Internet Shakespeare Editions

About this text

  • Title: Henry The Eighth (Folio 1, 1623)
  • Editor: Diane Jakacki
  • Research assistant: Beth Norris
  • Research assistant (proof): Simon Carpenter

  • Copyright Diane Jakacki. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Editor: Diane Jakacki
    Not Peer Reviewed

    Henry The Eighth (Folio 1, 1623)

    The Life of King Henry the Eight.
    Norfolke. Thankes my good Lord Chamberlaine.
    Exit Lord Chamberlaine, and the King drawes the Curtaine
    and sits reading pensiuely.
    Suff. How sad he lookes; sure he is much afflicted.
    Kin. Who's there? Ha?
    Norff. Pray God he be not angry.
    1105Kin. Who's there I say? How dare you thrust your
    Into my priuate Meditations?
    Who am I? Ha?
    Norff. A gracious King, that pardons all offences
    Malice ne're meant: Our breach of Duty this way,
    1110Is businesse of Estate; in which, we come
    To know your Royall pleasure.
    Kin. Ye are too bold:
    Go too; Ile make ye know your times of businesse:
    Is this an howre for temporall affaires? Ha?
    Enter Wolsey and Campeius with a Commission.
    Who's there? my good Lord Cardinall? O my Wolsey,
    The quiet of my wounded Conscience;
    Thou art a cure fit for a King; you'r welcome
    Most learned Reuerend Sir, into our Kingdome,
    1120Vse vs, and it: My good Lord, haue great care,
    I be not found a Talker.
    Wol. Sir, you cannot;
    I would your Grace would giue vs but an houre
    Of priuate conference.
    1125Kin. We are busie; goe.
    Norff. This Priest ha's no pride in him?
    Suff. Not to speake of:
    I would not be so sicke though for his place:
    But this cannot continue.
    1130Norff. If it doe, Ile venture one; haue at him.
    Suff. I another.
    Exeunt Norfolke and Suffolke.
    Wol. Your Grace ha's giuen a President of wisedome
    Aboue all Princes, in committing freely
    1135Your scruple to the voyce of Christendome:
    Who can be angry now? What Enuy reach you?
    The Spaniard tide by blood and fauour to her,
    Must now confesse, if they haue any goodnesse,
    The Tryall, iust and Noble. All the Clerkes,
    1140(I meane the learned ones in Christian Kingdomes)
    Haue their free voyces. Rome (the Nurse of Iudgement)
    Inuited by your Noble selfe, hath sent
    One generall Tongue vnto vs. This good man,
    This iust and learned Priest, Cardnall Campeius,
    1145Whom once more, I present vnto your Highnesse.
    Kin. And once more in mine armes I bid him welcome,
    And thanke the holy Conclaue for their loues,
    They haue sent me such a Man, I would haue wish'd for.
    Cam. Your Grace must needs deserue all strangers loues,
    1150You are so Noble: To your Highnesse hand
    I tender my Commission; by whose vertue,
    The Court of Rome commanding. You my Lord
    Cardinall of Yorke, are ioyn'd with me their Seruant,
    In the vnpartiall iudging of this Businesse.
    1155Kin. Two equall men: The Queene shall be acquain-
    Forthwith for what you come. Where's Gardiner? (ted
    Wol. I know your Maiesty, ha's alwayes lou'd her
    So deare in heart, not to deny her that
    A Woman of lesse Place might aske by Law;
    1160Schollers allow'd freely to argue for her.
    Kin. I, and the best she shall haue; and my fauour
    To him that does best, God forbid els: Cardinall,
    Prethee call Gardiner to me, my new Secretary.
    I find him a fit fellow.
    Enter Gardiner.
    Wol. Giue me your hand: much ioy & fauour to you;
    You are the Kings now.
    Gard. But to be commanded
    For euer by your Grace, whose hand ha's rais'd me.
    1170Kin. Come hither Gardiner.
    Walkes and whispers.
    Camp. My Lord of Yorke, was not one Doctor Pace
    In this mans place before him?
    Wol. Yes, he was.
    1175Camp. Was he not held a learned man?
    Wol. Yes surely.
    Camp. Beleeue me, there's an ill opinion spread then,
    Euen of your selfe Lord Cardinall.
    Wol. How? of me?
    1180Camp They will not sticke to say, you enuide him;
    And fearing he would rise (he was so vertuous)
    Kept him a forraigne man still, which so greeu'd him,
    That he ran mad, and dide.
    Wol. Heau'ns peace be with him:
    1185That's Christian care enough: for liuing Murmurers,
    There's places of rebuke. He was a Foole;
    For he would needs be vertuous. That good Fellow,
    If I command him followes my appointment,
    I will haue none so neere els. Learne this Brother,
    1190We liue not to be grip'd by meaner persons.
    Kin. Deliuer this with modesty to th'Queene.
    Exit Gardiner.
    The most conuenient place, that I can thinke of
    For such receipt of Learning, is Black-Fryers:
    1195There ye shall meete about this waighty busines.
    My Wolsey, see it furnish'd, O my Lord,
    Would it not grieue an able man to leaue
    So sweet a Bedfellow? But Conscience, Conscience;
    O 'tis a tender place, and I must leaue her.

    Scena Tertia.

    Enter Anne Bullen, and an old Lady.

    An. Not for that neither; here's the pang that pinches.
    His Highnesse, hauing liu'd so long with her, and she
    So good a Lady, that no Tongue could euer
    1205Pronounce dishonour of her; by my life,
    She neuer knew harme-doing: Oh, now after
    So many courses of the Sun enthroaned,
    Still growing in a Maiesty and pompe, the which
    To leaue, a thousand fold more bitter, then
    1210'Tis sweet at first t'acquire. After this Processe.
    To giue her the auaunt, it is a pitty
    Would moue a Monster.
    Old La. Hearts of most hard temper
    Melt and lament for her.
    1215An. Oh Gods will, much better
    She ne're had knowne pompe; though't be temporall,
    Yet if that quarrell. Fortune, do diuorce
    It from the bearer, 'tis a sufferance, panging
    As soule and bodies seuering.
    1220Old L. Alas poore Lady,
    Shee's a stranger now againe.
    An. So much the more
    Must pitty drop vpon her; verily
    I sweare, tis better to be lowly borne,