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Home > King Henry VIII > ACT IV - SCENE I. A street in Westminster.

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ACT IV - SCENE I. A street in Westminster.
Enter two Gentlemen, meeting one another

First Gentleman
1    You're well met once again.
Second Gentleman
2    So are you.
First Gentleman
3    You come to take your stand here, and behold
4    The Lady Anne pass from her coronation?
Second Gentleman
5    'Tis all my business. At our last encounter,
6    The Duke of Buckingham came from his trial.
First Gentleman
7    'Tis very true: but that time offer'd sorrow;
8    This, general joy.
Second Gentleman
9    'Tis well: the citizens,
10   I am sure, have shown at full their royal minds--
11   As, let 'em have their rights, they are ever forward--
12   In celebration of this day with shows,
13   Pageants and sights of honour.
First Gentleman
14   Never greater,
15   Nor, I'll assure you, better taken, sir.
Second Gentleman
16   May I be bold to ask at what that contains,
17   That paper in your hand?
First Gentleman
18   Yes; 'tis the list
19   Of those that claim their offices this day
20   By custom of the coronation.
21   The Duke of Suffolk is the first, and claims
22   To be high-steward; next, the Duke of Norfolk,
23   He to be earl marshal: you may read the rest.
Second Gentleman
24   I thank you, sir: had I not known those customs,
25   I should have been beholding to your paper.
26   But, I beseech you, what's become of Katharine,
27   The princess dowager? how goes her business?
First Gentleman
28   That I can tell you too. The Archbishop
29   Of Canterbury, accompanied with other
30   Learned and reverend fathers of his order,
31   Held a late court at Dunstable, six miles off
32   From Ampthill where the princess lay; to which
33   She was often cited by them, but appear'd not:
34   And, to be short, for not appearance and
35   The king's late scruple, by the main assent
36   Of all these learned men she was divorced,
37   And the late marriage made of none effect
38   Since which she was removed to Kimbolton,
39   Where she remains now sick.
Second Gentleman
40   Alas, good lady!
41   The trumpets sound: stand close, the queen is coming.


1. A lively flourish of Trumpets.

2. Then, two Judges.

3. Lord Chancellor, with the purse and mace before him.

4. Choristers, singing.


5. Mayor of London, bearing the mace. Then Garter, in his coat of arms, and on his head a gilt copper crown.

6. Marquess Dorset, bearing a sceptre of gold, on his head a demi-coronal of gold. With him, SURREY, bearing the rod of silver with the dove, crowned with an earl's coronet. Collars of SS.

7. SUFFOLK, in his robe of estate, his coronet on his head, bearing a long white wand, as high-steward. With him, NORFOLK, with the rod of marshalship, a coronet on his head. Collars of SS.

8. A canopy borne by four of the Cinque-ports; under it, QUEEN ANNE in her robe; in her hair richly adorned with pearl, crowned. On each side her, the Bishops of London and Winchester.

9. The old Duchess of Norfolk, in a coronal of gold, wrought with flowers, bearing QUEEN ANNE's train.

10. Certain Ladies or Countesses, with plain circlets of gold without flowers.

They pass over the stage in order and state

Second Gentleman
42   A royal train, believe me. These I know:
43   Who's that that bears the sceptre?
First Gentleman
44   Marquess Dorset:
45   And that the Earl of Surrey, with the rod.
Second Gentleman
46   A bold brave gentleman. That should be
47   The Duke of Suffolk?
First Gentleman
48   'Tis the same: high-steward.
Second Gentleman
49   And that my Lord of Norfolk?
First Gentleman
50   Yes;
Second Gentleman
51   Heaven bless thee!
Looking on QUEEN ANNE
52   Thou hast the sweetest face I ever look'd on.
53   Sir, as I have a soul, she is an angel;
54   Our king has all the Indies in his arms,
55   And more and richer, when he strains that lady:
56   I cannot blame his conscience.
First Gentleman
57   They that bear
58   The cloth of honour over her, are four barons
59   Of the Cinque-ports.
Second Gentleman
60   Those men are happy; and so are all are near her.
61   I take it, she that carries up the train
62   Is that old noble lady, Duchess of Norfolk.
First Gentleman
63   It is; and all the rest are countesses.
Second Gentleman
64   Their coronets say so. These are stars indeed;
65   And sometimes falling ones.
First Gentleman
66   No more of that.
Exit procession, and then a great flourish of trumpets

