Henry VIII


Text

Act I
Act II
Act III
Act IV
Act V

Enter Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester, a Page with a

torch before him, met by Sir Thomas Lovell


GARDINER

It's one o'clock, boy, is't not?


PAGE

                         It hath struck.


GARDINER

These should be hours for necessities,

Not for delights, times to repair our nature
repair (v.) 2 restore, renew, revive

With comforting repose, and not for us

To waste these times. Good hour of night, Sir Thomas!

Whither so late?


LOVELL

                         Came you from the King, my lord?


GARDINER

I did, Sir Thomas, and left him at primero
primero (n.) type of gambling card game

With the Duke of Suffolk.


LOVELL

                         I must to him too,

Before he go to bed. I'll take my leave.


GARDINER

Not yet, Sir Thomas Lovell. What's the matter?

It seems you are in haste. An if there be

No great offence belongs to't, give your friend

Some touch of your late business. Affairs that walk,
touch (n.) 2 sense, feeling, intuition, hint

As they say spirits do, at midnight, have

In them a wilder nature than the business

That seeks dispatch by day.
dispatch, despatch (n.) 2 prompt settlement, speedy handling


LOVELL

                         My lord, I love you,

And durst commend a secret to your ear
commend (v.) 2 commit, entrust, hand over

Much weightier than this work. The Queen's in labour,
work (n.) 1 deed, doing, action

They say, in great extremity, and feared
extremity (n.) 3 utmost severity, extreme intensity, hardship

She'll with the labour end.


GARDINER

                         The fruit she goes with

I pray for heartily, that it may find

Good time, and live; but for the stock, Sir Thomas,
time (n.) 11 time to be born, delivery

I wish it grubbed up now.
grub up (v.) dig up, uproot
methinks(t), methought(s) (v.) it seems /seemed to me See Topics: Frequency count


LOVELL

                         Methinks I could

Cry the amen, and yet my conscience says

She's a good creature and, sweet lady, does

Deserve our better wishes.


GARDINER

                         But, sir, sir,

Hear me, Sir Thomas. You're a gentleman

Of mine own way; I know you wise, religious;

And let me tell you, it will ne'er be well –

'Twill not, Sir Thomas Lovell, take't of me –

Till Cranmer, Cromwell – her two hands – and she

Sleep in their graves.


LOVELL

                         Now, sir, you speak of two

The most remarked i'th' kingdom. As for Cromwell,

Beside that of the Jewel House, is made Master

O'th' Rolls, and the King's secretary; further, sir,

Stands in the gap and trade of more preferments,
gap (n.) entrance, access-point, position of opportunity
preferment (n.) advancement, promotion
trade (n.) 1 traffic, passage, coming and going

With which the time will load him. Th' Archbishop

Is the King's hand and tongue, and who dare speak

One syllable against him?


GARDINER

                         Yes, yes, Sir Thomas,

There are that dare, and I myself have ventured

To speak my mind of him; and indeed this day,

Sir – I may tell it you – I think I have

Incensed the lords o'th' Council that he is –
insense (v.) make understand, inform

For so I know he is, they know he is –

A most arch heretic, a pestilence

That does infect the land; with which they, moved,
moved (adj.) 2 aroused, provoked, exasperated

Have broken with the King, who hath so far
break (v.) 2 broach a matter, speak

Given ear to our complaint, of his great grace

And princely care, foreseeing those fell mischiefs
fell (adj.) 1 cruel, fierce, savage
mischief (n.) 2 wicked action, evil deed, harmful scheme

Our reasons laid before him, hath commanded
reason (n.) 2 reasoning, argument

Tomorrow morning to the Council board

He be convented. He's a rank weed, Sir Thomas,
convent (v.) 2 summon, call to appear, send for
rank (adj.) 1 growing in abundance, excessively luxuriant [often unattractively]

And we must root him out. From your affairs

I hinder you too long. Good night, Sir Thomas.


LOVELL

Many good nights, my lord; I rest your servant.
rest (v.) 1 remain, stay, stand

Exeunt Gardiner and Page

Enter the King and Suffolk


KING HENRY

Charles, I will play no more tonight.

My mind's not on't; you are too hard for me.


