Speeches (Lines) for Cardinal Wolsey
in "Henry VIII"

Total: 79

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

1

I,1,174

Duke of Norfolk. Like it your grace,
The state takes notice of the private difference
Betwixt you and the cardinal. I advise you—
And take it from a heart that wishes towards you
Honour and plenteous safety—that you read
The cardinal's 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 revengeful, and I know his sword
Hath a sharp edge: it's long and, 't may be said,
It reaches far, and where 'twill not extend,
Thither he darts it. Bosom up my counsel,
You'll find it wholesome. Lo, where comes that rock
That I advise your shunning.
[Enter CARDINAL WOLSEY, the purse borne before him,]
certain of the Guard, and two Secretaries with
papers. CARDINAL WOLSEY in his passage fixeth his
eye on BUCKINGHAM, and BUCKINGHAM on him, both full
of disdain]

Cardinal Wolsey. The Duke of Buckingham's surveyor, ha?
Where's his examination?


2

I,1,177

First Secretary. Here, so please you.

Cardinal Wolsey. Is he in person ready?


3

I,1,179

First Secretary. Ay, please your grace.

Cardinal Wolsey. Well, we shall then know more; and Buckingham
Shall lessen this big look.


4

I,2,365

Henry VIII. Taxation!
Wherein? and what taxation? My lord cardinal,
You that are blamed for it alike with us,
Know you of this taxation?

Cardinal Wolsey. Please you, sir,
I know but of a single part, in aught
Pertains to the state; and front but in that file
Where others tell steps with me.


5

I,2,398

Henry VIII. By my life,
This is against our pleasure.

Cardinal Wolsey. And for me,
I have no further gone in this than by
A single voice; and that not pass'd me but
By learned approbation of the judges. If I am
Traduced by ignorant tongues, which neither know
My faculties nor person, yet will be
The chronicles of my doing, let me say
'Tis but the fate of place, and the rough brake
That virtue must go through. We must not stint
Our necessary actions, in the fear
To cope malicious censurers; which ever,
As ravenous fishes, do a vessel follow
That is new-trimm'd, but benefit no further
Than vainly longing. What we oft do best,
By sick interpreters, once weak ones, is
Not ours, or not allow'd; what worst, as oft,
Hitting a grosser quality, is cried up
For our best act. If we shall stand still,
In fear our motion will be mock'd or carp'd at,
We should take root here where we sit, or sit
State-statues only.


6

I,2,434

Henry VIII. Things done well,
And with a care, exempt themselves from fear;
Things done without example, in their issue
Are to be fear'd. Have you a precedent
Of this commission? I believe, not any.
We must not rend our subjects from our laws,
And stick them in our will. Sixth part of each?
A trembling contribution! Why, we take
From every tree lop, bark, and part o' the timber;
And, though we leave it with a root, thus hack'd,
The air will drink the sap. To every county
Where this is question'd send our letters, with
Free pardon to each man that has denied
The force of this commission: pray, look to't;
I put it to your care.

Cardinal Wolsey. A word with you.
[To the Secretary]
Let there be letters writ to every shire,
Of the king's grace and pardon. The grieved commons
Hardly conceive of me; let it be noised
That through our intercession this revokement
And pardon comes: I shall anon advise you
Further in the proceeding.


7

I,2,465

Henry VIII. It grieves many:
The gentleman is learn'd, and a most rare speaker;
To nature none more bound; his training such,
That he may furnish and instruct great teachers,
And never seek for aid out of himself. Yet see,
When these so noble benefits shall prove
Not well disposed, the mind growing once corrupt,
They turn to vicious forms, ten times more ugly
Than ever they were fair. This man so complete,
Who was enroll'd 'mongst wonders, and when we,
Almost with ravish'd listening, could not find
His hour of speech a minute; he, my lady,
Hath into monstrous habits put the graces
That once were his, and is become as black
As if besmear'd in hell. Sit by us; you shall hear—
This was his gentleman in trust—of him
Things to strike honour sad. Bid him recount
The fore-recited practises; whereof
We cannot feel too little, hear too much.

Cardinal Wolsey. Stand forth, and with bold spirit relate what you,
Most like a careful subject, have collected
Out of the Duke of Buckingham.


8

I,2,476

Surveyor. First, it was usual with him, every day
It would infect his speech, that if the king
Should without issue die, he'll carry it so
To make the sceptre his: these very words
I've heard him utter to his son-in-law,
Lord Abergavenny; to whom by oath he menaced
Revenge upon the cardinal.

Cardinal Wolsey. Please your highness, note
This dangerous conception in this point.
Not friended by by his wish, to your high person
His will is most malignant; and it stretches
Beyond you, to your friends.


9

I,2,551

Henry VIII. A giant traitor!

Cardinal Wolsey. Now, madam, may his highness live in freedom,
and this man out of prison?


