William Shakespeare: Henry VIII, Act I, Scene IV
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
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 merry
As, first, good company, good wine, good welcome,
Can make good people. O, my lord, you're tardy:
Enter Chamberlain, Sands, and Lovell
Clapp'd wings to me.
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.
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:
My Lord Sands, you are one will keep 'em waking;
Pray, sit between these ladies.
And thank your lordship. By your leave, sweet ladies:
If I chance to talk a little wild, forgive me;
I had it from my father.
But he would bite none; just as I do now,
He would kiss you twenty with a breath.
So, now you're fairly seated. Gentlemen,
The penance lies on you, if these fair ladies
Pass away frowning.
Hautboys. Enter Cardinal Wolsey, and takes his state
Or gentleman, that is not freely merry,
Is not my friend: this, to confirm my welcome;
And to you all, good health.
I am beholding to you: cheer your neighbours.
Ladies, you are not merry: gentlemen,
Whose fault is this?
In their fair cheeks, my lord; then we shall have 'em
Talk us to silence.
Here's to your ladyship: and pledge it, madam,
For 'tis to such a thing,—
Drum and trumpet, chambers discharged
And to what end is this? Nay, ladies, fear not;
By all the laws of war you're privileged.
For so they seem: they've left their barge and landed;
And hither make, as great ambassadors
From foreign princes.
Go, give 'em welcome; you can speak the French tongue;
And, pray, receive 'em nobly, and conduct 'em
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
A good digestion to you all: and once more
I shower a welcome on ye; welcome all.
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
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 less
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.
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
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 duty
I would surrender it.
Whispers the Masquers
There is indeed; which they would have your grace
Find out, and he will take it.
You are a churchman, or, I'll tell you, cardinal,
I should judge now unhappily.
The Viscount Rochford,—one of her highness' women.
I were unmannerly, to take you out,
And not to kiss you. A health, gentlemen!
Let it go round.
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 measure
To lead 'em once again; and then let's dream
Who's best in favour. Let the music knock it.
Exeunt with trumpets