Imatges de pÓgina
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Part. Make way there for the Princess.

Man. You great fellow, ftand close up, or I'll make your head ake.

Port. You i'th' camblet, get up o' th' rail, I'll peck you o'er the pales elfe.

SCENE, the Palace.

[Exeunt.

Enter Trumpets founding; then two Aldermen, Lord Mayor, Garter, Cranmer, Duke of Norfolk with his Marfbal's ftaff, Duke of Suffolk, two Noblemen bearing great. fanding bowls for the christening gifts; then four Noblemen bearing a canopy, under which the Dutchefs of Norfolk, god-mother, bearing the child richly habited in a mantle, &c. Train borne by a Lady: then follows the Marchioness of Dorfet, the other god mother, and Ladies. The troop pafs once about the ftage, and Garter Speaks.

Gart.

Eav'n, from thy endless goodnefs fend long life,

Princefs of England, fair Elizabeth!

and

Flourish. Enter King and Guard.

Cran. And to your royal Grace, and the good Queen, My noble partners and myfelf thus pray;

All comfort, joy, in this moft gracious Lady,

That heav'n e'er laid up to make parents happy,

May hourly fall upon ye!

King. Thank you, good Lord Arch-bishop: What is her name?

Cran. Elizabeth.

King. Stand up, Lord.

With this kifs take my bleffing: God protect thee,
Into whofe hand I give thy life.

Cran. Amen.

King. My noble goffips, y' have been too prodigal,. I thank you heartily: fo fhall this Lady,

When he has fo much English.

Cran. Let me fpeak, Sir;

(For heav'n now bids me) and the words I utter, Let none think flattery, for they'll find 'em truth.

This royal infant, (heaven ftill move about her)
Though in her cradle, yet now promises

Upon this land a thousand thousand bleffings,
Which time shall bring to ripeness. She fhall be
(But few now living can behold that goodness)
A pattern to all Princes living with her,
And all that fhall fucceed. Sheba was never
More covetous of wisdom and fair virtue,
Than this bleft foul fhall be. All Princely graces,
That mould up fuch a mighty piece as this,
With all the virtues that attend the good,

Shall ftill be doubled on her. Truth fhall nurfe her:
Holy and heav'nly thoughts ftill counfel her:

She fhall be lov'd and fear'd. Her own fhall blefs her;
Her foes fhake, like a field of beaten corn,

And hang their heads with forrow. Good grows with her,
In her days, ev'ry man fhall 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 thofe about her
From her fhall read the perfect ways of honour,
And claim by those their greatnefs, not by blood.
Nor fhall this peace fleep 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 fhall fhe leave her bleffedness to one,

(When heav'n fhall call her from this cloud of darkness) Who from the facred afhes of her honour

Shall ftar-like rife, as great in fame as she was,
And fo ftand 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;
Where-ever the bright fun of heav'n fhall 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: children's children
Shall fee this, and bless heav'n.

King. Thou fpeakeft wonders.

Cran

Cran. She fhall be, to the happinefs of England, (31} An aged Princefs; many days fhall fee her,

And yet no day without a deed to crown it.
Would, I had known no more! but fhe muft die, (32)
She must, the faints must have her yet a virgin;
A most unfpotted lilly fhe shall pass

To th' ground, and all the world shall mourn her.
King. O Lord Archbishop,

Thou't made me now a man; never, before
This happy child, did I get any thing.

(31) She fhall be to the happiness of England,

An aged Princefs;] The transition here from the complimentary addrefs to King James the Firft is fo abrupt, that it seems obvious to me, that compliment was inferted after the acceffion of that Prince. If this play was wrote, as in my opinion it was, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth; we may eafily determine where Cranmer's eulogium of that Princefs concluded. I make no queftion but the poet rested here;

And claim by thofe their greatness, not by blood. All that the Bishop fays after this, was an occafional homage paid to her fucceffor; and evidently inferted after her demife. How naturally, without this infertion, does the King's joy, and fatisfactory reflection upon the Bishop's prophecy come in!

King. Thou fpeakeft wonders. O Lord Archbishop,

Thouft made me now a man. Never, before

This happy child, did I get any thing, &c.

Whether the King would fo properly have made this inference, upon hearing that a child of fo great hopes fhould die without ifiue, is fubmitted to judgment.

(32) Would I bad kneïvn no more: but she must die,

She muft, the faints must have ber; yet a virgin,

Amft unspotted lilly, &c.] Thus the editors hitherto, in their fagacity, bave pointed this paffage, and destroy'd the true sense of it. The first part of this fentence is a wifh: The other should be a forrowful continuation of the Bishop's prophecy. But, fure, Cranmer was too wife and pious a man, too well acquainted with the state of mortality, to make it a part of his lamentation that this good Princefs must one time or other go to heaven. As I point it, the poet makes a fine compliment to his royal miftrefs's memory, to lairent that she muft die without leaving an heir of her body behind her. Palamon and Arcite, in the Two Noble Kinsmen of Beaumont and Fletcher, being made prifoners to Thefeus, and fearing they fhall die in that captivity, lament their fate, I remember, in much the fame manner,

-Here the graces of our youths must wither,

Like a too timely fpring; here age must find us,
And, which is heaviest, Palamon, unmarried.

This oracle of comfort has fo pleas'd me,
That when I am in heav'n, I fhall defire

To fee 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: (33)
I have receiv'd much honour by your prefence,

And ye
fhall find me thankful. Lead the way, Lords;
Ye must all fee the Queen, and the must thank ye,
She will be fick elfe. This day no man think,
H'as bufinefs at his houfe, for all fhall stay;
This little one fhall make it holy-day.

[Exeunt

(33) And you good brethren,] But, the Aldermen never were call' brethren to the King. The top of the nobility are but cousins and counsellors. Dr. Thirlby, therefore, rightly advised;

And your good brethren

i. e. the Lord Mayor's brethren; which is properly their style. So. in the chorus before the 5th Act of Henry V.

The Mayor, and all his brethren in best fort,
Like to the Senators of antique Rome,
With the Plebeians fwarming at their heels,
Go forth, and fetch their conqu'ring Cæfar in

EPILOGUE.

די

IS ten to one, this play can never please

All that are here: fome come to take their ease, And fleep an act or two; but those, we fear, We've frighted with our trumpets: fo, 'tis clear, They'll fay, it's 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 w'are like to hear For this play at this time, is only in The merciful construction of good wom'n; (For fuch a one we fhew'd 'em) If they smile, And fay, 'twill do; I know, within awhile All the beft men are ours; for 'tis ill hap, If they hold, when their Ladies bid 'em clap.

The End of the FIFTH Volume.

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