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Some Cupid kills with arrows, some with traps.

      — Much Ado about Nothing, Act III Scene 1


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History of Henry VIII

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Act I


1. London. An ante-chamber in the palace.

2. The same. The council-chamber.

3. An ante-chamber in the palace.

4. A Hall in York Place.

Act II

1. Westminster. A street.

2. An ante-chamber in the palace.

3. An ante-chamber of the QUEEN’S apartments.

4. A hall in Black-Friars.


1. London. QUEEN KATHARINE’s apartments.

2. Ante-chamber to KING HENRY VIII’s apartment.

Act IV

1. A street in Westminster.

2. Kimbolton.

Act V

1. London. A gallery in the palace.

2. Before the council-chamber. Pursuivants, Pages, &c.

3. The Council-Chamber.

4. The palace yard.

5. The palace.



      next scene .
  • Chorus. I come no more to make you laugh: things now,
    That bear a weighty and a serious brow,
    Sad, high, and working, full of state and woe,
    Such noble scenes as draw the eye to flow,
    We now present. Those that can pity, here 5
    May, if they think it well, let fall a tear;
    The subject will deserve it. Such as give
    Their money out of hope they may believe,
    May here find truth too. Those that come to see
    Only a show or two, and so agree 10
    The play may pass, if they be still and willing,
    I'll undertake may see away their shilling
    Richly in two short hours. Only they
    That come to hear a merry bawdy play,
    A noise of targets, or to see a fellow 15
    In a long motley coat guarded with yellow,
    Will be deceived; for, gentle hearers, know,
    To rank our chosen truth with such a show
    As fool and fight is, beside forfeiting
    Our own brains, and the opinion that we bring, 20
    To make that only true we now intend,
    Will leave us never an understanding friend.
    Therefore, for goodness' sake, and as you are known
    The first and happiest hearers of the town,
    Be sad, as we would make ye: think ye see 25
    The very persons of our noble story
    As they were living; think you see them great,
    And follow'd with the general throng and sweat
    Of thousand friends; then in a moment, see
    How soon this mightiness meets misery: 30
    And, if you can be merry then, I'll say
    A man may weep upon his wedding-day.
. previous scene      

Act I, Scene 1

London. An ante-chamber in the palace.

      next scene .

[Enter NORFOLK at one door; at the other, BUCKINGHAM] [p]and ABERGAVENNY]

  • Duke of Buckingham. Good morrow, and well met. How have ye done 35
    Since last we saw in France?
  • Duke of Norfolk. I thank your grace,
    Healthful; and ever since a fresh admirer
    Of what I saw there.
  • Duke of Buckingham. An untimely ague 40
    Stay'd me a prisoner in my chamber when
    Those suns of glory, those two lights of men,
    Met in the vale of Andren.
  • Duke of Norfolk. 'Twixt Guynes and Arde:
    I was then present, saw them salute on horseback; 45
    Beheld them, when they lighted, how they clung
    In their embracement, as they grew together;
    Which had they, what four throned ones could have weigh'd
    Such a compounded one?
  • Duke of Norfolk. Then you lost
    The view of earthly glory: men might say,
    Till this time pomp was single, but now married
    To one above itself. Each following day 55
    Became the next day's master, till the last
    Made former wonders its. To-day the French,
    All clinquant, all in gold, like heathen gods,
    Shone down the English; and, to-morrow, they
    Made Britain India: every man that stood 60
    Show'd like a mine. Their dwarfish pages were
    As cherubins, all guilt: the madams too,
    Not used to toil, did almost sweat to bear
    The pride upon them, that their very labour
    Was to them as a painting: now this masque 65
    Was cried incomparable; and the ensuing night
    Made it a fool and beggar. The two kings,
    Equal in lustre, were now best, now worst,
    As presence did present them; him in eye,
    Still him in praise: and, being present both 70
    'Twas said they saw but one; and no discerner
    Durst wag his tongue in censure. When these suns—
    For so they phrase 'em—by their heralds challenged
    The noble spirits to arms, they did perform
    Beyond thought's compass; that former fabulous story, 75
    Being now seen possible enough, got credit,
    That Bevis was believed.
  • Duke of Norfolk. As I belong to worship and affect
    In honour honesty, the tract of every thing 80
    Would by a good discourser lose some life,
    Which action's self was tongue to. All was royal;
    To the disposing of it nought rebell'd.
    Order gave each thing view; the office did
    Distinctly his full function. 85
  • Duke of Buckingham. Who did guide,
    I mean, who set the body and the limbs
    Of this great sport together, as you guess?
  • Duke of Norfolk. One, certes, that promises no element
    In such a business. 90
  • Duke of Norfolk. All this was order'd by the good discretion
    Of the right reverend Cardinal of York.
  • Duke of Buckingham. The devil speed him! no man's pie is freed
    From his ambitious finger. What had he 95
    To do in these fierce vanities? I wonder
    That such a keech can with his very bulk
    Take up the rays o' the beneficial sun
    And keep it from the earth.
  • Duke of Norfolk. Surely, sir, 100
    There's in him stuff that puts him to these ends;
    For, being not propp'd by ancestry, whose grace
    Chalks successors their way, nor call'd upon
    For high feats done to the crown; neither allied
    For eminent assistants; but, spider-like, 105
    Out of his self-drawing web, he gives us note,
    The force of his own merit makes his way
    A gift that heaven gives for him, which buys
    A place next to the king.
  • Lord Abergavenny. I cannot tell 110
    What heaven hath given him,—let some graver eye
    Pierce into that; but I can see his pride
    Peep through each part of him: whence has he that,
    If not from hell? the devil is a niggard,
    Or has given all before, and he begins 115
    A new hell in himself.
  • Duke of Buckingham. Why the devil,
    Upon this French going out, took he upon him,
    Without the privity o' the king, to appoint
    Who should attend on him? He makes up the file 120
    Of all the gentry; for the most part such
    To whom as great a charge as little honour
    He meant to lay upon: and his own letter,
    The honourable board of council out,
    Must fetch him in the papers. 125
  • Lord Abergavenny. I do know
    Kinsmen of mine, three at the least, that have
    By this so sickened their estates, that never
    They shall abound as formerly.
  • Duke of Buckingham. O, many 130
    Have broke their backs with laying manors on 'em
    For this great journey. What did this vanity
    But minister communication of
    A most poor issue?
  • Duke of Norfolk. Grievingly I think, 135
    The peace between the French and us not values
    The cost that did conclude it.
  • Duke of Buckingham. Every man,
    After the hideous storm that follow'd, was
    A thing inspired; and, not consulting, broke 140
    Into a general prophecy; That this tempest,
    Dashing the garment of this peace, aboded
    The sudden breach on't.
  • Duke of Norfolk. Which is budded out;
    For France hath flaw'd the league, and hath attach'd 145
    Our merchants' goods at Bourdeaux.
  • Lord Abergavenny. A proper title of a peace; and purchased 150
    At a superfluous rate!
  • Duke of Norfolk. Like it your grace,
    The state takes notice of the private difference 155
    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 160
    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, 165
    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 170
    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? 175
  • Cardinal Wolsey. Well, we shall then know more; and Buckingham
    Shall lessen this big look. 180

[Exeunt CARDINAL WOLSEY and his Train]

  • Duke of Buckingham. This butcher's cur is venom-mouth'd, and I
    Have not the power to muzzle him; therefore best
    Not wake him in his slumber. A beggar's book
    Outworths a noble's blood. 185
  • Duke of Norfolk. What, are you chafed?
    Ask God for temperance; that's the appliance only
    Which your disease requires.
  • Duke of Buckingham. I read in's looks
    Matter against me; and his eye reviled 190
    Me, as his abject object: at this instant
    He bores me with some trick: he's gone to the king;
    I'll follow and outstare him.
  • Duke of Norfolk. Stay, my lord,
    And let your reason with your choler question 195
    What 'tis you go about: to climb steep hills
    Requires slow pace at first: anger is like
    A full-hot horse, who being allow'd his way,
    Self-mettle tires him. Not a man in England
    Can advise me like you: be to yourself 200
    As you would to your friend.
  • Duke of Buckingham. I'll to the king;
    And from a mouth of honour quite cry down
    This Ipswich fellow's insolence; or proclaim
    There's difference in no persons. 205
  • Duke of Norfolk. Be advised;
    Heat not a furnace for your foe so hot
    That it do singe yourself: we may outrun,
    By violent swiftness, that which we run at,
    And lose by over-running. Know you not, 210
    The fire that mounts the liquor til run o'er,
    In seeming to augment it wastes it? Be advised:
    I say again, there is no English soul
    More stronger to direct you than yourself,
    If with the sap of reason you would quench, 215
    Or but allay, the fire of passion.
  • Duke of Buckingham. Sir,
    I am thankful to you; and I'll go along
    By your prescription: but this top-proud fellow,
    Whom from the flow of gall I name not but 220
    From sincere motions, by intelligence,
    And proofs as clear as founts in July when
    We see each grain of gravel, I do know
    To be corrupt and treasonous.
  • Duke of Buckingham. To the king I'll say't; and make my vouch as strong
    As shore of rock. Attend. This holy fox,
    Or wolf, or both,—for he is equal ravenous
    As he is subtle, and as prone to mischief
    As able to perform't; his mind and place 230
    Infecting one another, yea, reciprocally—
    Only to show his pomp as well in France
    As here at home, suggests the king our master
    To this last costly treaty, the interview,
    That swallow'd so much treasure, and like a glass 235
    Did break i' the rinsing.
  • Duke of Buckingham. Pray, give me favour, sir. This cunning cardinal
    The articles o' the combination drew
    As himself pleased; and they were ratified 240
    As he cried 'Thus let be': to as much end
    As give a crutch to the dead: but our count-cardinal
    Has done this, and 'tis well; for worthy Wolsey,
    Who cannot err, he did it. Now this follows,—
    Which, as I take it, is a kind of puppy 245
    To the old dam, treason,—Charles the emperor,
    Under pretence to see the queen his aunt—
    For 'twas indeed his colour, but he came
    To whisper Wolsey,—here makes visitation:
    His fears were, that the interview betwixt 250
    England and France might, through their amity,
    Breed him some prejudice; for from this league
    Peep'd harms that menaced him: he privily
    Deals with our cardinal; and, as I trow,—
    Which I do well; for I am sure the emperor 255
    Paid ere he promised; whereby his suit was granted
    Ere it was ask'd; but when the way was made,
    And paved with gold, the emperor thus desired,
    That he would please to alter the king's course,
    And break the foresaid peace. Let the king know, 260
    As soon he shall by me, that thus the cardinal
    Does buy and sell his honour as he pleases,
    And for his own advantage.
  • Duke of Norfolk. I am sorry
    To hear this of him; and could wish he were 265
    Something mistaken in't.
  • Duke of Buckingham. No, not a syllable:
    I do pronounce him in that very shape
    He shall appear in proof.
    [Enter BRANDON, a Sergeant-at-arms before him, and] 270
    two or three of the Guard]
  • Brandon. Your office, sergeant; execute it.
  • Sergeant. Sir,
    My lord the Duke of Buckingham, and Earl
    Of Hereford, Stafford, and Northampton, I 275
    Arrest thee of high treason, in the name
    Of our most sovereign king.
  • Duke of Buckingham. Lo, you, my lord,
    The net has fall'n upon me! I shall perish
    Under device and practise. 280
  • Brandon. I am sorry
    To see you ta'en from liberty, to look on
    The business present: 'tis his highness' pleasure
    You shall to the Tower.
  • Duke of Buckingham. It will help me nothing 285
    To plead mine innocence; for that dye is on me
    Which makes my whitest part black. The will of heaven
    Be done in this and all things! I obey.
    O my Lord Abergavenny, fare you well!
  • Brandon. Nay, he must bear you company. The king 290
    Is pleased you shall to the Tower, till you know
    How he determines further.
  • Lord Abergavenny. As the duke said,
    The will of heaven be done, and the king's pleasure 295
    By me obey'd!
  • Brandon. Here is a warrant from
    The king to attach Lord Montacute; and the bodies
    Of the duke's confessor, John de la Car,
    One Gilbert Peck, his chancellor— 300
  • Duke of Buckingham. My surveyor is false; the o'er-great cardinal
    Hath show'd him gold; my life is spann'd already:
    I am the shadow of poor Buckingham,
    Whose figure even this instant cloud puts on,
    By darkening my clear sun. My lord, farewell. 310


. previous scene      

Act I, Scene 2

The same. The council-chamber.

      next scene .

