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  • 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    Not Peer Reviewed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)

    Scena Secunda.
    Enter the Duke of Norfolke, Duke of Suffolke, Lord Surrey,
    1825and Lord Chamberlaine.
    Norf. If you will now vnite in your Complaints,
    And force them with a Constancy, the Cardinall
    Cannot stand vnder them. If you omit
    The offer of this time, I cannot promise,
    1830But that you shall sustaine moe new disgraces,
    With these you beare alreadie.
    Sur. I am ioyfull
    To meete the least occasion, that may giue me
    Remembrance of my Father-in-Law, the Duke,
    1835To be reueng'd on him.
    Suf. Which of the Peeres
    Haue vncontemn'd gone by him, or at least
    Strangely neglected? When did he regard
    The stampe of Noblenesse in any person
    1840Out of himselfe?
    Cham. My Lords, you speake your pleasures:
    What he deserues of you and me, I know:
    What we can do to him (though now the time
    Giues way to vs) I much feare. If you cannot
    1845Barre his accesse to'th'King, neuer attempt
    Any thing on him: for he hath a Witchcraft
    Ouer the King in's Tongue.
    Nor. O feare him not,
    His spell in that is out: the King hath found
    1850Matter against him, that for euer marres
    The Hony of his Language. No, he's setled
    (Not to come off) in his displeasure.
    Sur. Sir,
    I should be glad to heare such Newes as this
    1855Once euery houre.
    Nor. Beleeue it, this is true.
    In the Diuorce, his contrarie proceedings
    Are all vnfolded: wherein he appeares,
    As I would wish mine Enemy.
    1860Sur. How came
    His practises to light?
    Suf. Most strangely.
    Sur. O how? how?
    Suf. The Cardinals Letters to the Pope miscarried,
    1865And came to th'eye o'th'King, wherein was read
    How that the Cardinall did intreat his Holinesse
    To stay the Iudgement o'th'Diuorce; for if
    It did take place, I do (quoth he) perceiue
    My King is tangled in affection, to
    1870A Creature of the Queenes, Lady Anne Bullen.
    Sur. Ha's the King this?
    Suf. Beleeue it.
    Sur. Will this worke?
    Cham. The King in this perceiues him, how he coasts
    1875And hedges his owne way. But in this point,
    All his trickes founder, and he brings his Physicke
    After his Patients death; the King already
    Hath married the faire Lady.
    Sur. Would he had.
    1880Suf. May you be happy in your wish my Lord,
    For I professe you haue it.
    Sur. Now all my ioy
    Trace the Coniunction.
    Suf. My Amen too't.
    1885Nor. All mens.
    Suf. There's order giuen for her Coronation:
    Marry this is yet but yong, and may be left
    To some eares vnrecounted. But my Lords
    She is a gallant Creature, and compleate
    1890In minde and feature. I perswade me, from her
    Will fall some blessing to this Land, which shall
    In it be memoriz'd.
    Sur. But will the King
    Digest this Letter of the Cardinals?
    1895The Lord forbid.
    Nor. Marry Amen.
    Suf. No, no:
    There be moe Waspes that buz about his Nose,
    Will make this sting the sooner. Cardinall Campeius,
    1900Is stolne away to Rome, hath 'tane no leaue,
    Ha's left the cause o'th'King vnhandled, and
    Is posted as the Agent of our Cardinall,
    To second all his plot. I do assure you,
    The King cry'de Ha, at this.
    1905Cham. Now God incense him,
    And let him cry Ha, lowder.
    Norf. But my Lord
    When returnes Cranmer?
    Suf. He is return'd in his Opinions, which
    1910Haue satisfied the King for his Diuorce,
    Together with all famous Colledges
    Almost in Christendome: shortly (I beleeue)
    His second Marriage shall be publishd, and
    Her Coronation. Katherine no more
    1915Shall be call'd Queene, but Princesse Dowager,
    And Widdow to Prince Arthur.
    Nor. This same Cranmer's
    A worthy Fellow, and hath tane much paine
    In the Kings businesse.
    1920Suf. He ha's, and we shall see him
    For it, an Arch-byshop.
    Nor. So I heare.
    Suf. 'Tis so.
    Enter Wolsey and Cromwell.
    1925The Cardinall.
    Nor. Obserue, obserue, hee's moody.
    Car. The Packet Cromwell,
    Gau't you the King?
    Crom. To his owne hand, in's Bed-chamber.
    1930Card. Look'd he o'th'inside of the Paper?
    Crom. Presently
    He did vnseale them, and the first he view'd,
    He did it with a Serious minde: a heede
    Was in his countenance. You he bad
    1935Attend him heere this Morning.
    Card. Is he ready to come abroad?
