William Shakespeare's The Famous History of the Life of King Henry the Eighth in the complete original text.
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The Famous History of the Life of King Henry the Eighth

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Act I. Scene IV.

Scene IV.—The Presence-chamber in
York-Place.

Hautboys. A small table under a state for CAR-
DINAL WOLSEY, a longer table for the guests.
Enter, at one door, ANNE BULLEN, and divers
Lords, Ladies, and Gentlewomen, as guests;
at another door, enter SIR HENRY GUILDFORD.

Guild. Ladies, a general welcome from his
Grace
Salutes ye all; this night he dedicates
To fair content and you. None here, he hopes,
In all this noble bevy, has brought with her
One care abroad; he would have all as merry
As, first, good company, good wine, good wel-
come
Can make good people.

Enter Lord Chamberlain, LORD SANDS, and
SIR THOMAS LOVELL.
O, my lord! you're tardy:
The very thought of this fair company
Clapp'd wings to me.
Cham. You are young, Sir Harry Guildford.
Sands. Sir Thomas Lovell, had the cardinal
But half my lay-thoughts in him, some of these
Should find a running banquet ere they rested,
I think would better please 'em: by my life,
They are a sweet society of fair ones.
Lov. O! that your lordship were but now
confessor
To one or two of these!
Sands. I would I were;
They should find easy penance.
Lov. Faith, how easy?
Sands. As easy as a down-bed would afford
it.
Cham. Sweet ladies, will it please you sit?
Sir Harry,
Place you that side, I'll take the charge of this;
His Grace is entering. Nay you must not freeze;
Two women plac'd together makes cold weather:
My Lord Sands, you are one will keep 'em
waking;
Pray, sit between these ladies.
Sands. By my faith,
And thank your lordship. By your leave, sweet
ladies: [Seats himself between ANNE BUL-
LEN and another Lady.
If I chance to talk a little wild, forgive me;
I had it from my father.
Anne. Was he mad, sir?
Sands. O! very mad, exceeding mad; in love
too:
But he would bite none; just as I do now,
He would kiss you twenty with a breath.
[Kisses her.
Cham. Well said, my lord.
So, now you're fairly seated. Gentlemen,
The penance lies on you, if these fair ladies
Pass away frowning.
Sands. For my little cure,
Let me alone.

Hautboys. Enter CARDINAL WOLSEY, attended,
and takes his state.
Wol. You're welcome, my fair guests: that
noble lady,
Or gentleman, that is not freely merry,
Is not my friend: this, to confirm my welcome;
And to you all, good health. [Drinks.
Sands. Your Grace is noble:
Let me have such a bowl may hold my thanks,
And save me so much talking.
Wol. My Lord Sands,
I am beholding to you: cheer your neighbours.
Ladies, you are not merry: gentlemen,
Whose fault is this?
Sands. The red wine first must rise
In their fair cheeks, my lord; then, we shall
have 'em
Talk us to silence.
Anne. You are a merry gamester,
My Lord Sands.
Sands. Yes, if I make my play.
Here's to your ladyship; and pledge it, madam,
For 'tis to such a thing,—
Anne. You cannot show me.
Sands. I told your Grace they would talk
anon. [Drum and trumpets within;
chambers discharged.
Wol. What's that?
Cham. Look out there, some of ye.
[Exit a Servant.
Wol. What war-like voice,
And to what end, is this? Nay, ladies, fear
not;
By all the laws of war you're privileg'd.

Re-enter Servant.
Cham. How now, what is't?
Serv. A noble troop of strangers;
For so they seem: they've left their barge and
landed;
And hither make, as great ambassadors
From foreign princes.
Wol. Good Lord Chamberlain,
Go, give 'em welcome; you can speak the French
tongue;
And, pray, receive 'em nobly, and conduct 'em
Into our presence, where this heaven of beauty
Shall shine at full upon them. Some attend him.
[Exit the Lord Chamberlain, attended. All
arise, and tables removed.
You have now a broken banquet; but we'll mend
it.
A good digestion to you all; and once more
I shower a welcome on ye; welcome all.

Hautboys. Enter the KING, and Others, as
masquers, habited like shepherds, ushered by
the Lord Chamberlain. They pass directly
before the CARDINAL, and gracefully salute
him.
A noble company! what are their pleasures?
Cham. Because they speak no English, thus
they pray'd
To tell your Grace: that, having heard by fame
Of this so noble and so fair assembly
This night to meet here, they could do no less,
Out of the great respect they bear to beauty,
But leave their flocks; and, under your fair
conduct,
Crave leave to view these ladies, and entreat
An hour of revels with 'em.
Wol. Say, Lord Chamberlain,
They have done my poor house grace; for which
I pay 'em
A thousand thanks, and pray 'em take their
pleasures.
[They choose Ladies for the dance. The KING
chooses ANNE BULLEN.
K. Hen. The fairest hand I ever touch'd! O
beauty,
Till now I never knew thee! [Music. Dance.
Wol. My lord.
Cham. Your Grace?
Wol. Pray tell them thus much from me:
There should be one amongst 'em, by his person,
More worthy this place than myself; to whom,
If I but knew him, with my love and duty
I would surrender it.
Cham. I will, my lord.
[Whispers the Masquers.
Wol. What say they?
Cham. Such a one, they all confess,
There is, indeed; which they would have your
Grace
Find out, and he will take it.
Wol. Let me see then.
[Comes from his state.
By all your good leaves, gentlemen, here I'll
make
My royal choice.
K. Hen. [ Unmasking.] You have found him,
cardinal.
You hold a fair assembly; you do well, lord:
You are a churchman, or, I'll tell you, cardinal,
I should judge now unhappily.
Wol. I am glad
Your Grace is grown so pleasant.
K. Hen. My Lord Chamberlain,
Prithee, come hither. What fair lady's that?
Cham. An't please your Grace, Sir Thomas
Bullen's daughter,
The Viscount Rochford, one of her highness
women.
K. Hen. By heaven, she is a dainty one.
Sweetheart,
I were unmannerly to take you out,
And not to kiss you. A health, gentlemen!
Let it go round.
Wol. Sir Thomas Lovell, is the banquet ready
I' the privy chamber?
Lov. Yes, my lord.
Wol. Your Grace,
I fear, with dancing is a little heated.
K. Hen. I fear, too much.
Wol. There's fresher air, my lord,
In the next chamber.
K. Hen. Lead in your ladies, every one.
Sweet partner,
I must not yet forsake you. Let's be merry:
Good my Lord Cardinal, I have half a dozen
healths
To drink to these fair ladies, and a measure
To lead'em once again; and then let's dream;
Who's best in favour. Let the music knock it.
[Exeunt with trumpets.
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