[Cornets. Enter KING HENRY VIII, leaning on] [p]CARDINAL WOLSEY's shoulder, the Nobles, and LOVELL; [p]CARDINAL WOLSEY places himself under KING HENRY [p]VIII's feet on his right side]

  • Henry VIII. My life itself, and the best heart of it,
    Thanks you for this great care: I stood i' the level
    Of a full-charged confederacy, and give thanks
    To you that choked it. Let be call'd before us
    That gentleman of Buckingham's; in person 320
    I'll hear him his confessions justify;
    And point by point the treasons of his master
    He shall again relate.
    [A noise within, crying 'Room for the Queen!' Enter]
    QUEEN KATHARINE, ushered by NORFOLK, and SUFFOLK: 325
    she kneels. KING HENRY VIII riseth from his state,
    takes her up, kisses and placeth her by him]
  • Henry VIII. Arise, and take place by us: half your suit
    Never name to us; you have half our power: 330
    The other moiety, ere you ask, is given;
    Repeat your will and take it.
  • Queen Katharine. Thank your majesty.
    That you would love yourself, and in that love
    Not unconsider'd leave your honour, nor 335
    The dignity of your office, is the point
    Of my petition.
  • Queen Katharine. I am solicited, not by a few,
    And those of true condition, that your subjects 340
    Are in great grievance: there have been commissions
    Sent down among 'em, which hath flaw'd the heart
    Of all their loyalties: wherein, although,
    My good lord cardinal, they vent reproaches
    Most bitterly on you, as putter on 345
    Of these exactions, yet the king our master—
    Whose honour heaven shield from soil!—even he
    escapes not
    Language unmannerly, yea, such which breaks
    The sides of loyalty, and almost appears 350
    In loud rebellion.
  • Duke of Norfolk. Not almost appears,
    It doth appear; for, upon these taxations,
    The clothiers all, not able to maintain
    The many to them longing, have put off 355
    The spinsters, carders, fullers, weavers, who,
    Unfit for other life, compell'd by hunger
    And lack of other means, in desperate manner
    Daring the event to the teeth, are all in uproar,
    And danger serves among then! 360
  • 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, 365
    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.
  • Queen Katharine. No, my lord,
    You know no more than others; but you frame 370
    Things that are known alike; which are not wholesome
    To those which would not know them, and yet must
    Perforce be their acquaintance. These exactions,
    Whereof my sovereign would have note, they are
    Most pestilent to the bearing; and, to bear 'em, 375
    The back is sacrifice to the load. They say
    They are devised by you; or else you suffer
    Too hard an exclamation.
  • Henry VIII. Still exaction!
    The nature of it? in what kind, let's know, 380
    Is this exaction?
  • Queen Katharine. I am much too venturous
    In tempting of your patience; but am bolden'd
    Under your promised pardon. The subjects' grief
    Comes through commissions, which compel from each 385
    The sixth part of his substance, to be levied
    Without delay; and the pretence for this
    Is named, your wars in France: this makes bold mouths:
    Tongues spit their duties out, and cold hearts freeze
    Allegiance in them; their curses now 390
    Live where their prayers did: and it's come to pass,
    This tractable obedience is a slave
    To each incensed will. I would your highness
    Would give it quick consideration, for
    There is no primer business. 395
  • 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 400
    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 405
    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 410
    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, 415
    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.
  • Henry VIII. Things done well,
    And with a care, exempt themselves from fear; 420
    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? 425
    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 430
    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] 435
    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 440
    Further in the proceeding.

[Exit Secretary]

[Enter Surveyor]

  • Queen Katharine. I am sorry that the Duke of Buckingham
    Is run in your displeasure. 445
  • 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, 450
    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, 455
    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— 460
    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, 465
    Most like a careful subject, have collected
    Out of the Duke of Buckingham.
  • Surveyor. First, it was usual with him, every day
    It would infect his speech, that if the king 470
    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. 475
  • 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. 480
  • Henry VIII. Speak on:
    How grounded he his title to the crown,
    Upon our fail? to this point hast thou heard him 485
    At any time speak aught?
  • Surveyor. He was brought to this
    By a vain prophecy of Nicholas Hopkins.
  • Surveyor. Sir, a Chartreux friar, 490
    His confessor, who fed him every minute
    With words of sovereignty.
  • Surveyor. Not long before your highness sped to France,
    The duke being at the Rose, within the parish 495
    Saint Lawrence Poultney, did of me demand
    What was the speech among the Londoners
    Concerning the French journey: I replied,
    Men fear'd the French would prove perfidious,
    To the king's danger. Presently the duke 500
    Said, 'twas the fear, indeed; and that he doubted
    'Twould prove the verity of certain words
    Spoke by a holy monk; 'that oft,' says he,
    'Hath sent to me, wishing me to permit
    John de la Car, my chaplain, a choice hour 505
    To hear from him a matter of some moment:
    Whom after under the confession's seal
    He solemnly had sworn, that what he spoke
    My chaplain to no creature living, but
    To me, should utter, with demure confidence 510
    This pausingly ensued: neither the king nor's heirs,
    Tell you the duke, shall prosper: bid him strive
    To gain the love o' the commonalty: the duke
    Shall govern England.'
  • Queen Katharine. If I know you well, 515
    You were the duke's surveyor, and lost your office
    On the complaint o' the tenants: take good heed
    You charge not in your spleen a noble person
    And spoil your nobler soul: I say, take heed;
    Yes, heartily beseech you. 520
  • Surveyor. On my soul, I'll speak but truth.
    I told my lord the duke, by the devil's illusions
    The monk might be deceived; and that 'twas dangerous for him 525
    To ruminate on this so far, until
    It forged him some design, which, being believed,
    It was much like to do: he answer'd, 'Tush,
    It can do me no damage;' adding further,
    That, had the king in his last sickness fail'd, 530
    The cardinal's and Sir Thomas Lovell's heads
    Should have gone off.
  • Henry VIII. Ha! what, so rank? Ah ha!
    There's mischief in this man: canst thou say further?
  • Surveyor. Being at Greenwich,
    After your highness had reproved the duke
    About Sir William Blomer,—
  • Henry VIII. I remember 540
    Of such a time: being my sworn servant,
    The duke retain'd him his. But on; what hence?
  • Surveyor. 'If,' quoth he, 'I for this had been committed,
    As, to the Tower, I thought, I would have play'd
    The part my father meant to act upon 545
    The usurper Richard; who, being at Salisbury,
    Made suit to come in's presence; which if granted,
    As he made semblance of his duty, would
    Have put his knife to him.'
  • Cardinal Wolsey. Now, madam, may his highness live in freedom,
    and this man out of prison?
  • Henry VIII. There's something more would out of thee; what say'st?
  • Surveyor. After 'the duke his father,' with 'the knife,' 555
    He stretch'd him, and, with one hand on his dagger,
    Another spread on's breast, mounting his eyes
    He did discharge a horrible oath; whose tenor
    Was,—were he evil used, he would outgo
    His father by as much as a performance 560
    Does an irresolute purpose.
  • Henry VIII. There's his period,
    To sheathe his knife in us. He is attach'd;
    Call him to present trial: if he may
    Find mercy in the law, 'tis his: if none, 565
    Let him not seek 't of us: by day and night,
    He's traitor to the height.


. previous scene      

Act I, Scene 3

An ante-chamber in the palace.

      next scene .

[Enter Chamberlain and SANDS]

  • Lord Chamberlain. Is't possible the spells of France should juggle 570
    Men into such strange mysteries?
  • Lord Sands. New customs,
    Though they be never so ridiculous,
    Nay, let 'em be unmanly, yet are follow'd.
  • Lord Chamberlain. As far as I see, all the good our English 575
    Have got by the late voyage is but merely
    A fit or two o' the face; but they are shrewd ones;
    For when they hold 'em, you would swear directly
    Their very noses had been counsellors
    To Pepin or Clotharius, they keep state so. 580
  • Lord Sands. They have all new legs, and lame ones: one would take it,
    That never saw 'em pace before, the spavin
    Or springhalt reign'd among 'em.
  • Lord Chamberlain. Death! my lord,
    Their clothes are after such a pagan cut too, 585
    That, sure, they've worn out Christendom.
    [Enter LOVELL]
    How now!
    What news, Sir Thomas Lovell?
  • Sir Thomas Lovell. Faith, my lord, 590
    I hear of none, but the new proclamation
    That's clapp'd upon the court-gate.
  • Sir Thomas Lovell. The reformation of our travell'd gallants,
    That fill the court with quarrels, talk, and tailors. 595
  • Lord Chamberlain. I'm glad 'tis there: now I would pray our monsieurs
    To think an English courtier may be wise,
    And never see the Louvre.
  • Sir Thomas Lovell. They must either,
    For so run the conditions, leave those remnants 600
    Of fool and feather that they got in France,
    With all their honourable point of ignorance
    Pertaining thereunto, as fights and fireworks,
    Abusing better men than they can be,
    Out of a foreign wisdom, renouncing clean 605
    The faith they have in tennis, and tall stockings,
    Short blister'd breeches, and those types of travel,
    And understand again like honest men;
    Or pack to their old playfellows: there, I take it,
    They may, 'cum privilegio,' wear away 610
    The lag end of their lewdness and be laugh'd at.
  • Lord Sands. 'Tis time to give 'em physic, their diseases
    Are grown so catching.
  • Sir Thomas Lovell. Ay, marry,
    There will be woe indeed, lords: the sly whoresons
    Have got a speeding trick to lay down ladies;
    A French song and a fiddle has no fellow.
  • Lord Sands. The devil fiddle 'em! I am glad they are going, 620
    For, sure, there's no converting of 'em: now
    An honest country lord, as I am, beaten
    A long time out of play, may bring his plainsong
    And have an hour of hearing; and, by'r lady,
    Held current music too. 625
  • Lord Sands. No, my lord;
    Nor shall not, while I have a stump.
  • Lord Chamberlain. O, 'tis true:
    This night he makes a supper, and a great one, 635
    To many lords and ladies; there will be
    The beauty of this kingdom, I'll assure you.
  • Sir Thomas Lovell. That churchman bears a bounteous mind indeed,
    A hand as fruitful as the land that feeds us;
    His dews fall every where. 640
  • Lord Chamberlain. No doubt he's noble;
    He had a black mouth that said other of him.
  • Lord Sands. He may, my lord; has wherewithal: in him
    Sparing would show a worse sin than ill doctrine:
    Men of his way should be most liberal; 645
    They are set here for examples.
  • Lord Chamberlain. True, they are so:
    But few now give so great ones. My barge stays;
    Your lordship shall along. Come, good Sir Thomas,
    We shall be late else; which I would not be, 650
    For I was spoke to, with Sir Henry Guildford
    This night to be comptrollers.


. previous scene      

Act I, Scene 4

A Hall in York Place.

      next scene .

[Hautboys. A small table under a state for CARDINAL] [p]WOLSEY, a longer table for the guests. Then enter [p]ANNE and divers other Ladies and Gentlemen as [p]guests, at one door; at another door, enter GUILDFORD]

  • Sir Henry Guildford. Ladies, a general welcome from his grace
    Salutes ye all; this night he dedicates 660
    To fair content and you: none here, he hopes,
    In all this noble bevy, has brought with her
    One care abroad; he would have all as merry
    As, first, good company, good wine, good welcome,
    Can make good people. O, my lord, you're tardy: 665
    [Enter Chamberlain, SANDS, and LOVELL]
    The very thought of this fair company
    Clapp'd wings to me.
  • Lord Sands. Sir Thomas Lovell, had the cardinal 670
    But half my lay thoughts in him, some of these
    Should find a running banquet ere they rested,
    I think would better please 'em: by my life,
    They are a sweet society of fair ones.
  • Sir Thomas Lovell. O, that your lordship were but now confessor 675
    To one or two of these!
  • Lord Sands. I would I were;
    They should find easy penance.
  • Lord Sands. As easy as a down-bed would afford it. 680
  • Lord Chamberlain. Sweet ladies, will it please you sit? Sir Harry,
    Place you that side; I'll take the charge of this:
    His grace is entering. Nay, you must not freeze;
    Two women placed together makes cold weather:
    My Lord Sands, you are one will keep 'em waking; 685
    Pray, sit between these ladies.
  • Lord Sands. By my faith,
    And thank your lordship. By your leave, sweet ladies:
    If I chance to talk a little wild, forgive me;
    I had it from my father. 690
  • Lord Sands. O, very mad, exceeding mad, in love too:
    But he would bite none; just as I do now,
    He would kiss you twenty with a breath.

[Kisses her]

  • Lord Chamberlain. Well said, my lord.
    So, now you're fairly seated. Gentlemen,
    The penance lies on you, if these fair ladies
    Pass away frowning.

[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; 705
    And to you all, good health.


  • Lord Sands. Your grace is noble:
    Let me have such a bowl may hold my thanks,
    And save me so much talking. 710
  • Cardinal Wolsey. My Lord Sands,
    I am beholding to you: cheer your neighbours.
    Ladies, you are not merry: gentlemen,
    Whose fault is this?
  • Lord Sands. The red wine first must rise 715
    In their fair cheeks, my lord; then we shall have 'em
    Talk us to silence.
  • Lord Sands. Yes, if I make my play. 720
    Here's to your ladyship: and pledge it, madam,
    For 'tis to such a thing,—
  • Lord Sands. I told your grace they would talk anon.

[Drum and trumpet, chambers discharged]

[Exit Servant]

  • Cardinal Wolsey. What warlike voice,
    And to what end is this? Nay, ladies, fear not; 730
    By all the laws of war you're privileged.

[Re-enter Servant]

  • Servant. A noble troop of strangers;
    For so they seem: they've left their barge and landed; 735
    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 740
    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 745
    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] 750
    A noble company! what are their pleasures?
  • 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 755
    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, 760
    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]
  • Henry VIII. The fairest hand I ever touch'd! O beauty, 765
    Till now I never knew thee!

[Music. Dance]

  • Cardinal Wolsey. Pray, tell 'em thus much from me: 770
    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.

[Whispers the Masquers]

  • Lord Chamberlain. Such a one, they all confess,
    There is indeed; which they would have your grace
    Find out, and he will take it. 780
  • Cardinal Wolsey. Let me see, then.
    By all your good leaves, gentlemen; here I'll make
    My royal choice.
  • Henry VIII. Ye have found him, cardinal:
    [Unmasking] 785
    You hold a fair assembly; you do well, lord:
    You are a churchman, or, I'll tell you, cardinal,
    I should judge now unhappily.
  • Henry VIII. My lord chamberlain,
    Prithee, come hither: what fair lady's that?
  • Lord Chamberlain. An't please your grace, Sir Thomas Bullen's daughter—
    The Viscount Rochford,—one of her highness' women.
  • Henry VIII. By heaven, she is a dainty one. Sweetheart, 795
    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? 800
  • Henry VIII. Lead in your ladies, every one: sweet partner,
    I must not yet forsake you: let's be merry:
    Good my lord cardinal, I have half a dozen healths
    To drink to these fair ladies, and a measure 810
    To lead 'em once again; and then let's dream
    Who's best in favour. Let the music knock it.

[Exeunt with trumpets]

. previous scene      

Act II, Scene 1

Westminster. A street.

      next scene .

