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Home > King Henry VIII > ACT II - SCENE I. Westminster. A street.

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ACT II - SCENE I. Westminster. A street.
Enter two Gentlemen, meeting

First Gentleman
1    Whither away so fast?
Second Gentleman
2    O, God save ye!
3    Even to the hall, to hear what shall become
4    Of the great Duke of Buckingham.
First Gentleman
5    I'll save you
6    That labour, sir. All's now done, but the ceremony
7    Of bringing back the prisoner.
Second Gentleman
8    Were you there?
First Gentleman
9    Yes, indeed, was I.
Second Gentleman
10   Pray, speak what has happen'd.
First Gentleman
11   You may guess quickly what.
Second Gentleman
12   Is he found guilty?
First Gentleman
13   Yes, truly is he, and condemn'd upon't.
Second Gentleman
14   I am sorry for't.
First Gentleman
15   So are a number more.
Second Gentleman
16   But, pray, how pass'd it?
First Gentleman
17   I'll tell you in a little. The great duke
18   Came to the bar; where to his accusations
19   He pleaded still not guilty and alleged
20   Many sharp reasons to defeat the law.
21   The king's attorney on the contrary
22   Urged on the examinations, proofs, confessions
23   Of divers witnesses; which the duke desired
24   To have brought viva voce to his face:
25   At which appear'd against him his surveyor;
26   Sir Gilbert Peck his chancellor; and John Car,
27   Confessor to him; with that devil-monk,
28   Hopkins, that made this mischief.
Second Gentleman
29   That was he
30   That fed him with his prophecies?
First Gentleman
31   The same.
32   All these accused him strongly; which he fain
33   Would have flung from him, but, indeed, he could not:
34   And so his peers, upon this evidence,
35   Have found him guilty of high treason. Much
36   He spoke, and learnedly, for life; but all
37   Was either pitied in him or forgotten.
Second Gentleman
38   After all this, how did he bear himself?
First Gentleman
39   When he was brought again to the bar, to hear
40   His knell rung out, his judgment, he was stirr'd
41   With such an agony, he sweat extremely,
42   And something spoke in choler, ill, and hasty:
43   But he fell to himself again, and sweetly
44   In all the rest show'd a most noble patience.
Second Gentleman
45   I do not think he fears death.
First Gentleman
46   Sure, he does not:
47   He never was so womanish; the cause
48   He may a little grieve at.
Second Gentleman
49   Certainly
50   The cardinal is the end of this.
First Gentleman
51   'Tis likely,
52   By all conjectures: first, Kildare's attainder,
53   Then deputy of Ireland; who removed,
54   Earl Surrey was sent thither, and in haste too,
55   Lest he should help his father.
Second Gentleman
56   That trick of state
57   Was a deep envious one.
First Gentleman
58   At his return
59   No doubt he will requite it. This is noted,
60   And generally, whoever the king favours,
61   The cardinal instantly will find employment,
62   And far enough from court too.
Second Gentleman
63   All the commons
64   Hate him perniciously, and, o' my conscience,
65   Wish him ten fathom deep: this duke as much
66   They love and dote on; call him bounteous Buckingham,
67   The mirror of all courtesy;--
First Gentleman
68   Stay there, sir,
69   And see the noble ruin'd man you speak of.
Second Gentleman
70   Let's stand close, and behold him.
BUCKINGHAM
71   All good people,
72   You that thus far have come to pity me,
73   Hear what I say, and then go home and lose me.
74   I have this day received a traitor's judgment,
75   And by that name must die: yet, heaven bear witness,
76   And if I have a conscience, let it sink me,
77   Even as the axe falls, if I be not faithful!
78   The law I bear no malice for my death;
79   'T has done, upon the premises, but justice:
80   But those that sought it I could wish more Christians:
81   Be what they will, I heartily forgive 'em:
82   Yet let 'em look they glory not in mischief,
83   Nor build their evils on the graves of great men;
84   For then my guiltless blood must cry against 'em.
85   For further life in this world I ne'er hope,
86   Nor will I sue, although the king have mercies
87   More than I dare make faults. You few that loved me,
88   And dare be bold to weep for Buckingham,
89   His noble friends and fellows, whom to leave
90   Is only bitter to him, only dying,
91   Go with me, like good angels, to my end;
92   And, as the long divorce of steel falls on me,
93   Make of your prayers one sweet sacrifice,
94   And lift my soul to heaven. Lead on, o' God's name.
LOVELL
95   I do beseech your grace, for charity,
96   If ever any malice in your heart
97   Were hid against me, now to forgive me frankly.
BUCKINGHAM
98   Sir Thomas Lovell, I as free forgive you
99   As I would be forgiven: I forgive all;
100  There cannot be those numberless offences
101  'Gainst me, that I cannot take peace with:
102  no black envy
103  Shall mark my grave. Commend me to his grace;
104  And if he speak of Buckingham, pray, tell him
105  You met him half in heaven: my vows and prayers
106  Yet are the king's; and, till my soul forsake,
107  Shall cry for blessings on him: may he live
108  Longer than I have time to tell his years!
109  Ever beloved and loving may his rule be!
110  And when old time shall lead him to his end,
111  Goodness and he fill up one monument!
LOVELL
112  To the water side I must conduct your grace;
113  Then give my charge up to Sir Nicholas Vaux,
114  Who undertakes you to your end.
VAUX
115  Prepare there,
116  The duke is coming: see the barge be ready;
117  And fit it with such furniture as suits
118  The greatness of his person.
BUCKINGHAM
119  Nay, Sir Nicholas,
120  Let it alone; my state now will but mock me.
121  When I came hither, I was lord high constable
122  And Duke of Buckingham; now, poor Edward Bohun:
123  Yet I am richer than my base accusers,
124  That never knew what truth meant: I now seal it;
125  And with that blood will make 'em one day groan for't.
126  My noble father, Henry of Buckingham,
127  Who first raised head against usurping Richard,
128  Flying for succor to his servant Banister,
129  Being distress'd, was by that wretch betray'd,
130  And without trial fell; God's peace be with him!
131  Henry the Seventh succeeding, truly pitying
132  My father's loss, like a most royal prince,
133  Restored me to my honours, and, out of ruins,
134  Made my name once more noble. Now his son,
135  Henry the Eighth, life, honour, name and all
136  That made me happy at one stroke has taken
137  For ever from the world. I had my trial,
138  And, must needs say, a noble one; which makes me,
139  A little happier than my wretched father:
140  Yet thus far we are one in fortunes: both
141  Fell by our servants, by those men we loved most;
142  A most unnatural and faithless service!
143  Heaven has an end in all: yet, you that hear me,
144  This from a dying man receive as certain:
145  Where you are liberal of your loves and counsels
146  Be sure you be not loose; for those you make friends
147  And give your hearts to, when they once perceive
148  The least rub in your fortunes, fall away
149  Like water from ye, never found again
150  But where they mean to sink ye. All good people,
151  Pray for me! I must now forsake ye: the last hour
152  Of my long weary life is come upon me. Farewell:
153  And when you would say something that is sad,
154  Speak how I fell. I have done; and God forgive me!
Exeunt BUCKINGHAM and Train

