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King Henry VIII

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ACT IV SCENE I A street in Westminster.
[Enter two Gentlemen, meeting one another]
First GentlemanYou're well met once again.
Second GentlemanSo are you.
First GentlemanYou 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,5
The Duke of Buckingham came from his trial.
First Gentleman'Tis very true: but that time offer'd sorrow;
This, general joy.
Second Gentleman'Tis well: the citizens,
I am sure, have shown at full their royal minds--10
As, let 'em have their rights, they are ever forward--
In celebration of this day with shows,
Pageants and sights of honour.
First GentlemanNever greater,
Nor, I'll assure you, better taken, sir.15
Second GentlemanMay I be bold to ask at what that contains,
That paper in your hand?
First GentlemanYes; 'tis the list
Of those that claim their offices this day
By custom of the coronation.20
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 GentlemanI thank you, sir: had I not known those customs,
I should have been beholding to your paper.25
But, I beseech you, what's become of Katharine,
The princess dowager? how goes her business?
First GentlemanThat I can tell you too. The Archbishop
Of Canterbury, accompanied with other
Learned and reverend fathers of his order,30
Held a late court at Dunstable, six miles off
From Ampthill where the princess lay; to which
She was often cited by them, but appear'd not:
And, to be short, for not appearance and
The king's late scruple, by the main assent35
Of all these learned men she was divorced,
And the late marriage made of none effect
Since which she was removed to Kimbolton,
Where she remains now sick.
Second GentlemanAlas, good lady!40
The trumpets sound: stand close, the queen is coming.
[1. A lively flourish of Trumpets.]
[2. Then, two Judges.]
[3. Lord Chancellor, with the purse and mace before him.]
[4. Choristers, singing.]
[5. Mayor of London, bearing the mace. Then Garter, in his coat of arms, and on his head a gilt copper crown.]
[6. Marquess Dorset, bearing a sceptre of gold, on his head a demi-coronal of gold. With him, SURREY, bearing the rod of silver with the dove, crowned with an earl's coronet. Collars of SS.]
[7. SUFFOLK, in his robe of estate, his coronet on his head, bearing a long white wand, as high-steward. With him, NORFOLK, with the rod of marshalship, a coronet on his head. Collars of SS.]
[8. A canopy borne by four of the Cinque-ports; under it, QUEEN ANNE 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 QUEEN ANNE's train.]
[10. Certain Ladies or Countesses, with plain circlets of gold without flowers.]
[They pass over the stage in order and state]
Second GentlemanA royal train, believe me. These I know:
Who's that that bears the sceptre?
First GentlemanMarquess Dorset:
And that the Earl of Surrey, with the rod.45
Second GentlemanA bold brave gentleman. That should be
The Duke of Suffolk?
First Gentleman'Tis the same: high-steward.
Second GentlemanAnd that my Lord of Norfolk?
First GentlemanYes;50
Second GentlemanHeaven bless thee!
[Looking on QUEEN ANNE]
Thou hast the sweetest face I ever look'd 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:55
I cannot blame his conscience.
First GentlemanThey that bear
The cloth of honour over her, are four barons
Of the Cinque-ports.
Second GentlemanThose men are happy; and so are all are near her.60
I take it, she that carries up the train
Is that old noble lady, Duchess of Norfolk.
First GentlemanIt is; and all the rest are countesses.
Second GentlemanTheir coronets say so. These are stars indeed;
And sometimes falling ones.65
First GentlemanNo more of that.
[Exit procession, and then a great flourish of trumpets]
[Enter a third Gentleman]
First GentlemanGod save you, sir! where have you been broiling?
Third GentlemanAmong the crowd i' the Abbey; where a finger
Could not be wedged in more: I am stifled
With the mere rankness of their joy.70
Second GentlemanYou saw
The ceremony?
Third GentlemanThat I did.
First GentlemanHow was it?
Third GentlemanWell worth the seeing.75
Second GentlemanGood sir, speak it to us.
Third GentlemanAs 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

A distance from her; while her grace sat down80
To rest awhile, some half an hour or so,
In a rich chair of state, opposing freely
The beauty of her person to the people.
Believe me, sir, she is the goodliest woman
That ever lay by man: which when the people85
Had the full view of, such a noise arose
As the shrouds make at sea in a stiff tempest,
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 joy90
I never saw before. Great-bellied women,
That had not half a week to go, like rams
In the old time of war, would shake the press,
And make 'em reel before 'em. No man living
Could say 'This is my wife' there; all were woven95
So strangely in one piece.
Second GentlemanBut, what follow'd?
Third GentlemanAt length her grace rose, and with modest paces
Came to the altar; where she kneel'd, and saint-like
Cast her fair eyes to heaven and pray'd devoutly.100
Then rose again and bow'd 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 emblems105
Laid nobly on her: which perform'd, the choir,
With all the choicest music of the kingdom,
Together sung 'Te Deum.' So she parted,
And with the same full state paced back again
To York-place, where the feast is held.110
First GentlemanSir,
You must no more call it York-place, that's past;
For, since the cardinal fell, that title's lost:
'Tis now the king's, and call'd Whitehall.
Third GentlemanI know it;115
But 'tis so lately alter'd, that the old name
Is fresh about me.
Second GentlemanWhat two reverend bishops
Were those that went on each side of the queen?
Third GentlemanStokesly and Gardiner; the one of Winchester,120
Newly preferr'd from the king's secretary,
The other, London.
Second GentlemanHe of Winchester
Is held no great good lover of the archbishop's,
The virtuous Cranmer.125
Third GentlemanAll 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 GentlemanWho may that be, I pray you?
Third GentlemanThomas Cromwell;130
A man in much esteem with the king, and truly
A worthy friend. The king has made him master
O' the jewel house,
And one, already, of the privy council.
Second GentlemanHe will deserve more.135
Third GentlemanYes, without all doubt.
Come, gentlemen, ye shall go my way, which
Is to the court, and there ye shall be my guests:
Something I can command. As I walk thither,
I'll tell ye more.140
BothYou may command us, sir.

Continue to Henry VIII, Act 4, Scene 2


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Henry Irving as Cardinal Wolsey. Performed January 5, 1892 at the Lyceum Theatre.