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KING HENRY VIII.

ACT I.

PROLOGUE. I COME no more to make you laugh : things now, That bear a weighty and a serious brow, Sad, high, and working, full of state and woe, Such noble scenes as draw the eye to flow, We now present. Those that can pity, here May, if they think it well, let fall a tear; The subject will deserve it: such, as give Their money out of hope they may believe, May here find truth too: those, that come to see Only a show or two, and so agree The play may pass, if they be still and willing, I'll undertake, may see away their shilling Richly in two short hours. Only they, That come to hear a merry, bawdy play, A noise of targets, or to see a fellow In a long motley coat, guarded with yellow, Will be deceiv'd; for, gentle hearers, know, To rank our chosen truth with such a show As fool and fight is, beside forfeiting Our own brains, and the opinion that we bring, To make that only true we now intend, Will leave us never an understanding friend. Therefore, for goodness' sake, and as you are known, The first and happiest hearers of the town, Be sad as we would make ye : think, ye see The very persons of our noble story, As they were living; think, you see them great, And follow'd with the general throng, and sweat Of thousand friends; then, in a moment, see How soon this mightiness meets misery : And, if you can be merry then, I'll say, A man may weep upon his wedding day.

1 Bordered.

SCENE I.-London. An Ante-chamber in the

Palace. Enter the Duke of Norfolk, at one door ; at the other,

the Duke of 'BUCKINGHAM, and the Lord ABER

GAVENNY.

Buck. Good morrow, and well met. How have

you done,
Since last we saw in France ?
Nor.

I thank your grace,
Healthful; and ever since a fresh admirer
Of what I saw there.
Buck.

An untimely ague
Stay'd me a prisoner in my chamber, when
Those suns of glory, those two lights of men,
Met in the vale of Andren.
Nor.

'Twixt Guynes and Arde:
I was then present, saw them salute on horseback;
Beheld them, when they lighted, how they clung,
In their embracement, as they grew together;
Which had they, what four thron'd ones could have

weigh'd
Such a compounded one?
Buck.

All the whole time
I was my chamber's prisoner.
Nor.

Then you lost
The view of earthly glory : men might say,
Till this time, pomp was single ; but now married
To one above itself. Each following day
Became the next day's master, till the last
Made former wonders it's : to-day the French
All clinquant, all in gold, like heathen gods,
Shone down the English ; and to-morrow they
Made Britain, India : every man that stood
Show'd like a mine. Their dwarfish pages were
As cherubins, all gilt: the madams, too,
Not us’d to toil, did almost sweat to bear
The pride upon them, that their very labour
Was to them as a painting : now this mask
Was cried incomparable ; and the ensuing night
Made it a fool, and beggar. The two kings,
Equal in lustre, were now best, now worst,
As presence did present them; him in eye,
Still him in praise ; and, being present both,

'T was said, they saw but one : and no discerner
Durst wag his tongue in censure. When these suns
(For so they praise 'em) by their heralds challeng'd
The noble spirits to arms, they did perform
Beyond thought's compass; that former fabulous story,
Being now seen possible enough, got credit,
That Beviswas believ'd.
Buck.

0! you go far.
Nor. As I belong to worship, and affect
In honour honesty, the tract of every thing
Would by a good discourser lose some life,
Which action's self was tongue to. All was royal :
To the disposing of it nought rebell’d;
Order gave each thing view.
Buck.

The office did
Distinctly his full function. Who did guide,
I mean, who set the body and the limbs
Of this great sport together, as you guess ?

Nor. One, certes, that promises no element
In such a business.
Buck.

I pray you, who, my lord ?
Nor. All this was order'd by the good discretion
Of the right reverend cardinal of York.

Buck. The devil speed him ! no man's pie is freed
From his ambitious finger. What had he
To do in these fierce vanities ? I wonder,
That such a keecho can, with his very bulk,
Take up the rays o' the beneficial sun,
And keep it from the earth.
Nor.

