Crom. Please your honours,


I shall both find your lordship judge and juror,

The chief cause concerns his grace of Canter- You are so merciful: 1 see your end,


Gar. Has he had knowledge of it?

Crom. Yes.

Nor. Who waits there?

D. Keep. Without, my noble lords?

Gar. Yes.

D. Keep. My lord archbishop;

'Tis my undoing: Love, and meekness, lord,
Become a churchman better than ambition;
Win straying souls with modesty again,"
Cast none away. That I shall clear myself,
Lay all the weight ye can upon my patience,
I make as little doubt, as you do conscience,
In doing daily wrongs. I could say more,

And bas done half an hour, to know your plea- But reverence to your calling makes me mo


Chan. Let him come in.

D. Keep. Your grace may enter now.

[CRANMER approaches the Council-table. Chan. My good lord archbishop, I am very


To sit here at this present, and behold
That chair stand empty: But we all are men,
In our own natures frail: and capable

Of our flesh, few are angels: out of which

And want of wisdom, you, that best should
teach us,

Have misdemean'd yourself, and not a little,
Toward the king first, then his laws, in filling
The whole realm by your teaching, and your

(For so we are inform'd,) with new opinions,
Divers, and dangerous; which are heresies,
And, not reform'd, may prove pernicious.

Gar. Which reformation must be sudden too, My noble lords: for those, that tame wild horses,

Pace them not in their hands to make them gentle;

But stop their mouths with stubborn bits,

spur them,

Till they obey the manage. If we suffer
(Out of our easiness, and childish pity
ΤΟ one man's honour) this contagious



Gar. My lord, my lord, you are a sectary, That's the plain truth; your painted gloss discovers,

To men that understand you, words and weak


Crom. My lord of Winchester, you are a lit-

By your good favour, too sharp; men so noble
However faulty, yet should find respect
For what they have been: 'tis a cruelty,
To load a falling man.

Gar. Good master secretary,

I cry your honour mercy; you may, worst
Of all this table, say so.

Crom. Why, my lord?

Gar. Do not I know you for a favourer
Of this new sect? ye are not sound.
Crom. Not sound?

Gar. Not sound, I say.

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Farewell, all physic: And what follows then?
Commotions, uproars, with a general taint

Of the whole state: as, of late days, our neigh-

The upper Germany, can dearly witness,
Yet freshly pitied in our meinories.

Cran. My good lords, hitherto, in all the

Both of my life and office, I have labour'd,
And with no little study, that my teaching,
And the strong course of my authority,
Might go one way, and safely; and the end
Was ever, to do well: nor is there living
(I speak it with a single heart, my lords,)
A man, that more detests, more stirs against,
Both in his private conscience, and his place,
Defacers of a public peace, than I do.
'Pray heaven, the king may never find a heart
With less allegiance in it! Men that toake
Envy and crooked malice nourishment,
I do beseech your lord-
Dare bite the best.

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Forbear, for shame, my lords.
Gar. I have done.

Crom. And 1.

Chan. Then thus for you, my lord,-It stands agreed,

I take it, by all voices, that forthwith

You be convey'd to the Tower a prisoner ;
There to remain, till the king's further pleasure
Be known unto us: Are you all agreed, lords!
All. We are.

Cran. Is there no other way of mercy,

But I must needs to the Tower, my lords?

Gar. What other

Would you expect? You are strangely trouble


Let some o'the guard be ready there.

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Be what they will, may stand forth face to face, To a most noble judge, the king my master. And freely urge against me.

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Cham. This is the king's ring.

Sur. 'Tis no counterfeit.

Suf. 'Tis the right ring, by heaven: I told

ye all,

When we first put this dangerous stone a roll


Twould fall upon ourselves.

Nor. Do you think, my lords,

The king will suffer but the little finger

Of this man to be vex'd?

Cham. 'Tis now too certain :

How much more is his life in value with bim? 'Would I were fairly out on't.

Crom. My mind gave me,

In seeking tales and informations
Against this man, (whose bonesty the devil
And his disciples only envy at,)
Ye blew the file that burns ye:


Now have t

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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. Now let
me see the proudest

He, that dares most, but wag his finger at

By all that's holy, he had better starve,

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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.

SCENE III.-The Palace Yard.
Noise and tumult within. Enter PORTER
and his MAN.

Port. You'll leave your noise anon, ye rascals: Do you take the court for Paris-garden? • ye rude slaves, leave your gaping. +

[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

Than but once think his place becomes thee me a dozen crab-tree staves, and strong ones;

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Why, what a shame was this? Did my com-

Bid ye so 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.

Chan. Thus far,

My most dread sovereign, may it like your grace
To let my tongue excuse all. What was pur-

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

I have a suit which you must not deny me;
This is, a fair young maid that yet wants bap-

You must be godfather, and answer for her.

