Henry VIII

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Original text
Act III, Scene I
Enter Queene and her Women as at worke.

Queen.
Take thy Lute wench, / My Soule growes sad with troubles,
Sing, and disperse 'em if thou canst: leaue working:
SONG.
Orpheus with his Lute made Trees,
And the Mountaine tops that freeze,
Bow themselues when he did sing.
To his Musicke, Plants and Flowers
Euer sprung; as Sunne and Showers,
There had made a lasting Spring.
Euery thing that heard him play,
Euen the Billowes of the Sea,
Hung their heads, & then lay by.
In sweet Musicke is such Art,
Killing care, & griefe of heart,
Fall asleepe, or hearing dye.
Enter a Gentleman.

Queen.
How now?

Gent.
And't please your Grace, the two great Cardinals
Wait in the presence.

Queen.
Would they speake with me?

Gent.
They wil'd me say so Madam.

Queen.
Pray their Graces
To come neere:
what can be their busines
With me, a poore weake woman, falne from fauour?
I doe not like their comming; now I thinke on't,
They should bee good men, their affaires as righteous:
But all Hoods, make not Monkes.
Enter the two Cardinalls, Wolsey & Campian.

Wols.
Peace to your Highnesse.

Queen.
Your Graces find me heere part of a Houswife,
(I would be all) against the worst may happen:
What are your pleasures with me, reuerent Lords?

Wol.
May it please you Noble Madam, to withdraw
Into your priuate Chamber; we shall giue you
The full cause of our comming.

Queen.
Speake it heere.
There's nothing I haue done yet o' my Conscience
Deserues a Corner: would all other Women
Could speake this with as free a Soule as I doe.
My Lords, I care not (so much I am happy
Aboue a number) if my actions
Were tri'de by eu'ry tongue, eu'ry eye saw 'em,
Enuy and base opinion set against 'em,
I know my life so euen. If your busines
Seeke me out, and that way I am Wife in;
Out with it boldly: Truth loues open dealing.

Card.
Tanta est erga te mentis integritas Regina
serenissima.

Queen.
O good my Lord, no Latin;
I am not such a Truant since my comming,
As not to know the Language I haue liu'd in:
A strange Tongue makes my cause more strange, suspitious:
Pray speake in English; heere are some will thanke you,
If you speake truth, for their poore Mistris sake;
Beleeue me she ha's had much wrong. Lord Cardinall,
The willing'st sinne I euer yet committed,
May be absolu'd in English.

Card.
Noble Lady,
I am sorry my integrity should breed,
(And seruice to his Maiesty and you)
So deepe suspition, where all faith was meant;
We come not by the way of Accusation,
To taint that honour euery good Tongue blesses;
Nor to betray you any way to sorrow;
You haue too much good Lady: But to know
How you stand minded in the waighty difference
Betweene the King and you, and to deliuer
(Like free and honest men) our iust opinions,
And comforts to our cause.

Camp.
Most honour'd Madam,
My Lord of Yorke, out of his Noble nature,
Zeale and obedience he still bore your Grace,
Forgetting (like a good man) your late Censure
Both of his truth and him (which was too farre)
Offers, as I doe, in a signe of peace,
His Seruice, and his Counsell.

Queen.
To betray me.
My Lords, I thanke you both for your good wills,
Ye speake like honest men, (pray God ye proue so)
But how to make ye sodainly an Answere
In such a poynt of weight, so neere mine Honour,
(More neere my Life I feare) with my weake wit;
And to such men of grauity and learning;
In truth I know not. I was set at worke,
Among my Maids, full little (God knowes) looking
Either for such men, or such businesse;
For her sake that I haue beene, for I feele
The last fit of my Greatnesse; good your Graces
Let me haue time and Councell for my Cause:
Alas, I am a Woman frendlesse, hopelesse.

Wol.
Madam, / You wrong the Kings loue with these feares,
Your hopes and friends are infinite.

Queen.
In England,
But little for my profit can you thinke Lords,
That any English man dare giue me Councell?
Or be a knowne friend 'gainst his Highnes pleasure,
(Though he be growne so desperate to be honest)
And liue a Subiect? Nay forsooth, my Friends,
They that must weigh out my afflictions,
They that my trust must grow to, liue not heere,
They are (as all my other comforts) far hence
In mine owne Countrey Lords.

Camp.
I would your Grace
Would leaue your greefes, and take my Counsell.

Queen.
How Sir?

Camp.
Put your maine cause into the Kings protection,
Hee's louing and most gracious. 'Twill be much,
Both for your Honour better, and your Cause:
For if the tryall of the Law o'retake ye,
You'l part away disgrac'd.

Wol.
He tels you rightly.

Queen.
Ye tell me what ye wish for both, my ruine:
Is this your Christian Councell? Out vpon ye.
Heauen is aboue all yet; there sits a Iudge,
That no King can corrupt.

Camp.
Your rage mistakes vs.

Queen.
The more shame for ye; holy men I thought ye,
Vpon my Soule two reuerend Cardinall Vertues:
But Cardinall Sins, and hollow hearts I feare ye:
Mend 'em for shame my Lords: Is this your comfort?
The Cordiall that ye bring a wretched Lady?
A woman lost among ye, laugh't at, scornd?
I will not wish ye halfe my miseries,
I haue more Charity. But say I warn'd ye;
Take heed, for heauens sake take heed, least at once
The burthen of my sorrowes, fall vpon ye.

Car.
Madam, this is a meere distraction,
You turne the good we offer, into enuy.

Quee.
Ye turne me into nothing. Woe vpon ye,
And all such false Professors. Would you haue me
(If you haue any Iustice, any Pitty,
If ye be any thing but Churchmens habits)
Put my sicke cause into his hands, that hates me?
Alas, ha's banish'd me his Bed already,
His Loue, too long ago. I am old my Lords,
And all the Fellowship I hold now with him
Is onely my Obedience. What can happen
To me, aboue this wretchednesse? All your Studies
Make me a Curse, like this.

