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The Complete Works of William Shakespeare King Henry the Eighth

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by William Shakespeare


CAPUCIUS, Ambassador from the Emperor Charles V
CROMWELL, servant to Wolsey
GRIFFITH, gentleman-usher to Queen Katharine
DOCTOR BUTTS, physician to the King
SURVEYOR to the Duke of Buckingham
DOORKEEPER of the Council chamber
PORTER, and his MAN PAGE to Gardiner

QUEEN KATHARINE, wife to King Henry, afterwards divorced
ANNE BULLEN, her Maid of Honour, afterwards Queen
AN OLD LADY, friend to Anne Bullen
PATIENCE, woman to Queen Katharine

Lord Mayor, Aldermen, Lords and Ladies in the Dumb
Shows; Women attending upon the Queen; Scribes,
Officers, Guards, and other Attendants; Spirits


London; Westminster; Kimbolton



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 deceiv'd; 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.


London. The palace

Enter the DUKE OF NORFOLK at one door; at the other,

BUCKINGHAM. Good morrow, and well met. How have ye done
Since last we saw in France?
NORFOLK. I thank your Grace,
Healthful; and ever since a fresh admirer
Of what I saw there.
BUCKINGHAM. 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.
NORFOLK. '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 thron'd ones could have weigh'd
Such a compounded one?
BUCKINGHAM. All the whole time
I was my chamber's prisoner.
NORFOLK. Then you lost
The view of earthly glory; men might say,
Till this time pomp was single, but now married
To one above itself. Each following day
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 gilt; the madams too,
Not us'd 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 th' 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 challeng'd
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 believ'd.
BUCKINGHAM. O, you go far!
NORFOLK. As I belong to worship, and affect
In honour honesty, the tract of ev'rything
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.
BUCKINGHAM. Who did guide--
I mean, who set the body and the limbs
Of this great sport together, as you guess?
NORFOLK. One, certes, that promises no element
In such a business.
BUCKINGHAM. I pray you, who, my lord?
NORFOLK. All this was ord'red by the good discretion
Of the right reverend Cardinal of York.
BUCKINGHAM. The devil speed him! No man's pie is freed
From his ambitious finger. What had he
To do in these fierce vanities? I wonder
That such a keech can with his very bulk
Take up the rays o' th' beneficial sun,
And keep it from the earth.
NORFOLK. Surely, sir,
There's in him stuff that puts him to these ends;
For, being not propp'd by ancestry, whose grace
Chalks successors their way, nor call'd upon
For high feats done to th' crown, neither allied
To eminent assistants, but spider-like,
Out of his self-drawing web, 'a 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.
ABERGAVENNY. 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.
BUCKINGHAM. Why the devil,
Upon this French going out, took he upon him--
Without the privity o' th' King--t' appoint
Who should attend on him? He makes up the file
Of all the gentry; for the most part such
To whom as great a charge as little honour
He meant to lay upon; and his own letter,
The honourable board of council out,
Must fetch him in he papers.
Kinsmen of mine, three at the least, that have
By this so sicken'd their estates that never
They shall abound as formerly.
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?
NORFOLK. Grievingly I think
The peace between the French and us not values
The cost that did conclude it.
BUCKINGHAM. Every man,
After the hideous storm that follow'd, was
A thing inspir'd, and, not consulting, broke
Into a general prophecy--that this tempest,
Dashing the garment of this peace, aboded
The sudden breach on't.
NORFOLK. Which is budded out;
For France hath flaw'd the league, and hath attach'd
Our merchants' goods at Bordeaux.
ABERGAVENNY. Is it therefore
Th' ambassador is silenc'd?
NORFOLK. Marry, is't.
ABERGAVENNY. A proper tide of a peace, and purchas'd
At a superfluous rate!
BUCKINGHAM. Why, all this business
Our reverend Cardinal carried.
NORFOLK. Like it your Grace,
The state takes notice of the private difference
Betwixt you and the Cardinal. I advise you--
And take it from a heart that wishes towards you
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. The CARDINAL in his passage fixeth his
eye on BUCKINGHAM, and BUCKINGHAM on him,
both full of disdain.

