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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.
Queen Katharine, wife to king Henry, afterwards divorced.
Anne Bullen, her maid of honour; afterwards
An old lady, friend to Anne Bullen.
Patience, woman to queen Katharine.
Several Lords and Ladies in the dumb shows; Women attending upon the queen; Spirits, which appear to her; Scribes, Officers, Guards, and other Attendants.
Scene, chiefly in London and Westminster; once, at Kimbolton.
I COME no more to make you laugh; things
That bear a weighty and a serious brow,
Sad, high, and working, full of state and wo,
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,Of what I saw there.
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, guarded1 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,2)
Will leave us never an understanding friend.
Therefore, for goodness' sake, and as you are
SCENE 1-London. An antechamber in the
Palace. Enter the Duke of Norfolk, at one door;
at the other, the Duke of Buckingham, and the
GOOD morrow, and well met. How have you done,
Since last we saw in France?
I thank your grace:
Healthful; and ever since a fresh admirer
An untimely ague Stay'd me a prisoner in my chamber, when Those suns of glory, those two lights of men,3 Met in the vale of Arde.
'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
Such a compounded one?
All the whole time
I was my chamber's prisoner.
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 heathen gods,
Shone down the English: and, to-morrow, they
(3) Henry VIII. and Francis I. king of France. (4) Glittering, shining.
Made Britain, India: every man, that stood,
Show'd like a mine. Their dwarfish pages were
As cherubims, 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 mask
Was cry'd 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 chal-
The noble spirits to arms, they did perform Beyond thought's compass; that former fabulous story,
Being now seen possible enough, got credit, That Bevis2 was believ'd.
O, you go far.
Nor. As I belong to worship, and affect
In honour honesty, the tract of every thing
Would by a good discourser lose some life,
Which action's self was tongue to. All was royal;|
To the disposing of it nought rebell'd;
Order gave each thing view; the office did
Distinctly his full function.
Who did guide,
I mean, who set the body and the limbs
Of this great sport together, as you guess?
Nor. One, certes,3 that promises no element
In such a business.
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 fierces vanities? I wonder, That such a keech6 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 puts him to these ends: For, being not propp'd by ancestry (whose grace Chalks successors their way,) nor call'd upon For high feats done to the crown; neither allied 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.
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 hel that?
Nor. Which is budded out; For France hath flaw'd the league, and hath attach'd Our merchants' goods at Bourdeaux.
Is it therefore
The ambassador is silenc'd?
Aber. A proper title of a peace; and purchas'd
At a superfluous rate!
Buck. Why, all this business Our reverend cardinal carried.9 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.
Buck. I read in his looks Matter against me; and his eye revil'd Me, as his abject object: at this instant
He bores1 me with some trick: He's gone to the|| (As soon he shall by me,) that thus the cardinal
Does buy and sell his honour as he pleases,
And for his own advantage.
To hear this of him; and could wish, he were
I am sorry
I'll follow, and out-stare him.
Stay, my lord,
And let your reason with your choler question
What 'tis you go about: To climb steep hills,
Requires slow pace at first: Anger is like
A full-hot horse; who being allow'd his way,
Self-mettle tires him. Not a man in England
Can advise me like you be to yourself
As you would to your friend.
I'll to the king;
And from a mouth of honour quite cry down
This Ipswich fellow's insolence; or proclaim,
There's difference in no persons.
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 it 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 Júly, when
We see each grain of gravel, I do know
To be corrupt and treasonous.
Say not, treasonous. Buck. To the king I'll say't; and make my vouch as strong
As shore of rock. Attend. This holy fox,
Or wolf, or both (for he is equal ravenous,
As he is subtle; and as prone to mischief,
As able to perform it: his mind and place
Infecting one another, yea, reciprocally,)
Only to show his pomp as well in France
As here at home, suggests? the king our master
To this last costly treaty, the interview,
That swallow'd so much treasure, and like a glass
Did break i'the rinsing.
