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Henry VIII
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Entire Play

Two stories dominate Henry VIII: the fall of Cardinal Wolsey, Henry’s powerful advisor, and Henry’s quest to divorce Queen Katherine, who…

Prologue

Act 1, scene 1

The Duke of Buckingham, learning the details of the costly and ultimately fruitless meeting of French and English at the…

Act 1, scene 2

Queen Katherine reveals that Wolsey is heavily taxing the English in the king’s name, and Henry pronounces a pardon to…

Act 1, scene 3

Three courtiers discuss the royal proclamation against young fops who have adopted French manners and dress after returning from France….

Act 1, scene 4

At the supper, Wolsey and his guests are visited by Henry and his courtiers, all disguised as shepherds. Henry dances…

Act 2, scene 1

Buckingham, convicted of treason, is led to execution. He declares his innocence, forgives his enemies, and vows his loyalty to…

Act 2, scene 2

Norfolk, Suffolk, and the Lord Chamberlain join in denouncing Wolsey. They hold him responsible for dividing Henry from Katherine, and…

Act 2, scene 3

Anne Bullen pities Katherine, now threatened with divorce. The Lord Chamberlain enters to announce that Henry has created Anne marchioness…

Act 2, scene 4

At the trial, Katherine refuses to have the validity of her marriage judged by the church court, given Wolsey’s malice…

Act 3, scene 1

Wolsey and Campeius visit Katherine to persuade her to contest the divorce no longer.

Act 3, scene 2

Courtiers assemble to discuss Wolsey’s sudden fall from Henry’s favor, Henry’s marriage to Anne Bullen, and plans for her coronation….

Act 4, scene 1

The procession returns from Anne’s coronation, which is then described by a gentleman who was in attendance.

Act 4, scene 2

The dying Princess Dowager Katherine and her attendant Griffith provide contrasting accounts of the character of the newly dead Wolsey….

Act 5, scene 1

The new archbishop of Canterbury, Cranmer, is under attack because his religious beliefs seem heretical. The king, after receiving news…

Act 5, scene 2

Cranmer suffers the public humiliation of being locked out of a Privy Council meeting. Allowed in, he is then threatened…

Act 5, scene 3

A porter and his assistant fight to control the crowd determined to view the royal daughter’s christening.

Act 5, scene 4

At Princess Elizabeth’s christening, Cranmer prophesies a magnificent reign for the future Queen Elizabeth I and an equally successful one…

Act 5, epilogue

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Enter Prologue.

PROLOGUE 
 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,
5 We now present. Those that can pity here
 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
10 Only a show or two, and so agree
 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,
15 A noise of targets, or to see a fellow
 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, besides forfeiting
20 Our own brains and the opinion that we bring
 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,
25 Be sad, as we would make you. Think you see
 The very persons of our noble story
 As they were living. Think you see them great,
 And followed with the general throng and sweat
 Of thousand friends. Then, in a moment, see
30 How soon this mightiness meets misery.
 And if you can be merry then, I’ll say
 A man may weep upon his wedding day.
He exits.
7
ACT 1
Scene 1
Enter the Duke of Norfolk at one door; at the other, the
Duke of Buckingham and the Lord Abergavenny.


BUCKINGHAM 
 Good morrow, and well met. How have you done
 Since last we saw in France?
NORFOLK  I thank your Grace,
 Healthful, and ever since a fresh admirer
5 Of what I saw there.
BUCKINGHAM  An untimely ague
 Stayed me a prisoner in my chamber when
 Those suns of glory, those two lights of men,
 Met in the vale of Andren.
NORFOLK 10 ’Twixt Guynes and Arde.
 I was then present, saw them salute on horseback,
 Beheld them when they lighted, how they clung
 In their embracement, as they grew together—
 Which had they, what four throned ones could have
15 weighed
 Such a compounded one?
BUCKINGHAM  All the whole time
 I was my chamber’s prisoner.
NORFOLK  Then you lost
20 The view of earthly glory. Men might say
 Till this time pomp was single, but now married
 To one above itself. Each following day
9

11
Henry VIII
ACT 1. SC. 1

 Became the next day’s master, till the last
 Made former wonders its. Today the French,
25 All clinquant, all in gold, like heathen gods,
 Shone down the English, and tomorrow they
 Made Britain India: every man that stood
 Showed like a mine. Their dwarfish pages were
 As cherubins, all gilt. The madams too,
30 Not used to toil, did almost sweat to bear
 The pride upon them, that their very labor
 Was to them as a painting. Now this masque
 Was cried incomparable; and th’ ensuing night
 Made it a fool and beggar. The two kings,
35 Equal in luster, were now best, now worst,
 As presence did present them: him in eye
 Still him in praise; and being present both,
 ’Twas said they saw but one, and no discerner
 Durst wag his tongue in censure. When these suns—
40 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,
 Being now seen possible enough, got credit
 That Bevis was believed.
BUCKINGHAM 45 O, you go far.
NORFOLK 
 As I belong to worship, and affect
 In honor honesty, the tract of everything
 Would by a good discourser lose some life
 Which action’s self was tongue to. All was royal;
50 To the disposing of it naught rebelled.
 Order gave each thing view. The office did
 Distinctly his full function.
BUCKINGHAM  Who did guide,
 I mean who set the body and the limbs
55 Of this great sport together, as you guess?
NORFOLK 
 One, certes, that promises no element
 In such a business.

13
Henry VIII
ACT 1. SC. 1

BUCKINGHAM  I pray you who, my lord?
NORFOLK 
 All this was ordered by the good discretion
60 Of the right reverend Cardinal of York.
BUCKINGHAM 
 The devil speed him! No man’s pie is freed
 From his ambitious finger. What had he
 To do in these fierce vanities? I wonder
 That such a keech can with his very bulk
65 Take up the rays o’ th’ beneficial sun
 And keep it from the Earth.
NORFOLK  Surely, sir,
 There’s in him stuff that puts him to these ends;
 For, being not propped by ancestry, whose grace
70 Chalks successors their way, nor called upon
 For high feats done to th’ crown, neither allied
 To eminent assistants, but spiderlike,
 Out of his self-drawing web, he gives us note
 The force of his own merit makes his way—
75 A gift that heaven gives for him which buys
 A place next to the King.
ABERGAVENNY  I cannot tell
 What heaven hath given him—let some graver eye
 Pierce into that—but I can see his pride
80 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
 A new hell in himself.
BUCKINGHAM  Why the devil,
85 Upon this French going-out, took he upon him,
 Without the privity o’ th’ King, t’ appoint
 Who should attend on him? He makes up the file
 Of all the gentry, for the most part such
 To whom as great a charge as little honor
90 He meant to lay upon; and his own letter,
 The honorable board of council out,
 Must fetch him in he papers.

15
Henry VIII
ACT 1. SC. 1

ABERGAVENNY  I do know
 Kinsmen of mine, three at the least, that have
95 By this so sickened their estates that never
 They shall abound as formerly.
BUCKINGHAM  O, many
 Have broke their backs with laying manors on ’em
 For this great journey. What did this vanity
100 But minister communication of
 A most poor issue?
NORFOLK  Grievingly I think
 The peace between the French and us not values
 The cost that did conclude it.
BUCKINGHAM 105 Every man,
 After the hideous storm that followed, was
 A thing inspired and, not consulting, broke
 Into a general prophecy: that this tempest,
 Dashing the garment of this peace, aboded
110 The sudden breach on ’t.
NORFOLK  Which is budded out,
 For France hath flawed the league and hath attached
 Our merchants’ goods at Bordeaux.
ABERGAVENNY  Is it therefore
115 Th’ ambassador is silenced?
NORFOLK  Marry, is ’t.
ABERGAVENNY 
 A proper title of a peace, and purchased
 At a superfluous rate!
BUCKINGHAM  Why, all this business
120 Our reverend cardinal carried.
NORFOLK  Like it your Grace,
 The state takes notice of the private difference
 Betwixt you and the Cardinal. I advise you—
 And take it from a heart that wishes towards you
125 Honor and plenteous safety—that you read
 The Cardinal’s malice and his potency
 Together; to consider further that

17
Henry VIII
ACT 1. SC. 1

 What his high hatred would effect wants not
 A minister in his power. You know his nature,
130 That he’s revengeful, and I know his sword
 Hath a sharp edge; it’s long, and ’t may be said
 It reaches far, and where ’twill not extend,
 Thither he darts it. Bosom up my counsel;
 You’ll find it wholesome. Lo where comes that rock
135 That I advise your shunning.

Enter Cardinal Wolsey, the purse borne before him,
certain of the Guard, and two Secretaries with papers.

The Cardinal in his passage fixeth his eye on Buckingham,
and Buckingham on him, both full of disdain.


WOLSEY, aside to a Secretary 
 The Duke of Buckingham’s surveyor, ha?
 Where’s his examination?
SECRETARY  Here, so please you.
He hands Wolsey a paper.
WOLSEY 
 Is he in person ready?
SECRETARY 140 Ay, please your Grace.
WOLSEY 
 Well, we shall then know more, and Buckingham
 Shall lessen this big look.
Cardinal Wolsey and his train exit.
BUCKINGHAM 
 This butcher’s cur is venomed-mouthed, and I
 Have not the power to muzzle him; therefore best
145 Not wake him in his slumber. A beggar’s book
 Outworths a noble’s blood.
NORFOLK  What, are you chafed?
 Ask God for temp’rance. That’s th’ appliance only
 Which your disease requires.
BUCKINGHAM 150 I read in ’s looks
 Matter against me, and his eye reviled
 Me as his abject object. At this instant

19
Henry VIII
ACT 1. SC. 1

 He bores me with some trick. He’s gone to th’ King.
 I’ll follow and outstare him.
NORFOLK 155 Stay, my lord,
 And let your reason with your choler question
 What ’tis you go about. To climb steep hills
 Requires slow pace at first. Anger is like
 A full hot horse who, being allowed his way,
160 Self-mettle tires him. Not a man in England
 Can advise me like you; be to yourself
 As you would to your friend.
BUCKINGHAM  I’ll to the King,
 And from a mouth of honor quite cry down
165 This Ipswich fellow’s insolence, or proclaim
 There’s difference in no persons.
NORFOLK  Be advised.
 Heat not a furnace for your foe so hot
 That it do singe yourself. We may outrun
170 By violent swiftness that which we run at
 And lose by overrunning. Know you not
 The fire that mounts the liquor till ’t run o’er
 In seeming to augment it wastes it? Be advised.
 I say again there is no English soul
175 More stronger to direct you than yourself,
 If with the sap of reason you would quench
 Or but allay the fire of passion.
BUCKINGHAM  Sir,
 I am thankful to you, and I’ll go along
180 By your prescription. But this top-proud fellow—
 Whom from the flow of gall I name not, but
 From sincere motions—by intelligence,
 And proofs as clear as founts in July when
 We see each grain of gravel, I do know
185 To be corrupt and treasonous.
NORFOLK  Say not “treasonous.”
BUCKINGHAM 
 To th’ King I’ll say ’t, and make my vouch as strong

21
Henry VIII
ACT 1. SC. 1

 As shore of rock. Attend. This holy fox,
 Or wolf, or both—for he is equal rav’nous
190 As he is subtle, and as prone to mischief
 As able to perform ’t, his mind and place
 Infecting one another, yea reciprocally—
 Only to show his pomp as well in France
 As here at home, suggests the King our master
195 To this last costly treaty, th’ interview
 That swallowed so much treasure and like a glass
 Did break i’ th’ rinsing.
NORFOLK  Faith, and so it did.
BUCKINGHAM 
 Pray give me favor, sir. This cunning cardinal
200 The articles o’ th’ combination drew
 As himself pleased; and they were ratified
 As he cried “Thus let be,” to as much end
 As give a crutch to th’ dead. But our Count Cardinal
 Has done this, and ’tis well, for worthy Wolsey,
205 Who cannot err, he did it. Now this follows—
 Which, as I take it, is a kind of puppy
 To th’ old dam treason: Charles the Emperor,
 Under pretense to see the Queen his aunt—
 For ’twas indeed his color, but he came
210 To whisper Wolsey—here makes visitation;
 His fears were that the interview betwixt
 England and France might through their amity
 Breed him some prejudice, for from this league
 Peeped harms that menaced him; privily
215 Deals with our cardinal and, as I trow—
 Which I do well, for I am sure the Emperor
 Paid ere he promised, whereby his suit was granted
 Ere it was asked. But when the way was made
 And paved with gold, the Emperor thus desired
220 That he would please to alter the King’s course
 And break the foresaid peace. Let the King know—
 As soon he shall by me—that thus the Cardinal

23
Henry VIII
ACT 1. SC. 1

 Does buy and sell his honor as he pleases
 And for his own advantage.
NORFOLK 225 I am sorry
 To hear this of him, and could wish he were
 Something mistaken in ’t.
BUCKINGHAM  No, not a syllable.
 I do pronounce him in that very shape
230 He shall appear in proof.

Enter Brandon, a Sergeant-at-Arms before him, and two
or three of the Guard.


BRANDON 
 Your office, Sergeant: execute it.
SERGEANT, to Buckingham  Sir,
 My lord the Duke of Buckingham and Earl
 Of Hertford, Stafford, and Northampton, I
235 Arrest thee of high treason, in the name
 Of our most sovereign king.
BUCKINGHAM, to Norfolk  Lo you, my lord,
 The net has fall’n upon me. I shall perish
 Under device and practice.
BRANDON 240 I am sorry
 To see you ta’en from liberty, to look on
 The business present. ’Tis his Highness’ pleasure
 You shall to th’ Tower.
BUCKINGHAM  It will help me nothing
245 To plead mine innocence, for that dye is on me
 Which makes my whit’st 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
250 Is pleased you shall to th’ Tower, till you know
 How he determines further.
ABERGAVENNY  As the Duke said,
 The will of heaven be done, and the King’s pleasure
 By me obeyed.

25
Henry VIII
ACT 1. SC. 2

BRANDON 255 Here is a warrant from
 The King t’ attach Lord Mountacute, and the bodies
 Of the Duke’s confessor, John de la Car,
 One Gilbert Peck, his counselor—
BUCKINGHAM  So, so;
260 These are the limbs o’ th’ plot. No more, I hope.
BRANDON 
 A monk o’ th’ Chartreux.
BUCKINGHAM  O, Michael Hopkins?
BRANDON  He.
BUCKINGHAM 
 My surveyor is false. The o’ergreat cardinal
265 Hath showed him gold. My life is spanned already.
 I am the shadow of poor Buckingham,
 Whose figure even this instant cloud puts on
 By dark’ning my clear sun. To Norfolk. My lord,
 farewell.
They exit.


Scene 2
Cornets. Enter King Henry, leaning on the Cardinal’s
shoulder, with the Nobles, Sir Thomas Lovell, and
Attendants, including a Secretary of the Cardinal.
The Cardinal places himself under the King’s feet on
his right side.


KING, to Wolsey 
 My life itself, and the best heart of it,
 Thanks you for this great care. I stood i’ th’ level
 Of a full-charged confederacy, and give thanks
 To you that choked it.—Let be called before us
5 That gentleman of Buckingham’s; in person
 I’ll hear him his confessions justify,
 And point by point the treasons of his master
 He shall again relate.

27
Henry VIII
ACT 1. SC. 2

A noise within crying “Room for the Queen!” Enter the
Queen Katherine, ushered by the Duke of Norfolk, and
the Duke of Suffolk.
 She kneels. The King riseth from
his state.


QUEEN KATHERINE 
 Nay, we must longer kneel; I am a suitor.
KING 
10 Arise, and take place by us.
He takes her up, kisses and placeth her by him.
 Half your suit
 Never name to us; you have half our power.
 The other moiety ere you ask is given;
 Repeat your will, and take it.
QUEEN KATHERINE 15 Thank your Majesty.
 That you would love yourself, and in that love
 Not unconsidered leave your honor nor
 The dignity of your office, is the point
 Of my petition.
KING 20 Lady mine, proceed.
QUEEN KATHERINE 
 I am solicited, not by a few,
 And those of true condition, that your subjects
 Are in great grievance. There have been commissions
 Sent down among ’em which hath flawed the heart
25 Of all their loyalties, wherein, although
 My good Lord Cardinal, they vent reproaches
 Most bitterly on you as putter-on
 Of these exactions, yet the King our master,
 Whose honor heaven shield from soil, even he
30 escapes not
 Language unmannerly—yea, such which breaks
 The sides of loyalty and almost appears
 In loud rebellion.
NORFOLK  Not “almost appears”—
35 It doth appear. For, upon these taxations,
 The clothiers all, not able to maintain

29
Henry VIII
ACT 1. SC. 2

 The many to them longing, have put off
 The spinsters, carders, fullers, weavers, who,
 Unfit for other life, compelled by hunger
40 And lack of other means, in desperate manner
 Daring th’ event to th’ teeth, are all in uproar,
 And danger serves among them.
KING  Taxation?
 Wherein? And what taxation? My Lord Cardinal,
45 You that are blamed for it alike with us,
 Know you of this taxation?
WOLSEY  Please you, sir,
 I know but of a single part in aught
 Pertains to th’ state, and front but in that file
50 Where others tell steps with me.
QUEEN KATHERINE  No, my lord?
 You know no more than others? But you frame
 Things that are known alike, which are not wholesome
 To those which would not know them, and yet must
55 Perforce be their acquaintance. These exactions
 Whereof my sovereign would have note, they are
 Most pestilent to th’ hearing, and to bear ’em
 The back is sacrifice to th’ load. They say
 They are devised by you, or else you suffer
60 Too hard an exclamation.
KING  Still exaction!
 The nature of it? In what kind, let’s know,
 Is this exaction?
QUEEN KATHERINE  I am much too venturous
65 In tempting of your patience, but am boldened
 Under your promised pardon. The subjects’ grief
 Comes through commissions which compels from
 each
 The sixth part of his substance, to be levied
70 Without delay, and the pretense for this
 Is named your wars in France. This makes bold
 mouths.

