Internet Shakespeare Editions

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    Not Peer Reviewed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)

    Actus Primus. Scoena Prima.
    35Enter the Duke of Norfolke at one doore. At the other,
    the Duke of Buckingham, and the Lord
    GOod morrow, and well met. How haue ye done
    40Since last we saw in France?
    Norf. I thanke your Grace:
    Healthfull, and euer since a fresh Admirer
    Of what I saw there.
    Buck. An vntimely Ague
    45Staid me a Prisoner in my Chamber, when
    Those Sunnes of Glory, those two Lights of Men
    Met in the vale of Andren.
    Nor. 'Twixt Guynes and Arde,
    I was then present, saw them salute on Horsebacke,
    50Beheld them when they lighted, how they clung
    In their Embracement, as they grew together,
    Which had they,
    What foure Thron'd ones could haue weigh'd
    Such a compounded one?
    55Buck. All the whole time
    I was my Chambers Prisoner.
    Nor. Then you lost
    The view of earthly glory: Men might say
    Till this time Pompe was single, but now married
    60To one aboue it selfe. Each following day
    Became the next dayes master, till the last
    Made former Wonders, it's. To day the French,
    All Clinquant all in Gold, like Heathen Gods
    Shone downe the English; and to morrow, they
    65Made Britaine, India: Euery man that stood,
    Shew'd like a Mine. Their Dwarfish Pages were
    As Cherubins, all gilt: the Madams too,
    Not vs'd to toyle, did almost sweat to beare
    The Pride vpon them, that their very labour
    70Was to them, as a Painting. Now this Maske
    Was cry'de incompareable; and th'ensuing night
    Made it a Foole, and Begger. The two Kings
    Equall in lustre, were now best, now worst
    As presence did present them: Him in eye,
    75Still him in praise, and being present both,
    'Twas said they saw but one, and no Discerner
    Durst wagge his Tongue in censure, when these Sunnes
    (For so they phrase 'em) by their Heralds challeng'd
    The Noble Spirits to Armes, they did performe
    80Beyond thoughts Compasse, that former fabulous Storie
    Being now seene, possible enough, got credit
    That Beuis was beleeu'd.
    Buc. Oh you go farre.
    Nor. As I belong to worship, and affect
    85In Honor, Honesty, the tract of eu'ry thing,
    Would by a good Discourser loose some life,
    Which Actions selfe, was tongue too.
    Buc. All was Royall,
    To the disposing of it nought rebell'd,
    90Order gaue each thing view. The Office did
    Distinctly his full Function: who did guide,
    I meane who set the Body, and the Limbes
    Of this great Sport together?
    Nor. As you guesse:
    95One certes, that promises no Element
    In such a businesse.
    Buc. I pray you who, my Lord?
    Nor. All this was ordred by the good Discretion
    Of the right Reuerend Cardinall of Yorke.
    100Buc. The diuell speed him: No mans Pye is freed
    From his Ambitious finger. What had he
    To do in these fierce Vanities? I wonder,
    That such a Keech can with his very bulke
    Take vp the Rayes o'th'beneficiall Sun,
    105And keepe it from the Earth.
    Nor. Surely Sir,
    There's in him stuffe, that put's him to these ends:
    For being not propt by Auncestry, whose grace
    Chalkes Successors their way; nor call'd vpon
    110For high feats done to'th'Crowne; neither Allied
    To eminent Assistants; but Spider-like
    Out of his Selfe-drawing Web. O giues vs note,
    The force of his owne merit makes his way
    A guift that heauen giues for him, which buyes
    115A place next to the King.
    Abur. I cannot tell
    What Heauen hath giuen him: let some Grauer eye
    Pierce into that, but I can see his Pride
    Peepe through each part of him: whence ha's he that,
    120If not from Hell? The Diuell is a Niggard,
    Or ha's giuen all before, and he begins
    A new Hell in himselfe.
    Buc. Why the Diuell,
    Vpon this French going out, tooke he vpon him
    125(Without the priuity o'th'King) t'appoint
    Who should attend on him? He makes vp the File
    Of all the Gentry; for the most part such
    To whom as great a Charge, as little Honor
    He meant to lay vpon: and his owne Letter
    130The Honourable Boord of Councell, out
    Must fetch him in, he Papers.
