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Ye should do service. Hark, the trumpets sound;
Port. Make way there for the princess.
Man. You great fellow, stand close up, or I'll make your head ake.
Port. You i'the camblet, get up o'er the rail ; I'll pick you o’er the pales else'.
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 bowlso 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!
7— r'll pick you o'er the pales else.) To pick is to pitch.
8 The Palace.) At Greenwich, where this procession was made from the church of the Friars.
9 - standing bowls -] i. e. bowls elevated on feet or pedestals.
| Heaven, from thy endless goodness, &c.] These words are not the invention of the poet, having been pronounced at the christening of Elizabeth.
Flourish. Enter King, and Train.
Thank you, good lord archbishop ;
Elizabeth. K. Hen.
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,
And hang their heads with sorrow: Good grows with her:
Thou speakest wonders.]
? (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 passage, 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.
Cran. She shall be, to the happiness of England,
K. Hen. O lord archbishop,
3 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. Johnson.
* Chetwood says that, during one season, it was exhibited seventy-five times.
'Tis ten to one, this play can never please
"- such a one we show'd them ;] In the character of Katharine.
JOHNSON. 6 — If they smile, &c.] Though it is very difficult to decide whether short pieces be genuine or spurious, yet I cannot restrain myself from expressing my suspicion that neither the Prologue nor Epilogue to this play is the work of Shakspeare ; non vultus, non color. It appears to me very likely that they were supplied by the friendship or officiousness of Jonson, whose manner they will be perhaps found exactly to resemble. There is yet another supposition possible : the Prologue and Epilogue may have been written after Shakspeare's departure from the stage, upon some accidental revival of the play, and there will then be reason for imagining that the writer, whoever he was, intended no great kindness to him, this play being recommended by a subtle and covert censure of his other works. There is, in Shakspeare, so much of fool and fight ;
the fellow, . “ In a long motley coat, guarded with yellow," appears so often in bis drama, that I think it not very likely that he would have animadverted so severely on himself. All this,