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The bell invites me.
Hear it not, Duncan; for it is a knell
That summons thee to heaven or to hell.

      — Macbeth, Act II Scene 1


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History of Henry VIII

Act V

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Scene 1. London. A gallery in the palace.

Scene 2. Before the council-chamber. Pursuivants, Pages, &c.

Scene 3. The Council-Chamber.

Scene 4. The palace yard.

Scene 5. The palace.


Act V, Scene 1

London. A gallery in the palace.

      next scene .

[Enter GARDINER, Bishop of Winchester, a Page with a] [p]torch before him, met by 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 2780
    With comforting repose, and not for us
    To waste these times. Good hour of night, Sir Thomas!
    Whither so late?
  • Gardiner. I did, Sir Thomas: and left him at primero 2785
    With the Duke of Suffolk.
  • Gardiner. Not yet, Sir Thomas Lovell. What's the matter?
    It seems you are in haste: an if there be 2790
    No great offence belongs to't, give your friend
    Some touch of your late business: affairs, that walk,
    As they say spirits do, at midnight, have
    In them a wilder nature than the business
    That seeks dispatch by day. 2795
  • Sir Thomas Lovell. My lord, I love you;
    And durst commend a secret to your ear
    Much weightier than this work. The queen's in labour,
    They say, in great extremity; and fear'd
    She'll with the labour end. 2800
  • Gardiner. The fruit she goes with
    I pray for heartily, that it may find
    Good time, and live: but for the stock, Sir Thomas,
    I wish it grubb'd up now.
  • Sir Thomas Lovell. Methinks I could 2805
    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 2810
    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. 2815
  • Sir Thomas Lovell. Now, sir, you speak of two
    The most remark'd i' the kingdom. As for Cromwell,
    Beside that of the jewel house, is made master
    O' the rolls, and the king's secretary; further, sir,
    Stands in the gap and trade of moe preferments, 2820
    With which the time will load him. The 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 2825
    To speak my mind of him: and indeed this day,
    Sir, I may tell it you, I think I have
    Incensed the lords o' the council, that he is,
    For so I know he is, they know he is,
    A most arch heretic, a pestilence 2830
    That does infect the land: with which they moved
    Have broken with the king; who hath so far
    Given ear to our complaint, of his great grace
    And princely care foreseeing those fell mischiefs
    Our reasons laid before him, hath commanded 2835
    To-morrow morning to the council-board
    He be convented. He's a rank weed, Sir Thomas,
    And we must root him out. From your affairs
    I hinder you too long: good night, Sir Thomas.

[Exeunt GARDINER and Page]


  • Henry VIII. Charles, I will play no more tonight;
    My mind's not on't; you are too hard for me.
  • Henry VIII. But little, Charles;
    Nor shall not, when my fancy's on my play.
    Now, Lovell, from the queen what is the news?
  • Sir Thomas Lovell. I could not personally deliver to her
    What you commanded me, but by her woman 2850
    I sent your message; who return'd her thanks
    In the great'st humbleness, and desired your highness
    Most heartily to pray for her.
  • Henry VIII. What say'st thou, ha?
    To pray for her? what, is she crying out? 2855
  • Sir Thomas Lovell. So said her woman; and that her sufferance made
    Almost each pang a death.
  • Duke of Suffolk. God safely quit her of her burthen, and
    With gentle travail, to the gladding of 2860
    Your highness with an heir!
  • Henry VIII. 'Tis midnight, Charles;
    Prithee, to bed; and in thy prayers remember
    The estate of my poor queen. Leave me alone;
    For I must think of that which company 2865
    Would not be friendly to.
  • Duke of Suffolk. I wish your highness
    A quiet night; and my good mistress will
    Remember in my prayers.
  • Henry VIII. Charles, good night. 2870
    [Exit SUFFOLK]
    [Enter DENNY]
    Well, sir, what follows?
  • Sir Anthony Denny. Sir, I have brought my lord the archbishop,
    As you commanded me. 2875

[Exit DENNY]

  • Sir Thomas Lovell. [Aside] This is about that which the bishop spake:
    I am happily come hither.

[Re-enter DENNY, with CRANMER]

  • Henry VIII. Avoid the gallery.
    [LOVELL seems to stay] 2885
    Ha! I have said. Be gone. What!

