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That is, a fair young maid that yet wants baptism, You must be godfather, and answer for her.
Cran. The greatest monarch now alive may glory 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
With a true heart,
And let heaven
true heart. The common voice, I see, is verified Of thee, which says thus, Do my lord of Canter
* You must be godfather,] Our prelates formerly were often employed on the like occasions. Cranmer was godfather to Edward VI. Archbishop Warham to Henry's eldest son by Queen Katharine ; and the Bishop of Winchester to Henry himself.
- you'd spare your spoons;] It was the custom, long before the time of Shakspeare, for the sponsors at christenings to offer gilt spoons as a present to the child. These spoons were called apostle spoons, because the figures of the apostles were carved on the tops of the handles. Such as were at once opulent and generous, gave the whole twelve; those who were either more moderately rich or liberal, escaped at the expence of the four evangelists; or even sometimes contented themselves with presenting one spoon only, which exhibited the figure of any saint, in honour of whom the child received its name.
As I have made ye one, lords, one remain;
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 me a dozen crab-tree staves, and strong ones; 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 im
possible (Unless we sweep thein from the door with cannons,) To scatter them, as 'tis to make them sleep On May-day morning; which will never be: We may as well push against Paul's, as stir them.
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 foot (You see the poor remainder) could distribute, Ì made no spare, sir.
Paris-garden?] This celebrated bear-garden on the Bankside was so called from Robert de Paris, who had a house and garden there in the time of King Richard II.
gaping.) i. e. shouting or roaring; a sense which this word has now almost lost.
You did nothing, sir. Man. I am not Sampson, nor sir Guy, nor Colbrand, to mow them down before me: but, if I spared any, that had a head to hit, either young or old, he or she, cuckold or 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 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 dog-days 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
sir Guy, nor Colbrand,] Of Guy of Warwick every one has heard. Colbrand was the Danish giant, whom Guy subdued at Winchester. Their combat is very elaborately described by Drayton, in his Polyolbion.
- Moorfields to muster in?] The train-bands of the city were exercised in Moorfields.
he should be a brazier by his face,] A brazier signifies a man that manufactures brass, and a reservoir for charcoal occasionally heated to convey warmth. Both these senses are under. stood. Johnson.
That fire-drake-] A fire-drake is both a serpent, anciently called a brenning-drake, or dipsas, and a name formerly given to a Will o'the Wisp, or ignis fatuus. A fire-drake was likewise an artificial firework.
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 porringer 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 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 was 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,
? —till her pink'd porringer fell off her head,] Her pink'd porringer is her pink'd cap, which looked as if it had been moulded on a porringer.
-the meteor -] The fire-drake, the brazier.
- who cried out, clubs!) Clubs ! was the outcry for assistance, upon any quarrel or tumult in the streets.
loose shot,] i. e. loose or random shooters.
the Tribulation of Tower-hill, or the limbs of Limehouse,] Alliteration has given rise to many cant expressions, consisting of words paired together. Here we have cant names for the inhabitants of those places, who were notorious puritans, coined for the humour of the alliteration. In the mean time it must not be forgotten, that “ precious limbs" was a common phrase of contempt for the puritans.
- 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.
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 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 knaves ; And here ye lie baiting of bumbards, when Ye should do service. Hark, the trumpets sound; 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 months.
Port. Make way there for the princess.
Man. You great fellow, stand close up, or I'll make your
-- running banquet of two beadles,] A publick whipping. A banquet, in ancient language, did not signify either dinner or supper, but the desert after each of them.
- here ye lie baiting of bumbards,) A bumbard is an ale. barrel; to bait bumbards is to tipple, to lie at the spigot.