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drama, containing, in fact, the commencement of the story. of this course of proceeding Henslowe's Diary furnishes several other examples.
The earliest entry relating to " Cardinal Wolsey," (the second play in the order of the incidents, though the earliest in point of production) is dated 5th June, 1601, when Henry Chettle was paid 208. " for writing the book of Cardinal Wolsey.” On the 14th July he was paid 40s. more on the same account, and in the whole, between 5th June and 17th July, he was paid 51., as large a sum as he usually obtained for a new play.
We have no positive testimony of the success of “Cardinal Wolsey," of which Chettle was the sole author; but we are led to infer it, because very soon afterwards we find no fewer than four poets engaged upon the production of the drama under the title of " The Rising of Cardinal Wolsey," which, doubtless, related to his early life, and to his gradual advance in the favour of Henry VIII. These four poets were Drayton, Chettle, Munday, and Wentworth Smith; and so many pens, we may conjecture, were employed, that the play might be brought out with all dispatch, in order to follow up the popularity of what may be looked upon as the second part of the same "history." Another memorandum in Henslowe's Diary tends to the same conclusion, for it appears that the play was licensed piece-meal by the Master of the Revels, that it might be put into rehearsal as it proceeded, and represented immediately after it was finished.
A farther point established by the same authority is, that Henslowe expended an unusual amount in getting up the drama. On the 10th Ang. 1601, he paid no less than 211. for “velvet, sattin, and taffeta” for the dresses, a sum equal now to about 1001. Upon the costumes only, in the whole, considerably more than 2001. were laid out, reckoning the value of money in 1601 at about five times its value at present.
We may conclude with tolerable certainty that Shakespeare wrote “ Henry the Eighth” in the winter of 1603-4, and that it was first acted at the Globe soon after the commencement of the season there, which seems to have begun towards the close of April, as soon as a theatre open to the weather could be conveniently employed. The coronation procession of Anne Bullen forms a prominent feature in the drama; and as the coronation of Jaines I. and Anne of Denmark took place on the 24th July, 1603, we may not unreasonably suppose that the audiences at the Globo were intended to be reminded of that event, and that the show, detailed with such unusual minuteness in the folio of 1623, was meant as a remote imitation of its splendour. The opinion, that Shakespeare's “ Henry the Eighth” was undoubtedly written after the accession of James I., was expressed and printed by us nearly twenty years ago. The words “aged princess,” (no part of the imputed addition by Ben Jonson) would never have been used by Shakespeare during the life of Elizabeth.
KING HENRY THE EIGHTH.
and his Man.
QUEEN KATHARINE, Wife to King Henry.
PATIENCE, Woman to Queen Katharine.
men attending upon the Queen; Spirits, which appear to her ; Scribes, Officers, Guards, and other Attendants.
SCENE, chiefly in London and Westminster; once, at
KING HENRY VIII.
PROLOGUE. I COME po 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.
SCENE I.-London. An Ante-chamber in the
Palace. Enter the Duke of Norfolk, at one door ; at the other,
the Duke of BucKINGHAM, and the Lord ABER
Buck. Good morrow, and well met. How have
I thank your grace,
An untimely ague
'Twixt Guynes and Arde :
All the whole time
Then you lost
'T was said, they saw but one: and no discerner
0! you go far.
The office did
Nor. One, certes, that promises no element
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
I cannot tell
1 Of Southampton, the hero of an old romance. 2 This sentence is assigned to NORFOLK, in f. e. 3 A ball of fat, rolled up by batchers. 40 : in folio.' Steevens made the change.