[Exeunt LOVELL and DENNY]

  • Archbishop Cranmer. [Aside]
    I am fearful: wherefore frowns he thus?
    'Tis his aspect of terror. All's not well. 2890
  • Henry VIII. How now, my lord! you desire to know
    Wherefore I sent for you.
  • Henry VIII. Pray you, arise, 2895
    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 2900
    I have, and most unwillingly, of late
    Heard many grievous, I do say, my lord,
    Grievous complaints of you; which, being consider'd,
    Have moved us and our council, that you shall
    This morning come before us; where, I know, 2905
    You cannot with such freedom purge yourself,
    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, 2910
    It fits we thus proceed, or else no witness
    Would come against you.
  • Archbishop Cranmer. [Kneeling]
    I humbly thank your highness;
    And am right glad to catch this good occasion 2915
    Most throughly to be winnow'd, where my chaff
    And corn shall fly asunder: for, I know,
    There's none stands under more calumnious tongues
    Than I myself, poor man.
  • Henry VIII. Stand up, good Canterbury: 2920
    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 look'd
    You would have given me your petition, that 2925
    I should have ta'en some pains to bring together
    Yourself and your accusers; and to have heard you,
    Without indurance, further.
  • Archbishop Cranmer. Most dread liege,
    The good I stand on is my truth and honesty: 2930
    If they shall fail, I, with mine enemies,
    Will triumph o'er my person; which I weigh not,
    Being of those virtues vacant. I fear nothing
    What can be said against me.
  • Henry VIII. Know you not 2935
    How your state stands i' the world, with the whole world?
    Your enemies are many, and not small; their practises
    Must bear the same proportion; and not ever
    The justice and the truth o' the question carries
    The due o' the verdict with it: at what ease 2940
    Might corrupt minds procure knaves as corrupt
    To swear against you? such things have been done.
    You are potently opposed; and with a malice
    Of as great size. Ween you of better luck,
    I mean, in perjured witness, than your master, 2945
    Whose minister you are, whiles here he lived
    Upon this naughty earth? Go to, go to;
    You take a precipice for no leap of danger,
    And woo your own destruction.
  • Archbishop Cranmer. God and your majesty 2950
    Protect mine innocence, or I fall into
    The trap is laid for me!
  • Henry VIII. Be of good cheer;
    They shall no more prevail than we give way to.
    Keep comfort to you; and this morning see 2955
    You do appear before them: if they shall chance,
    In charging you with matters, to commit you,
    The best persuasions to the contrary
    Fail not to use, and with what vehemency
    The occasion shall instruct you: if entreaties 2960
    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 2965
    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. 2970

[Enter Old Lady, LOVELL following]

  • 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 2975
    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; 2980
    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 2985
    As cherry is to cherry.
  • Henry VIII. Give her an hundred marks. I'll to the queen.


  • 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, 2995
    While it is hot, I'll put it to the issue.


. previous scene      

Act V, Scene 2

Before the council-chamber. Pursuivants, Pages, &c.

      next scene .



  • Archbishop Cranmer. I hope I am not too late; and yet the gentleman, 3000
    That was sent to me from the council, pray'd me
    To make great haste. All fast? what means this? Ho!
    Who waits there? Sure, you know me?

[Enter Keeper]

  • Keeper. Yes, my lord; 3005
    But yet I cannot help you.


  • Keeper. Your grace must wait till you be call'd for.
  • Doctor Butts. [Aside] This is a piece of malice. I am glad
    I came this way so happily: the king
    Shall understand it presently.


  • Archbishop Cranmer. [Aside]. 'Tis Butts, 3015
    The king's physician: as he pass'd along,
    How earnestly he cast his eyes upon me!
    Pray heaven, he sound not my disgrace! For certain,
    This is of purpose laid by some that hate me—
    God turn their hearts! I never sought their malice— 3020
    To quench mine honour: they would shame to make me
    Wait else at door, a fellow-counsellor,
    'Mong boys, grooms, and lackeys. But their pleasures
    Must be fulfill'd, and I attend with patience.

