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Henry VIII: Act 5, Scene 2

Henry VIII
Act 5, Scene 2

The lobby before the council chamber.

  1. Pursuivants, Pages, etc., attending. Enter Cranmer,
  2. Archbishop of Canterbury.

Cranmer

3 - 6
  1. I hope I am not too late, and yet the gentleman
  2. That was sent to me from the Council pray’d me
  3. To make great haste. All fast? What means this? Ho!
  4. Who waits there? Sure you know me?
  1. Enter Doorkeeper of the Council Chamber.

Doorkeeper

8 - 9
  1.                                    Yes, my lord;
  2. But yet I cannot help you.

Cranmer

10
  1. Why?

Doorkeeper

11
  1. Your Grace must wait till you be call’d for.
  1. Enter Doctor Butts.

Cranmer

13
  1.                                              So.

Doctor Butts

14 - 17
  1. Aside.
  2. This is a piece of malice. I am glad
  3. I came this way so happily; the King
  4. Shall understand it presently.
  1. Exit Butts.

Cranmer

19 - 29
  1. Aside.
  2.                                ’Tis Butts,
  3. The King’s physician. As he pass’d along,
  4. How earnestly he cast his eyes upon me!
  5. Pray heaven he sound not my disgrace! For certain
  6. This is of purpose laid by some that hate me
  7. (God turn their hearts! I never sought their malice)
  8. To quench mine honor; they would shame to make me
  9. Wait else at door, a fellow Councillor,
  10. ’Mong boys, grooms, and lackeys. But their pleasures
  11. Must be fulfill’d, and I attend with patience.
  1. Enter the King and Butts at a window above.

Doctor Butts

31
  1. I’ll show your Grace the strangest sight

King

32
  1.                                           What’s that, Butts?

Doctor Butts

33
  1. I think your Highness saw this many a day.

King

34
  1. Body a’ me, where is it?

Doctor Butts

35 - 38
  1.                          There, my lord:
  2. The high promotion of his Grace of Canterbury,
  3. Who holds his state at door ’mongst pursuivants,
  4. Pages, and footboys.

King

39 - 49
  1.                      Ha? ’Tis he indeed.
  2. Is this the honor they do one another?
  3. ’Tis well there’s one above ’em yet. I had thought
  4. They had parted so much honesty among ’em
  5. At least good mannersas not thus to suffer
  6. A man of his place, and so near our favor,
  7. To dance attendance on their lordships’ pleasures,
  8. And at the door too, like a post with packets.
  9. By holy Mary, Butts, there’s knavery.
  10. Let ’em alone, and draw the curtain close;
  11. We shall hear more anon.
  1. Curtain, above, partially drawn, but the King and Butts
  2. remain listening.
  1. A council-table brought in with chairs and stools, and
  2. placed under the state.
  1. Enter Lord Chancellor; places himself at the upper end of
  2. the table on the left hand; a seat being left void above
  3. him, as for Canterbury’s seat.
  1. Duke of Suffolk, Duke of Norfolk, Surrey, Lord Chamberlain,
  2. Gardiner seat themselves in order on each side, Cromwell at
  3. lower end, as secretary.

Lord Chancellor

60 - 61
  1. Speak to the business, Master Secretary.
  2. Why are we met in Council?

Cromwell

62 - 63
  1.                            Please your honors,
  2. The chief cause concerns his Grace of Canterbury.

Bishop of Winchester

64
  1. Has he had knowledge of it?

Cromwell

65
  1.                             Yes.

Duke of Norfolk

66
  1.      Who waits there?

Doorkeeper

67
  1. Without, my noble lords?

Bishop of Winchester

68
  1.                          Yes.

Doorkeeper

69 - 70
  1.      My Lord Archbishop;
  2. And has done half an hour, to know your pleasures.

Lord Chancellor

71
  1. Let him come in.

Doorkeeper

72
  1.                  Your Grace may enter now.
  1. Cranmer approaches the council-table.

Lord Chancellor

74 - 85
  1. My good Lord Archbishop, I’m very sorry
  2. To sit here at this present, and behold
  3. That chair stand empty; but we all are men,
  4. In our own natures frail, and capable
  5. Of our flesh; few are angels; out of which frailty
  6. And want of wisdom, you, that best should teach us,
  7. Have misdemean’d yourself, and not a little:
  8. Toward the King first, then his laws, in filling
  9. The whole realm by your teaching and your chaplains’
  10. (For so we are inform’d) with new opinions,
  11. Divers and dangerous; which are heresies,
  12. And, not reform’d, may prove pernicious.

