Henry VIII


Text

Act I
Act II
Act III
Act IV
Act V

Enter the Duke of Norfolk, Duke of Suffolk, Lord

Surrey, and the Lord Chamberlain


NORFOLK

If you will now unite in your complaints

And force them with a constancy, the Cardinal
constancy (n.) 3 persistance, perseverance, steadfastness
force (v.) 4 urge, press, enforce

Cannot stand under them. If you omit

The offer of this time, I cannot promise
offer (n.) offering, proposal, invitation, inducement

But that you shall sustain moe new disgraces

With these you bear already.


SURREY

                         I am joyful

To meet the least occasion that may give me

Remembrance of my father-in-law, the Duke,
remembrance (n.) 1 memory, bringing to mind, recollection See Topics: Frequency count

To be revenged on him.


SUFFOLK

                         Which of the peers

Have uncontemned gone by him, or at least
uncontemned (adj.) unscorned, undespised

Strangely neglected? When did he regard
neglect (v.) 2 disregard, slight, give little respect [to]
strangely (adv.) 1 like a stranger, distantly, in an unfriendly manner

The stamp of nobleness in any person

Out of himself?


LORD CHAMBERLAIN

                         My lords, you speak your pleasures.

What he deserves of you and me I know;

What we can do to him – though now the time

Gives way to us – I much fear. If you cannot
way (n.) 7 opportunity, scope

Bar his access to th' King, never attempt

Anything on him, for he hath a witchcraft

Over the King in's tongue.


NORFOLK

                         O, fear him not;

His spell in that is out. The King hath found

Matter against him that for ever mars
matter (n.) 1 subject-matter, content, substance

The honey of his language. No, he's settled,

Not to come off, in his displeasure.


SURREY

                         Sir,

I should be glad to hear such news as this

Once every hour.


NORFOLK

                         Believe it, this is true.

In the divorce his contrary proceedings
contrary (adj.) 1 opposite, opposing, rival

Are all unfolded, wherein he appears

As I would wish mine enemy.


SURREY

                         How came

His practises to light?
practice (n.) 1 scheme, plot, stratagem, intrigue


SUFFOLK

                         Most strangely.


SURREY

                                                         O, how, how?


SUFFOLK

The Cardinal's letters to the Pope miscarried,
miscarry (v.) 5 [of letters] go astray, fall into the wrong hands

And came to th' eye o'th' King, wherein was read

How that the Cardinal did entreat his holiness

To stay the judgement o'th' divorce; for if
stay (v.) 3 delay, defer, postpone

It did take place, ‘ I do ’ – quoth he – ‘ perceive
quoth (v.) said See Topics: Frequency count

My King is tangled in affection to

A creature of the Queen's, Lady Anne Bullen.’
creature (n.) 3 dependant, servant


SURREY

Has the king this?


SUFFOLK

                         Believe it.


SURREY

                                                         Will this work?


LORD CHAMBERLAIN

The King in this perceives him, how he coasts
coast (v.) 2 move in a roundabout course

And hedges his own way. But in this point
hedge (v.) 1 deviate from a straight path, shift direction

All his tricks founder, and he brings his physic
physic (n.) 1 medicine, healing, treatment See Topics: Frequency count

After his patient's death: the King already

Hath married the fair lady.


SURREY

                         Would he had!


SUFFOLK

May you be happy in your wish, my lord,

For I profess you have it.


SURREY

                         Now all my joy

Trace the conjunction!
conjunction (n.) 1 union, uniting, joining together
trace (v.) 2 follow on from, come from


SUFFOLK

                         My amen to't!


NORFOLK

                                                         All men's!


SUFFOLK

There's order given for her coronation.

Marry, this is yet but young, and may be left

To some ears unrecounted. But, my lords,

She is a gallant creature, and complete
complete, compleat (adj.) 2 fully equipped, with everything present
gallant (adj.) 1 fine, splendid, grand

In mind and feature. I persuade me, from her

Will fall some blessing to this land, which shall

In it be memorized.
memorize (v.) make memorable, cause to be remembered


SURREY

                         But will the King

Digest this letter of the Cardinal's?
digest, disgest (v.) 5 endure, brook, put up with

The Lord forbid!


