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Henry VIII: Act 1, Scene 2

Henry VIII
Act 1, Scene 2

London. The council chamber.

  1. Cornets. Enter King Henry, leaning on the Cardinal’s
  2. shoulder, the Nobles, and Sir Thomas Lovell; the Cardinal
  3. places himself under the King’s feet on his right side, his
  4. Secretary in attendance.

King

5 - 12
  1. My life itself, and the best heart of it,
  2. Thanks you for this great care. I stood i’ th’ level
  3. Of a full-charg’d confederacy, and give thanks
  4. To you that chok’d it. Let be call’d before us
  5. That gentleman of Buckingham’s; in person
  6. I’ll hear him his confessions justify,
  7. And point by point the treasons of his master
  8. He shall again relate.
  1. A noise within, crying, Room for the Queen!” who is usher’d
  2. by the Duke of Norfolk.
  1. Enter the Queen Katherine, Norfolk, and Suffolk; she kneels.
  1. The King riseth from his state, takes her up, kisses, and
  2. placeth her by him.

Queen Katherine

18
  1. Nay, we must longer kneel; I am a suitor.

King

19 - 22
  1. Arise, and take place by us. Half your suit
  2. Never name to us; you have half our power.
  3. The other moi’ty ere you ask is given;
  4. Repeat your will and take it.

Queen Katherine

23 - 27
  1.                               Thank your Majesty.
  2. That you would love yourself, and in that love
  3. Not unconsidered leave your honor nor
  4. The dignity of your office, is the point
  5. Of my petition.

King

28
  1.                 Lady mine, proceed.

Queen Katherine

29 - 40
  1. I am solicited, not by a few,
  2. And those of true condition, that your subjects
  3. Are in great grievance: there have been commissions
  4. Sent down among ’em, which hath flaw’d the heart
  5. Of all their loyalties; wherein, although,
  6. My good Lord Cardinal, they vent reproaches
  7. Most bitterly on you as putter-on
  8. Of these exactions, yet the King our master
  9. Whose honor heaven shield from soil!—even he escapes not
  10. Language unmannerly; yea, such which breaks
  11. The sides of loyalty, and almost appears
  12. In loud rebellion.

Duke of Norfolk

41 - 49
  1.                    Not almost appears,
  2. It doth appear; for, upon these taxations,
  3. The clothiers all, not able to maintain
  4. The many to them ’longing, have put off
  5. The spinsters, carders, fullers, weavers, who,
  6. Unfit for other life, compell’d by hunger
  7. And lack of other means, in desperate manner
  8. Daring th’ event to th’ teeth, are all in uproar,
  9. And danger serves among them.

King

50 - 53
  1.                               Taxation?
  2. Wherein? And what taxation? My Lord Cardinal,
  3. You that are blam’d for it alike with us,
  4. Know you of this taxation?

Cardinal Wolsey

54 - 57
  1.                            Please you, sir,
  2. I know but of a single part in aught
  3. Pertains to th’ state; and front but in that file
  4. Where others tell steps with me.

Queen Katherine

58 - 67
  1.                                  No, my lord?
  2. You know no more than others? But you frame
  3. Things that are known alike, which are not wholesome
  4. To those which would not know them, and yet must
  5. Perforce be their acquaintance. These exactions
  6. (Whereof my sovereign would have note), they are
  7. Most pestilent to th’ hearing, and, to bear ’em,
  8. The back is sacrifice to th’ load. They say
  9. They are devis’d by you, or else you suffer
  10. Too hard an exclamation.

King

68 - 70
  1.                          Still exaction!
  2. The nature of it? In what kind, let’s know,
  3. Is this exaction?

Queen Katherine

71 - 84
  1.                   I am much too venturous
  2. In tempting of your patience; but am bold’ned
  3. Under your promis’d pardon. The subject’s grief
  4. Comes through commissions, which compels from each
  5. The sixth part of his substance, to be levied
  6. Without delay; and the pretense for this
  7. Is nam’d, your wars in France. This makes bold mouths,
  8. Tongues spit their duties out, and cold hearts freeze
  9. Allegiance in them; their curses now
  10. Live where their prayers did; and it’s come to pass
  11. This tractable obedience is a slave
  12. To each incensed will. I would your Highness
  13. Would give it quick consideration, for
  14. There is no primer baseness.

