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Henry VIII
Act 1, scene 4

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Contents

Characters in the Play

Entire Play

Two stories dominate Henry VIII: the fall of Cardinal Wolsey, Henry’s powerful advisor, and Henry’s quest to divorce Queen Katherine, who…

Prologue

Act 1, scene 1

The Duke of Buckingham, learning the details of the costly and ultimately fruitless meeting of French and English at the…

Act 1, scene 2

Queen Katherine reveals that Wolsey is heavily taxing the English in the king’s name, and Henry pronounces a pardon to…

Act 1, scene 3

Three courtiers discuss the royal proclamation against young fops who have adopted French manners and dress after returning from France….

Act 1, scene 4

At the supper, Wolsey and his guests are visited by Henry and his courtiers, all disguised as shepherds. Henry dances…

Act 2, scene 1

Buckingham, convicted of treason, is led to execution. He declares his innocence, forgives his enemies, and vows his loyalty to…

Act 2, scene 2

Norfolk, Suffolk, and the Lord Chamberlain join in denouncing Wolsey. They hold him responsible for dividing Henry from Katherine, and…

Act 2, scene 3

Anne Bullen pities Katherine, now threatened with divorce. The Lord Chamberlain enters to announce that Henry has created Anne marchioness…

Act 2, scene 4

At the trial, Katherine refuses to have the validity of her marriage judged by the church court, given Wolsey’s malice…

Act 3, scene 1

Wolsey and Campeius visit Katherine to persuade her to contest the divorce no longer.

Act 3, scene 2

Courtiers assemble to discuss Wolsey’s sudden fall from Henry’s favor, Henry’s marriage to Anne Bullen, and plans for her coronation….

Act 4, scene 1

The procession returns from Anne’s coronation, which is then described by a gentleman who was in attendance.

Act 4, scene 2

The dying Princess Dowager Katherine and her attendant Griffith provide contrasting accounts of the character of the newly dead Wolsey….

Act 5, scene 1

The new archbishop of Canterbury, Cranmer, is under attack because his religious beliefs seem heretical. The king, after receiving news…

Act 5, scene 2

Cranmer suffers the public humiliation of being locked out of a Privy Council meeting. Allowed in, he is then threatened…

Act 5, scene 3

A porter and his assistant fight to control the crowd determined to view the royal daughter’s christening.

Act 5, scene 4

At Princess Elizabeth’s christening, Cranmer prophesies a magnificent reign for the future Queen Elizabeth I and an equally successful one…

Act 5, epilogue

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Scene 4
Hautboys. A small table under a state for the Cardinal, a
longer table for the guests. Then enter Anne Bullen and
divers other ladies and gentlemen as guests at one door;
at another door enter Sir Henry Guilford.


GUILFORD 
 Ladies, a general welcome from his Grace
 Salutes you all. This night he dedicates
 To fair content and you. None here, he hopes,
 In all this noble bevy has brought with her
5 One care abroad. He would have all as merry
 As, first, good company, good wine, good welcome
 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
10 Clapped wings to me.
CHAMBERLAIN  You are young, Sir Harry Guilford.
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,
15 I think would better please ’em. By my life,
 They are a sweet society of fair ones.
LOVELL 
 O, that your Lordship were but now confessor
 To one or two of these!

49
Henry VIII
ACT 1. SC. 4

SANDS  I would I were.
20 They should find easy penance.
LOVELL  Faith, how easy?
SANDS 
 As easy as a down bed would afford it.
CHAMBERLAIN 
 Sweet ladies, will it please you sit?—Sir Harry,
 Place you that side; I’ll take the charge of this.
The guests are seated.
25 His Grace is ent’ring. Nay, you must not freeze;
 Two women placed together makes cold weather.
 My Lord Sands, you are one will keep ’em waking.
 Pray sit between these ladies.
SANDS  By my faith,
30 And thank your Lordship.—By your leave, sweet ladies.
He sits between Anne Bullen 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;
35 But he would bite none. Just as I do now,
 He would kiss you twenty with a breath.
He kisses Anne.
CHAMBERLAIN  Well said,
 my lord.
 So, now you’re fairly seated, gentlemen,
40 The penance lies on you if these fair ladies
 Pass away frowning.
SANDS  For my little cure,
 Let me alone.