Bishop of Winchester

86 - 97
  1. Which reformation must be sudden too,
  2. My noble lords; for those that tame wild horses
  3. Pace ’em not in their hands to make ’em gentle,
  4. But stop their mouths with stubborn bits and spur ’em
  5. Till they obey the manage. If we suffer,
  6. Out of our easiness and childish pity
  7. To one man’s honor, this contagious sickness,
  8. Farewell all physic! And what follows then?
  9. Commotions, uproars, with a general taint
  10. Of the whole state; as of late days our neighbors,
  11. The upper Germany, can dearly witness,
  12. Yet freshly pitied in our memories.

Cranmer

98 - 114
  1. My good lords: hitherto, in all the progress
  2. Both of my life and office, I have labor’d,
  3. And with no little study, that my teaching
  4. And the strong course of my authority
  5. Might go one way, and safely; and the end
  6. Was ever to do well; nor is there living
  7. (I speak it with a single heart, my lords)
  8. A man that more detests, more stirs against,
  9. Both in his private conscience and his place,
  10. Defacers of a public peace than I do.
  11. Pray heaven the King may never find a heart
  12. With less allegiance in it! Men that make
  13. Envy and crooked malice nourishment
  14. Dare bite the best. I do beseech your lordships,
  15. That, in this case of justice, my accusers,
  16. Be what they will, may stand forth face to face,
  17. And freely urge against me.

Duke of Suffolk

115 - 117
  1.                             Nay, my lord,
  2. That cannot be; you are a Councillor,
  3. And by that virtue no man dare accuse you.

Bishop of Winchester

118 - 124
  1. My lord, because we have business of more moment,
  2. We will be short with you. ’Tis his Highness’ pleasure
  3. And our consent, for better trial of you,
  4. From hence you be committed to the Tower,
  5. Where being but a private man again,
  6. You shall know many dare accuse you boldly,
  7. More than (I fear) you are provided for.

Cranmer

125 - 136
  1. Ah, my good Lord of WinchesterI thank you,
  2. You are always my good friend; if your will pass,
  3. I shall both find your lordship judge and juror,
  4. You are so merciful. I see your end,
  5. ’Tis my undoing. Love and meekness, lord,
  6. Become a churchman better than ambition;
  7. Win straying souls with modesty again,
  8. Cast none away. That I shall clear myself,
  9. Lay all the weight ye can upon my patience,
  10. I make as little doubt as you do conscience
  11. In doing daily wrongs. I could say more,
  12. But reverence to your calling makes me modest.

Bishop of Winchester

137 - 139
  1. My lord, my lord, you are a sectary,
  2. That’s the plain truth. Your painted gloss discovers,
  3. To men that understand you, words and weakness.

Cromwell

140 - 144
  1. My Lord of Winchester, y’ are a little,
  2. By your good favor, too sharp; men so noble,
  3. However faulty, yet should find respect
  4. For what they have been. ’Tis a cruelty
  5. To load a falling man.

Bishop of Winchester

145 - 147
  1.                        Good Master Secretary,
  2. I cry your honor mercy; you may worst
  3. Of all this table say so.

Cromwell

148
  1.                           Why, my lord?

Bishop of Winchester

149 - 150
  1. Do not I know you for a favorer
  2. Of this new sect? Ye are not sound.

Cromwell

151
  1.                                     Not sound?

Bishop of Winchester

152
  1. Not sound, I say.

Cromwell

153 - 154
  1.                   Would you were half so honest!
  2. Men’s prayers then would seek you, not their fears.

Bishop of Winchester

155
  1. I shall remember this bold language.

Cromwell

156 - 157
  1.                                      Do.
  2. Remember your bold life too.

Lord Chancellor

158 - 159
  1.                              This is too much.
  2. Forbear for shame, my lords.

Bishop of Winchester

160
  1.                              I have done.

Cromwell

161
  1.              And I.

Lord Chancellor

162 - 166
  1. Then thus for you, my lord, it stands agreed,
  2. I take it, by all voices: that forthwith
  3. You be convey’d to th’ Tower a prisoner;
  4. There to remain till the King’s further pleasure
  5. Be known unto us. Are you all agreed, lords?

All Duke of Suffolk, Duke of Norfolk, Earl of Surrey, and Lord Chamberlain

167
  1. We are.

Cranmer

168 - 169
  1.         Is there no other way of mercy
  2. But I must needs to th’ Tower, my lords?

Bishop of Winchester

170 - 172
  1.                                          What other
  2. Would you expect? You are strangely troublesome.
  3. Let some o’ th’ guard be ready there.
  1. Enter the Guard.

Cranmer

174 - 175
  1.                                       For me?
  2. Must I go like a traitor thither?

Bishop of Winchester

176 - 177
  1.                                   Receive him,
  2. And see him safe i’ th’ Tower.

Cranmer

178 - 182
  1.                                Stay, good my lords,
  2. I have a little yet to say. Look there, my lords;
  3. By virtue of that ring, I take my cause
  4. Out of the gripes of cruel men, and give it
  5. To a most noble judge, the King my master.