    Crom. I thinke by this he is.
    Card. Leaue me a while. Exit Cromwell.
    It shall be to the Dutches of Alanson,
    1940The French Kings Sister; He shall marry her.
    Anne Bullen? No: Ile no Anne Bullens for him,
    There's more in't then faire Visage. Bullen?
    No, wee'l no Bullens: Speedily I wish
    To heare from Rome. The Marchionesse of Penbroke?
    1945Nor. He's discontented.
    Suf. Maybe he heares the King
    Does whet his Anger to him.
    Sur. Sharpe enough,
    Lord for thy Iustice.
    1950Car. The late Queenes Gentlewoman?
    A Knights Daughter
    To be her Mistris Mistris? The Queenes, Queene?
    This Candle burnes not cleere, 'tis I must snuffe it,
    Then out it goes. What though I know her vertuous
    1955And well deseruing? yet I know her for
    A spleeny Lutheran, and not wholsome to
    Our cause, that she should lye i'th'bosome of
    Our hard rul'd King. Againe, there is sprung vp
    An Heretique, an Arch-one; Cranmer, one
    1960Hath crawl'd into the fauour of the King,
    And is his Oracle.
    Nor. He is vex'd at something.
    Enter King, reading of a Scedule.
    Sur. I would 'twer somthing yt would fret the string,
    1965The Master-cord on's heart.
    Suf. The King, the King.
    King. What piles of wealth hath he accumulated
    To his owne portion? And what expence by'th'houre
    Seemes to flow from him? How, i'th'name of Thrift
    1970Does he rake this together? Now my Lords,
    Saw you the Cardinall?
    Nor. My Lord, we haue
    Stood heere obseruing him. Some strange Commotion
    Is in his braine: He bites his lip, and starts,
    1975Stops on a sodaine, lookes vpon the ground,
    Then layes his finger on his Temple: straight
    Springs out into fast gate, then stops againe,
    Strikes his brest hard, and anon, he casts
    His eye against the Moone: in most strange Postures
    1980We haue seene him set himselfe.
    King. It may well be,
    There is a mutiny in's minde. This morning,
    Papers of State he sent me, to peruse
    As I requir'd: and wot you what I found
    1985There (on my Conscience put vnwittingly)
    Forsooth an Inuentory, thus importing
    The seuerall parcels of his Plate, his Treasure,
    Rich Stuffes and Ornaments of Houshold, which
    I finde at such proud Rate, that it out-speakes
    1990Possession of a Subiect.
    Nor. It's Heauens will,
    Some Spirit put this paper in the Packet,
    To blesse your eye withall.
    King. If we did thinke
    1995His Contemplation were aboue the earth,
    And fixt on Spirituall obiect, he should still
    Dwell in his Musings, but I am affraid
    His Thinkings are below the Moone, not worth
    His serious considering.
    2000King takes his Seat, whispers Louell, who goes
    to the Cardinall.
    Car. Heauen forgiue me,
    Euer God blesse your Highnesse.
    King. Good my Lord,
    2005You are full of Heauenly stuffe, and beare the Inuentory
    Of your best Graces, in your minde; the which
    You were now running o're: you haue scarse time
    To steale from Spirituall leysure, a briefe span
    To keepe your earthly Audit, sure in that
    2010I deeme you an ill Husband, and am gald
    To haue you therein my Companion.
    Car. Sir,
    For Holy Offices I haue a time; a time
    To thinke vpon the part of businesse, which
    2015I beare i'th'State: and Nature does require
    Her times of preseruation, which perforce
    I her fraile sonne, among'st my Brethren mortall,
    Must giue my tendance to.
    King. You haue said well.
    2020Car. And euer may your Highnesse yoake together,
    (As I will lend you cause) my doing well,
    With my well saying.
    King. 'Tis well said agen,
    And 'tis a kinde of good deede to say well,
    2025And yet words are no deeds. My Father lou'd you,
    He said he did, and with his deed did Crowne
    His word vpon you. Since I had my Office,
    I haue kept you next my Heart, haue not alone
    Imploy'd you where high Profits might come home,
    2030But par'd my present Hauings, to bestow
    My Bounties vpon you.
    Car. What should this meane?
    Sur. The Lord increase this businesse.
    King. Haue I not made you
    2035The prime man of the State? I pray you tell me,
    If what I now pronounce, you haue found true:
    And if you may confesse it, say withall
    If you are bound to vs, or no. What say you?
