Page images
[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

I have a little yet to say. Look there, my lords;
By virtue of that ring, I take my cause

Out of the gripes of cruel men, and give it
To a most noble judge, the king my master.
Cham. This is the king's ring.

Sur. 'Tis no counterfeit.

Suf. 'Tis the right ring, by heaven: I told ye all, When we first put this dangerous stone a-rolling, 'Twould fall upon ourselves.

Nor. Do you think, my lords,

The king will fuffer but the little finger

Of this man to be vex'd?

Cham. "Tis now too certain :

How much more is his life in value with him?
"Would I were fairly out on 't.

Crom. My mind gave me,
In feeking tales, and informations,
Against this man, (whofe honesty the devil
And his difciples only envy at)

Ye blew the fire that burns ye: Now have at ye.
Enter King, frowning on them; takes his feat.
Gard. Dread fovereign, how much are we bound
to heaven


Not as a groom: There's fome of ye, I fee,
More out of malice than integrity,

Would try him to the utmoft, had ye mean;
Which ye fhall never have, while I live.
Chan. Thus far,

My moft dread fovereign, may it like your grace
To let my tongue excufe all. What was purpos'd,
Concerning his imprisonment, was rather

(If there be faith in men) meant for his trial, 10 And fair purgation to the world, than malice; I am fure, in me.

Kirg. Well, well, my lords, refpect him; Take him, and ufe him well, he's worthy of it. will fay thus much for him, If a prince

15 May be beholden to a fubject, I

Am, for his love and fervice, fo to him.
Make me no more ado, but all embrace him;
Be friends, for thame, my lords.-My lord of Can-

2cI have a fuit which you must not deny me:
There is a fair young maid, that yet wants baptifm;
You must be godfather, and anfwer for her.

Cran. The greatest monarch now alive may glory In fuch an honour; How may I deserve it, 25 That am a poor and humble fubject to you?

King. Come, come, my lord, you'd spare your [Norfolk,

spoons you shall have

Two noble partners with you: the old dutchess of And lady marquis Dorfet; Will these please you?— 30 Once more, my lord of Winchefter, I charge you, Embrace, and love this man.

In daily thanks, that gave us fuch a prince;
Not only good and wife, but most religious:
One that, in all obedience, makes the church
The chief aim of his honour; and, to strengthen
That holy duty, out of dear respect,
His royal felf in judgment comes to hear
The caufe betwixt her and this great offender.
King. You were ever good at fudden commen-35

Bishop of Winchester. But know, I come not
To hear fuch flatteries now, and in my prefence;
They are too thin and bafe to hide offences.


Gard. With a true heart,
And brother's love, I do it.

Cran. And let heaven

Witnefs how dear I hold this confirmation.

King. Good man, thofe joyful tears thew thy
The common voice, I fee, is verify'd [true heart.
Of thee, which fays thus, Do my lord of Canterbury
A forewd turn, and he is your friend for ever.-

40 Come, lords, we trifle time away; I long
To have this young one made a chriftian.
As I have made ye one, lords, one remain;
So I grow stronger, you more honour gain. [Exeunt.

To me you cannot reach: You play the fpaniel,
And think with wagging of your tongue to win me
But, whatfoe'er thou tak'st me for, I am fure,
Thou haft a cruel nature, and a bloody.-
Good man, fit down. Now let me fee the proude ft
[To Cranmer. 45
He, that dares moft, but wag his finger at thee:
By all that's holy, he had better starve,
Than but once think this place becomes thee not.
Sur. May it please your grace,-

King. No, fir, it does not please me.
I had thought, I had men of fome understanding
And wisdom, of my council; but I find none.
Was it difcretion, lords, to let this man,
This good man, (few of you deserve that title)
This honeft man, wait like a lowfy foot-boy
At chamber door? and one as great as you are?
Why, what a fhame was this? Did my commiffion
Bid ye fo far forget yourfelves? I gave ye
Power as he was a counsellor to try him,


The Palace Yard.

Neife and tumult within: Enter Porter, and bis Man. Port. You'll leave your noise anon, ye rafcals: Do you take the court for 2 Paris-garden? ye rude flaves, leave your gaping.

Within. Good mafter porter, I belong to the larder.

