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Henry VIII
Act 5, 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
Enter Trumpets, sounding. Then two Aldermen, Lord
Mayor, Garter, Cranmer, Duke of Norfolk with his
marshal’s staff, Duke of Suffolk, two Noblemen bearing
great standing bowls for the christening gifts; then four
Noblemen bearing a canopy, under which the Duchess
of Norfolk, godmother, bearing the child richly habited
in a mantle, etc., train borne by a Lady. Then follows the
Marchioness Dorset, the other godmother, and Ladies.
The troop pass once about the stage, and Garter speaks.


GARTER Heaven, from thy endless goodness, send
 prosperous life, long, and ever happy, to the high
 and mighty princess of England, Elizabeth.

Flourish. Enter King and Guard.

CRANMER, kneeling 
 And to your royal Grace and the good queen,

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Henry VIII
ACT 5. SC. 4

5 My noble partners and myself thus pray
 All comfort, joy, in this most gracious lady
 Heaven ever laid up to make parents happy
 May hourly fall upon you!
KING  Thank you, good lord
10 Archbishop.
 What is her name?
CRANMER  Elizabeth.
KING  Stand up, lord.
Cranmer stands.
 With this kiss take my blessing.King kisses infant.
15 God protect thee,
 Into whose hand I give thy life.
CRANMER  Amen.
KING, to the two godmothers 
 My noble gossips, you’ve been too prodigal.
 I thank you heartily; so shall this lady
20 When she has so much English.
CRANMER  Let me speak, sir,
 For heaven now bids me; and the words I utter
 Let none think flattery, for they’ll find ’em truth.
 This royal infant—heaven still move about her!—
25 Though in her cradle, yet now promises
 Upon this land a thousand thousand blessings,
 Which time shall bring to ripeness. She shall be—
 But few now living can behold that goodness—
 A pattern to all princes living with her
30 And all that shall succeed. Saba was never
 More covetous of wisdom and fair virtue
 Than this pure soul shall be. All princely graces
 That mold up such a mighty piece as this is,
 With all the virtues that attend the good,
35 Shall still be doubled on her. Truth shall nurse her;
 Holy and heavenly thoughts still counsel her.
 She shall be loved and feared. Her own shall bless her;
 Her foes shake like a field of beaten corn

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Henry VIII
ACT 5. SC. 4

 And hang their heads with sorrow. Good grows with
40 her.
 In her days every man shall eat in safety
 Under his own vine what he plants and sing
 The merry songs of peace to all his neighbors.
 God shall be truly known, and those about her
45 From her shall read the perfect ways of honor
 And by those claim their greatness, not by blood.
 Nor shall this peace sleep with her; but, as when
 The bird of wonder dies, the maiden phoenix,
 Her ashes new create another heir
50 As great in admiration as herself,
 So shall she leave her blessedness to one,
 When heaven shall call her from this cloud of darkness,
 Who from the sacred ashes of her honor
 Shall starlike rise as great in fame as she was
55 And so stand fixed. Peace, plenty, love, truth, terror,
 That were the servants to this chosen infant,
 Shall then be his, and like a vine grow to him.
 Wherever the bright sun of heaven shall shine,
 His honor and the greatness of his name
60 Shall be, and make new nations. He shall flourish,
 And like a mountain cedar reach his branches
 To all the plains about him. Our children’s children
 Shall see this and bless heaven.
KING  Thou speakest wonders.
CRANMER 
65 She shall be to the happiness of England
 An agèd princess; many days shall see her,
 And yet no day without a deed to crown it.
 Would I had known no more! But she must die,
 She must, the saints must have her; yet a virgin,
70 A most unspotted lily, shall she pass
 To th’ ground, and all the world shall mourn her.

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ACT 5. SC. 4

KING  O lord
 Archbishop,
 Thou hast made me now a man. Never before
75 This happy child did I get anything.
 This oracle of comfort has so pleased me
 That when I am in heaven I shall desire
 To see what this child does and praise my Maker.—
 I thank you all.—To you, my good lord mayor
80 And you, good brethren, I am much beholding.
 I have received much honor by your presence,
 And you shall find me thankful. Lead the way, lords.
 You must all see the Queen, and she must thank you;
 She will be sick else. This day, no man think
85 ’Has business at his house, for all shall stay.
 This little one shall make it holiday.
They exit.