Imatges de pÓgina
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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, 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, 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 camlet, get up o'the rail; I'll pick 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 Marshall'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. 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 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!

K. Hen.

What is her name?

Cran

K. Hen.

Thank you, good lord archbishop :

Elizabeth.

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,
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,

[her: And hang their heads with sorrow: Good grows with 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,
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 awhile
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 splendour 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.

The second scene of the fourth act is above any other of Shakspeare's tragedies, and perhaps above any scene of any other poet; tender and pathetic, without gods, or furies, or poisons, or precipices; without the help of romantic circumstances, without improbable sallies of poetical lamentation, and without any throes of tumultuous misery. JOHNSON.

C. Whittingham, Printer, Chiswick.

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