    Abur. I do know
    Kinsmen of mine, three at the least, that haue
    By this, so sicken'd their Estates, that neuer
    135They shall abound as formerly.
    Buc. O many
    Haue broke their backes with laying Mannors on 'em
    For this great Iourney. What did this vanity
    But minister communication of
    140A most poore issue.
    Nor. Greeuingly I thinke,
    The Peace betweene the French and vs, not valewes
    The Cost that did conclude it.
    Buc. Euery man,
    145After the hideous storme that follow'd, was
    A thing Inspir'd, and not consulting, broke
    Into a generall Prophesie; That this Tempest
    Dashing the Garment of this Peace, aboaded
    The sodaine breach on't.
    150Nor. Which is budded out,
    For France hath flaw'd the League, and hath attach'd
    Our Merchants goods at Burdeux.
    Abur. Is it therefore
    Th'Ambassador is silenc'd?
    155Nor. Marry is't.
    Abur. A proper Title of a Peace, and purchas'd
    At a superfluous rate.
    Buc. Why all this Businesse
    Our Reuerend Cardinall carried.
    160Nor. Like it your Grace,
    The State takes notice of the priuate difference
    Betwixt you, and the Cardinall. I aduise you
    (And take it from a heart, that wishes towards you
    Honor, and plenteous safety) that you reade
    165The Cardinals Malice, and his Potency
    Together; To consider further, that
    What his high Hatred would effect, wants not
    A Minister in his Power. You know his Nature,
    That he's Reuengefull; and I know, his Sword
    170Hath a sharpe edge: It's long, and't may be saide
    It reaches farre, and where 'twill not extend,
    Thither he darts it. Bosome vp my counsell,
    You'l finde it wholesome. Loe, where comes that Rock
    That I aduice your shunning.
    175Enter Cardinall Wolsey, the Purse borne before him, certaine
    of the Guard, and two Secretaries with Papers: The
    Cardinall in his passage, fixeth his eye on Buck-
    ham, and Buckingham on him,
    both full of disdaine.
    180Car. The Duke of Buckinghams Surueyor? Ha?
    Where's his Examination?
    Secr. Heere so please you.
    Car. Is he in person, ready?
    Secr. I, please your Grace.
    185Car. Well, we shall then know more, & Buckingham
    Shall lessen this bigge looke.
    Exeunt Cardinall, and his Traine.
    Buc. This Butchers Curre is venom'd-mouth'd, and I
    Haue not the power to muzzle him, therefore best
    190Not wake him in his slumber. A Beggers booke,
    Out-worths a Nobles blood.
    Nor. What are you chaff'd?
    Aske God for Temp'rance, that's th'appliance onely
    Which your disease requires.
    195Buc. I read in's looks
    Matter against me, and his eye reuil'd
    Me as his abiect obiect, at this instant
    He bores me with some tricke; He's gone to'th'King:
    Ile follow, and out-stare him.
    200Nor. Stay my Lord,
    And let your Reason with your Choller question
    What 'tis you go about: to climbe steepe hilles
    Requires slow pace at first. Anger is like
    A full hot Horse, who being allow'd his way
    205Selfe-mettle tyres him: Not a man in England
    Can aduise me like you: Be to your selfe,
    As you would to your Friend.
    Buc. Ile to the King,
    And from a mouth of Honor, quite cry downe
    210This Ipswich fellowes insolence; or proclaime,
    There's difference in no persons.
    Norf. Be aduis'd;
    Heat not a Furnace for your foe so hot
    That it do sindge your selfe. We may out-runne
    215By violent swiftnesse that which we run at;
    And lose by ouer-running: know you not,
    The fire that mounts the liquor til't run ore,
    In seeming to augment it, wasts it: be aduis'd;
    I say againe there is no English Soule
    220More stronger to direct you then your selfe;
    If with the sap of reason you would quench,
    Or but allay the fire of passion.