31
Henry VIII
ACT 1. SC. 2

 Tongues spit their duties out, and cold hearts freeze
 Allegiance in them. Their curses now
75 Live where their prayers did; and it’s come to pass
 This tractable obedience is a slave
 To each incensèd will. I would your Highness
 Would give it quick consideration, for
 There is no primer baseness.
KING 80 By my life,
 This is against our pleasure.
WOLSEY  And for me,
 I have no further gone in this than by
 A single voice, and that not passed me but
85 By learnèd 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
90 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 trimmed, but benefit no further
95 Than vainly longing. What we oft do best,
 By sick interpreters, once weak ones, is
 Not ours or not allowed; what worst, as oft,
 Hitting a grosser quality, is cried up
 For our best act. If we shall stand still
100 In fear our motion will be mocked or carped at,
 We should take root here where we sit,
 Or sit state-statues only.
KING  Things done well,
 And with a care, exempt themselves from fear;
105 Things done without example, in their issue
 Are to be feared. Have you a precedent
 Of this commission? I believe, not any.
 We must not rend our subjects from our laws

33
Henry VIII
ACT 1. SC. 2

 And stick them in our will. Sixth part of each?
110 A trembling contribution! Why, we take
 From every tree lop, bark, and part o’ th’ timber,
 And though we leave it with a root, thus hacked,
 The air will drink the sap. To every county
 Where this is questioned send our letters with
115 Free pardon to each man that has denied
 The force of this commission. Pray look to ’t;
 I put it to your care.
WOLSEY, aside to his Secretary  A word with you.
 Let there be letters writ to every shire
120 Of the King’s grace and pardon. The grievèd commons
 Hardly conceive of me. Let it be noised
 That through our intercession this revokement
 And pardon comes. I shall anon advise you
 Further in the proceeding.Secretary exits.

Enter Buckingham’s Surveyor.

QUEEN KATHERINE, to the King 
125 I am sorry that the Duke of Buckingham
 Is run in your displeasure.
KING  It grieves many.
 The gentleman is learnèd and a most rare speaker;
 To nature none more bound; his training such
130 That he may furnish and instruct great teachers
 And never seek for aid out of himself. Yet see,
 When these so noble benefits shall prove
 Not well disposed, the mind growing once corrupt,
 They turn to vicious forms ten times more ugly
135 Than ever they were fair. This man so complete,
 Who was enrolled ’mongst wonders, and when we
 Almost with ravished list’ning could not find
 His hour of speech a minute—he, my lady,
 Hath into monstrous habits put the graces
140 That once were his, and is become as black
 As if besmeared in hell. Sit by us. You shall hear—

35
Henry VIII
ACT 1. SC. 2

 This was his gentleman in trust—of him
 Things to strike honor sad.—Bid him recount
 The fore-recited practices, whereof
145 We cannot feel too little, hear too much.
WOLSEY 
 Stand forth, and with bold spirit relate what you
 Most like a careful subject have collected
 Out of the Duke of Buckingham.
KING  Speak freely.
SURVEYOR 
150 First, it was usual with him—every day
 It would infect his speech—that if the King
 Should without issue die, he’ll carry it so
 To make the scepter his. These very words
 I’ve heard him utter to his son-in-law,
155 Lord Abergavenny, to whom by oath he menaced
 Revenge upon the Cardinal.
WOLSEY  Please your Highness, note
 This dangerous conception in this point:
 Not friended by his wish to your high person,
160 His will is most malignant, and it stretches
 Beyond you to your friends.
QUEEN KATHERINE  My learnèd Lord Cardinal,
 Deliver all with charity.
KING, to Surveyor  Speak on.
165 How grounded he his title to the crown
 Upon our fail? To this point hast thou heard him
 At any time speak aught?
SURVEYOR  He was brought to this
 By a vain prophecy of Nicholas Henton.
KING 
170 What was that Henton?
SURVEYOR  Sir, a Chartreux friar,
 His confessor, who fed him every minute
 With words of sovereignty.

37
Henry VIII
ACT 1. SC. 2

KING  How know’st thou this?
SURVEYOR 
175 Not long before your Highness sped to France,
 The Duke being at the Rose, within the parish
 Saint Laurence Poultney, did of me demand
 What was the speech among the Londoners
 Concerning the French journey. I replied
180 Men fear the French would prove perfidious,
 To the King’s danger. Presently the Duke
 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,
185 “Hath sent to me, wishing me to permit
 John de la Car, my chaplain, a choice hour
 To hear from him a matter of some moment;
 Whom after under the confession’s seal
 He solemnly had sworn that what he spoke
190 My chaplain to no creature living but
 To me should utter, with demure confidence
 This pausingly ensued: ‘Neither the King, nor ’s heirs—
 Tell you the Duke—shall prosper. Bid him strive
 To gain the love o’ th’ commonalty; the Duke
195 Shall govern England.’”
QUEEN KATHERINE  If I know you well,
 You were the Duke’s surveyor, and lost your office
 On the complaint o’ th’ tenants. Take good heed
 You charge not in your spleen a noble person
200 And spoil your nobler soul. I say, take heed—
 Yes, heartily beseech you.
KING  Let him on.—
 Go forward.
SURVEYOR  On my soul, I’ll speak but truth.
205 I told my lord the Duke, by th’ devil’s illusions
 The monk might be deceived, and that ’twas dangerous
 For him to ruminate on this so far until
 It forged him some design, which, being believed,

39
Henry VIII
ACT 1. SC. 2

 It was much like to do. He answered “Tush,
210 It can do me no damage,” adding further
 That had the King in his last sickness failed,
 The Cardinal’s and Sir Thomas Lovell’s heads
 Should have gone off.
KING  Ha! What, so rank? Ah ha!
215 There’s mischief in this man! Canst thou say further?
SURVEYOR 
 I can, my liege.
KING  Proceed.
SURVEYOR  Being at Greenwich,
 After your Highness had reproved the Duke
220 About Sir William Blumer—
KING 
 I remember of such a time, being my sworn servant,
 The Duke retained 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 played
225 The part my father meant to act upon
 Th’ 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 into him.”
KING 230 A giant traitor!
WOLSEY 
 Now, madam, may his Highness live in freedom
 And this man out of prison?
QUEEN KATHERINE  God mend all.
KING, to Surveyor 
 There’s something more would out of thee. What sayst?
SURVEYOR 
235 After “the Duke his father” with “the knife,”
 He stretched him, and with one hand on his dagger,
 Another spread on ’s breast, mounting his eyes,
 He did discharge a horrible oath whose tenor

41
Henry VIII
ACT 1. SC. 3

 Was, were he evil used, he would outgo
240 His father by as much as a performance
 Does an irresolute purpose.
KING  There’s his period,
 To sheathe his knife in us! He is attached.
 Call him to present trial. If he may
245 Find mercy in the law, ’tis his; if none,
 Let him not seek ’t of us. By day and night,
 He’s traitor to th’ height!
They exit.


Scene 3
Enter Lord Chamberlain and Lord Sands.

CHAMBERLAIN 
 Is ’t possible the spells of France should juggle
 Men into such strange mysteries?
SANDS  New customs,
 Though they be never so ridiculous—
5 Nay, let ’em be unmanly—yet are followed.
CHAMBERLAIN 
 As far as I see, all the good our English
 Have got by the late voyage is but merely
 A fit or two o’ th’ face; but they are shrewd ones,
 For when they hold ’em, you would swear directly
10 Their very noses had been counselors
 To Pepin or Clotharius, they keep state so.
SANDS 
 They have all new legs and lame ones; one would
 take it,
 That never see ’em pace before, the spavin
15 Or springhalt reigned among ’em.
CHAMBERLAIN  Death! My lord,
 Their clothes are after such a pagan cut to ’t,
 That, sure, they’ve worn out Christendom.

43
Henry VIII
ACT 1. SC. 3

Enter Sir Thomas Lovell.

 How now?
20 What news, Sir Thomas Lovell?
LOVELL  Faith, my lord,
 I hear of none but the new proclamation
 That’s clapped upon the court gate.
CHAMBERLAIN  What is ’t for?
LOVELL 
25 The reformation of our traveled gallants
 That fill the court with quarrels, talk, and tailors.
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.
LOVELL 30 They must either—
 For so run the conditions—leave those remnants
 Of fool and feather that they got in France,
 With all their honorable points of ignorance
 Pertaining thereunto, as fights and fireworks,
35 Abusing better men than they can be
 Out of a foreign wisdom, renouncing clean
 The faith they have in tennis and tall stockings,
 Short blistered breeches, and those types of travel,
 And understand again like honest men,
40 Or pack to their old playfellows. There, I take it,
 They may cum privilegio “oui” away
 The lag end of their lewdness and be laughed at.
SANDS 
 ’Tis time to give ’em physic, their diseases
 Are grown so catching.
CHAMBERLAIN 45 What a loss our ladies
 Will have of these trim vanities!
LOVELL  Ay, marry,
 There will be woe indeed, lords. The sly whoresons

45
Henry VIII
ACT 1. SC. 3

 Have got a speeding trick to lay down ladies.
50 A French song and a fiddle has no fellow.
SANDS 
 The devil fiddle ’em! I am glad they are going,
 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,
55 And have an hour of hearing, and, by ’r Lady,
 Held current music too.
CHAMBERLAIN  Well said, Lord Sands.
 Your colt’s tooth is not cast yet?
SANDS  No, my lord,
60 Nor shall not while I have a stump.
CHAMBERLAIN  Sir Thomas,
 Whither were you a-going?
LOVELL  To the Cardinal’s.
 Your Lordship is a guest too.
CHAMBERLAIN 65 O, ’tis true.
 This night he makes a supper, and a great one,
 To many lords and ladies. There will be
 The beauty of this kingdom, I’ll assure you.
LOVELL 
 That churchman bears a bounteous mind indeed,
70 A hand as fruitful as the land that feeds us.
 His dews fall everywhere.
CHAMBERLAIN  No doubt he’s noble;
 He had a black mouth that said other of him.
SANDS 
 He may, my lord. ’Has wherewithal. In him,
75 Sparing would show a worse sin than ill doctrine.
 Men of his way should be most liberal;
 They are set here for examples.
CHAMBERLAIN  True, they are so,
 But few now give so great ones. My barge stays.
80 Your Lordship shall along.—Come, good Sir Thomas,
 We shall be late else, which I would not be,

47
Henry VIII
ACT 1. SC. 4

 For I was spoke to, with Sir Henry Guilford
 This night to be comptrollers.
SANDS  I am your Lordship’s.
They exit.


Scene 4
Hautboys. A small table under a state for the Cardinal, a
longer table for the guests. Then enter Anne Bullen and
divers other ladies and gentlemen as guests at one door;
at another door enter Sir Henry Guilford.


GUILFORD 
 Ladies, a general welcome from his Grace
 Salutes you all. This night he dedicates
 To fair content and you. None here, he hopes,
 In all this noble bevy has brought with her
5 One care abroad. He would have all as merry
 As, first, good company, good wine, good welcome
 Can make good people.

Enter Lord Chamberlain, Lord Sands, and
Sir Thomas Lovell.


 O, my lord, you’re tardy!
 The very thought of this fair company
10 Clapped wings to me.
CHAMBERLAIN  You are young, Sir Harry Guilford.
SANDS 
 Sir Thomas Lovell, had the Cardinal
 But half my lay thoughts in him, some of these
 Should find a running banquet, ere they rested,
15 I think would better please ’em. By my life,
 They are a sweet society of fair ones.
LOVELL 
 O, that your Lordship were but now confessor
 To one or two of these!

49
Henry VIII
ACT 1. SC. 4

SANDS  I would I were.
20 They should find easy penance.
LOVELL  Faith, how easy?
SANDS 
 As easy as a down bed would afford it.
CHAMBERLAIN 
 Sweet ladies, will it please you sit?—Sir Harry,
 Place you that side; I’ll take the charge of this.
The guests are seated.
25 His Grace is ent’ring. Nay, you must not freeze;
 Two women placed together makes cold weather.
 My Lord Sands, you are one will keep ’em waking.
 Pray sit between these ladies.
SANDS  By my faith,
30 And thank your Lordship.—By your leave, sweet ladies.
He sits between Anne Bullen and another lady.
 If I chance to talk a little wild, forgive me;
 I had it from my father.
ANNE  Was he mad, sir?
SANDS 
 O, very mad, exceeding mad, in love too;
35 But he would bite none. Just as I do now,
 He would kiss you twenty with a breath.
He kisses Anne.
CHAMBERLAIN  Well said,
 my lord.
 So, now you’re fairly seated, gentlemen,
40 The penance lies on you if these fair ladies
 Pass away frowning.
SANDS  For my little cure,
 Let me alone.

Hautboys. Enter Cardinal Wolsey, with Attendants and
Servants, and takes his state.


WOLSEY 
 You’re welcome, my fair guests. That noble lady

51
Henry VIII
ACT 1. SC. 4

45 Or gentleman that is not freely merry
 Is not my friend. This to confirm my welcome,
 And to you all good health.He drinks to them.
SANDS  Your Grace is noble.
 Let me have such a bowl may hold my thanks
50 And save me so much talking.
WOLSEY  My Lord Sands,
 I am beholding to you. Cheer your neighbors.—
 Ladies, you are not merry.—Gentlemen,
 Whose fault is this?
SANDS 55 The red wine first must rise
 In their fair cheeks, my lord. Then we shall have ’em
 Talk us to silence.
ANNE  You are a merry gamester,
 My Lord Sands.
SANDS 60 Yes, if I make my play.
 Here’s to your Ladyship, and pledge it, madam,
He drinks to her.
 For ’tis to such a thing—
ANNE  You cannot show me.
SANDS 
 I told your Grace they would talk anon.
Drum and Trumpet. Chambers discharged.
WOLSEY 65 What’s that?
CHAMBERLAIN 
 Look out there, some of you.Servants exit.
WOLSEY  What warlike voice,
 And to what end, is this?—Nay, ladies, fear not.
 By all the laws of war you’re privileged.

Enter a Servant.

CHAMBERLAIN 
70 How now, what is ’t?
SERVANT  A noble troop of strangers,
 For so they seem. They’ve left their barge and landed,
 And hither make, as great ambassadors
 From foreign princes.

53
Henry VIII
ACT 1. SC. 4

WOLSEY 75 Good Lord Chamberlain,
 Go, give ’em welcome—you can speak the French
 tongue—
 And pray receive ’em nobly, and conduct ’em
 Into our presence, where this heaven of beauty
80 Shall shine at full upon them. Some attend him.
Lord Chamberlain exits, with Attendants.
All rise, and tables removed.
 You have now a broken banquet, but we’ll mend it.
 A good digestion to you all; and once more
 I shower a welcome on you. Welcome all!

Hautboys. Enter King and others as masquers, habited
like shepherds, ushered by the Lord Chamberlain.
They pass directly before the Cardinal and gracefully
salute him.


 A noble company! What are their pleasures?
CHAMBERLAIN 
85 Because they speak no English, thus they prayed
 To tell your Grace: that, having heard by fame
 Of this so noble and so fair assembly
 This night to meet here, they could do no less,
 Out of the great respect they bear to beauty,
90 But leave their flocks and, under your fair conduct,
 Crave leave to view these ladies and entreat
 An hour of revels with ’em.
WOLSEY  Say, Lord Chamberlain,
 They have done my poor house grace, for which I
95 pay ’em
 A thousand thanks and pray ’em take their pleasures.
The masquers choose Ladies. The
King chooses Anne Bullen.

