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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    Not Peer Reviewed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.
    Of diuers witnesses, which the Duke desir'd
    845To him brought viua voce to his face;
    At which appear'd against him, his Surueyor
    Sir Gilbert Pecke his Chancellour, and Iohn Car,
    Confessor to him, with that Diuell Monke,
    Hopkins, that made this mischiefe.
    8502. That was hee
    That fed him with his Prophecies.
    1. The same,
    All these accus'd him strongly, which he faine
    Would haue flung from him; but indeed he could not;
    855And so his Peeres vpon this euidence,
    Haue found him guilty of high Treason. Much
    He spoke, and learnedly for life: But all
    Was either pittied in him, or forgotten.
    2. After all this, how did he beare himselfe?
    8601. When he was brought agen to th'Bar, to heare
    His Knell rung out, his Iudgement, he was stir'd
    With such an Agony, he sweat extreamly,
    And somthing spoke in choller, ill, and hasty:
    But he fell to himselfe againe, and sweetly,
    865In all the rest shew'd a most Noble patience.
    2. I doe not thinke he feares death.
    1. Sure he does not,
    He neuer was so womanish, the cause
    He may a little grieue at.
    8702. Certainly,
    The Cardinall is the end of this.
    1. Tis likely,
    By all coniectures: First Kildares Attendure;
    Then Deputy of Ireland, who remou'd
    875Earle Surrey, was sent thither, and in hast too,
    Least he should helpe his Father.
    2. That tricke of State
    Was a deepe enuious one,
    1. At his returne,
    880No doubt he will requite it; this is noted
    (And generally) who euer the King fauours,
    The Cardnall instantly will finde imployment,
    And farre enough from Court too.
    2. All the Commons
    885Hate him perniciously, and o' my Conscience
    Wish him ten faddom deepe: This Duke as much
    They loue and doate on: call him bounteous Buckingham,
    The Mirror of all courtesie.

    Enter Buckingham from his Arraignment, Tipstaues before
    890him, the Axe with the edge towards him, Halberds on each
    side, accompanied with Sir Thomas Louell, Sir Nicholas
    Vaux, Sir Walter Sands, and common people, &c.

    1. Stay there Sir,
    And see the noble ruin'd man you speake of.
    8952. Let's stand close and behold him.
    Buck. All good people,
    You that thus farre haue come to pitty me;
    Heare what I say, and then goe home and lose me.
    I haue this day receiu'd a Traitors iudgement,
    900And by that name must dye; yet Heauen beare witnes,
    And if I haue a Conscience, let it sincke me,
    Euen as the Axe falls, if I be not faithfull.
    The Law I beare no mallice for my death,
    T'has done vpon the premises, but Iustice:
    905But those that sought it, I could wish more Christians:
    (Be what they will) I heartily forgiue 'em;
    Yet let 'em looke they glory not in mischiefe;
    Nor build their euils on the graues of great men;
    For then, my guiltlesse blood must cry against 'em.
    910For further life in this world I ne're hope,
    Nor will I sue, although the King haue mercies
    More then I dare make faults.
    You few that lou'd me,
    And dare be bold to weepe for Buckingham,
    915His Noble Friends and Fellowes; whom to leaue
    Is only bitter to him, only dying:
    Goe with me like good Angels to my end,
    And as the long diuorce of Steele fals on me,
    Make of your Prayers one sweet Sacrifice,
    920And lift my Soule to Heauen.
    Lead on a Gods name.
    Louell. I doe beseech your Grace, for charity
    If euer any malice in your heart
    Were hid against me, now to forgiue me frankly.
    925Buck. Sir Thomas Louell, I as free forgiue you
    As I would be forgiuen: I forgiue all.
    There cannot be those numberlesse offences
    Gainst me, that I cannot take peace with:
    No blacke Enuy shall make my Graue.
    930Commend mee to his Grace:
    And if he speake of Buckingham; pray tell him,
    You met him halfe in Heauen: my vowes and prayers
    Yet are the Kings; and till my Soule forsake,
    Shall cry for blessings on him. May he liue
    935Longer then I haue time to tell his yeares;
    Euer belou'd and louing, may his Rule be;
    And when old Time shall lead him to his end,
    Goodnesse and he, fill vp one Monument.
    Lou. To th'water side I must conduct your Grace;
    940Then giue my Charge vp to Sir Nicholas Vaux,
    Who vndertakes you to your end.
    Vaux. Prepare there,
    The Duke is comming: See the Barge be ready;
    And fit it with such furniture as suites
    945The Greatnesse of his Person.
    Buck. Nay, Sir Nicholas,
    Let it alone; my State now will but mocke me.
    When I came hither, I was Lord High Constable,
    And Duke of Buckingham: now, poore Edward Bohun;
    950Yet I am richer then my base Accusers,
    That neuer knew what Truth meant: I now seale it;
    And with that bloud will make 'em one day groane for't.
    My noble Father Henry of Buckingham,
    Who first rais'd head against Vsurping Richard,
    955Flying for succour to his Seruant Banister,
    Being distrest; was by that wretch betraid,
    And without Tryall, fell; Gods peace be with him.
    Henry the Seauenth succeeding, truly pittying
    My Fathers losse; like a most Royall Prince
    960Restor'd me to my Honours: and out of ruines
    Made my Name once more Noble. Now his Sonne,
    Henry the Eight, Life, Honour, Name and all
    That made me happy; at one stroake ha's taken
    For euer from the World. I had my Tryall,
    965And must needs say a Noble one; which makes me
    A little happier then my wretched Father:
    Yet thus farre we are one in Fortunes; both
    Fell by our Seruants, by those Men we lou'd most:
    A most vnnaturall and faithlesse Seruice.
    970Heauen ha's an end in all: yet, you that heare me,
    This from a dying man receiue as certaine:
    Where you are liberall of your loues and Councels,
    Be sure you be not loose; for those you make friends,