Surely, sir,
There's in him stuff that puts him to these ends;
For, being not propp'd by ancestry, whose grace
Chalks successors their way, nor call’d upon
For high feats done to the crown; neither allied
To eminent assistants, but, spider-like,
Out of his self-drawing web, he gives us note,
The force of his own merit makes his way;
A gift that heaven gives him, and which buys
A place next to the king.
Aber.

I cannot tell
What heaven hath given him : let some graver eye

1 Of Southampton, the hero of an old romance. 2 This sentence is assigned to NORFOLK, in f. e. 3 A ball of fat, rolled up by batchers. 40: in folio. Steevens made the change.

Vo. V.-32

0! many

Pierce into that; but I can see his pride
Peep through each part of him : whence has he that?
If not from hell, the devil is a niggard ;
Or has given all before, and he begins
A new hell in himself.
Buck.

Why the devil,
Upon this French going-out, took he upon him,
(Without the privity o' the king) t appoint
Who should attend on him ? He makes up the file
Of all the gentry; for the most part such
Too,' whom as great a charge as little honour
He meant to lay upon : and his own letter,
The honourable board of council out,
Must fetch him in the papers.
Aber.

I do know
Kinsmen of mine, three at the least, that have
By this so sicken'd their estates, that never
They shall abound as formerly.

Buck.
Have broke their backs, with laying manors on them
For this great journey. What did this vanity,
But minister the consummation of
A most poor issue ?
Nor.

Grievingly I think,
The peace between the French and us not values
The cost that did conclude it.
Buck.

Every man,
After the hideous storm that follow'd, was
A thing inspir'd; and, not consulting, broke
Into a general prophecy,—that this tempest,
Dashing the garment of this peace, aboded
The sudden breach on't.
Nor.

Which is budded out;
For France hath flaw'd the league, and hath attach'd
Our merchants' goods at Bordeaux.
Aber.

Is it therefore
Th' ambassador is silenc'd ?
Nor.

Marry, is't.
Aber. A proper title of a peace, and purchas'd
At a superfluous rate.
Buck.

Why, all this business Our reverend cardinal carried.

1 To: in folio ; which Knight retains. ? minister communication :

in f. e.

Nor.

'Like it your grace, The state takes notice of the private difference Betwixt you and the cardinal. I advise you, (And take it from a heart that wishes towards you Honour and plenteous safety) that you read The cardinal's malice and his potency Together : to consider farther, that What his high hatred would effect wants not A minister in his power. You know his nature, That he's revengeful; and, I know, his sword Hath a sharp edge : it's long, and ’t may be said, It reaches far; and where 't will not extend, Thither he darts it. Bosom up my counsel; You 'll find it wholesome. Lo ! where comes that rock, That I advise your shunning. Enter Cardinal Wolsey (the Purse borne before him),

certain of the Guard, and two Secretaries with Papers. "The Cardinal in his passage fixeth his eye on BUCKINGHAM, and BUCKINGHAM on him, both full of disdain.

Wol. The duke of Buckingham's surveyor ? ha !
Where's his examination ?
1 Secr.

Here, so please you.
Wol. Is he in person ready ?
1 Secr.

Ay, please your grace.
Wol. Well, we shall then know more ; and Buck-

ingham Shall lessen this big look. [Eceunt Wolsey, and Train.

Buck. This butcher's cur is venom-mouth'd, and I
Have not the power to muzzle him; therefore, best
Not wake him in his slumber. A beggar's brood
Out-worths a noble's blood.
Nor.

What, are you chaf'd ?
Ask God for temperance; that's th' appliance only,
Which your disease requires.
Buck.

I read in 's looks
Matter against me; and his eye revil'd
Me, as his abject object : at this instant
He bores me with some trick. He's gone t'the king:
I'll follow, and out-stare him.
Nor.

Stay, my lord, And let your reason with your choler question What 't is you go about. To climb steep hills,

1 book : in f. e.

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