Henry VIII


Text

Act I
Act II
Act III
Act IV
Act V

Enter two Gentlemen, meeting one another


FIRST GENTLEMAN

You're well met once again.


SECOND GENTLEMAN

                         So are you.


FIRST GENTLEMAN

You come to take your stand here and behold

The Lady Anne pass from her coronation?


SECOND GENTLEMAN

'Tis all my business. At our last encounter

The Duke of Buckingham came from his trial.


FIRST GENTLEMAN

'Tis very true. But that time offered sorrow,

This, general joy.


SECOND GENTLEMAN

                         'Tis well. The citizens,

I am sure, have shown at full their royal minds –
mind (n.) 1 inclination, desire, wish
royal (adj.) 3 generous, munificent, bountiful

As, let 'em have their rights, they are ever forward –
forward (adj.) 1 ready, eager, inclined

In celebration of this day with shows,
pageant (n.) show, scene, spectacle, tableau
show (n.) 2 spectacle, display, ceremony

Pageants, and sights of honour.


FIRST GENTLEMAN

                         Never greater,

Nor, I'll assure you, better taken, sir.


SECOND GENTLEMAN

May I be bold to ask what that contains,

That paper in your hand?


FIRST GENTLEMAN

                         Yes, 'tis the list

Of those that claim their offices this day,
office (n.) 1 task, service, duty, responsibility See Topics: Frequency count

By custom of the coronation.

The Duke of Suffolk is the first, and claims

To be High Steward; next, the Duke of Norfolk,

He to be Earl Marshal. You may read the rest.


SECOND GENTLEMAN

I thank you, sir; had I not known those customs,

I should have been beholding to your paper.
beholding (adj.) beholden, obliged, indebted

But I beseech you, what's become of Katherine,

The Princess Dowager? How goes her business?


FIRST GENTLEMAN

That I can tell you too. The Archbishop

Of Canterbury, accompanied with other

Learned and reverend fathers of his order,
order (n.) 7 rank, status

Held a late court at Dunstable, six miles off
late (adj.) 1 recent, not long past

From Ampthill where the Princess lay; to which

She was often cited by them, but appeared not.
cite (v.) 1 urge, call on, arouse, summon

And, to be short, for not appearance, and

The King's late scruple, by the main assent
main (adj.) 1 very great, major, considerable
scruple (n.) 4 objection, difficulty, doubt

Of all these learned men, she was divorced,

And the late marriage made of none effect;
late (adj.) 3 former, previous

Since which she was removed to Kimbolton,

Where she remains now sick.


SECOND GENTLEMAN

                         Alas, good lady!

Trumpets

The trumpets sound. Stand close, the Queen is coming.

Hautboys

The Order of the Coronation:

1. A lively flourish of trumpets

2. Then two Judges

3. Lord Chancellor, with purse and mace before him

4. Choristers singing

Music

5. Mayor of London, bearing the mace. Then Garter,

in his coat of arms, and on his head he wore a gilt

copper crown

6. Marquis Dorset, bearing a sceptre of gold, on his

head a demi-coronal of gold. With him the Earl of

Surrey, bearing the rod of silver with the dove,

crowned with an earl's coronet. Collars of Esses

7. Duke of Suffolk, in his robe of estate, his coronet

on his head, bearing a long white wand, as High

Steward. With him the Duke of Norfolk, with the rod

of marshalship, a coronet on his head. Collars of Esses

8. A canopy borne by four of the Cinque Ports;

under it the Queen in her robe; in her hair, richly

adorned with pearl, crowned. On each side her the

Bishops of London and Winchester

9. The old Duchess of Norfolk, in a coronal of gold

wrought with flowers, bearing the Queen's train

10. Certain Ladies or Countesses, with plain circlets

of gold without flowers

The procession passes over the stage in order and state


SECOND GENTLEMAN

A royal train, believe me. These I know.
collars of esses chains made of S-shaped links [part of the insignia of knighthood]
coronal (n.) coronet, circlet
demi-coronal (n.) small coronet
estate (n.) 2 high rank, standing, status
purse (n.) 2 bag containing the great seal
train (n.) 1 retinue, following, entourage
wand (n.) rod, staff

Who's that that bears the sceptre?


FIRST GENTLEMAN

                         Marquis Dorset;

And that the Earl of Surrey, with the rod.


SECOND GENTLEMAN

A bold brave gentleman. That should be
brave (adj.) 2 noble, worthy, excellent

The Duke of Suffolk?


FIRST GENTLEMAN

                         'Tis the same: High Steward.


SECOND GENTLEMAN

And that my Lord of Norfolk?


FIRST GENTLEMAN

                         Yes.


SECOND GENTLEMAN

(looking at the Queen)

                                                         Heaven bless thee!

Thou hast the sweetest face I ever looked on.

Sir, as I have a soul, she is an angel;

Our King has all the Indies in his arms,

And more, and richer, when he strains that lady.
strain (v.) 4 embrace, hold, hug

I cannot blame his conscience.


