Act II, Scene 2 An ante-chamber in the palace.

Enter Chamberlain, reading a letter

 

Chamberlain 'My lord, the horses your lordship sent for, with
all the care I had, I saw well chosen, ridden, and
furnished. They were young and handsome, and of the
best breed in the north. When they were ready to
set out for London, a man of my lord cardinal's, by
commission and main power, took 'em from me; with
this reason: His master would be served before a
subject, if not before the king; which stopped our
mouths, sir.'
I fear he will indeed: well, let him have them:
He will have all, I think.
  [Enter, to Chamberlain, NORFOLK and SUFFOLK]
NORFOLK Well met, my lord chamberlain.
Chamberlain Good day to both your graces.
SUFFOLK How is the king employ'd?
Chamberlain I left him private,
Full of sad thoughts and troubles.
NORFOLK What's the cause?
Chamberlain It seems the marriage with his brother's wife
Has crept too near his conscience.
SUFFOLK No, his conscience
Has crept too near another lady.
NORFOLK 'Tis so:
This is the cardinal's doing, the king-cardinal:
That blind priest, like the eldest son of fortune,
Turns what he list. The king will know him one day.
SUFFOLK Pray God he do! he'll never know himself else.
NORFOLK How holily he works in all his business!
And with what zeal! for, now he has crack'd the league
Between us and the emperor, the queen's great nephew,
He dives into the king's soul, and there scatters
Dangers, doubts, wringing of the conscience,
Fears, and despairs; and all these for his marriage:
And out of all these to restore the king,
He counsels a divorce; a loss of her
That, like a jewel, has hung twenty years
About his neck, yet never lost her lustre;
Of her that loves him with that excellence
That angels love good men with; even of her
That, when the greatest stroke of fortune falls,
Will bless the king: and is not this course pious?
Chamberlain Heaven keep me from such counsel! 'Tis most true
These news are every where; every tongue speaks 'em,
And every true heart weeps for't: all that dare
Look into these affairs see this main end,
The French king's sister. Heaven will one day open
The king's eyes, that so long have slept upon
This bold bad man.
SUFFOLK And free us from his slavery.
NORFOLK We had need pray,
And heartily, for our deliverance;
Or this imperious man will work us all
From princes into pages: all men's honours
Lie like one lump before him, to be fashion'd
Into what pitch he please.
SUFFOLK For me, my lords,
I love him not, nor fear him; there's my creed:
As I am made without him, so I'll stand,
If the king please; his curses and his blessings
Touch me alike, they're breath I not believe in.
I knew him, and I know him; so I leave him
To him that made him proud, the pope.
NORFOLK Let's in;
And with some other business put the king
From these sad thoughts, that work too much upon him:
My lord, you'll bear us company?
Chamberlain Excuse me;
The king has sent me otherwhere: besides,
You'll find a most unfit time to disturb him:
Health to your lordships.
NORFOLK Thanks, my good lord chamberlain.
  [Exit Chamberlain; and KING HENRY VIII draws the
curtain, and sits reading pensively]
SUFFOLK How sad he looks! sure, he is much afflicted.
KING HENRY VIII Who's there, ha?
NORFOLK Pray God he be not angry.
KING HENRY VIII Who's there, I say? How dare you thrust yourselves
Into my private meditations?
Who am I? ha?
NORFOLK A gracious king that pardons all offences
Malice ne'er meant: our breach of duty this way
Is business of estate; in which we come
To know your royal pleasure.
KING HENRY VIII Ye are too bold:
Go to; I'll make ye know your times of business:
Is this an hour for temporal affairs, ha?
  [Enter CARDINAL WOLSEY and CARDINAL CAMPEIUS, with
a commission]
  Who's there? my good lord cardinal? O my Wolsey,
The quiet of my wounded conscience;
Thou art a cure fit for a king.
  [To CARDINAL CAMPEIUS]
  You're welcome,
Most learned reverend sir, into our kingdom:
Use us and it.
  [To CARDINAL WOLSEY]
  My good lord, have great care
I be not found a talker.
CARDINAL WOLSEY Sir, you cannot.
I would your grace would give us but an hour
Of private conference.
KING HENRY VIII [To NORFOLK and SUFFOLK]
We are busy; go.
NORFOLK [Aside to SUFFOLK]
This priest has no pride in him?
SUFFOLK [Aside to NORFOLK] Not to speak of:
I would not be so sick though for his place:
But this cannot continue.
NORFOLK [Aside to SUFFOLK] If it do,
I'll venture one have-at-him.
SUFFOLK [Aside to NORFOLK] I another.
  [Exeunt NORFOLK and SUFFOLK]
CARDINAL WOLSEY Your grace has given a precedent of wisdom
Above all princes, in committing freely
Your scruple to the voice of Christendom:
Who can be angry now? what envy reach you?
The Spaniard, tied blood and favour to her,
Must now confess, if they have any goodness,
The trial just and noble. All the clerks,
I mean the learned ones, in Christian kingdoms
Have their free voices: Rome, the nurse of judgment,
Invited by your noble self, hath sent
One general tongue unto us, this good man,
This just and learned priest, Cardinal Campeius;
Whom once more I present unto your highness.
KING HENRY VIII And once more in mine arms I bid him welcome,
And thank the holy conclave for their loves:
They have sent me such a man I would have wish'd for.
CARDINAL CAMPEIUS Your grace must needs deserve all strangers' loves,
You are so noble. To your highness' hand
I tender my commission; by whose virtue,
The court of Rome commanding, you, my lord
Cardinal of York, are join'd with me their servant
In the unpartial judging of this business.
KING HENRY VIII Two equal men. The queen shall be acquainted
Forthwith for what you come. Where's Gardiner?
CARDINAL WOLSEY I know your majesty has always loved her
So dear in heart, not to deny her that
A woman of less place might ask by law:
Scholars allow'd freely to argue for her.
KING HENRY VIII Ay, and the best she shall have; and my favour
To him that does best: God forbid else. Cardinal,
Prithee, call Gardiner to me, my new secretary:
I find him a fit fellow.
  [Exit CARDINAL WOLSEY]
  [Re-enter CARDINAL WOLSEY, with GARDINER]
CARDINAL WOLSEY [Aside to GARDINER] Give me your hand much joy and
favour to you;
You are the king's now.
GARDINER [Aside to CARDINAL WOLSEY]
But to be commanded
For ever by your grace, whose hand has raised me.
KING HENRY VIII Come hither, Gardiner.
  [Walks and whispers]
CARDINAL CAMPEIUS My Lord of York, was not one Doctor Pace
In this man's place before him?
CARDINAL WOLSEY Yes, he was.
CARDINAL CAMPEIUS Was he not held a learned man?
CARDINAL WOLSEY Yes, surely.
CARDINAL CAMPEIUS Believe me, there's an ill opinion spread then
Even of yourself, lord cardinal.
CARDINAL WOLSEY How! of me?
CARDINAL CAMPEIUS They will not stick to say you envied him,
And fearing he would rise, he was so virtuous,
Kept him a foreign man still; which so grieved him,
That he ran mad and died.
CARDINAL WOLSEY Heaven's peace be with him!
That's Christian care enough: for living murmurers
There's places of rebuke. He was a fool;
For he would needs be virtuous: that good fellow,
If I command him, follows my appointment:
I will have none so near else. Learn this, brother,
We live not to be grip'd by meaner persons.
KING HENRY VIII Deliver this with modesty to the queen.
  [Exit GARDINER]
  The most convenient place that I can think of
For such receipt of learning is Black-Friars;
There ye shall meet about this weighty business.
My Wolsey, see it furnish'd. O, my lord,
Would it not grieve an able man to leave
So sweet a bedfellow? But, conscience, conscience!
O, 'tis a tender place; and I must leave her.
  [Exeunt]

