Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Diane Jakacki
Not Peer Reviewed

Henry The Eighth (Folio 1, 1623)

Scena Tertia.
Enter Anne Bullen, and an old Lady.
An. Not for that neither; here's the pang that pinches.
His Highnesse, hauing liu'd so long with her, and she
So good a Lady, that no Tongue could euer
1205Pronounce dishonour of her; by my life,
She neuer knew harme-doing: Oh, now after
So many courses of the Sun enthroaned,
Still growing in a Maiesty and pompe, the which
To leaue, a thousand fold more bitter, then
1210'Tis sweet at first t'acquire. After this Processe.
To giue her the auaunt, it is a pitty
Would moue a Monster.
Old La. Hearts of most hard temper
Melt and lament for her.
1215An. Oh Gods will, much better
She ne're had knowne pompe; though't be temporall,
Yet if that quarrell. Fortune, do diuorce
It from the bearer, 'tis a sufferance, panging
As soule and bodies seuering.
1220Old L. Alas poore Lady,
Shee's a stranger now againe.
An. So much the more
Must pitty drop vpon her; verily
I sweare, tis better to be lowly borne,
1225And range with humble liuers in Content,
Then to be perk'd vp in a glistring griefe,
And weare a golden sorrow.
Old L. Our content
Is our best hauing.
1230Anne. By my troth, and Maidenhead,
I would not be a Queene.
Old. L. Beshrew me, I would,
And venture Maidenhead for't, and so would you
For all this spice of your Hipocrisie:
1235You that haue so faire parts of Woman on you,
Haue (too) a Womans heart, which euer yet
Affected Eminence, Wealth, Soueraignty;
Which, to say sooth, are Blessings; and which guifts
(Sauing your mincing) the capacity
1240Of your soft Chiuerell Conscience, would receiue,
If you might please to stretch it.
Anne. Nay, good troth.
Old L. Yes troth, & troth; you would not be a Queen?
Anne. No, not for all the riches vnder Heauen.
1245Old. L. Tis strange; a threepence bow'd would hire me
Old as I am, to Queene it: but I pray you,
What thinke you of a Dutchesse? Haue you limbs
To beare that load of Title?
An. No in truth.
1250Old. L. Then you are weakly made; plucke off a little,
I would not be a young Count in your way,
For more then blushing comes to: If your backe
Cannot vouchsafe this burthen, tis too weake
Euer to get a Boy.
1255An. How you doe talke;
I sweare againe, I would not be a Queene,
For all the world.
Old. L. In faith, for little England
You'ld venture an emballing: I my selfe
1260Would for Carnaruanshire, although there long'd
No more to th'Crowne but that: Lo, who comes here?
Enter Lord Chamberlaine.
L. Cham. Good morrow Ladies; what wer't worth to
The secret of your conference?
1265An. My good Lord,
Not your demand; it values not your asking:
Our Mistris Sorrowes we were pittying.
Cham. It was a gentle businesse, and becomming
The action of good women, there is hope
1270All will be well.
An. Now I pray God, Amen.
Cham. You beare a gentle minde, & heau'nly blessings
Follow such Creatures. That you may, faire Lady
Perceiue I speake sincerely, and high notes
1275Tane of your many vertues; the Kings Maiesty
Commends his good opinion of you, to you; and
Doe's purpose honour to you no lesse flowing,
Then Marchionesse of Pembrooke; to which Title,
A Thousand pound a yeare, Annuall support,
1280Out of his Grace, he addes.
An. I doe not know
What kinde of my obedience, I should tender;
More then my All, is Nothing: Nor my Prayers
Are not words duely hallowed; nor my Wishes
1285More worth, then empty vanities: yet Prayers & Wishes
Are all I can returne. 'Beseech your Lordship,
Vouchsafe to speake my thankes, and my obedience,
As from a blushing Handmaid, to his Highnesse;
Whose health and Royalty I pray for.
1290Cham. Lady;
I shall not faile t'approue the faire conceit
The King hath of you. I haue perus'd her well,
Beauty and Honour in her are so mingled,
That they haue caught the King: and who knowes yet
1295But from this Lady, may proceed a Iemme,
To lighten all this Ile. I'le to the King,
And say I spoke with you.
Exit Lord Chamberlaine.
An. My honour'd Lord.
1300Old. L. Why this it is: See, see,
I haue beene begging sixteene yeares in Court
(Am yet a Courtier beggerly) nor could
Come pat betwixt too early, and too late
For any suit of pounds: and you, (oh fate)
1305A very fresh Fish heere; fye, fye, fye vpon
This compel'd fortune: haue your mouth fild vp,
Before you open it.
An. This is strange to me.
Old L. How tasts it? Is it bitter? Forty pence, no:
1310There was a Lady once (tis an old Story)
That would not be a Queene, that would she not
For all the mud in Egypt; haue you heard it?
An. Come you are pleasant.
Old. L. With your Theame, I could
1315O're-mount the Larke: The Marchionesse of Pembrooke?
A thousand pounds a yeare, for pure respect?
No other obligation? by my Life,
That promises mo thousands: Honours traine
Is longer then his fore-skirt; by this time
1320I know your backe will beare a Dutchesse. Say,
Are you not stronger then you were?
An. Good Lady,
Make your selfe mirth with your particular fancy,
And leaue me out on't. Would I had no being
1325If this salute my blood a iot; it faints me
To thinke what followes.
The Queene is comfortlesse, and wee forgetfull
In our long absence: pray doe not deliuer,
What heere y'haue heard to her.
1330Old L. What doe you thinke me ---