|The Life of King Henry the Eighth|
| Henry VIII
| Act 2, Scene 2
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Enter Chamberlain, reading a letterChamberlain
'My lord, the horses your lordship sent for, withNORFOLK
all the care I had, I saw well chosen, ridden, and
furnished. They were young and handsome, and of the
best breed in the north. When they were ready to
set out for London, a man of my lord cardinal's, by
commission and main power, took 'em from me; with
this reason: His master would be served before a
subject, if not before the king; which stopped our
I fear he will indeed: well, let him have them:
He will have all, I think.
Enter, to Chamberlain, NORFOLK and SUFFOLK
Well met, my lord chamberlain.Chamberlain
Good day to both your graces.SUFFOLK
How is the king employ'd?Chamberlain
I left him private,NORFOLK
Full of sad thoughts and troubles.
What's the cause?Chamberlain
It seems the marriage with his brother's wifeSUFFOLK
Has crept too near his conscience.
No, his conscienceNORFOLK
Has crept too near another lady.
This is the cardinal's doing, the king-cardinal:
That blind priest, like the eldest son of fortune,
Turns what he list. The king will know him one day.
Pray God he do! he'll never know himself else.NORFOLK
How holily he works in all his business!Chamberlain
And with what zeal! for, now he has crack'd the league
Between us and the emperor, the queen's great nephew,
He dives into the king's soul, and there scatters
Dangers, doubts, wringing of the conscience,
Fears, and despairs; and all these for his marriage:
And out of all these to restore the king,
He counsels a divorce; a loss of her
That, like a jewel, has hung twenty years
About his neck, yet never lost her lustre;
Of her that loves him with that excellence
That angels love good men with; even of her
That, when the greatest stroke of fortune falls,
Will bless the king: and is not this course pious?
Heaven keep me from such counsel! 'Tis most trueSUFFOLK
These news are every where; every tongue speaks 'em,
And every true heart weeps for't: all that dare
Look into these affairs see this main end,
The French king's sister. Heaven will one day open
The king's eyes, that so long have slept upon
This bold bad man.
And free us from his slavery.NORFOLK
We had need pray,SUFFOLK
And heartily, for our deliverance;
Or this imperious man will work us all
From princes into pages: all men's honours
Lie like one lump before him, to be fashion'd
Into what pitch he please.
For me, my lords,NORFOLK
I love him not, nor fear him; there's my creed:
As I am made without him, so I'll stand,
If the king please; his curses and his blessings
Touch me alike, they're breath I not believe in.
I knew him, and I know him; so I leave him
To him that made him proud, the pope.
And with some other business put the king
From these sad thoughts, that work too much upon him:
My lord, you'll bear us company?
The king has sent me otherwhere: besides,
You'll find a most unfit time to disturb him:
Health to your lordships.
Thanks, my good lord chamberlain.SUFFOLK
Exit Chamberlain; and KING HENRY VIII draws the curtain, and sits reading pensively
How sad he looks! sure, he is much afflicted.KING HENRY VIII
Who's there, ha?NORFOLK
Pray God he be not angry.KING HENRY VIII
Who's there, I say? How dare you thrust yourselvesNORFOLK
Into my private meditations?
Who am I? ha?
A gracious king that pardons all offencesKING HENRY VIII
Malice ne'er meant: our breach of duty this way
Is business of estate; in which we come
To know your royal pleasure.
Ye are too bold:CARDINAL WOLSEY
Go to; I'll make ye know your times of business:
Is this an hour for temporal affairs, ha?
Enter CARDINAL WOLSEY and CARDINAL CAMPEIUS, with a commissionWho's there? my good lord cardinal? O my Wolsey,
The quiet of my wounded conscience;
Thou art a cure fit for a king.
To CARDINAL CAMPEIUSYou're welcome,
Most learned reverend sir, into our kingdom:
Use us and it.
