The Life of King Henry the Eighth




William Shakespeare






SCENE I. London. An ante-chamber in the palace. 4

SCENE II. The same. The council-chamber. 14

SCENE III. An ante-chamber in the palace. 23

SCENE IV. A Hall in York Place. 27


SCENE I. Westminster. A street. 34

SCENE II. An ante-chamber in the palace. 42

SCENE III. An ante-chamber of the QUEEN'S apartments. 50

SCENE IV. A hall in Black-Friars. 55


SCENE I. London. QUEEN KATHARINE's apartments. 64

SCENE II. Ante-chamber to KING HENRY VIII's apartment. 72

ACT IV.. 92

SCENE I. A street in Westminster. 92

SCENE II. Kimbolton. 100

ACT V.. 108

SCENE I. London. A gallery in the palace. 108

SCENE II. Before the council-chamber. Pursuivants, Pages, & c. attending. 117

SCENE III. The Council-Chamber. 120

SCENE IV. The palace yard. 129

SCENE V. The palace. 133





    I come no more to make you laugh: things now,

    That bear a weighty and a serious brow,

    Sad, high, and working, full of state and woe,

    Such noble scenes as draw the eye to flow,

    We now present. Those that can pity, here

    May, if they think it well, let fall a tear;

    The subject will deserve it. Such as give

    Their money out of hope they may believe,

    May here find truth too. Those that come to see

    Only a show or two, and so agree

    The play may pass, if they be still and willing,

    I'll undertake may see away their shilling

    Richly in two short hours. Only they

    That come to hear a merry bawdy play,

    A noise of targets, or to see a fellow

    In a long motley coat guarded with yellow,

    Will be deceived; for, gentle hearers, know,

    To rank our chosen truth with such a show

    As fool and fight is, beside forfeiting

    Our own brains, and the opinion that we bring,

    To make that only true we now intend,

    Will leave us never an understanding friend.

    Therefore, for goodness' sake, and as you are known

    The first and happiest hearers of the town,

    Be sad, as we would make ye: think ye see

    The very persons of our noble story

    As they were living; think you see them great,

    And follow'd with the general throng and sweat

    Of thousand friends; then in a moment, see

    How soon this mightiness meets misery:

    And, if you can be merry then, I'll say

    A man may weep upon his wedding-day.


SCENE I. London. An ante-chamber in the palace.


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




    Good morrow, and well met. How have ye done

    Since last we saw in France?




    I thank your grace,

    Healthful; and ever since a fresh admirer

    Of what I saw there.




    An untimely ague

    Stay'd me a prisoner in my chamber when

    Those suns of glory, those two lights of men,

    Met in the vale of Andren.




    '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 weigh'd

    Such a compounded one?




    All the whole time

    I was my chamber's prisoner.




    Then you lost

    The view of earthly glory: men might say,

    Till this time pomp was single, but now married

    To one above itself. Each following day

    Became the next day's master, till the last

    Made former wonders its. To-day the French,

    All clinquant, all in gold, like heathen gods,

    Shone down the English; and, to-morrow, they

    Made Britain India: every man that stood

    Show'd like a mine. Their dwarfish pages were

    As cherubins, all guilt: the madams too,

    Not used to toil, did almost sweat to bear

    The pride upon them, that their very labour

    Was to them as a painting: now this masque

    Was cried incomparable; and the ensuing night

    Made it a fool and beggar. The two kings,

    Equal in lustre, were now best, now worst,

    As presence did present them; him in eye,

    Still him in praise: and, being present both

    'Twas said they saw but one; and no discerner

    Durst wag his tongue in censure. When these suns--

    For so they phrase 'em--by their heralds challenged

    The noble spirits to arms, they did perform

    Beyond thought's compass; that former fabulous story,

    Being now seen possible enough, got credit,

    That Bevis was believed.




    O, you go far.




    As I belong to worship and affect

    In honour honesty, the tract of every thing

    Would by a good discourser lose some life,

    Which action's self was tongue to. All was royal;

    To the disposing of it nought rebell'd.

    Order gave each thing view; the office did

    Distinctly his full function.




    Who did guide,

    I mean, who set the body and the limbs

    Of this great sport together, as you guess?




    One, certes, that promises no element

    In such a business.




    I pray you, who, my lord?




    All this was order'd by the good discretion

    Of the right reverend Cardinal of York.




    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

    Take up the rays o' the beneficial sun

    And keep it from the earth.




    Surely, sir,

    There's in him stuff that puts him to these ends;

    For, being not propp'd by ancestry, whose grace

    Chalks successors their way, nor call'd upon

    For high feats done to the crown; neither allied

    For eminent assistants; but, spider-like,

    Out of his self-drawing web, he gives us note,

    The force of his own merit makes his way

    A gift that heaven gives for him, which buys

    A place next to the king.




    I cannot tell

    What heaven hath given him,--let some graver eye

    Pierce into that; but I can see his pride

    Peep through each part of him: whence has he that,

    If not from hell? the devil is a niggard,

    Or has given all before, and he begins

    A new hell in himself.




    Why the devil,

    Upon this French going out, took he upon him,

    Without the privity o' the king, to appoint

    Who should attend on him? He makes up the file

    Of all the gentry; for the most part such

    To whom as great a charge as little honour

    He meant to lay upon: and his own letter,

    The honourable board of council out,

    Must fetch him in the papers.




    I do know

    Kinsmen of mine, three at the least, that have

    By this so sickened their estates, that never

    They shall abound as formerly.




    O, many

    Have broke their backs with laying manors on 'em

    For this great journey. What did this vanity

    But minister communication of

    A most poor issue?




    Grievingly I think,

    The peace between the French and us not values

    The cost that did conclude it.




    Every man,

    After the hideous storm that follow'd, was

    A thing inspired; and, not consulting, broke

    Into a general prophecy; That this tempest,

    Dashing the garment of this peace, aboded

    The sudden breach on't.




    Which is budded out;

    For France hath flaw'd the league, and hath attach'd

    Our merchants' goods at Bourdeaux.




    Is it therefore

    The ambassador is silenced?




    Marry, is't.




    A proper title of a peace; and purchased

    At a superfluous rate!




    Why, all this business

    Our reverend cardinal carried.




    Like it your grace,

    The state takes notice of the private difference

    Betwixt you and the cardinal. I advise you--

    And take it from a heart that wishes towards you

    Honour and plenteous safety--that you read

    The cardinal's malice and his potency

    Together; to consider further that

    What his high hatred would effect wants not

    A minister in his power. You know his nature,

    That he's revengeful, and I know his sword

    Hath a sharp edge: it's long and, 't may be said,

    It reaches far, and where 'twill not extend,

    Thither he darts it. Bosom up my counsel,

    You'll find it wholesome. Lo, where comes that rock

    That I advise your shunning.


    Enter CARDINAL WOLSEY, the purse borne before him, certain of the Guard, and two Secretaries with papers. CARDINAL WOLSEY in his passage fixeth his eye on BUCKINGHAM, and BUCKINGHAM on him, both full of disdain




    The Duke of Buckingham's surveyor, ha?

    Where's his examination?


First Secretary


    Here, so please you.




    Is he in person ready?


First Secretary


    Ay, please your grace.




    Well, we shall then know more; and Buckingham

    Shall lessen this big look.


    Exeunt CARDINAL WOLSEY and his Train




    This butcher's cur is venom-mouth'd, and I

    Have not the power to muzzle him; therefore best

    Not wake him in his slumber. A beggar's book

    Outworths a noble's blood.




    What, are you chafed?

    Ask God for temperance; that's the appliance only

    Which your disease requires.




    I read in's looks

    Matter against me; and his eye reviled

    Me, as his abject object: at this instant

    He bores me with some trick: he's gone to the king;

    I'll follow and outstare him.




    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 allow'd his way,

    Self-mettle tires him. Not a man in England

    Can advise me like you: be to yourself

    As you would to your friend.




    I'll to the king;

    And from a mouth of honour quite cry down

    This Ipswich fellow's insolence; or proclaim

    There's difference in no persons.




    Be advised;

    Heat not a furnace for your foe so hot

    That it do singe yourself: we may outrun,

    By violent swiftness, that which we run at,

    And lose by over-running. Know you not,

    The fire that mounts the liquor til run o'er,

    In seeming to augment it wastes it? Be advised:

    I say again, there is no English soul

    More stronger to direct you than yourself,

    If with the sap of reason you would quench,

    Or but allay, the fire of passion.





    I am thankful to you; and I'll go along

    By your prescription: but this top-proud fellow,

    Whom from the flow of gall I name not but

    From sincere motions, by intelligence,

    And proofs as clear as founts in July when

    We see each grain of gravel, I do know

    To be corrupt and treasonous.




    Say not 'treasonous.'




    To the king I'll say't; and make my vouch as strong

    As shore of rock. Attend. This holy fox,

    Or wolf, or both,--for he is equal ravenous

    As he is subtle, and as prone to mischief

    As able to perform't; his mind and place

    Infecting one another, yea, reciprocally--

    Only to show his pomp as well in France

    As here at home, suggests the king our master

    To this last costly treaty, the interview,

    That swallow'd so much treasure, and like a glass

    Did break i' the rinsing.




    Faith, and so it did.




    Pray, give me favour, sir. This cunning cardinal

    The articles o' the combination drew

    As himself pleased; and they were ratified

    As he cried 'Thus let be': to as much end

    As give a crutch to the dead: but our count-cardinal

    Has done this, and 'tis well; for worthy Wolsey,

    Who cannot err, he did it. Now this follows,--

    Which, as I take it, is a kind of puppy

    To the old dam, treason,--Charles the emperor,

    Under pretence to see the queen his aunt--

    For 'twas indeed his colour, but he came

    To whisper Wolsey,--here makes visitation:

    His fears were, that the interview betwixt

    England and France might, through their amity,

    Breed him some prejudice; for from this league

    Peep'd harms that menaced him: he privily

    Deals with our cardinal; and, as I trow,--

    Which I do well; for I am sure the emperor

    Paid ere he promised; whereby his suit was granted

    Ere it was ask'd; but when the way was made,

    And paved with gold, the emperor thus desired,

    That he would please to alter the king's course,

    And break the foresaid peace. Let the king know,

    As soon he shall by me, that thus the cardinal

    Does buy and sell his honour as he pleases,

    And for his own advantage.




    I am sorry

    To hear this of him; and could wish he were

    Something mistaken in't.




    No, not a syllable:

    I do pronounce him in that very shape

    He shall appear in proof.


    Enter BRANDON, a Sergeant-at-arms before him, and two or three of the Guard




    Your office, sergeant; execute it.





    My lord the Duke of Buckingham, and Earl

    Of Hereford, Stafford, and Northampton, I

    Arrest thee of high treason, in the name

    Of our most sovereign king.




    Lo, you, my lord,

    The net has fall'n upon me! I shall perish

    Under device and practise.




    I am sorry

    To see you ta'en from liberty, to look on

    The business present: 'tis his highness' pleasure

    You shall to the Tower.




    It will help me nothing

    To plead mine innocence; for that dye is on me

    Which makes my whitest part black. The will of heaven

    Be done in this and all things! I obey.

    O my Lord Abergavenny, fare you well!




    Nay, he must bear you company. The king



    Is pleased you shall to the Tower, till you know

    How he determines further.




    As the duke said,

    The will of heaven be done, and the king's pleasure

    By me obey'd!




    Here is a warrant from

    The king to attach Lord Montacute; and the bodies

    Of the duke's confessor, John de la Car,

    One Gilbert Peck, his chancellor--




    So, so;

    These are the limbs o' the plot: no more, I hope.




    A monk o' the Chartreux.




    O, Nicholas Hopkins?








    My surveyor is false; the o'er-great cardinal

    Hath show'd him gold; my life is spann'd already:

    I am the shadow of poor Buckingham,

    Whose figure even this instant cloud puts on,

    By darkening my clear sun. My lord, farewell.




SCENE II. The same. The council-chamber.


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




    My life itself, and the best heart of it,

    Thanks you for this great care: I stood i' the level

    Of a full-charged confederacy, and give thanks

    To you that choked it. Let be call'd before us

    That gentleman of Buckingham's; in person

    I'll hear him his confessions justify;

    And point by point the treasons of his master

    He shall again relate.


    A noise within, crying 'Room for the Queen!' Enter QUEEN KATHARINE, ushered by NORFOLK, and SUFFOLK: she kneels. KING HENRY VIII riseth from his state, takes her up, kisses and placeth her by him




    Nay, we must longer kneel: I am a suitor.




    Arise, and take place by us: 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.




    Thank your majesty.

    That you would love yourself, and in that love

    Not unconsider'd leave your honour, nor

    The dignity of your office, is the point

    Of my petition.




    Lady mine, proceed.




    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 flaw'd the heart

    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 honour heaven shield from soil!--even he

    escapes not

    Language unmannerly, yea, such which breaks

    The sides of loyalty, and almost appears

    In loud rebellion.




    Not almost appears,

    It doth appear; for, upon these taxations,

    The clothiers all, not able to maintain

    The many to them longing, have put off

    The spinsters, carders, fullers, weavers, who,

    Unfit for other life, compell'd by hunger

    And lack of other means, in desperate manner

    Daring the event to the teeth, are all in uproar,

    And danger serves among then!





    Wherein? and what taxation? My lord cardinal,

    You that are blamed for it alike with us,

    Know you of this taxation?




    Please you, sir,

    I know but of a single part, in aught

    Pertains to the state; and front but in that file

    Where others tell steps with me.




    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

    Perforce be their acquaintance. These exactions,

    Whereof my sovereign would have note, they are

    Most pestilent to the bearing; and, to bear 'em,

    The back is sacrifice to the load. They say

    They are devised by you; or else you suffer

    Too hard an exclamation.




    Still exaction!

    The nature of it? in what kind, let's know,

    Is this exaction?




    I am much too venturous

    In tempting of your patience; but am bolden'd

    Under your promised pardon. The subjects' grief

    Comes through commissions, which compel from each

    The sixth part of his substance, to be levied

    Without delay; and the pretence for this

    Is named, your wars in France: this makes bold mouths:

    Tongues spit their duties out, and cold hearts freeze

    Allegiance in them; their curses now

    Live where their prayers did: and it's come to pass,

    This tractable obedience is a slave

    To each incensed will. I would your highness

    Would give it quick consideration, for

    There is no primer business.




    By my life,

    This is against our pleasure.




