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some of them in Limbo Patrum,3 and there they are like to dance these three days; besides the running banquet of two beadles, that is to come.
the turbulence of its inhabitants. It is not improbable that Shakspeare wrote the lambs of Limehouse. Steevens.
The word limb, in the sense of an impudently vicious person, is not uncommon in London at this day. In the north it is pronounced limp, and means a mischievous boy. The alteration suggested by Mr. Steevens is, however, sufficiently countenanced by the word tribulation, if in fact the allusion be to the puritans.
It appears from Stowe's Survey that the inhabitants of Towerhill were remarkably turbulent.
It may, however, be doubted, whether this passage was levelled at the spectators assembled in any of the theatres in our author's time. It may have been pointed at some apprentices and inferior citizens, who used occasionally to appear on the stage, in his time, for their amusement. The Palsgrave, or Hector of Germany, was acted in 1615, by a company of citizens at the Red Bull; and, The Hog hath lost his Pearle, a comedy, 1614, is said, in the title-page, to have been publickly acted by certain London 'prentices
The fighting for bitten apples, which were then, as at present, thrown on the stage, [See the Induction to Bartholomew Fair: "Your judgment, rascal; for what?-Sweeping the stage? or, gathering up the broken apples?"-] and the words "which no audience can endure," might lead us to suppose that these thunderers at the play-house, were actors, and not spectators.
The limbs of Limehouse, their dear brothers, were, perhaps, young citizens, who went to see their friends wear the buskin. A passage in The Staple of News, by Ben Jonson, Act III, sc. last, may throw some light on that now before us: 66 Why, I had it from my maid Joan Hearsay, and she had it from a limb of the school, she says, a little limb of nine years old.—An there were no wiser than I, I would have ne'er a cunning school-master in England. They make all their scholars play-boys. Is 't not a fine sight, to see all our children made interluders? Do we pay our money for this? We send them to learn their grammar and their Terence, and they learn their play-books."-School-boys, apprentices, the students in the inns of court, and the members of the universities, all, at this time, wore occasionally the sock or the buskin. However, I am by no means confident that this is the true interpretation of the passage before us. Malone.
It is evident that The Tribulation, from its site, must have been a place of entertainment for the rabble of its precincts, and the limbs of Limehouse such performers as furnished out the show. Henley. The Tribulation does not sound in my ears like the name of any place of entertainment, unless it were particularly designed
Enter the Lord Chamberlain.
Cham. Mercy o' me, what a multitude are here!
Your faithful friends o' the suburbs? We shall have
If the king blame me for 't, I'll lay ye all
for the use of Religion's prudes, the Puritans. Mercutio or Truewit would not have been attracted by such an appellation, though it might operate forcibly on the saint-like organs of Ebenezer or Ananias.
Shakspeare, I believe, meant to describe an audience familiarized to excess of noise; and why should we suppose the Tribulation was not a puritanical meeting-house because it was noisy? I can easily conceive that the turbulence of the most clamorous theatre, has been exceeded by the bellowings of puritanism against surplices and farthingales; and that our upper gallery, during Christmas week, is a sober consistory, compared with the vehemence of fanatick harangues against Bel and the Dragon, that idol Starch, the anti-christian Hierarchy, and the Whore of Babylon.
Neither do I see with what propriety the limbs of Limehouse could be called "young citizens," according to Mr. Malone's supposition. Were the inhabitants of this place (almost two miles distant from the capital) ever collectively entitled citizens? The phrase, dear brothers, is very plainly used to point out some fraternity of canters allied to the Tribulation both in pursuits and manners, by tempestuous zeal and consummate ignorance. Steevens. in Limbo Patrum,] He means, in confinement. In limbo continues to be a cant phrase, in the same sense, at this day.
The Limbus Patrum is, properly, the place where the old Fathers and Patriarchs are supposed to be waiting for the resurrection. See note on Titus Andronicus, Act III, sc. i. Reed.
