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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    Not Peer Reviewed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.
    2895Heard many greeuous. I do say my Lord
    Greeuous complaints of you; which being consider'd,
    Haue mou'd Vs, and our Councell, that you shall
    This Morning come before vs, where I know
    You cannot with such freedome purge your selfe,
    2900But that till further Triall, in those Charges
    Which will require your Answer, you must take
    Your patience to you, and be well contented
    To make your house our Towre: you, a Brother of vs
    It fits we thus proceed, or else no witnesse
    2905Would come against you.
    Cran. I humbly thanke your Highnesse,
    And am right glad to catch this good occasion
    Most throughly to be winnowed, where my Chaffe
    And Corne shall flye asunder. For I know
    2910There's none stands vnder more calumnious tongues,
    Then I my selfe, poore man.
    King. Stand vp, good Canterbury,
    Thy Truth, and thy Integrity is rooted
    In vs thy Friend. Giue me thy hand, stand vp,
    2915Prythee let's walke. Now by my Holydame,
    What manner of man are you? My Lord, I look'd
    You would haue giuen me your Petition, that
    I should haue tane some paines, to bring together
    Your selfe, and your Accusers, and to haue heard you
    2920Without indurance further.
    Cran. Most dread Liege,
    The good I stand on, is my Truth and Honestie:
    If they shall faile, I with mine Enemies
    Will triumph o're my person, which I waigh not,
    2925Being of those Vertues vacant. I feare nothing
    What can be said against me.
    King. Know you not
    How your state stands i'th'world, with the whole world?
    Your Enemies are many, and not small; their practises
    2930Must beare the same proportion, and not euer
    The Iustice and the Truth o'th'question carries
    The dew o'th'Verdict with it; at what ease
    Might corrupt mindes procure, Knaues as corrupt
    To sweare against you: Such things haue bene done.
    2935You are Potently oppos'd, and with a Malice
    Of as great Size. Weene you of better lucke,
    I meane in periur'd Witnesse, then your Master,
    Whose Minister you are, whiles heere he liu'd
    Vpon this naughty Earth? Go too, go too,
    2940You take a Precepit for no leape of danger,
    And woe your owne destruction.
    Cran. God, and your Maiesty
    Protect mine innocence, or I fall into
    The trap is laid for me.
    2945King. Be of good cheere,
    They shall no more preuaile, then we giue way too:
    Keepe comfort to you, and this Morning see
    You do appeare before them. If they shall chance
    In charging you with matters, to commit you:
    2950The best perswasions to the contrary
    Faile not to vse, and with what vehemencie
    Th'occasion shall instruct you. If intreaties
    Will render you no remedy, this Ring
    Deliuer them, and your Appeale to vs
    2955There make before them. Looke, the goodman weeps:
    He's honest on mine Honor. Gods blest Mother,
    I sweare he is true-hearted, and a soule
    None better in my Kingdome. Get you gone,
    And do as I haue bid you. Exit Cranmer.
    2960He ha's strangled his Language in his teares.
    Enter Olde Lady.
    Gent. within. Come backe: what meane you?
    Lady. Ile not come backe, the tydings that I bring
    Will make my boldnesse, manners. Now good Angels
    2965Fly o're thy Royall head, and shade thy person
    Vnder their blessed wings.
    King. Now by thy lookes
    I gesse thy Message. Is the Queene deliuer'd?
    Say I, and of a boy.
    2970Lady. I, I my Liege,
    And of a louely Boy: the God of heauen
    Both now, and euer blesse her: 'Tis a Gyrle
    Promises Boyes heereafter. Sir, your Queen
    Desires your Visitation, and to be
    2975Acquainted with this stranger; 'tis as like you,
    As Cherry, is to Cherry.
    King. Louell.
    Lou. Sir.
    King. Giue her an hundred Markes.
    2980Ile to the Queene. Exit King.
    Lady, An hundred Markes? By this light, Ile ha more.
    An ordinary Groome is for such payment.
    I will haue more, or scold it out of him.
    Said I for this, the Gyrle was like to him? Ile
    2985Haue more, or else vnsay't: and now, while 'tis hot,
    Ile put it to the issue. Exit Ladie.

    Scena Secunda.

    Enter Cranmer, Archbyshop of Canterbury.
    Cran. I hope I am not too late, and yet the Gentleman
    2990That was sent to me from the Councell, pray'd me
    To make great hast. All fast? What meanes this? Hoa?
    Who waites there? Sure you know me?
    Enter Keeper.
    Keep. Yes, my Lord:
    2995But yet I cannot helpe you.
    Cran. Why?
    Keep. Your Grace must waight till you be call'd for.
    Enter Doctor Buts.
    Cran. So.
    3000Buts. This is a Peere of Malice: I am glad
    I came this way so happily. The King
    Shall vnderstand it presently. Exit Buts
    Cran. 'Tis Buts.
    The Kings Physitian, as he past along
    3005How earnestly he cast his eyes vpon me:
    Pray heauen he sound not my disgrace: for certaine
    This is of purpose laid by some that hate me,
    (God turne their hearts, I neuer sought their malice)
    To quench mine Honor; they would shame to make me
    3010Wait else at doore: a fellow Councellor
    'Mong Boyes, Groomes, and Lackeyes.
    But their pleasures
    Must be fulfill'd, and I attend with patience.

    Enter the King, and Buts, at a Windowe

    Buts. Ile shew your Grace the strangest sight.
    King. What's that Buts?