WOLSEY. The Duke of Buckingham's surveyor? Ha!
Where's his examination?
SECRETARY. Here, so please you.
WOLSEY. Is he in person ready?
SECRETARY. Ay, please your Grace.
WOLSEY. Well, we shall then know more, and Buckingham
shall lessen this big look.
Exeunt WOLSEY and his
BUCKINGHAM. This butcher's cur is venom-mouth'd, and I
Have not the power to muzzle him; therefore best
Not wake him in his slumber. A beggar's book
Outworths a noble's blood.
NORFOLK. What, are you chaf'd?
Ask God for temp'rance; that's th' appliance only
Which your disease requires.
BUCKINGHAM. I read in 's looks
Matter against me, and his eye revil'd
Me as his abject object. At this instant
He bores me with some trick. He's gone to th' King;
I'll follow, and outstare him.
NORFOLK. 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.
BUCKINGHAM. I'll to the King,
And from a mouth of honour quite cry down
This Ipswich fellow's insolence; or proclaim
There's difference in no persons.
NORFOLK. Be advis'd:
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 till 't run o'er
In seeming to augment it wastes it? Be advis'd.
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.
NORFOLK. Say not treasonous.
BUCKINGHAM. To th' 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 rav'nous
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, th' interview
That swallowed so much treasure and like a glass
Did break i' th' wrenching.
NORFOLK. Faith, and so it did.
BUCKINGHAM. Pray, give me favour, sir; this cunning cardinal
The articles o' th' combination drew
As himself pleas'd; and they were ratified
As he cried 'Thus let be' to as much end
As give a crutch to th' dead. But our Count-Cardinal
Has done this, and 'tis well; for worthy Wolsey,
Who cannot err, he did it. Now this follows,
Which, as I take it, is a kind of puppy
To th' old dam treason: Charles the Emperor,
Under 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 menac'd him--privily
Deals with our Cardinal; and, as I trow--
Which I do well, for I am sure the Emperor
Paid ere he promis'd; whereby his suit was granted
Ere it was ask'd--but when the way was made,
And pav'd with gold, the Emperor thus desir'd,
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.
NORFOLK. I am sorry
To hear this of him, and could wish he were
Something mistaken in't.
BUCKINGHAM. No, not a syllable:
I do pronounce him in that very shape
He shall appear in proof.

Enter BRANDON, a SERGEANT-AT-ARMS before him,
and two or three of the guard

BRANDON. Your office, sergeant: execute it.
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.
BUCKINGHAM. Lo you, my lord,
The net has fall'n upon me! I shall perish
Under device and practice.
BRANDON. I am sorry
To see you ta'en from liberty, to look on
The business present; 'tis his Highness' pleasure
You shall to th' Tower.
BUCKINGHAM. It will help nothing
To plead mine innocence; for that dye is on me
Which makes my whit'st part black. The will of heav'n
Be done in this and all things! I obey.
O my Lord Aberga'ny, fare you well!
BRANDON. Nay, he must bear you company.
Is pleas'd you shall to th' Tower, till you know
How he determines further.
ABERGAVENNY. As the Duke said,
The will of heaven be done, and the King's pleasure
By me obey'd.
BRANDON. Here is warrant from
The King t' attach Lord Montacute and the bodies
Of the Duke's confessor, John de la Car,
One Gilbert Peck, his chancellor--
These are the limbs o' th' plot; no more, I hope.
BRANDON. A monk o' th' Chartreux.
BUCKINGHAM. O, Nicholas Hopkins?
BUCKINGHAM. My surveyor is false. The o'er-great Cardinal
Hath show'd him gold; my life is spann'd already.
I am the shadow of poor Buckingham,
Whose figure even this instant cloud puts on
By dark'ning my clear sun. My lord, farewell.


London. The Council Chamber

Cornets. Enter KING HENRY, leaning on the CARDINAL'S shoulder,
the NOBLES, and SIR THOMAS LOVELL, with others. The CARDINAL
places himself under the KING'S feet on his right side

KING. My life itself, and the best heart of it,
Thanks you for this great care; I stood i' th' level
Of a full-charg'd confederacy, and give thanks
To you that chok'd it. Let be call'd before us
That gentleman of Buckingham's. In person
I'll hear 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 the QUEEN, usher'd by the DUKES OF NORFOLK
and SUFFOLK; she kneels. The KING riseth
from his state, takes her up, kisses and placeth her
by him.