    Car. My Soueraigne, I confesse your Royall graces
    2040Showr'd on me daily, haue bene more then could
    My studied purposes requite, which went
    Beyond all mans endeauors. My endeauors,
    Haue euer come too short of my Desires,
    Yet fill'd with my Abilities: Mine owne ends
    2045Haue beene mine so, that euermore they pointed
    To'th'good of your most Sacred Person, and
    The profit of the State. For your great Graces
    Heap'd vpon me (poore Vndeseruer) I
    Can nothing render but Allegiant thankes,
    2050My Prayres to heauen for you; my Loyaltie
    Which euer ha's, and euer shall be growing,
    Till death (that Winter) kill it.
    King. Fairely answer'd:
    A Loyall, and obedient Subiect is
    2055Therein illustrated, the Honor of it
    Does pay the Act of it, as i'th'contrary
    The fowlenesse is the punishment. I presume,
    That as my hand ha's open'd Bounty to you,
    My heart drop'd Loue, my powre rain'd Honor, more
    2060On you, then any: So your Hand, and Heart,
    Your Braine, and euery Function of your power,
    Should, notwithstanding that your bond of duty,
    As 'twer in Loues particular, be more
    To me your Friend, then any.
    2065Car. I do professe,
    That for your Highnesse good, I euer labour'd
    More then mine owne: that am, haue, and will be
    (Though all the world should cracke their duty to you,
    And throw it from their Soule, though perils did
    2070Abound, as thicke as thought could make 'em, and
    Appeare in formes more horrid) yet my Duty,
    As doth a Rocke against the chiding Flood,
    Should the approach of this wilde Riuer breake,
    And stand vnshaken yours.
    2075King. 'Tis Nobly spoken:
    Take notice Lords, he ha's a Loyall brest,
    For you haue seene him open't. Read o're this,
    And after this, and then to Breakfast with
    What appetite you haue.
    2080Exit King, frowning vpon the Cardinall, the Nobles
    throng after him smiling, and whispering.
    Car. What should this meane?
    What sodaine Anger's this? How haue I reap'd it?
    He parted Frowning from me, as if Ruine
    2085Leap'd from his Eyes. So lookes the chafed Lyon
    Vpon the daring Huntsman that has gall'd him:
    Then makes him nothing. I must reade this paper:
    I feare the Story of his Anger. 'Tis so:
    This paper ha's vndone me: 'Tis th'Accompt
    2090Of all that world of Wealth I haue drawne together
    For mine owne ends, (Indeed to gaine the Popedome,
    And fee my Friends in Rome.) O Negligence!
    Fit for a Foole to fall by: What crosse Diuell
    Made me put this maine Secret in the Packet
    2095I sent the King? Is there no way to cure this?
    No new deuice to beate this from his Braines?
    I know 'twill stirre him strongly; yet I know
    A way, if it take right, in spight of Fortune
    Will bring me off againe. What's this? To th'Pope?
    2100The Letter (as I liue) with all the Businesse
    I writ too's Holinesse. Nay then, farewell:
    I haue touch'd the highest point of all my Greatnesse,
    And from that full Meridian of my Glory,
    I haste now to my Setting. I shall fall
    2105Like a bright exhalation in the Euening,
    And no man see me more.
    Enter to Woolsey, the Dukes of Norfolke and Suffolke, the
    Earle of Surrey, and the Lord Chamberlaine.
    Nor. Heare the Kings pleasure Cardinall,
    2110Who commands you
    To render vp the Great Seale presently
    Into our hands, and to Confine your selfe
    To Asher-house, my Lord of Winchesters,
    Till you heare further from his Highnesse.
    2115Car. Stay:
    Where's your Commission? Lords, words cannot carrie
    Authority so weighty.
    Suf. Who dare crosse 'em,
    Bearing the Kings will from his mouth expressely?
    2120Car. Till I finde more then will, or words to do it,
    (I meane your malice) know, Officious Lords,
    I dare, and must deny it. Now I feele
    Of what course Mettle ye are molded, Enuy,
    How eagerly ye follow my Disgraces
    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
    His Greatnesse is a ripening, nippes his roote,
    And then he fals as I do. I haue ventur'd
    Like little wanton Boyes that swim on bladders:
    2260This many Summers in a Sea of Glory,
    But farre beyond my depth: my high-blowne Pride
    At length broke vnder me, and now ha's left me
    Weary, and old with Seruice, to the mercy
    Of a rude streame, that must for euer hide me.
    2265Vaine pompe, and glory of this World, I hate ye,
    I feele my heart new open'd. Oh how wretched
    Is that poore man, that hangs on Princes fauours?
    There is betwixt that smile we would aspire too,
    That sweet Aspect of Princes, and their ruine,
    2270More pangs, and feares then warres, or women haue;
    And when he falles, he falles like Lucifer,
    Neuer to hope againe.
    Enter Cromwell, standing amazed.
    Why how now Cromwell?
    2275Crom. I haue no power to speake Sir.
