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

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ACT I - SCENE I. London. An ante-chamber in the palace.
BUCKINGHAM
1    Good morrow, and well met. How have ye done
2    Since last we saw in France?
NORFOLK
3    I thank your grace,
4    Healthful; and ever since a fresh admirer
5    Of what I saw there.
BUCKINGHAM
6    An untimely ague
7    Stay'd me a prisoner in my chamber when
8    Those suns of glory, those two lights of men,
9    Met in the vale of Andren.
NORFOLK
10   'Twixt Guynes and Arde:
11   I was then present, saw them salute on horseback;
12   Beheld them, when they lighted, how they clung
13   In their embracement, as they grew together;
14   Which had they, what four throned ones could have weigh'd
15   Such a compounded one?
BUCKINGHAM
16   All the whole time
17   I was my chamber's prisoner.
NORFOLK
18   Then you lost
19   The view of earthly glory: men might say,
20   Till this time pomp was single, but now married
21   To one above itself. Each following day
22   Became the next day's master, till the last
23   Made former wonders its. To-day the French,
24   All clinquant, all in gold, like heathen gods,
25   Shone down the English; and, to-morrow, they
26   Made Britain India: every man that stood
27   Show'd like a mine. Their dwarfish pages were
28   As cherubins, all guilt: the madams too,
29   Not used to toil, did almost sweat to bear
30   The pride upon them, that their very labour
31   Was to them as a painting: now this masque
32   Was cried incomparable; and the ensuing night
33   Made it a fool and beggar. The two kings,
34   Equal in lustre, were now best, now worst,
35   As presence did present them; him in eye,
36   Still him in praise: and, being present both
37   'Twas said they saw but one; and no discerner
38   Durst wag his tongue in censure. When these suns--
39   For so they phrase 'em--by their heralds challenged
40   The noble spirits to arms, they did perform
41   Beyond thought's compass; that former fabulous story,
42   Being now seen possible enough, got credit,
43   That Bevis was believed.
BUCKINGHAM
44   O, you go far.
NORFOLK
45   As I belong to worship and affect
46   In honour honesty, the tract of every thing
47   Would by a good discourser lose some life,
48   Which action's self was tongue to. All was royal;
49   To the disposing of it nought rebell'd.
50   Order gave each thing view; the office did
51   Distinctly his full function.
BUCKINGHAM
52   Who did guide,
53   I mean, who set the body and the limbs
54   Of this great sport together, as you guess?
NORFOLK
55   One, certes, that promises no element
56   In such a business.
BUCKINGHAM
57   I pray you, who, my lord?
NORFOLK
58   All this was order'd by the good discretion
59   Of the right reverend Cardinal of York.
BUCKINGHAM
60   The devil speed him! no man's pie is freed
61   From his ambitious finger. What had he
62   To do in these fierce vanities? I wonder
63   That such a keech can with his very bulk
64   Take up the rays o' the beneficial sun
65   And keep it from the earth.
NORFOLK
66   Surely, sir,
67   There's in him stuff that puts him to these ends;
68   For, being not propp'd by ancestry, whose grace
