Henry VIII


Text

Act I
Act II
Act III
Act IV
Act V

Enter the Lord Chamberlain and Lord Sands
juggle (v.) deceive, cheat, trick


LORD CHAMBERLAIN

Is't possible the spells of France should juggle

Men into such strange mysteries?
mystery (n.) 3 way of behaving
strange (adj.) 1 remarkable, startling, abnormal, unnatural


SANDS

                         New customs,

Though they be never so ridiculous,

Nay, let 'em be unmanly, yet are followed.


LORD CHAMBERLAIN

As far as I see, all the good our English

Have got by the late voyage is but merely
late (adj.) 1 recent, not long past
merely (adv.) 3 only, nothing more than

A fit or two o'th' face – but they are shrewd ones;
fit (n.) 3 grimace, facial twitch
shrewd (adj.) 6 knowing, artful, smart

For when they hold 'em, you would swear directly

Their very noses had been counsellors

To Pepin or Clotharius, they keep state so.
keep (v.) 4 keep up, maintain, carry on
state (n.) 4 splendour, magnificence, stateliness, dignity


SANDS

They have all new legs, and lame ones. One would take it,
leg (n.) 1 bending of a knee, genuflection, obeisance

That never saw 'em pace before, the spavin
spavin (n.) swelling of a horse's leg-joint

Or springhalt reigned among 'em.
springhalt (n.) [of horses] disease causing twitching of the hind legs


LORD CHAMBERLAIN

                         Death, my lord!

Their clothes are after such a pagan cut to't

That sure they've worn out Christendom.

Enter Sir Thomas Lovell

                         How now?

What news, Sir Thomas Lovell?


LOVELL

                         Faith, my lord,

I hear of none but the new proclamation

That's clapped upon the court gate.
clap (v.) 4 put smartly, place promptly, set effectively


LORD CHAMBERLAIN

                         What is't for?


LOVELL

The reformation of our travelled gallants,
gallant (n.) 1 fine gentleman, man of fashion See Topics: Address forms

That fill the court with quarrels, talk, and tailors.


LORD CHAMBERLAIN

I'm glad 'tis there. Now I would pray our monsieurs
monsieur (n.) French gentleman

To think an English courtier may be wise,

And never see the Louvre.


LOVELL

                         They must either,

For so run the conditions, leave those remnants

Of fool and feather that they got in France,
fool and feather foolishness and foppery [feathered plumes]

With all their honourable points of ignorance

Pertaining thereunto, as fights and fireworks,

Abusing better men than they can be
abuse (v.) 4 demean, do wrong to, dishonour

Out of a foreign wisdom, renouncing clean
clean (adv.) totally, absolutely, utterly

The faith they have in tennis and tall stockings,
tall (adj.) 4 long, high

Short blistered breeches, and those types of travel,
blistered (adj.) ornamented with puffs, displaying slashes to show the lining
type (n.) 1 mark, sign, indication

And understand again like honest men,
understand (v.) 4 use their brains

Or pack to their old playfellows. There, I take it,
pack (v.) 1 take [oneself] off, be off, depart

They may, cum privilegio, ‘ oui ’ away
cum... by special licence See Topics: Latin
oui away (v.) chatter away in French

The lag end of their lewdness, and be laughed at.
lag (adj.) 1 late-coming, last, closing
lewdness (n.) 1 foolishness, absurd behaviour


SANDS

'Tis time to give 'em physic, their diseases
physic (n.) 1 medicine, healing, treatment See Topics: Frequency count

Are grown so catching.


LORD CHAMBERLAIN

                         What a loss our ladies

Will have of these trim vanities!
trim (adj.) 1 fine, excellent, smart
vanity (n.) 5 fop, dandy, dude


LOVELL

                         Ay, marry,

There will be woe indeed, lords! The sly whoresons
whoreson (n.) [son of a whore; serious or jocular term of abuse] fellow, bastard

Have got a speeding trick to lay down ladies.
speeding (adj.) effective, rapidly working, successful
trick (n.) 2 way, knack, skill

A French song and a fiddle has no fellow.


SANDS

The devil fiddle 'em! I am glad they are going,

For sure there's no converting of 'em. Now

An honest country lord, as I am, beaten

A long time out of play, may bring his plainsong,
plainsong (n.) 1 simple straightforward melody
play (n.) playing, performance

And have an hour of hearing, and, by'r lady,

Held current music too.
current (adj.) 4 acceptable, up-to-date, fashionable
hold (v.) 10 consider, regard, esteem, value [as]


LORD CHAMBERLAIN

                         Well said, Lord Sands.

Your colt's tooth is not cast yet?
cast away (v.) 1 cast off, discard, throw away
colt's tooth youthful inclinations, sportive impulses
tooth (n.) 2 taste for pleasure, sweet tooth


SANDS

                         No, my lord,

Nor shall not while I have a stump.


LORD CHAMBERLAIN

                         Sir Thomas,

Whither were you a-going?


LOVELL

                         To the Cardinal's;

Your lordship is a guest too.


LORD CHAMBERLAIN

                         O, 'tis true.

This night he makes a supper, and a great one,
make (v.) 9 give, provide

To many lords and ladies. There will be

The beauty of this kingdom, I'll assure you.


LOVELL

That churchman bears a bounteous mind indeed,

A hand as fruitful as the land that feeds us.
fruitful (adj.) 3 generous, bountiful, liberal

His dews fall everywhere.


LORD CHAMBERLAIN

                         No doubt he's noble.

He had a black mouth that said other of him.
black (adj.) 3 wicked, slanderous, calumnious


SANDS

He may, my lord; has wherewithal: in him

Sparing would show a worse sin than ill doctrine.
ill (adj.) 2 evil, wicked, immoral

Men of his way should be most liberal;
way (n.) 8 calling, vocation, profession

They are set here for examples.


LORD CHAMBERLAIN

                         True, they are so;

But few now give so great ones. My barge stays;
stay (v.) 1 wait (for), await

Your lordship shall along. Come, good Sir Thomas,

We shall be late else, which I would not be,

For I was spoke to, with Sir Henry Guilford,

This night to be comptrollers.


SANDS

                         I am your lordship's.

Exeunt
comptroller (n.) steward, master of ceremonies

 
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