9 — running banquet of two beadles,] A publick whipping. Johnson.
And here ye lie baiting of bumbards,1 when
A Marshalsea, shall hold you play these two months.
Man. You great fellow, stand close up, or I'll make your head ake.
Port. You i' the camblet, get up o' the rail;2 I'll pick you o'er the pales else.3 [Exeunt.
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-bowls5 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 pros
here ye lie baiting of bumbards,] A bumbard is an ale. barrel; to bait bumbards is to tipple, to lie at the spigot. Johnson. So, in Woman's a Weathercock, 1612: "She looks like a black bombard with a pint pot waiting upon it." See The Tempest, Vol. II, p. 66, n. 8.
-get up o' the rail;] We must rather read-get up off the rail,-or,-get off the rail. M. Mason.
I'll pick you o'er the pales else.] To pick is to pitch. "To pick a dart," Cole renders, jaculor. DICT. 1679. See a note on Coriolanus, Act I, sc. i, where the word is, as I conceive, rightly spelt. Here the spelling in the old copy is peck. Malone.
To pick and to pitch were anciently synonymous. So, in Stubbes's Anatomy of Abuses, 1595, p. 138: “—to catch him on the hip, and to picke him on his necke." Steevens.
4 The Palace.] At Greenwich, where, as we learn from Hall, fo. 217, this procession was made from the church of the Friars. Reed.
5 · standing-bowls —] i. e. bowls elevated on feet or pedestals. Steevens.
perous 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;-
What is her name?
Thank you, good lord archbishop;&
Stand up, lord.— [The King kisses the Child.
With this kiss take my blessing: God protect thee!
K. Hen. My noble gossips, ye have been too prodigal: I thank ye heartily; so shall this lady,
When she has so much English.
Shall still be doubled on her: truth shall nurse her,
She shall be lov'd, and fear'd: Her own shall bless her:
6 Thank you, good lord archbishop;] I suppose the word archbishop should be omitted, as it only serves to spoil the measure. Be it remembered also that árchbishop, throughout this play, is accented on the first syllable.
And hang their heads with sorrow: Good grows with
In her days, every man shall eat in safety
7 every man shall eat in safety
Under his own vine,] The original thought is borrowed from the 4th chapter of the first Book of Kings: "Every man dwelt safely under his vine."
A similar expression is in Micah, iv, 4: "But they shall sit every man under his vine, and under his fig tree, and none shall make them afraid." Reed.
8 From her shall read the perfect ways of honour,] The old copy reads-way. The slight emendation now made is fully justified by the subsequent line, and by the scriptural expression which our author probably had in his thoughts: "Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace." Malone.
Thus, already in this play:
Wolsey, that once trod the ways of glory. " Steevens. By those, in the last line, means by those ways, and proves that we must read ways, instead of way, in the line preceding. Shall read from her, means, shall learn from her. M. Mason.
9 [Nor shall this peace sleep with her : &c.] These lines, to the interruption by the King, seem to have been inserted at some revisal of the play, after the accession of King James. If the pas-▾ sage, included in crotchets, be left out, the speech of Cranmer proceeds in a regular tenour of prediction, and continuity of sentiments; but, by the interposition of the new lines, he first celebrates Elizabeth's successor, and then wishes he did not know that she was to die; first rejoices at the consequence, and then laments the cause. Our author was at once politick and idle; he resolved to flatter James, but neglected to reduce the whole speech to propriety; or perhaps intended that the lines inserted should be spoken in the action, and omitted in the publication, if any publication was ever in his thoughts. Mr. Theobald has made the same observation. Johnson.
I agree entirely with Dr. Johnson with respect to the time when these additional lines were inserted. I suspect they were added in 1613, after Shakspeare had quitted the stage, by that hand which tampered with the other parts of the play so much, as to have rendered the versification of it of a different colour from all the other plays of Shakspeare. Malone.
If the reviver of this play (or tamperer with it, as he is styled by Mr. Malone,) had so much influence over its numbers as to