NORFOLK

                         Marry, amen!


SUFFOLK

                                                         No, no.

There be more wasps that buzz about his nose

Will make this sting the sooner. Cardinal Campeius

Is stol'n away to Rome; hath ta'en no leave;

Has left the cause o'th' King unhandled, and

Is posted as the agent of our Cardinal
post (v.) 1 hasten, speed, ride fast

To second all his plot. I do assure you
second (v.) 1 support, assist, reinforce

The King cried ‘ Ha!’ at this.


LORD CHAMBERLAIN

                         Now God incense him,

And let him cry ‘ Ha!’ louder!


NORFOLK

                         But, my lord,

When returns Cranmer?


SUFFOLK

He is returned in his opinions, which

Have satisfied the King for his divorce,

Together with all famous colleges

Almost in Christendom. Shortly, I believe,

His second marriage shall be published, and
publish (v.) 1 announce, make public, make generally known

Her coronation. Katherine no more

Shall be called Queen, but Princess Dowager,

And widow to Prince Arthur.


NORFOLK

                         This same Cranmer's

A worthy fellow, and hath ta'en much pain

In the King's business.


SUFFOLK

                         He has, and we shall see him

For it an archbishop.


NORFOLK

                         So I hear.


SUFFOLK

                                                         'Tis so.

Enter Wolsey and Cromwell

The Cardinal!


NORFOLK

                         Observe, observe, he's moody.


WOLSEY

The packet, Cromwell,

Gave't you the King?


CROMWELL

                         To his own hand, in's bedchamber.


WOLSEY

Looked he o'th' inside of the paper?
presently (adv.) 1 immediately, instantly, at once See Topics: Frequency count


CROMWELL

                         Presently

He did unseal them, and the first he viewed

He did it with a serious mind; a heed
heed (n.) 1 consideration, care, attention

Was in his countenance. You he bade
bid (v.), past form bade 1 command, order, enjoin, tell
countenance (n.) 2 expression, look, face

Attend him here this morning.
attend (v.) 2 serve, follow, wait [on/upon]


WOLSEY

                         Is he ready

To come abroad?
abroad (adv.) 3 away from home, out of the house
this, by by this time


CROMWELL

                         I think by this he is.


WOLSEY

Leave me awhile.

Exit Cromwell

(aside) It shall be to the Duchess of Alençon,

The French King's sister; he shall marry her.

Anne Bullen? No, I'll no Anne Bullens for him;

There's more in't than fair visage. Bullen!
visage (n.) 1 face, countenance See Topics: Frequency count

No, we'll no Bullens. Speedily I wish

To hear from Rome. The Marchioness of Pembroke?


NORFOLK

He's discontented.


SUFFOLK

                         Maybe he hears the King

Does whet his anger to him.


SURREY

                         Sharp enough,

Lord, for Thy justice!


WOLSEY

(aside)

The late Queen's gentlewoman, a knight's daughter,

To be her mistress' mistress? the Queen's Queen?

This candle burns not clear; 'tis I must snuff it,

Then out it goes. What though I know her virtuous

And well deserving? Yet I know her for

A spleeny Lutheran, and not wholesome to
spleeny (adj.) hot-headed, over-emotional
wholesome (adj.) 1 good, beneficial, advantageous

Our cause, that she should lie i'th' bosom of

Our hard-ruled King. Again, there is sprung up
hard-ruled (adj.) difficult to manage, obstreperous

An heretic, an arch-one, Cranmer, one

Hath crawled into the favour of the King,

And is his oracle.


NORFOLK

                         He is vexed at something.


SURREY

I would 'twere something that would fret the string,
fret (v.) 1 wear out, eat away, erode

The master-cord on's heart!

