Henry VIII

First folio
Modern text


Key line

Enter Queene and her Women as at worke. Enter the Queen and her women, as at work H8 III.i.1.1
Take thy Lute wench, / My Soule growes sad with troubles,Take thy lute, wench. My soul grows sad with troubles;wench (n.)
girl, lass
H8 III.i.1
sad (adj.)
downcast, distressed, mournful, gloomy
Sing, and disperse 'em if thou canst: leaue working:Sing, and disperse 'em, if thou canst. Leave working.leave (v.)

old form: leaue
cease, stop, give up
H8 III.i.2
SONG. (sings) H8 III.i.2
Orpheus with his Lute made Trees,Orpheus with his lute made trees,Orpheus (n.)
legendary Greek poet, able to charm beasts and even stones with his music
H8 III.i.3
And the Mountaine tops that freeze,And the mountain-tops that freeze, H8 III.i.4
Bow themselues when he did sing.Bow themselves when he did sing. H8 III.i.5
To his Musicke, Plants and FlowersTo his music plants and flowers H8 III.i.6
Euer sprung; as Sunne and Showers,Ever sprung, as sun and showers H8 III.i.7
There had made a lasting Spring.There had made a lasting spring. H8 III.i.8
Euery thing that heard him play,Everything that heard him play, H8 III.i.9
Euen the Billowes of the Sea,Even the billows of the sea, H8 III.i.10
Hung their heads, & then lay by.Hung their heads, and then lay by.lie by (v.)

old form: lay
settle down, lay to rest
H8 III.i.11
In sweet Musicke is such Art,In sweet music is such art, H8 III.i.12
Killing care, & griefe of heart,Killing care and grief of heart H8 III.i.13
Fall asleepe, or hearing dye.Fall asleep, or hearing die. H8 III.i.14
Enter a Gentleman.Enter a Gentleman H8 III.i.15
How now?How now? H8 III.i.15
And't please your Grace, the two great CardinalsAn't please your grace, the two great Cardinals H8 III.i.16
Wait in the presence.Wait in the presence.presence (n.)
royal reception chamber
H8 III.i.17.1
Would they speake with me?Would they speak with me? H8 III.i.17.2
They wil'd me say so Madam.They willed me say so, madam.will (v.), past form would

old form: wil'd
command, order, direct
H8 III.i.18.1
Pray their GracesPray their graces H8 III.i.18.2
To come neere: To come near. H8 III.i.19.1
Exit Gentleman H8 III.i.19
what can be their businesWhat can be their business H8 III.i.19.2
With me, a poore weake woman, falne from fauour?With me, a poor weak woman, fall'n from favour? H8 III.i.20
I doe not like their comming; now I thinke on't,I do not like their coming. Now I think on't, H8 III.i.21
They should bee good men, their affaires as righteous:They should be good men, their affairs as righteous: H8 III.i.22
But all Hoods, make not Monkes.But all hoods make not monks. H8 III.i.23.1
Enter the two Cardinalls, Wolsey & Campian.Enter the two Cardinals, Wolsey and Campeius H8 III.i.23
Peace to your Highnesse.Peace to your highness! H8 III.i.23.2
Your Graces find me heere part of a Houswife,Your graces find me here part of a housewife – part, part of (adv.)
partly, in some measure
H8 III.i.24
(I would be all) against the worst may happen:I would be all, against the worst may happen. H8 III.i.25
What are your pleasures with me, reuerent Lords?What are your pleasures with me, reverend lords? H8 III.i.26
May it please you Noble Madam, to withdrawMay it please you, noble madam, to withdraw H8 III.i.27
Into your priuate Chamber; we shall giue youInto your private chamber, we shall give you H8 III.i.28
The full cause of our comming.The full cause of our coming.cause (n.)
reason, motive, ground
H8 III.i.29.1
Speake it heere.Speak it here. H8 III.i.29.2
There's nothing I haue done yet o' my ConscienceThere's nothing I have done yet, o' my conscience, H8 III.i.30
Deserues a Corner: would all other WomenDeserves a corner. Would all other women H8 III.i.31
Could speake this with as free a Soule as I doe.Could speak this with as free a soul as I do!free (adj.)
free of worry, untroubled, carefree
H8 III.i.32
My Lords, I care not (so much I am happyMy lords, I care not – so much I am happy H8 III.i.33
Aboue a number) if my actionsAbove a number – if my actions H8 III.i.34
Were tri'de by eu'ry tongue, eu'ry eye saw 'em,Were tried by every tongue, every eye saw 'em, H8 III.i.35
Enuy and base opinion set against 'em,Envy and base opinion set against 'em,base (adj.)
low-born, lowly, plebeian, of lower rank
H8 III.i.36
I know my life so euen. If your businesI know my life so even. If your businesseven (adj.)

