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KING HENRY THE EIGHTH.
CAPUCIUS, Ambassador from the
Emperor Charles V.
CRANMER, Archbishop of Canter
DUKE OF NORFOLK.
DUKE OF BUCKINGHAM.
DUKE OF SUFFOLK.
EARL OF SURREY.
GARTER, King at Arms.
SURVEYOR to the Duke of Buck-
BRANDON, and a Sergeant at Arms.
DOOR-KEEPER of the Council-
PORTER, and his Man.
PAGE to Gardiner.
QUEEN KATHARINE, Wife to
King Henry; afterwards divorced.
ANNE BULLEN, her Maid of Ho-
nour; afterwards Queen.
AN OLD LADY, Friend to Anne
PATIENCE, Woman to Queen Ka-
GARDINER, Bishop of Winchester.
BISHOP OF LINCOLN.
SIR HENRY GUILDFORD.
SIR THOMAS LOVELL.
SIR ANTHONY DENNY.
SIR NICHOLAS VAUX.
SECRETARIES to Wolsey.
CROMWELL, Servant to Wolsey.
GRIFFITH, Gentleman-Usher to
THREE OTHER GENTLEMEN.
DOCTOR BUTTS, Physician to the
SCENE, chiefly in London and Westminster; once at Kimbolton.
Several LORDS and LADIES in the Dumb Shows; WOMEN attending upon the Queen; SPIRITS which appear to her; SCRIBES, OFFICERS, GUARDS, and other AT
I COME no more to make you laugh; things now,
That bear a weighty and a serious brow,
Sad, high, and working, full of state and woe,
Such noble scenes as draw the eye to flow,
We now present. Those that can pity, here
May, if they think it well, let fall a tear;
The subject will deserve it. Such, as give
Their money out of hope they may believe,
May here find truth too. Those, that come to see
Only a show or two, and so agree,
The play may pass; if they be still, and willing,
I'll undertake, may see away their shilling
Richly in two short hours. Only they,
That come to hear a merry, bawdy play,
A noise of targets; or to see a fellow
In a long motley coat, guarded* with yellow,
Will be deceived; for, gentle hearers, know,
To rank our chosen truth with such a show
As foot and fight is, beside forfeiting
Our own brains, and the opinion that we bring,
(To make that only true we now intend,†)
Will leave us never an understanding friend.
Therefore, for goodness' sake, and as you are known
The first and happiest hearers of the town,
Be sad, as we would make ye: Think, ye see
The very persons of our noble story,
As they were living; think, you see them great,
And follow'd with the general throng, and sweat,
Of thousand friends; then, in a moment, see
How soon this mightiness meets misery!
And, if you can be merry then, I'll say,
A man may weep upon his wedding day.
SCENE I-London. An Ante-chamber in Palace.
Enter the Duke of NORFOLK, at one door; at the other, the
Duke of BUCKINGHAM, and the LORD ABERGAVENNY.
Buck. Good morrow, and well met. How have you done, Since last we saw in France?
Nor. I thank your grace:
Healthful; and ever since a fresh admirer
Of what I saw there,
Buck. 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 Arde.
Nor. "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;
Henry VIII. and Francis I.
Which had they, what four throned ones could have weigh'd Such a compounded one?
Buck. All the whole time
I was my chamber's prisoner.
Nor. 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 it's: To-day, the French
All clinquant,* all in gold, like heat 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 cherubims, all gilt; the madams, too,
Not used to toil, did almost sweat to bear
The pride upon them, that their very labour
Was to them as a painting: now this mask
Was cried incomparable; and the ensuing night
Made it a fool, and beggar. The two kings,
Equal in lustre, were now best, now worst,
As presence did present them; him in eye,
Still him in praise: and, being present both,
'Twas said, they saw but one; and no discerner
Durst wag his tongue in censure. When these suns
(For so they phrase them,) 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.
Buck. O, you go far.
Nor. As I belong to worship, and affect
In honour honesty, the tract of everything
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.
Buck. Who did guide?
I mean, who set the body and the limbs
Of this great sport together, as you guess?
Nor. One, certes, § that promises no element || In such a business.
Buck. I pray you, who, my lord?
Nor. All this was order'd by the good discretion
Of the right reverend cardinal of York.
Buck. The devil speed him! no man's pie is freed
From his ambitious finger. What had he
To do in these fierce T vanities? I wonder
* Glittering, shining.
Sir Bevis, an old romance.
+ Decision between them.
That such a keech can with his very bulk
Take up the rays o' the beneficial sun,
And keep it from the earth.
Nor. Surely, Sir,
There's in him stuff that put's him to these ends:
For, being not propp'd by ancestry, (whose grace
Chalks successors their way,) nor call'd upon
For high feats done to the crown; neither allied
To eminent assistants, but, spider like,
Out of his self-drawing web, he gives us note,
The force of his own merit makes his way;
A gift that heaven gives for him, which buys
A place next to the king.
Aber. 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.
Buck. Why the devil,
Upon this French going-out, took he upon him,
Without the privity o' the king, to appoint
Who should attend on him? He makes up the file+
Of all the gentry; for the most part such
Too, whom as great a charge as little honour
He meant to lay upon: and his own letter,
The honourable board of council out,
Must fetch him in the papers.
Aber. I do know
Kinsmen of mine, three at the least, that have
By this so sicken'd their estates, that never
They shall abound as formerly.
Buck. O, many
Have broke their backs with laying manors on them
For this great journey. What did this vanity,
But minister communication of
A most poor issue?
Nor. Grievingly I think,
The peace between the French and us not values
The cost that did conclude it.
Buck. Every man.
After the hideous storm that follow'd, was
A thing inspired: and, not consulting, broke
Into a general prophecy, That this tempest,
Dashing the garment of this peace, aboded
The sudden breach on't.
Nor. Which is budded out;
For France hath flaw'd the league, and hath attached
Our merchant's goods at Bordeaux
* Lump of fat.
I. e. sets down in his letter without consulting the council.
Aber. Is it therefore
The ambassador is silenc'd ?
Nor. Marry, is't.
Aber. A proper title of a peace; and purchas'd
At a superfluous rate!
Buck. Why, all this business Our reverend cardinal carried.*
Nor. '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, it 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.
Wol. The duke of Buckingham's surveyor? ha? Where's his examination?
1 Secr. Here, so please you.
Wol. Is he in person ready? 1 Secr. Ay, please your grace.
Wol. Well, we shall then know more; and Buckingham Shall lessen this big look.
[Exeunt WOLSEY and train. Buck. 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 look Out-worth's a noble's blood.
Nor. What, are you chaf'd?
Ask God for temperance; that's the appliance only
Which your disease requires.
Buck. I read in his 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 the king;
I'll follow, and out-stare him.
Nor. Stay, my lord,
And let your reason with your choler question
+ Wolsey was said to be the son of a butcher. A beggar's learning is thought more highly of than a nobleman's descent.