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That holy duty, out of dear respect,
His royal self in judgment comes to hear
The cause betwixt her and this
great offender! K. Hen. You were ever good at sudden commendations,
Now let me
Bishop of Winchester. But know, I come not
To hear such flattery now, and in my presence;
They are too thin and base to hide offences.
To me you cannot reach, you play the spaniel,
And think with wagging of your tongue to win me;
But, whatsoe'er thou tak'st me for, I am sure,
Thou hast a cruel nature, and a bloody.-
Good man, [To Cranmer.] sit down.
see the proudest
He, that dares most, but wag his finger at thee:
By all that's holy, he had better starve,
Than but once think his place becomes thee not.
Sur. May it please your grace,-
No, sir, it does not please me.
I had thought, I had men of some understanding
And wisdom, of my council; but I find none.
Was it discretion, lords, to let this man,
This good man (few of you deserve that title,)
This honest man, wait like a lousy footboy
At chamber-door? and one as great as you are?
Why, what a shame was this! Did my commission
Bid ye so far forget yourselves? I gave ye
Power, as he was a counsellor, to try him,
Not as a groom: There's some of ye, I see,
More out of malice than integrity,
Would try him to the utmost, had ye mean;
Which ye shall never have, while I live.
My most dread sovereign, may it like your grace
To let my tongue excuse all. What was purpos'd
Concerning his imprisonment, was rather
(If there be faith in men) meant for his trial,
And fair purgation to the world, than malice;
I am sure, in me.
K. Hen. Well, well, my lords, respect him;
Take him, and use him well, he's worthy of it.
I will say thus much for him, If a prince
May be beholden to a subject, I
Am, for his love and service, so to him.
Make me no more ado, but all embrace him;
Be friends, for shame, my lords.-My lord of Can-
I have a suit which you must not deny me;
That is, a fair young maid that yet wants baptism,
You must be godfather, and answer for her.
Cran. The greatest monarch now alive may glory
In such an honour; How may I deserve it,
That am a poor and humble subject to you?
K. Hen. Come, come, my lord, you'd spare your
spoons; you shall have
Two noble partners with you; the old duchess of
And lady marquis Dorset; Will these please you?
Once more, my lord of Winchester, I charge you,
Embrace, and love this man.
With a true heart,
A shrewd turn, and he is your friend for ever.—
Come, lords, we trifle time away; I long
To have this young one made a Christian.
As I have made ye one, lords, one remain;
So I grow stronger, you more honour gain. [Exe.
SCENE III.-The Palace Yard. Noise and tu-
mult within. Enter Porter and his Man.
(1) It was an ancient custom for sponsors to present spoons to their god-children.
The bear-garden on the Bank-side.
Port. You'll leave your noise anon, ye rascals: Do you take the court for Paris garden ?2 ye rude slaves, leave your gaping.3
[Within.] Good master porter, I belong to the larder.
Port. Belong to the gallows, and be hanged, you rogue: Is this a place to roar in?-Fetch me a dozen crab-tree staves, and strong ones; these are but switches to them.-I'll scratch your heads: You must be seeing christenings? Do you look for ale and cakes here, you rude rascals? Man. Pray, sir, be patient; 'tis as much impos
(Unless we sweep them from the door with cannons,)
To scatter them, as 'tis to make them sleep
On May day morning; which will never be:
We may as well push against Paul's, as stir them.
Port. How got they in, and be hang'd?
Man. Alas, I know not; How gets the tide in?
As much as one sound cudgel of four foot
(You see the poor remainder) could distribute,
I made no spare, sir.
You did nothing, sir.
Man. I am not Samson, nor sir Guy, nor Colbrand, to mow them down before me: but, if I spared any, that had a head to hit, either young or old, he or she, cuckold or cuckold-maker, let me never hope to see a chine again; and that I would not for a cow, God save her.
[Within.] Do you hear, master porter?
