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Sir Thomas More Scenes

Scene 3

The Tower.

(Bishop of Rochester; Surrey; Shrewsbury; Lieutenant of the Tower; First Warder of the Tower; Second Warder of the Tower; Third Warder of the Tower)

The Bishop of Rochester is led to prison, still refusing to submit to the Kin’s demands. Surrey and Shrewsbury entreat him to change his mind, but he will not. The two noblemen promise to try and have him released. (29 lines)

Enter the Bishop of Rochester, Surrey, Shrewsbury, Lieutenant of the Tower, and Warders with weapons


Your kind persuasions, honorable lords,

I can but thank ye for; but in this breast

There lives a soul that aims at higher things

Than temporary pleasing earthly kings.

God bless his highness even with all my heart!—

We shall meet one day, though that now we part.


We not misdoubt, your wisdom can discern

What best befits it; yet in love and zeal

We could entreat, it might be otherwise.


No doubt, your fatherhood will by yourself

Consider better of the present case,

And grow as great in favor as before.


For that, as pleaseth God. In my restraint

From wordly causes, I shall better see

Into myself than at proud liberty:

The Tower and I will privately confer

Of things, wherein at freedom I may err.

But I am troublesome unto your honors,

And hold ye longer than becomes my duty.

Master Lieutenant, I am now your charge;

And though you keep my body, yet my love

Waits on my king and you, while Fisher lives.


Farewell, my Lord of Rochester; we’ll pray

For your release, and labor’t as we may.


Thereof assure yourself; so do we leave ye,

And to your happy private thoughts bequeath ye.

Exeunt Lords.


Now, Master Lieutenant, on; i’God’s name, go!

And with as glad a mind go I with you

As ever truant bade the school adieu.



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