Enter the King, reading of a schedule, and Lovell
master-cord (n.) main sinew
schedule (n.) 2 document, paper, scroll


SUFFOLK

                         The King, the King!


KING HENRY

What piles of wealth hath he accumulated

To his own portion! And what expense by th' hour

Seems to flow from him! How, i'th' name of thrift,

Does he rake this together! – Now, my lords,

Saw you the Cardinal?


NORFOLK

                         My lord, we have

Stood here observing him. Some strange commotion
commotion (n.) 2 perturbation, agitation, disturbed excitement

Is in his brain; he bites his lip, and starts,
start (v.) 1 jump, recoil, flinch

Stops on a sudden, looks upon the ground,

Then lays his finger on his temple; straight
straight (adv.) straightaway, immediately, at once See Topics: Frequency count

Springs out into fast gait; then stops again,
gait (n.) 1 manner of walking, bearing, movement

Strikes his breast hard, and anon he casts
anon (adv.) 1 soon, shortly, presently See Topics: Frequency count

His eye against the moon. In most strange postures

We have seen him set himself.


KING HENRY

                         It may well be,

There is a mutiny in's mind. This morning
mutiny (n.) 2 rebellion, revolt, quarrel

Papers of state he sent me to peruse,

As I required; and wot you what I found
require (v.) 3 command, summon, demand
wot (v.) 1 learn, know, be told See Topics: Frequency count

There, on my conscience, put unwittingly?

Forsooth, an inventory, thus importing
forsooth (adv.) in truth, certainly, truly, indeed See Topics: Frequency count
import (v.) 5 represent, depict, indicate

The several parcels of his plate, his treasure,
parcel (n.) 1 part, piece, portion, bit
plate (n.) 1 special tableware, household utensils of value
several (adj.) 2 various, sundry, respective, individual

Rich stuffs, and ornaments of household, which
stuff (n.) 4 material, cloth

I find at such proud rate that it outspeaks
outspeak (v.) far exceed, more than warrant
proud (adj.) 1 fine, splendid, luxurious
rate (n.) 3 mode of life, style of living

Possession of a subject.


NORFOLK

                         It's heaven's will;

Some spirit put this paper in the packet

To bless your eye withal.


KING HENRY

                         If we did think

His contemplation were above the earth

And fixed on spiritual object, he should still
still (adv.) 2 ever, now [as before]

Dwell in his musings; but I am afraid

His thinkings are below the moon, not worth
moon, below the of this world, not spiritual
thinking (n.) thought, meditation, reflection
worth (adj.) worthy of, deserving, meriting

His serious considering.

The King takes his seat, whispers Lovell, who goes to

the Cardinal


WOLSEY

                         Heaven forgive me!

Ever God bless your highness!


KING HENRY

                         Good my lord,

You are full of heavenly stuff, and bear the inventory
stuff (n.) 1 substance, composition, quality, essence

Of your best graces in your mind, the which

You were now running o'er. You have scarce time

To steal from spiritual leisure a brief span
leisure (n.) opportunity, moment, available time

To keep your earthly audit. Sure, in that
audit (n.) account, reckoning [especially: in the face of God]

I deem you an ill husband, and am glad
husband (n.) houskeeper, steward, domestic manager
ill (adj.) 6 unskilful, inexpert, unskilled

To have you therein my companion.


WOLSEY

                         Sir,

For holy offices I have a time; a time
office (n.) 1 task, service, duty, responsibility See Topics: Frequency count

To think upon the part of business which

I bear i'th' state; and nature does require

Her times of preservation, which perforce
perforce (adv.) 2 of necessity, with no choice in the matter See Topics: Frequency count

I, her frail son, amongst my brethren mortal,

Must give my tendence to.
tendance (n.) 1 attention, care, solicitude


KING HENRY

                         You have said well.


WOLSEY

And ever may your highness yoke together,

As I will lend you cause, my doing well

With my well saying!