Lord Chamberlain

183
  1. This is the King’s ring.

Earl of Surrey

184
  1.                          ’Tis no counterfeit.

Duke of Suffolk

185 - 187
  1. ’Tis the right ring, by heav’n! I told ye all,
  2. When we first put this dangerous stone a-rolling,
  3. ’Twould fall upon ourselves.

Duke of Norfolk

188 - 190
  1.                              Do you think, my lords,
  2. The King will suffer but the little finger
  3. Of this man to be vex’d?

Lord Chamberlain

191 - 194
  1.                          ’Tis now too certain.
  2. How much more is his life in value with him!
  3. Exeunt King and Butts above.
  4. Would I were fairly out on’t!

Cromwell

195 - 199
  1.                               My mind gave me,
  2. In seeking tales and informations
  3. Against this man, whose honesty the devil
  4. And his disciples only envy at,
  5. Ye blew the fire that burns ye. Now have at ye!
  1. Enter King frowning on them; takes his seat.

Bishop of Winchester

201 - 208
  1. Dread sovereign, how much are we bound to heaven
  2. In daily thanks, that gave us such a prince,
  3. Not only good and wise but most religious;
  4. One that, in all obedience, makes the Church
  5. The chief aim of his honor, and to strengthen
  6. That holy duty, out of dear respect,
  7. His royal self in judgment comes to hear
  8. The cause betwixt her and this great offender.

King

209 - 221
  1. You were ever good at sudden commendations,
  2. Bishop of Winchester. But know I come not
  3. To hear such flattery now, and in my presence
  4. They are too thin and base to hide offenses.
  5. To me you cannot reach you play the spaniel,
  6. And think with wagging of your tongue to win me;
  7. But whatsoe’er thou tak’st me for, I’m sure
  8. Thou hast a cruel nature and a bloody.
  9. To Cranmer.
  10. Good man, sit down. Now let me see the proudest
  11. He, that dares most, but wag his finger at thee.
  12. By all that’s holy, he had better starve
  13. Than but once think his place becomes thee not.

Earl of Surrey

222
  1. May it please your Grace

King

223 - 236
  1.                           No, sir, it does not please me.
  2. I had thought I had had men of some understanding
  3. And wisdom of my Council; but I find none.
  4. Was it discretion, lords, to let this man,
  5. This good man (few of you deserve that title),
  6. This honest man, wait like a lousy footboy
  7. At chamber-door? And one as great as you are?
  8. Why, what a shame was this? Did my commission
  9. Bid ye so far forget yourselves? I gave ye
  10. Power as he was a Councillor to try him,
  11. Not as a groom. There’s some of ye, I see,
  12. More out of malice than integrity,
  13. Would try him to the utmost had ye mean,
  14. Which ye shall never have while I live.

Lord Chancellor

237 - 243
  1.                                         Thus far,
  2. My most dread sovereign, may it like your Grace
  3. To let my tongue excuse all. What was purpos’d
  4. Concerning his imprisonment was rather
  5. (If there be faith in men) meant for his trial
  6. And fair purgation to the world than malice,
  7. I’m sure, in me.

King

244 - 253
  1.                  Well, well, my lords, respect him,
  2. Take him, and use him well; he’s worthy of it.
  3. I will say thus much for him, if a prince
  4. May be beholding to a subject, I
  5. Am for his love and service so to him.
  6. Make me no more ado, but all embrace him.
  7. Be friends, for shame, my lords! My Lord of Canterbury,
  8. I have a suit which you must not deny me:
  9. That is, a fair young maid that yet wants baptism,
  10. You must be godfather, and answer for her.

Cranmer

254 - 256
  1. The greatest monarch now alive may glory
  2. In such an honor; how may I deserve it,
  3. That am a poor and humble subject to you?

King

257 - 261
  1. Come, come, my lord, you’d spare your spoons. You shall have
  2. Two noble partners with you, the old Duchess of Norfolk
  3. And Lady Marquess Dorset. Will these please you?
  4. Once more, my Lord of Winchester, I charge you,
  5. Embrace and love this man.

Bishop of Winchester

262 - 263
  1.                            With a true heart
  2. And brother-love I do it.

Cranmer

264 - 265
  1.                           And let heaven
  2. Witness how dear I hold this confirmation.

King

266 - 273
  1. Good man, those joyful tears show thy true heart.
  2. The common voice, I see, is verified
  3. Of thee, which says thus, Do my Lord of Canterbury
  4. A shrewd turn, and he’s your friend forever.”
  5. Come, lords, we trifle time away; I long
  6. To have this young one made a Christian.
  7. As I have made ye one, lords, one remain:
  8. So I grow stronger, you more honor gain.
  1. Exeunt.
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