QUEEN KATHARINE. Nay, we must longer kneel: I am suitor.
KING. 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.
QUEEN KATHARINE. Thank your Majesty.
That you would love yourself, and in that love
Not unconsidered leave your honour nor
The dignity of your office, is the point
Of my petition.
KING. Lady mine, proceed.
QUEEN KATHARINE. 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.
NORFOLK. Not almost appears--
It doth appear; for, upon these taxations,
The clothiers all, not able to maintain
The many to them 'longing, have put off
The spinsters, carders, fullers, weavers, who
Unfit for other life, compell'd by hunger
And lack of other means, in desperate manner
Daring th' event to th' teeth, are all in uproar,
And danger serves among them.
KING. Taxation!
Wherein? and what taxation? My Lord Cardinal,
You that are blam'd for it alike with us,
Know you of this taxation?
WOLSEY. Please you, sir,
I know but of a single part in aught
Pertains to th' state, and front but in that file
Where others tell steps with me.
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 th' hearing; and to bear 'em
The back is sacrifice to th' load. They say
They are devis'd by you, or else you suffer
Too hard an exclamation.
KING. Still exaction!
The nature of it? In what kind, let's know,
Is this exaction?
QUEEN KATHARINE. I am much too venturous
In tempting of your patience, but am bold'ned
Under your promis'd pardon. The subjects' grief
Comes through commissions, which compels from each
The sixth part of his substance, to be levied
Without delay; and the pretence for this
Is nam'd 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.
KING. By my life,
This is against our pleasure.
WOLSEY. And for me,
I have no further gone in this than by
A single voice; and that not pass'd me but
By learned approbation of the judges. If I am
Traduc'd 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 rav'nous 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.
KING. 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' th' 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.
WOLSEY. [Aside to the SECRETARY] A word with you.
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 nois'd
That through our intercession this revokement
And pardon comes. I shall anon advise you
Further in the proceeding.

QUEEN KATHARINE. I am sorry that the Duke of Buckingham
Is run in your displeasure.
KING. 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 dispos'd, 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 list'ning, 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 practices, whereof
We cannot feel too little, hear too much.
WOLSEY. Stand forth, and with bold spirit relate what you,
Most like a careful subject, have collected
Out of the Duke of Buckingham.
KING. Speak freely.
SURVEYOR. 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 Aberga'ny, to whom by oath he menac'd
Revenge upon the Cardinal.
WOLSEY. Please your Highness, note
This dangerous conception in this point:
Not friended by his wish, to your high person
His will is most malignant, and it stretches
Beyond you to your friends.
QUEEN KATHARINE. My learn'd Lord Cardinal,
Deliver all with charity.
KING. 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?
SURVEYOR. He was brought to this
By a vain prophecy of Nicholas Henton.
KING. What was that Henton?
SURVEYOR. Sir, a Chartreux friar,
His confessor, who fed him every minute
With words of sovereignty.
KING. How know'st thou this?
SURVEYOR. 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 ensu'd: "Neither the King nor's heirs,
Tell you the Duke, shall prosper; bid him strive
To gain the love o' th' commonalty; the Duke
Shall govern England."'
QUEEN KATHARINE. If I know you well,
You were the Duke's surveyor, and lost your office
On the complaint o' th' tenants. Take good heed
You charge not in your spleen a noble person
And spoil your nobler soul. I say, take heed;
Yes, heartily beseech you.
KING. Let him on.
Go forward.
SURVEYOR. On my soul, I'll speak but truth.
I told my lord the Duke, by th' devil's illusions
The monk might be deceiv'd, and that 'twas dangerous
for him
To ruminate on this so far, until
It forg'd him some design, which, being believ'd,
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.
KING. Ha! what, so rank? Ah ha!
There's mischief in this man. Canst thou say further?
SURVEYOR. I can, my liege.
KING. Proceed.
SURVEYOR. Being at Greenwich,
After your Highness had reprov'd the Duke
About Sir William Bulmer--
KING. I remember
Of such a time: being my sworn servant,
The Duke retain'd him his. But on: what hence?
SURVEYOR. 'If' quoth he 'I for this had been committed--
As to the Tower I thought--I would have play'd
The part my father meant to act upon
Th' usurper Richard; who, being at Salisbury,
Made suit to come in's presence, which if granted,
As he made semblance of his duty, would
Have put his knife into him.'
KING. A giant traitor!
WOLSEY. Now, madam, may his Highness live in freedom,
And this man out of prison?
QUEEN KATHARINE. God mend all!
KING. There's something more would out of thee: what say'st?
SURVEYOR. 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 tenour
Was, were he evil us'd, he would outgo
His father by as much as a performance
Does an irresolute purpose.
KING. There's his period,
To sheath 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 th' height.


London. The palace

CHAMBERLAIN. Is't possible the spells of France should juggle
Men into such strange mysteries?
SANDYS. New customs,
Though they be never so ridiculous,
Nay, let 'em be unmanly, yet are follow'd.
CHAMBERLAIN. As far as I see, all the good our English
Have got by the late voyage is but merely
A fit or two o' th' face; but they are shrewd ones;
For when they hold 'em, you would swear directly
Their very noses had been counsellors
To Pepin or Clotharius, they keep state so.
SANDYS. 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.
CHAMBERLAIN. Death! my lord,
Their clothes are after such a pagan cut to't,
That sure th' have worn out Christendom.


