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Enter the Lord Chamberlain.
Cham. Mercy o’ me, what a multitude are here ! They grow still too, from all parts they are coming, As if we kept a fair here! Where are these porters, These lazy knaves?—Ye have made a fine hand, fellows. There 's a trim rabble let in: Are all these Your faithful friends o' the suburbs? We shall have Great store of room, no doubt, left for the ladies, When they pass back from the christening.
Port. An't please your honour
Cham. As I live,
for the use of Religion's prudes, the Puritans. Mercutio or Truewit would not have been attracted by such an appellation, though it might operate forcibly on the saint-like organs of Ebenezer or Ananias. Shakspeare, I believe, meant to describe an audience familiarized to excess of noise; and why should we suppose the Tribulation was not a puritanical meeting-house because it was noisy 3 I can easily conceive that the turbulence of the most clamorous theatre, has been exceeded by the bellowings of puritanism against surplices and farthingales; and that our upper gallery, during Christmas week, is a sober consistory, compared with the vehemence of fanatick harangues against Bel and the Dragon, that idol Starch, the anti-christian Hierarchy, and the Whore of Babylon. Neither do I see with what propriety the limbs of Limehouse could be called “young citizens,” according to Mr. Malone's stipposition. Were the inhabitants of this place (almost two miles distant from the capital) ever collectively entitled citizens? The phrase, dear brothers, is very plainly used to point out some fraternity of canters allied to the Tribulation both in pursuits and manners, by tempestuous zeal and consummate ignorance. Steevens. 8 — in Limbo Patrum, He means, in confinement. In limbo continues to be a cant phrase, in the same sense, at this day. - Malone. The Limbus Patrum is, properly, the place where the old Fathers and Patriarchs are supposed to be waiting for the resurrection. See note on Titus Andronicus, Act III, sc. i. Reed. 9 running banquet of two beadles,) A publick whipping. johnson.
VOL. XI. Ii
And here ye lie baiting of bumbards,” when
Enter Trumflets, sounding ; then two Aldermen, Lord .Mayor, Garter, CRANMER, Duke of No RFolk, with his Marshal’s Staff, Duke of SUFFolk, two Moblemen bearing great standing-bowls” for the christening gifts; then four Moblemen bearing a canofly, under which the Duchess of Norfolk, godmother, bearing the child richly habited in a mantle, &c. Train borne by a Lady: then follows the Marchioness of DoRsET, the other godmother, and Ladies. The Troof flass once about the stage, and Garter sheaks.
Gart. Heaven, from thy endless goodness, send pros
1 — here ye lie baiting of bumbards,) A, bumbard is an alebarrel; to bait bumbards is to tipple, to lie at the spigot....johnson.
So, in Woman’s a Weathercock, 1612: “She looks like a black bombard with a pint pot waiting upon it.”
See The Tempest, Vol. II, p. 66, n. 8. Steevens.
* —get up o' the rail, We must rather read—get up off the rail,—or, get off the rail. M. Mason. *— I’ll pick you o'er the pales else..] To pick is to pitch. “To pick a dart,” Cole renders, jaculor. Dict. 1679. See a note on Coriolanus, Act I, sc. i, where the word is, as I conceive, rightly spelt. Here the spelling in the old copy is peck. Malone. To pick and to pitch were anciently synonymous. So, in Stubbes's Anatomy of Abuses, 1595, p. 138: “ — to catch him on the hip, and to picke him on his necke.” Steevens. 4 The Palace.] At Greenwich, where, as we learn from Hall, fo. 217, this procession was made from the church of the Friars. Reed. - standing-bowls — i.e. bowls elevated on feet or pedestals. Steevens.
perous life, long, and ever happy, to the high and mighty princess of England, Elizabeth !
Flourish. Enter King, and Train. 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!
R. Hen. Thank you, good lord archbishop;" What is her name:
R. Hem. Stand up, lord.—
[The King kisses the Child.
With this kiss take my blessing: God protect thee!
K. Hen. My noble gossips, ye 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 them 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: Sheba 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,
6 Thank you, good lord archbishop;] I suppose the word archbishop should be omitted, as it only serves to spoil the measure. Be it remembered also that archbishop, throughout this play, is accented on the first syllable. Steevens.
And hang their heads with sorrow: Good grows with
7 — every man shall eat in safety Under his own vine,) The original thought is borrowed from the 4th chapter of the first Book of Kings: “Every man dwelt safely under his vine.” Steevens. A similar expression is in Micah, iv., 4: “But they shall sit every man under his vine, and under his fig tree, and none shall make them afraid.” Reed.
* From her shall read the perfect ways of honour, JThe old copy reads—way. The slight emendation now made is fully justified by the subsequent line, and by the scriptural expression which our author probably had in his thoughts: “Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.” Malone.
Thus, already in this play:
44 Wolsey, that once trod the ways of glory —.” Steevens.
By those, in the last line, means by those ways, and proves that we must read ways, instead of way, in the line preceding. Shall read from her, means, shall learn from her. M. Mason.
9 (Nor shall this peace sleep with her: &c.] These lines, to the interruption by the King, seem to have been inserted at some re
visal of the play, after the accession of King James. If the pas
sage, included in crotchets, be left out, the speech of Cranmer proceeds in a regular tenour of prediction, and continuity of sentiments; but, by the interposition of the new lines, he first celebrates Elizabeth's successor, and then wishes he did not know that she was to die; first rejoices at the consequence, and then laments the cause. Our author was at once politick and idle; he resolved to flatter James, but neglected to reduce the whole speech to propriety; or perhaps intended that the lines inserted should be spoken in the action, and omitted in the publication, if any publication was ever in his thoughts. Mr. Theobald has made the same observation. johnson. I agree entirely with Dr. Johnson with respect to the time when these additional lines were inserted. I suspect they were added in 1613, after Shakspeare had quitted the stage, by that hand which tampered with the other parts of the play so much, as to have rendered the versification of it of a different colour from all the other plays of Shakspeare. Malone. * If the reviver of this play (or tamperer with it, as he is styled by Mr. Malone,) had so much influence over its numbers as to
The bird of wonder dies, the maiden phoenix,
Who, from the * ashes of her honour,
R. Hen. Thou speakest wonders.]
Cran. She shall be, to the happiness of England, An aged princess;” many days shall see her,
have entirely changed their texture, he must be supposed to have new woven the substance of the whole piece; a fact almost incredible. The lines under immediate consideration were very probably furnished by Ben Jonson; for “When heaven shall call her from this cloud of darkness,” (meaning the “dim spot” we live in,) is a seeming imitation of the following passage in the 9th Book of Lucan (a poet from whose stores old Ben has often enriched himself): quanta sub nocte jaceret Nostra dies. – Steevens.
1 His honour and the greatness of his name Shall be, and make new nations: On a picture of this contemptible king, which formerly belonged to the great Bacon, and is now in the possession of Lord Grimston, he is styled imperii Atlantici conditor. The year before the revival of this play (1612) there was a lottery for the plantation of Virginia. These lines probably allude to the settlement of that colony. Malone.
2 She shall be, to the happiness of England,
An aged princess;] The transition here from the complimentary address to King james the First is so abrupt, that it seems obvious to me, that compliment was inserted after the accession of that prince. If this play was wrote, as in my opinion it was, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, we may easily determine where Cranmer's eulogium of that princess concluded. I make no question but the poet rested here: