|ACT III SCENE II
|Ante-chamber to KING HENRY VIII's apartment.
|[Enter NORFOLK, SUFFOLK, SURREY, and Chamberlain]
|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.
|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.
|Which of the peers
|Have uncontemn'd gone by him, or at least
|Strangely neglected? when did he regard
|The stamp of nobleness in any person
|Out of himself?
|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 the king, never attempt
|Any thing on him; for he hath a witchcraft
|Over the king in's tongue.
|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.
|I should be glad to hear such news as this
|Once every hour.
|Believe it, this is true:
|In the divorce his contrary proceedings
|Are all unfolded wherein he appears
|As I would wish mine enemy.
|His practises to light?
|O, how, how?
|The cardinal's letters to the pope miscarried,
|And came to the eye o' the king: wherein was read,
|How that the cardinal did entreat his holiness
|To stay the judgment o' the 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.'
|Has the king this?
|Will this work?
|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.
|Would he had!
|May you be happy in your wish, my lord
|For, I profess, you have it.
|Now, all my joy
|Trace the conjunction!
|My amen to't!
|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 memorised.
|But, will the king
|Digest this letter of the cardinal's?
|The Lord forbid!
|There be moe 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' the 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.
|Now, God incense him,
|And let him cry Ha! louder!
|But, my lord,
|When returns Cranmer?
|He is return'd 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 publish'd, and
|Her coronation. Katharine no more
|Shall be call'd queen, but princess dowager
|And widow to Prince Arthur.
|This same Cranmer's
|A worthy fellow, and hath ta'en much pain
|In the king's business.
|He has; and we shall see him
|For it an archbishop.
|So I hear.
|[Enter CARDINAL WOLSEY and CROMWELL]
|Observe, observe, he's moody.
|The packet, Cromwell.
|Gave't you the king?
|To his own hand, in's bedchamber.
|Look'd he o' the inside of the paper?
|He did unseal them: and the first he view'd,
|He did it with a serious mind; a heed
|Was in his countenance. You he bade
|Attend him here this morning.
|Is he ready
|To come abroad?
|I think, by this he is.
|Leave me awhile.
|It shall be to the Duchess of Alencon,
|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!
|May be, he hears the king
|Does whet his anger to him.
|Lord, for thy justice!
|[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' the bosom of
|Our hard-ruled king. Again, there is sprung up
|An heretic, an arch one, Cranmer; one
|Hath crawl'd into the favour of the king,
|And is his oracle.
|He is vex'd at something.
|I would 'twere something that would fret the string,
|The master-cord on's heart!
|[Enter KING HENRY VIII, reading of a schedule, and LOVELL]
|The king, the king!
|KING HENRY VIII
|What piles of wealth hath he accumulated
|To his own portion! and what expense by the hour
|Seems to flow from him! How, i' the name of thrift,
|Does he rake this together! Now, my lords,
|Saw you the cardinal?
|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 VIII
|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 out-speaks
|Possession of a subject.
|It's heaven's will:
|Some spirit put this paper in the packet,
|To bless your eye withal.
|KING HENRY VIII
|If we did think
|His contemplation were above the earth,
|And fix'd 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.
King HENRY VIII takes his seat; whispers LOVELL,
who goes to CARDINAL WOLSEY
|Heaven forgive me!
|Ever God bless your highness!
|KING HENRY VIII
|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.
|For holy offices I have a time; a time
|To think upon the part of business which
|I bear i' the state; and nature does require
|Her times of preservation, which perforce
|I, her frail son, amongst my brethren mortal,
|Must give my tendence to.
|KING HENRY VIII
|You have said well.
|And ever may your highness yoke together,
|As I will lend you cause, my doing well
|With my well saying!
|KING HENRY VIII
|'Tis well said again;
|And 'tis a kind of good deed to say well:
|And yet words are no deeds. My father loved you:
|His 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
|Employ'd you where high profits might come home,
|But pared my present havings, to bestow
|My bounties upon you.
|[Aside] What should this mean?
|[Aside] The Lord increase this business!
|KING HENRY VIII
|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?
|My sovereign, I confess your royal graces,
|Shower'd 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 the good of your most sacred person and
|The profit of the state. For your great graces
|Heap'd 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 VIII
|A loyal and obedient subject is
|Therein illustrated: the honour of it
|Does pay the act of it; as, i' the contrary,
|The foulness is the punishment. I presume
|That, as my hand has open'd bounty to you,
|My heart dropp'd love, my power rain'd 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.
|I do profess
|That for your highness' good I ever labour'd
|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 VIII
|'Tis nobly spoken:
|Take notice, lords, he has a loyal breast,
|For you have seen him open't. Read o'er this;
|[Giving him papers]
|And after, this: and then to breakfast with
|What appetite you have.