How now?
What news, Sir Thomas Lovell?
LOVELL. Faith, my lord,
I hear of none but the new proclamation
That's clapp'd upon the court gate.
CHAMBERLAIN. What is't for?
LOVELL. The reformation of our travell'd gallants,
That fill the court with quarrels, talk, and tailors.
CHAMBERLAIN. I am glad 'tis there. Now I would pray our
To think an English courtier may be wise,
And never see the Louvre.
LOVELL. They must either,
For so run the conditions, leave those remnants
Of fool and feather that they got in France,
With all their honourable points 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 blist'red 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.
SANDYS. 'Tis time to give 'em physic, their diseases
Are grown so catching.
CHAMBERLAIN. What a loss our ladies
Will have of these trim vanities!
LOVELL. Ay, marry,
There will be woe indeed, lords: the sly whoresons
Have got a speeding trick to lay down ladies.
A French song and a fiddle has no fellow.
SANDYS. The devil fiddle 'em! I am glad they are going,
For sure there's no converting '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.
CHAMBERLAIN. Well said, Lord Sandys;
Your colt's tooth is not cast yet.
SANDYS. No, my lord,
Nor shall not while I have a stamp.
Whither were you a-going?
LOVELL. To the Cardinal's;
Your lordship is a guest too.
CHAMBERLAIN. O, 'tis true;
This night he makes a supper, and a great one,
To many lords and ladies; there will be
The beauty of this kingdom, I'll assure you.
LOVELL. That churchman bears a bounteous mind indeed,
A hand as fruitful as the land that feeds us;
His dews fall everywhere.
CHAMBERLAIN. No doubt he's noble;
He had a black mouth that said other of him.
SANDYS. 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.
CHAMBERLAIN. True, they are so;
But few now give so great ones. My barge stays;
Your lordship shall along. Come, good Sir Thomas,
We shall be late else; which I would not be,
For I was spoke to, with Sir Henry Guildford,
This night to be comptrollers.
SANDYS. I am your lordship's.


London. The Presence Chamber in York Place

Hautboys. A small table under a state for the Cardinal,
a longer table for the guests. Then enter ANNE BULLEN,
and divers other LADIES and GENTLEMEN, as guests, at one door;
at another door enter SIR HENRY GUILDFORD

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, y'are tardy,
The very thought of this fair company
Clapp'd wings to me.
CHAMBERLAIN. You are young, Sir Harry Guildford.
SANDYS. 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.
LOVELL. O that your lordship were but now confessor
To one or two of these!
SANDYS. I would I were;
They should find easy penance.
LOVELL. Faith, how easy?
SANDYS. As easy as a down bed would afford it.
CHAMBERLAIN. Sweet ladies, will it please you sit? Sir Harry,
Place you that side; I'll take the charge of this.
His Grace is ent'ring. Nay, you must not freeze:
Two women plac'd together makes cold weather.
My Lord Sandys, you are one will keep 'em waking:
Pray sit between these ladies.
SANDYS. By my faith,
And thank your lordship. By your leave, sweet ladies.
[Seats himself between ANNE BULLEN and another
If I chance to talk a little wild, forgive me;
I had it from my father.
ANNE. Was he mad, sir?
SANDYS. 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
CHAMBERLAIN. Well said, my lord.
So, now y'are fairly seated. Gentlemen,
The penance lies on you if these fair ladies
Pass away frowning.
SANDYS. For my little cure,
Let me alone.

Hautboys. Enter CARDINAL WOLSEY, attended; and
takes his state

WOLSEY. Y'are 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!
SANDYS. Your Grace is noble.
Let me have such a bowl may hold my thanks
And save me so much talking.
WOLSEY. My Lord Sandys,
I am beholding to you. Cheer your neighbours.
Ladies, you are not merry. Gentlemen,
Whose fault is this?
SANDYS. The red wine first must rise
In their fair cheeks, my lord; then we shall have 'em
Talk us to silence.
ANNE. You are a merry gamester,
My Lord Sandys.
SANDYS. Yes, if I make my play.
Here's to your ladyship; and pledge it, madam,
For 'tis to such a thing--
ANNE. You cannot show me.
SANDYS. I told your Grace they would talk anon.
[Drum and trumpet. Chambers discharg'd]
WOLSEY. What's that?
CHAMBERLAIN. Look out there, some of ye.
WOLSEY. What warlike voice,
And to what end, is this? Nay, ladies, fear not:
By all the laws of war y'are privileg'd.

Re-enter SERVANT

CHAMBERLAIN. How now! what is't?
SERVANT. A noble troop of strangers--
For so they seem. Th' have left their barge and landed,
And hither make, as great ambassadors
From foreign princes.
WOLSEY. Good Lord Chamberlain,
Go, give 'em welcome; you can speak the French tongue;
And pray receive 'em nobly and conduct 'em
Into our presence, where this heaven of beauty
Shall shine at full upon them. Some attend him.
Exit CHAMBERLAIN attended. All rise, and tables
You have now a broken banquet, but we'll mend it.
A good digestion to you all; and once more
I show'r a welcome on ye; welcome all.

