Speeches (Lines) for Old Lady
in "Henry VIII"

Total: 14

# Act, Scene, Line
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Speech text



Anne Bullen. Not for that neither: here's the pang that pinches:
His highness having lived so long with her, and she
So good a lady that no tongue could ever
Pronounce dishonour of her; by my life,
She never knew harm-doing: O, now, after
So many courses of the sun enthroned,
Still growing in a majesty and pomp, the which
To leave a thousand-fold more bitter than
'Tis sweet at first to acquire,—after this process,
To give her the avaunt! it is a pity
Would move a monster.

Old Lady. Hearts of most hard temper
Melt and lament for her.



Anne Bullen. O, God's will! much better
She ne'er had known pomp: though't be temporal,
Yet, if that quarrel, fortune, do divorce
It from the bearer, 'tis a sufferance panging
As soul and body's severing.

Old Lady. Alas, poor lady!
She's a stranger now again.



Anne Bullen. So much the more
Must pity drop upon her. Verily,
I swear, 'tis better to be lowly born,
And range with humble livers in content,
Than to be perk'd up in a glistering grief,
And wear a golden sorrow.

Old Lady. Our content
Is our best having.



Anne Bullen. By my troth and maidenhead,
I would not be a queen.

Old Lady. Beshrew me, I would,
And venture maidenhead for't; and so would you,
For all this spice of your hypocrisy:
You, that have so fair parts of woman on you,
Have too a woman's heart; which ever yet
Affected eminence, wealth, sovereignty;
Which, to say sooth, are blessings; and which gifts,
Saving your mincing, the capacity
Of your soft cheveril conscience would receive,
If you might please to stretch it.



Anne Bullen. Nay, good troth.

Old Lady. Yes, troth, and troth; you would not be a queen?



Anne Bullen. No, in truth.

Old Lady. Then you are weakly made: pluck off a little;
I would not be a young count in your way,
For more than blushing comes to: if your back
Cannot vouchsafe this burthen,'tis too weak
Ever to get a boy.



Anne Bullen. How you do talk!
I swear again, I would not be a queen
For all the world.

Old Lady. In faith, for little England
You'ld venture an emballing: I myself
Would for Carnarvonshire, although there long'd
No more to the crown but that. Lo, who comes here?



Anne Bullen. My honour'd lord.

Old Lady. Why, this it is; see, see!
I have been begging sixteen years in court,
Am yet a courtier beggarly, nor could
Come pat betwixt too early and too late
For any suit of pounds; and you, O fate!
A very fresh-fish here—fie, fie, fie upon
This compell'd fortune!—have your mouth fill'd up
Before you open it.



Anne Bullen. This is strange to me.

Old Lady. How tastes it? is it bitter? forty pence, no.
There was a lady once, 'tis an old story,
That would not be a queen, that would she not,
For all the mud in Egypt: have you heard it?



Anne Bullen. Come, you are pleasant.

Old Lady. With your theme, I could
O'ermount the lark. The Marchioness of Pembroke!
A thousand pounds a year for pure respect!
No other obligation! By my life,
That promises moe thousands: honour's train
Is longer than his foreskirt. By this time
I know your back will bear a duchess: say,
Are you not stronger than you were?



Anne Bullen. Good lady,
Make yourself mirth with your particular fancy,
And leave me out on't. Would I had no being,
If this salute my blood a jot: it faints me,
To think what follows.
The queen is comfortless, and we forgetful
In our long absence: pray, do not deliver
What here you've heard to her.

Old Lady. What do you think me?



Gentleman. [Within] Come back: what mean you?

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!



Henry VIII. Now, by thy looks
I guess thy message. Is the queen deliver'd?
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.



(stage directions). [Exit]

Old Lady. An hundred marks! By this light, I'll ha' more.
An ordinary groom is for such payment.
I will have more, or scold it out of him.
Said I for this, the girl was like to him?
I will have more, or else unsay't; and now,
While it is hot, I'll put it to the issue.

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