10

I,4,703

(stage directions). [Hautboys. Enter CARDINAL WOLSEY, and takes his state]

Cardinal Wolsey. You're welcome, my fair guests: that noble lady,
Or gentleman, that is not freely merry,
Is not my friend: this, to confirm my welcome;
And to you all, good health.


11

I,4,711

Lord Sands. Your grace is noble:
Let me have such a bowl may hold my thanks,
And save me so much talking.

Cardinal Wolsey. My Lord Sands,
I am beholding to you: cheer your neighbours.
Ladies, you are not merry: gentlemen,
Whose fault is this?


12

I,4,726

(stage directions). [Drum and trumpet, chambers discharged]

Cardinal Wolsey. What's that?


13

I,4,729

(stage directions). [Exit Servant]

Cardinal Wolsey. What warlike voice,
And to what end is this? Nay, ladies, fear not;
By all the laws of war you're privileged.


14

I,4,738

Servant. A noble troop of strangers;
For so they seem: they've left their barge and landed;
And hither make, as great ambassadors
From foreign princes.

Cardinal Wolsey. Good lord chamberlain,
Go, give 'em welcome; you can speak the French tongue;
And, pray, receive 'em nobly, and conduct 'em
Into our presence, where this heaven of beauty
Shall shine at full upon them. Some attend him.
[Exit Chamberlain, attended. All rise, and tables removed]
You have now a broken banquet; but we'll mend it.
A good digestion to you all: and once more
I shower a welcome on ye; welcome all.
[Hautboys. Enter KING HENRY VIII and others, as]
masquers, habited like shepherds, ushered by the
Chamberlain. They pass directly before CARDINAL
WOLSEY, and gracefully salute him]
A noble company! what are their pleasures?


15

I,4,760

Lord Chamberlain. Because they speak no English, thus they pray'd
To tell your grace, that, having heard by fame
Of this so noble and so fair assembly
This night to meet here, they could do no less
Out of the great respect they bear to beauty,
But leave their flocks; and, under your fair conduct,
Crave leave to view these ladies and entreat
An hour of revels with 'em.

Cardinal Wolsey. Say, lord chamberlain,
They have done my poor house grace; for which I pay 'em
A thousand thanks, and pray 'em take their pleasures.
[They choose Ladies for the dance. KING HENRY VIII]
chooses ANNE]


16

I,4,768

(stage directions). [Music. Dance]

Cardinal Wolsey. My lord!


17

I,4,770

Lord Chamberlain. Your grace?

Cardinal Wolsey. Pray, tell 'em thus much from me:
There should be one amongst 'em, by his person,
More worthy this place than myself; to whom,
If I but knew him, with my love and duty
I would surrender it.


18

I,4,777

(stage directions). [Whispers the Masquers]

Cardinal Wolsey. What say they?


19

I,4,781

Lord Chamberlain. Such a one, they all confess,
There is indeed; which they would have your grace
Find out, and he will take it.

Cardinal Wolsey. Let me see, then.
By all your good leaves, gentlemen; here I'll make
My royal choice.


20

I,4,789

Henry VIII. Ye have found him, cardinal:
[Unmasking]
You hold a fair assembly; you do well, lord:
You are a churchman, or, I'll tell you, cardinal,
I should judge now unhappily.

Cardinal Wolsey. I am glad
Your grace is grown so pleasant.


21

I,4,799

Henry VIII. By heaven, she is a dainty one. Sweetheart,
I were unmannerly, to take you out,
And not to kiss you. A health, gentlemen!
Let it go round.

Cardinal Wolsey. Sir Thomas Lovell, is the banquet ready
I' the privy chamber?


22

I,4,802

Sir Thomas Lovell. Yes, my lord.

Cardinal Wolsey. Your grace,
I fear, with dancing is a little heated.


23

I,4,805

Henry VIII. I fear, too much.

Cardinal Wolsey. There's fresher air, my lord,
In the next chamber.


24

II,2,1115

Henry VIII. Ye are too bold:
Go to; I'll make ye know your times of business:
Is this an hour for temporal affairs, ha?
[Enter CARDINAL WOLSEY and CARDINAL CAMPEIUS, with]
a commission]
Who's there? my good lord cardinal? O my Wolsey,
The quiet of my wounded conscience;
Thou art a cure fit for a king.
[To CARDINAL CAMPEIUS]
You're welcome,
Most learned reverend sir, into our kingdom:
Use us and it.
[To CARDINAL WOLSEY]
My good lord, have great care
I be not found a talker.

Cardinal Wolsey. Sir, you cannot.
I would your grace would give us but an hour
Of private conference.


