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King Henry VIII: Act 1 Scene 3
Scene III An ante-chamber in the palace.
- [Enter Chamberlain and SANDS]
- Is't possible the spells of France should juggle
- Men into such strange mysteries?
- New customs,
- Though they be never so ridiculous,
- Nay, let 'em be unmanly, yet are follow'd.
- As far as I see, all the good our English
- Have got by the late voyage is but merely
- A fit or two o' the face; but they are shrewd ones;
- For when they hold 'em, you would swear directly
- Their very noses had been counsellors
- To Pepin or Clotharius, they keep state so.
- They have all new legs, and lame ones: one would take it,
- That never saw 'em pace before, the spavin
- Or springhalt reign'd among 'em.
- Death! my lord,
- Their clothes are after such a pagan cut too,
- That, sure, they've worn out Christendom.
- [Enter LOVELL]
- How now!
- What news, Sir Thomas Lovell?
- Faith, my lord,
- I hear of none, but the new proclamation
- That's clapp'd upon the court-gate.
- What is't for?
- The reformation of our travell'd gallants,
- That fill the court with quarrels, talk, and tailors.
- I'm glad 'tis there: now I would pray our monsieurs
- To think an English courtier may be wise,
- And never see the Louvre.
- They must either,
- For so run the conditions, leave those remnants
- Of fool and feather that they got in France,
- With all their honourable point of ignorance
- Pertaining thereunto, as fights and fireworks,
- Abusing better men than they can be,
- Out of a foreign wisdom, renouncing clean
- The faith they have in tennis, and tall stockings,
- Short blister'd breeches, and those types of travel,
- And understand again like honest men;
- Or pack to their old playfellows: there, I take it,
- They may, 'cum privilegio,' wear away
- The lag end of their lewdness and be laugh'd at.
- 'Tis time to give 'em physic, their diseases
- Are grown so catching.
- What a loss our ladies
- Will have of these trim vanities!
- Ay, marry,
- There will be woe indeed, lords: the sly whoresons
- Have got a speeding trick to lay down ladies;
- A French song and a fiddle has no fellow.
- 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
- And have an hour of hearing; and, by'r lady,
- Held current music too.
- Well said, Lord Sands;
- Your colt's tooth is not cast yet.
- No, my lord;
- Nor shall not, while I have a stump.
- Sir Thomas,
- Whither were you a-going?
- To the cardinal's:
- Your lordship is a guest too.
- O, 'tis true:
- This night he makes a supper, and a great one,
- To many lords and ladies; there will be
- The beauty of this kingdom, I'll assure you.
- That churchman bears a bounteous mind indeed,
- A hand as fruitful as the land that feeds us;
- His dews fall every where.
- No doubt he's noble;
- He had a black mouth that said other of him.
- He may, my lord; has wherewithal: in him
- Sparing would show a worse sin than ill doctrine:
- Men of his way should be most liberal;
- They are set here for examples.
- True, they are so:
- But few now give so great ones. My barge stays;
- 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 Guildford
- This night to be comptrollers.
- I am your lordship's.