Henry VIII


Text

Act I
Act II
Act III
Act IV
Act V

Enter two Gentlemen, at several doors
several (adj.) 1 separate, different, distinct See Topics: Frequency count


FIRST GENTLEMAN

Whither away so fast?


SECOND GENTLEMAN

                         O, God save ye!

Even to the Hall, to hear what shall become

Of the great Duke of Buckingham.


FIRST GENTLEMAN

                         I'll save you

That labour, sir. All's now done but the ceremony

Of bringing back the prisoner.


SECOND GENTLEMAN

                         Were you there?


FIRST GENTLEMAN

Yes, indeed was I.


SECOND GENTLEMAN

                         Pray speak what has happened.


FIRST GENTLEMAN

You may guess quickly what.


SECOND GENTLEMAN

                         Is he found guilty?


FIRST GENTLEMAN

Yes, truly is he, and condemned upon't.


SECOND GENTLEMAN

I am sorry for't.


FIRST GENTLEMAN

                         So are a number more.


SECOND GENTLEMAN

But, pray, how passed it?


FIRST GENTLEMAN

I'll tell you in a little. The great Duke
little, in a in brief, shortly

Came to the bar, where to his accusations

He pleaded still not guilty, and alleged
allege (v.) advance, produce, bring forward
still (adv.) 1 constantly, always, continually See Topics: Frequency count

Many sharp reasons to defeat the law.
defeat (v.) 1 refute, resist
law (n.) charge, accusation, case [against]
sharp (adj.) 7 subtle, delicate, acute

The King's attorney, on the contrary,
contrary (n.) 3 opposite side, position as adversary

Urged on the examinations, proofs, confessions,
examination (n.) 1 deposition, testimony, statement
proof (n.) 4 evidence, demonstration, testimony

Of divers witnesses, which the Duke desired
divers (adj.) different, various, several

To have brought viva voce to his face;
viva voce by word of mouth See Topics: Latin

At which appeared against him his surveyor,
surveyor (n.) 1 superintendent, land agent, estate supervisor

Sir Gilbert Perk his chancellor, and John Car,

Confessor to him, with that devil-monk,

Hopkins, that made this mischief.
mischief (n.) 2 wicked action, evil deed, harmful scheme


SECOND GENTLEMAN

                         That was he

That fed him with his prophecies.


FIRST GENTLEMAN

                         The same.

All these accused him strongly, which he fain

Would have flung from him; but indeed he could not;
fain (adv.) gladly, willingly See Topics: Frequency count

And so his peers, upon this evidence,

Have found him guilty of high treason. Much

He spoke, and learnedly, for life, but all

Was either pitied in him or forgotten.
forget (v.) 1 neglect, disregard, give no thought to


SECOND GENTLEMAN

After all this, how did he bear himself?
bear (v.), past forms bore, borne 1 behave, look, conduct [oneself]


FIRST GENTLEMAN

When he was brought again to th' bar, to hear

His knell rung out, his judgement, he was stirred

With such an agony he sweat extremely,

And something spoke in choler, ill and hasty;
choler (n.) anger, rage, wrath
ill (adv.) 2 imperfectly, poorly, to ill effect

But he fell to himself again, and sweetly

In all the rest showed a most noble patience.


SECOND GENTLEMAN

I do not think he fears death.


FIRST GENTLEMAN

                         Sure he does not;

He never was so womanish. The cause

He may a little grieve at.


SECOND GENTLEMAN

                         Certainly

The Cardinal is the end of this.
end (n.) 6 root cause, source


FIRST GENTLEMAN

                         'Tis likely,

By all conjectures: first, Kildare's attainder,
attainder (n.) 1 accusation, allegation, denunciation
conjecture (n.) 1 surmise, guess, supposition

Then deputy of Ireland, who removed,
remove (v.) go, move off, depart

Earl Surrey was sent thither, and in haste too,

Lest he should help his father.