25

II,2,1129

(stage directions). [Exeunt NORFOLK and SUFFOLK]

Cardinal Wolsey. Your grace has given a precedent of wisdom
Above all princes, in committing freely
Your scruple to the voice of Christendom:
Who can be angry now? what envy reach you?
The Spaniard, tied blood and favour to her,
Must now confess, if they have any goodness,
The trial just and noble. All the clerks,
I mean the learned ones, in Christian kingdoms
Have their free voices: Rome, the nurse of judgment,
Invited by your noble self, hath sent
One general tongue unto us, this good man,
This just and learned priest, Cardinal Campeius;
Whom once more I present unto your highness.


26

II,2,1153

Henry VIII. Two equal men. The queen shall be acquainted
Forthwith for what you come. Where's Gardiner?

Cardinal Wolsey. I know your majesty has always loved her
So dear in heart, not to deny her that
A woman of less place might ask by law:
Scholars allow'd freely to argue for her.


27

II,2,1163

(stage directions). [Re-enter CARDINAL WOLSEY, with GARDINER]

Cardinal Wolsey. [Aside to GARDINER] Give me your hand much joy and
favour to you;
You are the king's now.


28

II,2,1173

Cardinal Campeius. My Lord of York, was not one Doctor Pace
In this man's place before him?

Cardinal Wolsey. Yes, he was.


29

II,2,1175

Cardinal Campeius. Was he not held a learned man?

Cardinal Wolsey. Yes, surely.


30

II,2,1178

Cardinal Campeius. Believe me, there's an ill opinion spread then
Even of yourself, lord cardinal.

Cardinal Wolsey. How! of me?


31

II,2,1183

Cardinal Campeius. They will not stick to say you envied him,
And fearing he would rise, he was so virtuous,
Kept him a foreign man still; which so grieved him,
That he ran mad and died.

Cardinal Wolsey. Heaven's peace be with him!
That's Christian care enough: for living murmurers
There's places of rebuke. He was a fool;
For he would needs be virtuous: that good fellow,
If I command him, follows my appointment:
I will have none so near else. Learn this, brother,
We live not to be grip'd by meaner persons.


32

II,4,1354

(stage directions). [Trumpets, sennet, and cornets. Enter two Vergers,]
with short silver wands; next them, two Scribes, in
the habit of doctors; after them, CANTERBURY alone;
after him, LINCOLN, Ely, Rochester, and Saint
Asaph; next them, with some small distance, follows
a Gentleman bearing the purse, with the great seal,
and a cardinal's hat; then two Priests, bearing
each a silver cross; then a Gentleman-usher
bare-headed, accompanied with a Sergeant-at-arms
bearing a silver mace; then two Gentlemen bearing
two great silver pillars; after them, side by side,
CARDINAL WOLSEY and CARDINAL CAMPEIUS; two Noblemen
with the sword and mace. KING HENRY VIII takes
place under the cloth of state; CARDINAL WOLSEY and
CARDINAL CAMPEIUS sit under him as judges. QUEEN
KATHARINE takes place some distance from KING
HENRY VIII. The Bishops place themselves on each
side the court, in manner of a consistory; below
them, the Scribes. The Lords sit next the Bishops.
The rest of the Attendants stand in convenient
order about the stage]

Cardinal Wolsey. Whilst our commission from Rome is read,
Let silence be commanded.


33

II,4,1360

Henry VIII. What's the need?
It hath already publicly been read,
And on all sides the authority allow'd;
You may, then, spare that time.

Cardinal Wolsey. Be't so. Proceed.


34

II,4,1414

Queen Katharine. Sir, I desire you do me right and justice;
And to bestow your pity on me: for
I am a most poor woman, and a stranger,
Born out of your dominions; having here
No judge indifferent, nor no more assurance
Of equal friendship and proceeding. Alas, sir,
In what have I offended you? what cause
Hath my behavior given to your displeasure,
That thus you should proceed to put me off,
And take your good grace from me? Heaven witness,
I have been to you a true and humble wife,
At all times to your will conformable;
Ever in fear to kindle your dislike,
Yea, subject to your countenance, glad or sorry
As I saw it inclined: when was the hour
I ever contradicted your desire,
Or made it not mine too? Or which of your friends
Have I not strove to love, although I knew
He were mine enemy? what friend of mine
That had to him derived your anger, did I
Continue in my liking? nay, gave notice
He was from thence discharged. Sir, call to mind
That I have been your wife, in this obedience,
Upward of twenty years, and have been blest
With many children by you: if, in the course
And process of this time, you can report,
And prove it too, against mine honour aught,
My bond to wedlock, or my love and duty,
Against your sacred person, in God's name,
Turn me away; and let the foul'st contempt
Shut door upon me, and so give me up
To the sharp'st kind of justice. Please you sir,
The king, your father, was reputed for
A prince most prudent, of an excellent
And unmatch'd wit and judgment: Ferdinand,
My father, king of Spain, was reckon'd one
The wisest prince that there had reign'd by many
A year before: it is not to be question'd
That they had gather'd a wise council to them
Of every realm, that did debate this business,
Who deem'd our marriage lawful: wherefore I humbly
Beseech you, sir, to spare me, till I may
Be by my friends in Spain advised; whose counsel
I will implore: if not, i' the name of God,
Your pleasure be fulfill'd!