Camp.
Your feares are worse.

Qu
Haue I liu'd thus long (let me speake my selfe,
Since Vertue findes no friends) a Wife, a true one?
A Woman (I dare say without Vainglory)
Neuer yet branded with Suspition?
Haue I, with all my full Affections
Still met the King? Lou'd him next Heau'n? Obey'd him?
Bin (out of fondnesse) superstitious to him?
Almost forgot my Prayres to content him?
And am I thus rewarded? 'Tis not well Lords.
Bring me a constant woman to her Husband,
One that ne're dream'd a Ioy, beyond his pleasure;
And to that Woman (when she has done most)
Yet will I adde an Honor; a great Patience.

Car.
Madam, you wander from the good / We ayme at.

Qu.
My Lord, I dare not make my selfe so guiltie,
To giue vp willingly that Noble Title
Your Master wed me to: nothing but death
Shall e're diuorce my Dignities.

Car.
Pray heare me.

Qu.
Would I had neuer trod this English Earth,
Or felt the Flatteries that grow vpon it:
Ye haue Angels Faces; but Heauen knowes your hearts.
What will become of me now, wretched Lady?
I am the most vnhappy Woman liuing.
Alas (poore Wenches) where are now your Fortunes?
Shipwrack'd vpon a Kingdome, where no Pitty,
No Friends, no Hope, no Kindred weepe for me?
Almost no Graue allow'd me? Like the Lilly
That once was Mistris of the Field, and flourish'd,
Ile hang my head, and perish.

Car.
If your Grace
Could but be brought to know, our Ends are honest,
Youl'd feele more comfort. Why shold we (good Lady)
Vpon what cause wrong you? Alas, our Places,
The way of our Profession is against it;
We are to Cure such sorrowes, not to sowe 'em.
For Goodnesse sake, consider what you do,
How you may hurt your selfe: I, vtterly
Grow from the Kings Acquaintance, by this Carriage.
The hearts of Princes kisse Obedience,
So much they loue it. But to stubborne Spirits,
They swell and grow, as terrible as stormes.
I know you haue a Gentle, Noble temper,
A Soule as euen as a Calme; Pray thinke vs,
Those we professe, Peace-makers, Friends, and Seruants.

Camp.
Madam, you'l finde it so: / You wrong your Vertues
With these weake Womens feares. A Noble Spirit
As yours was, put into you, euer casts
Such doubts as false Coine from it. The King loues you,
Beware you loose it not: For vs (if you please
To trust vs in your businesse) we are ready
To vse our vtmost Studies, in your seruice.

Qu.
Do what ye will, my Lords: / And pray forgiue me;
If I haue vs'd my selfe vnmannerly,
You know I am a Woman, lacking wit
To make a seemely answer to such persons.
Pray do my seruice to his Maiestie,
He ha's my heart yet, and shall haue my Prayers
While I shall haue my life. Come reuerend Fathers,
Bestow your Councels on me. She now begges
That little thought when she set footing heere,
She should haue bought her Dignities so deere.
Exeunt
Original text
Act III, Scene II
Enter the Duke of Norfolke, Duke of Suffolke, Lord
Surrey, and Lord Chamberlaine.

Norf.
If you will now vnite in your Complaints,
And force them with a Constancy, the Cardinall
Cannot stand vnder them. If you omit
The offer of this time, I cannot promise,
But that you shall sustaine moe new disgraces,
With these you beare alreadie.

Sur.
I am ioyfull
To meete the least occasion, that may giue me
Remembrance of my Father-in-Law, the Duke,
To be reueng'd on him.

Suf.
Which of the Peeres
Haue vncontemn'd gone by him, or at least
Strangely neglected? When did he regard
The stampe of Noblenesse in any person
Out of himselfe?

Cham.
My Lords, you speake your pleasures:
What he deserues of you and me, I know:
What we can do to him (though now the time
Giues way to vs) I much feare. If you cannot
Barre his accesse to'th'King, neuer attempt
Any thing on him: for he hath a Witchcraft
Ouer the King in's Tongue.

Nor.
O feare him not,
His spell in that is out: the King hath found
Matter against him, that for euer marres
The Hony of his Language. No, he's setled
(Not to come off) in his displeasure.

Sur.
Sir,
I should be glad to heare such Newes as this
Once euery houre.

Nor.
Beleeue it, this is true.
In the Diuorce, his contrarie proceedings
Are all vnfolded: wherein he appeares,
As I would wish mine Enemy.

Sur.
How came
His practises to light?

Suf.
Most strangely.

Sur.
O how? how?

Suf.
The Cardinals Letters to the Pope miscarried,
And came to th'eye o'th'King, wherein was read
How that the Cardinall did intreat his Holinesse
To stay the Iudgement o'th'Diuorce; for if
It did take place, I do (quoth he) perceiue
My King is tangled in affection, to
A Creature of the Queenes, Lady Anne Bullen.

Sur.
Ha's the King this?

Suf.
Beleeue it.

Sur.
Will this worke?

Cham.
The King in this perceiues him, how he coasts
And hedges his owne way. But in this point,
All his trickes founder, and he brings his Physicke
After his Patients death; the King already
Hath married the faire Lady.

Sur.
Would he had.

Suf.
May you be happy in your wish my Lord,
For I professe you haue it.

Sur.
Now all my ioy
Trace the Coniunction.

Suf.
My Amen too't.

Nor.
All mens.

Suf.
There's order giuen for her Coronation:
Marry this is yet but yong, and may be left
To some eares vnrecounted. But my Lords
She is a gallant Creature, and compleate
In minde and feature. I perswade me, from her
Will fall some blessing to this Land, which shall
In it be memoriz'd.