KING HENRY

                         'Tis well said again,

And 'tis a kind of good deed to say well;

And yet words are no deeds. My father loved you;

He said he did, and with his deed did crown

His word upon you. Since I had my office,
office (n.) 2 role, position, place, function

I have kept you next my heart, have not alone

Employed you where high profits might come home,

But pared my present havings to bestow

My bounties upon you.


WOLSEY

(aside)

                         What should this mean?


SURREY

(aside)

The Lord increase this business!


KING HENRY

                         Have I not made you

The prime man of the state? I pray you tell me
prime (adj.) 2 principal, chief, foremost

If what I now pronounce you have found true;
pronounce (v.) 1 deliver, speak, declare

And, if you may confess it, say withal

If you are bound to us or no. What say you?


WOLSEY

My sovereign, I confess your royal graces,

Showered on me daily, have been more than could

My studied purposes requite, which went
studied (adj.) 1 deliberate, carefully planned, intentional

Beyond all man's endeavours. My endeavours

Have ever come too short of my desires,

Yet filed with my abilities. Mine own ends
file (v.) 1 keep pace, stay in line

Have been mine so that evermore they pointed

To th' good of your most sacred person and

The profit of the state. For your great graces

Heaped upon me, poor undeserver, I
undeserver (n.) one who deserves nothing, unworthy person

Can nothing render but allegiant thanks,
allegiant (adj.) loyal, faithful, stemming from allegiance

My prayers to heaven for you, my loyalty,

Which ever has and ever shall be growing,

Till death, that winter, kill it.


KING HENRY

                         Fairly answered!

A loyal and obedient subject is

Therein illustrated. The honour of it

Does pay the act of it, as, i'th' contrary,
pay (v.) 1 repay, requite, recompense

The foulness is the punishment. I presume
foulness (n.) 1 dishonesty, wickedness, bad reputation

That as my hand has opened bounty to you,

My heart dropped love, my power rained honour, more

On you than any, so your hand and heart,

Your brain and every function of your power,
power (n.) 8 faculty, function, ability

Should, notwithstanding that your bond of duty,

As 'twere in love's particular, be more
particular (n.) 4 intimacy, personal relationship

To me, your friend, than any.


WOLSEY

                         I do profess

That for your highness' good I ever laboured

More than mine own; that am, have, and will be –

Though all the world should crack their duty to you,
crack (v.) 2 split asunder, snap

And throw it from their soul; though perils did

Abound, as thick as thought could make 'em, and

Appear in forms more horrid – yet my duty,

As doth a rock against the chiding flood,
chiding (adj.) noisy, brawling, tumultuous

Should the approach of this wild river break,
break (v.) 7 interrupt, break in on, cut in on

And stand unshaken yours.


KING HENRY

                         'Tis nobly spoken.

Take notice, lords, he has a loyal breast,

For you have seen him open't. Read o'er this,

(He gives him papers)

And after, this; and then to breakfast with

What appetite you have.

Exit King, frowning upon the Cardinal; the nobles

throng after him, smiling and whispering


WOLSEY

                         What should this mean?

What sudden anger's this? How have I reaped it?

He parted frowning from me, as if ruin

Leaped from his eyes. So looks the chafed lion
chafed (adj.) enraged, irritated, angered

Upon the daring huntsman that has galled him,
gall (v.) 3 injure, harm, wound

Then makes him nothing. I must read this paper:
nothing (n.) 1 [state of] nothingness, oblivion, extinction

I fear, the story of his anger. 'Tis so;

This paper has undone me. 'Tis th' account
undo (v.) 1 ruin, destroy, wipe out

Of all that world of wealth I have drawn together

For mine own ends – indeed, to gain the popedom,

And fee my friends in Rome. O negligence,

Fit for a fool to fall by! What cross devil
cross (adj.) 1 perverse, contrarious, contradictory

Made me put this main secret in the packet
main (adj.) 1 very great, major, considerable

I sent the King? Is there no way to cure this?