FIRST GENTLEMAN

                         They that bear

The cloth of honour over her are four barons

Of the Cinque Ports.


SECOND GENTLEMAN

Those men are happy, and so are all are near her.

I take it, she that carries up the train

Is that old noble lady, Duchess of Norfolk.


FIRST GENTLEMAN

It is, and all the rest are countesses.


SECOND GENTLEMAN

Their coronets say so. These are stars indeed –


FIRST GENTLEMAN

And sometimes falling ones.


SECOND GENTLEMAN

                         No more of that.

The end of the procession leaves; and then a great

flourish of trumpets

Enter a third Gentleman
broil (v.) 1 subject to great heat; also: be engaged in a struggle


FIRST GENTLEMAN

God save you, sir! Where have you been broiling?


THIRD GENTLEMAN

Among the crowd i'th' Abbey, where a finger

Could not be wedged in more: I am stifled

With the mere rankness of their joy.
mere (adj.) 1 complete, total, absolute, utter See Topics: Frequency count
rankness (n.) 1 excess, abundance, profusion


SECOND GENTLEMAN

                         You saw

The ceremony?


THIRD GENTLEMAN

                         That I did.


FIRST GENTLEMAN

                                                         How was it?


THIRD GENTLEMAN

Well worth the seeing.
speak (v.) 1 give an account of, report, describe


SECOND GENTLEMAN

                         Good sir, speak it to us.


THIRD GENTLEMAN

As well as I am able. The rich stream

Of lords and ladies, having brought the Queen

To a prepared place in the choir, fell off
fall off (v.) 1 withdraw, step aside, move back

A distance from her, while her grace sat down

To rest awhile, some half an hour or so,

In a rich chair of state, opposing freely
oppose (v.) 1 display, exhibit, present

The beauty of her person to the people.

Believe me, sir, she is the goodliest woman
goodly (adj.) 2 good-looking, handsome, attractive, comely

That ever lay by man; which when the people

Had the full view of, such a noise arose

As the shrouds make at sea in a stiff tempest,
shroud (n.) 2 sail-rope

As loud, and to as many tunes. Hats, cloaks –

Doublets, I think – flew up, and had their faces

Been loose, this day they had been lost. Such joy

I never saw before. Great-bellied women,

That had not half a week to go, like rams
go (v.) 8 be pregnant, be with child

In the old time of war, would shake the press,
press (n.) 1 crowd, throng

And make 'em reel before 'em. No man living

Could say ‘This is my wife’ there, all were woven

So strangely in one piece.


SECOND GENTLEMAN

                         But what followed?


THIRD GENTLEMAN

At length her grace rose, and with modest paces

Came to the altar, where she kneeled, and saint-like

Cast her fair eyes to heaven, and prayed devoutly,

Then rose again, and bowed her to the people;

When by the Archbishop of Canterbury

She had all the royal makings of a queen,

As holy oil, Edward Confessor's crown,

The rod, and bird of peace, and all such emblems

Laid nobly on her: which performed, the choir,

With all the choicest music of the kingdom,
choice (adj.) 1 chosen, specially worthy, excellent
music (n.) 1 musicians, players

Together sung Te Deum. So she parted,
part (v.) 1 depart [from], leave, quit

And with the same full state paced back again

To York Place, where the feast is held.


FIRST GENTLEMAN

                         Sir,

You must no more call it York Place; that's past,

For since the Cardinal fell that title's lost:
lose (v.) 1 part with, let go of, give up

'Tis now the King's, and called Whitehall.


THIRD GENTLEMAN

                         I know it,

But 'tis so lately altered that the old name

Is fresh about me.


SECOND GENTLEMAN

                         What two reverend bishops

Were those that went on each side of the Queen?


THIRD GENTLEMAN

Stokesley and Gardiner, the one of Winchester,

Newly preferred from the King's secretary,
prefer (v.) 1 promote, advance, recommend

The other, London.


SECOND GENTLEMAN

                         He of Winchester

Is held no great good lover of the Archbishop's,

The virtuous Cranmer.


THIRD GENTLEMAN

                         All the land knows that;

However, yet there is no great breach. When it comes,

Cranmer will find a friend will not shrink from him.


SECOND GENTLEMAN

Who may that be, I pray you?


THIRD GENTLEMAN

                         Thomas Cromwell,

A man in much esteem with th' King, and truly

A worthy friend. The King has made him Master

O'th' Jewel House,

And one, already, of the Privy Council.


SECOND GENTLEMAN

He will deserve more.


THIRD GENTLEMAN

                         Yes, without all doubt.

Come, gentlemen, ye shall go my way, which

Is to th' court, and there ye shall be my guests:

Something I can command. As I walk thither,

I'll tell ye more.


SECOND and THIRD GENTLEMEN

                         You may command us, sir.

Exeunt

 
  Previous scene     Next scene
--%>