Port. Belong to the gallows, and be hang'd, you rogue. Is this a place to roar in ?-Fetch me a dozen crab-tree ftaves, and strong ones; these are 55but fwitches to 'em.-I'll fcratch your heads: You must be feeing chriftenings? Do you look for ale and cakes here, you rude rafcals?

Man. Pray, fir, be patient; 'tis as much impoffible

Mr. Steevens fays, "It was the custom, long before the time of Shakspeare, for the sponsors at chriftenings to offer gilt fpoons as a prefent for the child. Thefe fpoons were called apofile fpcons, because the figures of the apoftles were carved on the tops of the handles. Such as were at once opulent and generous, gave the whole twelve; thofe who were either more moderately rich or liberal, efcaped at the expence of the four evangelifts; or even fometimes contented themselves with prefenting one fpoon only, which exhibited the figure of any faint in honour of whom the child received its name." 2 The bear-garden of that time, and in a line with Bridewell.


(Unless we fweep them from the door with cannons)
To scatter 'em, as 'tis to make 'em fleep

On May-day morning; which will never be :
We may as well push against Paul's, as ftir 'em.
Port. How got they in, and be hang'd?

Man. Alas, I know not; How gets the tide in?
As much as one found cudgel of four foot
(You fee the poor remainder) could distribute,
I made no fpare, fir.

Port. You did nothing, fir.



Man. I am not Sampfon, nor Sir Guy, nor Colbrand, to mow 'em down before me: but, if I fpar'd any, that had a head to hit, either young or old, he or she, cuckold or cuckold-maker, let me never hope to fee a chine again; and that I would 15 not for a cow, God fave her.

Within. Do you hear, mafter Porter?

Pert. I fhall be with you presently, good mafter puppy. Keep the door clofe, firrah.

Man. What would you have me do?

[blocks in formation]

Enter the Lord Chamberlain.

Cham. Mercy o' me, what a multitude are here!
They grow ftill too, from all parts they are coming,
As if we kept a fair! Where are these porters,
These lazy knaves?-Ye have made a fine hand,

There's a trim rabble let in: Are all these [have
Your faithful friends o' the suburbs? We shall
Great ftore of room, no doubt, left for the ladies,
When they pafs back from the christening.

Port. Please your honour,

We are but men; and what fo many may do,
Not being torn a-pieces, we have done :
An army cannot rule 'em.

Cham. As I live,

20If the king blame me for 't, I'll lay ye all

Port. What should you do, but knock 'em down by the dozens? Is this Morefields to mufter in? or have we fome ftrange Indian with the great tool come to court, the women fo befiege us? Blefs me, what a cry of fornication is at door! 25 O'my christian confcience, this one christening will beget a thousand: here will be father, godfather, and all together.

Man. The fpoons will be the bigger, fir. There is a fellow fomewhat near the door, he should be 30 a brafier 3 by his face, for, o' my confcience, twenty of the dog-days now reign in's nofe; all that stand about him are under the line, they need no other penance: that fire-drake 4 did I hit three times on the head, and three times was his nofe 35 discharg'd against me; he ftands there like a mortar-piece, to blow us. There was a haberdasher's wife of fmall wit near him, that rail'd upon me 'till her pink'd porringer fell off her head, for kindling fuch a combustion in the state. I mifs'd 40 the meteor 5 once, and hit that woman, who cry'd out, clubs! when I might fee from far fome forty trunchioneers draw to her fuccour, which were the hope of the ftrand, where she was quarter'd. They fell on; I made good my place; at length 45 they came to the broomstaff with me, I defy'd 'em ftill; when fuddenly a file of boys behind 'em, loose fhot, deliver'd fuch a fhower of pebbles, that I was fain to draw mine honour in, and let 'em win the work: The devil was amongft 'em, I think, 50 furely.

By the heels, and suddenly; and on your heads
Clap round fines, for neglect: You are lazy knaves;
And here ye lie baiting of bumbards 9, when
Ye fhould do fervice. Hark, the trumpets found;
They are come already from the christening:
Go, break among the prefs, and find a way out
To let the troop pass fairly; or I'll find
A Marshalfea, fhall hold you play these two months.
Port. Make way there for the princess.
Man. You great fellow, ftans close up, or I'll
make your head ake.