King

85 - 86
  1.                              By my life,
  2. This is against our pleasure.

Cardinal Wolsey

87 - 107
  1.                               And for me,
  2. I have no further gone in this than by
  3. A single voice, and that not pass’d me but
  4. By learned approbation of the judges. If I am
  5. Traduc’d by ignorant tongues, which neither know
  6. My faculties nor person, yet will be
  7. The chronicles of my doing, let me say
  8. ’Tis but the fate of place, and the rough brake
  9. That virtue must go through. We must not stint
  10. Our necessary actions in the fear
  11. To cope malicious censurers, which ever,
  12. As rav’nous fishes, do a vessel follow
  13. That is new trimm’d, but benefit no further
  14. Than vainly longing. What we oft do best,
  15. By sick interpreters (once weak ones) is
  16. Not ours, or not allow’d; what worst, as oft,
  17. Hitting a grosser quality, is cried up
  18. For our best act. If we shall stand still,
  19. In fear our motion will be mock’d or carp’d at,
  20. We should take root here where we sit, or sit
  21. State-statues only.

King

108 - 122
  1.                     Things done well
  2. And with a care exempt themselves from fear;
  3. Things done without example, in their issue
  4. Are to be fear’d. Have you a president
  5. Of this commission? I believe, not any.
  6. We must not rend our subjects from our laws,
  7. And stick them in our will. Sixth part of each?
  8. A trembling contribution! Why, we take
  9. From every tree, lop, bark, and part o’ th’ timber;
  10. And, though we leave it with a root, thus hack’d,
  11. The air will drink the sap. To every county
  12. Where this is question’d send our letters, with
  13. Free pardon to each man that has denied
  14. The force of this commission. Pray look to’t;
  15. I put it to your care.

Cardinal Wolsey

123 - 130
  1. Aside to the First Secretary
  2.                        A word with you.
  3. Let there be letters writ to every shire,
  4. Of the King’s grace and pardon. The grieved commons
  5. Hardly conceive of me; let it be nois’d
  6. That through our intercession this revokement
  7. And pardon comes. I shall anon advise you
  8. Further in the proceeding.
  1. Exit First Secretary.
  1. Enter Buckingham’s Surveyor.

Queen Katherine

133 - 134
  1. I am sorry that the Duke of Buckingham
  2. Is run in your displeasure.

King

135 - 153
  1.                             It grieves many.
  2. The gentleman is learn’d, and a most rare speaker,
  3. To nature none more bound; his training such
  4. That he may furnish and instruct great teachers
  5. And never seek for aid out of himself. Yet see,
  6. When these so noble benefits shall prove
  7. Not well dispos’d, the mind growing once corrupt,
  8. They turn to vicious forms, ten times more ugly
  9. Than ever they were fair. This man so complete,
  10. Who was enroll’d ’mongst wonders, and when we,
  11. Almost with ravish’d list’ning, could not find
  12. His hour of speech a minutehe, my lady,
  13. Hath into monstrous habits put the graces
  14. That once were his, and is become as black
  15. As if besmear’d in hell. Sit by us, you shall hear
  16. (This was his gentleman in trust) of him
  17. Things to strike honor sad. Bid him recount
  18. The fore-recited practices, whereof
  19. We cannot feel too little, hear too much.

Cardinal Wolsey

154 - 156
  1. Stand forth, and with bold spirit relate what you,
  2. Most like a careful subject, have collected
  3. Out of the Duke of Buckingham.

King

157
  1.                                Speak freely.

Buckingham’s Surveyor

158 - 164
  1. First, it was usual with himevery day
  2. It would infect his speechthat if the King
  3. Should without issue die, he’ll carry it so
  4. To make the sceptre his. These very words
  5. I’ve heard him utter to his son-in-law,
  6. Lord Aburga’ny, to whom by oath he menac’d
  7. Revenge upon the Cardinal.

Cardinal Wolsey

165 - 169
  1.                            Please your Highness note
  2. This dangerous conception in this point,
  3. Not friended by his wish, to your high person;
  4. His will is most malignant, and it stretches
  5. Beyond you to your friends.

Queen Katherine

170 - 171
  1.                             My learn’d Lord Cardinal,
  2. Deliver all with charity.

King

172 - 175
  1.                           Speak on.
  2. How grounded he his title to the crown
  3. Upon our fail? To this point hast thou heard him
  4. At any time speak aught?