69   Chalks successors their way, nor call'd upon
70   For high feats done to the crown; neither allied
71   For eminent assistants; but, spider-like,
72   Out of his self-drawing web, he gives us note,
73   The force of his own merit makes his way
74   A gift that heaven gives for him, which buys
75   A place next to the king.
ABERGAVENNY
76   I cannot tell
77   What heaven hath given him,--let some graver eye
78   Pierce into that; but I can see his pride
79   Peep through each part of him: whence has he that,
80   If not from hell? the devil is a niggard,
81   Or has given all before, and he begins
82   A new hell in himself.
BUCKINGHAM
83   Why the devil,
84   Upon this French going out, took he upon him,
85   Without the privity o' the king, to appoint
86   Who should attend on him? He makes up the file
87   Of all the gentry; for the most part such
88   To whom as great a charge as little honour
89   He meant to lay upon: and his own letter,
90   The honourable board of council out,
91   Must fetch him in the papers.
ABERGAVENNY
92   I do know
93   Kinsmen of mine, three at the least, that have
94   By this so sickened their estates, that never
95   They shall abound as formerly.
BUCKINGHAM
96   O, many
97   Have broke their backs with laying manors on 'em
98   For this great journey. What did this vanity
99   But minister communication of
100  A most poor issue?
NORFOLK
101  Grievingly I think,
102  The peace between the French and us not values
103  The cost that did conclude it.
BUCKINGHAM
104  Every man,
105  After the hideous storm that follow'd, was
106  A thing inspired; and, not consulting, broke
107  Into a general prophecy; That this tempest,
108  Dashing the garment of this peace, aboded
109  The sudden breach on't.
NORFOLK
110  Which is budded out;
111  For France hath flaw'd the league, and hath attach'd
112  Our merchants' goods at Bourdeaux.
ABERGAVENNY
113  Is it therefore
114  The ambassador is silenced?
NORFOLK
115  Marry, is't.
ABERGAVENNY
116  A proper title of a peace; and purchased
117  At a superfluous rate!
BUCKINGHAM
118  Why, all this business
119  Our reverend cardinal carried.
NORFOLK
120  Like it your grace,
121  The state takes notice of the private difference
122  Betwixt you and the cardinal. I advise you--
123  And take it from a heart that wishes towards you
124  Honour and plenteous safety--that you read
125  The cardinal's malice and his potency
126  Together; to consider further that
127  What his high hatred would effect wants not
128  A minister in his power. You know his nature,
129  That he's revengeful, and I know his sword
130  Hath a sharp edge: it's long and, 't may be said,
131  It reaches far, and where 'twill not extend,
132  Thither he darts it. Bosom up my counsel,
133  You'll find it wholesome. Lo, where comes that rock
134  That I advise your shunning.
CARDINAL WOLSEY
135  The Duke of Buckingham's surveyor, ha?
136  Where's his examination?
First Secretary
137  Here, so please you.
CARDINAL WOLSEY
138  Is he in person ready?
First Secretary
139  Ay, please your grace.
CARDINAL WOLSEY
140  Well, we shall then know more; and Buckingham
141  Shall lessen this big look.
Exeunt CARDINAL WOLSEY and his Train