Port. You i' the camblet, get up o' the rail; I'll peck you o'er the pales elfe. [Excunt. SCENE The Palace. Enter Trumpets, founding; then two Aldermen, Lord Mayor, Garter, Cranmer, Duke of Norfolk with bis Marshal's staff, Duke of Suffolk, two Noblemen bearing two great standing bowls for the christening gifts; then four Noblemen bearing a canopy, under which the Dutchefs of Norfolk, godmother, bearing the child richly babited in a mantle, &'c. Train borne by a Lady: then follow te Marchioness of Dorjet, the other godmothe Ladies. The troop pafs once about the stage, and Garter Speaks.


Gar. Heaven, from thy endless goodness, fend profperous life, long, and ever happy, to the high and mighty princefs 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 moft gracious lady,

Pert. These are the youths that thunder at a play-
houfe, and fight for bitten apples 6; that no audi-
ence, but the tribulation of Tower-hill 7, or the
limbs of Limehouse, their dear brothers, are able 55 Heaven ever laid up to make parents happy,

It was anciently the custom for all ranks of people to go out a Maying on the first of May. 2 Of Guy of Warwick every one has heard. Colbrand was the Danish giant, whom Guy fubdued at Winchefter. 3 Abrasier fignifies a man that manufactures brass, and a reservoir for charcoal occasionally heated to convey warmth. Both thefe fenfes are here understood. 4 A fire-drake is both a ferpent, anciently called a brenning-drake, or dipjas, and a name formerly given to a Will o' th' Wisp, or ignus fatuus. A fire-drake was likewife an artificial firework. 5 i. e. the brafier. The prices of feats for the vulgar in our ancient theatres were fo very low (viz. a penny, two-pence, and fix-pence, each, for the ground, gallery, and rooms:—the boxes were somewhat higher, being a filling and half-a-crown), that we cannot wonder if they were filled with the tumultuous company defcribed by Shakspeare in this fcene; efpecially when it is added, that tobacco was fmcaked, and ale drank in them. 7 Dr. Johnson fufpects the Tribulation to have been a puritanical meeting-houfe. 8 A publick whipping. 9 To bait bumbards is to ripple, to lie at the spigot. Bumbards were large veffels in which the beer was carried to foldiers upon duty. They refembled black jacks of leather.



As great in admiration as herself;

So fhall the leave her blessedness to one,


[blocks in formation]

King. My noble goffips, ye have been too pro-
I thank ye heartily; fo fhall this lady,
When the has fo much English.

Cran. Let me speak, fir,

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 promifes
Upon this land a thousand thousand blessings,
Which time shall bring to ripenefs: She shall be
(But few now living can behold that goodness)
A pattern to all princes living with her,
And all that shall fucceed: Sheba was never
More covetous of wisdom, and fair virtue,
Than this pure foul shall be: all princely graces,
That mould up fuch a mighty piece as this is,
With all the virtues that attend the good,
Shall ftill be doubled on her: truth fhall nurfe her,
Holy and heavenly thoughts ftill counsel her:
She shall be lov'd, and fear'd: Her own fhall blefs
Her foes thake like a field of beaten corn,



(When heaven fhall call her from this cloud of


Shall ftar-like rife, as great in fame as the was,
And so stand fix'd: Peace, plenty,love,truth, terror,
That were the fervants to this chosen infant,
Shall then be his, and like a vine grow to him;
10 Wherever the bright fun of heaven shall shine,
His honour, and the greatness of his name
Shall be, and make new nations: He fhall flourish,
And, like a mountain cedar, reach his branches
To all the plains about him :-Our children's chil-
King. Thou speakest wonders.]
Shall fee this, and bless heaven.

Who, from the facred afhes of her honour,


Cran. She shall be, to the happiness of England,
An aged princefs 2; many days shall see her,
And yet no day without a deed to crown it.

