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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    Not Peer Reviewed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.
    2125As if it fed ye, and how sleeke and wanton
    Ye appeare in euery thing may bring my ruine?
    Follow your enuious courses, men of Malice;
    You haue Christian warrant for 'em, and no doubt
    In time will finde their fit Rewards. That Seale
    2130You aske with such a Violence, the King
    (Mine, and your Master) with his owne hand, gaue me:
    Bad me enioy it, with the Place, and Honors
    During my life; and to confirme his Goodnesse,
    Ti'de it by Letters Patents. Now, who'll take it?
    2135Sur. The King that gaue it.
    Car. It must be himselfe then.
    Sur. Thou art a proud Traitor, Priest.
    Car. Proud Lord, thou lyest:
    Within these fortie houres, Surrey durst better
    2140Haue burnt that Tongue, then saide so.
    Sur. Thy Ambition
    (Thou Scarlet sinne) robb'd this bewailing Land
    Of Noble Buckingham, my Father-in-Law,
    The heads of all thy Brother-Cardinals,
    2145(With thee, and all thy best parts bound together)
    Weigh'd not a haire of his. Plague of your policie,
    You sent me Deputie for Ireland,
    Farre from his succour; from the King, from all
    That might haue mercie on the fault, thou gau'st him:
    2150Whil'st your great Goodnesse, out of holy pitty,
    Absolu'd him with an Axe.
    Wol. This, and all else
    This talking Lord can lay vpon my credit,
    I answer, is most false. The Duke by Law
    2155Found his deserts. How innocent I was
    From any priuate malice in his end,
    His Noble Iurie, and foule Cause can witnesse.
    If I lou'd many words, Lord, I should tell you,
    You haue as little Honestie, as Honor,
    2160That in the way of Loyaltie, and Truth,
    Toward the King, my euer Roiall Master,
    Dare mate a sounder man then Surrie can be,
    And all that loue his follies.
    Sur. By my Soule,
    2165Your long Coat (Priest) protects you,
    Thou should'st feele
    My Sword i'th'life blood of thee else. My Lords,
    Can ye endure to heare this Arrogance?
    And from this Fellow? If we liue thus tamely,
    2170To be thus Iaded by a peece of Scarlet,
    Farewell Nobilitie: let his Grace go forward,
    And dare vs with his Cap, like Larkes.
    Card. All Goodnesse
    Is poyson to thy Stomacke.
    2175Sur. Yes, that goodnesse
    Of gleaning all the Lands wealth into one,
    Into your owne hands (Card'nall) by Extortion:
    The goodnesse of your intercepted Packets
    You writ to'th Pope, against the King: your goodnesse
    2180Since you prouoke me, shall be most notorious.
    My Lord of Norfolke, as you are truly Noble,
    As you respect the common good, the State
    Of our despis'd Nobilitie, our Issues,
    (Whom if he liue, will scarse be Gentlemen)
    2185Produce the grand summe of his sinnes, the Articles
    Collected from his life. Ile startle you
    Worse then the Sacring Bell, when the browne Wench
    Lay kissing in your Armes, Lord Cardinall.
    Car. How much me thinkes, I could despise this man,
    2190But that I am bound in Charitie against it.
    Nor. Those Articles, my Lord, are in the Kings hand:
    But thus much, they are foule ones.
    Wol. So much fairer
    And spotlesse, shall mine Innocence arise,
    2195When the King knowes my Truth.
    Sur. This cannot saue you:
    I thanke my Memorie, I yet remember
    Some of these Articles, and out they shall.
    Now, if you can blush, and crie guiltie Cardinall,
    2200You'l shew a little Honestie.
    Wol. Speake on Sir,
    I dare your worst Obiections: If I blush,
    It is to see a Nobleman want manners.
    Sur. I had rather want those, then my head;
    2205Haue at you.
    First, that without the Kings assent or knowledge,
    You wrought to be a Legate, by which power
    You maim'd the Iurisdiction of all Bishops.
    Nor. Then, That in all you writ to Rome, or else
    2210To Forraigne Princes, Ego & Rex meus
    Was still inscrib'd: in which you brought the King
    To be your Seruant.
    Suf. Then, that without the knowledge
    Either of King or Councell, when you went
    2215Ambassador to the Emperor, you made bold
    To carry into Flanders, the Great Seale.
    Sur. Item, You sent a large Commission
    To Gregory de Cassado, to conclude
    Without the Kings will, or the States allowance,
    2220A League betweene his Highnesse, and Ferrara.
    Suf. That out of meere Ambition, you haue caus'd
    Your holy-Hat to be stampt on the Kings Coine.
    Sur. Then, That you haue sent inumerable substance,
    (By what meanes got, I leaue to your owne conscience)
    2225To furnish Rome, and to prepare the wayes
    You haue for Dignities, to the meere vndooing
    Of all the Kingdome. Many more there are,
    Which since they are of you, and odious,
    I will not taint my mouth with.
    2230Cham. O my Lord,
    Presse not a falling man too farre: 'tis Vertue:
    His faults lye open to the Lawes, let them
    (Not you) correct him. My heart weepes to see him
    So little, of his great Selfe.
    2235Sur. I forgiue him.
    Suf. Lord Cardinall, the Kings further pleasure is,
    Because all those things you haue done of late
    By your power Legatiue within this Kingdome,
    Fall into 'th'compasse of a Premunire;
    2240That therefore such a Writ be sued against you,
    To forfeit all your Goods, Lands, Tenements,
    Castles, and whatsoeuer, and to be
    Out of the Kings protection. This is my Charge.
    Nor. And so wee'l leaue you to your Meditations
    2245How to liue better. For your stubborne answer
    About the giuing backe the Great Seale to vs,
    The King shall know it, and (no doubt) shal thanke you.
    So fare you well, my little good Lord Cardinall.
    Exeunt all but Wolsey.
    2250Wol. So farewell, to the little good you beare me.
    Farewell? A long farewell to all my Greatnesse.
    This is the state of Man; to day he puts forth
    The tender Leaues of hopes, to morrow Blossomes,
    And beares his blushing Honors thicke vpon him:
    2255The third day, comes a Frost; a killing Frost,
    And when he thinkes, good easie man, full surely