    And for me,

    I have no further gone in this than by

    A single voice; and that not pass'd me but

    By learned approbation of the judges. If I am

    Traduced by ignorant tongues, which neither know

    My faculties nor person, yet will be

    The chronicles of my doing, let me say

    'Tis but the fate of place, and the rough brake

    That virtue must go through. We must not stint

    Our necessary actions, in the fear

    To cope malicious censurers; which ever,

    As ravenous fishes, do a vessel follow

    That is new-trimm'd, but benefit no further

    Than vainly longing. What we oft do best,

    By sick interpreters, once weak ones, is

    Not ours, or not allow'd; what worst, as oft,

    Hitting a grosser quality, is cried up

    For our best act. If we shall stand still,

    In fear our motion will be mock'd or carp'd at,

    We should take root here where we sit, or sit

    State-statues only.




    Things done well,

    And with a care, exempt themselves from fear;

    Things done without example, in their issue

    Are to be fear'd. Have you a precedent

    Of this commission? I believe, not any.

    We must not rend our subjects from our laws,

    And stick them in our will. Sixth part of each?

    A trembling contribution! Why, we take

    From every tree lop, bark, and part o' the timber;

    And, though we leave it with a root, thus hack'd,

    The air will drink the sap. To every county

    Where this is question'd send our letters, with

    Free pardon to each man that has denied

    The force of this commission: pray, look to't;

    I put it to your care.




    A word with you.


    To the Secretary

    Let there be letters writ to every shire,

    Of the king's grace and pardon. The grieved commons

    Hardly conceive of me; let it be noised

    That through our intercession this revokement

    And pardon comes: I shall anon advise you

    Further in the proceeding.


    Exit Secretary


    Enter Surveyor




    I am sorry that the Duke of Buckingham

    Is run in your displeasure.




    It grieves many:

    The gentleman is learn'd, and a most rare speaker;

    To nature none more bound; his training such,

    That he may furnish and instruct great teachers,

    And never seek for aid out of himself. Yet see,

    When these so noble benefits shall prove

    Not well disposed, the mind growing once corrupt,

    They turn to vicious forms, ten times more ugly

    Than ever they were fair. This man so complete,

    Who was enroll'd 'mongst wonders, and when we,

    Almost with ravish'd listening, could not find

    His hour of speech a minute; he, my lady,

    Hath into monstrous habits put the graces

    That once were his, and is become as black

    As if besmear'd in hell. Sit by us; you shall hear--

    This was his gentleman in trust--of him

    Things to strike honour sad. Bid him recount

    The fore-recited practises; whereof

    We cannot feel too little, hear too much.




    Stand forth, and with bold spirit relate what you,

    Most like a careful subject, have collected

    Out of the Duke of Buckingham.




    Speak freely.




    First, it was usual with him, every day

    It would infect his speech, that if the king

    Should without issue die, he'll carry it so

    To make the sceptre his: these very words

    I've heard him utter to his son-in-law,

    Lord Abergavenny; to whom by oath he menaced

    Revenge upon the cardinal.




    Please your highness, note

    This dangerous conception in this point.

    Not friended by by his wish, to your high person

    His will is most malignant; and it stretches

    Beyond you, to your friends.




    My learn'd lord cardinal,

    Deliver all with charity.




    Speak on:

    How grounded he his title to the crown,

    Upon our fail? to this point hast thou heard him

    At any time speak aught?




    He was brought to this

    By a vain prophecy of Nicholas Hopkins.




    What was that Hopkins?




    Sir, a Chartreux friar,

    His confessor, who fed him every minute

    With words of sovereignty.




    How know'st thou this?




    Not long before your highness sped to France,

    The duke being at the Rose, within the parish

    Saint Lawrence Poultney, did of me demand

    What was the speech among the Londoners

    Concerning the French journey: I replied,

    Men fear'd the French would prove perfidious,

    To the king's danger. Presently the duke

    Said, 'twas the fear, indeed; and that he doubted

    'Twould prove the verity of certain words

    Spoke by a holy monk; 'that oft,' says he,

    'Hath sent to me, wishing me to permit

    John de la Car, my chaplain, a choice hour

    To hear from him a matter of some moment:

    Whom after under the confession's seal

    He solemnly had sworn, that what he spoke

    My chaplain to no creature living, but

    To me, should utter, with demure confidence

    This pausingly ensued: neither the king nor's heirs,

    Tell you the duke, shall prosper: bid him strive

    To gain the love o' the commonalty: the duke

    Shall govern England.'




    If I know you well,

    You were the duke's surveyor, and lost your office

    On the complaint o' the tenants: take good heed

    You charge not in your spleen a noble person

    And spoil your nobler soul: I say, take heed;

    Yes, heartily beseech you.




    Let him on.

    Go forward.




    On my soul, I'll speak but truth.

    I told my lord the duke, by the devil's illusions

    The monk might be deceived; and that 'twas dangerous for him

    To ruminate on this so far, until

    It forged him some design, which, being believed,

    It was much like to do: he answer'd, 'Tush,

    It can do me no damage;' adding further,

    That, had the king in his last sickness fail'd,

    The cardinal's and Sir Thomas Lovell's heads

    Should have gone off.




    Ha! what, so rank? Ah ha!

    There's mischief in this man: canst thou say further?




    I can, my liege.








    Being at Greenwich,

    After your highness had reproved the duke

    About Sir William Blomer,--




    I remember

    Of such a time: being my sworn servant,

    The duke retain'd him his. But on; what hence?




    'If,' quoth he, 'I for this had been committed,

    As, to the Tower, I thought, I would have play'd

    The part my father meant to act upon

    The usurper Richard; who, being at Salisbury,

    Made suit to come in's presence; which if granted,

    As he made semblance of his duty, would

    Have put his knife to him.'




    A giant traitor!




    Now, madam, may his highness live in freedom,

    and this man out of prison?




    God mend all!




    There's something more would out of thee; what say'st?




    After 'the duke his father,' with 'the knife,'

    He stretch'd him, and, with one hand on his dagger,

    Another spread on's breast, mounting his eyes

    He did discharge a horrible oath; whose tenor

    Was,--were he evil used, he would outgo

    His father by as much as a performance

    Does an irresolute purpose.




    There's his period,

    To sheathe his knife in us. He is attach'd;

    Call him to present trial: if he may

    Find mercy in the law, 'tis his: if none,

    Let him not seek 't of us: by day and night,

    He's traitor to the height.




SCENE III. An ante-chamber in the palace.


    Enter Chamberlain and SANDS




    Is't possible the spells of France should juggle

    Men into such strange mysteries?




    New customs,

    Though they be never so ridiculous,

    Nay, let 'em be unmanly, yet are follow'd.




    As far as I see, all the good our English

    Have got by the late voyage is but merely

    A fit or two o' the face; but they are shrewd ones;

    For when they hold 'em, you would swear directly

    Their very noses had been counsellors

    To Pepin or Clotharius, they keep state so.




    They have all new legs, and lame ones: one would take it,

    That never saw 'em pace before, the spavin

    Or springhalt reign'd among 'em.




    Death! my lord,

    Their clothes are after such a pagan cut too,

    That, sure, they've worn out Christendom.


    Enter LOVELL

    How now!

    What news, Sir Thomas Lovell?




    Faith, my lord,

    I hear of none, but the new proclamation

    That's clapp'd upon the court-gate.




    What is't for?




    The reformation of our travell'd gallants,

    That fill the court with quarrels, talk, and tailors.




    I'm glad 'tis there: now I would pray our monsieurs

    To think an English courtier may be wise,

    And never see the Louvre.




    They must either,

    For so run the conditions, leave those remnants

    Of fool and feather that they got in France,

    With all their honourable point of ignorance

    Pertaining thereunto, as fights and fireworks,

    Abusing better men than they can be,

    Out of a foreign wisdom, renouncing clean

    The faith they have in tennis, and tall stockings,

    Short blister'd breeches, and those types of travel,

    And understand again like honest men;

    Or pack to their old playfellows: there, I take it,

    They may, 'cum privilegio,' wear away

    The lag end of their lewdness and be laugh'd at.




    'Tis time to give 'em physic, their diseases

    Are grown so catching.




    What a loss our ladies

    Will have of these trim vanities!




    Ay, marry,

    There will be woe indeed, lords: the sly whoresons

    Have got a speeding trick to lay down ladies;

    A French song and a fiddle has no fellow.




    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

    And have an hour of hearing; and, by'r lady,

    Held current music too.




    Well said, Lord Sands;

    Your colt's tooth is not cast yet.




    No, my lord;

    Nor shall not, while I have a stump.




    Sir Thomas,

    Whither were you a-going?




    To the cardinal's:

    Your lordship is a guest too.




    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.




    That churchman bears a bounteous mind indeed,

    A hand as fruitful as the land that feeds us;

    His dews fall every where.




    No doubt he's noble;

    He had a black mouth that said other of him.




    He may, my lord; has wherewithal: in him

    Sparing would show a worse sin than ill doctrine:

    Men of his way should be most liberal;

    They are set here for examples.




    True, they are so:

    But few now give so great ones. My barge stays;

    Your lordship shall along. Come, good Sir Thomas,

    We shall be late else; which I would not be,

    For I was spoke to, with Sir Henry Guildford

    This night to be comptrollers.




    I am your lordship's.




SCENE IV. A Hall in York Place.


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




    Ladies, a general welcome from his grace

    Salutes ye all; this night he dedicates

    To fair content and you: none here, he hopes,

    In all this noble bevy, has brought with her

    One care abroad; he would have all as merry

    As, first, good company, good wine, good welcome,

    Can make good people. O, my lord, you're tardy:


    Enter Chamberlain, SANDS, and LOVELL

    The very thought of this fair company

    Clapp'd wings to me.




    You are young, Sir Harry Guildford.




    Sir Thomas Lovell, had the cardinal

    But half my lay thoughts in him, some of these

    Should find a running banquet ere they rested,

    I think would better please 'em: by my life,

    They are a sweet society of fair ones.




    O, that your lordship were but now confessor

    To one or two of these!




    I would I were;

    They should find easy penance.




    Faith, how easy?




    As easy as a down-bed would afford it.




    Sweet ladies, will it please you sit? Sir Harry,

    Place you that side; I'll take the charge of this:

    His grace is entering. Nay, you must not freeze;

    Two women placed together makes cold weather:

    My Lord Sands, you are one will keep 'em waking;

    Pray, sit between these ladies.




    By my faith,

    And thank your lordship. By your leave, sweet ladies:

    If I chance to talk a little wild, forgive me;

    I had it from my father.




    Was he mad, sir?




    O, very mad, exceeding mad, in love too:

    But he would bite none; just as I do now,

    He would kiss you twenty with a breath.


    Kisses her




    Well said, my lord.

    So, now you're fairly seated. Gentlemen,

    The penance lies on you, if these fair ladies

    Pass away frowning.




    For my little cure,

    Let me alone.


    Hautboys. Enter CARDINAL WOLSEY, and takes his state




    You're welcome, my fair guests: that noble lady,

    Or gentleman, that is not freely merry,

    Is not my friend: this, to confirm my welcome;

    And to you all, good health.






    Your grace is noble:

    Let me have such a bowl may hold my thanks,

    And save me so much talking.




    My Lord Sands,

    I am beholding to you: cheer your neighbours.

    Ladies, you are not merry: gentlemen,

    Whose fault is this?




    The red wine first must rise

    In their fair cheeks, my lord; then we shall have 'em

    Talk us to silence.




    You are a merry gamester,

    My Lord Sands.




    Yes, if I make my play.

    Here's to your ladyship: and pledge it, madam,

    For 'tis to such a thing,--




    You cannot show me.




    I told your grace they would talk anon.


    Drum and trumpet, chambers discharged




    What's that?




    Look out there, some of ye.


    Exit Servant




    What warlike voice,

    And to what end is this? Nay, ladies, fear not;

    By all the laws of war you're privileged.


    Re-enter Servant




    How now! what is't?




    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.




    Good lord chamberlain,

    Go, give 'em welcome; you can speak the French tongue;

    And, pray, receive 'em nobly, and conduct 'em

    Into our presence, where this heaven of beauty

    Shall shine at full upon them. Some attend him.


    Exit Chamberlain, attended. All rise, and tables removed

    You have now a broken banquet; but we'll mend it.

    A good digestion to you all: and once more

    I shower a welcome on ye; welcome all.


    Hautboys. Enter KING HENRY VIII and others, as masquers, habited like shepherds, ushered by the Chamberlain. They pass directly before CARDINAL WOLSEY, and gracefully salute him

    A noble company! what are their pleasures?




    Because they speak no English, thus they pray'd

    To tell your grace, that, having heard by fame

    Of this so noble and so fair assembly

    This night to meet here, they could do no less

    Out of the great respect they bear to beauty,

    But leave their flocks; and, under your fair conduct,

    Crave leave to view these ladies and entreat

    An hour of revels with 'em.




    Say, lord chamberlain,

    They have done my poor house grace; for which I pay 'em

    A thousand thanks, and pray 'em take their pleasures.


    They choose Ladies for the dance. KING HENRY VIII chooses ANNE




    The fairest hand I ever touch'd! O beauty,

    Till now I never knew thee!


    Music. Dance




    My lord!




    Your grace?




    Pray, tell 'em thus much from me:

    There should be one amongst 'em, by his person,

    More worthy this place than myself; to whom,

    If I but knew him, with my love and duty

    I would surrender it.




    I will, my lord.


    Whispers the Masquers




    What say they?




    Such a one, they all confess,

    There is indeed; which they would have your grace

    Find out, and he will take it.




    Let me see, then.

    By all your good leaves, gentlemen; here I'll make

    My royal choice.




    Ye 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.




    I am glad

    Your grace is grown so pleasant.




    My lord chamberlain,

    Prithee, come hither: what fair lady's that?




    An't please your grace, Sir Thomas Bullen's daughter--

    The Viscount Rochford,--one of her highness' women.




    By heaven, she is a dainty one. Sweetheart,

    I were unmannerly, to take you out,

    And not to kiss you. A health, gentlemen!

    Let it go round.




    Sir Thomas Lovell, is the banquet ready

    I' the privy chamber?




    Yes, my lord.




    Your grace,

    I fear, with dancing is a little heated.




    I fear, too much.




    There's fresher air, my lord,

    In the next chamber.




    Lead in your ladies, every one: sweet partner,

    I must not yet forsake you: let's be merry:

    Good my lord cardinal, I have half a dozen healths

    To drink to these fair ladies, and a measure

    To lead 'em once again; and then let's dream

    Who's best in favour. Let the music knock it.


    Exeunt with trumpets



SCENE I. Westminster. A street.


    Enter two Gentlemen, meeting


First Gentleman


    Whither away so fast?


Second Gentleman


    O, God save ye!

    Even to the hall, to hear what shall become

    Of the great Duke of Buckingham.