BUCKINGHAM
142  This butcher's cur is venom-mouth'd, and I
143  Have not the power to muzzle him; therefore best
144  Not wake him in his slumber. A beggar's book
145  Outworths a noble's blood.
NORFOLK
146  What, are you chafed?
147  Ask God for temperance; that's the appliance only
148  Which your disease requires.
BUCKINGHAM
149  I read in's looks
150  Matter against me; and his eye reviled
151  Me, as his abject object: at this instant
152  He bores me with some trick: he's gone to the king;
153  I'll follow and outstare him.
NORFOLK
154  Stay, my lord,
155  And let your reason with your choler question
156  What 'tis you go about: to climb steep hills
157  Requires slow pace at first: anger is like
158  A full-hot horse, who being allow'd his way,
159  Self-mettle tires him. Not a man in England
160  Can advise me like you: be to yourself
161  As you would to your friend.
BUCKINGHAM
162  I'll to the king;
163  And from a mouth of honour quite cry down
164  This Ipswich fellow's insolence; or proclaim
165  There's difference in no persons.
NORFOLK
166  Be advised;
167  Heat not a furnace for your foe so hot
168  That it do singe yourself: we may outrun,
169  By violent swiftness, that which we run at,
170  And lose by over-running. Know you not,
171  The fire that mounts the liquor til run o'er,
172  In seeming to augment it wastes it? Be advised:
173  I say again, there is no English soul
174  More stronger to direct you than yourself,
175  If with the sap of reason you would quench,
176  Or but allay, the fire of passion.
BUCKINGHAM
177  Sir,
178  I am thankful to you; and I'll go along
179  By your prescription: but this top-proud fellow,
180  Whom from the flow of gall I name not but
181  From sincere motions, by intelligence,
182  And proofs as clear as founts in July when
183  We see each grain of gravel, I do know
184  To be corrupt and treasonous.
NORFOLK
185  Say not 'treasonous.'
BUCKINGHAM
186  To the king I'll say't; and make my vouch as strong
187  As shore of rock. Attend. This holy fox,
188  Or wolf, or both,--for he is equal ravenous
189  As he is subtle, and as prone to mischief
190  As able to perform't; his mind and place
191  Infecting one another, yea, reciprocally--
192  Only to show his pomp as well in France
193  As here at home, suggests the king our master
194  To this last costly treaty, the interview,
195  That swallow'd so much treasure, and like a glass
196  Did break i' the rinsing.
NORFOLK
197  Faith, and so it did.
BUCKINGHAM
198  Pray, give me favour, sir. This cunning cardinal
199  The articles o' the combination drew
200  As himself pleased; and they were ratified
201  As he cried 'Thus let be': to as much end
202  As give a crutch to the dead: but our count-cardinal
203  Has done this, and 'tis well; for worthy Wolsey,
204  Who cannot err, he did it. Now this follows,--
205  Which, as I take it, is a kind of puppy
206  To the old dam, treason,--Charles the emperor,
207  Under pretence to see the queen his aunt--
208  For 'twas indeed his colour, but he came
209  To whisper Wolsey,--here makes visitation:
210  His fears were, that the interview betwixt
211  England and France might, through their amity,
212  Breed him some prejudice; for from this league
213  Peep'd harms that menaced him: he privily
214  Deals with our cardinal; and, as I trow,--
215  Which I do well; for I am sure the emperor
216  Paid ere he promised; whereby his suit was granted
217  Ere it was ask'd; but when the way was made,
218  And paved with gold, the emperor thus desired,
219  That he would please to alter the king's course,
220  And break the foresaid peace. Let the king know,
221  As soon he shall by me, that thus the cardinal
222  Does buy and sell his honour as he pleases,
223  And for his own advantage.
NORFOLK
224  I am sorry
225  To hear this of him; and could wish he were
226  Something mistaken in't.
BUCKINGHAM
227  No, not a syllable:
228  I do pronounce him in that very shape
229  He shall appear in proof.
BRANDON
230  Your office, sergeant; execute it.
Sergeant
231  Sir,
232  My lord the Duke of Buckingham, and Earl
233  Of Hereford, Stafford, and Northampton, I
234  Arrest thee of high treason, in the name
235  Of our most sovereign king.
BUCKINGHAM
236  Lo, you, my lord,
237  The net has fall'n upon me! I shall perish
238  Under device and practise.
BRANDON
239  I am sorry
240  To see you ta'en from liberty, to look on
241  The business present: 'tis his highness' pleasure
242  You shall to the Tower.
BUCKINGHAM
243  It will help me nothing
244  To plead mine innocence; for that dye is on me
245  Which makes my whitest part black. The will of heaven
246  Be done in this and all things! I obey.
247  O my Lord Abergavenny, fare you well!
BRANDON
248  Nay, he must bear you company. The king
To ABERGAVENNY
249  Is pleased you shall to the Tower, till you know
250  How he determines further.
ABERGAVENNY
251  As the duke said,
252  The will of heaven be done, and the king's pleasure
253  By me obey'd!
BRANDON
254  Here is a warrant from
255  The king to attach Lord Montacute; and the bodies
256  Of the duke's confessor, John de la Car,
257  One Gilbert Peck, his chancellor--
BUCKINGHAM
258  So, so;
259  These are the limbs o' the plot: no more, I hope.
BRANDON
260  A monk o' the Chartreux.
BUCKINGHAM
261  O, Nicholas Hopkins?
BRANDON
262  He.
BUCKINGHAM
263  My surveyor is false; the o'er-great cardinal
264  Hath show'd him gold; my life is spann'd already:
265  I am the shadow of poor Buckingham,
266  Whose figure even this instant cloud puts on,
267  By darkening my clear sun. My lord, farewell.
Exeunt

< (Previous)PROLOGUEACT I, 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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