Sur.
But will the King
Digest this Letter of the Cardinals?
The Lord forbid.

Nor.
Marry Amen.

Suf.
No, no:
There be moe Waspes that buz about his Nose,
Will make this sting the sooner. Cardinall Campeius,
Is stolne away to Rome, hath 'tane no leaue,
Ha's left the cause o'th'King vnhandled, and
Is posted as the Agent of our Cardinall,
To second all his plot. I do assure you,
The King cry'de Ha, at this.

Cham.
Now God incense him,
And let him cry Ha, lowder.

Norf.
But my Lord
When returnes Cranmer?

Suf.
He is return'd in his Opinions, which
Haue satisfied the King for his Diuorce,
Together with all famous Colledges
Almost in Christendome: shortly (I beleeue)
His second Marriage shall be publishd, and
Her Coronation. Katherine no more
Shall be call'd Queene, but Princesse Dowager,
And Widdow to Prince Arthur.

Nor.
This same Cranmer's
A worthy Fellow, and hath tane much paine
In the Kings businesse.

Suf.
He ha's, and we shall see him
For it, an Arch-byshop.

Nor.
So I heare.

Suf.
'Tis so.
Enter Wolsey and Cromwell.
The Cardinall.

Nor.
Obserue, obserue, hee's moody.

Car.
The Packet Cromwell,
Gau't you the King?

Crom.
To his owne hand, in's Bed-chamber.

Card.
Look'd he o'th'inside of the Paper?

Crom.
Presently
He did vnseale them, and the first he view'd,
He did it with a Serious minde: a heede
Was in his countenance. You he bad
Attend him heere this Morning.

Card.
Is he ready
to come abroad?

Crom.
I thinke by this he is.

Card.
Leaue me a while.
Exit Cromwell.
It shall be to the Dutches of Alanson,
The French Kings Sister; He shall marry her.
Anne Bullen? No: Ile no Anne Bullens for him,
There's more in't then faire Visage. Bullen?
No, wee'l no Bullens: Speedily I wish
To heare from Rome. The Marchionesse of Penbroke?

Nor.
He's discontented.

Suf.
Maybe he heares the King
Does whet his Anger to him.

Sur.
Sharpe enough,
Lord for thy Iustice.

Car.
The late Queenes Gentlewoman? / A Knights Daughter
To be her Mistris Mistris? The Queenes, Queene?
This Candle burnes not cleere, 'tis I must snuffe it,
Then out it goes. What though I know her vertuous
And well deseruing? yet I know her for
A spleeny Lutheran, and not wholsome to
Our cause, that she should lye i'th'bosome of
Our hard rul'd King. Againe, there is sprung vp
An Heretique, an Arch-one; Cranmer, one
Hath crawl'd into the fauour of the King,
And is his Oracle.

Nor.
He is vex'd at something.

Sur.
I would 'twer somthing yt would fretthe string,
The Master-cord on's heart.
Enter King, reading of a Scedule.

Suf.
The King, the King.

King.
What piles of wealth hath he accumulated
To his owne portion? And what expence by'th'houre
Seemes to flow from him? How, i'th'name of Thrift
Does he rake this together? Now my Lords,
Saw you the Cardinall?

Nor.
My Lord, we haue
Stood heere obseruing him. Some strange Commotion
Is in his braine: He bites his lip, and starts,
Stops on a sodaine, lookes vpon the ground,
Then layes his finger on his Temple: straight
Springs out into fast gate, then stops againe,
Strikes his brest hard, and anon, he casts
His eye against the Moone: in most strange Postures
We haue seene him set himselfe.

King.
It may well be,
There is a mutiny in's minde. This morning,
Papers of State he sent me, to peruse
As I requir'd: and wot you what I found
There (on my Conscience put vnwittingly)
Forsooth an Inuentory, thus importing
The seuerall parcels of his Plate, his Treasure,
Rich Stuffes and Ornaments of Houshold, which
I finde at such proud Rate, that it out-speakes
Possession of a Subiect.

Nor.
It's Heauens will,
Some Spirit put this paper in the Packet,
To blesse your eye withall.

King.
If we did thinke
His Contemplation were aboue the earth,
And fixt on Spirituall obiect, he should still
Dwell in his Musings, but I am affraid
His Thinkings are below the Moone, not worth
His serious considering.
King takes his Seat, whispers Louell, who goes to
the Cardinall.

Car.
Heauen forgiue me,
Euer God blesse your Highnesse.

King.
Good my Lord,
You are full of Heauenly stuffe, and beare the Inuentory
Of your best Graces, in your minde; the which
You were now running o're: you haue scarse time
To steale from Spirituall leysure, a briefe span
To keepe your earthly Audit, sure in that
I deeme you an ill Husband, and am gald
To haue you therein my Companion.

Car.
Sir,
For Holy Offices I haue a time; a time
To thinke vpon the part of businesse, which
I beare i'th'State: and Nature does require
Her times of preseruation, which perforce
I her fraile sonne, among'st my Brethren mortall,
Must giue my tendance to.

King.
You haue said well.

Car.
And euer may your Highnesse yoake together,
(As I will lend you cause) my doing well,
With my well saying.

King.
'Tis well said agen,
And 'tis a kinde of good deede to say well,
And yet words are no deeds. My Father lou'd you,
He said he did, and with his deed did Crowne
His word vpon you. Since I had my Office,
I haue kept you next my Heart, haue not alone
Imploy'd you where high Profits might come home,
But par'd my present Hauings, to bestow
My Bounties vpon you.

Car.
What should this meane?

Sur.
The Lord increase this businesse.

King.
Haue I not made you
The prime man of the State? I pray you tell me,
If what I now pronounce, you haue found true:
And if you may confesse it, say withall
If you are bound to vs, or no. What say you?

