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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    Not Peer Reviewed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.
    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