No, not a syllable,
I do pronounce him in that very shape,
He shall appear in proof.
The articles o'the 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 the dead: But our count-cardinal
Has done this, and 'tis well; for worthy Wolsey,
Who cannot err, he did it. Now this follows
(Which, as I take it, is a kind of puppy
To the old dam, treason,)-Charles the emperor,
Under pretence to see the queen his aunt
(For 'twas, indeed, his colour; but he came
To whisper Wolsey,) here makes visitation :
His fears were, that the interview, betwixt
England and France, might, through their amity,
Breed him some prejudice; for from this league
Peep'd harms that menac'd him: He 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,
(2) Excites. (3) Unfair stratagem.
Enter Brandon; a Serjeant at Arms before him, and two or three of the guards.
Bran. Your office, serjeant; 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.
The net has fall'n upon me;
Under device and practice.3
Lo you, my lord,
I shall perish
I am sorry
To see you ta'en from liberty, to look on
The business present: "Tis his highness' pleasure
You shall to the Tower.
It will help me nothing, To plead mine innocence; for that die is on me, Which makes my whitest part black. The will of Heaven
These are the limbs of the plot: no more, I hope.
Bran. A monk o'the Chartreux.
O, Nicholas Hopkins?
Buck. My surveyor is false; the o'er-great car-
'Faith, and so it did.
Buck. Pray, give me favour, sir. This cunning 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.-)
n.—My lord, farewell.
SCENE II.-The council-chamber. Cornets.
Enter King Henry, Cardinal Wolsey, the Lords
of the Council, Sir Thomas Lovell, Officers, and
Assistants. The King enters, leaning on the
A noise within, crying Room for the Queen. En- || Is nam'd, your wars in France: This makes bold
ter the Queen, ushered by the Dukes of Norfolk and Suffolk: she kneels. The King riseth from his state, takes her up, kisses, and placeth her|| by him.
Lady mine, proceed.
Q. Kath. I am solicited, not by a few,
And those of true condition, that your subjects
Are in great grievance: there have been
Sent down among them, 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
Language unmannerly, yea, such which breaks
The sides of loyalty, and almost appears
In loud rebellion.
com-To cope4 malicious censurers; which ever,
As ravenous fishes, do a vessel follow
That is new trimm'd; but benefit no further
Than vainly longing. What we oft do best,
By sick interpreters, once weak ones, is
Not ours, or not allow'd ;6 what worst, as oft,
Hitting a grosser quality, is cried up
(Whose honour Heaven shield from soil!) even he| 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.
Not almost appears,
It doth appear; for, upon these taxations,
The clothiers all, not able to maintain
The many to them 'longing, have put off
The spinsters, carders, fullers, weavers, who,
Unfit for other life, compell'd by hunger
And lack of other means, in desperate manner
Daring the event to the teeth, are all in uproar,
And Danger serves among them.
Wherein? and what taxation?-My lord cardinal,
You that are blam'd for it alike with us,
Know you of this taxation?
Please you, sir,
I know but of a single part, in aught
Pertains to the state; and front but in that filel
Where others tell steps with me.
The nature of it? In what kind, let's know,
Is this exaction?
I am much too venturous
In tempting of your patience; but am bolden'd
Under your promis'd pardon The subjects' grief
Comes through commissions, which compel from
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,
That tractable obedience is a slave
The sixth part of his substance, to be levied
Without delay; and the pretence for this
To each incensed will. I would, your highness
Would give it quick consideration, for
There is no primer business.
By my life,
And for me,
I have no farther 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 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 stint3
Our necessary actions, in the fear
(1) I am only one among the other counsellors. (2) Thicket of thorns. (3) Retard.
This is against our pleasure.