Cardinal Wolsey. You have here, lady,
And of your choice, these reverend fathers; men
Of singular integrity and learning,
Yea, the elect o' the land, who are assembled
To plead your cause: it shall be therefore bootless
That longer you desire the court; as well
For your own quiet, as to rectify
What is unsettled in the king.


35

II,4,1429

Queen Katharine. Lord cardinal,
To you I speak.

Cardinal Wolsey. Your pleasure, madam?


36

II,4,1435

Queen Katharine. Sir,
I am about to weep; but, thinking that
We are a queen, or long have dream'd so, certain
The daughter of a king, my drops of tears
I'll turn to sparks of fire.

Cardinal Wolsey. Be patient yet.


37

II,4,1447

Queen Katharine. I will, when you are humble; nay, before,
Or God will punish me. I do believe,
Induced by potent circumstances, that
You are mine enemy, and make my challenge
You shall not be my judge: for it is you
Have blown this coal betwixt my lord and me;
Which God's dew quench! Therefore I say again,
I utterly abhor, yea, from my soul
Refuse you for my judge; whom, yet once more,
I hold my most malicious foe, and think not
At all a friend to truth.

Cardinal Wolsey. I do profess
You speak not like yourself; who ever yet
Have stood to charity, and display'd the effects
Of disposition gentle, and of wisdom
O'ertopping woman's power. Madam, you do me wrong:
I have no spleen against you; nor injustice
For you or any: how far I have proceeded,
Or how far further shall, is warranted
By a commission from the consistory,
Yea, the whole consistory of Rome. You charge me
That I have blown this coal: I do deny it:
The king is present: if it be known to him
That I gainsay my deed, how may he wound,
And worthily, my falsehood! yea, as much
As you have done my truth. If he know
That I am free of your report, he knows
I am not of your wrong. Therefore in him
It lies to cure me: and the cure is, to
Remove these thoughts from you: the which before
His highness shall speak in, I do beseech
You, gracious madam, to unthink your speaking
And to say so no more.


38

II,4,1513

Henry VIII. Go thy ways, Kate:
That man i' the world who shall report he has
A better wife, let him in nought be trusted,
For speaking false in that: thou art, alone,
If thy rare qualities, sweet gentleness,
Thy meekness saint-like, wife-like government,
Obeying in commanding, and thy parts
Sovereign and pious else, could speak thee out,
The queen of earthly queens: she's noble born;
And, like her true nobility, she has
Carried herself towards me.

Cardinal Wolsey. Most gracious sir,
In humblest manner I require your highness,
That it shall please you to declare, in hearing
Of all these ears,—for where I am robb'd and bound,
There must I be unloosed, although not there
At once and fully satisfied,—whether ever I
Did broach this business to your highness; or
Laid any scruple in your way, which might
Induce you to the question on't? or ever
Have to you, but with thanks to God for such
A royal lady, spake one the least word that might
Be to the prejudice of her present state,
Or touch of her good person?


39

III,1,1650

(stage directions). [Enter CARDINAL WOLSEY and CARDINAL CAMPEIUS]

Cardinal Wolsey. Peace to your highness!


40

III,1,1654

Queen Katharine. Your graces find me here part of a housewife,
I would be all, against the worst may happen.
What are your pleasures with me, reverend lords?

Cardinal Wolsey. May it please you noble madam, to withdraw
Into your private chamber, we shall give you
The full cause of our coming.


41

III,1,1668

Queen Katharine. Speak it here:
There's nothing I have done yet, o' my conscience,
Deserves a corner: would all other women
Could speak this with as free a soul as I do!
My lords, I care not, so much I am happy
Above a number, if my actions
Were tried by every tongue, every eye saw 'em,
Envy and base opinion set against 'em,
I know my life so even. If your business
Seek me out, and that way I am wife in,
Out with it boldly: truth loves open dealing.

Cardinal Wolsey. Tanta est erga te mentis integritas, regina
serenissima,—


42

III,1,1680

Queen Katharine. O, good my lord, no Latin;
I am not such a truant since my coming,
As not to know the language I have lived in:
A strange tongue makes my cause more strange,
suspicious;
Pray, speak in English: here are some will thank you,
If you speak truth, for their poor mistress' sake;
Believe me, she has had much wrong: lord cardinal,
The willing'st sin I ever yet committed
May be absolved in English.

Cardinal Wolsey. Noble lady,
I am sorry my integrity should breed,
And service to his majesty and you,
So deep suspicion, where all faith was meant.
We come not by the way of accusation,
To taint that honour every good tongue blesses,
Nor to betray you any way to sorrow,
You have too much, good lady; but to know
How you stand minded in the weighty difference
Between the king and you; and to deliver,
Like free and honest men, our just opinions
And comforts to your cause.