Hautboys. Enter the KING, and others, as maskers,
habited like shepherds, usher'd by the LORD CHAMBERLAIN.
They pass directly before the CARDINAL,
and gracefully salute him

A noble company! What are their pleasures?
CHAMBERLAIN. Because they speak no English, thus they pray'd
To tell your Grace, that, having heard by fame
Of this so noble and so fair assembly
This night to meet here, they could do no less,
Out of the great respect they bear to beauty,
But leave their flocks and, under your fair conduct,
Crave leave to view these ladies and entreat
An hour of revels with 'em.
WOLSEY. Say, Lord Chamberlain,
They have done my poor house grace; for which I pay 'em
A thousand thanks, and pray 'em take their pleasures.
[They choose ladies. The KING chooses ANNE
KING. The fairest hand I ever touch'd! O beauty,
Till now I never knew thee!
[Music. Dance]
WOLSEY. My lord!
WOLSEY. Pray tell 'em thus much from me:
There should be one amongst 'em, by his person,
More worthy this place than myself; to whom,
If I but knew him, with my love and duty
I would surrender it.
CHAMBERLAIN. I will, my lord.
[He whispers to the maskers]
WOLSEY. What say they?
CHAMBERLAIN. Such a one, they all confess,
There is indeed; which they would have your Grace
Find out, and he will take it.
WOLSEY. Let me see, then. [Comes from his
By all your good leaves, gentlemen, here I'll make
My royal choice.
KING. [Unmasking] 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.
WOLSEY. I am glad
Your Grace is grown so pleasant.
KING. My Lord Chamberlain,
Prithee come hither: what fair lady's that?
CHAMBERLAIN. An't please your Grace, Sir Thomas Bullen's
The Viscount Rochford--one of her Highness' women.
KING. By heaven, she is a dainty one. Sweet heart,
I were unmannerly to take you out
And not to kiss you. A health, gentlemen!
Let it go round.
WOLSEY. Sir Thomas Lovell, is the banquet ready
I' th' privy chamber?
LOVELL. Yes, my lord.
WOLSEY. Your Grace,
I fear, with dancing is a little heated.
KING. I fear, too much.
WOLSEY. There's fresher air, my lord,
In the next chamber.
KING. Lead in your ladies, ev'ry one. Sweet partner,
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



Westminster. A street

Enter two GENTLEMEN, at several doors

FIRST GENTLEMAN. Whither away so fast?
Ev'n 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,
Urg'd on the examinations, proofs, confessions,
Of divers witnesses; which the Duke desir'd
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.
That fed him with his prophecies?
All these accus'd 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 him-self
FIRST GENTLEMAN. When he was brought again to th' 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.
The Cardinal is the end of this.
By all conjectures: first, Kildare's attainder,
Then deputy of Ireland, who remov'd,
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--

Enter BUCKINGHAM from his arraignment, tip-staves
before him; the axe with the edge towards him; halberds
on each side; accompanied with SIR THOMAS
and common people, etc.

FIRST GENTLEMAN. Stay there, sir,
And see the noble ruin'd man you speak of.
SECOND GENTLEMAN. Let's stand close, and behold him.
BUCKINGHAM. All good people,
You that thus far have come to pity me,
Hear what I say, and then go home and lose me.
I have this day receiv'd a traitor's judgment,
And by that name must die; yet, heaven bear witness,
And if I have a conscience, let it sink me
Even as the axe falls, if I be not faithful!
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 lov'd 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, a God's name.
LOVELL. I do beseech your Grace, for charity,
If ever any malice in your heart
Were hid against me, now to forgive me frankly.
BUCKINGHAM. Sir Thomas Lovell, I as free forgive you
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 belov'd and loving may his rule be;
And when old Time shall lead him to his end,
Goodness and he fill up one monument!
LOVELL. To th' water side I must conduct your Grace;
Then give my charge up to Sir Nicholas Vaux,
Who undertakes you to your end.
VAUX. Prepare there;
The Duke is coming; see the barge be ready;
And fit it with such furniture as suits
The greatness of his person.
BUCKINGHAM. 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 rais'd head against usurping Richard,
Flying for succour 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,
Restor'd 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 lov'd 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.
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 heads
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 rumour 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 arriv'd 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 purpos'd.
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.
We are too open here to argue this;
Let's think in private more.


London. The palace

Enter the LORD CHAMBERLAIN reading this letter

'The horses your lordship sent for, with all the care
had, I saw well chosen, ridden, and furnish'd. 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 serv'd
before a subject, if not before the King; which stopp'd
our mouths, sir.'

I fear he will indeed. Well, let him have them.
He will have all, I think.