Car.
My Soueraigne, I confesse your Royall graces
Showr'd on me daily, haue bene more then could
My studied purposes requite, which went
Beyond all mans endeauors. My endeauors,
Haue euer come too short of my Desires,
Yet fill'd with my Abilities: Mine owne ends
Haue beene mine so, that euermore they pointed
To'th'good of your most Sacred Person, and
The profit of the State. For your great Graces
Heap'd vpon me (poore Vndeseruer) I
Can nothing render but Allegiant thankes,
My Prayres to heauen for you; my Loyaltie
Which euer ha's, and euer shall be growing,
Till death (that Winter) kill it.

King.
Fairely answer'd:
A Loyall, and obedient Subiect is
Therein illustrated, the Honor of it
Does pay the Act of it, as i'th'contrary
The fowlenesse is the punishment. I presume,
That as my hand ha's open'd Bounty to you,
My heart drop'd Loue, my powre rain'd Honor, more
On you, then any: So your Hand, and Heart,
Your Braine, and euery Function of your power,
Should, notwithstanding that your bond of duty,
As 'twer in Loues particular, be more
To me your Friend, then any.

Car.
I do professe,
That for your Highnesse good, I euer labour'd
More then mine owne: that am, haue, and will be
(Though all the world should cracke their duty to you,
And throw it from their Soule, though perils did
Abound, as thicke as thought could make 'em, and
Appeare in formes more horrid) yet my Duty,
As doth a Rocke against the chiding Flood,
Should the approach of this wilde Riuer breake,
And stand vnshaken yours.

King.
'Tis Nobly spoken:
Take notice Lords, he ha's a Loyall brest,
For you haue seene him open't. Read o're this,
And after this, and then to Breakfast with
What appetite you haue.
Exit King, frowning vpon the Cardinall, the Nobles
throng after him smiling, and whispering.

Car.
What should this meane?
What sodaine Anger's this? How haue I reap'd it?
He parted Frowning from me, as if Ruine
Leap'd from his Eyes. So lookes the chafed Lyon
Vpon the daring Huntsman that has gall'd him:
Then makes him nothing. I must reade this paper:
I feare the Story of his Anger. 'Tis so:
This paper ha's vndone me: 'Tis th'Accompt
Of all that world of Wealth I haue drawne together
For mine owne ends, (Indeed to gaine the Popedome,
And fee my Friends in Rome.) O Negligence!
Fit for a Foole to fall by: What crosse Diuell
Made me put this maine Secret in the Packet
I sent the King? Is there no way to cure this?
No new deuice to beate this from his Braines?
I know 'twill stirre him strongly; yet I know
A way, if it take right, in spight of Fortune
Will bring me off againe. What's this? To th'Pope?
The Letter (as I liue) with all the Businesse
I writ too's Holinesse. Nay then, farewell:
I haue touch'd the highest point of all my Greatnesse,
And from that full Meridian of my Glory,
I haste now to my Setting. I shall fall
Like a bright exhalation in the Euening,
And no man see me more.
Enter to Woolsey, the Dukes of Norfolke and Suffolke, the
Earle of Surrey, and the Lord Chamberlaine.

Nor.
Heare the Kings pleasure Cardinall, Who commands you
To render vp the Great Seale presently
Into our hands, and to Confine your selfe
To Asher-house, my Lord of Winchesters,
Till you heare further from his Highnesse.

Car.
Stay:
Where's your Commission? Lords, words cannot carrie
Authority so weighty.

Suf.
Who dare crosse 'em,
Bearing the Kings will from his mouth expressely?

Car.
Till I finde more then will, or words to do it,
(I meane your malice) know, Officious Lords,
I dare, and must deny it. Now I feele
Of what course Mettle ye are molded, Enuy,
How eagerly ye follow my Disgraces
As if it fed ye, and how sleeke and wanton
Ye appeare in euery thing may bring my ruine?
Follow your enuious courses, men of Malice;
You haue Christian warrant for 'em, and no doubt
In time will finde their fit Rewards. That Seale
You aske with such a Violence, the King
(Mine, and your Master) with his owne hand, gaue me:
Bad me enioy it, with the Place, and Honors
During my life; and to confirme his Goodnesse,
Ti'de it by Letters Patents. Now, who'll take it?

Sur.
The King that gaue it.

Car.
It must be himselfe then.

Sur.
Thou art a proud Traitor, Priest.

Car.
Proud Lord, thou lyest:
Within these fortie houres, Surrey durst better
Haue burnt that Tongue, then saide so.

Sur.
Thy Ambition
(Thou Scarlet sinne) robb'd 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)
Weigh'd not a haire of his. Plague of your policie,
You sent me Deputie for Ireland,
Farre from his succour; from the King, from all
That might haue mercie on the fault, thou gau'st him:
Whil'st your great Goodnesse, out of holy pitty,
Absolu'd him with an Axe.

Wol.
This, and all else
This talking Lord can lay vpon my credit,
I answer, is most false. The Duke by Law
Found his deserts. How innocent I was
From any priuate malice in his end,
His Noble Iurie, and foule Cause can witnesse.
If I lou'd many words, Lord, I should tell you,
You haue as little Honestie, as Honor,
That in the way of Loyaltie, and Truth,
Toward the King, my euer Roiall Master,
Dare mate a sounder man then Surrie can be,
And all that loue his follies.

Sur.
By my Soule,
Your long Coat (Priest) protects you, / Thou should'st feele
My Sword i'th'life blood of thee else. My Lords,
Can ye endure to heare this Arrogance?
And from this Fellow? If we liue thus tamely,
To be thus Iaded by a peece of Scarlet,
Farewell Nobilitie: let his Grace go forward,
And dare vs with his Cap, like Larkes.

Card.
All Goodnesse
Is poyson to thy Stomacke.