20 Would I had known no more! but the muft die,
She muft, the faints must have her; yet a virgin,
A most unfpotted lily shall she pass

To the ground, and all the world shall mourn her.
King. O lord archbishop,

25 Thou haft made me now a man; never, before
This happy child, did I get any thing:
This oracle of comfort has fo pleas'd me,
That, when I am in heaven, I shall defire
To fee what this child does, and praise my Maker.-

And hang their heads with forrow: Good grows 30I thank ye all.—To you, my good lord mayor,

with her:

In her days, every man shall eat in fafety,
Under his own vine, what he plants; and fing
The merry fongs of peace to all his neighbours:
God fhall be truly known; and those about her
From her fhall read the perfect way of honour,
And by thofe claim their greatnefs, not by blood.
['Nor fhall this peace fleep with her: But as when
The bird of wonder dies, the maiden phoenix,
Her afhes new create another heir,

And your good brethren, I am much beholden;
I have receiv'd much honour by your presence,
And ye fhall find me thankful. Lead the way,

lords ;

She will be fick elfe. This day, no man think
35 Ye muft all fee the queen, and she must thank ye,
He has bufinefs at his house; for all shall stay,
This little one shall make it holiday.




ten to one this play can never please
All that are bere: Some come to take their cafe,
And fleep an act or two; but those, we
We have frighted with our trumpets; fo, 'tis clear,
They'll fay, 'tis naught: others, to bear the city
Abus'd extremely, and to cry,—that's witty!
Which we have not done neither: that, I fear,
All the expected good we are like to bear

For this play at this time, is only in
The merciful conftruction of good women ;
For fuck a one we fhew'd'em: If they smile,
50 And fay, 'twill do, I know, within a while
All the beft men are ours; for 'tis ill bap,
If they bold, when their ladies bid'em clap.

Thefe lines, to the interruption by the king, feem to have been inferted at fome revifal of the 2 Theobald remarks, that the tranfition here from the play, after the acceffion of king James. complimentary address to king James the first is so abrupt, that it seems to him, that compliment was inferted after the acceffion of that prince. If this play was wrote, as in his opinion it was, in the reign of queen Elizabeth, we may eafily determine where Cranmer's eulogium of that princess concluded. He makes no question but the poet rested here:

All that the bishop fays after

ferted after her demife.

and Epilogue to Henry VIII,

And claim by thofe their greatness, not by blood.

this, was an occafional homage paid to her fucceffor, and evidently in 3 Dr. Johnfon is of opinion, with other Critics, that both the Prologue were written by Ben Jensen,

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

The SCENE is partly in Rome; and partly in the Territories of the Voiscians and Antiates.


A Street in Rome.

A C T I.

[blocks in formation]


we become rakes 3: for the gods know, I fpeak this in hunger for bread, not in thirst for revenge. 2 Cit. Would you proceed especially against Caius Marcius?

All. Against him firft; he's a very dog to the commonalty.

2 Cit. Confider you what fervices he has done for his country?

1 Cit. Very well; and could be content to give 10 him good report for't, but that he pays himself with being proud.

All. Nay, but fpeak not maliciously.

1 Cit. I fay unto you, what he hath done famously, he did it to that end: though foft-con15 fcienc'd men can be content to fay, it was for his country, he did it to please his mother, and to be partly proud; which he is even to the altitude of his virtue.

1 Cit. We are accounted poor citizens; the pa-20 tricians, good: What authority furfeits on, would relieve us: If they would yield us but the fuperfluity, while it were wholefome, we might guefs, they relieved us humanely: but they think, we are too dear: the leannefs that afflicts us, the 25 object of our mifery, is as an inventory to particularize their abundance; our fufferance is a gain to them. Let us revenge this with our pikes, ere

2 Cit. What he cannot help in his nature, you account a vice in him: You must in no way say, he is covetous.

1 Cit. If I muft not, I need not be barren of accufations; he hath faults, with furplus, to tire in repetition. [Shouts within.] What shouts are these? The other fide the city is rifen: Why stay we prating here to the Capitol?

All. Come, come.

1 Cit. Soft; who comes here?

The whole hiftory is exactly followed, and many of the principal speeches exactly copied from the Life of Coriolanus in Plutarch. 2 Good is here used in the mercantile fenfe. 3 Alluding to the proverb, as lean as a rake; which perhaps owes its origin to the thin taper form of the inftrument made ufe of by hay-makers. Dr. Johnfon obferves, that Rakel, in Islandick, is said to mean a cur-dog, and this was probably the first ufe among us of the word rake. As lean as a rake is, therefore, as lean as a dog too worthlefs to be fed.


