All of Shakespeare’s plays. More…

  • Cornets. Enter KING HENRY VIII, leaning on
    CARDINAL WOLSEY's shoulder, the Nobles, and LOVELL;
    CARDINAL WOLSEY places himself under KING HENRY
    VIII's feet on his right side

  • My life itself, and the best heart of it,
    Thanks you for this great care: I stood i' the level
    Of a full-charged confederacy, and give thanks
    To you that choked it. Let be call'd before us
    That gentleman of Buckingham's; in person
    I'll hear him his confessions justify;
    And point by point the treasons of his master
    He shall again relate.

  • A noise within, crying 'Room for the Queen!' Enter
    she kneels. KING HENRY VIII riseth from his state,
    takes her up, kisses and placeth her by him

  • Nay, we must longer kneel: I am a suitor.

  • Arise, and take place by us: half your suit
    Never name to us; you have half our power:
    The other moiety, ere you ask, is given;
    Repeat your will and take it.

  • Thank your majesty.
    That you would love yourself, and in that love
    Not unconsider'd leave your honour, nor
    The dignity of your office, is the point
    Of my petition.

  • I am solicited, not by a few,
    And those of true condition, that your subjects
    Are in great grievance: there have been commissions
    Sent down among 'em, which hath flaw'd the heart
    Of all their loyalties: wherein, although,
    My good lord cardinal, they vent reproaches
    Most bitterly on you, as putter on
    Of these exactions, yet the king our master--
    Whose honour heaven shield from soil!--even he
    escapes not
    Language unmannerly, yea, such which breaks
    The sides of loyalty, and almost appears
    In loud rebellion.

  • Not almost appears,
    It doth appear; for, upon these taxations,
    The clothiers all, not able to maintain
    The many to them longing, have put off
    The spinsters, carders, fullers, weavers, who,
    Unfit for other life, compell'd by hunger
    And lack of other means, in desperate manner
    Daring the event to the teeth, are all in uproar,
    And danger serves among then!

  • Taxation!
    Wherein? and what taxation? My lord cardinal,
    You that are blamed for it alike with us,
    Know you of this taxation?

  • Please you, sir,
    I know but of a single part, in aught
    Pertains to the state; and front but in that file
    Where others tell steps with me.

  • No, my lord,
    You know no more than others; but you frame
    Things that are known alike; which are not wholesome
    To those which would not know them, and yet must
    Perforce be their acquaintance. These exactions,
    Whereof my sovereign would have note, they are
    Most pestilent to the bearing; and, to bear 'em,
    The back is sacrifice to the load. They say
    They are devised by you; or else you suffer
    Too hard an exclamation.

  • Still exaction!
    The nature of it? in what kind, let's know,
    Is this exaction?

  • I am much too venturous
    In tempting of your patience; but am bolden'd
    Under your promised pardon. The subjects' grief
    Comes through commissions, which compel from each
    The sixth part of his substance, to be levied
    Without delay; and the pretence for this
    Is named, your wars in France: this makes bold mouths:
    Tongues spit their duties out, and cold hearts freeze
    Allegiance in them; their curses now
    Live where their prayers did: and it's come to pass,
    This tractable obedience is a slave
    To each incensed will. I would your highness
    Would give it quick consideration, for
    There is no primer business.

  • By my life,
    This is against our pleasure.

  • And for me,
    I have no further gone in this than by
    A single voice; and that not pass'd me but
    By learned approbation of the judges. If I am
    Traduced by ignorant tongues, which neither know
    My faculties nor person, yet will be
    The chronicles of my doing, let me say
    'Tis but the fate of place, and the rough brake
    That virtue must go through. We must not stint
    Our necessary actions, in the fear
    To cope malicious censurers; which ever,
    As ravenous fishes, do a vessel follow
    That is new-trimm'd, but benefit no further
    Than vainly longing. What we oft do best,
    By sick interpreters, once weak ones, is
    Not ours, or not allow'd; what worst, as oft,
    Hitting a grosser quality, is cried up
    For our best act. If we shall stand still,
    In fear our motion will be mock'd or carp'd at,
    We should take root here where we sit, or sit
    State-statues only.

  • Things done well,
    And with a care, exempt themselves from fear;
    Things done without example, in their issue
    Are to be fear'd. Have you a precedent
    Of this commission? I believe, not any.
    We must not rend our subjects from our laws,
    And stick them in our will. Sixth part of each?
    A trembling contribution! Why, we take
    From every tree lop, bark, and part o' the timber;
    And, though we leave it with a root, thus hack'd,
    The air will drink the sap. To every county
    Where this is question'd send our letters, with
    Free pardon to each man that has denied
    The force of this commission: pray, look to't;
    I put it to your care.

  • A word with you.
    To the Secretary
    Let there be letters writ to every shire,
    Of the king's grace and pardon. The grieved commons
    Hardly conceive of me; let it be noised
    That through our intercession this revokement
    And pardon comes: I shall anon advise you
    Further in the proceeding.