[Enter the KING HENRY VIII and DOCTOR BUTTS at a window above]

  • Doctor Butts. There, my lord: 3030
    The high promotion of his grace of Canterbury;
    Who holds his state at door, 'mongst pursuivants,
    Pages, and footboys.
  • Henry VIII. Ha! 'tis he, indeed:
    Is this the honour they do one another? 3035
    'Tis well there's one above 'em yet. I had thought
    They had parted so much honesty among 'em
    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, 3040
    And at the door too, like a post with packets.
    By holy Mary, Butts, there's knavery:
    Let 'em alone, and draw the curtain close:
    We shall hear more anon.


. previous scene      

Act V, Scene 3

The Council-Chamber.

      next scene .

[Enter Chancellor; places himself at the upper end] [p]of the table on the left hand; a seat being left [p]void above him, as for CRANMER's seat. SUFFOLK, [p]NORFOLK, SURREY, Chamberlain, GARDINER, seat [p]themselves in order on each side. CROMWELL at [p]lower end, as secretary. Keeper at the door]

  • Lord Chancellor. Speak to the business, master-secretary:
    Why are we met in council?
  • Cromwell. Please your honours,
    The chief cause concerns his grace of Canterbury. 3055
  • Keeper. Without, my noble lords?
  • Keeper. My lord archbishop;
    And has done half an hour, to know your pleasures.
  • Keeper. Your grace may enter now.

[CRANMER enters and approaches the council-table]

  • Lord Chancellor. My good lord archbishop, I'm very sorry
    To sit here at this present, and behold
    That chair stand empty: but we all are men,
    In our own natures frail, and capable
    Of our flesh; few are angels: out of which frailty 3070
    And want of wisdom, you, that best should teach us,
    Have misdemean'd yourself, and not a little,
    Toward the king first, then his laws, in filling
    The whole realm, by your teaching and your chaplains,
    For so we are inform'd, with new opinions, 3075
    Divers and dangerous; which are heresies,
    And, not reform'd, may prove pernicious.
  • Gardiner. Which reformation must be sudden too,
    My noble lords; for those that tame wild horses
    Pace 'em not in their hands to make 'em gentle, 3080
    But stop their mouths with stubborn bits, and spur 'em,
    Till they obey the manage. If we suffer,
    Out of our easiness and childish pity
    To one man's honour, this contagious sickness,
    Farewell all physic: and what follows then? 3085
    Commotions, uproars, with a general taint
    Of the whole state: as, of late days, our neighbours,
    The upper Germany, can dearly witness,
    Yet freshly pitied in our memories.
  • Archbishop Cranmer. My good lords, hitherto, in all the progress 3090
    Both of my life and office, I have labour'd,
    And with no little study, that my teaching
    And the strong course of my authority
    Might go one way, and safely; and the end
    Was ever, to do well: nor is there living, 3095
    I speak it with a single heart, my lords,
    A man that more detests, more stirs against,
    Both in his private conscience and his place,
    Defacers of a public peace, than I do.
    Pray heaven, the king may never find a heart 3100
    With less allegiance in it! Men that make
    Envy and crooked malice nourishment
    Dare bite the best. I do beseech your lordships,
    That, in this case of justice, my accusers,
    Be what they will, may stand forth face to face, 3105
    And freely urge against me.
  • Duke of Suffolk. Nay, my lord,
    That cannot be: you are a counsellor,
    And, by that virtue, no man dare accuse you.
  • Gardiner. My lord, because we have business of more moment, 3110
    We will be short with you. 'Tis his highness' pleasure,
    And our consent, for better trial of you,
    From hence you be committed to the Tower;
    Where, being but a private man again,
    You shall know many dare accuse you boldly, 3115
    More than, I fear, you are provided for.
  • Archbishop Cranmer. Ah, my good Lord of Winchester, I thank you;
    You are always my good friend; if your will pass,
    I shall both find your lordship judge and juror,
    You are so merciful: I see your end; 3120
    'Tis my undoing: love and meekness, lord,
    Become a churchman better than ambition:
    Win straying souls with modesty again,
    Cast none away. That I shall clear myself,
    Lay all the weight ye can upon my patience, 3125
    I make as little doubt, as you do conscience
    In doing daily wrongs. I could say more,
    But reverence to your calling makes me modest.
  • Gardiner. My lord, my lord, you are a sectary,
    That's the plain truth: your painted gloss discovers, 3130
    To men that understand you, words and weakness.
  • Cromwell. My Lord of Winchester, you are a little,
    By your good favour, too sharp; men so noble,
    However faulty, yet should find respect
    For what they have been: 'tis a cruelty 3135
    To load a falling man.
  • Gardiner. Good master secretary,
    I cry your honour mercy; you may, worst
    Of all this table, say so.
  • Gardiner. Do not I know you for a favourer
    Of this new sect? ye are not sound.
  • Cromwell. Would you were half so honest! 3145
    Men's prayers then would seek you, not their fears.
  • Gardiner. I shall remember this bold language.
  • Cromwell. Do.
    Remember your bold life too.
  • Lord Chancellor. Then thus for you, my lord: it stands agreed,
    I take it, by all voices, that forthwith 3155
    You be convey'd to the Tower a prisoner;
    There to remain till the king's further pleasure
    Be known unto us: are you all agreed, lords?
  • Archbishop Cranmer. Is there no other way of mercy, 3160
    But I must needs to the Tower, my lords?
  • Gardiner. What other
    Would you expect? you are strangely troublesome.
    Let some o' the guard be ready there.