No new device to beat this from his brains?
device (n.) 1 plot, stratagem, trick

I know 'twill stir him strongly; yet I know

A way, if it take right, in spite of fortune

Will bring me off again. What's this? ‘ To th' Pope ’?
bring off (v.) rescue, save, deliver

The letter, as I live, with all the business

I writ to's holiness. Nay then, farewell!

I have touched the highest point of all my greatness,
touch (v.) 4 achieve, accomplish, attain

And from that full meridian of my glory
meridian (n.) highpoint, culmination, climax

I haste now to my setting. I shall fall

Like a bright exhalation in the evening,
exhalation (n.) 1 meteor, shooting star

And no man see me more.

Enter to Wolsey the Dukes of Norfolk and Suffolk, the

Earl of Surrey, and the Lord Chamberlain


NORFOLK

Hear the King's pleasure, Cardinal, who commands you

To render up the great seal presently
presently (adv.) 1 immediately, instantly, at once See Topics: Frequency count

Into our hands, and to confine yourself

To Asher House, my lord of Winchester's,

Till you hear further from his highness.


WOLSEY

                         Stay:

Where's your commission, lords? Words cannot carry
commission (n.) 1 warrant, authority [to act]

Authority so weighty.
cross (v.) 2 contradict, challenge, go against


SUFFOLK

                         Who dare cross 'em,

Bearing the King's will from his mouth expressly?


WOLSEY

Till I find more than will or words to do it –

I mean your malice – know, officious lords,
officious (adj.) 1 meddlesome, interfering, overzealous

I dare, and must deny it. Now I feel

Of what coarse metal ye are moulded – envy;
coarse (adj.) 1 inferior, low-quality, poor

How eagerly ye follow my disgraces

As if it fed ye! And how sleek and wanton
sleek (adj.) oily, fawning, unctuous
wanton (adj.) 9 merciless, cruel, pitiless

Ye appear in everything may bring my ruin!

Follow your envious courses, men of malice;
course (n.) 1 course of action, way of proceeding See Topics: Frequency count
envious (adj.) malicious, spiteful, vindictive, full of enmity See Topics: Frequency count

You have Christian warrant for 'em, and, no doubt
warrant (n.) 2 licence, sanction, authorization

In time will find their fit rewards. That seal

You ask with such a violence, the King,

Mine and your master, with his own hand gave me;

Bade me enjoy it, with the place and honours,
bid (v.), past form bade 1 command, order, enjoin, tell

During my life; and, to confirm his goodness,

Tied it by letters patents. Now, who'll take it?
letters patent (n.) open documents issued by the sovereign which conferred an office, privilege, right, etc
tie (v.) 3 ratify, approve, authorize


SURREY

The King that gave it.


WOLSEY

                         It must be himself then.


SURREY

Thou art a proud traitor, priest.


WOLSEY

                         Proud lord, thou liest.

Within these forty hours Surrey durst better

Have burnt that tongue than said so.


SURREY

                         Thy ambition,

Thou scarlet sin, robbed this bewailing land

Of noble Buckingham, my father-in-law.

The heads of all thy brother Cardinals,

With thee and all thy best parts bound together,
part (n.) 1 quality, attribute, gift, accomplishment [of mind or body]

Weighed not a hair of his. Plague of your policy!
policy (n.) 2 stratagem, cunning, intrigue, craft
weigh (v.) 1 balance [as in scales], poise, match

You sent me deputy for Ireland,

Far from his succour, from the King, from all

That might have mercy on the fault thou gav'st him;

Whilst your great goodness, out of holy pity,

Absolved him with an axe.


WOLSEY

                         This, and all else

This talking lord can lay upon my credit,
credit (n.) 3 reputation, name, standing, honour

I answer is most false. The Duke by law

Found his deserts. How innocent I was

From any private malice in his end

His noble jury and foul cause can witness.

If I loved many words, lord, I should tell you

You have as little honesty as honour,

That in the way of loyalty and truth

Toward the King, my ever royal master,

Dare mate a sounder man than Surrey can be,
mate (v.) 3 be a match for, cope with

And all that love his follies.


