Document:  All > Shakespeare > Histories > King Henry VIII > Act I, scene II

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	[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]

KING HENRY VIII: 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]

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

KING HENRY VIII: 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.

QUEEN KATHARINE: 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.

KING HENRY VIII:                   Lady mine, proceed.

QUEEN KATHARINE: 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.

NORFOLK:                   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!

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

CARDINAL WOLSEY: 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.

	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.

KING HENRY VIII: Still exaction!
	The nature of it? in what kind, let's know,
	Is this exaction?

QUEEN KATHARINE:                   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.

KING HENRY VIII: By my life,
	This is against our pleasure.

	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.

KING HENRY VIII: 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.

CARDINAL WOLSEY: 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]

QUEEN KATHARINE: I am sorry that the Duke of Buckingham
	Is run in your displeasure.

KING HENRY VIII: 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.

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

KING HENRY VIII: Speak freely.

Surveyor: 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.

CARDINAL WOLSEY: 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.

QUEEN KATHARINE: My learn'd lord cardinal,
	Deliver all with charity.

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

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

KING HENRY VIII: What was that Hopkins?

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

KING HENRY VIII: How know'st thou this?

Surveyor: 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.'

QUEEN KATHARINE: 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.

KING HENRY VIII: Let him on.
	Go forward.

Surveyor:      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.

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

Surveyor: I can, my liege.

KING HENRY VIII:                   Proceed.

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

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

Surveyor: '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.'

KING HENRY VIII: A giant traitor!

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

QUEEN KATHARINE: God mend all!

KING HENRY VIII: There's something more would out of thee; what say'st?

Surveyor: 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.

KING HENRY VIII: 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.



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