Sur.
Yes, that goodnesse
Of gleaning all the Lands wealth into one,
Into your owne hands (Card'nall) by Extortion:
The goodnesse of your intercepted Packets
You writ to'th Pope, against the King: your goodnesse
Since you prouoke me, shall be most notorious.
My Lord of Norfolke, as you are truly Noble,
As you respect the common good, the State
Of our despis'd Nobilitie, our Issues,
(Whom if he liue, will scarse be Gentlemen)
Produce the grand summe of his sinnes, the Articles
Collected from his life. Ile startle you
Worse then the Sacring Bell, when the browne Wench
Lay kissing in your Armes, Lord Cardinall.

Car.
How much me thinkes, I could despise this man,
But that I am bound in Charitie against it.

Nor.
Those Articles, my Lord, are in the Kings hand:
But thus much, they are foule ones.

Wol.
So much fairer
And spotlesse, shall mine Innocence arise,
When the King knowes my Truth.

Sur.
This cannot saue you:
I thanke my Memorie, I yet remember
Some of these Articles, and out they shall.
Now, if you can blush, and crie guiltie Cardinall,
You'l shew a little Honestie.

Wol.
Speake on Sir,
I dare your worst Obiections: If I blush,
It is to see a Nobleman want manners.

Sur.
I had rather want those, then my head; / Haue at you.
First, that without the Kings assent or knowledge,
You wrought to be a Legate, by which power
You maim'd the Iurisdiction of all Bishops.

Nor.
Then, That in all you writ to Rome, or else
To Forraigne Princes, Ego & Rex meus
Was still inscrib'd: in which you brought the King
To be your Seruant.

Suf.
Then, that without the knowledge
Either of King or Councell, when you went
Ambassador to the Emperor, you made bold
To carry into Flanders, the Great Seale.

Sur.
Item, You sent a large Commission
To Gregory de Cassado, to conclude
Without the Kings will, or the States allowance,
A League betweene his Highnesse, and Ferrara.

Suf.
That out of meere Ambition, you haue caus'd
Your holy-Hat to be stampt on the Kings Coine.

Sur.
Then, That you haue sent inumerable substance,
(By what meanes got, I leaue to your owne conscience)
To furnish Rome, and to prepare the wayes
You haue for Dignities, to the meere vndooing
Of all the Kingdome. Many more there are,
Which since they are of you, and odious,
I will not taint my mouth with.

Cham.
O my Lord,
Presse not a falling man too farre: 'tis Vertue:
His faults lye open to the Lawes, let them
(Not you) correct him. My heart weepes to see him
So little, of his great Selfe.

Sur.
I forgiue him.

Suf.
Lord Cardinall, the Kings further pleasure is,
Because all those things you haue done of late
By your power Legatiue within this Kingdome,
Fall into 'th'compasse of a Premunire;
That therefore such a Writ be sued against you,
To forfeit all your Goods, Lands, Tenements,
Castles, and whatsoeuer, and to be
Out of the Kings protection. This is my Charge.

Nor.
And so wee'l leaue you to your Meditations
How to liue better. For your stubborne answer
About the giuing backe the Great Seale to vs,
The King shall know it, and (no doubt) shal thanke you.
So fare you well, my little good Lord Cardinall.
Exeunt all but Wolsey.

Wol.
So farewell, to the little good you beare me.
Farewell? A long farewell to all my Greatnesse.
This is the state of Man; to day he puts forth
The tender Leaues of hopes, to morrow Blossomes,
And beares his blushing Honors thicke vpon him:
The third day, comes a Frost; a killing Frost,
And when he thinkes, good easie man, full surely
His Greatnesse is a ripening, nippes his roote,
And then he fals as I do. I haue ventur'd
Like little wanton Boyes that swim on bladders:
This many Summers in a Sea of Glory,
But farre beyond my depth: my high-blowne Pride
At length broke vnder me, and now ha's left me
Weary, and old with Seruice, to the mercy
Of a rude streame, that must for euer hide me.
Vaine pompe, and glory of this World, I hate ye,
I feele my heart new open'd. Oh how wretched
Is that poore man, that hangs on Princes fauours?
There is betwixt that smile we would aspire too,
That sweet Aspect of Princes, and their ruine,
More pangs, and feares then warres, or women haue;
And when he falles, he falles like Lucifer,
Neuer to hope againe.
Enter Cromwell, standing amazed.
Why how now Cromwell?

Crom.
I haue no power to speake Sir.

Car.
What, amaz'd
At my misfortunes? Can thy Spirit wonder
A great man should decline. Nay, and you weep
I am falne indeed.

Crom.
How does your Grace.

Card.
Why well:
Neuer so truly happy, my good Cromwell,
I know my selfe now, and I feele within me,
A peace aboue all earthly Dignities,
A still, and quiet Conscience. The King ha's cur'd me,
I humbly thanke his Grace: and from these shoulders
These ruin'd Pillers, out of pitty, taken
A loade, would sinke a Nauy, (too much Honor.)
O 'tis a burden Cromwel, 'tis a burden
Too heauy for a man, that hopes for Heauen.

Crom.
I am glad your Grace, / Ha's made that right vse of it.

Card.
I hope I haue: / I am able now (me thinkes)
(Out of a Fortitude of Soule, I feele)
To endure more Miseries, and greater farre
Then my Weake-hearted Enemies, dare offer.
What Newes abroad?

Crom.
The heauiest, and the worst,
Is your displeasure with the King.

Card.
God blesse him.

Crom.
The next is, that Sir Thomas Moore is chosen
Lord Chancellor, in your place.

Card.
That's somewhat sodain.
But he's a Learned man. May he continue
Long in his Highnesse fauour, and do Iustice
For Truths-sake, and his Conscience; that his bones,
When he ha's run his course, and sleepes in Blessings,
May haue a Tombe of Orphants teares wept on him.
What more?