[Enter two Gentlemen, meeting]

  • Second Gentleman. O, God save ye!
    Even to the hall, to hear what shall become
    Of the great Duke of Buckingham.
  • First Gentleman. I'll save you
    That labour, sir. All's now done, but the ceremony 820
    Of bringing back the prisoner.
  • First Gentleman. I'll tell you in a little. The great duke
    Came to the bar; where to his accusations
    He pleaded still not guilty and alleged
    Many sharp reasons to defeat the law.
    The king's attorney on the contrary 835
    Urged on the examinations, proofs, confessions
    Of divers witnesses; which the duke desired
    To have brought viva voce to his face:
    At which appear'd against him his surveyor;
    Sir Gilbert Peck his chancellor; and John Car, 840
    Confessor to him; with that devil-monk,
    Hopkins, that made this mischief.
  • First Gentleman. The same. 845
    All these accused him strongly; which he fain
    Would have flung from him, but, indeed, he could not:
    And so his peers, upon this evidence,
    Have found him guilty of high treason. Much
    He spoke, and learnedly, for life; but all 850
    Was either pitied in him or forgotten.
  • First Gentleman. When he was brought again to the bar, to hear
    His knell rung out, his judgment, he was stirr'd
    With such an agony, he sweat extremely, 855
    And something spoke in choler, ill, and hasty:
    But he fell to himself again, and sweetly
    In all the rest show'd a most noble patience.
  • First Gentleman. Sure, he does not: 860
    He never was so womanish; the cause
    He may a little grieve at.
  • First Gentleman. 'Tis likely, 865
    By all conjectures: first, Kildare's attainder,
    Then deputy of Ireland; who removed,
    Earl Surrey was sent thither, and in haste too,
    Lest he should help his father.
  • First Gentleman. At his return
    No doubt he will requite it. This is noted,
    And generally, whoever the king favours,
    The cardinal instantly will find employment, 875
    And far enough from court too.
  • Second Gentleman. All the commons
    Hate him perniciously, and, o' my conscience,
    Wish him ten fathom deep: this duke as much
    They love and dote on; call him bounteous Buckingham, 880
    The mirror of all courtesy;—
  • First Gentleman. Stay there, sir,
    And see the noble ruin'd man you speak of.
    [Enter BUCKINGHAM from his arraignment; tip-staves]
    before him; the axe with the edge towards him; 885
    halberds on each side: accompanied with LOVELL,
    VAUX, SANDS, and common people]
  • Duke of Buckingham. All good people,
    You that thus far have come to pity me, 890
    Hear what I say, and then go home and lose me.
    I have this day received a traitor's judgment,
    And by that name must die: yet, heaven bear witness,
    And if I have a conscience, let it sink me,
    Even as the axe falls, if I be not faithful! 895
    The law I bear no malice for my death;
    'T has done, upon the premises, but justice:
    But those that sought it I could wish more Christians:
    Be what they will, I heartily forgive 'em:
    Yet let 'em look they glory not in mischief, 900
    Nor build their evils on the graves of great men;
    For then my guiltless blood must cry against 'em.
    For further life in this world I ne'er hope,
    Nor will I sue, although the king have mercies
    More than I dare make faults. You few that loved me, 905
    And dare be bold to weep for Buckingham,
    His noble friends and fellows, whom to leave
    Is only bitter to him, only dying,
    Go with me, like good angels, to my end;
    And, as the long divorce of steel falls on me, 910
    Make of your prayers one sweet sacrifice,
    And lift my soul to heaven. Lead on, o' God's name.
  • Sir Thomas Lovell. I do beseech your grace, for charity,
    If ever any malice in your heart
    Were hid against me, now to forgive me frankly. 915
  • Duke of Buckingham. Sir Thomas Lovell, I as free forgive you
    As I would be forgiven: I forgive all;
    There cannot be those numberless offences
    'Gainst me, that I cannot take peace with:
    no black envy 920
    Shall mark my grave. Commend me to his grace;
    And if he speak of Buckingham, pray, tell him
    You met him half in heaven: my vows and prayers
    Yet are the king's; and, till my soul forsake,
    Shall cry for blessings on him: may he live 925
    Longer than I have time to tell his years!
    Ever beloved and loving may his rule be!
    And when old time shall lead him to his end,
    Goodness and he fill up one monument!
  • Sir Thomas Lovell. To the water side I must conduct your grace; 930
    Then give my charge up to Sir Nicholas Vaux,
    Who undertakes you to your end.
  • Sir Nicholas Vaux. Prepare there,
    The duke is coming: see the barge be ready;
    And fit it with such furniture as suits 935
    The greatness of his person.
  • Duke of Buckingham. Nay, Sir Nicholas,
    Let it alone; my state now will but mock me.
    When I came hither, I was lord high constable
    And Duke of Buckingham; now, poor Edward Bohun: 940
    Yet I am richer than my base accusers,
    That never knew what truth meant: I now seal it;
    And with that blood will make 'em one day groan for't.
    My noble father, Henry of Buckingham,
    Who first raised head against usurping Richard, 945
    Flying for succor to his servant Banister,
    Being distress'd, was by that wretch betray'd,
    And without trial fell; God's peace be with him!
    Henry the Seventh succeeding, truly pitying
    My father's loss, like a most royal prince, 950
    Restored me to my honours, and, out of ruins,
    Made my name once more noble. Now his son,
    Henry the Eighth, life, honour, name and all
    That made me happy at one stroke has taken
    For ever from the world. I had my trial, 955
    And, must needs say, a noble one; which makes me,
    A little happier than my wretched father:
    Yet thus far we are one in fortunes: both
    Fell by our servants, by those men we loved most;
    A most unnatural and faithless service! 960
    Heaven has an end in all: yet, you that hear me,
    This from a dying man receive as certain:
    Where you are liberal of your loves and counsels
    Be sure you be not loose; for those you make friends
    And give your hearts to, when they once perceive 965
    The least rub in your fortunes, fall away
    Like water from ye, never found again
    But where they mean to sink ye. All good people,
    Pray for me! I must now forsake ye: the last hour
    Of my long weary life is come upon me. Farewell: 970
    And when you would say something that is sad,
    Speak how I fell. I have done; and God forgive me!

[Exeunt BUCKINGHAM and Train]

  • First Gentleman. O, this is full of pity! Sir, it calls,
    I fear, too many curses on their beads 975
    That were the authors.
  • Second Gentleman. If the duke be guiltless,
    'Tis full of woe: yet I can give you inkling
    Of an ensuing evil, if it fall,
    Greater than this. 980
  • First Gentleman. Good angels keep it from us!
    What may it be? You do not doubt my faith, sir?
  • Second Gentleman. This secret is so weighty, 'twill require
    A strong faith to conceal it.
  • Second Gentleman. I am confident,
    You shall, sir: did you not of late days hear
    A buzzing of a separation
    Between the king and Katharine? 990
  • First Gentleman. 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
    That durst disperse it. 995
  • Second Gentleman. But that slander, sir,
    Is found a truth now: for it grows again
    Fresher than e'er it was; and held for certain
    The king will venture at it. Either the cardinal,
    Or some about him near, have, out of malice 1000
    To the good queen, possess'd him with a scruple
    That will undo her: to confirm this too,
    Cardinal Campeius is arrived, and lately;
    As all think, for this business.
  • First Gentleman. 'Tis the cardinal; 1005
    And merely to revenge him on the emperor
    For not bestowing on him, at his asking,
    The archbishopric of Toledo, this is purposed.
  • Second Gentleman. I think you have hit the mark: but is't not cruel
    That she should feel the smart of this? The cardinal 1010
    Will have his will, and she must fall.
  • First Gentleman. 'Tis woful.
    We are too open here to argue this;
    Let's think in private more.


. previous scene      

Act II, Scene 2

An ante-chamber in the palace.

      next scene .

[Enter Chamberlain, reading a letter]

  • Lord Chamberlain. 'My lord, the horses your lordship sent for, with
    all the care I had, I saw well chosen, ridden, and
    furnished. They were young and handsome, and of the
    best breed in the north. When they were ready to 1020
    set out for London, a man of my lord cardinal's, by
    commission and main power, took 'em from me; with
    this reason: His master would be served before a
    subject, if not before the king; which stopped our
    mouths, sir.' 1025
    I fear he will indeed: well, let him have them:
    He will have all, I think.

[Enter, to Chamberlain, NORFOLK and SUFFOLK]

  • Lord Chamberlain. It seems the marriage with his brother's wife 1035
    Has crept too near his conscience.
  • Duke of Norfolk. 'Tis so:
    This is the cardinal's doing, the king-cardinal: 1040
    That blind priest, like the eldest son of fortune,
    Turns what he list. The king will know him one day.
  • Duke of Norfolk. How holily he works in all his business!
    And with what zeal! for, now he has crack'd the league 1045
    Between us and the emperor, the queen's great nephew,
    He dives into the king's soul, and there scatters
    Dangers, doubts, wringing of the conscience,
    Fears, and despairs; and all these for his marriage:
    And out of all these to restore the king, 1050
    He counsels a divorce; a loss of her
    That, like a jewel, has hung twenty years
    About his neck, yet never lost her lustre;
    Of her that loves him with that excellence
    That angels love good men with; even of her 1055
    That, when the greatest stroke of fortune falls,
    Will bless the king: and is not this course pious?
  • Lord Chamberlain. Heaven keep me from such counsel! 'Tis most true
    These news are every where; every tongue speaks 'em,
    And every true heart weeps for't: all that dare 1060
    Look into these affairs see this main end,
    The French king's sister. Heaven will one day open
    The king's eyes, that so long have slept upon
    This bold bad man.
  • Duke of Norfolk. We had need pray,
    And heartily, for our deliverance;
    Or this imperious man will work us all
    From princes into pages: all men's honours
    Lie like one lump before him, to be fashion'd 1070
    Into what pitch he please.
  • Duke of Suffolk. For me, my lords,
    I love him not, nor fear him; there's my creed:
    As I am made without him, so I'll stand,
    If the king please; his curses and his blessings 1075
    Touch me alike, they're breath I not believe in.
    I knew him, and I know him; so I leave him
    To him that made him proud, the pope.
  • Duke of Norfolk. Let's in;
    And with some other business put the king 1080
    From these sad thoughts, that work too much upon him:
    My lord, you'll bear us company?
  • Lord Chamberlain. Excuse me;
    The king has sent me otherwhere: besides,
    You'll find a most unfit time to disturb him: 1085
    Health to your lordships.
  • Duke of Norfolk. Thanks, my good lord chamberlain.
    [Exit Chamberlain; and KING HENRY VIII draws the]
    curtain, and sits reading pensively]
  • Henry VIII. Who's there, I say? How dare you thrust yourselves
    Into my private meditations?
    Who am I? ha? 1095
  • Duke of Norfolk. A gracious king that pardons all offences
    Malice ne'er meant: our breach of duty this way
    Is business of estate; in which we come
    To know your royal pleasure.
  • Henry VIII. Ye are too bold: 1100
    Go to; I'll make ye know your times of business:
    Is this an hour for temporal affairs, ha?
    a commission]
    Who's there? my good lord cardinal? O my Wolsey, 1105
    The quiet of my wounded conscience;
    Thou art a cure fit for a king.
    You're welcome,
    Most learned reverend sir, into our kingdom: 1110
    Use us and it.
    My good lord, have great care
    I be not found a talker.
  • Cardinal Wolsey. Sir, you cannot. 1115
    I would your grace would give us but an hour
    Of private conference.
  • Henry VIII. [To NORFOLK and SUFFOLK]
    We are busy; go.
  • Duke of Suffolk. [Aside to NORFOLK] Not to speak of:
    I would not be so sick though for his place:
    But this cannot continue.
  • Duke of Norfolk. [Aside to SUFFOLK] If it do, 1125
    I'll venture one have-at-him.


  • Cardinal Wolsey. Your grace has given a precedent of wisdom
    Above all princes, in committing freely 1130
    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, 1135
    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; 1140
    Whom once more I present unto your highness.
  • Henry VIII. And once more in mine arms I bid him welcome,
    And thank the holy conclave for their loves:
    They have sent me such a man I would have wish'd for.
  • Cardinal Campeius. Your grace must needs deserve all strangers' loves, 1145
    You are so noble. To your highness' hand
    I tender my commission; by whose virtue,
    The court of Rome commanding, you, my lord
    Cardinal of York, are join'd with me their servant
    In the unpartial judging of this business. 1150
  • 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: 1155
    Scholars allow'd freely to argue for her.
  • Henry VIII. Ay, and the best she shall have; and my favour
    To him that does best: God forbid else. Cardinal,
    Prithee, call Gardiner to me, my new secretary:
    I find him a fit fellow. 1160



  • Cardinal Wolsey. [Aside to GARDINER] Give me your hand much joy and
    favour to you;
    You are the king's now. 1165
  • Gardiner. [Aside to CARDINAL WOLSEY]
    But to be commanded
    For ever by your grace, whose hand has raised me.

[Walks and whispers]

  • Cardinal Campeius. My Lord of York, was not one Doctor Pace
    In this man's place before him?
  • Cardinal Campeius. Believe me, there's an ill opinion spread then
    Even of yourself, lord cardinal.
  • Cardinal Campeius. They will not stick to say you envied him,
    And fearing he would rise, he was so virtuous, 1180
    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; 1185
    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.
  • Henry VIII. Deliver this with modesty to the queen. 1190
    [Exit GARDINER]
    The most convenient place that I can think of
    For such receipt of learning is Black-Friars;
    There ye shall meet about this weighty business.
    My Wolsey, see it furnish'd. O, my lord, 1195
    Would it not grieve an able man to leave
    So sweet a bedfellow? But, conscience, conscience!
    O, 'tis a tender place; and I must leave her.


. previous scene      

Act II, Scene 3

An ante-chamber of the QUEEN’S apartments.

      next scene .

