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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 inoney 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 deceived: 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, 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 followed 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.

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Scene I.-London. An Antechamber in the

Palace.

Enter the Duke of Norfolk at one door ; at

the other, the Duke of BUCKINGHAM and the LORD ABERGAVENNY. 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
Stayed me a prisoner in my chamber, when

Those suns of glory, those two lights of men, Met in the vale of Arde.

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 throned ones could

have weighed 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

wag

0, many

To one above itself. Each following day
Became the next day's master, till the last
Made former wonders its. 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
Shewed like a mine. Their dwarfish pages were
As cherubim, all gilt. The madams too,
Not used 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 his tongue in censure. When these suns (For so they phrase them) by their heralds

challenged The noble spirits to arms, they did perform Beyond thought's compass; that former fabulous

story,
Being now seen possible enough, got credit,
That Bevis was believed.
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 rebelled :
Order gave each thing view; the office did
Distinctly his full function.

Buck. 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 ordered 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 keech 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 propped by ancestry (whose grace Chalks successors their way), nor called 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 for him, which buys A place next to the King.

Aber. I cannot tell What Heaven hath given him; let some graver eye Pierce into that: but I can see bis pride Peepthrough each part of him. Whencehas 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, to 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 he papers.

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

Buck. Have broke their backswith laying manors on them For this great journey. What did this vanity, But minister communication 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 followed, was
A thing inspired; 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 flawed the league, and hath

attached Our merchants' goods at Bourdeaux.

Aber. Is it therefore The ambassador is silenced ?

Nor. Marry is 't.

Aber. A proper title of a peace; and purchased At a superfluous rate !

Buck. Why, all this business
Our reverend cardinal carried.
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 further, 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 it 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.

1

with papers.

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Enter Cardinal Wolsey (the purse borne before him), certain of the Guard, and two Secretaries

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 ?

1st Sec. Here, so please you.
Wol. Is he in person ready?
1st Sec. Ay, please your grace.
Wol. Well, we shall then know more; and

Buckingham
Shall lessen this big look.

[Exeunt Wolsey and Train. Buck. This butcher's cur is venom-mouthed,

and I Have not the power to muzzle him: therefore best Not wake him in his slumber. A beggar's book Outworth's a noble's blood.

Nor. What, are you chafed ? Ask God for temperance: that's the appliance

only Which

your

disease requires. Buck. I read in his looks Matter against me, and his eye

reviled Me as his abject object : at this instant He bores me with some trick. He's gone to

the King : I 'll follow, and outstare him.

Nor. Stay, my lord,
And let your reason with your choler question
What 't is you go about. To climb steep hills
Requires slow pace at first: anger is like
A full hot horse, who being allowed his way,
Self-mettle tires him. Not a man in England
Can advise me like you : be to yourself
As you would to your friend.

Buck. I'll to the King,
And from a mouth of honour quite cry down
This Ipswich fellow's insolence; or proclaim
There's difference in no persons.

Nor. Be advised :
Heat not a furnace for your foe so hot
That it do singe yourself: we may outrun,
By violent swiftness, that which we run at,
And lose by over-running. Know you not,
The fire that mounts the liquor till it run o'er,
In seeming to augment it, wastes it? Be advised,
I say again, there is no English soul
More stronger to direct you than yourself,
If with the sap of reason you would quench,
Or but allay, the fire of passion.

Buck. Sir,
I am thankful to you, and I'll go along
By your prescription : but this top-proud fellow
(Whom from the flow of gall I name not but
From sincere motions), by intelligence,
And proofs as clear as founts in July, wlien
We see each grain of gravel, I do know
To be corrupt and treasonous.

Nor. Say not treasonous.
Buck. To the King I 'll say 't; and make my

vouch as strong
As shore of rock. Attend :- This holy fox,
Or wolf, or both (for he is equal ravenous
As he is subtle, and as prone to mischief
As able to perform it; his mind and place
Infecting one another, yea reciprocally),
Only to shew his pomp as well in France
As here at home, suggests the King our master
To this last costly treaty, the interview,
That swallowed so much treasure, and like a glass
Did break i' the rinsing.

