Henry VIII


Act I
Act II
Act IV
Act V

Enter the Duke of Norfolk at one door; at the other,

the Duke of Buckingham and the Lord Abergavenny


Good morrow, and well met. How have ye done
morrow (n.) morning See Topics: Frequency count

Since last we saw in France?
see (v.) 1 meet, see each other


                         I thank your grace,

Healthful, and ever since a fresh admirer

Of what I saw there.
ague (n.) fever, sickness, shaking [as caused by a fever]


                         An untimely ague

Stayed me a prisoner in my chamber when
stay (v.) 7 detain, confine, keep

Those suns of glory, those two lights of men,

Met in the vale of Andren.


                         'Twixt Guynes and Arde.

I was then present, saw them salute on horseback,

Beheld them when they lighted, how they clung
light (v.) 2 dismount, descend, alight

In their embracement, as they grew together;
embracement (n.) embrace, clasping, hug

Which had they, what four throned ones could have weighed
weigh (v.) 1 balance [as in scales], poise, match

Such a compounded one?
compounded (adj.) blended, mingled, combined, made up


                         All the whole time

I was my chamber's prisoner.


                         Then you lost

The view of earthly glory; men might say,

Till this time pomp was single, but now married
single (adj.) 3 poor, feeble, slight, trivial

To one above itself. Each following day

Became the next day's master, till the last

Made former wonders its. Today the French,

All clinquant, all in gold, like heathen gods,
clinquant (adj.) glittering with gold or silver, gleaming, sparkling

Shone down the English; and tomorrow they

Made Britain India; every man that stood

Showed like a mine. Their dwarfish pages were

As cherubins, all gilt; the madams too,
cherubin (n.) 2 celestial being, heavenly beauty
madam (n.) high-ranking lady

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 masque
painting (n.) 1 cosmetics, paint [for the face], beautifying

Was cried incomparable; and th' ensuing night
cry (v.) 1 speak loudly, shout out, proclaim

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
eye (n.) 1 sight, view, presence

Still him in praise; and being present both,
still (adv.) 2 ever, now [as before]

'Twas said they saw but one, and no discerner

Durst wag his tongue in censure. When these suns –
censure (n.) 1 assessment, opinion, judgement, criticism

For so they phrase 'em – by their heralds challenged
phrase (v.) call, name, style

The noble spirits to arms, they did perform

Beyond thought's compass, that former fabulous story,
compass (n.) 1 range, reach, limit, scope

Being now seen possible enough, got credit,

That Bevis was believed.


                         O, you go far!


As I belong to worship, and affect
affect (v.) 5 cultivate, aim at, seek out
worship (n.) 1 esteem, honour, renown

In honour honesty, the tract of everything
tract (n.) 1 continuance, duration, course of events

Would by a good discourser lose some life
discourser (n.) story-teller, raconteur, narrator

Which action's self was tongue to. All was royal;

To the disposing of it nought rebelled.
disposing (n.) disposal, management, control

Order gave each thing view; the office did
office (n.) 3 officialdom, people who hold office

Distinctly his full function.


                         Who did guide –

I mean, who set the body and the limbs

Of this great sport together, as you guess?
sport (n.) 1 recreation, amusement, entertainment See Topics: Frequency count


One, certes, that promises no element
certes (adv.) certainly, assuredly, without doubt
element (n.) 8 sphere of knowledge, proper comprehension
promise (v.) 3 give one grounds for, lead one to expect

In such a business.


                         I pray you, who, my lord?


All this was ordered by the good discretion

Of the right reverend Cardinal of York.


The devil speed him! No man's pie is freed

From his ambitious finger. What had he

To do in these fierce vanities? I wonder
fierce (adj.) 2 wild, lively, violent
vanity (n.) 4 trifle, folly, vain thing

That such a keech can with his very bulk
keech (n.) lump of congealed fat

Take up the rays o'th' beneficial sun,
take up (v.) 4 keep out, block, prevent

And keep it from the earth.


