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By virtue of that ring I take my cause
Out of the gripes of cruel men, and give it

100 To a most noble judge, the king my master.

Chan. This is the king's ring.

'Tis no counterfeit? Suf. 'Tis the right ring, by heaven! I told ye all, When we first put this dangerous stone a-rolling, 104 'Twould fall upon ourselves. Nor.

Do you think, my lords, , The king will suffer but the little finger Of this man to be vex'd? Chan.

'Tis now too certain: How much more is his life in value with him?

108 Would I were fairly out on 't. Crom.

My mind gave me,
In seeking tales and informations
Against this man whose honesty the devil
And his disciples only envy at-

112 Ye blew the fire that burns ye: now have at ye!

Enter King, frowning on them: takes his seat. Gar. Dread sovereign, how much are we bound to

heaven In daily thanks, that gave us such a prince, Not only good and wise, but most religious:

116 One that in all obedience makes the Church The chief aim of his honour; and to strengthen That holy duty, out of dear respect, His royal self in judgment comes to hear

120 The cause betwixt her and this great offender. King. You were ever good at sudden commenda

tions, Bishop of Winchester; but know, I come not

103 right: genuine

109 My mind gave me: I suspected 133 his place; cf. n. 146 mean: opportunity




To hear such flattery now, and in my presence
They are too thin and base to hide offences.
To me you cannot reach; you play the spaniel,
And think with wagging of your tongue to win me;
But, whatsoe'er thou tak'st me for, I'm sure 128
Thou hast a cruel nature and a bloody.
[To Cranmer.] Good man, sit down. Now let me see

the proudest
He, that dares most, but wag his finger at thee.
By all that's holy, he had better starve
Than but once think his place becomes thee not.

Sur. May it please your Grace,-

No, sir, it does not please me.
I had thought I had had men of some understanding
And wisdom of my council; but I find none.
Was it discretion, lords, to let this man,
This good man,-few of you deserve that title, -
This honest man, wait like a lousy footboy
At chamber-door? and one as great as you are? 140
Why, what a shame was this! Did my commission
Bid ye so far forget yourselves ? I gave ye
Power as he was a counsellor to try him,
Not as a groom. There's some of ye,


More out of malice than integrity,
Would try him to the utmost, had ye mean;
Which ye shall never have while I live.

Thus far, My most dread sovereign, may it like your Grace 148 To let my tongue excuse all. What was purpos’d Concerning his imprisonment was ratherIf there be faith in men-meant for his trial And fair purgation to the world, than malice,


136 of: as members of

I'm sure, in me.

Well, well, my lords, respect him;
Take him, and use him well; he's worthy of it.
I will say thus much for him: if a prince
May be beholding to a subject, I

156 Am, for his love and service, so to him. Make me no more ado, but all embrace him: Be friends, for shame, my lords! My Lord of Can

terbury, I have a suit which you must not deny me;

160 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,

164 That am a poor

and humble subject to you? King. Come, come, my lord, you'd spare your spoons. You shall have two noble partners with you: the old Duchess of Norfolk, and Lady 168

Marquess Dorset. Will these please you?
Once more, my Lord of Winchester, I charge you,
Embrace and love this man.

With a true heart
And brother-love I do it.
And let heaven

172 Witness, how dear I hold this confirmation. King. Good man! those joyful tears show thy true

heart. The common voice, I see, is verified Of thee, which says thus: ‘Do my Lord of Canterbury

176 A shrewd turn, and he's your friend for ever.' Come, lords, we trifle time away: I long 166 spare your spoons: save christening presents 177 shrewd: malicious (i.e. he returns good for evil)

173 confirmation: assurance

To have this young one made a Christian.
As I have made ye one, lords, one remain;
So I grow stronger, you more honour gain.

180 Exeunt.

Scene Four

[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 Parish-garden? ye rude slaves, leave your gaping.

[Voice] Within. Good Master Porter, I belong 4 to the larder.

Port. Belong to the gallows, and be hanged, ye rogue! Is this a place to roar in? Fetch me a dozen crab-tree staves, and strong ones: 8 these are but switches to 'em. I'll scratch your heads: you must be seeing christenings ! Do you look for ale and cakes here, you rude rascals?

12 Man. Pray, sir, be patient: 'tis as much impossible Unless we sweep 'em from the doors with cannonsTo scatter 'em, as 'tis to make 'em sleep On May-day morning; which will never be.

16 We may as well push against Paul's as stir ’em.

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- 20 You see the poor remainder-could distribute, I made no spare, sir. Port.

You did nothing, sir. 2 Parish-garden; cf.n. 5 larder:

the pantry (therefore he had the right to enter) 16 May-day morning; cf. n.

17 Paul's: St. Paul's Cathedral 23 Cf.n.


Man. I am not Samson, nor Sir Guy, nor Colbrand, To mow 'em down before me; but if I spar'd any 24 That had a head to hit, either young or old, He or she, cuckold or cuckold-maker, Let me ne'er 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?

32 Port. What should you do, but knock 'em 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 36 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. 40

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 44 that stand about him are under the line, they need no other penance. That fire-drake did I hit three times on the head, and three times was his nose discharged against me: he stands there, 48 like a mortar-piece, to blow us. There was a haberdasher's wife of small wit. near him, that railed upon me till her pinked porringer fell off


27 chine: roast of beef 28 for a cow; cf. n.

34 Moorfields; cf. n. 35 strange Indian; cf. n.

41 The spoons; cf. n. 43 brazier: worker in brass 45 under the line: under the equator (where it is hot) 46 fire-drake: fiery dragon (the man with the red nose) 49 mortar-piece: small cannon 51 pinked porringer: a bowl-shaped hat slashed with holes

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