Henry VIII - Act 1, scene 3
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Act 1, scene 3
Three courtiers discuss the royal proclamation against young fops who have adopted French manners and dress after returning from France. The courtiers then look forward together to the festive supper to be hosted by Wolsey that evening.Enter Lord Chamberlain and Lord Sands.
0549 Is ’t possible the spells of France should juggle
0550 Men into such strange mysteries?
SANDS 0551 New customs,
0552 Though they be never so ridiculous—
0553 5 Nay, let ’em be unmanly—yet are followed.
0554 As far as I see, all the good our English
0555 Have got by the late voyage is but merely
0556 A fit or two o’ th’ face; but they are shrewd ones,
0557 For when they hold ’em, you would swear directly
0558 10 Their very noses had been counselors
0559 To Pepin or Clotharius, they keep state so.
0560 They have all new legs and lame ones; one would
0561 take it,
0562 That never see ’em pace before, the spavin
0563 15 ⌜Or⌝ springhalt reigned among ’em.
CHAMBERLAIN 0564 Death! My lord,
0565 Their clothes are after such a pagan cut to ’t,
0566 That, sure, they’ve worn out Christendom.
0567 How now?
0568 20 What news, Sir Thomas Lovell?
LOVELL 0569 Faith, my lord,
0570 I hear of none but the new proclamation
0571 That’s clapped upon the court gate.
CHAMBERLAIN 0572 What is ’t for?
0573 25 The reformation of our traveled gallants
0574 That fill the court with quarrels, talk, and tailors.
0575 I’m glad ’tis there; now I would pray our monsieurs
0576 To think an English courtier may be wise
0577 And never see the Louvre.
LOVELL 0578 30 They must either—
0579 For so run the conditions—leave those remnants
0580 Of fool and feather that they got in France,
0581 With all their honorable points of ignorance
0582 Pertaining thereunto, as fights and fireworks,
0583 35 Abusing better men than they can be
0584 Out of a foreign wisdom, renouncing clean
0585 The faith they have in tennis and tall stockings,
0586 Short blistered breeches, and those types of travel,
0587 And understand again like honest men,
0588 40 Or pack to their old playfellows. There, I take it,
0589 They may cum privilegio ⌜“oui”⌝ away
0590 The lag end of their lewdness and be laughed at.
0591 ’Tis time to give ’em physic, their diseases
0592 Are grown so catching.
CHAMBERLAIN 0593 45 What a loss our ladies
0594 Will have of these trim vanities!
LOVELL 0595 Ay, marry,
0596 There will be woe indeed, lords. The sly whoresons
0598 50 A French song and a fiddle has no fellow.
0599 The devil fiddle ’em! I am glad they are going,
0600 For sure there’s no converting of ’em. Now
0601 An honest country lord, as I am, beaten
0602 A long time out of play, may bring his plainsong,
0603 55 And have an hour of hearing, and, by ’r Lady,
0604 Held current music too.
CHAMBERLAIN 0605 Well said, Lord Sands.
0606 Your colt’s tooth is not cast yet?
SANDS 0607 No, my lord,
0608 60 Nor shall not while I have a stump.
CHAMBERLAIN 0609 Sir Thomas,
0610 Whither were you a-going?
LOVELL 0611 To the Cardinal’s.
0612 Your Lordship is a guest too.
CHAMBERLAIN 0613 65 O, ’tis true.
0614 This night he makes a supper, and a great one,
0615 To many lords and ladies. There will be
0616 The beauty of this kingdom, I’ll assure you.
0617 That churchman bears a bounteous mind indeed,
0618 70 A hand as fruitful as the land that feeds us.
0619 His dews fall everywhere.
CHAMBERLAIN 0620 No doubt he’s noble;
0621 He had a black mouth that said other of him.
0622 He may, my lord. ’Has wherewithal. In him,
0623 75 Sparing would show a worse sin than ill doctrine.
0624 Men of his way should be most liberal;
0625 They are set here for examples.
CHAMBERLAIN 0626 True, they are so,
0627 But few now give so great ones. My barge stays.
0628 80 Your Lordship shall along.—Come, good Sir Thomas,
0629 We shall be late else, which I would not be,
0631 This night to be comptrollers.
SANDS 0632 I am your Lordship’s.