Act II, Scene 3
London. An ante-chamber in the Queen’s apartment.
- Enter Anne Bullen and an Old Lady.
Anne Bullen1 - 11
- Not for that neither; here’s the pang that pinches:
- His Highness having liv’d so long with her, and she
- So good a lady that no tongue could ever
- Pronounce dishonor of her—by my life,
- She never knew harm-doing—O, now after
- So many courses of the sun enthroned,
- Still growing in a majesty and pomp, the which
- To leave a thousandfold more bitter than
- ’Tis sweet at first t’ acquire—after this process,
- To give her the avaunt, it is a pity
- Would move a monster.
Old Lady12 - 13
- Hearts of most hard temper
- Melt and lament for her.
Anne Bullen14 - 18
- O, God’s will, much better
- She ne’er had known pomp! Though’t be temporal,
- Yet if that quarrel, fortune, do divorce
- It from the bearer, ’tis a sufferance panging
- As soul and body’s severing.
Old Lady19 - 20
- Alas, poor lady!
- She’s a stranger now again.
Anne Bullen21 - 26
- So much the more
- Must pity drop upon her. Verily,
- I swear, ’tis better to be lowly born,
- And range with humble livers in content,
- Than to be perk’d up in a glist’ring grief
- And wear a golden sorrow.
Old Lady27 - 28
- Our content
- Is our best having.
Anne Bullen29 - 30
- By my troth and maidenhead,
- I would not be a queen.
Old Lady31 - 40
- Beshrew me, I would,
- And venture maidenhead for’t, and so would you
- For all this spice of your hypocrisy.
- You, that have so fair parts of woman on you,
- Have, too, a woman’s heart, which ever yet
- Affected eminence, wealth, sovereignty;
- Which, to say sooth, are blessings; and which gifts
- (Saving your mincing) the capacity
- Of your soft cheveril conscience would receive
- If you might please to stretch it.
- Nay, good troth.
- Yes, troth, and troth. You would not be a queen?
- No, not for all the riches under heaven.
Old Lady44 - 47
- ’Tis strange. A threepence bow’d would hire me,
- Old as I am, to queen it. But I pray you,
- What think you of a duchess? Have you limbs
- To bear that load of title?
- No, in truth.
Old Lady49 - 53
- Then you are weakly made; pluck off a little,
- I would not be a young count in your way
- For more than blushing comes to. If your back
- Cannot vouchsafe this burden, ’tis too weak
- Ever to get a boy.
Anne Bullen54 - 56
- How you do talk!
- I swear again, I would not be a queen
- For all the world.
Old Lady57 - 60
- In faith, for little England
- You’ld venture an emballing. I myself
- Would for Carnarvonshire, although there ’long’d
- No more to th’ crown but that. Lo, who comes here?
- Enter Lord Chamberlain.
Lord Chamberlain61 - 62
- Good morrow, ladies. What were’t worth to know
- The secret of your conference?
Anne Bullen63 - 65
- My good lord,
- Not your demand; it values not your asking.
- Our mistress’ sorrows we were pitying.
Lord Chamberlain66 - 68
- It was a gentle business, and becoming
- The action of good women. There is hope
- All will be well.
- Now I pray God, amen!
Lord Chamberlain70 - 78
- You bear a gentle mind, and heav’nly blessings
- Follow such creatures. That you may, fair lady,
- Perceive I speak sincerely, and high note’s
- Ta’en of your many virtues, the King’s Majesty
- Commends his good opinion of you to you, and
- Does purpose honor to you no less flowing
- Than Marchioness of Pembroke; to which title
- A thousand pound a year, annual support,
- Out of his grace he adds.
Anne Bullen79 - 87
- I do not know
- What kind of my obedience I should tender.
- More than my all is nothing: nor my prayers
- Are not words duly hallowed, nor my wishes
- More worth than empty vanities; yet prayers and wishes
- Are all I can return. Beseech your lordship,
- Vouchsafe to speak my thanks and my obedience,
- As from a blushing handmaid, to his Highness;
- Whose health and royalty I pray for.
Lord Chamberlain88 - 96
- I shall not fail t’ approve the fair conceit
- The King hath of you.
- I have perus’d her well;
- Beauty and honor in her are so mingled
- That they have caught the King; and who knows yet
- But from this lady may proceed a gem
- To lighten all this isle?—I’ll to the King,
- And say I spoke with you.
- My honor’d lord.
- Exit Lord Chamberlain.
Old Lady98 - 105
- Why, this it is! See, see,
- I have been begging sixteen years in court
- (Am yet a courtier beggarly) nor could
- Come pat betwixt too early and too late
- For any suit of pounds; and you, O fate!
- A very fresh fish here—fie, fie, fie upon
- This compell’d fortune!—have your mouth fill’d up
- Before you open it.
- This is strange to me.
Old Lady107 - 110
- How tastes it? Is it bitter? Forty pence, no.
- There was a lady once (’tis an old story)
- That would not be a queen, that would she not,
- For all the mud in Egypt. Have you heard it?
- Come, you are pleasant.
Old Lady112 - 119
- With your theme, I could
- O’ermount the lark. The Marchioness of Pembroke?
- A thousand pounds a year for pure respect?
- No other obligation? By my life,
- That promises more thousands; honor’s train
- Is longer than his foreskirt. By this time
- I know your back will bear a duchess. Say,
- Are you not stronger than you were?
Anne Bullen120 - 127
- Good lady,
- Make yourself mirth with your particular fancy,
- And leave me out on’t. Would I had no being
- If this salute my blood a jot; it faints me
- To think what follows.
- The Queen is comfortless, and we forgetful
- In our long absence. Pray do not deliver
- What here y’ have heard to her.
- What do you think me?