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King Henry VIII

ACT V SCENE VThe palace.
[ Enter trumpets, sounding; then two Aldermen, Lord Mayor, Garter, CRANMER, NORFOLK with his marshal’s staff, SUFFOLK, two Noblemen bearing great standing-bowls for the christening-gifts; then four Noblemen bearing a canopy, under which the Duchess of Norfolk, godmother, bearing the child richly habited in a mantle, &c., train borne by a Lady; then follows the Marchioness Dorset, the other godmother, and Ladies. The troop pass once about the stage, and Garter speaks ]
GarterHeaven, from thy endless goodness, send prosperous
life, long, and ever happy, to the high and mighty
princess of England, Elizabeth!
[Flourish. Enter KING HENRY VIII and Guard]
CRANMER[Kneeling] And to your royal grace, and the good queen,
My noble partners, and myself, thus pray:5
All comfort, joy, in this most gracious lady,
Heaven ever laid up to make parents happy,
May hourly fall upon ye!
KING HENRY VIIIThank you, good lord archbishop:
What is her name?10
CRANMERElizabeth.
KING HENRY VIIIStand up, lord.
[KING HENRY VIII kisses the child]
With this kiss take my blessing: God protect thee!
Into whose hand I give thy life.
CRANMERAmen.15
KING HENRY VIIIMy noble gossips, ye have been too prodigal:
I thank ye heartily; so shall this lady,
When she has so much English.
CRANMERLet me speak, sir,
For heaven now bids me; and the words I utter20
Let none think flattery, for they’ll find ’em truth.
This royal infant–heaven still move about her!–
Though in her cradle, yet now promises
Upon this land a thousand thousand blessings,
Which time shall bring to ripeness: she shall be–25
But few now living can behold that goodness–
A pattern to all princes living with her,
And all that shall succeed: Saba was never
More covetous of wisdom and fair virtue
Than this pure soul shall be: all princely graces,30
That mould up such a mighty piece as this is,
With all the virtues that attend the good,
Shall still be doubled on her: truth shall nurse her,
Holy and heavenly thoughts still counsel her:
She shall be loved and fear’d: her own shall bless her;35
Her foes shake like a field of beaten corn,
And hang their heads with sorrow: good grows with her:
In her days every man shall eat in safety,
Under his own vine, what he plants; and sing
The merry songs of peace to all his neighbours:40
God shall be truly known; and those about her
From her shall read the perfect ways of honour,
And by those claim their greatness, not by blood.
Nor shall this peace sleep with her: but as when
The bird of wonder dies, the maiden phoenix,45
Her ashes new create another heir,
As great in admiration as herself;
So shall she leave her blessedness to one,
When heaven shall call her from this cloud of darkness,
Who from the sacred ashes of her honour50
Shall star-like rise, as great in fame as she was,
And so stand fix’d: peace, plenty, love, truth, terror,
That were the servants to this chosen infant,
Shall then be his, and like a vine grow to him:
Wherever the bright sun of heaven shall shine,55
His honour and the greatness of his name
Shall be, and make new nations: he shall flourish,
And, like a mountain cedar, reach his branches
To all the plains about him: our children’s children
Shall see this, and bless heaven.60
KING HENRY VIIIThou speakest wonders.
CRANMERShe shall be, to the happiness of England,
An aged princess; many days shall see her,
And yet no day without a deed to crown it.
Would I had known no more! but she must die,65
She must, the saints must have her; yet a virgin,
A most unspotted lily shall she pass
To the ground, and all the world shall mourn her.
KING HENRY VIIIO lord archbishop,
Thou hast made me now a man! never, before70
This happy child, did I get any thing:
This oracle of comfort has so pleased me,
That when I am in heaven I shall desire
To see what this child does, and praise my Maker.
I thank ye all. To you, my good lord mayor,75
And your good brethren, I am much beholding;
I have received much honour by your presence,
And ye shall find me thankful. Lead the way, lords:
Ye must all see the queen, and she must thank ye,
She will be sick else. This day, no man think80
Has business at his house; for all shall stay:
This little one shall make it holiday.
[Exeunt]
EPILOGUE
‘Tis ten to one this play can never please
All that are here: some come to take their ease,
And sleep an act or two; but those, we fear,
We have frighted with our trumpets; so, ’tis clear,
They’ll say ’tis naught: others, to hear the city5
Abused extremely, and to cry ‘That’s witty!’
Which we have not done neither: that, I fear,
All the expected good we’re like to hear
For this play at this time, is only in
The merciful construction of good women;10
For such a one we show’d ’em: if they smile,
And say ’twill do, I know, within a while
All the best men are ours; for ’tis ill hap,
If they hold when their ladies bid ’em clap.

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