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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 foes shake like a field of beaten corn,
And hang their heads 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 honour,
And by those claim their greatness, not by blood.
[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
Who, from the sacred ashes of her honour,
Shall star-like rise, as great in fame as she was,
This and the following seventeen lines were probably written by B. Jonson, after the accession of king James.
And so stand fix'd: Peace, plenty, love, truth,
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 flourish,
And, like a mountain cedar, reach his branches
To all the plains about him :-Our children's child-
Shall see this, and bless heaven.
Thou speakest wonders.]
Cran. She shall be, to the happiness of England,
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 her.
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 Maker.-
I thank ye all,-To you, my good lord mayor,
And your good brethren, I am much beholden;
I have receiv'd much honour by your presence;
And ye shall find me thankful. Lead the way,
Ye must all see the queen, and she must thank ye,
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.
'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 city
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
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 ours; for 'tis ill hap,
If they hold, when their ladies bid them clap.
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.