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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    Not Peer Reviewed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.
    3275Man. Alas I know not, how gets the Tide in?
    As much as one sound Cudgell of foure foote,
    (You see the poore remainder) could distribute,
    I made no spare Sir.
    Port. You did nothing Sir.
    3280Man. I am not Sampson, nor Sir Guy, nor Colebrand,
    To mow 'em downe before me: but if I spar'd any
    That had a head to hit, either young or old,
    He or shee, Cuckold or Cuckold-maker:
    Let me ne're hope to see a Chine againe,
    3285And that I would not for a Cow, God saue her.
    Within. Do you heare M. Porter?
    Port. I shall be with you presently, good M. Puppy,
    Keepe the dore close Sirha.
    Man. What would you haue me doe?
    3290Por. What should you doe,
    But knock 'em downe by th'dozens? Is this More fields
    to muster in? Or haue wee some strange Indian with the
    great Toole, come to Court, the women so besiege vs?
    Blesse me, what a fry of Fornication is at dore? On my
    3295Christian Conscience this one Christening will beget a
    thousand, here will bee Father, God-father, and all to-
    Man. The Spoones will be the bigger Sir: There is
    a fellow somewhat neere the doore, he should be a Brasi-
    3300er by his face, for o' my conscience twenty of the Dog-
    dayes now reigne in's Nose; all that stand about him are
    vnder the Line, they need no other pennance: that Fire-
    Drake did I hit three times on the head, and three times
    was his Nose discharged against mee; hee stands there
    3305like a Morter-piece to blow vs. There was a Habberda-
    shers Wife of small wit, neere him, that rail'd vpon me,
    till her pinck'd porrenger fell off her head, for kindling
    such a combustion in the State. I mist the Meteor once,
    and hit that Woman, who cryed out Clubbes, when I
    3310might see from farre, some forty Truncheoners draw to
    her succour, which were the hope o'th'Strond where she
    was quartered; they fell on, I made good my place; at
    length they came to th'broome staffe to me, I defide 'em
    stil, when sodainly a File of Boyes behind 'em, loose shot,
    3315deliuer'd such a showre of Pibbles, that I was faine to
    draw mine Honour in, and let 'em win the Worke, the
    Diuell was amongst 'em I thinke surely.
    Por. These are the youths that thunder at a Playhouse,
    and fight for bitten Apples, that no Audience but the
    3320tribulation of Tower Hill, or the Limbes of Limehouse,
    their deare Brothers are able to endure. I haue some of
    'em in Limbo Patrum, and there they are like to dance
    these three dayes; besides the running Banquet of two
    Beadles, that is to come.
    3325Enter Lord Chamberlaine.
    Cham. Mercy o' me: what a Multitude are heere?
    They grow still too; from all Parts they are comming,
    As if we kept a Faire heere? Where are these Porters?
    These lazy knaues? Y'haue made a fine hand fellowes?
    3330Theres a trim rabble let in: are all these
    Your faithfull friends o'th'Suburbs? We shall haue
    Great store of roome no doubt, left for the Ladies,
    When they passe backe from the Christening?
    Por. And't please your Honour,
    3335We are but men; and what so many may doe,
    Not being torne a pieces, we haue done:
    An Army cannot rule 'em.
    Cham. As I liue,
    If the King blame me for't; Ile lay ye all
    3340By th'heeles, and sodainly: and on your heads
    Clap round Fines for neglect: y'are lazy knaues,
    And heere ye lye baiting of Bombards, when
    Ye should doe Seruice. Harke the Trumpets sound,
    Th'are come already from the Christening,
    3345Go breake among the preasse, and finde away out
    To let the Troope passe fairely; or Ile finde
    A Marshallsey, shall hold ye play these two Monthes.
    Por. Make way there, for the Princesse.
    Man. You great fellow,
    3350Stand close vp, or Ile make your head ake.
    Por. You i'th'Chamblet, get vp o'th'raile,
    Ile pecke you o're the pales else. Exeunt.

    Scena Quarta.

    Enter Trumpets sounding: Then two Aldermen, L. Maior,
    3355Garter, Cranmer, Duke of Norfolke with his Marshals
    Staffe Duke of Suffolke, two Noblemen, bearing great
    standing Bowles for the Christening Guifts: Then foure
    Noblemen bearing a Canopy, vnder which the Dutchesse of
    Norfolke, Godmother, bearing the Childe richly habited in
    3360a Mantle, &c. Traine borne by a Lady: Then followes
    the Marchionesse Dorset, the other Godmother, and La-
    dies. The Troope passe once about the Stage, and Gar-
    ter speakes.
    Gart. Heauen
    3365From thy endlesse goodnesse, send prosperous life,
    Long, and euer happie, to the high and Mighty
    Princesse of England Elizabeth.

    Flourish. Enter King and Guard.
    Cran. And to your Royall Grace, & the good Queen,
    3370My Noble Partners, and my selfe thus pray
    All comfort, ioy in this most gracious Lady,
    Heauen euer laid vp to make Parents happy,
    May hourely fall vpon ye.
    Kin. Thanke you good Lord Archbishop:
    3375What is her Name?
    Cran. Elizabeth.
    Kin. Stand vp Lord,
    With this Kisse, take my Blessing: God protect thee,
    Into whose hand, I giue thy Life.
    3380Cran. Amen.
    Kin. My Noble Gossips, y'haue beene too Prodigall;
    I thanke ye heartily: So shall this Lady,
    When she ha's so much English.
    Cran. Let me speake Sir,
    3385For Heauen now bids me; and the words I vtter,
    Let none thinke Flattery; for they'l finde 'em Truth.
    This Royall Infant, Heauen still moue about her;
    Though in her Cradle; yet now promises
    Vpon this Land a thousand thousand Blessings,
    3390Which Time shall bring to ripenesse: She shall be,
    (But few now liuing can behold that goodnesse)
    A Patterne to all Princes liuing with her,
    And all that shall succeed: Saba was neuer
    More couetous of Wisedome, and faire Vertue
    3395Then this pure Soule shall be. All Princely Graces
    That mould vp such a mighty Piece as this is,
    With all the Vertues that attend the good,
    Shall still be doubled on her. Truth shall Nurse her,