Enter a third Gentleman

First Gentleman
67   God save you, sir! where have you been broiling?
Third Gentleman
68   Among the crowd i' the Abbey; where a finger
69   Could not be wedged in more: I am stifled
70   With the mere rankness of their joy.
Second Gentleman
71   You saw
72   The ceremony?
Third Gentleman
73   That I did.
First Gentleman
74   How was it?
Third Gentleman
75   Well worth the seeing.
Second Gentleman
76   Good sir, speak it to us.
Third Gentleman
77   As well as I am able. The rich stream
78   Of lords and ladies, having brought the queen
79   To a prepared place in the choir, fell off
80   A distance from her; while her grace sat down
81   To rest awhile, some half an hour or so,
82   In a rich chair of state, opposing freely
83   The beauty of her person to the people.
84   Believe me, sir, she is the goodliest woman
85   That ever lay by man: which when the people
86   Had the full view of, such a noise arose
87   As the shrouds make at sea in a stiff tempest,
88   As loud, and to as many tunes: hats, cloaks--
89   Doublets, I think,--flew up; and had their faces
90   Been loose, this day they had been lost. Such joy
91   I never saw before. Great-bellied women,
92   That had not half a week to go, like rams
93   In the old time of war, would shake the press,
94   And make 'em reel before 'em. No man living
95   Could say 'This is my wife' there; all were woven
96   So strangely in one piece.
Second Gentleman
97   But, what follow'd?
Third Gentleman
98   At length her grace rose, and with modest paces
99   Came to the altar; where she kneel'd, and saint-like
100  Cast her fair eyes to heaven and pray'd devoutly.
101  Then rose again and bow'd her to the people:
102  When by the Archbishop of Canterbury
103  She had all the royal makings of a queen;
104  As holy oil, Edward Confessor's crown,
105  The rod, and bird of peace, and all such emblems
106  Laid nobly on her: which perform'd, the choir,
107  With all the choicest music of the kingdom,
108  Together sung 'Te Deum.' So she parted,
109  And with the same full state paced back again
110  To York-place, where the feast is held.
First Gentleman
111  Sir,
112  You must no more call it York-place, that's past;
113  For, since the cardinal fell, that title's lost:
114  'Tis now the king's, and call'd Whitehall.
Third Gentleman
115  I know it;
116  But 'tis so lately alter'd, that the old name
117  Is fresh about me.
Second Gentleman
118  What two reverend bishops
119  Were those that went on each side of the queen?
Third Gentleman
120  Stokesly and Gardiner; the one of Winchester,
121  Newly preferr'd from the king's secretary,
122  The other, London.
Second Gentleman
123  He of Winchester
124  Is held no great good lover of the archbishop's,
125  The virtuous Cranmer.
Third Gentleman
126  All the land knows that:
127  However, yet there is no great breach; when it comes,
128  Cranmer will find a friend will not shrink from him.
Second Gentleman
129  Who may that be, I pray you?
Third Gentleman
130  Thomas Cromwell;
131  A man in much esteem with the king, and truly
132  A worthy friend. The king has made him master
133  O' the jewel house,
134  And one, already, of the privy council.
Second Gentleman
135  He will deserve more.
Third Gentleman
136  Yes, without all doubt.
137  Come, gentlemen, ye shall go my way, which
138  Is to the court, and there ye shall be my guests:
139  Something I can command. As I walk thither,
140  I'll tell ye more.
141  You may command us, sir.

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Scene Index

  • ACT I

  • ACT II


  • ACT IV

  • ACT V

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