KING 
 The fairest hand I ever touched! O beauty,
 Till now I never knew thee.
Music, Dance.
WOLSEY 
 My lord!

55
Henry VIII
ACT 1. SC. 4

CHAMBERLAIN 100 Your Grace?
WOLSEY  Pray tell ’em thus much
 from me:
 There should be one amongst ’em by his person
 More worthy this place than myself, to whom,
105 If I but knew him, with my love and duty
 I would surrender it.
CHAMBERLAIN  I will, my lord.
Whisper with the masquers.
WOLSEY 
 What say they?
CHAMBERLAIN  Such a one they all confess
110 There is indeed, which they would have your Grace
 Find out, and he will take it.
WOLSEY  Let me see, then.
He leaves his state.
 By all your good leaves, gentlemen.
He bows before the King.
 Here I’ll make
115 My royal choice.
KING, unmasking  You have found him, cardinal.
 You hold a fair assembly; you do well, lord.
 You are a churchman, or I’ll tell you, cardinal,
 I should judge now unhappily.
WOLSEY 120 I am glad
 Your Grace is grown so pleasant.
KING  My Lord Chamberlain,
 Prithee come hither. What fair lady’s that?
CHAMBERLAIN 
 An ’t please your Grace, Sir Thomas Bullen’s daughter,
125 The Viscount Rochford, one of her Highness’ women.
KING 
 By heaven, she is a dainty one.—Sweetheart,
 I were unmannerly to take you out
 And not to kiss you. He kisses Anne. A health,
 gentlemen!
130 Let it go round.He drinks a toast.

57
Henry VIII
ACT 1. SC. 4

WOLSEY 
 Sir Thomas Lovell, is the banquet ready
 I’ th’ privy chamber?
LOVELL  Yes, my lord.
WOLSEY  Your Grace,
135 I fear, with dancing is a little heated.
KING 
 I fear, too much.
WOLSEY  There’s fresher air, my lord,
 In the next chamber.
KING 
 Lead in your ladies ev’ry one.—Sweet partner,
140 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
 To lead ’em once again, and then let’s dream
 Who’s best in favor. Let the music knock it.
They exit, with Trumpets.


ACT 2
Scene 1
Enter two Gentlemen at several doors.

FIRST GENTLEMAN 
 Whither away so fast?
SECOND GENTLEMAN  O, God save you.
 E’en to the Hall to hear what shall become
 Of the great Duke of Buckingham.
FIRST GENTLEMAN 5 I’ll save you
 That labor, sir. All’s now done but the ceremony
 Of bringing back the prisoner.
SECOND GENTLEMAN  Were you there?
FIRST GENTLEMAN 
 Yes, indeed was I.
SECOND GENTLEMAN 10 Pray speak what has happened.
FIRST GENTLEMAN 
 You may guess quickly what.
SECOND GENTLEMAN  Is he found guilty?
FIRST GENTLEMAN 
 Yes, truly, is he, and condemned upon ’t.
SECOND GENTLEMAN 
 I am sorry for ’t.
FIRST GENTLEMAN 15 So are a number more.
SECOND GENTLEMAN But pray, how passed it?
FIRST GENTLEMAN 
 I’ll tell you in a little. The great duke
 Came to the bar, where to his accusations
61

63
Henry VIII
ACT 2. SC. 1

 He pleaded still not guilty and alleged
20 Many sharp reasons to defeat the law.
 The King’s attorney on the contrary
 Urged on the examinations, proofs, confessions
 Of divers witnesses, which the Duke desired
 To him brought viva voce to his face;
25 At which appeared against him his surveyor,
 Sir Gilbert Peck his chancellor, and John Car,
 Confessor to him, with that devil monk,
 Hopkins, that made this mischief.
SECOND GENTLEMAN  That was he
30 That fed him with his prophecies?
FIRST GENTLEMAN  The same.
 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
35 Have found him guilty of high treason. Much
 He spoke, and learnèdly, for life, but all
 Was either pitied in him or forgotten.
SECOND GENTLEMAN 
 After all this, how did he bear himself?
FIRST GENTLEMAN 
 When he was brought again to th’ bar to hear
40 His knell rung out, his judgment, he was stirred
 With such an agony he sweat extremely
 And something spoke in choler, ill and hasty.
 But he fell to himself again, and sweetly
 In all the rest showed a most noble patience.
SECOND GENTLEMAN 
45 I do not think he fears death.
FIRST GENTLEMAN  Sure he does not;
 He never was so womanish. The cause
 He may a little grieve at.
SECOND GENTLEMAN  Certainly
50 The Cardinal is the end of this.
FIRST GENTLEMAN  ’Tis likely,

65
Henry VIII
ACT 2. SC. 1

 By all conjectures; first, Kildare’s attainder,
 Then Deputy of Ireland, who, removed,
 Earl Surrey was sent thither, and in haste too,
55 Lest he should help his father.
SECOND GENTLEMAN  That trick of state
 Was a deep envious one.
FIRST GENTLEMAN  At his return
 No doubt he will requite it. This is noted,
60 And generally: whoever the King favors,
 The Card’nal instantly will find employment,
 And far enough from court too.
SECOND GENTLEMAN  All the commons
 Hate him perniciously and, o’ my conscience,
65 Wish him ten fathom deep. This duke as much
 They love and dote on, call him bounteous
 Buckingham,
 The mirror of all courtesy.
FIRST GENTLEMAN  Stay there, sir,
70 And see the noble ruined man you speak of.

Enter Buckingham from his arraignment, Tipstaves before
him, the ax with the edge towards him, Halberds on each
side, accompanied with Sir Thomas Lovell, Sir Nicholas
Vaux, Sir Walter Sands, and Common People, etc.


SECOND GENTLEMAN 
 Let’s stand close and behold him.
BUCKINGHAM  All good people,
 You that thus far have come to pity me,
 Hear what I say, and then go home and lose me.
75 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 ax falls, if I be not faithful!
 The law I bear no malice for my death;
80 ’T has done, upon the premises, but justice.
 But those that sought it I could wish more Christian.

67
Henry VIII
ACT 2. SC. 1

 Be what they will, I heartily forgive ’em.
 Yet let ’em look they glory not in mischief,
 Nor build their evils on the graves of great men,
85 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
 And dare be bold to weep for Buckingham,
90 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,
 Make of your prayers one sweet sacrifice,
95 And lift my soul to heaven.—Lead on, a’ God’s name.
LOVELL 
 I do beseech your Grace, for charity,
 If ever any malice in your heart
 Were hid against me, now to forgive me frankly.
BUCKINGHAM 
 Sir Thomas Lovell, I as free forgive you
100 As I would be forgiven. I forgive all.
 There cannot be those numberless offenses
 ’Gainst me that I cannot take peace with. No black
 envy
 Shall make my grave. Commend me to his Grace.
105 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
 Longer than I have time to tell his years.
110 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!
LOVELL 
 To th’ waterside I must conduct your Grace,
 Then give my charge up to Sir Nicholas Vaux,
115 Who undertakes you to your end.

69
Henry VIII
ACT 2. SC. 1

VAUX, calling as to Officers offstage  Prepare there!
 The Duke is coming. See the barge be ready,
 And fit it with such furniture as suits
 The greatness of his person.
BUCKINGHAM 120 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.
 Yet I am richer than my base accusers,
125 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,
 Flying for succor to his servant Banister,
130 Being distressed, was by that wretch betrayed,
 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
 Restored me to my honors and out of ruins
135 Made my name once more noble. Now his son,
 Henry the Eighth, life, honor, name, and all
 That made me happy at one stroke has taken
 Forever from the world. I had my trial,
 And must needs say a noble one, which makes me
140 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.
 Heaven has an end in all; yet, you that hear me,
145 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
 The least rub in your fortunes, fall away
150 Like water from you, never found again

71
Henry VIII
ACT 2. SC. 1

 But where they mean to sink you. All good people,
 Pray for me. I must now forsake you. The last hour
 Of my long weary life is come upon me.
 Farewell. And when you would say something that
155 is sad,
 Speak how I fell. I have done; and God forgive me.
Duke and train exit.
FIRST GENTLEMAN 
 O, this is full of pity, sir! It calls,
 I fear, too many curses on their heads
 That were the authors.
SECOND GENTLEMAN 160 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.
FIRST GENTLEMAN  Good angels keep it from us!
165 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.
FIRST GENTLEMAN  Let me have it.
 I do not talk much.
SECOND GENTLEMAN 170 I am confident;
 You shall, sir. Did you not of late days hear
 A buzzing of a separation
 Between the King and Katherine?
FIRST GENTLEMAN  Yes, but it held not;
175 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.
SECOND GENTLEMAN  But that slander, sir,
180 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

73
Henry VIII
ACT 2. SC. 2

 To the good queen, possessed him with a scruple
185 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;
 And merely to revenge him on the Emperor
190 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
 Will have his will, and she must fall.
FIRST GENTLEMAN 195 ’Tis woeful.
 We are too open here to argue this.
 Let’s think in private more.
They exit.


Scene 2
Enter Lord Chamberlain, reading this letter.

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
5 to 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.

10 I fear he will indeed; well, let him have them.
 He will have all, I think.

Enter to the Lord Chamberlain, the Dukes
of Norfolk and Suffolk.


NORFOLK Well met, my Lord Chamberlain.
CHAMBERLAIN Good day to both your Graces.

75
Henry VIII
ACT 2. SC. 2

SUFFOLK 
 How is the King employed?
CHAMBERLAIN 15 I left him private,
 Full of sad thoughts and troubles.
NORFOLK  What’s the cause?
CHAMBERLAIN 
 It seems the marriage with his brother’s wife
 Has crept too near his conscience.
SUFFOLK 20 No, his conscience
 Has crept too near another lady.
NORFOLK  ’Tis so;
 This is the Cardinal’s doing. The king-cardinal,
 That blind priest, like the eldest son of Fortune,
25 Turns what he list. The King will know him one day.
SUFFOLK 
 Pray God he do! He’ll never know himself else.
NORFOLK 
 How holily he works in all his business,
 And with what zeal! For, now he has cracked the
 league
30 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.
35 And out of all these to restore the King,
 He counsels a divorce, a loss of her
 That like a jewel has hung twenty years
 About his neck, yet never lost her luster;
 Of her that loves him with that excellence
40 That angels love good men with; even of her
 That, when the greatest stroke of fortune falls,
 Will bless the King. And is not this course pious?
CHAMBERLAIN 
 Heaven keep me from such counsel! ’Tis most true:
 These news are everywhere, every tongue speaks ’em,

77
Henry VIII
ACT 2. SC. 2

45 And every true heart weeps for ’t. All that dare
 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.
SUFFOLK 50And free us from his slavery.
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 honors
55 Lie like one lump before him, to be fashioned
 Into what pitch he please.
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,
60 If the King please. His curses and his blessings
 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.
NORFOLK  Let’s in,
65 And with some other business put the King
 From these sad thoughts that work too much upon
 him.—
 My lord, you’ll bear us company?
CHAMBERLAIN  Excuse me;
70 The King has sent me otherwhere. Besides,
 You’ll find a most unfit time to disturb him.
 Health to your Lordships.
NORFOLK  Thanks, my good Lord
 Chamberlain.
Lord Chamberlain exits; and the King draws
the curtain and sits reading pensively.

SUFFOLK, to Norfolk 
75 How sad he looks! Sure he is much afflicted.
KING 
 Who’s there? Ha?

79
Henry VIII
ACT 2. SC. 2

NORFOLK, to Suffolk  Pray God he be not angry.
KING 
 Who’s there, I say? How dare you thrust yourselves
 Into my private meditations? Who am I, ha?
NORFOLK 
80 A gracious king that pardons all offenses
 Malice ne’er meant. Our breach of duty this way
 Is business of estate, in which we come
 To know your royal pleasure.
KING  You are too bold.
85 Go to; I’ll make you know your times of business.
 Is this an hour for temporal affairs, ha?

Enter Wolsey and Campeius, with a commission.

 Who’s there? My good Lord Cardinal? O my Wolsey,
 The quiet of my wounded conscience,
 Thou art a cure fit for a king. To Campeius. You’re
90 welcome,
 Most learnèd reverend sir, into our kingdom.
 Use us and it.—My good lord, have great care
 I be not found a talker.
WOLSEY  Sir, you cannot.
95 I would your Grace would give us but an hour
 Of private conference.
KING, to Norfolk and Suffolk  We are busy. Go.
NORFOLK, aside to Suffolk 
 This priest has no pride in him?
SUFFOLK, aside to Norfolk  Not to speak of.
100 I would not be so sick, though for his place.
 But this cannot continue.
NORFOLK, aside to Suffolk  If it do,
 I’ll venture one have-at-him.
SUFFOLK, aside to Norfolk  I another.
Norfolk and Suffolk exit.
WOLSEY 
105 Your Grace has given a precedent of wisdom

81
Henry VIII
ACT 2. SC. 2

 Above all princes in committing freely
 Your scruple to the voice of Christendom.
 Who can be angry now? What envy reach you?
 The Spaniard, tied by blood and favor to her,
110 Must now confess, if they have any goodness,
 The trial just and noble; all the clerks—
 I mean the learnèd ones in Christian kingdoms—
 Have their free voices; Rome, the nurse of judgment,
 Invited by your noble self, hath sent
115 One general tongue unto us, this good man,
 This just and learnèd priest, Cardinal Campeius,
 Whom once more I present unto your Highness.
KING 
 And once more in mine arms I bid him welcome,
 And thank the holy conclave for their loves.
120 They have sent me such a man I would have wished
 for.He embraces Campeius.
CAMPEIUS, handing the King a paper 
 Your Grace must needs deserve all strangers’ loves,
 You are so noble. To your Highness’ hand
 I tender my commission—by whose virtue,
125 The court of Rome commanding, you, my Lord
 Cardinal of York, are joined with me their servant
 In the unpartial judging of this business.
KING 
 Two equal men. The Queen shall be acquainted
 Forthwith for what you come. Where’s Gardiner?
WOLSEY 
130 I know your Majesty has always loved her
 So dear in heart not to deny her that
 A woman of less place might ask by law:
 Scholars allowed freely to argue for her.
KING 
 Ay, and the best she shall have, and my favor
135 To him that does best. God forbid else. Cardinal,

83
Henry VIII
ACT 2. SC. 2

 Prithee call Gardiner to me, my new secretary.
 I find him a fit fellow.Wolsey goes to the door.

Enter Gardiner to Wolsey.

WOLSEY, aside to Gardiner 
 Give me your hand. Much joy and favor to you.
 You are the King’s now.
GARDINER, aside to Wolsey 140 But to be commanded
 Forever by your Grace, whose hand has raised me.
KING Come hither, Gardiner.
The King and Gardiner walk and whisper.
CAMPEIUS 
 My lord of York, was not one Doctor Pace
 In this man’s place before him?
WOLSEY 145 Yes, he was.
CAMPEIUS 
 Was he not held a learnèd man?
WOLSEY  Yes, surely.
CAMPEIUS 
 Believe me, there’s an ill opinion spread, then,
 Even of yourself, Lord Cardinal.
WOLSEY 150 How? Of me?
CAMPEIUS 
 They will not stick to say you envied him
 And, fearing he would rise—he was so virtuous—
 Kept him a foreign man still, which so grieved him
 That he ran mad and died.
WOLSEY 155 Heav’n’s peace be with him!
 That’s Christian care enough. For living murmurers,
 There’s places of rebuke. He was a fool,
 For he would needs be virtuous. That good fellow
 If I command him follows my appointment.
160 I will have none so near else. Learn this, brother:
 We live not to be griped by meaner persons.

85
Henry VIII
ACT 2. SC. 3

KING, to Gardiner 
 Deliver this with modesty to th’ Queen.
Gardiner exits.
 The most convenient place that I can think of
 For such receipt of learning is Blackfriars.
165 There you shall meet about this weighty business.
 My Wolsey, see it furnished. O, my lord,
 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.
They exit.


Scene 3
Enter Anne Bullen and an old Lady.

ANNE 
 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 dishonor of her—by my life,
5 She never knew harm-doing!—O, now, after
 So many courses of the sun enthroned,
 Still growing in a majesty and pomp, the which
 To leave a thousandfold more bitter than
 ’Tis sweet at first t’ acquire—after this process,
10 To give her the avaunt! It is a pity
 Would move a monster.
OLD LADY  Hearts of most hard temper
 Melt and lament for her.
ANNE  O, God’s will! Much better
15 She ne’er had known pomp; though ’t be temporal,
 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,
20 She’s a stranger now again!