SURREY

                         By my soul,

Your long coat, priest, protects you; thou shouldst feel

My sword i'th' life-blood of thee else. My lords,

Can ye endure to hear this arrogance,

And from this fellow? If we live thus tamely,

To be thus jaded by a piece of scarlet,
jade (v.) 2 deceive, dupe, make a fool of

Farewell nobility. Let his grace go forward,

And dare us with his cap, like larks.
dare (v.) 3 daze, paralyse with fear, terrify


WOLSEY

                         All goodness

Is poison to thy stomach.


SURREY

                         Yes, that goodness

Of gleaning all the land's wealth into one,
glean (v.) collect, scrape together, gather up

Into your own hands, Cardinal, by extortion –

The goodness of your intercepted packets

You writ to th' Pope against the King! Your goodness,

Since you provoke me, shall be most notorious.

My Lord of Norfolk, as you are truly noble,

As you respect the common good, the state

Of our despised nobility, our issues –
issue (n.) 1 child(ren), offspring, family, descendant See Topics: Frequency count

Who, if he live, will scarce be gentlemen –

Produce the grand sum of his sins, the articles

Collected from his life. I'll startle you

Worse than the sacring bell, when the brown wench
sacring (adj.) [in the Mass] rung at the moment of consecration
wench (n.) girl, lass See Topics: Frequency count

Lay kissing in your arms, lord Cardinal.


WOLSEY

How much, methinks, I could despise this man,
methinks(t), methought(s) (v.) it seems /seemed to me See Topics: Frequency count

But that I am bound in charity against it!


NORFOLK

Those articles, my lord, are in the King's hand;

But thus much, they are foul ones.


WOLSEY

                         So much fairer

And spotless shall mine innocence arise

When the King knows my truth.


SURREY

                         This cannot save you.

I thank my memory, I yet remember

Some of these articles, and out they shall.

Now, if you can blush and cry ‘ Guilty,’ Cardinal,

You'll show a little honesty.


WOLSEY

                         Speak on, sir;

I dare your worst objections. If I blush,
dare (v.) 1 challenge, confront, defy
objection (n.) 1 accusation, charge, allegation

It is to see a nobleman want manners.
want (v.) 1 lack, need, be without See Topics: Frequency count


SURREY

I had rather want those than my head. Have at you!
have at [someone] [said at the start of a fencing attack or other confrontation] I come at, let me at [a person] See Topics: Discourse markers

First, that without the King's assent or knowledge

You wrought to be a legate, by which power
legate (n.) papal representative
work (v.), past form wrought 9 work for, plan, try to arrange

You maimed the jurisdiction of all bishops.
maim (v.) make powerless, undermine, subvert


NORFOLK

Then, that in all you writ to Rome, or else

To foreign princes, ‘ Ego et Rex meus
ego... my king and I See Topics: Latin

Was still inscribed; in which you brought the King
still (adv.) 1 constantly, always, continually See Topics: Frequency count

To be your servant.


SUFFOLK

                         Then, that without the knowledge

Either of King or Council, when you went

Ambassador to the Emperor, you made bold

To carry into Flanders the great seal.


SURREY

Item, you sent a large commission
commission (n.) 5 delegation, body of officials
item (n.) 2 [legal] particular point

To Gregory de Cassado, to conclude,

Without the King's will or the state's allowance,
allowance (n.) 2 permission, approval, sanction

A league between his highness and Ferrara.


SUFFOLK

That out of mere ambition you have caused
mere (adj.) 1 complete, total, absolute, utter See Topics: Frequency count

Your holy hat to be stamped on the King's coin.


