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    Not Peer Reviewed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.

    Actus Quintus. Scena Prima.

    Enter Gardiner Bishop of Winchester, a Page with a Torch

    before him, met by Sir Thomas Louell.
    Gard. It's one a clocke Boy, is't not.
    Boy. It hath strooke.
    Gard. These should be houres for necessities,
    Not for delights: Times to repayre our Nature
    2775With comforting repose, and not for vs
    To waste these times. Good houre of night Sir Thomas:
    Whether so late?
    Lou. Came you from the King, my Lord?
    Gar. I did Sir Thomas, and left him at Primero
    2780With the Duke of Suffolke.
    Lou. I must to him too
    Before he go to bed. Ile take my leaue.
    Gard. Not yet Sir Thomas Louell: what's the matter?
    It seemes you are in hast: and if there be
    2785No great offence belongs too't, giue your Friend
    Some touch of your late businesse: Affaires that walke
    (As they say Spirits do) at midnight, haue
    In them a wilder Nature, then the businesse
    That seekes dispatch by day.
    2790Lou. My Lord, I loue you;
    And durst commend a secret to your eare
    Much waightier then this worke. The Queens in Labor
    They say in great Extremity, and fear'd
    Shee'l with the Labour, end.
    2795Gard. The fruite she goes with
    I pray for heartily, that it may finde
    Good time, and liue: but for the Stocke Sir Thomas,
    I wish it grubb'd vp now.
    Lou. Me thinkes I could
    2800Cry the Amen, and yet my Conscience sayes
    Shee's a good Creature, and sweet-Ladie do's
    Deserue our better wishes.
    Gard. But Sir, Sir,
    Heare me Sir Thomas, y'are a Gentleman
    2805Of mine owne way. I know you Wise, Religious,
    And let me tell you, it will ne're be well,
    'Twill not Sir Thomas Louell, tak't of me,
    Till Cranmer, Cromwel, her two hands, and shee
    Sleepe in their Graues.
    2810Louell. Now Sir, you speake of two
    The most remark'd i'th'Kingdome: as for Cromwell,
    Beside that of the Iewell-House, is made Master
    O'th'Rolles, and the Kings Secretary. Further Sir,
    Stands in the gap and Trade of moe Preferments,
    2815With which the Lime will loade him. Th'Archbyshop
    Is the Kings hand, and tongue, and who dare speak
    One syllable against him?
    Gard. Yes, yes, Sir Thomas,
    There are that Dare, and I my selfe haue ventur'd
    2820To speake my minde of him: and indeed this day,
    Sir (I may tell it you) I thinke I haue
    Incenst the Lords o'th'Councell, that he is
    (For so I know he is, they know he is)
    A most Arch-Heretique, a Pestilence
    2825That does infect the Land: with which, they moued
    Haue broken with the King, who hath so farre
    Giuen eare to our Complaint, of his great Grace,
    And Princely Care, fore-seeing those fell Mischiefes,
    Our Reasons layd before him, hath commanded
    2830To morrow Morning to the Councell Boord
    He be conuented. He's a ranke weed Sir Thomas,
    And we must root him out. From your Affaires
    I hinder you too long: Good night, Sir Thomas.
    Exit Gardiner and Page.
    2835Lou. Many good nights, my Lord, I rest your seruant.
    Enter King and Suffolke.
    King. Charles, I will play no more to night,
    My mindes not on't, you are too hard for me.
    Suff. Sir, I did neuer win of you before.
    2840King. But little Charles,
    Nor shall not when my Fancies on my play.
    Now Louel, from the Queene what is the Newes.
    Lou. I could not personally deliuer to her
    What you commanded me, but by her woman,
    2845I sent your Message, who return'd her thankes
    In the great'st humblenesse, and desir'd your Highnesse
    Most heartily to pray for her.
    King. What say'st thou? Ha?
    To pray for her? What, is she crying out?
    2850Lou. So said her woman, and that her suffrance made
    Almost each pang, a death.
    King. Alas good Lady.
    Suf. God safely quit her of her Burthen, and
    With gentle Trauaile, to the gladding of
    2855Your Highnesse with an Heire.
    King. 'Tis midnight Charles,
    Prythee to bed, and in thy Prayres remember
    Th'estate of my poore Queene. Leaue me alone,
    For I must thinke of that, which company
    2860Would not be friendly too.
    Suf. I wish your Highnesse
    A quiet night, and my good Mistris will
    Remember in my Prayers.
    King. Charles good night.
    Exit Suffolke.
    2865Well Sir, what followes?
    Enter Sir Anthony Denny.
    Den. Sir, I haue brought my Lord the Arch-byshop,
    As you commanded me.
    King. Ha? Canterbury?
    2870Den. I my good Lord.
    King. 'Tis true: where is he Denny?
    Den. He attends your Highnesse pleasure.
    King. Bring him to Vs.
    Lou. This is about that, which the Byshop spake,
    2875I am happily come hither.
    Enter Cranmer and Denny.
    King. Auoyd the Gallery.
    Louel seemes to stay.
    Ha? I haue said. Be gone.
    Exeunt Louell and Denny.
    2880Cran. I am fearefull: Wherefore frownes he thus?
    'Tis his Aspect of Terror. All's not well.
    King. How now my Lord?
    You do desire to know wherefore
    I sent for you.
    2885Cran. It is my dutie
    T'attend your Highnesse pleasure.
    King. Pray you arise
    My good and gracious Lord of Canterburie:
    Come, you and I must walke a turne together:
    2890I haue Newes to tell you.
    Come, come, giue me your hand.
    Ah my good Lord, I greeue at what I speake,
    And am right sorrie to repeat what followes.
    I haue, and most vnwillingly of late