Hautboys. Enter Cardinal Wolsey, with Attendants and
Servants, and takes his state.


WOLSEY 
 You’re welcome, my fair guests. That noble lady

51
Henry VIII
ACT 1. SC. 4

45 Or gentleman that is not freely merry
 Is not my friend. This to confirm my welcome,
 And to you all good health.He drinks to them.
SANDS  Your Grace is noble.
 Let me have such a bowl may hold my thanks
50 And save me so much talking.
WOLSEY  My Lord Sands,
 I am beholding to you. Cheer your neighbors.—
 Ladies, you are not merry.—Gentlemen,
 Whose fault is this?
SANDS 55 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 60 Yes, if I make my play.
 Here’s to your Ladyship, and pledge it, madam,
He drinks to her.
 For ’tis to such a thing—
ANNE  You cannot show me.
SANDS 
 I told your Grace they would talk anon.
Drum and Trumpet. Chambers discharged.
WOLSEY 65 What’s that?
CHAMBERLAIN 
 Look out there, some of you.Servants exit.
WOLSEY  What warlike voice,
 And to what end, is this?—Nay, ladies, fear not.
 By all the laws of war you’re privileged.

Enter a Servant.

CHAMBERLAIN 
70 How now, what is ’t?
SERVANT  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.

53
Henry VIII
ACT 1. SC. 4

WOLSEY 75 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
80 Shall shine at full upon them. Some attend him.
Lord Chamberlain exits, with Attendants.
All rise, 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 you. Welcome all!

Hautboys. Enter 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?
CHAMBERLAIN 
85 Because they speak no English, thus they prayed
 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,
90 But leave their flocks and, under your fair conduct,
 Crave leave to view these ladies and entreat
 An hour of revels with ’em.
WOLSEY  Say, Lord Chamberlain,
 They have done my poor house grace, for which I
95 pay ’em
 A thousand thanks and pray ’em take their pleasures.
The masquers choose Ladies. The
King chooses Anne Bullen.

KING 
 The fairest hand I ever touched! O beauty,
 Till now I never knew thee.
Music, Dance.
WOLSEY 
 My lord!

55
Henry VIII
ACT 1. SC. 4

CHAMBERLAIN 100 Your Grace?
WOLSEY  Pray tell ’em thus much
 from me:
 There should be one amongst ’em by his person
 More worthy this place than myself, to whom,
105 If I but knew him, with my love and duty
 I would surrender it.
CHAMBERLAIN  I will, my lord.
Whisper with the masquers.
WOLSEY 
 What say they?
CHAMBERLAIN  Such a one they all confess
110 There is indeed, which they would have your Grace
 Find out, and he will take it.
WOLSEY  Let me see, then.
He leaves his state.
 By all your good leaves, gentlemen.
He bows before the King.
 Here I’ll make
115 My royal choice.
KING, 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.
WOLSEY 120 I am glad
 Your Grace is grown so pleasant.
KING  My Lord Chamberlain,
 Prithee come hither. What fair lady’s that?
CHAMBERLAIN 
 An ’t please your Grace, Sir Thomas Bullen’s daughter,
125 The Viscount Rochford, one of her Highness’ women.
KING 
 By heaven, she is a dainty one.—Sweetheart,
 I were unmannerly to take you out
 And not to kiss you. He kisses Anne. A health,
 gentlemen!
130 Let it go round.He drinks a toast.

57
Henry VIII
ACT 1. SC. 4

WOLSEY 
 Sir Thomas Lovell, is the banquet ready
 I’ th’ privy chamber?
LOVELL  Yes, my lord.
WOLSEY  Your Grace,
135 I fear, with dancing is a little heated.
KING 
 I fear, too much.
WOLSEY  There’s fresher air, my lord,
 In the next chamber.
KING 
 Lead in your ladies ev’ry one.—Sweet partner,
140 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 favor. Let the music knock it.
They exit, with Trumpets.