IMAGNE the look on the face of King Henry VIII in 1545 when his mighty new warship >Mary Rose, bearing a crew of 700, capsized and sank before his eyes.
And imagine the look on the face of Prince Charles in 1982 when the Mary Rose rose again, from the soft silt of The Solent off Portsmouth, England.
Prince Charles' reaction was captured on videotape. As for the King, Madame Tussaud's Waxworks has sent its newest model of him to the National Geographic to preside over the exhibit, "Mary Rose -- Henry VIII's Lost Warship."
More than 14,000 items were recovered from the Tudor shipwreck. At the Geographic, a small selection of the relics is on display in this country for the first time. The exhibit details the disaster, and a videotape shows recovery efforts. The starboard half of the hull was brought up in one piece -- but it's ensconced in its own museum in England.
With these objects, many worn and blackened with age, a moment has been snatched from time over 400 years ago. Pewter plates still catch a glint of light. And even through the exhibit case, the anchor cable still smells of its tar.
The men were like us, we keep thinking. Although heading for battle with the French, they took musical instruments such as a tabor pipe along. A cowhide slipper looks as if it could've been picked up along the roadside this morning.
Meat bones found in barrels show they ate salt beef and salt pork. There are grape pits, and plums that have aged into prunes. Five varieties of plums have been identified -- each one now its own earliest-known example.
There are gold coins, barber-surgeon's gear, a bosun's call. And the bones of a black rat -- the plague rat -- who died very near his last meal.
And yes, the bones of over 200 young men, aged 12 to 44, fit and healthy. These are not on ehibit. Most of the bones wrested from Davy Jones's locker are being studied. But a token reburial of an unknown sailor was recently held in proper British style. MARY ROSE: HENRY VIII's LOST WARSHIP -- In the Explorer's Hall at the National Geographic, through Easter, 1985.