[Enter ANNE and an Old Lady]

  • Anne Bullen. Not for that neither: here's the pang that pinches:
    His highness having lived so long with her, and she
    So good a lady that no tongue could ever
    Pronounce dishonour of her; by my life,
    She never knew harm-doing: O, now, after 1205
    So many courses of the sun enthroned,
    Still growing in a majesty and pomp, the which
    To leave a thousand-fold more bitter than
    'Tis sweet at first to acquire,—after this process,
    To give her the avaunt! it is a pity 1210
    Would move a monster.
  • Old Lady. Hearts of most hard temper
    Melt and lament for her.
  • Anne Bullen. O, God's will! much better
    She ne'er had known pomp: though't be temporal, 1215
    Yet, if that quarrel, fortune, do divorce
    It from the bearer, 'tis a sufferance panging
    As soul and body's severing.
  • Old Lady. Alas, poor lady!
    She's a stranger now again. 1220
  • Anne Bullen. So much the more
    Must pity drop upon her. Verily,
    I swear, 'tis better to be lowly born,
    And range with humble livers in content,
    Than to be perk'd up in a glistering grief, 1225
    And wear a golden sorrow.
  • Old Lady. Our content
    Is our best having.
  • Anne Bullen. By my troth and maidenhead,
    I would not be a queen. 1230
  • Old Lady. Beshrew me, I would,
    And venture maidenhead for't; and so would you,
    For all this spice of your hypocrisy:
    You, that have so fair parts of woman on you,
    Have too a woman's heart; which ever yet 1235
    Affected eminence, wealth, sovereignty;
    Which, to say sooth, are blessings; and which gifts,
    Saving your mincing, the capacity
    Of your soft cheveril conscience would receive,
    If you might please to stretch it. 1240
  • Old Lady. Yes, troth, and troth; you would not be a queen?
  • Anne Bullen. No, not for all the riches under heaven.
    Old as I am, to queen it: but, I pray you,
    What think you of a duchess? have you limbs 1245
    To bear that load of title?
  • Old Lady. Then you are weakly made: pluck off a little;
    I would not be a young count in your way, 1250
    For more than blushing comes to: if your back
    Cannot vouchsafe this burthen,'tis too weak
    Ever to get a boy.
  • Anne Bullen. How you do talk!
    I swear again, I would not be a queen 1255
    For all the world.
  • Old Lady. In faith, for little England
    You'ld venture an emballing: I myself
    Would for Carnarvonshire, although there long'd
    No more to the crown but that. Lo, who comes here? 1260

[Enter Chamberlain]

  • Lord Chamberlain. Good morrow, ladies. What were't worth to know
    The secret of your conference?
  • Anne Bullen. My good lord,
    Not your demand; it values not your asking: 1265
    Our mistress' sorrows we were pitying.
  • Lord Chamberlain. It was a gentle business, and becoming
    The action of good women: there is hope
    All will be well.
  • Lord Chamberlain. You bear a gentle mind, and heavenly blessings
    Follow such creatures. That you may, fair lady,
    Perceive I speak sincerely, and high note's
    Ta'en of your many virtues, the king's majesty
    Commends his good opinion of you, and 1275
    Does purpose honour to you no less flowing
    Than Marchioness of Pembroke: to which title
    A thousand pound a year, annual support,
    Out of his grace he adds.
  • Anne Bullen. I do not know 1280
    What kind of my obedience I should tender;
    More than my all is nothing: nor my prayers
    Are not words duly hallow'd, nor my wishes
    More worth than empty vanities; yet prayers and wishes
    Are all I can return. Beseech your lordship, 1285
    Vouchsafe to speak my thanks and my obedience,
    As from a blushing handmaid, to his highness;
    Whose health and royalty I pray for.
  • Lord Chamberlain. Lady,
    I shall not fail to approve the fair conceit 1290
    The king hath of you.
    I have perused her well;
    Beauty and honour in her are so mingled
    That they have caught the king: and who knows yet 1295
    But from this lady may proceed a gem
    To lighten all this isle? I'll to the king,
    And say I spoke with you.

[Exit Chamberlain]

  • Old Lady. Why, this it is; see, see!
    I have been begging sixteen years in court,
    Am yet a courtier beggarly, nor could
    Come pat betwixt too early and too late
    For any suit of pounds; and you, O fate! 1305
    A very fresh-fish here—fie, fie, fie upon
    This compell'd fortune!—have your mouth fill'd up
    Before you open it.
  • Old Lady. How tastes it? is it bitter? forty pence, no. 1310
    There was a lady once, 'tis an old story,
    That would not be a queen, that would she not,
    For all the mud in Egypt: have you heard it?
  • Old Lady. With your theme, I could 1315
    O'ermount the lark. The Marchioness of Pembroke!
    A thousand pounds a year for pure respect!
    No other obligation! By my life,
    That promises moe thousands: honour's train
    Is longer than his foreskirt. By this time 1320
    I know your back will bear a duchess: say,
    Are you not stronger than you were?
  • Anne Bullen. Good lady,
    Make yourself mirth with your particular fancy,
    And leave me out on't. Would I had no being, 1325
    If this salute my blood a jot: it faints me,
    To think what follows.
    The queen is comfortless, and we forgetful
    In our long absence: pray, do not deliver
    What here you've heard to her. 1330


. previous scene      

Act II, Scene 4

A hall in Black-Friars.

      next scene .

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

  • Cardinal Wolsey. Whilst our commission from Rome is read,
    Let silence be commanded. 1355
  • 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.
  • Scribe. Say, Henry King of England, come into the court.
  • Crier. Henry King of England, &c.
  • Scribe. Say, Katharine Queen of England, come into the court.
  • Crier. Katharine Queen of England, &c. 1365
    [QUEEN KATHARINE makes no answer, rises out of her]
    chair, goes about the court, comes to KING HENRY
    VIII, and kneels at his feet; then speaks]
  • Queen Katharine. Sir, I desire you do me right and justice;
    And to bestow your pity on me: for 1370
    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 1375
    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; 1380
    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 1385
    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 1390
    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, 1395
    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, 1400
    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 1405
    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 1410
    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 1415
    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 1420
    What is unsettled in the king.
  • Cardinal Campeius. His grace
    Hath spoken well and justly: therefore, madam,
    It's fit this royal session do proceed;
    And that, without delay, their arguments 1425
    Be now produced and heard.
  • Queen Katharine. Sir, 1430
    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.
  • 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 1440
    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 1445
    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 1450
    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, 1455
    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 1460
    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 1465
    His highness shall speak in, I do beseech
    You, gracious madam, to unthink your speaking
    And to say so no more.
  • Queen Katharine. My lord, my lord,
    I am a simple woman, much too weak 1470
    To oppose your cunning. You're meek and
    You sign your place and calling, in full seeming,
    With meekness and humility; but your heart
    Is cramm'd with arrogancy, spleen, and pride. 1475
    You have, by fortune and his highness' favours,
    Gone slightly o'er low steps and now are mounted
    Where powers are your retainers, and your words,
    Domestics to you, serve your will as't please
    Yourself pronounce their office. I must tell you, 1480
    You tender more your person's honour than
    Your high profession spiritual: that again
    I do refuse you for my judge; and here,
    Before you all, appeal unto the pope,
    To bring my whole cause 'fore his holiness, 1485
    And to be judged by him.

[She curtsies to KING HENRY VIII, and offers to depart]

  • Cardinal Campeius. The queen is obstinate,
    Stubborn to justice, apt to accuse it, and
    Disdainful to be tried by't: 'tis not well. 1490
    She's going away.
  • Crier. Katharine Queen of England, come into the court.
  • Queen Katharine. What need you note it? pray you, keep your way: 1495
    When you are call'd, return. Now, the Lord help,
    They vex me past my patience! Pray you, pass on:
    I will not tarry; no, nor ever more
    Upon this business my appearance make
    In any of their courts. 1500

[Exeunt QUEEN KATHARINE and her Attendants]

  • 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, 1505
    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; 1510
    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 1515
    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 1520
    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? 1525
  • Henry VIII. My lord cardinal,
    I do excuse you; yea, upon mine honour,
    I free you from't. You are not to be taught
    That you have many enemies, that know not
    Why they are so, but, like to village-curs, 1530
    Bark when their fellows do: by some of these
    The queen is put in anger. You're excused:
    But will you be more justified? You ever
    Have wish'd the sleeping of this business; never desired
    It to be stirr'd; but oft have hinder'd, oft, 1535
    The passages made toward it: on my honour,
    I speak my good lord cardinal to this point,
    And thus far clear him. Now, what moved me to't,
    I will be bold with time and your attention:
    Then mark the inducement. Thus it came; give heed to't: 1540
    My conscience first received a tenderness,
    Scruple, and prick, on certain speeches utter'd
    By the Bishop of Bayonne, then French ambassador;
    Who had been hither sent on the debating
    A marriage 'twixt the Duke of Orleans and 1545
    Our daughter Mary: i' the progress of this business,
    Ere a determinate resolution, he,
    I mean the bishop, did require a respite;
    Wherein he might the king his lord advertise
    Whether our daughter were legitimate, 1550
    Respecting this our marriage with the dowager,
    Sometimes our brother's wife. This respite shook
    The bosom of my conscience, enter'd me,
    Yea, with a splitting power, and made to tremble
    The region of my breast; which forced such way, 1555
    That many mazed considerings did throng
    And press'd in with this caution. First, methought
    I stood not in the smile of heaven; who had
    Commanded nature, that my lady's womb,
    If it conceived a male child by me, should 1560
    Do no more offices of life to't than
    The grave does to the dead; for her male issue
    Or died where they were made, or shortly after
    This world had air'd them: hence I took a thought,
    This was a judgment on me; that my kingdom, 1565
    Well worthy the best heir o' the world, should not
    Be gladded in't by me: then follows, that
    I weigh'd the danger which my realms stood in
    By this my issue's fail; and that gave to me
    Many a groaning throe. Thus hulling in 1570
    The wild sea of my conscience, I did steer
    Toward this remedy, whereupon we are
    Now present here together: that's to say,
    I meant to rectify my conscience,—which
    I then did feel full sick, and yet not well,— 1575
    By all the reverend fathers of the land
    And doctors learn'd: first I began in private
    With you, my Lord of Lincoln; you remember
    How under my oppression I did reek,
    When I first moved you. 1580
  • Henry VIII. I have spoke long: be pleased yourself to say
    How far you satisfied me.
  • Bishop Lincoln. So please your highness,
    The question did at first so stagger me, 1585
    Bearing a state of mighty moment in't
    And consequence of dread, that I committed
    The daring'st counsel which I had to doubt;
    And did entreat your highness to this course
    Which you are running here. 1590
  • Henry VIII. I then moved you,
    My Lord of Canterbury; and got your leave
    To make this present summons: unsolicited
    I left no reverend person in this court;
    But by particular consent proceeded 1595
    Under your hands and seals: therefore, go on:
    For no dislike i' the world against the person
    Of the good queen, but the sharp thorny points
    Of my alleged reasons, drive this forward:
    Prove but our marriage lawful, by my life 1600
    And kingly dignity, we are contented
    To wear our mortal state to come with her,
    Katharine our queen, before the primest creature
    That's paragon'd o' the world.
  • Cardinal Campeius. So please your highness, 1605
    The queen being absent, 'tis a needful fitness
    That we adjourn this court till further day:
    Meanwhile must be an earnest motion
    Made to the queen, to call back her appeal
    She intends unto his holiness. 1610
  • Henry VIII. [Aside]. I may perceive
    These cardinals trifle with me: I abhor
    This dilatory sloth and tricks of Rome.
    My learn'd and well-beloved servant, Cranmer,
    Prithee, return: with thy approach, I know, 1615
    My comfort comes along. Break up the court:
    I say, set on.

[Exeunt in manner as they entered]

. previous scene      

Act III, Scene 1

London. QUEEN KATHARINE’s apartments.

      next scene .

[Enter QUEEN KATHARINE and her Women, as at work]

  • Queen Katharine. Take thy lute, wench: my soul grows sad with troubles; 1620
    Sing, and disperse 'em, if thou canst: leave working.
    Orpheus with his lute made trees,
    And the mountain tops that freeze,
    Bow themselves when he did sing: 1625
    To his music plants and flowers
    Ever sprung; as sun and showers
    There had made a lasting spring.
    Every thing that heard him play,
    Even the billows of the sea, 1630
    Hung their heads, and then lay by.
    In sweet music is such art,
    Killing care and grief of heart
    Fall asleep, or hearing, die.

[Enter a Gentleman]

  • Gentleman. An't please your grace, the two great cardinals
    Wait in the presence.
  • Gentleman. They will'd me say so, madam. 1640
  • Queen Katharine. Pray their graces
    To come near.
    [Exit Gentleman]
    What can be their business
    With me, a poor weak woman, fall'n from favour? 1645
    I do not like their coming. Now I think on't,
    They should be good men; their affairs as righteous:
    But all hoods make not monks.


