Sivut kuvina
PDF
ePub

They fell on; I made good my place ; at length they came to the broomstaff with me, I defied them still; when suddenly a file of boys behind them, loose shot, delivered such a shower of pebbles, that I was fain to draw mine honour in, and let them win the work : The devil was amongst them, I think, surely.

Port. These are the youths that thunder at a playhouse, and fight for bitten apples; that no audience, but the Tribulation of Tower-Hill, or the limbs of Limehouse, their dear brothers, are able to endure. I have some of them in Limbo Patrum,o and there they are like to dance these three days ; besides the running banquet of two beadles, that is to come.

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

Cham. As I live,
If the king blame me for't, l'll lay ye all
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, when
Ye should do service. Hark, the trumpets sound :
They are come already from the christening :
Go, break among the press, and find a way out
To let the troop pass fairly; or I'll find
A Marshalsea, shall hold you play these two months.

Port. Make way there for the princess.
Man. You great fellow, stand close up, or I'll make

Port. You i'the camblet, get up o’the rail ; I'll pick you o'er the pales else.

[Exeunt. [5] I suspect this to have been a puritanical meeting-louse.

[6] He means in confinement. In limbo continues to be a cant phrase, in the same sense, at this day:

[7] A public whipping. (8) A bumbard is an ale-barrel ; to bait bumbards is to tipple, to lie at the spigol

(9) To pick is to pitch. MALONE

your head ake.

JOHNSON

MALONE.

JOHNSON

JOHNSON

SCENE IV.
The Palace. Enter trumpets, sounding ; then two Aldermen,

Lord Mayor, Garter, CRANMER, Duke of NORFOLK, with
his marshal's staff, Duke of SUFFOLK, two Noblemen bear-
ing great standing bowls for the christening gifts; then
four noblemen bearing a canopy, 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 troop pass once about the stage, and Garter speaks.

Gart. Heaven, from thy endless goodness, send prosperous 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
My noble partners, and myself, thus pray ; [good queen,
All comfort, joy, in this most gracious lady,
Heaven ever laid up to make parents happy,
May hourly fall upon ye!

Ř. Hen. Thank you, good lord archbishop ;
What is her name?

Cran. Elizabeth.

K. Hen. Stand up, lord.- [The King kisses the child
With this kiss take my blessing : God protect thee!
Into whose hands I give thy life.

Cran. Amen.

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,

[ocr errors]

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,
And hang their heads with sorrow. Good grows with her :
In her days, every man shall eat in safety
Under his own vine, what he plants ; and sing
The merry songs of peace to all his neighbours :
God shall be truly known ; and those about her
From her shall read the perfect ways of honour,
And by those claim their greatness, not by blood.
[Nor shall this peace sleep with her : But as when
The bird of wonder dies, the maiden phoenix,
Her ashes new create another heir,
As great in admiration as herself;
So shall she leave her blessedness to one,
(When heaven shall call her from this cloud of darkness,)
Who from the sacred ashes of her honour,
Shall star-like rise, as great in fame as she was,
And so stand fix'd: Peace, plenty, love, truth, terror,
That were the servants to this chosen infant,
Shall then be his, and like a vine grow to him ;
Wherever the bright sun of heaven shall shine,
His honour and the greatness of his name
Shall be, and make new nations : He shall flourish,
And, like a mountain cedar, reach his branches
To all the plains about him:-Our children's children
Shall see this, and bless heaven.]

K. Hen. Thou speakest wonders.

Cran. She shall be, to the happiness of England,
An aged princess; many days shall see her,
And yet no day without a deed to crown it.
'Would I had known no more! but she must die,
She must, the saints must have her; yet a virgin,
A most unspotted lily shall she pass
To the ground, and all the world shall mourn her.

K. Hen. O lord archbishop,
Thou hast made me now a man ; never, before
This happy child, did I get any thing :
This oracle of comfort has so pleas'd me,
That, when I am in heaven, I shall desire
To see what this child does, and praise my Maker.-
I thank ye all.—To you, my good lord mayor,

(2) These lines, to the interruption by the king, seem to have been inserted at some revisal of the play, after the accession of king James.

JOHNSON

And your good brethren, I am much beholden ;
I have receiv'd much honour by your presence,
And ye shall find me thankful. Lead the way, lords ;
Ye must all see the queen, and she must thank ye,
She will be sick else. This day, no man think
He has business at his house ; for all shall stay,
This little one shall make it holiday.

[Exeunt.

EPILOGUE.

'TIS ten to one, this play can never please
All that are here : Some come to take their ease,
And sleep an act or two ; but those, we fear,
We have frighted with our trumpets; so, 'tis clear,
They'll say, 'tis naught: Others, to hear 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 hear
For this play at this time, is only in
The merciful construction of good women ;
For such a one we show'd them ;: If they smile,
And say, 'twill do, I know, within a while
All the best men are ours; for 'tis ill hap,
If they hold, when their ladies bid them clap."

[ocr errors]

(3) Though it is very difficult to decide whether short pieces be genuine or spurious, yet I cannot restrain myself from expressing my suspicion that neither the prologue nor epilogue to this play is the work of Shakespeare ; non vultus, non color. It appears to me very likely that they were supplied by the friendship, or officiousness of Jonson, whose manner they will be found exactly to resemble There is yet another supposition possible : the prologue and epilogue may have been written after Shakespeare's departure from the stage, upon some accidental revival of the play, and there will then be reason for imagining that the writer, whoever be was, intended no great kindness to him, this play being recommended by a subtle and covert censure of his other works. There is, in Shakespeare, so much of fool and fight;

-the fellow,

"In a long motley coat, guarded with yellow," appears so often in his drama, that I think it not very likely that he would have animadverted so severely on himself. All this, however, must be received as very dubious, since we know not the exact date of this or the other plays, and cannot tell how our author might have changed his practice or opinions. JOHNSON,

[4] The historical dramas are now concluded, of which the two parts of Henry IV and Henry V. are among the happiest of our author's compositions ; and King John, Richard the Third, and Henry VIII. deservedly stand in the second class. Those whose curiosity would refer the historical scenes to their original, may consult Holinshed, and sometimes Hall: from Holinshed Shakespeare has often inserted whole speeches, with no more alteration thau was necessary to the numbers of bis verse. To transcribe then into the margin was unnecessary, because the original is easily examined, and they are seldom less perspicuous in the poet than in the historian. To play histories, or to exhibit a succession of events by action and dialogue, was a common entertainment among our rude ancestors upon great festivities.

The parish clerks once performed at Clerkenwell a play which lasted three days, containing The History of the World. JOHNSON.

[ocr errors]
« EdellinenJatka »