Exit KING HENRY VIII, frowning upon CARDINAL WOLSEY:
the Nobles throng after him, smiling and whispering
|What should this mean?
|What sudden anger's this? how have I reap'd it?
|He parted frowning from me, as if ruin
|Leap'd from his eyes: so looks the chafed lion
|Upon the daring huntsman that has gall'd 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 the 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 the Pope!'
|The letter, as I live, with all the business
|I writ to's holiness. Nay then, farewell!
|I have touch'd 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 m the evening,
|And no man see me more.
Re-enter to CARDINAL WOLSEY, NORFOLK and SUFFOLK, SURREY,
and the Chamberlain
|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.
|Where's your commission, lords? words cannot carry
|Authority so weighty.
|Who dare cross 'em,
|Bearing the king's will from his mouth expressly?
|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 every thing 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?
|The king, that gave it.
|It must be himself, then.
|Thou art a proud traitor, priest.
|Proud lord, thou liest:
|Within these forty hours Surrey durst better
|Have burnt that tongue than said so.
|Thou scarlet sin, 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 hair of his. Plague of your policy!
|You sent me deputy for Ireland;
|Far from his succor, from the king, from all
|That might have mercy on the fault thou gavest him;
|Whilst your great goodness, out of holy pity,
|Absolved him with an axe.
|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.
|By my soul,
|Your long coat, priest, protects you; thou
|My sword i' the 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.
|Is poison to thy stomach.
|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 the 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 scaring bell, when the brown wench
|Lay kissing in your arms, lord cardinal.
|How much, methinks, I could despise this man,
|But that I am bound in charity against it!
|Those articles, my lord, are in the king's hand:
|But, thus much, they are foul ones.
|So much fairer
|And spotless shall mine innocence arise,
|When the king knows my truth.
|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.
|Speak on, sir;
|I dare your worst objections: if I blush,
|It is to see a nobleman want manners.
|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 maim'd the jurisdiction of all bishops.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|That, out of mere ambition, you have caused
|Your holy hat to be stamp'd on the king's coin.
|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.
|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.
|I forgive him.
|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 the 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.
|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 CARDINAL WOLSEY]
|So farewell to the little good you bear me.
|Farewell! a long farewell, to all my greatness!
|This is the state of man: to-day he puts forth
|The tender leaves of hopes; to-morrow 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 open'd. 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, and stands amazed]
|Why, how now, Cromwell!
|I have no power to speak, sir.
|At my misfortunes? can thy spirit wonder
|A great man should decline? Nay, an you weep,
|I am fall'n indeed.
|How does your grace?
|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 ruin'd pillars, out of pity, taken
|A load would sink a navy, too much honour:
|O, 'tis a burthen, Cromwell, 'tis a burthen
|Too heavy for a man that hopes for heaven!
|I am glad your grace has made that right use of it.
|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?
|The heaviest and the worst
|Is your displeasure with the king.
|God bless him!
|The next is, that Sir Thomas More is chosen
|Lord chancellor in your place.
|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 em! What more?
|That Cranmer is return'd with welcome,
|Install'd lord archbishop of Canterbury.
|That's news indeed.
|Last, that the Lady Anne,
|Whom the king hath in secrecy long married,
|This day was view'd in open as his queen,
|Going to chapel; and the voice is now
|Only about her coronation.
|There was the weight that pull'd 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.
|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.
|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 miss'd it.
|Mark but my fall, and that that ruin'd 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,
|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.
|Good sir, have patience.
|So I have. Farewell
|The hopes of court! my hopes in heaven do dwell.