old form: euen
straightforward, forthright, direct
H8 III.i.37
Seeke me out, and that way I am Wife in;Seek me out, and that way I am wife in, H8 III.i.38
Out with it boldly: Truth loues open dealing.Out with it boldly. Truth loves open dealing. H8 III.i.39
Tanta est erga te mentis integritas Regina Tanta est erga te mentis integritas, Reginatanta...
so great is the integrity of our purpose towards you, most noble Queen
H8 III.i.40
serenissima.serenissima –  H8 III.i.41
O good my Lord, no Latin;O, good my lord, no Latin! H8 III.i.42
I am not such a Truant since my comming,I am not such a truant since my coming H8 III.i.43
As not to know the Language I haue liu'd in:As not to know the language I have lived in. H8 III.i.44
A strange Tongue makes my cause more strange, suspitious:A strange tongue makes my cause more strange, suspicious;strange (adj.)
foreign, alien, from abroad
H8 III.i.45
Pray speake in English; heere are some will thanke you,Pray, speak in English. Here are some will thank you, H8 III.i.46
If you speake truth, for their poore Mistris sake;If you speak truth, for their poor mistress' sake. H8 III.i.47
Beleeue me she ha's had much wrong. Lord Cardinall,Believe me, she has had much wrong. Lord Cardinal, H8 III.i.48
The willing'st sinne I euer yet committed,The willing'st sin I ever yet committed H8 III.i.49
May be absolu'd in English.May be absolved in English. H8 III.i.50.1
Noble Lady,Noble lady, H8 III.i.50.2
I am sorry my integrity should breed,I am sorry my integrity should breed –  H8 III.i.51
(And seruice to his Maiesty and you)And service to his majesty and you –  H8 III.i.52
So deepe suspition, where all faith was meant;So deep suspicion, where all faith was meant.faith (n.)
constancy, fidelity, loyalty
H8 III.i.53
We come not by the way of Accusation,We come not by the way of accusation, H8 III.i.54
To taint that honour euery good Tongue blesses;To taint that honour every good tongue blesses, H8 III.i.55
Nor to betray you any way to sorrow;Nor to betray you any way to sorrow – betray (v.)
give up, expose, lay open [especially: to punishment]
H8 III.i.56
You haue too much good Lady: But to knowYou have too much, good lady – but to know H8 III.i.57
How you stand minded in the waighty differenceHow you stand minded in the weighty difference H8 III.i.58
Betweene the King and you, and to deliuerBetween the King and you, and to deliver, H8 III.i.59
(Like free and honest men) our iust opinions,Like free and honest men, our just opinionsfree (adj.)
noble, honourable, worthy
H8 III.i.60
And comforts to our cause.And comforts to your cause. H8 III.i.61.1
Most honour'd Madam,Most honoured madam, H8 III.i.61.2
My Lord of Yorke, out of his Noble nature,My lord of York, out of his noble nature, H8 III.i.62
Zeale and obedience he still bore your Grace,Zeal and obedience he still bore your grace,still (adv.)
constantly, always, continually
H8 III.i.63
Forgetting (like a good man) your late CensureForgetting, like a good man, your late censurecensure (n.)
condemnation, blame, stricture
H8 III.i.64
Both of his truth and him (which was too farre)Both of his truth and him – which was too far –  H8 III.i.65
Offers, as I doe, in a signe of peace,Offers, as I do, in a sign of peace, H8 III.i.66
His Seruice, and his Counsell.His service, and his counsel. H8 III.i.67.1
(aside) H8 III.i.67
To betray me.To betray me. –  H8 III.i.67.2
My Lords, I thanke you both for your good wills,My lords, I thank you both for your good wills. H8 III.i.68
Ye speake like honest men, (pray God ye proue so)Ye speak like honest men – pray God ye prove so! H8 III.i.69
But how to make ye sodainly an AnswereBut how to make ye suddenly an answersuddenly (adv.)

