Queen Mary and Harold

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ISBN: N/A
Language: English
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ACT I.

SCENE I.—ALDGATE RICHLY DECORATED.

CROWD. MARSHALMEN.

MARSHALMAN. Stand back, keep a clear lane! When will her Majesty pass, sayst thou? why now, even now; wherefore draw back your heads and your horns before I break them, and make what noise you will with your tongues, so it be not treason. Long live Queen Mary, the lawful and legitimate daughter of Harry the Eighth! Shout, knaves!

CITIZENS. Long live Queen Mary!

FIRST CITIZEN. That's a hard word, legitimate; what does it mean?

SECOND CITIZEN. It means a bastard.

THIRD CITIZEN. Nay, it means true-born.

FIRST CITIZEN. Why, didn't the Parliament make her a bastard?

SECOND CITIZEN. No; it was the Lady Elizabeth.

THIRD CITIZEN. That was after, man; that was after.

FIRST CITIZEN. Then which is the bastard?

SECOND CITIZEN. Troth, they be both bastards by Act of Parliament and
Council.

THIRD CITIZEN. Ay, the Parliament can make every true-born man of us a bastard. Old Nokes, can't it make thee a bastard? thou shouldst know, for thou art as white as three Christmasses.

OLD NOKES (dreamily). Who's a-passing? King Edward or King Richard?

THIRD CITIZEN. No, old Nokes.

OLD NOKES. It's Harry!

THIRD CITIZEN. It's Queen Mary.

OLD NOKES. The blessed Mary's a-passing! [Falls on his knees.

NOKES. Let father alone, my masters! he's past your questioning.

THIRD CITIZEN. Answer thou for him, then thou'rt no such cockerel thyself, for thou was born i' the tail end of old Harry the Seventh.

NOKES. Eh! that was afore bastard-making began. I was born true man at five in the forenoon i' the tail of old Harry, and so they can't make me a bastard.

THIRD CITIZEN. But if Parliament can make the Queen a bastard, why, it follows all the more that they can make thee one, who art fray'd i' the knees, and out at elbow, and bald o' the back, and bursten at the toes, and down at heels.

NOKES. I was born of a true man and a ring'd wife, and I can't argue upon it; but I and my old woman 'ud burn upon it, that would we.

MARSHALMAN. What are you cackling of bastardy under the Queen's own nose? I'll have you flogg'd and burnt too, by the Rood I will.

FIRST CITIZEN. He swears by the Rood. Whew!

SECOND CITIZEN. Hark! the trumpets.

[The Procession passes, MARY and ELIZABETH riding side by side, and disappears under the gate.

CITIZENS. Long live Queen Mary! down with all traitors! God save her Grace; and death to Northumberland! [Exeunt.

Manent TWO GENTLEMEN.

FIRST GENTLEMAN. By God's light a noble creature, right royal!

SECOND GENTLEMAN. She looks comelier than ordinary to-day; but to my mind the Lady Elizabeth is the more noble and royal.

FIRST GENTLEMAN. I mean the Lady Elizabeth. Did you hear (I have a daughter in her service who reported it) that she met the Queen at Wanstead with five hundred horse, and the Queen (tho' some say they be much divided) took her hand, call'd her sweet sister, and kiss'd not her alone, but all the ladies of her following.

SECOND GENTLEMAN. Ay, that was in her hour of joy; there will be plenty to sunder and unsister them again: this Gardiner for one, who is to be made Lord Chancellor, and will pounce like a wild beast out of his cage to worry Cranmer....