    Buck. Sir,
    I am thankfull to you, and Ile goe along
    225By your prescription: but this top-proud fellow,
    Whom from the flow of gall I name not, but
    From sincere motions, by Intelligence,
    And proofes as cleere as Founts in Iuly, when
    Wee see each graine of grauell; I doe know
    230To be corrupt and treasonous.
    Norf. Say not treasonous.
    Buck. To th'King Ile say't, & make my vouch as strong
    As shore of Rocke: attend. This holy Foxe,
    Or Wolfe, or both (for he is equall rau'nous
    235As he is subtile, and as prone to mischiefe,
    As able to perform't) his minde, and place
    Infecting one another, yea reciprocally,
    Only to shew his pompe, as well in France,
    As here at home, suggests the King our Master
    240To this last costly Treaty: Th'enteruiew,
    That swallowed so much treasure, and like a glasse
    Did breake ith'wrenching.
    Norf. Faith, and so it did.
    Buck. Pray giue me fauour Sir: This cunning Cardinall
    245The Articles o'th'Combination drew
    As himselfe pleas'd; and they were ratified
    As he cride thus let be, to as much end,
    As giue a Crutch to th'dead. But our Count-Cardinall
    Has done this, and tis well: for worthy Wolsey
    250(Who cannot erre) he did it. Now this followes,
    (Which as I take it, is a kinde of Puppie
    To th'old dam Treason) Charles the Emperour,
    Vnder pretence to see the Queene his Aunt,
    (For twas indeed his colour, but he came
    255To whisper Wolsey) here makes visitation,
    His feares were that the Interview betwixt
    England and France, might through their amity
    Breed him some preiudice; for from this League,
    Peep'd harmes that menac'd him. Priuily
    260Deales with our Cardinal, and as I troa
    Which I doe well; for I am sure the Emperour
    Paid ere he promis'd, whereby his Suit was granted
    Ere it was ask'd. But when the way was made
    And pau'd with gold: the Emperor thus desir'd,
    265That he would please to alter the Kings course,
    And breake the foresaid peace. Let the King know
    (As soone he shall by me) that thus the Cardinall
    Does buy and sell his Honour as he pleases,
    And for his owne aduantage.
    270Norf. I am sorry
    To heare this of him; and could wish he were
    Somthing mistaken in't.
    Buck. No, not a sillable:
    I doe pronounce him in that very shape
    275He shall appeare in proofe.
    Enter Brandon, a Sergeant at Armes before him, and
    two or three of the Guard.
    Brandon. Your Office Sergeant: execute it.
    Sergeant. Sir,
    280My Lord the Duke of Buckingham, and Earle
    Of Hertford, Stafford and Northampton, I
    Arrest thee of High Treason, in the name
    Of our most Soueraigne King.
    Buck. Lo you my Lord,
    285The net has falne vpon me, I shall perish
    Vnder deuice, and practise.
    Bran. I am sorry,
    To see you tane from liberty, to looke on
    The busines present. Tis his Highnes pleasure
    290You shall to th'Tower.
    Buck. It will helpe me nothing
    To plead mine Innocence; for that dye is on me
    Which makes my whit'st part, black. The will of Heau'n
    Be done in this and all things: I obey.
    295O my Lord Aburgany: Fare you well.
    Bran. Nay, he must beare you company. The King
    Is pleas'd you shall to th'Tower, till you know
    How he determines further.
    Abur. As the Duke said,
    300The will of Heauen be done, and the Kings pleasure
    By me obey'd.
    Bran. Here is a warrant from
    The King, t'attach Lord Mountacute, and the Bodies
    Of the Dukes Confessor, Iohn de la Car,
    305One Gilbert Pecke, his Councellour.
    Buck. So, so;
    These are the limbs o'th'Plot: no more I hope.
    Bra. A Monke o'th'Chartreux.
    Buck. O Michaell Hopkins?
    310Bra. He.
    Buck. My Surueyor is falce: The ore-great Cardinall
    Hath shew'd him gold; my life is spand already:
    I am the shadow of poore Buckingham,
    Whose Figure euen this instant Clowd puts on,
    315By Darkning my cleere Sunne. My Lords farewell. Exe.