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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    Not Peer Reviewed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.
    Card. Stand forth, & with bold spirit relate what you
    Most like a carefull Subiect haue collected
    470Out of the Duke of Buckingham.
    Kin. Speake freely.
    Sur. First, it was vsuall with him; euery day
    It would infect his Speech: That if the King
    Should without issue dye; hee'l carry it so
    475To make the Scepter his. These very words
    I'ue heard him vtter to his Sonne in Law,
    Lord Aburgany, to whom by oth he menac'd
    Reuenge vpon the Cardinall.
    Card. Please your Highnesse note
    480This dangerous conception in this point,
    Not frended by his wish to your High person;
    His will is most malignant, and it stretches
    Beyond you to your friends.
    Queen. My learn'd Lord Cardinall,
    485Deliuer all with Charity.
    Kin. Speake on;
    How grounded hee his Title to the Crowne
    Vpon our faile; to this poynt hast thou heard him,
    At any time speake ought?
    490Sur. He was brought to this,
    By a vaine Prophesie of Nicholas Henton.
    Kin. What was that Henton?
    Sur. Sir, a Chartreux Fryer,
    His Confessor, who fed him euery minute
    495With words of Soueraignty.
    Kin. How know'st thou this?
    Sur. Not long before your Highnesse sped to France,
    The Duke being at the Rose, within the Parish
    Saint Laurence Poultney, did of me demand
    500What was the speech among the Londoners,
    Concerning the French Iourney. I replide,
    Men feare the French would proue perfidious
    To the Kings danger: presently, the Duke
    Said, 'twas the feare indeed, and that he doubted
    505'Twould proue the verity of certaine words
    Spoke by a holy Monke, that oft, sayes he,
    Hath sent to me, wishing me to permit
    Iohn de la Car, my Chaplaine, a choyce howre
    To heare from him a matter of some moment:
    510Whom after vnder the Commissions Seale,
    He sollemnly had sworne, that what he spoke
    My Chaplaine to no Creature liuing, but
    To me, should vtter, with demure Confidence,
    This pausingly ensu'de; neither the King, nor's Heyres
    515(Tell you the Duke) shall prosper, bid him striue
    To the loue o'th'Commonalty, the Duke
    Shall gouerne England.
    Queen. If I know you well,
    You were the Dukes Surueyor, and lost your Office
    520On the complaint o'th'Tenants; take good heed
    You charge not in your spleene a Noble person,
    And spoyle your nobler Soule; I say, take heed;
    Yes, heartily beseech you.
    Kin. Let him on: Goe forward.
    525Sur. On my Soule, Ile speake but truth.
    I told my Lord the Duke, by th'Diuels illusions
    The Monke might be deceiu'd, and that 'twas dangerous
    For this to ruminate on this so farre, vntill
    It forg'd him some designe, which being beleeu'd
    530It was much like to doe: He answer'd, Tush,
    It can doe me no damage; adding further,
    That had the King in his last Sicknesse faild,
    The Cardinals and Sir Thomas Louels heads
    Should haue gone off.
    535Kin. Ha? What, so rancke? Ah, ha,
    There's mischiefe in this man; canst thou say further?
    Sur. I can my Liedge.
    Kin. Proceed.
    Sur. Being at Greenwich,
    540After your Highnesse had reprou'd the Duke
    About Sir William Blumer.
    Kin. I remember of such a time, being my sworn ser-(uant,
    The Duke retein'd him his. But on: what hence?
    Sur. If (quoth he) I for this had beene committed,
    545As to the Tower, I thought; I would haue plaid
    The Part my Father meant to act vpon
    Th'Vsurper Richard, who being at Salsbury,
    Made suit to come in's presence; which if granted,
    (As he made semblance of his duty) would
    550Haue put his knife into him.
    Kin. A Gyant Traytor.
    Card. Now Madam, may his Highnes liue in freedome,
    And this man out of Prison.
    Queen. God mend all.
    555Kin. Ther's somthing more would out of thee; what (say'st?
    Sur. After the Duke his Father, with the knife
    He stretch'd him, and with one hand on his dagger,
    Another spread on's breast, mounting his eyes,
    He did discharge a horrible Oath, whose tenor
    560Was, were he euill vs'd, he would outgoe
    His Father, by as much as a performance
    Do's an irresolute purpose.
    Kin. There's his period,
    To sheath his knife in vs: he is attach'd,
    565Call him to present tryall: if he may
    Finde mercy in the Law, 'tis his; if none,
    Let him not seek't of vs: By day and night
    Hee's Traytor to th'height. Exeunt.

    Scæna Tertia.

    570Enter L. Chamberlaine and L. Sandys.
    L. Ch. Is't possible the spels of France should iuggle
    Men into such strange mysteries?
    L. San. New customes,
    Though they be neuer so ridiculous,
    575(Nay let 'em be vnmanly) yet are follow'd.
    L. Ch. As farre as I see, all the good our English
    Haue got by the late Voyage, is but meerely
    A fit or two o'th'face, (but they are shrewd ones)
    For when they hold 'em, you would sweare directly
    580Their very noses had been Councellours
    To Pepin or Clotharius, they keepe State so.
    L. San. They haue all new legs,
    And lame ones; one would take it,
    That neuer see 'em pace before, the Spauen
    585A Spring-halt rain'd among 'em.
    L. Ch. Death my Lord,
    Their cloathes are after such a Pagan cut too't,
    That sure th'haue worne out Christendome: how now?
    What newes, Sir Thomas Louell?

    590 Enter Sir Thomas Louell.
    Louell. Faith my Lord,
    I heare of none but the new Proclamation,
    That's clapt vpon the Court Gate.
    L. Cham.