                         Surely, sir,

There's in him stuff that puts him to these ends;
stuff (n.) 1 substance, composition, quality, essence

For, being not propped by ancestry, whose grace
grace (n.) 2 virtue, good quality

Chalks successors their way, nor called upon

For high feats done to th' crown, neither allied
feat (n.) 2 action, deed, conduct
high (adj.) 2 important, major, special

For eminent assistants, but spider-like,

Out of his self-drawing web, 'a gives us note,
note (n.) 4 sign, mark, token
self-drawing (adj.) spun from within oneself

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 he that?

If not from hell, the devil is a niggard,
niggard (n.) miser, mean person, skinflint

Or has given all before, and he begins

A new hell in himself.


                         Why the devil,

Upon this French going out, took he upon him –
going out (n.) expedition, journey, excursion

Without the privity o'th' King – t' appoint
privity (n.) participation, private knowledge

Who should attend on him? He makes up the file
attend (v.) 2 serve, follow, wait [on/upon]
file (n.) 2 register, list, roll

Of all the gentry, for the most part such

To whom as great a charge as little honour
charge (n.) 7 expense, cost, outlay

He meant to lay upon; and his own letter,
lay upon (v.) bestow on, impose on

The honourable board of Council out,
out (prep.) 3 [unclear meaning] without

Must fetch him in he papers.
fetch in (v.) 2 bring in, involve
paper (v.) put down on paper, write down


                         I do know

Kinsmen of mine, three at the least, that have

By this so sickened their estates that never
estate (n.) 1 state, situation, circumstances

They shall abound as formerly.
abound (v.) be wealthy, prosper, thrive


                         O, many

Have broke their backs with laying manors on 'em
lay (v.) 1 apply, place, put
manor (n.) country house, mansion, estate

For this great journey. What did this vanity
vanity (n.) 2 foolishness, absurdity, inanity

But minister communication of
communication (n.) discussion, conference, debate
minister (v.) 1 provide, supply, give

A most poor issue?
issue (n.) 2 outcome, result, consequence(s) See Topics: Frequency count


                         Grievingly I think

The peace between the French and us not values
value (v.) 3 consider equal in value [to]

The cost that did conclude it.


                         Every man,

After the hideous storm that followed, was

A thing inspired, and, not consulting, broke

Into a general prophecy – that this tempest,

Dashing the garment of this peace, aboded
abode (v.) predict, forebode, portend

The sudden breach on't.
bud out (v.) develop, spring forth, turn out


                         Which is budded out;

For France hath flawed the league, and hath attached
attach (v.) 3 arrest, seize by warrant
flaw (v.) make a crack in, break, damage

Our merchants' goods at Bordeaux.


                         Is it therefore

Th' ambassador is silenced?
silence (v.) force to remain in silence, keep under restraint


                         Marry, is't.


A proper title of a peace, and purchased
title (n.) 3 name, label, designation

At a superfluous rate!
rate (n.) 5 cost, expense
superfluous (adj.) 1 extravagant, wasteful, immoderate


                         Why, all this business

Our reverend Cardinal carried.
like (v.) 1 please, suit See Topics: Politeness


                         Like it your grace,

The state takes notice of the private difference
difference (n.) 1 quarrel, disagreement, dispute
private (adj.) 1 personal, individual, particular
state (n.) 10 government, ruling body, administration

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
read (v.) 2 reckon, consider, take into account

The Cardinal's malice and his potency
potency (n.) power, authority, command

Together; to consider further, that

What his high hatred would effect wants not
high (adj.) 4 proud, haughty, grand
want (v.) 1 lack, need, be without See Topics: Frequency count

A minister in his power. You know his nature,
minister (n.) messenger, agent, servant

That he's revengeful; and I know his sword

Hath a sharp edge – it's long, and't may be said

It reaches far, and where 'twill not extend,

Thither he darts it. Bosom up my counsel;
bosom up (v.) take to heart, keep in mind

You'll find it wholesome. Lo, where comes that rock
wholesome (adj.) 4 profitable, valuable, promoting well-being

That I advise your shunning.
advise, avise (v.) 2 warn, counsel, caution

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


The Duke of Buckingham's surveyor, ha?
purse (n.) 2 bag containing the great seal
surveyor (n.) 1 superintendent, land agent, estate supervisor

Where's his examination?
examination (n.) 1 deposition, testimony, statement


                         Here, so please you.