43

III,1,1713

Queen Katharine. [Aside]. To betray me.—
My lords, I thank you both for your good wills;
Ye speak like honest men; pray God, ye prove so!
But how to make ye suddenly an answer,
In such a point of weight, so near mine honour,—
More near my life, I fear,—with my weak wit,
And to such men of gravity and learning,
In truth, I know not. I was set at work
Among my maids: full little, God knows, looking
Either for such men or such business.
For her sake that I have been,—for I feel
The last fit of my greatness,—good your graces,
Let me have time and counsel for my cause:
Alas, I am a woman, friendless, hopeless!

Cardinal Wolsey. Madam, you wrong the king's love with these fears:
Your hopes and friends are infinite.


44

III,1,1733

Cardinal Campeius. Put your main cause into the king's protection;
He's loving and most gracious: 'twill be much
Both for your honour better and your cause;
For if the trial of the law o'ertake ye,
You'll part away disgraced.

Cardinal Wolsey. He tells you rightly.


45

III,1,1749

Queen Katharine. The more shame for ye: holy men I thought ye,
Upon my soul, two reverend cardinal virtues;
But cardinal sins and hollow hearts I fear ye:
Mend 'em, for shame, my lords. Is this your comfort?
The cordial that ye bring a wretched lady,
A woman lost among ye, laugh'd at, scorn'd?
I will not wish ye half my miseries;
I have more charity: but say, I warn'd ye;
Take heed, for heaven's sake, take heed, lest at once
The burthen of my sorrows fall upon ye.

Cardinal Wolsey. Madam, this is a mere distraction;
You turn the good we offer into envy.


46

III,1,1777

Queen Katharine. Have I lived thus long—let me speak myself,
Since virtue finds no friends—a wife, a true one?
A woman, I dare say without vain-glory,
Never yet branded with suspicion?
Have I with all my full affections
Still met the king? loved him next heaven?
obey'd him?
Been, out of fondness, superstitious to him?
Almost forgot my prayers to content him?
And am I thus rewarded? 'tis not well, lords.
Bring me a constant woman to her husband,
One that ne'er dream'd a joy beyond his pleasure;
And to that woman, when she has done most,
Yet will I add an honour, a great patience.

Cardinal Wolsey. Madam, you wander from the good we aim at.


47

III,1,1782

Queen Katharine. My lord, I dare not make myself so guilty,
To give up willingly that noble title
Your master wed me to: nothing but death
Shall e'er divorce my dignities.

Cardinal Wolsey. Pray, hear me.


48

III,1,1794

Queen Katharine. Would I had never trod this English earth,
Or felt the flatteries that grow upon it!
Ye have angels' faces, but heaven knows your hearts.
What will become of me now, wretched lady!
I am the most unhappy woman living.
Alas, poor wenches, where are now your fortunes!
Shipwreck'd upon a kingdom, where no pity,
No friend, no hope; no kindred weep for me;
Almost no grave allow'd me: like the lily,
That once was mistress of the field and flourish'd,
I'll hang my head and perish.

Cardinal Wolsey. If your grace
Could but be brought to know our ends are honest,
You'ld feel more comfort: why should we, good lady,
Upon what cause, wrong you? alas, our places,
The way of our profession is against it:
We are to cure such sorrows, not to sow 'em.
For goodness' sake, consider what you do;
How you may hurt yourself, ay, utterly
Grow from the king's acquaintance, by this carriage.
The hearts of princes kiss obedience,
So much they love it; but to stubborn spirits
They swell, and grow as terrible as storms.
I know you have a gentle, noble temper,
A soul as even as a calm: pray, think us
Those we profess, peace-makers, friends, and servants.


49

III,2,1929

Duke of Norfolk. Observe, observe, he's moody.

Cardinal Wolsey. The packet, Cromwell.
Gave't you the king?


50

III,2,1932

Cromwell. To his own hand, in's bedchamber.

Cardinal Wolsey. Look'd he o' the inside of the paper?


51

III,2,1938

Cromwell. Presently
He did unseal them: and the first he view'd,
He did it with a serious mind; a heed
Was in his countenance. You he bade
Attend him here this morning.

Cardinal Wolsey. Is he ready
To come abroad?


52

III,2,1941

Cromwell. I think, by this he is.

Cardinal Wolsey. Leave me awhile.
[Exit CROMWELL]
[Aside]
It shall be to the Duchess of Alencon,
The French king's sister: he shall marry her.
Anne Bullen! No; I'll no Anne Bullens for him:
There's more in't than fair visage. Bullen!
No, we'll no Bullens. Speedily I wish
To hear from Rome. The Marchioness of Pembroke!


53

III,2,1955

Earl of Surrey. Sharp enough,
Lord, for thy justice!

