Henry VIII


Text

Act I
Act II
Act III
Act IV
Act V

Enter trumpets, sounding; then two Aldermen, Lord

Mayor, Garter, Cranmer, Duke of Norfolk with his

marshal's staff, Duke of Suffolk, two noblemen

bearing great standing bowls for the christening gifts;

then four noblemen bearing a canopy, under which the

Duchess of Norfolk, godmother, bearing the child

richly habited in a mantle, etc., train borne by a Lady;

then follows the Marchioness Dorset, the other godmother,

and ladies. The troop pass once about the

stage, and Garter speaks


GARTER

Heaven, from thy endless goodness, send prosperous
habited (adj.) clothed, dressed, clad
standing-bowl (n.) bowl standing on a pedestal
trumpet (n.) 1 trumpeter; herald, announcer See Topics: Stage directions

life, long, and ever happy, to the high and

mighty Princess of England, Elizabeth!

Flourish. Enter the King and Guard


CRANMER

(kneeling)

And to your royal grace, and the good Queen!

My noble partners and myself thus pray
partner (n.) co-sponsor at a christening

All comfort, joy, in this most gracious lady,

Heaven ever laid up to make parents happy,

May hourly fall upon ye!


KING HENRY

                         Thank you, good lord Archbishop.

What is her name?


CRANMER

                         Elizabeth.


KING HENRY

                                                         Stand up, lord.

The King kisses the child

With this kiss take my blessing: God protect thee!

Into Whose hand I give thy life.


CRANMER

                         Amen.


KING HENRY

My noble gossips, you've been too prodigal;
gossip (n.) 1 godparent, baptismal sponsor
prodigal (adj.) 1 wastefully lavish, foolishly extravagant

I thank ye heartily. So shall this lady

When she has so much English.


CRANMER

                         Let me speak, sir,

For heaven now bids me, and the words I utter

Let none think flattery, for they'll find 'em truth.

This royal infant – heaven still move about her! –
still (adv.) 1 constantly, always, continually See Topics: Frequency count

Though in her cradle, yet now promises

Upon this land a thousand thousand blessings,

Which time shall bring to ripeness. She shall be –

But few now living can behold that goodness –

A pattern to all princes living with her,

And all that shall succeed. Saba was never

More covetous of wisdom and fair virtue

Than this pure soul shall be. All princely graces

That mould up such a mighty piece as this is,
mould up (v.) go to create, help to form
piece (n.) 2 specimen, masterpiece

With all the virtues that attend the good,
attend (v.) 4 accompany, follow closely, go with

Shall still be doubled on her. Truth shall nurse her,

Holy and heavenly thoughts still counsel her;

She shall be loved and feared. Her own shall bless her;

Her foes shake like a field of beaten corn,

And hang their heads with sorrow. Good grows with her;

In her days every man shall eat in safety

Under his own vine what he plants, and sing

The merry songs of peace to all his neighbours.

God shall be truly known, and those about her

From her shall read the perfect ways of honour,

And by those claim their greatness, not by blood.

Nor shall this peace sleep with her; but as when

The bird of wonder dies, the maiden phoenix,

Her ashes new-create another heir

As great in admiration as herself,
admiration (n.) 1 amazement, astonishment, wonder

So shall she leave her blessedness to one –

When heaven shall call her from this cloud of darkness –

Who from the sacred ashes of her honour

Shall star-like rise, as great in fame as she was,

And so stand fixed. Peace, plenty, love, truth, terror,

That were the servants to this chosen infant,

Shall then be his, and like a vine grow to him.

Wherever the bright sun of heaven shall shine,

His honour and the greatness of his name

Shall be, and make new nations. He shall flourish,

And like a mountain cedar reach his branches

To all the plains about him; our children's children

Shall see this, and bless heaven.


KING HENRY

                         Thou speakest wonders.


CRANMER

She shall be, to the happiness of England,

An aged princess; many days shall see her,

And yet no day without a deed to crown it.

Would I had known no more! But she must die –

She must, the saints must have her – yet a virgin;

A most unspotted lily shall she pass

To th' ground, and all the world shall mourn her.


KING HENRY

O lord Archbishop,

Thou hast made me now a man; never before

This happy child, did I get anything.
get (v.) 2 win, gain, obtain victory in

This oracle of comfort has so pleased me,

That when I am in heaven I shall desire

To see what this child does, and praise my Maker.

I thank ye all. To you, my good Lord Mayor,

And you, good brethren, I am much beholding:
beholding (adj.) beholden, obliged, indebted

I have received much honour by your presence,

And ye shall find me thankful. Lead the way, lords;

Ye must all see the Queen, and she must thank ye;

She will be sick else. This day, no man think
sick (adj.) 8 unhappy, hurt, downcast

'Has business at his house, for all shall stay:

This little one shall make it holiday.

Exeunt

 
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