old form: sodainly
extempore, spontaneously, off the cuff
H8 III.i.70
In such a poynt of weight, so neere mine Honour,In such a point of weight, so near mine honour, H8 III.i.71
(More neere my Life I feare) with my weake wit;More near my life, I fear, with my weak wit,wit (n.)
intelligence, wisdom, good sense, mental ability
H8 III.i.72
And to such men of grauity and learning;And to such men of gravity and learning,gravity (n.)

old form: grauity
respectability, authority, dignified position
H8 III.i.73
In truth I know not. I was set at worke,In truth I know not. I was set at workset (adj.)
seated, sitting down
H8 III.i.74
Among my Maids, full little (God knowes) lookingAmong my maids, full little – God knows – looking H8 III.i.75
Either for such men, or such businesse;Either for such men or such business. H8 III.i.76
For her sake that I haue beene, for I feeleFor her sake that I have been – for I feel H8 III.i.77
The last fit of my Greatnesse; good your GracesThe last fit of my greatness – good your graces,fit (n.)
stage, period, hours
H8 III.i.78
Let me haue time and Councell for my Cause:Let me have time and counsel for my cause. H8 III.i.79
Alas, I am a Woman frendlesse, hopelesse.Alas, I am a woman friendless, hopeless! H8 III.i.80
Madam, / You wrong the Kings loue with these feares,Madam, you wrong the King's love with these fears; H8 III.i.81
Your hopes and friends are infinite.Your hopes and friends are infinite. H8 III.i.82.1
In England,In England H8 III.i.82.2
But little for my profit can you thinke Lords,But little for my profit. Can you think, lords, H8 III.i.83
That any English man dare giue me Councell?That any Englishman dare give me counsel, H8 III.i.84
Or be a knowne friend 'gainst his Highnes pleasure,Or be a known friend, 'gainst his highness' pleasure –  H8 III.i.85
(Though he be growne so desperate to be honest)Though he be grown so desperate to be honest – desperate (adj.)
disregarding, careless, reckless
H8 III.i.86
And liue a Subiect? Nay forsooth, my Friends,And live a subject? Nay, forsooth, my friends,forsooth (adv.)
in truth, certainly, truly, indeed
H8 III.i.87
They that must weigh out my afflictions,They that must weigh out my afflictions,weigh out (v.)
make amends for, compensate for
H8 III.i.88
They that my trust must grow to, liue not heere,They that my trust must grow to, live not here. H8 III.i.89
They are (as all my other comforts) far henceThey are, as all my other comforts, far hence H8 III.i.90
In mine owne Countrey Lords.In mine own country, lords. H8 III.i.91.1
I would your GraceI would your grace H8 III.i.91.2
Would leaue your greefes, and take my Counsell.Would leave your griefs, and take my counsel.grief (n.)