[Enter Guard]

  • Gardiner. Receive him,
    And see him safe i' the Tower.
  • Archbishop Cranmer. Stay, good my lords, 3170
    I have a little yet to say. Look there, my lords;
    By virtue of that ring, I take my cause
    Out of the gripes of cruel men, and give it
    To a most noble judge, the king my master.
  • Duke of Suffolk. 'Tis the right ring, by heaven: I told ye all,
    When ye first put this dangerous stone a-rolling,
    'Twould fall upon ourselves.
  • Duke of Norfolk. Do you think, my lords, 3180
    The king will suffer but the little finger
    Of this man to be vex'd?
  • Lord Chancellor. 'Tis now too certain:
    How much more is his life in value with him?
    Would I were fairly out on't! 3185
  • Cromwell. My mind gave me,
    In seeking tales and informations
    Against this man, whose honesty the devil
    And his disciples only envy at,
    Ye blew the fire that burns ye: now have at ye! 3190

[Enter KING, frowning on them; takes his seat]

  • Gardiner. Dread sovereign, how much are we bound to heaven
    In daily thanks, that gave us such a prince;
    Not only good and wise, but most religious:
    One that, in all obedience, makes the church 3195
    The chief aim of his honour; and, to strengthen
    That holy duty, out of dear respect,
    His royal self in judgment comes to hear
    The cause betwixt her and this great offender.
  • Henry VIII. You were ever good at sudden commendations, 3200
    Bishop of Winchester. But know, I come not
    To hear such flattery now, and in my presence;
    They are too thin and bare to hide offences.
    To me you cannot reach, you play the spaniel,
    And think with wagging of your tongue to win me; 3205
    But, whatsoe'er thou takest me for, I'm sure
    Thou hast a cruel nature and a bloody.
    [To CRANMER]
    Good man, sit down. Now let me see the proudest
    He, that dares most, but wag his finger at thee: 3210
    By all that's holy, he had better starve
    Than but once think this place becomes thee not.
  • Henry VIII. No, sir, it does not please me.
    I had thought I had had men of some understanding 3215
    And wisdom of my council; but I find none.
    Was it discretion, lords, to let this man,
    This good man,—few of you deserve that title,—
    This honest man, wait like a lousy footboy
    At chamber—door? and one as great as you are? 3220
    Why, what a shame was this! Did my commission
    Bid ye so far forget yourselves? I gave ye
    Power as he was a counsellor to try him,
    Not as a groom: there's some of ye, I see,
    More out of malice than integrity, 3225
    Would try him to the utmost, had ye mean;
    Which ye shall never have while I live.
  • Lord Chancellor. Thus far,
    My most dread sovereign, may it like your grace
    To let my tongue excuse all. What was purposed 3230
    Concerning his imprisonment, was rather,
    If there be faith in men, meant for his trial,
    And fair purgation to the world, than malice,
    I'm sure, in me.
  • Henry VIII. Well, well, my lords, respect him; 3235
    Take him, and use him well, he's worthy of it.
    I will say thus much for him, if a prince
    May be beholding to a subject, I
    Am, for his love and service, so to him.
    Make me no more ado, but all embrace him: 3240
    Be friends, for shame, my lords! My Lord of
    I have a suit which you must not deny me;
    That is, a fair young maid that yet wants baptism,
    You must be godfather, and answer for her. 3245
  • Archbishop Cranmer. The greatest monarch now alive may glory
    In such an honour: how may I deserve it
    That am a poor and humble subject to you?
  • Henry VIII. Come, come, my lord, you'ld spare your spoons: you
    shall have two noble partners with you; the old 3250
    Duchess of Norfolk, and Lady Marquess Dorset: will
    these please you?
    Once more, my Lord of Winchester, I charge you,
    Embrace and love this man.
  • Gardiner. With a true heart 3255
    And brother-love I do it.
  • Henry VIII. Good man, those joyful tears show thy true heart:
    The common voice, I see, is verified 3260
    Of thee, which says thus, 'Do my Lord of Canterbury
    A shrewd turn, and he is your friend for ever.'
    Come, lords, we trifle time away; I long
    To have this young one made a Christian.
    As I have made ye one, lords, one remain; 3265
    So I grow stronger, you more honour gain.