 

 To see other scenes from the show:

Full Text Act III, Scene 1 London. QUEEN KATHARINE's apartments.
Act I, Scene 1 London. An ante-chamber in the palace. Act III, Scene 2 Ante-chamber to KING HENRY VIII's apartment.
Act I, Scene 2 The same. The council-chamber. Act IV, Scene 1 A street in Westminster.
Act I, Scene 3 An ante-chamber in the palace. Act IV, Scene 2 Kimbolton.
Act I, Scene 4 A Hall in York Place. Act V, Scene 1 London. A gallery in the palace.
Act II, Scene 1 Westminster. A street. Act V, Scene 2 Before the council-chamber. Pursuivants, Pages, &c. attending./Act V, Scene 3 The Council-Chamber.
Act II, Scene 2 An ante-chamber in the palace. Act V, Scene 4 The palace yard.
Act II, Scene 3 An ante-chamber of the QUEEN'S apartments. Act V, Scene 5 The palace.
Act II, Scene 4 A hall in Black-Friars.  

 

To view other Henry VIII sections:

Main Play Page      Play Text     Scene by Scene Synopsis     Character Directory     Commentary  

 

To view the other Plays click below:

By  Comedies    Histories    Romances    Tragedies

All's Well the Ends Well Antony & Cleopatra As You Like It Cardenio Comedy of Errors Coriolanus
Cymbeline Edward III Hamlet Henry IV, Part 1 Henry IV, Part 2 Henry V
Henry VI, Part 1 Henry VI, Part 2 Henry VI, Part 3 Henry VIII Julius Caesar King John
King Lear Love's Labours Lost Love's Labours Wonne Macbeth Measure for Measure Merchant of Venice
The Merry Wives of Windsor A Mid Summer Night's Dream  Much Ado About Nothing Othello Pericles Richard II
Richard III Romeo & Juliet Sir Thomas More Taming of the Shrew The Tempest Timon of Athens
Titus Andronicus Troilus & Cressida Twelfth Night Two Gentlemen of Verona The Two Noble Kinsman The Winter's Tale

 

To view other Shakespeare Library sections:

Biography     Plays     Poems     Sonnets     Theaters     Shake Links 

 
Send mail to jciccarelli@hudsonshakespeare.org with questions or comments about this web site.
[Home]  [Upcoming Shows]  [HSC Venues]  [Past Productions]  [Articles] [HSC Programs]
 [Shakespeare Library] [Actor Resources]   [Contact Us]  [Links]  [Site Map]