SECOND GENTLEMAN

                         That trick of state

Was a deep envious one.
envious (adj.) malicious, spiteful, vindictive, full of enmity See Topics: Frequency count


FIRST GENTLEMAN

                         At his return

No doubt he will requite it. This is noted,
requite (v.), past forms requit, requited 2 avenge, pay back, take vengeance on

And generally: whoever the King favours,
generally (adv.) universally, without exception, in the eyes of all

The Cardinal instantly will find employment,

And far enough from court too.
common (n.) 1 (people) common people, ordinary citizens


SECOND GENTLEMAN

                         All the commons

Hate him perniciously, and, o' my conscience,
perniciously (adv.) with deep loathing, to the point of destruction

Wish him ten fathom deep. This Duke as much

They love and dote on, call him bounteous Buckingham,

The mirror of all courtesy –


FIRST GENTLEMAN

                         Stay there, sir,

And see the noble ruined man you speak of.

Enter Buckingham from his arraignment, tipstaves
close (adv.) 1 closely, staying near
tipstaff (n.) court officer

before him, the axe with the edge towards him,

halberds on each side, accompanied with Sir Thomas

Lovell, Sir Nicholas Vaux, Sir Walter Sands, and

common people, etc.


SECOND GENTLEMAN

Let's stand close, and behold him.


BUCKINGHAM

                         All good people,

You that thus far have come to pity me,

Hear what I say, and then go home and lose me.
lose (v.) 3 lose sight of, forget

I have this day received a traitor's judgement,

And by that name must die. Yet, heaven bear witness,

And if I have a conscience let it sink me,

Even as the axe falls, if I be not faithful!

The law I bear no malice for my death:

'T has done, upon the premises, but justice.
premise (n.) 2 (plural) evidence, circumstances admitted in court

But those that sought it I could wish more Christians.

Be what they will, I heartily forgive 'em.

Yet let 'em look they glory not in mischief,
mischief (n.) 1 catastrophe, calamity, misfortune

Nor build their evils on the graves of great men,

For then my guiltless blood must cry against 'em.

For further life in this world I ne'er hope,

Nor will I sue, although the King have mercies

More than I dare make faults. You few that loved me,

And dare be bold to weep for Buckingham,

His noble friends and fellows, whom to leave

Is only bitter to him, only dying,

Go with me like good angels to my end,

And as the long divorce of steel falls on me,
divorce (n.) 2 separating force
steel (n.) 2 weapon of steel, sword

Make of your prayers one sweet sacrifice,

And lift my soul to heaven. Lead on, a God's name!


LOVELL

I do beseech your grace, for charity,

If ever any malice in your heart

Were hid against me, now to forgive me frankly.


BUCKINGHAM

Sir Thomas Lovell, I as free forgive you

As I would be forgiven. I forgive all.

There cannot be those numberless offences

'Gainst me that I cannot take peace with. No black envy
envy (n.) 1 malice, ill-will, enmity
take peace make peace

Shall mark my grave. Commend me to his grace,
commend (v.) 1 convey greetings, present kind regards See Topics: Frequency count

And if he speak of Buckingham, pray tell him

You met him half in heaven. My vows and prayers

Yet are the King's and, till my soul forsake,
forsake (v.) 2 leave, depart [from]

Shall cry for blessings on him. May he live

Longer than I have time to tell his years;
tell (v.) 1 count out, number, itemize

Ever beloved and loving may his rule be;

And, when old time shall lead him to his end,

Goodness and he fill up one monument!
monument (n.) 3 tomb, burial chamber


LOVELL

To th' waterside I must conduct your grace,

Then give my charge up to Sir Nicholas Vaux,

Who undertakes you to your end.
undertake (v.) 2 take charge of, have responsibility for


VAUX

                         Prepare there;

The Duke is coming. See the barge be ready,

And fit it with such furniture as suits
furniture (n.) 1 furnishing, fittings, embellishments

The greatness of his person.


BUCKINGHAM

                         Nay, Sir Nicholas,

Let it alone; my state now will but mock me.

When I came hither, I was Lord High Constable
constable (n.) 1 chief officer of the royal household [in England and France]

And Duke of Buckingham; now, poor Edward Bohun.

Yet I am richer than my base accusers
base (adj.) 1 dishonourable, low, unworthy See Topics: Frequency count

That never knew what truth meant. I now seal it,
seal (v.) 1 confirm, ratify, approve

And with that blood will make 'em one day groan for't.