Is he in person ready?


                         Ay, please your grace.


Well, we shall then know more, and Buckingham

Shall lessen this big look.
big (adj.) 3 arrogant, haughty, proud

Exeunt Cardinal and his train


This butcher's cur is venom-mouthed, and I

Have not the power to muzzle him; therefore best

Not wake him in his slumber. A beggar's book
blood (n.) 7 nobility, breeding, gentility, good parentage
book (n.) 1 book-learning, scholarship, erudition
outworth (v.) outvalue, be more powerful than

Outworths a noble's blood.
chafe (v.) 2 enrage, irritate, anger


                         What, are you chafed?

Ask God for temperance; that's th' appliance only
appliance (n.) 1 remedy, cure, treatment
temperance (n.) 1 self-control, calm behaviour, moderation

Which your disease requires.


                         I read in's looks

Matter against me, and his eye reviled
matter (n.) 4 affair(s), business, real issue

Me as his abject object. At this instant
abject (adj.) mean-spirited, despicable, contemptible

He bores me with some trick. He's gone to th' King.
bore (v.) fool, trick, cheat

I'll follow, and outstare him.


                         Stay, my lord,

And let your reason with your choler question
choler (n.) anger, rage, wrath

What 'tis you go about. To climb steep hills

Requires slow pace at first. Anger is like

A full hot horse, who being allowed his way,
full (adv.) 2 very, exceedingly, extremely
hot (adj.) 5 fast, hasty

Self-mettle tires him. Not a man in England
self-mettle (n.) one's own vigorous activity

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
mouth (n.) 1 utterance, expression, voice

This Ipswich fellow's insolence, or proclaim

There's difference in no persons.
advise, avise (v.) 2 warn, counsel, caution
difference (n.) 8 class difference, distinction of rank


                         Be advised:

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't run o'er
liquor (n.) 2 liquid
mount (v.) 2 cause to boil, make rise

In seeming to augment it wastes it? Be advised.

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.
allay (v.) 1 subside, abate, diminish, quell
passion (n.) 4 fit of anger, feeling of rage



I am thankful to you, and I'll go along

By your prescription; but this top-proud fellow –
top-proud (adj.) showing the highest degree of pride

Whom from the flow of gall I name not, but
flow (n.) flowing
gall (n.) 3 spirit of anger, venom, ability to be angry

From sincere motions – by intelligence,
intelligence (n.) 2 spying, espionage, secretly obtained information
motion (n.) 4 cause, prompting, provocation

And proofs as clear as founts in July when
fount (n.) spring, stream

We see each grain of gravel, I do know

To be corrupt and treasonous.


                         Say not treasonous.


To th' King I'll say't, and make my vouch as strong
vouch (n.) 1 formal statement, attestation, express declaration

As shore of rock. Attend: this holy fox,
attend (v.) 7 listen [to], pay attention [to]

Or wolf, or both – for he is equal ravenous
equal (adv.) equally

As he is subtle, and as prone to mischief

As able to perform't, his mind and place
mind (n.) 2 intention, purpose, intent

Infecting one another, yea, reciprocally –

Only to show his pomp, as well in France

As here at home, suggests the King our master
suggest (v.) 1 tempt, prompt, incite

To this last costly treaty, th' interview
treaty (n.) entreaty, proposal for agreement, proposition

That swallowed so much treasure, and like a glass

Did break i'th' wrenching.
wrench (v.) twisting, sudden movement


                         Faith, and so it did.