  • Exit Secretary

  • Enter Surveyor

  • I am sorry that the Duke of Buckingham
    Is run in your displeasure.

  • It grieves many:
    The gentleman is learn'd, and a most rare speaker;
    To nature none more bound; his training such,
    That he may furnish and instruct great teachers,
    And never seek for aid out of himself. Yet see,
    When these so noble benefits shall prove
    Not well disposed, the mind growing once corrupt,
    They turn to vicious forms, ten times more ugly
    Than ever they were fair. This man so complete,
    Who was enroll'd 'mongst wonders, and when we,
    Almost with ravish'd listening, could not find
    His hour of speech a minute; he, my lady,
    Hath into monstrous habits put the graces
    That once were his, and is become as black
    As if besmear'd in hell. Sit by us; you shall hear--
    This was his gentleman in trust--of him
    Things to strike honour sad. Bid him recount
    The fore-recited practises; whereof
    We cannot feel too little, hear too much.

  • Stand forth, and with bold spirit relate what you,
    Most like a careful subject, have collected
    Out of the Duke of Buckingham.

  • First, it was usual with him, every day
    It would infect his speech, that if the king
    Should without issue die, he'll carry it so
    To make the sceptre his: these very words
    I've heard him utter to his son-in-law,
    Lord Abergavenny; to whom by oath he menaced
    Revenge upon the cardinal.

  • Please your highness, note
    This dangerous conception in this point.
    Not friended by by his wish, to your high person
    His will is most malignant; and it stretches
    Beyond you, to your friends.

  • My learn'd lord cardinal,
    Deliver all with charity.

  • Speak on:
    How grounded he his title to the crown,
    Upon our fail? to this point hast thou heard him
    At any time speak aught?

  • He was brought to this
    By a vain prophecy of Nicholas Hopkins.

  • What was that Hopkins?

  • Sir, a Chartreux friar,
    His confessor, who fed him every minute
    With words of sovereignty.

  • How know'st thou this?

  • Not long before your highness sped to France,
    The duke being at the Rose, within the parish
    Saint Lawrence Poultney, did of me demand
    What was the speech among the Londoners
    Concerning the French journey: I replied,
    Men fear'd the French would prove perfidious,
    To the king's danger. Presently the duke
    Said, 'twas the fear, indeed; and that he doubted
    'Twould prove the verity of certain words
    Spoke by a holy monk; 'that oft,' says he,
    'Hath sent to me, wishing me to permit
    John de la Car, my chaplain, a choice hour
    To hear from him a matter of some moment:
    Whom after under the confession's seal
    He solemnly had sworn, that what he spoke
    My chaplain to no creature living, but
    To me, should utter, with demure confidence
    This pausingly ensued: neither the king nor's heirs,
    Tell you the duke, shall prosper: bid him strive
    To gain the love o' the commonalty: the duke
    Shall govern England.'

  • If I know you well,
    You were the duke's surveyor, and lost your office
    On the complaint o' the tenants: take good heed
    You charge not in your spleen a noble person
    And spoil your nobler soul: I say, take heed;
    Yes, heartily beseech you.

  • Let him on.
    Go forward.

  • On my soul, I'll speak but truth.
    I told my lord the duke, by the devil's illusions
    The monk might be deceived; and that 'twas dangerous for him
    To ruminate on this so far, until
    It forged him some design, which, being believed,
    It was much like to do: he answer'd, 'Tush,
    It can do me no damage;' adding further,
    That, had the king in his last sickness fail'd,
    The cardinal's and Sir Thomas Lovell's heads
    Should have gone off.

  • Ha! what, so rank? Ah ha!
    There's mischief in this man: canst thou say further?

  • Being at Greenwich,
    After your highness had reproved the duke
    About Sir William Blomer,--

  • I remember
    Of such a time: being my sworn servant,
    The duke retain'd him his. But on; what hence?

  • 'If,' quoth he, 'I for this had been committed,
    As, to the Tower, I thought, I would have play'd
    The part my father meant to act upon
    The usurper Richard; who, being at Salisbury,
    Made suit to come in's presence; which if granted,
    As he made semblance of his duty, would
    Have put his knife to him.'

  • Now, madam, may his highness live in freedom,
    and this man out of prison?

  • There's something more would out of thee; what say'st?

  • After 'the duke his father,' with 'the knife,'
    He stretch'd him, and, with one hand on his dagger,
    Another spread on's breast, mounting his eyes
    He did discharge a horrible oath; whose tenor
    Was,--were he evil used, he would outgo
    His father by as much as a performance
    Does an irresolute purpose.

  • There's his period,
    To sheathe his knife in us. He is attach'd;
    Call him to present trial: if he may
    Find mercy in the law, 'tis his: if none,
    Let him not seek 't of us: by day and night,
    He's traitor to the height.