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King Henry VIII

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ACT I SCENE IV A Hall in York Place.
[ Hautboys. A small table under a state for CARDINAL WOLSEY, a longer table for the guests. Then enter ANNE and divers other Ladies and Gentlemen as guests, at one door; at another door, enter GUILDFORD ]
GUILDFORDLadies, a general welcome from his grace
Salutes ye all; this night he dedicates
To fair content and you: none here, he hopes,
In all this noble bevy, has brought with her
One care abroad; he would have all as merry5
As, first, good company, good wine, good welcome,
Can make good people. O, my lord, you're tardy:
[Enter Chamberlain, SANDS, and LOVELL]
The very thought of this fair company
Clapp'd wings to me.
ChamberlainYou are young, Sir Harry Guildford.10
SANDSSir Thomas Lovell, had the cardinal
But half my lay thoughts in him, some of these
Should find a running banquet ere they rested,
I think would better please 'em: by my life,
They are a sweet society of fair ones.15
LOVELLO, that your lordship were but now confessor
To one or two of these!
SANDSI would I were;
They should find easy penance.
LOVELLFaith, how easy?20
SANDSAs easy as a down-bed would afford it.
ChamberlainSweet ladies, will it please you sit? Sir Harry,
Place you that side; I'll take the charge of this:
His grace is entering. Nay, you must not freeze;
Two women placed together makes cold weather:25
My Lord Sands, you are one will keep 'em waking;
Pray, sit between these ladies.
SANDSBy my faith,
And thank your lordship. By your leave, sweet ladies:
If I chance to talk a little wild, forgive me;30
I had it from my father.
ANNEWas he mad, sir?
SANDSO, very mad, exceeding mad, in love too:
But he would bite none; just as I do now,
He would kiss you twenty with a breath.35
[Kisses her]
ChamberlainWell said, my lord.
So, now you're fairly seated. Gentlemen,
The penance lies on you, if these fair ladies
Pass away frowning.
SANDSFor my little cure,40
Let me alone.
[Hautboys. Enter CARDINAL WOLSEY, and takes his state]
CARDINAL WOLSEYYou're welcome, my fair guests: that noble lady,
Or gentleman, that is not freely merry,
Is not my friend: this, to confirm my welcome;
And to you all, good health.45
SANDSYour grace is noble:
Let me have such a bowl may hold my thanks,
And save me so much talking.
I am beholding to you: cheer your neighbours.50
Ladies, you are not merry: gentlemen,
Whose fault is this?
SANDSThe red wine first must rise
In their fair cheeks, my lord; then we shall have 'em
Talk us to silence.55
ANNEYou are a merry gamester,
My Lord Sands.
SANDSYes, if I make my play.
Here's to your ladyship: and pledge it, madam,
For 'tis to such a thing,--60
ANNEYou cannot show me.
SANDSI told your grace they would talk anon.
[Drum and trumpet, chambers discharged]
ChamberlainLook out there, some of ye.
[Exit Servant]
CARDINAL WOLSEYWhat warlike voice,65
And to what end is this? Nay, ladies, fear not;
By all the laws of war you're privileged.
[Re-enter Servant]
ChamberlainHow now! what is't?
ServantA noble troop of strangers;
For so they seem: they've left their barge and landed;70
And hither make, as great ambassadors

From foreign princes.
CARDINAL WOLSEYGood lord chamberlain,
Go, give 'em welcome; you can speak the French tongue;
And, pray, receive 'em nobly, and conduct 'em75
Into our presence, where this heaven of beauty
Shall shine at full upon them. Some attend him.
[Exit Chamberlain, attended. All rise, and tables removed]
You have now a broken banquet; but we'll mend it.
A good digestion to you all: and once more
I shower a welcome on ye; welcome all.80
[ Hautboys. Enter KING HENRY VIII and others, as masquers, habited like shepherds, ushered by the Chamberlain. They pass directly before CARDINAL WOLSEY, and gracefully salute him ]
A noble company! what are their pleasures?
ChamberlainBecause they speak no English, thus they pray'd
To tell your grace, that, having heard by fame
Of this so noble and so fair assembly
This night to meet here, they could do no less85
Out of the great respect they bear to beauty,
But leave their flocks; and, under your fair conduct,
Crave leave to view these ladies and entreat
An hour of revels with 'em.
CARDINAL WOLSEYSay, lord chamberlain,90
They have done my poor house grace; for which I pay 'em
A thousand thanks, and pray 'em take their pleasures.
[ They choose Ladies for the dance. KING HENRY VIII chooses ANNE ]
KING HENRY VIIIThe fairest hand I ever touch'd! O beauty,
Till now I never knew thee!
[Music. Dance]
ChamberlainYour grace?
CARDINAL WOLSEYPray, tell 'em thus much from me:
There should be one amongst 'em, by his person,
More worthy this place than myself; to whom,
If I but knew him, with my love and duty100
I would surrender it.
ChamberlainI will, my lord.
[Whispers the Masquers]
ChamberlainSuch a one, they all confess,
There is indeed; which they would have your grace105
Find out, and he will take it.
CARDINAL WOLSEYLet me see, then.
By all your good leaves, gentlemen; here I'll make
My royal choice.
KING HENRY VIIIYe have found him, cardinal:110
You hold a fair assembly; you do well, lord:
You are a churchman, or, I'll tell you, cardinal,
I should judge now unhappily.
Your grace is grown so pleasant.115
KING HENRY VIIIMy lord chamberlain,
Prithee, come hither: what fair lady's that?
ChamberlainAn't please your grace, Sir Thomas Bullen's daughter--
The Viscount Rochford,--one of her highness' women.
KING HENRY VIIIBy heaven, she is a dainty one. Sweetheart,120
I were unmannerly, to take you out,
And not to kiss you. A health, gentlemen!
Let it go round.
CARDINAL WOLSEYSir Thomas Lovell, is the banquet ready
I' the privy chamber?125
LOVELLYes, my lord.
I fear, with dancing is a little heated.
KING HENRY VIIII fear, too much.
CARDINAL WOLSEYThere's fresher air, my lord,130
In the next chamber.
KING HENRY VIIILead in your ladies, every one: sweet partner,
I must not yet forsake you: let's be merry:
Good my lord cardinal, I have half a dozen healths
To drink to these fair ladies, and a measure135
To lead 'em once again; and then let's dream
Who's best in favour. Let the music knock it.
[Exeunt with trumpets]

Continue to Henry VIII, Act 2, Scene 1


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Wolsey: 'Go, give 'em welcome; you can speak the French tongue.'