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    Not Peer Reviewed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)

    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.
    Norfolke. Thankes my good Lord Chamberlaine.
    1100Exit Lord Chamberlaine, and the King drawes the Curtaine
    and sits reading pensiuely.
    Suff. How sad he lookes; sure he is much afflicted.
    Kin. Who's there? Ha?
    Norff. Pray God he be not angry.
    1105Kin. Who's there I say? How dare you thrust your(selues
    Into my priuate Meditations?
    Who am I? Ha?
    Norff. A gracious King, that pardons all offences
    Malice ne're meant: Our breach of Duty this way,
    1110Is businesse of Estate; in which, we come
    To know your Royall pleasure.
    Kin. Ye are too bold:
    Go too; Ile make ye know your times of businesse:
    Is this an howre for temporall affaires? Ha?
    1115Enter Wolsey and Campeius with a Commission.
    Who's there? my good Lord Cardinall? O my Wolsey,
    The quiet of my wounded Conscience;
    Thou art a cure fit for a King; you'r welcome
    Most learned Reuerend Sir, into our Kingdome,
    1120Vse vs, and it: My good Lord, haue great care,
    I be not found a Talker.
    Wol. Sir, you cannot;
    I would your Grace would giue vs but an houre
    Of priuate conference.
    1125Kin. We are busie; goe.
    Norff. This Priest ha's no pride in him?
    Suff. Not to speake of:
    I would not be so sicke though for his place:
    But this cannot continue.
    1130Norff. If it doe, Ile venture one; haue at him.
    Suff. I another.
    Exeunt Norfolke and Suffolke.
    Wol. Your Grace ha's giuen a President of wisedome
    Aboue all Princes, in committing freely
    1135Your scruple to the voyce of Christendome:
    Who can be angry now? What Enuy reach you?
    The Spaniard tide by blood and fauour to her,
    Must now confesse, if they haue any goodnesse,
    The Tryall, iust and Noble. All the Clerkes,
    1140(I meane the learned ones in Christian Kingdomes)
    Haue their free voyces. Rome (the Nurse of Iudgement)
    Inuited by your Noble selfe, hath sent
    One generall Tongue vnto vs. This good man,
    This iust and learned Priest, Cardnall Campeius,
    1145Whom once more, I present vnto your Highnesse.
    Kin. And once more in mine armes I bid him welcome,
    And thanke the holy Conclaue for their loues,
    They haue sent me such a Man, I would haue wish'd for.
    Cam. Your Grace must needs deserue all strangers loues,
    1150You are so Noble: To your Highnesse hand
    I tender my Commission; by whose vertue,
    The Court of Rome commanding. You my Lord
    Cardinall of Yorke, are ioyn'd with me their Seruant,
    In the vnpartiall iudging of this Businesse.
    1155Kin. Two equall men: The Queene shall be acquain-
    Forthwith for what you come. Where's Gardiner? (ted
    Wol. I know your Maiesty, ha's alwayes lou'd her
    So deare in heart, not to deny her that
    A Woman of lesse Place might aske by Law;
    1160Schollers allow'd freely to argue for her.
    Kin. I, and the best she shall haue; and my fauour
    To him that does best, God forbid els: Cardinall,
    Prethee call Gardiner to me, my new Secretary.
    I find him a fit fellow.
    1165 Enter Gardiner.
    Wol. Giue me your hand: much ioy & fauour to you;
    You are the Kings now.
    Gard. But to be commanded
    For euer by your Grace, whose hand ha's rais'd me.
    1170Kin. Come hither Gardiner.
    Walkes and whispers.
    Camp. My Lord of Yorke, was not one Doctor Pace
    In this mans place before him?
    Wol. Yes, he was.
    1175Camp. Was he not held a learned man?
    Wol. Yes surely.
    Camp. Beleeue me, there's an ill opinion spread then,
    Euen of your selfe Lord Cardinall.
    Wol. How? of me?
    1180Camp They will not sticke to say, you enuide him;
    And fearing he would rise (he was so vertuous)
    Kept him a forraigne man still, which so greeu'd him,
    That he ran mad, and dide.
    Wol. Heau'ns peace be with him:
    1185That's Christian care enough: for liuing Murmurers,
    There's places of rebuke. He was a Foole;
    For he would needs be vertuous. That good Fellow,
    If I command him followes my appointment,
    I will haue none so neere els. Learne this Brother,
    1190We liue not to be grip'd by meaner persons.
    Kin. Deliuer this with modesty to th'Queene.
    Exit Gardiner.
    The most conuenient place, that I can thinke of
    For such receipt of Learning, is Black-Fryers:
    1195There ye shall meete about this waighty busines.
    My Wolsey, see it furnish'd, O my Lord,
    Would it not grieue an able man to leaue
    So sweet a Bedfellow? But Conscience, Conscience;
    O 'tis a tender place, and I must leaue her. Exeunt.