Henry VIII


Text

Act I
Act II
Act III
Act IV
Act V

Pursuivants, pages, and others, attending before the

Council Chamber

Enter Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury


CRANMER

I hope I am not too late, and yet the gentleman
attend (v.) 3 serve at court, wait on royalty
pursuivant (n.) royal messenger, state messenger [with power to execute warrants]

That was sent to me from the Council prayed me

To make great haste. All fast? What means this? Ho!
fast (adj.) 4 locked up, firmly bolted

Who waits there?

Enter Keeper

                         Sure, you know me?


KEEPER

                                                         Yes, my lord,

But yet I cannot help you.


CRANMER

                         Why?

Enter Doctor Butts


KEEPER

                                                         Your grace

Must wait till you be called for.


CRANMER

                         So!


BUTTS

(aside)

This is a piece of malice. I am glad

I came this way so happily; the King
happily (adv.) 2 opportunely, propitiously, with good fortune

Shall understand it presently.

Exit
presently (adv.) 1 immediately, instantly, at once See Topics: Frequency count
understand (v.) 3 be informed about, learn about


CRANMER

(aside)

                         'Tis Butts,

The King's physician. As he passed along,

How earnestly he cast his eyes upon me!

Pray heaven he sound not my disgrace! For certain
sound (v.) 3 cry out, declare, proclaim

This is of purpose laid by some that hate me –
purpose (n.) 1 intention, aim, plan See Topics: Frequency count

God turn their hearts! I never sought their malice –

To quench mine honour. They would shame to make me

Wait else at door, a fellow Councillor,

'Mong boys, grooms, and lackeys. But their pleasures
lackey (n.) 1 footman, minion, flunky

Must be fulfilled, and I attend with patience.
attend (v.) 1 await, wait for, expect See Topics: Frequency count

Enter the King and Butts, at a window above


BUTTS

I'll show your grace the strangest sight –


KING HENRY

                         What's that, Butts?


BUTTS

I think your highness saw this many a day.


KING HENRY

Body o'me, where is it?


BUTTS

                         There, my lord –

The high promotion of his grace of Canterbury,

Who holds his state at door, 'mongst pursuivants,
pursuivant (n.) royal messenger, state messenger [with power to execute warrants]

Pages, and footboys.
footboy (n.) boy attendant, page-boy, servant on foot [accompanying a rider],


KING HENRY

                         Ha! 'Tis he indeed.

Is this the honour they do one another?

'Tis well there's one above 'em yet. I had thought

They had parted so much honesty among 'em –
part (v.) 2 divide, share, split up

At least good manners – as not thus to suffer

A man of his place, and so near our favour,

To dance attendance on their lordships' pleasures,

And at the door too, like a post with packets.
post (n.) 1 express messenger, courier See Topics: Frequency count

By holy Mary, Butts, there's knavery!
knavery (n.) 2 treachery, trap, trickery

Let 'em alone, and draw the curtain close;

We shall hear more anon.
anon (adv.) 1 soon, shortly, presently See Topics: Frequency count

They partly close the curtain, but remain watching;

Cranmer withdraws to wait without

 
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