Henry VIII - Act 5, scene 1
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Act 5, scene 1
The new archbishop of Canterbury, Cranmer, is under attack because his religious beliefs seem heretical. The king, after receiving news that Anne is in labor, summons Cranmer, assures him of royal support, and gives him a ring to show the Privy Council if need be. The king is then told of the birth of his daughter.Enter Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester, a Page with a
torch before him, met by Sir Thomas Lovell.
2619 It’s one o’clock, boy, is ’t not?
PAGE 2620 It hath struck.
2621 These should be hours for necessities,
2622 Not for delights; times to repair our nature
2623 5 With comforting repose, and not for us
2624 To waste these times.—Good hour of night, Sir
2626 Whither so late?
LOVELL 2627 Came you from the King, my lord?
2628 10 I did, Sir Thomas, and left him at primero
2629 With the Duke of Suffolk.
LOVELL 2630 I must to him too,
2631 Before he go to bed. I’ll take my leave.
2632 Not yet, Sir Thomas Lovell. What’s the matter?
2633 15 It seems you are in haste. An if there be
2634 No great offense belongs to ’t, give your friend
2635 Some touch of your late business. Affairs that walk,
2636 As they say spirits do, at midnight have
2637 In them a wilder nature than the business
2638 20 That seeks dispatch by day.
2640 And durst commend a secret to your ear
2641 Much weightier than this work. The Queen’s in
2643 25 They say in great extremity—and feared
2644 She’ll with the labor end.
GARDINER 2645 The fruit she goes with
2646 I pray for heartily, that it may find
2647 Good time and live; but for the stock, Sir Thomas,
2648 30 I wish it grubbed up now.
LOVELL 2649 Methinks I could
2650 Cry the amen, and yet my conscience says
2651 She’s a good creature and, sweet lady, does
2652 Deserve our better wishes.
GARDINER 2653 35 But, sir, sir,
2654 Hear me, Sir Thomas. You’re a gentleman
2655 Of mine own way. I know you wise, religious;
2656 And let me tell you, it will ne’er be well,
2657 ’Twill not, Sir Thomas Lovell, take ’t of me,
2658 40 Till Cranmer, Cromwell—her two hands—and she
2659 Sleep in their graves.
LOVELL 2660 Now, sir, you speak of two
2661 The most remarked i’ th’ kingdom. As for Cromwell,
2662 Besides that of the Jewel House, is made Master
2663 45 O’ th’ Rolls and the King’s secretary; further, sir,
2664 Stands in the gap and trade of more preferments,
2665 With which the ⌜time⌝ will load him. Th’ Archbishop
2666 Is the King’s hand and tongue, and who dare speak
2667 One syllable against him?
GARDINER 2668 50 Yes, yes, Sir Thomas,
2669 There are that dare, and I myself have ventured
2670 To speak my mind of him. And indeed this day,
2671 Sir—I may tell it you, I think—I have
2672 Incensed the lords o’ th’ Council that he is—
2673 55 For so I know he is, they know he is—
2675 That does infect the land; with which they, moved,
2676 Have broken with the King, who hath so far
2677 Given ear to our complaint, of his great grace
2678 60 And princely care foreseeing those fell mischiefs
2679 Our reasons laid before him, hath commanded
2680 Tomorrow morning to the Council board
2681 He be convented. He’s a rank weed, Sir Thomas,
2682 And we must root him out. From your affairs
2683 65 I hinder you too long. Goodnight, Sir Thomas.
2684 Many good nights, my lord. I rest your servant.
Gardiner and Page exit.
Enter King and Suffolk.
2685 Charles, I will play no more tonight.
2686 My mind’s not on ’t; you are too hard for me.
2687 Sir, I did never win of you before.
KING 2688 70But little, Charles,
2689 Nor shall not when my fancy’s on my play.—
2690 Now, Lovell, from the Queen what is the news?
2691 I could not personally deliver to her
2692 What you commanded me, but by her woman
2693 75 I sent your message, who returned her thanks
2694 In the great’st humbleness, and desired your Highness
2695 Most heartily to pray for her.
KING 2696 What sayst thou, ha?
2697 To pray for her? What, is she crying out?
2698 80 So said her woman, and that her suff’rance made
2699 Almost each pang a death.
KING 2700 Alas, good lady!
2701 God safely quit her of her burden, and
2703 85 Your Highness with an heir!
KING 2704 ’Tis midnight, Charles.
2705 Prithee, to bed, and in thy prayers remember
2706 Th’ estate of my poor queen. Leave me alone,
2707 For I must think of that which company
2708 90 Would not be friendly to.
SUFFOLK 2709 I wish your Highness
2710 A quiet night, and my good mistress will
2711 Remember in my prayers.
KING 2712 Charles, good night.
Enter Sir Anthony Denny.
2713 95 Well, sir, what follows?
2714 Sir, I have brought my lord the Archbishop,
2715 As you commanded me.
KING 2716 Ha! Canterbury?
2717 Ay, my good lord.
KING 2718 100 ’Tis true. Where is he, Denny?
2719 He attends your Highness’ pleasure.
KING 2720 Bring him to us.
2721 This is about that which the Bishop spake.
2722 I am happily come hither.
Enter Cranmer and Denny.