SUFFOLK

Sir, I did never win of you before.
win (v.) 1 gain advantage [over], get the better [of]


KING HENRY

But little, Charles,

Nor shall not, when my fancy's on my play.
fancy (n.) 4 imagination, mind, mental state

Now, Lovell, from the Queen what is the news?


LOVELL

I could not personally deliver to her

What you commanded me, but by her woman

I sent your message, who returned her thanks

In the great'st humbleness, and desired your highness

Most heartily to pray for her.


KING HENRY

                         What sayst thou, ha?

To pray for her? What, is she crying out?
cry out (v.) 2 be in labour


LOVELL

So said her woman, and that her sufferance made
sufferance (n.) 1 distress, suffering, hardship

Almost each pang a death.


KING HENRY

                         Alas, good lady!


SUFFOLK

God safely quit her of her burden, and
quit (v.) 1 rid, free, relieve

With gentle travail, to the gladding of
gentle (adj.) 4 peaceful, calm, free from violence
gladding (n.) delighting, making joyful
travail, travel (n.) 5 labour, pain of childbirth

Your highness with an heir!


KING HENRY

                         'Tis midnight, Charles;

Prithee to bed, and in thy prayers remember

Th' estate of my poor Queen. Leave me alone,
estate (n.) 1 state, situation, circumstances

For I must think of that which company

Would not be friendly to.


SUFFOLK

                         I wish your highness

A quiet night, and my good mistress will

Remember in my prayers.


KING HENRY

                         Charles, good night.

Exit Suffolk

Enter Sir Anthony Denny

Well, sir, what follows?


DENNY

Sir, I have brought my lord the Archbishop,

As you commanded me.


KING HENRY

                         Ha? Canterbury?


DENNY

Ay, my good lord.


KING HENRY

                         'Tis true. Where is he, Denny?


DENNY

He attends your highness' pleasure.


KING HENRY

                         Bring him to us.

Exit Denny
attend (v.) 1 await, wait for, expect See Topics: Frequency count


LOVELL

(aside)

This is about that which the Bishop spake;

I am happily come hither.
happily (adv.) 2 opportunely, propitiously, with good fortune

Enter Cranmer and Denny
avoid (v.) 2 leave, quit, clear out [of]
gallery (n.) long large room used for walks, exercise, etc
seem (v.) 1 have the look [of], give the appearance [of]


KING HENRY

Avoid the gallery.

Lovell seems to stay

                         Ha! I have said. Be gone.

What?

Exeunt Lovell and Denny
fearful (adj.) 1 timid, timorous, frightened, full of fear


CRANMER

(aside)

                         I am fearful – wherefore frowns he thus?

'Tis his aspect of terror. All's not well.
aspect (n.) 1 [of a human face] look, appearance, expression


KING HENRY

How now, my lord? You desire to know

Wherefore I sent for you.


CRANMER

(kneeling)

                         It is my duty

T' attend your highness' pleasure.


KING HENRY

                         Pray you, arise,

My good and gracious Lord of Canterbury.

Come, you and I must walk a turn together;

I have news to tell you. Come, come, give me your hand.

Ah, my good lord, I grieve at what I speak,

And am right sorry to repeat what follows.

I have, and most unwillingly, of late
late, of recently, a little while ago

Heard many grievous – I do say, my lord,
grievous (adj.) heavy, grave, serious

Grievous – complaints of you; which, being considered,

Have moved us and our Council that you shall
move (v.) 3 encourage, instigate, prompt

This morning come before us, where I know

You cannot with such freedom purge yourself
purge (v.) 3 clear, excuse, exonerate

But that, till further trial in those charges

Which will require your answer, you must take

Your patience to you and be well contented

To make your house our Tower. You a brother of us,
brother (n.) 3 fellow-councillor, close adviser

It fits we thus proceed, or else no witness
fit (v.) 1 suit, befit, be suitable [for]

Would come against you.


CRANMER

(kneeling)

                         I humbly thank your highness,

And am right glad to catch this good occasion

Most throughly to be winnowed, where my chaff
throughly (adv.) thoroughly, fully, completely

And corn shall fly asunder, for I know

There's none stands under more calumnious tongues
stand under (v.) suffer, endure, bear the weight of

Than I myself, poor man.


KING HENRY

                         Stand up, good Canterbury;

Thy truth and thy integrity is rooted

In us, thy friend. Give me thy hand, stand up;

Prithee let's walk. Now, by my holidame,

What manner of man are you? My lord, I looked
look (v.) 1 expect, anticipate, hope, await the time

You would have given me your petition that

I should have ta'en some pains to bring together

Yourself and your accusers, and to have heard you

Without indurance further.
dread (adj.) 1 revered, deeply honoured, held in awe
indurance, endurance (n.) distressing delay, hardship


CRANMER

                         Most dread liege,

The good I stand on is my truth and honesty.

If they shall fail, I with mine enemies

Will triumph o'er my person, which I weigh not,
weigh (v.) 2 consider, take into account

Being of those virtues vacant. I fear nothing
vacant (adj.) lacking, devoid, deficient

What can be said against me.


KING HENRY

                         Know you not

How your state stands i'th' world, with the whole world?
stand (v.) 2 continue, remain, wait, stay put
state (n.) 1 condition, circumstances, situation, state of affairs

Your enemies are many, and not small; their practices
practice (n.) 1 scheme, plot, stratagem, intrigue

Must bear the same proportion, and not ever
proportion (n.) 1 measure, extent, degree, magnitude

The justice and the truth o'th' question carries

The due o'th' verdict with it. At what ease
due (n.) 2 justice, rightfulness, validity

Might corrupt minds procure knaves as corrupt
knave (n.) 1 scoundrel, rascal, rogue See Topics: Frequency count

To swear against you? Such things have been done.

You are potently opposed, and with a malice
potently (adv.) mightily, strongly, powerfully

Of as great size. Ween you of better luck,
ween (v.) think, intend, expect, be minded

I mean in perjured witness, than your Master,

Whose minister you are, whiles here He lived

Upon this naughty earth? Go to, go to;
naughty (adj.) 1 wicked, evil, vile

You take a precipice for no leap of danger,

And woo your own destruction.


CRANMER

                         God and your majesty

Protect mine innocence, or I fall into

The trap is laid for me!
cheer (n.) 5 mood, disposition See Topics: Exclamations


KING HENRY

                         Be of good cheer;

They shall no more prevail than we give way to.

Keep comfort to you, and this morning see

You do appear before them. If they shall chance,

In charging you with matters, to commit you,
commit (v.) 3 send to jail, put in custody, imprison

The best persuasions to the contrary

Fail not to use, and with what vehemency
vehemency (n.) vehemence, forcefulness, fervour

Th' occasion shall instruct you. If entreaties

Will render you no remedy, this ring

Deliver them, and your appeal to us

There make before them. Look, the good man weeps!

He's honest, on mine honour. God's blest mother!

I swear he is true-hearted, and a soul

None better in my kingdom. Get you gone,

And do as I have bid you.

Exit Cranmer

                         He has strangled

His language in his tears.

Enter Old Lady


GENTLEMAN

(within)

                         Come back! What mean you?

Enter Lovell, following her


OLD LADY

I'll not come back; the tidings that I bring

Will make my boldness manners. Now good angels

Fly o'er thy royal head, and shade thy person

Under their blessed wings!


KING HENRY

                         Now by thy looks

I guess thy message. Is the Queen delivered?

Say ‘ Ay, and of a boy.’


OLD LADY

                         Ay, ay, my liege,

And of a lovely boy. The God of heaven

Both now and ever bless her! 'Tis a girl

Promises boys hereafter. Sir, your Queen

Desires your visitation, and to be

Acquainted with this stranger. 'Tis as like you

As cherry is to cherry.


KING HENRY

                         Lovell!


LOVELL

                                                         Sir?


KING HENRY

Give her an hundred marks. I'll to the Queen.

Exit


OLD LADY

An hundred marks? By this light, I'll ha' more.

An ordinary groom is for such payment.
groom (n.) 1 servingman, servant, male attendant

I will have more, or scold it out of him.

Said I for this the girl was like to him? I'll

Have more, or else unsay't; and now, while 'tis hot,
hot (adj.) 4 active, vigorous
unsay (v.) take back, withdraw, retract

I'll put it to the issue.
issue (n.) 4 action, deed, proceeding

Exeunt

 
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