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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    Not Peer Reviewed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.
    All. We are.
    3150Cran. Is there no other way of mercy,
    But I must needs to th'Tower my Lords?
    Gard. What other,
    Would you expect? You are strangely troublesome:
    Let some o'th'Guard be ready there.
    3155 Enter the Guard.
    Cran. For me?
    Must I goe like a Traytor thither?
    Gard. Receiue him,
    And see him safe i'th'Tower.
    3160Cran. Stay good my Lords,
    I haue a little yet to say. Looke there my Lords,
    By vertue of that Ring, I take my cause
    Out of the gripes of cruell men, and giue it
    To a most Noble Iudge, the King my Maister.
    3165Cham. This is the Kings Ring.
    Sur. 'Tis no counterfeit.
    Suff. 'Ts the right Ring, by Heau'n: I told ye all,
    When we first put this dangerous stone a rowling,
    'Twold fall vpon our selues.
    3170Norf. Doe you thinke my Lords
    The King will suffer but the little finger
    Of this man to be vex'd?
    Cham. Tis now too certaine;
    How much more is his Life in value with him?
    3175Would I were fairely out on't.
    Crom. My mind gaue me,
    In seeking tales and Informations
    Against this man, whose honesty the Diuell
    And his Disciples onely enuy at,
    3180Ye blew the fire that burnes ye: now haue at ye.
    Enter King frowning on them, takes his Seate.
    Gard. Dread Soueraigne,
    How much are we bound to Heauen,
    In dayly thankes; that gaue vs such a Prince;
    3185Not onely good and wise, but most religious:
    One that in all obedience, makes the Church
    The cheefe ayme of his Honour, and to strengthen
    That holy duty out of deare respect,
    His Royall selfe in Iudgement comes to heare
    3190The cause betwixt her, and this great offender.
    Kin. You were euer good at sodaine Commendations,
    Bishop of Winchester. But know I come not
    To heare such flattery now, and in my presence
    They are too thin, and base to hide offences,
    3195To me you cannot reach. You play the Spaniell,
    And thinke with wagging of your tongue to win me:
    But whatsoere thou tak'st me for; I'm sure
    Thou hast a cruell Nature and a bloody.
    Good man sit downe: Now let me see the proudest
    3200Hee, that dares most, but wag his finger at thee.
    By all that's holy, he had better starue,
    Then but once thinke his place becomes thee not.
    Sur. May it please your Grace; ---
    Kin. No Sir, it doe's not please me,
    3205I had thought, I had had men of some vnderstanding,
    And wisedome of my Councell; but I finde none:
    Was it discretion Lords, to let this man,
    This good man (few of you deserue that Title)
    This honest man, wait like a lowsie Foot-boy
    3210At Chamber dore? and one, as great as you are?
    Why, what a shame was this? Did my Commission
    Bid ye so farre forget your selues? I gaue ye
    Power, as he was a Counsellour to try him,
    Not as a Groome: There's some of ye, I see,
    3215More out of Malice then Integrity,
    Would trye him to the vtmost, had ye meane,
    Which ye shall neuer haue while I liue.
    Chan. Thus farre
    My most dread Soueraigne, may it like your Grace,
    3220To let my tongue excuse all. What was purpos'd
    Concerning his Imprisonment, was rather
    (If there be faith in men) meant for his Tryall,
    And faire purgation to the world then malice,
    I'm sure in me.
    3225Kin. Well, well my Lords respect him,
    Take him, and vse him well; hee's worthy of it.
    I will say thus much for him, if a Prince
    May be beholding to a Subiect; I
    Am for his loue and seruice, so to him.
    3230Make me no more adoe, but all embrace him;
    Be friends for shame my Lords: My Lord of Canterbury
    I haue a Suite which you must not deny mee.
    That is, a faire young Maid that yet wants Baptisme,
    You must be Godfather, and answere for her.
    3235Cran. The greatest Monarch now aliue may glory
    In such an honour: how may I deserue it,
    That am a poore and humble Subiect to you?
    Kin. Come, come my Lord, you'd spare your spoones;
    You shall haue two noble Partners with you: the old
    3240Duchesse of Norfolke, and Lady Marquesse Dorset? will
    these please you?
    Once more my Lord of Winchester, I charge you
    Embrace, and loue this man.
    Gard. With a true heart,
    3245And Brother; loue I doe it.
    Cran. And let Heauen
    Witnesse how deare, I hold this Confirmation.
    Kin. Good Man, those ioyfull teares shew thy true (hearts,
    The common voyce I see is verified
    3250Of thee, which sayes thus: Doe my Lord of Canterbury
    A shrewd turne, and hee's your friend for euer:
    Come Lords, we trifle time away: I long
    To haue this young one made a Christian.
    As I haue made ye one Lords, one remaine:
    3255So I grow stronger, you more Honour gaine. Exeunt.

    Scena Tertia.

    Noyse and Tumult within: Enter Porter and
    his man.
    Port. You'l leaue your noyse anon ye Rascals: doe
    3260you take the Court for Parish Garden: ye rude Slaues,
    leaue your gaping.
    Within. Good M. Porter I belong to th'Larder.
    Port. Belong to th'Gallowes, and be hang'd ye Rogue:
    Is this a place to roare in? Fetch me a dozen Crab-tree
    3265staues, and strong ones; these are but switches to 'em:
    Ile scratch your heads; you must be seeing Christenings?
    Do you looke for Ale, and Cakes heere, you rude
    Man. Pray Sir be patient; 'tis as much impossible,
    3270Vnlesse wee sweepe 'em from the dore with Cannons,
    To scatter 'em, as 'tis to make 'em sleepe
    On May-day Morning, which will neuer be:
    We may as well push against Powles as stirre 'em.
    Por. How got they in, and be hang'd?