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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 pinked porringer fell off her head, for kindling such a combustion in the state. I missed the meteor once, and hit that woman; who cried out 'Clubs!' when I might see from far some forty truncheoners draw to her succour, which were the hope o' the Strand, where she was quartered. They fell on; I made good my place: at length they came to the broomstaff to me; I defied 'em still: when suddenly a file of boys behind 'em, loose shot, delivered such a shower of pebbles, that I was fain to draw mine 60 honour in, and let 'em win the work: the devil was amongst 'em, I think, surely.
Port. These are the youths that thunder at a playhouse, 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 'em in Limbo Patrum,
48. blow us, blow us up. 49. a haberdasher's wife of small wit; probably with a play on the phrase 'haberdasher of small wit,' i.e. dealer in trifling jests.
50. pinked porringer, her cap (or, according to Fairholt, the fashionable Milan bonnet), shaped as if moulded on a porringer,' and pierced with holes for fastening on ornaments.
53. Clubs the usual cry for summoning persons to part the combatants in a street affray. 59. loose shot, irregular marks
65. the tribulation of Towerhill, etc. The allusion has not
been explained. Johnson and Steevens thought of Puritan assemblies, where the latter' could easily conceive that the turbulence of the most clamorous theatre had been exceeded by .. bellowings against surplices and farthingales.' But the context rather suggests a cant term for some local pest akin to the ruffianly limbs of Limehouse,' who frequented low entertainments in those neighbourhoods.
67. in Limbo Patrum, in prison. The 'Limbus Patrum' in scholastic theology was the region bordering on hell occupied by the Hebrew patriarchs. Cf. Dante, Inf. iv. 45.
and there they are like to dance these three days; besides the running banquet of two beadles that is to come.
Enter 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,
Great store of room, no doubt, left for the ladies,
If the king blame me for 't, I'll lay ye all
By the heels, and suddenly; and on your heads
Ye should do service. Hark! the trumpets sound;
69. running banquet; cf. i. 4. 12; here, of a whipping, probably as a 'dessert' to crown the feast of durance in limbo.
74. made a fine hand, played a pretty game.
82. lay by the heels, put in the stocks.
85. baiting of bombards, drinking deep. Bombards were long leather vessels of liquor.
The meaning of 'bait' is not altogether certain. The phrase suggests that it is transitive verb equivalent to 'set abroach'; but this sense of bait,' though a very natural one, cannot be paralleled. It is safer then to fall back on the common sense, 'feeding, drinking.' [Perhaps 'crowding round for drinks, like dogs about a bear.' L.]
Go, break among the press, and find a way out
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, etc., train borne by a Lady; then follows the MARCHIONESS 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!
Flourish. Enter KING and Guard. Cran. [Kneeling] And to your royal grace, and the good queen,
90. Marshalsea, the prison in Southwark.
93. camlet, a light woollen
94. peck, pitch.
Sc. 5. By FLETCHER (Sp.). Standing-bowls, bowls supported on feet.
My noble partners, and myself, thus pray:
[The King kisses the child.
With this kiss take my blessing: God protect thee! Into whose hand I give thy life.
King. My noble gossips, ye have been too prodigal :
I thank ye heartily; so shall this lady,
When she has so much English.
Let me speak, sir,
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
13. gossips, sponsors.
24. Saba, the queen of Sheba. Saba is the Vulgate form pre
still counsel her:
served in the older English translations.
27. piece, creation,-'mighty' in virtue of her destiny.
She shall be loved and fear'd: her own shall
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
As great in admiration as herself;
So shall she leave her blessedness to one,
When heaven shall call her from this cloud of darkness,
Who from the sacred ashes of her honour
Shall star-like rise, as great in fame as she was,
That were the servants to this chosen infant,
colony had received a constitution in 1612, but the allusion cannot be definitely referred to
41. maiden, i.e. mateless. 53. make new nations; an allusion probably to the settlement of Virginia in 1607. The this.