Crom.
That Cranmer is return'd with welcome;
Install'd Lord Arch-byshop of Canterbury.

Card.
That's Newes indeed.

Crom.
Last, that the Lady Anne,
Whom the King hath in secrecie long married,
This day was view'd in open, as his Queene,
Going to Chappell: and the voyce is now
Onely about her Corronation.

Card.
There was the waight that pull'd me downe. / O Cromwell,
The King ha's gone beyond me: All my Glories
In that one woman, I haue lost for euer.
No Sun, shall euer vsher forth mine Honors,
Or gilde againe the Noble Troopes that waighted
Vpon my smiles. Go get thee from me Cromwel,
I am a poore falne man, vnworthy now
To be thy Lord, and Master. Seeke the King
(That Sun, I pray may neuer set) I haue told him,
What, and how true thou art; he will aduance thee:
Some little memory of me, will stirre him
(I know his Noble Nature) not to let
Thy hopefull seruice perish too. Good Cromwell
Neglect him not; make vse now, and prouide
For thine owne future safety.

Crom.
O my Lord,
Must I then leaue you? Must I needes forgo
So good, so Noble, and so true a Master?
Beare witnesse, all that haue not hearts of Iron,
With what a sorrow Cromwel leaues his Lord.
The King shall haue my seruice; but my prayres
For euer, and for euer shall be yours.

Card.
Cromwel, I did not thinke to shed a teare
In all my Miseries: But thou hast forc'd me
(Out of thy honest truth) to play the Woman.
Let's dry our eyes: And thus farre heare me Cromwel,
And when I am forgotten, as I shall be,
And sleepe in dull cold Marble, where no mention
Of me, more must be heard of: Say I taught thee;
Say Wolsey, that once trod the wayes of Glory,
And sounded all the Depths, and Shoales of Honor,
Found thee a way (out of his wracke) to rise in:
A sure, and safe one, though thy Master mist it.
Marke but my Fall, and that that Ruin'd me:
Cromwel, I charge thee, fling away Ambition,
By that sinne fell the Angels: how can man then
(The Image of his Maker) hope to win by it?
Loue thy selfe last, cherish those hearts that hate thee;
Corruption wins not more then Honesty.
Still in thy right hand, carry gentle Peace
To silence enuious Tongues. Be iust, and feare not;
Let all the ends thou aym'st at, be thy Countries,
Thy Gods, and Truths. Then if thou fall'st (O Cromwell)
Thou fall'st a blessed Martyr. / Serue the King:
And prythee leade me in:
There take an Inuentory of all I haue,
To the last peny, 'tis the Kings. My Robe,
And my Integrity to Heauen, is all,
I dare now call mine owne. O Cromwel, Cromwel,
Had I but seru'd my God, with halfe the Zeale
I seru'd my King: he would not in mine Age
Haue left me naked to mine Enemies.

Crom.
Good Sir, haue patience.

Card.
So I haue. Farewell
The Hopes of Court, my Hopes in Heauen do dwell.
Exeunt.
Modern text
Act III, Scene I
Enter the Queen and her women, as at work

QUEEN KATHERINE
Take thy lute, wench. My soul grows sad with troubles;
Sing, and disperse 'em, if thou canst. Leave working.

GENTLEWOMAN
(sings)
Orpheus with his lute made trees,
And the mountain-tops that freeze,
Bow themselves when he did sing.
To his music plants and flowers
Ever sprung, as sun and showers
There had made a lasting spring.
Everything that heard him play,
Even the billows of the sea,
Hung their heads, and then lay by.
In sweet music is such art,
Killing care and grief of heart
Fall asleep, or hearing die.
Enter a Gentleman

QUEEN KATHERINE
How now?

GENTLEMAN
An't please your grace, the two great Cardinals
Wait in the presence.

QUEEN KATHERINE
Would they speak with me?

GENTLEMAN
They willed me say so, madam.

QUEEN KATHERINE
Pray their graces
To come near.
Exit Gentleman
What can be their business
With me, a poor weak woman, fall'n from favour?
I do not like their coming. Now I think on't,
They should be good men, their affairs as righteous:
But all hoods make not monks.
Enter the two Cardinals, Wolsey and Campeius

WOLSEY
Peace to your highness!

QUEEN KATHERINE
Your graces find me here part of a housewife –
I would be all, against the worst may happen.
What are your pleasures with me, reverend lords?

WOLSEY
May it please you, noble madam, to withdraw
Into your private chamber, we shall give you
The full cause of our coming.

QUEEN KATHERINE
Speak it here.
There's nothing I have done yet, o' my conscience,
Deserves a corner. Would all other women
Could speak this with as free a soul as I do!
My lords, I care not – so much I am happy
Above a number – if my actions
Were tried by every tongue, every eye saw 'em,
Envy and base opinion set against 'em,
I know my life so even. If your business
Seek me out, and that way I am wife in,
Out with it boldly. Truth loves open dealing.

WOLSEY
Tanta est erga te mentis integritas, Regina
serenissima –

QUEEN KATHERINE
O, good my lord, no Latin!
I am not such a truant since my coming
As not to know the language I have lived in.
A strange tongue makes my cause more strange, suspicious;
Pray, speak in English. Here are some will thank you,
If you speak truth, for their poor mistress' sake.
Believe me, she has had much wrong. Lord Cardinal,
The willing'st sin I ever yet committed
May be absolved in English.

WOLSEY
Noble lady,
I am sorry my integrity should breed –
And service to his majesty and you –
So deep suspicion, where all faith was meant.
We come not by the way of accusation,
To taint that honour every good tongue blesses,
Nor to betray you any way to sorrow –
You have too much, good lady – but to know
How you stand minded in the weighty difference
Between the King and you, and to deliver,
Like free and honest men, our just opinions
And comforts to your cause.