Nor, ’Faith, and so it did.
Buck. Pray give me favour, sir. This cun-

ning cardinal
The articles o'the combination drew
As himself pleased; and they were ratified
As he cried, “ Thus let be:" to as much end
As give a crutch to the dead. But our count-

cardinal Has done this, and 't is well: for worthy Wolsey, Who cannot err, he did it. Now this follows (Which, as I take it, is a kind of puppy To the old dam treason) :-Charles the emperor Under pretence to see the queen his aunt (For 't was indeed his colour, but he came To whisper Wolsey) here makes visitation. His fears were that the interview betwixt England and France might, through their amity, Breed him some prejudice; for from this league Peeped harms that menaced him. He pririly Deals with our cardinal; and as I trow,Which I do well; for I am sure the emperor Paid ere he promised; whereby his suit was

granted
Ere it was asked ;—but when the way was made,
And paved with gold, the emperor thus desired:
That he would please to alter the King's course
And break the foresaid peace. Let the King know
(As soon he shall by me) that thus the cardinal
Does buy and sell his honour as he pleases,
And for his own advantage.

Nor.
To hear this of him, and could wish he were
Something mistaken in 't.

Buck. No, not a syllable:
I do pronounce him in that very shape
He shall appear in proof.

I am sorry

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your suit

Enter BRANDON; a Sergeant-at-Arms before him,

and two or three of the Guard.
Bran. Your office, sergeant! execute it.

Serg. Sir,
My lord the Duke of Buckingham, and Earl
Of Hereford, Stafford, and Northampton,
I arrest thee of high treason, in the name
Of our most sovereign King.

Buck. Lo you, my lord,
The net has fallen upon me!

I shall perish
Under device and practice.
Bran.

I am sorry
To see you ta'en from liberty, to look on
The business present. 'Tis his highness' pleasure
You shall to the Tower.

Buck. It will help me nothing To plead mine innocence; for that die is on me Which makes my whitest part black. The will

of Heaven Be done in this and all things. I obey.-O my Lord Aberga'ny, fare you

well. Bran. Nay, he must bear you company.-The King

[To ABERGAVENNY. Is pleased you shall to the Tower, till you

know How he determines further.

Aber. As the duke said, Thewillof Heaven be done, and the King's pleasure By me obeyed. Bran.

Here is a warrant from The King to attach Lord Montacute, and the

bodies Of the duke's confessor, John de la Court, One Gilbert Peck his chancellor,

Buck. So, so:
These are the limbs of the plot. No more, I hope.

Bran. A monk o' the Chartreux.
Buck. 0, Nicholas Hopkins ?
Bran. He.
Buck. My surveyor is false : the o'ergreat

cardinal
Hath shewed him gold. My life is spanned already:
I am the shadow of poor Buckingham;
Whose figure even this instant cloud puts on,
By dark’ning my clear sun.—My lord, farewell.

[Exeunt.

you

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

Q. Kath. Thank your majesty. That would love yourself; and, in that love, Not unconsidered leave your honour nor The dignity of your office, is the point Of my petition.

K. Hen. Lady mine, proceed.

Q. Kath. I am solicited, not by a few, And those of true condition, that your subjects Are in great grievance. There have been com

missions Sent down among them, which hath flawed 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. Nor. Not almost appears;

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, compelled by hunger And lack of other means, in desperate manner Daring the event to the teeth, are all in uproar, And Danger serves among them.

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

It doth appear :

SCENE II.-The Council-Chamber.

Cornets. Enter King Henry, Cardinal Wol

sey, the Lords of the Council, Sir Thomas Lovell, Officers, and Attendants. The King enters leaning on the Cardinal's shoulder.

K. Hen. 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

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