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    Not Peer Reviewed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.
    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.

    Actus Quartus. Scena Prima.

    Enter two Gentlemen, meeting one another.

    1 Y'are well met once againe.
    2 So are you.
    23801 You come to take your stand heere, and behold
    The Lady Anne, passe from her Corronation.
    2 'Tis