CAMPEIUS
Most honoured madam,
My lord of York, out of his noble nature,
Zeal and obedience he still bore your grace,
Forgetting, like a good man, your late censure
Both of his truth and him – which was too far –
Offers, as I do, in a sign of peace,
His service, and his counsel.

QUEEN KATHERINE
(aside)
To betray me. –
My lords, I thank you both for your good wills.
Ye speak like honest men – pray God ye prove so!
But how to make ye suddenly an answer
In such a point of weight, so near mine honour,
More near my life, I fear, with my weak wit,
And to such men of gravity and learning,
In truth I know not. I was set at work
Among my maids, full little – God knows – looking
Either for such men or such business.
For her sake that I have been – for I feel
The last fit of my greatness – good your graces,
Let me have time and counsel for my cause.
Alas, I am a woman friendless, hopeless!

WOLSEY
Madam, you wrong the King's love with these fears;
Your hopes and friends are infinite.

QUEEN KATHERINE
In England
But little for my profit. Can you think, lords,
That any Englishman dare give me counsel,
Or be a known friend, 'gainst his highness' pleasure –
Though he be grown so desperate to be honest –
And live a subject? Nay, forsooth, my friends,
They that must weigh out my afflictions,
They that my trust must grow to, live not here.
They are, as all my other comforts, far hence
In mine own country, lords.

CAMPEIUS
I would your grace
Would leave your griefs, and take my counsel.

QUEEN KATHERINE
How, sir?

CAMPEIUS
Put your main cause into the King's protection;
He's loving and most gracious; 'Twill be much
Both for your honour better and your cause;
For if the trial of the law o'ertake ye
You'll part away disgraced.

WOLSEY
He tells you rightly.

QUEEN KATHERINE
Ye tell me what ye wish for both – my ruin.
Is this your Christian counsel? Out upon ye!
Heaven is above all yet; there sits a judge
That no king can corrupt.

CAMPEIUS
Your rage mistakes us.

QUEEN KATHERINE
The more shame for ye! Holy men I thought ye,
Upon my soul, two reverend cardinal virtues;
But cardinal sins and hollow hearts I fear ye.
Mend 'em for shame, my lords. Is this your comfort?
The cordial that ye bring a wretched lady,
A woman lost among ye, laughed at, scorned?
I will not wish ye half my miseries;
I have more charity. But say I warned ye;
Take heed, for heaven's sake take heed, lest at once
The burden of my sorrows fall upon ye.

WOLSEY
Madam, this is a mere distraction.
You turn the good we offer into envy.

QUEEN KATHERINE
Ye turn me into nothing. Woe upon ye,
And all such false professors! Would you have me –
If you have any justice, any pity,
If ye be anything but churchmen's habits –
Put my sick cause into his hands that hates me?
Alas, 'has banished me his bed already,
His love too long ago! I am old, my lords,
And all the fellowship I hold now with him
Is only my obedience. What can happen
To me above this wretchedness? All your studies
Make me a curse like this!

CAMPEIUS
Your fears are worse.

QUEEN KATHERINE
Have I lived thus long – let me speak myself,
Since virtue finds no friends – a wife, a true one?
A woman, I dare say without vainglory,
Never yet branded with suspicion?
Have I with all my full affections
Still met the King, loved him next heaven, obeyed him,
Been, out of fondness, superstitious to him,
Almost forgot my prayers to content him,
And am I thus rewarded? 'Tis not well, lords.
Bring me a constant woman to her husband,
One that ne'er dreamed a joy beyond his pleasure,
And to that woman, when she has done most,
Yet will I add an honour – a great patience.

WOLSEY
Madam, you wander from the good we aim at.

QUEEN KATHERINE
My lord, I dare not make myself so guilty
To give up willingly that noble title
Your master wed me to. Nothing but death
Shall e'er divorce my dignities.

WOLSEY
Pray hear me.

QUEEN KATHERINE
Would I had never trod this English earth,
Or felt the flatteries that grow upon it!
Ye have angels' faces, but heaven knows your hearts.
What will become of me now, wretched lady?
I am the most unhappy woman living.
(to her women)
Alas, poor wenches, where are now your fortunes?
Shipwrecked upon a kingdom, where no pity,
No friends, no hope, no kindred weep for me;
Almost no grave allowed me. Like the lily
That once was mistress of the field and flourished,
I'll hang my head, and perish.

WOLSEY
If your grace
Could but be brought to know our ends are honest,
You'd feel more comfort. Why should we, good lady,
Upon what cause, wrong you? Alas, our places,
The way of our profession is against it.
We are to cure such sorrows, not to sow 'em.
For goodness' sake, consider what you do,
How you may hurt yourself, ay, utterly
Grow from the King's acquaintance, by this carriage.
The hearts of princes kiss obedience,
So much they love it; but to stubborn spirits
They swell, and grow as terrible as storms.
I know you have a gentle, noble temper,
A soul as even as a calm. Pray think us
Those we profess, peace-makers, friends, and servants.

CAMPEIUS
Madam, you'll find it so. You wrong your virtues
With these weak women's fears. A noble spirit,
As yours was put into you, ever casts
Such doubts as false coin from it. The King loves you;
Beware you lose it not. For us, if you please
To trust us in your business, we are ready
To use our utmost studies in your service.

QUEEN KATHERINE
Do what ye will, my lords, and pray forgive me
If I have used myself unmannerly.
You know I am a woman, lacking wit
To make a seemly answer to such persons.
Pray do my service to his majesty;
He has my heart yet, and shall have my prayers
While I shall have my life. Come, reverend fathers,
Bestow your counsels on me. She now begs
That little thought, when she set footing here,
She should have bought her dignities so dear.
Exeunt
Modern text
Act III, Scene II
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
Cannot stand under them. If you omit
The offer of this time, I cannot promise
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,
To be revenged on him.

