William Shakespeare's The Famous History of the Life of King Henry the Eighth in the complete original text.
William Shakespeare's plays, sonnets and poems at AbsoluteShakespeare.com
Home Plays Sonnets Poems Quotes Summaries Essays Glossary Links Help

HOME > Plays > King Henry the Eighth > Act IV. Scene I.

The Famous History of the Life of King Henry the Eighth

Study Guides
Hamlet
Julius Caesar
King Henry IV
King Lear
Macbeth
Merchant of Venice
Othello
Romeo and Juliet
The Tempest
Twelfth Night

Trivia
Authorship
Bard Facts
Bibliography
Biography
FAQ
Films
Globe Theatre
Pictures
Quiz
Timeline

Act IV. Scene I.

Act IV. Scene I.—A Street in Westminster.

Enter two Gentlemen, meeting.

First Gen. You're well met once again.
Sec. Gen. So are you.
First Gen. You come to take your stand
here, and behold
The Lady Anne pass from her coronation?
Sec. Gen. 'Tis all my business. At our last
encounter
The Duke of Buckingham came from his trial.
First Gen. 'Tis very true: but that time
offer'd sorrow;
This, general joy.
Sec. Gen. 'Tis well: the citizens,
I am sure, have shown at full their royal minds,
As, let 'em have their rights, they are ever
forward,
In celebration of this day with shows,
Pageants, and sights of honour.
First Gen. Never greater;
Nor, I'll assure you, better taken, sir.
Sec. Gen. May I be bold to ask what that
contains,
That paper in your hand?
First Gen. Yes; 'tis the list
Of those that claim their offices this day
By custom of the coronation.
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.
Sec. Gen. I thank you, sir: had I not known
those customs,
I should have been beholding to your paper.
But, I beseech you, what's become of Katharine,
The princess dowager? how goes her business?
First Gen. That I can tell you too. The
Archbishop
Of Canterbury, accompanied with other
Learned and reverend fathers of his order,
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 assent
Of all these learned men she was divorc'd,
And the late marriage made of none effect:
Since which she was remov'd to Kimbolton,
Where she remains now sick.
Sec. Gen. Alas! good lady!
[Trumpets.
The trumpets sound: stand close, the queen is
coming. [Hautboys.

THE ORDER OF THE CORONATION.
A lively flourish of trumpets.
1. Two Judges.
2. Lord Chancellor, with the purse and mace
before him.
3. Choristers, singing. [Music.
4. Mayor of London, bearing the mace. Then
Garter, in his coat of arms, and on his
head a gilt copper crown.
5. MARQUESS DORSET, bearing a sceptre of gold,
on his head a demi-coronal of gold. With
him, the EARL OF SURREY, bearing the rod of
silver with the dove, crowned with an earl's
coronet. Collars of SS.
6. DUKE OF SUFFOLK, in his robe of estate, his
coronet on his head, bearing a long white
wand, as high-steward. With him, the
DUKE OF NORFOLK, with the rod of marshal-
ship, a coronet on his head. Collars of SS.
7. A canopy borne by four of the Cinque-ports;
under it, the QUEEN in her robe; in her
hair richly adorned with pearl, crowned.
On each side of her, the BISHOPS OF LONDON
and WINCHESTER.
8. The old DUCHESS OF NORFOLK, in a
coronal of gold, wrought with flowers, bearing
the QUEEN'S train.
9. Certain Ladies or Countesses, with plain
circlets of gold without flowers.
They pass over the stage in order and state.

Sec. Gen. A royal train, believe me. These I:
know;
Who's that that bears the sceptre?
First Gen. Marquess Dorset:
And that the Earl of Surrey with the rod.
Sec. Gen. A bold brave gentleman. That
should be
The Duke of Suffolk?
First Gen. 'Tis the same; high-steward.
Sec. Gen. And that my Lord of Norfolk?
First Gen. Yes.
Sec. Gen. [Looking on the QUEEN.] Heaven
bless thee!
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:
I cannot blame his conscience.
First Gen. They that bear
The cloth of honour over her, are four barons
Of the Cinque-ports.
Sec. Gen. Those .men are happy; and so are
all are near her.
I take it, she that carries up the train
Is that old noble lady. Duchess of Norfolk.
First Gen. It is; and all the rest are
countesses.
Sec. Gen. Their coronets say so. These are
stars indeed;
And sometimes falling ones.
First Gen. No more of that.
[Exit Procession, with a great
flourish of trumpets.

Enter a third Gentleman.
God save you, sir! Where have you been
broiling?
Third Gen. Among the crowd i' the Abbey;
where a finger
Could not be wedg'd in more: I am stifled
With the mere rankness of their joy.
Sec. Gen. You saw
The ceremony?
Third Gen. That I did.
First Gen. How was is it?
Third Gen. Well worthing the seeing.
Sec. Gen. Good Sir, speak to us.
Third Gen. As well as I am able. The rich
stream
Of lords and ladies, having brought the queen
To a prepar'd place in the choir, fell off
A distance from her; while her Grace sat down
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 people
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
joy
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 them. No man
living
Could say, 'This is my wife, 'there; all were
woven
So strangely in one piece.
Sec. Gen. But, what follow'd?
Third Gen. At 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 de-
voutly.
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
emblems
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 pac'd back again
To York-place, where the feast is held.
First Gen. Sir,
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 Gen. I know it;
But 'tis so lately alter'd that the old name
Is fresh about me.
Sec. Gen. What two reverend bishops
Were those that went on each side of the
queen?
Third Gen. Stokesly and Gardiner; the one
of Winchester,—
Newly preferr'd from the king's secretary,—
The other, London.
Sec. Gen. He of Winchester
Is held no great good lover of the archbishop's,
The virtuous Cranmer.
Third Gen. All the land knows that:
However, yet there's no great breach; when it
comes,
Cranmer will find a friend will not shrink from
him.
Sec. Gen. Who may that be, I pray you?
Third Gen. Thomas Cromwell:
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.
Sec. Gen. He will deserve more.
Third Gen. Yes, 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.
Both. You may command us, sir.
[Exeunt.
< PREVIOUS
Copyright 2000-2005 AbsoluteShakespeare.com. All rights reserved.  Contact Us  Privacy  Awards