87
Henry VIII
ACT 2. SC. 3

ANNE  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
25 Than to be perked up in a glist’ring grief
 And wear a golden sorrow.
OLD LADY  Our content
 Is our best having.
ANNE  By my troth and maidenhead,
30 I would not be a queen.
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,
35 Have too a woman’s heart, which ever yet
 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
40 If you might please to stretch it.
ANNE  Nay, good troth.
OLD LADY 
 Yes, troth, and troth. You would not be a queen?
ANNE 
 No, not for all the riches under heaven.
OLD LADY 
 ’Tis strange. A threepence bowed would hire me,
45 Old as I am, to queen it. But I pray you,
 What think you of a duchess? Have you limbs
 To bear that load of title?
ANNE  No, in truth.
OLD LADY 
 Then you are weakly made. Pluck off a little.
50 I would not be a young count in your way
 For more than blushing comes to. If your back

89
Henry VIII
ACT 2. SC. 3

 Cannot vouchsafe this burden, ’tis too weak
 Ever to get a boy.
ANNE  How you do talk!
55 I swear again, I would not be a queen
 For all the world.
OLD LADY  In faith, for little England
 You’d venture an emballing. I myself
 Would for Carnarvanshire, although there longed
60 No more to th’ crown but that. Lo, who comes here?

Enter Lord Chamberlain.

CHAMBERLAIN 
 Good morrow, ladies. What were ’t worth to know
 The secret of your conference?
ANNE  My good lord,
 Not your demand; it values not your asking.
65 Our mistress’ sorrows we were pitying.
CHAMBERLAIN 
 It was a gentle business, and becoming
 The action of good women. There is hope
 All will be well.
ANNE  Now, I pray God, amen!
CHAMBERLAIN 
70 You bear a gentle mind, and heav’nly 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 to you, and
75 Does purpose honor 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  I do not know
80 What kind of my obedience I should tender.
 More than my all is nothing, nor my prayers
 Are not words duly hallowed, nor my wishes

91
Henry VIII
ACT 2. SC. 3

 More worth than empty vanities. Yet prayers and
 wishes
85 Are all I can return. ’Beseech your Lordship,
 Vouchsafe to speak my thanks and my obedience,
 As from a blushing handmaid, to his Highness,
 Whose health and royalty I pray for.
CHAMBERLAIN  Lady,
90 I shall not fail t’ approve the fair conceit
 The King hath of you. (Aside.) I have perused her
 well.
 Beauty and honor in her are so mingled
 That they have caught the King. And who knows yet
95 But from this lady may proceed a gem
 To lighten all this isle?—I’ll to the King
 And say I spoke with you.
ANNE  My honored lord.
Lord Chamberlain exits.
OLD LADY Why, this it is! See, see!
100 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!—
 A very fresh fish here—fie, fie, fie upon
105 This compelled fortune!—have your mouth filled up
 Before you open it.
ANNE  This is strange to me.
OLD LADY 
 How tastes it? Is it bitter? Forty pence, no.
 There was a lady once—’tis an old story—
110 That would not be a queen, that would she not,
 For all the mud in Egypt. Have you heard it?
ANNE 
 Come, you are pleasant.
OLD LADY  With your theme, I could
 O’ermount the lark. The Marchioness of Pembroke?
115 A thousand pounds a year for pure respect?
 No other obligation? By my life,

93
Henry VIII
ACT 2. SC. 4

 That promises more thousands; honor’s train
 Is longer than his foreskirt. By this time
 I know your back will bear a duchess. Say,
120 Are you not stronger than you were?
ANNE  Good lady,
 Make yourself mirth with your particular fancy,
 And leave me out on ’t. Would I had no being
 If this salute my blood a jot. It faints me
125 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.
OLD LADY  What do you think me?
They exit.


Scene 4
Trumpets, sennet, and cornets. Enter two Vergers, with
short silver wands; next them, two Scribes, in the habit of
doctors; after them, the Bishop of Canterbury alone; after
him, the Bishops of Lincoln, Ely, Rochester, and Saint
Asaph; next them, with some small distance, follows a
Gentleman bearing the purse with the great seal, and a
cardinal’s hat. Then two Priests, bearing each a silver
cross; then a Gentleman Usher bare-headed, accompanied
with a Sergeant-at-Arms, bearing a silver mace; then two
Gentlemen, bearing two great silver pillars. After them,
side by side, the two Cardinals, and two Noblemen with
the sword and mace. The King takes place under the cloth
of state. The two Cardinals sit under him as judges. The
Queen takes place some distance from the King. The
Bishops place themselves on each side the court, in
manner of a consistory; below them the Scribes. The
Lords sit next the Bishops. The rest of the Attendants
including a Crier and the Queen’s Gentleman Usher
stand in convenient order about the stage.



95
Henry VIII
ACT 2. SC. 4

WOLSEY 
 Whilst our commission from Rome is read,
 Let silence be commanded.
KING  What’s the need?
 It hath already publicly been read,
5 And on all sides th’ authority allowed.
 You may then spare that time.
WOLSEY  Be ’t so. Proceed.
SCRIBE Say “Henry King of England, come into the
 court.”
CRIER 10Henry King of England, come into the court.
KING Here.
SCRIBE Say “Katherine Queen of England, come into
 the court.”
CRIER Katherine Queen of England, come into the
15 court.
The Queen makes no answer, rises out of her
chair, goes about the court, comes to the King,
and kneels at his feet; then speaks.

QUEEN KATHERINE 
 Sir, I desire you do me right and justice,
 And to bestow your pity on me; for
 I am a most poor woman and a stranger,
 Born out of your dominions, having here
20 No judge indifferent nor no more assurance
 Of equal friendship and proceeding. Alas, sir,
 In what have I offended you? What cause
 Hath my behavior given to your displeasure
 That thus you should proceed to put me off
25 And take your good grace from me? Heaven witness
 I have been to you a true and humble wife,
 At all times to your will conformable,
 Ever in fear to kindle your dislike,
 Yea, subject to your countenance, glad or sorry
30 As I saw it inclined. When was the hour
 I ever contradicted your desire,

97
Henry VIII
ACT 2. SC. 4

 Or made it not mine too? Or which of your friends
 Have I not strove to love, although I knew
 He were mine enemy? What friend of mine
35 That had to him derived your anger did I
 Continue in my liking? Nay, gave notice
 He was from thence discharged? Sir, call to mind
 That I have been your wife in this obedience
 Upward of twenty years, and have been blessed
40 With many children by you. If, in the course
 And process of this time, you can report,
 And prove it too, against mine honor aught,
 My bond to wedlock or my love and duty
 Against your sacred person, in God’s name
45 Turn me away and let the foul’st contempt
 Shut door upon me, and so give me up
 To the sharp’st kind of justice. Please you, sir,
 The King your father was reputed for
 A prince most prudent, of an excellent
50 And unmatched wit and judgment. Ferdinand,
 My father, King of Spain, was reckoned one
 The wisest prince that there had reigned by many
 A year before. It is not to be questioned
 That they had gathered a wise council to them
55 Of every realm, that did debate this business,
 Who deemed our marriage lawful. Wherefore I humbly
 Beseech you, sir, to spare me till I may
 Be by my friends in Spain advised, whose counsel
 I will implore. If not, i’ th’ name of God,
60 Your pleasure be fulfilled.
WOLSEY  You have here, lady,
 And of your choice, these reverend fathers, men
 Of singular integrity and learning,
 Yea, the elect o’ th’ land, who are assembled
65 To plead your cause. It shall be therefore bootless
 That longer you desire the court, as well

99
Henry VIII
ACT 2. SC. 4

 For your own quiet as to rectify
 What is unsettled in the King.
CAMPEIUS  His Grace
70 Hath spoken well and justly. Therefore, madam,
 It’s fit this royal session do proceed
 And that without delay their arguments
 Be now produced and heard.
QUEEN KATHERINE  Lord Cardinal,
75 To you I speak.
WOLSEY  Your pleasure, madam.
QUEEN KATHERINE  Sir,
 I am about to weep; but thinking that
 We are a queen, or long have dreamed so, certain
80 The daughter of a king, my drops of tears
 I’ll turn to sparks of fire.
WOLSEY  Be patient yet.
QUEEN KATHERINE 
 I will, when you are humble; nay, before,
 Or God will punish me. I do believe,
85 Induced by potent circumstances, that
 You are mine enemy, and make my challenge
 You shall not be my judge; for it is you
 Have blown this coal betwixt my lord and me—
 Which God’s dew quench! Therefore I say again,
90 I utterly abhor, yea, from my soul
 Refuse you for my judge, whom, yet once more,
 I hold my most malicious foe and think not
 At all a friend to truth.
WOLSEY  I do profess
95 You speak not like yourself, who ever yet
 Have stood to charity and displayed th’ effects
 Of disposition gentle and of wisdom
 O’ertopping woman’s power. Madam, you do me
 wrong.
100 I have no spleen against you, nor injustice
 For you or any. How far I have proceeded,

101
Henry VIII
ACT 2. SC. 4

 Or how far further shall, is warranted
 By a commission from the Consistory,
 Yea, the whole Consistory of Rome. You charge me
105 That I “have blown this coal.” I do deny it.
 The King is present. If it be known to him
 That I gainsay my deed, how may he wound,
 And worthily, my falsehood, yea, as much
 As you have done my truth. If he know
110 That I am free of your report, he knows
 I am not of your wrong. Therefore in him
 It lies to cure me, and the cure is to
 Remove these thoughts from you, the which before
 His Highness shall speak in, I do beseech
115 You, gracious madam, to unthink your speaking
 And to say so no more.
QUEEN KATHERINE  My lord, my lord,
 I am a simple woman, much too weak
 T’ oppose your cunning. You’re meek and
120 humble-mouthed;
 You sign your place and calling, in full seeming,
 With meekness and humility, but your heart
 Is crammed with arrogancy, spleen, and pride.
 You have by fortune and his Highness’ favors
125 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,
 You tender more your person’s honor than
130 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,
 And to be judged by him.
She curtsies to the King, and offers to depart.
CAMPEIUS 135 The Queen is obstinate,
 Stubborn to justice, apt to accuse it, and

103
Henry VIII
ACT 2. SC. 4

 Disdainful to be tried by ’t. ’Tis not well.
 She’s going away.
KING  Call her again.
CRIER 140Katherine, Queen of England, come into the
 court.
GENTLEMAN USHER Madam, you are called back.
QUEEN KATHERINE 
 What need you note it? Pray you, keep your way.
 When you are called, return. Now, the Lord help!
145 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.
Queen and her Attendants exit.
KING  Go thy ways, Kate.
150 That man i’ th’ world who shall report he has
 A better wife, let him in naught be trusted,
 For speaking false in that. Thou art, alone—
 If thy rare qualities, sweet gentleness,
 Thy meekness saintlike, wifelike government,
155 Obeying in commanding, and thy parts
 Sovereign and pious else, could speak thee out—
 The queen of earthly queens. She’s noble born,
 And like her true nobility she has
 Carried herself towards me.
WOLSEY 160 Most gracious sir,
 In humblest manner I require your Highness
 That it shall please you to declare in hearing
 Of all these ears—for where I am robbed and bound,
 There must I be unloosed, although not there
165 At once and fully satisfied—whether ever I
 Did broach this business to your Highness, or
 Laid any scruple in your way which might
 Induce you to the question on ’t, or ever
 Have to you, but with thanks to God for such

105
Henry VIII
ACT 2. SC. 4

170 A royal lady, spake one the least word that might
 Be to the prejudice of her present state,
 Or touch of her good person?
KING  My Lord Cardinal,
 I do excuse you; yea, upon mine honor,
175 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,
 Bark when their fellows do. By some of these
 The Queen is put in anger. You’re excused.
180 But will you be more justified? You ever
 Have wished the sleeping of this business, never
 desired
 It to be stirred, but oft have hindered, oft,
 The passages made toward it. On my honor
185 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 th’ inducement. Thus it came; give heed
 to ’t:
190 My conscience first received a tenderness,
 Scruple, and prick on certain speeches uttered
 By th’ Bishop of Bayonne, then French ambassador,
 Who had been hither sent on the debating
 A marriage ’twixt the Duke of Orleans and
195 Our daughter Mary. I’ th’ 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,
200 Respecting this our marriage with the dowager,
 Sometime our brother’s wife. This respite shook
 The bosom of my conscience, entered me,
 Yea, with a spitting power, and made to tremble
 The region of my breast; which forced such way
205 That many mazed considerings did throng

107
Henry VIII
ACT 2. SC. 4

 And pressed 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
210 Do no more offices of life to ’t than
 The grave does to th’ dead, for her male issue
 Or died where they were made, or shortly after
 This world had aired them. Hence I took a thought
 This was a judgment on me, that my kingdom,
215 Well worthy the best heir o’ th’ world, should not
 Be gladded in ’t by me. Then follows that
 I weighed 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
220 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,
225 By all the reverend fathers of the land
 And doctors learnèd. 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.
LINCOLN 230 Very well, my liege.
KING 
 I have spoke long. Be pleased yourself to say
 How far you satisfied me.
LINCOLN  So please your Highness,
 The question did at first so stagger me,
235 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.
KING 240 I then moved you,

109
Henry VIII
ACT 2. SC. 4

 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
245 Under your hands and seals. Therefore go on,
 For no dislike i’ th’ world against the person
 Of the good queen, but the sharp thorny points
 Of my allegèd reasons drives this forward.
 Prove but our marriage lawful, by my life
250 And kingly dignity, we are contented
 To wear our mortal state to come with her,
 Katherine our queen, before the primest creature
 That’s paragoned o’ th’ world.
CAMPEIUS  So please your Highness,
255 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.
KING, aside 260 I may perceive
 These cardinals trifle with me. I abhor
 This dilatory sloth and tricks of Rome.
 My learnèd and well-belovèd servant Cranmer,
 Prithee return. With thy approach, I know,
265 My comfort comes along.—Break up the court.
 I say, set on.
They exit, in manner as they entered.


ACT 3
Scene 1
Enter Queen and her Women, as at work.

QUEEN KATHERINE 
 Take thy lute, wench. My soul grows sad with troubles.
 Sing, and disperse ’em if thou canst. Leave working.
WOMAN sings song. 

 Orpheus with his lute made trees
 And the mountaintops that freeze
5  Bow themselves when he did sing.
 To his music plants and flowers
 Ever sprung, as sun and showers
  There had made a lasting spring.

 Everything that heard him play,
10 Even the billows of the sea,
  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.

QUEEN KATHERINE 15How now?
GENTLEMAN 
 An ’t please your Grace, the two great cardinals
 Wait in the presence.
QUEEN KATHERINE  Would they speak with me?
113

115
Henry VIII
ACT 3. SC. 1

GENTLEMAN 
 They willed me say so, madam.
QUEEN KATHERINE 20 Pray their Graces
 To come near.Gentleman exits.
 What can be their business
 With me, a poor weak woman, fall’n from favor?
 I do not like their coming, now I think on ’t.
25 They should be good men, their affairs as righteous.
 But all hoods make not monks.

Enter the two Cardinals, Wolsey and Campeius.

WOLSEY  Peace to your Highness.
QUEEN KATHERINE 
 Your Graces find me here part of a housewife;
 I would be all, against the worst may happen.
30 What are your pleasures with me, reverend lords?
WOLSEY 
 May it please you, noble madam, to withdraw
 Into your private chamber, we shall give you
 The full cause of our coming.
QUEEN KATHERINE  Speak it here.
35 There’s nothing I have done yet, o’ my conscience,
 Deserves a corner. Would all other women
 Could speak this with as free a soul as I do.
 My lords, I care not, so much I am happy
 Above a number, if my actions
40 Were tried by ev’ry tongue, ev’ry eye saw ’em,
 Envy and base opinion set against ’em,
 I know my life so even. If your business
 Seek me out, and that way I am wife in,
 Out with it boldly. Truth loves open dealing.
WOLSEY 45Tanta est erga te mentis integritas, regina
 serenissima—

QUEEN KATHERINE O, good my lord, no Latin!
 I am not such a truant since my coming

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 As not to know the language I have lived in.
50 A strange tongue makes my cause more strange,
 suspicious.
 Pray speak in English. Here are some will thank you,
 If you speak truth, for their poor mistress’ sake.
 Believe me, she has had much wrong. Lord Cardinal,
55 The willing’st sin I ever yet committed
 May be absolved in English.
WOLSEY  Noble lady,
 I am sorry my integrity should breed—
 And service to his Majesty and you—
60 So deep suspicion, where all faith was meant.
 We come not by the way of accusation,
 To taint that honor every good tongue blesses,
 Nor to betray you any way to sorrow—
 You have too much, good lady—but to know
65 How you stand minded in the weighty difference
 Between the King and you, and to deliver,
 Like free and honest men, our just opinions
 And comforts to your cause.
CAMPEIUS  Most honored madam,
70 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
 Both of his truth and him—which was too far—
 Offers, as I do, in a sign of peace,
75 His service and his counsel.
QUEEN KATHERINE, aside  To betray me.—
 My lords, I thank you both for your good wills.
 You speak like honest men; pray God you prove so.
 But how to make you suddenly an answer
80 In such a point of weight, so near mine honor—
 More near my life, I fear—with my weak wit,
 And to such men of gravity and learning,
 In truth I know not. I was set at work

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 Among my maids, full little, God knows, looking
85 Either for such men or such business.
 For her sake that I have been—for I feel
 The last fit of my greatness—good your Graces,
 Let me have time and counsel for my cause.
 Alas, I am a woman friendless, hopeless.
WOLSEY 
90 Madam, you wrong the King’s love with these fears;
 Your hopes and friends are infinite.
QUEEN KATHERINE  In England
 But little for my profit. Can you think, lords,
 That any Englishman dare give me counsel,
95 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,
 They that must weigh out my afflictions,
 They that my trust must grow to, live not here.
100 They are, as all my other comforts, far hence
 In mine own country, lords.
CAMPEIUS  I would your Grace
 Would leave your griefs and take my counsel.
QUEEN KATHERINE  How, sir?
CAMPEIUS 
105 Put your main cause into the King’s protection.
 He’s loving and most gracious. ’Twill be much
 Both for your honor better and your cause,
 For if the trial of the law o’ertake you,
 You’ll part away disgraced.
WOLSEY 110 He tells you rightly.
QUEEN KATHERINE 
 You tell me what you wish for both: my ruin.
 Is this your Christian counsel? Out upon you!
 Heaven is above all yet; there sits a judge
 That no king can corrupt.
CAMPEIUS 115 Your rage mistakes us.