First Gentleman
155  O, this is full of pity! Sir, it calls,
156  I fear, too many curses on their beads
157  That were the authors.
Second Gentleman
158  If the duke be guiltless,
159  'Tis full of woe: yet I can give you inkling
160  Of an ensuing evil, if it fall,
161  Greater than this.
First Gentleman
162  Good angels keep it from us!
163  What may it be? You do not doubt my faith, sir?
Second Gentleman
164  This secret is so weighty, 'twill require
165  A strong faith to conceal it.
First Gentleman
166  Let me have it;
167  I do not talk much.
Second Gentleman
168  I am confident,
169  You shall, sir: did you not of late days hear
170  A buzzing of a separation
171  Between the king and Katharine?
First Gentleman
172  Yes, but it held not:
173  For when the king once heard it, out of anger
174  He sent command to the lord mayor straight
175  To stop the rumor, and allay those tongues
176  That durst disperse it.
Second Gentleman
177  But that slander, sir,
178  Is found a truth now: for it grows again
179  Fresher than e'er it was; and held for certain
180  The king will venture at it. Either the cardinal,
181  Or some about him near, have, out of malice
182  To the good queen, possess'd him with a scruple
183  That will undo her: to confirm this too,
184  Cardinal Campeius is arrived, and lately;
185  As all think, for this business.
First Gentleman
186  'Tis the cardinal;
187  And merely to revenge him on the emperor
188  For not bestowing on him, at his asking,
189  The archbishopric of Toledo, this is purposed.
Second Gentleman
190  I think you have hit the mark: but is't not cruel
191  That she should feel the smart of this? The cardinal
192  Will have his will, and she must fall.
First Gentleman
193  'Tis woful.
194  We are too open here to argue this;
195  Let's think in private more.
Exeunt

< (Previous) ACT I, SCENE IVACT II, SCENE II (Next) >
Scene Index
  • PROLOGUE


  • ACT I
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III
  • SCENE IV


  • ACT II
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III
  • SCENE IV


  • ACT III
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II


  • ACT IV
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II


  • ACT V
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III
  • SCENE IV
  • SCENE V
  • EPILOGUE

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