My noble father, Henry of Buckingham,

Who first raised head against usurping Richard,
head (n.) 1 fighting force, army, body of troops

Flying for succour to his servant Banister,

Being distressed, was by that wretch betrayed,

And without trial fell. God's peace be with him!

Henry the Seventh succeeding, truly pitying

My father's loss, like a most royal prince,

Restored me to my honours, and out of ruins,

Made my name once more noble. Now his son,

Henry the Eighth, life, honour, name, and all

That made me happy, at one stroke has taken

For ever from the world. I had my trial,

And must needs say a noble one; which makes me

A little happier than my wretched father:

Yet thus far we are one in fortunes: both

Fell by our servants, by those men we loved most –

A most unnatural and faithless service.

Heaven has an end in all. Yet, you that hear me,
end (n.) 1 purpose, aim, design

This from a dying man receive as certain:

Where you are liberal of your loves and counsels

Be sure you be not loose; for those you make friends
loose (adj.) 1 casual, lax, careless

And give your hearts to, when they once perceive

The least rub in your fortunes, fall away
rub (n.) 1 [bowls] obstacle, impediment, hindrance

Like water from ye, never found again

But where they mean to sink ye. All good people,

Pray for me! I must now forsake ye; the last hour
forsake (v.) 2 leave, depart [from]

Of my long weary life is come upon me.

Farewell;

And when you would say something that is sad,
sad (adj.) 1 serious, grave, solemn See Topics: Frequency count

Speak how I fell. I have done; and God forgive me!

Exeunt Duke and Train


FIRST GENTLEMAN

O, this is full of pity! Sir, it calls,

I fear, too many curses on their heads

That were the authors.


SECOND GENTLEMAN

                         If the Duke be guiltless,

'Tis full of woe; yet I can give you inkling

Of an ensuing evil, if it fall,
evil (n.) 1 affliction, misfortune, hardship
fall (v.) 3 happen, occur, come to pass

Greater than this.


FIRST GENTLEMAN

                         Good angels keep it from us!

What may it be? You do not doubt my faith, sir?
faith (n.) 4 reliability, dependability, trustworthiness


SECOND GENTLEMAN

This secret is so weighty, 'twill require

A strong faith to conceal it.


FIRST GENTLEMAN

                         Let me have it;

I do not talk much.
confident (adj.) 1 trusting, trustful, ready to confide


SECOND GENTLEMAN

                         I am confident;

You shall, sir. Did you not of late days hear
late (adj.) 1 recent, not long past

A buzzing of a separation
buzzing (n.) rumour, busy murmuring

Between the King and Katherine?
hold (v.) 3 stand firm, continue, carry on


FIRST GENTLEMAN

                         Yes, but it held not;

For when the King once heard it, out of anger

He sent command to the Lord Mayor straight
straight (adv.) straightaway, immediately, at once See Topics: Frequency count

To stop the rumour and allay those tongues
allay (v.) 1 subside, abate, diminish, quell

That durst disperse it.


SECOND GENTLEMAN

                         But that slander, sir,

Is found a truth now, for it grows again

Fresher than e'er it was, and held for certain

The King will venture at it. Either the Cardinal

Or some about him near have, out of malice

To the good Queen, possessed him with a scruple
possess (v.) 1 notify, inform, acquaint
scruple (n.) 2 suspicion, misgiving, doubt

That will undo her. To confirm this too,
undo (v.) 1 ruin, destroy, wipe out

Cardinal Campeius is arrived, and lately,

As all think, for this business.


FIRST GENTLEMAN

                         'Tis the Cardinal;

And merely to revenge him on the Emperor
merely (adv.) 2 purely, for no other reason than

For not bestowing on him at his asking

The archbishopric of Toledo, this is purposed.
purpose (v.) 1 intend, plan


SECOND GENTLEMAN

I think you have hit the mark; but is't not cruel
mark (n.) 1 target, goal, aim

That she should feel the smart of this? The Cardinal
smart (n.) suffering, grief, sorrow

Will have his will, and she must fall.


FIRST GENTLEMAN

                         'Tis woeful.

We are too open here to argue this;
argue (v.) 2 examine, discuss the pros and cons of
open (adj.) 1 public, exposed to general view

Let's think in private more.

Exeunt

 
  Previous scene     Next scene