Cardinal Wolsey. [Aside] The late queen's gentlewoman,
a knight's daughter,
To be her mistress' mistress! the queen's queen!
This candle burns not clear: 'tis I must snuff it;
Then out it goes. What though I know her virtuous
And well deserving? yet I know her for
A spleeny Lutheran; and not wholesome to
Our cause, that she should lie i' the bosom of
Our hard-ruled king. Again, there is sprung up
An heretic, an arch one, Cranmer; one
Hath crawl'd into the favour of the king,
And is his oracle.


54

III,2,2007

Henry VIII. If we did think
His contemplation were above the earth,
And fix'd on spiritual object, he should still
Dwell in his musings: but I am afraid
His thinkings are below the moon, not worth
His serious considering.
[King HENRY VIII takes his seat; whispers LOVELL,]
who goes to CARDINAL WOLSEY]

Cardinal Wolsey. Heaven forgive me!
Ever God bless your highness!


55

III,2,2017

Henry VIII. Good my lord,
You are full of heavenly stuff, and bear the inventory
Of your best graces in your mind; the which
You were now running o'er: you have scarce time
To steal from spiritual leisure a brief span
To keep your earthly audit: sure, in that
I deem you an ill husband, and am glad
To have you therein my companion.

Cardinal Wolsey. Sir,
For holy offices I have a time; a time
To think upon the part of business which
I bear i' the state; and nature does require
Her times of preservation, which perforce
I, her frail son, amongst my brethren mortal,
Must give my tendence to.


56

III,2,2025

Henry VIII. You have said well.

Cardinal Wolsey. And ever may your highness yoke together,
As I will lend you cause, my doing well
With my well saying!


57

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Henry VIII. 'Tis well said again;
And 'tis a kind of good deed to say well:
And yet words are no deeds. My father loved you:
His said he did; and with his deed did crown
His word upon you. Since I had my office,
I have kept you next my heart; have not alone
Employ'd you where high profits might come home,
But pared my present havings, to bestow
My bounties upon you.

Cardinal Wolsey. [Aside] What should this mean?


58

III,2,2044

Henry VIII. Have I not made you,
The prime man of the state? I pray you, tell me,
If what I now pronounce you have found true:
And, if you may confess it, say withal,
If you are bound to us or no. What say you?

Cardinal Wolsey. My sovereign, I confess your royal graces,
Shower'd on me daily, have been more than could
My studied purposes requite; which went
Beyond all man's endeavours: my endeavours
Have ever come too short of my desires,
Yet filed with my abilities: mine own ends
Have been mine so that evermore they pointed
To the good of your most sacred person and
The profit of the state. For your great graces
Heap'd upon me, poor undeserver, I
Can nothing render but allegiant thanks,
My prayers to heaven for you, my loyalty,
Which ever has and ever shall be growing,
Till death, that winter, kill it.


59

III,2,2070

Henry VIII. Fairly answer'd;
A loyal and obedient subject is
Therein illustrated: the honour of it
Does pay the act of it; as, i' the contrary,
The foulness is the punishment. I presume
That, as my hand has open'd bounty to you,
My heart dropp'd love, my power rain'd honour, more
On you than any; so your hand and heart,
Your brain, and every function of your power,
Should, notwithstanding that your bond of duty,
As 'twere in love's particular, be more
To me, your friend, than any.

Cardinal Wolsey. I do profess
That for your highness' good I ever labour'd
More than mine own; that am, have, and will be—
Though all the world should crack their duty to you,
And throw it from their soul; though perils did
Abound, as thick as thought could make 'em, and
Appear in forms more horrid,—yet my duty,
As doth a rock against the chiding flood,
Should the approach of this wild river break,
And stand unshaken yours.


60

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Henry VIII. 'Tis nobly spoken:
Take notice, lords, he has a loyal breast,
For you have seen him open't. Read o'er this;
[Giving him papers]
And after, this: and then to breakfast with
What appetite you have.
[Exit KING HENRY VIII, frowning upon CARDINAL WOLSEY:]
the Nobles throng after him, smiling and whispering]

Cardinal Wolsey. What should this mean?
What sudden anger's this? how have I reap'd it?
He parted frowning from me, as if ruin
Leap'd from his eyes: so looks the chafed lion
Upon the daring huntsman that has gall'd him;
Then makes him nothing. I must read this paper;
I fear, the story of his anger. 'Tis so;
This paper has undone me: 'tis the account
Of all that world of wealth I have drawn together
For mine own ends; indeed, to gain the popedom,
And fee my friends in Rome. O negligence!
Fit for a fool to fall by: what cross devil
Made me put this main secret in the packet
I sent the king? Is there no way to cure this?
No new device to beat this from his brains?
I know 'twill stir him strongly; yet I know
A way, if it take right, in spite of fortune
Will bring me off again. What's this? 'To the Pope!'
The letter, as I live, with all the business
I writ to's holiness. Nay then, farewell!
I have touch'd the highest point of all my greatness;
And, from that full meridian of my glory,
I haste now to my setting: I shall fall
Like a bright exhalation m the evening,
And no man see me more.
[Re-enter to CARDINAL WOLSEY, NORFOLK and SUFFOLK, SURREY,]
and the Chamberlain]


61

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Duke of Norfolk. Hear the king's pleasure, cardinal: who commands you
To render up the great seal presently
Into our hands; and to confine yourself
To Asher House, my Lord of Winchester's,
Till you hear further from his highness.