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ACT 3. SC. 1

QUEEN KATHERINE 
 The more shame for you! Holy men I thought you,
 Upon my soul, two reverend cardinal virtues;
 But cardinal sins and hollow hearts I fear you.
 Mend ’em, for shame, my lords. Is this your comfort?
120 The cordial that you bring a wretched lady,
 A woman lost among you, laughed at, scorned?
 I will not wish you half my miseries;
 I have more charity. But say I warned you:
 Take heed, for heaven’s sake, take heed, lest at once
125 The burden of my sorrows fall upon you.
WOLSEY 
 Madam, this is a mere distraction.
 You turn the good we offer into envy.
QUEEN KATHERINE 
 You turn me into nothing! Woe upon you
 And all such false professors. Would you have me—
130 If you have any justice, any pity,
 If you be anything but churchmen’s habits—
 Put my sick cause into his hands that hates me?
 Alas, has banished me his bed already,
 His love, too, long ago. I am old, my lords,
135 And all the fellowship I hold now with him
 Is only my obedience. What can happen
 To me above this wretchedness? All your studies
 Make me a curse like this.
CAMPEIUS  Your fears are worse.
QUEEN KATHERINE 
140 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 vainglory,
 Never yet branded with suspicion—
 Have I with all my full affections
145 Still met the King, loved him next heav’n, obeyed him,
 Been, out of fondness, superstitious to him,
 Almost forgot my prayers to content him,

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 And am I thus rewarded? ’Tis not well, lords.
 Bring me a constant woman to her husband,
150 One that ne’er dreamed a joy beyond his pleasure,
 And to that woman, when she has done most,
 Yet will I add an honor: a great patience.
WOLSEY 
 Madam, you wander from the good we aim at.
QUEEN KATHERINE 
 My lord, I dare not make myself so guilty
155 To give up willingly that noble title
 Your master wed me to. Nothing but death
 Shall e’er divorce my dignities.
WOLSEY  Pray hear me.
QUEEN KATHERINE 
 Would I had never trod this English earth
160 Or felt the flatteries that grow upon it!
 You have angels’ faces, but heaven knows your hearts.
 What will become of me now, wretched lady?
 I am the most unhappy woman living.
 To her Women. Alas, poor wenches, where are now
165 your fortunes?
 Shipwracked upon a kingdom where no pity,
 No friends, no hope, no kindred weep for me,
 Almost no grave allowed me, like the lily
 That once was mistress of the field and flourished,
170 I’ll hang my head and perish.
WOLSEY  If your Grace
 Could but be brought to know our ends are honest,
 You’d feel more comfort. Why should we, good lady,
 Upon what cause, wrong you? Alas, our places,
175 The way of our profession, is against it.
 We are to cure such sorrows, not to sow ’em.
 For goodness’ sake, consider what you do,
 How you may hurt yourself, ay, utterly
 Grow from the King’s acquaintance by this carriage.

125
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180 The hearts of princes kiss obedience,
 So much they love it. But to stubborn spirits
 They swell and grow as terrible as storms.
 I know you have a gentle, noble temper,
 A soul as even as a calm. Pray think us
185 Those we profess: peacemakers, friends, and servants.
CAMPEIUS 
 Madam, you’ll find it so. You wrong your virtues
 With these weak women’s fears. A noble spirit,
 As yours was put into you, ever casts
 Such doubts, as false coin, from it. The King loves
190 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.
QUEEN KATHERINE 
 Do what you will, my lords, and pray forgive me
195 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.
 He has my heart yet and shall have my prayers
200 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.
They exit.


Scene 2
Enter the Duke of Norfolk, Duke of Suffolk, Lord Surrey,
and Lord Chamberlain.


NORFOLK 
 If you will now unite in your complaints
 And force them with a constancy, the Cardinal

127
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ACT 3. SC. 2

 Cannot stand under them. If you omit
 The offer of this time, I cannot promise
5 But that you shall sustain more new disgraces
 With these you bear already.
SURREY  I am joyful
 To meet the least occasion that may give me
 Remembrance of my father-in-law the Duke,
10 To be revenged on him.
SUFFOLK  Which of the peers
 Have uncontemned gone by him, or at least
 Strangely neglected? When did he regard
 The stamp of nobleness in any person
15 Out of himself?
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
 Gives way to us—I much fear. If you cannot
20 Bar his access to th’ King, never attempt
 Anything on him, for he hath a witchcraft
 Over the King in ’s tongue.
NORFOLK  O, fear him not.
 His spell in that is out. The King hath found
25 Matter against him that forever mars
 The honey of his language. No, he’s settled,
 Not to come off, in his displeasure.
SURREY  Sir,
 I should be glad to hear such news as this
30 Once every hour.
NORFOLK  Believe it, this is true.
 In the divorce his contrary proceedings
 Are all unfolded, wherein he appears
 As I would wish mine enemy.
SURREY 35 How came
 His practices to light?
SUFFOLK  Most strangely.
SURREY  O, how, how?

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SUFFOLK 
 The Cardinal’s letters to the Pope miscarried
40 And came to th’ eye o’ th’ King, wherein was read
 How that the Cardinal did entreat his Holiness
 To stay the judgment o’ th’ divorce; for if
 It did take place, “I do,” quoth he, “perceive
 My king is tangled in affection to
45 A creature of the Queen’s, Lady Anne Bullen.”
SURREY 
 Has the King this?
SUFFOLK  Believe it.
SURREY  Will this work?
CHAMBERLAIN 
 The King in this perceives him how he coasts
50 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.
SURREY  Would he had!
SUFFOLK 
55 May you be happy in your wish, my lord,
 For I profess you have it.
SURREY  Now, all my joy
 Trace the conjunction!
SUFFOLK  My amen to ’t.
NORFOLK 60 All men’s.
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,
 She is a gallant creature and complete
65 In mind and feature. I persuade me, from her
 Will fall some blessing to this land which shall
 In it be memorized.
SURREY  But will the King
 Digest this letter of the Cardinal’s?
70 The Lord forbid!

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ACT 3. SC. 2

NORFOLK  Marry, amen!
SUFFOLK  No, no.
 There be more wasps that buzz about his nose
 Will make this sting the sooner. Cardinal Campeius
75 Is stol’n away to Rome, hath ta’en no leave,
 Has left the cause o’ th’ King unhandled, and
 Is posted as the agent of our cardinal
 To second all his plot. I do assure you
 The King cried “Ha!” at this.
CHAMBERLAIN 80 Now God incense him,
 And let him cry “Ha!” louder.
NORFOLK  But, my lord,
 When returns Cranmer?
SUFFOLK 
 He is returned in his opinions, which
85 Have satisfied the King for his divorce,
 Together with all famous colleges
 Almost in Christendom. Shortly, I believe,
 His second marriage shall be published, and
 Her coronation. Katherine no more
90 Shall be called queen, but princess dowager
 And widow to Prince Arthur.
NORFOLK  This same Cranmer’s
 A worthy fellow, and hath ta’en much pain
 In the King’s business.
SUFFOLK 95 He has, and we shall see him
 For it an archbishop.
NORFOLK  So I hear.
SUFFOLK  ’Tis so.

Enter Wolsey and Cromwell, meeting.

 The Cardinal!
NORFOLK 
100 Observe, observe; he’s moody.They stand aside.
WOLSEY  The packet, Cromwell;
 Gave ’t you the King?

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ACT 3. SC. 2

CROMWELL  To his own hand, in ’s bedchamber.
WOLSEY 
 Looked he o’ th’ inside of the paper?
CROMWELL 105 Presently
 He did unseal them, and the first he viewed,
 He did it with a serious mind; a heed
 Was in his countenance. You he bade
 Attend him here this morning.
WOLSEY 110 Is he ready
 To come abroad?
CROMWELL I think by this he is.
WOLSEY Leave me awhile.Cromwell exits.
 Aside. It shall be to the Duchess of Alençon,
115 The French king’s sister; he shall marry her.
 Anne Bullen? No, I’ll no Anne Bullens for him.
 There’s more in ’t than fair visage. Bullen?
 No, we’ll no Bullens. Speedily I wish
 To hear from Rome. The Marchioness of Pembroke!
NORFOLK 
120 He’s discontented.
SUFFOLK  Maybe he hears the King
 Does whet his anger to him.
SURREY  Sharp enough,
 Lord, for thy justice!
WOLSEY, aside 
125 The late queen’s gentlewoman, a knight’s daughter,
 To be her mistress’ mistress? The Queen’s queen?
 This candle burns not clear. ’Tis I must snuff it;
 Then out it goes. What though I know her virtuous
 And well-deserving? Yet I know her for
130 A spleeny Lutheran, and not wholesome to
 Our cause that she should lie i’ th’ bosom of
 Our hard-ruled king. Again, there is sprung up
 An heretic, an arch-one, Cranmer, one

135
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ACT 3. SC. 2

 Hath crawled into the favor of the King
135 And is his oracle.
NORFOLK  He is vexed at something.
SURREY 
 I would ’twere something that would fret the string,
 The master-cord on ’s heart.
SUFFOLK  The King, the King!

Enter King, reading of a schedule, with Lovell
and Attendants.


KING 
140 What piles of wealth hath he accumulated
 To his own portion! And what expense by th’ hour
 Seems to flow from him! How i’ th’ name of thrift
 Does he rake this together? Seeing the nobles. Now,
 my lords,
145 Saw you the Cardinal?
NORFOLK, indicating Wolsey  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,
150 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.
KING 155 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—
160 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 outspeaks
 Possession of a subject.

137
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ACT 3. SC. 2

NORFOLK 165 It’s heaven’s will!
 Some spirit put this paper in the packet
 To bless your eye withal.
KING, studying Wolsey  If we did think
 His contemplation were above the Earth
170 And fixed 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 takes his seat, whispers Lovell,
who goes to the Cardinal.

WOLSEY  Heaven forgive me!
175 Ever God bless your Highness.
KING  Good my lord,
 You are full of heavenly stuff and bear the inventory
 Of your best graces in your mind, the which
 You were now running o’er. You have scarce time
180 To steal from spiritual leisure a brief span
 To keep your earthly audit. Sure, in that
 I deem you an ill husband, and am glad
 To have you therein my companion.
WOLSEY  Sir,
185 For holy offices I have a time; a time
 To think upon the part of business which
 I bear i’ th’ state; and Nature does require
 Her times of preservation, which perforce
 I, her frail son, amongst my brethren mortal,
190 Must give my tendance to.
KING  You have said well.
WOLSEY 
 And ever may your Highness yoke together,
 As I will lend you cause, my doing well
 With my well saying.
KING 195 ’Tis well said again,
 And ’tis a kind of good deed to say well.
 And yet words are no deeds. My father loved you;

139
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ACT 3. SC. 2

 He said he did, and with his deed did crown
 His word upon you. Since I had my office
200 I have kept you next my heart, have not alone
 Employed you where high profits might come home,
 But pared my present havings to bestow
 My bounties upon you.
WOLSEY, aside  What should this mean?
SURREY, aside 
205 The Lord increase this business!
KING  Have I not made you
 The prime man of the state? I pray you tell me
 If what I now pronounce you have found true;
 And, if you may confess it, say withal
210 If you are bound to us or no. What say you?
WOLSEY 
 My sovereign, I confess your royal graces,
 Showered on me daily, have been more than could
 My studied purposes requite, which went
 Beyond all man’s endeavors. My endeavors
215 Have ever come too short of my desires,
 Yet filed with my abilities. Mine own ends
 Have been mine so, that evermore they pointed
 To th’ good of your most sacred person and
 The profit of the state. For your great graces
220 Heaped upon me, poor undeserver, I
 Can nothing render but allegiant thanks,
 My prayers to heaven for you, my loyalty,
 Which ever has and ever shall be growing
 Till death—that winter—kill it.
KING 225 Fairly answered.
 A loyal and obedient subject is
 Therein illustrated. The honor of it
 Does pay the act of it, as, i’ th’ contrary,
 The foulness is the punishment. I presume
230 That, as my hand has opened bounty to you,
 My heart dropped love, my power rained honor, more

141
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ACT 3. SC. 2

 On you than any, so your hand and heart,
 Your brain, and every function of your power
 Should—notwithstanding that your bond of duty
235 As ’twere in love’s particular—be more
 To me, your friend, than any.
WOLSEY  I do profess
 That for your Highness’ good I ever labored
 More than mine own, that am, have, and will be—
240 Though all the world should crack their duty to you
 And throw it from their soul, though perils did
 Abound as thick as thought could make ’em, and
 Appear in forms more horrid—yet my duty,
 As doth a rock against the chiding flood,
245 Should the approach of this wild river break,
 And stand unshaken yours.
KING  ’Tis nobly spoken.—
 Take notice, lords: he has a loyal breast,
 For you have seen him open ’t.
He hands Wolsey papers.
250 Read o’er this,
 And after, this; and then to breakfast with
 What appetite you have.
King exits, frowning upon the Cardinal;
the nobles throng after him smiling
and whispering, and exit.

WOLSEY  What should this mean?
 What sudden anger’s this? How have I reaped it?
255 He parted frowning from me, as if ruin
 Leaped from his eyes. So looks the chafèd lion
 Upon the daring huntsman that has galled him,
 Then makes him nothing. I must read this paper—
 I fear, the story of his anger.
He reads one of the papers.
260 ’Tis so.
 This paper has undone me. ’Tis th’ accompt
 Of all that world of wealth I have drawn together

143
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ACT 3. SC. 2

 For mine own ends—indeed, to gain the popedom
 And fee my friends in Rome. O negligence,
265 Fit for a fool to fall by! What cross devil
 Made me put this main secret in the packet
 I sent the King? Is there no way to cure this?
 No new device to beat this from his brains?
 I know ’twill stir him strongly; yet I know
270 A way, if it take right, in spite of fortune
 Will bring me off again.He looks at another paper.
 What’s this? “To th’ Pope”?
 The letter, as I live, with all the business
 I writ to ’s Holiness. Nay then, farewell!
275 I have touched the highest point of all my greatness,
 And from that full meridian of my glory
 I haste now to my setting. I shall fall
 Like a bright exhalation in the evening
 And no man see me more.

Enter to Wolsey the Dukes of Norfolk and Suffolk, the
Earl of Surrey, and the Lord Chamberlain.


