Open Source Shakespeare

Speeches (Lines) for Lord Chancellor
in "Henry VIII"

Total: 7

# Act, Scene, Line
(Click to see in context)
Speech text



(stage directions). [Enter Chancellor; places himself at the upper end]
of the table on the left hand; a seat being left
void above him, as for CRANMER's seat. SUFFOLK,
NORFOLK, SURREY, Chamberlain, GARDINER, seat
themselves in order on each side. CROMWELL at
lower end, as secretary. Keeper at the door]

Lord Chancellor. Speak to the business, master-secretary:
Why are we met in council?



Keeper. My lord archbishop;
And has done half an hour, to know your pleasures.

Lord Chancellor. Let him come in.



(stage directions). [CRANMER enters and approaches the council-table]

Lord Chancellor. My good lord archbishop, I'm very sorry
To sit here at this present, and behold
That chair stand empty: but we all are men,
In our own natures frail, and capable
Of our flesh; few are angels: out of which frailty
And want of wisdom, you, that best should teach us,
Have misdemean'd yourself, and not a little,
Toward the king first, then his laws, in filling
The whole realm, by your teaching and your chaplains,
For so we are inform'd, with new opinions,
Divers and dangerous; which are heresies,
And, not reform'd, may prove pernicious.



Cromwell. Do.
Remember your bold life too.

Lord Chancellor. This is too much;
Forbear, for shame, my lords.



Cromwell. And I.

Lord Chancellor. Then thus for you, my lord: it stands agreed,
I take it, by all voices, that forthwith
You be convey'd to the Tower a prisoner;
There to remain till the king's further pleasure
Be known unto us: are you all agreed, lords?



Duke of Norfolk. Do you think, my lords,
The king will suffer but the little finger
Of this man to be vex'd?

Lord Chancellor. 'Tis now too certain:
How much more is his life in value with him?
Would I were fairly out on't!



Henry VIII. No, sir, it does not please me.
I had thought I had had men of some understanding
And wisdom of my council; but I find none.
Was it discretion, lords, to let this man,
This good man,—few of you deserve that title,—
This honest man, wait like a lousy footboy
At chamber—door? and one as great as you are?
Why, what a shame was this! Did my commission
Bid ye so far forget yourselves? I gave ye
Power as he was a counsellor to try him,
Not as a groom: there's some of ye, I see,
More out of malice than integrity,
Would try him to the utmost, had ye mean;
Which ye shall never have while I live.

Lord Chancellor. Thus far,
My most dread sovereign, may it like your grace
To let my tongue excuse all. What was purposed
Concerning his imprisonment, was rather,
If there be faith in men, meant for his trial,
And fair purgation to the world, than malice,
I'm sure, in me.