Act 1, Scene 2
London. The council chamber.
- Cornets. Enter King Henry, leaning on the Cardinal’s
- shoulder, the Nobles, and Sir Thomas Lovell; the Cardinal
- places himself under the King’s feet on his right side, his
- Secretary in attendance.
King5 - 12
- 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 him his confessions justify,
- And point by point the treasons of his master
- He shall again relate.
- A noise within, crying, “Room for the Queen!” who is usher’d
- by the Duke of Norfolk.
- Enter the Queen Katherine, Norfolk, and Suffolk; she kneels.
- The King riseth from his state, takes her up, kisses, and
- placeth her by him.
- Nay, we must longer kneel; I am a suitor.
King19 - 22
- Arise, and take place by us. Half your suit
- Never name to us; you have half our power.
- The other moi’ty ere you ask is given;
- Repeat your will and take it.
Queen Katherine23 - 27
- Thank your Majesty.
- That you would love yourself, and in that love
- Not unconsidered leave your honor nor
- The dignity of your office, is the point
- Of my petition.
- Lady mine, proceed.
Queen Katherine29 - 40
- 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 honor heaven shield from soil!—even he escapes not
- Language unmannerly; yea, such which breaks
- The sides of loyalty, and almost appears
- In loud rebellion.
Duke of Norfolk41 - 49
- 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.
King50 - 53
- Wherein? And what taxation? My Lord Cardinal,
- You that are blam’d for it alike with us,
- Know you of this taxation?
Cardinal Wolsey54 - 57
- 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.
Queen Katherine58 - 67
- No, my lord?
- 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.
King68 - 70
- Still exaction!
- The nature of it? In what kind, let’s know,
- Is this exaction?
Queen Katherine71 - 84
- I am much too venturous
- In tempting of your patience; but am bold’ned
- Under your promis’d pardon. The subject’s grief
- Comes through commissions, which compels from each
- The sixth part of his substance, to be levied
- Without delay; and the pretense 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 baseness.
King85 - 86
- By my life,
- This is against our pleasure.
Cardinal Wolsey87 - 107
- 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.
King108 - 122
- 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 president
- 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.
Cardinal Wolsey123 - 130
- Aside to the First 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 First Secretary.
- Enter Buckingham’s Surveyor.
Queen Katherine133 - 134
- I am sorry that the Duke of Buckingham
- Is run in your displeasure.
King135 - 153
- 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 honor sad. Bid him recount
- The fore-recited practices, whereof
- We cannot feel too little, hear too much.
Cardinal Wolsey154 - 156
- Stand forth, and with bold spirit relate what you,
- Most like a careful subject, have collected
- Out of the Duke of Buckingham.
- Speak freely.
Buckingham’s Surveyor158 - 164
- 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 Aburga’ny, to whom by oath he menac’d
- Revenge upon the Cardinal.
Cardinal Wolsey165 - 169
- 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 Katherine170 - 171
- My learn’d Lord Cardinal,
- Deliver all with charity.
King172 - 175
- 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?
Buckingham’s Surveyor176 - 177
- He was brought to this
- By a vain prophecy of Nicholas Henton.
- What was that Henton?
Buckingham’s Surveyor179 - 181
- Sir, a Chartreux friar,
- His confessor, who fed him every minute
- With words of sovereignty.
- How know’st thou this?
Buckingham’s Surveyor183 - 203
- 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 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 the love o’ th’ commonalty; the Duke
- Shall govern England.’”
Queen Katherine204 - 209
- 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.
King210 - 211
- Let him on.
- Go forward.
Buckingham’s Surveyor212 - 221
- 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.
King222 - 223
- Ha? What, so rank? Ah ha,
- There’s mischief in this man. Canst thou say further?
- I can, my liege.
Buckingham’s Surveyor226 - 228
- Being at Greenwich,
- After your Highness had reprov’d the Duke
- About Sir William Bulmer—
King229 - 231
- I remember
- Of such a time, being my sworn servant,
- The Duke retain’d him his. But on; what hence?
Buckingham’s Surveyor232 - 238
- “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.”
- A giant traitor!
Cardinal Wolsey240 - 241
- Now, madam, may his Highness live in freedom,
- And this man out of prison?
- God mend all!
- There’s something more would out of thee; what say’st?
Buckingham’s Surveyor244 - 250
- 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 tenor
- Was, were he evil us’d, he would outgo
- His father by as much as a performance
- Does an irresolute purpose.
King251 - 256
- There’s his period,
- To sheathe 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.