
Upon my soul, two reverend cardinal virtues;
But cardinal sins and hollow hearts I fear you.
Mend ’em, for shame, my lords. Is this your comfort?
The cordial that you bring a wretched lady,
A woman lost among you, laughed at, scorned?
I will not wish you half my miseries;
I have more charity. But say I warned you:
Take heed, for heaven’s sake, take heed, lest at once
The burden of my sorrows fall upon you.
Madam, this is a mere distraction.
You turn the good we offer into envy.
Queen Katherine
You turn me into nothing! Woe upon you
And all such false professors. Would you have me—
If you have any justice, any pity,
If you be anything but churchmen’s habits—
Put my sick cause into his hands that hates me?
Alas, has banished 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.
Your fears are worse.
Queen Katherine
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 vainglory,
Never yet branded with suspicion—
Have I with all my full affections
Still met the King, loved him next heav’n, obeyed 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 dreamed a joy beyond his pleasure,
And to that woman, when she has done most,
Yet will I add an honor: a great patience.
Madam, you wander from the good we aim at.
Queen Katherine
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.
Pray hear me.
Queen Katherine
Would I had never trod this English earth
Or felt the flatteries that grow upon it!
You have angels’ faces, but heaven knows your hearts.
What will become of me now, wretched lady?
I am the most unhappy woman living.
 To her Women.
Alas, poor wenches, where are now your fortunes?
Shipwracked upon a kingdom where no pity,
No friends, no hope, no kindred weep for me,
Almost no grave allowed me, like the lily
That once was mistress of the field and flourished,
I’ll hang my head and perish.
If your Grace
Could but be brought to know our ends are honest,
You’d 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: peacemakers, friends, and servants.
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.
Queen Katherine
Do what you 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.
 They exit.

Act 3
Scene 1
Line 105

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