[blocks in formation]

¡And mutually participate, did minifter
Unto the appetite and affection common
Of the whole body. The belly answer'd,-
2 Cit. Well, fir, what anfwer made the belly?
Men. Sir, I fhall tell you.-With a kind of

Which ne'er came from the lungs 4, but even thus?
(For, look you, I may make the belly fmile,
As well as fpeak) it tauntingly reply'd
To the difcontented members, the mutinous parts
That envy'd his receipt; even so most fitly 5
As you malign our fenators, for that
They are not fuch as you.

2 Cit. Your belly's anfwer: What!

Men. Why, mafters, my good friends, mine 15 The kingly-crowned head, the vigilant eye,

honeft neighbours,

Will you undo yourselves?

2 Cit. We cannot, fir, we are undone already.
Men. I tell you, friends, most charitable care
Have the patricians of you. For your wants,
Your fuffering in this dearth, you may as well
Strike at the heaven with your ftaves, as lift them
Against the Roman ftate; whofe courfe will on
The way it takes, cracking ten thousand curbs
Of more strong link afunder, than can ever
Appear in your impediment: For the dearth,
The gods, not the patricians, make it; and
Your knees to them, not arms, must help. Alack,
You are tranfported by calamity



Thither where more attends you; and you flander 3c
The helms o'the ftate, who care for you like fathers,
When you curfe them as enemics.

2 Cit. Care for us!-True, indeed!-They ne'er car'd for us yet. Suffer us to famifh, and

The counsellor heart, the arm our foldier,
Our feed the leg, the tongue our trumpeter,
With other muniments and petty helps

In this our fabrick, if that they

Men. What then?

Fore me, this fellow speaks !-what then? what


2 Cit. Should by the cormorant belly be reftrain'd, Who is the fink o'the body,

Men. Well, what then?

2 Cit. The former agents, if they did complain, What could the belly anfwer?

Men. I will tell you;

If you'il beftow a small (of what you have little)
Patience, a while, you'll hear the belly's answer.
2 Cit. You are long about it.

Men. Note me this, good friend;
Your moft grave belly was deliberate,
Not rafh like his accufers, and thus answer'd:

their store-houses cramm'd with grain; make 35" True is it, my incorporate friends,” quoth he,

edicts for ufury, to fupport ufurers; repeal daily any wholsome act established against the rich; and provide more piercing ftatutes daily, to chain up and restrain the poor. If the wars eat us not up,| they will; and there's all the love they bear us.

Men. Either you must

Confefs yourselves wond'rous malicious,
Or be accus'd of folly. I fhall tell you

A pretty tale; it may be, you have heard it;
But, fince it ferves my purpose, I will venture
To fcale't a little more.

2 Cit. Well, I'll hear it, fir; yet you must not think to fob off our difgrace with a tale: but, an`t] please you, deliver.



That I receive the general food at first, "Which you do live upon; and fit it is; "Because I am the store-house, and the shop "Of the whole body: But, if you do remember, "I fend it through the rivers of your blood, "Even to the court, the heart, to the feat? o' the brain;

And, through the cranks and offices of man, "The frongeft nerves, and fmall inferior veins, From me receive that natural competency "Whereby they live: And though that all at once "You, my good friends," (this fays the belly) mark 2 Cit. Ay, fir; well, well. Men. "Though all at once cannot

Men. There was a time, when all the body's 50" See what I do deliver out to each;

[blocks in formation]


Yet I can make my audit up, that all
From me do back receive the flour of all,
And leave me but the bran," What say you to't?
2 Cit. It was an answer: How apply you this?
Men. The fenators of Rome are this good belly,
And you the mutinous members: For examine
Their counfels, and their cares; digest things

To feale is to difparf. The word is ftill ufed in the North. The meaning is, Though fome of you have heard the story, I will ipread it yet wider, and diffuse it among the reft. Ships, injuries. 3 Where for whereas. 4 i. e. with a fimile not indicating si. e. exactly. The heart was anciently esteemed the feat of prudence.

2 Difgraces are bardpleasure, but contempt. 7 Seat for throne.


« PreviousContinue »