First Gentleman


    I'll save you

    That labour, sir. All's now done, but the ceremony

    Of bringing back the prisoner.


Second Gentleman


    Were you there?


First Gentleman


    Yes, indeed, was I.


Second Gentleman


    Pray, speak what has happen'd.


First Gentleman


    You may guess quickly what.


Second Gentleman


    Is he found guilty?


First Gentleman


    Yes, truly is he, and condemn'd upon't.


Second Gentleman


    I am sorry for't.


First Gentleman


    So are a number more.


Second Gentleman


    But, pray, how pass'd it?


First Gentleman


    I'll tell you in a little. The great duke

    Came to the bar; where to his accusations

    He pleaded still not guilty and alleged

    Many sharp reasons to defeat the law.

    The king's attorney on the contrary

    Urged on the examinations, proofs, confessions

    Of divers witnesses; which the duke desired

    To have brought viva voce to his face:

    At which appear'd against him his surveyor;

    Sir Gilbert Peck his chancellor; and John Car,

    Confessor to him; with that devil-monk,

    Hopkins, that made this mischief.


Second Gentleman


    That was he

    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,

    Have found him guilty of high treason. Much

    He spoke, and learnedly, 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 the bar, to hear

    His knell rung out, his judgment, he was stirr'd

    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 show'd a most noble patience.


Second Gentleman


    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



    The cardinal is the end of this.


First Gentleman


    'Tis likely,

    By all conjectures: first, Kildare's attainder,

    Then deputy of Ireland; who removed,

    Earl Surrey was sent thither, and in haste too,

    Lest he should help his father.


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,

    And generally, whoever the king favours,

    The cardinal instantly will find employment,

    And far enough from court too.


Second Gentleman


    All the commons

    Hate him perniciously, and, o' my conscience,

    Wish him ten fathom deep: this duke as much

    They love and dote on; call him bounteous Buckingham,

    The mirror of all courtesy;--


First Gentleman


    Stay there, sir,

    And see the noble ruin'd man you speak of.


    Enter BUCKINGHAM from his arraignment; tip-staves before him; the axe with the edge towards him; halberds on each side: accompanied with LOVELL, VAUX, SANDS, and common people


Second Gentleman


    Let's stand close, and behold him.




    All good people,

    You that thus far have come to pity me,

    Hear what I say, and then go home and lose me.

    I have this day received a traitor's judgment,

    And by that name must die: yet, heaven bear witness,

    And if I have a co nscience, let it sink me,

    Even as the axe falls, if I be not faithful!

    The law I bear no malice for my death;

    'T has done, upon the premises, but justice:

    But those that sought it I could wish more Christians:

    Be what they will, I heartily forgive 'em:

    Yet let 'em look they glory not in mischief,

    Nor build their evils on the graves of great men;

    For then my guiltless blood must cry against 'em.

    For further life in this world I ne'er hope,

    Nor will I sue, although the king have mercies

    More than I dare make faults. You few that loved me,

    And dare be bold to weep for Buckingham,

    His noble friends and fellows, whom to leave

    Is only bitter to him, only dying,

    Go with me, like good angels, to my end;

    And, as the long divorce of steel falls on me,

    Make of your prayers one sweet sacrifice,

    And lift my soul to heaven. Lead on, o' God's name.




    I do beseech your grace, for charity,

    If ever any malice in your heart

    Were hid against me, now to forgive me frankly.




    Sir Thomas Lovell, I as free forgive you

    As I would be forgiven: I forgive all;

    There cannot be those numberless offences

    'Gainst me, that I cannot take peace with:

    no black envy

    Shall mark my grave. Commend me to his grace;

    And if he speak of Buckingham, pray, tell him

    You met him half in heaven: my vows and prayers

    Yet are the king's; and, till my soul forsake,

    Shall cry for blessings on him: may he live

    Longer than I have time to tell his years!

    Ever beloved and loving may his rule be!

    And when old time shall lead him to his end,

    Goodness and he fill up one monument!




    To the water side I must conduct your grace;

    Then give my charge up to Sir Nicholas Vaux,

    Who undertakes you to your end.




    Prepare there,

    The duke is coming: see the barge be ready;

    And fit it with such furniture as suits

    The greatness of his person.




    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,

    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,

    Being distress'd, was by that wretch betray'd,

    And without trial fell; God's peace be with him!

    Henry the Seventh succeeding, truly pitying

    My father's loss, like a most royal prince,

    Restored me to my honours, and, out of ruins,

    Made my name once more noble. Now his son,

    Henry the Eighth, life, honour, name and all

    That made me happy at one stroke has taken

    For ever from the world. I had my trial,

    And, must needs say, a noble one; which makes me,

    A little happier than my wretched father:

    Yet thus far we are one in fortunes: both

    Fell by our servants, by those men we loved most;

    A most unnatural and faithless service!

    Heaven has an end in all: yet, you that hear me,

    This from a dying man receive as certain:

    Where you are liberal of your loves and counsels

    Be sure you be not loose; for those you make friends

    And give your hearts to, when they once perceive

    The least rub in your fortunes, fall away

    Like water from ye, never found again

    But where they mean to sink ye. All good people,

    Pray for me! I must now forsake ye: the last hour

    Of my long weary life is come upon me. Farewell:

    And when you would say something that is sad,

    Speak how I fell. I have done; and God forgive me!


    Exeunt BUCKINGHAM and Train


First Gentleman


    O, this is full of pity! Sir, it calls,

    I fear, too many curses on their beads

    That were the authors.


Second Gentleman


    If the duke be guiltless,

    'Tis full of woe: yet I can give you inkling

    Of an ensuing evil, if it fall,

    Greater than this.


First Gentleman


    Good angels keep it from us!

    What may it be? You do not doubt my faith, sir?


Second Gentleman


    This secret is so weighty, 'twill require

    A strong faith to conceal it.


First Gentleman


    Let me have it;

    I do not talk much.


Second Gentleman


    I am confident,

    You shall, sir: did you not of late days hear

    A buzzing of a separation

    Between the king and Katharine?


First Gentleman


    Yes, but it held not:

    For when the king once heard it, out of anger

    He sent command to the lord mayor straight

    To stop the rumor, and allay those tongues

    That durst disperse it.


Second Gentleman


    But that slander, sir,

    Is found a truth now: for it grows again

    Fresher than e'er it was; and held for certain

    The king will venture at it. Either the cardinal,

    Or some about him near, have, out of malice

    To the good queen, possess'd him with a scruple

    That will undo her: to confirm this too,

    Cardinal Campeius is arrived, and lately;

    As all think, for this business.


First Gentleman


    'Tis the cardinal;

    And merely to revenge him on the emperor

    For not bestowing on him, at his asking,

    The archbishopric of Toledo, this is purposed.


Second Gentleman


    I think you have hit the mark: but is't not cruel

    That she should feel the smart of this? The cardinal

    Will have his will, and she must fall.


First Gentleman


    'Tis woful.

    We are too open here to argue this;

    Let's think in private more.




SCENE II. An ante-chamber in the palace.


    Enter Chamberlain, reading a letter




    'My lord, the horses your lordship sent for, with

    all the care I had, I saw well chosen, ridden, and

    furnished. They were young and handsome, and of the

    best breed in the north. When they were ready to

    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.'

    I fear he will indeed: well, let him have them:

    He will have all, I think.


    Enter, to Chamberlain, NORFOLK and SUFFOLK




    Well met, my lord chamberlain.




    Good day to both your graces.




    How is the king employ'd?




    I left him private,

    Full of sad thoughts and troubles.




    What's the cause?




    It seems the marriage with his brother's wife

    Has crept too near his conscience.




    No, his conscience

    Has crept too near another lady.




    'Tis so:

    This is the cardinal's doing, the king-cardinal:

    That blind priest, like the eldest son of fortune,

    Turns what he list. The king will know him one day.




    Pray God he do! he'll never know himself else.




    How holily he works in all his business!

    And with what zeal! for, now he has crack'd the league

    Between us and the emperor, the queen's great nephew,

    He dives into the king's soul, and there scatters

    Dangers, doubts, wringing of the conscience,

    Fears, and despairs; and all these for his marriage:

    And out of all these to restore the king,

    He counsels a divorce; a loss of her

    That, like a jewel, has hung twenty years

    About his neck, yet never lost her lustre;

    Of her that loves him with that excellence

    That angels love good men with; even of her

    That, when the greatest stroke of fortune falls,

    Will bless the king: and is not this course pious?




    Heaven keep me from such counsel! 'Tis most true

    These news are every where; every tongue speaks 'em,

    And every true heart weeps for't: all that dare

    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.




    And free us from his slavery.




    We had need pray,

    And heartily, for our deliverance;

    Or this imperious man will work us all

    From princes into pages: all men's honours

    Lie like one lump before him, to be fashion'd

    Into what pitch he please.




    For me, my lords,

    I love him not, nor fear him; there's my creed:

    As I am made without him, so I'll stand,

    If the king please; his curses and his blessings

    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.




    Let's in;

    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?




    Excuse me;

    The king has sent me otherwhere: besides,

    You'll find a most unfit time to disturb him:

    Health to your lordships.




    Thanks, my good lord chamberlain.


    Exit Chamberlain; and KING HENRY VIII draws the curtain, and sits reading pensively




    How sad he looks! sure, he is much afflicted.




    Who's there, ha?




    Pray God he be not angry.




    Who's there, I say? How dare you thrust yourselves

    Into my private meditations?

    Who am I? ha?




    A gracious king that pardons all offences

    Malice ne'er meant: our breach of duty this way

    Is business of estate; in which we come

    To know your royal pleasure.




    Ye are too bold:

    Go to; I'll make ye know your times of business:

    Is this an hour for temporal affairs, ha?


    Enter CARDINAL WOLSEY and CARDINAL CAMPEIUS, with a commission

    Who's there? my good lord cardinal? O my Wolsey,

    The quiet of my wounded conscience;

    Thou art a cure fit for a king.



    You're welcome,

    Most learned reverend sir, into our kingdom:

    Use us and it.



    My good lord, have great care

    I be not found a talker.




    Sir, you cannot.

    I would your grace would give us but an hour

    Of private conference.





    We are busy; go.




    [Aside to SUFFOLK]

    This priest has no pride in him?




    [Aside to NORFOLK] Not to speak of:

    I would not be so sick though for his place:

    But this cannot continue.




    [Aside to SUFFOLK] If it do,

    I'll venture one have-at-him.




    [Aside to NORFOLK] I another.


    Exeunt NORFOLK and SUFFOLK




    Your grace has given a precedent of wisdom

    Above all princes, in committing freely

    Your scruple to the voice of Christendom:

    Who can be angry now? what envy reach you?

    The Spaniard, tied blood and favour to her,

    Must now confess, if they have any goodness,

    The trial just and noble. All the clerks,

    I mean the learned ones, in Christian kingdoms

    Have their free voices: Rome, the nurse of judgment,

    Invited by your noble self, hath sent

    One general tongue unto us, this good man,

    This just and learned priest, Cardinal Campeius;

    Whom once more I present unto your highness.




    And once more in mine arms I bid him welcome,

    And thank the holy conclave for their loves:

    They have sent me such a man I would have wish'd for.




    Your grace must needs deserve all strangers' loves,

    You are so noble. To your highness' hand

    I tender my commission; by whose virtue,

    The court of Rome commanding, you, my lord

    Cardinal of York, are join'd with me their servant

    In the unpartial judging of this business.




    Two equal men. The queen shall be acquainted

    Forthwith for what you come. Where's Gardiner?




    I know your majesty has always loved her

    So dear in heart, not to deny her that

    A woman of less place might ask by law:

    Scholars allow'd freely to argue for her.




    Ay, and the best she shall have; and my favour

    To him that does best: God forbid else. Cardinal,

    Prithee, call Gardiner to me, my new secretary:

    I find him a fit fellow.








    [Aside to GARDINER] Give me your hand much joy and

    favour to you;

    You are the king's now.




    [Aside to CARDINAL WOLSEY]

    But to be commanded

    For ever by your grace, whose hand has raised me.




    Come hither, Gardiner.


    Walks and whispers




    My Lord of York, was not one Doctor Pace

    In this man's place before him?




    Yes, he was.




    Was he not held a learned man?




    Yes, surely.




    Believe me, there's an ill opinion spread then

    Even of yourself, lord cardinal.




    How! of me?




    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.




    Heaven's peace be with him!

    That's Christian care enough: for living murmurers

    There's places of rebuke. He was a fool;

    For he would needs be virtuous: that good fellow,

    If I command him, follows my appointment:

    I will have none so near else. Learn this, brother,

    We live not to be grip'd by meaner persons.




    Deliver this with modesty to the queen.



    The most convenient place that I can think of

    For such receipt of learning is Black-Friars;

    There ye shall meet about this weighty business.

    My Wolsey, see it furnish'd. O, my lord,

    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.




SCENE III. An ante-chamber of the QUEEN'S apartments.


    Enter ANNE and an Old Lady




    Not for that neither: here's the pang that pinches:

    His highness having lived so long with her, and she

    So good a lady that no tongue could ever

    Pronounce dishonour of her; by my life,

    She never knew harm-doing: O, now, after

    So many courses of the sun enthroned,

    Still growing in a majesty and pomp, the which

    To leave a thousand-fold more bitter than

    'Tis sweet at first to acquire,--after this process,

    To give her the avaunt! it is a pity

    Would move a monster.


Old Lady


    Hearts of most hard temper

    Melt and lament for her.




    O, God's will! much better

    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!

    She's a stranger now again.




    So much the more

    Must pity drop upon her. Verily,

    I swear, 'tis better to be lowly born,

    And range with humble livers in content,

    Than to be perk'd up in a glistering grief,

    And wear a golden sorrow.


Old Lady


    Our content

    Is our best having.




    By my troth and maidenhead,

    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,

    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,

    If you might please to stretch it.




    Nay, good troth.


Old Lady


    Yes, troth, and troth; you would not be a queen?




    No, not for all the riches under heaven.

    Old Lady: 'Tis strange: a three-pence bow'd would hire me,

    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?




    No, in truth.


Old Lady


    Then you are weakly made: pluck off a little;

    I would not be a young count in your way,

    For more than blushing comes to: if your back

    Cannot vouchsafe this burthen,'tis too weak

    Ever to get a boy.




    How you do talk!

    I swear again, I would not be a queen

    For all the world.


Old Lady


    In faith, for little England

    You'ld venture an emballing: I myself

    Would for Carnarvonshire, although there long'd

    No more to the crown but that. Lo, who comes here?


    Enter Chamberlain




    Good morrow, ladies. What were't worth to know

    The secret of your conference?