NORFOLK 
280 Hear the King’s pleasure, cardinal, who commands
 you
 To render up the great seal presently
 Into our hands, and to confine yourself
 To Asher House, my Lord of Winchester’s,
285 Till you hear further from his Highness.
WOLSEY  Stay.
 Where’s your commission, lords? Words cannot carry
 Authority so weighty.
SUFFOLK  Who dare cross ’em,
290 Bearing the King’s will from his mouth expressly?
WOLSEY 
 Till I find more than will or words to do it—
 I mean your malice—know, officious lords,
 I dare and must deny it. Now I feel

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ACT 3. SC. 2

 Of what coarse metal you are molded, envy;
295 How eagerly you follow my disgraces,
 As if it fed you, and how sleek and wanton
 You appear in everything may bring my ruin.
 Follow your envious courses, men of malice;
 You have Christian warrant for ’em, and no doubt
300 In time will find their fit rewards. That seal
 You ask with such a violence, the King,
 Mine and your master, with his own hand gave me;
 Bade me enjoy it, with the place and honors,
 During my life; and to confirm his goodness,
305 Tied it by letters patents. Now, who’ll take it?
SURREY 
 The King that gave it.
WOLSEY  It must be himself, then.
SURREY 
 Thou art a proud traitor, priest.
WOLSEY  Proud lord, thou liest.
310 Within these forty hours Surrey durst better
 Have burnt that tongue than said so.
SURREY  Thy ambition,
 Thou scarlet sin, robbed this bewailing land
 Of noble Buckingham, my father-in-law.
315 The heads of all thy brother cardinals,
 With thee and all thy best parts bound together,
 Weighed not a hair of his. Plague of your policy!
 You sent me Deputy for Ireland,
 Far from his succor, from the King, from all
320 That might have mercy on the fault thou gav’st him,
 Whilst your great goodness, out of holy pity,
 Absolved him with an ax.
WOLSEY  This, and all else
 This talking lord can lay upon my credit,
325 I answer, is most false. The Duke by law
 Found his deserts. How innocent I was
 From any private malice in his end,

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ACT 3. SC. 2

 His noble jury and foul cause can witness.—
 If I loved many words, lord, I should tell you
330 You have as little honesty as honor,
 That in the way of loyalty and truth
 Toward the King, my ever royal master,
 Dare mate a sounder man than Surrey can be,
 And all that love his follies.
SURREY 335 By my soul,
 Your long coat, priest, protects you; thou shouldst feel
 My sword i’ th’ life blood of thee else.—My lords,
 Can you endure to hear this arrogance?
 And from this fellow? If we live thus tamely,
340 To be thus jaded by a piece of scarlet,
 Farewell, nobility. Let his Grace go forward
 And dare us with his cap, like larks.
WOLSEY  All goodness
 Is poison to thy stomach.
SURREY 345 Yes, that goodness
 Of gleaning all the land’s wealth into one,
 Into your own hands, card’nal, by extortion;
 The goodness of your intercepted packets
 You writ to th’ Pope against the King. Your goodness,
350 Since you provoke me, shall be most notorious.—
 My Lord of Norfolk, as you are truly noble,
 As you respect the common good, the state
 Of our despised nobility, our issues,
 Whom, if he live, will scarce be gentlemen,
355 Produce the grand sum of his sins, the articles
 Collected from his life.—I’ll startle you
 Worse than the sacring bell when the brown wench
 Lay kissing in your arms, Lord Cardinal.
WOLSEY 
 How much, methinks, I could despise this man,
360 But that I am bound in charity against it!
NORFOLK 
 Those articles, my lord, are in the King’s hand;
 But thus much, they are foul ones.

149
Henry VIII
ACT 3. SC. 2

WOLSEY  So much fairer
 And spotless shall mine innocence arise
365 When the King knows my truth.
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,
370 You’ll show a little honesty.
WOLSEY  Speak on, sir.
 I dare your worst objections. If I blush,
 It is to see a nobleman want manners.
SURREY 
 I had rather want those than my head. Have at you:
375 First, that without the King’s assent or knowledge,
 You wrought to be a legate, by which power
 You maimed the jurisdiction of all bishops.
NORFOLK 
 Then, that in all you writ to Rome, or else
 To foreign princes, “ego et rex meus”
380 Was still inscribed, in which you brought the King
 To be your servant.
SUFFOLK  Then, that without the knowledge
 Either of king or council, when you went
 Ambassador to the Emperor, you made bold
385 To carry into Flanders the great seal.
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.
SUFFOLK 
390 That out of mere ambition you have caused
 Your holy hat to be stamped on the King’s coin.
SURREY 
 Then, that you have sent innumerable substance—
 By what means got I leave to your own conscience—

151
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ACT 3. SC. 2

 To furnish Rome and to prepare the ways
395 You have for dignities, to the mere undoing
 Of all the kingdom. Many more there are
 Which, since they are of you, and odious,
 I will not taint my mouth with.
CHAMBERLAIN  O, my lord,
400 Press not a falling man too far! ’Tis virtue.
 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.
SURREY  I forgive him.
SUFFOLK 
405 Lord Cardinal, the King’s further pleasure is—
 Because all those things you have done of late
 By your power legative within this kingdom
 Fall into th’ compass of a praemunire
 That therefore such a writ be sued against you,
410 To forfeit all your goods, lands, tenements,
 Chattels, and whatsoever, and to be
 Out of the King’s protection. This is my charge.
NORFOLK 
 And so we’ll leave you to your meditations
 How to live better. For your stubborn answer
415 About the giving back the great seal to us,
 The King shall know it and, no doubt, shall thank
 you.
 So, fare you well, my little good Lord Cardinal.
WOLSEY 
 So, farewell to the little good you bear me.
All but Wolsey exit.
420 Farewell? A long farewell to all my greatness!
 This is the state of man: today he puts forth
 The tender leaves of hopes; tomorrow blossoms
 And bears his blushing honors thick upon him;
 The third day comes a frost, a killing frost,
425 And when he thinks, good easy man, full surely

153
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ACT 3. SC. 2

 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,
430 But far beyond my depth. My high-blown pride
 At length broke under me and now has left me,
 Weary and old with service, to the mercy
 Of a rude stream that must forever hide me.
 Vain pomp and glory of this world, I hate you.
435 I feel my heart new opened. O, how wretched
 Is that poor man that hangs on princes’ favors!
 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;
440 And when he falls, he falls like Lucifer,
 Never to hope again.

Enter Cromwell, standing amazed.

 Why, how now, Cromwell?
CROMWELL 
 I have no power to speak, sir.
WOLSEY  What, amazed
445 At my misfortunes? Can thy spirit wonder
 A great man should decline? Nay, an you weep,
 I am fall’n indeed.
CROMWELL  How does your Grace?
WOLSEY  Why, well.
450 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,
455 These ruined pillars, out of pity, taken
 A load would sink a navy: too much honor.
 O, ’tis a burden, Cromwell, ’tis a burden
 Too heavy for a man that hopes for heaven.

155
Henry VIII
ACT 3. SC. 2

CROMWELL 
 I am glad your Grace has made that right use of it.
WOLSEY 
460 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?
CROMWELL 465 The heaviest and the worst
 Is your displeasure with the King.
WOLSEY  God bless him.
CROMWELL 
 The next is that Sir Thomas More is chosen
 Lord Chancellor in your place.
WOLSEY 470 That’s somewhat sudden.
 But he’s a learnèd man. May he continue
 Long in his Highness’ favor and do justice
 For truth’s sake and his conscience, that his bones,
 When he has run his course and sleeps in blessings,
475 May have a tomb of orphans’ tears wept on him.
 What more?
CROMWELL  That Cranmer is returned with welcome,
 Installed Lord Archbishop of Canterbury.
WOLSEY 
 That’s news indeed.
CROMWELL 480 Last, that the Lady Anne,
 Whom the King hath in secrecy long married,
 This day was viewed in open as his queen,
 Going to chapel, and the voice is now
 Only about her coronation.
WOLSEY 
485 There was the weight that pulled me down.
 O Cromwell,
 The King has gone beyond me. All my glories
 In that one woman I have lost forever.

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ACT 3. SC. 2

 No sun shall ever usher forth mine honors,
490 Or gild again the noble troops that waited
 Upon my smiles. Go, get thee from me, Cromwell.
 I am a poor fall’n man, unworthy now
 To be thy lord and master. Seek the King;
 That sun, I pray, may never set! I have told him
495 What and how true thou art. He will advance thee;
 Some little memory of me will stir him—
 I know his noble nature—not to let
 Thy hopeful service perish too. Good Cromwell,
 Neglect him not. Make use now, and provide
500 For thine own future safety.
CROMWELL, weeping  O, my lord,
 Must I then leave you? Must I needs forgo
 So good, so noble, and so true a master?
 Bear witness, all that have not hearts of iron,
505 With what a sorrow Cromwell leaves his lord.
 The King shall have my service, but my prayers
 Forever and forever shall be yours.
WOLSEY, weeping 
 Cromwell, I did not think to shed a tear
 In all my miseries, but thou hast forced me,
510 Out of thy honest truth, to play the woman.
 Let’s dry our eyes. And thus far hear me, Cromwell,
 And when I am forgotten, as I shall be,
 And sleep in dull cold marble, where no mention
 Of me more must be heard of, say I taught thee;
515 Say Wolsey, that once trod the ways of glory
 And sounded all the depths and shoals of honor,
 Found thee a way, out of his wrack, to rise in,
 A sure and safe one, though thy master missed it.
 Mark but my fall and that that ruined me.
520 Cromwell, I charge thee, fling away ambition!
 By that sin fell the angels; how can man, then,
 The image of his maker, hope to win by it?

159
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ACT 3. SC. 2

 Love thyself last; cherish those hearts that hate thee.
 Corruption wins not more than honesty.
525 Still in thy right hand carry gentle peace
 To silence envious tongues. Be just, and fear not.
 Let all the ends thou aim’st at be thy country’s,
 Thy God’s, and truth’s. Then if thou fall’st, O Cromwell,
 Thou fall’st a blessèd martyr.
530 Serve the King. And, prithee, lead me in.
 There take an inventory of all I have
 To the last penny; ’tis the King’s. My robe
 And my integrity to heaven is all
 I dare now call mine own. O Cromwell, Cromwell,
535 Had I but served my God with half the zeal
 I served my king, He would not in mine age
 Have left me naked to mine enemies.
CROMWELL 
 Good sir, have patience.
WOLSEY  So I have. Farewell,
540 The hopes of court! My hopes in heaven do dwell.
They exit.


ACT 4
Scene 1
Enter two Gentlemen, meeting one another, the First
Gentleman carrying a paper.


FIRST GENTLEMAN 
 You’re well met once again.
SECOND GENTLEMAN  So are you.
FIRST GENTLEMAN 
 You come to take your stand here and behold
 The Lady Anne pass from her coronation?
SECOND GENTLEMAN 
5 ’Tis all my business. At our last encounter,
 The Duke of Buckingham came from his trial.
FIRST GENTLEMAN 
 ’Tis very true. But that time offered sorrow,
 This general joy.
SECOND GENTLEMAN  ’Tis well. The citizens
10 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 honor.
FIRST GENTLEMAN  Never greater,
15 Nor, I’ll assure you, better taken, sir.
SECOND GENTLEMAN 
 May I be bold to ask what that contains,
 That paper in your hand?
FIRST GENTLEMAN  Yes, ’tis the list
163

165
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ACT 4. SC. 1

 Of those that claim their offices this day
20 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.
He offers him the paper.
SECOND GENTLEMAN 
 I thank you, sir. Had I not known those customs,
25 I should have been beholding to your paper.
 But I beseech you, what’s become of Katherine,
 The Princess Dowager? How goes her business?
FIRST GENTLEMAN 
 That I can tell you too. The Archbishop
 Of Canterbury, accompanied with other
30 Learnèd 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 appeared not;
 And, to be short, for not appearance and
35 The King’s late scruple, by the main assent
 Of all these learnèd men she was divorced,
 And the late marriage made of none effect;
 Since which she was removed to Kymmalton,
 Where she remains now sick.
SECOND GENTLEMAN 40 Alas, good lady!
Hautboys. A lively flourish of trumpets.
 The trumpets sound. Stand close. The Queen is coming.

Then, enter two Judges; Lord Chancellor, with purse
and mace before him. Choristers singing. Music.
Enter Mayor of London, bearing the mace. Then
Garter, in his coat of arms, and on his head he wore a
gilt copper crown.


 A royal train, believe me! These I know.

167
Henry VIII
ACT 4. SC. 1

Enter Marques Dorset, bearing a scepter of gold; on his
head a demi-coronal of gold. With him, the Earl of
Surrey, bearing the rod of silver with the dove, crowned
with an earl’s coronet. Collars of S’s.


 Who’s that that bears the scepter?
FIRST GENTLEMAN  Marques Dorset,
45 And that the Earl of Surrey with the rod.
SECOND GENTLEMAN 
 A bold brave gentleman.

Enter Duke of Suffolk, in his robe of estate, his
coronet on his head, bearing a long white wand, as High
Steward. With him, the Duke of Norfolk, with the rod of
Marshalship, a coronet on his head. Collars of S’s.


 That should be
 The Duke of Suffolk.
FIRST GENTLEMAN  ’Tis the same: High Steward.
SECOND GENTLEMAN 
50 And that my Lord of Norfolk?
FIRST GENTLEMAN  Yes.

Enter a canopy, borne by four of the Cinque-ports,
under it the Queen in her robe, in her hair, richly
adorned with pearl, crowned. On each side her, the
Bishops of London and Winchester.


SECOND GENTLEMAN  Heaven bless thee!
 Thou hast the sweetest face I ever looked on.—
 Sir, as I have a soul, she is an angel.
55 Our king has all the Indies in his arms,
 And more, and richer, when he strains that lady.
 I cannot blame his conscience.
FIRST GENTLEMAN  They that bear
 The cloth of honor over her are four barons
60 Of the Cinque-ports.
SECOND GENTLEMAN 
 Those men are happy, and so are all are near her.

169
Henry VIII
ACT 4. SC. 1

Enter the Old Duchess of Norfolk, in a coronal of
gold wrought with flowers, bearing the Queen’s train.
Certain Ladies or Countesses, with plain circlets of gold
without flowers.


 I take it she that carries up the train
 Is that old noble lady, Duchess of Norfolk.
FIRST GENTLEMAN 
 It is, and all the rest are countesses.
SECOND GENTLEMAN 
65 Their coronets say so. These are stars indeed.
FIRST GENTLEMAN 
 And sometimes falling ones.
SECOND GENTLEMAN  No more of that.
The Coronation procession exits, having
passed over the stage in order and state, and then
a great flourish of trumpets.


Enter a third Gentleman.

FIRST GENTLEMAN 
 God save you, sir. Where have you been broiling?
THIRD GENTLEMAN 
 Among the crowd i’ th’ Abbey, where a finger
70 Could not be wedged in more. I am stifled
 With the mere rankness of their joy.
SECOND GENTLEMAN  You saw
 The ceremony?
THIRD GENTLEMAN  That I did.
FIRST GENTLEMAN 75 How was it?
THIRD GENTLEMAN 
 Well worth the seeing.
SECOND GENTLEMAN  Good sir, speak it to us!
THIRD GENTLEMAN 
 As well as I am able. The rich stream
 Of lords and ladies, having brought the Queen

171
Henry VIII
ACT 4. SC. 1

80 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
 The beauty of her person to the people.
85 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—
 As loud and to as many tunes. Hats, cloaks,
90 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
 In the old time of war, would shake the press
95 And make ’em reel before ’em. No man living
 Could say “This is my wife there,” all were woven
 So strangely in one piece.
SECOND GENTLEMAN  But what followed?
THIRD GENTLEMAN 
 At length her Grace rose, and with modest paces
100 Came to the altar, where she kneeled and saintlike
 Cast her fair eyes to heaven and prayed devoutly,
 Then rose again and bowed her to the people.
 When by the Archbishop of Canterbury
 She had all the royal makings of a queen—
105 As, holy oil, Edward Confessor’s crown,
 The rod, and bird of peace, and all such emblems—
 Laid nobly on her; which performed, the choir,
 With all the choicest music of the kingdom,
 Together sung Te Deum. So she parted,
110 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,

173
Henry VIII
ACT 4. SC. 1

 For since the Cardinal fell, that title’s lost.
115 ’Tis now the King’s and called “Whitehall.”
THIRD GENTLEMAN  I know it,
 But ’tis so lately altered that the old name
 Is fresh about me.
SECOND GENTLEMAN  What two reverend bishops
120 Were those that went on each side of the Queen?
THIRD GENTLEMAN 
 Stokeley and Gardiner, the one of Winchester,
 Newly preferred from the King’s secretary,
 The other London.
SECOND GENTLEMAN  He of Winchester
125 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,
 Cranmer will find a friend will not shrink from him.
SECOND GENTLEMAN 
130 Who may that be, I pray you?
THIRD GENTLEMAN  Thomas Cromwell,
 A man in much esteem with th’ King, and truly
 A worthy friend. The King has made him
 Master o’ th’ Jewel House,
135 And one already of the Privy Council.
SECOND GENTLEMAN 
 He will deserve more.
THIRD GENTLEMAN  Yes, without all doubt.
 Come, gentlemen, you shall go my way,
 Which is to th’ court, and there you shall be my
140 guests,
 Something I can command. As I walk thither,
 I’ll tell you more.
BOTH  You may command us, sir.
They exit.




175
Henry VIII
ACT 4. SC. 2

Scene 2
Enter Katherine Dowager, sick, led between Griffith, her
gentleman usher, and Patience, her woman.