Cardinal Wolsey. Stay:
Where's your commission, lords? words cannot carry
Authority so weighty.


62

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Duke of Suffolk. Who dare cross 'em,
Bearing the king's will from his mouth expressly?

Cardinal Wolsey. Till I find more than will or words to do it,
I mean your malice, know, officious lords,
I dare and must deny it. Now I feel
Of what coarse metal ye are moulded, envy:
How eagerly ye follow my disgraces,
As if it fed ye! and how sleek and wanton
Ye appear in every thing may bring my ruin!
Follow your envious courses, men of malice;
You have Christian warrant for 'em, and, no doubt,
In time will find their fit rewards. That seal,
You ask with such a violence, the king,
Mine and your master, with his own hand gave me;
Bade me enjoy it, with the place and honours,
During my life; and, to confirm his goodness,
Tied it by letters-patents: now, who'll take it?


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Earl of Surrey. The king, that gave it.

Cardinal Wolsey. It must be himself, then.


64

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Earl of Surrey. Thou art a proud traitor, priest.

Cardinal Wolsey. Proud lord, thou liest:
Within these forty hours Surrey durst better
Have burnt that tongue than said so.


65

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Earl of Surrey. Thy ambition,
Thou scarlet sin, robb'd this bewailing land
Of noble Buckingham, my father-in-law:
The heads of all thy brother cardinals,
With thee and all thy best parts bound together,
Weigh'd not a hair of his. Plague of your policy!
You sent me deputy for Ireland;
Far from his succor, from the king, from all
That might have mercy on the fault thou gavest him;
Whilst your great goodness, out of holy pity,
Absolved him with an axe.

Cardinal Wolsey. This, and all else
This talking lord can lay upon my credit,
I answer is most false. The duke by law
Found his deserts: how innocent I was
From any private malice in his end,
His noble jury and foul cause can witness.
If I loved many words, lord, I should tell you
You have as little honesty as honour,
That in the way of loyalty and truth
Toward the king, my ever royal master,
Dare mate a sounder man than Surrey can be,
And all that love his follies.


66

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Earl of Surrey. By my soul,
Your long coat, priest, protects you; thou
shouldst feel
My sword i' the life-blood of thee else. My lords,
Can ye endure to hear this arrogance?
And from this fellow? if we live thus tamely,
To be thus jaded by a piece of scarlet,
Farewell nobility; let his grace go forward,
And dare us with his cap like larks.

Cardinal Wolsey. All goodness
Is poison to thy stomach.


67

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Earl of Surrey. Yes, that goodness
Of gleaning all the land's wealth into one,
Into your own hands, cardinal, by extortion;
The goodness of your intercepted packets
You writ to the pope against the king: your goodness,
Since you provoke me, shall be most notorious.
My Lord of Norfolk, as you are truly noble,
As you respect the common good, the state
Of our despised nobility, our issues,
Who, if he live, will scarce be gentlemen,
Produce the grand sum of his sins, the articles
Collected from his life. I'll startle you
Worse than the scaring bell, when the brown wench
Lay kissing in your arms, lord cardinal.

Cardinal Wolsey. How much, methinks, I could despise this man,
But that I am bound in charity against it!


68

III,2,2198

Duke of Norfolk. Those articles, my lord, are in the king's hand:
But, thus much, they are foul ones.

Cardinal Wolsey. So much fairer
And spotless shall mine innocence arise,
When the king knows my truth.


69

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Earl of Surrey. This cannot save you:
I thank my memory, I yet remember
Some of these articles; and out they shall.
Now, if you can blush and cry 'guilty,' cardinal,
You'll show a little honesty.

Cardinal Wolsey. Speak on, sir;
I dare your worst objections: if I blush,
It is to see a nobleman want manners.