SURREY

Then, that you have sent innumerable substance –
innumerable (adj.) incalculable, countless, immense
substance (n.) 2 property, wealth, possessions, treasure

By what means got I leave to your own conscience –

To furnish Rome, and to prepare the ways
furnish (v.) 1 provide, supply, possess

You have for dignities, to the mere undoing
mere (adj.) 1 complete, total, absolute, utter See Topics: Frequency count

Of all the kingdom. Many more there are,

Which, since they are of you, and odious,

I will not taint my mouth with.
taint (v.) 1 sully, infect, stain


LORD CHAMBERLAIN

                         O my lord,

Press not a falling man too far! 'Tis virtue.

His faults lie open to the laws; let them,

Not you, correct him. My heart weeps to see him

So little of his great self.


SURREY

                         I forgive him.


SUFFOLK

Lord Cardinal, the King's further pleasure is –

Because all those things you have done of late,
late, of recently, a little while ago

By your power legatine within this kingdom

Fall into th' compass of a praemunire –
compass (n.) 1 range, reach, limit, scope
praemunire (n.) [pron: preemyu'neeree] writ accusing someone of recognizing the power of the pope [as opposed to the sovereign]

That therefore such a writ be sued against you:
sue (v.) 3 initiate, institute, prosecute

To forfeit all your goods, lands, tenements,

Chattels, and whatsoever, and to be
chattels (n.) moveable possessions

Out of the King's protection. This is my charge.


NORFOLK

And so we'll leave you to your meditations

How to live better. For your stubborn answer

About the giving back the great seal to us,

The King shall know it and, no doubt, shall thank you.

So fare you well, my little good lord Cardinal.

Exeunt all but Wolsey


WOLSEY

So farewell – to the little good you bear me.

Farewell, a long farewell, to all my greatness!

This is the state of man: today he puts forth

The tender leaves of hopes, tomorrow blossoms,

And bears his blushing honours thick upon him.
blushing (adj.) 1 glowing, rosy-coloured, lustrous

The third day comes a frost, a killing frost,

And when he thinks, good easy man, full surely
easy (adj.) 6 careless, unconcerned; or: naive, trusting

His greatness is a-ripening, nips his root,

And then he falls, as I do. I have ventured,

Like little wanton boys that swim on bladders,
bladder (n.) 3 air-filled bag
wanton (adj.) 1 carefree, light-hearted, frolicsome, playful

This many summers in a sea of glory,

But far beyond my depth. My high-blown pride

At length broke under me, and now has left me

Weary, and old with service, to the mercy

Of a rude stream, that must for ever hide me.
rude (adj.) 3 [of wind or water] stormy, turbulent, harsh
stream (n.) current, flow, drift

Vain pomp and glory of this world, I hate ye.

I feel my heart new opened. O, how wretched

Is that poor man that hangs on princes' favours!

There is betwixt that smile we would aspire to,

That sweet aspect of princes, and their ruin,
aspect (n.) 3 gaze, look

More pangs and fears than wars or women have;

And when he falls, he falls like Lucifer,

Never to hope again.

Enter Cromwell, standing amazed

                         Why, how now, Cromwell?


CROMWELL

I have no power to speak, sir.
amazed (adj.) dumbfounded, stunned, thunderstruck, overwhelmed


WOLSEY

                         What, amazed

At my misfortunes? Can thy spirit wonder

A great man should decline? Nay, an you weep

I am fall'n indeed.


CROMWELL

                         How does your grace?


WOLSEY

                                                         Why, well;

Never so truly happy, my good Cromwell.

I know myself now, and I feel within me

A peace above all earthly dignities,

A still and quiet conscience. The King has cured me,
still (adj.) 2 quiet, calm, subdued

I humbly thank his grace, and from these shoulders,

These ruined pillars, out of pity, taken

A load would sink a navy – too much honour.

O, 'tis a burden, Cromwell, 'tis a burden

Too heavy for a man that hopes for heaven!


CROMWELL

I am glad your grace has made that right use of it.


WOLSEY

I hope I have: I am able now, methinks,
methinks(t), methought(s) (v.) it seems /seemed to me See Topics: Frequency count

Out of a fortitude of soul I feel,

To endure more miseries and greater far

Than my weak-hearted enemies dare offer.