    My good lord,

    Not your demand; it values not your asking:

    Our mistress' sorrows we were pitying.




    It was a gentle business, and becoming

    The action of good women: there is hope

    All will be well.




    Now, I pray God, amen!




    You bear a gentle mind, and heavenly blessings

    Follow such creatures. That you may, fair lady,

    Perceive I speak sincerely, and high note's

    Ta'en of your many virtues, the king's majesty

    Commends his good opinion of you, and

    Does purpose honour to you no less flowing

    Than Marchioness of Pembroke: to which title

    A thousand pound a year, annual support,

    Out of his grace he adds.




    I do not know

    What kind of my obedience I should tender;

    More than my all is nothing: nor my prayers

    Are not words duly hallow'd, nor my wishes

    More worth than empty vanities; yet prayers and wishes

    Are all I can return. Beseech your lordship,

    Vouchsafe to speak my thanks and my obedience,

    As from a blushing handmaid, to his highness;

    Whose health and royalty I pray for.





    I shall not fail to approve the fair conceit

    The king hath of you.



    I have perused her well;

    Beauty and honour in her are so mingled

    That they have caught the king: and who knows yet

    But from this lady may proceed a gem

    To lighten all this isle? I'll to the king,

    And say I spoke with you.


    Exit Chamberlain




    My honour'd lord.


Old Lady


    Why, this it is; see, see!

    I have been begging sixteen years in court,

    Am yet a courtier beggarly, nor could

    Come pat betwixt too early and too late

    For any suit of pounds; and you, O fate!

    A very fresh-fish here--fie, fie, fie upon

    This compell'd fortune!--have your mouth fill'd up

    Before you open it.




    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,

    That would not be a queen, that would she not,

    For all the mud in Egypt: have you heard it?




    Come, you are pleasant.


Old Lady


    With your theme, I could

    O'ermount the lark. The Marchioness of Pembroke!

    A thousand pounds a year for pure respect!

    No other obligation! By my life,

    That promises moe thousands: honour's train

    Is longer than his foreskirt. By this time

    I know your back will bear a duchess: say,

    Are you not stronger than you were?




    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,

    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?



SCENE IV. A hall in Black-Friars.


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




    Whilst our commission from Rome is read,

    Let silence be commanded.




    What's the need?

    It hath already publicly been read,

    And on all sides the authority allow'd;

    You may, then, spare that time.




    Be't so. Proceed.




    Say, Henry King of England, come into the court.




    Henry King of England, & c.








    Say, Katharine Queen of England, come into the court.




    Katharine Queen of England, & c.


    QUEEN KATHARINE makes no answer, rises out of her chair, goes about the court, comes to KING HENRY VIII, and kneels at his feet; then speaks




    Sir, I desire you do me right and justice;

    And to bestow your pity on me: for

    I am a most poor woman, and a stranger,

    Born out of your dominions; having here

    No judge indifferent, nor no more assurance

    Of equal friendship and proceeding. Alas, sir,

    In what have I offended you? what cause

    Hath my behavior given to your displeasure,

    That thus you should proceed to put me off,

    And take your good grace from me? Heaven witness,

    I have been to you a true and humble wife,

    At all times to your will conformable;

    Ever in fear to kindle your dislike,

    Yea, subject to your countenance, glad or sorry

    As I saw it inclined: when was the hour

    I ever contradicted your desire,

    Or made it not mine too? Or which of your friends

    Have I not strove to love, although I knew

    He were mine enemy? what friend of mine

    That had to him derived your anger, did I

    Continue in my liking? nay, gave notice

    He was from thence discharged. Sir, call to mind

    That I have been your wife, in this obedience,

    Upward of twenty years, and have been blest

    With many children by you: if, in the course

    And process of this time, you can report,

    And prove it too, against mine honour aught,

    My bond to wedlock, or my love and duty,

    Against your sacred person, in God's name,

    Turn me away; and let the foul'st contempt

    Shut door upon me, and so give me up

    To the sharp'st kind of justice. Please you sir,

    The king, your father, was reputed for

    A prince most prudent, of an excellent

    And unmatch'd wit and judgment: Ferdinand,

    My father, king of Spain, was reckon'd one

    The wisest prince that there had reign'd by many

    A year before: it is not to be question'd

    That they had gather'd a wise council to them

    Of every realm, that did debate this business,

    Who deem'd our marriage lawful: wherefore I humbly

    Beseech you, sir, to spare me, till I may

    Be by my friends in Spain advised; whose counsel

    I will implore: if not, i' the name of God,

    Your pleasure be fulfill'd!




    You have here, lady,

    And of your choice, these reverend fathers; men

    Of singular integrity and learning,

    Yea, the elect o' the land, who are assembled

    To plead your cause: it shall be therefore bootless

    That longer you desire the court; as well

    For your own quiet, as to rectify

    What is unsettled in the king.




    His grace

    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.




    Lord cardinal,

    To you I speak.




    Your pleasure, madam?





    I am about to weep; but, thinking that

    We are a queen, or long have dream'd so, certain

    The daughter of a king, my drops of tears

    I'll turn to sparks of fire.




    Be patient yet.




    I will, when you are humble; nay, before,

    Or God will punish me. I do believe,

    Induced by potent circumstances, that

    You are mine enemy, and make my challenge

    You shall not be my judge: for it is you

    Have blown this coal betwixt my lord and me;

    Which God's dew quench! Therefore I say again,

    I utterly abhor, yea, from my soul

    Refuse you for my judge; whom, yet once more,

    I hold my most malicious foe, and think not

    At all a friend to truth.




    I do profess

    You speak not like yourself; who ever yet

    Have stood to charity, and display'd the effects

    Of disposition gentle, and of wisdom

    O'ertopping woman's power. Madam, you do me wrong:

    I have no spleen against you; nor injustice

    For you or any: how far I have proceeded,

    Or how far further shall, is warranted

    By a commission from the consistory,

    Yea, the whole consistory of Rome. You charge me

    That I have blown this coal: I do deny it:

    The king is present: if it be known to him

    That I gainsay my deed, how may he wound,

    And worthily, my falsehood! yea, as much

    As you have done my truth. If he know

    That I am free of your report, he knows

    I am not of your wrong. Therefore in him

    It lies to cure me: and the cure is, to

    Remove these thoughts from you: the which before

    His highness shall speak in, I do beseech

    You, gracious madam, to unthink your speaking

    And to say so no more.




    My lord, my lord,

    I am a simple woman, much too weak

    To oppose your cunning. You're meek and


    You sign your place and calling, in full seeming,

    With meekness and humility; but your heart

    Is cramm'd with arrogancy, spleen, and pride.

    You have, by fortune and his highness' favours,

    Gone slightly o'er low steps and now are mounted

    Where powers are your retainers, and your words,

    Domestics to you, serve your will as't please

    Yourself pronounce their office. I must tell you,

    You tender more your person's honour than

    Your high profession spiritual: that again

    I do refuse you for my judge; and here,

    Before you all, appeal unto the pope,

    To bring my whole cause 'fore his holiness,

    And to be judged by him.


    She curtsies to KING HENRY VIII, and offers to depart




    The queen is obstinate,

    Stubborn to justice, apt to accuse it, and

    Disdainful to be tried by't: 'tis not well.

    She's going away.




    Call her again.




    Katharine Queen of England, come into the court.




    Madam, you are call'd back.




    What need you note it? pray you, keep your way:

    When you are call'd, return. Now, the Lord help,

    They vex me past my patience! Pray you, pass on:

    I will not tarry; no, nor ever more

    Upon this business my appearance make

    In any of their courts.


    Exeunt QUEEN KATHARINE and her Attendants




    Go thy ways, Kate:

    That man i' the world who shall report he has

    A better wife, let him in nought be trusted,

    For speaking false in that: thou art, alone,

    If thy rare qualities, sweet gentleness,

    Thy meekness saint-like, wife-like government,

    Obeying in commanding, and thy parts

    Sovereign and pious else, could speak thee out,

    The queen of earthly queens: she's noble born;

    And, like her true nobility, she has

    Carried herself towards me.




    Most gracious sir,

    In humblest manner I require your highness,

    That it shall please you to declare, in hearing

    Of all these ears,--for where I am robb'd and bound,

    There must I be unloosed, although not there

    At once and fully satisfied,--whether ever I

    Did broach this business to your highness; or

    Laid any scruple in your way, which might

    Induce you to the question on't? or ever

    Have to you, but with thanks to God for such

    A royal lady, spake one the least word that might

    Be to the prejudice of her present state,

    Or touch of her good person?




    My lord cardinal,

    I do excuse you; yea, upon mine honour,

    I free you from't. You are not to be taught

    That you have many enemies, that know not

    Why they are so, but, like to village-curs,

    Bark when their fellows do: by some of these

    The queen is put in anger. You're excused:

    But will you be more justified? You ever

    Have wish'd the sleeping of this business; never desired

    It to be stirr'd; but oft have hinder'd, oft,

    The passages made toward it: on my honour,

    I speak my good lord cardinal to this point,

    And thus far clear him. Now, what moved me to't,

    I will be bold with time and your attention:

    Then mark the inducement. Thus it came; give heed to't:

    My conscience first received a tenderness,

    Scruple, and prick, on certain speeches utter'd

    By the Bishop of Bayonne, then French ambassador;

    Who had been hither sent on the debating

    A marriage 'twixt the Duke of Orleans and

    Our daughter Mary: i' the progress of this business,

    Ere a determinate resolution, he,

    I mean the bishop, did require a respite;

    Wherein he might the king his lord advertise

    Whether our daughter were legitimate,

    Respecting this our marriage with the dowager,

    Sometimes our brother's wife. This respite shook

    The bosom of my conscience, enter'd me,

    Yea, with a splitting power, and made to tremble

    The region of my breast; which forced such way,

    That many mazed considerings did throng

    And press'd in with this caution. First, methought

    I stood not in the smile of heaven; who had

    Commanded nature, that my lady's womb,

    If it conceived a male child by me, should

    Do no more offices of life to't than

    The grave does to the dead; for her male issue

    Or died where they were made, or shortly after

    This world had air'd them: hence I took a thought,

    This was a judgment on me; that my kingdom,

    Well worthy the best heir o' the world, should not

    Be gladded in't by me: then follows, that

    I weigh'd the danger which my realms stood in

    By this my issue's fail; and that gave to me

    Many a groaning throe. Thus hulling in

    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,--

    By all the reverend fathers of the land

    And doctors learn'd: first I began in private

    With you, my Lord of Lincoln; you remember

    How under my oppression I did reek,

    When I first moved you.




    Very well, my liege.




    I have spoke long: be pleased yourself to say

    How far you satisfied me.




    So please your highness,

    The question did at first so stagger me,

    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.




    I then moved you,

    My Lord of Canterbury; and got your leave

    To make this present summons: unsolicited

    I left no reverend person in this court;

    But by particular consent proceeded

    Under your hands and seals: therefore, go on:

    For no dislike i' the world against the person

    Of the good queen, but the sharp thorny points

    Of my alleged reasons, drive this forward:

    Prove but our marriage lawful, by my life

    And kingly dignity, we are contented

    To wear our mortal state to come with her,

    Katharine our queen, before the primest creature

    That's paragon'd o' the world.




    So please your highness,

    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.




    [Aside] I may perceive

    These cardinals trifle with me: I abhor

    This dilatory sloth and tricks of Rome.

    My learn'd and well-beloved servant, Cranmer,

    Prithee, return: with thy approach, I know,

    My comfort comes along. Break up the court:

    I say, set on.


    Exeunt in manner as they entered



SCENE I. London. QUEEN KATHARINE's apartments.


    Enter QUEEN KATHARINE and her Women, as at work




    Take thy lute, wench: my soul grows sad with troubles;

    Sing, and disperse 'em, if thou canst: leave working.



    Orpheus with his lute made trees,

    And the mountain tops that freeze,

    Bow themselves when he did sing:

    To his music plants and flowers

    Ever sprung; as sun and showers

    There had made a lasting spring.

    Every thing that heard him play,

    Even the billows of the sea,

    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




    How now!




    An't please your grace, the two great cardinals

    Wait in the presence.




    Would they speak with me?




    They will'd me say so, madam.




    Pray their graces

    To come near.


    Exit Gentleman

    What can be their business

    With me, a poor weak woman, fall'n from favour?

    I do not like their coming. Now I think on't,

    They should be good men; their affairs as righteous:

    But all hoods make not monks.






    Peace to your highness!




    Your graces find me here part of a housewife,

    I would be all, against the worst may happen.

    What are your pleasures with me, reverend lords?




    May it please you noble madam, to withdraw

    Into your private chamber, we shall give you

    The full cause of our coming.




    Speak it here:

    There's nothing I have done yet, o' my conscience,

    Deserves a corner: would all other women

    Could speak this with as free a soul as I do!

    My lords, I care not, so much I am happy

    Above a number, if my actions

    Were tried by every tongue, every eye saw 'em,

    Envy and base opinion set against 'em,

    I know my life so even. If your business

    Seek me out, and that way I am wife in,

    Out with it boldly: truth loves open dealing.




    Tanta est erga te mentis integritas, regina





    O, good my lord, no Latin;

    I am not such a truant since my coming,

    As not to know the language I have lived in:

    A strange tongue makes my cause more strange,


    Pray, speak in English: here are some will thank you,

    If you speak truth, for their poor mistress' sake;

    Believe me, she has had much wrong: lord cardinal,

    The willing'st sin I ever yet committed

    May be absolved in English.




    Noble lady,

    I am sorry my integrity should breed,

    And service to his majesty and you,

    So deep suspicion, where all faith was meant.

    We come not by the way of accusation,

    To taint that honour every good tongue blesses,

    Nor to betray you any way to sorrow,

    You have too much, good lady; but to know

    How you stand minded in the weighty difference

    Between the king and you; and to deliver,

    Like free and honest men, our just opinions

    And comforts to your cause.




    Most honour'd madam,

    My Lord of York, out of his noble nature,

    Zeal and obedience he still bore your grace,

    Forgetting, like a good man your late censure

    Both of his truth and him, which was too far,

    Offers, as I do, in a sign of peace,

    His service and his counsel.




    [Aside] To betray me.--

    My lords, I thank you both for your good wills;

    Ye speak like honest men; pray God, ye prove so!

    But how to make ye suddenly an answer,

    In such a point of weight, so near mine honour,--

    More near my life, I fear,--with my weak wit,

    And to such men of gravity and learning,

    In truth, I know not. I was set at work

    Among my maids: full little, God knows, looking

    Either for such men or such business.

    For her sake that I have been,--for I feel

    The last fit of my greatness,--good your graces,

    Let me have time and counsel for my cause:

    Alas, I am a woman, friendless, hopeless!




