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Home > King Henry VIII > ACT II - SCENE II. An ante-chamber in the palace.

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ACT II - SCENE II. An ante-chamber in the palace.
Enter Chamberlain, reading a letter

Chamberlain
1    'My lord, the horses your lordship sent for, with
2    all the care I had, I saw well chosen, ridden, and
3    furnished. They were young and handsome, and of the
4    best breed in the north. When they were ready to
5    set out for London, a man of my lord cardinal's, by
6    commission and main power, took 'em from me; with
7    this reason: His master would be served before a
8    subject, if not before the king; which stopped our
9    mouths, sir.'
10   I fear he will indeed: well, let him have them:
11   He will have all, I think.
Enter, to Chamberlain, NORFOLK and SUFFOLK

NORFOLK
12   Well met, my lord chamberlain.
Chamberlain
13   Good day to both your graces.
SUFFOLK
14   How is the king employ'd?
Chamberlain
15   I left him private,
16   Full of sad thoughts and troubles.
NORFOLK
17   What's the cause?
Chamberlain
18   It seems the marriage with his brother's wife
19   Has crept too near his conscience.
SUFFOLK
20   No, his conscience
21   Has crept too near another lady.
NORFOLK
22   'Tis so:
23   This is the cardinal's doing, the king-cardinal:
24   That blind priest, like the eldest son of fortune,
25   Turns what he list. The king will know him one day.
SUFFOLK
26   Pray God he do! he'll never know himself else.
NORFOLK
27   How holily he works in all his business!
28   And with what zeal! for, now he has crack'd the league
29   Between us and the emperor, the queen's great nephew,
30   He dives into the king's soul, and there scatters
31   Dangers, doubts, wringing of the conscience,
32   Fears, and despairs; and all these for his marriage:
33   And out of all these to restore the king,
34   He counsels a divorce; a loss of her
35   That, like a jewel, has hung twenty years
36   About his neck, yet never lost her lustre;
37   Of her that loves him with that excellence
38   That angels love good men with; even of her
39   That, when the greatest stroke of fortune falls,
40   Will bless the king: and is not this course pious?
Chamberlain
41   Heaven keep me from such counsel! 'Tis most true
42   These news are every where; every tongue speaks 'em,
43   And every true heart weeps for't: all that dare
44   Look into these affairs see this main end,
45   The French king's sister. Heaven will one day open
46   The king's eyes, that so long have slept upon
47   This bold bad man.
SUFFOLK
48   And free us from his slavery.
NORFOLK
49   We had need pray,
50   And heartily, for our deliverance;
51   Or this imperious man will work us all
52   From princes into pages: all men's honours
53   Lie like one lump before him, to be fashion'd
54   Into what pitch he please.
SUFFOLK
55   For me, my lords,
56   I love him not, nor fear him; there's my creed:
57   As I am made without him, so I'll stand,
58   If the king please; his curses and his blessings
59   Touch me alike, they're breath I not believe in.
60   I knew him, and I know him; so I leave him
61   To him that made him proud, the pope.
NORFOLK
62   Let's in;
63   And with some other business put the king
64   From these sad thoughts, that work too much upon him:
65   My lord, you'll bear us company?
Chamberlain
66   Excuse me;
67   The king has sent me otherwhere: besides,
68   You'll find a most unfit time to disturb him:
69   Health to your lordships.
NORFOLK
70   Thanks, my good lord chamberlain.
SUFFOLK
71   How sad he looks! sure, he is much afflicted.
KING HENRY VIII
72   Who's there, ha?
NORFOLK
73   Pray God he be not angry.
KING HENRY VIII
74   Who's there, I say? How dare you thrust yourselves
75   Into my private meditations?
76   Who am I? ha?
NORFOLK
77   A gracious king that pardons all offences
78   Malice ne'er meant: our breach of duty this way
79   Is business of estate; in which we come
80   To know your royal pleasure.
KING HENRY VIII
81   Ye are too bold:
82   Go to; I'll make ye know your times of business:
83   Is this an hour for temporal affairs, ha?
84   Who's there? my good lord cardinal? O my Wolsey,
85   The quiet of my wounded conscience;
86   Thou art a cure fit for a king.
To CARDINAL CAMPEIUS
87   You're welcome,
88   Most learned reverend sir, into our kingdom:
89   Use us and it.
To CARDINAL WOLSEY
90   My good lord, have great care
91   I be not found a talker.
CARDINAL WOLSEY
92   Sir, you cannot.
93   I would your grace would give us but an hour
94   Of private conference.
KING HENRY VIII
To NORFOLK and SUFFOLK
95   We are busy; go.
NORFOLK
Aside to SUFFOLK
96   This priest has no pride in him?
SUFFOLK
Aside to NORFOLK
97    Not to speak of:
98   I would not be so sick though for his place:
99   But this cannot continue.
NORFOLK
Aside to SUFFOLK
100   If it do,
101  I'll venture one have-at-him.
SUFFOLK
Aside to NORFOLK
102   I another.
Exeunt NORFOLK and SUFFOLK