What news abroad?


CROMWELL

                         The heaviest, and the worst,

Is your displeasure with the King.
displeasure (n.) 2 being out of favour, discredit; or: discomfort, trouble


WOLSEY

                         God bless him!


CROMWELL

The next is that Sir Thomas More is chosen

Lord Chancellor in your place.


WOLSEY

                         That's somewhat sudden.

But he's a learned man. May he continue

Long in his highness' favour, and do justice

For truth's sake, and his conscience, that his bones,

When he has run his course and sleeps in blessings,

May have a tomb of orphans' tears wept on him.

What more?


CROMWELL

                         That Cranmer is returned with welcome,

Installed lord Archbishop of Canterbury.


WOLSEY

That's news indeed.


CROMWELL

                         Last, that the Lady Anne,

Whom the King hath in secrecy long married,

This day was viewed in open as his queen,

Going to chapel, and the voice is now
voice (n.) 4 talk, rumour, opinion

Only about her coronation.


WOLSEY

There was the weight that pulled me down. O Cromwell,

The King has gone beyond me. All my glories

In that one woman I have lost for ever.

No sun shall ever usher forth mine honours,

Or gild again the noble troops that waited

Upon my smiles. Go get thee from me, Cromwell;

I am a poor fall'n man, unworthy now

To be thy lord and master. Seek the King –

That sun, I pray, may never set! I have told him

What and how true thou art. He will advance thee;

Some little memory of me will stir him –

I know his noble nature – not to let

Thy hopeful service perish too. Good Cromwell,
hopeful (adj.) 1 promising, giving hope of success

Neglect him not; make use now, and provide
use (n.) 4 opportunity, benefit, advantage

For thine own future safety.


CROMWELL

                         O my lord,

Must I then leave you? Must I needs forego

So good, so noble, and so true a master?

Bear witness, all that have not hearts of iron,

With what a sorrow Cromwell leaves his lord.

The King shall have my service, but my prayers

For ever and for ever shall be yours.


WOLSEY

Cromwell, I did not think to shed a tear

In all my miseries, but thou hast forced me,

Out of thy honest truth, to play the woman.

Let's dry our eyes, and thus far hear me, Cromwell,

And when I am forgotten, as I shall be,

And sleep in dull cold marble, where no mention

Of me more must be heard of, say I taught thee –

Say Wolsey, that once trod the ways of glory,

And sounded all the depths and shoals of honour,

Found thee a way, out of his wreck, to rise in,

A sure and safe one, though thy master missed it.

Mark but my fall, and that that ruined me.
mark (v.) 1 note, pay attention [to], take notice [of] See Topics: Frequency count

Cromwell, I charge thee, fling away ambition:

By that sin fell the angels. How can man then,

The image of his Maker, hope to win by it?

Love thyself last, cherish those hearts that hate thee;

Corruption wins not more than honesty.

Still in thy right hand carry gentle peace
gentle (adj.) 6 soft, tender, kind
still (adv.) 1 constantly, always, continually See Topics: Frequency count

To silence envious tongues. Be just, and fear not.
envious (adj.) malicious, spiteful, vindictive, full of enmity See Topics: Frequency count

Let all the ends thou aim'st at be thy country's,
end (n.) 1 purpose, aim, design

Thy God's, and truth's. Then if thou fall'st, O Cromwell,

Thou fall'st a blessed martyr. Serve the King;

And prithee, lead me in.

There take an inventory of all I have,

To the last penny; 'tis the King's. My robe,

And my integrity to heaven, is all

I dare now call mine own. O Cromwell, Cromwell,

Had I but served my God with half the zeal

I served my King, He would not in mine age
age (n.) 2 mature years, old age

Have left me naked to mine enemies.
naked (adj.) 1 defenceless, undefended, unarmed


CROMWELL

Good sir, have patience.


WOLSEY

                         So I have. Farewell,

The hopes of court! My hopes in heaven do dwell.

Exeunt

 
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