NORFOLK. Well met, my Lord Chamberlain.
CHAMBERLAIN. Good day to both your Graces.
SUFFOLK. How is the King employ'd?
CHAMBERLAIN. I left him private,
Full of sad thoughts and troubles.
NORFOLK. What's the cause?
CHAMBERLAIN. It seems the marriage with his brother's wife
Has crept too near his conscience.
SUFFOLK. No, his conscience
Has crept too near another lady.
NORFOLK. 'Tis so;
This is the Cardinal's doing; the King-Cardinal,
That blind priest, like the eldest son of fortune,
Turns what he list. The King will know him one day.
SUFFOLK. Pray God he do! He'll never know himself else.
NORFOLK. How holily he works in all his business!
And with what zeal! For, now he has 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?
CHAMBERLAIN. Heaven keep me from such counsel! 'Tis most true
These news are everywhere; 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.
SUFFOLK. And free us from his slavery.
NORFOLK. We had need pray, and heartily, for our deliverance;
Or this imperious man will work us all
From princes into pages. All men's honours
Lie like one lump before him, to be fashion'd
Into what pitch he please.
SUFFOLK. For me, my lords,
I love him not, nor fear him--there's my creed;
As I am made without him, so I'll stand,
If the King please; his curses and his blessings
Touch me alike; th' are breath I not believe in.
I knew him, and I know him; so I leave him
To him that made him proud--the Pope.
NORFOLK. Let's in;
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?
The King has sent me otherwhere; besides,
You'll find a most unfit time to disturb him.
Health to your lordships!
NORFOLK. Thanks, my good Lord Chamberlain.
draws the curtain and sits reading pensively
SUFFOLK. How sad he looks; sure, he is much afflicted.
KING. Who's there, ha?
NORFOLK. Pray God he be not angry.
KING HENRY. Who's there, I say? How dare you thrust yourselves
Into my private meditations?
Who am I, ha?
NORFOLK. A gracious king that pardons all offences
Malice ne'er meant. Our breach of duty this way
Is business of estate, in which we come
To know your royal pleasure.
KING. Ye are too bold.
Go to; I'll make ye know your times of business.
Is this an hour for temporal affairs, ha?

Enter WOLSEY and CAMPEIUS with a commission

Who's there? My good Lord Cardinal? O my Wolsey,
The quiet of my wounded conscience,
Thou art a cure fit for a King. [To CAMPEIUS] You're
Most learned reverend sir, into our kingdom.
Use us and it. [To WOLSEY] My good lord, have great care
I be not found a talker.
WOLSEY. Sir, you cannot.
I would your Grace would give us but an hour
Of private conference.
KING. [To NORFOLK and SUFFOLK] We are busy; go.
NORFOLK. [Aside to SUFFOLK] This priest has no pride in him!
SUFFOLK. [Aside to NORFOLK] Not to speak of!
I would not be so sick though for his place.
But this cannot continue.
NORFOLK. [Aside to SUFFOLK] If it do,
I'll venture one have-at-him.
SUFFOLK. [Aside to NORFOLK] I another.
WOLSEY. Your Grace has given a precedent of wisdom
Above all princes, in committing freely
Your scruple to the voice of Christendom.
Who can be angry now? What envy reach you?
The Spaniard, tied by 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.
KING. 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.
CAMPEIUS. 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.
KING. Two equal men. The Queen shall be acquainted
Forthwith for what you come. Where's Gardiner?
WOLSEY. I know your Majesty has always lov'd 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.
KING. 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. Exit WOLSEY


WOLSEY. [Aside to GARDINER] Give me your hand: much
joy and favour to you;
You are the King's now.
GARDINER. [Aside to WOLSEY] But to be commanded
For ever by your Grace, whose hand has rais'd me.
KING. Come hither, Gardiner. [Walks and whispers]
CAMPEIUS. My Lord of York, was not one Doctor Pace
In this man's place before him?
WOLSEY. Yes, he was.
CAMPEIUS. Was he not held a learned man?
WOLSEY. Yes, surely.
CAMPEIUS. Believe me, there's an ill opinion spread then,
Even of yourself, Lord Cardinal.
WOLSEY. How! Of me?
CAMPEIUS. They will not stick to say you envied him
And, fearing he would rise, he was so virtuous,
Kept him a foreign man still; which so griev'd him
That he ran mad and died.
WOLSEY. Heav'n's peace be with him!
That's Christian care enough. For living murmurers
There's places of rebuke. He was a fool,
For he would needs be virtuous: that good fellow,
If I command him, follows my appointment.
I will have none so near else. Learn this, brother,
We live not to be grip'd by meaner persons.
KING. Deliver this with modesty to th' Queen.
The most convenient place that I can think of
For such receipt of learning is Blackfriars;
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.


