The Famous History of the Life of King Henry the Eight


William Shakespeare

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The Famous History of the Life of King Henry the Eight Page 01


I Come no more to make you laugh, Things now, That beare a Weighty, and a Serious Brow, Sad, high, and working, full of State and Woe: Such Noble Scoenes, as draw the Eye to flow We now present. Those that can Pitty, heere May (if they thinke it well) let fall a Teare, The Subiect will deserue it. Such as giue Their Money out of hope they may beleeue, May heere finde Truth too. Those that come to see Onely a show or two, and so agree, The Play may passe: If they be still, and willing, Ile vndertake may see away their shilling Richly in two short houres. Onely they That come to heare a Merry, Bawdy Play, A noyse of Targets: Or to see a Fellow In a long Motley Coate, garded with Yellow, Will be deceyu'd. For gentle Hearers, know To ranke our chosen Truth with such a show As Foole, and Fight is, beside forfeyting Our owne Braines, and the Opinion that we bring To make that onely true, we now intend, Will leaue vs neuer an vnderstanding Friend. Therefore, for Goodnesse sake, and as you are knowne The First and Happiest Hearers of the Towne, Be sad, as we would make ye. Thinke ye see The very Persons of our Noble Story, As they were Liuing: Thinke you see them Great, And follow'd with the generall throng, and sweat Of thousand Friends: Then, in a moment, see How soone this Mightinesse, meets Misery: And if you can be merry then, Ile say, A Man may weepe vpon his Wedding day.

Actus Primus. Scoena Prima.

Enter the Duke of Norfolke at one doore. At the other, the Duke of Buckingham, and the Lord Aburgauenny.

Buckingham. Good morrow, and well met. How haue ye done Since last we saw in France? Norf. I thanke your Grace: Healthfull, and euer since a fresh Admirer Of what I saw there

Buck. An vntimely Ague Staid me a Prisoner in my Chamber, when Those Sunnes of Glory, those two Lights of Men Met in the vale of Andren

Nor. 'Twixt Guynes and Arde, I was then present, saw them salute on Horsebacke, Beheld them when they lighted, how they clung In their Embracement, as they grew together, Which had they, What foure Thron'd ones could haue weigh'd Such a compounded one? Buck. All the whole time I was my Chambers Prisoner

Nor. Then you lost The view of earthly glory: Men might say Till this time Pompe was single, but now married To one aboue it selfe. Each following day Became the next dayes master, till the last Made former Wonders, it's. To day the French, All Clinquant all in Gold, like Heathen Gods Shone downe the English; and to morrow, they Made Britaine, India: Euery man that stood, Shew'd like a Mine. Their Dwarfish Pages were As Cherubins, all gilt: the Madams too, Not vs'd to toyle, did almost sweat to beare The Pride vpon them, that their very labour Was to them, as a Painting. Now this Maske Was cry'de incompareable; and th' ensuing night Made it a Foole, and Begger. The two Kings Equall in lustre, were now best, now worst As presence did present them: Him in eye, Still him in praise, and being present both, 'Twas said they saw but one, and no Discerner Durst wagge his Tongue in censure, when these Sunnes (For so they phrase 'em) by their Heralds challeng'd The Noble Spirits to Armes, they did performe Beyond thoughts Compasse, that former fabulous Storie Being now seene, possible enough, got credit That Beuis was beleeu'd

Buc. Oh you go farre

Nor. As I belong to worship, and affect In Honor, Honesty, the tract of eu'ry thing, Would by a good Discourser loose some life, Which Actions selfe, was tongue too

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

All Pages of This Book
The Famous History of the Life of King Henry the Eight
The First Part of Henry the Fourth
The first Part of Henry the Sixt
The Life of Henry the Fift
The Second Part of Henry the Fourth
The second Part of Henry the Sixt
The third Part of Henry the Sixt