The Complete Works of William Shakespeare King Henry the Eighth

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by William Shakespeare


GRIFFITH, gentleman-usher to Queen Katharine THREE GENTLEMEN
SURVEYOR to the Duke of Buckingham BRANDON, and a SERGEANT-AT-ARMS
DOORKEEPER of the Council chamber PORTER, and his MAN PAGE to Gardiner A CRIER

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, the DUKE OF BUCKINGHAM and the LORD ABERGAVENNY

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 train
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. SERGEANT. Sir,
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. [To ABERGAVENNY] The King
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. Exeunt


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. Exit SECRETARY

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. Exeunt


London. The palace

Enter the LORD CHAMBERLAIN and LORD SANDYS 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 monsieurs
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. CHAMBERLAIN. Sir Thomas,
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. Exeunt


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 lady]
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 her]
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! [Drinks]
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. Exit a SERVANT
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 remov’d
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 BULLEN]
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 state]
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 daughter–
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? SECOND GENTLEMAN. O, God save ye!
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? FIRST GENTLEMAN. The same.
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 LOVELL, SIR NICHOLAS VAUX, SIR WILLIAM SANDYS, 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. 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 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. FIRST GENTLEMAN. ‘Tis woeful.
We are too open here to argue this; Let’s think in private more. Exeunt


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. Exit LORD CHAMBERLAIN; and the KING 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 welcome,
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. Exeunt NORFOLK and SUFFOLK
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. Exit
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. Exeunt


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! Exit LORD CHAMBERLAIN
OLD LADY. Why, this it is: see, see! I have been begging sixteen years in court– Am yet a courtier beggarly–nor could
Come pat betwixt too early and too late For any suit of pounds; and you, O fate! 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? Exeunt


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,
the ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY alone; after him, the BISHOPS OF LINCOLN, ELY, ROCHESTER, and SAINT ASAPH; next them, with some small distance, follows a GENTLEMAN bearing the purse, with the great seal,
and a Cardinal’s hat; then two PRIESTS, bearing each silver cross;
then a GENTLEMAN USHER bareheaded, accompanied with a SERGEANT-AT-ARMS bearing a silver mace; then two GENTLEMEN bearing
two great silver pillars; after them, side by side, the two CARDINALS, WOLSEY
and CAMPEIUS; two NOBLEMEN with the sword and mace. Then enter the
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 side
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 depart]
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 attendants
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 entered



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 serenissima–
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,