GRIFFITH 
 How does your Grace?
KATHERINE  O Griffith, sick to death.
 My legs like loaden branches bow to th’ earth,
 Willing to leave their burden. Reach a chair.
She sits.
5 So. Now, methinks, I feel a little ease.
 Didst thou not tell me, Griffith, as thou ledst me,
 That the great child of honor, Cardinal Wolsey,
 Was dead?
GRIFFITH  Yes, madam, but I think your Grace,
10 Out of the pain you suffered, gave no ear to ’t.
KATHERINE 
 Prithee, good Griffith, tell me how he died.
 If well, he stepped before me happily
 For my example.
GRIFFITH  Well, the voice goes, madam;
15 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.
KATHERINE 20 Alas, poor man!
GRIFFITH 
 At last, with easy roads, he came to Leicester,
 Lodged in the abbey, where the reverend abbot
 With all his convent honorably received him;
 To whom he gave these words: “O Father Abbot,
25 An old man, broken with the storms of state,
 Is come to lay his weary bones among you.
 Give him a little earth, for charity.”
 So went to bed, where eagerly his sickness

177
Henry VIII
ACT 4. SC. 2

 Pursued him still; and three nights after this,
30 About the hour of eight, which he himself
 Foretold should be his last, full of repentance,
 Continual meditations, tears, and sorrows,
 He gave his honors to the world again,
 His blessèd part to heaven, and slept in peace.
KATHERINE 
35 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
40 Tied all the kingdom. Simony was fair play.
 His own opinion was his law. I’ th’ 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.
45 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 ill example.
GRIFFITH  Noble madam,
50 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?
KATHERINE  Yes, good Griffith;
 I were malicious else.
GRIFFITH 55 This cardinal,
 Though from an humble stock, undoubtedly
 Was fashioned to much honor. From his cradle
 He was a scholar, and a ripe and good one:
 Exceeding wise, fair-spoken, and persuading;
60 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,

179
Henry VIII
ACT 4. SC. 2

 He was most princely. Ever witness for him
65 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 unfinished, yet so famous,
 So excellent in art, and still so rising,
70 That Christendom shall ever speak his virtue.
 His overthrow heaped happiness upon him,
 For then, and not till then, he felt himself,
 And found the blessedness of being little.
 And, to add greater honors to his age
75 Than man could give him, he died fearing God.
KATHERINE 
 After my death I wish no other herald,
 No other speaker of my living actions,
 To keep mine honor from corruption
 But such an honest chronicler as Griffith.
80 Whom I most hated living, thou hast made me,
 With thy religious truth and modesty,
 Now in his ashes honor. Peace be with him!—
 Patience, be near me still, and set me lower.
 I have not long to trouble thee.—Good Griffith,
85 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,
 For fear we wake her. Softly, gentle Patience.
They sit.

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 their hands. They

181
Henry VIII
ACT 4. SC. 2

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, 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 of rejoicing and holdeth up her hands to
heaven; and so, in their dancing, vanish, carrying
the garland with them.

The music continues.
KATHERINE, waking 
90 Spirits of peace, where are you? Are you all gone,
 And leave me here in wretchedness behind you?
GRIFFITH 
 Madam, we are here.
KATHERINE  It is not you I call for.
 Saw you none enter since I slept?
GRIFFITH 95 None, madam.
KATHERINE 
 No? Saw you not, even now, a blessed troop
 Invite me to a banquet, whose bright faces
 Cast thousand beams upon me, like the sun?
 They promised me eternal happiness
100 And brought me garlands, Griffith, which I feel
 I am not worthy yet to wear. I shall, assuredly.
GRIFFITH 
 I am most joyful, madam, such good dreams
 Possess your fancy.
KATHERINE  Bid the music leave.
105 They are harsh and heavy to me.Music ceases.
PATIENCE, aside to Griffith  Do you note
 How much her Grace is altered on the sudden?

183
Henry VIII
ACT 4. SC. 2

 How long her face is drawn? How pale she looks,
 And of an earthy cold? Mark her eyes.
GRIFFITH, aside to Patience 
110 She is going, wench. Pray, pray.
PATIENCE  Heaven comfort her!

Enter a Messenger.

MESSENGER, to Katherine 
 An ’t like your Grace—
KATHERINE  You are a saucy fellow.
 Deserve we no more reverence?
GRIFFITH, to Messenger 115 You are to blame,
 Knowing she will not lose her wonted greatness,
 To use so rude behavior. Go to. Kneel.
MESSENGER, kneeling 
 I humbly do entreat your Highness’ pardon.
 My haste made me unmannerly. There is staying
120 A gentleman sent from the King to see you.
KATHERINE 
 Admit him entrance, Griffith.Messenger rises.
 But this fellow
 Let me ne’er see again.Messenger exits.

Enter Lord Capuchius.

 If my sight fail not,
125 You should be Lord Ambassador from the Emperor,
 My royal nephew, and your name Capuchius.
CAPUCHIUS 
 Madam, the same. Your servant.
KATHERINE  O my lord,
 The times and titles now are altered strangely
130 With me since first you knew me. But I pray you,
 What is your pleasure with me?
CAPUCHIUS  Noble lady,
 First, mine own service to your Grace; the next,
 The King’s request that I would visit you,

185
Henry VIII
ACT 4. SC. 2

135 Who grieves much for your weakness, and by me
 Sends you his princely commendations,
 And heartily entreats you take good comfort.
KATHERINE 
 O, my good lord, that comfort comes too late;
 ’Tis like a pardon after execution.
140 That gentle physic given in time had cured me.
 But now I am past all comforts here but prayers.
 How does his Highness?
CAPUCHIUS  Madam, in good health.
KATHERINE 
 So may he ever do, and ever flourish,
145 When I shall dwell with worms, and my poor name
 Banished the kingdom.—Patience, is that letter
 I caused you write yet sent away?
PATIENCE  No, madam.
She presents a paper to Katherine, who gives
it to Capuchius.

KATHERINE 
 Sir, I most humbly pray you to deliver
150 This to my lord the King—
CAPUCHIUS  Most willing, madam.
KATHERINE 
 In which I have commended to his goodness
 The model of our chaste loves, his young daughter—
 The dews of heaven fall thick in blessings on her!—
155 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
 To love her for her mother’s sake that loved him,
 Heaven knows how dearly. My next poor petition
160 Is that his noble Grace would have some pity
 Upon my wretched women, that so long
 Have followed both my fortunes faithfully,
 Of which there is not one, I dare avow—
 And now I should not lie—but will deserve,

187
Henry VIII
ACT 4. SC. 2

165 For virtue and true beauty of the soul,
 For honesty and decent carriage,
 A right good husband. Let him be a noble;
 And sure those men are happy that shall have ’em.
 The last is for my men—they are the poorest,
170 But poverty could never draw ’em from me—
 That they may have their wages duly paid ’em,
 And something over to remember me by.
 If heaven had pleased to have given me longer life
 And able means, we had not parted thus.
175 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,
 Stand these poor people’s friend, and urge the King
 To do me this last right.
CAPUCHIUS 180 By heaven, I will,
 Or let me lose the fashion of a man!
KATHERINE 
 I thank you, honest lord. Remember me
 In all humility unto his Highness.
 Say his long trouble now is passing
185 Out of this world. Tell him in death I blessed him,
 For so I will. Mine eyes grow dim. Farewell,
 My lord.—Griffith, farewell.—Nay, Patience,
 You must not leave me yet. I must to bed;
 Call in more women. When I am dead, good wench,
190 Let me be used with honor. Strew me over
 With maiden flowers, that all the world may know
 I was a chaste wife to my grave. Embalm me,
 Then lay me forth. Although unqueened, yet like
 A queen and daughter to a king inter me.
195 I can no more.
They exit, leading Katherine.


ACT 5
Scene 1
Enter Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester, a Page with a
torch before him, met by Sir Thomas 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
5 With comforting repose, and not for us
 To waste these times.—Good hour of night, Sir
 Thomas.
 Whither so late?
LOVELL  Came you from the King, my lord?
GARDINER 
10 I did, Sir Thomas, and left him at primero
 With the Duke of Suffolk.
LOVELL  I must to him too,
 Before he go to bed. I’ll take my leave.
GARDINER 
 Not yet, Sir Thomas Lovell. What’s the matter?
15 It seems you are in haste. An if there be
 No great offense 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
20 That seeks dispatch by day.
191

193
Henry VIII
ACT 5. SC. 1

LOVELL  My lord, I love you,
 And durst commend a secret to your ear
 Much weightier than this work. The Queen’s in
 labor—
25 They say in great extremity—and feared
 She’ll with the labor end.
GARDINER  The fruit she goes with
 I pray for heartily, that it may find
 Good time and live; but for the stock, Sir Thomas,
30 I wish it grubbed up now.
LOVELL  Methinks I could
 Cry the amen, and yet my conscience says
 She’s a good creature and, sweet lady, does
 Deserve our better wishes.
GARDINER 35 But, sir, sir,
 Hear me, Sir Thomas. You’re a gentleman
 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,
40 Till Cranmer, Cromwell—her two hands—and she
 Sleep in their graves.
LOVELL  Now, sir, you speak of two
 The most remarked i’ th’ kingdom. As for Cromwell,
 Besides that of the Jewel House, is made Master
45 O’ th’ Rolls and the King’s secretary; further, sir,
 Stands in the gap and trade of more preferments,
 With which the time will load him. Th’ Archbishop
 Is the King’s hand and tongue, and who dare speak
 One syllable against him?
GARDINER 50 Yes, yes, Sir Thomas,
 There are that dare, and I myself have ventured
 To speak my mind of him. And indeed this day,
 Sir—I may tell it you, I think—I have
 Incensed the lords o’ th’ Council that he is—
55 For so I know he is, they know he is—

195
Henry VIII
ACT 5. SC. 1

 A most arch heretic, a pestilence
 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
60 And princely care foreseeing those fell mischiefs
 Our reasons laid before him, hath commanded
 Tomorrow morning to the Council board
 He be convented. He’s a rank weed, Sir Thomas,
 And we must root him out. From your affairs
65 I hinder you too long. Goodnight, Sir Thomas.
LOVELL 
 Many good nights, my lord. I rest your servant.
Gardiner and Page exit.

Enter King and Suffolk.

KING 
 Charles, I will play no more tonight.
 My mind’s not on ’t; you are too hard for me.
SUFFOLK 
 Sir, I did never win of you before.
KING 70But little, Charles,
 Nor shall not when my fancy’s on my play.—
 Now, Lovell, from the Queen what is the news?
LOVELL 
 I could not personally deliver to her
 What you commanded me, but by her woman
75 I sent your message, who returned her thanks
 In the great’st humbleness, and desired your Highness
 Most heartily to pray for her.
KING  What sayst thou, ha?
 To pray for her? What, is she crying out?
LOVELL 
80 So said her woman, and that her suff’rance made
 Almost each pang a death.
KING  Alas, good lady!
SUFFOLK 
 God safely quit her of her burden, and

197
Henry VIII
ACT 5. SC. 1

 With gentle travail, to the gladding of
85 Your Highness with an heir!
KING  ’Tis midnight, Charles.
 Prithee, to bed, and in thy prayers remember
 Th’ estate of my poor queen. Leave me alone,
 For I must think of that which company
90 Would not be friendly to.
SUFFOLK  I wish your Highness
 A quiet night, and my good mistress will
 Remember in my prayers.
KING  Charles, good night.
Suffolk exits.

Enter Sir Anthony Denny.

95 Well, sir, what follows?
DENNY 
 Sir, I have brought my lord the Archbishop,
 As you commanded me.
KING  Ha! Canterbury?
DENNY 
 Ay, my good lord.
KING 100 ’Tis true. Where is he, Denny?
DENNY 
 He attends your Highness’ pleasure.
KING  Bring him to us.
Denny exits.
LOVELL, aside 
 This is about that which the Bishop spake.
 I am happily come hither.

Enter Cranmer and Denny.

KING 
105 Avoid the gallery.Lovell seems to stay.
 Ha! I have said. Be gone!
 What!Lovell and Denny exit.

199
Henry VIII
ACT 5. SC. 1

CRANMER, aside  I am fearful. Wherefore frowns he thus?
 ’Tis his aspect of terror. All’s not well.
KING 
110 How now, my lord? You do desire to know
 Wherefore I sent for you.
CRANMER, kneeling  It is my duty
 T’ attend your Highness’ pleasure.
KING  Pray you arise,
115 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.Cranmer rises.
 Ah, my good lord, I grieve at what I speak,
120 And am right sorry to repeat what follows.
 I have, and most unwillingly, of late
 Heard many grievous—I do say, my lord,
 Grievous—complaints of you, which, being
 considered,
125 Have moved us and our Council that you shall
 This morning come before us, where I know
 You cannot with such freedom purge yourself
 But that, till further trial in those charges
 Which will require your answer, you must take
130 Your patience to you and be well contented
 To make your house our Tower. You a brother of us,
 It fits we thus proceed, or else no witness
 Would come against you.
CRANMER, kneeling  I humbly thank your
135 Highness,
 And am right glad to catch this good occasion
 Most throughly to be winnowed, where my chaff
 And corn shall fly asunder. For I know
 There’s none stands under more calumnious tongues
140 Than I myself, poor man.
KING  Stand up, good Canterbury!
 Thy truth and thy integrity is rooted

201
Henry VIII
ACT 5. SC. 1

 In us, thy friend. Give me thy hand. Stand up.
Cranmer rises.
 Prithee, let’s walk. Now by my halidom,
145 What manner of man are you? My lord, I looked
 You would have given me your petition that
 I should have ta’en some pains to bring together
 Yourself and your accusers and to have heard you
 Without endurance further.
CRANMER 150 Most dread liege,
 The good I stand on is my truth and honesty.
 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
155 What can be said against me.
KING  Know you not
 How your state stands i’ th’ world, with the whole
 world?
 Your enemies are many and not small; their practices
160 Must bear the same proportion, and not ever
 The justice and the truth o’ th’ question carries
 The due o’ th’ verdict with it. At what ease
 Might corrupt minds procure knaves as corrupt
 To swear against you? Such things have been done.
165 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,
 Whose minister you are, whiles here he lived
 Upon this naughty earth? Go to, go to.
170 You take a precipice for no leap of danger
 And woo your own destruction.
CRANMER  God and your Majesty
 Protect mine innocence, or I fall into
 The trap is laid for me.
KING 175 Be of good cheer.
 They shall no more prevail than we give way to.

203
Henry VIII
ACT 5. SC. 1

 Keep comfort to you, and this morning see
 You do appear before them. If they shall chance,
 In charging you with matters, to commit you,
180 The best persuasions to the contrary
 Fail not to use, and with what vehemency
 Th’ occasion shall instruct you. If entreaties
 Will render you no remedy, this ring
 Deliver them, and your appeal to us
185 There make before them.He gives Cranmer a ring.
Aside. Look, the good man weeps!
 He’s honest, on mine honor! God’s blest mother,
 I swear he is truehearted, and a soul
 None better in my kingdom.—Get you gone,
190 And do as I have bid you.Cranmer exits.
 He has strangled
 His language in his tears.
LOVELL (within)  Come back! What mean you?

Enter Old Lady, followed by Lovell.

OLD LADY 
 I’ll not come back! The tidings that I bring
195 Will make my boldness manners.—Now, good angels
 Fly o’er thy royal head and shade thy person
 Under their blessèd wings!
KING  Now by thy looks
 I guess thy message. Is the Queen delivered?
200 Say “Ay, and of a boy.”
OLD LADY  Ay, ay, my liege,
 And of a lovely boy. The God of heaven
 Both now and ever bless her! ’Tis a girl
 Promises boys hereafter. Sir, your queen
205 Desires your visitation, and to be
 Acquainted with this stranger. ’Tis as like you
 As cherry is to cherry.

205
Henry VIII
ACT 5. SC. 2

KING  Lovell.
LOVELL  Sir.
KING 
210 Give her an hundred marks. I’ll to the Queen.
King exits.
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?
215 I’ll have more or else unsay ’t. And now,
 While ’tis hot, I’ll put it to the issue.
Old Lady exits, with Lovell.


Scene 2
Enter Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury. (Pages,
Footboys, Grooms, and other servants attend at the
Council door.)


CRANMER 
 I hope I am not too late, and yet the gentleman
 That was sent to me from the Council prayed me
 To make great haste.He tries the door.
 All fast? What means this? Ho!
5 Who waits there?

Enter Keeper.

 Sure you know me!
KEEPER  Yes, my lord,
 But yet I cannot help you.
CRANMER Why?
KEEPER 
10 Your Grace must wait till you be called for.
CRANMER  So.

207
Henry VIII
ACT 5. SC. 2

Enter Doctor Butts.