SUFFOLK
Which of the peers
Have uncontemned gone by him, or at least
Strangely neglected? When did he regard
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
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
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
Are all unfolded, wherein he appears
As I would wish mine enemy.

SURREY
How came
His practices to light?

SUFFOLK
Most strangely.

SURREY
O, how, how?

SUFFOLK
The Cardinal's letters to the Pope miscarried,
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
It did take place, ‘ I do ’ – quoth he – ‘ perceive
My King is tangled in affection to
A creature of the Queen's, Lady Anne Bullen.’

SURREY
Has the king this?

SUFFOLK
Believe it.

SURREY
Will this work?

LORD CHAMBERLAIN
The King in this perceives him, how he coasts
And hedges his own way. But in this point
All his tricks founder, and he brings his physic
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!

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
In mind and feature. I persuade me, from her
Will fall some blessing to this land, which shall
In it be memorized.

SURREY
But will the King
Digest this letter of the Cardinal's?
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
To second all his plot. I do assure you
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
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?

CROMWELL
Presently
He did unseal them, and the first he viewed
He did it with a serious mind; a heed
Was in his countenance. You he bade
Attend him here this morning.

WOLSEY
Is he ready
To come abroad?

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!
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
Our cause, that she should lie i'th' bosom of
Our hard-ruled King. Again, there is sprung up
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,
The master-cord on's heart!
Enter the King, reading of a schedule, and Lovell

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
Is in his brain; he bites his lip, and starts,
Stops on a sudden, looks upon the ground,
Then lays his finger on his temple; straight
Springs out into fast gait; then stops again,
Strikes his breast hard, and anon he casts
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
Papers of state he sent me to peruse,
As I required; and wot you what I found
There, on my conscience, put unwittingly?
Forsooth, an inventory, thus importing
The several parcels of his plate, his treasure,
Rich stuffs, and ornaments of household, which
I find at such proud rate that it outspeaks
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
Dwell in his musings; but I am afraid
His thinkings are below the moon, not worth
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
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
To keep your earthly audit. Sure, in that
I deem you an ill husband, and am glad
To have you therein my companion.

WOLSEY
Sir,
For holy offices I have a time; a time
To think upon the part of business which
I bear i'th' state; and nature does require
Her times of preservation, which perforce
I, her frail son, amongst my brethren mortal,
Must give my tendance to.

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,
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
If what I now pronounce you have found true;
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
Beyond all man's endeavours. My endeavours
Have ever come too short of my desires,
Yet filed with my abilities. Mine own ends
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
Can nothing render but allegiant thanks,
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,
The foulness is the punishment. I presume
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,
Should, notwithstanding that your bond of duty,
As 'twere in love's particular, be more
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,
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,
Should the approach of this wild river break,
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
Upon the daring huntsman that has galled him,
Then makes him nothing. I must read this paper:
I fear, the story of his anger. 'Tis so;
This paper has undone me. 'Tis th' account
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
Made me put this main secret in the packet
I sent the King? Is there no way to cure this?
No new device to beat this from his brains?
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 ’?
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,
And from that full meridian of my glory
I haste now to my setting. I shall fall
Like a bright exhalation in the evening,
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
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
Authority so weighty.

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,
I dare, and must deny it. Now I feel
Of what coarse metal ye are moulded – envy;
How eagerly ye follow my disgraces
As if it fed ye! And how sleek and wanton
Ye appear in everything may bring my ruin!
Follow your envious courses, men of malice;
You have Christian warrant for 'em, and, no doubt
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,
During my life; and, to confirm his goodness,
Tied it by letters patents. Now, who'll take it?

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,
Weighed not a hair of his. Plague of your policy!
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,
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,
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,
Farewell nobility. Let his grace go forward,
And dare us with his cap, like larks.

WOLSEY
All goodness
Is poison to thy stomach.

SURREY
Yes, that goodness
Of gleaning all the land's wealth into one,
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 –
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
Lay kissing in your arms, lord Cardinal.

WOLSEY
How much, methinks, I could despise this man,
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,
It is to see a nobleman want manners.

SURREY
I had rather want those than my head. Have at you!
First, that without the King's assent or knowledge
You wrought to be a legate, by which power
You maimed the jurisdiction of all bishops.

NORFOLK
Then, that in all you writ to Rome, or else
To foreign princes, ‘ Ego et Rex meus
Was still inscribed; in which you brought the King
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
To Gregory de Cassado, to conclude,
Without the King's will or the state's allowance,
A league between his highness and Ferrara.

SUFFOLK
That out of mere ambition you have caused
Your holy hat to be stamped on the King's coin.

SURREY
Then, that you have sent innumerable substance –
By what means got I leave to your own conscience –
To furnish Rome, and to prepare the ways
You have for dignities, to the mere undoing
Of all the kingdom. Many more there are,
Which, since they are of you, and odious,
I will not taint my mouth with.

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,
By your power legatine within this kingdom
Fall into th' compass of a praemunire –
That therefore such a writ be sued against you:
To forfeit all your goods, lands, tenements,
Chattels, and whatsoever, and to be
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.
The third day comes a frost, a killing frost,
And when he thinks, good easy man, full surely
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,
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.
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,
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.

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,
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,
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.

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
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,
Neglect him not; make use now, and provide
For thine own future safety.

CROMWELL
O my lord,
Must I then leave you? Must I needs forgo
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.
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
To silence envious tongues. Be just, and fear not.
Let all the ends thou aim'st at be thy country's,
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
Have left me naked to mine enemies.

CROMWELL
Good sir, have patience.

WOLSEY
So I have. Farewell,
The hopes of court! My hopes in heaven do dwell.
Exeunt
SHAKESPEARE'S WORDS © 2020 DAVID CRYSTAL & BEN CRYSTAL