old form: greefes
grievance, complaint, hurt, injury
H8 III.i.92.1
How Sir?How, sir? H8 III.i.92.2
Put your maine cause into the Kings protection,Put your main cause into the King's protection; H8 III.i.93
Hee's louing and most gracious. 'Twill be much,He's loving and most gracious; 'Twill be much H8 III.i.94
Both for your Honour better, and your Cause:Both for your honour better and your cause; H8 III.i.95
For if the tryall of the Law o'retake ye,For if the trial of the law o'ertake ye H8 III.i.96
You'l part away disgrac'd.You'll part away disgraced.part away (v.)
depart, leave
H8 III.i.97.1
He tels you rightly.He tells you rightly. H8 III.i.97.2
Ye tell me what ye wish for both, my ruine:Ye tell me what ye wish for both – my ruin. H8 III.i.98
Is this your Christian Councell? Out vpon ye.Is this your Christian counsel? Out upon ye! H8 III.i.99
Heauen is aboue all yet; there sits a Iudge,Heaven is above all yet; there sits a judge H8 III.i.100
That no King can corrupt.That no king can corrupt. H8 III.i.101.1
Your rage mistakes vs.Your rage mistakes us.mistake (v.)
misunderstand, take wrongly, misconceive
H8 III.i.101.2
The more shame for ye; holy men I thought ye,The more shame for ye! Holy men I thought ye, H8 III.i.102
Vpon my Soule two reuerend Cardinall Vertues:Upon my soul, two reverend cardinal virtues;virtue (n.)

old form: Vertues
virtuous self, honour, excellency
H8 III.i.103
But Cardinall Sins, and hollow hearts I feare ye:But cardinal sins and hollow hearts I fear ye. H8 III.i.104
Mend 'em for shame my Lords: Is this your comfort?Mend 'em for shame, my lords. Is this your comfort? H8 III.i.105
The Cordiall that ye bring a wretched Lady?The cordial that ye bring a wretched lady,cordial (n.)

old form: Cordiall
restorative, stimulant, tonic
H8 III.i.106
A woman lost among ye, laugh't at, scornd?A woman lost among ye, laughed at, scorned? H8 III.i.107
I will not wish ye halfe my miseries,I will not wish ye half my miseries; H8 III.i.108
I haue more Charity. But say I warn'd ye;I have more charity. But say I warned ye; H8 III.i.109
Take heed, for heauens sake take heed, least at onceTake heed, for heaven's sake take heed, lest at onceonce, at (adv.)
all together, jointly, collectively
H8 III.i.110
The burthen of my sorrowes, fall vpon ye.The burden of my sorrows fall upon ye. H8 III.i.111
Madam, this is a meere distraction,Madam, this is a mere distraction.mere (adj.)

old form: meere
complete, total, absolute, utter
H8 III.i.112
distraction (n.)
perturbation, agitation, frenzied state
You turne the good we offer, into enuy.You turn the good we offer into envy.envy (n.)

old form: enuy
malice, ill-will, enmity
H8 III.i.113
Ye turne me into nothing. Woe vpon ye,Ye turn me into nothing. Woe upon ye, H8 III.i.114
And all such false Professors. Would you haue meAnd all such false professors! Would you have me – professor (n.)
adherent, devotee, professing Christian
H8 III.i.115
false (adj.)
treacherous, traitorous, perfidious
(If you haue any Iustice, any Pitty,If you have any justice, any pity, H8 III.i.116
If ye be any thing but Churchmens habits)If ye be anything but churchmen's habitshabit (n.)
dress, clothing, costume
H8 III.i.117
Put my sicke cause into his hands, that hates me?Put my sick cause into his hands that hates me? H8 III.i.118
Alas, ha's banish'd me his Bed already,Alas, 'has banished me his bed already, H8 III.i.119
His Loue, too long ago. I am old my Lords,His love too long ago! I am old, my lords, H8 III.i.120
And all the Fellowship I hold now with himAnd all the fellowship I hold now with him H8 III.i.121
Is onely my Obedience. What can happenIs only my obedience. What can happen H8 III.i.122
To me, aboue this wretchednesse? All your StudiesTo me above this wretchedness? All your studies H8 III.i.123
Make me a Curse, like this.Make me a curse like this! H8 III.i.124.1
Your feares are worse.Your fears are worse. H8 III.i.124.2
Haue I liu'd thus long (let me speake my selfe,Have I lived thus long – let me speak myself,speak (v.)