Port. I shall be with you presently, good master puppy.-Keep the door close, sirrah.
Man. The spoons will be the bigger, sir. There is a fellow somewhat near the door, he should be a brazier by his face, for, o'my conscience, twenty of the dog-days now reign in's nose; all that stand about him are under the line, they need no other penance: That fire-drake did I hit three times on the head, and three times was his nose discharged against me; he stands there, like a mortar piece, to There was a haberdasher's wife of small wit near him, that railed upon me till her pink'd porringer fell off her head, for kindling such a combustion in the state. I miss'd the meteor once, and hit that woman, who cried out, Clubs! when I might see from far some forty truncheoneers draw
And brother-love, I do it.
And let Heaven
Witness, how dear I hold this confirmation.
'The common voice, I see, is verified
K. Hen. Good man, those joyful tears show thy to her succour, which were the hope of the Strand, where she was quartered. They fell on; I made good my place; at length they came to the broom
Of thee, which says thus, Do my lord of Canter-staff 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
Man. What would you have me do?
Port What should you do, but knock them down by the dozens? Is this Moorfields to muster in? or have we some strange Indian with the great tool come to court, the women so besiege us? Bless me, what a fry of fornication is at door! On my Christian conscience, this one christening will beget a thousand; here will be father, godfather, and all together.
(4) Guy of Warwick, nor Colbrand the Danish giant.
(5) Pink'd cap.
(6) The brazier,
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 play-house, 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, and there they are like to dance these three days; besides the running banquet of two beadles,2 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,
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.
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.
As I live,
If the king blame me for't, I'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,3 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 your head ache.
Port. You i'the camblet, get up o'the rail; I'll pick4 you o'er the pales else. [Exeunt. 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 bearing 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.
With this kiss take my blessing: God protect thee!
Into whose hands I give thy life.
(1) Place of confinement.
(2) A dessert of whipping.
(3) Black leather vessels to hold beer.
(5) At Greenwich.
K. Hen. My noble gossips, ye have been too prodigal:
I thank ye heartily; so shall this lady,
When she has so much English.
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 foes shake like a field of beaten corn,
And hang their heads with sorrow: Good grows
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
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, ter-
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
Gart. Heaven, from thy endless goodness, send prosperous life, long, and ever happy, to the high and mighty princess of England, Elizabeth.
Shall see this, and bless Heaven.
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.
Flourish. Enter King, and Train.
Cran. [Kneeling.] And to your royal grace, and 'Would I had known no more! but she must die, the good queen,
She must, the saints must have her; yet a virgin,
A most unspotted lily shall she pass
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!
To the ground, and all the world shall mourn her.
K. Hen. O lord archbishop,
K. Hen. Thank you, good lord archbishop;
What is her name?
Stand up, lord.-
[The King kisses the child.
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,
And your good brethren, I am much beholden;
(6) This and the following seventeen lines were probably written by B. Jonson, after the accession of king James.
"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.
The play of Henry the Eighth is one of those which still keeps possession of the stage by the splendor of its pageantry. The coronation, about forty years ago, drew the people together in multitudes for a great part of the winter. Yet pomp is not the only merit of this play. The meek sorrows, and virtuous distress, of Katharine, have furnished some scenes, which may be justly numbered among the greatest efforts of tragedy. But the genius of Shakspeare comes in and goes out with Katharine. Every other part may be easily conceived and easily written.
Priam, King of Troy.
Antenor, Trojan commanders.
Helen, wife to Menelaus.
Andromache, wife to Hector.
Calchas, a Trojan priest, taking part with the Cassandra, daughter to Priam; a prophetess.
Cressida, daughter to Calchas.
Trojan and Greek Soldiers, and Attendants.
Scene, Troy, and the Grecian Camp before it.
Pandarus, uncle to Cressida.
Margarelon, a bastard son of Fiam.
Agamemnon, the Grecian general.
Menelaus, his brother.