. previous scene      

Act V, Scene 4

The palace yard.

      next scene .

[Noise and tumult within. Enter Porter and his Man]

  • Porter. You'll leave your noise anon, ye rascals: do you
    take the court for Paris-garden? ye rude slaves, 3270
    leave your gaping.
    Good master porter, I belong to the larder.
  • Porter. Belong to the gallows, and be hanged, ye rogue! is
    this a place to roar in? Fetch me a dozen crab-tree 3275
    staves, and strong ones: these are but switches to
    'em. I'll scratch your heads: you must be seeing
    christenings? do you look for ale and cakes here,
    you rude rascals?
  • Man. Pray, sir, be patient: 'tis as much impossible— 3280
    Unless we sweep 'em from the door with cannons—
    To scatter 'em, as 'tis to make 'em sleep
    On May-day morning; which will never be:
    We may as well push against Powle's, as stir em.
  • Porter. How got they in, and be hang'd? 3285
  • Man. Alas, I know not; how gets the tide in?
    As much as one sound cudgel of four foot—
    You see the poor remainder—could distribute,
    I made no spare, sir.
  • Porter. You did nothing, sir. 3290
  • Man. I am not Samson, nor Sir Guy, nor Colbrand,
    To mow 'em down before me: but if I spared any
    That had a head to hit, either young or old,
    He or she, cuckold or cuckold-maker,
    Let me ne'er hope to see a chine again 3295
    And that I would not for a cow, God save her!
    Do you hear, master porter?
  • Porter. I shall be with you presently, good master puppy.
    Keep the door close, sirrah. 3300
  • Man. What would you have me do?
  • Porter. What should you do, but knock 'em down by the
    dozens? Is this Moorfields to muster in? or have
    we some strange Indian with the great tool come to
    court, the women so besiege us? Bless me, what a 3305
    fry of fornication is at door! On my Christian
    conscience, this one christening will beget a
    thousand; here will be father, godfather, and all together.
  • Man. The spoons will be the bigger, sir. There is a
    fellow somewhat near the door, he should be a 3310
    brazier by his face, for, o' my conscience, twenty
    of the dog-days now reign in's nose; all that stand
    about him are under the line, they need no other
    penance: that fire-drake did I hit three times on
    the head, and three times was his nose discharged 3315
    against me; he stands there, like a mortar-piece, to
    blow us. There was a haberdasher's wife of small
    wit near him, that railed upon me till her pinked
    porringer fell off her head, for kindling such a
    combustion in the state. I missed the meteor once, 3320
    and hit that woman; who cried out 'Clubs!' when I
    might see from far some forty truncheoners draw to
    her succor, which were the hope o' the Strand, where
    she was quartered. They fell on; I made good my
    place: at length they came to the broom-staff to 3325
    me; I defied 'em still: when suddenly a file of
    boys behind 'em, loose shot, delivered such a shower
    of pebbles, that I was fain to draw mine honour in,
    and let 'em win the work: the devil was amongst
    'em, I think, surely. 3330
  • Porter. These are the youths that thunder at a playhouse,
    and fight for bitten apples; that no audience, but
    the tribulation of Tower-hill, or the limbs of
    Limehouse, their dear brothers, are able to endure.
    I have some of 'em in Limbo Patrum, and there they 3335
    are like to dance these three days; besides the
    running banquet of two beadles that is to come.