2723 105 Avoid the gallery.Lovell seems to stay.
2724 Ha! I have said. Be gone!
2725 What!Lovell and Denny exit.
2727 ’Tis his aspect of terror. All’s not well.
2728 110 How now, my lord? You do desire to know
2729 Wherefore I sent for you.
CRANMER, ⌜kneeling⌝ 2730 It is my duty
2731 T’ attend your Highness’ pleasure.
KING 2732 Pray you arise,
2733 115 My good and gracious Lord of Canterbury.
2734 Come, you and I must walk a turn together.
2735 I have news to tell you. Come, come, give me your
2736 hand.⌜Cranmer rises.⌝
2737 Ah, my good lord, I grieve at what I speak,
2738 120 And am right sorry to repeat what follows.
2739 I have, and most unwillingly, of late
2740 Heard many grievous—I do say, my lord,
2741 Grievous—complaints of you, which, being
2743 125 Have moved us and our Council that you shall
2744 This morning come before us, where I know
2745 You cannot with such freedom purge yourself
2746 But that, till further trial in those charges
2747 Which will require your answer, you must take
2748 130 Your patience to you and be well contented
2749 To make your house our Tower. You a brother of us,
2750 It fits we thus proceed, or else no witness
2751 Would come against you.
CRANMER, ⌜kneeling⌝ 2752 I humbly thank your
2753 135 Highness,
2754 And am right glad to catch this good occasion
2755 Most throughly to be winnowed, where my chaff
2756 And corn shall fly asunder. For I know
2757 There’s none stands under more calumnious tongues
2758 140 Than I myself, poor man.
KING 2759 Stand up, good Canterbury!
2760 Thy truth and thy integrity is rooted
2762 Prithee, let’s walk. Now by my halidom,
2763 145 What manner of man are you? My lord, I looked
2764 You would have given me your petition that
2765 I should have ta’en some pains to bring together
2766 Yourself and your accusers and to have heard you
2767 Without endurance further.
CRANMER 2768 150 Most dread liege,
2769 The good I stand on is my truth and honesty.
2770 If they shall fail, I with mine enemies
2771 Will triumph o’er my person, which I weigh not,
2772 Being of those virtues vacant. I fear nothing
2773 155 What can be said against me.
KING 2774 Know you not
2775 How your state stands i’ th’ world, with the whole
2777 Your enemies are many and not small; their practices
2778 160 Must bear the same proportion, and not ever
2779 The justice and the truth o’ th’ question carries
2780 The due o’ th’ verdict with it. At what ease
2781 Might corrupt minds procure knaves as corrupt
2782 To swear against you? Such things have been done.
2783 165 You are potently opposed, and with a malice
2784 Of as great size. Ween you of better luck,
2785 I mean in perjured witness, than your master,
2786 Whose minister you are, whiles here he lived
2787 Upon this naughty earth? Go to, go to.
2788 170 You take a precipice for no leap of danger
2789 And woo your own destruction.
CRANMER 2790 God and your Majesty
2791 Protect mine innocence, or I fall into
2792 The trap is laid for me.
KING 2793 175 Be of good cheer.
2794 They shall no more prevail than we give way to.
2796 You do appear before them. If they shall chance,
2797 In charging you with matters, to commit you,
2798 180 The best persuasions to the contrary
2799 Fail not to use, and with what vehemency
2800 Th’ occasion shall instruct you. If entreaties
2801 Will render you no remedy, this ring
2802 Deliver them, and your appeal to us
2803 185 There make before them.⌜He gives Cranmer a ring.⌝
⌜Aside.⌝ 2804 Look, the good man weeps!
2805 He’s honest, on mine honor! God’s blest mother,
2806 I swear he is truehearted, and a soul
2807 None better in my kingdom.—Get you gone,
2808 190 And do as I have bid you.Cranmer exits.
2809 He has strangled
2810 His language in his tears.
⌜LOVELL⌝ (within) 2811 Come back! What mean you?
Enter Old Lady, ⌜followed by Lovell.⌝
2812 I’ll not come back! The tidings that I bring
2813 195 Will make my boldness manners.—Now, good angels
2814 Fly o’er thy royal head and shade thy person
2815 Under their blessèd wings!
KING 2816 Now by thy looks
2817 I guess thy message. Is the Queen delivered?
2818 200 Say “Ay, and of a boy.”
OLD LADY 2819 Ay, ay, my liege,
2820 And of a lovely boy. The God of heaven
2821 Both now and ever bless her! ’Tis a girl
2822 Promises boys hereafter. Sir, your queen
2823 205 Desires your visitation, and to be
2824 Acquainted with this stranger. ’Tis as like you
2825 As cherry is to cherry.
LOVELL 2827 Sir.
2828 210 Give her an hundred marks. I’ll to the Queen.
2829 An hundred marks? By this light, I’ll ha’ more.
2830 An ordinary groom is for such payment.
2831 I will have more or scold it out of him.
2832 Said I for this the girl was like to him?
2833 215 I’ll have more or else unsay ’t. And now,
2834 While ’tis hot, I’ll put it to the issue.
⌜Old⌝ Lady exits, ⌜with Lovell.⌝