Q. Kath. No, my lord, You know no more than others: but you frame Things, that are known alike; which are not whole-Hardly conceive of me; let it be nois'd, That, through our intercession, this revokement To those which would not know them, and yet must|| And pardon comes: I shall anon advise you Perforce be their acquaintance. These exactions, Further in the proceeding. [Exit Secretary. Whereof my sovereign would have note, they are Most pestilent to the hearing; and, to bear them, The back is sacrifice to the load. They say, They are devis'd by you; or else you suffer Too hard an exclamation.
Things done well,
And with a care, exempt themselves from fear;
Things done without example, in their issue
Are to be fear'd. Have you a precedent
Of this commission? I believe, not any.
We must not rend our subjects from our laws,
And stick them in our will. Sixth part of each?
A trembling contribution! Why, we take,
From every tree, lop, bark, and part o'the timber;
And, though we leave it with a root, thus hack'd,
The air will drink the sap. To every county,
Where this is question'd, send our letters, with
Free pardon to each man that has denied
The force of this commission: Pray, look to't;
I put it to your care.
A word with you.
[To the Secretary.
Let there be letters writ to every shire,
Of the king's grace and pardon. The griev'd
Q. Kath. I am sorry, that the duke of Bucking
Is run in your displeasure.
It grieves many:
The gentleman is learn'd, and a most rare speaker,
To nature none more bound; his training such,
That he may furnish and instruct great teachers,
And never seek for aid out of himself.
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,
(4) Encounter. (5) Sometime. (6) Approved. (7) Beyond.
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.
Wol. Stand forth; and with bold spirit relate
Most like a careful subject, have collected Out of the duke of Buckingham.
Speak freely. Surv. First, it was usual with him, every day It would infect his speech, That if the king Should without issue die, he'd carry it so To make the sceptre his: These very words I have heard him utter to his son-in-law, Lord Aberga'ny; to whom by oath he menac'd Revenge upon the cardinal. Wol. 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.
My learn'd lord cardinal,
Deliver all with charity.
How grounded he his title to the crown,
Upon our fail? to this point hast thou heard him
At any time speak aught?
He was brought to this
By a vain prophecy of Nicholas Hopkins.
K. Hen. What was that Hopkins?
His confessor; who fed him
With words of sovereignty.
How know'st thou this?
Surv. Not long before your highness sped to
The duke being at the Rose,2 within the parish
Saint Lawrence Poultney, did of me demand
What was the speech amongst 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 Court, 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 his
(Tell you the duke) shall prosper: bid him strive To gain the love of the commonalty; the duke Shall govern England.
Q. Kath. If I know you well, You were the duke's surveyor, and lost your
On the complaint o'the tenants: Take good heed,
You charge not in your spleen a noble person,
And spoil your nobler soul! I say, take heed;
Yes, heartily beseech you.
Let him on :
(1) Conduct, manage. (2) Now Merchant-Taylor's School.
Sir, a Chartreux friar, And this man out of prison? every minute Q. Kath
I remember, Of such a time :--Being my servant sworn,
| The duke retain'd him his.- -But on; What hence?
Surv. If, quoth he, I for this had been com mitted,
As to the Tower, I thought,-I would have play'd The part my father meant to act upon
The usurper Richard: who, being at Salisbury, Made suit to come in his presence; which, if granied,
As he made semblance of his duty, would
Have put his knife into him.
Wol. Now, madam, may
A giant traitor! his highness live in
God mend all!
K. Hen. There's something more would out of thee; What say'st?
Cham. Is it possible, the spells of France should juggle
Men into such strange mysteries?
Though they be never so ridiculous,
Nay, let them be unmanly, yet are follow'd.
Cham. As far as I see, all the good our English
Have got by the late voyage, is but merely
A fit3 or two of the face; but they are shrewd ones;
For when they hold them, you would swear directly,
Their very noses had been counsellors
To Pepin, or Clotharius, they keep state so.
Sands. They have all new legs, and lame ones;
one would take it,
That never saw them pace before, the spavin,