    Madam, you wrong the king's love with these fears:

    Your hopes and friends are infinite.




    In England

    But little for my profit: can you think, lords,

    That any Englishman dare give me counsel?

    Or be a known friend, 'gainst his highness' pleasure,

    Though he be grown so desperate to be honest,

    And live a subject? Nay, forsooth, my friends,

    They that must weigh out my afflictions,

    They that my trust must grow to, live not here:

    They are, as all my other comforts, far hence

    In mine own country, lords.




    I would your grace

    Would leave your griefs, and take my counsel.




    How, sir?




    Put your main cause into the king's protection;

    He's loving and most gracious: 'twill be much

    Both for your honour better and your cause;

    For if the trial of the law o'ertake ye,

    You'll part away disgraced.




    He tells you rightly.




    Ye tell me what ye wish for both,--my ruin:

    Is this your Christian counsel? out upon ye!

    Heaven is above all yet; there sits a judge

    That no king can corrupt.




    Your rage mistakes us.




    The more shame for ye: holy men I thought ye,

    Upon my soul, two reverend cardinal virtues;

    But cardinal sins and hollow hearts I fear ye:

    Mend 'em, for shame, my lords. Is this your comfort?

    The cordial that ye bring a wretched lady,

    A woman lost among ye, laugh'd at, scorn'd?

    I will not wish ye half my miseries;

    I have more charity: but say, I warn'd ye;

    Take heed, for heaven's sake, take heed, lest at once

    The burthen of my sorrows fall upon ye.




    Madam, this is a mere distraction;

    You turn the good we offer into envy.




    Ye turn me into nothing: woe upon ye

    And all such false professors! would you have me--

    If you have any justice, any pity;

    If ye be any thing but churchmen's habits--

    Put my sick cause into his hands that hates me?

    Alas, has banish'd me his bed already,

    His love, too long ago! I am old, my lords,

    And all the fellowship I hold now with him

    Is only my obedience. What can happen

    To me above this wretchedness? all your studies

    Make me a curse like this.




    Your fears are worse.




    Have I lived thus long--let me speak myself,

    Since virtue finds no friends--a wife, a true one?

    A woman, I dare say without vain-glory,

    Never yet branded with suspicion?

    Have I with all my full affections

    Still met the king? loved him next heaven?

    obey'd him?

    Been, out of fondness, superstitious to him?

    Almost forgot my prayers to content him?

    And am I thus rewarded? 'tis not well, lords.

    Bring me a constant woman to her husband,

    One that ne'er dream'd a joy beyond his pleasure;

    And to that woman, when she has done most,

    Yet will I add an honour, a great patience.




    Madam, you wander from the good we aim at.




    My lord, I dare not make myself so guilty,

    To give up willingly that noble title

    Your master wed me to: nothing but death

    Shall e'er divorce my dignities.




    Pray, hear me.




    Would I had never trod this English earth,

    Or felt the flatteries that grow upon it!

    Ye have angels' faces, but heaven knows your hearts.

    What will become of me now, wretched lady!

    I am the most unhappy woman living.

    Alas, poor wenches, where are now your fortunes!

    Shipwreck'd upon a kingdom, where no pity,

    No friend, no hope; no kindred weep for me;

    Almost no grave allow'd me: like the lily,

    That once was mistress of the field and flourish'd,

    I'll hang my head and perish.




    If your grace

    Could but be brought to know our ends are honest,

    You'ld feel more comfort: why should we, good lady,

    Upon what cause, wrong you? alas, our places,

    The way of our profession is against it:

    We are to cure such sorrows, not to sow 'em.

    For goodness' sake, consider what you do;

    How you may hurt yourself, ay, utterly

    Grow from the king's acquaintance, by this carriage.

    The hearts of princes kiss obedience,

    So much they love it; but to stubborn spirits

    They swell, and grow as terrible as storms.

    I know you have a gentle, noble temper,

    A soul as even as a calm: pray, think us

    Those we profess, peace-makers, friends, and servants.




    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 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.




    Do what ye will, my lords: and, pray, forgive me,

    If I have used myself unmannerly;

    You know I am a woman, lacking wit

    To make a seemly answer to such persons.

    Pray, do my service to his majesty:

    He has my heart yet; and shall have my prayers

    While I shall have my life. Come, reverend fathers,

    Bestow your counsels on me: she now begs,

    That little thought, when she set footing here,

    She should have bought her dignities so dear.




SCENE II. Ante-chamber to KING HENRY VIII's apartment.


    Enter NORFOLK, SUFFOLK, SURREY, and Chamberlain




    If you will now unite in your complaints,

    And force them with a constancy, the cardinal

    Cannot stand under them: if you omit

    The offer of this time, I cannot promise

    But that you shall sustain moe new disgraces,

    With these you bear already.




    I am joyful

    To meet the least occasion that may give me

    Remembrance of my father-in-law, the duke,

    To be revenged on him.




    Which of the peers

    Have uncontemn'd gone by him, or at least

    Strangely neglected? when did he regard

    The stamp of nobleness in any person

    Out of himself?




    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

    Bar his access to the king, never attempt

    Any thing on him; for he hath a witchcraft

    Over the king in's tongue.




    O, fear him not;

    His spell in that is out: the king hath found

    Matter against him that for ever mars

    The honey of his language. No, he's settled,

    Not to come off, in his displeasure.





    I should be glad to hear such news as this

    Once every hour.




    Believe it, this is true:

    In the divorce his contrary proceedings

    Are all unfolded wherein he appears

    As I would wish mine enemy.




    How came

    His practises to light?




    Most strangely.




    O, how, how?




    The cardinal's letters to the pope miscarried,

    And came to the eye o' the king: wherein was read,

    How that the cardinal did entreat his holiness

    To stay the judgment o' the divorce; for if

    It did take place, 'I do,' quoth he, 'perceive

    My king is tangled in affection to

    A creature of the queen's, Lady Anne Bullen.'




    Has the king this?




    Believe it.




    Will this work?




    The king in this perceives him, how he coasts

    And hedges his own way. But in this point

    All his tricks founder, and he brings his physic

    After his patient's death: the king already

    Hath married the fair lady.




    Would he had!




    May you be happy in your wish, my lord

    For, I profess, you have it.




    Now, all my joy

    Trace the conjunction!




    My amen to't!




    All men's!




    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

    In mind and feature: I persuade me, from her

    Will fall some blessing to this land, which shall

    In it be memorised.




    But, will the king

    Digest this letter of the cardinal's?

    The Lord forbid!




    Marry, amen!




    No, no;

    There be moe wasps that buzz about his nose

    Will make this sting the sooner. Cardinal Campeius

    Is stol'n away to Rome; hath ta'en no leave;

    Has left the cause o' the king unhandled; and

    Is posted, as the agent of our cardinal,

    To second all his plot. I do assure you

    The king cried Ha! at this.




    Now, God incense him,

    And let him cry Ha! louder!




    But, my lord,

    When returns Cranmer?




    He is return'd in his opinions; which

    Have satisfied the king for his divorce,

    Together with all famous colleges

    Almost in Christendom: shortly, I believe,

    His second marriage shall be publish'd, and

    Her coronation. Katharine no more

    Shall be call'd queen, but princess dowager

    And widow to Prince Arthur.




    This same Cranmer's

    A worthy fellow, and hath ta'en much pain

    In the king's business.




    He has; and we shall see him

    For it an archbishop.




    So I hear.




    'Tis so.

    The cardinal!






    Observe, observe, he's moody.




    The packet, Cromwell.

    Gave't you the king?




    To his own hand, in's bedchamber.




    Look'd he o' the inside of the paper?





    He did unseal them: and the first he view'd,

    He did it with a serious mind; a heed

    Was in his countenance. You he bade

    Attend him here this morning.




    Is he ready

    To come abroad?




    I think, by this he is.




    Leave me awhile.





    It shall be to the Duchess of Alencon,

    The French king's sister: he shall marry her.

    Anne Bullen! No; I'll no Anne Bullens for him:

    There's more in't than fair visage. Bullen!

    No, we'll no Bullens. Speedily I wish

    To hear from Rome. The Marchioness of Pembroke!




    He's discontented.




    May be, he hears the king

    Does whet his anger to him.




    Sharp enough,

    Lord, for thy justice!




    [Aside] The late queen's gentlewoman,

    a knight's daughter,

    To be her mistress' mistress! the queen's queen!

    This candle burns not clear: 'tis I must snuff it;

    Then out it goes. What though I know her virtuous

    And well deserving? yet I know her for

    A spleeny Lutheran; and not wholesome to

    Our cause, that she should lie i' the bosom of

    Our hard-ruled king. Again, there is sprung up

    An heretic, an arch one, Cranmer; one

    Hath crawl'd into the favour of the king,

    And is his oracle.




    He is vex'd at something.




    I would 'twere something that would fret the string,

    The master-cord on's heart!


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




    The king, the king!




    What piles of wealth hath he accumulated

    To his own portion! and what expense by the hour

    Seems to flow from him! How, i' the name of thrift,

    Does he rake this together! Now, my lords,

    Saw you the cardinal?




    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,

    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.




    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?

    Forsooth, an inventory, thus importing;

    The several parcels of his plate, his treasure,

    Rich stuffs, and ornaments of household; which

    I find at such proud rate, that it out-speaks

    Possession of a subject.




    It's heaven's will:

    Some spirit put this paper in the packet,

    To bless your eye withal.




    If we did think

    His contemplation were above the earth,

    And fix'd on spiritual object, he should still

    Dwell in his musings: but I am afraid

    His thinkings are below the moon, not worth

    His serious considering.


    King HENRY VIII takes his seat; whispers LOVELL, who goes to CARDINAL WOLSEY




    Heaven forgive me!

    Ever God bless your highness!




    Good my lord,

    You are full of heavenly stuff, and bear the inventory

    Of your best graces in your mind; the which

    You were now running o'er: you have scarce time

    To steal from spiritual leisure a brief span

    To keep your earthly audit: sure, in that

    I deem you an ill husband, and am glad

    To have you therein my companion.





    For holy offices I have a time; a time

    To think upon the part of business which

    I bear i' the state; and nature does require

    Her times of preservation, which perforce

    I, her frail son, amongst my brethren mortal,

    Must give my tendence to.




    You have said well.




    And ever may your highness yoke together,

    As I will lend you cause, my doing well

    With my well saying!




    'Tis well said again;

    And 'tis a kind of good deed to say well:

    And yet words are no deeds. My father loved you:

    His said he did; and with his deed did crown

    His word upon you. Since I had my office,

    I have kept you next my heart; have not alone

    Employ'd you where high profits might come home,

    But pared my present havings, to bestow

    My bounties upon you.




    [Aside] What should this mean?




    [Aside] The Lord increase this business!




    Have I not made you,

    The prime man of the state? I pray you, tell me,

    If what I now pronounce you have found true:

    And, if you may confess it, say withal,

    If you are bound to us or no. What say you?




    My sovereign, I confess your royal graces,

    Shower'd on me daily, have been more than could

    My studied purposes requite; which went

    Beyond all man's endeavours: my endeavours

    Have ever come too short of my desires,

    Yet filed with my abilities: mine own ends

    Have been mine so that evermore they pointed

    To the good of your most sacred person and

    The profit of the state. For your great graces

    Heap'd upon me, poor undeserver, I

    Can nothing render but allegiant thanks,

    My prayers to heaven for you, my loyalty,

    Which ever has and ever shall be growing,

    Till death, that winter, kill it.




    Fairly answer'd;

    A loyal and obedient subject is

    Therein illustrated: the honour of it

    Does pay the act of it; as, i' the contrary,

    The foulness is the punishment. I presume

    That, as my hand has open'd bounty to you,

    My heart dropp'd love, my power rain'd honour, more

    On you than any; so your hand and heart,

    Your brain, and every function of your power,

    Should, notwithstanding that your bond of duty,

    As 'twere in love's particular, be more

    To me, your friend, than any.




    I do profess

    That for your highness' good I ever labour'd

    More than mine own; that am, have, and will be--

    Though all the world should crack their duty to you,

    And throw it from their soul; though perils did

    Abound, as thick as thought could make 'em, and

    Appear in forms more horrid,--yet my duty,

    As doth a rock against the chiding flood,

    Should the approach of this wild river break,

    And stand unshaken yours.




    'Tis nobly spoken:

    Take notice, lords, he has a loyal breast,

    For you have seen him open't. Read o'er this;


    Giving him papers

    And after, this: and then to breakfast with

    What appetite you have.


    Exit KING HENRY VIII, frowning upon CARDINAL WOLSEY: the Nobles throng after him, smiling and whispering




    What should this mean?

    What sudden anger's this? how have I reap'd it?

    He parted frowning from me, as if ruin

    Leap'd from his eyes: so looks the chafed lion

    Upon the daring huntsman that has gall'd him;

    Then makes him nothing. I must read this paper;

    I fear, the story of his anger. 'Tis so;

    This paper has undone me: 'tis the account

    Of all that world of wealth I have drawn together

    For mine own ends; indeed, to gain the popedom,

    And fee my friends in Rome. O negligence!

    Fit for a fool to fall by: what cross devil

    Made me put this main secret in the packet

    I sent the king? Is there no way to cure this?

    No new device to beat this from his brains?

    I know 'twill stir him strongly; yet I know

    A way, if it take right, in spite of fortune

    Will bring me off again. What's this? 'To the Pope!'

    The letter, as I live, with all the business

    I writ to's holiness. Nay then, farewell!

    I have touch'd the highest point of all my greatness;

    And, from that full meridian of my glory,

    I haste now to my setting: I shall fall

    Like a bright exhalation m the evening,

    And no man see me more.


    Re-enter to CARDINAL WOLSEY, NORFOLK and SUFFOLK, SURREY, and the Chamberlain




    Hear the king's pleasure, cardinal: who commands you

    To render up the great seal presently

    Into our hands; and to confine yourself

    To Asher House, my Lord of Winchester's,

    Till you hear further from his highness.





    Where's your commission, lords? words cannot carry

    Authority so weighty.




    Who dare cross 'em,

    Bearing the king's will from his mouth expressly?




    Till I find more than will or words to do it,

    I mean your malice, know, officious lords,

    I dare and must deny it. Now I feel

    Of what coarse metal ye are moulded, envy:

    How eagerly ye follow my disgraces,

    As if it fed ye! and how sleek and wanton

    Ye appear in every thing may bring my ruin!

    Follow your envious courses, men of malice;

    You have Christian warrant for 'em, and, no doubt,

    In time will find their fit rewards. That seal,

    You ask with such a violence, the king,

    Mine and your master, with his own hand gave me;

    Bade me enjoy it, with the place and honours,

    During my life; and, to confirm his goodness,

    Tied it by letters-patents: now, who'll take it?




