Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Diane Jakacki
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Henry The Eighth (Folio 1, 1623)

The Life of King Henry the Eight.
And giue your hearts to; when they once perceiue
975The least rub in your fortunes, fall away
Like water from ye, neuer found againe
But where they meane to sinke ye: all good people
Pray for me, I must now forsake ye; the last houre
Of my long weary life is come vpon me:
980Farewell; and when you would say somthing that is sad,
Speake how I fell.
I haue done; and God forgiue me.
Exeunt Duke and Traine.
1. O, this is full of pitty; Sir, it cals
985I feare, too many curses on their heads
That were the Authors.
2. If the Duke be guiltlesse,
'Tis full of woe: yet I can giue you inckling
Of an ensuing euill, if it fall,
990Greater then this.
1. Good Angels keepe it from vs:
What may it be? you doe not doubt my faith Sir?
2. This Secret is so weighty, 'twill require
A strong faith to conceale it.
9951. Let me haue it:
I doe not talke much.
2. I am confident;
You shall Sir: Did you not of late dayes heare
A buzzing of a Separation
1000Betweene the King and Katherine?
1. Yes, but it held not;
For when the King once heard it, out of anger
He sent command to the Lord Mayor straight
To stop the rumor; and allay those tongues
1005That durst disperse it.
2. But that slander Sir,
Is found a truth now: for it growes agen
Fresher then e're it was; and held for certaine
The King will venture at it. Either the Cardinall,
1010Or some about him neere, haue out of malice
To the good Queene, possest him with a scruple
That will vndoe her: To confirme this too,
Cardinall Campeius is arriu'd, and lately,
As all thinke for this busines.
10151. Tis the Cardinall;
And meerely to reuenge him on the Emperour,
For not bestowing on him at his asking,
The Archbishopricke of Toledo, this is purpos'd.
2. I thinke
1020You haue hit the marke; but is't not cruell,
That she should feele the smart of this: the Cardinall
Will haue his will, and she must fall.
1. 'Tis wofull.
Wee are too open heere to argue this:
1025Let's thinke in priuate more. Exeunt.

Scena Secunda.

Enter Lord Chamberlaine, reading this letter.

My Lord, the Horses your Lordship sent for, with all the
care I had, I saw well chosen, ridden, and furnish'd.
1030They were young and handsome, and of the best breed in the
North. When they were ready to set out for London, a man
of my Lord Cardinalls, by Commission, and maine power tooke
'em from me, with this reason: his maister would bee seru'd be-
fore a Subiect, if not before the King, which stop'd our mouthes
I feare he will indeede; well, let him haue them; hee
will haue all I thinke.
Enter to the Lord Chamberlaine, the Dukes of Nor-
folke and Suffolke.
1040Norf. Well met my Lord Chamberlaine.
Cham. Good day to both your Graces.
Suff. How is the King imployd?
Cham. I left him priuate,
Full of sad thoughts and troubles.
1045Norf. What's the cause?
Cham. It seemes the Marriage with his Brothers Wife
Ha's crept too neere his Conscience.
Suff. No, his Conscience
Ha's crept too neere another Ladie.
1050Norf. Tis so;
This is the Cardinals doing: The King-Cardinall,
That blinde Priest, like the eldest Sonne of Fortune,
Turnes what he list. The King will know him one day.
Suff. Pray God he doe,
1055Hee'l neuer know himselfe else.
Norf. How holily he workes in all his businesse,
And with what zeale? For now he has crackt the League
Between vs & the Emperor (the Queens great Nephew)
He diues into the Kings Soule, and there scatters
1060Dangers, doubts, wringing of the Conscience,
Feares, and despaires, and all these for his Marriage.
And out of all these, to restore the King,
He counsels a Diuorce, a losse of her
That like a Iewell, ha's hung twenty yeares
1065About his necke, yet neuer lost her lustre;
Of her that loues him with that excellence,
That Angels loue good men with: Euen of her,
That when the greatest stroake of Fortune falls
Will blesse the King: and is not this course pious?
1070Cham. Heauen keep me from such councel: tis most true
These newes are euery where, euery tongue speaks 'em,
And euery true heart weepes for't. All that dare
Looke into these affaires, see this maine end,
The French Kings Sister. Heauen will one day open
1075The Kings eyes, that so long haue slept vpon
This bold bad man.
Suff. And free vs from his slauery.
Norf. We had need pray,
And heartily, for our deliuerance;
1080Or this imperious man will worke vs all
From Princes into Pages: all mens honours
Lie like one lumpe before him, to be fashion'd
Into what pitch he please.
Suff. For me, my Lords,
1085I loue him not, nor feare him, there's my Creede:
As I am made without him, so Ile stand,
If the King please: his Curses and his blessings
Touch me alike: th'are breath I not beleeue in.
I knew him, and I know him: so I leaue him
1090To him that made him proud; the Pope.
Norf. Let's in;
And with some other busines, put the King
From these sad thoughts, that work too much vpon him:
My Lord, youle beare vs company?
1095Cham. Excuse me,
The King ha's sent me otherwhere: Besides
You'l finde a most vnfit time to disturbe him:
Health to your Lordships.