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Let me ne'er hope to see a chine again ;
[Within.] Do you hear, master Porter ?
Port. I shall be with you presently, good master puppy.—Keep the door close, sirrah.
Man. What would you have me do?
Port. What should you do, but knock 'em 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.
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 dogdays 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 blow us.
There was a haberdasher's wife of small wit near him, that railed upon me till her pink'd porringer8 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
6 And that I would not for a cow, God save her.] We have printed this and a preceding speech, by a person with the prefix of “Man,” in the old copies, just as it stands there. Whether it was meant for verse or for prose, the reader must determine. The whole of the first speech, and some portion of the last, run metrically.
7 That FIRE-DRAKE-) A "fire-drake” was a species of serpent, and also an artificial fire-work, which we still call a serpent. The term, as applied to a reptile, is not yet, as we are informed, entirely out of use in some parts of the country.
her pink'd PORRINGER-) i.e. Her pink'd cap. As Malone observed, in “ The Taming of the Shrew," A. iv. sc. 3, (Vol. iii. p. 178,) Petruchio complains of a cap brought for Katherine, that it looked as if it had been “ moulded on a porringer.”
who cried out, CLUBS !] The cry when the apprentices of London were to be called upon for assistance. See this Vol. p. 23.
truncheoners draw to her succour, which were the hope o' the Strand, where she was quartered. They fell on; I made good my place; at length they came to the broomstaff to me: I defied 'em still; when suddenly a file of boys behind 'em, loose shot, delivered such a shower of pebbles, that I was fain to draw mine honour in, and let 'em win the work. The devil was amongst 'em, 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 'em in Limbo Patrum?, 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 'em.
the TRIBULATION of Tower-hill, or the LIMBS of Limehouse,] Johnson supposed that “the Tribulation" of Tower-hill was some fanatical meeting-house. Possibly, for “limbs of Limehouse,” we ought to read, “lambs of Limehouse ;" as the “lambs of Nottingham” still mean the riotous and violent mob of that town. However, “limbs of Limehouse” is a very intelligible expression, referring to the species of population in that vicinity.
2 – Limbo Patrum,] “ Limbo Patrum” was the term for the place where the Patriarchs, &c. await the resurrection : but “limbo" was then, and is still, the cant name for any place of confinement.
As I live,
ye lie baiting of bombards", when
Port. Make way there for the princess.
Man. You great fellow,
Port. You i’ the camblet, get up o' the rail ;
The Palace at Greenwich.
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, 8c. Train borne by a
baiting of BOMBARDS,] “ Bombards” were large leathern vessels, for holding liquor (see Vol. iv. p. 276): “ baiting of bombards” is a figurative expression requiring no explanation.
4 I'll Peck you o'er the pales else.] So the old copies. Malone understands “peck” as pick or pitch ; but the word has a very intelligible meaning without alteration. In the folios, after the entrance of the lord Chamberlain, all is printed as verse, and we have not felt authorized in making any change in the regulation. We have observed the divisions of the lines (if such they may be called) as they have come down to us.
Lady: then follows the Marchimess of Dorset, the other godmother, and Ladies. The Troop pass once about the stage, and Garter speaks.
Flourish. Enter King, and Train. Cran. And to your royal grace, and the good queen,
[Kneeling. 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.
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 hand I give thy life. Cran.
Let me speak, sir,
A pattern to all princes living with her,
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 phænix, 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 dark
ness) 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,
the perfect ways of honour,] The old copies have, "way of honour ;" but the next line shows, as Monck Mason observed, that we ought to read