    The king, that gave it.




    It must be himself, then.




    Thou art a proud traitor, priest.




    Proud lord, thou liest:

    Within these forty hours Surrey durst better

    Have burnt that tongue than said so.




    Thy ambition,

    Thou scarlet sin, robb'd this bewailing land

    Of noble Buckingham, my father-in-law:

    The heads of all thy brother cardinals,

    With thee and all thy best parts bound together,

    Weigh'd not a hair of his. Plague of your policy!

    You sent me deputy for Ireland;

    Far from his succor, from the king, from all

    That might have mercy on the fault thou gavest him;

    Whilst your great goodness, out of holy pity,

    Absolved him with an axe.




    This, and all else

    This talking lord can lay upon my credit,

    I answer is most false. The duke by law

    Found his deserts: how innocent I was

    From any private malice in his end,

    His noble jury and foul cause can witness.

    If I loved many words, lord, I should tell you

    You have as little honesty as honour,

    That in the way of loyalty and truth

    Toward the king, my ever royal master,

    Dare mate a sounder man than Surrey can be,

    And all that love his follies.




    By my soul,

    Your long coat, priest, protects you; thou

    shouldst feel

    My sword i' the life-blood of thee else. My lords,

    Can ye endure to hear this arrogance?

    And from this fellow? if we live thus tamely,

    To be thus jaded by a piece of scarlet,

    Farewell nobility; let his grace go forward,

    And dare us with his cap like larks.




    All goodness

    Is poison to thy stomach.




    Yes, that goodness

    Of gleaning all the land's wealth into one,

    Into your own hands, cardinal, by extortion;

    The goodness of your intercepted packets

    You writ to the pope against the king: your goodness,

    Since you provoke me, shall be most notorious.

    My Lord of Norfolk, as you are truly noble,

    As you respect the common good, the state

    Of our despised nobility, our issues,

    Who, if he live, will scarce be gentlemen,

    Produce the grand sum of his sins, the articles

    Collected from his life. I'll startle you

    Worse than the scaring bell, when the brown wench

    Lay kissing in your arms, lord cardinal.




    How much, methinks, I could despise this man,

    But that I am bound in charity against it!




    Those articles, my lord, are in the king's hand:

    But, thus much, they are foul ones.




    So much fairer

    And spotless shall mine innocence arise,

    When the king knows my truth.




    This cannot save you:

    I thank my memory, I yet remember

    Some of these articles; and out they shall.

    Now, if you can blush and cry 'guilty,' cardinal,

    You'll show a little honesty.




    Speak on, sir;

    I dare your worst objections: if I blush,

    It is to see a nobleman want manners.




    I had rather want those than my head. Have at you!

    First, that, without the king's assent or knowledge,

    You wrought to be a legate; by which power

    You maim'd the jurisdiction of all bishops.




    Then, that in all you writ to Rome, or else

    To foreign princes, 'Ego et Rex meus'

    Was still inscribed; in which you brought the king

    To be your servant.




    Then that, without the knowledge

    Either of king or council, when you went

    Ambassador to the emperor, you made bold

    To carry into Flanders the great seal.




    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.




    That, out of mere ambition, you have caused

    Your holy hat to be stamp'd on the king's coin.




    Then that you have sent innumerable substance--

    By what means got, I leave to your own conscience--

    To furnish Rome, and to prepare the ways

    You have for dignities; to the mere undoing

    Of all the kingdom. Many more there are;

    Which, since they are of you, and odious,

    I will not taint my mouth with.




    O my lord,

    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.




    I forgive him.




    Lord cardinal, the king's further pleasure is,

    Because all those things you have done of late,

    By your power legatine, within this kingdom,

    Fall into the compass of a praemunire,

    That therefore such a writ be sued against you;

    To forfeit all your goods, lands, tenements,

    Chattels, and whatsoever, and to be

    Out of the king's protection. This is my charge.




    And so we'll leave you to your meditations

    How to live better. For your stubborn answer

    About the giving back the great seal to us,

    The king shall know it, and, no doubt, shall thank you.

    So fare you well, my little good lord cardinal.


    Exeunt all but CARDINAL WOLSEY




    So farewell to the little good you bear me.

    Farewell! a long farewell, to all my greatness!

    This is the state of man: to-day he puts forth

    The tender leaves of hopes; to-morrow blossoms,

    And bears his blushing honours thick upon him;

    The third day comes a frost, a killing frost,

    And, when he thinks, good easy man, full surely

    His greatness is a-ripening, nips his root,

    And then he falls, as I do. I have ventured,

    Like little wanton boys that swim on bladders,

    This many summers in a sea of glory,

    But far beyond my depth: my high-blown pride

    At length broke under me and now has left me,

    Weary and old with service, to the mercy

    Of a rude stream, that must for ever hide me.

    Vain pomp and glory of this world, I hate ye:

    I feel my heart new open'd. O, how wretched

    Is that poor man that hangs on princes' favours!

    There is, betwixt that smile we would aspire to,

    That sweet aspect of princes, and their ruin,

    More pangs and fears than wars or women have:

    And when he falls, he falls like Lucifer,

    Never to hope again.


    Enter CROMWELL, and stands amazed

    Why, how now, Cromwell!




    I have no power to speak, sir.




    What, amazed

    At my misfortunes? can thy spirit wonder

    A great man should decline? Nay, an you weep,

    I am fall'n indeed.




    How does your grace?




    Why, well;

    Never so truly happy, my good Cromwell.

    I know myself now; and I feel within me

    A peace above all earthly dignities,

    A still and quiet conscience. The king has cured me,

    I humbly thank his grace; and from these shoulders,

    These ruin'd pillars, out of pity, taken

    A load would sink a navy, too much honour:

    O, 'tis a burthen, Cromwell, 'tis a burthen

    Too heavy for a man that hopes for heaven!




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




    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?




    The heaviest and the worst

    Is your displeasure with the king.




    God bless him!




    The next is, that Sir Thomas More is chosen

    Lord chancellor in your place.




    That's somewhat sudden:

    But he's a learned man. May he continue

    Long in his highness' favour, and do justice

    For truth's sake and his conscience; that his bones,

    When he has run his course and sleeps in blessings,

    May have a tomb of orphans' tears wept on em! What more?




    That Cranmer is return'd with welcome,

    Install'd lord archbishop of Canterbury.




    That's news indeed.




    Last, that the Lady Anne,

    Whom the king hath in secrecy long married,

    This day was view'd in open as his queen,

    Going to chapel; and the voice is now

    Only about her coronation.




    There was the weight that pull'd me down. O Cromwell,

    The king has gone beyond me: all my glories

    In that one woman I have lost for ever:

    No sun shall ever usher forth mine honours,

    Or gild again the noble troops that waited

    Upon my smiles. Go, get thee from me, Cromwell;

    I am a poor fall'n man, unworthy now

    To be thy lord and master: seek the king;

    That sun, I pray, may never set! I have told him

    What and how true thou art: he will advance thee;

    Some little memory of me will stir him--

    I know his noble nature--not to let

    Thy hopeful service perish too: good Cromwell,

    Neglect him not; make use now, and provide

    For thine own future safety.




    O my lord,

    Must I, then, leave you? must I needs forego

    So good, so noble and so true a master?

    Bear witness, all that have not hearts of iron,

    With what a sorrow Cromwell leaves his lord.

    The king shall have my service: but my prayers

    For ever and for ever shall be yours.




    Cromwell, I did not think to shed a tear

    In all my miseries; but thou hast forced me,

    Out of thy honest truth, to play the woman.

    Let's dry our eyes: and thus far hear me, Cromwell;

    And, when I am forgotten, as I shall be,

    And sleep in dull cold marble, where no mention

    Of me more must be heard of, say, I taught thee,

    Say, Wolsey, that once trod the ways of glory,

    And sounded all the depths and shoals of honour,

    Found thee a way, out of his wreck, to rise in;

    A sure and safe one, though thy master miss'd it.

    Mark but my fall, and that that ruin'd me.

    Cromwell, I charge thee, fling away ambition:

    By that sin fell the angels; how can man, then,

    The image of his Maker, hope to win by it?

    Love thyself last: cherish those hearts that hate thee;

    Corruption wins not more than honesty.

    Still in thy right hand carry gentle peace,

    To silence envious tongues. Be just, and fear not:

    Let all the ends thou aim'st at be thy country's,

    Thy God's, and truth's; then if thou fall'st,

    O Cromwell,

    Thou fall'st a blessed martyr! Serve the king;

    And,--prithee, lead me in:

    There take an inventory of all I have,

    To the last penny; 'tis the king's: my robe,

    And my integrity to heaven, is all

    I dare now call mine own. O Cromwell, Cromwell!

    Had I but served my God with half the zeal

    I served my king, he would not in mine age

    Have left me naked to mine enemies.




    Good sir, have patience.




    So I have. Farewell

    The hopes of court! my hopes in heaven do dwell.





SCENE I. A street in Westminster.


    Enter two Gentlemen, meeting one another


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


    'Tis all my business. At our last encounter,

    The Duke of Buckingham came from his trial.


First Gentleman


    'Tis very true: but that time offer'd sorrow;

    This, general joy.


Second Gentleman


    'Tis well: the citizens,

    I am sure, have shown at full their royal minds--

    As, let 'em have their rights, they are ever forward--

    In celebration of this day with shows,

    Pageants and sights of honour.


First Gentleman


    Never greater,

    Nor, I'll assure you, better taken, sir.


Second Gentleman


    May I be bold to ask at what that contains,

    That paper in your hand?


First Gentleman


    Yes; 'tis the list

    Of those that claim their offices this day

    By custom of the coronation.

    The Duke of Suffolk is the first, and claims

    To be high-steward; next, the Duke of Norfolk,

    He to be earl marshal: you may read the rest.


Second Gentleman


    I thank you, sir: had I not known those customs,

    I should have been beholding to your paper.

    But, I beseech you, what's become of Katharine,

    The princess dowager? how goes her business?


First Gentleman


    That I can tell you too. The Archbishop

    Of Canterbury, accompanied with other

    Learned and reverend fathers of his order,

    Held a late court at Dunstable, six miles off

    From Ampthill where the princess lay; to which

    She was often cited by them, but appear'd not:

    And, to be short, for not appearance and

    The king's late scruple, by the main assent

    Of all these learned men she was divorced,

    And the late marriage made of none effect

    Since which she was removed to Kimbolton,

    Where she remains now sick.


Second Gentleman


    Alas, good lady!



    The trumpets sound: stand close, the queen is coming.





    1. A lively flourish of Trumpets.

    2. Then, two Judges.

    3. Lord Chancellor, with the purse and mace

    before him.

    4. Choristers, singing.



    5. Mayor of London, bearing the mace. Then

    Garter, in his coat of arms, and on his

    head a gilt copper crown.

    6. Marquess Dorset, bearing a sceptre of gold,

    on his head a demi-coronal of gold. With

    him, SURREY, bearing the rod of silver with

    the dove, crowned with an earl's coronet.

    Collars of SS.

    7. SUFFOLK, in his robe of estate, his coronet

    on his head, bearing a long white wand, as

    high-steward. With him, NORFOLK, with the

    rod of marshalship, a coronet on his head.

    Collars of SS.

    8. A canopy borne by four of the Cinque-ports;

    under it, QUEEN ANNE in her robe; in her hair

    richly adorned with pearl, crowned. On each

    side her, the Bishops of London and


    9. The old Duchess of Norfolk, in a coronal of

    gold, wrought with flowers, bearing QUEEN

    ANNE's train.

    10. Certain Ladies or Countesses, with plain

    circlets of gold without flowers.


    They pass over the stage in order and state


Second Gentleman


    A royal train, believe me. These I know:

    Who's that that bears the sceptre?


First Gentleman


    Marquess Dorset:

    And that the Earl of Surrey, with the rod.


Second Gentleman


    A bold brave gentleman. That should be

    The Duke of Suffolk?


First Gentleman


    'Tis the same: high-steward.


Second Gentleman


    And that my Lord of Norfolk?


First Gentleman




Second Gentleman


    Heaven bless thee!


    Looking on QUEEN ANNE

    Thou hast the sweetest face I ever look'd on.

    Sir, as I have a soul, she is an angel;

    Our king has all the Indies in his arms,

    And more and richer, when he strains that lady:

    I cannot blame his conscience.


First Gentleman


    They that bear

    The cloth of honour over her, are four barons

    Of the Cinque-ports.


Second Gentleman


    Those men are happy; and so are all are near her.

    I take it, she that carries up the train

    Is that old noble lady, Duchess of Norfolk.


First Gentleman


    It is; and all the rest are countesses.


Second Gentleman


    Their coronets say so. These are stars indeed;

    And sometimes falling ones.


First Gentleman


    No more of that.


    Exit procession, 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' the Abbey; where a finger

    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


    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

    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.

    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--

    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,

    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 follow'd?


Third Gentleman


    At length her grace rose, and with modest paces

    Came to the altar; where she kneel'd, and saint-like

    Cast her fair eyes to heaven and pray'd devoutly.

    Then rose again and bow'd her to the people:

    When by the Archbishop of Canterbury

    She had all the royal makings of a queen;

    As holy oil, Edward Confessor's crown,

    The rod, and bird of peace, and all such emblems

    Laid nobly on her: which perform'd, the choir,

    With all the choicest music of the kingdom,

    Together sung 'Te Deum.' So she parted,

    And with the same full state paced back again

    To York-place, where the feast is held.


First Gentleman



    You must no more call it York-place, that's past;

    For, since the cardinal fell, that title's lost:

    'Tis now the king's, and call'd Whitehall.


Third Gentleman


    I know it;

    But 'tis so lately alter'd, that the old name

    Is fresh about me.


Second Gentleman


    What two reverend bishops

    Were those that went on each side of the queen?


Third Gentleman


    Stokesly and Gardiner; the one of Winchester,

    Newly preferr'd from the king's secretary,

    The other, London.


Second Gentleman


    He of Winchester

    Is held no great good lover of the archbishop's,

    The virtuous Cranmer.


Third Gentleman


    All the land knows that:

    However, yet there is no great breach; when it comes,

    Cranmer will find a friend will not shrink from him.


Second Gentleman


    Who may that be, I pray you?


Third Gentleman


    Thomas Cromwell;

    A man in much esteem with the king, and truly

    A worthy friend. The king has made him master

    O' the jewel house,

    And one, already, of the privy council.


Second Gentleman


    He will deserve more.


Third Gentleman


    Yes, without all doubt.

