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Henry VIII: Act 2, Scene 3

Henry VIII
Act 2, Scene 3

London. An ante-chamber in the Queen’s apartment.

  1. Enter Anne Bullen and an Old Lady.

Anne Bullen

2 - 12
  1. Not for that neither; here’s the pang that pinches:
  2. His Highness having liv’d so long with her, and she
  3. So good a lady that no tongue could ever
  4. Pronounce dishonor of herby my life,
  5. She never knew harm-doingO, now after
  6. So many courses of the sun enthroned,
  7. Still growing in a majesty and pomp, the which
  8. To leave a thousandfold more bitter than
  9. ’Tis sweet at first t’ acquireafter this process,
  10. To give her the avaunt, it is a pity
  11. Would move a monster.

Old Lady

13 - 14
  1.                       Hearts of most hard temper
  2. Melt and lament for her.

Anne Bullen

15 - 19
  1.                          O, God’s will, much better
  2. She ne’er had known pomp! Though’t be temporal,
  3. Yet if that quarrel, fortune, do divorce
  4. It from the bearer, ’tis a sufferance panging
  5. As soul and body’s severing.

Old Lady

20 - 21
  1.                              Alas, poor lady!
  2. She’s a stranger now again.

Anne Bullen

22 - 27
  1.                             So much the more
  2. Must pity drop upon her. Verily,
  3. I swear, ’tis better to be lowly born,
  4. And range with humble livers in content,
  5. Than to be perk’d up in a glist’ring grief
  6. And wear a golden sorrow.

Old Lady

28 - 29
  1.                           Our content
  2. Is our best having.

Anne Bullen

30 - 31
  1.                     By my troth and maidenhead,
  2. I would not be a queen.

Old Lady

32 - 41
  1.                         Beshrew me, I would,
  2. And venture maidenhead for’t, and so would you
  3. For all this spice of your hypocrisy.
  4. You, that have so fair parts of woman on you,
  5. Have, too, a woman’s heart, which ever yet
  6. Affected eminence, wealth, sovereignty;
  7. Which, to say sooth, are blessings; and which gifts
  8. (Saving your mincing) the capacity
  9. Of your soft cheveril conscience would receive
  10. If you might please to stretch it.

Anne Bullen

42
  1.                                    Nay, good troth.

Old Lady

43
  1. Yes, troth, and troth. You would not be a queen?

Anne Bullen

44
  1. No, not for all the riches under heaven.

Old Lady

45 - 48
  1. ’Tis strange. A threepence bow’d would hire me,
  2. Old as I am, to queen it. But I pray you,
  3. What think you of a duchess? Have you limbs
  4. To bear that load of title?

Anne Bullen

49
  1.                             No, in truth.

Old Lady

50 - 54
  1. Then you are weakly made; pluck off a little,
  2. I would not be a young count in your way
  3. For more than blushing comes to. If your back
  4. Cannot vouchsafe this burden, ’tis too weak
  5. Ever to get a boy.

Anne Bullen

55 - 57
  1.                    How you do talk!
  2. I swear again, I would not be a queen
  3. For all the world.

Old Lady

58 - 61
  1.                    In faith, for little England
  2. You’ld venture an emballing. I myself
  3. Would for Carnarvonshire, although there ’long’d
  4. No more to th’ crown but that. Lo, who comes here?
  1. Enter Lord Chamberlain.

Lord Chamberlain

63 - 64
  1. Good morrow, ladies. What were’t worth to know
  2. The secret of your conference?

Anne Bullen

65 - 67
  1.                                My good lord,
  2. Not your demand; it values not your asking.
  3. Our mistress’ sorrows we were pitying.

Lord Chamberlain

68 - 70
  1. It was a gentle business, and becoming
  2. The action of good women. There is hope
  3. All will be well.

Anne Bullen

71
  1.                   Now I pray God, amen!

Lord Chamberlain

72 - 80
  1. You bear a gentle mind, and heav’nly blessings
  2. Follow such creatures. That you may, fair lady,
  3. Perceive I speak sincerely, and high note’s
  4. Ta’en of your many virtues, the King’s Majesty
  5. Commends his good opinion of you to you, and
  6. Does purpose honor to you no less flowing
  7. Than Marchioness of Pembroke; to which title
  8. A thousand pound a year, annual support,
  9. Out of his grace he adds.

Anne Bullen

81 - 89
  1.                           I do not know
  2. What kind of my obedience I should tender.
  3. More than my all is nothing: nor my prayers
  4. Are not words duly hallowed, nor my wishes
  5. More worth than empty vanities; yet prayers and wishes
  6. Are all I can return. Beseech your lordship,
  7. Vouchsafe to speak my thanks and my obedience,
  8. As from a blushing handmaid, to his Highness;
  9. Whose health and royalty I pray for.

Lord Chamberlain

90 - 99
  1.                                      Lady,
  2. I shall not fail t’ approve the fair conceit
  3. The King hath of you.
  4. Aside.
  5.                       I have perus’d her well;
  6. Beauty and honor in her are so mingled
  7. That they have caught the King; and who knows yet
  8. But from this lady may proceed a gem
  9. To lighten all this isle?—I’ll to the King,
  10. And say I spoke with you.

Anne Bullen

100
  1.                           My honor’d lord.
  1. Exit Lord Chamberlain.

Old Lady

102 - 109
  1. Why, this it is! See, see,
  2. I have been begging sixteen years in court
  3. (Am yet a courtier beggarly) nor could
  4. Come pat betwixt too early and too late
  5. For any suit of pounds; and you, O fate!
  6. A very fresh fish herefie, fie, fie upon
  7. This compell’d fortune!—have your mouth fill’d up
  8. Before you open it.

Anne Bullen

110
  1.                     This is strange to me.

Old Lady

111 - 114
  1. How tastes it? Is it bitter? Forty pence, no.
  2. There was a lady once (’tis an old story)
  3. That would not be a queen, that would she not,
  4. For all the mud in Egypt. Have you heard it?

Anne Bullen

115
  1. Come, you are pleasant.

Old Lady

116 - 123
  1.                         With your theme, I could
  2. O’ermount the lark. The Marchioness of Pembroke?
  3. A thousand pounds a year for pure respect?
  4. No other obligation? By my life,
  5. That promises more thousands; honor’s train
  6. Is longer than his foreskirt. By this time
  7. I know your back will bear a duchess. Say,
  8. Are you not stronger than you were?

Anne Bullen

124 - 131
  1.                                     Good lady,
  2. Make yourself mirth with your particular fancy,
  3. And leave me out on’t. Would I had no being
  4. If this salute my blood a jot; it faints me
  5. To think what follows.
  6. The Queen is comfortless, and we forgetful
  7. In our long absence. Pray do not deliver
  8. What here y’ have heard to her.

Old Lady

132
  1.                                 What do you think me?
  1. Exeunt.
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