Verse > Anthologies > James and Mary Ford, eds. > Every Day in the Year
  PREVIOUSNEXT  
CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
James and Mary Ford, eds.  Every Day in the Year.  1902.
 
June 21
Trial of Queen Katherine
By William Shakespeare (1564–1616)
 
        
From Henry VIII, Act II, Scene 4.
  Catherine of Aragon was the first wife of Henry VIII who, becoming infatuated with Anne Boleyn, demanded a divorce on account of her having been his brother’s wife. The trial took place on June 21, 1533.

  Katherine.  Sir, I desire you to do me right and justice;
And to bestow your pity on me: for
I am a most poor woman, and a stranger,
Born out of your dominions; having here
No judge indifferent, nor no more assurance        5
Of equal friendship and proceeding. Alas, sir,
In what have I offended you? what cause
Hath my behaviour given to your displeasure,
That thus you should proceed to put me off,
And take your good grace from me? Heaven witness,        10
I have been to you a true and humble wife,
At all times to your will conformable;
Ever in fear to kindle your dislike,
Yea, subject to your countenance, glad or sorry
As I saw it inclined: when was the hour        15
I ever contradicted your desire,
Or made it not mine too? Or which of your friends
Have I not strove to love, although I knew
He were mine enemy? what friend of mine
That had to him derived your anger, did I        20
Continue in my liking? nay, gave notice
He was from thence discharged? Sir, call to mind
That I have been your wife, in this obedience,
Upward of twenty years, and have been blest
With many children by you: if, in the course        25
And process of this time, you can report,
And prove it, too, against mine honour aught,
My bond to wedlock, or my love and duty,
Against your sacred person, in God’s name,
Turn me away; and let the foul’st contempt        30
Shut door upon me, and so give me up
To the sharp’st kind of justice. Please you, sir,
The king, your father, was reputed for
A prince most prudent, of an excellent
And unmatch’d wit and judgment; Ferdinand,        35
My father, king of Spain, was reckon’d one
The wisest prince that there had reign’d by many
A year before: it is not to be question’d
That they had gather’d a wise council to them
Of every realm, that did debate this business,        40
Who deem’d our marriage lawful: wherefore I humbly
Beseech you, sir, to spare me, till I may
Be by my friends in Spain advised; whose counsel
I will implore: if not i’ the name of God,
Your pleasure be fulfilled!        45
 
 
CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
  PREVIOUSNEXT  
 
Loading
Click here to shop the Bartleby Bookstore.

Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2014 Bartleby.com · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors