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Whose hot incursions, and great name in arms,
Through all the kingdoms that acknowledge Christ?
And shake the peace and safety of our throne.
But wherefore do I tell these news to thee?
Thou that art like enough,-through vassal fear,
P. Hen. Do not think so, you shall not find it so; And Heaven forgive them, that have so much sway'd Your majesty's good thoughts away from me!
I will redeem all this on Percy's head,
Which, wash'd away, shall scour my shame with it.
Would they were multitudes; and on my head
The long-grown wounds of my intemperance:
K. Hen. A hundred thousand rebels die in this : Thou shalt have charge, and sovereign trust, herein.
KING HENRY VIII.
Many of the incidents of this Play, and much of the dialogue, were taken by Shakspeare from chronicles of Hollingshed and Stowe, who were themselves indebted to "Carendish's Life of Wolsey" for most of the particulars they gave of the Cardinal's history.
Shakspeare has depicted the character of the gentle and noble-hearted Katharine of Arragon, with such felicitous skill, that the scenes in which she is introduced are considered among the finest efforts of the Poet's genius.
The haughty Wolsey, is also a powerfully drawn picture. Our selections are devoted to the display of these two master-pieces of historical dramatic composition.
KING HENRY THE EIGHTH.
CAPUCIUS, Ambassador from the Emperor, Charles V.
CRANMER, Archbishop of Canterbury.
DUKE OF NORFOLK.
DUKE OF BUCKINGHAM.
DUKE OF SUFFOLK.
EARL OF SURREY.
GARDINER, Bishop of Winchester.
BISHOP OF LINCOLN.
Sir HENRY GUILFORD.
Sir THOMAS LOVELL.
CROMWELL, servant to Wolsey.
GRIFFITH, Gentleman- Usher to Queen Katharine.
Queen KatharinE, wife to King Henry, afterwards divorced.
An old Lady, friend to Anne Bullen.
PATIENCE, woman to Queen Katharine.
Several Lords and Ladies in the Dumb Shows; Women attending upon the Queen; Spirits which appear to her; Scribes, Officers, Guards, and other Attendants.
SCENE,-chiefly in LONDON and WESTMINSTER, once at KIMBOLTON.
Queen Katharine incurred the jealousy and hatred of Wolsey, by her opposition to his overbearing arrogance, and the exactions he was continually enforcing on the people. Shakspeare introduces the Queen, as a suitor to the King, on the subject of these oppressions of the people.
SCENE II.-The Council-Chamber.
Cornets. Enter KING HENRY, CARDINAL WOLSEY, the Lords of the
K. Hen. My life itself, and the best heart of it,
Thanks you for this great care: I stood i' the level
To you that chok'd it.
The KING takes his State. The Lords of the Council take their several places. The CARDINAL places himself under the KING's feet, on his right.side.
A noise within, crying, Room for the Queen! Enter the QUEEN, ushered by the DUKES OF NORFOLK and SUFFOLK: she kneels. The KING rises from his State, takes her up, kisses, and places her by
Q. Kath. Nay, we must longer kneel; I am a suitor.
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,
The dignity of your office, is the point
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 commissions
My good lord cardinal, they vent reproaches
Most bitterly on you, as putter-on
Of these exactions, yet the king our master,
(Whose honor 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,
Wherein? and what taxation ?-My lord cardinal,
Please you, sir,
I know but of a single part, in aught
Pertains to the state; and front but in that file
No, my lord,
You know no more than others: but
The nature of it? In what kind, let's know,
I am much too venturous