Act 4 - Scene 2
Enter KATHARINE, Dowager, sick; led between GRIFFITH, her gentleman usher, and PATIENCE, her
How does your grace?
O Griffith, sick to death!
My legs, like loaden branches, bow to the earth,
Willing to leave their burthen.
Reach a chair:
So; now, methinks, I feel a little ease.
Didst thou not tell me, Griffith, as thou led'st me,
the great child of honour, Cardinal Wolsey, Was dead?
Yes, madam; but I think your grace,
Out of the pain you suffer'd, gave no ear to't.
Prithee, good Griffith, tell me how he died:
If well, he stepp'd before me, happily
For my example.
Well, the voice goes, madam:
For after the stout Earl Northumberland
Arrested him at York, and brought
As a man sorely tainted, to his answer,
He fell sick suddenly, and grew so ill
He could not sit
Alas, poor man!
At last, with easy roads, he came to Leicester,
Lodged in the abbey; where the reverend abbot,
his covent, honourably received him;
To whom he gave these words, 'O, father abbot,
An old man, broken
with the storms of state,
Is come to lay his weary bones among ye;
Give him a little earth for charity!'
went to bed; where eagerly his sickness
Pursued him still: and, three nights after this,
About the hour of
eight, which he himself
Foretold should be his last, full of repentance,
Continual meditations, tears, and
He gave his honours to the world again,
His blessed part to heaven, and slept in peace.
So may he rest; his faults lie gently on him!
Yet thus far, Griffith, give me leave to speak him,
And yet with
charity. He was a man
Of an unbounded stomach, ever ranking
Himself with princes; one that, by suggestion,
all the kingdom: simony was fair-play;
His own opinion was his law: i' the presence
He would say untruths; and
be ever double
Both in his words and meaning: he was never,
But where he meant to ruin, pitiful:
were, as he then was, mighty;
But his performance, as he is now, nothing:
Of his own body he was ill,
The clergy in example.
Men's evil manners live in brass; their virtues
We write in water. May it please your highness
hear me speak his good now?