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William Shakespeare (1564–1616). The Oxford Shakespeare. 1914.

Act V. Scene II.

The Famous History of the Life of King Henry the Eighth

The Lobby before the Council-Chamber.

Enter CRANMER; Pursuivants, Pages, &c., attending.

Cran.I 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?

Keep.Yes, my lord;

But yet I cannot help you.


Keep.Your Grace must wait till you be call’d for.



Butts.[Aside.]This is a piece of malice. I am glad

I came this way so happily: the king

Shall understand it presently.

Cran.[Aside.]’Tis Butts,

The king’s physician. As he past along,

How earnestly he cast his eyes upon me.

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,

’Mong boys, grooms, and lackeys. But their pleasures

Must be fulfill’d, and I attend with patience.

Enter, at a window above, the KING and BUTTS.

Butts.I’ll show your Grace the strangest sight,—

K. Hen.What’s that, Butts?

Butts.I think your highness saw this many a day.

K. Hen.Body o’ me, where is it?

Butts.There, my lord,

The high promotion of his Grace of Canterbury;

Who holds his state at door, ’mongst pursuivants,

Pages, and footboys.

K. Hen.Ha! ’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 suffer

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;

We shall hear more anon.[Exeunt above.