IN Troy, there lies the scene.
The princes orgulous, their high blood chaf'd,
Have to the port of Athens sent their ships,
Fraught with the ministers and instruments
Of cruel war: Sixty and nine, that wore
Their crownets regal, from the Athenian bay
Put forth toward Phrygia: and their vow is made,
To ransack Troy; within whose strong immures
The ravish'd Helen, Menelaus' queen,
With wanton Paris sleeps; And that's the quarrel.
To Tenedos they come;
And the deep-drawing barks do there disgorge
Their warlike fraughtage :2 Now on Dardan plains
The fresh and yet unbruised Greeks do pitch
Their brave pavilions: Priam's six-gated city,
Dardan, and Tymbria, Ilias, Chetas, Trojan,
And Antenorides, with massy staples,
And corresponsive and fulfilling bolts,
Sperr3 up the sons of Troy.
Now expectation, tickling skittish spirits,
On one and other side, Trojan and Greek,
Sets all on hazard :-And hither am I come
A prologue arm'd,-but not in confidence
Of author's pen, or actor's voice; but suited
In like conditions as our argument,-
To tell you, fair beholders, that our play
Leaps o'er the vaunt and firstlings of those broils,
'Ginning in the middle; starting thence away
To what may be digested in a play.
Like, or find fault; do as your pleasures are;
Now, good, or bad, 'tis but the chance of war.
Thersites, a deformed and scurrilous Grecian.
Alexander, servant to Cressida.
(1) Proud, disdainful. (2) Freight. (3) Shut. (4) Avaunt, what went before.
Servant to Troilus; Servant to Paris; Servant to
From isles of SCENE 1.-Troy. Before Priam's palace. Enter Troilus armed, and Pandarus.
CALL here my varlet,5 I'll unarm again:
Why should I war without the walls of Troy,
That find such cruel battle here within?
Each Trojan, that is master of his heart,
Let him to field; Troilus, alas! hath none.
Pan. Will this geer ne'er be mended?
Tro. The Greeks are strong, and skilful to their
Fierce to their skill, and to their fierceness valiant;
But I am weaker than a woman's tear,
Tamer than sleep, fonder? than ignorance;
Less valiant than the virgin in the night,
And skill-less as unpractis'd infancy.
you must stay the cooling too, or you may chance || Fools on both sides! Helen must needs be fair, to burn your lips.
When with your blood you daily paint her thus.
I cannot fight upon this argument;
It is too starv'd a subject for my sword.
But Pandarus-O gods, how do you plague me!
I cannot come to Cressid, but by Pandar;
And he's as tetchy to be woo'd to woo,
As she is stubborn-chaste against all suit.
Tell me, Apollo, for thy Daphne's love,
What Cressid is, what Pandar, and what we
Her bed is India; there she lies, a pearl:
Between our Ilium, and where she resides,
Let it be call'd the wild and wandering flood;
Ourself, the merchant; and this sailing Pandar, ́
Our doubtful hope, our convoy, and our bark.
Alarum. Enter Æneas.
Tro. Patience herself, what goddess e'er she be, Doth lesser blench! at sufferance than I do.
At Priam's royal table do I sit;
And when fair Cressid comes into my thoughts,
So, traitor!-when she comes !-
When is she
Pan. Well, she looked yesternight fairer than ever I saw her look, or any woman else.
Tro. I was about to tell thee,-When my heart,
As wedged with a sigh, would rive2 in twain;
Lest Hector or my father should perceive me,
I have (as when the sun doth light a storm,)
Bury'd this sigh in wrinkle of a smile:
But sorrow, that is couch'd in seeming gladness,
Is like that mirth fate turns to sudden sadness.