BUTTS, aside 
 This is a piece of malice. I am glad
 I came this way so happily. The King
 Shall understand it presently.Butts exits.
CRANMER, aside 15 ’Tis Butts,
 The King’s physician. As he passed 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—
20 God turn their hearts! I never sought their malice—
 To quench mine honor. They would shame to make me
 Wait else at door, a fellow councillor,
 ’Mong boys, grooms, and lackeys. But their pleasures
 Must be fulfilled, and I attend with patience.

Enter the King and Butts at a window above.

BUTTS 
25 I’ll show your Grace the strangest sight.
KING  What’s that,
 Butts?
BUTTS 
 I think your Highness saw this many a day.
KING 
 Body o’ me, where is it?
BUTTS 30 There, my lord:
 The high promotion of his Grace of Canterbury,
 Who holds his state at door, ’mongst pursuivants,
 Pages, and footboys.
KING  Ha! ’Tis he indeed.
35 Is this the honor they do one another?
 ’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

209
Henry VIII
ACT 5. SC. 2

 A man of his place, and so near our favor,
40 To dance attendance on their Lordships’ pleasures,
 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.They draw the curtain.

A council table brought in with chairs and stools and
placed under the state. Enter Lord Chancellor, places
himself at the upper end of the table on the left hand, a
seat being left void above him, as for Canterbury’s seat.
Duke of Suffolk, Duke of Norfolk, Surrey, Lord
Chamberlain, Gardiner seat themselves in order on each
side, Cromwell at lower end as secretary.


CHANCELLOR 
45 Speak to the business, Master Secretary.
 Why are we met in council?
CROMWELL  Please your honors,
 The chief cause concerns his Grace of Canterbury.
GARDINER 
 Has he had knowledge of it?
CROMWELL 50 Yes.
NORFOLK, to Keeper  Who waits there?
KEEPER 
 Without, my noble lords?
GARDINER  Yes.
KEEPER  My lord Archbishop,
55 And has done half an hour, to know your pleasures.
CHANCELLOR 
 Let him come in.
KEEPER, at door  Your Grace may enter now.
Cranmer approaches the council table.
CHANCELLOR 
 My good lord Archbishop, I’m very sorry
 To sit here at this present and behold
60 That chair stand empty. But we all are men,

211
Henry VIII
ACT 5. SC. 2

 In our own natures frail, and capable
 Of our flesh—few are angels—out of which frailty
 And want of wisdom you, that best should teach us,
 Have misdemeaned yourself, and not a little,
65 Toward the King first, then his laws, in filling
 The whole realm, by your teaching and your
 chaplains’—
 For so we are informed—with new opinions,
 Divers and dangerous, which are heresies
70 And, not reformed, 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,
 But stop their mouths with stubborn bits, and spur ’em
75 Till they obey the manage. If we suffer,
 Out of our easiness and childish pity
 To one man’s honor, this contagious sickness,
 Farewell, all physic. And what follows then?
 Commotions, uproars, with a general taint
80 Of the whole state, as of late days our neighbors,
 The upper Germany, can dearly witness,
 Yet freshly pitied in our memories.
CRANMER 
 My good lords, hitherto, in all the progress
 Both of my life and office, I have labored,
85 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—
 I speak it with a single heart, my lords—
90 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

213
Henry VIII
ACT 5. SC. 2

 With less allegiance in it! Men that make
95 Envy and crookèd 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
 And freely urge against me.
SUFFOLK 100 Nay, my lord,
 That cannot be. You are a councillor,
 And by that virtue no man dare accuse you.
GARDINER 
 My lord, because we have business of more moment,
 We will be short with you. ’Tis his Highness’ pleasure,
105 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—
 More than, I fear, you are provided for.
CRANMER 
110 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:
 ’Tis my undoing. Love and meekness, lord,
115 Become a churchman better than ambition.
 Win straying souls with modesty again;
 Cast none away. That I shall clear myself,
 Lay all the weight you can upon my patience,
 I make as little doubt as you do conscience
120 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,
 To men that understand you, words and weakness.

215
Henry VIII
ACT 5. SC. 2

CROMWELL 
125 My Lord of Winchester, you’re a little,
 By your good favor, too sharp. Men so noble,
 However faulty, yet should find respect
 For what they have been. ’Tis a cruelty
 To load a falling man.
GARDINER 130 Good Master Secretary—
 I cry your Honor mercy—you may worst
 Of all this table say so.
CROMWELL  Why, my lord?
GARDINER 
 Do not I know you for a favorer
135 Of this new sect? You are not sound.
CROMWELL  Not sound?
GARDINER 
 Not sound, I say.
CROMWELL  Would you were half so honest!
 Men’s prayers then would seek you, not their fears.
GARDINER 
140 I shall remember this bold language.
CROMWELL  Do.
 Remember your bold life too.
CHANCELLOR  This is too much!
 Forbear, for shame, my lords.
GARDINER 145 I have done.
CROMWELL  And I.
CHANCELLOR, to Cranmer 
 Then thus for you, my lord: it stands agreed,
 I take it, by all voices, that forthwith
 You be conveyed to th’ Tower a prisoner,
150 There to remain till the King’s further pleasure
 Be known unto us.—Are you all agreed, lords?
ALL 
 We are.
CRANMER  Is there no other way of mercy
 But I must needs to th’ Tower, my lords?

217
Henry VIII
ACT 5. SC. 2

GARDINER 155 What other
 Would you expect? You are strangely troublesome.
 Let some o’ th’ guard be ready there.

Enter the Guard.

CRANMER  For me?
 Must I go like a traitor thither?
GARDINER 160 Receive him,
 And see him safe i’ th’ Tower.
CRANMER  Stay, good my lords,
 I have a little yet to say. Look there, my lords.
He holds out the ring.
 By virtue of that ring, I take my cause
165 Out of the grips of cruel men and give it
 To a most noble judge, the King my master.
CHAMBERLAIN 
 This is the King’s ring.
SURREY  ’Tis no counterfeit.
SUFFOLK 
 ’Tis the right ring, by heaven! I told you all,
170 When we first put this dangerous stone a-rolling,
 ’Twould fall upon ourselves.
NORFOLK  Do you think, my lords,
 The King will suffer but the little finger
 Of this man to be vexed?
CHAMBERLAIN 175 ’Tis now too certain.
 How much more is his life in value with him!
 Would I were fairly out on ’t!
CROMWELL  My mind gave me,
 In seeking tales and informations
180 Against this man, whose honesty the devil
 And his disciples only envy at,
 You blew the fire that burns you. Now, have at you!

Enter King, frowning on them; takes his seat.


219
Henry VIII
ACT 5. SC. 2

GARDINER 
 Dread sovereign, how much are we bound to heaven
 In daily thanks, that gave us such a prince,
185 Not only good and wise, but most religious;
 One that in all obedience makes the Church
 The chief aim of his honor, and to strengthen
 That holy duty out of dear respect,
 His royal self in judgment comes to hear
190 The cause betwixt her and this great offender.
KING 
 You were ever good at sudden commendations,
 Bishop of Winchester. But know I come not
 To hear such flattery now, and in my presence
 They are too thin and base to hide offenses.
195 To me you cannot reach. You play the spaniel,
 And think with wagging of your tongue to win me;
 But whatsoe’er thou tak’st me for, I’m sure
 Thou hast a cruel nature and a bloody.—
 Good man, sit down.Cranmer takes his seat.
200 Now let me see the proudest
 He, that dares most, but wag his finger at thee.
 By all that’s holy, he had better starve
 Than but once think this place becomes thee not.
SURREY 
 May it please your Grace—
KING 205 No, sir, it does not please
 me.
 I had thought I had had men of some understanding
 And wisdom of my Council, but I find none.
 Was it discretion, lords, to let this man,
210 This good man—few of you deserve that title—
 This honest man, wait like a lousy footboy
 At chamber door? And one as great as you are?
 Why, what a shame was this! Did my commission
 Bid you so far forget yourselves? I gave you
215 Power as he was a councillor to try him,

221
Henry VIII
ACT 5. SC. 2

 Not as a groom. There’s some of you, I see,
 More out of malice than integrity,
 Would try him to the utmost, had you mean,
 Which you shall never have while I live.
CHANCELLOR 220 Thus far,
 My most dread sovereign, may it like your Grace
 To let my tongue excuse all. What was purposed
 Concerning his imprisonment was rather,
 If there be faith in men, meant for his trial
225 And fair purgation to the world than malice,
 I’m sure, in me.
KING  Well, well, my lords, respect him.
 Take him, and use him well; he’s worthy of it.
 I will say thus much for him: if a prince
230 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.
 Be friends, for shame, my lords.
They embrace Cranmer.
 My Lord of Canterbury,
235 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.
CRANMER 
 The greatest monarch now alive may glory
 In such an honor. How may I deserve it,
240 That am a poor and humble subject to you?
KING Come, come, my lord, you’d spare your spoons.
 You shall have two noble partners with you: the
 old Duchess of Norfolk and Lady Marquess Dorset.
 Will these please you?—
245 Once more, my lord of Winchester, I charge you,
 Embrace and love this man.
GARDINER  With a true heart
 And brother-love I do it.He embraces Cranmer.

223
Henry VIII
ACT 5. SC. 3

CRANMER, weeping  And let heaven
250 Witness how dear I hold this confirmation.
KING 
 Good man, those joyful tears show thy true heart.
 The common voice, I see, is verified
 Of thee, which says thus: “Do my Lord of Canterbury
 A shrewd turn, and he’s your friend forever.”—
255 Come, lords, we trifle time away. I long
 To have this young one made a Christian.
 As I have made you one, lords, one remain.
 So I grow stronger, you more honor gain.
They exit.


Scene 3
Noise and tumult within. Enter Porter and his Man,
carrying cudgels.


PORTER You’ll leave your noise anon, you rascals! Do
 you take the court for Parish Garden? You rude
 slaves, leave your gaping!
ONE, (within) Good Master Porter, I belong to th’
5 larder.
PORTER Belong to th’ gallows and be hanged, you rogue!
 Is this a place to roar in?—Fetch me a dozen crab-tree
 staves, and strong ones. These are but switches
 to ’em.—I’ll scratch your heads! You must be seeing
10 christenings? Do you look for ale and cakes here,
 you rude rascals?
PORTER’S MAN 
 Pray, sir, be patient. ’Tis as much impossible—
 Unless we sweep ’em from the door with cannons—
 To scatter ’em as ’tis to make ’em sleep
15 On May Day morning, which will never be.
 We may as well push against Paul’s as stir ’em.
PORTER How got they in, and be hanged?

225
Henry VIII
ACT 5. SC. 3

PORTER’S MAN 
 Alas, I know not. How gets the tide in?
 As much as one sound cudgel of four foot—
20 You see the poor remainder—could distribute,
 I made no spare, sir.
PORTER  You did nothing, sir.
PORTER’S MAN 
 I am not Samson, nor Sir Guy, nor Colbrand,
 To mow ’em down before me; but if I spared any
25 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—
 And that I would not for a cow, God save her!
ONE, (within) Do you hear, Master Porter?
PORTER 30I shall be with you presently, good master
 puppy.— Keep the door close, sirrah.
PORTER’S MAN What would you have me do?
PORTER What should you do but knock ’em down by
 th’ dozens? Is this Moorfields to muster in? Or have
35 we some strange Indian with the great tool come to
 court, the women so besiege us? Bless me, what a
 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.
PORTER’S MAN 40The spoons will be the bigger, sir. There is
 a fellow somewhat near the door—he should be a
 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
45 penance. That fire-drake did I hit three times on the
 head, and three times was his nose discharged
 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
50 porringer fell off her head for kindling such a
 combustion in the state. I missed the meteor once

227
Henry VIII
ACT 5. SC. 3

 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’ th’ Strand, where
55 she was quartered. They fell on; I made good my
 place. At length they came to th’ broomstaff to me;
 I defied ’em still, when suddenly a file of boys behind
 ’em, loose shot, delivered such a shower of
 pibbles that I was fain to draw mine honor in and
60 let ’em win the work. The devil was amongst ’em, I
 think, surely.
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
65 Limehouse, their dear brothers, are able to
 endure. I have some of ’em in Limbo Patrum, and
 there they are like to dance these three days, besides
 the running banquet of two beadles that is to come.

Enter Lord Chamberlain.

CHAMBERLAIN 
 Mercy o’ me, what a multitude are here!
70 They grow still too. From all parts they are coming,
 As if we kept a fair here! Where are these porters,
 These lazy knaves?—You’ve made a fine hand, fellows!
 There’s a trim rabble let in. Are all these
 Your faithful friends o’ th’ suburbs? We shall have
75 Great store of room, no doubt, left for the ladies,
 When they pass back from the christening!
PORTER  An ’t please
 your Honor,
 We are but men, and what so many may do,
80 Not being torn a-pieces, we have done.
 An army cannot rule ’em.
CHAMBERLAIN  As I live,
 If the King blame me for ’t, I’ll lay you all
 By th’ heels, and suddenly, and on your heads

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ACT 5. SC. 4

85 Clap round fines for neglect. You’re lazy knaves,
 And here you lie baiting of bombards, when
 You should do service.Trumpets.
 Hark, the trumpets sound!
 They’re come already from the christening.
90 Go break among the press, and find a way out
 To let the troop pass fairly, or I’ll find
 A Marshalsea shall hold you play these two months.
PORTER 
 Make way there for the Princess!
PORTER’S MAN  You great fellow,
95 Stand close up, or I’ll make your head ache.
PORTER 
 You i’ th’ camlet, get up o’ th’ rail!
 I’ll peck you o’er the pales else.
They exit.


Scene 4
Enter Trumpets, sounding. Then two Aldermen, Lord
Mayor, Garter, Cranmer, Duke of Norfolk with his
marshal’s staff, Duke of Suffolk, two Noblemen bearing
great standing bowls for the christening gifts; then four
Noblemen bearing a canopy, under which the Duchess
of Norfolk, godmother, bearing the child richly habited
in a mantle, etc., train borne by a Lady. Then follows the
Marchioness Dorset, the other godmother, and Ladies.
The troop pass once 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.

Flourish. Enter King and Guard.

CRANMER, kneeling 
 And to your royal Grace and the good queen,

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ACT 5. SC. 4

5 My noble partners and myself thus pray
 All comfort, joy, in this most gracious lady
 Heaven ever laid up to make parents happy
 May hourly fall upon you!
KING  Thank you, good lord
10 Archbishop.
 What is her name?
CRANMER  Elizabeth.
KING  Stand up, lord.
Cranmer stands.
 With this kiss take my blessing.King kisses infant.
15 God protect thee,
 Into whose hand I give thy life.
CRANMER  Amen.
KING, to the two godmothers 
 My noble gossips, you’ve been too prodigal.
 I thank you heartily; so shall this lady
20 When she has so much English.
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.
 This royal infant—heaven still move about her!—
25 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—
 A pattern to all princes living with her
30 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 mold up such a mighty piece as this is,
 With all the virtues that attend the good,
35 Shall still be doubled on her. Truth shall nurse her;
 Holy and heavenly thoughts still counsel her.
 She shall be loved and feared. Her own shall bless her;
 Her foes shake like a field of beaten corn

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ACT 5. SC. 4

 And hang their heads with sorrow. Good grows with
40 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 neighbors.
 God shall be truly known, and those about her
45 From her shall read the perfect ways of honor
 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
50 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 honor
 Shall starlike rise as great in fame as she was
55 And so stand fixed. 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 honor and the greatness of his name
60 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.
KING  Thou speakest wonders.
CRANMER 
65 She shall be to the happiness of England
 An agèd 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,
70 A most unspotted lily, shall she pass
 To th’ ground, and all the world shall mourn her.

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ACT 5. SC. 4

KING  O lord
 Archbishop,
 Thou hast made me now a man. Never before
75 This happy child did I get anything.
 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 you all.—To you, my good lord mayor
80 And you, good brethren, I am much beholding.
 I have received much honor by your presence,
 And you shall find me thankful. Lead the way, lords.
 You must all see the Queen, and she must thank you;
 She will be sick else. This day, no man think
85 ’Has business at his house, for all shall stay.
 This little one shall make it holiday.
They exit.



237
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EPILOGUE

Enter Epilogue.

EPILOGUE 
 ’Tis ten to one this play can never please
 All that are here. Some come to take their ease
 And sleep an act or two—but those, we fear,
 We’ve frighted with our trumpets; so, ’tis clear,
5 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
 All the expected good we’re like to hear
 For this play at this time is only in
10 The merciful construction of good women,
 For such a one we showed ’em. If they smile
 And say ’twill do, I know within a while
 All the best men are ours; for ’tis ill hap
 If they hold when their ladies bid ’em clap.
He exits.