old form: speake
give an account of, report, describe
H8 III.i.125
Since Vertue findes no friends) a Wife, a true one?Since virtue finds no friends – a wife, a true one? H8 III.i.126
A Woman (I dare say without Vainglory)A woman, I dare say without vainglory,vainglory, vain-glory (n.)
undue vanity, unwarranted pride
H8 III.i.127
Neuer yet branded with Suspition?Never yet branded with suspicion? H8 III.i.128
Haue I, with all my full AffectionsHave I with all my full affectionsaffection (n.)
emotion, feeling
H8 III.i.129
Still met the King? Lou'd him next Heau'n? Obey'd him?Still met the King, loved him next heaven, obeyed him,still (adv.)
constantly, always, continually
H8 III.i.130
Bin (out of fondnesse) superstitious to him?Been, out of fondness, superstitious to him,superstitious (adj.)
loving to the point of idolatry, excessively devoted
H8 III.i.131
fondness (n.)

old form: fondnesse
foolish affection, naive devotion
Almost forgot my Prayres to content him?Almost forgot my prayers to content him,content (v.)
please, gratify, delight, satisfy
H8 III.i.132
And am I thus rewarded? 'Tis not well Lords.And am I thus rewarded? 'Tis not well, lords. H8 III.i.133
Bring me a constant woman to her Husband,Bring me a constant woman to her husband,constant (adj.)
faithful, steadfast, true
H8 III.i.134
One that ne're dream'd a Ioy, beyond his pleasure;One that ne'er dreamed a joy beyond his pleasure, H8 III.i.135
And to that Woman (when she has done most)And to that woman, when she has done most, H8 III.i.136
Yet will I adde an Honor; a great Patience.Yet will I add an honour – a great patience. H8 III.i.137
Madam, you wander from the good / We ayme at.Madam, you wander from the good we aim at. H8 III.i.138
My Lord, I dare not make my selfe so guiltie,My lord, I dare not make myself so guilty H8 III.i.139
To giue vp willingly that Noble TitleTo give up willingly that noble title H8 III.i.140
Your Master wed me to: nothing but deathYour master wed me to. Nothing but death H8 III.i.141
Shall e're diuorce my Dignities.Shall e'er divorce my dignities. H8 III.i.142.1
Pray heare me.Pray hear me. H8 III.i.142.2
Would I had neuer trod this English Earth,Would I had never trod this English earth, H8 III.i.143
Or felt the Flatteries that grow vpon it:Or felt the flatteries that grow upon it! H8 III.i.144
Ye haue Angels Faces; but Heauen knowes your hearts.Ye have angels' faces, but heaven knows your hearts. H8 III.i.145
What will become of me now, wretched Lady?What will become of me now, wretched lady? H8 III.i.146
I am the most vnhappy Woman liuing.I am the most unhappy woman living. H8 III.i.147
(to her women) H8 III.i.148
Alas (poore Wenches) where are now your Fortunes?Alas, poor wenches, where are now your fortunes? H8 III.i.148
Shipwrack'd vpon a Kingdome, where no Pitty,Shipwrecked upon a kingdom, where no pity, H8 III.i.149
No Friends, no Hope, no Kindred weepe for me?No friends, no hope, no kindred weep for me; H8 III.i.150
Almost no Graue allow'd me? Like the LillyAlmost no grave allowed me. Like the lily H8 III.i.151
That once was Mistris of the Field, and flourish'd,That once was mistress of the field and flourished, H8 III.i.152
Ile hang my head, and perish.I'll hang my head, and perish. H8 III.i.153.1
If your GraceIf your grace H8 III.i.153.2
Could but be brought to know, our Ends are honest,Could but be brought to know our ends are honest,end (n.)
purpose, aim, design
H8 III.i.154
Youl'd feele more comfort. Why shold we (good Lady)You'd feel more comfort. Why should we, good lady, H8 III.i.155
Vpon what cause wrong you? Alas, our Places,Upon what cause, wrong you? Alas, our places, H8 III.i.156
The way of our Profession is against it;The way of our profession is against it.profession (n.)
religious calling, profession of faith
H8 III.i.157
We are to Cure such sorrowes, not to sowe 'em.We are to cure such sorrows, not to sow 'em. H8 III.i.158
For Goodnesse sake, consider what you do,For goodness' sake, consider what you do,goodness (n.)