  • 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 1655
    The full cause of our coming.
  • 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! 1660
    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 1665
    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
  • Queen Katharine. O, good my lord, no Latin; 1670
    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,
    Pray, speak in English: here are some will thank you, 1675
    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, 1680
    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, 1685
    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 1690
    And comforts to your cause.
  • Cardinal Campeius. Most honour'd madam,
    My Lord of York, out of his noble nature,
    Zeal and obedience he still bore your grace,
    Forgetting, like a good man your late censure 1695
    Both of his truth and him, which was too far,
    Offers, as I do, in a sign of peace,
    His service and his counsel.
  • Queen Katharine. [Aside]. To betray me.—
    My lords, I thank you both for your good wills; 1700
    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, 1705
    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, 1710
    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.
  • Queen Katharine. In England 1715
    But little for my profit: can you think, lords,
    That any Englishman dare give me counsel?
    Or be a known friend, 'gainst his highness' pleasure,
    Though he be grown so desperate to be honest,
    And live a subject? Nay, forsooth, my friends, 1720
    They that must weigh out my afflictions,
    They that my trust must grow to, live not here:
    They are, as all my other comforts, far hence
    In mine own country, lords.
  • Cardinal Campeius. I would your grace 1725
    Would leave your griefs, and take my counsel.
  • 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; 1730
    For if the trial of the law o'ertake ye,
    You'll part away disgraced.
  • Queen Katharine. Ye tell me what ye wish for both,—my ruin:
    Is this your Christian counsel? out upon ye! 1735
    Heaven is above all yet; there sits a judge
    That no king can corrupt.
  • Queen Katharine. The more shame for ye: holy men I thought ye,
    Upon my soul, two reverend cardinal virtues; 1740
    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; 1745
    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. 1750
  • Queen Katharine. Ye turn me into nothing: woe upon ye
    And all such false professors! would you have me—
    If you have any justice, any pity;
    If ye be any thing but churchmen's habits—
    Put my sick cause into his hands that hates me? 1755
    Alas, has banish'd me his bed already,
    His love, too long ago! I am old, my lords,
    And all the fellowship I hold now with him
    Is only my obedience. What can happen
    To me above this wretchedness? all your studies 1760
    Make me a curse like this.
  • 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, 1765
    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? 1770
    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, 1775
    Yet will I add an honour, a great patience.
  • 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 1780
    Shall e'er divorce my dignities.
  • 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. 1785
    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; 1790
    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, 1795
    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; 1800
    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. 1805
    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.
  • Cardinal Campeius. Madam, you'll find it so. You wrong your virtues
    With these weak women's fears: a noble spirit, 1810
    As yours was put into you, ever casts
    Such doubts, as false coin, from it. The king loves you;
    Beware you lose it not: for us, if you please
    To trust us in your business, we are ready
    To use our utmost studies in your service. 1815
  • Queen Katharine. Do what ye will, my lords: and, pray, forgive me,
    If I have used myself unmannerly;
    You know I am a woman, lacking wit
    To make a seemly answer to such persons.
    Pray, do my service to his majesty: 1820
    He has my heart yet; and shall have my prayers
    While I shall have my life. Come, reverend fathers,
    Bestow your counsels on me: she now begs,
    That little thought, when she set footing here,
    She should have bought her dignities so dear. 1825


. previous scene      

Act III, Scene 2

Ante-chamber to KING HENRY VIII’s apartment.

      next scene .

[Enter NORFOLK, SUFFOLK, SURREY, and Chamberlain]

  • Duke of Norfolk. If you will now unite in your complaints,
    And force them with a constancy, the cardinal
    Cannot stand under them: if you omit 1830
    The offer of this time, I cannot promise
    But that you shall sustain moe new disgraces,
    With these you bear already.
  • Earl of Surrey. I am joyful
    To meet the least occasion that may give me 1835
    Remembrance of my father-in-law, the duke,
    To be revenged on him.
  • Duke of Suffolk. Which of the peers
    Have uncontemn'd gone by him, or at least
    Strangely neglected? when did he regard 1840
    The stamp of nobleness in any person
    Out of himself?
  • Lord Chamberlain. My lords, you speak your pleasures:
    What he deserves of you and me I know;
    What we can do to him, though now the time 1845
    Gives way to us, I much fear. If you cannot
    Bar his access to the king, never attempt
    Any thing on him; for he hath a witchcraft
    Over the king in's tongue.
  • Duke of Norfolk. O, fear him not; 1850
    His spell in that is out: the king hath found
    Matter against him that for ever mars
    The honey of his language. No, he's settled,
    Not to come off, in his displeasure.
  • Earl of Surrey. Sir, 1855
    I should be glad to hear such news as this
    Once every hour.
  • Duke of Norfolk. Believe it, this is true:
    In the divorce his contrary proceedings
    Are all unfolded wherein he appears 1860
    As I would wish mine enemy.
  • Duke of Suffolk. The cardinal's letters to the pope miscarried,
    And came to the eye o' the king: wherein was read,
    How that the cardinal did entreat his holiness
    To stay the judgment o' the divorce; for if
    It did take place, 'I do,' quoth he, 'perceive 1870
    My king is tangled in affection to
    A creature of the queen's, Lady Anne Bullen.'
  • Lord Chamberlain. The king in this perceives him, how he coasts
    And hedges his own way. But in this point
    All his tricks founder, and he brings his physic
    After his patient's death: the king already
    Hath married the fair lady. 1880
  • Duke of Suffolk. May you be happy in your wish, my lord
    For, I profess, you have it.
  • Duke of Suffolk. There's order given for her coronation:
    Marry, this is yet but young, and may be left
    To some ears unrecounted. But, my lords, 1890
    She is a gallant creature, and complete
    In mind and feature: I persuade me, from her
    Will fall some blessing to this land, which shall
    In it be memorised.
  • Earl of Surrey. But, will the king 1895
    Digest this letter of the cardinal's?
    The Lord forbid!
  • Duke of Suffolk. No, no;
    There be moe wasps that buzz about his nose 1900
    Will make this sting the sooner. Cardinal Campeius
    Is stol'n away to Rome; hath ta'en no leave;
    Has left the cause o' the king unhandled; and
    Is posted, as the agent of our cardinal,
    To second all his plot. I do assure you 1905
    The king cried Ha! at this.
  • Duke of Suffolk. He is return'd in his opinions; which
    Have satisfied the king for his divorce,
    Together with all famous colleges
    Almost in Christendom: shortly, I believe,
    His second marriage shall be publish'd, and 1915
    Her coronation. Katharine no more
    Shall be call'd queen, but princess dowager
    And widow to Prince Arthur.
  • Duke of Norfolk. This same Cranmer's
    A worthy fellow, and hath ta'en much pain 1920
    In the king's business.


  • Cromwell. To his own hand, in's bedchamber.
  • Cromwell. Presently
    He did unseal them: and the first he view'd,
    He did it with a serious mind; a heed 1935
    Was in his countenance. You he bade
    Attend him here this morning.
  • Cardinal Wolsey. Leave me awhile.
    [Exit CROMWELL]
    It shall be to the Duchess of Alencon,
    The French king's sister: he shall marry her. 1945
    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!
  • Cardinal Wolsey. [Aside] The late queen's gentlewoman, 1955
    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 1960
    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, 1965
    And is his oracle.
  • Earl of Surrey. I would 'twere something that would fret the string,
    The master-cord on's heart!

[Enter KING HENRY VIII, reading of a schedule, and LOVELL]

  • Henry VIII. What piles of wealth hath he accumulated
    To his own portion! and what expense by the hour
    Seems to flow from him! How, i' the name of thrift,
    Does he rake this together! Now, my lords, 1975
    Saw you the cardinal?
  • Duke of Norfolk. My lord, we have
    Stood here observing him: some strange commotion
    Is in his brain: he bites his lip, and starts;
    Stops on a sudden, looks upon the ground, 1980
    Then lays his finger on his temple, straight
    Springs out into fast gait; then stops again,
    Strikes his breast hard, and anon he casts
    His eye against the moon: in most strange postures
    We have seen him set himself. 1985
  • Henry VIII. It may well be;
    There is a mutiny in's mind. This morning
    Papers of state he sent me to peruse,
    As I required: and wot you what I found
    There,—on my conscience, put unwittingly? 1990
    Forsooth, an inventory, thus importing;
    The several parcels of his plate, his treasure,
    Rich stuffs, and ornaments of household; which
    I find at such proud rate, that it out-speaks
    Possession of a subject. 1995
  • Duke of Norfolk. It's heaven's will:
    Some spirit put this paper in the packet,
    To bless your eye withal.
  • Henry VIII. If we did think
    His contemplation were above the earth, 2000
    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,] 2005
    who goes to CARDINAL WOLSEY]
  • Henry VIII. Good my lord,
    You are full of heavenly stuff, and bear the inventory 2010
    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 2015
    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 2020
    Her times of preservation, which perforce
    I, her frail son, amongst my brethren mortal,
    Must give my tendence to.
  • Cardinal Wolsey. And ever may your highness yoke together, 2025
    As I will lend you cause, my doing well
    With my well saying!
  • 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: 2030
    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 2035
    My bounties upon you.
  • Henry VIII. Have I not made you,
    The prime man of the state? I pray you, tell me, 2040
    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 2045
    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 2050
    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, 2055
    Which ever has and ever shall be growing,
    Till death, that winter, kill it.
  • Henry VIII. Fairly answer'd;
    A loyal and obedient subject is
    Therein illustrated: the honour of it 2060
    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, 2065
    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 2070
    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 2075
    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.
  • Henry VIII. 'Tis nobly spoken: 2080
    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. 2085
    [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 2090
    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 2095
    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 2100
    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!' 2105
    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 2110
    Like a bright exhalation m the evening,
    And no man see me more.
    and the Chamberlain]
  • Duke of Norfolk. Hear the king's pleasure, cardinal: who commands you 2115
    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: 2120
    Where's your commission, lords? words cannot carry
    Authority so weighty.
  • 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, 2125
    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 2130
    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, 2135
    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?
  • Cardinal Wolsey. Proud lord, thou liest:
    Within these forty hours Surrey durst better
    Have burnt that tongue than said so. 2145
  • 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, 2150
    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, 2155
    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 2160
    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 2165
    Toward the king, my ever royal master,
    Dare mate a sounder man than Surrey can be,
    And all that love his follies.
  • Earl of Surrey. By my soul,
    Your long coat, priest, protects you; thou 2170
    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, 2175
    Farewell nobility; let his grace go forward,
    And dare us with his cap like larks.
  • Earl of Surrey. Yes, that goodness 2180
    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. 2185
    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 2190
    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! 2195
  • 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. 2200
  • 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. 2205
  • Cardinal Wolsey. Speak on, sir;
    I dare your worst objections: if I blush,
    It is to see a nobleman want manners.
  • Earl of Surrey. I had rather want those than my head. Have at you!
    First, that, without the king's assent or knowledge, 2210
    You wrought to be a legate; by which power
    You maim'd the jurisdiction of all bishops.
  • Duke of Norfolk. Then, that in all you writ to Rome, or else
    To foreign princes, 'Ego et Rex meus'
    Was still inscribed; in which you brought the king 2215
    To be your servant.
  • Duke of Suffolk. Then that, without the knowledge
    Either of king or council, when you went
    Ambassador to the emperor, you made bold
    To carry into Flanders the great seal. 2220
  • Earl of Surrey. Item, you sent a large commission
    To Gregory de Cassado, to conclude,
    Without the king's will or the state's allowance,
    A league between his highness and Ferrara.
  • Duke of Suffolk. That, out of mere ambition, you have caused 2225
    Your holy hat to be stamp'd on the king's coin.
  • Earl of Surrey. Then that you have sent innumerable substance—
    By what means got, I leave to your own conscience—
    To furnish Rome, and to prepare the ways
    You have for dignities; to the mere undoing 2230
    Of all the kingdom. Many more there are;
    Which, since they are of you, and odious,
    I will not taint my mouth with.
  • Lord Chamberlain. O my lord,
    Press not a falling man too far! 'tis virtue: 2235
    His faults lie open to the laws; let them,
    Not you, correct him. My heart weeps to see him
    So little of his great self.
  • Duke of Suffolk. Lord cardinal, the king's further pleasure is, 2240
    Because all those things you have done of late,
    By your power legatine, within this kingdom,
    Fall into the compass of a praemunire,
    That therefore such a writ be sued against you;
    To forfeit all your goods, lands, tenements, 2245
    Chattels, and whatsoever, and to be
    Out of the king's protection. This is my charge.
  • Duke of Norfolk. And so we'll leave you to your meditations
    How to live better. For your stubborn answer
    About the giving back the great seal to us, 2250
    The king shall know it, and, no doubt, shall thank you.
    So fare you well, my little good lord cardinal.

[Exeunt all but CARDINAL WOLSEY]

  • Cardinal Wolsey. So farewell to the little good you bear me.
    Farewell! a long farewell, to all my greatness! 2255
    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 2260
    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 2265
    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 2270
    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, 2275
    Never to hope again.
    [Enter CROMWELL, and stands amazed]
    Why, how now, Cromwell!
  • Cromwell. I have no power to speak, sir.
  • Cardinal Wolsey. What, amazed 2280
    At my misfortunes? can thy spirit wonder
    A great man should decline? Nay, an you weep,
    I am fall'n indeed.
  • Cardinal Wolsey. Why, well; 2285
    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, 2290
    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!
  • Cromwell. I am glad your grace has made that right use of it. 2295
  • 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? 2300
  • Cromwell. The heaviest and the worst
    Is your displeasure with the king.
  • Cromwell. The next is, that Sir Thomas More is chosen
    Lord chancellor in your place. 2305
  • 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, 2310
    May have a tomb of orphans' tears wept on em! What more?
  • Cromwell. That Cranmer is return'd with welcome,
    Install'd lord archbishop of Canterbury.
  • Cromwell. Last, that the Lady Anne, 2315
    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, 2320
    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; 2325
    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— 2330
    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.
  • Cromwell. O my lord, 2335
    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 2340
    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; 2345
    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, 2350
    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, 2355
    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: 2360
    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: 2365
    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 2370
    I served my king, he would not in mine age
    Have left me naked to mine enemies.
  • Cardinal Wolsey. So I have. Farewell
    The hopes of court! my hopes in heaven do dwell. 2375


. previous scene      

Act IV, Scene 1

A street in Westminster.

      next scene .

