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Henry VIII :: Scenes :: Henry VIII: Epilogue

Scene 4

The palace-yard.

(Aldermen; Lord Mayor; Garter; Cranmer; Duke of Norfolk; Duke of Suffolk; Four Noblemen; Duchess of Norfolk; Marchioness Dorset; Lady; Ladies; King Henry; Guard)

Having been christened, the baby Elizabeth is brought to her delighted father the King. Cranmer eulogizes the infant, and prophecies that she will rule over a golden age. ( line)

Enter trumpets, sounding; then two Aldermen, Lord Mayor, Garter, Cranmer, Duke of Norfolk with his marshal’s staff, Duke of 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, etc., 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.

GART.

Heaven, from thy endless goodness send prosperous life, long, and ever happy, to the high and mighty Princess of England, Elizabeth!

Flourish. Enter King and Guard.

CRAN.

Kneeling.

And to your royal Grace and the good Queen,

My noble partners and myself thus pray

All comfort, joy, in this most gracious lady

Heaven ever laid up to make parents happy

May hourly fall upon ye!

KING.

Thank you, good Lord Archbishop.

What is her name?

CRAN.

Elizabeth.

KING.

Stand up, lord.

The King kisses the child.

With this kiss take my blessing: God protect thee!

Into whose hand I give thy life.

CRAN.

Amen.

KING.

My noble gossips, y’ have been too prodigal.

I thank ye heartily; so shall this lady,

When she has so much English.

CRAN.

Let me speak, sir,

For heaven now bids me; and the words I utter

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

(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

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 lov’d and fear’d: her own shall bless her;

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 neighbors.

God shall be truly known, and those about her

From her shall read the perfect ways of honor,

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,

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 honor

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.

Where ever the bright sun of heaven shall shine,

His honor 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.

KING.

Thou speakest wonders.

CRAN.

She 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,

She must, the saints must have her; yet a virgin,

A most unspotted lily shall she pass

To th’ ground, and all the world shall mourn her.

KING.

O Lord Archbishop,

Thou hast made me now a man! Never, before

This happy child, did I get any thing.

This oracle of comfort has so pleas’d 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,

And you, good brethren, I am much beholding;

I have receiv’d much honor 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 think

H’as business at his house; for all shall stay:

This little one shall make it Holy-day.

Exeunt.

 
 
 
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