Pan. An her hair were not somewhat darker than Helen's, (well, go to,) there were no more comparison between the women,-But, for my part, she is my kinswoman; I would not, as they term it, praise her, But I would somebody had heard her talk yesterday, as I did. I will not dispraise your sister Cassandra's wit; but
Tro. O Pandarus! I tell thee, Pandarus-
When I do tell thee, There my hopes lie drown'd,
Reply not in how many fathoms deep
They lie indrench'd. I tell thee, I am mad
In Cressid's love: Thou answer'st, She is fair;
Pour'st in the open ulcer of my heart
Her eyes, her hair, her cheek, her gait, her voice;
Handlest in thy discourse, O, that her hand,
In whose comparison all whites are ink,
Writing their own reproach; to whose soft seizure
The cygnet's down is harsh, and spirit of sense
Hard as the palm of ploughmen! This thou tell'st
As true thou tell'st me, when I say I love her;
But, saying thus, instead of oil and balm,
Thou lay'st in every gash that love hath given me
The knife that made it.
Troilus, by Menelaus. Tro. Let Paris bleed: 'Tis but a scar to scorn; Paris is gor'd with Menelaus' horn. Alarum. Ene. Hark! what good sport is out of town today!
Tro. Better at home, if would I might, were
But, to the sport abroad;-Are you bound thither?
ne. In all swift haste.
Come, go we then together. [Exe.
SCENE II.-The same. A street. Enter Cres-
sida and Alexander.
Cres. Who were those went by?
Queen Hecuba, and Helen.
Cres. And whither go they?
Up to the eastern tower,
Whose height commands as subject all the vale,
To see the battle. Hector, whose patience
Is, as a virtue, fix'd, to-day was mov'd:
He chid Andromache, and struck his armourer;
And, like as there were husbandry in war,
Tro. Good Pandarus! How now, Pandarus? Pan. I have had my labour for my travail; ill-Before the sun rose, he was harness'd light, thought on of her, and ill-thought on of you: gone And to the field goes he; where every flower between and between, but small thanks for my la-Did, as a prophet, weep what it foresaw In Hector's wrath.
Tro. What, art thou angry, Pandarus? what, with
Pan. Because she is kin to me, therefore, she's not so fair as Helen: an she were not kin to me, she would be as fair on Friday, as Helen is on Sunday. But what care I? I care not, an she were a black-a-moor; 'tis all one to me.
Pan. I speak no more than truth.
Tro. Thou dost not speak so much.
Pan. 'Faith, I'll not meddle in't. Let her be as she is if she be fair, 'tis better for her; an she be not, she has the mends in her own hands.
Ene. How now, prince Troilus? wherefore not afield?
Tro. Because not there; This woman's answer sorts,3
Tro. Say I, she is not fair?
Pan. I do not care whether you do or no. She's a fool to stay behind her father; let her to the Greeks; and so I'll tell her the next time I see her: for my part, I'll meddle nor make no more in
For womanish it is to be from thence.
What news, Eneas, from the field to-day?
Ene. That Paris is returned home, and hurt.
Tro. By whom, Æneas?
What was his cause of anger?
Alex. The noise goes, this: There is among the
A lord of Trojan blood, nephew to Hector;
They call him, Ajax.
Good; And what of him?
Alex. They say he is a very man per se,4
And stands alone.
Cres. So do all men; unless they are drunk, sick, or have no legs.
Alex. This man, lady, hath robbed many beasts of their particular additions; he is as valiant as the lion, churlish as the bear, slow as the elephant: a man into whom nature hath so crowded humours, that his valour is crushed into folly, his folly sauced with discretion: there is no man hath a virtue that
Pan. Not I.
Tro. Sweet Pandarus,-
Pan. Pray you, speak no more to me; I will he hath not a glimpse of; nor any man an attaint, leave all as I found it, and there an end. but he carries some stain of it: he is melancholy [Exit Pandarus. An Alarum.without cause, and merry against the hair: Tro. Peace, you ungracious clamours! peace, hath the joints of every thing: but every thing so rude sounds!
(2) Split. (3) Suits.
(4) By himself.