[Enter two Gentlemen, meeting one another]

  • First Gentleman. You come to take your stand here, and behold 2380
    The Lady Anne pass from her coronation?
  • Second Gentleman. 'Tis all my business. At our last encounter,
    The Duke of Buckingham came from his trial.
  • First Gentleman. 'Tis very true: but that time offer'd sorrow;
    This, general joy. 2385
  • Second Gentleman. 'Tis well: the citizens,
    I am sure, have shown at full their royal minds—
    As, let 'em have their rights, they are ever forward—
    In celebration of this day with shows,
    Pageants and sights of honour. 2390
  • Second Gentleman. May I be bold to ask at what that contains,
    That paper in your hand?
  • First Gentleman. Yes; 'tis the list 2395
    Of those that claim their offices this day
    By custom of the coronation.
    The Duke of Suffolk is the first, and claims
    To be high-steward; next, the Duke of Norfolk,
    He to be earl marshal: you may read the rest. 2400
  • Second Gentleman. I thank you, sir: had I not known those customs,
    I should have been beholding to your paper.
    But, I beseech you, what's become of Katharine,
    The princess dowager? how goes her business?
  • First Gentleman. That I can tell you too. The Archbishop 2405
    Of Canterbury, accompanied with other
    Learned and reverend fathers of his order,
    Held a late court at Dunstable, six miles off
    From Ampthill where the princess lay; to which
    She was often cited by them, but appear'd not: 2410
    And, to be short, for not appearance and
    The king's late scruple, by the main assent
    Of all these learned men she was divorced,
    And the late marriage made of none effect
    Since which she was removed to Kimbolton, 2415
    Where she remains now sick.
  • Second Gentleman. Alas, good lady!
    The trumpets sound: stand close, the queen is coming.
    [Hautboys] 2420
    1. A lively flourish of Trumpets.
    2. Then, two Judges.
    3. Lord Chancellor, with the purse and mace
    before him. 2425
    4. Choristers, singing.
    5. Mayor of London, bearing the mace. Then
    Garter, in his coat of arms, and on his
    head a gilt copper crown. 2430
    6. Marquess Dorset, bearing a sceptre of gold,
    on his head a demi-coronal of gold. With
    him, SURREY, bearing the rod of silver with
    the dove, crowned with an earl's coronet.
    Collars of SS. 2435
    7. SUFFOLK, in his robe of estate, his coronet
    on his head, bearing a long white wand, as
    high-steward. With him, NORFOLK, with the
    rod of marshalship, a coronet on his head.
    Collars of SS. 2440
    8. A canopy borne by four of the Cinque-ports;
    under it, QUEEN ANNE in her robe; in her hair
    richly adorned with pearl, crowned. On each
    side her, the Bishops of London and
    Winchester. 2445
    9. The old Duchess of Norfolk, in a coronal of
    gold, wrought with flowers, bearing QUEEN
    ANNE's train.
    10. Certain Ladies or Countesses, with plain
    circlets of gold without flowers. 2450

[They pass over the stage in order and state]

  • Second Gentleman. A royal train, believe me. These I know:
    Who's that that bears the sceptre?
  • First Gentleman. Marquess Dorset:
    And that the Earl of Surrey, with the rod. 2455
  • Second Gentleman. Heaven bless thee!
    [Looking on QUEEN ANNE]
    Thou hast the sweetest face I ever look'd on.
    Sir, as I have a soul, she is an angel;
    Our king has all the Indies in his arms, 2465
    And more and richer, when he strains that lady:
    I cannot blame his conscience.
  • First Gentleman. They that bear
    The cloth of honour over her, are four barons
    Of the Cinque-ports. 2470
  • Second Gentleman. Those men are happy; and so are all are near her.
    I take it, she that carries up the train
    Is that old noble lady, Duchess of Norfolk.
  • Second Gentleman. Their coronets say so. These are stars indeed; 2475
    And sometimes falling ones.

[Exit procession, and then a great flourish of trumpets]

[Enter a third Gentleman]

  • Third Gentleman. Among the crowd i' the Abbey; where a finger
    Could not be wedged in more: I am stifled
    With the mere rankness of their joy.
  • Third Gentleman. As well as I am able. The rich stream 2490
    Of lords and ladies, having brought the queen
    To a prepared place in the choir, fell off
    A distance from her; while her grace sat down
    To rest awhile, some half an hour or so,
    In a rich chair of state, opposing freely 2495
    The beauty of her person to the people.
    Believe me, sir, she is the goodliest woman
    That ever lay by man: which when the people
    Had the full view of, such a noise arose
    As the shrouds make at sea in a stiff tempest, 2500
    As loud, and to as many tunes: hats, cloaks—
    Doublets, I think,—flew up; and had their faces
    Been loose, this day they had been lost. Such joy
    I never saw before. Great-bellied women,
    That had not half a week to go, like rams 2505
    In the old time of war, would shake the press,
    And make 'em reel before 'em. No man living
    Could say 'This is my wife' there; all were woven
    So strangely in one piece.
  • Third Gentleman. At length her grace rose, and with modest paces
    Came to the altar; where she kneel'd, and saint-like
    Cast her fair eyes to heaven and pray'd devoutly.
    Then rose again and bow'd her to the people:
    When by the Archbishop of Canterbury 2515
    She had all the royal makings of a queen;
    As holy oil, Edward Confessor's crown,
    The rod, and bird of peace, and all such emblems
    Laid nobly on her: which perform'd, the choir,
    With all the choicest music of the kingdom, 2520
    Together sung 'Te Deum.' So she parted,
    And with the same full state paced back again
    To York-place, where the feast is held.
  • First Gentleman. Sir,
    You must no more call it York-place, that's past; 2525
    For, since the cardinal fell, that title's lost:
    'Tis now the king's, and call'd Whitehall.
  • Third Gentleman. I know it;
    But 'tis so lately alter'd, that the old name
    Is fresh about me. 2530
  • Second Gentleman. What two reverend bishops
    Were those that went on each side of the queen?
  • Third Gentleman. Stokesly and Gardiner; the one of Winchester,
    Newly preferr'd from the king's secretary,
    The other, London. 2535
  • Second Gentleman. He of Winchester
    Is held no great good lover of the archbishop's,
    The virtuous Cranmer.
  • Third Gentleman. All the land knows that:
    However, yet there is no great breach; when it comes, 2540
    Cranmer will find a friend will not shrink from him.
  • Third Gentleman. Thomas Cromwell;
    A man in much esteem with the king, and truly
    A worthy friend. The king has made him master 2545
    O' the jewel house,
    And one, already, of the privy council.
  • Third Gentleman. Yes, without all doubt.
    Come, gentlemen, ye shall go my way, which 2550
    Is to the court, and there ye shall be my guests:
    Something I can command. As I walk thither,
    I'll tell ye more.
  • Both. You may command us, sir.


. previous scene      

Act IV, Scene 2


      next scene .

[Enter KATHARINE, Dowager, sick; led between] [p]GRIFFITH, her gentleman usher, and PATIENCE, her woman]

  • Queen Katharine. O Griffith, sick to death!
    My legs, like loaden branches, bow to the earth, 2560
    Willing to leave their burthen. Reach a chair:
    So; now, methinks, I feel a little ease.
    Didst thou not tell me, Griffith, as thou led'st me,
    That the great child of honour, Cardinal Wolsey, Was dead?
  • Griffith. Yes, madam; but I think your grace, 2565
    Out of the pain you suffer'd, gave no ear to't.
  • Queen Katharine. Prithee, good Griffith, tell me how he died:
    If well, he stepp'd before me, happily
    For my example.
  • Griffith. Well, the voice goes, madam: 2570
    For after the stout Earl Northumberland
    Arrested him at York, and brought him forward,
    As a man sorely tainted, to his answer,
    He fell sick suddenly, and grew so ill
    He could not sit his mule. 2575
  • Griffith. At last, with easy roads, he came to Leicester,
    Lodged in the abbey; where the reverend abbot,
    With all his covent, honourably received him;
    To whom he gave these words, 'O, father abbot, 2580
    An old man, broken with the storms of state,
    Is come to lay his weary bones among ye;
    Give him a little earth for charity!'
    So went to bed; where eagerly his sickness
    Pursued him still: and, three nights after this, 2585
    About the hour of eight, which he himself
    Foretold should be his last, full of repentance,
    Continual meditations, tears, and sorrows,
    He gave his honours to the world again,
    His blessed part to heaven, and slept in peace. 2590
  • Queen Katharine. So may he rest; his faults lie gently on him!
    Yet thus far, Griffith, give me leave to speak him,
    And yet with charity. He was a man
    Of an unbounded stomach, ever ranking
    Himself with princes; one that, by suggestion, 2595
    Tied all the kingdom: simony was fair-play;
    His own opinion was his law: i' the presence
    He would say untruths; and be ever double
    Both in his words and meaning: he was never,
    But where he meant to ruin, pitiful: 2600
    His promises were, as he then was, mighty;
    But his performance, as he is now, nothing:
    Of his own body he was ill, and gave
    The clergy in example.
  • Griffith. Noble madam, 2605
    Men's evil manners live in brass; their virtues
    We write in water. May it please your highness
    To hear me speak his good now?
  • Griffith. This cardinal,
    Though from an humble stock, undoubtedly
    Was fashion'd to much honour from his cradle.
    He was a scholar, and a ripe and good one;
    Exceeding wise, fair-spoken, and persuading: 2615
    Lofty and sour to them that loved him not;
    But to those men that sought him sweet as summer.
    And though he were unsatisfied in getting,
    Which was a sin, yet in bestowing, madam,
    He was most princely: ever witness for him 2620
    Those twins Of learning that he raised in you,
    Ipswich and Oxford! one of which fell with him,
    Unwilling to outlive the good that did it;
    The other, though unfinish'd, yet so famous,
    So excellent in art, and still so rising, 2625
    That Christendom shall ever speak his virtue.
    His overthrow heap'd happiness upon him;
    For then, and not till then, he felt himself,
    And found the blessedness of being little:
    And, to add greater honours to his age 2630
    Than man could give him, he died fearing God.
  • Queen Katharine. After my death I wish no other herald,
    No other speaker of my living actions,
    To keep mine honour from corruption,
    But such an honest chronicler as Griffith. 2635
    Whom I most hated living, thou hast made me,
    With thy religious truth and modesty,
    Now in his ashes honour: peace be with him!
    Patience, be near me still; and set me lower:
    I have not long to trouble thee. Good Griffith, 2640
    Cause the musicians play me that sad note
    I named my knell, whilst I sit meditating
    On that celestial harmony I go to.

[Sad and solemn music]

  • Griffith. She is asleep: good wench, let's sit down quiet, 2645
    For fear we wake her: softly, gentle Patience.
    [The vision. Enter, solemnly tripping one after]
    another, six personages, clad in white robes,
    wearing on their heads garlands of bays, and golden
    vizards on their faces; branches of bays or palm in 2650
    their hands. They first congee unto her, then
    dance; and, at certain changes, the first two hold
    a spare garland over her head; at which the other
    four make reverent curtsies; then the two that held
    the garland deliver the same to the other next two, 2655
    who observe the same order in their changes, and
    holding the garland over her head: which done,
    they deliver the same garland to the last two, who
    likewise observe the same order: at which, as it
    were by inspiration, she makes in her sleep signs 2660
    of rejoicing, and holdeth up her hands to heaven:
    and so in their dancing vanish, carrying the
    garland with them. The music continues]
  • Queen Katharine. Spirits of peace, where are ye? are ye all gone,
    And leave me here in wretchedness behind ye? 2665
  • Queen Katharine. It is not you I call for:
    Saw ye none enter since I slept?
  • Queen Katharine. No? Saw you not, even now, a blessed troop 2670
    Invite me to a banquet; whose bright faces
    Cast thousand beams upon me, like the sun?
    They promised me eternal happiness;
    And brought me garlands, Griffith, which I feel
    I am not worthy yet to wear: I shall, assuredly. 2675
  • Griffith. I am most joyful, madam, such good dreams
    Possess your fancy.

[Music ceases]

  • Patience. Do you note
    How much her grace is alter'd on the sudden?
    How long her face is drawn? how pale she looks,
    And of an earthy cold? Mark her eyes!
  • Griffith. She is going, wench: pray, pray. 2685

[Enter a Messenger]

  • Queen Katharine. You are a saucy fellow:
    Deserve we no more reverence? 2690
  • Griffith. You are to blame,
    Knowing she will not lose her wonted greatness,
    To use so rude behavior; go to, kneel.
  • Messenger. I humbly do entreat your highness' pardon;
    My haste made me unmannerly. There is staying 2695
    A gentleman, sent from the king, to see you.
  • Queen Katharine. Admit him entrance, Griffith: but this fellow
    Let me ne'er see again.
    [Exeunt GRIFFITH and Messenger]
    [Re-enter GRIFFITH, with CAPUCIUS] 2700
    If my sight fail not,
    You should be lord ambassador from the emperor,
    My royal nephew, and your name Capucius.
  • Capucius. Madam, the same; your servant.
  • Queen Katharine. O, my lord, 2705
    The times and titles now are alter'd strangely
    With me since first you knew me. But, I pray you,
    What is your pleasure with me?
  • Capucius. Noble lady,
    First mine own service to your grace; the next, 2710
    The king's request that I would visit you;
    Who grieves much for your weakness, and by me
    Sends you his princely commendations,
    And heartily entreats you take good comfort.
  • Queen Katharine. O my good lord, that comfort comes too late; 2715
    'Tis like a pardon after execution:
    That gentle physic, given in time, had cured me;
    But now I am past an comforts here, but prayers.
    How does his highness?
  • Queen Katharine. So may he ever do! and ever flourish,
    When I shall dwell with worms, and my poor name
    Banish'd the kingdom! Patience, is that letter,
    I caused you write, yet sent away?

[Giving it to KATHARINE]

  • Queen Katharine. Sir, I most humbly pray you to deliver
    This to my lord the king.
  • Queen Katharine. In which I have commended to his goodness 2730
    The model of our chaste loves, his young daughter;
    The dews of heaven fall thick in blessings on her!
    Beseeching him to give her virtuous breeding—
    She is young, and of a noble modest nature,
    I hope she will deserve well,—and a little 2735
    To love her for her mother's sake, that loved him,
    Heaven knows how dearly. My next poor petition
    Is, that his noble grace would have some pity
    Upon my wretched women, that so long
    Have follow'd both my fortunes faithfully: 2740
    Of which there is not one, I dare avow,
    And now I should not lie, but will deserve
    For virtue and true beauty of the soul,
    For honesty and decent carriage,
    A right good husband, let him be a noble 2745
    And, sure, those men are happy that shall have 'em.
    The last is, for my men; they are the poorest,
    But poverty could never draw 'em from me;
    That they may have their wages duly paid 'em,
    And something over to remember me by: 2750
    If heaven had pleased to have given me longer life
    And able means, we had not parted thus.
    These are the whole contents: and, good my lord,
    By that you love the dearest in this world,
    As you wish Christian peace to souls departed, 2755
    Stand these poor people's friend, and urge the king
    To do me this last right.
  • Capucius. By heaven, I will,
    Or let me lose the fashion of a man!
  • Queen Katharine. I thank you, honest lord. Remember me 2760
    In all humility unto his highness:
    Say his long trouble now is passing
    Out of this world; tell him, in death I bless'd him,
    For so I will. Mine eyes grow dim. Farewell,
    My lord. Griffith, farewell. Nay, Patience, 2765
    You must not leave me yet: I must to bed;
    Call in more women. When I am dead, good wench,
    Let me be used with honour: strew me over
    With maiden flowers, that all the world may know
    I was a chaste wife to my grave: embalm me, 2770
    Then lay me forth: although unqueen'd, yet like
    A queen, and daughter to a king, inter me.
    I can no more.