    Come, gentlemen, ye shall go my way, which

    Is to the court, and there ye shall be my guests:

    Something I can command. As I walk thither,

    I'll tell ye more.




    You may command us, sir.




SCENE II. Kimbolton.


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




    How does your grace?




    O Griffith, sick to death!

    My legs, like loaden branches, bow to the earth,

    Willing to leave their burthen. Reach a chair:

    So; now, methinks, I feel a little ease.

    Didst thou not tell me, Griffith, as thou led'st me,

    That the great child of honour, Cardinal Wolsey, Was dead?




    Yes, madam; but I think your grace,

    Out of the pain you suffer'd, gave no ear to't.




    Prithee, good Griffith, tell me how he died:

    If well, he stepp'd before me, happily

    For my example.




    Well, the voice goes, madam:

    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.




    Alas, poor man!




    At last, with easy roads, he came to Leicester,

    Lodged in the abbey; where the reverend abbot,

    With all his covent, honourably received him;

    To whom he gave these words, 'O, father abbot,

    An old man, broken with the storms of state,

    Is come to lay his weary bones among ye;

    Give him a little earth for charity!'

    So went to bed; where eagerly his sickness

    Pursued him still: and, three nights after this,

    About the hour of eight, which he himself

    Foretold should be his last, full of repentance,

    Continual meditations, tears, and sorrows,

    He gave his honours to the world again,

    His blessed part to heaven, and slept in peace.




    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,

    Tied all the kingdom: simony was fair-play;

    His own opinion was his law: i' the presence

    He would say untruths; and be ever double

    Both in his words and meaning: he was never,

    But where he meant to ruin, pitiful:

    His promises were, as he then was, mighty;

    But his performance, as he is now, nothing:

    Of his own body he was ill, and gave

    The clergy in example.




    Noble madam,

    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?




    Yes, good Griffith;

    I were malicious else.




    This cardinal,

    Though from an humble stock, undoubtedly

    Was fashion'd to much honour from his cradle.

    He was a scholar, and a ripe and good one;

    Exceeding wise, fair-spoken, and persuading:

    Lofty and sour to them that loved him not;

    But to those men that sought him sweet as summer.

    And though he were unsatisfied in getting,

    Which was a sin, yet in bestowing, madam,

    He was most princely: ever witness for him

    Those twins Of learning that he raised in you,

    Ipswich and Oxford! one of which fell with him,

    Unwilling to outlive the good that did it;

    The other, though unfinish'd, yet so famous,

    So excellent in art, and still so rising,

    That Christendom shall ever speak his virtue.

    His overthrow heap'd happiness upon him;

    For then, and not till then, he felt himself,

    And found the blessedness of being little:

    And, to add greater honours to his age

    Than man could give him, he died fearing God.




    After my death I wish no other herald,

    No other speaker of my living actions,

    To keep mine honour from corruption,

    But such an honest chronicler as Griffith.

    Whom I most hated living, thou hast made me,

    With thy religious truth and modesty,

    Now in his ashes honour: peace be with him!

    Patience, be near me still; and set me lower:

    I have not long to trouble thee. Good Griffith,

    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




    She is asleep: good wench, let's sit down quiet,

    For fear we wake her: softly, gentle Patience.


    The vision. Enter, solemnly tripping one after another, six personages, clad in white robes, wearing on their heads garlands of bays, and golden vizards on their faces; branches of bays or palm in their hands. They first congee unto her, then dance; and, at certain changes, the first two hold a spare garland over her head; at which the other four make reverent curtsies; then the two that held the garland deliver the same to the other next two, 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




    Spirits of peace, where are ye? are ye all gone,

    And leave me here in wretchedness behind ye?




    Madam, we are here.




    It is not you I call for:

    Saw ye none enter since I slept?




    None, madam.




    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;

    And brought me garlands, Griffith, which I feel

    I am not worthy yet to wear: I shall, assuredly.




    I am most joyful, madam, such good dreams

    Possess your fancy.




    Bid the music leave,

    They are harsh and heavy to me.


    Music ceases




    Do you note

    How much her grace is alter'd on the sudden?

    How long her face is drawn? how pale she looks,

    And of an earthy cold? Mark her eyes!




    She is going, wench: pray, pray.




    Heaven comfort her!


    Enter a Messenger




    An't like your grace,--




    You are a saucy fellow:

    Deserve we no more reverence?




    You are to blame,

    Knowing she will not lose her wonted greatness,

    To use so rude behavior; go to, kneel.




    I humbly do entreat your highness' pardon;

    My haste made me unmannerly. There is staying

    A gentleman, sent from the king, to see you.




    Admit him entrance, Griffith: but this fellow

    Let me ne'er see again.


    Exeunt GRIFFITH and Messenger


    Re-enter GRIFFITH, with CAPUCIUS

    If my sight fail not,

    You should be lord ambassador from the emperor,

    My royal nephew, and your name Capucius.




    Madam, the same; your servant.




    O, my lord,

    The times and titles now are alter'd strangely

    With me since first you knew me. But, I pray you,

    What is your pleasure with me?




    Noble lady,

    First mine own service to your grace; the next,

    The king's request that I would visit you;

    Who grieves much for your weakness, and by me

    Sends you his princely commendations,

    And heartily entreats you take good comfort.




    O my good lord, that comfort comes too late;

    'Tis like a pardon after execution:

    That gentle physic, given in time, had cured me;

    But now I am past an comforts here, but prayers.

    How does his highness?




    Madam, in good health.




    So may he ever do! and ever flourish,

    When I shal l dwell with worms, and my poor name

    Banish'd the kingdom! Patience, is that letter,

    I caused you write, yet sent away?




    No, madam.


    Giving it to KATHARINE




    Sir, I most humbly pray you to deliver

    This to my lord the king.




    Most willing, madam.




    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!

    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

    Is, that his noble grace would have some pity

    Upon my wretched women, that so long

    Have follow'd both my fortunes faithfully:

    Of which there is not one, I dare avow,

    And now I should not lie, but will deserve

    For virtue and true beauty of the soul,

    For honesty and decent carriage,

    A right good husband, let him be a noble

    And, sure, those men are happy that shall have 'em.

    The last is, for my men; they are the poorest,

    But poverty could never draw 'em from me;

    That they may have their wages duly paid 'em,

    And something over to remember me by:

    If heaven had pleased to have given me longer life

    And able means, we had not parted thus.

    These are the whole contents: and, good my lord,

    By that you love the dearest in this world,

    As you wish Christian peace to souls departed,

    Stand these poor people's friend, and urge the king

    To do me this last right.




    By heaven, I will,

    Or let me lose the fashion of a man!




    I thank you, honest lord. Remember me

    In all humility unto his highness:

    Say his long trouble now is passing

    Out of this world; tell him, in death I bless'd him,

    For so I will. Mine eyes grow dim. Farewell,

    My lord. Griffith, farewell. Nay, Patience,

    You must not leave me yet: I must to bed;

    Call in more women. When I am dead, good wench,

    Let me be used with honour: strew me over

    With maiden flowers, that all the world may know

    I was a chaste wife to my grave: embalm me,

    Then lay me forth: although unqueen'd, yet like

    A queen, and daughter to a king, inter me.

    I can no more.


    Exeunt, leading KATHARINE



SCENE I. London. A gallery in the palace.


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




    It's one o'clock, boy, is't not?




    It hath struck.




    These should be hours for necessities,

    Not for delights; times to repair our nature

    With comforting repose, and not for us

    To waste these times. Good hour of night, Sir Thomas!

    Whither so late?




    Came you from the king, my lord




    I did, Sir Thomas: and left him at primero

    With the Duke of Suffolk.




    I must to him too,

    Before he go to bed. I'll take my leave.




    Not yet, Sir Thomas Lovell. What's the matter?

    It seems you are in haste: an if there be

    No great offence belongs to't, give your friend

    Some touch of your late business: affairs, that walk,

    As they say spirits do, at midnight, have

    In them a wilder nature than the business

    That seeks dispatch by day.




    My lord, I love you;

    And durst commend a secret to your ear

    Much weightier than this work. The queen's in labour,

    They say, in great extremity; and fear'd

    She'll with the labour end.




    The fruit she goes with

    I pray for heartily, that it may find

    Good time, and live: but for the stock, Sir Thomas,

    I wish it grubb'd up now.




    Methinks I could

    Cry the amen; and yet my conscience says

    She's a good creature, and, sweet lady, does

    Deserve our better wishes.




    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,

    Till Cranmer, Cromwell, her two hands, and she,

    Sleep in their graves.




    Now, sir, you speak of two

    The most remark'd i' the kingdom. As for Cromwell,

    Beside that of the jewel house, is made master

    O' the rolls, and the king's secretary; further, sir,

    Stands in the gap and trade of moe preferments,

    With which the time will load him. The archbishop

    Is the king's hand and tongue; and who dare speak

    One syllable against him?




    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' the council, that he is,

    For so I know he is, they know he is,

    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

    And princely care foreseeing those fell mischiefs

    Our reasons laid before him, hath commanded

    To-morrow morning to the council-board

    He be convented. He's a rank weed, Sir Thomas,

    And we must root him out. From your affairs

    I hinder you too long: good night, Sir Thomas.




    Many good nights, my lord: I rest your servant.


    Exeunt GARDINER and Page






    Charles, I will play no more tonight;

    My mind's not on't; you are too hard for me.




    Sir, I did never win of you before.




    But little, Charles;

    Nor shall not, when my fancy's on my play.

    Now, Lovell, from the queen what is the news?




    I could not personally deliver to her

    What you commanded me, but by her woman

    I sent your message; who return'd her thanks

    In the great'st humbleness, and desired your highness

    Most heartily to pray for her.




    What say'st thou, ha?

    To pray for her? what, is she crying out?




    So said her woman; and that her sufferance made

    Almost each pang a death.




    Alas, good lady!




    God safely quit her of her burthen, and

    With gentle travail, to the gladding of

    Your highness with an heir!




    'Tis midnight, Charles;

    Prithee, to bed; and in thy prayers remember

    The estate of my poor queen. Leave me alone;

    For I must think of that which company

    Would not be friendly to.




    I wish your highness

    A quiet night; and my good mistress will

    Remember in my prayers.




    Charles, good night.


    Exit SUFFOLK


    Enter DENNY

    Well, sir, what follows?




    Sir, I have brought my lord the archbishop,

    As you commanded me.




    Ha! Canterbury?




    Ay, my good lord.




    'Tis true: where is he, Denny?




    He attends your highness' pleasure.


    Exit DENNY




    [Aside] This is about that which the bishop spake:

    I am happily come hither.


    Re-enter DENNY, with CRANMER




    Avoid the gallery.


    LOVELL seems to stay

    Ha! I have said. Be gone. What!


    Exeunt LOVELL and DENNY





    I am fearful: wherefore frowns he thus?

    'Tis his aspect of terror. All's not well.




    How now, my lord! you desire to know

    Wherefore I sent for you.




    [Kneeling] It is my duty

    To attend your highness' pleasure.




    Pray you, arise,

    My good and gracious Lord of Canterbury.

    Come, you and I must walk a turn together;

    I have news to tell you: come, come, give me your hand.

    Ah, my good lord, I grieve at what I speak,

    And am right sorry to repeat what follows

    I have, and most unwillingly, of late

    Heard many grievous, I do say, my lord,

    Grievous complaints of you; which, being consider'd,

    Have moved us and our council, that you shall

    This morning come before us; where, I know,

    You cannot with such freedom purge yourself,

    But that, till further trial in those charges

    Which will require your answer, you must take

    Your patience to you, and be well contented

    To make your house our Tower: you a brother of us,

    It fits we thus proceed, or else no witness

    Would come against you.





    I humbly thank your highness;

    And am right glad to catch this good occasion

    Most throughly to be winnow'd, where my chaff

    And corn shall fly asunder: for, I know,

    There's none stands under more calumnious tongues

    Than I myself, poor man.




    Stand up, good Canterbury:

    Thy truth and thy integrity is rooted

    In us, thy friend: give me thy hand, stand up:

    Prithee, let's walk. Now, by my holidame.

    What manner of man are you? My lord, I look'd

    You would have given me your petition, that

    I should have ta'en some pains to bring together

    Yourself and your accusers; and to have heard you,

    Without indurance, further.




    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

    What can be said against me.




    Know you not

    How your state stands i' the world, with the whole world?

    Your enemies are many, and not small; their practises

    Must bear the same proportion; and not ever

    The justice and the truth o' the question carries

    The due o' the verdict with it: at what ease

    Might corrupt minds procure knaves as corrupt

    To swear against you? such things have been done.

    You are potently opposed; and with a malice

    Of as great size. Ween you of better luck,

    I mean, in perjured witness, than your master,

    Whose minister you are, whiles here he lived

    Upon this naughty earth? Go to, go to;

    You take a precipice for no leap of danger,

    And woo your own destruction.




    God and your majesty

    Protect mine innocence, or I fall into

    The trap is laid for me!




    Be of good cheer;

    They shall no more prevail than we give way to.

    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,

    The best persuasions to the contrary

    Fail not to use, and with what vehemency

    The occasion shall instruct you: if entreaties

    Will render you no remedy, this ring

    Deliver them, and your appeal to us

    There make before them. Look, the good man weeps!

    He's honest, on mine honour. God's blest mother!

    I swear he is true--hearted; and a soul

    None better in my kingdom. Get you gone,

    And do as I have bid you.


    Exit CRANMER

    He has strangled

    His language in his tears.


    Enter Old Lady, LOVELL following




    [Within] Come back: what mean you?


Old Lady


    I'll not come back; the tidings that I bring

    Will make my boldness manners. Now, good angels

    Fly o'er thy royal head, and shade thy person

    Under their blessed wings!




    Now, by thy looks

    I guess thy message. Is the queen deliver'd?

    Say, ay; and of a boy.


Old Lady


    Ay, ay, my liege;

    And of a lovely boy: the God of heaven

    Both now and ever bless her! 'tis a girl,

    Promises boys hereafter. Sir, your queen

    Desires your visitation, and to be

    Acquainted with this stranger 'tis as like you

    As cherry is to cherry.












    Give her an hundred marks. I'll to the queen.




Old Lady


    An hundred marks! By this light, I'll ha' more.

    An ordinary groom is for such payment.

    I will have more, or scold it out of him.

    Said I for this, the girl was like to him?

    I will have more, or else unsay't; and now,

    While it is hot, I'll put it to the issue.




SCENE II. Before the council-chamber. Pursuivants, Pages, & c. attending.


    Enter CRANMER




    I hope I am not too late; and yet the gentleman,

    That was sent to me from the council, pray'd me

    To make great haste. All fast? what means this? Ho!