Cran. The greatest monarch now alive may


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 Norfolk,

And lady marquis Dorset; Will these



Once more, my lord of Winchester, I charge

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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 impossible

(Unless we sweep them from the door with

To scatter them, as 'tis to make them sleep
we may as well push against Paul's, as stir
On May-day morning; which will never be :


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 fost
(You see the poor remainder) could distribute,
I made no spare, Sir.

Port. You did nothing, Sir.

Man. I am not Samson, nor Sir Guy, nor Colbrand, to mow them down before me : either young or old, he or she, cuckold or but if I spared any, that had a head to hit, 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. 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 soine 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 toge ther.

Man. The spoons will be the bigger, Sir. There is a fellow somewhat near the door, he science, twenty of the dog-days now reign in's should be a brazier by his face, for o'my connose; all that stand about him, are under the line, they need no other penance: That firedrake 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 baberdasher's wife of small wit near him, that rail'd upon me till her pink porringer fell off her head, for kindling such a combustion in the state. I

The bear garden on the Bank-side.

+ Roaring. 1 Guy of Warwick, vanquished Colbrand the Danish Pink'd cap.

It was an ancient custom for sponsors to present giant. spoons to their god-children.

Flourish. Enter KING, and Train. Cran. [Kneeling.] And to your royal grace, My uoble partners and myself thus pray :-and the good queen, All comfort, joy, in this most gracious lady, Heaven ever laid up to make parents happy, May hourly fall upon ye!

miss'd the meteor once, and hit that woman, who cried out, clubs! when I might see from far some forty truncheoneers draw 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 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 is 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, 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 coming,

are 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, I'll lay ye all
By the heels, and suddenly; and on your heads
Clap round fines, for neglect: You are lazy

And here ye lie baiting of bumbards, § when
Ye should do service. Hark, the trumpets

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


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 pick you o'er the pales else. [Exeunt.

SCENE IV.-The Palace. T

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.

Gart. Heaven from thy endless goodness, send prosperous life, long, and ever happy, to the high and mighty princess of England, Elizabeth!**

• The brazier. + Place of confinement. A desert of whipping, Black leather vessels to hold beer. Pitch. At Greenwich.

These are the actual words used at Elizabeth's christening.

What is her name ?
K. Hen. Thank you, good lerd archbishop.

Cran. Elizabeth.

K. Hen. Stand up, lord.

With this kiss take my blessing: God protect [The KING kisses the child.

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

(But few now living can behold that goodness,)
A pattern to all princes living with ber,
And all that shall succeed: Sheba was never
More covetous of wisdom, and fair virtue,
Than this pure soul shall be: all princely


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

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: 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 hon-


And by those claim their greatness, not by blood.

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[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


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

And, like a mountain cedar, reach his bran


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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 ber.

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


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They'll say, 'tis naught: others, to hear the
Abus'd extremely, and to cry, that's witty!
Which we have not done neither: that, I fear,
For this play at this time, is only in
All the expected good we are like to hear
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 our's; for 'tis ill hap,
If they hold, when their ladies bid them clap.

It is supposed that the epilogue and prologʻie ta this play were both written by Ben Jonson.



THE title of this play was probably suggested (like Twelfth Night, and The Winter's Tale,) by the time at which it was first performed; viz. at Midsummer :---thus it would be announced as " A Dream for the Entertainment of a Midsummer Night." No other ground can be assigned for the name which our author has given to it; since the action is distinctly pointed out as occurring on the night preceding May-day. The piece was written in 1592; and, according to Stevens, might have been suggested by the Knight's Tale in Chaucer, or, as Capell supposes, Shakspeare may have taken the idea of his fairies from Drayton's fantastical poem, called Nymphidia, or, The Court of Fairy. Mason, however, denies that our poet made use of the materials which Shakspeare had rendered so popular; and asserts (in opposition to Johnson) that there is no analogy or resemblance between the fairies of the one, and the fairies of the other. The same critics are also at issue upon the general merits of this singular play. Johnson declares that "all the parts, in their various modes, are well written." Malone, that the principal personages are insignificant---the fable meagre and uninteresting. Hippolyta, the Amazon, is undistinguished from any other female; and the solicitudes of Hermia and Demetrius, of Lysander and Helena, are childish and frivolous. Theseus, the companion of Hercules, is not engaged in any adventure worthy his rank and reputation: "he goes out a Maying; meets the lovers in perplexity, and makes no effort to promote their happiness; but when supernatural events have reconciled them, he joins their company, and concludes the entertainment by uttering some miserable puns, at an interlude represented by clowns.” These faults are, however, almost wholly redeemed, by the glowing fervour, and varied imagination, which Shakspeare has displayed in the poetry; by the rich characteristic humour (free from the taint of grossness) which enlivens the blunt-witted devices of his theatrical tailors and cobblers; and by the admirable satire which he has passed on those self-conceited actors, who (not unlike some modern “stars”) would monopolize the favours of the public, trample upon every competitor, and "bear the palm alone.” Bottom was perhaps the leading tragedian of some rival house, and on that account is honoured with an ass's head.

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