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Flourish. Enter KING, and Train. Cran. [Kneeling.] And to your royal grace, and the good queen,

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,


As if we kept a fair here! Where are these porters,

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 lerd 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 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


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

These lazy kuaves ?-Ye have made a fine hand, Upon this land a thousand thousand blessings,

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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,
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.


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. 6 Black leather vessels to hold beer. Pitch. At Greenwich. These are the actual words used at Elizabeth's christening.

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

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


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 beads 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 hon-

And by those claim their greatness, not by
[Nor shall this peace sleep with her: But as
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

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,


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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 coinfort 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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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.


'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
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
For such a one we show'd them: If they smile,
The merciful construction of good women;
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 prologie to 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. Thesens, 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 supercatural 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

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