70

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(stage directions). [Exeunt all but CARDINAL WOLSEY]

Cardinal Wolsey. So farewell to the little good you bear me.
Farewell! a long farewell, to all my greatness!
This is the state of man: to-day he puts forth
The tender leaves of hopes; to-morrow blossoms,
And bears his blushing honours thick upon him;
The third day comes a frost, a killing frost,
And, when he thinks, good easy man, full surely
His greatness is a-ripening, nips his root,
And then he falls, as I do. I have ventured,
Like little wanton boys that swim on bladders,
This many summers in a sea of glory,
But far beyond my depth: my high-blown pride
At length broke under me and now has left me,
Weary and old with service, to the mercy
Of a rude stream, that must for ever hide me.
Vain pomp and glory of this world, I hate ye:
I feel my heart new open'd. O, how wretched
Is that poor man that hangs on princes' favours!
There is, betwixt that smile we would aspire to,
That sweet aspect of princes, and their ruin,
More pangs and fears than wars or women have:
And when he falls, he falls like Lucifer,
Never to hope again.
[Enter CROMWELL, and stands amazed]
Why, how now, Cromwell!


71

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Cromwell. I have no power to speak, sir.

Cardinal Wolsey. What, amazed
At my misfortunes? can thy spirit wonder
A great man should decline? Nay, an you weep,
I am fall'n indeed.


72

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Cromwell. How does your grace?

Cardinal Wolsey. Why, well;
Never so truly happy, my good Cromwell.
I know myself now; and I feel within me
A peace above all earthly dignities,
A still and quiet conscience. The king has cured me,
I humbly thank his grace; and from these shoulders,
These ruin'd pillars, out of pity, taken
A load would sink a navy, too much honour:
O, 'tis a burthen, Cromwell, 'tis a burthen
Too heavy for a man that hopes for heaven!


73

III,2,2296

Cromwell. I am glad your grace has made that right use of it.

Cardinal Wolsey. I hope I have: I am able now, methinks,
Out of a fortitude of soul I feel,
To endure more miseries and greater far
Than my weak-hearted enemies dare offer.
What news abroad?


74

III,2,2303

Cromwell. The heaviest and the worst
Is your displeasure with the king.

Cardinal Wolsey. God bless him!


75

III,2,2306

Cromwell. The next is, that Sir Thomas More is chosen
Lord chancellor in your place.

Cardinal Wolsey. That's somewhat sudden:
But he's a learned man. May he continue
Long in his highness' favour, and do justice
For truth's sake and his conscience; that his bones,
When he has run his course and sleeps in blessings,
May have a tomb of orphans' tears wept on em! What more?


76

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Cromwell. That Cranmer is return'd with welcome,
Install'd lord archbishop of Canterbury.

Cardinal Wolsey. That's news indeed.


77

III,2,2320

Cromwell. Last, that the Lady Anne,
Whom the king hath in secrecy long married,
This day was view'd in open as his queen,
Going to chapel; and the voice is now
Only about her coronation.

Cardinal Wolsey. There was the weight that pull'd me down. O Cromwell,
The king has gone beyond me: all my glories
In that one woman I have lost for ever:
No sun shall ever usher forth mine honours,
Or gild again the noble troops that waited
Upon my smiles. Go, get thee from me, Cromwell;
I am a poor fall'n man, unworthy now
To be thy lord and master: seek the king;
That sun, I pray, may never set! I have told him
What and how true thou art: he will advance thee;
Some little memory of me will stir him—
I know his noble nature—not to let
Thy hopeful service perish too: good Cromwell,
Neglect him not; make use now, and provide
For thine own future safety.


78

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Cromwell. O my lord,
Must I, then, leave you? must I needs forego
So good, so noble and so true a master?
Bear witness, all that have not hearts of iron,
With what a sorrow Cromwell leaves his lord.
The king shall have my service: but my prayers
For ever and for ever shall be yours.

Cardinal Wolsey. Cromwell, I did not think to shed a tear
In all my miseries; but thou hast forced me,
Out of thy honest truth, to play the woman.
Let's dry our eyes: and thus far hear me, Cromwell;
And, when I am forgotten, as I shall be,
And sleep in dull cold marble, where no mention
Of me more must be heard of, say, I taught thee,
Say, Wolsey, that once trod the ways of glory,
And sounded all the depths and shoals of honour,
Found thee a way, out of his wreck, to rise in;
A sure and safe one, though thy master miss'd it.
Mark but my fall, and that that ruin'd me.
Cromwell, I charge thee, fling away ambition:
By that sin fell the angels; how can man, then,
The image of his Maker, hope to win by it?
Love thyself last: cherish those hearts that hate thee;
Corruption wins not more than honesty.
Still in thy right hand carry gentle peace,
To silence envious tongues. Be just, and fear not:
Let all the ends thou aim'st at be thy country's,
Thy God's, and truth's; then if thou fall'st,
O Cromwell,
Thou fall'st a blessed martyr! Serve the king;
And,—prithee, lead me in:
There take an inventory of all I have,
To the last penny; 'tis the king's: my robe,
And my integrity to heaven, is all
I dare now call mine own. O Cromwell, Cromwell!
Had I but served my God with half the zeal
I served my king, he would not in mine age
Have left me naked to mine enemies.


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Cromwell. Good sir, have patience.

Cardinal Wolsey. So I have. Farewell
The hopes of court! my hopes in heaven do dwell.


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