    Who waits there? Sure, you know me?


    Enter Keeper




    Yes, my lord;

    But yet I cannot help you.










    Your grace must wait till you be call'd for.








    [Aside] This is a piece of malice. I am glad

    I came this way so happily: the king

    Shall understand it presently.






    [Aside] 'Tis Butts,

    The king's physician: as he pass'd along,

    How earnestly he cast his eyes upon me!

    Pray heaven, he sound not my disgrace! For certain,

    This is of purpose laid by some that hate me--

    God turn their hearts! I never sought their malice--

    To quench mine honour: they would shame to make me

    Wait else at door, a fellow-counsellor,

    'Mong boys, grooms, and lackeys. But their pleasures

    Must be fulfill'd, and I attend with patience.


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




    I'll show your grace the strangest sight--




    What's that, Butts?




    I think your highness saw this many a day.




    Body o' me, where is it?




    There, my lord:

    The high promotion of his grace of Canterbury;

    Who holds his state at door, 'mongst pursuivants,

    Pages, and footboys.




    Ha! 'tis he, indeed:

    Is this the honour 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

    A man of his place, and so near our favour,

    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.




SCENE III. The Council-Chamber.


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




    Speak to the business, master-secretary:

    Why are we met in council?




    Please your honours,

    The chief cause concerns his grace of Canterbury.




    Has he had knowledge of it?








    Who waits there?




    Without, my noble lords?








    My lord archbishop;

    And has done half an hour, to know your pleasures.




    Let him come in.




    Your grace may enter now.


    CRANMER enters and approaches the council-table




    My good lord archbishop, I'm very sorry

    To sit here at this present, and behold

    That chair stand empty: but we all are men,

    In our own natures frail, and capable

    Of our flesh; few are angels: out of which frailty

    And want of wisdom, you, that best should teach us,

    Have misdemean'd yourself, and not a little,

    Toward the king first, then his laws, in filling

    The whole realm, by your teaching and your chaplains,

    For so we are inform'd, with new opinions,

    Divers and dangerous; which are heresies,

    And, not reform'd, may prove pernicious.




    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,

    Till they obey the manage. If we suffer,

    Out of our easiness and childish pity

    To one man's honour, this contagious sickness,

    Farewell all physic: and what follows then?

    Commotions, uproars, with a general taint

    Of the whole state: as, of late days, our neighbours,

    The upper Germany, can dearly witness,

    Yet freshly pitied in our memories.




    My good lords, hitherto, in all the progress

    Both of my life and office, I have labour'd,

    And with no little study, that my teaching

    And the strong course of my authority

    Might go one way, and safely; and the end

    Was ever, to do well: nor is there living,

    I speak it with a single heart, my lords,

    A man that more detests, more stirs against,

    Both in his private conscience and his place,

    Defacers of a public peace, than I do.

    Pray heaven, the king may never find a heart

    With less allegiance in it! Men that make

    Envy and crooked malice nourishment

    Dare bite the best. I do beseech your lordships,

    That, in this case of justice, my accusers,

    Be what they will, may stand forth face to face,

    And freely urge against me.




    Nay, my lord,

    That cannot be: you are a counsellor,

    And, by that virtue, no man dare accuse you.




    My lord, because we have business of more moment,

    We will be short with you. 'Tis his highness' pleasure,

    And our consent, for better trial of you,

    From hence you be committed to the Tower;

    Where, being but a private man again,

    You shall know many dare accuse you boldly,

    More than, I fear, you are provided for.




    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,

    Become a churchman better than ambition:

    Win straying souls with modesty again,

    Cast none away. That I shall clear myself,

    Lay all the weight ye can upon my patience,

    I make as little doubt, as you do conscience

    In doing daily wrongs. I could say more,

    But reverence to your calling makes me modest.




    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.




    My Lord of Winchester, you are a little,

    By your good favour, too sharp; men so noble,

    However faulty, yet should find respect

    For what they have been: 'tis a cruelty

    To load a falling man.




    Good master secretary,

    I cry your honour mercy; you may, worst

    Of all this table, say so.




    Why, my lord?




    Do not I know you for a favourer

    Of this new sect? ye are not sound.




    Not sound?




    Not sound, I say.




    Would you were half so honest!

    Men's prayers then would seek you, not their fears.




    I shall remember this bold language.





    Remember your bold life too.




    This is too much;

    Forbear, for shame, my lords.




    I have done.




    And I.




    Then thus for you, my lord: it stands agreed,

    I take it, by all voices, that forthwith

    You be convey'd to the Tower a prisoner;

    There to remain till the king's further pleasure

    Be known unto us: are you all agreed, lords?




    We are.




    Is there no other way of mercy,

    But I must needs to the Tower, my lords?




    What other

    Would you expect? you are strangely troublesome.

    Let some o' the guard be ready there.


    Enter Guard




    For me?

    Must I go like a traitor thither?




    Receive him,

    And see him safe i' the Tower.




    Stay, good my lords,

    I have a little yet to say. Look there, my lords;

    By virtue of that ring, I take my cause

    Out of the gripes of cruel men, and give it

    To a most noble judge, the king my master.




    This is the king's ring.




    'Tis no counterfeit.




    'Tis the right ring, by heaven: I told ye all,

    When ye first put this dangerous stone a-rolling,

    'Twould fall upon ourselves.




    Do you think, my lords,

    The king will suffer but the little finger

    Of this man to be vex'd?




    'Tis now too certain:

    How much more is his life in value with him?

    Would I were fairly out on't!




    My mind gave me,

    In seeking tales and informations

    Against this man, whose honesty the devil

    And his disciples only envy at,

    Ye blew the fire that burns ye: now have at ye!


    Enter KING, frowning on them; takes his seat




    Dread sovereign, how much are we bound to heaven

    In daily thanks, that gave us such a prince;

    Not only good and wise, but most religious:

    One that, in all obedience, makes the church

    The chief aim of his honour; and, to strengthen

    That holy duty, out of dear respect,

    His royal self in judgment comes to hear

    The cause betwixt her and this great offender.




    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 bare to hide offences.

    To me you cannot reach, you play the spaniel,

    And think with wagging of your tongue to win me;

    But, whatsoe'er thou takest me for, I'm sure

    Thou hast a cruel nature and a bloody.



    Good man, sit down. 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.




    May it please your grace,--




    No, sir, it does not please me.

    I had thought I had had men of some understanding

    And wisdom of my council; but I find none.

    Was it discretion, lords, to let this man,

    This good man,--few of you deserve that title,--

    This honest man, wait like a lousy footboy

    At chamber--door? and one as great as you are?

    Why, what a shame was this! Did my commission

    Bid ye so far forget yourselves? I gave ye

    Power as he was a counsellor to try him,

    Not as a groom: there's some of ye, I see,

    More out of malice than integrity,

    Would try him to the utmost, had ye mean;

    Which ye shall never have while I live.




    Thus far,

    My most dread sovereign, may it like your grace

    To let my tongue excuse all. What was purposed

    Concerning his imprisonment, was rather,

    If there be faith in men, meant for his trial,

    And fair purgation to the world, than malice,

    I'm sure, in me.




    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

    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! My Lord of


    I have a suit which you must not deny me;

    That is, a fair young maid that yet wants baptism,

    You must be godfather, and answer for her.




    The greatest monarch now alive may glory

    In such an honour: how may I deserve it

    That am a poor and humble subject to you?




    Come, come, my lord, you'ld spare your spoons: you

    shall have two noble partners with you; the old

    Duchess of Norfolk, and Lady Marquess Dorset: will

    these please you?

    Once more, my Lord of Winchester, I charge you,

    Embrace and love this man.




    With a true heart

    And brother-love I do it.




    And let heaven

    Witness, how dear I hold this confirmation.




    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 is your friend for ever.'

    Come, lords, we trifle time away; I long

    To have this young one made a Christian.

    As I have made ye one, lords, one remain;

    So I grow stronger, you more honour gain.




SCENE IV. The palace yard.


    Noise and tumult within. Enter Porter and his Man




    You'll leave your noise anon, ye rascals: do you

    take the court for Paris-garden? ye rude slaves,

    leave your gaping.



    Good master porter, I belong to the larder.




    Belong to the gallows, and be hanged, ye 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

    christenings? do you look for ale and cakes here,

    you rude rascals?




    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

    On May-day morning; which will never be:

    We may as well push against Powle's, as stir em.




    How got they in, and be hang'd?




    Alas, I know not; how gets the tide in?

    As much as one sound cudgel of four foot--

    You see the poor remainder--could distribute,

    I made no spare, sir.




    You did nothing, sir.




    I am not Samson, nor Sir Guy, nor Colbrand,

    To mow 'em down before me: but if I spared any

    That had a head to hit, either young or old,

    He or she, cuckold or cuckold-maker,

    Let me ne'er hope to see a chine again

    And that I would not for a cow, God save her!



    Do you hear, master porter?




    I shall be with you presently, good master puppy.

    Keep the door close, sirrah.




    What would you have me do?




    What should you do, but knock 'em down by the

    dozens? Is this Moorfields to muster in? or have

    we some strange Indian with the great tool come to

    court, the women so besiege us? Bless me, what a

    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.




    The 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

    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

    porringer fell off her head, for kindling such a

    combustion in the state. I missed the meteor once,

    and hit that woman; who cried out 'Clubs!' when I

    might see from far some forty truncheoners draw to

    her succor, which were the hope o' the Strand, where

    she was quartered. They fell on; I made good my

    place: at length they came to the broom-staff to

    me; I defied 'em still: when suddenly a file of

    boys behind 'em, loose shot, delivered such a shower

    of pebbles, that I was fain to draw mine honour in,

    and let 'em win the work: the devil was amongst

    'em, I think, surely.




    These are the youths that thunder at a playhouse,

    and fight for bitten apples; that no audience, but

    the tribulation of Tower-hill, or the limbs of

    Limehouse, their dear brothers, are able to endure.

    I have some of 'em in Limbo Patrum, and there they

    are like to dance these three days; besides the

    running banquet of two beadles that is to come.


    Enter Chamberlain




    Mercy o' me, what a multitude are here!

    They grow still too; from all parts they are coming,

    As if we kept a fair here! Where are these porters,

    These lazy knaves? Ye have made a fine hand, fellows:

    There's a trim rabble let in: are all these

    Your faithful friends o' the suburbs? We shall have

    Great store of room, no doubt, left for the ladies,

    When they pass back from the christening.




    An't please

    your honour,

    We are but men; and what so many may do,

    Not being torn a-pieces, we have done:

    An army cannot rule 'em.




    As I live,

    If the king blame me for't, I'll lay ye all

    By the heels, and suddenly; and on your heads

    Clap round fines for neglect: ye are lazy knaves;

    And here ye lie baiting of bombards, when

    Ye should do service. Hark! the trumpets sound;

    They're come already from the christening:

    Go, break among the press, and find a way out

    To let the troop pass fairly; or I'll find

    A Marshalsea shall hold ye play these two months.




    Make way there for the princess.




    You great fellow,

    Stand close up, or I'll make your head ache.




    You i' the camlet, get up o' the rail;

    I'll peck you o'er the pales else.




SCENE V. The palace.


    Enter trumpets, sounding; then two Aldermen, Lord Mayor, Garter, CRANMER, NORFOLK with his marshal's staff, 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, & c., 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




    Heaven, from thy endless goodness, send prosperous

    life, long, and ever happy, to the high and mighty

    princess of England, Elizabeth!


    Flourish. Enter KING HENRY VIII and Guard




    [Kneeling] And to your royal grace, and the good queen,

    My noble partners, and myself, thus pray:

    All comfort, joy, in this most gracious lady,

    Heaven ever laid up to make parents happy,

    May hourly fall upon ye!




    Thank you, good lord archbishop:

    What is her name?








    Stand up, lord.


    KING HENRY VIII kisses the child

    With this kiss take my blessing: God protect thee!

    Into whose hand I give thy life.








    My noble gossips, ye have been too prodigal:

    I thank ye heartily; so shall this lady,

    When she has so much English.




    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!--

    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,

    And all that shall succeed: Saba was never

    More covetous of wisdom and fair virtue

    Than this pure soul shall be: all princely graces,

    That mould up such a mighty piece as this is,

    With all the virtues that attend the good,

    Shall still be doubled on her: truth shall nurse her,

    Holy and heavenly thoughts still counsel her:

    She shall be loved and fear'd: her own shall bless her;

    Her foes shake like a field of beaten corn,

    And hang their heads with sorrow: good grows with her:

    In her days every man shall eat in safety,

    Under his own vine, what he plants; and sing

    The merry songs of peace to all his neighbours:

    God shall be truly known; and those about her

    From her shall read the perfect ways of honour,

    And by those claim their greatness, not by blood.

    Nor shall this peace sleep with her: but as when

    The bird of wonder dies, the maiden phoenix,

    Her ashes new create another heir,

    As great in admiration as herself;

    So shall she leave her blessedness to one,

    When heaven shall call her from this cloud of darkness,

    Who from the sacred ashes of her honour

    Shall star-like rise, as great in fame as she was,

    And so stand fix'd: peace, plenty, love, truth, terror,

    That were the servants to this chosen infant,

    Shall then be his, and like a vine grow to him:

    Wherever the bright sun of heaven shall shine,

    His honour and the greatness of his name

    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.




    Thou speakest wonders.




    She shall be, to the happiness of England,

    An aged princess; many days shall see her,

    And yet no day without a deed to crown it.

    Would I had known no more! but she must die,

    She must, the saints must have her; yet a virgin,

    A most unspotted lily shall she pass

    To the ground, and all the world shall mourn her.




    O lord archbishop,

    Thou hast made me now a man! never, before

    This happy child, did I get any thing:

    This oracle of comfort has so pleased me,

    That when I am in heaven I shall desire

    To see what this child does, and praise my Maker.

    I thank ye all. To you, my good lord mayor,

    And your good brethren, I am much beholding;

    I have received much honour by your presence,

    And ye shall find me thankful. Lead the way, lords:

    Ye must all see the queen, and she must thank ye,

    She will be sick else. This day, no man think

    Has business at his house; for all shall stay:

    This little one shall make it holiday.




    '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 have frighted with our trumpets; so, 'tis clear,

    They'll say 'tis naught: others, to hear the city

    Abused extremely, and to cry 'That's witty!'

    Which we have not done neither: that, I fear,

    All the expected good we're like to hear

    For this play at this time, is only in

    The merciful construction of good women;

    For such a one we show'd 'em: if they smile,

    And say 'twill do, I know, within a while

    All the best men are ours; for 'tis ill hap,

    If they hold when their ladies bid 'em clap.