[Exeunt, leading KATHARINE]

. previous scene      

Act V, Scene 1

London. A gallery in the palace.

      next scene .

[Enter GARDINER, Bishop of Winchester, a Page with a] [p]torch before him, met by LOVELL]

  • Gardiner. It's one o'clock, boy, is't not?
  • Page. It hath struck.
  • Gardiner. These should be hours for necessities,
    Not for delights; times to repair our nature 2780
    With comforting repose, and not for us
    To waste these times. Good hour of night, Sir Thomas!
    Whither so late?
  • Gardiner. I did, Sir Thomas: and left him at primero 2785
    With the Duke of Suffolk.
  • Gardiner. Not yet, Sir Thomas Lovell. What's the matter?
    It seems you are in haste: an if there be 2790
    No great offence belongs to't, give your friend
    Some touch of your late business: affairs, that walk,
    As they say spirits do, at midnight, have
    In them a wilder nature than the business
    That seeks dispatch by day. 2795
  • Sir Thomas Lovell. My lord, I love you;
    And durst commend a secret to your ear
    Much weightier than this work. The queen's in labour,
    They say, in great extremity; and fear'd
    She'll with the labour end. 2800
  • Gardiner. The fruit she goes with
    I pray for heartily, that it may find
    Good time, and live: but for the stock, Sir Thomas,
    I wish it grubb'd up now.
  • Sir Thomas Lovell. Methinks I could 2805
    Cry the amen; and yet my conscience says
    She's a good creature, and, sweet lady, does
    Deserve our better wishes.
  • Gardiner. But, sir, sir,
    Hear me, Sir Thomas: you're a gentleman 2810
    Of mine own way; I know you wise, religious;
    And, let me tell you, it will ne'er be well,
    'Twill not, Sir Thomas Lovell, take't of me,
    Till Cranmer, Cromwell, her two hands, and she,
    Sleep in their graves. 2815
  • Sir Thomas Lovell. Now, sir, you speak of two
    The most remark'd i' the kingdom. As for Cromwell,
    Beside that of the jewel house, is made master
    O' the rolls, and the king's secretary; further, sir,
    Stands in the gap and trade of moe preferments, 2820
    With which the time will load him. The archbishop
    Is the king's hand and tongue; and who dare speak
    One syllable against him?
  • Gardiner. Yes, yes, Sir Thomas,
    There are that dare; and I myself have ventured 2825
    To speak my mind of him: and indeed this day,
    Sir, I may tell it you, I think I have
    Incensed the lords o' the council, that he is,
    For so I know he is, they know he is,
    A most arch heretic, a pestilence 2830
    That does infect the land: with which they moved
    Have broken with the king; who hath so far
    Given ear to our complaint, of his great grace
    And princely care foreseeing those fell mischiefs
    Our reasons laid before him, hath commanded 2835
    To-morrow morning to the council-board
    He be convented. He's a rank weed, Sir Thomas,
    And we must root him out. From your affairs
    I hinder you too long: good night, Sir Thomas.

[Exeunt GARDINER and Page]


  • Henry VIII. Charles, I will play no more tonight;
    My mind's not on't; you are too hard for me.
  • Henry VIII. But little, Charles;
    Nor shall not, when my fancy's on my play.
    Now, Lovell, from the queen what is the news?
  • Sir Thomas Lovell. I could not personally deliver to her
    What you commanded me, but by her woman 2850
    I sent your message; who return'd her thanks
    In the great'st humbleness, and desired your highness
    Most heartily to pray for her.
  • Henry VIII. What say'st thou, ha?
    To pray for her? what, is she crying out? 2855
  • Sir Thomas Lovell. So said her woman; and that her sufferance made
    Almost each pang a death.
  • Duke of Suffolk. God safely quit her of her burthen, and
    With gentle travail, to the gladding of 2860
    Your highness with an heir!
  • Henry VIII. 'Tis midnight, Charles;
    Prithee, to bed; and in thy prayers remember
    The estate of my poor queen. Leave me alone;
    For I must think of that which company 2865
    Would not be friendly to.
  • Duke of Suffolk. I wish your highness
    A quiet night; and my good mistress will
    Remember in my prayers.
  • Henry VIII. Charles, good night. 2870
    [Exit SUFFOLK]
    [Enter DENNY]
    Well, sir, what follows?
  • Sir Anthony Denny. Sir, I have brought my lord the archbishop,
    As you commanded me. 2875

[Exit DENNY]

  • Sir Thomas Lovell. [Aside] This is about that which the bishop spake:
    I am happily come hither.

[Re-enter DENNY, with CRANMER]

  • Henry VIII. Avoid the gallery.
    [LOVELL seems to stay] 2885
    Ha! I have said. Be gone. What!

[Exeunt LOVELL and DENNY]

  • Archbishop Cranmer. [Aside]
    I am fearful: wherefore frowns he thus?
    'Tis his aspect of terror. All's not well. 2890
  • Henry VIII. How now, my lord! you desire to know
    Wherefore I sent for you.
  • Henry VIII. Pray you, arise, 2895
    My good and gracious Lord of Canterbury.
    Come, you and I must walk a turn together;
    I have news to tell you: come, come, give me your hand.
    Ah, my good lord, I grieve at what I speak,
    And am right sorry to repeat what follows 2900
    I have, and most unwillingly, of late
    Heard many grievous, I do say, my lord,
    Grievous complaints of you; which, being consider'd,
    Have moved us and our council, that you shall
    This morning come before us; where, I know, 2905
    You cannot with such freedom purge yourself,
    But that, till further trial in those charges
    Which will require your answer, you must take
    Your patience to you, and be well contented
    To make your house our Tower: you a brother of us, 2910
    It fits we thus proceed, or else no witness
    Would come against you.
  • Archbishop Cranmer. [Kneeling]
    I humbly thank your highness;
    And am right glad to catch this good occasion 2915
    Most throughly to be winnow'd, where my chaff
    And corn shall fly asunder: for, I know,
    There's none stands under more calumnious tongues
    Than I myself, poor man.
  • Henry VIII. Stand up, good Canterbury: 2920
    Thy truth and thy integrity is rooted
    In us, thy friend: give me thy hand, stand up:
    Prithee, let's walk. Now, by my holidame.
    What manner of man are you? My lord, I look'd
    You would have given me your petition, that 2925
    I should have ta'en some pains to bring together
    Yourself and your accusers; and to have heard you,
    Without indurance, further.
  • Archbishop Cranmer. Most dread liege,
    The good I stand on is my truth and honesty: 2930
    If they shall fail, I, with mine enemies,
    Will triumph o'er my person; which I weigh not,
    Being of those virtues vacant. I fear nothing
    What can be said against me.
  • Henry VIII. Know you not 2935
    How your state stands i' the world, with the whole world?
    Your enemies are many, and not small; their practises
    Must bear the same proportion; and not ever
    The justice and the truth o' the question carries
    The due o' the verdict with it: at what ease 2940
    Might corrupt minds procure knaves as corrupt
    To swear against you? such things have been done.
    You are potently opposed; and with a malice
    Of as great size. Ween you of better luck,
    I mean, in perjured witness, than your master, 2945
    Whose minister you are, whiles here he lived
    Upon this naughty earth? Go to, go to;
    You take a precipice for no leap of danger,
    And woo your own destruction.
  • Archbishop Cranmer. God and your majesty 2950
    Protect mine innocence, or I fall into
    The trap is laid for me!
  • Henry VIII. Be of good cheer;
    They shall no more prevail than we give way to.
    Keep comfort to you; and this morning see 2955
    You do appear before them: if they shall chance,
    In charging you with matters, to commit you,
    The best persuasions to the contrary
    Fail not to use, and with what vehemency
    The occasion shall instruct you: if entreaties 2960
    Will render you no remedy, this ring
    Deliver them, and your appeal to us
    There make before them. Look, the good man weeps!
    He's honest, on mine honour. God's blest mother!
    I swear he is true—hearted; and a soul 2965
    None better in my kingdom. Get you gone,
    And do as I have bid you.
    [Exit CRANMER]
    He has strangled
    His language in his tears. 2970

[Enter Old Lady, LOVELL following]

  • Gentleman. [Within] Come back: what mean you?
  • Old Lady. I'll not come back; the tidings that I bring
    Will make my boldness manners. Now, good angels
    Fly o'er thy royal head, and shade thy person 2975
    Under their blessed wings!
  • Henry VIII. Now, by thy looks
    I guess thy message. Is the queen deliver'd?
    Say, ay; and of a boy.
  • Old Lady. Ay, ay, my liege; 2980
    And of a lovely boy: the God of heaven
    Both now and ever bless her! 'tis a girl,
    Promises boys hereafter. Sir, your queen
    Desires your visitation, and to be
    Acquainted with this stranger 'tis as like you 2985
    As cherry is to cherry.
  • Henry VIII. Give her an hundred marks. I'll to the queen.


  • Old Lady. An hundred marks! By this light, I'll ha' more.
    An ordinary groom is for such payment.
    I will have more, or scold it out of him.
    Said I for this, the girl was like to him?
    I will have more, or else unsay't; and now, 2995
    While it is hot, I'll put it to the issue.


. previous scene      

Act V, Scene 2

Before the council-chamber. Pursuivants, Pages, &c.

      next scene .



  • Archbishop Cranmer. I hope I am not too late; and yet the gentleman, 3000
    That was sent to me from the council, pray'd me
    To make great haste. All fast? what means this? Ho!
    Who waits there? Sure, you know me?

[Enter Keeper]

  • Keeper. Yes, my lord; 3005
    But yet I cannot help you.


  • Keeper. Your grace must wait till you be call'd for.
  • Doctor Butts. [Aside] This is a piece of malice. I am glad
    I came this way so happily: the king
    Shall understand it presently.


  • Archbishop Cranmer. [Aside]. 'Tis Butts, 3015
    The king's physician: as he pass'd along,
    How earnestly he cast his eyes upon me!
    Pray heaven, he sound not my disgrace! For certain,
    This is of purpose laid by some that hate me—
    God turn their hearts! I never sought their malice— 3020
    To quench mine honour: they would shame to make me
    Wait else at door, a fellow-counsellor,
    'Mong boys, grooms, and lackeys. But their pleasures
    Must be fulfill'd, and I attend with patience.

[Enter the KING HENRY VIII and DOCTOR BUTTS at a window above]

  • Doctor Butts. There, my lord: 3030
    The high promotion of his grace of Canterbury;
    Who holds his state at door, 'mongst pursuivants,
    Pages, and footboys.
  • Henry VIII. Ha! 'tis he, indeed:
    Is this the honour they do one another? 3035
    'Tis well there's one above 'em yet. I had thought
    They had parted so much honesty among 'em
    At least, good manners, as not thus to suffer
    A man of his place, and so near our favour,
    To dance attendance on their lordships' pleasures, 3040
    And at the door too, like a post with packets.
    By holy Mary, Butts, there's knavery:
    Let 'em alone, and draw the curtain close:
    We shall hear more anon.


. previous scene      

Act V, Scene 3

The Council-Chamber.

      next scene .

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

  • Lord Chancellor. Speak to the business, master-secretary:
    Why are we met in council?
  • Cromwell. Please your honours,
    The chief cause concerns his grace of Canterbury. 3055
  • Keeper. Without, my noble lords?
  • Keeper. My lord archbishop;
    And has done half an hour, to know your pleasures.
  • Keeper. Your grace may enter now.

[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 3070
    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, 3075
    Divers and dangerous; which are heresies,
    And, not reform'd, may prove pernicious.
  • Gardiner. Which reformation must be sudden too,
    My noble lords; for those that tame wild horses
    Pace 'em not in their hands to make 'em gentle, 3080
    But stop their mouths with stubborn bits, and spur 'em,
    Till they obey the manage. If we suffer,
    Out of our easiness and childish pity
    To one man's honour, this contagious sickness,
    Farewell all physic: and what follows then? 3085
    Commotions, uproars, with a general taint
    Of the whole state: as, of late days, our neighbours,
    The upper Germany, can dearly witness,
    Yet freshly pitied in our memories.
  • Archbishop Cranmer. My good lords, hitherto, in all the progress 3090
    Both of my life and office, I have labour'd,
    And with no little study, that my teaching
    And the strong course of my authority
    Might go one way, and safely; and the end
    Was ever, to do well: nor is there living, 3095
    I speak it with a single heart, my lords,
    A man that more detests, more stirs against,
    Both in his private conscience and his place,
    Defacers of a public peace, than I do.
    Pray heaven, the king may never find a heart 3100
    With less allegiance in it! Men that make
    Envy and crooked malice nourishment
    Dare bite the best. I do beseech your lordships,
    That, in this case of justice, my accusers,
    Be what they will, may stand forth face to face, 3105
    And freely urge against me.
  • Duke of Suffolk. Nay, my lord,
    That cannot be: you are a counsellor,
    And, by that virtue, no man dare accuse you.
  • Gardiner. My lord, because we have business of more moment, 3110
    We will be short with you. 'Tis his highness' pleasure,
    And our consent, for better trial of you,
    From hence you be committed to the Tower;
    Where, being but a private man again,
    You shall know many dare accuse you boldly, 3115
    More than, I fear, you are provided for.
  • Archbishop Cranmer. Ah, my good Lord of Winchester, I thank you;
    You are always my good friend; if your will pass,
    I shall both find your lordship judge and juror,
    You are so merciful: I see your end; 3120
    'Tis my undoing: love and meekness, lord,
    Become a churchman better than ambition:
    Win straying souls with modesty again,
    Cast none away. That I shall clear myself,
    Lay all the weight ye can upon my patience, 3125
    I make as little doubt, as you do conscience
    In doing daily wrongs. I could say more,
    But reverence to your calling makes me modest.
  • Gardiner. My lord, my lord, you are a sectary,
    That's the plain truth: your painted gloss discovers, 3130
    To men that understand you, words and weakness.
  • Cromwell. My Lord of Winchester, you are a little,
    By your good favour, too sharp; men so noble,
    However faulty, yet should find respect
    For what they have been: 'tis a cruelty 3135
    To load a falling man.
  • Gardiner. Good master secretary,
    I cry your honour mercy; you may, worst
    Of all this table, say so.
  • Gardiner. Do not I know you for a favourer
    Of this new sect? ye are not sound.
  • Cromwell. Would you were half so honest! 3145
    Men's prayers then would seek you, not their fears.
  • Gardiner. I shall remember this bold language.
  • Cromwell. Do.
    Remember your bold life too.
  • Lord Chancellor. Then thus for you, my lord: it stands agreed,
    I take it, by all voices, that forthwith 3155
    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?
  • Archbishop Cranmer. Is there no other way of mercy, 3160
    But I must needs to the Tower, my lords?
  • Gardiner. What other
    Would you expect? you are strangely troublesome.
    Let some o' the guard be ready there.