Buckingham’s Surveyor

176 - 177
  1.                          He was brought to this
  2. By a vain prophecy of Nicholas Henton.

King

178
  1. What was that Henton?

Buckingham’s Surveyor

179 - 181
  1.                       Sir, a Chartreux friar,
  2. His confessor, who fed him every minute
  3. With words of sovereignty.

King

182
  1.                            How know’st thou this?

Buckingham’s Surveyor

183 - 203
  1. Not long before your Highness sped to France,
  2. The Duke being at the Rose, within the parish
  3. Saint Lawrence Poultney, did of me demand
  4. What was the speech among the Londoners
  5. Concerning the French journey. I replied,
  6. Men fear the French would prove perfidious,
  7. To the King’s danger. Presently the Duke
  8. Said, ’twas the fear indeed, and that he doubted
  9. ’Twould prove the verity of certain words
  10. Spoke by a holy monk that oft,” says he,
  11. Hath sent to me, wishing me to permit
  12. John de la Car, my chaplain, a choice hour
  13. To hear from him a matter of some moment;
  14. Whom after under the confession’s seal
  15. He solemnly had sworn that what he spoke
  16. My chaplain to no creature living but
  17. To me should utter, with demure confidence
  18. This pausingly ensu’d: Neither the King nor ’s heirs
  19. (Tell you the Duke) shall prosper. Bid him strive
  20. To the love o’ th’ commonalty; the Duke
  21. Shall govern England.

Queen Katherine

204 - 209
  1.                         If I know you well,
  2. You were the Duke’s surveyor, and lost your office
  3. On the complaint o’ th’ tenants. Take good heed
  4. You charge not in your spleen a noble person
  5. And spoil your nobler soul; I say, take heed;
  6. Yes, heartily beseech you.

King

210 - 211
  1.                            Let him on.
  2. Go forward.

Buckingham’s Surveyor

212 - 221
  1.             On my soul, I’ll speak but truth.
  2. I told my lord the Duke, by th’ devil’s illusions
  3. The monk might be deceiv’d, and that ’twas dangerous for him
  4. To ruminate on this so far, until
  5. It forg’d him some design, which being believ’d,
  6. It was much like to do. He answer’d, Tush,
  7. It can do me no damage”; adding further
  8. That had the King in his last sickness fail’d,
  9. The Cardinal’s and Sir Thomas Lovell’s heads
  10. Should have gone off.

King

222 - 223
  1.                       Ha? What, so rank? Ah ha,
  2. There’s mischief in this man. Canst thou say further?

Buckingham’s Surveyor

224
  1. I can, my liege.

King

225
  1.                  Proceed.

Buckingham’s Surveyor

226 - 228
  1.          Being at Greenwich,
  2. After your Highness had reprov’d the Duke
  3. About Sir William Bulmer

King

229 - 231
  1.                           I remember
  2. Of such a time, being my sworn servant,
  3. The Duke retain’d him his. But on; what hence?

Buckingham’s Surveyor

232 - 238
  1. If,” quoth he, I for this had been committed
  2. As to the Tower, I thoughtI would have play’d
  3. The part my father meant to act upon
  4. Th’ usurper Richard, who, being at Salisbury,
  5. Made suit to come in ’s presence; which if granted,
  6. As he made semblance of his duty would
  7. Have put his knife into him.”

King

239
  1.                               A giant traitor!

Cardinal Wolsey

240 - 241
  1. Now, madam, may his Highness live in freedom,
  2. And this man out of prison?

Queen Katherine

242
  1.                             God mend all!

King

243
  1. There’s something more would out of thee; what say’st?

Buckingham’s Surveyor

244 - 250
  1. After the Duke his father,” with the knife,”
  2. He stretch’d him, and with one hand on his dagger,
  3. Another spread on ’s breast, mounting his eyes,
  4. He did discharge a horrible oath, whose tenor
  5. Was, were he evil us’d, he would outgo
  6. His father by as much as a performance
  7. Does an irresolute purpose.

King

251 - 256
  1.                             There’s his period,
  2. To sheathe his knife in us. He is attach’d,
  3. Call him to present trial. If he may
  4. Find mercy in the law, ’tis his; if none,
  5. Let him not seek’t of us. By day and night,
  6. He’s traitor to th’ height.
  1. Exeunt.
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