    Car. What, amaz'd
    At my misfortunes? Can thy Spirit wonder
    A great man should decline. Nay, and you weep
    I am falne indeed.
    2280Crom. How does your Grace.
    Card. Why well:
    Neuer so truly happy, my good Cromwell,
    I know my selfe now, and I feele within me,
    A peace aboue all earthly Dignities,
    2285A still, and quiet Conscience. The King ha's cur'd me,
    I humbly thanke his Grace: and from these shoulders
    These ruin'd Pillers, out of pitty, taken
    A loade, would sinke a Nauy, (too much Honor.)
    O 'tis a burden Cromwel, 'tis a burden
    2290Too heauy for a man, that hopes for Heauen.
    Crom. I am glad your Grace,
    Ha's made that right vse of it.
    Card. I hope I haue:
    I am able now (me thinkes)
    2295(Out of a Fortitude of Soule, I feele)
    To endure more Miseries, and greater farre
    Then my Weake-hearted Enemies, dare offer.
    What Newes abroad?
    Crom. The heauiest, and the worst,
    2300Is your displeasure with the King.
    Card. God blesse him.
    Crom. The next is, that Sir Thomas Moore is chosen
    Lord Chancellor, in your place.
    Card. That's somewhat sodain.
    2305But he's a Learned man. May he continue
    Long in his Highnesse fauour, and do Iustice
    For Truths-sake, and his Conscience; that his bones,
    When he ha's run his course, and sleepes in Blessings,
    May haue a Tombe of Orphants teares wept on him.
    2310What more?
    Crom. That Cranmer is return'd with welcome;
    Install'd Lord Arch-byshop of Canterbury.
    Card. That's Newes indeed.
    Crom. Last, that the Lady Anne,
    2315Whom the King hath in secrecie long married,
    This day was view'd in open, as his Queene,
    Going to Chappell: and the voyce is now
    Onely about her Corronation.
    Card. There was the waight that pull'd me downe.
    2320O Cromwell,
    The King ha's gone beyond me: All my Glories
    In that one woman, I haue lost for euer.
    No Sun, shall euer vsher forth mine Honors,
    Or gilde againe the Noble Troopes that waighted
    2325Vpon my smiles. Go get thee from me Cromwel,
    I am a poore falne man, vnworthy now
    To be thy Lord, and Master. Seeke the King
    (That Sun, I pray may neuer set) I haue told him,
    What, and how true thou art; he will aduance thee:
    2330Some little memory of me, will stirre him
    (I know his Noble Nature) not to let
    Thy hopefull seruice perish too. Good Cromwell
    Neglect him not; make vse now, and prouide
    For thine owne future safety.
    2335Crom. O my Lord,
    Must I then leaue you? Must I needes forgo
    So good, so Noble, and so true a Master?
    Beare witnesse, all that haue not hearts of Iron,
    With what a sorrow Cromwel leaues his Lord.
    2340The King shall haue my seruice; but my prayres
    For euer, and for euer shall be yours.
    Card. Cromwel, I did not thinke to shed a teare
    In all my Miseries: But thou hast forc'd me
    (Out of thy honest truth) to play the Woman.
    2345Let's dry our eyes: And thus farre heare me Cromwel,
    And when I am forgotten, as I shall be,
    And sleepe in dull cold Marble, where no mention
    Of me, more must be heard of: Say I taught thee;
    Say Wolsey, that once trod the wayes of Glory,
    2350And sounded all the Depths, and Shoales of Honor,
    Found thee a way (out of his wracke) to rise in:
    A sure, and safe one, though thy Master mist it.
    Marke but my Fall, and that that Ruin'd me:
    Cromwel, I charge thee, fling away Ambition,
    2355By that sinne fell the Angels: how can man then
    (The Image of his Maker) hope to win by it?
    Loue thy selfe last, cherish those hearts that hate thee;
    Corruption wins not more then Honesty.
    Still in thy right hand, carry gentle Peace
    2360To silence enuious Tongues. Be iust, and feare not;
    Let all the ends thou aym'st at, be thy Countries,
    Thy Gods, and Truths. Then if thou fall'st (O Cromwell)
    Thou fall'st a blessed Martyr.
    Serue the King: And prythee leade me in:
    2365There take an Inuentory of all I haue,
    To the last peny, 'tis the Kings. My Robe,
    And my Integrity to Heauen, is all,
    I dare now call mine owne. O Cromwel, Cromwel,
    Had I but seru'd my God, with halfe the Zeale
    2370I seru'd my King: he would not in mine Age
    Haue left me naked to mine Enemies.
    Crom. Good Sir, haue patience.
    Card. So I haue. Farewell
    The Hopes of Court, my Hopes in Heauen do dwell.
    2375 Exeunt.