[Enter Guard]

  • Gardiner. Receive him,
    And see him safe i' the Tower.
  • Archbishop Cranmer. Stay, good my lords, 3170
    I have a little yet to say. Look there, my lords;
    By virtue of that ring, I take my cause
    Out of the gripes of cruel men, and give it
    To a most noble judge, the king my master.
  • Duke of Suffolk. 'Tis the right ring, by heaven: I told ye all,
    When ye first put this dangerous stone a-rolling,
    'Twould fall upon ourselves.
  • Duke of Norfolk. Do you think, my lords, 3180
    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! 3185
  • Cromwell. My mind gave me,
    In seeking tales and informations
    Against this man, whose honesty the devil
    And his disciples only envy at,
    Ye blew the fire that burns ye: now have at ye! 3190

[Enter KING, frowning on them; takes his seat]

  • Gardiner. Dread sovereign, how much are we bound to heaven
    In daily thanks, that gave us such a prince;
    Not only good and wise, but most religious:
    One that, in all obedience, makes the church 3195
    The chief aim of his honour; and, to strengthen
    That holy duty, out of dear respect,
    His royal self in judgment comes to hear
    The cause betwixt her and this great offender.
  • Henry VIII. You were ever good at sudden commendations, 3200
    Bishop of Winchester. But know, I come not
    To hear such flattery now, and in my presence;
    They are too thin and bare to hide offences.
    To me you cannot reach, you play the spaniel,
    And think with wagging of your tongue to win me; 3205
    But, whatsoe'er thou takest me for, I'm sure
    Thou hast a cruel nature and a bloody.
    [To CRANMER]
    Good man, sit down. Now let me see the proudest
    He, that dares most, but wag his finger at thee: 3210
    By all that's holy, he had better starve
    Than but once think this place becomes thee not.
  • Henry VIII. No, sir, it does not please me.
    I had thought I had had men of some understanding 3215
    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? 3220
    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, 3225
    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 3230
    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.
  • Henry VIII. Well, well, my lords, respect him; 3235
    Take him, and use him well, he's worthy of it.
    I will say thus much for him, if a prince
    May be beholding to a subject, I
    Am, for his love and service, so to him.
    Make me no more ado, but all embrace him: 3240
    Be friends, for shame, my lords! My Lord of
    I have a suit which you must not deny me;
    That is, a fair young maid that yet wants baptism,
    You must be godfather, and answer for her. 3245
  • Archbishop Cranmer. The greatest monarch now alive may glory
    In such an honour: how may I deserve it
    That am a poor and humble subject to you?
  • Henry VIII. Come, come, my lord, you'ld spare your spoons: you
    shall have two noble partners with you; the old 3250
    Duchess of Norfolk, and Lady Marquess Dorset: will
    these please you?
    Once more, my Lord of Winchester, I charge you,
    Embrace and love this man.
  • Gardiner. With a true heart 3255
    And brother-love I do it.
  • Henry VIII. Good man, those joyful tears show thy true heart:
    The common voice, I see, is verified 3260
    Of thee, which says thus, 'Do my Lord of Canterbury
    A shrewd turn, and he is your friend for ever.'
    Come, lords, we trifle time away; I long
    To have this young one made a Christian.
    As I have made ye one, lords, one remain; 3265
    So I grow stronger, you more honour gain.


. previous scene      

Act V, Scene 4

The palace yard.

      next scene .

[Noise and tumult within. Enter Porter and his Man]

  • Porter. You'll leave your noise anon, ye rascals: do you
    take the court for Paris-garden? ye rude slaves, 3270
    leave your gaping.
    Good master porter, I belong to the larder.
  • Porter. Belong to the gallows, and be hanged, ye rogue! is
    this a place to roar in? Fetch me a dozen crab-tree 3275
    staves, and strong ones: these are but switches to
    'em. I'll scratch your heads: you must be seeing
    christenings? do you look for ale and cakes here,
    you rude rascals?
  • Man. Pray, sir, be patient: 'tis as much impossible— 3280
    Unless we sweep 'em from the door with cannons—
    To scatter 'em, as 'tis to make 'em sleep
    On May-day morning; which will never be:
    We may as well push against Powle's, as stir em.
  • Porter. How got they in, and be hang'd? 3285
  • Man. Alas, I know not; how gets the tide in?
    As much as one sound cudgel of four foot—
    You see the poor remainder—could distribute,
    I made no spare, sir.
  • Porter. You did nothing, sir. 3290
  • Man. I am not Samson, nor Sir Guy, nor Colbrand,
    To mow 'em down before me: but if I spared any
    That had a head to hit, either young or old,
    He or she, cuckold or cuckold-maker,
    Let me ne'er hope to see a chine again 3295
    And that I would not for a cow, God save her!
    Do you hear, master porter?
  • Porter. I shall be with you presently, good master puppy.
    Keep the door close, sirrah. 3300
  • Man. What would you have me do?
  • Porter. What should you do, but knock 'em down by the
    dozens? Is this Moorfields to muster in? or have
    we some strange Indian with the great tool come to
    court, the women so besiege us? Bless me, what a 3305
    fry of fornication is at door! On my Christian
    conscience, this one christening will beget a
    thousand; here will be father, godfather, and all together.
  • Man. The spoons will be the bigger, sir. There is a
    fellow somewhat near the door, he should be a 3310
    brazier by his face, for, o' my conscience, twenty
    of the dog-days now reign in's nose; all that stand
    about him are under the line, they need no other
    penance: that fire-drake did I hit three times on
    the head, and three times was his nose discharged 3315
    against me; he stands there, like a mortar-piece, to
    blow us. There was a haberdasher's wife of small
    wit near him, that railed upon me till her pinked
    porringer fell off her head, for kindling such a
    combustion in the state. I missed the meteor once, 3320
    and hit that woman; who cried out 'Clubs!' when I
    might see from far some forty truncheoners draw to
    her succor, which were the hope o' the Strand, where
    she was quartered. They fell on; I made good my
    place: at length they came to the broom-staff to 3325
    me; I defied 'em still: when suddenly a file of
    boys behind 'em, loose shot, delivered such a shower
    of pebbles, that I was fain to draw mine honour in,
    and let 'em win the work: the devil was amongst
    'em, I think, surely. 3330
  • Porter. These are the youths that thunder at a playhouse,
    and fight for bitten apples; that no audience, but
    the tribulation of Tower-hill, or the limbs of
    Limehouse, their dear brothers, are able to endure.
    I have some of 'em in Limbo Patrum, and there they 3335
    are like to dance these three days; besides the
    running banquet of two beadles that is to come.

[Enter Chamberlain]

  • Lord Chamberlain. Mercy o' me, what a multitude are here!
    They grow still too; from all parts they are coming, 3340
    As if we kept a fair here! Where are these porters,
    These lazy knaves? Ye have made a fine hand, fellows:
    There's a trim rabble let in: are all these
    Your faithful friends o' the suburbs? We shall have
    Great store of room, no doubt, left for the ladies, 3345
    When they pass back from the christening.
  • Porter. An't please
    your honour,
    We are but men; and what so many may do,
    Not being torn a-pieces, we have done: 3350
    An army cannot rule 'em.
  • Lord Chamberlain. As I live,
    If the king blame me for't, I'll lay ye all
    By the heels, and suddenly; and on your heads
    Clap round fines for neglect: ye are lazy knaves; 3355
    And here ye lie baiting of bombards, when
    Ye should do service. Hark! the trumpets sound;
    They're come already from the christening:
    Go, break among the press, and find a way out
    To let the troop pass fairly; or I'll find 3360
    A Marshalsea shall hold ye play these two months.
  • Porter. Make way there for the princess.
  • Man. You great fellow,
    Stand close up, or I'll make your head ache.
  • Porter. You i' the camlet, get up o' the rail; 3365
    I'll peck you o'er the pales else.


. previous scene      

Act V, Scene 5

The palace.


[Enter trumpets, sounding; then two Aldermen, Lord] [p]Mayor, Garter, CRANMER, NORFOLK with his marshal's [p]staff, SUFFOLK, two Noblemen bearing great [p]standing-bowls for the christening-gifts; then [p]four Noblemen bearing a canopy, under which the [p]Duchess of Norfolk, godmother, bearing the child [p]richly habited in a mantle, &c., train borne by a [p]Lady; then follows the Marchioness Dorset, the [p]other godmother, and Ladies. The troop pass once [p]about the stage, and Garter speaks]

  • Garter. Heaven, from thy endless goodness, send prosperous
    life, long, and ever happy, to the high and mighty
    princess of England, Elizabeth! 3380

[Flourish. Enter KING HENRY VIII and Guard]

  • Archbishop Cranmer. [Kneeling] And to your royal grace, and the good queen,
    My noble partners, and myself, thus pray:
    All comfort, joy, in this most gracious lady,
    Heaven ever laid up to make parents happy, 3385
    May hourly fall upon ye!
  • Henry VIII. Thank you, good lord archbishop:
    What is her name?
  • Henry VIII. Stand up, lord. 3390
    [KING HENRY VIII kisses the child]
    With this kiss take my blessing: God protect thee!
    Into whose hand I give thy life.
  • Henry VIII. My noble gossips, ye have been too prodigal: 3395
    I thank ye heartily; so shall this lady,
    When she has so much English.
  • Archbishop Cranmer. Let me speak, sir,
    For heaven now bids me; and the words I utter
    Let none think flattery, for they'll find 'em truth. 3400
    This royal infant—heaven still move about her!—
    Though in her cradle, yet now promises
    Upon this land a thousand thousand blessings,
    Which time shall bring to ripeness: she shall be—
    But few now living can behold that goodness— 3405
    A pattern to all princes living with her,
    And all that shall succeed: Saba was never
    More covetous of wisdom and fair virtue
    Than this pure soul shall be: all princely graces,
    That mould up such a mighty piece as this is, 3410
    With all the virtues that attend the good,
    Shall still be doubled on her: truth shall nurse her,
    Holy and heavenly thoughts still counsel her:
    She shall be loved and fear'd: her own shall bless her;
    Her foes shake like a field of beaten corn, 3415
    And hang their heads with sorrow: good grows with her:
    In her days every man shall eat in safety,
    Under his own vine, what he plants; and sing
    The merry songs of peace to all his neighbours:
    God shall be truly known; and those about her 3420
    From her shall read the perfect ways of honour,
    And by those claim their greatness, not by blood.
    Nor shall this peace sleep with her: but as when
    The bird of wonder dies, the maiden phoenix,
    Her ashes new create another heir, 3425
    As great in admiration as herself;
    So shall she leave her blessedness to one,
    When heaven shall call her from this cloud of darkness,
    Who from the sacred ashes of her honour
    Shall star-like rise, as great in fame as she was, 3430
    And so stand fix'd: peace, plenty, love, truth, terror,
    That were the servants to this chosen infant,
    Shall then be his, and like a vine grow to him:
    Wherever the bright sun of heaven shall shine,
    His honour and the greatness of his name 3435
    Shall be, and make new nations: he shall flourish,
    And, like a mountain cedar, reach his branches
    To all the plains about him: our children's children
    Shall see this, and bless heaven.
  • Archbishop Cranmer. She shall be, to the happiness of England,
    An aged princess; many days shall see her,
    And yet no day without a deed to crown it.
    Would I had known no more! but she must die,
    She must, the saints must have her; yet a virgin, 3445
    A most unspotted lily shall she pass
    To the ground, and all the world shall mourn her.
  • Henry VIII. O lord archbishop,
    Thou hast made me now a man! never, before
    This happy child, did I get any thing: 3450
    This oracle of comfort has so pleased me,
    That when I am in heaven I shall desire
    To see what this child does, and praise my Maker.
    I thank ye all. To you, my good lord mayor,
    And your good brethren, I am much beholding; 3455
    I have received much honour by your presence,
    And ye shall find me thankful. Lead the way, lords:
    Ye must all see the queen, and she must thank ye,
    She will be sick else. This day, no man think
    Has business at his house; for all shall stay: 3460
    This little one shall make it holiday.
  • Chorus. 'Tis ten to one this play can never please
    All that are here: some come to take their ease, 3465
    And sleep an act or two; but those, we fear,
    We have frighted with our trumpets; so, 'tis clear,
    They'll say 'tis naught: others, to hear the city
    Abused extremely, and to cry 'That's witty!'
    Which we have not done neither: that, I fear, 3470
    All the expected good we're like to hear
    For this play at this time, is only in
    The merciful construction of good women;
    For such a one we show'd 'em: if they smile,
    And say 'twill do, I know, within a while 3475
    All the best men are ours; for 'tis ill hap,
    If they hold when their ladies bid 'em clap.