[Enter Chamberlain]

  • Lord Chamberlain. Mercy o' me, what a multitude are here!
    They grow still too; from all parts they are coming, 3340
    As if we kept a fair here! Where are these porters,
    These lazy knaves? Ye have made a fine hand, fellows:
    There's a trim rabble let in: are all these
    Your faithful friends o' the suburbs? We shall have
    Great store of room, no doubt, left for the ladies, 3345
    When they pass back from the christening.
  • Porter. An't please
    your honour,
    We are but men; and what so many may do,
    Not being torn a-pieces, we have done: 3350
    An army cannot rule 'em.
  • Lord Chamberlain. As I live,
    If the king blame me for't, I'll lay ye all
    By the heels, and suddenly; and on your heads
    Clap round fines for neglect: ye are lazy knaves; 3355
    And here ye lie baiting of bombards, when
    Ye should do service. Hark! the trumpets sound;
    They're come already from the christening:
    Go, break among the press, and find a way out
    To let the troop pass fairly; or I'll find 3360
    A Marshalsea shall hold ye play these two months.
  • Porter. Make way there for the princess.
  • Man. You great fellow,
    Stand close up, or I'll make your head ache.
  • Porter. You i' the camlet, get up o' the rail; 3365
    I'll peck you o'er the pales else.


. previous scene      

Act V, Scene 5

The palace.


[Enter trumpets, sounding; then two Aldermen, Lord] [p]Mayor, Garter, CRANMER, NORFOLK with his marshal's [p]staff, SUFFOLK, two Noblemen bearing great [p]standing-bowls for the christening-gifts; then [p]four Noblemen bearing a canopy, under which the [p]Duchess of Norfolk, godmother, bearing the child [p]richly habited in a mantle, &c., train borne by a [p]Lady; then follows the Marchioness Dorset, the [p]other godmother, and Ladies. The troop pass once [p]about the stage, and Garter speaks]

  • Garter. Heaven, from thy endless goodness, send prosperous
    life, long, and ever happy, to the high and mighty
    princess of England, Elizabeth! 3380

[Flourish. Enter KING HENRY VIII and Guard]

  • Archbishop Cranmer. [Kneeling] And to your royal grace, and the good queen,
    My noble partners, and myself, thus pray:
    All comfort, joy, in this most gracious lady,
    Heaven ever laid up to make parents happy, 3385
    May hourly fall upon ye!
  • Henry VIII. Thank you, good lord archbishop:
    What is her name?
  • Henry VIII. Stand up, lord. 3390
    [KING HENRY VIII kisses the child]
    With this kiss take my blessing: God protect thee!
    Into whose hand I give thy life.
  • Henry VIII. My noble gossips, ye have been too prodigal: 3395
    I thank ye heartily; so shall this lady,
    When she has so much English.
  • Archbishop 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. 3400
    This royal infant—heaven still move about her!—
    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— 3405
    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, 3410
    With all the virtues that attend the good,
    Shall still be doubled on her: truth shall nurse her,
    Holy and heavenly thoughts still counsel her:
    She shall be loved and fear'd: her own shall bless her;
    Her foes shake like a field of beaten corn, 3415
    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 3420
    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, 3425
    As great in admiration as herself;
    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, 3430
    And so stand fix'd: 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 3435
    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.
  • Archbishop 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, 3445
    A most unspotted lily shall she pass
    To the ground, and all the world shall mourn her.
  • Henry VIII. O lord archbishop,
    Thou hast made me now a man! never, before
    This happy child, did I get any thing: 3450
    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 your good brethren, I am much beholding; 3455
    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
    Has business at his house; for all shall stay: 3460
    This little one shall make it holiday.
  • Chorus. 'Tis ten to one this play can never please
    All that are here: some come to take their ease, 3465
    And sleep an act or two; but those, we fear,
    We have frighted with our trumpets; so, 'tis clear,
    They'll say 'tis naught: others, to hear the city
    Abused extremely, and to cry 'That's witty!'
    Which we have not done neither: that, I fear, 3470
    All the expected good we're like to hear
    For this play at this time, is only in
    The merciful construction of good women;
    For such a one we show'd 'em: if they smile,
    And say 'twill do, I know, within a while 3475
    All the best men are ours; for 'tis ill hap,
    If they hold when their ladies bid 'em clap.