Pray give me favour, sir. This cunning Cardinal

The articles o'th' combination drew
article (n.) 1 clause, term, provision
combination (n.) alliance, league, treaty
th' (det.) shortened form of ‘the’

As himself pleased; and they were ratified

As he cried ‘ Thus let be,’ to as much end
end (n.) 1 purpose, aim, design

As give a crutch to th' 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 th' old dam, treason – Charles the Emperor,
dam (n.) mother See Topics: Family

Under pretence to see the Queen his aunt –

For 'twas indeed his colour, but he came
colour (n.) 2 good ground, convincing reason, excuse

To whisper Wolsey – here makes visitation.
whisper (v.) speak secretly with, talk confidentially to

His fears were that the interview betwixt

England and France might through their amity

Breed him some prejudice, for from this league
prejudice (n.) detriment, damage, misfortune

Peeped harms that menaced him. He privily
privily (adv.) secretly, privately, stealthily

Deals with our Cardinal, and, as I trow –
trow (v.) 3 believe, give credence to, accept as true

Which I do well, for I am sure the Emperor

Paid ere he promised, whereby his suit was granted

Ere it was asked – but when the way was made,
suit (n.) 1 formal request, entreaty, petition See Topics: Frequency count

And paved with gold, the Emperor thus desired

That he would please to alter the King's course
course (n.) 1 course of action, way of proceeding See Topics: Frequency count

And break the foresaid peace. Let the King know,
foresaid (adj.) aforesaid

As soon he shall by me, that thus the Cardinal

Does buy and sell his honour as he pleases,
buy and sell, past form bought and sold betray, exploit, treat treacherously

And for his own advantage.


                         I am sorry

To hear this of him, and could wish he were

Something mistaken in't.
mistake (v.) 1 misunderstand, take wrongly, misconceive
something (adv.) 1 somewhat, rather See Topics: Frequency count


                         No, not a syllable:

I do pronounce him in that very shape
shape (n.) 5 role, part [to play]

He shall appear in proof.
proof (n.) 3 test, trial

Enter Brandon, a Sergeant-at-Arms before him, and
office (n.) 1 task, service, duty, responsibility See Topics: Frequency count
sergeant (n.) 2 officer [in an army]

two or three of the guard


Your office, sergeant: 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.


                         Lo you, my lord,

The net has fall'n upon me! I shall perish

Under device and practice.
device (n.) 1 plot, stratagem, trick
practice (n.) 2 trickery, treachery


                         I am sorry

To see you ta'en from liberty, to look on
look on (v.) 2 observe, be a witness to

The business present. 'Tis his highness' pleasure

You shall to th' Tower.
nothing (adv.) not at all, in any / no way


                         It will help me nothing

To plead mine innocence, for that dye is on me

Which makes my whit'st part black. The will of heaven

Be done in this and all things! I obey.

O my Lord Aberga'nny, fare you well!


Nay, he must bear you company. (to Abergavenny) The King

Is pleased you shall to th' Tower, till you know

How he determines further.


                         As the Duke said,

The will of heaven be done, and the King's pleasure

By me obeyed.


                         Here is a warrant from

The King, t' attach Lord Montacute, and the bodies

Of the Duke's confessor, John de la Car,

One Gilbert Perk, his chancellor –


                         So, so;

These are the limbs o'th' plot: no more, I hope.


A monk o'th' Chartreux.


                         O, Nicholas Hopkins?




My surveyor is false. The o'er-great Cardinal
false (adj.) 1 treacherous, traitorous, perfidious See Topics: Frequency count
over-great (adj.) imperious, high-handed, excessive
surveyor (n.) 1 superintendent, land agent, estate supervisor

Hath showed him gold. My life is spanned already.
span (v.) measure out, delimit, determine

I am the shadow of poor Buckingham,

Whose figure even this instant cloud puts on

By darkening my clear sun. My lord, farewell.


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