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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    Not Peer Reviewed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.
    1740I haue more Charity. But say I warn'd ye;
    Take heed, for heauens sake take heed, least at once
    The burthen of my sorrowes, fall vpon ye.
    Car. Madam, this is a meere distraction,
    You turne the good we offer, into enuy.
    1745Quee. Ye turne me into nothing. Woe vpon ye,
    And all such false Professors. Would you haue me
    (If you haue any Iustice, any Pitty,
    If ye be any thing but Churchmens habits)
    Put my sicke cause into his hands, that hates me?
    1750Alas, ha's banish'd me his Bed already,
    His Loue, too long ago. I am old my Lords,
    And all the Fellowship I hold now with him
    Is onely my Obedience. What can happen
    To me, aboue this wretchednesse? All your Studies
    1755Make me a Curse, like this.
    Camp. Your feares are worse.
    Qu Haue I liu'd thus long (let me speake my selfe,
    Since Vertue findes no friends) a Wife, a true one?
    A Woman (I dare say without Vainglory)
    1760Neuer yet branded with Suspition?
    Haue I, with all my full Affections
    Still met the King? Lou'd him next Heau'n? Obey'd him?
    Bin (out of fondnesse) superstitious to him?
    Almost forgot my Prayres to content him?
    1765And am I thus rewarded? 'Tis not well Lords.
    Bring me a constant woman to her Husband,
    One that ne're dream'd a Ioy, beyond his pleasure;
    And to that Woman (when she has done most)
    Yet will I adde an Honor; a great Patience.
    1770Car. Madam, you wander from the good
    We ayme at.
    Qu. My Lord,
    I dare not make my selfe so guiltie,
    To giue vp willingly that Noble Title
    1775Your Master wed me to: nothing but death
    Shall e're diuorce my Dignities.
    Car. Pray heare me.
    Qu. Would I had neuer trod this English Earth,
    Or felt the Flatteries that grow vpon it:
    1780Ye haue Angels Faces; but Heauen knowes your hearts.
    What will become of me now, wretched Lady?
    I am the most vnhappy Woman liuing.
    Alas (poore Wenches) where are now your Fortunes?
    Shipwrack'd vpon a Kingdome, where no Pitty,
    1785No Friends, no Hope, no Kindred weepe for me?
    Almost no Graue allow'd me? Like the Lilly
    That once was Mistris of the Field, and flourish'd,
    Ile hang my head, and perish.
    Car. If your Grace
    1790Could but be brought to know, our Ends are honest,
    Youl'd feele more comfort. Why shold we (good Lady)
    Vpon what cause wrong you? Alas, our Places,
    The way of our Profession is against it;
    We are to Cure such sorrowes, not to sowe 'em.
    1795For Goodnesse sake, consider what you do,
    How you may hurt your selfe: I, vtterly
    Grow from the Kings Acquaintance, by this Carriage.
    The hearts of Princes kisse Obedience,
    So much they loue it. But to stubborne Spirits,
    1800They swell and grow, as terrible as stormes.
    I know you haue a Gentle, Noble temper,
    A Soule as euen as a Calme; Pray thinke vs,
    Those we professe, Peace-makers, Friends, and Seruants.
    Camp. Madam, you'l finde it so:
    1805You wrong your Vertues
    With these weake Womens feares. A Noble Spirit
    As yours was, put into you, euer casts
    Such doubts as false Coine from it. The King loues you,
    Beware you loose it not: For vs (if you please
    1810To trust vs in your businesse) we are ready
    To vse our vtmost Studies, in your seruice.
    Qu. Do what ye will, my Lords:
    And pray forgiue me;
    If I haue vs'd my selfe vnmannerly,
    1815You know I am a Woman, lacking wit
    To make a seemely answer to such persons.
    Pray do my seruice to his Maiestie,
    He ha's my heart yet, and shall haue my Prayers
    While I shall haue my life. Come reuerend Fathers,
    1820Bestow your Councels on me. She now begges
    That little thought when she set footing heere,
    She should haue bought her Dignities so deere. Exeunt

    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,