London. The palace


ANNE. Not for that neither. Here's the pang that pinches:
His Highness having liv'd 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 t' 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.
ANNE. 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.
ANNE. So much the more
Must pity drop upon her. Verily,
I swear 'tis better to be lowly born
And range with humble livers in content
Than to be perk'd up in a glist'ring grief
And wear a golden sorrow.
OLD LADY. Our content
Is our best having.
ANNE. By my troth and maidenhead,
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.
ANNE. Nay, good troth.
OLD LADY. Yes, troth and troth. You would not be a queen!
ANNE. No, not for all the riches under heaven.
OLD LADY. 'Tis strange: a threepence 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?
ANNE. 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 burden, 'tis too weak
Ever to get a boy.
ANNE. 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'd venture an emballing. I myself
Would for Carnarvonshire, although there long'd
No more to th' crown but that. Lo, who comes here?


CHAMBERLAIN. Good morrow, ladies. What were't worth to know
The secret of your conference?
ANNE. My good lord,
Not your demand; it values not your asking.
Our mistress' sorrows we were pitying.
CHAMBERLAIN. It was a gentle business and becoming
The action of good women; there is hope
All will be well.
ANNE. Now, I pray God, amen!
CHAMBERLAIN. You bear a gentle mind, and heav'nly blessings
Follow such creatures. That you may, fair lady,
Perceive I speak sincerely and high notes
Ta'en of your many virtues, the King's Majesty
Commends his good opinion of you to you, and
Does purpose honour to you no less flowing
Than Marchioness of Pembroke; to which tide
A thousand pound a year, annual support,
Out of his grace he adds.
ANNE. 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 hallowed, 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 t' approve the fair conceit
The King hath of you. [Aside] I have perus'd 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.
ANNE. 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.
ANNE. This is strange to me.
OLD LADY. How tastes it? Is it bitter? Forty pence, no.
There was a lady once--'tis an old story--
That would not be a queen, that would she not,
For all the mud in Egypt. Have you heard it?
ANNE. Come, you are pleasant.
OLD LADY. With your theme I could
O'ermount the lark. The Marchioness of Pembroke!
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?
ANNE. Good lady,
Make yourself mirth with your particular fancy,
And leave me out on't. Would I had no being,
If this salute my blood a jot; it faints me
To think what follows.
The Queen is comfortless, and we forgetful
In our long absence. Pray, do not deliver
What here y' have heard to her.
OLD LADY. What do you think me?


London. A hall in Blackfriars

Trumpets, sennet, and cornets. Enter two VERGERS, with short
silver wands; next them, two SCRIBES, in the habit of doctors;
after them,
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 silver
then a GENTLEMAN USHER bareheaded, accompanied with a
SERGEANT-AT-ARMS bearing a silver mace; then two GENTLEMEN
two great silver pillars; after them, side by side, the two
and CAMPEIUS; two NOBLEMEN with the sword and mace. Then enter
KING and QUEEN and their trains. The KING takes place under the
cloth of state;
the two CARDINALS sit under him as judges. The QUEEN takes place
some distance from the KING. The BISHOPS place themselves on each
of the court, in manner of consistory; below them the SCRIBES.
The LORDS sit next the BISHOPS. The rest of the attendants stand
in convenient order about the stage

WOLSEY. Whilst our commission from Rome is read,
Let silence be commanded.
KING. What's the need?
It hath already publicly been read,
And on all sides th' authority allow'd;
You may then spare that time.
WOLSEY. Be't so; proceed.
SCRIBE. Say 'Henry King of England, come into the court.'
CRIER. Henry King of England, &c.
KING. Here.
SCRIBE. Say 'Katharine Queen of England, come into the court.'
CRIER. Katharine Queen of England, &c.