old form: Goodnesse
natural kindness, generosity, bounty
H8 III.i.159
How you may hurt your selfe: I, vtterlyHow you may hurt yourself, ay, utterly H8 III.i.160
Grow from the Kings Acquaintance, by this Carriage.Grow from the King's acquaintance, by this carriage.carriage (n.)
conduct, management, course of action
H8 III.i.161
The hearts of Princes kisse Obedience,The hearts of princes kiss obedience, H8 III.i.162
So much they loue it. But to stubborne Spirits,So much they love it; but to stubborn spirits H8 III.i.163
They swell and grow, as terrible as stormes.They swell, and grow as terrible as storms. H8 III.i.164
I know you haue a Gentle, Noble temper,I know you have a gentle, noble temper,gentle (adj.)
courteous, friendly, kind
H8 III.i.165
A Soule as euen as a Calme; Pray thinke vs,A soul as even as a calm. Pray think uscalm (n.)

old form: Calme
calm sea
H8 III.i.166
Those we professe, Peace-makers, Friends, and Seruants.Those we profess, peace-makers, friends, and servants. H8 III.i.167
Madam, you'l finde it so: / You wrong your VertuesMadam, you'll find it so. You wrong your virtues H8 III.i.168
With these weake Womens feares. A Noble SpiritWith these weak women's fears. A noble spirit, H8 III.i.169
As yours was, put into you, euer castsAs yours was put into you, ever casts H8 III.i.170
Such doubts as false Coine from it. The King loues you,Such doubts as false coin from it. The King loves you;false (adj.)
sham, spurious, not genuine, artificial
H8 III.i.171
Beware you loose it not: For vs (if you pleaseBeware you lose it not. For us, if you please H8 III.i.172
To trust vs in your businesse) we are readyTo trust us in your business, we are ready H8 III.i.173
To vse our vtmost Studies, in your seruice.To use our utmost studies in your service.study (n.)
effort, endeavour
H8 III.i.174
Do what ye will, my Lords: / And pray forgiue me;Do what ye will, my lords, and pray forgive me H8 III.i.175
If I haue vs'd my selfe vnmannerly,If I have used myself unmannerly.use (v.)

old form: vs'd
present, conduct, behave
H8 III.i.176
You know I am a Woman, lacking witYou know I am a woman, lacking witwit (n.)
intelligence, wisdom, good sense, mental ability
H8 III.i.177
To make a seemely answer to such persons.To make a seemly answer to such persons. H8 III.i.178
Pray do my seruice to his Maiestie,Pray do my service to his majesty; H8 III.i.179
He ha's my heart yet, and shall haue my PrayersHe has my heart yet, and shall have my prayers H8 III.i.180
While I shall haue my life. Come reuerend Fathers,While I shall have my life. Come, reverend fathers, H8 III.i.181
Bestow your Councels on me. She now beggesBestow your counsels on me. She now begs H8 III.i.182
That little thought when she set footing heere,That little thought, when she set footing here,footing, set
set foot
H8 III.i.183
She should haue bought her Dignities so deere. She should have bought her dignities so dear. H8 III.i.184
ExeuntExeunt H8 III.i.184
 Previous Act III, Scene I Next  

Jump directly to