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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    Not Peer Reviewed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.
    With all the choysest Musicke of the Kingdome,
    Together sung Te Deum. So she parted,
    And with the same full State pac'd backe againe
    2515To Yorke-Place, where the Feast is held.
    1 Sir,
    You must no more call it Yorke-place, that's past:
    For since the Cardinall fell, that Titles lost,
    'Tis now the Kings, and call'd White-Hall.
    25203 I know it:
    But 'tis so lately alter'd, that the old name
    Is fresh about me.
    2 What two Reuerend Byshops
    Were those that went on each side of the Queene?
    25253 Stokeley and Gardiner, the one of Winchester,
    Newly preferr'd from the Kings Secretary:
    The other London.
    2 He of Winchester
    Is held no great good louer of the Archbishops,
    2530The vertuous Cranmer.
    3 All the Land knowes that:
    How euer, yet there is no great breach, when it comes
    Cranmer will finde a Friend will not shrinke from him.
    2 Who may that be, I pray you.
    25353 Thomas Cromwell,
    A man in much esteeme with th'King, and truly
    A worthy Friend. The King ha's made him
    Master o'th'Iewell House,
    And one already of the Priuy Councell.
    25402 He will deserue more.
    3 Yes without all doubt.
    Come Gentlemen, ye shall go my way,
    Which is to'th Court, and there ye shall be my Guests:
    Something I can command. As I walke thither,
    2545Ile tell ye more.
    Both. You may command vs Sir. Exeunt.

    Scena Secunda.

    Enter Katherine Dowager, sicke, lead betweene Griffith,
    her Gentleman Vsher, and Patience
    2550her Woman.

    Grif. How do's your Grace?
    Kath. O Griffith, sicke to death:
    My Legges like loaden Branches bow to'th'Earth,
    Willing to leaue their burthen: Reach a Chaire,
    2555So now (me thinkes) I feele a little ease.
    Did'st thou not tell me Griffith, as thou lead'st mee,
    That the great Childe of Honor, Cardinall Wolsey
    Was dead?
    Grif. Yes Madam: but I thanke your Grace
    2560Out of the paine you suffer'd, gaue no eare too't.
    Kath. Pre'thee good Griffith, tell me how he dy'de.
    If well, he stept before me happily
    For my example.
    Grif. Well, the voyce goes Madam,
    2565For after the stout Earle Northumberland
    Arrested him at Yorke, and brought him forward
    As a man sorely tainted, to his Answer,
    He fell sicke sodainly, and grew so ill
    He could not sit his Mule.
    2570Kath. Alas poore man.
    Grif. At last, with easie Rodes, he came to Leicester,
    Lodg'd in the Abbey; where the reuerend Abbot
    With all his Couent, honourably receiu'd him;
    To whom he gaue these words. O Father Abbot,
    2575An old man, broken with the stormes of State,
    Is come to lay his weary bones among ye:
    Giue him a little earth for Charity.
    So went to bed; where eagerly his sicknesse
    Pursu'd him still, and three nights after this,
    2580About the houre of eight, which he himselfe
    Foretold should be his last, full of Repentance,
    Continuall Meditations, Teares, and Sorrowes,
    He gaue his Honors to the world agen,
    His blessed part to Heauen, and slept in peace.
    2585Kath. So may he rest,
    His Faults lye gently on him:
    Yet thus farre Griffith, giue me leaue to speake him,
    And yet with Charity. He was a man
    Of an vnbounded stomacke, euer ranking
    2590Himselfe with Princes. One that by suggestion
    Ty'de all the Kingdome. Symonie, was faire play,
    His owne Opinion was his Law. I'th'presence
    He would say vntruths, and be euer double
    Both in his words, and meaning. He was neuer
    2595(But where he meant to Ruine) pittifull.
    His Promises, were as he then was, Mighty:
    But his performance, as he is now, Nothing:
    Of his owne body he was ill, and gaue
    The Clergy ill example.
    2600Grif. Noble Madam:
    Mens euill manners, liue in Brasse, their Vertues
    We write in Water. May it please your Highnesse
    To heare me speake his good now?
    Kath. Yes good Griffith,
    2605I were malicious else.
    Grif. This Cardinall,
    Though from an humble Stocke, vndoubtedly
    Was fashion'd to much Honor. From his Cradle
    He was a Scholler, and a ripe, and good one:
    2610Exceeding wise, faire spoken, and perswading:
    Lofty, and sowre to them that lou'd him not:
    But, to those men that sought him, sweet as Summer.
    And though he were vnsatisfied in getting,
    (Which was a sinne) yet in bestowing, Madam,
    2615He was most Princely: Euer witnesse for him
    Those twinnes of Learning, that he rais'd in you,
    Ipswich and Oxford: one of which, fell with him,
    Vnwilling to out-liue the good that did it.
    The other (though vnfinish'd) yet so Famous,
    2620So excellent in Art, and still so rising,
    That Christendome shall euer speake his Vertue.
    His Ouerthrow, heap'd Happinesse vpon him:
    For then, and not till then, he felt himselfe,
    And found the Blessednesse of being little.
    2625And to adde greater Honors to his Age
    Then man could giue him; he dy'de, fearing God.
    Kath. After my death, I wish no other Herald,
    No other speaker of my liuing Actions,
    To keepe mine Honor, from Corruption,
    2630But such an honest Chronicler as Griffith.
    Whom I most hated Liuing, thou hast made mee
    With thy Religious Truth, and Modestie,
    (Now in his Ashes) Honor: Peace be with him.
    Patience, be neere me still, and set me lower,
    2635I haue not long to trouble thee. Good Griffith,
    Cause the Musitians play me that sad note
    I nam'd my Knell; whil'st I sit meditating