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

QUEEN KATHARINE. Sir, I desire you do me right and justice,
And to bestow your pity on me; for
I am a most poor woman and a stranger,
Born out of your dominions, having here
No judge indifferent, nor no more assurance
Of equal friendship and proceeding. Alas, sir,
In what have I offended you? What cause
Hath my behaviour 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 inclin'd. 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 deriv'd your anger did
Continue in my liking? Nay, gave notice
He was from thence discharg'd? 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 advis'd, whose counsel
I will implore. If not, i' th' name of God,
Your pleasure be fulfill'd!
WOLSEY. You have here, lady,
And of your choice, these reverend fathers-men
Of singular integrity and learning,
Yea, the elect o' th' land, who are assembled
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.
Hath spoken well and justly; therefore, madam,
It's fit this royal session do proceed
And that, without delay, their arguments
Be now produc'd and heard.
To you I speak.
WOLSEY. 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.
WOLSEY. Be patient yet.
QUEEN KATHARINE. I will, when you are humble; nay, before
Or God will punish me. I do believe,
Induc'd 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.
WOLSEY. I do profess
You speak not like yourself, who ever yet
Have stood to charity and display'd th' effects
Of disposition gentle and of wisdom
O'ertopping woman's pow'r. 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.
QUEEN KATHARINE. My lord, my lord,
I am a simple woman, much too weak
T' oppose your cunning. Y'are meek and humble-mouth'd;
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 pow'rs 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 judg'd by him.
[She curtsies to the KING, and offers to
CAMPEIUS. 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.
KING. Call her again.
CRIER. Katharine Queen of England, come into the court.
GENTLEMAN USHER. Madam, you are call'd back.
QUEEN KATHARINE. 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 and her
KING. Go thy ways, Kate.
That man i' th' 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.
WOLSEY. Most gracious sir,
In humblest manner I require your Highness
That it shall please you to declare in hearing
Of all these ears--for where I am robb'd and bound,
There must I be unloos'd, 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?
KING. 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. Y'are excus'd.
But will you be more justified? You ever
Have wish'd the sleeping of this business; never desir'd
It to be stirr'd; but oft have hind'red, 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 mov'd me to't,
I will be bold with time and your attention.
Then mark th' inducement. Thus it came--give heed to't:
My conscience first receiv'd a tenderness,
Scruple, and prick, on certain speeches utter'd
By th' 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' th' progress of this business,
Ere a determinate resolution, he--
I mean the Bishop-did require a respite
Wherein he might the King his lord advertise
Whether our daughter were legitimate,
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 forc'd such way
That many maz'd 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 conceiv'd 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' th' 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 mov'd you.
LINCOLN. Very well, my liege.
KING. I have spoke long; be pleas'd yourself to say
How far you satisfied me.
LINCOLN. 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.
KING. I then mov'd 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' th' world against the person
Of the good Queen, but the sharp thorny points
Of my alleged reasons, drives this forward.
Prove but our marriage lawful, by my life
And kingly dignity, we are contented
To wear our moral state to come with her,
Katharine our queen, before the primest creature
That's paragon'd o' th' world.
CAMPEIUS. 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.
KING. [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. Exuent in manner as they



London. The QUEEN'S apartments

Enter the QUEEN and her women, as at work

QUEEN KATHARINE. 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.


GENTLEMAN. An't please your Grace, the two great Cardinals
Wait in the presence.
QUEEN KATHARINE. Would they speak with me?
GENTLEMAN. They will'd me say so, madam.
QUEEN KATHARINE. Pray their Graces
To come near. [Exit GENTLEMAN] What can be their business
With me, a poor weak woman, fall'n from favour?
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.


WOLSEY. Peace to your Highness!
QUEEN KATHARINE. Your Graces find me here part of housewife;
I would be all, against the worst may happen.
What are your pleasures with me, reverend lords?
WOLSEY. May it please you, noble madam, to withdraw
Into your private chamber, we shall give you
The full cause of our coming.
QUEEN KATHARINE. Speak it here;
There's nothing I have done yet, o' my conscience,
Deserves a corner. Would all other women
Could speak this with as free a soul as I do!
My lords, I care not--so much I am happy
Above a number--if my actions
Were tried by ev'ry tongue, ev'ry eye saw 'em,
Envy and base opinion set against 'em,
I know my life so even. If your business
Seek me out, and that way I am wife in,
Out with it boldly; truth loves open dealing.
WOLSEY. Tanta est erga te mentis integritas, regina
QUEEN KATHARINE. O, good my lord, no Latin!
I am not such a truant since my coming,
As not to know the language I have liv'd in;
A strange tongue makes my cause more strange, suspicious;
Pray speak in English. Here are some will thank you,
If you speak truth, for their poor mistress' sake:
Believe me, she has had much wrong. Lord Cardinal,
The willing'st sin I ever yet committed
May be absolv'd in English.
WOLSEY. Noble lady,
I am sorry my integrity should breed,
And service to his Majesty and you,
So deep suspicion, where all faith was meant
We come not by the way of accusation
To taint that honour every good tongue blesses,
Nor to betray you any way to sorrow--
You have too much, good lady; but to know
How you stand minded in the weighty difference
Between the King and you, and to deliver,
Like free and honest men, our just opinions
And comforts to your cause.
CAMPEIUS. Most honour'd madam,
My Lord of York, out of his noble nature,
Zeal and obedience he still bore your Grace,
Forgetting, like a good man, your late censure
Both of his truth and him--which was too far--
Offers, as I do, in a sign of peace,
His service and his counsel.
QUEEN KATHARINE. [Aside] To betray me.--
My lords, I thank you both for your good wins;
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,

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