home contact

King Henry VIII

Please see the bottom of the page for helpful resources.

ACT V SCENE II Before the council-chamber. Pursuivants, Pages, &c. attending.
CRANMERI hope I am not too late; and yet the gentleman,
That was sent to me from the council, pray'd me
To make great haste. All fast? what means this? Ho!
Who waits there? Sure, you know me?
[Enter Keeper]
KeeperYes, my lord;5
But yet I cannot help you.
KeeperYour grace must wait till you be call'd for.
DOCTOR BUTTS[Aside] This is a piece of malice. I am glad 10
I came this way so happily: the king
Shall understand it presently.
CRANMER[Aside] 'Tis Butts,
The king's physician: as he pass'd along,
How earnestly he cast his eyes upon me!15
Pray heaven, he sound not my disgrace! For certain,
This is of purpose laid by some that hate me--
God turn their hearts! I never sought their malice--
To quench mine honour: they would shame to make me
Wait else at door, a fellow-counsellor,20
'Mong boys, grooms, and lackeys. But their pleasures
Must be fulfill'd, and I attend with patience.
[Enter the KING HENRY VIII and DOCTOR BUTTS at a window above]
DOCTOR BUTTSI'll show your grace the strangest sight--
KING HENRY VIIIWhat's that, Butts?
DOCTOR BUTTSI think your highness saw this many a day.25
KING HENRY VIIIBody o' me, where is it?
DOCTOR BUTTSThere, my lord:
The high promotion of his grace of Canterbury;
Who holds his state at door, 'mongst pursuivants,
Pages, and footboys.30
KING HENRY VIIIHa! 'tis he, indeed:
Is this the honour they do one another?
'Tis well there's one above 'em yet. I had thought
They had parted so much honesty among 'em
At least, good manners, as not thus to suffer35
A man of his place, and so near our favour,
To dance attendance on their lordships' pleasures,
And at the door too, like a post with packets.
By holy Mary, Butts, there's knavery:
Let 'em alone, and draw the curtain close:40
We shall hear more anon.

Continue to Henry VIII, Act 5, Scene 3


Related Articles

 The Essential Student History Quiz (with answers and illustrations)
 Elements of Shakespeare's History Plays
 Characteristics of Elizabethan Drama

 Shakespeare's Reputation in Elizabethan England
 Shakespeare's Impact on Other Writers
 Four Periods of Shakespeare's Life
 Shakespeare's Writing Style

 Words Shakespeare Coined
 Quotations About William Shakespeare
 Why Shakespeare is so Important
 Shakespeare's Language
 Shakespeare's Boss: The Master of Revels