CARDINAL WOLSEY
103  Your grace has given a precedent of wisdom
104  Above all princes, in committing freely
105  Your scruple to the voice of Christendom:
106  Who can be angry now? what envy reach you?
107  The Spaniard, tied blood and favour to her,
108  Must now confess, if they have any goodness,
109  The trial just and noble. All the clerks,
110  I mean the learned ones, in Christian kingdoms
111  Have their free voices: Rome, the nurse of judgment,
112  Invited by your noble self, hath sent
113  One general tongue unto us, this good man,
114  This just and learned priest, Cardinal Campeius;
115  Whom once more I present unto your highness.
KING HENRY VIII
116  And once more in mine arms I bid him welcome,
117  And thank the holy conclave for their loves:
118  They have sent me such a man I would have wish'd for.
CARDINAL CAMPEIUS
119  Your grace must needs deserve all strangers' loves,
120  You are so noble. To your highness' hand
121  I tender my commission; by whose virtue,
122  The court of Rome commanding, you, my lord
123  Cardinal of York, are join'd with me their servant
124  In the unpartial judging of this business.
KING HENRY VIII
125  Two equal men. The queen shall be acquainted
126  Forthwith for what you come. Where's Gardiner?
CARDINAL WOLSEY
127  I know your majesty has always loved her
128  So dear in heart, not to deny her that
129  A woman of less place might ask by law:
130  Scholars allow'd freely to argue for her.
KING HENRY VIII
131  Ay, and the best she shall have; and my favour
132  To him that does best: God forbid else. Cardinal,
133  Prithee, call Gardiner to me, my new secretary:
134  I find him a fit fellow.
Exit CARDINAL WOLSEY

Re-enter CARDINAL WOLSEY, with GARDINER

CARDINAL WOLSEY
Aside to GARDINER
135   Give me your hand much joy and
136  favour to you;
137  You are the king's now.
GARDINER
Aside to CARDINAL WOLSEY
138  But to be commanded
139  For ever by your grace, whose hand has raised me.
KING HENRY VIII
140  Come hither, Gardiner.
Walks and whispers

CARDINAL CAMPEIUS
141  My Lord of York, was not one Doctor Pace
142  In this man's place before him?
CARDINAL WOLSEY
143  Yes, he was.
CARDINAL CAMPEIUS
144  Was he not held a learned man?
CARDINAL WOLSEY
145  Yes, surely.
CARDINAL CAMPEIUS
146  Believe me, there's an ill opinion spread then
147  Even of yourself, lord cardinal.
CARDINAL WOLSEY
148  How! of me?
CARDINAL CAMPEIUS
149  They will not stick to say you envied him,
150  And fearing he would rise, he was so virtuous,
151  Kept him a foreign man still; which so grieved him,
152  That he ran mad and died.
CARDINAL WOLSEY
153  Heaven's peace be with him!
154  That's Christian care enough: for living murmurers
155  There's places of rebuke. He was a fool;
156  For he would needs be virtuous: that good fellow,
157  If I command him, follows my appointment:
158  I will have none so near else. Learn this, brother,
159  We live not to be grip'd by meaner persons.
KING HENRY VIII
160  Deliver this with modesty to the queen.
Exit GARDINER
161  The most convenient place that I can think of
162  For such receipt of learning is Black-Friars;
163  There ye shall meet about this weighty business.
164  My Wolsey, see it furnish'd. O, my lord,
165  Would it not grieve an able man to leave
166  So sweet a bedfellow? But, conscience, conscience!
167  O, 'tis a tender place; and I must leave her.
Exeunt

< (Previous) ACT II, SCENE IACT II, SCENE III (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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