To CARDINAL WOLSEYMy good lord, have great care
I be not found a talker.
Sir, you cannot.KING HENRY VIII
I would your grace would give us but an hour
Of private conference.
[To NORFOLK and SUFFOLK]NORFOLK
We are busy; go.
[Aside to SUFFOLK]SUFFOLK
This priest has no pride in him?
[Aside to NORFOLK] Not to speak of:NORFOLK
I would not be so sick though for his place:
But this cannot continue.
[Aside to SUFFOLK] If it do,SUFFOLK
I'll venture one have-at-him.
[Aside to NORFOLK] I another.CARDINAL WOLSEY
Exeunt NORFOLK and SUFFOLK
Your grace has given a precedent of wisdomKING HENRY VIII
Above all princes, in committing freely
Your scruple to the voice of Christendom:
Who can be angry now? what envy reach you?
The Spaniard, tied blood and favour to her,
Must now confess, if they have any goodness,
The trial just and noble. All the clerks,
I mean the learned ones, in Christian kingdoms
Have their free voices: Rome, the nurse of judgment,
Invited by your noble self, hath sent
One general tongue unto us, this good man,
This just and learned priest, Cardinal Campeius;
Whom once more I present unto your highness.
And once more in mine arms I bid him welcome,CARDINAL CAMPEIUS
And thank the holy conclave for their loves:
They have sent me such a man I would have wish'd for.
Your grace must needs deserve all strangers' loves,KING HENRY VIII
You are so noble. To your highness' hand
I tender my commission; by whose virtue,
The court of Rome commanding, you, my lord
Cardinal of York, are join'd with me their servant
In the unpartial judging of this business.
Two equal men. The queen shall be acquaintedCARDINAL WOLSEY
Forthwith for what you come. Where's Gardiner?
I know your majesty has always loved herKING HENRY VIII
So dear in heart, not to deny her that
A woman of less place might ask by law:
Scholars allow'd freely to argue for her.
Ay, and the best she shall have; and my favourCARDINAL WOLSEY
To him that does best: God forbid else. Cardinal,
Prithee, call Gardiner to me, my new secretary:
I find him a fit fellow.
Exit CARDINAL WOLSEY
Re-enter CARDINAL WOLSEY, with GARDINER
[Aside to GARDINER] Give me your hand much joy andGARDINER
favour to you;
You are the king's now.
[Aside to CARDINAL WOLSEY]KING HENRY VIII
But to be commanded
For ever by your grace, whose hand has raised me.
Come hither, Gardiner.CARDINAL CAMPEIUS
Walks and whispers
My Lord of York, was not one Doctor PaceCARDINAL WOLSEY
In this man's place before him?
Yes, he was.CARDINAL CAMPEIUS
Was he not held a learned man?CARDINAL WOLSEY
Yes, surely.CARDINAL CAMPEIUS
Believe me, there's an ill opinion spread thenCARDINAL WOLSEY
Even of yourself, lord cardinal.
How! of me?CARDINAL CAMPEIUS
They will not stick to say you envied him,CARDINAL WOLSEY
And fearing he would rise, he was so virtuous,
Kept him a foreign man still; which so grieved him,
That he ran mad and died.
Heaven's peace be with him!KING HENRY VIII
That's Christian care enough: for living murmurers
There's places of rebuke. He was a fool;
For he would needs be virtuous: that good fellow,
If I command him, follows my appointment:
I will have none so near else. Learn this, brother,
We live not to be grip'd by meaner persons.
Deliver this with modesty to the queen.
Exit GARDINERThe most convenient place that I can think of
For such receipt of learning is Black-Friars;
There ye shall meet about this weighty business.
My Wolsey, see it furnish'd. O, my lord,
Would it not grieve an able man to leave
So sweet a bedfellow? But, conscience, conscience!
O, 'tis a tender place; and I must leave her.
| Henry VIII
| Act 2, Scene 2
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